We never realized that those residing beyond Hindukush, broadly called Hindustan is a regional identity of the people comprising a diverse composition of ideologies, culture, rituals, practices in a milieu that accepted the diversity and heterogeneity. Hindustan had gone through 1000 years of atrocities, plunder, and inhumane treatment at the hands of the Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and the Persians.
Hindustan tolerated this onslaught and even assimilated remaining residual rulers and their henchmen as part of their character. Gradually, deviations of the new culture had an impact on the native Hindustani culture and an idea of sovereignty evolved to embrace these new rulers as part of our culture, as part of our nature and as part of our sovereign character.
You all may ask, after all, we were a warring faction of several kingdoms, so what is wrong with Turks, Mongol, Mughal or Arabs invading India? Weren’t the Cholas fighting with Cheras and weren’t the Pandians conquering the Cheras? Weren’t the Guptas, the Rajputs and other clans fighting for dynastic control? While I was talking with a small group, in Dallas a few days back, I stated that we were a warring faction of kingdoms but we followed the dharma of war, these invaders never followed that dharma of war.
What’s the ‘Dharma of War’?
There are countless examples of princely kingdoms capturing each other and expanding or shrinking as the story (history) of the land unfurled. However, one thing was constant, they followed the rules of war. No fights happened after dusk time, wounded were nurtured and cared irrespective of enemy lines, the losers were no decimated, the women were not robed/raped or even insulted, vulnerable like kids and elders were not touched, the property was not destroyed, temples, scriptures, and cultures were treated with dignity. There was no forcible conversion, no eviction, no jazia for losers, etc. ideologies were untouched. That is the dharma of war (Shashank Heda).
Even in war, they followed humanity. That humanity was a key driving principle. That was a sign of the evolution of culture. It was followed almost universally irrespective of region, religion ( Sanatan dharma or Buddhism), time or reason for war.
When these invaders invaded, they were barbaric and rudimentary in the culture and evolution. For those who question the parity of the invaders’ state versus Hindustan, let me step back and say, thieves, plunder the rich, not the nomadic and the poor. That wealth, an outcome of civilization and culture, formed the reason to attack and plunder.
Let me step back again and add what rudimentary means. Say you have just arrived from a traditional land with rudimentary culture, where women are covered from head to toe and you reach Western Europe or North America, and you see a skimpily clad girl, naturally it is sore and alluring to your eyes. However, those residing here in the US, give a damn or turns around and see that skimpily clad girl. her but if that same behavior were to happen in the native land, possibly she will be subjugated to a plethora of maladies depending upon where it had to happen. That’s a rudimentary and unevolved culture.
These barbaric Arabs, Turks, Babar’s and Mongols were barbaric and unevolved people who attacked a civilized evolved land, where the ‘dharma of war’ was laid down as principles. The believed in jungle raj that never knew the principles of war, I call that ‘ dharma of war’, the so-called tenets that were tacit and spoken understanding before going to war.
We all know that Genghis Khan’s Y Chromosome (and lineage) forms 6% of all Chinese population where his brutal rein rode through. How did that happen? When this trailblazer Mongols started his expedition and captured China, of course, he disseminated his DNA all along. Can you imagine the atrocities committed by him? He is the one who converted to Islam after conquering Istanbul (called Byzantinopole or Constantinopole).
Similar brutalities are evident from Latin America, where the Europeans plundered, looted and destroyed the civilization. Europe was then a filthy continent with different diseases like Plague, Cholera, Syphilis, and Gonorrhoea. Most readers are aware of the advanced civilization of the Latin Americas – Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, and others. This land was invaded by Europeans, who not alone spread the bugs but also killed most men and made a horde of ladies as their harem or concubines. Today, as Latin America stands, very few original ethnicities still remain, most are a hybrid of Spaniards and Mayan/Inca Ethnic stock. They have lost their culture and their religion. Only recently, have they started bringing back their original rituals and ideologies.
When people from barbaric, immature and rudimentary cultures invade, they pretty much plunder and decimate the niceties of evolution and that’s the story of India. There is one subtle difference between Hindustan and Latin America though, the Hindu story is not as bad as Latin America but India has to stand for its own lost identity and if I reflect correctly, that’s the potent and strong sentiment that is all-pervasive. That is the second awakening, the first being the struggle for Independence. The current political dispensation sensed this sentiment and is riding high upon that sentiment.
Glory cannot be just found in history, India will have to toil today to eschew and regain those heights of civilization, the sentiment is not enough. Momentum is built with every transaction and every facet is important. That energy is pulsating and palpable amongst Gen X/Y, everywhere but it needs to be channelized and a milieu created for realization (Shashank Heda, Dallas, TX). That vision to draw a strategic roadmap is being cobbled as yet but India awaits that articulation and the world await to embrace emerging India and comprehend its strength.