Sahana Singh Profile picture
Author, Commentator, Public Speaker, Connector of dots, Conveyor of thoughts, Convenor of minds
Ramesh S Raghavan 🇮🇳 Profile picture Anant Saraogi Profile picture 2 subscribed
Mar 1 15 tweets 5 min read
The most special temple I visited in my Dharwad trip was the Bhuvaraha & Narasimha temple at Halasi. Again just by chance. The same prof who suggested that I visit Degaon asked me to look up Halasi. “There’s something about that temple,” he said with a gleam in his eye. (1) Image Varaha & Narasimha are 2 avatars of Vishnu that appeal to me at a visceral level. If I close my eyes, I can often see Varaha diving into the depths of the nether world to rescue Bhoomi Devi and bringing her out with his snout. (2) Image
Feb 28 5 tweets 3 min read
After my IIT-Dharwad talk, one prof (who saw Degaon marked on the map showing ancient India’s educational centres in my PPT) told me the place was not far from where we were. He said there was one Kamala Narayana temple there which I must visit. So I set out for the place. (1) Image Degaon was a small town in Karnataka's Belagavi district with narrow lanes lined with tiny houses and shops. The ancient temple was neatly maintained. I googled to learn that it was built in the 12th century by Queen Kamala Devi, wife of Kadamba king Sivachitta Permadi. (2) Image
Feb 23 11 tweets 4 min read
When @ImSunilChakri garu invited me to Vidyaranyam Vedapathshala located near Bhagyanagar, Telangana, I seized the opportunity to visit yet another Gurukula. This Vedapathshala has some 100 Vatus, all staying with their Guru Madugula Shashibhushana Somayaji. (1) Image It was a quintessential Gurukula with a Gaushala having a variety of cows, some shade-giving trees (though I would like to see more of them), a mandir with a hall where students learn their lessons. (2)
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Jan 27 7 tweets 2 min read
It's very strange but I was thinking about Hampi several times in the day. Then I discovered that it was on this day in 1565 that the grand city was completely destroyed by the Sultans of Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Bidar and Golconda. A city that had no equal in India. (1) Image Robert Sewell describes it hauntingly in 'A Forgotten Empire'. "The victorious Mussulmans had halted on the field of battle for rest and refreshment, but now they had reached the capital, and from that time forward for a space of five months Vijayanagar knew no rest. (2)
Jan 23 4 tweets 2 min read
Did you notice the Darbha grass being held by Udupi's Pejawar Mathadhisha Swami Vishwaprasanna Tirtha and Anil Mishra ji, the main yajman during the Pran Pratishta ceremony of Ram Lalla? The murti was being touched by the Darbha grass. Such an age-old custom! (1) Image Darbha is the sacred grass that is used in a multitude of Hindu ceremonies. In fact, no puja is considered to be complete without it. This grass is believed to be endowed with special powers to purify and protect a space from negative energies including radioactivity! (2) Image
Dec 24, 2023 4 tweets 4 min read
We are all familiar with Macaulay's Minute in which he makes the case for English language as a medium of education in India after accusing the land of having no knowledge of science or arts. (1) But you probably don't know about a horrendous hate speech he delivered on March 9, 1843 in the House of Commons. Imagine speeches like these being delivered in the British Parliament. (2)
May 6, 2023 16 tweets 4 min read
The anatomy of religious conversion. That’s what I went to see in “The Kerala Story”. Why would Hindus willingly forsake a way of life that offers so much freedom to explore, encourages them to pursue knowledge & self-awareness but doesn't condemn non-followers to hellfire? (1) As the movie showed, it’s the trusting, vulnerable, rootless, & utterly unsuspecting ones. This is one of the boldest movies ever made, and just like in #TheKashmirFiles it’s a film that needed to be made urgently, however flaw-ridden it might be. (2)
Mar 22, 2023 9 tweets 2 min read
Finished reading “The Sacred Waters of Varanasi - The Colonial Draining and Heritage Ecology” by ⁦@MaheshGogate⁩ who’s affiliated to Kyoto University. He converted his PhD thesis into this book. Such painstaking research! He took the trouble to mail this book to me. (1) Image The main premise of the book is that before colonial interference, Varanasi was full of temple tanks, streams, ponds and pools that were all a part of the sacred waters of the city. It was a tirtha sthaana with a beautiful blending of the waterscape with the landscape. (2)
Mar 17, 2023 5 tweets 4 min read
It was painful when my friend @ShobhaSwamy6 revealed to me some years ago that both her daughters got brainwashed in college by Hinduphobic organizations like Equality Labs. I felt helpless & didn't know what to advise. I would have been shattered if I was in her position. (1) But I watched with admiration as Shobha devoted herself to increasing awareness about the menace of wokeism lurking in college corridors. While others would have hidden family matters, Shobha openly talked about the conflicts with her children & alerted all of us. (2)
Feb 9, 2023 9 tweets 3 min read
If someone had told me an year ago that the IKS programme of the Govt of India would attract students from around India to present papers and posters, I'd have been sceptical. Too early to expect a good response I'd have thought. (1) That is why it was such an eye-opener for me to view the posters and listen to presentations made by students in the 19-25 age group at the National Youth Conference held in Kerala recently. The diverse topics chosen by the children were truly amazing. (2)
Feb 8, 2023 4 tweets 1 min read
Recipe - Take a kg of tomatoes and puree them in a blender. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds (rai) and after they stop crackling, quickly add a mixture of freshly powdered hing, chilli powder, roasted methi powder and immediately follow it with tomatoes. (1) This is a critical step because chilli powder gets burned very quickly. Boil, boil, boil until quantity reduces. Add swaadanusar namak (my favorite expression). (2)
Dec 6, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
3 years ago, I met this man who had fled from Pakistan after a targeted campaign was unleashed on Hindus as revenge against the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992-1993. His shop was set on fire. With his wife and children, he managed to reach Jodhpur and stayed with an uncle. (1) ImageImage Keeping his pride aside, he decided to sell sundry things from a reda (mobile cart). It was a hard life especially as he wasn’t from a poor family in Pakistan. Eventually he saved enough money to rent shop space. Today, he has 3 shops and is an Indian citizen. (2)
Jun 14, 2022 9 tweets 5 min read
I had no idea that just an hour from my parents’ home in Bengaluru near Nelamangala, there was a dreamland full of Hindu art treasures with a close link to Amar Chitra Katha, my favorite comic series. So indebted to @Ramyarohini for motivating me to visit Omthara Kala Kuteera (1) ImageImageImage Until Ramya made me aware, I credited Anant Pai solely for the success of Amar Chitra Katha. Looks like there has been a big omission and you will know that when you visit Omthara. GK Ananthram is the brain behind Amar Chitra Katha. (2) ImageImage
Jun 3, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
On the last day of the Samskara Foundation camp held in Atlanta, Georgia, I had a heart-to-heart talk with the boys while the girls were practicing for a cultural presentation. There was one boy in the camp who asked a lot of questions in every class. (1) It turned out that this boy was having a hard time in middle school. One of the disturbing things that emerged from my conversation was that the boy was often being subjected to anti-Hindu comments and jokes. He said he was called "Curry cruncher" and such things. (2)
May 8, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Typically a Swami ji is treated with utmost reverence but watch how rural ladies are following a custom whereby female relatives of a bride sing songs to roast the relatives of the bridegroom. The ladies here are from Mithila while Swami Ramabhadracharya is from Avadh. (1) The ladies, therefore, represent the land of Sita (or Janaka) while the Swami ji here represents the land of Rama (or Dasharatha). The mock abuse is so funny that you can see Swami ji smiling. This genre of geet is called Gari & is popular in eastern UP and northern Bihar. (2)
Mar 25, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
I was at dinner with an octagenarian Hindu couple recently; the wife was a graceful Sindhi lady who remembered the exodus from Karachi to Mumbai as a 6-year-old in a boat with her entire family after the partition of India. The families had to flee from their house overnight. (1) The husband was from Fiji and his story was equally troubling. His grandfather was abducted while on the way to Kashi. He was put on a boat to Fiji where he was forced to work on a plantation as a slave. Remember the British forcing Indians to work on plantations? (2)
Mar 8, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
There is a powerful scene in the Hindi movie “Damini” that has stayed with me all these years. Damini, the protagonist had been pursuing litigation against powerful people for their misdeeds and they had succeeded in getting her thrown into a mental asylum. (1) She was subjected to severe mental torture and had lost her mental balance. She sat babbling inanities in the midst of dozens of people with extreme psychiatric problems and then relapsed into silence. It seemed as if she had lost the battle. Her oppressors had broken her. (2)
Mar 8, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Colonization & alienation from one's civilization work like this. Some campaigners taught Indian rural women to call their husbands by their first names, which BBC reported on to showcase the backwardness of India. (1) bbc.com/news/magazine-… Does anyone remember movies in which the husband would call out to his wife "Arey o Chunnu ki maa tum sun rahi ho?" We urban kids in India would laugh at this but still understand the underpinnings of the culture. (2)
Feb 4, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
What I would like to see is a systematic study of the changes in society after more women start wearing hijab. In the Bengaluru of 80s, my uncle's house had a Muslim family living opposite. The kids from there would join us to play on the street. (1) Soon, one member of that Muslim family went to settle in Abu Dhabi, then another. Over time, the women in that house began to wear hijab which we had never seen before. They lost their old friendliness and became rather aloof. In our innocence we were perplexed at this change (2)
Jan 26, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
Savarkar analysed the China monster so well. You can feel his heart bleeding. Quoting from @vikramsampath’s book:”We closed our eyes in the name of world peace & coexistence & did not raise even a finger against this invasion of Tibet. (1) “Neither did we help the buffer state of Tibet when her very existence was at stake. Why?…after swallowing the whole of Tibet the strong armies of China & Russia are now standing right on our borders…China is today openly playing the game of liquidating the remaining (2)
Jan 20, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
I know I am going overboard with quoting @vikramsampath’s book but this speech of Savarkar is making me LOL! “When things have come to such a pass that such quixotic souls are sent as accredited spokesmen by the credulous crowd to the roundtable conference and…(1) “…even in foreign lands such senseless proposals are seriously advanced by them in the name of the Indian nation itself in so many words to the great merriment of the foreign statesmen and the general public in Europe & America…(2)