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Nobel Laureate V.S.Naipaul - On ignoring history

Sacrificer           V.S.Naipaul
Sacrifice code       wfor0364
Sacrifice date       25 march 2009

Nobel Laureate V.S.Naipaul - On ignoring history

  • http://indpride.com/v.s.naipaul.html
  • http://indpride.com
  • "How do you ignore history? But the nationalist movement, independence
    movement ignored it. You read the Glimpses of World History by Jawaharlal Nehru, it talks about the mythical past and then it jumps the difficult period of the
    invasions and conquests. So you have Chinese pilgrims coming to Bihar,
    Nalanda and places like that. Then somehow they don't tell you what happens, why these places are in ruin. They never tell you why Elephanta island is in ruins or why Bhubaneswar was desecrated."

    "People in India have only known tyranny. The very idea of liberty is a new
    idea. Particularly pathetic is the harking back to the Mughals as a time of
    glory. In fact the Mughals were tyrants, every one of them. They were foreign
    tyrants and they were proud of being foreign".

    "India has been a wounded civilization because of Islamic violence:
    Pakistanis know this; indeed they revel in it. It is only Indian Nehruvians like
    Romila Thapar who pretend that Islamic rule was benevolent. We should face
    facts: Islamic rule in India was at least as catastrophic as the later Christian
    rule. The Christians created massive poverty in what was a most prosperous
    country; the Muslims created a terrorized civilization out of what was the most
    creative culture that ever existed."

    "India was wrecked and looted, not once but repeatedly by invaders with
    strong religious ideas, with a hatred of the religion of the people they were
    conquering. People read these accounts but they do not imaginatively understand
    the effects of conquest by an iconoclastic religion."

    "India became the great land for Muslim adventurers and the peasantry bore
    this on their back, they were enslaved quite literally. It just went on like
    this from the 11th century onwards." (source: Economic Times -

  • www.economictimes.com
  • "The millennium began with the Muslim invasions and the grinding down of
    the Hindu-Buddhist culture of the north. This is such a big and bad event that
    people still have to find polite, destiny-defying ways of speaking about it.
    In art books and history books, people write of the Muslims "arriving" in
    India, as though the Muslims came on a tourist bus and went away again. The
    Muslim view of their conquest of India is a truer one. They speak of the triumph
    of the faith, the destruction of idols and temples, the loot, the carting
    away of the local people as slaves, so cheap and numerous that they were being
    sold for a few rupees. The architectural evidence- the absence of Hindu
    monuments in the north is convincing enough. This conquest was unlike any other
    that had gone before. There are no Hindu records of this period. Defeated
    people never write their history. The victors write the history. The victors were
    Muslims. For people on the other side it is a period of darkness."

    On Hindu militancy and India's secularity

    "To say that India has a secular character is being historically unsound.
    Dangerous or not, Hindu militancy is a corrective to the history I have been
    talking about. It is a creative force and will be so. Islam can't reconcile
    with it." .

    On Hindu Revivalism

    "India was trampled over, fought over. You had the invasions and you had the
    absence of a response to them. There was an absence even of the idea of a
    people, of a nation defending itself. Only now are people beginning to
    understand that there has been a great vandalizing of India. The movement is now
    from below. It has to be dealt with. It is not enough to abuse these youths or
    use that fashionable word from Europe, 'fascism', There is a big, historical
    development going on in India."

  • carribeanhindu.com
  • "What is happening in India is a new historical awakening....

    Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening:

    deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this
    response appears in his eyes to be threatening."

    "Indian intellectuals have a responsibility to the state and should start a
    debate on the Muslim psyche. To speak of Hindu fundamentalism, is a
    contradiction in terms, it does not exist. Hinduism is not this kind of religion. You
    know, there are no laws in Hinduism. And there are many forces in
    Hinduism.... My interest in these popular movements is due to the pride they restore to their adherents in a country ravaged by five or six centuries of brutal
    government by Muslim invaders. These populations, in particular the peasantry,
    have been so crushed, that any movement provides a certain sense of pride.
    The leftists who claim that that these wretched folk are fascists are wrong.
    It's absurd. I think that they are only reclaiming a little of their own
    identity. We can't discuss it using a Western vocabulary."

    "I think every liberal person should extend a hand to that kind of movement
    from the bottom. One takes the longer view rather than the political view.
    There's a great upheaval in India and if you're interested in India, you must
    welcome it. "

    "What is happening in India is a new, historical awakening. Gandhi used
    religion in a way as to marshal people for the independence cause. People who
    entered the independence movement did it because they felt they would earn
    individual merit. Only now are the people beginning to understand that there has
    been a great vandalising of India. Because of the nature of the conquest and
    the nature of Hindu society such understanding had eluded Indians before."
    (indolink.com)On how he reacted to demolition of Babri Masjid

    "Not as badly as the others did, I am afraid. The people who say that there
    was no temple there are missing the point. Babar, you must understand, had
    contempt for the country he had conquered. And his building of that mosque was
    an act of contempt. In Ayodhya, the construction of a mosque on a spot
    regarded as sacred by the conquered population was meant as an insult to an
    ancient idea, the idea of Ram which was two or three thousand years old." (The
    Times of India, 18 July 1993). On the attire of the people who demolished
    Babri Masjid

    "One needs to understand the passion that took them on top of the domes. The
    jeans and the tee shirts are superficial. The passion alone is real. You
    can't dismiss it. You have to try to harness it. Hitherto in India, the
    thinking has come from the top. What is happening now is different. The movement is from below." (The Times of India, 18 July 1993).

    On the Taj Mahal

    "The Taj is so wasteful, so decadent and in the end so cruel that it is
    painful to be there for very long." (Outlook, 15 November 1999).
    "You see, I am less interested in the Taj Mahal which is a vulgar, crude
    building, a display of power built on blood and bones. Everything exaggerated,
    everything overdone, which suggests a complete slave population. I would like
    to find out what was there before the Taj Mahal."

    ( 13 January 2003)

  • economictimes.indiatimes.com
  • On Islam

    Naipaul says that Islam had enslaved and attempted to wipe out other
    cultures. "It has had a calamitous effect on converted peoples. To be converted you have to destroy your past, destroy your history. You have to stamp on it,
    you have to say 'my ancestral culture does not exist, it doesn't matter'."
    (Guardian News Service)

    "There has probably been no imperialism like that of Islam and the Arabs."
    "Islam seeks as an article of faith to erase the past; the believers in the
    end honour Arabia alone; they have nothing to return to. Islam requires the
    convert to accept that his land is of no religious or historical importance;
    its relics were of no account; only the sands of Arabia are sacred." (The
    Times of India, 18 July 1993)

    "It is not the unbeliever as the other person so much as the remnant of the
    unbeliever in one's customs and in one's ways of thinking. It's this wish to
    destroy the past, the ancient soul, the unregenerate soul. This is the
    great neurosis of the converted." (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

    "I had known Muslims all my life. But I knew little of their religion. The
    doctrine, or what I thought was its doctrine, didn't attract me. It didn't
    seem worth inquiring into; and over the years, in spite of travel, I had added
    little to the knowledge gathered in my Trinidad childhood. The glories of
    this religion were in the remote past; it has generated nothing like a
    Renaissance. Muslim countries, were not colonies, were despotisms; and nearly all, before oil, were poor." (From his book Among the Believers, 1981)

    On non-fundamentalist Islam

    "I think it is a contradiction. It can always be called up to drown and
    overwhelm every movement. The idea in Islam, the most important thing, is
    paradise. No one can be a moderate in wishing to go to paradise. The idea of a
    moderate state is something cooked up by politicians looking to get a few loans
    here and there." (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

    On formation of Pakistan

    Naipaul considers Pakistan's founding "extremely fortunate" for India as
    the "religious question would otherwise have paralysed and consumed the state"

    "The Iqbal idea that religion wasn't a matter of conscience, that it needed
    a separate community and society, was a wicked and rather foolish idea."

    "In India, unlike Iran, there never was a complete Islamic conquest.
    Although the Muslims ruled much of North India from 1200A.D. to 1700A.D., in the 18th century, the Mahrattas and the Sikhs destroyed Muslim power, and created their own empires, before the advent of the British....The British introduced the New Learning of Europe, to which the Hindus were more receptive than the Muslims. This caused the beginning of the intellectual distance between the two communities. This distance has grown with independence....Muslim
    insecurity led to the call for the creation of Pakistan. It went at the same time
    with an idea of old glory, of the invaders sweeping down from the northwest and
    looting the temples of Hindustan and imposing faith on the infidel. The
    fantasy still lives: and for the Muslim converts of the subcontinent it is the
    start of their neurosis, because in this fantasy the convert forgets who or
    what he is and becomes the violator."


  • http://www2b.abc.net.au/news/forum/forum43/posts/topic16200.shtm
  • http://www2b.abc.net.au
  • Naipaul calls Pakistan a "criminal" enterprise.
    "Here is a Muslim country which after its creation in 1947 promptly became a state of manpower exports. Lots of people came to Britain. The idea of a state for the Muslims began to undo itself very quickly."

    Naipaul's advice to every Indian

    Naipaul has advised every Indian to make a "pilgrimage" to Vijaynagar "just
    to see what the (Muslim) invasion of India led to. They will see a totally
    destroyed town."

    "I think when you see so many Hindu temples of the tenth century or earlier
    time disfigured, defaced, you know that they were not just defaced for fun:
    that something terrible happened. I feel that the civilization of that closed
    world was mortally wounded by those invasions. And I would like people, as
    it were, to be more reverential towards the past, to try to understand it; to
    preserve it; instead of living in its ruins. The Old World is destroyed.
    That has to be understood. The ancient Hindu India was destroyed." (The Hindu, 5
    July 1998).

    On charges of insensitivity and pandering to Western prejudices in writings about Islam

    "Well, that is the trouble with writing about Muslim people. There are
    people of the universities who want to run you out of town, and they're paid to,
    and so they pay no attention to what you actually say." (The New York Times
    Magazine, 28.10.2001)

    On whether he is surprised by Osama bin Laden's support in Pakistan,
    Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran.

    "No, because these are the converted peoples of Islam. To put it brutally,
    these are the people who are n_ot Arabs. Part of the neurosis of the convert
    is that he always has to prove himself. He has to be more royalist than the
    king, as the French say." (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)
    On causes of 9/11

  • http://indpride.com/v.s.naipaul.html
  • http://indpride.com

  • "It had no cause. Religious hate, religious motivation, was the primary
    thing. I don't think it was because of American foreign policy. There is a
    passage in one of the Conrad short stories of the East Indies where the savage
    finds himself with his hands bare in the world, and he lets out a howl of anger.
    I think that, in its essence, is what is happening. The world is getting
    more and more out of reach of simple people who have only religion. And the more they depend on religion, which of course solves nothing, the more the world
    gets out of reach. The oil money in the 70's gave the illusion that power
    had come to the Islamic world. It was as though up there was a divine
    supermarket, and at last it had become open to people in the Muslim world. They didn't understand that the goods that gave them power in the end were made by
    another civilization. That was intolerable to accept, and it remains intolerable."
    (The New York Times Magazine, 28.10.2001)

    Farrukh Dhondy on V.S. Naipaul

    I ask V.S. Naipaul about his theory that the Muslim conquests of India
    resulted in genocide and a destruction of the flower of Hindu civilisation. He
    repeats his contention - Yes, the great wound was inflicted on this

    I ask him about the tolerance that I have been taught was part of Indian
    history, the life together of the two religions. He says it is a lie and a hoax.
    In other conversations he has maintained that historians such as Romila
    Thapar are lying for political purpose, hiding the fact of Muslim genocide in

    Now I ask him whether his views will not play into the hands of bigots and
    people who want to persecute Muslims in our times. He says the truth will
    never hurt, that Muslims in India ought to be aware of these truths. It is in
    this context that we come to what has been written about the religions of


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