Hundreds of languages, diverse cultural beliefs, millions of Gods and Goddesses, and an extraordinary history. This is what makes India so unique and strange. And in the midst of this chaotic legacy, the true facts about India has somewhere got lost, and we have been exposed to different notions that are completely untrue. But as we are deeply connected and proud of our ‘Indianness’, we must know if our knowledge about India is real or just a misconception.
Thus, it’s time to enlighten your perceptions about India, and my friend, get ready to be surprised or perhaps, shocked.
1. India has no national sport
For the longest time, it has been popularly known that Hockey is our national sport since we have had such huge Olympic glory in this game. But sorry, our country has no national sport, and this has been officially declared by the Union Ministry of youth affairs.
I know it sounds a bit disheartening.
2. Mahatma Gandhi never actually quoted, “Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”
We have been repeatedly taught that Gandhiji said this profound quotation, but that is not completely true. Though his ideologies certainly resonate with these words, never did he actually quoted this statement. In fact, the first book to link a version of the quote to Gandhi was published in 1947 called ‘Gandhi and Stalin’. It read,
“The shreds of individuality cannot be sewed together with a bayonet; nor can democracy be restored according to the Biblical injunction of an “eye for an eye” which, in the end, would make everybody blind.”
From here, different authors have deconstructed these lines, modified it, and called it Gandhi’s quote.
3. Hindi is not our national language
4. Tea was introduced to us by the British
Yes. We can proudly call us the biggest chai lovers in the world, but as history has it, it originated in Southwest China as a medicinal drink. Later, the Britishers began its commercial production in India to break the Chinese monopoly on tea.
5. UNESCO never declared that our national anthem is the best
Just as social media makes every rumor seem like a reality, the same happened with this news as well. In March 2016, a message claiming that UNESCO has named “Jana Gana Mana” as the best anthem in the world went viral. Hearing this, everyone believed it to be true. But soon, UNESCO made an official statement burying all rumors.
“We are aware of several blogs in India reporting this story, but can assure you that Unesco has made no such announcement concerning the anthem of India or any country.”
6. India, too, invaded many foreign lands
India is still facing the consequences of being invaded by the outside communities. On the other hand, very less is known about the invasion of India into a foreign land. Here are the few examples when India was not that tolerant.
The king of Punjab, Ranjit Singh, defeated and captured parts of Afghan territory in an early 19th century. One of our greatest Indian kings, Raja Raja Chola, invaded and ruled vast parts of South East Asia. Not only this, India fought Nepal and took over some of their territories such as Shimla and Darjeeling.
7. Dowry tradition didn’t start in India
Dowry was initially a European custom and wasn’t even a part of Indian marriages until Europeans invaded us. In fact, India did not even want to adopt it but due to their heavy influence, it became a practice which is still very prevalent.