History has been replete with instances and anecdotes, facts and events that encompass a rich repertoire of information and present us with a picture of the world like it was at one time in the past. Yet contrivitions and distortion of facts very often tend to present reality in a way that turns out to be a riddle of sorts for all those fazed by past events. A look at 8 such riddles from the pages of Indian history that continues to baffle even now-
The eternal monument of love that Shah Jahan supposedly built for his dear wife Mumtaz, Taj Mahal is one of the finest specimens of Indian architecture. But it is possible that the fantasy of love had shrouded this architectural masterpiece. A book by P. K. Oak states that Shah Jahan had in fact forcefully taken over Tejomahalaya from the then king of Jaipur and turned it into Taj Mahal. Even no evidence exists regarding the authenticity of several facts related to the construction if the Taj. What seems is that even the prevailing hullabaloo about the death of the construction workers is nothing but word of mouth which was induced in peoples’ minds.
Jodha- Akbar diaries
Jodha- Akbar is so much of a name ingrained in the romances of Indian history that it is quite baffling to know that historical data have no mention whatsoever of Jodha Bai as the Mughal emperor’s wife. Though ‘Akbarnama’ mentions Akbar getting married to a Rajput princess, that woman isn’t Jodha either. Rather, it was Akbar’s son Jehangir who married a princess by the name of Jodha Bai. Jodha Bai then was indeed Akbar’s daughter in law! If this does not count as a definite riddle in Indian history, then nothing else should!
No wonder the numerous screen tales that sought to bring to life this love story led us to a wrongmance!
Emperor Ashoka’s 9 elite men
It is a fact less circulated that emperor Ashoka had a trusted group of nine
illuminati men as the ‘protectors of knowledge’. These were the scholars entrusted with ‘preserving’ such wisdom as would have been very destructive to humanity. But what remains as a baffling riddle is that the books that were bearers of such knowledge were in custody of these men and even though it is strongly believed that the books were passed on by them, no evidence exists as to where these pages now rest.
Indus valley fade
The Indus Valley civilization has been one of the first yet most advanced of civilizations. However, the first settlers of the city disappeared mysteriously sometime around 1500 BC. Though there are theories of the people having been drowned or invaded by the Aryans, the riddle persists till date as to how this huge civilisation sank without any trace.
Misa Bharti’s Harvard invite
When Misa Bharti, daughter of politician and RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav ‘proclaimed’ on Twitter that she had been invited to Harvard University to deliver a lecture on the Role of Youth, media were quite anxious about the truth of the matter. Even photographs uploaded on Misa’s Facebook page had shown her on stage, as if taking part in an animated discussion. However, when a Harvard spokesperson cleared the air about Ms Bharti being only an attendee and not the guest lecturer, the ‘riddle’ of the matter was solved and the confusion was finally put to rest.
UNESCO’s Best National Anthem
One of the best remembered hoaxes in recent Indian history relates to the country’s national anthem as being declared the best in the world by none other than UNESCO. A message that started circulating in 2008 had it that Jana Gana Mana is the best among all national anthems in the world. However, apart from being a rumour, this also remains a riddle given that UNESCO has never been bestowing any such recognitions or awards and yet people believed in the news soon after it was publicised.
Dance of the Mahatma
An Australian actor impersonating as Mahatma Gandhi immediately made our Father of the Nation an international sensation. The reason- a particular snap that shows ‘Gandhi’ dancing with a foreigner lady. While the snap isn’t so much of an issue (for Indians have forever known their trusted Bapu), the riddle is how the actor managed to look so very convincing as the Mahatma when he dressed down for the party!
An unofficial national sport
For the record, India has no sport that has been officially accorded the status of being the national sport of the country. Yet, all throughout our life we have been made to believe that the game of Hockey is our very own sport of national importance. Through school textbooks as also our interactions with fellow countrymen, Hockey has posed to be a riddle as to how it came to be claimed as India’s national game.