Then and now! Cities from the tales of Epic Mahabharata

The beliefs among the people are not truly wrong as many places cited in the Epic still exists and there are true pieces of evidence

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The epic battle of Mahabharata, Wikimedia commons

India is a land of myths and traditions. Though there are several stories from the past but the two epics i.e. Mahabharata and Ramayana particularly lie in between myths and reality. These beliefs are not truly wrong as many places cited in the stories still exist and there are true pieces of evidence.

Here is a list of some of those ancient cites-

  • Gandhar – This was an ancient city of Mahabharata and is currently situated to the west of river Sindhu in Sindh Pradesh, Rawalpindi. Dhritrashtra’s wife Gandhari was the daughter of King of Gandahar. Gandhari’s brother Shakuni was one of the reasons of the war of Mahabharata.
  • Takshashila – This was the capital of Gandhar desh. After the war of Mahabharata when the Pandavas left for the king Himalayas, Parikshit was made the king.
  • Kekaya – Kekaya Pradesh was an ancient city of the Mahabharata times. During the period of Mahabharata, this place was famous for its warriors. Jaysen was the king of Kekaya. His son Vind supported the Kauravas in the epic battle of Mahabharata.
  • Madra Desh: This is located on the other side of the Himalayas. Since this was located to the North of the other side of the Himalayas, according to Aitrai Brahmin, it was also called Uttarkuru. In those days Shalya was the King of Madra Desh. His sister Madri was married to Pandu. Sahadev and Nakul were Madri’s sons.
  • Ujjanak – This was an ancient city near Kashipur, Nainital district. Guru Dronacharya taught archery to the Pandavas and Kauravas over here. There is a huge temple situated over here. Locals call it one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. This place is also called as Bhimshankar.
  • Shivi Desh – Shivi Desh was located on the north border of India in South Punjab. The grandson of the generous King Ushinar was a Shaivya, who had got his daughter Devika married to Yudhishthir. During the war of Mahabharata, Shaivya played the role of an archer from the side of the Pandavas.
  • Banganga : Kurukshetra – This place is located few kilometres away from Kurukshetra. This was the place where Bhishma Pitamah had laid down on a bed of arrows. On being asked for water, Arjun shot down an arrow on the ground and a stream of water of Ganga came out and went straight to Bhishma Pitamah’s mouth.
  • Kurukshetra – This was the famous battlefield of Mahabharata. It is situated 40 km east of Ambala city. This land is also known as the land of Altar for the sacrifice of Lord Bramha. A lake named Brahma Sarovar is very famous here. According to the Bhagwat, before the war of Mahabharata, Lord Krishna came here to take a dip in the Brahmakund.
  • Hastinapur – Jastinapur in located in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. This was a grand city in the times of Mahabharata. This was also the capital of Kauravas and the Pandavas. This is the place where Draupadi lost here wealth and Yudhisthir lost his brothers in the game of gamble. After winning the war of Mahabharata, Pandavas made this city as their capital.
  • Varnavat – Situated on the banks of river Ganga, it is a city located near Meerut in Uttar Pradesh. It was here that Duryodhana built a Lakshgriha (wax house) to kill the Pandavas. To avoid the war of Mahabharata, Pandavas had asked for five villages from the Kauravas, Varnavat being one of these five cities.
  • Panchal Pradesh – Panchal Pradesh was located between the Himalayas and the river Chamba on both sides of the river Ganga. Once, when the King of Panchal got the news of an attack from the King of Ayodhya, he said that his five (panch) sons only were enough to fight the war. Since then, it was called “Panchal”. Draupadi was the daughter of the King Drupadi and was named “Panchali” as she was the princess of Panchal.
  • Indraprastha: Indraprastha was a grand city situated to the south of present-day New Delhi. The Pandavas had established this city after destroying Khandav Van (forest). Vishwakarma, the architect of the devtas had designed this city. This city was the capital of the Pandavas.
  • Vrindavan – It is situated 10 kilometers away from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. This is a place of lord Krishna ‘Bal-leelayen’. Even today Raas Leela is the main attraction of this place,The temple of Bankebihari and Radhavallabh is very famous here. Janmastmi is popularly celebrated here.
  • Gokul – Gokul is situated in Uttar Pradesh on the banks of river Yamuna. Krishna and his elder brother Balram were brought up. Shri Krishna later became Arjun’s charioteer during the war and Balram taught the art of mace fight to Bhima and Duryodhan.
  • Barsana: Uttar Pradesh – This place is located 21 km from Govardhan mountain, has four hill-tops that represent the four faces of Brahma, the Creator. Each hilltop is associated with some incident from Krishna’s life. On Mor Kutir top, he danced guise as a peacock to win the love of Radha. Radha’s parents lived in Barsana. The house of Radha’s father is atop the Brahma Hill in Barsana.
  • Mathura: Uttar Pradesh – Mathura was a famous place of pilgrimage during the Mahabharata period.It is located near the banks of Yamuna.  Shri Krishna was born here. Shri Krishna killed the oppressor Kans, son of King Ugrasen, and got back Ugrasen his throne. After the fight in-between the Yaduvanshis, when the Yadavas were killed, Yudhishthir crowned Brijnath, the great grandson of Krishna, the King of Mathura.
  • Angadesh (Malini Nagari): Gonda, Uttar Pradesh – Malini Nagari was the capital of an ancient region of the Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh. Karna was the King of this state. Duryodhan had received this state as a gift from Jarasandh. The capital Malini Nagari is a Shaktipeeth. According to the Puranas, Sati’s right hand – after being cut by the chakra of Vishnu – had fallen here.
  • Naimisharanya: Uttar Bharat – On the banks of the River Gomati, This is a place of pilgrimage named Naimisharanya. According to an ancient story, in search of a right place to perform a Gyansatra, Sant Shonak swirled the Chakra given by Lord Brahma. The circumference of the Chakra fell in a Tapovan on the banks of the river Gomati and became famous as a place of pilgrimage. Here only at the time of the Yagya of Shonak Rishi, Ugrashruva recited the story of the Mahabharata.
  • Kaushambi: Uttar Pradesh – Kaushambi was the capital of Vatsa Desh during the Mahabharata period and situated to the south of river Ganga, near the present-day city of Allahabad. The residents of Vatsa Desh had supported the Kauravas in the war of Mahabharata. Later, Kuruvanshis took over this state.
  • Kashi: Uttar Pradesh – The ancient city of Mahabharata period, Kashi was famous as the chief education centre of India. Bhisma Pitamah had won over Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, the three daughters of the Kashi King. Dhritrashtra was Ambika’s son and Pandu was Ambalika’s son. Dhritrashtra’s sons were called Kauravas and Pandu’s sons were called Pandavas. The Mahabharata war was fought between the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
  • Ekachakranagari: Aarah, Bihar – During the period of Mahabharata, Aarah was known as Ekachakranagari. After being saved from the Lakshgriha, Pandavas had lived in Ekachakranagari for a few days at a Brahmin’s house. It was here only that Bakasur’s son Bhishak had caught hold of the horse of Yudhishthir’s Ashvamedh Yagya and was later killed by Arjun.
  • Magadh: South Bihar- The ancient name of present-day South Bihar was Magadh. During the time of Mahabharata, Jarasandh ruled Magadh. Asti and Prapti, two daughters of Jarasandh, were married to Kans. After Krishna killed Kans, he became an enemy of Jarasandh. Jarasandh attacked Mathura many times. For the Rajsurya Yagya performed by Yudhishthir, Krishna, Arjuna and Bhima went to Magadh in the disguise of Brahmins and Bhima killed Jarasandh while wrestling.
  • Pundru Desh: Bihar – A part of Bihar was known as Pundru Desh during the time of the Mahabharata. King Pondrak of this region was a friend of Jarasandh and thought himself to be Krishna. He was present at the swayamvar of Draupadi. Due to his ego, he challenged Krishna to discard his dress or else get ready for a fight. Krishna fought with him and killed him.
  • Pragjyotishpur: Guwahati, Assam – The capital of ancient Assam state, Pragjyotishpur, was located near present-day Guwahati. During the Mahabharata times, Narkasur was the king of this state. He had made 16000 girls captive. He even fought a battle with Lord Krishna. Shri Krishna killed Narkasur and took all 16,000 girls to Dwarka and married them.Here, near the Neelkanth Mountain, is located the famous temple of Kamakhya Devi built by Narkasur.
  • Kamakhya: Assam- Kamakhya is a famous Shaktipeeth, located ten kilometres away from Guwahati in Assam. During the time of Mahabharata, Narkasur had built a temple of Kamakhya Devi here. According to Bhagwat Purana, when Lord Shiva was roaming around like a man in despair with the dead body of Sati, then Lord Vishnu – with the help of his Sudarshan Chakra cut Sati’s dead body into pieces and dropped them one by one, so that Shiva gets released of this weight and returns to being normal. There were 51 pieces of the dead body of Sati cut by Lord Vishnu and the places on the earth where they fell are known as Shaktipeeth. Each Shaktipeeth is connected with one of the body parts of Sati. Kamakhya in Assam is where the Yoni (vagina) of Sati fell and is considered a very powerful centre of Shakti (female) worship.
  • Manipur: East India – Manipur was an ancient city dating back to Mahabharata times. Manipur’s King Chitravahan had a daughter named Chitraganda. She was married to Arjun and had a son named Babhruvahan. Babhruvahan had taken part in the Rajsurya Yagya performed by the Pandavas.
  • Sindhu Desh: Sindh-Punjab, Mohen-jo-Daro – The ancient Sindhu Desh of Mahabharata time was famous for art-literature. King Jaydrath of Sindhu Desh was married to Dushaala, daughter of Dhritrashtra. Jaydrath was the chief reason of the death of Arjun’s son Abhimanyu who was caught up in the Chakravyuh. To take revenge for Abhimanyu’s death, Arjun killed Jaydrath.
  • Matsya Desh: North Rajasthan – Matsya Desh, located north of present-day Rajasthan, was one of the chief states of the Mahabharata times. Its capital was Viraatnagari. Pandavas had lived here at the King Viraat’s palace in disguise for one year as they were to live incognito after the exile. Arjun’s son Abhimanyu was married to King Viraat’s daughter Uttara. There is a mention of Matsya Desh even in the Vedic times.
  • Muchhkand Tirth: Dhoulpur, Rajasthan -In the times of Mahabharata, this was a dangerous mountain range in Dhoulpur, Rajasthan. After winning over Mathura, when Kaalyavan followed Krishna, Krishna hid in a cave in this mountain range and covered Muchhkand, who was sleeping there with his Pitambar (yellow cloth). Kaalyavan woke up Muchhkand, and the moment Muchhkand set his eyes on Kaalyavan, he was reduced to ashes.

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  • Patan: Mehsana, Gujarat – Patan, situated near Mehsana, Gujarat, was a famous commercial city during the Mahabharata period. It is said that in the Dwapar Age, there was Hidimbvan around this city. During the period of their exile, the Pandavas had come here and it was here only that Bhima killed a demon named Hidimb and married his sister Hidimba.
  • Vardayini Dham: Rupalnagar, near Kalol, Gujarat – Rupalnagar was known as Rupavati during the time of Mahabharata. While going to Viraatnagari, the Pandavas had performed a pooja of Bhagwati Arya over here. As this place was blessed by the Pandavas, the Devi was named Vardayini and the place was named Vardayini Dham.
  • Dwarka: Gujarat-This is situated on the west coast of Gujarat and is an ancient city of the Mahabharata period. To protect the Yadavas from on and off attacks of Jarasandh, Lord Krishna shifted his capital from Mathura to Dwarka.  Marine Archeologists have found the sunken remains of Dwarka off the coast of Gujarat. It is estimated to be a couple of thousand years old.
  • Prabhas – This is the famous place of pilgrimage located on the west seacoast of Gujarat. Dwarka is also located within this region. During the Mahabharata period, when Krishna shifted his capital from Mathura to Dwarka, he resided in Prabhas region. It was in Prabhas that Lord Krishna was injured with the arrow of a hunter and left for his heavenly abode (Golok).
  •  Avantika: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh – The present-day city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh was famous by the name of Avantika during the Mahabharata period. Rishi Sandipani’s ashram was located in Avantika. Lord Krishna and Balram had taken their education from Sandipani. Avantika is considered one of the seven holy cities of India.
  • Chedi: Madhya Pradesh – Located between the river Ganga and the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh, Chedi was a grand city of Mahabharata times. Shishupal, the King of Chedi, wanted to marry Rukmini but Krishna abducted her and got married to her. Because of this, Shishupal always remained angry with Krishna. During the war of Mahabharata, the residents of Chedi supported the Kauravas.

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  • Shonitpur: Itarsi, Madhya Pradesh – Shonitpur, a famous city during the Mahabharata time, was located near Suhagpur, a few kilometres away from Itarsi in Madhya Pradesh. This ancient city was the capital of Banasur. Banasur’s daughter Usha was married to Aniruddha, grandson of Lord Krishna. There is a temple of Lord Narsimha and is considered to be a place of pilgrimage.
  • Vidarbha: Vidarbha Pradesh – King Bhismak of Vidarbha, the capital of Vidarbha Pradesh, was a valorous person. At the time of the Surya Yagya organised by the Pandavas, he had captured the horse of the Yagya. Due to this, there was a fight between him and Sahadev and he was defeated.
  • Revatak: Near Junagadh, Gujarat – Revatak Mountain near Junagadh in Gujarat is also known as Girnar. This mountain is near Dwarka. Arjun had abducted Subhadra from near this mountain and later, with Krishna’s approval, married her.
  • Indrakil: One of the mountains of the Himalayan range, is also called Indrakil. After losing everything in a gamble, when Pandavas went to the Himalayas for penance, Arjun had performed deep penance on the Indrakil Mountain. It was on this Mountain that Lord Shiva, in the disguise of a hunter, fought with Arjun. On being pleased with the valour of Arjun in the fight, Lord Shiva presented him the Pashupat Astra.
  • Yayaatipur: Cuttack, Orissa – Orissa’s present-day region Jajpur, was known as Yayaatipur in the times of Mahabharata. The river Vaitarni flows from near this region. Pandavas, along with Maharshi Lomesh, had offered pind-dan to their ancestors over here.

-by Pritam, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pritam_gogreen

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  • empress

    Good information on all Cities

    • Arun Raj

      Yes you are right.

  • Chetna Karnani

    Across ‘yugas’ and centuries, even though the above mentioned cities have changed (some are ‘hubs’ of violence and Gunda raaj like in UP or some not even a part of Hindustan anymore) it’s surprising to see how the Hindu beliefs stay strong all this while.

  • thanks for the holistic messsages and useful Info​rmation

  • Rohit Singhroha

    Thanks For This Amazing Information.
    ISARKARINAUKRI.CO.IN

  • Silent Boy

    For just about any exam, the portion of current affairs ought
    to be quite strong of each and every student. There are plenty of sources that people may use to
    achieve the data about new happenings on the planet.

  • Raja D

    Thank you so much for writing it, I really appreciate it!

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    Reading some of our urban cities tracing its roots back to Mahabharata was really mind blowing.

  • Manthra koliyer

    this is a very useful article, i had never known anything about all this.

  • randy

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  • Bishal Paul

    Wow great article and thanks for sharing with us such a useful information

  • i really love krushna.

  • Akhila

    Good information. Keep sharing this kind of useful info.

  • vl sai ujwala devisetty

    Thank you for the useful information.

  • Monis Rajpoot

    Thanks for sharing this article.

  • Monis Rajpoot

    Thanks for sharing this article. It has useful information.

  • vedika kakar

    Oh wow it is such a great and well detailed article!

  • After Reading your these article I would like to read Mahabharata . Thank you so much for the informative post.

SHARE
  • empress

    Good information on all Cities

    • Arun Raj

      Yes you are right.

  • Chetna Karnani

    Across ‘yugas’ and centuries, even though the above mentioned cities have changed (some are ‘hubs’ of violence and Gunda raaj like in UP or some not even a part of Hindustan anymore) it’s surprising to see how the Hindu beliefs stay strong all this while.

  • thanks for the holistic messsages and useful Info​rmation

  • Rohit Singhroha

    Thanks For This Amazing Information.
    ISARKARINAUKRI.CO.IN

  • Silent Boy

    For just about any exam, the portion of current affairs ought
    to be quite strong of each and every student. There are plenty of sources that people may use to
    achieve the data about new happenings on the planet.

  • Raja D

    Thank you so much for writing it, I really appreciate it!

  • Anubhuti Gupta

    Reading some of our urban cities tracing its roots back to Mahabharata was really mind blowing.

  • Manthra koliyer

    this is a very useful article, i had never known anything about all this.

  • randy

    Good post and thanks for the information shared and this make me to visit your portal again.

    allindiagallery dot com

  • Bishal Paul

    Wow great article and thanks for sharing with us such a useful information

  • i really love krushna.

  • Akhila

    Good information. Keep sharing this kind of useful info.

  • vl sai ujwala devisetty

    Thank you for the useful information.

  • Monis Rajpoot

    Thanks for sharing this article.

  • Monis Rajpoot

    Thanks for sharing this article. It has useful information.

  • vedika kakar

    Oh wow it is such a great and well detailed article!

  • After Reading your these article I would like to read Mahabharata . Thank you so much for the informative post.

Next Story

What Difference Between Chinese Domination and American Domination?

Chinese government has always been dominant over it's people

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american chinese
Who is more dominant, Chinese government or US government?. Pixabay

By N.S. Venkataraman

Chinese government has not left anybody in doubt, about it’s ambitious target of dominating the world at any cost. Chinese government has been suppressing  freedom of speech in China, taking away the rights of citizens of Hong Kong in authoritarian manner and aggressively occupying the territory of neighbours such as Tibet and part of Indian territory, which it occupied after 1962 Indo Chinese war. China is now claiming Indian province Arunachal Pradesh as it’s own and aggressively claiming territorial right in South China Sea and Senkaku island. Chinese government says that Taiwan is part of it’s territory and objects to any recognition given to Taiwan by any other country.

Further, China is trying to enforce it’s domination over small and weak  nearby  countries  such as Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and others, by extending loans, which  these countries cannot afford to repay in the foreseeable future.

Viewing China’s methods and targets, one does not find much of difference between today’s Chinese government and Hitler’s Germany. Several countries in the world are  gradually realizing that checking China’s ambition is as necessary, as checking Hitler’s ambition  that caused World War II.

chinese
Chinese government has been suppressing freedom of speech in China. Pixabay

However, the supporters of China claim that US government too should be accused of trying to dominate the world and it has sent troops to several countries such as Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and others to enforce it’s domination. There is an element of  truth in this, as American government seem to think that it has the duty to police the world.

In any case, on careful analysis of the scenario and judiciously comparing the domination desire of China and USA, one cannot but see a subtle difference between both these countries.

While China believes in ruthless elimination of opponents both inside and outside China (just like the way Hitler did) and wants to occupy territories of other countries by coercion or force , US does not indulge in such acts of suppression of human rights or occupying territory of other countries.

US has not concealed it’s desire that freedom of speech and democratic procedures should prevail in all regions in the world. On many occasions , US has fought against totalitarian regimes, religious extremists and terrorist groups and has paid a high price by losing American lives.

statue-of-liberty
USA desires to dominate the world. Pixabay

USA may have the ambition to dominate the world and ensure it’s authority as super power, but it has no ambition of territorial expansions that China has.

All said and done, if the world were to choose between USA and China, it would inevitably come to the conclusion that world domination by USA is a lesser evil than the world domination by China.

Unlike China, the citizens of USA have the right to criticise the decisions of the government, launch protests against human rights violation, if any and exercise their franchise once in four years to change the party in power, if it would act against the wishes of the people. By such process, the conscience of USA largely remain in tact and US government is vulnerable to the pressure of public opinion, both in USA  and other parts of the world.

chiese
In China, the citizens don’t have the right to criticise the decisions of the government. Pixabay

Also Read: McDonald’s Reveals Plan to Open More Drive-Thru Restaurants in UK

On the other hand, China has totalitarian regime and no citizen can survive in China if he would criticise the Chinese President or question the decision of the Chinese government. To this extent, it is dictatorial regime in China, which can be termed as uncivilized form of governance.

The fact is that USA has been remaining as super  power in the world for several decades now and  the world has not  become worse due to the dominating power of USA. Of course, there have been criticism against US government by some section of world opinion but  most of such critics belong to religious extremist groups  and motivated  leftist (communist) forces , whose economic  and administrative policies  have totally failed to deliver the goods.

Achieving super power status by China   and establishing it’s authority in large parts of the world with least consideration for value systems and sentiments of people, is the worst thing that can happen to the world civilization.

Next Story

Don’t Lecture India; Look at Your Own Record

Many countries worldwide have a horrifying record regarding human rights

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Record
Europeans have a horrifying record regarding human rights violations. Pixabay

By Maria Wirth

Europeans have a horrifying record regarding human rights violations. Germany is well known for an unprecedented, systematic holocaust of Jews and gypsies right in the middle of Europe only 80 years ago. Yet Britain, France, Portugal and others were as brutal with equal or even higher number of humans killed in their colonies. Their victims count many millions and many of them were Indians.

The Arabs, Turks and Mongols, too, have a horrifying record regarding human rights. The number of victims killed also goes into many millions, and many of them were Indians.

The Muslims invaded India already over thousand years ago and were as brutal as ISIS in our times. Unspeakable torture and beheadings were done on massive scale. Even the supposedly benign “Akbar the Great” slaughtered Hindus in huge numbers. The collective sacred threads of the Brahmins massacred by him is said to have weighed 200 kilogram. Can one even imagine such incredible injustice and brutality to civilians and priests? Thousands of temples were destroyed. Hindu women were sold into sex slavery. Hindus even had to open their mouth and receive gratefully the spittle by Muslims sitting on horses, and slaughtering cows was seen as “noblest deed” because it was so painful for Hindus, is recounted in “Legacy of Jihad” by Andrew Bostom.

Record
Hindu women were sold into sex slavery. Pixabay

The brutality experienced by Hindus was so horrendous that, even in independent India, they hardly dare to complain when they are subjected to cruel discrimination. It is painful to read comments whenever Hindus are killed or raped by Muslims: “This won’t make news, as the victim is only a Hindu”. It is so sad, but understandable after what they have gone through for over thousand years. They had no way to get justice; had to bear their suffering silently.

Guru Nanak cried out to the Supreme, and it is part of the Grant Sahib, “Having lifted Islam to its head, You have engulfed Hindustan in dread… Such cruelties they have inflicted and yet Your mercy remains unmoved….Oh Lord, these dogs have destroyed the diamond-like Hindustan.”

The British colonial masters were not less brutal. Their disdain for the natives was incredible. Winston Churchill is on record saying that he “hated Indians” and considered them a “beastly people with a beastly religion”. Celebrities like Charles Dickens wanted the Indian race ‘exterminated’ and considered them vile savages and Max Mueller wanted them all converted to Christianity.

Britain looted and reduced the formerly wealthiest country of the world to painful poverty, where during their rule over 25 million people starved to death, 3 million as late as in 1943 in Bengal.

The crimes of the British colonialists are, like those of the Muslim invaders, too numerous to list. They tied Indians to the mouth of canons and blew them up, hanged scores of them on trees, and even just after over one million Indian soldiers had helped Britain to be victorious in the First World War with many thousands sacrificing their lives, General Dyer gave orders to shoot at a peaceful gathering in Amritsar in 1919 where thousands died. An old coffee planter in Kodagu told me that even in the early 1950s there was a board in front of the club house in Madikeri. It read: “Dogs and Indians not allowed”.

Can anyone imagine the pain those Indian generations went through, having arrogant, often uncouth ruffians looting their land and despising them as dogs?

How could Europeans and Arabs be so cruel to other human beings? The reason is that they saw themselves as superior and others not quite as human.

Religion played a big role in making them feel superior. Both Christianity and Islam teach their members that only their religion is true and that the Creator will reward them with eternal heaven, but will severely punish all those who do not follow their ‘true’ religion. If God himself will torture them eternally in hellfire, why should his followers be good to them? Wouldn’t it mean siding with God’s enemies and betraying Him?

But on what basis do they consider only their religion as true and themselves as superior? The reason is that the respective founder of their religion allegedly said so. No other reason exists and no proof. On this flimsy basis, Christians and Muslims treated other human beings most inhumanly, believing they are destined for hell while they themselves are God’s favorites and will go to heaven. This brainwashing in the name of religion happens even in our times and its effect is still not questioned and analysed.

child-labour-record
Christians and Muslims treated other human beings most inhumanly. Pixabay

Yet today, neither white Christians, nor Arab or Turkish Muslims are constantly reminded of those terrible crimes of their forefathers. “The present generation must not be held accountable for the sins of their fathers”, is however not applied to Hindus and especially not to Brahmins. Media keeps hitting out at them as if they had been the worst violators of human rights in the past. Hinduism is portrayed as the villain due to the “horrific and oppressive” caste system.

Anyone, who knows a little about history, knows that this is false and malicious. The structure of Hindu society into four varnas or categories is mentioned in the Vedas and depends on one’s aptitude and profession – Brahmins, who memorise and teach the Vedas, Kshatriyas, who administer and defend society, Vaishyas who supply the society with goods and Shudras, who are the service sector. The varnas are not fixed by birth in texts like Bhagavad Gita or Manusmriti. But the British themselves cemented ‘castes’ (a Portuguese word) in their census and then turned around and accused Hindus of their birth-based, fixed caste system.

There was however one more category which the whole world has been told about and which is used to the hilt to despise Hinduism. They were the untouchables who do unclean work, like handling dead animals, cleaning sewers, etc. The fact that other varnas avoided touching them is still made a huge issue of in the West. In fact it is portrayed, as if this practice made Hindus the greatest violators of human rights and makes the millions tortured and killed by Christians and Muslims pale in comparison.

Yet there is no proof that even one of those untouchables has been killed for doing unclean work. Higher castes may indeed have looked down or still look down on those whose job involves dirt, which is unfortunately a human trait in all societies. It has nothing to do with Hinduism. Most people are aware that such work also needs to be done.

There is in all likelihood another angle regarding “untouchability”, which the British did not realize: Ayurveda knew already 3000 years ago that invisible germs can cause serious illness and those dealing with cadavers and dirt are more likely to carry and spread those. However, the British didn’t know about this fact till only some 150 years ago, when Louis Pasteur claimed that germs cause sickness. (By the way, Google describes this discovery as “crowning achievement of the French scientist”, and avoids mentioning India’s ancient Ayurveda).

asia-record
Higher castes may indeed have looked down or still look down on those whose job involves dirt, which is unfortunately a human trait in all societies. Pixabay

Now in today’s time of “social distancing” due to the Corona Virus, we know that not touching others is a precaution to prevent potential infection and has nothing to do with discrimination. The British could have given Hindus the benefit of doubt that they avoided physical contact with certain people due to caution. But since the British didn’t have the advanced knowledge about harmful germs they could not see the possible reason behind it.

Since Independence, the caste system is officially abolished and discrimination against lower castes is a non-bailable offense. Yet the West still makes a huge issue of the caste system and untouchables. Why? Was this the greatest crime the British could find against the “natives” and therefore exaggerated it tremendously?

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This is not to say that people of higher castes didn’t or don’t look down on lower castes, but the demonization of Brahmins is most unwarranted, as Brahmins are least likely to harbour hatred for others due to their strict rules for sadhana which requires them to keep a very high standard of mental and physical purity.  Yet evangelicals, NGOs, international media, Muslim organisations, they all are after them and Hindus in general. They attack them for “atrocities” which never even happened, while the unspeakable atrocities, which were perpetrated upon them, are ignored. It’s a classic case of noticing the speck in the brother’s eye, but not the beam of wood in one’s own eye.

They got away with it for too long, because Hindus didn’t react. The meekness of Hindus was legendary. They were even called cowards. Yet in recent time, Hindus are becoming more assertive. They realize that the constant attacks on them are malicious, and that they are being fooled in the name of secularism because neither Christians nor Muslims can be secular. They are by nature communal because they need to make their community spread all over the world.

It is time to call out this blatant insincerity. When a head of state, like Imran Khan, accuses the Modi government in a tweet of “moving towards Hindu Rashtra with its Hindutva Supremacist, fascist ideology”, he better looks at his own country and his own ideology. A Hindu Rashtra with its inclusiveness and freedom are any time better than the exclusive, supremacist ideologies of Islam and Christianity, which force human beings into a strait-jacket of blind belief and several Muslim states threaten even today those who want to get out with death sentence.

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India Witnesses a 37% Rise in Cyberattacks in the First Quarter of 2020

The report shows that India ranks 27th globally in the number of web-threats

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India has seen a 37 per cent hike in cyberattacks in the first quarter of 2020. Pixabay

India has seen a 37 per cent increase in cyberattacks in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, as compared to the fourth quarter (Q4) of last year as a result of social media disadvantages, a new report revealed on Saturday.

The Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) report showed that its products detected and blocked 52,820,874 local cyber threats in India between January to March this year.

The data also shows that India now ranks 27th globally in the number of web-threats detected by the company in Q1 2020 as compared to when it ranked on the 32nd position globally in Q4 2019.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of attacks in 2020 Q1 that may continue to rise further in Q2 as well, especially in the current scenario where we notice an increase in cybercriminal activities, especially in the Asia Pacific region,” said Saurabh Sharma, Senior Security Researcher, GReAT Asia Pacific at Kaspersky.

The number of local threats in Q1 2020 in India (52,820,874) shows how frequently users are attacked by malware spread via removable USB drives, CDs and DVDs, and other “offline” methods.

Protection against such attacks not only requires an antivirus solution capable of treating infected objects but also a firewall, anti-rootkit functionality and control over removable devices.

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The high numbers of cyberattacks are likely to keep rising in Q2. Pixabay

According to the firm, the number of local threats detected in Q4 2019 was 40,700,057.

India also ranks 11th worldwide in the number of attacks caused by servers that were hosted in the country, which accounts of 2,299,682 incidents in Q1 2020 as compared to 854,782 incidents detected in Q4 2019, said the report.

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“We see smartphone users being targeted more due to mass consumption and increased digitalisation,” Sharma said.

“Risks like data leakage, connection to unsecured wi-fi networks, phishing attacks, spyware, apps with weak encryption (also known as broken cryptography) are some of the common mobile threats that Android users face,” he added.

“In order to mitigate some of the major risks like data breaches, targeted ransomware attacks, large scale (distributed denial-of-service) DDoS attacks, etc, businesses will need to allocate their budgets correctly to build a stronger security infrastructure,” said Dipesh Kaura, General Manager for South Asia, Kaspersky. (IANS)