Knowing India in historical perspective
Shiv Kumar Padha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address in one of the auditoriums of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark on May 3, 2022 called upon the citizens of Indian origin to inspire and motivate at least their five non-Indian friends to visit India every year under the slogan ‘Chalo India’. Emphasizing upon the slogan, he called the Indian citizens as the real national Ambassadors who can translate his suggestions in reality better than the official diplomats of India in the world. Though the slogan Chalo India appears like a simple sentence but it conveys the depth of thought and far sightedness of our visionary Prime Minister on the soil of Denmark. The rationale behind his slogan was to negate and counter the anti India narrative being propagated by the hostile countries, self proclaimed Nuclear powers expansionists and the countries globally divided into different blocks on the basis of political ideology and ethnicity.
The main objective of these countries is to tarnish the image of India at global level. Different surveys of the self styled advanced countries defame India as a most communal, intolerant and perpetrator of human atrocities in the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in order to apprise the world community about India, called upon the non Indian citizens to visit the country and get first hand information about the culture civilization, traditions and actual unity in diversity, so that they are not swayed away by the false and vicious propaganda and narrative by some hostile and jealous countries of the world. These countries cannot digest easily the progress and development of India in field of defense, diplomacy and economical reforms. There are many developed countries like America France, UK and China which do not have peace of mind, true happiness in spite of huge wealth and natural resources. The youth of these countries is frustrated and have nothing to achieve in their lives. They are fed up of their purposeless lives. India needs military strength to protect her freedom and not to rob her neighbors. India wants wealth to feed her masses who are poor but this cannot be the ideal of the nation. India needs something more which will bring peace along with wealth and power. If we go through our ancient history we find how India was great in power, wealth and happiness during the times of Ashoka, Chandergupt Mourya, Kanishak and others. During Vedic and the Buddhist periods, we had great ideals which made India so great in the past.
This truth has been endorsed by the travelogues of many travelers from other lands who visited India from time to times. Their travelogues talk in detail about the rich culture, traditions, educational and administrative set up pervading thousands of years back. According to the travelogues India had been the pivot of knowledge, spiritualism, non violence, free from atrocities on human beings and animals. All these virtues made India Jagat Guru which was acknowledged and endorsed at global level. India has been always a source of fascination for rulers and tourists from throughout the world. The majority of these visitors to India penned down their own description of distinct focal areas. Some wrote about courts activities, others concentrated on modern architect and monuments or described social and economical aspects. Accounts of foreign travelers played an important role in determining India’s destiny during mediaeval and ancient periods. Their accounts have been able to throw light on various aspects such as administration and common practices during their travels.
Megasthenes the Greek Ambassador had travelled to Kerala in BC 302 during the times of Chandergupt Mourya and was first to tell the world about such a place in his reputed work ‘Indica’. Fa-Hein visited India during Chandergupat-2 which was the Zenith Gupt Empire in India. He wrote about economical prosperity where he says people were paying less taxes, he never faced any law and order problem which was the result of administration during Gupta age. Heun Tsang visited India during Harshvardhan time.
He wrote his experiences in Si-K-Kyi where he writes about his visit to Buddhist pilgrim sites. He also wrote about the university of ancient India especially Nalanda international university and explained about educational system prevalent in India. According to his accounts the Nalanda University was internationally acknowledged, where 2000 teachers used to teach 10,000 students. The university was attacked three times by Gaudas, Bhaktiyas and Kuliji. According to him the Library of the university was matchless in the world. Al Bruni, first Islamic chronicler, visited India with Mohd Gazni. He learned Indian way of life by learning Sanskrit language. He learned Vedas and sacred texts. He explained the religious conditions of Varanasi prevalent during his visit. The account is given in Kitab al Hind.
Ibn-e- Battuta visited India during Tuglaq rule. He mentioned the life in the deep south Pallavas. Abdur Razaq visited Vijay Nagar during Devaraja-II of Sangama dynasty. He describes the richness of the Kingdome and also the relevance system of the Kingdome. According to him the Vijay Nagar was the center of appreciation for architecture and the glory of the city Hampi.
Prime Ministers Narendra Modi reposed his full confidence upon the Indian citizens by calling them the national ambassadors spread over the world by assigning them the duty of sending at least five non Indians to visit India every year so that they can travel in India from east to west and from north to south and see India by their eyes so that they can counter and belie the vicious and false propaganda against India.
(The author is a Social
Activist from Basohli).