Category Archives: Opinion

Muslims should apologise for all the destruction caused by their presumed ancestors

Rajiv Lochan

Muslims destroyed thousands of temples in India. Muslims desecrated many more which they could not destroy. This much is a fact. So, has anyone thought of asking the Muslims to apologise for all this destruction that their presumed ancestors caused?
After all, the flesh and blood of those Muslim invaders continues to live with us in India. Many observers of the Islamic faith who have nothing to do with those Muslim invaders continue to stand up in support of their memory and of the supposedly great works they are said to have done in India. So do many who claim to be leftists and nehrivians. The destruction of Hindu holy places and Hindu ethos by invading Islam was extremely violent.
Would that not suggest that one of the important steps towards a more peaceful life in India would be an apology for all the bad behaviour by those sacrilegious invaders? A clear, open, condemnation of all that bad behaviour?
Pic to illustrate the write-up shows what is left of the Martand Temple, Kashmir as photographed c. 1880. According to memories that have come down to us and recorded by sundry British travellers, the temple was built c. 3000 bce. It reached its high point in c. 8th century ce. Then, in 15th century ce, Sikandar Butshikan ordered its destruction.

Rajiv Lochan is an acclaimed scholar, historian, academician and columnist.

Build a big memorial to commemorate the memory of Ahilyabai Holkar

Ramesh Tamiri

There has not been any Indian in past one thousand years who could match Ahilyabai Holkar in her commitment to preserve Hindu culture and civilisation.

Ahilyabai Holkar restored many temples destroyed by alien bigoted rulers from 12 century onwards.Somnath and Kashi Vishwanath temples being among them.

How has our political class and civil society since 1947 remembered her contribution?

It speaks of anti- Hindu ecosystem created by Nehru and his biological & political successors.

We need to build some big memorial for Ahilyabai so that future generations never forget her role.

It is not a question of correction of historical wrongs.It is question of our very survival- preserving our civilisation.

A nation- state rooted in its civilisation is a durable and a confident nation- state.


Kashi: Central Government should name a major road in Kashi after Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh gold plated two shrines. One was Golden temple and second was Kashi Vishwanath temple. He donated 800 kg. of gold for goldplating of domes of Vishwanath temple in 1835. The Temple was rebuilt earlier by Ahilyabhai Holkar in 1780 after its demolition by bigot Aurangzeb.

Guru Tegh Bahadur spent lot of time in Kashi.

Guru Gobind Singh sent five Nirmalas to study Sanskrit in Kashi. This centre still continues.

The author Ramesh Tamiri writes on Indian History and culture with deep insight and authority. He is an expert on Kashmir history and affairs.

Ingress of Mediocrity

Tapan Misa

There lived a habitual thief in a village. Villagers were exasperated with his nuisance. So the villagers decided to punish him. They chopped off his nose as punishment.

The thief could not show his face to anybody. He relinquished the village and went in hiding in a forest. Slowly his hair grew to be unkempt tresses. He hit upon the idea of faking himself as an ascetic and started doing meditation and reciting prayers.

Slowly his name got spread as an ascetic with nose chopped off. People started flocking to him. Some even offered to become his disciples. He initiated the disciples to his sect by chopping off their noses. Over the time, an entire religious sect got established where all members had their noses chopped off.

I read this story by Swami Vivekananda in my childhood. We used to lough aloud by imagining the appearances of the sect members. But the profound implications of this story, I realised much later.

I have closely observed the dynamics of growth of mediocres in a team or in an organisation. Many times misadvertently or by bad choice or deliberately to have a control of the team, a mediocre character is reposed with the responsibility of a team leader, bypassing many deserving and meritorious contenders.

While meritorious employees prove themselves with excellence, mediocres get strength from numbers of equally qualified colleagues. They quickly start ganging up with other mediocre colleagues to corner the meritorious ones. The meritorious colleagues, find themselves asphyxiated gradually in the environment of mediocrity. Then the survival instinct overpowers the meritorious members. They realise that if they start mimicking the other mediocres in the team, they will get acceptance and importance from the leader. This infection of mediocrity spreads fast. Very soon, the whole team turns out to act like a bunch of mediocres. Just like the sect, all of whose members have their nose chopped off.

It is no guarantee that the team will be a high performing one just because the team members are selected with care and with merit in mind. It is most important that due care is given in the choice of the leader. More often than not, it is the leader, not members, of the team who turn it into a bunch of mediocres. There is no dearth of examples where our industries and institutions end upturning from productive to mediocre ones simply because of faulty choice of leadership. More often than not, mediocrity seeps from top, not from bottom as conventional wisdom suggests.

Tapan Misra is a globally acclaimed distinguished scientist. He has headed the Space Application Centre and also served as Advisor in Department of Space. His contribution to ISRO and India’s Space Programme is immense.

Apologia for Islamism in Kashmir has been rendered ineffective by the changes in Kashmir

Rajiv Lochan

Dr. Ramesh Tamiri has expressed much distress at what he considers the sidelining of Kashmiri Pandits in the ongoing talks between the government of India and the Gupkar gang in Kashmir. His concerns remind me of the article that another friend of mine wrote many months ago. Swaran Preet Singh wrote in the context of Kashmir about the absence of a recognition that Sikhs are a persecuted community. Any community which wishes to be heard needs to become extraordinarily touchy about its existence. It is the touchiness that communicates to the rest of the world that a community exists and it needs to be respected. The Sikhs, by creating an identity around the Indian state of Punjab, have used such touchiness in the past two decades to assert a distinct Sikh identity. In the case of the Kashmiri Pandits, their initial stoic silences worked against them. Far from appreciating their suffering, there were some, journalists, Kashmiri Pandits, academics in general, who began to construct an image of the Kashmiri P andits being an oppressor group. Despite all the persecution they have suffered at the hands of the radicalised Islamists in Kashmir, the broad vision as propagated till recently by the likes of Barkha Dutt was that they were actually exploiters of the Muslims in Kashmir. That apologia for Islamism in Kashmir was fortunately rendered ineffective by the changes in Kashmir introduced by the Narendra Modi government. Today even Pakistan hesitates in providing overt military backup to Islamists crossing the border.

Pic. from c. 1870, shows the ruins of the Martand Temple, the sun temple in Kashmir which was destroyed by an Islamist ruler. The destruction, according to the historical records left behind by him, took over a year to accomplish but such was his commitment to destroy that he and his men persisted for long to eradicate the signs of the Hindu God from Kashmir.

Rajiv Lochan is a renowned scholar, historian and columnist