Unconquerable Ayodhya, the kingdom of Kosal
By: Bharat Itihaas
The description of Ayodhya in Ramayan is beautifully tendered into verse by Mr. Griffiths, who was the Principal of the Banaras College in the late 19th century. He writes, “Her ample streets were nobly planned and streams of water flowed to keep the fragrant blossoms fresh, that strewed her royal road. There many a princely palace stood in line on level ground. Her temple and triumphal arc and rampart banner crowned. There golden turrets rose on high above the waving green of mango groves and blooming trees and flowery knots between. On battlement and gilded spire, the pennon streamed in state, and warders with the ready bow kept watch at every gate.”
The kingdom of Kosal was ruled by King Dashrath who is believed to be 56th descendents from Manu. His 3 wives Kaushalya, Sumitra and Kaikeyi lived intheir respective palaces. Shri Ram was born at the Kaushalya’s temple, which is now termed as the Ram-janmbhoomi.
In the Brahmaand Puraan, Ayodhya is described as holiest of the 6 holy cities. Maharshi Vyaas refers to the story of Ram in the Vanopakhyaan of Mahabharat. Thus the city of Ayodhya and Shri Ram have been held in veneration by the residents of this land for centuries. Almost 200 years after Alexandar, during Mauryan rule, when Buddhism was flourishing, came the Greek King Minander. He embraced Buddhism and pretended to be a monk. He invaded Ayodhya and destroyed the temple on the Janmsthaan site. Soon he was defeated and killed in the battle by Raja Dhyumatsen of the Shrung Vansh, and Ayodhya was liberated.
The janmsthaan temple was reconstructed by King Vikramaditya. History knows of 6 different Vikramadityas. Historians have different opinions of which of them constructed the temple. Some say it was Vikramaditya of Ujjain who defeated the Shakas in 56 BC and after whom the Vikram Samvat is named. Others attribute the re-construction to Skandgupt who also called himself Vikramaditya and built the temple in late 5th Century AD. However, it is generally accepted as P Carnegie mentions in his Historical Sketch of Faizabad that Vikramaditya’s main clue in tracing the ancient city where the river Saryu and the shrine still known as Nageshwar Nath, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also generally accepted that Vikramaditya constructed about 360 temples in and around Ayodhya. The tradition of veneration to Shri Ram has continued in the Hindu society in one form or another. The earliest known inscription to testify this fact is the Nasik cave inscription during the Satvahan dynasty. The celebrated Sanskrit dramatician Bhaas identifies Shri Ram with his Archanavataar.
Evolution of the tradition of worship of Shri Ram as an incarnation of Vishnu is evident in the early Rama-shrine inscriptions. The 4th century inscriptions at Ramtek (Madhya Pradesh), the 423 AD inscription at Kandhar (Afghanistan), the Chalukya inscriptions in 533 AD at Badami, the Mamallapuram inscriptions in the 8th century AD, Amba Maata temple near Jodhpur in 11th century AD, Ram temple at Mukundpur (Rewa, MP) in 1145 AD, Hansi inscriptions in 1168 AD, Rajiv Lochan Temple at Rajim in Raipur (Chhatisgarh) are some of them.
In 12th century, at least 5 temples existed in Ayodhya. They were, Guptahari at Gopratar-ghaat, Chadrahari at Swarga dwaar Ghaat, Vishnu hari at Chkrateerth Ghaat, Dharmahari at Swarga-dwaar Ghaat, and Vishnu temple, on what is known as the Janmbhoomi site.
Mehmood Gaznabi looted and destroyed the temple of Somnath and went back. His nephew Salar Masood advanced in the direction of Ayodhya. On 14th June 1033, Masood reached Behraich, 40 km from Ayodhya. The people united under the leadership of Raja Sohail Dev. Sohail Dev’s army attacked Masood, defeated his army and killed Masoon himself. Abdul Rahman Chishti writes in the biography of Masood, titled, “Meerat-e-Masoodi”.
“.. maut ka saamana hai, firaaq soori nazdeek hai, hinduon ne jamaav kiya hai, inka lashkar beintahaa hai, sudoor nepal se pahaadon ke neeche ghaghara tak fauz mukhalik ka padaav hai. Masood ki maut ke baad ajmer se Muzaffar Khan turant aaya par wah bhi maar diya gaya .. Arab Iraan ke har ghar ka chirag bujha hai ..”
(It is trial with death, but the destination is near. Hindus have deployed armies in huge number from faraway Nepal’s mountains to the basin of Ghaghra river, there armies stand. After the death of Masood, Muzaffar Khan came from Ajmer but he too was killed. Every house of Arab and Iran has lost a son in this battle.)
Sonia Gandhi: Sphinx who would be Pharaoh & When did Rahul Gandhi acquire identity of Raul Vinci? – Sandhya Jain
Given the thinly veiled nature of Sonia’s conflict with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his refusal to step down and make way for her chosen heir after the victory of May 2009, it is safe to assume that the Signora now expects party loyalists to cluster around her charmless prince-ling and ensure him a say in government as well. Political compulsions have forced discretion regarding the chairmanship of the UPA parliamentary party, and her personal vanguard, the National Advisory Committee (whose members will doubtless be feeling orphaned already).
The composition of the committee that is now to preside over the Congress and its interaction with government reveals everything about Sonia Gandhi’s intent, mindset and style of functioning. It is an open affront to the Prime Minister and his senior cabinet colleagues (particularly to all purpose trouble shooter Pranab Mukherjee), to all senior Congress leaders with vote catching abilities, and to the party and nation. As such, it is virtually designed to undo the objective for which it has been formed, viz., install the Amethi MP as de facto leader of the party, and at an early date in the future, as head of the Government as well.
Even by the standards of the factional politics she played when she decided to keep the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao on tenterhooks throughout his tenure – which culminated in the party denying him a ticket to contest the next Parliamentary election, and then consigning him to oblivion – Sonia Gandhi’s designated committee is scandalously narrow. Worse, it is partisan against the Hindu community, a fact that would have been noted in the country as a whole.
Besides the non-Hindu Rahul Gandhi, who is obviously positioned as primus inter pares of the group, it comprises Defence Minister A.K. Anthony (supposedly for his clean image, but really because he is a Christian co-religionist and is therefore trusted more than other party veterans); her political secretary Ahmed Patel (a Muslim with no base in his home state of Gujarat, or indeed in any part of the country); and party organizing secretary Janardhan Dwivedi (a Patel acolyte and party spokesman with no base outside 24 Akbar Road).
Neither Rahul Gandhi, nor any among this group, is known for political sagacity, vision, and the ability to inspire the masses by winning votes, and thereby elections. Rahul Gandhi’s leadership qualities (sic) have already been tested in the waters of Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and leave one speechless. His espousal of the farmers’ cause in Bhatta-Parsaul villages of UP was swiftly undone by revelations of State favours in land acquisition in Haryana for a Trust run by Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka!
Yet Sonia Gandhi chose to shove aside all party veterans and trust such non-charismatic ‘nurses’ to propel Rahul Gandhi on a winning trajectory into the Prime Minister’s Office. Actually, the family miscalculated by refusing Dr Singh’s offer of a cabinet berth for Rahul in the recent cabinet reshuffle (though they would have been aware of Sonia’s ill-health by then), and now he is on a sticky wicket. Neither Dr Singh who sits in the Prime Minister’s chair, nor the seasoned Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who controls the Government’s purse strings, is going to forgive the calculated insult to their persons and their chairs.
Meanwhile, a number of questions arise about the secretive manner in which Sonia Gandhi went abroad for surgery on 2 August 2011. The excuse of excessive visitors disturbing patients in an Indian hospital is sheer arrogance; visitors do not get beyond the reception if one does not want them.
In January 2009 the Prime Minister underwent a well-publicized heart surgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences; Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar announced he was going to undergo jaw surgery for cancer some years ago. With India having some of the best oncologists in both private and public hospitals, the true reasons for Ms Gandhi opting to go abroad, and the nature of her illness, should be made known as soon as possible. Reports that she was operated upon at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center need to be confirmed or denied without further ado.
To begin with, there was simply too much secrecy. At first, on 31 July a small news item in a newspaper said Sonia was suffering from viral flu and would be back in Parliament on Thursday (4 August). That same day, Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters she had gone abroad the previous day and been operated upon successfully. When the timeline did not add up, this was amended and the operation placed in the future; then finally it was stated that the surgery was successful and that Sonia had left on 2 Aug.
More disturbing are the reports in the latest issue of India Today that the Gandhis habitually refuse to inform the Lok Sabha Secretariat about their foreign trips, though this is the established convention, even for personal visits. Thus, in June this year, Sonia Gandhi went to London and Italy. The same month, Rahul Gandhi celebrated his 41st birthday in London, and both reportedly went to Switzerland – where they reputedly did not visit the holiday district but the commercial centre of Zug, thereby setting tongues wagging amidst a nationwide furore over black money in Swiss banks.
When Dwivedi announced the formation of the uninspiring committee, observers were quick to notice the absence of Home Minister P Chidambaram and Rahul mentor-cum-general secretary Digvijay Singh. As Sonia does not seem to have had detailed discussions with the Prime Minister and senior cabinet colleagues about the status of her health and the issues pending before the government, political observers speculate that the UPA will have to postpone appointment of Governors in states with vacancies, and a decision on the Telangana issue. It remains to be seen, therefore, how long her ill-health can be allowed to paralyze the government.
Ra(h)ul (da) Vinci
Now that the Gandhi family has concertedly declared Rahul Gandhi as their official candidate for the leadership of the party and government, both of which they tend to regard as watan jagir, it would be appropriate for the nation to know everything it has a right to know about the Amethi MP cum wannabe PM.
To begin with – and the Prime Minister would do well to make the matter public without further delay – how and when did Rahul Gandhi acquire the identity of Raul Vinci?
As friendly journalists and newspapers were asked to acknowledge and dismiss the news that Rahul Gandhi has travelled abroad on a passport issued in the name of Raul Vinci, some questions deserve an answer: –
– Which Government issued the Raul Vinci passport? India or Italy?
– If it was Italy, does it also follow that Rahul Gandhi enjoys Italian citizenship by virtue of an old Roman law that bestows citizenship on the offspring of all children born to its native citizens? Note that Sonia Gandhi was an Italian citizen at the time her two children were born, and that the family has persistently refused to answer pertinent questions regarding their citizenship.
– The Government of India must now settle this issue in public – including the legality of the trio holding Indian passports, and contesting Indian elections.
– What are the names of the alleged parents of Raul Vinci in the fake passport and what is the place of residence given on that document? It should be made public on a Government website.
– Where is that passport now and how often and where has Rahul Gandhi travelled on it? All details should be made public on a Government website.
The specious plea that Rahul Gandhi assumed a false identity for security reasons will not wash: Benazir Bhutto’s son Bilawal studies abroad under his own name, as do the scions of other eminent families.
Then, Rahul Gandhi supposedly holds an M. Phil degree in Development Studies from Cambridge University, UK, though there is no information about when and where he completed graduate and post-graduate studies. To this day not a single person has surfaced anywhere in the world to say that Raul Vinci (his disguise) was his/her classmate at x y or z college.
Family acolyte and then Cambridge Master Amartya Sen defended the degree but refused to furnish details. Now, following revelations about the purchased Ph.D. degree of Saif Gaddafi, it seems that London routinely “takes care of” the academic credentials of political scions in the third world.
Raul Vinci is also supposed to have worked as financial consultant in London. No colleague has stepped forward to say where.
Yet this man wants to impose himself upon the nation as Prime Minister. He needs to be downsized.
And Sonia Gandhi, appropriately dubbed ‘the Sphinx’ for her dogged silence on all issues of public concern, would have realized that she was not born to be Pharaoh of India. This country is governed by the invisible ethos of Vikramaditya – the throne will move away when the utterly unworthy approach it.
The author is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1909