Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tipu Sultan and Calicut University

In 1193, Bhakhtiyar Khilji torched the Nalanda University and destroyed it, citing the reason that the entire system didn’t suit their Islamic ideology and culture. Many centuries later, we again have the misfortune of affronting   similar kind of barbarism.  Just last year in Kerala, the Calicut University authorities not only withdrew the third year correspondence course history text book acquiescing to the demand of Islamic fundamentalists but also burned the entire published lot. The text book contained portions of Tipu Sultan’s conquest of Malabar, which mentioned the atrocities committed by him on Hindus during that time.
In Kerala, the trend has become such that, by the forceful interference of Islamists and  the leftists, the authorities are mutilating the factual history especially that of the Tipu’s conquest that saw hundreds of temples destroyed, thousands of Hindus killed or converted and the wealth of Malabar looted.  There is an effort going on in Kerala to paint Tipu as a secular social reformer and to convert his bloody conquest as a social revolution. Tipu’s conquest of North Kerala from 1766 to 1793 destroyed the peaceful social-cultural lives of the people there. The conquest not only ruined the economy of Malabar but also the religious demography there.

What Historians said

Vadakannoor Rajaraja Varma wrote in “ Kerala Samskrita Sahitya Charithram” that  the favourite hobbies of Tipu and his father Hyderali was to burn Temples, destroy the idols and behead cows in front of Temples.
K.V.Krishna Iyer, Historian of Kozhikode wrote- “ The attack of Hindus by Tipu’s army should be compared to world’s most cruel and barbaric persecution on a community as a whole”.
Ilamkulam Kunjan Pillai (Wrote in the Mathrubhumi weekly of 1955 December 25)-
“During the conquest of Tipu, Kozhikode town was the centre of Brahmin. There were around 7000 odd households at that time. About 2000 homes were destroyed by Tipu’s attack. He didn’t even spare women and children,. Men absconded to neighboring regions and forests. Population of Mohammedans increased. Hindus, in groups, were forced to do sunnath (circumcision) and convert to Islam. After Tipu’s conquest the population of Nairs became negligible and Namboothiris very low”.

Temples destroyed by Tipu

Kozhikode: Thali, Sree Valayanadu, Kavu, Thiruvannur, Varaykkal, Puthoor, Govindapuram, Thalikunnu temples in Kozhikode town and many temples in the outskirts were destroyed by Tipu’s army.
Rest of Malabar: Malabar Gazette sais even the famous Thirunavaya temple was also wasn’t spared by Tipu’s army. Temples in Vettathunadu- Keraladheeswaram, Thrikandiyoor, Thriparangodu were also destroyed by Tipu. The Gopuram and idols of Thrikavu temple in Ponnanni  were destroyed and the place was converted to ammunition store of Mysore army.
South Malabar:  Temples in Kodikunnu, Thrithala, Panniyoor, Shukapuram, Perumparambu in Edappal
Guruvayoor Temple: When the news of Tipu’s army approaching Guruvayoor reached the people of the holy town, the devotees took Guruvayoorappan’s Idol and escaped from there. Tipu and his army marched forward and on the way they destroyed Palayoor Christian Church and looted households.  It started raining heavily and Tipu stopped his journey. The rain continued for 2 days and Tipu was forced to retreat.  Thus his dream of demolishing and looting Guruvayoor Temple was thwarted, perhaps by a Divine Intervention.
Temples in North Travancore: Thiruvanchikulam Siva temple in Aluva was looted and destroyed by Tipu’s army.  Venkitachalapathi Devaswom temple in North Paravur and Makhanji temple near Manjali kunnu were destroyed by Tipu in 1790 on his second conquest after getting defeated by Travancore Army.
Varapuzha Catholic Carmalite Church and education centre attached to it was attacked by Tipu’s army. They demolished the church and adjacent buildings, and burned the books and records.
Travancore Army defeated Tipu’s army
The atrocities of Tipu didn’t end with demolishing Temples, Churches and Jain temples, but included converting Hindus forcefully to Islam on a large scale, raping and molesting Hindu women, Killing men , women and children and looting the economy of Malabar. The brave Army of Travancore finally defeated Tipu at the battle of Nedumkotta in 1789   . Tipu injured in the battle had to retreat and left with a permanent lameness. 
Picture Courtesy: Thali Temple Kozhikode

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is Imran Khan living in fool’s paradise?

Imran Khan promises to eliminate Jihadi terrorism from the face of Pakistan in 90 days if he gets elected. He seems to have already chalked out an action plan with which he strongly believes that he can remove the menace of terrorism from Pakistan forever.  According to Imran, the cause of the growth of terrorism in Pakistan is the presence of U.S. army in the tribal areas and the drone attacks by it, which kills innocent people every single day. Naturally, the people are angry, especially the Pathans, who has gradually taken up Jihadi terrorism to avenge the U.S. aggression. Imran Khan’s solution is simpler than his reasoning- asks the Americans to leave and once they pack up, the Jihadis will quit fighting.  Is it as simple as what Imran believes? Does the terrorism in Pakistan have only one characteristic- that of the Jihad against the Americans?
The Wiki leaks cable dating from late 2008, published by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn came out with some shocking revelations. The cable details point to the sudden widespread growth of sophisticated Jihadi recruitment network in poor areas of Pakistan, which recruited children into divisions that grew Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith madrassa network.  The network exploited worsening poverty of areas like Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan Divisions. Younger children (between 8 and 12) were preferred and were sent to comparatively small, extremist Deobandi or Ahl-e-Hadith madrassa in southern/western Punjab to get indoctrinated into Jihadi philosophy. They are further enrolled in regional/ indoctrination centers and ultimately send to terrorist training camps in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
The source of funding for the Jihadi network comes from the Oil rich Saudi Arabia and to an extent U.A.E.  A family receives upwards of $ 6500 per son for getting their ward recruited in the madrassa. While exact amount of money pouring into this projects were unavailable, the staggering estimates put the total to the region of $ 100 million annually. But why do the Saudis fund Jihadi terrorism in Pakistan? The answer is simple- to establish “Wahhabism”, a particularly austere and rigid form of Islam originated in Saudi Arabia. These Deobandi/ Ahl-e-Hadith Madrassas funded by Saudi oil rich Sheikhs has proliferated across Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, creating Jihadis to exterminate the Shiites, Sufis, Ahmedis  and Christians in Pakistan, to fight the government in Afghanistan, to kill the Christians in Nigeria and Indonesia , and Jews and Hindus world over.
Imran Khan is looking at only a portion of the aspect of Jihadi terrorism in Pakistan.   Terrorists or extremists in Pakistan are not only fighting the Americans but different sects and nationalities, which Imran Khan has failed to understand despite working closely with Pakistan’s political affairs for many years now.  A 100 years wouldn’t be enough, forget 90 days, to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan unless and until the government cut the supplies of Saudi funds to the Deoband/ Ahl-e-Hadith Madrassas, dismantle the 100s and 1000s of Madrassas spread across Pakistan and lock up the Maulanas and interlocutors behind bars.