The Shivaji Exhibition draws Schools and youngsters alike.

18 03 2008

The Shivaji Exhibition has caught the attention of Mumbai schools. School students have been flowing in all through with their teachers guiding them through the rare manuscripts and paintings, explaining them stories from the Folklore as well as History and showing them around the various forts. The forts and the rare documents are catching the childrens’ attention for a while.
Apart from the schools there have been nature clubs and hikers and trekkers with cameras comming in to shoot the panels of rare documents. A trekker I have been talking to has been vowed by the variety of the exhibition while the Nature lover wants us to do an exhibition on Environment Terrorism. There are the teachers who wnt the exhibition to stay in Mumbai and travel to their schools so that the children especially 4th class and above get a chance to see and travel through History.

So by the time we are closed on 18th evening 6:30 pm the Visitors count is 4,900 and counting.

See you soon Mumbai (June 20th at the King George School, now called the Indian Education Society’s Raja Shivaji High School.) and thankyou for the support.





Tibet Crackdown: Events in New Delhi, Bombay (March 17, 2008)

17 03 2008

Tibet Crackdown: NEW DELHI

Friends of Tibet, All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum For Tibet and Core Group for Tibetan Cause invite you to a press conference on India’s stand on Tibet and proposed intervention by the Indian Government on this issue, with Kiren Rijiju, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha). Members of the All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum For Tibet and Core group for Tibetan
Cause will also address the press.

Venue: Press Club of India, Rafi Marg, New Delhi.
Date: Monday, March 17, 2008
Program: 3pm Tea, 3:30 Short film screening on Tibet followed by Kiran Rijiju’s statements
and a Q&A session

Demands: We request the Indian government to allow the March to Tibet to continue unabated. In light of the critical situation inside Tibet, where China is preparing its ‘people’s war’ against unarmed Tibetans, we also call on the Indian government to put pressure on the Chinese government to abstain from using force in Tibet and immediately and unconditionally
release Tibetan prisoners of conscience and solve the Tibet issue through peaceful means.

Friends of Tibet
All Party Indian Parliamentary Forum For Tibet Core Group for Tibetan Cause

March 16, 2008
New Delhi, India

For more information you may,
contact: 9899086964, 9810513969 or
email: friendsoftibet.delhi@gmail.com

Dear friends,

Our petition for restraint and dialogue in Tibet is exploding, with 253,353 signers since yesterday! Add your voice to the outcry now:

In just 36 hours, 253,553 of us have supported the Dalai Lama‘s call for dialogue and human rights in Tibet. This is an incredible response–if each of us can get 4 more of our friends to sign the petition, we’ll hit 1 million this week!

After decades of suffering, the Tibetan people have burst onto the streets in protests and riots. The spotlight of the upcoming Olympic Games is now on China, and Tibetan Nobel peace prize winner the Dalai Lama is calling to end all violence through restraint and dialogue–he urgently needs the support of the world’s people.

China’s leaders are lashing out publicly at the Dalai Lama–but we’re told many Chinese officials believe dialogue is the best hope for stability in Tibet. China’s leadership is right now considering a crucial choice between crackdown and dialogue that could determine Tibet’s–and China’s–future.

We can affect this historic choice–China does care about its international reputation, and we can help them choose the right path. China’s President Hu Jintao needs to hear that the ‘Made in China’ brand and the upcoming Olympics in Beijing will succeed only if he makes the right choice. But it will take an avalanche of global people power to get his attention. Click below now to join 250,000 others and sign the petition–and tell absolutely everyone you can right away–our goal is 1 million voices united for Tibet:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/tibet_end_the_violence/22.php

China’s economy is dependent on “Made in China” exports that we all buy, and the government is keen to make the Olympics in Beijing this summer a celebration of a new and respected China. China is also a sprawling, diverse country with much brutality in its past, so it has good reasons to be concerned about stability — some of Tibet’s rioters killed innocent people. But President Hu must recognize that the greatest danger to Chinese stability and development today comes from hardliners who advocate escalating repression, not from those Tibetans seeking dialogue and reform.

We will deliver our petition directly to Chinese officials in New York, London and Beijing, but it must be a massive number first. Please forward this email to your address book with a note explaining to your friends why this is important, or use our tell-a-friend tool to email your address book–it will come up after you sign.

The Tibetan people have suffered quietly for decades. It is finally their moment to speak–we must help them be heard.

With hope and respect,

Ricken, Iain, Graziela, Paul, Galit, Pascal, Milena, Ben and the whole Avaaz team

Here are some links with more information on the Tibetan protests and the Chinese response:

Crackdown in Tibet, but protests spreading:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/19/tibet.china
http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/crackdown-on-protests-widens/2008/03/17/1205602289349.html

Dalai Lama calling for dialogue and restraint, and an end to violence:
http://www.dalailama.com/news.216.htm
http://www.agi.it/world/news/200803191258-pol-ren0032-art.html

Leaders across Europe and Asia starting to back dialogue as the way forward:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7300157.stm

Chinese Prime Minister attacks “Dalai clique”, leaves door open for talks:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-03/18/content_7813194.htm

Other Chinese signals:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/China_looks_at_India_to_talk_to_Dalai_Lama/articleshow/2875142.cms
——————————

———————

ABOUT AVAAZ
Avaaz.org is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

Don’t forget to check out our Facebook and Myspace pages!





Freedom of Expression

15 03 2008

Freedom of Expression

Loook at this strange Historin or is he one and how they shamelessly start supporting and encouraging the jehad (if there is somethink like that at all)

Don’t defame a kind ruler
Brouhaha over Aurangzeb: N Jamal Ansari | Religious and political affairs commentator, Aligarh Muslim University
Source: Dailypioneer.com

Don’t defame a kind ruler

An exhibition of miniatures and firmans of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, organised by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism in Chennai, has initiated a debate on Aurangzeb. Often we forget that Aurangzeb led a simple life and fought to save India from rebels and terrorists. Before jumping into any conclusion, we should objectively analyse his conduct and rule.
No doubt, Aurangzeb destroyed many temples. But it was a general practice with other rulers, including Hindu Kings. In the 11th century, Chola king Rajendra I decorated his capital with idols he had seized from neighbouring kings. Similarly, Kashmiri King Harsha plundered many temples. In the 12th and 13th century, Parmar rulers plundered Jain temples in Gujarat.
Coming back to Aurangzeb’s ‘iconoclastic’ tendencies, in 1667, a rebellion took place in Benaras. It was believed that Shivaji’s escape from prison was facilitated by Jai Singh, the great grandson of Raja Man Singh, who had built Vishvanath temple. According to SN Sinha, it was due to this fact that Aurangzeb ordered the destruction of that temple in September 1669 (Subah of Allahabad under the Great Mughals). At the same time, Jat rebellion broke out in and around Mathura in which the Nazim of city’s congregational masque was killed. In 1670, the leader of the Jat rebellion was captured; thereafter, Aurangzeb ordered the destruction of Keshav Dev temple.
We should not forget that in those days victory was generally celebrated by the destruction of temples and idols associated with enemies. In 1579, Murahori Rao destroyed popular Ahobilam temple and brought its Ruby-studded image to Golconda and presented it to the Sultan as a war trophy. So, the destruction of temples in those days was political – not religious – in nature.
Aurangzeb granted jagirs to several Hindu temples. He also constructed the Chitrakoot temple, besides giving an endowment of 200 acres of land to maintain it. Considering temples within his domain as state property, Aurangzeb punished disloyal Hindu officers by desecrating temples with which they were associated.
Aurangzeb is a victim of communal historiography. However, it’s not just Aurangzeb who is seen with prejudice. In most books, Muslim rulers are portrayed as ‘villains’ and their Hindu counterparts are regarded as ‘heroes’ – be it Aurangzeb versus Shivaji, or Akbar versus Maharana Pratap. Their political struggle is substituted with the religious angle. It is never emphasised that Muslim rulers fought against each other as well. When Babar attacked India, he fought against Ibrahim Lodhi. In fact, he was supported by several Hindu rulers, including Rajputs.
It’s an irony that Aurangzeb’s struggle against Shivaji has been given a communal angle. Shivaji has been portrayed as champion of Hindu cause. This is a wrong depiction, considering the fact that Aurangzeb’s confidant was Raja Jai Singh and Shivaji’s trusted commander was Maulvi Haider Ali Khan. So, it was essentially a power struggle between Aurangzeb and Shivaji, not a fight for the defence of religion.
In 1659, Aurangzeb observed: “In these days information has reached our court that several people have out of spite and rancour harassed the Hindu residents of Benaras including a group of Brahmins who are incharge of ancient temples there. These people want to remove those Brahmins from their charge of temple keeping, which has caused them considerable distress. Therefore upon receiving this order, you must see that nobody unlawfully disturbs the Brahmins or other Hindus, so that they might remain in their traditional place.” (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1991.)
We should realise that Aurangzeb was a kind emperor who was fighting for saving his empire from rebellions. His political struggle should not be given the communal colour. So, any attempt to distort his life – through history books or paintings – should not be allowed.






Freedom of Expression

15 03 2008

Freedom of Expression

Assaulting an Indian dream
Monday, March 17, 2008

Source : Nagarealm.com

More than a hundred thousand civilians have been murdered in cold blood since 1986 in ideological hate attacks in India. Most of them invariably were Hindus. Though Hindus are there in every party and state machinery, there has been hardly a voice of reason, angst and pain raised effectively against assaults on Hindus during all these years, as if Hindus still feel they are living under an oppressive un-Hindu regime and hence it’s better to suffer in silence and be thankful to the oppressors for small mercies.

It’s amazing. The sheer nature of compromise and an attitude of self-denial , the auto suggestion to keep mum if slapped, otherwise you will lose votes and power, has de-nationalised governors and polity to such an extent that a lady minister thinks it beneficial to visit the office of the assaulters on Hindus, sympathising with the attackers but chooses to remain silent over the gruesome murders of five Indian citizens in an Indian town Kannur, just because the governance depends on the support of the assaulters and victims do not figure in their voters list. Is this the government for only those who form the ruling coalition or for all Indians?

So much humiliation and insults have gone deep into our blood that even to say, oh we were attacked not for any other reason but just because we wore saffron, we were Hindus, makes many of us feel embarrassed and declare oh, what’s the use of remembering what happened to our ancestors, it will further create bad blood and hatred. But this is ‘true’ only when Hindus are victims. In every single other incident, its ‘prudent’, ‘wise’ and ‘essentially readable a thousand times’. Movies on Hindu ‘lumpens and aggressors’ are facilitated to bag state awards and included in international film festivals. I have seen a couple of such aggressively secular ‘missionary’ documentaries. It is difficult to appreciate the tone and tenor of utterly hateful commentaries, which rely more on fabricated unsustainable allegations and communally surcharged picturisation.

A precipitated hate against Hindus in an influential part of polity and media showed its first face, post- partition, immediately after the Tricolour was unfurled at the Red Fort. The Mirpur, Mujaffarbad, Pindi massacres of Hindus put even the Nazis to shame. It’s difficult to re-count those incidents of blood and gore and unimaginable brutalities on Hindu women and children. It was so horrifying that Hindus dread even to remember that. But it figures nowhere in media, though they recount world war, Pol Pot ,Vietnam but not massacres of Hindus in the erstwhile East Pakistan and Kashmir. In North East, National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM), which is fighting to crate a greater Nagaland for Christ, United Liberation Front of Assam and many such fronts in Tripura and Manipur, Maoists extremists active from Orissa to the states of UP, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and Islamist Jihadis under various banners have been targetting Hindus under different pretexts like in Assam they call them as Hindi- speaking people and in Kashmir its just KPs(Kashmiri Pandits).

And now, we have Kannur. What has changed in this sixty-one-year of progress, secular rule and increasingly impressive listings in Forbes list? Hindus being targeted just for their colour of faith and assertive Hindutwa is a matter of embarrassment. Two recent incidents have made me feel like re-visiting Godhra, where Hindus were victims and Hindus were blamed for having organised their death in a burning inferno! Everyone condemned Gujarat riots where Hindus and Muslims both were victims, but never even for once we have seen a secularist answering a question-why were Hindus burnt alive in Sabarmati express?

Why not a single secular human rightist has taken up the case of Godhra victims? Why Gujarat riots means only ‘Muslims killed’ and hundreds of Hindus killed are simply forgotten as if they were unmentionable dirt? Every single Indian facing injustice, no matter what the colour of his faith is, must get support from all patriots. Why colour of death decides the hues of support?

In the killing fields of Kannur, five RSS-BJP workers were hacked to death in a matter of four days ( http://tarun-vijay.blogspot.com/ ). Those killed were low income group wage earners like auto rickshaw and truck drivers. Since CPM has come to power in Kerala in 2006, 20 RSS workers have been murdered for their saffron leanings. No animosity of any other count but just belonging to a different and growing ideology was their crime. In 2003, a teacher K.T. Jayakrishnana was hacked to death before the tiny tot children he was teaching. On 17th September 1996, two ABVP activists, Anu and Kim, were cornered in a college in Parumala and threatened to be killed for joining a saffron student’s organisation. Fearing death too close, the students ran and tried to swim across the Pampa river, but the SFI goons stoned them so severely that they were forced drowned. Even the women washing near the river tried to throw their sarees to the drowning students, but were stopped by Communist student leaders. Both the dead youngsters were the only offspring of their families. The killings of RSS workers in Kannur have a background to it. It was here that the Communist Party was formed in Kerala in 1940 and the place is considered a stronghold of the Left in the state. Since early sixties, the RSS began its work here and soon workers from lower income group, especially the backward, dalit segment were attracted towards it. This angered the CPM cadre and leadership and to harass and instil a fear in the CPM workers who were joining RSS, the first murder of a saffron worker took place in 1967. His name was Ramakrishnan. I have received a letter describing why violence is not stopping in Kannur against Hindu workers from Sadananda master, a teacher in Kannur whose both legs were chopped off in 1994 because he was organising RSS work there. He is still a teacher, and continues to do RSS work.

From Nandigram to Kannur, Communist terrorism has taken different shapes and shades. Their ideological cohort Maoists have emerged the largest single murderer-outfits responsible for killings and looting ( http://www.mha.nic.in/Annual-Reports/ar0607_Eng.pdf ). Yet they have captured the space for peace initiatives and candle light marches!! They don’t know, a worker killed may have a red or a saffron colour, but the colour of the tears of their mothers remain the same. Ideological apartheid and a policy to annihilate the differing people is a legacy of the Communist and Islamic intolerant groups. This creates a chain reaction. Unfortunately media too takes a narrow sectarian view and sides with groups that thrive on a secular bias against anything saffron.

The entire Europe and India’s anti-fascists churn out tones of literature against Nazi barbarities and make it sure that the new generation is taught about how bad Hitler was. This is considered an essential exercise in secularising the society and building brain walls against recurrence of such dark periods. But if in the same spirit of building resistance to the barbarities of Dark Age represented by Aurangzeb, an exhibition is sought to be displayed, it is uprooted and closed by the secular state power. This happened in Chennai where police ordered forcible closure of an innocuously presented exhibition on Aurangzeb, according to Mogul documents.

The exhibition was organised by a French journalist Francois Gautier, who is an ardent devotee of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, an apostle of universal brotherhood and peace. The purpose was to depict Aurangzeb as he was seen by Mogul chroniclers and his confidants. The secular politicians are afraid of two things -showing disrespect to Aurangzeb and showing respect to his blood brother Dara Shikoh, a noble hearted Muslim whom he got murdered. Its important to recollect that not only the dreaded terrorists active in Kashmir like to call their actions of brutality in the name of Islam as continuing the ‘great legacy of Aurangzeb’ but in Pakistan the craze amongst the anti-India leaders is to decorate themselves with the title of Aurangzeb in order to show their devotion and zeal to the cause of their religion.

This situation says a lot about the dispossession of the Hindus and their severe loss of memory resulting in disinterestedness in resisting assaults on their soul. Every party has Hindus as leaders, but they feel to speak for Hindus is a matter of political loss. They shine individually but fail collectively. In spite of being the victims of hate and assaults since centuries, there is not a single museum of holocaust in this land depicting the long journey of Hindus through indescribable travails and their glorious history of resistance. There is not a single institution of excellence in India devoted to the study of Hindu resistance and assaults on their body and mind. Indian leaders, mostly Hindus, have earned hundreds of crores, amassed great amount of wealth, but most of it is spent in downsizing their colleagues, living in extravaganza, launching missiles against their rivals rather than using it, for once to reawaken the memories of their collective glorious past and struggles of their ancestors to inspire and lighten up a grand future. Its an intellectual war to be fought with warriors of wisdom rather than political gatekeepers and durbans. A community which forgets insults and doesn’t make amends to put up a courageous resistance can’t hope to weave a future of respect. It’s not against any other people but on the contrary a Hindu solidarity alone is a guarantee of peaceful co-existence and equality testified by our long history. And it certainly means a society without any caste discriminations, asserting one single identity-the Indian Tricolour. A Hindu observing caste or region based discriminations and prejudice is less than a Hindu. Make him feel ashamed of his narrow-mindedness. Breaking the stranglehold of caste in politics and social mobility corridors is another Independence struggle to realise the Indian dream.

There can’t be an American dream deleting the memories of Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln and Martin Luther King and making Americans feel embarrassed about their Latin Christian character that defines the colour of the land. There can’t be an Indian dream by targeting Hindus for their legitimate saffron assertions. [Tarun Vijay, TNN]

—————————————————————————————————————

The author is the Director, Dr Syamaprasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.





Press clippings Shivaji

15 03 2008
Press clippings Shivaji

Click on the clip to read

Slide show of press coverge Shivaji Exhibition

shivaji exhibition inauguration

Photos of inauguration programme.





When history and geography mingled

14 03 2008



When history and geography mingled
14 Mar 2008, 0000 hrs IST,TNN

/photo.cms?msid=2861746
Vinod Khanna (TOI Photo)

Take a deeper look, and one could also see geographical boundaries being blurred, as a wide range of guests from a spectrum of professional fields made their presence felt here.

It was Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who, along with Narendra Modi, stole the show. The religious and political heads greeted one another cordially, after which each spent some time observing the works individually. The two then inaugurated the show along with Gopinath Munde and Vinod Khanna.

Also present at this unique exhibition were Varsha Usgaonkar and Chhaya Momaya, who was all set to leave for a holiday to South Africa that night.

Poverty-stricken war hero gets award

A Correspondent in Mumbai
March 12, 2008 20:20 IST

Naik Subedar Bana Singh, who won the Param Vir Chakra for his bravery in preventing a Siachen post from falling into Pakistan Army’s hands in 1987, was on Wednesday awarded the inaugural Sivaji-FACT award for courage.

Singh, who was feted by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], was also given Rs 1 lakh with the award.

“For all the services this great hero did for the country, the government sees it fit to give him a pension of Rs 100-odd. Hence we decided to give him a cheque of Rs 1 lakh,” said Francois Gautier, the trustee of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism, a non-profit organisation, said while presenting the cheque to Singh.

Earlier in the day, in New Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj appealed to the government to do whatever it can including changing the rules to ensure that some dignity is restored to people like Singh.

“I hung my head in shame when I learnt the conditions in which Singh lives in Jammu. The man who gave the best years of his life to the country is now being forced to run from pillar to post to make ends meet. He gets a meagre sum of Rs 100 as pension,” she said.

She wondered how a person like Singh, who has two daughters of marriageable age, will carry out his duties towards his family.

At the function in Mumbai, chants of Jai Gurudev and Gujarat ka sher ayaa overlapped as Ravi Shankar and Modi stepped on to the stage together. The two charismatic leaders, who inaugurated an exhibition on Chatrapati Sivaji, spoke about the greatness of the Marathi leader.

Gautier threw the rule book out of the window and surprised the dignitaries by inviting them out of turn and asking them to speak extempore.

Ravi Shankar, who was asked to speak of Sivaji and his spiritual side, said: “One day, Sivaji who was tired of all the problems he faced as a ruler, went to Samarta Ramdas and laid down his crown in front of the swami. Sivaji said he found the burden of ruling was too much for him to handle. The swami accepted it and when Sivaji was just about to leave, he called him and placed a proposition in front of him. The swami said he would take the mantle of the ruler under one condition: that Sivaji work for him.

“Sivaji gladly accepted and returned to rule the country with great prudence. All he needed was the burden of responsibility taken off him.”

Modi, who was asked to speak on Sivaji as an inspiration for those in public life, said: “The brand of secularism that Sivaji followed was the real deal. He wrote to the Mughal rulers, who levied a tax on Hindus, asking them to revoke the tax.

“I do not know why the government in Delhi is so uneasy when the subject of terrorism is broached. They should also learn from Sivaji. He was the person who engaged in guerilla warfare against those who invaded the country, which is a form of terrorism so to speak.

“And third, Sivaji was one of the first persons to protect the cow. Will the centre again learn a lesson from Sivaji, and if not him at least Mahatma Gandhi [Images], who also fought for the protection of the cow, and pass a law to protect the cow across the nation?” he said.

With inputs from Onkar Singh in Delhi





When history and geography mingled

14 03 2008



When history and geography mingled
14 Mar 2008, 0000 hrs IST,TNN

/photo.cms?msid=2861746
Vinod Khanna (TOI Photo)

Take a deeper look, and one could also see geographical boundaries being blurred, as a wide range of guests from a spectrum of professional fields made their presence felt here.

It was Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who, along with Narendra Modi, stole the show. The religious and political heads greeted one another cordially, after which each spent some time observing the works individually. The two then inaugurated the show along with Gopinath Munde and Vinod Khanna.

Also present at this unique exhibition were Varsha Usgaonkar and Chhaya Momaya, who was all set to leave for a holiday to South Africa that night.

Poverty-stricken war hero gets award

A Correspondent in Mumbai
March 12, 2008 20:20 IST

Naik Subedar Bana Singh, who won the Param Vir Chakra for his bravery in preventing a Siachen post from falling into Pakistan Army’s hands in 1987, was on Wednesday awarded the inaugural Sivaji-FACT award for courage.

Singh, who was feted by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], was also given Rs 1 lakh with the award.

“For all the services this great hero did for the country, the government sees it fit to give him a pension of Rs 100-odd. Hence we decided to give him a cheque of Rs 1 lakh,” said Francois Gautier, the trustee of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism, a non-profit organisation, said while presenting the cheque to Singh.

Earlier in the day, in New Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj appealed to the government to do whatever it can including changing the rules to ensure that some dignity is restored to people like Singh.

“I hung my head in shame when I learnt the conditions in which Singh lives in Jammu. The man who gave the best years of his life to the country is now being forced to run from pillar to post to make ends meet. He gets a meagre sum of Rs 100 as pension,” she said.

She wondered how a person like Singh, who has two daughters of marriageable age, will carry out his duties towards his family.

At the function in Mumbai, chants of Jai Gurudev and Gujarat ka sher ayaa overlapped as Ravi Shankar and Modi stepped on to the stage together. The two charismatic leaders, who inaugurated an exhibition on Chatrapati Sivaji, spoke about the greatness of the Marathi leader.

Gautier threw the rule book out of the window and surprised the dignitaries by inviting them out of turn and asking them to speak extempore.

Ravi Shankar, who was asked to speak of Sivaji and his spiritual side, said: “One day, Sivaji who was tired of all the problems he faced as a ruler, went to Samarta Ramdas and laid down his crown in front of the swami. Sivaji said he found the burden of ruling was too much for him to handle. The swami accepted it and when Sivaji was just about to leave, he called him and placed a proposition in front of him. The swami said he would take the mantle of the ruler under one condition: that Sivaji work for him.

“Sivaji gladly accepted and returned to rule the country with great prudence. All he needed was the burden of responsibility taken off him.”

Modi, who was asked to speak on Sivaji as an inspiration for those in public life, said: “The brand of secularism that Sivaji followed was the real deal. He wrote to the Mughal rulers, who levied a tax on Hindus, asking them to revoke the tax.

“I do not know why the government in Delhi is so uneasy when the subject of terrorism is broached. They should also learn from Sivaji. He was the person who engaged in guerilla warfare against those who invaded the country, which is a form of terrorism so to speak.

“And third, Sivaji was one of the first persons to protect the cow. Will the centre again learn a lesson from Sivaji, and if not him at least Mahatma Gandhi [Images], who also fought for the protection of the cow, and pass a law to protect the cow across the nation?” he said.

With inputs from Onkar Singh in Delhi