The Tradition of Kshaatra in India: Barbarism of Timur, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, Vasco da Gama

Our 'leaders' and 'intellectuals' have turned a blind eye to the rampant whitewashing of the atrocities committed [by the Muslims]. And so, we can observe a few more aspects:

Just as Timur himself records, when he pillaged the town by name Dipalapura, he gave the order to kill ten thousand people within an hour and ensured that it was executed thus. He looted all the grains in every house and then set them all on fire.

He killed two thousand Jats and had the women and children captured only to be used later as slaves. He killed all the Rajput men he encountered and subjecting all the Rajput women and children to house arrest, he finally set all the houses on fire. He ordered the scholar, Maulana Nasir ud-din Umar, to kill fifteen idol worshippers and ensured it was carried out. This is just the tip of an iceberg.

Historians opine that Timur inflicted much more violence, bloodshed, and horror on the people of India than any other invader did, in a single invasion attempt.

Later, the Christian pirate Vasco da Gama, in a similar manner and to the best of his abilities, inflicted great violence on Indians. R C Majumdar has recorded even that in great detail.

The king of Kallikota (Calicut) in Kerala was Zamorin (Samudri). His name was Samudrasambhava or Samudrin, the corrupt form of which is 'Zamorin.' The government-appointed historians have cheated the Hindus through retaining these corrupt forms. Due to the constant and widespread usage of these corrupt forms, the reader will get the illusion that Zamorin was in no way connected to Sanatana Dharma. It is made to appear that he was a foreigner and that our people had somehow accepted him as their king and were living in peace. In such a backdrop, invaders like Vasco da Gama have been painted as 'visitors' and there is a veiled suggestion that one must see their voyage with magnanimity. Don't we see this blatantly happening, with historians hiding behind the corrupt version of Sanskrit words? Most of the kings of Kerala were either Brahmanas or Kshatriyas. King Samudri was afraid of Vasco da Gama's behaviour and mannerisms and he welcomed him in spite of that. The local Muslim traders opposed this. The local purohita was sent on a peace mission to assuage the fears of the traders and to convince them that Vasco da Gama had come merely for the purpose of trade. Within no time, the Portuguese attacked the Indian coast from Kerala to Goa. They gave divine sanction to this atrocity by christening it 'The Inquisition'! In the blood-soaked pages of history, one finds many such violent episodes.

Vasco da Gama dealt severely with the Hindus who opposed him; he would chop off the ears and noses and then have those boiled and fried, and force-fed to them. Once when a purohita went to him as an emissary, trying to broker peace on behalf of one of the local chieftains, Vasco da Gama had his ears, nose, and hands chopped off; putting those in a bag and sent it to the chieftain giving orders that he should be made to eat it. Once when a group of Hindus had come to offload spices to his ship, he forcibly retained them on board and had wooden spikes hammered on their mouths so that their teeth would break and fall into their throats. There is no end to his cruelty and violence. It was shameful to see that our own people celebrated the five hundredth anniversary of the evil Vasco da Gama's setting foot on India. R C Majumdar says that the Muslims alone never truly mixed with us; although the Shakas, Pahlavas, Kushanas, Greeks, and other people invaded India, they united with the Hindu culture. The reason for this being that none of the latter were 'people of the book.' Adherents of Islam and Christianity are 'people of the book.' How can one lead a normal life with barbaric cults such as these, which are confined to holy book-prophet-revelation-faith-eternal hell-heaven to believers-revenge of god-blindness of envy?

The adherents of these cults believe in only one god, only one book, and only one prophet. Is it possible ever to live in harmony or reconcile with people like this who think that everyone else is a sinner and a bigot, and that all other gods are devils?

"The Muslims, however, did not merge themselves into this pattern, and form with the Hindus a single type of homogeneous culture. So, for the first time in Indian history, two distinct but important communities and cultures stood face to face, and India was permanently divided into two powerful units, each with marked individuality of its own, which did not prove to be amenable to a fusion or even any close permanent co-ordination. The problem which then faced India has proved to be the most knotty one in its chequered history during the next six hundred years, and has not entirely been solved by the partition or bifurcation of India... It is a delicate and difficult task, but could not be avoided in a history whose avowed object is to give a real picture of the history and culture of the Indian people." When we see the wicked political leaders of our country, our fraudulent intellectuals, and deceitful media waxing eloquent about the cults of Christianity and Islam, pandering to their whims, it surely causes fear and anxiety in the hearts [of Hindus] with the thought that yet another partition (or more) of the country is imminent.

"Political necessities of the Indians during the last phase of British rule underlined the importance of alliance between the two communities, and this was sought to be smoothly brought about by glossing over the differences and creating an imaginary history of the past in order to depict the relations between the two in a much more favourable light than it actually was."

The slogan of "Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai" should have been built on the solid foundation of the truth. If one has to build anything on the foundation of truth, then one has to mercilessly keep aside sectarianism. Even today, naive and foolish Hindus along with Muslim historians and apologists for Islam say "There might be a problem with Muslims, but not in Islam, not in the Qur'an." But the truth is that the poisonous seeds of sectarian fanaticism are in Islam — either they are unaware of this, or they have forgotten this, or they act as if they have forgotten.

"Eminent Hindu political leaders even went so far as to proclaim that the Hindus were not at all a subject race during the Muslim rule. These absurd notions, which would have been laughed at by Indian leaders at the beginning of the nineteenth century, passed current as history owing to the exigencies of the political complications at the end of that century. Unfortunately slogans and beliefs die hard, and even today, for more or less the same reasons as before, many Indians, specially Hindus, are peculiarly sensitive to any comments or observations even made in course of historical writings, touching upon the communal relations in any way. A fear of wounding the susceptibilities of the sister community haunts the minds of Hindu politicians and historians, and not only prevents them from speaking out the truth, but also brings down their wrath upon those who have the courage to do so. But history is no respecter of persons or communities, and must always strive to tell the truth, so far as it can be deduced from reliable evidence. This great academic principle has a bearing upon actual life, for ignorance seldom proves to be a real bliss either to an individual or to a nation. In the particular case under consideration, ignorance of the actual relation between the Hindus and the Muslims throughout the course of history,—an ignorance deliberately encouraged by some,—may ultimately be found to have been the most important single factor which led to the partition of India. The real and effective means of solving a problem is to know and understand the facts that gave rise to it, and not to ignore them by hiding the head, ostrich-like, into sands of fiction."

These volumes of history have been made with a quest for truth, says Majumdar. "It would be the endeavour of the present editor to follow the three fundamental principles enunciated above:
1. history is no respecter of persons or communities,
2. its sole aim is to find out the truth by following the canons commonly accepted as sound by all historians, and
3. to express the truth, without fear, envy, malice, passion, or preiudice, and irrespective of all extraneous considerations, both political and humane."

"This editorial policy is responsible for clearly bringing out in detail those points of difference which stood as barriers between the Hindus and Muslims and served to keep them effectively as two separate units in their common motherland. These are primarily the religious bigotry on the side of the Muslims and social bigotry on the part of the Hindus. These differences are generally sought to be explained away or minimised, and even eminent scholars demur to pointed references to the oppressive acts of bigoted Muslim rulers like Firuz Tughluq and Sikandar Lodi even though proved by the unimpeachable testimony of their own confessions. Such an attitude may be due to praiseworthy motives, but is entirely out of place in historical writings."

Ibn Batuta writes about Muhammad bin Tughlaq, "He would train elephants by tying knives to their trunks. He would train them to obey commands as to whom to kill." His misadventures of shifting his capital from Delhi to Devagiri and then back to Delhi from Devagiri are well-known. For ten long years he subjected the people to untold cruelty and pain. The bigotry and cruelty that Muhammad bin Tughlaq inherited from his father Ghiyasuddin, he successfully passed on to his fanatic son Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Some people have put forth theories based on flimsy pieces of hearsay that Muhammad bin Tughlaq was a scholar and a tolerant ruler. But Ibn Batuta who knew him for decades writes that he was a jihadist Muslim with bigoted tendencies. He has given a long list of the atrocities he committed all around his kingdom and the sort of ghastly acts that he would undertake on a daily basis in Delhi. Like Majumdar says, irrespective of whether the Muslims were ruling or not, they never let go of their Islamic jihad and their fanaticism-cruelty. While studying history, we should never forget this.

Earlier to this period, one of the generals of Alauddin Khilji was Malik Kafur. Malik Nabi Kafur (with the surname of Kafur) was originally a Hindu. He was forcibly converted into Islam. He could not reconvert into Hinduism. And he took revenge for this. He was given an exalted position and sent to South India with a huge army.



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.



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.


Hari is a writer, translator, editor, violinist, and designer with a deep interest in philosophy, education pedagogy design, literature, and films. He has (co-)written/translated and (co-)edited 35+ books, mostly related to Indian culture. He serves on the advisory board of a few educational institutions.

Prekshaa Publications

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fifth volume, episodes from the lives of traditional savants responsible for upholding the Vedic culture. These memorable characters lived a life of opulence amidst poverty— theirs  was the wealth of the soul, far beyond money and gold. These vidvāns hailed from different corners of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom and lived in...

Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam represents the quintessence of Sage Bharata’s art and Bhārata, the country that gave birth to the peerless seer of the Nāṭya-veda. Padma’s erudition in various streams of Indic knowledge, mastery over many classical arts, deep understanding of the nuances of Indian culture, creative genius, and sublime vision bolstered by the vedāntic and nationalistic...

Bhārata has been a land of plenty in many ways. We have had a timeless tradition of the twofold principle of Brāhma (spirit of wisdom) and Kṣāttra (spirit of valour) nourishing and protecting this sacred land. The Hindu civilisation, rooted in Sanātana-dharma, has constantly been enriched by brāhma and safeguarded by kṣāttra.
The renowned Sanskrit poet and scholar, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R...

ಛಂದೋವಿವೇಕವು ವರ್ಣವೃತ್ತ, ಮಾತ್ರಾಜಾತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರ್ಷಣಜಾತಿ ಎಂದು ವಿಭಕ್ತವಾದ ಎಲ್ಲ ಬಗೆಯ ಛಂದಸ್ಸುಗಳನ್ನೂ ವಿವೇಚಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಬಂಧಗಳ ಸಂಕಲನ. ಲೇಖಕರ ದೀರ್ಘಕಾಲಿಕ ಆಲೋಚನೆಯ ಸಾರವನ್ನು ಒಳಗೊಂಡ ಈ ಹೊತ್ತಗೆ ಪ್ರಧಾನವಾಗಿ ಛಂದಸ್ಸಿನ ಸೌಂದರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಲಕ್ಷಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ತೌಲನಿಕ ವಿಶ್ಲೇಷಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರೀಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನಗಳ ತೆಕ್ಕೆಗೆ ಬರುವ ಬರೆಹಗಳೂ ಇಲ್ಲಿವೆ. ಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಕಾರನಿಗಲ್ಲದೆ ಸಿದ್ಧಹಸ್ತನಾದ ಕವಿಗೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸ್ಫುರಿಸಬಲ್ಲ ಎಷ್ಟೋ ಹೊಳಹುಗಳು ಕೃತಿಯ ಮೌಲಿಕತೆಯನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಸಿವೆ. ಈ...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the fourth volume, some character sketches of the Dewans of Mysore preceded by an account of the political framework of the State before Independence and followed by a review of the political conditions of the State after 1940. These remarkable leaders of Mysore lived in a period that spans from the mid-nineteenth century to the...

Bharatiya Kavya-mimamseya Hinnele is a monograph on Indian Aesthetics by Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sharma. The book discusses the history and significance of concepts pivotal to Indian literary theory. It is equally useful to the learned and the laity.

Sahitya-samhite is a collection of literary essays in Kannada. The book discusses aestheticians such as Ananda-vardhana and Rajashekhara; Sanskrit scholars such as Mena Ramakrishna Bhat, Sridhar Bhaskar Varnekar and K S Arjunwadkar; and Kannada litterateurs such as DVG, S L Bhyrappa and S R Ramaswamy. It has a foreword by Shatavadhani Dr. R Ganesh.

The Mahābhārata is the greatest epic in the world both in magnitude and profundity. A veritable cultural compendium of Bhārata-varṣa, it is a product of the creative genius of Maharṣi Kṛṣṇa-dvaipāyana Vyāsa. The epic captures the experiential wisdom of our civilization and all subsequent literary, artistic, and philosophical creations are indebted to it. To read the Mahābhārata is to...

Shiva Rama Krishna

சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
இந்திய பாரம்பரியத்தின் முப்பெரும் கதாநாயகர்கள்.
உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
மனித ஒற்றுமை நூற்றாண்டுகால பரிணாம வளர்ச்சியின் பரிமாணம்.
தனிநபர்களாகவும், குடும்ப உறுப்பினர்களாகவும், சமுதாய பிரஜைகளாகவும் நாம் அனைவரும் பரிமளிக்கிறோம்.
சிவன் தனிமனித அடையாளமாக அமைகிறான்....

ऋतुभिः सह कवयः सदैव सम्बद्धाः। विशिष्य संस्कृतकवयः। यथा हि ऋतवः प्रतिसंवत्सरं प्रतिनवतामावहन्ति मानवेषु तथैव ऋतुवर्णनान्यपि काव्यरसिकेषु कामपि विच्छित्तिमातन्वते। ऋतुकल्याणं हि सत्यमिदमेव हृदि कृत्वा प्रवृत्तम्। नगरजीवनस्य यान्त्रिकतां मान्त्रिकतां च ध्वनदिदं चम्पूकाव्यं गद्यपद्यमिश्रितमिति सुव्यक्तमेव। ऐदम्पूर्वतया प्रायः पुरीपरिसरप्रसृतानाम् ऋतूनां विलासोऽत्र प्रपञ्चितः। बेङ्गलूरुनामके...

The Art and Science of Avadhānam in Sanskrit is a definitive work on Sāhityāvadhānam, a form of Indian classical art based on multitasking, lateral thinking, and extempore versification. Dotted throughout with tasteful examples, it expounds in great detail on the theory and practice of this unique performing art. It is as much a handbook of performance as it is an anthology of well-turned...

This anthology is a revised edition of the author's 1978 classic. This series of essays, containing his original research in various fields, throws light on the socio-cultural landscape of Tamil Nadu spanning several centuries. These compelling episodes will appeal to scholars and laymen alike.
“When superstitious mediaevalists mislead the country about its judicial past, we have to...

The cultural history of a nation, unlike the customary mainstream history, has a larger time-frame and encompasses the timeless ethos of a society undergirding the course of events and vicissitudes. A major key to the understanding of a society’s unique character is an appreciation of the far-reaching contributions by outstanding personalities of certain periods – especially in the realms of...

Prekṣaṇīyam is an anthology of essays on Indian classical dance and theatre authored by multifaceted scholar and creative genius, Śatāvadhānī Dr. R Ganesh. As a master of śāstra, a performing artiste (of the ancient art of Avadhānam), and a cultured rasika, he brings a unique, holistic perspective to every discussion. These essays deal with the philosophy, history, aesthetics, and practice of...


इदं किञ्चिद्यामलं काव्यं द्वयोः खण्डकाव्ययोः सङ्कलनरूपम्। रामानुरागानलं हि सीतापरित्यागाल्लक्ष्मणवियोगाच्च श्रीरामेणानुभूतं हृदयसङ्क्षोभं वर्णयति । वात्सल्यगोपालकं तु कदाचिद्भानूपरागसमये घटितं यशोदाश्रीकृष्णयोर्मेलनं वर्णयति । इदम्प्रथमतया संस्कृतसाहित्ये सम्पूर्णं काव्यं...


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इदं खण्डकाव्यमान्तं मालिनीछन्दसोपनिबद्धं विलसति। मेनकाविश्वामित्रयोः समागमः, तत्फलतया शकुन्तलाया जननम्, मातापितृभ्यां त्यक्तस्य शिशोः कण्वमहर्षिणा परिपालनं चेति काव्यस्यास्येतिवृत्तसङ्क्षेपः।


इयं रचना दशसु रूपकेष्वन्यतमस्य भाणस्य निदर्शनतामुपैति। एकाङ्करूपकेऽस्मिन् शेखरकनामा चित्रोद्यमलेखकः केनापि हेतुना वियोगम् अनुभवतोश्चित्रलेखामिलिन्दकयोः समागमं सिसाधयिषुः कथामाकाशभाषणरूपेण निर्वहति।


अस्मिन् स्तोत्रकाव्ये भगवन्तं शिवं कविरभिष्टौति। वसन्ततिलकयोपनिबद्धस्य काव्यस्यास्य कविकृतम् उल्लाघनाभिधं व्याख्यानं च वर्तते।

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the third volume, some character sketches of great literary savants responsible for Kannada renaissance during the first half of the twentieth century. These remarkable...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the second volume, episodes from the lives of remarkable exponents of classical music and dance, traditional storytellers, thespians, and connoisseurs; as well as his...

Karnataka’s celebrated polymath, D V Gundappa brings together in the first volume, episodes from the lives of great writers, poets, literary aficionados, exemplars of public life, literary scholars, noble-hearted common folk, advocates...

Evolution of Mahabharata and Other Writings on the Epic is the English translation of S R Ramaswamy's 1972 Kannada classic 'Mahabharatada Belavanige' along with seven of his essays on the great epic. It tells the riveting...

Shiva-Rama-Krishna is an English adaptation of Śatāvadhāni Dr. R Ganesh's popular lecture series on the three great...


ಮಹಾಮಾಹೇಶ್ವರ ಅಭಿನವಗುಪ್ತ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ವಿದ್ಯಾವಲಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮರೆಯಲಾಗದ ಹೆಸರು. ಮುಖ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಶೈವದರ್ಶನ ಮತ್ತು ಸೌಂದರ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆಗಳ ಪರಮಾಚಾರ್ಯನಾಗಿ  ಸಾವಿರ ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಇವನು ಜ್ಞಾನಪ್ರಪಂಚವನ್ನು ಪ್ರಭಾವಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ ಇದ್ದಾನೆ. ಭರತಮುನಿಯ ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರವನ್ನು ಅರ್ಥಮಾಡಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇವನೊಬ್ಬನೇ ನಮಗಿರುವ ಆಲಂಬನ. ಇದೇ ರೀತಿ ರಸಧ್ವನಿಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತವನ್ನು...


“वागर्थविस्मयास्वादः” प्रमुखतया साहित्यशास्त्रतत्त्वानि विमृशति । अत्र सौन्दर्यर्यशास्त्रीयमूलतत्त्वानि यथा रस-ध्वनि-वक्रता-औचित्यादीनि सुनिपुणं परामृष्टानि प्रतिनवे चिकित्सकप्रज्ञाप्रकाशे। तदन्तर एव संस्कृतवाङ्मयस्य सामर्थ्यसमाविष्कारोऽपि विहितः। क्वचिदिव च्छन्दोमीमांसा च...

The Best of Hiriyanna

The Best of Hiriyanna is a collection of forty-eight essays by Prof. M. Hiriyanna that sheds new light on Sanskrit Literature, Indian...

Stories Behind Verses

Stories Behind Verses is a remarkable collection of over a hundred anecdotes, each of which captures a story behind the composition of a Sanskrit verse. Collected over several years from...