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A massacre on a dusty Iraqi plain and its poetic remembrance: Karbala is the best example of Religious Tolerance
October 10, 2016: A small band of prominent people, including women and children, refusing allegiance to the ruler, were forcibly confined on a dusty plain for over a week, refused access to water, and eventually all the men were massacred. But it didn’t end there, with the episode causing an irrevocable split in a new religion, unleashing further cycles of violence (which haven’t abated even now) and still capable of raising strong emotions even 13 centuries later — due to a poetic form which recreates the victims’ agony.
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There was no doubt about the outcome of the Battle of Karbala, outside the eponymous Iraqi town, around 100 km south of Baghdad, in 681 A.D as Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, with 70-odd men, faced a huge force sent by Umayyad Caliph Yazid. It culminated eventually with Hussain’s death on the 10th of Muharram (October 10, 681) — subsequently termed ‘ Ashura’ and sombrely marked by all Muslims, both Sunnis and Shias — though the latter have special congregations and processions — and even others. (Ashura, in India, is on October 12 this year).
There are many fascinating stories associated with Karbala, not the least about the band of Hindus involved in the conflict, or rather its aftermath — that of forebears of my own community, the Datts/Dattas, who take pride in being termed Hussaini Brahmins, and some of whom still follow Muharram traditions. More pervasive is a poetic form which keeps alive the tribulations and fate of Hussain and his followers — the Marsiya (an elegy with an element of the dirge), which derives from ancient Arabic and Persian literary traditions, but came into its own during the Safavid era (1524-1722) in Iran. In the Indian subcontinent for ages, they were first reported from the Deccan in the 17th century where they were not only composed by the penultimate Qutub Shahi ruler of Golconda, Abdullah Qutub Shah, his Adil Shahi contemporary — and also penultimate ruler Ali Adil Shah II of Bijapur, but also Ram Rao ‘Saiva’ Bijapuri, and Swami Prashad ‘Asghar’, among others. When the tradition reached the north, it was initially not thought of much.
As Lucknow’s incomparable biographer Abdul Haleem ‘Sharar’ dryly notes that “Marsiyas were so scantily valued in the world of poetry that there was a saying, ‘a down-at-heel poet turns to composing marsiyas'”. But two poets of Lucknow changed the perception and took the form to unsurpassed heights. And then the saying became, “Aan ki aan, Mir Ali marsiya-khwan.” Near contemporaries, Mir Babar Ali ‘Anis’ (1802-1874), and Mirza Salamat Ali ‘Dabir’ (1803-1875), were born outside — Faizabad and Delhi — but raised and flourished in Lucknow. But behind them were two other men: Anis’ father Mir Khaliq and Dabir’s “ustad” Mir Zameer, who developed the standard — a prolonged collection of six-line verses in an AAAABB rhyme-scheme. These two are also credited with devising the constituents – “Chehra” (or prelude, with descriptions of the night before or morning of the battle, or the hardships); “Sarapa”, a description of the hero; “Rukhsat”, the leave-taking; “Aamad”, the entry onto the battlefield; “Rajaz”, martial prowess of Hussain, or his half-brother Abbas; “Jang”, or the battle itself; “Shahdat”, the martyrdom, and finally, “Bain” or lament.
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Anis and Dabir proved to be worthy successors. Unfortunately, space doesn’t allow citing examples as a Marsiya would be twice the length of this piece and isolated couplets will not make sense. Urdu scholar Mohammad Hussain Azad, in his “Aab-e-Hayat” (1880), the first history of Urdu letters, holds Anis was distinguished by “limpidity of speech, beauty of description, and pleasure of idiom”, while Dabir displayed “grandeur of words, high flight, and newness of themes”. For Sharar, while Dabir displayed a “grandeur of language, lofty ideas and great erudition”, Anis had “fine attributes of simplicity, frankness and human allurement that cannot be learned but are obtained only from the Almighty”, and also excelled in recital. Both Anis and Dabir also gave an Indian touch, especially Anis, who freely used Persian, Hindi, Arabic, and Sanskrit words, while the heroic protagonists have the speech and appearance of Lakhnavi nobles.
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While Anis’ fame has outlasted that of Dabir, both, right from their times, had their own devoted adherents. And not only was the tradition continued in their own families for generations, but inspired many others including the likes of Munshi Channoo Lal, Raja Balwan Singh, son of ousted Maharaja of Benares, Chait Singh, Lala Ram Prasad “Basha”, who is even buried in Karbala, and Lala Har Prashad who didn’t write, but had recited Marsiyas passionately. Closer to our time was Kalidas Gupta “Raza”, an authority on Ghalib but also on Marsiyas and its Hindu exponents. Karbala is perhaps the best example of how religious martyrs can unite, not divide. (IANS)
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord