Wednesday, November 20, 2013
When in antiquity did it become unfashionable to indentify yourself as a Bharatiya/Hindu?
Historically the Central Asian invaders ,contrary to British colonialist propaganda, were invariably defeated by strong Indian armies.
I am of course talking about the Scythians and Huns in particular.Huns had defeated the mighty Chinese and the Roman Empire but they had met their match in Samudra Gupta ,Yashodharma and Baladitya
Only the Yueh Chi/Kushans who carved an empire in Northwestern India who managed escaped Indian retribution.
When they were successful such as the Sakasthan empire, they were got their ass handed to them by Satavahana Andhra kings such as Gautamiputra Satakarni. His efforts in the Deccan and Malwa had the domino effect on their powers in the northwest(About 1700 years later, this would be inversed when the Ahmad Shah Abdali,possibly descended from Scythians, squashed the Marathas,descendents of Satavahanas, at Panipat thus effecting their southern holdings)
No sooner than they started ruling India they immediately started worshipping Hindu and Buddhist gods and adopted local names while claiming Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi lineages
It is helpful of course that they had precedent in the distant legendary accounts such as Ramayana where sage Vasishta had them "purified" by have passed thru the rear end of a cow(most likely it symbolizes a ritual where they smeared with cow dung).
While the descendent of Huns-Gurjaras turned into very respectable proto Rajputs and mild mannered Gujaratis whose regions name was changed from Lata
There was absolutely no talk of superior lineage due to their Central Asian origins.All wanted to prove that they were more Vedic than Vedic.More vegetarian than Brahmin, more aristocratic than Kshatriyas, more entrepreneurial than Vaishyas and more slavish than Shudras
One thing that they probably preferred not to let go was their skin complexion and most likely color based caste system started with them and not the Vedas or the British
All pro Indian tendencies came to an end with the Muslim invasions and the utter devastation it caused to Northern India in particular.
One Muslim chronicler notes that slaves from India were so plentiful in Afghanistan that it was cheaper to buy a slave, even a very respectable person, due to oversupply
Any country that suffers invasion and conquest suffers a loss of prestige. Note how despite all claims of brotherhood for Palestinians, Arabs actually loathe them because they remind Arabs of their weakness and humiliation. Ditto these days for Iraqis who are now notorious as being helpless refugees and prostitutes
I am told Iraqis now wish to lose their distinctive identity as its a liability and quickly adapt to Jordanian ,Syrian or Khaleeji ethnicities
Similar situation exists for Afghanistan. The Pushtun culture of honor, courage and bravado(to the extant that it did exist) is dead. gone. nada. zilch
Demoralization began with the Soviet installation of a puppet government dominated by the heavily Russified Uzbek people. When it was toppled Soviets responded as they were wont to do with throwing everything including the kitchen sink(filled no doubt with empty vodka bottles) at Afghanistan. Of course this ill conceived, poorly planned and executed invasion did not provide any lasting benefit to the Soviets. It didn't help they were hounded by guerillas factions trained by the ISI using American weapons and monies. But the Soviets did do great damage in the process to the Pushtuns and their ancient ways. The remaining was finished off by the hyper ambitious Punjabis, the Afghans themselves with the civil war which led to the tyrannical Taliban and then American invasion after 9/11
But I digress. The point is a few decades reduced the nearly millennium long reputation of Pushtuns of romantic heroes to pathetic refugees and whores.
Now Hindus were subjected to this type of degradation and worse for nearly 1 millennium
The stereotype of an Indian now a slavish, cowardly, effeminate, cunning, stingy and cruel
This was not always the case. Indians as noted by the Greeks and Chinese more than 1500 years ago, were a brave, confident, generous, free and just people for the most part
Now that being Indian was a losing proposition, the Rajputs, Ahirs, Gujjars, Jats ,Marathas,Nairs all started claiming fancy lineages such as Scythians or Huns all the while egged on by the British to disassociate themselves further from those slavish native masses. These individuals composed the bulk of the British Indian army. Coincidence?
In all except Jats ,Marathas and Nairs was the Scythian or Hun claim legitimate
The Northwest people are now dominant in Indian society. These descendants of Huns are prominent in business(Marwaris,Gujaratis),media(Punjabi domination in Bollywood) ,military(martial races mentioned above were primarily recruited from the Northwest),politics(Nehru Gandhi,Modi Advani axis all Gujjars) and sports(Punjabis and Rajputs)
It seems that only recently since the 90s with its improved economy, military stature due to the nuclear tests,mainstream appeal of Out of India theory ,suspicion and disgust of the corrupt and nepotism prone Gandhi family and improved PR of India from a leprosy ridden ward of Mother Theresa to an IT powerhouse did this enthusiasm for claiming foreign lineages diminish and others such as Biharis and South Indians got a chance to truly flourish and not be ridiculed in the media in the process. Coincidence?
In the end, I believe the Muslim Central Asian did more for the self respect of their brethren than their Hindu/Budhhist/Shamanist ancestors ever could. Now the barbaric Turk and Mongol could hold his head high and look upon contempt for the Indians
Dhoti was out,pants were in
Toplessless out/kurta,choli in
Rice was out,wheat was in
Lacto vegetarianism/poultry was out/red meat was in
Chariots were out/the more direct equestrian approach was in
Idol worship out/monotheism in
Dark skin(Krishna,Draupadi,Ajanta frescoes) was out/Light skin in
Small noses out/Large Persian noses in
I think it was Sitaram Goel who pointed out that Urdu poets even in the lae 18th century rhapsodized about the mountains,lakes,deserts and wastelands of Samarkhand,Baghdad and Shiraz rather than Mathura or Poona
Is it any coincidence that Muslims are the most likely to claim some foreign origin unless they are descended from other Hindu ethnic group which claims a foreign origin such as Rajputs or Jats?