Why Modi government feels Hindu mythology will make Arunachal Pradesh 'part of' India
A torrent of laughter tears must be pouring down China’s cheeks.
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As if now China will shiver in its pants because the Manipur CM reportedly said that by “marrying Rukmini, Krishna had bound the Northeast with India”, at the Madhavpur mela, a religio-cultural fair going on, in Porbandar district, Gujarat.
As if because of the Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur chief ministers’ claims that “lord Krishna’s marriage with princess Rukmini underlined the fact that Arunachal Pradesh has been part of India for the “past 5,000 years” during the same mela, China will stop claiming Arunachal Pradesh.
The reported addresses of some Northeastern states' governors and chief ministers are no longer comical - not even an indication of ignorance and the inability to discern between myth and history.
These are deliberate and ominous attempts to Hinduise the Northeast, to assert that the indigenous belief-systems of the Northeastern communities are/were precursors of Hinduism or akin to Hinduism or even Hinduism itself - and in the process negate and invalidate the histories and cultures of communities of our region.
No, it is not actually China’s claims over Arunachal they are alluding to by erasing the line between mythology and history (indubitably China can also discern mythology and history) - they are brain-washing the minds of the Northeastern people for they know how gullible we are.
We are not just gullible, but also vulnerable because of our history of marginalisation and alienation, which have impoverished us to the point that we have today sold our souls for a few rupees more and so we voted to power people who would colonise us, every which way, again and again.
Gods and princesses marrying are all very fine, but such mythologies do not make the modern state and the history and politics thereof. An Ahom king also married an Ao lady and another married a Konyak lady - and this is documented history - but that did not lead to Aos or Konyaks or even the rest of the Nagas coming under the suzerainty of the Ahom kingdom.
Across the globe, history is replete with prince and princesses of different kingdoms and empires marrying, but kingdoms and empires of the princesses have not been occupied. The statement: “By marrying Rukmini, Krishna had bound the Northeast with India”, also has very baleful patriarchal overtones and undertones, which is antithetical to all democratic and liberal ethoses.
Manipur’s CM is also reported to have said: "In the time of lord Krishna, there was no separate Arunachal Pradesh or Assam or Manipur. The entire Northeast was one entity. Now, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland are on the border of China. But lord Krishna made them part of India during his time."
Well, might it be reminded to the gentleman that “in the time of lord Krishna”, there was also no India? One can only despair when worthies like Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani reportedly said, “It is not that these states (Northeast) became parts of India after we won Independence. The incident of lord Krishna-Rukmini and their marriage at Madhavpur underline that it was one since those times.”
And Gujarat governor Om Prakash Kohli reportedly said that marriages have been an important part of territorial integrity of India. This is pure distortion of history - and actually makes an interesting study on perceptions and perspectives of history - looking at what one wants history to be as opposed to what history is. Now, talking of the territorial integrity of India, the reported utterances of the above-mentioned worthies also has another angle to the issue.
As said earlier, the main message is not being sent to China; it is directed at the Northeastern communities - most of who are demanding sovereignty, self-determination, autonomy, etc, on the grounds of never being under the suzerainty/sovereignty of India prior to and during the 200 years of British colonialism.
Clearly, unable to address and redress the issue of Northeastern communities’ demand for sovereignty, self-determination, autonomy, etc, mythology and the distortion of history thereof is now being seen as the answer to these demands.
Such projected inability to discern between mythology and history is deliberate and with very nefarious motives - with the hope of silencing the Northeastern communities’ aspirations. Meanwhile, a torrent of laughter tears must be pouring down China’s cheeks.
(The post first appeared here.)