by Jayaram V
Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism,
have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the
earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human
blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair.
Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would
be far more advanced than it is now.Swami Vivekananda (1893)
With the invasion of India by Mahmud Ghazni about 1000 A.D.,
Muslim invasions into the Indian subcontinent and they lasted for
several centuries. The Muslim invasions continued even when the
Muslims were ruling India, like the invasion of the Mongols during
the reign of the Khiljis or the invasion of the Mughals in the early
sixteenth Century when the Lodis were ruling Delhi. The last notable
invasion of the Muslims from outside was the invasion of Nadir Shah
in 1739, during which he unleashed a great horror on the native
During these seven hundred years of Muslim invasions and their
conquest and rule of India, the Hindus were the greatest sufferers.
It is difficult to estimate the number of Hindus who lost their
lives during these campaigns, the number of Hindus who lost their
lives in the religious persecution perpetrated on the native population
by the Muslim rulers or the number of Hindus who were forcibly converted
According to Prof. K.S. Lal, the author of the Growth of Muslim
population in India, the Hindu population decreased by 80 million
between 1000 AD, the year Mahmud Ghazni invaded India and 1525 AD,
a year before the battle of Panipat.
One can safely add another 20 million Hindus to this list to
account for the number that were killed during the Mughal rule or
the rule of the Muslim rulers in the Deccan plateau. By all known
accounts of world history, as pointed out by Koenard Elst in his
book the Negationism in India, destruction of about 100 million
hindus is perhaps the biggest holocaust in the whole world history.
Europe never forgot or forgave the atrocities of the Nazi rule
under Hitler. We hardly come across any positive reference to either
Hitler or his army in the present day text books on European History.
No one talks there of the qualities of Hitler as a great commander
or an inspiring leader of German people whom he could mould and
influence with his hypnotic speeches. No films are made showing
Hitler as a romantic hero singing songs and his mistress as a heroine
shedding copious tears over her lover!
The European consciousness is filled with the evil deeds perpetrated
by his regime, thanks to the untiring work of their politicians,
journalists, historians and film producers, so much so that the
very thought of seeing any virtue in either Hitler or Nazis is abhorrent
to the consciousness of the present day Europeans.
Europe and America produced at least a few thousand films highlighting
the human misery caused by Hitler and his army. The films expose
the horrors of Nazi regime and reinforce the beliefs and attitude
of the present day generation towards the evils of the Nazi dictatorship.
In contrast look at India. There is hardly any awareness among
the Indians of today of what happened to their ancestors in the
past, because a great majority of historians are reluctant to touch
this sensitive subject. It is not difficult for the Indian historians
to gather information on the kind of atrocities perpetrated against
the people of medieval India, to work out the estimated number people
killed in the reign of each ruler, to create vivid pictures of what
happened during such battles as the battle of Tallikota when Hampi,
the capital of Vijayanagara empire was systematically destroyed
Nadir Shah made a mountain of the skulls of the Hindus
he killed in Delhi alone.Babur raised towers of Hindu skulls at
Khanua when he defeated Rana Sanga in 1527 and later he repeated
the same horrors after capturing the fort of Chanderi. Akbar ordered
a general massacre of 30000 Rajputs after he captured Chithor in
1568. The Bahamani Sultans had an annual agenda of killing a minimum
of 100000 Hindus every year. The history of medieval India is full
of such instances.
And against this background, look at the films we have produced
so far in a country which boasts of the largest film industry in
the world, with no dearth of talent and workmanship! We have films
like Mugal-e-Azam, Anarkali, or Taj Mahal which romanticize the
Mughal rulers, depicting them as great heroes of noble virtues oozing
with kindness and love for the humanity! The heroes of Anarkali
and Taj Mahal were next to Aurangazeb in their persecution of Hindus
and Sikhs. But people are made to see them as romantic heroes and
remember songs from these movies with great nostalgia!
One may say why dwell upon unpleasant facts. True, but can we
develop the character of a nation without facing the realities of
life, however unpleasant they may be? Can we develop the maturity
of thought that comes with the sense of suffering and the sense
of responsibility? The purpose of knowing these facts is not to
heap vengeance, but to strengthen our national character, to avoid
the weaknesses that were responsible for the plight of our ancestors.
The Muslims of present day India are also part of this character
building because they must know that their ancestors also suffered,
that as far as the past is concerned all Indians were in the same
boat and that there were no victors and no losers in that great
human tragedy. Knowing thus, perhaps they would develop proper wisdom
and understanding and right attitude towards other communities.
Finally, in what context do we talk of Hitler and Nazis in India?
The answer is even more disturbing. Any one who speaks for Hindus
is a Hitler or is in the process of becoming one and any group which
speaks for Hindus are Nazis or are in the process of becoming Nazis!
Thanks to my friends who helped me with some of the historical
facts - The author
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