Book Review by DR Sardesai
Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines; Author: Rajiv Malhotra, Publisher: Amaryllis.
Pages: 640. Price: Rupees 695.
This is a very important book
both for students of Indian politics and society in the post-Independence era. It is also important for Westerners, particularly
Americans, who are interested in the preservation and strengthening of the Indian polity, more so as a thriving democracy,
the largest on the planet.
If the policy-makers in the Western
capitals, including Washington D.C. are working for India to emerge strong and united as a bulwark against a rising China,
they should closely read this tome, as providing substantial and irrefutable evidence of a section of its citizenry working
to contrary purposes of breaking India to facilitate the proselytizing of its Hindu population, which constitutes 85 percent
of its 1.2 billion people.
The British ruled this sub-continent
with its nefarious Divide and Rule policy. According to Rajiv Malhotra's meticulously researched work, the American evangelists
have, for some time, been engaged in no less nefarious designs to Divide and Proselytize India using falsehood and immense
financial clout to augment its flock.
There are weak spots in
every human society, be it Christian, Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist. During the century (in some areas longer) of their rule,
British colonials and missionaries used their clout to convert the Hindu population but failed to enlist more than 2 percent
of it to Christianity, principally in the north-east amongst Tribals. The American evangelicals have, for the last two decades,
focused on two specific areas - the Dravidians and the Dalits - for the most part, fabricating "facts" to show how
the Northern Aryans and the high-caste Brahmans had behaved. Dalits were supposed to be ‘Untouchables' (Gandhiji called
them Harijans (Children of God) and for whose uplift, Free India's Constitution gives preference for education, jobs, and
also representation in state legislatures and national Parliament.
provision was initially for ten years, but has continued to become an essential feature of Indian politics, which no party
or politicians dare challenge (for fear of losing votes.)
British had invented the theory of the invading Aryans, using the North-western passes, horses, iron and the Sanskrit language
to dominate the sub-continent to secure its military, political, social and cultural conquest, pushing the largely dark-skinned
Dravidians to South, principally in the present-day Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The evangelicals have embraced the now defunct theory to "lay bare" the three or four millennia-long myth
about the Aryan domination of the Dravidians. It appears that the evangelicals have no scruples such as truth in the service
of Christ to "harvest their souls" from Hinduism to Christianity. Malhotra reveals this unholy alliance between
the evangelicals and Maoists for the short-term gains of converting poor millions, amongst the Dravidians, Dalits and Tribals,
In the last few months since its publication,
Malhotra's book, with its alarming evidence of evangelical efforts to break India has made large numbers of academia, social
activists and politicians in India as well as substantial numbers of thinking individuals in the highly educated community
of Indian Americans, to sit up and take serious note of external religious organizations ganging up to break India. They are
also beginning to notice what the American evangelical groups have done since the late 1990s through the newly created U.S.
International Commission for Religious Freedom to bring pressure on the Indian Government to take action against those who
impede proselytizing activities of the Christian missionaries and their acolytes.
Annual report(s) of this Commission - which incidentally does not have jurisdiction within the United States - are
highly critical of Indian governments (both, central as well as state) for their "inadequate action against oppressors"
of "Dravidians" and Dalits.
Materials in India of
such alleged violations are garnered by the evangelists and their helpers and brought to the attention of the U.S. Congress
and the White House. The harm to India as well as to the U.S. foreign policy towards India is immense. In that sense, the
book is very timely and should be read widely by scholars, social activists and policy-makers in India as well as in the U.S.
The Hindus are generally known as a tolerant people, who believe all religions
are valid approaches to God or the "Absolute Reality."
Christian evangelicals step up their efforts to proselytize, the instances of Hindus taking offense also multiply. Malhotra
is a scholar not an activist; never an evangelist. Yet the book he has authored may serve as an eye-opener for religious and
socio-political activists in India, who are alarmed by anything designed to exploit the fault lines, real or fabricated, to
break India. In many ways this book is damaging to those who play grossly with the US as well as Indian interests. It's a
must read - to say the least.
[Sardesai is Emeritus Professor
of History with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles.]