I recall our geography text books were bragging about Indian ecosystems, probably they still are. There were pages of description on how western ghats and north eastern forests are bringing balance to environment. May be it was true a century back, not now. This one is straight from NASA, you can see blisters there right on India’s face.
The map shows the pressure on local ecosystems, but not per capita use. For example, in the United States, each person uses 5.94 metric tons of carbon (vegetation) per year, while in South-central Asia, people use 1.23 metric tons per year. However, the United States produces more than it requires, so the ratio between usage and vegetation is low. South-central Asia, on the other hand, uses less per person, but it has a high population that collectively require more carbon than the land produces, and so must import products from other regions.
Previously I wrote about “how great were Mughals”, concerning how two millennium worth of Indian history could have been written in the mercy of few ass-lickers at Emperor’s courts. I missed a little part of after that, about next few centuries. Those, which were written in the courtesy of guests of East India Company. Well, not entirely, but a major chunk of it – its just a thought.
Think about it for a second. In this modern era, our journalists cannot report a single news un-prejudiced. “News” is what editor-in-chief thinks, isn’t it? If you need a recent example, Iranian newspaper calls French first lady as a prostitute! just for being a feminist! We know he is a nut case, because he is alone with this view, as compared to vast majority others in same industry. Imagine, 500 years from now all newspaper databases (and stuff like wikipedia) get wiped out, except for some Iranian newspapers. What would be your perspective then? on French? That’s my point.
Back to those four centuries of Indian history, where India was ruled by west – first by a company and then monarchy. They had no intention of giving equal respect to Indian civilisation, as they did for counterparts in Europe. We had lower per capita income compare to Europe, higher ppp did not matter. Indian religions are obviously inferior to western ones, even for today. Would you feel like writing anything about such a country, if it was entirely in your hand?
Fifty years on some part of the world feel Indians still need to be uplifted. For some, we are country of snake charmers, and we meditate on nailed bed and travel on levitating carpets. While doing that we answer the calls on improper shut downs of Dell laptops and calls on password reset of their credit cards. It all result of how Indians were presented to outside world. Also, on what story was presented to them before Indians were even reached there.
Stereotyping, is entirely up to who is doing it, they can take it either way. For instance, decimal number system was born in India, Chess was invented here. They could have highlighted this back home as “India has few real smart-ass guys inventing stuff”, but no, “India has snake charmers”!. Again, it’s just a thought. I am not going to lose my sleep over it :-).
Here is an example. It’s a painting by an East India company employee 200 years back. He gives step by step procedure on how this Indian kills a raw goat and eats it entirely including bones.
The fact is India has biggest number of vegetarians in the world. Most among the rest of the folk who do eat meat, eat twice or trice in a week. Or… forget it! Whatever statistics you provide, there is no one here eating bones(except for few absolute nut-cases). I am almost certain Indians had same of similar food habits couple of centuries back. Now, in 1820s go back to England and show this image to millions of Englishmen, who know India only by the silk they are wearing, what would they think?
Whenever I roam I around Chennai streets I see some school uniforms, are “sari”s. which is very rare to see. I was wondering when and how did we migrate form some thing Indian to some thing which is not , sari to mini skirts. How come our schools look exact replica of an European school. Never thought..!!
Recently I got a mail from tarang telling about the colonizing Indian thoughts
“I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that
I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation”.-Lord McCauley in his speech of Feb 2, 1835, British Parliament. Continue reading “Effects of Colonization on Indian Thought”→