How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India -14 : removal of capital from the Indian economy under Islam

Posted on March 2, 2013. Filed under: Afghanistan, Arab, Army, economics, economy, Hindu, Historians with political agenda, History, India, Islam, Islamic propaganda, Jihad, Kashmir, Left, Muslims, neoimperialism, Ottoman, Politics, rape, religion, Roman, Russia, Salafi, Saudi, Sunni, Taleban |

[authors note :  posting on the theme that started the blog, after a long time. This item in the original series was drafted a couple of years go. But I realized that this portion may take up several blog-size posts, rather than one. Workload is heavy so – this sequence might come hence irregularly, but I am serious about taking up laying out the economic consequence of Islamic dominance on India. So please be patient.]

Removal of capital from the Indian economy by Muslims took place directly under three major forms (1) repeated invasions amounting or not amounting to permanent acquisition of territory with specific removal of capital in kind in the form of looted bullion and other valuables, as well as removal of human capital in the form of skilled and unskilled labour, and the basic reproductive unit for human labour, women, all as enslaved and exported commodity out of India, (2) extraction of capital by settled Muslim elite from the Indian economy for hoarding, and funding luxuries originating outside of India meant for pure consumption with no reinvestment or economic input into the local market (3) subsidizing religious activities primarily benefiting foreign Muslim countries and economies (4) Islam’s essential economic understanding amounting to only the desert-economy of Arabia and a complete failure to understand more sophisticated economies as reflected in the Muslim’s disastrous state interventions in the Indian market – also removed capital by impeding creation of value and growth and ultimately consumption and destroying already accumulated capital.

The indirect removal of capital was mainly under five forms (1) ruining and utterly destituting the basic producers of the economy, and extracting almost all surplus for personal consumption thereby preventing reinvestment and ultimately reducing total capital (2) continued and vastly increasing expenditure on military hardware and “software” such as horses imported from outside of India (3) destroying the non-Muslim intellectual classes and pre-Islamic centres of education that had promoted a wide variety of research into science and technology   and substituting this by theological seminaries run by fundamentalist Muslim clergy usually imported from Islamic heartland in the middle east and whose qualifications usually did not rise beyond a strict Wahabi or Salafi interpretation of the Islamic religious texts learned by rote (4) institutionalization of endemic corruption and system losses that increased the cost of capital, and thereby its ultimate devaluation (5) Sadistic and violent Islamic military religious policy aimed at subjugation of the non-Muslim populations ultimately forcing productive social units off the land and the economy into forests or rugged badlands from where they either carried out military struggles [raising the cost of administration and expending capital on maintaining ever-increasing armed forces on the part of the Islamic administration] or engage in low-surplus marginal productions and economies.

removal of material capital through repeated invasions

Accurate estimates of capital removed by Islamic invaders are very difficult to arrive at, mainly because of lack “undisputed records” of “looting” and amounts. Most surviving records of looting and shipping of loot back to the respective power centres of the raiding armies, are naturally, from side of the raiding armies  themselves or from subsequent chroniclers who draw upon or claim to draw upon earlier, relevant, and contemporary Islamic sources. As in the case all over the world, although historians try to shout a lot about absence of records of “trauma” on the part of the victims, who are not necessarily known to be illiterate, there is a persistent pattern of lack of such records, and we consistently find such records only from the “winners”. Logically thinking, such a situation is most natural to expect – a “traumatized” society is most unlikely to find time and resources to devote to keeping records “reliable” enough for modern professional historians with their highly selective and opportunistic use of logic in favour of hidden or sometimes not so hidden political agenda or political/academic patronage from interested regimes. Such a society is more likely to be obsessed about survival.

If we use modern, more closely observed from various sources, “history” of invasions by hostile regimes into an area, especially invasions that are also associated strongly with a particular hegemonistic ideology – we see certain persistent patterns – (1) specifically targeting the intellectuals [and try and eliminate them physically altogether] of the invaded society (2) destroy or suppress circulation of records, books, and other archival material of the invaded society (3) disrupt communication by actively discouraging native languages and imposing the languages preferred by the invaders (4) removal of capital resources from the invaded society (5) almost always a systematic programme of ethnic cleansing through genocide, a state sponsored regime of rape or enforced prostitution of the women of the invaded society – [which for very obvious physical reasons, targets more the women of the elite of the invaded society, and a section more likely to be a second line of repository of cultural heritage, or knowledge] thereby achieving two invader objectives in one stroke – removal of reproductive resources from the invaded society and increasing reproductive resources of the invader.  This is what happened under the Nazis, and under units of the Red Army as retribution for the activities of the Nazis when they overran Germany in the final phases of WWII, under the Imperial Japanese army in South East Asia, Korea and China [there are indications that Bose’s INA had come to an agreement with the Japanese Army command that such activities will not be carried out in their joint march towards the Indian border, and a recent interview on the Delhi based news channel NDTV reported eye-witness accounts from a Naga dignitary of the period – that in spite of what the British administration had tried to say, the Japanese occupation forces never “used” Naga women the way the British officers were habitually prone to do], and then by US army units stationed in Japan after the capitulation of the latter, with similar patterns repeated in the wars between the African nations and regional-ethnic conflicts, in the persistent accusations [disputed hotly by historians] of such practices by the Pakistani army in its various operations in the subcontinent, [the British army’s record in India during the Raj appear to be increasingly coming under the cloud in this regard].

If we extend the modern experience to the “historical” period, we can see, that it is consistent with records of the Roman empire, or the Persian, Parthian, Egyptian, Chinese, empires. Historians appear to have no problems in accepting the claims of the Spanish or the Portuguese about the Latin Americas, even though hardly anything survives that can hold up to historian’s claimed level of reliability from the side of the “victims”. Similarly, hardly anything survives of records of trauma of the  various Italian groups subjugated by the Romans, not all of whom were illiterates (e.g. Etruscans),  or of the various Germanic and Celtic tribes of Europe, but historians appear to have no problems with the Roman records of claims of ethnic cleansing, torture, destruction, looting or organized rape and enslavement. There are hardly any historian voices trying to say that the records of repression on the Jews as claimed in Roman texts by Roman authors were propaganda, since nothing much exists from contemporary Jewish sources [ the most famous one, that by Josephus, can also become suspect as he was being patronized by the Romans at the time of his wrtings – and he is not very sympathetic to the Jewish cause either]. Historians even quote figures of dead, slaughtered, raped, straight from the Roman texts.

The only exception in this general pattern of historians’ acceptance of records of repression by an invading regime is that applied to Islamic armies into the Indian subcontinent, where all their records of repression are demanded to be treated as false and propaganda for glorification.

We will start with trying to get an idea of the amounts involved in the loot by the Islamic armies removed from India.

Muhammad bin Qasim [C.E 711-713 – the first Islamic record of a relatively successful invasion] 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.

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…” (Futuhul-Buldan  of Ahmad bin Yahya bin Jabir,  aka  al-Biladuri).
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.” (Chachnama)

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.” (Tarikh-i-Tabari)

Mahmud of Ghazni [first quarter of C.E. 1000] 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].

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. [Sunni Wahabis dispute the authenticity of the Ottoman collections in this regard]. 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 hypotheses and it very angrily reacts and disparages archaeology if it dares to differ from its diktats] The flow of bullion outside India stabilized 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. 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.  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”.

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”.

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.” (Tarikh-i-Guzida :  of Hamdullah bin Abu Bakr bin Hamd bin Nasr Mustaufi of Kazwin)

[to be continued]

Link to previous post in sequence how-islam-came-to-india-and-why-now-it-needs-to-go-from-india-13-economic-decline-under-islam-fate-of-producers


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2 Responses to “How Islam came to India and why now it needs to go from India -14 : removal of capital from the Indian economy under Islam”

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i remember to have posted a very short comment a couple of years ago. now let me congratulate you once again for this excellent work. i wrote a book on indian economic history in telugu which is just published. there i mainly focussed on the white western christian devastation of our economy and mentioned the jihadi factor only passingly. your multi part post on islamic devastation of our economy is a very important but neglected dark saga of our history. after seeing your posts my determination to add this aspect to my previous work is reinforced. as it is i am pressed for time. yet it is worth taking up in the future if not right away. thanks for the inspiration. prasad.

Reblogged this on vezhamukhan and commented:
Plunder that was from India!

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