Thursday, January 08, 2009


Romila Thapar’s Kluge Prize by Dr. Gautam Sen
Posted by: "aryaputra_1927" aryaputra_1927
Wed Jan 7, 2009 9:55 pm (PST)
Romila Thapar's Kluge Prize

Romila Thapar has been awarded the Kluge Prize for Lifetime
Achievement in the Study of Humanity for ostensibly creating "a new
and more pluralistic view of Indian civilization, which had seemed
more unitary and unchanging, by scrutinizing its evolution over two
millennia and searching out its historical consciousness". Thapar's US
Congressional acclamation seeks to validate a blatantly provocative,
uni-dimensional and ideologically extreme view of India's past,
espoused mainly by its Stalinist fifth column, assorted Islamist
Jihadis and militant Christian evangelists. The Kluge Prize selection
committee might have imposed a simple test on Thapar by requiring her
to present examples of two positive statements that she has composed
on the Hindu past in her entire career. Instead what the decision of
the Kluge committee suggests is racial arrogance, contempt for Hindu
sensibilities and the malign influence of a powerful Bostonian
non-Hindu Indian, infamous for campaigns belittling Hindu suffering.
The award resoundingly reaffirms a deep American animus against Hindu
India that has been a constant feature of US foreign policy towards it
since independence. It was this vicious hatred and a half-baked
strategic calculus that prompted US support for the perpetration of
Pakistan's genocide in East Pakistan in 1971.

Most mainstream Hindus find Romila Thapar's interpretation of ancient
Indian history grossly disingenuous and thoroughly objectionable.
Indeed a large number of Hindus regard her as a deeply mendacious
enemy of Hindus. She and her genocidal Stalinist associates studiously
and maliciously ignore the immense suffering of Hindus as a result of
successive Islamic invasions and the brutal rule of violent
iconoclasts. It represents an example of holocaust denial that has
been sedulously promoted by British imperial deceit and US Cold War
aims. The indiscriminate killing of the old, the very young, the
systematic rape of girls, boys and women, the destruction of places of
worship (eliminating most major Hindu temples in north India), mass
slavery and loot are a bitter reality denied, though subsequently
echoed in Constantinople, Buda and countless defeated cities. It begs
the question whether such a prize would have been awarded to an
historian of the Jewish, Christian or Islamic faiths if the pedagogue
was so viscerally repugnant to a significant number of the faithful of
these communities. I think not, logical profundity and all artifices
about intellectual freedom notwithstanding.

It is only in India that a historian without adequate command of
Sanskrit can claim expertise on its ancient past right across its
entire length and breadth. Social status is all that counts in feudal
India, a feature on display in virtually every aspect of its social
life and all that is required to silence disbelief. In a pathetic
attempt to apply deep thought to Mahmud of Ghazni's invasions of
India, Romila Thapar piles one speculation upon another, fabricating
motives and thought processes with abandon. She writes as if she had
been a contemporary of the conqueror, priests and participants in
major historical events over several centuries. She turns notions of
scepticism in judging historical evidence on their head. Her personal
authority becomes the only referent for increasingly wild assertions!
There is no scholar of ancient Europe or any other part of the world
that would dare advance ludicrous claims to expertise without command
of the relevant languages and usually over a modest geographical
expanse. The likes of Fernand Braudel and Chris Wickham are very rare
indeed and Romila Thapar might wish to consult their historical oeuvre
in penance for a multitude of sins.

A central purpose of her banal lifetime agenda has been to legitimise
the destruction of Somnath by Mahmud of Ghazni. According to Romila
Thapar, he was motivated purely by greed, a secular impulse that
supposedly erases any iconoclastic religious rationale. One startling
claim she also appears to make is familiarity with supposedly extant
corroborative Persian and Turkish sources on his lack of religious
conviction, presumably the pre-Kemalist script in which even few
contemporary Turks claim to read, though it is Sanskrit she really
needed to bone up on. Much the same can be said of her sturdy defence
of Aurangzeb's iconoclasm, asserting secular political motives for the
destruction of the Kashi Viswanath temple (and countless others) and
the erection of a mosque in its place. Her JNU colleagues indulge in
even more bizarre fantasies, such as imperial sanction against the
temple for the abduction of some local princess though the evidence
adduced is miraculously fictitious. This is the stuff of undergraduate
student union debates and all that she and her execrable Stalinist JNU
colleagues are able to conjure in old age.

There is hysterical denial that any Muslim ruler was ever loyal to his
faith and followed the Prophet's iconoclastic example. By asserting
robbery as the principal motive in every significant instance of
temples being destroyed they end up in the unenviable position of
having to explain why there is so much discussion about division of
the spoils of conquest in the numerous wars of Jihad waged by the
Prophet himself? The delicious paradox of this assertion, which dear
Romila has not evidently thought through, is that Islam, if they are
correct in their imputation of robbery as the only significant motive
for its imperial expansion, is merely about theft and the recourse to
the Almighty Allah a ruse! She is proposing, in effect, that Muslim
Jihad against infidels was not inspired by their religious faith at
all and they were only out to rob and pillage. But why this
extraordinary insight should have reassured the victims of robbery,
murder and mayhem is a matter she obviously cannot comprehend. Quite
clearly, common sense is at a premium since it would have dictated
that religious motivation and desire for loot have always co-existed
in most imperial expansions.

Romila Thapar's infamous patronage of the discredited Aryan invasion
theory always had an Islamist rationale as well. By maintaining, on
the basis of grotesque colonial historical misrepresentation, and its
subsequent validation by the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, that
contemporary Hindu upper castes were invaders she sought to grievously
injure the legitimacy of India's entire Hindu past. What she was
effectively arguing was that racist invaders had subjugated indigenous
Indians in the past and casteist Hinduism was their ideology. By
inference, later Islamic invasions were no more remarkable since they
were merely successors to a well-established pattern of invasions. Of
course, for India's venal Stalinists Islam represented liberation
since it was monotheistic and preached equality. That it guaranteed
sexual slavery for women and death (enslavement after every conquest)
to those who resisted conversion to Islam was a quirk in the
prescription of Islamic equality that escaped tortured Stalinist
logic. Even now contemporary India heaves with the distorted logic of
this colonial historical intervention, which is being used to justify
social pogroms against alleged upper caste oppressors no matter how
deprived many of them may be and by communities that wield significant
economic and political power in India now. Truly, such deep-rooted
malice underpinned the eventual extermination of European Jewry. The
fact that the Aryan invasion theory lies in tatters has only prompted
the devious reworking of its original formulation by her. The blatant
Islamist and Christist demonization of alleged upper caste oppression
has now been artfully re-phrased by transmuting invasion into
immigration, a parallel to the historic libel against Jews of
poisoning wells, to renew the charge of illegitimacy against upper
caste villains.

She breezily speaks of truth in historical writing, imagining that all
her critics are fools who cannot conceivably be aware of a well-worn
professional discussion on the contestable nature of historical truth
and partisanship in historical scholarship. Some of them are also
familiar with the work of historians of greater professional
distinction than Romila Thapar and infinitely superior intellectual
integrity, who have written rather differently on ancient and medieval
India. In her case, what stands out resoundingly, again and again, is
a determination to vindicate every aspect of Muslim rule over Hindus
and celebrate their most egregious crimes or ignore them altogether
with breathtaking impudence? In this context, it is not ancient India
in which she proclaims expertise, but any period requiring the usual
Stalinist hatchet job of dis-information. And it is for this highly
politicised defence of Islamic rule over India that a Christian
America, steadfast friend of Islamic Jihad against it, is rewarding a
sworn enemy of the Hindu people. Mahmud, Timur, Aurangzeb, Nadir Shah
and the Abdali killers ought to feel refreshed with the taste of the
blood of hundreds of thousands of Hindu men, women and children even
as they find an honourable place at Allah's table.

Such is the audacity of Thapar and these second-rate Stalinists that
profound ontological and epistemological differences with historians
of the stature of R. C. Majumdar and Sir Jadunath Sarkar are evaded by
merely accusing them of communal Hindu methodology. The eight volume
History of India, as told by its own historians, compiled by Eliot and
Dowson, is also damned by imputing partisan motives though their
contents are not uniformly damaging to Islam, yet highlight enough
evidence of despoliation to prompt their blanket denouncement by
India's fifth column. And she herself also makes a disgracefully
cavalier accusation against the distinguished K. M. Munshi of an
attempt to revive the Hindu Aryan (sic!) past for his endeavours to
restore Somnath. Yet, these fifth columnists never detect such base
motives in the reams of diabolical contemporary Islamic and Christian
hate literature used incessantly to insult Hindu sensibilities in
their own homeland. This is a tradition that dismisses those who
disagree with them as communal, the pronouncement of an auto da Fe to
paralyse them.

Her alleged expertise on ancient India is a badge deployed for
typically cynical Leftist aims of aggrandisement, marked by
opportunistic alliances and complicity in genocide that has usually
ended in historical oblivion. But much blood will first be spilt and
on a scale that would make any bloodletting specifically sponsored by
Hindus, with all the enormous caveats that signification ought to
imply, a few mere commas compared to the respective histories of
genocide wilfully engaged in by Islam and Christianity. What most
Indian historians seem to lack, in addition to appropriate training in
methodology and relevant linguistic skills, is any notion of
comparative history. It seems that Hindu India's encounter with Islam
is outside history and all the evidence, written and archaeological,
subject to the imprimatur of a bunch of malevolent Stalinists before
they can be regarded as valid. Comparable evidence of examples of the
expansion of Islam elsewhere has not suffered the same dismal fate,
judging from the meticulous recording of the erasure of Constantinople
and Buda by the Ottomans. But the two cannot be allowed comparison
since they reveal a pattern that refutes all the deceitful contortions
Indian history has suffered at the hands of Stalinists, deriving
additional succour, for their own mundane political reasons, from
India's foreign enemies. Tellingly, the predators and assassins that
Romila Thapar has laboured to vindicate throughout a dismal career are
also the heroes of Pakistan for being iconoclasts that kept Hindus in
their place.

Romila Thapar belongs to the cynical tribe of Indian Stalinists who
thrive by self-righteousness, which in the Indian context bears a
familial resemblance to the racial supremacy that Europeans once
openly declared and now quietly assert. Basically, it is
divide-and-rule by mobilising every division and fissure amongst the
non-whites to their advantage and the use of sophisticated media
brainwashing techniques that simultaneously affirm equality while
ensuring racial hierarchy. The noble campaign against tradition and
ignorance melds effortlessly with the depravity of the masters of the
universe, eagerly delivering incendiary tonnage on Afghan wedding
parties and Iraqi schoolchildren. But the clamorous natives are
forever at the door, resentful, gross and uninitiated in the mores of
cosmopolitan sophistication. And their imperfect command of the
English language is a weapon used against them, to criminalize their
ignorance and question their humanity.

But nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of progress, the
logical summit of which the great theorists Mark Horkheimer and
Theodor W. Adorno noted was ascended in the gas chambers of the same
civilisation that produced Goethe and Beethoven.

The sordid outcome of the Kluge prize for Romila Thapar is an
attempted validation of the intellectual genocide against Hinduism.
And the Indian Stalinist anti-colonial rant evaporates the moment
their aircraft approaches the American shoreline. As a fully paid up
member of India's deracinated upper crust, Romila Thapar loftily
declined the native Padma Bhusan, but a million dollar prize,
effectively the same kind of state award she found unpalatable, from
the racist sponsors of mass murder is apparently another matter. The
real high-minded tradition examining the Hindu past represented by the
noble efforts of many like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan were not on the
Kluge radar. It will satisfy the evangelical constituency that wishes
to extirpate Hinduism and the Islamic Jihadists who assert historical
legitimacy for their claims to imperial dominion over India and
regularly pursue it by murderous ventures that emulate Nazi pogroms
against Jews and Slavs. It is Romila Thapar who is thei


Post a Comment

<< Home