Buddhists and others, wasRe: RAJARAM EPISODE

P. Anand panand3 at REDIFFMAIL.COM
Wed Oct 4 14:56:05 UTC 2000

On Wed, 4 Oct 2000, Samar Abbas wrote:

> On Tue, 3 Oct 2000, P. Anand wrote:
> > .. you suggest that Muslims' interaction with Buddhists in India
> > would have been better than with "bad" Hindus ..
>  Such theories that Muslims destroyed Buddhism are simply illogical,
> because :

    First I wish to say that Buddhism was already in decline (according
  to the books I had cited) at the time of Turk/Muslim invasions.
  The quotes were merely to point out that interaction of Muslims
  and Buddhists in India was not as pleasant as you asserted.

    I should note that you ignored that one of the authors was a
  Buddhist (Bhikshu Sangharakshita) and one other was a christian/agnostic
  (A. L. Basham). You instead went after the caste of Romila Thapar.
  Should we ignore all that you have to say about Hinduism just
  because you have a Muslim sounding name ? I think not. We all
  have political and ideological biases. Should there be no
  discussion then ?

    The quotes talked about the facts (destruction of Buddhists
  monasteries and libraries) that could be shown to be wrong.
  A. L. Basham and R. Thapar have some reputation as Historians
  of ancient India. Given that the site you quote is not only
  ideologically anti-Hindu but is also highly political and anti-India,
  without strong evidence, one may not want to take seriously what
  it says about Hinduism/India. In the end evidence is more
  important wherever it comes from. The opinions of an ideologically
  baised individual on a subject without any evidence of reaserch
  does not have much value.

    One final note. Above authors do not say about the wholesale
  migration of people (your wrong inference about east-asian being
  bengalies), rather the migration of monks. Without the ideological
  bias, this inference from the quotes could not have been drawn.

  :- Pankaj

> 1. First they shout, `Buddhism is a form of Hinduism' and then the
> next moment `Evil bearded Muslims destroyed Buddhism'. If Buddhism did not
> exist (ie. it was Hinduism anyway), how could Muslims have destroyed it ?
> Apoint well-made at http://www.dalitstan.org/books/decline/decline01.html
> 2. How come Buddhism existed only in Eastern India ? What happened to the
> well-attested Buddhism which existed in north India (Asokan inscriptions
> in Afghanistan, Buddhist statues and stupas in Punjab) ? Or did the evil
> Muslims convert the Buddhists to Hinduism there by mistake ? Or perhaps
> they converted the Bengali Buddhists to Islam, and the Northern Buddhists
> to Hinduism ?
> >
> 3. Buddhism was also predominant in South India - Ambedkar says they
> formed the majority all across India. Why did the Muslims convert the
> Buddhists there to Hinduism instead of Islam ?
> 4. If the Muslims could destroy Buddhism in distant Bengal (thousands
> of km away from Delhi), howcome they could not destroy Hinduism in
> Haryana just south of Delhi or in nearby UP ?
> > 2) Romila Thapar, "A History of India", page 263-264. "The coming of
> > Islam was the final blow ... the attacks on the monasteries resulted

>  So the esteemed Thapar is now saying that the Buddhists of eastern India
> migrated to Thailand and Malaysia, ie. that the Vietnamese are Bengalis by
> descent. Anything to prove that Buddhism was destroyed by `marauding
> Muslims'. Surely, another wonder of Pseudo-Secularism. Reminds one of the
> Urdu-from-Prakrit theory, which the likes of Thapar et al so loudly parrot
> over and over again.
> BTW what is Romila Thapar's caste ? She is an upper-caste Punjabi, but is
> she a Brahmin ? She is definitely not a Buddhist. The Buddhists themselves
> do not accept these claims of `Muslim destruction', - just see the
> book `Decline and Fall of Buddhism'. Should we go by what the Buddhists
> themselves think about how their religion was destroyed, or what their
> ideological opponents claim ?

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