Mahatma Gandhi’s letter is all set to be auctioned tomorrow. It is probably the last letter written by the Mahatma. Last year Vijay Mallaya bought the sword of Tipu Sultan from one such auction. Thanks to him a very important part of our history was saved from going into some foreign private collectors hands. This indicates how much importance we give to our history. These days importance is determined on the basis of utility. In the wake of such relentless practicality ‘History’ has to fight for its survival.
How many of us know that 6,000 years ago the Rig Veda proposed classifications of plant life based on morphological characteristics, or that a thousand year earlier than Copernicus, Aryabhatta proposed that the sun was the centre. Our elders studied astronomy, linguistics, mathematics, medicine and surgery, physics, technology, and fine arts thousands of years ago and on the basis of that knowledge later civilizations built their structures. Nineteenth century British historian Grant Buff writes, “Many of the advances in the sciences that we consider today to have been made in Europe were in fact made in India centuries ago.” And according to Einstein, “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.” (I don’t want to sound like Manoj Kumar)
Ashoka’s empire was known for its respect for humanity and animals. Buddhism played a key role in the development of the Indian civilization. It was one of the golden periods of Indian history. Science and arts flourished and that is why this region has a rich history of art and science. Chanakya’s Arthashastra is respected even now. Then Muslims came, enamored by the Indian knowledge and aesthetics, made it their home and gave this region an unprecedented glory and contributed toward its development. When Muslims came to the subcontinent they added to the glorious history of India.
Our govts are busy distorting history according to their own convenience. BJP has its own version and Arjun Singh his own. What happens to the poor students of history is nobody’s problem.
I have been tagged by amitscorpio and I have tried to write some random facts about me-
1. I love music. Ghazals, sufi music, semi classic, Hindi film music any sound that makes me happy.
2. Politics is another interest of mine although I dislike most politicians.
3. I am a die hard optimist.
4. Movies especially comedies and romantic movies are my favourites. I love all those Faroukh Sheikh comedies of the 80′s.
5. Biographies are my favourite in books. I used to read a lot of fiction, I don’t enjoy them at the moment.
6. I am a patriot and I love Delhi. I know the shortcomings of both Delhi and India, still it is not easy for me to accept it in front of an outsider.
7. I can’t stand fanaticism and I think communalism is the biggest threat to India at the moment.
8. Shatranj ke khiladi, Mughal-e-Azam, Andaz apna apna, Chasme-badoor, Sound of Music and Guess who’s coming to dinner are my favourite movies.
I tag Sporadic, Nita, Aridhi, Ammar, lubz and Om perkash.
On June 22 in a BBC interview Britain’s next Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised for mistakes in intelligence made in the run-up to the Iraq war. I have always tried to differentiate between the people and the rulers of the country. General public mostly sides with justice while the rulers can be controlled by the lust of power and other self interests. Western intellectuals have always been advising the US to stop this crazy war, although I am sure Bush would like to get out of this mess as soon as possible.The only problem is he does not know how to.
Civilians are being killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Intellectual culture of the western world seems no longer effective. ‘Might is right’ has crushed all human values, and war makers have become more influential than intellectuals. Materialistic and scientific achievements have blinded war-makers into thinking that they can lead the world.The truth however is that, winning the hearts of people is the only way to lead the world otherwise we wouldn’t be remembering Gandhi 59 years after his death.
Britain has led the ridiculous war on Iraq under Blair, how Gordon will tackle the situation is unpredictable.