In simple terms imperialism pertains to a desire to rule over the entire world. It can prop up in the mind of an individual or a group or a nation. Though imperialism is a hated concept in modern times its value as a perfect tool for propagation of any ideology cannot be overlooked. But for imperialism, Christianity, Islam and Communism would not have spread even a few square kilometers beyond their places of origin.
Image of South Africa, 19th century,
Anglo Zulu War (1879),
The Battle of Isandlwana
Ideologies adopted by imperialism are carried by its physical and psychological components to unimaginable destinations in no time. If the physical components comprise of armies of warriors and missionaries who enforce and coerce unquestioned acceptance by fear or fraud, the psychological part is made up of mythology or make-belief stories.
In India we are witness to this unending phenomenon even today in the form of Missionary proselytization, Jihadi terrorism, Maoist rebellions etc.
One thing is common in all these ' forcible propagation by imperial forces of the core ideology.
Forces of imperialism operate in similar fashion throughout the world. Rather it is the very nature of imperialism than the design of its users. Imperialism is usually the essential offshoot or necessary component of any ism or dynasty that has become powerful without enough fundamental strength in its foundations.
Such ideological shortcomings are offset by shear strength of the forces of imperialism that come to be associated with them. And how do the imperial forces get associated with such weak ideologies? It is always the handiwork of some clever and shrewd individuals who will hide in history forever. Their reasons may be private and quite unconnected with the known highlights of the ideologies. As a very revealing example, we can cite the example of Communism that is being propagated by Maoists. If their real intention is Communism and Socialism we can never imagine the land of Mao ending up in its present form. But the imperative need for a dose of imperialism in defending and propagation of ideologies can never be overlooked.
We in India came face to face with imperialism when Alexander's army knocked at our doors. Though Romans lost the battle and failed miserably in their mission, the fact that they saw the splendor of India with their own eyes resulted in a saga of never ending desire to conquer India by any means. I believe that the half-cooked mythology about St. Thomas coming to India and existence of Christianity in India anytime before the advent of subsequent European colonizers are products of some highly imaginative minds of very recent generation of Indian Christians with such hidden designs. We gained nothing from these Roman imperialists but have consistently been targeted by the descendents of Roman empire. India is really writhing under Christian proselytization even today. The amount of money pumped into their harvesting business in India was about $ 400 million for the year 2008 alone. Our North East has already been overrun and missionaries are aggressively stalking the entire South India with victory in sight.
Arab and Communist imperialism came to India much later. Unlike their Roman counterparts, the strength of Arab and Communist imperialism is of very recent origin. Wealth of Arab imperialism is only one century old and Communist imperialists have never been rich. But their impact on India is increasing daily by leaps and bounds. All imperial forces want to have a piece of the Indian cake and they are playing their games well. While Communist forces are forcing in through Nepal, Arab imperialism has already gained much grounds in the coastal areas, especially Kerala. Billions of gulf money are being pumped into India for gaining grounds legally and illegally. The stake of Arab institutions in Indian companies and real estate is so high that they will soon be able to dictate the administration in several states of India. Emasculated Communism is already in power in a couple of Indian states and they can always join their masters if and when a Chinese manipulated revolution can work out in Indian soil.
In the absence of a formidable imperial force backing an ideology it is almost impossible to survive the current century. This is true even if the ideology is fundamentally strong and can claim to have survived all these ages. Sanatana Dharma is one such religious ideology that has always been under threat and it is more so in the 21st century. There is nobody who has seen the whole universe with inner eyes than an Indian Rishi and there is nobody who has actually seen universe than a European adventurer. Yet when the European adventurers came in contact with the creations of Indian Rishis (in the form of scriptures and classics) their surprise was incredible.
Thus started the advent of Roman and Arab imperialism in India which is aimed at nothing less than hijacking our heights of cultural heritage (they have already taken most of our material wealth). And the third one (Red Imperialism) wants to wipe out our heritage altogether so as to perpetuate poverty for Communism to feed on. So much has been willfully destroyed and much more smuggled out so far, but the fundamental strength remains same. I have no doubt that the current versions of these imperial forces will not back off till their goals are achieved.
In a way the weakening of Sanatana Dharma began at the battlefield of Kalinga War.
When Arjuna was confused and felt diffident at the Kurushetra battlefield, Bhagawan himself could clarify his doubts and re-activate him to carry out his Dharma. Arjuna was categorically told that elimination of all obstacles in the path of Dharma is his duty and he has nothing to worry about. Bhagawan's entire advice was recorded in Bhagavad-Gita Gita and made available to all future generations to live by.
Yet Emperor Asoka failed to get the message properly and ended up repenting his doings as a Kshatriya. Degeneration of a society which was flourishing on the basis of Sanatana Dharma started at this moment. If only he had understood the real spirit behind the unparalleled advice from Bhagawan, the history of India would have been much different and glorious.
It is still not too late to change course and work towards regaining our past glory. The basic tenets of Sanatana Dharma remain rigidly intact and entire stock of its intellectual assets is still not completely unraveled. At any level of comparison, our Sanatana Dharma is indeed way above its competing religious ideologies. All that is required for its domination over the entire world is a vehicle of imperialism. It is not necessary to kill anyone or even apply any force. It is absolutely not necessary to deceive and coerce converts like the missionaries. The only effort that is required is unrelenting commitment to reiterate the concepts and ideals of Santana Dharma to as many people and as many lands as possible. So many agencies are already involved in this process. What is lacking is an imperial mindset to re-convert and convert as many as possible so as to re-establish the rule of Sanatana Dharma over the entire world.