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Painting devil of Muslims? BJP leader 'deliberately' recalled fiction as historical fact

By Adv Masood Peshimam*
Once, a great Urdu drama writer Imtiaz Ali Taj happened to visit the grave of Anarkali, the kaniz or the courtier of Emperor Akbar at Lahore. Her name was Nadira, who hailed from Afghanistan. There is Anarkali Bazar at Lahore in Pakistan. Anarkali mattered much to Imtiaz Ali Taj. With a view to enlarge the canvas of Anarkali the dramatist thought of rolling out some new story with the touch of fiction.
He developed the whole drama of emperor Akbar having an affair with Anarkali with the copious details involving ironic court intrigues which was not largely synonymous with reality. Being an artist he inundated the whole drama with rich literary contents. Based on Taj's literary creation the theme occupied more literary space, with someone adding more plot to the situation with the sensational treatment to the subject.
It caught the imagination of director K Asif who made "Mughale Azam" which turned out be magnum opus of Indian cinema with the rich dialogue of Mirza Amanulla, Zeenat Aman's father. The morale of the story is that many a time untrue narrative is created around kings, nobles or big personalities to arouse attraction. The malignant intention may paint the personality as devil.
Attuned to the phenomenon of painting devil of Muslim kings, making a controversial statement of BJP president of Rajasthan, Madan Lal Saini said that Mughal emperor Akbar was a " molester" who used to organise "Meena Bazar" to exploit women. Saini also said that the kinds of misdeeds Akbar used to commit under guise are recorded in history, though without giving any reference.
He said that some Kiran Devi when confronted with the inappropriate activities of Emperor Akbar pushed him to the ground pointing a dagger to his chest. Akbar begged for his life lay at her feet which culminated into the closure of Meena Bazar.
The narrative of Saini is the product of fertile imagination not supported by the historical facts. The ruthless campaign to paint devil of Muslim rulers is to spew venom against Muslims to take the political advantage. The agenda of taking "historical revenge" is a convenient tool to target the Indian Muslims who are no way responsible for the deeds or misdeeds of Muslim rulers.
It is not out of context to note that the war between Muslim rulers and others were more of a political nature rather than religious. Religion had no role in it. The first Panipat battle was between Babar and Ibrahim Lodhi. There may be some gray areas, but looking everyone with disdain and contempt is not proper.
While finding lacuna with Muslim rule, its contribution, particularly in the field of architecture, cannot be overlooked. No less significant is to note that history cannot be applied to contemporary realities. It has become a fashion in India to play the political trump card by painting devil of Muslims, which needs to be avoided in the larger national interest.
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*Based on Kalyan (West), Maharashtra. Click here to contact

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