Monday, January 31, 2011

A Word About Baba Deep Singh

Recently I met some Sikh children and was surprised that no a child among them had ever heard of Baba Deep Singh. Not many know that BabaDeep Singh is one of the most revered names in Sikh history. As a martyr for the Sikh cause his name is bracketed at the top as the greatest of the great. Deep Singh’s claim to fame rests on the fact that he expelled the Moslems from the Golden Temple after the Afghan warrior Ahmed Shah Abdali had the temple razed to the ground and the sacred pool filled with dead carcasses of slaughtered cows.

Deep Singh and the Battle of Gohalwar

This episode jolted Deep Singh who then was 75 years old and busy translating the Sikh scriptures. He decided that the time had come to throw the Moslems out of the Golden Temple and restore its sacredness. Accordingly he collected a small body of Sikhs and marched to meet the Moslems. As he moved forward a large number of Sikh peasantry joined him. This is one of the great romances of history. As Deep Singh advanced his force grew and to cries of Sat Sri Akal, the Sikh Army moved forward.

Baba Deep promised the Sikhs that he would cleanse the temple and even if his head fell he would still continue fighting. Accordingly the Sikhs met the Moslems in the battle at the village of Gohalwar on November 11, 1757. The Sikhs won the battle and the Moslem force was routed.

The Legend

Baba Deep Singh led the battle with great bravery but legend tells us that the head of Baba Deep Singh was decapitated. But he continued fighting by carrying his head in one hand and his Khanda (sword) in the other hand. Whatever the truth, the temple was freed and then rebuilt later. The spot where his head fell is a sacred spot in the temple premises. His Khanda which weighed 30 kg is still available as an exhibit at Takht Sri Hazur Sahib close to Nanded in Maharashtra.

The significance of Baba Deep Singh lies in the fact that he roused the Sikhs against the Moslems and defeated them. He is a man who is deeply respected among Sikhs as an outstanding martyr and it is about time that the younger generation learn’t about him.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sex, Japanese and Car Nicobar Tribals

Recently while going through some old notes of mine, I came across some jottings I had made while I made my visits to Car Nicobar island  nearly two and half decades back. These make interesting reading and one can realize that perhaps Subhas Bose was very naive man who could not distinguish between bad and good and bad and evil.

 The Car Nicobar Island houses a Air Force base and my purpose was basically to evaluate the Security  aspects of this base. The Island itself is beautiful  with lovely beaches. It has a perimeter road about 50 km in length, that circumference the island. I have driven on this road. During my visits and interacting with the head man a startling fact emerged.

The Japanese occupied the island in 1942, but they did not hand over the administration to the Indian nationalists. They continued to pay lip service to the cause of Indian independence and fooled Subhas Bose, who turned out to be naïve or plainly stupid.

As per the accounts related to me the soldiers of the Imperial army greatly desired the local tribal girls who were good looking. They wished to incorporate the young girls as comfort women for their troops with the more beautiful ones being reserved for the officers. This was resisted by the locals. The Japanese then did the unthinkable and started a massacre of the male population. In particular they targeted the educated elite who spoke English and just either beheaded them or shot them.

The Japanese followed up by claiming the women for their pleasure and after repeated rapes and sex, hundreds were impregnated. The Japanese gloated on their power over the women as they repeatedly raped and impregnated them. The head man shuddered at the thought and I also felt revulsion of the Japanese.They, thus to an extant changed the race of the Island.

This aspect of the Japanese occupation of the Car Nicobar Island need further study. Historians have some how ignored this area which was occupied by the Japanese. The Japanese account of the occupation makes me sad, worse I fell sadder that Subhas Bose sided with the Japanese.That is an irony of History

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Man to be Admired-The Great Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa

 Recently one of my old colleagues from the US Army who had completed the staff course at Wellington with me visited Mumbai. He told me he was writing a book on Sikh Warfare. He also mentioned that he was looking into the campaigns of Hari Singh Nalwa. Who was Hari Singh Nalwa ? Sadly many of our young men have never heard of him, so I thought to do a bit of research and put his life in brief on my blog.

It is important to remember that the Sikh empire stretched over what is modern Pakistan, with Lahore as its capital. In a series of battles the Sikhs had pushed the Afghans beyond the Khyber Pass and areas like Peshawar which had long been part of the Afghan( Durrani) empire had been captured. One man who made this possible was the Commander in Chief of Ranjit Singh's Army- Hari Singh Nalwa (1791-1837).

Hari Singh Nalwa joined the Sikh Army at a young age and by his feats on the battle field rose to be the foremost Sikh General. One aspect of his campaigns needs to be understood, that in 2000 years of history of the sub-continent , Hari Singh was the only Hindu/ Sikh general who ventured west wards and won significant victories. Prior to this all the invaders had come from the east only.

Hari Singh won significant victories against the Afghans and was instrumental in capturing Multan, Peshawar, Jamrud and the Khyber pass. In fact he conquered the entire present day West Pakistan. The Pathans and the Afghans suffered a series of defeats against him. So great was his fear among the Afghan Moslems that Afghan mothers would put their children to sleep with the words Raghe hari Singh( Hari Singh is coming). He was certainly the bravest of the brave.

Hari Singh was fluent in a number of languages including Persian and British and German travellers who met him will vouchsafe that he was a great soldier. Hari Singh’s claim to greatness rests on his campaigns against the Afghan Moslems whom he defeated as never before. In fact a popular 19th century British newspaper, Tit-Bits, published this piece in its edition.”Some people might think that Napoleon was a great General. Some might name Marshall Hendenburgh, Lord Kitchener, General Karobzey or Duke of Wellington etc. And some going further might say Halaku Khan, Genghis Khan, Changez Khan, Richard or Allaudin etc. But let me tell you that in the North of India a General of the name of Hari Singh Nalwa of the Sikhs prevailed. Had he lived longer and had the sources and artillery of the British, he would have conquered most of Asia and Europe.

Let us salute this great warrior who died on the battle field at Jamrud in 1837. His death was kept a secret from the Afghans who retreated thinking that Hari Singh was still alive, so great was the fear he inspired. One cannot think of a better inspiration for the young men of today than Hari Singh Nalwa. By the way he got the surname Nalwa after he killed a tiger in combat single handed!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marrying an Indian Girl * 81

Recently a friend of mine, an ex Major of the US Army landed in from the USA. He was my course mate from Staff College. I was delighted in meeting him, but the best part was that he was still married to his Indian wife. Over Beer and some pork sausages he confessed that he was ‘lucky’ to have married an Indian girl. He voiced some opinions, but I wonder how many will agree with what he said and what I write.

In the permissive atmosphere in the west and the US in particular, a girl loses her virginity before she touches 16 or 17. Numerous research scholars have confirmed this and many studies also point to this fact being true. In contrast because of the moral code of Hinduism, there is a 95% chance that one can marry a virgin in India. Thus in case one wishes to have bride, a virgin bride there is every chance that wish can be fulfilled by marrying a Hindu girl from India.

Sex is a major ingredient of a marriage, but of course there are other factors as well. Religion is big factor as it sanctifies marriage. Marrying an Indian girl means marrying a girl who believes in marriage. The chance of a divorce or an extramarital affair is generally dim, because of the ethos of the religion that governs an Indian girls psyche. Mind you Indian girls can have a modern outlook, but are generally by nature conservative.

Another aspect is adaptability. Here also an Indian girl will score over the more independent minded western sisters of hers. But all in all these factors are for discussion only and the success of a marriage is basically a form of chemistry that cannot be quantified or defined.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The BJP and Hoisting the National Flag at Lal Chowk


I am not a supporter of the BJP, as I do not agree with their concept of Ramrajya. But in this incident where they wish to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk, is one that deserves our support. Let us understand that the Supreme Court of India in a judgement some time back had said that every citizen of India has the right to hoist and fly the National flag. Thus, once we accept that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of India, then anybody should be free to hoist the national flag.After all the Pakistan flag is hoisted at Gilgit, so why not the Indian flag at Srinagar ?
The argument that hoisting the national flag at Srinagar will disturb the peace is specious and needs to be condemned. The role of Omar Abdullah is thus suspect.Here is one man who who cannot even roam the streets of Srinagar alone, without a body guard, yet makes statements, against the hoisting of the flag at Lal Chowk. He is playing into the hands of the separatists, who would just like to make a point that Kashmir is not part of India.
Right down from Pandit Nehru, the Congress leadership has been making mistake after mistake in handling the Kashmir issue, with the result that the valley is not integrated with India.Who is responsible?  The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has voiced an opinion against hoisting of the flag at Srinagar.It is well known that he is like a puppet on string, thus his assertions can be ignored.There is also no doubt that when the BJP was in power at the centre, it did precious little to integrate the valley with the mother country. In fact the only headlines it cornered were of corruption.
But now let us all resolve that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and anybody, that includes the BJP should be allowed to hoist the tricolor anywhere, be it Srinagar or Imphal.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Maharajah Bhupinder Singh,The Patiala King and Adolf Hitler

The Maharajah of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh (1900-38) is one of the most flamboyant Maharajahs India ever had.In addition to his 20 Rolls Royce cars, he was also a ladies man.He married 10 wives, including 4 sister from Himachal and fathered nearly 100 children. In addition he was one of the rare breed of rulers who seduced an English girl from Simla.It is rumored that she was the daughter of Lord Kitchner, Commander In Chief , Indian Army. Lord kitchner was incensed at this seduction and banned the Maharajah from Simla.The maharajah went one better and built his own hill station at Chail. It is a lovely place and rivals Simla in every aspect. The charm of the Maharajah was evident as his elopement with the English girl reveals. He was handsome and had a magnetic personality.

One other facet of Bhupinder Singh is not that well known and that concerns his meetings with Adolf Hitler, in 1935. Hitler as we all know was the dictator of Germany and a man with a magnetic personality. He was to have a 10 minute meeting with Bhupinder Singh, but the meeting went so well that it continued for over an hour.The maharajah was also invited to Lunch with Hitler the next day. This invitation must be seen in the background, that Hitler rarely invited Asians for his lunches.Remember he kept Subhas Bose waiting for many weeks before he agreed to meet him? Hitler was obviously impressed with Bhupinder Singh
This was not all as Hitler presented a Maybach luxury car to the maharajah. this showed his appreciation of Bhupinder Singh. Hitler presented only 3 cars to Asian rulers and Bhupinder Singh was one of them.The British were indeed suspicious !
The car remained with the Patiala family till 1957 and then was gifted away, but this episode of Hitler presenting a car to Mahrajah Bhupinder Singh is a incident that cannot be forgotton.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ranjeet Singh-Founder of Pakistan ? * 69

RanjitSingh by ManuSaluja.jpg
I have always wondered how Ranjeet Singh the great Sikh Maharajah is regarded in Pakistan. The fact remains that he ruled over an empire that mostly consists of present day Pakistan, with his capital at Lahore( Presently the No 1 city of Pakistan).Another fact that cannot be denied is that the majority of his subjects were Moslems. So where do we place Ranjeet Singh?
One fact that emerges is that India was never one nation, and the Muslim League under  Jinnah, made use of this argument to put forward their claim for Pakistan. In fact Jinnah sited the example of Ranjeet Singh in his arguments with the Congress.There is also the fact that in 1946 Jinnah gave a blank cheque to the Sikhs to join Pakistan, as he never wished the Punjab to be divided.
Ranjit Singh during his reign mounted battles against the Afghans in the West.( They were the Taliban of that period). He won and decimated the Afghans.Never forget that his Army had large numbers of  Punjabi Moslems and Hindus. Similarly now the Pakistan Army is in battle against the Taliban in the west like Ranjeet Singh.
Many Pakistanis now do feel that Ranjeet Singh stood for Punjabiat( Glory of Punjabis). he was not a religious fanatic and never converted anybody to Sikhism. But his subjecst loved him. Once he accepted a copy of the Koran as a gift and remarked that perhaps God gave him one eye, so that he could see all religions equally !! What a great man ! He was in my opinion the founder of Pakistan.

Why is India frightened of China ? Silly its the Political Leadership

Recently the Chinese have started issuing visa's seperately and stapling them to Indian passports for residents of Jammu an Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh. This is hard to digest as these areas are a part of India. Yet the Indian government has made only some muted protests and has not gone on offensive against this Chinese step.

Throughout history after Independance the Indians seem to be in awe of China. Perhaps the 1962 defeat has something to do with this psyche. But we must understand that a policy of appeasement leads no where.Remember the famous Munich confernce of 1938, which was a sellout to Hitler, yet it didnt avert the second world war.

Keeping the above in mind some stern action by India is called for. Why can't we do the same for residents of Tibet, who are looking towards India ? Why can't we also staple visa's for residents of Tibet to their passports like the Chinese. Also it is time we cultivate Formosa openly, not forgetting South Korea, Vietnam and Japan. The age old adage faint heart never won fair woman holds. India needs to be decisive.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Dream of Jinnah Shattered in Pakistan * 63

Recently in an animated discussion in the US Club at Bombay, some one voiced an opinion that the state of Pakistan was the anti-thesis of what Jinnah wanted. Jinnah no doubt subscribed to the two nation theory, but that was just to counter Gandhi and Nehru. There is also little doubt that Jinnah was a secularist as is evidenced by his speech at Karachi after the creation Pakistan. Jinnah commented that religion was an individuals own perception and the state had nothing to do with it.
But alas ! that has not happened. Laws have been passed in Pakistan that make  a mockery of Jinnah's assertion. In particular the blasphemy laws are a terror and are used to cow down the minorities.In fact in a population  with 97% Muslims ,the number of blasphemy cases against minorities number over 70%.That is sad ,as the gun and the mullah have joined hands in Pakistan to create a Islamic state with the severest blasphemy laws.
No other nation and that includes the Muslim nations like Turkey and Egypt have any such severe laws.Sadder still is the fact that anyone who wishes to get the blasphemy laws repealed is murdered.Thus the killing of the Pakistan Governor  of the Punjab province is a pointer.The killer was showered with flowers and rose petals.Jinnah the ultimate secularist must be turning over in his grave at the mayhem enacted by Islamic hardliners, in the state created by him.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Acharya Rajneesh-A Brilliant Man * 72

The brilliance of Rajneesh can be seen from this excerpt from his biography, The Luminous Rebel. It shows what a sharp and incisive man he was.

The first college I entered, I wanted to learn logic.And the old professor... Started talking about Aristotle, the father of western logic...I said 'wait a minute. Do you know that Aristotle writes in his book that women have less teeth then men? "He said 'My God, what kind of question is this?' I said "it has something very fundamental to do with the whole process of logic. Are you aware that Aristotle had two wives?' He said, "I don't know... from where are you getting these facts?"But in Greece it has traditionally known for centuries that women were bound to have everything less than men. Naturally they couldn't have the same number of teeth as men. "I said," And you call this man Aristotle the father of Logic? He could have at least counted-he had two wives available, but he didn't count"

We should thus not dismiss Rajneesh as a charlatan.He was certainly much more.Perhaps my article on Suite 101 and Ezine articles can be read in this conjunction. Rajneesh  later assumed the title "OSHO" and mesmirsed am entire generation. One wonders where the mass of his followers place him a 100 years own the line