Critical Podium Dewanand India
Conventions followed in ancient Indian wars
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.
Sacrifice code wfor0455
Sacrifice date 25 march 2009
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.
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.
Two Chapters in India's history are most noted for its
atrocities against Hinduism:
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).
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
(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,
(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"
"...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
"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
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