THE BIRTH OF BHARAT MATA WITH THE HIMALAYAS, AND THE BIRTH OF TIBET…
There is a creationist view of things, and there is a geological basis of things. This article seeks to connect prehistoric geology with modern international geo-politics as a continuum.
FROM PANAGAEA TO GONDWANA, AND, THE DETACHMENT OF WHAT WAS THE INDIA LANDMASS:
225 million years ago, we only had one land mass, the supercontinent Pangaea, which broke up into two aggregate super-continents:
(1) ‘Laurasia’ north of the equator and (2) ‘Gondwana’ south of the equator. They were separated by the ‘Tethys Sea’.
The name ‘Gondwana’ was applied by British researchers familiar with India, after the actual province of Gondwana or the land of the ancient Gond tribe of central India. It is also believed that both Gondwana and Laurasia predated Pangaea, as both first joined to form Pangaea before both separated again.
Over another few million years ago, Laurasia became today’s N America, Europe and Asia (minus India and the Asia-Pacific islands). Gondwana broke up into drifting land masses: present day’s India, Madagascar, Australia, Antarctica, South America, Africa (AND what could be the hitherto unrecognized Pacific continent of Zealandia, a submerged non-oceanic continental crust).
Of all the various masses of Gondwana which were to separate and migrate after Gondwana’s eventual disintegration, destiny had it that one particular mass was to become really special: the landmass which was to become Bharat or the Indian subcontinent.
THE SIMULTANEOUS GEOLOGICAL BIRTH OF THE HIMALAYAS, THE TIBETAN COUNTRY AND THE INDIAN NATION:
The Himalayas are rather young mountains by age, compared to the geological history of the earth. A 70 million year journey of the Indian subcontinent landmass (one among the many drifting landmasses of broken-up Gondwana) across the Indian Ocean, which began off the east coast of Africa as an adrift island and climaxed with a collision into the relatively immobile Eurasian continental plate started the birth of the Himalayas (the tertiary period of the Cenozoic era). The brunt of the collision of the India plate against the Eurasian coastline was borne by the southern coast of old Tibet. The collision pushed the India landmass into and under the landmass of Tibet, while lifting Tibet high up as a plateau.
The pressure of the collision between the Eurasian and Indian plates pushed massive folds of sedimentary rock up from out of the earth; further pressure and heat of mountain building forces turned some of this sedimentary rock into metamorphic rocks which were shaped by wind, rain, run off and glacial ice to create craggy (alpine) shapes which characterize the magnificent crescent-shaped Himalayan ranges born from the along the collision.
Thus, all three were born together:
- India as we know her today from the landmass which struck Eurasia (India was now no more an island adrift, but a land continuous with and part of Asia);
- Tibet from the lifted-up land (the ‘new’ Tibet-that-we-know-of-today, as Tibet existed before); and,
- The Himalayas from the folding effect of the collision.
As the central Himalayas were formed, so were accessory mountain ranges formed on either side of the main crescent-shaped Himalayas, like the Hindu Kush to the west and the Patkai on the east. In geological tectonic terms, the Hindu Kush is part of the young Eurasian mountain range complex (the late Tertiary period). The youth of the mountains can be seen in the frequent and sometimes severe earthquakes, particularly in Badaḵšān, the narrow strip of land that was the border area of India’s Jammu-Kashmir state with Afghanistan, before becoming Pakistan-occupied. (http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/hindu-kush)
Thus, from India’s plains, we look UPWARDS to glance at Tibet; from Tibet we have to look DOWNWARDS onto India’s plains, with the first the Himalayas and then the sub-Himalayan Shivalik / other foothills lying in between.
Sagarmatha peak, Nepal’s segment of the Himalayas
Plate tectonics continue to push the Indian subcontinent under Nepal and Tibet even today, forcing Tibet and the entire Himalayan range to rise about 10 millimeters a year and to move towards China at a rate of about five centimeters a year. This also makes the entire region susceptible to earthquakes.
India thus finally became part of Asia 55 million years ago, her fortunes locked with those of her Asian neighbours.
Could the Himalayas actually be OLDER still?
An alternative new controversial study by George Gehrels (University of Arizona, Tucson) proposes that there was an older mountain range in place before the current Himalayas between 450 million and 500 million years ago. Sometime after the collision, India pulled back. Then, 55 million years ago, it plowed into Asia once more, and a similar episode of mountain-building followed. http://www.nature.com/news/1998/030929/full/news030929-6.html#B1
Well, Mount Abu of the Aravali range (thought to be the oldest mountain range in the world) is said to be the son of the Himalayas in Hindu Puraanas. Could this be an affirmation of the theory of ‘older’ Himalayas?
India joined Asia, retaining her sea-coasts, and becoming the land described later in the Vishnu-Puraan:
||उत्तरं यत् समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम्…|
|वर्षम् तत् भारतम् नामम् भारती यत्र संतती||
Indeed, India now had the Himalayas to the North and the Ocean (called the Hindu Mahasagar, Hindi Mahasagar, Hind Mahasagar or Indian Ocean) to the south, and became a land from the Himalayas to th sea.
So holy are the Himalayas to India and so integral are they a part of total Hindu civilisation, that they are considered the Sahasraara Chakra of the earth’s own yogic anatomy, due to the presence of Mount Kailas and the Mansarovar of Mahadeva.
There is a set of mountain ranges called the ‘Pamir Knot’, which is formed by the junction of Tian Shan, Kara Korum, Hindu Kush, Kunlun and Himalayas. It is believed, the Pamir Knot itself is the Meru Parvat.
GONDWANALAND IN THE DALIT MOVEMENT:
Humans appeared millions of years after the event of Indian plate connecting to Asia, and entered India through land and by spreading along the coast of the Arabian Sea (Sindhu Sagar). But that does not stop certain political projects from stating humans also got transferred with animals, from Africa to India, right from the times of the continental drift, implying humans existed even before the continental drift began. Indo-African anthropological affinities and similarities in geology are anachronistically attributed to African people continuing to live atop the adrift Indian plate (which had detached from Africa) and as this plate crashed into Asia, becoming the Shoodras of Hindusthan, in literature of some prominent Dalit activist groups.
As an example, here is a quote: “It is said that India and Africa was one land mass until separated by the ocean. So both the Africans and the Indian Untouchables and tribals had common ancestors. Besides,” he argues, “Dalits resemble Africans in physical features.” (V. T. Rajshekhar’s ‘Dalit: The Black Untouchables of India’, first published in 1979, but reprinted in an expanded edition by Clarity Press of Atlanta in 1987.) Rajshekar’s book began with the premise that Dalits are part of the African diaspora and that they are the first settlers in the Indian subcontinent. (Quoted from: http://www.raceandhistory.com/historicalviews/afrodalit.htm) Such political projects called the Afro-Dalit project stressing on a pan-melanophile solidarity seek undermine India’s natural cohesive factor of pan-racial Hindu nationalism.
Dr. Koenraad Elst has already rubbished these anachronistic claims in UPDATE ON THE ARYAN INVSION DEBATE (http://bookstruck.in/chapter.jsp?id=20192):
“Thus, the theory of continental drift, first suggested by Abraham Ortelius in the 16th century, and formulated scientifically by Alfred Wegener in 1915, is harnessed to the cart of Dalit Afrocentrism: ‘The Dalits were the original inhabitants of India and resemble the African in physical features. It is said that India and Africa were one land-mass until separated by the ocean. So both the Africans and the Indian Untouchables had common ancestors.’ Actually, the break-up of the Urkontinent Gondwanaland took place millions of years before mankind spread across the face of the earth.”
These claims of humans being present during the continental drift are untenable.
Hindus also believe that human life is several lakhs of years old, but that is also not scientifically validated yet.
INHERITANCE OF THE COLLISION:
A. India’s inheritance:
The India landmass sacrificed its north-eastern coastline when that north-eastern side got buried underneath Tibet, but India endowed with the Himalayas became one unit and a part of Asia . India did retain her western, southern and eastern coastlines – her peninsula – fully, an inheritance from her Gondwana days.
While allowing land connectivity with Eurasia, India’s splendid coastline also allowed oceanic approachability from both present-day Africa and today’s South East Asia. This is why, Africa and India share biota (the total collection of organisms of a geographic region or a time period) from two periods: older biota retained from the Gondwanaland days when India set off adrift from Africa and newer biota which actually entered India by land or water much later, after India became part of Asia. India also shares biota with South East Asia through both land and coastal contiguity.
The isolated tribes of the Andaman Islands share features with Africans while the less isolated humans of Nicobar share features and language with the people of South East Asia.
B. Tibet’s inheritance of the Indo-Tibetan collision:
Tibet, however, lost access to the sea forever after the collision by India, and has still got fossils of its pre-collision era and coastal existence strewn across her landscape. Much of the rock pushed upwards by the mountain building activity is limestone and sandstone that was once at the bottom of the ocean. It is possible to find fossils of sea creatures in the Himalayas at an elevation of four kilometers above sea level. Parts of the Himalayas, and cognate parts of Tibet – which are rather arid – have both salt and freshwater lakes; the origin of those salt lakes is from the ancient Tethys Sea.
Before it was pushed upwards by the collision with India, the Changthan plateau of Tibet (including Ladakh) was a well watered plain; now, it is a stark landscape – a splendid high altitude land-locked plateau across the Himalayas. Tibet was now located so far away from the west coast of India and so completely in the rain shadow of the Himalayas (rain shadow = rain deprivation) with respect to the South East monsoon winds, that Tibet became mostly an arid cold desert.
C. Effect on geo-strategics:
India’s peculiarity allows for exchanges with the far Eastern regions (the east beyond Tibet), South East Asia, Central Asia, Arabia and East Africa. There was an exchange of race and flowering of Dharma amongst the Mongoloid peoples across the Himalayas and the people of Northern India, spanning millennia.
In contrast, Tibet could interact with Central Asia, South East Asia, China and India but not with Africa and Arabia. Tibet influenced the geo-cultures of Ladakh, Lahaul-Spiti-Zanskar, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, leaving a racial, cultural, linguistic and Dharmic imprint in these regions.
Tibet has enormous amounts of snow and ice at some places but the same snow and glaciers generate numerous rivers, which flow into South Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia and China. The valleys of those Tibetan rivers which flow into South Asia (read: the Hindu subcontinent or Akhanda Bharat) and South East Asia are in the eastern and southern regions of Tibet; where rivers flow, there is forest. Most of these rivers are mentioned all across Vedic and Pouraanic, Jain and Buddhist literature.
While India, together with the Himalayas, saved isolated Tibet from direct invasions of Islamisation and Christianisation, or from European colonisation, India could not save Tibet from an invasion from the fartther side: the Chinese occupation. China coveted and occupied Tibet because, among many reasons, one reason was Tibet was the very source of rivers that water China.
The Himalayas – though historically part of Akhand Bharat – are now no more exclusively ruled by Hindu India and are politically factionalised into several different ‘countries’:
- Himalayan segments still controlled by Sovereign India: Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal, J&K (including Sino-/Pak- occupied J&K), states of India mentioned east to west;
- Himalayan segments belonging to India’s allies Nepal and Bhutan (Sikkim, in between the two, merged with India, giving some succor to our chicken neck);
- Himalayan segments now under occupation by and awaiting freedom from Northern Afghanistan and Pakistan, portions of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan; and
- China occupied Tibet (awaiting freedom) whence we had a war by Chinese intrusion.
The Greater Himalayan Landscape, part of Akhanda Bharat…
The lands of the Greater Himalayan landscape lost to Hindu India have traditionally always been part of Akhand Bharat consideration. (These make up the unruly borders of post-colonial, post-partition Secularist India.) Hindu readers have to invest time to understand the geographic markers of the Greater Himalayan region, because they are territory lost to Akhand Bharat (to be reclaimed by Hindu Para-Aakram), and because these markers of the broad landscape are manipulated as borders by many other non-Asian powers to redefine what we should have defined first.
They are part of the ‘Akhand Bharat Karke Raahenge’ slogan of the Hindu Mahasbha of Savarkar, and are remembered by the RSS. A true map of Akhand Bharat must cover Afghanistan and the near-Burma region, as well as the islands of the Indian Ocean.
D. Seismic factors continue, as the India plate continues to push into and under Tibet (the Eurasian plate) causing earthquakes across the Himalayan region.
Earthquakes have rocked Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Nepal in the past few years. Construction of major hy-del projects is not advisable due to these dangerous seismic considerations and sediment siltation. India should not employ hy-del as the means to generate electricity in the Greater Himalayan region indiscriminately.