Aurangzeb painting exhibit off after row

7 03 2008
Aurangazeb exhibition creates flutter
(Deccan Chronicle Chennai)

Chennai, March 6: The Chennai police on Thursday detained three women associated with an art exhibition after forcing them to close down the show, where a French artist had displayed his paintings on Mughal emperor Aurangazeb.

The police took Saraswathi (65), Dr.Vijayalakshmi (62) and Malathi (47) to the Thousand Lights station at around 7.30 p.m. for enquiry into charges of assisting an exhibition by French journalist Francois Gautier at Lalit Kala Akademi’s (LKA) Regional Centre on Greams Road. They were detained in the station for half-an-hour.

Earlier in the day, tension prevailed on LKA premises when the police, Hindu Munnani president Rama Gopalan and Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali visited the exhibition. The visit of the police came in the wake of three letters including one from an advocate Mr Zainudeen to Lalit Kala Akademi stating that the exhibition would disturb communal harmony. The police initially suggested removal of two pictures depicting demolition of Keshava Rai temple in Mathura and that of Somnath temple by the armies of Aurangazeb.

However, the organisers of the exhibition told the police that they would not remove the pictures as it violated their artistic freedom. Janata party president Ms Chandralekha rushed to the spot to express solidarity with the organisers of the exhibition. Talking to this newspaper, Ms Saraswati (65) said, “The police was rude to us. They asked us whether we were terrorists. We were detained in the station for more than half an hour and they did not allow us to contact our family.” Ms Malathi said, “The police entered the exhibition hall at 7.30 pm and threw away some paintings.” However, the police and LKA officials denied breaking any art pieces put up at the exhibition.

Later in the day, two Muslim outfits Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamaat and Samooha Neethi Peravai protested in front of the LKA demanding that the exhibition be called off as it would disturb religious amity. FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism), an art foundation of Mr Francois Gautier, has been organizing historical art exhibitions on emperors such as Aurangazeb and Shivaji in the metropolitan cities including New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai for the last two years.

Mr Francois said, “I have conducted the same exhibition at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. No one protested. It is necessary to create a dialogue between communities and put an end to the intolerant culture of Aurangazeb. Let us inculcate the cosmopolitan spirit of Dara Shkoh, the brother of Aurangazeb, who learnt Upanishads and had a dialogue with the Hindu brethren.” Ms Chandralekha said, “This is atrocious. The DMK-led government has always been against the Hindus. This incident also vindicated that.”

Mr Balasubramanian, Joint Commissioner of police, said, “The exhibition is called off temporarily as a few people raised objections to the exhibits. As we feared that it might create a law and order problem, we advised the organisers to obtain permission before holding the exhibition again.” Meanwhile, artist Francois met the Joint Commissioner and said he did not have any ulterior motive in holding the exhibition and had only wanted to create an awareness on Indian history.

Aurangzeb art expo cancelled after objections

(The Statesman)

Chennai, March 6: An art exhibition on the life of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was today cancelled following directions from police after some Muslim individuals objected to two paintings showing demolition of temples in Somnath and Mathura on the ground that they would “disturb peace” in Tamil Nadu.
Four persons, including Mr R Saraswathi, a volunteer of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (Fact), the organisers of the exhibition, have been detained for interrogation, a senior police official said.
“If found innocent, they would be let off,” he said.
The foundation is run by Delhi-based French journalist Francois Gautier.
Police said some Muslims, who came to the Lalith Kala Academy, the venue of the exibition, raised objections to the paintings, depicting Aurangazeb’s forces demolishing Hindu temples at Somnath and Mathura.
“They claimed that the pictures were sending wrong messages which could lead to communal hatred following which we asked Fact to cancel the exhibition,” the official said. The exhibition which opened on 3 March was scheduled to run till March 9. Earlier in the day, regional secretary of the academy Mr RM Palaniappan told reporters that he was waiting for orders from the Delhi headquarters on cancelling the show. n PTI

Aurangzeb painting exhibit off after row

(Asian age)

Chennai, March 6: An art exhibition on the life of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was on Thursday cancelled following directions from the police after some Muslim individuals objected to two paintings showing demolition of temples in Somnath and Mathura on the ground that they would “disturb peace” in Tamil Nadu.

Four persons, including R. Saraswathi, a volunteer of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT), the organisers of the exhibition, have been detained for interrogation, a senior police official said.

“If found innocent, they would be let off,” he said.

The foundation is run by Delhi-based French journalist Francois Gautier.

The police said some Muslims, who came to the Lalit Kala Akademi, the venue of the exhibition, raised objections to the paintings, depicting Aurangazeb’s forces demolishing Hindu temples at Somnath and Mathura.

“They claimed that the pictures were sending wrong messages which could lead to communal hatred following which we asked FACT to cancel the exhibition,” the official said.

The exhibition which opened on March 3 was scheduled to run till March 9.

Earlier in the day, regional secretary of the academy R.M. Palaniappan told reporters that he was waiting for orders from the Delhi headquarters on cancelling the show, following similar complaints on Wednesday.

However, he could not be reached for comments after the exhibition was cancelled.

The Hindu Munnani, which earlier threatened to stage a demonstration if the exhibition was cancelled, said a decision on the protest would be taken on Friday morning. (PTI)

News that National Media Censors – Muslim Vandalism in Chennai
by Singha on Mar 07, 2008 07:22 AM | Hide replies
From Sulekha
Aurangzeb art expo cancelled after objections

Chennai, March 6: An art exhibition on the life of the Mughal emperor Aurangazeb was today cancelled following directions from police after some Muslim individuals objected to two paintings showing demolition of temples in Somnath and Mathura on the ground that they would %u201Cdisturb peace%u201D in Tamil Nadu.

Four persons, including Mr R Saraswathi, a volunteer of the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (Fact), the organisers of the exhibition, have been detained for interrogation, a senior police official said.

If found innocent, they would be let off, he said.

The foundation is run by Delhi-based French journalist Francois Gautier.
Police said some Muslims, who came to the Lalith Kala Academy, the venue of the exibition, raised objections to the paintings, depicting Aurangazeb’s forces demolishing Hindu temples at Somnath and Mathura.

They claimed that the pictures were sending wrong messages which could lead to communal hatred following which we asked Fact to cancel the exhibition, the official said. The exhibition which opened on 3 March was scheduled to run till March 9. Earlier in the day, regional secretary of the academy Mr RM Palaniappan told reporters that he was waiting for orders from the Delhi headquarters on cancelling the show. n PTI

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Press coverage and controversy around Aurangzeb in Chennai

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

Update:

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.





Press coverage and controversy around Aurangzeb in Chennai

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

Update:

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.





Shivaji Exhibition preview

24 02 2008

A Hero for Modern India :

CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ

Is there a greater hero, a greater saint, a greater bhakta and a greater king than Shivaji? Shivaji was the very embodiment of a born ruler of men as typified in our great Epics. He was the type of the real son of India representing the true consciousness of the nation. It was he who showed what the future of India is going to be sooner or later, a group of independent units under one umbrella as it were, under one supreme imperial suzerainty. Swami Vivekananda

This exhibition will show the unique place of Chhatrapati Shivaji in the history of India, at a time when Hindus were experiencing great oppression and humiliation : they were being killed, their wives and children taken in slavery, their temples were being broken, and they were being discriminated against in various forms, such as in the matter of charging custom duties, restrictions on their fairs and festivals, their dismissal from government posts, large-scale conversions as a part of openly declared policy of the Mughal State, imposition of the religious tax Jiziya for being a Hindu.. These discriminatory acts were then going almost unchallenged, although the Hindus formed more than 90% of the country at that time.

Shivaji, who was endowed with talents of the highest order and a clear vision, was the only one who stood-up to the injustice. He had also an inspiring and endearing personalitywhich spontaneously commanded respect, loyalty and the highest sacrifices from his devoted soldiery and peasants. To create his Swarajya, a bold mission, inspired by the highest ideals imbibed by him from his mother and the saints of Maharasthra, he had to rouse the sleeping conscience of the Hindus, and show them that it was possible to successfully defy the Mughal power, cast off foreign domination and win freedom from the rule of the Muslim powers.

He had however to contend with Aurangzeb, one of the ablest, but also the most cruel of all Mughal Emperors. In the present exhibition attempt has been made to present, through paintings, sketches, line drawings and contemporary documents, the unique role that Chhatrapati Shivaji has played not only in the history of India, but also in the preservation of Her culture and spirituality, as he stood against the enemy that wanted to erase it forever from this land. It is, thanks to Shivaji, for instance, that West and South India could retain their identities. Indeed, Marathis and Tamils alike, owe to the great Shivaji and the sacrifices of his men, the enduring wholesomeness of their traditions – social, cultural and religious – whereas the same cannot be said about the North of India. Indeed, except for some parts of the non-Kashmir Himalayas, the rest of India had to bear the rules and directions of the Shariat, which had evolved in far off Arabia during 7th and 8th centuries, and was sought to be imposed in the 17th century with all its inherent vehemence, by an Emperor entirely committed to its principles and philosophy.

This exhibition is relevant today because Shivaji embodied all the qualities that politicians should possess in 21st century India, but do not always have: he was just, firm and stood for the weak; he was an honest and able administrator; he confronted the enemy and was not cowed into submission; he was devoted to Mother India who appeared to him as Bhavani (Exhibit no 5); he was ruthless with his enemies, but spared women, children and his own people ; he would go to both Muslim and Hindu saints and endowed mosques as well as temples.

This wonderful show on India’s eternal hero is brought to Mumbai by FACT, an organization, which is non-political, non-religious and non-affiliated to any group.

Let the spirit of Shivaji float on India again and deliver Her from Her present enemies.

Shivaji was born on 10th April 1627, to Sahaji and his wife, Jijabai, in the Shivneri Fort, situated almost 60 km to the north of Pune. He was named as Shiva, after the local Goddess Shivai, to whom his mother Jijabai had prayed for a son. After being defeated by the combined forces of the Mughals and Adil Shah, Sahaji was offered a jagir near the present-day Bangalore. However, he was allowed to keep his holdings in Pune. So, Sahaji left his son Shivaji to manage the Pune holdings, under the care of his mother Jijabai.

With a small council of ministers, Shivaji began managing his estate. His ministers included Shamrao Nilkanth as Peshwa, Balkrishna Pant as Muzumdar, Raghunath Ballal as Sabnis and Sonopant as Dabir. At the same time, Kanhoji Jedhe and Baji Pasalkar were appointed to look after Shivaji’s training. In the year 1644, Shivaji undertook full administrative responsibilities of his estate. Thus was started his career as an independent young prince of a small kingdom. His mother, Jijabai, was instrumental in instilling in Shivaji’s mind a love for independence and distaste for external political domination.

At the age of 16, he took a pledge to establish a sovereign Hindu state. Soon after, he performed his first heroic, when he seized the Torna fort of Adil Shihi kingdom of Bijapur kingdom. By 1647, he had gained control over Kondana and Rajgad forts, with complete power of the Pune region. With time, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj secured the forts in the Western Ghats as well as those along the Konkan coast. Shivaji also fought against the army of Adilshah at Purandhar. In November 1659, he fought the battle of Pratapgarh and defeated Afzal Khan. Immediately after this success, King Shivaji occupied the area stretching upto the Panhala fort.

The battle of Kolhapur took place in December 1659. In the battle, Shivaji crushed the army of Bijapuri general, Rustam-ji-zaman. In 1660, Siddi Johar’s huge and daunting army attacked him at Panhala fort. Shivaji managed to escape from the fort (Exhibit no 8). However, he soon launched an attack on Siddi Johar. The result was the surrender of Panhala and a truce between Shivaji and Adilshah. After the death of Adilshah, Aurangzeb attacked Golconda and Bijapur. Shivaji used guerilla-style tactics and captured more and more of the Bijapuri and Mughal territories. However, by 1663, he had lost most of his conquests to the Mughal army.

In the next few years, Shivaji again started seizing forts belonging to both Mughals as well as those of Bijapur. Aurangzeb sent Jai Singh, his Hindu general, to subdue Shivaji. Shivaji thought it wise to conclude a treaty with Jai Singh at Purander in 1665 (Exhibit no 14) and also agreed to visit Agra. However, in 1666, he made a daring escape (Exhibit no 25) from Agra and lay low for the next few years. But in January 1670, Shivaji launched an attack on Mughal garrisons in Maharashtra. Within a period of six months, he won back most of his lost empire. The period of 1670 to 1674 was spent by Shivaji Maharaj in expanding his empire at the cost of the Mughals.

The heroic deeds of Shivaji cannot be all recounted here, as on numerous occasions, he set before others examples of courage and resourcefulness, such as his dangerous encounter with Afzal Khan in1659 (Exhibit no 7), or in his night attack on Shaista Khan in Pune in 1663 (Exhibit no 23). One could also speak of self-respec,t such as by his proud and dignified conduct at Agra in the proudest Court of that time, of nobility, such as restoring to honourable freedom a captured young beautiful Muslim lady brought as booty (Exhibit no 43), of great vision, such as in building a chain of mountain and sea forts (Exhibit no 58), of humility when in the company of saints like Tuka Ram (Exhibit no 62) and Samarth Swami Ram Das (Exhibit no 65), of extraordinary administrative ability which found expression in his sound civil and military institutions, and of a truly good Hindu ruler in whose kingdom subjects belonging to all religions had freedom and honour.

Shivaji’s Karnataka campaign of 1677, his grand reception in Hyderabad, occupation of Jinji fort (Exhibit no 48) and his presence at Vellore, adoption of the title of Chhatrapati by him after the coronation ceremony in 1674, use of Sanskrit terms for the designation of officials, his attempt to secure for his people the same advantage on the high seas as enjoyed by the Europeans, and the fact that he was the only Hindu ruler who not only could successfully defy the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb but also found a large independent Kingdom by his own courage and ability despite all odds, and left behind him noble examples and traditions which serve as source of inspiration and guidance even today.

In June 1674 at the Raigad fort, he was given the title of Kshatriya Kulavantas Simhasanadheeshwar Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The end of 1676 saw Shivaji commencing attacks in the southern parts of India. Shivaji breathed his last on 3rd April 1680 in the Raigad fort, the capital for Maratha Empire. He was succeeded by his elder son, Sambhaji.

The legacy that he left is astounding. He raised a strong army and navy, constructed and repaired forts, used guerrilla warfare tactics, developed a strong intelligence network, gave equal treatment to the people from all religions and castes based on merit, and functioned like a seasoned Statesman and General. He appointed ministers with specific functions such as Internal security, Foreign affairs, Finance, Law and Justice, Religious matters, Defence etc.

He introduced systems in revenue collection and warned the officials against harassment of subjects. He thought ahead of times and was a true visionary. In his private life, his moral virtues were exceptionally high. His thoughts and deeds were inspired by the teachings of his mother Jijabai, teacher Dadaji Konddev, great saints like Dnyaneshwar & Tukaram and the valiancy and ideals of the Lords Rama and Krishna.

The tiny kingdom established by Chhatrapati Shivaji known as “Hindavi Swaraja” (Sovereign Hindu state) grew and spread beyond Attock in Northwest India (now in Pakistan) and beyond Cuttack in East India in course of time, to become the strongest power in India. After the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji & his son Sambhaji, their prime ministers or ‘the Peshwas’ became the defacto rulers. The Peshwas and the Maratha Sardars (Chieftans) like Shindes of Gwalior, Gaekwads of Baroda & Holkars of Indore contributed to the growth of the Maratha Confederacy.

We hope that you will enjoy this exhibition and that it will remain with you, your family and children as a source of inspiration, as an example to follow in your daily life, of courage, daring, forthrightness, dedication to your motherland, spirit of seva, that India may rise again, under the leadership of one who would incarnate in himself the virtues of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and thus truly become THE SHIVAJI OF MODERN INDIA.





The Naxalsim menace

19 02 2008

The RED Terror

A PROJECT ON NAXALITES

FACT India has commissioned a new exhibition on Maoist Terrorism, what the PM of India says as “the single largest threat to India” naxalism.

The Exhibition features the Maoist, leftwing Ultras the problem of what has come to be known as Naxalism a movement which started off as a small uprising of people in Naxalbari an unknown village in west bengal to a blodywar that lost its ideology.

The objective is to portray the sufferings and danger that the leftwing ultras, Naxalism is bringing to the people of India. The unity and sovereignty of India needs to be protected. The fact that gun can never be the only solution needs to be highlighted. Socio-economic development can be an effective solution along with a strategy for maintaining Law and Order. The efforts of Non Governmental organisations in disarming people with dangerous violent ideologies is an important factor. The ancient techniques such as pranayama can also help to bring this people around, as a few spiritual organizations have already proved… for example the Art of Living Foundation. There is a subtle manner the Naxalites operate in extremely poor areas exploiting the poverty, ignorance and lack of governmental presence.

The exhibition will :

1) demonstrate graphically and with statistics the widespread presence of Naxalites in India (along with a brief on how they may link to Maoists in Nepal) and

2) What we can do/what has already been done to bring them around.

We plan to do this project in three stages:

1) A travelling exhibition with about 40 panels with captions and text blended with photographs realtime and the statistical analysis.

  1. A film, which will be shown during the exhibition and can be made into a documentary for television channels

  2. If both these are successful, we can envision doing a book on Naxalites with text and photos, whose angle will be historical and academic and that will aim at becoming the reference book for journalists/academics on Naxalism. Book will have to be funded by a publisher.

Format of the exhibition

1) Statistics

2) photos showing havoc created by Naxalites (recent, attack on innocent civilians like the one on marraige party CPRF camp in UP, escape from jail etc)

3) portraits of famous/notorious naxalites/most wanted

4) A history of Naxalism

5) film/archives footage on naxalites and on regions where they operate (AP, UP, Bihar etc)

6) A detailed brief on firearms/explosives they employ and how they procure them

7) The red corridor (dandakaranya), from Nepal to Tamil Nadu.

How you could also help behind the scenes:

  1. Volunteer for the cause

  2. Help us to generate high publicity inaugurations

  3. Help us Spread the word

  4. Contribute to the cause in cash / kind

The estimated budget of the project. Rs 700,000/-

Here we have been working on a series of issues on Naxalism and the havoc it has created over the years on the Indian populace.

Naxalism: A threat to the Unified Nation of India

“Its (Maoism’s) purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.”

– Mao Tse-Tung

Maoism a.k.a Naxalism

Naxalism is flourishing in a vacuum created by the total inadequacy of administrative, political and social institutions in certain areas. Issues related to land-reforms, education, health, hygiene, etc have remained un-addressed since hundreds of years.

Well-educated Naxalite leaders have taken advantage of the grave dissatisfaction among the poor and uneducated population by offering them an alternative way to growth and development.

The Genesis

The Naxal Movement began as a violent peasant uprising against the landlords at Naxalbari village, West Bengal on 25th May, 1967.

It began under the leadership of revolutionary communists Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal. On 22nd April, 1969, they formed the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

Above: 9th Unity Congress, January, 2007.

The Present Day

Today, there are many Maoist parties and organizations that either predate the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) or emerged from factions when the CPI-ML split after the death of Charu Mazumdar.

Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the largest Maoist rebel group with operations in over 9 states and strong relations with Nepal’s Maoists.

Article 19 of its Party Constitution clearly states: “Every member must be ready to participate and play a vanguard role in class struggle in the form of armed agrarian revolutionary war.”

The Naxal Havoc

Chhattisgarh

15th March, 2007

Maoist rebels massacred 16 officers of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF), 39 Special Police Officers (SPO’s) and injured 12 others at the Rani Bodli village.

Around 500 rebels attacked the camp, throwing grenades and petrol bombs and shooting people fleeing the burning buildings before escaping with weapons and explosives.

16th December, 2007

In a daring jailbreak, 299 prisoners including 110 naxalites escaped from the Dantewada Jail in Chhattisgarh. The naxals also snatched 6 rifles and a wireless set from the guards before they fled.

Jharkhand

27th October, 2007

Armed naxals massacred 17 people including a former Jharkhand chief minister’s son in the Chilkhari village of the state’s Giridih district.

Bihar

13th November, 2005

200 naxalites attacked the Jehanabad Jail, freed their comrades and assassinated leaders of the Ranvir Sena, the upper-caste militia. More than 300 prisoners made use of the opportunity to escape as the jail was under Maoist’s control for almost two hours.

Orissa

8th February, 2008

300 rebels, including 100 women, gunned down 6 policemen at a police reserve which houses an armoury, 4 others at a training school and 2 at Nayagarh police station in the heart of the town.

The naxals also took away over 1,200 state-of-the art firearms including 298 number of 303 rifles, 130 SLR rifles, 30 AK-47 rifles, 300 Insas rifles, 80 9-mm pistols, 203 escart rifles, and 1 lakh live bullets.

The rebels were within striking distance of the state capital, Bhubaneshwar, which is barely 100 km away.

The Naxal Havoc

Maharashtra

A 40 Sq. km area on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border is considered a `Liberated Zone’ where even the police do not venture. There are around 25 villages in this zone. Naxalites hold military training camps here and even run an arms factory and a printing press.

16 of India’s 33 states have Maoists operating in them. This now affects 192 of India’s 602 districts.

The year gone by…

In 2007, till the end of November…

There were 1385 incidents of naxalite violence.

214 police personnel have been killed.

418 civilians have been killed.

Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.16% of the total incidents and 76.42% of the total casualties.

The year saw an increased use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Landmines by naxalites.

Naxal attacks on police and police establishments, killings of innocents and attacks on infrastructure (like rail and road transport and power transmission) continued to be reported.

The Declaration

1. Coordinate the people’s war with the ongoing armed struggles of the various oppressed nationalities in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and other parts of the Northeast.

2. Build a broad UF (United Front) of all secular forces and persecuted religious minorities such as Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.

3. Build a secret party apparatus which is impregnable to the enemy’s attacks.

4. Build open and secret mass organisations amongst the workers, peasants, youth, students, women and other sections of the people.

5. Build the people’s militia in all the villages in the guerrilla zones as the base force of the PGA (People’s Guerrilla Army). Also build armed self-defence units in other areas of class struggle as well as in the urban areas.

The Future

“Taking the trends of the last five years, we can build a model of the security scenario for the year 2010. Over 260 districts, nearly half of India, would be Naxal affected where the government’s writ hardly runs.”

– Ajit Doval, Former Director, Intelligence Bureau

“The next ten to twenty years will witness massive political and social upheavals… Militant confrontation between the people and the state will become a general feature throughout the country”

– Muppala Lakshmana Rao, General Secretary, CPI (Maoist)

Links & Support

“Available reports suggest the continued fraternal and logistic (non-strategic) links between Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) and Indian Naxal groups.”

– Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister of State for Home Affairs

“(We will) turn the Countries of South Asia into a Strong Bastion of World Revolution!”
– Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA), a coalition of 13 extreme-left parties of South-Asia

“Times have changed, and the CPI-ML (Liberation) has fielded as many as nine candidates in north Bengal this year.”—– Abhijit Mazumdar, son of CPI-ML co-founder Charu Mazumdar

Information sources:
www.naxalwatch.blogspot.com
www.satp.org
www.naxalrage.org
www.globalsecurity.org
www.india-defence.com
www.fas.org/
www.achrweb.org
www.mha.nic.in

FACT India field study
News papers

FACT India is a Registered Trust. Contributions are welcome and are exempt under Section 80 G of the IT Act. Please make cheques in favour of “FACT”.

FACT India
41, Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110 003, India.
Web.: www.fact-india.com





The Naxalsim menace

19 02 2008

The RED Terror

A PROJECT ON NAXALITES

FACT India has commissioned a new exhibition on Maoist Terrorism, what the PM of India says as “the single largest threat to India” naxalism.

The Exhibition features the Maoist, leftwing Ultras the problem of what has come to be known as Naxalism a movement which started off as a small uprising of people in Naxalbari an unknown village in west bengal to a blodywar that lost its ideology.

The objective is to portray the sufferings and danger that the leftwing ultras, Naxalism is bringing to the people of India. The unity and sovereignty of India needs to be protected. The fact that gun can never be the only solution needs to be highlighted. Socio-economic development can be an effective solution along with a strategy for maintaining Law and Order. The efforts of Non Governmental organisations in disarming people with dangerous violent ideologies is an important factor. The ancient techniques such as pranayama can also help to bring this people around, as a few spiritual organizations have already proved… for example the Art of Living Foundation. There is a subtle manner the Naxalites operate in extremely poor areas exploiting the poverty, ignorance and lack of governmental presence.

The exhibition will :

1) demonstrate graphically and with statistics the widespread presence of Naxalites in India (along with a brief on how they may link to Maoists in Nepal) and

2) What we can do/what has already been done to bring them around.

We plan to do this project in three stages:

1) A travelling exhibition with about 40 panels with captions and text blended with photographs realtime and the statistical analysis.

  1. A film, which will be shown during the exhibition and can be made into a documentary for television channels

  2. If both these are successful, we can envision doing a book on Naxalites with text and photos, whose angle will be historical and academic and that will aim at becoming the reference book for journalists/academics on Naxalism. Book will have to be funded by a publisher.

Format of the exhibition

1) Statistics

2) photos showing havoc created by Naxalites (recent, attack on innocent civilians like the one on marraige party CPRF camp in UP, escape from jail etc)

3) portraits of famous/notorious naxalites/most wanted

4) A history of Naxalism

5) film/archives footage on naxalites and on regions where they operate (AP, UP, Bihar etc)

6) A detailed brief on firearms/explosives they employ and how they procure them

7) The red corridor (dandakaranya), from Nepal to Tamil Nadu.

How you could also help behind the scenes:

  1. Volunteer for the cause

  2. Help us to generate high publicity inaugurations

  3. Help us Spread the word

  4. Contribute to the cause in cash / kind

The estimated budget of the project. Rs 700,000/-

Here we have been working on a series of issues on Naxalism and the havoc it has created over the years on the Indian populace.

Naxalism: A threat to the Unified Nation of India

“Its (Maoism’s) purpose is to destroy an existing society and its institutions and to replace them with a completely new structure.”

– Mao Tse-Tung

Maoism a.k.a Naxalism

Naxalism is flourishing in a vacuum created by the total inadequacy of administrative, political and social institutions in certain areas. Issues related to land-reforms, education, health, hygiene, etc have remained un-addressed since hundreds of years.

Well-educated Naxalite leaders have taken advantage of the grave dissatisfaction among the poor and uneducated population by offering them an alternative way to growth and development.

The Genesis

The Naxal Movement began as a violent peasant uprising against the landlords at Naxalbari village, West Bengal on 25th May, 1967.

It began under the leadership of revolutionary communists Charu Mazumdar and Kanu Sanyal. On 22nd April, 1969, they formed the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

Above: 9th Unity Congress, January, 2007.

The Present Day

Today, there are many Maoist parties and organizations that either predate the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) or emerged from factions when the CPI-ML split after the death of Charu Mazumdar.

Communist Party of India (Maoist) is the largest Maoist rebel group with operations in over 9 states and strong relations with Nepal’s Maoists.

Article 19 of its Party Constitution clearly states: “Every member must be ready to participate and play a vanguard role in class struggle in the form of armed agrarian revolutionary war.”

The Naxal Havoc

Chhattisgarh

15th March, 2007

Maoist rebels massacred 16 officers of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF), 39 Special Police Officers (SPO’s) and injured 12 others at the Rani Bodli village.

Around 500 rebels attacked the camp, throwing grenades and petrol bombs and shooting people fleeing the burning buildings before escaping with weapons and explosives.

16th December, 2007

In a daring jailbreak, 299 prisoners including 110 naxalites escaped from the Dantewada Jail in Chhattisgarh. The naxals also snatched 6 rifles and a wireless set from the guards before they fled.

Jharkhand

27th October, 2007

Armed naxals massacred 17 people including a former Jharkhand chief minister’s son in the Chilkhari village of the state’s Giridih district.

Bihar

13th November, 2005

200 naxalites attacked the Jehanabad Jail, freed their comrades and assassinated leaders of the Ranvir Sena, the upper-caste militia. More than 300 prisoners made use of the opportunity to escape as the jail was under Maoist’s control for almost two hours.

Orissa

8th February, 2008

300 rebels, including 100 women, gunned down 6 policemen at a police reserve which houses an armoury, 4 others at a training school and 2 at Nayagarh police station in the heart of the town.

The naxals also took away over 1,200 state-of-the art firearms including 298 number of 303 rifles, 130 SLR rifles, 30 AK-47 rifles, 300 Insas rifles, 80 9-mm pistols, 203 escart rifles, and 1 lakh live bullets.

The rebels were within striking distance of the state capital, Bhubaneshwar, which is barely 100 km away.

The Naxal Havoc

Maharashtra

A 40 Sq. km area on the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border is considered a `Liberated Zone’ where even the police do not venture. There are around 25 villages in this zone. Naxalites hold military training camps here and even run an arms factory and a printing press.

16 of India’s 33 states have Maoists operating in them. This now affects 192 of India’s 602 districts.

The year gone by…

In 2007, till the end of November…

There were 1385 incidents of naxalite violence.

214 police personnel have been killed.

418 civilians have been killed.

Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand together accounted for 68.16% of the total incidents and 76.42% of the total casualties.

The year saw an increased use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Landmines by naxalites.

Naxal attacks on police and police establishments, killings of innocents and attacks on infrastructure (like rail and road transport and power transmission) continued to be reported.

The Declaration

1. Coordinate the people’s war with the ongoing armed struggles of the various oppressed nationalities in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and other parts of the Northeast.

2. Build a broad UF (United Front) of all secular forces and persecuted religious minorities such as Muslims, Christians and Sikhs.

3. Build a secret party apparatus which is impregnable to the enemy’s attacks.

4. Build open and secret mass organisations amongst the workers, peasants, youth, students, women and other sections of the people.

5. Build the people’s militia in all the villages in the guerrilla zones as the base force of the PGA (People’s Guerrilla Army). Also build armed self-defence units in other areas of class struggle as well as in the urban areas.

The Future

“Taking the trends of the last five years, we can build a model of the security scenario for the year 2010. Over 260 districts, nearly half of India, would be Naxal affected where the government’s writ hardly runs.”

– Ajit Doval, Former Director, Intelligence Bureau

“The next ten to twenty years will witness massive political and social upheavals… Militant confrontation between the people and the state will become a general feature throughout the country”

– Muppala Lakshmana Rao, General Secretary, CPI (Maoist)

Links & Support

“Available reports suggest the continued fraternal and logistic (non-strategic) links between Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) and Indian Naxal groups.”

– Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister of State for Home Affairs

“(We will) turn the Countries of South Asia into a Strong Bastion of World Revolution!”
– Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organizations of South Asia (CCOMPOSA), a coalition of 13 extreme-left parties of South-Asia

“Times have changed, and the CPI-ML (Liberation) has fielded as many as nine candidates in north Bengal this year.”—– Abhijit Mazumdar, son of CPI-ML co-founder Charu Mazumdar

Information sources:
www.naxalwatch.blogspot.com
www.satp.org
www.naxalrage.org
www.globalsecurity.org
www.india-defence.com
www.fas.org/
www.achrweb.org
www.mha.nic.in

FACT India field study
News papers

FACT India is a Registered Trust. Contributions are welcome and are exempt under Section 80 G of the IT Act. Please make cheques in favour of “FACT”.

FACT India
41, Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110 003, India.
Web.: www.fact-india.com