A BRUSH WITH HISTORY

4 10 2008

A BRUSH WITH HISTORY
Jackie Pinto
Source: Deccan Herald
A miniature painting exhibition titled ‘A hero for Modern India: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’, is on till October 5 at gallery G, Lavelle Road…


Francois Gautier is a man on a mission. His Indian connection dates back to the 70s, when he came to Auroville as a young student. A writer and journalist based in India, he strongly believes that modern day leaders should learn from icons like Chhatrapati Shivaji, who was a great administrator and warrior. “Just as the French keep Napoloean’s memory alive and celebrate his life and achievements constantly, Shivaji can be a wonderful role model for present day politicians. He respected all faiths and was a just ruler.The chief of his navy and more than 25 per cent of his armed forces were Muslims. But not all know of his greatness. In fact some think of movie stars when I refer to Shivaji,” he said speaking at a miniature painting exhibition titled ‘A hero for Modern India: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’.

The exhibition has a collection of paintings done in the Mughal miniature style illustrating the life of Shivaji, his battles,wars,conquests and sieges.Although the canvases are large the fine detailing of the features, the designs on the garments worn, the ornaments and jewellry, the flowers and the weapons are all typical of the Mughal miniature style of work. “We have commissioned artists of very high calibre mostly from Rajasthan as this school of art is very popular there. Most of them like Dr Sumahendra, Dr Dharm Singh and Sri Kanhayyalal Varma have won several awards and their work is exhibited in galleries across the country.” said Gautier.

Extensive research culled from historical archives are reflected in the beautifully reproduced drawings of ancient maps, forts, battlefields, war camps and navy warships of Shivaji. “A walk around the exhibition gives me both an unforgettable history lesson and an insight into the life of one of the greatest kings of India and these beautifully painted pictures done in natural pigments are a must see for both students of history and anyone who can appreciate what a great icon Shivaji was,”said Avinash Bhat, a Christ College history student. The exhibition is on till the October 5 at gallery G, Lavelle Road.

Other Listings Deccan Herald

Explocity.com

An inspiring historical journey
Jyothi Raghuram
First Published : 02 Oct 2008 05:42:00 AM IST Source: Express buzz
Titled ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj: A Hero for Modern India’, the pictorial representation of Shivaji’s heroics, is a f a c t u a l a n d u n b i a s e d representation of the life and times of Shivaji, drawing its source of information from the archives, whose authenticity is thus undisputed. Perhaps it is not without reason that the title of the exhibition talks of Shivaji as the hero ‘for’, and not ‘of ’ modern India. Consigned to a mere mention in history text books, Shivaji was one historical figure who was fiercely patriotic, yet truly secular, and a pioneering spirit in the fight for swarajya, centuries before it made its entry into the collective consciousness of a people.

Got up by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT), of which well-known French journalist and writer Francois Gautier is the trustee, the exhibition defies categorisation- paintings, line drawings and etchings are not only juxtaposed, but buttressed with contemporary documents to not only establish the unique role that Shivaji played in the history of India, but also in the preservation of her culture and spirituality. The exhibition does demand a degree of patience to go through the detailed texts, which are succinct, and as communicative as the paintings. Shivaji’s lofty ideals, his endearing traits, sense of justice, clarity of vision, and above all, his attempts to rouse the sleeping conscience of Indians against foreign domination, are depicted in flowing style. The exhibition gives much food for thought, and it is unapologetic about portraying Shivaji as one who fearlessly fought against the humiliation and oppression of Hindus.

Sumahendra, Dharm Singh, Bhanwarlal Kemawat, Kanhayyalal Varma and Jitender Singh Chandel are the artists, whose detailed work has lent artistic appeal to the theme. Gautier, considered an authority on religio-political history of the Indian subcontinet, has been a resident of India for three decades, dedicating his life to “restoring the lost glory of ancient Indian civilization”. Shivaji embodied all the qualities that an Indian leader needs today. The exhibition is also an attempt to create awareness among the youth regarding their country’s true heroes, he says. FACT has been organising exhibitions, conferences and dialogues on crucial public issues “that have been ignored by human rights agencies for whatever reasons”, and these exhibitions are a blend of history and art, and try to create human rights awareness, Veeren Chawdury, FACT all-India representative, told Expresso.

FACT has also created online exhibitions, some of which are www.aurangzeb.info , www.naxalism. info, www.bangladeshiminorities. info, www.ahilyabaiholkar.info and www.sufismexhibition.info. The current exhibition is on till October 5, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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When Aurangzeb pleaded for mercy

22 08 2008

A page from History When Aurangzeb pleaded for Mewar Rana’s mercy
By Ganeshi Lal Verma

The Mughal-Rajput war was started after the death of Maharaja Jasvant
Singh on December 20, 1678 and it continued for nearly 30 years. The
Maharaja had died in Jamrud, Afghanistan, where he was posted by
Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. On his death Aurangzeb expressed
happiness and said: “Pillar of infidelity has fallen.” He took
advantage of the situation and tried to annex Marwar—the Maharaja`s
kingdom. Aurangzeb went to Ajmer to make proper arrangements and
overawe the Rajputs of Marwar.

Meanwhile, Maharaja’s family reached Delhi in June 1679. Aurangzeb
ordered that the Maharaja’s family along with infant Ajit Singh, the
late Maharaja’s son, should be sent to the royal harem. The Mughal
Emperor said that Jodhpur gaddi (throne) could be given to Ajit Singh
on condition of his adopting Islam. This led to a fight between the
Mughal army and the Rathore warriors under the command of Durgadas.
The Rathore warriors easily defeated the Mughal forces. Ajit Singh
was safely taken to Marwar and proclaimed the Maharaja of Marwar.
Hearing about the defeat of Mughal forces, Aurangzeb himself took the
command of his army and invaded Marwar to suppress the revolt.

Aurangzeb suspected that Rana of Mewar was helping the Rajputs of
Jodhpur. So in retaliation Aurangzeb imposed jazia on Rana of Mewar.
Rana realised that Aurangzeb was bent on annihilating Rajput power.
Indeed the Mughals had invaded Mewar. Rana abandoned Udaipur,
surprised Mughal camp at Chittor and defeated the Mughals at Bednoor.
Aurangzeb now planned three-pronged attack from three different
directions. Still the Mughals could not make impressive advance
against the Maharana’s defences.

During the campaign Aurangzeb himself was encircled in a precipice by
the Rajputs. The Rajput closed the back movement of the Mughal army
by felling the overhanging trees. Aurangzeb’s favourite wife Udaipuri
Begum, who was also accompanying him in the war was also encircled in
another part of mountain. She however surrendered and was taken to
Rana, who treated her with utmost respect.

Meanwhile, Aurangzeb and his garrison was without food and water for
two days. The Emperor would have died of hunger if the siege had
continued. The Mughals however cried for Rana’s clemency. A treaty
was signed between Rana and Aurangzeb. It was promised on Aurangzeb’s
behalf that in future sacred animals would not be slaughtered. The
magnanimous Rana ordered his forces to withdraw from their stations
so that way could be cleared for Mughal army to withdraw along with
their emperor. The Begum, with her retinue was also sent to the
Emperor, who had withdrawn to Chittor.

Colonel Tod comments on the incident: “But for repeated instances of
ill-judged humanity, the throne of Mughals might have been completely
overturned”. (Annals & Antiquities of Rajasthan, Vol. I p. 379).
Aurangzeb learnt nothing from the defeat. Once out of danger,
Aurangzeb forgot the promise of not slaughtering the cows and the
clemency of Rana. Aurangzeb continued the war claiming that Rana’s
generosity was the result of fear of future vengeance by the Mughals.

Rana’s magnanimity was misplaced. It was as great a blunder as the
ill-fated interview between Rana Pratap and Man Singh at Udai Sagar
Lake. Mughal empire could have been shattered long before than
Marathas did it, if the Rajputs had been more politically minded.





Unraveling India? By Jamie Glazov

12 08 2008

By Jamie Glazov
Source: FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Moorthy Muthuswamy, an expert on terrorism in India. He grew up in India, where he had firsthand experience with political Islam and jihad. He moved to America in 1984 to pursue graduate studies. In 1992, he received a doctorate in nuclear physics from Stony Brook University, New York. Since 1999 he has extensively published ideas on neutralizing political Islam’s terror war as it is imposed on unbelievers. He is the author of the upcoming book, Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you for this timely interview, Jamie

FP: There were some Islamic terror attacks against India in late July. What do you make of them?

Muthuswamy: The late July 2008 blasts are ominous signs of a political Islamic movement in India coming of age. This movement is a consequence of a thirty year old process of jihadization of Indian Muslims or simply, jihad build up in India.

The Islamic conquest of nations and people in Arabia and Africa is now part of history. We are now witnessing the Islamic conquest of South Asia. With Pakistan and Bangladesh firmly Islamized, now the attention is shifting to India, the last big land of South Asia yet to be conquered.

Who would have thought that this barbaric conquest phenomenon will rear its ugly head again in our life time?

FP: Can you give some background to the readers?

Muthuswamy: Sure.

Studies of Islamic conquest of non-Muslims and their land have identified a process called jihad build-up in non-Muslim nations. This build-up also creates what is called a political Islamic movement.

In this process the Muslim minority is systematically and politically indoctrinated by mosques aided by funding from Muslim majority nations, on the grounds of “religious freedom”. This indoctrination is geared towards driving Muslims away from the mainstream, to become hostile to their own nation, and to identify with pan-Islamic aspirations, including a unified Caliphate under Sharia. The Caliphate is envisioned to wage wars until the whole world is converted to Islam.

The contiguous land mass of the Caliphate requires destroying India and converting it into an Islamic state – the primary goal of the political Islamic movement in India. Spearheading this effort in India is the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), identified by Indian intelligence as the terror outfit behind the serial blasts of late July, 2008.

Here is what one may call as a well-articulated manifesto of the Call to Arms (armed jihad): click here. This manifesto was sent minutes before one of the serial blasts and it warned of impending blasts to note that Hindu blood is, “the cheapest of all mankind” and contained Koranic justifications for killing unbelievers. Of course, the manifesto also called on the Hindu majority in India to embrace Islam in order to avoid further attacks – a chillingly similar threat Bin Laden and his deputies’ issue to America every now and then.

FP: What is the ideological inspiration and cover for SIMI?

Muthuswamy: It is mostly derived from Deoband Islamic seminary and the tens of thousands of clerics it has graduated over the years. Deoband is an Indianized version of Wahhabism established in the 19th century (most terrorist outfits in Pakistan, Taliban or even many in ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, are considered its followers). A declaration issued at the end of February 2008 “anti-terror” conference organized at Deoband showed Islamic deceit or Taqqiya at its very best – “Their [western] aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism – not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and various South American countries – have surpassed all records known to human history.”

The declaration said nothing about Pakistani and Saudi sponsorship of terror in India or Indian Muslims’ role as foot-soldiers of this jihad. Among the main thrust of this conference was to give a clean chit to SIMI and to absolve it of any terrorism related activities carried out in India.

Ironically, the Indian government too has unwittingly acted to nurture the intellectual base of jihad and sponsorship of SIMI, through an increasing number of government-funded universities with “Muslim character” – Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, to name a new.

FP: Can you talk about the serial blasts themselves?

Muthuswamy: The back-to-back serial bomb blasts that killed many and injured scores of innocent civilians in the Indian cities of Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and detection and diffusion of scores of other bombs in Surat in July 2008 may have signaled the next stage of jihad build-up in India – from siege to attack mode. Bangalore was probably chosen due to its prominence as the emerging technology capital of India; the city of Surat in Gujarat is the diamond business center of India and Ahmedabad is the capital of the Indian state of Gujarat – the engine driving India’s economic growth and whose population is most resistant to jihad.

From the strategic point of view of destroying Indian economy and degrading the will of the unbelievers to resist, and to destabilize India, no other targets could be better chosen.

These blasts show exceptional levels of organizational ability, inspiration, logistical support in both men and material, and importantly, wide following of extremism among Indian Muslim population. I believe that Indian jihadists and their sponsors in many Muslim nations have concluded that due to the extensive network of terror cells established in Muslim communities all over India they can now indefinitely bleed India until it is destroyed. I also think that the Indian jihadists have shown only a small measure of what they are capable of.

Unlike most western nations where state monitoring of mosques and other jihad sponsoring entities is good (especially since 9/11 attacks), in the case of India, a retired top intelligence official has noted very limited penetration of terrorist entities by the state. Due to this reality, Indian intelligence has no clue about the full dimension of terrorist threat India faces.

Unsurprisingly, military pressure on India is now mounting on its western front, with frequent reports of gun fire exchange with Pakistan and breaking of the four year old ceasefire. As the Indian army is increasingly diverted to quell Muslim-Hindu fight within India, Pakistan is expected to infiltrate more of its irregular jihadists and troops disguised as “freedom fighters” in order to help “oppressed” Indian Muslims to take the war inside India.

The excitement of a resurgent India is fast getting replaced with India as a theater of jihad.

FP: American intelligence officials have gathered intelligence suggesting that Pakistan helped plan the deadly bombing of India’s embassy in Afghanistan. What do you make of this?

Muthuswamy: Indeed, there is every bit of motivation for Pakistanis to plan and execute the Embassy bombing. Pakistanis see India as their primary enemy and clearly, they couldn’t digest increasing Indian influence in what they see as a Pakistani sphere of influence.

This bombing puts a damper on developmental efforts in Afghanistan. When you add this to the Pakistani support and sponsorship of the Afghan Taliban, the American effort to stabilize and to moderate Afghanistan is running into some serious difficulties.

In addition, aided by Saudi Arabia, even under Musharraf, Pakistan has continued to destabilize India.

It seems, American effort to engage Pakistan has yielded very little on the larger strategic front, while tactically it may have been successful in capturing some Al-Qaeda operatives.

Jamie, as you may recall, in an earlier interview conducted last year, I had mentioned that, “[t]he de facto power in these nations [Pakistan and Saudi Arabia] are political Islamic movements, this makes these leaders ineffective in stopping these nations from being fountainheads of terror.”

Pakistani military and ISI are the sword-arm of political Islam in Pakistan. First and foremost, they will never stop armed jihad – and no other internal force can change that.

Even Musharraf showed his true colors by coming to the aid of the ISI, by calling it: “the first defense line of Pakistan.”

Pakistan has now become one of America’s biggest foreign policy and strategic challenges. The bottom line is that America has little leverage against Pakistan (or Saudi Arabia for that matter).

A desperate India and frustrated America will be increasingly pulled toward each other to counter Pakistan-Saudi axis in the region.

FP: What are the powers behind the jihad build-up against India?

Muthuswamy: The primary powers behind the jihad build-up in India, and the resulting terror and mayhem created there are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

We may be able to associate these nations and their leaders with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by the Geneva Convention. This is an interesting angle because it may provide the western powers much-needed leverage against these terror-sponsoring entities and also legal justification to jihad victim states to decisively strike back.

Let me present some material that might implicate Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Centuries ago “offensive” or “expansionist” armed jihad was used to conquer land and people for Islam. It is interesting to note the view of a Sharia judge of Pakistan who had sat in its Supreme Court for twenty years: “Even in those days . . . aggressive jihads were waged… because it was truly commendable for establishing the grandeur of the religion of Allah.”

Now, with international criminal system in place, and also because many Muslim nations no longer have the military might to impose an expansionist jihad on unbeliever nations, the concept of “defensive” armed jihad has been invoked to justify arming and funding Muslim insurgencies in many non-Muslim majority nations in order to create separate homelands for Muslims.

As part of the grand vision of the so-called defensive jihad, state-sponsored Saudi charities have worked to deliberately drive a wedge between Muslim minorities and the non-Muslim majority in many nations; new mosques were established and material hateful of unbelievers was distributed and preached. These measures, funds for mobilizing the faithful and the indoctrinating the necessity of waging armed jihad have given Muslim populations a sense of empowerment, ideology, logistics, and motivation needed to mobilize and to finally wage armed jihad.

In Muslim majority nations such as Pakistan, the above process has created a steady stream of recruits for global jihad.

In other words, as we will see, worldwide Islamic terror is part and parcel of a grand vision of Saudi Arabia.

Having financed and provided logistics for the charities, the Saudi government itself provided material for indoctrination and to prepare Muslim minorities to wage armed jihad on their non-Muslim compatriots. Here is a sample of the official Saudi school material for consumption both internal and abroad:

In these verses is a call for jihad, which is the pinnacle of Islam. In (jihad) is life for the body; thus it is one of the most important causes of outward life. Only through force and victory over the enemies is there security and repose. Within martyrdom in the path of God (exalted and glorified is He) is a type of noble life-force that is not diminished by fear or poverty (Tafsir, Arabic/Sharia, 68).

Before adverse publicity compelled the Saudis to remove the following statement, the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi embassy in Washington carried the following statement defining the motif for jihad:

The Muslims are required to raise the banner of jihad in order to make the Word of Allah supreme in this world, to remove all forms of injustice and oppression, and to defend the Muslims. If Muslims do not take up the sword, the evil tyrants of this earth will be able to continue oppressing the weak and [the] helpless…

There is every reason to believe that the Saudis have distributed these kinds of materials around the world, including in India.

FP: Can you discuss the specific case of the Kashmir jihad?

Muthuswamy: “Self-determination” of “oppressed” or “alienated” Muslims in Kashmir is among the most popular cause (of “defensive” jihad) in the Muslim world. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have pursued this jihad aggressively, while exposing their hand (and thereby implicating them) because they seem to think that they are dealing from a position of “moral high ground” and because India is seen as a weak state.

By the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, admitting its role: “Jihad, insurgency or whatever you want to call it in Kashmir… Yes, Pakistan may have helped the jihad at some time, but it was not started by us”.

First, I want to show that the Kashmir jihad is an offensive one aimed at extending Islam’s boundaries at the expense of non-Muslims by imposing a no-holds-barred warfare on the state controlling Kashmir, India. It is ironic that Pakistan would want to grab more territory from India, especially when it owes a significant portion of its territory to India for its recent acts of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing.

Funding for building mosques and indoctrinating Muslim populations in Kashmir has been funneled through state-sponsored Saudi charities. While supporting Muslim self-determination in Indian part of Kashmir (so that the Muslims would vote to join Pakistan and take the land to Islamic Pakistan), nothing is said about non-Muslim ethnic cleansing (to India) from Pakistani part of Kashmir or from Pakistan itself (to India).

Just as India had to absorb non-Muslims driven out of Pakistani part of Kashmir and from the rest of Pakistan, Pakistan could simply absorb the Muslim population in the Indian part of Kashmir (minus the land), if they feel so alienated. And, that could be considered an equitable arrangement. But clearly that is not the case here; the principle that has been invoked is: What is mine is exclusively mine and what is yours is also mine!

In other words, Kashmir jihad is a bogus “defensive” jihad.

FP: Can you provide more details on the jihad buildup in India aided by Saudi Arabia (and assisted by Pakistan)?

Muthuswamy: I provide them below. I believe the Indian govt. has shared much more comprehensive data implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with their American and other western counterparts.

  • Funds for Muslim insurgencies, including Kashmir Muslim insurgency and Al-Qaeda were funneled through Saudi state-sponsored charity organizations such as Muslim World League (MWL) and World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY). A MWL communiqué in 2000 called for, “all assistance to the people of Kashmir, and support its steadfast struggle.” Since a major part of this “struggle” is armed insurgency, this call for material support and support of the “struggle” can be taken to mean supplying of funds, arms, and ammunition for an armed jihad. According to Indian government, “90 percent of the funding [for Kashmir militants] is from other countries and Islamic organizations like the WAMY”.
  • A cursory review of over thirty years of MWL’s mouthpiece, The Muslim World League Journal, indicates that it has consistently ignored expulsion of over 300,000 non-Muslim Kashmiris and Kashmir Muslim complicity toward this cleansing act. Also ignored are Kashmiri Muslims’ religious apartheid practices toward non-Muslim Kashmiris and others in the rest of the state.
  • The key first step toward building up jihad is the construction of new mosques. Starting 1980, scores of new mosques were constructed. Since 1990s at least 3,000 new mosques were constructed in Kashmir, many with Saudi assistance.
  • SIMI’s, “spectacular growth after 1982 lay in the support it gained from Islamists in West Asia, notably the Kuwait-based World Association of Muslim Youth and the Saudi Arabia-funded International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations.”
  • With authorities in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya and Sudan assisting, about $700 million was raised to further growth of Islam. As part of this plan new mosques and madrassas were to be constructed outside of Kashmir.
  • Indian security agencies have detailed how Saudi Arabia acts as the meeting point of Indian and Pakistani-backed terrorists who plot their strikes in the Indian Kashmir and elsewhere. Indian security officials have been unhappy with the Saudi efforts in monitoring sizable funds that are transferred to India, a big portion of which is suspected to be routed to fundamentalist institutions.
  • In January 2006, India approached the Saudis to sign an extradition treaty covering terrorism. But Saudis demanded that India agree to incorporate “freedom struggles” as a justification of acts of violence.
  • Additionally, state-sponsored Saudi charities have funded India specific terrorist outfits in Pakistan, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who are working to create additional homelands for Muslims in India through terror. An ex-activist of SIMI claimed, “Funds are available for the asking for LeT not only from Pakistan, but also from Wahhabi fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and the UAE”.

Battling Saudi-sponsored Islamic terrorism has been an escalating burden on an impoverished India. Nearly about 6,000 children die every day in India due to malnourishment driven by poverty.

Serial blasts by suspected Islamists, in major Indian economic and technological hubs such as Bangalore and Ahmedabad are poised to drive capital and investment out of India, drive millions more into poverty and make it easier for jihadists to destroy India from within.

Also notable is terrorist attacks directed at Hindu temples – exposing the intent to annihilate the idolaters’ way of life, as suggested in Koranic injunctions.

All of the available evidence appears to show a desire, intent, and execution on the part of Saudi Arabia (and Pakistan) to impose an offensive jihad on India – not just restricted to Kashmir – using bogus excuses that are either exaggerated or invented. Even the so-called alienation of Kashmiri/Indian Muslims is to a great part built up by Saudi charities in order to use Indian Muslims as foot-soldiers to purposefully extend Islamic sphere of influence at the expense of non-Muslims. This is sanctioned by the pseudo-Constitution of Saudi Arabia, the Koran and the Sunnah, which have widely quoted verses (by Muslim clerics) that justify violent conquest of unbelievers.

This deliberate, long-term, and large-scale execution of terror plans has already devastated significant portions of India, with about one hundred thousand people killed, and about half a million displaced. Besides, this highly impoverished nation had to divert its scare resources to fight this terror imposed on its people, and this has in turn led to exacerbating malnutrition of its children, their deaths as a result and grinding poverty of millions of its citizens.

Among the cross hairs of the terrorists’ hit list, according the Indian Home Ministry: India’s nuclear installations, power plants, and oil refineries. The current escalation of serial blasts and what is yet to come at this rate is poised to devastate and kill tens, if not hundreds of millions of Indians and take away the future of many more in the coming decades.

It appears that one can associate the pattern of terrorism waged on India, spearheaded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as per the Geneva Convention. This act of genocide is of a slow form, likely taking several decades to conduct (less likely to be noticed, as a result), unlike the classic one in Darfur region of Africa which is measured in years.

By emphasizing just the “self-determination” of the Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in Muslim majority regions nearby, leaders such as the reigning King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s leadership may have set forth policy measures leading to terror, genocide and crimes against humanity conducted on the people of India, using the Saudi and Pakistani resources respectively.

FP: What can India do?

Muthuswamy: In the near-term there is little the ruling regime in India can do, as the nation awaits blasts of increasing devastation and frequency.

Internally, the tipping point may have been crossed; India no longer defendable. Jihadists know what they are doing, as a Pakistan-based jihad commander proclaimed a few years ago.

Even in the long-term, poor governing and a dysfunctional democracy significantly undermine India’s prospects. Besides, the institutional know-how on dealing with the Islamic threat remains primitive, as the recent Frontpage Symposium can attest to.

Putting it differently, India is a sitting duck – and these serial blasts mark the beginning of extreme destabilizing of India: Spreading of Kashmir jihad into the rest of India.

In this war of minds, first and foremost, India has to articulate the rationale for its existence within human rights framework. Here is one.

Non-Muslims from every Muslim majority region of South Asia – without exception – be it Pakistan, Bangladesh or from India’s own Kashmir valley have been massively driven out to Hindu-majority India. This occurred when Muslim populations in these areas obtained political power. In addition, in 1971, the Pakistani army selectively sought out and killed perhaps a million or more Hindus and drove many more to India. But it was never held accountable. Indeed, due to this mostly one-sided religious cleansing India ended up accommodating about 85% of the original population in about 75% of the original land called British India.

The fact that non-Muslim populations in these Muslim majority regions shared ethnicity, language, food habits, and culture didn’t at all help or save them. This data shows unequivocally that South Asian Muslims do not believe in coexistence and that the Islam practiced in the region is a repressive political ideology of conquest that pretends itself as a religion.

This documented genocidal conquest of non-Muslims in South Asia compellingly defines the first human rights priority for India: Ensuring India’s long-term existence as a free and safe land of opportunity for non-Muslim South Asians.

Armed by this rationale and with the right leadership India can take to the much-needed offense by first mobilizing the non-Muslim majority and to weaken jihadist hold on a mobilized Indian Muslim population.

However, the major responsibility of stopping jihad in India falls in the hands of mainly those who nurtured it all these years: political and religious leadership of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Besides, in the eyes of Indian jihadists, these external entities carry more weight than the internal ones.

It is only natural that the Indians make the following demands on the Saudi/Pakistani political and religious leaderships:

  • They apologize for their one-sided past support of “self-determination” of Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the plight of non-Muslims driven away from nearby Muslim majority regions.
  • These leaders will appeal to the Indian Muslims, Pakistanis and the Saudis – and take steps to stop the jihad directed at India and its citizens.
  • Saudi Arabia will agree to generously fund to rehabilitate Indian Muslims away from extremism, to compensate non-Muslim Indians affected by Islamic radicals that are in anyway indoctrinated by Saudi-originated funds and to compensate the Indian state for the damages suffered and expenses occurred due to Saudi jihad.
  • Saudi Arabia will not stop oil exports to India, as this could be interpreted as waging additional jihad on humanity in India.
  • Pakistan will take the “alienated” Kashmiri Muslims from India and settle them in the portion of Kashmir it holds and in the rest of Pakistan.

Of course, one should be under no illusion that any of these demands are going to be made by the Indians any time soon or even if they are made, the Saudis and Pakistanis are willingly going to embrace them!

Yet, if India wants to exist and do so securely, it has little choice.

These are first of the steps India has to undertake in order to persuade western powers to bring up genocide and other charges against the Saudi and Pakistani political and religious leaderships, and before embarking on a military offensive.

The 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice even extends such authority to the preemptive use of strategic nuclear weapons in certain existential circumstances.

Should the terrorist attacks continue to devastate India and if Pakistan and Saudi Arabia do not act to discourage jihad, India’s existence is threatened and as a nuclear-armed state, it should use every means to devastate Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, paving the way for unraveling of political Islamic movements in India and beyond.

The conundrum of Pakistan is understandable; any limited offensive military measure directed at punishing it will most likely destabilize it and persuade Pakistani military leadership to retaliate with nuclear strikes. However, under the current western policy of “engaging” Pakistan, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have only grown stronger due to internal support.

India could be the missing link in neutralizing the threat Pakistan poses in Afghanistan and through its procession of “Islamic” nuclear bombs.

If Indians feel that they have to hit back at Pakistan due to extensive internal terror attacks attributable as genocide or crimes against humanity, an option worth backing by the western powers is a full-scale Indian offensive that may involve massive pre-emptive strategic nuclear strikes to first soften up Pakistan, followed by over running Pakistan’s territory with Indian troops and liberate its population to Hindu way of life (which culturally Pakistanis belong to), by comprehensively neutralizing its Islamic roots. The West can follow it up by aiding nation-building to be utilized wisely for the first time in Pakistan (until now, the well-meaning western aid has gone into jihad-building there, much to the discomfort of the givers). Such a Pakistan will not only have a negative memory of its Islamic past, but importantly, will be a much less likely terror sponsor.

FP: What can the western powers do?

Muthuswamy: Let me set this section up by first explaining how policy decisions regarding Islamic terrorism are taken in India at the present time.

India’s top two leaders’ (the unelected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his boss, Sonia Gandhi, the president of Congress Party) interaction with the public or journalists on foreign policy and security matters come down to reading statements prepared by aides, with virtually no cross-examination. Singh’s long career in the government had been that of an economic technocrat and Gandhi’s prior experience consisted of home-making.

Due to these leaders’ inexperience on strategic issues, including matters related to Islam or Muslims, Muslim leaders who serve as aides or those who serve in the Cabinet have take the lead in formulating policies. This has been a recipe for disaster as the Muslim leadership in India reflects the Bin Laden loving, fundamentalist-oriented Muslim community.

Not surprisingly, every long-term decision taken by these two leaders have gone on to advance the cause of jihad. Even in cases of obvious Islamist violence, Muslim leaders close to these top Indian leaders have used their influence and access to stymie the investigation and let the terrorists run free. In addition, the Muslim leaders have helped to misguide the focus of government effort away from the roots of terror within their community.

That the Muslim leaders with jihadist outlook are pulling strings behind the top two Indian leaders can explain the bizarre Muslim exclusive promises made by these Indian leaders. Prime Minister Singh stated in Dec. 2006: “They [Muslims] must have the first claim on resources.” Sonia Gandhi went a step further. She wrote a letter as part of a 2007 election campaign in India’s most populous state, specifically pleading to over 15,000 Muslim leaders, including clerics, “I can build a society of your dreams“.

The shocking reality of India is that the ruling Manmohan Singh regime is an unwitting proxy of jihadists on policy matters pertaining to Islam and Muslims.

The ruling regime’s success in bringing India along to sign the proposed nuclear deal with America shouldn’t misconstrued as an ability to tackle Islamic terrorism. Reason: This proposed deal is not an Islam related issue and hence Muslim “advisors” didn’t play a determining role. In any case, in my view, the nuclear deal with India is highly irrelevant for the reason that India will neither be able to securely build nor maintain the nuclear reactors it proposes to construct in another ten years time, should internal destabilizing continue at this rate.

Give these realities it is hard to believe that India is any longer capable of surviving the Islamic onslaught all by itself.

It all comes down to western leaders deciding whether they would like to see India rapidly destabilized by an Islamic war of thousand cuts, with millions of people dying of hunger and malnutrition, and importantly, hostile jihad-sponsoring Muslim states born inside of what is left of India within the next few decades.

When large-scale terrorism that can categorized as crimes-against-humanity is taking place in a nation at the behest of external Islamic powers and where the regime in power is not only ineffective in stopping terror but even seems to act as a proxy for the Islamists, there is every reason for the world powers to step in and help the beleaguered people staring the face of a mutual existential threat.

Such a help can come in the form of backing the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its strong leader, Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. Indian intelligence has identified BJP as the only main stream party free of terrorist infiltration. Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party with its traditional reliance on Muslims has become susceptible to jihadist infiltration and influence.

As part of discrediting the jihadist moral “high ground”, the United States must question the credibility of the Kashmir jihad.

The western powers should persuade and back India to build up the case of crimes against humanity implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia through the International Criminal Court. Not just in the case of India, this angle needs to be pursued to include other jihad victim states and also potentially more sponsors, including the Islamic Republic of Iran (due to its sponsorship of terror directed at Israel).

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other attacks directed at the United States by Al-Qaeda should have given more than ample warning to the Saudi ruling class (and Pakistan) that continued funding – directly or through government-linked charities – of either the Taliban or Al-Qaeda is to harm American interests – and that corrective measures must be put in place to roll back extremism. We now know that the Saudis and Pakistanis hardly undertook any measures to stop the funding of terrorist groups, let alone undertake any corrective measure, until a least 2001 – and that make these nations significantly responsible for 9/11 attacks on America. Still, the 9/11 Commission has blundered into letting the Saudis (and to a lesser extent Pakistanis) off the hook.

The need to move beyond proxies, from Al-Qaeda, Taliban or Hezbollah to their major sponsors – namely, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran – can’t be overstated.

Associating Saudi Arabia with genocide and other crimes against humanity gives us an unprecedented ability to regulate its funding for “religious causes” in the West, to even retroactively shutdown any “religious” institution built with its funding, to discredit its standing (Saudi Arabia is synonymous with Islam and vice versa) in the community of societies and nations – and to even seize its oil-based assets (used to sponsor genocide) as a last resort.

Specifically, western powers, going beyond their support for India, should call on the Saudi leadership to allocate, say, 30-40% of its oil-based revenues for rehabilitating Muslims it has indoctrinated all these decades and to compensate non-Muslim victims and their states.

The victim list includes the United States.

Should the Saudis balk at this humanitarian proposal, the western powers should work to add top Saudi political and religious leaderships to the elite list now occupied by the fellow Muslim, Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir – now charged by the International Criminal Court. Similar approach may be pursued in the case of Pakistan in order to make it disengage from terror sponsorship directed at Afghanistan and India.

Due to deeply entrenched and popular nature of political Islamic movements based in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan that are answerable to none, it is unlikely that even the above approach will yield any meaningful results. Still, this intermediate step may be necessary before justifying far more lethal means.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you Jamie.


Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.





Unraveling India? By Jamie Glazov

12 08 2008

By Jamie Glazov
Source: FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Moorthy Muthuswamy, an expert on terrorism in India. He grew up in India, where he had firsthand experience with political Islam and jihad. He moved to America in 1984 to pursue graduate studies. In 1992, he received a doctorate in nuclear physics from Stony Brook University, New York. Since 1999 he has extensively published ideas on neutralizing political Islam’s terror war as it is imposed on unbelievers. He is the author of the upcoming book, Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you for this timely interview, Jamie

FP: There were some Islamic terror attacks against India in late July. What do you make of them?

Muthuswamy: The late July 2008 blasts are ominous signs of a political Islamic movement in India coming of age. This movement is a consequence of a thirty year old process of jihadization of Indian Muslims or simply, jihad build up in India.

The Islamic conquest of nations and people in Arabia and Africa is now part of history. We are now witnessing the Islamic conquest of South Asia. With Pakistan and Bangladesh firmly Islamized, now the attention is shifting to India, the last big land of South Asia yet to be conquered.

Who would have thought that this barbaric conquest phenomenon will rear its ugly head again in our life time?

FP: Can you give some background to the readers?

Muthuswamy: Sure.

Studies of Islamic conquest of non-Muslims and their land have identified a process called jihad build-up in non-Muslim nations. This build-up also creates what is called a political Islamic movement.

In this process the Muslim minority is systematically and politically indoctrinated by mosques aided by funding from Muslim majority nations, on the grounds of “religious freedom”. This indoctrination is geared towards driving Muslims away from the mainstream, to become hostile to their own nation, and to identify with pan-Islamic aspirations, including a unified Caliphate under Sharia. The Caliphate is envisioned to wage wars until the whole world is converted to Islam.

The contiguous land mass of the Caliphate requires destroying India and converting it into an Islamic state – the primary goal of the political Islamic movement in India. Spearheading this effort in India is the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), identified by Indian intelligence as the terror outfit behind the serial blasts of late July, 2008.

Here is what one may call as a well-articulated manifesto of the Call to Arms (armed jihad): click here. This manifesto was sent minutes before one of the serial blasts and it warned of impending blasts to note that Hindu blood is, “the cheapest of all mankind” and contained Koranic justifications for killing unbelievers. Of course, the manifesto also called on the Hindu majority in India to embrace Islam in order to avoid further attacks – a chillingly similar threat Bin Laden and his deputies’ issue to America every now and then.

FP: What is the ideological inspiration and cover for SIMI?

Muthuswamy: It is mostly derived from Deoband Islamic seminary and the tens of thousands of clerics it has graduated over the years. Deoband is an Indianized version of Wahhabism established in the 19th century (most terrorist outfits in Pakistan, Taliban or even many in ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency, are considered its followers). A declaration issued at the end of February 2008 “anti-terror” conference organized at Deoband showed Islamic deceit or Taqqiya at its very best – “Their [western] aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism – not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and various South American countries – have surpassed all records known to human history.”

The declaration said nothing about Pakistani and Saudi sponsorship of terror in India or Indian Muslims’ role as foot-soldiers of this jihad. Among the main thrust of this conference was to give a clean chit to SIMI and to absolve it of any terrorism related activities carried out in India.

Ironically, the Indian government too has unwittingly acted to nurture the intellectual base of jihad and sponsorship of SIMI, through an increasing number of government-funded universities with “Muslim character” – Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, to name a new.

FP: Can you talk about the serial blasts themselves?

Muthuswamy: The back-to-back serial bomb blasts that killed many and injured scores of innocent civilians in the Indian cities of Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and detection and diffusion of scores of other bombs in Surat in July 2008 may have signaled the next stage of jihad build-up in India – from siege to attack mode. Bangalore was probably chosen due to its prominence as the emerging technology capital of India; the city of Surat in Gujarat is the diamond business center of India and Ahmedabad is the capital of the Indian state of Gujarat – the engine driving India’s economic growth and whose population is most resistant to jihad.

From the strategic point of view of destroying Indian economy and degrading the will of the unbelievers to resist, and to destabilize India, no other targets could be better chosen.

These blasts show exceptional levels of organizational ability, inspiration, logistical support in both men and material, and importantly, wide following of extremism among Indian Muslim population. I believe that Indian jihadists and their sponsors in many Muslim nations have concluded that due to the extensive network of terror cells established in Muslim communities all over India they can now indefinitely bleed India until it is destroyed. I also think that the Indian jihadists have shown only a small measure of what they are capable of.

Unlike most western nations where state monitoring of mosques and other jihad sponsoring entities is good (especially since 9/11 attacks), in the case of India, a retired top intelligence official has noted very limited penetration of terrorist entities by the state. Due to this reality, Indian intelligence has no clue about the full dimension of terrorist threat India faces.

Unsurprisingly, military pressure on India is now mounting on its western front, with frequent reports of gun fire exchange with Pakistan and breaking of the four year old ceasefire. As the Indian army is increasingly diverted to quell Muslim-Hindu fight within India, Pakistan is expected to infiltrate more of its irregular jihadists and troops disguised as “freedom fighters” in order to help “oppressed” Indian Muslims to take the war inside India.

The excitement of a resurgent India is fast getting replaced with India as a theater of jihad.

FP: American intelligence officials have gathered intelligence suggesting that Pakistan helped plan the deadly bombing of India’s embassy in Afghanistan. What do you make of this?

Muthuswamy: Indeed, there is every bit of motivation for Pakistanis to plan and execute the Embassy bombing. Pakistanis see India as their primary enemy and clearly, they couldn’t digest increasing Indian influence in what they see as a Pakistani sphere of influence.

This bombing puts a damper on developmental efforts in Afghanistan. When you add this to the Pakistani support and sponsorship of the Afghan Taliban, the American effort to stabilize and to moderate Afghanistan is running into some serious difficulties.

In addition, aided by Saudi Arabia, even under Musharraf, Pakistan has continued to destabilize India.

It seems, American effort to engage Pakistan has yielded very little on the larger strategic front, while tactically it may have been successful in capturing some Al-Qaeda operatives.

Jamie, as you may recall, in an earlier interview conducted last year, I had mentioned that, “[t]he de facto power in these nations [Pakistan and Saudi Arabia] are political Islamic movements, this makes these leaders ineffective in stopping these nations from being fountainheads of terror.”

Pakistani military and ISI are the sword-arm of political Islam in Pakistan. First and foremost, they will never stop armed jihad – and no other internal force can change that.

Even Musharraf showed his true colors by coming to the aid of the ISI, by calling it: “the first defense line of Pakistan.”

Pakistan has now become one of America’s biggest foreign policy and strategic challenges. The bottom line is that America has little leverage against Pakistan (or Saudi Arabia for that matter).

A desperate India and frustrated America will be increasingly pulled toward each other to counter Pakistan-Saudi axis in the region.

FP: What are the powers behind the jihad build-up against India?

Muthuswamy: The primary powers behind the jihad build-up in India, and the resulting terror and mayhem created there are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

We may be able to associate these nations and their leaders with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as defined by the Geneva Convention. This is an interesting angle because it may provide the western powers much-needed leverage against these terror-sponsoring entities and also legal justification to jihad victim states to decisively strike back.

Let me present some material that might implicate Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Centuries ago “offensive” or “expansionist” armed jihad was used to conquer land and people for Islam. It is interesting to note the view of a Sharia judge of Pakistan who had sat in its Supreme Court for twenty years: “Even in those days . . . aggressive jihads were waged… because it was truly commendable for establishing the grandeur of the religion of Allah.”

Now, with international criminal system in place, and also because many Muslim nations no longer have the military might to impose an expansionist jihad on unbeliever nations, the concept of “defensive” armed jihad has been invoked to justify arming and funding Muslim insurgencies in many non-Muslim majority nations in order to create separate homelands for Muslims.

As part of the grand vision of the so-called defensive jihad, state-sponsored Saudi charities have worked to deliberately drive a wedge between Muslim minorities and the non-Muslim majority in many nations; new mosques were established and material hateful of unbelievers was distributed and preached. These measures, funds for mobilizing the faithful and the indoctrinating the necessity of waging armed jihad have given Muslim populations a sense of empowerment, ideology, logistics, and motivation needed to mobilize and to finally wage armed jihad.

In Muslim majority nations such as Pakistan, the above process has created a steady stream of recruits for global jihad.

In other words, as we will see, worldwide Islamic terror is part and parcel of a grand vision of Saudi Arabia.

Having financed and provided logistics for the charities, the Saudi government itself provided material for indoctrination and to prepare Muslim minorities to wage armed jihad on their non-Muslim compatriots. Here is a sample of the official Saudi school material for consumption both internal and abroad:

In these verses is a call for jihad, which is the pinnacle of Islam. In (jihad) is life for the body; thus it is one of the most important causes of outward life. Only through force and victory over the enemies is there security and repose. Within martyrdom in the path of God (exalted and glorified is He) is a type of noble life-force that is not diminished by fear or poverty (Tafsir, Arabic/Sharia, 68).

Before adverse publicity compelled the Saudis to remove the following statement, the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi embassy in Washington carried the following statement defining the motif for jihad:

The Muslims are required to raise the banner of jihad in order to make the Word of Allah supreme in this world, to remove all forms of injustice and oppression, and to defend the Muslims. If Muslims do not take up the sword, the evil tyrants of this earth will be able to continue oppressing the weak and [the] helpless…

There is every reason to believe that the Saudis have distributed these kinds of materials around the world, including in India.

FP: Can you discuss the specific case of the Kashmir jihad?

Muthuswamy: “Self-determination” of “oppressed” or “alienated” Muslims in Kashmir is among the most popular cause (of “defensive” jihad) in the Muslim world. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have pursued this jihad aggressively, while exposing their hand (and thereby implicating them) because they seem to think that they are dealing from a position of “moral high ground” and because India is seen as a weak state.

By the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, admitting its role: “Jihad, insurgency or whatever you want to call it in Kashmir… Yes, Pakistan may have helped the jihad at some time, but it was not started by us”.

First, I want to show that the Kashmir jihad is an offensive one aimed at extending Islam’s boundaries at the expense of non-Muslims by imposing a no-holds-barred warfare on the state controlling Kashmir, India. It is ironic that Pakistan would want to grab more territory from India, especially when it owes a significant portion of its territory to India for its recent acts of non-Muslim ethnic cleansing.

Funding for building mosques and indoctrinating Muslim populations in Kashmir has been funneled through state-sponsored Saudi charities. While supporting Muslim self-determination in Indian part of Kashmir (so that the Muslims would vote to join Pakistan and take the land to Islamic Pakistan), nothing is said about non-Muslim ethnic cleansing (to India) from Pakistani part of Kashmir or from Pakistan itself (to India).

Just as India had to absorb non-Muslims driven out of Pakistani part of Kashmir and from the rest of Pakistan, Pakistan could simply absorb the Muslim population in the Indian part of Kashmir (minus the land), if they feel so alienated. And, that could be considered an equitable arrangement. But clearly that is not the case here; the principle that has been invoked is: What is mine is exclusively mine and what is yours is also mine!

In other words, Kashmir jihad is a bogus “defensive” jihad.

FP: Can you provide more details on the jihad buildup in India aided by Saudi Arabia (and assisted by Pakistan)?

Muthuswamy: I provide them below. I believe the Indian govt. has shared much more comprehensive data implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with their American and other western counterparts.

  • Funds for Muslim insurgencies, including Kashmir Muslim insurgency and Al-Qaeda were funneled through Saudi state-sponsored charity organizations such as Muslim World League (MWL) and World Association of Muslim Youth (WAMY). A MWL communiqué in 2000 called for, “all assistance to the people of Kashmir, and support its steadfast struggle.” Since a major part of this “struggle” is armed insurgency, this call for material support and support of the “struggle” can be taken to mean supplying of funds, arms, and ammunition for an armed jihad. According to Indian government, “90 percent of the funding [for Kashmir militants] is from other countries and Islamic organizations like the WAMY”.
  • A cursory review of over thirty years of MWL’s mouthpiece, The Muslim World League Journal, indicates that it has consistently ignored expulsion of over 300,000 non-Muslim Kashmiris and Kashmir Muslim complicity toward this cleansing act. Also ignored are Kashmiri Muslims’ religious apartheid practices toward non-Muslim Kashmiris and others in the rest of the state.
  • The key first step toward building up jihad is the construction of new mosques. Starting 1980, scores of new mosques were constructed. Since 1990s at least 3,000 new mosques were constructed in Kashmir, many with Saudi assistance.
  • SIMI’s, “spectacular growth after 1982 lay in the support it gained from Islamists in West Asia, notably the Kuwait-based World Association of Muslim Youth and the Saudi Arabia-funded International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations.”
  • With authorities in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya and Sudan assisting, about $700 million was raised to further growth of Islam. As part of this plan new mosques and madrassas were to be constructed outside of Kashmir.
  • Indian security agencies have detailed how Saudi Arabia acts as the meeting point of Indian and Pakistani-backed terrorists who plot their strikes in the Indian Kashmir and elsewhere. Indian security officials have been unhappy with the Saudi efforts in monitoring sizable funds that are transferred to India, a big portion of which is suspected to be routed to fundamentalist institutions.
  • In January 2006, India approached the Saudis to sign an extradition treaty covering terrorism. But Saudis demanded that India agree to incorporate “freedom struggles” as a justification of acts of violence.
  • Additionally, state-sponsored Saudi charities have funded India specific terrorist outfits in Pakistan, such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who are working to create additional homelands for Muslims in India through terror. An ex-activist of SIMI claimed, “Funds are available for the asking for LeT not only from Pakistan, but also from Wahhabi fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia and the UAE”.

Battling Saudi-sponsored Islamic terrorism has been an escalating burden on an impoverished India. Nearly about 6,000 children die every day in India due to malnourishment driven by poverty.

Serial blasts by suspected Islamists, in major Indian economic and technological hubs such as Bangalore and Ahmedabad are poised to drive capital and investment out of India, drive millions more into poverty and make it easier for jihadists to destroy India from within.

Also notable is terrorist attacks directed at Hindu temples – exposing the intent to annihilate the idolaters’ way of life, as suggested in Koranic injunctions.

All of the available evidence appears to show a desire, intent, and execution on the part of Saudi Arabia (and Pakistan) to impose an offensive jihad on India – not just restricted to Kashmir – using bogus excuses that are either exaggerated or invented. Even the so-called alienation of Kashmiri/Indian Muslims is to a great part built up by Saudi charities in order to use Indian Muslims as foot-soldiers to purposefully extend Islamic sphere of influence at the expense of non-Muslims. This is sanctioned by the pseudo-Constitution of Saudi Arabia, the Koran and the Sunnah, which have widely quoted verses (by Muslim clerics) that justify violent conquest of unbelievers.

This deliberate, long-term, and large-scale execution of terror plans has already devastated significant portions of India, with about one hundred thousand people killed, and about half a million displaced. Besides, this highly impoverished nation had to divert its scare resources to fight this terror imposed on its people, and this has in turn led to exacerbating malnutrition of its children, their deaths as a result and grinding poverty of millions of its citizens.

Among the cross hairs of the terrorists’ hit list, according the Indian Home Ministry: India’s nuclear installations, power plants, and oil refineries. The current escalation of serial blasts and what is yet to come at this rate is poised to devastate and kill tens, if not hundreds of millions of Indians and take away the future of many more in the coming decades.

It appears that one can associate the pattern of terrorism waged on India, spearheaded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes as per the Geneva Convention. This act of genocide is of a slow form, likely taking several decades to conduct (less likely to be noticed, as a result), unlike the classic one in Darfur region of Africa which is measured in years.

By emphasizing just the “self-determination” of the Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the ethnic cleansing of non-Muslims in Muslim majority regions nearby, leaders such as the reigning King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s leadership may have set forth policy measures leading to terror, genocide and crimes against humanity conducted on the people of India, using the Saudi and Pakistani resources respectively.

FP: What can India do?

Muthuswamy: In the near-term there is little the ruling regime in India can do, as the nation awaits blasts of increasing devastation and frequency.

Internally, the tipping point may have been crossed; India no longer defendable. Jihadists know what they are doing, as a Pakistan-based jihad commander proclaimed a few years ago.

Even in the long-term, poor governing and a dysfunctional democracy significantly undermine India’s prospects. Besides, the institutional know-how on dealing with the Islamic threat remains primitive, as the recent Frontpage Symposium can attest to.

Putting it differently, India is a sitting duck – and these serial blasts mark the beginning of extreme destabilizing of India: Spreading of Kashmir jihad into the rest of India.

In this war of minds, first and foremost, India has to articulate the rationale for its existence within human rights framework. Here is one.

Non-Muslims from every Muslim majority region of South Asia – without exception – be it Pakistan, Bangladesh or from India’s own Kashmir valley have been massively driven out to Hindu-majority India. This occurred when Muslim populations in these areas obtained political power. In addition, in 1971, the Pakistani army selectively sought out and killed perhaps a million or more Hindus and drove many more to India. But it was never held accountable. Indeed, due to this mostly one-sided religious cleansing India ended up accommodating about 85% of the original population in about 75% of the original land called British India.

The fact that non-Muslim populations in these Muslim majority regions shared ethnicity, language, food habits, and culture didn’t at all help or save them. This data shows unequivocally that South Asian Muslims do not believe in coexistence and that the Islam practiced in the region is a repressive political ideology of conquest that pretends itself as a religion.

This documented genocidal conquest of non-Muslims in South Asia compellingly defines the first human rights priority for India: Ensuring India’s long-term existence as a free and safe land of opportunity for non-Muslim South Asians.

Armed by this rationale and with the right leadership India can take to the much-needed offense by first mobilizing the non-Muslim majority and to weaken jihadist hold on a mobilized Indian Muslim population.

However, the major responsibility of stopping jihad in India falls in the hands of mainly those who nurtured it all these years: political and religious leadership of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Besides, in the eyes of Indian jihadists, these external entities carry more weight than the internal ones.

It is only natural that the Indians make the following demands on the Saudi/Pakistani political and religious leaderships:

  • They apologize for their one-sided past support of “self-determination” of Muslims in Kashmir while ignoring the plight of non-Muslims driven away from nearby Muslim majority regions.
  • These leaders will appeal to the Indian Muslims, Pakistanis and the Saudis – and take steps to stop the jihad directed at India and its citizens.
  • Saudi Arabia will agree to generously fund to rehabilitate Indian Muslims away from extremism, to compensate non-Muslim Indians affected by Islamic radicals that are in anyway indoctrinated by Saudi-originated funds and to compensate the Indian state for the damages suffered and expenses occurred due to Saudi jihad.
  • Saudi Arabia will not stop oil exports to India, as this could be interpreted as waging additional jihad on humanity in India.
  • Pakistan will take the “alienated” Kashmiri Muslims from India and settle them in the portion of Kashmir it holds and in the rest of Pakistan.

Of course, one should be under no illusion that any of these demands are going to be made by the Indians any time soon or even if they are made, the Saudis and Pakistanis are willingly going to embrace them!

Yet, if India wants to exist and do so securely, it has little choice.

These are first of the steps India has to undertake in order to persuade western powers to bring up genocide and other charges against the Saudi and Pakistani political and religious leaderships, and before embarking on a military offensive.

The 1996 Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice even extends such authority to the preemptive use of strategic nuclear weapons in certain existential circumstances.

Should the terrorist attacks continue to devastate India and if Pakistan and Saudi Arabia do not act to discourage jihad, India’s existence is threatened and as a nuclear-armed state, it should use every means to devastate Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, paving the way for unraveling of political Islamic movements in India and beyond.

The conundrum of Pakistan is understandable; any limited offensive military measure directed at punishing it will most likely destabilize it and persuade Pakistani military leadership to retaliate with nuclear strikes. However, under the current western policy of “engaging” Pakistan, Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have only grown stronger due to internal support.

India could be the missing link in neutralizing the threat Pakistan poses in Afghanistan and through its procession of “Islamic” nuclear bombs.

If Indians feel that they have to hit back at Pakistan due to extensive internal terror attacks attributable as genocide or crimes against humanity, an option worth backing by the western powers is a full-scale Indian offensive that may involve massive pre-emptive strategic nuclear strikes to first soften up Pakistan, followed by over running Pakistan’s territory with Indian troops and liberate its population to Hindu way of life (which culturally Pakistanis belong to), by comprehensively neutralizing its Islamic roots. The West can follow it up by aiding nation-building to be utilized wisely for the first time in Pakistan (until now, the well-meaning western aid has gone into jihad-building there, much to the discomfort of the givers). Such a Pakistan will not only have a negative memory of its Islamic past, but importantly, will be a much less likely terror sponsor.

FP: What can the western powers do?

Muthuswamy: Let me set this section up by first explaining how policy decisions regarding Islamic terrorism are taken in India at the present time.

India’s top two leaders’ (the unelected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his boss, Sonia Gandhi, the president of Congress Party) interaction with the public or journalists on foreign policy and security matters come down to reading statements prepared by aides, with virtually no cross-examination. Singh’s long career in the government had been that of an economic technocrat and Gandhi’s prior experience consisted of home-making.

Due to these leaders’ inexperience on strategic issues, including matters related to Islam or Muslims, Muslim leaders who serve as aides or those who serve in the Cabinet have take the lead in formulating policies. This has been a recipe for disaster as the Muslim leadership in India reflects the Bin Laden loving, fundamentalist-oriented Muslim community.

Not surprisingly, every long-term decision taken by these two leaders have gone on to advance the cause of jihad. Even in cases of obvious Islamist violence, Muslim leaders close to these top Indian leaders have used their influence and access to stymie the investigation and let the terrorists run free. In addition, the Muslim leaders have helped to misguide the focus of government effort away from the roots of terror within their community.

That the Muslim leaders with jihadist outlook are pulling strings behind the top two Indian leaders can explain the bizarre Muslim exclusive promises made by these Indian leaders. Prime Minister Singh stated in Dec. 2006: “They [Muslims] must have the first claim on resources.” Sonia Gandhi went a step further. She wrote a letter as part of a 2007 election campaign in India’s most populous state, specifically pleading to over 15,000 Muslim leaders, including clerics, “I can build a society of your dreams“.

The shocking reality of India is that the ruling Manmohan Singh regime is an unwitting proxy of jihadists on policy matters pertaining to Islam and Muslims.

The ruling regime’s success in bringing India along to sign the proposed nuclear deal with America shouldn’t misconstrued as an ability to tackle Islamic terrorism. Reason: This proposed deal is not an Islam related issue and hence Muslim “advisors” didn’t play a determining role. In any case, in my view, the nuclear deal with India is highly irrelevant for the reason that India will neither be able to securely build nor maintain the nuclear reactors it proposes to construct in another ten years time, should internal destabilizing continue at this rate.

Give these realities it is hard to believe that India is any longer capable of surviving the Islamic onslaught all by itself.

It all comes down to western leaders deciding whether they would like to see India rapidly destabilized by an Islamic war of thousand cuts, with millions of people dying of hunger and malnutrition, and importantly, hostile jihad-sponsoring Muslim states born inside of what is left of India within the next few decades.

When large-scale terrorism that can categorized as crimes-against-humanity is taking place in a nation at the behest of external Islamic powers and where the regime in power is not only ineffective in stopping terror but even seems to act as a proxy for the Islamists, there is every reason for the world powers to step in and help the beleaguered people staring the face of a mutual existential threat.

Such a help can come in the form of backing the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its strong leader, Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat. Indian intelligence has identified BJP as the only main stream party free of terrorist infiltration. Manmohan Singh’s Congress Party with its traditional reliance on Muslims has become susceptible to jihadist infiltration and influence.

As part of discrediting the jihadist moral “high ground”, the United States must question the credibility of the Kashmir jihad.

The western powers should persuade and back India to build up the case of crimes against humanity implicating both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia through the International Criminal Court. Not just in the case of India, this angle needs to be pursued to include other jihad victim states and also potentially more sponsors, including the Islamic Republic of Iran (due to its sponsorship of terror directed at Israel).

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other attacks directed at the United States by Al-Qaeda should have given more than ample warning to the Saudi ruling class (and Pakistan) that continued funding – directly or through government-linked charities – of either the Taliban or Al-Qaeda is to harm American interests – and that corrective measures must be put in place to roll back extremism. We now know that the Saudis and Pakistanis hardly undertook any measures to stop the funding of terrorist groups, let alone undertake any corrective measure, until a least 2001 – and that make these nations significantly responsible for 9/11 attacks on America. Still, the 9/11 Commission has blundered into letting the Saudis (and to a lesser extent Pakistanis) off the hook.

The need to move beyond proxies, from Al-Qaeda, Taliban or Hezbollah to their major sponsors – namely, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran – can’t be overstated.

Associating Saudi Arabia with genocide and other crimes against humanity gives us an unprecedented ability to regulate its funding for “religious causes” in the West, to even retroactively shutdown any “religious” institution built with its funding, to discredit its standing (Saudi Arabia is synonymous with Islam and vice versa) in the community of societies and nations – and to even seize its oil-based assets (used to sponsor genocide) as a last resort.

Specifically, western powers, going beyond their support for India, should call on the Saudi leadership to allocate, say, 30-40% of its oil-based revenues for rehabilitating Muslims it has indoctrinated all these decades and to compensate non-Muslim victims and their states.

The victim list includes the United States.

Should the Saudis balk at this humanitarian proposal, the western powers should work to add top Saudi political and religious leaderships to the elite list now occupied by the fellow Muslim, Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir – now charged by the International Criminal Court. Similar approach may be pursued in the case of Pakistan in order to make it disengage from terror sponsorship directed at Afghanistan and India.

Due to deeply entrenched and popular nature of political Islamic movements based in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan that are answerable to none, it is unlikely that even the above approach will yield any meaningful results. Still, this intermediate step may be necessary before justifying far more lethal means.

FP: Moorthy Muthuswamy, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Muthuswamy: Thank you Jamie.


Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine’s managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at jglazov@rogers.com.





Changing interpretations of early Indian history

30 06 2008

Changing interpretations of early Indian history

Upinder Singh

FROM: the hindu


History is not one but many stories; only a few of them have been written. The challenges to build on the advances so far are many.


The historiography of ancient and early medieval India reveals significant changes over time; these can be understood against the background of the political and intellectual contexts in which they emerged and flourished. The various ‘schools’ of history writing are often presented and understood in terms of one school making way for the other in a neat, forward progression. The reality is more complex. There was considerable variety within the schools; some of them co-existed in dialogue or conflict with one another, and there are examples of writings that go against the grain and do not fit into the dominant historiographical trends of their time.

Antiquarians’ domination

The 18th and 19th centuries were dominated by the writings of European scholars, referred to as Orientalists or Indologists, although they often described themselves as ‘antiquarians’. Many of them worked for the East India Company or the British Government of India. The founding of the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784 provided an institutional focus for scholars working in fields such as textual study, epigraphy, numismatics, and history. A major contribution of the Indologists lay in their efforts to collect, edit, and translate ancient texts. In this, they depended heavily on information provided by ‘native informants.’ Indology soon spread beyond the British empire and became a subject of study in European universities.

Apart from the study of ancient texts, the 19th century witnessed developments in epigraphy, numismatics, archaeology, and the study of art and architecture. The decipherment of Ashokan Brahmi and Kharoshthi scripts were breakthroughs. The analysis of coins contributed to the construction of a framework of political history. Officers of the Geological Survey discovered prehistoric stone tools and laid the basis of Indian prehistory. The Archaeological Survey of India, established in 1871, has over the decades made important contributions to unearthing and analysing the material remains of India’s past. The contributions and breakthroughs of the 18th and 19th centuries were rooted in a colonial context, and this is evident in certain features of Indological writing. The Brahmanical perspective of ancient Sanskrit texts was often uncritically taken as reflecting the Indian past. Social and religious institutions and traditions were critiqued from a Western viewpoint. Indian society was presented as static, and its political systems despotic, over the centuries. Race, religion, and ethnicity were confused with one another, and there was a tendency to exaggerate the impact of foreign influence on ancient India. This is when the classification of the Indian past into Hindu, Muslim, and British periods took root.

Indian scholars of the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century made major contributions to constructing a connected narrative of ancient India. These historians, who wrote against the background of an emergent, and later increasingly strong, national movement, are generally referred to as Nationalist historians. They wove together data from texts, inscriptions, coins, and other material remains to show the contours of the ancient Indian past. Contributions were made in the field of political history. South India was brought into the narrative and the study of regional polities progressed.

The nationalist tinge in these scholars’ writings can be seen in their insistence on the indigenous roots of cultural developments. It is reflected in their search for golden ages, which led to their exalting the age of the Vedas and the Gupta Empire. Non-monarchical polities were discovered and celebrated to counter the idea that India had never known anything but despotic rule. The periodisation of the Indian past into Hindu, Muslim, and British periods was, however, retained. It coalesced with a communal tendency to valorise the ‘Hindu period’ and to project the advent of the Turks and Islam as a calamity and tragedy.

The 1950s saw the emergence of Marxist historiography, which went on to play an influential role in the construction of the history of ancient and early medieval India. In the long run, the Marxist historians shifted the focus from an event-centred history dominated by political narrative to the delineation of social and economic structures and processes, especially those related to class stratification and agrarian relations. Marxist historiography contributed to uncovering the history of non-elite groups, some of which had suffered subordination and marginalisation.

While making these valuable interventions and contributions, Marxist writings often tended to work with unilinear historical models derived from Western historical and anthropological writings. Texts were sometimes read uncritically, with insufficient attention paid to their problematic chronology and peculiarities of genre. Archaeological data were included, but the basic framework of the historical narrative remained text-centric. Initially, the focus on class meant less attention to other bases of social stratification such as caste and gender. Religion and culture were sidelined, or mechanically presented as reflections of socio-economic structures.

Despite important differences, the major historiographical schools shared similarities. Certain tenets of these schools continue to thrive. Some of the fundamental premises and methods of Orientalist historiography still hold their ground, and histories of Third World countries such as India remain Eurocentric. Appeals to the ancient and early medieval past are often dictated by nationalist or communalist agendas. Marxist historiography continues to be an influential force in early Indian historiography.

A critical understanding of historiography, one that recognises the contributions and limitations of past and present ideological and theoretical frameworks, is essential to understanding where the history of ancient and early medieval India stands. However, the advances of the future are likely to be the result of questioning and thinking beyond the boundaries of existing historiographical positions and methodologies.

History is not one but many stories; only a few of them have been written. The challenges to build on the advances so far are many. Currently, there are two parallel images of ancient South Asia — one based on literary sources, the other on archaeology. Texts and archaeology generate different sorts of historical narratives and suggest different rhythms of cultural continuity, transition, and change. Historians generally use archaeological evidence selectively as a corroborative source when it matches hypotheses based on their interpretation of texts. Archaeologists have not adequately explored the historical implications of archaeological data. Correlations between literature and archaeology tend to be simplistic and devoid of reflection on methodology. We need to consider whether, given their inherent differences, textual and archaeological evidence can be integrated, or whether we should simply aim at juxtaposition.

The tradition of extracting supposedly self-evident ‘facts’ from literary sources needs to be replaced by an approach that is more sensitive to their genre, texture, and cadence. However, in view of the information and insights offered by rapidly growing archaeological data, historical narratives can no longer remain text-centric. A more sophisticated approach towards textual study has to be accompanied by an incorporation of archaeological evidence. This will lead to a more nuanced image of ancient India. It will reveal the complexities and diversities of cultural processes, and will incorporate the ordinary and everyday into our understanding of the ancient past.

Histories of early India should ideally represent the various regions and communities of the subcontinent in their diversity. However, while the heartlands of great empires and kingdoms are well represented, many regions are not. These have to be brought in. Bringing more people into history requires initiatives to uncover groups that have been subordinated and marginalised. This is not easy, given that a great proportion of the source material available to historians has been created by elite groups and reflects their ideas and interests. Nevertheless, the past of people who have been hidden from history has to be uncovered and written, and these histories must become an integral part of the narrative of the ancient Indian past. Explorations of gender, the family, and the household need to be pushed further and have to become part of larger social histories. Issues and institutions such as the family, class, varna, and jati need long-term perspectives, showing how the different bases of social identity intersected and changed over time.

India’s varied and complex cultural traditions need attention. While these continue to be the focus of research among scholars working in South Asian studies, religious studies, and art history departments abroad, they have in recent decades remained somewhat marginal to mainstream historical writing in India.

Need to enlarge debate

There is a close relationship between history and identity; the past has, therefore, always been contested terrain. In contemporary India, the ancient past is invoked in different ways in political discourse, including propaganda with chauvinistic or divisive agendas. There are debates over the state’s right to project and propagate certain interpretations of the past through school textbooks. Communities frequently take offence at things written about them in historians’ scholarly writings. In such a charged and intolerant atmosphere, there are several dangers — of the deliberate manipulation and distortion of the past to achieve political ends, of historical hypotheses being judged on the basis of their political implications rather than academic merit, and of historians being criticised for writing objective history. The need to define and enlarge a liberal academic space which nurtures level-headed dialogue and debate has perhaps never been greater.

(This article is excerpted from the Introduction of Upinder Singh’s forthcoming book, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson Longman, Rs. 3,500.)





PM’s daughter takes on Marxist view of history

27 06 2008

19 Jun 2008, 0128 hrs IST, Mohua Chatterjee,TNN

NEW DELHI: Just when PM Manmohan Singh has taken on his communist partners over the nuclear deal, his daughter, professor Upinder Singh, has come up with a book which challenges the Marxist version of ancient Indian history.

While praising Marxist historians for uncovering the history of non-elite groups and other contributions, Singh disagrees with them for their reliance on unilinear historical models derived from western historical and anthropological works.

She also delves extensively into ancient India’s cultural past — art, literature, religion and philosophy — in sharp contrast to Marxist historians who focused on “social and economic interpretations”.

Singh, however, is not one to discard the Marxist approach altogether. “Being a student of history in the 1970s, I am a product of the shift from the nationalist to the Marxist view and so I have drawn from both,” the DU historian told TOI, identifying herself as “belonging to the liberal space which is so important”.

Singh’s 704-page A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century is targeted at graduate and post-graduate students and will be released on July 18.

With her keen interest in archaeology, Singh seeks to challenge Marxist historians like Romila Thapar, and provides, for those “writing the new NCERT school books,” more than one interpretation of ancient Indian history, and encouraging them to look for more.

Elaborating on her divergences with the Marxist school which have dominated the campuses since the 70s, Singh stressed the need for students of ancient Indian history to pay attention also to cultural aspects — art, literature religion and philosophy. “Religious doctrines, I feel, are important for students to understand things in context,” she said.

In the introductory chapter, Singh discusses the contributions and flaws of the various schools. “Marxist historiography also contributed towards uncovering the history of non-elite groups, many of whom had suffered centuries of subordination and marginalization. While making these valuable contributions, Marxist writing often tended to work with unilinear historical models derived from western historical and anthropological writings,” she writes.

Sketching out her differences with the Marxist school, Singh notes that shift of population from rural to urban areas did not take place as suggested in the model as “most people of the subcontinent continued to live in villages”.

Asked about likely controversies after the book’s release, she said, “Given that a controversy came up about a book that did not exist, I must say it can really vitiate the atmosphere. History always has a political element, it is always connected with power and power structures, with strong views on it even among ordinary people. But ultimately the book will be judged in the long run by students of history.”

Explaining the purpose in the preface, she said, “It is necessary to expose them to the complex details and textures of history… unresolved issues… have been presented as such, rather than conveying a false sense of certainty. Where there are debates, the different perspectives have been presented, along with my own assessment of which arguments are convincing and which ones are not.”





PM’s daughter takes on Marxist view of history

27 06 2008


19 Jun 2008, 0128 hrs IST, Mohua Chatterjee,TNN

NEW DELHI: Just when PM Manmohan Singh has taken on his communist partners over the nuclear deal, his daughter, professor Upinder Singh, has come up with a book which challenges the Marxist version of ancient Indian history.

While praising Marxist historians for uncovering the history of non-elite groups and other contributions, Singh disagrees with them for their reliance on unilinear historical models derived from western historical and anthropological works.

She also delves extensively into ancient India’s cultural past — art, literature, religion and philosophy — in sharp contrast to Marxist historians who focused on “social and economic interpretations”.

Singh, however, is not one to discard the Marxist approach altogether. “Being a student of history in the 1970s, I am a product of the shift from the nationalist to the Marxist view and so I have drawn from both,” the DU historian told TOI, identifying herself as “belonging to the liberal space which is so important”.

Singh’s 704-page A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century is targeted at graduate and post-graduate students and will be released on July 18.

With her keen interest in archaeology, Singh seeks to challenge Marxist historians like Romila Thapar, and provides, for those “writing the new NCERT school books,” more than one interpretation of ancient Indian history, and encouraging them to look for more.

Elaborating on her divergences with the Marxist school which have dominated the campuses since the 70s, Singh stressed the need for students of ancient Indian history to pay attention also to cultural aspects — art, literature religion and philosophy. “Religious doctrines, I feel, are important for students to understand things in context,” she said.

In the introductory chapter, Singh discusses the contributions and flaws of the various schools. “Marxist historiography also contributed towards uncovering the history of non-elite groups, many of whom had suffered centuries of subordination and marginalization. While making these valuable contributions, Marxist writing often tended to work with unilinear historical models derived from western historical and anthropological writings,” she writes.

Sketching out her differences with the Marxist school, Singh notes that shift of population from rural to urban areas did not take place as suggested in the model as “most people of the subcontinent continued to live in villages”.

Asked about likely controversies after the book’s release, she said, “Given that a controversy came up about a book that did not exist, I must say it can really vitiate the atmosphere. History always has a political element, it is always connected with power and power structures, with strong views on it even among ordinary people. But ultimately the book will be judged in the long run by students of history.”

Explaining the purpose in the preface, she said, “It is necessary to expose them to the complex details and textures of history… unresolved issues… have been presented as such, rather than conveying a false sense of certainty. Where there are debates, the different perspectives have been presented, along with my own assessment of which arguments are convincing and which ones are not.”