By Darshan Lal Jain
Please refer to the brilliant review of the book Battleground India: Prognosis of Hindu-Muslim Exclusivism; by Maloy Krishna Dhar appearing on page 13 of your issue dated 22-01-2012. The reviewer Shri MV Kamath has stated that invaders like Babar ordered the erection of a pillar with the severed heads of Hindu soldiers and has also referred to Aurangzeb’s ordering cartloads of idols to be spread over the portals of the Jama Masjid for the pious Muslims to trample the Hindu idols under their feet. In between Babar and Aurangzeb’s, I would like to quote from the records of various historians and travellers about the conduct of Akbar in similar situation.
The battle between Hemu and Mughals was fought at Panipat on November 5, 1556 AD. Historian VA Smith gives the following account of the battle, “The armies met in battle on November 5, 1556. At first Hemu was successful on both wings. Probably he would have been the victor but for the accident that he was hit in the eye by an arrow and rendered unconscious. His army, when deprived of its leader, the sole reason for its existence, dispersed at once.” (The Oxford History of India (1923) P.344)
Hemu was captured in an unconscious, almost dead state. Bairam Khan desired Akbar to earn the title of Ghazi by flashing his sword on the captive. Akbar complied with the request and smote Hemu on the neck. Hemu's head was sent to Kabul to show Afghans that he was dead, and his trunk was gibbeted at one of the gates of Delhi.
But the tragedy did not end here. The forces of Akbar conquered the Sarkar of Alwar which was the home of Hemu. The Mughal officer proceeded to the township where Hemu's family lived.
Abu Fazl describes what happened further, “The palace was strong and there was much fighting, and the father (Puran Das) of Hemu was captured and brought alive before the Nazim-al-mulk. The latter called upon him to change the religion. The old man answered, “For eighty years I have worshipped my God, according to this religion. Why should I change it at this time, and why should I merely for fear of my life and without understanding it come into your way of worship. Pir Mohammd treated his words as if he heard them not, and answered him with the tongue of sword.”
The vengeance of the Mughals continued. The clan of Dhusar Bhargavas was hounded throughout the region, brutally beheaded and pyramid of their skulls were built. Such painting of Akbar's time is on display in National Archives, New Delhi and its replica can be seen in the War Museum at Panipat. Such pyramids were still in existence 60 years later during the time of Jahangir, as mentioned by Petre Mundy, a British traveller in his travelogue on India during that period.
On the Hindu Muslim exclusiveness it would be of interest to your readers a quote from the book :-
Emergency – Muslims & RSS: My Eleven Years With Fakhrudin Ali Ahmed by FAA Rehmaney app. V Ahmed Sahib, and an article ‘Jamaat Islami & RSS’, Organiser, 30.05.93 p.9. by Shri HV Sheshadri. “It was the third quarter of 1975, when certain Maulvis with Pro-Congress leanings met Ahmed Sahib and told him that the placing of RSS and Jamaat Islami leaders in the same jails, sometimes in the same barracks, was proving to be a blessing in disguise for these parties, as they were developing rapport and the deep mis-understandings between them were fading away.
“Ahmed Sahib thought that if is was really true, it was the eighth wonder of the world and certainly carried ominous future for the Congressite Muslim leaders………. On hearing this astounding story. Ahmed Sahib told the Maulvis that he would speak to Indraji about this dangerous development and ensure that the Muslims remain Muslims” and shortly thereafter the RSS detinues were transferred from Delhi Jail.
(The writer can be contacted at [email protected]).