The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has renamed the Shankaracharya Hill overlooking the Dal Lake in Srinagar, to ‘Takht-e-Suleiman’. ASI has also presented an absurd and fictitious version of history of the Shankaracharya Hill on the tourist information plaque, claiming that this was a hill once controlled by Jews. Therefore the name ‘Takht e Suleiman’.
The structure on the Shankaracharya hill has stood there for centuries before the arrival of Islam in India and yet the plaque makes no mention of it. Instead it says the Mughals renovated the structure. The very name ‘Shankaracharya hill’ has been in use for one thousand three hundred years since Shankaracharya traveled to the four tips of the country and established Sharada Peeths in all four corners. Any number of reputed Indian, American and European scholars will testify that this was a hill dedicated to Shankaracharya long before the advent of the Semitic people on the sub-continent of India.
This is a shameful act of appeasement to win over innocent Muslims. Politicians are hoping to ingratiate themselves with the Muslims of India by exploiting their sentiments. Any intellectual Muslim will react with anger at such distortions of history. Any Muslim, Jew, or Christian who knows about Jerusalem, knows how the history of every square inch of Jerusalem is hotly contested by the Jews, Christians, and Muslims; and any attempt at re-writing history will be met with deep resentment, anger, protests and violence.
Why are we letting some officials of the ASI beholden to political interests, to re-write history in this sad and shameful fashion?
This will cause a deep rift in the country between Hindus and Muslims. This will be seen as yet one more instance of how the minority is usurping the majority. These mindless acts, though it may seem insignificant at the time, will fester into full blownreligious riots, and even wars, in the future. We should stop it now.
Let us stop this by making people aware, whether they are Hindus, Christians, Jews or Muslims, that it does not help any religion if it is a party to lies and deceit.
We are appealing to all Hindu organizations to rise up and stop this. We are also appealing to all Jewish, Christian and Muslim organizations in India to support us to re-name this hill back to its true name ‘Shankaracharya Hill’ and remove the offending plaque from that site.