Narnaul has quite a few Akbari-era structures and many of them are relatively well maintained. Though, it cannot be strictly said so regarding the Tomb of Nizam al-Din, while fortunately, the Mosque opposite is undergoing repair works. One reason for the density of Akbari-era structures here could be Narnaul’s strategic location on the route from Delhi/Agra to Marwar, while the other could be its association with Sufism, to which Akbar ardently subscribed. Moreover, Narnaul had a mint during the Emperor’s reign. Islam had established itself here almost half a century before it did so in Delhi (more on that in a later post). One of the most revered saints, Shaikh Mohammad Turk Narnauli had a 13th Century shrine whose devotees spread across faiths, and where religious sojourn culminated.

In Akbarnama, it is mentioned that Akbar met Chishti Shaikh Nizam al-Din in Narnaul. The Saint breathed his last in 1589 CE, and was buried here in this Tomb, a square-shaped stucco-covered funerary. Interestingly, this structure, though of Akbari-era has significant traces of Lodhi-era architectural styles, overshooting the Sur architectural elements that had come to dominate and subsequently branching off towards the earlier Mughal construction patterns.

The Tomb measures 9.5 m by 9.5 m. All the four portals of the tomb have deep recessed arches divided into two parts, which contain arched openings. Its corners have arched squinches. The walls are divided into two parts. The upper part is having four intersecting arches which are interlocked to make plain pendentives at each corner. On both sides of the main portals, there are two blind niches. The parapet covering the whole structure is made up of bricks and rubble. The opening is decorated in lintel style, which is attached in a Lodhi style.

The terrace of the tomb is accessible by steps and on the terrace there is no balustrade around it. In the centre of the terrace, there is an octagonal drum, plaster of which is almost chipped off and is exposing the skeletal rubble masonry. The octagonal drum is having a single domical roofing, and is crowned with a finial rising from an inverted lotus and made of rubble masonry. The chamber is decorated, most of which is fading.

The inscription on its doorway, which is now missing, reads, according to Subhash Parihar’s Muslim inscriptions in Punjab Haryana and HP, (3.86, pp 48-49)

“Alas! The leader of the world, the administrator of religion, has passed away, whose holy nature was kneaded out of pure light. The exalted Shaikh, as he had an angelic disposition, so when I counted the date of his death, it came out, “He was an angel.” 997 AH (1589 AH).”

The Mosque opposite was built by one Niamatullah in 1622 CE, which is a single-aisled three-bayed Mosque. Next to the Tomb are two canopy-like tombs on extreme need of attention. A madrassa runs adjacent to the Tomb in the complex.




The village of Farmana Khas (that I covered on 7th January for its early Harappan Archaeological mounds) is surrounded by three large Johads (tanks) that sort of acted collectively as a defensive moat. These Johads, viz. Dhobhi, Jauna Aala and Dhamma Aala have a large storage capacity, but are degenerating gradually because of garbage and debris strewn around them. The once self-sustaining economy of the village, thanks to forested land that surrounded the village is majorly defunct due to the disappearance of the forest. But, Farmana Khas moves on, proud of its rich past, its present-day social fabric, and ancient relics that have pronounced the village on an archaeological map.

It’s on the western bank of Dhamma Aala Johad that a 140-year old well colloquially known as Baniyon Ka Kuan stands majestically depicting a syncretic Indo-Islamic architectural style. Said to be built by the grandchildren of Lala Hira Mal, who moved here in 1810 from Kirsola Village in Jind State (now a bordering district of Rohtak in Haryana). According to the local lore, masons from Bhiwani (another bordering district) raised this impressive structure, where the depth of the well was 90 feet.

How were these wells built?

Lime stones or ‘Rodi’ (gravel or grit) were shaped and sized according to the plan of the well. Later, brick masonry was introduced. The mud bricks were locally made and burnt using agro-wastes and wood as fuel. The quality of binding materials or mortar for bricks consisted of limerock, acacia seeds, white jute or patsun, and urad dal (black lentils) ground with water and occasionally yogurt, then thoroughly mixed and pounded as a reinforcement. When the wall of the well was sufficiently raised, a platform (Chabutra) would be built around it. Then minarets (burgee) and tubs (khelskothe) would be raised. In Haryana, it is common to see four-pillar wells with four pulleys. But, wells with 8 to 12 pulleys were also built (examples of such can be seen in Beri and Dujana in Jhajjar district). Water was pulled using a ‘Charas’, a large leather bucket.



Kot, which literally means a Fort, lies along the Nuh – Hodal Road. This ancient village did have a fort at one point, which was destroyed by the invading armies of Mahmud of Ghazni or Mahmud Ghaznavi (reigned 998 – 1030 CE). Ghaznavi founded the Turkic Ghaznavid Dynasty. His Empire extended from Northwestern Iran to Punjab, and from Khwarazm in Transoxiana to Makran. He is said to have invaded India 17 times during his reign, and sacked Somnath in Gujarat and Mathura, the latter considered to be the richest city in India at the time. In 1018 CE, during his expedition to Mathura, Baran and Mahaban, he is said to have laid to waste the Yaduvanshi Fort in Kot. Unfortunately, no trace of the fort remains at present, though the village still takes the name ‘Kot’.

The history of the place is reborn after almost 1500 years during the reign of the Third Mughal Emperor, Akbar, and an influential and venerable personality in Rao Bahad. Rao Bahad, aka Dada Bahad lived in the latter half of the 16th Century, and occupied the place from the Rawat Jats. The Jats still form a majority towards the east of the village. The local lore is that he took on the might of Emperor Akbar, all by himself. According to the lore, Akbar once on his expedition passed through Bisru Village (In modern-day Punhana Tehsil of Nuh District). As he happened to be near Kot, a Khanzada offered his daughter’s hand to Akbar, which Akbar accepted. Akbar married the girl and took her to the Harem at Agra. This infuriated the Meos of the area, and Kot Chieftain Dada Bahad decided to bring the girl back. Dada Bahad covertly slipped into the military workshop in Agra, and from there into the Harem, where he convinced the girl to accompany him to Mewat, and the girl readily agreed. After their return, the elders of the village suggested that Dada Bahad enter into an alliance with the girl and disappear into hiding for a while until Akbar’s search party returned empty-handed. But, Dada Bahad was already married with children, but the villagers convinced him to take his second wife, which he did. Meanwhile, Akbar’s search party searched nook and corner of the area for Dada Bahad, and eventually flushed him out. He was taken to Agra and executed. But Akbar allowed his body to be taken to his village of Kot to be buried there. And that’s how the simple graves of Dada Bahad, and his two wives are situated near a Mosque said to have been built by Dada Bahad himself. The Mosque is undergoing renovations at the present, and in all likelihood is to lose its original signature carried from the middle of the 16th Century. Meanwhile, the graves are extremely simple in the form of mounds with nothing to shield them from the elements. The graves lie in an enclosure, which is built in stone and is broken at numerous places.

The mosque is built in bricks and has a fine plaster with good masonry work and floral designs (All of these characteristics were unseen during my visit as renovation is in full swing). This mosque was in a dilapidated condition, and no wonder the villagers took it upon themselves to restore it. This mosque is built on the raised platform of about 4 feet height. The main building as roughly calculated is 40 feet long and 10 feet wide with three bays, the middle one larger than the other two. The mosque has three arched entrances, which open into the courtyard. The building has roofing of high architectural value. It has (had) a grave-shaped half-domed roof divided into three portions. All the four walls have rounded corners made of bricks and plasters. The main gateway is arched and made of the brick-shaped stones. 

Union Budget 2021-22 and Coal..(Preliminary Thoughts)

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Here is an extremely short and preliminary writeup on Union Budget 2021-22 presented by India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2021, and the sector of coal mining and fossil fuel-based thermal power plants. Towards the end, I have given my thoughts on the Budget in general. 

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The break-up for this head for 2021-22 is Rs. 419.98 crore for R&D, conservation, safety & infrastructure development, and in exploring coal and lignite. This figure is almost half of what were the Budget Estimates for 2020-21, which stood at Rs. 819.98 crore, and which were revised to Rs. 553.73 crore in 2020-21. The revised estimates were largely a result of the CoViD-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown that almost crippled the coal mining sector, and eventually admonishing the Prime Minister to declare coal blocks open to commercial mining. The main thrust of R&D is to promote the paradoxical clean coal technology, and to identify coal blocks for coal to liquid project. Coal-to-Liquid, also called “Coal Liquefaction” is an alternative route to produce diesel and gasoline to economize in a world of high crude oil prices. Even though, liquefied coal emits twice as much CO2 and a huge volume of SO2, arresting these polluters by way of geosequestration reduces their carbon footprint by close to 200 per cent as compared to conventional petrol and diesel produced from oil. What is a real downer in this budget is the fraction of allocation (a mere Rs. 18 crore) towards R&D in this field, which falls under the ambit of central sector schemes, in that it it completely funded by the central government. Although, this is a bigger amount as compared to revised estimates for 2020-21, it is almost 1/3rd of budget estimates for last year. Interestingly, Rs. 71.98 crore have been allotted for conservation, safety and infrastructure development in 2021-22, which is almost a midpoint figure of the budget estimates and revised estimates for the last fiscal year, i.e. 2020-21. The defining feature of infrastructure development is laying of road and rail network to facilitate movement of coal from mines, planning environmental protection, and most importantly reparations in the form of reclamation of land and subsidence control in coal field areas. The domain of exploration leaves little for doubt that India’s future as decided in this budget is firmly embedded in fossil-fuels, how much ever, renewables get a fillip. The emphasis is firmly on undertaking preliminary drilling to asses availability of coal with a view to meet the sizable increase in the demand for coal. This fits in nicely with Prime Minister Modi’s decision in opening up of the coal mining sector to commercial mining, a feat he had laconically described as unlocking the coal sector after 4 decades of forced lockdown. Now that the coal mining as s sector is all geared up for investments is easily attributable to the fact that detailed drilling in non-CIL (Coal India Limited) areas has a thrust on promoting private players in mining. Another major chunk of allocations has been underlined towards Coal Mines Pension Scheme. With Rs. 53.20 crore earmarked for the scheme, which has been in effect from 31st March 1998, the employees and employers contribute 1.17% each, while the central government contributes 1.67% of the salary subject to the maximum of the amount payable on salary of Rs. 1600 per month. On the IEBR, Internal and External Budgetary Resources, which are part of the central plan of the Government of India constituting resources raised by the PSUs through profits, loans and equity, front, Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited has been staked at Rs. 2061 crore, Coal India Limited has been staked at Rs. 14685 crore, and Singareni Colleries Company Limited has been staked at Rs. 2500 crore. Though, these are budget estimates, they are larger than last fiscal’s by almost Rs. 800 crore, and even larger than revised estimates of almost Rs. 19000 crore last fiscal.

Commercial coal mining has been touted as an important pillar of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, wherein the Government is committed to come up with a policy of strategic disinvestment of public sector enterprises. What this budget has done is built up hopes in certain concerning areas, whereas it has also given a clear miss in certain others as far as coal and its strategic place within the energy spectrum for the country is concerned. Add to that the pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuel, the position of the Government in acknowledging closure of old coal-based plants is heartening at best, but begs the question of its implementation, which has been a downer for the last few years. Where the Government has not been able to loosen coal’s position in regards to natural gas has been the issue of pricing to make the latter affordable in comparison to the former, and also start building up on policies pertaining to natural gas as a replacement to coal in industrial usage. So, unless the Government is able to incentivize natural gas usage, coal would continue to enjoy its prioritized status. Agreed that coal is a cheap source of energy, but it is a polluter like none else, and also escapes the ambit of additional state taxation making it more affordable. This budget in a nutshell, then continues with its policy paralysis as regards coal, though acknowledgement of coal’s replaceability should have been much more pronounced. But, what about imported coal? There are differing views on changing tariffs on account of proposed Agriculture Infrastructure Development cess levied by the Government on coal and lignite. According to the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, with the lowering of basic customs duty rates by 1%, any imposition of this cess, which is placed at 1.5% on coal imports would not put an additional burden on the consumers. Not much would change by way of importing coal, and clubbing it with the domestic sector of coal mining opening up for commercialization, India’s policy on coal at best remains ambiguous. This once again puts question marks on India’s commitment to phasing put coal, despite it taking giant strides in renewable power.

General Thoughts on Budget –

Three words define 2021-22 Union Budget – Infrastructure, Divestment, Capitalization.

Positives –
Overhauling redundancy in customs duty, GST simplification (though, fuel still didn’t come under GST, which is a downside), arming to teeth NCLT, ease of accessing taxation structures (and exempting IT returns for senior citizens who live by pension and interest), pumping health infrastructure (including vaccines), and most importantly, announcing a singularity in securities markets code are a plus.
Negatives –
Sovereign bonds have dipped under immense pressure to borrow (yields have gone up making borrowing more expensive for the government), raising of import duties signal protectionism (as a matter of fact, Atmanirbharta is anything but roguish protectionism), agriculture (though rural consumption has upped, rural job creation has been allotted much less compared to revised estimates of the last fiscal), no thrust areas for IT and ITES thus undermining this major services component.
Overall, the Budget isn’t surprising, since there aren’t many surprises, considering the pandemic times. It indeed is market oriented, as is noted by stock indexes going rocket…

The Polity Today

The Polity Today…

Image result for Jamia violence

Stifled and Suffocated Under Occupation,
Confined to a Life of Brazen Act of Annexation,
Subjected to a Toxicity by the Rest of the Confederacy,
Paying the Price for Some Cooked and Some Raw Conspiracy.

Counting Days and nights Cutoff from the Near and Dear Ones,
By the apathy and Atrophy of the Power that Runs,
Into a Corner and Forced Underground,
By the Despicable Vulgarity and Obscenity of the Dictatorial Sound.

Who’d Turn a Messiah to the Multiplying Affliction,
To Arrest the Basic Arithmetic of Division by Constriction,
To a Unity Imposed by Self-Rule and Determination,
By a Despot Shambolic and Ostentatious in Bringing Forth Malediction.

We are People With Indomitable Rights,
Sacrificed at the Altar of Rituals and Rites,
Chanted on by a Population that doesn’t seem to Care,
Legitimizing the Deeds of the Fundamentalists’ as an Internal Affair.

I, the Citizen, or You, the Citizen

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Please cry for me India…
I, the citizen have lost my rights to be me,
I, the citizen have ceased to be,
I, the citizen have been stripped, raped, and burnt alive,
I, the citizen have been subject to justice denied,
I, the citizen have been alienated,
I, the citizen have been forcibly occupied,
I, the citizen have been living in constant fear,
I, the citizen have been subject to repeated smear,
I, the citizen have lost my right to express,
I, the citizen have my autonomy to suppress,
I, the citizen have my society divided,
I, the citizen have my politics lopsided,
I, the citizen are what you cast(e) me,
I, the citizen are what you class me,
Enough of this I, the citizen, for I shan’t be, what you prove me to be.
You, the citizen carve your own story,
You, the citizen, toy with my history,
You, the citizen decide what’s right,
You, the citizen have lost all foresight,
You, the citizen stifle my being,
You, the citizen compel me to fleeing,
You, the citizen regulate me with force,
You, the citizen admit, everything’s normal of course,
You, the citizen deny me free air,
You, the citizen snatch what’s my fair share,
You, the citizen dictate,
You, the citizen choose what’s my intimate,
You, the citizen force upon me your religion,
You, the citizen submit me to an unseen region,
Enough of this You, the Citizen, for WE the PEOPLE,
Will rise to dismantle,
What is yours to impose,
Won’t rest until you are deposed…

An Ode to a Silent Communicator…


With the setting and rising of the moon and the sun,
Shuffling back and forth in the derelict zone,
Mired in temporary infatuation and still on the run,
Waiting idly for the overwhelming attachment of what we don’t own.

Caught between the manic, the desirous and the anticipatory,
Playing by the gamble of this celestial cyclicity,
Stupefied in a hesitant, yet revelatory anxiety of the reconciliatory,
Calling upon to perpetually chasing along this periodicity.

Woken up to a reality of the ill-spraying wind,
To the lives torn asunder, and left to adrift,
Into the great chasm and the abyss of the chagrined,
Against the score of a deep silence, and the lyrically thrift…

How Long Do I?

How long do I smile through the tears
How long do I fake there are no fears
How long do I put my insecurities to sleep
How long do I lock away the hurt that’s so deep…
How long do I write the ledger of tragedy
How long do I hide what’s written under comedy
How long do I regret what’s forgotten
How long do I not regret what’s forgiven
How long do I look for stars in daylight
How long do I long for sun at midnight
How long do I curse my stars
How long do I hold them the cause of my scars
How long do I mourn
All along in this state of being forlorn…

The Jukebox…


The last coin found its way through the slot. the years wore strained and the ears that were trained to the notes in synchronized harmony. This time, however, nothing of the harmonic was sounded, nothing but silence pierced through the curtains, out in the moonless air, dissipated and buried in the dead souls of the city retiring endlessly from the chores for a living. The Jukebox stared at me blankly as the last of its mechanical life escaped as I sat looking into the void and crying silently….

An Unfinished Story…


No murmur ever rose from the bed of River of Silence that flowed eternally with a hushing influence over it’s pearly pebbles that we loved to gaze together far down within its bosom into a most contented pledge of till death do us part, until…..

And as the years grew heavily on my existence, I could no longer dwell in the valley of the River of Silence with a shadow palling over my mind of the life no more accompanying me, of the silence of togetherness no longer a quietude in solemnity, of the zephyr no longer dallying the tree that bore witness, and of glory long ago transformed into vain glory…