Why did India become a slave?

   By Vijay Darda | 14-08-2023

Amid celebration of independence, it is imperative to consider this question so that no one casts an evil eye on us again

Former Prime Minister and eminent leader of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee would always tell an anecdote. When he went to Afghanistan as a foreign minister, he told his Afghan counterpart that he wished to visit Ghazni. Why travel to Ghazni, asked the Afghan foreign minister. It’s a little town with no tourist attractions. There wasn’t even a decent hotel! Atalji did not explain why he wished to visit Ghazni but he wanted to see the land of Ghazni from where a robber named Mohammad Ghazni attacked India 17 times and looted immeasurable wealth and carried it to Ghazni!

After narrating the story of his Ghazni visit, Atalji used to say something very serious and bitter that this country could not take on the robbers right from Ghazni to Taimur Lang, Nadir Shah to others because we were divided. The society was so divided that only the Kshatriyas were responsible for fighting in the war. Consider this: If every child in India stood up, would any Ghazni, Taimur or Nadir be able to leave the golden bird bleeding? Would they just go like that after murdering thousands? Or would the East India Company have captured us and made us British slaves? Atalji is not with us anymore. His death anniversary falls on August 16, the day after Independence Day, which is August 15. When I think of Ukraine now, I think of Atalji. Ukraine is a small country in comparison to Russia. Its resources are not as vast as Russia’s. In theory, its ability to wage a war is minimal compared to Russia, but that country has demonstrated what solidarity is. Women who look after the house have also picked up arms. You must be aware of the Vietnam war. Because of its unity, the small country brought even the mightiest America to its knees. America had no choice except to flee.

Looking back at India’s history during the British period, one thing is clear: Discord among us drove us down the path of slavery. The East India Company did not bring any weapons to India. Maybe its ultimate purpose was to subjugate India, but trade was its first step. It discovered that there were hundreds of rulers who were segregated by caste, religion and language. They had a strained relationship. This made the British believe that they can govern this country. The East India Company heightened the enmity between the rulers in a planned manner. The kings got sucked into the vortex of enmity and rivalry with their neighbouring kingdoms. Meanwhile, the East India Company rapidly increased the size of its army. Collecting the most advanced weapons of the time, it was able to defeat the army of Siraj-ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, at the Battle of Plassey in 1757. The East India Company dominated Bengal. Following this, the remaining parts of India became slaves as well. Only Goa was not captured by the British troops since it was held by Portugal. That means Goa was already a slave. Pondicherry was likewise under French control. Just consider, could the East India Company have captured Bengal if the monarchs of different parts of the country had fought the war together. Bengal at the time included today’s West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, the North-East and a vast portion of Bangladesh! Hundred years after the Battle of Plassey, the reason for the failure of the revolution of 1857 was also the division of the princely states of India. These princely states had become the stooges of the British. Only a few kings were able to revolt. There are many amazing legends of courageous soldiers in Indian history, but there were many traitors too. Going back further in time, the expanse of our country extended from Afghanistan to Myanmar, but its dissolution was undoubtedly caused by our discord and lack of unity.

When Barrister Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi returned to the country from South Africa and the dream of independence awakened, the tragic scene of fragmentation of the Indian society saddened him as it was a major impediment. Don’t know how many parts the society was divided into. There was a large section that was kept imprisoned in the chains of social slavery. They were declared untouchables. To deal with this situation, Mahatma Gandhi first attacked casteism. He said that a human being is a human being. How can he be untouchable? To eliminate social ills, he took a revolutionary step like lifting his own excreta. When he beckoned, the entire country followed him, regardless of caste, religion or language. In true sense, he was the first national hero to awaken the strength concealed in social unity in the common man’s heart. He understood that fighting British power with guns would be futile. That is why he began the task of awakening India, which had been trapped in mental servitude for millennia. See the pervasiveness of Gandhiji’s thoughts that throughout his life he sang ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ and visualised Ramrajya but had a deep respect for every religion. He loved everyone, irrespective of which religion he or she belonged to. That is how he rose from an attorney to a Mahatma. He rose to the rank of venerable Bapu! He became the messenger of truth, non-violence and peace all over the world.

I have explored so many topics here so that we remember at all times that when society is divided for any reason, the entire country is affected. Unfortunately, caste and religion-based politics continue to exist in our country. Even today, a sinister conspiracy of polarisation is being hatched. Not only our government but every individual must ensure that there is no such thing as fear in society. Be it Manipur or Haryana, such incidents are cause for concern and alarm. Every child on this land is an Indian, so why the violence and hostility? This country is associated with Ram-Rahim culture. Don’t sow discord in the name of religion, it is a disgusting and deadly game. The need of the hour is to set aside animosity and join in the celebration of independence and chant: Hindustan Zindabad!

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