Alexander Cunningham And ASI

Alexander Cunningham, the founder of Archaeological Survey of India was born on January 23rd, 1814.  He came to India at the age of 19 in the year 1833 as second lieutenant of Bengal Engineering Cops.

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Alexander Cunningham

Excavation at Sarnath

When posted in Varanasi, the religious center by the river Ganges at a young age of 21, in the year 1835, he started excavation in nearby Sarnath.

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Sarnath Excavation Site

These excavations at Sarnath that he carried out with his own money, led to identifying the deer park, where Buddha gave his first sermon.

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Deer Park, Sarnath

Which is why in pictures of Buddha’s sermon, there is a depiction of few deer in the background, for, the deer also listened to the sermon of Buddha.

Infact, the syllable Sar in Sarnath means deer in Samskrt and Pali language.

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Buddha giving Sermon, Deer in the background

Those were the days when orientalism was a fashion among the governors of British administration.

Alexander Cunningham’s detailed reports of excavation is something every archaeologist should be proud of. His reputation as a meticulous archaeologist came through from this. He has been one of the pillars of Indian history, even though he was not a student of history. Every historian trusts his report.

These efforts of Alexander Cunningham led to the formation of Archaeological Survey of India in the year 1861 by which time he had risen in rank to become Major General Alexander Cunningham.

India is beholden to Alexander Cunningham for discovering India through archaeology.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was born on 23rd January 1897 at Cuttack in Orissa.  The house where he was born has been converted into Netaji Museum.

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Rebel as a student

Netaji was a rebel right from his college days. As a student of Presidency College in Calcutta, he assaulted English Professor Oaten for abusing Indians. Netaji was expelled from the college for this act.

Supported by Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee

It was Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, the then Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University who supported young Bose. Recognizing the patriotic fervor in young Bose and seeing the potential in him, Ashutosh Mukherjee made alternate arrangements for Bose to study.

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Ashutosh Mukherjee

A Win against Gandhi’s Nominee

In 1939, Subhas Chandra Bose contested election for the post of President of Indian National Congress. He won against Pattabhi Sitaramayya, the nominee of Gandhi.

The chariot on which Subhas Chandra Bose rode during the Congress session in Haripura, where he was elected Congress president. The chariot is now preserved in Vansda Palace near Navsari in Gujarat.

Unwell but a stirring speech

At the Tripura All India Congress Committee meeting in 1939, Netaji made a dramatic entry riding an elephant. Inspite of being unwell with high fever, he gave a stirring speech.

Regrouping INA

In 1943, Bose regrouped the Indian National Army with the help of the Indian soldiers from among the defeated British Indian Army in Singapore and marched through South East Asia reaching Moirang in Manipur.

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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose inspecting Troops of Indian National Army, Singapore

In Manipur, he hoisted the Indian Army flag – the Azad Hind Fauz for the first time on Indian Soil on April 14, 1944, defeating the local British Army.

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100000 (One Lakh ) Rupee Note Issued by Bank of Independence of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

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The place where the Indian Tricolour was hoisted for the first time on Indian Soil Moirang, Manipur

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INA Memorial, Moirang, Manipur

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INA memorial in Singapore from where Subhas Chandra Bose started his march

Setting up Azad Hind Bank

On October 21st 1943, Netaji set up the Azad Hind Bank to manage funds donated by the Indian community from across the world for the liberation of India from the British Raj.

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Thousand rupee note of Azad Hind Government

Businessman Abdul Habeeb Yusuf Marfani who donated 1 Crore Rupees to Azad Hind Bank In Rangoon for which Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Gave Him Sevak-e-Hind Medal

Netaji gave the title “Father of the Nation” to Gandhi

It was also Netaji who first gave the title of “Father of the Nation” to Mahatma Gandhi, in his Singapore Radio address.

Feared by the British

While British could not but respect Mahatma for his non-violent struggle, the British feared the Indian National Army of Netaji.

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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with British Politician George Lansbury

Twin Approach

This twin approach led to the dismantling of the British Empire not only in India, but in other parts of world.

He was the one who with a small band of dedicated freedom fighters gave a chill down the spine of the British Empire.

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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in Prague, in 1926

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Mammoth Crowd Welcomes Subhas Chandra Bose in Lahore in 1938

Japanese Connect

Netaji’s ashes are today still in Japan waiting to come to India. Kept in Renkoji temple of Japan, out of Japan’s admiration and respect since September 18th, 1945, it is a place visited by visiting Indians, dignitaries included, to pay respects. As years go by, the generation of people who connected with this man from India and his times, are slowly dwindling.

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Netaji Subash Chandra Bose of Indian National Army, INA

Saichiro Misumi of Tokyo, Japan, at 99 years old in 2014, is Netaji’s oldest living associate in Japan. He was sought out and visited by the Indian Prime Minister Mr.Modi during his visit to Japan in September 2014. Mr.Modi bent down and touched Misumi’s feet, in a typical Indian gesture of paying respects.

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Indian Prime Minister Modi with Saichiro Misumi, in Tokyo  – Courtesy PTI

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Renkoji Temple in Japan

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It is time these ashes came back to Indian soil and sooner the better.

More on Netaji’s Japanese connect in our book – “Indo-Japan A Connect Over Millennia”.

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We also speak extensively about Netaji and his role in India’s freedom in our book – Breaking The Myths – Vol-1 – About Identity.

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Martin Luther King Day

A man who followed in the footsteps of Gandhi

In the 1960s, Martin Luther King Junior led the Afro-Americans of America to freedom from slavery, both in deed and in thought, to a period of equality for one and all.  This movement had nonviolence as its basic tool to fight the unequal policy of the land then.

Martin Luther King Junior has expressed in his works that he took the non-violent struggle route drawing inspiration from the Ahimsa policy of Mahatma Gandhi.

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Martin Luther King Jr.

John Lewis, Congressman of Georgia, USA, while referring to Dr. King as ‘one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced’ says,

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“Dr. King picked up Gandhi’s teaching and message.

And if it hadn’t been for this message, America would have probably been more like South Africa, Lebanon, Northern Ireland. It would probably have been a much more divided nation.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson, an American Civil Rights activist while delivering the Gandhi Memorial Lecture in 2008, speaking about Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi said,

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Rev. Jesse Jackson alongside statue of Mahatma Gandhi

It is the Non Violent Movement of Civil Rights, inspired by Martin Luther King and Ahimsa that has held a super power like America together as recently as in 1960s.

Rashbehari Bose

Rashbehari Bose was one of the prominent Indian leaders who fought against the British Rule.
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Role in Ghadar revolution

He played a prominent role in the Ghadar revolution, a pan Indian mutiny in the British Indian Army that was planned by Ghadar party and carried out in February 1915.

Worked as a Clerk at Forest Research Institute

Rashbehari Bose worked as a head clerk at the Forest Research Institute, in Dehradun, which was set up in 1906.

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The Building where Rashbehari worked as a clerk, in Dehradun

Leaving for Japan

Post the Ghadar revolution, Rash Behari Bose had to leave India to escape from the British hunt. He left for Singapore on May 22nd, 1915 and from there went to Japan in June, under the impersonation of Raja P N T Tagore, a distant relation of Rabindranath Tagore.

In Japan, he played a key role in the formation of the Indian National Army.

On arriving in Japan, he met his colleagues of the Ghadar Party, Herambalal Gupta and Bhagavan Singh and formulated the agenda against the British, in hiding.

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Indo Japan Connect

The Indo – Japan connect from a friendship angle was initiated during the 1915s, when Japan gave shelter to Rash Behari Bose, who was looking for a place to hide from the British. Despite many requests from the British to extradite him, Japan firmly stood by him.

Key thought leaders of Japan, such as Tsuyoshi Inukai, who later went on to become the Prime Minister of Japan, Mitsuru Toyama, a Pan Asian leader of Japan, became his close friends and together they established the platform of the modern day bond between India and Japan.

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A dinner party hosted in the honour of Rash Behari Bose in 1915 at Japan.


Mitsuru Toyama is at the centre of the table, Tsuyoshi Inukai to his right and Rash Behari Bose is behind Mitsuru Toyama – A file photo

Becoming a Japanese citizen

When Japan, an ally of the British in the First World War, discovered their identities and wanted to extradite them, Herambalal escaped to US, while Rash Behari came out of his ‘hiding’ by marrying the daughter of a Japanese bakery owner and becoming a citizen of Japan. Through this bakery, he also introduced Indian Curry to Japan.

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Rash Behari Bose with his Japanese wife

Nakamuraya Curry

Rash Behari was admired by most of the Japanese as also Nakamuraya Bose. The Nakamuraya Curry launched by Rash Behari in Japan, is still a favourite food, widely sold in food chain outlets of Tokyo as, “Indian Curry”.

More on Rash Behari and the Indo-Japan Connect, in our book, Indo Japan, A Connect Over Millennia.

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As a journalist

Rash Behari became a journalist and explained the Indian view to the outside world for the next 20 years. It was due his earnest efforts that a conference was held in Tokyo in 1942 to discuss political issues.

Forming of Indian Independence League

The Indian Independence League was soon formed, under the leadership of Rash Behari.  Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was made the president of this league.

Formation of INA

Many Indian prisoners captured by the Japanese army in Burma and Malaysia were persuaded to join the Indian National Army under this Independence league.

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Thus, the Indian Army took shape due to the efforts of Rashbehari Bose. It was named Azad Hind Fauj.

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Conferred prestigious title

Rashbehari passed away on 21st January, 1945. The Japanese government honoured him with the prestigious title, ‘The Second Order of Merit of the Rising Sun’, the highest recognition for a foreigner.

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It is even more heartening to note that a royal coach was sent by the Japanese Emperor Hirohito, to carry the mortal remains of this great Indian revolutionary.

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Manipur Formation Day

The State of Manipur was formed on 21st January, 1972.

Manipur, gem of a land

From time immemorial, this land in the eastern fringe of India, Bharathvarsha has been aptly called Manipur, a gem of land.

In Mahabharata

One of the early references to Manipur in India literature is in the Mahabharata text. Arjuna during his period of vanavasa, exile, travelled east to Manipur where he falls in love with the Naga princess of Manipur, Ulupi and marries her.

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Ulupi and Arjuna, a painting by Raja Ravi Varma

The son of Ulupi and Arjuna, Ulupi, the prince of Manipur, bravely sacrifices himself for the victory of Pandava at Kurukshetra.

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Iravan

Since then, Manipur being an integral part of Bharathvarsha,

Kangla Fort

In the late medieval times, the kingdom of Manipur had its base at Kangla fort.

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Kangla Fort

This Kangla fort was developed by various kings of Manipur over the centuries. It was a centre of power and culture of Manipur, for many centuries.

The British Attack

The turning point for the kingdom of Manipur was when tragedy struck Manipur, on 24th March 1891.

On this day, in the evening, the nobles of Manipur were watching a Ras leela play at the house of Juvraj TikendraJi at the courtyard. At this moment, the British Gorkha under the command of British officers, mounted a surprise attack on these nobles, and killed all present there, including women and children.

Manipur Hits Back

The other nobles of Manipur promptly hit back, killing the 5 British officers who initiated the massacre. The spot where 5 British officers were killed as revenge, Manipuris erected 2 Kangla Sha, Manipuri type Dragon, which stands to this day.

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Kangla Shah

Anglo Manipur war

This quick retribution by the Manipuris on the 5 British officers sparked off the Anglo Manipuri War in which Manipuris were defeated on 27th Apr 1882, which led to British Union jack flag being raised on the Kangla fort.

For the next 50 years this fort became the barracks of the soldiers for the 70th Assam rifle.

The most difficult battle for the British

British in the process of colonizing the World, fought many battles, including the 2 World Wars.

In all the wars they took part, they have rated the battle of Imphal, Kohima, which took place in soil of Manipur as “Britain’s’ greatest battle.”

It is important to note here that the Imphal Battle was quoted as superseding even the more famous pitch battle in Europe, which include, Normandy, Waterloo and even the Rorke’s Drift, the first big war that happened in 1879.

In this, Battle of Imphal, every inch was fiercely fought.

This fiercest of battles has unfortunately not got the due recognition it deserves in the hierarchy of ferocity of battles.

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The Battle of Imphal

Azad Hind Flag launched in Manipur

In 1943, Bose regrouped the Indian National Army with the help of the Indian soldiers from among the defeated British Indian Army in Singapore and marched through South East Asia reaching Moirang in Manipur.

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Moirang, Manipur, the place where the Indian Tricolour was hoisted for the first time on Indian soil.

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Statue of Subhash Chandra Bose at Moirang, Manipur

It was in Manipur, that he hoisted the Indian Army flag – the Azad Hind Fauz for the first time on Indian Soil, on April 14, 1944, defeating the local British Army.

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Azad Hind Soldiers with the Azad Hind Flag

In the Imphal battle, the Azad Hind Fauj fought against the British Indian Army, and defeated them.  Consequent of the victory of Azad Hind Fauj, they were able to plant the Indian flag, on Manipuri soil.

Kangla, best maintained fort

While today, India is a land dotted with many forts built by many kings and kingdoms across the land, over the last few millennia, many of these forts have sadly not been maintained.

Kangla Fort is one of the exceptions.

This fort has been maintained very well for many decades now.

A painful incident

Once again, this fort became a point of focus in 2004. The social activist Manorama Devi was assaulted, post which 12 Manipuri women disrobed and stood in front of the fort in protest.

For Manipur, which has been an integral part of Bharath Varsha since the days of Mahabharata, and has been aptly termed as a land of Gems, this episode of 2004 was indeed painful.

Manipuri Culture

Dance

Manipur’s culture is best known through its dainty Manipuri dance. The Intricate movements and expressions of Navarasa, in the dance are a feast to one’s eye. The stories of Krishna, Krishna Leela, is a prominent feature of Manipuri Dance.

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Manipuri Dance

Religion

Manipur and Imphal valley is largely Vaishnava in tradition, where the worship of Vishnu is predominant.

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Kangla Vishnu Mandir in Manipur

Food

The Manipuri meal is mainly vegetarian, apart from fish. The food is served on a banana leaf, and is served and consumed with relish. A little bit of salt is served on the banana leaf signifying the end of meal. One washes one hands with this salt as a sense of gratitude to those who gave us the meal, signifying Anna Dhatta Sukhi Bhava.

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Manipuri Meal

Thus we see that Manipur has a rich tradition and culture, promoted by the nobles of this land.

Manipuri Horse

Manipuri horse is one of the native breeds of horses in India. The others being Marwari, Kathiawari, Spite, Zanskari and Bhutia.

The Manipuri breed has a light head with a straight profile, set on a well-formed neck and a somewhat pronounced withers. It has a deep chest and sloping shoulders. The croup is sloping, the legs sturdy and the hooves well-proportioned, giving this breed an overall elegant appearance.

The Manipuri pony resembles and is distantly related to the Burmese Pony, the Indonesian Batak and Sumba ponies. It could be a descendant of the Mongolian Wild Horse.

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Manipuri Horse

More on Manipuri horses in our book, Breaking The Myths – Vol-3- About Prosperity.

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Polo

Polo is a sport whose origin can be traced to Manipur, India.

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Manipuri Polo Team – 1868

This photograph shows one of the very first British Polo teams established in 1868 by members of a mountain battery in Manipur, a state in eastern India.

This game is known as Pulu, which became Polo.

An Over 2000 Year Sport

Raja Chandrakirti Singh, the king of Manipur had told Lt.Sherer then, that the Manipuris had been playing this sport for over 2000 years.

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Raja Chandrakirti Singh of Manipur

(ruled between 1834-1844 & 1850-1886)

This makes it one of the oldest and continuously living sport of the world. A heritage sport of Manipur and India.

This game of Polo has actually been played in Manipur for over 3500 years.

More on this in our book, Brand Bharat – Vol-2 – Roots In India.

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Switzerland of India

Manipur is also a state known for its natural beauty. It is often called the ‘Switzerland of India’. The hills, rivers and lakes, and the variety of flora and fauna, make it an attractive tourist destination.

Imphal

Imphal, the capital of Manipur is one of the ancient cities of India, and is known for its scenic landscapes and greenery.

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Bird Eye view of Imphal

Keibul Lamjao National park

Being the only floating national park in the world, the Kaibul Lamjao National Park is located 53 kms away from Imphal, in the Bishnupur district of Manipur. The park is located on the Loktak lake, which is the largest fresh water lake in eastern India. The national park is home to the endangered brow-antlered deer, more commonly known as Sangai. A variety of fishes and reptiles like tortoises, snakes like viper and cobras are also found. Other animals like the Himalayan black bear and the Malayan bear are also seen.

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Manipur Zoological Gardens

The Manipur Zoological gardens is located at about 7 kms from imphal. It is home to some of the endangered species, Thiamine deer being one of the rare species that is found here. This zoological garden is popularly known as “The Jewel Box of Manipur”.

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Thiamine deer at the Manipur Zoological Gardens

Ukhrul Hill Station

Ukrul Hill station is known for its scenic beauty, with its mountain ranges, waterfalls, Crystal clear rivers and lakes. It is located about 103 kms from Imphal.

All these, and, many more destinations make Manipur an attractive tourist spot.

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Ukrul Hill Station

Manipur Formation day

The state of Manipur may have been formed only in 1972, but this land has been an integral part of the Indian civilization, atleast from the times of Mahabharata, which is dated to have happened around 5100 years back.

More on this, in our book, Historical Krishna.

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On this anniversary of its formation, let us celebrate the rich and ancient culture of Manipur.

Tripura

Tripura is a state in the north eastern part of India with great antiquity.

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Tripura – area highlighted in Red colour on the India map

Tripura, meaning

The word Tripura in Samskrt means, “Three cities”. The name is derived from Devi Tripurasundari, the presiding deity of the Shakti Peeth temple in the state.

Our universe is divided into three dimensions, the gross, the subtle and the causal. These are poetically referred to as “The Three Citites”. The word Tripura thus represents the whole universe, constituting these three dimensions, which is a manifestation of Shakti, the Primordial Energy.

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Tripura Sundari Temple

The Shakti Peeth is located in the Udaipur town of Tripura and was also visited by Adi Shankara.

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Adi Shankara

Home to ancient archaeological sites

Tripura is home to a number of ancient archaeological sites. There are in all 37 rock cut images of Ganesha, Skanda etc. It was part of ancient route to South East Asia via Myanmar.

Ancient colossal Sculpture of Durga, Devtamura

Continuous Kingdom

The land of the modern state Tripura was ruled for many centuries by the Tripuri dynasty.  This dynasty traces its lineage to the Lunar dynasty. The ancient name of Tripura was Kirat, named after the brother of Puru, one of the ancestors of the Pandava.

This makes it one of the longest continuous kingdoms of the world with a history tracing back to more than 5100 years ago, as the Mahabharata period is dateable to around 3100 BCE.

Monarchy

Rajmala, a Bengali chronicle of the Tripura kings presents a list of 149 kings of Tripura upto 1500s CE.

Silver Coin issued by the King Dhanya Manikya of Tripura (1490 – 1515 CE)

Since the Tripura dynasty claims its descent from the moon, obviously the first king is Chandra, the Moon Himself

The seventh king in this illustrious lineage is Druhyu, one of the sons of Yayati in the the Indian legends.

The 145th king is Ratna Fa. He assumed the title Manikya and from his time, this dynasty is known as Manikya dynasty

Tripura is one of the ancient kingdoms anywhere in the world, much older than even the British monarchy.

The Ujjyanta Palace, the royal palace of the kings of Tripura, stands as a reminder of the antiquity of this lineage and kingdom.

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Ujjyanta Palace

Raja Bir Bikram Kishore

Raja Bir Bikram Kishore was the last king of Tripura, who ruled until 1947. He made great contributions to the development of this kingdom. He built the first airport and was a pioneer in land reforms and architecture. Agartala Airport is named after this visionary king.

Raja Bir Bikram Kishore

Merging with Indian Union

The rule of this illustrious lineage came to an end in 1949, when the regent, Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi agreed to merge with the union of India.

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Maharani Kanchan Prabha Devi

At the time of Indian independence in 1947, Tripura was an independent state. At this time it faced many internal crisis, leading to pressure mounting on the Queen to join the Indian Union. In 1949, she signed an agreement with the government of India, ‘The Tripura Merger Agreement’ and Tripura became an integral part of India. This ended a monarchy that had continued for atleast 5000 years.

The Only Condition

The only condition she placed when she handed over her kingdom was that, the local government should continue to celebrate Navaratri and Durga puja, the tradition of their dynasty, without fail.

What a noble woman! She did not ask for anything but for the continuation of the tradition of the lineage for over 5000 years.

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Durga Puja Celebrations in Tripura

To this day, the Tripura government has been keeping up this word of celebrating Navaratri with pomp in Tripura. Though for the last 40 years, Tripura’s rule has been dominated by a Communist government, who are avowed atheists, this practice of Durga Puja has been continued by the state government.

Tripura was a union territory of India and in 1972, it attained full statehood.

Contribution to Indian Constitution

Tripura’s major contribution to the country has been the Indian constitution. Even before India’s constitution was framed in 1950, Tripura had its own constitution.

The last king of Tripura, Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya, had notified a constitution having 68 articles, seven parts and three schedules in July, 1941. It came into being at least nine years before the Indian Constitution was adopted.

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Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya

King Bikram in late 1930s toured many parts of Europe and also had met Hitler then in Germany. On returning to India, he came to the opinion that monarchy would not continue for much longer in the coming modern age, not just in Tripura but in whole of India as well.

He got down to framing a constitution not just for his kingdom of Tripura but for whole of India. This was a clear 6-7 years even before India was given Indepence. This was even before World War-2.

King Bikram set up a constitution drafting committee in 1939, headed by himself.

The contribution of King Bikram’s constitution preparing effort, paved the way for the constitution of India, which was prepared by the constituent assembly, a decade later.

This speaks of the vision of this noble last king of the Tripura lineage.

The important features of Tripura’s contribution to Indian constituion being,

  1. Preamble
  2. Gender neutrality
  3. Emergency provision
  4. Judicial institutions
  5. Interpretation Provision
  6. Independence of judiciary and executive
  7. Ideas of representatives

It is quite baffling that even during the British rule, the Tripura King, in his written constitution, had made a core concept of democracy.

This speaks highly of the land and the rulers who had ruled it for many millennia.

Tripura Formation Day

January 21st is observed every year as Tripura Formation Day, as it attained full statehood on this day, in 1972.

This day is an occasion to remember and celebrate the glorious tradition and culture of this land and its contribution to the present day practices in Indian Democracy.

Kashmiri Pandit Exodus Day

While every day is a struggle for the Kashmiri Pandits, Jan 19th is symbolically observed as Kashmiri Pandit Exodus day.

On this day, in the year 1990, the Kashmiri Pandits were forced out of their home state, Jammu and Kashmir. This was not the first time though that the Pandits had to face hostility from another community.

A Similar Situation

A crucial year it was, the year 1675 CE; the free thought, of the people of the land was trampled by the Mughals.

It was during that period, a delegation of about 500 Kashmir Pundits led by Pundit Kripa Ram met Guru Teg Bahadur at Anandapur Saheb with their harrowing experiences and tales of torture by Aurangzeb, forcing Hindus to convert to Islam.

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The choice was “Convert-Or-Perish”.

Guru Teg Bahadur took upon himself the task of rescuing not just the Kashmir Pundits but the entire society.

But why was Aurangzeb bent upon converting the Kashmir Pundits in the first place?

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Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb vexed with the enigma, of thriving Hindu presence in, despite centuries of Muslim rule, vis-à-vis, the total annihilation of native cultures in other Muslim lands, called his Court to order one day and beseeched them for a solution. His council of advisors then suggested, that, the Seat of Hindu thought and inspiration must be identified and destroyed; they conclusively opined that, this was the only sure way of ensuring that the perennial flow of faith is put to an end.

Having said that, Varanasi, Kasi was identified as the Seat of Hindu faith and the Brahmins of Varanasi, were identified as its custodians.

They were pulled up tortured and asked to convert.

Aurangzeb then, repeated the same torture, formula on the Kashmiri Pundits.

The Sikhs were looked up to as the martial force of the land, were approached by the Kashmir Pundits.

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Sikhs being approached

Guru Teg Bahadur, gallantly took upon himself the responsibility of protecting the people of this country.

He asked the Kashmir Pundits, to go and tell Aurangzeb that,

  1. Kashmir Pundits would convert to Islam; If Guru Teg Bahadur converts.
  2. Therefore the Brahmins of Varanasi would too convert.
  3. The entire Hindu faith would eventually would convert to Islam.

Delighted at such an easy solution of converting the entire lot of Hindus into Islam, Aurangzeb invited Guru Teg Bahadur to Delhi. Guru Teg Bahadur along with his disciples Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dyal Das, went to Delhi and met Mughal Aurangzeb.

Guru Teg Bahadur held extensive discussions on Religious, Philosophical, Spiritual, Logical, Scientific and even on mundane matters to dissuade Aurangzeb from converting Hindus to Islam.

Shahenshah-e-Aurangzeb-al

Alamgir was deeply disappointed and disillusioned and seething with vengeance made two offers to Guru Teg Bahadur:-

  • Either embrace Islam or
  • Face beheading

The great Guru preferred beheading than to convert to Islam.

Aurangzeb, the very Embodiment of Benevolence, as described by our History books, ordered that Guru Teg Bahadur and disciples should be killed.

This henious act was carried out on 09.11.1675.

In the presence of Guru Teg Bahadur, his disciples were done to death one after the other.

Bhai Mati Das

Bhai Mati Das was cut into two halfs by slicing through head downwards.

Mati Das while standing erect was tied between two posts. He was asked if he had any parting words, to which Mati Das answered, “I request only that my head be turned toward my Guru as I am executed.” Two executioners placed a double-handed saw on his head. Mati Das serenely uttered “Ek Onkar” and started reciting the Japji Sahib, the morning prayer of the Sikhs. He was sawed across from head downwards.

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Bhai Mati Das being cut into two

Dyal Das

Dayal Das abused the Emperor and his courtiers for this act. He was tied up like a round bundle and thrown into a huge cauldron of boiling oil. He was boiled alive into a block of charcoal.

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Dayal Das being boiled alive

Sati Das

Sati Das condemned these brutalities. He was wrapped round with cotton and burnt alive and then he was hacked to pieces limb by limb.

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Sati Das being burned alive

Teg Bahadur

Then Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded.

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Guru Teg about to be beheaded

All this happened on 9th November, 1675 AD at Chandni Chowk under the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb.

Now the questions arise:-

  1. Why should Guru Teg Bahadur become a martyr, when he had all chances to escape inhuman torture and death?
  2. Why should Bhai Mati Das, Dyal Das and Sati Das die, when they too have had all chances to escape merciless torture and death?
  3. For whom they endured all the inhuman suffering and made all these sacrifices?

They suffered and sacrificed so that we can live in accordance with our native practices.

How many of us know all this?

How many even know the name of the Martyr Guru Teg Bahadur? Is it not our duty to pay respects to the great Souls?

Sis Ganj Gurudwara

This haloed location, where they were martyred is now venerated as Sis Ganj Gurudwara situated in Chandini Chowk in Old Delhi.

Kashmiri 8

Sis Ganj Gurudwara

It is sad that in present times we even had prominent road in Delhi named after Aurangzeb. The name of this road however has been renamed as Abdul Kalam Road.

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Aurangzeb Road sign board

The Irony

Exodus of a whole ethnic group of people is not just a medieval event we read in history books but happened here & now in our lifetimes, with the Kashmiri Pandits, and in their own homeland.

What an irony! Where else on earth & in history have you had over 5 lakh people of the majority community made refugees in their own country?

While the Kashmiri Pandits, who are natives of this land, have been driven away from Kashmir, the Rohingya Muslims refugees of Burma have been settled in refugee camps in Jammu and Ladakh. Obviously there is a plan to wipe out Kashmiri Pandits out of the valley, their home land.

The government needs to speedup the rehabilitation process of the Kashmiri Pandits, so that they get back their homeland.