Jihad Watch’s Hugh Fitzgerald sheds the light of truth on another subject about which there is a great deal of misinformation and disinformation: the treatment of Hindus (and Sikhs) by Muslims in India.
In sheer numbers, no group of Believers has suffered from Islam like the Hindus. It is amazing that few Indian-Americans, and few Indo-British, seem to know the history of their own ancestors and of what the Muslim conquest — or perhaps one should say the Early Conquest and then the Later Conquest — did to India, which Naipaul accurately described as a “wounded civilization.” K. S. Lal writes of the 60-70 million Hindu victims murdered by their Muslim masters. When those Muslim masters ceased the mass killings, it was not out of any sense of mercy, but only to extort the jizya from people who would now be treated in a manner akin to Jews and Christians: dhimmis who would be allowed to live, but would be subject to a series of economic, political, and social disabilities that guaranteed a permanent status of degradation, humiliation, and physical insecurity.
There are those who are morally indifferent to how the Mughal conquerors ruled, or to what happened to the Hindus (or the Sikhs). One thinks of the deplorable William Dalrymple (who is apparently not deplorable enough for the TLS to cease assigning him books to review on the subject) in his popular accounts of the luxury and love-intrigue at Mughal courts, or that other, more scholarly apologist for Islam, Francis Robinson. A number of factors have contributed to the indifference of Hindu intellectuals in India, and outside India, to the real nature of Islam. For the first, there is the common desire to ape the attitudes of so-called intellectuals in London and New York. It would not do, it does not do, to be too exercised about Islam. And of course, all things pertaining to Hindutva, to a sense of Indian nationalism connected to Hinduism, is mocked in the world, though it offers not the slightest threat or menace (unlike Islam) to anyone — anyone, that is, but the Muslims who continue to procreate and “gain market-share” as a percentage of the population in India, even as they harry or persecute or murder the Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and Bangladesh and, whenever they can, in Kashmir and elsewhere in India.
The astounding ignorance of Indian history that one finds in the Western world, and the supplanting of that history by the ooohing and aahing over Mughal emperors, should stick in everyone’s craw. And some sympathetic attention to the claims of Hindus to Hindustan, and to the other non-Muslim populations in that most naturally tolerant of civilizations, should be given in Western universities and in the Western media. Even those newspapers in the Western world that are aimed at an Indian immigrant audience tend to pull their punches about Islam, or perhaps ignore the subject altogether (save in a few cases where the readership is definitely Hindu or Hindu and Sikh). This is done, one supposes, because the newspaper owners do not wish to alienate Muslim Indians in the West who might also read the paper, even if it means ignoring the major issue of our time and possibly of our century: the issue of the world-wide Jihad, from which Indian civilization suffered, and from which Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India itself (including Indian Kashmir), and now in Great Britain, also suffer. Hindus and Sikhs in Britain, having come to the West with its freedoms and opportunities, and who once here have not given any occasion for alarm or offense, now find themselves, thousands of miles from India, subject yet again to the implacable hatred and menace of Islam.
Whenever an Indian (Hindu or Sikh) intellectual becomes known outside of India, he is quick to demonstrate his abhorrence of what is called “communalism” (which always means: those silly Hindus, and Sikhs, who may be too much attached to their own traditions and faiths, and of course are to be regarded with lack of sympathy should they dare to demonstrate any lack of sympathy themselves for Islam). One can see the phenomenon, for example, in the attitudes and rhetoric of Amartya Sen, who has written about the “democracy” within Islam. Sen’s is an entirely ahistorical piece that makes one wish to insist that this particular shoemaker should stick to his last profession, though now he appears to have decided to make shoes for the whole wide world.
Readers should go to the historians of India — K. S. Lal, Sir Jahundath Sarkar, those who contributed to the 19th-century volume edited by the Englishmen Dowson and Elliot — as well as to the modern non-Indian scholars Koenraad Elst and Francois Gautier. They will be surprised what they will learn about the history of India. They might even begin with that book with the old-fashioned title “The Wonder That Was India,” about pre-Islamic India, written by A. L. Basham. Others might choose to look at the grim list of Hindu temples, thousands of them, destroyed by Muslims, a list compiled by Sita Ram Goel (another author, who along with Ram Swarup is regarded by many Bright Young Indian Things as simply beyond the pale — and they make this judgment without ever having bothered to read his works), and published in two volumes.
Among those of Indian descent well-known to the outside world, and who cannot be ignored as “Hindu fanatics” (a term thrown around a good deal, even though the most fanatical of Hindus would not come close, in the menace that his worldview would present to non-Hindus, to what the mildest and most “moderate” of Muslims presents to non-Muslims), the only one to tell the truth about Islam has been V. S. Naipaul.
There should be many more.