The Vedic system, the caste system, kept the lower classes to their positions without giving them access to studies and other such things and that accounts a widespread poverty in India; that is what Marxist would like you to believe, and that’s what has been pushed in the textbooks, like to see what will happen Agnus Maddison, historical economist, talks about the GDP of India 33% as the world GDP, in one going down to 2003, up to 2003, you see it’s going through a period of decline over here, through invasion periods a small rise during Maratha consolidation, and then the colonial, is in a rapid decline fortunes of India, when Western Europe goes up. The idea from a mile-high view is that a transference of wealth from India into Western Europe caused poverty in India. However, this is hiding a lot of things. There are, maybe, 100 PhD thesis waiting to be written over here, about the micro stories. There are lots of human interest. Bottom level stories that is not told by this graph, it everything is embedded over here.
First thing I like to call your attention to is, as an engineer I love doing this. Let’s extrapolate backwards. What is it telling you? It’s telling you, where you have taken this graph at 33% and go backwards and time, the slope is more and more positive, meaning that India was a very rich nation in the past. When I gave this talk in Chennai, I am fortunate that Dr. Srini Kalyanaraman, he came to the talk. He’s a director of Saraswathi Research Centre and he said, ‘do you notice if he pushed his graph all the way back to the Harappa times, we have one of the most rich people, and all his works Dr. Srini Kalyanaraman has been working on the wealth of ancient India, was based on metal works. His research shows, how there was a trade from Mekong Valley in Vietnam all the way to Haifa in Israel. There was metal works which was going through the Mekong river, Brahmaputra River, the Ganga river, the Sindhu – Saraswathi – Indus and the land route up to Haifa, and he says Harappa people were the center of all of this action, and they were experts at metal works. They were the ones, who invented bronze. Somebody over here, figure out that you take copper and I had tin to it, it’s going to become bronze. They were the ones who are doing metal works. It is this that contributed to the wealth of ancient India. Here is an amazing observation that Dr. Srini Kalyanaraman made. I thought, I will talk about that.
Next thing I would like to talk about today… If I take somebody from the streets of New Delhi and ask what are your aspirations, he is going to say I would love to have a bungalow in the richest part of New Delhi. I don’t know, what that is may be where Janpath is somewhere, a bungalow, by themselves and then he said say that I would love to have an Audi Car maybe and send my children to rich schools and maybe take a vacation in Europe, wears expensive clothes. These are the aspirations and the money goes to all these various people. Let me take the question back 200 years, 200 or 300 years ago, you ask an ordinary Joe of the road what are your aspirations, he is going to say I would like to ask clothes to wear, I like to have some pots and pans for my wife can do some cooking, I would love to buy the lady some jewels and ware some jewels. These were the aspirations that’s I am like to do.
Who made all these things in India, who made the textiles, who made the pots and pans metal or earthen, who made the jewels? It was the Potter to the ironsmith, it was the goldsmith, it was a farmer’s, it was a textile worker and who are these guys? Were the Brahmins? No, they were all, so called, lower classes and the sugars, the artisans were all this lower class and they were the ones with this 33%.
This is hiding that piece of data. It’s not the Brahmins who were the richest over there. It’s a so-called lower classes in India. They produced every group of interest for the economy. So the economy is propped up by them and people wanted the Indian works. That’s why it was a very high GDP. Then we talked focus on this rapid decline and see what is going on over here? So in 1700 the East India Company came to India and they left a lot of senses on the schools and other things in the records and Dharampal went to England and he studied these things. I recommend the book “A Beautiful Tree” and he can download that and read it. He has given a census of these schools. So he says, every village in India that had a temple, had a school also in it, which means we had hundreds of thousands of schools all over India. There are several thing that jump out at to you. First thing is, why did India need so many schools? Economy was like that. Second thing he says, what was a composition of the school. He says more than 50% with the, so called, lower classes and a few more the forward classes here and there and Brahmins about five to six percent in each of these schools.
Next thing the Dharampal notes, a British asked about the model for the school, who is funding the school? Is it the Raja and they found that, No, it is a local population that are supporting the school. So the people in that village would give a portion of the produce every year to the village temple and in return the priests would teach their children, the farmers children, the artisans children, everybody’s children are thought and they would support the economy in a certain way. This was the model that is used in ancient India. I have anecdotal evidence because my wife’s family also used to do that they had ancestral lands and a portion of the produce of it became in to the Kanchi madam, in southern India. That was the practice they had for a long time till it stopped because of economics and things like that. So given that model.
I would now like to talk to you about a second anecdote. I am going to connect the dots, I am going to give a second anecdote. United States chanced upon a boycotted think called the ‘manifest destiny’. It was thought to be the white man’s privilege from God, the divine right from God, because he must go back to story of Noah and his sons Ham and others. Ham was a cursed son, who was made to support all the other sons. With that idea the white people said we have God’s mandate to civilize the world, to control civilized world and they had a service that was a basis of slavery in the United States, and for eradicating the Native Americans and all those things. At the same period of time the British took inspiration from that and we got boycotted law here called the doctrine of lapse. So Dalhousie brought the doctrine of lapse, fully encouraged by this Manifest Destiny. You can read some works that show the connections between these two ideas over there.
So this one says that if a British protectorate dies without a male son and the British will take over that land that was a doctrine of lapse. Like to tell you the story of Thanjavur. How many know where Thanjavur is? A lot of heirlooms, everybody know Southern India, Tamil Nadu, beautiful place, tangible has been the richest place in India for the longest time because it isn’t the Delta of the Kaveri River. The Kaveri River gave three paddy crops in a year because you have a very strong sunlight there and other such things. Three paddy crops on the riches of the Kaveri Delta. The Cholas, for example, they built a magnificent Brihadeesvara Temple, Kumbakonam. You go, you find millions, thousands of temples over there. They built a powerful navy that should go to Southeast China and all these things it is because of the riches of the Kaveri Delta.
The Cholas went up declined at some point. We can talk about that later. Why the decline, but that vacuum was filled in later on by the Vijayanagar. Vijayanagar Empire came and protected this area from the Muslim invasions. Then with the Vijayanagar Empire fell, the Maratha rulers who were the chieftains on the Vijayanagar. They took Thanjavur.
Now approximately in this timeframe 1700, the French had landed it Tamil Nadu. The French teamed up with Hyder Ali and they started attacking Thanjavur. So the ruler Shivaji II, he took the protection of the British to chase away these guys. Unfortunately, the poor chap died with their son and the British annexed Thanjavur to a doctrine of lapse. Overnight, the tax in Thanjavur changed from an enlightened 15% to more than 56%, that tax has changed. When that happened, the population could not afford to pay the tax, the farmers could not offer to pay the tax, the Vaisya could not afford to pay the tax, the system started collapsing. Once they could not afford to pay the tax, the British started confiscating. So who are all the people disenfranchised the Kshatriyas, the landlord’s, the zamindar’s, all with disenfranchise was a British power grab the farmers and the artisans, Vaisya., are all disenfranchised because the taxes, the farmer could no longer give a portion of his produce to the temple. So the learning, in addition, collapsed in India and the Brahmin was all out of a job in that period of time.
The British took the money from the taxes and artisan knowledge they didn’t have knowledge of making muslin or textiles or even steel at that time. Southern India “Ureka” is wood steel. You had that, Bessemer was not invented yet, Bessemer was a driving process on industrial revolution, that is later. So they took all of this knowledge including mathematics, sciences and other things with the money sponsored the Industrial Revolution. So Industrial Revolution ramped up and the finished goods are forced upon Indians. Suddenly Indians are buying goods from Lancashire, Manchester and all these places and guess who was out of a job – the artisans! Nobody would buy the artisan’s products anymore. Widespread poverty all over India, whether it is in the Brahmin class, the Kshatriya class, the Vaishya class or the so-called artisan sudra class, everybody was impoverished by the British policy. That is hiding here, that is hiding over here.
This is a reason why MK Gandhi came and begged people wear Khadi, don’t take foreign clothes because he was an eyewitness to the depredation of the British and was saying don’t do that, let’s protect our economy, our people. That’s the reason. Why he said all of these things? So this graph over here, like I said, hides a law of things, that we don’t see in a mile high view. I put that over here, sunset on India. So farmers, artisans, we talked about, that British taxation collapse, Industrial Revolution underwritten by Indian money, and knowledge artisan classes impoverished by British manufactured goods and the next thing was at that time Macaulay came to the scene and said let’s now distance the Indians from their systems, from the traditional systems, and introduce English education system. At that time who was there, poor man, the schools are out of job. Brahmin, in order to eat and survive, he became the school principal, school teacher, College. If you see why they are disproportionately Brahmins over here, the British favored them because they knew they were the respected people in society. If they teach English, may be the others will come and learn with that purpose.
They favor the Brahmins over here and missionaries like Cadwell came, turned around, told the Dravidian you see the Brahmin, he is a reason for your poverty, having created poverty, they turned round and told the confused classes, that the Brahmins controlling access to education to jobs, clerical systems and he is the one who has been keeping you down. So the circle is complete. The bigger tree, the greed, the avarice and everything the circle is complete. This is what the British did in India. All that is hiding in everything, I wrote over here.
British education system collapse traditional learning, disconnected people from roots, missionaries further the divide, taking advantage of large poverty to turmoil in the country, you cannot go from here to here, without severe psychological stresses, you cannot anybody who goes from that point, at this point has got enormous distress, that is going to show up in the society, in one way or the other society can become insular. You can say us and then may start happening. You may want to have your distance from somebody else, maybe all the perversions of the so-called caste system, that we are seen could have arisen because of this kind of a distress in the society. So like I said this is hiding many things over here.