Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How kids of Sathya Sai devotee families may be viewing Muddenahalli - Puttaparthi tussle! Some background about Sikander (Alexander the Great) and North India

I think they may be viewing it like the (senior) school kids in this oldie (1962) Hindi film, Anpadh's famous song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmarDySZ0LQ, 3 min. 6 secs. :-)

Here are the lyrics: https://www.lyricsbogie.com/movies/anpadh-1962/sikandar-ne-poras-se-ki-thi-ladai.html.

I think I must add that it is a great achievement of both the Parthi loyalists and the Muddenahalli splinter group that there has been no violence between the groups so far. I pray to Bhagavan that it continues to be this way.
...

The first line of the song is: Sikander Ne Porus se ki thi ladai to ki thi ladai, to main kya karoon - which means if Sikander had fought with Porus then he had fought with Porus, what shall I do about that (what does that have to do with me)?

For ancient India, a few centuries before 1 AD and few centuries after 1 AD, the Greek and Roman empire contacts (and trade) were notable. Perhaps the main European name of those days that has made its way into North Indian languages and which can be seen in Hindi language of even today is Sikander (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikandar says that the Persians called him that) which is also the Hindi/North Indian name for Alexander the Great. His battle with King Porus, (a Hindu I guess), is an important piece of ancient Indian history taught at least in North and West India.

This is the wiki page of that famous battle in 326 BC which took place in what is now Punjab in Pakistan, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Hydaspes.

An extract from above wiki page:

The Battle of the Hydaspes was fought in 326 BC between Alexander the Great and King Porus of the Paurava kingdom on the banks of the river Jhelum (known to the Greeks as Hydaspes) in what is now the Punjab province of Pakistan. The battle resulted in a complete Greek victory and the annexation of the Punjab, which lay beyond the far easternmost confines of the already absorbed Persian empire, into the Macedonian Empire.

Alexander's decision to cross the monsoon-swollen river despite close Indian surveillance, in order to catch Porus' army in the flank, has been referred as one of his "masterpieces". Although victorious, it was also the most costly battle fought by the Macedonians. The resistance put up by King Porus and his men won the respect of Alexander, who asked Porus to become one of his satraps.

The Battle of the Hydaspes was the last battle of Alexander's conquering expedition. It is historically significant for opening up India to Greekpolitical (Seleucid, Greco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek) and cultural influences (Greco-Buddhist art), which continued to have an impact for many centuries.

---- end extract ---

Here's a contemporary Indian reference to Sikander to show how the greatness of such figures get reflected through them surviving centuries of time, the great destroyer, via usage in language and art. From ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’: Smriti Irani justifies BJP's Gujarat win, https://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/181217/jo-jeeta-wohi-sikandar-smriti-irani-as-bjp-sweeps-gujarat-poll.html, 18th Dec. 2017

An extract from it:

New Delhi: With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retaining Gujarat for the sixth consecutive time and making a comeback in Himachal Pradesh after one term, Union minister Smriti Irani on Monday reacted to the party’s win and said: "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar."

The phrase, the title of a hit movie, caught on quickly as the party made it past the winning post in a neck-and-neck fight with Congress in Gujarat.

--- end extract ---

The hit Hindi movie referred above, which I have not seen (yet), is this one: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo_Jeeta_Wohi_Sikandar.

An extract from it:

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (translation: One who wins, is the king) is a 1992 Indian sports drama film, directed and co-written by Mansoor Khan, and produced and co-written by Nasir Hussain.

--- end extract ---

In my lifetime in India (and other places that I have lived in for significant amount of time - Western Europe and USA), I have not experienced significant war which impacted mainland India (or impacted Western Europe and USA when I was living there). The 1971 Bangladesh war was fought mainly in Bangladesh and in some Western border areas with Pakistan. It did not impact Indian mainland as there were no significant Pakistani army, navy or air force assaults into Indian mainland.

So in my lifetime, in India it is the sports and movie heroes who are held up and admired in society for their macho and athletic type abilities. But war has been the norm for past generations of Indians before British established a central power with administrative control over most of India in mid nineteenth century (mid 1800s). [The Indian independence struggle was not so violent as the non-violent struggle delivered better results than the violent struggles, and so that cannot be viewed as a war. Wars result in horrendous amount of savagery with killing and serious injuries to huge numbers of people. That did not happen in India's independence struggle, as far as I know. Yes, freedom fighters were sent to jail and suffered there. Some violent freedom fighters were hung to death or killed in other ways. But those numbers were not anywhere close to the casualty count in a typical war.]

Victory in such wars decided who dominated economic life, literary, art and other cultural life, with impact also on religious life in India! This has been the ****truth**** about life in India for countless generations of Indians before the mid 1800s. Therefore the big wars are remembered in the various regions of India in their (vernacular mainly) literature, art and culture. Some parts of such vernacular literature, art and culture have been documented in mainly Indian, but also some non-Indian (Western countries mainly), English language literature now.

It is in Indian vernacular literature, art and culture which seem to have found a resurgence in India, post-Independence and particularly during the past few decades of prosperity that India has enjoyed, that one sees clear echoes of the great figures of ancient history. Sikander is one such figure in North Indian vernacular literature who is alive as a word denoting great warrior/great sports/politics victor in North India today, as reflected by BJP leaders' comments in their Dec. 2017 Gujarat victory over Congress being a much closer margin victory than their earlier victories in the state and in the general elections (country wide elections).

'Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander' means: He who wins he only is the great warrior/king.

Please note that I have a PUBLICLY NEUTRAL role in these social media posts that I put up related to Indian political leaders which include leaders in government currently and those not in government. I do vote in Indian elections but I keep who I vote for as a private matter.

[I thank wikipedia and deccanchronicle.com, and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extracts (short extract from deccanchronicle.com) from their websites on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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