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Thursday, March 31, 2011
India and Colonial yoke
March 30th, 2011 at 13:28 |
When words copulate with words they produce more words and a ‘factual’ but non-fecund history. But the history so encamped often leaves out the moral questions of righteousness and the ‘historian’ assumes that material winner is morally right for it is said ‘victory itself is its own legitimacy.’ I rebut lock stock and barrel Niall Ferguson’s book for presenting a fabric of fabrication. I quote but little from my book ‘Mona Lisa does not smile anymore’(ISBN 978-81-8465-512-4)
“The voyages of exploration were the dawn of Racialism and Colonialism. In the year 1600, the Indian economy amounted to 22.54 per cent of the world GDP, while Britain and Western Europe’s combined economies amounted to 21.82 per cent. By 1870, India’s share was down to 12.25 per cent, while in Western Europe it increased to 32.71%. At its prosperous best Mughal Empire produced 24.5% of world GDP in the year 1700. By the time British colonists occupied India and other nations their GDP rose to 23.8% of the world in 1870.” (page 137)
“If I had to choose between an erudite Aristotle and an unknown ‘soulless’ black slave I would choose the latter. The ascendancy of the West was on a heap of bodies of slaves and trampled humanity through colonization.” (page 135). what I wrote in my book Mona Lisa does not smile anymore (ISBN 978-81-8465-512-4) on the “ascendancy of the West on the bodies of the Rest” would never have the kind of audience, the media, Harvard tagged Professor can muster. I am from the ‘Rest’, I am an Associate Professor in Delhi university and to get newspapers and media to just read and review what I write in the book is akin to a beggar seeking the attention of an Emperor.
I do not have access to big media houses, no media would have time to meet me while my own county’s journalists are talking and writing gloriously about the ‘West and the Rest’ as a great work of history. Though it is another matter the facts mapped on our psyche and on the bodies of our forefathers altogether offer different reasons for the rise of the West.
The complete lack of moral unease of subjugating so many and killing so many through slave shipping, indentured labour, Colonization and a Church that helped in these grand ventures of the West is what Ferguson’s book tries to white wash. The writings of likes of Ferguson are unabashed neocolonial drivel in the garb of (partisan) academics of the West. His arguments smack of blatant superiority of the West and in a subtle whisper of ‘Christianity’ and by implication inferiority of the Rest. But so much is historically dark and gory under the white loaded brush of West that Ferguson can not whitewash it, even with the biggest brush.
My book is about the morals of the West when Portuguese put Indians on stake under Inquisition in Goa, it is about the Colonial Jizya tax imposed by the British on Hindus, it is about 30 million Indians who perished under British Colonialism engineered famines and above all my book is about Humanism of India against the atrocities of the West of the time on the Rest. I am the blood and gene of the Rest. My maternal grandmother Subhadra Devi valiantly fought against the Colonial Portuguese seeking their eviction from Goa. (Charles Dellon in his book Inquisition of Goa (1687) has this to say about Indian prisoners of Inquisition “Some of these poor wretches …were so pressed by hunger as to be compelled to devour their own excrements” (page 28) quoted by me in my book at page 113.
The question is not of the West or the East it is of respecting the truth of the suffering of millions across continents. I end this honest though frail of glory missive with the last sentence of my book, “The wealth of Europe was founded on colonization, slavery, pain and suffering and this is no good a reason for Mona Lisa to smile.”
Prof. Viktor Vijay Kumar
Truth is humble like Ga
ndhi but lofty in ideal
colonialism and India
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