The western colonial powers, especially Great Britain, the Dutch, French, Spanish and Italians were not content with the conquest and rape of the wealth of what they perceived to be third world countries, they also set about re-writing the history of the conquered peoples. The native Indians of Central and South America were slaughtered and almost eliminated by the conquering Europeans. Their ancient civilization and structures which the Europeans could not match, were vandalised and destroyed. Even the Egyptians who created the wonders called the Pyramids were not spared the assault of these vicious European conquerors! Those very same Europeans formalised ‘slavery’ and used human beings from the African continent as animals that must be kept in chains and used as unpaid labour. The profits from these illegal and vicious adventurers into other people’s lands were repatriated back to Europe. Their people became wealthy through the blood and sweat of what was perceived to be the uncivilised world. These Europeans were not satisfied with only stealing the wealth of the conquered people, they also joined the established Christian churches to convert the conquered people away from the religion and culture of their ancestors. Assisting in these propagandists religious exercises were the so-called historians whose job it was to project the natives’ religion in a negative light. We, the Hindus were not spared the brutality of the colonial conquerors, their religious doctors and historians who are now being challenged by academics across the world. In India the conquering historians were ably assisted by their indigenous students who have passed on historical lies as absolute truth.
In Trinidad and Tobago, every effort has been made by the colonial backed churches to demonise and convert the Hindus who came here as indentured labourers. Rather than provide religious and educational support to the indentures, the colonial authority funded the Christian churches in their efforts to proselytise. Rather than inviting Hindu and Islamic religious scholars from India to assist the semi-enslaved Indian indentured labourers, funding and other support were provided to the parasitic churches. In order to give the Hindu indentured labourers a false sense of familiarity, some of the colonial backed churches gave themselves Indian/Hindu names. One church in Tunapuna was named “Aramalaya’ which means A World of Rest/Peace. Another church was named “Dharma Ka Suruj” which when translated means Son of Righteousness. In another region, one of its churches was named “Akash Bani” which means Voice from Above. A well-known church is called “Susamachar,” which when translated in English means Good News. Other conversion strategies were also implemented to lead the indentured immigrants away from their ancestral religion and culture. As a young boy attending one of the Church’s primary schools, I had to learn the Christian’s Lord’s prayer in Hindi. Even today, 70 years later I still remember the opening lines: “Ha hamara swarag bas pita, tum hara nam pavitra houa.” When translated it meant, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”
A new generation of highly motivated academics and historians have so far produced hundreds of publications in English and local languages challenging those who perpetuate the falsehoods of the imperial powers. Books like History of Hindu/Christian Encounters by Sita Ram Goel; Influences of Ancient Hinduism on Early Christianity; Comparative Religion by KN Tiwari; The True History and the Religion of India by Swami Prakash Anand Saraswatie; One God by Dr Bhupindra Kumar Modi; Glimpses of Bharatiya History by Dr RS Kushwaha; The Wonder That Is India by French author Francois Gauttier; Jesus Lived In India by Holger Kersten; and Dawn and Devolution of the Indus Civilization by SR Rao. Scores of other publications are challenging the historical untruths that were propagated by colonial powers and their local agents. In his work, Comparative Religion, KN Tiwari writes: “Hinduism is perhaps the oldest of all the living religions. It has neither any definite date of its origin nor has it any definite founder associated with it. It is called Sanatan Dharma, a religion coming down to the people through eternity.” And Tiwari goes on to quote Sir Charles Eliot: “Hinduism has not been made, but has grown. It is a jungle, not a building.” Similarly, KM Sen makes the following observations in his book on Hinduism: “It is more like a tree that has grown gradually than like a building that has been erected by some great architect at some definite point in time. It contains within itself the influences of many cultures and the body of Hindu thought thus offers as much variety as the Indian nation itself.” He goes on: “The names of a host of sages and saints are of course associated with Hinduism, but none can claim to be its founder; they have all simply contributed to its growth in their own specific ways. Similarly, an enormous corpus of sacred literature is also associated with Hinduism…..but none can claim exclusive authority.”
Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha