Can nationalistic historiography ever make its return into the Indian Academicia

Nov 2012
3,847
#1
Can nationalistic historiography ever make its return triumphantly back into the Indian Academicia and intelligentia and reach its former heights in the pre 1960's era? What steps would have to be taken for this? Can this growth be reached organically?

Rajeev Malhotra laments the erosion of Hindu/Indologist scholarship and most scholars are loathers of the material they study. Why is there no proper Hindu seminary (I am not sure BHU has the same impact of a JNU or Jamia and its not a proper seminary), news channel, institution, conferences, research papers etc. which give the nationalist response to more modern day issues (rather than just blabber about ancient aerial vehicles etc.). I mean there is so much real material available to be proud of. For some reason the right is unable to produce people of the strong credentials both qualitatively or quantitatively. David Frawley just cannot match upto the mainstream historians in credentials.

What could be the way ahead and how can this be countered or remedied. When will the new Majumdars, Roy Chaudharys and Sastris be born from?

I guess nationalist historians came at a time during British rule when such a narrative was important to have since we were a colonized people and they allowed us express our intrinsic nationhood through their works. 70 years down the line the need it seems for a nationalist narrative has gone down and now we have reached a stage of loathing ourselves. This left wing system is so cohesive (through citations, recommendations, referrals) that they maintain a strangelhold through their networks. How does one penetrate this universe from the outside?
 

Joshua A

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
2,253
#3
The sad thing is nationalism is considered a bad thing in the politics of contemporary India.

India has too many internal enemies: Socialists, Marxists, Nehru-Congress, Naxalists, Maoists, Islamists, Dravidian separatists and the recent anarchists AAP.

They are impeding India's progress and the development of a true nationalistic consciousness.

I have been following this Lalitmodigate recently and I was thinking how boring and frivolous. Just because some guy got helped with his Visa application process, it has become a huge --- actually more like it has been exaggerated by an anti-national media = issue -- more important then the economy and social progress itself?

Sometimes I think India needs a dictatorship to flush out of all these anti national parties and elements.
 
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Aug 2009
5,184
Londinium
#4
The sad thing is nationalism is considered a bad thing in the politics of contemporary India.
Nationalism tends to be a bad idea in any political system, especially if applied to academia and enforced by government.

India has too many internal enemies: Socialists, Marxists, Nehru-Congress, Naxalists, Maoists, Islamists, Dravidian separatists and the recent anarchists AAP.

They are impeding India's progress and the development of a true nationalistic consciousness.

I have been following this Lalitmodigate recently and I was thinking how boring and frivolous. Just because some guy got helped with his Visa application process, it has become a huge --- actually more like it has been exaggerated by an anti-national media = issue -- more important then the economy and social progress itself?

Sometimes I think India needs a dictatorship to get rid of all these anti national parties and elements.
India is a democracy, what your describing is part of it being a (the largest) democracy. Your never, NEVER, going to have everyone in India thinking/behaving the same. There will always be dis-satisfied groups who want to leave the RoI or hold extreme religious/political/social viewpoints..

..If India is a great as many Indian posters claim, then its nothing to worry about.

‘anti national party AND ELEMENT’!!!!
‘true nationalistic consciousness’

^ Worrying statements…I hope your ideal India never comes to life, history has shown us where such statements lead…
 

Joshua A

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
2,253
#5
Nationalism tends to be a bad idea in any political system, especially if applied to academia and enforced by government.
It depends what kind of nationalism. If it is racial nationalism based on your race and colour of skin like BNP of Britain, then it is an exclusivist nationalism. That is obviously going to end bad, because all of those members of society which are not of that race are going to become second-class citizens. If, however, it is cultural nationalism like the BJP of India, then it is inclusive nationalism. It is this nationalism in the first place that lead to the Indian freedom struggle.

The reason I have no problem with Hindutva nationalism, despite being anti-nationalism, is because Hindutva basically means promoting the ethos of India, its heritage, values and culture. A civilizational consciousness that goes back 5000 years. How is that wrong? India is a distinct civilization from other civilizations and it deserves to celebrate its difference. That is what makes India interesting to me. If India was just Xerox copy of Britain or America, it would not be interesting to me.

India is a democracy, what your describing is part of it being a (the largest) democracy. Your never, NEVER, going to have everyone in India thinking/behaving the same. There will always be dis-satisfied groups who want to leave the RoI or hold extreme religious/political/social viewpoints..

..If India is a great as many Indian posters claim, then its nothing to worry about.

‘anti national party AND ELEMENT’!!!!
‘true nationalistic consciousness’

^ Worrying statements…I hope your ideal India never comes to life, history has shown us where such statements lead…
You have obviously not been following how Indian democracy works and what it consists of. It contains various anti-national parties which work against the progress of the nation than for it. Some of these parties are literally like terrorist groups and support terrorist causes. South Indian parities for example support Dravidian nationalists, who want to separate South India from North India. AAP supports anarchism, it wants to return India to the same 600+ kingdoms that India was in before Independence. The Islamist parities on the other hand want Sharia.

Indian politics is not peaceful either, it is violent. Parties will instigate riots between groups, political assassinations, murders are common. It is not even close to what happens in British politics.

Unfortunately, due to 60+ years of irresponsible, corrupt and misrule at the centre by the Congress, all these anti national elements have been allowed to enter into Indian politics. 60+ years of mess is going to require some pretty drastic measures.

I think the current Modi-lead government is making all the right moves though. What it recently did in Myanmar by surgically striking the terrorist camps behind it borders sends a strong message, that India is not going to allow these anti national elements to fester now. Also admirable, is the banning of anti national NGO's, who were were spreading anti-national propoganda
 
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Aug 2009
5,184
Londinium
#6
It depends what kind of nationalism. If it is racial nationalism based on your race and colour of skin like BNP of Britain, then it is an exclusivist nationalism.
I was thinking of religious/ethnic nationalism like Nazi Germany. Religion and politics seems to be playing an ever increasing role in modern Indian politics, from an outsiders POV it looks all to familiar.

(FYI, the BNP had Sikih and Hindu, non-white members, IIRC)


That is obviously going to end bad, because all of those members of society which are not of that race are going to become second-class citizens. If, however, it is cultural nationalism like the BJP of India, then it is inclusive nationalism. It is this nationalism in the first place that lead to the Indian freedom struggle.

The reason I have no problem with Hindutva nationalism, despite being anti-nationalism, is because Hindutva basically means promoting the ethos of India, its heritage, values and culture. A civilizational consciousness that goes back 5000 years. How is that wrong?
A complete contradiction, you can’t claim to have no problem with XYZ nationalism while being anti-nationalist.

I hate communism, dictatorships and facial hair but that Stalin was ok.


India is a distinct civilization from other civilizations and it deserves to celebrate its difference. That is what makes India interesting to me. If India was just Xerox copy of Britain or America, it would not be interesting to me.

No country is a copy of another and no-one is asking that of India, to think that is scare mongering.

You have obviously not been following how Indian democracy works and what it consists of. It contains various anti-national parties which work against the progress of the nation than for it. Some of these parties are literally like terrorist groups and support terrorist causes. South Indian parities for example support Dravidian nationalists, who want to separate South India from North India. AAP supports anarchism, it wants to return India to the same 600+ kingdoms that India was in before Independence. The Islamist parities on the other hand want Sharia.

Indian politics is not not peaceful either, it is violent. Parties will instigate riots between groups, political assassinations, murders are common. It is not even close to what happens in British politics.
Sounds almost identical to UK politics.

Being ‘British’ and ‘living in the UK’ (as you allege) means you’re familiar with the IRA, Sinn Fien and their relationship with Parliament – so there is no need for me to explain this further.

Scotland wanted to a vote on leaving the UK, after 300 years a referendum took place – led by a nationalist party, which recently won lots of seats in elections. Wales, NI and Scotland were given their own Parliament/assembly to debate regional issues and enforce their decisions, different for each nation but still a compromise made by Westminster.

If India wants to be a democracy, then she is going to have to deal with separatists, extremists some way or other. The way she deals with them will let the world know what kind of country India will become in this century.

Unfortunately, due to 60+ years of irresponsible, corrupt and misrule at the centre by the Congress, all these anti national elements have been allowed to enter into Indian politics. 60+ years of mess is going to some pretty drastic measures.
…said Herr Hitler about the Weimar republic.

I think the current Modi-lead government is making all the right moves though. What it recently did in Myanmar by surgically striking the terrorist camps in its actually borders sends a strong message, that India is not going to allow these anti national elements to fester now. Also admirable, is the banning of anti national NGO's.
Anti-national = anti-government, depending on what the government decides of course. ‘Anti-national NGO’ – do you see how loose that definition is?

The opposition party has started a charity = anti-national NGO

Surgical strikes of terrorist camps in foreign nations; I wasn’t aware of this, I assume you support the USA doing this, where they see fit to send a strong message that America isn’t going to allow these elements to fester?
 
Dec 2012
139
UK London
#7
Nationalism tends to be a bad idea in any political system, especially if applied to academia and enforced by government.



India is a democracy, what your describing is part of it being a (the largest) democracy. Your never, NEVER, going to have everyone in India thinking/behaving the same. There will always be dis-satisfied groups who want to leave the RoI or hold extreme religious/political/social viewpoints..

..If India is a great as many Indian posters claim, then its nothing to worry about.

‘anti national party AND ELEMENT’!!!!
‘true nationalistic consciousness’

^ Worrying statements…I hope your ideal India never comes to life, history has shown us where such statements lead…
What are you talking about, it doesnt matter how great a nation or culture is, if it doesn't keep the divisive and competing narratives in check it risks disintegration and internal callapse.
Even the US being the percieved democratic country it is, goes a long way to promote a national agenda for cohesion and a unifying identity.
Psudo secularists are either in the game for self benefit and polical leverage or they tend to have a utopia idea of unity in diversity. India is diverse but there is a governing identity and culture keeping it together.
 

Jinit

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
5,274
India
#8
Can nationalistic historiography ever make its return triumphantly back into the Indian Academicia and intelligentia and reach its former heights in the pre 1960's era? What steps would have to be taken for this? Can this growth be reached organically?

Rajeev Malhotra laments the erosion of Hindu/Indologist scholarship and most scholars are loathers of the material they study. Why is there no proper Hindu seminary (I am not sure BHU has the same impact of a JNU or Jamia and its not a proper seminary), news channel, institution, conferences, research papers etc. which give the nationalist response to more modern day issues (rather than just blabber about ancient aerial vehicles etc.). I mean there is so much real material available to be proud of. For some reason the right is unable to produce people of the strong credentials both qualitatively or quantitatively. David Frawley just cannot match upto the mainstream historians in credentials.

What could be the way ahead and how can this be countered or remedied. When will the new Majumdars, Roy Chaudharys and Sastris be born from?

I guess nationalist historians came at a time during British rule when such a narrative was important to have since we were a colonized people and they allowed us express our intrinsic nationhood through their works. 70 years down the line the need it seems for a nationalist narrative has gone down and now we have reached a stage of loathing ourselves. This left wing system is so cohesive (through citations, recommendations, referrals) that they maintain a strangelhold through their networks. How does one penetrate this universe from the outside?
In the 70s Communist hijacked the education ministry (probably as a part of their deal with Indira Gandhi) when Nurul Hasan was made education minister. Leftist then created institutes like ICHR which controlled purse strings for academical research and filled with people espousing the same ideology. They used this opportunity to fund only those academics who agreed with their position. So for instance take RS Sharma's Feudalism debate which single handedly changed the perception of medieval India as some sort of dark age on extremely flimsy ground with very thin arguments (Non Indian scholars not dependent on India grant like Andre Wink has infact completely ridiculed theroy of RS Sharma, the same person who is now eulogized as "Doyen of Indian history" and the same theory that has been accepted without any question or counter argument). RS Sharma as a head of ICHR then gave research grants to the scholars who agreed with his theory and elaborated it further. Ofcourse there wasn't any scope for disagreement in such situation. Not to mention this governments bodies had and still have complete hold over national universities and colleges. So there were nationalist historians and scholars but they didn't get any opportunity and hence they didn't flourish.

There are two ways out of this situation. The more noble and ideal way is complete depolitization of academic institutes. Lets the universities decide their syllabus and to whomever they want to give grant and so on. Let them teach whatever kind of history they want to teach and let students decide to choose the institution which teaches the history that they want to learn. Ultimately the university with highest standards will shine. And of course create plethora of new educational institutes with full autonomy. (The cut off mark of Delhi University is 100% not because of its excellence but because of horrible lack of educational institutes even in national capital region).

Ofcoure this is rather ideal solution. Nobody like to lessen their hold on academic institutes. Even if somehow current government will sacrifice their interests in order to give autonomy to educational institutes, whenever the Congress government as greedy, devoid of national interests and oriented to one family will come in power, it will certainly take it back to 1960s. Shifting JNU or even better sending all the leftist to Bastar (their Utopic world) will be nice thing to get rid of these shameless advocates of murderers and rapists. But ofcourse it is too far fatched. All one can do is expose them and their motives in such situation so that people can know their reality.
 

Joshua A

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
2,253
#9
Nazi Nationalism, as far as I know, was based on ethnic nationalism. It was based on Aryan race superiority, those who were blond hair, blue eyed and white were considered the pure blood and pure race and those which were not, especially Jews, were considered impure blood and impure race.

Hindutva nationalism is based on cultural nationalism. This means that if you are born in India, irrespective of which race, religion, caste, gender, sexuality you are, you are a Hindu. So you can be Hindu Anglo, Hindu Black, Hindu Muslim, Hindu Sikh, Hindu male, Hindu female, Hindu Brahmin, Hindu Dalit, Hindu gay, Hindu straight etc.

As long you accept you are living in a Hindu country, with a Hindu way of life, Hindu history and Hindu values.

Hinduism is officially declared by the Supreme Court of India not to be a religion. It is a geographical, historical and cultural identity of Indians.


Sounds almost identical to UK politics.
The magnitude is different. When an anarchist party takes over London, then tell me that they are "almost identical"

Anti-national = anti-government, depending on what the government decides of course. ‘Anti-national NGO’ – do you see how loose that definition is?
Organizations that promote anti national or anti government activities are taken out. Look at what happened in WACO in America.
 

Joshua A

Ad Honorem
Nov 2012
2,253
#10
UK does not have the same magnitude of divisive forces that India has. In UK we don't have an entire state of people waving the flags of a separate country, say Russia. Or we don't have groups of people who celebrate when terrorist attacks happen , say 7/7. Yes, in India, this happens. In Kashmir Islamist separatist forces wave the flag of Pakistan and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Islamists all over India celebrated, including in Universities in Delhi.

These are not your typical terrorist groups, these are university educated Muslim intellectuals who in the name of democracy promote disintegration of India. We have nothing even coming close to this kind of divisive politics in UK.
 
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