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Name Jayant Srivastava Roll no.

200801035

A tour of Religious violence in India


In Ancient India there were no incidence of religious violence in India. Mainly because current main religion of the world came much latter than the Indian history. The knowledge of Vedas existed from time immemorial, than came Jainism and Buddhism to India. However there is no written evidence of religious violence against Jainism by Hindus. Although clash of thoughts existed between Brahmin's and Jain, but no instance of physical violence is recorded in the history. Further many rulers tried to spread the Jainism. The establisher of Maurya dynasty Chandragupta Maurya was instrumental in spreading Jainism as well as Buddhism. Buddhism also didn't receive warn welcome in India, rather it was opposed by higher caste of India. However it got acceptance from Dalits and untouchable who were worst sufferer of caste based system. Many rulers like Ashoka and Chandragupta played a key role in spreading the Buddhism. However Brahmin's staged a strong opposition to spread of Buddhism and Buddhism in India was never accepted on mass scale. King Pusyamitra of Sunga Empire is linked in legend with the persecution of Buddhists. He is believed to have razed the stupas and viharas built by Ashoka, and the placing of a bounty of 100 dinaras upon the heads of Buddhist monks (bhiksus). He was believed to have undone the work of Ashoka. But archaeological evidence of this is scarce and uncertain. However to many scholars think that Sunga kings were seen as more amenable to Buddhism and as having contributed to the building of the stupas at Bharhut. In short there were no large scale violence between Hindus, Jains and Buddhist. They all along with Sikhism are termed as Indian religion (meaning to have originated on Indian soil). Moreover Buddhism and Jainism took inspiration from Hinduism and many holy places like Varanasi are equally important to all these religion. Varanasi is the holiest city for Hindus, believed to be residence of lord Shiva with Paravati. Buddha gave his first teaching in Varanasi, and It is believed to be the birthplace of Parshvanatha, the twenty-third Tirthankar.

Unlike Buddhism and Hinduism, Islam in India was spread at the sword tips. Earliest Muslim invasion, led by Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah towards Multan in Southern Punjab, in modern day Pakistan. The last Arab push in the region would be towards the end of Umayyad reign under Muhammad bin Qasim, after whom the Arabs were defeated by the Rajputs at the Battle of Rajasthan in 738. Islamic terror Started with the onset of 11 century. Muhammad bin Qasim attacked the sindh region of India and destroyed the grand temple at Debal and instead built a mosque at its place. After battle he used to kill all the men, and wife and children were slaved and many were sent back to Arab. He also converted stupas at Nerun were changed to mosque. After the conquest, Muhammad bin Qasim adopted a conciliatory policy, asking for acceptance of Islamic Sharia law, in return for non-interference in their religious practice, No mass conversions were attempted and the destruction of temples such as the Sun Temple at Multan was forbidden. Next in the list was Mahmud of Ghazni who looted the India. He was known for his iconoclast plundering and he destructed famous temples at mathura and Dwarka. He attacked Sommanath temple and after killing 50000 people in cold blood , he personally destroyed the Shiva lingam after stripping it of its gold. Muhammad Ghori committed genocide against Hindus at Aligarh, Kalinjar and Varanasi, 20,000 Hindu prisoners were slaughtered and their heads offered to crows. The Delhi Sultanate too imposed jizya on Hindus, but were kind of liberal and campaign led by Timur were based on the pretext that Delhi Sultanate were too liberal to the Hindus. He attacked the Delhi Sultanate and captured it. He himself wrote In a short space of time all the people in the [New Delhi] fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers. They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground....All these people were slain, their women and children, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. I proclaimed throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners should put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. Another ruler of the sultanate, Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, conquered and subjugated the Hindu pilgrimage site Varanasi in the 11th century and he

continued the destruction of Hindu temples and idols that had begun during the first attack in 1194. Kashi Vishwanath Temple of Varanasi was thrice destructed, first by Qutb-ud-din Aybak , then after its reconstruction again destructed by Firuz Shah Tughlaq, which was latter build by Todar Mal in the regime of Akbar, and again destructed by Aurangzeb. The Mughal empire founded by the Babur, he is believed to have destructed the Ram temple at Ayodhaya. His successor namely Akbar was ruthless towards Hindus in the beginning, particularly towards army of Hemu, the Bairam Khan is said to have given a great religious lecture before the battle with Hemu. But the latter years of his nearly 50 years of rule was kind and considerate towards Hindus, It was under his rule that famous temple Kashi Vishwanath was rebuilt, he was also credited to have removed the jizya. He entered into matrimonial alliance with Rajputs and laid the founding stone for over 200+ rule of mughals over India. It was under his rule that Bhakti movement in India started, likes of Tulsi Das and Mira Bai contributed to the Indian Culture and tradition. The latter ruler like Aurangzeb cherished the dream of Muslim India and were brutal towards Hindus. Muslim rulers in south India like Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan are debated and while some say they were brutal towards the Hindus while other hold that they were only brutal towards Hindus who interfered in the politics. In short India from 1000 to 1600 saw it worst form of religious violence. It was during this period that Hindu Population decreased by 80 million according to a study by historian K.S. Lal .Even those Hindus who converted to Islam were not immune from persecution, which was illustrated by the Muslim Caste System in India as established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari. where they were regarded as "Ajlaf" caste and subjected to severe discrimination by the "Ashraf" castes." A Qua-ran states that Muslim shouldn't marry idol work-shipper. So Muslim never married their girl to a Hindu, on the other hand they would marry Hindu girls after converting them to Islam, there were times when new born Hindu was murdered, if it was a girl or it was given to the people of lower caste, to prevent her exploitation in the future. There was lot of violence towards the Hindus and many converted back to Islam to save themselves, however not all were converted by force, many willingly accepted Islam inspired by the teaching of Islam. Sufism was instrumental in spreading the Islam. In broader aspect many believe that Islam was an outside religion and was spread through sword. On contrary many believe

that expect for some rulers many were kind and liberal and it was not forced and the proof being Indian is still a Hindu Majority country even after 600 + rule of Muslim. But no one can deny that violence on Hindus by some Muslim rulers was unparalleled maybe till the genocide of Jews. Another major religion of India was Sikhism, founded by Guru Nanak. He insisted that there exist flaws both in Islam and Hinduism and preached a new religion drawing most of its teaching from Hinduism and Islam. Sikhism remained a peaceful religion till Aurangzeb started committing his autocracies on them. After this they formed themselves into a martial group, mostly Hindus family gave their eldest son to Sikhs to form a formidable force to protect them. There were large scale violence against Sikhs when they tried to protect Kashmir Pandits and their 10th guru was killed by Aurangzeb when he refused to convert to Islam. With the decline of Mughal rule, India was ruled by Britishers and they adopted a divide and rule policy, wherein they created a rift between Muslim and Hindus, terming Muslim being more liberal and honest. They also tried to spread Christianity by force, but there is no evidence of mass slaughter of people based on their religion like Muslim invaders. With the departure of Britishers from India, India faced the worst riots in its history, where many people died and two states of India and Pakistan was created. Hindus continued to take their toll in Pakistan and in latter created Bangladesh. The Hindus in Pakistan constituted 15% of total population in 1947, but now there population has come down to 2%. They are subject to constant humiliations and torture in Pakistan. Mostly young Hindu girls are kidnapped and converted to Islam. There were incidence of mass destruction of temples in Bangladesh and Pakistan after the demolition of Babri mosque. During the creation of Bangladesh, Pakistan Army committed genocide on Hindus in Bangladesh. Hindus in Kashmir, mainly Kashmiri pandits were tortured and were forced to leave their home. The 1921 Moplah Rebellion involved Mappila Muslims rioting against Hindu zamindars Zamindari system and the British Raj.The Muslim rebel killed numerous Hindus and forcefully converted them. Kerala has witnessed many riots and rebellions against Hindus throughout it history and more so in independent India; notably the Marad Massacre. Many Muslim organizations allegedly supported Love Jihad where Muslim boys targeted non-Muslim young girls, especially Hindu girls to convert them to Islam on the pretext of love. There are numerous

incidences of violence against Hindus even in modern India. Many of the bombing and 26/11 attack were aimed at mass murder of Hindus. There were three wave of violence against Sikhs first one by Mughals, second during partition where many Sikhs were killed in Pakistan and the third one by Hindus after the execution of Indira Gandhi after she ordered operation Blue-star, which turned out to be a black mark and disastrous for India army. That is the only incidence in history of clashes between Sikhs and Hindus. It was a most unfortunate incidences of India history it arose due to many wrong calculation by Indira Gandhi and her failure to foresee the disastrous effect of her politics. Muslim in India too faced many incidence of violence among them, the main three were in 1947 during partition, the second one being Babri Demolition and third being Gujarat riots. During partition the worst form of violence were in district of Punjab and Haryana, where Sikhs and Hindu got mad seeing two trains full of dead bodies sent from Pakistan. Lahore and Amritsar were central of problem Lahore had huge Sikh and Hindu population while Amritsar being Muslim dominant. Lahore felt in Pakistan while Amritsar in India. Rawalpindi, Multan, had a large Sikh population and many of the residents were attacked or killed by radical Muslims. On the other side in East Punjab cities such as Amritsar, Ludhiana, and Gurdaspur had a majority Muslim population in which many of them were wiped out by Sikh and Hindus who launched an all out war against the Muslims. More than 200000 people died in these violence. Babri Demolition was a politically motivated attempt by B.J.P to win over hearts of millions of conservative Hindu families. The destruction of mosque didn't trigger violence immediately in Ayodhya, but it spread to many parts of India. There were three waves first a reaction of Muslims and violence against Hindus , second one was backslash of Hindus and third one a politically calculated and motivated backslash against Muslims. However many Hindus too died, but majority of dead consisted of Muslims. In Bombay alone more than 3000 people died and lacs of Muslims left their home in Bombay, it was time when police acted in the favor of Hindus and justice was denied to Muslims. This was followed by mumbai blast in 1993, where 300 people lost their lives, it was believed to be a retaliation of Muslims. This was followed by zero tolerance policy

towards Muslims criminals in Bombay. The TATA was evoked in most of the cases and there are incidence of human right violation, suspects were tortured very badly by the police. Gujarat Riots remains the most debated riots, the riots were triggered when Muslims burned a whole coach of kar-sevakas, most of them being woman and children. In most dramatic attempt to raise sentiments of Hindus the dead bodies were taken through the city. More than 2000 people mainly Muslims were killed , the chief minster narendra modi emerged as God/Saviour for most of the Hindus, who were in deep sense of insecurity and for some, merchant of death. Gujarat riots are taken to new level of politics when Lalu Yadav in an attempt to consolidate the MY vote bank ordered an inquiry which gave report that fire was accidental, but report was termed colorful, illegal and fake by Gujarat high court.

History has been full of atrocities against Hindus, the same fact has been used by many Hindu fundamentalist to convince many that violence against Muslims are justified, but as a thought we must see that we don't go down in history same as brutal Islamic rulers, there must be some difference between us and them.