I recently saw “Bandit Queen”, movie by Shekar Kapur. Indeed it was a brilliantly made movie, and I should say the movie explicitly pointed out some of the ills (unfortunately) still affecting India. The movie was based on the life of Phoolan Devi, the dacoit of the chambal, but phoolan devi herself disowned the movie after the release. Still the movie was an excellent piece of work by Shekhar Kapur.
Recently the Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi, who had become a member of parliament, was shot dead. The investigations are going on and will go on..
BBC celebrated this week as Islam week. I watched a program late night on BBC2 about Islam, and the civilization that it has been, around the period of 900 AD to 1100 AD. It was a wonderful program, which cleared some misconceptions about Islam. Islamic civilization reached the peak during this period. Baghdad, which was the capital of the Islamic civilization, was a city par excellence, much advanced for that period of time and most of the intellectuals of that period had gathered there. These scholars and Intellectuals, translated volumes of the books from various cultures, like Greek Philosophy books, Number system from India, all the available knowledge was being translated to Arabic.
This is the period where “paper” was a rare commodity in Europe and Arabs mastered the use of paper and books. Islamic civilization spread far and wide. But one Muslim king from Egypt committed a great blunder, which caused a major turn-around for Islamic civilization. The above king destroyed the Christian church of Jerusalem, which angered the pope-dom and led to the future crusades. Kingdoms in Islamic civilizations were not united at that time, which helped the crusaders and the ferocious Mongols who came later. The Mongols invaded from Far East, they were great warriors and they took control of Baghdad. They destroyed many structures, burnt many books and plundered the whole city. But in three decades, they got converted to Islam and started spreading Islam.
More information on Islamic civilization can be found on BBC website [Link]