Author Archives: kuldeepjha

List of Libraries destroyed by Islamic Invaders in India

Twitter thread by Savitri Mumukshu – सावित्री मुमुक्षु

@MumukshuSavitri

The news of the Taliban initiating destruction of libraries in Afghanistan comes as no surprise. It is the hallmark of Islamic regimes to destroy libraries & universities especially if they belong to Non-Muslims. No country knows this since ancient times better than Bharat.

Islamic invaders like Bakhtiyar Khilji delivered a death blow to Bharat’s educational system by destroying its best libraries. The loss of millions of invaluable manuscripts was a devastating shock to the heritage of the entire world. This is a shortlist of some of them.

Nalanda University (Bihar) burned for 3 months after destruction by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193 CE. The Library had 9 Million manuscripts. Spread over 3 multi storied buildings, a 9 storied building housed sacred manuscripts.

Vikramshila University (Bihar) was destroyed by Khilji’s army & mistaken for a fort. The university was spread over 100 acres with 3000 scholars, the huge library complex included a massive pillared hall & a water reservoir to cool buildings which held priceless manuscripts.

Odantapuri University (Bihar) held a large library of millions of Hindu & Buddhist books. It too was destroyed by Khilji and a fortress was raised on the site of the university. The library on site was a 3 storied structure with beautiful courtyards & terracotta decorations.

Somapuri University (Bengal), was established by Dharmapala of Pala dynasty in 8th c. CE in current Bangladesh. Spread over 27 acres of land, it held a gigantic library of Buddhist, Jain & Hindu manuscripts. It was deserted in late 12th c. CE after repeated Islamic invasions.

Jagaddala University (Bengal) was one of the largest centers of Tantric learning. It was renowned for its translation services & had an imposing library of manuscripts – many of which were translated into Tibetan. In 1027 CE the Muslim invaders sacked & destroyed Jagaddala.

Valabhi (Gujarat) constructed by Maitraka kings was a university & temple town with a prosperous Hindu & Buddhist population & 6000 resident scholars. Its monumental library was patronized by royal grants. Arab invasions forced it to cease functioning in 12th c. CE

Bikrampur Vihara (Bengal) discovered on March 23, 2013 was built in 9th c. CE. It had 8000 students – many from China, Tibet, Nepal & Thailand who came for its grand library of rare manuscripts. Islamic invasions led to mass desertion of the site which soon fell into ruin.

These were just some of the most significant libraries of ancient Bharat which were storehouses of knowledge for Hindu, Buddhist & Jain traditions. One can only imagine the extent of irreplaceable manuscripts that were burnt & destroyed. Besides the loss of knowledge in the form of written manuscripts, the most horrific loss was in the form of savage murder of thousands of scholars who had enriched these temples of learning. Bharat was never able to recover fully after this genocidal onslaught.

It is a testament to the immense written knowledge that must have existed in Bharat, that despite such widespread destruction, we still have so many manuscripts left. Learned Brahmins & other scholars tried their best to preserve all they could after this dark period. No other culture would have the remotest chance of surviving such horrors – it is because Hindu culture is so timeless & our knowledge was so vast that even now so many remnants remained. Our oral traditions really helped to tide over such holocausts.

Books about this topic:

The Educational Heritage of Ancient India – Sahana Singh

Universities in Ancient India – DG Apte

Why fall of Hazrat Ali mosque to Taliban so significant

Twitter thread by @BharadwajSpeaks

Taliban has hoisted its flag on Hazrat Ali mosque of Mazar I Sharif.

This mosque is especially venerated by Shia Hazaras of Afghanistan.

This development is of extreme significance in the light of history and has implications on the very definition of Afghanistan

The Afghanistan we see on the map today was created by Afghan King Emir Abdur Rahman in 1900.

Before 1880, the entire central region of Afghanistan constituted a different country that was known by the name Hazaristan or Hazarajat

It was NOT considered a part of Afghanistan

That Afghanistan is nation of Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, etc is just a modern notion created 50 years ago.

Consider this Afghan idiom of the famous Pashtun poet Khushal Khattak(c. 1613 -1689 CE)

“An Afghan is a Pashtun and a Pashtun is an Afghan. Bεhead him who says otherwise”

Who are Hazaras?

Hazaras are considered by historians to be descendants of Genghis Khan’s army.

This is supported by their Asiatic features.

Although a majority of Hazaras adopted Persian with their own Hazaragi dialect, some still speak a Turkic language known as “Moghul”

An overwhelming majority of Hazaras are Shia by faith, in contrast to their Sunni Pashtun neighbors.

Hazaras are distinct from other Afghans linguistically, culturally and ethnically.

Traditionally, they inhabited the entire central region of Afghanistan from Ghazni to Herat

That Hazaras were distinct nation from Afghans is attested by Abul Fazl (c.16th century)

Abul Fazl says-” Hazaras are the descendants of the army sent by Manku Khan(Grandson of Genghis Khan).

Hazaristan spans from Ghazni to Qandahar and from Maidan to Balkh”

Ain I Akbari I.591

According to US Dept of state, Hazaras today constitute 15% of Afghanistan’s population. However, these figures were disputed by Hazaras themselves who claimed that they were 25%.

The UN Bonn conference (2001) estimated Hazara population at 19%.

Until 1880, Hazaras formed 67% of the population of today’s Afghanistan region.

Except for a few Hazara tribes residing in the vicinity of Kabul & Kandahar who paid annual tribute, the Hazaras were independent and NOT under the control of Pashtun (Barakzai) rulers of Afghanistan

Hazaras subsisted on cattle breeding. Made their living by taxing (& raiding) Silk Route caravans from India to Central Asia passing through Bamiyan.

They were independent & divided into several tribes . An exceptional Hazara chief named Mir Yazdan Baksh(c.1800 CE) united them

The rising Hazara power under Mir Yazdan Baksh could not be tolerated by Afghan king Dost Mohammad Khan.

Khan invited Hazara chief to Kabul under pretext of friendship. He assured safety under Qurαn oath.

In Kabul, the unsuspecting Hazara chief was arrested at first opportunity

Yazdan Hazara had a prudent wife who had cautioned him about treachery of Afghan Khan.

But as hubbie wouldn’t relent,she had also come with him.

Afghan king decided to kiII them. But by taking advantage of king’s avarice & making false promise of tribute,they heroically escaped

This was an early Afghan attempt to subdue Hazaras.

However, Hazaras subjugation was carried to completion by an Afghan king named Abdur Rahman khan in 1888 CE.

He was a Sunni extremist who believed in complete extέrmination of shias & non muzlims through ghastly punishments

In 1888, Abdur Rahman called for his first invasion against Hazara country.

He called for a Jihάd and told the Pashtun tribes “heads will be mine and the property will be yours”.

He jailed Hazara tribal leaders. A few Hazaras revolted but their rebellion was brutally crushed

It was Abdur Rahman Khan who first conquered almost all of the Hazara tribes.

Between 1880-1891, he brought 60% of Hazara tribes under control.

The Afghan conquest of Hazaristan was extremely brutal.

They used to marry Hazara women by force.

Hazaras were forced to utter abuses at Imam Ali(venerated by Shias)

Hazaras were subjected to extremely brutal punishments like burning genitάls with fire.

Exorbitant taxes

Hazaras tolerated everything for a while.

One day, 33 Afghan soldiers rάped the wife of a Hazara in front of him.

The Hazaras, preferring death to dishonor, decided it was enough & kiIIed Afghan soldiers.

Other Hazaras also joined and this snowballed into a major rebellionImage

In response, Afghan king Abdur Rahman assembled Sunni religious leaders and declared a Jihάd on “godless Shias”.

He promised Hazara land, Hazara wealth and children as rewards of war

All Afghan tribes united under the Jihάd

The Hazara revolt was brutally crushed

After the crushing defeat of Hazaras, they were enslaved.

Hazara slaves became so cheap in Kabul that they could be brought for 10 seers of wheat.

Hazaristan became part of Afghanistan

Many refractory Hazara were forcibly deported from Hazaristan.

They were sold as slaves in Kabuli. Today’s Kabuli Hazaras are their descendants.

Hazaras could not bear the oppression. Many tribes migrated to British India(Quetta) where they form a large diaspora even today

Some Hazaras were forced to embrace Sunni faith. Sunni mosques were built in Hazaristan.

To counter Hazara numerical strength, Pashtun tribes were settled in Hazaristan. Hazara land was seized and given to Pashtun settlers. Many Hazaras migrated to Iran to escape persecution

Hazaras were banned from owning houses or weapons. Blo0d tax was imposed on Hazaras.

Arable areas of Hazaristan were depopulated of Hazaras and given over to Pashtun nomads.

More than half of Hazara population was kiIIed or forced out

Hazara women were made sεx slaves. Some women preferred dεath over dishonor.

In one incident in 1893, 47 Hazara women jumped off the cliff to avoid capture at the hands of Sunni Afghan soldiers.

This incident has been in the Hazara memory and these women are honored even today

Hence, in Persian language, there is a saying

“Sag e Afghan kas Dara adam e Hazarah nah”

“Even a d0g of Pashtuns has a protector but a Hazara does not

A bridge in Kabul has the name “Pul e Yak Piasagi”
“The bridge of one paisa”

This was because at this place Hazara slaves were sold at one paisa.

Until 1970, Sunni Pashtun Mullahs declared that kiIIing a Hazara secures Allαh’s favor.

This was not just mere rhetoric. One Latif Ghul rαped and kiIIed 40 Hazaras.

Later he confessed several Mullahs told him that “pious acts” like Hazara kiIIing absolved his previous sins

It is against this background that Taliban offensive against Hazaras has to be understood.

“Hazaras are not Mμslim, they are Shia. They are kuffar”

—Mullah Manan Niazi, Taliban Governor.

No wonder, then, that Hazaras have been a target in Pakistan and Afghanistan even today

Hybrid intellectual Tommies on Neeraj Chopra’s Olympic Gold

Our country went into a frenzy as soon as Neeraj Chopra won the first Olympic gold medal for the country in track and field. His victory ended the century-long wait of a country of 1.3 billion people.

The young army man,  who comes from a farming background, instantly became a National Hero. It is being said that the performance of the Indian contingent in Tokyo Olympics will make kids fall in love and pursue even non-Cricket sports seriously now.

Greetings poured in for star javelin thrower from all quarters, including from the President, the Prime Minister and ex-Olympians.

Echoing the sentiments of the millions of emotional countrymen, a Twitter user wrote: “Nation will remember this day when our National Anthem was played at Olympics 🥇🥇Jai Hind”

On an international platform, an athlete represents the country and as its citizens, and hence their achievements are always treated as a National Achievement.

Yet it did not take long for people from left-liberal camp on social media to brand him a ‘Sanghi’. The reason being Neeraj Chopra’s old tweets congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sanghi Neeraj Chopra:

Soon, the search for “Is Neeraj Chopra Sanghi?” shot up.

Liberals move to ‘Cancel’ Neeraj Chopra

Left-leaning liberals and feminists had complete melt down and went into frenzy to “cancel” and abuse the Olympic gold medalist.

Journalist Sherina Poyyail interned at notorious left-leaning publication the Quint.

Our left-leaning universities are producing toxic people. The obnoxious cocktail of communism, Islamism and feminism are producing a new variant of crossbreed intellectuals who neither have ability to see things in perspective nor basic decency  in public discourse.

Inspirational story of women hockey captain Rani Rampal

Rani Rampal : “I wanted an escape from my life; from the electricity shortages, to the mosquitoes buzzing in our ear when we slept, from barely having two square meals to seeing our home getting flooded when it rained. My parents tried their best, but there was only so much they could do–Papa was a cart puller and Maa worked as a maid.
There was a hockey academy near my home, so I’d spend hours watching players practice–I really wanted to play. Papa would earn Rs.80 a day and couldn’t afford to buy me a stick. Everyday, I’d ask the coach to teach me too. He’d reject me because I was malnourished. He’d say, ‘You aren’t strong enough to pull through a practice session.’
So, I found a broken hockey stick on the field and began practicing with that– I didn’t have training clothes, so I was running around in a salwar kameez. But I was determined to prove myself. I begged the coach for a chance– maine bahut mushkil se convince kiya unko finally!

But when I told my family, they said, ‘Ladkiya ghar ka kaam hi karti hai,’ and ‘Hum tumhe skirt pehen kar khelne nahi denge.’ I’d plead with them saying, ‘Please mujhe jaane do. If I fail, I’ll do whatever you want.’ My family reluctantly gave in.
Training would start early in the morning. We didn’t even have a clock, so mom would stay up and look at the sky to check if it was the right time to wake me.
At the academy, it was mandatory for each player to bring 500 ml of milk. My family could only afford milk worth 200 ml; without telling anyone, I’d mix the milk with water and drink it because I wanted to play.

My coach supported me through thick and thin; he’d buy me hockey kits and shoes. He even allowed me to live with his family and took care of my dietary needs. I’d train hard and wouldn’t miss a single day of practice.

I remember earning my first salary; I won Rs.500 after winning a tournament and gave the money to Papa. He hadn’t ever held so much money in his hands before. I promised my family, ‘One day, we’re going to have our own home’; I did everything in my power to work towards that.

After representing my state and playing in several championships, I finally got a national call up at the age of 15! Still, my relatives would only ask me when I was planning on getting married. But Papa told me, ‘Play until your heart’s content.’ With my family’s support, I focused on doing my best for India and eventually, I became captain of the Indian hockey team!

Soon after, while I was at home, a friend papa used to work with visited us. He brought along his granddaughter and told me, ‘She’s inspired by you and wants to become a hockey player!’ I was so happy; I just started crying.

And then in 2017, I finally fulfilled the promise I made to my family and bought them a home. We cried together and held each other tightly! And I’m not done yet; this year, I’m determined to repay them and Coach with something they’ve always dreamed of– a gold medal from Tokyo.”

Don’t Use Savarkar In Your Agenda To Vilify Gau-Rakshaks; He Was An Advocate Of Cow Protection

By Arihant Pawariya for Swarajya

Snapshot
  • The narrative the media are trying to build — that Savarkar was somehow against cow protection itself and would’ve admonished gau-rakshaks — will fall flat because nothing can be farther from the truth. He was a vocal advocate of gau-raksha. ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Last month witnessed the release of two back-to-back biographies of Savarkar by Vikram Sampath and Vaibhav Purandare.

The fact that it took almost half a century for an English biography of a nationalistic icon to come out speaks volumes about our national apathy towards revolutionary anti-colonial heroes.

Perhaps it is a manifestation of the changing times that we are finally ready to stop demonising them and regurgitating the colonial propaganda, and stop insulting our martyrs by calling them misguided patriots or terrorists.

Both the works of Sampath and Purandare provide ample ammunition in helping understand the Savarkar phenomenon.

There is a lot to be learnt and celebrated about him — the difficult but inspiring childhood of a precocious boy, his role in the revolutionary movement for independence, him enduring inhuman incarceration in the Andamans with great fortitude, his Himalayan contribution to Indian political philosophy, his works as a social reformer and what not.

However, the usual suspects in the media, the intellectual heirs of those who have ignored or demonised Savarkar for decades, are not interested in highlighting any of these aspects.

Most of them are instead publishing excerpts from the books where Savarkar makes a case to not treat the bovine as divine. In the interviews with authors, leading questions about his views on cow worship are asked so that Savarkar can be used to run down present day gau-rakshaks.

The narrative they are trying to build — that Savarkar was somehow against cow protection itself and would’ve admonished gau-rakshaks — will fall flat because nothing can be farther from the truth. He was a vocal advocate of gau-raksha.

In fact, Savarkar’s first brush with communal riots as a 11-year old boy in his hometown Bhagur, was also precipitated by cow-related violence among other things. As Sampath writes, ‘these experiences taught him how poorly organized and disunited the Hindu community was’ and ‘this made Hindus doubly vulnerable to attacks.’

Yes, Savarkar didn’t want Hindu society to treat the cow as a divine creature. “The cow eats at one end and expels urine and dung at the other end. When it is tired it lies down in its own filth. Then it uses its tail (which we call beautiful) to spread this filth all over its body. How can a creature which does not understand cleanliness be considered divine?,” he reasoned.

“Why are cow’s urine and dung purifying while even the shadow of a man like Ambedkar is defiling?” Savarkar raised a pertinent question to Hindu society.

When it came to cows, his approach was utilitarian. He believed the cow was meant for the man and not the other way around, hence, it must be looked after well to maximise her usefulness. After all, the Hindus treated the cow as holy only because she was so useful to them.

Today, some vested interests are quoting aforementioned arguments of Savarkar to run down gau-rakshaks but his intention was exactly the opposite. “I criticized the false notions involved in cow worship with the aim of removing the chaff and preserving the essence so that cow protection may be better achieved,” he said.

Clearly he was making a case that worshiping the cow was of no use if it is prioritized over its protection. He said,

A worshipful attitude is necessary for protection. But it is improper to forget the duty of cow protection and indulging only in worship. The word ‘only’ used here is important. First protect the cow and then worship it if you so desire.

This is a far cry from what the trigger-happy Hindutva-baiters want us to believe by quoting Savarkar out of context, exactly the same modus operandi they have employed in painting him as a British stooge based on the mercy petitions written by him during his incarceration in the Andamans.

In any case, Savarkar’s appeal to Hindus to not consider the bovine as divine was in no way a nod for non-Hindus to go ahead with killing cows as if it was their religious duty.

As Purandare writes, “Savarkar wrote that Hindus might be naive but they weren’t cruel” unlike those who kill the cow as part of their “dharma”’ and thus had “no right to ridicule cow worshippers for their beliefs”.

Savarkar charged cow killers with possessing an ‘asuric instinct’ and urged all non-Hindus to “discard their religious cow hatred and consider cow protection done for economic reasons to be their duty.”

Some too-clever-by-half agenda-peddlers have even said that Savarkar advocated eating beef, conveniently throwing the context again in the dustbin. He was talking of extreme situations.

If a fortified city of the Hindu nation was under siege and was running out of rations, then rather than dying of starvation and surrendering, he believes it would be better to slaughter cows, use their flesh as food, to fight and defeat the enemy.

According to Savarkar, sacrificing the cow was acceptable in national interest. He cited examples of Indians kings who would capitulate in front of foreign invaders whenever the latter threatened to harm the cows, temples or Brahmins.

“Foolishness led to the sacrifice of the nation for the sake of a few cows and Brahmins and temples,” he said.

Savarkar was forthright and unwavering in his views. It will serve us all well if we attempt to understand why he said the things that are being gleefully misused by the media. Quoting him without context is a disservice to his memory and will not work in this day of social media awareness.

Arihant Pawariya is Senior Editor, Swarajya.