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History of Punjab deliberately 'distorted'

LAHORE, Aug 6: Speakers at a meeting have said that the Punjab had been putting up tough resistance against all foreign invasions made since the days of the Arians onslaught from the north.
They were speaking at a book launching ceremony of Maharaja Porus, an Urdu translation of Indian scholar Buddha Parkash by M. Waseem held at the Lahore Press Club here on Friday with MNA Aitzaz Ahsan in the chair. They said that the history of the Punjab had been deliberately distorted by the vested interests like the distortions made in other histories.
Aitzaz Ahsan said that the Hindus' old book of history Rig Veda had mentioned that the people of the Punjab had been fighting valiantly to resist the invasions of the Arians who had been invading India for five to six centuries. The Punjab being the frontline of India had borne the brunt of the foreign invaders.
He said that according to the historical records the people of the Punjab had bravely resisted all invasions before and after the invasion of the Alexander the Great till the times of the British colonial rule.
He said that Maharaja Porus had stopped the Alexander's forces beyond the Jhelum and he had to march downstream of the river up to Multan or beyond Panjnad to cross the river and then to return to upstream to the Punjab.
Thus the Greek emperor could not dare to cross into the territory ruled by Porus in the Punjab. He said against the common belief or the distorted history Porus had not been defeated nor had he surrendered himself to Alexander. He said that the Punjab had put up tough resistance to the Moghul kings Taimur, Babar and Afghan king Nadir Shah.
The book's publisher and political and human rights activist, Farrukh Sohail Goendi, said that the history of the Punjab had been distorted right from early days by the courtiers and other vested interests of various rulers.
He said that the process of distortion of history had not stopped and it was still continuing. These distortions were being made in the books written by the retired civil and military bureaucrats, the books written at the behest of the government, the books written in the west about the sub-continent.
Referring to the resistance of Porus, he said that if he had not stopped the Greeks at the Jhelum they had planned to conquer the whole of India to reach Southern India, which they had thought, was the place of the rising sun.
Punjabi scholar Shafqat Tanvir Mirza lamented that the history was silent about the heroes of the Punjab who had been putting up tough resistance against the colonial rulers and other foreign invaders or those who were the persons of eminence in various fields of national activity.
He said that Porus was the hero of a lost battle but those heroes who had won many a battle had been forgotten by the historians. He said that there was no need for erecting their statues like the one of Alexander proposed to be built by a retired Navy officer with the help of Greek donations unless the achievements of the heroes of the Punjab were recorded in history for the benefit of the public.
Prof Dr Tahir Kamran of the Department of History in the GCU and writer Tanvir Zahur also addressed.
Curtsey:DAWN.COM, PUBLISHED AUG 07, 2004 



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