FACT has started the commissioning of the next project after "Shivaji" Dara Shikoh

31 10 2007

Fact exhibition: Darashikoh translating vedas elder brother of aurangazeb

FACT EXHIBITION: Prince DARA SHIKOH parded as prisoner his guilt trying to translate vedas into Pesian

This image is from the online gallery of the British Library
One might ask Why Dara now ? The answer lies in his tolerence and rather more than that the respect for other religions a sufi himself, there was and is no doubt the History of India would have been completely richer and wonderful if he was the Emperor. The world needs more him and the world shall know much more after this exhibition…. about the Sufi student and saint.

Dara Shikoh (with Mian Mir and Mulla Shah) c.a. 1635

FACT has started the commissioning of the next project after “Shivaji” Dara Shikoh. A small intro courtesy WIKIPEDIA

For a detailed and analysed history of Dara one can always visit Beyond ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ – Dara Shikoh’s Quest for Spiritual Unity by Yoginder Sikand

Or this nice piece Sarmad the Armenian and Dara Shikoh By Majid Sheikh

Dara Shikoh (1615–1659) was the eldest son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. His name is from Persian داراشكوه meaning “The possessor of Glory”. He was favoured as a successor by his father and his sister Jahanara Begum, but was defeated by his younger brother Aurangzeb in a bitter struggle for the Mughal throne.

Dara Shikoh was a gentle and pious Sufi intellectual, one of the greatest representatives of that uniquely Indian synthesis sometimes referred to as the “composite culture”. He was an erudite champion of mystical religious speculation (which made him a heretic in the eyes of his more orthodox brother and the coterie around him) and a poetic diviner of syncretic cultural interaction among people of all faiths. Historians have speculated how different India would have been had he prevailed over his less enlightened brother Aurangzeb. Dara was a follower of Lahore’s famous Qadiri Sufi saint Mian Mir, whom he was introduced to by Mullah Shah Badakhshi (Mian Mir’s spiritual disciple and successor). He devoted much effort towards finding a common mystical language between Islam and Hinduism. Towards this goal he translated the Upanishads from its original Sanskrit into Persian so it could be read by Muslim scholars. His translation is often called “Sirre Akbar” or The Greatest Mystery, where he states boldly, in the Introduction, his speculative hypothesis that the work referred to in the Qur’an as the “Kitab al-maknun” or the hidden book is none other than the Upanishads. His most famous work, Majma ul-Bahrain (“The Mingling of the Two Oceans”) was also devoted to finding the commonalities between Sufism and Hindu Monotheism.

I hope Dalits will assert their social and Philosophical rights rather than turning their backs on them

31 10 2007

Sri Sri Ravishankar on Dalits and says

“I hope Dalits will assert their social and Philosophical rights rather than turning their backs on them.”


31 10 2007


Miniature Painting by the Sikh School of Art – early 19th century of Guru Nanak with Bhai Mardana

The objective is to show the Sikhs as the defenders of Indian Dharma. Throughout the ages, Sikhs have protected India from numerous onslaughts by foreign invaders – whether the Mughals or the British. This has not been recognized by society today.
We also need to bring the spirit of Kshatriyas back into the people of India, as today it again faces a threat to its culture and traditions from globalization and conversions. This will and courage to defend one’s dharma from threats, both within and without, is still very strong in the Sikh community and this should be brought to the forefront and shared with the rest of the people of this country.


1) A documentary film on the 1947 Holocaust when tens of thousands Sikhs and Hindus were slaughtered. Today many of the survivors or those who have been witnesses to the Holocaust are close to dying, so it’s important we record their testimonies. We will have two versions: a 13 minutes film for TV’s and a 35 minutes one for film festivals abroad.

2) A paintings’ exhibition on Sikhism, on the same lines than the one I just did on Aurangzeb (see below the beheading of Guru Teg Bahadur) and the one I am preparing on Shivaji – that is original paintings signed and dated in Moghol miniature style, depicting impeccably documented historical scenes. I am looking for sponsors who could have a share in the exhibition, either in the sales of the paintings when we have shown it in India and the US, or in their ownership.

3) A Coffee Table Book with some of the photos shot during the film plus the paintings of the exhibition, recounting the birth of Sikhism and its history. We will have to find a publisher who will bear the costs.

A. Budget for the Documentary film

* We begin by shooting a film in Delhi, using our personal contacts, to find out Punjabi and Sikh survivors of 1947 atrocities. Then we can move on to Punjab (hence the added staying and travel expenses).

* It is important that a photographer be present along the cameraman (and a sound person), so that we can have stills for the exhibition and the future Coffee Table book.
The budget has been made for 30 full working days, which can be spread out according to the team’s availability.

Cameraman 30 days (8 hours) by 4000 Rs a day (with video) = 120.000

Soundman 30 days. 1200 RS a day = 36.000

Cameraman. 30 days by 1000 Rs a day = 30.000

* Traveling Expenses to Punjab. 4 trips for 3 people = 40.0000

* Board and Lodging Punjab. 20 days. 3 people. 50.000 rs

* Studio.60 hours editing by 1000 Rs a day = 60.000 Rs

* Printing/ Framing 60 photos for exhibition = 100.000

* Miscellaneous expenses = 25.000 Rs

TOTAL 4.61000 RS (four lakhs sixty one thousand rupees)


I. 40 paintings on an average @ Rs.30,000/- 12 LAKHS RUPEES

10 sketches @ RS10,000/- 1 LAKH

II. 20 Photographs @ 10.000 RS 2 LAKHS

III. Main Researcher to get in 4 instalments 1,20,000.00


1. Framing, mounting of paintings, sketches, documents, map, etc. in all about 79 exhibits

2. Two Committee Members to examine, advise, control quality of paintings etc. 20,000.00

Transportation (pick up van) of framed exhibits 10,000.00

Outside visits 25,000.00
Translations 10,000.00
Xeroxing and Typing 10,000.00
Printing Press charges 20,000.00
Local transport, currier, phones, dak, runner boy 5,000.00
Contingency 10,000.00



Yours truly
François Gautier

Join the Sikh Massacre Remembrance Week & Blood donation Drive.

25 10 2007

The 1984 sikh riots were massacre and pogrom on the sikhs but nobody dares call it as such. Cant we break the silence and think about the past so that the mistakes and cruelty never repeats…

23 years ago, in November 1984, more than 10 thousand Sikhs were hunted down all over India. They were burnt alive, the girls were gang raped then killed and the Sikh’s properties worth billions of dollars was looted and destroyed. Since 1984, the successive Indian Governments have been fooling the people by setting up various commissions. The failure to punish the guilty indicates the complicity of the Government and its agencies in the “Sikh Massacre”. Instead of prosecution, the perpetrators of this heinous crime were awarded with medals or rewarded with promotions. But on the contrary the Sikhs who voiced against the carnage were branded as terrorists and killed in fake encounters. The people who were clearly responsible for this carnage enjoyed political patronage and administrative positions. No one has been hanged or given suitable sentences for the genocide. (For more)

Boomerang of Radical Islam and terrorism in Pakistan

21 10 2007

If the latest statistics from the SATP (SOUTH ASIATERRORISM PORTAL)an apex think tank on South asian terrorism is to be taken note of the Boomerang is the word used for pakistan for the Terror nurturement it has been doing in the name of supporting freedom struggles.

A total of 2,056 people had lost their lives in terrorist incidents in India up to October 10 this year. Including the Ajmer blast that happened after that date, in which 3 people died, the number would now stand at 2,059. SATP figures put the casualties in Pakistan till October 10 at 2,151.

Islamist extremism has been used by Pakistan, as an instrument of state policy
since the 1980s to further the country’s foreign policy goals vis-à-vis
Afghanistan and India, and its quest for ‘strategic depth’. The Pakistani state
and the Taliban had co-sponsored a terrorist network that essentially relied on
Madrassas (seminaries) and terrorist training camps located in Pakistan and
(previously) in Afghanistan. There are an estimated over one million students in
at least 10,000 seminaries in Pakistan (some private estimates place their
number between 40,000 and 50,000), with militant Islam as their core syllabus.
(SATP South Asia Assessment 2003)

Pak lost more lives to terror in ’07 than India
Shankar Raghuraman TIG

21st Oct 2007 Times of India

New Delhi: For years, India has been the worst victim of terror groups, many of them backed by the Pakistani establishment. That has now changed. In 2007, Pakistan has lost more lives to terror than India. Considering it has a population that is barely one-seventh of India’s population, that is a stunning indicator of just how badly terror has boomeranged on Pakistan. According to data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a total of 2,056 people had lost their lives in terrorist incidents in India up to October 10 this year. Including the Ajmer blast that happened after that date, in which 3 people died, the number would now stand at 2,059. SATP figures put the casualties in Pakistan till October 10 at 2,151. Since then there have been a couple of minor incidents and Wednesday’s massive suicide attack in Karachi. If the death toll from the Karachi blast stays at 135, that would take Pakistani casualties this year up to 2,295. Interestingly, the pattern of deaths in the two countries is quite similar despite the different nature of the terror attacks. Of India’s 2,059 deaths, 811 are civilians and 304 security personnel, while 944 terrorists have been reported killed. In Pakistan, the corresponding numbers would be 886 civilians, 413 security personnel and 996 terrorists. This is based on preliminary estimates of the Karachi toll, which suggest that two terrorists and about 20 cops may have been among the 135 killed. Thus, in both countries, terrorist deaths are slightly more than civilian casualties, while security personnel account for fewer deaths than either of these categories. With a population of roughly 165 million to India’s 1.1 billion plus, the impact of terror on Pakistan has clearly been much higher in 2007 than on India.

Bomb blast kills seven in Pakistan
23 hours ago

20th Oct 2007 Islamabad: At least seven people, including two women and a child, were killed and five others injured on Saturday when a bomb planted in a passenger van went off near a hotel in a town in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province.

Analysis: Who is a terrorist?

20 10 2007

Analysis: Who is a terrorist?
By the BBC’s Allan Little
In an effort to rally America after 11 September President Bush said: “There are good causes and bad causes. But there is no such thing as a good terrorist. “Every nation must know that they are either with us or they are with the terrorist. No nation can pick and choose its terrorist friends,” he added. Mayor Rudolf Giuliani of New York summed up the rage of an entire nation – and the unimpeachable sense of righteousness on which that rage is founded – when he said: “Those who practise terrorism lose any right to have their cause understood … We’re right, they’re wrong. It’s as simple as that.” But the experience of those states who have had to fight terrorism over many years and even decades suggests it is seldom as simple as that. (For more click here to BBC’s article )

Iraqi Insurgent Media Campaign Targets American Audiences
The Jamestown Foundation

Since the September 11 attacks, the internet has emerged as a pillar of radical Islamist propaganda efforts against the United States by al-Qaeda and other groups. Extremist websites and chat forums provide radicals and sympathizers with moral and theological justification for acts of violence and terrorism, acts framed as legitimate self-defense against what is widely perceived as a U.S.-led campaign against Islam. The internet is also a platform for disseminating tactical, operational and strategic expertise, to include instructions on constructing explosives, analyses of battlefield lessons learned and discussions on targeting selection. (For more on the article go here at Jamestown foundation)

The terror everywhere Manila, Karachi…

20 10 2007

The foot print of terror and the mindset is being shown everywhere across the world the latest being Manila and in pakistan on the motorcade of the Ex-PM Bhutto.

Relatives mourn the death of a bomb blast victim outside a morgue in Karachi

Rescuers survey the damage after an explosion near a crowded shopping mall in Manila’s financial district of Makati.

KARACHI blasts

October 20, 2007, 01:03
Karachi: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto yesterday said the suicide bomb attack on her motorcade on Thursday that killed at least 133 people was not on her but on democracy. “The attack was on what I represent. The attack was on democracy and the very unity and integrity of Pakistan,” she told a crowed press conference at Bilawal House in Karachi.

Audio: Benazir Bhutto talks about the threats which have been made
to her (mp3)

Audio: Benazir Bhutto talks about the deal with President
Musharraf (mp3)

Audio: Benazir Bhutto talks about the battle for hearts and minds

Bhutto said the dastardly attack was intended to intimidate and blackmail the political forces that work for democracy in the country.

So who are they arent these creatures human, if yes why are they so bent upon spilling fellow humans blood and throwing them into pain and dastardly suffering ? Are we all like that ? Many questions questions that probably we need to probe into ourself and into peoples psyche.

Manila blasts

October 20, 2007, 01:03
Manila: A car bomb is suspected to have caused the massive explosion that left nine people dead and 95 others injured near a commercial hub in Manila’s financial district of Makati yesterday, sources told Gulf News.
The body of a man found under a taxi in the parking lot saw the death toll rise to nine from eight earlier. Investigators cordoned off the scene of the incident near the Park Square 2 and Glorietta 2 malls which are connected by an elevated walkway as bomb experts looked for clues and rescuers tried to extricate trapped survivors.
“The basement parking area of Park Square 2 was badly damaged. Several cars were destroyed. The bomb must have been left there. Four of the eight fatalities were reported in the parking area,” said a military official requesting anonymity.

So what say of the one more attack

14 10 2007

To contact CMC hospital call 0161- 5026999/ 2229011-21

After the Ajmer dargah which stands for the unity and equality the sufi holy place its film theatres, Now as citizens we need to beware of whats going on and help the security agencies in warding off terror and loss of life / property.
Just watch out around and when in public places do remember to caution the nearest security personnel of any untoward or mischevous even doubtful objects/ persons or activity.

Video and details courtesy CNN IBN
Ludhiana: A day after a bomb attack by suspected terrorists at a cinema hall in Ludhiana killed seven people and injured 32 others, the Centre on Monday blamed the Punjab state administration for security lapses.

New Delhi: Five persons died and at least 10 were injured when a bomb exploded inside a multiplex cinema hall in Ludhiana on Sunday evening. The 600-seater Shringar theatre on Samrana Road was packed when a massive explosion shook the place at around 2050 hrs IST.

Chandrashekar, the Additional Director General of Police, said he suspected it was a bomb blast but would make a confirmation later. TV channels showed rescue workers struggling to reach the injured inside the darkened theatre. The blast occurred during the screening of a Bhojpuri movie and since it was a holiday, the multiplex was packed to capacity.

“The bomb exploded just after the interval, maybe 5-10 minutes after the break. Most of the people present were from UP and Bihar,” says an eyewitness who was also injured in the blast.
So far, no terror outfit has claimed responsibility but DIG, Intelligence Jagdish Mittal said Khalistan Commando Force, Khalistan Zindabad Force and Muslim Jehadi groups are behind the blast.

“We suspect Babbar Khalsa in collaboration with JeM or LeT, funded by ISI,” he said.

Most wanted Sikh militants living in Pakistan:

Wadhawan Singh Babbar: Chief of BKI, who is believed to be staying in Lahore [Images].
Ranjith Singh Neeta: Chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force, who is believed to be staying in Lahore.
Paramjeet Singh Panjawar: Chief of Khalistan Commando force, who is believed to be staying in Lahore.
Lakhbhir Singh Rode: Chief of ISYF, who is believed to be staying in Lahore.
Gajinder Singh: The leader of Dal Khalsa is believed to be staying in Lahore after being released from jail.

Video courtesy: CNN IBN

Mumbai: Two blasts in four days have security agencies across the country on
high alert. After the explosions at the Ajmer Sharif shrine on Thursday, a high
alert was sounded in all metros including Mumbai.

But for Maximum City – living on the edge after the July 11 serial train blasts last year – the situation is getting complicated. The city’s police force is a harassed lot with the number of hoax calls and false alerts on the rise.

FACT is they are at our door step Ajmer darga the latest

12 10 2007

Now in the continuing terror, They reach the Ajmer Dargah the next could be your house. Cant we act on them… Act with awareness and caution with responsibility and duty. That is all it takes to ward off if not eliminate terror. If peace needs a chance they should never have one and it is we that should defend and decide how we act with responsibility. The fact that its the Sufi Shrine that is targeted reveals a lot of things ….

The bomb was hidden inside a tiffin box and placed in the main courtyard called Aasthan-e-Noor, just outside the 750-year-old mausoleum of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the Sufi shrine revered not only by Muslims in South Asia but people of all faiths.

The latest was the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad, now conclusively blamed on the Bangladesh-based and ISI-linked Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), during packed Friday prayers and before that, the Malegaon blast on
Shabb-e-Barat night, when Muslims gather to pay homage to their ancestors.

(Times of India)

We at FACT pray for the lives of the two souls

Following is the list of dead and injured in the blast at the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chisthi in Ajmer:

List & video courtesy CNN IBN

Mohammed Shoaib (45), resident of Mumbai
Saleem, resident of Hyderabad

Yijul Haq (32), resident of Sundargarh Orissa
Patham Imran (24), resident of Gujarat
Faiz khan (35), resident of Bhavnagar, Gujarat
Sheikh Abdul Rehman (45), Nasik, Maharashtra
Mohammed Hafeez Shah (55), Boraj Road, Ajmer
Bismillah Khan (22), resident of Gujarat
Asif Khan (23), resident of Nadiyad, Maharashtra
Sammer (19), resident of Kotara
Mohammed Gulam Nabi (63), resident of Poonch, JK
Mohammed Sabir (42), resident of Bhilwara, Rajasthan
Dr. Badrul Hasan (59), Khadim Mohalla, Ajmer
Nand Lal (50), resident of Ajmer
Arshad (7), resident of Mumbai
Abdullah Mohammed (26), resident of Ajmer

The making of a tyrant (The Indian Express)

11 10 2007

The making of a tyrant

Aurangzeb dictated himself through his edicts. French journalist Francois Gautier depicts the shrewd Mughal emperor pictorially with an exhibition that started in Pune on Tuesday


W HEN Francois Gautier began writing books on India over a decade ago, he realised that a lot of rethinking would be required before extolling about one prominent historical figure – Aurangzeb. So, the French journalist embarked on a threeyear research on the Mughal emperor that resulted in an elaborate, 65-painting exhibition highlighting Aurangzeb’s dark side. The exhibition was inaugu rated on October 9 at the Balgandharva Kala Dalan.
“Aurangzeb was a pious Muslim, no doubt but he also poisoned his own father, emperor Shah Jahan and ordered the beheading of his elder brother, Dara Shikoh,” points out Gautier.
Presented by Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT), an organisation he started in 2003, the acrylic paintings show Aurangzeb according to his own documents and firmans (edicts) written in Persian. He copied the Quran himself, stitched Muslim skullcaps and enforced strict laws against the Hindus. His insistence on forced conversion to Islam, ruthlessness towards Hindus, the cruel execution of of Dara Shikoh and Raja Sambhaji, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s son, the reinforcement of the humiliating jizyah tax and ordering the destruction of temples–all make for more than impactful depictions. “Aurangzeb had his own ideology of life. His strong beliefs, fundamentalist and tyrannical in nature, made him enact Draconian laws,” says Gautier.
The shrewd Mughal emperor al lowed only Muslims to enter his court and the musicians who performed for him had to convert themselves to Islam. Apparently, Aurangzeb even ended up banning music from his court. A painting in the exhibition shows the musicians disposing of their musical instruments through a burial procession. Bury it so deep that no sound or echo of it may rise again, wrote Aurangzeb.
V S Bhatnagar, professor of history at Jaipur University conducted the research that involved referencing Aurangzeb’s original documents still preserved in Indian museums, such as the Bikaner archives, and paintings done by six Jaipur-based artists. Organised with a budget of Rs seven lakhs, the exhibition debuted in Delhi a few months ago.
Gautier is inspired by the need to put history in the right perspective and feels that Aurangzeb is very much relevent even today. In fact Gautier, likens him to the modern day terroroist Osama Bin Laden. “Westerners think Aurangzeb was a patron of art and culture. This isn’t true. He misled the Indian Muslims and this has manifested in the religious upheavels in India, today,” adds Gautier.
He remembers witnessing the burning of the last Sufi shrine, Chrar-e- Sharif in J & K in 1995. Reference of the same with Aurangzeb’s ideology become strikingly familiar. “At one point of time, Hindus and Muslims used to pray here together. But now the religious harmony is almost non-extinct,” says Gautier.
Next on FACT’s agenda is an exhibition on Dara Shikoh and Chhatrapati Shivaji. “Dara Shikoh embraced non-Mus lims, translated the Upan ishads. He also wrote sev eral books on Sufism. We would have had a more tolerant Islam today if Dara Shikoh had succeeded Shah Jahan, instead of Aurangzeb,” concludes Gautier.
(The exhibition on Aurangzeb continues at Balgandharva Kala Dalan till October 17 and then from October 18 to 26 at Yashwantrao Chavan auditorium, Kothrud)