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Verdict on India Paperback – 12 Nov 2006
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This book reads like an undergraduate dissertation. No thinking or contemplation was involved, it's just a reflection what the writer has seen and learned from different faith groups about Brahmins and Hindus at large. Beverley was thought to be a candidate for Viceroy of India thus presumably very knowledgeable and important man. Beverly concludes that Hinduism doesn't have a history and it's a mambo-jumbo of individual opinions, which still reverberates by the famous writer of 'The God delusion' Richard Dawkins. He represents 'Lord Ganesha' as a squatter in a broken temple. He criticized Gandhi for worshiping Cow in public, which he called `Grovel'. He says, "Untouchables are not Hindus and they don't want the British to leave India until they had their rights secured". So perhaps an Untouchable-stan like Pakistan and Khali-stan as it were, was in his mind! This stunt was tried by `Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu' over 500 years ago and the legacy is still practiced in so called Krishna temples now called mostly ISKCON. In fact the `Devdasi' Beverley repeatedly mentioned had come from that philosophy. The same tried by `Brahmo Samaj' during early 1900s founded and boasted by English loved Raja Ram Mohon Roy. This is very similar to Catholicism in Christianity and Sunni in Islam. On the other hand you see, Evangelism (Protestantism by Martin Luther) and Shia in Islam (Iran, Syria) is very different.
August 7th 1964 the `Gulf of Tonkin Resolution' was signed at the Whitehouse by US President Lyndon B. Johnson to go in to war with Vietnam justified by an event that never took place (North Vietnam fired missiles on two US war ships as alleged). Both Congress and Senate won a vote 502 to2 and gave Johnson a licence to go to war. Many scholars say that prevailing Buddhism was badly persecuted by the minority Roman Catholicism which had resulted 1.5 million dead (1963 South Vietnamese Coup: Documentary Film). JFK wanted to withdraw from Vietnam before a few weeks of his death (Vietnam: How We Went To War (20th Century with Mike Wallace)). I am thankful that Britain did not get involved in this bloody war. Thankfully previously French owned North (ho-chi-min's communism) and South Vietnam has now unified. As I understand US took Vietnam to war just to fight their arrogance. I don't know what Beverley's opinion would have been over this awful mess. Now its transpiring that USA orchestrated `Pearl Harbour' during 1941, which Beverley missed to mention in his book, of course which would have been self critical but nonetheless, his book was focused to India. I admire J William Fulbright the then chairman of `Foreign Relation Committee' for his eloquent criticism over this matter and the journalist named Morley Safer from CBS News for reporting on this. If Beverley was quarter of the man Fulbright, he would have written this book a little differently.
He went on writing that Hindu's don't have a church or a 'Christ' or a `Bible'. He failed to distinguish the fundamental difference between Hindus and all other man-made religions, which is that Hinduism is 'Sanatani Dharma' and NOT an establishment. Apparently, he was a kind of 'give me fight' type of guy as he kept mentioning North-west Frontier and he loved Pathans, so passive men was not welcomed to him.
He advocated explicitly hot climax in movie theatre. He was shocked to find out that `Kiss' is a taboo in Indian movies. He gave much importance on who gets how much money (debt in present meaning), so he did not understand social system. By the way, my Grandfather being a soldier in British army during WW1 received 1/3rd of wages paid out to his white skin parallels. So, I found Beverley a hypocrite or ignorant. He wanted to understand Hindus wearing Western goggles on his eyes, so whatever he gazed upon, looked unoriginal and moreover, with his own interpretation all went even extra distorted. Islam, Christians and many (excluding Buddhism) are very much foreign to India as established religion (considering Hindu is not the name of any religion, people lived at the bottom of `Hindukush' mountain called Hindu like Viscount Frederick Lindemann or Lord Cherwell from `Cherwell').
Christian missionaries took same policy of converting lower caste Hindus into Christianity under the indulgence of money, modern education, social position and power, exactly how Mongol (mainly Aurangzeb) converted mass under bayonet. By 1944 (at the time this book was written), the converts spent a few generations with their new found religion and dedicated routine religious studies and made to forget their own heritage, history and legacy. So, I do not expect a Muslim assistant of mine to brag Hindu faiths to me and on the other hand a pedigree Brahmin would not bring himself up to becoming his assistant either. Therefore, anyone on that position coming from less privileged background would try to degenerate Hindus as much as possible to win their arguments for a separate Muslim-land or Sikh-land. I am sure if Beverley had met Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan or even Sheikh Mujibur Rahman his opinion would have been a little different.
Beverley couldn't understand the divinity of Pipal (Ashysth in Sanskrit) tree and expressed his diatribe. Although I am not advocating it, he failed or perhaps was not willing to understand why the boy thinks that falling from a Pipal tree is a result of `bad Karma'. Now Hollywood is implementing these values in motion pictures. The film `Avatar' is all about a Tree that's important for the inhabitant's symbiotic livelihood.
He mentioned about some famous modern drawing/painting was kept by the wall of Gentleman's lavatory but never said what type of modern art those were. I have seen modern art at London `Tate Gallery'. About 12 years ago when I first visited there, I found a motion picture where one seen was being played in loop. A bearded middle aged naked man is spinning his semi inflated penis round and round by rhythmically moving his hip in a circle. One or two men and at least 15 middle aged women were standing and enjoying the dangling view. Well, this may be very modern art and indeed is inconceivable and incomprehensible to Indians during 1942s of course.
Furthermore, Beverley should have known about foreign plunderers since 1400's or ever earlier. Resources were nicked and robbed at gun point by various powerful slavish foreign thugs. Didn't he know that after Muslim invasion innumerable temples were converted into Mosques and tombs by chopping the pinnacles? Does he know when Tajmahal was built and by whom? Interestingly, Beverley says on page 117, "he (Rabindranath Tagore) was merely a charming minor poet, who owed more than he cared to admit to Yeats, you will probably stay away" and furthermore, he goes on writing, "I do not propose to waste anymore expletives (Swear Word) on the paintings of Abanindranath (Brother of Tagore) and his disciples". Although, I did never visit Shantinikatan in Bolpur, therefore, I can't judge the statement yet I accept that constructive criticism is good but putting scorn to this degree is perhaps unacceptable!!
Furthermore, Beverley disapproves Indian classical vocal as cacophony and mixed and confused voice from herd animal in barnyard but perhaps he did not know most of the Western music is copy of 1048 Persian poet Omar Khayyam. A few years ago BBC had an elaborate documentary on it, where it was all acknowledged.
India was invaded by foreign power numerous times during last millennium. You see, Indian always have been involved in war situation either to defend or as mercenary or `gun for hire'. History tells us `Sher Shah Suri had built `grand trunk' road in India and started `Rupia' as currency for commercial transaction. I find this preposterous!! The man was Afghani and look at the state of his own country. The matter is to see what influence the self proclaimed emperor had on the history writes. There are many examples.
It's who owns the mass media that matters? If you read a book titled, `The media monopoly by Bagdikian Ben Haig' things may go clearer. It's commonly known and propagated that Alexander Graham Bell invented Telephone during 1888. But in fact scholars claims that during 1860 Italian scientist named `Antonio Meucci' invented `talking telegraph' and subsequently patented, which expired on 1871 that he could afford to renew. Bell worked in his lab during 1878 and stole his papers. This happened time and time again. All knows about the relationship of JP Morgan and Nicola Tesla. The west brags their most powerful telescope and the astrological schematics and endeavours to depict themselves as pioneers but none have heard the name `Aryabhatta' was at large even before the birth of Christ. All this are not misinformation but disinformation, which is deliberate act of suppressing the original.
Beverley talks about Phallus in temple where women and children hugged and worshiped. But he did not understand that all genres of obelisks and high rise buildings represent man's penis as a symbol of masculinity. To counter this now we have Vaginal building in Qatar (Qatar's new World Cup Stadium), Chicago's Crain Communications Building, Rem Koolhaas's CCTV building, San Francisco MoMA, The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California and finally Norman Foster's Spaceport.
Beverly talks and deliberately castigates how worships were performed in `Kali' temple where young girls of just 10+ were forced to act as comforter of devotees and pilgrims. Well this practice is everywhere. It still takes place in Churches, where they payout millions in compensation. Have you heard of `Alter boy' or `Alter girl'? Who are nuns? I am definitely not advocating the righteousness of these acts those used to be performed in mid 40's Hindu temples, all I am saying this is that Beverley should not have gone into this area with his little knowledge.
If you compare like with like, Hindus worship cows so leave them on city streets to roam after their useful lives are over, which have proved crueler than not eating them. So, I can say, Muslims are perhaps doing a justice to them. If you see woman in the West are set free from a very young age with access to condoms, mammogram and vaccinations, which is not doing them any good but pain suffering and uncertainty. So you see the similarities? Hindus treat cows exactly as Christians treat their women. Both are despicable and deplorable. So, on the flip side of the coin, Hindus become Muslims when it comes to their women and Christians became Hindus when it comes to their woman. It's pathetic. Have we all forgotten what Napoleon Bonaparte asked for, "Gove me good mother, I will give you a good nation".
Beverley justifiably revered his Christianity and the head of `Church of England'. Does he know the source of word `Dracula'? Has he heard of balmorals in Royal properties in Scotland and the type of rituals they conduct? Has he heard of `Mother of Darkness Castle' in Belgium where child murder was brought to light by investigators? The authority tried for cover up but over 300 thousand people took the street protesting against it (taken from David Icke books). Paedophilia is not Sanskrit word!
Beverley unsuccessfully tried to burlesque Brahmins like many more in the past and gave a lift to untouchables in the name of brotherhood and Christianity, didn't Hitler pull the same stunt to create a super race? He did not understand the cast system is India. His judgment was based on apparent distorted malpractice rife in the visible Indian society. It is interesting to see that although he is the contemporary to Churchill's time, he failed to notice Churchill's personal devotee Frederick Alexander Lindemann AKA Professor Lindemann AKA 1st Viscount Cherwell (Lord) an English physicist and an influential scientific adviser to the British government in the early 1940s. Lindemann wanted Pyramid of social system to be a part of English curriculum but thanks God it was not approved by the education board. Lindemann advocated a small circle of the intelligent and aristocrat should run the World i.e. hegemony of the superior class. He considered Australian to be inferior Britons and mass is `Stupid'. He opined British working class is inferior although far above than black and brown subjects. He recommended that human difference should be accepted and to be enhanced by the means of science. He advocated mind control, hormone manipulation, which would allow human to be fine tuned for specific task. Lindemann wanted a type of working class with a mental makeup of working bee who would not think of evolution or voting right and as the paraphrase goes, "led by supermen and served by helots (slaves)". So it's clear that perhaps Lindemann advocates eugenics and sterilization of half-witted would be parents exactly what Churchill had in mind. So the motive was to bring up such clan of slaves those would be removed from the capacity to see themselves as slaves (indeed make sense in second millennium India). In their book `Brave New World', Huxley, Aldous, Atwood, Margaret talks about Spartans. Once Spartans offered freedom of 2000 helot warriors and then killed all those who claimed their liberty. Lindemann demanded intellectual superiority or aristocratic lineage to be at the top of the pyramid. This is distorted interpretation of Brahmin cast, although sounds like some are trying to be Brahmin by `naturalisation' as well as by `birth'. In the context, novel of George Orwell written in 1984 would be relevant read. So the Darwin descendent Beverley's slavishly denouncing remnant of malfunctioning Hindu social structure sounds very much hypocritical and overzealous. (Some information in this paragraph I taken from a fantastic book named `Churchill's Secret War' written by Madhusree Mukherjee.)
Lately, even in the film `Harri Poter', there is much similarity between Voldemort's Pureblood ideology and the Master Race ideology of the Nazis with wizards being "pure" and anyone with Muggle (non-wizard) blood being considered "half-blood" or "mudblood", a word treated the way a racial slur would be treated in the real world (Neo-Nazis call non-white people mud people) (source: `Master race - Wikipedia).
Beverley criticised poor journalists writing in papers with less than 1000 circulation but might I say that at least they did not peep into the Royal's naked body and took topless picture to make a mega sell of their tabloids.
Beverly could not come in terms with Idolaters. He should have looked further, ancient roman religions had Idols; Pagans have Idols even before Islam the Ka'bah itself housed many idols. Beverley could not differentiate Deities and the God.
In the end before I come back again I like to paraphrase Aristotle, it's easy to be angry but the trick is to be angry with right man, at the right time and to the right degree, which is hallmark of a civilized person. I find a great deal of emotional immaturity in this book.
This is one of the very rare books, which would give out very different emotions to different type of readers. I think all and Brahmins in particular should read this book with a lot of patience. I am still reading it and will come back with my final verdict. The trick is to continue reading as it is so irritating. Nonetheless, the use of English language is rich.
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