On Aurangzeb

I have it on good authority that Satyameva Jayate is India’s national motto. The English translation of the Sanskrit is “Truth Alone Prevails.” Is that claim itself true? Can it really prevail in a land where some people are afraid to speak what they perceive to be the truth because some others confront that expression with violence?

Thomas Jefferson claimed over 200 years ago that “it is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.” I agree only partly. I don’t think that without courageous people truth has a chance. Truth, in the abstract, of course exists. But for it to triumph, surely it has to be expressed by humans and be part of the mental makeup of at least one human being. The world is spherical is a truth in the abstract. But at some point in the history of human civilization it became a concrete truth. But it required courage to express a truth that in some parts of the world was considered against god and morality.

Truth would have a hard time prevailing in a nation of people cowed down from fear and threat of violence. A recent example of violence shutting out an attempt at finding the truth occurred in Chennai. A bunch of people shut down an exhibition which revealed Aurangzeb to be a tyrant. The police were also involved in the vandalism. The state was involved in suppressing the expression of a viewpoint that some considered unpalatable. Most of the newspapers did not report this.

Isn’t it true that India’s motto basically pokes fun at India’s public actions?

Link: Details of what happened and Kanchan Gupta’s opinion piece.

[Follow up post: B Raman on “Aurangzebs of Today.”]

Author: Atanu Dey


8 thoughts on “On Aurangzeb”

  1. Re, “Truth would have a hard time prevailing in a nation of people cowed down from fear and threat of violence. ”
    in indias case can be avoided by having freedom to offend and getting rid of the dirty dispicable islander libel laws


  2. Atanu ,

    I read Kanchan Gupta’s piece and the name Francois Gautier makes me write this:

    Gautier is the ardent devotee cum promoter of aol multiple repetitive syndrome afflicted ravishankar. On the one hand the master psittacinely bleats ‘all religions same same’ shibboleth teaching kriyas and recycling Adi Shankara’s Teachings to all as his own serendipitous discovery etc etc. The disciple Gautier plaintively exhorts all “hindus” of the world to come under the sway of ravishankar who would ” issue edicts ” to be followed and then alone this ” beloved India ” could be “saved”.

    God is in small details. And so is the devil 🙂


  3. I am well aware that Gautier is the biographer of SSRS and that he is also a great admirer. And most of the readers of this blog know that I consider SSRS to be useful but SSRS’s self-promotion rubs me the wrong way.

    The matter at hand is different. It is the suppression of an idea that some people find uncomfortable. When it is officially suppressed, it is a bad thing; when it is officially suppressed so as to placate violent people, it moves from being bad to being extremely dangerous and damaging to society.

    I could not care less what Gautier’s expression is motivated by or to what end. All I know is that in a free society, the freedom to express what you feel is absolute and non-negotiable.


  4. Atanu,

    It is clear from your post that “truth” does not have many friends in India. Point in case, Vaidehi- the commentator on this post.

    She is trying to dodge a simple issue here by bringing in Gautier. (A classic tactic of liberal elite – diversion from uncomfortable issue)

    This post is about Aurangazeb and the duplicity of the moral / secular elite. That this story did not stick in the mainstream and the Baroda one did, shows us how deep the bias is.


  5. Shouldnt the more accurate translation be “truth alone is victorious” ?
    It is absolutely ironical that it is our national motto. Maybe when our civilization was still unharmed it would have been appropriate.
    It has endured too many knocks and is almost on its last legs, and has no strength to fight back.
    Anyway, victors write the truth.


  6. Aurangazeb would still continue to rule in Hindu dominant India because Hindus are too secular. The followers of Aurangazeb need not be 50…just 5 are more than enough to quickly despatch a timid crowd of even 5000 hindus. The followers of Aurangazeb attack a problem with zeal, zest, confidence, faith and unified in their decision…unlike Hindus who can only stand apart from each other and gleefully watch the other bleeding. For Hindus it is still a confusion whether Vishnu or Shiva or the multicrore numbers of gods and godesses. In this respect the seculars are right in supporting the children of a singular father…may he be Aurangazeb or Ghazni. Long live Aurangazebs and may they place the directionless Hindus in shackles once again!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: