Thursday, November 12, 2009


Purushottam Nagesh Oak
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Purushottam Nagesh Oak (March 2 1917 - December 4 2007), commonly referred to as P. N. Oak, was an Indian writer and self-styled Professor, notable for his historical revisionism.[1] His claims, e.g. that Christianity and Islam are both derivatives of Hinduism, or that the Kaaba and the Taj Mahal were once Hindu temples to Shiva,[2] are not taken seriously in mainstream academic circles[3] in India as well as the West, and are regarded as examples of pseudohistory; he has been referred to as a "mythistorian"[4] or "crackpot".[5]

Oak's "Institute for Rewriting Indian History" issued a quarterly periodical called Itihas Patrika in the 1980s.

Contents [hide]
1 Life
2 Revisionist theories
2.1 The Taj Mahal
2.2 The Kaaba
3 Bibliography
4 See also
5 References
6 Notes

[edit] Life
Dozens of websites refer to him as "Professor P. N. Oak",[6][7][8] but he does not appear to have any academic credentials[citation needed]. According to his own account,[9] he was born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. After completing his M.A. (Agra) and L.L.B (Mumbai), he joined the Indian army during World War II. He was in Singapore when it fell to the Japanese, and thereafter he joined the Indian National Army[9] and was involved in Radio bulletins. "From 1947 to 1974 his profession has been mainly journalism having worked on the editorial staffs of the Hindustan Times and The Statesman, as a Class I officer in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and as editor in the American Embassy's Information Service." [9]

[edit] Revisionist theories
Intent on rectifying what he believes to be "biased and distorted versions of India's history produced by the invaders and colonizers", Oak has written several books and articles on Indian history and founded an "Institute for Rewriting Indian History" in 1964. According to Oak, modern secular and Marxist historians have fabricated "idealized versions" of India's past and drained it of its "Vedic context and content". Srinivas Aravamudan noted that Oak's work typically resorts to "deep punning"[4] associating Sanskrit sound-alikes with non-Sanskrit religious terms (such as Vatican=vatika "hermitage", Islam=ishalayam "temple of God" and similar). Based on this, Oak claims that both Islam and Christianity originated as distortions of "Vedic" beliefs. He thus alleges that the Kaaba in Mecca was originally a shrine to Shiva[2] and that the Papacy was "a Vedic priesthood" until Constantine the Great killed the "Vedic Pope" and replaced him with the head of the hitherto unimportant Christian sect.[10]

Oak finds some mention in passing as an eccentric in academic literature on the Hindutva wing of Hindu nationalism. Aravamudan (2005) calls him a "mythistorian"[4] whose life's work may be summarized by the title of his work World Vedic Heritage: A History of Histories, Presenting a Unique Unified Field Theory of History that from the Beginning of Time the World Practised Vedic and Spoke Sanskrit. Edwin Bryant writes that most academics would consider him a 'crackpot'.[5] Giles Tillotson describes his work as a "startling piece of pseudo-scholarship".[11]

While Oak's theories have been summarily rejected in academia, they have found a popular following among Indocentrists and some members of India's Hindu right.[12][13] Art historian Rebecca Brown describes Oak's books as "revisionist history as subtle as Captain Russell's smirk" (referring to a character in the Hindi movie Lagaan).[14]

[edit] The Taj Mahal
In his book Taj Mahal: The True Story, Oak claims that the Taj Mahal was originally a Shiva temple or a Rajput palace seized by Shah Jahan and adopted as a tomb.

The Taj, Oak says, is a "typical illustration of how all historic buildings and townships from Kashmir to Cape Comorin though of Hindu origin have been ascribed to this or that Muslim ruler or courtier".[15] He goes on to propose Hindu origins for the tombs of Humayun, Akbar and Itmiad-u-Dallah and "all historic buildings" in India as well as the Vatican,[16] the Kaaba and Stonehenge.

Oak claims that Hindu ornaments and symbols were effaced from the Taj, whose sealed chambers hold the remnants, including a Shiva Lingam, of the original temple and that Mumtaz Mahal was not buried at her cenotaph.

In support of these claims, Oak presents carbon dating results of the wood from the riverside doorway of the Taj, quotes from European travellers' accounts and the Taj's Hindu architectural features. Oak further alleges that eyewitness accounts of the Taj Mahal's construction as well as Shah Jahan's construction orders and voluminous financial records are elaborate frauds meant to hide its Hindu origin[citation needed].

Oak petitioned demanding that the Taj be declared a Hindu monument and that cenotaphs and sealed apartments be opened to determine whether Shivalingam or other temple remains were hidden in them.[15] According to Oak, the Indian government's refusal to allow him unfettered access amounts to a conspiracy against Hinduism.

Oak's denial of Islamic architecture in India has been described as one of the "more extreme manifestations of anti-Muslim sentiment" in Maharashtrian popular culture.[17] K. N. Panikkar locates Oak's work in the Hindutva movements attempt to foster a communal understanding of Indian history.[18] Tapan Raychaudhuri has referred to him as "a 'historian' much respected by the Sangh Parivar."[19]

The writer Koenraad Elst sees Oak's claim as an example of "funny attempts at compensation" within a "Hindu inferiority complex" arising from what he describes as a crackdown by "arrogant Leftists" on Hindutva following the murder of Gandhi.[20]

In 2000 India's Supreme Court dismissed Oak's petition to declare that a Hindu king had built the Taj Mahal and reprimanded him for bringing the action, saying he had a "bee in his bonnet" about the Taj.[21] In 2005 a similar petition was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court. This case was brought by Amar Nath Mishra, a social worker and preacher who says that the Taj Mahal was built by the Hindu King Parmar Dev in 1196.[21]

[edit] The Kaaba
In a 13 page pamphlet headed 'WAS KAABA A HINDU TEMPLE? IS ALLAH A HINDU GOD?', Oak derives a claim of a "Vedic past of Arabia" based on an alleged inscription mentioning king Vikramāditya found at the Kaaba. He further claims Muhammad was born to a Hindu family.[22] The text of the inscription Oak quotes from is said to be taken from a manuscript he identifies as Sayar-ul-Okul,[23] allegedly an anthology of Arabic poetry kept in the Makhtab-e-Sultania Library in Istanbul, Turkey. Oak claims the anthology was compiled in 1742 on the orders of a "Sultan Salim" (the actual Sultan at the time being Mahmud I), and alleges it was first edited in 1864 in Berlin. The Sayar ul-Okul has since been propagated by fringe Vedic mysticist Stephen Knapp,[24] but is unknown to the pertinent Arabist reference works.

[edit] Bibliography
Christianity is Chrisn-nity,
Islamic Havoc in India (A. Ghosh Publisher, 5740 W. Little York, Houston, Texas, 77091)
The Taj Mahal Is a Temple Place (Alternate title, The Taj Mahal is a Hindu Palace), Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi (online version:
Who Says Akbar Was Great? (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Agra Red Fort is a Hindu Building (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Some Blunders of Indian Historical Research (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Some Missing Chapters of World History (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
World Vedic Heritage—A History of Histories (Hindi Sahitya Sadan, New Delhi)
Taj Mahal — The True Story (ISBN 0-9611614-4-2)
[edit] See also
Communalism (South Asia)
Historical revisionism
Historiography and nationalism
[edit] References
Garg, Ganga Ram (1992). Encyclopaedia of the Hindu world. South Asia Books.
Gopal, Ram (1998). Islam, Hindutva, and Congress quest. New Delhi: Reliance Publishing House. ISBN 8175100729.
[edit] Notes
1.^ He called his organization "The Institute for Rewriting Indian History"
2.^ a b Was the Kaaba Originally a Hindu Temple? by P.N. Oak (
3.^ Garg 226
4.^ a b c Srinivas Aravamudan, Guru English: South Asian Religion in a Cosmopolitan Language Princeton University Press (2005), ISBN 0691118280, p. 36.
5.^ a b The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, Edwin Bryant, Oxford University Press (2001), p. 4.
6.^ "The Real Story Of Tajmahal". blog. November 22, 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-02. As of 2007-09-02, Googling with the quoted string "Professor P. N. Oak" (with quotes) finds 328 webpages.
7.^ "The Taj Mahal and the Controversy Surrounding Its Origins". personal blog hosted by BBC. 2000-02-08. Retrieved 2007-09-02. This website, a BBC Blog (h2g2) page that can be created by any user, is often referred to as BBC's having accepted the Oak claims. See the and garysellers citations.
9.^ a b c Oak's account of his own life
10.^ Oak, P.N. (1999-06-04). "Cities And Regions Since". Vaishnava News Network.
11.^ Review: Taj Mahal by Giles Tillotson The Telegraph - September 13, 2008
12.^ Narasimhan Ram, editor of The Hindu newspaper, calls him a "Sangh historian" HRD Ministry - its master's voice, The Hindu, April 29, 2001.
13.^ Akbar S. Ahmed (May 1993). "The Taj Mahal". History Today, vol. 43. "The Taj has recently entered a controversy which reflects the politics of modern India. Hindu fundamentalists, wishing to deny any positive role of Muslims in India, argue that it was not built by Shah Jahan. They claim Hindu rulers in the fourth century built it. Books with titles such as Taj Mahal Was a Rajput Palace (P.N. Oak, 1965; online version) further argue this position. There is no merit in the argument, but it has acquired something of a popular following in India."
14.^ Rebecca Brown, Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies 34.1 (2004) 78-80
15.^ a b The Tajmahal is Tejomahalay—A Hindu Temple
16.^ Cities And Regions Since
17.^ Carl W. Ernst, Annemarie Schimmel (1992). Eternal Garden: Mysticism, History, and Politics at a South Asian Sufi Center. State University of New York Press. p. 36.
18.^ OUTSIDER AS ENEMY: POLITICS OF REWRTING HISTORY IN INDIA, address to the Stanford India Association. Text available on the Internet Archives
19.^ Tapan Raychaudhuri (2000). "Shadows of the Swastika: Historical Perspectives on the Politics of Hindu Communalism". Modern Asian Studies 34 (02): 259–279. doi:10.1017/S0026749X00003310.
20.^ Ayodhya and After: The Hindu movement after Ayodhya, chapter 15
21.^ a b [1]
22.^ Gopal 195
23.^ Muslim Digest, July to Oct. 1986 pages 23-24;[2] Purushottam Nagesh Oak, Indian Kshatriyas Once Ruled from Bali to Baltic & Korea to Kaba (1966)
24.^ Stephen Knapp, Proof of Vedic Culture's Global Existence (2001), ISBN 0961741066, p. 123f.
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At 2:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for this site.Tajmahal is old temple for shivaji bhagwan called tejomahalya.

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Thanks for this site.It's really that the mogul emperior is wrong.It is shive temple called Tejomahalaya.

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