The Whitewashing of Indian History, by Nithin Sridhar (May 1, 2008)
The history of India has been whitewashed and distorted, first by European rulers, and after independence by eminent historians of India and their supporters the Leftists, Seculars and self-claimed Progressives of India to meet their own ends. They have painted the pre-Islamic invasion period as a Dark Age and have glorified the Islamic period to be very peaceful and prosperous.
Ram Swarup says, “Marxists have taken to rewriting Indian history on a large scale and it has meant its systematic falsification. They have a dogmatic view of history and for them the use of any history is to prove their dogma. Their very approach is hurtful to truth…. The Marxists’ contempt for India, particularly the India of religion, culture and philosophy, is deep and theoretically fortified. It exceeds the contempt ever shown by the most die-hard imperialists.”1 Some of the common claims of these eminent historians are:
1] The Aryan Invasion Theory is true2
2] Large scale destruction of Buddhists and Jain temples was done by Hindus in pre-Islamic India.3
3] The Muslim rulers were religiously tolerant and Islamic rule was prosperous. The eminent historians deny the destruction of Hindu temples or the killing of Hindus at the hands of Muslim rulers. They also deny the religious motive behind the killing of Hindus at the hands of Muslim rulers.4
Let us examine the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT).
The AIT was introduced to justify the presence of the British among their Aryan cousins in India as being merely the second wave of Aryan settlement there. It supported the British view of India as merely a geographical region without historical unity, a legitimate prey for any invader capable of imposing himself. It provided the master illustration to the rising racialist worldview: “The dynamic whites entered the land of the indolent dark natives and established their dominance and imparted their language to the natives; they established the caste system to preserve their racial separateness; some miscegenation with the natives took place anyway, making the Indian Aryans darker than their European cousins and correspondingly less intelligent; hence, for their own benefit they were susceptible to an uplifting intervention by a new wave of purer Aryan colonizers.”5
Dr. Koenraad Elst, in “The Vedic Evidence,”6 after examining the Vedic corpus for any evidence of Aryan invasion theory proposed by the Marxist school, concludes, “The status question is still, more than ever, that the Vedic corpus provides no reference to an immigration of the so-called Vedic Aryans from Central Asia….” He further provides astronomical and literary evidence against the AIT in his other essays.
Jim Shaffer in “The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality,” wrote, “Current archaeological data do not support the existence of an Indo-Aryan or European invasion into South Asia any time in the pre- or protohistoric periods. Instead, it is possible to document archaeologically a series of cultural changes reflecting indigenous cultural developments from prehistoric to historic periods…”7 Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, a U.S. expert who has extensively studied such skeletal remains, observes, “Biological anthropologists remain unable to lend support to any of the theories concerning an Aryan biological or demographic entity.”8
David Frawley, while commenting on the political and social ramifications, asserts, “First it served to divide India into a northern Aryan and southern Dravidian culture which were made hostile to each other… Second, it gave the British an excuse for their conquest of India. They could claim to be doing only what the Aryan ancestors of the Hindus had previously done millennia ago. This same justification could be used by the Muslims or any other invaders of India. Third, it served to make Vedic culture later than and possibly derived from the Middle Eastern… Fourth, it allowed the sciences of India to be given a Greek basis… Fifth, it gave the Marxists a good basis for projecting their class struggle model of society on to India, with the invading Brahmins oppressing the indigenous Shudras (lower castes).” He further concludes, “In short, the compelling reasons for the Aryan invasion theory were neither literary nor archeological but political and religious, that is to say, not scholarship but prejudice.”9
Archaeological evidence in no way contradicts Indian tradition, rather it broadly agrees with it (except for its chronology). Whether from North or South India, tradition never mentioned anything remotely resembling an Aryan invasion into India. Sanskrit scriptures make it clear that they regard the Vedic homeland to be the Saptasindhu, which is precisely the core of the Harappan territory. As for the Sangam tradition, it is equally silent about any northern origin of the Tamil people. These show that AIT which Marxists have been propagating is based on assumptions and pre-conceived notion, rather than hard evidences.
About the alleged destruction of Buddhist and Jain temples by Hindus, Sita Ram Goel observes,10 “It is intriguing indeed that whenever archaeological evidence points towards a mosque as standing on the site of a Hindu temple, our Marxist professors start seeing a Buddhist monastery buried underneath. They also invent some Saiva king as destroying Buddhist and Jain shrines whenever the large-scale destruction of Hindu temples by Islamic invaders is mentioned. They never mention the destruction of big Buddhist and Jain complexes which dotted the length and breadth of India, Khurasan, and Sinkiang on the eve of the Islamic invasion, as testified by Hüen Tsang.” He asks the historians to produce epigraphic and literary evidences to suggest the destruction of Buddhists and Jain places by Hindus, the names and places of Hindu monuments which stand on the sites occupied earlier by Buddhist or Jain monuments. Yet, till today no concrete evidence has been given by historians to substantiate their claim.
But, there is enough evidence to show that Buddhist and Jain temples and monasteries at Bukhara, Samarqand, Khotan, Balkh, Bamian, Kabul, Ghazni, Qandhar, Begram, Jalalabad, Peshawar, Charsadda, Ohind, Taxila, Multan, Mirpurkhas, Nagar-Parkar, Sialkot, Srinagar, Jalandhar, Jagadhari, Sugh, Tobra, Agroha, Delhi, Mathura, Hastinapur, Kanauj, Sravasti, Ayodhya, Varanasi, Sarnath, Nalanda, Vikramasila, Vaishali, Rajgir, Odantapuri, Bharhut, Champa, Paharpur, Jagaddal, Jajnagar, Nagarjunikonda, Amravati, Kanchi, Dwarasamudra, Devagiri, Bharuch, Valabhi, Girnar, Khambhat Patan, Jalor, Chandravati, Bhinmal, Didwana, Nagaur, Osian, Ajmer, Bairat, Gwalior, Chanderi, Mandu, Dhar etc were destroyed by the sword of Islam.11
It should be noted that though Brahmanical, Buddhist and Jain sects and sub-sects had heated discussions among themselves, and used even strong language for their adversaries, the occasions when they exchanged physical blows were few and far between. The recent spurt of accusations that Hindus were bigots and vandals like Christians and Muslims seems to be an after-thought. Apologists, who find it impossible to whitewash Christianity and Islam, are out to redress the balance by blackening Hinduism.
The Islamic conquest has been described as the “Bloodiest,”12 “monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoliations, and destructions,”13 as well as “bigger than the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese.”14
Irfan Husain in his article “Demons from the Past” observes, “While historical events should be judged in the context of their times, it cannot be denied that even in that bloody period of history, no mercy was shown to the Hindus unfortunate enough to be in the path of either the Arab conquerors of Sindh and south Punjab, or the Central Asians who swept in from Afghanistan…The Muslim heroes who figure larger than life in our history books committed some dreadful crimes. Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Balban, Mohammed bin Qasim, and Sultan Mohammad Tughlak, all have blood-stained hands that the passage of years has not cleansed..Seen through Hindu eyes, the Muslim invasion of their homeland was an unmitigated disaster. Their temples were razed, their idols smashed, their women raped, their men killed or taken slaves. When Mahmud of Ghazni entered Somnath on one of his annual raids, he slaughtered all 50,000 inhabitants. Aibak killed and enslaved hundreds of thousands. The list of horrors is long and painful. These conquerors justified their deeds by claiming it was their religious duty to smite non-believers. Cloaking themselves in the banner of Islam, they claimed they were fighting for their faith when, in reality, they were indulging in straightforward slaughter and pillage…”
Dr. Koenraad Elst, while summarizing the Hindu losses at the hands of Muslim invaders, concludes,15 “There is no official estimate of the total death toll of Hindus at the hands of Islam. A first glance at important testimonies by Muslim chroniclers suggests that over 13 centuries and a territory as vast as the Subcontinent, Muslim Holy Warriors easily killed more Hindus than the 6 million of the Holocaust. Ferishtha lists several occasions when the Bahmani sultans in central India (1347-1528) killed a hundred thousand Hindus, which they set as a minimum goal whenever they felt like “punishing” the Hindus; and they were only a third-rank provincial dynasty. The biggest slaughters took place during the raids of Mahmud Ghaznavi (ca. 1000 CE); during the actual conquest of North India by Mohammed Ghori and his lieutenants (1192 ff.); and under the Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526). The Moghuls (1526-1857), even Babar and Aurangzeb, were fairly restrained tyrants by comparison. Prof. K.S. Lal once estimated that the Indian population declined by 50 million under the Sultanate, but that would be hard to substantiate; research into the magnitude of the damage Islam did to India is yet to start in right earnest.”
From Mohamud Quasim to Tipu Sultan, every Mohammedan invader killed, converted, took as slave or put Jiziya on Hindus. Entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. While describing the conquest of Kanauj, Utbi, the secretary and chronicler of Mahmud Gahzni, sums up the situation thus: “The Sultan[Ghazni] levelled to the ground every fort, and the inhabitants of them either accepted Islam, or took up arms against him. In short, those who submitted were also converted to Islam. In Baran (Bulandshahr) alone 10,000 persons were converted including the Raja”. The conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e. Hindu slaughter. The Bahmani sultans (1347-1480) in central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 captives in a single day, and many more on other occasions. The conquest of the Vijayanagar empire in 1564 left the capital plus large areas of Karnataka depopulated.
About the conversion of Hindus to Islam, K.S.Lal observes, “The process of their conversion was hurried. All of a sudden the invader appeared in a city or a region, and in the midst of loot and murder, a dazed, shocked and enslaved people were given the choice between Islam and death. Those who were converted were deprived of their scalp-lock or choti and, if they happened to be caste people, also their sacred thread. Some were also circumcised. Their names were changed, although some might have retained their old names with new affixes. They were taught to recite the kalima and learnt to say the prescribed prayers”.16
When Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked Waihind in 1001-02, he took 500,000 persons of both sexes as captive [This figure is given by Abu Nasr Muhammad Utbi, the secretary and chronicler of Mahmud Gahzni]. Next year from Thanesar, according to Farishtah, the Muhammadan army brought to Ghaznin 200,000 captives [Tarikh-i-Farishtah, I, 28]. When Mahmud returned to Ghazni in 1019, the booty was found to consist of (besides huge wealth) 53,000 captives. 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. In 1195, when Raja Bhim was attacked by Aibak, 20,000 slaves were captured, and 50,000 at Kalinjar in 1202. Sultan Alauddin Khalji had 50,000 slave boys in his personal service and 70,000 slaves who worked continuously on his buildings. In the words of Wassaf, the Muslim army in the sack of Somnath took captive a great number of handsome and elegant maidens, amounting to 20,000, and children of both sexes. Iltutmish, Muhammad Tughlaq and Firoz Tughlaq sent gifts of slaves to Khalifas outside India. To the Chinese emperor Muhammad Tughlaq sent, besides other presents, 100 Hindu slaves, 100 slave girls, accomplished in song and dance and another 15 young slaves. Firoz Tughlaq collected 180,000 slaves.17
About the destruction of Hindu Temples, Sita Ram Goel writes -“Mahmûd of Ghazni robbed and burnt down 1,000 temples at Mathura, and 10,000 in and around Kanauj. One of his successors, Ibrãhîm, demolished 1,000 temples each in Ganga-Yamuna Doab and Malwa. Muhammad Ghûrî destroyed another 1,000 at Varanasi. Qutbu’d-Dîn Aibak employed elephants for pulling down 1,000 temples in Delhi. “Alî I ‘Ãdil Shãh of Bijapur destroyed 200 to 300 temples in Karnataka. A sufi, Qãyim Shãh, destroyed 12 temples at Tiruchirapalli. Such exact or approximate counts, however, are available only in a few cases. Most of the time we are informed that “many strong temples which would have remained unshaken even by the trumpets blown on the Day of Judgment, were levelled with the ground when swept by the wind of Islãm”.18
Some of the Temples converted into Mosques are:19
1. Quwwat al-Islam Masjid, Qutb Minar, Delhi by Qutbud-Din Aibak in 1192 A.D.
2. Masjid at Manvi in the Raichur District of Karnataka, Firuz Shah Bahmani, 1406-07 A.D
3. Jami Masjid at Malan, Palanpur Taluka, Banaskantha District of Gujarat: ?The Jami Masjid was built? by Khan-I-Azam Ulugh Khan, The date of construction is mentioned as 1462 A.D. in the reign of Mahmud Shah I (Begada) of Gujarat.
4. Hammam Darwaza Masjid at Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, Its chronogram yields the year 1567 A.D. in the reign of Akbar, the Great Mughal
5. Jami Masjid at Ghoda in the Poona District of Maharashtra, The inscription is dated 1586 A.D. when the Poona region was ruled by the Nizam Shahi sultans of Ahmadnagar
6. Gachinala Masjid at Cumbum in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh, The date of construction is mentioned as 1729-30 A.D. in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah.
7. Jhain[name of the place], Jalalud-Din Firuz Khalji went to the place and ordered destruction of temples, mentioned in Miftah-ul-Futuh.
8. Devagiri, Alaud-Din Khalji destroyed the temples of the idolaters, mentioned in Miftah-ul-Futuh.
9. Somanath, Ulugh Khan, mentioned in Tarikh-i-Alai
10. Delhi, , Alaud-Din Khalji , Tarikh-i-Alai
11. Ranthambhor, mentioned in Tarikh-i-Alai
12. Brahmastpuri (Chidambaram), Malik Kafur, Tarikh-i-Alai
13. Madura, mentioned in Tarikh-i-Alai
14. Fatan: (Pattan), mentioned in Ashiqa
15. Malabar: (Parts of South India), Tarikh-i-Alai
16 The Mosque at Jaunpur. This was built by Sultan Ibrahim Sharqi
17 The Mosque at Qanauj it was built by Ibrahim Sharqi
18 Jami (Masjid) at Etawah. it is one of the monuments of the Sharqi Sultans
19 Babri Masjid at Ayodhya . This mosque was constructed by Babar at Ayodhya
20 Mosques of Alamgir (Aurangzeb)
According to the reports of Archeological survey of India:
21 Tordi (Rajasthan)- early or middle part of the 15th century
22 Naraina (Rajasthan)- The mosque appears to have been built when Mujahid Khan, son of Shams Khan, took possession of Naraina in 1436 A.D
23 Chatsu (Rajasthan)- At Chatsu there is a Muhammadan tomb erected on the eastern embankment of the Golerava tank. The tomb which is known as Gurg Ali Shah’s chhatri is built out of the spoils of Hindu buildings. The inscription mention saint Gurg Ali (wolf of Ali) died a martyr on the first of Ramzan in 979 A.H. corresponding to Thursday, the 17th January, 1572 A.D.
24 SaheTh-MaheTh (Uttar Pradesh)
25 Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh)- the inscriptions found there extending to the twelfth century A.D
26 Vaishali (Bihar)
27 Gaur and Pandua (Bengal)- The oldest and the best known building at Gaur and Pandua is the Ãdîna Masjid at Pandua built by Sikandar Shãh, the son of Ilyãs Shãh. The date of its inscription may be read as either 776 or 770, which corresponds with 1374 or 1369 A.D? The materials employed consisted largely of the spoils of Hindu temples and many of the carvings from the temples have been used as facings of doors, arches and pillars
28 Devikot (Bengal)- The Dargah of Sultan Pir, The Dargah of Shah Ata are the Muhammadan shrines built on the site of an old Hindu temple
29 Tribeni (Bengal)
This whitewashing of history, the policy of “Suppresio Veri, Suggestio Falsi” followed by ‘eminent historians’ of India is not only dangerous to national integration but also the future of the entire nation. It is time that the self interests are kept aside and the facts of history is made known to the masses.
1 Indian Express, January 15, 1989, quoted in book “Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them Vol. 1” by Sita Ram Goel
2 For example, JNU historian Romilla Thapar.[Article titled “Romila Thapar Defends the Aryan Invasion Theory!” by Vishal Agarwal published here- http://www.india-forum.com/articles/60/1 ]
3 In letter published in The Times of India dated October 2, 1986, Romilla Thapar had stated that handing over of Sri Rama’s and Sri Krishna’s birthplaces to the Hindus, and of disused mosques to the Muslims raises the question of the limits to the logic of restoration of religious sites. How far back do we go? Can we push this to the restoration of Buddhist and Jain monuments destroyed by Hindus? Or of the pre-Hindu animist shrines? [ Quoted in book- Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them Vol. 2 The Islamic Evidence by Sita Ram Goel]
4 In his book Medival India [NCERT 2000], Satish Chandra writes- “The raid into India (by Timur) was a plundering raid, and its motive was to seize the wealth accumulated by the sultans of Delhi over the last 200 years… Timur then entered Delhi and sacked it without mercy, large number of people, both Hindu and Muslim, as well as women and children losing their lives.”, but Timur repeatedly states in his memoirs, the Tuzuk-i-Timuri, that he had a two-fold objective in invading Hindustan. “The first was to war with the infidels,” and thereby acquire, “some claim to reward in the life to come.” The second motive was “that the army of Islam might gain something by plundering the wealth and valuables of the infidels.” He further says “Excepting the quarter of the saiyids, the ulema and other Musulmans, the whole city was sacked.”
5 Koenraad Elst, in “The Politics of the Aryan Invasion Debate”
6 “The Vedic Evidence - The Vedic Corpus Provides no Evidence for the so-called Aryan Invasion of India” by Koenraad Elst
7 Jim G. Shaffer, “The Indo-Aryan Invasions : Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality,” in Michel Danino “The Indus-Sarasvati Civilization and its Bearing on the Aryan Question”
8 Kenneth A. R. Kennedy, “Have Aryans been identified in the prehistoric skeletal record from
South Asia ?” in Michel Danino “The Indus-Sarasvati Civilization and its Bearing on the Aryan Question”
9 David Frawley, in “Myth of Aryan Invasion Theory of India”
10 Sita ram Goel, Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them Vol. 2-the Islamic Evidence
11 Sita ram Goel, Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them Vol. 2 -the Islamic Evidence
12 Will Durant in “Story of Civilization” observes- “The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.”
13 “Histoire de l’ Inde” - By Alain Danielou; he notes- “”From the time Muslims started arriving, around 632 AD, the history of India becomes a long, monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoliations, and destructions. It is, as usual, in the name of ‘a holy war’ of their faith, of their sole God, that the barbarians have destroyed civilizations, wiped out entire races.” Mahmoud Ghazni, continues Danielou, “was an early example of Muslim ruthlessness, burning in 1018 of the temples of Mathura, razing Kanauj to the ground and destroying the famous temple of Somnath, sacred to all Hindus. His successors were as ruthless as Ghazni: 103 temples in the holy city of Benaras were razed to the ground, its marvelous temples destroyed, its magnificent palaces wrecked.” Indeed, the Muslim policy vis a vis India, concludes Danielou, seems to have been a conscious systematic destruction of everything that was beautiful, holy, refined.”
14 Francois Gautier
15 Dr. Koenraad Elst in “Was There an Islamic “Genocide” of Hindus?”
16 K.S. Lal in “Indian Muslims Who Are They”
17 K.S. Lal in “Muslim Slave System in Medieval India”
18 Sita Ram Goel, in “Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them Vol. 2 The Islamic Evidence”
19 It is taken from the large list of places documented by Sita Ram Goel in his magnum Opus “Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them Vol. 1- The Preliminary Survey”
The author of this article, Nithin Sridhar, is studying civil engineering in Mysore, India. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.