Posts Tagged ‘Hyderabad’

Akbaruddin Owaisi – Hindus can keep their Ajanata Ellora Nudes

January 20, 2013 13 comments

India probably has the least monuments for each century of history. Most of monuments in India were built by India’s Islamic rulers – and later the British.

On a few things, I agree with Akbaruddin Owaisi.

Indeed, apart from a few monumental temples, what monuments has ‘Hindu’ India built?

Practically none.

India in the Image Of Desert Bloc

Most monuments in India were built by India’s Islamic rulers – and later the British. India probably has the least monuments for each century of history. From 2000-cities of the Saraswati Basin-Indus Valley without monuments – to modern India.

But Islamic and British monuments in India are grandiose, celebrating concentration of wealth. Of diverting attention – away from role that rulers have to play. These monuments are symbols of extortion, of loot and poverty. Of propaganda. Of false prestige.

Probably Pakistan built as many monuments in Pakistan – as India did.

Austere Leaders – Big Actions

‘Hindu’ rulers started monument building in India only in the last 200 years or so. Shivaji had a wooden ‘palace’ – that was burnt down in an accidental fire. Shivaji never built another palace – wooden, or otherwise.

Before Shivaji, was Rana Pratap.

Anyone seen an opulent palace used or built for Rana Pratap?

Owaisi is right

Islamic rulers did build most of Indian monuments. Though I agree with Owaisi, some other Muslims don’t agree with this thinking.

For one there was Chirkan (also spelt as Chirkin), the underground mascot of Hyderabad, a “poet” of dirty ditties.

Chirkan was the irreverent break from the feudal and colonial Indian mindset – before the Indian Republic. His rhymes on Qutub minar (a phallic symbol of feudal /colonial majesty of another era) have been repeated by every school child as his very own.

Chirkan was feted at cultural events – and was a legend in his lifetime. His “sher” on a princess (the Nizam’s daughter) is repeated by adoloscent schoolboys even today.  For his ‘crime’, Chirkan was not persecuted – but banished from Hyderabad.

Forgotten today by the mainstream, Chirkan’s books circulate in the underground. Chirkan’s rhymes and jokes spread to all of India. 75 years later, every teenager makes his rites of passage with Chirkan’s jokes. Most of Mumbai film industry’s dirty jokes are a take-off on Chirkan.

The other memorable anti-monument tirade was composed by Sahir Ludhianvi. A Muslim poet who migrated from a Muslim Pakistan to a ‘secular’ Hindu-majoity India, Sahir’s dismissal of the Taj Mahal (complete work at the bottom) is remembered more than 50-years later.

With Such ‘leaders’ …

An acolyte of Owaisi, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri went further.

Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (MIM) legislator Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri’s for his remarks about Mahatma Gandhi‘s statue inside the state assembly.

“The Nizams built the state assembly building in Hyderabad, but see what has happened. They have installed a statue of Mahatma Gandhi there. Who constructed it and who has been installed there,” Quadri, who represents Charminar in the assembly, told a gathering in Karimanagar district’s Jagityal town on Thursday.

He said “we” have built all significant structures in India. “What have you done?” he asked. “We constructed Red Fort, Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Mecca Masjid and Charminar. What have you constructed in Hindustan?”

Analysts said Quadri’s speech was planned and designed to revive memories of Nizam’s rule and the old Hyderabad state that is bound strike a chord with the region’s Muslims. “But his ‘us and them’ rhetoric is dangerous,” an analyst said.

via MIM leader in trouble over remarks on Mahatma Gandhi – The Times of India.

What is Gandhiji’s statue doing in a Nizam Palace, implies Quadri.

An austere saint in a brothel?

Further Quadri went and asked (reports The Indian Express)

“Today whatever there is in India are our signs, you tell us what your achievements are.”

Then again in the midst of slogan shouting he continued his ‘us’ and ‘they’ rhetoric saying, “The colour of Red Fort has been given by us, the height of Qutub given by us, the beauty of Taj Mahal also given by us, historic monuments like Mecca Masjid and Charminar are presented by us… what have you done in Hindustan?”

via BJP furious as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA says ‘we built Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, what have you done?’ – Indian Express.

भैंस  के सामने बीन!

Many years ago, Owaisi’s predecessors had made similar claims – and demanded Pakistan. Making extravagant claims, Jinnah & Co., demanded and got Pakistan. We all know what is happening in Pakistan.

MIM has been running Hyderabad for more than 5-years now. If at all, Hyderabad has sunk deeper into a quicksand of bureaucracy, stagnation, public-sector sloth.

After Chandrababu Naidu reinvented Hyderabad.

But, I am sure, millions of Indians will join me in taking apart Qutub Minar, Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Charminar, Mecca Masjid – and send it with Akbaruddin Owaisi and Co., to wherever in the world, they want to go.

Free shipping. For now. Limited period offer.

The offer may soon be changed to compulsory shipping.

*  *  *  *

Sahir Ludhianvi, better captures the Indian attitude to slavery, pomp and grandiose designs.

ताज तेरे लीए एक मजहर-ऐ-उल्फत ही सही, तुझको इस वादी-ऐ-रंगीन से अकीदत ही सही

मेरे महबूब कहीं और मीला कर मुझसे, बज्म-ऐ-शाही में गरीबों का गुज़र क्या माने?

सब्त जीस राह पे हो सतावत-ऐ-शाही के नीशान, उस पे उल्फत भरी रूहों का सफर क्या माने?

मेरे महबूब पास-ऐ-परदा-ऐ-ताश हीर-ऐ-वफ़ा, तूने सतावत के निशानों को तो देखा होता

मुर्दा शाहों के मकाबिर से बहलने वाली, अपने तारीक मकानों को तो देखा होता

अन-गिनत लोगों ने दुनिया में मोहब्बत की हैं, कौन कहता है के सादिक न थे जज्बे उनके

लेकिन उनके लीए ताश हीर का समान नहीं, क्योंकि वोह लोग भी अपनी ही तरह मुफ्लीस थे

यह ईमारत-ओ-मकाबिर यह फसीले यह हिसार, मुतल-कुल-हुक्म शाहेंशाहों की अजमत के सुतून

दामन-ऐ-दहर पे उस रंग की गुलकारी है, जिसमे शामिल है तेरे और मेरे अजदाद का खून

मेरे महबूब! उन्हें भी तो मोहब्बत होगी, जीनकी सन्नी ने बक्शी है इसे शक्ल-ऐ-जमील

उनके प्यारों के मकाबिर रहे बे-नाम-ओ-नमूद, आज तक उन पे जलाई न किसी ने कंदील

यह चमनज़ार, यह जमना का किनारा, यह महल, यह मुनाक्काश डर-ओ-दीवार, यह मेहराब, यह ताक

एक शहेंशाह ने दौलत का सहारा लेकर, हम गरीबों के मोहब्बत का ऊडाए है मजाक

मेरे महबूब कहीं और मिला कर मुझसे.

– Abdul Hayee ‘Sahir’ Ludhianvi.

Translation by gyanputra

Even if the Taj for you is a symbol of great love, even though you prefer its pretty colorful setting
My dear, meet me somewhere else, what truck can the poor have with kingly courts?
The paths on which are seared the grandest Royal Arms, how can love-filled hearts journey on them?
My dear, behind the veil of this advertisement of love, had you seen the trappings of royal power and wealth
Instead of being beguiled by the tombs of dead kings, had you seen our dark homes
Uncounted peoples in this world have loved, who says their love was not true
But they did not have the means for advertising love, they were poor like us
This mausoleum, these decorations, these fort parapets, that the arrogance of kings considers symbols of Greatness
On the face of the world this is a decoration of floral vines, that has flowing in it your ancestors’ blood, and mine
My dear! they must have had loves too, those whose art granted this monument its acclaimed form
But those loves’ tombs are unnamed, untraced, no one has ever lit on them even a candle
This garden, this Jamna riverbank, this palace, these picturesque walls and doors, these pulpits, these arabesques
A king of kings aided by all his wealth, has mocked the love of us poor
My dear, meet me somewhere else.

Oil was not well in Hyderabad

October 27, 2011 5 comments

Middle East oil riches moved Indians Muslims also towards ‘purer’ Islam.

The fig leaf of oil riches covered the intellectual bankruptcy of the Middle East. (Cartoon by Bob Gorrell; 2009; source and courtesy - Click for larger image.

The fig leaf of oil riches covered the intellectual bankruptcy of the Middle East. (Cartoon by Bob Gorrell; 2009; source and courtesy - Click for larger image.

Growing up in Hyderabad

A burkha (hijab) in Hyderabad (earlier capital of the Nizam State; India’s largest non-British city; with 40% Muslim population) was a rare sight till the early 70’s. From mid-70s, burkha (hijab) usage started gathering steam. Used to modern Western discourse based on Islamic demonization, it may appear far-fetched, but the Hyderabadi Muslim of 1960’s was more ‘modern’ and ‘liberal’ than today’s ‘Hindu’ – a development with many nuances and qualifications.

If one dusts a few Urdu periodicals from more than a century ago, several episodes of women’s rights movement can be found having roots right here in Hyderabad.

A debate on women’s liberation was raging in Hyderabad in the 1880s, reveals noted scholar on Islamic affairs Anwar Moazzam. The first Urdu journal on women, ‘Mu‘allimi-Niswan,’ published from Hyderabad, had initiated a heated discussion on the subject which was followed by an agitation on the issues of pardah (veil) and rights for Muslim women. There were several voices raised against the practise of pardah. The other magazines that carried forward the debate in the early decades of the 20th century were ‘Tahzib-i-Niswan’ and ‘Ismat.’

“But no systematic study has been taken up on this subject due to lack of access to the periodical data. There are several other insights available in this source (Urdu periodicals) in the Indian cultural tradition,” he remarked.

Moazzam, former head of the department of Islamic Studies at Osmania University, said that while he was working on the preparation of catalogues on Urdu books he found that journals in Urdu have never been researched for political, social and cultural issues.

Giving background of the Urdu Documentation Centre (UDC) project, he said it began in 2002 with sponsorship from a consortium of US universities led by the University of Chicago under the leadership of its bibliographer James Nye. The cataloguing work was taken up first at the Sundaryya Vignana Kendram and then at the State Central (Asafia) Library. (Women’s lib was hot topic in city in 1880s).

Oil wealth

After the 1973 Oil Embargo, the oil riches, the glitzy infrastructure boom of the Middle East, had a profound effect in Indian Muslims. The new found power by the Islamic Middle East made the Indian Muslim proud about his religious identity.

For the general Indian, the Middle East was the answer to the slow Indian economy. In an economy of shortages, an over-valued Indian currency, the Dubai allure was irresistible. It was the passport to wealth and abundance.

It took another 10-15 years for Indians to discover the underbelly of Dubai. To an average Indian, the prospect of slow career growth in Dubai, limited growth opportunities, the discrimination between the Western expatriates and Indians (and others) had a telling – and chilling effect. The Indian-Muslim, expecting a warm welcome in sandy climes, found a sneer instead.

Low RPM engine

As the Indian economy slowly started revving up in the 1980′s – starting with consumer electronics and auto-sector de-licensing, Indians found a new modus vivendi with Dubai and himself. The nineties saw this trend only become more pronounced. The Arab ‘sheikh’ marrying poor girls from Hyderabad peaked during this period.

In the last 10 years, as Saudi debt ballooned, Dubai’s problems also became apparent. Just as it was apparent, and Quicktake pointed nearly 3 years ago, that wheels are coming off Dubai. Most oil producing countries, are now living at the edge.


The Indian Muslim in the meantime, has also come a full circle.

The colonial-era myth of ‘Muslims were the erstwhile rulers of India’, has weakened. The few ideological acolytes of Jinnah in India, have wilted in the face of a imploding Pakistan. To this combination, add an anti-Islamic West and declining Middle East. This has forced Deoband to admit that

for Muslims, there is no better country than India, no country in which Muslims are doing as well as they are doing in India. Our complaints, our objections, our problems exist, and we will continue to fight our fight for justice, but in other countries the situation is much worse.

For most Indian Muslims, the Middle East sheen, by this time, has worn off. Increasing incomes in India and stagnant incomes in the Middle East- and the circle is complete.

Rats on stormy seas!

November 22, 2010 2 comments
Princess Esra, Mukarram Jah's Turkish-born first wife, dressed in a saree! What a comedown! To dress like a plebian Indian!

Princess Esra, Mukarram Jah's Turkish-born first wife, dressed in a saree! What a comedown! To dress like a plebian Indian!

What is curious in all (this) seen over the last decade, is the fact that it is a woman who is now at the helm of affairs managing the Nizam’s properties. Women had no public presence up to the time of the seventh Nizam. Until, of course, Durru Shehvar and Niloufer, the last Ottoman Caliph’s daughter and niece respectively, married Osman Ali Khan’s two sons and moved to Hyderabad. “They were in public, participating in polo matches, playing tennis. The two girls had European lifestyles while the Nizam’s sons had Mughlai lifestyles’’ It was for this reason the marriages did not last with Princess Niloufer getting a divorce and Durru Shehvar living separately in England.
The history of the Nizam’s family is as intriguing as its present. Esra may have found Hyderabad stifling, but now, it is said, the name plate outside her house in London carries her past in bold letters: Princess Esra of Hyderabad. (read more via THE RISE OF A PRINCESS.).

Why stay with these dirty, poor Indians

Fleeing from a starving, hungry, poor 1947-India, straight to London and other better climes. Now, that UK and Europe are in trouble …

The earlier Hyderabad was not acceptable to the Princess Esra – but she now sports her identity on her proverbial sleeve – dressed in a saree. What a comedown, milady! After all, the Nizam’s sons had

married the daughter and the niece of the last Caliph of Turkey, Abdul Majid II. As part of the marriage arrangements, the Caliph had nominated the Nizam’s son as heir to the Caliphate, so uniting the supreme spiritual authority of the Muslim world with its greatest concentration of riches. The dynasty seemed unassailable. (read more via | Princess To The Rescue).

I wonder why images of rats seeking safety on a floating ship in stormy seas cross my mind!

Kashmir and the forgotten Sheikh

January 18, 2009 7 comments

Sixty years after Kashmir threw in its lot with India, the state remains an enigma for policymakers. Even back then, the Kashmiri Muslims – the majority in the state – led by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, had defied popular perception that Muslim majority states would prefer joining Pakistan. Abdullah had snubbed Jinnah by refusing to even meet him when the latter came to the Valley in the hope of convincing the young leader to support Pakistan. (via The forgotten Sheikh).

An enigma, inside a puzzle wrapped in a mystery …

Kashmir remains an interesting complication – from a historical perspective. It was Muslim majority – so Pakistan could take a technical refuge under the Indian actions in Junagadh and Hyderabad. Since, it had a Muslim majority, Pakistan could lay claim to it.

The Hindu ruler wished to remain independent – and then changed his mind – and decided to join India. Popular leaders of Kashmir, like Sheikh Abdullah, also wanted Kashmir to be a part of India. Hence the legitimacy of Indian claim.

Note the body language

Note the body language

Colonial detritus

The jokers in the pack were the legacy Colonial rulers – in India and Pakistan. The Governor General of India was Mountbatten – and the Pakistani Generals and some Indian army officials were British.

The collusion between these colonial agents in the dying days of the Raj, has created a festering problem – which India and Pakistan are still fighting over.

We can continue with this problem for the next 60 years – without success. Instead, a better idea may be to put the Kashmir problem into a cryogenic chamber and revive this issue 50 years later.

Westernization of the sub-continent

India’s independent movement created leaders like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Sheikh Abdullah – who have been forgotten. Instead we now see only the Taliban – created by the West.

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