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Purus are original inhabitants of core Rigvedic area, Bharata sub-tribe the original Vedic Aryans: Talageri

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Photo: Wikipedia.

By Nithin Sridhar

The Aryan Question: Part 7

The Aryan question continues to remain highly controversial and multidimensional in nature. In order to unravel the nitty-gritty of the issue, NewsGram interviewed various scholars who have researched various aspects of the issue in depth.

In the previous installment of ‘The Aryan Question’, NewsGram carried the first segment of the exclusive interview of Shrikant G. Talageri, independent scholar and author of many books dealing with Aryan issue, including two books analyzing the evidence present in the Rigveda titled ‘Rigveda: A Historical Analysis’ and ‘Rigveda and Avesta: The Final Evidence’.

Read the first segment of the interview with Shrikant G. Talageri: Rigvedic people originally lived east of Saraswati, later expanded westwards during oldest books period

In this Seventh Installment of The Aryan Question series, here is the second segment of the interview.

Interview with Shrikant G. Talageri-2

Nithin Sridhar: Various homelands have been proposed for the supposed Proto-Indo European language that is considered as the mother of Indo-European languages, including Sanskrit ranging from Central Asia and Pontic steppes to India. What is your view on this issue? Can you share regarding the process by which linguistics arrive at the supposed homeland?

Shrikant G. Talageri: There was no concept of “Aryans” anywhere in the world till around 200 years or so ago, and no such race or people were known or recorded anywhere in the world before that date. In 1583, a European traveler and scholar, Filippo Sassetti, first noticed that the languages of northern India bore an uncanny resemblance to the languages of Europe. Much later, in 1786, the colonial scholar Sir William Jones established that the languages of northern India, Iran, Central Asia and Europe are related to each other.

Photo: satark.wordpress.com
Photo: satark.wordpress.com

All this (and the subsequent detailed studies by scholars) led to three logical conclusions: (1) All these languages belong to one Language Family [Originally this was called the Aryan language family, but today this is called the Indo-European language family, with 12 branches: from the west, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Baltic, Albanian, Greek, Armenian, Iranian and Indo-Aryan, and two extinct branches Anatolian and Tocharian]. (2) All these languages originated from 12 dialects of one hypothetical ancient ancestral language, which is called “Proto-Indo-European”. (3) This Proto-Indo-European language was originally spoken in a small area, which may be called the Original Proto-Indo-European Homeland, and the different dialects spread to their historical habitats (from Sri Lanka and Assam in the east to Iceland and Ireland in the west) by the migrations of the Aryan or Indo-European language speakers.

At first, it was believed that Vedic Sanskrit was itself the ancient ancestral language and India the homeland, but certain factors made them abandon that theory:

  1. The discovery (after detailed linguistic analyses) that Vedic Sanskrit was not the original ancestral language and that Vedic itself had evolved considerably from the original proto-language (which was artificially reconstructed from a comparison of all the available Indo-European languages). [For the record, let me emphasize that they are right on this one point, however unpalatable it may be to “Hindu sentiments”].
  2. The (completely wrong, as we have seen) analysis of Rigvedic geography and history which made the scholars believe that the Vedic texts depict an expansion from the northwest into the rest of northern India.
  3. The fact that large parts of India were populated by speakers of non-Indo-European languages: the Dravidian languages in the south and the Austric (Kol-Munda) languages in east-central India, which were interpreted as remnants of “pre-Aryan” languages of India.
  4. A (simplistic) prejudice that the Original Homeland should necessarily be located somewhere in a central area within the Indo-European speech-area (stretching from Sri Lanka and Assam in the east to Iceland and Ireland in the west).

Therefore, although other locations such as Anatolia have also been proposed by some scholars, the mainstream theory is that the Indo-European Homeland was in South Russia (the Pontic-Caspian steppes). All data have been sought to be forcibly fitted into this theory, and in the process, a majority of historical, logistical, textual, archaeological, and linguistic facts and factors have been firmly swept under the carpet in order to promote this theory. On the basis of this purely hypothetical and utterly unsubstantiable proposition, we have the theory of “Aryans” coming into India from “outside” as a dominant factor in Indian history and politics.

On the other hand, I have proved in my books that the Indian homeland history outlined by me fulfills every single criterion and answers every single objection.

NS: You have argued in your books that Vedic Aryans specifically belonged to the Bharata Clan of the Puru Dynasty. Can you shed more light on this and how you arrived at this conclusion. Please also briefly share about various clans and groups of people mentioned in the Rigveda and their geographical location.

SGT: According to the Puranas all the peoples of ancient India are descendants of a mythical Manu Vaivasvata and his ten sons. But the hypothetical descendants of only two of these “sons” play a prominent role in Puranic history: the Aikshvakus (the “Solar race”, descendants of Ikshvaku) and the Ailas (the “Lunar race”, descendants of Ila/Sudyumna). The Ailas, more prominent, are divided into Five Tribes: the Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu, Anu and Puru.

Shrikant G. Talageri. Photo: Youtube
Shrikant G. Talageri. Photo: Youtube

According to the AIT (Aryan Invasion Theory), all the above (real or hypothetical) tribes and peoples are descendants of the Vedic Aryans who invaded or immigrated into India around 1500 BCE and composed the Vedas, and Vedic Sanskrit (with perhaps some vaguely proposed “other” Vedic dialects unrepresented in the records) is the ancestral form of all Indo-Aryan languages.

The Indian writers and thinkers who oppose the AIT also believe that Vedic Culture was the ancestral culture of all Indians and Vedic Sanskrit the ancestor of all Indo-Aryan (or even of all Indian!) languages. Therefore, in effect, they also accept that the Vedic Aryans were the ancestors of all the above tribes and peoples, or, to put it in another way, that all the above tribes and peoples constituted sections among the Vedic Aryans.

If we do not get our perspective clear on this point, we will be completely handicapped in effectively countering the AIT. Let us look at the facts: the geographical area of the Rigveda extends from westernmost U.P. and adjoining parts of Uttarakhand in the east to southern and eastern Afghanistan in the west. Strictly speaking, in present-day political-geographical terms, this includes the whole of northern Pakistan, adjoining areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan, but, within present-day India, only the state of Haryana with adjoining peripheral areas of western U.P and Uttarakhand. If we accept this, then who are the people who were living in the rest of present-day northern India (outside Haryana and its peripheral areas) during the age of composition of the Rigveda? The AIT supporters have their “answer” to this: those people were the original “non-Aryan” (Dravidian, Austric, or whatever) indigenous people of India, who were also the earlier inhabitants of the Rigvedic area (Haryana and west) before the Aryan invaders took over that area from them! But (without resorting to escapist tactics like ignoring the actual data in the Rigveda and deciding that the area of the Rigveda was “the whole of India”) the AIT opponents do not have any logical answer to this question.

But the Puranas give the answer. The descriptions in the Puranas about the locations of the Five Aila tribes in northern India clearly place the Purus as the inhabitants of the Central Area (Haryana and adjacent areas of western U.P.), the Anus to their North (Kashmir, etc.), the Druhyus to their West (present-day northern Pakistan), and the Yadus and Turvasus to their South-West (Rajasthan, Gujarat, western M.P.) and South-East (eastern M.P. and Chhattisgarh?) respectively. The Solar race of the Ikshvakus are placed to their East (eastern U.P, northern Bihar).

This clearly shows that the Purus were the inhabitants of the core Rigvedic area of the Oldest Books (6, 3, 7): Haryana and adjacent areas, and they, and in particular their sub-tribe the Bharatas, were the “Vedic Aryans”. Their neighboring tribes and people in all directions were also other non-Vedic (i.e. non-Puru) but “Aryan” or Indo-European language speaking tribes. The Puru expansions described in the Puranas explain all the known historical phenomena associated with the “Aryans”: the expansion of Puru kingdoms eastwards explains the phenomenon which Western scholars interpreted as an “Aryan movement from west to east” (the area of the Rigveda extends eastwards to Haryana and westernmost U.P., the area of the Yajurveda covers the whole of U.P., and the area of the Atharvaveda extends eastwards up to Bengal), and their expansion westwards described in the Puranas and the Rigveda explains the migration of Indo-European language speakers from the Anu and Druhyu tribes (whose dialects later developed into the other 11 branches of Indo-European languages) from India.

But the direct evidence comes from within the Rigveda itself, where the other (non-Puru) tribes are clearly not part of the “We” of the Rigveda: The word Ikshvaku occurs only once (in X.60.4) as an epithet of the Sun. The Five Tribes are repeatedly referred to in the Rigveda, and all five named together in I.108.8. But the Yadus and Turvasus (Turvashas in the Rigveda) are every time mentioned together (as one mentions two distant peoples), and they occur mostly in references to two specific historical incidents which describe them as living “far away” and having to cross several rivers to reach the Vedic area, and they sometimes figure as allies and sometimes as enemies. The Druhyus and Anus everywhere (in the few non-geographical references to them) figure as enemies.

But the Purus are found referred to throughout the Rigveda in the first-person sense. They are the “We” of the Rigveda: in IV.38.1 and VI.20.10, the Purus are directly identified with the first person plural pronoun. All the Vedic Gods are identified as the Gods of the Purus: Agni is described as being like a “fountain” to the Purus (X.4.1), a “priest” who drives away the sins of the Purus (I.129.5), the Hero who is worshipped by the Purus (I.59.6), the protector of the sacrifices of the Purus (V.17.1), and the destroyer of enemy castles for the Purus (VII.5.3). Mitra and Varuṇa are described as affording special aid in battle and war to the Purus, in the form of powerful allies and steeds (IV.38.1,3; 39.2). Indra is described as the God to whom the Purus sacrifice in order to gain new favors (VI.20.10) and for whom the Purus shed Soma (VIII.64.10). Indra gives freedom to the Purus by slaying their enemies (IV.21.10), helps the Purus in battle (VII.19.3), and breaks down enemy castles for the Purus (I.63.7; 130.7; 131.4). He even addresses the Purus, and asks them to sacrifice to him alone, promising in return his friendship, protection and generosity (X.48.5), in a manner reminiscent of the Biblical God’s “covenant” with the “People of the Book”, the Jews. In VIII.10.5, the Ashvins are asked to leave the other four tribes (the Druhyus, Anus, Yadus and Turvasus, who are specifically named) and come to “us”.

The area of the Sarasvati river was the heartland of the Vedic Aryans. It was so important that it is the only river to have three whole hymns (apart from references in 52 other verses) in its praise: VI.61; VII.95 and 96. Sarasvati is also one of the three Great Goddesses praised in the apri suktas (family hymns) of all the ten families of composers of the Ṛigveda. As per the evidence of the Rigveda, the Sarasvati was a purely Puru river, running through Puru territory, with Purus dwelling on both sides of the river: “the Purus dwell, Beauteous One, on thy two grassy banks” (VII.96.2).

Photo: ennapadambhagavati.blogspot.com
Genealogical chart from Puranas. Photo: ennapadambhagavati.blogspot.com

The identity of the Purus with the Vedic Aryans is so unmistakable, that the line between “Puru” and “man” is almost non-existent in the Rigveda: Griffith, for example, sees fit to directly translate the word Puru as “man” in at least five verses: I.129.5; 131.4; IV.21.10; V.171.1 and X.4.1. In one verse (VIII.64.10), the Rigveda itself identifies the Purus with “mankind”: “Purave […] manave jane”. The Rigveda actually coins a word purusha (descendant of Puru), on the analogy of the word manuṣa (descendant of Manu), for “man”. In his footnote to I.59.2, Griffith notes: “Puru’s sons: men in general, Puru being regarded as their progenitor“, and again, in his footnote to X.48.5, Griffith notes: “Ye Purus: ‘O men’ – Wilson“, and likewise in his footnotes to VII.5.3 and X.4.1.

The identity of the Purus with the Vedic Aryans is impossible to miss: Prof. Michael Witzel points out that it is “the Puru, to whom (and to the Bharata) the Ṛigveda really belongs” (WITZEL 2005b:313), and affirms that the Rigveda was “composed primarily by the Purus and Bharatas” (WITZEL 1995b:328), and even that the Bharatas were “a subtribe” (WITZEL 1995b:339) of the Purus. Southworth even identifies the Vedic Aryans linguistically and archaeologically with the Purus.

The only two unfriendly references to Purus, in this case clearly to sections of non-Bharata Purus who entered into conflict with the Bharata clan or sub-tribe, who are the Vedic Aryans proper of the Rigveda, are in VII.8.4 which talks about “Bharata’s Agni” conquering the (other) Purus, and VII.18.3 which talks about conquering “in sacrifice” the scornful Purus (who failed to come to the aid of the Bharatas in the Battle of the Ten Kings). The Bharatas are undoubtedly the unqualified heroes of the hymns in the Family Books 2-7 (all but one of the references to the Bharatas appear only in the Family Books: I.96.3; II.7.1,5; 36.2; III.23.2; 33.11,12; 53.12,24; IV.25.4; V.11.1; 54.14; VI.16.19,45; VII.8.4; 33.6): in many of these verses even the Gods are referred to as Bharatas: Agni in I.96.3, II.7.1,5; IV.25.4 and VI.16.19, and the Maruts in II.36.2. In other verses, Agni is described as belonging to the Bharatas: III.23.2; V.11.1; VI.16.45 and VII.8.4. There is not a single reference even faintly hostile to them.

Significantly: 1. Bharati, the deity of the Bharata subtribe of the Purus is one of the three Great Goddesses (like Sarasvati) praised in the family hymns of all the ten families of composers in the Rigveda. 2. Of those ten families of composers, while nine are priestly families, the tenth is a family exclusively consisting of composers from the royal dynasty of the Bharata subtribe, whose apri sukta is X.70.

Most significant of all is the use of the word arya (which everyone acknowledges as the word by which the Vedic people referred to themselves) in the Rigveda in the sense of “belonging to our community/tribe”. It is used only in reference to Bharata kings like Sudas and Divodasa, never in reference to non-Puru kings. Non-Puru patrons (mainly of the Atri and Kanva rishis) are never called arya. Even when non-Puru kings like Mandhata, Purukutsa and Trasadasyu are praised to the skies (Trasadasyu is even called a “demi-god” or “ardha-deva” in IV.42.8-9), it is only because of the help rendered by them to the Purus (referred to in I.63.7; IV.38.1, VI.20.10; VII.19.3), and they are never called arya. And the Rigveda even clearly specifies that arya means Puru, in I.59.2 (vis-a-vis I.59.6) and VII.5.6 (vis-a-vis VII.5.3).

The word arya is found in 34 hymns, of which 28 are composed by composers belong to the Bharata family and the two families directly affiliated to them, the Angirases and Vasishthas, and 2 more by the Vishvamitras who were also affiliated to the Bharata king Sudas before being supplanted by the Vasishthas. One more within the Family Books is by the Gritsamadas (note that the Gritsamadas are descended from an Angiras rishi). Only 3 hymns are by rishis not affiliated to the Bharatas, and the references to aryas in those three hymns are interesting:

One hymn (IX.63) is by a composer from the most neutral and apolitical family of rishis in the Rigveda, the Kashyapas, and the word arya is used twice in the hymn in the only cases in the Rigveda where it has a purely abstract rather than personal or tribal meaning. The other two hymns are by Kanvas, who (alongwith the Atris) are politically active rishis not affiliated solely to the Vedic Aryans (Bharatas and Purus) but closely associated with other tribes as well. In one (VIII.51.9), the composer expresses neutrality between aryas and dasas, and in the other he refers to the Bharata king Divodasa as arya.

Most interesting of all a) 9 (IV.30, VI.22,33,60, VII.83, X.38,69,83,102) of the above 34 hymns refer to aryas as enemies (8 of them jointly to to arya and dasa enemies)! All the nine hymns are by Bharatas or the two families of rishis closely affiliated to them, the Angirases and Vasishthas. b) Further, 7 more hymns (I.100,111, IV.4, VI.19,25,44, X.69) refer to jami (kinsmen) and ajami (non-kinsmen) enemies, all 7 being composed by Bharatas and Angirases. c) And one more (X.133), by a Bharata composer, refers to sanabhi (kinsmen) and nishtya (non-kinsmen) enemies.

This has no logical explanation in AIT interpretation except to say that the Aryans must “also have fought amongst themselves”. But the explanation is clear: it is Bharata Purus as the Vedic aryas fighting against non-Bharata Purus as the enemy aryas. Finally, the Rigveda tells us in the Vishvamitra hymn III.53 (which records the ashvamedha performed by Sudas on the eastern banks of the Sarasvati, after which he is described as expanding his kingdom in all directions) that the Bharatas, when they set out to do battle, do not differentiate between those who are close to them (i.e. kinsmen) and those who are distant from them (non-kinsmen).

As per the AIT, the “Aryans” or “Proto-Indo-European” language speakers who migrated to different parts of the world and produced major civilizations (Indian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Hittite, Mitanni… ) everywhere, were a faceless, nameless, identity-less people in their unknown Original Homeland, and although they resided together in that Homeland at a point of time (around 3000 BCE or so) when the other major civilizations of the world (Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese) were leaving us coherent archaeological and literary records, these “Aryans” left us no records at all of their history in their Homeland. However, as we saw, that is completely wrong. The core of that history is recorded in the Rigveda and the Puranas, and the “Aryans” in their Original Homeland had names and identities

NS: The supposed wars between Devas and Dasyus in the Rigveda have often been interpreted as Aryan-Dravidian racial wars. What is your view on this?

SGT: The wars are not supposed to have been between Devas and Dasyus, but between Aryas and Dasas/Dasyus (later mythologized as wars between Devas and Asuras, or Gods and Demons). These are interpreted as racial wars between Aryans and Dravidians.

However, “Aryan” and “Dravidian” are linguistic terms and can only be used in that sense. Can you, for example, claim that the enemies of Rama in the Ramayana were Chinese? Obviously not, because Ravana, Vibheeshana, Kumbhakarna, Indrajit, etc. are not Chinese-language names. But they are not Dravidian-language names or Austric-language names either. They are purely Sanskrit or “Aryan” (Indo-European) names. Yet many so-called scholars blatantly brand the battle in the Ramayana as a war between “Aryan” Rama and “Dravidian” Ravana. The same is the case with the Rigveda. Not a single enemy (or friend for that matter) with a Dravidian, Austric, Sino-Tibetan, Semitic, Andamanese, Burushaski, Red Indian, African or Australian-aboriginal or any other demonstrably “non-Aryan” name is found in the Rigveda. All the names are either undeniably or arguably “Aryan”. So how can anyone claiming to be a serious scholar or writer claim to find “Aryan-Dravidian” wars recorded in the Rigveda? That so many of them do shows the intellectual level of their arguments.

In ancient India the word arya (whatever its ultimate etymology) was originally used in the sense of “belonging to our community/tribe”. The Rigveda, since it was a book composed by Purus, refers to the Purus (including enemy Purus) as arya, and to all non-Purus (even friendly ones) as dasa. Each of the other tribes (Anus, Druhyus, Ikshvakus,Yadus, etc.) referred to people from their own tribe as arya, and if religious texts of that period composed by them had survived, the Yadu texts, for example, would have referred to Yadus but not to Purus, as arya, and likewise with the others. The Iranians, in their texts and inscriptions also described themselves as airya, although to the Rigveda the Iranians were not arya but dasa.

In fact, while all non-Purus were dasas in the Rigveda, the particular dasas of the Rigveda were the proto-Iranians: this was recognized long ago by Dr Ambedkar, who in his essay “Who were the Shudras“, clearly states about dasa that “there is no evidence to show that the term is used in a racial sense indicative of a non-Aryan people” and that “it was the word of abuse used by the Indo-Aryans for the Indo-Iranians“.

The Iranians, as members of the Anu tribes to the immediate west, were the non-Purus geographically closest to the Purus (the Yadus and Turvasus were far to the south, the Ikshvakus far to their east, and the Druhyus were beyond the Anus), and they were the particular non-Puru dasas of the Rigveda. As most scholars have recognized, the conflicts between the Vedic people and the proto-Iranians were responsible for the term asura (originally meaning God as in Iranian Ahura and Teutonic Aesir) becoming a word for “demon” in India and daeva a word for “demon” in Iranian.

The direct proof is there in the Rigveda: there are only 3 hymns in the Rigveda where the dasas are not referred to in hostile terms, but in fact in friendly terms, and in 2 of these hymns the patrons (named in the hymns) have been identified by western scholars as having proto-Iranian names: Kashu Chaidya in VIII.5 and Prthushravas Kanita in VIII.46. (The patron in the third hymn VIII.51, Rushama Paviru may also likewise have been a proto-Iranian).

(To be Continued)

More in the Series:

Interview with B. B. Lal-1-No evidence for warfare or invasion; Aryan migration too is a myth

Interview with B. B. Lal-2- Vedic and Harappan are respectively literary and material facets of same civilization

Interview with Rajesh Kochhar: Rigvedic people not Harappans, Naditama Saraswati is Helmand in Afghanistan

Interview with Dr N Kazanas: Vedic Sanskrit older than Avesta, Baudhayana mentions westward migrations from India

Interview with Michel Danino: Neither Aryans migrated into north-west India, nor did Tamils migrate into South India: Michel Danino

Interview with Shrikant G. Talageri-1: Rigvedic people originally lived east of Saraswati, later expanded westwards during oldest books period

 

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Lachit Borphukan : The undefeated warrior in Battle of Saraighat who resisted Mughal conquest of Northeast India

Not many of us know about the unsung hero of Battle of Saraighat, Lachit Borphukan, the military commander of Ahom Kingdom who resisted Mughal conquest in Northeast India

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Battle of Saraighat
Lachit Borphukan statue (SM)
  • When Mughal empire was brutally expanding under Aurangzeb, then the commander of Ahom dynasty, Lachit Borphukan made them taste their worst defeat in historic Battle of Saraighat

With mighty army of Mughals Aurangzeb was eyeing at Northeast India. But he was not aware of what fate his army will meet when they clash with Ahom dynasty of Assam under commandership of Lachit Borphukan, the man who shattered dreams of Mughal empire to conquest Northeast India. We are quite familiar with the valour of Maharana Pratap and Shivaji but somehow we were not told much about the unsung hero of Battle of Saraighat, Lachit Borphukan. Battle of Saraighat would always be remembered for the victory of a much smaller Ahom army over the mighty Mughal Army, through a combination of tactical brilliance, guerrilla warfare and intelligence gathering. It was the last attempt by the Mughals to extend their empire into Assam.

The valiant Ahoms had successfully repulsed frequent attacks on their motherland since the time of Muhammad Ghori for around seventeen invasions.

Battle of Saraighat
Lachit Borphukan, commander of Ahom dynasty (Wikimedia)

The Mughals, were comparatively very well equipped, but failed to make any advances towards the Ahom army in the first phase of the war. So they offered Lachit Borphukan a bribe of one lakh rupees to abandon Guwahati but Lachit Borphukan refused to surrender.

From the capital city of Guwahti to the depths of the forests the Ahom warriors fought and held back the tide of invasion. The proud warriors of Central Asia, Mughals and Pathans alike were retreated  by the valiant resistance of the Ahoms.

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An incident in the history of Ahom resistance radiates the spirit which animated their fight for freedom, when Lachit Borphukan, the Army General of Ahom king Chakradhwaj Singha had beheaded his maternal uncle for dereliction of duty while preparing to face the Mughals. His execution of his own uncle for not showing sufficient dedication to the war effort was not just an act of impulse but a reminder to his soldiers that in the service of one’s Dharma, it is not possible to adopt double standards of judgement. This act of selflessness and dedication further motivated the troops, who were charged with full energy and enthusiasm to the battle field. Such examples are not very uncommon in Indian history where Dharma is upheld.

Battle of Saraighat
Lachit borphukan, might warrior of Ahom kingdom (zeenews)

The reason why small Ahom army under Lachit Borphukan defeated mighty army of Mughals lies in the elaborate defense organized by him along the Brahamputra river which denied the use of the waterway to a large army of Aurangzeb comprising 1800 Turkish cavalry, 30,000 infantry and 500 cannons manned by the Portuguese. In the final stages of the battle, despite being seriously ill, he rallied his soldiers and personally led an assault forcing them to retreat. It is recorded that he said:“When my countrymen are suffering from invasion, and when my army is fighting and sacrificing its life, how can I think about resting my body due to a mere illness? How can I think about going home to my wife and children when my entire country is in trouble?”

The Mughal Commander-in-Chief, acknowledging his defeat by the Ahom soldiers and their Commander-in-Chief Lachit Barphukan, wrote, “Glory to the king! Glory to the counselors! Glory to the commanders! Glory to the country! One single individual leads all the forces! Even I, Ram Singh, being personally on the spot, have not been able to find any loophole and an opportunity!”

Lachit died soon after his victory at The Battle of Saraighat due to illness. It is sad that Lachit Borphukan is an unsung hero, let us give him the recognition he deserves, we must tell his tale of valour to coming generations and derive inspiration, he is an example that no matter how strong opponents and barbaric forces were, someone, somewhere resisted and fought against them for protection of motherland.

 

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

One response to “Lachit Borphukan : The undefeated warrior in Battle of Saraighat who resisted Mughal conquest of Northeast India”

  1. THE FIRST EVER MUSLIM INVASION OF WESTERN ASSAM(THE NAME ASSAM DID NOT EXIST AT THAT TIME AND WAS KNOWN AS KAMRUPA OR KAMATAPUR) WAS IN THE YEAR 1206 BY THE DESTROYER OF NALANDA AND VIKRAMSHILA UNIVERSITY,THE GREAT TURKIC GENERAL AND RULER OF BENGAL BAKHTIAR KHILJI( FROM THE KHIJI TRIBE OF AFGHANISTAN).HE ATTACKED KAMARUPA WITH THE INTENSION OF CAPTURING TIBET.IN KAMRUPA HE HAD TO FACE GREAT RESISTANCE FROM THE KOCH KING PRITHU AND RETURN BACK EMPTYHANDED AFTER A CRUSHING DEFEAT.THE SECOND ATTACK HAPPENED IN 1227 AGAIN DURING PRITHU’S RULE BY BENGAL RULER GHIYASUDDIN IWAJ.THE THIRD ATTACK HAPPENED IN 1228 BY BENGAL GOVERNOR NASIRUDDIN AND THIS TIME PRITHU WAS KILLED.AFTER THAT SEVEN MORE ATTACKS FOLLOWED ON KAMARUPA OR KAMATAPUR.THE FIRST MUSLIM INVASION OF EASTERN ASSAM( ASOM OR AHOM) WAS ONLY IN 1516 OR 1527 BY THE GREAT WAZIRS DURING REIGN OF AHOM KING SUHUNGMUNG .THE AHOMS CAME TO UPPER ASSAM(INHABITED AND RULED BY GROUPS OF KACHARI PEOPLE NAMELY THE MORANS ,BORAHIS AND THE GREAT CHUTIAS) FROM THE BORDER REGIONS OF MYANMAR AND CHINA ONLY DURING THIRTEENTH CENTURY. AT THAT ASSAM WAS DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS – CHUTIA KINGDOM(UPPER ASSAM).KACHARI KINGDOM(CENTRAL ASSAM) AND KAMATAPUR RULED BY THE KOCHES(WESTERN ASSAM).THE WORD ASOM OR AHOM EXISTED ONLY FROM THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY AFTER THE AHOMS SUBJUGATED THE CHUTIAS AND THE KACHARIS AND BROUGHT THE WHOLE OF UPPER AND CENTRAL ASSAM UNDER THEIR CONTROL.PEOPLE OF KAMATAPUR OR WESTERN ASSAM THEN CALLED THE EASTERN REGION AS THE ASOM OR AHOM KINGDOM.THE BATTLE OF SARAIGHAT WAS THE 17TH AND FINAL ATTACK BY MUSLIMS.IT HAPPENED IN THE YEAR 1671.IT WOULD BE VERY WRONG TO SAY THAT ONLY THE AHOMS DEFEATED MUGHALS ALONE AS THERE WERE THOUSANDS OF KOCH SOLDIERS OF KOCH HAJO.THERE WERE ALSO DAFLA SOLDIERS FROM ARUNACHAL,GARO SOLDIERS FROM MEGHALAYA,MUSLIM SOLDIERS WHO WERE PRISONERS OF WAR . IT WOULD BE BETTER TO SAY THAT THE BATTLE AGAINST THE MUGHALS WAS WON WITH THE UNIFIED SOLDIERS OF VARIOUS TRIBES UNDER GENERAL LACHIT BORPHUKAN.SIMILARLY THE MUGHAL ARMY ALSO CONSISTED OF THOUSANDS OF KOCH SOLDIERS FROM KOCH BEHAR AND RAJPUT SOLDIERS.

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‘Don’t mask ‘masala’ as history’ says Mewar Royal on Padmavati

The upcoming movie Padmavati is surrounded by controversies. This time its Mewar Royal commenting on the movie's theme.

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Padmavati movie shot. Instagram

New Delhi: The drama and debates over Sanjay Leela Bhansali‘s Padmavati — the story of Rajput queen Padmini — has upset a direct descendant of the Mewar royal family. Baijiraj Trivikrama Kumari Jamwal, daughter of Mahendra Singh Mewar — the 76th Maharana of the Mewar dynasty and a former Lok Sabha member — is otherwise quietly going about her life as an English teacher at a school here.

But amidst heightened protests against Padmavati, which she has tagged an “inauthentic venture”, Trivikrama says it’s unfair that her family’s name is being dragged into generating “free publicity” for the film. “The sad part is that the film is getting free pre-release publicity and that a commercial and inauthentic venture like this is using my family’s name.

“It’s not just a question of incorrect portrayal, which is established from the trailer and the ‘Ghoomar’ song itself, but also the fact that you’re using my family’s name for the commercial pre-release publicity of your film, free of cost… And the national media is talking about it. That’s my problem,” Trivikrama told IANS in an interview here.

Bhansali’s Padmavati has been mired in controversy. The conjecture that it distorts history has led organizations like Shri Rajput Karni Sena and Sarv Brahmin Mahasabha to go up in arms against the release of the movie, while BJP leaders have been making statements and appeal to stop its release on December 1.

“That’s why I am so upset. People have political and commercial agendas. There’s nothing wrong with commercial enterprises and politics, but misusing and exploiting somebody’s pride, honor and dignity for such shallow purposes, that is where I step in and say, ‘Sorry, not acceptable’,” Trivikrama said.

The makers have maintained there is no dream romance sequence shown between the Rajput queen and invader Alauddin Khilji, as had been alleged by some. But a few political leaders and Jaipur’s former princess Diya Kumari have suggested Bhansali must show the movie to some historians prior to its release.

Trivikrama questions: “It depends on who the historians are because history is also colored. It has to be a well-represented congress of historians. He (Bhansali) should approach the most authentic voice, which is the family itself. That he hasn’t done.”

Her mother, Maharani Nirupama Kumari commented: “He has already made the film. What’s the point of showing it to historians now?”

To many, the story of Rani Padmini remains a mystery. What is the story Trivikrama has grown up with?

“If you go as a tourist to Chittorgarh Fort, you’re taken to Padmini’s Palace, and you’re shown a couple of mirrors. The tourist guide tells you about it and he points out a little pond and says she stood over there and Alauddin Khilji saw her face.

“But that is just packaging culture to sell to ignorant tourists,” she said.

Trivikrama said Rani Padmini finds a mention in “Veer Vinod”, a record book on Mewar’s history.

“It’s a historical record that shows yes she was there, she was the wife of Rawal Ratan Singh and she was only an excuse that Alauddin Khilji used to invade Chittor. The real reason was a very calculated military decision to invade,” she said.

“Padmini was not in the picture at all, except now what has been made into a tale, which is a figment of the imagination, I believe. It’s not there in history,” she said, pointing out that their family is one of the oldest families with an unbroken succession.

She estimated that there were over 30 generations between now and the first Jauhar — self-immolation led by Rani Padmini in 1303 during the siege of Chittor

What about the epic Awadhi poem Padmavati?

“Apparently, it’s a self-confessed piece of fiction. I’m ready to accept that you (Bhansali) have made a piece of fiction. But then don’t drag my family’s name into it and claim you’re the custodian of my family’s history,” asserted Trivikrama, a Ph.D. in English literature.

She said filmmakers are doing a lot in the garb of artistic license.

“Sure you have that, but then along with the artistic license, there should be artistic integrity and sensitivity,” she said, pointing out how the representation of Rani Padmini is “wrong” even in terms of dance and clothes.

“Instead of making it clear that it is Bollywood masala, you’re saying it is history and misleading and ‘miseducating’ the future generations.”(IANS)

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Mohammad Iqbal: The Man Behind Partition and a Pariah in India is Still Sung by Secularists

Iqbal is a pariah in India as many regard him a hypocrite, communal Islamist

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Allama muhammad iqbal at Lahore Museum. Wikimedia

Aug 22, 2017: Indian history has been crafted by the leftists who have done nothing more than distorting the facts to put unfit personalities as honourable. One such person which some great minds in India honour are Mohammad Iqbal, the man behind “Pakistan” who held the idea more of a secular symbol. Even in the past, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee praised him to drum up Muslim votes. However, Iqbal is also a pariah in India as many regard him a hypocrite, communal Islamist.

What many secularists till date fight for is the lack of respect for Iqbal. According to them, the song should have been the national anthem of India.  However, it wasn’t made the song of the nation owing to its Muslim author.

Tarek Fatah, a well-known journalist expressed his views on social media:

He went on by exposing the dark reality behind the nationwide popular song- ‘Sare Jahan se acha’

Now, if we look into our history books we will be able to spot Iqbal for the patriotic song he wrote- ‘Sare Jahan se acha, Hindustan Humara’.

The song became the anthem of the opposition to British India. ‘Tarana-e-Hind’  (song of Hindustan) became the catchy phrase at that time. The under mentioned line became the new sensation as it carried the sentiments graciously.

“Mazhab nahin sikhata apas mein bair rakhna, Hindi hain hum, watan hain Hindustan hamara”

(Religion does not teach us to hate each other, we belong to Hind, our nativeland is Hindustan)

In no time, Iqbal underwent into an outright transformation after his return from England. The man who discerned Hindustan as an amalgamation of Hindu-Muslim, returned as an Islamic philosopher only to become Pakistan’s progenitor. Sooner he became intolerant of Hindus and wrote Taran-e-mili (song of community), which was the negation of the taran-e-hind he wrote formerly.

From Hindustan humara to Chin o Arab hamaara, this is how Iqbal demonstrated multi-faceted character:

“Chin o Arab hamaara, Hindustan hamaara, Muslim hain hum, watan hain sara jahaan hamaara”

(China and Arabia are ours, Hindustan is ours, we are Muslims, the whole world is our nativeland).

Our history books have entirely omitted the fact where Iqbal proposed the two-nation theory, which ultimately led to the partition of Indian subcontinent and plethora of lives suffered. He is even called the father of the nation (Pakistan).

Iqbal addressed Allahabad session of the Muslim League in December 1930 as president of the session:

“I would like to see Punjab, the North Western Frontier Provinces (NWFP), Sind and Balochistan amalgamated into a single state. Self-government within the British Empire, or without the British empire, through the formation of a consolidated North Western Indian Muslim state, appears to be the final destiny of Muslims, at least of North West India”.

He dreamt of Muslims emerging as a Global Power, rising above the political and geographical constraints. The dream of Iqbal is still lived in Pakistan.

This surfaces the question that how can a person with such dogmatic outlook be ever called great? and How can the person because of which the nation witnessed massive bloodshed be ever called great? 

 


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