History of Mughalstan

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at GMX.LI
Thu Aug 31 09:21:12 UTC 2000

As I feared, this thread is becoming an excuse for religious
propaganda, so I've had enough of it. But I do want to point out a
few more tendentious misrepresentations:

Am 31 Aug 2000, um 6:16 schrieb nanda chandran:

> Robert Zydenbos writes :
> >This thread seems another one that could be on an unfortunate
> >way to fruitlessness because of superficial and inaccurate
> >comparisons. I will try to give a different view here.
> It doesn't look like you're very clear about the subject of
> discussion. The main point of the argument is not a comparison between
> Europe and India, but whether the concept of "nations" based on
> region/language/ethnicity is applicable to India.

Well, I did read in your message:

<< In Indian history there's not much evidence that *people*
identifed themselves as nations like it was in Europe.>>

etc. etc. Sorry that I responded to something that you wrote. ;-)

> Can you find parallels in India to the notorious enemities in Europe :
> the Celts/Picts Vs the Anglo Saxons, the English Vs the French, Spain
> Vs Portugal, Spain Vs England, Prussians Vs their enemies. Each of
> these peoples have historically identified themselves as seperate
> nations/people based on language/culture and fought/competed with each
> other. But such a case is absent in India - for Telugus have never had
> the Tamils as traditional enemies nor the Kannadigas nursed
> traditional enemity towards the Marathas or any other particular
> people based on region/language. [...]

Don't be too sure, and don't idealise India so quickly. Just have a
look at what is happening right now in India: Assam, Kashmir, or a
terrorist Tamilian outfit that this very moment demands that
Karnataka recognise Tamil as the second official language of
Karnataka (spoken by approx. 3% there).

> Also when the Marathas ruled ThanjAvur, is there any history of the
> local Tamils rebelling against them, because they were of a different
> "nation"? Or did that happen when Telugu NAyak kings or the
> Vijayanagar kings ruled parts of Tamil Nadu? Whoever the king might be
> and whatever region he might belong to, for the people it was business
> as usual and they continued living their normal lives.
> Would this be possible in Europe? Would the French have tolerated the
> British as rulers or vice versa?

Yes: the royal family of the Netherlands is originally German; the
royal family of Sweden is originally French; etc. etc.

> I'm sure Winston Churchill must be cheering you from the grave! This
> is the typical colonial attitude which overlooks the extent of
> Chandragupta's or Ashoka's empire. [...]

Once upon a time there was the Roman empire too...

> >This is more of the same, viz. another faulty comparison, this one
> >popularised by Vivekananda, who has done a lot to propagate the myth
> >of 'spiritual India' vis-à-vis the 'materialist West', where such a
> >contrast does not really exist;
> One has only to live in India and America to appreciate this. Maybe
> such perception is only possible for Indians who "live" their culture.

I have lived in North America, Europe and in India (16 years of adult
life). Perhaps you should learn a bit more about Europe, if not live
there, before you make pronouncements about that part of the
world and make comparisons with India, if I may make this modest
suggestion. Bluff doesn't always work.

> >Is it not a fact that there have been bloody wars all
> >over South Asia throughout all of its history, irrespective of what
> >myth-makers have said about 'spiritual' 'Vedic' tendencies etc.?
> Why is there this great effort to moralise everything? "Brahmins are
> evil because they supported the caste system; Buddha was noble because
> he opposed it". "Vedic civilization is evil because it encouraged
> wars; Buddhism is noble because it opposed it".

You did not hear that from me.


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