Tue09262017

Last updateThu, 10 Aug 2017 9am

इरफ़ान हबीब और नजफ़ हैदर वही काम कर रहे हैं जो मुगल इतिहासकारों ने अपने आकाओं को पहचान दिलाने के लिए किया था!

इरफ़न हबब और नजफ़ हदर वह कम कर रह

हमारे आज के इतिहासकार जो कर रहे हैं वहीं पुराने इतिहासकारों ने भी किया। इरफान हबीब और नजफ हैदर जैसे इतिहासकारों ने पद्मावती को काल्पनिक किरदार तक कह डाला। यदि इनके नजरिए से इतिहास को खंगालने बैठे तो बाबर के आने के बाद इतिहास में की गई छेड़खानी और अंग्रेजों से हमारे संघर्ष तक बात आकर सिमट जाती है। भला हो हमारे उन महान साहित्यकारों का जिनकी वजह से आज भी हम राम, कृष्ण और वैदिक परंपरा में अपने इतिहास को पा लेते हैं वरना हमारी हालत तो वो कर दी गई की हम बाबर के हमले के बाद ही अपने अस्तित्व को मानें। रही सही कसर हमारे उन कथित अपनों ने पूरी कर दी जो खुद भी विदेशी आक्रांताओं के प्रभाव में आ गए। जब अपने कुछ कहते हैं तो लोग विश्वास करते हैं और यही वजह है कि इनका इस्तेमाल जमकर इतिहास के पुराने पन्नों को मिटाने के लिए किया गया। इस सबके बीज मलिक मुहम्मद जायसी जैसे सूफी भी हुए जिन्होंने इतिहास को साहित्य के नजरिए से लिखा। उनकी वजह से इतिहास के कुछ पन्ने आज भी हमारे पास मौजूद हैं। ऐतिहासिक किताबों में जिनका जिक्र नहीं वो किरदार कभी हुए ही नहीं ये कहना उतना ही गलत है जितना अपने पर दादा की तस्वीर नहीं होने पर उनके अस्तित्व को खारिज कर देना।

इतिहास किस्सों कहानियों और साहित्य से ही आगे बढ़ता है। रामचरित मानस सिर्फ साहित्य की अप्रतिम रचना मात्र नहीं है, हर भारत वासी के लिए उसके गौरव पूर्ण इतिहास की साक्षी भी है। वाल्मिकी रामायण को परंपरागत अवधी भाषा में गोस्वामी ने लिखकर बदलते वक्त में भी उस इतिहास को जिंदा रखा। महाभारत महज साहित्यिक रचना नहीं है वो हमारे समृद्ध इतिहास का लेख जोखा है। सिर्फ कहानियों तक सिमट जाना बेवकूफी है। हमारे असली साहित्यकारों ने किस तरह से इतिहास को कलात्मकता के साथ पेश किया इस पर गौर करने की जरूरत है। हमारे इतिहास से एक बात तो साफ है कि हम आस्था से भरपूर हैं। आस्था ही हमारे अस्तित्व का मूल है। इस आस्था पर न तो पहले कोई चोट कर पाया न आज कर सकता है और न हीं भविष्य में कोई कर पाएगा। यही साहित्य या इतिहास हमें मुगलों और अंग्रेजों के हमलों के बावजूद अपनी परंपरा से जोड़े रखता है। 

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The Growing Network of Pakistan’s ISI in India

The Growing Network of

The role of the Pakistani Military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is being suspected in a series of recent train mishaps, especially since the Indore-Patna Express train tragedy near Kanpur on November 20 in which about 150 lives were lost. The National Investigating Agency (NIA) is also investigating the ISI’s involvement in these incidents. While the most likely cause of these train incidents seems to be the poor upkeep of rail tracks, the ISI has indeed been active throughout India in the recent decades. Scores of Indian nationals, mostly non-Muslims, were arrested from towns across India for their role as an ISI agent in recent years. These arrests revealed the involvement of ex-military officers, terror suspects, army clerks, criminals and others.

Over the past decade and more, the cities and towns from where the ISI agents were arrested included Ahmedabad, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Mohali, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Patiala, Jalandhar, Shimla, Aligarh, Meerut, Kanpur, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Patna, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Agartala, Hyderabad, Bhopal, Bengaluru, Chennai, and so on. The names of these cities crop up when you search the websites of Indian newspapers. The ISI agents active in India are mainly of two types: those engaged in gathering secret information of military nature, and those involved in recruiting and planning terror modules. However, some are also involved in sabotage activities and in flooding the country with fake currency notes.

In his book “Pakistan’s ISI: Network of Terror in India,” senior cop S.K. Ghosh examined the revelations of the arrested ISI agents and noted that the ISI’s strategy involved the following: Use Kashmiri Muslims and cause subversion and terrorism across India, prepare an extensive ISI network and plant cadre of terrorists and spies in every part of India, trigger serial blasts in major cities, create insurgencies in parts of India where Muslim population is significant, and create newer fronts in Pakistan’s proxy war against India. Speaking of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, Ghosh observed that these were “not a Hindu-Muslim problem” but “an India-Pakistan problem.”

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Our cultural legacy

Our cultural legacy

The first and foremost thing, which India is privileged with, is the concept of holiness. We have inherited a legacy of cultural and civilisational tradition, which adds spiritual values to even material things of larger importance. – Prof Rakesh Sinha

There has been oft-repeated controversies regarding respect for flags, national anthem, national songs and other symbols of national importance. Most of the controversies are unnecessary because those behind such incidents have no logic or justification for their negative approach to the national anthem or the national flag. A few years ago, a parliamentarian cited religion as a reason for not singing the national songVande Mataram, and more recently Amazon Canada used the tricolour for making doormats.

In Kerala, some radicals refused to sing the national anthem in cinema halls. A pertinent question arises: why Indians are sensitive to national symbols? And why we do not treat them liberally as some of the advanced democracies do? To understand this problem one has to re-examine the growth of our national sentiments.

The first and foremost thing, which India is privileged with, is the concept of holiness. We have inherited a legacy of cultural and civilisational tradition, which adds spiritual values to even material things of larger importance. Our civilisation has never been materialistic; material fortunes have always been superseded by intellectual and spiritual prosperity. Therefore, unlike other countries, Indian nationalism distinctly gives a sense of spiritualism too and we celebrate our territorial boundary not merely as a piece of land or a sign of mere sovereignty, but as a spiritual entity (which should not be confused with religious entity). We consider India as our motherland, Bharat Mata. This trait is present in each and every Indian, and even in those who oppose it due to political reasons or ideological indoctrination. But a close scrutiny of the behavioural pattern shows that Indians too have cultural nationalism.

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Pride Of India: Why The Republic Day Parade Must March On

Pride Of India

India celebrates the anniversary of its Republic Day every year on 26 January. It’s the day when the Constitution of India was formally adopted and the transition from being an independent dominion under the British Commonwealth to an independent republic took effect. While celebrations of this day took place from 1950 to 1954 in different parts of Delhi, it was on Republic Day 1955 that the format of the current parade was adopted. It is well known that the parade is the pride of India and the celebrations take place from 26 January with the parade to 29 January, when the ceremonies close with the Beating Retreat at the Vijay Chowk. The latter is a unique spectacle, when the massed bands of the three services participate in a traditional band display in a grand setting with the South and North Blocks and the Rashtrapati Bhavan in the backdrop.

Nothing controversial about this; in fact there is everything to be proud of. Yet every other year question marks are raised in cynical circles about the parade and the very ‘military flavour’ that it projects. These objections and observations are also laid to rest every year. However, this year just a few objections have emerged, but they assume greater significance due to the rising tide of analyses in the last few months about the alleged increasing influence of the military in national decision making. The counter analyses, which are also written each year, therefore need to build on this factor and ascertain the veracity of the claims by those who are detractors of the current format of the Republic Day parade, and the allegations against India’s military.

The four days from 26 to 29 January every year comprise three major events, which are organised and coordinated by India’s Armed Forces, with military flavour of different shades and ratio. First is the parade itself. It is largely the responsibility of the Indian Army Headquarters, Delhi Area and the Ceremonials and Welfare Directorate.

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The Edict of Thessalonica and attack on Hindu traditions

After Jallikattu, Sabarimala, Shani Shignapur, Kerala Temple elephant ban and Ganesh Chaturthi, Dahi Handi is the latest Hindu tradition to be attacked by an NGO-PIL system in conjunction with the able help of the Indian judiciary. This is not an accident. Rather, this is aligned with an evangelical strategy of death by a thousand cuts. While the verdict is still out on the specific actors behind Dahi Handi, it is worth understanding the historical erasure of pagan traditions and how this has been critical to a monopolistic establishment of Christianity. These attacks cannot thus be separated from evangelical interests in the Conversion War.

When the Roman Empire turned Christian: Banning the Olympics

In 380 CE, the Roman Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity to be the official state religion of the Roman Empire. His “Edict of Thessalonica,” also called the “Cunctos Populous,” declared all those who didn’t believe in the Nicene Creed to be “heretics” and subject to both “earthly and heavenly” punishment.

Everyone in the empire shall be part of the religion that believes in God as a single Deity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Holy Trinity, as taught by St. Peter to the Romans, and now taught by Damasus of Rome and Peter of Alexandria. Only those following this rule shall be called “catholic Christians.”

Meeting places of those who follow another religion (including heretics of a Christian variety) shall not be given the status of churches, and such people may be subject to both divine and earthly retribution.

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Aurangzeb as a ‘tolerant tyrant’: the case against ‘secular’ historiography

Aurangzeb as a tolerant tyrant

Aurangzeb was the last of the ‘great’ Mughals whose policies set into motion those forces, which would pave the way for the disintegration of the empire. Until the mid-20th century, there was scholarly consensus that Aurangzeb’s religious policy animated by his zeal for application of orthodox and fundamentalist Islamic law gravely undermined the logic of the Mughal state, which under Akbar while retaining its overarching Islamic character compromised by permitting the peaceful albeit subjugated co-existence for its majority Hindu subjects. Jadunath Sarkar who was arguably the greatest historian in colonial India in his meticulously researched five volume biography of the emperor made the dismal observation that “Schools of Hindu learning were broken up by him, Hindu places of worship were demolished, Hindu fairs were forbidden, the Hindu population was subjected to special fiscal burdens in additional to being made to bear a public badge of inferiority; and the services of the state were closed to them…the effect of Aurangzeb’s reign was not only good to goad the Hindus into constant revolt and disturbances, but also to make them deteriorate in intellect, organization and economic resources.”

Post-independence, the Nehruvian state apparatus understood historical interpretation as a mechanism for, among other things, creating a ‘secular’ society in which religious persecution of Hindus in medieval India were problematic facts incompatible with their ‘idea of India’ in which ‘communal’ historical consciousness had to be eradicated in order to legitimize the present and crush the emergence of alternative ‘Hindu majoritarian’ ‘right wing’ movements, which could potentially upset the hegemony of the Congress and its dominant narrative. The ‘secular’ state thus sponsored this pious act of historical revisionism by patronizing historians of a decisive Marxist or “secularist” persuasion with an implicit understanding for creating new narratives of ‘magnificent’, ‘progressive’ and ‘tolerant’ Mughal ages with minimal emphasis on the excesses against its Hindu subjects and institutions. Hence, the ultimate objective of this new historiography was to overturn the historical conviction of Aurangzeb as the fundamentalist tyrant and persecutor of Hindus,

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Caste is a socio-political institution

Caste is a socio-political institution

Caste is too complex to be tackled by simple bans. Also, blatant appeals to religion, caste and other parochial loyalties have always been prohibited and there is no dispute regarding the Supreme Court’s attempt to lift politics above narrow identities. However, … not one word of criticism has been ever uttered when the Catholic Church repeatedly exhorts citizens to vote in a particular way in States where the community has a substantial presence. – Sandhya Jain

Almost coinciding with the Election Commission of India’s announcement of dates for elections to five State Assemblies, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Section 123(3) of the Representation of People’s Act (RPA) in Abhiram Singh v/s C.D. Comachen (dead) by Lrs and Ors. (Civil Appeal No. 37/1992) seems destined to be honoured more in the breach. The Supreme Court ruled that politicians cannot invoke religion, race, caste, community or language to seek a mandate from voters, and that such practice would result in annulment of the election.

The day after the ruling and before the ECI announcement of dates, which kicks in the model code of conduct, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati addressed a press conference wherein she advised Muslims not to split their votes (between non-BJP parties) and added that her Scheduled Caste votebank would not be swayed by hollow promises (from rival parties).

In this manner, caste and religion, the cornerstones of our electoral politics since 1947, were matter-of-factly invoked by India’s most openly caste-based political party (BSP was founded by late Kanshi Ram to consolidate lower caste votes). The party is struggling to stay in the reckoning in the critical state of Uttar Pradesh, where elections are due next month.

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