During his campaign in India – Timur describes the scene when his army conquered the Indian city of Delhi :
“In a short space of time all the people in the [Delhi] fort were put to the sword, and in the course of one hour the heads of 10,000 infidels were cut off. The sword of Islam was washed in the blood of the infidels, and all the goods and effects, the treasure and the grain which for many a long year had been stored in the fort became the spoil of my soldiers.
“They set fire to the houses and reduced them to ashes, and they razed the buildings and the fort to the ground….All these infidel Hindus were slain, their women and children, and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors. I proclaimed throughout the camp that every man who had infidel prisoners should put them to death, and whoever neglected to do so should himself be executed and his property given to the informer. When this order became known to the ghazis of Islam, they drew their swords and put their prisoners to death.”
The Mughal emperor Babur (who ruled India from 1526 -1530 AD) writing in his memoirs called the ‘Baburnama’ – wrote : ” In AH 934 (2538 C.E.) I attacked Chanderi and by the grace of Allah captured it in a few hours. We got the infidels slaughtered and the place which had been Daru’l-Harb (nation of non-muslims) for years was made into a Daru’l-Islam (a muslim nation).”
In Babur’s own words in a poem about killing Hindus (From the ‘Baburnama’ ) he wrote :
“For the sake of Islam I became a wanderer,
I battled infidels and Hindus,
I determined to become a martyr
Thank God I became a Killer of Non-Muslims!”
The atrocities of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan (who ruled India between 1628 – 1658 AD) are mentioned in the contemporary record called : ‘Badshah Nama, Qazinivi & Badshah Nama , Lahori’ and goes on to state : “When Shuja was appointed as governor of Kabul he carried on a ruthless war in the Hindu territory beyond Indus…The sword of Islam yielded a rich crop of converts….Most of the women (to save their honour) burnt themselves to death. Those captured were distributed among Muslim Mansabdars (Noblemen)”
The Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali attacked India in 1757 AD and made his way to the holy Hindu city of Mathura, the Bethlehem of the Hindus and birthplace of Krishna.
The atrocities that followed are recorded in the contemporary chronicle called : ‘Tarikh-I-Alamgiri’ :
“Abdali’s soldiers would be paid 5 Rupees (a sizeable amount at the time) for every enemy head brought in. Every horseman had loaded up all his horses with the plundered property, and atop of it rode the girl-captives and the slaves. The severed heads were tied up in rugs like bundles of grain and placed on the heads of the captives…Then the heads were stuck upon lances and taken to the gate of the chief minister for payment.
“It was an extraordinary display! Daily did this manner of slaughter and plundering proceed. And at night the shrieks of the women captives who were being raped, deafened the ears of the people…All those heads that had been cut off were built into pillars, and the captive men upon whose heads those bloody bundles had been brought in, were made to grind corn, and then their heads too were cut off. These things went on all the way to the city of Agra, nor was any part of the country spared.”
Why we should remember
The biggest holocaust in World History has been whitewashed from history.
When we hear the word HOLOCAUST most of us think immediately of the Jewish holocaust. Today, with increased awareness and countless cinema films and television documentaries – many of us are also aware of the Holocaust of the Native American peoples, the genocide of the Armenian peoples in the Ottoman Empire, and the millions of African lives lost during the Atlantic slave trade.
Europe and America produced at least a few thousand films highlighting the human misery caused by Hitler and his army. The films expose the horrors of Nazi regime and reinforce the beliefs and attitude of the present day generation towards the evils of the Nazi dictatorship.
In contrast look at India. There is hardly any awareness among the Indians of today of what happened to their ancestors in the past, because a great majority of historians are reluctant to touch this sensitive subject.
The World seems to either ignore or just does not seem to care about the many millions of lives lost during the 800 – year long holocaust of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhist in India.
The Indian historian Professor K.S. Lal estimates that the Hindu population in India decreased by 80 million between 1000 AD and 1525 AD, an extermination unparalleled in World history. This slaughter of millions of people occurred over regular periods during many centuries of Arab, Afghan, Turkish and Mughal rule in India.
Many Indian heroes emerged during these dark times – including the 10th Sikh Guru – Guru Gobind Singh and also the Hindu Maratha king – Shivaji Maratha – who led the resistance against this tyranny and eventually led to its defeat by the late 1700s – after centuries of death and destruction.
The modern World today is facing a global threat from organizations and groups of terrorists such as the ISIS, Taliban and Al-Qaeeda – whose ideology is chillingly similar to that of the perpetrators of the World’s biggest holocaust in India.
Let us hope that the bloody lessons of the past are learnt so that history does not even have the remotest chance of repeating itself.