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Miscellaneous Topics on Indian History
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Historical Letter To Quaid-I-Azam Traced
H.A. Hamied

KARACHI, Aug 13, 1990: A rare, unpublished letter written by Dr. Zakir Husain 43 years ago to Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah has been deposited at Bait-al-Hikmat, the Hamdard's new library, at Bund Murad. The letter throws light on the selction of officials to assist him "during the nascent period of Pakistan State."

Dr. Zakir Husain, <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>who later became Vice-President and then Prsident of India, wrote the letter from Madras on June 10, 1947. This was among a large number of documents handed over to Mr. Rizwan Ahmad, a researcher on the Quaid, by Mohatarma Shirin Jinnah Bai.

Written on the letterhead of Jamia Millia Islamia (National Muslim University), Jamianagar, Delhi, it mentions the names of leading Muslims in the subcontinent whose services could be availed of for "Pakistan which your almost super-human efforts have brought into being." </span>

Dr. Zakir Husain's letter, which begins with "Respected Quaid-i-Azam", recalled that the latter had asked him at the Afghan Independence Day function to suggest names of persons whose services could be availed of for Pakistan. He started with the names of Sir Abdur Rahim and Sir Zafrullah Khan for the Constitution-making job and to assist them on the academic side, the names of Dr. I.H. Qureshi of the Delhi University and Dr. Mahmood Husain of the Dacca University were suggested.

After the Constitution-making issue, Dr. Zakir Husain mentioned the names of some persons related with subjects, such as finance, currency, communications, armed forces, industrial development, etc.

Three names were suggested for handling issues of finance, currency and the disrtibution of assets. They were Mr. Mohammad Ali, at that time military financial advisor to the Government of India; Mr. Zahid Husain of Aligarh and Sir Ghulam Mohammad of Bombay.

For matters relating to communications, he had recommended the names of Mr. Z.H. Khan of the Railway Board, Mr. M. Farooq, General Manager, East India Railway; Mian Nizamuddin, General Manager, Nizam State Railway and Mr. Zahid Husain who was for some time financial advisor to the Railways in India. Mr. Zahid Husain "will also be useful on questions relating to Post and Telegraph," and to assist him the names of Sir Ghulam Mohammad and Mr. Mohammad Zaman Khan, a retired postmaster general, were mentioned.

"On questions relating to the Army, H.H. the Ruler of Bhopal and Mr. Mohammad Ali can be expected to advise on Indian conditions. On major questions of defense, I feel some foreign expert advice will be needed. But the official formal advisor should, I think, be an Indian Muslim," the letter continued.

For matters relating to industrial development, the names of Mr. A. Ispahani, Sir Ghulam Mohammad, "and may be Mr. Akbar Fazalbhoy of Bombay should be useful."

The letter said: "If I can be of any service in the framing of educational programs, I shall deem it a privilege to be able to do so."

Concluding the hand-written letter, Dr. Zakir Husain said: "These are just a few names I have been able to think of. I am sure under your inspiring leadership competent Muslims will be able to give a good account of themselves in the development of Pakistan.

"I am in Madras at present in connection with a conference of the International Students Service and hope to return to Delhi by the 17th. With respectful regards, yours sincerely, Zakir Husain."

(One can see that under Nehru even traitors, Mohammedan traitors, were given important national posts. Who can be higher than the president of the country? Theoretically, the president can call for a cease fire under shameful conditions in a war with Pakistan. We suggest that our readers read up the article Zakir Outsmarts Jawahar from our Archives columns. Nehru was fully aware of Zakir's characteristics. Zakir was a liar and an anti-Hindu of the worst category. He did not allow the divali lights to be lit on the ramparts of the Rashtrapati Bhavan during his tenure. Can one believe it? And our people did not even whimper! And on top of that, this traitor had a mosque built inside the Rashtrapati Bhavan which is still there. If Babri Masjid has been downed, when are we going to get rid of this garbage?

This article was suppressed in India and as a result, Indians were unaware of Zakir's very important letter, written just prior to the partitioning of the country! We took it from The Dawn of Karachi dated Aug. 14, 1990. The idea for suppression was to present the Mohammedans, even Mohammedan traitors, in a favorable light to the Hindus of India! The land of Satyameva Jayate turned out to be a land ruled by men and women with deep Islamic roots, and immoral and treasonous to boot; thus chacha Nehru died of syphilis, Indira had a son by Firoz Khan and another by Mohammad Yunus, even before a proper talaaq! Normal people call such a woman a whore and not Durga Devi! And the duffer Rajiv was a thief! Remember! Gali gali men shor hai/Rajiv Gandhi chor hai?

Readers can see how much Zakir would have loved to be hired by Jinnah. But Jinnah didn't even call him for an interview. In Jinnah's eyes Zakir was a mean traitor and Jinnah had no use for traitors. And we have seen how that Islamic country, talking big on Islam, treated Zafrullah Khan! And later they did the same thing with Pakistan's only atomic scientist. This has almost become an animal kingdom!

It is time to make it obligatory to rigorously check the background of all high level Mohammedan employees of the GoI. Who are they? Currently, we have a number of them such as Salman Haidar, the Mohammedan governors of Indian provinces, all ambassadorial members such as Abid Husain, professors like Mukarram Ahmed et al. -TD)
Still we are fed the garbage about Indian Muslim patriotism when facts throughout history show otherwise.
<b>Kalka Nabob Aajka Kangal. Kya Huya Tajmahal bananewalon ka </b>

Mughal bahu languishes in a slum
[ Sunday, December 11, 2005 10:39:57 amMUMBAI MIRROR ]
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KOLKATA: A bahu of shahi khandaan now runs a tea stall in Howrah, about 10 km from Kolkata.

Meet Sultana Begum, great grand daughter-in-law of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor of India. Clad in a faded shalwar-kurta, her hair tied in a bun, she counts out the money a customer just paid for a cup of tea at her stall. Barely a stone's throw away, her rundown house in a dingy slum at Foreshore Road in Howrah reeks of poverty.

After the death of her husband Prince Mirza Bedar Bukht, it's a struggle for existence for the mother of five daughters (four of them married) and a son. "Apart from the earnings from the tea stall, I get a monthly political pension of Rs 400," she said.

In a letter to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, drafted by a lawyer, she has sought "due compensation and provision for a dignified existence". A reply acknowledging the receipt of her letter, also said that it had been "duly recommended to the concerned ministry for appropriate action". That was in May. After that, nothing happened.

If any links are broken, please find google cached pages and relink them here.

<b> Resources on ‘Eminent (Marxist) Historians’</b>

1. Excerpts from Arun Shourie’s ‘Eminent Historians, their technology, their life, their fraud’ (1998). Part I at http://www.bharatvani.org/shourie/eminen...ians1.html, Part II at http://www.bharatvani.org/shourie/eminen...ians2.html
2. Review of Romila Thapar’s NCERT textbook for Std. VI at http://vishalagarwal.bharatvani.org/RomilaNCERTVI.doc
3. Review of Romila Thapar’s NCERT textbook for Std. VII ‘Ancient India’ at http://www.bharatvani.org/general_inbox/pr...parreview1.html
4. Review of Romila Thapar’s exoneration of Mahmud Ghaznavi for destroying the Somnath Temple at http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/article...shakashmir.html
5. Questionnaire for Marxist Historians at http://www.bharatvani.org/books/htemples2/app4.htm
6. Open Protest letter on Appointment of Professor Thapar to the Kluge Chair at http://www.bharatvani.org/klugethapar.doc
7. Review of Romila Thapar’s ‘Indian, Another Millennium’ at http://www.bharatvani.org/reviews/millennium.html
8. Online article ‘Is D. N. Jha Communalizing History’ at http://www.bharatvani.org/vinod_kumar/dnjh...inghistory.html
9. Online article ‘The Axis of Neo-colonialism’ at http://www.sulekha.com/column.asp?cid=218625
10. Online article Historians vs. History available at http://www.bharatvani.org/books/htemples1/ch6.htm
11. Online article ‘Was Pushyamitra more secular than Aurangzeb’ at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bharatvani/f...pushyamitra.pdf
12. Online article ‘Why did Aurangzeb demolish the Kashi-Vishvanath temple’ at http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/article...vishvanath.html
13. Online article ‘The Ayodhya Debate – Focus on the No temple argument’ at http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/artic...emple.html
14. Online article ‘Historicide- Censoring the Past... and the Present’. Part I at http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jan/03rajeev.htm

Part II at http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/jan/04rajeev.htm

15. Controversy on the NCERT textbooks available online at http://www.infinityfoundation.com/indic_co...aper_rosser.pdf
16. Romila Thapar’s reply to ‘Eminent Historians’ at http://members.tripod.com/~lskumar/mea/mfmf_038.html
17. King Shashanka and Buddhists, a Case Study in ‘Secular’ Historiography, available at http://www.swordoftruth.com/swordoftruth/a...cles/ksatb.html
18. CHAKRABARTI, Dilip. 1997. Colonial Indology – Sociopolitics of the Ancient Indian Past. Munshiram Manoharlal: New Delhi
19. GUPTA, S. K. 1998. The Prejudiced Past, Rewriting Indian History – Some Reflections on Concept. Indus Publishing Company: New Delhi
20. KAPOOR, Ravi Shanker. 2000. More Equal than Others – A Study of the Indian Left. Vision Books: New Delhi
21. GOYAL, Shankar. 2000. Marxist Interpretation of Ancient Indian History. BORI: Pune
22. NS Rajaram's book at http://voiceofdharma.com/books/dist/

<b>Reviewing Romila Thapar, the Eminent Marxist (Historian)</b>

Romila Thapar is not merely a historian, she is also a political commentator with close ties to Leftists, Marxists and Communists in India. These various aspects of her persona are interwoven in her writings and speeches very intricately. Following is a list of a few resources that confirm her links with Marxism and Marxist historiography. The audience can therefore judge if she is really an 'objective' and an 'apolitical' scholar.

Thapar is quoted as one of the Marxist historians in the entry 'Hinduism' of 'A Dictionary of The Marxist Thought' (Tom Bottomore et al, 1983, Harvard University Press, p. 204).

Ronald Inden, in his Imagining India [1990:pp. 154-156, 197] clearly refers to Thapar as a Marxist historian.

Thapar has NEVER condemned the distortions of history textbooks in Communist ruled states of India. Examples of these can be seen at http://www.bharatvani.org/shourie/eminen...ians1.html in the article ‘Not just Whitewash, Hogwash too’. Her selective criticisms are therefore politically motivated.

Her interpretations of ancient India are treated in the sections on Marxist historiography by Shankar Goyal in his ‘Recent Historiography of Ancient India’, Kusumanjali Prakashan: Jodhpur (1997).

Ravi Shankar Kapoor, in his More Equal than Others – A Study of the Indian Left, Vision Books: New Delhi (2000), which discusses the tyrannical Marxist intellectual hegemony in independent India, also classifies Romila Thapar as a Leftist historian (p. 140).

Even other Marxist historians such as D. N. Jha have treated her work as an example of Marxist historiography. JHA [Economy and Society in Early India, Issues and Paradigms. 1993, page 11] mentions Romila Thapar’s name along with other Marxist historians, and from the context it is clear that he considers her also a ‘Marxist historian’, although not the best representative of this category.

Her alma mater, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, is considered the Mecca of Indian Marxism, and leading lights of Communist terrorist movements of India and Nepal openly acknowledge their debt to that institute. See for instance, the article ‘I learnt the ABC or Marxism at the JNU’ in The Statesman, 4 April 2003, where Dr. Bhattarai, one of the top two men of the Marxist terrorist movement in Nepal acknowledges his debt to JNU.

Thapar has constantly associated herself with an Indian organization called SAHMAT, whose office was located right within the New Delhi branch of the Communist Party of India (CPI-M). [See the article ‘CPI(M), SAHMAT left Homeless’, in The Hindu, 06 February 2002, http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2002/02...20606000100.htm ]. SAHMAT is well-known for its anti-Americanism, and is at the forefront of anti-US demonstrations periodically. ‘SAHMAT’ itself is an acronym for ‘Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust’ and is named after a young Communist activist, Safdar Hashmi, who was killed by goons affiliated to the Congress-I party, while performing a street play in New Delhi.

An article in the Times of India (New Delhi edn.) dt. 24 February 2002, calls her a ‘hardcore Marxist’. The article deals with a seminar on Islam and terrorism.

When some people protested her appointment to the Kluge Chair in April 2003, Marxist and Communist groups like SACW immediately swung into action. For e.g., Praful Bidwai, a Communist alleged that the protests are an example of McCarthyism. See the online article at http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/printed.../detPLA01.shtml . Bidwai had earlier objected to Indian govt's ban on Islamist terrorist organization called SIMI. A newspaper article also reveals his homage to Naxalite 'martyrs' (=terrorists) at http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/nov/15naxal.htm
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Tipu Sultan:Villain or Hero?

edited by Sita Ram Goel

New Dehli: Voice of India, 1995
85 pages, $2.50
Voice of India http://www.voi.org

Reviewed by C.J.S. Wallia

In 1989, the national Indian TV, Doordarshan, ran a serial on Tipu Sultan, ruler of Mysore from 1782 to 1799 A.D. With the lofty objective of national integration and communal harmony, the national TV presented Tipu Sultan as a hero of Hindu-Muslim amity and a staunch freedom fighter against the British.

Based on a novel by Bhagwan Gidwani, the docudrama "The Sword of Tipu Sultan" provoked widespread outrage. Tipu Sultan: Villain or Hero? originally published by the Bombay Malayalee Samajam, is an anthology of essays that excoriates Doordarshan's depiction of Tipu Sultan and criticizes the peculiar "secularism" practised by the contemporary Indian State.

In the words of Ravi Varma, one of the contributors to the anthology: "It was Tipu Sultan and his fanatic Muslim army who converted thousands of Hindus to Islam all along the invasion route and occupied areas in North Kerala, Coorg, Mangalore, and other parts of Karnataka. Besides over 8,000 Hindu temples were desecrated and/or destroyed by his Muslim army. Even today, one can see large concentrations of Muslims and ruins of hundreds of destroyed temples in North Kerala as standing evidence of the Islamic brutalities committed by Tipu Sultan ... He was, all through, waging a cruel Islamic war against the Hindu population of Kerala, with a large Muslim army and ably assisted by the French with powerful field guns and European troops. ...In spite of all this, historical documents and records are being suppressed, distorted, and falsified in order to project this fanatic Tipu Sultan of Mysore as a national hero like Chhatrapati Shivaji, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Rana Pratap Singh, and Pazhassi Raja of Kerala. It is an insult to our national pride and also to the Hindus of Kerala by our 'secular' government and the motivated Muslim and Marxist historians of Jawaharlal Nehru, Aligarh, and Islamia universities."

So what do the original sources tell us about Tipu? The anthology includes excerpts from Tipu's letters as researched by the distinguished Kerala historian K. M. Panicker, which he reviewed in the Bhasha Poshini magazine, August 1923:

1. Letter dated March 22, 1788, to Abdul Kadir: "Over 12,000 Hindus were honoured with Islam. There were many Namboodri Brahmins among them. This achievement should be widely publicised among the Hindus. Then the local Hindus should be brought before you and converted to Islam. No Namboodri Brahmin should be spared. "

2. Letter dated December 14, 1988, to his army chief in Calicut: " I am sending two of my followers with Mir Hussain Ali. With their assistance, you should capture and kill all Hindus. Those below 20 may be kept in prison and 5000 from the rest should be killed from the tree-tops. These are my orders."

3. Letter dated January 18, 1790, to Syed Abdul Dulai: " ...almost all Hindus in Calicut are converted to Islam. I consider this as Jehad."

The anthology also quotes from A Voyage to the East Indies by Fra Barthoelomeo, a renowned Portuguese traveller and historian, who was present in Tipu's war zone in early 1790:

"First a corps of 30,000 barbarians who butchered everybody on the way ... followed by the field gun unit under the French commander, M. Lally. Tipu was riding on an elephant behind which another army of 30,000 soldiers followed. Most of the men and women were hanged in Calicut, first mothers were hanged with their children tied to necks of mothers. That barbarian Tipu Sultan tied the naked Christian and Hindus to the legs of elephants and made the elephants to move around till the bodies of the helpless victims were torn to pieces. Temples and churches were ordered to be burned down, desecrated, and destroyed. ... Those Christians who refused to be honoured with Islam were ordered to be killed by hanging immediately. These atrocities were told to me by the victims of Tipu Sultan who escaped from the clutches of his army and reached Varapphuza, which is the centre of Carmichael Christian Mission. I myself helped many victims to cross the Varapphuza river by boats."

Moreover, evidence of Tipu's atrocities abounds in many contemporary church records in Mangalore, Calicut, and Varapphuza.

In the preface, Sita Ram Goel observes that the contemporary Indian State, under the sway of a distorted concept of secularism, promotes pseudo-history. "Secularism per se is a doctrine which arose in the modern West as a revolt against the closed creed of Christianity .... But secularism in India became the greatest protector of closed creeds [Islam and Christianity] which had come with foreign invaders and kept tormenting the national society for several centuries." This pseudo-secularism, foisted by Nehru, is "a magic formula for transmuting base metal into 24-carat gold.... How else do we explain Islam becoming a religion of tolerance? One has only to go the original sources in order to understand the true character of Islam. How do we explain Tipu Sultan and Bahadur Shah Zafar becoming the heroes of India's freedom struggle against British imperialism?"

Goel's comment on Nehruvian pseudo-secularism brings to mind Vallabhbhai Patel's famous remark, just before the partition, that in India there's only one nationalist Muslim: Jawaharlal Nehru. And, three decades before the partition of India, Sri Aurobindo raised the question about the fundamental intolerance of Islam: "How is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is 'I will not tolerate you?' How are you going to have unity with these people?" Sri Aurobindo cited the Koranic injunction (chapter IX, verse 5): "Slay the Idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent [i.e. convert to Islam] and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave them free. Lo! Allah is forgiving, merciful."

Does the Doordarshan serial's characterization of Tipu in "The Sword of Tipu Sultan" as a patron of Hindu temples have any historical basis at all? Yes, says C. Nandagopal Menon, the convenor of the Bombay Malayalee Samajam: "Tipu had immense faith in astrology. It was at the appeal of his Hindu astrologer and his own mother that Tipu spared two temples out of 12 within Sriangapatnam Fort. Moreover, by the end of 1790, Tipu was facing enemies from all sides. He was also defeated at the Travancore Defence Lines. It was only then, in order to appease the Hindus of Mysore, that he gave some land-grants to Hindu temples."

The Doordarshan serial seized on this historical event and fabricated most of the other events in its so-called "docudrama." As to Tipu's struggle against the British, it was to maintain his usurped kingdom, not as a nationalist fight for freedom. This is clear from the historical documents in which he invited the French to join him to defeat the British and then divide South India between himself and the French.

Dr. P.C.C. Raja, a direct descendent of the Zamorin of Calicut, writes in the anthology: "Tipu Sultan was one of the worst fanatics, and more inhuman than even the Nazis." The Bombay Malayalee Samajam and numerous viewers, especially in Kerala, were as outraged by the pseudo-history of this TV serial as the Jews would be at a depiction of Hitler as a multicultural hero!

Historical evidence has clearly established that Tipu Sultan was, to put it mildly, no multicultural hero. Indian State TV's promotion of the serial's pseudo-history, in the name of secularism no less, was a flagrant exercise of pseudo-secularism.

It is precisely to repudiate this sort of wishful, self-deluding pseudo-history that Koenraad Elst, the Belgian scholar, recently published Negationism in India: Concealing the Record of Islam (published by theVoice of India) . To be sure, other Western historians have written of this record before. In The Histoire d l'Inde, French historian Alain Danielou wrote: "From the time Muslims started arriving in 632 A.D., the history of India becomes a long monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoilations, destructions. It is as usual in the name of 'a holy war' of their faith, their sole God, that the barbarians have destroyed civilisations." In the words of the well-known American historian,Will Durant, "the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident lesson is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate balance can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplication from within."

The historical record of Islamic ideology practised in India is heavily tainted.(To cite two sources: The Story of Islamic Imperialism in India by Sita Ram Goel, published by the Voice of India; The Koran and the Kafir: All That An Infidel Needs to Know About the Koran But Is Embarrassed to Ask by Arvind Ghosh.)

From my own perspective as a secular humanist, I believe that promotion of pseudo-history will be ultimately counterproductive. Fabricating history for the sake of a current cause, no matter how lofty its ideals, tempts the fates. To forget history will always be fateful; to forgive some of its frightful facts can be redemptive. Forgive -- but never forget -- history. A salient example of making sure that history is not forgotten is the contemporary German State's making it illegal to publish a reconstructed World War II history that attempts to negate or conceal the holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis on the Jews, Gypsies, and Poles.

As a secular humanist, however, I make a distinction between an ideology and its adhering victims, especially those born into it. And, nonetheless, from my own experience, I regard a typical liberal Indian Muslim to be as good a human being as any other Indian. Genuine secularism in India will finally emerge from the Hindus' forgiveness of Islamic history in India, not from the pseudo-secularists' self-deluding denials and glossy cover-ups tacked onto the documented facts of that history.

For anyone interested in the contemporary 'secularist' Indian State
and the politics of history, this is a must-read book.


(i) Voice of India books are available at:

(ii) Anwar Shaikh's books are published by
The Principality Publishers
P.O. Box 918, Cardiff, U.K., CF2 4YP.

http://members.aol.com/aghoshpub/aghosh-catalog.html <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Ahalyabai Holkar (1725-1790)

Ahalyabai is fondly remembered as a noble, saintly and courageous woman. She ruled the kingdom of Indore, which was part of the wider Maratha Empire, for several decades. Her rule is remembered as a golden age in Indore’s history.

Her father, Mankoji Shinde, was a farmer. She was brought up to be a living exemplar of the spirit of Sanatana Dharma. Once, the Maharaja of Indore saw her offering Puja in a temple, with deep devotion. He straightaway thought that she would be an ideal wife for his son, Khanderav. The marriage duly took place.

She won the hearts of all at the Royal Palace of Indore, through her sincere service and care. She was trained in statecraft, and accompanied the men to war on many occasions. At that time, the Maratha Empire was at the peak of its might. The Maratha Empire was the last great Hindu Empire, and was founded by Chhatrapati Shivaji (1627-1680). There were frequent battles and skirmishes, both against foreigners as well as internal feuds. In one such battle in 1754, Ahalyabai’s husband was killed. The aged Malharrav Holkar was shattered at the death of his son. He summoned Ahalyabai, who he had deep affection for, and said, “You are now my son. I wish that you look after my kingdom.”

On taking control of the administration of Indore, she declared, “This kingdom belongs to Shankar (Shiva). On behalf of Shankar I will do my duty to manage the affairs for the benefit of the people.” She lived a very simple life. She didn’t live in the palace, instead preferring to live on the banks of the River Narmada, at the pilgrimage site called “Maheshwar”. Very few rulers in history have demonstrated such a lifestyle in which they renounce comforts but carry on their job well.

In 1766 the kingdom passed to Ahalyabai’s son. He is remembered as being an unworthy ruler – addicted to vice and at times cruel. At any rate he soon passed away and once again Ahalyabai resumed control of the kingdom’s affairs. Soon the kingdom was becoming very prosperous. This attracted jealousy of many. The supreme ruler of the Empire, Peshwa Raghoba, at the instigation of one of Ahalyabai’s own ministers, set out to confiscate the excess wealth. Ahalyabai pointed out to him that under the agreements that existed the wealth was supposed to be for the well being of her subjects and for charitable purposes. The Peshwa was infuriated that she defied his request, and threatened military action. She challenged him to come and meet her on the battlefield. She gathered a small force, which included many women and set out to fight. She sent the message to him “Now I will show you how weak I am. If I lose fighting against men I will have lost nothing. But if you lose against women then you will be in the soup! And remember, that is exactly what will happen.”

The Peshwa had a change of heart. He said, “You have misunderstood. I do not come to fight, but to mourn Maalerav’s death.” He ended up staying as Ahalyabai’s guest for a month. He was thoroughly impressed by the prowess with which she ruled the kingdom. For example, she had greatly reduced crime and theft, by encouraging poor people to get involved in trade and farming. She employed Bhil tribals to be the protectors of travellers, a job that they were paid handsomely for provided it was performed well. She spent the state’s wealth on repairing and construction of roads, wells, dharamshalas (resthouses) and mandirs. She even contributed to projects outside her dominion, particularly the restoration of ancient shrines that had been destroyed by Islamic invaders. Two famous examples were the Vishnupad Mandir in Gaya and the Somnath Mandir in Gujarat. Every day she distributed food and clothes to the poor and the holy men and women. She would personally see anybody who wished to lodge complaints, whether they were poor peasants or rich merchants.  Her success in administration stands out in contrast to most of the other Hindu rulers of the time. The leaders of the Empire of which she was part were involved in many feuds, and were not discharging their duties fully. Their policies did not promote prosperity and upliftment of the people.

Ahalyabai’s humble nature was outstanding. She once flung a book full of her praises, compiled by a court poet, into a river. The reason that she did not want to receive all these eloquent praises was that they run the risk of making the recipient arrogant. She just wanted to discharge her duties. She always dressed in simple white and never wore elaborate jewellery. Thus she lived, up until the age of 70 where she passed away in Rameshwar. Ahalyabai’s life shines brightly in the firmament of history, for ruling her kingdom with piety and selflessness; sincerely devoting herself to her subjects while keeping God at the forefront. Her life will be an inspiration for future generations of Hindus.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jun 21 2004, 09:18 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jun 21 2004, 09:18 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Spinster,
Give money to charity e.g. Eklya Vidylaya or IDRF.


Can you please give me some background about Ekal Vidyalya. I have been to their site and am very impressed but would like to speak to someone who is involved with it actively.

This is regarding my interest in contributing to education effort in India, while ensuring that I do not support the commies and anti-nationals.


email: durvasa-at-gma!ldotcom
Ekal Vidyalya is one teacher school, aim to open school in every village and in tribal region to educate young generation. Its supported by Lata Mangeshkar & Family, Sunil Gavaskar. Kapil Dev, Sachin & other cricketers, Chanchal (Mata Singer) etc. Initially it was very slow movement but after lot of contribution by high profile it gained momentum and publicity. There was a time they were opening one school per day. School provide basic education, includes basic Math, Science, regional language, religion and physical exercise and hygiene.

It’s a good concept and very successful. But this movement is highly criticized by commies/pinkos/missionaries (national and international) because now they can't harvest soul and can't brainwash villagers to join commie revolution and difficult to fool rural population.
This movement is protecting India's demography and long term security and culture. Movement is supported by Hindus that is why UPA government removed all government aid from Ekal Vidyalaya.
Because its supported by Hindus, pinkoos and missionaries had labeled these school as "Hindutava school" etc.
Thanks Mudy.
bharatvarsh ji i do agree on the nature of sword of truth , it does have some good stuff but goes overboard at times .

<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> but there is one thing new to me ,isnt PN Oak's work authentic , stephen knapp often quotes him in the evidence of the tejomahalaya , or are we wrong on this one?

if you could put a link in the context of controversy surrounding P N Oak from a neutral third party it would be great

Did someone appoint Sudarshan appoint "supreme pontif of Hindutwa"? What do you know about Hindutva?
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->but there is one thing new to me ,isnt PN Oak's work authentic , stephen knapp often quotes him in the evidence of the tejomahalaya , or are we wrong on this one?

if you could put a link in the context of controversy surrounding P N Oak from a neutral third party it would be great <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I read stephen knapp and I know he quotes P.N Oak but doesn't mean P.N Oak's work is truthful, I am sorry to say this but P.N Oak is a crackpot and because of his writings Hindus end up looking like idiots, his writings are good cannon fodder for our enemies, I shudder to think of the day when on a nation wide TV debate som BJP wallah refers to P.N Oak myths infront of some commie traitor like Romila Thapar, he will end up making the entire Hindu samaj look like idiots. Here is a sample of P.N Oak and why I think his writings are utter nonsense:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Another fairly common tactic was to lump the temple argumentation with the fringe school led by P.N. Oak, which holds that every indo-Muslim building (e.g. the Taj Mahal)38 was in fact a Hindu temple, not demolished but only transformed. However, this school happened to have aligned itself with the eminent historians against the VHP. Oak himself explained that the Babri Masjid itself was built by Hindus as a temple, that “Babar had nothing to do with the Babri Masjid”, and that neither the Moghul nor any other Muslim ruler had demolished a Hindu temple at the site.39 Oak’s version of history is of a kind with the contrived scenarios thought up by the eminent historians.

Another spokesman of this school, Jeevan Kulkarni from Bombay, claimed that the Babri Masjid was a Hindu temple built by Hindus before the Muslim conquest. He even approached the Supreme Court to obtain permission to prove his point by means of thermo-luminescence and other advanced archaeological techniques, as well as an injunction to solve the dispute by preserving the building (as Muslims demand, in the “mistaken” belief that the building was built as a mosque) but allotting it to the Hindus to serve as the “restored” Rama temple which it was meant to be when it was built. Again, this school was wrongly identified with the VHP position.
thanks a ton for the link bharatvarsh ji , this is really shocking to me , so oak's methods and arguements are flawed though there must be truth in the matter of the taj mahal , is there any other historian other than oak who has done atleast beleivable or partly verifiable evidence on the tejomahalaya.

There are lot of photographs on knapp's site , though heavily derived from oak , is there any other historians work that can be used in a defense of tejomahalya . I know professor millon from new york did some work on it using radio carbon dating many years ago.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->thanks a ton for the link bharatvarsh ji , this is really shocking to me , so oak's methods and arguements are flawed though there must be truth in the matter of the taj mahal , is there any other historian other than oak who has done atleast beleivable or partly verifiable evidence on the tejomahalaya.

There are lot of photographs on knapp's site , though heavily derived from oak , is there any other historians work that can be used in a defense of tejomahalya . I know professor millon from new york did some work on it using radio carbon dating many years ago.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
No I don't know of any other historian who wrote anything regarding the whole Tejo Mahalaya thing, my advice is for people to not take everything at facevalue and believe everything, the ones whom I take as credible are the books from VOI and from people like Shourie, I assume you know about Voice of India by now, every Hindu should read their books (some of them are online).
<!--QuoteBegin-jyothibasu+Jan 6 2006, 06:53 PM-->QUOTE(jyothibasu @ Jan 6 2006, 06:53 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Dec 4 2005, 08:21 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Dec 4 2005, 08:21 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> -- deleted -- (ADMIN)

The same Indhira was hailed by sudarsan as the best PM of India. If she is regarded as the best one surpassing Bajapai by none other than the supreme pontif of Hindutwa, what is the fuss about unscrupulous and unbeliveable allegations about her.

<b>Dear Admn.,

I believe you should wear your 'moderating hat' and delete such vituperative comments. I refer both to the comments by Jyothibasu (it looks like a toungue-in-cheek pseudonym) and its reply. They are unbecoming,lower the credibility and dignity of the site and are detrimental to the larger Hindu cause.</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-jyothibasu+Jan 6 2006, 07:53 PM-->QUOTE(jyothibasu @ Jan 6 2006, 07:53 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Bharatvarsh+Dec 4 2005, 08:21 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bharatvarsh @ Dec 4 2005, 08:21 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> -- deleted -- (ADMIN)

The same Indhira was hailed by sudarsan as the best PM of India. If she is regarded as the best one surpassing Bajapai by none other than the supreme pontif of Hindutwa, what is the fuss about unscrupulous and unbeliveable allegations about her.

Please open up dictionary and check out the meaning of word "context", then perhaps look into thesaurus too.

Thereafter, try to utilise the new word you just learned by writing 10 or 20 lines containing this word in various "contexts". Dont be ashamed to verify the utilisation of the word by checkiing up with any 5th grade student.

Then try reading the stmt of Sudershan once again, they are some chance that you may just get it.

As an aside , I some how recollect that Nehru was known as "Paltu Kutta" by his contemporaries , any idea why ?

Added later: If Kaushal's post below is for my post among others, I wld like to mention here that the remark amount Nehru was mentioned in one of the English language media and not something that I heard on the street.
I agree,that such language is very unbecoming in a forum like ours.As a general rule of thumb we should avoid demonizing (or deifying)our leaders.They are human and have frailties likethe rest of us but their personal life is not of great interest to me or relevant to the goals of this forum.. Let us not judge them unduly harshly.
Stick to what they have done and refrain from characterizing them.I expect this thread to be cleaned up by the respective postersby 24 hours,if it is not language you would choose to use in your living room in the presence of your family,it probably does not belong here . If the offending posts are not corrected within 24hours, i will slash and burn indiscriminately and may even curtail the rights of the poster.

Please police yourself , that is the mark of a mature civlization
Mudy and all

Ekal Vidyalya is also supported by Zee group if I am not wrong, as I have seen advt on Zee group N/W many a times, wherein the presenter refer to it as "Join us in ..good work etc.."

Just FYI
The Magnitude of Muslim Atrocities
(Ghazanavi to Amir Timur)
The world famous historian, Will Durant has written in his Story of Civilisation that "the Mohammedan conquest of India was probably the bloodiest story in history".

India before the advent of Islamic imperialism was not exactly a zone of peace. There were plenty of wars fought by Hindu princes. But in all their wars, the Hindus had observed some time-honoured conventions sanctioned by the Sastras. The Brahmins and the Bhikshus were never molested. The cows were never killed. The temples were never touched. The chastity of women was never violated. The non-combatants were never killed or captured. A human habitation was never attacked unless it was a fort.

The civil population was never plundered. War booty was an unknown item in the calculations of conquerors. The martial classes who clashed, mostly in open spaces, had a code of honor. Sacrifice of honor for victory or material gain was deemed as worse than death.

Islamic imperialism came with a different code--the Sunnah of the Prophet. It required its warriors to fall upon the helpless civil population after a decisive victory had been won on the battlefield. It required them to sack and burn down villages and towns after the defenders had died fighting or had fled. The cows, the Brahmins, and the Bhikshus invited their special attention in mass murders of non-combatants. The temples and monasteries were their special targets in an orgy of pillage and arson. Those whom they did not kill, they captured and sold as slaves. The magnitude of the booty looted even from the bodies of the dead, was a measure of the success of a military mission. And they did all this as mujahids (holy warriors) and ghazls (kafir-killers) in the service of Allah and his Last Prophet.

Hindus found it very hard to understand the psychology of this new invader. For the first time in their history, Hindus were witnessing a scene which was described by Kanhadade Prabandha (1456 AD) 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."

That was written in remembrance of Alauddin Khalji's invasion of Gujarat in the year l298 AD. But the gruesome game had started three centuries earlier when Mahmud Ghaznavi had vowed to invade India every year in order to destroy idolatry, kill the kafirs, capture prisoners of war, and plunder vast wealth for which India was well-known.


In 1000 AD Mahmud defeated Raja Jaipal, a scion of the Hindu Shahiya dynasty of Kabul. This dynasty had been for long the doorkeeper of India in the Northwest. Mahmud collected 250,000 dinars as indemnity. That perhaps was normal business of an empire builder. But in 1004 AD he stormed Bhatiya and plundered the place. He stayed there for some time to convert the Hindus to Islam with the help of mullahs he had brought with him.

In 1008 AD he captured Nagarkot (Kangra). The loot amounted to 70,000,000 dirhams in coins and 700,400 mans of gold and silver, besides plenty of precious stones and embroidered cloths. In 1011 AD he plundered Thanesar which was undefended, destroyed many temples, and broke a large number of idols. The chief idol, that of Chakraswamin, was taken to Ghazni and thrown into the public square for defilement under the feet of the faithful. According to Tarikh-i-Yamini of Utbi, Mahmud's secretary,

"The blood of the infidels flowed so copiously [at Thanesar] that the stream was discolored, notwithstanding its purity, and people were unable to drink it. The Sultan returned with plunder which is impossible to count. Praise he to Allah for the honor he bestows on Islam and Muslims."

In 1013 AD Mahmud advanced against Nandana where the Shahiya king, Anandapal, had established his new capital. The Hindus fought very hard but lost. Again, the temples were destroyed, and innocent citizens slaughtered. Utbi provides an account of the plunder and the prisoners of war:

"The Sultan returned in the rear of immense booty, and slaves were so plentiful that they became very cheap and men of respectability in their native land were degraded by becoming slaves of common shopkeepers. But this is the goodness of Allah, who bestows honor on his own religion and degrades infidelity."

The road was now clear for an assault on the heartland of Hindustan. In December 1018 AD Mahmud crossed the Yamuna, collected 1,000,000 dirhams from Baran (Bulandshahar), and marched to Mahaban in Mathura district. Utbi records:

"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."

Mathura was the next victim. Mahmud seized five gold idols weighing 89,300 missals and 200 silver idols. According to Utbi, "The Sultan gave orders that all the temples should be burnt with naptha and fire, and levelled with the ground." The pillage of the city continued for 20 days. Mahmud now turned towards Kanauj which had been the seat of several Hindu dynasties. Utbi continues: "In Kanauj there were nearly ten thousand temples... Many of the inhabitants of the place fled in consequence of witnessing the fate of their deaf and dumb idols. Those who did not fly were put to death. The Sultan gave his soldiers leave to plunder and take prisoners."

The Brahmins of Munj, which was attacked next, fought to the last man after throwing their wives and children into fire. The fate of Asi was sealed when its ruler took fright and fled. According to Utbi, ".... the Sultan ordered that his five forts should be demolished from their foundations, the inhabitants buried in their ruins, and the soldiers of the garrison plundered, slain and captured".
Shrawa, the next important place to be invaded, met the same fate. Utbi concludes:

"The Muslims paid no regard to the booty till they had satiated themselves with the slaughter of the infidels and worshipers of sun and fire. The friends of Allah searched the bodies of the slain for three days in order to obtain booty...The booty amounted in gold and silver, rubies and pearls nearly to three hundred thousand dirhams, and the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact that each was sold for two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Ghazni and merchants came from distant cities to purchase them, so that the countries of Mawaraun-Nahr, Iraq and Khurasan were filled with them, and the fair and the dark, the rich and the poor, were commingled in one common slavery."

Mahmud's sack of Somnath is too well-known to be retold here. What needs emphasizing is that the fragments of the famous Sivalinga were carried to Ghazni. Some of them were turned into steps of the Jama Masjid in that city. The rest were sent to Mecca, Medina, and Baghdad to be desecrated in the same manner.
Mahmud's son Masud tried to follow in the footsteps of his father. In 1037 AD he succeeded in sacking the fort of Hansi which was defended very bravely by the Hindus. The Tarikh-us-Subuktigin records: "The Brahmins and other high ranking men were slain, and their women and children were carried away captive, and all the treasure which was found was distributed among the army."
Masud could not repeat the performance due to his preoccupations elsewhere.


Invasion of India by Islamic imperialism was renewed by Muhmmad Ghori in the last quarter of the 12th century. After Prithiviraj Chauhan had been defeated in 1192 AD, Ghori took Ajmer by assault.

According the Taj-ul-Ma'sir of Hasan Nizami, "While the Sultan remained at Ajmer, he destroyed the pillars and foundations of the idol temples and built in their stead mosques and colleges and precepts of Islam, and the customs of the law were divulged and established."

Next year he defeated Jayachandra of Kanauj. A general massacre, rapine, and pillage followed. The Gahadvad treasuries at Asni and Varanasi were plundered. Hasan Nizami rejoices that "in Benares which is the centre of the country of Hind, they destroyed one thousand temples and raised mosques on their foundations".

According to Kamil-ut-Tawarikh of Ibn Asir, "The slaughter of Hindus (at Varanasi) was immense; none were spared except women and children, and the carnage of men went on until the earth was weary."

The women and children were spared so that they could be enslaved and sold all over the Islamic world. It may be added that the Buddhist complex at Sarnath was sacked at this time, and the Bhikshus were slaughtered.

Ghori's lieutenant Qutbuddin Aibak was also busy meanwhile. Hasan Nizami writes that after the suppression of a Hindu revolt at Kol (modern day Aligarh) in 1193 AD, Aibak raised "three bastions as high as heaven with their heads, and their carcases became food for beasts of prey. The tract was freed from idols and idol worship and the foundations of infidelism were destroyed."

In 1194 AD Aibak destroyed 27 Hindu temples at Delhi and built the Quwwat-ul-lslam mosque with their debris. According to Nizami, Aibak "adorned it with the stones and gold obtained from the temples which had been demolished by elephants".
In 1195 AD the Mher tribe of Ajmer rose in revolt, and the Chaulukyas of Gujarat came to their assistance. Aibak had to invite reinforcements from Ghazni before he could meet the challenge. In 1196 AD he advanced against Anahilwar Patan, the capital of Gujarat. Nizami writes that after Raja Karan was defeated and forced to flee, "fifty thousand infidels were dispatched to hell by the sword" and "more than twenty thousand slaves, and cattle beyond all calculation fell into the hands of the victors".

The city was sacked, its temples demolished, and its palaces plundered. On his return to Ajmer, Aibak destroyed the Sanskrit College of Visaladeva, and laid the foundations of a mosque which came to be known as 'Adhai Din ka Jhompada'.
Conquest of Kalinjar in 1202 AD was Aibak's crowning achievement. Nizami concludes: "The temples were converted into mosques... Fifty thousand men came under the collar of slavery and the plain became black as pitch with Hindus."
A free-lance adventurer, Muhammad Bakhtyar Khalji, was moving further east. In 1200 AD he sacked the undefended university town of Odantpuri in Bihar and massacred the Buddhist monks in the monasteries. In 1202 AD he took Nadiya by surprise. Badauni records in his Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh that "property and booty beyond computation fell into the hands of the Muslims and Muhammad Bakhtyar having destroyed the places of worship and idol temples of the infidels founded mosques and Khanqahs".


Shamsuddin Iltutmish who succeeded Aibak at Delhi invaded Malwa in 1234 AD. He destroyed an ancient temple at Vidisha. Badauni reports in his 'Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh':

"Having destroyed the idol temple of Ujjain which had been built six hundred years previously, and was called Mahakal, he levelled it to its foundations, and threw down the image of Rai Vikramajit from whom the Hindus reckon their era, and brought certain images of cast molten brass and placed them on the ground in front of the doors of mosques of old Delhi, and ordered the people of trample them under foot."

Muslim power in India suffered a serious setback after Iltutmish. Balkan had to battle against a revival of Hindu power. The Katehar Rajputs of what came to be known as Rohilkhand in later history, had so far refused to submit to Islamic imperialism. Balkan led an expedition across the Ganges in 1254 AD. According to Badauni,

"In two days after leaving Delhi, he arrived in the midst of the territory of Katihar and put to death every male, even those of eight years of age, and bound the women."

But in spite of such wanton cruelty, Muslim power continued to decline till the Khaljis revived it after 1290 AD.


Jalaluddin Khalji led an expedition to Ranthambhor in 1291 AD. On the way he destroyed Hindu temples at Chain. The broken idols were sent to Delhi to be spread before the gates of the Jama Masjid. His nephew Alauddin led an expedition to Vidisha in 1292 AD. According to Badauni in Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, Alauddin "brought much booty to the Sultan and the idol which was the object of worship of the Hindus, he caused to be cast in front of the Badaun gate to be trampled upon by the people. The services of Alauddin were highly appreciated, the jagir of Oudh (or Avadh - Central U.P.) also was added to his other estates."

Alauddin became Sultan in 1296 AD after murdering his uncle and father-in-law, Jalaluddin. In 1298 AD he equipped an expedition to Gujarat under his generals Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan. The invaders plundered the ports of Surat and Cambay. The temple of Somnath, which had been rebuilt by the Hindus, was plundered and the idol taken to Delhi for being trodden upon by the Muslims. The whole region was subjected to fire and sword, and Hindus were slaughtered en masse. Kampala Devi, the queen of Gujarat, was captured along with the royal treasury, brought to Delhi and forced into Alauddin's harem. The doings of the Malik Naib during his expedition to South India in 1310-1311 AD have already mentioned in earlier parts.

Muslim power again suffered a setback after the death of Alauddin Khalji in 1316 AD. But it was soon revived by the Tughlaqs. By now most of the famous temples over the length and breadth of the Islamic occupation in India had been demolished, except in Orissa and Rajasthan which had retained their independence. By now most of the rich treasuries had been plundered and shared between the Islamic state and its swordsmen.

Firuz Shah Tughlaq led an expedition to Orissa in 1360 AD. He destroyed the temple of Jagannath at Puri, and desecrated many other Hindu shrines. According to 'Sirat-i-Firoz Shahi' which he himself wrote or dictated,

"Allah who is the only true God and has no other emanation, endowed the king of Islam with the strength to destroy this ancient shrine on the eastern sea-coast and to plunge it into the sea, and after its destruction he ordered the image of Jagannath to be perforated, and disgraced it by casting it down on the ground. They dug out other idols which were worshipped by the polytheists in the kingdom of Jajnagar and overthrew them as they did the image of Jagannath, for being laid in front of the mosques along the path of the Sunnis and the way of the 'musallis' (Muslim congregation for namaz) and stretched them in front of the portals of every mosque, so that the body and sides of the images might be trampled at the time of ascent and descent, entrance and exit, by the shoes on the feet of the Muslims."

After the sack of the temples in Orissa, Firoz Shah Tughlaq attacked an island on the sea-coast where "nearly 100,000 men of Jajnagar had taken refuge with their women, children, kinsmen and relations". The swordsmen of Islam turned "the island into a basin of blood by the massacre of the unbelievers".

A worse fate overtook the Hindu women. Sirat-i-Firuz Shahs records: "Women with babies and pregnant ladies were haltered, manacled, fettered and enchained, and pressed as slaves into service in the house of every soldier."

Still more horrible scenes were enacted by Firuz Shah Tughlaq at Nagarkot (Kangra) where he sacked the shrine of Jvalamukhi. Firishta records that the Sultan "broke the idols of Jvalamukhi, mixed their fragments with the flesh of cows and hung them in nose bags round the necks of Brahmins. He sent the principal idol as trophy to Medina."

In 1931 AD the Muslims of Gujarat complained to Nasiruddin Muhammad, the Tughlaq Sultan of Delhi, that the local governor, Kurhat-ul-Mulk, was practising tolerance towards the Hindus. The Sultan immediately appointed Muzzaffar Khan as the new Governor. He became independent after the death of the Delhi Sultan and assumed the title of Muzzaffar Shah in 1392 AD. Next year he led an expidition to Somnath and sacked the temple which the Hindus had built once again. He killed many Hindus to chastise them for this "impudence," and raised a mosque on the site of the ancient temple. The Hindus, however, restarted restoring the temple soon after. In 1401 AD Muzaffar came back with a huge army. He again killed many Hindus, demolished the temple once more, and erected another mosque.

Muzaffar was succeeded by his grandson, Ahmad Shah, in 1411 AD. Three years later Ahmad appointed a special darogah to destroy all temples throughout Gujarat. In 1415 AD Ahmad invaded Sidhpur where he destroyed the images in Rudramahalaya, and converted the grand temple into a mosque. Sidhpur was renamed Sayyadpur.
Mahmud Begrha who became the Sultan of Gujarat in 1458 AD was the worst fanatic of this dynasty. One of his vassals was the Mandalika of Junagadh who had never withheld the regular tribute. Yet in 1469 AD Mahmud invaded Junagadh. In reply to the Mandalika's protests, Mahmud said that he was not interested in money as much as in the spread of Islam. The Mandalika was forcibly converted to Islam and Junagadh was renamed Mustafabad. In 1472 AD Mahmud attacked Dwarka, destroyed the local temples, and plundered the city. Raja Jaya Singh, the ruler of Champaner, and his minister were murdered by Mahmud in cold blood for refusing to embrace Islam after they had been defeated and their country pillaged and plundered. Champaner was renamed Mahmudabad.

Mahmud Khalji of Malwa (1436-69 AD) also destroyed Hindu temples and built mosques on their sites. He heaped many more insults on the Hindus. Ilyas Shah of Bengal (1339-1379 AD) invaded Nepal and destroyed the temple of Svayambhunath at Kathmandu. He also invaded Orissa, demolished many temples, and plundered many places. The Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga and Bidar considered it meritorious to kill a hundred thousand Hindu men, women, and children every year. They demolished and desecrated temples all over South India.

The climax came during the invasion of Timur in 1399 AD. He starts by quoting the Quran in his Tuzk-i-Timuri: "O Prophet, make war upon the infidels and unbelievers, and treat them severely."

He continues: "My great object in invading Hindustan had been to wage a religious war against the infidel Hindus...[so that] the army of Islam might gain something by plundering the wealth and valuables of the Hindus." To start with he stormed the fort of Kator on the border of Kashmir. He ordered his soldiers "to kill all the men, to make prisoners of women and children, and to plunder and lay waste all their property". Next, he "directed towers to be built on the mountain of the skulls of those obstinate unbelievers". Soon after, he laid siege to Bhatnir defended by Rajputs. They surrendered after some fight, and were pardoned. But Islam did not bind Timur to keep his word given to the "unbelievers". His Tuzk-i-Timuri records:

"In a short space of time all the people in the 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."

At Sarsuti, the next city to be sacked, "all these infidel Hindus were slain, their wives and children were made prisoners and their property and goods became the spoil of the victors". Timur was now moving through (modern day) Haryana, the land of the Jats. He directed his soldiers to "plunder and destroy and kill every one whom they met". And so the soldiers "plundered every village, killed the men, and carried a number of Hindu prisoners, both male and female".
Loni which was captured before he arrived at Delhi was predominantly a Hindu town. But some Muslim inhabitants were also taken prisoners. Timur ordered that "the Musulman prisoners should be separated and saved, but the infidels should all be dispatched to hell with the proselytizing sword".

By now Timur had captured 100,000 Hindus. As he prepared for battle against the Tughlaq army after crossing the Yamuna, his Amirs advised him "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 idolators and enemies of Islam at liberty". Therefore, "no other course remained but that of making them all food for the sword".
Tuzk-i-Timuri continues:

"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. One hundred thousand infidels, impious idolators, were on that day slain. Maulana Nasiruddin Umar, a counselor and 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."

The Tughlaq army was defeated in the battle that ensued next day. Timur entered Delhi and learnt that a "great number of Hindus with their wives and children, and goods and valuables, had come into the city from all the country round".
He directed his soldiers to seize these Hindus and their property. Tuzk-i-Timuri concludes:

"Many of them (Hindus) drew their swords and resisted...The flames of strife were thus lighted and spread through the whole city from Jahanpanah and Siri to Old Delhi, burning up all it reached. The Hindus set fire to their houses with their own hands, burned their wives and children in them and rushed into the fight and were killed...On that day, Thursday, and all the night of Friday, nearly 15,000 Turks were engaged in slaying, plundering and destroying. When morning broke on Friday, all my army ...went off to the city and thought of nothing but killing, plundering and making prisoners....The following day, Saturday the 17th, all passed in the same way, and the spoil was so great.that each man secured from fifty to a hundred prisoners, men, women, and children.

There was no man who took less than twenty. The other booty was immense in rubies, diamonds, garnets, pearls, and other gems and jewels; ashrafis, tankas of gold and silver of the celebrated Alai coinage: vessels of gold and silver; and brocades and silks of great value. Gold and silver ornaments of Hindu women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all account. Excepting the quarter of the Saiyids, the Ulama and the other Musulmans, the whole city was sacked."


Why discuss Sati?

With the much discussed subject, now in India, about a so called "sati" of
Charanshah, in village Satpura in Uttar Pradesh, some information about this
evil in Hindu social system, may be not only informative but also educative to
the masses who wish to build a new India on new values.

Condition of Widows in ancient India

In India, the condition of women in general, was made more dreadful than that
of a slave, but the lot of widows was always very hard and they were forced to
lead a horrible life of torture, disfigurement, tonsure and deprivation, with
an enforced strict ban on remarriage. They were compelled to undergo sex with
other men for procreation under the system of Niyoga. As if this was not
enough, a peculiar system existed in India, whereby widows were burnt alive on
the funeral pyre of their dead husbands. The practice existed among the higher
castes mainly, though it was given a honorable and prestigious outlook among
the masses by various means adopted by the Brahmins.

Why this system started in India? It was for maintaining the caste, which was
very important for the welfare of those, who are benefited by it. And as the
caste system grew more rigid, the sati become more strict. Notable example is
Bengal, where it was enforced more strictly because of "Kulin system", where
any of the hundreds of disgruntled young wives could easily poison the old man.

Position of women

Ms. Shakuntala Rao Shastri, in her "Women in Sacred Laws" very aptly describes
the pitiable condition of women before the Britishers came to India:

"True it is that anyone who has witnessed the pathetic condition of women in
India at the dawn of British rule cannot but be shocked at it: the enforced
child marriage, the exposure of female children, putting to death female
children by throwing them at the junction of the Ganges and the sea, the
violence used to make women follow the Sati rite and thus end their miserable
existence, the shameful treatment accorded to a widow, the (in)famous kulinism
which made marriage a profession rather than a sacrament, made woman not only
an object of pity but many a woman sighed in the secret recess for her heart
and wished that she had never been born a woman in this unfortunate country."
[Shastri: 1959: 171]

The situation described by the learned Vedic Scholar is at the time of dawn of
British occupation, but since how long it was in existence? The reply is that
this was the situation since the fall of Buddhism around tenth century A.D.
That the women enjoyed high position in Buddhist period can be judged by a mere
glance at the Buddhist law being practiced in India before tenth century A.D.
and which is practiced in all the Buddhist countries even now.

Today after passing of Ambedkar's Hindu Code, piece meal, the Hindu Laws of
Marriage, Adoption, Succession, and other related Laws have been changed to a
great extent. But prior to 1956, the Old Hindu Brahmanic Law was in force,
under which the condition of women was pitiable. To get some idea of how these
laws were made more and more cruel is seen if one considers that original law
of India was Buddhist Law. Buddhist law was the national law of India, because
from the historical period, the religion of India was Buddhism. It was the main
stream. The Brahmins succeeded in causing the fall of Buddhism, at the cost of
women and Shudras. They had to bear the brunt of all evils, to maintain the
supremacy of the Brahmins.

The Buddhist personal Laws about Women

To get some idea of what was The Buddhist Personal Law, we quote from Ms.

"In Buddhist Law, the position of women was different. The religion was more
practical and elastic as well as highly ethical due to the eight principles of
life enjoined on each man: (1) Right Understanding; (2) Right mindedness; (3)
Right speech; (4) Right Action; (5) Right livelihood; (6) Right endeavor; (7)
Right concentration; (8) Right collectedness.

"In Buddhism every human being - man or woman - is a free agent able to work
out his own salvation independent of any supernatural agency or the medium of
priests or rituals. The inequality between man and woman is wiped out. Hence
woman in the Buddhist Law has a special place.

"Buddhist marriage is a simple ceremony it is purely a civil contract.

"The age at which a girl is allowed independent choice is twenty. If a girl
contracts a marriage before this period without the consent, expressed or
implicit, of her guardians or parents, it is null and void. This rule is not
binding on widows and divorcees as their first marriage has already freed them
from paternal control.

"Polygamy is allowed in Buddhist Law. A man can marry a second time during the
lifetime of the first wife; but a woman has not a similar choice. Wives of
inferior status, who can however inherit the property of their husband, are
mentioned and Buddhist Law speaks of them as 'wives and concubines'. Concubines
have a legal status and can inherit property, hence illegitimacy of children is

"Women have the same rights of inheritance as men. On marriage the couple have
a joint interest on their estate, each keeping his or her share separate. All
property acquired or inherited comes under joint property. Both husband and
wife get equal share of interest. But where property is the contribution of one
party only, the contributor gets two-third share and the other one-third.

"Divorce is permissible by mutual consent under Buddhist Law. When one party
contracts some incurable disease, such as leprosy, divorce is immediately

"In these cases each is entitled to one half of the interest in property. If
one deserts the other, divorce is automatic and the deserting party forfeits
all rights to inherit property but is liable to pay off the joint debts if any.

"If the husband becomes a priest against the wishes of his wife and remains as
such for seven days, the wife inherits the entire property and to pay off also
their joint debts. To sell or mortgage a joint property, the consent of the
wife is obligatory. Neither party can act independently. A woman has the right
to adopt under Buddhist Law she might adopt for inheritance or out of pity;
girls are not barred from adoption.

"These laws still survive in Buddhist countries like Burma, Indochina, Japan
and Ceylon, But it must be said that at one time when Buddhism was a living
religion in India, they influenced, not to a small extent, Hindu culture and
the legal literature, Kautlilya admits divorce by mutual consent as did the
Buddhists. [The Bombay Law Reporter, Vol. 38, p. 14, quoted by Shastri: 1959:

As this comes from a scholar, who is a strong supporter of Brahmanic Laws and
visibly biased against Buddhism as she blames Buddhists for every thing at
every conceivable opportunity even applying a wrong logic, it is more
important. Sati, enforced widowhood and girl child marriage along with
prohibition of education of women and reduction of age of marriage of women are
the various points so inter-related that they must be discussed together. But
leaving the question of position of women in general for some future occasion,
we would like now to deal only with one aspect of this broad subject in this
article, that is the prevalence of Sati.

Efforts to stop Sati

Saint Raidas, a chamaar by caste, and guru of Saint Meerabai of Rajputana was
the first person to oppose Sati, says P. S. Changole. ['Prabuddha Bharat',
30.4.2000] All the Rajput rulers, the pseudo-Kshatriyas always eulogized the
practice of Sati under the Brahmanic domination, but many Muslim and Christian
rulers had attempted to stop the practice of Sati. During Portuguese rule in
Goa, in 1508 A.D., Albuquirk declared it as a crime. Akbar was against use of
force to stop it, but he had declared it a crime punishable by death penalty,
and he had also rode 450 miles to save the queen of Jodhpur just a few steps
away from pyre. Jehangir had proclaimed death penalty for those putting a widow
in funeral pyre of her dead husband with force. Aurangjeb had declared that no
woman would be allowed to be burnt alive. But nobody among the Hindus except
Raja Rammohan Roy tried to end this infamous custom. [Nag: 1972: 44] Raja had
undertaken this onerous task after the flames of Sati had engulfed his own
family members.

The Raja used to be abused by his own kith and kin as a "Muslim", when he tried
to prevent a widow burning. His opponents were Radhakant Deo, Pundit Kalanand
Banerjee, Pundit Nimai Mukhopadyaya, Harihar Shastri, Darmapati Ganguli etc.
They submitted memoranda to the Governor General to expel Fr. William Kerry and
Fr. William Sliman, who were opposing sati. Their argument against the
missionaries was that the missionaries are awakening public opinion against
sati and thereby destroying Hinduism. [Francis D'Souza, Loksatta, 3.12.99]

But thanks to Raja's persistent efforts, it was eventually banned by Lord
Bentik, the then Governor General of East India Co. in November 1829, and it
became a Law on 4th December 1929. The appeal against this by the "Dharma
Sabha", an organization of savarnas came before the Privy Council in July 1832
and the judges unanimously advised the Emperor to reject it. [Nag: 1972: 55]
Interestingly the appellants had argued that if Sati is prohibited the women
would kill their husbands.

Though for nearly hundred and seventy five years, the Act is in force, still
the Sati is not completely stopped. Rupakuwanrs are still getting burnt. Not
only that but there are important personalities supporting the act of burning
the widows alive. This includes a prominent political leader and a widow queen
Vijaya Raje Scindia, who did not practice it herself. Even leaders talking in
favour of women's Reservation movement, like Sadhwi Ritumbhara, Uma Bharati,
and Sushama Swaraj have supported the sati system. [Jyoti Lanjewar, Lokmat,

Sita Agrawal tells us VHP Acharya Giriraj Kishore stating that there is nothing
wrong if any woman who cannot bear the separation from her husband opts to join
him in his funeral pyre, and Dharmendra Maharaj of Jaipur, the priest who
presided over the ritual of self-immolation committed by Roop Kanwar upon the
death of her husband in Rajasthan is the president of the Sansad`s Kendriya
Margadarshan Samiti, the steering committee of the religious parliament.
[Revive] Those women who do not commit sati are often forced into
`reservations' where only widows live. One such place is Vrindavan [Roy].
Tonsuring of the head was forced on widows, thereby disfiguring them and they
were forbidden to appear in auspicious functions, as per Puranic injunctions.
Mahatma Phule, as is well known, had to arrange a "Barbers' Strike" to oppose
the system. It is also well known that he opened "Bal hattya pratibandha
griha", house for prevention of infanticide, for widows.

Sati in Vedas

Let us start tracing the origin of this practice. Rig Veda X.18.7 states:

"Let these women, whose husbands are worthy and are living, enter the house
with ghee (applied) as corrylium (to their eyes). Let these wives first step
into the pyre, tearless without any affliction and well adorned." [Rig Veda
X.18.7] [Kane 199-200] quoted by Sita Agrawal, "Genocide of Women in Hinduism",
Sati - Brahmin Annihilation of Widows, Chapter 5, (http:// dalitstan.org/
books/ gowh/ gowh5.html]

On this verse Sita Agrawal, who firmly believes that Vedic Aryans practiced
Sati, comments that in recent times some Aryan apologists try to prove that
this verse does not sanction sati, on a mistaken reading of the word agne or
agneh , which they believe is agre . She believes it to be a wrong
interpretation, and fabrication to distort the Sati verse which directs the
widow to enter the pyre (agneh) so as to mean that the wife was to rise from
her pyre and go to the front (agre).

In support she mentions other citations from scriptures which explicitly allow

1. The Garudapurana favourably mentioning sati for women of all castes, even
the Chandala woman, with the only exceptions of pregnant women or those who
have young children. [Garuda Purana. II.4.91-100] [Kane 237].

2. Several of Krishna's wives performed sati upon his death, including Rukmini,
Rohini, Devaki, Bhadraa and Madura [Mah.Bhar. Mausalaparvan 7.18 ] [Alld,
p.977, 1018-1019: Rukmini]

3. Madri, second wife of Pandu, considered an incarnation of the goddess
Dhriti, performed sati [ Mah.Bhar. Adiparvan 95.65] [Alld, p.985]

4. Rohini, a wife of Vasudev, Krishna's father, who gave birth to Balram
(Devki's child), later became a sati. [Alld.1018] The Vishnu Purana V.38 refers
to this mass burning of Krishna's wives :

"The 8 queens of Krishna, who have been named, with Rukmini at their head,
embraced the body of Hari, and entered the funeral fire. Revati also embracing
the corpse of Rama, entered the blazing pile, which was cool to her, happy in
contact with her lord. Hearing these events, Ugrasena and Anakadundubhi, with
Devaki and Rohini, committed themselves to the flames." [Vis.Pur. 5.38]
[Vis.Pur. {Wils} p.481]

However, we feel Sita Agrawal's citation of Puranas and Mahabharata can not
prove that Rig Vedic Aryans did practice Sati, as these are much later
creations. We tend to agree more with Ms. Shakuntala Rao Shastri who quotes
Kaegi saying:

"The well known custom of burning of widows for thousands of years demanded by
the Brahmins - is nowhere evidenced in the Rig-Veda; only by palpable
falsification of a hymn has the existence of the custom been forcibly put into
the texts which, on the contrary, prove directly the opposite - the return of
the widow from her husband's corpse into a happy life and her remarriage"
[Kaegi - "The Rig Veda", p.16, quoted by Shastri: 1959: 172]

Sati in Atharva Veda

There are scholars who believe, Atharva Veda is more ancient than Rig, and
represents Indigenous people, but Brahmins maintain the importance of Rig Veda
as original book of Aryans. Shakuntala Rao Shastri tells us the name Atharva
Veda is not found before the Sutra period. [Shastri:1956:39, Vedic Index, vol.
I, 18] It represents the life of another branch of Aryans who came to India
later. [Shastri: 1956: 58] It was the literature of a different stock of Aryan
family, who were influenced by Iranian culture and who entered India later than
the Rig Vedic group. [Shastri: 1956: 62] Here the mention is found for
widowhood in one of the later books dealing with funeral ceremonies.
[Shastri:1956:53] Out of the two verses about widows, one refers to custom of
widow lying beside her dead husband on pyre and the following verse describes
the maiden being led forth for the dead. It is clear that burning of widow was
prevalent in Atharva-Vedic cult, but 'became almost extinct and was observed
only as a show.' [Shastri: 1956: 54]

Time of Origin of Sati

"It may now be asked, when and how this custom of the self- annihilation of
windows on the funeral pyre of their husbands technically called by the name of
Anumarana then, and later the 'Sati rite', came to be introduced and enforced
in India? The available evidence shows that the custom was entirely nonexistent
in early Hindu society.

"The Vedic practice was for a widow to marry her dead husband's younger
brother. In the sutra period she was allowed to marry any near kinsman; in the
earliest Dharmasutra (Gautama) without enjoining any restriction and in the
later (Baudhayana and Vasishtha) enjoining ascetic practices for a short period
only. Later on, however this asceticism alone remained and became life long.
This was the characteristic of the period ranging between the 2nd century B.C.
and the 4th century A.D., when the Smritis of Manu and Yajnavalkya were
compiled. But there is absolutely no mention of widow burning. Later on,
however, we find Anumarana prescribed for a widow as an alternative to life
long asceticism.

"This is clear even from a superficial study of the Vishnu and the Brihaspati
Smritis, which were put together between the 5th and the 9th centuries. A. D.
Hindu society was completely revolutionized soon after this, and we find new
Smritis and new commentaries springing up and holding up the ideal thing for a
widow in comparison with life-long asceticism. This last is no doubt mentioned
by them, but only incidentally.

"On the other hand, this practice was exceedingly eulogized and celestial
felicity of the highest type was promised to the widow who immolated herself.
In fact, she was believed to raise her dead husband even from hell and make him
a participant of her heavenly bliss. The period between the 5th 9th centuries
was a period of transition. The practice of Anumarana was, no doubt, gaining
ascendancy, but authors and scholars were not wanting who condemned it."
[Shastri : 1959 : 124]

Brahmanic Authors opposing Sati

Perhaps the first author opposing the practice was poet Banabhatta, who
flourished earlier than Medhatithi in the 7th century A.D and was protege of
Harshavardhana, the last Buddhist Emperor prior to Palas. His view on the
subject have been embodied in a characteristic passage of the "Kadambari". He
thought that:

"This practice which is called Anumarana is utterly fruitless. This is a path
followed by the illiterate this is manifestation of infatuation, this is a
course of ignorance, this is an art of foolhardiness, this is
short-sightedness, this is stumbling through stupidity, viz. that life is put
and end to when a parent, brother, friend, of husband is dead. Life should not
be ended, if it does not leave one of itself. ..." [Kadambari: Edited by
Kashinath Pandurang Parab, Nirnaysagar Press, 1890, purva-bhag, pp.339-9,
quoted by Shastri]

The another such author was Medhatithi, who was, however, a schooliast and
probably belonged to one school of Law. About him it is said:

"Medhatithi did not look upon Anumarana, or the self- immolation of windows, as
a Dharma or meritorious act at all, and tolerated it only as a transgression in
times of distress. On the other hand, Vijnanesvara and Madhavacharya regarded
Anumarana as a Dharma and not as an act of suicide. Hence they argued that the
suicide prohibited by the sruti text was to be considered suicide in all cases,
except in that of self-destruction by a widow. The whole mental vision thus
seems to have changed between the times when Medhatithi and Vijnanesvara
respectively wrote, that is, between the 9th and the 11th centuries. [Shastri :
1959 : 124]

In the law-codes, however, it is the Vishnu Smriti that sanctions widow-burning
for the first time in the religious and legal literature of India. The Vishnu
Smriti has been supposed to have been complied soon after the 5th century A.D
[Shastri : 1959 : 128 ff.] Thus Sati was legalised after decline of Buddhism
started, and was gradually imposed harshly in later periods.

The earliest recorded instance of Sati

The earliest known case is recorded by Diodorus, about a soldier from India who
died in Iran and his two wives vied with each other to get burnt alive on his
funeral pyre.

"... In the year 316 B.C., the leader of an contingent which had gone to fight
under Eumenes in Iran was killed in battle. He had with him his two wives.
There was immediately a competition between them as to which was to be the
sati. The question was brought before the Macedonian and Greek generals, and
they decided in favour of the younger, the elder being with child. At this the
elder woman went away lamenting, with the band about her head rent, and tearing
her hair as if tidings of some great disaster has been brought her; and the
other departed, exultant at her victory, to the pyre crowned with fillets by
the women who belonged to her and decked out splendidly as for a wedding. She
was escorted by her kinsfolk who chanted a song in praise of her virtue. When
she came near to the pyre, she took off her adornments and distributed them to
her familiars and friends, leaving a memorial of herself, as it were, to those
who has loved her. Her adornments consisted of a multitude of rings on her
hands set with precious gems of diverse colours, and about her neck a multitude
of necklaces, each a little larger than one above it. In conclusion, she said
farewell to her familiars and was helped by her brother onto the pyre, and
there to the admiration of the crowd which had gathered together for the
spectacle she ended her life in heroic fashion. Before the pyre was kindled,
the whole army in battle array marched round it thrice, she meanwhile lay down
beside her husband, and as the fire seized her no sound of weakness escaped her
lips. The spectators were moved, some to pity and some to exuberant praise. But
some of the Greeks present found fault with such customs as savage and
inhumane. The Greeks, we find, had a theory to account for the custom, whether
of their own invention or suggested to them by Indian informants we cannot say.
The theory was that once upon a time wives had been so apt to get rid of their
husbands by poison that the law had to be introduced which compelled a widow to
be burnt with her dead husband." [Beven:1968:372]

Epigraphic evidences of Sati

Ms. Shakuntala Rao Shastri describes the "Memorial stelae". They are small
stone uprights sculptured with figures and inscriptions, and are called Devli,
and are found in abundance in Rajputana. They are erected in commemoration of
women immolating themselves on funeral pyres of their husbands. The earliest
one found in Jodhpur state at Gatiyala is dated 890 A.D. The earliest of these
stelae is found in Eran in Sagar District in M.P. and is dated 510 A. D. Thus
the practice of Sati was coming to vogue in sixth century A.D.

The Annals of Kashmir by Kallahna of 12th century, mentions some instances
where, in addition to wife / wives others like concubines, slaves, mother
nurse, friends and followers also practiced Anumaran. Earliest mentioned was in
902 A.D. King Samkaravarman, in 1081 A.D. King Ananta, in 1161 A.D. King Malla,
and the last one mentioned was in 12th century of King Sussala. [Shastri:

Not only it was practiced in North, West and Central India, the examples of
Inscriptions from Epigraphica Carnataka show that the custom existed in South
India also. Anumarana was practiced after deaths of various kings like - in
1130 A.D. Kadamba King Tailapa, Ganga King Nitimarga, and Satyavakya
Kongunivarman Lord of Nandagiri, both of whom lived in 915 A.D., in 1220 A.D.
King Ballala, and in 1180 King Bammarasa. [Shastri: 1959: 132 ff.]

When a Tomar King in Gujrath died, his 90,000 queens were requested not to
commit sati. They consulted their Kula-brahmana, who advised them to commit
sati as Veda verse 18/877 mentions "Agne" and not "Agre", just for the sake of
golden coins, thus condemning these 90,000 women to flames. 3000 queens
committed sati with king of Vijaynagar. On conquest of Jaselmere by Muslims, 24
thousand queens committed sati. Old cremation place has got inscriptions
mentioning names of those committing sati. 112 queens of king Amarsing of
Bundi, 88 queens of Keshosing, Jagirdar of Dharampur, 78 queens of Surendrasing
of Palitana. Some social reformists tried to prevent sati of 95 queens of
Bharatpur, but they had to commit sati. [Francis D'Souza, Loksatta, 3.12.99]

Travellers' Accounts

Many travellers from Al Biruni to Abbe DuBois mention the practice, the account
of Travernier is most illuminating. French traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a
jeweller by profession, visited India 6 times between 1641 and 1667 for gem
trade. All his writings display a marked admiration for India without any
inherent religious bias. His description apart from being gory and horrible,
also depicts greed of Brahmins:

"The Brahmans accompanying her [the Sati] exhort her to show resolution and
courage, and many Europeans believe that in order to remove the fear of that
death which man naturally abhors, she is given some kind of drink that takes
away her senses and removes all apprehensions which the preparations for her
(p.165) death might occasion. It is for the interest of the Brahmans that these
unhappy women maintain the resolution they have taken to burn themselves, for
all the bracelets which they wear, both in arms and legs, with their earrings
and rings, belong of right to the Brahmans, who search for them in the ashes
after the women are burnt. [Tavernier, Vol.II, p.164-165, Quoted by Sita

These heart-rending descriptions taken directly from Tavernier's Travels, Ms.
Agrawal believes, prove that it was the Brahmins who enforced Sati upon the
non-Brahmin races in order to exterminate them and to steal their wealth. It
must be remembered, she says, that Brahmins had infiltrated the Mughal
administration, and continued Sati despite prohibitory orders from Mughal
kings. She quotes Tavernier further:

"I have seen women burnt in three different ways, according to the customs of
different countries. In the kingdom of Gujarat; and as far as Agra and Delhi,
this is how it takes place : On the margin of a river or tank, a kind of small
hut, about 12 feet square, is built of reeds and all kinds of faggots, with
which some pots of oil and other drugs are placed in order to make it burn
quickly. The woman is seated in a half-reclining position in the middle of the
hut, her head reposes on a kind of pillow of wood, and she rests her back
against a post, to which she is tied by her waist by one of the Brahmans, for
fear lest she should escape on feeling the flame . In this position she holds
the dead body of her husband on her knees, chewing betel all the time; and
after having been about half an hour in this condition, the Brahman who has
been by her side in the hut goes outside, and she calls out to the priests to
apply the fire; this the Brahmans, and the relatives and friends of the woman
who are present immediately do, throwing into the fire some pots of oil, so
that the woman may suffer less by being quickly consumed.

"After the bodies have been reduced to ashes, the Brahmans take whatever may be
found in the way of melted fold, silver, tin, or copper, derived from the
bracelets, earrings, and rings which (p.166) the woman had on; this belongs to
them by right, as I have said." [Tavernier, Vol.II, p.165-166, quoted by Sita

Methods in Dravida Region

The poison of Brahmanism had already seeped, Agrawal mentions, deep into the
veins of South India when Tavernier arrived, and Brahmin genocide of Dravidians
was in full swing. Tavernier was himself witness to many scenes of Brahmin men
murdering Dravidian women in cold blood by the most horrible means imaginable.
Here is one such description of the Brahmin murder of a Dravidian woman :

"In the greater part of the Coromandel coast the woman does not burn herself
with the body of her deceased husband, but allows herself to be interred, while
alive, with him in a hole which the Brahmans dig in the ground, about 1 foot
deeper than the height of the man or woman. They generally select a sandy spot,
and when they have placed the man and woman in the hole, each of their friends
fills a basket of sand, and throws it on the bodies until the hole is full and
heaped over, half a foot higher than the ground, after which they jump and
dance upon it till they are certain that the woman is smothered." [Tavernier,
Vol.II, p.168, quoted by Sita Agrawal]

Blame the Buddhists and Muslims for all ills of Hinduism

This was the strategy of modern Brahmanism. Sita Agrawal lists some such
bizarre Brahmin fraud hypotheses by several obscurantist Brahminists to
"fabricate non-Vedic explanations for the occurrence of sati, often with less
than honest intentions"

Corruption : One silly canard spread by the Brahmins, Agrawal says, is that the
custom of sati started when `Hindu' society started to `degenerate' in the
Puranic Dark Ages. If so, she asks, then why do the Vedas take this custom for
granted? Why did Krishna's wives perform sati? Are we to then conclude that
Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu himself, was a corrupt `Hindu'? Again, where
did this corruption come from? When did it start?

Islamic Califate and Sati : One far-fetched Hindu fundamentalist idea ascribes
the origin of sati as being due to the molestation of `Hindu' women by Muslim
men. Thus the bigoted Brahminist historian Sudheer Birodkar writes: [Birodkar,
Ch.3 : The Hindu Ethos]:

" From the 13th century onwards up to the coming of the British, the position
of women was insecure due to the arbitrary power structure associated with the
feudal society and the rule of the Sultans of Delhi. Although during the reign
of the later Mughals the situation had improved relatively, women in the
medieval ages were often exposed to the lust of feudal overlords. Their
insecurity increased after the demise of their husbands. This compulsion which
was resultant of a particular age was by far the most important reason for the
prevalence of Sati during the middle ages. "

Needless to say, this fallacious theory would imply the existence of Muslims to
molest Krishna's wives, Madri and the galaxy of Vedic Aryan women who performed
self-immolation, Agrawal ridicules the theory. It also overlooks, she says, the
accounts by ancient Greeks and Arabs on the prevalence of sati. In fact, the
Muslim emperors took active steps to abolish sati. (e.g. Ghiyasudin, Akbar,
Muhammad Tughlaq) and the Sufi saints condemned it. Thus, we find that Muhammad
Tughlaq opposed Sati [Nand, p.173] The saintly Aurangzeb manifestly opposed the
custom of sati and prohibited it in his empire. Agrawal asks some pointed

Which `Muslim invaders' molested Krishna's wives, forcing them to perform Sati?

Which Muslims introduced the Sati hymns into the Vedas?

Which Muslims fabricated the whole lot of Hindu scriptures of Puranas, Smrtis
and Shastras, inserting the verses praising Sati?

Were the Ocean of Story, the Jatakas and the Panca Tantra authored by Muslims
in order to fabricate evidence of Sati?

There is only one reason for the propagation of these lies by the Brahmins;
that is to cover up their horrible genocide, Agrawal avers; and comments that
it is these infiltrators, such as Mahesh Bhat alias Birbal the Brahmin who
sabotaged the Mughal Empire, eventually destroying it.

So why was Sati started?

Thus we find that excepting the solitary instance mentioned by Diodoras, which
occurred in a foreign land, and the persons involved were perhaps from foreign
tribes settled in India during those times, the practice started from the time
of decline and ultimate fall of Buddhism after seventh century. Still we find
Banabhatta (7th century) in the court of Harshavardhana and later Medhatithi
(9th century) condemning the practice.

The more important question is why this system started, developed and why it
attained such a high respect. Sita Agrawal takes the view that the main
objectives for the Brahmin genocide of widows was to annihilate the non-Brahmin
races by destroying their women, and secondly, to confiscate the properties of
the murdered women. This is very superficial analysis. The Brahmins did not
loose any opportunity to make money at the cost of others is true. But there
were many ways of obtaining monetary benefits other than to start Sati.
Secondly, Brahmin women also did commit sati. A glaring example of Queen of
Madhavrao Peshava could be cited. So the reasons must be deeper than those
thought of by Ms. Agrawal.

Sati custom in India has to be considered in combination with other customs of
Child girl marriage with an elderly man and prohibition of widows to remarry.
All these customs were imposed by the Brahmins in order to prevent
transgression of caste rules. This was explained by Dr. Ambedkar as early as in
1919, [W&S, 1, 5] while dealing with genesis and mechanism of Castes. The
following are the salient points from it.

Endogamy is the only characteristic peculiar to caste. No civilized society in
today's world shows more survivals of primitive times than Indian society. One
such primitive practice is of exogamy long given up by the world but is still
favoured in India. Though there are no clans in India, clan system is savoured,
as there is prohibition on not only "sapinda" marriages but also on "sagotra"
marriages among the Hindus. The various gotras and other totemic organizations
have always been exogamous. When endogamy was superimposed over sagotra
exogamy, a caste was formed. To preserve and maintain this caste, inter caste
marriages were banned. In case of death of a spouse, the other spouse was
likely to marry outside the caste. To prevent this happening various means were
adopted. These are:

1. Sati or burning of a widow on the funeral pyre of her deceased husband.

2. Enforced widowhood by which she is forced not to marry and

3. Girl marriage with an aged man.

All the medieval Brahmanic texts eulogize these customs in very glamourous
language but give no reasons for them. Dr. Ambedkar, who calls all this eulogy
as a sugar coating of the barbarous pill, gives the reasons:

"... Sati, enforced widowhood and girl marriage are customs that were primarily
intended to solve the problem of the surplus man and surplus woman in a caste
and to maintain its endogamy. Strict endogamy could not be preserved without
these customs, while caste without endogamy is a fake." [W&S, 1, 14]

The Brahmins enclosed themselves into a caste, thus forcing others to be the
other caste. This was divided and further subdivided into multiple non-Brahmin
castes and the institution of castes spread through the length and breadth of
India. This spread was due to the tendency of imitation of Brahmins by the
others. As these customs were very harsh and barbarous, the imitation was
imperfect and we find that nearer a caste is to Brahmins more strictly it
insisted on observance of these customs. Example of Kulinism in Bengal, which
also was a movement to preserve the Caste and ensure supremacy of Brahmins, is
discussed elsewhere. That the reason, these customs had to be enforced strictly
in Bengal following Kulinism, was to prevent any one among the hundreds of
dissatisfied wives of a Kulin man from easily poisoning him, could be easily
Before accepting the inventions of ambedkarite.org (this should be the actual name, they'd wrongly named their site after Ambedkar who they often misquote; they also tend not to present all his opinions nor any of them wholly), here's another article on sati which also quotes historic personages who witnessed the event.

Excerpted from a translation of Koenraad Elst's article "Sati en andere zelfdoding" (Sati and other suicide). I suppose the article was meant for Belgian and Dutch people, as Elst himself had provided no English translation on his site or elsewhere. The translator is uncredited in the article I'd saved.

<b>Excerpt #1 of 3</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><span style='color:purple'>Origin</span>
People sometimes say that widow-burning was brought into India in a later migration from Central-Asia, that of the Shakas or Scythians, in the middle or end of the first millenium B.C. These Scythian tribes are then supposed to have been the ancestors of the martial Rajput caste in Rajasthan, the caste to which Rup Kanwar and the most famous satis belonged. This seems to me an attempt to push away from oneself a difficult to defend custom. Of the Scythians, it is indeed known that they sent widows to their death with their husband, as well as servants and horses with their master – whether burnt with them or buried with them. From archaeological excavations in Southern-Russia it appears that widows were already climbing the funeral pyres of their deceased husbands in the fourth millennium before our chronology, in the so-called Kurgan-culture, an apparantly proto-Scythian and definitely Indo-European culture.

<i>[The connection with India should however not be sought in the Scythian invasion of the 1st century B.C., but in the much older common Indo-European roots, because the custom also occurred among the Celtic and Germanic people. So we hear in the Edda, in the book Sigurdarkvida, that Brunhilde stabs herself after the death of Siegfried in order to be buried with him; in addition she first has her slaves killed and she also invites free servants to voluntarily die with her. So she doesn’t climb the funeral pyre, but nevertheless follows her husband into death. Also among the Celts did this custom occur in large scale. Great power and wisdom are ascribed to a woman about to commit sati, which is why for e.g. Brunhilde predicts the future at the last moment for next of kin.
Bernard Sergent (Les Indo-Européens, Payot, 1995, p.223), observes a connection between sati and the status of a woman. In spite of feminist claims that this custom once again proves the male contempt for woman, it in fact occurred the least in those Indo-European societies where the woman was most disparaged in both practice as well as mythology, like the Greek {society}. A woman who does not have much honour to maintain, won’t accompany one to the pyre; it’s precisely the proud and relatively free/liberated/emancipated Celtic and Germanic women who did this.]</i><b>*</b>

In India, besides the Rajputs, the martial Marathas and Sikhs also knew this custom, though to a lesser extent. Other castes did not know this practice at all or specifically disapproved of it, in particular the brahmans (although they too practised sati in British-Bengal, in particular after the modernisation of the law of succession). In most duty-prescribing books (400 B.C. to 200 A.D?), among others of Manu and Yajnavalkya, there is no mention of widow-burning at all. Only the Vishnu-dharma-shastra gives the widow the choice between celibacy and self-immolation.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>*</b>Elst wrote the article in 1994 and added parts to it (like the section in italics above) in or after September 2000. It therefore does not take into account the results of recent genetics research which shows that neither Rajputs nor any other Kshatriya tribe comes from outside of India but are in fact just indigenous. Even though we've had an influx of Shakas (Iranian-speaking people**), they've just dissolved into the country's population and don't appear to have been so significant in number as to have left much of their imprint either genetically, culturally or otherwise.

**See http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/reviews/sergent.html which states <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->every testimony we have of the Scythians, including the Haumavarga ones in whose sites traces of the Soma ceremony have been found, is as an Iranian-speaking people.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

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