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Pakistani text books refer to Muḥammad ibn Qāsim ath-Thaqafī as the “First Pakistani”. Muhammad was a military general who conquered the areas of Sindh and Multan along the Indus River to establish the reins of Umayyad Caliphate and spread Islam in the 8th Century AD. Umayyad’s dreams for an Islamic India was crushed by the Indian Hindu Kings and his invasion into mainland India was stalled temporarily. For the next 200 years, Islam consolidated its gains west of Indus and had a modest growth.
Early 10th Century saw the rise of Mahmud of Ghazni (Afghanistan), who raided Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in South Asia; 17 times in 33 years. After every raid, he left the defeated province as a vassal state in the hands of a puppet king and destroyed their temples as a symbol of Islamic supremacy. The idea was to propagate Islam and extirpate idolatry. The Hindu massacres perpetuated by Mahmud in India is unparalleled in history where cruelty was a norm – mass burnings, crucifixions, rapes and barbaric tortures.
After Ghazni came Muhammad of Ghori, who initiated the Islamic expansion in 1173 AD and established the first Sunni Islamic kingdom of India or the Delhi Sultanate. Ghori was 150 years after Ghazni but was equally brutal, if not worse. He had the typical Jihadi injunctions and believed that the unbelievers (kafirs) did not deserve to live if they disagreed to convert to Islam. Men who refused were publicly crushed by the elephants and their women were raped. Hundreds of temples were looted, burnt and razed to the ground.
After Ghori’s assassination, his slave Turkic Qutb al-Din Aibak assumed power and became the Sultan of Delhi. The Islamisation of sub-continent gained momentum during the 320 years of Sultanate rule under the six muslim dynasties – the Mamluks’ (1206 – 90), the Khiljis’ (1290 – 1320), the Tughlaqs’ (1320 – 1414), the Sayyids’ (1414 – 51), the Lodis’ (1451 – 1526) and the Mughals’ (1526 – 1862). The series of unabated dynasty rule was a more planned and systematic Islamization of India, not by force, but by prohibitions.
Albeit, the only solace one finds is that the savageness and barbarism reduced over the years. Hindu practices, festivals and culture were either banned or methodically blended with a flavour of Islam, and Muslim habits were enforced by means of a Royal decree or imposing taxes. This essentially happened because Hinduism was not a religion, it was a way of life. It believes “God is Anaadi and Anant – Never taken birth & endless”; hence there was no singular identity to preserve and the original, benevolent Hindu culture got mutated and became a shadow of Islam. Unfortunately, today it is almost extinct.
More than 400 million Hindus were massacred, another couple of millions were enslaved and castrated, thousands of Hindu women were raped and hundreds of temples were destroyed.
The 1,151 years of Arab conquest and Islamic invasion that began with the Umayyad (711AD) and ended with the last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar (1862 AD), was literally a Hindu genocide. More than 400 million Hindus were massacred, another couple of millions were enslaved and castrated, thousands of Hindu women were raped and hundreds of temples were destroyed. The cost of the Hindu decimation was massive in terms of lives, wealth and culture; and any other civilization would have certainly faded if they had 400 million dead.
It is indeed very surprising that such colossal barbarity and horror finds no mention in Indian history text books. Children are only educated about the differences between the two religions, and somehow it is smartly entangled with the Two-Nation theory. Sadly, there is an over conscious endeavour to maintain religious parity in favour of Islam and avoid communal vocabulary.
The present day reality is equally repulsive. Pakistan has systematically converted or wiped out the Hindu demography in their country. From 15% Hindus’ in 1947, there are just about 2% Hindus’ in Pakistan today. But why only question the Pakistanis’? In India itself, the Hindu population of 84.1% (in 1951 census) has reduced to 79.8% (in 2011 census). Mutatis mutandis, the Muslim population in India has increased from 9.9% in 1947 to 14.23% in 2011 census.
In reality, the Arab and Islamic invasion of India ravaged the soul of Hinduism and certainly today India is not a Hindu nation, at best it is a Hindu majority. The third largest religion of the world is struggling for survival and existence. One wonders if the after-thought of declaring India a secular state by the 42nd amendment act of Constitution in 1976, was the last spoon of Ghee on the pyres of Hinduism.
A travel junkie, she enjoys exploring the road untraveled with her husband.
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