Maghar: Few people have a sense of history. But one expects the prime minister to get his historical facts right. At least, when he is speaking on a public platform. The latest goof-up was in Maghar, Uttar Pradesh, on the occasion of the 620th anniversary of Kabir. The PM, according to media accounts, first paid his obeisance to Kabir by offering a chadar at his mausoleum. Then, he addressed a public meeting in the presence of UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other BJP leaders. That is when he went off the tangent.
‘‘Mahatma Kabir’s reflection upon equanimity and harmony has given direction to the society for centuries. I once again salute him who hailed from this land of nirvana. It is said that here, Sant Kabir, Guru Nanak Dev and Baba Gorakhnath sat together and discussed spirituality,’’ said Modi during his speech.
Nothing could be further from truth as the three belonged to different eras. As India Today’s news portal points out, ‘‘Baba Gorakhnath belongs to an earlier era than Kabir and Guru Nanak. Baba Gorakhnath was born in the 11th century while Kabir, who lived for 120 years, was born at the end of the 14th century (1398 to 1518). Guru Nanak lived between the 15th century and the 16th century (1469-1539).
So, the portal remarked in zest, Guru Nanak bumping into Kabir still has an element of probability but they both pondering over spirituality is stretching things a bit too much. This is not the first time that Modi has presented his alternate historical facts. Back in 2013, the portal points out, Narendra Modi at a rally in Patna talked about the “power of Bihar” and mentioned emperor Ashok, Pataliputra,
Nalanda and Takshshila; he got the first three right but went wrong with Takshila, which was in Punjab (now in Pakistan) and not Bihar. Likewise, at a speech in the US, PM Modi spoke of the Sun Temple of Konark being 2,000 years old; but actually the famous temple is just 700 years old. Modi once also confused between Chandragupta who belonged to the Mauryan empire and Chandragupta II who lived during the Gupta empire. May be, all this is on account of information overload.