Archive for August, 2008

How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India -11: economic decline under Islam – the strange case of the horse

Posted on August 31, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Islam, Muslims, Politics, religion |

The Thaparian hypothesis of the important cause of ruin of the Indian economy from excessive import of horses from the West of India by feudatoty chieftains inside India for luxury and internecine warfare serves two purpose – first it provides one convenient internal scapegoat to which the general economic decline could be attributed to, and secondly by the other great Thaparian project to remove all traces of the destructive nature of Islam and its slaughtering, enslaving, and looting invasions in India it removes any external cause for this increased “consumption of horses”. The Thaparites are able to get away with this because Indian history textbooks are careful never to mention anything about the frequent Islamic raids, invasions, and the social and economic destructions and disruptions they caused and significantly the obvious resistance by the Hindus that required almost 500 years of continuous attacks and attempts from the side of Islam.  But more importantly this then allows the Thaparites to remove a possible crucial reason behind the need felt by the Indian rulers to import good quality horses suitable for military purposes. The suppression of the conflict also suppresses any realistic estimate of the degree of resistance and hence the resources that had to be committed to this conflict by the Hindu rulers. Here we recount this almost 500 year long conflict initiated by the Muslims to capture only about a third of Northern India as a possible indication of the scale of military resources that must have been needed by the Hindus, and which must have needed extraordianry number of horses to match the swift mounted soldiers and archers of the Muslims. For an idea of the number of horses among other military resources involved, look at Part 2 of this series which describes the last battles between Prithwiraj and allies and Ghori. Foreign breeds of horses, especially of the western Asian type, and specially those from Vanayu [Hindu name for Arabia] were found to be good quality war horse-material [ even now, reconstrucive historians find that few horses in a given batch can be trained to ignore the sights, smells and sounds of war, especially ignore the sounds of drawing the bow or releasing the arrow which must have been crucial for mounted archers] as described in Abhidhanaratnamala, and Vaijayanti. Breeding these horses appeared to be difficult because the Arabs prevented any farrier to come to India [Wassaf, in Eliott and Dowson, Marco Polo]. Chau-ju-kua in the Chinese text Ling-wai-ta aqlso refers to the Arabs importing large numbers of horses to Quilon. Prabandhachintamani refers to a ship importing 10,000 horses into Stambha [Cambay]. Wassaf gives one instance of the drain of resources in buying horses through the agreement made between an Arab merchant and a Pandya king, by which 14,000 horses were imported into the ports at a cost of 2.2 million dinars. This is supported by figures given  by Marco Polo [hearsay or otherwise, Marco’s figures appear to be consistent with Wassafs]. It is highly significant to note that the textrual evidence for the magnitude of horse imports increases rapidly towards the 12th and 13th centuries, and that most of these texts actually mention sea-ports on the southern sea-board of India as the main entreports. The Thaparites in their enthusiasm to remove any ideological contribution of Islam in Mahmud Gaznavi’s motivations to attack India, propose that he wanted to stop the import of horses into India through Sind and Gujarat, or control the trade in horses – if true then this can imply two possibilities that the limited Thaparite vision excludes – that horses were being imported through the sea and not through the North-West passage which he was in full control of , and the possibility that he realized the importance of horses in the resistance shown by the Hindus he wanted to subjugate.

Let us first discuss briefly the numerous raids by Islamic invaders, and the Hindu efforts to rrepel them for almost 500 years. The armies of Islam after the death of its prophet in AD 632, conquered the Byzantine provinces of Palestine and Syria after a six month’s campaign in AD 636-637, the Sassanid empire of Persia which included Iraq, Iran, and Khorasan in AD 637, and by A.D. 643 the boundaries of the Caliphate touched the frontiers of India. The Turkish speaking territories of Inner Mongolia, Bukhara, Tashkand, and Samarkand, etc. were annexed by AD 650, while the Byzantine province of Egypt fell in AD 640-641,  and the Arab armies reached the Atlantic and crossed over into Spain in AD 709. These were not mere territorial conquests but in which people of different creeds and races such as Syrians, Persians, Berbers, Turks and others were all rapidly Islamised and their language and culture Arabicised. [“Fight and slay the pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem till they repeat and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity. -Quran, 11.5]. The same Islamic armies, however, had to struggle for 69 long years to make their first effective breach in the borders of India. In the next three centuries, they pushed forward in several provinces of Northern and Western India. But at the end of it all, India was far from being conquered militarily or assimilated culturally.

The Arab invasion of Sindh started soon after their first two naval expeditions against Thana on the coast of Maharashtra and Broach on the coast of Gujarat, had been repulsed in the reign of Caliph Umar (AD 634-644). The expedition against Debal in Sindh met the same fate “The leader of the Arab army, Mughairah, was defeated and killed. Umar decided to send another army by land against Makran which was at that time a part of the kingdom of Sindh. But he was advised by the governor of Iraq that “he should think no more of Hind”. The next Caliph, Usman (AD 646-656), followed the same advice and refrained from sending any expedition against Sindh, either by land or by sea. The fourth Caliph, Ali (AD 656-661), sent an expedition by land in AD 660. But the leader of this expedition and “those who were with him, saving a few, were slain in the land of Kikan in the year AH 42 (AD 662)”. Muawiyah, the succeeding Caliph (AD 661-680), sent as many as six expeditions by land. All of them were repulsed with great slaughter except the last one which succeeded in occupying Makran in AD 680. For the next 28 years, the Arabs did not dare send another army against Sindh. The next expedition was despatched to take Debal in AD 708. Its two successive commanders, Ubaidullah and Budail, were killed and the Arab army was routed. When Hajjaj, the governor of Iraq, asked the Caliph for permission to send another expedition, the Caliph wrote back: “This affair will be a source of great anxiety and so we must put it off, for every time an army goes, [vast] numbers of Mussalmans are killed.  So think no more of such a design.”
Hajjaj spent the next four years in equipping an army more formidable than any which had so far been sent against Sindh. While sending off his nephew as well as son-in-law, Muhammad bin Qasim, with this army in AD 712, Hajjaj said: “I swear by Allah that I am determined to spend the whole wealth of Iraq, that is in my possession, on this expedition.” Muhammad was successful in overcoming the fierce resistance he met at every step in his progress through Sindh. By AD 713 he had occupied the whole of this province as well as Multan. He was helped to a certain extent by the treachery of some merchants and local governors at a few places. But as soon as he was recalled in AD 714, “the people of India rebelled, and threw off their yoke, and the country from Debalpur to the Salt Sea only remained under the dominions of the Khalifa.” This was only a narrow coastal strip.
Subsequently, the Islamic armies reconquered Sindh, and advanced through Rajputana upto Ujjain in the east and Broach in the south. Their advance to the south was signally checked by the Chalukya ruler of Lat (S. Gujarat), Pulakesin Avani-Janasraya. The Navasari inscription (A.D. 738) records that Pulakesin defeated a Tajika (Arab) army which had defeated the kingdoms of Sindhu, Cutch, Saurashtra, Cavotaka, Maurya and Gurjara and advanced as far south as Navasari where this prince was ruling at this time. The prince’s heroic victory earned him the titles of ‘solid Pillar of Dakshinapatha (Dakshinapatha-sadhata) and the Repeller of the Unrepellable (Anivarttaka-nivartayi)’. The Gwalior inscription of the Gurjara-Pratihar King, Bhoja I, tells us that Nagabhatta I, the founder of the family who ruled in Avanti (Malwa) around A.D. 725, ‘defeated the army of a powerful Mlechha ruler who invaded his dominions’. The Gurjara-Pratiharas, known to the Arab historians as ‘kings of Jurz’, are sometimes acknowledged by them as ‘Among the princes of India there is no greater foe of the Mohammaden faith than he’.

The Arabs also made advances to the north of Sindh into the Punjab and towards Kashmir. Here they were blocked and driven back by Lalitaditya Muktapida (AD 724-760) of Kashmir. He was in alliance with Yasovarman of Central India. “He is said to have ordered the Turushkas to shave off half of their heads as a symbol of their submission.” Biladhuri wrote that “the Mussalmans retired from several parts of India and left some of their positions, nor have they upto the present advanced so far as in days gone by”. Further, “The people of India returned to idolatry with the exception of the inhabitants of Qasbah. A place of refuge to which the Moslems might flee was not to be found, so he [Arab governor] built on the further side of the lake, where it borders on al-Hind, a city which he named at-Mahfuzah [the protected] establishing it as a place of refuge for them, where they should be secure and making it a capital.”

Arab travellers to India of the 10th century all speak of only two independent Arab principalities with Multan and Mansurah as their capitals. The Pratihara kings waged constant war against the “Arab prince of Multan, and with the Mussalmans, his subjects on the frontier”. Multan would have been lost by the Arabs but for a Hindu temple. Al-Istakhri wrote about AD 951 that in Multan “there is an idol held in great veneration by the Hindus and every year people from distant parts undertake pilgrimages to it… When the Indians make war upon them and endeavour to seize the idol, the inhabitants [Arabs] bring it out pretending that they will break it and burn it. Upon this the Indians retire, otherwise they would destroy Multan.” Thus even after 300 years of continuouis efforts from the first raid into Broach, the Arab dominion in India was limited to the relatively small states of Multan and Mansurah. And here they only survived by utilizing the Hindu idols. The Arab conquest of other countries, outside India, had been followed by wholesale conversions and replacement of local institutions by Islamic ones. In Central Asia, the idolaters for whom, unlike the People of the Book protected under subjugation and Jezia, the choice given by Islam was between death or Islam, had been rooted out. The failure of the Arabs in Sind however is proved by the fact that even after Debal where the temples were demolished and mosques founded, a general massacre endured for three days, prisoners were taken captive; women raped and enslaved and exported for the pleasures of the Muslim religious leadership and immense plunder was collected,  the Hindus rebuild their temples and performed their worship and the three per cent which had been allowed to the priests under the former government was not discontinued.

Many historians, particularly the apologists for Islam, have presented this expediency as a proof of Islamic liberalism under the early Arabs. But the military and political leaders always knew when and where to make a compromise in the interests of self-preservation, and till the next stage of aggrandisement arrived in the vicissitudes of war. The same story was repeated by the Hindu kingdoms of Kabul (Kapisa) and Zabul (Jabal) which lay to the north-west of Sindh, and which the Islamic armies had started attacking soon after they annexed Khorasan in AD 643. It was in AD 650 that the first Islamic army penetrated deep into Zabul by way of Seistan, which at that time was a part of India territorially as well as culturally. The struggle was intense and protracted with the Islamic army defeated and driven out after suffering heavy losses. Another attack followed in AD 653. The Arab general, Abdul Rahman, was able to conquer Zabul and levy tribute from Kabul. The king of Kabul was reluctant in paying tribute regularly. Finally, another Arab general, Yazid ibn Ziyad who had been the governor of Seistan for some time, attempted retribution in AD 683. He was killed by the Hindus, and his army was put to flight with great slaughter. The Arabs lost Seistan also, and had to pay 5,00,000 dirhams to get one of their generals, Abu Ubaida, released.

The Arabs recovered Seistan some time before AD 692. Its new governor, Abdullah, invaded Kabul. The Hindus trapped the Arab army in the mountain passes after allowing it to advance unopposed for some distance. Abdullah agreed to cease hostilities, and the king of Kabul agreed to renew payment of an annual tribute, but both the treaty as well as Abdullah was dismissed by the Caliph. The war against Kabul was renewed in AD 695 when Hajjaj became the governor of Iraq. He sent an army under Ubaidullah, the new governor of Seistan. Ubaidullah was defeated and forced to retreat after leaving his three sons as hostages and promising that “he shall not fight as long as he was governor”. Once again, the treaty was denounced by the Caliph, and another general, Shuraih, was sent to advance upon Kabul. He was killed by the Hindus, and his army suffered huge losses as it retreated through the desert of Bust. Ubaidullah died of grief. In the next round, Hajjaj commissioned Abdul Rahman once again who made some conquests but could not consolidate his hold. Hajjaj threatened to supersede him inciting Abdul Rahman to revolt and enter into a treaty with the Hindu king to “carry arms against his master”. The treaty did not work, and Abdul Rahman committed suicide. The Hindu king, however, continued the war. Masudi, the Arab historian, mentions a prince in the valley of the Indus who after having subjugated Eastern Persia, advanced to the bank of the Tigris and Euphrates. Hajjaj had to make peace according to which the Hindu king was entitled to keep his kingdom in exchange for an annual tribute. The Hindu king, however, stopped payment in the reign of Caliph Sulayman (AD 715-717). Some attempts to force him into submission were made in the reign of Caliph Al-Mansur (AD 745-775). But they met with only partial success, and we find the Hindus ruling over Kabul and Zabul in the year AD 867. The kingdom of Kabul suffered a temporary eclipse in AD 870. The Turkish adventurer, Yaqub bin Layth, who started his career as a robber in Seistan and later on founded the Saffarid dynasty of Persia, sent a message to the king of Kabul that he wanted to come and pay his homage. The king was deceived into welcoming Yaqub and a band of the latter’s armed followers in the court at Kabul. Yaqub bowed his head as if to do homage but he raised the lance and thrust it into the back of Rusal so that he died on the spot. A Turkish army then invaded the Hindu kingdoms of both Kabul and Zabul. The king of Zabul was killed in the battle, and the population was converted to Islam by force. But the succeeding Hindu king of Kabul who had meanwhile transferred his capital to Udbhandapur on the Indus, recovered Kabul after the Saffarid dynasty declined. Masudi who visited the Indus Valley in AD 915 designates the prince who ruled at Kabul by the same title as he held when the Arabs penetrated for the first time into this region. The Hindus lost Kabul for good only in the closing decade of the 10th century. In AD 963 Alaptigin, a Turkish slave of the succeeding Samanid dynasty, had been able to establish an independent Muslim principality in Kabul with his capital at Ghazni. It was his general and successor, Subuktigin, who conquered Kabul after a struggle spread over twenty years. The Hindus under king Jayapala of Udbhandapur tried to recapture Kabul in AD 986-987. A confederate Hindu army to which the Rajas of Delhi, Ajmer, Kalinjar and Kanauj has contributed troops and money, advanced into the heartland of the Islamic kingdom of Ghazni. According to Utbi, the battle lasted several days and the warriors of Subuktigin, including prince Mahmood, were reduced to despair. But a snow-storm and rains upset the plans of Jayapala who opened negotiations for peace. He sent the following message to Subuktigin: ‘You have heard and know the nobleness of Indians – they fear not death or destruction… In affairs of honour and renown we would place ourselves upon the fire like roast meat, and upon the dagger like the sunrays.’” But this peace treaty was short lived and  the Muslims resumed the offensive leading to the Hindus being defeated and driven out of Kabul. By the time of Ghori, the Islamic armies had struggled successively for nearly 540 years in order to seize the heartland of India but they had succeeded only in occupying the frontier areas of Kabul, Zabul, the North-West Frontier Province, Multan, and parts of Punjab and Sindh. This was rather small compared to the area under Islam, outside of India.
The Yaminis (Ghaznavids) were replaced in Afghanistan by the new dynasty of Shansabanis (Ghurids) around the time that Vigraharaja (also called Visaladeva) was recovering his lands from the Muslim possessions in the Punjab. Prithiviraja II, the successor to Vigraharaja, had placed his maternal uncle, Kilhan, in charge of the fort at Asika (Hansi). His Hansi stone inscription of AD 1168 describes the Hammira (Amir) as a “dagger pointed at the whole world”. The flag that fluttered at the gateway of this fort, we are told, “defied the Hammira, as it were”. Another line in this inscription compares Prithiviraja II to Sri Rama, and Kilhana to Hanumana. Besides the Chauhans of Delhi and Ajmer, India at that time had two more powerful kingdoms positioned against the Muslims – the Chaulukyas (Solankis) of Gujarat and the Gahadavals of Kanauj. Muhammad Ghuri was installed at Ghazni in AD 1173 by his elder brother, Ghiyasuddin, who had himself ascended the throne at Ghur in AD 1163. The task of conquering India was assigned to Muhammad Ghuri while his brother was extending the Ghurid empire towards the west. The Ghaznavids were still in possession of the provinces they had been able to conquer in north-western India.
Ghuri bypassed the weaker Gaznavid rulers in Punjab, [apparently not to alert the Chauhans beyond Sutlej by attacking the Gaznavids] entered India through the Gomal pass and took Multan from the Qaramatih chiefs in AD 1175. He intrigued with the wife of the Bhatti Rai of Uch and promised to marry her if she poisoned her husband. Firishta records that “she declined the honour for herself but secured it for her daughter, caused her husband to be put to death and surrendered the fort”. Ghuri’s way to Gujarat now lay open by way of Western Rajasthan. Prithviraj III [the famous later opponent of Ghuri], had ascended the throne of Ajmer the previous year and was pressed by his Chief Minister, Kadambavasa, not to intevene. Muhammad Ghuri advanced upon Gujarat in AD 1178 with a large army. Merutunga writes in his Prabandhachintamami that “the mother of young Mularaja, queen Naikidevi, the daughter of Parmardin of Goa, taking her son in her lap, led the Chalukya army against the Turushkas and defeated them at Gadararaghatta near the foot of Mount Abu”. Mularaja II was a minor at that time. Firishta records that the king of Gujarat “advanced with an army to resist the Mohammedans and defeated them with great slaughter. They suffered many hardships before they reached Ghazni.” In Sanskrit inscriptions of Gujarat, Mularaja is invariably mentioned as the “conqueror of Garjanakas [dwellers of Ghazni]”. One inscription states that “during the reign of Mularaja even a woman could defeat the Hammira [Amir]”.

Muhammad Ghuri did not lead another expedition against the Hindus for the next 12 years but concentrated on occupying the Ghaznavid possessions in India till he reached Lahore in AD 1186. He was opposed by the Chauhan ruler of Ajmer (AD 1177-1192)  Prithiviraja III, whose feudatory, Govindaraja, was stationed at Delhi. Prithviraja-vijaya tells us that the Chauhan ruler was aware of a “beef-eating Mlechha named Ghori in the north-west who had captured Garjani [Ghazni]”. Hammira-mahakavya of Nayachandra Suri states that Prithviraja defeated Muhammad Ghuri at least seven times while Prabandha-chintamaNi of Merutunga and Prithvirajaraso of Chand Bardoi puts the number of Prithviraja’s victories at twenty-one. Muslim historians – Minhaj, Firishta, and others – on the other hand, mention only two battles between these two rulers, one in AD 1191 and the other a year later. Dasharatha Sharma reconciles these two versions by suggesting that the Ghorid generals began raiding the Chahmana [Chauhan] territories soon after the occupation of Lahore in AD 1186 but were beaten back by the Chahmana forces. Muslim historians have ignored them altogether.

It was only in AD 1191 that Muhammad Ghuri gathered sufficient forces to advance against the fortress of Tabarhindah (Sirhind) and took that stronghold. This was a frontier fortress held by a Chauhan feudatory. Hearing of the rather provocative public rape and enslavement of women from messengers and fleeing refugees who swarmed to Delhi, Prithviraja now advanced with his own army and met Muhammad Ghuri at Tarain. Before the onslaught of the Chahmana army, the right and left flanks of the Muslim army broke down and took to flight. The Sultan might have fallen off his horse had not a Khalji youth recognised him and carried him out of the field of battle. The Muslim army, losing sight of their leader, fled headlong from the battlefield and did not draw rein till they had reached a place considered safe from pursuit. The Sultan was also brought there in a litter of broken spears. From there, they returned to their own dominion. The Rajputs simply recovered Sirhind but did not pursue Ghori. Before he reached Tarain again next year  Muhammad Ghuri sent a messenger from Lahore asking Prithviraja “to embrace the Musalman faith and acknowledge his supremacy.” Firishta reproduces the letter which Prithviraja wrote to him from the field of battle: “To the bravery of our soldiers we believe you are no stranger, and to our great superiority in numbers which daily increases, your eyes bear witness… You will repent in time of the rash resolution you have taken, and we shall permit you to retreat in safety; but if you have determined to brave your destiny, we have sworn by our gods to advance upon you with our rank-breaking elephants, our plain-trampling horses, and blood-thirsty soldiers, early in the morning to crush the army which your ambition has led to ruin.” Ghori, as is typical in Muslim strategic behaviour towards non-Muslims, replied: “I have marched into India at the command of my brother whose general I am. Both honour and duty bind me to exert myself to the utmost… but I shall be glad to obtain a truce till he is informed of the situation and I have received his answer.” The Hindus fell into the trap. Firishta records “The Sultan made preparations for battle… and when the Rajputs had left their camp for purposes of obeying calls of nature, and for the purpose of performing ablutions, he entered the plain with his ranks marshalled. Although the unbelievers were amazed and confounded, still in the best manner they could, they stood the fight.” The battle raged upto afternoon, when the Hindus found themselves tired and exhausted. They had not eaten even a breakfast. The fight was finished when Ghuri threw in his reserve division constituted by the flower of his army. The Rajputs were defeated, and suffered great slaughter.

The Muslims now occupied Delhi and marched into Ajmer. Prithviraja who had been made captive and who refused to swear submission, was brutally tortured according to the Muslim chroniclers and beheaded. Rajput resistance was still continuing in the countryside. Ghuri realized that his victory by deception was now well known among the Hindus and their combined forces could make his position precarious and tried to play for time by installing a son of Prithviraj as the new king. Hariraja, the younger brother of Prithviraja, reoccupied Ajmer in AD 1193.  He also planned to attack and take Delhi again but failed because Ghuri had assembled another big army for his march on the Gahadaval kingdom of Kanauj. Hariraja committed suicide out of apparently shame from being unable to prevent the slaughter of his countrymen and had been unable to redeem his own pledge.
Jayachandra, the Gahadavala ruler of Kanauj, had not only kept away from the battles raging to his south and west; he had also rejoiced in the defeat of the Chauhans, the traditional rivals of the Gahadavalas in his bid for control over Northern India. It was his turn to face Ghuri in AD 1194 at Chandawar. The battle was fiercely contested and the Gahadavals led by Jayachandra almost carried the day when the latter seated on a lofty howdah received a deadly wound from an arrow and fell from his seat to the earth. The Muslims were able to plunder Kanauj and Asni where Jayachandra had kept his treasure. But Rajput resistance continued till Jayachandra’s son, Harishchandra, recovered Kanauj, Jaunpur and Mirzapur in AD 1197. Kanauj seems to have stayed independent till the reign of Iltumish who ultimately conquered it from Harish Chandra’s successor, Adakkamalla. Bihar, which had been a bone of contention between the Gahadavals and the Senas of Bengal, was conquered unopposed by Bakhtiyar Khalji, a general of Ghuri, in AD 1202, and he reached Navadvipa, the capital of the Senas, a year later probably using deception and a surprise raid in the guise of Muslim horse-traders.  The Senas fled to Sonargaon in East Bengal where we hear of at least two further Senas, Vishwaroop and Abhiroop or Keshav ruling in Estern Bengal from their capital and naval base at the time, Bikramanipur.

Muslims had occupied the big cities and the fortified towns but the countryside was in revolt. The first to deliver a counter-attack were the Mher Rajputs around Ajmer. They rose in AD 1195 and appealed to the Chaulukya ruler of Gujarat for help. The help came. Qutbuddin Aibak, another general of Ghuri, was in charge of Ajmer at that time. According to Hasan Nizami, a contemporary historian, “The action lasted the whole day and the next morning that immense army of Naharwala [Anhilawara, capital of Gujarat] came to the assistance of the vanguard, slew many of the Musalmans, wounded their commander, pursued them to Ajmer and encamped within one parasang of the place.” Aibak rushed messengers to Ghazni, crying for help. “It was only after a very large army was despatched to reinforce him, that Aibak could be rescued.” Aibak, in turn, invaded the kingdom of Gujarat in AD 1197. The Chalukyan army again faced the Muslims at the foot of Mount Abu where Ghuri had been defeated in AD 1178. The Muslim army became nervous and dared not attack. Hasan Nizami indicates that the Islamic forces advanced under the cover of darkness of night and caught the Chalukyan army unprepared at dawn. The Hindus were defeated this time. Anhilawara was occupied and sacked. But the Muslims could not hold Gujarat for long. In the next four years, Bhimadeva II, the Chaulukyan king, recovered the whole of his kingdom from the invaders and was back in Anhilawara in AD 1201. Arnoraja, the Vaghela feudatory of Bhima Deva, met his death in this campaign. But his son, Lavanaprasada, won a singular victory at Stambha, modern Cambay. Sridhara, the governor of Devapattan, inflicted another crushing defeat on the Muslims. How and when this army of occupation was driven out of Gujarat is nowhere mentioned by Muslim historians. It is precisely here that the two inscriptions of Dabhoi and Verawal refer to the heroic struggles of two generals of the Chaulukya king, Lavanaprasada and Sridhara. In the east Bakhtiyar Khalji could not conquer East Bengal. The Madanpara and Edilpur inscriptions of Visvarupa Sena and Keshava Sena, the successors of Lakshmana Sena, speak of victories won by them over the yavanas. Hodivala points out that “we possess epigraphic evidence of Lakshmana Sena’s descendants having ruled for at least three generations at Vikramapur near Sonargaon in Dacca”. Blocked by the Senas from East Bengal, Bakhtiyar Khalji advanced into Assam. But his army was destroyed by the king of Kamarupa. He was able to escape with his own life and about a hundred followers. But his army was slaughtered so that he fell sick due to excessive grief and died or was murdered in sick bed by a Muslim rival.

part 12: economic decline under Islam – the fate of producers

Part 1: enslavement of non-Muslims

part 4: myth of role of Sufis in conversion

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Kandhmal-indictment of India’s reservation politics

Posted on August 31, 2008. Filed under: Christians, Communist, Hindu, India, Politics, religion, terrorism |

Swami Laxmanananda was actively involved in a contest to preserve indigenous tribal traditions from aggressive Christian evangelists in the state’s tribal belt since 1966. He was killed in his crowded ashram at Jalespata, Kandhmal district, while performing Janmastami prayers. The murder followed a threat letter warning he would suffer for preventing Hindus from converting to Christianity. As the Swami had been previously attacked on 25 December 2007 [he escaped four attempts on his life before falling to the last attack] for the same reason, he personally lodged a complaint with the police and enclosed the threatening letter along with the FIR. He sought police protection, but on Saturday, around 9.35 pm as the ashram was celebrating Janmashtami, when around dinner time, a group of 30-40 armed assailants surrounded the place.  Eyewitnesses reported that about four of the assailants carried AK-47s and many others had country made revolvers. Two of the four home guards stationed for security had gone to eat and only two of them were guarding the premises. The assailants tied down the two guards, and gagged them. They then searched out the Swamiji within the premises, lobbed a hand-grenade at the gathering of devotees, and fired indiscriminately with sophisticated weapons, killing Swami Laxmanananda and four ashram inmates, including Mata Bhaktimayee, on the spot. The recovered bullets show they were from an AK-47, the police said. The assailants then warned the guards not to raise an alarm and fled the scene. Within minutes of the reaching the crime scene, the district authorities declared that Maoists had carried out assassination of the Swami.

Orissa does have a “Maoist” problem. Recently, a boat-load of security forces combing the area for Naxalites [a local name for Maoist armed insurrectionists in India, originating from the name of a small town in Northern Bengal, where the first symbolic act of Maoist “agrarian violence” took place] were blown up. However assigning responsibility to the Maoists could be a typical tactical administrative ploy as in December 2007, the area suffered some of the bloodiest violence Orissa has even seen after the Swami was attacked by Christians. Although Indian media tried its best not to highlight violence on Hindu villagers in the ongoing conflict where both sides obviously targeted each other, and Christians had no less responsibility than the Hindus for atrocities, reports of Christian violence did leak out from time to time. The Christian inspired violence could be partially sought to be justified as reactions and defensive action against expressions of anger by Hindus retaliating indiscriminately for the violent attack on a man who has become their iconic representative. However even now the state has not been able to come out with a clear and credible report on how much the involvement of Christian militant action was in defense, on only the Hindus who had attacked them and not on innocent Hindu villagers, and how much of this action had been pre-planned to utilize the expected violent reaction by the Hindus.

Elections are due soon in the state and the administration has proved unwilling, or unable to curb the Maoist insurgency. The government could be hoping to get the Hindu majority involved in the hunting down and liquidation of the Maoists on a social scale and therefore the most effective one [as proved in Punjab]. There are severe problems with the Maoist theory.  Typically the central committee for the relevant Maoist group authorises the killings and the outfit issues statements owning up to the murders they commit – as they pick targets who they believe would in general be unpopular with the “repressed class” whose support they wish to obtain. Strangely the Maoists are keeping mum, and no statements have been forthcoming [although after this point is raised in the media, some statement may drop out of thin air]. The five attackers who the locals caught and handed over to the police are not Maoists and they are locals from the region.

Orissa police arrested one Pradesh Kumar Das, an employee of the Christian organisation, World Vision, from Khadagpur, while trying to leave Kandhmal at Buguda. Two other converts, Vikram Digal and William Digal were arrested from the house of Lal Digal, a local Christian, from Nuasahi at Gunjibadi, Nuagaan. They apparently admitted having joined a group of 28 other assailants.

The Maoists spared the policemen on duty when they usually execute any representative of the security forces present in their attacks.  The Maoists are usually quite disciplined and they try to avoid firing at women and children or lob grenades at them. An AK-47 is quite a costly weapon, and are more numerous among well-funded terrorist groups with possible access to hostile foreign governmental support such as the Islamic Jihadi terrorists. In uncanny parallels with Islamic terrorists, the assailants were wearing masks and hoods, whereas Marxists usually make such attacks high profile with faces kept uncovered. The indiscriminate firing and throwing grenades on children in an orphanage over and above killing the target, is one of the strongest possible indications that the order to assassinate could not have come from any  “central committee” and even if carried out by or with the help of Maoists were initiated from sources outside the Maoist movement.

Who had a reason to be angry with the Swami, or had sufficient reasons to benefit from his removal?  The Swami’s activities in the jungle were essentially based around the welfare of the tribals and the only way this could be problematic for the Maoists is if it prevented the tribals from joining the Communist struggle by partially satisfying their urgent problems. But by similar arguments leaders of Christian missionaries should have been the target of the Maoists too, and why is never a thought given to the possibility that the Maoists could be involved in the violence against Christian villages?  The Maoists have long claimed that most of Orissa falls under the ‘liberated zone’ and the  Kandhamal district with its dense forest cover is a haven for them. The Swami received an anonymous threat only a week before he was killed. The local SP did not even register a case after the Swami lodged a formal complaint. Would the government have gained from the removal of the Swami? The BJD would then lose votes to the BJP.  Would the Conrgress which has weakened in the state, have gained from it – only if it was foolish enough to think of hoping to gain Christian votes as defender and protector of Christian minorities, once communal tensions could be flamed up either voluntarily from angry Hindu reaction to the assassination or a little discreet and pre-planned prompting.

For a die-hard Maoist, all religions are equally suspect, and if these religions are providing “cosmetic relief” to the “oppressed” and saturating them with “religious opiates” then they are all equally to be attacked. The Christians know this very well in China. For some strange reason they do not appear to attack the Christian missionaries at Kandhmal! [Historically the only religion that the Chinese Maoists have been partial to was Islam and Mao’s love affair with Islam in his early struggling days at Yenan. Security forces are said to have seized 20 guns from 47 Maoists arrested in connection with the burning of villages inhabited by Hindus. In this respect, the murder of Swami Laxmanananda may be said to closely resemble the murder of Swami Shanti Kali ji Maharaj in Tripura in August 2000; he too was shot in his own ashram by gun-wielding assassins after several dire warnings for anti-conversion activities in the state’s tribal belt. Subsequently, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar admitted the involvement of a certain church-movement with the insurgency in the state. There has been reports suggesting that Swami Laxmanananda was also active in the movement against illegal beef trading, and was demanding a high level probe into an alleged illegal beef trading racket in Kandhamal.

The major reason behind this conflict in Kandhamal is actually due to India’s notorious reservation regime and politics. At the moment, almost half of desirable “social opportunities” are reserved one way or the other in India, resulting in a perpetuation and reconfirmation of social fractures, and the demand for their continuation and extension shows that reservations are self-defeating in their declared purpose – they never “uplift” and “empower” in concrete, socially tangible terms, for such empowerment actually weakens the case for “reservation” of the beneficiaries. The majority Kandha (Kondh) tribe which has Scheduled Tribe status was obviously alarmed at the second local group, the Scheduled Caste Panas [who by converting to Christianity lost the reservation benefits due to Scheduled Caste status under the constitution]  beginning to agitate for Scheduled Tribe status on the plea that they also spoke Kui, the mother tongue of the Kondhs, which is also the principal language of the district. The Hindus’ fears of lowered benefits due to competition deepened when the UPA-appointed Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission recommended extension of all reservation facilities to converts among the “Dalits”, which would include the Panas in Orissa.

Only if belonging to a special subgroup of Indians does not bring “special favours” over and above that of other Indians, will proselytizing religions or political parties cease to encourage and utilize the existing fractures within Indian society. What is needed is an all-inclusive developmental plan for all Indians that includes compulsory, uniform education, basic health-care, and economic opportunity irrespective of origin – combined with a clear recognition of a reward system of incentives to perform at all levels of society. Are Indians mature enough now to give and face the call “opportunities will be given unbiasedly – but you have to perform”?

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India – 10: economic decline of India under Islam

Posted on August 29, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Islam, Muslims, Politics, religion |

In contrast to the so called “very friendly relations” that Indian merchants and princes apparently had with Arab Muslim traders in the early part of the Islamic invasions, based on a few references to “cordial meals” or dinners being given by a Arab merchant to his Indian counterpart at Hormuz, all references to any hostile behaviour including involvement of Islamic traders in military action against Indians are suppressed in the Thaparite literature. However the Prabandhachintamani describes explicitly how an Arab Muslim trader, Saida (Sayyad) had become so powerful as to initiate a naval fight against Vastupala, a minister of Chalukya state. It is interesting to note that the same story describes in great detail that the dispute arose at the port of Stambha (Cambay) and Saida called on an Indian ally Mahasadhanika Sanka from the port of Bhrgukachha (Broach). Harihara, who was associated with Vastupala and therefore a contemporary, [satisfies at least three of Thaparite criteria for acceptability of  textual sources – it is contemporary, it is from the “attacked side”, it is from a non-Muslim side which claims to have “repressed” a non-upper-caste-Hindu]  has awritten a play Sankhaparabhava Vyayoga, which claims ultimate victory of Vastupala. The fact that one “Hindu” helped Sayida against another would perhaps have been highlighted by the Thaparite School to prove the “extremely cordial relationship” between Indians and Muslim Arabs, had not this incident also involved proof of involvement of the Arab Muslim traders in direct military action against Indian states.

Trade over land route – Role of Islam

We see that exactly as the Islamic regime consolidated its power over the Middle East and expanded into Central Asia through its bulkhead in Persia, the penetration and reach of Indian merchants into Central Asia decreased, whereas the penetration of Muslim traders into India increased. We do not read of significant non-Muslim Indian settlements of traders in the lands conquered by the Arabs, and the Thaparites have managed to fish out only some references in the early Islamic period at Hormuz, and connected therefore with the sea-trade [these were possibly simply remnants of an earlier long-term trade relation between Nabateans and western-Indians]. If Islam was so liberal in encouraging commerce and trade with non-Muslims, why did all of a sudden non-Muslim Indian traders suddenly lose their interest in overland trade with areas newly converted to Islam? At the same time however the previously overland trade with China continued in volume and value with nearly equal participation in the transport of goods by India and China continued as before by shifting the greater bulk of the trade over the sea-route.  The  non-Hindu non-Indian traveller I-Tsing [Chavannes’s quotation] comments on how the Ta-shi interfered with travel on the road to Kapisha. The Arab control over the central Asian trade route passing through the “greater India” (Balkh-Bahlik Pradesh, Kabul/Zabul, Samarquand – this was captured only after a typical surprise Islamic military attack when the bulk of the male population was away in distant lands for trade, and the women and children were captured and used for bargaining for surrender and conversion to Islam – etc., ) was only completed in about 1022 C.E. That the Arabs were in the habit of severely restricting non-Muslim traders  is also testified to in their own chronicles [Biladuri] as well as in versions by Europeans [Pirene – Economic and Social history of Medievalal Europe-note that in this period they cannot yet be called fanatical anti-Islamic Hindu fascists since by the Thaparite School Hinduism was yet to be conjured from thin air and non-existent ideas by them as a colonial power].

Four cornered struggle between Arabs, Persia, China and Tibet for control of Central Asian trade and evidence for the Muslims gradually pushing out the non-Muslim traders

In the first half of 7th century exactly when Muhammad was consolidating his hold over the isolated oases in Northern Arabia, the Chinese empire virtually controlled all the area up to the borders of Persia [Yule, Cathay]. The intensification of this struggle seems to have peaked in 650-670 C.E.[Tsuh Chih, A short history of Chinese civilization.] There are indications that Kashmir at this period could be involved in a partnership with China to fight against the Arabs, the Tukharas, and Daradas and blocked the route to Tibet. [Indian Historical Quarterly, XXX, pp 89-92]. Chinese sources represent the Pallavas from South India as requesting Chinese aid against the Arabs and the Tibetans [K.A.N. Sashtri, Foreign Nations]. There have been questions about the real motivations behind this Chinese representation as to China’s priority on the threat from Tibet. However we do find these references as indicating a struggle with the rising power of the Arab Muslims trying to take over the trade routes through Central Asia and prevent non-Muslim traders from benefiting from this trade. A significant amount of trade also began now to pass over into sea-trade between East Asia and India, and alternative land routes through (1) Bengal, Assam, and upper Burma  (2) Bihar, Nepal, Tibet.[Chau ju kua, Chavannes, P.C.Bagchi -India and China, P.C.Choudhury – History of civilization of Assam].

The disbalance in the number of settlements of Muslim traders in India compared to “Hindu” traders in the Muslim world.

There are very few actual references to “Hindu” merchants being allowed to survive in areas dominated by Islam outside subcontinental India in this period. Muhammad Aufi [Elliott and Dowson] describes the case of a Hindu merchant called Wasa Abhir from Nahrwala who had trade agents at Gazni, and had property valued at one million rupees indicating that he was probably a top-league merchant. When Muizudin bin Sam was defeated by the Gujarat army after Muizuddin mounted an invasion into Gujarat, he was apparently advised to confiscate Wasa’s property at Gazni after his retreat back to Gazni. Muizuddin is supposed to have refused to follow this advice on grounds of justice. This story yields several interesting aspects. First, it does not show actual presence of Hindu Merchants in Islamic territories on a permanent basis but simply, agents, and material holdings probably as necessary components of trade. Second, it shows that they were subject to political arbitrariness as Muslims defeated in their jihads on hindu territories could in general satisfy their frustration by seizing on Hindu merchant’s properties or family. Third, the possibility of a practical motivation in the rulers of that time, that top-merchants from other nations and ideologies should not be harassed too much because of fear of potential loss of revenue. This last point in its turn could also be applied to the so-called patronization of Muslims by the Rashtrakutas or other Hindu rulers on the west coast of India – that such protection of merchants need not automatically imply non-existence of general hostilities between the two regimes or ideologies of Islam and “Hinduism”.

Similarly we hear the propaganda of “presence of Indian merchants at Hormuz and very friendly and cordial relations between them and Arab Muslims” in the Thaparaite literature, and this alone is supposed to be incontrovertible proof of “cordial relations between Muslims and Hindus in general”. This is based on among two other textual references, on the following story. According to Abu Zaid, when one of the principal merchants of Siraf invited the Indian merchants of the place he would serve them food in separate plates. On such events there would be hundreds of guests and most of them were obviously “Indians”.[Fernande, Voyage du Marchand Arabe Sulayman]. The Jewish traveller Rabbi Benjamin, writes in 1170 c.e. that the island of Kish was the point to which the Indian merchants bring their commodities. [K.A.,N. Sastri, Foreign Nations]. Ibn Batuta writes of a colony of Indian merchants in Aden, but we can no longer be absolutely certain about their religious affiliation at the time of Ibn Batuta’s writings. The last reference that we will quote  is a very popular one with the Thaparite School,  that of Jagadu in Jagaducharita [A.K. Majumdar, Chalukyas of Gujarat] who is supposed to have Indian agents at Hormuz and who maintained regular trade with Persia. Note the preponderance of agents, who are not always mentioned to be non-Muslim Indians, who represent Hindu merchants in Islam dominated areas, and not a significant population of settled Hindu merchants.

In contrast we find records of significant populations of settled Islamic traders, deep inside “Hindu” territories especially near important commercial, political, and cultural centres [Buddhist university townships] which are later on targets of surprise military attacks by Muslims with surgical precision. Ibn Asir mentions explicitly in his Kamil-ut-Tawarikh, that there were “Mussalmans in the country of Banaras” from the days of Sabuktigin.[Elliot and Dowson]. Muhammad Aufi also speaks of Bahram Gur of Iran coming to Hindustan under the guise of a Muslim merchant. When Bakhtyiar appeared in Nudiya people thought that he was a Muslim trader come to sell horses – implying that visits to this old Hindu city on the banks of the Ganges in modern West Bengal, by Muslim traders was quite common and that Muslim military leaders were in the habit of using this acceptance to disguise themselves for spying or raiding or surprise attacks. Taranath mentions settlement of “Turuskas” (at this period a generic name for Muslims) in the AntarVedi or Ganges-Yamuna Doab. He also significantly mentions that during the time of Lavasena and his successors and prior to the invasions and destruction of the Buddhist university townships of Odantapuri and Vikramasila the number of “Turuskas” had significantly increased. Muhammad Habib in his introduction to Elliott and Dowson suggests that the far-flung campaigns of Mahmud Gaznavi would have been impossible without an accurate knowledge of trade routes and local resources of India, which he probably obtained from Muslim merchants. Many Arab narratives [including that of Al Beruni, who had been allowed to learn Sanskrit and copy and translate Hindu texts] contain accurate accounts of land-routes in India with minute details of the distances between cities and their products and other strategic details whose context shows that these were supplied mostly by Muslim merchants who had visited these places in person and recorded these details back at home accurately for future use by their fellows.

Is it true that all “Hindus” welcomed the “peaceful” and “pure commercial motive” Muslim traders as the Thaparite School demands that we should believe based on the scanty textual evidence [scanty because they would dismiss such evidence as scanty if it went against their hypothesis]?

The Arab writers are unanimous in severely accusing the Pratihara kings of being most hostile to Arabs and Islam.[Sulaiman,Al Masudi, in Elliot and Dowson]. The same authors, curiously enough, admit that the Pratihara administration was highly efficient, for Sulaiman says “there is no country in India more safe from robbers”. But the extremely harsh criticism of the Pratiharas for their “religious” intolerance and “xenophobia” are far more intense than the critiques of the “Hindu” kings who desperately fought to defend their land and people from the mostly deceptive, jihadist aggression of Islamic armies on their campaigns of iconoclasm, enslavement, massacre and looting. The Pratiharas discouraged the influx of Arab Muslims to protect the interests of their own countrymen and imposed checks and restrictions in support of this policy. There is difference in opinion among historians about interpretation of the term “Turuskadanda” and one line of opinions favours this to be interpreted as a tax [ a reverse Jiziya] on “Turuska” settlers in Gahadavala [successors of Pratiharas] lands [Sten Konow, Epigraphia Indica, IX].

The protection provided by Siddharaja Jayasimha, the Hindu ruler of Gujarat, to Muslims and their places of worship was continued by his successors in Gujarat. Both the populations as well as shrines and mosques of Muslims continued to rapidly multiply in several cities of Gujarat as reflected in numerous inscriptions, particularly from Khambat, Junagadh and Prabhas Patan, dated before Gujarat passed under Muslim rule in the aftermath of Ulugh Khan’s invasion in 1299 C.E. Z.A. Desai, the eminent epigraphist, comments that “These records make an interesting study primarily because they were set up in Gujarat at a time when it had still resisted Muslim authority. That the Muslims inhabited quite a few cities, especially in the coastal line of Gujarat, quite long before its final subjugation by them, is an established fact. The accounts of Arab travellers like Masudi, Istakhari, Ibn Hauqal and others, who visited Gujarat during the ninth and tenth centuries of the Christian era, amply testify to the settlements of Muslims in various towns and cities. The inscriptions studied below also tend to corroborate the fact that the Muslims had continued to inhabit Gujarat until it became a part of the Muslim empire of Delhi. Moreover, they furnish rare data for an appraisal of the condition of Muslims under non-Muslim rulers of Gujarat. On one hand, they indicate the extent of permeation of Islamic influence in Gujarat at a time when it was still ruled by its own Rajput princes and show that Muslims had long penetrated into different parts of Gujarat where they lived as merchants, traders, sea-men, missionaries, etc.; these settlements were not only on the coastal regions but also in the interior as is indicated by some of these records. On the other hand, these epigraphs form a concrete and ever-living proof of the tolerance and consideration shown vis-a-vis their Muslim subjects by Hindu kings who were no doubt profited by the trade and commerce carried on by these foreign settlers.”[Arabic Inscriptions of the Rajput period from Gujarat’, Epigraphia Indica-Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1961].

Prof. Romila Thapar repeatedly cites one inscription from Prabhas Patan, the city of “Somnatha” and quotes only one of the two translations done by Z.A.Desai describing an event as recorded in two different inscriptions – in her public tirades against “revisionist historians” and in her hotly promoted Penguin history of India, she remains completely silent about the other inscription. This silence is puzzling. The inscription is dated 1264 C.E., and records the construction of a mosque at Prabhas Patan by a Muslim ship-owner. The stone slab containing its Arabic version is now fixed in the Qazi’s Mosque at Prabhas Patan and is not on site. The Sanskrit version which, it seems, was removed at some time and is now in a wall of the Harasiddha Mata temple in the nearby town of Veraval, has been summarised by Z.A. Desai:
“Ship-owner Nurud-Din Piruz, son of ship-owner Khwaja Abu Ibrahim, a native of Hormuz, had come for business to the town of god Somnath during the reign of Arjunadeva, the Vaghela king of Gujarat (C. 1261-74) when Amir Ruknud-Din was the ruling chief of Hormuz; Piruz purchased a piece of land situated in the Sikottari Mahayanpal outside the town of Somnath in the presence of the leading men like Thakkur Sri Palugideva, Ranak Sri Somesvaradeva, Thakkur Sri Ramdeva, Thakkur Sri Bhimsiha and others and in the presence of all (Muslim) congregations, from Rajakula Sri Chhada, son of Rajakula Sri Nanasiha; Piruz, who by his alliance with the great man Rajakula Sri Chhada, had become his associate in meritorious work, caused a mosque to be constructed on that piece of land; for its maintenance, i.e., for the expenses of oil for lamp, water, preceptor, crier to prayers and a monthly reader (of the Quran) and also for the payment of expenses of the particular religious festivals according to the custom of sailors, as well as for the annual white-washing and repairs of rents and defects in the building, the said Piruz bequeathed three sources of income: firstly, a pallaDika (particulars regarding whose location and the owner are given in detail); secondly, a danapala belonging to one oil-mill; and thirdly, two shops in front of the mosque, purchased from Kilhanadeva, Lunasiha, aSadhar and others; Piruz also laid down that after meeting the expenses as indicated above, the surplus income should be sent to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina; as regards the management, he desired that the various classes of Muslims such as the communities of sailors, ship-owners, the clergy (?), the artisans (?), etc., should look after the source of income and properly maintain the mosque.”

The English translation of the first seven lines of the Arabic text as given by Z.A. Desai, is as follows:
1. Allah the Exalted may assign this (reward) to one who builds a house in the path of Allah… [This auspicious mosque was built].
2. on the twenty-seventh of the month of RamaDan, year [sixty-two].
3. and six hundred from migration of the Prophet (23rd July AD 1264), in the reign of the just Sultan and [the generous king].
4. Abu’l-Fakhr (lit., father of pride), Ruknud-Dunya wad-Din (lit., pillar of State and Religion), Muizzul-Islam wal-Muslimin (lit. source of glory for Islam and the Muslims), shadow of Allah in [the lands],
5. one who is victorious against the enemies, (divinely) supported prince, Abin-Nusrat (lit., father of victory), Mahmud, son of Ahmad, may Allah perpetuate his…
6. and may his affair and prestige be high, in the city of Somnat (i.e. Somnath), may God make it one of the cities of Islam and [banish?].
7. infidelity and idols…

Z.A. Desai noted differences between the Arabic and the Sanskrit versions. “For example,” he writes, “the Arabic inscription does not give all the details regarding the sources of income, the procedure for its expenditure, management, etc., which are mentioned at some length in the Sanskrit record. Also, the Arabic version mentions only the leader of prayer (imam), caller to prayers (muaddhin) and the cities of Mecca and Medina among the beneficiaries… Likewise, no mention is made of the provision for the celebration of religious festivals as stated in the Sanskrit record.  Further, in the extant portion of the Arabic record, we do not find mention of the then Vaghela king of Gujarat, Arjunadeva… On the other hand, the Arabic version gives some more information regarding the status and position of Piruz (Firuz) and his father Abu Ibrahim. For example, Firuz is called therein ‘the great and respected chief (sadr), prince among sea-men, and king of kings and merchants.’ He is further eulogised as the ‘Sun of Islam and Muslims, patron of kings and monarchs, shelter of the great and the elite, pride of the age’, etc. Likewise, his father, Abu Ibrahim, son of Muhammad al-‘Iraqi, is also mentioned with such lofty titles as ‘the great chief of fortunate position, protector of Islam and the Muslims, patron of kings and monarchs, prince among great men of the time, master of generosity and magnanimity’, etc. Needless to say, all these titles are absent in the Sanskrit version.” The record is complete for all practical purposes except for a few gaps which the epigraphist has filled up creditably with the help of his long experience in reading and reconstructing such inscriptions. Could the name of Arjunadeva, the then Vaghela king of Gujarat, could have occurred in any of these gaps even if the king was stripped of all his appellations. Could the name of a Hindu king be found anywhere in the general format of the inscription. There are similar inscriptions on mosques and other Muslim monuments all over India, before and after this period in exactly the same format with the name of the reigning Muslim monarch with all his lengthy appellations displayed prominently. Significantly,  there was no Muslim monarch at that time in Gujarat which was a Hindu kingdom independent of the Delhi Sultanate, the builder of the mosque chose the king of Hormuz for showing his solidarity with the land and ruler of Islam. It is also significant to note that by installing two versions of the same installation plaque  in two different languages, the Muslim merchant shows that he is very much aware of this deception and therefore he expresses his true loyalties and feelings in his own language, which was obviously not widely known among the non-Muslims. Prof. Thapar remains completely silent on this because even mentioning this to discard it as a forgery or unreliable would bring attention to the original translation by Z.A. Desai and throw serious doubts on her desperate attempt to establish “friendly attitude of Muslim traders towards Hindus”.

Note that for a subject of the Hindu king of Gujarat or a resident alien doing business in Gujarat, and given that the mosque was erected at Prabhas Patan which was situated in the kingdom of Gujarat and not within the dominions of Hormuz, the Muslim merchant eulogises the king of Hormuz as “the source of glory for Islam and the Muslims,” and he prays fervently that “may his affair and prestige be high in the city of Somnat, may Allah make it one of the cities of Islam, and [banish?] infidelity and idols” from it. In other words, he was earnestly desiring another Islamic jihad on Gujarat. Comparing the Sanskrit and Arabic versions of this inscription, we see that the Muslim merchant from Hormuz had carefully edited out from the Sanskrit version what he had included confidently in the Arabic text. This shows that just as in the modern period, in the 13th century, Muslim elite took care with help from some elite Hindus [who collaborated out of commercial interests as claimed by the Thaparite School] that the ordinary Hindu never understood the real meanings of teachings of Islam, never read authentic versions of the core texts of Islam, never understood the real agenda of Islam, and that the Islamic Jihadi agenda of slaughter, enslavement, looting and conversion remained completely hidden until it was too late.

There were similar Muslim settlements in other places in Gujarat, for example at Anhilwada Patan, the capital of Gujarat under the Chaulukya and the Vaghela dynasties of Hindu kings. An inscription dated 1282 C.E. fixed in the wall of a mosque here, records the death of a Muslim merchant in the reign of the Vaghela king Sarangadeva (1274-96). Z.A. Desai is of the opinion that “this is the only record at Patan which is dated in the pre-Muslim period of Gujarat, furnishing evidence of the settlement, or at least presence, of Muslims in the very capital of the Rajput rulers.” Cambay or Khambat, the famous port of Gujarat, has yielded many Muslim inscriptions from the time when Gujarat was a Hindu kingdom. A 1218 C.E. inscription in the reign of the Chaulukya king Bhimadeva II (1178-1242), records the construction of a Jami Masjid and says in the very first sentence “that no one else would be invoked with Allah.” Another inscription of 1232 C.E. in the same reign records the death of a Muslim and declares, again in the first sentence, that “Surely, the true religion with Allah is Islam.” A third inscription dated 1284 in the reign of the Vaghela king Sarangadeva (1274-96), records the death of another Muslim and says that “whoever disbelieves in the communications of Allah-then, surely Allah is quick in reckoning.” An inscription dated 1286-87 records the construction of a mosque at Junagadh in the reign of Sarangadeva gives the name of the builder, Abul Qasim, with high-sounding titles which according to Z.A. Desai, “may be taken to suggest that Abul Qasim, probably an influential merchant conducting business in that part, was associated in some way with the liaison work between the state and its Muslim population. The record also indicates that there was a considerable number of Muslim population residing at Junagadh, which necessitated the building of a prayer house and that some of the Saurashtra ports used to clear the traffic of Haj pilgrims from Gujarat and possibly from outside too.”
The invasion of Ulugh Khan that was to finally subject Gujarat to Muslim rule, was the eighth in a series which started within a few years after the Prophet’s death at Medina in 632. Five Islamic invasions had been targeted on Gujarat before Siddharaja Jayasimha ascended the throne of Gujarat in 1094 C.E. The first raid took place in 636 on Broach by sea on the pretext of attacking a “nest of pirates” [as accepted by the Thaparite School],  second in 732-35 by land; third in 756, and fourth in 776 by sea; fifth by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026, sixth by Muhammad Ghuri in 1178, and the seventh was by Qutbud-Din Aibak in 1197. Just as in the modern period, even after a sequence of Muslim raids and its effects, the complacency and acceptance of possible representation of Islam as peaceful with complete hiding of the inherent Jihadi agenda of Islam shown by Hindus in Gujarat, had allowed the dual plaques of Piruz to be put up in 1264. This was before the last invasion of Gujarat that brought it under Muslim control.

Part 11 :economic decline under Islam:the strange case of the horse

Part 1: enslavement of non-Muslims

part 4: myth of the role of Sufis in conversion

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India-9 : The economic decline of India under Islam

Posted on August 28, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Islam, Muslims, religion |

Most historians writing on the economic aspects of the subcontinent at least agree that many indicators of economic activity in India appear to decline beginning in the 7th century. The Thaparite School of Indian history ascribes this to primarily two factors – (1) excessive expenditure on import of good quality horses from the middle East and central Asia (2) excessive consumption of imported luxury items by the numerous feudatory chiefs and their exploitation of India for petty internecine warfare. To this is usually added the apparent general apathy of Indians to defend their maritime trade, foreign trade, to develop and take initiative to expand their economy and international trade.

Typically, in all this, it has become fashionable now to remove any role of Islamic invasions and the Islamic traders. If at all mentioned they have to be mentioned in a totally positive light, with the few stories of apparent friendship or collaboration between certain non-Muslims of India and Arabian traders as generally representative of a society wide phenomenon. We must remember, that similar arguments are not allowed to be applied to the few instances of conflict or repression by Islamic invaders and traders as a general phenomenon and are usually demanded to be dismissed as fabrications, lies or exceptions.

A formal rigorous analysis of such historical material explicitly aimed at investigating the role of Islam and Islamic traders and invaders (we will see that these two roles were not always separate, and there are instances when the traders are known to have spied for their Islamic rulers as well as traders performing military roles or military disguised as traders performing survey of the land and its people or defences) has yet not been undertaken on its own, but as parts of works by different historians. Typically this appears to be a very uncomfortable portion of their work, for most of them are perhaps aware that the official Thaparite establishment can finish off their careers through their control of the Indian Historical Congress, control over the media, patronage by the political establishment affiliated to the Congress and “vulgar” Marxism (Marxists will know the meaning of the term!) and their control over research agenda as well as filtering the upcoming generations of historians by deciding who gets supported through academic and research positions or who get published. Well known connections of mutual patronage to historians of European origin primarily maturing in the neo-Marxian crucibles of 60’s West European universities, as well as possible general subconscious bias in favour of mono-theistic traditions over and above that of the “pagans” combined with fear from racist and imperialist fear of cultural consolidation of the “Hindu” on the subcontinent which has already proven strongly resistant to mono-theism of the revealed strand – has led to a continuation of the stranglehold of the Thaparite School as the sole arbitors of historical truth.

Decline of the Indian naval and merchant fleets – piracy and apathy or advent of Islam?

Up to the 7th century, historians find and report that the Indian empires had powerful navies and merchant fleet, with an active interest taken by the highly organized state administrations in the maintenance, development, and deployment of fleets of ships both for military and commercial purpose. The Arthasastra mentions state-owned vessels lent to merchants and used for cruising, transport of men and material as well as commerical operations. Megasthenes [McCrindle, Ancient India as described in Classical literature] reports that the Indian shipbuilders were salaried public servants and that ships built in the royal yards were hired to ocean voagers and traders. A Jataka story also refers to sailors as King’s salaried men. The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, describes native fishermen in the King’s service stationed at the entrances of the western sea-ports in well-manned large boats going up the coast as far as Syrastrene, from which they pilot vessels to Barygaza (Bahrukaccha – Broach). These pilots in royal service are called sagara-palogananam (literally knowledgeable in the arts of sea and sails) in a Kanheri inscription (Proc. of I.H.C., 1960). The Satavahana kings actively promoted and regulated shipping as proved in the ship coins of Sri Yajna Satakarni [Rapson, coins of the Andhra Dynasty]. There are supporting evidence in Harchacharita [Life of Harsha, by Bana] and Ptolemy. This tradition was kept alive by the Pallava and Kurumvara kings, some of whose coinage seems to reflect the Satavahana style, as well as other literary indications, and archaeological indications of the presence of South Indian ships in South East Asia. The last such indication of naval concerns we find curiously enough in the 7th century when Bhaskaravarma [reputed to have invaded parts of Gaura-Vanga or north Bengal], a ruler of Assam is reported to own 30,000 ships.

The crucial factor never taken up for investigation by historians, is the coincidence of exactly this period of gradual decline of the Indian sea-trade, a significant source of its wealth, with the rise of the Islamic regime in the Middle East. We have already mentioned in previous posts how the 7th century marks the beginning of the the Arab raids both from the sea along Sind and Gujarat as well as the land routes through the North-West passages, with the high point being the devastation of Sind in the early 8th century by Qasim. Typically the Thaparite School bypasses this issue in two ways.

The first of this is the “piracy by non-Muslim rulers of India” hypothesis. One big problem with the “Indian non-Muslim pirate” hypothesis is the fact that Pirates are reported to have sailed in “great” and powerful vessels called Bira, and that they were looting sailors and merchants all over the Arabian sea, including the Gulf area, southern Red Sea, Ceylon and as far as Zanzibar. [ Al Beruni, Marco Polo, Ibn Batuta- Voyages, Badger – A History of the Imams and Sayyids of Oman] If Indian sailors had the capacity to maintain such large ships with military intent and skill [piracy is only a form of naval warfare in the ancient world – and quite prestigious depending on how valuable the pirate was to the ruler – Elizabeth I of England would be a prime example] – and could dominate the whole of the Arabian sea, why could not they maintain this dominance in trade, which obviously they had done in previous centuries? On the other hand, if it was a common custom in the Arabian sea rim for powerful rulers to use piracy as means of gaining wealth and controlling trade, then why should we leave out the growing Islamic power in the region for resorting to piracy as means of wresting control of the lucrative sea-trade from the Indians. There are two important clues overlooked in standard histories – the Arab trading vessels appear to suffer less, and piracy actually goes on as far as Zanzibar and southern Red Sea, where Indians rarely manage to go in this period. The second important clue is provided by the pretext on which Hajjaj sends his son-in-law Qasim to invade Devala in Sind after failing in his earlier attempts- that King Dahir of Sind should recompense Hajjaj for the alleged lootings by pirates of certain ships laden with people, slaves, and gifts meant for Hajjaj sent from Ceylon. We have on good authority of the Chinese and Arabian sources, that at this period, Indian ships were smaller, slower, and less powerful than both Chinese and Arabian ships, but the largest ones actually belonged to the kingdom of Ceylon.[Al, Beruni, Hourani- Arab seafaring, Chau-ju-kua]

I would like to raise the speculative question in the style the Thaparite School is so fond of : Is it possible that the Arab and Islamic regimes dominating the Middle East now actively engaged in sponsoring piracy to wrest control of the Arabian sea trade from the Indians , and also used these pirates for political and military strategic needs? [something along the lines of a public outrage in modern societies sponsored by the secret services so that an unpopular policy can be foisted upon the population]. Is it possible that the expansion of Islamic power on the Arabian plateau, and the Gulf region, displaced coastal populations and Persian skilled sea-farers who were forced to take up piracy after being deprived of their land bases and over-land trade routes? Is it possible some of the Muslim Arab traders themselves took up piracy on a part time basis or performed the dual role of traders and pirates as and when opportunity arose? It is interesting in this context to note the modern work based on extensive “research” of the Bombay archives by the Sultan of Sharjah, Muhammad Al-Qasimi, [The Myth of Arab piracy in the Gulf, 1988] claims that it was the Est India company which painted the Quasims in the lower Persian Gulf as pirates  in order to wrest control of the sea-trade to India. Curiously, he mentions that the Company did not have sufficient warships to to defeat the Quasim fleet, and called on the British Ryal navy to complete the task – why would anyone need warships to complete the task of suppressing a peaceful merchant fleet? The Southern Arabians, ancient Nabaeteans, were associated with piracy from classical times. Diodorus tells us:  After one has sailed past this country, the Laeanites Gulf comes next, about which are many inhabited villages of Arabs who are known as Nabataeans. This tribe occupies a large part of the coast and not a little of the country which stretches inland, and it has a people beyond telling and flocks and herds in multitude beyond belief. Now in ancient times these men observed justice and were content with the food which they received from their flocks, but later, after the kings of Alexandria had made the ways of the sea navigable for their merchants, these Arabs not only attacked the shipwrecked, but fitting out pirate ships and preyed upon the voyagers, imitating in their practice the savage and lawless ways of the Tauri of the Pontusl. Some time afterwards, however, they were caught on the high seas by some quadriremes and punished as they deserved.” The naval details mentioned here indicate approximately 200 BCE. From Strabo we know that it was a Nabataean policy to not allow foreign ships to pass beyond the southern end of the Red Sea. They did this, by maintaining a pirate station in Eudaimon Arabia, known today as Aden. Strabo tells us that fewer than 20 boats a year would venture past the end of the Red Sea of fear of these pirates.

The indictment of only the Indians in “piracy” by the Thaparite School is actually based on very few anecdotes and is open to other interpretations. Practically speaking only three major instances are repeated over and over again in the Thaparite literature – (1) the Dasakumaracharita, in which a prince of Tamralipti [ancient seaport in Midnapore, modern WestBengal] “swarms” around a “Yavana” [at this period anyone coming from the west of India] ship (2) the Prabandhachintamani, which talks of three princes of King Yogaraja looting near the port of Somesvara a ship belonging to another country, and Yogaraja himself refers to the negative reputation of soem of his predecessors as regarding looting of vessels by Gurjara (3) the Motupalli pillar inscription in which King Ganapatideva claims that former kings forcibly took away the wares of ships voayging from one country to another which were wrecked, driven ashore or forced to touch at a place that was not meant as a port of call. Only in this context , is of course also Ibn Batuta’s testimony as to Indian pirates are also acceptable by the Thaparite School but not his claims of Islamic repression on non-Muslims of India, which are to be treated as boasts. It is never mentioned that the coastal states appear to have adopted and strictly enforced a license system. The boats of sailors residing in the country had to pay 1/10th of their cargo as duty on returning to the harbour, whereas a foreign boat without license was liable for confiscation. This rule could have arisen from genuine security concerns, where the states wanted to protect their coasts from the depredations of piratical raid from the sea by foreign powers, as such foreign ships alighting at unsupervised parts of the coast could very well be pirate ships themselves. It is significant to note that even at the height of Arab sea-power, the deep south coastal states appear to have survived and managed to at least partially defend themselves from Arab pirates. And the complaints of all Islamic sources of piracy appears to be connected to this strict enforcement of the laws of the coastal states which they describe as “piracy”.

The second primary reason given for the decline of the maritime trade is the “apathy” of the merchants and the rulers. Typically there is no agreement or even attempt at finding out why the sudden reluctance to be concerned with the sea-trade, which was an important source of the so-called luxuries of which the feudatory chiefs continue to be fond of. The demand apparently was still there, but suddenly Indians are supposed to have got bored with the sea and ceased to take interest in sea-voyages. The only two speculations allowed by the Thaparite School  are  (1) supreme interest of the feudatories in importing horses overland through Afghanistan and therefore neglect of the sea-trade  (2) religious  peculiarities. We will  discuss  (1) later in connection with the  decline in the  land-trade, and here we take up the “religious reluctance” hypothesis. In the earlier period Buddhism was the dominant religion among the Indian merchants, but this period was a period of decline for Buddhism and growth in the popularity of Jainism. Contrary to the general impression sought to be created by the Thaparite School that Brahmanism was on the rise, and that it systematically physically destroyed Buddhism and Jainism is one big lie of official Indian history – right upto the plantation of the Delhi Sultanate we find Jainism quite popular among the ruling princes and Buddhist centres of learning and universities being maintained throughout India.  The Jain text Upamitibhavaprapanchakatha describes how enterprising and enthusiastic young Jain merchants are discouraged from taking up sea-trade. The text is not very clear about whether how much of this restriction owes actually to the Jaina faith itself. On the other hand, the Brihannaradiya, a recognized Brahmanical text of the period, lists sea-voyage as one of the practices which are unfavourable for attaining heaven and unpopular with the people, and therefore forbidden for the Kali Yuga. Kane [History of Dharmasastra] interprets tthe relevant passages to show that the prohibition affected only Brahmanas and that there is evidence to show that even after making such voyages  they still remained fit to be associated with. However after Basham, the possibility of the connection between growth of Islamic dominance and declining non-Muslim Indian trade to these religious injunctions as a practical recognition of the existing conditions, has never been taken up within the official Thaparite School of Indian history. It is also interesting to note that Chinese records and epigraphic records indicate that Indians not yet under Islamic control such as the Chola empire under Rajaraja I in the south continued with a significant sea-trade with the Chinese, so much so that at the same time when the Gaznavids were having their “annual holidays” in northern India,  the Tanjore inscription (1019 C.E.) of Rajendra mentions an endowment in terms of Chinese gold made by a certain merchant and as late as 1296 C.E.,  at the beginning of the peak period of the Sultanate, the Chinese government is still trying to prohibit the export of gold and silver to and limit the value of the trade  with Ma’bar (Coromandel), Kulam(Quilon) and  other places in the deep south.

Part 10

Part 1 : enslavement of non-Muslims

part 4: the myth of the role of Sufis in conversion

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The heroic face of Islamic militancy in Kashmir- killing unarmed non-protesting civilians and taking children and women as hostage

Posted on August 27, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Kashmir, Muslims, Politics, terrorism |

The great Gazis and Shahids and Jihadis of Islam in history have always used their Prophet’s injunction that “war is deception”, and a common tactic for Muslims has always been to capture something of great emotional value to non-Muslims and use that not only to preserve themselves from retaliation after unprovoked acts of looting, massacre and destruction but as a means of imposing Islam or enslavement. In Jammu, terrorists dressed as police entered a residential area and opened fire indiscriminately killing civilians. They then holed themselves up in a house and took children below the age of nine and women hostages. Using women and children as pawns in violence is a very old characteristic in Islam, and dates right from the very beginning of its advent in Arabia.

Here are a few relevant quotes from the Hadiths :

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 256:
Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama: The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, “They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans).” I also heard the Prophet saying, “The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle.”

This Hadith is a very peculiar one : Hima normally in Arabic means “protected/inviolate region/territory/environment”. Mentioning this in the same context of night attacks possibly endangering women and chilldren of “infidels” can only mean one things that – women and children of “pagans” are not inviolate [ abstract use of the term Hima in other parts of the Hadiths are well established, implying that such an abstract association is allowed]
The Raid on Bani al-Mustaliq by Muhammad-December, 627CE
Bani al-Mustaliq was a branch of the Khozaa (Jewish) tribe. Two months after Muhammad returned from Dhu Qarad campaign, Allah suddenly told him that B. al-Mustaliq, under the leadership of Haritha b. Abi Dirar was mobilizing forces against him. B. al-Mustaliq were friendly to Muhammad but the rumour was spread that B. al-Mustaliq were now joining with the Quraysh to launch an attack against the Muslims. The Muslims even killed a man from B. al-Mustaliq alleging him to be a spy. On this pretext Muhammad rallied all the fighting men around him to assail the B. al- Mustaliq. B. al-Mustaliq were a prosperous Jewish clan who had immense wealth and property, and after the successful ethnic cleansing of the Jews in Medina the B. al-Mustaliq Jews took all precautionary measures to prevent such an invasion on them. They sought help from other clans as well. Muhammad gave no opportunity to this clan to embrace Islam before facing ethnic cleansing. On previous occasions, he used the rule that the infidels be given a three days reprieve to decide whether to accept Islam or face liquidation.

Sahih Muslim on this raid:
Book 019, Number 4292:
Ibn ‘Aun reported: I wrote to Nafi’ inquiring from him whether it was necessary to extend (to the disbelievers) an invitation to accept (Islam) before meeting them in fight. He wrote (in reply) to me that it was necessary in the early days of Islam. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) made a raid upon Banu Mustaliq while they were unaware and their cattle were having a drink at the water. He killed those who fought and imprisoned others. On that very day, he captured Juwairiya bint al-Harith. Nafi’ said that this tradition was related to him by Abdullah b. Umar who (himself) was among the raiding troops.
Further confirmation of this sudden pillage is referred in Sahih Bukhari: Volume 3, Book 46, Number 717: Narrated Ibn Aun: I wrote a letter to Nafi and Nafi wrote in reply to my letter that the Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet got Juwairiya on that day. Nafi said that Ibn ‘Umar had told him the above narration and that Ibn ‘Umar was in that army.
Ali b. Talib killed a few wounded B. al-Mustaliq people; among them were Malik and his son. Muhammad seized their cattle herd, took many as captives and divided them among the Jihadists. Two hundred families were taken as captives, two thousand camels and five thousand sheep and goats, as well as a huge quantity of household goods were taken as booty. Juwayriah, the young, beautiful and vivacious daughter of B. al-Mutaliq chief was one of those captives. The household goods were sold in an auction to the highest bidders. During the battle a Muslim was mortally wounded by another Muslim by accident. Muhammad allowed the Jihadists to rape the B. Mustaliq women captives. Here is a Hadith from Sahih Bukhari:Volume 5, Book 59, Number 459: Narrated Ibn Muhairiz: I entered the Mosque and saw Abu Said Al-Khudri and sat beside him and asked him about Al-Azl (i.e. coitus interruptus). Abu Said said, “We went out with Allah’s Apostle for the Ghazwa of Banu Al-Mustaliq and we received captives from among the Arab captives and we desired women and celibacy became hard on us and we loved to do coitus interruptus. So when we intended to do coitus interrupt us, we said, ‘How can we do coitus interruptus before asking Allah’s Apostle who is present among us?” We asked (him) about it and he said, ‘It is better for you not to do so, for if any soul (till the Day of Resurrection) is predestined to exist, it will exist.”
After raping his captive-girl, Said al-Khudri took this young girl to the nearest slave market for a quick sale. Here is the continuation of the above story, as told by al-Waqidi (vol.i, p.413) and excerpted by Rodinson: “A Jew said to me: ‘Abu Said, no doubt you want to sell her as she has in her belly a baby by you.’ I said: ‘No; I used the ‘azl.’ To which he replied [sarcastically]: ‘Then it was lesser child-murder!’ When I repeated this story to the Prophet he said: ‘The Jews lie. The Jews lie.’”

Raid against Umm Qirfa of B. Fazarah by Zayd b. Haritha/Abu Bakr-January, 628CE
When Zayd b. Haritha’s first raid at Wadi al-Qura failed, Zayd conducted several raids. In one of these he set out for a mercantile trip to Syria to do some border trading there. When he arrived at Wadi al-Qura, he again raided i but his caravan was waylaid and was attacked by B. Fazarah tribe. During the fighting B. Fazarah killed a number of Muslims including Ward b. Amr, one of Zayd’s dear comrade-in-arms. Zayd himself was wounded. After Zayd returned to Medina with his wound he vowed to avenge the death of his comrade by raiding B. Fazarah again. After his recovery from the injury Muhammad sent Zayd with an army against the B. Fazarah. He attacked them at Wadi al-Qura and inflicted heavy casualties on them. He took Umm Qirfa (her real name was Fatimah bt. Rabiah b. Badr), the wife of Malik b. Hudhayfah, the chief of B. Fazarah, as a prisoner. Umm Qirfa was a very old woman having a young and extremely beautiful daughter. She (Umm Qirfa) was the aunt of Uyeina and was married to her cousin, Malik, the uncle of Uyeina. Zayd took her daughter as a captive and ordered a Jihadi, Qays b. Mohsin to kill Umm Qirfa. Qays tied each of her legs with a rope and attached the ropes to two camels. Then he drove the camels in opposite directions thus renting her in two. Rodinson writes that Umm Qirfa was torn from limb to limb by four camels. Two brothers from the same family were also brutally executed. When told, Muhammad fully approved this ferocious punishment meted out to a grand old lady. When Zayd brought Umm Qirfa’s daughter to Muhammad, he allocated her to Salamah b. Amr al-Akwa, a Jihadist who captured her. She belonged to a very distinguished Arab family. Then Muhammad found that one of his maternal uncles, Hazn b. Abi Wahb was eyeing on Umm Qirfa’s beautiful daughter. So he asked her owner, Salamah b. Amr b. al-Akwa, if he would give her to his (Muhammad’s) uncle. Salamah readily agreed to Muhammad’s request. This distinguished lady was then passed on to Muhammad’s uncle for his private use.
Another version of this story says that the leader of this raid was Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafah (told by Salamah) and runs like this:
Muhammad appointed Abu Bakr as the leader of this raiding party. When Abu Bakr arrived at Wadi al-Qura, he ordered his troop to rest there; then they prayed. After prayer, Abu Bakr made a raid on B. Fazarah. The Muslims killed a number of B. Fazarah people and captured a number of their women and children. Among them was Umm Qirfa, a very old lady, wearing a worn-out piece of leather coat. With her was her young daughter, the fairest of the Arabs. Abu Bakr gave Umm Qirfa’s pretty, young and vivacious daughter to, the Jihadist, who had captured her as a booty. After Salamah b. al-Akwa returned to Medina and met Muhammad at the market place, he (Muhammad) asked Salamah to give this pretty young lass to him. Salamah told Muhammad that he liked her but had not had sex with her yet. Then he offered her to Muhammad.
Quoting Salamah, Tabari (Tabari, vol. viii, p.97) writes:
‘When I returned to Medina, the messenger of God met me in the market and said, “Salamah-how excellent the father who begot you!-give me the woman.” I said, “Messenger of God, I like her, by God, and I have not uncovered her garment.” He said nothing to me until the next day, when he met me in the market and said, “Salamah-how excellent a father begot you!-give me the woman.” I said: “Messenger of God, I have not touched her garment. She is yours, Messenger of God.” The Messenger of God sent her to Mecca, and with her he ransomed some Muslim captives who were in the hands of the polytheists.’
There is a similar Hadith from Sahih Muslim (Refer to: Sahih Muslim: Book 19, Hadith number 4345)

When Muhammad entered Mecca he granted a general amnesty to the Meccans except for eight people (or ten people, according to Ibn Sa’d). He ordered that those were to be killed even if they were found under the curtains of Kaba. Previously shedding of blood in the holy precinct was strictly forbidden by the polytheists. Muhammad proclaimed that Allah had permitted only him to cause bloodshed in the holy sanctuary, just for a few hours. Here is a Sahi Hadith from Sahhi Bukhari Volume 3, Book 34, Number 303:Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: Allah’s Apostle said, “Allah made Mecca a sanctuary and it was neither permitted for anyone before, nor will it be permitted for anyone after me (to fight in it). And fighting in it was made legal for me for a few hours of a day only. None is allowed to uproot its thorny shrubs or to cut down its trees or to chase its game or to pick up its Luqata (fallen things) except by a person who would announce it publicly.” ‘Abbas bin ‘Abdul-Muttlib requested the Prophet, “Except Al-Idhkhir, for our goldsmiths and for the roofs of our houses.” The Prophet said, “Except Al-Idhkhir.” ‘Ikrima said, “Do you know what is meant by chasing its game? It is to drive it out of the shade and sit in its place.” Khalid said, “(‘Abbas said: Al-Idhkhir) for our goldsmiths and our graves.”
Sunaan Abu Dawud: Book 14, Number 2678: Narrated Sa’id ibn Yarbu’ al-Makhzumi: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: on the day of the conquest of Mecca: There are four persons whom I shall not give protection in the sacred and non-sacred territory. He then named them. There were two singing girls of al-Maqis; one of them was killed and the other escaped and embraced Islam. Sarah was the freed slave-girl of one of the sons of Abd al Muttalib. Muhammad claimed that she used to molest him while he was in Mecca. It is reported that Muhammad eventually forgave Sarah. Hind bt. Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan b. Harb. She chewed the liver of slain Hamzah at Badr II. She accepted Islam and Muhammad pardoned her. Later, Umar killed Sarah by causing his horse to trample her at al-Abtah. Another source lists that on the day of occupation of Mecca, Muhammad commanded that six men and four women be killed. The women were: 1. Hind bt. Utbah b. Rabiah, 2. Sarah, the freed slave girl of Amr b. Hashim b. Abd al-Muttalib; she was killed (waqidi) on the day of invasion. 3. Quraybah; killed on the day of invasion, 4. Fartana escaped death and lived until the Caliphate of Uthman.

Sahih Muslim: Book 019, Number 4321: It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.
Surprise Raid on B. Khatham at Talabah by Qutbah ibn Amir ibn Hadidah-August, 630CE
During this period Muhammad sent Qutbah ibn Amir at the head of twenty men to conduct a surprise raid on B. Khatamah, inhabiting Tabalah near Turbah, and no reason is given in any of the Hadiths. The Muslims killed a man who pretended to be dumb. Then they attacked the infidels while they were asleep. The Muslims slaughtered whomever they could and took a great number of camels, goats and women as booty.

Whatever be the claim of modern spokespersons of Islam as regards treatment of women and children of non-Muslims, we have to understand that core traditions of Islam use them as potential property – either as slaves, as future soldiers of Islam or for sex and reproductive resource, and their safety is not of paramount importance in Islamic warfare.

The non-Muslims should carefully read the principal Hadiths, and the biographies of the Prophet of Islam, either in the original unabridged form or translations made by western authors prior to the emergence of Communist power.

The only way this sort of Jihadist violence on unarmed and non-combatant civilians of non-Muslims and on their women and children can be stopped is to ensure that each such raid aimed at reducing the number of non-Muslims and increasing the number of Muslims results in an actual reduction of believers in Islam – not a physical liquidation a-la-Islam but creations of conditions where “muslims with a good heart” feel ashamed of remaining Muslims and come out of Islam. On the other hand if Muslims really believe in “peace” they should make such declarations in public that they will come out of Islam if any non-Muslim is killed in such violence – this perhaps could be the only starting point for restoration of trust between Muslims and non-Muslims. In reality the Islamic terrorists in Jammu have done a great favour to the struggling Hindus and non-Muslims of the state of Kashmir – it will only make their resolve harder, getting a reminder of what living under Islam means, and will go a long way towards the eventual cleaning of the subcontinent of the creed of Islam. It will be worthwhile for the non-Muslims to also consider the possibility that “deception is war and war is deception in Islam” – and such attacks simply could be part of a general strategy to draw security forces away from areas of infiltration just as the Pakistani army consistently shoots repairing team of Indians of the control fences at the LOC, and try to push in militants under cover of heavy shelling or firing.

related previous post on Kashmir

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India – 8 – cultural destruction of non-Muslims

Posted on August 26, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Islam, Muslims, Politics, religion |

Continued from part 7:

(46) Tarikh-i-Khan Jahan Lodi: The author, Niamatullah, was a historian in the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (CE 1605-1628). His Tarikh is practically the same as his Makhzan-i-Afghani except for the memoirs of Khan Jahan Lodi which have been added. Khan Jahan Lodi was one of the most illustrious generals of Jahangiri. The history begins with Adam and comes down to CE 1612 when it was completed. Niamatullah refers to Hindus as “the most notorious vagabonds and rebels.”
Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“After a long time, in AH 400, Allah… conferred the honour of sultanate on Sultan Mahmud Ghazi, son of Subuktigin… Nine men from among the Afghan chiefs… took to his court and joined his servants… The Sultan… gave to each one of them enamelled daggers and swords, horses of good breed and robes of special quality and, taking them with him, he set out with the intention of conquering Hindustan and Somnat…Rai Daishalim whom some historians have pronounced as Dabshalim or Dabshalam was the great ruler of that country. The Sultan inflicted a smashing defeat on that Raja, demolished and desecrated the idol temples there, and devastated that land of the infidels…”
Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517)
Dholpur (Madhya Pradesh) “
…Sikandar himself marched on Friday, the 6th Ramzan AH 906 (CE March, 1501), upon Dhulpur; but Raja Manikdeo, placing a garrison in the fort, retreated to Gwalior. This detachment however, being unable to defend it, and abandoning the fort by night, it fell into the hands of the Muhammadan army. Sikandar on entering the fort,…The whole army was employed in plundering and the groves which spread shade for seven kos [about 14 miles] around Bayana were tom up from the roots…
Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh) “In Ramzan of the year 910 (CE 1504), ….he raised the standard of war for the reduction of the fort of Mandrail; but the garrison capitulating, and delivering up the citadel, the Sultan ordered the temples and idols to be demolished, and mosques to be constructed. After leaving Mian Makan and Mujahid Khan to protect the fort, he himself moved out on a plundering expedition into the surrounding country, where he butchered many people, took many prisoners, and devoted to utter destruction all the groves and habitations; and after gratifying and honouring himself by this exhibition of holy zeal he returned to his capital Bayana.”
Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh) “In 912,… the Sultan went towards the fort of Awantgar… On the 23rd of the month, the Sultan invested the fort, and ordered the whole army to put forth their best energies to capture it…the gate was forced open by Malik Alau-d din… The Rajputs, retiring within their own houses, continued the contest, and slew their families after the custom of jauhar… the Sultan gave over charge of the fort to Makan and Mujahid Khan, with directions that they should destroy the idol temples, and raise mosques in their places…”
Narwar (Madhya Pradesh) “…The Sultan set out for conquering the fort of Narwar. Those inside the fort asked for refuge when they became helpless because of the dearness of grains and scarcity of water; they sought security of their lives and left the fort together with their goods. The Sultan took over the fort, demolished the temples and idol-houses in it and built mosques”
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “The Islamic sentiment (in him) was so strong that he demolished all temples in his kingdom and left no trace of them. He constructed sarais, bazars, madrasas and mosques in Mathura which is a holy place of the Hindus and where they go for bathing. He appointed government officials in order to see that no Hindu could bathe in Mathra. No barber was permitted to shave the head of any Hindu with his razor. That is how he completely curtailed the public celebration of infidel customs…”
Thanesar (Haryana) “Sultan Sikandar was yet a young boy when he heard about a tank in Thanesar which the Hindus regarded as sacred and went for bathing in it. He asked the theologians about the prescription of the Shariah on this subject. They replied that it was permitted to demolish the ancient temples and idol-houses of the infidels, but it was not proper for him to stop them from going to an ancient tank. Hearing this reply, the prince drew out his sword and thought of beheading the theologian concerned, saying that he (the theologian) was siding with the infidels…
Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (CE 1517-1526)
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
“…When the thought occurred to Sultan Ibrahim, he sent azam Humayun on this expedition… The Afghan army captured from the infidels the statue of a bull which was made of metals such as copper and brass, which was outside the gate of the fort and which the Hindus used to worship. They brought it to the Sultan. The Sultan was highly pleased and ordered that it should be taken to Delhi and placed outside the ‘Red Gate’ which was known as the Baghdad Gate in those days. The statue was so fixed in front of the ‘Red Gate’ till the time of the Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, who ordered in AH 999 that it be melted down and used for making cannon as well as some other equipment, which are still there in the government armoury. The author of this history… has seen it in both shapes.”
Sultan Sulaiman Karrani of Bengal (CE 1563-1576)
Puri (Orissa) “
Sulaiman Karrani…made up his mind to demolish all the temples and idol-houses of the infidels. As the biggest temple of the Hindus was in Orissa and known as Jagannath, he decided to destroy it and set out in that direction with a well-equipped force. Reaching there, he demolished the idol-house and laid it waste. There was an idol in it known as that of Kishan… Sulaiman ordered that it be broken into pieces and thrown into the drain. In like manner, he took out seven hundred golden idols from idol-temples in the neighbouring areas… and broke them.…When the armies of Islam entered that city, the women of the Brahmans, dressed in costly robes, wearing necklaces, covering their heads with colourful scarves and beautifying themselves in every way, took shelter at the back of the temple of Jagannath. They were told again and again that a Muslim army that had entered the city would capture and take them away, and that those people would desecrate the temple after laying it waste. But the women did not believe it at all. They kept on saying. ‘How could it happen? How could the soldiers of the Muslim army cause any injury to the idols? When the army of Islam arrived near the temple, it made prisoners of those Hindu women. That is what surprised them most…
The History of the Afghans in India CE 1545-1631 by M.A. Rahim (Karachi, 1961) quotes Makhzan-i-Afghana while describing the exploits of Sulaiman Karrani’s general, Kalapahar, in CE 1568. It says: “Every Afghan, who took part in the campaign, obtained as booty one or two gold images. Kala Pahar destroyed the temple of Jagannath in Puri which contained 700 idols made of gold, the biggest of which weighed 30 mans.

(47) Mirat-i-Sikandari: The author, Sikandar bin Muhammad Manjhu bin Akbar, was in the employ of Aziz Koka, the Mughal governor of Gujarat, and fought against Sultan Muzaffar Shah III, the last independent sultan of Gujarat, who was dethroned in CE 1591. He finished his history in 1611 or 1613 relating the history of Gujarat from Muzaffar Shah I to Muzaffar Shah III.
Sultan Muzaffar Shah I of Gujarat (CE 1392-1410)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“On his return (from idar) the Khan made up his mind to destroy Somnat, that is, the temple of Patandev…In AH 799 (CE 1394-95) he invaded Jahdand (JunagaDh)which was in the Kindgdom of Rai Bhara and slaughtered the infidels there. From there he proceeded towards Somnat, and destroyed the famous temple. He embellished that city with the laws of Islam.”
Sultan Ahmad Shah I of Gujarat (CE 1411-1443)
Sidhpur (Gujarat)

“Thereafter in AH 823 (CE 1420-21) he proceeded to different parts of his Kingdom for establishing order and good government… He got temples demolished and palaces and mosques constructed in their stead…”
Sultan Mahmud BegDha of Gujarat (CE 1458-1511)
Dwarka (Gujarat)
“On 17 Zilhijja he started towards Jagat and reduced that place after marching continuously. The infidels of Jagat ran away to the island of Sankhu. The Sultan destroyed Jagat and got its palaces dismantled. He got the idols broken…”
Sankhodhar (Gujarat) “…When the Sultan saw that the infidels had gone to that island, he ordered boats from the ports and proceeded to the island with his well-armed soldiers… The infidels did not stint in fighting with swords and guns. In the end the army of Islam achieved victory. A majority of the infidels were slaughtered. The Musalmans started giving calls to prayers after mounting on top of the temples. They started destroying the temples and desecrating the idols. The Sultan offered namaz out of gratefulness of Allah… He got a Jami Masjid raised in that place…”
Sultan Muzaffar Shah II of Gujarat (CE 1511-1526)
Idar (Gujarat) “
…The Raja of idar ran away to the mountains and on the fourth day the Sultan started from Morasa and halted near idar. He ordered that the houses and temples of idar should be destroyed in such a way that no trace of them should remain.”
Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat (CE 1526-1537)
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)
“Afterwards he went towards Bhilsa which country had been conquered for Islam by Sultan Shamsud-din (Altamsh), King of Delhi. Since eighteen years the estate of Bhilsa had been subject to Silahdi, and the laws of Islam had been changed there for the customs of infidelity. When the Sultan reached the above place, he abrogated the ordinances of infidelity and introduced the laws of Islam, and slew the idolaters and threw down their temples…”[this is an indication that many time the Hindus recovered their territories once the Islamic looters passed on]

(46) Intikhab-i-Jahangir Shabi; The name of the author is not known but he was apparently a contemporary and a companion of Jahangir. The Tabqat-i-Shah-Jahani mentions a work written by Sheikh Abdul Wahab and named Akhlaq-i-Jahangiri. This work may be the same as the Intikhab. The Shykh died in 1622-23.
Nurud-Din Muhammad Jahangir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1605-1628)
Ahmadabad (Gujarat
) “One day at Ahmadabad it was reported that many of the infidel and superstitious sect of the Seoras (Jains) of Gujarat had made several very great and splendid temples, and having placed in them their false gods, had managed to secure a large degree of respect for themselves and that the women who went for worship in those temples were polluted by them and other people… The Emperor Jahangir ordered them banished from the country, and their temples to be, demolished. Their idol was thrown down on the uppermost step of the mosque, that it might be trodden upon by those who came to say their daily prayers there. By this order of the Emperor, the infidels were exceedingly disgraced, and Islam exalted”

(47) TazkiratuI-Muluk is a history of Bijapur written in CE 1608-09 by Rafiud-Din Ibrahim Shirazi, an Iranian adventurer and diplomat.
Sultan Ali I adilshah of Bijapur (CE 1557-1580)
Karnataka “
While campaigning in Karnataka following the fall of Vijayanagar Ali I’s armies destroyed two or three hundred Hindu temples, and the monarch himself was said to have smashed four or five thousand Hindu images…”

(48) Tarikh-i-Kashmir : The author, Haidar Malik Chadurah, was a Kashmiri nobleman in the service of Sultan Yusuf Shah (CE 1579-1586). He gives the history of Kashmir from the earliest times. The pre-Islamic period is based on Rajatarangini. It was begun in CE 1618 and finished sometime after 1620-21.
Sultan Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (CE 1389-1413)
Kashmir
“During the reign of Sultan Sikandar, Mir Sayyid Muhammad, son of Mir Sayyid Hamadani… came here, and removed the rust of ignorance and infidelity and the evils, by his preaching and guidance… He wrote an epistle for Sultan Sikandar on tasawwuf… Sultan Sikandar became his follower. He prohibited all types of frugal games. Nobody dared commit acts which were prohibited by the Shariat… The Sultan was constantly busy in annihilating the infidels and destroyed most of the temples…
Malik Musa of Kashmir was a powerful minister in the reign of Sultan Fath Shah (CE 1489-1516), but Tarikh-i-Kashmir presents him as the monarch. It says:
“Malik Musa ascended the throne in AH 907 (CE 1501). During his reign, he devoted himself to the obliteration of the infidels and busied himself with the spread of the religion of the prophet. He made desolate most of the temples where the infidels had practised idolatry. Wherever there was a temple, he destroyed it and built a mosque in its place… None of the Sultans of Kashmir after Sultan Sikandar… ever made such an effort for the spread of the Islamic faith as did Malik Musa Chadurah, and for this auspicious reason he received the title of the ‘Idol Breaker’.

(49) Mirat-i-Masudi is a biography of Sayyid Salar Masud Ghazi whose tomb at Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh) occupies the site of a Sun Temple. It was written by Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Chishti in the reign of Jahangir (1605-1628). He drew his main material from Tawarikh-i-Mahmudi by Mulla Muhammad Ghaznavi, a contemporary of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030). Salar Masud, according to this account, was the son of Sitr Mualla’, a sister of Sultan Mahmud, married to his general, Salar Sahu. Salar Masud was born when the couple was staying in Ajmer. He is famous among the Muslims as Ghazi Miyan, Bala Miyan (revered boy) and Hathila Pir (the obstinate saint). There are many stories current regarding how he led or sent many expeditions against the Hindu Kafirs in all direction from his headquarters at Satrakh in the Barabanki District of Uttar Pradesh. He is supposed to have defeated many Rajas, plundered many towns, and destroyed many temples, particularly in Awadh. Many tombs all over Awadh and neighbouring areas are reputed to be the graves of his Ghazis (veterans) who became Shahids (martys) in a prolonged Jihad (holy war) directed by him. He was finally caught and killed near Bahraich by a league of Hindu Rajas.
Saiyyid Salar Masud Ghazi (CE 1013-1033)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“It happened that Mahmud had long been planning an expedition into Bhardana, and Gujarat, to destroy the idol temple of Somnat, a place of great sanctity to all Hindus. So as soon as he had returned to Ghazni from his Khurasan business, he issued a farman to the General of the army, ordering him to leave a confidential officer in charge of the fort of Kabuliz, and himself to join the court with his son Salar Masud…the Sultan shortly after reached Ghazni, and laid down the image of Somnat at the threshold of the Mosque of Ghazni, so that the Musulmans might tread upon the breast of the idol on their way to and from their devotions. As soon as the unbelievers heard of this, they sent an embassy to Khwaja Hasan Maimandi, stating that the idol was of stone and useless to the Musulmans, and offered to give twice its weight in gold as a ransom, if it might be returned to them. Khwaja Hasan Maimandi represented to the Sultan that the unbelievers had offered twice the weight of the idol in gold, and had agreed to be subject to him. He added, that the best policy would be to take the gold and restore the image, thereby attaching the people to his Government. The Sultan yielded to the advice of the Khwaja, and the unbelievers paid the gold into the treasury. One day, when the Sultan was seated on his throne, the ambassadors of the unbelievers came, and humbly petitioned thus: ‘Oh, Lord of the world! we have paid the gold to your Government in ransom, but have not yet received our purchase, the idol Somnat.’ The Sultan was wroth at their words, and, falling into reflection, broke up the assembly and retired, with his dear Salar Masud, into his private apartments. He then asked his opinion as to whether the image ought to be restored, or not? Salar Masud, who was perfect in goodness, said quickly, ‘In the day of the resurrection, when the Almighty shall call for azar, the idol-destroyer, and Mahmud, the idol-seller, Sire! what will you say?’ This speech deeply affected the Sultan, he was full of grief, and answered, ‘I have given my word; it will be a breach of promise.’ Salar Masud begged him to make over the idol to him, and tell the unbelievers to get it from him. The Sultan agreed; and Salar Masud took it to his house, and, breaking off its nose and ears, ground them to powder. When Khwaja Hasan introduced the unbelievers, and asked the Sultan to give orders to restore the image to them, his majesty replied that Salar Masud had carried it off to his house, and that he might send them to get it from him. Khwaja Hasan, bowing his head, repeated these words in Arabic, ‘No easy matter is it to recover anything which has fallen into the hands of a lion.’ He then told the unbelievers that the idol was with Salar Masud, and that they were at liberty to go and fetch it. So they went to Masud’s door and demanded their god. That prince commanded Malik Nekbakht to treat them courteously, and make them be seated; then to mix the dust of the nose and ears of the idol with sandal and the lime eaten with betel-nut, and present it to them. The unbelievers were delighted, and smeared themselves with sandal, and ate the betel-leaf. After a while they asked for the idol, when Salar Masud said he had given it to them. They inquired, with astonishment, what he meant by saying that they had received the idol? And Malik Nekbakht explained that it was mixed with the sandal and betel-lime. Some began to vomit, while others went weeping and lamenting to Khwaja Hasan Maimandi and told him what had occurred…Afterwards the image of Somnat was divided into four parts, as is described in the Tawarikh-i-Mahmudi. Mahmud’s first exploit is said to have been conquering the Hindu rebels, destroying the forts and the idol temples of the Rai Ajipal (Jaipal), and subduing the country of India. His second, the expedition into Harradawa and Guzerat, the carrying off the idol of Somnat, and dividing it into four pieces, one of which he is reported to have placed on the threshold of the Imperial Palace, while he sent two others to Mecca and Medina respectively. Both these exploits were performed at the suggestion, and by the advice, of the General and Salar Masud; but India was conquered by the efforts of Salar Masud alone, and the idol of Somnat was broken in pieces by his sold advice, as has been related. Salar Sahu was Sultan of the army and General of the forces in Iran.
Awadh (Uttar Pradesh) “…Masud hunted through the country around Bahraich, and whenever he passed by the idol temple of Suraj-kund, he was wont to say that he wanted that piece of ground for a dwelling-place. This Suraj-kund was a sacred shrine of all the unbelievers of India. They had carved an image of the sun in stone on the banks of the tank there. This image they called Balarukh, and through its fame Bahraich had attained its flourishing condition. When there was an eclipse of the sun, the unbelievers would come from east and west to worship it, and every Sunday the heathen of Bahraich and its environs, male and female, used to assemble in thousands to rub their heads under that stone, and do it reverence as an object of peculiar sanctity. Masud was distressed at this idolatry, and often said that, with God’s will and assistance, he would destroy that mine of unbelief, and set up a chamber for the worship of the Nourisher of the Universe in its place, rooting out unbelief from those parts…Meanwhile, the Rai Sahar Deo and Har Deo, with several other chiefs, who had kept their troops in reserve, seeing that the army of Islam was reduced to nothing, unitedly attacked the body-guard of the Prince. The few forces that remained to that loved one of the Lord of the Universe were ranged round him in the garden. The unbelievers, surrounding them in dense numbers, showered arrows upon them. It was then, on Sunday, the 14th of the month Rajab, in the aforesaid year 424 (14th June, 1033) as the time of evening prayer came on, that a chance arrow pierced the main artery in the arm of the Prince of the Faithful”[Here obviously the Islamic tactics have been used back upon them – deception, ambush with reserve]

(50) Badshah-Nama: The author, Abdul Hamid Lahori, was commissioned by Shah Jahan himself to compile this history which is a voluminous work covering the first twenty years of Shah Jahan’s reign. Lahori died in 1654.
Nurud-Din Muhammad Jahangir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1605-1628)
“Perhaps these instances [Mewar, Kangra, and Ajmer] made a contemporary poet of his court sing his praises as the great Muslim emperor who converted temples into mosques.”
Shihabud-Din Muhammad Shah Jahan Padshah Ghazi (CE 1628-1658)
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
“It had been brought to the notice of His Majesty that during the late reign many idol temples had been begun, but remained unfinished at Benares, the great stronghold of infidelity. The infidels were now desirous of completing them. His Majesty, the defender of the faith, gave orders that at Benares, and throughout all his dominions in every place, all temples that had been begun should be cast down. It was now reported from the province of Allahabad that seventy-six temples had been destroyed in the district of Benares.[This is the same Shah Jahan who is to be representd in the Thaparite text books as only a doting father, loving husband, and grief stricken Taj-Mahal builder]
Orchha (Madhya Pradesh) “At the Bundela capital the Islam-cherishing Emperor demolished the lofty and massive temple of Bir Singh Dev near his palace, and erected a mosque on its site.”
Kashmir “Some temples in Kashmir were also sacrificed to the religious fury of the emperor. The Hindu temple at Ichchhabal was destroyed and converted into a mosque.”

(51) Shahjahan-Nama was written by Inayat Khan also known as Muhammad Tahir ashna. It comes down to AH 1068 (CE 1657-58), the year when Aurangzeb seized power and imprisoned Shah Jahan in the fort of Agra.
Shihabud-Din Muhammad Shah Jahan Padshah Ghazi (CE 1628-1658)
Orchha (Madhya Pradesh)
“When the environs of Orchha became the site of the royal standards, an ordinance was issued authorising the demolition of the idol temple, which Bir Singh Deo had erected at a great expense by the side of his private palace, and also the idols contained in it…”

(52) Mirat-i-alam: The author, Bakhtawar Khan, was an aristocrat of Aurangzeb’s court. He died in CE 1684. The history ascribed to him was really compiled by Muhammad Baqa of Saharanpur who gave the name of his friend as its author. Baqa was a prolific writer who was invited by Bakhtawar Khan to Aurangzeb’s court and given a respectable rank. He died in CE 1683.

Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
“Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshipping places of the infidels and great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. His Majesty personally teaches the sacred kalima to many infidels with success… All the mosques in the empire are repaired at public expense. Imama, criers to the daily prayers, and readers of the khutba, have been appointed to each of them, so that a large sum of money has been and is still laid out in these disbursements…”[Thus public taxation from the Hindu majority also went towards the upkeep of Islamic shrines and maintenance of its theorlogians]

(53) Alamgir-Nama was written in CE 1688 by Mirza Muhammad Kazim, and contains a history of the first ten years of Aurangzeb’s reign.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Palamau (Bihar)
“In 1661 Aurangzeb in his zeal to uphold the law of Islam sent orders to his Viceroy of Bihar, Daud Khan, to conquer Palamau. In the military operations that followed many temples were destroyed…”
Koch Bihar (Bengal) “Towards the end of the same year when Mir Jumla made a war on the Raja of Kuch Bihar, the Mughals destroyed many temples during the course of, their operations. Idols were broken and some temples were converted into mosques.”

(54) Masir-i-alamgiri: The author, Saqa Mustad Khan, completed this history in CE 1710 at the behest of Inayatullah Khan Kashmiri, Aurangzeb’s last secretary and favourite disciple in state policy and religion. The material used in this history of Aurangzeb’s reign came mostly from the State archives which were thrown open to him.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
“The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multan, and especially at Benares, the Brahman misbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools, and that admirers and students both Hindu and Muslim, used to come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire this vile learning. His Majesty, eager to establish Islam, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these misbelievers.
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) “It was reported that, according to the Emperor’s command, his officers had demolished the temple of Viswanath at Kashi.”
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “…During this month of Ramzan…the Emperor as the promoter of justice and overthrower of mischief, as a knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet, issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated in Mathura, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rai. In a short time by the great exertions of his officers the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum…On seeing this instance of the strength of the Emperor’s faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled and in amazement they stood like images facing the wall. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels which had been set up in the temple were brought to Agra, and buried under the steps of the mosque of the Begam Sahib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad.”
Khandela (Rajasthan) “…Darab Khan who had been sent with a strong force to punish the Rajputs of Khandela and to demolish the great temple of the place, attacked the place on the 8th March/5th Safar, and slew the three hundred and odd men who made a bold defence, not one of them escaping alive. The temples of Khandela and Sanula and all other temples in the neighbourhood were demolished…”
Jodhpur (Rajasthan) “On Sunday, the 25th May/24th Rabi. S., Khan Jahan Bahadur came from Jodhpur, after demolishing the temples and bringing with himself some cart-loads of idols, and had audience of the Emperor, who highly praised him and ordered that the idols, which were mostly jewelled, golden, silvery, bronze, copper or stone, should be cast in the yard (jilaukhanah) of the Court and under the steps of the Jama mosque, to be trodden on. They remained so for some time and at last their very names were lost”
Udaipur (Rajasthan) “…Ruhullah Khan and Ekkataz Khan went to demolish the great temple in front of the Rana’s palace, which was one of the rarest buildings of the age and the chief cause of the destruction of life and property of the despised worshippers twenty machator Rajputs who were sitting in the temple vowed to give up their lives; first one of them came out to fight, killed some and was then himself slain, then came out another and so on, until every one of the twenty perished, after killing a large number of the imperialists including the trusted slave, Ikhlas. The temple was found empty. The hewers broke the images.On Saturday, the 24th January, 1680/2nd Muharram, the Emperor went to view lake Udaisagar, constructed by the Rana, and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be demolished…On the 29th January/7th Muharram, Hasan Ali Khan brought to the Emperor twenty camel-loads of tents and other things captured from the Rana’s palace and reported that one hundred and seventy-two other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been destroyed. The Khan received the title of Bahadur Alamgirshahi”
Amber (Rajasthan) “Abu Turab, who had been sent to demolish the temples of Amber, returned to Court on Tuesday, the 10th August/24th Rajab, and reported that he had pulled down sixty-six temples…”
Bijapur (Karnataka) “…Hamiduddin Khan Bahadur who had gone to demolish a temple and build a mosque (in its place) in Bijapur, having excellently carried out his orders, came to Court and gained praise and the post of darogha of gusalkhanah, which brought him near the Emperor’s person…”
“…Through the auspices of his hearty endeavour, the Hanafi creed (an Orthodox Sunni branch) has gained such strength and currency in the great country of Hindustan as was never seen in the times of any of the preceding sovereigns. By one stroke of the pen, the Hindu clerks (writers) were dismissed from the public employment. Large numbers of the places of worship of the infidels and great temples of these wicked people have been thrown down and desolated…Arid on the sites of the temples lofty mosques have been built…”

(55) Akhbarat : reports from different provinces compiled in the reign of Aurangzeb.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)
“The Emperor learning that in the temple of Keshav Rai at Mathura there was a stone railing presented by Dara Shukoh, remarked, ‘In the Muslim faith it is a sin even to look at a temple, and this Dara had restored a railing in a temple. This fact is not creditable to the Muhammadans. Remove the railing. By his order Abdun Nabi Khan (the faujdar of Mathura) removed it.”
Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) “News came from Malwa that Wazir Khan had sent Gada Beg, a slave, with 400 troopers, to destroy all temples around Ujjain… A Rawat of the place resisted and slew Gada Beg with 121 of his men.”
Aurangabad (Maharashtra) “The Emperor learnt from a secret news writer of Delhi that in Jaisinghpura Bairagis used to worship idols, and that the Censor on hearing of it had gone there, arrested Sri Krishna Bairagi and taken him with 15 idols away to his house; then the Rajputs had assembled flocked to the Censor’s house, wounded three footmen of the Censor and tried to seize the Censor himself; so that the latter set the Bairagi free and sent the copper idols to the local subahdar.”
Pandharpur (Maharashatra) The Emperor, summoning Muhammad Khalil and Khidmat Rai, the darogha of hatchet-men… ordered them to demolish the temple of Pandharpur, and to take the butchers of the camp there and slaughter cows in the temple… It was done.”
enroute Deccan “When the war with the Rajputs was over, Aurangzeb decided to leave for the Deccan. His march seems to have been marked with the destruction to many temples on the way. On 21 May, 1681, the superintendent of the labourers was ordered to destroy all the temples on the route.”
Lakheri “On 27 September, 1681, the emperor issued orders for the destruction of the temples at Lakheri.”
Rasulpur “About this time, on 14 April, 1692, orders were issued to the provincial governor and the district fojdar to demolish the temples at Rasulpur.”
Sheogaon “Sankar, a messenger, was sent to demolish a temple near Sheogaon. He came back after pulling it down on 20 November, 1693.”[Shankar sounds a Hindu name,a s Muslims are known to meticulously avoid Sanskrot words and names of Hindu gods – one of the continuing small class of Hindu collaborators perhaps]
Ajmer (Rajasthan) “Bijai Singh and several other Hindus were reported to be carrying on public worship of idols in a temple in the neighbourhood of Ajmer. On 23 June, 1694, the governor of Ajmer was ordered to destroy the temple and stop the public adoration of idol worship there.”
Wakenkhera “The temple of Wakenkhera in the fort was demolished on 2 March, 1705.”
Bhagwant Garh (Rajasthan) “The newswriter of Ranthambore reported the destruction of a temple in Parganah Bhagwant Garh. Gaj Singh Gor had repaired the temple and made some additions thereto.”
Malpura (Rajasthan) “Royal orders for the destruction of temples in Malpura Toda were received and the officers were assigned for this work.”

(56) Fathiyya-i-Ibriyya is a diary of Mir Jumla’s campaigns in Kuch Bihar and Assam. “By looting,” writes Jadunath Sarkar, “the temples of the South and hunting out buried treasures, Mir Jumla amassed a vast fortune. The huge Hindu idols of copper were brought away in large numbers to be melted and cast into cannon.”
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Koch Bihar (Bengal)
“Mir Jumla made his way into Kuch Bihar by an obscure and neglected highway… In six days the Mughal army reached the capital (19th December) which had been deserted by the Rajah and his people in terror. The name of the town was changed to Alamgirnagar; the Muslim call to prayer, so long forbidden in the city, was chanted from the lofty roof of the palace, and a mosque was built by demolishing the principal temple…”

(57) Kalimat-i-Tayyibat is a collection of letters and orders of Aurangzeb compiled by Inayatullah in CE 1719 and covers the years 1699-1704 of Aurangzeb’s reign.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“The temple of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship (there) put down. It is not known what the state of things there is at present. If the idolaters have again taken to the worship of images at the place, then destroy the temple in such a way that no trace of the building may be left, and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place.”
Satara (Maharashtra) “The village of Sattara near Aurangabad was my hunting ground. Here on the top of a hill, stood a temple with an image of Khande Rai. By God’s grace I demolished it, and forbade the temple dancers (muralis) to ply their shameful profession…”
“The demolition of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place.”[an observation that the Emperor missed was that long after he was gone similar logic could be applied to the mosques he had built on destroyed Hindu temples]
Sirhind (Punjab) “In a small village in the sarkar of Sirhind, a Sikh temple was demolished and converted into a mosque. An imam was appointed who was subsequently killed.”[apparently Sikhs began to give back to Islam in measure equal to that they received]

(58) Ganj-i-Arshadi is a contemporary account of the destruction of Hindu temples at Varanasi in the reign of Aurangzeb:
Mubiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
“The infidels demolished a mosque that was under construction and wounded the artisans. When the news reached Shah Yasin, he came to Banaras from Mandyawa and collecting the Muslim weavers, demolished the big temple. A Sayyid who was an artisan by profession agreed with one Abdul Rasul to build a mosque at Banaras and accordingly the foundation was laid. Near the place there was a temple and many houses belonging to it were in the occupation of the Rajputs. The infidels decided that the construction of a mosque in the locality was not proper and that it should be razed to the ground. At night the walls of the mosque were found demolished. Next day the wall was rebuilt but it was again destroyed. This happened three or four times. At last the Sayyid hid himself in a corner. With the advent of night the infidels came to achieve their nefarious purpose. When Abdul Rasul gave the alarm, the infidels began to fight and the Sayyid was wounded by Rajputs. In the meantime, the Musalman resident of the neighbourhood arrived at the spot and the infidels took to their heels. The wounded Muslims were taken to Shah Yasin who determined to vindicate the cause of Islam. When he came to the mosque, people collected from the neighbourhood. The civil officers were outwardly inclined to side with the saint, but in reality they were afraid of the royal displeasure on account of the Raja, who was a courtier of the Emperor and had built the temple (near which the mosque was under construction). Shah Yasin, however, took up the sword and started for Jihad. The civil officers sent him a message that such a grave step should not be taken without the Emperor’s permission. Shah Yasin, paying no heed, sallied forth till he reached Bazar Chau Khamba through a fusillade of stones… The, doors (of temples) were forced open and the idols thrown down. The weavers and other Musalmans demolished about 500 temples. They desired to destroy the temple of Beni Madho, but as lanes were barricaded, they desisted from going further.”

(59) Kalimat-i-Aurangzeb is another compilation of letters and orders by Inayatullah covering the years 1703-06 of Aurangzeb’s reign.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Maharashtra
“The houses of this country (Maharashtra) are exceedingly strong and built solely of stone and iron. The hatchet-men of the Government in the course of my marching do not get sufficient strength and power (i.e., time) to destroy and raze the temples of the infidels that meet the eye on the way. You should appoint an orthodox inspector (darogha) who may afterwards destroy them at leisure and dig up their foundations.”

(60) Muraqat-i-AbuI Hasan is a collection of records and documents compiled by Maulana Abul Hasan, one of Aurangzeb’s officers in Bengal and Orissa during CE 1655-67.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Bengal and Orissa
“Order issued on all faujdars of thanas, civil officers (mutasaddis), agents of jagirdars, kroris, and amlas from Katak to Medinipur on the frontier of Orissa:- The imperial paymaster Asad Khan has sent a letter written by order of the Emperor, to say, that the Emperor learning from the newsletters of the province of Orissa that at the village of Tilkuti in Medinipur a temple has been (newly) built, has issued his august mandate for its destruction, and the destruction of all temples built anywhere in this province by the worthless infidels. Therefore, you are commanded with extreme urgency that immediately on the receipt of this letter you should destroy the above-mentioned temples. Every idol-house built during the last 10 or 12 years, whether with brick or clay, should be demolished without delay. Also, do not allow the crushed Hindus and despicable infidels to repair their old temples. Reports of the destruction of temples should be sent to the Court under the seal of the qazis and attested by pious Shaikhs.”[Aurangzeb is supposed to be a strict Muslim, and not even in the favourite Mughal habit of taking opium. Also the letter is bing sent to an officer, and not meant for private fantasy. The Thaparite school would have a very hard time to suppress or discredit this important clue as to how ancient Hindu temples were “naturally” ruined]

(61) Futuhat-i-alamgiri : The author, Ishwardas Nagar, was a Brahman from Gujarat, born around CE 1654. Till the age of thirty he is in the service of the Chief Qazi of the empire under Aurangzeb. Later on, he took up a post under Shujat Khan, the governor of Gujarat, who appointed him amin in the pargana of Jodhpur. His history covers almost half a century of Aurangzeb’s reign, from 1657 to 1700.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 16M-1707)
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “
When the imperial army was encamping at Mathura, a holy city of the Hindus, the state of affairs with regard to temples of Mathura was brought to the notice of His Majesty. Thus, he ordered the faujdar of the city, Abdul Nabi Khan, to raze to the ground every temple and to construct big mosques (over their demolished sites).”
Udaipur (Rajasthan) “The Emperor, within a short time, reached Udaipur and destroyed the gate of Dehbari, the palaces of Rana and the temples of Udaipur. Apart from it, the trees of his gardens were also destroyed.”[Brahmins in the employ of Muslims usually do not speak of Islamic violence on Hindus – and this is the sole reason given to justify the Thaparite claim that there was no trauma on the Hindu side. What should we do with this Brahmin?]

(62) Nau-Bahar-i-Murshid Quli-Khani: The author, azad al-Husaini, was a poor but learned immigrant from Persia, who presented this work in CE 1729 to Mirza Lutfullah surnamed Murshid Quli II who had arrived in Dhaka in 1728 as the Deputy Governor of Shujaud-Din, the Mughal Governor of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from 1727 to 1739.
Nasirud-Din Muhammad Shah Bahadur Padshah Ghazi (CE 1719-1748)
Udaipur (Tripura)
“Tipara is a country extremely strong… The Raja is proud of his strength and the practice of conch-blowing and idol-worship prevailed there…Murshid Quli II decided to conquer Tipara and put down idolatry there. He wrote to Sayyid Habibullah (the Commander-in-Chief), Md. Sadiq, Mir Hashim, Shaikh Sirajuddin Md., and Mahdi Beg who were then engaged in the Chittogong expedition, that… they should set out with their forces, observing every precaution, arrive close to the Kingdom of Tipara, and try to conquer it…The Tipara soldiers did not fail to fight regardless of death. The Muslim troops invested the fort from four sides. A severe battle was fought. The zamindar’s men lay dead in heaps. The victors entered the fort… The flag of Murshid Quli Khan was unfurled on the top of fort Udaipur. The Muslims raised the cry of Allahu-akbar and the Muslim credo and demolished the temple of the zamindar which had long been the seat of idol-worship. Making a level courtyard on the side of the temple, they read the Khutba in the Emperor’s name… The world-illuminating sun of the faith of Muhammad swept away the dark night of infidelity, and the bright day of Islam dawned.”

(63) Kanzul-Mahfuz : The name and position of the author is not known. It deals with the history of the Ummayids, the Ghaznivids and the Muslim dynasties of India.
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
“In the city of Agra there was a large temple, in which there were numerous idols, adorned and embellished with precious jewels and valuable pearls. It was the custom of the infidels to resort to this temple from far and near several times in each year to worship the idols, and a certain fee to the Government was fixed upon each man, for which he obtained admittance. As there was a large congress of pilgrims, a very considerable amount was realized from them, and paid into the royal treasury. This practice had been observed to the end of the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan, and in the commencement of Aurangzeb’s government; but when the latter was informed of it, he was exceedingly angry and abolished the custom. The greatest nobles of his court represented to him that a large sum was realized and paid into the public treasury, and that if it was abolished, a great reduction in the income of the state would take place. The Emperor observed, ‘What you say is right, but I have considered well on the subject, and have reflected on it deeply; but if you wish to augment the revenue, there is a better plan for attaining the object by exacting the jizya. By this means idolatry will be suppressed, the Muhammadan religion and the true faith will be honoured, our proper duty will be performed, the finances of the state will be increased, and the infidels will be disgraced.’ …This was highly approved by all the nobles; and the Emperor ordered all the golden and silver idols to be broken, and the temple destroyed…”

(64) Muntikhabul-Lubab: The author, Hashim Ali Khan, is better known by his designation of Khafi Khan and was the son of a historian in the employ of Aurangzeb. He was brought up in the court of Aurangzeb, made a diwan, but was ordered to stop writing history. He, however, continued writing in secret. Muhammad Shah was pleased when he saw what had been written and named him Khafi Khan. The work is also known as Tarikh-i-Khafi Khan. It starts with the invasion of Babur in CE 1519 and comes upto the fourteenth year of Bahadur Shah (CE 1719-1748). He refers to the Hindus as evil dogs, accursed wretches, etc.
Shihabud-Din Muhammad Shah Jahan Padshah Ghazi (1628-1658) After the destruction of temples in Benares and Gujarat, “materials of some of the Hindu temples were used for building mosques.”
Hargaon (Uttar Pradesh) “In CE 1630-31 (AH 1040) when Abdal, the Hindu chief of Hargaon in the province of Allahabad, rebelled, most of the temples in the state were either demolished or converted into mosques. Idols were burnt.”
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (1658-1707)
Golkonda (Andhra Pradesh)
“On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor of the city of Haiderabad with orders to put down infidel practices and (heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their sites.”
Bijapur (Karnataka) “The fall and capture of Bijapur was similarly solemnized though here the destruction of temples was delayed for several years, probably till 1698.”
Sikh Temples (Punjab) “Aurangzeb ordered the temples of the Sikhs to be destroyed and the guru’s agents (masands) for collecting the tithes and presents of the faithful to be expelled from the cities.”
Shah alam Bahadur Shah Padshah Ghazi (CE 1707-1712)
Jodhpur (Rajasthan)
“Ajit Singh… sent a message humbly asking that Khan Zaman and the KaziuI-Kuzat might come into Jodhpur, to rebuild the mosques, destroy idol-temples, enforce the provisions of the law about the summons to prayer and the killing of cows, to appoint magistrates and to commission officers to collect the jizya. His submission was graciously accepted, and his requests granted…”

(65) Mirat-i-Ahmadi is the most important Persian history of Gujarat. It starts with the Hindu Rajas of Anhilwada Patan and ends with the establishment of Maratha rule in the eighteenth century. It was written after the Third Battle of Panipat in CE 1761. The author, Ali Muhammad Khan, came to Gujarat from Burhanpur in 1708-09 and, when grown up, had access to official records.
Sultan A1aud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Sidhpur (Gujarat)
“…When Raja Sidhraj Jaisingh Solanki became the king, he extended his conquest as far as Malwa and Burhanpur etc. and laid foundation of lofty forts such as the forts of Broach and Dabhoi etc. He dug the tank of Sahastraling in Pattan, many others in Biramgam and at most places in Sorath. His reign is known as ‘Sang Bast’, the Age of Stone Buildings. He founded the city of Sidhpur and built the famous Rudramal Temple. It is related that when he intended to build Rudramal, he summoned astrologers to elect an auspicious hour for it. The astrologers said to him that some harm through heavenly revolution is presaged from Alauddin when his turn comes to the Saltanat of Dihli. The Raja relied on the statement of astrologers and entered into a pledge and pact with the said Sultan. The Sultan had said. ‘If I do not destroy it under terms of the pact, yet I will leave some religious vestiges.’ When, after some time, the turn of the Sultan came to the Saltanat of Delhi, he marched with his army to that side and left religious marks by constructing a masjid and a minar…”
Somnath (Gujarat) “In the year 696, six hundred and ninety-six, he sent an army for the conquest of Gujarat under the command of Ulugh Khan who became famous among the Gujaratis as Alp Khan and Nusrat Khan Jalesri. These Khans subjected Naharwala that is, Pattan and the whole of that dominion to plunder and pillage… They broke the idol of Somnat which was installed again after Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi and sent riches, treasure, elephants, women and daughters of Raja Karan to the Sultan at Delhi…”
Patan (Gujarat) “After conquest of Naharwala and expulsion of Raja Karan, Ulugh Khan occupied himself with the government. From that day, governors were appointed on this side on behalf of the Sultans of Dilhi. It is said that a lofty masjid called Masjid-i-Adinah (Friday Masjid) of marble stone which exists even today is built by him. It is popular among common folk that error is mostly committed in counting its many pillars. They relate that it was a temple which was converted into a masjid… Most of the relics and vestiges of magnificence and extension of the ancient prosperity of Pattan city are found in the shape of bricks and dried clay, which inform us about the truth of this statement, scattered nearly to a distance of three kurohs from the present place of habitation. Remnants of towers of the ancient fortifications seen at some places are a proof of repeated changes and vicissitudes in population due to passage of times. Most of the ancient relics gradually became extinct. Marble stones, at the end of the rule of rajas, were brought from Ajmer for building temples in such a quantity that more than which is dug out from the earth even now. All the marble stones utilized in the city of Ahmedabad were (brought) from that place…”
Sultan Muzaffar Shah I of Gujarat (CE 1392-1410)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“He made efforts at the proclamation of the word of God (confession of the Muslim faith). He led an army for plundering the temple of Somnat, that is, Pattan Dev. He spread Islam at most of the places…”
Sultan Ahmad Shah I of Gujarat (CE 1411-1443)
Sidhpur (Gujarat)
“In the year 817, eight hundred and seventeen Hijri, he resolved to march with intent of jihad against the unbelievers of Girnar, a famous fort in Sorath. Raja Mandalik fought with him but was defeated and took refuge in the fort. It is narrated that even though that land (region) this time did not get complete brightness form the lamp of Islam, yet the Sultan subdued the fort of Junagadh situated near the foot of Girnar mountain. Most of the Zamindars of Sorath became submissive and obedient to him and agreed to pay tribute. After that, he demolished the temple of Sayyedpur in the month of Jamadi I of the year 818, eight hundred and eighteen Hijri… In the year 823, he attended to the establishment of administrative control over his dominion. He suppressed refractoriness wherever it was found. He demolished temples and constructed masjids in their places…”
Sultan Mahmud Begah of Gujarat (CE 1458-1511)
Junagadh (Gujarat)
“Rao Mandalik saw that his fate was sealed. He fled at night to the fort and gave him a battle. When the warfare continued for some time provisions in the fort became scarce. He requested the Sultan in all humility to save his life. The Sultan agreed on condition of his accepting Islam. Rao Mandalik came down from the fort, surrendered the fort’s keys to the Sultan. The Sultan offered recitation of the word of Unity to him to repeat. He instantly recited it. The fort was conquered in the year 877… In a few days, he populated a city which can be called Ahmedabad and named it Mustafabad. Rao Mandalik was given the title of Khan Jahan with a grant of jagir. He gave away as presents the gold idols brought from the temple of Rao Mandalik to all soldiers…”
Sankhodhar (Gujarat) “This victory took place in the year 878, the island of Sankhodar was never conquered in any age by any king of the past. It is related that the Sultan performed two genuflexions of namaz out of thanksgiving at the time of demolishing the temple and breaking the idols of Jagat. He grew eloquent in recitation of praise out of gratitude to God. The Muslims raised calls to namaz (azan) by loud voice from top of temples… He built a masjid there.”
Idar (Gujarat) “He marched towards Malwa, in the same month, from Muhammedabad for repulsion of unbelievers and defence of religious-minded Muslims. He halted at the town of Godhra for reinforcement of powerful forces when he received a report about insolence of the Raja of Idar. He, therefore, marched thither and ordered to demolish houses and temples of Idar. This event took place in the year 919…”
Muhiyud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb alamgir Padshah Ghazi (CE 1658-1707)
Ahmadabad (Gujarat)
“During the Subedari of religious-minded, noble prince, vestiges of the Temple of Chintaman situated on the side of Saraspur built by Satidas jeweller, were removed under the Prince’s order and a masjid was erected on its remains. It was named ‘Quwwat-ul-Islam’…”

Gujarat “As it has come to His Majesty’s knowledge that some inhabitants of the mahals appertaining to the province of Gujarat have (again) built the temples which had been demolished by imperial order before his accession… therefore His Majesty orders that… the formerly demolished and recently restored temples should be pulled down.”
Vadnagar (Gujarat) “The Emperor ordered the destruction of the Hateshwar temple at Vadnagar, the special guardian of the Nagar Brahmans.”
Malarina (Rajasthan) “Salih Bahadur was sent to pull down the temple of Malarna.”
Sorath (Gujarat) “In CE 1696-97 (AH 1108) orders were issued for the destruction of the major temples at Sorath in Gujarat.”
Dwarka (Gujarat) “He stopped public worship at the Hindu temple of Dwarka.”

(66) Tarikh-i-Ibrahim Khan was composed by Nawab Ibrahim Khan and written down by Mulla Baksh in the town of Benares. It was finished in the year CE 1786. It is mainly a history of the Marathas.
Ahmad Shah Abdali (CE 1747-1773)
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)
“Ahmad Shah Abdali in the year AH 1171 (CE 1757-58), came from the country of Kandahar to Hindastan, and on the 7th of Jumadal awwal of that year, had an interview with the Emperor Alamgir II, at the palace of Shah-Jahanabad… After an interval of a month, he set out to coerce Raja Suraj Mal Jat, who from a distant period, had extended his sway over the province of agra, as far as the environs of the city of Delhi. In three days he captured Balamgarh, situated at a distance of fifteen kos from Delhi… After causing a general massacre of the garrison he hastened towards Mathura, and having razed that ancient sanctuary of the Hindus to the ground, made all the idolaters fall a prey to his relentless sword…”

(67) Tarikh-i-Husain Shahi was written in CE 1797-98 by Sayyid Imamud-Din al-Husain.
Ahmad Shah Abdali (CE 1747-1773)
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “Idols were broken and kicked about like polo-balls by the Islamic heroes.”

(68) Riyazus-Salatin is a history of Bengal from the invasion of Bakhtiyar Khalji to CE 1788. The author, Ghulam Hussain Salim of Zaidpur in Awadh, had migrated to Bengal and become a Postmaster in Malda. He died in CE 1817.
Ikhtiyarud-Din Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji (CE 1202-1206)
Lakhnauti (Bengal)
“Muhammad Bakhtiyar sweeping the town with the broom of devastation, completely demolished it, and making anew the city of Lakhnauti… his metropolis, ruled over Bengal… and strove to put in practice the ordinances of the Muhammadan religion… and for a period ruling over Bengal he engaged in demolishing the temples and building mosques.”
Sulaiman Karrani of Bengal (CE 1563-1576)
Orissa
Kalapahar, by successive and numerous fightings, vanquished the Rajahs forces, and brought to his subjection the entire dominion of Odisah (Orissa), so much so that he carried off the Rani together with all household goods and chattels.[Kalapahar was Brahmin Hindu convert and here guves an important clue as to why Brahmins collaborated with Muslims if they did-loot and women] Notwithstanding all this, from fear of being killed, no one was bold to wake up this drunkard of the sleep of negligence, so that Kalapahar had his hands free. After completing the subjugation of the entire country, and investing the Fort of Barahbati, which was his (the Rajah’s) place of sleep, Kalapahar engaged in fighting… The firm Muhammadan religion and the enlightened laws of Islam were introduced into that country. Before this, the Musalman Sovereigns exercised no authority over this country. Of the miracles of Kalapahar, one was this, that wherever in that country, the sound of his drum reached, the hands and the feet, the ears and the noses of the idols, worshipped by the Hindus, fell off their stone-figures, so that even now stone-idols, with hands and feet broken, and noses and ears cut off, are lying at several places in that country. And the Hindus pursuing the false, from blindness of their hearts, with full sense and knowledge, devote themselves to their worship! “It is said at the time of return, Kalapahar left a drum in the jungle of Kaonjhar, which is lying in an upset state. No one there from fear of life dares to set it up; so it is related.”

(69) Asarus-Sanadid is a book on the antiquities of Delhi written by Sayyid Ahmad Khan, the famous founder of the Aligarh Muslim University. Its first edition was published in 1847,
Qutbud-Din Aibak (CE 1192-1210)
Iron Pillar: “…In our opinion this pillar was made in the ninth century before (the birth of) Lord Jesus… When Rai Pithora built a fort and an idol-house near this pillar, it stood in the courtyard of the idol-house. And when Qutbud-Din Aibak constructed a mosque after demolishing the idol-house, this pillar stood in the courtyard of the mosque…”[Even now any visitor not already steeped in Thaparism, can see the how the Hindu shrines and constructions have been turned over into the Islamic site – with signs of much more ancient constructions extending well into the National Park now surrounding the Meherauli site]
Idol-house of Rai Pithora: “There was an idol-house near the fort of Rai Pithora. It was very famous… It was built along with the fort in 1200 Bikarmi [Vikrama SaMvat] corresponding to CE 1143 and AH 538. The building of this temple was very unusual, and the work done on it by stone-cutters is such that nothing better can be conceived. The beautiful carvings on every stone in it defy description… The eastern and northern portions of this idol-house have survived intact. The fact that the Iron Pillar, which belongs to the Vaishnava faith, was kept inside it, as also the fact that sculptures of Kirshan avatar and Mahadev and Ganesh and Hanuman were carved on its walls, leads us to believe that this temple belonged to the Vaishnava faith. Although all sculptures were mutilated in the times of Muslims, even so a close scrutiny can identify as to which sculpture was what. In our opinion there was a red-stone building in this idol-house, and it was demolished. For, this sort of old stones with sculptures carved on them are still found.”
Quwwat al-Islam Masjid: “When Qutbud-Din, the commander-in-chief of Muizzud-Din Sam alias Shihabud-Din Ghuri, conquered Delhi in AH 587 corresponding to CE 1191 corresponding to 1248 Bikarmi, this idol-house (of Rai Pithora) was converted into a mosque. The idol was taken out of the temple. Some of the images sculptured on walls or doors or pillars were effaced completely, some were defaced. But the structure of the idol-house kept standing as before. Materials from twenty-seven temples, which were worth five crores and forty lakhs of Dilwals, were used in the mosque, and an inscription giving the date of conquest and his own name was installed on the eastern gate…When Malwah and Ujjain were conquered by Sultan Shamsud-Din in AH 631 corresponding to CE 1233, then the idol-house of Mahakal was demolished and its idols as well as the statue of Raja Bikramajit were brought to Delhi, they were strewn in front of the door of the mosque…”
“In books of history, this mosque has been described as Masjid-i-adinah and Jama Masjid Delhi, but Masjid Quwwat al-Islam is mentioned nowhere. It is not known as to when this name was adopted. Obviously, it seems that when this idol-house was captured, and the mosque constructed, it was named Quwwat al-Islam…”
Sultan Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236)
Tomb of Sultan Ghori:
Sayyid Ahmad Khan notices this tomb and describes it as exquisite. He says that it was built in AH 626 corresponding to CE 1228…But the editor, Khaleeq Anjum, comments in his introduction that “the dome of the mosque which is of marble has been re-used and has probably been obtained from some temple”, and that the domes on the four pavilions outside “are in Hindu style in their interior.” He provides greater details in his notes at the end of Sayyid Ahmad’s work. He writes:
“…This is the first Muslim tomb in North India, if we overlook some others. And it is the third historical Muslim monument in India after Quwwat al-Islam Masjid and Cehai Din Ka Jhonpra… Stones from Hindu temples have been used in this tomb also, as in the Quwwat al-Islam Masjid.”
“…In the middle of the corridor on the west there is a marble dome. A look at the dome leads to the conclusion that it has been brought from some temple. The pillars that have been raised in the western corridor are of marble and have been made in Greek style. It is clear that they belong to some other building…”
Sultan Ghiyasud-Din Tughlaq (CE 1320-1325)
Tomb of Ghiyasud-Din Tughlaq:
Similarly, Sayyid Ahmad notices this tomb in some detail but does not describe its Hindu features. Khaleeq Anjum, however, says in his introduction that “corridors inside this tomb have been constructed in the style of Hindu architecture, and the pillars as well as the beams in the corridors are fully of Hindu fashion.”
Nasirud-Din Muhammad Humayun Padshah Ghazi (CE 1530-1540 and 1556)
Nili Chhatri:
“At the foot of Salim Garh and on the bank of the Jamuna, there is a small Baradari near Nigambodh Ghat… It is known as Nili Chhatri because of the blue mosaic work on its dome. This Chhatri was built by Humayun Badshah in AH 939 corresponding to CE 1533 in order to have a view of the river. Hindus ascribe this Chhatri to the time of the PaNDus. Even if that is not true, this much is certain that the bricks with mosaic work which have been used in this Chhatri have been taken from some Hindu place because the bricks bear broken and mutilated images. On account of a derangement of the carvings, some have only the head left, while some others show only the torso. This derangement of carvings also goes to prove that these bricks have been placed here after being taken out from somewhere else. According to the Hindus, Raja Judhastar had performed a Jag [Yajna] at this Ghat. It is not inconceivable that in the Hindu era a Chhatri had been built at some spot on this Ghat in commemoration of the Jag, and that this Chhatri was built in the reign of Humayun after demolition of that (older) Chhatri…He repeats some of these comments while describing the Nigambodh Ghat…

(71) Hadiqah-i-Shuhada was written in the reign of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh (CE 1847-1856) by Mirza Ali Jan, an eyewitness of and active participant in the jihad led by Amir Ali Amethawi in 1855 for recapturing the Hanuman Garhi temple at Ayodhya. The temple had been converted into a mosque in the reign of Aurangzeb but restored when Muslim power suffered an eclipse. The work was written immediately after the failure of the jihad and published in 1856.
Zahirud-Din Muhammad Babur Padshah Ghazi (CE 1026-1030)
Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh)
“Wherever they found magnificent temples of the Hindus ever since the establishment of Sayyid Salar Masud Ghazi’s rule, the Muslim rulers in India built mosques, monasteries and inns, appointed muazzins, teachers, and store-stewards, spread Islam vigorously and vanquished the Kafirs. Likewise, they cleared up Faizabad and Avadh, too, from the filth of reprobation (infidelity), because it was a great centre of worship and capital of Rama’s father. Where there stood the great temple (of Ramjanmasthan), there they built a big mosque, and where there was a small mandap (pavilion), there they erected a camp mosque (masjid-i-mukhtasar-i-qanati). The Janmasthan temple is the principal place of Rama’s incarnation, adjacent to which is the Sita ki Rasoi. Hence, what a lofty mosque was built there by king Babar in AH 923 (CE 1528) under the patronage of Musa Ashiqan! The mosque is still known far and wide as the Sita ki Rasoi mosque. And that temple is extant by its side (aur pahlu mein wah dair baqi hai).”

(72) Muraqqa-i-Khusrawi was completed in 1869 by Sheikh Azmat Ali Kakorwi Nami who was an eyewitness of the reign of Wajid Ali Shah. The work, known as Tarikh-i-Awadh also, was published for the first time in 1986 by the Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad Committee, U.P., Lucknow, but the chapter dealing with the jihad led by Amir Ali Amethawi was left out. This chapter was published separately by Dr. Zaki Kakorawi from Lucknow in 1987.
Zahirud-Din Muhammad Babur Padshah Ghazi (CE 1526-1530)
Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh)
“According to old records, it has been a rule with the Muslim rulers from the first to build mosques, monasteries, and inns, spread Islam, and put (a stop to) non-Islamic practices, wherever they found prominence (of kufr). Accordingly, even as they cleared up Mathura, Bindraban etc., from the rubbish of non-Islamic practices, the Babari mosque was built up in AH 923 under the patronage of Sayyid Musa Ashiqan in the Janmasthan temple (butkhane Janmsthan mein) in Faizabad Avadh, which was a great place of (worship) and capital of Rama’s father…A great mosque was built on the spot where Sita ki Rasoi is situated. During the regime of Babar, the Hindus had no guts to be a match for the Muslims. The mosque was built in AH 923 under the patronage of Sayyid Mir Ashiqan… Aurangzeb built a mosque on the Hanuman Garhi… The Bairagis effaced the mosque and erected a temple in its place. Then idols began to be worshipped openly in the Babari mosque where the Sita ki Rasoi is situated.”

(73) Waqiat-i-Mamalakat-i-Bijapur is an Urdu work compiled in 3 volumes by Bashirud-Din Ahmad in CE 1913-14 and published from Agra in 1915. The first two volumes are translations of Basatin al-Salatin, a general history of Bijapur written in 1811 by Muhammad Ibrahim Zubairi. The third volume contains details collected by Bashirud-Din Ahmad himself from the life-stories and sayings of Sufis.
Sultan Ali adil Shah I of Bijapur (CE 1558-1580)
Mudgal (Karnataka) “
And in Mudgal town located 75 miles south-east of Bijapur Ali I tore down two temples and replaced them with ashurkhanas, or houses used in the celebration of Shia festivals.”

to be continued….

part 1:enslavement of non-Muslims

part 4: the myth of the role of Sufis in conversion

part 9: economic decline under Islam

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Jammu and Kashmir – Article 370 and the future

Posted on August 26, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, religion |

Sometime ago, I was asked by a reader as to what were my concrete suggestions about the “Kashmir problem” given my insistence on winning the “cultural war” on Islam in the Valley and combine this with economic measures. Having been forced to trawl through my source material for the “How Islam came to India…” series, and my recent rather reluctant outburst about Article 370, I think it is time to spell out a bit more of what I think should be an appropriate strategy for Kashmir. All this is in the hope of a future leadership, out of th current upcoming generations, and who hopefully look beyond what their “political elders” are promoting as the “next generation of leadership” – for it is worthwhile to remember that any “future leader” the current established older generation of “party bosses” project is someone who has been able to reassure them that nothing in reality is going to change, and things will remain pretty much the same as the “elders” want to be. It is also most unlikely, that a really innovative leadership would be allowed to come up through the various party ranks, as the elders would feel threatened by such upcoming leadership – and most of the current crop of elders are the generational dregs and rotting leftovers of the great and brilliant minds that rose through the freedom struggle.

The younger generation of Indians should look beyond what the parties are offering to them as “young faces”, and stay away from the sycophancy and courtiership that hails these “leaders of the future”. If the people consciously refuse to accept such projections and treat such projection rather as a disqualification, then it would start the change of political ethics in the country.

For Jammu and Kashmir, the first thing that needs to go is Article 370. This is one outdated and temporary administrative compromise that has been purposefully kept alive beyond its intended lifetime, by a dishonest Congress government that ruled India at the centre for better part of the 20th century Republican India. The BJP cannot escape its role either as to why it also failed to push through the abrogation of this article when it was in power at the centre. The first Legislative step towards the eventual “solution” of the Kashmir problem is abrogation of Article 370. There could be spurious detractors both inside India and outside as well as to why the Indian government waited so long to take this rather minor legislative step. A terse statement that just because it was not done before does not mean that a lapse or an error has to be continued indefinitely, and that the parliament of India, the supreme legislative authority invested in the people of India does not have to answer to anyone as to why it decided to correct a n error committed in the past, should suffice. This will most likely almost immediately create a furore in the Valley and panic reaction in the pan-Islamic consolidation movement in the subcontinent. The government has to be fully prepared for such an eventuality militarily.

Since a referendum or plebiscite in a state that has formally acceded to one of the two dominions of India and Pakistan, is only pseudo-legally justified on the principle of right of self-determination of peoples, (for example even though not a princely state, the Eastern Bengal portion of Pakistan used this principle to break away from Pakistan), India cannot entirely avoid the question of a referendum or plebiscite since it was personally ensured by emperor Nehru I installed by the British on the throne of India. But this also opens the question of right of self determination for peoples of other regions which acceded to Pakistan
– such as the Balochs and the Hindu majority area (at the time of the partition) of Sind – for the right of self determination cannot only be applied exclusively to Kashmir. I see no difficulty in India facing the referendum on Kashmir after Article 370 is abrogated and due time such as 10 years given to ensure unbiased and free and fair referendums not under pressure from religious leaders, organizations, and armed Islamic militants. Due provision should be made also for the non-Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh to choose to be part of India even if the Muslim part wants to accede to Kashmir. I am sure a correct Indian leadership as chosen correctly by the Indian people will know how to guarantee that the results of the referendum reflect the pre-Islamic and essentially non-Islamic Indic cultural basis of the entire region of Jammu and Kashmir. However the plebiscite in a region that formally acceded to the Indian dominion should only be accepted if a plebiscite is also held in Balochistan and Sind.

Meanwhile, after the abrogation of article 370, the fruit producing areas of Kashmir should be encouraged to integrate with the economically deprived Jammu which has better potential to establish processing industries meant for export of valued added products. The economic future of Kashmir as well as most areas of Pakistan lies in being part of the Indian economy. It is only the ideological limitation of fanatical Islam as encouraged by petro-dollar that will try to disrupt this economic integration. Meanwhile, the most important cultural war that openly discusses and exposes into the public domain the insidious lies and misrepresentations or reconstructions of Indian cultural history, role of Islam on the subcontinent, and the pre-Islamic cultural roots of the people of the entire Indian subcontinent propagated by the Thaparite School of Indian History, should be taken up. The evidence and source is out there, even if the Thaparite establishment has done its best through Government methods of educational control such as the NCERT, to edit out anything that reveals the true nature of Islam and its role on the subcontinent. The younger generation is no longer restricted by the Thaparite school texts for sources of history, and they should look, find out, investigate, explore, and reason out on their own about all available sources and decide for themselves. I have tried to give as much as possible source quotations for readers to decide on this blog, and people of India should independently verify, read and analyze these sources, and not restrict themselves by what the Thaparite school wants them to think. Whatever and however the Islamic theologians try and resist, the role of Islam in India, and particularly in the context of Kashmir should be openly, unflinchingly discussed with surgical precision and detachment. What Islam has represented as the history and culture of the people of the Kashmir Valley, should be immediately challenged and the Islamic theologians defeated.

These are tasks that the current crop of “elders” of India will hesitate and procrastinate to carry out so that the whole issue ripens to a point where it becomes impossible to solve. Out of all the Presidents of the USA only a few remain in the public discourse for their politics centuries after they passed away – over the last 150 years only two – “Abe” Lincoln, and “FDR”, for they could risk their popularity, power bases, and almost everything that had propelled them to power, for the sake of long term future prosperity and benefit of their nation – and did not flinch from short term immense pain and danger. India perhaps can boast of only three, M.K.Gandhi, Bose, and Sardar – their errors only showed their humanity but their intentions and actions mark them out as the only statesmen India has produced in the modern period – (perhaps to a certain extent even Indira Gandhi but not emperor Nehru I!). These are points I hope some in the future generations of India will consider.

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India – 7 : cultural destruction of non-Muslims

Posted on August 26, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Islam, Muslims, religion |

Continued from part 6:

(39) Muntakhabut-Tawarikh :The author, Mulla Abdul Qadir Badauni son of Muluk Shah, was born at Badaun in CE 1540 or 1542. A scholar introduced to the court of Akbar by the father of Abul Fazl and Faizi he was employed by Akbar for translating Sanskrit classics into Persian, a work which he hated as also any liberal policies as regards the Hindus. His history, which is known as Tarikh-i-Badauni also, is the general history of India from the time of the Ghaznivids to the fortieth year of Akbar’s reign.
Sultan Muhmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Somnath (Gujarat) “Once more he led his army against Somnat, which is a large city on the coast of the ocean, a place of worship of the Brahmans who worship a large idol. There are many golden idols there. Although certain historians have called this idol Manat, and say that it is the identical idol which Arab idolaters brought to the coast of Hindustan in the time of the Lord of the Missive (may the blessings and peace of God be upon him), this story has no foundation because the Brahmans of India firmly believe that this idol has been in that place since the time of Kishan, that is to say four thousand years and a fraction [this date of Krishna coincides with the most common calculations by non-Thaparites -either 2500 or 3000 BCE] The reason for this mistake must surely be the resemblance in name, and nothing else… The fort was taken and Mahmud broke the idol in fragments and sent it to Ghaznin, where it was placed at the door of the Jama Masjid and trodden under foot.”
Thanesar (Haryana) “In the year AH 402 (CE 1011) he set out for Thanesar and Jaipal, the son of the former Jaipal, offered him a present of fifty elephants and much treasure. The Sultan, however, was not to be deterred from his purpose; so he refused to accept his present, and seeing Thanesar empty he sacked it and destroyed its idol temples, and took away to Ghaznin, the idol known as Chakarsum on account of which the Hindus had been ruined; and having placed it in his court, caused it to be trampled under foot by the people…”
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “…From thence he went to Mathra which is a place of worship of the infidels and the birthplace of Kishan, the son of Basudev, whom the Hindus Worship as a divinity – where there are idol temples without number, and took it without any contest and razed it to the ground. Great wealth and booty fell into the hands of the Muslims, among the rest they broke up by the orders of the Sultan, a golden idol…”
Ikhtiyarud-Din Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji (CE 1202-1206)
Navadvipa (Bengal)“…Muhammad Bakhtyar brought an army from Behar towards Lakhnauti and arrived at the town of Nudiya, with a small force; Nudiya is now in ruins. Rai Lakhmia (Lakhminia) the governor of that town… fled thence to Kamran, and property and booty beyond computation fell into the hands of the Muslims, and Muhammad Bakhtyar having destroyed the places of worship and idol temples of the infidels founded Mosques and Monasteries and schools and caused a metropolis to be built called by his own name, which now has the name of Gaur.[Gaur however was at least 600 years older and first came to prominence during the reign of Sashanka]
Sultan Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210~1236)
Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
“…And in the year AH 631 (CE 1233) having made an incursion in the direction of the province of Malwah and taken Bhilsa and also captured the city of Ujjain, and having destroyed the idol-temple of Ujjain which had been built six hundred years previously, and was called Mahakal, he levelled it to its foundations, and threw down the image of Rai Vikrmajit from whom the Hindus reckon their era… and brought certain other images of cast molten brass and placed them on the ground in front of the door of the mosque of old Dihli and ordered the people to trample them under foot…”
Sultan Jalalud-Din Khalji (CE 1290-1296)
Ranthambhor (Rajasthan)“
…and in the same year the Sultan for the second time marched against Ranthambhor, and destroyed the country round it, and overthrew the idols and idol-temples, but returned without attempting to reduce the fort…”
Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Patan and Somnath (Gujarat)
“And in the year AH 698 (CE 1298) he appointed Ulugh Khan to the command of a powerful army, to proceed into the country of Gujarat… Ulugh Khan carried off an idol from Nahrwala… and took it to Dihli where he caused it to be trampled under foot by the populace; then he pursued Rai Karan as far as Somnat, and a second time laid waste the idol temple of Somnat, and building a mosque there retraced his steps.”
Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517)
Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh)“
…in the year AH 910 (CE 1504), marched to reduce the fortress of Mandrayal, which he took without fighting from the Rajah of Mandrayal, who sued for peace; he also destroyed all the idol-temples and churches of the place…”
Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh)“And in the year AH 912 (CE 1506),…he marched against the fortress of untgarh and laid siege to it, and many of his men joyfully embraced martyrdom, after that he took the fort and gave the infidels as food to the sword… He then cast down the idol-temples, and built there lofty mosques.”
Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (CE 1517-1526)
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) “
…The fortress of Badalgarh, which lies below the fortress of Gwaliar, a very lofty structure, was taken from Rai Man Singh and fell into the hands of the Muslims, and a brazen animal which was worshipped by the Hindus also fell into their hands, and was sent by them to agra, whence it was sent by Sultan Ibrahim to Dihli, and was put over the city gate. The image was removed to Fathpur in the year AH 992 (CE 1584), ten years before the composition of this history, where it was seen by the author of this work. It was converted into gongs, and bells, and implements of all kinds.”
Jalalud-Din Muhammad Akbar Padshah Ghazi (CE 1556-1605)
Siwalik (Uttar Pradesh)
“… the Emperor gave the pargana of Lakhnou as jagir to Mahdi Qasim Khan… Husain Khan was exceedingly indignant with Mahdi Qasim Khan on account of this… After a time he left her in helplessness, and the daughter of Mahdi Qasim Beg at Khairabad with her brothers, and set off from Lakhnou with the intention of carrying on a religious war, and of breaking the idols and destroying the idol-temples. He had heard that the bricks of these were of silver and gold, and conceiving a desire for this and all the other abundant and unlimited treasures, of which he had heard a lying report, he set out by way of Oudh to the Siwalik mountains…”
Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) “…The temple of Nagarkot, which is outside the city, was taken at the very outset… On this occasion many mountaineers became food for the flashing sword. And that golden umbrella, which was erected on the top of the cupola of the temple, they riddled with arrows… And black cows, to the number of 200, to which they pay boundless respect, and actually worship, and present to the temple, which they look upon as an asylum, and let loose there, were killed by the Musulmans. And, while arrows and bullets were continually falling like drops of rain, through their zeal and excessive hatred of idolatry they filled their shoes full of blood and threw it on the doors and walls of the temple… the army of Husain Quli Khan was suffering great hardships. For these reasons he concluded a treaty with them… and having put all things straight he built the cupola of a lofty mosque over the gateway of Rajah Jai Chand.”
Sultan Sulaiman Karrani of Bengal (CE 1563-1573)
Puri (Orissa)
“In this year also Sulaiman Kirrani, ruler of Bengal, who gave himself the tide of Hazrati ala, and had conquered the city of Katak-u-Banaras, that mine of heathenism, and having made the stronghold of Jagannath into the home of Islam, held sway from Kamru to Orissa, attained the mercy of God…”

(40) Tarikh-i-Daudi : The author, Abdullah, says nothing about himself and does not give even his full name. As he mentions the name of Jahangir, it can be assumed that he wrote it at some time after CE 1605. He starts with the reign of Sultan Bahlul Lodi (CE 1451-1489) and ends with the reign of Daud Shah who was beheaded in CE 1575 by the order of Bairam Khan.
Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517)
Kurukshetra (Haryana)
“It is also related of this prince, that before his accession, when a crowd of Hindus had assembled in immense numbers at Kurkhet, he wished to go to Thanesar for the purpose of putting them all to death…”[probably the traditional religious gathering at the place and a good method of exterminating of a lrage number of Hindus with relative ease]
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “He was so zealous a Musalman that he utterly destroyed diverse places of worship of the infidels, and left not a vestige remaining of them. He entirely ruined the shrines of Mathura, the mine of heathenism, and turned other principal Hindu places of worship into caravansarais and colleges. Their stone images were given to the butchers to serve them as meat-weight, and all the Hindus in Mathura were strictly prohibited from shaving their heads and beards, and performing their ablutions…”
Dholpur (Madhya Pradesh) “In that year the Sultan sent Khawas Khan to take possession of the fort of Dhulpur. The Raja of that place advanced to give battle, and daily fighting took place. [the rare admissions of resistance of the part of Hindus in contrast to the apparent immediate overjoyed embracing of Islam]The instant His Majesty heard of the firm countenance shown by the rai of Dhulpur in opposing the royal army, he went there in person; but on his arrival near Dhulpur, the rai made up his mind to fly without fighting… He (Sikandar) offered up suitable thanksgivings for his success, and the royal troops spoiled and plundered in all directions, rooting up all the trees of the gardens which shaded Dhulpur to the distance of seven kos. Sultan Sikandar stayed there during one month, erected a mosque on the site of an idol-temple, and then set off towards agra…”
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)“…Sultan Sikandar passed the rainy season of that year at agra. After the rising of the star Canopus, he assembled an army, and set forth to take possession of Gwalior and territories belonging to it. In a short space of time he took most of the Gwalior district, and after building mosques in the places of idol-temples returned towards agra…”
Narwar (Madhya Pradesh) “Sultan Sikandar, after the lapse of two years, in AH 913 (CE 1507) wrote a farman to Jalal Khan, the governor of Kalpi, directing him to take possession of the fort of Narwar… Jalal Khan Lodi, by the Sultan’s command, besieged Narwar, where Sultan Sikandar also joined him with great expedition. The siege of the fort was protracted for one year… Men were slain on both sides. After the time above mentioned, the defenders of the place were compelled, by the want of water and scarcity of grain, to ask for mercy, and they were allowed to go forth with their property; but the Sultan destroyed their idol-temples, and erected mosques on their sites. He then appointed stipends and pensions for the learned and the pious who dwelt at Narwar, and gave them dwellings there. He remained six months encamped below the fort.”
Sher Shah Sur (CE 1538-1545)
Jodhpur (Rajasthan) “His attack on Maldev, Raja of Jodhpur, (was due) partly to his religious bigotry and a desire to convert the temples of the Hindus into mosques.”

(42) Zafarul-Walih Bi Muzaffar Wa alihi: The author, Abdullah Muhammad bin Umar al-Maqqi al-Asafi Ulugh-Khani, aka Hajjiud-Dabir. He arrived in India with his father in CE 1555. After 1573 he started living in Ahmadabad where Akbar had put his father in charge of many endowments, the income from which was sent to Mecca and Medina. After the death of his father he entered the service of another Amir, and finally went to Khandesh in 1595. He finished his history in 1605 but took some more years to revise it.
Sultan Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236)
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh)
“…In 631 (1233), Shamsuddin marched to Malwa and conquered the city of Bailsan and its fort and demolished its famous temple. The historians have narrated that its citizens built the temple by digging its foundation and raising its walls one hundred cubits from the ground in 300 years. All the images are fixed with lead. The temple is called Gawajit (Vikramajit) Sultan of Ujjain Nagari. The history of the temple is a proof of what is said about its construction and demolition, that is, eleven hundred years. People of Hind are ignorant of history.”[rather Islamic historians are completely out of their minds]
Sultan Jalalud-Din Khalji (CE 1290-1296)
Jhain (Rajasthan)
“He marched from it to Ranthanbhor. He first encamped at Jhayan and conquered it. He demolished temples and broke idols. He killed, captured and pillaged…”
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) “He permitted Alauddin for a religious war in Bhilastan. Jalaluddin had marched to Mandu. Alauddin influenced his uncle by the booty of the religious war. It was immense. [so Islamic religious war does not bring spiritual wealth but material ones]It contained a Nandi idol carved in yellow metal and equal in weight to an animal. Jalaluddin ordered it to be placed at the entrance to the Gate of Delhi famous as Badaun Gate…”
Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Devagiri (Maharashtra)
“…He routed Ramdev everywhere except the fort. The fort contained temples of gold and silver and images of the same metals. Besides, there were jewels of different varieties. He ordered them to be destroyed and collected its gold. Ruler of the fort was surprised at this action and his mind got confused. He sent an envoy for conclusion of peace on condition of sparing the temples from destruction which was agreed to…”
Somnath (Gujarat)“…Mahmud demolished Somnath in the year 416 (1122)… and carried its relics to Ghazni. After his death, unbelief returned to Naharwala as its residents took an idol and buried it on a side. There was publicity of return of Somnath. They took it out from its burial place. It was exhibited and fixed at a place where it was. Malek Ulugh Khan took it along with all the spoils to Delhi. They made it the threshold at its gate. This victory took place on Wednesday, 20th Jamadi I, 698 (1299)…It was kept by a Brahmin after being mutilated by Mahamud. It was Lamnat. They named it Somnath. They worshipped it out of misguidance from ancient times. They carried it to Delhi. It was placed at the entrance of the gate…”
Mabar (Tamil Nadu)“…In 710 (1310) Kafur conquered the region of Mabar (Malabar) and Dahur Samand. Both these regions belonged to Bir Rai. He marched further to Sarandip (Ceylon) and Kafur broke the famous idol of Ram Ling Mahadev. It was wonderful that the swordsmen deserted the temple. The Brahmins assembled to fight with him at the time of his breaking the idol till they collected all broken parts and got displeased with swordsmen. Kafur marched further to Sira and demolished the temple of Jagannath…Kafur always gained one victory after another until he dominated over Jagannath and consigned it to fire. He…arrived at Delhi on 4th Jamadi II of the year 711 (1311). It was a day worth witnessing…. A good omen was drawn from his arrival with that booty for his sultan and for general Muslim public. [Note that the common Muslims are also motivated by a share of the loot to support Jihad]They believed that all these victories were facilitated by the blessings of Quth-uz-Zaman, Qiblat-ul-Asfiya Mawlana Shaikh Nizamuddin Awliya and Qutb-uz-Zaman, Madar ul-Jamkin Mawalana Shaikh Nasiruddin and similarly the two Qutbs of people of the world and faith Mawlana Shaikh Ruknuddin and Mawlana Shaikh Alauddin, may God benefit us through them. During their life time, whatever they desired from their Lord, became the sunna (rule and regulation of the Prophet, may peace and benediction of God be on him). Every member of the house of the Alaiya Sultan was a disciple and spiritual follower of Mawalana Shaikh Nizamuddin Awliya including the wazirs and amirs and persons of rank. His blessings were upon them all…[Nizamuddin and Nasiruddin are highly positioned in Thaparite history as peaceful and influential converters -but here the Islamic chronicler proudly associates them with slaughter and loot of non-Muslims]
Sultan Mahmud Begha of Gujarat (CE 1485-1511)
Junagadh (Gujarat)
“In AH 871 (CE 1466-67) the Sultan led an expedition to Karnal [Girnar]… He spread the story that he was out for hunting. Thereafter he suddenly attacked and his army also arrived. He took possession of those treasuries which were beyond estimation. Many people living in those valleys lost their lives. They had a famous idol there. When Mahmud decided to break it, many members of the Barawan clan gathered round it. All of them were slaughtered and the idol was broken…”[this strategy of declaring hunting or going on peaceful normal activities to spring surprise raids on commoners leading their daily lives and avoid taking on armed resistance can be called the Sunnah of Islam’s Prophet – look at my discussion page on Islam and non-Muslims – even the “Great” Akbar was no above using this]
Dwarka (Gujarat) “In the same year of AH 877 (CE 1472-73) the Sultan made up his mind to destroy Jagat… Jagat is a very famous abode of infidelity and idolatry. Its idol is regarded as higher than all other idols in India and it is because of this idol that the place is called Dwarka. It is a very big nest of Brahmanas too. The idolaters come here from far off places and the great hardships they undergo in order to reach here is regarded by them as earnest worship… There is a fort nearby known as Bait…The Sultan mounted (his horse) in the morning. The people of Jagat also got this information. They shut themselves in the fort along with Rai Bhim. After a few days the Sultan entered Jagat and got its idols broken. He got its canopies pulled down and established the way of Islam there.”

(42) Zubdatut-Tawarikh: The author, Shaykh Narul-Haqq al-Mashriqi al-Dihlivi al-Bukhari, was the son of Abdul Haqq who wrote Tarikh-i Haqqi in CE 1596-97. Nurul-Haqq’s history is an enlarged edition of his father’s work. The history commences with the reign of Qutbud-Din Aibak and ends with the close of Akbar’s reign in CE 1605.
Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517) “In his time Hindu temples were razed to the ground, and neither name nor vestige of them was allowed to remain…”
Jalalud-Din Muhammad Akbar Padshah Ghazi (CE 1556-1605)
Mewar (Rajasthan)
“When Mewar was invaded [CE 1600] many temples were demolished by the invading Mughal army [led by Prince Salim].”

(43) Tarikh-i-Firishta: The author, Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah Firishta, was born in Astrabad on the Caspian Sea and came to Bijapur in CE 1589. He lived under the patronage of Sultan Ibrahim adil Shah II of Bijapur where he died in 1611. He claims to have consulted most of the earlier histories in writing his Gulshan-i-Ibrahimi which became known as Tarikh-i-Firishta and completed in 1609. It contains sections on the independent sultanates of the Deccan, Gujarat, Malwa, Khandesh, Bengal, Multan, Sindh and Kashmir besides narrating the history of the kings of Ghazni, Lahore, Delhi and Agra.
Amir Subuktigin of Ghazni (CE 977-997)
NWFP and Punjab
“Even during the fifteen years of Alptigin’s reign Subuktigin….made frequent attacks upon India, and even to have penetrated as far as Sodra on the Chinab, where he demolished idols in celebration of Mahmud’s birth, which, as it occurred on the date of the prophet’s birth, Subuktigin was anxious that it should be illustrated by an event similar to the destruction of idols in the palace of the Persian king by an earthquake, on the day of the prophet’s birth.”
Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
“The king, in his zeal to propagate the faith, now marched against the Hindoos of Nagrakote, breaking down their idols and razing their temples. The fort, at that time denominated the Fort of Bheem, was closely invested by the Mahomedans, who had first laid waste the country around it with fire and sword.”
Thanesar (Haryana) “In the year AH 402 (CE 1011), Mahmood resolved on the conquest of Tahnesur, in the kingdom of Hindoostan. It had reached the ears of the king that Tahnesur was held in the same veneration by idolaters, as Mecca by the faithful; that they had there set up a number of idols, the principal of which they called Jugsom, pretending that it had existed ever since the creation. Mahmood having reached Punjab, required, according to the subsisting treaty with Anundpal, that his army should not be molested on its march through his country…The Raja’s brother, with two thousand horse was also sent to meet the army, and to deliver the following message:- ‘My brother is the subject and tributary of the King, but he begs permission to acquaint his Majesty, that Tahnesur is the principal place of worship of the inhabitants of the country: that if it is required by the religion of Mahmood to subvert the religion of others, he has already acquitted himself of that duty, in the destruction of the temple of Nagrakote. But if he should be pleased to alter his resolution regarding Tahnesur, Anundpal promises that the amount of the revenues of that country shall be annually paid to Mahmood; that a sum shall also be paid to reimburse him for the expense of his expedition, besides which, on his own part he will present him with fifty elephants, and jewels to a considerable amount.’ Mahmood replied, ‘The religion of the faithful inculcates the following tenet: That in proportion as the tenets of the prophet are diffused, and his followers exert themselves in the subversion of idolatry, so shall be their reward in heaven; that, therefore, it behoved him, with the assistance of God, to root out the worship of idols from the face of all India. How then should he spare Tahnesur? This answer was communicated to the Raja of Dehly, who, resolving to oppose the invaders, sent messengers throughout Hindoostan to acquaint the other rajas that Mahmood, without provocation, was marching with a vast army to destroy Tahnesur, now under his immediate protection. He observed, that if a barrier was not expeditiously raised against this roaring torrent, the country of Hindoostan would be soon overwhelmed, and that it behoved them to unite their forces at Tahnesur, to avert the impending calamity. Mahmood having reached Tahnesur before the Hindoos had time to take measures for its defence, the city was plundered, the idols broken, and the idol Jugsom was sent to Ghazny to be trodden under foot…”
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “Mahmood having refreshed his troops, and understanding that at some distance stood the rich city of Mutra, consecrated to Krishn-Vasdew, whom the Hindoos venerate as an emanation of God, directed his march thither and entering it with little opposition from the troops of the Raja of Delhy, to whom it belonged, gave it up to plunder. He broke down or burned all the idols, and amassed a vast quantity of gold and silver, of which the idols were mostly composed. He would have destroyed the temples also, but he found the labour would have been excessive; while some say that he was averted from his purpose by their admirable beauty. He certainly extravagantly extolled the magnificence of the buildings and city in a letter to the governor of Ghizny, in which the following passage occurs: ‘There are here a thousand edifices as firm as the faith of the faithful; most of them of marble, besides innumerable temples; nor is it likely that this city has attained its present condition but at the expense of many millions of deenars, nor could such another be constructed under a period of two centuries.’ The King tarried in Mutra 20 days; in which time the city suffered greatly from fire, beside the damage it sustained by being pillaged. At length he continued his march along the course of a stream on whose banks were seven strong fortifications, all of which fell in succession: there were also discovered some very ancient temples, which, according to the Hindoos, had existed for 4000 years. Having sacked these temples and forts, the troops were led against the fort of Munj…
The King, in the year AH 410 (CE 1019), caused an account of his exploits to be written and sent to the Caliph, who ordered it to be read to the people of Bagdad, making a great festival upon the occasion, expressive of his joy at the propagation of the faith.”
East of the Jumna (Uttar Pradesh) “In this year, that is AH 412, Sultan Mahmud learnt that the people of Hindustan had turned against the Raja of Qanauj… Nanda, the Raja of Kalinjar attacked Qanauj because Raja Kuwar (of Qanauj) had surrendered to Sultan Mahmud. As a result of this attack Raja Kuwar was killed. When Sultan Mahmud learnt it, he collected a large army… and started towards Hindustan with a view to take revenge upon Raja Nanda. As the army of Musalmans reached the Jumna, the son of Raja anand Pal… stood in the way of Mahmud. The river of Jumna was in spate at this time… and it became very difficult for the army to get across… But as chance would have it, eight royal guards of Mahmud showed courage and crossed the river… they attacked the army of the Hindus and dispersed it… the son of anand Pal ran away with his chiefs. All the eight royal guards… entered a city nearby and they plundered it to their heart’s content. They demolished the temples in that place…”[this type of story of a handful of Muslims overwhelming a whole garrison or a city are usually euphemisms for surprise attacks in the guise of “peaceloving” merchants, mendicants etc.. as is described many time in the military annals – deception and pretension is a key to Islamic warfare]
Nardin (Punjab) “About this time the King learned that the inhabitants of two hilly tracts, denominated Kuriat and Nardein, continued the worship of idols and had not embraced the faith of Islam… Mahmood resolved to carry the war against these infidels, and accordingly marched towards their country… The Ghiznevide general, Ameer Ally, the son of Arslan Jazib, was now sent with a division of the army to reduce Nardein, which he accomplished, pillaging the country, and carrying away many of the people captives. In Nardein was a temple, which Ameer Ally destroyed, bringing from thence a stone on which were curious inscriptions, and which according to the Hindoos, must have been 40,000 years old…”
Somnath (Gujarat) “The celebrated temple of Somnat, situated in the province of Guzerat, near the island of Dew, was in those times said to abound in riches, and was greatly frequented by devotees from all parts of Hindoostan… Mahmood marched from Ghizny in the month of Shaban AH 415 (CE Sept. 1024), with his army, accompanied by 30,000 of the youths of Toorkistan and the neighbouring countries, who followed him without pay, for the purpose of attacking this temple…Some historians affirm that the idol was brought from Mecca, where it stood before the time of the Prophet, but the Brahmins deny it, and say that it stood near the harbour of Dew since the time of Krishn, who was concealed in that place about 4000 years ago… Mahmood, taking the same precautions as before, by rapid marches reached Somnat without opposition. Here he saw a fortification on a narrow peninsula, washed on three sides by the sea, on the battlements of which appeared a vast host of people in arms… In the morning the Mahomedan troops advancing to the walls, began the assault…”
“The battle raged with great fury: victory was long doubtful, till two Indian princes, Brahman Dew and Dabishleem, with other reinforcements, joined their countrymen during the action, and inspired them with fresh courage. Mahmood at this moment perceiving his troops to waver, leaped from his horse, and, prostrating himself before God implored his assistance… At the same time he cheered his troops with such energy, that, ashamed to abandon their king, with whom they had so often fought and bled, they, with one accord, gave a loud shout and rushed forwards. In this charge the Moslems broke through the enemy’s line, and laid 5,000 Hindus dead at their feet… On approaching the temple, he saw a superb edifice built of hewn stone. Its lofty roof was supported by fifty-six pillars curiously carved and set with precious stones. In the centre of the hall was Somnat, a stone idol five yards in height, two of which were sunk in the ground. The King, approaching the image, raised his mace and struck off its nose. He ordered two pieces of the idol to be broken off and sent to Ghizny, that one might be thrown at the threshold of the public mosque, and the other at the court door of his own palace. These identical fragments are to this day (now 600 years ago) to be seen at Ghizny. Two more fragments were reserved to be sent to Mecca and Medina. It is a well authenticated fact, that when Mahmood was thus employed in destroying this idol, a crowd of Brahmins petitioned his attendants and offered a quantity of gold if the King would desist from further mutilation. His officers endeavoured to persuade him to accept of the money; for they said that breaking one idol would not do away with idolatry altogether; that, therefore, it could serve no purpose to destroy the image entirely; but that such a sum of money given in charity among true believers would be a meritorious act. The King acknowledged that there might be reason in what they said, but replied, that if he should consent to such a measure, his name would be handed down to posterity as ‘Mahmood the idol-seller’, whereas he was desirous of being known as ‘Mahmood the destroyer’: he therefore directed the troops to proceed in their work…The Caliph of Bagdad, being informed of the expedition of the King of Ghizny, wrote him a congratulatory letter, in which he styled him ‘The Guardian of the State, and of the Faith’; to his son, the Prince Ameer Musaood, he gave the title of ‘The Lustre of Empire, and the Ornament of Religion’; and to his second son, the Ameer Yoosoof, the appellation of ‘The Strength of the Arm of Fortune, and Establisher of Empires.’ He at the same time assured Mahmood, that to whomsoever he should bequeath the throne at his death, he himself would confirm and support the same.”
Sultan Masud I of Ghazni (1030-1042)
Sonipat (Haryana)
“In the year AH 427 (CE 1036)… he himself marched with an army to India, to reduce the fort of Hansy… Herein he found immense treasure, and having put the fort under the charge of a trusty officer, he marched towards the fort of Sonput. Depal Hurry, the governor of Sonput, abandoned the place, and fled into the woods; but having no time to carry off his treasure, it fell into the conqueror’s hands. Musaood having ordered all the temples to be razed to the ground, and the idols to be broken proceeded in pursuit of Depal Hurry…”
Sultan Masud III of Ghazni (CE 1099-1151)
Uttar Pradesh
“In his reign Hajib Toghantugeen, an officer of his government, proceeded in command of an army towards Hindoostan, and being appointed governor of Lahore, crossed the Ganges, and carried his conquests farther than any Mussulman had hitherto done, except the Emperor Mahmood. Like him he plundered many rich cities and temples of their wealth, and returned in triumph to Lahore, which now became in some measure the capital of the empire, for the Suljooks having deprived the house of Ghizny of most of its territory both in Eeran and Tooran, the royal family went to reside in India.”
Sultan Muhammad Ghuri (CE 1175-1216)
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh)
“Mahomed Ghoory, in the mean time returning from Ghizny, marched towards Kunowj, and engaged Jyechund Ray, the Prince of Kunowj and Benares… This prince led his forces into the field, between Chundwar and Etawa, where he sustained a signal defeat from the vanguard of the Ghiznevide army, led by Kootbood-Deen Eibuk, and lost the whole of his baggage and elephants… He marched from thence to Benares, where, having broken the idols in above 1000 temples, he purified and consecrated the latter to the worship of the true God…”
Bihar “Mahomed Ghoory, following with the body of the army into the city of Benares, took possession of the country as far as the boundaries of Bengal, without opposition, and having destroyed all the idols, loaded four thousand camels with spoils.”
Sultan Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236)
Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
“After the reduction of Gualiar, the King marched his army towards Malwa, reduced the fort of Bhilsa, and took the city of Oojein, where he destroyed a magnificent temple dedicated to Mahakaly, formed upon the same plan with that of Somnat. This temple is said to have occupied three hundred years in building, and was surrounded by a wall one hundred cubits in height. The image of Vikramaditya, who had been formerly prince of this country, and so renowned, that the Hindoos have taken an era from his death, as also the image of Mahakaly, both of stone, with many other figures of brass, were found in the temple. These images the King caused to be conveyed to Dehly, and broken at the door of the great mosque.”
Sultan Jalalud-Din Khalji (CE 1290-1296)
Malwa (Madhya Pradesh)
“The King, after the decease of his son, marched his army towards Runtunbhore, to quell an insurrection in those parts…. The enemy retired into the fort of Runtunbhore, and the King reconnoitred the place, but, despairing of reducing it, marched towards Oojein, which he sacked. At the same time also, he broke down many of the temples of Malwa, and after plundering them of much wealth, returned to Runtunbhore.”
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) “In the year AH 692 (CE 1293), the King marched against the Hindoos in the neighbourhood of Mando, and having devastated the country in that vicinity, returned to Dehly. In the mean time, Mullik Allood-Deen, the King’s nephew, governor of Kurra, requested permission to attack the Hindoos of Bhilsa, who infested his province. Having obtained leave, he marched in the same year to that place, which he subdued; and having pillaged the country, returned with much spoil, part of which was sent to the King. Among other things, there were two brazen idols which were thrown down before the Budaoon gate of Dehly, to be trodden under foot. ”
Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Gujarat
“In the beginning of AH 697 Alaud-Din sent Almas Beg and Nasrat Khan along with other chiefs of Dehli and the army of Sindh, for the conquest of Gujarat… Gujarat had a very famous idol which was not only of the same name as Somnat but was also equally prestigious. The Musalmans got hold of this idol and had it sent to Dehli so that it could be trampled upon…”
Dwarasamudra (Karnataka) “In the year AH 710 (CE 1310), the King again sent Mullik Kafoor and Khwaja Hajy with a great army, to reduce Dwara Sumoodra and Maabir in the Deccan, where he heard there were temples very rich in gold and jewels… They found in the temple prodigious spoils, such as idols of gold, adorned with precious stones, and other rich effects, consecrated to Hindoo worship. On the sea-coast the conqueror built a small mosque, and ordered prayers to be read according to the Mahomedan faith, and the Khootba to be pronounced in the name of Allaood-Deen Khiljy. This mosque remains entire in our days at Sett Bund Rameswur, for the infidels, esteeming it a house consecrated to God, would not destroy it.”
Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq (CE 1351-1388)
Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
“From thence the King marched towards the mountains of Nagrakote… Some historians state, that Feroze, on this occasion, broke the idols of Nagrakote, and mixing the fragments with pieces of cow’s flesh, filled bags with them, and caused them to be tied round the necks of Bramins, who were then paraded through the camp. It is said, also, that he sent the image of Nowshaba to Mecca, to be thrown on the road, that it might be trodden under foot by the pilgrims…”
Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517)
Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh)
“… in the year AH 910 (CE 1504), marched towards Mundril. Having taken that place, he destroyed the Hindoo temples, and caused mosques to be built in their stead.”
Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh) “… the King proceeded in the year AH 912 (CE 1506) towards the fort of Hunwuntgur, despairing of reducing Gualiar. Hunwuntgur fell in a short time, and the Rajpoot garrison was put to the sword, the temples were destroyed, and mosques ordered to be built in their stead…”
Narwar (Madhya Pradesh) “…In the following year (AH 913, CE 1506), the king marched against Nurwur, a strong fort in the district of Malwa, then in possession of the Hindoos. The Prince Julal Khan governor of Kalpy, was directed to advance and invest the place; and should the Hindoos resist, he was required to inform the King… The King remained for the space of six months at Nurwur, breaking down temples, and building mosques”
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “…He was firmly attached to the Mahomedan religion, and made a point of destroying all Hindoo temples. In the city of Mutra he caused musjids and bazars to be built opposite the bathing-stairs leading to the river and ordered that no Hindoos should be allowed to bathe there. He forbade the barbers to shave the beards and beads of the inhabitants, in order to prevent the Hindoos following their usual practices at such pilgrimages…”
Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (CE 1517-1526)
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
“…The Dehly army, arriving before Gualiar, invested the place… After the siege had been carried on for some months, the army of Ibrahim Lody at length got possession of an outwork at the foot of the hill, on which stood the fort of Badilgur. They found in that place a brazen bull, which had been for a long time an object of worship, and sent it to Agra, from whence it was afterwards conveyed to Dehly, and thrown down before the Bagdad gate (AH 924, CE 1518).”
Sultan Alaud-Din Mujahid Shah Bahmani (CE 1375-1378)
Vijayanagar (Karnataka)
“Mujahid Shah, on this occasion, repaired mosques which had been built by the officers of Alla-ood-Deen Khiljy. He broke down many temples of the idolaters, and laid waste the country; after which he hastened to Beejanuggur… The King drove them before him, and gained the bank of a piece of water, which alone divided him from the citadel, where in the Ray resided. Near this spot was an eminence, on which stood a temple, covered with plates of gold and silver, set with jewels: it was much venerated by the Hindoos, and called, in the language of the country, Puttuk. The King, considering its destruction a religious obligation ascended the hill, and having razed the edifice, became possessed of the precious metals and jewels therein.”
Sultan Ahmad Shah I Wali Bahmani (CE 1422-1435)
Vijayanagar (Karnataka)
Ahmud Shah, without waiting to besiege the Hindoo capital, overran the open country; and wherever he went put to death men, women, and children, without mercy, contrary to the compact made between his uncle and predecessor, Mahomed Shah, and the Rays of Beejanuggur. Whenever the number of slain amounted to twenty thousand, he halted three days, and made a festival celebration of the bloody event. He broke down, also, the idolatrous temples, and destroyed the colleges of the bramins. During these operations, a body of five thousand Hindoos, urged by desperation at the destruction of their religious buildings, and at the insults offered to their deities, united in taking an oath to sacrifice their lives in an attempt to kill the King, as the author of all their sufferings…”[naughty Hindus!]
Kullum (Maharashtra) “In the year AH 829 (CE 1425), Ahmud Shah marched to reduce a rebellious zemindar of Mahoor… During this campaign, the King obtained possession of a diamond mine at Kullum, a place dependent on Gondwana, in which territory he razed many idolatrous temples, and erecting mosques on their sites, appropriated to each some tracts of land to maintain holy men, and to supply lamps and oil for religious purposes…”
Sultan Alaud-Din Ahmad Shah II Bahmani (CE 1436-1458) “…He was averse from shedding human blood, though he destroyed many idolatrous temples, and erected mosques in their stead. He held conversation neither with Nazarenes nor with bramins; nor would he permit them to hold civil offices under his government.”[this indicates the presence of South Indian christian sects and being discriminated against in spite of being people of the book]
Sultan Muhammad Shah II Bahmani (CE 1463-1482)
Kondapalli (Andhra Pradesh)
“Mahomed Shah now sat down before Condapilly and Bhim Raj, after six months, being much distressed, sued for pardon; which being granted, at the intercession of some of the nobility, he surrendered the fort and town to the royal troops. The King having gone to view the fort, broke down an idolatrous temple, and killed some bramins, who officiated at it, with his own hands, as a point of religion. He then gave orders for a mosque to be erected on the foundation of the temple, and ascending a pulpit, repeated a few prayers, distributed alms, and commanded the Khootba to be read in his name. Khwaja Mahmood Gawan now represented, that as his Majesty had slain some infidels with his own hands, he might fairly assume the title of Ghazy, an appellation of which he was very proud. Mahmood Shah was the first of his race who had slain a bramin…” [note the conditions for getting the title of Gazi and how glorious is the act in Islam of slaying a Brahmin]
Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu) “…On his arrival at Condapilly, he was informed…, that at the distance of ten days’ journey was the temple of Kunchy the walls and roof of which were covered with plates of gold, and ornamented with precious stones; but that no Mahomedan monarch had as yet seen it, or even heard of its name. Mahomed Shah, accordingly, selected six thousand of his best cavalry, and leaving the rest of his army at Condapilly, proceeded by forced marches to Kunchy… Swarms of people, like bees, now issued from within, and ranged themselves under the walls to defend it. At length, the rest of the King’s force coming up, the temple was attacked and carried by storm, with great slaughter. An immense booty fell to the share of the victors, who took away nothing but gold, jewels, and silver, which were abundant…”
Sultan Ali adil Shah I of Bijapur (CE 1557-1579)
Bankapur (Karnataka)
“…Ally Adil Shah, at the persuasions of his minister, carried his arms against Bunkapoor…The King ordered a superb temple within it to be destroyed, and he himself laid the first stone of a mosque, which was built on the foundation, offering up prayers for his victory.…
Sultan Quli Qutb Shah of Golconda (CE 1507-1543)
Dewarconda (Andhra Pradesh)
“After his return the King proceeded to reduce the fortress of Dewurconda, strongly situated on the top of a hill, which after a long siege was taken, and the Hindoo palaces and temples, by the King’s orders were consumed to ashes, and mosques built in their stead.”
Sultan Ibrahim Qutb Shah of Golconda (CE 1550-1580)
Adoni (Karnataka)
“When… Ibrahim Kootb Shah, had settled the countries of the Hindoos on his southern frontier, and despatched his commander, Ameer Shah Meer, to oppose the armies of his Mahomedan neighbours, he vested the management of the affairs of his government in the hands of one Moorhary Row, a Marratta bramin, to whom was attached a body of ten thousand infantry, under the command of Mahomedan officers of rank, with permission to beat the nobut. Moorhary Row was in every respect the second person in the state, not even excepting the princes of the blood-royal. In the latter end of the late king’s reign, this unprincipled infidel proceeded with a force towards a famous temple near Adony, where he attacked the inhabitants, laid waste the country, and sacked it of its idols, made of gold and silver, and studded with rubies. He levied also four lacks of hoons (160,000l.) from the inhabitants. At sight of the idols the King was taken seriously ill, and never recovered. He died on Thursday the 21st of Rubbeeoos-Sany, AH 988 (CE June 2, 1580) CE…”[this is a strange story indeed – for it grants pwoers to idols not usually recognized by Islamic scholars. More interestingly this is a wonderful example of the tradition still exemplified by the Thaparite school of “upper caste” Hindus violently turning against their class of origin and collaborating or helping in the spread of Islam possibly motivated by economics and gaining political power]
Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah of Golconda (CE 1580-1612)
Cuddapah (Andhra Pradesh)
“Moortuza Khan, with the main army of the Mahomedans, had pentrated as far as the city of Krupa, the most famous city of that country, wherein was a large temple. This edifice the Mahomedans destroyed as far as practicable, broke the idol, and sacked the city…”
Kalahasti (Tamil Nadu) “The King determined to spare neither men nor money to carry on the war against the Hindoos: … Etibar Khan now proceeded to the town of Calistry, which he reached after a month’s march from Golconda. Here he destroyed the Hindoo idols, and ordered prayers to be read in the temples. These edifices may well he compared in magnificence with the buildings and paintings of China, with which they vie in beauty and workmanship. …”
Sultan Muzaffar Shah I of Gujarat (CE 1392-1410)
Somnath (Gujarat) “
…On the return of Moozuffur Khan to Guzerat, he learnt that in the western Puttun district the Ray of Jehrend, an idolater, refused allegiance to the Mahomedan authority. To this place Moozuffur Khan accordingly marched, and exacted tribute. He then proceeded to Somnat, where having destroyed all the Hindoo temples which he found standing, he built mosques in their stead; and leaving learned men for the propagation of the faith, and his own officers to govern the country, returned to Puttun in the year AH 798 (CE 1395).”
Jhalawar (Rajasthan) “…he went towards Guzerat. On reaching Julwara, he destroyed the temples; and after exacting heavy contributions, and establishing his authority, he returned to Puttun…”
Diu (Gujarat) “…In the following year AH 804 (CE 1402), he marched to Somnat, and after a bloody action, in which the Mahomedans were victorious, the Ray fled to Diu. Moozuffur Shah having arrived before Diu laid siege to it, but it opened its gates without offering resistance. The garrison was, however, nearly all cut to pieces, while the Ray, with the rest of the members of his court, were trod to death by elephants. One large temple in the town was razed to the ground, and a mosque built on its site; after which, leaving his own troops in the place, Moozuffur Shah returned to Puttun.”
Sultan Ahmad Shah I of Gujrat (CE 1411-1443)
Sompur (Gujrat)
“Ahmud Shah having a great curiosity to see the hill-fort of Girnal pursued the rebel in that direction… After a short time, the Raja, having consented to pay an annual tribute, made a large offering on the spot. Ahmud Shah left officers to collect the stipulated amount, and returned to Ahmadabad; on the road to which place he destroyed the temple of Somapoor, wherein were found many valuable jewels, and other property.”
General order “In the year AH 817 (CE 1414), Mullik Tohfa, one of the Officers of the King’s government was ennobled by the title of Taj-ool-Moolk, and received a special commission to destroy all idolatrous temples, and establish the Mahomedan authority throughout Guzerat; a duty which he executed with such diligence, that the names of Mawass and Girass were hereafter unheard of in the whole kingdom.
enroute Nagaur (Rajasthan) “In the year AH 819 (CE 1416), Ahmud Shah marched against Nagoor, on the road to which place he plundered the country, and destroyed the temples…”
Idar (Gujarat)“…In the year 832 he marched again to Idur; and on the sixth of Suffur, AH 832 (CE Nov. 14, 1428) carried by storm one of the principal forts in that province, wherein he built a magnificent mosque…”
Sultan Mahmud BegDha of Gujarat (CE 1458-1511)
Girnar (Gujarat)
“..in the year AH 872 (CE 1468), the King saw the holy Prophet (Mahomed) in a dream, who presented before him a magnificent banquet of the most delicate viands. This dream was interpreted by the wise men as a sign that he would soon accomplish a conquest by which he would obtain great treasures, which prediction was soon after verified in the capture of Girnal. In the year AH 873 (CE 1469), Mahmood Shah marched towards the country of Girnal, the capital of which bears the same name…The victorious army, without attacking the fort of Girnal, destroyed all the temples in the vicinity; and the King sending out foraging parties procured abundance of provisions for the camp…The King, being desirous that the tenets of Islam should be propagated throughout the country of Girnal, caused a city to be built, which he called Moostufabad, for the purpose of establishing an honourable residence for the venerable personages of the Mahomedan religion, deputed to disseminate its principles; …”
Dwarka (Gujarat) “Mahmood Shah’s next effort was against the port of Jugut, with a view of making converts of the infidels, an object from which he had been hitherto deterred by the reports he received of the approaches to it…The King, after an arduous march, at length arrived before the fort of Jugut a place filled with infidels, misled by the infernal minded bramins… The army was employed in destroying the temple at Jugut, and in building a mosque in its stead…”
Sultan Muzaffar Shah II of Gujarat (CE 1511-1526)
Idar (Gujarat) “
The King…On reaching Mahrasa he caused the whole of the Idur district to be laid waste. Bheem Ray took refuge in the Beesulnuggur mountains; but the garrison of Idur, consisting of only ten Rajpoots, defended it against the whole of the King’s army with obstinacy; they were, however, eventually put to death on the capture of the place; and the temples, palaces, and garden houses, were levelled with the dust…”
Sultan Mahmud Khalji of Malwa (CE 1435-1469)
Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan) “
…Sooltan Mahmood now attacked one of the forts in the Koombulmere district, defended by Beny Ray, the deputy of Rana Koombho of Chittor. In front of the gateway was a large temple which commanded the lower works. This building was strongly fortified, and employed by the enemy as a magazine. Sooltan Mahmood, aware of its importance, determined to take possession of it at all hazards; and having stormed it in person, carried it, but not without heavy loss; after which, the fort fell into his hands, and many Rajpoots were put to death. The temple was now filled with wood, and being set on fire, cold water was thrown on the, stone images, which causing them to break, the pieces were given to the butchers of the camp, in order to be used as weights in selling meat. One large figure in particular, representing a ram, and formed of solid marble, being consumed, the Rajpoots were compelled to eat the calcined parts with pan, in order that it might be said that they were made to eat their gods…”
Mandalgadh (Rajasthan) “On the 26th of Mohurrum, in the year AH 861 (CE Dec. 23, 1465), the King again proceeded to Mundulgur; and after a vigorous siege occupied the lower fort, wherein many Rajpoots were put to the sword, but the hill-fort still held out; to reduce which might have been a work of time but the reservoirs of water failing in consequence of the firing of the cannon, the garrison was obliged to capitulate, and Rana Koombho stipulated to pay ten lacks of tunkas… On the following day the King caused all the temples to be destroyed, and musjids to be erected in their stead, appointing the necessary officers of religion to perform daily worship…”
enroute Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan) “Sooltan Mahmood, in the year AH 863 (CE 1485), again marched against the Rajpoots….he detached Gheias-ood-Deen to lay waste the country of the Kolies and Bheels. In this excursion the Prince penetrated to the hills of Koombulmere, and on his return, having given the King some description of that fortress, Sooltan Mahmood resolved to march thither. On the next day he moved for that purpose, destroying all the temples on the road…”
Sultan Mahmud Shah bin Ibrahim Sharqi of Jaunpur (CE 1440-1457)
Orissa
“…Mahmood Shah Shurky, ..took the field again for the purpose of reducing some refractory zemindars in the district of Chunar, which place he sacked, and from thence proceeded into the province of Orissa, which he also reduced; and having destroyed the temples and collected large sums of money, returned to Joonpoor.”
Muhammad bin Qasim (CE 712-715)
Debal (Sindh)
“On the receipt of this letter, Hijaj obtained the consent of Wuleed, the son of Abdool Mullik, to invade India, for the purpose of propagating the faith and at the same time deputed a chief of the name of Budmeen, with three hundred cavalry, to join Haroon in Mikran, who was directed to reinforce the party with one thousand good soldiers more to attack Deebul. Budmeen failed in his expedition, and lost his life in the first action. Hijaj, not deterred by this defeat, resolved to follow up the enterprise by another. In consequence, in the year AH 93 (CE 711) he deputed his cousin and son-in-law, Imad-ood-Deen Mahomed Kasim, the son of Akil Shukhfy, then only seventeen years of age, with six thousand soldiers, chiefly Assyrians, with the necessary implements for taking forts, to attack Deebul…On reaching this place, he made preparations to besiege it, but the approach was covered by a fortified temple, surrounded by strong wall, built of hewn stone and mortar, one hundred and twenty feet in height. After some time a bramin, belonging to the temple, being taken, and brought before Kasim, stated, that four thousand Rajpoots defended the place, in which were from two to three thousand bramins, with shorn heads, and that all his efforts would be vain; for the standard of the temple was sacred; and while it remained entire no profane foot dared to step beyond the threshold of the holy edifice. Mahomed Kasim having caused the catapults to be directed against the magic flag-staff, succeeded, on the third discharge, in striking the standard, and broke it down… Mahomed Kasim levelled the temple and its walls with the ground and circumcised the brahmins. The infidels highly resented this treatment, by invectives against him and the true faith. On which Mahomed Kasim caused every brahmin, from the age of seventeen and upwards, to be put to death; the young women and children of both sexes were retained in bondage and the old women being released, were permitted to go whithersoever they chose.”
Multan (Punjab) “…On reaching Mooltan, Mahomed Kasim also subdued that province; and himself occupying the city, he erected mosques on the site of the Hindoo temples.”
Sultlan Jalalud-Din Mankbarni of Khwarizm (CE 1222-1231)
Thatta (Sindh) “
…JulaloodDeen now occupied Tutta, destroyed all the temples, and built mosques in their stead; and on one occasion detached a force to Nehrwala (Puttun), on the border of Guzerat…”
Sultan Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (CE 1389-1413)
Kashmir
In these days he promoted a bramin, by name Seeva Dew Bhut, to the office of prime minister, who embracing the Mahomedan faith, became such a persecutor of Hindoos that he induced Sikundur to issue orders proscribing the residence of any other than Mahomedans in Kashmeer; and he required that no man should wear the mark on his forehead, or any woman be permitted to burn with her husband’s corpse. Lastly, he insisted on all golden and silver images being broken and melted down, and the metal coined into money. Many of the bramins, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming Mahomedans. After the emigration of the bramins, Sikundur ordered all the temples in Kashmeer to be thrown down; among which was one dedicated to Maha Dew, in the district of Punjhuzara, which they were unable to destroy, in consequence of its foundation being below the surface of the neighbouring water. But the temple dedicated to Jug Dew was levelled with the ground; and on digging into its foundation the earth emitted volumes of fire and smoke which the infidels declared to be the emblem of the wrath of the Deity; but Sikundur, who witnessed the phenomenon, did not desist till the building was entirely razed to the ground, and its foundations dug up. In another place in Kashmeer was a temple built by Raja Bulnat, the destruction of which was attended with a remarkable incident. After it had been levelled, and the people were employed in digging the foundation, a copper-plate was discovered, on which was the following inscription:- ‘Raja Bulnat, having built this temple, was desirous of ascertaining from his astrologers how long it would last, and was informed by them, that after eleven hundred years, a king named Sikundur would destroy it, as well as the other temples in Kashmeer’…Having broken all the images in Kashmeer, he acquired the title of the Iconoclast, ‘Destroyer of Idols’…”[This could also be the everlasting story of “peaceful conversions” and “voluntary migration of stiff lipped upper castes” away from the Kashmir valley helped perhaps by an overzealous converted originally-Brahmin fanatic overdoing things in order to show his new masters how devoted he was to Islam]
Sultan Fath Shah of Kashmir (CE 1485-1499 and 1505-1516)
Kashmir
“On the imprisonment of Mahomed, Futteh Khan, assuming the reigns of government, and being formally crowned, was acknowledged King of Kashmeer in the year 902; and appointed Suffy and Runga Ray, the two officers who had lately made their escape, his ministers. About this time one Meer Shumsood-Deen, disciple of Shah Kasim Anwur, the son of Syud Mahomed Noorbukhsh arrived in Kashmeer from Irak. Futteh Khan made over to this holy personage all the confiscated lands which had lately fallen to the crown; and his disciples went forth destroying the temples of the idolaters, in which they met with the support of the government, so that no one dared to oppose them. In a short time many of the Kashmeeries, particularly those of the tribe of Chuk, became converts to the Noorbukhsh tenets. The persuasion of this sect was connected with that of the Sheeas; but many proselytes, who had not tasted of the cup of grace, after the death of Meer Shumsood-Deen, reverted to their idols…

(45) Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri : The author is the fourth Mughal emperor, Jahangir (CE 1605-1628). He wrote it himself as his memoirs upto the thirteenth year of his reign, that is, CE 1617. After that his ill-health forced him to give up writing and the work was entrusted to Mutamad Khan who continued writing it in the name of the emperor upto the beginning of the nineteenth year of the reign. Muhammad Hadi continued the memoirs upto Jahangir’s death in 1628.
Ajmer (Rajasthan) “…On the 7th azar I went to see and shoot on the tank of Pushkar, which is one of the established praying-places of the Hindus, with regard to the perfection of which they give (excellent) accounts that are incredible to any intelligence, and which is situated at a distance of three kos from Ajmir. For two or three days I shot waterfowl on that tank, and returned to Ajmir. Old and new temples which, in the language of the infidels, they call Deohara are to be seen around this tank. Among them Rana Shankar, who is the uncle of the rebel Amar, and in my kingdom is among the high nobles, had built a Deohara of great magnificence, on which 100,000 rupees had been spent. I went to see that temple. I found a form cut out of black stone, which from the neck above was in the shape of a pig’s head, and the rest of the body was like that of a man. The worthless religion of the Hindus is this, that once on a time for some particular object the Supreme Ruler thought it necessary to show himself in this shape; on this account they hold it dear and worship it. [Probably referring to a Baraha Avatar – the Hindu representation with uncanny similarities to Darwinian evolution through Dashavatar] I ordered them to break that hideous form and throw it into the tank. After looking at this building there appeared a white dome on the top of a hill, to which men were coming from all quarters. When I asked about this they said that a Jogi lived there, and when the simpletons come to see him he places in their hands a handful of flour, which they put into their mouths and imitate the cry of an animal which these fools have at some time injured, in order that by this act their sins may be blotted out. I ordered them to break down that place and turn the Jogi out of it, as well as to destroy the form of an idol there was in the dome…”
Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) “On the 24th of the same month I went to see the fort of Kangra, and gave an order that the Qazi, the Chief Justice (MirAdl), and other learned men of Islam should accompany me and carry out in the fort whatever was customary, according to the religion of Muhammad. Briefly, having traversed about one koss, I went up to the top of the fort, and by the grace of God, the call to prayer and the reading of the Khutba and the slaughter of a bullock which had not taken place from the commencement of the building of the fort till now, were carried out in my presence. I prostrated myself in thanksgiving for this great gift, which no king had hoped to receive, and ordered a lofty mosque to be built inside the fort…After going round the fort I went to see the temple of Durga, which is known as Bhawan. A world has here wandered in the desert of error. Setting aside the infidels whose custom is the worship of idols, crowds of the people of Islam, traversing long distances, bring their offerings and pray to the black stone (image)… Some maintain that this stone, which is now a place of worship for the vile infidels, is not the stone which was there originally, but that a body of the people of Islam came and carried off the original stone, and threw it into the bottom of the river, with the intent that no one could get at it. For a long time the tumult of the infidels and idol-worshippers had died away in the world, till a lying brahman hid a stone for his own ends, and going to the Raja of the time said: ‘I saw Durga in a dream, and she said to me: They have thrown me into a certain place: quickly go and take me up.’ The Raja, in the simplicity of his heart, and greedy for the offerings of gold that would come to him, accepted the tale of the brahman and sent a number of people with him, and brought that stone, and kept it in this place with honour, and started again the shop of error and misleading…”
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) “I am here led to relate that at the city of Banaras a temple had been erected by Rajah Maun Singh, which cost him the sum of nearly thirty-six laks of five methkally ashrefies. The principle idol in this temple had on its head a tiara or cap, enriched with jewels to the amount of three laks ashrefies. He had placed in this temple moreover, as the associates and ministering servants of the principal idol, four other images of solid gold, each crowned with a tiara, in the like manner enriched with precious stones. It was the belief of these Jehennemites that a dead Hindu, provided when alive he had been a worshipper, when laid before this idol would be restored to life. As I could not possibly give credit to such a pretence, I employed a confidential person to ascertain the truth; and, as I justly supposed, the whole was detected to be an impudent imposture. Of this discovery I availed myself, and I made it my plea for throwing down the temple which was the scene of this imposture and on the spot, with the very same materials, I erected the great mosque, because the very name of Islam was proscribed at Banaras, and with God’s blessing it is my design, if I live, to fill it full with true believers.

Part 8

part 1: enslavement of non-Muslims

part 4: the myth of the role of Sufis in conversion

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Jammu and Kashmir – repeal the outdated and temporary Article 370

Posted on August 24, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan |

Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir signed the accession papers on October 26, 1947 under which the state acceded to India. The accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India was carried out following the common pattern as drafted for other states acceding to India or Pakistan. Nehru I the Great took it upon himself to force the Maharaja for handing over power to Sheikh Abdullah. On the insistence of the latter it was decided that the State Assembly will take the final decision on the accession. We do not know whether there was a special mutually obligatory relationship between Nehru I and Sk. Abdullah, (why did Nehru declare himslef a Muslim in culture?) or such a relationship was forged on prompting by the British and we can only speculate about how Nehru came to this course of action and why people like Sardar were unable to stop him – there seemed to be no such fatal vacillation and weakness in the case of Hyderabad. To deal with the situation arising until the Assembly took the final decision Article 370 was incorporated in the Constitution as a temporary measure. But even after ratification by the State Assembly of Kashmir’s accession to India, the Article was not abrogated.

The Parliament has the power to legislate laws for rest of the states in the country but Article 370 prevents the Government of India from enforcing any law connected with Jammu and Kashmir without the approval or concurrence of the State Government. Only defence, external affairs and communications fall in the central list. Thus the law prohibiting misuse of religious places could not be extended to Jammu and Kashmir and so Kashmir is the only region in India which can claim to be legally not secular. The Uttar Pradesh Government was dismissed under Article 356 of the constitution over non-prevention of the demolition of the so-called Babari Masjid, but Article 356 was never invoked in Kashmir in spite of well known and very old pre-Islamic temples and shrines being openly destroyed by sections of Kashmiri Muslims.The President has no right to suspend the Constitution in the State and only the National emergency act under Article 352 of the Constitution can be imposed on Jammu and Kashmir to a limited extent and the financial emergency under Article 360 cannot be enforced in Jammu and Kashmir.

Under part four of the Constituion of India there is provision and scope for one constitutional practice, one administrative structure and one economic pattern. But under Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir has its right under its own constition to choose its own policies irrespective of the rest of India. Kashmir has separate flag from India and two flags have to be raised on the Government buildings in the state. For hoisting freely the National flag, permission has to be obtained from the State because it is necessary to hoist the national flag with the state flag. By Article 370, citizens of Jammu and Kashmir are citizens of India but the citizens of the rest of India cannot be citizens of Jammu and Kashmir and do not have the right to have property or the right to vote in Jammu and Kashmir. If a girl belonging to Jammu and Kashmir marries a boy who is not a state subject, she loses all her rights in the state, while the same does not extend to a Kashmiri boy. The wealth tax cannot be imposed in the state. The Urban Land Act, 1976, which is in force in the entire country is not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir.

Muslims from rest of India are given citizenship of Jammu and Kashmir but Hindus displaced during the partition, have been consistently refused citizenship according to some sources. The state Government did not accept the Anti-defection law adopted in the country and instead made several amendments. Here the decision on defection is not taken by the speaker of the Assembly but by the leader of the connected political party. The Governor has no right to vote in the Assembly if he/she is not a citizen of the state. The recommendations of the Wazir Commission for political reforms in Kashmir have been refused with the help of Article 370. Burning of the national flag is not a cognizable offence in Kashmir because the obligation enshrined in the Constitution to show respect to the tricolour, the national anthem and the national symbol is not valid in Kashmir. Under Article 370 the Indian Parliament cannot increase or reduce the borders of the state. The Union Government implements international agreements and accords under Article 253 of the Constitution but this Articel is superseded by Article 370 Jammu and Kashmir. One of the architects of Constitution of India, Dr.Ambedkar had apparently cautioned Nehru I that Article 370 can make full integration of the state with India difficult. But it is unlikely that Dr. Ambedkar’s warning will be heeded even now by his ideological and political descendants who are now dreaming of becoming a Prime Ministerial party using the very same complete appeasement and surrender to Islamic theological agenda.

On April 7, 1958 the Plebiscite Front of Sheikh Abdullah adopted a resolution specifically citing Article 370. and stated that : “Jammu and Kashmir state has not yet acceded to any of the two dominions, India and Pakistan. Therefore, it will not be right to call Pakistani invasion on Jammu and Kashmir as an attack on India.” Using Article 370 Kashmiri Muslim leaders have opposed any family planning and welfare schemes formulated by the Government of India, and the programme was implemented only in the Hindu majority Jammu. The former Chief Minister, G.M. Shah, had said that the aim of the Government family planning programme was to convert the Muslim majority into a minority. The former External Affairs Minister, M.C. Chagla, had told the United Nations that the Article was a temporary measure. The two former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad and G.M. Sadiq, too wanted this Article to be repealed.

Articles 3 and 5 of the State Constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir states that it will remain an “inseparable” part of India and the Parliament should immediately repeal article 370. For those Kashmiri Muslims who have declared themselves to be Pakistanis should be asked to apply for Pakistani citizenship, and if their application fails should be declared stateless persons and no longer citizens of India, and therefore no-longer citizens of any part of the dominions of the Republic of India.

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go – 6 – cultural destruction of non-Muslims

Posted on August 24, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Islam, Muslims, Politics, religion |

Continuing with the Islamic chronicler’s claims of the destruction of the cultural icons of non-Muslims : if not true as claimed by the Thaparite School of Indian History, it then raises the obvious question as why all these opium or other drug-fuelled feverish narratives allways seem to find destruction of cultural icons of non-Muslims such an integral and glorifying aspect of Islam.

(12) Asarul-Bilad : The author, Zakariya bin Muhammad, was born in the town of Kazwin in Iran and became known as al-Kazwini. His work is a compilation from the writings of travellers like Istakhri and Ibn Hauqal. It was written between CE 1263 and 1275.

Sultan Muhmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“Somnat-A celebrated city of India, is situated on the shores of the sea, and washed by its waves. Among the wonders of that place was the temple in which was placed the idol called Somnat… When the Sultan Yaminuddaula Mahmud bin Subuktigin went to wage religious war against India, he made great efforts to capture and destroy Somnat, in the hope that Hindus would become Muhammadans. He arrived there in the middle of Zil Kada AH 416 (December CE 1025). The Indians made a desperate resistance… The number of slain exceeded 50,000…”

Muhammad bin Qasim (CE 712-715)
Multan (Punjab)
“Muhammad Kasim, ascertaining that large offerings were made to the idol, and wishing to add to his resources by those means, left it uninjured, but in order to show his horror of Indian superstition, he attached a piece of cow’s flesh to its neck, by which he was able to gratify his avarice and malignity at the same time.”

(13) Nizamut-Tawarikh The author, Abu Said Abdullah bin Abul Hasan Ali Baizawi, was born at Baiza, a town near Shiraz in Iran. He became a Qazi, first at Shiraz and then at Tabriz, where he died in CE 1286. His history starts from the earliest period and comes down to the Mongol invasions.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030) “Nasiru-d din [Subuktigin] died in the year AH 387 (CE 997) and the command of his troops descended to Mahmud by inheritance, and by confirmation of Nuh, son of Mansur… He demolished the Hindu temples and gave prevalence to the Muhammadan faith…”

(14) Miftahul-Futuh : The author, Amir Khusru, was born at Delhi in 1253. His father occupied high positions in the reigns of Sultan Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236) and his successors. His mother was the daughter of another dignitary under Sultan Ghiyasud-Din Balban (CE 1266-1286). He himself became a companion of Balban’s son, Prince Muhammad, and stayed at Multan till the prince was killed in a battle with the Mongols. Reputed to be the dearest disciple of Shykh Nizamud-Din Auliya‘, he became the lick-spittle of whoever came out victorious in the contest for the throne at Delhi. He became a court poet of Balban’s successor, Sultan Kaiqubad (CE 1288-1290) and wrote his Qiranus Sadain in the Sultan’s praise in CE 1289. Next, he joined Sultan Jalalud-Din Khalji (CE 1290-1296) as a court poet after the latter murdered Kaiqubad. He wrote in 1291 the Miftahul-Futuh which describes Jalalud-Din’s victories.

Sultan Jalalud -Din Khalji (CE 1290-1296)
Jhain (Rajasthan)
“The Sultan reached Jhain in the afternoon of the third day and stayed in the palace of the Raya… He greatly enjoyed his stay for some time. Coming out, he took a round of the gardens and temples. The idols he saw amazed him… Next day he got those idols of gold smashed with stones. The pillars of wood were burnt down by his order…Two idols were made of brass, one of which weighed nearly a thousand mans. He got both of them broken, and the pieces were distributed among his people so that they may throw them at the door of the Masjid on their return [to Delhi]…”

Another version of the same text is available in the translation by Elliot and Dowson:

“Three days after this, the king entered Jhain at midday and occupied the private apartment of the rai… He then visited the temples, which were ornamented with elaborate work in gold and silver. Next day he went again to the temples, and ordered their destruction, as well as of the fort, and set fire to the palace, and ‘thus made hell of paradise’… While the soldiers sought every opportunity of plundering, the Shah was engaged in burning the temples, and destroying the idols. There were two bronze idols of Brahma each of which weighed more than a thousand mans. These were broken into pieces and the fragments distributed amongst the officers, with orders to throw them down at the gates of the Masjid on their return.”

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) “When he advanced from the capital of Karra, the Hindus, in alarm, descended into the earth like ants. He departed towards the garden of Behar to dye that soil with blood as red as tulip. He cleared the road to Ujjain of vile wretches, and created consternation in Bhilsan. When he effected his conquests in that country, he drew out of the river the idols which had been concealed in it.”

(15) Khazainul-Futuh another work by Amir Khusru who wrote it in praise of Alaud-Din Khalji when the latter became the Sultan after murdering his uncle and father-in-law, Sultan Jalalud-Din Khalji. Khusru was among the foremost notables who welcomed Alaud-Din when the latter reached Delhi with the head of the late king held aloft on the point of a spear. He completed this history in CE 1311. It is famous for its flowery language and figures of speech.

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Delhi “
He started his building programme with the Jami Hazrat mosque… Thereafter he decided to build a second minar opposite to the lofty minar of the Jami Masjid, which minar is unparalleled in the world… He ordered the circumference of the new minar to be double that of the old one. People were sent out in all directions in search of stones…Some others proved sharper than steel in breaking the temples of the infidels. Wherever these temples were bent in prayers, they were made to do prostration.”

Somnath (Gujarat) “On Wednesday, the 20th of Jamadi-ul Awwal in AH 698 (23 February, 1299), the Sultan sent an order to the manager of the armed forces for despatching the army of Islam to Gujarat so that the temple of Somnat on its shore could be destroyed…When the royal army reached that province, it won a victory after great slaughter. Thereafter the Khan-i-azam went with his army to the sea-shore and besieged Somnat which was a place of worship for the Hindus. The army of Islam broke the idols and the biggest idol was sent to the court of the Sultan.”

Professor Mohammed Habib’s translation provides a fuller version. It reads: “So the temple of Somnath was made to bow towards the Holy Mecca; and as the temple lowered its head and jumped into the sea, you may say that the building first said its prayers and then had a bath… It seemed as if the tongue of the Imperial sword explained the meaning of the text: ‘So he (Abraham) broke them (the idols) into pieces except the chief of them, that haply they may return to it.’ Such a pagan country, the Mecca of the infidels, now became the Medina of Islam. The followers of Abraham now acted as guides in place of the Brahman leaders. The robust-hearted true believers rigorously broke all idols and temples wherever they found them. Owing to the war, ‘takbir,’ and ‘shahadat’ was heard on every side; even the idols by their breaking affirmed the existence of God. In this ancient land of infidelity the call to prayers rose so high that it was heard in Baghdad and Madain (Ctesiphon) while the ‘Ala’ proclamation (Khutba) resounded in the dome of Abraham and over the water of Zamzam… The sword of Islam purified the land as the Sun purifies the earth.”

Jhain (Rajasthan) “On Tuesday, the 3rd of Ziqad in AH 700 (10 July, 1301), the strong fort [of Ranthambhor] was conquered. Jhain which was the abode of the infidels, became a new city for Musalmans. The temple of Bahirdev was the first to be destroyed. Subsequently, all other abodes of idolatry were destroyed. Many strong temples which would have remained unshaken even by the trumpet blown on the Day of Judgment, were levelled with the ground when swept by the wind of Islam.”

Warangal (Andhra Pradesh) “…the tents around the fort were pitched together so closely that the head of a needle could not go between them… Orders were issued that every man should erect behind his own tent a kathgar, that is wooden defence. The trees were cut with axes and felled, notwithstanding their groans; and the Hindus, who worship trees, could not at that time come to the rescue of their idols, so that every cursed tree which was in that capital of idolatry was cut down to the roots…“During the attack, the catapults were busily plied on both sides… ‘Praise be to God for his exaltation of the religion of Muhammad. It is not to be doubted that stones are worshipped by Gabrs, but as the stones did no service to them, they only bore to heaven the futility of that worship, and at the same time prostrated their devotees upon earth’

Deccan and South India “The tongue of the sword of the Khalifa of the time, which is the tongue of the flame of Islam, has imparted light to the entire darkness of Hindustan by the illumination of its guidance… and on the right hand and on the left hand the army has conquered from sea to sea, and several capitals of the gods of the Hindus in which Satanism had prevailed since the time of the Jinns, have been demolished. All these impurities of infidelity have been cleansed by the Sultan’s destruction of idol temples, beginning with his first expedition against Deogir, so that the flames of the light of the law illumine all these unholy countries, and places for the criers to prayers are exalted on high, and prayers are read in mosques. God be praised!”

Chidambaram (Tamil Nadu) “After returning to Birdhul, he again pursued the Raja to Kandur… The Rai again escaped him, and he ordered a general massacre at Kandur. It was then ascertained that he had fled to Jalkota… There the Malik closely pursued him, but he had again escaped to the jungles, which the Malik found himself unable to penetrate, and he therefore returned to Kandur… Here he heard that in Brahmastpuri there was a golden idol, round which many elephants wore stabled. The Malik started on a night expedition against this place, and in the morning seized no less then two hundred and fifty elephants. He then determined on razing the beautiful temple to the ground – ‘you might say that it was the Paradise of Shaddad which, after being lost, those hellites had found, and that it was the golden Lanka of Ram,’ – ‘the roof was covered with rubies and emeralds’, – ‘in short, it was the holy place of the Hindus, which the Malik dug up from its foundations with the greatest care… and heads of the Brahmans and idolaters danced from their necks and fell to the ground at their feet,’ and blood flowed in torrents. ‘The stone idol called Ling Mahadeo which had been a long time established at that place and on which the women of the infidels rubbed their vaginas for [sexual] satisfaction, these, up to this time, the kick of the horse of Islam had not attempted to break.’[The sexual fantasy of the “imaginative” Muslim mind takes a leap here – typical sizes of the “Lingams” could only be accommodated by female elephants perhaps] The Musalmans destroyed all the lings, ‘and Deo Narain fell down,… Much gold and valuable jewels fell into the hands of the Musalmans, who returned to the royal canopy, after executing their holy project, on the 13th of Zi-l Kada, AH 710 (April 1311 CE). They destroyed an the temples at Birdhul, and placed the plunder in the public treasury.”

Madura (Tamil Nadu) “.. they arrived at the city of Mathra (Madura), the dwelling place of the brother of the Rai Sundar Pandya. They found the city empty, for the Rai had fled with the Ranis, but had left two or three elephants in the temple of Jagnar (Jagganath). The elephants were captured and the temple burnt.”

(16) Dawal Rani-Khizr Khani: Amir Khusru wrote this epic in CE 1315. It is popularly known as ashiqa, love-story. Its main theme is the so-called “love” between Dawal Rani, the captured daughter of the last Hindu King of Gujarat, and Khizr Khan, the eldest son of Alaud-Din Khalji. It also describes Muslim history in India upto the reign of Alaud-Din Khalji, including Malik Kafur’s expedition to South India in CE 1310.

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Pattan (Tamil Nadu)
“There was another rai in those parts, whose rule extended over sea and land, a Brahmin named Pandya Guru. He had many cities in his possession, and his capital was Fatan, where there was a temple with an idol in it laden with jewels… The rai, when the army of the Sultan arrived at Fatan, fled away, and what can an army do without its leader? The Musalmans in his service sought protection from the king’s army, and they were made happy with the kind of reception they met. [this is a possible fallout of employing Muslims in an army created to defend non-Muslims] 500 elephants were taken. They then struck the idol with an iron hatchet, and opened its head. Although it was the very Kibla of the accursed gabrs, it kissed the earth and filled the holy treasury.”

(17) Nuh Siphir is the fourth historical mathnavi which Amir Khusru wrote when he was 67 years old. It celebrates the reign of Sultan Mubarak Shah Khalji. It consists of nine(nuh) siphirs (parts). In Siphir III, he says that the Hindus “worship…stones, beasts, plants and the sun, but they recognize that these things are creations of God and adore them simply because their forefathers did so.”

Sultan Mubarak Shah Khalji (CE 1316-1320)
Warrangal (Andhra Pradesh)
“They pursued the enemy to the gates and set everything on fire. They burnt down all those gardens and groves. That paradise of idol-worshippers became like hell. The fire-worshippers of Bud were in alarm and flocked round their idols…”

(18) Siyarul-Auliya was written by Sayyid Muhammad bin Mubarak bin Muhammad Alwi Kirmani known as Amir or Mir Khwurd. He was the grandson of an Iranian merchant who traded between Kirman in Iran and Lahore, and who became a disciple of Shykh Faridud-Din Ganj-i-Shakar, the Sufi luminary of Ajodhan near Multan. His father was also a disciple of the same Sufi. The family travelled to Delhi after Shykh Farid’s death and became devoted to Shykh Nizamud-Din Auliya. Mir Khwurd was forced to migrate to Daulatabad by Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq but allowed to return to Delhi after some time. It was then that he wrote this detailed biography of the Auliya and his disciples.

Sheikh Muin al-Din Chisti of Ajmer (d. CE 1236)
Ajmer (Rajasthan)
“The other miracle is that before his arrival the whole of Hindustan was submerged by unbelief and idol-worship. Every haughty man in Hind pronounced himself to be Almighty God and considered himself as the partner of God. [with typical high intelligence of the Muslim bigot, this is the interpretation of the Advaita or Vedantic philosophies] All the people of India used to prostrate themselves before stones, idols, trees, animals, cows and cow-dung. Because of the darkness of unbelief over this land their hearts were locked and hardened. “All India was ignorant of orders of religion and law. All were ignorant of Allah and His Prophet. None had seen the Kaba. None had heard of the Greatness of Allah. “Because of his coming, the, Sun of real believers, the helper of religion, Muin al-din, the darkness of unbelief in this land was illumined by the light of Islam. “Because of his Sword, instead of idols and temples in the land of unbelief now there are mosques, mihrab and mimbar. In the land where there were the sayings of the idol-worshippers, there is the sound of ‘Allahu Akbar’. “The descendants of those who were converted to Islam in this land will live until the Day of Judgement; so too will those who bring others into the fold of Islam by the sword of Islam. [ note the unhesitating declaration of Sufis being associated with conversion by the sword].”

(19) Tarikh-i-Wassaf : The author, Abdullah ibn Fazlullah of Shiraz, is known by his literary name which was Wassaf, the panegyrist. The history he wrote is titled Tazjiyatul Amsar Wa Tajriyatul asar. But it is popularly known as Tarikh-i-Wassaf. The first four volumes of the work were published in CE 1300. Later on, the author added a fifth volume, bringing the history down to CE 1328. The work was dedicated to Sultan Uljaitu, the Mongol ruler of Iran.

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Somnath (Gujarat) “
…In short, the Muhammadan army brought the country to utter ruin, and destroyed the lives of the inhabitants, and plundered the cities, and captured their offspring, so that many temples were deserted and the idols were broken and trodden under foot, the largest of which was one called Somnat, fixed upon stone, polished like a mirror of charming shape and admirable workmanship… Its head was adorned with a crown set with gold and rubies and pearls and other precious stones… and a necklace of large shining pearls, like the belt of Orion, depended from the shoulder towards the side of the body. The Muhammadan soldiers plundered all these jewels and rapidly set themselves to demolish the idol. The surviving infidels were deeply affected with grief, and they engaged ‘to pay a thousand pieces of gold’ as ransom for the idol, but they were indignantly rejected, and the idol was destroyed, and ‘its limbs, which were anointed with ambergris and perfumed, were cut off. The fragments were conveyed to Delhi, and the entrance of the Jami Masjid was paved with them, that people might remember and talk of this brilliant victory.’ Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds. Amin!”

(20) Tarikh-i-Guzida : The author, Hamdullah bin Abu Bakr bin Hamd bin Nasr Mustaufi of Kazwin in Iran, composed this work in CE 1329. He was secretary to Ghiyasud-Din as well as his father Rashiduddin, the ministers of Sultan Uljaitu.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
“…He now attacked the fort of Bhim, where was a temple of the Hindus. He was victorious, and obtained much wealth, including about a hundred idols of gold and silver. One of the golden images, which weighed a million mishkals, the Sultan appropriated to the decoration of the Mosque of Ghazni, so that the ornaments of the doors were of gold instead of iron.”

(21) Masalikul Absar fi Mamalikul Amsar : The author, Shihabud-Din Abul Abbas Ahmad bin Yahya bin Fazlullah al-Umri, was born in CE 1301. He was educated at Damascus and Cairo. He is considered to be a great scholar of his time and author of many books. He occupied high positions in Syria and Egypt. This book of his is a large collection of history, geography and biographies. He himself never visited India about which he based his account on sources available to him. He died at Damascus in CE 1348.

Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq (CE 1325-1351) “The Sultan is not slack in jihad. He never lets go of his spear or bridle in pursuing jihad by land and sea routes. This is his main occupation which engages his eyes and ears. He has spent vast sums for the establishment of the faith and the spread of Islam in these lands, as a result of which the light of Islam has reached the inhabitants and the flash of the true faith brightened among them. Fire temples85 have been destroyed and the images and idols of Budd have been broken, and the lands have been freed from those who were not included in the darul Islam, that is, those who had refused to become zimmis. Islam has been spread by him in the far east and has reached the point of sunrise. In the words of Abu Nasr al-aini, he has carried the flags of the followers of Islam where they had never reached before and where no chapter or verse (of the Quran) had ever been recited. Thereafter he got mosques and places of worship erected, and music replaced by call to prayers (azan), and the incantations of fire-worshippers stopped by recitations of the Quran. He directed the people of Islam towards the citadels of the infidels and, by the grace of Allah, made them (the believers) inheritors of wealth and land and that country which they (the believers) had never trodden upon…He has achieved victory, supremacy, conquest of countries, destruction of the forts of the infidels, and exposure of magicians. He has destroyed idols by which the people of Hindustan were deceived in vain…”

(22) Futuhus-Salatin : The author whose full name is not known is famous by his surname of Isami. His forefathers had served the Sultans of Delhi since the days of Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236). He was born in CE 1311-12 and lived at Daulatabad (Devagiri) till 1351 when he finished this work at the age of forty. It covers the period from Mahamud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030) to Muhammad bin Tughlaq (CE 1325-1351).

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Devagiri (Maharashtra)
“Malik Naib [Kafur] reached there expeditiously and occupied the fort… He built mosques in places occupied by temples.”

(23) Rehala of Ibn Battuta : The full name of this book is Tuhfatun-nuzzar fi Gharaibul-amsar wa Ajaibul-afsar. The author was Sheikh Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Lawati at-Tanji al- Maruf be Ibn Battuta. He belonged to an Arab family which was settled in Spain since CE 1312. His grandfather and father enjoyed the reputation of scholars and theologians. He himself was a great scholar who travelled extensively and over many lands. He came to India in 1325 and visited many places – east, west, north and south – till he left in 1346. India during this period was ruled by Muhammad bin Tughlaq with whom Ibn Battuta came in close contact. He openly declares his extreme fondness for bedding Hindu girls from different parts of India. They were presented to him by the Sultan and other Muslim dignitaries during his sojourn in various places. He also married Muslim women wherever he stayed, and divorced them before his departure. He finished his book in 1355 after reaching Fez in Morocco where his family lived after migration from Spain.

Delhi “Near the eastern gate of the mosque lie two very big idols of copper connected together by stones. Every one who comes in and goes out of the mosque treads over them. On the site of this mosque was a bud khana that is an idol-house. After the conquest of Delhi it was turned into a mosque…”

Maldive Islands “Reliable men among the inhabitants of the islands, like the jurist (faqih) and teacher (muallim) Ali, the judge Abdullah – and others besides them – told me that the inhabitants of these islands were infidels… Subsequently a westerner named Abul Barakat the Berbar who knew the great Quran came to them… He stayed amongst them and God opened the heart of the king to Islam and he accepted it before the end of the month; and his wives, children and courtiers followed suit… They broke to pieces the idols and razed the idol-house to the ground. On this the islanders embraced Islam and sent missionaries to the rest of the islands, the inhabitants of which also became Muslims. The westerner stood in high regard with them, and they accepted his cult which was that of Imam Malik….”[These religious ecstasy claims have to be analyzed in the background of dependence of island societies on trade relations with the Muslim world which had taken over the Asian trade routes. We also do not have any independent non-Muslim version of the events as to how much of the conversion stemmed from immigration etc.]

(24) Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi : The author, Ziaud-Din Barani was born in AH 684 (CE 1285-86) at Baran, now known as Bulandshahar, in Uttar Pradesh. His ancestors, paternal as well as maternal, had occupied important positions in the reigns of Sultan Ghiyasud-Din Balban (CE 1266-1286) and the Khaljis. His uncle was a confidant of Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316). Barani became a friend of Amir Khusru and a disciple of Nizamud-Din Auliya, the renowned Chishti saint of Delhi. His prosperity continued in the reign of Sultan Ghiyasud-Din Tughlaq (CE 1320-1325) and he became a favourite of Sultan Muhammad bin Tughlaq (CE 1325-1351). He completed this history in CE 1357. It covers a period of 82 years, from CE 1265 onwards. He wrote several other books among which Fatwa-i-Jahandari is famous for its tenets regarding how an Islamic state should be run. Barani’s ideal ruler was Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. He exhorted Muslim rulers to follow Mahmud’s example in their treatment of Hindus, for whom he often uses very foul language.

Sultan Jalalud-Din Khalji (CE 1290-1296)
Jhain (Rajasthan) “In the year AH 689 (CE 1290), the Sultan led an army to Rantambhor… He took… Jhain, destroyed the idol temples, and broke and burned the idols…”

Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) “ Alaud-din at this time held the territory of Karra, and with the permission of the Sultan he marched to Bhailsan (Bhilsa). He captured some bronze idols which the Hindus worshipped and sent them on carts with a variety of rich booty as presents to the Sultan. The idols were laid before the Badaun gate for true believers to tread upon…”

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“At the beginning of the third year of the reign, Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan, with their amirs and generals, and a large army marched against Gujarat… All Gujarat became a prey to the invaders, and the idol, which after the victory of Sultan Mahmud and his destruction of (the idol) of Manat, the Brahmans had set up under the name of Somanat, for the worship of the Hindus, was carried to Delhi where it was laid for the people to tread upon…”

Mabar (Tamil Nadu) “……Malik Naib Kafur marched on to Mabar, which he also took. He destroyed the golden idol temple (but-khanah i-zarin) of Mabar, and the golden idols which for ages had been worshipped by the Hindus of that country. The fragments of the golden temple, and of the broken idols of gold and gilt became the rich spoil of the army…”

(25) Tarikh-i-Firuz Shahi : The author, Shams Siraj Afif or Shamsud-Din bin Sirajud-Din, became a courtier of Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq and undertook to complete the aforementioned history of Barani who had stopped at the sixth year of Firuz Shahs reign.

Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq (CE 1351-1388)
Puri (Orissa)
“The Sultan left Banarasi with the intention of pursuing the Rai of Jajnagar, who had fled to an island in the river… the Sultan directed his attention to the Rai of Jajnagar, and entering the palace where he dwelt he found many fine buildings. It is reported that inside the Rai’s fort, there was a stone idol which the infidels called Jagannath, and to which they paid their devotions. Sultan Firoz, in emulation of Mahmud Subuktigin, having rooted up the idol, carried it away to Delhi where he placed it in an ignominious position…”

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) “The idol, Jwalamukhi, much worshipped by the infidels, was situated on the road to Nagarkot… Some of the infidels have reported that Sultan Firoz went specially to see this idol and held a golden umbrella over it….The Sultan held the idol in the deepest detestation, but the infidels, in the blindness of their delusion, have made this false statement against him. Other infidels have said that Sultan Muhammad Shah bin Tughlik Shah held an umbrella over the same idol, but this is also a lie; and good Muhammadans should pay no heed to such statements. These two Sultans were sovereigns especially chosen by the Almighty from among the faithful, and in the whole course of their reigns, wherever they took an idol temple they broke and destroyed it; how, then, can such assertions be true? The infidels must certainly have lied!

DelhiA report was brought to the Sultan that there was in Delhi an old Brahman (zunar dar) who persisted in publicly performing the worship of idols in his house; and that people of the city, both Musulmans and Hindus, used to resort to his house to worship the idol. The Brahman had constructed a wooden tablet (muhrak), which was covered within and without with paintings of demons and other objects… An order was accordingly given that the Brahman, with his tablet, should be brought into the presence of the Sultan at Firozabad. The judges and doctors and elders and lawyers were summoned, and the case of the Brahman was submitted for their opinion. Their reply was that the provisions of the Law were clear: the Brahman must either become a Musulman or be burned. The true faith was declared to the Brahman, and the right course pointed out, but he refused to accept it. Orders were given for raising a pile of faggots before the door of the darbar. The Brahman was tied hand and foot and cast into it; the tablet was thrown on top and the pile was lighted. The writer of this book was present at the darbar and witnessed the execution. The tablet of the Brahman was lighted in two places, at his head and at his feet; the wood was dry, and the fire first reached his feet, and drew from him a cry, but the flames quickly enveloped his head and consumed him. Behold the Sultan’s strict adherence to law and rectitude, how he would not deviate in the least from its decrees!”[Another imaginary story by Thaparian logic – what faith makes its believer imagine such things in a daydream?]

(26) Insha-i-Mahru : The author, ainud-Din Abdullah bin Mahru, was a high official in the court of Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq. Insha-i-Mahru is a collection of 133 letters related to various events.

Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq (CE 1351-1388)
Jajnagar (Orissa)
“The victorious standards set out from Jaunpur for the destruction of idols, slaughter of the enemies of Islam and hunt for elephants near Padamtalav… The Sultan saw Jajnagar which had been praised by all travellers…The troops which had been appointed for the destruction of places around Jajnagar, ended the conceit of the infidels by means of the sword and the spear. Wherever there were temples and idols in that area, they were trampled under the hoofs of the horses of Musalmans…After obtaining victory and sailing on the sea and destroying the temple of Jagannath and slaughtering the idolaters, the victorious standards started towards Delhi…”

(27) Futuhat-i-Firuz Shahi : This small history was written by Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq (CE 1351-1388) himself. The writer of Tabqat-i-Akbari, Nizamud-Din Ahmad, a 16th century historian, says that the Sultan had got the eight chapters of his work inscribed on eight slabs of stone which were fixed on eight sides of the octagonal dome of a building near the Jami Masjid at Firuzabad.

Prayers for Temple-destroyers of the Past “The next matter which by God’s help I accomplished, was the repetition of names and titles of former sovereigns which had been omitted from the prayers of Sabbaths and Feasts. The names of those sovereigns of Islam, under whose happy fortune and favour infidel countries had been conquered, whose banners had waved over many a land, under whom idol-temples had been demolished, and mosques and pulpits built and exalted, the fragrant creed had been extended, and the people of Islam had waxen strong and warlike, the names of these men had fallen into neglect and oblivion. So I decreed that according to established custom their names and titles should be rehearsed in the khutba and aspirations offered for the remission of their sins.[Thats strange – Islam warlike! was he under the influence of opium?]

Delhi and Environs “The Hindus and idol-worshippers had agreed to pay the money for toleration (zar-i zimmiya) and had consented to the poll-tax (jizya) in return for which they and their families enjoyed security. These people now erected new idol-temples in the city and the environs in opposition to the Law of the Prophet which declares that such temples are not to be tolerated. Under divine guidance I destroyed these edifices and I killed those leaders of infidelity who seduced others into error, and the lower orders I subjected to stripes and chastisement, until this abuse was entirely abolished. The following is an instance:- In the village of Maluh there is a tank which they call kund (tank). Here they had built idol-temples and on certain days the Hindus were accustomed to proceed thither on horseback, and wearing arms. Their women and children also went out in palankins and carts. There they assembled in thousands and performed idol-worship… When intelligence of this came to my ears my religious feelings prompted me at once to put a stop to this scandal and offence to the religion of Islam. On the day of the assembly I went there in person and I ordered that the leaders of these people and the promoters of this abomination should be put to death. I forbade the infliction of any severe punishments on Hindus in general, but I destroyed their idol-temples, and instead thereof raised mosques. I founded two flourishing towns (kasba), one called Tughlikpur, the other Salarpur. Where infidels and idolaters worshipped idols, Musulmans now, by God’s mercy, perform their devotions to the true God. Praises of God and the summons to prayer are now heard there, and that place which was formerly the home of infidels has become the habitation of the faithful, who there repeat their creed and offer up their praises to God…Information was brought to me that some Hindus had erected a new idol temple in the village of Salihpur, and were performing worship to their idols. I sent some persons there to destroy the idol temple, and put a stop to their pernicious incitements to error.”[Thus even if non-Muslims pay money to the Muslims who are generally non-productive and primarily depend on looting, they still cannot continue in their own culture]

Gohana (Haryana) Some Hindus had erected a new idol-temple in the village of Kohana, and the idolaters used to assemble there and perform their idolatrous rites. These people were seized and brought before me. I ordered that the perverse conduct of the leaders of this wickedness should be publicly proclaimed, and that they should be put to death before the gate of the palace. I also ordered that the infidel books, the idols, and the vessels used in their worship, which had been taken with them, should all be publicly burnt. The others were restrained by threats and punishments, as a warning to all men, that no zimmi could follow such wicked practices in a Musulman country.”[this is the continuing modern practice in Islam dominated countries – a lesson perhaps for non-Muslims about how to treat Muslims and return the favour]

(28) Sirat-Firuz Shahi is a text either written or dictated by Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq himself. According to this book, the objects of his expedition to Jajnagar were: “extirpating Rai Gajpat, massacring the unbelievers, demolishing their temples, hunting elephants, and getting a glimpse of their enchanting country.” Ain-ul-Mulk also says, “The object of the expedition was to break the idols, to shed the blood of the enemies of Islam (and) to hunt elephants.

Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq (CE 1351-1388)
Puri (Orissa)
“Allah, who is the only true God and has no other emanation, endowed the king of Islam with the strength to destroy this ancient shrine on the eastern sea-coast and to plunge it into the sea, and after its destruction, he ordered the nose of the image of Jagannath to be perforated and disgraced it by casting it down on the ground. They dug out other idols, which were worshipped by the polytheists in the kingdom of Jajnagar, and overthrew them as they did the image of Jagannath, for being laid in front of the mosques along the path of the Sunnis and way of the musallis and stretched them in front of the portals of every mosque, so that the body and sides of the images may be trampled at the time of ascent and descent, entrance and exit, by the shoes on the feet of the Muslims.

(29) Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi : The author, Yahya bin Ahmad bin Abdullah Sirhindi, lived in the reign of Sultan Muizud-Din Abul Fath Mubarak Shah (CE 1421-1434) of the Sayyid dynasty which ruled at Delhi from CE 1414 to 1451. This history starts from the time of Muhammad Ghuri (CE 1175-1206) and closes with the year CE 1434.

Sultan Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236)
Vidisha and Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh)
“In AH 631 he invaded Malwah,.. he destroyed that idol-temple which had existed there for the past three hundred years…Next he turned towards Ujjain and conquered it, and after demolishing the idol-temple of Mahakal, he uprooted the statue of Bikramajit together with all other statues and images which were placed on pedestals, and brought them to the capital where they were laid before the Jami Masjid for being trodden under foot by the people.

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“Ulugh Khan invaded Gujarat. He sacked the whole country… He pursued the Rai upto Somnath. He destroyed the temple of Somnath which was the principal place of worship for the Hindus and great Rais since ancient times. He constructed a mosque on the site and returned to Delhi…”

(30) Tarikh-i-Muhammadi : The author, Muhammad Bihamad Khani was the son of the governor of Irich in Bundelkhand. He was a soldier who participated in several wars. At last he became the disciple of a Sufi, Yusuf Buddha, of Irich and spent the rest of his life in religious pursuits. His history covers a long period – from Prophet Muhammad to CE 1438-39.

Sultan Ghiyasud-Din Tughlaq Shah II (CE 1388-89)
Kalpi (Uttar Pradesh)
“In the meanwhile Delhi received news of the defeat of the armies of Islam which were with Malikzada Mahmud bin Firuz Khan… This Malikzada reached the bank of the Yamuna via Shahpur and renamed Kalpi, which was the abode and centre of the infidels and the wicked, as Muhammadabad, after the name of Prophet Muhammad. He got mosques erected for the worship of Allah in places occupied by temples, and made that city his capital.”

Sultan Nasirud-Din Mahmud Shah Tughlaq (CE 1389-1412)
Kalpi (Uttar Pradesh)
“Historians have recorded that in the auspicious year AH 792 (CE 1389-90) Sultan Nasirud-Din got founded a city named Muhammadabad, after the name of Prophet Muhammad, at a place known as Kalpi which was a home of the accursed infidels, and he got mosques raised in place of temples for the worship of Allah. He got palaces, tombs and schools constructed, and ended the wicked ways of the infidels, and promoted the Shariat of Prophet Muhammad…”

Khandaut (Uttar Pradesh) “He laid waste Khandaut which was the home of infidels and, having made it an abode of Islam, founded Mahmudabad after his own name. He got a splendid palace and fort constructed there and established all the customs of Islam in that city and place.”

Prayag and Kara (Uttar Pradesh) “The Sultan moved with the armies of Islam towards Prayag and Arail with the aim of destroying the infidels, and he laid waste both those places. The vast crowd which had collected at Prayag for worshipping false gods was made captive.”

(31) Jawamiul Kilam : The book contains the malfuzat of Khwajah Sayyid Muhammad bin Yasuf al-Husaini Banda Nawaz Gisu Daraz (CE 1321-1422), one of the leading disciples of Shykh Nasirud-Din Mahmud Chiragh-i-Dihli. He settled down at Gulbarga, the capital of the Bahmani Empire in the Deccan, and became the mentor of Sultan Ahmad Shah Bahmani (CE 1422-1436).

(32) Habibus-Siyar: The author, Ghiyasud-Din Muhammad bin Humamud-Din, is known as Khondmir. He was the son of Mirkhond, the author of the famous Persian history, Rauzatus-Safa. Born at Herat in CE 1475 he reached Agra in 1528-29 when he was introduced to Babur. He accompanied Babur in his expedition to Bengal and Humayun in his expedition to Gujarat where he died in 1534-35. His Khulastul-Akhbar is a history of Asia brought down to CE 1471. The Habibus-Siyar which he started writing in 1521 starts with the birth of the Prophet and comes down to CE 1534-35.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“He several times waged war against the infidels of Hindustan, and he brought under his subjection a large portion of their country, until, having made himself master of Somnat, he destroyed all idol temples of that country…Sultan Mahmud, having entered into the idol temple, beheld an excessively long and broad room, in so much that fifty-six pillars had been made to support the roof. Somnat was an idol cut out of stone, whose height was five yards, of which three yards were visible, and two yards were concealed in the ground. Yaminuddaula having broken that idol with his own hand, ordered that they should pack up pieces of the stone, take them to Ghaznin, and throw them on the threshold of the Jama Masjid…”

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “a certain city, which was accounted holy by the people of the country. In that city the men of Ghaznin saw so many strange and wonderful things, that to tell them or to write a description of them is not easy… In short, the Sultan Mahmud having possessed himself of the booty, burned their idol temples and proceeded towards Kanauj.”

Kanauj (Uttar Pradesh)“…The Ghaznivids found in these forts and their dependencies 10,000 idol temples, and they ascertained the vicious belief of the Hindus to be, that since the erection of these buildings no less than three or four hundred thousand years had elapsed. Sultan Mahmud during this expedition achieved many other conquests after he left Kanauj, and sent to hell many of the infidels with blows of the well tempered sword. Such a number of slaves were assembled in that great camp, that the price of a single one did not exceed ten dirhams.”

(33) Babur-Nama is an autobiography written in the form of a diary by Zahirud-Din Muhammad Babur, founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, who proclaimed himself a Padshah after his victory in the First Battle of Panipat (CE 1526), and a Ghazi (killer of kafirs) after the defeat of Rana Sanga in the Battle of Khanwa (CE 1528). While presenting himself as an indefatigable warrior and drug-addict he does not hide the cruelties he committed on the defeated people, particularly his fondness for building towers of the heads of those he captured as prisoners of war or killed in battle. He is very liberal in citing appropriate verses from the Quran on the eve of his battle with RaNa Sanga. In order to ensure his victory, he makes a covenant with Allah by breaking the vessels containing wine as also the cups for drinking it, swearing at the same time that “he would break the idols of the idol-worshippers in a similar manner.” In the Fath-Nama (prayer for victory) composed for him by Shykh Zain, Allah is described as “destroyer of idols from their foundations.”

Zahirud-Din Muhammad Babur Padshah Ghazi (CE 1526-1530)
Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh)
“In AH 934 (CE 1528), I attacked Chanderi and, by the grace of Allah, captured it in a few hours… We got the infidels slaughtered and the place which had been a darul-harb for years, was made into a darul-Islam.”

Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) “… Going out of the Hathipole Gate of the fort, we arrived at a place called Urwa…Solid rocks surround Urwa on three sides… On these sides people have carved statues in stone. They are in all sizes, small and big. A very big statue, which is on the southern side, is perhaps 20 yards high. These statues are altogether naked and even their private parts are not covered…Urwa is not a bad place. It is an enclosed space. Its biggest blemish is its statues. I ordered that they should be destroyed.

(34) Tarikh-i-Shahi : The author, Ahmad Yadgar, was an old servant of the Sur sultans. He started writing this history on order from Daud Shah bin Sulaiman Shah. It is also known as Tarikh-i-Afaghana and Tarikh-i-Salatin-I-Afaghana. It deals with the history of the Lodis down to CE 1554. He completed it in AH 1001-02 (CE 1592-93). He calls the Hindu kings “rascally infidels”, “black-faced foes”, “evil-doers”, “dark-faced men”, etc. He extols the plunder and depopulation of entire regions by Bahlul Lodi (CE 1451-1489). He reports how Babur presented to his sons, Humayun and Kamran, two daughters of the Raja of Chanderi.

Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517)
Kurukshetra (Haryana)
“One day he ordered that ‘an expedition be sent to Thaneswar, (the tanks at) Kurkaksetra should be filled up with earth, and the land measured and allotted to pious people for their maintenance,’ …He was such a great partisan of Islam in die days of his youth…”

Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) “Sultan Sikandar led a very pious life… Islam was regarded very highly in his reign. The infidels could not muster the courage to worship idols or bathe in the (sacred) streams. During his holy reign, idols were hidden underground. The stone (idol) of Nagarkot, which had misled the (whole) world, was brought and handed over to butchers so that they might weigh meat with it.”

Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (CE 1517-1526)
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh)
“It so happened that Raja Man, the ruler of Gwalior who had been warring with the Sultans for years, went to hell. His son, Bikarmajit, became his successor. The Sultan captured the fort after a hard fight. There was a quadruped, made of copper, at the door of the fort. It used to speak. It was brought from there and placed in the fort at Agra. It remained there till the reign of Akbar Badshah. It was melted and a cannon was made out of it at the order of the Badshah.”

(35) Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi : The author, Abbas Sarwani, was connected with the family of Sher Shah Sur by marriage. He wrote this work by order of Akbar, the Mughal emperor, and named it Tuhfat-i-Akbar Shahi. But it became known as Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi because of its main theme. He wrote it probably soon after CE 1579.

Sher Shah Sur (CE 1538-1545) “…The nobles and chiefs said, ‘It seems expedient that the victorious standards should move towards the Dekhin’…Sher Shah replied: ‘What you have said is most right and proper, but it has come into my mind that since the time of Sultan Ibrahim, the infidel zamindars have rendered the country of Islam full of unbelievers, and having thrown down masjids and buildings of the believers, placed idol-shrines in them, and they are in possession of the country of Delhi and Malwa. Until I have cleansed the country from the existing contamination of the unbelievers, I will not go into any other country’…”

(36) Waqiat-i-Mushtaqi : The author, Shykh Rizqullah Mushtaqi, was born in CE 1492 and died in 1581. He heard accounts of the past from the learned men of his times and compiled them in a book. He was a great story-teller who revelled in “marvels”. He was known for his study of Sufi doctrines and spiritual exercises.

Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517)
Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh)
“Khawas Khan….ordered by the Sultan to march towards Nagarkot,..succeeded in conquering it, and having sacked the infidels’ temple of Debi Shankar, brought away the stone which they worshipped, together with a copper umbrella, which was placed over it, and on which a date was engraved in Hindu characters, representing it to be two thousand years old. When the stone was sent to the King, it was given over to the butchers to make weights out of it for the purpose of weighing their meat. From the copper of the umbrella, several pots were made, in which water might be warmed, and which were placed in the masjids and the King’s own palace, so that everyone might wash his hands, feet and face in them and perform his purifications before prayers…”

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) He got the temples of the infidels destroyed. No trace of infidelity was left at the place in Mathura where the infidels used to take bath. He got caravanserais constructed so that people could stay there, and also the shops of various professionals such as the butchers, bawarchis, nanbais and sweetmeatsellers. If a Hindu went there for bathing even by mistake, he was made to lose his limbs and punished severely. No Hindu could get shaved at that place. No barber would go near a Hindu, whatever be the payment offered.”

Sultan Ghiyasud-Din Khalji of Malwa (CE 1469-1500)
Jodhpur (Rajasthan) “
Once upon a time a temple had been constructed in Jodhpur. The Sultan sent the Qazi of Mandu with orders that he should get the temple demolished. He had said to him, ‘If they do not demolish the temple on instructions from you, you stay there and let me know.’ When the Qazi arrived there, the infidels refused to obey the order of the Sultan and said, ‘Has Ghiyasud-Din freed himself from lechery so that he has turned his attention to this side?’ The Qazi informed the king accordingly. He climbed on his mount in Mandu and reached Jodhpur in a single night. He punished the infidels and laid waste the temple…”[this is most interesting : either the Hindus dared speak of the lechery of the Sultan or the Muslim chroniclers imagined this up and dared write it down!]

(37) Tarikh-i-Alfi was composed in CE 1585 by Mulla Ahmad ThaTawi and asaf Khan. It covers a period of one thousand years from the death of the Prophet.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Somnath (Gujarat)
“Mahmud, as soon as his eyes fell on this idol, lifted up his battle-axe with much anger, and struck it with such force that the idol broke into pieces. The fragments of it were ordered to be taken to Ghaznin, and were cast down at the threshold of the Jami Masjid where they are lying to this day…”134

(38) Burhan-i-Masir : The author, Sayyid Ali bin Azizullah Tabataba Hasani, served Muhammad Qutb Shah (CE 1580-1627) of Golconda at first and then Sultan Burhan Nizam Shah (CE 1591-1595) of Ahmadnagar. He wrote this history in CE 1592. It deals with the Bahmani Sultans of Gulbarga (CE 1347-1422) and Bidar (CE 1422-1538) and the Nizam Shahi Sultans of Ahmadnagar upto CE 1596.

Sultan Alaud-Din Hasan Bahman Shah (CE 1347-1358)
Dankuri (Karnataka)
“The Sultan sent Khwaja-i-Jahan to Gulbarga, Sikandar Khan to Bidar, Qir Khan to Kutar, Safdar Khan to Sakar which is called Sagar, and Husain Garshasp to Kotgir. He appointed other chiefs to invade the kingdom of the infidels. Aitmadul Mulk and Mubarak Khan led raids upon the river Tawi and laid waste the Hindu Kingdom. After having invaded the province of Dankuri and cutting off the head of Manat,135 they attacked Janjwal…”

(39) Tabqat-i-Akbari : The author, Khwajah Nizamud-Din Ahmad bin Muhammad Muqim al-Harbi, was a Bakshi in the reign of Akbar, the Mughal emperor (CE 1556-1605). He wrote this history in CE 1592-93 and added to it, later on, events upto 1593-94. He died next year. The history starts with the times of the Ghaznivid Sultans. The work was initially known as Tabqat-i-Akbar Shahi but became known as simply Tabqat-i-Akbari. It is also known as Tarikh-i-Nizami. It is the first Muslim history which confines itself to India and excludes matter relating to other countries.

Amir Subuktigin (CE 977-997) “After this with kingly energy and determination, he girded up his loins for a war of religion, and invaded Hindustan, and carried away many prisoners of war and other plunder; and in every country, which he conquered, he founded mosques, and he endeavoured to ruin and desolate the territories of Raja Jaipal who, at that time, was the ruler of Hindustan.”

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Thanesar (Haryana) “
The Sultan now received information that there was a city in Hindustan called Thanessar, and there was a great temple there in which there was an idol called Jagarsom, whom the people of Hindustan worshipped. He collected a large force with the object of carrying on a religious war, and in the year AH 402 marched towards Thanessar. The son of Jaipal having received intelligence of this, sent an envoy and represented through him, that if the Sultan would relinquish this enterprise, he would send fifty elephants as tribute. The Sultan paid no heed to this offer, and when he reached Thanessar he found the city empty. The soldiers ravaged and plundered whatever they could lay hands upon, broke the idols and carried Jagarsom to Ghaznin. The Sultan ordered that the idol should the placed in front of the place of prayer, so that people would trample upon it.

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) “From that place [Mahawan] the Sultan advanced to Mathurah, which is a large city containing many temples… and the Sultan completely destroyed the city and burnt the temples… There was one golden idol which was broken up under the orders of the Sultan…”
Somnath (Gujarat) “Then in accordance with his custom, he advanced with his army towards Hindustan with the object of the conquest of Somnath… there were many golden idols in the temple in the city, and the largest of these idols was called Manat…When he reached Somnath, the inhabitants shut the gate on his face. After much fighting and great struggles the fort was taken, and vast multitudes were killed and taken prisoners. The temples were pulled down, and destroyed from their very foundations. The gold idol Somnath was broken into pieces, and one piece was sent to Ghaznin, and was placed at the gate of the Jami Masjid; and for years it remained there.”

Sultan Abu-Said Masud of Ghazni (CE 1030-1042)
Sonipat (Haryana) “
…He marched with his army to the fort of Sonipat, and the commandant of that fort, Danial Har by name, becoming aware of his approach, fled… the army of Islam, having captured that fort, pulled down all the temples and obtained an enormous quantity of booty.”

Ikhtiyarud-Din Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khalji (CE 1202-1206)
Bengal “In short, Muhammad Bakhtiyar assumed the canopy, and had prayers read, and coin struck in his own name and founded mosques and Khankahs and colleges, in place of the temples of the heathens.

Sultan Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236)
Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) “
…In the year AH 631, he invaded the country of Malwah and conquered the fort of Bhilsa. He also took the city of Ujjain, and had the temple of Mahakal… completely demolished, destroying it from its foundations; and he carried away the effigy of Bikramajit… and certain other statues which were fashioned in molten brass, and placed them in the ground in front of the Jami Masjid, so that they might he trampled upon by the people.”

Sultan Jalaud-Din Khalji (CE 1290-1296)
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) “About the same time Malik Alaud-Din, the nephew of the Sultan, begged that he might have permission to march against Bhilsah and pillage those tracts. He received the necessary orders, and went and ravaged the country and brought much booty for the Sultan’s service. He also brought two brass idols which had been the object of the worship of the Hindus of these parts; and cast them down in front of the Badaun Gate to be trampled upon by the people

Sultan Alaud-Din Khalji (CE 1296-1316)
Somnath (Gujarat) “In the third year after the accession, the Sultan sent Ulugh Khan and Nasrat Khan, with large armies to invade Gujarat. They ravaged and plundered Nahrwalah, and all the cities of the province… Ulugh Khan and Nasrat Khan also brought the idol, which the Brahmans of Somnath had set up, and were worshipping, in place of the one which Sultan Mahmud had broken to pieces, to Delhi, and placed it where the people would trample upon it…”

Mabar (Tamil Nadu) “Again in the year AH 716 Sultan Alauddin sent Malik Naib towards Dhor Samundar (Dvar Samudra) and Mabar… they then advanced with their troops to Mabar, and conquered it also, and having demolished the temples there, and broken the golden and jewelled idols, sent the gold into the treasury…”

Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq (CE 1351-1388) “Sultan Firuz Shah composed a book also in which he compiled an account of his reign and which he named Futuhat-i-Firuz Shahi. He writes in its second chapter… ‘Muslim and infidel women used to visit sepulchres and temples, which led to many evils. I stopped it. I got mosques built in place of temples’…”[Another instance of encouraging integration and understanding or intermingling of faiths]

Sultan Sikandar Lodi (CE 1489-1517)
Mandrail (Madhya Pradesh) “After the rainy season was over, he marched in Ramzan AH 910 (CE February-March, 1505) for the conquest of the fort of MunDrail. He stayed for a month near Dholpur and sent out armies with orders that they should lay waste the environs of Gwalior and MunDrail. Thereafter he himself laid siege to the fort of MunDrail. Those inside the fort surrendered the fort to him after signing a treaty. The Sultan got the temples demolished and mosques erected in their stead…”

Udit Nagar (Madhya Pradesh)“ he led an expedition towards the fort of Udit Nagar in AH 912 (CE 1506-07)…Although those inside the fort tried their utmost to seek a pardon, but he did not listen to them, and the fort was breached at many points and conquered… He got the temples demolished and mosques constructed in their stead…”

Narwar (Madhya Pradesh) “He ordered Jalal Khan Lodi, the governor of Kalpi, to go there and besiege the fort… The Sultan himself reached Narwar after some time… He kept the fort under siege for an year… The soldiers went out to war everyday and got killed… Thereafter the inhabitants of the fort were in plight due to scarcity of water and dearness of grains, and they asked for forgiveness. They went out with their wealth and property. The Sultan laid waste the temples and raised mosques. Men of learning and students were made to reside there and given scholarships and grants. He stayed for six months under the walls of the fort.”

Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) He got all temples of the infidels demolished, and did not allow even a trace of them to remain. In Mathura, where the infidels used to get together for bathing, he got constructed caravanserais, markets, mosques and madrasas, and appointed there officers with instructions that they should allow no one to bathe; if any Hindu desired to get his beard or head shaved in the city of Mathura, no barber was prepared to cut his hair.”

Sultan Ibrahim Lodi (CE 1517-1526)
Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) “At the same time the Sultan thought that though ‘Sultan Sikandar had led several expeditions for conquering the fort of Gwalior and the country attached to it but met with no success.’ Consequently he sent azam Humayun, the governor of Kara, with 300,000 horsemen and 300 elephants for the conquest of Gwalior… After some time the royal army laid a mine, filled it with gunpowder, and set fire to it. He entered the fort and took possession of it after the wall of the fort was breached. He saw there a bull made of brass, which the Hindus had worshipped for years. In keeping with a royal order, the bull was brought to Delhi and placed at the Baghdad Gate. It was still there till the reign of Akbar. The writer of this history saw it himself.”

Sultan Mahmud bin Ibrahim Sharqi (CE 1440-1457)
Orissa“After some time he proceeded to Orissa with the intention of jihad. He attacked places in the neighbourhood of that province and laid them waste, and destroyed the temples after demolishing them…”
Sultan Mahmud Khalji of Malwa (CE 1436-1469)
Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan) “After he had crossed the river Bhim, he started laying waste the country and capturing its people by sending expeditions towards Chittor everyday. He started constructing mosques after demolishing temples. He stayed 2-3 days at every halt.

Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan) “When he halted near Kumbhalmir which was a very big fort of that province, and well-known for its strength all over Hindustan, Deva the Vakil of the Governor of Kumbha took shelter in the fort and started fighting. It so happened that a magnificent temple had been erected in front of that fort and surrounded by ramparts on all sides. That temple had been filled with weapons of war and other stores. Sultan Mahmud planned to storm the ramparts and captured it [the temple] in a week. A large number of Rajputs were made prisoners and slaughtered. About the edifices of the temple, he ordered that they should be stocked with wood and fired, and water and vinegar was sprinkled on the walls. That magnificent mansion which it had taken many years to raise, was destroyed in a few moments. He got the idols broken and they were handed over to the butchers for being used as weights while selling meat. The biggest idol which had the form of a ram was reduced to powder which was put in betel-leaves to be given to the Rajputs so that they could eat their god.”

Mandalgadh (Rajasthan) “He started for the conquest of ManDalgaDh on 26 Muharram, AH 861 (CE 24 December, 1456… Reaching there the Sultan issued orders that ‘trees should be uprooted, houses demolished and no trace should be left of human habitation’… A great victory was achieved on 1 Zilhijja, AH 861 (CE 20 October, 1457)…He got the temples demolished and their materials used in the construction of a Jami Masjid. He appointed there a qazi, a mufti, a muhtasib, a khatib and a muzzin and established order in that place…

Kelwara and Delwara (Rajasthan) “Sultan Mahmud started again in AH 863 (CE 1458-59) for punishing the Rajputs. When he halted at ahad, Prince Ghiyasud-Din and Fidan Khan were sent towards Kilwara and Dilwara in order to lay waste those lands. They destroyed those lands and attacked the environs of Kumbhalmir…When they came to the presence of the Sultan and praised the fort of Kumbhalmir, the Sultan started for Kumbhalmir next day and went ahead destroying temples on the way. When he halted near that fort, he mounted his horse and went up a hill which was to the east of the fort in order to survey the city. He said, ‘It is not possible to capture this fort without a siege lasting for several years’…”

Sultan Muzaffar Shah I of Gujarat (CE 1392-1410)
Idar (Gujarat)
“In AH 796 (CE 1393-94), it was reported that Sultan Muhammad bin Firuz Shah had died at Delhi and that the affairs of the kingdom were in disorder so that a majority of zamindars were in revolt, particularly the Raja of idar. Zafar Khan collected a large army and mountain-like elephants and proceeded to idar in order to punish the Raja… The Raja of idar had no time to prepare a defence and shut himself in the fort. The armies of Zafar Khan occupied the Kingdom of idar and started plundering and destroying it. They levelled with the ground whatever temple they found… The Raja of idar showed extreme humility and pleaded for forgiveness through his representatives. Zafar Khan took a tribute according to his own desire and made up his mind to attack Somnat..In AH 803 (CE 1399-1400) azam Humayun paid one year’s wages (in advance) to his army and after making great preparations, he attacked the fort of idar with a view to conquer it. After the armies of the Sultan had besieged the fort from all sides and the battle continued non-stop for several days the Raja of idar evacuated the fort one night and ran away towards Bijanagar. In the morning Zafar Khan entered the fort and, after expressing his gratefulness to Allah, and destroying the temples, he appointed officers in the fort…”

Somnath (Gujarat) “In AH 797 (CE 1394-95)… he proceeded for the destruction of the temple of Somnat. On the way he made Rajputs food for his sword and demolished whatever temple he saw at any place. When he arrived at Somnat, he got the temple burnt and the idol of Somnat broken. He made a slaughter of the infidels and laid waste the city. He got a Jami Masjid raised there and appointed officers of the Sharih…“In AH 804 (CE 1401-02) reports were received by Zafar Khan that the infidels and Hindus of Somnat had again started making efforts for promoting the ways of their religion. azam Humayun started for that place and sent an army in advance. When the residents of Somnat learnt this, they advanced along the sea-shore and offered battle. azam Humayun reached that place speedily and he slaughtered that group. Those who survived took shelter in the fort of the port at Dip (Diu). After some time, he conquered that place as well, slaughtered that group also and got their leaders trampled under the feet of elephants. He got the temples demolished and a Jami Masjid constructed. Having appointed a qazi, mufti and other guardians of Sharih… he returned to the capital at Patan.”

Sultan Ahmad Shah I of Gujarat (CE 1411-1443)

Champaner (Gujarat) “Sultan Ahmad… encamped near Champaner on 7 Rabi-us-Sani, AH 822 (CE 3 May, 1419). He destroyed temples wherever he found them and returned to Ahmadabad.”

Mewar (Rajasthan) “In Rajab AH 836 (CE February-March, 1433) Sultan Ahmad mounted an expedition for the conquest of Mewar and Nagaur. When he reached the town of Nagaur, he sent out armies for the destruction of towns and villages and levelled with the ground whatever temple was found at whichever place… Having laid waste the land of Kilwara, the Sultan entered the land of Dilwara, and he ruined the lofty palaces of Rana Mokal and destroyed the temples and idols…”

Sultan Qutbud-Din Ahmad Shah II of Gujarat (CE 1451-1458)
Kumbhalgadh (Rajasthan)
“…Sultan Qutbud-Din felt insulted and he attacked the fort of Kumbhalmir in AH 860 (CE 1455-56)… When he reached near Sirohi, the Raja of that place offered battle but was defeated.
From that place the Sultan entered the kingdom of Rana Kumbha and he sent armies in all directions for invading the country and destroying the temples…”

Sultan Mahmud BegDha of Gujarat (CE 1458-1511)

Junagadh (Gujarat) “In AH 871 (CE 1466-67) he started for the conquest of Karnal [Girnar] which is now known as Junagadh. It is said that this country had been in the possession of the predecessors of Rai Mandalik for the past two thousand years… Sultan Mahmud relied on the help of Allah and proceeded there; on the way he laid waste the land of Sorath… From that place the Sultan went towards the temple of those people. Many Rajputs who were known as Parwhan, decided to lay down their lives, and started fighting with swords and spears in (defence) of the temple… Sultan Mahmud postponed the conquest of the fort to the next year… and returned to Ahmadabad.[A hint of the resistance of the Hindus…very naughty indeed!]
Dwarka (Gujarat) “After some time the Sultan started contemplating the conquest of the port of Jagat which is a place of worship for the BrahmaNas… With this resolve he started for the port of Jagat on 16 Zil-Hajja, AH 877 (CE 14 July, 1473). He reached Jagat with great difficulty due to the narrowness of the road and the presence of forests… He destroyed the temple of Jagat…”

Sultan Muzaffar Shah II of Gujarat (CE 1511-1526)
Idar (Gujarat) “Sultan Muzaffar… started for idar…The Raja of idar evacuated the fort and took refuge in the mountain of Bijanagar. The Sultan, when he reached idar, found there ten Rajputs ready to lay down their lives. He heaped barbarities on them and killed them. He did not leave even a trace of palaces, temples, gardens and trees…”

Sultan Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir (CE 1389-1413)
Kashmir “He got demolished the famous temple of Mahadeva at Bahrare. The temple was dug out from its foundations and the hole (that remained) reached the water level. Another temple at Jagdar was also demolished… Raja Alamadat had got a big temple constructed at Sinpur. He had come to know from astrologers that after hundred years a king by the name of Sikandar would get the temple destroyed and the idol of Utarid, which was in it, broken. He got this [forecast] inscribed on a copper plate which was kept in a box and buried under the temple. The inscription came up when the temple was destroyed [by Sikandar]…The value of currency had come down, because Sultan Sikandar had got idols of gold, silver and copper broken and turned into coins…”

Sultan Fath Shah of Kashmir (CE 1489-1499 and 1505-1516)

Kashmir “Fath Shah ascended the throne in AH 894 (CE 1488-89)… In those days Mir Shams, a disciple of Shah Qasim Anwar, reached Kashmir ….All endowments, imlak, places of worship and temples were entrusted to his disciples. His Sufis used to destroy temples and no one could stop them…” [The peaceful sufi converters of Kashmir]

Jalalud-Din Muhammad Akbar Padshah Ghazi (CE 1556-1605)
Nagarkot Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) “On the 1st Rajab 990 [CE 1582] he (Husain Quli Khan) encamped by a field of maize near NagarkoT. The fortress (hissar) of Bhim, which is an idol temple of Mahamai, and in which none but her servants dwelt, was taken by the valour of the assailants at the first assault. [the example of Muslim valour as best practised on a few priests] A party of Rajputs, who had resolved to die, fought most desperately till they were all cut down. A number of Brahmans who for many years had served the temple, never gave one thought to flight, and were killed. Nearly 200 black cows belonging to Hindus had, during the struggle, crowded together for shelter in the temple. Some savage Turks, while the arrows and bullets were falling like rain, killed those cows. They then took off their boots and filled them with the blood and cast it upon the roof and walls of the temple. [This is the Great Akbar’s army – supposed to be a paragon of tolerance towards non-Muslim faiths]

Part 7:

part 1: enslavement of non-Muslims

part 4: the myth of the role of Sufis in conversion

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India – 5 – cultural destruction of non-Muslims

Posted on August 23, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, History, India, Islam, Muslims, Politics, religion |

What about the Thaparite fable of natural decay and ruin by forces of nature alone of all cultural centres of non-Muslims in India and the construction of Islamic sites on these ruins an act of love and gratitude for enlightenment by the peacefully and voluntarily converted into Islam ex-non-Muslims?

The Thaparite school of Indian History is fond of shouting that narratives of destruction of cultural icons of non-Muslims have been copied by succeeding historians from the writings of their predecessors and they are all fabrications of a feverish imagination and boasting for glorification of Islam. If the question is raised as to why this boasting about destruction is such a glorifying quality in Islam, it would immediately be met with a tremendous din and cacophony from a whole horde of “secular historians” that “Islam” is being attacked, and that such a din alone is sufficient answer for the question raised.

It is never pointed out that sometimes the same site is repeatedly attacked by succeeding generations of Islamic invaders and rulers and that there are archaeological evidence of destruction of sites not mentioned or found worth mentioning by the Islamic chroniclers. It is most significant to note that these Islamic historians repeat narratives and add details which reveal the continuing and growing interest in Islam to associate destruction of cultural icons of non-Muslims with Islam as an integral part of Islam.

We will divide this very long list of narrative claims of destruction and decimation of non-Muslim cultures by Islamic historians into several parts (but the list in itself is a very small proportion of those available in Persian, Arabic and other related Islamic languages, and only those which are available in translations)

Futuhul-Buldan : The author, Ahmad bin Yahya bin Jabir, is known as al-Biladuri. He lived at the court of Khalîfa Al-Mutawakkal (CE 847-861) and died in CE 893. His history is one of the earliest and major Arab chronicles. It gives an account of Arab conquests in Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Iran, Armenia, Transoxiana, Africa, Spain and Sindh. The account is brought down to Khalîfa Mu’tasim’s reign in CE 842.

Ibn Samurah (CE 653) His full name was Abd ar-Rahman bin Samurah bin Habib bin Abd ash-Shams. He was appointed governor of Seistan after the first Arab invasion of that province in CE 650 was defeated and dispersed. Ibn Samurah reached the capital of Seistan in CE 653.
Seistan (Iran) “On reaching Dawar, he surrounded the enemy in the mountain of Zur, where there was a famous Hindu temple.…Their idol of Zur was of gold, and its eyes were two rubies. The zealous Musalmans cut off its hands and plucked out its eyes, and then remarked to the Marzaban how powerless was his idol to do either good or evil…”

Qutaibah bin Muslim al-Bahila (CE 705-715) He was a general of Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf Saqafi, the notorious Governor of Iraq under Caliph Al-Walid I (CE 705-715). He was made Governor of Khurasan in CE 705 and is renowned in the history of Islam as the conqueror of Central Asia right upto Kashghar. This is also the Hajjaj who kitted out Qasim and sent him on the murderous campaign in Sind for loot and sex-slaves. Samarqand (Farghana) “Other authorities say that Kutaibah granted peace for 700,000 dirhams and entertainment for the Moslems for three days. The terms of surrender included also the houses of the idols and the fire temples. The idols were thrown out, plundered of their ornaments and burned, although the Persians used to say that among them was an idol with which whoever trifled would perish. But when Kutaibah set fire to it with his own hand, many of them accepted Islam.”

Muhammad bin Qasim (CE 712-715) He was the nephew as well as son-in-law of Al-Hajjaj, who sent him to Sindh after more than a dozen invasions of that province had been defeated by the Hindus.
Debal (Sindh)“…The town was thus taken by assault, and the carnage endured for three days. The governor of the town, appointed by Dahir, fled and the priests of the temple were massacred. Muhammad marked a place for the Musalmans to dwell in, built a mosque, and left four thousand Musalmans to garrison the place…
“…‘Ambissa son of Ishak Az Zabbi, the governor of Sindh, in the Khilafat of Mutasim billah knocked down the upper part of the minaret of the temple and converted it into a prison. At the same time he began to repair the ruined town with the stones of the minaret…”
Multan (Punjab) “…He then crossed the Biyas, and went towards Multan… Muhammad destroyed the water-course; upon which the inhabitants, oppressed with thirst, surrendered at discretion. He massacred the men capable of bearing arms, but the children were taken captive, as well as the ministers of the temple, to the number of six thousand. The Muslamans found there much gold in a chamber ten cubits long by eight broad, and there was an aperture above, through which the gold was poured into the chamber…”
Hasham bin ‘Amru al-Taghlabi : He was appointed Governor of Sindh by Khalifa Al-Mansur (CE 754-775) of the Abbasid dynasty. He led many raids towards different parts of India, both by land and sea.
Kandahar (Maharashtra) “He then went to Kandahar in boats and conquered it. He destroyed the Budd there, and built in its place a mosque.”

Tarikh-i-Tabari: The author, Abu Jafar Muhammad bin Jarir at-Tabari, is considered to be the foremost historian of Islam and the Tarikh is regarded as Umdatul-Kutab, mother of histories. He was born at Amil in Tabaristan in the year CE 839. He was educated at Baghdad and lived in Basra and Kufa as well. He travelled to Egypt and Damascus in order to perfect his knowledge of Traditions. He spent the last days of his life in Baghdad where he died in CE 922. The citations below are only summaries made by modern historians.
Qutaibah bin Muslim al-Bahili (CE 705-715)
Beykund (Khurasan)“The ultimate capture of Beykund (in CE 706) rewarded him with an incalculable booty; even more than had hitherto fallen into the hands of the Mahommedans by the conquest of the entire province of Khorassaun; and the unfortunate merchants of the town, having been absent on a trading excursion while their country was assailed by the enemy, and finding their habitations desolate on their return contributed further to enrich the invaders, by the ransom which they paid for the recovery of their wives and children. The ornaments alone, of which these women had been plundered, being melted down, produced, in gold, one hundred and fifty thousand meskals; of a dram and a half each. Among the articles of the booty, is also described an image of gold, of fifty thousand meskals, of which the eyes were two pearls, the exquisite beauty and magnitude of which excited the surprise and admiration of Kateibah. They were transmitted by him, with a fifth of the spoil to Hejauje, together with a request that he might be permitted to distribute, to the troops, the arms which had been found in the place in great profusion.”
Samarqand (Farghana) “A breach was, however, at last effected in the walls of the city in CE 712 by the warlike machines of Kateibah; and some of the most daring of its defenders having fallen by the skill of his archers, the besieged demanded a cessation of arms to the following day, when they promised to capitulate. The request was acceded to by Kateibah; and a treaty was the next day accordingly concluded between him and the prince of Samarkand, by which the latter engaged for the annual payment of ten millions of dirhems, and a supply of three thousand slaves; of whom it was particularly stipulated, that none should either be in a state of infancy, or ineffective from old age and debility. He further contracted that the ministers of his religion should be expelled from their temples and their idols destroyed and burnt; that Kateibah should be allowed to establish a mosque in the place of the principal temple, in which, to discharge the duties of his faith… To all this, Ghurek, with whatever reluctance, was compelled to subscribe, and he proceeded accordingly to prepare for the reception of Kateibah; who at the period agreed upon, entered Samarkand with a retinue of four hundred persons, selected from his own relatives, and the principal commanders of his army. He was met by Ghurek, with a respect bordering on adoration, and conducted to the gate of the principal temple, which he immediately entered; and after performing two rekkauts of the ritual of his faith, directed the images of pagan worship to be brought before him, for the purpose of being committed to the flames. From this some of the Turks or Tartars of Samarkand, endeavouring to dissuade him, by a declaration, that among the images, there was one, which if any person ventured to consume, that person should certainly perish; Kateibah informed them, that he should not shrink from the experiment, and accordingly set fire to the whole collection with his own hands; it was soon consumed to ashes, and fifty thousand meskals of gold and silver, collected from the nails which has been used in the workmanship of the images.”
Yaqub bin Laith (CE 870-871) was a highway robber who succeeded in seizing Khurasan from the Tahirid governors of the Abbasid Caliphate and founded the short-lived Saffarid dynasty.
Balkh and Kabul (Afghanistan) “He first took Bamian, which he probably reached by way of Herat, and then marched on Balkh where he ruined (the temple) Naushad. On his way back from Balkh he attacked Kabul…
“Starting from Panjhir, the place he is known to have visited, he must have passed through the capital city of the Hindu Sahis to rob the sacred temple – the reputed place of coronation of the Sahi rulers-of its sculptural wealth…The exact details of the spoil collected from the Kabul valley are lacking. The Tarikh [-i-Sistan] records 50 idols of gold and silver and Masudi mentions elephants. The wonder excited in Baghdad by elephants and pagan idols forwarded to the Caliph by Yaqub also speaks for their high value. The best of our authorities put the date of this event in 257 (870-71). Tabari is more precise and says that the idols sent by Ya’qûb reached Baghdad in Rabi al-Akhar, 257 (Feb.-March, 871). Thus the date of the actual invasion may be placed at the end of CE 870.”

Tarikhul-Hind : The author, Abu Rihan Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Biruni al-Khwarizmi, was born in about CE 970-71. He was an astronomer, geometer, historian and logician. He was sent to Ghazni in an embassy from the Sultan of Khwarizm. On invitation from Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030) he entered his service, travelled to India and spent forty years in the country, chiefly in the Punjab. He learnt Sanskrit and translated some works from that language into Arabic. His history treats of the literature and learning of the Hindus at the commencement of the eleventh century.
Jalam ibn Shaiban (Ninth century CE)
Multan (Punjab) The Sun Temple at Multan has been described by early Arab geographers like Sulaiman, Masudi, Istakhri and Ibn Hauqal who travelled in India during the ninth and tenth centuries CE. The Arab invaders did not destroy it because besides being a rich source of revenue, it provided protection against Hindu counter-attack. “Multan,” wrote Masudi, “is one of the strongest frontier places of the Musalmãns… In it is the idol also known by the name of Multan.13 The inhabitants of Sind and India perform pilgrimages to it from the most distant places; they carry money, precious stones, aloe wood and all sorts of perfumes there to fulfil their vows. The greatest part of the revenue of the king of Multan is derived from the rich presents brought to the idol… When the unbelievers march against Multan and the faithful do not feel themselves strong enough to oppose them, they threaten to break their idol, and their enemies immediately withdraw.” [If true then this would be another wonderful example of the inherent meanness and wily nature of Islamic strategy – it always, almost always pretends to be something it is not – it is all a part of an integrated life philosophy of deception of others to satisfy the basic and primitive biolgical greed]

Al-Biruni records: “A famous idol of theirs was that of Multan, dedicated to the sun, and therefore called Aditya. It was of wood and covered with red Cordovan leather; in its two eyes were two red rubies. It is said to have been made in the last Kritayuga… When Muhammad Ibn Alkasim Ibn Almunabih conquered Multan, he inquired how the town had become so very flourishing and so many treasures had there been accumulated, and then he found out that this idol was the cause, for there came pilgrims from all sides to visit it. Therefore he thought it best to have the idol where it was, but he hung a piece of cow’s flesh on its neck by way of mockery. On the same place a mosque was built. When the Karmatians occupied Multan, Jalam Ibn Shaiban, the usurper, broke the idol into pieces and killed its priests…”

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Thanesar (Haryana) “The city of Taneshar is highly venerated by Hindus. The idol of that place is called Cakrasvamin, i.e. the owner of the cakra, a weapon which we have already described. It is of bronze, and is nearly the size of a man. It is now lying in the hippodrome in Ghazna, together with the Lord of Somanath, which is a representation of the penis of Mahadeva, called Linga.”
Somnath (Gujarat) “The linga he raised was the stone of Somnath, for soma means the moon and natha means master, so that the whole word means master of the moon. The image was destroyed by the Prince Mahmud, may God be merciful to him! – AH 416. He ordered the upper part to be broken and the remainder to be transported to his residence, Ghaznin, with all its coverings and trappings of gold, jewels, and embroidered garments. Part of it has been thrown into the hippodrome of the town, together with the Cakrasvamin, an idol of bronze, that had been brought from Taneshar. Another part of the idol from Somanath lies before the door of the mosque of Ghaznin, on which people rub their feet to clean them from dirt and wet.”

(4) Kitabul-Yamini : The author of this history in Arabic was Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad al Jabbarul-Utbi. The family from Utba had held important offices under the Samanis of Bukhara. Utbi himself became Secretary to Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030). His work comprises the whole of the reign of Subuktigin and that of Sultan Mahmud down to the year CE 1020. He lived a few years longer. Persian translations of this history are known as Tarjuma-i-Yamini or Tarikh-i-Yamini.
Amir Subuktigin of Ghazni (CE 977-997)
Lamghan (Afghanistan) “The Amir marched out towards Lamghan, which is a city celebrated for its great strength and abounding wealth. He conquered it and set fire to the places in its vicinity which were inhabited by infidels, and demolishing idol temples, he established Islam in them. He marched and captured other cities and killed the polluted wretches, destroying the idolaters and gratifying the Musalmans.”

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Narain (Rajasthan)“The Sultan again resolved on an expedition to Hind, and marched towards Narain, urging his horses and moving over ground, hard and soft, until he came to the middle of Hind, where he reduced chiefs, who, up to that time obeyed no master, overturned their idols, put to the sword the vagabonds of that country, and with delay and circumspection proceeded to accomplish his design…”
Nardin (Punjab) “After the Sultan had purified Hind from idolatry, and raised mosques therein, he determined to invade the capital of Hind to punish those who kept idols and would not acknowledge the unity of God… He marched with a large army in the year AH 404 (CE 1013) during a dark night…[ so much for the the so called injunction against night attacks”] “A stone was found there in the temple of the great Budda on which an inscription was written purporting that the temple had been founded fifty thousand years ago. The Sultan was surprised at the ignorance of these people, because those who believe in the true faith represent that only seven thousand years have elapsed since the creation of the world, and the signs of resurrection are even now approaching. The Sultan asked his wise men the meaning of this inscription and they all concurred in saying that it was false, and no faith was to be put in the evidence of a stone.” [ A wonderful instance of the superior knowledge and high intellectual level of the Islamic dignitaries on holiday then in India]
Thanesar (Haryana) “The chief of Tanesar was… obstinate in his infidelity and denial of God. So the Sultan marched against him with his valiant warriors, for the purpose of planting the standards of Islãm and extirpating idolatry…The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously, that the stream was discoloured, not withstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it… The victory was gained by God’s grace, who has established Islãm for ever as the best of religions, notwithstanding that idolaters revolt against it… Praise be to God, the protector of the world, for the honour he bestows upon Islãm and Musulmãns.”
Mathura (Uttar Pradesh)“The Sultan then departed from the environs of the city, in which was a temple of the Hindus. The name of this place was Maharatul Hind… On both sides of the city there were a thousand houses, to which idol temples were attached, all strengthened from top to bottom by rivets of iron, and all made of masonry work…In the middle of the city there was a temple larger and firmer than the rest, which can neither be described nor painted. The Sultan thus wrote respecting it: – If any should wish to construct a building equal to this, he would not be able to do it without expending an hundred thousand, thousand red dinars, and it would occupy two hundred years even though the most experienced and able workmen were employed’… The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naptha and fire, and levelled with the ground.”
Kanauj (Uttar Pradesh) “In Kanauj there were nearly ten thousand temples, which the idolaters falsely and absurdly represented to have been founded by their ancestors two or three hundred thousand years ago… Many of the inhabitants of the place fled and were scattered abroad like so many wretched widows and orphans, from the fear which oppressed them, in consequence of witnessing the fate of their deaf and dumb idols. Many of them thus effected their escape, and those who did not fly were put to death,”

(5) Diwan-i-Salman The author, Khwajah Masud bin Sad bin Salman, was a poet. He wrote poems in praise of the Ghaznavid Sultans – Masud, Ibrahim and Bahram Shah. He died sometime between CE 1126 and 1131.
Sultan Abul Muzaffar Ibrahim (CE 1059-1099) “As power and the strength of a lion was bestowed upon Ibrahim by the Almighty, he made over to him the well-populated country of Hindustan and gave him 40,000 valiant horsemen to take the country, in which there were more than 1000 rais… Its length extends from Lahore to the Euphrates, and its breadth from Kashmir to the borders of Sistan… The army of the king destroyed at one time a thousand temples of idols, which had each been built for more than a thousand years. How can I describe the victories of the king…”
Jalandhar (Punjab) “The narrative of thy battles eclipses the stories of Rustam and Isfandiyar. Thou didst bring an army in one night from Dhangan to Jalandhar… Thou didst direct but one assault and by that alone brought destruction upon the country. By the morning meal not one soldier, not one Brahman, remained unkilled or uncaptured. Their beads were severed by the carriers of swords. Their houses were levelled with the ground with flaming fire… Thou has secured victory to the country and to religion, for amongst the Hindus this achievement will be remembered till the day of resurrection.”
Malwa (Madhya Pradesh) “Thou didst depart with a thousand joyful anticipations on a holy expedition, and didst return having achieved a thousand victories… On this journey the army destroyed a thousand idol-temples and thy elephants trampled over more than a hundred strongholds. Thou didst march thy arm to Ujjain; Malwa trembled and fled from thee… On the way to Kalinjar thy pomp obscured the light of day. The lip of infidelity became dry through fear of thee, the eye of plural-worship became blind…”

(6) Chach-Namah This Persian history was translated from Arabic by Muhammad Ali bin Hamid bin Abu Bakr Kufi in the time of Nasirud-Din Qabacha, a slave of Muhammad Ghori, who fought over the throne of Delhi with Shamsud-Din Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236). The translator who lived at Uccha had gone to Alor and Bhakkar in search of accounts of the Arab conquest. He met a Maulana who had inherited a history written in Arabic by one of his ancestors. The translation in Persian followed because Kufi found that the Hijajji Arabic of the original was little understood by people in those days while the work was “a mine of wisdom.” The Arabic original has been lost. The author remains unknown.

Muhammad bin Qasim (CE 712-715)
Nirun (Sindh) “Muhammad built at Nirun a mosque on the site of the temple of Budh, and ordered prayers to be proclaimed in the Muhammadan fashion and appointed an Imam.”
Siwistan and Sisam (Sindh) Muhammad bin Qasim wrote to al-Hajjãj, the governor of Iraq: “The forts of Siwistan and Sîsam have been already taken. The nephew of Dahir, his warriors, and principal officers have been despatched, and infidels converted to Islam or destroyed. Instead of idol temples, mosques and other places of worship have been built, pulpits have been erected, the Khutba is read, the call to prayers is raised so that devotions are performed at the stated hours. The takbir and praise to the Almighty God are offered every morning and evening.”
Multan (Punjab) “Then all the great and principal inhabitants of the city assembled together, and silver to the weight of sixty thousand dirams was distributed and every horseman got a share of four hundred dirams weight. After this, Muhammad Qasim said that some plan should be devised for realizing the money to be sent to the Khalifa. He was pondering over this, when suddenly a Brahman came and said, ‘Heathenism is now at an end, the temples are thrown down, the world has received the light of Islam, and mosques are built instead of idol temples. I have heard from the elders of Multan that in ancient times there was a chief in this city whose name was Jibawin, and who was a descendant of the Rai of Kashmir. He was a Brahman and a monk, he strictly followed his religion, and always occupied his time in worshipping idols. When his treasures exceeded all limits and computation, he made a reservoir on the eastern side of Multan, which was hundred yards square. In the middle of it he built a temple fifty yards square, and he made a chamber in which he concealed forty copper jars each of which was filled with African gold dust. A treasure of three hundred and thirty mans of gold was buried there. Over it there is an idol made of red gold, and trees are planted round the reservoir.’ It is related by historians, on the authority of ‘Ali bin Muhammad who had heard it from Abu Muhammad Hindui that Muhammad Qasim arose and with his counsellors, guards and attendants, went to the temple. He saw there an idol made of gold, and its two eye were bright red rubies……Muhammad Qasim ordered the idol to be taken up. Two hundred and thirty mans of gold were obtained, and forty jars filled with gold dust… This gold and the image were brought to treasury together with the gems and pearls and treasures which were obtained from the plunder of Multan.”
Janaki
Janaki was one of the daughters of King Dahir of Sindh. She was captured along with her sister and sent to the Khalifa at Baghdad. When the Khalifa invited Janaki to share his bed, she lied to him that she had already been violated by Muhammad bin Qasim. Her sister supported her statement. The Khalifa ordered that Muhammad be sewed up in raw hide and sent to his court. Muhammad was already dead when the chest containing him arrived in Baghdad. Janaki accused the Khalifa of having killed one of his great generals without making proper enquiry. She said: “The king has committed a very grievous mistake, for he ought not, on account of two slave girls, to have destroyed a person who had taken captive a hundred thousand modest women like us… and who instead of temples had erected mosques, pulpits and minarets…” [this is a story which sounds really like a fantasy, and could be based on a core of reality in which either the Sindhi princesses voluntarily tore their hymen or they were actually raped by Qasim or his followers after capture of Debal or Qasim’s enemies had organized the rape of the girls during transportation to the Khalifa and then had them presented knowing that the Khalifah would feel insulted to be a taster of “the left over” of another man]

(7) Jamiul-Hikayat : The author of this collection of stories was Maulana Nurud-Din Muhammad Ufi. He was born in or near the city of Bukhara in Transoxiana. He came to India and lived in Delhi for some time in the reign of Shamsuddinn Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236).

Amru bin Laith (CE 879-900)
Sakawand (Afghanistan) “It is related that Amru Lais conferred the governorship of Zabulistan on Fardaghan and sent him there at the head of four thousand horse. There was a large Hindu place of worship in that country, which was called Sakawand, and people used to come on pilgrimage from the most remote parts of Hindustan to the idols of that place. When Fardaghan arrived in Zabulistan he led his army against it, took the temple, broke the idols in pieces and overthrew the idolaters…”

(8) Tajul-Masr: The author, Sadruddin Muhammad Hasan Nizami, was born at Nishapur in Khurasan. He had to leave his ancestral place because of the Mongol invasion. He came to India and started writing his history in CE 1205. The history opens with the year 1191 and comes down to CE 1217.

Sultan Muhammad Ghori (CE 1175-1206)

Ajmer (Rajasthan) “He destroyed the pillars and foundations of the idol temples and built in their stead mosques and colleges, and the precepts of Islam, and the customs of the law were divulged and established…”
Kuhram and Samana (Punjab) “The Government of the fort of Kohram and of Samana were made over by the Sultan to Kutbuddin… He purged by his sword the land of Hind from the filth of infidelity and vice, and freed it from the thorn of God-plurality, and the impurity of idol-worship, and by his royal vigour and intrepidity, left not one temple standing…”
Meerut (Uttar Pradesh) “Kutbuddin marched from Kohrãm ‘and when he arrived at Mirat -which is one of the celebrated forts of the country of Hind, for the strength of its foundations and superstructure, and its ditch, which was as broad as the ocean and fathomless-an army joined him, sent by the dependent chiefs of the country’. The fort was captured, and a Kotwal appointed to take up his station in the fort, and all the idol temples were converted into mosques.”
Delhi “He then marched and encamped under the fort of Delhi… The city and its vicinity were freed from idols and idols-worship, and in the sanctuaries of the images of the Gods, mosques were raised by the worshippers of one God. Kutbuddin built the Jami Masjid at Delhi, and adorned it with stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants, and covered it with inscriptions in Toghra, containing the divine commands.”
Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) “From that place [Asni] the royal army proceeded towards Benares ‘which is the centre of the country of Hind’ and here they destroyed nearly one thousand temples, and raised mosques on their foundations; and the knowledge of the law became promulgated, and the foundations of religion were established…”
Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) “There was a certain tribe in the neighbourhood of Kol which had… occasioned much trouble… ‘Three bastions were raised as high as heaven with their beads, and their carcases became the food of beasts of prey. That tract was freed from idols and idol-worship and the foundations of infidelity were destroyed’…”
Bayana (Rajasthan) “When Kutbuddin beard of the Sultan’s march from Ghazna, he was much rejoiced and advanced as far as Hãnsî to meet him… In the year AH 592 (CE 1196), they marched towards Thangar, and the centre of idolatry and perdition became the abode of glory and splendour…”

Kalinjar (Uttar Pradesh) “In the year AH 599 (CE 1202), Kutbuddin proceeded to the investment of Kalinjar, on which expedition he was accompanied by the Sahib-Kiran, Shamsuddin Altamsh… The temples were converted into mosques and abodes of goodness, and the ejaculations of bead-counters and voices of summoners to prayer ascended to high heaven, and the very name of idolatry was annihilated…”

Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236)
Delhi “The Sultan then returned [from Jalor] to Delhi… and after his arrival ‘not a vestige or name remained of idol temples which had raised their heads on high; and the light of faith shone out from the darkness of infidelity… and the moon of religion and the state became resplendent from the heaven of prosperity and glory.”

(9) Kamilut-Tawarikh : Also known as Tarikh-i-Kamil, it was written by Sheikh Abul Hasan Al ibn Abul Karam Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Abdul Karim ibn Abdul Wahid as-Shaibani, commonly known as Ibn Asir. and was born in CE 1160 in the Jazirat ibn Umar, an island on the Tigris above Mosul. This book is quite famous in Islamic scholarship.
Khalifa Al-Mahdi (CE 775-785)
Barada (Gujarat) “In the year 159 (CE 776) Al Mahdi sent an army by sea under Abdul Malik bin Shahabul Musammai to India… They proceeded on their way and at length disembarked at Barada. When they reached the place they laid siege to it… The town was reduced to extremities, and God prevailed over it in the same year. The people were forbidden to worship the Budd, which the Muhammadans burned.”
Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Unidentified Places (Rajasthan and Gujarat) “So he prayed to the Almighty for aid, and left Ghazni on the 10th of Shaban AH 414… with 30,000 horse besides volunteers, and took the road to Multãn. After he had crossed the desert he perceived on one side a fort full of people, in which there were wells. People came down to conciliate him, but he invested the place, and God gave him victory… So he brought the place under the sway of Islam, killed the inhabitants, and broke in pieces their images…The chief of Anhilwara called Bhim, fled hastily… Yaminu-daula again started for Somnat, and on his march he came to several forts in which were many images serving as chamberlains or heralds of Somnat, and accordingly he (Mahmud) called them Shaitan. He killed the people who were in these places, destroyed the fortifications, broke in pieces the idols and continued his march to Somnat…”
Somnath (Gujarat) “This temple of Somnat was built upon fifty-six pillars of teak wood covered with lead. The idol itself was in a chamber… Yaminuddaula seized it, part of it he burnt, and part of it he carried away with him to Ghazni, where he made it a step at the entrance of the Jami masjid…”

(10) Tarikh-i-Jahan-Kusha : The author, ‘Alauddin Malik ibn Bahauddin Muhammad Juwaini, was a native of Juwain in Khurasan near Nishapur. His father who died in CE 1253 was one of the principal revenue officers under the Mongol ruler of Persia. Alauddin followed in his father’s office. He was with Halaku during the Mongol campaign against the Ismailis and was later on appointed the governor of Baghdad. He fell from grace and was imprisoned at Hamadan. He was, however, exonerated and restored to his office which he retained till his death in AH 681 (CE 1282). His history comes down to the year CE 1255.

Sultan Jalaluddin Mankbarni (CE 1222-1231)
Debal (Sindh) “The Sultan then went towards Dewal and Darbela and Jaisi… The Sultan raised a Jami‘ Masjid at Dewal, on the spot where an idol temple stood.”

(11) Tabqat-i-Nasiri : The author, Maulana Abu Umr Usman Minhajuddin bin Sirajuddin al-Juzjani, was born in CE 1193. In 1227 he arrived in Uccha where he was placed in charge of Madrasa-i-Firuzi. He presented himself to Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish when the latter came to Uccha in 1228. The same year he accompanied Iltutmish to Delhi and joined the expedition to Gwalior, which city was placed in his charge. He returned to Delhi in 1238 and took charge of Madrasa-i-Nasiriya. His fortune brightened after Nasiruddin became the Sultan in 1246; he was appointed Qazi-i-mamalik in 1251. His history starts with Adam and comes down the year 1260.

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997-1030)
Somnath (Gujarat) “When Sultan Mahmud ascended the throne of sovereignty, his illustrious deeds became manifest unto all mankind within the pale of Islam when he converted so many thousands of idol temples into masjids… He led an army to Nahrwalah of Gujarat, and brought away Manat, the idol, from Somnath, and had it broken into four parts, one of which was cast before the entrance of the great Masjid at Ghaznin, the second before the gateway of the Sultan’s palace, and the third and fourth were sent to Makkah and Madinah respectively.” The translator comments in a footnote: “Among the different coins struck in Mahmud’s reign one bore the following inscription: ‘The right hand of the empire, Mahmud Sultan, son of Nasir-uddin Subuk-Tigin, Breaker of Idols.’ This coin appears to have been struck at Lahore, in the seventh year of his reign.”
Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish (CE 1210-1236)
Vidisha (Madhya Pradesh) “After he returned to the capital in the year AH 632 (CE 1234) the Sultan led the hosts of Islam toward Malwah, and took the fortress and town of Bhilsan, and demolished the idol-temple which took three hundred years in building and which, in altitude, was about one hundred ells.”
Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) “From thence he advanced to Ujjain-Nagari and destroyed the idol-temple of Mahakal Diw. The effigy of Bikramjit who was sovereign of Ujjain-Nagari, and from whose reign to the present time one thousand, three hundred, and sixteen years have elapsed, and from whose reign they date the Hindui era, together with other effigies besides his, which were formed of molten brass, together with the stone (idol) of Mahakal were carried away to Delhi, the capital.” Among his “Victories and Conquests” is counted the “bringing away of the idol of Mahakal, which they have planted before the gateway of the Jami Masjid at the capital city of Delhi in order that all true believers might tread upon it.”

continued in part 6

part 1: enslavement of non-Muslims

part 4: actual role of Sufis in conversion

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India – 4 : Sufis

Posted on August 22, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, History, India, Islam, Muslims, Politics, religion |

The Islamic conversion in India of non-Muslims into Islam has been declared to have been done by Sufi preachers who were always a very tolerant, integrative, and peaceful interpretation of Islam always using peaceful means to convert Hindus. Let us see, what the Sufi’s themselves say about their conversion methods in the early days of Islam in India.

The author of Siyarul-Arifin, Hamid bin Fazlullah is also known as Dervish Jamali Kamboh Dihlawi. He was a Sufi of the Suhrawardiyya sect who died in AD 1536 while accompanying the Mughal Emperor Humayun on an expedition to Gujarat. His son, Shykh Gadai was with the Mughal army in the Second Battle of Panipat (AD 1556) and advised Akbar to kill the Hindu king, Himu imprisoned in battle, with his own hand. On Akbar’s refusal, according to Badauni, Shykh Gadai helped Bairam Khan in beheading the blinded and fatally wounded Himu [So much for treatment of prisoners of war in Islam]. This work, completed between AD 1530 and 1536, is an account of the Chishti and Suhrawardi Sufis of the period.

Sheikh Jalaluddin Tabrizi (AH 533-623) was the second most famous disciple of Sheikh Shihabuddin Suhrawardi (AD 1145-1235), founder of the Suhrawardiyya silsila of Sufism. Having lived in Multan, Delhi and Badaun, he finally settled down in Lakhanauti, also known as Gaur, in Bengal.

Devatala (Bengal) “Shaikh Jalaluddin had many disciples in Bengal. He first lived at Lakhnauti, constructed a khanqah and attached a langar to it. He also bought some gardens and land to be attached to the monastery. He moved to Devatalla (Deva Mahal) near Pandua in northern Bengal. There a kafir (either a Hindu or a Buddhist) had erected a large temple and a well. The Shaikh demolished the temple and constructed a takiya (khanqah) and converted a large number of kafirs… Devatalla came to be known as Tabrizabad and attracted a large number of pilgrims.”
[S.A.A. Rizvi: A History of Sufism in India. Vol. I, New Delhi, 1978]

Tarikh-i-Kashmir was written by Haidar Malik Chadurah, was a Kashmiri aristocrat in the service of Sultan Yusuf Shah (AD 1579-1586) and purports to give the history of Kashmir. Earlier portions are based on Kalhana’s Rajatarangini with some additions in the later period. It was begun in AD 1618 and finished sometime after 1620-21.

Sufi Mir Shamsuddin Iraqi of Kashmir was a sufi of the Kubrawiyya sect who came to Kashmir first in AD 1481, next in AD 1501, and finally in 1505 in the reign of Sultan Fath Shah. He found it convenient to work as a member of the Nr Bakhsh Sufi sect. His doings are “anticipated” in the Tarikh-i-Kashmir as follows:

“…Baba Uchah Ganai went for circumambulation of the two harms (Mecca and Medina)… in search of the perfect guide (Pir-i-Kamil). He prayed to God (to help) him when he heard a voice from the unknown that the ‘perfect guide’ was in Kashmir himself… Hazrat Shaikh, Baba Uchah Ganai… returned to Kashmir… All of a sudden his eyes fell upon a place of worship, the temples of the Hindus. He smiled; when the devotees asked the cause of (his smile) he replied that the destruction and demolition of these places of worship and the destruction of the idols will take place at the hand of the high horn Sheikh Shams-ud-Din Irraqi. He will soon be coming from Iraq and shall turn the temples completely desolate, and most of the misled people will accept the path of guidance and Islam… So as was ordained Sheikh Shams-ud-Din reached Kashmir. He began destroying the places of worship and the temples of the Hindus and made an effort to achieve the objectives.” [Tarikh-Kashmir, edited and translated into English by Razia Bano, Delhi, 1991, pp. l02-03. ]

Siyar al-Aqtab was completed in AD 1647 by Allah Diya Chishti and deals with many miracles performed by the Sufis, particularly of the Sabriyya branch of the Chishtiyya silsila.

Sheikh Muin al-Din Chishti of Ajmer (d. AD 1236) Ajmer (Rajasthan)

Although at that time there were very many temples of idols around the lake, when the Khwaja saw them, he said: ‘If God and His Prophet so will, it will not be long before I raze to the ground these idol temples.

It is said that among those temples there was one temple to reverence which the Raja and all the infidels used to come, and lands had been assigned to provide for its expenditure. When the Khwaja settled there, every day his servants bought a cow, brought it there and slaughtered it and ate it

[CE 1236 was the time of Qutbudin Aibak and Iltutmish, (whose reputation about treatment of non-Muslims we will discuss later) based a short distance away from Ajmer, in Delhi, with Muslim military bases all around in Punjab. The integration and tolerance towards non-Muslims is shown in the bold declaration of occupying a Hindu temple, slaughtering (imagined or real) cows in a Hindu temple and eating the beef up.]


“So when the infidels grew weak and saw that they had no power to resist such a perfect companion of God, they… went into their idol temples which were their places of worship. In them there was a dev, in front of whom they cried out and asked for help…

“…The dev who was their leader, when he saw the perfect beauty of the Khwaja, trembled from head to foot like a willow tree. However much he tried to say ‘Ram, Ram’, it was ‘Rahim, Rahim’ that came from his tongue… The Khwaja… with his own hand gave a cup of water to a servant to take to the dev… He had no sooner drunk it than his heart was purified of darkness of unbelief, he ran forward and fell at the Heaven-treading feet of the Khwaja, and professed his belief…

“The Khwaja said: ‘I also bestow on you the name of Shadi Dev [Joyful Dev]’…

“…Then Shadi Dev… suggested to the Khwaja, that he should now set up a place in the city, where the populace might benefit from his holy arrival. The Khwaja accepted this suggestion, and ordered one of his special servants called Muhammad Yadgir to go into the city and set in good order a place for faqirs. Muhammad Yadgir carried out his orders, and when he had gone into the city, he liked well the place where the radiant tomb of the Khwaja now is, and which originally belonged to Shadi Dev, and he suggested that the Khwaja should favour it with his residence…

[A realistic version will be the story of a typical strong arm bully backed up by the threat of Muslim military might simply picking up a nice property that takes fancy]

“…Muin al-din had a second wife for the following reason: one night he saw the Holy Prophet in the flesh. The prophet said: ‘You are not truly of my religion if you depart in any way from my sunnat.’ It happened that the ruler of the Patli fort, Malik Khitab, attacked the unbelievers that night and captured the daughter of the Raja of that land. He presented her to Muin al-din who accepted her and named her Bibi Umiya.”
[ This method of obtaining a bride is of course also a wonderful way of showing tolerance, integration, peaceful gestures of conversion. What is more significant is that a Sufi writer does not think that such behaviour is odd and not in the character of a Sufi]

Currie comments that “…The take-over of ‘pagan’ sites is a recurrent feature of the history of the expansion of Islam. The most obvious precedent is to be found in the Muslim annexation of the Hajar al-aswad at Mecca… Sir Thomas Arnold remarks that ‘in many instances there is no doubt that the shrine of a Muslim saint marks the site of some local cult which was practised on the spot long before the introduction of Islam…There is evidence, more reliable than the tradition recorded in the Siyar al-Aqtab, to suggest that this was the case in Ajmer. Sculpted stones, apparently from a Hindu temple, are incorporated in the Buland Darwaza of Muin-al-din’s shrine. Moreover, his tomb is built over a series of cellars which may have formed part of an earlier temple… A tradition, first recorded in the Anis al-Arwah, suggests that the Sandal Khana is built on the site of Shadi Dev’s temple.” [P.M. Currie, The Shrine and Cult of Muin al-Din Chishti of Ajmer, OUP, 1989]

Bahar-i-Azam is an account of a journey undertaken in 1823 by Azam Jah Bahadur “after he ascended the throne of the Carnatic as Nawab Walajah VI.” The author, Ghulam ‘Abdul Qadir Nazir, was his court scribe who accompanied the Nawab on this journey. The Nawab was only in name as he was living in Madras on British gratuity, in lieu of his ancestral principality of Arcot which had been cturned over to the British in 1801. The account names numerous Sufis etc., who came to the districts of Chingleput, North Arcot, South Arcot, Tiruchirapalli and Thanjavur and established Muslim places of worship. What these new monuments replaced becomes obvious from the following instances.

Sufi Natthar Wali of Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu) “It is said that in ancient days Trichila, an execrable monster with three heads, who was a brother of Rawan, with ten heads, had the sway over this country. No human being could oppose him. But as per the saying of the Prophet, ‘Islam will be elevated and cannot be subdued’, the Faith took root by the efforts of Hazarat Natthar Wali. The monster was slain and sent to the house of perdition. His image namely but-ling worshipped by the unbelievers was cut and the head was separated from the body. A portion of the body went into the ground. Over that spot is the tomb of the Wali, shedding rediance till this day.”

Sufi Shah Bheka “Shah Bheka… when he was at Trichinopoly during the days of Rani Minachi, the unbelievers who did not like his stay there harassed him. One day when he was very much vexed, he got upon the bull in front of the temple, which the Hindus worship calling it swami, and made it move on by the power and strength of the Supreme Life Giver… They abandoned the temple and gave the entire place on the aruskalwa as present to the Shah.” (this is during a time when the Muslim faction in court politics was dominant)

Sufi Qãyim Shah “Qayim Shah[…]was the cause for the destruction of twelve temples. He lived to an old age and passed away on the 17th Safar AH 1193.”

Sufi Nur Muhammad Qadiri of Vellore (Tamil Nadu) “Hazarat Nur Muhammad Qadiri was the most unique man regarded as an invaluable person of his age. Very often he was the cause of the ruin of temples. Some of these were laid waste. He selected his own burial ground in the vicinity of the temple. Although he lived five hundred years ago, people at large still remember his greatness.”
[Bahar-i-Azam, translated in English, Madras, 1960, 382 Ibid., p. 51. Sayyid Nathar Shah (AD 969-1030) from Arabia destroyed a Shiva temple and converted it into his khanqah. He died in AH 673, and the khanqah became a dargah which has since grown into an important place of Muslim pilgrimage]

Part 5

tpart 1: enslavement of non-Muslims

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The N-Deal in a Mess, Left in West Bengal in a mess, Congress in Kashmir in a Mess

Posted on August 22, 2008. Filed under: Bengal, China, Communist, India, Kashmir, Muslims, Nuclear, Politics |

The N-Deal is in a Mess now, and as I had predicted the greatest difficulty would be getting agreement at the NSG. The strongest opposition will come from EU member states who have strong economic ties with the Middle East and China. Europe’s extensive economic ties with the Middle East have been seen as a key reason for differing U.S.-European approaches. The EU is the primary trading partner of the Middle Eastern Islamic countries and overall European economic interests are more integrated with the region than the US. EU exports to the Middle East were roughly three times the size of U.S. exports. Some analysts think that many European countries are primarily motivated by the need to protect these commercial ties with the region, and often do so at the expense of security concerns.  Most experts agree that European countries’ extensive trade and economic ties with the Islamic heartland heighten their desires to maintain good relations with Arab governments and makes them wary about policies that could disrupt the normal flow of trade and oil.  Recent overtures to China from some of these strong protesters could also be indirectly related to their opposition to the passage of the deal. All these countries are either members of or virtually protected by the NATO, they do not hesitate to intervene and use overwhelming military force in their neighbourhood as in Yugoslavia, or put up long range missile attack/defence systems in Poland. These are countries who never protested the Chinese invasion into India in the 60’s or Pakistan’s invasions in 65 and 71, and choose to ignore the fact that at least two Nuclear weapons states are also antagonistic neighbours of India, and EU will never come to India’s defence in a military emergency – for a variety of racial, religious, economic, political and strategic reasons. The very possibly nuclear weapons capable country against whom the NATO is deploying missiles in Poland is actually far closer to India than to Europe. India should take lessons about where Europe’s sympathies will lie if it is forced to choose between India and the Islamic heartland or China. India should expect a delaying tactic so that the key passage through the US Congress can be successfully jeopardized.

In West Bengal the Left Front government is in a mess as its Chief Minister is at a complete loss as to what to say about the premier industrial house of India, the Tatas’s intention to pull out their Nano operation from the disputed site of Singur. I had discussed a long time ago that Mamata Bannerjee in her eagerness to put herself forward as the new and real power centre in West Bengal will adopt exactly the strategies the Left had used almost 30-35 years ago to come to power and want the Tatas to negotiate with her directly. At that time it was the Left which had championed crippling strikes, and its consistent slogan was that “Tatas and the Birlas” were the enemies of the people, against whom the agrarian labour and workers of the weakened industry should fight.  Combined with the arrogance and reliance on sycophants that the Left leadership has practised in West Bengal for a long time, it was a matter of time before the upcoming generations got psychologically detached from the “Left”. The Tatas have little to do but pull out, unless Mamata Bannerjee is prepared to swallow her pride, which in her impatience to get a piece of the cake seems most unlikely. By insisting on her conditions Mamata will also prove that she is just a small politician like Buddhadev and not a statesperson.

Some bloggers who criticize armchair politicians think holding free and fair elections is necessary and sufficient to solve the Kashmir problem and isolate the separatist Hurriyat. This sort of daydreaming comes out of a complete failure to understand what Islam is all about – its is a complete system of politics, and it is shrewd enough to realize that wherever it manages a foothold it has to completely erase all traces of pre-Islamic identities, cultures and independent or rational thought not dictated by the theologians. The basic social institution through which a new born citizen learns social and political behaviour is the education system. This made the Islamic leadership target the secular schools established under the general Indian pattern in Kashmir, but the Madrassahs were left intact, so that children would be forced to get only Islamic brainwashing and nothing else. A whole generation in the Kashmir valley has grown up indoctrinated in the most primitive and violent aspects of Islamic ideology, that of pretending “peace” as long as weak in numbers and launch violent expansion against non-Muslims as soon as sufficient numerical strength is reached. By allowing this to happen and protecting Islamic erasure of the pre-Islamic cultural roots of the Kashmiri’s the Congress has now brought India to a point where separatist support is widespread. Just as the British left no longer capable of coping with the mess they created in India the Congress too will retreat, leaving the non-Muslim people of India to suffer the brunt of their mismanagement.

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India -3

Posted on August 21, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Muslims, Politics |

The sack of Somnath in particular came to be considered a specially pious exploit because of its analogy with the destruction of idol of Al Manat in Arabia by the Prophet. This explains the lavish panegyric of Mahmud by Nizam-ul-Mulk Tusi, and especially the early Sufi [who were very peaceful converters of Indians to Islam according to the Thaparite School of Indian history] poets like Sanai and Attar, or narrators as Awfi. After the Somnath expedition (1026 C.E.), “a deed which had fired the imagination of the Islamic world”, Caliph al-Qadir Billah himself celebrated the victory with great pomp and ceremony and sent Mahmud a very complimentary letter giving him the title of Kahf-ud-daula wa al-Islam, thereby formally recognizing him as the “ruler of Hindustan”. Mahmud for the first time issued his coins from Lahore only after this second commendation from the Caliph in connection with the “destruction of Somnath”.

Mahmud extracted 2,50,000 dinars as ransom from Jayapal (1001-02 C.E.). Jayapal’s necklace worth 2,00,000 gold dinars was appropriated by Mahmud, and twice that value extracted from the necklaces of his imprisoned or executed relatives. All the wealth of Bhera which was “as wealthy as imagination can conceive”, was captured in (1004-05 C.E.). In 1005-06 the people of Multan were forced to pay an indemnity of the value of 20,000,000 silver dirhams. When Nawasa Shah, who had reconverted to Hinduism, was deposed (1007-08), the Sultan confiscated his wealth amounting to 400,000 dirhams. Mahmud seized coins of the value of 70,000,000 Hindu Shahiya dirhams, from the fort of Bhimnagar in Kangra, and gold and silver ingots weighing some hundred maunds, jewellery and precious stones. There was also a collapsible house of silver, thirty yards in length and fifteen yards in breadth, and a canopy (mandapika) supported by two golden and two silver poles. This vast treasure could not be shifted immediately, and Mahmud left two of his “most confidential” chamberlains, Altuntash and Asightin, to arrange for its gradual removal to Ghazni. In subsequent expeditions (1015-20) Punjab and the adjoining areas were sucked dry. Over and above the looting by Mahmud, there was additional looting by his soldiers. From Baran Mahmud obtained, 1,000,000 dirhams, from Mahaban a large booty, from Mathura five idols which when melted [Should we apply the Thaparite algorithm of dividing by 10 or 100?] alone yielded 98,300 misqals (about 390 kg) of gold, and two hundred silver idols. Kanauj, Munj, Asni, Sharva and some other places yielded another 3,000,000 dirhams. Somnath yielded 20,000,000 dinars. [Utbi, the Secretary to Sultan Mahmud, reports this and if he exaggerated then as this was a contemporary record, the Caliphate would come to know of this and would be able to calculate that Mahmud had not sent full share of the Caliph. This is a part usually not much mentioned by the Thaparite School and generically dismissed as part of boasting. However it is important to note that this starts the long and economically devastating drainage of capital out of India, and the increasing rate of such drainage of capital throughout Muslim dominance and the final acceleration under the Mughals. India was hardly given the chance to recover by the British, which is not however our ambit here. What is significant is to note the role of Muslim exploitation in the 1000 year long economic decline of India which is usually suppressed in the Thaparite reconstruction of Indian history and allows the gloating recreation of the image of modern India as a “backward country full of flies and beggars” with the blame variously laid at the feet of Brahminical exploitation, a pagan superstitious religion, or inherently primitive and backward ethnicity. We will see subsequently how the basic inability of the Islamic mind in comprehending sophistication and extreme insecurity and jealousy of more advanced societies prevented them from utilizing the advanced forms of Indian economic processes and basically continue in their marginal desert culture of looting of Kafelas or subsisting by looting more productive populations].

Archaeologically there is a significant absence of Indian coins or artefacts made of precious metal from this entire period in the Punjab and Sind area. [The Thaparite school of Indian history typically remains silent on this or jokes that this could be a possible pointer that the stories of these Hindu kingdoms with fabulous riches are simply stories and fantasies and they probably never existed. In this sense nothing contemporary specifically archaeologically associated with the early founders of Islam including its Prophet has been found in Arabia. However the Thaparite school will never dare raise a similar joke in the Arabian context. This also helps the Thaparite school in trying to prove that “Hinduism” did not exist in general before the pre-Islamic period. However it is a general principle of the Thaparite School to accept archaeology only if it supports the Schools hypothesis and it very angrily reacts and disparages archaeology if it dares to differ from its diktats] The flow of bullion outside India stablized Ghaznavid currency and debased the Indian. The gold content of millenial north Indian coins reduced from 120 to 60 grams with a similar reduction in the weight and content of the silver coin. This in turn reduced credit of Indian merchants in the international market.

India had always been an exporter against bullion and had accumulated bullion from domestic sources as well mines of Tibet and Central Asia. Removal of skilled artisans as slaves, decimation of adult male populations, destruction of the social productive structures including removal of women and reproductive resources of the populations, destroyed internal production and the domestic market, and trade networks. One reason prompting Anandpal to send an embassy to Mahmud at Ghazni with favourable terms to the Sultan (C. 1012) was to try to normalize trade facilities, and after an agreement “caravans (again) travelled in full security between Khurasan and Hind.”

Mahmud collected in loot and tribute valuable articles of trade like indigo, fine muslins, embroidered silk, and cotton stuffs, and items and raw ingots of famous Indian steel, lavishly praised by Utbi, Hasan Nizami, Alberuni and others. [this is the source of the famous Damascus steel coveted by both by Europe and the Muslim world. As is typical with the Muslims, they never acknowledged the debt they owed Indians for technology and intellectual achievements such as mathematics which they are usually most careful in claiming as their own inventions – leading to the so called nomenclature of Arabic numerals in the West] One valuable commodity taken from India was indigo. From Baihaqi, who writes the correct Indian word “nil” for the dye, it appears that 20,000 mans (about 500 maunds) of indigo was taken to Ghazna every year. According to Baihaqi, Sultan Masud once sent 25,000 mans (about 600 maunds) of indigo to the Caliph at Baghdad, for “the Sultans often reserved part of this (valuable commodity) for their own usage, and often sent it as part of presents for the Caliph or for other rulers”.

What was the record of these peaceful holiday visitors of Islam in their own words about their leisure activities? The chief of Thanesar (modern Kurukshetra) was “obstinate in his infidelity and denial of Allah, so the Sultan marched against him with his valiant warriors, for the purpose of planting the standards of Islam and extirpating idolatry. The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously that the stream was discoloured, and people were unable to drink it. Praise be to Allah for the honour he bestows upon Islam and Musalmans.” At Sirsawa near Saharanpur, “The Sultan summoned the most religiously disposed of his followers, and ordered them to attack the enemy immediately. Many infidels were consequently slain or taken prisoners in this sudden attack, and the Musalmans paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels. The friends of Allah searched the bodies of the slain for three whole days, in order to obtain booty”.

Alberuni, an eyewitness of Mahmud’s destruction of the Hindu Shahiya dynasty of Punjab writes about its kings that “in all their grandeur, they never slackened in their ardent desire of doing that which is right, they were men of noble sentiments and noble bearing”. On the other hand, Mahmud’s “sole business was to wage war against the Thakurs and Rajas (whereby) Mahmud sought to make the plunder of Hindustan a permanent affair”. The Indians were horrified by an “inopportune display of religious bigotry, and indulgence in women and wine”. In such a situation, “Hindu sciences retired away from those parts of the country conquered by us, and fled to Kashmir, Benaras and other places”.[Al Beruni- this is an important indication of why Indian intellectual development stagnated from the advent of Islam in India. In fact the famous universities with international fame, were systematically destroyed, the general educational system obliterated, and insecurity shut up women within the house and for the first time in the long history of women’s education in pre-Islamic India, women were almost completely excluded from education]

Mahmud also started the later consistent Islamic traditions of looting wealth and women whenever the Islamic heartlands of middle East or central Asia became “impoverished” as a result of intensive and destructive Islamic looting. Utbi writes “It happened, that 20,000 men from Mawaraun nahr and its neighbourhood, who were with the Sultan (Mahmud), were anxious to be employed on some holy expedition in which they might obtain martyrdom. The Sultan determined to march with them to Kanauj”. This is the tradition of Ghazis, (the Arabic root means one who has gone for a Ghazwa, literally a tribal raid typically mentioned in the context of looting wealth, animals, and women) as imposed on India. Even after the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate, Muhammad Ghori declared jihad in “Hind” (1205 C.E.- 13 years after the second battle of Tarain, decisively destroying his strongest Hindu opponent Prithviraj), “in order to repair the fortunes of his servants and armies; for within the last few years, Khurasan, on account of the disasters it had sustained, yielded neither men nor money. When he arrived in Hind, God gave him such a victory that his treasures were replenished, and his armies renewed”. Fourteen Ghaznavids ruled at Lahore and surrounding regions for nearly two centuries.This Muslim base shrank and deteriorated, but a core of the Islamic theocracy had been established around Multan and served as the bulkhead for the next stage of central Asian Islamic expansion into the subcontinent.

Following Mahmud’s death in Ghazni on 20 April 1030 at the age of sixty his two sons Muhammad and Masud fought for the throne but Masud won and replaced the governor of Punjab with Ahmad Niyaltigin. Niyaltigin attacked Benaras looting the markets of the drapers, perfumers and jewellers and obtained immese booty in gold, silver, and jewels. This raised the jealousy of Masud who declared a “Jihad” on “Hindustan” and attacked India by way of Kabul in November 1037. Hansi was stormed and sacked in February the next year, but in his absence Tughril Beg, the Seljuk Turk, sacked a portion of Ghazni town and seized Nishapur (now in Iran) in 1037. Khurasan was rapidly falling before the Seljuks and western Persia was becoming independent of Ghazni. In India 80,000 Hindus under Mahipal seized Lahore in 1043, but retreated on arrival of the Ghaznavid army. The Seljuks bypassed unproductive Afghanistan, expanding to modern Turkey but a small insignificant tribe of the rugged hills of Ghor lying between Ghazni and Herat, with their castle of Firoz Koh (Hill of Victory) who had submitted to Mahmud in 1010 C.E. and had joined his army on his Indian campaign rose in rebellion. To take revenge of the death of two brothers at the hands of the Ghazni ruler, a third, Alauddin Husain, coverran the kingdom and burnt down the new capital of Ghazni built by Mahmud at the cost of seven million gold coins(1151), earning him the title of Jahan-soz (world burner). The graves of the dynasty were dug up and scattered, but the tomb of Mahmud, “the idol of Muslim soldiers” was spared [outside modern Ghazni only that tomb and two minarets one of which still boasts the titles of the idol-breaker remains of the wealth looted from India].

Alauddin, died in 1161, and his son two years later, and his nephew, Ghiyasuddin bin Sam, became the chief of Ghor. He brought order to Ghazni and established his younger brother Muizuddin on the ruined throne of Mahmud (1173-74). Ghiyasuddin ruled at Firoz Koh and Muizuddin at Ghazni [is commonly known by three names as Muizuddin bin Sam, Shihabuddin Ghori and Muhammad Ghori]. Muhammad Ghori now had Alberuni’s India and Burhanuddin’s “Hidaya”, not available to previous invaders. Alberuni’s work provided to Islamic world information on Hindu religion, Hindu philosophy, and sources of civil and religious law. Hindu sciences of astronomy, astrology, knowledge of distance of planets, and solar and lunar eclipses, physics and metaphysics, ideas on matrimony and human biology, Hindu customs and ceremonies, their cities, kingdoms, rivers and oceans are all described. Hidaya, the most authentic work on the laws of Islam compiled by Shaikh Burhanud-din Ali in the twelfth century, claims to have studied all earlier commentaries on the Quran and the Hadis belonging to the schools of Malik, Shafi and Hanbal besides that of Hanifa. The Hidaya is quite explicit in how non-Muslims should be treated and the military manuals of strategy like the Siyasat Nama and the Adab-ul-Harb [these three gems are constantly referred to by Islamic chroniclers of this time and should be read by modern non-Muslims to get a flavour of Islamic ethics of this period with regards to warfare and treatment of non-Muslims] make a formidable combination. Ghori led his first expedition to Multan and Gujarat in 1175. Three years later he again marched by way of Multan, Uchch and the arid Thar desert toward Anhilwara Patan in Gujarat, but the Rajput Bhim gave him a crushing defeat (1178-79). Ghori was not disheartened and annexed Peshawar (ancient Hindu Purushpur) in 1180 and marched to Lahore in 1181. Two more expeditions in 1184 and 1186-87, finally brought him Lahore. By false promise Khusrau Malik, a prince of the Ghaznavid dynasty, was induced to come out of the fortress, was taken prisoner and sent to Ghazni, and executed in 1201. Ghori systematically executed all survivors of the dynasty of Mahmud Ghaznavi [Compare with the Ummayad and Abbasid struggle for power among brothers of the Islamic brotherhood, which led to the only survivor of the previous regime to seek his fortune in Spain]. In 1188 Ghori invaded the Chahamana kingdom and sacked the fort of Bhatinda killing the adult Hindu male populace and carried out a systematic public rape and subsequent enslavement of the women. Hindu refugees flocked around Delhi alarming Prithviraj. Ghori had already been defeated by Solanki Rajputs in Gujarat, and made elaborate preparations before marching towards the Punjab in 1191 C.E. He captured Bhatinda, which had been retaken by the Rajputs from its Ghaznavid governor, and placed it under Qazi Ziyauddin Talaki with a contingent of 1200 horse. Before returning to Ghazni he learnt that Prithviraj Chauhan, the Rajput ruler of Ajmer-Delhi, was coming with a large force to attack him. Ghori encountered Prithviraj at Tarain or Taraori, about ten kilometers north of Karnal. The Rajput army comprised hundreds of elephants and a few thousand horse. The Muslims were overwhelmed and their left and right wings were broken. In the centre, Muhammad Ghori charged at Govind Rai, the brother of Prithviraj, and shattered his teeth with his lance. But Govind Rai drove his javelin through the Sultan’s arm, and Ghori’s life was saved only by a Khalji Turk. His army retreated and Prithviraj besieged Bhatinda but Ziyauddin held out for thirteen months before he capitulated.

At Ghazni, Muhammad held the Ghori, Khalji and Khurasani amirs responsible for his defeat. They were paraded through the city with sacks full of oats tied to their necks. The Sultan himself was overcome with such shame that he would “neither eat nor drink nor change garments till he had avenged himself”. Next year he marched against India with full preparations and with a force of one hundred and two thousand Turks, Persians and Afghans. From Lahore, he invited Prithviraj “to make his submission and accept Islam” and raising an equally arrogant reply. The Rajput army was far superior in numbers. Prithviraj had succeeded in enlisting the support of about one hundred Rajput princes who rallied round his banner with their elephants, cavalry and infantry. Firishta writes that Prithviraj’s reply to Ghori had promised no harm if Ghori retreated. Ghori, as is typical in Islamic commanders, following the Quranic decree that “war is deception” replied: “I have marched into India at the command of my brother whose general I am. Both honour and duty bind me to exert myself to the utmost… but I shall be glad to obtain a truce till he is informed of the situation and I have received his answer.” The Hindus fell into the trap. Of the five divisions of Ghor’s army, four composed of mounted archers, were instructed to attack (by turns) the flanks and, if possible, the rear of the Hindus, but to avoid hand to hand conflicts and, if closely pressed, to pretend flight. Ghori mounted a surprise attack early at dawn when the Indians were busy in their morning ablutions forcing the Hindus to fight on empty stomach. Firishta records “The Sultan made preparations for battle… and when the Rajputs had left their camp for purposes of obeying calls of nature, and for the purpose of performing ablutions, he entered the plain with his ranks marshalled. Although the unbelievers were amazed and confounded, still in the best manner they could, they stood the fight. ”Explaining the reason for the empty stomach Dr. Jadunath Sarkar writes: “It was the Hindu practice to prepare for the pitched battle by waking at 3 O’clock in the morning, performing the morning wash and worship, eating the cooked food (pakwan) kept ready before hand, putting on arms and marching out to their appointed places in the line of battle before sunrise. But in the second battle of Naraina (also called Tarain, Taraori) the Rajputs could take no breakfast; they had to snatch up their arms and form their lines as best as they could in a hurry and fought the Turko-Afghan army from 9 o’clock in the morning to 3 o’clock in the afternoon at the end of which the Hindus were utterly exhausted from the fighting, hunger and thirst.”

When Ghori realized that the Rajput army was sufficiently weary, he charged their centre with 12,000 of his best cavalry and the Rajputs were completely defeated. Govind Rai was killed, and Prithviraj was captured and beheaded and huge spoils fell into the hands of the Muslim army. Sirsuti, Samana, Kuhram and Hansi were captured in quick succession with ruthless massacre and a general destruction of temples and building of mosques. The Sultan then marched to Ajmer and repeated his Islamic actions. Ajmer was made over to a son of Prithviraj on promise of punctual payment of tribute [ probably because Ghori was not yet certain of his strength this far from his main power base]. Delhi was occupied under the command of Qutbuddin Aibak who was to act as Ghori’s representative in India.

The Gahadvala Jayachandra had not come to the aid of Prithviraj hoping, that after the defeat of the Chauhan ruler, a rival, [reputed also to have had stolen the heart of his daughter who eloped with Prithviraj] he himself would become unchallenged master of northern India. Ghori marched from Ghazni in 1193 at the head of fifty thousand horse and gave a crushing defeat to Jayachandra on the Yamuna between Chandwar and Etah, and annexed Kanauj and Varanasi. At Kol (Modern Aligarh), “Those of the horizon who were wise and acute were converted to Islam, but those who stood by their ancestoral faith were slain with the sword…20,000 prisoners were taken and made slaves. Three bastions were raised as high as heaven with their heads and their carcases became food for the beasts of prey. At Kalinjar 50,000 prisoners were taken as slaves. Kamil-ut-Tawarikh of Ibn Asir records, “The slaughter of Hindus (at Varanasi) was immense; none were spared except women and children,(who were taken into slavery) and the carnage of men went on until the earth was weary.”

The Muslim chroniclers describe with great glee and in explicit details about the systematic execution of adult males, public rape of women and their eventual enslavement, with great details of torture before execution or during rape. The strategy of Islamic invaders always rely on deception and they do not follow any ethical code of conduct in war or in treatment of non-combatants or prisoner of wars. It is not as if the Muslim world is ignorant of such code of conduct, for even now pro-Islamic scholars point out with immense emotion on the latest western documentaries on the Crusades that Saladin and the Muslim world in general were horrified by the treatment of Muslim prisoners of war by Richard Lionheart – in exactly the same historical period. That Muslims have not given up on this double standards was amply proved in the 1971 war between Pakistan and India on the eastern front, where enforced prostitution, organized rape, and enslavement of women for sex was practised widely by the Pakistani army, and targeted primarily the women of non-Muslims such as Hindus. The Thaparite School argues that no records of trauma on the side of victims are available, therefore no trauma existed. It is obvious from the descriptions of the Muslim chroniclers that the intellectual elite class was specifically targeted, “the shaven headed But-prasts” (buddhists) or the “black faced Hindoo priests” were inevitably slaughtered, as they would be relatively useless for hard work and slavery – the only thing the Muslims understood as valuable. A huge amount of books and manuscripts were deliberately destroyed, and on certain occasions it is recorded that commanders searched in vain for someone who could read the strange symbols in manuscripts remaining in the smouldering ruins of a sacked city, but being told that all who could read or write had been executed. Mahmud also removed an immense number of books and manuscripts [ one of the few “facts” in Islamic chronicles apparently thought to be reliable and not a boast by the Thaparite School and prominently propagated as undisputed proof of Mahmud’s erudition and respect for scholarship – although unfortunately none of these “taken from India” manuscripts are available archaeologically traceable to Ghazni] which if true would mean an immense loss of textual material and records used in education and Indian academics.

We will take up the systematic cultural destruction programme undertaken by the Muslim invaders in the next part:

Part 4:

part 1: enslavement of non-Muslim Indians

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India -2

Posted on August 20, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Muslims, Politics, religion |

The peaceful Islamic traders who came to India on annual holidays with holiday security and with whom the vast millions of caste-repressed Indians immediately fell in love-The Thaparite position on advent of Islam in India, in spite of the fact that there has been no records of trauma by the victims of caste repression in the period-a logic used to negate Islamic terror in India since not many records of trauma at the hands of Muslims survive.

Appearing in Arabia, Islam spread by conquering with amazing rapidity. The Byzantine provinces of Palestine and Syria were conquered by the newly converted Arabs after a campaign of six months in C.E. 636-37. The Sassanid empire of Persia (including Iraq, Iran and Khurasan) was defeated in 637 and by 643 the Caliphate stretched to the frontiers of India. In the west the Byzantine province of Egypt fell in 640-641, and Inner Mongolia, Bukhara, Tashkand and Samarqand were annexed by 650. The Arab armies marched over North Africa and crossed into Spain in C.E. 709. All this took place within seventy years (637-709) and the conquered people were quickly converted to Islam and their language and culture Arabicised.

India, known to early Arabs as “Hind va Sind”, [showing that the Arabs were well aware of the distinction between Sind as a part and not whole of India] was their next target both by land and sea. These invasions proceeded along the then known (trade) routes – 1. from Kufa and Baghadad, via Basra and Hormuz to Chaul on India’s west coast; 2. from West Persian towns, via Hormuz to Debal in Sind; and 3. through the land route of northern Khurasan to Kabul via Bamian. But progress of Muslim arms and religion in India was extremely slow. Caliph Umar (634-44 C.E.) had sent an expedition in 636-37 to pillage Thana on the coast of Maharashtra during the reign of the great Hindu monarch Pulakesin II. This was followed by expeditions to Bharuch (Broach) in Gujarat and the gulf of Debal in Sind. These were repulsed and Mughairah, the leader of the latter expedition, was defeated and killed. Umar thought of sending another army by land against Makran which at that time was part of the kingdom of Sind but was dissuaded by the governor of Iraq from doing so. The next Caliph Usman (644-656) followed the same advice and refrained from embarking on any venture on Sind. The fourth Caliph, Ali, sent an expedition by land in 660 but the leader of the expedition and most of his troops were slain in the hilly terrain of Kikanan (42 H./662 C.E.). This was the fate of the attempts by the four famous “pious” Caliphs of Islam.

According to Chachnama and Tuhfatul Kiram, the kingdom of Sind extended on the east to the boundary of Kashmir and Kanauj, on the west to Makran, on the south to the sea and Debal, and on the north to Kandahar, Seistan and the mountains of Kuzdan and Kikanan. This includes modern undivided Punjab and Baluchistan, parts of North-West Frontier Province and parts of Rajasthan. Muawiyah, the Caliph (661-80), sent six expeditions by land to Sind. All of them were repulsed with great slaughter except the last one which succeeded in occupying Makran in 680. Thereafter, for twenty-eight years, the Arabs dared not another expedition against Sind. Makran probably remained partially independent so that as late as 1290 Marco Polo speaks of the eastern part of Makran as part of Hind, and as “the last Kingdom of India as you go towards the west and northwest”

Arabs attacked India from the north-west, and after the fall of Khurasan in 643 C.E., the first Arab army penetrated into Zabul by way of Seistan (at that time considered a territorial and cultual part of India). After a protracted struggle the Arabs were defeated and driven out. A decade later the Arab general Abdul Rahman finally conquered Zabul and levied tribute from Kabul which apparently was not paid willingly and regularly. To ensure regular payment another Arab general Yazid bin Ziyad attempted retribution in 683, but was killed and his army put to flight with great slaughter. [contrary to romantic Islamic representations, it has been a consistent part of Islamic war strategy to deceive, and escape when faced with sure death, or beg and grovel before or appeal to non-Muslim generosity but usually never give quarter and systematically execute able bodied male prisoners of war – an awareness of their own tactic to save themselves so that they can gather strength to come back and finish off non-Muslims] The war against Kabul was renewed in 695, but it became protracted and developed into a stalemate. Caliph Al-Mansur (745-775 C.E.) attempted to force the Hindu king of Kabul to submit but met only with partial success and the Ghaznavid Turks found the Hindus ruling over Kabul in 986 C.E.

In the south, in 712 a full-fledged invasion was launched after prolonged negotiations. The king of Ceylon had sent to Hajjaj bin Yusuf Sakifi, the governor of the eastern provinces of the Caliphate, eight vessels filled with presents, Abyssinian slaves, pilgrims, and the orphan daughters of some Muslim merchants who had died in his dominions. These ships were attacked and plundered by pirates off the coast of Sind. Hajjaj’s demands of compensation was refused by Dahir, the ruler of Sind, and Hajjaj sent two expeditions against Debal (708 C.E.), the first under Ubaidulla and the second under Budail. Both armies were defeated and their commanders killed. Hajjaj fitted out a third and more elaborate expedition under the command of his seventeen year old nephew and son-in-law Imaduddin Muhammad bin Qasim. Hajjaj was a de facto ruler over territories of the former Persian empire, and sent one army under Kutaiba which penetrated to Kashgar, where the Chinese quickly came to an understanding. A second army attacked Hindu Kabul, and the third (under Muhammad bin Qasim) advanced towards the lower Indus through Makran. The reigning Ummayad Caliph Walid I (86-96 H./705-715 C.E.) was a powerful ruler who spread the Khilafat to the greatest extent, but was skeptical because of earlier failures of Ubaidulla and Budail and is known to have raised concerns about the distance, the cost, and the loss of Muslim lives. Hajjaj promised to compensate the Caliph for this war effort and only then was Qasim allowed to invade Sind. The declared injunctions on Qasim for this invasion were (1) Spread Islam in Sind, (2) Conquer Sind and expand the territory under Islam, (3) Acquire all available wealth for by Hajjaj and repayment to the Caliph.

Hajjaj and Muhammad bin Qasim’s military knowledge of Sind and Hind was based substantially on the Muslim traders who had been allowed to trade and settle freely along the trade routes in non-Muslim kingdoms. These traders had obviously little interest or intellectual background to know anything beyond India’s wealth, military background, and that India was a land of Qufr. Every Muslim, whether educated or illiterate is taught the essential bits from the Quran and the Hadiths that promise the land, wealth and women of “un-believers” and that it was the highest duty of a Muslim to carry out violent Jihad [look at my discussion in Islam and non-Muslims] aimed at destruction of idols, shrines, books, and adult male population of non-Muslims and capture their pre-puberty males and women to reproduce and multiply Muslims.

On the way to Sind, the governor of Makran, Muhammad Harun, supplied reinforcements and five catapults. His artillery which included a great ballista known as “the Bride”, and was worked by five hundred men, had been sent by sea to meet him at Debal (a coastal city so named because of its Devalaya – House of God or temple and contained a citadel-temple with stone walls as high as forty yards and a dome of equal height). Qasim arrived at Debal in late 711 or early 712 C.E. with an army of at least twenty thousand horse, infantry with additional Jat and Med mercenaries. The majority of the Sindhi population was Buddhist (Samanis of chronicles), and totally averse to fighting, with marginal tribal groups apparently “dancing in joy seeing their Islamic liberators” and only Raja Dahir of Sind, his Kshatriya soldiers and Brahman priests of the temples were left to defend their land. This is the Islamic version and although sourced from the same texts whose claims of repression on Hindus are discounted by the Thaparite School of Indian history, is still presented as the correct “version” of reality of welcoming Islam by the Indian “underclass” and not propaganda – if “caste” repression was endemic then this welcome should have been extended to the not-much-earlier invasions.

At the start of Muhammad’s invasion Raja Dahir was in his capital Alor about 500 kms. away. Debal was in the charge of a governor with a garrison of four to six thousand Rajput soldiers and a few thousand Brahmans. The Islamic communication network was fast – letters were written every three days and replies were received in a week. When the siege of Debal had continued for some time a defector helped Muhammad in breaching the walls [ the deception used many times in Islam in its greatest military successes rather than actual military might]. The inhabitants were invited to accept Islam, and on their refusal all adult males were put to the sword and their wives and children were enslaved. This carnage lasted for three days, the temple was razed and a mosque built. Muhammad laid out a Muslim quarter, and placed a garrison of 4,000 in the town. The legal fifth of the spoil including seventy-five girls were sent to Hajjaj, and the rest of the plunder was divided among the soldiers. [The Thaparite School of Indian history and Islam’s Marxist apologists keep silent on the question as to why an economically unproductive activity of demolishing religious structures is so important in the so-called pure economic motive for Islamic aggression on cultural icons of non-Muslims. Why are adult males who do not accept Islam to be executed – they could have been more useful economically as slave labour – doesn’t this smack of ideological motivations?]

Muhammad bin Qasim next attacked Nirun, (near modern Hyderabad) and Nirun voluntarily surrendered after agreeing to give riches, but after accepting these terms Muhammad destroyed the “temple of Budh” (Buddhist or Hindu shrine – Muslims were so ignorant of Indic cultural fine-points that they always confused Buddhists with Jainas and “Hindu” sects) at Nirun. He built a mosque at its site and appointed an Imam. After placing a garrison under a newly appointed Muslim governor, he marched to Sehwan (Siwistan), about 130 kilometres to the north-west, populated mainly by Buddhists and traders. Sehwan surrendered on condition of loyalty and paying jiziyah.

At this, Dahir decided to meet the invader at Aror or Rawar. Qasim was bound for Brahmanabad but stopped short to engage Dahir first where the Arabs encountered an imposing array of war elephants and a large army under the command of Dahir and his Rajput chiefs. Al Biladuri writes that after the battle lines were drawn, “a dreadful conflict ensued such as had never been seen before”, and Chachnama gives details of the valiant fight which Raja Dahir gave “mounted on his white elephant”. A naptha arrow struck Dahir’s howdah and set it ablaze. Dahir dismounted and fought desperately, but was killed towards the evening, “when the idolaters fled, and the Musulmans glutted themselves with massacre”. Raja Dahir’s queen Rani Bai and her son locked themselves into the fortress of Rawar, which had a garrison of 15 thousand. The soldiers fought valiantly, but the Arabs proved stronger. When the Rani saw the inevitable, she assembled all the women in the fort and told them: “God forbid that we should owe our liberty to those outcaste cow-eaters. Our honour would be lost. Our respite is at an end, and there is nowhere any hope of escape; let us collect wood, cotton and oil, for I think we should burn ourselves and go to meet our husbands. If any wish to save herself, she may.” They entered into a house where they burnt themselves in the fire of jauhar. Muhammad occupied the fort, massacred the 6,000 men he found there [most likely the sick, infirm, old and the wounded] and seized all the wealth and treasures that belonged to Dahir.

Muhammad now marched to Brahmanabad but a number of garrisons in forts challenged his army, delaying his arrival. The civil population, longed for peace and let the Muslims enter the city on peaceful terms. Qasim however on entry “sat on the seat of cruelty and put all those who had fought to the sword. It is said that about six thousand fighting men were slain, but according to others sixteen thousand were killed”. He proceeded to Multan, the chief city of the upper Indus with its famous Sun-Temple which was destroyed and its treasures looted. Besides the treasure collected from the various forts of the Sindhi King, worship rights of Hindus were allowed only in exchange of pilgrim tax, jiziyah and other similar cesses. The campaign expenses came to 60 thousand silver dirhams and Hajjaj paid to the Caliph 120 thousand dirhams.

In Muhammad bin Qasim’s administration of the conquered territories the principal sources of revenue were the jiziyah and the land-tax. The Chachnama speaks of other taxes levied upon the cultivators such as the baj and ushari. The collection of jiziyah was considered a political as well as a religious duty, and was always exacted “with vigour and punctuality, and frequently with insult”. The native population had to feed every Muslim traveller for three days and nights and had to submit to many other humiliations which are mentioned by Muslim historians.

The total number of prisoners was calculated to be thirty thousand (Kalichbeg – sixty thousand), including thirty “daughters of the chiefs”. They were exported to Hajjaj. The head of Dahir and the fifth part of prisoners were forwarded in charge of the African Slave Kaab, son of Mubarak Rasti. In Sind itself females captured after every campaign of the marching army, were enslaved and married to Arab soldiers who settled down in colonies established in places like Mansura, Kuzdar, Mahfuza and Multan. The standing instructions of Hajjaj to Muhammad bin Qasim were to “give no quarter to infidels, but to cut their throats, and take the women and children as captives”. At the end of the conquest of Sind, “when the plunder and the prisoners of war were brought before Qasim” one-fifth of all the female prisoners were chosen and set aside and counted to be twenty thousand. Since they belonged to high families, “veils were put on their faces, and the rest were given to the soldiers”. This implies at 100,000 non-Muslim Indian women were enslaved and distributed among the elite and the soldiers.

Muhammad bin Qasim remained in Sind for a little over three years after which Islamic chroniclers say he was suddenly recalled and summarily executed, probably by being sewn in an animal hide and then pierced with iron nails, on the charge of deflowering two Sindhi princesses meant for the bed of the Caliph. [The overzealous among Muslim ranks can remember the other famous instances such as the early Islamic commanders in Spain. It is also interesting to note that the story comes from Islamic pens, which explicitly describes how the Caliph, the supposed spiritual leader of all Islam is murderously concerned about the virginity of maidens he wants to bed himself – an indication of the generic insecurity of Islam’s roots whose core religious texts show an overwhelming concern with womens’ sexual purity and the predilection towards consummating marriages with child-brides]

After Qasim’s departure the Arab power in Sind declined rapidly with a majority of the newly converted returned back to their former religions. According to Denison Ross after the recall of Muhammad bin Qasim, the Muslims retained some foothold on the west bank of the river Indus, but they were in such small number that they gradually merged into Hindu population. In Mansura (the Muslim capital of Sind) they actually adopted Hinduism. Muslims who continued in the new religion wre mostly concentrated to cities, and particularly Multan which according to Al Masudi (C.E. 942) remained one of the strongholds of the Muslims. Ibn Hauqal, (C.E. 976), also calls Multan a city with a strong fort, “but Mansura is more fertile and prosperous[…]Debal is a large mart and a port not only of this but neighbouring regions”. Thus the Muslim population more or less became stable and integrated with the indigenous society of Sind. Ibn Hauqal writes: “The Muslims and infidels of this tract wear the same dresses, and let their beards grow in the same fashion. They use fine muslin garments on account of the extreme heat. The men of Multan dress in the same way. The language of Mansura, Multan and those parts is Arabic and Sindian” [We will see later how Islamic concerns deriving from their desert roots as well as propriety aimed mainly at “protecting” their “reproductive resources” – women, imposed dress-codes and socio-cultural practices that were completely alien to the pre-Islamic Indic cultures as well as as its general climate]. An interesting angle yet to be explored in historical analysis is the possible vulnerability in “monotheistic” or mono-iconic religions, such as Zoroastriansim or Sun-worship or Buddhism (which in its later phases foucsed on the “Buddha” entirely) to Islam. Early European Christianity dominated by recent pagans of the Germanic stock which overran the post-Romanic scenario, retained sufficient viciousness and and imbibed less of the later-Christian imperialist “peaceful submission” to monotheism to ruthlessly repulse the Moorish or eastern Islamic advances. Jews and Nestorians in the Levant fared poorly against Islam, as did the extensive Buddhist, Zoroastrian and monotheistic strands within Hinduism in central and South Asia. A modern phenomenon could be the trend of conversion from Christianity to Islam among white Europeans in the countries of Germanic stock.

Andre Wink points out, that In contrast to Persia there is no indication that Buddhists converted more eagerly than brahmans. The Thaparite School maintains that Muslim Arabs were “invited” to Sind by Buddhist “traitors” who aimed to undercut the brahmins is problematic and typically stated without proof and in the style of Indian historians which places hypothesis with or without qualification by isolated and dubious examples, as undisputed reality. If Buddhists collaborated with the invaders, there are apprently equal examples of collaboration by brahmins which simply could have been a matter of expediency rather than any genuine love for Islam.

The newly converted Turks, who were enrolled as military slaves of the Caliphate, ultimately grew strong enough to form their own principalities under the formal tutelage of the Caliphs with a much reduced authority for legitimacy. Amir Subuktigin (977-997 C.E.) was one such Turkish adventurer who frequently raided the Hindu Shahiya Brahman kingdom of Punjab which extended up to Kabul “in the prosecution of holy wars, and there he conquered forts upon lofty hills, in order to seize the treasures they contained.” When Jayapal, the ruling prince of the Shahiyas, heard of Subuktigin’s depredations, he moved with a large army and huge elephants to wreak vengeance upon Subuktigin, “by treading the field of Islam under his feet”. After crossing Lamghan, Sabuktigin advanced from Ghazni with his son Mahmud and the two armies fought repeatedly against one another. Jayapal, with soldiers “as impetuous as a torrent,” was difficult to defeat, and so Subuktigin threw animal flesh (probably beef) into the fountain which supplied water to the Hindu army. Apparently Jayapal sued for peace, but Sabuktigin protracted negotiations, and Jayapal’s envoys were sent back on which Jayapal again proposed cessation of hostilities saying: “You have seen the impetuosity of the Hindus and their indifference to death, whenever any calamity befalls them, as at this moment. If, therefore, you refuse to grant peace in the hope of obtaining plunder, tribute, elephants and prisoners, then there is no alternative for us but to mount the horse of stern determination, destroy our property, take out the eyes of our elephants, cast our children into the fire, and rush on each other with sword and spear, so that all that will be left to you, is stones and dirt, dead bodies, and scattered bones.”

Jayapal’s declared intention forced Subuktigin to conclude “that religion and the views of the faithful would be best consulted by peace”. He demanded a tribute of cash and elephants and nominated officers to collect them which apparently was not believed by Jayapal and having learnt his lessons in Islam’s complete lack of any ethics in warfare, refused to pay anything, and imprisoned the Amir’s officers. At this Subuktigin supposedly marched out towards Lamghan, conquered it and set “fire to the places in its vicinity, demolished idol temples, marched and captured other cities and established Islam in them”. Jayapal collected troops to the number of more than one hundred thousand, “which resembled scattered ants and locusts”. Sabuktigin on his part “made bodies of five hundred attack the enemy with their maces in hand, and relieve each other when one party became tired, so that fresh men and horses were constantly engaged. The dust which arose prevented the eyes from seeing. It was only when the dust was allayed that it was found that Jayapal had been defeated and his troops had fled leaving behind them their property, utensils, arms, provisions, elephants, and horses.” Subuktigin levied tribute and obtained immense booty, besides two hundred elephants of war. He also increased his army by enrolling those Afghans and Khaljis (previously Hindu followers of Jayapal) who submitted to him.

Subuktigin’s son Mahmud succeeded his father in C.E. 998 and in 1000 he first attacked India. The Thaparite school tries to represent Mahmud as common looter intent on capturing the “horse trade through Multan and Sind” whose iconoclastic exploits have been inflated by later Islamic scholars to make him seem an Islamic theologically approved hero. However they quietly suppress tha fact that Mahmud himself was well-versed in the Quran and the Hadiths and was considered its eminent interpreter. He collected either by promise of wealth or by force (consider the case of the brilliant Ibn Sina who spent a lifetime escaping from his clutches and is known to have celebrated Mahmud’s death) a galaxy of eminent theologians scholars, and on his investiture, he vowed to the Caliph of Baghdad “to undertake every year a campaign against the idolaters of India”, convinced that “jihad was central to Islam and that one campaign at least must be undertaken against the unbelievers every year.” Mahmud made seventeen (or 10) expeditions in the next thirty years and is the object of the highest praise in Islamic historians almost at par with Slahuddin. Mahmud always included the Caliph’s name on his coins, represented himself in his Fateh-namas as a “warrior for the faith”, sent to Baghdad plundered wealth and slaves (the highest spiritual leaders of Islam, the Caliphs appear to have a never ending appetite for enslaved Hindu women for their personal bed) from his Indian campaign. The Caliph Al-Qadir Billah in turn praised the talents and exploits of Mahmud, conferred upon him the titles of Amin-ul-millah and Yamin-ud-daula (the Right hand) after which his house is known as Yamini Dynasty.

In his first attack of frontier towns in C.E. 1000 Mahmud appointed his own governors and converted some inhabitants. In his attack on Waihind (Peshawar) in 1001-3, Mahmud is reported to have captured the Hindu Shahiya King Jayapal and fifteen of his principal chiefs and relations some of whom like Sukhpal, were made Muslims. At Bhera all the inhabitants, except those who embraced Islam, were put to the sword. At Multan conversions of remaining Hindus took place in large numbers, for writing about the campaign against Nawasa Shah (converted Sukhpal), Utbi says that this and the previous victory (at Multan) were “witnesses to his exalted state of proselytism.” In his campaign in the Kashmir Valley (1015) Mahmud “converted many infidels to Muhammadanism, and having spread Islam in that country, returned to Ghazni.” In the later campaign in Mathura, Baran and Kanauj, many conversions took place. Describing the conquest of Kanauj, Utbi saya: “The Sultan levelled to the ground every fort and the inhabitants of them either accepted Islam, or took up arms against him”, or those who submitted were also converted to Islam or conversion was a condition for submission and life [this is by the Sunnah of the Prophet, whose protestaions of liberalism more common in the Quran which represents his earlier struggling days are almost always contradicted in the Hadiths which represent a post-Muhammad collection of actual events]. In Baran (Bulandshahr) alone 10,000 persons were converted including the Raja. During his fourteenth invasion in 1023 C.E. Kirat, Nur, Lohkot and Lahore were attacked. The chief of Kirat accepted Islam, and many people followed his example. According to Nizamuddin Ahmad, “Islam spread in this part of the country by the consent of the people and the influence of force.” According to all contemporary and later chroniclers like Qaznivi, Utbi, Farishtah etc., “conversion of Hindus to Islam was one of the objectives of Mahmud” and whenever he was militarily successful he demanded the people to convert to Islam leading to Hindu rulers simply running away without giving a battle. “The object of Bhimpal in recommending the flight of Chand Rai was that the Rai should not fall into the net of the Sultan, and thus be made a Musalman, as had happened to Bhimpal’s uncles and relations, when they demanded quarter in their distress.”

Mahmud destroyed an almost uncountable number of temples and idols as is reconstructable from the detailed descriptions of his campaigns. [ It is difficult to understand why Mahmud would use precious labour in the uneconomic structure destroying activity]. His interest in destroying renowned temples is only interpreted by the Thaparite School as aimed at extracting wealth but larger temples would be structurally more difficult to destroy and economically unproductive as gold or valuables were highly unlikely to have been imbedded in huge blocks of stone and the more natural possibility of “bringing glory to Islam” is quietly suppressed.

At Thaneshwar, the temple of Chakraswamin was sacked and its bronze image of Vishnu was taken to Ghazni to be thrown into the hippodrome of the city. Mathura did not fight back and the residents had fled, and Mahmud had been greatly “impressed with the beauty and grandeur of the shrines” but the temples in the city were thoroughly destroyed. Kanauj had a large number of temples with some of great antiquity and just as in Mathura even when there was no armed resistance all the temples were destroyed.

According to Andre Wink, from the seventh century onwards, peaking during Muhammad al-Qasim?s campaigns in 712-13, a significant number of Jats among others were captured as prisoners of war and exported to Iraq and elsewhere as slaves. Examples of prominent Jat freedmen include Abu Hanifa (699-767), the founder of the Hanafi school of Islamic law.

Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, the secretary and chronicler of Mahmud reports that when Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked Waihind (near Peshawar) in 1001-02, he took 500,000 persons of both sexes as captive. This figure appeared so preposterous that Elliot and Dawson (the translators) reduce it to 5000. Many modern historians including the Thaparite School consistently declare that this figure is notional and therefore not true and an exaggeration. None of these discounters give any concrete reasons for reducing this claimed number – which could have easily been done among others on the basis of estimated ancient demographics of the region concerned – except their own stature as infallible and final adjudicators of truth. The common characteristic of all these narratives by Islamic chroniclers is that taking of slaves was a routine practice in every expedition and only unusually large numbers drew attention of the chroniclers. For example after Mahmud’s Ninduna (Salt Range -1014) campaign, Utbi reports that “slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap; and men of respectability in their native land[India] were degraded by becoming slaves of common shopkeepers (of Ghazni)”. He is supported by Nizamuddin Ahmad in Tabqat-i-Akbari stating that Mahmud “obtained great spoils and a large number of slaves”. Ferishtah reports that in the next campaign on Thanesar, “the Muhammadan army brought to Ghaznin 200,000 captives so that the capital appeared like an Indian city, for every soldier of the army had several slaves and slave girls”. Slaves were taken in subsequent campaigns in Baran, Mahaban, Mathura, Kanauj, Asni etc. so that when Mahmud returned to Ghazni in 1019, the booty was found to include 53,000 captives according to Nizamuddin. Utbi reports that “the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact, that each was sold for from two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazna, and the merchants came from different cities to purchase them, so that the countries of Mawaraun-Nahr, Iraq and Khurasan were filled with them”. The Tarikh-i-Alfi adds that the fifth share due to the Saiyyads was 150,000 slaves, therefore the total number of captives comes to 750,000.

It was a matter of Islamic policy to capture and convert, destroy or sell the male population, and carry into slavery women and children. Ibn-ul-Asir says that Qutbuddin Aibak made “war against the provinces of Hind. He killed many, and returned home with prisoners and booty.” Further In Benaras, Muhammad Ghori’s massacred the Hindus – “None was spared except women and children.” Fakhr-i-Mudabbir reports that as a result of the Muslim achievements under Muhammad Ghori and Qutbuddin Aibak, “even a poor householder (or soldier) who did not possess a single slave before became the owner of numerous slaves of all description (jauq jauq ghulam har jins)”.

This brings us to the iconic case of Somnath which I will take up in the next part of this series. This will also be a great opportunity to explore the particular style of Thaparite reconstruction of Indian history for its special pro-Muslim anti-Hindu agenda.

part 3:the final defeat of the major North Indian powers

Part 1 :enslavement of non-Muslims of India

part 4: the actual role of Sufis in conversion

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N-deal’s greatest hurdle to be crossed on US shoulders and Gujarat, Jammu shows Hindu political maturity

Posted on August 20, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Nuclear, Pakistan, Politics, religion, terrorism |

As I had discussed before, the IAEA episode was actually a very small and rather the easier step compared to the current hurdles of unanimous passage through the NSG. The non-proliferation lobby is led by countries strongly dependent economically on NWS’s – the Nuclear Weapons States – US, UK, France, Russia and China. Therefore, their greatest pressure will be on countries like India. These countries will deliberately ignore that they are protected by the presence of NATO (even if not members always themselves of NATO) and NWS’s themselves in the event of military aggression from “enemies”, whereas India practically has no defence against military aggression from powerful and aggressive NWS like China, and the unofficial NWS Pakistan. It is possible that the Islam lobby as well as indirect Chinese pressure has effects on the NPT lobby’s stance. Some of the NPT lobbyists have important markets in the Muslim world, and India should perhaps consider this in its diplomatic efforts. India’s only hope of passing through the NSG with all it wants is based on riding on US shoulders as the NPT lobby will only be forced to accept India under US pressure. India’s nuclear weapons capabilities are crucial for India’s existence as a nation remembering that given half a chance the Muslim forces arrayed against India will try to overrun it with passive or active help from China – and India is the last homeland that the non-Muslim Indic cultures like Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism can call its own.

Meanwhile it is a positive sign to see the first visible indications of the growth of a mature non-Muslim political identity in India. The current elite dependent on a fractured Indian society for their continuance in power will of course try to portray this as a “communal” development. But if one looks at the faces of the agitation in Jammu, where in addition to a jail-filling agitation participated in by large numbers of women, and the declaration of a civil disobedience  movement, one can see the Sikh headgear mingling in the forefront, and there are indications that Buddhists from the eastern part of the state have also participated. Islam is one of the factors responsible for the economic decline of India in the medieval ages, and the stagnation of its educational, academic and technological progress – compared to the brilliance of its intellectual achievements in the pre-Islamic period. Islam in a way has been the single largest factor in forcing modern India to involve a large proportion of its resources into defending itself against aggressors aligned along an Islamic axis (including China). Islam is still an expenditure for India on at least three major counts – (1) need to defend against Pakistan (2) need to tackle Islamic terror sponsored from within Pakistan and Bangladesh and probably financed and resources by a much wider network which may also involve petro-dollars. (3) subsidies needed to support Islamic religious  activities and  the social costs of backwardness imposed specifically by retrogressive and medieval Islamic practices.  Being the second largest population group in India, this imposes  substantial  resource diversion  for India.  It is a very very positive sign that the non-Muslims in Gujarat and Jammu are finally realizing what a truly mature political strategy that benefits the non-Muslim majority both in the short term as well as in the long term means. Instead of breaking up the Babari Mosque, the current strategy aimed at isolating Islam politically, and raising political consciousness of the dangers of continued existence of Islam on the subcontinent is a much better strategy. It is most important to emphasize and keep in mind that “Muslims” are Indians, that they are derived from pre-Islamic and non-Islamic cultures,  that they mostly converted under ruthless physical and economic duress, that everything should be done to encourage them and create conditions facilitating their return to the “fold”.

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How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India – 1

Posted on August 19, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Muslims, religion |

Islam’s record in India has been always controversial. For a long time a particular reconstruction of Islam’s role in India has been pushed through because of political reasons, and by a regime dependent and supported group of official historians, whose best iconic representation is Prof. Romila Thapar, a lady of Hindu origin who completed her PhD under the obscurantist and orientalist Basham. I refer to this common paradigm of Indian history established basically through government patronization, the Thaparite Scool of Indian History. In this Thaparite paradigm of Indian history, Islam came to India through peaceful means, mainly by the peaceful efforts of traders and Sufi preachers. Further, according to this paradigm, Islam took root because of Brahmanic oppression of “lower castes” and all claims of trauma of non-Muslims at the hands of Muslims are modern reconstructions by British Imperialists and post Nehruvian “Hindu” upper caste elite.

It is not as if claims or records of trauma are not available, but they are all discounted by the Thaparite school as propaganda or myth created for various reasons. I will subsequently specifically analyze the Thaparite technique of historical interpretation and new narrative creation through her often repeated and favourite example – that of Somnath.

Let us start with textual records and then we can analyze how far these records are propaganda or myths. Note that many of these details come from sources in Persian and written down by Islamic scholars or historians, and this is the only reason given by the Thaparite School of Indian history as sufficient to discount all such “barbaric” claims as propaganda or boasting by Muslims and since they are not always supported by contemporary written records by the “victims” themselves. Similar arguments however are never allowed to be used on “Hindu” claims of “repression on lower castes”.

Enslavement of non-Muslims of India

The Chachnama describes how Muhammad bin Qasim invaded Sind, enslaved many prisoners, especially women prisoners, and exported them to his homeland. Parimal and Suraj Devi, the two daughters of Raja Dahir, sent to Hajjaj for the pleasures of the Caliph, were part of a large shipment of girls remitted as one-fifth share of the state (Khums) from the booty of war (Ghanaim). After the capturing of the fort of Rawar, Muhammad bin Qasim halted there for three days and massacred 6,000 men. Their followers and dependents, as well as their women and children were taken prisoner. The total number of prisoners was calculated to be thirty thousand (Kalichbeg – sixty thousand), including thirty “daughters of the chiefs”. They were exported to Hajjaj. The head of Dahir and the fifth part of prisoners were forwarded in charge of the African Slave Kaab, son of Mubarak Rasti. In Sind itself females captured after every campaign of the marching army, were enslaved and married to Arab soldiers who settled down in colonies established in places like Mansura, Kuzdar, Mahfuza and Multan. The standing instructions of Hajjaj to Muhammad bin Qasim were to “give no quarter to infidels, but to cut their throats, and take the women and children as captives”. At the end of the conquest of Sind, “when the plunder and the prisoners of war were brought before Qasim” one-fifth of all the female prisoners were chosen and set aside and counted to be twenty thousand. Since they belonged to high families, “veils were put on their faces, and the rest were given to the soldiers”. This implies at 100,000 non-Muslim Indian women were enslaved and distributed among the elite and the soldiers.

According to Andre Wink, from the seventh century onwards, peaking during Muhammad al-Qasim?s campaigns in 712-13, a significant number of Jats among others were captured as prisoners of war and exported to Iraq and elsewhere as slaves. Examples of prominent Jat freedmen include Abu Hanifa (699-767), the founder of the Hanafi school of Islamic law.

Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, the secretary and chronicler of Mahmud reports that when Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked Waihind (near Peshawar) in 1001-02, he took 500,000 persons of both sexes as captive. This figure appeared so preposterous that Elliot and Dawson (the translators) reduce it to 5000. Many modern historians including the Thaparite School consistently declare that this figure is notional and therefore not true and an exaggeration. None of these discounters give any concrete reasons for reducing this claimed number – which could have easily been done among others on the basis of estimated ancient demographics of the region concerned – except their own stature as infallible and final adjudicators of truth. The common characteristic of all these narratives by Islamic chroniclers is that taking of slaves was a routine practice in every expedition and only unusually large numbers drew attention of the chroniclers. For example after Mahmud’s Ninduna (Salt Range -1014) campaign, Utbi reports that “slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap; and men of respectability in their native land[India] were degraded by becoming slaves of common shopkeepers (of Ghazni)”. He is supported by Nizamuddin Ahmad in Tabqat-i-Akbari stating that Mahmud “obtained great spoils and a large number of slaves”. Ferishtah reports that in the next campaign on Thanesar, “the Muhammadan army brought to Ghaznin 200,000 captives so that the capital appeared like an Indian city, for every soldier of the army had several slaves and slave girls”. Slaves were taken in subsequent campaigns in Baran, Mahaban, Mathura, Kanauj, Asni etc. so that when Mahmud returned to Ghazni in 1019, the booty was found to include 53,000 captives according to Nizamuddin. Utbi reports that “the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact, that each was sold for from two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazna, and the merchants came from different cities to purchase them, so that the countries of Mawaraun-Nahr, Iraq and Khurasan were filled with them”. The Tarikh-i-Alfi adds that the fifth share due to the Saiyyads was 150,000 slaves, therefore the total number of captives comes to 750,000.

It was a matter of Islamic policy to capture and convert, destroy or sell the male population, and carry into slavery women and children. Ibn-ul-Asir says that Qutbuddin Aibak made “war against the provinces of Hind. He killed many, and returned home with prisoners and booty.” Further In Benaras, Muhammad Ghori’s massacred the Hindus – “None was spared except women and children.” Fakhr-i-Mudabbir reports that as a result of the Muslim achievements under Muhammad Ghori and Qutbuddin Aibak, “even a poor householder (or soldier) who did not possess a single slave before became the owner of numerous slaves of all description (jauq jauq ghulam har jins)”.

The Delhi Sultan Iltutmish attacked Gwalior in 1231and “captured a large number of slaves”. Minhaj Siraj Jurjani writes that Sultan Balban’s “taking captives, and his capture of the dependents of the great Ranas cannot be recounted”. Minhaj writes that Balban’s campaign in Awadh against Trailokyavarman of the Chandela dynasty (Dalaki wa Malaki of Minhaj), “all the infidel wives, sons and dependents and children fell into the hands of the victors”. Balban captured many prisoners in his Ranthambhor campaign in1253. In 1259, attacking Haryana (in the Shiwalik Hills), he enslaved many women and children. Twice Balban led expeditions against Kampil, Patiali, and Bhojpur, and in the process captured a large number of women and children. In Katehar Balban ordered a general massacre of all males older than eight years and carried away the women and children. [ This is significant as such an order could be considered a Sunnah of Islam’s Prophet, who had either directly or through the mouth of an associate ordered a similar culling of Jewish males after the capture of Badr – this is also the famous battle where Muhammad had a Jewish leader tortured to extract treasury information and then executed – it was the beautiful widow of this executed Jew whom Muhammad selected as the concubine Rihanna who refused to convert to Islam]

Khaljis and the Tughlaqs (1290-1414 C.E.) were famous for their fondness for Hindu women and enslaving them. Alauddin Khalji is reported to have 50,000 slaves many of whom were boys, and mainly captured during war. According to Firoz Tughlaq’s order whenever a non-Muslim place was sacked, the captives should be sorted out and the best ones should be forwarded to the court. His acquisition of slaves was accomplished through various ways – capture in war, in lieu of revenue and as present from nobles. He collected 180,000 slaves. Ziyauddin Barani describes the Slave Market in Delhi, a common feature throughout Islamic India, during the reign of Alauddin Khalji, reporting that “fresh batches of captives were constantly replenishing them”. Amir Khusrau writes in the fourteenth century that “the Turks, whenever they please, can seize, buy, or sell any Hindu”. He is corroborated by Vidyapati who writes that the Muslim army commanders take into custody all the women of the enemy’s city, and wherever they happened to pass, in that very place the ladies of the Raja’s house began to be sold in the market.” Alauddin Khalji fixed the prices of such slaves in the market, as he did for all consumer items. The sale price of boys was set between 20 to 30 tankhas; (from which the modern Indian “taka” derives) with the least attractive for 7 or 8. The slave boys were classified according to their looks and working capacity. The standard price of a working girl was fixed from 5 to 12 tankahs, that of a beautiful girl from 20 to 40, and a beauty of high family from 1 thousand to 2 thousand tankahs. According to Shihabuddin al Umri, under Muhammad bin Tughlaq, a domestic maid in Delhi could be had for 8 tankhas and one deemed fit for sexual use was sold for about 15 tankahs, with prices apparently even lower in other cities. Further “The Sultan never ceases to show the greatest zeal in making war upon the infidels. Everyday thousands of slaves are sold at very low price, so great is the number of prisoners.” Ibn Battuta gives eye-witness accounts of the Sultan’s arranging marriages of enslaved girls with Muslims on a large scale on the two Ids – “First of all, daughters of Kafir (Hindu) Rajas captured during the course of the year, come, sing and dance. Thereafter they are bestowed upon Amirs and important foreigners. After this the daughters of other Kafirs dance and sing and the Sultan gives them to his brothers, relatives sons of Maliks etc. On the sixth day male and female slaves are married.”
Ibn Battuta writes: “At (one) time there arrived in Delhi some female infidel captives, ten of whom the Wazir sent to me. I gave one of them to the man who had brought them to me, but he was not satisfied. My companion took three young girls, and I do not know what happened to the rest.” Thousands (chandin hazar) of non-Muslim women (aurat va masturat) were captured during the yearly campaigns of Firoz Tughlaq and under him the Id celebrations were held on lines similar to those of his predecessor. These women were exported for sale outside of India, especially during the Hajj season, and apparently brought brought huge profits to the Muslim rulers and merchants.

The Thaparite claim that these were all propaganda by Muslims for glorification purposes is highly problematic as there exist firmans [Mughal official decrees] that try to control enslavement practices – unless such practices were so widespread that they were beginning to have disruptive effect on the fabric of the Mughal empire in its struggling early stages, the Mughlas would not have needed to issue a firman against something which according to the Thaparite school never really happened – were Akbar and Jehangir writing firmans in the haze of too much opium? Akbar, decreed abolishing the custom of enslaving helpless women and children in times of war, and Jehangir ordered that “a government collector or Jagirdar should not without permission intermarry with the people of the pargana in which he might be” for abduction and forced marriages were apparently quite common. After the Third Battle of Panipat (1761), according to the Siyar-ul-Mutakhkhirin “the plunder of the (Maratha) camp was prodigious, and women and children who survived were driven off as slaves – twenty-two thousand (women), of the highest rank in the land”.

The Thaparite school of Indian history cites Iltutmish and Balban to claim liberal and excellent treatment of slaves in Islam. The Muslim regime usually put adult male prisoners to the sword, especially the old, the overbearing and those bearing arms, (Muhammad bin Qasim’s raids, Ghori’s attack on Benaras, Balban’s attack on Katehar, Akbar’s attack on Chittor). Of the captured males, skilled workers fetch good price and were sold in India and exported to central Asia and the Arab world as the technology and skill of the Indians were well known and in great demand. A lucrative trade in Indian slaves flourished in the West Asian countries. Some modern non-Indian, and definitely not Hindu, scholars have estimated that between the eleventh to the nineteenth century, three quarters of the population of Bukhara was of mainly Indian slave extraction. The Hindu-Kush (Hindu-killer and not the Thaparite-Britannica attempt at corrupting this to Hindu-Koh, again if according to the Thaparite paradigm Hinuism never existed in Islamic or pre-Islamic times and “Hindu” culture never went beyond the Punjab why was the word associated to a range apparently not connected to India at all!) mountain ranges are so called because thousands of Indian captives “yoked together” used to die while negotiating them as described by Ibn Battuta himself.

Unsold male slaves served as domestic servants, artisans in the royal Karkhanas (a kind of “factory”) and as Paiks (an old derivation from Sanskrit “padatik”- infantry) in the army who served as a supporting wing and as human “shields” in battle. Professional soldiers captured in war and willing to serve the Muslim army, joined the infantry, and were noted for loyalty. Alauddin and Mubarak Khalji, Firoz Tughlaq were sall reported to have been saved by Paiks during assassination attempts.

Captured boys of eight/nine or younger whose family males had been executed and women enslaved and sold and scattered, were ideal candidates to be Ottoman style Janessaries. According to the price-schedule of Sultan Alauddin Khalji while the price of a handsome slave was twenty to 30 tankahs and that of a slave-servant ten to 15 tankahs, the price of a child slave (ghulam bachchgan naukari) was fixed at 70 to 80 tankahs. Therefore campaigns aimed at capturing large number of children. This perhaps encouraged, in the face of an impending defeat, Hindu mothers to burn together with their little children in the fire of Jauhar. Hindu goodlooking pre-puberty boys would also have been attractive to Muslims as potential candidates for eunuchs, needed in large numbers to manage the large harems of the Muslims, since castration could not be performed on Muslim boys.

The sexual relish with which Muslims treated women captives is revealed in Al Umri who writes “in spite of low prices of slaves, 200,000 tankahs and even more, are paid for young Indian girls. I inquired the reason and was told that these young girls are remarkable for their beauty, and the grace of their manners.” Muhammad bin Qasim sent to Hajjaj some thirty thousand captives many among whom were daughters of chiefs of Sind. Hajjaj forwarded the prisoners to Caliph Walid I (C.E. 705-15). The latter “sold some of those daughters of the chiefs, and some he granted as rewards. When he saw the daughter of Rai Dahir’s sister, he was much struck with her beauty and charms and wished to keep her for himself. But as his nephew Abdullah bin Abbas desired to take her, Walid bestowed her on him saying that it is better that you should take her to be the mother of your children”. During Jahangir’s reign, Abdullah Khan Firoz Jung declared that “I made prisoners of five lacs of men and women and sold them. They all became Muhammadans. From their progeny there will be crores by the day of judgement”. This is one of the primary motivations in Islam, – having progeny from captured women and thereby increasing Muslim population while at the same time preventing and reducing the chances of non-Muslims to reproduce.

Islamic hunger for attractive and reproductive women and their capture in military campaigns was not the only direct method for acquisition of slaves. There were many other routes to slavery devised by Islamic regimes.

The revenue system of the Delhi Sultanate was designed to enslave Hindus as these rulers, and their subordinate shiqadars, ordered their armies to abduct large numbers of Hindus as a means of extracting revenue. Communities loyal to the Sultan and regular in paying taxes were usually excused from this practice, punitive taxes were extracted from less loyal groups in the form of slaves. Thus, according to Barani, the Balban ordered his shiqadars in Awadh to enslave those people resistant to his authority, (implying those who refused to pay him tax on demand). Sultan Alauddin Khilji legalized the enslavement of those who defaulted on their revenue payments.This policy continued under the Mughals. Apart from this regular enslavement process, huge numbers of people were enslaved as a part of the Delhi Sultan’s raising of finance for their expansion into new territories. Qutbuddin Aibak invaded Gujarat in 1197 and enslaved some 20,000 people and later, he enslaved an additional 50,000 people during his conquest of Kalinjar. [ A possible Thaparite version can perhaps be obtained by treating these figures as repeated and therefore notional and therefore possibly a “0” a too many and therefore actually a “0” too many]. Levi finds reasonable K.S.Lal’s assertion that the forcible enslavement of Indians due to military expansion “gained momentum” under the Khilji and Tughluq dynasties, as being supported by available figures. Barani reports that Alauddin Khilji owned 50,000 slave-boys, in addition to 70,000 construction slaves. Firoz Shah Tughluq owned 180,000 slaves, roughly 12,000 of whom were skilled artisans. A significant proportion of slaves owned by the Sultans were likely to have been military slaves and not labourers or domestics. However earlier traditions of maintaining a mixed army comprising both Hindu soldiers and Turkic slave-soldiers (ghilman, mamluks) from Central Asia, were disrupted by the rise of the Mongols reducing the inflow of mamluks. This intensified demands by the Delhi Sultans on local Indian populations to satisfy their need for both military and domestic slaves.

Alongside Buddhist Oirats, Christian Russians, non-Sunni Afghans, and the predominantly Shia Iranians, Hindu slaves were an important component of the highly active slave markets of medieval and early modern Central Asia. Presence of Hindu slaves exported to Central Asia is shown by the 17th century records of one Juybari Sheikh, a Naqsbandi Sufi leader, (the Sufis are represented in the Thaparite school of Indian history as a very liberal, humane, tolerant and integrative interpretation of Islam – which I will investigate later from Persian sources written by the Sufis themselves ) owning over 500 slaves, forty of whom were specialists in pottery production while the others were engaged in agricultural work. High demand for skilled slaves, and India’s larger and more advanced textile industry and agricultural production, architecture, demonstrated to its neighbours that skilled labour was abundant in the subcontinent leading to enslavement and export of large number of skilled labour, following successful invasions. After sacking Delhi, Timur enslaved several thousand skilled artisans, presenting many of these slaves to his subordinate elite, although reserving the masons for use in the construction of the Bibi Khanum Mosque in Samarquand. Imported young female Hindu slaves fetched higher market price than skilled construction slaves, sometimes by 150%. Because of their identification in Muslim societies as qufirs, “non-believers”, Hindus were especially in demand in the early modern Central Asian slave markets, with Indian Hindu slaves specially mentioned in waqafnamas, and archives and even being owned by Turkic pastoral groups.

Most extensive records of the Mughal Badsha’s interest in the slave trade is available for Shah Jahan. The fact of Shah Jahan being the son of a Hindu princess, Jagat Gosain (a wife of Jehangir) and the grandson of another Hindu Rajput princess, (Jodha or not) illustrates that the Mughals pursued slave trade and enslavement of Hindus as a matter of state policy without any consideration to kinship and other consideration. In 1632 Shah Jahan ordered all recently constructed or partially-constructed Hindu temples, Christian churches obliterated. Seventy-six temples were destroyed in Benares, and Christian churches at Agra and Lahore were demolished and ten thousand inhabitants were executed by being “blown up with powder, drowned in water or burnt by fire”. As a result of this campaign, four thousand were taken captive to Agra where they were tortured to try to convert them to Islam. Only a few apostatised; the remainder were trampled to death by elephants, except for the younger women who went to ShaJahan’s harem. This is the same Shah Jahan who has to be represented according to the diktats of the Thaparite School of Indian History as only the doting father and grief-stricken love lorn husband who built the Taj Mahal (with his own labour and hard earned money it seems).

Abd Allah Khan Firuz Jang, an Uzbek noble at the Mughal court during the 1620s and 1630s, was appointed to the position of governor of the regions of Kalpi and Kher and, in the process of subjugating the local rebels, “beheaded the leaders and enslaved their women, daughters and children, who were more than 2 lacks [200,000] in number. When Shuja was appointed as governor of Kabul he carried on a ruthless war in the Hindu territory beyond Indus. Most of the women committed jauhar but those captured alive were distributed among Muslim Mansabdars. Under Shah Jahan, peasants were forced to sell their women and children to meet their revenue requirements. The peasants were carried off to various markets and fairs “to be sold with their poor unhappy wives carrying their small children crying and lamenting”. According to Qaznivi, Shah Jahan had decreed they should be sold to Muslim lords. The Augustinian missionary Fray Sebastio Manrique, who was in Bengal in 1629–30 and again in 1640, remarked on the ability of the shiqdār—a Mughal officer responsible for executive matters in the pargana, (the smallest territorial unit of imperial administration) to collect the revenue demand, by force if necessary, and even to enslave peasants should they default in their payments.

A survey of a relatively restricted sample of seventy-seven letters regarding the manumission or sale of slaves in the Majmua-i-wathaiq reveals that slaves of Indian origin (hindi al-asal) accounted for over 58 per cent of those whose region of origin is mentioned. Khutut-i-mamhura bemahr-i qadat-i Bukhara, a smaller collection of judicial documents from early eighteenth-century Bukhara includes several letters of manumission with over half of these letters referring to slaves “of Indian origin”. Even in the model of a legal letter of manumission written by the chief qazi for his assistant to follow, the example used is of a slave “of Indian origin”.

It is to be noted that sections of Indian society, such as the Ghakkar merchants, actively participated and profited from the slave trade involving Indians. Levi is of the opinion the supply of Indian slaves for export dwindled as the Mughal Empire weakened, decentralized and its military expansion came to an end. The degeneration of the Mughal empire coincided with the increasing general exclusion of slaves from the tax-revenue systems of the successor states and the growing commercial and cultural separation of India and its neighbours to the north and west under the British Raj.

Part 2:

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Musharraf resigns : strange days coming for Pakistan and India

Posted on August 18, 2008. Filed under: India, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, terrorism |

So Musharraf has finally resigned. What does this mean for Pakistan? This simply means that the coalition partnership between the emotional Nawaz and cold and calculating Zardari will now be increasingly under strain. In spite of Nawaaz being the more popular, his emotional approach to politics will ultimately put him in a very dangerous position, and once Musharraf’s eagle has been removed from overshadowing Zardari, it will now be a matter of time before each tries to oust the other. Will there be a return for Musharraf, possible but difficult – Kiani may want his own taste of the cake. Kiani also has a lot in stake in preserving the ISI and the Pakistan army’s cross border activities in India and Afghanistan – and perhaps not impossibly in a lot of other central Asian countries including the north-east of China. As discussed before in these columns, Kiani will ditch Musharraf only if Zardari-Nawaz can promise a higher price for ISI and the Pakistani Army and committment to support and provide resources for further continuation and escalation of the ISI-Army top-brass’s agenda to propagate Islamic dominance in the garb of Pakistani nationalism (or Pakistani nationalism in the garb of Islamic dominance) within the subcontinent.

The so-called return of democracy to Pakistan has little effect on India. This democratic government completely failed to rein in the ISI and had to beat a hasty and humiliating retreat. The situation will not improve in terms of relations with India, in spite of official “wish” to do so, as the establishment is practically now completely infiltrated at all levels by Islamic fundamentalists.

So Musharraf’s departure means increased availability of support for the ISI and the Pakistani Army to carry out cross border terrorism against “non-Muslim” (or Muslim governments not entirely following the hardcore Wahabi or Salafi Sunni expansionist agenda in Asia – such as the current Afghan government under Karazai) regimes. By doing this Pakistan’s army actually is doing a great disservice not only to the “Islamic” cause but also to its own country. As sooner or later, the current vacillating and weak government in India will be replaced by a much stronger will. Sooner or later, Russia, China, Afghanistan and India will have to form a coalition to disrupt the Islamic fundamentalist power base and network developing from Saudi Arabia through Central Asia and north Pakistan right into North Eastern China. Once this happens, it will be the end of Islam as we know it. Either Islam reinvents itself as so many other religions in the history of mankind have done as an up-to-date reconstruction or forced into oblivion.

No scope for complacency and feeling happy about the apparent exit of Musharraf for all those who know what Islamic fundamentalism really means for the non-Muslims.

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Hurriyat pulls the strings and New Delhi dances while Gujarat catches small fish

Posted on August 17, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, religion, terrorism |

Hurriyat did not realize that it was shooting itself in the feet when it took on the mantle of champion of economic rights of Kashmiri Muslims by demanding trade across the LOC in Kashmir. I had written awhile ago in these columns that for Pakistan to agree to open the trade routes across the LOC means a possibly serious economic drain. The not-so-robust economy of Pakistan, thanks to the Talebani dance of merry Islamic  militancy,  may ill  afford  a drain of resources across the border.  Trade across the LOC could also over the long term involve products that do not originate in the valley but are traded by Kashmiris in the valley sourced from the much stronger economy in the plains of India. This does not bode well for Pakistan.  And Pakistan is dragging its feet over allowing this trade across the LOC, as expected.  Hurriyat is looking for slogans that can rally the largest support in the Valley, and this has nothing do with its actual ideologically motivated agenda – doing its bit for the consolidation of Islam in the subcontinent. As with all ideologically motivated organizations, like that of the Communists, there are always blind alleys into which Hurriyat rushes headlong. Pakistan’s elite’s agenda is grabbing land, and this essentially ex-Hindu converted Muslim elite (who converted in the first instance out of economic and power motives in the first place to retain their land) only uses Islam as a pretext for its land-grabbing motivations. This elite is quite uncomfortable with unbridled Islamic consolidation movements which do not consider the economic or strategic realities. However, in this case Hurriyat is a creation of the Pakistani elite as much as it is a creation of Islamic fundamentalist proselytizing agenda. It will be an interesting exercise in diplomatic coughing and sneezing on the part of all three players in this Kashmiri roulette.

While this pussyfooting is going on in Kashmir, the Gujarat police has claimed to nab the main culprits behind the Gujarat blasts, and identified them as a breakaway hardline faction of SIMI, calling itself the Indian Mujahideen. However sometime ago, in the aftermath of the blasts media leaks from officials appeared to project the theory that Indian Mujahideen did not really exist but was a “shadow name” of a Pakistan based outfit that specifically wanted to pretend to be “Indian”. Both cannot be true at the same time, and it is quite possible that neither of the two theories are entirely correct. It seems unlikely that the main culprits behind the Gujarat blasts have been nabbed. These are people still under deep cover all over the western coastal areas of India, with strong underground networks between Communist extremists, and ethnic separatists throughout India as well as groups based across the border not necessarily with Pakistan. The people nabbed are most likely to be the peripheral weak links. The ideological shortsightedness of these groups may make them itch in “righteous anger” to prove that the Indian authorities have barely even scratched their bottoms, and more public outrages or “show of strength” can probably be expected.

The only strategy that will work in preventing aggressive Jihadi Islam is to frustrate the basic target of Islam, to increase the number of Muslims. There should be a sustained and intensive cultural campaign to revive the pre-Islamic roots of the modern Muslims, and climate created where truly “peaceful Muslims” would feel “ashamed” to remain a Muslim. The false propaganda, which has no support in any of the core texts of Islam, that a Muslim who “leaves” Islam (an “apostate”) has to be physically immediately killed, should be dispelled. Hindus have shown their intelligence in being sufficiently flexible to modernize as and when required – reflected in the sequence of reforms that Hindus themselves undertook and continue to undertake. It is the Hindu historian or politician who is allowed to oppose Hindus in favour of falsification in favour of Islam and get away with it by Hindus, a behaviour never seen in Muslims in reverse towards Hindus. Just imagine the freedoms that a Muslim woman or even a man can enjoy when she or he leaves Islam behind – the freedom to be able to negotiate and redefine and reconstruct their own lives rather than take life as a rigidly pre-ordered diktat from a non-negotiable entity speaking only through insecure and power hungry human voices! It is time the Indian Muslim grows up out of the fear and “submission” that is Islam, and their Hindu countrymen welcome them back.

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The wonder that is Kashmir : where Minorities become Majorities and Majorities become Minorities and then nonexistent

Posted on August 17, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Kashmir, Muslims, Politics, religion, terrorism |

While speaking in the Rajaya Sabha on 17-08-2006 Dr. Farooq Abdullah had questioned the Government of India on the steps being taken by it after Pakistan refused to grant permission to Kashmiri Pandits for visiting Hindu Shrines or places of religious importance in Muzaffarabad. Dr. Man Mohan Singh appreciated Farooq Abdullah for raising the question and said that he would surely raise this question with Pakistan. Carvan e Aman Bus had first left for Muzaffarabad on 7 April 2005. Lt. General ( Retd ) S. K. Sinha had said in an an interview that the Bus will also carry the historical and spiritual message of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani and Lala Ded. After 60 years of accession of Jammu and Kashmir with India, spiritual message of Noor-ud-Din and Lala are still awaiting to be transported from one part of Kashmir to another, and the Kashmiri Pundits are still “Migrants” from Kashmir Valley.

For Marxists, or Thaparite Hindu historians, all terrorism in Kashmir or by Muslims stem from exploitation and economic hardship or enforced displacement. Why the Pandits did not become terrorists? Many lost everything they had and finally settled down in Jammu and not all were top bureaucrats or rich businessmen or professionals as they have been represented by historians, politicians and the media. They did not become militants because they were Indians, and they were not brought up in a religion whose fundamental principle is relentless “physical” warfare against “unbelievers” until they “submit”.

The regime dependent and supported political analysts, historians as well as sections of the media treated Kashmir as an “Islamic state” and therefore its “Islamic features” to be “protected” at all costs. This recognition and acceptance of “Islam” as the sole claimant of “Kashmir” immensely played into the hands of Islamic revivalists based in religious centres in India and Pakistan who had been carefully nurtured under the culture of “tolerance of minorities”. Islams agenda in Kashmir succeeded in confusing the common Kashmiri Muslim and their religious sentiments which contain early exposure and brainwashing with not only an inveterate hatred of all non-Muslims, but sanctions and exhortations of violence against them in opportune moments as natural and “Allah” ordered (thereby any personal human regret or conscience can be bypassed) together with a blatant falsification of Kashmir’s pre-Islamic past [in this their greatest allies were of course the Thaparite school of Indian history, who did everything possible to suppress the real role and mechanism of spreading of Islam, and paint pre-Islamic or non-Islamic cultures of India in the worst possible comparison with Islam]. These were exploited to create doubts about completeness of 1947 Accession to India.

The economic backwardness was explained to the poor and unemployed as a result of  being a Muslim living under Hindu majority “rule”. Hindu Thaparite historians were most prominent in describing militancy as being out of neglect, unemployment and communal hatred by Hindus. Kashmiri Pundits were blamed for their part in this mistreatment of “Islam” and just as in Bangladesh the “missing Hindu populations in the census” are tried sometimes indirectly to be ascribed to the “economic opportunism of Hindus and their hatred of Muslims and hence their stealthy migration” the Pundits’ mass migrations of flight to safety was represented as an opportunistic Hindu-communal betrayal. All of this had to be done because the Nehruvian strand of Congress politics [Nehru himself had declared that he felt himself culturally a Muslim] possibly also under Western pressure to encourage Islam as immunization against communism, took it upon itself to not only preserve Islam but also to try and help it grow in India. In the “Muslim majority” state of Kashmir, the “heart bleeding for the repressed minorities” political elite of NewDelhi could not recognize the Kashmiri Hindu Pundits or Buddhists as “minorities” – since doing so would have been an embarrassing contradiction and not suitable for their strategy of using Islam as a double whammy – something to tame Hindu pan-India cultural consolidation which would have gone out of the control of the small UP based coterie of Congress as well as an immunization against Left or progressive forces [Islam has proved to be the best antidote against modernization in social and human rights].

Our eminent historians of the Thaparite school of Indian history, never discuss the circumstances that made the campaign posters threatening Kashmiri Pundits a common sight in 1989-1990 in Kashmir Valley, showing the extent to which the anti-Hindu Islamic forces had been allowed to strengthen. The Kashmiri Pundits and many Muslims felt that the militants could actually carry out their threats where as they were not sure about the capacity or political will of the “democratic government” to guarantee security to life and property of those who did not support merger with Pakistan.

The Kashmiri Pundits were Hindu and neither believed in the two nation theory nor did they believe that there could be any thing like an independent nation of Jammu and Kashmir. Hence majority of Kashmiri Pundits left Kashmir Valley along with some Muslims who supported accession to India. Some from the Muslim ruling elite thought that Kashmir should have special constitutional status within India but did not accept the merger with Pakistan as well as Kashmir becoming an independent country. Hence many Muslims and political leaders of the National Conference and Congress also migrated from Kashmir Valley along with the Kashmir Pundits as they also felt unsafe in the Valley. Some Kashmiri Muslims had stayed continuously outside Kashmir Valley upto 1994 and thereafter they gradually returned to the Valley. Dr. Farooq Abdullah had remained in exile for many years under special personal security.

Dr.Farooq Abdullah always described himself as first an Indian and strongly advocated “greater autonomy ” and should be admired for his political courage to oppose militancy and pro-Pakistan groups at the cost of political losses to his party. His political dilemma comes out though on many occasions, such as his allegation that Mr. Jagmohan, a BJP MP, encouraged the Pundits to leave the Valley when he became governor of the state for the second time. Some separatist leaders from Kashmir Valley, some Kashmiri pro India leaders of local political parties and even sections of the Indian media have claimed that Jagmohan wanted Kashmiri Pundits to be out of the way to enable him to deal with militants. To understand this we have to realize that the Kashmiri Pundits never had the tradition of aggressive militant action to defend their rights as the Punjabi Hindus or Sikhs. This is the reason that Punjabi Hindus and Sikhs who have had to survive the worst forms of Islamic violence for at least fourteen hundred years (Sikhs from the Mughal period) did not give up in the face of separatist terrorism in Punjab. About 40000 Sikhs still manage to stay in the Valley.

The Kashmiri Pundits now in exile outside of the Valley, have been excluded from the negotiations on Kashmir. The wishes of the non-Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Kashmir should be taken into account. If this is not done, sooner or later India will have to wake up to a very stark choice – Kashmiri unification has to be then done militarily which may also necessitate the dismemberment of Pakistan, and a thorough wiping off of religious fundamentalist leadership and their cultural propagation systems on the subcontinent.

The Hurriyat wants trade across LOC, and a shaking New Delhi bleats weakly like a lamb that they also agree – only that Pakistan does not respond. This is as I had predicted in a previous post, that NewDelhi will appear increasingly the cornered fool dancing to pro-Pakistani Islamic revivalists’ demands. Indian non-Muslims, especially in the Kashmir and Jammu region should gear themselves for increased Islam sponsored violence and should begin thinking longer term about a permanent solution to the Kashmir problem that safeguards non-Muslim existence and interests indpendent of whatever the Islamophile bosses at NewDelhi promise or say. The ordinary Kashmiri Muslim is an Indian, by origin, by history, by cultural roots. Islamic violence only retreats before an overwhelming force that leaves no doubt about its will and capability to exterminate Islamic “leadership” [the “eradication of Islam” in Spain towards the end of the middle ages for example]- this is the lesson of history, for survival at any cost in order to preserve chances of future multiplication is a fundamental aspect of all Islamic strategy. The American attempt in the middle east is running uphill simply because they do not recognize that the main source of inspiration of Islamic violence utilized by Islamic religious leadership is a primitive greed for biological resources driven by extreme insecurities and intellectual incapability to deal with the complexities of modernizing societies. These religious “scholars” are the main source of selective and opportune interpretations from the core Islamic texts with a shrewd understanding of political manipulations that can satisfy their personal ambitions of power and influence in a world system that goes increasingly beyond their intellectual capabilities. Islamic religious mechanisms and institutions that pretend to preach “peace” for the benefit and division of non-Muslim opinions should have been the first target of the Western colonizing forces in the expansionist phase of European colonialism, and the world would have been spared a lot of pain if instead of concentrating their efforts on destroying the “pagans” they had targeted erasing these Islamic institutions from the face of the earth. Unfortunately we all have to bear the fruits of the West’s long love affair with Islam. But Indians may yet have a way out, as they have always had in the past in overcoming forces that had seemed invincible at first.

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Hindu Muslim marriages – 1 : Rizwanur in Kolkata, Raimah Bibi in Kualalampur, and Shah Jahan in Kashmir

Posted on August 16, 2008. Filed under: Hindu, India, Kashmir, Muslims, religion |

There is a lot of talk about Hindu Muslim marriages, and most of the reports I come across in the media appear to conclude that Hindus are fanatical religious bigots who object, oppose, and kill in order to prevent “love” matches between Hindus and Muslims. I will start this sequence of posts with two modern and one historical cases.

Rizwanur was found dead near railway tracks in Kolkata. Amidst trial by media which more or less indicted the Todis, an influential Hindu business family having roots in Rajasthan but now resident in Kolkata – whose daughter had married the practising Muslim, Rizwanur. There were storms of emotional protests by Kolkata-ns with the now fashionable candle-light vigils to book the “murderers”. CBI was requested to intervene, and after lengthy investigations they ruled in favour of “suicide” by Rizwanur, but thought that there were sufficient reasons to justify chargesheeting “abettors” to this suicide, which of course included the in-laws of Rizwanur. Here of course “love” triumphs, especially because the “love” was between a Muslim man and a Hindu girl.

Malaysia, where Islam is the dominant religion, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus are the minorities. (Malaysia was very much under Hindu and Buddhist influence before the advent of Islam. It is surprising that this increasingly fundamentalist country still allows names like Data Seri Muhathir Muhammad to be used – Data Seri points to DuttaSri – a Hindu past, Muhathir or Mohasthobir – a Buddhist past). Islamic authorities suddenly took away Raimah Bibi and six of her seven children on the grounds that her marriage with Marimuthu was illegal. It was not clear why the authorities acted now when the couple had been together for 21 years. At the hearing Raimah Bibi, 39, broke down and sobbed openly when the judge asked her if she will give up custody of their seven children, who are aged between four and 14. “Yes, I agree to surrender my children to Marimuthu,” she said, wiping her tears with the ends of her headscarf. Later, government lawyer Zauyah Be Loth Khan said the Islamic Affairs Department had no objection to the children being raised as Hindus by the father. “It is up to the parents,” she said. The decision was supposed to be a landmark step in minority rights because it allowed a Hindu man to take custody of his children who legally might be considered Muslims because their mother is one. “It would set a precedent for other cases,” said the 43-year-old Marimuthu”s lawyer, Karpal Singh. Singh indicated that Raimah Bibi gave up the children as a compromise to end the family”s predicament. “What is very sad is that a happy united family has been divided and has faced such a crisis,” said Lim Kit Siang, opposition leader. “For this to happen to a couple that has lived together for 21 years as a result of a religious conflict is not good for our international image,” he said. After Raimah Bibi and the six children were removed, Islamic authorities took them to a Muslim village for rehabilitation and religious counselling. Marimuthu has claimed that his wife was a practising Hindu despite having a Muslim name and that he feared she would be brainwashed at the rehabilitation village. However, in a statement to the court, Raimah Bibi said she was born a Muslim and wants to “continue professing the Islamic faith”. Singh said Raimah Bibi “will have absolute access” to her children.

Although modern Hindu secular historians and apologists for Islam propagate that Hindus are against marrying “foreigners” and nonHindus, there appears to be little actual support for this in history. Chandragupta Maurya apparently married either a daughter or a relation of Seleucus Nikator, the Greek general left in charge of eastern Alexandrian empire and who also ceded the ex-Persian provinces of Baktria or Afghanistan. Throughout the medieval period, Hindus married non-Hindus and foreigners in Southeast Asia. (Modern Hindus marry Europeans or foreigners in host countries). In medieval India, beautiful women captives of Muslim warfare were kept mainly as sex-slaves called kanchanis, kanizes and concubines. Muslim nobles exchanged them widely and frequently and Hindu nobles shared in this practice of “taking” Muslim women. In the Delhi Sultanate, according to Nizamuddin Ahmad, “Musalman” women were taken by the Rajputs and sometimes taught the art of dancing and singing and were made to join the “akharas”. Muslim women from the palace of Malwa Sultan entered, between 1512-1518, the household of his nayak or captain Medini Rai. Sultan Mahmud Sharqi (1436-58 ) was accused of handing over Muslim women to his “kafir” captains. Similarly, the Muslim ruler of Kalpi and Chanderi, shortly after 1443, had made over Muslim women to some of his Hindu captains. Malwa was not an exception. In Kashmir, according to Jonraj, Shah Mir had gone to the extent of marrying his daughters to his Brahman chiefs.

Muslim military power being more effective, Islamic rulers in general discouraged Hindus from taking Muslim women. Sher Shah, represented by modern Hindu historians to be a “liberal”, broke his treaty with Puran Mal of Raisen because of the latter’s “gravest of all offences against Islam” in keeping some Muslim women in his harem. The Mughals demanded and freely married Hindu princesses (The liberal Jahangir writes this openly in his autobiography), but there is not a single instance of a Mughal princess being married to a Rajput prince. Akbar discouraged all types of inter-communal marriages. When Jahangir learnt that the Hindus and Muslims intermarried freely in Kashmir, and both give and take girls, (he ordered that) “taking them is good but giving them, God forbid”. And any violation of this order was to be visited with capital punishment. Shahjahan ordered that the Hindus in Kashmir could keep their Muslim wives only if they converted to Islam. Therefore, under him, 4,000 to 5,000 Hindus converted in Bhadnor alone. (there are similar references in Gujarat and Punjab)

Hindus sometimes rescued Hindu girls forcibly married to Muslims. Many Hindu Rajas and elite kept Muslim women in their seraglios, sometimes as a symbol of revenge and continued to capture Muslim women wherever they felt strong. Khafi Khan and Manucci both affirm that the Marathas used to capture Muslim women because, according to them, “the Mahomedans had interfered with Hindu women in (their) territories”. There are indications that Sikhs also followed this Maratha example in some cases.

The Islamic dominance and insistence kept marriage a one-way traffic of Hindu women into Islamic households. Hindus were forced to avoid marrying Muslim women on the pain of the favourite Islamic method of killing – decapitation. Modern Indian media or the so-called eminent historians of the Thaparite school will never have the spine to consider publicly the possibility that generations of traumatic experience at the hands of Islamic practice in regard of inter-community marital relationships has made the Hindu wary and rigid.

In subsequent posts I will deal in details with historical cases as well as modern trends, and what the future holds.

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Leftist Islam or Islamic Left : Rizwanur properly vindicated and Tasleema properly exiled

Posted on August 16, 2008. Filed under: Bangladesh, Communist, India, Muslims, Politics, religion |

The CBI has recommended chargesheets to be drawn against suspected abettors of the “suicide” of Rizwanur, husband of a daughter of an influential and prosperous Hindu Todi “business” family currently residing in Kolkata. The case  was initially  tried  by the media, with  widespread  public anger expressed against the Todi family  which  stopped just short of  calling the father-in-law of Rizwanur as the killer or hirer of assassins of Rizwanur. A high ranking police officer in Kolkata was also indirectly implicated, and the net widened daily in the public discourse like a modern who-dun-it – with the “usual suspects” – “upper class” “business house” “elite”. The case was a high profile one, and it took the form of a trial of “hindu right wing” fundamentalism that was so anti-liberal that it could not tolerate the pure love that broke religious barriers – with the underlying implication as apparently in this particular case, that barriers are always put up by “Hindus”.

For a long time the Hindu-Muslim marriage or love-affairs have intrigued me and I found some of the most interesting stories or a majority of the stories were never brought up by the media or were in public discourse. Only those stories are widely publicized that shows Hindu resistance to marriages or romantic connections between Hindu girls and Muslim boys. I will discuss this in a subsequent series of posts. However in this case, what is more interesting is the fact that a Muslim agitation was successful in panicking the bastion of the Left in India – the West Bengal Government  led  by the  CPI(M)  to quietly and quickly banish Tasleema Nasreen –  the exiled Bangladeshi  lady  and writer  from the city of  “joy” and all things “progressive”. Tasleema  has long been at the centre of two controversies – (1) her apparently candid and not necessarily “authenticated” writings about sexual intrigue and sexual harassment of women at all levels of Bangladeshi society and by all sections of the male population – from the “most sophisticated and educated” to the least (2) her criticism and description of atrocities on minority Hindus of Bangladesh  by Muslims.

It was primarily the second controversy, that intensified after the publication of her book “Lajja” (Shame) which explicitly describes atrocities by Muslims on Hindus, that fatwas (Islamic diktats) poured forth from the liberal Islamic society and leadership of Bangladesh. With open threats on life in typical Islamic fashion (of beheading or declaring “murtad”) which were not protested by the liberal and progressive government of a “people’s republic” of Bangladesh, Tasleema decided to leave Bangladesh. After travelling widely in the West, Tasleema had tried to return to the subcontinent. For a writer in Bengali, Tasleema’s natural choice would be West Bengal and the city of Kolkata.

However, the Muslim population of West Bengal promptly began to react against the presence of Tasleema. They ultimately managed to burst out in rioting processions through the streets of Kolkata, and the brave custodians of revolutionary fervour, the Communists of West Bengal promptly buckled  under the pressure. Tasleema was quietly removed to Rajasthan and placed under semi-virtual house arrest. Tasleema has since gone out of the country to the West and returned again, trying wistfully to return to her friends and well-wishers in Kolkata. The governments both at the centre and the state have opened their  mouths saturated with infinite wisdom – she is a guest , should behave as a guest , and not do anything that disturbs the “peace”  of the country.  Apparently if Islam in India sneezes the whole country catches cold. The guardians of principle, and morality who flaunted their “principled stand” in the runup to the trust vote in the parliament on the N-deal, those very people who claim to stand above narrow communal feelings and stand for the forces of freedom, liberation, justice and progress find Islam’s inherent murderous hatred of its critics worth supporting or giving in to – but Tasleemas right to freely speak about what she felt were injustices done to a minority under the guidance of a religion were not worth supporting.

So Rizwanur gets justice in India, and Tasleema who spoke about atrocities on minority Hindus  across the border  is a  persona-non-grata  or a gagged “guest” in India. Maybe Hindus will learn from the success of this Islamic strategy of manipulation as they have learnt from Kashmiri Muslims in Jammu. Any Indian government with any spine left should have offered Tasleema Indian citizenship, and therefore with automatic rights of protection from the Indian establishment. That would have completed the partial attempt at pretending to be impartial by recommending “abettors” to be chargesheeted.

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Kashmir Valley Muslims boycott Indian Independence Day : Islam in Despair

Posted on August 15, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics |

The Indian Independence Day of 15th August, was boycotted in the Kashmir Valley after a call by separatists to do so. It is possible that people were scared of the separatists. It is more likely however, that the tactical moves of the separatists, Islamic fundamentalists, and the Pakistani Islamo-political elite for the last couple of months have paid rich dividends. The Indian government in its continuing weakness about Islam, and the resulting delusional confusion about the correct handling of Kashmir right from the greatest blunder by Nehru, is now in a very tight corner, where Islam’s agenda calls the shots – and the Indian government will increasingly appear a fool and a cornered one too dancing to the tune of pro-Pakistani Islamic fundamentalists.

The Kashmir problem is partly economic – with deliberate disruption of the economy being a target of Islamic militants and their Pakistani masters since the late 80’s. The process was helped along by the vacillations of certain Kashmiri political elements who could not decide where their loyalties lay, with Islam as propounded by the pan-Islamic movements of the subcontinent or with a “intensively secular (anti Hindu pro-Islam)” Indian central government mostly dominated by the Congress. But if we believe all our secular Hindu historians (desperately trying to shed off their guilt in not being born a Muslim) as well as our secular politicians then the Kashmir problem is simply a result of economic deprivation. If it was indeed economic deprivation, then the vast tribal belts of Orissa should be shaking in volcanic mega-eruptions compared to the hot-spring of Kashmir. If it was economic deprivation in spite of all the special status treatment, why did the Congress led central government fail in 50 odd years to make Kashmir really the “oa hameen-ast”?

The main reason behind the Kashmir problem is Islam. The main problem behind Kashmir is Islam’s strategy of erasing pre-Islamic cultures, erasing the memory in the newly converted (by force or otherwise) of their historical past and roots, of the circumstances under which conversion took place, and Islam’s successful manipulation of the liberalism and humanism of non-Islamic societies to multiply with the ultimate aim of overthrowing these very same host societies. This is the reason, cultural symbols are the target of Islamic resurgence in India – cultural identification with India is sought to be disrupted – this was an old strategy of Islam in Kashmir, by micromanaging cultural elements such as even insistence on adapting non-Indian dress code in the early years of Kashmiri Islam. The boycott of Indian Independence day is just a symbol of this Islamic separation.

The Kashmiri separatists want “trade” across the LOC. This is part of the grand plan for uniting with Pakistan. I think the spinelessness of the Indian government will lead to blaming the Hindus for the whole crisis. It is time to seriously consider taking up the issue of extreme repression in Balochistan by the Pakistani occupying forces in the Pak occupied territorries of Balochistan. India may be drawn into this conflict even if it desperately wants no part of it – for the Balochs will most likely see India’s gas pipeline as a symbol of collaboration with their hated occupiers – the Pakistanis whose Islamic sentiments appear suddenly non-existent in the case of Baluchistan.

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Ek gul Do Mali – (One bud nursed by two gardeners) – the new love story from Pakistan

Posted on August 15, 2008. Filed under: Pakistan, Politics, terrorism |

Musharraf and Nawaz (with the reluctant Zardari in tow) are now fighting it out like the “hirsute machos” of old Hindi and Urdu movies over the love of the shy bride the Pakistani army top brass under Kiani, who only talks in romantic whispers from behind semitransparent curtains into the ears of the eager Pakistani press. Is the girl now attracted to the charm of the handsome and flamboyant (who sometimes also sheds uncontrollable tears) “young prince” returned from exile or the hair-dyed “mature” strongman – a real and proven “man’s man”? In old Sanskrit, there is a line from a verse – “Kanya baryate rupam” (the bride goes for the beautiful and handsome groom/ the mother of the bride looks for wealth in the groom/ the father of the bride looks for wisdom in the groom/ friends look for new social “pickings”/and servants or dependents look for sweets). Is the army under Kiani going to choose the “handsome”  Nawaz over the  strongman  Musharraf?  The rational choice for the army as  in the case  of  a young bride is the very practical calculation of who is going to give the maximum “satisfaction” in the long term, and over long periods in the foreseeable future. The army has “lived” with the strongman for a while now, and has a very risky choice now between a known  “bed-fellow” and  an  untested  one.

Musharraf’s one undoubted advantage is of course the long years as a central focus of authority in Pakistan. He is a known authoritarian. Why has his position weakened? Partly because of his own manipulations of both the West as well as as his native support base in Pakistan and the Army. By and large, if the Pakistani society has been getting more and more radicalized at the “lower strata” as a result of tactical encouragement by the elite as well as Western interests, it is also likely that over the years the the bottom rungs of the Army has been getting gradually replaced by more and more radical and Islamic fundamentalist elements. Sooner or later the Paksitani Army top-brass has to contend with this, and maybe they already do. Musharraf was in an unenviable position as he used Western eagerness to tackle Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan to balance the growing internal pressures towards fundamentalism unleashed again as a result of Islamic Jihadist expansionist ideologies taking root on the subcontinent with the help of Cold War politics.

Nawaz and Zardari will not be able to control the inevitable fundamentalist backlash. It would have been strategically wiser for Nawaz to leave Musharraf in power, but hanging under the threat of “financial investigations”. Musharraf could have been used against Kiani and the ISI to a certain extent using this pressure. Musharraf could also have been made the focus of the attention of the fundamentalists, thereby providing multiple targets for the Jihadists to disperse their efforts on. But Nawaz is the ultimate emotional hero – the tragic Greek one, who seals his own fate in one almost pre-destined foolishness after the other.

With the departure of Musharraf, the fundamentalists have one score less to settle, and they can chew up Nawaz and Zardari at their leisure. What will the Army do then ? Well does it really have to do anything at all – other than sit and enjoy the fanatical end it has worked so secretly and fervently to bring about?

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Urbanization, Industrialization Versus Farmers in India: an unnecessary battle

Posted on August 14, 2008. Filed under: economics, India, Politics |

Noida farmers are up in arms against developers and apparent breach of promises of  “fair” market price for their land. This is part of a general conflict in the whole of India characterized by increasingly militant resistance against government take-over of land for urbanization or industrialization as well as private or corporate purchase of land.

The history of land grabbing by the government of India for “developmental purposes” are well recorded in the annals of the  British Raj.  I have known people who remembered stories from their ancestors about how families in their neighbourhood had lost almost everything when the first rail lines began to be laid  by the British  empire in India. I have searched for and seen documents that tend to show that although on the whole the British government of India paid very nearly the prevailing market rate for acquisition of land, this money actually found its way into the pockets of the various “new zemindars” (new landlords – replacements of the old landed gentry by the British from among the financier trader class who eagerly collaborated with the British in the overthrow of the local aristocracy) and “Mutsuddis” or “banyans” (agents or the favourite term of the Marxists – compradors) and not to the real tillers and agrarian labourers who were the real producers from whom the remaining economic parasites of “Zemindars” and “banyas” siphoned off their wealth in the pure process of circulation and “middle-man”-ship.

The recent events show that not much has changed in India from the time of the Raj. This is also expected as the social classes and elites who came to power as a result of Independence were simply the new face of the older Indian elite, with age-old class and network interests – and they were not against the British  system as perfected in India but simply wanted to take it over for their own interests (I have this uncanny feeling that had the British been able to overcome their Achilles heel – racism, and incorporate Indian elite at the highest echelons of power, they might never have had to go).

In UK, acquisition of land for industrialization and “development” was accompanied with large scale disruption of the agrarian poor’s life. Wholesale eviction of tenant farmers took place, who swelled the ranks of the urban poor and provided the early cheap labour that utilized the capital extracted from the colonies and the slave trade to jump-start the British industrial revolution. The child labour or bonded labour so much talked about now in the context of India was quite the order of the great British capitalist revolution now almost completely suppressed and vehemently denied by modern British historians while at the same time blaming India for a similar “crime”.  Such labour also came from these displaced farmer families, whose women are known to have been forced to “work the streets” of London and the major industrial towns – (Jack the Ripper had his fun on such women in the East End purgatory of London – then the festering hole of such displaced farmer turned proletariat).

Our industrialists have a peculiar problem. Modern industries are capital intensive and labour substitutive. This implies that new industries set up on lands acquired from farmers  have little chance of  absorbing  them as  workers in the  industries being set up.  Our  sequence of visionary  governments’  (from right after Independence) have succeeded  in  managing to let each social class or profession continue through the generations without imposing upon them the importance and necessity of modernizing through a continuous upgrading and ever-widening net of scientific education or technical skills in keeping with technological progress. Which means in most cases the younger generation in any given farming community is most likely to be geared towards being a farmer only without technological or other relevant education that can allow them to diversify into new and upcoming technology. So the only way to do anything is to compensate financially a farmer for land.  Typically since land is an element of juicy speculation for the financiers of India, land prices would rise at fantastic rates as soon as financiers smell the prospect of development either because of proximity of industrialization or otherwise. Thus land prices could change rapidly within a very short space of time.

There are at least two ways out of this impasse :

(1) a financial market based solution to this problem is possible

(2) build up agro-industrial townships within an integrated self-sustaining community setup where the farmers and their lands are incorporated as an integral part

But both need vision and political will, a rare commodity among our visionary political elite. Their extraordinary genius is all spent on ensuring their electoral success based on exponentially increasing and actively promoted fracture of Indian society

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Musharraf’s Kashmir card: If Pak drags Kashmir to the UN – India should happily accompany with Balochistan

Posted on August 13, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics |

Kashmiri Muslims in the valley have defied curfew and come out on the streets in large numbers during the funeral processions to bury their dead. Business interests, building and infra-structure contractors panicking at the possibility of land-transfer to “outsiders” who may not award contracts to them, might have been behind the Kashmiri agitation to begin with. They might also have been behind the renewal of agitation in Kashmir to counter any effect the agitation in Jammu may have on the Indian government. That the business interests are hobnobbing with the Hurryat should come as no surprise and should be expected. Gujarati Hindu, Jaina traders and merchant-princes in the 13th century appear to have tolerated and actively collaborated in the spread of Islam possibly simply because of their greed in maintaining the trade across the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean then increasingly going under the control of the Islamic forces dominating the middle East. The traders and business interests of Kashmir now probably encouraging the Kashmiri “Islamic” agitation, are simply out to give the Indian government a message and quoting a price. Total control over parts of territories in India cannot be given up to any particular sub-population, so that they can use it to bargain indefinitely and without any limits. Separatist slogans raised by some in the crowds are from opportunistic isolated minor cells of pro-Pakistan political extremists. Notwithstanding this, sentiments can be used to make this a more general slogan – as “freedom” for Kashmir simply means incorporation of entire Kashmir into Pakistan, and incorporation of areas whose non-Muslims might be as against joining Pakistan as the Muslim leadership might be for joining a “dream” Islamic Ummah. The Indian government needs to talk with the business interests in Muslim Kashmir. Given the proper “price”, the main sustaining economic interest behind the slogan of separatism will sell itself, and only the ideologues will remain die-hard against Hindus and India. These are people who have to be tackled with an intensive public discourse on the past and real history of Islamic “outsiders” who came and “imposed” themselves on Kashmir.

Musharraf is playing his Kashmir card. He is posing as the unifier of Pakistan, and a single icon of focus for political stability. Musharraf in talking about Kashmir, is actually hinting at how much he and the whole Pakistani elite is involved in the agitations that plague Kashmir. The Islamic theologians and ideologues interest in the “spread” of Islam, Pakistan’s semi-feudal elite which produced all the bickering leaders – Musharraf, Zardari and Nawaz – eager to turn the attention of the deprived masses away from their consistent internal failures as well as hoping to get more land (the Kashmiris if ever in Pakistani hands will realize what “land grabbing” by “outsiders” really means – similarly Pakistanis will learn how such “land grabbing” can develop vehement Islam defying regionalisms as in Bangladesh), and the deliberately kept ignorant of all modern scientific rational thinking common Pakistani – for all of these three prime currents of Pakistani society – Kashmir is the sole national project and the sole reason for national existence. Kashmir is the ultimate Eldorado or Xanadu, the fabulously attractive prize in the hands of the foreign “devil” (the best devil that can be around, the Jews for Edwardian England or for many other medieval European Christians, the “black faced Hindoo” for the Islamic chroniclers justifying and gloating in their claims of slaughter, and enslavement campaigns initiated by their invading patrons – or friendly peaceful visitors on annual holiday in India with holiday security perhaps according to the Thaparite school of Indian history) which when really proved to be the figment of feverish and greedy imagination, will destroy Pakistan as a functioning nation.

Musharraf has a plan. He probably already has assurances from powerful sections of Pakistani society. I have a bad taste in my mouth about the future of Nawaz Sharif. He is the most emotional of the three and the heartthrob of Pakistans political middle class – neither of the feudal, nor of the “serfs”. His emotional attitude to politics and his lack of political shrewdness can make his future quite uncertain, and probably quite dangerous.

The Pakistan national assembly has passed a resolution condemning India over Kashmir. Pakistan has also expressed its ardent desire to take the issue of Kashmir to the UN – a very old strategy of Pakistan, probably stemming from secret Western promises to back Pakistan up in its demand for Kashmir. At that time, at the end of WWII, the West was getting ready for the Cold War with the USSR, and Islam was seen as a good immunization programme against the Communists. In the 50’s the anti-Communist League was formed with the Muslim “nations” of Asia, under the leadership of the West, chiefly by UK and the USA. There are indications that the ruling elite of UK at that period were quite sore over the loss of the “Jewel in the Crown” – India, and squarely blamed the “Hindu” Congress for this. Both factors could have led the British primarily to back up Pakistan and maybe even arrange for the UN resolution on Kashmir to pass quickly.

Pakistan in its naivete still believes those old equations to persist. Whatever be Pakistan’s belief, if it goes to the UN over Kashmir, India should happily accompany Pakistan to the UN with (1) a list of atrocities commited on Indian soil by Pakistan aided terrorists (2) India should also immediately declare support for the “liberation struggle” of the Balochs and promise to accompany the Pakistanis with the case of Baluchistan to the UN (3) and conclude a military and security cooperation treaty with Afghanistan with the declared intent of “hot pursuit” for militancy exported from across the border with Pakistan – this will “encircle” the current northern hotbed of Taleban, AlQaeda and ISI inspired terrorism based in the Punjab, POK and NWFP.

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Jammu and Kashmir : needed an iron fist in velvet gloves

Posted on August 13, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Politics, terrorism |

Untimely death is unacceptable. A leader of the Hurriyat conference had been shot dead among a score others. I don’t have any sympathy for the brand of Islam now being projected on the subcontinent, but my heart grieves for the ordinary Indian Muslim, whom I see only as Indians and not as Muslims. I see Kashmiri Muslims as most unfortunate since their ancestors were mostly peaceful Hindus and Buddhists, and who have been forced by the weakness of their Hindu rulers and elite to be divorced from their roots and culture. Kashmir resisted Islam for a long time, long after the Sun-worshippers of Multan, or the Hindu kings of Kabul and Zabul, or the sundry small princes who from time to time invited the likes of Islamic fortune seekers as Mahmud of Gazni into the Indian heartland for their own petty quarrels or jealousies. Even after being Islamized in the late 14th century, when the Delhi Sultanate was already beginning the the long decline to defeat at the hands of the Mughals in another hundred odd years, Kashmir’s Islam had a chequered history – and the brand of Islam that developed there had little in common with the various strands of orthodox Sunni fanaticism now being put up as the monolithic face of Islam. A curious Kashmiri version of Sufism developed, and even in the time of Mughals, ShahJehan – the fabulous prince now only represented as the grief-stricken husband and the doting father who built Taj Mahal (forget the dispute about its real constructor – but it was the countless artisans and skilled artists and architects, as well as the crores of Rupiah’s extracted from the peasantry – who were the real constructors of the Taj Mahal) – but in reality who has been chronicled to be a zealous Muslim bigot, had to formally decree that Kashmiri Hindu men who had been marrying Kashmiri Muslim women, had to convert to Islam or be beheaded. This sort of intermarrying must have been going on at a very significant rate to warrant the Mughal Badshah’s attention and personal intervention. It is quite likely, as at the entry of the Mughals under Akbar the “great” who tricked the ruling sultan of Kashmir under a false promise of safe passage using as his mouthpiece a Hindu Rajput courtier, Islam in Kashmir was a relatively new religious entry. Islam under Sufi garb perhaps had also pretended in its initial proselytizing phase as a “liberal” creed – revealing its fangs only later when sufficiently strong numerically. Thus the newly converted families and those who had not converted probably took their ancient lineal connections much more seriously than a new-fangled religion, one in a long chain of religious ideas and mini-ideological revolutions in Kashmir. Thus intermarriage was not such implausible after all. Not so in Islam, originally a desert based nomadic culture peculiarly obsessed with “perceptions of deprivation” – deprivation of the “yatin” or orphan, deprivation from “fertile land”, “water”, and “women” which others have possessed and which therefore its “God” promises to give them rights on. Islam is keen to hold on to its “women” as well as “women” of others – and therefore this insistence on only one-way traffic into Islam of women. ShahJehan was instrumental in using enslavement of Hindus, especially peasants to raise money, reduce the number of Hindus, and spread Islam. He is known to have expanded the slave trade in Hindu women and had a well recorded taste in stocking up his harem with an endless stream of “baandi”s acquired by all possible means, who regularly found themselves in his bed (all that for the “eternal love” for Mumtaj enshrined in the Taj Mahal). It is quite understandable that ShahJehan felt worried that Hindus in Kashmir were getting women from Muslims rather than the other way round.

If this was the picture even in the mid 17th century, we can pretty well understand, why the Sunni strands of Islam, most responsible for the current worldwide spate of sadistic violence in the garb or religious justification, would be so concerned about the “religious health” of Kashmir. I strongly feel, Indians should seriously think of the need for an iron fist in a pair of velvet gloves – a will strong enough to ignore religious machinations, and be ruthless in crushing militancy – the iron fist, and be immensely persistent in a no-holds-barred cultural and economic conquest of Kashmir and Jammu – the velvet gloves.

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Jammu and Kashmir – armed forces and politicians bungle things up

Posted on August 12, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Politics |

Time and again we have talked about why things always go wrong when politicians call in the army to solve the mess they have created. The army is trained to think of every action in a “disturbed” area as a confrontation with the “enemy”. Thus their actions create irreparable psychological damage in the collective consciousness of the civilian population at the receiving end.  Why does not the administration of Jammu and Kashmir have modern crowd dispersal techniques such as water cannons at hand? A state that has faced civil unrest continuously for more than 20 years now, still does not have specialized riot-police with appropriate  protective and dispersal gear!  The army has been trained to kill enemy,  “neutralize” an armed combatant to render him or her  ineffective.  Controlling the civilian crowd is a completely different ball game. Right from the time of Napoleon, who famously began his meteoric rise “with a whiff of grapeshot” that dispersed a “revolutionary Paris mob” threatening the “revolutionary Directory”, concentrated armed forces fire have dispersed crowds but with long term effects that have countered and overturned not only the politicians behind the initial incident but their class, society, or ideology as well. [The British for example do not talk too much about their “Peterloo” – a peaceful gathering of working class men, women and children protesting the abominable conditions of semi-slavery they were kept in by the enlightened liberators of the world – who were chewed up by by sabre wielding mounted police – a psychology that shows that Jallianwallbag massacre  was in keeping with the British mentality, and that it remains so even today since the British government or the Monarchy still refuses to formally apologize for what its soldiers did on the civilian population]. The government of India should take lessons from Jalianwalabag. The British government then won, with Rex Dyer consistently supported by his regiment, his superiors, parts of Sikh communities, as well as the British MP’s and the press. But Jallianwalbag became a symbolic rallying icon for the nascent Indian freedom movement, that ultimately succeeded in establishing formal loss of control [ notwithstanding a great deal of “friendship”  post-Independence with the ruling elite, a friendship that might have started the whole Kashmir problem – with the very strange and very hasty unilateral decision by Nehru to accept the hastily declared UN referendum proposal] by the British over India.

The Government of India has given in to the expulsion of the Kashmiri Hindus from their ancestral places within the Kashmir valley, to the destruction of secular schools, to the mushrooming of Madrassahs without any supervision, to the demands by Kashmiri Muslims to gradually strengthen Shariati control over the society, to the continuous and steady destruction of pre-Islamic Hindu and Buddhist shrines or cultural icons by Muslims. This was a cultural war, which had to be fought with ruthless determination. Already our eminent historians have done the damage, by suppressing all evidence of pre-Islamic cultures, painting pre-Islamic and non-Islamic cultures as retrogressive and inferior compared to Islam, [a typical Islamic agenda], by editing away and suppressing all notion of determined Islamic violence against non-Muslims. In this the eminent Hindu historians were either probably merely following their political master’s wishes and the regime’s agenda – or indulging in their own  secret attractions for  the Muslim way of life [the ladies in particular among them perhaps should convert to Islam and go and live in Islamic countries, as I do find it very hard to understand that they do not wish to do so since Islam seems to be far superior to any other culture for them, and so peaceful and progressive too for women in Islamic nations].

Kashmir’s fruit and other agro-based economy should be converted into a value-adding industry of processing, and in this Jammu should have a stake. This economic and trade integration with mutual dependence between the various regions will go a long way towards real integration. Meanwhile a determined campaign to bring out the pre-Islamic cultural context of the entire valley should be undertaken, even if the Muslim leadership does its best to block this. This is going to be a cultural war and should never be allowed to be converted into a confrontation by bullets, which is exactly what the Islamic leadership wants- for it knows once the actual history and culture comes up, they have nothing to do but to hide their faces or tell preposterous lies to cover it all up.

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The battle for the hearts and minds of Jammu and Kashmir – a wrong war

Posted on August 11, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Politics |

Today, traders from Kashmir Valley fruit markets swelled in ranks by political activists and villagers amounting to around 50,000 marched towards the Uri sector in their official intent of breaking through the LOC for economic reasons. The state police failed to stop them as expected, and it now falls to the Indian Army to stop them actually breaking through to the sensitive Uri sector. The Hurryiat, which definitely had a hand in this march, (the traders reportedly asked the Hurriyat for support) is gloating over the “success” of this march, as it has been successful in taking the Kasmiri Muslims back to their 80-90’s agenda of joining Pakistan in the hope of unifying the Muslim Ummah of “Kashmir”. Most “secular” Hindus join Islamic apologists in claiming that conversions in India were voluntarily undertaken by “oppressed” “lower castes”. This is a hypothesis never concretely tested – and is typical with Indian historians, the hypothesis was converted into a conclusion. There are two problems with this “caste oppression” theory – the “horrendous” caste system is supposed to be unique to India, but conversions have not proceeded beyond the 25% mark on an average in spite of 1000 years of “friendly” exposure, whereas conversions have been much more complete in areas outside of India, such as in Indonesia (only a small proportion of which had exposure to Indic cultures in the historical past) or Persia, or central Asia, – by the caste oppression theory these societies must have been almost 4 times more “caste” riddled than India. The second problem is that genetic studies conducted on North Indian populations indicate that “upper caste” Hindus and Muslims share common ancestry – this is also quite obvious from anthropometric considerations – such as complexion, and facio-cranial characteristics. Conversion could have been a much more complex process of adjustment by local Hindu elite to preserve their lands and influence as well as the defencelessness of more vulnerable sections of Hindu and Buddhist populations open to extortion of “protection money” or Jiziya by Muslim marauders as well as frequent raids of looting, slaughter and enslavement (there are indirect records of such raids in late pre-Islamic period Indian texts – something Prof. Thapar will never bring up – such as the Lekhapaddhati – as this will be an example of a written record from the side of “victims”, and therefore by her theory admissible as evidence of trauma on the part of “non-Muslims”).

One of the first tasks of Islam after being able to militarily dominate an area or a population is to erase all traces of previous cultures. This is why there is such a strong emphasis in the core Islamic texts on destruction of cultural icons, shrines, temples, places of worship, of “unbelievers” – this serves two purposes, the show of strength of “Islam” and the psychological effect on “unbelievers” that their “gods” are unable to protect their own. But longer term, this is part of a more sinister strategy – as Muhammad was definitely shrewd enough to realize that cultural icons were the concrete material connections of a community to its past – and this is why it is so important in Islam to not only destroy a shrine of a previous culture but to build a “Islamic” shrine on it, so that no visible traces of the previous icon remains overground. Following this of course Muslims will insist that their “cultural icon” can never be destroyed, although they did and can freely destroy in the future anything they consider belonging or representing that of “unbelievers”. This is why, wherever Islam militarily triumphs, it also insists that the history of that region started with the advent of Islam in that area, and everything before was “darkness”. (In Bangladesh, for example, history starts around 1000 CE).

Indian historians have allowed and taken part in this Muslim claim of erasure of history of the communities before they converted – and the modern crisis of Kashmir has been a result of this. Kashmir’s past was strongly linked to Indian heartlands, and even if it was geographically in the periphery, its long historical connections to Indian culture is revealed in the as yet surviving (after Harsha and his Muslim iconoclast successors) in the presence of such significant Shaivite centres such as Amarnath, Shankaracharya temple, Martanda (Sun) temple near Anantnag, Pandrethan etc.

Realpolitik made New Delhi neglect Jammu economically for a long long time, and the current widely popular agitation has gained wind from popular discontent, just as the march towards the LOC by Kashmiri Muslims have gained from popular discontent – which perhaps also stemmed from long disruption to the economy deliberately employed by the militants as well as encouraged by Pakistan.

An intensive campaign should start to revive the study and memory of Kashmir, and the converted Kashmiri Muslim’s pre-Islamic past and putting it firmly in the public discourse without flinching from or suppressing any “uncomfortable” details. Simultaneously, the fruit production in Kashmir valley should be modernized to food processing industry, and given the difficulty of developing actual industrial infrastructure in the hills (some should definitely be constructable) with a spread of the industry into Jammu. At the moment the fruit trucks from the valley pass through Jammu and locals get little benefit from this trade. Mutual dependence between the valley and Jammu in a strong, correlated, and value added industry will go a long way towards solving the persistent problems. At the same time both regions should be placed in their common, pre-Islamic cultural context, consciously as part of public discourse.

Kashmiri Muslims should not be treated as “different”, we have to remember that in many instances they were reluctant converts, and a section of the Hindu elite prevented them from returning to the “fold”.

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Some Indian Hindu’s need for the supreme and pure divine: the Army – always secular, and without any regional or ethnic bias

Posted on August 10, 2008. Filed under: Army, India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics |

Recent comments from obvious Indian “Hindus” who think that any negative criticism of aspects of the functioning of the Indian Army is a critcism inspired by “blindly communal” feelings, prompted me to look into the apparent need in some Hindu minds to construct a supreme “divine”, an ultimate icon of reliability and “purity” making up for whatever the Hindu feels insecure about.

Let us look into the “secular” and “unbiased” aspects of the Indian Army, so fervently declared by VKDas and YamirB.

Recruitment Policy

The British East India Company created three ethnically mixed armies, one each in the three presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay (Bengal Army was predominantly high-caste Hindus and Muslims of Oudh and Bihar). In the 1857 First Indian anti-British Uprising, majority of the Bengal Army rebelled or were pre-emptively disarmed, while the Madras and Bombay Armies remained mostly loyal, and fought with distinction against their rebellious counterparts. In contrast to the upper-caste Hindu and Muslim soldiers of the Bengal Army, Sikhs and other Punjabis, Garwalis and the Gurkhas in the same army actively fought for the British. Post rebellion, the British rewarded the Dogras, Garhwalis, Gurkhas, Pathans, and Punjabis- whether Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh- the so-called “martial races.” The martial races theory predates the mutiny, according to some historians according to which some Indian “races” (actually ethno-religious groups) such as the Dogras, Garhwalis, Gurkhas, Kumaonis, Marathas, Pathans and Punjabis (of all religious affiliation); Rajputs: as well as Hindustani, Deccani and Moplah Muslims make good soldiers (meaning they remain loyal to those who pay them above and any other considerations of religion, or nationality). The martial races could also have been constructed out of affinity with emerging British racism based on Caucasoid/White European physical body types. The recruitment to the army along constructed military qualities of certain groups was carried out from 1858 to 1939. The colonial British Indian army therefore formed along ethnic lines with Dogra, Garhwali, Gurkha, Jat, Kumaon, Mahar and Sikh regiments- the socalled “one class.” There were also “fixed class” units – a regiment or battalion having two to three classes, but with each of its subunits belonging to “one class”. Finally, there was the “mixed class,” comprising soldiers from different groups. The much smaller non-combatant supporting services  were composed of men from all ethnic, caste and regional groups. Officers of this army were British, while Indians were admitted to the ranks only after world War I. Officer recruitment was based on social class and loyalty to the Raj.

Although large-scale recruitment of Muslim ethnic groups took place, there were no pure Muslim regiments – probably stemming from iconic role of the Mughal Badhsah in the Great Uprising and continued pan-Islamic intrigue with Afghans by sections of Indian Muslims. World War II in 1939 required relaxation of the martial races theory and led to increased the recruitment of soldiers from non-martial races because of the manpower shortage. After the end of WWII, there was some demobilisation and the policy of recruitment reverted to the pre-war patten.

The Indian National Congress criticized this policy as restrictive and discriminatory. Nirad C. Chadhuri (1935), an avowedly sympathetic writer towards British culture, argued that “a national army” recruited from all parts of the country will be “animated by a national spirit”. “It should be a self-contained fighting machine able to do without the help and guidance of foreigners and, above all, it should foster the military capacity of the whole nation and be directly related to it.” On 14 February 1947, the Secretary of Defence Ministry said in the Central Legislative Assembly that it was the government’s policy to do away with the distinction between martial and non-martial races in recruiting. Since the soldiers were already Indians, the nationalists demanded full “Indianization”- the opening of the officer level for the natives of India. During the partition, the British Indian army was still largely composed of soldiers of the “martial races” and junior officers of Indian origin, while the higher officers were all British. The army had 30-36% Muslims, 8% Sikhs, with the remainder predominantly Hindu, including Gurkhas, Indian Christians and Anglo-Indians.

In mid-August 1947, at independence, the British officers left the subcontinent. By the terms of partition, soldiers and officers of the Raj’s army were given the choice of joining the forces of India or Pakistan. Most of the predominantly Punjabi or Pathan Muslim soldiers chose Pakistan. But 215 Muslim commissioned officers and 339 VCOs (Viceroy’s Commissioned Officers, later called Junior Commissioned Officers), chose India, according to the Ministry of Defence. Among these were officers such as Brigadiers Muhammad Usman and Muhammad Anis Ahmad Khan, Lt. Col. Enayat Habibullah. Partition divided the Muslim nobility – Major Yunus of the influential Rampur aristocracy remained in India, while Sahibzada Yaqub KhanYaqub, chose Pakistan and became its foreign minister in the 80s.

A highly significant proof of the nationalism, and lack of regional, political or ideological bias of the post-Indpendence Indian Army as donated by the British to the Congress government was the refusal of the Army or the Defence ministries to absorb or restore the captured and surrendered soldiers of the Indian National Army (whose loyalty to the nation was vouched for by Nehru himself in his very emotional speeches before the angry mass sentiments in favour of the INA – but promptly obliterated from Nehruvian memory once the popular crisis passed) into the new Indian Army. Similar were the the treatment of the Indian Naval forces in 1948 who had mutinied against the British, and who were tricked by leaders of the stature of Gandhiji, and Nehru into surrendering to the British. Service records of those who had gone against the British were maintained to penalize them after Independence, whereas those who had remained loyal to the British were rewarded. One strange case here is ofcourse that of the WWII overseas Indian volunteers, who fought for the British in the African theatre as well as in the European theatre of the Allied invasions. It is probable that highlighting their case too much could have been an embarassment for the British, as even now, some British openly declare on public media that “they never heard of any f*** Pa.. or In.. of having fought in WWII – my [relative who was in the war] never saw any!”, and the loyal new “Indian government” obliged their “British friends”.

When India went to war against Pakistan over Kashmir in 1947 Brig. Muhammad Usman died fighting for India, earning him a posthumous gallantry award. A year later, during India’s military operation in Hyderabad, Operation Polo, about 700 Muslims left the army after it invaded Hyderabad. Maj.Gen. Muhammad Anis Ahmed Khan, who opted for India and was promoted to a Major-General, gained access to secret information and then retired voluntarily in 1955 and at once settled down in Pakistan, accepting a Pakistan government post. Organiser published the views of the former Indian Army Commander-in-chief Gen. K.M. Cariappa., that Muslim “Loyalty seems to be primarily to Pakistan. This is a crime unpardonable. This is also the impression of a large percentage of non-Muslim intellectuals in India. Here is the root cause for there being a none-too-happy feeling towards Muslims by a large percentage of the majority… This is understandable.” Raju Thomas, an American academic who interviewed army officers, found that “when the [India-Pakistan] war began in September 1965, a Muslim majority battalion of the Rajput Regiment stationed in the crucial Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, far from being hastily withdrawn, was allowed to play its part in the execution of the army’s forward actions. According to several high-ranking Indian army officers, the fact that the battalion did not flinch and carried out its assigned role with considerable credit, sufficiently dispelled worry- at least within the military- about the loyalty of Indian Muslim soldiers.” However, Daljit and Katherine Singh, “were able to find not a single Muslim officer above the rank of a major-general occupying a responsible position of military command.”

In 1953, Nehru noted the absence of Muslims from the army in a communication addressed to the chief ministries, observing that “in our Defense Services, there are hardly any Muslims left… What concerns me most is that there is no effort being made to improve this situation, which is likely to grow worse unless checked.” Mohair Tyagi, the Minister of State for Defense told the Aligarh University Union that in 1953, “the percentage of Muslims in the armed forces forces, which was 32 percent at the time of partition” had come down to around 2 percent. Before independence, the Kashmir’s Dogra Maharaja’s Force consisted of Dogras and Sikhs, with some Muslims, but not Kashmir Valley Muslims, who were excluded from the state army as matter of policy. In October 1947, the State Force’s Muslim soldiers rebelled and joined the Pakistan-supported tribal invasion.

To be continued…..

Sources:
1. David Omissi, “Martial Races: Ethnicity and Security in Colonial Indian 1858-1939.” War & Society vol. 9, no. 1 (May 1991).
2. Indian Army Handbook. Muslims: P.Holland – Proyor, Mapplias or Moplahs, 1903;R.M. Bethan, Marathas and Dekhani Musalmans, 1908; R.T. Ridgreway, Pathans, 1910; W.F.G. Bourne, Hindustani and Musalmans of the Eastern Punjab, 1914; and Punjabi Musalmans, 1915; (Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing).

3. Defence of India or Nationalization of Indian Army, Congress Golden Jubilee Brochure no.8 (Allahabad: All India Congress Committee, 1935).

4. Daljit and Katherine Singh, “The Military Elites and Problems of National Integration in India and Pakistan.” Indian Journal of Politics, vol. 7, 2 (1973);

5. K.M Cariappa, Organiser (15 August 1964).
6. Raju G.C Thomas and Bharat Karnad, ” The Military and National Integration in India, “in Ethnicity, Integration and the Military, Henry Dietz, Jerrold Elkin, and Maurice Roumani, eds. (Boulder, CO: West View Press, 1991).

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Musharraf’s departure will signal increased Pakistani support of terror in India, and Jammu agitators will be disappointed.

Posted on August 9, 2008. Filed under: China, Communist, India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, terrorism |

It is possible that Kiani can decide to “divorce” his patron, Musharraf. Kiani rose through handling the ISI at a period when ISI had been the key inspiration, motivator, and maintainer of terror in India through Islamic militants as well as indirect connections to other separatist and insurgent groups. At the moment, Musharraf is perhaps just one man to be sacrificed and offered on a plate to the politicians in return for a free hand in “dealing” with India, with sufficient resources diverted from the tight domestic budget to support any expensive cross-border terror activity.

If Musharraf goes, it will only be a signal for further escalation of terror in India.

Why is the conquering of the Indian part of Kashmir so important for the Muslim elite of Pakistan?

The main reason is of course the geo-strategic importance of Kashmir for the jealous regional superpower China. Getting this region out of India’s hands allows China a a wider base and corridor through Pakistan to the Indian Ocean, cuts off India from the proximity to the Central Asian Republics, Afghanistan and Russia. For Pakistan this also means fertile river valleys with agricultural land, since Islam needs agrarian economy as the preferable mode which reduces the risk of “contamination” from modern science. China’s backpatting of India for its role in keeping the Tibetans under tight wraps should not be taken as sincere. China will negotiate and put pressure on India more to gain recognition of the Indian territories it had militarily occupied, as well as liquidation of the Tibetan independence movement – these could be secret conditions for China’s non-opposition at the NSG.

Kashmiri Muslims who now shout of Kashmiri nationalism, will quickly shut their mouths up once Pakistan manages to conquer the rest of Kashmir – since it is not nationalism but Islam, and a recent 20th century version of Wahabi/Sunni Islam and not the diverse historical and “diffuse” versions of Kashmiri Islam, that the Kashmiri Muslims want to establish. It is so significant to note that in none of emotional speeches of the Hurryiat leader’s mouths we hear anything about the “demographics” of “Muslim” Kashmir before the Islamic militancy, no mention of the Hindus living among Muslims forced to leave. It is the modern post-cleansing “demographics” that they are so “concerned” about “preserving” – obviously, it pays to be silent about “pre-Islamic” history as everywhere in modern Islam (or at most concede, that it was all a period of “absolute darkness”).

Once Indian Kashmir is occupied with Chinese help, Pakistan’s Muslim elite will promote Islamic militancy in adjacent areas of China, probably already even started secretly promoting militancy in Mao’s and CCP’s beloved Muslim tribal allies of Yunnan during the “Hunan” days. It will be great fun to watch the stolid beaming faces of the Chinese leadership as Islamic militancy increases in North-West China. Tibetans were easy to crush as they were spiritually motivated and tamed by Buddhism gaining respect for the human rights of “non-followers” of their religion. But these will be Muslim militants, who are exhorted to adopt any terror tactic they can think of in their core texts and not shy away from any relentless sadistic activity that can subjugate a “non-believer” with desirable resources – land, property, women. Communists have never managed to fight off Islam – let us see the “Sinification of Marxism” try and do it!

The “peace conference”, with the Amarnath Sangharsh Samity will probably end inconclusively. The UPA has strong components of pro-Islamic forces, but with the classic detachment of Indian non-Muslim elite from their own underclasses, which had always prompted them to rely on foreign powers more than their own communities, the UPA leaders will fail to understand the phenomenon in Jammu. They will now try the “ABCD” of management, “Avoid, Bypass, Confuse, Delay”, as they will be too scared in their fear that any concession to the Samity will go against the UPA prospects in elections – by appearing to strengthen the “Hindu” and by “alienating” the Muslims.

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The Indian Army warns agitating Hindus in Jammu – good job! Hindus are not the Chinese Army or Islamic Militants and they deserve to be warned.

Posted on August 8, 2008. Filed under: Army, India, Kashmir |

The Indian Army has warned the agitating Hindus in Jammu, that it will “use force if necessary in Jammu”. This is quite consistent with past behaviour of the army and quite expected also. The Congress led UPA has now an overwhelming array of Islamic sympathisers, people who fell head over heels in love with “SIMI”, and with the Deobandi’s officially falling in line with token “appeasers”, the electoral “boot-licking” to try and gain “Muslim” votes has started. So the government has tried its ultimate weapon – the threat of army action. This is something it never dares against Muslims, but typically against forces deriving from within social groups and regions dominated by non-Muslims from which it had the greatest competition for leadership of the nationalist movement during colonial days – the predominantly Hindu Bengali communist extremists in the 70’s of Bengal which had given rise to Bose the nemesis of Nehru (of course as is typical with non-Muslim communities, there were Bengalis who were eager to lick Nehru’s boots), the predominantly Sikh Akalis in Punjab and the Sikh separatist movement in the 80’s, who during the Partition had given Nehru quite a lot of trouble in his confused dealings with Pakistan.

The methods employed aginst the Sikhs and the Bengalis were perfected during the first campaigns of liquidation of the Telengana communists in the 50’s and 60’s. The inventive genius of the Indian security forces including the army, in new methods of torture that can surely shame Marquis de Sade, were freely used. However the viciousness of this army always seems most effective against idealistic and more emotional youthful uprisings, which can be chewed up with delight. This brave army retreated before the Chinese Red army, and surrendered thousands of square kilometres of Indian territory. It could not recover these lands from enemy hands, neither did it recover lands seized by Pakistani tribals and army in Kashmir in the late 40’s. It has held on tenuously to the Siachen glacier, but has never been able to face up to Islamic militants with the viciousness it managed againts the Sikhs or the Bengalis.

The Indian army will never dare to challenge the Muslim militancy with the attitude it has done against the Hindus of Jammu. Because the Muslim militants will be more than its match in viciousness and non-standard or unethical combat. The Indian army’s top echelon comes from traditional non-Muslim military career families and aristocrats in India. The traditional non-Muslim military aristocracy of India has throughout Indian history been quite quick in capitulating before foreign invaders or allying themselves with the invaders. This alliance was most common with the Islamic invaders and the British, sometimes sealed with giving up daughters in marriage to Muslim rulers, and helping to liquidate uprisings against the British ( some of the descendants of the Maratha “aristocracy” raised by Shivaji as a liberating force or the descendants of the Rajput clans fighting against Mughal repression eagerly collaborated with the British in suppressing opposition to the British). These military aristocrats are most effective against the underclass in their own communities, but quite servile before Islam or Europeans – in other words, most servile to forces which surpass them in unethical warfare, or military ideologies that have no pretensions to humanitarian or ethical considerations (note that they are only effective against groups that have ideological qualms against using “any and every” combat activity – such as the Sikhs or the Naxals in the early phase of their uprisings).

One of the greatest weaknesses of modern democracies, is that the elite from a social class (parties can change) in such democracies can continue in power with the help of the ultimate threat that it can employ against its own underclass – the army maintained by the extraction of resources from this very same underclass through taxation. The weakness of the underclass stems from the fact that they are deliberately kept from having independent weapons or military hardware, so that the security forces or the army can be effectively unleashed against them if necessary. The strength of the US democracy comes from two fundamental aspects – (1) its complete right to free speech (2) its citizen’s rights to bear arms. The US will continue to lead in democratic forms before other “democracies” because of these two features (it may very well elect Barack Obama, a second generation non-white immigrant from an African country, its President). Militarily, the army can concentrate its efforts for defence only and being effective overseas as it knows that it can be quite costly in trying to deal with a full fledged armed rebellion by its own citizens.

In India, the army command should not make this mistake. Time and again, when the military aristocracy has failed its underclass, and sided with foreigners against indigenous cultures, it has given rise to new political forces and new military forces that overthrow hated regimes (the royalty of princely states must remember the boot-out they were meted out after independence – horse polo had to be replaced with bicycle polo). This should not be a preferable way for India to adopt and most unfortunate in terms of its economic development.

What is highly unusual is for the Army to issue directly an independent statement about using force against its own civilian population in the presence of a democratically elected government. Such statements are acceptable only from the elected government and not from the Army which is not directly accountable to the people. It is this  grave departure from democratic practice that is significant to note. This has not happened before in independent India – all such threats typically came from the government about using the Army to quell internal problems. If the government has done this, then it only indicates the ultimate knee-jerk reaction of a frightened elite, and sets a dangerous precedence for the only remaining broad based and functioning democracy on the subcontinent.

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Musharraf, Nawaz-Zardari, Army – the classic love triangle

Posted on August 8, 2008. Filed under: Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, terrorism |

Musharraf, Nawaz-Zardari, Army – the classic love triangle in Pakistani politics. It is a “ek phool do mali” situation (one flower/flowering plant tended by two gardeners), where the “flower” – the lady is the Army, being hotly pursued by two macho suitors – Musharraf on one side, and Nawaz Zardari on the othe other side. The bride is acting shy, and keeping her preferences close to her heart. In orthodox Islam, and as per the Quran (there are some very confusing words though on this matter elsewhere in the Quran as well as pronouncements of Muhammad elsewhere as quoted in the Hadiths) after a formal Talaq (divorce), the ex couple cannot marry each other again a second time unless the woman has “tasted the honey of another man and husband, and that man has tasted the honey of the woman” (closest English translation of actual quotes from Muhammad – with some versions explicitly making it clear that the new marriage has to be “consummated”). This curious gem in Islamic Shariat is called Hila or Hilla (probably the source of the Bengali loan word “hille” used by many Bengalis and Hindi speakers in the sense “way out/ convenient arrangement for maintenance” without knowing the actual connotation).

Musharraf in a sense “separated” from the Army, but was it a real divorce ? Was the “third Talaq” actually pronounced? This however is not very clear. Musharraf left his “woman” in the hands of a trusted ISI chief – a man he had brought up himself, Kiani. It looks more like a trusteeship rather than giving up claims on the woman altogether. In Pakistan, the Army command structure reflects the upper semi-feudal class’s own social network. Which means Musharraf’s power basis is rather social, and mere rearrangements of Army interrelationships will not destroy his actual power base. In a sense, Zardari also represents the party of a man who had been given the Talaq by the woman – Zardari’s father-in-law who had brought up Zia-ul-Haq thinking him to be docile and undistinguished, was given the ultimate boot-out by Zia. (Maybe the new resulting woman also gave a Talaq to her new husband – by possibly allowing the most suspicious mid air explosion of Zia’a plane).

At the moment, both men are wooing the shy bride to be. But the bride is thinking about who will giver her the greatest “rewards”, freedom to pursue its own agenda and the resources to carry the agenda out. Lack of ordinary modern routes to dominance and political power within most democratic setups, are actually unavailable to a lot of ambitious young men from the Pakistani elite – and they gravitated to the army. Thus the politicians as well as the army compete for the same social base of power and the army cannot leave too much freedom into the hands of the politicians – who may also be more vulnerable to external pressures as well as accountability. The politicians may have to compromise officially at least on using Pakistani soil for resourcing Islamic terror, a weakness in the “man” the shy bride does not like.

Zardari-Nawaz have tried to correct this show of weakness, by retracting the takeover of the ISI. However it could have left the bride shaky – and it may yet decide to back up her “old man”. A crucial role will be played by the external suitors – the West , the Arab world, China and India. The army is probably already projecting its own “desirability” and the need to “pleasure itself” by increasing border incidents in Kashmir against India, and against the Afghan government in NWFP. It needs and wants a free hand and resources to indulge in its own “pleasures”. It all depends on who can promise this with credibility.

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The never ending saga of Nandigram : communist chickens coming home to roost

Posted on August 7, 2008. Filed under: Bengal, Communist, economics, India, Politics |

The communist program of an agrarian revolution both in economic as well as political sense, started after the apparent success of Mao and Chu Teh’s peasant army in China. In contrast to the Bolshevik revolution which was almost entirely launched and brought to completion by non-communist Cronstadt sailors and army units won over by Bolshevik agitators, with help from armed workers in the key cities of Petrograd and Moscow, the Chinese revolution was a long drawn process. Starting with the then classic communist model of “proletariat” led revolutions, the pragmatists of the nascent Chinese communist movement soon realized, that the numbers needed to capture power could only come from the underclass of China – the peasants. The changeover in policy took decades, with the Comintern under Stalin creating considerable damages in its ideological diktats from afar. Only after the Shanghai massacre, and unsuccessful “city uprisings”, did Mao and Chu Teh defied “party line” and retreated to the central highlands. There they regrouped, rethought strategy, and created the concept of “fluid base areas” and “fluid warfare”. However this policy ultimately faced its greatest difficulty in the encirclement campaigns of Chiang Kai Shek, and is a critical point in understanding dealing with “Naxal” violence in India. To avoid complete annihilation, the 8th Route Army of CCP broke out of this encirclement and declared to go to the north to fight “invading Japanese” – the romantic and arduous Long March. It was a brilliant strategic move to use the remoteness of western China from penetration of Kuo Min Tang forces, rally nationalist sentiments while preserving the core of Red Army strength, and most importantly recruit the peasantry and agricultural labourers into the communist cause by carrying out land reforms.

In south Asia, and especially in India, this programme of land reforms with land redistribution in favour of the landless, became an attractive strategy for the Communist parties, and a strong component of their official polemical battles were aligned along the degree and nature of this “land reforms”. The CPI(M)’s strongest support base after its electoral success (which probably started as a city based electoral revolution with the powerful influential sections of Indian society’s opinion mobilizers deciding to switchover from the Congress which had helped decimate this class’s younger next generation in the “Naxal” annihilation campaigns) was from the grateful rural poor benefiting from the CPI(M) led Left Front’s land reforms and local self government (Panchayat) activation strategies.

This overwhelming reliance on agrarian reforms in the short while ushered in economic growth. But the long term fallouts of their policies, as usual, were not thought out by the communists (probably also inevitable, with the annihilation or export of a generation of brains in the Naxal movement, and as discussed before in this blog, the peculiar organization structure of the Communist parties itself a gradual “thinner” of vision and intellect). Burdened, just like the Old Labour in UK, with an intransigent and semi-independent militant labour union movement which behaved as if it operated already in an imagined dictatorship of the proletariat (in reality all known successful Communist dictatorships ruthlessly liquidated all rebellious labour movements) and therefore need not understand anything about capitalist economics, the CPI(M) long neglected industrialization. The Centre at Delhi carried out its old policy of extracting maximum capital transfer from Bengal to benefit its own upper Indian support base (nothing new, it had been going on from Delhi Sultanate times and quite well recorded in Mughal times), as well as penalizing the Bengalis for supporting a “Communist” regime. To the Communists the “Tatas and Birlas” were replacements of the old devils in religions, since their adherence to prescribed theories from their European, Russian and Chinese “Gurus” had to be forced on to Indian reality. So no private capital, no state capital, no foreign direct investment which meant “licking Imperialist boots”.

Sooner or later, this would have inevitably alienated the urban populations, as unemployment would grow. Many of them had some supplementary income from lands held in the countryside, but now even these had been taken over by the “party” in the localities. [ During a visit to observe the “agrarian reforms process” this author had seen how a Local Committee secretary had absorbed 18 bighas of land to create a private orchard, and established an “unprotected” stone chipping machine which sent stone dust all over adjoining paddy fields and gradually destroyed them for agriculture. The lands were then “bought” by the Secretary at a pittance. Similar acquisitions of property were quite common in many areas this author visited. Many of these Communist leaders were second or third generations of erstwhile “class enemies” and many of the genuine Communist cadre had been gradually eased out of the Party hierarchy].

Now as land and economics gets concentrated again in the hands of a dominant rural elite using and being supported by the party, increasing population pressure [West Bengal has a miraculous population growth rate compared to the rest of the country, which cannot be analyzed as it may anger Muslims and especially Bangladeshi Muslims], means increasing migration to the cities and towns in search of livelihood. This huge unemployed urban poor or marginal populations can swing the votes against CPI(M) just as it did in Congress times against the Congress. This finally forced the state party to wake up and try a volte-face – pretend to “industrialize”.

Reality implies collaborating with the hated enemies – the private capital from “big bourgeoisie”, the state capital from an alliance with the Congress at the Centre, and FDI from “capitalist imperialists”. But here it comes into conflict with the rural economy it has created and its abominably short sighted experiments with education and higher education which did not promote or encourage excellence, originality, awareness of technology driven modern industrialization and the economy. Whoever in the rural economy has survived on a share of the land redistribution, would now hold on to it for dear life. Combining this with a very likely inherently arrogant and dictatorial as well as ruthless “local party hierarchy”, things can very easily reach boiling point. This is what has happened in Nandigram. All forces opposed to the CPI(M) have now concentrated their efforts into this “bridgehead”, and it will be nearly impossible for the CPI(M) to turn this around – the people involved have tasted “blood” in the recent local government elections by winning against the “party”.

Mamata Bannerjee and her friends are probably trying to send a message to the TATAs, that the latter should negotiate directly with them. It is doubtful that the TATAs will listen – even with a small loss, it will be better for them in the long run to move their facilities elsewhere in more “reliable” areas, such as in Uttarakhand. On the other hand simple economic short term calculation may make them appear to give in a bit to Mamata Bannerjee. Some of the CPI(M) leaders have asked the unemployed youth of Bengal to think about what action they need to take about those who are opposing industrialization. But these unemployed youth have no clear direct manifestation before them as to how exactly they will benefit in terms of employment from these few capital intensive modern industries employing few and the skilled. Moreover, there will be the nagging suspicion that only “catches” and references from influential “Party” leadership can see them through to actual employment in the few positions available. There will not be much direct and obvious “mass action” against the opposition at Nandigram.

It is the credibility of the Party as a whole which is at stake. It is hard to see what the Party can do in the short term to really reinvent itself as trustworthy by the urban majority and sections of rural middle. The Left may not immediately lose majority in the Assembly but its lead can get substantially diminished. And over the nexet decade, it may lose its grip .

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Musharraf’s impeachment, Loc violations, Kabul Indian Embassy blasts – all connected together?

Posted on August 6, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics, terrorism |

I hope what I fear is not going to come to pass. There are strong rumours of a move to impeach President Musharraf of Pakistan by the PPP led by Zardari, with support from Nawaz Sharif.  A few days back, there was a blast at the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing a diplomat and a security person from India among other local fatalities. There were prompt speculations about the USA and Afghan authorities having proof of the involvement of the ISI in the blasts, and the Afghan President confirmed this suspicion of involvement of the ISI at the SAARC summit. And now, the Pakistani army across the LOC in Kashmir is increasingly resorting to “unprovoked firing” as reported by the Indian army, apparently aimed at disrupting maintenance of physical installations that prevent infiltrations by Kashmiri Islamic jihadists. Even the Hurriyat Conference leadership has the guts to declare in New Delhi that they would be forced to “renew economic exchange” across the LOC if economic blockade continues – if economic trade can be carried out at will across the LOC, maybe the Indian army and the government should sit up and think who really runs Kashmir, or is economic exchange an euphemism for return to militancy?

It is possible, that all these three phenomena are related. On the one hand this is a message from Musharraf and the elite of the Pakistani Army, that it is the Army which runs Pakistan, and not any elected government. The ISI and the army is beyond the elected governments control. Any attempt at removing the formal army representation in the regular formal Pakistani governmental process, will lead to increased destabilization attempts within India or on objects connected to India, forcing India to try and help or allow Musharraf to continue as a more effective person to negotiate with.

Actual overthrow of Musharraf may lead to a serious conflict or outrage within Pakistan that will apparently be unrelated to the Army or Musharraf. It can lead to escalation of border tension with India. The Army and the fundamentalist agents in the Paksitani Army will now be going all out to finish off the half-hearted attempts at democracy within Pakistan. For Jihadi Islamists, democracy of the  western type is  “haram”,  Islamic theocratic dictatorship  is  “Pak” and “Jayej”. They will collaborate  with Musharraf from behind, as Pakistani army is simply a tool in their eyes to their eventual conquest and imposition of their dictatorship on the subcontinent.

Musharraf’s impeachment or attempted impeachment may herald  violent conflict one way or the other  in the subcontinent.

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SIMI – Sadistic Islamic Marauders of India – found not-guilty

Posted on August 6, 2008. Filed under: India, Muslims, Politics, terrorism |

SIMI followed Deobandi Islam’s revivalist movement that was the declared inspiration for the Taliban government. SIMI’s slogan is “Allah is our Lord, Qur’an is our constitution, Muhammad is our leader, jihad is our way and Sahahdat is our desire”. Among its various objectives, SIMI aims to counter what it believes is the increasing moral degeneration, sexual anarchy in the Indian society as also the ‘insensitiveness’ of a ‘decadent’ west. SIMI claims that the concepts of secularism, democracy and nationalism, supposed cornerstones of the Indian Constitution, are anti-Islam. They claim that their aim is to restore the supremacy of Islam through the resurrection of the Khilafat, emphasis on the Muslim Ummah and the waging of Jihad.

For the non-Muslims of India, jihad means looting of their property and lands, killing adult males and the rape, abduction and enslavement of their women and children, and systematic ruthless destruction of all their cultural icons. The khilafat was the excuse in whose name Mahmud of Gazni and numerous of his famished and destitute Muslim adventurer predecessors claimed to plunder, slaughter and enslave. The muslim Ummah was the rallying cry to organize, mobilize and justify riots against Hindus by sundry promoters of “Indian enrichment” like the Turko-Afghan Delhi Sultans and the Mughal emperors. So, SIMI’s declared intentions can be translated quite straightforwardly into non-Islamic terms – as that of Sadistic Islamic Marauders.

The third ban on SIMI was lifted by Delhi High Court Tribunal on 5 August 2008. “Material given by the home ministry is insufficient, so ban cannot be continued,” Justice Geeta Mittal, a sitting Delhi High Court judge, said while lifting the ban. This of course should have been expected. Ever since the Deobandi’s “fatwa” against “terrorism”, it was only a matter of time before the evidence of “violent crime” against their brainchild the SIMI would begin to “dry up”. Together with this there was the curious story of the switchover of support by the SP to the UPA for the passage of the N-Deal and the trust vote – for the SP is headed by Mulayam Singh Jadav, who had “grave doubts” about banning SIMI in the first place. The Deobandi connection is perhaps just a signal that elections are due next year, and the political elite is desperate.

In India, it is almost a treason to question the motivations of any Indian judge as to biases, since the judicial system typically takes strongest possible action against such “doubters” in amazing swiftness compared to the years it idles away casually to deal with that great underclass of India – the non-judiciary. So Indians must trust, that like the other great Hindu Indian lady of great intellectual honesty and stature, Prof. Romila Thapar, the Honbl Justice Geeta Mittal, also genuinely found “insufficient evidence” against Islamic violence. What happened to the Supreme Court, that it had to stay the lifting of the ban? There could be serious questions raised about the institution’s secular credentials if it did not favour Islam every time!

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Jammu : everyone wants to shout but no one wants to listen

Posted on August 6, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Politics, terrorism |

The Amarnath Shrine board has partly dissolved itself in order to reinvent itself hopefully in a more acceptable and workable garb. But the two main agitation groups represented by the muslim Hurriyat Conference, as well as the pro-transfer Sangharsh Samiti are against the all party talks being held at New Delhi.

The Jammu agitation is proving to be a researcher’s delight : it has suddenly come to light that the controversial land was not really under the Forest department, it has a “graveyard”, parts of it are under the Revenue department, the infrastructure was there “before”, and is going to be there “after” the controversy – and 20,000 Muslims are “involved” who “manage” the Yatra.

The Samiti has a logic in their opinion that they have only come out in agitation after the political parties failed completely to respect non-Muslim wishes, and the Government of India has not invited them even though they are spearheading the agitation with obvious popular support – the same indications of popular support that stopped the government from being “firm enough” with the preceding Muslim agitation.

The Amarnath Lingam is supposed to represent Shiva. I do not think that Shiva needs the devotion of the Amarnath Yatris to exist and perform his tasks as the Father of the World. Perhaps Hindus should consider stopping going on pilgrimage to Amarnath until they have undisputed access to their iconic cultural places on the subcontinent which used to be “theirs” before the advent of Muslims. I am sure the Muslim leadership of Kashmir will enjoy the absolute delight of the loss of jobs and livelihood of 20,000 Muslims as well as the extra inflow of capital associated with the annual trek.

The hurriyat objects to the virtual “economic blockade” and the chief exports of Kashmir, its fruits and other agricultural products are definitely going to take a knock. Some transporters have indicated trying to risk crossing the LOC to try and sell their products in Pakistan. This solution of trading with Pakistan has two possible problems – (1) Pakistan is a much weaker economy than India with much lesser markets for the exotic products of Kashmir (2) it is undesirable for the Paksitani establishment, as it is Pakistan economy which then shells out money to Kashmiris.

Pakistan, like Bangladesh, as pointed out in my series on Islamic terror, will desperately continue to try to capture productive agricultural land to expand and meet the needs of its growing population, as the only way the semi-feudal ruling elite of Pakistan can maintain its hold within the Islamic framework is to stress on agriculture rather than industry. Industry requires modernization and modern scientific education that will definitely challenge Islamic doctrine at some point. So Pakistan will not encourage the traffic from India to Pakistan with economic drainage from its side across the border. Pakistan will intensify pressure on its agents in the various pro-Pakistan groups within Kashmir to destabilize as much as possible the Indian administration. Already one indication is the increased LOC ceasefire violations targeted at preventing repair of the physical obstructions to infiltration at the LOC.

The practical problem of Jammu in the short run could perhaps be solved by making it a separate state. However in the long run, the only solution is the consolidation of the crucial geo-strageic areas of Multani-Punjab right up to the border with NWFP under a strong secular subcontinental regime with sufficient political will to ignore “religious” sentiments. This unification will facilitate liquidation of fundamentalist retrogressive movements throughout North India, and will present Kashmiri Muslims with no choice at all – they have to acknowledge their deep roots in Indian culture and not in an imported Middle Eastern desert culture that has no psychological or contextual relevance for the subcontinent – however desperate the attempts might be on the part of “secular” Hindu scholars to establish otherwise.

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Have you heard !!! Jammu is suddenly becoming dangerously communal?

Posted on August 6, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Muslims, Politics |

All of a sudden, the ruling elite of India, including the Governor of the state of Jammu and Kashmir have found alarming traces of “communalism” in the Jammu “pro-land transfer” agitation. This follows a few days after the ex-CM of the state Farookh Abdullah  lamented the lack of firmness on the part of the state administration in dealing with the “law and order situation” arising out of the non-Muslim umbrella organization’s agitation. The state police and security forces have responded with firmness, shooting to death agitators. Two local TV stations were closed down by the police, on the pretext that they were “inflaming communal hatred”.

It is so shocking really, as so far there was no communalism in the state, not when the Islamic militants targeted the secular schools so that children were forced to go to the madrassahs which were never targeted, not when the Kashmiri pundits and other Hindus were ethnically “cleansed” out of the Muslim majority part of the state, not when anti-India and anti non-Muslim propaganda were given a free press in media representing the Muslims, not when none of the apologists and defenders of Islam mentioned anything about the rights and feelings of the non-Muslims of Kashmir.

Communalism starts only when non-Muslims try to copy successful Islamic tactics of agit-prop, not when Muslims carry out their tactics of blatant religious-communal mobilization. There is precedence in Indian history, especially in the history of Kashmir, when one of its late Hindu period king, Harsha, carried out iconoclasm with Islamic zeal (by the Thaparian theory, any textual claim of violence on the part of non-Muslims have to be taken literally as having actually been carried out, and all such claims of violence on the part of Muslims have to be taken as fanciful and propaganda). We do not exactly know what were the motivations of Harsha, money or gold from temples, or bitter personal rivalry with the priests over authority.  But we have even more explicit claims of collaboration between mainly Brahmin and “Hindu” elite priests on the one hand and Muslim rulers, adventurers on the other.

So it is not surprising that sections of modern “Hindu” elite feel their hearts melt at Islamic “grievance”, imagined or otherwise. There could be personal histories, elements in the upbringing, feelings of alienation, romantic inclinations (Jadu, son of King Ganesh of Bengal, is rumored to have converted to Islam after getting besotted with Asmantara – a Muslim beauty, and subsequently ruled as Jalaluddin Muhammad), masochistic tendencies, or simply perhaps admiration for some of the “pleasures” promised in the lifestyle of Islam for males – we can only speculate about the reasons behind this phenomenon. (On a more frivolous and subversive note, there are so many more media reports of celebrity “Hindu” women falling in love with Muslim men – never Hindu men falling in love with Muslim women – should not the Hindu men sit up and take notice – Rani Kamala of Gurjar did not commit suicide after being abducted by Malik Kafur and presented as a concubine to Alauddin Khilji, reports indicate that she continued to flourish – maybe Hindu society has made the romantic and sexual life of its women very dull and boring!!)

India needs to think where it is going. Kashmiri Muslims once had wanted to return to Hinduism – who were the Hindus who prevented them and why? Are there things that need to be eliminated and dropped from Indian non-muslim culture that are in the way of greater fulfillment of its adherents? It is not a simple black and white question. The dilemma over Jammu is symbolic of a more fundamental dilemma in Indian society. Perhaps it needs to liberate itself from self and other imposed restrictions that prevents it from seeing clearly and taking the right steps, and taking proper sides.

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Continued threat of terror inspired by Islam – 4 – historical never-Neverland of Pakistan

Posted on August 6, 2008. Filed under: India, Muslims, Pakistan, Politics |

What is now Pakistan, was the corridor attached to the main gate of the extended mansion called India for a long long time. We will consider two important junctions in the history of the subcontinent connected to the ancient land now called Pakistan.

The first one was Alexander’s trip through Multan and Sind in late 4th century BCE. We do not have any history or written account of Alexander’s campaign through North-West India from the side of Indians. By analogy with Prof. Romila Thapar’s argument that if victims of war or repression do not leave written records of trauma at the hands of invaders, and all claims of victory, slaughter, rape etc., come only from the pen of the victors, then we have to summarily reject the invader’s claims, we should reject Arrian or Ptolemy’s accounts. In particular therefore there was no victory by Alexander over Puru, perhaps only a skirmish, which ended in a stalemate, and Alexander wisely retreated making a strategic  alliance with Puru.  Alexander was  severely wounded in one or more seizes of the fortified Indian towns along the Punjab and Sind river tracts. Even on Alexander’s hagiographers, we do not find mention of lasting conquered cities or local governors (typical acts of submission are mentioned – but again by Prof. Thapar type arguments, these mean nothing since they are not corroborated in verifiable contemporary written records of Indians). Alexander barely recovered from the Indian arrow that pierced his lungs, and had ships built  according to a  design which are now suspect (impossible to navigate in Indus). He lost a child, sent a naval expedition along the Persian Gulf and himself took the remainder of his army on a punishing desert crossing back to Persia.

There are speculations that his army did not like the taste of elephants and Indian weaponry, and were quite concerned at the rumours of a mighty army led by the Magadhan rulers approaching, and therefore refused to move further east. This episode is typically dramatized in a “bad omen” supporting retreat and therefore Alexander had to bow down before the will of the “Gods”. This seems unlikely in reality, as there is textual evidence of Alexander retaining his imperialist zeal, even after the Indian experience. It is perhaps safe to assume that Alexander scratched the periphery of Indian power, and decided to give it the slip rather than risk a full scale confrontation.

It is significant to note that almost immediately after Alexander’s visit, the Mauryan empire rose up. This could have been the result of the political shock of the failure of the previous Magadhan elite to crush Alexander, as well as perhaps the realization that a strong, unified  and aggressive centre  based in the  geo-political  heartland  of the Indian subcontinent  was the  only  guarantee for safety of the Indian society from marauding fortune-seekers coming from “outside”.

Kautilya’s Arthasastra, more or less  accepted by “experts” to be dating from this period, has curious gems for both detractors as well as blind supporters of everything that now passes for “Hinduism” – such as that a “Shudra” could also be “born an Arya”.  Arthasastra is heavily criticized  by Bangladeshi and Pakistani  India-bashers, as the supposed “source of inspiration for the RAW”. But Arthsastra’s reflection of the possible basic strategic thinking of this most extensive of all  known historical “Indian” empires is  significant – and we can see why it is “feared” by those who would  gloat over the dissolution of India.

Ashoka Piadassini’s efforts to conquer the hearts and minds of the hungry hordes around India through the peaceful exhortations of Buddhism, did not bear long lasting fruit – his efforts probably finished off in less than 50 years what took almost 100 years to build. Peace is only meaningful if potential peace-breakers fear violence and the effects peace-breaking can have on them. Ashoka could afford to be peaceful and  indulge in grandiose religious self-delusion that ideologies alone guaranteed everlasting peace and well-being because his ancestors had unified India with an iron fist.

It is possible that Buddhism had a much more long term emasculating effect on the Indian subcontinent. It damaged the survival of the Indian society in two ways – (1) by instituting “ethical” conduct in war, which was taken full advantage of by the Muslim armies invading India, who really never showed any ethical conduct anywhere in their wars [Salahuddin was perhaps a notable exception] (2) by instituting the semi-magical self delusion that “everyone believes in peace and enlightenment” and abhorrence of warfare leading to complete neglect of preparations for large scale warfare, abandonment of continuous  research and development  of military technology  and tactics,  and most importantly  abandonment of that  vicious  determination to annihilate  the  enemy that given half a chance will do the same.

Archaeological evidence  points  to quick  surrender of  exactly those areas to invading Muslims in North-western India including the current lands of Pakistan- Punjab, Afghanistan, and the Indo-Iranian borderland (Seistan) that came under strong Buddhist influence. The apologists for Islam try to say that the Buddhists were so tortured by reviving “Brahmanism” that they willingly embraced Islam to escape “casteism”. It has never been considered whether these were also communities most vulnerable militarily by long habit and tradition.   The Muslims, mainly Sunni Arabs, quickly overran Iran (this was the time when Parsis of India escaped, sought, and granted  refuge in Gujarat) and made very short shrift of the scattered Buddhist communities on the Indo-Iranian border. The “Hindu” kingdoms of Kabul and Zabul resisted better, but were ultimately defeated. Their defeat laid the path clear for Muslim invasions. Multan was the stronghold of Sun-worshippers, and later became the hot-bed of Ismailis – considered heretic because of their “Qufr” leanings towards Indic concepts by “pure” and “good” Muslims  like Mahmud of  Gazni  – the bravest  general of  Allah  who  was never   hesitant to beg  and  insinuate his way out  when faced with  defeat or death  by appealing to or manipulating  “Hindu” chivalry.

What was the difference between Mauryan Pakistan and the Pakistan between 600-1200 CE?  (1) It was under a highly centralized and militarily efficient empire with its centre in the heartlands of India with the capacity to rally huge resources for defence in the Mauryan period while it was split into small kingdoms without resources in the latter period (2) the foundation of the early Mauryan empire was under individuals and a leadership who realized the importance of organizing the “borderlands” properly and did not flinch from being ruthless if necessary (both the Prophet of Islam, and Ashoka, were apparently extremely comfortable with deception or ambushes or surprise night attacks – if the stories about their lives are even half believable) whereas the Indian kings and elite in the latter period did not have the minimal brains and vision  to unify in the face of an external threat  (the attempts were sporadic and not long term and well interspersed with betrayals and alliances by opportunist  Kings with Muslim invaders or rulers) (3) the Mauryan period had an unifying ideological framework firmly rooted in an identification with India as a geo-political-cultural identity whereas in the latter part sects and over-idealistic religions detached from human reality kept the strength of the society divided and unfocused.

This is the historical lesson of the area of Pakistan as relevant for India. In the next part of this series I will elaborate on modern Pakistan.

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Surjeet and Solzhenitsyn passes away – lives coming back in full circles

Posted on August 4, 2008. Filed under: Communist, Politics, Russia, Solzhenitsyn, Surjeet |

Harkishen Singh Surjeet, one of the the architects of centre-left coalition governments in its Indian form has passed away. So has, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the most intriguing voice of Russian dissidence against the Soviet Government. Surjeet started his political career as a teenage Congress enthusiast who risked being shot by forces under the British to raise a flag, when the flag-raising venture had been virtually abandoned by regular Congress volunteers because of the shoot at sight orders. From this Surjeet graduated to the Socialist faction within the Congress, and finally into the Communist Party of India. But what Surjeet so successfully revived was the early anti-Trotskyte dogma within Stalin dominated post-Lenin Comintern – form national fronts with “progressive national bourgeoisie” against colonial imperialists. As in most Soviet era polemics the primary reason for this dogma was two-fold : (1) take an opposite position to that of Trotsky whose policies appeared to extend revolutionary fervour across the world (2) the more practical reality of Stalin’s illusion that he could get on with the West, particularly the USA, whose industrialist “darling of capitalism” Ford, got involved in early Soviet industrialization. Typically Stalin managed to dump all responsibility for the horrendous consequences that befell the nascent Communists in Asia (like the CCP in China which had 27000 decapitated in a single day in Shanghai, by their erstwhile “progressive national bourgeois” ally – the Kuomindang of Chiang Kai Shek) on “right deviationists” and “party wreckers”. By early 30’s Totskytes had been effectively liquidated, and Stalin felt safe enough to attack the “Right” officially associated with Bukharin and blamed the horrors of the National Front policies (among other “errors”) on “Bukharinites” and removed them from party-power (since the party was the state apparatus itself in the USSR, this meant virtual proscription). National Front policies remained “untouchable” with instruction from the Comintern to the Asian colonies under imperialism to join National liberation struggles with or without “national bourgeoisie”, until the beginning of WWII, when desired alliance with the West led to a sudden switch-over. Most of the Communists in early 1942 India were in favour of and to a certain extent involved in the “Quit India” movement. The Communists in jails had a sudden “change of heart” and realized that the “greatest danger” was that of fascism, and that Communists should immediately start collaborating with the British as part of defending Soviet socialism from Fascists (there is an inexplicable lag in the change of policy between “jailed” and “free” Communists – with the strange case of the “jailed” getting whiff of Comintern winds before their “free” comrades). This was definitely convenient for the British, as they now had access to a small but determined group with native connections who had not only been weaned away from the 1942 struggle which in many places were beginning to show signs of violent overthrow of British Rule, but could also possibly serve as additional eyes and ears of the administration. At this time, Gandhi’s “conscience” bit him badly, and he also decided in favour of helping the British War effort. So a degree of collaboration could develop between Congress and the Communists, although it did not last, just as the similar honeymoon between the Chinese CP and Kuo Min Dang was short lived.

Th collaboration issues resurfaced with the split of the CPI into CPI and CPI(M). At this time initially, CPI(M) was against collaborating with the Congress, while CPI was in favour. Internal factional power struggles got mixed up in polemical battles typical in Communist history, with the classic cyclical patterns of periodic complete reversals of policies and positions. CPI(M) itself got a taste of power, and hence got hooked to coalitional governments after forming state governments in Kerala and West Bengal with rebel factions of Congress, and other left forces whom they had vehemently fought with before over questions of nationalism and interpretations of Marx and Lenin.

Surjeet, together with Jyoti Basu, simply revived the old Comintern idea of a collaborational effort within “non-military” versions of Communist capture of state power. The Communist ideology of action only by precedence within selective strands of “Marxism”, implies that present “forces” have to be identified with “similar” forces in the “glorious battles” of communism in the past. Surjeet was recreating the classic 1942 Soviet position that “everything else” was to be subjugated to the need to “fight fascists”. Perhaps, on a subconscious level this is a cover for the (1) practical political perception that Communism on its own has a very restricted power base (the fact that determined minorities can hijack state power in the face of apathy of society as a whole is a consistent feature of all “glorious revolutions”) (2) the psychological proximity to “class and cultural” origins. Thus Surjeet’s politics came full circle in returning to alliance with the Congress.

Solzhenitsyn was worlds apart from Surjeet. A Russian Red Army officer, who was arrested for allegedly caricaturing Stalin, to be shut up in Gulag internment as part of a general Stalinist suspicion of anyone who did not lick his boots. (totalitarian leaders usually hate most their mockers, from the Prophet of Islam to Stalin) Stalin had decimated the old Bolshevik reconstructed Tsarist and revolutionary armies transformed under Trotsky into the Red Army. The decimation was part of Stalin’s power struggle and his extreme jealousy and intolerance of people intellectually brighter than himself, including Trotsky, who had the single largest contribution in the formation of the Red Army. Stalin’s suspicion of the Red Army continued unabated until Hitler’s attack, and continued even throughout the war. There were some real grounds for Stalin’s suspicions as there had been substantial support for the advancing Germans among the German communities living in south-western Russia from the time of Peter I. Stalin’s extreme brutality and cynical annihilation of large chunks of the Russian population (or his system that allowed “courtiers” to settle personal scores of their own) definitely created conditions under which loyalties could be shaken. However, Solzhenitsyn’s decorated military creer proved that there was a possibility that he was a genuine patriot. He could have been kept under watch, or given non-frontline duties, or assigned to the partisans, but still given a chance to prove himself. This is the basic and fundamental failure of the Communist model of Stalin, it has no concept of redemption, no faith and confidence in the self to inspire and change others, leading to blind and overwhelming reliance on terror. (Eric Hoffer of course thought that terror was a more reliable instrument to ensure loyalty to mass movements than ideology).

Solzhenitsyn is a curious dissident. Born of a Tsarist Army officer dad, and a highly educated mother who was a daughter of a self-made landed gentry, Solzhenitsyn trained to be a mathematician, and by his own admission had no questions about the state ideology he was then taught through his philosophy courses. He is not an avid critic of the authoritarian system as such and his treatment at the hands of the state did not affect his patriotic feelings. However, it appears that he started to explore the origins of the Soviet system, through an analysis of the individuals who led to the formation of the system. His first ever book that I read was “One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch”, and I can still quote from memory passages from the book. The most poignant line from the book was the description about how important was the last bite of bread in the daily meal for the Gulag prisoner Ivan – as the piece of bread was crucial in mopping up all remnant traces of the soup in the bowl – crucial for Ivan’s survival as nothing, not even a single drop of soup could be wasted. For literary critics, this book is his high point, and “Lenin in Zurich”, a smaller extract from his much bigger work, “August, 1914”, a documentary devoted to “single-minded deconstruction of the motivations of the Bolsheviks”, with an attempt at painting “Lenin” as a Hofferian “fanatic” bent on imposing his will with absolute contempt for the “masses”, and for other “Bolsheviks” and for anyone else in general. “Gulag Archipelago” is the most scathing of his documentary style, and it takes a lot of determination to force oneself to read through descriptions of deliberately organized rape of the women related to condemned ex-Bolsheviks or Red Army men, while on journey in prison trains through Siberia. Was Solzhenitsyn lying? I do not think so. For the Communist regime in absolute power, like any other totalitarian regime like that of Pinochet or Franco or the ancient and modern religious fanatics, everything is allowed, rape is just another instrument of coercion, the act supremely enjoyable not only for the sense of power it gives to the rapist deputed by the authorities, but also for the authorities themselves who enjoy the pain of the raped.

He described the problems of both East and West as “a disaster” rooted in agnosticism and atheism. He thought it was “the calamity of an autonomous, irreligious humanistic consciousness.”

“It has made man the measure of all things on earth—imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects. We are now paying for the mistakes which were not properly appraised at the beginning of the journey. On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility.”http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/solzhenitsyn/harvard1978.html

Like Surjeet, Solzhenitsyn had returned full circle, in his case to his mystical, spiritual roots of the society he originated in, and the philosophical concerns of the social class he happened to be born in. But being a creative man he probably escaped the fate of being a Bolshevik fanatic almost all of whom had origins in similar social backgrounds.

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Rahul Gandhi to “learn” microcredit from Bangladesh : start building the “future leader” image

Posted on August 3, 2008. Filed under: economics, India, microcredit, Politics, Rahul Gandhi |

Rahul Gandhi has found out from his two day tour, that on an average, the levels of rural poverty in Bangladesh is much lower than in India. He has tasted tea from a roadside tea-stall giving his “Z” security minders the slip. These are two significant observations that indicate what this visit was all about.

From a realistic viewpoint, it is impossible to get an idea of how microcredit runs in Bangladesh, in two days, talking through interpreters without knowing the local dialect and almost nothing of the local culture, surrounded by conscpicuous heavy security, and guided by officials of the organization that leads the program, and a very small sample size of cases.

Rahul Gandhi could have learnt more from experiments going on in his own backyard in India, and would have gained more socially relevant experience – as there are specific social conditions that substantially differ between Bangladesh and India. The only excuse that perhaps Rahul can give is that he will try to apply his “learning” to “uplifting” the state of Muslim women in UP.

But what were the real reasons behind this visit. This is an indication that the Congress old-guard has started the long drawn process of building up the image of Rahul as the future “benevolent despot” from the Nehru dynasty. The visit portrays Rahul as a sympathetic towards Muslims, towards a “small neighbour”, towards the “rural poor” (who dominate the Indian Ocean rim), and a “gracious big brother” who can manage to give the right amount of diplomatic flattery. Rahul’s spontaneity towards tea, showcased by the media, gives the proper “human/one of us” touch. I have to give it to the Congress bosses – it was a well managed show! We can hope to see more of Rahul in such visits, whose frequency will gradually increase.

It would be good to see him break out of his North Indian shell, learn a few of the Indian languages other than Hindi (which he doesn’t speak like a native speaker – amazing, given the degree of  chauvinism shown by some native Hindi-speakers to all other Indian languages as well as anyone who does not speak Hindi “properly”), show depth and understanding of Indian history and culture like his great grandparent (but not share the latter’s penchant for spontaneous blunders such as the unilateral declaration of accepting a referendum for Kashmir in 1948 – what about referendums for other disputed territories like Balochistan, Sind or regions ceded in the east to Pakistan- which then had substantial populations reluctant to join Pakistan but subsequently ethnically cleansed by the “peaceful towards non-Muslims” Islamic elite of Pakistan?) – and hopefully restrict his spontaneity to tea only.

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Farookh Abdullah thinks Jammu is a law and order problem – deja vu?

Posted on August 2, 2008. Filed under: India, Kashmir, Politics |

Sometime ago I had speculated that the Jammu agitation, led and inspired definitely by the non-Muslim majority in the Jammu portion of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, will be learning from the successful Kashmiri Muslim agitation to assert the right of religions to claim territories and virtually cleanse areas ethnically. However, they will not get the support of the Centre who thinks Muslim electoral support would be crucial in an otherwise most uncertain electoral scenario. So as predicted, the Jammu agitation continues, but the Indian state shows sufficient firmness that it never managed when Islamic agitators came out on the streets of “Muslim” Kashmir, or when Hindus in the Muslim dominated part were “cleansed”.

Farookh Abdullah, the ex CM of the state, had a remark of infinite wisdom, “the administration has shown weakness in handling the situation, and should have treated the agitation much more firmly”. Wonderful, Mr. Abdullah, is this deja-vu for you? Did you fail to show “sufficient” firmness in your state in dealing with your co-religionists – maybe, as otherwise the whole Kashmir situation would not have deteriorated!

If Kashmir is unified under Pakistan, it is one step forward in the Pan-Islamic consolidation of the Indian subcontinent, and eventual liquidation for all other cultures and imposition of an unthinking, retrogressive, medieval theocracy.

If Kashmir is split formally between India and Pakistan, as long as Pakistan exists, its feudal elite will try and continue to destabilize the Indian border (surplus population to be sacrificed is never usually a problem with Islamic cultures, and men are brought up under orthodox Muslim education to expect the best of earthly “consumption” in paradise when they die fighting for Islam).

If Kashmir becomes an independent country, it will become the base for launching continuing Islamic forays into India, and a much better connection with China which can then try and penetrate further into the subcontinent. In the long run of course China will suffer badly, as the Pan-Islamic movement will spread its tentacles (probably it already does) into the Muslim dominated tribal areas of Yunnan. China is simply one of the hated “tribes” of unbelievers for Islam, to be used tactically against other “unbelievers” until Islamic military strength remains weak. An independent Kashmir will also have officially greater manipulative power in obtaining international support from forces jealous of India.

Only one way is going to be the long term solution for India. Unification of the two Kashmirs, and the two Punjabs as two federal states of India. This will bring the sources for extremism under state supervision and penetration, and the basis for this extremism – the feudal and medieval socio-economic power structure could be broken up. This should also be actually a great relief for the ordinary Pakistani Kashmiri or Punjabi, as they will enjoy a much greater freedom to develop and modernize under a properly unbiased Indian government (that is a feat, I agree, still not achieved by Indian democracy, but if anyone can it is the Indian democracy which can, and not the feudally organized regimes in Pakistan) having sufficient political will to ignore and if necessary crush obstructing religions and concentrate on modernization.

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Of fatwas and Deoband – who rules Indians – mice or men?

Posted on August 2, 2008. Filed under: India, Muslims, Politics, religion |

On 1st June, 2008, the Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh praised the recent ‘fatwa’ issued by Darul Uloom Deoband describing any attempt at “breach of peace and killing of innocent persons” as “most inhuman crimes.” The Deoband ‘fatwa’ was read out and approved by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind leaders at an anti-terrorism and Global Peace Conference. BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that the BJP executive fully supported this move by Islamic organisations. The move was described as a “historic” step in India’s fight against terrorism.

We need not go here into the more than a century long bitter fight between two trends within the Muslim community in India over modernization represented by the Deobandis on one hand and the group crystallizing into the Aligarh Muslim University. But the Deobandi’s have in general taken up the more retrogressive Saudi interpretation by Wahab of Islamic faith literature (as needed and shaped by the House of Saud’s desire to militarily unify the Arabian peninsula – the unifier’s admirers usually praised him for his equal skill at wielding the swords of “steel and flesh”). Deoband’s utterances have always been quoted as inspiring for the most inveterate of Muslim extremism, and especially directed against Hindus or the Indian state. Elsewhere in this blog I have written about the dubious nature of the basis of the claims of “peaceful” treatment of non-Muslims based on Islamic faith literature, and the Quranic verses are quoted and used out of context to try and misrepresent Islam’s attitudes towards non-Muslims as “peaceful” and “tolerant”. Who defines and judges “innocence”? There are so many instances in core Islamic texts of attacking groups of civilians by surprise and who were not in preparation for war, had no discernible quarrel, but sometimes simply a group which had refused to accept “Islam” (which was also almost always equivalent to personal submission at the same time to the Prophet of Islam) -or simply did the heinous crime of “being rich/ plying caravans in trade/having beautiful women”.  Most of the times, simply “being a pagan” was sufficient qualification to be “non-innocent”. Any non-Muslim group that resists being converted, or submitting to the authority of the Muslims, or giving up their possessions and their women to Muslims, could be seen as opposing “Allah’s will” and therefore “non-innocent”.

Before going into the significance of “praising” fatwas, let us look at a media sensation 3 years ago. A Muslim woman, allegedly raped by her father-in-law in the Charthawal town of Uttar Pradesh, said that she was ready to abide by the fatwa issued by Darul Uloom Deoband, which ruled that she could no longer cohabit with her husband. “Me and my husband are willing to abide by the fatwa if the Darul Uloom Muftis want us to,” Imrana, the wife, said. Mufti Habibur Rehman of Darul Uloom Deoband said in a fatwa that Imrana’s life with her husband Noor Ilahi has become untenable as per Islamic law after the alleged rape on June 3. Reacting to the ruling, Imrana, who had been staying with her parents at Kukra village, said she had full faith in the Shariyat. The All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board took strong exception to the Deoband fatwa, claiming that it was not consistent with the Quran.

The two cases illustrate, how subtly the “fatwa-ists” have made their position strong in India. They can inspire complete subservience and submission on the part of Muslim women to the “Shariat” and inspire desk-thumping praise from the BJP. This sophisticated strategic approach is aimed at getting a parallel legal and subsequent state authority established within India. It is a pity that the BJP fails to understand this or is acting too clever in hoping to appear flexible and not hardline towards Islamic consolidation.

The issue of fatwas and their acceptance in public discourse should be seen as one of the gravest of threats for the modern Indian state and people. Nothing, absolutely nothing should be allowed to come in between the individual citizen and the democratically elected and maintained state authority and interpretative institutions. There should be legal steps and penalties on anyone or any body that issues prescriptions of a legal nature that does not originate from the state. Similar laws should be there, and the state should show extreme firmness (of the order it could so easily show ruthlessly in dealing with the Sikhs or Bengal Naxals, but never with Muslim extremists, or upper-caste private armies in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh) in dealing with religious bodies claiming to speak on behalf of their “communities” and in reality preventing nation formation and modernization.

I do really wonder from time to time, who rules Indians – mice or men?

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IAEA approves India-specific safeguards by consensus – inflated importance

Posted on August 1, 2008. Filed under: India, Nuclear, Politics |

The IAEA approved the India specific safeguards by consensus- subject to grumbles of “concerns” from Ireland, and Switzerland. (What happened to Finland – an important  co-founder of the  NPT  movement with  Ireland ?).  Ireland’s concerns as the leading  member of the NPT  movement was expected. It is a pity that Ireland has not pressed for complete disarmament by the nuclear weapons states (NPT recognizes these states to be NWS – a recognition that almost enshrines a pantheon of nuclear “gods” who possess an exclusive range of “superweapons” to vaporize the subject poor mortals and who are supposed to use such powers for the benefit of mortals – even if mythology says otherwise : gods usually use weapons out of jealousy and for their own benefits ).

USA’s diplomatic efforts ably seconded by India, almost had made it a foregone conclusion that IAEA would pass this safeguards by consensus. More difficult will be getting consensus at NSG, where some EU countries as well as China can cause significant trouble for India. It will be USA’s networks and dependence of these countries on the USA that can only see India through. Passgae of the 123 agreement through the Congress may also hold some hiccups as there can be strong last-ditch lobbying by Pakistan as well as other interest groups within USA who from various considerations of race, religion, etc as hidden motivations can try to put restrictive conditions in the hope that India will be sufficiently provoked to reject the whole agreement altogether.

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Rahul Gandhi to “learn” microcredit from Bangladesh under heavy security and in a few days

Posted on August 1, 2008. Filed under: economics, India, microcredit |

Rahul Gandhi, a possible future Congress PM candidate, has landed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, purportedly to “learn” micro-credit. He has been, and will presumably be provided with heavy security cover, and we hope he will learn it within the few days he can spare at maximum given the current political climate in India.
It is interesting to observe, that in India the first well known experiments in micro-credit were carried out by Rabindranath Tagore in then undivided Bengal of British India, and quite seriously followed up in early twentieth century under his initiative at Sriniketan (also the site of a whole range of initiatives of rural development and building sustainable communities) – the twin hamlet of Shantiniketan.
Perhaps in keeping with that tradition, the Chennai based Centre for Micro Finance reported that the micro-credit sector is growing at the rate of 82% in Eastern India, this being the fastest rate in India. There is significant disparity in the penetration of micro-credit within the region, (high levels in Orissa and West Bengal versus low in Assam, Bihar and and Jharkhand). The Indian parliament was very busy debating the N-Deal so it could not sit down and debate the proposed Micro Finance Bill 2007 and it is yet to be passed (controversy on issues including limiting the interest rate charged by the micro-credit institutions is probably even worse and much more serious than the N-deal and hence needs years of Parliamentary sessions).
In Rahul Gandhi’s electorally significant state of Uttar Pradesh, The Pragati Gramodyog Sansthan (PGS)—the Progressive Institute for Village Enterprises has helped hundreds of Kol families of under contractual, debt bondage tyranny of the quarry contractors. With PGS’s help, the Kol formed microcredit unions and could manage to obtain leases to quarries themselves. Additional assets such as a cow or a goat helped augment incomes. PGS has developed primary schools and dug wells.

In Rahul Gandhi’s own city of residence, the self help group “ASHA Community Health and Development Society”, an NGO working in health and development of slum dwellers of Ekta Vihar in Delhi has managed to procure Nationalized Banks support to provide loans at reasonable rates of interest to the slum dwellers.

Could Rahul-ji have thought about mixing pleasure with business in shuttling perhaps between organizing the rural Cricket competition and “learning” from the Kols in his own backyard?
For those interested in an excellent blog on the Indian micro-credit (one of my more “positive passions” – for those who might be depressed by my rants on the “negatives” of Islam and terror) scene look at Badri’s Microcredit blog.
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