The Barbarism of Islamic Kings and the Unparalleled Suffering of Hindus Under Muslim Rule

This article is part 5 of 73 in the series The Tradition of Kshaatra in India

After the death of Aurangzeb, the Mughal empire was scattered and confused. In fact, this had already started during Aurangzeb's lifetime itself. As a result of the barbaric behaviour of Muslims and forcible conversions to Islam, millions of Sanatana Dharmis were attacked and tormented; every single Hindu had in his heart, a deep-seated hatred for Islam and the spirit of revenge had risen. It was seen as a crime to be born as a Hindu and to live as a Hindu in the land of Sanatana Dharma; the Islamic reign had thrust cruel taxes on non-Muslims thus bringing Sanatana Dharmis to a pitiable state in their own land.

This was the infamous Jizya tax. Every Islamic invader who attacked India deemed it as his sacred duty to impose Jizya on all non-Muslims and ensured that it was done. It was not just Aurangzeb and several other Muslim rulers of India who imposed the beastly Jizya on the Hindus: even an invader-cum-robber like Nadir Shah of Iran who was in India for a mere fifty-seven days ensured that this Islamic abomination was imposed on Hindus. What can then be said about other Islamic rulers who ruled on Indian soil?

After the death of Aurangzeb, the Marathas, Rajputs, Sikhs, and Jats gained strength. There was a rejuvenation of Sanatana Dharma. Nadir Shah continuously warned the weak Mughal sovereign in Delhi about such a situation; and it was the Dakkani (Deccan) Nizam's haughtiness that invited a raider and mercenary like Nadir Shah to attack India; similarly Tipu invited the Pathans to attack India. All this behaviour perfectly aligns with the nature of Islam and its followers; their intolerance and their methods of barbaric attacks against non-Muslims are not unknown to students of history.

Starting from Muhammad bin Qasim, Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori to Qutbuddin Aibak, Shamsuddin Iltutmish, Ghiyasuddin Balban, and Alauddin Khilji to Ghiyasuddin Tughluq, Muhammad bin Tughluq, Firoz Shah Tughluq, Ibrahim Lodhi, Babur, Humayun, Jehangir, and Shahjahan as well as the Bahmanis, Adil Shahis, and the Nawabs in South India, all the way up to Tipu, every single Muslim king tried to convert India from Dar-ul-harb (the land of war, i.e. the land of infidels) into Dar-ul-Islam (the land of Islam) using all the means at their disposal, often the most cruel and barbaric ones, filled with deceit and hypocrisy. Thus they ruled their kingdoms as a theocracy with absolutely no respect for any religion other than Islam, completely violating even bare minimal human rights. It is therefore important that no historian should try and cover up these heinous crimes of the Muslims against humanity.

Apart from the Jizya tax, there was a tax levied on the Tirthayatras (Sacred Pilgrimage) of Sanatana Dharmis; this was imposed not just on Hindus but also on Jains and Buddhists, among other non-Muslims. Apart from this, there was a special fee levied for taking a dip in any sacred river or lake. In addition to all this, there was yet another tax levied on Sanatana Dharmis who were farmers, traders, workers, and businessmen. Only the Muslims did not have to pay any tax. Further, except the Rajputs, no non-Muslims could ride on a palanquin, horse, or elephant; they could keep no weapons. And if the eyes of the Islamic rulers fell on any of the assets, lands, or wives and children of Hindus, they would be grabbed instantly. And like rubbing salt on the wound, on a daily basis, Hindus were humiliated, tormented, mocked at, and looked down with scorn by the Islamic rulers and by the Muslims in general. And what's more, all non-Muslims could not build new places of worship; no old temple could be repaired or rejuvenated; and whatever be the time or occasion, all temples had to be offered to the Muslims whenever they wanted it and for whatever purpose they chose to use it. Every Hindu was forced to give shelter to any Muslim traveller who passed by his house; even their private or community celebrations could be gatecrashed by Muslims and they were forced to accept it.

Hindus were forced to respect Muslims. A non-Muslim, whatever be his status or wealth or rank, was prohibited from dressing better than a Muslim, or eat better food, or have a better lifestyle: the list of such forbidden items is truly long!

Hindus were allowed neither to own weapons nor don ornaments; even the shadow of Hindu culture could not fall on Muslims. Hindus had to live in simple tenements in a lowly and degraded fashion far away from the Muslim neighbourhoods. Hindus could not follow their traditional practices or celebrate festivals publicly; when there was a death or disaster, it was forbidden for Hindus to cry loudly and disturb the Muslims. Such inhuman and draconian laws were thrust upon non-Muslims. And there was an order that no Hindu, however high his standing may be, could oppose to any extent any such royal oppression. If such was the case, why and how did the Muslims keep the Hindu population alive? The answer to this might be found in what Alauddin Khilji told his mullahs, "[These Hindus must be used] to do our work and to use them for our convenience, so that we may delight [from tormenting them]!"

To be continued



Dr. Ganesh is a 'shatavadhani' and one of India’s foremost Sanskrit poets and scholars. He writes and lectures extensively on various subjects pertaining to India and Indian cultural heritage. He is a master of the ancient art of avadhana and is credited with reviving the art in Kannada. He is a recipient of the Badarayana-Vyasa Puraskar from the President of India for his contribution to the Sanskrit language.



Hari is a writer, translator, violinist, and designer with a deep interest in Vedanta, Carnatic music, education pedagogy design, and literature. He has worked on books like The New Bhagavad-Gita, Your Dharma and Mine, Srishti, and Foggy Fool's Farrago.


Sandeep Balakrishna is a writer, author, translator, and socio-political-cultural analyst. He is the author of "Tipu Sultan: The Tyrant of Mysore" and "The Madurai Sultanate: A Concise History." He translated Dr. S L Bhyrappa's magnum opus "Avarana" into English.