Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
With the evolution of Homo sapiens (the first intelligent humans), the history of human conflict begins. The origin of conflict was competition. Competition for food, partner, shelter, authority etc led to conflict among men. Everybody wanted to have things that pleased their body and soul. As they can’t have all the things, there was conflict. Conflict put challenges before them. Challenges helped them in strengthening their survival spirit further. Conflict made the humans what they are today.
In India, I think it was Kautilya, the fourth century BC political philosopher who popularized the saying ‘the enemy of enemy is my friend’. He even wrote a book called Arthashastra, Which is full of political thoughts that lead one to position of authority. He believed in the philosophy of human conflict and its tactful dealing. He applied it in practical life, and dethroned Nanda king of Magadh and established Mauryan Empire in 321 BC. The European counterpart of Kautilya was Machiavelli. He too in his book ‘The Prince’ justified stratagems and deceits to attain political ends.
In the 21st Century, the old kingdoms gave way to new empires. Today, the new empires are big corporate and companies. The war and the battles are still going on sans elephants and horses. Competition, marketing strategy, merger, media war, attrition, intelligence, all these stratagems are used to destroy rivals to gain authority and rule over market.
Modern Offices too are not without believers of the philosophy implicit in the proverb. In offices, we find rivalry among the colleagues to get into the good books of the bosses, attention of the opposite sex, and getting some favors etc. Lobbying, gossiping, befriending the rival of the fellow rival is done with full enthusiasm to checkmate their rivals.
In international relations too, the proverb has practical application. China and Pakistan are friends. Pakistan even went out of way by ceding an important chunk of Himalayan land to befriend China. They both are regarded as India’s archenemy. USA befriended and helped Kuwait to destroy Saddam Hussein. In eighties, it even helped Afghanistan to fight Soviet Union, the then America’s ideological enemy. The old proverb ‘the enemy of enemy is my friend’ has not lost its relevance.
I was surprised to find that in nature too, there is a fish called Pilot fish that cleanse parasites off the body of a shark. These smaller fish swim freely around the sharks, and even inside the mouths of the sharks that could easily eat the small fish. Since the shark's enemy is the parasite and the parasite's enemy is
the smaller fish, the shark considers the Pilot fish a friend and accommodates an otherwise potential food source.
But I wonder what would happen if we get united with the enemy of the enemy and work towards annihilation, extermination, obliteration or neutralization (god forbid such words!) of the enemy; what type of relation then would we have with the enemy of enemy? Would he not become our next rival! Then don’t we again have to find his enemy to destroy him? I think the application of the proverb put us in a vicious cycle.
It is good to have friends. The more we have the better. But I was again surprised to find that Kautilya has written that the deadliest enemy is the one who was once your friend. So be wary in making friends and don’t share all your secrets and weaknesses with them. Who knows tomorrow they may become your enemy! It is bad-bad world!
Though it cannot be denied that the philosophy inherent in the proverb’ the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ has shaped the history of conflict among people, I believe that the conflict has also led many great human minds to come out with philosophies that facilitated a more peaceful and conflict-less society for the humans. In a way it led to a better world. Buddha, Confucius, Christ, Guru Nanak, Gandhi and many such other leaders contributed greatly towards making of a conflict-less society. Their philosophy formed the basis of modern democratic society.
The proverb was a product of a political mind. It was useful where we seek power or have some vested interests, but for a simple and peaceful existence, in a modern civilization where the law takes care of our enemy, perhaps there is no need of such policy. With love and compassion, we can turn even our deadliest enemy into our friend.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains- Rousseau
Celebrating Independence is not without its chains in Delhi. Delhi has turned into a fortress. You can't move without security checks in Delhi. Gun- totting policemen greets you everywhere. At every point your bags are checked. In Metro and Buses, you move with fear. What if a bomb explodes! There are people in India, who don't agree with the Indian view of the world. They have their own views on Independence and how their lives should be. They go to extreme to prove their point of view. They are called extremists.
This is not unique to India. Many nations face the same situations. They have to deal with what is called- rebels, extremists, fundamentalists, militants etc. Disgruntled elements abound everywhere. Dealing with them is now a full time and serious policy measures in every country. Men can not live without conflicts.
Yet, there is nothing like freedom. It is desired at any cost. A very Happy Independence Day to all Indians. Enjoy!
Friday, August 03, 2007
In AD 1754, Safdarjung was the Governor of Awadh (Central India, now the state of Uttar Pradesh) . He was made Governor by Muhamud Shah, the Mughal Emperor. The tomb was built by Nawab Shujauddaulah, the son of Safdarjung. The tomb is surrounded by a number of smaller pavilions like the Moti Mahal, the Badshah Pasand and the Jangli Mahal. There is a beautiful lush garden inside the tomb premise. It is about 300 meters in area with octagonal towers, and is enclosed by 6 meter high wall. The entire edifice stands on a lofty platform that is symmetrically interrupted by arched recesses. A large gateway in the center of the eastern wall gives access to the enclosure. The gateway is beautifully constructed. The remaining three walls also have beautiful pavilions fitted into them at the center. The whole building is made of red sandstone. The central chamber is 20 sq meters and contains eight apartments. Similar apartments are found on the upper floor. The central cusped arch is framed in marble and red sandstone and has a roof containing a triple dome rising from a sixteen-sided red sandstone drum. Safdarjung’s Tomb is a beautiful example of late Mughal architecture and has also been referred by historians as the ‘last flicker of the Mughal architectural lamp’.
Taking a snap of the monument was a difficult task. I wanted to shoot only the monument, not the amourous lovers who thronged the place to copulate with their clothes on. So I went there early in the morning, when the monument had just opend, and no lovers was in sight. For hours, I kept shooting in total freedom. I really loved the architecture, and fell in awe of the love and energy that made such a monument possible. It was love of a son for his father.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
The fort lies along the Yamuna River, which fed the moats that surround most of the wall. The wall at its north-eastern corner is adjacent to an older fort, the Salimgarh, a defense built by Islam Shah Sur in 1546. Construction on the Red Fort began in 1638 and was complete by 1648. On 11 March 1783 Sikhs entered Red fort in Delhi and occupied the Diwan-i-Am. The city was surrendered by the Mughal wazir in cahoots with his Sikh Allies. This task was carried out under the command of the Sardar Baghel Singh Dhaliwal of the Karor Singhia misl.
After the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, when the Fort was used by the rebels, the British army occupied and destroyed many of its pavilions and gardens.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
As soon as one enters the massive double-storeyed gateway, the majesty of the building infuse awe. High walls surrounds a square garden which is divided into four large squares separated by causeways and water channels.
Each square, in turn, is divided into smaller squares by pathways. This is a typical Mughal style garden known as charbagh. Highly developed engineering skills were employed in the laying out the fountains. Red, black and yellow sandstones were used to give variation. Humanyun's Tomb came into the limelight during the First War of Indian Independence also called Sepoy Mutiny in 1857. When the uprising failed, Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor, took refuge in the tomb, before he was sent to the Rangoon jail in Myanmar by the British.
The tomb stands majestically at the center of the enclosure and rises from a platform faced with a series of cells with arched openings. The Humayun's Tomb contains many small monuments. Chief among them are black and yellow marble tomb of Humayun's wife and the tomb of Humayun's barber. Referred to as Nai Ka Gumbad, the barber's tomb is an impressive square tomb with a double-dome
Monday, June 25, 2007
But the sultana miscounted the consequences that a special relationship with one of her Assyrian slaves, Jalal-ud-din Yaqut, would have for her reign. According to some accounts, Razia and Yaqut were lovers; other sources simply identify them as close confidants. In any case, before long she had aroused the jealousy of the Muslim nobility by the favoritism she displayed toward Yaqut. Eventually, the governor of Bhatinda, a childhood friend named Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altunia, rebelled, refusing any longer to accept Razia's authority.
A battle between Razia and Altunia ensued, with the result that Yaqut was killed, and Razia taken prisoner. To escape death, Razia agreed to marry Altunia. Meanwhile, Razia's brother, Muiuddin Bahram Shah, had usurped the throne. After Altunia and Razia undertook to take back the sultanate from Bahram through battle, both Razia and her husband--neither more than 30 years of age--were killed on October 14, 1240. Bahram, for his part, would later be dethroned for incompetence.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Delhi has so many meadival monuments to see. They were, most of them built by the Muslim rulers of India. They are prized possesion of India. Agra, a two hours journey from New Delhi has a great monument called Taz Mahal. It is majestically beautiful. The taz Mahal is also in fray to be included in the 7 wonders of the world. I hope that it does get included so the tourist flow to it would increase manyfold. Taz deserves to be admired and appreciated for its grandure.
- ▼ 2007 (14)