Erasing the traces of Slavery


It is true that the British quit India in 1947; but they left behind their customs, traditions, methods, guidelines for administration, including their laws. Even after Independence, we are so accustomed to all these aspects that even now we feel as if they are all ours. From drinking tea, sitting on couches and eating with spoons to celebrating a wedding reception; from naming of hospitals, colleges, roads, stations to public holidays; education that nurtures administrative ‘babus’ to clerks; from military parades and other forms of honour to Laws in the Constitution … we have been continuing with so many aspects … just as they were before the British left. The Sanatan Indian tradition of upholding the highest values was completely ignored during the rules of Nehru and Congress Governments, which inspired no self-respect and considered the practices of the West as superior. Abiding by our culture was limited to keeping the picture of Deity Shriram on the first page of our Constitution; however, it did not reach the roots of governance for materialisation of the real Ramrajya.

When the Modi Government came to power, the hopes of the people dedicated to serving the Nation and Dharma were rejuvenated. Now, after a few years, the revival of our culture is slowly getting a boost at the Government level and it has started to materialise. Streets in the capital, as well as towns and railway stations in the country, whose original names are lost in the pages of history, have now begun to revert. The British names of the 3 Andaman-Nicobar Islands have been changed to ‘Shaheed’, ‘Swarajya’ and ‘Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’. The road to the Prime Minister’s residence has been also renamed from ‘7 Racecourse’ to ‘7 Lok Kalyan Marg’.

So far, the Modi Government has changed the obsolete 1,500 laws and regulations of the pre-Independence era, which had been created by the British for their benefit and were unjust to the Indians. After this, many aspects have been introduced in school syllabus, including knowledge and science of the ancient Indian traditions; and, the true history of the chivalrous National heroes of the country has also started coming to the fore. Last year on Independence Day, Prime Minister Modi placed 5 resolutions before the people. Among them were ‘freedom from every thought of slavery’ and ‘pride in our traditions’. When the two resolutions were declared to be complementary to each other, the process of obliterating traces of slavery in India was accelerated.

Changes in the traditions of the Armed forces

The ‘Beating Retreat’ Ceremony is an end to the 4-day-long Republic Day celebrations in India. Soon after the Modi Government came to power, after the Republic Day parade of 2015, the western instruments played in ‘Beating Retreat’ Ceremony were replaced by traditional Indian instruments, and this year, the British hymn called ‘Abide With Me’ was replaced with the famous patriotic Hindi song – ‘Mere Watan Ke Logon’. In September last year, the Indian Navy replaced its ‘St George’s Cross’ flag (that had been in use since the British era) with a new flag like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s great seal, the Tricolour, and the Ashoka symbol. The Government has ordered stopping of another British legacy in the Army. During the retirement ceremony, the vehicle of the retiring officer is pulled by troops and another officer. This will now be stopped and the horses used for these functions will be made available for training purposes to other formations. The Government has issued an order to stop the practice of using the pipe bands in the retirement programme as well.

Erasing the traces of slavery is desirable

While such changes may seem small, they are not. They are associated with the culture espoused by our Dharma, our traditions, the courage displayed by our National heroes and the pride in the Nation and Dharma created through this courage, associated with our soil, with our feelings and sensitivity. Those who forget their history have no future. The identity of Dharma, culture and history of valour inspires the future generations to fight for existence and increases their enthusiasm.

When the Mughal rule is glorified and the prowess of hundreds of Hindu kings concealed, it becomes easy to create an atmosphere that ‘India belongs to the Mughals and they still have the first right over the country’. Where this condition increases, Hindus not only have to flee, but the end of their lineage begins.

Qutub Minar is the original ‘Vishnu Stambha’ and Taj Mahal is the ‘Tejomahalaya’. Despite there being concrete evidence, these monuments are still being hailed as foreign artefacts and even though Kashi Vishweshwar’s Shiva Linga is visible to all, a Court battle has to be fought for its custody. Today, foreign culture has such a strong grip over various aspects in our daily life such as food, clothes, hairstyles, art, literature, music, that it has almost become our attitude and it is difficult to separate it from us. Our superior culture has been overshadowed by the blind imitation of foreigners. Vedic Scriptures and religious practices such as Sanskrut, Ayurveda and Yoga practices, various Sanatan forms of worship, etc. are glorified by the West. Before they start teaching us these practices, it will be better to adopt them ourselves in all walks of life. It is welcome that the Modi Government is taking one step at a time in that direction !