One of the seminal seeds of mischief that the British and Maculayite education system sowed on the Hindu psyche is the phony claim that Bharatavarsha was never a united country. Of course, there was no dearth of Indian scholars, thinkers, writers and statesmen of that period who powerfully debunked this spurious British theory. One of the key points that most of them made was by showing copious living instances that indicated the cultural unity of India. The prolific Prof Suniti Kumar Chatterji’s numerous articles, monographs, and books can be cited as good examples.
However, the damage was done. The British had created a “permanent class (sic)” of Indians—mostly Hindus—who were totally cut off from their Sanatana roots. But for this seminal cultural damage that English education has done, our garden-variety of home-grown manure, the Marxists wouldn’t have succeeded so spectacularly. A big part of their success lies in promoting and parroting and developing heaps of theories, each more nonsensical than the other, based on this selfsame original counterfeit: that India was not one nation. As a recent example, one can cite the words of Romila Thapar, the grandmother of Nehruvian history-writing. Here is how Prof Dilip K Chakrabarti recounts it:
In the case of India Thapar, in an interview to the French paper Le Monde, foresaw (cf M Danino in Dialogue, April-June 2006/vol 7, no 4) that by the end of the 21st century India would break down into a series of small states federated within a more viable single economic space on the scale of the subcontinent.
In other words, she wants to see an India physically broken up. Needless, she’s not the only one harbouring this deadly wet dream. But Romila Thapar’s intent apart, it is clear that such insane predictions of the splintered future of India rest on the bedrock that India is not one nation.
And so we provide a ready reckoner listing ten features that show the fundamental and all-encompassing unity of Bharatavarsha. One can expand this list citing other facets but these are the most definitive, in a sense.
Let it not be forgotten that even after losing about one-third of the original Bharatavarsha to Muslim separatism, India is still the seventh largest country in the world. Given this, it is easy to miss—as the British and Western travelers to India did—the geographical unity of India in all its majesty, immensity and variety. History shows that it is precisely this variety which contributed to our wealth and strength and economic self-sufficiency. Thus, claiming the exact opposite of this fundamental unity is a superficial observation that misses the forest for the trees.
2. Historic Consciousness of Hindus
One of the greatest, living, and continuing markers of the historic consciousness of Hindus is the Panchangam (the Hindu Almanac) which is beautiful blend of space and time. Then the oldest expression of this fundamental unity is the name Bharatavarsha, which is what Hindus call India, even in our Constitution (as Bharat) and all official records and public discourse, etc in Bharatiya Bhasha.
3. Inextricable Sanctity of Bharatavarsha, the Land
If a sly but very learned scholar like Diana Eck titles her book, India: A Sacred Geography, what does it tell Hindus? No other civilization in recorded world history has regarded its physical space as sacred. Here’s how beautifully the venerable scholar, Radha Kumud Mookerji puts it: “Further expressions of the old Hindu consciousness of Indian geographical unity in the Vedic and subsequent literature…the ‘ Rig-Veda’ and its epic adaptations…and other later hymns which have passed into national daily prayers—their effects on popular consciousness in awakening it to a sense of the individuality and sacredness of the whole of India from end to end.” Now link these words to the iconic National Prayer, Vande Mataram and Bankim’s conception of Bharata Mata, and the genius of countless generations of our Rishis, Saints, Sadhus, etc in fusing every single aspect of Bharatavarsha in a unified, indivisible whole becomes immediately evident.
4. The Annals of Bharatiya Literature
From Maharshi Valmiki to Bhagavan Veda Vyasa to Kalidasa to Sri Krishnadevaraya to Pandita Jagannatha Raja, countless poets and litterateurs who wrote in various Bharatiya Bhasha, the geography of India finds glowing mention and eloquent, elegant description of our sacred rivers, Tirtha-Kshetras, flora, fauna, and uniqueness of customs, clothing, local traditions, temples, cities, towns…the list is truly endless. The more you mine, the greater the treasures that reveal themselves to the patient and devoted seeker.
5. The Honeycombed Network of Tirtha-Kshetras
We suppose this is self-explanatory. Perhaps nothing else is the living, concrete evidence of the fundamental and all-encompassing unity of Bharatavarsha as the vast, expansive and honeycombed network of Tirtha-Kshetras (places of pilgrimage) that dots this entire Punyabhoomi. This is both a permanent and a characteristic marker of Indian culture and geographical conception. Taken as a whole, Tirtha-Kshetra is a grand institution by and in itself. It is also a profound expression of love for the Matrubhoomi, it is an appreciation of Art and Nature. A Tirtha-Yatra is also a means of acquiring an intimate knowledge of this sacred land. There is a reason we have numerous lists and compendia of holy places in Sanskrit and other languages. These compendia are also proof that Hindus had complete familiarity with every part of Bharatavarsha.
6. Political History of Bharatavarsha
The fact that the aforementioned spurious Marxist history establishment either demonizes or completely glosses over the pre-Muslim period of Bharatavarsha is a kind of proof to the contrary. Even the available corpus of edicts, inscriptions, coins, official records etc of the pre-Muslim period is a great testimony to this fundamental unity of India. Every great Empire and dynasty…beginning for example, with Chandragupta Maurya shows how “the unity of the whole country was promoted…by rulers of India who established their sway over the whole country, and consequently contemplated and used it as a single unit.” Even as late as in the 18th Century, what prompted Ahalyabai Holkar to endow such munificence in Kashi and other Punya-Kshetras?
To be continued