India’s eminent academics possess the art to transform lies into truth and rumors into history. They use this art at various levels, but nowhere is this art used as effectively as in history writing. Thus, cruel and bigoted Muslim rulers are transformed in benevolent monarchs and Hindu rulers are either erased from History or referred to as cruel casteist brutes, who danced to tunes of vile Brahmins. This article exposes Rana Safvi’s claims about Mughals celebrating Rakshabandhan in Delhi.
This whitewashing of history also works on the level of appropriation of culture. It works on the physical level in the occupation of Hindu holy sites by Mosques. On the level of narrative, Hindu festivals are either proved to be regressive, destructive to environment, painful for animals etc. or even wiped clean of their Hinduness. The Hindu festivals of Basant Panchami, Baisakhi, Pongal and now Rakshabandan are attempted to be cut from their roots.
Rana Safvi says Mughals celebrated Rakshabandhan festival
The AMU historian Rana Safvi is quoted in a newspaper as saying that Raksha Bandhan is a Mughal festival. For more authenticity, let me quote from her personal website, from an article titled “The Mughal Emperor and his Brahmin sister“. Please remember I have quoted without any change and not corrected even the spelling mistakes:-
“Alamgir II was a very pious man and had great faith in Sufi faqeers ( menndicants). Whenever he heard a faqeer had come to Delhi he would call him to the Fort and if he didn’t come would go to meet him, himself. Imad-ul-Mulk spread the rumour of a very esteemed faqeer coming for a visit to Delhi and staying in Firoz Shah Kotla. The rumours were that he didn’t go anywhere or meet anyone. As these rumours were cleverly fed to the Emperor his anxiety to meet the faqeer grew. One night he set off alone to the Kotla.
He was set upon by the wazir’s men and brutally killed. The Emperor’s body was thrown into the River Yamuna. A Brahmin lady named Ram Kumari / Kor was passing by on her way for early morning puja of the Yamuna. She saw the dead body and recognised it as that of the Emperor. The Mughal Emperors always enjoyed the goid will of their subjects – Hindu & Muslim alike. She immediately sat down there and kept his head on her lap and crying softly waited for dawn. At dawn she was joined by other worshippers of the Yamuna. They all sat with their Emperor till help came. Shah Alam II called Ram Kumari and declared her to be his sister. He rewarded her.
After that on every Raksha Bandhan she would come and tie a rakhi on his wrist and he would gift her clothes as is the norm.“
Exposing Rana Safvi and her fake story
Let me point out the holes in this little story:-
- This story is not found in any authentic Mughal history. However, in another article, Rana accepts that this story is taken from a book called Bazm -e- Akhir, written in 1885. Please note that the incident is from 1759 and Shah Alam died in 1806, so the source itself is unreliable. Had this been mentioned in any contemporary book, one might be inclined to accept it.
- Now, it so happens that I have actually read the translation of Bazm-e-Akhir. It might be noted that Rana herself has translated Bazm-e-Akhir and included it in her book “City of My Heart : Four Accounts of Love, Loss and Betrayal in Nineteenth-Century Delhi“. The incident is indeed mentioned in the book, but the name of the Hindu lady is not given. Safvi invents a name, Ram Kumari/Kor, and further gives her Brahmin caste identity. Readers will note that this is consistent with the methods of our ’eminent historians’. They build castles on air, without a shred of evidence and then pass their statements as Brahmvakya!
- Fortunately, as a keen student of history, I also happen to know that Shah Alam ran away from Delhi soon after the death of his father. His father died on 29 November 1759 and Shah Alam was is eastern UP in 1759 itself! This ‘Emperor’ took up residence in Allahabad and for the fear of his own ministers, did not return to Delhi until 12 years later! Also note that the festival of Rakshabandhan comes in Shravan month, which falls in July or August. So this cannot be Rakhi of 1759, and it cannot be Rakhi of next 12 years as the supposed woman lived in Delhi and Alam in Allahabad! How this women was tying rakhis to an emperor who was not even in Delhi is a mystery. Clearly, this is a damned lie.
- As for him gifting clothes to Hindu women, he himself was too poor to afford clothes, how could he gift to others? All of us have read of Shah Alam’s defeat by Lord Clive in Buxar in 1764 and how he became a pensioner of British. In 1772, he became a pensioner of Marathas, who returned him to Delhi. When British, under Lord Lake, conquered Delhi in 1803, he is described as sitting in old clothes under a tattered canopy! Can such a beggar gift anyone any clothes?
- In the story of Rana Safvi, he comes forward as a noble and kind character. The truth is much more ghastly as this little story will illustrate. Shah Alam defeated one Zabita Khan Rohilla in battle and took his son Ghulam Qadir as hostage. This handsome boy of 10 years was first castrated and then made to dance in lady clothes by ‘Emperor’ Shah Alam. But this was not all, Shah Alam also raped this boy for years, all the while calling this boy his ‘special son’. Once the boy became capable enough, he took revenge! He attacked and captured Delhi in 1788 and forced the Mughal princes to dance in ragged clothes, and princesses to dance naked! In a ghastly finale, he took out the eyes of the Shah Alam himself, while sitting on his chest!
Rana Safvi wants us to believe that this miserable pedophile introduced Rakshabandhan in Delhi and she invents an story with holes the size of craters for it!
Other attempts on Rakshabandhan
This is not the first attempt at appropriating Rakshabandhan. The story of Humayun and Karnawati is often told to say that this festival started when Karnawati sent Rakhi to ask help from Humayun against Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. This story is as fake as the one above. A few points are worth mentioning:-
- Rani Karnawati was the widow of Rana Sanga of Mewar, who had died fighting the Mughals in 1527. Why would she seek help from the same Mughals just 6 years later?
- Humayun did move from Bengal towards Chittor after he heard of the war between Bahadur Shah and Mewar, but stopped midway and camped for 1 month. He clearly wanted to see how the war turns out and then beat the weary victors. His coming from Bengal was not on account of any Rakhi, but due to pure realpolitik.
- Immediately afterwards to the war, he did not help the son of his ‘sister’, Rana Uday Singh and let the usurper Banbir take the throne. What would a maternal uncle do? It must be noted that Humayun’s son Akbar attacked Chittor in 1567 and killed 8000 soldiers and massacred 30000 unarmed civilians!
Clearly, this is another invented story to show Mughals as secular Kings. Indeed, this story is not told in any of the Mughal official histories!
The propaganda machine of Marxists and Islamists is quite well oiled. They can change history before our very eyes. The recent Delhi riots were branded as Muslim genocide despite these being planned by Tahir Hussain, executed by he likes of Safoora and Sharjeel, and financed by Zakir Naik.
The history textbooks are filled with such accounts that denigrate Hindus and glorify Mughals. Rana Safvi and her friends from AMU and JNU have been muddying the waters of history since many decades. The aim is to manufacture such Hindus, who are devoid of any pride in their past. Their success depends on us not exposing them. As long as Hindus support the voices that expose them, there is hope.
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