– Shreyasi Mukerji


In light of the excitement surrounding the upcoming pujo season, I was recently asked about why the punya mati, or ‘virtuous soil’, that is included in the making of the idols of Maa Durga, must be taken from nishhidho pali (forbidden territories) – in other words, begged for at a courtesan’s doorstep. I’ve never really paid attention to that ritual. I was first exposed to it when I watched the movie Devdas, and it didn’t strike any curiosity chords in me then. Being asked and not knowing the answer got me inquisitive.
As I do with anything and everything that I don’t know enough about, I looked it up on the internet. It turns out that no one seems to know for sure. One of the common explanations I got was that when men entered such places with sin on their minds, they left their virtues at the door; hence, the soil from a courtesan’s doorstep contains the purest of virtue. Now I don’t know if you see what I think is so wrong about this explanation. Firstly, such men probably left their homes with sinful intentions, thereby having left their virtues behind in their own houses. Secondly, I don’t like or identify with the idea of discrete locations of purity and virtue.
An alternatively offered explanation was that this is done to include the even most excluded types of women in the making of the ultimate divine feminine figure. Now, if that were true, at least on that superficial level, I should think that part of the punya mati would be taken from leper communities as well. They’re equally excluded in our society.
But this category can be explored further. Perhaps the soil from these areas is taken to include one of the most potent forms of femininity in the making of a wholesome female entity. If there is a woman behind every successful man, there’s one behind every fallen one as well. Femininity is the most powerful weapon that a woman has. Important men have made big decisions based on their weakness in front of female potency. A wife cannot always be seen in this light; women living off their bodies might more accurately represent this side of womanhood. And who are we to judge another human being? Every form, every roop of a woman is to be celebrated. After all, Durga represents the pure, complete, omnipotent female.
While discussing this with a few of my family members, we came up with another possible explanation. It was suggested that perhaps this ritual is done to rid a man of his guilt. Keep your minds open for this one. Going by the old ways of society, a man could be unknowingly related to the courtesan he will get the holy soil from. When this man knocks on her door, he does not know how to address the woman – she could be like his mother, or like his sister, or his aunt, depending on how frivolous he or his male relatives have been – so he does not know how he may or may not be related to her. So when he pays his respects to her by begging for the mud, he respects her, not in respect to a relationship or any stereotypes of society, but as a woman, and a woman alone. In a patriarchal society where women are either someone’s daughter or someone’s wife, this unconditional veneration might be considered to be the purest form of respect anyone can have for a woman.
I don’t know if people today even know the reason we have this ritual at all. I definitely don’t, and didn’t find any conclusive answers on ever-knowing Google either. If we start to demand the underlying reasons behind all the rituals we have for festivals these days, we will find a large percentage of them unexplained to the present society! May Durga evoke respect for all forms of Nari, not only be prayed for nine days and forgotten!

Art by @BijayBiswaal

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Medieval History Miscellaneous

The legacy of loyalty by the great Mughals 

Courtesy: https://twitter.com/mumukshusavitri/status/1532261065207074817?s=24&t=rsnv1Gu82ULo9uO982zZig

1 The Mughal emperor Humayun blinded his own brother Kamran & murdered his brothers Askari and Hindal.

2 Akbar the “great” killed his own foster brother Adham Khan by throwing him down from the palace walls at Agra, in 1562. Akbar’s murder of Adham Khan was illustrated in the Akbarnama by the Mughal court artists Miskin and Shankar.

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3 Jahangir cruelly blinded his own son Khusrau as his father Akbar wanted his grandson as heir, because Jahangir was an alcoholic & drug addict. Khusrau was captured, put on an elephant & paraded down Chandni Chowk, while his kinsmen were held at knife-point on raised platforms.

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4 As the elephant approached each platform, each supporter was impaled on a stake (through his bowels), while Khusrau was forced to watch & listen to the screams. This was repeated numerous times, then Khusrau was blinded by his father Jahangir in…

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India-China Conflict: India’s Victory of 1967 and the 2020 Clash #Sangam Talk By Probal DasGupta

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The Indian army veteran and author of Watershed 1967: India’s forgotten victory over China, Probal DasGupta talks of the Indo-China relations, particularly the lesser known incidents of 1967. The present standoff in Ladakh has raised questions of war and has brought up the historic narrative between the two countries. today. For fifty years, the event that dominated our memories was the 1962 India-China war, which India lost. However, the present crisis has focused on India’s victory over China in 1967. Probal’s book Watershed 1967 has played a significant role in reshaping the India-China narrative. In this talk he discusses China’s motives and India’s options today, and how 1967 is relevant in the current India-China skirmishes.

About the Speaker:

Probal DasGupta is an Indian army veteran and author…

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Weapons from Punjab and Rajasthan seized in Maharashtra

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While the Hanuman Chalisa and Azaan issue is simmering in Maharashtra huge batches of Swords and other weapons transported from states like Rajasthan and Punjab are being seized in Maharashtra. In last few days three such cases have been registered by Maharashtra police. Isn’t it a clear message that violence is knocking on the door? The rioters being celebrated and awarded in Karnataka and the long list of benefiters from Karauli riots convey the same! Wake up Hindus!

Source: https://www.naidunia.com

Maharashtra के धुले में मिला हथियारों का जखीरा, तलवार और खंजर समेत 90 हथियार जब्त, 4 आरोपी गिरफ्तार। अजान को लेकर राज ठाकरे की होने वाली सभा के लिए, राजस्थान से भेजी जा रही थीं तलवारें।

महाराष्ट्र के धुले जिले से भारी मात्रा में हथियार…

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One more territory lost to the changing Demography! The Uttarakhand!

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Courtesy: https://twitter.com/anshul_aliganj/status/1517047053821825025?s=21&t=m0uR2PDEkJsDWLonYOQqAg

In Uttarakhand the Tourism Industry has been taken over by Samuday Vishesh. After the change in demography this was bound to happen.

Gadhwal was lost already and and now kumaon getting lost. Be it Nainital, Bhimtal, Ramnagar, Bageshwar,Jageshwar,Ranikhet and Kisano every where you will find them.
Locals have leased their hotels and restaurants to them.

Even when they are of not so well off background still they are able to do highest bidding and are able to get the hotels on lease.
Samuday Vishesh People from far off places have come and taken over Uttarakhand Tourism.

They have removed the local waiters , cooks and…

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

The Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad on the glorious Bhadra Kali Mandir

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Source:
https://www.booksfact.com/archeology/jama-masjid-ahmedabad-bhadrakali-temple.html

The Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad was originally A Bhadra Kali temple. It was converted into a mosque by Ahmed Shah I. The intricate flowers, coiled serpents representing Kundalini and bells, the remnants of the glorious temple that it may have been. Such carvings are banned in Islam. This goes on to support the history of the temple. Goddess Bhadrakali was believed to be the Nagar Devi of Ahmedabad.

One of Ahmedabad’s ancient names was Bhadra which was after Devi Bhadrakali. Ahmedabad was named after Ahmad Shah I of the Muzaffarid dynasty who forcibly captured “Karnavati” in 1411.

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Facts about Mahmud Ghazni

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Courtesy: Eztainutlacatl

How many of you know that Mahmud’s father was a Kyrghyz Buddhist caught in childhood and converted forcibly? How many know that Mahmud is called Zabuli because he was born out of a forced union between that slave Sabuktegin and a Zabuli Princess?

And how many of you know that Multan sided Mahmud against the Shahis in the name of religion but Mahmud decided Multan was not Muslim enough and attacked it? And how many of you know that of the 17 raids of Mahmud, 14 are against his neighbour, the Shahis?

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

Kastur Ba: the secret shadow

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On her 153rd Birth anniversary

Courtesy: Sheshapatangi1

https://twitter.com/sheshapatangi1/status/1513352430250995715?s=21&t=i81i06F0q8_Wv8EeFTvdjg

“I simply cannot bear to look at Ba’s face, the expression is often like that of a meek cow and that in her own dump manner she is saying something” –
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To keep the brand, “Mahatma” popular, they never told the miserable story of his wife.
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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

My people uprooted

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Courtesy: Shri Tathagata Roy

HISTORY.
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Upon Liaquat’s glib assurance that Hindu refugees would be taken back and restored,the gullible Nehru decided that no rehabilitation of Hindus was necessary in India. Result: no refugee went back and were forced to live under inhuman conditions in Indian camps.

The Pakis were so insincere about the pact that their Govt issued secret instructions not to restore any Hindu to his property. Even after the pact all Hindu passengers in down Assam Mail were pulled down and killed just outside Santahar station.

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