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India that is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution

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The sad and unfortunate precedent of unwarranted, interference with the religious practices continues to this day with many Governments in states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh going to illogical lengths to intrude in the management of the affairs of temples by enacting the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Regulations. Though the context and the author's conclusions may be considered as reasonably correct, the fact remains that more than 60% of the words in the book are not original text. The primary goals of decolonization as articulated by Sai Deepak include an untethering from the moorings of identity politics and a conclusive escape from the entrenched dogmas of exclusionary ethnocentrism (race politics in short). Secularism was artificially imposed on India, although the law in England assumed that Christianity was the only true religion and the king or queen was the ‘Defender of the Faith’.

But they have all signified one unmistakable truth – that the attribute of colonialism is not just a detritus or a residue influencing the thought process of our nation.However, while the British colonisation of India was undoubtedly for the sole purpose of commerce and denuding the country and all its resources for the benefit of the parent nation, let us not forget that the English language opened up a world of new ideas and great scientific developments which are worth following. A society which looks at its culture and traditions through the eyes of colonizers is doomed for eternity. The evangelists always dangled the carrot of conversion as a way of uplifting the natives through plum jobs in the colonial administration. Incidentally, one of the crucial skills this book will teach you, is the ability to identify colonial and post-colonial minds.

Their subsequent role in subverting the indigenous Indic consciousness through a secularised and universalised Reformation, that is, constitutionalism, is examined. This debauched caricature of Brahminism and Brahmins was even categorised under an esoteric term ‘priestcraft’. The author argues that beneath this façade of continuity, the essential cultural aspects have changed to emulate the European prototypes. A large part of the book is devoted to the mechanisms employed by British government in India to bring about a “reforming of a backward people”, with religious conversions being necessary among other things.

The fact that Sai Deepak is an autodidact in so far as this sphere of knowledge goes, makes it all the more fascinating. There cannot be a more searing example of the sacred land ontology being elided out of the human consciousness. In fact the author uses English in so difficult manner that it becomes hard to read for common person.

It therefore startled me to learn that post the Treaty of Westphalia that ended a fratricidal 30-Year War among Christians, they had all closed ranks for the common Christian cause. All the while a sanctimonious charade was maintained that the ruler will not intrude in the natives’ ways, however distasteful they are thought to be. In arriving at informed conclusions and educated opinions, Sai Deepak draws liberally from the works of Dr.

Although we are now an independent nation so to speak, there is ample amount of colonial traits that are glaringly and subtly visible in our political, legal, administrative, and other circles. In the final part, the author analyzes the role of Christian secularism and gives a sneak-peek into whether it had an influence during the framing of the Government of India act of 1919, which formed the basis for our constitution later. Sai Deepak, which is exemplary to say the least, I want to say that this book is not meant for ordinary readers at all.

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