Harry Falk: Schrift in Indien

ai927 at freenet.carleton.ca ai927 at freenet.carleton.ca
Fri Nov 12 19:46:49 UTC 1993

The posting for this was truncated somehow and my copy of it ends
abruptly with <circumstances of their or>.  If there is significantly
more information I would appreciate a re-posting.  Is there an
English version of the book?
On that subject, I seem to recall that of the two scripts, Brahmi
and Karosthi, one apparently could be connected in some way with
Aramaic script in ancient times but could not easily be shown to be
the ancestor of modern Indian scripts; and the other one was exactly
the reverse, so that one could not really say with any certainty that
modern Indian scripts are related to the Aramaic.  I would appreciate it
if anyone could throw any general light on this situation...  I am
not sure I have remembered it exactly...

 thank-you....     Noel Evans, ai927 at freenet.carleton.ca


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Subject: Book Review:"Negationism in India"-Part 1

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ISLAM" written by KOENRAAD ELST of Belgium; published by the VOICE
OF INDIA,  New Delhi, India; pp 176.

Reviewer: A. Ghosh
                         *   *   *
(The author, Koenraad Elst (Leuven, 1959), a Belgian scholar, grew
up in the Catholic community in Flanders. He studied at the famous
Catholic University of Leuven and holds licentiate degrees (MA) in
Chinese Studies, Indo-Iranian Studies and Philosophy. He studied
Indian philosophy at the Benares Hindu University (BHU) and
interviewed many Indian leaders and thinkers during his stay in
India between 1988 and 1991. His publications include: (in Dutch)
Language policy issues, Contemporary politics, Early History of
Scientific Thought and Oriental Philosophies; (in English) The
Ayodhya Issue, The General Relgio-political Situation in India.
treatise on the subject.)
                         *   *   *
Negationism in Europe usually means the denial of the Nazi genocide
of the Jews. India has its own brand of negationism.

A section of the Indian intelligentsia, primarily led by  Mohanlal
Karamchand Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru during their life time,
tried and is still trying to erase from the Hindus' memory  the
history of their persecution by the swordsmen of Islam. The number
of victims of this persecution far exceeds that of the Nazi crimes
primarily because it lasted much longer. The Islamic campaign to
wipe out what they call Paganism or KUFR could not be equally
thorough but it has continued for centuries without any moral
doubts arising in the minds of  the persecutors and their
chroniclers. The Islamic reports on the massacres of Hindus,
destruction of Hindu temples, the abduction of Hindu women and
forced conversions invariably express great glee and pride.

They leave no doubt that the destruction of Paganism by every
means, was considered the Allah-ordained duty of the Moslem
community or UMMA. Yet today many Indian historians, journalists
and politicians, deny that there ever was a Hindu-Moslem conflict.
They ignore the facts that led to the creation of Pakistan and
Bangladesh, both Islamic theocracies. They shamelessly rewrite
Indian history and talk of 'centuries of Hindu-Moslem amity'; now
a growing section of the public in India and the West only knows
their negationist version of history.


The Negationism regarding the Nazi crimes has been the object of much
public discussion. Turkish negationism about the Armenian genocide has
received some attention. Less well-known is that India has its own
brand of negationism.

Since about 1920 an effort has been going on in India to rewrite
history and to deny the millenium-long conflict between Muslims
and Hindus. Today, most politicians and English-writing
intellectuals in India will go out of their way to condemn any
public reference to this long and painful conflict in the strongest
terms. They will go to any length to create the illusion of a
history of 'communal amity' between Hindus and Muslims.

Making people believe in a history of Hindu-Muslim amity in India
is not an easy task: the number of victims of the persecution of
Hindus by Muslims is of the same order of magnitude as that of the
Nazi extermination policy, though no one has yet made the effort of
tabulating the reported massacres and proposing a reasonable
estimate of how many millions exactly must have died in the course
of the Islamic campaign against Hinduism. On top of these, there is
a similar number of abductions and deportation to harems and slave
markets, as well as centuries of political oppression and cultural
destruction. The American historian Will Durant summed it up like
this: "The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest
story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral
is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of
order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be
overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying

Only off and on did this persecution have the intensity of a
genocide, but it was sustained much longer and spread out much
wider geographically than the Nazi massacre. Whereas the Germans,
including most members of the Nazi party, were horrified at the
Nazi crimes against humanity within a few years, the Moslems, for
whom GOTT MIT UNS (or Allah with us) was not a slogan but a
religious certainty, managed to keep a good conscience for
centuries. We will encounter similarities as well as differences
between Nazi and Islamic crimes against humanity, but the most
striking difference is definitely the persistence with which
Islamic persecutions have continued for 14 centuries. This is
because it had more spine, a more powerful psychological grip on
its adherents than Nazism.

The ideological foundation of the Islamic campaign was similar to
the Nazi ideology. The Muslim invaders (as we can read in numerous
documents which they left us, from the Koran and the Hadis onward)
distinguished between three kinds of people: first of all  the
Muslims, the HERRENVOLK (master nation) to which Allah had promised
the world; secondly, the Jews and Christians, also sometimes called
the AHL-I-KITAB (people of the book), who could live on under
Muslim rule but only as third class citizens, just like the Slavic
UNTERMENSCHEN (inferior people) in Hitler's new order; thirdly the
species to be eliminated, the real Pagans who had to disappear from
the face of the earth.

Different from Hitler's victims, the non-combatants among the
'unbelievers' often got a chance to opt for conversion rather than
death. What Mohammed (later emulated by his successors) wanted, was
his recognition of Allah's final prophet, so he preferred people to
live and give him this recognition (by pronouncing the Islamic
creed or KALIMA, ie. converting), and only those who refused him
this recognition, were to be killed. Still, conversion often came
too late to save defeated Pagans from slavery. At this point,
Mohammed deserves comparison with Stalin: unlike Hitler Stalin
killed people not for their race but for their opinion. But one can
hardly say that the one totalitarianism is better than the other.

The BLITZ-KRIEG of the Muslim armies in the first decades after the
birth of their religion had such enduring results  precisely
because the Pagan populations in West and central Asia had no
choice (except death) but to convert. Whatever the converts' own
resentment, their children grew up as Muslims and gradually
identified  with this religion. Within a few generations the
initial resistance  against this forcible conversion was forgotten,
and these areas became HEIDENFREI (free from Pagans, cfr.
JUDENFREI).In India it didn't go like that, because the Muslims
needed five centuries of attempts at invasion before they could
catch hold of large parts of India, and even then they encountered
endless resistance, so that they often had to settle for a

The Muslim conquests, down to the 16th century, were for the Hindus
a pure struggle for life and death. Entire cities were burnt down
and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in
every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new
invader made (often literally) hills of Hindu skulls. Thus, the
conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the
annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called
the HINDU KUSH, i.e. "Hindu slaughter". The Bahmani sultans (1347-
1480 AD) in central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 Hindus
every year. In 1399, Taimur killed 100,000 captives in a single
day, and many more on other occasions. The conquest of the
Vijayanagar empire in 1565 left large areas of Karnataka
depopulated. And so on.

But the Indian Pagans were far too numerous and never fully
surrendered. What some call the "Muslim period" in Indian history,
was in reality a continuous war of occupiers against resisters, in
which the Muslim rulers were finally defeated in the 18th century.
Against these rebellious Pagans the Muslim rulers preferred to
avoid total confrontation, and to accept the compromise which the
HANAFITE school (dominant in India) of Islamic law made possible.
Alone among the four Islamic law schools, the HANAFITE school gave
Muslim rulers the right not to offer the Pagans the sole choice
between death and conversion, but to allow them toleration as
ZIMMIS (protected ones) living under 20 humiliating conditions, and
to collect the JIZYA (toleration tax) from them. Normally the ZIMMI
status was only open to Jews and Christians (AHL-I-KITAB or peoples
of the book); and even that concession was condemned by jurists of
the HANABALITE school like IBN TAYMIYA, which explains why these
communities have survived in Muslim countries while most other
religions have not. On these conditions some of the higher Hindu
castes could be found willing to collaborate, so that a more or
less polity could be set up. Even then, the collaboration of the
Rajputs with the Moghul rulers, or of the Kayasthas with the Nawab
dynasty, only became a smooth arrangement when enlightened rulers
like Akbar (whom orthodox Muslims consider an apostate) canceled
these humiliating conditions and the JIZYA tax.

It is because of the HANAFITE law that many Muslim rulers in India
considered themselves exempted from  the duty to continue the
genocide of the Hindus (self-exemption for which they were
persistently reprimanded by their MULLAHS). Moreover, the Turkish
and Afghan invaders also fought each other, so they often had to
ally themselves with accursed unbelievers against fellow Muslims.
After the conquests, Islamic occupation gradually lost its
character of a total campaign to destroy the Pagans. Many Muslim
rulers preferred to enjoy the revenue from stable and prosperous
kingdoms, and were content to extract the JIZYA tax, and to limit
their conversion effort  to material incentives and support to the
missionary campaigns of SUFIS and MULLAHS (in fact, for less
zealous rulers, the JIZYA was an incentive to discourage
conversions, as these would mean a loss of revenue). Muslim
violence would thenceforth be limited to crushing the numerous
rebellions, destruction of temples and killing or humiliation of
Brahmins, and occasional acts of terror by small bands of raiders.
A left-over from this period  is the North-Indian custom of
celebrating weddings at midnight: this was a safety measure against
Islamic sport of bride-catching.

The last JIHAD against the Hindus before the full establishment of
British rule was waged by Tipu Sultan in the beginning of the 19th
century. In the rebellion of 1857, the near-defunct Muslim
dynasties (Moghuls, Nawabs) tried to curry favor with their Hindu
subjects and neighbors, in order to launch a joint effort to re-
establish their rule. For instance, the Nawab promised to give the
Hindus the Ramjanmabhoomi/Babari Masjid site back, in an effort to
quench their anti-Muslim animosity and redirect their attention
toward the new common enemy from Britian. THIS IS THE ONLY INSTANCE

After the British had crushed the rebellion of 1857, the Indian
Muslims fell into a state of depression, increasing backwardness
due to their refusal of British education, and nostalgia for the
past. As soon as the British drew them into the political process
(founding of Muslim League in 1906) in order to use them as a
counter-weight against the Indian National Congress, they
immediately made heavy and hurtful demands on the Hindus, such as
the unlimited right to slaughter cows; and they started working for
political separation. First  they obtained separate electorates
where Muslim candidates would only have  to please Muslim voters
and later they would succeed in separating a Muslim state from

By the twenties, they took to unscrupled use of muscle power in a
big way, creating street riots and outright pogroms. If Hindus
retaliated in kind, it was a welcome help in instilling the
separate communal identity into the ordinary Muslim, who would have
preferred to co-exist  with his Hindu neighbors in peace. By
creating riots and provoking retaliatory violence, the Muslim
League managed to swing the vast majority of the Muslim electorate
toward supporting its demand for the partition of India. The
roughly 600,000 victims of the violence accompanying the Partition
were the price which the Muslim League was willing to pay for its
Islamic state of Pakistan (See MUSLIM LEAGUE ATTACK ON SIKHS AND
HINDUS IN THE PUNJAB 1947 compiled by Gurbachan Singh Talib and
published in 1950 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee.
It has been reprinted by VOICE OF INDIA in 1991). While every Hindu
and Muslim who took part  in the violence is responsible for his
own excesses, the over-all responsibility for this mass-slaughter
lies squarely with the Muslim leadership.

After independence, the Islamic persecution of Hindus has continued
in different degrees of intensity, in Pakistan, Bangladesh and
Kashmir (as well as heavy discrimination in Malaysia). This is not
the place for detailing those facts, which the international media
have been ignoring completely. What may cut short all denials of
this continued pestering of Hindus in Muslim states, are the
resulting migration figures: in 1948, Hindus formed 23% of the
population of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan), in 1971 the figure
was down to 15% and today it stands at 10%. No journalist or human
rights body goes in to ask the minority Hindus for their opinion
about the treatment they get from the Muslim authorities and
populations; but they vote with their feet. In the first months of
1990, the entire Hindu population (nearly a quarter million) was
forcibly driven from the Kashmir Valley, which used to be
advertised as a showpiece of communal harmony. Muslim newspapers
and mosque loudspeakers had warned the Hindus to leave the valley
or face bullets.

It will be evident that the Hindu psyche has very little sympathy
for Islam. Doing something about this was the chief motive for

(to be contd.)

                         *   *   *

Opinions and views of the readers most welcome. I will forward them
to my friend A Ghosh. If anyone is interested in getting a copy of
this book, send me an email. I will send you the address of a

My email address is dileep at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu


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