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BOOK REVIEW – “The Saraswati Civilization: A Paradigm Shift in Ancient Indian History”

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Nidhi Mishra
An avid reader and writer.

Major General G D Bakshi, the author of the aforementioned book on Saraswati Civilization is not only an accomplished combatant but also a erudite scholar who has written more than thirty three books and many more research papers. Here is a review of his startling book which brings out compilation of several new facts to public discourse on some of the most contentious yet important aspects pertaining to identity of the Indian people.

“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth” is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels, but has been used so effectively by the dominating Marxists historians in India that even putting across a different viewpoint by staging healthy debates was nearly impossible.

The contentious Aryan-Invasion-Theory (AIT) is one glaring example wherein the one-sided narrative that hinged around deliberate obliviousness to plethora of inconvenient facts as well as body of literature generated since British times around convenient interpretations, has been pushed into Indians’ mass psyche in all these years at every level including in schools through official textbooks blindly supporting such motivated ‘theory’ conceived by the foreign colonial power to pursue their own agenda.

Even the most ardent proponents of AIT now concede that plethora of fallacies entailed into this British construed, yet seeing it so widespread across Indian psyche make one feel disgusted realising the deep prevalence and persistence of this fake narrative which challenges our very identity and has divided us so deep.

The river Saraswati which was till now being purposely called as mythical, as being propounded by the British and nurtured by the Marxist historians, has now been proven beyond doubts thanks to the new finding of various scientific & historical studies.

Clearly, there is more to our history which has been deliberately wrapped under carpet to fulfill divisive agendas. Major General G.D. Bakshi’s book titled “The Saraswati Civilization: A Paradigm Shift in Ancient Indian History”challenges and takes this very agenda head-on.

The book presents a holistic coverage of multifaceted paradigms related to the river Saraswati and thus provides a new definition to the cultural ethos of this land called Aryavarta. In total thirteen chapters, the book holistically elaborates upon all the major aspects concerning the evidences derived as an outcome of the research made to validate the existence of the River Saraswati. Hence, no point is left untouched which is needed to counter those who always rake up the questions challenging the ever existence of this river.

The introductory chapter sets the tone for the narrative which is built in rest of the book very impressively. Beginning with history of invasions to India, Mr. Bakshi brilliantly analyses the repercussions of the British Rule over India. He Writes, “The British Rule had strong overtones of racial arrogance and superiority” which prevented the British from getting themselves amalgamated with the native Indian population hence faced with a strong rebellion of Indians across all castes and creeds. This made them explore the major fault-lines in the then Indian Society, and the most apt one diagnosed by them was caste. Therefore, British made attempts to foster this fault-line by reinforcing separate sub identities within the society. The other fault-line the British found useful for their agenda to be widened was along religious lines and so created rifts between Hindus and Muslims.

Simultaneously, British also made a broader plan to usurp history and rewrite it in the manner which benefits and justifies their presence in India. For this they shattered the age-old Gurukul System and replaced it with the Macaulayian system of education. The aim was to produce loyal and committed English speaking clerks and generate a sense of inferiority in the local population. Picking up the thread from this theme and with help of many foreign Indologists, British propounded the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT)which was their convenient construed. General Bakshi intelligently elucidates the contradiction inherent in this fake AIT theory, and quotes the biases of some European and American think-tanks perpetuating the societal divide on basis of caste and race,primarily for denigrating the Indic Civilization as exploitative and hegemonic.

The introduction of the book makes a strong case for challenging the colonial narratives and building a complete new underpinning for the logical and true account of the ancient history of India in light of a variety of scientific evidences have come to light.

General Bakshi’s narrative progresses with coalescing the oral tradition regarding the River Saraswati and the scientific evidences, which prove beyond doubt that there used to flow a mighty river in the Northern part of India. He substantiates his point by referring to several detailed Geological studies, satellite imagery studies etc. Besides, archaeological as well as linguistic evidences have been amply provided in this awesome account by General Bakshi to establish the fact that the bulk of settlements had flourished along the banks of River Saraswati along with the Indus river.

In the chapter regarding Geological evidence, Mr. Bakshi by putting forth an interesting analyses by Prof. Damle has very logically depicted, how the geological events which occurred millions of years ago have been befittingly mentioned in Rig Veda analogies.

Likewise, the umpteen evidences coming out of the excavations have authenticated the fact that there exists cultural uniformity between the Indus Saraswati Civilization and the Rig Vedic Culture. The author has brilliantly analysed the whole data available to prove this point. In a very lucid way he puts forth those points which remove the facade of myth over the existence of the river Saraswati. The question that needs to be churned intensively on the points mentioned by the author is that Why would Aryans stream into the land that had just been desiccated by the drying up of the river? The fake AIT does not have any answer to this genuine question.

Some questions have even puzzled me always whenever I read about the culture of The Harappan Civilization, the culture there resembles to the culture what we follow even today, to this quest G.D Bakshi’s book has an answer. He writes, “The continuity of lifestyles, cultural constructs, modes of transport, culinary habits and even the design of pots, pans and ovens, techniques of agriculture, layouts of houses, the basic design of bullock carts etc. are so startling that it defies imagination as to why these have not been noted much earlier than they were?”

The resemblances he identifies point-by-point begin with the profound wisdom of Yoga given by Panini and the quintessential wisdom of the Vedas and the Upanishadas, then refers to the similarity in the Terracotta figurines and seals used now and then in the times of Indus-Saraswati Civilization. Major among them are the seal of Pashupati Nath, Harappan female fertility figurine etc. The detail elucidation of the seals and Terracotta figurines manifests the depth of research done by him, while collecting the material.

There is an exclusive chapter in the book which puts forth the scriptural evidences in support of the river. The Rig Vedic verses amply eulogises the river Saraswati, and the author has reproduced several of these Suktas to prove the importance being given to the river, one of the verses states, “ The River Saraswati alone among these abundant wealth giving streams, arises in the high mountains and flows to the sea. Verily it offered milk to the very thirsty king Nahusha.”

The NadiSukta in Rig Veda is the most distinctive verse which lists the seven mighty streams of the Rig Vedic Civilisational area. The River Saraswati is raised to the status of a divine manifestation, the Goddess of wisdom and learning.

“O Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Shutudri (Sutlej), Parushni (Iravati, Ravi), follow my praise! O Asikni (Chenab) Marudvridha, Vitasta (Jhelum), with the Arjikiya (Haro) and Sushoma (Sohan), listen o Rivers to these our hymns and accept them joyfully.”

The author touches upon the depiction of the river in various scriptures consecutively beginning with the Vedas to it’s mention in the Epic Mahabharata.

Furthermore, General Bakshi’s expostulates the myth of Aryan Invasion by putting forward various philological, DNA samples and carbon Dating evidences in the most logical manner. The most remarkable is the Baghpat Chariot found in Sonali village at Baghpat(U.P). The Carbon Dating fixes the date to 2000-1800 B.C.E. This predates the Aryan Invasion/Migration date of Muller or Wheeler. In the light of the philological similarities in the grammar of the several languages viz. Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin etc. which created a narrative of Proto Indo European Language, this book gives a befitting response to it’s champions, and presents a complete plausible interpretation.

It is in this way,there is lot more to this book which unravels many new narratives and accounts based on scientific reasoning to prove that till now what has been taught to us regarding our identity is nothing more than a complete untruth, which reader will find extremely fascinating. It is interesting that the author advocates for the need of the Multidisciplinary approach to the problems of Indology. An important aspect which will aid in answering the various questions regarding Indology, for which he suggests holding a Seminar on the style of Copenhagen Convention.

The beauty of this fantastic book lies in its asking for building an indigenous Grand Narrative for India which enables in reclaiming an identity for its people not based on the foreign paradigms. The author in the last chapter tells the readers about the history of how a colonial narrative crushed the sense of pride over their heritage among the Indians which percolated deep into our genes. In order to justify their colonial rule they coined the theories like AIT etc and this slave mentality was furthered by the Macaulayian system of education. The author thereafter, elaborates upon those points which have raised the quest to delve deep into those reasons behind exploring more and more traces of this once mighty river. The writer suggests unique ideas to rejuvenate this marvellous civilization by physically recharging the river and then initiating Saraswati Pilgrimage Tourism.

The book is a paramount contribution by Major General Bakshi towards bring in a renaissance in Indic studies, as it not only challenges those who question the very indigenous-ness of Indians but objectively disarm the Marxists propagandists with diverse set of scientific studies. This book is an important contribution towards destroying the AIT myth by compiling the diverse set of scientific outcomes which are more than sufficient to burry this AIT myth.

The book is very interesting & enthralling read for all those who have penchant for fact-based history writing in Indian perspective. I strongly recommend the book to be a part of every Indian Households to make them aware of their own true identity which has the unparalleled civilization continuity over several millennia.

 

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Nidhi Mishra
An avid reader and writer.

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