When will India get a strong foreign policy? – Gautam Sen

Dr. Gautam Sen“The Anglo-Americans, leave aside China, which is fully committed to the Pakistani goal of harming India, have little to gain from switching their support to India and effectively abandoning Pakistan. In turn, the West will have no value to Pakistan if it repudiates all support for its claim to Kashmir and suspends help to sustain its quest for some sort of military parity with India, which the acquisition of a nuclear arsenal has indeed substantially allowed. The West would then lose an ally that has shown little hesitation in doing its bidding, even though there has been a public display of various discords in the recent past.” – Dr Gautam Sen

Sushma SwarajIndians and their policy makers share a belief that they are ineffably decent people, who embody worthy moral values. This was clearly the basis for Nehru’s much-reviled, pompous self-righteousness. It was in fact a distorted legacy of the Gandhian syndrome of self-harm that assured partition of the worst kind imaginable. By and large, the good Indian took this unprecedented calamity in his stride even while its victims languished indefinitely in the paradise Nehru sought to inflict on a hapless nation. But Indians and their deluded rulers earnestly expected the world at large to note the solemn conviction pertaining to their essential goodness and behave with appropriate diligence towards their interests.

The real world predictably intruded very promptly and Indian expectations had to adjust to the harsh realities of a world indifferent to righteousness and thoroughly unpredictable. Hard experience forced India to accord greater priority to realistic behaviour that required self-defence in the shape of expensive weaponry, counter-intelligence, etc. But somewhere in the recesses of their psyche Indians never quite overcame the delusion that they would wake up one day to find the world had understood them and begun to engage with due regard.

The paradox is that in reality India only invites ridicule, contempt and even hatred abroad rather than the respect and affection it craves. Every single Indian neighbour espouses an admixture of these sentiments and the one to which is supposedly closest culturally harbours the greatest animus. Unfortunately, the upright Indian, preoccupied with reaping a harvest of crass material gratification, having lots of fun and generally self-absorbed, has not bothered to introspect. Every now and then Indians experience a rude shock, whether in the shape of the Kandahar hijack, aided by their very own estranged neighbouring cousins or 26/11, administered by their sworn enemy. But self-indulgence presides and everything is quickly forgotten.

An evaluation of some specific critical issues in the backdrop of Indian self-delusion and cupidity might provide insights into the Indian political predicament. It may be inferred that India has espoused the goal of economic and social development as paramount. In addition, dealing with its two adversarial neighbours has been a constant preoccupation, which, in fact, militates against the first goal. Both China and Pakistan seek to cut India down to size. It is an aspiration that has not diverged unduly from the entrenched British impulse to punish an India ruled by what they have always regarded as wily Hindus that dared expel them. The US soon subscribed to this view since India refused to kowtow with the great white imperial ruler of the earth, which also found its alleged proximity to the communist USSR insufferable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US-Pakistan_relationsThe Anglo-Americans immediately embraced Pakistan, which abandoned with alacrity the supposed political and religious rationale that had prompted partition. Instead, it eagerly seized the opportunity of becoming foot soldiers in the millennial struggle against ungodly communism. The outcome was the complete and enduring militarization of Pakistan and its transformation into an aggressive ghazi state, committed to warfare. The consequences of that fateful decision have since led to its veritable unfolding implosion. The pinnacle of Pakistan’s wholehearted commitment to the Anglo-American imperial cause, in the name of Islam of course, came in the 1980s and the US war to corner the USSR in Afghanistan. As a reward for its cooperation, investigations reveal the US discreetly helped Pakistan’s quest to best India by acquiring a nuclear arsenal. It was of course facilitated directly by unstinting help from its all-weather friend, China. The three cynical agents of godly moral purpose engaged in a crusade to undermine the ungodly USSR and its supposed friend, India.

The question that might be posed is what would be the rationale for the Anglo-Americans to now abandon Pakistan in favour of India. India has of course been arguing strenuously that Kashmir is a legitimate part of the Indian Union, while also tenaciously upholding legal provisions that simultaneously undermine that very claim! Its response to Pakistani terrorism has been wayward, at the very best, but it has also been warning plaintively that Pakistani terrorism against India will spill over and impact the West itself. It duly did so on 9/11 and elsewhere, from London to Madrid. There is now an earnest Indian hope that the West, namely the US, will use its enormous financial and military clout over Pakistan, as its principal supplier of weapons, to somehow restrain it. There is, as yet, no sign of such a gratifying finale for India.

However, the reason for this Indian disappointment is not far to seek. The Anglo-Americans, leave aside China, which is fully committed to the Pakistani goal of harming India, have little to gain from switching their support to India and effectively abandoning Pakistan. In turn, the West will have no value to Pakistan if it repudiates all support for its claim to Kashmir and suspends help to sustain its quest for some sort of military parity with India, which the acquisition of a nuclear arsenal has indeed substantially allowed. The West would then lose an ally that has shown little hesitation in doing its bidding, even though there has been a public display of various discords in the recent past. One suspects these were manufactured to shield Pakistan’s military dictators from domestic hostility for their supine conduct in allowing the US carte blanche in the region.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif is overshadowed by the army.Yet, Pakistan remains the only Muslim country with a serious army, which earlier protected US allies like King Hussein of Jordan. A military contingent, led by none other than the late President Zia ul-Haq, crushed a Palestinian revolt in what came to be known as Black September during 1970. It was Pakistani commandos who also rescued the reviled US-backed Saudi monarchy when the Grand Mosque was seized by religious zealots in 1979. Most significantly of all, Pakistan contributed hugely to the Afghan campaign, effectively instigating the retreat of the USSR from Afghanistan. The Afghan victory culminated in the historic triumph of the West in the Cold War. However, unpalatable it may be for self-important Indian bureaucrats and deluded Indian politicians, Pakistan’s usefulness to the West can hardly be doubted.

It should also be noted that the West does not actually hold the Pakistani government and establishment responsible for 9/11. In private, there is acknowledgment the catastrophe was partially due to forces unleashed by the historic Afghan campaign to dislodge the USSR from the country. In addition, Pakistan is cooperating exhaustively with the West to interdict further attacks on Western targets, if not others. In recent months, the usefulness of Jihadis from Pakistan has been rediscovered by the US, with a contingent, perhaps led by the Pakistani army itself, making its way to Syria to help overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

Pakistan, along with Turkey, has been the key third world allies of the West during the Cold War. Pakistan’s usefulness to Anglo-Americans political machination, especially in the Middle West, can hardly be denied. As a result, Pakistan has powerful allies in the US, whether it is the State Department, the CIA or the Pentagon, ready to argue its case. To quote the pithy raison d’être offered by one US President in another context: ‘they may be bastards, but they are our bastards’!

By contrast, if the US somehow compelled Pakistani authorities to cease terrorist activities against India the result can well be surmised. From the point of the view of the US, it would entail the loss of a substantial source of leverage over India if such an unlikely goal was attained. At present, fear of conflagration on its western border is a key facet in India’s calculus of feasible policy options. In the aftermath of the end of the Cold War, India views with trepidation open hostilities with Pakistan since Chinese intervention may be in prospect, without the likelihood of a Russian response to deter the latter. Should this constraint on policy options disappear, India would have less need of US goodwill, for example, even in the climactic situation of a nuclear standoff with Pakistan, when US intervention would be invaluable.

Map of secret terrorist training camps in PakistanThe end of Indo-Pak hostility, which the cessation of terror against India would effectively imply, would transform Indian defence options. It would free anything up to 600,000 troops as well as other critical defence assets, for use on its northern border. It would, in other words, be a transformative moment for India. India would gain a degree of policy autonomy it has not possessed since independence. Its dependence on others, who may have helped achieved this highly advantageous outcome, would, paradoxically, also be far less. It should be noted that the legion of ignorant amateurs in India, pronouncing endlessly on peace with Pakistan and settlement with China, have understood little. These two conflicts are inseparably interlinked for India. Neither adversary is likely to jeopardise the core interests of their declared ‘all-weather’ ally by negotiating a separate settlement with India that would leave the other completely exposed!

India has two urgent goals with respect to China and their achievement through the intercession of the West, namely the US, is also problematic. The first is to maintain the northern LAC status quo and second, to curb China outsourcing nuclear deterrence to Pakistan. However, it should be noted that China regards India as one of the two countries with which it will need to settle accounts to emerge as the major player in Asia and attempt equalling the US in the global arena eventually. It is unclear what India’s now obdurate conviction that the US needs it, because of changing geopolitical conditions, means for its modest goals of security on the Indo-Chinese LAC and a restraining influence over Pakistan’s rapidly growing nuclear arsenal.

The US calculus of how India might be useful, in the event of tensions with China and as a source of Chinese restraint, is not necessarily co-terminus with the two Indian goals identified above. In fact, there is little evidence that Chinese incursions into the Indian side of the LAC have been influenced by US grand strategy in Asia. However, it might be contended there would be major diplomatic fallout over serious Chinese adventurism along the border with India. Of course the US is seeking a measure of economic and military collaboration to reinforce India’s defence capability and its value should be acknowledged. But they do not decisively assist India’s immediate twin concerns, with Sino-Pak nuclear collaboration only continuing to deepen.

Perhaps India needs to consider the unsentimental reality of the Asian predicament that has emerged with the rise of a China determined to achieve its goals, by force if necessary. Countries in South East, like Vietnam, as well as the Philippines and indeed Japan, are not in a position to help India in the immediate future in the event of a dramatic denouement. Japan’s interests have converged with India’s and it has a strong incentive to become a stakeholder in India’s economic advance. However, that will require a decade or more and a serious Indian economic policy framework that its political class has hitherto proved incapable of implementing. Much more alarming is the highly plausible self-interested outcome of a Sino-US condominium in Asia than direct military encounter in Asia, which will suit neither. In negotiating such an overall settlement, the US will likely accede to two non-negotiable Chinese goals, the first pertaining to Taiwan and the second, securing unassailable control over Tibet, which may require border adjustments disfavouring India.

Obama, Clinton & KerryThe sheer cynicism of US foreign policy cannot escape cursory observation of its shocking activities in the contemporary Middle East. It is prepared to destroy entire countries, indeed civilisations, to achieve shifting targets. Knowledge of the full history of the 1962 Indo-China border war and the international context continues to elude. Nehru’s dislike of the armed forces and inept interference, despite zero knowledge of military affairs and frequent threats by Defence Minister, Krishna Menon to court martial officers who dissented from him, may have instigated disloyalty within it.

It may be hazarded that some of India’s most senior army officers and the IB chief were also suspicious of Nehru’s perceived attachment to communist hyperbole and were secretly in touch with Anglo-American governments. These Indian officers had achieved career successes during the British era, serving the colonial power faithfully and had not defected to the INA! They also evidently espoused sympathy for the Cold War Western response against the Soviet Union. The US had been meeting Chinese representatives in Warsaw since the mid-50s and was aware of Sino-Soviet differences and could have also known in advance of China’s intention to attack India. It may have been anticipated by parties to the possible conspiracy, including disloyal senior Indian military officers, that a military encounter with China would bounce India out of the Soviet camp and into the arms of the West. The US had already concluded that Indian behaviour indicated fealty to the despised Soviet camp.

On the issue of India’s unfulfilled aspirations of economic advance and social transformation, the idea that these goals will be actively aided by the outside world is another chimera of the ideological detritus of empire. Nothing could be further from the truth, Ricardo, Hecksher-Ohlin, Samuelson, et. al. notwithstanding. The real-world agents of the international economy, mostly operating from New York and London, are pitiless marauders. Their rapacious, scorched earth misconduct worldwide has apparently been missed by India’s comprador class. Admittedly, these insatiable agents, wallowing in Pharaonic wealth, do not today dispatch armed levies to seize, in an older tradition, though that too happens more often than understood. They will do nothing for India that does not entail gargantuan returns for themselves. They will also subvert India, much as the international retail giants, being welcomed by their paid local Indian agents, are poised to do.

India will surely need foreign capital, but only a strong and ruthless Indian state can bend them to India’s national purposes. The competence to do so has been singularly lacking in an India in the thrall of a third-rate media, a second rate bureaucracy and an essentially self-seeking political class. Rascals abound in every Indian Elephant in the Living Roomnook and cranny, especially in the benighted city that is its capital. They are the overweening presence in the shape of the elephant in the living room, which needs to have its tusks, embedded in Indian body politic, extracted unceremoniously. The performance of the exceptional recent political dispensation, which came to power in May this year and assured the nation of its determination defend India’s people, is still to unfold. – India Facts, 2July 2014

» Dr. Gautam Sen taught international political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Alexander vs Porus: Beyond the fog of war – Rakesh Krishnan Simha

Rakesh Krishnan Simha“At the Battle of Hydaspes, the Macedonians realised they were dealing with an enemy of uncommon valour. Sensing defeat they called for a truce, which Porus accepted. The Indian king struck a bargain – in return for Ambhi’s territories, which would secure his frontiers, Porus would assist the Macedonians in leaving India safely.” – Rakesh Krishnan Simha

Alexander the GreatMarshal Gregory Zhukov, the legendary Russian commander, said the Macedonians had suffered a catastrophic defeat in India. In the final part of this analysis, fact and fiction are separated.

After defeating Persia in the year 334 BCE, Alexander of Macedon was irresistibly drawn towards the great Indian landmass. However, the Persians warned him the country was no easy target; that several famous conquerors had fallen at the gates of India.

The Persians told him how their greatest king, Cyrus, who had conquered much of the civilised world, had been killed in a battle with Indian soldiers exactly two centuries before Alexander.

And in an earlier antiquity, the Assyrian queen Semiramis, who had crossed the Indus with 400,000 highly trained troops, escaped with just 20 troops, the rest being slaughtered by the Indians.

In his book, Foreign Influence on Ancient India, Krishna Chandra Sagar says 150 years before Alexander, Indian archers and cavalry formed a significant component of the Persian army and played a key role in subduing Thebes in central Greece.

Alexander, however, knew no fear. More than anything else, he wanted to invade India. It would prove to be a strategic blunder.

Marshal Georgy ZhukovZhukov’s take

“Following Alexander’s failure to gain a position in India and the defeat of his successor Seleucus Nikator, relationships between the Indians and the Greeks and the Romans later, was mainly through trade and diplomacy. Also the Greeks and other ancient peoples did not see themselves as in any way superior, only different.”

This statement by Russia’s Marshal Gregory Zhukov on the Macedonian invasion of India in 326 BCE is significant because unlike the prejudiced colonial and Western historians, the Greeks and later Romans viewed Indians differently. For instance, Arrian writes in Alexander Anabasis that the Indians were the noblest among all Asians.

In fact, Arrian and other Greeks say the Indians were relentless in their attacks on the invaders. They say if the people of Punjab and Sindh were fierce, then in the eastern part of India “the men were superior in stature and courage”.

All this is glossed over by Western historians, in whose view the one victory over king Porus amounted to the “conquest of India”. But the Greeks made no such claim.

Battle of Hydaspes – Hardest ever

Greek contemporary writers describe the Battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum) as the hardest fought of all Alexander’s battles. Frank Lee Holt, a professor of ancient history at the University of Houston, writes in his book, Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions: “The only reference in Arrian’s history to a victory celebration by Alexander’s army was after the battle with Porus.”

Alexander’s army did not indulge in celebrations after the Battle of Gaugamela where they defeated 200,000 Persians. No wild festivities were announced after the Battle of Issus where they defeated a mixed force of Persian cavalry and Greek mercenaries.

The fact they celebrated after the Battle of Hydaspes suggests they considered themselves extremely lucky to survive after the clash with the Hindu army, with its elephant corps.

King Porus (Puru) & Alexander at the Battle of Hydaspes (Jhelum)If Porus lost, why reward him?

According to the Greeks, Alexander was apparently so impressed by Porus he gave back his kingdom plus the territories of king Ambhi of Taxila who had fought alongside the Macedonians.

This is counter-intuitive  Ambhi had become Alexander’s ally on the condition he would be given Porus’ kingdom. So why reward the enemy, whose army had just mauled the Macedonians?

The only possible answer is at the Battle of Hydaspes, the Macedonians realised they were dealing with an enemy of uncommon valour. Sensing defeat they called for a truce, which Porus accepted. The Indian king struck a bargain – in return for Ambhi’s territories, which would secure his frontiers, Porus would assist the Macedonians in leaving India safely.

Alexander’s post-Hydaspes charitable behaviour, as per Greek accounts, is uncharacteristic and unlikely. For, in battles before and after, he massacred everyone in the cities he subdued.

Why pay off a vassal?

Before the battle, Alexander gave king Ambhi 1000 talents (25,000 kilos) of gold for fighting alongside the Macedonians. The only explanation is Ambhi was driving a hard bargain. He knew the rattled Macedonian army was seeking to quickly exit India. He thought he could use the Macedonians to remove his rival Porus. However, Porus’ decision to offer Alexander combat checkmated those plans.

Porus's elephant cavalry.Tired of fighting: Lame excuse

Greek sources say Alexander retreated from India because his soldiers were weary, homesick and close to mutiny. Imagine if German soldiers had told Hitler they were tired of fighting? They would have been summarily shot. In Alexander’s time, the punishment was crucifixion.

The Macedonian army had a system of rotation where large batches of veteran soldiers were released to return home (with sufficient gold and slaves). In their place, fresh troops eagerly poured in from Europe.

If they were weary of constant warring, it is inexplicable why these soldiers chose to fight their way through obstinately hostile Indian territories. The homesick soldiers would have preferred the garrisoned northwestern route they took while coming in. Why would a brilliant commander subject himself and his troops to further violence when all they wanted was a peaceful passage home?

Clearly, the Macedonians were in a mess and not thinking straight. Not the sign of a victorious army.

Alexander's route into India and out again.Need for glory

David J. Lonsdale, a lecturer in Strategic Studies at the University of Hull, writes: “Alexander’s invasion of India and Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 both appear reckless and unnecessary from a strategic perspective. Therefore, perhaps they can both be explained by the sheer naked ambition of the two commanders.”

Alexander’s tragedy was he was in a Catch-22 situation. The Macedonians and Greeks welcomed the wealth from the conquered lands, but the man who ensured this flow was persona non grata.

In Greek eyes a Macedonian was hardly an equal. The Greeks hated Alexander for sacking their cities and enslaving their people. In his own country, he was an outsider for being half-Albanian, from his mother’s side. The common people suspected him of murdering his father.

So in order to retain the loyalty of his troops, Alexander had to wage constant war while also taking great personal risks in battle. For, he could not be seen as weak, let alone beaten.

A few years before the Indian campaign, a large part of the Macedonian army was massacred by the [Indo-]Scythians (Hindu StraboShakas, the Buddha’s clansmen) at Polytimetus, present day Tajikistan. Alexander warned his surviving troops not to discuss the massacre with other soldiers.

Strabo, the Greek historian wrote: “Generally speaking, the men who have written on the affairs of India were a set of liars…. Of this we became the more convinced whilst writing the history of Alexander.” – Russia & India Report, 3 June 2013

» Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a New Zealand-based writer. According to him the only inspiration he needs is outrage – when he sees propaganda masquerading as journalism. He, therefore, writes on stuff the media distorts, misses or ignores. He can be contacted on rakeshmail@gmail.com

Indian war elephant against Alexander’s troops (1685).

See also

Time to back the anti-Wahhabi tide – M.D. Nalapat

M.D. Nalapat“The backing away by the ordinary Muslim from the tide of Wahhabism is very much in the global interest. It is unfortunate that the West is peddling nonsensical nostrums to its friends in Muslim-majority countries, advising them to empower extremists in the name of inclusive governance. Groups that misuse religion for political motives and favour restrictive codes of human behaviour so as to promote a monochrome ideal, are the enemies of democracy and ought never to be encouraged.” – Prof. M. D. Nalapat

Hitler & GoeringIn 1933, German President Paul von Hindenburg was advised by Franz von Papen and others that the best way to deal with the unrest in Germany caused by economic catastrophe was to bring the NSDAP (commonly known as the Nazi Party) into the government, with Adolf Hitler as Chancellor. That the ideology of the NSDAP was unalterably opposed to democracy, and that the Nazis were only using the perquisites of elected office to strengthen themselves sufficiently was hardly a secret. The strategy had been revealed not only in the speeches of Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goering and Hitler himself but repeated several times in commentaries in the party media. None of this was allowed to stand in the way of inducting Hitler and his party into the portals of power. The consequences of that decision need no retelling.

If U.S. President Barack Obama were to follow the advice given by his administration to Hamid Karzai, General El-Sissi and other presumed allies of the U.S., Obama himself would work towards ensuring that his own team – upto the level of the Vice-President – would include members of the Tea Party, and even a sprinkling of those whose ideological home is the Ku Klux Klan. In the years immediately preceding independence from the British in 1947, India’s Congress Party was advised by Lord Wavell, then Viceroy, to include Muslim League notables in the cabinet headed by Jawaharlal Nehru. Once these individuals entered the government, they began to work zealously in sabotaging its coherence and its efficacy.

Mullah OmarIn like fashion, to involve the Taliban in the formal process of running the government of Afghanistan would be to doom the Afghan government and state into chaos and incoherence. The ideology of the Taliban is explicit on the aims of that formation, and those subscribing to such a viewpoint would be unwilling – and indeed unfit – to work alongside representatives from the overwhelming majority of moderate Afghans who, especially after the events of 1996-2003, detest and fear the Taliban. However, this has not prevented the Obama administration from seeking to do a Hindenburg in that country by asking for the entry, into governance, of a group explicitly committed to the overthrow of the very system that Washington believes will be strengthened by its induction. In the case of Egypt as well, the Obama administration has joined forces with the EU, those other supporters of the doctrine of ‘taming’ extremes by giving them access to power.

In particular, across the Middle East, the Wahhabi ideology which is at the core of the various offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood, has ensured that such groups begin to alarm the rest of society by their pursuit of a sectarian and exclusivist agenda. The only difference between Egypt and Turkey is that Mohamed Morsi sought to speed up what Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan implemented in slow motion. The direction in both has been the same: a consistent push towards a societal order in conformity with the theology that is the bedrock of the movement, where its practitioners have special access to the Almighty, and which is suffused with dogma and with methods incompatible with democratic functioning. The trajectories followed in Turkey, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia show the consequences of empowering groups that have a vision which can only lead to the slow – or rapid – stifling of genuine democracy. With Egypt, the attempted transition was rapid, as the Brotherhood saw itself as immune from the military because of the support it received not only from regional financial powerhouses such as Qatar but from the U.S. and the EU as well.

Muhammad ibn Abd al-WahhabSince 1992, I have argued that the alliance between the West and Wahhabism posed a severe security risk to not just the West but to the Muslim world – in that it enabled Wahhabism to replace more tolerant strains of the Sunni branch of Islam. Across the globe, the awesome money power of what may be called ‘Wahhabi International’ has resulted in the capture or building of innumerable houses of worship across the secular world. More ominously, it has resulted in a hardening of sermons in such places of worship and other institutions, and to Wahhabism replacing the tolerant strains of the faith as the primary motif in religious literature and teaching.

The Shia branch of the faith has suffered its own Wahhabization, thanks to the doctrine propounded by Iran’s Imam Khomeini, who sought to replace orthodox Shia schools of theology with his own rigid interpretation of the texts the way Abdul Wahab did three centuries ago in the case of the Sunni version of the faith. This twin radicalisation of what is essentially a syncretic and tolerant faith has had devastating social and geopolitical consequences, which is why it is incomprehensible why the West continues to believe that Wahabbism can be moderated and rendered a geopolitical asset.

The reality is that the core teachings of the faith make it almost impossible for convinced Wahhabis to carry out the adjustments needed to find common ground with others. Their compromises reflect a tactical measure designed to gain time in order to secure the undiluted Wahabbi version at a later date. Such a mindset is why the entry of Wahhabis into the structures of governance is fraught with risk. To those who argue that the Qatari and Saudi royal families prove that Wahhabis can be trusted with the management of a state, it needs to be pointed out that neither the Qatari nor the Saudi royals – or at least the ruling groups within them – subscribe to Wahhabi ideology in practice. Their lifestyles and practices are incompatible with Wahhabism. However, fearful of the recurrence of a 1979 situation, both the Qatari as well as the Saudi royals have empowered Wahhabi Mohammed Badie is the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhoodgroups in a manner that threatens their existence.

That the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is incompatible with the preservation of royal rule within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is obvious. Should Brotherhood elements within the GCC ever gain the traction needed to do an (2011) Egypt or Tunisia in the GCC, they would do so with despatch. This is why the Qatari royals backing for the Brotherhood has within it the seeds of the self-destruction of their dynasty.

A GCC leader who has understood the danger that the Muslim Brotherhood represents is King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who has sought to change the ethos of his country in a way not attempted since 1979. Very silently, he has diluted the Wahabbist orientation of administrative structures and relaxed restrictions previously enforced by religious police. Hopefully, this reversal of the post-1979 Al-Saud policy of buying off Wahhabi groups is being rolled back by the present monarch.

However, whatever fall in funding to Wahhabi International taking place as a consequence of King Abdullah, is being more than compensated by the rulers of Qatar – which believes that it can win over Wahhabis through cheque book diplomacy. Across the Middle East and recently in other locations as well, Muslim Brotherhood offshoots are being diplomatically and financially Egyptians protest against the Muslim Brotherhood.backed by Qatar, thereby strengthening such groups. The overwhelming majority of Muslims across the globe are no different in their wants and worldview from Christians, Jews, Buddhists or Hindus, and thus an attempted Wahhabization of society – camouflaged or overt – is being resisted. In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and elsewhere, there have been mass protests against the Wahhabis and their political and NGO offshoots. Such a movement against the extremism which Wahhabism represents is a return to the true spirit of Islam.

The backing away by the ordinary Muslim from the tide of Wahhabism is very much in the global interest. It is unfortunate that the West is peddling nonsensical nostrums to its friends in Muslim-majority countries, advising them to empower extremists in the name of inclusive governance. Groups that misuse religion for political motives and favour restrictive codes of human behaviour so as to promote a monochrome ideal, are the enemies of democracy and ought never to be encouraged.

If Afghanistan is to be stable, the Taliban must have no place in it, and this is a future that is possible, given the fact that the Pashtuns are at the core as moderate as Tajiks or Uzbeks. Rather than repeat in locations such as Syria the Brzezinski-Casey strategy of arming and training extremists, the West needs to adopt a hands-off approach to what is going to be a decade of Obama and his delinquent friends Karzai and Sharif.societal churning, first within the Middle East and later in Muslim societies across the globe.

Asking the Egyptian authorities to bring back the Muslim Brotherhood into the structures of governance is to take away any chance of stability or the winning back of the traditions of a great faith from first the Wahabbis and later the Khomeinists. The mistake made by Hindenburg in 1933 should not be repeated. – Gateway House, 8 August 2013

» M. D. Nalapat is vice-chair of Manipal Advanced Research Group and UNESCO peace chair, and professor of geopolitics at Manipal University, India. This article was written exclusively for Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations.

What Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus – Stephen Prothero

Prof. Reza Aslan

Lauren GreenDr. Reza Aslan is an Iranian-American writer and scholar of religions. He is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, a Research Associate at the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, and a contributing editor for The Daily Beast. His books include the international bestseller No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into 13 languages, and Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, which offers an interpretation of the life and mission of the historical Jesus.

On 26 July 2013, Aslan was interviewed on … a Fox News webcast by anchor Lauren Green about his book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Green was “unsatisfied with Aslan’s credentials,” and she pressed Aslan with a “but-why-would-a-Muslim-write-about-Jesus line of questioning.” The interview lasted about ten minutes and focused “on Aslan’s background more than the actual contents of the book.”

In the end, Green claimed that “Aslan had somehow misled readers by not disclosing his religion”, whereupon he pointed out that his personal religious faith “is discussed on page two of his book.”

The video clip of the interview went viral within days and the book, which was up to that point selling “steadily”, appeared at the 4th place on the New York Times print hardcover best-seller list. By late July 2013, it was topping the U.S. best-seller list of Amazon. – Wikipedia, 6 August 2013


Stephen ProtheroWhat Reza Aslan actually says about Jesus – Stephen Prothero

As you might have heard, Lauren Green at Fox didn’t do a very good job interviewing Reza Aslan on his new book about the historical Jesus.

Instead of asking him about “Zealot,” she asked him why, as a Muslim, he would presume to write a book about Jesus. He responded by citing (and re-citing) his academic credentials.

The interview went viral, and Aslan went to No. 1 on Amazon.com (ahead of J. K. Rowling).

But what does the book actually say? Here are seven of Aslan’s key arguments in “Zealot”:

1. Jesus was a violent revolutionary

Many scholars have argued that Jesus was a political figure. After all, he was crucified by Rome, and crucifixion was at the time a punishment for political offenses. But these scholars often claim, as John Dominic Crossan did in “Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography,” that Jesus was a nonviolent revolutionary.

Aslan portrays Jesus as a man of war who worshiped the “blood-spattered God of Abraham, and Moses, and Jacob, and Joshua” and who knew full well that “God’s sovereignty could not be established except through force.”

2. Jesus’ kingdom was worldly

In the Gospel of John, Jesus famously says, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Aslan begs to differ. Jesus’ kingdom was neither purely nor predominantly spiritual. He preached “a physical and present kingdom: a real kingdom, with an actual king that was about to be established on earth.”

3. Jesus revolted against Roman and Jewish authorities

Jesus didn’t just take on Rome. He took on Jewish authorities, in particular those who ran the Jerusalem Temple.

“There can be no doubt,” writes Aslan, “that Jesus’s main antagonist in the gospels is neither the distant emperor in Rome nor his heathen officials in Judea. It is the high priest Caiaphas, who will become the main instigator of the plot to execute Jesus precisely because of the threat he posed to the Temple’s authority.”

4. Palm Sunday is the key moment in the Jesus story

Every Jesus biographer has a key moment in the life of Jesus when his essence is revealed. For Aslan, that moment comes when Jesus mounts a donkey and rides into Jerusalem.

In this celebration, commemorated in the Christian world every year on Palm Sunday, Jesus is not demonstrating his humility. Instead, he is announcing his kingship.

The “unmistakeable” message of this scene, according to Aslan, is that “the long-awaited messiah — the true King of the Jews — has come to free Israel from its bondage.”

5. The early church turned Jesus into a pacifist preaching a spiritual kingdom

In 66-73 CE, a bloody Jewish revolt against Rome left Jerusalem in ruins and chastened the early Christians, who reinvented Jesus as an apolitical figure in order to make nice with Rome.

Those who wrote of Jesus in this way (Paul included) never met the man, and, in Aslan’s view, they badly mischaracterized him, turning “their messiah from a fierce Jewish nationalist into a pacifistic preacher of good works whose kingdom was not of this world.”

6. The idea that Jesus was God also originated with the early church

As a Jew, Aslan observes, Jesus would have rebelled against any notion that God is incarnated in human flesh.

Therefore, the elevation of Jesus to divinity must have come after his crucifixion, at the hands of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians who “transformed Jesus from a revolutionary zealot to a Romanized demigod.” *

* [Jesus was raised from the position of mortal prophet to that of immortal God by an ecclesiastical vote of 218 for, 2 against diefication at the Council of Nicea called by Emperor Constantine in 325 CE. The bishops who said nay were from Libya and were soon assassinated. Constantine then sanctioned the confiscation and destruction of all works that challenged "orthodox" Christian teaching. Five years later he commissioned and financed new editions of the Bible, and as there were no longer any original documents to work from---Emperor Diocletian had destroyed most Christian writings in 303 CE---the bishops, intent on promoting the Pauline salvation cult in their own interest, were free to revise, edit, and rewrite the Bible in accordance with their own tenets. -- IS]

7.  The Bible isn’t to be believed (as history)

In “Zealot,” Aslan repeatedly refers to passages in the New Testament as “preposterous,” “fanciful,” “obviously contrived,” “riddled with the most basic errors,” “simply ridiculous,” and “absurd to the point of comedy.”

Here the Bible is a source for data about Jesus’s life, but that data must be carefully sifted through a scholarly lens, and in particular through the socioeconomic realities of life in the ancient Mediterranean at the time of Jesus.

At least as Aslan sees it, Jesus probably didn’t tell his followers to turn the other cheek. He probably did say, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but the sword” (Matthew 10:34). – CNN Belief Blog, 31 July 2013

Angry Jesus drives the vendors out of the temple. According to Dr. Aslan, this is a key moment in the life of zealot Jesus.

Jesus driving the merchants and money changers from the Temple in Jerusalem: According to Dr. Aslan, this event in the life of Jesus the Zealot reveals his true nature as a violent revolutionary.

Jesus in India: The myth of the lost years – D.M. Murdock

D. M. Murdock“Proponents of the Jesus-in-India theory hold up a number of other texts and artifacts they maintain “prove” not only Jesus’s existence on Earth but also his presence in India. When such texts and artifacts are closely examined, they serve as no evidence at all, except of priestcraft. With one or two possible exceptions originating to a few centuries earlier, the Eastern texts regarding “Issa” seem to be late writings, some dating to the 15th and 18th centuries, based on traditions, not eyewitness accounts. Some of the “documents” are obviously fictitious, and others are downright ridiculous, such as the Bhavishya Mahapurana. A number of these texts merely relate the basic gospel story with embellishments depending on what the storyteller is attempting to accomplish.” – D.M. Murdock

Jesus as a yogi in IndiaOver the centuries, the claim has repeatedly been made that Jesus Christ not only walked the earth but also spent his early and post-crucifixion years in a variety of places, including Egypt, India, Great Britain, Japan and America. Indeed, traditions maintain that Jesus, the great godman of the West, lived, learned, loved and died in such places. Popular modern literature also purports that Jesus sired children, who then became the ancestors of various royal families of Europe, including France and/or elsewhere, depending on the author.

The allegation of Christ being a kingly progenitor is extremely convenient and useful for European royal families, obviously. Unfortunately for the European claimants, however, India also has a tradition that Jesus went there and likewise fathered children. So too does Shingo, Japan, allege that Jesus ended up there after the crucifixion, having children with a Japanese wife. Other tales depict Jesus “walking the Americas” or bopping about Glastonbury, England, with his “uncle,” Joseph of Arimathea. Not all of these tales can be true, obviously, unless Jesus is polymorphous and phantasmagoric, a perspective that in reality represents that of the mythologist or mythicist. To wit, regardless of these fables, or, rather, because of them, the most reasonable conclusion regarding Jesus and where he may or may not have been is that he is a mythical character, not a historical personage who trotted the globe.

Nicolas NotovichThe Groovy Guru

According to legend, Jesus, the great Jewish sage, spent his “lost years,” from between the ages of around 12 to 28 or 30, in India, where, per another tradition, he also escaped after surviving the crucifixion. The Jesus-was-a-guru tale was popularized over a century ago by the Russian traveller Nicholas Notovitch. Notovitch asserted that in 1887, while at the secluded Hemis or Himis monastery in Ladakh/Tibet, he was shown a manuscript which discussed the “unknown life” of Jesus, or “Issa,” as he was supposedly called in the East. This “Issa” text, translated for Notovitch from Tibetan by a monk/lama, alleged that during his “lost years” Jesus was educated by yogis in India, Nepal and “the Himalaya Mountains.”

Stating that he felt the manuscript to be “true and genuine,” Notovich maintained its contents were written “immediately after the Resurrection,” while the manuscript itself purportedly dated from the third century of the Common Era. Notovitch related that the “two manuscripts” he was shown at Himis were “compiled from diverse copies written in the Thibetan tongue, translated from rolls belonging to the Lassa library and brought from India, Nepal, and Maghada 200 years after Christ.” (Notovitch, 44)

Notovitch’s story was challenged by a number of people, which served to popularize it further. Noted Sanskrit scholar Max Müller came down hard on Notovitch, concluding that either the Russian had never gone to Tibet in the first place, and had concocted the Jesus story, or that waggish Buddhist monks had played a trick on Notovitch, as Indian priests had done in a notorious instance concerning the Asiatic Research Society’s Colonel Wilford. Others subsequently journeyed to Himis/Hemis and witnessed repeated denial by the lamas that Notovitch had ever been there or that any such manuscript existed. In 1922, Indian scholar and swami Abhedananda eventually determined for himself by visiting Himis, gaining the confidence of the lamas and having the manuscript revealed to him. Other visitors to Himis, such as mystic Nicholas Roerich, verified the same story. Aspects of Notovitch’s story checked out, and he apparently did indeed stay at Himis and was shown a manuscript relating to “Issa.”

Notovitch claimed that Indian merchants brought the account of “Jesus” to Himis, and that they had actually witnessed the crucifixion. Indeed, the text begins with “This is what is related on this subject by the merchants who come from Israel,” reflecting not that “Jesus” lived in India but that the Jesus tradition was brought to India and Tibet. (Notovitch, 32) Notovitch’s text also did not state that Jesus was specifically at Himis: In fact, the lama stated that the Issa scrolls “were brought from India to Nepal, and from Nepal to Thibet.” Yet, upon returning to Himis through later visitors, the story eventually became morphed into “Your Jesus was here,” meaning at Himis itself. The “one book” or “two manuscripts” became “three books,” which were displayed for the later visitors, with the implication that there was more to the tale.

Hemis Gompa in LadakhAlthough subsequent visitors were presented such texts, none but Nicholas Roerich’s son, George, could read them. By his translation, Roerich was evidently shown the same text as Notovitch. Thus, it appears that there was only one text at Himis, and that it did not state that Issa himself was ever at the monastery. Furthermore, that one text is based on hearsay provided by passing merchants and does not at all represent an “eyewitness” account of “Jesus” in India and Tibet, although the impression is given that this and other texts do constitute such records.

Also, Notovitch asked if “Issa” was reputed to be a saint, and was informed that “the people ignore his very existence” and that the lamas who have studied the scrolls “alone know of him.” These remarks are a far cry from Roerich’s claim that the tale of “Christ” in India and other parts of Asia was to be found widespread. They also contradict the Tibetan text’s own assertion that Issa’s “fame spread everywhere” and that Persia and surrounding countries “resounded with prophecies” of Issa, thus causing the Persian priesthood to be terrified of him. This latter element sounds like typical mythmaking, especially since there were similar prophecies of godmen for centuries, if not millennia, prior to Christ’s purported advent, particularly in India.

Moreover, the “originals” of the scrolls housed at the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, were composed in Pali, while the Himis library contained one copy in Tibetan. Yet, the Tibetan alphabet was developed by the king who “reigned in the days of Mohammed”; hence, nothing could have been written in Tibetan prior to the 7th century. Although older texts were composed in Sanskrit or Pali, it is clear that the actual physical manuscript revealed to Notovitch could not have existed before the 7th century. In fact, it would appear that very few Tibetan texts date to before the 9th century. In any event, the manuscript itself certainly did not date from the third century, although it could represent tradition transmitted over the centuries.

While Notovitch claimed the Issa story dated to shortly after “the Resurrection,” in it there is no mention of the resurrection, and the tale ends with Issa’s death. In this regard, the text depicts the “Jews,” whom it calls “Israelites,” in a favorable light, and is “the only [manuscript] ever to charge the Romans ["pagans"] solely for Jesus’ execution.” Unlike others, this account does not have Jesus being resuscitated and then returning to India, to father children and live a long life.

Notovitch’s modern editor, Frank Muccie, relates that the manuscript states, “Pilate is responsible for removing Jesus’ body from the tomb,” noting that this development somehow does not “mean the resurrection hope is invalid.” He then says:

“By the third century A.D., there were no fewer than 25 different versions of Jesus’ death and resurrection! Some have him not being put to death at all, some have him revived back to life, and some have Jesus living on to old age and dying in Egypt!” (Notovitch, 6)

Obviously, not all of these 25 or more accounts can be “true and genuine,” and such a development casts doubt on the historicity of one and all.

Rozabal TombThe Rozabal Tomb

Moreover, it is interesting that Notovitch spent six days in the “Vale of Kashmir,” in its capital, Srinagar, “city of the sun,” where the purported tomb of “Jesus,” the wandering prophet Yuz Asaf, is shown to tourists. Yet, the Russian traveller apparently never heard of the tomb, known as the “Roza Bal” or “Rauzabal” shrine, as he does not mention it in his writings concerning the Tibetan text, where its inclusion certainly would have been judicious in demonstrating that Jesus lived in India! Perhaps, however, as a believing Christian Notovitch ignored this tale, much as the devout do today and much as skeptics may do with other fables concerning Christ.

Possessing the priestly touch of sculpted footprints “with nail marks” over the grave, the Roza Bal shrine may seem convincing to the uninitiated, who are unaware of the world’s well-developed priestcraft. This “artifact” is another in a long line of so-called relics, like the 20+ shrouds or the multiple foreskins of Christ. In reality, there were many “footprints of the gods” in ancient times–and a number of Indian gods are depicted with nail holes in their feet.

Also, “Yuz Asaf” is not equivalent to “Jesus” but to “Joseph,” which was often a title of a priest and not a name. In fact, Eastern scholars such as Dr. S. Radhakrishnan state that the name “Joseph” or “Joasaph” is “derived from Bodhisattva, the technical name for one destined to obtain the dignity of a Buddha.” (Prajnanananda, 107) Thus, this tomb of a Bodhisattva could belong to any of thousands of such holy men. In like regard, the purported graves of “Jesus” and “his brother” in Japan are in reality those of a 16th-century Christian missionary and his brother.

The legends regarding Jesus’s tomb in Srinagar, and that of the Virgin Mary in Kashgar, are apparently of Islamic origin, emanating largely from the “heretical” Ahmadiyya sect. Such a creation would serve a couple of purposes: 1. That, as asserted in the Koran, Jesus was not the “son of God” but a mortal prophet, whose body was buried in Kashmir; and 2. that some presumably Moslem people are his descendants.

Proponents of the Jesus-in-India theory hold up a number of other texts and artifacts they maintain “prove” not only Jesus’s existence on Earth but also his presence in India. When such texts and artifacts are closely examined, they serve as no evidence at all, except of priestcraft. With one or two possible exceptions originating to a few centuries earlier, the Eastern texts regarding “Issa” seem to be late writings, some dating to the 15th and 18th centuries, based on traditions, not eyewitness accounts. Some of the “documents” are obviously fictitious, and others are downright ridiculous, such as the Bhavishya Mahapurana. A number of these texts merely relate the basic gospel story with embellishments depending on what the storyteller is attempting to accomplish.

Tibetan lama with scroll.Buddhist Propaganda or Christian Proselytizing?

Although some of the writings appear to be of Hindu origin, the attack by “Issa” on the Vedas and Brahmans, as in the Notovitch text, represents Buddhist propaganda. It appears that Buddhists were trying to demonstrate that Jesus, the great wise man of the West, was influenced by Buddhism, even having been taught by “Buddha,” an eternal disincarnate entity. In this regard, the Notovitch text states, “Six years later, Issa, whom the Buddha had chosen to spread his holy word, could perfectly explain the sacred rolls.” (Notovitch, 35) In this way, Buddha usurps Jesus, becoming the Jewish teacher’s guru.

That the text has been used as propaganda to raise Buddha and Buddhism over Christ and Christianity is further validated by Notovitch’s foreword, in which he related that the lama told him, “The only error of the Christians is that after adopting the great doctrine of Buddha, they, at the very outset, completed separated themselves from him and created another Dalai Lama…” This “Dalai Lama,” the monk subsequently informed the Russian, is the Pope. Concerning Christ, the lama continued, “Buddha did, indeed, incarnate himself with his intelligence in the sacred person of Issa, who, without the aid of fire and sword, went forth to propagate our great and true religion through the entire world.” (Notovitch, 20) Hence, Eastern traditions regarding Jesus are designed to show that Jesus is Buddha and that Christianity is an offshoot of ancient Eastern wisdom.

Nevertheless, the Notovitch text itself may have been composed originally by proselytizing Christians who attempted to use the natives’ belief in Buddha in order to increase Christ’s stature. These missionaries may have been appealing to women to follow “Issa,” as the text puts great emphasis on women, whose status in India and elsewhere has been abysmally low. The text would also appeal to the Sudras or Pariahs, since it has Issa preaching on their behalf. These groups are targeted to this day by Christian missionaries in India.

Considering that many missionaries, travellers and scholars have been keenly aware of the numerous and profound similarities between the Tibetan and Catholic religions, it would not be surprising if this Issa fable were created in order to show that the Tibetan religion is merely a foreign derivative of the “true universal religion,” i.e., Catholicism. The resemblances between various Indian sects and Christianity likewise led to tales about the Christian missionaries Thomas, Bartholomew and Pantaenus also proselytizing in India. Like the Jesus-in-India myth, there are other explanations for the resemblances, which are addressed in detail in my book Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled. In short, the major explanation is that the “Christian” religion and savior were already in India long before the alleged advent of Jesus.

Lord ShivaIs “Issa” Jesus—or Shiva?

By calling Issa “Jesus” or “Christ,” modern writers have cemented in the readers’ minds that the correlation is absolute, an erroneous conclusion. In reality, the name “Issa,” “Isa” or “Isha” is a title and simply means “lord,” “god” or “master,” often referring to the Indian god Lord Shiva: “‘Isha’ or ‘the Lord’ is another name of Siva …” (Prajnanananda, 19) Furthermore, Prof. Nunos de Santos says, “… a god variously named Issa, Isha, Ichtos, Iesus, Ieshuah, Joshuah, Jesus, etc., is indisputably originally from India.” He also states, “Ishvara (Ishwar) is widely worshipped in the Far East, being also called Isha (or Ishana) in India, Issara in Pali, Isuan in Thai, Jizu (or Jizai) in Japanese, and so on.”

“Isa” is likewise another name for Chandra, the Indian moon god, as well as for Shiva’s Egyptian counterpart, the soli-lunar god Osiris, also called Iswara in India:

“Iswara, or Isa, and Isani, or Isisi, are…unquestionably the Osiris and Isis of Egypt. Iswara, Siva, or Hara (for these are his names among nearly a thousand more) united with Isi, represent the secondary causes, whatever they may be, of natural phenomena; and principally those of temporary destruction and regeneration.” (Moor, 151)

Numerous ancient legends, recorded for example in the writings of Diodorus Siculus during the first century BCE, depict Osiris as travelling all over the East, as well as the rest of the world, during the millennia when he reigned as Egypt’s favorite deity. Osiris, or Isa, it should be noted, was put to death and resurrected, among many other correspondences to the Christ myth. Osiris/Isa too had a number of tombs in various places, especially in Egypt but likely also in India. However, Osiris was not a “real person” but a fertility and sun god. What mythologists recognize is that it was not a “historical Osiris” but his myth that made it to India and diverse places. As in the case of Osiris, the same phenomenon occurred regarding “Jesus,” who is, in the end, a remake of Osiris, among others.

The title “Isa” or “Issa” could apply to others, and is a common name even today. Indeed, some part of these Jesus-in-India tales may revolve around the famed Greek sage Apollonius of Tyana. Not a few persons over the centuries have noted the similarities between the lives of Apollonius and Christ, and even in ancient times Christians were accused of plagiarizing the Apollonius legend.

Mongolian Nestorian BishopThe Nestorians

The Issa myth apparently represents a Christianization of legends regarding Osiris, Shiva, Apollonius and other gods and “Bodhisattvas,” by the Nestorians, an early Christian sect who lived in India and elsewhere, and may well have spread the syncretistic fable to other Asian ports of call. Indeed, Nicholas Roerich himself surmised that the ancient Nestorian sect spread the tales in the East:

“We heard several versions of this legend which has spread widely through Ladakh, Sinkiang and Mongolia, but all versions agree on one point, that during His absence, Christ was in India and Asia…. Perhaps [this legend] is of Nestorian origin.” (Prophet, 261)

Roerich also stated, “Whoever doubts too completely that such legends about the Christ life exist in Asia, probably does not realize what an immense influence the Nestorians have had in all parts of Asia and how many so-called Apocryphal legends they spread in the most ancient times.” (Roerich, 89) In addition, George Roerich even proposed that there was a “floating colony” of Nestorians in Ladakh itself “during the eighth to tenth centuries,” which could well be when the Notovitch text was composed. Roerich, one of the main writers whose works have led to the Jesus-in-India theory, almost invariably and misleadingly substitutes “Jesus” or “Christ” for “Issa,” when Issa could be a number of individuals, mythical and historical.

In his account of Jesus in India, Roerich declared, “The teachings of India were famed far and wide; let us even recall the description of the life of Appolonius [sic] of Tyana and his visits to Hindu sages.” (Roerich, 119) Again, one likely scenario regarding “Issa” (“Lord” or “Master”) is that, whatever part of his tale is “historical,” it possibly refers to Apollonius.

Apollonius of TyanaPre-Christian Indo-European Interaction

As is well known, Apollonius was not alone in his journeys to the East. Decades and centuries prior to the Christian era, there was much intercourse between India and the West, including the famous journey by Pythagoras and the Alexandrian incursion. As another pertinent example, one of the seats of Mandeanism, a Christian baptist sect, was Maisan, a Mesopotamian city colonized by Indians. As Dr. Rudolph Otto relates:

“… Indian caravans passed through Maisan and likewise Nabatea. Indian merchants, wherever they went, were importers and missionaries of Indian ideas. There need be no surprise therefore if direct Indian imports are found in the syncretistic medley of Mandean Gnosis”. (Prajnanananda, 41)

Space does not permit us to recount the numerous authorities who are in agreement as to the westward spread of Indian and Buddhist concepts centuries before and into the Christian era. A number of them may be found in Prajnanananda’s book, including a “Mr. Cust,” who evinced that trade between India and Yemen “was established not later than 1000 B.C.” Yemen is very close to Israel, and by the first century CE there were plenty of Indians in the Roman Empire.

Despite the popularity of the Jesus-in-India tale, the claim is not accepted by mainstream authorities, either Christian or secular. The tale’s proponents assert that scholars reject Jesus in India because of Western imperialism and the inability to accept that Christ could have been influenced by Buddhism. In the case of mythicists, however, the reason Jesus is denied as having gone to India is because he is a pagan sun god remade into a Jewish “human” messiah. Thus, it is not a question of a “historical Jesus” being in India and the East but of a variety of solar cults that worshipped a similar deity with similar rituals, doctrines and myths.

Jesus & Mary Magdalene: Husband & wife?The “Lost Years” Are Astrotheological

Over the centuries Jesus’s so-called “lost years” and post-crucifixion life have provided much fodder for the fertile human imagination, leading to speculation, legends, traditions and myths that the great godman and sage lived and studied in a variety of places. Once the fable of Christ became popular, numerous towns, villages, cities and nations wished to establish some sort of connection. Instead of recognizing that such a significant omission as Jesus’s “lost years” is an indication of the mythical nature of the tale, individuals using typical priest craft have come up with countless extraordinary adventures of the “historical Jesus.” Unfortunately for the believers, however, not only is the gospel story itself but so too are these Jesus-the-Globetrotter tales mere deluding smoke and mirrors, and the reason for the gap in Jesus’s biography is because he was not a “real person” but a pagan sun god turned into a Jewish messiah. In the mythos revolving around the sun god, there need be no accounting for “lost years,” as the “age” of 12 represents the sun at high noon, while the 28 or 30 represents the days of the lunar or solar months, respectively.

When religions are investigated with a profound knowledge of mythology, the correspondences are clearly revealed, and it becomes evident that it is not the case that this miracle worker or that godman travelled to this place or that, as has been rumored to have occurred with just about every god or goddess. In actuality, it is the legends, traditions and myths concerning these gods, godmen or gurus that have been spread far and wide by their proponents, priests and propagandists. As was the case with the missionary and his brother in Japan, who were taken for the object of worship they were proselytizing, so has it developed in other parts of the world over the millennia concerning not only Jesus but also many other deities, such as the virgin-born, crucified Mexican god Quetzalcoatl, whose similar “life” and religion led to claims that “Jesus” was in America. The reason for the similarities, however, is because both Jesus and Quetzalcoatl are sun gods with the same attendant holidays and practices.

In the final analysis, it is not possible that Jesus could have lived years after the crucifixion, fathered children and died in several different places, as legends represent. The past explanation for such discrepancies has been metaphysical, deeming Jesus to be multidimensional and capable of simultaneous incarnations in various locations. Such an explanation, of course, will not satisfy the skeptic and scientist. Or the mythologist, who simply knows better, because she or he has studied in depth the products of the human mind. Because the basic story of Christ revolves around the sun, which was highly esteemed the world over beginning many millennia ago, the myth is likewise found around the globe. To the basic mythos and ritual were added various embellishments according to the place and era, and for a variety of reasons. In the end, Jesus the Globetrotter is a not a historical personage who magically appeared all over the world, bi-locating and flying on the backs of birds. “Jesus Christ” is mythical creature, to be found globally only between the pages of a book. – Truth Be Known, 1995

Sources

  1. Capt, E. Raymond, The Traditions of Glastonbury, Artisan, 1983
  2. Ellis, Peter B., “Our Druid Cousins,” http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=4274
  3. Huc, M. L’Abbé, Christianity in China, Tartary, and Thibet, I, London, Longman & Co., 1857
  4. Moor, Edward, Simpson, ed., The Hindu Pantheon, Indological Book House, India, 1968
  5. Notovitch, Nicholas, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, Tree of Life Publications, CA, 1980
  6. Nunos de Santos, Arysio, “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ–Comments,” http://www.rickrichards.com/jc/JesusComment2.html
  7. Prajnanananda, Swami, Christ the Saviour and the Christ Myth, Calcutta, 1984
  8. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare, The Lost Years of Jesus, Summit University Press, 1984
  9. Roerich, Nicholas, Altai-Himalaya, Adventures Unlimited, 2001

The history of Jihadi terrorism – N.S. Rajaram

Boston Bombing

Dr. N.S. Rajaram“A good deal of confusion prevails in the public mind with regard to the true nature of Jihad and its relationship to Islamic terror. The worst offenders in this game of sophistry are not the Muslims themselves but non-Muslim intellectuals and academics in India, Europe and especially America. It seems never to occur to these worthies that a medieval theocratic concept like Jihad has no legitimacy in a modern secular state—no matter what its real or imagined merits.” —  Dr. N. S. Rajaram

Prophet MuhammadThe meaning of Jihad

Jihad is the central doctrine of the Islamic state, ordained by its scripture. Thanks partly to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the world now knows something of Jihad and its ties to Islamic terror. Nonetheless, Jihad continues to be presented as a noble internal struggle over one’s baser instincts—something like meditation and Yoga. Even when the violent aspect of Jihad is pointed out, its apologists claim that violence and terrorism cannot be justified as Jihad, as if “real Jihad” is something we should all welcome.

As a result, a good deal of confusion prevails in the public mind with regard to the true nature of Jihad and its relationship to Islamic terror. The worst offenders in this game of sophistry are not the Muslims themselves but non-Muslim intellectuals and academics in India, Europe and especially America. It seems never to occur to these worthies that a medieval theocratic concept like Jihad has no legitimacy in a modern secular state—no matter what its real or imagined merits.

Another point worth noting is that terrorist’s worldwide acting in the name of Jihad cannot be defeated by redefining Jihad to suit our comfort level. The various Jihadis are drawn to the interpretation of Jihad given by the likes of Osama bin Laden and not the apologists that fill Indian and Western universities and newspaper columns. More significantly this “kinder, gentler” version of Jihad has no basis in either doctrine or history. It is necessary therefore to look at the primary sources to understand the place of Jihad in Islamic law and behaviour  (Islamic law is part of its scripture; there is no separation of law from religion). What follows is a brief summary. More details on the place of Jihad in Islamic scripture and history can be found in Sita Ram Goel’s The Calcutta Quran Petition cited at the end of the article.

Osama bin LadenDictionary of Islam defines Jihad as: “A religious war with those who are unbelievers in the mission of Muhammad [the Prophet]. It is an incumbent religious duty, established in the Quran and in the Traditions [i.e., the Hadiths or the ‘Acts of Muhammad’] as a divine institution, and enjoined especially for the purpose of advancing Islam and of repelling evil from Muslims.” The last point about “repelling evil” calls for an explanation: its primary goal is to prevent Muslims from deviating from the true teachings of Islam of unrelenting hostility towards Kafirs (unbelievers) and lapsing into heresy. Movements intended to root out such ‘evil’—often called ‘purification movements’—are a feature of Islamic history. The Wahabi movement that led to the Saudi brand of Islam and the Tablighi movement in India are two recent examples of such purification.

Dictionary of Islam also observes: “Sufi writers say that there are two Jihadsal-Jihadu ‘l Akbar, or the ‘greater warfare,’ which is against one’s own lusts; and al-Jihadu ‘l Asghar, or the ‘lesser Jihad’ against infidels.” It is important to note this is a later Sufi innovation that has no scriptural sanction; in fact it is a heresy that is rejected by the orthodox. Historically, the Sufis have actively supported and participated in the violent version of the Jihad, the only one that has any scriptural sanction. The non-violent version is the one that is trotted out by Jihad apologists, though it has played hardly any role in history since no one follows it.

Flag of JihadDictionary of Islam is also perceptive in noting: “The duty of religious war (which all commentators agree is a duty extending to all time) is laid down in the Quran in the following verses, and it is remarkable that all the verses occur in the al-Madinah Surahs, being those given after Muhammad had established himself as a paramount ruler, and was in a position to dictate terms to his enemies.”

So any suggestion of compromise that one finds in the earlier al-Meccah Surahs can be explained by the fact that they were given at times when Prophet Muhammad felt besieged and was forced to compromise with his adversaries in order to gain time. These were erased by the later Surahs revealed when the Prophet had become the paramount ruler.

The following Surah IX 5.6 sheds light on the Prophet’s idea of Jihad or the war against the infidels: “And when the sacred months are passed, kill those who join other gods with Allah wherever ye shall find them; and seize them, besiege them with every kind of ambush; but if they shall convert, and observe prayer, and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go their way, for Allah is Gracious, Merciful.” So the Mercy of God offers unbelievers the ‘choice’ of conversion or death! This is just one example of many Surahs in the same spirit. There is no room for compromise in Jihad.

Malala Yousafzai & TalibanTerrorism in history

Like Jihad, terrorism is an integral part of Islamic history and doctrine that cannot be separated from its scripture. Terrorism, by which we mean the threat and use of violence against innocents, has a long tradition in Islam going back to Prophet Muhammad himself. The Hadiths (compilation of the acts of the Prophet) record that the Prophet had the poetess Asma bint Marwan assassinated while sleeping with her child. Her crime was satirizing the Prophet and his claims in some of her verses. There are other such examples in the Prophet’s career. More importantly, terrorism was not limited to the founding period, like what happened following the French Revolution (Robespierre‘s “Reign of Terror”).  Its use as an instrument of policy is not an aberration but an inseparable and continuing part of Islamic history down to the present.

The most famous of the early Islamic terrorist organizations was the Nizari Ismailiyun, a Shiite politico-religious sect, founded in 1094 by Hasan-e Sabah. He and his followers captured the hill fortress of Alamut in northern Iran and turned it into their base of operations. Hasan styled himself Grand Master and went on to set up a network of terrorist strongholds in Iran and Iraq. He had trained assassins, most of whom according to Marco Polo were drug addicts. According to Marco Polo, young boys captured by the Grand Master were turned into addicts by giving them progressively larger doses of the drug hashishThis way they were totally dependent on him and would do anything in return for hashishThey came to be known as hashishin, from which get the word ‘assassin.’ So the deadly mix of terror and drugs is hardly new.

Rashid ad-Din Sinan the Old Man of the MountainHasan-e Sabah and his successor Grand Masters commanded an army of assassins who spread terror among the people throughout Iran and Iraq. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Grand Master had “a corps of devoted terrorists, and an unknown number of agents in enemy camps and cities, who claimed many victims among the generals and statesmen of the Abbasid caliphate as well as several caliphs.”

The Nizari Ismaliyun or the Order of the Assassins expanded into Syria after its founder’s death. In the 12th century, Rashid ad-Din Sinan, famous as the ‘Old Man of the Mountain,’ set himself up as an independent Grand Master of the Assassin Order in the impregnable castle of Masyaf in Syria. For more than a century and half, from 1094 to 1256, these Grandmasters and their assassins spread terror throughout the Middle East.

Their end came at the hands of the Mongol warriors of Halagu Khan—the grandson of Genghis Khan. He captured and destroyed the assassin strongholds in Iran one by one, and finally Almaut itself fell in 1256. He mercilessly killed every one of the assassin agents and their leaders. Two years later, in February 1258, Haleku’s soldiers sacked Baghdad itself and ended the Caliphate by executing the Abbasid Caliph al-Mustasim and his sons.

The Syrian castles and strongholds were gradually reduced by Baybars I, the Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. The Ismaili order gradually faded into insignificance, becoming a minor heresy. It still has some followers in Syria, Iran with India and Pakistan having the largest numbers. They are known as Khojas and are followers of the Aga Khan. They no longer indulge in terror. In Pakistan though they are considered non-Muslims and often persecuted.

Hulagu interns the Caliph Al-Musta'sim among his treasures and starves him to death.It was the Mongols who finished off the Caliphate. The Caliphate officially ended with the death of al-Mustasim at the hands of the Mongols in 1258. The 19th century claim of the Ottoman Turkish Sultans to be the inheritors of the Caliphate was not recognized by Muslims outside India. It was a political ploy by the Ottoman Sultans to keep together their crumbling empire. When Kemal Ataturk became the ruler of Turkey, he abolished the Caliphate and kicked out the Sultan. But Indian Muslims and even Gandhi embraced the now dethroned Turkish Sultan and pseudo-Caliph as their leader!

It is one of the tragedies of history that Mahatma Gandhi made the restoration of the Turkish Sultan as Caliph the centerpiece of the disastrous Khilafat Movement in the support of which he launched the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1921. It resulted in a reign of terror in Malabar (Kerala) known as the Moplah Rebellion. It was the Khilafat that sowed the seeds of Partition. It also showed that terror could be used for political ends by invoking Islam. Indian history books rarely mention this ‘Himalayan Blunder’ by Gandhi that led to bloodshed and Partition.

M.A. JinnahInspired by the terror that followed the Khilafat Movement, Muhammed Ali Jinnah—a ‘liberal’ Muslim—resorted to terror to gain his political goal of partitioning India. In 1946, his call for ‘Direct Action’ in support of his demand for Pakistan led to street riots all across North India. Thousands were killed in what came to be known as the ‘Great Calcutta Killings’. The Congress capitulated and agreed to the Partition of India. This was how was Pakistan born.

In all this, there is an almost religious belief that terrorism is both legitimate and effective in gaining political ends. This is made explicit in the Pakistani official manual, The Quranic Concept of War by Brigadier Malik, sponsored by the late General Zia ul Haq. It explicitly states: “Terror struck into the hearts of the enemy is not only a means; it is the end in itself. Once a condition of terror into the opponent’s heart is obtained, hardly anything is left to be achieved…. Terror is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose upon him.”

Terrorism in India originates in Pakistan.The idea is to make the enemy live in a state of perpetual terror. The authority for this is the Quran (Anfal 59-60): “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the enemies of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.”

This is the seed of indiscriminate terror employed by Grand Masters of the Order of the Assassins centuries ago, and by Osama Bin Laden and a host of others today. This belief in the power of domination through terror, and its legitimacy, is what needs to be defeated. But first, it is necessary to recognize that this legitimacy rests on the scripture itself.

The basic truth is—terrorism runs like a thread throughout Islamic history. It is futile to try to separate Islamic terror from Islam. The fatwas (judicial rulings) issued by mullahs against terrorism are meaningless unless they also rule against Jihad. Otherwise it is just eyewash. — Folks, 19 December 2009

» Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram is a mathematical scientist interested in history and philosophy of science. He is currently working on the book The Genes of Science and the Birth of History on which the article is partly based. He is Contributing Editor of FOLKS.

2 – Indian Third Wave West: From language to thought – N.S. Rajaram

Pashupati: Harappan seal and Gundustrup cauldron in Denmark


This is the second article on Indo-European migration. Go to the first article here »


Dr. N.S. Rajaram“After the first two waves out of India to Eurasia and Europe, there was a third wave roughly 5000 years ago that carried mathematical ideas, horse training skills as well as names of deities, sacred symbols like svasti, and practices of yoga and meditation, to West Asia and Europe. This westward movement is recorded both in archaeology and in the mathematical literature of the period.” – Dr. N.S. Rajaram

Africa to India migration mapThe third wave: mathematics and beyond

In previous articles [first and second one here, third one here] I have described that the origin and spread of Indo-Europeans and their languages takes us to Africa almost a hundred thousand years ago. The most important conclusion to emerge is that all non-African humans and their languages can be traced to about a thousand or so residents of South Asia or present day India and Pakistan, perhaps 65,000 years ago. These were the primordial ancestors of Indo-Europeans who spoke primordial languages that became Indo-European tongues when they moved out of the Indian subcontinent and settled in Eurasia and Europe.

This ancient movement north and west took place in two major waves: the first about 45,000 years ago, and the next some 10,000 years ago as the last Ice Age ended. The first wave has not left any traces other than Rock Art in Europe that has some similarities to prehistoric art of India found in the Bhimbetka Caves and other places. But it did give rise to founder groups that absorbed ideas and vocabulary (Sanskritic) Bhimbetka cave paintings made around 30,000 BCEcarried by the second wave that followed. This accounts for the Sanskritic features found in Eurasian and European languages.

This was followed by a third wave 5000 years later, or roughly 3000 BCE. This movement appears to have been more western than northern and clashed with the already settled populations of Iran, Mesopotamia (Babylonia), Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt moving all the way to Europe. In the process they left traces in the form of literature, crafts and also religious and spiritual thought. In my previous article I described how Indian mathematics from the Shulbasutras made their way to Old Babylonia and Egypt before 2000 BCE, perhaps earlier. This was part of the third wave.

In this context it is worth noting that the record of a treaty between the Hittites and the Mittani, the two West Asiatic rulers Suppiluliuma and Shattiwaza, c. 1380 BCE invoke Vedic deities Indra, Mitra, Varuna and the Ashvins (Nasatya). Still more interesting is the discovery of a horse training manual dating to c. 1400 BCE includes technical terms in Sanskrit such as aika (eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pancha, Horse and camel (?) figures from Lasbela, Balochistanfive), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, round).

Another text has descriptions of different kinds of horses: babru(-nnu) (babhru, brown), parita(-nnu) (palita, grey), and pinkara(-nnu) (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of the solstice (vishuva) which was common in most cultures in the ancient world. But vishuva and vishuat are Sanskrit terms found in the Vedic literature. All this suggests that in addition to mathematics, the people of West Asia borrowed ideas and techniques from Indians in the millennium after 3000 BCE.

Some of this was seized upon by advocates of the Aryan invasion to claim that these Vedic names were brought to India by invaders from West Asia, but this is easily refuted by other evidence presented here including the pervasive Vedic and late Vedic (Harappan) symbolism found in the region and also Europe. We begin with the well-known Svasti symbol.

SwastikaArya, svastika and yoga

As with the word Arya, the word swastika and the associated sign have attained notoriety to the point that both are banned in several European countries including Germany, Hungary and Austria. Both are of Indian origin but perverted European minds and hands turned them into symbols of evil. Even this was mainly in the twentieth century especially under the Nazi influence. Prior to that, the swastika symbol was used in Europe and West Asia in the same spirit as in India and East Asia — as a sign of auspiciousness.

Let us first look at the word Arya (or Aryan). There is widespread belief even among Indians, assiduously encouraged by Western Indologists and their Indian followers (like Romila Thapar) that Aryan identity was very important to the Vedic people. This is far from true. In the whole of the Rig Veda, in all of its ten books containing over a thousand hymns with ten thousand mantras, the word Arya appears exactly thirty-eight times! And nowhere, not once does it refer to a race or language. If so, how is it defined?

The authoritative Amarakosha defines Arya as maha-kula, kuleena, arya, sabhya, sajjana, sadhava. Maha-kula and kuleena refer to family background, but that is not enough; it further emphasizes character and behavior — sabhya or courteous, sajjana or decent, and sadhu or gentle. So anyone can become an Arya through proper conduct. Birth, language and ancestry have nothing to do with it.

Svasti in Ghana and IranAll this was ignored by Europeans. They created the unscientific Aryan invasion theory according to which the invading Aryans were white Europeans of pure blood! The Wikepedia notes: “The Nazis claimed that the early Aryans of India, from whose Vedic tradition the swastika sprang, were the prototypical white invaders. The concept of racial purity was an ideology central to Nazism, though it is now considered unscientific.” In fact even at the time scientists, including German scientists denounced it as unscientific. But like the equally unscientific Dravidian theory the idea persisted because it met some political needs.

To return to the swastika sign, the first point to note is it is a misnomer. It is more properly called the svasti sign — derived from su + asti = svasti which means well-being. Several Western scholars including such well-known one as A.A. MacDonnell claim that it is not mentioned in the Vedas. This is pure nonsense. There is a famous mantra known as the panca svasti mantra (mantra of the five svastis) beginning svasti nah indro vriddha-shrava … that is found in all the Vedas. There is at least one Harappan seal Panca Svastithat has five svasti signs inscribed on it. Svasti signs are extremely common with Harappan artifacts like seals and jars.

Until its misuse by the Nazis, the svasti signs were used everywhere with its real meaning as an auspicious sign or harbinger of well-being. Its appearance in Europe goes back perhaps 3000 years if not earlier. It seems to have been particularly popular in the Greco-Roman world as may be seen in the examples given. Svasti signs can be found in the New World also on numerous Native American artifacts as auspicious symbols.

More interesting perhaps is the pervasiveness of yogic influence. The famous ‘Seated Yogi‘ and the Pashupati image on some Harappan seals has made its way to West Asia (Iraq) and later still to Europe as far west as Gundestrup in Denmark.

HerodotusWestward Ho

Just as we find two waves of movements of people and animals from India into Eurasia and Europe — one c. 40,000 years ago and the second about 10,000 years ago, we find at least one more movement out of India 5000 years ago or around that time, continuing for about 1000 years. While the second movement left its imprint on the languages of Eurasia and Europe in the form of Sanskritic vocabulary, this more recent movement has left traces of religious and other symbolism in West Asia and Europe.

Many West Asian dynasties and peoples are known — Kassites, Elamites, Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Hittites, Mittani, Hurrians (mentioned in the Bible) and more. All these show traces of Indian influence in religion, mathematics, vocabulary and other traits. The later Medes and Persians are almost indistinguishable from Indians to their east. For example, how many know that the name Cyrus is the Greek corruption of Kurusha? Or Darius of Dayavarsha? And Artaxerses was Arthakshetra. The word ‘satrap’ for a subordinate regional ruler is derived from Old Persian kshetra-pavana meaning protector of the region.

Many of the names became distorted because of Greek transliteration. For example, the founder of the Median Kingdom is given as Cyaxares while in the original it is Huvakshatra. Similarly his successor and son is given by Greek writers (like Herodotus) as Astyages whereas the correct original form (in Old Iranian) is Rishti Vaga.

K. D. SethnaNot merely the names but the whole of West Asian history has been seriously distorted by interpreting it in Hellenistic terms and the modern European practice of tracing everything to Greece. What is needed is a serious examination of these records from an Indian perspective which in ancient times was much closer to the Iranian. We may find many connections and be able to fill gaps in the history of both the peoples — Indians and Iranians. One example will suffice.

We have already seen how Seidenberg’s study of the Shulbasutras shed light on the Indian (Vedic) origins of Old Babylonian and Egyptian mathematics. A study by Sri Aurobindo’s disciple and eminent historian K.D. Sethna (Amal Kiran) showed that the people of the Harappan cities and those of Sumer-Akkad (Mesopotamia) had extensive trade relations. A major item of trade was cotton, called karpasa in Sanskrit. This became kapazum in Akkadian. The modern word kapda for cloth in modern languages derives from it.

Sethna also found that the region of the Harappan cities (Western India) was called Meluhha by the Akkadians. This is a corruption of Malekha, Prakrit for the Sanskrit word Mleccha. This suggests that Indians referred to the Harappan region as ‘Mleccha Desha’. (This is suggested also by the Mahabharata.) Mleccha may not have had a negative connotation then. In his book Karpasa in Prehistoric India (1978), Sethna gives a wealth of details connecting West Asia and the Harappan Civilization.

Svasti in ancient GreeceSo we have these three waves out of India: (1) The first wave out of India some 45,000 years ago seeded Eurasia and Europe with founder groups; we have no traces of their language. (2) A second wave at the end of the Ice Age c. 10,000 years ago carried Sanskritic vocabulary along with agriculture and animal husbandry to Eurasia and Europe; traces of these can be found in archaeology and languages. (3) The third wave, 5000 years ago or a bit earlier carried more sophisticated ideas like mathematics, horse training, spiritual practices like yoga and the like. Record of this is abundant, much of which remains to be explored.

So we have this progress not over 5000 years as history books tell us but over 50,000 years. – Folks, 7 April 2013

(Concluded)

» Dr. Navaratna S. Rajaram is a mathematical scientist interested in history and philosophy of science. He is currently working on the book The Genes of Science and the Birth of History on which the article is partly based. He is Contributing Editor of FOLKS.

See also

  1. 1 – Indian Third Wave West: Fertile Cresent and Mathematics – N.S. Rajaram

  2. 3 – Indo-Europeans: Pashupati’s animals on the march – N.S. Rajaram

  3. 1 & 2 – Indo-Europeans: Their origins and the natural history of their languages – N.S. Rajaram

  4. Reclaim the Swastika

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