Download Aavarana by S.L. Bhyrappa in Kannada - A Historical Fiction that Exposes the Reality of Aurangzeb's Rule
Aavarana: A Controversial and Captivating Kannada Novel
If you are looking for a Kannada novel that will challenge your views on Indian history, culture, and religion, then you should read Aavarana by S.L. Bhyrappa. Aavarana is a 2007 novel that has sold over a million copies in Kannada and has been translated into several other languages. It is a novel that has sparked intense debate and discussion among critics, scholars, and readers. It is a novel that will make you think, question, and reflect on your own beliefs and assumptions.
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Aavarana means "enveloping" or "covering" something in Sanskrit. The novel is about a woman named Lakshmi, who is a filmmaker and a liberal Hindu. She falls in love with Amir, a Muslim man, and converts to Islam as a formality to marry him. However, she soon realizes that Amir is not as progressive as he seemed, and that he and his family want her to follow the strict rules of Islam. She also discovers that Amir has hidden his true identity from her: he is actually descended from a family of Mughal courtiers who served under Aurangzeb, one of the most ruthless and fanatical rulers in Indian history.
Lakshmi feels betrayed and suffocated by her husband and his religion. She decides to leave him and pursue her passion for filmmaking. She gets an opportunity to make a documentary on Hampi, the capital of the Vijayanagara empire that was destroyed by Aurangzeb's army in 1565. There, she meets an old man named Professor Shastri, who gives her a manuscript written by his ancestor, who was a witness to the siege of Hampi. The manuscript reveals the atrocities committed by Aurangzeb and his men against Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, women, children, artists, scholars, temples, monuments, libraries, and animals. It also exposes the lies and distortions that have been propagated by some historians to whitewash Aurangzeb's image and present him as a benevolent ruler.
Lakshmi is shocked by the manuscript and decides to make it the basis of her documentary. She also begins to question her own faith and identity. She realizes that she has been living in a state of ignorance and denial about her own heritage and culture. She decides to reclaim her original name, Razia, which was given to her by her grandmother, who was a descendant of Rani Chennamma, a brave queen who fought against the British colonialists. She also decides to learn more about Hinduism, which she had abandoned for Islam.
The novel is a powerful exploration of truth, history, religion, tolerance, freedom, love, and identity. It exposes the dark side of Islamic rule in India and its impact on Hindu civilization. It also challenges the dominant narratives of secularism, liberalism, multiculturalism, and pluralism that have been promoted by some intellectuals and politicians in India. It argues that these narratives are based on false premises and have resulted in erasing or distorting the true history and culture of India The Historical Background of Aavarana
The novel is set in two different time periods: the present day and the 17th century. The present-day story follows Lakshmi/Razia and her journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. The 17th century story follows the manuscript and its author, who was a Hindu courtier in the Mughal empire. The manuscript is a historical account of the events that led to the fall of Hampi and the rise of Aurangzeb.
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Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara empire, which was one of the largest and most prosperous Hindu kingdoms in India. It was founded by Harihara and Bukka, two brothers who rebelled against the Delhi Sultanate in 1336. The empire reached its peak under Krishnadevaraya, who ruled from 1509 to 1529. He was a patron of arts, literature, architecture, and commerce. He also maintained friendly relations with other kingdoms and foreign traders. Hampi was a magnificent city that attracted visitors from all over the world. It had splendid temples, palaces, markets, gardens, and monuments. It was also a center of learning and culture, where scholars, poets, musicians, painters, sculptors, and dancers flourished.
Aurangzeb was the sixth and the last of the great Mughal emperors, who ruled from 1658 to 1707. He was the son of Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Aurangzeb was a devout Muslim who followed a strict interpretation of Islam. He was also an ambitious and ruthless ruler who expanded his empire to cover most of India. However, he also faced many rebellions and wars from his rivals, his brothers, his sons, and his subjects. He imposed harsh taxes and laws on non-Muslims, especially Hindus. He banned music, dancing, painting, and other forms of art. He destroyed thousands of Hindu temples, including the famous Somnath temple in Gujarat and the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. He also converted many Hindus to Islam by force or by bribes.
The novel depicts the contrast between the two cultures and civilizations: the Hindu Vijayanagara and the Muslim Mughal. It shows how Aurangzeb's invasion and conquest of Hampi marked a turning point in Indian history. It also shows how Aurangzeb's policies and actions had long-lasting consequences for India's social, religious, and cultural diversity.
The Literary Features of Aavarana
The novel is a blend of different genres and styles: it is a historical fiction, a thriller, a romance, a drama, a mystery, and a polemic. It is written in a simple and lucid language that appeals to a wide range of readers. It is also rich in details and descriptions that create vivid images and scenes in the reader's mind.
The novel uses various sources and references to support its arguments and claims. It cites historical records, documents, letters, inscriptions, coins, paintings, sculptures, books, articles, and websites that provide evidence for Aurangzeb's atrocities and Vijayanagara's glory. It also quotes from religious scriptures, such as the Quran, the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Puranas, to show the differences and similarities between Islam and Hinduism.
The novel engages the readers with its characters and dialogues. The characters are realistic and complex: they have their own personalities, motivations, emotions, conflicts, and dilemmas. They are not stereotyped or caricatured as good or evil: they have their strengths and weaknesses, their virtues and vices. The dialogues are lively and natural: they reflect the character's thoughts, feelings and the distortion of history by some historians. It is a defense of Hindu culture and civilization and the right to know the truth. It is also a call for mutual respect and harmony among different religions and communities.
What are some of the sources and references used by the author in Aavarana?Some of the sources and references used by the author in Aavarana are: - Aurangzeb's own letters and decrees, which are available in the National Archives of India and other libraries. - The Maasir-i-Alamgiri, a chronicle of Aurangzeb's reign written by his court historian Saqi Mustad Khan. - The Tarikh-i-Firishta, a history of India written by Muhammad Qasim Firishta, a Persian historian who lived during Aurangzeb's time. - The Travels of Francois Bernier, a French physician and traveler who visited India during Aurangzeb's rule and wrote about his observations and experiences. - The History of India as Told by its Own Historians, a collection of translations of Persian and Arabic histories of India edited by Henry Miers Elliot and John Dowson. - The Vijayanagara