Monday, November 26, 2012

Manipulating History

re the article “Karbala and how Lahore was involved” in the Daily DAWN, dated Nov. 26, 2012.

Disappointed to read this attempt to rewrite the history of Karbala on anecdotal, unsubstantiated evidence. The article requires several fact-checks, such as for instance:

Names of the 72 martyrs of Karbala
(i.) The list of 72 martyrs of Karbala includes no Dutts, Brahmins or Indians. Has someone tampered with the lists? 
(ii.) The author talks of some graves in the Bibi Pakdaman graveyard of Lahore as an evidence, which is extremely difficult to believe/prove, given the practices of khanqahs and jhanda pirs in this part of the world. By the same token, can the author confirm the genuineness of Virgin Mary’s tomb in the outskirts of Murree and Moses (pbuh) and Jesus (pbuh) tombs in the outskirts of Srinagar?
(iii.) The author's claim that Imam Hussain (626-680 AD) was married to the sister-in-law of King Chandragupta (340 BC- 298 BC) is utterly fictitious; the two were about 1000 years apart.
(iv.) There is no dearth of historical works on medieval India by Muslims, and most medieval chroniclers and historians were also scholars of Islamic literature and law. Were they all ignorant or complacent to miss such a contemporary historical feat, or rather a favour, of the Lahori Dutts?
(v.) Can any one cite a work of an accomplished historian of medieval and Mughal India, such as Al-Biruni, Abdul Qadir Bada'uni, Abul Fazl, Nizamuddin Ahmed, Abdul Hamid Lahori, Khafi Khan, Kalhana, or Firishta that provides evidence of this historical favour of Brahmins and King Chandragupta Maurya to the Ahl-e-Bait and the wider Muslim world.
(vi.) Can any one cite a reputed historical work to confirm that the Lahori Dutts were trading with the Holy Prophet (pbuh) in the 7th century AD, their patriarch had met with and made a promise to the Prophet (pbuh), and had such a quick means of communication at his disposal that he knew of Imam Hussain’s movements in advance and so successfully prevailed on the Mauryan King to despatch a full army to fight with the Imam, only to miss out on the actual battle by a whisker.
(vii.) Finally, the author’s assertion that Sunil Dutt belonged to Lahore is also concocted, as Sunil Dutt reported Jhelum (Pakistan) as his hometown and even went to his ancestral village of Chottala in Jhelum with full state protocol during his trip to Pakistan in 1995/96. 

In a nutshell, the article defies all logic and evidence. One wonders if this is another phoney attempt to rewrite the history and glorify Brahmins and the Maurya dynasty similar to occasional claims that the principal centres of Indus Valley Civilization were not Moenjodaro and Harappa but rather Lothal and Rangpur in Deccan?

Distorted history promotes communalism and does not foster communal harmony or national integration. As Lord Acton said, “history to be above evasion or dispute, must stand on documents, not opinions,” it would help if people do full research and exercise due diligence before making such claims or sowing seeds of doubt in an already confused populace!!

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