Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Sacred Sword, by Hindol Sengupta

The Sacred Sword: The Legend of Guru Gobind Singh, by Hindol Sengupta

he pressing need to bring history alive and make it interesting finds more than adequate fulfillment in Hindol's short but engaging account of the last of the ten gurus of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh.

Guru Gobind Singh's childhood was thrust into suddenn adulthood by the death of his father, Guru Tegh Bahadur. The ninth guru of the Sikhs was beheaded on the orders of the Mughal king, Aurangzeb. Guru Tegh Bahadur had taken up the cause of Kashmiri Pandits, who were being persecuted mercilessly by Aurangzeb's governor, and given two choices - to convert or die. The Guru dared Aurangzeb to convert him instead. If the Guru converted, so would every Kashmiri Pandit. Aurangzeb failed, and Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded, but not before Bhai Mati Das was sawed in half by Aurangzeb's soldiers and Bhai Dayala boiled alive in oil.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Of Rahul Gandhi and Aurangzeb – A striking similarity of Dynasties

Rahul Gandhi, the 47-year old scion of the Nehru dynasty, is all set to ascend the throne of the Congress Party. If things go as planned, he will succeed his mother, Smt Sonia Gandhi, and become the sixth member from the Nehru family to be coronated Congress party president.

The grand old party of Indian politics has seen five presidents since 1978. For all but seven of those thirty-nine years, a member of the Nehru dynasty has been its president. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, daughter of Pandit Nehru and grand-daughter of Motilal Nehru, both past presidents themselves, was party president from 1978 to 1984, till her assassination. She was succeeded by her son, Rajiv Gandhi, who was its president from 1985 to 1991, till his assassination. From 1998 to the present day, the Congress party’s president has been Italian-born Smt Sonia Gandhi, wife of Rajiv Gandhi, and mother of Rahul Gandhi.