This video from India says about itself:
Romila Thapar on the Colonial Scholarship Behind Hindu Rastra
Hindu Rastra (or Rashtra) is the idea of a fanatical tendency of some Hindu religious people that India should become a theocratic ultra-orthodox Hindu state, with inequality for Muslims, Christians, atheists, Jews, liberal and/or lower caste and non-caste Hindus and others.
There are some parallels with the ‘Islamic State’ advocated by ISIS terrorists; and with fanatical tendencies within Christianity, Judaism, and other religions.
27 October 2015
“Hindu Rastra is Drawn from the Scholarship of Colonial Historians”
Romila Thapar, at the launch of the two websites of the Indian Writers’ Forum Trust, speaks on the recent attempts at the rewriting of history to suit the purposes of a Hindu India. The proponents of this theory claim that history must not only be rewritten, but corrected – a more dangerous proposition than rewriting.
She does not find the approach – in spite of its absurdity -, the working of some fantasy, but a very systematic approach to suit history for the argument of a Hindu state. Most of these claims are based on the work of colonial scholarship such as the historians James Mill, Max Mueller, and [Theosophist US American] Colonel Olcott.
The irony of the fact remains that those who oppose the secular history as Western must fall back on colonial scholarship of Indian history done by – to borrow the vocabulary of the Hindu Right – Westerners. “It is colonial scholarship which is at the foundation of this new so-called indigenous history”, says Thapar. She concludes by saying that there may be various versions of history, but pleads for a space where these versions can be debated and discussed in public or in institutions. What must be opposed is the reduction of all knowledge to a single narrative and the grounding of that knowledge on a single ideology.
Today, Dutch Internet site De Correspondent publishes an article by correspondent Peter Speetjens in India. He interviewed Ms Romila Thapar.
Translation of some of it:
Meanwhile in India: A Muslim who eats a cow can get up to five years in prison
There is a cultural revolution going on in India. Minorities are converted, books banned, intellectuals gagged.
Some people even advocate to have a statue for Nathuram Godse, the man who on January 30, 1948 shot dead Mahatma Gandhi. Godse: the staunch Hindu nationalist who took up arms. Gandhi, the father of secular India, with a firm belief in nonviolence.
Romila Thapar, now professor emeritus, was at the time of the murder a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Godse’s hometown Pune.
Although she has been retired for years, she still regularly writes. Last year, for instance, her twentieth and latest book.
The developments in her country cause her great concern.
“Gandhi’s death was like a knockout punch,” says the 83-year-old historian in her apartment in South Delhi, filled with books, art and antiques. “There was, after India’s independence, so much hope in the country. Until that happened … Suddenly we saw the presence of an intense ugliness, of which we never we were previously aware. ”
She talks about the murder as if it occurred yesterday. “We were scared. Suppose that the killer was a Muslim, it would have led to massive retaliation. But even when it became known that the culprit was a Hindu, the situation remained tense. We could not understand. Gandhi was such a great man. Who could do that? And why? How could Gandhi’s death be a solution for anything?”…
Since a year the Hindu Mahasabha organisation is calling for a statue for Godse. The movement even wants to make a film about his life.
“It is a frightening development,” says the elegantly black-clad Thapar. “We are talking about the rehabilitation of a convicted murderer”. …
And it does not stop with a posthumous tribute to an ancient Hindu nationalist hero. Since last May, the political wing of Godse’s movement has an absolute majority in the Indian parliament. …
Last 28 September, a mob of about a hundred Hindus stormed the house of Mohammed Akhlaq in Bisara village, dragged him outside and clubbed him dead, after a local priest had – wrongly – proclaimed through a loudspeaker that the 50-year-old Muslim had supposedly butchered a calf. His son ended up badly injured in hospital.
Prime Minister Modi did not consider it necessary to condemn the act, even though eight of the eleven arrested suspects have links with his Hindu nationalist BJP party.
The cow is sacred to Hindus and in most Indian states there is a slaughter ban. The western state of Maharashtra did not think that went far enough and in March also banned the slaughter of bulls and oxen. For eating ‘bad meat’ there is now a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison. Although not all Hindus are strictly vegetarian, such bans hit especially the 200 million Indian Muslims and Christians.
This 15 October 2015 video from India is called Romila Thapar: In The Wake of the Beef Controversy.
From the (non-theocratic) daily The Hindu:
October 10, 2015 05:49 IST
‘BJP, RSS trying to declare India Hindu rashtra’
“The Constitution has taken care that people of all religions live in the country and so the country has not been accorded the status of Hindu rashtra…if BJP and RSS turn it into a Hindu rashtra, I want to tell Dalits and adivasis that their interests will not be safe,” Ms. Mayawati stressed.