dailyO
Rana Safvi

Rana Safvi

Historian and writerrana@rana.com
The writer is the author of 'Where Stones Speak' and other books.

By Rana Safvi

India's Great Dharma Chakra: What Bodh Gaya's Buddhist relics and Ashokan edicts taught me about us today

The Buddha advocated the middle path. Sufi saints advocated love. Ashoka advocated compassion. Today, this is no longer history for India. These are lessons we need to live.

...Full Story

Allahabad becomes Prayagraj: No, Akbar did not rename Prayag. He built a new city called Ilahbas

The 16th century monarch chose a name that respected secular values. What is a 21st century chief minister doing?

...Full Story

On Hazrat Amir Khusrau's urs, the greatest love story ever told

Neither life nor death could separate him from his beloved, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.

...Full Story

Why Delhi has 14 cities and a cursed Sultan

Its every stone is crying out to be loved.

...Full Story

Why troll for a Lord Krishna painting with 'Eid moon' — and a show of harmony?

It should worry anyone who loves India.

...Full Story

Brief history of Delhi's Bagh-e-Bedil — and a beloved Afghan poet

[Book excerpt] Abdul Qadir Bedil was considered a Sufi saint by many.

...Full Story

How, led by Mughals, Hindus and Muslims together fought the war of 1857

They battled as a united force against the might of the British Raj.

...Full Story

The joys of eating kebabs

A brief, wondrous history of skewered meat.

...Full Story

Why Muslims fast on Ramzan (and how it should be done)

It is also a month of detox, something we otherwise spend a lot of money on.

...Full Story

Threats to Sona Mohapatra over 'sufi song' are shameful. What about the music?

Before getting into the controversy, let's understand Sufism, qawwali and sama mehfils.

...Full Story

Red Fort is no orphan. Why must Dalmia Group adopt it?

While it can provide you clean toilets, it can't restore a world-class monument.

...Full Story

Will our Red Fort be called The Dalmia Bharat Red Fort?

To clear prevailing confusion, the corporate group will not be doing any conservation work.

...Full Story

Remembering poet Habib Jalib and his fight for a free Pakistan

He spoke out against the use of religion as a tool to legitimise dictatorship.

...Full Story

Rape of a child is rape of humanity itself

This is not the first time rape has been used as a tool of war to subjugate those who are considered a threat.

...Full Story

Glorious history of Delhi's Jama Masjid — the mosque that promised a view of the world

Though it’s still as majestic, I despair at its shoddy state.

...Full Story

A brief history of Hazrat Ali - the first male to embrace Islam

His instructions on keeping the army happy, selecting a chief justice are kept in the United Nations as an example.

...Full Story

Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti's Urs: Why death anniversaries of Sufi saints are celebrated as weddings

When death is a time to rejoice, and not to grieve.

...Full Story

The tall truths about two Red Forts in Delhi

The Lal Qila, as we we see it today, is a mere shell of its former self.

...Full Story

Sahir Ludhianvi's many tributes to women

He gave us the most defining verses about their emotions.

...Full Story

Rediscovering chahar-bait, a dying folk music form that travelled from Afghanistan

It has roots in the war poetry of Arabia.

...Full Story

Everything wrong with the Muslims outraging over Priya Prakash Varrier's 'wink' song

Enjoy it or ignore it, but don’t waste your energy in outrage.

...Full Story

I'm an Indian Muslim. Why must I suffer the acid test and prove my patriotism?

It’s the 'new normal' except that it is neither normal nor should it ever be.

...Full Story

On a famous son of Kasganj: Hazrat Amir Khusrau

He has often been called the Tooti-e-Hindustan or parrot of Hindustan.

...Full Story

Mughal women were no damsels in distress — a tale from the palace kitchens

I came upon it in the book 'Lal Qila ki ek Jhalak', written by Syed Nasir Nazir.

...Full Story

If Mughals did not loot India, what exactly was their contribution to India?

Unlike the British, they did not colonise the subcontinent.

...Full Story

How I rediscovered India's unity in diversity at Bhopal's Museum of Man

Today there are attempts to deny India's immense plurality when we talk of one culture, one nation.

...Full Story

How tawaifs fell from grace and came to be known as prostitutes

Those that learn to sing and dance no longer sing Ghalib or Dagh’s ghazals.

...Full Story

What I discovered about weaving saris on a Pochampally Ikat trail

I learnt there's much more to resisting.

...Full Story

I'm a Muslim woman and this triple talaq bill is not what I fought for

At a time when Muslim men are already living in fear, one more law would be added to harass, jail and demonise them.

...Full Story

How a royal wedding erupted into an epic battle of wits between Ghalib and the court poet

Zauq and Ghalib took digs at each other through a sehra penned for a prince’s wedding and the Red Fort reverberated with this clash of titans.

...Full Story

Please log in
I agree with DailyO's privacy policy