It is celebrated in US on 12th Oct to mark the so called “Discovery of America” by Columbus that day in 1492.
It is a cruel insult to the memory of 7 million Native Americans (Red Indians),the original inhabitants slaughtered by Columbus,the white settlers who followed him,and eventually by the US Govt/Army for next 400 years.
US.as it is today,is 7 times the size of India. Columbus didn’t “dicover” the huge continent.More than 7 million natives had lived there from time immemorial.Divided into a few thousand tribes spread over the vast land,they were a highly cultured civilisation,but were simple pagan folks who worshipped many Gods,esp Mother Earth and lived close to nature. They had their own spiritual music/dance. They were devoted family folks dedicated to safety of women and children.
I have always been amazed at the many similarities between our own Indus civilisation and the ways of life of the Native Indian Americans. But for the marauding whites who came with Columbus,there cud have been another rich civilisation of a few hundred millions Native Americans today. Instead,from Columbus in 1490 to the Wounded Knee massacre of Indians in 1890,the indigeneous people endured the most massive and systematic genocide and ethnic cleansing in human history. Barely 4,00,000 survive as second class citizens in US today.
Just two photos to show the difference between 1490 and 1890.
Photo 1 shows how the Indians lived in self sufficient towns with neat and elegant two storied homes before Columbus came.
Photo 2 shows one of the mass graves into which the US Army dumped hundreds of Indians,mostly women and children,massacred by them in 1890.
The least the US should do is to abolish the shameful national holiday.
By R Narayanan
Images were supplied by the author.