The Telegraph – Amit Shah’s call to rewrite history

“The uprising of 1857 wouldn’t have become a part of our history but for Veer Savarkar,” Shah said

Piyush Srivastava

Lucknow – UP – India, 18 October 2019. Union home minister and BJP president Amit Shah on Thursday urged Indian historians to “rewrite history from an Indian perspective” and held up Hindu Rashtra proponent Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as an exemplar.

“There is a need to rewrite our history. We need to come forward to do so. The historians of the country have a big role to play. It’s our weakness that we couldn’t re-analyse our history,” Shah said after inaugurating a two-day seminar on Skandagupta Vikramaditya, the fifth-century AD emperor, at Banaras Hindu University.

The seminar was titled “Guptavanshak Veer: Skandagupta Vikramaditya”. While “Gutpavanshak veer” means “brave member of the Gupta dynasty”, the title also carries an echo of the sobriquet, “Veer”, that the Sangh parivar attaches to Savarkar (1883-1966), one of its spiritual forbears.

Shah asked the historians to take a leaf out of the book of the freedom fighter and Hindu Mahasabha leader from Maharashtra. “The uprising of 1857 wouldn’t have become a part of our history but for Veer Savarkar,” Shah said.

“It was he who wrote that the uprising of 1857 (portrayed by British historians as a mere mutiny or revolt by sepoys) was the first Indian war of independence. Otherwise, we would have still been looking at this event through the eyes of the British.”

Savarkar had written a Marathi book about the 1857 uprising, calling it India’s first war of Independence. An English translation was published in 1909, titled The Indian War of Independence: 1857.

Savarkar was arrested in 1948 on the charge of conspiracy in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination but was acquitted for lack of evidence. The BJP has in its manifesto for the Maharashtra Assembly elections promised to honour Savarkar with the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award.

One of the Sangh parivar’s pet peeves is that most universities in the country teach a “Leftist” version of Indian history that, among other things, glorifies Mughal rule.

It wants Indian history rewritten to project the whole of Islamic rule as retrogressive, lionise Hindu kings like Prithviraj Chauhan and Rana Pratap who fought Muslim invaders or rulers, and extol ancient Indian (Hindu) knowledge and wisdom.

Shah claimed that India was regaining its “lost glory” under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He asserted that after the Mahabharat period, the Gupta period (fourth to sixth century AD) was the golden age of Indian history.

“The country is regaining its lost glory under Modiji. The entire world now accepts India and accords importance to its philosophy,” he said.

“Now that India is independent, historians must rethink and rewrite its history. Whatever you write must be true and popular (among the readers). How long should we keep cursing Leftist, English and Mughal historians (for alleged distortion)?”

The Tribune – Bangla Sahib to be differently-abled, senior citizen-friendly

New Delhi – India, 20 October 2019. As it prepares to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, Delhi’s iconic Gurdwara Bangla Sahib is being made barrier-free to make it differently-abled and senior citizen-friendly, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) President Manjinder Singh Sirsa said on Sunday.

The Delhi SGMC has initiated the movement to maintain, provide, renovate and repair existing infrastructure to ensure that the elderly and differently-abled have easy access to the gurdwara complex.

The shrine has developed inclusive infrastructure to meet the special requirements of the people in respect of wheelchairs, battery-driven carts, wheelchair friendly-washrooms, tactile floors or pathways and railings, among others, to ensure easy accessibility.

“The gurdwara has three entry gates and four electric vehicles lined up to help the old and differently-abled reach the steps near the shrine and the stairs have a motor fitted sit-in lift on the side.

The gurdwara has 16 wheelchairs to meet the needs of differently-abled devotees at present and the management is likely to add another 20 wheelchairs by the year-end,” an official statement said.

Also, the gurdwara has set up permanent ramps to make for easier movemnent of wheelchairs.

Besides, the Delhi SGMC is constructing another lift between the gurdwara front and the main Darbar Hall to be made operational by the end of November.

“People from all faiths and communities visit the gurdwara and the steps will help them” Sirsa said.

“At present, around 35,000 devotees besides 2,000 domestic and foreign tourists visit the shrine on ordinary days and DSGMC has decided to create an environment that will attract even more worshippers,” the statement said.

Gent: Oostakker Lourdes – Kazemattenstraat – Korenmarkt

Oostakker Lourdes
10 October 2019

Stop for buses 70, 71 and 72

Kazemattenstraat Moskee
Eyüp Sultan Camii
10 October 2019

Demir Ali surrounded by students

Oostakker Lourdes
10 October 2019

Former railway station for pelgrims to Oostakker Lourdes

The building is still in good condition

Should the station not be reopened to serve the Sint-Amandsberg suburb of Gent ?

14 October 2019

Sint-Niklaasstraat – Tram 1 to Korenmarkt
Due to works the trams from Flanders Expo run only as far as Korenmarkt

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Geo TV – ‘Welcome to Pakistan’: Kartarpur project enters final stage

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 20 October 2019. The construction work on the Kartarpur project, a border corridor between India and Pakistan, connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, has entered its final stage.

Quoting Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, the official Twitter account of Government of Pakistan said it “will be open to the public on the 9th of next month.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan says Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from across the globe,” read the tweet which also accompanied three pictures from the Pakistani side of the corridor.

Pakistan has also invited former prime minister of India Manmohan Singh to attend the opening ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

In November last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor, months after he assumed office after winning majority of seats in the parliament. – Manmohan Singh wants to attend Kartarpur inauguration event as an ‘ordinary man’, says Pakistan.

Earlier this month, the former prime minister accepted Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s invitation to join the first group of pilgrims to the shrine.

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 20 October 2019. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara inauguration in Narowal in Pakistan’s Punjab province on November 9 as an “ordinary man” and not as a “chief guest”, ANI reported on Saturday, citing local media.

“I had invited former PM of India Manmohan Singh,” Qureshi told reporters in Multan district. “I am thankful to him, he wrote me a letter and said, ‘I will come but not as chief guest but [as] an ordinary man’.”

The foreign minister added that Pakistan would welcome him even if he attended the event as an ordinary participant.

On 30 September, Qureshi first announced that Islamabad had decided to invite Singh for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor.

Earlier this month, the former prime minister accepted Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s invitation to join the first group of devotees that will travel to Kartarpur as part of an all-party pilgrim delegation.

Amarinder Singh has clarified that Manmohan Singh will not participate in any event organised by Pakistan. “There is no question of me going and I feel Manmohan Singh will not go as well,” the chief minister has said. “There is a huge difference between visiting Pakistan and going to the gurdwara through the corridor.”

The corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur in India’s Punjab state to the gurdwara in Kartarpur, where Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev is supposed to have settled after his travels. He was also laid to rest in Kartarpur. The two countries are striving to complete the project before Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary on November 9. The corridor will allow Indian Sikh devotees to travel to the pilgrimage site without visa.