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The case against Indian historians


Eminent Historians - Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud By Arun Shourie (Image courtesy - amazon.com).

Eminent Historians - Their Technology, Their Line, Their Fraud By Arun Shourie (Image courtesy - amazon.com).

Shourie’s two legs

Arun Shourie’s book, Eminent Historians, covers an important subject – Indian history. Shourie makes out a case that Indian media and academia have done a bad job of cleaning up Indian history. Colonial inversions, ommissions and distortions continue to plague Indian history – more than sixty years after British were sent packing. If Indian history is in bad shape, Marxist historians are to blame – says Shourie.

Using extensive primary sources, ranging from the Koran to Guru Granth Sahib (Chapter 13), from Marx and Engels to Lenin and Mao, Shourie’s builds excellent scaffolding. He uses his famed journalistic skills to uncover accounting scams in the academia.

The tactics used by these ‘non-productive’ academics to smear and attack critics, evade accountability are well exposed by Arun Shourie (Chapter 5 & 6). Whether dealing with the decline of Buddhism, or the outright falsification of Indian history, deliberate avoidance of evidence, while obvious in some cases (AIT, AMT) to see it exposed again is a shock (Chapter 11 & 15).

Two-legged theory

Since, Arun Shourie’s thesis is, by this time, well-accepted, more on this may not be useful. Instead, an examination of the non-Marxist structures are worth examining

Arun Shourie’s book, Eminent Historians, walks on two legs – the legs of religion and right-wing political ideology. Two rather weak concepts. It is worth remembering that the concepts of political Right and Left were defined, when European economies struggled with the end of slavery (1830-1860) and serfdom (1830-1910).

How isms work. A popular cartoon n the internet.

How isms work. A popular cartoon n the internet.

Right … Left … Same difference

Faced with a restive labour force, Europe adopted two distinct paths. Left and Right. In both cases the end results were the same – concentration of wealth, power and land in the hands of the elite. To European citizenry, it finally was a choice between two elites – a Leftist coterie and Rightist cliques.

These European concepts never worked well in India, where polity changes followed a different trajectory.

History in a box

Unfortunately, Shourie also limits Indian history to India’s boundaries. He cannot see the global canvas on which Indian history has played out over the last thousands of years.

Or the agenda of ‘external’ forces that continue to define Indian history. For instance, of the 911 World Heritage Sites, just three Hindu temples figure on the list. It has recently been decided that 2 temples each in Indonesia, Thailand and Nepal would be added.

Money isn’t everything?

Regrettable as it is, Arun Shourie also expects Indian historians to work on starvation diets and shoe-string budgets of Rs.12,000 (Chapter 2, 3 & 4). In the best of times, Rs.12,000 is not enough to pull out one sheet of sensible history.

To be fair to Indian academia, they have been usually under-funded and over-looked. Is it surprising that Indian historians seem to be writing and catering to the West?

Hagiography isn’t quite history

A large part of Arun Shourie’s narrative rests on accounts written by Islamic court-historians (Chapter 10, 12). These court-historians were appointed and rewarded to write glowing and exaggerated acconts of their patron’s campaigns. These hagiographic accounts of Islamic conquerors, written by court-historians, do talk of slaughter, loot, enslavement, mass conversions.

The most interesting exception is Shourie’s reference to Guru Nanak Dev’s description of Islamic atrocities in Guru Granth Sahib (Chapter 13) .

Gold, gems, jewelry

Temple destruction can be better understood by two things. One – temple wealth. A recent report revealed that the Tirupati temple alone has more than 8000 kg of gold. (Business Standard Page 1; December 18 2010) How much gold do the temples of Sabarimalai, Jagannath Puri, Madurai Meenakshi have? This temple wealth is not a modern phenomenon.

Would these temples not be tempting targets for loot and enslavement expeditions? Add to this temple wealth, the opportunity to capture slaves and extract ransom. Or capture of valuable military targets like horses, elephants, camels, gunpowder from India.

Islamic armies comprised of landless peoples, without wealth, many of them slaves,  drafted into a loot and enslavement expedition by Islamic brigades. Fed on a thin gruel of riches from loot and plunder, the religious sanction and justification was the topping, the cherry on the cake. Religion, after all, was invented in the Desert Bloc to give a cover to the loot and enslavement expeditions.

The Desert Bloc has consistently resorted to ‘relegiofication’, a tactic defined by Eric Hoffer – and something that Arun Shourie also refers to (Chapter 18).

Learning from history

From their Islamic rulers, the Spanish also learned  how to use religion to cover loot and enslavement expeditions. Spanish loot and enslavement expeditions to South America were also couched in religious garb. Portuguese, in the Mughal court were viewed suspiciously, as they too tried to give their trading activities a religious cover.

A Picasso rendition of the killings in Kora by Americans soldiers.

A Picasso rendition of the killings in Korea by Americans soldiers.

Till 1857, the British followed the Spanish model, and used religious logic, to justify their plunder and massacre in India. The British used religious differences to foist artificial Muslim ‘leaders’ on India – to finally partition India. While Shourie is critical of these Muslim ‘leaders’ (rightly), of Nehru (partly to blame), he is gentle in his criticism of the British role (Chapter 14).

The Desert Bloc has liberally and continuously used religious logic, to justify their plunder and massacre. In modern times, the new religion is ‘democracy’, ‘fredom’, ‘threat of communism’, etc. for wars by the West in Cambodia, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. In the name of ‘progress’, regime changes were attempted and /or made in Chile, Congo, Cuba, Haiti, Hawaii, Iran, Pakistan, Panama et al

Western propaganda has made us aware of atrocities, genocides, massacres in Islamic and Marxist regimes. Strangely, Arun Shourie has no objections to non-communist and non-Islamic atrocities, genocides, massacres – in India and the world. While Shourie talks of 1400 years of Islamic atrocities, genocides, massacres, (page 222) there is not a word of Western (more during Christian rule) atrocities, genocides, massacres. Is it ignorance – or just plain infatuation with the West, Arunbhai?

Arun Shourie effectively brings out how Indian-Leftist political parties looked towards Soviet Russia and China now, for direction, inspiration – and even instructions (Chapter 9).

How different is that from Shourie’s own loyalty to ‘capitalist-Western’ ideology. His rose-tinted view of capitalist ideologues makes his thesis brittle (Chapter 18). Is this because Arun Shourie has still not discarded his World Bank lenses? To the extent of minimizing the role of slavery in Greek and Roman territories (Chapter 16; page 188). Shourie’s inability to see Soviet collapse, in economic terms (collapse in oil prices), but only in ideological terms is shocking (pages 220-221).

More than priests

It may also be worthwhile to examine the role of Brahmins in military strategy. Recall how Alexander massacred thousands of Brahmins, after they organized a successful opposition to Alexander’s campaign.

Bakhtiyar Khilji’s (errata – earlier wrongly mentioned as Allauddin Khilji) destruction of Nalanda (1193 AD)may have been due to the collaboration between gunpowder producers and the Indian academia. How could the area around Nalanda become the world’s largest producer of saltpetre – a high-technology, essential and scarce element for gunpowder, unrivalled in the world.

Purbias, soldiers from the Eastern India (Bihar and Bengal) were in great demand, due to their expertise in explosives. Recruited by Ranjit Singhji’s armies, preferred by the British, the Purbias were also at the vanguard of the 1857 Anglo-Indian War.

The British villification of Indian Brahman also started soon after the kaala paani campaign by Indian Brahmans slowed British recruitment of indentured labour.

The imagery of rampant Islamic invaders, to which Arun Shourie subscribes, massacring helpless Indians, does not quite hold up – except in Islamic and Colonial narratives. The court historians’ caricature of Indians as perennial victims of invading hordes does not sit well – with facts, logic or commonsense.

I am not impressed

If these ‘official’ Islamic court-historian accounts are true, the final tally of conversions was not very impressive (Chapter 10). Just 25% of the Indian population was Islamic, at the time of independence. Divided into about 12 major sects, like Sunni, Shia, Bohri, Khoja, Ahmadiyya, etc., most Muslims were economically and educationally backward. Not quite the picture of successful invaders. (Many faces of Islam by Mohammed Wajihuddin – ToI: December 23 2010: Page 21).

Timur (1336–1405), the Mongol ruler, shown in this painting from Zafer Nameh (Book of Victory) from 1600. (Image source - BRITISH LIBRARY / HIP / ART RESOURCE; Image courtesy - saudiaramcoworld.com).

Timur (1336–1405), the Mongol ruler, shown in this painting from Zafer Nameh (Book of Victory) from 1600. (Image source - BRITISH LIBRARY / HIP / ART RESOURCE; Image courtesy - saudiaramcoworld.com).

Colonial history … and historians

The Islamic-conquest of India, is a narrative popularized by colonial historians. First, while Shourie talks of Islam through the prism of Arabic Muslims, we must remember it was not the Arabic dynasties of Sufyanids, Marwanids, Ummayads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Aghlabids, Hafsids who conquered and ruled over India. The answer to the riddle of Islam in India, is not in Arabia but 2000 miles east. In the vast steppes of Mongolia.

Muslim Mongolians

The biggest surge in Islamic population came after Mongol rulers, descendants of a non-Islamic Genghis Khan, converted to Islam. The success of Islamic invasions of India too increased after the Mongol Empire became Islamic.

It was not the Arabs, but the Turko-Afghans, from Ferghana to Kabul, who were able to establish rule over India. This region of Ferghana to Kabul, peppered with temples, stupas, Buddhist monastries was considered as a part of India. Military campaigns from this area were no foreign invasions.

Without Indian alliances

This aspect of non-foreign campaigns is more important than just chauvinism. India’s military lead over the rest the world was as formidable as its wealth.

War elephants, an Indian monopoly and specialty, were a feared armour corps, unmatched by any army in the world for 3000-4000 years. Persians, who were clients for Indian war elephants, paid a heavy price after ignoring Indian war elephant corps. The Persians could not stand up to the Arabs; were overrun and Islamized.

Indian cavalry units were legenday – as the inventors of the stirrups. As the largest producer of saltpetre, India’s gunpowder production was twice as large as the rest of the world combined. Behind the might of the British Empire was Indian saltpetre – an essential and scarce element for gunpowder. Behind the British Naval power, was Indian shipbuilding. With such overwhelming military advantages, invading India was not everyone’s cup of tea.

Thus, intra-India alliances were essential for access to elephants, cavalry, explosives and other war material – paving the way for military success.

Maghoki-Attar ("Pit of the Herbalists") named after a nearby spice bazaar, a 12th century mosque, in Bukhara, built on top of a a Zoroastrian temple  (5th century) built after destroying a Buddhist temple.

Maghoki-Attar ("Pit of the Herbalists") named after a nearby spice bazaar, a 12th century mosque, in Bukhara, built on top of a a Zoroastrian temple (5th century) built after destroying a Buddhist temple.

Slaves for monument building

Monument building surged soon after the Mongol Empire became Islamic. This monument building needed slave labour. Slave-traders catered to the demand for slaves from the vast Mongol Empire, capturing Indians, protected by the Turko-Afghan regimes, like the Mughals in India.

The corridor of slavery

Usually overlooked, never factored, slavery accounted for a large amount of ‘traffic’ from India to Central Asia. The Khyber Pass was the largest corridor for slave trade and traffic, till it was overtaken by trans-Atlantic African slave trade by Europeans, 15th century onwards.

The name Hindu Kush was not due to the killings by invading armies, but the deaths of Hindu captives, as they were transported to Central Asian markets, across barren, cold mountain passes.

The Bibi Khanum mosque in Samarkand built by Taimur, the Mongol, after his India raid.

The Bibi Khanum mosque in Samarkand built by Taimur, the Mongol, after his India raid.

More than aphorisms

The important question that Shourie needs to ask – and he does not is, “Why did people give up pagan or other systems for Desert Bloc religions?” Or for that matter why did people accept Buddhism? Mostly, religion conversions were not forced, I believe. It was also not pretty statues, sonorous chants, elaborate temples or majestic mosques.

The reasons maybe somewhere else.

Dharma and moksha

Indic polity, society, culture, ethics did not allow slave trade. For the marginally ethical, religious conversion was the license to participate in slave trade. Conversion to Islam was a way to wealth and power. Much like Westernization is today.

The other distinction which Shourie blurs many a time in his book, is between Islamic rulers and generals (the perpetrators of these massacres and atrocities) and the ordinary Muslim of today (Chapter 14). If the Vatican has committed massacres and atrocities, will we hold every Christian guilty? For crimes committed by a ‘Hindu’ Government, will Arun Shourie hold ordinary ‘Hindus’ responsible?

Same logic.

But Shourie’s logic sometimes escapes me. For instance when Shourie goes onto ‘expose’ double-standards. He criicizes the system for not opposing Mayawati’s ‘murti-abhiyaan’ – but will not accept State installation of statues of Lord Rama (page 200).

Duh!

Follow me … Worship me

Remember, how Hiranyaksha asked his own son, Prahlad and his subjects to treat and pray to him as god. Are Desert Bloc religions different from Hiranyaksha’s religion?

Arunbhai, the real battle is the battle between a sur Bharattantra and the asuric Desert Bloc ideologies. And these battles play out over centuries.

Arun Shourie’s book is an invaluable contribution to the ‘failure-by-Indian-historians’ thesis. Shourie allows his anti-left bias (for good reasons) to over-ride his better judgment, I believe. That is why Arun Shourie is so depressing, when the Indian position seems to inspire optimism the world over.

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  1. December 24, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    “While Shourie talks of 1400 years of Islamic atrocities, genocides, massacres, (page 222) there is not a word of Western (more during Christian rule) atrocities, genocides, massacres. Is it ignorance – or just plain infatuation with the West, Arunbhai?”

    Arun Shourie has different books on Christian misrule in India. Check: http://www.amazon.com/Arun-Shourie-Harvesting-Our-Souls/dp/8129107848/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1293221690&sr=8-1 and here: http://www.amazon.com/Missionaries-India-Arun-Shourie/dp/B003FD0KL8/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1293221690&sr=8-15

  2. Galeo Rhinus
    December 24, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    >>Would these temples not be tempting targets for loot and enslavement expeditions?

    Now the government controls several temples, including Tirupati… I wonder how much of the 8000 kg gold now really exists and how much went into funding the massive missionary campaign in AP in the last decade.

  3. Sid
    December 26, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Mostly, religion conversions were not forced, I believe.
    You do, really? What about those accounts from Muslim court historians? All their talks of conversion is a lie, then? Their numbers may be exaggerated, but is there a denial that conversion by force a reality? Those Pakistani Hindus & Sikhs who are getting converted today (and have been converted since independence) did so because all they wanted to do is slave trade? Their may be defeated Hindus who got converted to escape the life of a slave. Even that can be called a conversion by force. Also, if all converted Muslims did trade in slaves, then they would not be so backward economically, would they?
    Where do you get the data that Hindus are not allowed to trade in slaves? Certain puranic legends like King Harishchandra’s tale tells a different story.

  4. December 26, 2010 at 2:57 am

    What about those accounts from Muslim court historians? All their talks of conversion is a lie, then? Their numbers may be exaggerated, but is there a denial that conversion by force a reality?

    Gross exaggeration is the point. Within 400 years, after Henry VIII set up the Anglican Church, 80% of Britain converted to Anglican Christianity. France is 80% Catholic. Germany is 70% Protestant. After 500 years of Muslim rule in Spain, 80% of the Spainish population became Catholic, within 200 years of the succeeding Christian rule.

    Now, this is forced conversion. If 25% of Indians adopt Islam, I begin to doubt the seriousness of the conversion efforts and intentions.

    Technically speaking, some Indians were forced to adopt a religion – Islam. Since, Hinduism is not a religion, there was no forced ‘conversion’ – but forced adoption of a religion. Religion is a Desert Bloc invention – and all religions are a source of injustice and inequity. Attempts to portray or make Hinduism as a ‘religion’ are falsities.

    Those Pakistani Hindus & Sikhs who are getting converted today (and have been converted since independence) did so because all they wanted to do is slave trade?

    I have not done much study or research to comment on post-independence demographic change in Pakistan. But for reasons I don’t know, Hindu population has come down from 20% to 2%.

    It may be due to:-

    1. ‘Faulty’ census – where ‘untouchable’ Hindus from Pakistan were simply excluded from the census – like the Roma Gypsies were in Europe. During 500 years, from 1450-1950, Roma Gypsies were excluded, ignored, in European census operations.

    2. Unmeasured migration – How many Hindus migrated (with or without paperwork) from Pakistan to India – between 1950-2010. Neither GoI or GoP are measuring or reporting this.

    3. Voluntary ‘adoption’ – How many ‘Hindus’ have adopted Islam voluntarily? Pakistan would like to ‘inflate’ these figures for propaganda purposes. Some ‘Hindus’, who revel in the ‘victim’ portrayal accept this probable inflation to start breast beating.

    4. ‘Forced’ adoption – This is probably the least of the causes for the demographic decline of ‘Hindus’ in Pakistan. I seriously doubt if Indians can be simply ‘forced’ to give up their 5000 years of culture. The Tamil problem in Sri Lanka will give you an idea of how these ‘docile’ Tamils will fight back.

    Their may be defeated Hindus who got converted to escape the life of a slave. Even that can be called a conversion by force.

    Well, I disagree. African Slaves in Haiti declared war on their masters – and freed themselves.

    Also, if all converted Muslims did trade in slaves, then they would not be so backward economically, would they?

    Slave trade was a big element – which also explains increased Muslim populations in border /coastal areas. What percentage of Muslims traded is not yet estimated.

    Spain, a big imperial and colonial power, with a vast number of slaves declined after collapse of slavery.

    Where do you get the data that Hindus are not allowed to trade in slaves? Certain puranic legends like King Harishchandra’s tale tells a different story.

    Not just Harishchandra. Also, the Pandavas and Nala (Damayanti’s husband) were dasas. Harishchandra sold himself as a dasa to chandala. He was not captured and sold by others. Harishchandra, Pandavas and Nala were kings, who became dasas, with the option to walk out – and walk out they did. Slaves cannot walk away from slavery.

    Dasas were attendants – not slaves. Can you give me any historic or documentary record where an Indic law defined, established and protected

    1. Capture
    2. Captivity
    3. Trade
    4. Markets
    5. Titles
    6. Court procedures

    of slaves, slave owners and slave traders. In fact, all vernacular words for slave are imports. There is no word for a slave in India.

    The moment you use Asura as a slave owner, Vedas, Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata begin to make more sense. Indian social, political and economic models start to make sense. The key to understanding Indic systems is start using the word Asura as a slave owner.

  5. samadhyayi
    December 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    u havent answered me.
    what language does the word baanisa belong to. which means slave

  6. Galeo Rhinus
    December 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    >>Now, this is forced conversion. If 25% of Indians adopt Islam, I begin to doubt the seriousness of the conversion efforts and intentions.

    Whoa! so when the spanish succumb first to Islam… and then to catholicism… that is forced… but when Indians don’t show the same success rate… you mean that the ruler’s didn’t make the same attempt?

    I am APALLED!

    You are completely taking the credit away from the Indian population that resisted all sorts of conversions for over a thousand years… Islamic and Christian…

    Have you become an apologists for all missionaries – christian or islamic?
    APALLING!

  7. December 27, 2010 at 3:26 am

    You are completely taking the credit away from the Indian population that resisted all sorts of conversions for over a thousand years… Islamic and Christian…

    If you read the post and the comment together, I am saying the same thing. The rulers had no choice but to dilute their ‘religion-adoption-agenda’. Hence, the ‘lack of seriousness’. The narrative of ‘forced’ conversions has to be replaced by ‘Indians-forced-policy-change-in-religion-adoption-agenda’

  8. December 27, 2010 at 3:38 am

    what language does the word baanisa belong to. which means slave

    Have never heard of this word. We will have to look at the etymology of the word. Which language is it from? A high level dictionary of that language may give the etymology of that word.

  9. ramkumaran
    December 27, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    anuraag,

    you have written this with a opposite mindset of shourie, ie all the problems are caused due to western philosophy whereas the problems due to islamic invaders are ingrown. many of the invaders were from central asia like uzbekistan,turkmenistan etc, which was not inhabitated by hindus as kabul/afghanistan did. If islamic invasion did not even convert 25% of India, that is meant to the present extent of India. It has zealously overwritten the culture,history of afghanistan,iran. a recent example can be seen in pakistan , kashmir where the majority of hindu population was forcefully driven out

    how come the warlords / bigwigs of afghan who were once the followers of dharma suddenly turned to slavery, because they were replaced by the invaders from central asia, with a religious approval

  10. December 28, 2010 at 5:02 am

    you have written this with a opposite mindset of shourie, ie all the problems are caused due to western philosophy

    To understand my proposition better, for the next 1 week think of ‘Westernization as a religion’.

    Instead of idols and mosques, we now worship ‘modernity’. You will see how we have adopted ‘Westernization as a religion’ for our ‘progress’ and ‘benefit’.

    This is pretty much what happened between India and Islamic rulers earlier. The changes brought about by Islamic rulers and the British was the same – specifics apart. British killings and atrocities have been ignored by all of us, who have converted to the new religion of ‘Westernization’. We, the new converts, cannot bear to hear criticism of our new religion – ‘Westernization’. We are as protective of ‘Westernization’ as earlier ‘converts’ to Islam were.

    whereas the problems due to islamic invaders are ingrown.

    I am unsure of what you mean by this.

    many of the invaders were from central asia like uzbekistan,turkmenistan etc, which was not inhabitated by hindus as kabul/afghanistan did.

    Don’t be sure. You will be surprised.

    Islamic invasion did not even convert 25% of India, that is meant to the present extent of India.

    25% of Indians declared themselves to be Muslims in the geographic area that includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh circa 1947.

    It has zealously overwritten the culture,history of afghanistan,iran.

    And what are we doing? Wailing, moaning and crying?

    a recent example can be seen in pakistan , kashmir where the majority of hindu population was forcefully driven out

    Less than a 1000 terrorists supported by Pakistan have derailed the efforts of a muddled Indian Government. India’s confused polity, which has lost its direction.

    how come the warlords / bigwigs of afghan who were once the followers of dharma suddenly turned to slavery, because they were replaced by the invaders from central asia, with a religious approval

    In exactly the same manner as how we have adopted ‘Westernization as a religion’ for our ‘progress’ and ‘benefit’

  11. raman
    December 28, 2010 at 8:47 am

    anurag, trying to palm off the turko-afghan invasions as some kind of an in-house event just because the ancestor of these people were “once-upon-a-time” Hindus / Buddhists / or parsis is in my opinion stretching logic a bit too far. Going by your logic we should declare Taimur or mahmud ghazni or ahmad shah abadali (all of whom masscared hindus by the thousands if not lakhs) national heroes just bcoz their great grand dadaji was a hindu or buddhist. this is twisting history.
    second, i was absolutely appaled to read your statement “But for reasons I don’t know, Hindu population has come down from 20% to 2%.” YOU DONT’ KNOW. Why are hindus leaving bangladesh / pakistan. Have u forgeotten the horrible genocide perpetuated by the pakistani army on the hapless bangladeshi hindus in 1969-71. Or how the Taliban, during their heydey, had issued an edict that all hindus sikhs in afgahnistan shuld wear yellow (or was it blue armbands). or the continuing second class treatment hindus get in islamic societies (talk to some malaysian hindus).
    I think your obsessive dislike for western society has muddled ur thinking in respect of islam. A big mistake in my opinion, with all due respect to your scholarship.

  12. raman
    December 28, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I hate to say this but your statement — “But for reasons I don’t know …” — remind me of what Farooq Abdullah once said. In an interview to IT he said he was puzzled as to “WHY Kashmiri Pundits prefer to live in the wretched camps in Jammu rather than in the SECURITY AND COMFORT OF THEIR HOMES IN KASMIR VALLEY.” WOW

  13. December 28, 2010 at 9:48 am

    trying to palm off the turko-afghan invasions as some kind of an in-house event just because the ancestor of these people were “once-upon-a-time” Hindus / Buddhists / or parsis is in my opinion stretching logic a bit too far.

    Try and understand the dynamics.

    Say 300-400 years from now, historians would be right in tracing the collapse of Indian agriculture to GM-modified seeds. This adoption of GM-seeds was initiated by people who adopted ‘Westernization as a religion’ for our ‘progress’ and ‘benefit’.

    Will you declare them as ‘traitors’, ‘anti-national’, etc. Now switch the issue from GM-modified seeds to other issues – like religion.

    Nobody could do much against India, militarily, unless they had intra-India alliances. It may satisfy some of us to demonize a small target (like Islam or the West), and miss out the bigger villian.

    The problem is not the West or Islam – but the asuric structures of the Desert Bloc, of which West and Islam are a part.

    Going by your logic we should declare Taimur or mahmud ghazni or ahmad shah abadali (all of whom masscared hindus by the thousands if not lakhs) national heroes just bcoz their great grand dadaji was a hindu or buddhist. this is twisting history.

    You are missing my point.

    The battle is not between Hindus, Muslims and Christians.

    It is between asur looters and plunderers who want to enslave us. On the other side are us who want Bharattantradharma (justice), moksha (liberty), arth (wealth and means) and kaam (desire). Religion is a red herring.

    second, i was absolutely appaled to read your statement “But for reasons I don’t know, Hindu population has come down from 20% to 2%.” YOU DONT’ KNOW. Why are hindus leaving bangladesh / pakistan. Have u forgeotten the horrible genocide perpetuated by the pakistani army on the hapless bangladeshi hindus in 1969-71.

    I have listed four probable reasons for this decline. Have you any data on how much each of these factors have contributed to this decline. I don’t have that data.

    Or how the Taliban, during their heydey, had issued an edict that all hindus sikhs in afgahnistan shuld wear yellow (or was it blue armbands). or the continuing second class treatment hindus get in islamic societies (talk to some malaysian hindus).

    I have addressed this in other posts.

    I think your obsessive dislike for western society has muddled ur thinking in respect of islam. A big mistake in my opinion, with all due respect to your scholarship.

    We have adopted ‘Westernization as a religion’ for our ‘progress’ and ‘benefit’. We, the new converts, cannot bear to hear criticism of our new religion – ‘Westernization’. We are as protective of ‘Westernization’ as earlier ‘converts’ to Islam were protective of Islam.

  14. Galeo Rhinus
    December 29, 2010 at 2:19 am

    my dear anuraag – I would be OK if you did one of the following two things (but then this is your blog – so I don’t need to be OK)

    1. create a strategic narrative that selectively points out the differences between Islamic rule of India and the present day “western” rule of India. If this narrative supports the tone of your article (not the zillion line explanations) – then fine.
    2. be consistent in your critique of Islam and the “west.” You can scream until you are hoarse, but all readers here overwhelmingly believe that your criticism of the west is harsher than Islam – creating a perception that you are nothing more than an apologist for the Islamic rule.

    Your blog, your choice…

  15. December 29, 2010 at 3:57 am

    your criticism of the west is harsher than Islam – creating a perception that you are nothing more than an apologist for the Islamic rule.

    The West and Islam are both factions of the Desert Bloc. The polity and social structures of either the West and Islam is not any better than the other – in terms of end results.

    The sorry track record of Islamic rule in India is apparent – but poorly explained. After all, it was Mughal rule that delivered India, bound and gagged, to European colonizers. But for now, Islam is the biggest danger to itself.

    The West, remains a clear and present danger. Hence, the greater focus on West.

  16. Galeo Rhinus
    December 29, 2010 at 4:09 am

    The west is a strategic danger because both Liberalism and Christianity are on the brink of taking India down… however, Islam is a far bigger tactical danger, because of our friendly neighbors and their ability and desire to inflict damage to India… whether or not they are a client of the west is not directly relevant because that is a tactical issue.

    If one has high cholesterol, sure it is important to alter one’s diet and exercise… but surely a stab wound can’t be left unattended…

  17. December 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Nice counter point.But I think you labour too much on trying to criticise Arun Shouries narrative with the end result that the post meanders.Again as has been pointed out by others there is a tendency (for reasons best known to you)to dismiss the narratives of Islamic massacares/brutalities as “fiction”.It is not neccesarry to pretend that Islamic atrocities did not happen just becase Christian atrocities happened as well.I n many cases the Islamic “glorious” narrative is coroborated by Hindu sources (eg the genocidal rule of the Madurai Sultanate.Ibn Battutas observations are confirmed by Gangadevi’s “Madhuravijayam”)

    Also as someone has pointed out there are different books by Shourie which deal with Christian agression in India.You must be aware of the writings of Sri Sita Ram Goel and Sri Ram Swarup regarding the Christian agression in India.
    Quite a lot of the points you raise are very true ie demonisation of Brahmanas by the British.
    but sometimes there is a tripping over of facts like here,
    “Allaudin Khilji’s destruction of Nalanda may have been due to the collaboration between gunpowder producers and the Indian academia.”
    Nalanda was destroyed nearly a century before Ala-ud-din Khiljis time by Bakhtiyar Khilji in the thirteenth century.
    You also mix up different issues like here, “The other distinction which Shourie blurs many a time in his book, is between Islamic rulers and generals (the perpetrators of these massacres and atrocities) and the ordinary Muslim of today (Chapter 14). If the Vatican has committed massacres and atrocities, will we hold every Christian guilty? For crimes committed by a ‘Hindu’ Government, will Arun Shourie hold ordinary ‘Hindus’ responsible?”
    You make a link between Islamic generals of yestarday and the “muslims” of today.A more correct question would be, ” was there a distinction between the Islamic generals of yestarday and the common muslims of that time?” the answer is there was not,for every muslim was required to fight agaisnt the kafir Hindus.and fight they did,for there are instances of entire provinces being recliamed by Hindus once the colonising muslims had marched off to fight a greater threat.
    Conversions were primarily aceived by military conquest followed by crippling economic sanctions which hobbled the Hindus.
    and by using the word “pagan” are you not falling into the same western trap?

  18. December 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Again as has been pointed out by others there is a tendency (for reasons best known to you)to dismiss the narratives of Islamic massacares/ brutalities as “fiction”. It is not neccesarry to pretend that Islamic atrocities did not happen just becase Christian atrocities happened as well.

    Is this suggested anywhere in the post? Any specific sentences which seem to suggest that massacres and atrocities by Islamic plunderers, looters and generals was ‘fiction’? I have not used the word ‘fiction’ anywhere!

    My questions are –

    1. Are we talking of atrocities and massacres as a politico-religious tool?

    2. Or are we trying to only look at the Islamic records only?

    3. Why are we so eager to overlook our blindspots when it comes to Christian atrocities and massacres?

    In many cases the Islamic “glorious” narrative is coroborated by Hindu sources (eg the genocidal rule of the Madurai Sultanate. Ibn Battutas observations are confirmed by Gangadevi’s “Madhuravijayam”)

    The atrocities or massacres by Islamic plunderers and looters are documented, corroborated by both sides. At the end of these listings, where is the narrative about the Indic successes at repelling these attacks and overthrow of these short-lived exploitative regimes?

    Why this portrayal of the world’s most-significant military machine, that was India, as helpless, hapless, defenceless victims?

    Also as someone has pointed out there are different books by Shourie which deal with Christian agression in India.You must be aware of the writings of Sri Sita Ram Goel and Sri Ram Swarup regarding the Christian agression in India.

    In this book under review, Shourie is (justifiably) critical of the manner in which Indian history is being written, re-written, cleaned up.

    The silence on Christian atrocities, by both Shourie and the Marxist historians is remarkable.

    but sometimes there is a tripping over of facts like here,”Allaudin Khilji’s destruction of Nalanda may have been due to the collaboration between gunpowder producers and the Indian academia.” Nalanda was destroyed nearly a century before Ala-ud-din Khiljis time by Bakhtiyar Khilji in the thirteenth century.

    Error noted. Will correct.

    You also mix up different issues like here, “The other distinction which Shourie blurs many a time in his book, is between Islamic rulers and generals (the perpetrators of these massacres and atrocities) and the ordinary Muslim of today (Chapter 14). If the Vatican has committed massacres and atrocities, will we hold every Christian guilty? For crimes committed by a ‘Hindu’ Government, will Arun Shourie hold ordinary ‘Hindus’ responsible?”
    You make a link between Islamic generals of yestarday and the “muslims” of today.A more correct question would be, ” was there a distinction between the Islamic generals of yestarday and the common muslims of that time?”

    Actually, that is the drift of chapter-14 in Arun Shourie’s book.

    Bad idea, don’t you think?

    by using the word “pagan” are you not falling into the same western trap?

    I have said is – Why did people give up pagan or other systems for Desert Bloc religions?

    Islam has been accepted by various faiths and systems across the world. Some of the practices could possibly be best described as pagan! Is there a specific argument that you against the word pagan?

  19. Galeo Rhinus
    December 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    >>>Is this suggested anywhere in the post? Any specific sentences which seem to suggest that massacres and atrocities by Islamic plunderers, looters and generals was ‘fiction’? I have not used the word ‘fiction’ anywhere!

    Although you don’t use the word fiction, that seems to be the “drift” of your blog (to use your words summarizing Shourie).

    I think it is not merely silly, but quite disturbing to see you attempt to squirm your way out of this one… reminds me of Digvijay Singh attempting to squirm his way out of him attempt to create a new narrative on the events of 26/11…

    …like I said, India has good reason to look at the Islamic “problem” in different light than the Western “problem.” But your narrative, does a disservice to India’s past and its future by (unwittingly, I assume) echoing the sentiments of Marxists who have been in the business of romanticizing (inventing) history…

  20. December 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Although you don’t use the word fiction, that seems to be the “drift” of your blog (to use your words summarizing Shourie).

    OK … Excerpt from my post!

    India’s military lead over the rest the world was as formidable as its wealth.
    War elephants, an Indian monopoly and specialty, were a feared armour corps, unmatched by any army in the world for 3000-4000 years.

    Indian cavalry units were legenday – as the inventors of the stirrups. As the largest producer of saltpetre, India’s gunpowder production was twice as large as the rest of the world combined. Behind the might of the British Empire was Indian saltpetre – an essential and scarce element for gunpowder. Behind the British Naval power, was Indian shipbuilding. With such overwhelming military advantages, invading India was not everyone’s cup of tea.
    Thus, intra-India alliances were essential for access to elephants, cavalry, explosives and other war material – paving the way for military success.

    Does this look to anyone like a country which was periodically, regularly, usually plundered, invaded, its population massacred … Just 25% of India’s population converted! Ineffective invasions!

    The Islamic-atrocities-on-helpless-population narrative is not something I subscribe to.

    Gross exaggerations, I say!

  21. Galeo Rhinus
    December 31, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I have not even for a moment suggested that India was periodically and/or regularly plundered. However, when north-India, finally, did fall to the invaders (whether or not their ancestors were from greater India), these invaders, who were muslim, perpetrated atrocities that India had never seen earlier.

    I don’t believe that you question this fact. The point is that this simple observation is not made in your blog… and in fact you seem to censure Shourie for presenting this “narrative…” …which creates a perception that you are an apologist for the Islamic invaders… (which I know you are not…)

    >>The Islamic-atrocities-on-helpless-population narrative is not something I subscribe to.

    I am not sure what you mean… India had never seen the level of violence perpetrated against civilians that the Islamic invaders brought… and which the English took to new levels. Taimur Lung’s sacking of Delhi, including the massacre of civilians, is one such example…

    …Nalanda was burning for several months after it was sacked…

    It is not a question of subscribing to a narrative here… you can either accept or reject certain facts (based on counter data or arguments) and build your own narrative… we are all for that… I would support your narrative over Shourie’s alleged narrative, if it is compelling… yet, I don’t really see an alternative narrative in your blog…

    …what you seem to be obsessing over is Shourie’s seemingly mild take on the west relative to the Islamic rule…

    Regardless, Shourie’s book is a polemical work whose focus is to take down these “eminent” historians… which he does brilliantly… Shourie does not set out to create an alternative narrative at all… you have imposed a narrative on Shourie (calling it a “drift”) and then attacking it… and in that attempt you have made a
    खिचडी of this post…

    the extent to which media and some bloggers are going today to caricature BJP’s leadership is simply mindboggling… I will assume that was not your intent here…

  22. raman
    January 3, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Dear anurag, this is your blog and so it’s your prerogative as to what opinions you like to air here, but after your three recent posts – this one and the next two – I do think that you are after all a Muslim apologist!! Very sad. actually quite disturbing.

  23. Galeo Rhinus
    January 9, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Raman – I am sure Anuraag will disagree with me… but, I think Anuraag is a victim opinions that arise from relative biases… Anuraag, in my opinion, is expressing a a relativistic position that is milder towards Islamic history because he considers the west to be the primary danger.

    I believe that Indians in general, including Indian muslims, need to view Indian Islamic history through a context that neither sounds like written by apologists for the Islamic rulers, nor divisive like Majumdar (wrongly described as a nationalistic historian).

    I think Indian muslims, at least a significant number, have the potential to look to Indic ideas with more respect… but the way to get there is certainly not to whitewash the oppressive rule of the Islamic leadership…

  24. January 11, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Galeo – I like your observations – though from a different perspective.

    1. Comments which believe that this post is an apology for Islamic raids, plunder, massacres, are from the West – with Indian names (I checked the IP addresses).

    2. Having adopted the ‘secular’, ‘progressive’, ‘advanced’ religion of Westernization these commentators reveal how deeply the Western campaign of Islamic Demonization has succeeded.

    3. What the Western campaign of Islamic Demonization has achieved is a belief that it is OK to condemn an entire people because of race, color, religion, gender, economic status, political beliefs, et al – like rich (Soviet Russia) or poor (The Bengal Famine), Jews (Hitler), Christians (The Albigensian crusades, Spanish Inquisition), Roma Gypsies (European persecution), ‘Hindoos’ (Islamic invaders; pre-1857 England), Muslims (Iraq War), Russians (Cold War), etc.

    4. Like all new converts, these neo-converts to the religion of Westernization are more eager, very zealous, highly sensitive to criticism of their new religion – Westernization.

    5. Exaggerating or glorifying the importance of brutal plunderers and looters, is a colonial notion to show India in por light! Hardly an appealing notion.

    If Taimur-the-Mongol was indeed so good militarily, why did he run away after the massacre in Delhi? Why did he not add India to his kingdom? India, was after all the richest economy in the world at that time.

  25. raman
    January 12, 2011 at 4:42 am

    So there we go. Anybody who does not agree me is an agent of the West. Anurag you are learning from the West – if you can’t beat them, demonize them!!!

    I think Anurag’s motto should be : “thou shalt love india’s islamic invaders with all thy heart.”

    No Anurag, I am not a westerner impersonating as an Indian nor I am an nri. I live in u.p (ha ha ha ha). And no I am not madly in love with the western culture having being bought up and educated in a very traditional Hindu environment. That’s why I read your blog. But given a choice between let’s say Lahore / Cairo / Riyadh / Karachi / Beirut / Tehran / Istanbul, I would opt for New York or Boston any day. And I am sure so would you.(At least we wont be stoned or jailed for worshipping a monkey)

    And I still maintain, any Hindooo who thinks islam is being demonized, needs to have …. OK I won’t say it.

    hope u post this comment.

  26. January 12, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Raman – I don’t intend, mean or imply to be personal. I don’t even want to convince anyone.

    I am putting up ideas, narratives, structures, that make sense and are appealing … I will support these ideas, narratives, structures, for some time. Till these ideas have some shape, solidity, and meaning.

    After that … It is for the ideas, narratives, structures to fight for their lives.

    So there we go.

    Anybody who does not agree me is an agent of the West.

    There are categories and classifications within the agents-of-the-West.

    1. Conscious /Un-Conscious
    2. Paid /Unpaid
    3. Missionary /Honorary
    4. Mercenary /Conscientious
    5. Eager /Reluctant
    6. Circumstantial /Existential

    We are all infected with this bug. We need to see where each one of us fall in the matrix.

    Anurag you are learning from the West – if you can’t beat them, demonize them!!!

    Do they need my help?

    I think Anurag’s motto should be : “thou shalt love india’s islamic invaders with all thy heart.”

    I will at least not take the easy way out of ‘demonizing’ anyone!

    No Anurag, I am not a westerner impersonating as an Indian nor I am an nri. I live in u.p (ha ha ha ha).

    Galeo pointed out a superb new species – a variant of the NRI, called RNI – Resident Non Indian.

    I am not madly in love with the western culture having being bought up and educated in a very traditional Hindu environment. That’s why I read your blog.

    Thanks for reading and participating in the discussions.

    But given a choice between let’s say Lahore / Cairo / Riyadh / Karachi / Beirut / Tehran / Istanbul, I would opt for New York or Boston any day. And I am sure so would you.

    I am happy where I am.

    India has a low-crime, small police force, growing economy, low cost, mostly free of hate and prejudice.

    There is the matter of my car. If I opt for New York or Boston, I will get a much better car than the real beat-up that I have now.

    Guess what … I will settle for my beat-up car and less steel-and-glass …

    At least we wont be stoned or jailed for worshipping a monkey

    Maybe you should check about safety, with those nearly 400 sardarjis after 9/11, who were attacked – because they resembled Arabs, some Americans thought.

    Or the thousands in Australia who were attacked. They were not even worshipping a monkey, elephant, lion, dwarf, fish, tortoise, wild boar, etc.

    Most of them were attacked for the crime of just being Brown.

    And I still maintain, any Hindooo who thinks islam is being demonized, needs to have …. OK I won’t say it.

    It does not matter who is demonized. At one point Hindoos were also ‘demonized’ – apart from ‘Injuns’, ‘Abos’, Jews, Eye-talians – and now it is Islam.

    hope u post this comment.

    As long as you are not using invective, getting offensively personally, anything goes.

  27. January 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    He may not always convince, he may not even be perfectly coherent, but … in general I find Anurag Sanghi trying some “native” paradigms. The fact that “westernization ” straight-jackets our thinking. We habitually think in binary terms. The left/right, the socialist/capitalist, the religious/secular, the liberal/conservative, the feminist/male chauvinist ad infinitum. This is how we are taught to think by westernization.

    To think that these linear axis may not represent all of reality – so one-dimensional – is itself a challenge. To think that there may be other dimensions to human beings is a new concept. If an individual is a complex, multi-dimensional, contradictory organism, how complex must society – an aggregation of many complex cells called individuals – be? If the cells have goals, values, purpose and destiny, what about society? What about “eternal” verities?

    Which is why the labeling of pre-islamic Indian systems, values, traditions etc as “Hindu” is itself the first major trap. Once you fall into that trap, you think the way the desert bloc ideologists want you to think. Binary, Either/Or, Us/Them etc.
    This is the “Dualist” way of thinking. There is a “Non-dualist” way of thinking as well, which “avoids” the category called “The Other”.

    “Hindu” thought had both types of thinking neatly enunciated, and even ways to reconcile or transcend categories themselves. This was considered the highest goal, to be The All. This is what Moksha Is. Starting from this idea, Atman, Brahman, Karma, Ashramas etc have evolved.

    The Desert bloc ideological starting point is Worldly Power. This in turn is based on Materialism. The maximum density of this occurs in Marxist thought. The world as we perceive it through the senses is Real. There is no factor called Perceived World occurring from a Causal World in such a system. That is why it is an un-holistic and wrong system. In “Hindu” thought, this is just a Category called Materialism. Idealism is another category, with its own rich set of theories, laws, paradigms etc. Under the spell of Desert Blocism, we have forgotten about this category, or do not work actively with it.

    The idea that Spirit is Primary is central to Idealism. Materialism says that Matter is Primary. This is the primary change in thought over the last 2 Millenia. Progress is now measured according to the values of Materialism. Idealism would find Degeneration in what is called Progress.

  28. Desi
    January 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    [Bakhtiyar Khilji’s (errata – earlier wrongly mentioned as Allauddin Khilji) destruction of Nalanda (1193 AD)may have been due to the collaboration between gunpowder producers and the Indian academia. How could the area around Nalanda become the world’s largest producer of saltpetre – a high-technology, essential and scarce element for gunpowder, unrivalled in the world.]

    To my knowledge, gunpowder was used in India for warfare only from mid 14th century (probably learnt from the mongols after they had swept large parts of Asia). So how could there have been collaboration between saltpetre manufacturers around Nalanda and academics which, in your opinion, led Bakhtiar Khilji kill monks(academics) and destry Nalanda and Vikramshila? Pls explain as this seems too farfetched. More likely reason might be that Budhhist monks were distinguishable due to dress and appearnace unlike Sanatanis.

  29. January 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    gunpowder was used in India for warfare only from mid 14th century (probably learnt from the mongols after they had swept large parts of Asia).

    The Mongols had little technology. Western version of history is that Mongols took Chinese technology and spread it all over the world.

    Couple of problems with that story.

    1. China was good at producing small amounts of incendiary gunpowder, which produced more light and sound, and little explosion till the end of 19th centuy. Good for firecrackers, bad for war.

    Indians, the largest producers of saltpetre, also made the best saltpetre in the world, which was used to make explosive gunpowder.

    2. How is it that the Mongols could not transfer saltpetre technology anywhere else in the world – except India. The Mongols conquered Asia, Eastern Europe – who could not absorb the saltpetre technology.

    But Indians, without gunpowder, convinced the Mongols not to invade India. Presumably, by Satyagraha.

    3. Indians, unconquered by Mongols, with little exposure to Mongols, were however able to absorb ‘Mongolian-Chinese’ saltpetre technology, and became the largest producers in the world.

    How?

    5. Please remember that Indian industrial production of saltpetre, was unmatched in the world. Until the German Haber-Bosch process in 1914-1916, during WWI, was commercialized.

    6. What about the various weapons (like shatagni) described in Ramayana and other Indian texts, which fit the description of gunpowder.

    7. The genesis of firecrackers and explosives during Diwali was also strategic. To create a nation trained in explosive handling, manufacture and usage – right from childhood. Remember, that till about 75-100 years ago, Diwali firecrackers were homemade – and not in Sivakasi.

    Unbaked and unhinged, this theory, of Mongols and gunpowder.

    PS – I am presuming that you have read my post on gunpowder. If you have not, the shortlink is http://is.gd/ejxf5U

  30. Desi
    February 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Your theory is that technology for using saltpetre was indigenous and wasn’t brought by Mongols. Fine. But that still doesn’t explain two things:
    1. How did the Indians lose against the Muslim hordes despite having such superior technology? Why isn’t there any mention that it was used by the likes of Prithviraj and others?
    2.What is the evidence of link between saltpetre producers and Budhhist monks, which led to their (latter’s) killing by Khilji? I would like to reiterate that the animosity of Muslims towards Buddhists dates to the period before they came to India (probably because they were their rivals in large parts of Central and West Asia). But-image (which they hate so much and try to destroy given a chance)itself is a corrupt form of Buddh. In constrast, their animosity didn’t seem to be so pronounced against Jains.
    3. Is there any evidence of such mining for saltpetre taking place in South Bihar during those times? During British times, North Bihar was the main centre for saltpetre rather than South Bihar.
    Also, what evidence do you have that explosives were used in India for warfare before 14th century except mention in religious texts that date much earlier? Is there any mention from medieval ages?

  31. February 6, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    1. How did the Indians lose against the Muslim hordes despite having such superior technology? Why isn’t there any mention that it was used by the likes of Prithviraj and others?

    Saltpetre production was in the private sector – and catered to all of India /global markets. Armies, individuals, State, Kings, traders could buy saltpetre from the manufacturer. So, if Islamic invaders had more money, they could buy more.

    Simple.

    How did Islamic traders have more money. Slavery was the easiest example. Roman, Florentine, Venetian, British fortunes were made on slave trade. Second, was land. The iqtadari /jagirdari /zamindari systems, each worse than the prior, transferred huge wealth to to the State. Third, was horse trade. India was a huge market for grassland horses from the Mongol Empire.

    On the other hand, Indian rulers were bound by Bharattantra and raj-dharma from doing these things. So, some of them converted to Islam.

    2.What is the evidence of link between saltpetre producers and Budhhist monks, which led to their (latter’s) killing by Khilji? I would like to reiterate that the animosity of Muslims towards Buddhists dates to the period before they came to India (probably because they were their rivals in large parts of Central and West Asia). But-image (which they hate so much and try to destroy given a chance)itself is a corrupt form of Buddh. In constrast, their animosity didn’t seem to be so pronounced against Jains.

    It occurs to me to me that such high-technology manufacture cannot be a coincidence. Which is the nearest source of learning, training, research in the saltpetre production region? Nalanda was a seat of learning – and it taught all subjects.

    3. Is there any evidence of such mining for saltpetre taking place in South Bihar during those times? During British times, North Bihar was the main centre for saltpetre rather than South Bihar.

    Saltpetre production in India was a manufacture – not a mined product.

    Also, what evidence do you have that explosives were used in India for warfare before 14th century except mention in religious texts that date much earlier? Is there any mention from medieval ages?

    There are some 11th century mentions linked in my post on Gunpowder. This aspect of research is still relatively new – and more work will be done. I presume you understand, that I use primary research done by others – and usually use secondary sources. The opinions, interpretations are mine – primary research is usually others.

  32. February 14, 2011 at 3:57 am

    Let me take another shot at this Islamic-religious-persecution model of history by using a more up-to-date and modern model.

    After WWII, as British, French and Dutch colonialists were being thrown out of Asia, in country after country, the West was in real danger of losing markets and raw material sources. What do you think they did – wring hands and moan?

    1. A new power, fuelled by a growing migrant population, USA, took the place of tired, old powers – Britain, France and the Dutch.

    2. Instead of the old system of European powers directly running the colonial governments in these Asian countries, the US simply destroyed these economies by war. The USA, then instituted the innovative USCAP Program and ‘helped’ these countries.

    3. These countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, et al) were now ruled by overtly independent regimes – but covertly, client states of the USA.

    4. Instead of British, French and Dutch companies, US multinationals and home-grown oligarchs (keiretsus, chaebols, etc.) took over the economy.

    5. To impose this economic model,
    nearly 50 lakh Asians were killed by US armies.

    Now do you think US told everybody what its strategy and objectives were? Obviously not. Instead the US: –

    * Made a new enemy – communism and The Domino Theory. (After the ‘defeat’ of Communism, the new campaign is Islamic Demonization).

    * The West then created a religion with new idols for this campaign.

    * The new religion is Westernization – and the new idols installed in our minds were democracy, progress, elections, capitalism, free-markets, planned economies, etc.

    * 50 lakh Asians were killed in the name of this new religion – and these new idols.

    Did these nearly 1 million Western soldiers kill 5 million Asians for: –

    1. Creating a market for dominant US companies?

    2. For ‘democracy’, ‘capitalism’ ‘human rights’ etc.?

    3. For any cause at all?

    These 1 million soldiers killed because they were paid, trained and equipped to kill. These soldiers obeyed orders – and killed people.

    Why assume that Islamic soldiers were significantly different?

    Whether it is Christian Crusades or Islamic conquests, modern jihads and US Anti-Communism campaign of 40 years, WWI and WWII – all were fought for political and economic benefit of the rulers. Religion was a red-herring for the people and soldiers – who paid for these wars, with money and lives.

    Just like we have accepted this new religion of Westernization now, people accepted Islam – and killed millions for the ‘spread’ of Islam. Just like millions are being killed even today for ‘democracy’ ‘progress’ ‘free-markets’.

    Any difference!

  33. December 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

    So the islamics had the money to buy more gunpowder, but the mongols who at one point had half the world under their rule did not? Your arguments are not logical.

  34. December 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    @masculineffort

    You need to see geography, dates and timelines to understand this complex interplay.

    1. The destruction of Nalanda probably caused the slow deterioration of military ethics. Indian soldiery slowly became increasingly mercenary – over a period of 800 years.

    2. If you take Qutubuddin Aibak as the start of Islamic rule in India (1200 AD), you will not find many traces of global gunpowder trade.

    3. During Genghis Khan’s military campaign from roughly 1300-1322, you will not find many traces of global gunpowder trade.

    4. Incidents of global gunpowder trade start trickling in by early 15th century. Read my posts on Hussite Wars in Eastern Europe.

    5. Between 15th century to end-18th century, for 400 years Indian gunpowder decided global balance of power.

    6. With the Battle of Plassey and Buxar, the British grip on Bengal tightened.

    7. Finally the British conquered India (and built the Empire) using Indian gunpowder, Indian soldiers, gold looted from India, war-and-merchant ships built by Indian shipyards.

    You will find more details, links, supportings on this global interplay between the Indian economy and the world in my more than 1100 posts.

    Search and Ye shall find.

  35. masculineffort
    January 1, 2013 at 5:49 am

    Friend, thanks for the explanation. But here is the crux of my argument

    GENGHIS KHAN IS FAR SUPERIOR A COMMANDER TO MUHAMMAD GHORI

    1. You claim that Genghis khan did not invade India because the Mongols were not too confident against the Indians who were experts in the use of Gunpowder. For now I will accept this argument. (BTW Genghis khans campaigns were between 1206-1228, not 1300-1322 as you claim)
    2. But the Muslims (Muhammad Ghori) did invade and succeed. The second battle of Tarain was in 1192. Ghori died in 1206. In a sense The greak Khan and Ghori were contemporaries. So Ghori succeeded in something that the Khan did not even attempt.
    3. If the two argument above are added up, it follows that Muhammad Ghori was a greater fighter, military leader than the Great Khan. This is a laughable conclusion. Not one serious student or scholar of military history will support this claim. Infact the Great Khan laid waste to Ghoris dominions.
    4. The wrong conclusion in 3 was reached because of initial assumptions that the Khan did not attempt to conquer India because he was not confident. It is infact mentioned (part of legend maybe) that a Chinese advisor to the Khan (Ye-Liu Chu-Tsai) advised him not to attack India. The reason he gave the Khan was that India had nothing of value to plunder. But the real reason was that this gentle scholar did not want the Mongols to visit their devastation on the densely populated Indian city centres. Later he also convinced Genghis successor Mongke to not massacre the Chinese population.

    I understand and appreciate your patriotism and sense of pride. But let this not blind us. There are several possible reasons I can think of why Genghis khan would not invade India. But to claim that it was fear of Indian arms which prevented this greatest of conquerors from attempting something even mediocre islamic commanders like Ghori achieved is a case of a serious blind spot.

    ********************************************************************************************************************

    MONGOLS DESTROY ISLAMIC ARMIES WHICH IN TURN DOMINATED INDIA

    Finally, you claimed later that the Islamic commanders like Ghori conquered India because they had the money to buy Gunowder. This argument too does not have legs to stand on. Why?
    1. If the muslims had money, the mongols had more of it from their conquest of China, the silk route passes. So they too could afford the Gunpowder to invade India.
    2. If the muslims had Gunpowder to invade India, they certainly had gunpowder to defend their territory from the mongols (who did not have gunpowder according to you). So how come Genghis khan ran through islamic countries like a hot knife through butter.

    Something does not add up here, friend

    ********************************************************************************************************************

    MY SPECULATION REGARDING THE GREAT KHAN

    1. I am inclined to believe (or at least not dismiss out of hand) the Legend of Ye-Leiu Chu-Tsai
    2. He was more interested in conquering China than India, which he did not accomplish in his lifetime. Why? Because China is closer to mongolia and also a historical adversary which India was not.
    3. Remember Genghis spent most of his time decimating Islamic armies in their own home turf. This takes time. By the time he was done, he life was over. Where is the time for India, or even China?

    *****************************************************************************************************************

    WHAT ABOUT GENGHIS’ DESCENDANTS

    This leads to the last question. Okay Genghis did not have the time to invade. Wgat about his descendants. Hulagu? Mongke? Berke? Kublai? Batu? The others?

    1. Hulagu was busy destroying baghdad and ravaging the Islamic empire. He seems to have had some sort of hatred for muslims. Even today, he is the Islamic world’s greatest villiain. Perhaps it was because his wife was Christian and she influenced him to destroy the muslims? Perhaps it was something else?
    2. What little time was left, hulagu was also involved in a power struggle with his brothers, one of whom Berke was a muslim. Berke was a nuslim and felt obliged to take revenge on hulagu for his devastation and massacre of Islamic people. This keeps hulagu busy
    3. Kublai was no match for Genghis khan as a conqueror. He is more an administrator. He is busy with ruling China and besides, his dominions are not adjacent to India.
    3. Mongke was busy with China (and the Islamic lands)
    4. Batu? Busy with Russia which also was adjacent to Mongol territory. Great conquerors always start with territory adjacent to them

    By the time the mongols did get around to invading India (1300 AD and onwards), the khiljis were in charge in India.
    1. By this time, easy living had softened the mongols.
    2. A large unwieldy empire had consumed their energies into administration.
    3. There was plenty of infghting. Happens in a confederacy.
    4. They have no more outstanding leaders like Genghis or Subutai.

    So they were defeated. But that is hardly a surprise.
    ***************************************************************************************************************

    In conclusion, claiming that the Great Khan (the greatest military commander in history who also had an outstanding general like Subutai reporting to him) did not invade India out of fear of Indian arms is a serious misrepresentation of facts and does not stand up to rigorous analysis. T

    Finally, Thank you for allowing dissenting opinions such as these on the comments section of your blog posts.

  36. January 1, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Genghis khans campaigns were between 1206-1228, not 1300-1322 as you claim

    Oops … I meant 1200-1227.

    But the Muslims (Muhammad Ghori) did invade and succeed. The second battle of Tarain was in 1192. Ghori died in 1206. In a sense The greak Khan and Ghori were contemporaries. So Ghori succeeded in something that the Khan did not even attempt.

    Bad start.

    If you try and understand Indian history as Muslim, Hindu, (but never Christian, I wonder why?), you will land up in the same places that Western Christian historians want us to land.

    If you are happy with the current Western-Christian rendition if history, Wikipedia is a good place to start with.

    It is infact mentioned (part of legend maybe) that a Chinese advisor to the Khan (Ye-Liu Chu-Tsai) advised him not to attack India. The reason he gave the Khan was that India had nothing of value to plunder. But the real reason was that this gentle scholar did not want the Mongols to visit their devastation on the densely populated Indian city centres. Later he also convinced Genghis successor Mongke to not massacre the Chinese population.

    Basically, you are saying defenceless, non-violent Hindus were allowed to live thanks to the mercy of The Great Khan and his ‘kind’ Chinese advisor.

    I understand and appreciate your patriotism and sense of pride. But let this not blind us. There are several possible reasons I can think of why Genghis khan would not invade India. But to claim that it was fear of Indian arms which prevented this greatest of conquerors from attempting something even mediocre islamic commanders like Ghori achieved is a case of a serious blind spot.

    If I interpret events which favor India, I am a blind patriot with a misplaced sense of pride.

    The anti-thesis of your logic anyone who writes against India is unpatriotic Indian, who is ashamed of India. What does that make you?

    you claimed later that the Islamic commanders like Ghori conquered India because they had the money to buy Gunowder.

    Have I said that Ghori had money to buy gunpowder? I am surprised. Where did I say that? I have not written even word about Ghori. Wonder where you got that from?

    If the muslims had money, the mongols had more of it from their conquest of China, the silk route passes. So they too could afford the Gunpowder to invade India.

    You need to read my earlier comment, again .

    If the muslims had Gunpowder to invade India, they certainly had gunpowder to defend their territory from the mongols (who did not have gunpowder according to you). So how come Genghis khan ran through islamic countries like a hot knife through butter.

    Please read my comment again – and keep dates, geographies in mind. Secondly, if you are trying to read history as Hindu vs Muslim, …

    By the time the mongols did get around to invading India (1300 AD and onwards), the khiljis were in charge in India.
    1. By this time, easy living had softened the mongols.
    2. A large unwieldy empire had consumed their energies into administration.
    3. There was plenty of infghting. Happens in a confederacy.
    4. They have no more outstanding leaders like Genghis or Subutai.

    So they were defeated. But that is hardly a surprise.

    When foreign invaders did not invade they were kind and generous. Or they were softened by easy living. But in all cases, Indians escaped due to no effort of our own. Interesting perspective.

    Why are you so relectant to give Indians any credit?

    In conclusion, claiming that the Great Khan (the greatest military commander in history who also had an outstanding general like Subutai reporting to him) did not invade India out of fear of Indian arms is a serious misrepresentation of facts and does not stand up to rigorous analysis.

    If want to start in the direction of Mecca, you are unlikely to reach Benaras. If you want to start history with Muslim invader of India, you cannot take a 2ndlook.

    Finally, Thank you for allowing dissenting opinions such as these on the comments section of your blog posts.

    You can dissent and disagree all you like.But, I will not be in a position to respond to your comments – unless there is a serious attempt to question your assumptions. This blog is about taking a 2ndlook – and not to reword Western Christian version of history.

  37. masculineffort
    January 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Friend, what you have indulged in is called an “Ad-hominen” attack. This means you have attacked my person but not attacked my Argument. You accused me of the following

    1. Looking at History as Hindu Vs Muslim
    2. As someone who has swallowed Western propaganda
    3. Reluctant to give Indians credit
    4. Unpatriotic

    But you have not attacked my basic argument which is thus. “If the Mongols dare not attack India does that not make Muhammad Ghori a greater military commander than Genghis Khan?” This is the question that needs answering.

    Once you answer this question, I can defend myself against the accusations that you have levelled against me.

  38. January 1, 2013 at 10:05 am

    If the Mongols dare not attack India does that not make Muhammad Ghori a greater military commander than Genghis Khan? This is the question that needs answering.

    @masculineffort – This is a comparison you make; an argument you make; a conclusion you make. There are structural fallacies with this construct. 2ndlook posts have addressed these issues. If you read the posts linked to this post, you will get a perspective.

    Once you answer this question, I can defend myself against the accusations that you have levelled against me.

    If you can stop looking at History as

    1. Hindu Vs Muslim;

    2. Decipher and suspend Western propaganda;

    3. Give Indians credit

    a different history emerges.

  39. masculineffort
    January 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Friend, I have read your posts on this subject. Nowhere have I found a coherent or well reasoned answer. Perhaps I am stupid. In that case would you please answer the question which you have still not answered. You have simply said there are structural fallacies without pointing them out.

    Ghori (and partly Ghazni) Succeeded where the Khan Fears to tread. Does this not make Ghori a better commander than the Genghis Khan-Subutai combine?

  40. Madhu
    January 31, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Anuraag below is the link about Genghis Khan.
    http://kaipullai.com/2012/01/18/four-little-things-that-shaped-india/

    Read your above post and comments too.But for argument sake lets say Genghis Khan wanted to attack India.Would Bharat at that time have defeated Genghis Khan or we woud have been massacred as suggested by the above link.
    What were Bharat’s strength and Weaknesses vis-a-vis Genghis Khan’s.

  41. masculineffort
    April 2, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Anuraag, it seems you have been watching too many youtube videos of Dr. Zakir Naik. He too makes the claim that India is majority Hindu because Muslim rulers never really tried to convert Hindus. Really? So the population of Iran, egypt, North Africa, Byzantium converted voluntarily en-masse into Islam in half a century? Or did the Muslims try hard in every place except India? Do you see how silly this sounds?

    Dr. Naik uses too many spurious arguments. It is disheartening to see you have bought into this propaganda. I personally feel that the Muslim rulers stopped trying after a while in order to maintain the peace. They did not stop trying due to any magananimity or belief in freedom of religion on their part but because the Hindus were resisting too fiercely. In this case, you are the one who is guilty of not giving the Hindus enough credit. Why are you trying so hard to suck-up to the Muslims?

    I myself believe that the Muslims have mis-interpreted the teachings of their prophet. Sure the Prophet would never have condoned what they did in India. But for you to whitewash their crimes in India is not OK. Taking a 2ndlook is worthwhile only if it is done with an earnest desire to find out the truth. It is not a worthwhile pursuit if it is just done for the heck of it as it appears that you do sometimes (not always).

    One must be courageous to admit that certain things did happen even if they seem to hurt some people.

  42. April 2, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    They did not stop trying due to any magananimity or belief in freedom of religion on their part

    Where have I claimed that Islamic rulers gave up conversion due to magnanimity or due to their belief in freedom of religion.

    These are your assumption.

    Muslims have mis-interpreted the teachings of their prophet. Sure the Prophet would never have condoned what they did in India.

    After you talk of White wash, you try and do the same.

    How do you know what Moses, Christ, Muhammed, Gandhi would have condoned or condemned. As it is what they have said has been written, said, re-written, interpreted that anybody can make out any case as to what Moses, Christ, Muhammed, Gandhi would have wanted.

  43. masculineffort
    April 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    It is just that certain incidents in the Prophet’s life, certain things he counselled to his followers, his acts of forgiveness towards his opponents, seem incompatible with what the Muslims have done. That’s all.

    Can’t make definite statements, but It’s not as if you are offering proof for all your assertions. It is not as if you make no assumptions. This is hypocrisy.

  44. April 2, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Can’t make definite statements, but It’s not as if you are offering proof for all your assertions. It is not as if you make no assumptions. This is hypocrisy.

    In the last 50-years, we see 5 major figures who are used to justify anything!

    Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Marx and Gandhi

    Just pointing out that that it is meaningless to speculate what these 5 would have done!

    While I have quoted Gandhiji, it is a specific, narrow, political context, where he is rather-clearly defined.

  45. masculineffort
    April 3, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Oh, By the way, I forgot to answer your last question, “Where have I claimed that Islamic rulers gave up conversion due to magnanimity or due to their belief in freedom of religion.”

    You make such a statement in comment #44, “If 25% of Indians adopt Islam, I begin to doubt the seriousness of the conversion efforts and intentions.” Any reasonably person will conclude what I concluded from such a comment. Ok, fine, you did not imply that they were magnanimous. But you clearly seem to have implied disinterest on their part. Ok fine, I’ll just reprase my statement

    “They did not stop trying due to any disinterest on their part but because the Hindus were resisting too fiercely. In this case, you are the one who is guilty of not giving the Hindus enough credit.” Is this better?

    Finally, it is not meaningless on the part of a normally intelligent person to conclude what Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Marx or Gandhi would have done. A person with common sense will not blindly do what these people have said. But he will simply consider what they might have said. A lot of the Prophet’s actions must be seen in the context of the situation. It so happens that several of those who claim to be his followers have very little intelligence.

    Suppose I were to do a cursory reading of the Gita and declare that Lord Krishna believed that first cousins must all be put to death. That would be a silly interpretation would it not?

  46. April 3, 2014 at 8:39 am

    “They did not stop trying due to any disinterest on their part but because the Hindus were resisting too fiercely. In this case, you are the one who is guilty of not giving the Hindus enough credit.” Is this better?

    That is exactly thesis!

    India’s military power was second to none till British captured Bengal and started the slow monopolization of India’s gunpowder trade.

    No one in the world could conquer India unless Indians accepted them.

    Coming to Moses, Jesus, Muhammed and Marx …

    The Greatest number of killings in the last 1000 years has been done in the name of these 4 people. After committing these crimes, the guilty parties were let off the hook, by the logic that you are using.

    Moses was good … but his followers are bad …
    Jesus was good … but his followers were bad …
    Mohammed was good … but his followers were bad …
    Marx was good … but his followers were bad …

    You wish to continue with that … be my guest!

  47. masculineffort
    April 3, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Nobody is letting anyone off the Hook. It is just that facts are being stated. People are responsible for their actions and the consequences that follow. If those who call themselves followers of Mohammed commit crimes, they must be punished.

    Marx was certainly not good.

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