Category Archives: History

Communist treachery, ‘sophists with sponges’

August 2021 marks the completion of a hundred years of the brutal episode in human history – The Moplah Genocide of the Malabar Hindus.

In this context, it is worth recalling the book on Khilafat by N.S Rajaram, who wrote about the Khilafat advocacy undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920s and its corollary, the Mopla Rebellion. Here is an extract from his book “Gandhi, Khilafat & The National Movement ” (First published in 1999 and then in 2009) on the treacherous role of Communists:

“Every villain,” said Lord Acton of the ‘power corrupts’ fame, “is followed by a sophist with a sponge”. This was surpassed by the Indian Communists. They bought not one sponge but a card-load of them, and put them to use in whitewashing atrocities from the Mopla Rebellion to the Partition to the R@pe of Tibet to the Chinese attack in 1962, and all the way to the nuclear tests of Pokharan II.

The period covered in this volume is not lacking in examples that bring to the fore the dark side of human nature. But for sheer venality, the behaviour of the Communists is in a class by itself. The gullibility and self-deception of Gandhi, the spinelessness of Nehru, the cunning of the Ali brothers and even the savagery of the Moplas – none of these can match the record of the Communists in this regard. A single example will suffice. The Moplas, who perpetrated some of the worst atrocities in history, especially on women, are heroes to Communists. Eminent scholars of Marxist leanings at respectable academic institutions extol these barbarians as heroic freedom fighters!

There is another difference. While these villains of yesteryears have departed from the world, the successors of these Communist ‘sophists with sponges’ are still around – sometimes in respectable professions like politics, academia and journalism. One is hard pressed to decide which is the greater evil – the Mopla marauders or their modern Marxist glorifiers.

To begin to understand the twists and turns of the Indian Communists, their passage from ‘anti-imperialists’ opposed to Britain and France, to British spies and collaborators, to being Soviet and Chinese fifth column, to their present state when they have combined with the most reactionary forces of Islam and become virtually a dependency of the tool of foreign interests, Sonia Gandhi, one has to go to the early years of the Second World War.

When the War broke out in September 1939, the Communists, found themselves in an awkward position – on the same side as Hitler – because of the Hitler-Stalin pact of August 1939. But they had to obey their masters in Moscow and support him. So, Hitler was no longer a Fascist menace but a messenger of peace fighting against the imperialist warmongers, Britan and France. But when Hitler attacked Russia on 22 June 1941, the Indian Communists executed a complete flip-flop and started supporting Britain in the war against Hitler. The Imperialist’s War became overnight the People’s War. They were now in a highly advantageous position vis-à-vis the British Government. They were used to serving their Soviet masters, so it entailed no great adjustment when opportunity called to serve the British. The Indian Communist leaders made the best of a good bargain.

For the rest of the War, the Indian Communists were, for all practical purposes, hired agents of the British. R.C. Majumdar tells us (Volume III, pp.569):
During the great national upsurge of 1942, the Communists acted as stooges and spies of the British Government, and helped them against their own countrymen fighting for freedom. The part played by the Communists can be best understood from confidential correspondence during the years 1942, 1943 and 1944 between P.C.Joshi, the General Secretary of the Communist Part of India … it is quite clear from the correspondence that ‘an alliance existed between Politburo of the Communist Party and the Home Department of the Government of India, by which Mr. Joshi was placing at the disposal of the Government of India the services of his Party members, that the ‘various political drives undertaken by the Party in the name of anti-Fascist campaigns were a part of the arrangement which helped the Government of India to tide over certain crises… ”

But ofcourse, this did not come cheap, and Communist leaders like Joshi, Dange and others were generously paid by the British for their services. One well-known Communist intellectual was paid as mush as rupees 16,000 per month! This allowed many of them to maintain lavish lifestyles – much in the manner of many ‘Gandhians’ today. But spying on the nationalists was only the beginning of this sordid if profitable enterprise. Majumdar tells us (Volume III, p. 570):

… Joshi had, as General Secretary to the Part, written a letter in which he offered ‘unconditional help’ to the then Government of India and the Army GHQ to fight the 1942 underground workers and the Azad Hind Fuaz (Indian National Army) of Subhas Chandar Bose, even to the point of getting them arrested. … Joshi’s letter also revealed that the CPI was receiving financial aid from the Government, had a secret pact with the Muslim League, and was undermining Congress activity in various ways.

It is no secret that at the time of independence, the Communists openly supported the formation of Pakistan. “Not only did the Communists support the demand for Pakistan but went much further by saying that every linguistic group in India had a distinct nationality and was therefore entitled, as they claimed was the case in the USSR, to the right to secede.”

Independence did not put a stop to Communist treachery. On the heels of Independence, the new Indian Government was faced with the problem of the integration of the princely states numbering over five hundred. Here was fertile ground for the Communists, especially Hyderabad, then at the mercy of Kasim Rizvi and his fanatical band of terrorists known as the Razakars. In February 1948, the Second Congress of the Communist Party of India proclaimed that India’s independence was a sham and decided to support the Razakars. They struck a deal with the Nizam’s Government and joined hands with the Nizam’s forces – the Razakars – to fight Hyderabad’s accession to India with the help of Pakistan. As with most terrorists, the forte of the Razakars was committing atrocities on unarmed civilians, not fighting a professional army. When Sardar Patel sent troops into Hyderabad, the Razakars crumbled before the advance of the Indian Army. Kasim Razvi ran away to Pakistan, handing over the bulk of his guns and other armaments to the Communists. The Communists kept up an armed insurrection in the Telangana region for a few years until ordered to stop by the Soviet Dictator Stalin.

But now, Marxist historians claim that the Communists joined the Congress in their fight against the Razakars who represented feudal interests! So, the action in Hyderabad was a ‘class struggle’ against the oppressors, except that the Communists sided with the Razakars! So, Rizvi and the Razakars were not Muslim fundamentalists but feudal exploiters of the people! To explain away the fact that the Communists joined hands with these ‘feudal exploiters’, their historians simply reverse the truth; they now claim that they fought against them. This way, they hope they can have it both ways.
This trail of treachery continued unabated. When China attacked India in 1962, the Communists were on the Chinese side. In 1964, when China exploded its first nuclear bomb, the Indian Communists greeted it with glee. But recently when India conducted nuclear tests the Indian Communists and their allies in the Congress – including the new found object of the adoration, Sonia Gandhi – vociferously condemned Indian tests. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Further Reading:

Attempt to whitewash Moplah atrocities is latest case of Communist schizofascism (Article by Ram Madhav).

COMMUNISTS AND ‘AZAADI’

Why Communists opposed the Constitution? A must know quote of Dr.Ambedkar from his speech on 25th November 1949 (Reference from archives of Parliament debates).

Communists colluded with Nizam’s Razakars (KM Munshi Memoirs)

The Moplah Genocide of the Malabar Hindus

August 2021 marks the completion of a hundred years of the brutal episode in human history – The Moplah Genocide of the Malabar Hindus.

A recent news report that a three-member committee of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), which was formed to review the names of “freedom fighters” from 1857 to 1947, is said to have considered removing the names of ‘Moplah martyrs of 1921 from the Dictionary of Martyrs of India’s Freedom Struggle. Along with Variamkunnath Kunhamed Haji and Ali Musaliar, the Moplah Rebellion leaders responsible for the Moplah Massacre of Hindus, 387 others who died during the Moplah Massacre will also be removed. The dictionary is jointly published by the Ministry of Culture and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).

A three-member panel, set up the ICHR which reviewed the entries in the fifth volume of the dictionary, has reportedly stated that the 1921 rebellion was never part of the independence struggle but a fundamentalist movement focused on religious conversion. None of the slogans raised by the rioters were in favour of nationalism and anti-British in content, it noted. According to the report, the panel has noted that the rebellion was an attempt to establish a Caliphate. “Had it succeeded, a Caliphate would have been established in the region too and India would have ended up losing that part from its territory”, The Hindu quoted sources as saying.

Further, the panel concluded that Haji was a rioter who established a Sharia court and beheaded a large number of Hindus. Those who died at the hands of the rioters were non-believers. The committee also stated that a large number of alleged ‘Moplah martyrs’, who were under-trial prisoners, died due to diseases such as cholera and natural causes hence cannot be treated as martyrs. Only a handful of them were executed by the government after court trial, the panel noted.

In this context, it is worth recalling eyewitness accounts of the Mopla Rebellion by Annie Besant and Madhavan Nair.

Eyewitness accounts of the Mopla Rebellion by Annie Besant and Madhavan Nair.

The following account signed by Annie Besant, under the title ‘Malabar’s Agony’, appeared in New India dated 29 November 1921. It is one of the literally hundreds of similar reports that appeared in the press at the time. The account given here is the slightly abridged, with some non- relevant history about the Zamorins removed. It has also been organised into smaller paragraphs to smooth the somewhat hurried writing. Of particular interest is Besant’s charge that by making Non-Cooperation part of the Khilafat movement, his Gandhism was also part of the violence that gave rise to, and he could not escape responsibility. It is interesting to note the contemporary accounts see the Non-Coorperation Movement as part of the Khilafat, and not as something on its own as modern history books tend to do. Here is Besant’s report. – N.S.R]

Annie Beasant: New India, 29 November 1921 :

It would be well if Mr. Gandhi could be taken into Malabar to see with his own eyes the ghastly horrors which have been created by the preaching of himself and his “loved brothers,” Muhommad and Shaukat Ali. The Khilafat Raj is established there; on August 1, 1921, sharp to the date first announced by Mr. Gandhi for the beginning of Swaraj and the vanishing of British Rule, a Police Inspector was surrounded by Moplas, revolting against that Rule. From that date onwards thousands of the forbidden war-knives ware secretly made and hidden away, and on August 20, the rebellion broke out, Khilafat flags were hoisted on Police Stations and Government offices…
Our correspondent has sent accounts of the public functions connected with my hurried visit to Calicut and Palghat, and that which I wish to put on record here is the ghastly misery which prevails, the heart-breaking wretchedness which has been caused by the Mopla outbreak, directly due to the violent and unscrupulous attacks on the Government made by the Non-Co-operators and the Khilafatists and the statements scattered broadcast, predicting the speedy disappearance of British Rule, and the establishment of Swaraj, as proclaimed by the N.C.O. and Khilafat Raj as understood by the Moplas from the declarations of the Khilafatists. On that, there is no doubt whatever, so far as Malabar is concerned. The message of the Khilafats, of England as the enemy of Islam, of her coming downfall, and the triumph of the Muslims, had spread, to every Mopla home. The harangues in the Mosques spread it everywhere, and Muslim hearts were glad. They saw the N.C.O. preachers appealing for help to their religious leaders, naturally identified the two. The Government was Satanic, and Eblis, to the good Muslim, is to be fought to the death.
Mr. Gandhi may talk as he pleases about N.C.O.s accepting no responsibility. It is not what they accept; it is what facts demonstrate. He accepted responsibility for the trifling bloodshed of Bombay. The slaughter in Malabar cries out his responsibility. N.C.O. is dead in Malabar. But bitter hatred has arisen there, as fighting men from the dragon’s teeth of Theseus. That is the ghastly result of the preaching of Gandhism, of N.C.O. of Khilafatism. Every one speaks of the Khilafat Raj, and the one hope of the masses is in its crushing by the strong arm of the Government. Mr. Gandhi asks the Moderates to compel the Government to suspend hostilities, i.e., to let loose the wolves to destroy what lives are left. The sympathy of the Moderates is not, I make bold to “with the murderers, the looters, the ravishers, who have put into practice the teachings of paralysing the Government of the N.C.O.’s, who have made “war on the Government” in their own way.
How does Mr. Gandhi like the Mopla spirit, as shown by one of the prisoners in the Hospital, who was dying from the results of asphyxiation? He asked the surgeon, if he was going to die, and surgeon answered that he feared he would not recover. “Well, I’m glad I killed fourteen infidels,” said the Brave, God-fearing Mopla, whom Mr. Gandhi so much admires, who “are fighting for what they consider as religion, and in a manner, they consider as religious.” Men who consider it “religious” to murder, rape, loot, to kill women and little children, cutting down whole families, have to be put under restraint in any civilised society.
“Mr. Gandhi was shocked when some Parsi ladies had their saries torn off, and very properly, yet the God-fearing hooligans had been taught that it was sinful to wear foreign cloth, and doubtless felt they were doing a religious act; can he not feel a little sympathy for thousands of “women left with only rags, driven from home, for little children born of the flying mothers on roads in refugee camps? The misery is beyond description. Girl wives, pretty and sweet, with eyes half blind with weeping, distraught with terror; women who have seen their husbands hacked to pieces before their eye, in the way “Moplas consider as religious”; old women tottering, whose faces become written with anguish and who cry at a gentle touch and a kind look waking out of a stupor of misery only to weep, men who have lost all, hopeless, crushed, desperate.
I have walked among thousands of them in the refugee camps, and sometimes heavy eyes would lift as a cloth was laid gently on the bare shoulder, and a faint watery smile of surprise would make the face even more piteous than the stupor. Eyes full of appeal, of agonised despair, of hopeless entreaty of helpless anguish, thousands of them camp after camp. “Shameful inhumanity proceeding in Malabar,” says Mr. Gandhi. Shameful inhumanity indeed, wrought by the Moplas, and these are the victims, saved from extermination by British and Indian swords; For be it remembered the Moplas began the whole horrible business; the Government intervened to save their victims and these thousands have been saved. Mr. Gandhi would have hostilities suspended—so that the Moplas may sweep down on the refugee camps, and finish their work?”
I visited in Calicut three huge Committee camps, two Christian, and the Congress building and compound where doles of rice are given daily from 7 A.M. to noon. In all, the arrangements were good. Big thatched sheds, and some buildings shelter the women and children, the men sleep outside. They are all managed by Indians, the Zamorini’s Committee distributing cloths and money to all, except the Congress committee, which work independently and gives food from its own resource. At Palghat, similar arrangements are made by the Zamorini’s Committee, and the order and care in feeding are good to see.
Let me finish with a beautiful story told to me. Two Pulayas, the lowest of the submerged classes, were captured with others, and given the choice between Islam and Death. These, the outcaste of Hinduism, the untouchables, so loved the Hinduism which had been so unkind a step- mother to them, that they chose to die Hindus rather than to live Muslim. May the God of both, Muslim and Hindus send His messengers to these heroic souls, and give them rebirth into the Faith for which they died.

Report by Madhavan Nair, Secretary, Calicut District Congress Committee :

Maulana Mohani justified the looting of Hindus by the Moplas as lawful by way of commandeering in a war between the latter and the Government of as a matter of necessity when the Moplas were forced to live in jungles. The Maulana perhaps does not know that the majority of the cases, the almost wholesale looting of Hindu houses in portions of Ernad, Valluvand and Ponani Taluques [counties] was perpetrated on the 21st, 22nd, and the 23rd of August [1921] before the military had arrived in the affected area to arrest or to fight the rebels even before Martial Law had been declared (in Malabar). The Moplas had not be taken themselves to the jungles as the Maulana supposes nor had the Hindus as a class done anything to them to deserve their hostility. The outbreak commenced on the 20th of August [1921], the police and the District Magistrate withdrew from Tirunangadi to Calicut on the 21st and the policemen throughout the affected area has taken to their heels. There was no adversary to the Moplas as the time whom the Hindus could possibly have helped or invited, and the attack on them was most wanton and unprovoked.
Comment added: Maulana Mohani, like a hundred other Khilafat leaders, well knew the truth but arrogantly justified the Mopla atrocities as a ‘military necessity’ drive by self-defence. But these reports clearly show that the Mopla Rebellion was a planned uprising that began immediately after the expiry of Gandhi’s promise of ‘swaraj within the year’ and not a sporadic outbreak.

According to Annie Besant, it began on the day of expiry, and soon spread to the whole region – becoming a full-blown rebellion on or about August 20. The district authorities, including the police, were caught unaware and also not equipped to handle a large-scale rebellion. Chaos reigned in Malabar for several months, forcing the Government to declare Martial Law. The Army had to be called in and it was months before the rebellion was out down after the loss of several thousand lives and unspeakable atrocities. The Congress historians like to pretend that all this never happened, while the Marxists glorify the Moplas as ‘freedom fighters’ !

Madhavan Nair sent several other reports, a few of which are included in the Appendix to Sankaran Nair’s Gandhi and Anarchy. Murders, rapes and forcible conversions were the order of the day. I find most of them too gruesome to be included here, but the following excerpt should give an idea:
Can you conceive of a more ghastly and inhuman crime than the murder of babies and pregnant women? … A pregnant woman carrying 7 months was cut through the abdomen by a rebel and she was seen lying dead on the way with the dead child projecting out … Another baby of six months was snatched away from the breast of the mother and cut into two pieces … Are these rebels human beings or monsters? These are by no means the most gruesome of the accounts described. But enough to give an idea of the atrocities committed by the ‘God-fearing’ plus acting ‘in a manner they consider as religious’ as Gandhi praised them. To those familiar with the history, the barbarism of their modern counter parts in Afghanistan – the Taliban also following the dictates of their ‘religion’ – will come as no surprise.

In this context, it is worth recalling the book on Khilafat by N.S Rajaram, who wrote about the Khilafat advocacy undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi in the 1920s and its corollary, the Mopla Rebellion. It is a sad tale of how the chimerical and short-sighted actions of a handful of leaders resulted in human misery on a horrendous scale. Navratna Srinivasa Rajaram (Dr N S Rajaram) was a renowned researcher, prolific writer and mathematician turned Hindutva-scholar. Refer Swarajya to know more about him and his works.

Here is an extract from his book “Gandhi, Khilafat & The National Movement ” (First published in 1999 and then in 2009) : “When we compare the situation in India today with what it was in 1920, we find both similarities and differences. The Muslim masses today are no more enlightened and no less under the grip of reactionary forces than they were at the time of the Khilafat eighty years ago. But they are much weaker relative to the Hindu majority. Also, there are no Muslims leaders on the horizon that command the kind of influence and authority that the Ali brothers did. Neither is there a Hindu leader of the stature of Mahatma Gandhi willing to stake all for the sake of ‘unity’ and carry the people with him. At the same time, there is no shortage of secondary leaders willing to take the side of any Muslim demand regardless of its merit. The Congress Party – as well as the Communist – is practically in their hands. Only future will tell if Indians have learnt any lessons from their history – from the Khilafat to the Partition to Kashmir to the Bangladesh War. Of one thing one can be certain: if there is any upheaval in the name of Islam in the neighboring Pakistan, Indian Muslims will not remain unaffected by it. The real question is whether Indian leaders will act with the national interest foremost, or display the same kind of sophistry and equivocation as in the past. The postures of the Congress Party – and the machinations of the Communists inspire little confidence in this regard.

The world also has an important lesson to learn: religion can act as a cover for committing the most unspeakable atrocities, as the Appendixes to this document record. But for reasons that this writer finds incomprehensible, the world does not want to learn this basic truth. To those familiar with the history reported here, the atrocities in the name of religion by the Taliban in Afghanistan come as no surprise. But if we fail to learn from this history, the pattern will only repeat itself somewhere else. The more things change, the more they remain same”. – N.S. RAJARAM

Further Reading:

Communist treachery, ‘sophists with sponges(Excerpts from N.S Rajaram’s book : Gandhi, Khilafat & The National Movement.

Beyond Rampage by Harishankar BS: Get it here

The Moplah Rebellion 1921 by Gopalan Nair C – Get it here

Attempt to whitewash Moplah atrocities is latest case of Communist schizofascism (Article by Ram Madhav).

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

WHAT MARATHA HISTORY TEACHES US

-Sir Jadunath Sarkar

“Unite all the people, fill them with one spirit.
Wherever Marathas are, unite them;
extend the spirit of our Maratha ‘dharm’.
Bahut lok milavave, ek vichare bharave.” – Swami Ramdas

“Maharashtra has been my second home, I have paid more than forty visits to it, and travelled to its hamlets and forts far away from rail and bus routes, making friends everywhere. And my study of Maratha history has been second only—if second at all, to my devotion to Mughal history.

SCHOLARSHIP, MILITANCY & PATRIOTISM

The Maratha people stand unique among the races of India in having produced in the historic past close to our days, whole classes who have been masters of the pen and the sword alike. Such a combination of military and literary ability in the same man or same family has been found among the Persians and the Eastern Turks (whom we call Mughals), but no other Indian race has produced such a galaxy of leaders in war and learning as Maratha history records. Is this the root cause of the fact that no other province of India in the closing sixty years of British rule has produced such constructive patriots of the modern civilised type as Maharashtra? I do not refer to the glib eloquence of platform oratory which can excite a contagion of momentary enthusiasm but soon falls flat like a soda water bottle when its frothy effervescence is ended. In that respect several other provinces of India can, I admit, beat the descendants of Shivaji and Ramdas.

SOCIAL SERVICE & RECONSTRUCTION

Maharashtra’s noblest sons have shown in every field of human endeavour, a marvellous persistency and earnest lifelong devotion to patriotic ideals, and not in political agitation merely. The net achievement of these construc¬tive workers will endure for ages. Let me take two examples only : the Servants of India Society of G. K. Gokhale and the Women’s Home and University of D. K. Karve. Imitations of them were started in some other provinces of India with beat of drum, but where are they now? These two Maharashtrian institutions endure and their usefulness has gone on expanding year after year.

Another characteristic of Maratha patriotism is significant ; their institutions for the service of the people have been built up and kept alive entirely by private donation and not by grants from the public exchequer. In other provinces, our patriots throw the burden of their pet schemes on the Government or Municipal Corporations at the earliest opportunity, or else they die of starvation. The honourable spirit of true public service is not extinct in Maharashtra. Such disinterested devotion to the people’s welfare in every field is still being shown by the sons of Maharashtra. Without meaning to ignore others, I shall cite one example only, because it has been personally known to me from its foundation in 1926. I refer to the Talegaon Charitable General Hospital and especially its eye-clinic and the attached T.B. Convalescent Homes which attract sufferers from all parts of India. Here, physicians of the first standing in Bombay and Poona attend regularly giving their services for absolutely no gain and some even bear their own travelling expenses. Where else in India can we find its parallel on the same scale?

PLAIN LIVING, HIGH THINKING, COOPERATIVE LIVING

What is the fountain-head of this pure water of life that is now regenerating Maharashtra? My reflections lead me to only one conclusion : it is the spirit of plain living and high thinking which animates the entire educated and middle classes of that land, and the priceless experience in managing local affairs in mutual co-operation which the common people of Maharashtra have acquired by twenty centuries or more of life in “village communities”. These village communities have been rightly described by Elphinstone as “little republics, having nearly everything they can want within themselves.” Every such village had in pre-British days its own set of hereditary officers and menials, paid by allotments of plots of land round the village, and settling their disputes by a Grand Jury of all classes of the local people …. Such village communities were crushed out in Northern India long ago by the ruthless advance of foreign conquerors and the formation of centralised despotic monarchies of vastnesses possible only in the boundless plains of the Gangetic valley.

SELF-RELIANCE, SELF-RESPECT, EQUALITY

I have travelled extensively through the Sahyadri Hill range and river valleys, and everywhere noticed with surprise the free self-reliant character of the commonest people, peasants and day-labourers, such as can never be seen among the helpless ryots of big zamindars in Hindustan, or the police-ruled population of indigo-growing areas, the vassals of feudal jagirdars in Rajputana and Malwa. There is a wonderful “diffused sense of democratic equality and self-respect” among the Marathas which can make them the best nationals of Free India.

SCHOLARSHIP

We talk of the heroism of Shivaji and Baji Rao I, Lakshmi Bai and Tara Bai, but how many of us remember that the same race has produced some of the finest scholars in India? The only Senior Wrangler(1) among the Asiatics is a Maratha Brahman; and the most learned and correct editions of the Sanskrit classics are produced in Maharashtra, at the Nirnaya Sagar Press of Bombay, the Anand Ashram of Poona, and the Bhandarkar Institute of Research, the last of which has the unique distinction of bringing out the world-recognised edition of the Mahabharat.

WOMEN’S FREEDOM & INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

Maratha women have enjoyed from the earliest times high honour and perfect freedom of movement and activity. What other Hindu community in India has produced queens like Ahalya Bai and Tara Bai, female warriors like Lakshmi Bai (of Jhansi) and Rai Baghini (the wife of Udiram of Malegaon), besides social workers like Rama Bai and the female Karves (to mention a few only)? Was not Shivaji’s mother Jija Bai, the patron saint and effective administrator of her son’s kingdom and people during Shivaji’s visit to Aurangzeb and captivity in Agra?

There is record of a significant dialogue held during the first Anglo-Maratha War. The Rana of Gohad was scornfully asked by Col. Camac and other English allies in their camp at Sesai (south of Gwalior):

“What has your Mahadji Sindhia done that you praise him so highly?”

The Rana (who was then fighting against Sindhia) replied, “Mahadji is no ordinary man ; he has restored the Emperor to his throne in Delhi, and his wife rides out to battle.”

Camac asked, “Do not your wives ride out?” The Jat chief replied, “No. We are Kshatriyas, we observe parda.” [Bodleian Library, Persian manuscript.]

After Tukoji Holkar’s camp had been beaten up by Mahadji Sindhia’s Generals at Suraoli (1792), Ahalya Bai Holkar wrote to her Generals, “If you delay in going out to renew the war and avenge this defeat, I shall myself take horse and command my household troops personally in battle”. And yet she was better known as a pious and charitable lady and a religious devotee. Such is Maratha womanhood.

PERSISTENT PATRIOTISM

In nobility of aims and heroic persistence of endeavour, the Maratha people have an advantage which no other race in India possesses. They, alone among the Hindus, had beaten back the tide of Muslim conquest and defended the independence of their country against all the resources of the mighty Emperor Aurangzib and at a time when their King was almost a prisoner in the far off Madras coast. And later, under the Peshwas, they gained a still higher experience in politics in the best sense of that term. I here quote my own words used elsewhere:

“The Marathas have a historic advantage of unique importance in the India of today. Their near ancestors had faced death in a hundred battlefields, had led armies and debated in the chamber of diplomacy, had managed the finances of kingdoms and grappled with the problems of empire; they had helped to make Indian history in the immediate and not yet forgotten past. The memory of these things is a priceless asset to their race”.

BHAKTI SAINTS

Over all this “great realm” Maharashtra, there has spread the benign and yet manly influence of the saints and preachers in the vernacular, elevating, fortifying, and yet mollifying the character of the people from the rulers down to the meanest tiller of the soil.

HISTORIOGRAPHY

This legitimate pride in their real and immediate past, has prompted the Marathas to preserve, collect, edit and publish their historical records in a voluminous size and a high level of successful attainment, not one-tenth of which can be seen in any other Indian province, not even in the imperial cities of the Mughals or the antique capitals of the Rajput princes. To this success many learned men of unsurpassed industry and self-abnegation have contributed. Among the dead I shall mention only Kashinath Narayan Sane, Vishwanath K. Rajwade, and V. V. Khare. No other race in India has produced their equal.

Finally, the Indian army will one day need to raise a corps of Commando troops. I cannot imagine better material for such a select body than the Marathas. This is no reflection on other “martial” races of India, but the special aptitude required for such a corps d’elite is not so prominent among others.

INTERNECINE FEUD, A FATAL FLAW

At the end, it is the impartial historian’s duty not to conceal the defects of the Maratha racial character. They have been strong, they have been free, but they have not been united. Like the Afghan tribes or the clans of the Scottish Highlands, Maratha family has fought Maratha family, clan has fought clan, in selfish personal feuds. The result has been disastrous to the interests of the nation as a whole. That perfect type of Maratha cavalry leader and organiser of tactics, Santaji Ghorpare, was killed not by a Muslim but by another Maratha Nimbalkar, whose brother this Santa had killed in an earlier internecine battle!

Even today caste-squabbles are not dead in Maharashtra, though the newspapers carefully exclude information on this unsavoury subject. Brahman-Prabhu wrangles about religious claims arc still boiling up; even the Brahmans are not a happy family in all their branches. Are Karhada Brahmans totally at ease about Chitpavan hostility, say in Ratnagiri? Let those who know the facts ponder on the consequences.

After all, there cannot be a truer message to the Maratha people even today than the advice given by Ramdas Swami nearly three centuries ago: —

Unite all the people, fill them with one spirit.
Wherever Marathas are, unite them;
extend the spirit of our Maratha ‘dharm’.
Bahut lok milavave, ek vichare bharave.”

NOTES:

(1) Top mathematics undergraduate at Cambridge University in England

SOURCE: Sarkar Jadunath (1955) House of Shivaji, 3rd Edn., M.C. Sarkar & Sons Ltd. Calcutta, pp 334-339