Indo Pak Relations – What Will It Take

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, European History, History, Indo Pak Relations, Media, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on August 17, 2008

The Detritus

As Britain (and the West) was forced out of various colonies, left behind was the garbage of colonialism. This post-colonial debris has become the ballast, that is dragging down many newly de-colonized countries. The Cyprus problem between Turkey, Greece and the Cypriots has been simmering for nearly 100 years. The role of the Anglo Saxon Bloc, in Indonesia, the overthrow of Sukarno, installation of Suharto and finally the secession of East Timor is another excellent example. The many issues in the West Asia and Africa are living testimony to the British gift to the modern world. The entire Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a creation of the Anglo-French-American axis.

Closer home is the Kashmir problem. After 60 years of negotiations, India-Pakistan relations have remained hostage to the Kashmir issue.

Jagmohan Dalmiya

Jagmohan Dalmiya

A Precedent

Till the 1983, world cricket was run by the UK and Australia. These countries, of course, had veto power, had the funding, to control the game. In 1983, however, Britain and Australia hit a financial roadblock – the 1987 World Cup sponsorship. They did not have a sponsor in place for the 1987 World Cup. And then India stepped in. India roped in Dhirubhai Ambani for the sponsorship. India roped in Pakistan to put in a joint bid for the 1987 World Cup.

What was Special

This was, simply, without a precedent. For three reasons.

Imran Khan

Imran Khan

First, this was a unique case, where rich and developed countries could not find a sponsor for a sporting event, which they dominated. And a poor country could.

India, in 1987, still had a waiting period for Bajaj Scooters. Maruti cars had just been introduced. Colour TV sets were rare and colour TV transmission had started a few years old – and a luxury. Competitive bidding for TV rights was not possible – and could be sold only to a public sector TV transmission monopoly. Computers in India were rare and far in between. Private sector as we knew it was non-existent. Licenses were required for everything. Foreign exchange situation was precarious. Hence, for a poor country to bid for a World Cup was unprecedented.

Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar

The second major challenge was the organization. Indian bureaucracy was then (much more than now) a minefield. Myriad laws made any kind of complicated organization a nightmare. Private sector was seen with suspicion. Indian films still portrayed businessmen as villains. Indian software industry was nowhere in sight. India did not have even one (private sector) company in the Fortune 500 list. To say the least, it was audacious, at a time when India dominated by stereotypes (more then than now).

But the third element that has remained unrecognized was the working of the India Pakistan partnership. The World Cup bid was a joint bid (1985) by India and Pakistan. No one would have bet that India Pakistan could have worked together. But together they did. And successfully. This Indo-Pak relationship has now survived for more than 20 years.

What Changed

India and Pakistan, went ahead and moved cricketing headquarters from UK to Dubai. Unlike Bro.Manmohan Singh at the high table, BCCI and Pakistan just took away the veto powers of UK and Australia over cricketing matters. In spite of best efforts of ‘divide-and-rule’ by the ECB (UK’s cricketing authority) and Cricket Australia. UK, in a case of sour grapes, went ahead and stopped its players from participating in the Indian Premier League. Australia broke ranks, and participated. South Africa started with its first official post-apartheid series in India – the post-apartheid ‘coming out’ party.

In the UK and Australia, this loss of power rankles.

Shahriyar Khan

Shahriyar Khan

Use The Experts

This India Pakistan Cricketing relationship is very healthy – and has been managed by four people. Of course, there has been no case study, or a book or even a news report on this partnership. So some of this is my perception based on media interaction.

The four people in this complex relationship have been Jagmohan Dalmiya and Shahriyar Khan at the administration level. Between these two, they have managed a consensus between the Asian cricketing countries and South Africa. Jagmohan Dalmiya has a business background – and a career in cricket administration. Shahriyar Khan is a career diplomat and also a cricket administrator.

The other two are Sunil Gavaskar and Imran Khan – two well known and respected players in each of the countries. Between, these four, they have managed this complex cricketing relationship. Some of it is visible – but mostly, below the line. Especially, significant is the management of agreements. Recently, Asif Ali Zardari dismissed written agreements with his coalition partners, PML (N) headed by Nawaz Sharf, claiming agreements were not “holy like the holy Koran.”

The Learning

Now, if these four can overcome the complex political situation and the minefield of history, is there a learning for others? Especially, for those who manage the India-Pakistan political relationship.

Hidden in this cricketing relationship, is the solution to the sub-continental peace.

Post Script

This lesson seems to be dawning. Seven months after this post, a leading Indian newspaper carried an article on how Asian cricket needs to continue on the India Pakistan axis, which has been so successful in the last two decades. It points out how when cricket Indian administrators like

“I S Bindra … suggested that India is capable of hosting the 2011 World Cup on its own … (they) have sacrificed the much-used paradigm of subcontinental unity, which has seen India and its neighbours dominate international cricket politics for almost a decade.” It furthers links how ” it is inevitable that the West, rocked by the Stanford disaster recently, will try and regain composure and mount a counter-attack. Statements like English players may not be released for the IPL by the English Cricket Board and Tim May’s urging that a thorough security assessment is necessary to convince international cricketers to consider playing in IPL are evidence that such an offensive has already begun.”(ellipsis and bold text mine).

It is time that the Indian Foreign Service establishment took this learning – and start running.

Come June 2009, Shahriyar Khan (mentioned and pictured above) alongwith Shashi Tharoor came out with a book on Sub-continental cricket. Indian media, since it was not led by the nose, have this book cursory coverage.

Shashi Tharoor and Shahryar Khan in Shadows Across the Playing Field tries to provide answers by analysing 60 years of this intense cricketing rivalry, one, which has, on occasions superseded the intensity of the Ashes. (via something to hope for, and look forward to).

Cultural Dacoity

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, European History, Feminist Issues, History, language, Media, Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on July 9, 2008
The Dendera Zodiac

The Dendera Zodiac

Cultural Loot

Between 1850-1900, Western archaeologists dug up more than 400,000 clay tablets in West Asia. This loot was carried back to the British Museum, Louvre France, Imperial Museum in Berlin, University Of Pennsylvania. Latter day digs and finds were retained in Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. In the last 100 years, of the more than 400,000 clay tablets excavated, less than a 70,000 have been deciphered between the four institutions. Less than one fifth have been published so far.

The vandalism of Napoleonic army in Egypt and the pilferage of cultural artifacts has been well documented. The Rosetta Stone, the Dendera Zodiac, Cleopatra’s Needle were among the booty from Egypt that the disastrous campaign of Napoleon yielded. Edward Said described the Anglo-French loot from Egypt, as “that great collective appropriation of one culture by another”

Extreme competitive behaviour in business, economic activity, trade, colonization, did not stop Germany (repository of the Akhmim Kodex) and Britain (Bruce Codex and Askew Codex) to collude with the Vatican in keeping the Pistis Sophia (which reveals the deep Indic /Buddhist influence) from reaching the public domain. It took the Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea Scrolls to blow this entire ‘conspiracy of silence’ apart.

Usurping Aryan Achievements

While Britain and the France, for colonial reasons, were ‘discovering’ the Greek miracle, Germany and the USA started ‘discovering the ‘Aryan’ roots’ to Western civilization. Martin Bernal, the author of ‘Black Athena”trilogy ascribes Western “amnesia” towards Europe’s “Ancient Model” of historiography with the “Aryan” model.

Simply speaking, the West replaced Egypt as the source of culture with the Aryans. Fact is, neither the cultural achievements of Egypt (from Africa) nor of the Aryan (from India) are for the West to arrogate to themselves.

A writer on this phase of history, Susan Marchand says,

“The Aryan industry, of course, burgeoned. Even the former Kaiser Wilhelm II, in exile, took up the study of the Orient … In a 1928 letter to his friend, the former emperor reported a recent conversation with Oswald Spengler in which Wilhelm had tried his best to convince the herald of Western doom that “we are orientals [Morgenländer], and not westerners [Abendländer].” (Bold letters, italics, ellipsis mine).

Pre Hitler Aryans

Pre-Hitler 'Aryans'

Pre-Hitler ‘Aryans’

Hitler was not the first (or even the last) to try to usurp Aryan legacy. Aryan history of languages, culture, spread of civilisation, its science and technology appealed to many in the West – and especially White Supremacists.

One hilarious example of this kind Charles Morris (writer of The Aryan Race: Its Origins And Its Achievements By Charles Morris.). If this book was not a best seller, as ‘history’, it would surely have been best seller as a comedy. Another book – based on the Aryan Invasion Theory, was Lectures of the Arya by Albert Pike.

A set of books written by L. Austine Waddell – again had a single point agenda of usurping Aryan achievements and culture. Wadell declared, “the Aryan Race — now chiefly represented in purest form in North-western Europe.”

The 1915 film, DW Griffith’s ‘Birth Of A Nation’ was another extension of these efforts. One of the first big hits from Hollywood, this film on the ‘Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’ enjoys cult status.

D.W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation was based on a book by Thomas Dixon, Jr. titled The Clansman – An Historic Romance of the Ku Klux Klan (sic) – written in 1905. Dixon thought (from the book preface) that the rise of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was the “most dramatic chapters in the history of the Aryan race.” Later, this piece of racism was replaced by another phrase – “Carpetbaggers’ political folly” in the film.

In the climactic scene, these KKK knights ride to the rescue of the Whites from North and South, to the blaring sounds of Wagner’s `Ride of the Valkyries.’ Yes, the same music that was also, allegedly, Hitler’s favorite. The common enemy of the united ‘Aryan Whites’ is the African-American liberated slave soldier. The original screen title informs the viewer:

“The former enemies of North and South are united again in common defense of their Aryan birthright.”

Corporal Adolf Hitler, right, pictuerd with two other soldiers during his stay in a military hospital.  Photo - HULTON/ GETTY IMAGES. Photo Courtesy - telegraph.co.uk

Corporal Adolf Hitler, right, pictuerd with two other soldiers during his stay in a military hospital. Photo - HULTON/ GETTY IMAGES. Photo Courtesy - telegraph.co.uk

Remember, this was while Hitler was still a lowly corporal in the German army during WW1 – and the Nazi party was yet to get its milk teeth. As the memory of rampant ‘Aryanization’ in the US and Europe faded from popular memory, in 1998, the Vatican came out with an apology, for its collusion with Hitler’s regime. The Vatican of course, linked Hitler’s Holocaust due to ‘neo-pagan’ phase. Vatican’s description ‘neo-pagan’, is a short code for India and Hinduism.

Thomas Huxley in “The Aryan Question,” first published in the The Nineteenth century, Volume 28, 1890, page 766 (later also in Popular Science, etc.)

“There was, and is, an Aryan Race, that is to say, the characteristic modes of speech, termed Aryan, were developed among the Blond Longheads alone, however much some of them may have been modified by the importation of non‑Aryan elements.”

Richard Butler - White 'Aryan'After, WW2, it has become politically incorrect for any White to call themselves as Aryan – but that has not stopped White Supremacists. There are many White Supremacist gangs in the USA, that call themselves Aryan.

Behind the dacoity

Euro-zone has, mostly, covered itself with borrowed feathers. Euro-colonial powers, like Britain and France, traced their lineage to Egypt (Africa), Greece (The Mediterranean), Rome and pre-Renaissance Italy. Germany and the USA, undermined the Anglo-French colonial position, by creating the ‘Aryan Roots’ theory for the Western civilization.

The West, has been a leading player in the ‘cultural dacoity’ game – especially the four BFAG countries of Britain, France, and Germany and in modern times, America has joined this ‘cultural dacoity’. The four BFAG countries (Britain, France, America, Germany), are loath to credit anything to any other culture – even to their Iberian competitors. The interesting bit is the racial sub-text.

As per BFAG historiography, all Iberian achievements are due to the West African (Negroid, not Arabic) rule prior to the rise of the Iberian Empires. The Iberians could not achieve much as they are of ‘mixed blood.’ The thrust of this historiography, isJust imagine that – the Iberians learnt everything from the Africans”.

The Greek Miracle

Their own history being a barren cupboard, these BFAG countries raided other cultures. First, they sanitized the records of books that the Greeks borrowed from other cultures – and never returned. These ‘unreturned’ books were later ascribed to the Greeks.

A Balkan general, from an obscure part of Eastern Europe, Macedonia, was Hellenized. Alexander, became a Greek conqueror of the world. It would be similar to the Chinese claim to Genghis Khan’s Mongolian Empire.

Hipparchus Of Nicaea /Bithynia /Rhodes (in modern-day Iznik, Turkey) was another ancient (so-called) ‘Greek’, claimed as one of their own by modern West. Most of his work was based on the Chaldean systems from Babylon. Eudoxus of Cnidus (in Turkey), learnt astronomy in Egypt, and claimed by the West as a Greek and one of their own. Ptolemy was born, lived, learnt, worked and died at Alexandria in Egypt – claimed by the West as their very own, a Greek.

Thales of Miletus, the son of Examyes, was a Carian, the modern Turkish province of Mugla. Thales’ reputation in modern Euro-centric history rests on ‘his’ calculations which could predict the solar eclipse. The Carian language was related to Hittite language. And Caria itself was a border district between the Hittites and Greeks. Herodotus informs that rebellious Greeks in the Persian kingdoms were exiled to Indian borders – at Susa, Khuzestan (in modern Iran) and Bactria (modern Afghanistan). Among these exiles were citizens of Miletus, who were behind the Ionian revolt in 499 BC.

Manipulation in dates made the Pythagoras Theorem a Greek miracle!

Manipulation in dates made the Pythagoras Theorem a Greek miracle!

For instance, the Pythagoras theorem is not Greek and definitely not Pythagoras’. – attributed without evidence. Pythagoras was a native of Samos (off the coast of modern Turkey), bordering the Hittite Empire. And not Greece.

Fleeing from the tyranny of Policrates, at the age of some 18 years, he studied mathematics at Egypt for 22 years. From Egypt, Pythagoras went to Babylon – the intellectual free port of the ancient world. Then a part of the Elamite Empire – now in modern Iran. As a captive of Cambyses.

Voltaire famously remarked,“It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganges to learn geometry.” It was the common and received wisdom in Europe, Pythagoras was indeed more “indebted for his knowledge to the Brahmins, on the banks of the Ganges, than to the priests of Egypt.” Till 1857, when world history changed.

His inner circle of followers lived like Indian brahmacharyas in a mathematikoi (meaning “those who know”, from which the word mathematics comes; possibly related to the Indian मठ mutth); not allowed any personal possessions, wore their hair long, were vegetarians and observed strict rules of silence (मौन).

Imhotep, an African-Egyptian became Aesclepios. Ibn Sina became Avicenna. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi became Rhazes, Abul Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas al-Zahravi became Albucasis. Abū ‘l-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Rushd (Arabic: أبو الوليد محمد بن احمد بن رشد‎) the father of secular thought in Europe was Latinized and usurped as Avveroes. His commentaries and works on Aristotle introduced modern Europe to Aristotle. To muddy waters, the Indian mathematical and numeral system became the Arabic numeral system – which the Arabs themselves called Hindsa.

How did the Greeks themselves view the sources of their learning? Sarah Morris, in Daidalos and the Origins of Greek Art writes how,

the Greek attitude toward the Orient, where the admiration for vastly more ancient and learned cultures was mixed with prejudice inspired by political conditions.

All this so-called ‘Greek’ learning came from Babylon-to-Greek-to-Arabic-to-Latin/Greek manuscripts. Greeks, Romans, the Church – major destroyers of books and learning, became voracious dacoits in the recent past. Without as much as, By your say so. Roman usurpers (of the Balkan Empire) were glamorized to the point of becoming rock stars in the glam show of Anglo-French-German history.

Of course, we are not started on the Athenian encounter between the Indian yogi and Socrates, which was mentioned by Aristoxenus – and recalled by Eusebius. Or the Indo-Assyrian collaboration which is known as Babylonian astronomy – today.

A blip in history

The Roman Empire lasted all of 500 years – from the fall of Carthage and Corinth 146 BC till the invasion of Alaric, The Goth (410AD). Alexander’s campaign had taken the best of male youth from the Balkan and Mediterranean population and made it incapable of holding at the centre.

The vast dominions and revenues of the Assyrian Empire fell into Alexander’s went unprotected. The thin Greco-Macedonian political leadership were engaged with Alexander abroad. Its’ armies were tied up in Asia. No ruler after Alexander’s death in 323 BC was in a position to consolidate the hold over the Assyrian Empire that came their way. Or overcome Greek-Macedonian infighting. Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean and the Balkan (the roots of Alexander) geography took 500 years to recover their populations and youth to mount a challenge to the Roman usurpers.

This 500-year blip in human history, called the Roman Empire, could not hold onto the Assyrian-Macedonian Empire, they had usurped. The split of the Eastern Roman Empire from the Western Roman Empire happened on linguistic lines around 400 AD. Over the next 200-400 years, Greek language became the official language of the Byzantine Empire.

The Balkans, the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe followed the lead of the Byzantine Empire and used Greek extensively – at a cost to their own language. For the next 1000 years, the Byzantine Empire used Greek as the official language – and was ruled by some Greek rulers.

The ‘Greek Miracle’ was rewritten by these Greek historians – 800-to-1000 years later. Much like modern-day propaganda by the West, the Greeks used their language to create a myth around the Greek civilization. Alexander, a Macedonian (from modern-day Balkans), was usurped by the Greeks, from the Mediterranean region, as their own.

Hittite Empire

Hittite Empire

Old Mother Hubbard

By the 19th century, modern West became aware of Aryan achievements. Europe suddenly discovered their Aryan roots. European languages derived from Sanskrit became Indo-European (Indians should be grateful that at least these were called Indo-European – and that Indic languages were not charged with plagiarism).

Of course, it is a ‘historical fact’ that the whole of Europe is Aryan – and India is inhabited by alien ‘Aryan’ conquerors.

Rome‘s legacy!

From Rome we get a slave-owning, loot-oriented, blood-thirsty line of rulers. An empire that gave birth to 1500 years of Church persecution.

Emperor Constantine after his victory at Milvan bridge, extended State patronage to Christianity. For the next 1000 years Christianity was racked by challenges from Buddhism – most prominently, the Manichean Sect. After centuries of persecution and massacre, non-believers became extinct in most of Europe. The Church itself became very powerful – and a breeding ground for corruption and nepotism. Ripe for the reformation.

Iberian Colonization

1492. The (largely) benign rule of the West African Moors came to an end. White Christian rulers of Spain, Isabella and Ferdinand, set historic standards in persecution and extortion. More than a million Jews were killed, crucified, burnt alive; their properties confiscated and distributed.

Christopher Columbus In Bahamas

Christopher Columbus in the Bahamas

Christian Spain, fresh from their victory over West African (Muslim) rulers, (then called Moors), obtained the backing of the Church for expansion. The Church Of Rome, eager to add new followers, approved a Papal Bull. Spain and Portugal were given a duopoly on European exploration of new markets and believers in Christian religion.

The same year, Christopher Columbus set sail westwards to find a trade route to India. A few months later he landed at Bahamas – and reported the western trade route to India. The West realized (much later) that this was, for them, a new continent – now called America.

And modern colonialism was born. Out of Iberia – the Portuguese and the Spaniards. Loosed on an unsuspecting world by the Papal Bull. Spain and Portugal, the two then superpowers (until early nineteenth century), competed to get various Papal Bulls issued in their favour – often contradictory. Many negotiations and treaties later, the world was divided between Spain and Portugal. Spain and Portugal quickly expanded their empires and operations. The Papal Bull gave the two Iberian powers, a duopoly over ‘Christian’ conquest – but also hobbled them with a religious agenda. Hence, the pre-occupation by the Iberian colonizers to convert the ‘heathens’.

Reaction From Rest Of Europe

Was the exclusion of Britain, France and Germany from this Papal Bull, the reason for the support of Protestantism in these countries. Why did Henry VIII change – from a Defender Of The Faith, to revolt against the Church?

After the grant of duopoly to Spain and Portugal, by the Church Of Rome, England (France and Netherlands, too) declared open season against Spanish ships. With the sanction of the English State, high seas piracy became a national pastime in Britain. Pirates like Sir John Hawkins made money on slave trade and piracy. Queen Elizabeth, apart from knighting him, also participated in these criminal enterprises. Of course, further on, these pirates and privateers became heroes. In the best Anglo-Saxon propaganda tradition, books soon started a ‘white wash’ of slavery and piracy – like Mr.Midshipman Easy, by Captain Frederick Marryat (Retd. Royal Navy), in 1836.

After the break with Vatican, during the reign of Henry VIII, no longer tied by Papal injunctions and diktat, the English decided to challenge Spain. In 1600 The English East India Company (EEIC) was formed to spearhead English trade with India. By 1650, EEIC obtained the firmaan from Shah Jehan to operate in India – and compete with the Iberians.

Initially, in matters of religious conversions, the English copied the Spanish. The Chairman of the Directors of the East India Company, Ross Donnelly Mangles, piously declared in the British House Of Commons –

“Providence has entrusted the extensive empire of Hindustan to England, in order that the banner of Christ should wave triumphant from one end of India to the other. Everyone must exert all his strength that there may be no dilatoriness on any account in continuing in the country the grand work of making India Christian.”.

It took the Haiti Revolution to start the end of the Spanish Empire – and the 1857 War Of Independence in India to end the English campaign to ‘convert the heathen’ and ‘civilize the pagan Hindoos’. After the 1857 War Of Independence, the Colonial India Government printed leaflets in tens and thousands confirming the British policy had changed. One commentator noted, these leaflets informed the local Indian population that “that she (Queen Victoria) would not interfere with the religion of the native, or countenance any favoritism in matters of faith.” (bold letters mine)

The overwhelming, last impression of the British Raj, wrongly, was that in matters of faith, the British Colonial Government was neutral. Angus Maddison writes, in The Economic and Social Impact of Colonial Rule in India

“British imperialism was more pragmatic than that of other colonial powers. Its motivation was economic, not evangelical. There was none of the dedicated Christian fanaticism which the Portuguese and Spanish demonstrated in Latin America and less enthusiasm for cultural diffusion than the French (or the Americans) showed in their colonies. For this reason they westernized India only to a limited degree.”

Mr.Maddison, British pragmatism sprang from the fierceness of the 1857 War. It was the Indian backlash to cultural imperialism, that made British rulers change their policy. The implied enlightenment, modernism by Shri Maddison is entirely misplaced.

In fact, after 1857, racist, propaganda and cultural baggage came covertly – to gain better traction at home and in the colonies. For instance, Priya Joshi, a researcher shows that after 1857, book shipments from Britain to India increased by a factor of three.

The Collapse Of The Iberian Empire

For roughly 250 years, the Iberian Empires were the most powerful. The slave rebellion of Haiti triggered a collapse of the Spanish colonies in South America. Simon Bolivar, aided by the Haiti’s rulers, initiated de-colonization movements across South America – leading to the demise of Spanish Colonialism. The last nail in the Spanish colonial possessions was Cuba – which they lost after the Spanish-American War. After the loss of Cuba, Philippines and the American colonies, and the end of slavery, the Iberians imploded much like other slave societies.

Of course, Anglo-Saxons gloat over the collapse of the Iberians. And have waged a steady propaganda war to show the Iberian colonizer in poor light. The BFAGs give no credit for the Iberian contribution to Western culture. Spanish domination of European affairs belong to a ‘decadent imperial past’ – whereas the BFAG countries have created ‘modern’ world societies.

The rhetorical effacement of empire from the conceptual map of the historiography of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Spanish literature cannot be explained by a weakening of imperial agendas; instead it speaks to the Hegelian “History” of modern Europe and exemplifies its erasure of imperialism from the story of the modern. Spain’s hegemonic moment is automatically coded as imperial, while the imperial powers of northern Europe are simply modern. (from Properties of Modernity By Michael P. Iarocci)

The interesting bit is the racial sub-text. As per BFAG historiography, all Iberian achievements are due to the West African (‘Black’) rule prior to the rise of the Iberian Empires. The Iberians could not achieve much as they are of ‘mixed blood.’ Just imagine that – the Iberians learnt everything from the ‘Black-Africans’ seems to be the thrust of this historiography.

Anglo-Saxon Trajectory

The Anglo-Saxon Empire was tracing the Iberian trajectory – with a 100 year interregnum. A hundred years after the collapse of the Spanish Colonial Empire, the British Empire started disintegrating – like its Iberian predecessors. Like the revolt in Haiti, colonial hagiography suggests, that possibly the Boer War, signaled the beginning of the end for the British Empire. It was, more probably, the Battle Of Islandhwana, which made Britain more repressive and more defensive.

British decline was also, for similar reasons. Loss of slaves and colonies. The rise (and implosion) of the French, English colonial possessions tracked the Iberian trajectory by a lag of a 100 years.

Gypsy Music Recordings

Roma Gypsy Music Recordings

Birth Of Western Music

The Roma-Gypsy contribution in the growth of Western musical tradition has been blanked out from Western history. The spread of Roma-Gypsy populations across Europe by the 16th century coincides with the birth of Western music systems – a stripped down version of the 3000-years old Indian music structure.

Hungarian music was Roma-Gypsy music arrogated by the White Christian majority to itself – and resented the Roma-Gypsy music culture. Western military music came from Roma-Gypsy music bands of Turkey, Austria and Hungary. Carefully hidden is Bela Bartok’s research into ‘folk’ music and ‘inspiration’, as is the source of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody – a by-product of Roma-Gypsy music. Before that, Verdi wrote the Il Trovatore, in 1853, a story about the clash between the White Christian Spain and a band of Roma-Gypsies. Georges Bizet’s, Carmen, another opera about the love of a Spaniard and the Roma-Gypsy, Carmen, used Roma-Gypsy music and themes considerably – apart from the story itself.

Gypsy Music - Inspired or Plagiarised?

Roma Gypsy Music - Inspired or Plagiarised?

After WW1, when parts of Hungary folded into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bartok’s access to his ‘inspiration’, the Gypsies (and their music) was also cut off, his music compositions also declined. In the true ‘cultural dacoity’ mode, Bartok (after emigrating to USA), covered his tracks and found ingenious ways to deny the Roma-Gypsy influence. Between Bela Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly and Leos Janacek, they recorded 6000 Roma-Gypsy tunes on wax cylinders. The wax cylinders on which Bartok, Zoltan Kodaly and Leos Janacek copied Roma-Gypsy music are now sought after items.

It is the dances of the Roma Gypsies behind the European cultural icon – the Flamenco! The rumba and the tango. It is the Gypsies (along with the Arabs) who brought Indian music systems to Europe – based on which the Western music system developed over the last 300-400 years. The iconic guitar is a modified Indian musical instrument – brought to Europe by the Gypsies, which the West tries ‘passing off’ as their own. Hittites, the Indo Aryans of the Middle East, before the Gypsies had an instrument similar to the guitar. Why am I not surprised when flamenco style, Roma-Gypsy music group, Los Del Rio’s Macarena became a big hit in India. This contribution to modern and classical Western music by the Roma-Gypsy remains unacknowledged – and the Western arrogation continues unmitigated.

The Gypsies In Provence

Modern day Roma Gypsies made their first mark in Europe in Provence. The richness of the Roma-Gypsy music (of India) overwhelmed the people of Southern France. They whole heartedly, assimilated the Gypsies (then known as troubadours) and their culture – warmly. 500 years later, across a bleak Europe, the French poet Voltaire, the English WB Yeats, lamented and longed for Provence and the richness of the Provencal culture. Modern French cuisine, wine culture and tradition took root in this very area – and survived in spite of the best attempts by the Church to exterminate it in the Albigensian Crusade.

African Contribution To Modern Technology

An interesting post on Racism & Technology by Michelle M. Wright in the Switch adds to this thesis. This post lists the large number of contributions made in modern times by Afr0-Americans – totally unacknowledged.

Consider a handful of the contributions that African-Americans have made to science and technology: we have forgotten that Granville Woods invented the steam boiler furnace, the telephone transmitter; Sarah Boone invented the ironing board; Mary Moore invented one of the first artificial pain relievers in the 18th century; Lewis Latimer invented the incandescent light bulb (greatly improving on Edison’s use of a bamboo filament by replacing it with carbon, and therefore making light bulbs last from a mere 30 hours to over 300), and he supervised the implementation of electric lights in New York City, Philadelphia, Montreal, and London; we have forgotten that Garrett A. Morgan invented the prototype of the gas mask and the automatic stoplight; Frederick Jones made the transportation of fresh foods and dairy products possible when he invented mobile refrigeration; Elijah McCoy made it possible for locomotives to operates continuously without having to stop every few miles to re-lubricate the wheels and machinery. Despite the attempts of corporate competitors to duplicate his invention, only McCoy’s actually worked, causing railway engineers to always ask if the automatic lubricator available for purchase was “the real McCoy”-this phrase has been re-attributed to several white McCoys: an athlete, an entrepreneur, and an inventor whose inventions were never actually used by anyone. The only black inventor America acknowledges is George Washington Carver who revolutionized Southern agriculture by developing crop rotation so that farmers did not exhaust their soil after three years but could use it endlessly (indeed, early crop rotation was taught by the first African-Americans to white planters). Carver also developed peanut oil as cheaper alternatives to motor oil, diesel fuel, printing ink, rubbers, and lighting oil…but he is only famous as the inventor of peanut butter. More recently, A. P. Ashbourne developed the airplane propeller; Dr. Charles Drew discovered plasma in blood; Henry Sampson patented the cell phone; Otis Boykin developed pace maker controls for the guided missile, and Dr. Patricia Bath has patented her technique of using laser surgery to remove cataracts. (from the Racism And Technology By Michelle M. Wright).

This systemic ‘amnesia’ in the West points to two things – a barren cultural cupboard and the plagiarist arrogation by the West of the achievements made by other cultures.

Selective Leaks

What is it these four institutions hiding? My feeling is that while these guys sit on these finds, they would have imploded – and their worst fears would have become reality. They would be another footnote in the history of slave owning civilizations that imploded. Hopefully Indic countries, based on humanity would have become an intellectually-dominant civilization again!

Tanti Bhil - A Famous Dacoit
Tantia Bhil – A Colonial Era Dacoit

Coming To Dacoity

Dacoity is a uniquely Indian-English word – made, formed and used in India. Dacoits were (and are) outlaws operating at the periphery of morality – and the law. These brigands were a response to the shrinking opportunity base due to colonial practices (some of which continue) in India. These dacoits typically did not target the State itself or the poor.

The target of the dacoits were the beneficiaries of the system – the rich. Since, the dacoits did not directly challenge the might of the State, the State was not very worried about these dacoits. But loot, these dacoits did. Especially the rich. Hence, the Indian population has viewed dacoits ambivalently.

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