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Misquote on Panipat

This is with reference to ‘The legend of Panipat’ by Rajbir Deswal (Spectrum, February 6), which effectively traces the spiritual, historical, literary, and even industrial background of Panipat city. This city has a 5000-year-old history, dating back to the Mahabharata. Nearby Kurukshetra was the scene of he 18-day battle between the Kauravas and Pandavas.

A gross inaccuracy has crept into the above write-up, possibly unwittingly, wherein Deswal attirbutes the following couplet of Iqbal to Hali: “Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdir se pehley/ Khuda bande se khud poochhe bata teri raza kya hai”. (Raise thy ego so high that God before willing they fate/Asks man as to what his destiny should be). Thus, to Iqbal, the Ego is a divine call for action, which teaches man to rely on his immense natural capabilities, instead of pinning his faith in fate.

The history of Panipat is also replete with mysticism. It is associated with mystic Hazrat Sheikh Sharfuddin, alias Bu Ali shah Qalandar, who, being a man of God, hated war and the killings of human beings. The city is associated with the vocal classical music of the Panipat Gharana, too. It also gave birth to such literary stalwarts as Kwaja Altaf Husain Hali (1837-1914), whose gift to modern prose is as significant as to modern poetry. Similarly, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914-1987), who also hailed from Panipat, occupies an eminent position in the world of fiction and films. His stories, springing from small incidents, have political and social overtones, with the result that the apparent triviality acquires greater prominence.

Deepak Tandon, Panchkula


More about the Khukhrains

The brave Khukhrains’ by Khushwant Singh (January 8) was quite revealing and informative. The Khukhrains, being a martial race, held prominent positions in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. Incidentally, my great grandfather, Subha Rai Anand, was Commander-in-Chief of the Maharaja’s army and also the minister of Jammu and Multan.

The Khukhrains are highly educated. Most of the residents of Bhera - Maini district Sargodhra (Pakistan) got education in the UK. Two chief ministers of united Punjab were from Bhera. Even now, many of Khukhrains serve in the armed forces. The present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also a Khukhrain.




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