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Aryan Invasion Debate

Aryan Invasion Debate


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Publicado porNalini

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Nalini on Aug 01, 2009
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Among the most active and determined academic opponents of any serious reopening of the AIT
debate, we find Marxists such as Prof. Romila Thapar (whose positions will be discussed below)
and Prof. Ram Sharan Sharma.65

Let us make it clear from the outset that there is nothing

controversial about the label


: in India, Marxism is still the dominant paradigm in the
Humanities, and hundreds of academics are still proud to call themselves Marxists. It is therefore
a bit bizarre when Romila Thapar insinuates that the non-AIT school merely uses the label


as a cheap way to dismiss the Indian pro-AIT scholars like Sharma and herself

without proper refutation:

Those that question their theories are dismissed as Marxists!



confirmation from an unsuspect Marxist source is needed, Tom Bottomore

s standard dictionary

of Marxism mentions and quotes both R.S. Sharma and Romila Thapar as representatives of
Indian Marxism.67

The Marxist dominance of India

s cultural sphere is not a convenient rumour, it can easily be
documented and its genesis traced and explained. Nehru was fond of Communism though
personally too bourgeois to join it. It was chiefly his daughter Indira Gandhi (guided by her
secretary P.N. Haksar) who, when she was critically dependent on Communist support during her
intra-Congress power struggle, promoted Communists (often unregenerate Stalinists till today)
and created many new institutes for them, including Jawaharlal Nehru University. In 1975, when

the Communist bid to take over the Congress Party from within was thwarted by Indira

s son
Sanjay Gandhi, the Communist power position in the intellectual sector was left untouched: its
importance escaped the Gandhi family, who only focused on immediate political power. When in
1998, the new BJP Government nominated people of its own choice to the Indian Council of
Historical Research, a roar of indignation went up among Indian Marxists against this

politicization of scholarship

, highlighting to the alert observer the extent to which the Marxists
themselves had treated the ICHR as their own playground, and how, like spoilt children, they


t stand losing it.68


s Indian followers have a confused but predominantly negative attitude to the question of


s legitimacy as a united republic. They are willing to accept the unified Indian state as
long as it is useful to their own ends (as in 1959-62, after their election victory in Kerala gave
them hope of taking over India, a hope crushed by the embarrassing Chinese invasion of 1962),
but they are just as ready to discard it, because they do not believe in it and have no loyalty
towards it. Around the time of independence, they actively campaigned for the Balkanization of
India, hoping to gobble up one fragment after another. They never tire of denouncing anything

that bolsters India

s unity as a


. For them, India is an artificial unit, a prisonhouse of

nations, bound to fall apart.69

In contrast with other colonized countries, Marxists in India played no important role in the
freedom movement, except negatively. According to a Western Marxist observer:

Uncompromising opposition to Gandhi and his cherished Hindu convictions meant that
communists were cut off in a considerable measure from the mainstream of the patriotic



Ever since, they have supported every antinational cause: the crushing of the Quit
India movement (1942), Partition (1947), the Razakar terror campaign to prevent the merger of

Hyderabad with India (1948), the Chinese claims to Indian territory (up to 1962:



chairman is also India

s chairman

). As late as 1997, Communist leader Sitaram Yechury

refused to admit that China had been the aggressor in 1962.71

In the 1990s, they have threatened

secession of the states they control in the event of a Hindu-nationalist election victory.72

It is a
different matter that by the time this victory took place, in 1998, the Communist movement had
become too weak and grey to hazard such action.

To complete the picture, it should be realized that as born upper-caste Hindus alienated by
westernization, Indian Marxists are animated by a seething hatred of their ancestral culture.
Unlike the British who felt some patronizing sympathy for the heathens whom God had entrusted
to their civilizing care, anglicized Hindus feel a need to exorcize the remainders of Hindu heritage
from themselves and their surroundings.

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