A sample of contemporary eyewitness accounts of the invaders and rulers, during the Indian conquests
The Afghan ruler Mahmud al-Ghazni invaded India no less than seventeen times between 1001 and 1026 AD. The book "Tarikh-i-Yamini" written by his secretary documents several episodes of his bloody military campaigns : The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously [at the Indian city of Thanesar] that the stream was discoloured, notwithstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it; the infidels deserted the fort and tried to cross the foaming river; but many of them were slain, taken or drowned. Nearly fifty thousand men were killed.
In the contemporary record " Taj-ul-Ma asir" by Hassn Nizam-i-Naishapuri, it is stated that when Qutb-ul- Din Aibak (of Turko Afghan origin and the First Sultan of Delhi 1194-1210 AD) conquered Meerat, he demolished all the Hindu temples of the city and erected mosques on their sites. In the city of Aligarh, he converted Hindu inhabitants to Islam by the sword and beheaded all those who adhered to their own religion.
The Persian historian Wassaf writes in his book "Tazjiyat-ul-Amsar wa Tajriyat ul Asar" that when the Alaul-Din Khilji (An Afghan of Turkish origin and second ruler of the Khilji Dynasty in India 1295-1316 AD) captured the city of Kambayat at the head of the gulf of Cambay, he killed the adult male Hindu inhabitants for the glory of Islam, set flowing rivers of blood, sent the women of the country with all their gold, silver, and jewels, to his own home, and made about twentv thousand Hindu maidens his private slaves.
This ruler once asked his spiritual advisor (or "Qazi") as to what was the Islamic law prescribed for the Hindus. The Qazi replied:
"Hindus are like the mud; if silver is demanded from them, they must with the greatest humility offer gold. If a Mohammadan desires to spit into a Hindu's mouth, the Hindu should open it wide for the purpose. God created the Hindus to be slaves of the Mohammadans. The Prophet hath ordained that, if the Hindus do not accept Islam, they should be imprisoned, tortured, finally put to death, and their property confiscated."
Timur was a Turkic conqueror and founder of the Timurid Dynasty. Timur's Indian campaign (1398 - 1399 AD) was recorded in his memoirs, collectively known as "Tuzk-i-Timuri". In them, he vividly described probably the greatest gruesome act in the entire history of the world, where 100,000 Hindu prisoners of war in his camp were executed in a very short space of time. Timur after taking advice from his entourage says in his memoirs :
"they said that on the great day of battle these 100,000 prisoners could not be left with the baggage, and that it would be entirely opposed to the rules of war to set these idolaters and foes of Islam at liberty.
In fact, no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword"
Timur thereupon resolved to put them to death. He proclaimed :
'throughout the camp that every man who has infidel prisoners was to 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. 100,000 infidels, impious idolaters, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasir-ud-din Umar, a counselor and a man of learning, who, in all his life had never killed a sparrow, now, in execution of my order, slew with his sword fifteen idolatrous Hindus, who were his captives."
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-Harb (nation of non-muslims) for years was made into a Daru-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
I battled infidels and Hindus,
I determined to become a martyr
Thank God I became a Killer of
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 , Lahoria 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.
Banda Singh Bahadur was tortured to death after being imprisoned for 3 months. The heart of Banda Singh's son was put in his mouth in an attempt to humiliate him
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 â€“ 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.