LIST OF SUBJECTS FOR PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES FOR AHILYA BAI EXHIBITION

7 09 2008

LIST OF SUBJECTS FOR PAINTINGS AND SKETCHES FOR

AHILYA BAI EXHIBITION

Oil Paintings :



1. Somnath Temple built by Devi Ahilya Bai

2. Vishnupada Temple at Gaya

3. Kushavarta Ghat at Haridwar

4. Kashi Vishwanath Temple

(Painting of Maheshwar Ghat which is very impressive or of Mankarnika Ghat or Shri Tarkeshwar Ghat at Varanasi can be done if so desired).

Paintings in Water Colour/Tempera



1. “A Jewel noticed by Malhar Rao.” Eight year old Ahilya Bai noticed by Malhar Rao at a temple service at Chounde. He decides to marry her to his only son .

2. Ahilya Bai mounted on an elephant leading Malhar Rao’s troops .

3. Ahilya Bai in open darbar transacting business

4. Ahilya Bai inspecting building work at her new capital Maheshwar on the bank of Narmada river.

5. French commander Dudrenec presenting his trained battalions for Ahilya Bai’s inspection

6. Ahilya Bai worshipping in a Shiva Temple..

7. Young Ahilya Bai (age c. 20 years) with her maids in a garden by riverside at Maheshwar.

8. Ahilya Bai deliberating with Tukoji Holkar about state matters .

9&10. To be added later i.e. by September end after more study and discussion.

Line Sketches (Black & White)



1. Ahilya Bai seeing plans of Somnath and Kashi Vishwanath temples .

2. Ahilya Bai hearing an appeal for justice; personally enquires the facts of the caste

3. Hindu Scriptures being read to Ahilya Bai

4. Ahilya Bai’s daily routine

5. Ahilya Bai rewarding weavers of Maheshwar for their work.

6. Ahilya Bai seeing the sketches of the roads from Kaligat (Kolkata) to Puri and the other accross the Vindhyas .

7. Ahilya Bai personally examining the Khasgi account Bahis .

8. Damaged State of Kashi Vishwant and Somnath temples damaged on Aurangzeb orders.

Portraits

1. Malhar Rao Holkar

2. Khande Rao/Tukoji Holkar/Ahilya Bai

Total No. of paintings, sketches, portraits = 4 + 10 + 7 + 2 = 23

2 oil paintings, 1–2 tempera and 3 sketches will be ready by the end of September 2008.





When Aurangzeb pleaded for mercy

22 08 2008

A page from History When Aurangzeb pleaded for Mewar Rana’s mercy
By Ganeshi Lal Verma

The Mughal-Rajput war was started after the death of Maharaja Jasvant
Singh on December 20, 1678 and it continued for nearly 30 years. The
Maharaja had died in Jamrud, Afghanistan, where he was posted by
Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. On his death Aurangzeb expressed
happiness and said: “Pillar of infidelity has fallen.” He took
advantage of the situation and tried to annex Marwar—the Maharaja`s
kingdom. Aurangzeb went to Ajmer to make proper arrangements and
overawe the Rajputs of Marwar.

Meanwhile, Maharaja’s family reached Delhi in June 1679. Aurangzeb
ordered that the Maharaja’s family along with infant Ajit Singh, the
late Maharaja’s son, should be sent to the royal harem. The Mughal
Emperor said that Jodhpur gaddi (throne) could be given to Ajit Singh
on condition of his adopting Islam. This led to a fight between the
Mughal army and the Rathore warriors under the command of Durgadas.
The Rathore warriors easily defeated the Mughal forces. Ajit Singh
was safely taken to Marwar and proclaimed the Maharaja of Marwar.
Hearing about the defeat of Mughal forces, Aurangzeb himself took the
command of his army and invaded Marwar to suppress the revolt.

Aurangzeb suspected that Rana of Mewar was helping the Rajputs of
Jodhpur. So in retaliation Aurangzeb imposed jazia on Rana of Mewar.
Rana realised that Aurangzeb was bent on annihilating Rajput power.
Indeed the Mughals had invaded Mewar. Rana abandoned Udaipur,
surprised Mughal camp at Chittor and defeated the Mughals at Bednoor.
Aurangzeb now planned three-pronged attack from three different
directions. Still the Mughals could not make impressive advance
against the Maharana’s defences.

During the campaign Aurangzeb himself was encircled in a precipice by
the Rajputs. The Rajput closed the back movement of the Mughal army
by felling the overhanging trees. Aurangzeb’s favourite wife Udaipuri
Begum, who was also accompanying him in the war was also encircled in
another part of mountain. She however surrendered and was taken to
Rana, who treated her with utmost respect.

Meanwhile, Aurangzeb and his garrison was without food and water for
two days. The Emperor would have died of hunger if the siege had
continued. The Mughals however cried for Rana’s clemency. A treaty
was signed between Rana and Aurangzeb. It was promised on Aurangzeb’s
behalf that in future sacred animals would not be slaughtered. The
magnanimous Rana ordered his forces to withdraw from their stations
so that way could be cleared for Mughal army to withdraw along with
their emperor. The Begum, with her retinue was also sent to the
Emperor, who had withdrawn to Chittor.

Colonel Tod comments on the incident: “But for repeated instances of
ill-judged humanity, the throne of Mughals might have been completely
overturned”. (Annals & Antiquities of Rajasthan, Vol. I p. 379).
Aurangzeb learnt nothing from the defeat. Once out of danger,
Aurangzeb forgot the promise of not slaughtering the cows and the
clemency of Rana. Aurangzeb continued the war claiming that Rana’s
generosity was the result of fear of future vengeance by the Mughals.

Rana’s magnanimity was misplaced. It was as great a blunder as the
ill-fated interview between Rana Pratap and Man Singh at Udai Sagar
Lake. Mughal empire could have been shattered long before than
Marathas did it, if the Rajputs had been more politically minded.





‘There’s no greater place to live as a human being than the subcontinent’

13 06 2008

Inset: Author Tarek Fateh

‘There’s no greater place to live as a human being than the subcontinent’

June 12, 2008

The Atelier Club in downtown Toronto was packed to capacity recently for the launch of Pakistan-born Tarek Fateh‘s book Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State.

Fateh’s book argues that Muslims have been force-fed lies about their history for over a millennium — not by Islam’s enemies, but by its imams.

‘Islam came to free humanity from the clutches of the clergy. Instead, the religion of peace has become a prisoner of war, held captive by the very priesthood it came to eliminate,’ Fateh, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, writes in his book.

In an exclusive interview Rediff India Abroad Senior Editor Ajit Jain, the prolific author, broadcaster and columnist pointed out that in India “Muslims, who are 12 per cent of that country’s population, thrive,” while “next door in Pakistan and Bangladesh,” which are Islamic States, “Muslims suffer.”

Through the book — written despite death threats against him — Fateh wants Muslims to understand that their future lies in “models that are based in India, South Africa and Canada.”

Many Muslims say Islam was supposed to be a way of life but it has become a dogma. That it has been politicised.

In some unfortunate way, it is correct. All the differences within the Muslim community, or the wars and the civil wars that have been fought, have never been about piety but about politics.

What is the solution to the increasingly political overtones to the perception of Islam?

We have to stand up to them (fundamentalists) and expose the ideology of hate. In the Indian context, this is the choice between Aurangzeb on the one side and Dara Shikoh on the other.

We know the catastrophe that happened after Aurangzeb weakened the whole of the subcontinent in his efforts to do what the Wahhabis (an ultra-conservative branch of Islam with roots in Saudi Arabia) are now doing. Aurangzeb killed his brother (Shikoh) who was the crown prince, because he (Shikoh) was very close to Hindus and Sikhs.

It is known historically how Dara Shikoh in the 16th century with the help of Hindu priests learnt Sanskrit and — again, with their help — he translated (50) Upanishads and the Bhagawad Gita into Persian, followed on what Akbar the great started, Din-e-Ilahi.

The entire thing became such a huge loss to India. Because of Aurangzeb and Islamic war, the whole country became feeble and the British were able to take over the country soon after his (Aurangzeb’s) death.

Wherever Islam has become synonymous with violence and hate, Muslims have suffered tremendously. Of course, non-Muslims have also died by the hundreds, but the main victims have always been Muslims.

The traditional orphans of the Iran monarchs or the Indians recognised this was politics. This was not seriously about religion. Religion was merely a tool that allowed them to stay in power, whether it is Saudis or ayatollahs or in the Indian context, Aurangzeb, we had catastrophes, and repression, and secular Muslims had to fight political battles against these fascists.

Also read: The average Indian Muslim wants room to survive

Image: Hundreds of Muslim faithful pray at a mosque in Toronto, Canada, September 14, 2001 for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC

‘Mosques have become places of politics’

June 12, 2008

You are making a distinction between such Muslims and secular Muslims.

About 50 to 60 per cent of the Muslim population is illiterate or semi-illiterate. They are not interested in political power. They barely exist, whether they are in Bihar or they are in Mauritius. They simply want to survive. This gain is for 1 to 2 per cent of the Muslim population. Through political power, they can send messages out.

Who are they?

Primarily the Saudi royal family, the ruling ayatollahs in Iran — some ayatollahs are in jails in Iran — and clerics everywhere.

Look at the structures of mosques in Toronto, or elsewhere in Canada. These are large properties. The imam is employed by the board and in many cases takes over the entire structures. I know one organisation that has a property worth $15 million accumulated by the congregation giving cash. Where does this money go? Anyone who controls that amount of money is in politics. He can manipulate lawmakers. He can buy memberships into political parties. He can hire buses and send them to demonstrations. This is what’s happening.

It is in the interest of these people to keep Islam politicised so that they can be self-appointed leaders who can communicate with the Western politicians. The ordinary Muslim who is driving a cab or (is) even a physician doesn’t have time for all this nonsense. These guys are taking advantage of it.

I have suggested, therefore, that donations given to religious institutions by Canadians shouldn’t be in cash but by cheques or credit cards. The money from outside comes in cheques anyway, except there’s no way for anybody finding out what’s happening in the mosques, as there’s no accountability of where this money goes.

There should be a maximum limit that an individual can donate in cash. He should give a cheque or a credit card, beyond that cash. The mosque will never accept that because it is then traceable.

Mosques have become places of politics, which is dangerous. Some mosques are openly defying their charters as charities because they indulge in politics. Every sermon is political because they invite politicians to speak and instead of looking after the affairs of the community and serving their spiritual needs, they [mosques] have become places of bargaining with political parties.

How do you distinguish between an Islamist and a Muslim?

An Islamist is someone who believes in invoking Islam for a political agenda. A Muslim, on the other hand, uses Islam as a moral compass for his betterment and the betterment of his family. An Islamist is also a Muslim but a Muslim is not an Islamist.

India’s first education minister, Abul Kalam Azad, a most respected statesman in the country, was not an Islamist. He was against Islamists. Similarly, there are many ayatollahs in Iran who are in jails — as they are not Islamists.

Also read: ‘Muslim fundamentalism simply has not played a significant role in Indian politics’

‘Saudi Arabia, sadly, is a racist State’

June 12, 2008

Some people say the Islamic world is divided into the privileged class of Saudis and ayatollahs and the ‘second class’ of ordinary Muslims.

It is more than that. The Saudi Muslim does consider a non-Arab Muslim as inferior. Saudi Arabia, sadly, is a racist State. It has salaries based on the colour of your skin, where an Indian Muslim is discriminated more than an Indian Hindu because a Hindu doesn’t pray five times a day but a Muslim does.

It is purely commercial and racial. There’s no element of spirituality. They have Kentucky Fried Chicken right around the house of god. It is an insult to the faith what the Saudis have done. And ayatollahs have become millionaires who are buying properties in Canada.

If you live in Pakistan, why should you care what the Saudis think of you?

Because I care what white people think of black people in the civil rights movement. It is an insult to me as a human being not to accept when racism, sectarianism and hatred of other human beings is being dressed up in my faith. It is an outrage.

Is Islamism confined within the borders of Saudi Arabia and Iran?

It is happening in Canada. It is happening because of Saudi money. The Islam of Indonesia, Malaysia or Bengal, Bihar, Punjab is different as the spiritual faith there is completely depoliticiced.

You go to any Muslim cemetery in Canada — you will not see a single tombstone. Why? This is a culture that celebrates the Taj Mahal, and in Canada we are not allowed to put a stone on the head of a child or a parent or a grandfather. Who decided that? The Saudi funded imams. This is contrary to all Islamic traditions. Go to any other country and you can see beautiful mausoleums, but here in Canada the imams, through Saudi influence, the city councils, have decreed that cemeteries here will have no tombstones. This is all Wahhabi influence.

In your book you discuss the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam and the United Nations’ human rights declaration.

The UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights, enacted unanimously in 1948, allows freedom of choice of religion — which means no coercion (on) who should believe in what faith. In many Muslim countries, they have decreed that if you choose to convert from Islam to any other religion, you should be punished by death. Second is the equality of man and woman. Such laws cannot be created from the divine text.

So, we have these 57 countries, members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, who are controlled by the Saudis. Their head office is in Saudi Arabia. They fund the entire organisation. So, nobody can object to anything they want to do. They are principally involved in keeping the Muslim world in the era of darkness. Many Muslim States argue that the UN Declaration of Human Rights is part of the Judeo-Christian traditions and so it shouldn’t be applicable to the Muslim world. It is astonishing.

In my point of view you are walking into a territory that’s divine, reserved for god. Who is someone to tell me I am coming to your house and so you should convert your faith or I will kill you? That’s what’s happening because the moment a Muslim says that I think there’s a problem here and what should we do, they issue a fatwa to kill you.

They expelled (Bangladeshi writer) Taslima Nasrin after pressure from Kolkata Muslims. It is horrible. It is a disgrace not only for Muslims but also for the Indian government to have done that. That woman had to run away and that shows how sometimes non-Muslims also become complicit, saying what do we care if one Muslim kills another Muslim.

mage: An aerial view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Abdel Monaem Al-Keiyi/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: ‘Who is the ideological mastermind behind the new Taliban?’

Trying to make Pakistan into an Arab country is never going to work’ June 12, 2008

If Muslims can live in peace and harmony in India, why can’t they live in peace and harmony in Pakistan, a country supposedly created for them?

The movement for Pakistan was never by the people that comprise Pakistan today. The movement for Pakistan was essentially by upper class Muslims of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Right up to 1946, Balochistan and Sindh were not voting for the Muslim League. They were voting for the (Indian National) Congress party. Balochistan was an independent state and they declared their independence three days before India’s Independence. The coalition government headed by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy in Bengal was the result of Direct Action Day of August 16, 1945, which led to the massacre — actually genocide — of Hindus in Noakhali (now in Bangladesh). It happened when in fact Muslims and Hindus there lived happily for hundreds of years.

Why would a Muslim find living in Pakistan problematic?

Because the idea that some sort of an Islamic state has to be created can never function. It will result in failure when you set impossible targets from the first day. That is the problem. Pakistan as a secular country, like (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah said in his opening speech, never functioned. It resulted in the cleansing of all Hindus and Sikhs from Punjab.

Punjab is primarily 60 to 70 per cent of Pakistan. It was left completely wounded and destroyed. It is only now West Punjab is reconciling with its close links with East Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. It was a living organism that was cut into two.

India was so large that it managed to take those wounds but Pakistan, being comparatively a smaller country, its heritage was linked with northern India. You are trying to make Pakistan into an Arab country. It is never going to work.

Image: An Indian bus driver is embraced by a Pakistani after arriving at the Wagah border post, March 24, 2006. The first bus bringing Indian pilgrims arrived in Pakistan on way to Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Photograph: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: Pakistan: Geopolitical epicentre of Islamist jihad

In the heartland of Punjab and Sindh, no one says a negative word about India’ June 12, 2008

Your thoughts on the India-Pakistan dynamics.

It is in the interest of the armed forces to continue to raise the bogey of an Indian threat to exploit the whole country. So, from 1954 they have dissolved the constitution, they have raped the country, they have created wars with India that nobody wanted. It is an open secret that what General Ayub Khan did in 1965 is exactly what Pervez Musharraf did in Kargil. There’s no evidence of India ever attacking Pakistan. The people of Pakistan are quite aware of this.

The fact is that the army can only keep control over a large share of Pakistan’s budget if it can continue to say that it is India that has its eyes on Pakistan and it will finish it off. That fear of India has been hammered to such a degree that it (the bogey of India) has been able to survive.

I believe the people of Pakistan are smart enough, and they have realised that their future is in friendship with India rather than Iran or Saudi Arabia. They have lived in these two countries. Indians and Pakistanis are treated in a shallow manner there.

When a Pakistani is visiting India, people won’t let you pay for your meal. The same is true when an Indian is visiting Pakistan. Canadian Sikhs are going to Pakistan to visit Nankana Sahib. They come back and say that they couldn’t believe it felt like home. In the heartland of Punjab and Sindh, you will not find anyone to say a negative word about India.

In India you might find people who are less aware of Pakistan but in Pakistan everybody knows that their brothers and sisters are Sikhs and Hindus who are on the other side of the border.

In my book I have stated my ancestors are Hindus. We migrated from Rajasthan to Punjab after a famine in early 1800 and we converted to Islam and our family settled there.

Despite different religion, people of Pakistan are smart and resilient. Sixty to 70 per cent of Pakistanis are Punjabis. So, as long as in Lahore and West Punjab there’s goodwill towards India, the army cannot continue to create this myth that India is going to attack Pakistan.

Do you think one day Pakistan and India will be like the European Union?

Absolutely. I am 100 per cent sure it will happen because of goodwill. It will happen because of the laws of nature, because we are one people. We have common cuisine, common culture, common language, common clothes, common sense of humour, common geography, common weather — except, some believe in Bhagwan, some believe in Khuda, some believe in Namokar Mantra, and some don’t believe in anything.

There’s no greater place on this earth to live as a human being than the subcontinent. India as a subcontinent is a marvel of god’s creation. There should never be a communal clash because so much of Islam and Hinduism have been together. We need to bring Kabir’s Bhakti movement back, which the British crushed in such a crafty manner that we were left paralysed.

Image: Indian and Pakistani flags at the Wagah border post. Photograph: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: ‘If the LoC is opened, more harm will be caused to Pakistan’





Secular garb for Aurangzeb

24 04 2008
Secular garb for Aurangzeb

Aided by an administration that is of late making anti-Hinduism an important component of state policy, a small group of Muslim bigots in Chennai disrupted an exhibition on Aurangzeb, the despotic ruler who destroyed hundreds of Hindu temples in the 17th century, including the most sacred shrines at Banaras and Mathura.
The story of the horrors perpetrated by this ruler in the name of Islam had been put together through pictures and drawings by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT). The man behind this initiative is François Gautier, a noted journalist and a trustee of FACT who is committed to salvaging truths about India’s ancient and medieval history from the garbage that is palmed off as history by a small group of pseudo-secular historians who subsist on the patronage of the Nehru-Gandhis and the Communists. The exhibition, which has 40 paintings, show cases Akhbarats (edicts) issued by Aurangzeb. It has been viewed by over 100,000 people in other cities before it went to Chennai. The organisers were, therefore, shocked when Chennai Police forcibly closed the exhibition at the instance of a handful of protesters.
The exhibition was based on the work of eminent historians. The history of the reign of Aurangzeb, including the story of his cruel and oppressive conduct vis-à-vis the Hindus and the Sikhs, was first put together after a life-time of research into the edicts passed by him by Jadunath Sarkar, one of India’s greatest historians. Sarkar’s work on the Mughals — and thereafter the four volumes he wrote, especially on Aurangzeb — is considered the most definitive account of events of that time. Sarkar translated Masir-i-Alamgiri — a history of the reign of Aurangzeb — by Saqi Mustad Khan. Khan’s narration was based on orders passed by Aurangzeb and material available in state archives in 1710. Sarkar also translated Akhbarats, which were essentially reports on the orders passed by Aurangzeb. In addition, there are other accounts like Mirat-i-Alam and Alamgir-Nama written by persons employed by Aurangzeb. Eliot and Dawson’s History of India as told by its own historians aggregates much of the work done by these historians.
There have been several other accounts, including the much-acclaimed series titled The History and Culture of the Indian People edited by the eminent historian RC Mazumdar and published by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, and the monumental series on civilisation by Will Durant.
A common thread that runs through all these accounts is the zeal displayed by Aurangzeb to promote Islam and to crush other faiths. Here is a list of the atrocities committed by him, as narrated by historians employed by him: Aurangzeb issued an order on April 9, 1669 to the governors of the provinces, directing them “to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and put down their teaching and religious practices strongly. Besides innumerable temples throughout the empire, even the famous Hindu temples of Visvanath at Banaras, of Keshav Dev at Mathura, and Somnath at Patan were destroyed. Even the loyal state of Jaipur was not spared, and sixty-six temples were razed to the ground at Amber”. Ten years later, on April 2, 1679, he imposed jizya on Hindus. This was an oppressive, commutation tax that had to be paid by Hindus in order to be allowed to continue to practice their faith.
According to Sarkar, jizya was imposed by Aurangzeb “with the object of spreading Islam and overthrowing infidel practices”. Mazumdar says, “He felt gratified when many Hindus, unable to pay it, embraced Islam.” But, destruction of temples and jizya were just the tip of the iceberg. Various other measures were adopted to force Hindus to convert to Islam. Here is a list provided by Mazumdar in his series: In April 1665, Aurangzeb fixed Customs duty on goods imported into his kingdom at 2.5 per cent for Muslim merchants and five per cent for Hindu merchants. He offered Government jobs and commutation of prison terms for those who converted to Islam. In 1668, Aurangzeb prohibited all Hindu religious fairs. In 1671, he passed an order dismissing all Hindu head-clerks and accountants and hiring Muslims in their place.
In March 1695, he prohibited all Hindus, except Rajputs, from riding in palanquins or on elephants and also forbade them from carrying arms. Aurangzeb also went after the Sikhs with a vengeance. He ordered the destruction of Sikh places of worship and the expulsion of the Sikh Guru’s representatives from the cities. He imprisoned Guru Tegh Bahadur and killed him after torturing him for several days because he refused to convert to Islam. The attack on Sikhism continued during the tenure of the next Guru, Guru Govind Singh. His headquarters in Anandpur were attacked several times and his four sons were slain. On Mathura, Masir-i-Alamgiri says, “During the month of Ramzan, the Emperor… issued for the demolition of the temple in Mathura. In a short time… the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built… The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels which had been set up in the temple were brought to Agra, and buried under the steps of the mosque of the Begum Sahib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad.”
In recent times, a bunch of pseudo-secular or Marxist historians has been trying to bury these historical truths just as Aurangzeb buried the idols of Hindu gods at the entrances to the mosques that he built. They have also been attempting fraudulent and criminal misinterpretation of facts in order to paint even persons like Aurangzeb, who launched monstrous attacks on Hinduism and Sikhism, as “secular” beings. Some Muslim groups in the country have been abetting this pseudo-secular enterprise. The attack on FACT’s exhibition in Chennai is the latest manifestation of this phenomenon — which is nothing but a renewed assault on truth and on Hinduism. The only answer to this is to take this exhibition to every nook and corner of the country and to publicise the Akhbarats of Aurangzeb’s time in every way possible. We cannot promote secularism by turning a blind eye to truth. We must freely discuss the communal agenda of rulers like Aurangzeb if only to show how barbaric the state can become when it is wedded to theocracy. That is how the citizens of India in the post-independence era will appreciate the value of democracy and genuine secularism and the basic structure of our Constitution.




The Nawab of Arcot ????? or is he …

26 03 2008
Petition protesting Vandalisation of the Chennai Exhibition

http://www.petitiononline.com/ FACTAura/petition.html

Please sign the petition for protection of Right to Equality…
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ FACT/petition.html

Please sign the petition for protection of Right to Equality…

The “Prince of Arcot” is “a bogus nawab” (Kanchan Gupta in The Pioneer, Mar 9). The Arcot lineage, for all its claimed link to the Caliphate, owes to Aurangzeb’s “munificence” its elevation to nawabhood in recognition of an ancestor’s defeat of the Marathas.

The direct line died out in 1855, and in 1867 the British elevated the collateral Azim Jah branch with the title of Prince and a large pension – in perpetuity. At least one of the Azim Jahs died without a son, and the title passed to the son-in-law. Arcot was annexed by the British in 1825 and the state extinguished in 1855 (http://www.uq.net.au/~zzhsoszy/ips/a/arcot.html)!

Nevertheless, independent India continues the title, and it is the Indian taxpayer who pays for the so-called Prince’s many official perquisites and a tax-free pension amply sufficient for him to live in regal splendour (http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mag/2004/02/01/stories/2004020100120200.htm ).

In return, the Prince’s website lists his “donations to non-Muslims”. These are three – all by the direct line, and the last of which was in the 18th century (http://www.princeofarcot.org/tank.htm)! None by the Azim Jahs, and certainly none at all post-1947 and by the present Prince.

A government gazette of April 1871 records the fealty “at all times” of the Azim Jahs to the British Crown (http://www.princeofarcot.org/gazette.htm). So, in effect, the Indian taxpayer continues to generously reward the Azim Jah family for its loyalty to the British, and will do so forever.

He pretends an interest in the welfare of his extended family (http://www.princeofarcot.org/cfa.htm) but obviously can spare no money for them (see the letter to the editor at http://www.thehindu.com/2005/07/25/stories/2005072514570300.htm)

The websites are silent on the amount of his pension (eg, http://www.uq.net.au/~zzhsoszy/ips/a/arcot.html ) but clearly it is munificent enough for him to live like a prince!

This family has lived off the fat of our land long enough, and the money spent on it should be diverted to poor farmers and fishermen of Tamil Nadu. Rulers of real significance gave up their kingdoms and lost their privy purses. The petty Prince of Arcot is a parasitic anachronism in our democracy and there is no reason at all why the Indian public exchequer should support him. His pension and perquisites should be abolished in free India – or let the British still support him if they want.





The Nawab of Arcot ????? or is he …

26 03 2008
Petition protesting Vandalisation of the Chennai Exhibition

http://www.petitiononline.com/ FACTAura/petition.html

Please sign the petition for protection of Right to Equality…
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/ FACT/petition.html

Please sign the petition for protection of Right to Equality…

The “Prince of Arcot” is “a bogus nawab” (Kanchan Gupta in The Pioneer, Mar 9). The Arcot lineage, for all its claimed link to the Caliphate, owes to Aurangzeb’s “munificence” its elevation to nawabhood in recognition of an ancestor’s defeat of the Marathas.

The direct line died out in 1855, and in 1867 the British elevated the collateral Azim Jah branch with the title of Prince and a large pension – in perpetuity. At least one of the Azim Jahs died without a son, and the title passed to the son-in-law. Arcot was annexed by the British in 1825 and the state extinguished in 1855 (http://www.uq.net.au/~zzhsoszy/ips/a/arcot.html)!

Nevertheless, independent India continues the title, and it is the Indian taxpayer who pays for the so-called Prince’s many official perquisites and a tax-free pension amply sufficient for him to live in regal splendour (http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mag/2004/02/01/stories/2004020100120200.htm ).

In return, the Prince’s website lists his “donations to non-Muslims”. These are three – all by the direct line, and the last of which was in the 18th century (http://www.princeofarcot.org/tank.htm)! None by the Azim Jahs, and certainly none at all post-1947 and by the present Prince.

A government gazette of April 1871 records the fealty “at all times” of the Azim Jahs to the British Crown (http://www.princeofarcot.org/gazette.htm). So, in effect, the Indian taxpayer continues to generously reward the Azim Jah family for its loyalty to the British, and will do so forever.

He pretends an interest in the welfare of his extended family (http://www.princeofarcot.org/cfa.htm) but obviously can spare no money for them (see the letter to the editor at http://www.thehindu.com/2005/07/25/stories/2005072514570300.htm)

The websites are silent on the amount of his pension (eg, http://www.uq.net.au/~zzhsoszy/ips/a/arcot.html ) but clearly it is munificent enough for him to live like a prince!

This family has lived off the fat of our land long enough, and the money spent on it should be diverted to poor farmers and fishermen of Tamil Nadu. Rulers of real significance gave up their kingdoms and lost their privy purses. The petty Prince of Arcot is a parasitic anachronism in our democracy and there is no reason at all why the Indian public exchequer should support him. His pension and perquisites should be abolished in free India – or let the British still support him if they want.





The Naxal menance: Threat to Unified India

24 03 2008

The Exhibition is a reflection of the Maoist insurgency in India, a blend of photographs statistics and ofcourse an analysis and a presentation of FACTS.

The The Naxal menance: Threat to Unified India will travel through the lives of the victims in the Naxal infested states and present their lives as well as the lives of those vallant fighters both civilian and from the government. Its the Fight against terrorism the idea of killing because one doesnt believe or just disagree with the others, Intolerence and disharmony. The exhibition shall be on the sidelines of the first “Conference on Peace and Reconciliation” in OSLO, Norway.

(April 10th and 11th Oslo, during the Conference on Peace and Reconciliation http://www.sap2008.org/

Ingeniørenes Hus Møtesenter, Kronprinsens gate 17, 0251 Oslo – Norway, http://www.ingeniorenes)

NEWS UPDATE ON AURANGZEB EXHIBITION

HAF Pressrelease

HAF Condemns Shutting Down of Aurangzeb Exhibit in Chennai

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Ishani Chowdhury
Hindu American Foundation
Director of Public Policy
Office: 301.770.7835
Fax: 301.770.7837

Washington, DC (March 18, 2008). On March 8, 2008, KN Murli, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Chennai and several other Tamil Nadu state government officials attacked an art exhibition, shut it down and damaged several paintings. The exhibition, organized and sponsored by the Foundation Against Continuing Terror (FACT) and Francois Gautier, the eminent French journalist, featured miniatures and farmans (edicts) depicting the despotic and violent rule of the the 17th Century Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb is particularly reviled as a predecessor of contemporary Islamist terrorists for his forced conversions, imposition of an intolerant Sharia and destruction of several famed Hindu temples. The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) condemned the actions of the Southern Indian state and demanded a restoration of the damaged paintings and a continuation of the exhibit.

Gautier, the convenor of FACT, and correspondent for Le Figaro, expressed shock that even after the exhibition has been displayed for over a year in several galleries throughout India, the Tamil Nadu state government reacted to a few isolated complaints so violently. Murali specifically sought out and threw to the ground two paintings that depicted the destruction by Aurangzeb of the Somnath Temple in Gujarat and the Kesava Rai Temple in North India. The exhibition of 40 paintings, included fine miniature paintings by Indian artists, and were on show at the Lalit Kala Akademi from March 3, 2008. The Lalit Kala Akademi, the premier government art organization where the exhibit had been hosted, has now cancelled the exhibition.

“This is a case of vindictive action against those who wish to throw light on India’s past, and a threat to free speech,” said Ramesh Rao, Senior Fellow, HAF. “The Tamil Nadu state government acted violently and illegally, but we are left to wonder why so few of the secular votaries of free speech in India remain silent in the face of this outrage–we demand amends from the state government and resumption of the exhibition.”

The Hindu American Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting the Hindu and American ideals of understanding, tolerance and pluralism. Contact HAF at 1-301-770-7835 or on the web at www.HAFsite.org.


HAF condemns shutting down of Aurangzeb exhibit
Monday, 03.24.2008, 04:35am (GMT-7)

WASHINGTON: On March 8, KN Murli, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Chennai and several other Tamil Nadu state government officials attacked an art exhibition, shut it down and damaged several paintings.

The exhibition, organized and sponsored by the Foundation Against Continuing Terror (FACT) and Francois Gautier, the eminent French journalist, featured miniatures and farmans (edicts) depicting the despotic and violent rule of the the 17th Century Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb is particularly reviled as a predecessor of contemporary Islamist terrorists for his forced conversions, imposition of an intolerant Sharia and destruction of several famed Hindu temples.

The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) condemned the actions of the Southern Indian state and demanded a restoration of the damaged paintings and a continuation of the exhibit. Gautier, the convener of FACT, and correspondent for Le Figaro, expressed shock that even after the exhibition has been displayed for over a year in several galleries throughout India, the Tamil Nadu state government reacted to a few isolated complaints so violently. Murali specifically sought out and threw to the ground two paintings that depicted the destruction by Aurangzeb of the Somnath Temple in Gujarat and the Kesava Rai Temple in North India.

The exhibition of 40 paintings, included fine miniature paintings by Indian artists were on show at the Lalit Kala Akademi from March 3. The Lalit Kala Akademi, the premier government art organization where the exhibit had been hosted, has now cancelled the exhibition. “This is a case of vindictive action against those who wish to throw light on India’s past, and a threat to free speech,” said Ramesh Rao, Senior Fellow, HAF.

“The Tamil Nadu state government acted violently and illegally, but we are left to wonder why so few of the secular votaries of free speech in India remain silent in the face of this outrage–we demand amends from the state government and resumption of the exhibition.”

Source: India post