Medieval history was a psychological blow for me as a kid who harboured grand notions about greatness of our ancient civilisation. Hordes of foreign invaders came and caused death, destruction and humiliation to our ancestors at as they seem fit. Well, that was written in NCERT book helmed by ‘eminent’ Irfan Habib and Vipin Chandra. It was 1997 and DD Metro was airing a re-run of Mahabharata. Coming on the back of Just induced inferiority complex, philosophy of Krishna showcased in epic gave me goosebumps. I was surprised that how can land that worship Krishna allowed itself to be subjugated. I raised my question to my grandfather. He told me that Prithviraj Chauhan defeated Ghori and forgiven him. I was like how can somebody be that big a moron. Considering persistence of Islamic hordes in subjugating other cultures ( Ghaznavi attached India 17 times in 25 years), it was a suicide. Jaichand looked like a much smaller villain than Prithviraj in the scheme of things. Land of Krishna forgot his ideals. Don’t blame Buddhism. Buddhist are militant enough to protect their civilisation in Sri Lanka and Burma.

Prithviraj Syndrome became most prevalent in 20th century India with appeasement and diffidence became virtue. Competing with moron-in-chief of 12th century, our leadership took Kashmir issue to UN when our forces were on ascendency in conflict with Pakistan. We claim that we won 1965 and 1971 wars but we could not force a boundary settlement. History repeated itself with no cost for invasion imposed on our enemies. Did that deter further attacks ? Did clemency made our enemies grateful? Our enemies forced indirect war, Kargil intrusion and Kashmir Exodus on our country. In fact, we must be thankful to China that it attacked in 1962 because our Modern Prithvirajs believed that China would protect our borders and we don’t need army. 1962 attack (Nehru – Prithviraj and CPI – Jaichand) built public pressure on modern Prithvirajs to give free hand to army and result was humiliation heaped on China in 1967. Uri and Pulwama achieved what 2 dozen summits and Aman Ki Aasha could not achieve.

Krishna showed that protection of dharma, culture and people has to be achieved at any cost or principle. So, he ran away to Dwarka when enemy could not be defeated. He exhorted Pandavas to use deception to overcome a superior opponent. He considered dharma and nation to be above than personal morality. Though our eminent historians tried their best to hide, there are examples. Do you know why there was a let up in foreign invasion between 1030 and 1192 AD ? Suheldev realized that only way to stop invasions is complete annihilation and so happened in 1034 AD creating fear of India in hearts of her enemies. Why Arabs could not move beyond Sindh in 8th century? Google for ‘Battle of Rajasthan’. Shivaji realized in weakness in terms of numbers and armoury when facing huge Mughal armies and resorted to survival techniques including hit-and-run and even strategic withdrawals.

Decline initiate when global perception and personal morality trumps larger good. End of Maratha empire started when Sadashiv Rao Bhau chose suicidal frontal war in Panipat in 1757 AD against forces of Ahmedshah Abdali when strategic withdrawal or shadow warfare were better options as Abdali’s forces were facing unrest. Because of ego of 18th century Prithviraj, country has to suffer 200 years of slavery. Centuries of sacrifices got wasted because a well-intentioned man again failed us. I don’t think any Jaichand could have done worse.

On this Janamashtmi, let’s make a vow to revive dharmic values propagated by Krishna. Let’s sacrifice our personal morality at alter of a strong nation driven by dharmic values. We are a civilization who provided refuge to Syrian Christians, Jews and Parsis when they were uprooted from their homes. We do not need certificate from gatekeepers of modern liberalism. Have belief in yourself and Bharata.

Happy Janamashtmi

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