Parallel drawn between Aurangzeb and terrorism (The Times Of India)

11 10 2007

French writer Francois Gautier at the exhibition
Parallel drawn between Aurangzeb and terrorism
Display Based On Mughal Emperor’s Records And Orders
PUNE 10th Oct 2007
Pune: Relating the ruthless regime of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb to religious extremism in today’s world may seem non-realistic. But French writer-journalist Francois Gautier’s initiative to convene an exhibition titled “Aurangzeb as he was according to Moghol records” does manage to draw a parallel between then and now. “Aurangzeb is still alive in some people, which has resulted in incidents like 9/11 (World Trade Centre air crash), Akshardham and the recent Hyderabad bombings. People with fundamentalist faith like the Mughal emperor are planning such incidents,” he added. Gautier said that Aurangzeb was a pious Muslim, copied the Quran himself and stitched Muslim skullcaps. “He was a pious Muslim but this does not cover-up his terror acts. Many temples were brought down during his rule and mosques were built on those spots,” he said. Gautier told TOI that Aurangzeb was a great Mughal emperor and the artistic exhibition is based on Aurangzeb’s own records and orders, which are preserved in Indian museums at Bikaner and New Delhi. Organised under the aegis of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT) of which Gautier is the founder trustee, the exhibition is on at Balgandharva Kaladalan till October 17 and will continue in the city at the Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium, Kothrud from October 18 to November 30. “The exhibition attempts to exhibit the positive as well as negative aspects of the emperor. Scriptures are accompanied by paintings and sketches,” he added. For instance, a scripture dated 1689 says that Maratha warrior king Shambhaji and Kavi Kalas were captured by Mughal forces at Sangameshwar and derogatory treatment was given to them. A painting placed next to this scripture depicts the scene. Another painting shows the death scene of Aurangzeb’s father Shah Jahan and his body being taken to the Taj Mahal. Shajahan was kept captive by Aurangzeb for eight years. Another painting shows the martyrdom of Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur. The scriptures have been collected from Rajasthan, New Delhi and other parts of India and also include authentic history notes of French doctor Berniers who witnessed Aurangazeb’s reign. Letters of the kings of Rajasthan are also among the scriptures. Expressing a need to unwrap all aspects of Indian history, Gautier said, “The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has not disclosed many chapters of Indian history to avoid communal tension in the country but history can be used as an effective tool to avoid communal tension and terror acts.”



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