Press coverage and controversy around Aurangzeb in Chennai

6 03 2008
Aurangzeb Exhibition thretened by the Muslim Groups in Chennai


The two volunteers (female) from chennai were threatened by the state police and illegally taken into custody for 5 and half hours. Ofcourse they were later released after repeated appeals. The Additional commissioner of police Mr Murali IPS was the one acting like an agent of the miscreants and he threw down two precious paintings breaking them beyond repair (how is taking law into ones own hands justified). The right to freedom of expression I hope would not come into play here since Hindus are involved. The Exhibition as of now is indefinitely locked up and closed as is the gallery.

The Aurangzeb Exhibition in Chennai was thretened and asked to close down today by the Muslim leaders of the makkal urimai kalazam. They were having problems with the way Aurangzeb was portrayed in the exhibition. While the organisers FACT India is clear and we have nothing to do with the content which is sourced from the Original Akhbarat or Court documents of Moghul courts in the archives of Museums Deprartment, Govt of India.

Leaders of the Muslim group and Nawab of Arkat walked in yesterday 5th march 2008 and protested on the exhibition saying Aurangzeb was poorly depicted, and this would lead to clashes and riots. Their contention was while Aurangzeb has done lot of good things (reading quran and stitching his caps which by the way is depicted in the exhibition) nothing was said about that and only his misdeeds were portrayed. They alleged that Hindus would get angry and make disturbances so the Exhibition needs to be closed.

FACT India clarifies that it is not anybody’ opinion that is depicted in the exhibition but only the History as it was from the Moghul court documents the Akhbarat.

FACT India has orgnised this exhibition to bring awareness on facts as they are. And Aurangzeb and his philosophy of “I kill if you dont agree” is the fundamentalism that the world is facing, it needs to be encountered tooth and nail. The Terrorism and the ideology behind it needs to be stopped. The exhibition has travelled to New Delhi, Bangalore and Pune and is currently showing at Lalit kala Academy Chennai. The exhibition is scheduled to be in chennai from 3rd to 9th march 2008.

The media was immediately there and Police intervened to secure the exhibition from miscreants.

What was surprising was the media never came when invited for the inauguration of the Exhibition time and again, it was never to be seen while everything was peacful but once they smelled the disturbance all of them were there.

Aurangzeb exhibits at Lalit Kala Academy kick up row
Chennai | Thursday, Mar 6 2008 IST

Web India

An art exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi here, depicting the life history of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb has run into a controversy following opposition by some Muslim outfits to some of the portraits and Hindu organisations coming to its defence by opposing the cancellation demand. Tight police security had been deployed at the premises after Muslim organisations took up cudgels against some of the portraits claiming that it would disturb peace in the State and demanded that the expo should be canceled. Justifying the portraits, a Hindu outfit opposed any move for canceling the show contending that “only Historical facts” were on display.

The Akademy’s Regional Secretary R M Palaniappan told reporters that three people, including two Muslims had raised objections to a photo that showed demolition of the Somnath Temple in Gujarat by Muslim forces, following an order by Aurangazeb. They also submitted a written complaint that this picture could hurt the sentiments of Hindus and would result in communal hatred. The issue has been referred to the Akademi headquarters at New Delhi, he added. To a question, he said though he had enough powers to cancel the show, he was awaiting orders from the headquarters. “I cannot allow such controversies in a government building,” he added. Meanwhile, ‘Hindu Munnani’ leader Rama Gopalan visited the Akademi and said there was no distortion of facts in the pictures. He also threatened to launch an agitation if the exhibition was cancelled.

— (UNI) — 06MS42.xml

Knowing the Mughal Emperor
Thursday March 6 2008 11:31 IST

Express Features

LALIT Kala Akademi is holding an exhibition on Aurangzeb, the mighty Mughal empire’s most reviled king. Organised by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism, it contains paintings and sketches about his rule as well as farhans, original edicts by Aurangzeb, preserved at the Bikaner Museum.

When Francois Gautier, trustee, FACT, approached the museum for the original records, it was first of a kind query for the museum. “They told me nobody had touched these records in the last fifty years. I could obtain permission to use the records only after speaking to the chief minister of Rajasthan,” he says.

Aurangzeb as he was, is an initiative by Francois to tell the world what they read about Aurangazeb in textbooks wasn’t what he exactly was.

“Instead, if Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb’s elder brother and Shah Jahan’s preferred heir, had taken over the throne, the course of Mughal history and India would have been a lot different,” he explains. ‘Aurangzeb as he was’ was inaugurated in Delhi, travelled Pune and Bangalore before reaching Chennai.

Over 40 exhibits pictorally explain Aurangzeb’s macabre rule which saw the demolition of many tem ples, reinstallation of jizyah for non-muslims and incentives for conversion into Islam. Also depicted is the death of Dara Shukoli himself, as ordered by Aurangzeb.

A French journalist who has made Chennai and Puducherry his home now, Francais sees India as a great country, with a repository of wealth in certain issues.

“Take the family system for example. It is the pure genius of India. If that is lost in the country, it isn’t India at all,” he remarks.

Other Indian ideals that have caught the fancy of Francais are Ayurveda, Vedas, and spirituality. A biographer of Pandit Sri Sri Ravishankar, Francais sees an atmosphere of tolerance to others in the country. “Just that there is very little awareness about the country’s cultural importance,” he rues.

The exhibition took three years to be completed and was inaugurated by former chief vigilance commissioner N Vittal, former RAW chief B Raman and journalist S Gurumurthy.

It was inaugurated on Aurangzeb’s death anniversary (March 3) and will be on till March 9.



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