India is not a country, it is a civilization. The ancient Indian civilization spans the entire sub-continent, from the Hindu-Kush mountains, located in today’s Afghanistan, from where the word “Hindu” originates; it covers the 2500-kilometer long Himalayan range, to present day, 70-year-old-Pakistan, hived off from India, onto the tip of India and its entire length and breadth.
The civilization displays three key characteristics not found in any other civilization. One, it is an inclusive civilization; every other civilization is exclusive. To amplify, every other world civilization draws its strength and sense of Self, by excluding everyone other than those they consider their own; whereas, the Indian civilization derives its sense of Self, from and by accepting and including everyone, and everything as its own.
It’s core belief is that there is only one God, though He manifests itself in many forms and one can worship Him in whatever form or manifestation that appeals to an individual; hence the many facets visible as different God-Statues, that the Westerner does not understand and brushes aside as “idol-worship”. Indians believe that God is everywhere, in everything, in everyone; that there is no existence but that of God.
Secondly, it is a civilization that has as its core, the narrative of giving, giving-up, and self-sacrifice. All in the quest for spiritual enlightenment and moksha, of becoming one with the God-consciousness; the quest of freedom from the material, freedom from the senses; from narrow-self-serving-soul-destroying selfishness. Knowing that life is eternal, Indians treats death as a part of life, and do not hide or run from it, unlike the West, where it is swept under the carpet and never thought or conversed about, except when being dished out to others.
Thirdly, the Indian civilization has never stepped outside its natural boundary in search of conquest; Ever!
The civilization is, and throughout history, has been home to all the world religions. It is the home of the Hindus, from the Hindu-Kush mountains across the continental span.
Christianity arrived soon after Christ did; in fact, the three wise men from the East mentioned in the Bible, who were present at the birth of Christ, and came to bless Him with gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense, were Indian Sages who had foretold and foreseen Christ’s birth. Everyone, including the rabid western Christians, mainly Anglo-Saxons, currently talking cultural and civilizational superiority, and the Christian Pope himself, seem to have forgotten these facts.
The Jews, always linked to ancient India, when persecuted, came to India and settled. The Parsis, were persecuted in their home, Persia, and came to India and settled.
It is the home of Islam, which was born in the 7th century AD and came to South-India, via the Arab traders, even as the Prophet Mohammed; peace be upon him and may his followers be peaceful; was alive and preaching in Arabia. Many of the poor, disadvantaged, suppressed lower castes converted to the religion that was new, fresh and preaching equality before Allah. Indian upper classes had been vastly corrupted by then and though the core Indian belief was no different in the Oneness of God consciousness, India had been in civilizational decline for a couple of hundred years by the time Islam rode in.
All were accepted and remained, as our own people. That is and has been the great strength of India.
For thousands of years up until the artificially created partition at Independence by the British, the people domiciled in this civilization have lived highly civilized, many, even enlightened lives, in a rich socio-economic-political-religious narrative that has always been all-inclusive.
The Indian civilization can be said to be pre-historic. It certainly pre-dates the Indus Valley, Mohendaro-Harrapa, and other verifiable evidences. Fundamentally, it is built upon the wisdom and insights of its ancient leaders, deep-thinkers, called Rishi-Munis.
These were personages who were steeped in existential enquiry, in questioning and examining the phenomenon of the “nature of nature”; except that they did so through keen observation and, in deep states of meditation; as an inner enquiry of the external observable phenomenon of nature; and gained insights that they passed on for thousands of years through its Guru-Kul system of education. Through “Shruti and Smriti”; or that which was heard, to that which was remembered and assimilated; generation upon generation long before the written word came along. The British decimated this system of education from the 1830s or so, Lord McCauley being the architect of this destruction.
They gifted the world mathematics, and therefore science. The concept of zero came from one of them, who as a precursor of Einstein (thousands of years later), in deep meditation saw the entire big-bang creation, in the Spirit, and mathematically, and came up with the zero that brought mathematics and science into the world; from India. Let us not forget that applied mathematics is Physics, applied Physics is Chemistry and applied Chemistry is life-the Bio-Sciences. The West does not like to acknowledge these facts openly. Western propaganda is that they gave the world science and scientific enquiry, even while they know how much they learned and derived from the Indian civilization. It is time India and Indians woke up to themselves again, and acted to give life to this ancient true story. Enlightened they used to call us.
The civilization’s language, Sanskrit, helped in this transfer of knowledge and wisdom. Sanskrit, literally, sans(ar) or the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space the cosmos; and krit(i) or creation; the language of creation, of the world; of the Indian civilization. It is known to be perhaps the oldest in the world and is the root-mother language of the Indo-Germanic languages.
Sanskrit is mathematical, and precise; so, precise in fact, that in the Bhagwat Gita, encapsulating the discourse between Lord Krishna with Arjun on the Battlefield of Mahabharata, every conceivable existential question has been asked and answered in just 700 shlokas. A shloka is 4-5 lines! The name Sanskrit itself demonstrates these realities, and its influence is traced through all the oldest languages of the world. In truth, there are a large number of derivative languages that sprang from Sanskrit that are in use across the world, till today.
It is the civilization that attracted people in search of knowledge and wealth for thousands of years. Great western philosophers who influenced western thought, through the ages including Plato, who taught Alexander the Great, and who himself is from the lineage of Aristotle and Socrates, from around 600 BC, all looked to India and were inspired by its knowledge and wisdom.
It was the cumulative impact of this narrative that brought about the long standing saying that India was the Golden Bird in the then known world. Alexander the Great came along around 330 BC in search of wisdom and wealth, and found both in ample measure. The story continued right up to and including the arrival of plundering Islamic invaders; who later settled around 9th-10th century and then even later; the French, Portuguese, Spanish and the British to the shores of this civilization 400-500 year ago.
This was the civilization, to which flocked, people from all over the world in search of wealth and knowledge, both of which they found in ample measure. The oldest and most sought-after universities existed on this land.
Then, we let ourselves be sold out to the “white man’s” propaganda and narrative, that they civilized us, losing our way even more than we had done for ourselves; in this programmed propaganda that was and is utter nonsense!
Both the spiritual and worldly constructs have been perceived and practiced in an integrated frame within Indian civilization and society. The people of India, through various empires, and / or splinter kingdoms when so ever these happened on the breakup of major empires up to about 1000 AD, have always fully indulged and lived in a spirit of freedom; freedom of spirit, freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of action and freedom to love whom you wished and with however many in a consensual arrangement, you loved or lived with.
To quote Sushama Londhe from her book Surya’s Tapestry – extracts from the internet: No other living tradition can claim scriptures as numerous or as ancient as Hinduism; none of them can boast of an unbroken tradition as faithfully preserved as the Hindu tradition. Hindu literature is the most ancient and extensive religious writings in the world. Hindu religion is not derived from a single book. It has many sacred writings which serve as a source of doctrine. The most important texts include the Vedas, Upanishads, the Puranas, the Epics -Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita.
Hinduism is very much a religion of revelation. Hindus are the most thoughtful people, and their literature is characterized by constant concern with humanity's spiritual destiny. In response to this concern they have created elaborate philosophical concepts and wrote great epic poems, narrative literature and fiction. These vast epics, and the four 'books' of the Vedas, were originally transmitted by a phenomenal human chain of memory, and only written down centuries after their actual compilation. This oral tradition still exists in India today. The early phase of the Vedic tradition in India is dated between 10,000 - 7,000 BCE.
According to Professor Klaus K. Klostermaier: "Since ancient times India has been famous for its wisdom and its thought. The ancient Persians, Greek and Romans were eager to learn from its sages and philosophers. When, in the eighteenth century, the first translations of some Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita became available to the West, European philosophers rhapsodized about the profundity and beauty of these writings. Here they encountered a fusion of philosophy and religion, a deep wisdom and a concern with the ultimate, that had no parallel in either contemporary Western philosophy or Western religion. Indian philosophy is highly sophisticated and very technical and surpasses in both in volume and subtlety."
Sir William Jones was always impressed by the vastness of Indian literature. He wrote: "Wherever we direct our attention to Hindu literature, the notion of infinity presents itself." Hinduism has always laid great stress on Pramanas (the means and instruments of correct knowledge). Hindu philosophers have discussed at great lengths the science of Noetics. Max Muller says: "In thus giving the Noetics the first place, the thinkers of India seem to have again (proved) superior to most of the philosophers of the West.
These are essential truths of Indian civilization and life, that changed dramatically on the surface with the coming of Islamic and Christian evangelists, and followed by the British rule wherein they imposed laws designed to suppress us for the benefit of their societies. However, even as the external changed, many of the Indian civilizational spirit, thinking and life remain to this day; and did throughout the ages, through various kings and emperors and rulers of all ilk.
The arrival of Islam in India makes a fascinating story. Islam first arrived in India through the Arab traders who traded in South India, in Kerala and coastal contiguous areas. Even as these Arab traders became followers of The Prophet Mohamed, peace be upon him, and may his followers be peaceful; they brought his story to India and many Hindus converted, majorly the lower classes and castes who were being suppressed by the upper classes and castes in what was the beginning of original corruption, of and by the upper castes.
The first mosque of India, the Cheraman Juma Masjid, was built in 629; during the life of Prophet Muhammad, in Kerala, by the first Muslim from India, Cheraman Perumal Bhaskara Ravi Varma, a Hindu. Through regular trade between Arab Muslims and Indians, Islam continued to spread in coastal Indian cities and towns, both through immigration and conversion, peacefully.
Firas Alkhateeb, tells a good story of the arrival of Islam to India, though he is delusional in his view, often promoted by Islamists, that it was Islam and Arabs who brought their culture to India; except to a very minor extent. The fact is that it was the Arabs and other travelers to India who learned and took back huge dollops of culture, knowledge, wisdom and wealth with them, long before the birth of the Prophet Mohammad, may peace be upon him, and may his followers be peaceful.
The Arab culture before the birth of the Prophet was primarily of nomadic tribes, with few cities, and in those, the Jews and the Arabs who lived together in these areas, created rich cultures and lives; and here too, there was Indian civilizational influence for thousands of years.
The Prophet, may peace be upon him, and may his followers be peaceful, changed the narrative for the nomadic tribes dramatically and brought them cohesively together with his preaching of Islam, of one God, he called him Allah, into a different more evolved dimension. The Muslim invaders from Central Asia, brought Central Asian influence to India, through the North of India, but, with few exceptions, all who came to India, took back its wealth and wisdom, and eventually settled here and made it home.
The Arab traders who came often, were steeped in the rich life and culture of India, and carried back its influence and stories of a multi-faceted, colorful, rich society; of its peaceful co-existence, of its rich diversity, and the massive patience and forbearance of the people; even when oppressed through caste, of its wisdom and wealth, for which they came, and of which they took back. Nowhere else on planet earth did any population display such spiritual depth, such tolerance. Anywhere else, there would be bloodshed.
The introduction to Islam’s preaching of One God, Allah, in a civilization already steeped in the Spiritual story, appealed to the oppressed lower castes, and helped them free them of their misery of social inequality, through conversion. As Muslims, and in Muslim society they were treated better. Thus, Islamic population grew in the South of India. In the North, Islam arrived on horseback with the central Asian invaders from about the 7th century, and settled around the 15th.
The reality is, that it was in India that Islam found its true home in peaceful coexistence, and grew. Everywhere else, including in Arabia, they fight amongst themselves as Shias and Sunnis, In India they co-exist. Perhaps, that was one of the geo-political reasons for the British or Anglo powers to divide India, as the influence of undivided India bordering Iran, Afghanistan, on Arabia would be too great, neutralizing the Anglo-dominance narrative.
Today, there are more Muslims in the Indian sub-continent than anywhere else. India has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia. Pakistan created as a Muslim homeland by the British, has fewer. If the Muslim population were taken together of the Indian sub-continent; it would equate to approximately 550 million, of which over 200 million live in India.
Left to themselves, in India, these populations live in peace and co-exist, till the politicians and religious extremist preachers in search, or support of vote banks and Political powers, get into the act, and instigate discord; and that is true of all extremist religious groups today. If one were to genetically map these populations, all derive their blood lines from the Indian civilization of more than 7000 years ago, therefore, all derive from their Hindu ancestors, and the Hindus have no problems with this, till politics and extremist wrong-headed story comes along.
In the North of India, from Afghanistan, very much part of the Indian civilization as a distinct frontier people; Pakistan, right up to the Punjab, two thirds of which lies in Pakistan today, they display the same blood-lines to this day. After numerous invasions, from Ghazni, who came 17 times to plunder from about 1000 AD and returned home. Islam took root and settled in India through the Mughal rule that got established in the Indian subcontinent.
To quote Wikipedia, Mughal rule took root around 1526AD through a Muslim dynasty with Turco-Mongol- Chagatai roots from Central Asia. There was significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances and only the first two Mughal emperors were fully Central Asian; while successive emperors were of predominantly Rajput and Persian ancestry. Thus, Islam came and took root as a local Indian religion taking on, and flowing into ancient Indian civilization in its existence in India. It is a travesty that people seldom see or converse of this core reality.
Large number of the Punjabi, Sindhi populations converted to Islam; some at the edge of the sword, that was wielded in the periods of the invading marauders, who came and left, to Aurangzeb, the home grown religious tyrant, who destroyed the largely peaceful Mogul rule of his preceding generations; and through voluntary conversions from large swathes of the Hindu lower castes who were very ill-treated, even up till now.
The creation of Pakistan by British contrivances, for geo-political reasons, did immense damage to this ancient narrative that was so strong and promoted the welfare of its citizens for an enriched life for all citizens. Remember, there was no referendum seeking the public’s view on whether the majority wanted Pakistan; or else why did so many not move?
The British ensured that the emotional rupture happened and got permanently embedded in the psyche of the population on both sides of the border by engineering riots and killings during the partition-population movement. Passions and emotions were already, inflamed and these things are not difficult to arrange, at the political and State level. All you have to do is get some goondas to throw some beef in Hindu temples, or pork in Muslim Mosques and you have full-fledged riots. Some such strategy would have been employed during partition, though at the time, one had only to pay goondas to start the killing and the rest is history. It was vital for the departing Anglo-Power that that there was an emotional rupture between the two new nations and its populations. We are still paying the price on both sides of the border.
This socio-economic-religious-legal construct of India, evolved from, and revolved around the Spiritual reality, as well as the worldly or physical or “Maya” reality within laws that were framed and stemmed from “natural” laws or the laws of the “nature of nature”. It is telling that despite numerous disruption and foreign attempts to destroy our civilizational construct, including through propaganda, the core has survived to this day, and is visible also in today’s Pakistan and Bangladesh population and evolved and was built around an integrated dialogue, largely embedded in, and springing from, within the deep insights of our Rishi Munis, and Philosopher Kings, and Emperors, including the Muslim ones, who lived within that secular narrative of acceptance of all within peaceful co-existence within God, whichever way one wanted to experience or worship Him.
The Rising India Party takes the position that the India must have a Policy Framework governing the Religions and Religious dialogue amongst the people of India and proposes a Policy Framework that would be put to a referendum vote, which would be counted by religious group, to bring about lasting Rules and Laws related to religious practice and inter-religious relations.