India celebrates its 75th independence day on this 15th of August 2021. As innocent children long ago, the concept of nation, national boundaries and India as a geopolitical entity; all were limited to Geography, History and Civics text books. An inch of distortion in drawing it to scale would invite a reduced score in the tests and a loud dig at the student by the teacher for giving away territory or snatching territory without war!! In fact, free hand drawing of the map of India would always end up giving territory or destroying her beautiful arches and claiming some of China, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan! Child’s play, you see!😀
But on the eve of our Independence day, some disturbing recent events have made me look at the changing territorial boundaries of my nation as it has evolved from the Bharatvarsh it was thousands of years ago, to the incredible India it is today! According to the Vishnu Purana written around 600 BC :
उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् ।
वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः।।
Uttaraṃ yatsamudrasya himādreścaiva dakṣiṇamVishnu Purana(Verse 2,1,31)
varṣaṃ tadbhārataṃ nāma bhāratī yatra santatiḥ.
This shloka means: “The country/ landmass (Varsam) that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bharatam; there dwell the descendants of Bharat. Bharat was a king and this land getting his name is a story in itself. They used this term to distinguish it from other varsas or continents.
Amazing fact is that this Bharat Empire i.e. Bharatvarsha, Hindustan or India included the present Pakistan, Afghanistan, parts of China, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, North-West Tibet, Nepal and Bangladesh. Interestingly, same Bharatvarsh was referred to as Jambudwipa in some ancient texts.
Here I present the changing shape of my beloved country India a name it was given by Western invaders in the 16 th century . Ironically, one of the oldest countries in the world, enters it’s seventy-fifth year of free existence once again, after two hundred years of colonial domination.
I leave it to you my discerning reader, to see how territories were shaved off in acts of aggression and of deceit by oppressors, rulers and neighbours. To top it all, still wet behind the ears map makers of some social media platforms with autoCAD as their only tool of knowledge have also taken it upon themselves to give a definitive territory to India.
P.S : The story of India is quite long and cannot be contained in this microblog. I invite you to do your own reading to understand the sentiment.Long Live my Country! Jai Hind!🇮🇳