“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” These are the words of famous American author Mark Twain where he diligently points out the impact that India’s Dharmic civilization had on the world. Hindu or Dharmic civilization in its existence over millennia has been a repository of knowledge and wealth for the world. This rich and deep culture attracted scholars and explorers from around the world to study and embrace Dharmic culture. This golden period was followed by a number of barbarous invasions majorly by Islamic rulers from west Asia.
“The Messenger of Allah promised us that we would invade India. If I live to see that, I will sacrifice myself and my wealth. If I am killed, I will be one of the best of the martyrs, and if I come back, I will be Abu Hurairah Al-Muharrar.”   Al-Muharrar: The one freed (from the Fire).”- Sunan an-Nasa’i
An excerpt from Sunan an-Nasa’i , one of the six major hadith explicitly called for the invasion of India and it kick-started what famous author and Historian, Will Durant called as “probably the bloodiest story in history”. What followed were multiple invasions by Islamic rulers coming mainly from West and Central Asian regions into the flood plains of Indus and Ganga. These invasions were met with tough resistance from various Hindu rulers however; these invasions also marked the beginning of a long history of Dharmic subjugation.
Giving an insight into the dark and inhuman period for the followers of Dharmic religions, Dr. Koenraad Elst in his article, “Was There an Islamic Genocide of Hindus?”, writes, “There is no official estimate of the total death toll of Hindus at the hands of Islam. A first glance at important testimonies by Muslim chroniclers suggests that, over 13 centuries and a territory as vast as the Subcontinent, Muslim Holy Warriors easily killed more Hindus than the 6 million of the Holocaust. Ferishtha lists several occasions when the Bahmani sultans in central India (1347-1528) killed a 100,000 Hindus, which they set as a minimum goal whenever they felt like punishing the Hindus; and they were only a third-rank provincial dynasty.”
Along with the cold-blooded murder of crores of Hindus these barbaric invasions also witnessed complete contempt for Indian Temples and traditions, Somnath temple in Gujarat, Kashivishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Krishna Janmbhoomi Temple in Mathura, Nalanda in Bihar, Sun temple in Martand are just a drop in the ocean of Dharmic cultural centers which were destroyed by Islamic invading forces. However after failing to overshadow the intrinsic liberal and brave domains of Dharmic traditions, Islamic Invaders were clearly losing grounds to resurging Hindu forces. Towards the 1700’s the rise of several Hindu kings like Chattrapati Shivaji and others were successful in putting an end to the century old tyranny of Islamic invaders.
However it was not very long until British invaders with the backing of their superior weapon technology and unethical trading practices slowly took control over the Indian sub continent. The British invasion of India marked the beginning of another dark period in the history for Hindus after a glimpse of hope in between. British rule though equally barbaric and violent as the Islamic invasion was focused on indoctrination of the Hindu mind into western values which were mostly derived from Christian theology. During the odd 100 years of British existence in India, British made every attempt to create fault lines in the Indian Society while driving their evangelical and economic agenda. Various theories to make Hindus feel like outsiders in their own home and to justify British presence in India, like the ‘Aryan invasion theory’ were put forward , which were later conclusively discarded. The transition of British east India Company’s rule to the rule of British crown further magnified the need to introduce a British inclined education system. This education system was used to create human resource required to aid British imperialistic rule over India. Different commissions were set up for this purpose.
The English Education Act 1835 was a legislative Act of the Council of India which gave effect to a decision in 1835 by Lord William Bentinck, then Governor-General of British India, to reallocate funds the East India Company was required by the British Parliament to spend on education and literature in India. This education introduced was mainly English centric and lacked basic tenets of India centric Education. Formally education in Native Languages was relevant however in course of time major focus on English education, made English more than a language of foreign invaders to the language of higher courts and other official structures. With the introduction of foreign education the Hindu mind was further conditioned to give in to western superiority and instilled with a sense of inferiority which still lingers in the minds of scores of Hindus.
After the dreadful period of British Raj in India, in 1947 the reins of India were finally back in the hands of Indians after centuries’ long rule by foreign rulers which had clouded the Hindu mind with foreign theories of inferiority. However the Hindu subjugation and suppression was far from over. Looking at the large vote banks made up by converted communities gave reasons for some Indian political leaders at that time to continue with the policy of divide and rule in India. What followed was massive re-appropriation of history to provide a rosy picture of the various rampages, first of the brutal Islamic Invasion followed by the whitewash of British rule in India. The romanticisation did not only stop at manipulating history but consisted of systematically concocted narratives to keep Hindus suppressed while other communities were given a free hand to carry out radical practices, some of which are still followed by large sections of these communities.
Several freedom fighters were virtually reduced from whole chapters to mere paragraphs ultimately to be replaced by the very people who had the worst impact on Indian society. The British strategy to downplay Indian empires was also carried forward with little or no regard for their contribution to Indian History- the Great Empires of the Cholas, Rashtrakutas, Ahoms and the more recent Maratha Empire find little or no mention in current educational curricula. What replaced these was massive re-appropriation of history to provide a rosy picture of various rampages, first of the brutal Islamic Invasion followed by the whitewash of British rule in India. Even today a breed of politicians exist that instead to talking about the dangers of Radical Islamic terrorism prefer to look the other way and speak of ‘Hindu terrorism’. This is in continuation of British attempts to instill a sense of shame and inferiority in the Hindu community and deter them from taking any action against systematic oppression.
Centuries of continuous brainwashing and oppression of resistant voices have made the Hindu society expendable which can be taken advantage of and abused freely at any time. Hindu community has been systematically made to be dependent on the state for safeguarding intra-community interests which have further drained the sense of belonging and resistance against external intimidation. Recent events in Indian politics however have initiated a process of getting rid of these foreign influences on the Dharmic mind which has been kept suppressed in the past for religious intolerance and now in order to appease other communities which vote against Dharmic interests en-block. Recent desecration and destruction of temple by a mob have opened those old wounds for Hindus, who have seen their women, children, and temples being ravaged and desecrated by mobs for centuries and surely made them think of their responsibility towards safeguarding interests of Dharmic tradition against any hate.
It is upon the Hindu community to now reject the notion of dependency on ‘protectors’ and take it upon themselves the task of defense of their well being as well as their religion. It is of utmost importance for Hindus to demolish the long-held narrative of ‘pacifism’ and ‘passivity’ falsely attributed to their religion and identity and realize that an essential concept of Hinduism is ‘fighting for Dharma and just cause’ as Sri Krishna tells Arjun in Srimad Bhagwad Gita. Hindus have been led to believe that ‘Ahimsa Parmo Dharma’ (Non-violence is the supreme religion) conveniently ignoring the very next line which clearly states and endorses ‘Dharm Himsa Tathaiv Ch’ (But in the protection of Dharma, violence is sanctioned and even necessary). Non-violence is supreme but violence is a virtue in defense of Dharma and is necessary. Hindus must realize that ‘Dharm Ev Hato-hanti, Dharmo Rakshati Rakhistah’.