From: sri venkat <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Subject: Babri Masjid - India before the invaders - Rizwan Salim
Rizwan Salim, Hindustan Times
On the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition (December 6, 1992), it
is important for Hindus (and Muslims) to understand the importance of
the event in the context of Hindustan's history, past and recent,
present and the future.
Savages at a very low level of civilisation and no culture worth the
name, from Arabia and west Asia, began entering India from the early
century onwards. Islamic invaders demolished countless Hindu temples,
shattered uncountable sculpture and idols, plundered innumerable palaces
and forts of Hindu kings, killed vast numbers of Hindu men and carried
off Hindu women. This story, the educated-and a lot of even the
illiterate Indians-know very well. History books tell it in remarkable
detail. But many Indians do not seem to recognise that the alien Muslim
marauders destroyed the historical evolution of the earth's most
mentally advanced civilisation, the most richly imaginative culture, and
the most vigorously creative society.
It is clear that India at the time when Muslim invaders turned towards
it (8 to 11th century) was the earth's richest region for its wealth in
precious and semi-precious stones, gold and silver, religion and
culture, and its fine arts and letters. Tenth century Hindustan was also
too far advanced than its contemporaries in the East and the West for
its achievements in the realms of speculative philosophy and scientific
theorising, mathematics and knowledge of nature's workings. Hindus of
the early medieval period were unquestionably superior in more things
than the Chinese, the Persians (including the Sassanians), the Romans
and the Byzantines of the immediate proceeding centuries. The followers
of Siva and Vishnu on this subcontinent had created for themselves a
society more mentally evolved-joyous and prosperous too-than had been
realised by the Jews, Christians, and Muslim monotheists of the time.
Medieval India, until the Islamic invaders destroyed it, was history's
most richly imaginative culture and one of the five most advanced
civilisations of all times.
Look at the Hindu art that Muslim iconoclasts severely damaged or
destroyed. Ancient Hindu sculpture is vigorous and sensual in the
highest degree-more fascinating than human figural art created anywhere
else on earth. (Only statues created by classical Greek artists are in
the same class as Hindu temple sculpture). Ancient Hindu temple
architecture is the most awe-inspiring, ornate and spell-binding
architectural style found anywhere in the world. (The Gothic art of
cathedrals in France is the only other religious architecture that is
comparable with the intricate architecture of Hindu temples). No artist
of any historical civilisation have ever revealed the same genius as
ancient Hindustan's artists and artisans.
Their minds filled with venom against the idol-worshippers of Hindustan,
the Muslims destroyed a large number of ancient Hindu temples. This is a
historical fact, mentioned by Muslim chroniclers and others of the time.
A number of temples were merely damaged and remained standing. But a
large number-not hundreds but many thousands-of the ancient temples were
broken into shreds of cracked stone. In the ancient cities of Varanasi
and Mathura, Ujjain and Maheshwar, Jwalamukhi and Dwarka, not one temple
survives whole and intact from the ancient times.
The wrecking of Hindu temples went on from the early years of the 8th
century to well past 1700 AD a period of almost 1000 years. Every Muslim
ruler in Delhi (or Governor of Provinces) spent most of his time warring
against Hindu kings in the north and the south, the east and the west,
and almost every Muslim Sultan and his army commanders indulged in
largescale destructions of Hindu temples and idols. They also
slaughtered a lot of Hindus. It is easy to conclude that virtually every
Hindu temple built in the ancient times is a perfect work of art.
The evidence of the ferocity with which the Muslim invaders must have
struck at the sculptures of gods and goddesses, demons and apsaras,
kings and queens, dancers and musicians is frightful. At so many ancient
temples of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, for example, shattered portions
of stone images still lie scattered in the temple courtyards.
Considering the fury used on the idols and sculptures, the
stone-breaking axe must have been applied to thousands upon thousands of
images of hypnotic beauty.
Giving proof of the resentment that men belonging to an inferior
civilisation feel upon encountering a superior civilisation of
individuals with a more refined culture, Islamic invaders from Arabia
and western Asia broke and burned everything beautiful they came across
in Hindustan. So morally degenerate were the Muslim Sultans that, rather
than attract Hindu "infidels" to Islam through force of personal example
and exhortation, they just built a number of mosques at the sites of
torn down temples-and foolishly pretended they had triumphed over the
minds and culture of the Hindus. I have seen stones and columns of Hindu
temples incorportated into the architecture of several mosques,
including the Jama Masjid and Ahmed Shah Masjid in Ahmedabad; the mosque
in the Uparkot fort of Junagadh (Gujarat) and in Vidisha (near Bhopal);
the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra right next to the famous dargah in Ajmer-and
the currently controversial Bhojshala "mosque" in Dhar (near Indore).
Hindu culture was at its imaginative best and vigorously creative when
the severely-allergic-to-images Muslims entered Hindustan. Islamic
invaders did not just destroy countless temples and constructions but
also suppressed cultural and religious practices; damaged the pristine
vigour of Hindu religion, prevented the intensification of Hindu
culture, debilitating it permanently, stopped the development of Hindu
arts ended the creative impulse in all realms of thought and action,
damaged the people's cultural pride, disrupted the transmission of
values and wisdom, cultural practices and tradition from one generation
to the next; destroyed the proper historical evolution of Hindu kingdoms
and society, affected severely the acquisition of knowledge, research
and reflection and violated the moral basis of Hindu society. The Hindus
suffered immense psychic damage. The Muslims also plundered the wealth
of the Hindu kingdoms, impoverished the Hindu populace, and destroyed
the prosperity of Hindustan.
Gaze in wonder at the Kailas Mandir in the Ellora caves and remember
that it is carved out of a solid stone hill, an effort that
(inscriptions say) took nearly 200 years. This is art as devotion. The
temple built by the Rashtrakuta kings (who also built the colossal
sculpture in the Elenhanta caves off Mumbai harbour) gives proof of the
ancient Hindus' religious fervor.
But the Kailas temple also indicated a will power, a creative
imagination, and an intellect eager to take on the greatest of artistic
The descendants of those who built the magnificent temples of Bhojpur
and Thanjavur, Konark and Kailas, invented mathematics and brain
surgery, created mindbody disciplines (yoga) of astonishing power, and
built mighty empires would almost certainly have attained technological
superiority over Europe.
It is not just for "political reasons" that Hindus want to build grand
temples at the sites of the (wrecked) Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, the
Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, and the Mathura idgah. The efforts of
religion-intoxicated and politically active Hindus to rebuild the Ram
Mandir, the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir, and the Krishna Mandir are just
three episodes m a one-thousand year long Hindu struggle to reclaim
their culture and religion from alien invaders.
The demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992 was
just one episode in the millennial struggle of the Hindus to repossess
their religion-centered culture and nation. Meanwhile, hundreds of
ancient Hindu temples forsaken all over Hindustan await the reawakening
of Hindu cultural pride to be repaired or rebuilt and restored to their
original, ancient glory.