Playing the "PC" Card

Pratap Kumar kumar at
Thu Dec 14 09:50:20 UTC 1995

On Sat, 9 Dec 1995, vidya wrote:

> Like it or not, differences in religion did and continue to play significant
> roles in invasion. 

I don't think one could disagree with the above statement made by Vidya.  
However, Dr. Tartakov's point, if I understood well, is not to dispute 
whether religious factors went into the war or not, but rather to point 
out the dangers involved in interpreting wars and invasions primarily as 
religious ones.  I think, in the so called "Muslim invasions" of India, 
there are more political and economic interests at stake than religious.  
One of the main reasons why temples became potential targets of attack by 
the invading groups in the medieval times and later on is that they 
(temples) were also storehouses of wealth and served as treasuries.  This 
is true of many Buddhist monasteries in China and elsewhere.  I think in 
the contemporary discourse it would help us understand history better if 
we are open to many more variables than jut the religious ones.  I am 
myself uncomfortable with the fact that much of Indias ancient and 
medieval history was approached from the religious angle and hence the 
ideas such as "Glorious period of Hinduism in the Gupta period" "the decay 
of Hindu religion" , the "Muslim invasion" and so on.  It is time that we 
take a good look at some of our constructions of history in general.  

Pratap Kumar


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