Do I Exist? Do I Matter?

Konark-sun-templeDo I exist? Do I matter? — No, this is not a philosophical, abstract question.

Western media, Western politicians, and Western academics have done their best to exclude contributions of Old World scientists, artists, authors, philosophers, poets, and thinkers. As if we never existed. As if we are not even worthy of a mention, discussing history of human civilization.

Everybody is so brainwashed to believe that civilization began with the rise of British empire, or Columbus’ conquest of America. And those two events were two of the darkest chapters in human history in the first place!

I mean, everybody knows about Einstein, Marx, Freud, Darwin, or Euclid, Newton, Galileo, Archimedes, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Renoir, or Cezanne. And they were all geniuses, of course. Yes, they were.

But have you ever thought who actually invented the so-called “Arabic numerals?” The use of the number zero? Who invented textiles, silk, paper, or for that matter, concept of an alphabet? How in the world could someone invent the game of chess — with its unbelievably complex algorithms — unless advanced mathematics had already been in practice?

Okay, was astronomy a developed science in ancient India, China, or Egypt? What about Ayurveda that emphasized proactive health instead of profit-based reactive medicine? Or, yoga building immunity and contributing to long life?

Who first conceptualized musical scores, with the use of the seven fundamental notes? I’m not even talking about the hundreds of ragas and talas.

Okay, have your ever thought of the science, engineering, and art — all three of them — used while some “primitive” people built the carved temples of Ellora — cut from a single mountain rock, or the pyramids of Giza, the massive Chinese Wall, sacrificial tomb in Peru, or the colossal temples in Angkor Wat?

Even more recently, in the 19th century, British and Western colonial powers denied world recognition to two Indian scientists — J. C. Bose for inventing the radio, and S. N. Bose for his work in theoretical physics that became known as the Bose-Einstein statistics. Heard of these two Bose’s?

We don’t know, and we don’t care to know, either.

A major, massive brainwashing by Western media and powers made us believe that outside of the American and British-European history, there is no other history. People like me — my history, my heritage, my forefathers — never mattered.

But oh yes, you destroyed my country, stole our natural resources, forests, mines, you looted our gold and diamond and cotton, killed and tortured and raped us, and in just two hundred years, turned us from one of the richest lands on earth to one of the poorest.

And now here I am, begging at your doors for some prosperity and freedom. I am at your mercy.

Sincerely,

Partha Banerjee

Brooklyn, New York