Portrait of India

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are we called Indians?

There are two derivative for this word. First is from the Sanskrit Sindhu, which was corrupted in Greek to become sinthos and corrupted in Latin to become sindus. In further corruption in Latin  it became Indus which means River.  It was modified by British East India Company in to India to designate the geographical entity that lies between Sindhu river to the west and Brahmaputra river to the East, culminating in the current divided British Political India and Pakistan.  

But Greek scholars and chroniclers (who had first contact with India or we are led to believe so) who wrote about India called it India only. The classic text Indica that depicted the Maurya dynasty glory was one such example. This means the name India predates the greeks and should have derived from the original name of India which is Indraprastha which leads to the second derivation.  

Second derivation come from Indraprastha the region ruled by Kuru kings with capital being the current Hastinapura the Delhi. Indraprastha which was part of Bharatha Khanda-Continent of Bharath-was corrupted in to Indus in latin which means river. This is used by Greeks as India or India (pertaining to India). It was modified by British East India Company in to India to designate the geographical entity that lies between Sindhu river to the west and Brahmaputra river to the East, culminating in the current divided British Political India and Pakistan.  

2. Our first two opening quotes refer to Indians of South America not Indians of India? Why is so? 

Since the time immemorial-earlier Greeks Romans-traded with India. They all knew who Indians are (physical observations) how they live (hierarchical societies, food habits, cultural practices and religious orientation) whom they pray (Sun, natural forces, believes earth mother etc). When the land route to India was closed with the fall of Constantinople  to Arab Muslims, Europe lost the most valuable source of trade with India-spices, cotton and precious metals (India was the only country that produced gold, diamonds since the discovery of African gold and diamond mines during 1830). A frantic search to discover a sea route (safe route) to India was initiated by the two powerful maritime empires of Europe of those times namely Portugal and Spain.  Expeditions were organized and finally Admiral Columbus set sailed to find the land route to India. Upon the first contact with the land Admiral Columbus saw the natives of the current Caribbean island he believed that he discovered India. Not because he was mistaken but they exactly resembled Indians in their culture, religion, language, food habits, hierarchical nature of their society. They worshiped Sun, host of gods, recited Ramayana and Bharata stories as their ancient folk lore wore the same kinds of clothes and ornaments made with gold and silver. The first question Admiral Columbus asked was “where the gold they are wearing on their bodies came from”? Natives pointed to the vast gold and silver mines in the current South America. When the news reached Europe, Spain decided to keep the news to it self as they saw the New Indian colonies as source of direct gold rather than spices silks which had to be sold again for getting gold.  Series of expeditions were dispatched Since 1492 which revealed mega cities, sprawling urban centers, huge sun temples completely covered with gold, massive infrastructure and 4 mighty empires Anga (Inca), Maya,  Cherokee, Kusha ruling over more than 300 native nations and a population of 300 millions, all exactly replica of the known Indian culture. In addition to that South and North Americas were sitting on vast gold, silver and diamond mines which were essential for every feudal European kingdom to flourish and prosper. It became impossible for the Europeans to resist. The entire Europe joined the band wagon of trade and then war against these great cultures.  In the next 200 years of war 250-270 million American Indians killed including women children, only 30 millions Indians in America survived the onslaught most driven in to jungles, their temples converted in to churches of various denominations, gold melted and brought back to Europe. But the heroic and resilient Indians of Americas against all odds are resisting the process of subjugation even today. They still retain their culture, language religion and practices. All attempts to change their name to Native Americans or aboriginals are resisted by all American Indians and they want to call them only as Indians as they understood the bond with India, her culture and language.  

Why Vasco-da-gama sailed east and Columbus sailed west?  Portugal was more powerful than Spain in those days. Portugal kings knew that you have to sail east to get to India proper. So they first approached the then Pope Alexander VI and requested to donate east of 48 parallel along north south axis to them. Pope issued papal decree that essentially donated east of the 48 parallel to Portugal including India and any land discovered there of and west of the parallel to Spain via Bull inter Caetera which was signed in to a official treaty known Treaty of Tordesillas in the year 1494. The powerful Portugal moved the division line to west to include Brazil as its territory.  Vasco-da-gama sailed and in 1498 discovered the sea route to India proper for the Portuguese kings. Portugal was jubilant as this gave uninterrupted supply chain of Indian spices, silks and precious metals. Spain never revealed until after fifteen years as to what they discovered and prospered silently. It is only when Spain realized it is impossible to defeat these mighty Indian empires and cultures of America it shared the information with the other Europeans then the bee line of Europe followed to Americas with the full might to  plunder Americas.  

Indians proper of India were left undisturbed as with them the trade in spices, cotton silks and other precious metals was continued. During this two black centuries Europe sent many chroniclers to India proper to document the wealth of India. These chroniclers reported back to their respective European kingdoms promptly what is in the store house of India-the might, wealth, prosperity of Vijayanagara, Kalinga, Chola, Chera, Pandya, Chnadela, Rajputana, Maratha kings, kingdoms.  It was reported by one chronicler that the total diamonds on the royal horse of Vijayanagara Emperor are far more than the entire diamonds found in any major splendid city of Europe. Vijayanagara Emperor had twenty five such horses kept as his back up. 

Europe waited for two hundred years for the might of these empires to decline to plunder the wealth and prosperity. Thus the East India Companies were born under perpetual charter during 1600-1700 to trade with India. Mean while between 1492 till 1692 the plunder, slaughter, destruction of culture of main portion of American Indians was finished the Europe turned its attention to India proper. Various east India companies entered the foray and subjugated India since 1700 till 1857 and ruled until 1947. Close to sixty percent of the India’s natural resources were taken out of India to build the glory of Europe and England. Even to win the battle of Waterloo, the British monarchy required a loan to pay for the salaries of Admiral Nelson. East India company during the years 1812-1814 shipped Eight hundred thousand pounds of gold (close to 3500 tons) via Lloyds shipping lines to Paris and then to Admiral Nelson who finally won the battle against Napoleon.  

But still India proper is not subjugated. American Indians who are confined only to few reservations and in cases like Guatemala where they are 80 percent of the population still ruled by oppressive Spanish rulers.  Indians proper live in sovereign republic of Free India. We still sit on vast natural resources of diamonds, gold, natural gas, oil which were recently discovered due the advances made in satellite technology. So the East India Companies now incarnated as Multinational Corporations are once again entering India for another round of colonization. In this regard it is apt to quote the current opinions of both right and left wing experts of Americas expressed against still oppressed Indians as this will serve a guide post for Indians proper as to what is there in the store house for us under the current round of trade with MNCs, or the value Indians as people or Indian culture as a system holds in the eyes of western world be it leftist (communist) or righitist (Christian fundamentalist missionaries or evangelists). The current round of destruction of Indians of America started by the same MNCs that are entering in India from 1950-1985 with vigor and with more intensity now. By studying the destruction of American Indians, their lives, values, culture and prosperity, it will perhaps give Indian Indians a way, method to prevent human sorrow, toil, slavery that befell on American Indians in the name of Free Trade, Globalization of trade (East India company’s noble objectives) and Liberalization and Privatization (MNCs noble objectives). As in India the awareness of this problem is non existent, and for non existent problems no solutions can be found,  we started with the American Indian analysis of current day scholars so that at least Indian Indians will start paying attention to the larger problems at hand and start thinking in that direction to save India as a republic and to protect the lives of its people, secular values. 

3. Are anybody acting on the information put forwarded on the web site? Can we make interested people to come together and act?   

There are lot of enquires that are forth coming from the interested people who want to know more about the research. Our first task is to comprehensively arrange the information and disseminate it not only in English but in all major languages. Then we are forming under IHRF action groups to preserve native cultural practices, food habits customs that were unique to India and developed over long evolution of mankind. Any interested person group can contact us at actiongroups@portraitofindia.com  and can tell as to exactly what field they want to work and we will guide them from there on.  

4. I am extremely proud of India, hence the agony of watching the prolonged illnesses in society (poverty, illiteracy, rich vs poor, etc..) Let's create a section on each and every issue, gather suggestions and start acting on them?  

The first task of POI or IHRF is to collect information about India’s unique role and contributions to the mankind over many millenniums. The betrayal India got, plunder India underwent, rape and pillage her unique secular traditions suffered for past 2000 years by major geo-political players in the world affairs which caused the current  poverty, illiteracy and hopelessness should be understood,  documented and circulated among victims, in this case Indians proper. The exploitation of poor for religious gains or economic gains was never a native Indian value but was imposed over us by the colonial rulers to plunder our wealth and create dissension and division in the society. The colonial traditions are still held stead fast by certain political, social, religious and spiritual leaders who are exploiting the poor of Free India worse than the British East India Companies. To avoid any kind of suppression or oppression as Dr. Ambedkar said  information knowledge which are the foundations of secular democracies need to be strengthened and the effort by POI and IHRF is a first step in the direction. Any government, leader, minister or authority in a secular democracy if feels that they have the right to hide the information and knowledge from the people whom they are serving are the worst colonial masters than East India companies as they are doing greatest injustice to the very institution of secular democracy and Republic of India it self.  

5. Cannot we  improve not only India, but humanity under one religion, one language and universal values/ideals. Let India lead the way for peace to prevail? 

Uniting humanity under one god and religion was never an Indian secular tradition. Indians from time immemorial truly practiced unity in diversity a foundation of our secular democratic tradition though we never lectured the same one and all. They allowed all even monotheistic racist oppressive religions to develop, flourish, prosper and various languages to flourish under one concept of one globe one family (vasudha eka kutumbakam). The concept of one religion one god one language is a reminiscent of middle eastern anti secular monotheistic religions which destroyed the fabric of human civilizations in an internecine warfare of 2000 years which is still raging. In the current century the annihilation of Jews in European (world)  war-2 (between Catholics, Protestants and Jews supported by England and America), the recent bombings of world trade center, pentagon (Arab Muslims versus Jews and Christians),  attack on Indian parliament, Akshardham (Islamic Terrorists versus secular people of India), recent bombings in Surat and Mumbai are few examples of this delirious concept of one religion or one god should prevail. The concept of one god and the definition of whose one god (Christian or Islamic or Jewish) that destroyed hundred civilizations, slaughtered close to a billion people in the past two thousand years that led to the famous anonymous saying, “monotheistic god is love but let him give me in writing”. 

Cultural habits, food habits will develop over centuries are geographic centric and develop mainly as strategies of adapting to various climates. Values are human centric like respecting parents, speak truth (Satyam vada), follow righteous path in ones own life (dharmam chara or dharmam saranam gachami), follow a sustained social development (sangham saranam gachami) respecting experts in various fields of knowledge (budham saranam gachami), sacrificing selfishness for greater social cause, simple living, live for family and progeny, respecting other’s spirituality, non stealing, not seeking other’s wife, not destroying the habitat we live in or environment we share.  

Religion is a set of combination of both. So we can have universal values but not universal cultural or food habits as this negates the very intrinsic principle of nature’s diversity. Having universal food, drink, clothing and entertainment habits are good for MNCs as they prosper most by such concepts which destroys the natural habitat where they operate. This nature destruction was proved in 35 countries where ever MNCs operated and carried the ideal of universal western culture. On the other hand the human values which are universal are still followed by Indians (American Indians and Indians proper) since time immemorial and today exactly these values are attacked as retrograde, superstitious, banal regressive and every attempt is made to wipe them out from steadfastly held Indians by cultural colonialism adapted by MNCs.  

In this respect it is the responsibility of every world citizen to up hold these values. But as simple aphorism states first we should contain our own house fires then we can go to stop the fires of other regions.