President of India,
February 3, 2016
Subject: Appeal To The President To Protect Hindu Identity Of Kashmir And Continuous. Attempt At Its Islamisation.
This is what we had reported to your honour on March 5, 2014.
“On behalf of citizens, at least of a section of citizens, of the country, we submit this appeal to you, Sir, the “First Citizen” of the country, to protect and prevent distortion in the civilisational integrity and identity of the country.
Sir, the attached mail on Kashmir, in circulation for a few days, will tell you the story. It will be clear that neither the State Government nor the Central Government is taking any interest in the matter. The Archeological Society of India has changed the name of the historical Sankaracharya Hill to an Islamic name. The ASI could not have done this on its own. Who has given them the authority to do so?”
The copy of the mail sent to you was shared with the then Director General, Archaeological Survey of India on May 12, 2014. Apparently, no action on that mail had been taken.
Sir, we had also sent a mail-request to the then Chief Minister of the State Omar Abdullah, quoting his statement to the press (“The Indian Express), quoting a PTI report, in which Omar Abdullah had said, “No Proposal To Change The Name Of Sankaracharya Hill“. Sir, the above statement of the government of Kashmir was not true.
Sir, we now bring to your notice, a report, currently doing rounds in the internet, highlighting that the Director General of ASI has indeed change the name to some Islamic
The report coming from a responsible international body, says.
The ASI has renamed the Shankaracharya Hill overlooking the Dal Lake in Srinagar, to ‘Takht-e-Suleiman’. Do not change the name of Shankaracharya Hill in Kashmir.
Petitioning Additional Director General Dr. B. R. Mani and 12 others
Do not change the name of Shankaracharya Hill in Kashmir
Vasan B.K. Berkeley, CA
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 a selective version of history of the Shankaracharya Hill on the tourist information plaque. As for the name of Solomon being associated with this hill, it is based on a spurious and absurd myth claiming that this was a hill once controlled by Jews. Therefore the name ‘Takht e Suleiman’ or ‘Throne of Solomon’.
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 blown religious 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.
By Sandeep Balakrishna Identity (Distortion & Appropriation) September 27, 2013
ASI’s Assault on Shankaracharya Hill
According to this Tribune news report, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has summarily renamed the Shankaracharya Hill to Takht-e-Suleiman overlooking the Dal Lake in Srinagar. If this was not enough, the ASI has also presented a distorted version of the history of the Shankaracharya Hill on the tourist information plaque, a move which has justifiably outraged the Kashmiri Pandits. From that news report:
“It is a matter of great concern that ASI has given the name Takht-e-Suleiman (Throne of Solomon) to it, replacing the earlier plaque. How have they come to this conclusion warrants an answer,” said Predhuman K Joseph Dhar, an expert on ancient Kashmir history. He said recently a European historian visited the place and expressed surprise over information provided to the people.
Of course, there is no question that this move is politically motivated because it has no basis in history. One wonders what is the connection between Suleiman/Solmon and Adi Shankara.
Even a layman in India knows that Adi Shankara travelled in all four directions in India and established Mutts in prominent places in each direction. That apart, he consecrated several other major and minor temples and other places of worship like in Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, Kollur in Karnataka, and in Sharada in Pak-occupied Kashmir.
Kashmir indeed has a hoary history as one of the finest centres of learning in the world. In its heydays, it attracted scholars and philosophers from all parts of India. In the annals of the Hindu tradition, Kashmir was almost synonymous with “Sharada Desha” or “Sharada Peetha” or the Pedestal of Goddess Sharada (or Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning). A conclusive evidence of this exalted status of Kashmir can best be gleaned from the famous verse in praise of Saraswathi as Namaste Sharada Devi Kashmirapuravasini||
I bow to you, Goddess Sharada,
the One who Resides in the Kashmira country||
This verse is so commonplace recited and heard by millions of Hindus daily across the world that hardly anybody gives a second thought at the rich historical heritage that’s embedded in it. And the credit for establishing Kashmir as the Sharada Peetha, to make it part of the nation’s cultural and spiritual DNA goes to Adi Shankara.
And it is this hoary heritage that the ASI has sought to destroy unceremoniously by renaming the Hill after some Suleiman based on a spurious history. Needless, in the process, real history has been made an unfortunate victim. From the same report,
“While the plaque informs the people that the roof of the temple was constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1644 AD, there is no mention of King Gopadhari, who constructed the temple, King Lalitaditya, who renovated it several hundred years before the arrival of Islam in the 13th century, and Dogra rulers, who placed the lingam of Lord Shiva, which was destroyed at the orders of Jehangir’s wife Noor Jehan,” said Dhar
As for the spurious history,
Talking about the name Takht-e-Suleiman, New York-based historian and author of “Jesus in Kashmir- The Lost Tomb’, Suzanne Olsson, said at one time Kashmir was controlled by Jews and Suleiman referred to Solomon, King of Israel and one of the greatest Jewish rulers, known for his wisdom and riches. “In ancient times, there was a considerable influence of Hebrew people in Kashmir. Several places have names similar to Jewish places. But historically, it is referred to as Shankaracharya Hill,” Olsson said.
One wonders whether Suzanne Olsson even understands how she contradicts her own assertion. If Jews had indeed controlled Kashmir, why don’t we have a single piece of evidence to show for it? And second, she doesn’t quite explain why despite the Jewish control, the Hill was revered and renowned as the Shankaracharya Hill? And why doesn’tRajatarangini, the most definitive account of Kashmir’s history mention the presence-let alone control-of Jews even once? And why haven’t the galaxy of scholars and litterateurs from Kashmir-Kalhana, Abhinavagupta, Anandavardhana, Kshemendra, et al-mention Jewish influence? The truth is the Suzanne Olsson happens to be the latest purveyor of the phony theory that Jesus visited/lived in Kashmir. Two definitive sources are sufficient to puncture Suzanne Olsson’s motivated claim about Jesus in Kashmir. The first is by the redoubtable Koenraad Elst, and the second by a Buddhist monk and scholar named Shravasti Dhammika who takes a close look into various Suzanne Olssonsesque myths about Jesus’ visit and stay in India.
All kinds of scholars making all kinds of fantastic assertions have existed since time immemorial. However, it is regrettable that the ASI, a body of the Government of India, chose to put out one such fantastic claim as the official history of a place based purely on political consideration. This does disservice not just to Hindus but to the nation’s precious heritage as a whole. More importantly, it is a dangerous portent. As we’ve seen in the case of the St. Thomas Church of Mylapore how an existing Hindu place of worship was appropriated by Christian missionaries through deceit and declared as one of the sites of Christian piety.
Given this, what is the guarantee that the “Takht-e-Suleiman” will not become a dargah or mosque some time in the near or distant future and thereby erase another living place of Hindu heritage permanently?
Sandeep Balakrishna is a columnist and author of Tipu Sultan: the Tyrant of Mysore. He has translated S.L. Bhyrappa’s “Aavarana: the Veil” from Kannada to English.
Rashtrapati Mahodayji, whom do fall back upon to redress the situation? Even if a BJP-aided state government do come about in the State in some few days, they would not have the courage to do so, in the face of stiff opposition from both the separatists and the militants, who are hands in gloves with larger international terror groups. The Central government is perhaps too pre-occupied to take note of this clash of civilisational crisis. It is difficult to believe that the DG, ASI, has taken the decision on his own. It is possible this was done during the times of the UPA government. The matter needs to be investigated and appropriate action initiated and necessary remedial action implemented before this distortion of the cultural history of India gains root and interse communal relationship further deteriorates.
Sir, we hope your honour will appreciate the gravity of the situation and ensure early suitable action, before the situation goes beyond any retrieval effort.
With respectful pronams,
Thanking you Sir and with due respect,
(President, Patriots’ Forum)
Copy forwarded for favour of action, as thought appropriate:
· Cabinet Secretary
(Shri Pradeep Kumar Sinha)
· The Prime Minister’s Office
(Shri P.K. Mishra)
· The Union Home Minister,
(Shri Rajnath Singh)
· The Union Home Secretary
(Shri Rajiv Mehrishi)
· The Minister for HRD Ministry
(Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani)
· The Secretary for HRD Ministry
(Dr. Subash Chandra Khuntia)
· The National Security Advisor,
(Shri A K Doval)
(Former Spl. Director, IB)
(President, Patriots’ Forum)
Source: Patriots’ Forum
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