Meet Ram Sharan Sharma: Another Eminent Distorian

This is the first episode examining the distortions of another veteran Marxist historian named Ram Sharan Sharma
Meet Ram Sharan Sharma: Another Eminent Distorian

THE ROMILAYANA SERIES examined just the most glaring elements of history distortions inflicted by the eminent Marxist pamphleteer, Romila Thapar. Starting with this episode, we will examine the record of her ideological comrade, Ram Sharan Sharma, whose name is also included in Arun Shourie’s pathbreaking expose, Eminent Historians.

Prof. R S Sharma, in his book entitled Vishva Itihas ki Bhumika (1954) has devoted more than a hundred pages on the origin, characteristics and development of different religions.

However, he has offered only paltry comments related to Sanatana Dharma. In this, there are repeated references to an undefined Brahmin Dharma, which does not make it clear whether it is used as a synonym for Sanatana Dharma or is a different entity, which rejects or excludes Sanatana Dharma.

Throughout this section, R.S. Sharma has mostly derided Sanatana Dharma using a string of negative and sarcastic comments. He seems to find nothing but demerits, limitations, and revolts against Sanatana Dharma throughout Indian history. The section related to the Bhagavad Gita reads like a litany of derision.

The contrast couldn’t be starker.

R.S. Sharma takes no such liberties with Islam. There is not a single sarcastic comment on the Koran. He only describes it in a detached manner, narrating the Muslim beliefs about the Koran and other texts they regard as sacred.

Sharma offers radio silence on what great sages and scholars like Shankaracharya, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo have written about Sanatana Dharma.

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Meet Ram Sharan Sharma: Another Eminent Distorian
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Meet Ram Sharan Sharma: Another Eminent Distorian

Like Romila Thapar, R.S. Sharma, throughout his life has poured anti-Hindu venom in his writings and speeches.

To cite a random example, we can consider his 1990 speech delivered at the Mamidupudi Venkatarangaiya Memorial Lecture. His topic was titled, Communalism and India’s Past. The occasion was the gathering of the XIV Session of the Andhra Pradesh History Congress held at the Kakatiya University, Warangal.

This lecture was later published as a pamphlet as an enlarged version titled Communal History and Rama’s Ayodhya (1990). This is as good an example as any of the inherent anti-Hindu bias of the Marxist historians. Eight scholars including Prof. Satish Chandra had helped in preparing the pamphlet. These details need to be kept in mind, lest someone confuse it as a run of the mill speech.

R.S. Sharma’s alleged scholarly lecture begins with the fundamental Marxist faith that, “basically, religious beliefs arise and develop in man’s continuous struggle to overcome the obstacles presented by nature.” This is patently wrong even on plain reading. But then, such outlandish conclusions are a perfect example of a wild imagination that only Marxists can conjure. There is nothing in human history that shows that the origin of religion was rooted in a ‘struggle against nature.’

Then follows the standard Marxist rhetoric claiming that those ‘exploiters in power’ take shelter behind religious miracles ‘to maintain their hold over the toiling masses.’ And further, that the ruling classes used religion to promote their own politico-economic interests, and so on and on and on.

The pamphlet also asserts that “when urbanism declined, the tirthas (pilgrimage centers) were instituted to preserve the ancient memories of towns!” This was written and taught as authentic history in India for half a century. And quite obviously, zero evidence was offered to support this bizarre formulation explaining the origin of Tirthas. Which is rather logical because fiction demands no evidence. But then, one does wonder what explains the places of pilgrimage on high Himalayan peaks like Badrinath and Kailash? Yet, we are supposed to belive that this Marxist “interpretation” of history is not only “scientific” but is also the truth.

Next, as expected, Prof. Sharma comes down heavily on Hindu Dharma as a system of exploitation. The first target of his undisguised sarcasm is, of course, the “crafty Brahmanas,” who, “very cleverly … declared the life of the Brahmans as sacrosanct as that of cow.” It is hardly necessary to investigate the source of information about this historical “interpretation,” given the mountain of mischief committed by the colonial Indologists.

And again, as expected, Ram Sharan Sharma does not find any such cunning and exploitative priestly class in Islam or Christianity. In his book, this crooked mindset is the exclusive preserve of the “Brahmanical religion.”

Next, Prof. Sharma bestows a great benefit upon us when he claims that “the sacred cow theory becomes a fetter on our economic growth. We have to feed either animals which are uneconomic and unproductive or human beings who are engaged in productive activities.” With this, R.S. Sharma had achieved quite a feat in economic philosophy. If we walk in his lead, we derive the following slogan for our economic progress: “either the cow or the human shall live!” However, this poses a simple problem for all economic historians of Sharma’s ilk: why, in spite of regular and mass killings of animals, didn’t the economies of the (former) Soviet Union and the Eastern Europe survive? 

And now come to the most anticipated part of R.S. Sharma’s pamphlet: the great role that Islam played in world history as a progressive religion professing universal brotherhood.

That story will be narrated in the next instalment of this series.

To be continued

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