The Candid Eye

November 14, 2010

Sri Sri addresses thousands on both sides of Wagah border


Bangalore, (India) November 12. 2010. “We are committed to follow the path of non-violence and peace. Standing here at the border, I can feel the wave of love and peace from across. I urge the citizens of both the countries to recognize the voice of peace within and create a violence-free world,” said spiritual leader and Art of Living founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Wagah border in Amritsar today, addressing 5000 people from Punjab. Hundreds of followers had also gathered at the Pakistan side waving and carrying The Art of Living and Youth Leadership Training Program placards to listen to Sri Sri. Many were disappointed as he was denied the visa to cross the border.

The spiritual leader, who was a state guest, visited the Indo-Pak border during his five-day tour to the state and also witnessed the official retreat ceremony held in the evening.

As part of his peace campaign, he inaugurated ‘Saanjh’, a musical concert in Amritsar. The concert, based on the Indo-Pak peace mission, saw artists from both countries showcase their talents on a shared platform.

On Thursday, November 11, the performance of Bhangra, organised by the Art of Living in Ludhiana, was considered for the Guinness World Book of Records for an unprecedented number of Bhangra dancers on one stage. This is in continuance of Art of Living’s endeavor to promote Indian culture. Sri Sri witnessed 2,100 dancers performing the Bhangra at the event titled ‘Mehran De Rang’. Thousands took an oath to make Punjab an addiction-free state.

Also present at the event was Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu, Member of Parliament and former cricketer. Welcoming the spiritual leader, he said, “In our culture a Guru holds the highest place. Today, if the youth are shown the right direction then they cannot only change Punjab but the face of the whole country.”

On Thurdsay morning, Sri Sri addressed more than 5000 young participants at the ‘Exam Special – Youth Empowerment Seminar’ (YES) organized by The Art of Living at Punjab Agricultural University grounds in Ludhiana. After answering questions ranging from peer pressure, parent-child issues, career conflicts and relationship woes, Sri Sri spoke on the rising drug and alcohol menace and urged the participants to shun drugs. “You cannot be enthusiastic or creative if you fall into the trap of drugs. You will lose your smile. Life is enthusiasm, love and joy. Make a friend everyday and ask yourself ‘What can I do for others?’ and see how life blossoms,” he said.
Carrying forward his mission of making Punjab an addiction-free state, he led a Drug De-addiction ‘Maha Sammelan’ in Jhakkar village on November 10. “While Kashmir is the crown of India, Punjab is the face. If the face has blemishes, it does not reflect well. That is why de-addiction is very important. We should raise our voice against this in every temple and gurudwara,” he said.

The event was attended by 25,000 beneficiaries of The Art of Living Drug De-Addiction Program. One such beneficiary Sukhvir Singh from Barnala shared, “I had been taking drugs for over 14 years and had even left my family. After practicing the Sudarshan Kriya regularly I was able to drop my addiction. The youth in Punjab have drowned themselves in this vice. I would now like to work to bring a positive difference in their lives.”

The Art of Living constructed the biggest meditation hall in Ludhiana. The three–storeyed ‘Gyan Mandir’ with a seating of 3,000 people was inaugurated by Sri Sri. This hall is a replica of the tourist-wonder Vishalakshi Mantap (meditation hall) at The Art of Living’s Bangalore headquarters.

During his eventful Punjab tour, Sri Sri visited Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Amritsar. Over a series of satsangs and public interactions he urged the people to drop all addictions, stop female foeticide, practice organic farming and preserve and protect desi cow and desi seeds.

Sri Sri’s tour of Punjab will culminate with prayers at the Golden temple and the Durgiana temple in Amritsar on November 13, 2010.

July 24, 2009

Distortion of Indian history – Part 5

Who built the Grand Trunk Road in India, running from West Bengal in India to Peshawar in Pakistan?


If this was a question in general knowledge quiz in India, Sher Shah Khan Suri , the Mughal ruler would come to be answer from anyone who has mugged up the history textbooks.

What is the fact behind this? Who was Sher Shah Khan Suri? How did he rise in power during Mughal encroachments? 

A very interesting description of this all is found in this article by Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari, a renowned Indian Historian.

Sherkhan is often credited for the Grand Trunk Road, along with the water, shelter and trees plantation along the road. However, to quote Dr. Radhasyam Brahmachari, who has done an extensive research on history records and current texts, Sherkhan could hardly have built this HUGE road ranging 6240km, Read on (Original, complete article is here):-


“It has been mentioned above that the history books also tell that Sher Shah ascended the throne of Delhi on May 17, 1540, by defeating Humayun in a battle near Kannauj and in the same year organised a military campaign to suppress the revolt of the Gakkars in Punjab . He moved east, the next year, to suppress a similar revolt in Bengal in March, 1541 AD. The next year, he moved against the Rajput kings in central India and conquered Malwa. The very next year (i.e. in 1543 AD), he organised a campaign against the Hindu king Puran Mal and took control of the fort at Raisin and then moved against the Rajput king of Marwar. In 1544 he subdued the Rathore king, Maldev and in the subsequent year, he died in an accident in 1545 AD, in Kalinjar.

So, the rule of Sher Shah lasted only for five years and out of these five years, he spent nearly one year to gain control over the fort of Kalinjore.[6] During the rest of his reign, he was on hectic movement from east to west and north to south for suppressing revolts or conquering new forts. It should be mentioned here that the period under consideration was a period of political chaos and lawlessness and to restore order, Sher Shah had to fight many battles and that too with partial success. Thus the question naturally arises-Was it possible for Sher Shah (or any other ruler of that time) to build such long roads within such a short span of time? Furthermore, is it possible to make roads, nearly 6,240 Km long, today using modern technology, within a period of 4 or 5 years? The real story is that, Abbas Khana court-chronicler of Sher Shah had written some lies to please and glorify his master and our historians took those narrations at their face value, without applying their common sense to estimate the credibility of those blatant lies.

A close scrutiny of events, during the time of Sher Shah, also reveals that, despite his vast efforts, he did not succeed in bringing the vast stretch of land, from Dhaka in Bengal and River Indus in Punjab , under his control. So, how could Sher Shah carry out such a gigantic project like making a road from Bengal to Punjab , when the territory in question was not under his supreme control? 


From this discussion, it is clear that Sher Shah is mis-credited for road construction north India, by historians who un-necessarily want to glorify the period of Mughal rulership in India. 

As for the original question of who built the GT Road, well, Dr. Radhasyam Brahmachari rightly suggested that the trade and many war affairs between Indian Kings that have centuries of history much before the Mughal invasions, could not have been possible without the good network of roads, wide enough to carry chariots, elephants and armies used for the combats. Mughal only used the existing network and some of them renamed it or took credit for building them, as per their chroniclers. The current generation of historians need to become aware of the true history facts and revise their knowledge.

In fact the road seems to have a very old usage, and was called Uttarapatha meaning Northern Way, as mentioned here.

Today, the Grand Trunk Road remains a continuum that covers a distance of over 2,500 km. From its origin at Sonargaon in theNarayanganj District of central Bangladesh, it reaches India, passing  through Kolkata, Bardhaman, Durgapur, Asansol, Dhanbad, Aurangabad, Varanasi, Allahabad, Kanpur, Aligarh, Delhi, Karnal, Ambala, Ludhiana,Jalandhar, Amritsar. Within India, the major portion of the road – the stretch between Kanpur and Kolkata – is known as NH 2 (National Highway – 2), the stretch between Kanpur and Delhi is called NH-91 (National Highway – 91), and that between Delhi and Wagah, at the border with Pakistan, is known as NH-1. From the Pakistan border the Grand Trunk Road (part of the N-5) continues north through Lahore via Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock District and Nowshera before it finally reaches Peshawar. (Route source from Wikipedia.)

Also read the Part 1  , Part 2 , Part 3 , and Part 4 of this series. Next article is here:- Part 6.

April 19, 2009

Kandahar Issue – What really happened?

One of the issues that Congress leaders(??) take up nowadays against BJP is Kandahar plane hijack.But what really happened?More information on this is available here.The NSG commandoes were not on time and a passenger Rupin Katyal was killed while the flight was in Amritsar.Later it took off and landed in Lahore where it was refuelled.Pakistan as usual did not help India on getting the hostages out of the plane.Finally the flight landed in Kandahar.Now just think of those 200 passengers as hostages in Kandahar and their families back in India.An emergency meeting was called for and the decision to release 3 terrorists was agreed unanimously by ruling and opposing party members.Even P Chidambaram supported this decision.Please see here & here. Atleast in this case PC has spoken the truth and against Sonia’s accusations on BJP for Kandahar isssue.Later on April 15th, he said something else which is totally different from the previous version of his speech.Does PC suffers from Selective amnesia as Sanjay in Ghajini movie?If so, PC, who is your Kalpana?It is to be noted that the flight was in Taliban controlled area.Nobody would dare to go there.P Chidambaram has gone one step further and says “If I was the homeminister, I would not accept”. What would you have not accepted PC?Going to Kandahar at the risk of your own life?Definitely, you wouldn’t have accepted that.Jaswant Singh was right in doing so,because you did not know what would happen if all the terrorists reached safely and the hostages got killed.To ensure a fair exchange between Taliban, a responsible shrewd leader is needed from government.Compare this act with your Sonia Gandhi’s escape to Rome with Rajiv Gandhi during 1971 war fearing she might get hurt.P Chidambaram proves time and again that he is a sycophant of Sonia.Why PC and Sonia are silent on union minister, Mufti Muhammed’s daughter Rubaiya Sayeed Kidnapping drama in 1989 and subsequent release of 5 deadly terrorists.How come lives of 200 people is not so important than one Union minister daughter’s?1 Rubiya Sayeed = 5 deadly terrorists.Compare this with “200 innocent Indians = 3 deadly terrorists”.Is this not a better deal than a previous one,though it is not a right one?

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