Islam came to India with barbaric invaders, who hated Hindus and called them Kafirs (Infidels). They slaughtered hundreds of millions of Hindus and destroyed everything that Hindus loved. Indoctrinated by their founder, Muslims believed that only the believers in Islam had the right to live and Allah had commanded them to kill the non believers.
The new faith could not have been welcomed from the very outset by Hindus in India because they obliterated more than 63000 sacred temples and placed the idols of Hindu gods and goddesses under the footsteps leading to the entry of their mosques. Every new invader enjoyed making a pile of Hindu heads on the battle field to celebrate his victory over the ‘infidels’. Thereafter the severed heads were thrown on the tracks to be kicked by the Believers.
Blood Curdling Hindu Slaughters
During the Islamic conquests in India, it was a typical policy to single out Brahmins for slaughter, after the Hindu warrior class had been bled on the battlefield. Traders were looted and others were either converted to Islam or enslaved. The biggest slaughters took place during the conquest of North India, of which only a few are mentioned below:
- According to the Chach-Nama – When Mohammed bin Qasim conquered the lower Indus basin in 712 AD, six thousand warriors were put to death in Multan, and all their relations and dependents were taken as slaves. The magnificent Sun Temple was destroyed and the idol of the deity made in solid gold was taken away along with other treasures.
- In 1399 AD Taimur ordered a general massacre at Delhi. His soldiers killed over 100,000 Hindus in a single day, in addition to many on other occasions. Delhi and neighboring areas were looted. Insufficiently clad and barefooted enslaved Hindus were taken on foot across the mountain where most of them died during journey on account of severe cold. That mountain pass got the name Hindu-Kush to signify killer of Hindus
- In 1425 Babur invaded Chanderi. After the fall of Chanderi fort, all Hindu males over the age of 12 were beheaded. The area continued to stink for months thereafter.
- The so-called Akbar the great ordered Rajput chieftain Fateh Singh to be trampled under the feet of an elephant and execution of 30,000 non-combatants after the capture of Chittorgarh in 1568. Eight thousand women immolated themselves by performing Johar.
- The fall of the Vijayanagar in 1565 was ‘celebrated’ with a general massacre and arson against Hindus.
- Ferishta listed several occasions when the Bahmani sultans, only a third-rank provincial dynasty in central India, killed a hundred thousand Hindus, which they set as a minimum goal whenever they felt like ‘punishing’ the Kafirs.
- Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Abdali ransacked India during eighteenth century and carried out general manslaughter besides plunder and arson on mass scale in Delhi.
Prided Sadistic Pleasures
The Muslims invaders did record with glee their genocide on Hindus, because they felt that they were doing their holy duty. Every ruler had his own perceptions and methods to cause death and destruction of infidels. Executions were carried out in full public view in most inhuman ways like, slicing a person in two halves with manual saws, skinning them alive or putting humans in boiling oil. They derived sadistic pleasure through torture of infidels.
The Darkest Age for India
Soon Golden age of Hindus changed into a ghastly reign of Islamic terror. India was also plunged in darkness. The most visible consequences were:
- All the great Indian Universities such as Takshashila, Nalanda, Odantapuri and Vikramashila were burnt down to ashes. There was no infrastructure left for higher education in India.
- Scholars were hunted down and Islamic Madrassas (schools) replaced Indian system of education. A Madrassa curriculum was limited to recitation of Quran only. Maulavi (Islamic Teachers) curbed reasoning and scientific temperament.
- Once state came under Muslim Rule, all indigenous knowledge vanished. Few odd Hindu scholars continued imparting teaching in Sanskrit Grammar, a bit of Mathematics, Logic, Medicine and Philosophy by individual efforts in secluded areas.
- Hindus were subjected to communal taxes like Jazia in addition to excessive land revenue. They did not have enough money to give financial support to scholars, or to educate their children properly. The properties and produce of Hindus could be taken away under the whims of local administrators.
- Hindus had no chance of getting justice against the atrocities committed by Muslims. They were not on equal pedestal with Muslims, and had no human rights of any sorts. They had no hope, but demoralization, as there seemed to be no end of the tunnel. Besides teaching Islam, Illiterate Maulavies and Qazi enjoyed judicial powers also. They could award anything up to death punishment on charges of blasphemy to any Hindu.
Miraculously, even in that era of darkness, India still produced few sparks of knowledge such as noted mathematicians Bhaskaracharya (1114 -1185), who happened to be the last in the glorious tradition and was first to enunciate theory of gravitational force.
Social Evils gripped Hindu Society
Once the light of knowledge was gone, ignorance and social evils, embraced Hindu society from all sides. Leaving aside progress, daily life turned out to be a struggle for survival only. Multiple effects surfaced in the society were as under:
- Muslim rulers reduced Hindus to poverty by plundering, and Jazia tax. Over and above, they were further incapacitated from earning their living in comparison to Muslims. Many often Hindus had to work for Muslims without any wages or for a handful of grains as wages.
- Sanskrit learning disappeared as Islamic clergy disbanded institutions of Hindu learning. Illiteracy engulfed Hindu society at large. Only few continued their quest for knowledge through secrecy.
- Music became a source of entertainment in Muslim courts than it was for spiritual uplift for Hindus. Kathak – a spiritual dance form got polluted and was converted to Mujra format, for the pleasure of licentious nobility.
- Many stories and paintings of amorous love affairs and pranks wrapped around Lord Krishna, emerged out of imagination, for the pleasure of licentious Muslim princes.
- To sustain their lives, the intellectual Brahmins had to serve as priests in the community, or faced starvation. To make living for their families they placed more faith in rituals than substance.
Displacement of Hindu Society
As there was no patronage to the Brahmins and the learned, they gave up their traditional occupation of learning and preaching. Being driven to poverty, they relied on charity from Hindu society, or made meager earnings by conducting rituals for their Hindu clients. Thus rituals dominated substance. Rituals turned cumbersome, and expensive. Rigidity in caste and outlook eclipsed freedom of thought and expression. Mutual trust within the community declined, and people turned more secluded and demoralized. Many converted to Islam out of fear, pressure, or allurements for safety.
As a measure of hurting their pride in public, the Kashatriyas, were not permitted to ride horses or carry sword in the presence of Muslims. Many of them gave up their traditional role of defending Dharma and turned peasants. Others died fighting, either for or against Muslims. Provincial Rajput kings were assigned the role of security guards on royal residence of Muslim Sultans.
The Muslim nobility had their lustful eyes on handsome Hindu boys and girls, who were enslaved and forced to embrace Islam. The Hindu ladies also picked the Islamic custom of Purdah (veil), to preserve their honor. Many diabolical customs crept into the Hindu Society, such as female infanticide, child marriage, johar and widow burning, as survival adoptions.
Eventually, unlike in South India, Hindu marriages started taking place at night. The groom would go to the bride’s place at late in the evening for marriage and return with the bride, before day break.
Muslims did not defecate in the jungle, as Hindus did. That was considered a Kafir practice. Due to defecation in private by Muslims, the carrying of the night soil on their head was forced upon Hindu prisoners. This disgraceful practice ushered un-sociability amongst Hindus for hygienic reasons. Later this aspect was further over-played, and still continues to be so, to engineer conversions out of Hindu society.
Chand K Sharma
(Next: Splashes – 60/72- Destruction of Hindu Identities)