Hindus have suffered religious persecution and systematic brutality in the form of forced conversion, massacres, demolition, and vandalism of educational institutions and temples. It’s unclear how many Hindus Islam has killed. Historians agree that surviving victims overstate massacre estimates, at least in recent times. Premodern people considered losing a shame and minimized their suffering. Hindus haven’t written much about the Islamic invaders’ damage, probably to avoid drawing attention to their own failures and humiliations. All direct documented evidence is Islamic: court records, history books (testimonial and synthesizing), and Timur and Babar’s autobiographies. Few are in Arabic or Turki. Nehruvian and their Indologists try to diminish Islamic crimes by saying chroniclers exaggerated to flatter their supporters because killing unbelievers was highly regarded in Islam (which reveals a lot about Islam’s principles). This is probable, but it’s offset by massacres that went unrecorded.
Babar’s pages about his devastating stay in Ayodhya, blown away by a storm wind, illustrate this. Muslim chroniclers haven’t tallied how many deaths their patrons caused. Many millions of Hindus were killed by Islamic Mujaheddin (‘those who strive on Allah’s path’). A contemporary Nehruvian-cum-Marxist tendency in Indian and India-watching historiography seeks to dispute this truth. Still, the evidence is ample, much of it from the horse’s mouth: Muslim chronicles that take joy in describing the destruction of Pagan people and culture. Negationism is a fascinating issue for rejecting it as right history-writing and examining its psychological and political drivers, but that won’t be the topic of this piece.
A colossal carnage spanned a subcontinent and more than a millennium. Genocide, Is it so? Nowadays, it’s overused. This careless use of language undermines trustworthiness. Hindus should consider how they portray this crime going forward if they want to convince the world, not just themselves. Exaggerations and errors accomplish nothing. Genocide? One can define, if not misleading, genocide as a deliberate act to destroy a community (by murdering or stopping birth). Even if we don’t review what Islamic nerves did to Hindus, we must remember what their religious practices suggested in India’s split. Who could forget the misery of partitioned lives? The partition of 1947 between India and Pakistan displays immense carnage, brutality, and inhumane deeds whose effects were incorrectly expected by political actors. “Some extreme Hindu bodies came into existence in our country to counteract the growing violence and depredations of Muslims and to put a check on their appeasement in the political field. They recounted the harrowing tales of the blood-curdling massacres, forcible conversions, raping of women, and desecration of temples perpetrated by the Muslims ever since they stepped on their soil. This reactionary mentality makes people view the Sangh similarly.”
The arrival of Islam in India brought a new religion to Hinduism and sparked social and theological conflict. It rejected religious freedom conventions. Aggressors understood Hinduism’s inclusiveness. Muslim elites saw the assimilative nature of Hindu culture as a danger to the Muslim way of life and urged for ‘continuous vigilance and effort’ to combat it. Golwalkar (also known as Guruji) says, “Many people come to this country from other countries. They stayed. They’ve adapted to local life, ideology, and philosophy. Some have enriched the mainstream. Muslims kept apart, regrettably.” Guruji’s prescription that India is a Hindu Rashtra is confused by western philosophical and terminological standards. It can appear superficially theocratic. Guruji says the idea that Hindu Rashtra may endanger other religions comes from comparing it to the religiously bigoted Semitic governments.
The adversaries of Hindu Dharma and India may get away with any falsehood or distortion because they have the media, India-watching academics, and movie directors. They’ll exploit Hindu mistakes, knowing they can’t get away with them. Any violation of the canon of the scholarship will generate an impression of ‘anti-science’, ‘amateurism’, ‘superstition’, or ‘jingoistic history distortion’. Even in the case of utmost Hindu conscientiousness, they will still throw all these swearwords at the Hindus and condition many mediocre minds against the Hindu position (or the historical truth), at least in the short term. However, knowledgeable and discerning people will come over to the Hindu side of the argument, making a difference in the long run. Koenraad Elst suggests replacing the phrase ‘Hindu genocide’ with ‘Hindu-Jana-Samhara’ or ‘Hindu-Vamsa-Vicchedana’ (i.e., Hindu lineage discontinuance). Recent examples include the East Bengal Slaughter in 1971, the Kashmir Exodus in 1989, and the Azim Premji University’s Hinduphobia row, which could be called ‘Hindu genocide’ among Hindus.
Hindus have been oppressed by Muslim conquerors and their successors, including mass killings. Future generations will outgrow the false history taught in schoolbooks, and Hindu culture will shed its self-deprecation. This optimistic view hinges on the political will to put a few historians’ views into policy. Textbooks by historians won’t be successful unless they’re obligatory reading in schools and universities. We can’t change it. But at least we must present the facts accurately. We can only hope it replaces the fake history promoted by the historian and presumably by the Macaulayites, who are still looking for some textual and contextual distortions and deconstructions.