Academe as Battleground – Part 2
History as Myth – Western Academe’s self-preserving industry
By Radha Rajan
Western academe has to confront the truth that what goes by the name of white civilization today is a derivative of the white church; if only because after the Christianization of the whole of Europe, the White Church diminished all Anglo-Saxon, Nordic/Scandinavian and Continental pre-Christian religion, Gods, culture and history to merely legends, myth and folklore heroes. The pre-Christian past was denied reality and historicity (as White Christians define history) and was retained as a romantic and nostalgic mythical component of their White identity.
However it cannot be emphasized enough that the White race will not suffer the pangs of crisis of identity, feel de-culturised, rootless or orphaned if this component of their past, their history did not survive even as a museum or literary artifact. The White Church has effectively reduced European pre-Christian history to myth and this diminishing has everything to do with national territory and the human soul’s inextricable link with the soil and the sense of belonging to a nation’s soil.
Thus White civilization today is congruent with White Christianity. Their Buckingham Palace, Statue of Liberty, their Da Vinci and Picasso, Descartes and Voltaire, their Smithsonian and World Trade Center, Albert Hall and Eiffel Tower, Shakespeare, Whitman and Strauss cannot wash away or even hide the ugly history of the march and expansion of the white church across continents, leaving behind it a bloody trail of genocide, slavery, colonialism, greed, lust, rape, plunder, disease, loot and mindless destruction of everything that was grander and nobler than itself.
“Columbus stands, by this definition, not as Italian, Spaniard, Portuguese or Jew but as the penultimate European of his age, the emblematic personality of all that Europe was, had been and would become in the course of its subsequent expansion across the face of the earth.
As a symbol then, Christopher Columbus vastly transcends himself. He stands before the bar of history and humanity, culpable not only for his deeds on Espanola, but, in spirit at least, for the carnage and cultural obliteration which attended the conquests of Mexico and Peru during the 1500s.
And the ghost of Columbus stood with the British in their wars against the Zulus and various Arab nations, with the United States against the ‘Moros’ of the Philippines, with the French against the peoples of Algeria and Indochina, the Belgians in the Congo, the Dutch in Indonesia. He was there for the Opium Wars and the “secret” bombing of Cambodia, for the systematic slaughter of the indigenous peoples of California during the nineteenth century and of the Mayans in Guatemala during the 1980s. And yes, he was very much present in the corridors of Nazi power.
The Third Reich was, after all, never so much a deviation from as it was a crystallization of the dominant themes – racial supremacism, conquest and genocide – of the European culture Columbus so ably exemplifies.
Nazism was never unique: it was instead only one of an endless succession of “New World Orders” set in motion by the Discovery. It was neither more nor less detestable than the order imposed by Christopher Columbus upon Espanola; 1493 or 1943, they were part of the same irreducible whole.” (A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 to the Present by Ward Churchill, City Light Books, San Francisco, 1997, p 92)
This is the most damning indictment of the White Church by one of its victims; Ward Churchill a Native American, along with Vine Deloria Jr. exemplifies a new genre of American scholarship that is beginning to challenge White Christian academe on its own turf. The white church had no native land, no janmabhumi. White Christians therefore cannot claim any land as being their own, on which was born their religion, their people. Europe was white before it was Christian; America, Africa, Asia and Australia were neither white nor Christian. White became White Christian through a marriage of mutual convenience between the White race and the folklore of Jesus Christ whose reality and historicity is being increasingly questioned in the White world. Not that Jesus’ historicity is of any relevance to the intellectual counter-challenge except to give the White Christians a dose of their own medicine of denying historicity to non-Christian religions and their Gods.
The consummation of this marriage produced the abominable and monstrous White Church which conferred upon White Christians the dubious distinction of being genocidal invaders, occupiers and settlers around the world, on territories not theirs by race, religion or both. Except for the first ‘migration’ of humans from out of Africa (the jury is still out on this story whose immediate motivated corollary is that we are all immigrants from somewhere), peoples of the world, before the advent of the two blood-thirsty offspring of Judaism, belonged to the soil which gave birth to their religions. Nationalism is the umbilical cord of a people binding them in a blood-tie to the soil of their religion. This was the truth that White Church and White State driven western academe had to negate and eventually subvert.
There was no culture that did not derive from the religion of the people and no religion that did not belong to the soil. Simply put, all pre-Christian, pre-Islamic and non-Semitic religions understood the limitations of the human brain and worked out the relationship between human beings and the power that created this planet; some religions called it God, some called it Truth, some called it Consciousness or Supreme Intelligence while yet others called it Spirit. Some religions, like Hinduism went beyond the planet and articulated a mind-boggling and breathtaking description of all Creation and the intelligence behind Creation; While Hinduism described Time in terms of ‘yugas’, Hindus understood and articulated timelessness just as they understood and articulated the still and pregnant state beyond Creation.
The history of European/White civilization is thus congruent with the history of the White Church. Western history and western account of world history is a sordid record of the journeys and wars by which the White Church expanded across continents. As ward Churchill writes, Christopher Columbus is emblematic of the genocidal White Church. Hindus would add Vasco da Gama, Francis Xavier, Alfonso De Albuquerque, Robert Clive and Queen Victoria to the list.
Subsequent to the first wave of expansion and occupation, western history is a chronicle of western science and technology devised to aid future expansion and sustain past occupation. Western academe, offspring of the White Church was confronted by the humbling truth that the religion, knowledge, science and technology of White Christians did not yield convincing answers to any fundamental question plaguing humankind nor did they permit the White race to live in peace with other humans and non-human Creation; even more humbling was the truth that the non-Christian, non-Muslim cultures, religions and peoples they laid waste were far superior in terms of refined religious understanding and scientific and civilisational achievements. The third humbling truth that the racist and white supremacist civilization had to confront was that White Christians had no nation. A nation-less religion was like a man without a home.
The White Church employed three devises to expand, conquer and occupy continents not its own – genocide, slavery and colonialism. When the British colonised India they were confronted by a civilization and a religion that had created wealth beyond belief, its achievements in literature, both sacred and secular, and the arts were magnificent and beyond compare, its people were contented, there was no poverty, no hunger and the most striking thing was the Hindu adherence to a voluntary code of conduct called dharma which governed every aspect of a Hindu’s life.
India’s Hindus posed and continue to pose the biggest doctrinal and empirical challenge to the White Church and its state power – White Christian America and Europe. Hindus had a nation, they continued to live in that nation and Hindus had demonstrated their determination to protect their nation from religious invaders and marauders. White Christians were faced by a people whose innate refinement showed up the White civilization’s immorality, injustice and greed in unpitying light. It was driven home to them that the Hindus were contented to live on their janmabhumi which they held to be punyabhumi and their karmabhumi. Hindus and Hinduism had no desire to conquer and occupy alien nations; Hindus had never conquered territory from greed of wealth or natural resources, never conceived of decimating people with different worldviews and had no use for colonizing territories and nations belonging to other peoples.
White academe had its work cut out for it. English education and western scholarship on Hindu religion, society and culture had to –
Sow discord among the different communities of Hindus
Peddle academic theories equalizing Hindus with their invaders on their homeland
Inject the poison of discontent
Rupture the fabric of social harmony resting on dharma
Confine Hindu dharma/religion within the idiom of mono and polytheism
Promote monotheism as the supreme virtue and accuse Hindus of polytheism
Diminish Hindu history as myth and tell the Hindus that they have no history
Peddle the theory that the roots of the Hindu religion lie outside India
Thus deny Hindus the comfort of belonging to a timeless nation
Render Hindus as nation-less as White Christianity and Islam
Gandhi exemplified the success of western academe’s diabolic intentions. At the peak of his political activism in South Africa, Gandhi admits to the innate nobility of colonialism when he speaks of the purpose of colonialism as being to civilize and lift up the victim nation and its natives from a state of barbarity, ignorance and superstition. Gandhi also denied historicity to our ithihasas. Srirama and Srikrishna were only mythological figures for Gandhi; and the Mahabharata war was not a mega war fought among the Kings of Dwapara yuga arraigned on two sides of the battlefield – dharma and adharma, but an allegory to describe the war between the forces of good and evil inside a person’s mind.
Gandhi, like Columbus was emblematic. By conceding that the British government always raised the status of its conquered and enslaved subjects, and by diminishing the history of the Hindu people to the status of myths and legends, Gandhi became the living proof of the successful intent of western academe. Decimating Hindu nationalists under Gandhi’s nose and getting Gandhi to stand by in helplessness as the nation was vivisected was one of the most stunning victories of western academe. Gandhi was emblematic of the unthinking Hindu who continues to regurgitate western academe’s front end refuse. (To be continued)