November 30, 2009
Ironically, these are the same ‘authorities’ who are asked to prove authenticities of the likes of Ram Sethu or the Saraswati River. No wonder, they do not have any clue.
And even if they do, there is then the anti-national, anti-Hindu and pro-minority media and politicians to overcome. Thus, Ram Janmabhoomi and Ayodhya temple is overshadowed by Babri Masjid and its demolition and Tejo Mahalaya remians the Taj Mahal.
An India which wishes to be severed from her cultural and civilizational roots and prefers to be glorified by the reflections of her invaders will, knowingly or unknowingly, squander away all its wealth, both material and spiritual.
Only a India proud of her heritage will be able to protect it.
Rhys Blakely in Mumbai
The custodians of India’s archaeological treasures are to hire 10,000 attendants to patrol historical sites after an audit found that 34 monuments, including a cave temple, had “disappeared”.
Questions tabled in the Rajya Sabha, the Indian equivalent of the House of Lords, showed that several protected heritage sites had been buried under illegally constructed buildings. Others had been submerged by reservoirs or looted by art thieves. Officials admitted that the whereabouts of some had simply been forgotten because of poor record keeping.
“Most of these sites were declared protected under the British,” Ashok Kumar Sinha, the head archaeologist of the Archaeological Society of India (ASI), the body responsible for protecting monuments, said. “But the original notifications did not detail their exact locations. Many are missing.”
The monuments that the Indian Ministry of Tourism and Culture admitted were untraceable included several sites from the days of the Raj, including a tomb in Kishanganj in Delhi that housed the remains of Britons killed in the Indian Mutiny of 1857. In the northeastern state of Assam, weapons belonging to the 16th-century Afghan conqueror Emperor Sher Shah are missing.
In Aruna-chal Pradesh, close to the border with China, the ruins of an ancient copper-plated temple dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva could not be accounted for.
A complex of ancient cave temples in the northern town of Basohli, which had yielded artefacts dating back as far as the 10th century, has also been lost.
The catalogue of untraceable monuments supplied by the ministry may indicate a cavalier attitude to record keeping. It lists as missing a statue of Brigadier-General John Nicholson, an army officer for the British East India Company who led the charge on Delhi in 1857, a mission on which he was killed. A statue of Nicholson was erected at the Kashmiri Gate in north Delhi by the British but was taken down when India became independent. The ministry said that it did not know where it was. However, it was taken to Nicholson’s school, the Royal School Dungannon, in Northern Ireland.
Mr Sinha insisted that the ASI was getting on top of the situation, but other experts were not convinced.
Professor Nalini Thakur, the head of architectural conservation at the School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi, said that the planned army of attendants risked antagonising residents, many of whom had lived near, or even in, monuments for generations.
Looting of small, valuable items that fell outside the purview of the ASI was a problem, according to Shashi Misra, the chairman of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. “Huge numbers of idols and statues are disappearing and are being sold on the international art market,” he said.
Experts said that events such as the earthquake that hit the western state of Gujarat in 2001 had attracted dealers. After the quake, which destroyed an estimated 400,000 homes, antiques traders stripped houses of their ornate doors.
In Chandigarh in recent years, foreign dealers have been buying the furniture used by the city’s civil servants.
Much of the furniture was designed by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, who played a role in designing Chandigarh, and can fetch thousands of pounds on the international market.
“Too much of India’s heritage is being transported out of the country and nobody is taking notice,” said Mr Misra.
In the 1990s the National Museum in Kabul was looted after bombing. About 90 per cent of the exhibits were removed and most have not been recovered
The palace of the Assyrian King Sennacherib in Iraq was uncovered by archaeologists in 1847. It was decorated with carved stone slabs describing the exploits of his army. Over time these were removed and since the 1990s the reliefs have been appearing for sale in the West
The Kanakaria mosaic once decorated the ceiling of the 6th century church of the Panagia Kanakaria in Cyprus. It was regarded as one of the finest examples of early Christian art in the world In the 1970s looters hacked the mosaic from the church, figure by figure, and smuggled the pieces off the island. Two fragments were recovered in 1984 but nothing was heard of the others until 1988 when an American art dealer paid $1 million in cash for four more
Source: The Illicit Antiquities Research Centre, Unesco
November 15, 2009
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt is in trouble.
A man who is used to be in the news for his pro-Islam, pro-Pakistan stance and his anti Hindu rhetoric suddenly finds himself in the headlines for the wrong reason. Rahul Bhatt, his son is under scanner and is heading for intense interrogation by National Investigation Agency because of his alleged links with the US-based terrorist of Pakistani origin David Coleman Headley.
A person used to accusing others is suddenly finding himself desperate to defend his son now. Upset over reports attributed to security agencies and the Union Home secretary that they have not cleared his son of any wrongdoing in connection with his dealings with terror suspect David Headley, Mahesh Bhatt said that he is hurt and claimed that his son, Rahul is a true and responsible Indian and that his heart is clear and he doesn’t require any clean chit from anyone.
This has certainly been a spoiler to the excitement that he must have felt on being invited by the Pope to Vatican City to discuss ‘global peace’. He and his daughter Pooja are the only Indian artists invited by the Pope, he had boasted. Perhaps the Pope was pleased of his effort in leading the delegation to meet the President on the so called Orissa violence. That part of the global peace process that happened in Orissa, India started after a octagenarian, Hindu Swami, was peacefully gunned down by accomplishes of the religion of peace.
Mahesh Bhatt had lead several such delegations before. Being part of the Indian pseudosecular, intellectual, minority rights activists crowd, he was also found in Mangalore where he was called again to lead a delegation to protect Christians Citizens from Hindu Radicals. “The idea of proselytising is India’s gift to the humankind” he had claimed, thus equating Buddhism’s spread beyond Bharat, by knowledge and wisdom, to the barbaric spread of Christianity and Islam worldwide that had left millions of people dead and still continues to do so.
He, like so many other selective minority rights activists of his kind, however has never been seen in Jammu & Kashmir to stand by the Hindu / Buddhist minority victims of the state, nor has he been ever heard to spend a few words on the plight of the Hindu minorities in the Christian dominated North East of India or the Islamic states of Bangladesh or Pakistan.
His love for Islam and its followers is well documented. He is often seen leading Muslim protests or addressing seminars to defend Islam. When islamic terrorism, SIMI amd Indian Mujaheeddin were ripping apart cities after cities, in serial bomb blasts, his heart was bleeding for the muslims, “Where there is fear, there is no Islam and where there is Islam, there is no fear.” in one such seminar.
Before the last Lok Shabha elections, he advised the Muslims to vote for Congress Party, to defeat communal forces and give strength to secular forces. “I think that this is the secular party and want to do something for Muslims”. A fine example of sick-secularism, indeed!
After the July 2005, suicide bombings in London that left 56 people dead in a bid, he felt the need to show Islam as a religion of peace and planned a movie titled “Suicide Bomber”, to star his son Rahul in the role of a young Asian Muslim planning to trigger the blasts in London. “The movie is inspired by the London bombings and my son will make his film debut by playing the key role of the suicide bomber who is of Asian origin …. I have been researching on the script since the bombings and through the movie I plan to highlight that Islam is a religion of peace and not dreadful as it is perceived by the world, …….I will attempt to bring out the virtues of Islamic living and also show how the state (government) can sometimes be a demon. The film will delve into the heart and mind of a suicide bomber,” he added.
One can at least easily delve into his heart and mind.
I draw a lot of inspiration from the life of Prophet Mohammad, he had once claimed.
He was there to play the ‘muslim victim’ card with his nephew, actor Emraan Hashmi, when the latter cried ‘religious discrimination’ while trying to buy a flat, but then had to hastily retreat when a Mumbai social worker accused them of ‘fomenting communal tensions to gain cheap publicity’.
It is possible that there were some childhood trauma that may have contributed to the strong anti – Hindu feelings that this person, who unfotunately carries the name of Lord Shiva, emanates. Reportedly he officially converted to Islam to marry actress Soni Razdan so that he could keep two wives.
His love and compassion for Pakistan had often crossed limits. He was unhappy about certain movies being made in India (ex. Gadaar, Sarfarosh) with anti Pakistan messages, claimed that he personally condemned those films which contained excessive anti-Pakistan rhetoric, and was happy to see that such films had failed at the box office.
“Do not point a finger at Pakistan”, he had ranted, reportedly, while giving his reaction to the massacre and mayhem in Mumbai 0n 26/11, to India TV.
Well Mr Bhatt! It looks like your dream story of Rahul Bhatt as a suicide bomber is getting a realistic touch here. And the fingers that were pointing towards Pakistan could slowly turn to your direction.
Unless, off course, unseen threads are pulled by unknown authorities, we hope to find more on the case in future.
November 3, 2009
This is un-bear-able news! Two members of the elite Indian commandos, “The Bear Security Force” have successfully eliminated two Hizbul Mujahideen commanders, Kaisar Ahmad and Saifullah, both residents of Kashmir, who were taking shelter in a cave in Shopian, Kashmir.
This has lead to widespread reaction and retaliation from various part of the country.
Former Booker Prize winning activist, Shoe-jana I-run-dharti Roy, claimed that the Hizbul Mujahideen commanders were homeless and living in a cave because of government oppression and the government had further violated their rights in sending the Bear Commandoes.
An unknown representative of the ‘Kashmir for Kashmiri only’ group, over the telephone called NDTV correspondent, Rajdeep Sara-desh-hai-hai, denouncing the incident, claiming that the bears were outsiders and had no right to occupy a cave in Kashmir.
Sources from the PMO reported that the Prime Minister was a little disturbed over the death of the Hizbul infiltrators, was seen popping sleeping pills to avoid spending sleepless nights, and was overheard muttering, “Being member of the minory community, they had the first right to all the caves of the country”
The Home Minister, PC, however, was seen smiling on national TV when he affirmed that this was the (bear) crushing response that he had in mind when he warned Pakistan for the last time on November 1st, 2009, but assured NDTV’s anchor, Hijab Dutt, that the country is safe since he has various other Animal Commando Teams, that can be used if Pakistan does not listen to his next last warning that he is going to give on December 7th, 2009.
Teesta Cold-bad of the The Bear Right Activists group has denounced the idea of using bears to be trained to kill militants, drawing attention to the resemblance of Lord Vishnu’s “Baraha Avatar” and wanted the government to investigate whether they were trained by any Hindu organization, like the Bajrang Dal. She further said that the news group, Tehelka, has recently reported that the Gujarat Chief Minister was seen spending his New Year day with members of the BSF and thus he is most likely behind the idea of using bears for Muslim Genocide.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has accused to the UN that India is depleting the bear population in the region, and thus not only threatening the ecological balance that prevails in the Indo-Pak border area but also helping Talibans in settling in these previously bear infested areas.
3 November 2009
SRINAGAR: It seems these are the worst of times to be a militant in Kashmir. First, a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist was axed to death by a teenage girl in Rajouri roughly a month ago. Now, a bear has mauled two Hizbul Mujahideen militants to death as they hid in its cave in Shopian, South Kashmir.
According to defence spokesman Lt Col J S Brar, the two commanders dared to colonise a bear’s cave at Darwal Nar in Pir Panjal in Shopian and paid for it with their lives. For, late on Sunday night, as the two slept, the bear came calling.
“It attacked the armed militants and killed them on the spot,” Brar said.
It was only on Monday morning that an Army patrol party saw two bodies inside the cave and, on frisking through their clothes, found that they were Hizbul Mujahideen commanders.
Medical examinations revealed that the two were mauled to death by a bear. The two were identified as Kaisar Ahmad and Saifullah, both residents of Kashmir, the spokesman said.
‘‘Two Ak 47 rifles and some ammunition were recovered from the spot,’’ he added.This is the first known instance in last 20 years of insurgency in J&K of a wild animal attacking and killing militants, who have their hideouts mostly in dense forests or on mountain ranges.
November 3, 2009
By Joydeep Gupta, New Delhi, Nov 3 : Three days, 3,000 Sikhs – days that still haunt Delhi Police officials who admit their failures and even complicity but even 25 years later will not go on record on the pogrom that followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi when marauders had a free run of the city.
The aftermath of the assassination on Oct 31, 1984,, when an estimated 3,000 Sikhs were killed from Nov 1 to Nov 3, were days of such ignominy that lips are still sealed — even for officials who have long retired and are out of the system. On the evening of Nov 3, the army was called out, signalling an end to the frenzy of murder and mayhem and underscoring that effective police action could have stemmed the violence.
The silence has not dulled the memories or the realisation of their complicity in the violence.
“The guilty have not been punished,” said an officer who is now very high in the police hierarchy here. “And I’m not talking about the politicians.
“I am talking of the police officers in charge of various districts who did not do their duty, who let the mobs rule, burn Sikh dwellings and property and kill members of the community.”
Two senior Delhi Police officers had their careers ruined by those days in October-November 1984 – then police commissioner S.C. Tandon and H.D. Pillai, the man who was in charge of the security department. The men who killed Indira Gandhi – Satwant Singh and Beant Singh – were part of Pillai’s team. Various inquiry committees found him guilty of not screening the men well enough. Tandon took the overall rap.
But that was where the buck stopped. The deputy commissioners in charge of various police districts – there were six then – got away with very little stain in their career records. This despite the fact that Sikhs had been looted and killed all over the capital. The night after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, a third floor terrace in Connaught Circus showed 13 fires burning in the city.
“I remember I was shaving when I got the news that Mrs Gandhi had been shot,” said a recently retired police officer who was still unwilling to be identified. “I rushed to AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where the then prime minister’s body was taken).
“There was chaos at the crossing in front of AIIMS (there was no flyover then). People were throwing stones at cars. Soon the president (Zail Singh, a Sikh) came there and they started throwing stones at his car. I rushed with my men and escorted his car inside.
“Then I got a message on the wireless, asking me not to take action against the men outside who had thrown stones at the president’s car. To this day, I don’t know who sent the order, but the caller had all the right credentials for someone speaking from the PCR (police control room). I was so disgusted I didn’t go outside the AIIMS campus most of the day. Anyway, there was plenty to do there, with all the VIPs coming in.”
Delhi started burning the same evening at the start of the anti-Sikh pogrom that went on till the army stepped in. The arson was selective. In areas like Kotla Mubarakpur of south Delhi, where Hindu and Sikh businessmen have had shops cheek by jowl for decades, Sikh shops were systematically targeted, obviously by someone who knew the area very well.
First there was looting, then arson, then death. The worst were in areas like Trilokpuri in east Delhi. The next afternoon, an inspector posted in the area had told this correspondent: “I couldn’t stand and see it any more. People were being dragged out of their homes and killed, while we had been told not to do anything.”
Now retired, that erstwhile inspector still would not say who had told him not to do anything. “Let it go,” he pleaded. “Why do you want to reopen old wounds?”
Outside a lane in Kingsway Camp, North Delhi, in the afternoon of Nov 3, 1984, a group of men deflated all four tyres of this correspondent’s car. They didn’t want a report on the way they had looted and burnt Sikh houses in the lane. The car was sheltered in the nearest police station.
The sub-inspector who had helped park the car is a senior officer today. “I wish I had caught those b…s,” he says now. “But we couldn’t have, you know. We were not allowed.”
1984 anti-Sikh riots: 25 years later.