• 28 July, 2021
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A Small Act of Defiance

Major Gaurav Arya (Veteran), Founder and CEO - Chanakya Forum
Fri, 14 May 2021   |  Reading Time: 5 minutes

A SMALL ACT OF DEFIANCE

 

It is now time to tell the truth. We were forced to grow up in a synthetically created bubble of self-loathing, perceived inferiority and constant reminders that we, as a nation and as a people, were not good enough. These blatant falsehoods were pushed down our throats by our schoolbooks, sometimes written by brown sahibs and mostly by left-leaning faux ideologues. What is the best way to kill the spirit of a people? Tell them that their culture, their way of life and their entire belief system is inferior.

 

We were told that we had no culture before the armies of the Umayyad Caliphate invaded Sindh and that we knew no science when the British landed on our shores. Generations of Indians were forced to believe that the humiliation and subjugation of arguably the world’s oldest civilization was actually an act of mercy.

 

So systematic was this intellectual slavery that students of history would respond to the accusation that over a million Indians died in the Second World War, by churlishly saying, “But the British gave us the railways, didn’t they?”

 

I grew up studying Sun Tzu, Machiavelli and Clausewitz because conventional wisdom had it that there was no Indian worth studying and that all knowledge that existed in India, actually came from outside. It was as if the entire world had but one mission; to civilize India. Our blood, honour and freedom were a pittance in payment for this divine favour. When we questioned, we were told that we were not grateful enough.

 

Nalanda and Takshashila were lost in the mists of time. Ajanta and Ellora were simply caves with some statues of our half-clothed ancestors. We did not achieve independence because hundreds of thousands of Indians walked this blood-soaked earth. The British simply left one day, just as suddenly as they had come; their departure a nod to their precarious economic condition after World War Two. Somehow, even our freedom was a gift bestowed upon us by a departing tyrant.

 

To many, this intellectual slavery was, in a dark and insidious way, comforting. If you have no spine, no one will expect you to stand.

 

But nations are not built with bricks and cement alone, and neither do iron frames give them a spine. Nations are built with blood, bone, flesh and memories. Our history books almost totally ignored Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Guru Gobind Singh Ji; it was as if they were not worth more than a passing mention. But what we were taught in school was negated by what my mother taught me at home. Back from school and over a simple but lovingly cooked meal, India’s history was told and re-told. Stories from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana came to life. She told me about India’s great warriors. Unknown to me then, I had perhaps slowly started understanding what India was. And my eleven-year-old mind took great flights of imagination. One day I was a General in the army of Maharana Pratap and on another, young Shivaji’s childhood friend, running with him on the ramparts of Shivneri Fort.

 

Today, I realise that the stories my mother told me were really not about our history. They were her way of fighting what she thought was the negation of our very cultural existence. She could not win against an entire system that ran on falsehood, but she could certainly resist. These storytelling sessions were like a child throwing a stone at a marauding giant. They were small acts of defiance.

 

When Europe wore animal skins and the pyramids did not exist, my forefathers were farmers and artisans, priests and poets, kings and scientists. Indian dynasties sent ships and armies across the world. Thousands of years later, between 1350 to 1767 AD, existed the Kingdom of Ayodhya (also pronounced Ayutthaya), the precursor of modern-day Thailand. The incumbent Thai King still proudly carries the royal title of King Rama the Tenth. The Cholas sent armies and emissaries across Asia. Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered Afghanistan. General Zorawar Singh unfurled the Dogra flag in Tibet.

 

When people tell you that the Indians were non-expeditionary, they lie.

 

One of the cornerstones of our ancient wisdom is the Arthashastra, written by Vishnugupt Chanakya. A great political scientist, teacher and a master of statecraft, he envisioned the idea of a nation that was strong, self-reliant and united. Chanakya was a contemporary of Alexander the Great and his treatise, the Arthashastra, defines many principles, chief amongst them economics, taxation, philosophy, statecraft and the duties of a king towards his nation and his subjects.

 

The Arthashastra also talks about the four pillars of statecraft and how these pillars are the means to achieve a nation’s political and military ends. Saam, by way of convincing. Daam, by way of economic benefit. Danda, by way of military might. Bhedha, by way of deception. These pillars stand strong and true two-and-a-half millennia later. They are an affirmation of a glorious past which refuses to be wiped out by treachery and deceit.

 

The road to India’s place in the sun meanders through its glorious history. The more we embrace our past, the more powerful we will become.

 

It was the summer of 2020 and the Chinese dragon was breathing fire on the Line of Actual Control. Rumours flew thick and fast; the Chinese had swallowed up thousands of kilometers of our territory, some said. Others said that the People’s Liberation Army was a day’s march from Leh. Some of our own people, steeped in millennia of mental slavery, quoted the New York Times to buttress their claims. When I asked them, “How does New York Times know? They haven’t been there”, they ridiculed my question. They gave no logic for the ridicule they heaped upon me. They just simply could not understand how an Indian could commit the blasphemy of questioning The New York Times. It was like questioning the word of God.

 

It was then that the idea of an online magazine took shape in my mind. It would have articles by experts on Geopolitics, Foreign Affairs and National Security. Global in its outlook, its character would be quintessentially Indian. And it would, unequivocally, tell the truth.

 

So, I decided to name it Chanakya Forum. The idea certainly had a tinge of romance to it; a few of us reaching back into the mists of time to uphold the immortal legacy of Chanakya. I launched it on 25th September. To me, this date is significant because it was on this date that I was born twice, once in 1972 and again in 2020.

 

Today, we launch our mobile phone app. But Chanakya Forum is not just a magazine. It is the same child throwing a stone at a marauding giant.

 

Chanakya Forum is a small act of defiance.

 

Major Gaurav Arya (Veteran)

Founder and CEO – Chanakya Forum

www.chanakyaforum.com

 

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About the author – Maj. Gaurav Arya (Retd) is a veteran, writer, public speaker and TV host. He is the founder of Chanakya Forum.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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POST COMMENTS (13)

BHAVIL GOYAL

Jun 10, 2021
We have been taught half history and that part of history which has led me to write the following. A kid in his primary classes is taught the history which talks and glorifies people coming from Afghanistan and various parts of central asia, who looted, massacred our motherland brutally. Every kid knows the mughal dynasty who came when came but what they have not been able to know is what did they do after conquering the land, it was mass murder,rape and all kind of crimes against humanity. Also why the children are not taught how they are not today as if they dissapered in thin air no. Some bravehearts such as MAHARANA PRATAP, SHIVAJI MAHARAJ, GURU GOBIND SINGH and countless who laid down their lives fighting against the invaders. Till today the children reading texts which glorify those who murdered. Government should just demolish the very history of these invaders, why do we still have parks buildings forts and other infrastructures by their name is not unjust to the martyres who fought them. Learn from Germany the very name of HITLER and u are behind bars. It is a modern day slavery of thouhgt in INDIA that still exists and should be demolished as soon as possible ....JAI HIND>

R C Vashista

Jun 06, 2021
I could not find ICICI Bank in the list of Banks for transfer of money. Is there any reason for not including this bank in the List of Banks. PL look into in and include it, if possible.
chanakyaforum – Jun 06, 2021:
Thank you sir, we will update this

R C Vashista

Jun 06, 2021
I'm unable to download your app on my Laptop. I'm not comfortable to read things on Mobile. It may be due to my age. Will you pl guide me in this regard so as to keep me in touch with this Forum. I'm follower of group led by Gen G D Bakshi, Sh. Puspender Kulsrestha, Sh. R N Singh, Sh. Sunil Pandit etc. They are also doing a great service to Nation Service by awakening People of India, specially SANAATAN.
chanakyaforum – Jun 06, 2021:
The app is mobile version only. Kindly login to our website www.chanakyaforum.com from laptop / PC

Archana

May 15, 2021
What a start MGA! We all grew up reading about Mughals and British, but the books never taught us about great leaders like Sambhaji, Abbakka Chauta, Onake Obavva.... the list is endless. But, let us at least try and make people aware and our kids proud of their culture, history and heritage. You have taken a very commendable step towards that, kudos!

Anmol

May 15, 2021
What an excellently- put article sir. There's only negativity and abuses for our own country everywhere, in every second indian. It's time for those who have the guts to make those 'small acts of defiance' to spread them far and wide, taking inspiration from efforts like this platform. Thank you for putting it together. I shall extend my support regularly.

Kartikaya Srivastava

May 15, 2021
I think you were reading the wrong books major. Ncert textbooks till 8th; hundreds of Amar Chitra Kathayen I read while growing up and other sources made aware of the heritage I had inherited. It could be argued that certain things were presented through rose tinted glasses but I still remember the shiver that ran through my spine when I first read about the sacrifice of the Gurus in 6th grade, sitting alongside with my sikh friend. Though I very much appreciate the effort of your forum and some of its analysis on foreign affairs, my suggestion quite humbly would be for the magazine to stop acting as if we are our own worst enemy - because I feel that's the best way that someone can instill 'inferiority complex' in a nation when it tells it's citizens that their worst enemies are living amongst them. Still a fan, Kartikaya Srivastava

Manoj Pandey

May 14, 2021
I can't thank you enough Major, this is an idea that has been very close to my heart for many years, and I am so happy to see you taking the initiative to put out our narrative and history that should have been done long back. It feels as if you just gave words to every idea, thought, the emotion that I have been carrying with me for many years. Thank you once again, and wish you all the success.!!

Nandini Chakraborty

May 14, 2021
I suppose India has a diverse syllabus and a multitude of history books. Really sad to hear that there are syllabi which have not taught people to be proud Indians, which have not stressed on the richness of our culture, the depth of our history and identity. I completed ICSE in 1989, from St Joseph's convent, Catholic school with Catholic principles. We read Bible history as part of our moral science classes. But never once did I believe that Indian culture was inferior to the west, that our history began with invasion of external forces, that western philosophy trumped our own. And it was what I read in school, in standard history text books which taught me that. We read about Indus Valley, we read pages and pages of Nalanda, Taxila, Ajanta, Ellora. Nuances of art, the comparison between different styles of architecture, how North Indian styles varied from South Indian in temple style, dance, culture. We had detailed picture studies. Ajanta was a key favourite- identify with cave numbers! The history of the Indian Renaissance thinkers, the history of our freedom movement made the blood boil, the pride shine. Sorry to hear about your school experience and it has taken you so long to realise real Indian history, culture and philosophy. Your school must have chosen really poor history books.

Harsh Sharma

May 14, 2021
Sir, thank you for providing us with an excellent forum to read, to think and to know our assets and national interests. I see this as a tool to imbibe nationalism. Specially it's feature of " Reader's Page" has unleashed the brain storming power of youths to express and give suggestions for the betterment of our motherland. More power to you sir! JAI HIND!!!!

Jay Rajkumar

May 14, 2021
Great article. Big fan of Gaurav arya and what you have been doing lately for the cause of upholding indic values and exposing fake history about Indians and India. I watch your defensive offensive shows read your articles, watch your other shows. Good to see some confident indians like you, finally coming out and telling the world that we are proud of our heritage and our nation. Jai hind.

ASHISH KUMAR OJHA

May 14, 2021
Let's begin the assault major......

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