(Imported from my old weblog January 8, 2005)
Everything you said is true. Nothing to dispute.
There's one doubt although. I understand that Kashmir is closer home than Iraq. But are we really aware of the complete reality either in Iraq or Kashmir? We come to know of these things through several hierarchies of media, and textbooks. No doubt that these informations are twisted and turned depending upon all the agents through whom they flow down to us.
Similarly there are radical people who try to break this hierarchy terming it vain, politically motivated and dishonest. These people, however well-meaning, have their own biases. Facts are pawns of judgement. One can suppress and blow up facts according to what he wants the listener to believe. One really doesn't need to lie in order to misguide.
We realise how biased grooming can change one's philosophy, life, everything. Some glaring examples are Jihaadis, who die shameful deaths thinking that they're dying for a noble cause. I am sure the pride and sense of sacrifice that those jihadis have in their heart is no different from what Bhagat Singh and Azad had in theirs. You'll heatedly dispute saying the Bhagat Singh and Azad never raised even a finger on a innocent soul, while jihadis butcher innocent people. Very true! But there're two aspects. One, the legends about the glorious freedom fighters could be taken with a pinch or salt. Two, jihadis just need an extra amount of brainwashing to start believing that lives of innocent people are lost just as a sacrifice for serving a noble cause! India is a free country now. People who died fighting for her independence are glorified as freedom-fighters. Jihadis are dying with some similar hope in their hearts. How unfortunate! Another example is our National inferiority complex, about which we two had had a discussion earlier too. We all have been cultured for three centuries now that westernisation is the way to progress. So deeply ingrained has this thing become now that it shows in almost every aspect of our life: the language we speak, the dresses we wear, the philosophies, socialisation, celebration, and even working. Even as I lament its presence, I can't guess all the various number of ways in which I myself may be a victim of this complex!
In short, all I mean to say is that I am filled with scepticism, almost to the point of cynicism, about how much ear I should lend to any voice that raises itself above others to make itself heard. I am now almost numb towards anything that uses ways of clouding the logical thoughts. Such things include, but are not limited to: Loud explosions, heated speeches, religious sentiments, and our biases towards or against our own pedigree.
I am equipped with insufficient information about Max-Muller and Aryan invasion stuff. I also have an inkling of the antithesis of it. I don't believe either. I understand that Aryan invasion theory does have a chance of being just a theory propounded by imperialist forces to make a subtle and deep attack on our racial confidence. But that's just a chance, a possibility. I would, given the time and inclination, like to know much more before leaning either way. Unless, I do history as my profession, or plan to use historical facts to have tremendous effect on my (my people's) future, I am not ready to get sold to either of these theories. They are nice stories for me, each of which is as much a fiction for me as a fact.
I feel that trying to find out more about major world facts which have taken a shape of folklores is a noble act. It's in fact the only noble act that can be done regarding them. Anything else done in this matter is just an addition to the chaos that is already overwhelming the scene. I don't find it worthwhile to argue with, fight with or be sarcastic to people who, just like me, are blinded by propaganda; and unfortunately have fallen into the opposite camp. I think the only vaible thing to do is to join hands with your opposite camp and dig out facts. The next best thing to do, in case one doesn't have the energy to research into deep facts (as in my case) is to keep quiet accepting the ignorance. We should realise that after all matters of past are important only in an academic way. If there's an academic motive behind talking about them, it's great! If I attach my sentimental vanity to any of enquiries, I think that's useless, even vile.
Therefore, I don't want to vehemently argue either for or against Aryan Invasion theory. I have a feeling that if I do argue against it, I am trying to borrow a concession from others to think of me as a superior race. If I am good, the only way to prove that is through my acts. I don't prove anything by bullshitting about my genes, and that too by arguing on the basis of historical hypotheses, both sides of which are ridden with biases and sentiments. I feel it's as vain to do that as it would be to fight for or against caste system. Do the brahmins indeed have an intellectual edge? May be they had 2000 years ago. May be they hadn't. How does it matter? Now, each man has to speak for himself. So why raise the issue at all?
On the other hand if I argue for the Invasion theory, I am doing nothing significant. We all know that there's a strong chance of its being a manipulated theory. Its critical examination is the only thing to do. Or completely ignoring. There's no good reason to support argument for it (I am yet to meet an Indian who'd do that just for the sake of it).
There's a single point I want to make Aasees bhaiyya! I feel deprived and unfortunate for being ignorant about certain matters. I accept my ignorance. And I look with awe and respect at people who have devoted their time and scholarly energies into factual investigation into many controversial matters. They're real scholars, and deserve being listened to. On the other hand, I have no respect for people who develop undue sentiments on the basis of information which is barely mature. We should join hands to investigate. If not that, we should keep quiet and let the real scholars do the good work. It's shameful for us to turn a beautiful scene of scholarly investigation into a battlefield ridden with noise, dust, mire and blood by fighting over the interpretations of incomplete investigations.
I feel you're one of the good people with strong thoughts and emotions. Could you add a bit of composure to it? Give a chance to age-old methods of investigation, arguments and discussions, instead of being sarcastic and loud (and then having to cover it up by being defensive to those for whom the sarcasm is not meant). Is it possible to put effort into proving the sheer absurdity of building camps on socialogical matters about which even the best of the best can't claim to have definite knowledge? Can't we try to make all these groups work together to find the actual truth? But the first step towards that would be to stop being sarcastic about somebody's camping with the wrong people (as per our viewpoint). It's not the people who're wrong. It's the very process of camping (even if I am with the right camp).
Perhaps, Gopalkrishna Gokhale and BalGangadhar Tilak would have had many similar discussions like this in the 1890's too. :) :) I know that finally it was Tilak who must have been the winner. But, I would still consider lending an ear to Gokhale! :)
Only Rajesh Khanna and Devanand could be the hearthrob of the whole nation by looking handsome by tilting their head 'right' and 'left.' For the all the rest of us, I think, the first condition to look good is to hold the head straight up, right between both the shoulders, and occasionally bowing forward with respect towards everything that's truly good! :)