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Conventions followed in ancient Indian wars

Sacrificer           unknown
Sacrifice code       wfor0455
Sacrifice date       25 march 2009
India before the advent of Islamic imperialism was a country with plenty of wars fought by Hindu princes. But in all their wars the Hindus had observed some time honored conventions sanctioned by the Shastras. The Brahmins and Bhikshus were never touched. The chastity of women was never violated. The cows were never killed. The temples were never touched. The non-combatants were never killed or captured. A human habitation was never attacked unless it was a fort. The civilian population was never plundered. The martial class (kshatriyas) who clashed, mostly in open fields, had a code of honor.

As early as as the 4th century B.C. Megasthenes noticed a peculiar trait of Indian warfare.

"Whereas among other nations it is usual in the contests of war to ravage the soil, and thus to reduce it to an uncultivated waste, among the Indians, on the contrary, by whom husbandmen, the tillers of the soil, even if battle is raging in the neighborhood, are undisturbed by any sense of danger, for the combatants on either side, in waging the conflict, make carnage of each other but allow those engaged in husbandry to remain quite unmolested. Besides they never ravage an enemy's land with fire nor cut down its trees." The modern "scorched earth" policy was then unknown.

Professor H. H. Wilson says: "The Hindu laws of war are very chivalrous and humane, and prohibit the slaying of the unarmed, of women, of the old, and of the conquered."

At the very time when a battle was going on, be says, the neighboring cultivators might be seen quietly pursuing their work, - " perhaps ploughing, gathering for crops, pruning the trees, or reaping the harvest." Chinese pilgrim to Nalanda University, Hiuen Tsiang affirms that although the there were enough of rivalries and wars in the 7th century A.D. the country at large was little injured by them.

Colonel James Tod, Late political agent to the Western Rajpoot State, author of Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: or the Central and Western Rajput States of India wrote: "To spare a prostrate foe is the creed of the Hindu cavalier, and he carried all such maxims to excess."

Islamic imperialism knew no code of honor. The only rule of war they observed without fail was to fall down the helpless civil population after a decisive victory had been won on the battlefield. They sacked and burnt down villages and towns after the defenders had died fighting or had fled. The cows, the Brahmins and Buddhist Bhikshus invited their special attention in a mass murder of non-combatants. Their temples and shrines were their special targets in an orgy of pillage and destruction. Those that they did not kill, they captured and sold as slaves. The scene was described by Kanhadde Prabandha (1456 A.D) in the following words: "The conquering army burnt villages, devastated the land, plundered people's wealth, took Brahmins and children and women of all classes captive, flogged with thongs of raw hide, carried a moving prison with it, and converted the prisoners into obsequious Turks."

(source: Story of Islamic Imperialism in India - By Sita Ram Goel p. 41-42).
The entire northwestern India and later the rest of India was gradually butchered and plundered with ruthless savagery surpassing perhaps even the genocide in the Americas. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher and writer, narrates the sordid tale as follows:

"...This of the fanaticism, the endless persecutions, the religious wars, that sanguinary frenzy of which the ancients had no conception! The destruction or disfigurement of the ancient temples and idols, a lamentable, mischievous and barbarous act still bears witness to the monotheistic fury...carried on from Mahmud, the Ghaznevid of cursed memory, down to Aurangzeb, the fratricide, whom the Portuguese...have zealously imitated by destruction of temples and the auto defe of the inquisition at Goa...We hear nothing of this kind in the case of the Hindoo...."

(source: The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer - By T. Bailey Saunders p. 42-43).

Two Chapters in India's history are most noted for its atrocities against Hinduism:

Islamic Onslaught
European Imperialism

Islamic Onslaught

An event of immense and lasting impact in Indian history was the advent of the Muslims in the north-west. Lured by tales of the fertile plains of the Punjab and the fabulous wealth of Hindu temples, Mahmud of Ghazni first attacked India in 1000 AD. Other raiders from Central Asia followed him. Hindus never forgot the repeated destruction of the Somnath Temple, the massacre of Buddhists at Nalanda, or the pogroms of the Mughals. Hindus gallantly resisted, knowing full well that defeat would mean a choice of economic discrimination via the jaziya tax on non- Muslims, forced conversion, or death. It is no wonder that the residents of Chittor, and countless other people over the length and breadth of Bharat, from present-day Afghanistan to present-day Bangladesh, thought it better to die gloriously rather than face cold-blooded slaughter.

Sir Vidiadhar S. Naipaul Nobel laureate, has said: "India was wrecked and looted, not once but repeatedly by invaders with strong religious ideas, with a hatred of the religion of the people they were conquering. People read these accounts but they do not imaginatively understand the effects of conquest by an iconoclastic religion."

"India became the great land for Muslim adventurers and the peasantry bore this on their back, they were enslaved quite literally. It just went on like this from the 11th century onwards."

(source: Economic Times - http://www.economictimes.com/today/30poli04.htm).

  • http://www.economictimes.com/today/30poli04.htm
  • http://www.economictimes.com
  • Colonel James Tod, Late political agent to the Western Rajpoot State, wrote in 1829:

    "After eight centuries of galling subjection to conquerors totally ignorant of the classical language of the Hindus; after almost every capital city had been repeatedly stormed and sacked by barbarians, bigotted, and exasperated foes, it is too much to expect that the literature of the country should not have sustained..." "
    (source: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: or the Central and Western Rajput States of India - James Tod p. viii).

    Vidiadhar Naipaul summed up the situation well. He said, "In art and history books, people write of the Muslims "arriving" in India as though they came on a tourist bus and went away again. The Muslim view of their conquest is a truer one. They speak of the triumph of faith, the destruction of idols and temples, the loot, the casting away of locals as slaves."

    (source: No comparison between Buddhas and Babri - Chao Mumbai.com).

    Francois Gautier in his book - Rewriting Indian History

    "Let it be said right away: the massacres perpetrated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese."
    Alain Danielou, son of French aristocracy, author of numerous books on philosophy, religion, history and arts of India, in his book, Histoire de l' Inde writes:

    "From the time Muslims started arriving, around 632 AD, the history of India becomes a long, monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoliations, and destructions. It is, as usual, in the name of 'a holy war' of their faith, of their sole God, that the barbarians have destroyed civilizations, wiped out entire races." Mahmoud Ghazni, continues Danielou, "was an early example of Muslim ruthlessness, burning in 1018 of the temples of Mathura, razing Kanauj to the ground and destroying the famous temple of Somnath, sacred to all Hindus. His successors were as ruthless as Ghazni: 103 temples in the holy city of Benaras were razed to the ground, its marvelous temples destroyed, its magnificent palaces wrecked." Indeed, the Muslim policy vis a vis India, concludes Danielou, seems to have been a conscious systematic destruction of everything that was beautiful, holy, refined."

    (source: Histoire de l' Inde - By Alain Danielou p. 222).

    Will Durant, the well-known American historian says in the book "The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage" page 459

    "...the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within." Almost all the Muslims of South Asia are descendants of weaker elements of the population who had succumbed to forcible Islamic conversion." )

    "The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history".

    The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride of the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave markets and the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period. "
    (source: The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage - By Will Durant page 459).

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