How did we Reach the Stage Where a Name Like ‘Taimur’ Has Become Acceptable?

From the autobiographical memoir of the invader Timur  –

My object in the invasion of Hindustan is to lead an expedition against the infidels that, according to the law of Muhammad (upon whom and his family be the blessing and peace of God), we pray convert to the true faith the people of that country and purify the land itself from the filth of infidelity and polytheism; and that we may overthrow their temples and idols and become ghazis and mujahids before God

Sack of the City of Delhi

On that day, Thursday, and all the night of Friday, nearly 15,000 Turks were engaged in slaying, plundering, and destroying.  When morning broke on the Friday, all the army, no longer under control, went off to the city and thought of nothing but killing, plundering, and making prisoners. All that day the sack was general.  The following day Saturday, the 17th, all passed in the same and the spoil was so great than each man secured from fifty to a hundred prisoners, men, women and children.  There was no man who took less than twenty.   The other booty was immense in rubies, diamonds, garnets, pearls, and other gems; jewels of gold and silver; ashrafis, tankas of gold and silver of the celebrated ‘Alai coinage; vessels of gold and silver; and brocades and silks of great value.  Gold and silver ornaments of the Hindu women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all account.  Excepting the quarter of the saiyids, the ‘ulama, and the other Musulmans, the whole city was sacked.

Campaign against Hindus after the Conquest of Delhi 

I then reflected that I had come to Hindustan to war against infidels, and my enterprise had been so blessed that wherever I had gone I had been victorious.  I had triumphed over my adversaries, I had put to death some lacs of infidels and idolaters, and I had stained my proselyting sword with the blood of the enemies of the faith.  Now this crowning victory had been won, and I felt that I ought not to indulge in ease, but rather to exert myself in warring against the infidels of Hindustan.  Having made these reflections on the 22nd of Rabiu-l akhir, I again drew my sword to wage a religious war

The above extract is from the Malfuzat-i Timuri, or Tuzak-i Timuri, an autobiographical memoir of Timur (1336-1405 CE), also known as Taimur, Temur, Tamerlane, or Timur-e-Lang (“Timur the Lame”), a brutal Turko-Mongol conqueror who invaded Bharat in 1398 CE. Timur was the great-great-great-grandfather of Babur, the Mughal invader who followed his ancestors’ footsteps in wreaking a path of death and destruction to establish the Mughal empire in Bharat.

The very name Timur or Taimur conjures up the image of a brutal, intolerant destroyer in the minds of Hindus of Bharat who still remember the depredations and tyranny of this blood-thirsty jihadi just 700 years ago.

There are some names that viscerally stir up negative emotions in a civlization and people – like the name Adolf Hitler will forever be reviled by Jews, names like Aurangzeb and Taimur are reviled by Hindus. Even Iraq and Persia are no great fans of Timur as some of his greatest atrocities were carried out there, although Timur did promise to atone for his sins of harming Muslims by waging jihad on kafirs (non-Muslims) of Bharat and China.

So then, why did Saif Ali Khan Pataudi (son of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Sharmila Tagore aka Begum Ayesha Sultana) and Kareena Kapoor Khan (daughter of Randhir Kapoor and Babita Shivdasani) name their just born child as Taimur Ali Khan? Were they unaware of the connotations this name has for the Hindus of Bharat, the country where Saif and Kareena reside and ply their trade in?

Media, as usual, skirted around the issue and cheered the star couple –

The Indian Express article, although it sidesteps the atrocities wreaked by Timur upon Bharat in 1398, does provide an insight into how the name was arrived at by the parents –

“Why are we not surprised on knowing a historic name for the star kid? Well, in a candid conversation with Neha Dhupia on her chat show, ‘No Filter Neha’, Kareena said, “Saif is a historian and would want a traditional old school name.”

So, it appears that the father Saif Ali Khan knows the true import of the name Taimur, over and above the old Turkic language meaning of ‘Iron’. Kareena Kapoor is probably ignorant of history, or just doesn’t care.

Unlike MSM, twitter was forthright in expressing its opinions –

But, as expected, there were many Hindus who took the opposite stance of supporting the parents’ decision to name their child Taimur –

Some even went to the extent of praising Taimur as an ‘amazing administrator who saved many wars by creating a demonstration effect’! 

taimur

If one looks at the life of Taimur, he was continuously engaged in one battle or the other on his several brutal conquests and plundering expeditions. Even after ravaging Delhi and North Bharat in 1398 CE, he went on to invade Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Syria, Baghdad (again), and was preparing for an invasion of China at the time of his death in 1405 CE. Does this sound like a man who ‘saved many wars’?

Should we justify such genocide by casually labeling Middle Ages as ‘brutal’? Why did North and South America not witness such brutality during the same middle ages? Wasn’t the Middle Age brutality due to Islamic and Christian supremacists hell bent on imposing their world view on others?

Which age is not brutal – did we not see extreme brutality in the 18-20th centuries due to colonialism, World Wars and communism? Are we not seeing mass brutality today in the actions of Islamic terror organizations and wars raging in Africa and Middle East? Should future generations give a free pass to Hitler, Stalin and ISIS just because the period from 1920 – 2020 can be classified as ‘brutal’?

Incidentally, Meeta Sengupta is one of the leading voices in New delhi on education policy and also and advisor to the Government (MHRD) team framing the New Education Policy. Is it any wonder that our children today don’t know our true history and the reality of invaders like Timur?

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell

Commentator Ashok Malik, who is considered pro-BJP (and by extension pro-Hindu) by many, came up with this tweet to take a jibe at those criticizing the name Taimur –

But, why exactly should Alexander be a hero for us in Bharat? This is an example of the Eurocentrism (focusing on European culture or history to the exclusion of a wider view of the world; implicitly regarding European culture as pre-eminent) that we are grappling with till today. In pre-Islamic Persian (Zoroastrian) literature, Alexander is referred to by the epithet gujastak, meaning “accursed”, and is accused of destroying temples and burning the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism. So Parsis who know their history would be averse to naming their children Alexander as well.

And let us also remember that Alexander was defeated in Bharat – his forces were so weakened after their battles in our North-West that they just didn’t have the heart to cross the Ganga and take on the Magadh Army. Hence it is natural that the name Alexander does not evoke the same revulsion in the Hindu mind, like Taimur does.

Saif and Kareena are free to name their child anything. This is not about them – it is about the Hindus of Bharat.

How did we Hindus become so full of self-loathing, so ignorant of our own past, so self-negating that we have not even asserted out right to propagate our own history from our viewpoint in the one country which we can call home? Why did we not insist on integrating all communities in this country, especially Muslims and Christians, with a common narrative that acknowledges the atrocities committed against us by Muslim and Christian conquerors and colonists? Have we learnt nothing after a Partition based on a two-nation theory where the chief ideologue of this theory Jinnah said

“The Hindus and Muslims belong to two different religious philosophies, social customs, litterateurs…they belong to two different civilizations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions…..Hindus and Mussalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. They have different epics, different heroes, and different episodes. Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and, likewise, their victories and defeats overlap”

What have we done since Independence to counter such thinking in Indian Muslims? Haven’t we, under the guise of secularism, allowed Muslims to further insulate themselves?

Bollywood is a rough barometer of social mores and  beliefs – in 194os, a star like Muhammad Yusuf Khan took the screen name of Dilip Kumar or Mumtaz Jehan Dehlavi became Madhubala; in 1980s/ 1990s, Aamir, Salman and Shahrukh Khan appeared under their own names but their movies were sensitive to Hindu sensibilities; and today we have an Aamir Khan appear in a Hindu-bashing PK, SRK set to star in a Raees which glorifies Abdul Latif – a dreaded criminal, rioter and terrorist, while Salman stars in Bajrangi Bhaijan where Hindu Brahmins are typecast as racist fanatics and Muslims shown as tolerant.

Going by this trend, a bollywood Muslim star naming his child after a brutal Islamic invader Taimur should not come as a surprise.


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  • Kalit

    According to the tweet by Ashok Malik on Taimur, Jews should celebrate Hitler because he was just another conqueror who also happened to kill Jews en masse. And that is no different from Taimur killing Hindus merely because they were Hindus and stipulated by his genocidal faith! As for Meeta Sengupta, she has the requisite ignorance to pontificate on the subject and wreck Indian education in the bargain! Good luck India!!!

  • Sadsak

    Ignorance is bliss?