As a student of history, Indic and otherwise – I am endlessly pained that, many glorious achievements, discoveries & inventions of Mughals are yet to be duly acknowledged & respectfully credited to them.
I am sure that this is because of ‘Nationalist Historians’ of the saffron kind who have always been busy rewriting the histories. The scum. Now that the Hindu Nationalist Chaiwallah Chowkidhar Narendra Modi is back in power, they are of course slated to become more emboldened and obfuscate the many splendored histories and contributions of the Indian Nationalist Mughals.
But, what is more galling is that, even the eminent, self-styled and scholarly Twistorians such as Ramachandra Guha, Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar, Rana Safvi and – young Zainab Sikhandar & Audrey Truschke – and ganga-jamuni tehzeeb specialists like Rana Safvi – and the up & coming Great historian Tony Joseph (from the staple stable of TheHindu) are yet to work on these aspects of our hidden histories.
Oh the horror, the horror. Oh, the neglect. The indifference and indifference to our holy & exalted Mughal pasts…
This is really a sad thing and hence needs to be set right, pronto. So, here are my humble research findings and pointers. I should thank my Guruji Comrade Kanhaiya Kumar of ‘JNU Tere Tukde Honge’ fame for effulgent guidance and may his light eternally enlighten me.
Do we even know that the following have happened ONLY because of the Mughal rule?
1. Bollywood: The idea of Bollywood was actually invented by the Mughals and by all the assorted actor Khans — and the rest OWE their very existence to our Mughals – Proof: Mughal-e-Azam.
2. Rasgulla or Rosgulla: This is actually derived from Roza Mughalla. – the sweetmeat that was eaten reverentially, after his morning Roza by Aurangzeb. Well, he actually ate Roza Mughallas between the making of his daily skullcap as a pious Muslim and the skulduggery that he routinely practiced as a hobby. In fact he is the forerunner of the JCB, though nobody including his ardent fan, Audrey Truschke acknowledges that. He was the original, great Demolition Man. His contributions are still there for all to see at Kashi, Mathura and many other places.
In fact, it is strongly recommended by the author that a Stamp commemorating his achievements be released immediately, lest he will accuse the Modi government of Intolerance. Subsequent to that, a posthumous awarding of Bharat Ratna to him can be explored as well.
3. Idli: This so-called South Indian snack is actually derived from Id il-Aarz. This Id, the Festival of
Rice, was celebrated in the vast deserts of Arabia, after the yearly-thrice bountiful harvests – actually THREE times an year.
During the times of the Caliph Uthman, this steamed rice pudding was quite a delicacy, was the principal food during that particular Id and the Arab traders brought them over to the Tamil kingdoms down south, apparently. The rest is idlistory – the Mughals helped popularize it all over India by making it a court food, in their food courts.
In fact, to continue with the traditions of Mughal inventions — one of the modern day princesses of white Mughals – Ms Kushboo (a prominent leader of the Indian Notional Congress in Tamil Nadu) has a mutant form of bloated Idli named after her.
4. Hummus: The origin of this delicacy made from ground chickpeas and sesame seeds – is wrongly attributed to Middle East. Actually it was Humayun, the son of Babar – who invented this recipe, while playing around with chicks of various kinds, no harem done, while musing about his Mongol pasts. The connection obviously is: Humayun + Musing + Chicks.
It is really unfortunate that, even famed linguists & polymaths like Jeyamohan, who has done some fantastic authoritative research on Sanskrit word roots & assorted etymologies, haven’t figured this out. The question is: Have they have chickened out?
5. Sambar: This was a recipe developed to feel the pulse of the nation during Mughal times. Essentially comprised of various lentils and pulses such as Bengalgram, Deccangram, Gujaratgram, Gurugram etc – it was invented by a Mughal warlord Amjad Khan, who went ballistic saying “Arre O’ Saamba” every few minutes, in a Mughal period feature fillum called Sholay, script for which was written by another Mughal Courtier Javed Akhthar Kadju.
Amjad Khan named the tasty soup that he dished up – Samba Arre – in a poetic turn of phrases. The rest is Sambarstory.
To think that we credit this tasty dish to a particular random Maratha Raja in Thanjavur of Tamilnadu! Sheesh! When are we going to even begin to become secular?
6. Gol Gappa (AKA Panipuri): Originally from Mongol lands of the Mughal pasts, this very popular well rounded delight was ALSO an invention of the Mughals. If we trace the etymology of GolGappa, Gol actually comes from MonGOL. Gappa is a corruption of the word that signifies the divine messenger of God – Gabriel.
Legend goes that, it was Gabriel who brought the heavenly delight over to MonGols – to signify via the metaphor that, the spherical world’s sole purpose is to be gobbled up by Mongols and their Moghul descendents. This fact, over time, has resulted in the morphing of the delicacy’s name to Gol of Gabbbahsahib or GolGabba and then over centuries, to Gol Gappa.
Learned GolGappa Scholars such as Audrey Truschke posit that, when Aurangzeb took a Gap year from governance, he survived solely on the Gols of Gabriel. And hence the name Gol Gappa. But, like all other ‘research’ of grand ma’am – this is also suspect. More like a self-gol.
7. Kanjeevaram: Originally called Khanchipur, it was established during the times of the Genghis Khanate, the forefatherly figure of the Mughal kingdoms of yore. It is pertinent to note that Silk Road wound its way not only thru the Khanates, but also to and from Khanchipur.
8. Mysore Pak: As the name very much indicates, the origin of this delicacy (mistakenly considered as of South Indian origin) actually is Pakistan.
During the times of the glorious Sultan of Swig, Tipu in Mysore state, the Mughal remnants in Delhi had sent an excellent Cook, so that the Mughals could make peace with Tipu. And this Kook, originally from Aligarh Muslim University, not only invented the idea of a sweet Pakistan, thereby cooking up a two notion theory – but also went ahead to co-brand it as that of Tipu’s very own Mysore.
Typically (Mysore) Pak is broken into small delicious pieces and is gobbled up. In the same way, Pak has already gotten broken-up into two pieces, and we Mughal worshippers all know that. Again, Pak is perhaps going to be broken down in to many more smaller delicious pieces, Paklets as you will, as the ancient Mughal Kook willed. Inshah allah.
But, unfortunately, even erudite Scholars of MysorePak who ought to know better, such as Anand Ranganathan, are all under the mistaken impression that the aforesaid Mysore Pak was invented in TamilNadu! Bah!
9. Meme: The original memes, were of course done by the Mughals. For the Mughals, Of the Moghuls and Off the Mughals. This requires no great elaboration – as there are widely available and verifiable facts for all of us to see.
10. Jio: This actually is an abridged and modified form of the loan word from the Arabic – Jizya, the annual per capita tax levied on non-muslims/dhimmis as a matter of routine, during most of the Mughal rule too.
The Reliance guys actually stole the idea of the Mughals, and have floated their mythical Internet services around the same and developed upon it – just with a view to enslaving Indians, just like the Islamists of yore did.
This is intelligently mosqued as the payment for Internet services that all the people of Bharat are now addicted to like crazy. Do we even realize that, we pay for Jio (a mutated form of Jizya O) services – which means we pay monthly taxes/fees, presumably to the Ambani Mughals? Isn’t this shocking?
…As we can all see – the effects and legacy of the patriotic Mughals, run deep, really deeeeep. We can go on and on – tracing everything that has ever happened in India, even before the Mughals, to Mughals – but then, there is no point in stating and restating the obvious. Thanks!
Now, as in the grand tradition of all deep & stellar sociological-etymological ideas – it is time to talk about the subaltern theoretic definition that explains how we have to perceive things, in a Secular India.
M & N Rule for Indian narratives: It is self-evident that, if anything Indic – any relic of science, technology, literature, artifact etc etc cannot be traced back to the great Mughals for some reason or the other, it can definitely be traced to our very own Chacha Jawaharlal Nehru.
This is also the Liberal Law of Impulse, which when applied, gains incredible momentum on its own – thanks to massively parallel multiple cycles of manufacture, quoting, citing, acknowledging, pushing, promoting and propagandizing the basic idea.
However, please note that – the one and only Jawaharlal Nehru was and has been responsible for everything good that happened on this OpIndia blog – erm, including this post.
Jai Chacha Nehru.