2016-11-02 15:07 #0 av: Tride

En artikel som jag fann på nätet - Qura digest - där indisk självkänsla och identitet diskuteras ingående och engagerat. Citat ur artikeln: "Because you see, having someone (in this case the colonialists) scream at you for some 200 years "YOU ARE BARBARIANS!" or "YOU ARE UNCIVILIZED!" can have a huge effect on the psyche." Jag anser att det är ett viktigt ämne. Kolonialtiden varade i Indien under ett par sekel. Under den tiden hann de brittiska inkräktarna med att åstadkomma en hel del skada på Indiens kultur, traditioner, tänkesätt och religion. Britterna överlämnade styret till en indisk regering 1947. Sedan dess har landet på olika sätt försökt att bygga upp sin politiska självständighet. Den indiska inhemska kulturen har också fått en annan, mer självklar plats. Diskussionerna fortsätter.



Indians to a large extent are not just deluded, but very confused as Bala Senthil Kumar's answer puts it. It is no more explicitly visible in some of the extreme interpretations of ancient Indian time periods which seem to suggest that Indians at that time (some 3000 years ago) had nuclear missiles, aircraft, submarines, and so on. We were busy performing modern versions of plastic surgery on each other, if you go by the claims of some people.


While drawing laughter and ridicule, such views are actually symptomatic of a very sad and unfortunate cultural evolution in the recent past that has rendered most of Indians having a very difficult time to associate themselves to the real Indian culture and history. Humans in every single country, culture, and land associate themselves to some origin stories using which they distinguish themselves and look towards for drawing some sort of inspiration and motivation. The Chinese have the stories of their mythological beings, and stories of their first king, the Yellow Emperor. The Americans have their founding fathers to whom they always keep taking their present identities and ideas and drawing legitimacy from doing so. India has her own ample share of such origin stories, but the problem here has been a complete confusion about what to accept. Because you see, having someone (in this case the colonialists) scream at you for some 200 years "YOU ARE BARBARIANS!" or "YOU ARE UNCIVILIZED!" can have a huge effect on the psyche.


The sociological identities carried by Indians were horribly twisted by the experiences during the colonial period, which instilled a very big inferiority complex among much of the Indians. Much of the native culture and traditions were treated as all garbage by the rulers. It would have been one thing for removing rightfully barbaric practices like Sati, but it was a completely another thing the way how the British in general treated much of the native cultures with scorn and disgust. Indians were people who had to be civilized from being a set of uncouth people. Nowhere is it more aptly visible than in The History of British India. It was almost a Bible for the EIC and the British in early periods when it came to understanding India (in a terribly wrong and unjust manner). It was authored by James Mill (father of John Stuart Mill, the famous utilitarian) in which he completely discounted anything Indians had. According to his interpretation we were superstitious, uncivilized, barbaric, uncultured people. This wasn't much of a surprise, because during the time of Mill, much of the view in the minds of the colonialists was that they were actually doing a social service by reforming a nation of such uncivilized barbarians! Imagine then how wide the impact would have been to have a bunch of pompous people from some far off island come and yell at you constantly for 2 centuries that nothing about you mattered and it was all crap and bull. Traditions and cultural practices didn't really matter to them as much as the preexisting institutional setup. No wonder then that on a national level there is always this constant soul searching where people try to find the river Saraswati (that most likely dried up hundreds of years ago), claim that Sanskrit was the mother of all languages, and so on. The common thread tying all such claims is that they all seem to instill a desperate need of wanting to assert Indian identities' superiority over others to cover the larger insecurity.


Another aspect tying to this almost pan-Indian behavior is the Partition. Pakistan was part of this country. Sindh was populated by Hindustani people, Hindus and Muslims alike. Punjab comprised of both the eastern and western halves it was divided in. So was Bengal. All of these were tied to the identity of being Indian. Afghans thought themselves as Indians, despite being part of another political realm, and were culturally very much a part of the broader Indian ethos. The Partition however saw the end of this. The creation of a fake identity based on a false claim that Pakistanis were different from their Indian brethren has continued to wreak havoc in their country. And the reactionary cultural push to base off the Indian identity as predominantly Hindu continues to create trouble every now and then. There is a strong cultural aversion among many people to dissociate their Indian-ness from its Islamic past. The history and the culture from the times of the Mughals, the Delhi Sultanates and other Islamic rulers are all discarded to create a false narrative that pits Hindus as victims suffering for some 1000 years under barbaric Islamic rulers. Muslims under this view are generally viewed as some automatons thinking nothing else but the conversion of all non Islamic people as Muslims. This narrative further creates troubles for many to accept the ground reality that no matter how hard they try to run from it, a very big influence on the ethos and identity of Indians has been from the fusion of Islamic, Persian, Turkic, Hindu, and other native cultures. 


The cultural confusion among Indians about who they are, and what makes them unique as a set of people, is a living and visible example of just how brutally traumatic and damaging the rule of the colonialists was. The EIC and the British Raj did a million times more damage than all those Central Asian plunderers did. Because the latter managed to destroy physical things, while the former destroyed the internal sense of being a Hindustani itself. Temples can be rebuilt very quickly, but not identities.

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