Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Kashmir before Haider

Yesterday, I saw the movie "Haider". I liked it.

For the first time Bollywood seems to have made an attempt to present a balanced picture of the endless cycle of violence in Kashmir. It is the story of a doctor who cares more about saving lives than about political affiliations; an army officer who reckons its better to blow up a home to kill a militant than to lose his men to sniper fire; an aspiring politician who snitches on his own brother so that he can marry his sister-in-law, and a son who goes through all this in a daze...

Yet, the image that is etched in my mind is that of a temple in ruins. It lends a dramatic backdrop to a mediocre song-and-dance sequence but as the cameras pan in and out of the broken stonework, questions come pouring out: Who built this massive shrine? When? Who brought it down? Why? What did the original structure look like?...

The Martanda Sun Temple stands on the Anantnag plateau, overlooking the Kashmir valley. The original temple is said to have come up around 370AD. A few centuries later, it was expanded by a king named Lalitaditya Muktapida (725-756AD). It stood for a thousand years before it was destroyed by Sikander But-shikan (idol-breaker).

During his reign (1389-1413AD)  -
"Hindu temples were felled to the ground and for one year a large establishment was maintained for the demolition of the grand Martand temple. But when the massive masonry resisted all efforts, fire was applied and the noble buildings cruelly defaced." 
Who would have thought that the same site would be used to portray yet another round of vicious violence...



* Review - First Post -

* Review - Mint -

* Lalitaditya on --

* The Connecting Link: Hamlet, Aligarh Muslim University and Wittenberg Univrsity --

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