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Persecution of Hindus | Wikipedia audio article | Wikipedia audio article


Hindus have experienced religious persecution
in the form of forceful conversions, documented massacres, demolition and desecrations of
temples, as well as the destruction of universities and schools. In modern times, Hindus in the
Muslim-majority regions of Kashmir, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other countries
have suffered persecution.==Medieval persecution by Muslim rulers==Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent
began during the early 8th century AD. According to a 1900 translation of Persian text Chachnamah
by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg, the Umayyad governor of Damascus, Hajjaj responded to
a plea by men and women attacked and imprisoned by a tribe off the coast of Debal (Karachi),
who had gone there to purchase some Indian female slaves and rich goods. Hajjaj mobilised
an expedition of 6,000 cavalry under Muhammad bin-Qasim in 712 CE. Records from the campaign
recorded in the Chach Nama record temple demolitions, and mass executions of resisting Sindhi forces
and the enslavement of their dependents. The raids attacked the kingdoms ruled by Hindu
and Buddhist kings, wealth plundered, tribute (kharaj) settled and hostages taken. Numerous
Hindu Jats were captured as prisoners of war by the Muslim army and moved to Iraq and elsewhere
as slaves. Parts of India have historically been subject
to Islamic rule from the period of Muhammad bin Qasim to the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal
Empire, as well as smaller kingdoms like the Bahmani Sultanate and Tipu Sultan’s kingdom
of Mysore. After the conquest of Sindh, Qasim chose the Hanafi
school of Islamic law which that when under Muslim rule, polytheists such as Hindus, Buddhists,
and Jains are to be regarded as dhimmis (from the Arab term) as well as “People of the Book”
and are required to pay jizya for religious freedom. This decision proved crucial into
the way which Muslim rulers ruled in India for the next 800 years.Historian K. S. Lal
in his book Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India claims that between the years
1000 AD and 1500 AD, the population of the Indian subcontinent decreased from 200 to
170 million. In Growth of Muslim Population in Medieval India meanwhile he claimed that
it fell from 200 million to 120 million by establishment of the Mughal empire because
of killings, deportations, dissemination, wars, and famines. He stated that his estimates
were tentative and did not claim any finality. These population estimates, however, have
been questioned by Simon Digby and Irfan Habib. Will Durant calls the Muslim conquest of India
“probably the bloodiest story in history”. During this period, Buddhism declined rapidly
while Hinduism faced military-led and Sultanates-sponsored religious violence. Even those Hindus who
converted to Islam were not immune from persecution, which was illustrated by the Muslim Caste
System in India as established by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari.The destruction
of temples and educational institutions, the killings of learned monks and the scattering
of students, led to a widespread decline in Hindu education. With the fall of Hindu kings,
science research and philosophy faced some setbacks due to a lack of funding, royal support,
and an open environment. Despite unfavourable treatment under the Muslim rule, Brahmanical
education continued and was also patronised by rulers like Akbar and others. Bukka Raya
I, one of the founders of Vijaynagar Empire, had taken steps to rehabilitate Hindu religious
and cultural institutions which suffered a serious setback under Muslim rule. Buddhists
centres of learning decayed, leading to the rise to prominence of Brahmanical institutions.
Idols in numerous temples were unarmed, temples were desecrated. Most of the great temples
in North India were destroyed and no great temples were built under Muslim rulers except
the Vrindavan temples under Akbar which lack ornamentation as imagery was generally prohibited.
The architecture of Hindu temples underwent change under the Muslim rulers and incorporated
Islamic influences.While Sanskrit language and research on Vedantic philosophy faced
a period of struggle, with Muslim rulers often targeting well-established and well-known
educational institutions that were often suffering at the time, the traditional educational institutions
in villages continued as before, vernacular regional languages based on Sanskrit thrived.
A lot of Vedantic literature got translated into these languages between 12th to 15th
centuries.===Mahmud of Ghazni===Mahmud of Ghazni, Sultan of the Ghaznavid
empire, invaded the Indian subcontinent during the early 11th century. His campaigns across
the Gangetic plains are often cited for their iconoclast plundering and destruction of temples.
Mahmud’s court historian Al-Utbi viewed Mahmud’s expeditions as a jihad to propagate Islam
and extirpate idolatry. Mahmud may not have personally hated Hindus,
but he was after the loot and welcomed the honours and accolades in the Islamic world
obtained by desecrating Hindu temples and idols. Of his campaign on Mathura, it is written: Orders were given that all the temples should
be burnt with naphthala and fire and levelled with the ground. The city was given up to
plunder for twenty days. Among the spoil are said to have been five great idols of pure
gold with eyes of rubies and adornments of other precious stones, together with a vast
number of smaller silver images, which, when broken up, formed a load for more than a hundred
camels. The loot from Mathura is estimated at 3 million
rupees and over 5,000 slaves.According to military historian Victoria Schofield, Sabuktagin,
the Turkish ruler of Ghazni and father of Mahmud, “set as his goal the expulsion of
the Hindus from the Kabul valley and Gandhara (Khandar), as the vale of Peshawar was still
called. His son and successor, the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, continued his work, carrying
the so called, ‘holy war’ against the Hindus into India”. Till the year 980 CE, this area
of Gandhara was under Hindus until Sabuktagin from Ghazni invaded it and displaced its last
Hindu Shahi king Jaya Pala. Hindu Shahi was an important kingdom in Northwest India at
that time. According to some sources (like Ibn Batuta) the name of the Hindu Kush mountains
of the region means “Hindu killer”, because raiders would capture Hindu slaves – all
Indians were termed Hindu in Islamic literature – from the plains and take them away to
West Asia, with large numbers of boys and girls dying from icy cold weather in these
mountains.Mahmud of Ghazni sacked the second Somnath Temple in 1026, looted it, and the
famous Shiva lingam of the temple was destroyed . Following the defeat of the Rajput Confederacy,
after deciding to retaliate for their combined resistance, Mahmud had then set out on regular
expeditions against them, leaving the conquered kingdoms in the hands of Hindu vassals annexing
only the Punjab region. By 1665, the temple, one of many, was once again ordered destroyed
by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the
country, and performed there wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust
scattered in all directions, and like a tale of old in the mouth of the people.
Alberuni, a historian who accompanied Mahmud of Ghazni, described the conquests in North
Western India by stating that Mahmud impoverished the region and that the civilisation of the
scattered Hindus declined and retreated from the North West.
This is the reason, too, why Hindu sciences have retired far away from those parts of
the country conquered by us, and have fled to places which our hand cannot yet reach,
to Kashmir, Benares, and other places.===Delhi Sultanate===
Delhi Sultanate, which extended over 320 years (1206-1526 AD), began with raids and invasion
by Muhammad of Ghor. Recurrent clashes between Hindus and Muslims appear in the historical
record during the Delhi Sultanate. Hindus who converted to Islam were not immune from
persecution, which was illustrated by the Muslim Caste System in India as established
by Ziauddin al-Barani in the Fatawa-i Jahandari.====Mohammed Ghori (1173-1206 AD)====
Mohammed Ghori raided north India and the Hindu pilgrimage site Varanasi at the end
of the 12th century and he continued the destruction of Hindu temples and idols that had begun
during the first attack in 1194.====Qutb-ud-din Aibak (1206-1287 AD)====
Historical records compiled by Muslim historian Maulana Hakim Saiyid Abdul Hai attest to the
religious violence during Mamluk dynasty ruler Qutb-ud-din Aybak. The first mosque built
in Delhi, the “Quwwat al-Islam” was built with demolished parts of 20 Hindu and Jain
temples. This pattern of iconoclasm was common during his reign.====Khalji dynasty (1290-1320 AD)====
Religious violence in India continued during the reign of Jalaluddin Firoz Shah Khalji
and Allauddin Khalji of Khalji dynasty. Their army commanders such as Ulugh Khan, Nusrat
Khan, Khusro Khan and Malik Kafur attacked, killed, looted and enslaved non-Muslim people
from West, Central and South India. The Khalji dynasty’s court historian wrote (abridged), The (Muslim) army left Delhi in November 1310.
After crossing rivers, hills and many depths, the elephants were sent, in order that the
inhabitants of Ma’bar might be made aware of the day of resurrection had arrived amongst
them; and that all the burnt Hindus would be despatched by the sword to their brothers
in hell, so that fire, the improper object of their worship, might mete out proper punishment
to them. The campaign of violence, abasement, and humiliation
was not merely the works of Muslim army, the kazis, muftis and court officials of Allauddin
recommended it on religious grounds. Kazi Mughisuddin of Bayánah advised Allauddin
to “keep Hindus in subjection, in abasement, as a religious duty, because they are the
most inveterate enemies of the Prophet, and because the Prophet has commanded us to slay
them, plunder them, and make them captive; saying – convert them to Islam or kill them,
enslave them and spoil their wealth and property”.The Muslim army led by Malik Kafur pursued two
violent campaigns into south India, between 1309 and 1311, against three Hindu kingdoms
of Deogiri (Maharashtra), Warangal (Telangana) and Madurai (Tamil Nadu). Thousands were slaughtered.
Halebid temple was destroyed. The temples, cities, and villages were plundered. The loot
from south India was so large, that historians of that era state a thousand camels had to
be deployed to carry it to Delhi. In the booty from Warangal was the Koh-i-Noor diamond.In
1311, Malik Kafur entered the Srirangam temple, massacred the Brahmin priests of the temple
who resisted the invasion for three days, plundered the temple treasury and the storehouse
and desecrated and destroyed numerous religious icons.====Madurai Sultanate (1335–1378)====
Moroccan traveler Ibn Batuta describes the cruel behaviour of the Madurai sultan Ghiyas-ud-Din
Muhammad Damghani, in his memoirs. His army routinely rounded local Hindu villagers and
impaling and decapitated them, indiscriminately with women and children being included. The
Vijayanagar princess Gangadevi also describes the atrocities of the Madurai Sultanate towards
women and children.====Tughlaq Dynasty (1321-1394)====
After Khalji dynasty, Tughlaq dynasty assumed power and religious violence continued in
its reign. In 1323 Ulugh Khan began new invasions of the Hindu kingdoms of South India. At Srirangam,
the invading army desecrated the shrine and killed 12,000 unarmed ascetics. The Vaishnava
philosopher Sri Vedanta Desika, hid himself amongst the corpses together with the sole
manuscript of the Srutaprakasika, the magnum opus of Sri Sudarsana Suri whose eyes were
put out, and also the latter’s two sons.Firuz Shah Tughluq was the third ruler of the Tughlaq
dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. The “Tarikh-i-Firuz Shah” is a historical record written during
his reign that attests to the systematic persecution of Hindus under his rule. Capture and enslavement
was widespread; when Sultan Firuz Shah died, slaves in his service were killed en masse
and piled up in a heap. Victims of religious violence included Hindu Brahmin priests who
refused to convert to Islam: An order was accordingly given to the Brahman
and was brought before Sultan. The true faith was declared to the Brahman and the right
course pointed out. but he refused to accept it. A pile was risen on which the Kaffir with
his hands and legs tied was thrown into and the wooden tablet on the top. The pile was
lit at two places his head and his feet. The fire first reached him in the feet and drew
from him a cry, and then fire completely enveloped him. Behold Sultan for his strict adherence
to law and rectitude. Under his rule, Hindus who were forced to
pay the mandatory Jizya tax were recorded as infidels and their communities monitored.
Hindus who erected a deity or built a temple and those who praticised their religion in
public such as near a kund (water tank) were arrested, brought to the palace and executed.
Firuz Shah Tughlaq wrote in his autobiography, Some Hindus had erected a new idol-temple
in the village of Kohana, and the idolaters used to assemble there and perform their idolatrous
rites. These people were seized and brought before me. I ordered that the perverse conduct
of this wickedness be publicly proclaimed and they should be put to death before the
gate of the palace. I also ordered that the infidel books, the idols, and the vessels
used in their worship should all be publicly burnt. The others were restrained by threats
and punishments, as a warning to all men, that no zimmi could follow such wicked practices
in a Musulman country.====Timur invasion of India (1398-1399)====The
Turko-Mongol ruler Timur’s attack on India was marked by systematic slaughter and other
atrocities on a massive scale which were inflicted mainly on the subcontinent’s Hindu population.
His army looted Delhi, sparing only the Muslim neighbourhoods of the city. The Hindu population
was massacred or enslaved. One hundred thousand Hindus prisoners were killed by his army before
he attacked Delhi for fear of rebellion and many more were killed afterwards.After the
sack of Bhatner fort during the Timurid conquests of India in 1398, Timur attacked and sacked
the important cities like Sirsa, Fatehabad, Sunam, Kaithal and Panipat. When he reached
near the town of Sarsuti from the fort of Firozah and Bhatner, the residents who were
mostly non-Muslims fled and were chased by a detachment of Timur’s troops, with thousands
of them being killed as well as looted by the troops. From there he travelled to Fatehabad,
whose residents fled and a large number of those remaining in the town were massacred.
The Ahirs resisted him at Ahruni but were defeated, with thousands being killed and
many were taken prisoners while the town was burnt to ashes. From there he travelled to
Tohana. Sharaf ad-Din Ali Yazdi said the inhabitants of that town were robbers. They tried to resist
but were defeated and fled. Timur’s army pursued and killed 200 Jats, while taking many more
as prisoners. He then sent a detachment to chase the fleeing Jats and killed 2,000 of
them. Meanwhile, their wives and children were enslaved and their property plundered.
From there he proceeded to Kaithal; the residents were massacred and plundered and all the villages
along the way were destroyed. On the next day, he reached Assandh which was deserted.
Afterward, he subdued Tughlaqpur’s fort and the town of Salwan before besieging Loni’s
fort and ultimately marching on Delhi.According to Habib and Raychaudhuri, when “Timur invaded
India in 1398-99, the collection of slaves formed [as] an important object for his army;
100,000 Hindu slaves had been seized by his soldiers and camp followers”. All of them
were killed to avoid a rebellion before the attack on Delhi.
(Timur’s) soldiers grew more eager for plunder and destruction. On that Friday night, there
were about 15,000 men in the city who were engaged from early eve till morning in plundering
and burning the houses. In many places the impure infidel gabrs (of Delhi) made resistance.
(…) Every soldier obtained more than twenty persons as slaves, and some brought as many
as fifty or a hundred men, women and children as slaves of the city. The other plunder and
spoils were immense, gems and jewels of all sorts, rubies, diamonds, stuffs and fabrics,
vases and vessels of gold and silver. (…) On the 19th of the month Old Delhi was thought
of, for many Hindus had fled thither. Amir Shah Malik and Ali Sultan Tawachi, with 500
trusty men, proceeded against them, and falling upon them with the sword despatched them to
hell.====Sikandar the Iconoclast (1399-1416)====
After Timur left, different Muslim Sultans enforced their power in what used to be Delhi
Sultanate. In Kashmir, Sultan Sikandar began expanding, and unleashed religious violence
that earned him the name but-shikan or idol-breaker. He earned this sobriquet because of the sheer
scale of desecration and destruction of Hindu and Buddhist temples, shrines, ashrams, hermitages
and other holy places in what is now known as Kashmir and its neighbouring territories.
He destroyed the vast majority of Hindu and Buddhist temples within his reach in the Kashmir
region (north and northwest India). Encouraged by Islamic theologian, Muhammad Hamadani,
Sikandar Butshikan also destroyed ancient Hindu and Buddhist books and banned followers
of dharmic religions from prayers, dance, music, consumption of wine and observation
of their religious festivals. To escape the religious violence during his reign, many
Hindus converted to Islam and many left Kashmir. Many were also killed.====Sayyid dynasty (1414-1451)====
After the massacres of Timur, the people and lands within Delhi Sultanate were left in
a state of anarchy, chaos and pestilence. The Sayyid dynasty followed, but few historical
records on religious violence, or anything else for that matter, have been found. Those
found, including Tarikh-i Mubarak-Shahi describe continued religious violence. Over 1414 through
1423, according to the Muslim historian Yahya bin Ahmad, the Islamic commanders “chastised
and plundered the infidels” of Ahar, Khur, Kampila, Gwalior, Seori, Chandawar, Etawa,
Sirhind, Bail, Katehr and Rahtors. The violence was not one-sided. The Hindus retaliated by
forming their own armed groups and attacking forts seized by Muslims. In 1431, Jalandhar
for example, was retaken by Hindus and all Muslims inside the fort were placed in prison.
Yahya bin Ahmad, the historian remarked on the arrest of Muslims by Hindus, “the unclean
ruthless infidels had no respect for the Musulman religion”. The cycle of violence between Hindus
and Muslims, in numerous parts of India, continued throughout the Sayyid dynasty according to
Yahya bin Ahmad.====Lodhi dynasty (1451-1526)====
Religious violence and persecution continued during the reign of the two significant Lodhi
dynasty rulers, Bahlul Khan Lodhi and Sikandar Lodhi. The Delhi Sultanate, whose reach had
shrunk to northern and eastern India, witnessed the burning and killing of Hindus for their
religion, in Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In 1499, a Brahmin of Bengal was arrested
because he had attracted a large following among both Muslims and Hindus with the following
teaching: “the Mohammedan and Hindu religions were both true, and were but different paths
by which God might be approached.” Sikandar, with his governor of Bihar Azam Humayun, asked
Islamic scholars and sharia experts of their time whether such pluralism and peaceful messages
were permissible within the Islamic Sultanate. The scholars advised that it is not, and that
the Brahmin should be given the option to either embrace and convert to Islam, or be
killed. Sikandar accepted the counsel and gave the Brahmin an ultimatum. The Hindu refused
to change his view and was killed.Elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh, a historian of Lodhi dynasty
times, described the state sponsored religious violence as follows,
He [Lodi] was so zealous…[as a Musulman] that he utterly destroyed diverse places of
[infidel] worship… he entirely ruined the shrines of Mathura, [and] the minefield of
heathenism. Their stone images were given to the butchers to use…as meat weights,
and all the Hindus in Mathura were strictly prohibited from shaving their heads and beards,
and from performing ablutions. He stopped the idolatrous rites of the infidels there.
Every city thus conformed as he desired to the customs of Islam.===Mughal Empire=======Babur, Humayun, Suri dynasty (1526-1556)
====According to the autobiographical historical
record of Emperor Babur, Tuzak-i Babari, Babur’s campaign in northwest India targeted Hindu
and Sikh civilians as well as non-Sunni sects of Islam. Immense numbers of people were killed,
with the Muslim camps being described as building “towers of skulls of the infidels” on hillocks.
Baburnama, similarly records massacre of Hindu villages and towns by Babur’s Muslim army,
in addition to numerous deaths of both Hindu and Muslim soldiers in the battlefields.====Under Sher Shah Suri====
In 1545, Sher Shah Suri’s army attacked the Hindu fort of Kalinjar ruled by Kirat Singh.
During the attack, Per Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi Suri was burnt in an explosion and ordered
his nobles to take the fort while he was still alive. His forces captured the fort by afternoon
and per the account put “everyone in there to the sword”.====Akbar (1556-1605)====
Akbar is known for his religious tolerance. However, in early years of his reign, religious
violence included the massacre of Hindus of Garha in 1560 AD, under the command of Mughal
Viceroy Asaf Khan. Other campaigns targeted Chitor and Rantambhor. Maulana Ahmad, the
historian of that era, wrote of the battle at Chitor fort, They (Hindus) committed jauhar (…). In the
night, the (Muslim) assailants forced their way into the fortress in several places, and
fell to slaughtering and plundering. At early dawn the Emperor went in mounted on an elephant,
attended by his nobles and chiefs on foot. The order was given for a general massacre
of the infidels as a punishment. The number exceeded 8,000 (Abu-l Fazl states there were
40,000 peasants with 8,000 Rajputs forming the garrison). Those who escaped the sword,
men and women, were made prisoners and their property came into the hands of the Musulmans. Another historian Nizamuddin Ahmad recorded
the violence during the conquest of Nagarkot (modern Himachal Pradesh), as follows, The fortress of Bhun, which is an idol temple
of Mahámáí, was taken by valor of the (Muslim) assailants. A party of Rajputs, who had resolved
to die, fought till they were all cut down. A number of Brahmins, who for many years had
served the temple, never gave one thought to flight, and were killed. Nearly 200 black
cows belonging to the Hindus, during the struggle, had crowded together for shelter in the temple.
Some savage Turks, while the arrows and bullets were falling like rain, killed these cows
one by one. They then took off their boots and filled them with the blood, and cast it
upon the roof and walls of the temple.====Aurangzeb (1658–1707)====
The reign of Aurangzeb witnessed one of the strongest campaigns of religious violence
in the Mughal Empire’s history. Aurangzeb re-introduced jizya (tax) on non-Muslims,
led numerous campaigns of attacks against non-Muslims, forcibly converted Hindus to
Islam and destroyed Hindu temples. However, he also built many temples. Scholars like
Ram Puniyani states that Aurangzeb was not always fanatically anti-Hindu, and kept changing
his policies depending on the needs of the situation. He banned the construction of new
temples, but permitted the repair and maintenance of existing temples. He also made generous
donations of jagirs to several temples to win the sympathies of his Hindu subjects.
There are several firmans (orders) in his name, supporting temples and gurudwaras, including
Mahakaleshwar temple of Ujjain, Balaji temple of Chitrakoot, Umananda Temple of Guwahati
and the Shatrunjaya Jain temples.Aurangzeb issued orders in 1669, to all his governors
of provinces to “destroy with a willing hand the schools and temples of the infidels, and
that they were strictly enjoined to put an entire stop to the teaching and practice of
idolatrous forms of worship”. These orders and his own initiative in implementing them
led to the destruction of numerous temples, contributing to the list of temples destroyed
during Islamic rule of India. Some temples were destroyed entirely; in other cases mosques
were built on their foundations, sometimes using the same stones. Idols in temples were
smashed, and the city of Mathura was temporarily renamed as Islamabad in local official documents.An
estimated of 4.6 million people were killed under his reign. White estimates that about
2.5 million of Aurangzeb’s army were killed during the Mughal–Maratha Wars (100,000
annually during a quarter-century), while 2 million civilians in war-torn lands died
due to drought, plague and famine. It is also noted that most soldiers and civilians died
because of the famine and plague than battles.===Tipu Sultan===Tipu Sultan persecuted the Hindus, Christians
and Mappla Muslims, and carried out forced conversions of Hindus and Christians. According
to C. K. Kareem, Tippu Sultan issued an edict for the destruction of Hindu temples in Kerala.
The portrayal of Tipu Sultan as a religious bigot has been also disputed by some sources
suggesting that he in fact often embraced religious pluralism.Tipu got Runmust Khan,
the Nawab of Kurool, to launch a surprise attack upon the Kodava Hindus (also called
Coorgs or Coorgis) who were besieged by the invading Muslim army. 500 were killed and
over 40,000 Kodavas fled to the woods and concealed themselves in the mountains. In
Seringapatam, the young men were reported to be forcibly circumcised and incorporated
into the Ahmedy Corps, and they formed eight Risalas or regiments. Thousands of Kodava
Hindus were seized along with the Raja and held captive at Seringapatam (Srirangapatna).
They were also subjected to forcible conversions to Islam, death, and torture. The actual number
of Kodavas that were captured in the operation is unclear. The British administrator Mark
Wilks gives it as 70,000, historian Lewis Rice arrives at the figure of 85,000, while
Mir Kirmani’s score for the Coorg campaign is 80,000 men, women and child prisoners.
In a letter to Runmust Khan, Tipu himself stated:
We proceeded with the utmost speed, and, at once, made prisoners of 40,000 occasion-seeking
and sedition-exciting Coorgis, who alarmed at the approach of our victorious army, had
slunk into woods, and concealed themselves in lofty mountains, inaccessible even to birds.
Then carrying them away from their native country (the native place of sedition) we
raised them to the honour of Islam, and incorporated them into our Ahmedy corps.
In 1788, Tipu reportedly ordered his governor in Calicut Sher Khan to begin the process
of converting Hindus to Islam.The archaeological survey of India has listed three temples which
were destroyed during the reign of Tipu Sultan. These were the Harihareshwar Temple at Harihar
which was converted into a mosque, the Varahswami Temple in Srirangapatnam and the Odakaraya
Temple in Hospet.The following is a translation of an inscription on the stone found at Seringapatam,
which was situated in a conspicuous place in the fort:
Oh Almighty God! dispose the whole body of infidels! Scatter their tribe, cause their
feet to stagger! Overthrow their councils, change their state, destroy their very root!
Cause death to be near them, cut off from them the means of sustenance! Shorten their
days! Be their bodies the constant object of their cares (i.e., infest them with diseases),
deprive their eyes of sight, make black their faces (i.e., bring shame). In 1788, Tipu ordered his governor in Calicut
Sher Khan to begin the process of converting Hindus to Islam, and in July of that year,
200 Brahmins were forcibly converted and made to eat beef. Mohibbul Hasan, Prof. Sheikh
Ali, and other historians cast great doubt on the scale of the deportations and forced
conversions in Coorg in particular, and Hasan says that the British versions of what happened
were intended to malign Tipu Sultan, and to be used as propaganda against him. He argues
that little reliance can be placed in Muslim accounts such as Kirmani’s Nishan-e Haidari;
in their anxiety to represent the Sultan as a champion of Islam, they had a tendency to
exaggerate and distort the facts: Kirmani claims that 70,000 Coorgis were converted,
when forty years later the entire population of Coorg was still less than that number.
According to Ramchandra Rao Punganuri the true number of converts was about 500.===Kashmir===
The Hindu minority in Kashmir has also been historically persecuted by Muslim rulers.
While Hindus and Muslims lived in harmony for certain periods of time, several Muslim
rulers of Kashmir were intolerant of other religions. Sultãn Sikandar Butshikan of Kashmir
(AD 1389–1413) is often considered the worst of these. Historians have recorded many of
his atrocities. The Tarikh-i-Firishta records that Sikandar persecuted the Hindus and issued
orders proscribing the residency of any other than Muslims in Kashmir. He also ordered the
breaking of all “golden and silver images”. The Tarikh-i-Firishta further states: “Many
of the Brahmins, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves;
some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped the evil of banishment by becoming
Mahomedans. After the emigration of the Bramins, Sikundur ordered all the temples in Kashmir
to be thrown down. Having broken all the images in Kashmeer, (Sikandar) acquired the title
of ‘Destroyer of Idols'”.Several ancient temples in Kashmir that were considered architectural
masterpiece of those times were demolished during this period.===Bengal===
Richard Eaton states that the origin of the caste system of modern form in the Bengal
region of India may be traceable to the period of 1200-1500. This is after the Turkic conquests.
He states that “Looking at Bengal’s Hindu society as a whole, it seems likely that the
caste system – far from being the ancient and unchanging essence of Indian civilization,
as supposed by generations of Orientalists – emerged into something resembling its modern
form only during the period 1200-1500”. Before the Turkish conquest, the Sena dynasty kept
order by distributing wealth and judging between the socially higher or lower in the context
of the court and its rituals. However, with the collapse of the Hindu kingship that followed
the Turkic conquest, these functions appear to have been displaced onto the society, with
social order being maintained through enforced group endogamy, marriage regulation enforced
through caste councils and specialists kept the genealogies. The advent of Indo-Turkish
rule resulted in the end with patronage for the Brahmins who had enjoyed it under the
Sena government and many of them fled into the eastern hinterlands. Until 1415, they
served few positions in the government and were disdained. However, this changed with
Raja Ganesha’s revolution and under the reign of his converted son Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah,
resulting in many of them gaining employment in the government by the time of Alauddin
Husain Shah.===Deccan wars===
Muhammad Shah I’s draft on Vijayanagara Empire’s treasury in 1365 incensed the king king Bukka
Raya I, who insulted the envoy with the draft and besieged the fort of Mudgal held by no
less than 800 Muslim troops. Many men, women and children were killed. The fortress fell
and its garrison was massacred before any relief could reach it. Ferishta’s claim of
only one survivor narrating the incident to the Sulatn may be one-sided. Muhammad in response
attacked Bukka’s army and vowed to not sheathe his sword until he avenged the massacre by
killing 100,000 Hindus. At Raichur Doab, Muhammad killed 70,000 Hindus. He pursued Bukka throughout
his dominions and the slaughtered no less than 400,000 Hindus around Vijaynagara. Bukka
sued for peace and even the Muslim officers were moved to beg on hopes the slaughter might
cease. Muhammad replied that though he had killed four times the number of Hindus than
his promise, he will not desist until the draft on treasury was honoured. The envoys
agreed to this, resulting in an end to the war. The Hindus shocked by the bloodshed called
on both parties to avoid killing non-combatants in the future. Muhammad agreed and the agreement,
though sometimes violated, was to some extent successful in stopping the atrocities during
the long period of intermittent warfare between the two kingdoms.The Barid Shahi, surrounded
by more powerful states, had invited the intervention of Vijayanagara in the affairs of the Muslim
kingdoms. The arrogance of Sadasiva Raya had embarrassed and disgusted both his enemies
as well as allies, in addition the excesses of his troops had horrified the Muslims. He
demanded cessation of extenstive territory from Bijapur for his assistance to Ali as
well as from Golconda as punishment for duplicitous actions of Ibrahim. It seemed apparent to
them that the end of Muslim rule was at hand if his ambition was not curbed. The Hindu
army was defeated at the Battle of Talikota and fled with their loss estimated at 100,000
men. The city was hastily abandoned after its defeat. Both Muslims and Hindus plundered
and burnt the Vijayanagara city. The victors occupied the city for six months and had it
destroyed while plundering the country.==European colonial rule=====Portuguese Goa===During the Portuguese rule of Goa, thousands
of Hindus were coerced into accepting Christianity by the passage of laws that made it difficult
for them to practice their faith, harassed them under false pretences or petty complaints,
and gave favourable status to converts (indiacatos) and mestiços in terms of laws and jobs. The
Goa Inquisition, was established in 1560 by Portuguese missionaries in the Estado Português
da Índia. The Goa Inquisition was directed against backsliding converts (that is, former
Hindus and Muslims who had converted to Christianity), and it has been recorded that at least 57
Goans were executed over a period of three hundred years, starting in the year 1560.
The inquisition was proposed by St. Francis Xavier.According to Teotónio de Souza the
Hindus faced severe persecution with great fortitude under the Portuguese in Goa. Vicar
general Miguel Vaz had written to the king of Portugal in 1543 from Goa requesting that
the Inquisition be established in Goa as well. Three years later Francis Xavier made a similar
request in view of the Muslims in the region and the Christians abandoning their faith.
On hearing of the excesses of the Inquisition in Goa, Lourenco Pires, Portuguese ambassador
at Rome, expressed his displeasure to the crown while warning that this zeal for religion
was actually becoming a disservice to God and the kingdom. Again according to de Souza,
the Inquisition was bad for its victims and led to the downfall of the Portuguese Empire
in the East.==20th Century persecution==
While the vast majority of Hindus live in Hindu-majority areas of India, Hindus in other
parts of South Asia and in the diaspora have sometimes faced persecution.===Mappila Riots (1836-1921)===Mappila Riots or Mappila Outbreaks refers
to a series of riots by the Mappila (Moplah) Muslims of Malabar, South India in the 19th
century and the early 20th century (c.1836–1921) against native Hindus and the state. The Malabar
Rebellion of 1921 is often considered as the culmination of Mappila riots. Mappilas committed
several atrocities against the Hindus during the outbreak. Annie Besant reported that Muslim
Mappilas forcibly converted many Hindus and killed or drove away all Hindus who would
not apostatise, totalling the driven people to one lakh (100,000).===Partition of India===
Hindus, like Muslims, Sikhs, and members of other religious groups, experienced severe
dislocation and violence during the massive population exchanges associated with the partition
of India, as members of various communities moved to what they hoped was the relative
safety of an area where they would be a religious majority. Hindus were among the between 200,000
and a million who died during the rioting and other violence associated with the partition.====Direct Action Day====In 1946, the Cabinet Mission to India was
planning the transfer of power from the British Raj to the Indian leadership. Muhammad Ali
Jinnah, the one time Congressman and Indian Nationalist, and now the leader of the Muslim
League, had accepted the Cabinet Mission Plan of 16 June whereas the Congress rejected it
outright. Fearing Hindu Domination in the Constituent Assembly, Jinnah denounced the
British Cabinet Mission and decided to boycott the Constituent Assembly to try to put pressure
on Congress and the British, by resorting to “Direct Action”.
The Muslim League responded by planning and carrying out a hartal (“general strike”) on
16 August 1946 (called Direct Action Day). Upon the request of Suhrawardy, Muslim League
Chief Minister of Bengal, the Governor of Bengal Frederick Burrows declared a public
holiday that day. The Congress and the Hindu Mahasabha in Bengal protested to this; they
did not want to be seen as supporting the hartal. They urged the Hindus to instead keep
their shops open and to continue their business as usual on that hartal day. On the afternoon
of Direct Action Day Suhrawardy and another speaker Nazimuddin addressed a Muslim rally.
As soon as many of the listeners left the meeting they were reported to have started
violently attacking the Hindus and looting their shops. Later Suhrawardy reportedly tried
to get British officials to bring the army in but nothing happened until steps towards
an army intervention began in the afternoon of 17 August. The Hindus, supported by Sikhs,
in the city of Calcutta retaliated. All these events are known as the Great Calcutta killings
of 1946.On 17 August the President of a Textile Workers’ Union led a hooligan and his mob
(all Muslims) into the compound of a Birla owned Kesoram Cotton Mill. The Mill was looted
while the workers, including 300 Odia speakers, (their religion is disputed) were massacred.
In Calcutta, within 72 hours, more than 4,000 people lost their lives and 100,000 residents
in the city of Calcutta were left homeless. Some sources claim that between 7000-10000
people were killed, including both Hindus and Muslims. On 21 August Bengal was brought
under the Viceroy’s rule. British troops entered the place, and the rioting was reduced by
22 August. This sparked off several riots between Muslims and Hindus in Noakhali, Bihar
and Punjab that year. There also occurred communal violence in Delhi, Bombay, Punjab
and the Northwest Frontier Province.====Noakhali Riots====Around seven weeks after Direct Action Day,
violence was directed against the Hindu minority in the villages of Noakhali and Tippera in
Chittagong district in East Bengal. Rioting in the region began in the Ramganj police
station area by a mob. The rioting spread to the neighbouring police station areas of
Raipur, Lakshmipur, Begumganj and Sandip in Noakhali and Faridganj, Hajiganj, Chandpur,
Laksham and Chudagram in Tippera. From 2 October, there were instances of stray killings.Relief
operations took place and Gandhiji visited the place on a peace mission even as threats
against the Hindus continued. While claims varied, the official Muslim League Bengal
Government estimates of those killed were placed at a conservative 200. According to
Suhrawardy 9,895 people were forcibly converted in Tippera alone. Ghulam Sarwar Hossain, a
religious leader who belonged to a local political party dominated by Muslims, was the main organiser
of the riot. It was said that the local administration had planned the riot and that the police helped
Ghulam Sarwar escape arrest. A large number of victims were Namasudra (a Bengali Hindu
lower caste). According to a source quoting from the State Government Archives, in Naokhali
178 Hindus and 42 Muslims were killed while in Tippera 39 Hindus and 26 Muslims were killed.
Women were abducted and forced into marriage. In retaliation Muslims were massacred in Bihar
and in Garhmukteshwara in the United Provinces. These attacks began between 25 and 28 October
in the Chhapra and Saran districts of Bihar and then spread to Patna, Munger, Bhagalpur
and a large number of scattered villages of Bihar. The official estimates of the dead
at that time were 445.===Hyderabad state===
In 1947, the Nizam, under pressure from pro-Pakistan Razakars (who then, after having perpetrated
a campaign of terror and violence against Hindu civilians, either promptly surrendered
to Indian soldiers or fled to Pakistan) refused to accede to India, despite being a Hindu
majority state. For the “independence” of their so-called “Islamic state” of Hyderabad
and in an attempt to resist Indian integration, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen,
then the State’s dominant political party, persecuted Hindus and their 150,000 cadre
strong militant wing, the Razakars, under the leadership of Qasim Rizwi, killed a number
of Hindus.===Pakistan===Hindus constitute 2 percent of Pakistan’s
population. Hinduism is the second largest religion in Pakistan after Islam, according
to the 1998 Census. As of 2010, Pakistan had the fifth largest Hindu population in the
world and PEW predicts that by 2050 Pakistan will have the fourth largest Hindu population
in the world.There has been historical decline of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism in the areas
of what is now called Pakistan. This happened for a variety of reasons even as these religions
have continued to flourish beyond the eastern frontiers of Pakistan. The region became predominantly
Muslim during the rule of the Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire due to the forced
conversions in what is now called Pakistan and the rest of South Asia. The predominantly
Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence
of Pakistan in 1947 approximately 4.7 million Hindus and Sikhs moved to India while 6.5
million Muslims settled in Pakistan.In the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition Pakistani
Hindus faced riots. Mobs attacked five Hindu temples in Karachi and set fire to 25 temples
in towns across the province of Sindh. Shops owned by Hindus were also attacked in Sukkur.
Hindu homes and temples were also attacked in Quetta.===1971 Bangladesh genocide===During the 1971 Bangladesh genocide there
were widespread killings and acts of ethnic cleansing of civilians in Bangladesh (then
East Pakistan, a province of Pakistan), and widespread violations of human rights were
carried out by the Pakistani Army, which was supported by political and religious militias
during the Bangladesh Liberation War. In Bangladesh, the atrocities are identified as a genocide.
Time magazine reported that “The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees
and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military’s hatred.”United
States government cables noted that Hindus were specific targets of the Pakistani army.
There was widespread killing of Hindu males, and rapes of women. Documented incidents in
which Hindus were massacred in large numbers include the Chuknagar massacre, the Jathibhanga
massacre, and the Shankharipara massacre. More than 60% of the Bengali refugees who
fled to India were Hindus. It has been alleged that this widespread violence against Hindus
was motivated by a policy to purge East Pakistan of what was seen as Hindu and Indian influencesAccording
to R.J. Rummel, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, The genocide and gendercidal atrocities were
also perpetrated by lower-ranking officers and ordinary soldiers. These “willing executioners”
were fueled by an abiding anti-Bengali racism, especially against the Hindu minority. “Bengalis
were often compared with monkeys and chickens. Said General Niazi, ‘It was a low lying land
of low lying people.’ The Hindus among the Bengalis were as Jews to the Nazis: scum and
vermin that [should] best be exterminated. As to the Moslem Bengalis, they were to live
only on the sufferance of the soldiers: any infraction, any suspicion cast on them, any
need for reprisal, could mean their death. And the soldiers were free to kill at will.
The journalist Dan Coggin quoted one Pakistani captain as telling him, “We can kill anyone
for anything. We are accountable to no one.” This is the arrogance of Power.
The Bangladesh Liberation War (1971) resulted in one of the largest genocides of the 20th
century. While estimates of the number of casualties was 3,000,000, it is reasonably
certain that Hindus bore a disproportionate brunt of the Pakistan Army’s onslaught against
the Bengali population of what was East Pakistan. An article in Time magazine dated 2 August
1971, stated “The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority
of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military hatred.” Senator Edward Kennedy wrote
in a report that was part of United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations testimony
dated 1 November 1971, “Hardest hit have been members of the Hindu community who have been
robbed of their lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places, painted with
yellow patches marked “H”. All of this has been officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented
under martial law from Islamabad”. In the same report, Senator Kennedy reported that
80% of the refugees in India were Hindus and according to numerous international relief
agencies such as UNESCO and World Health Organization the number of East Pakistani refugees at their
peak in India was close to 10 million. Given that the Hindu population in East Pakistan
was around 11 million in 1971, this suggests that up to 8 million, or more than 70% of
the Hindu population had fled the country.The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Sydney
Schanberg covered the start of the war and wrote extensively on the suffering of the
East Bengalis, including the Hindus both during and after the conflict. In a syndicated column
“The Pakistani Slaughter That Nixon Ignored”, he wrote about his return to liberated Bangladesh
in 1972. “Other reminders were the yellow “H”s the Pakistanis had painted on the homes
of Hindus, particular targets of the Muslim army” (by “Muslim army”, meaning the Pakistan
Army, which had targeted Bengali Muslims as well), (Newsday, 29 April 1994).==Contemporary persecution=====Jammu and Kashmir===The Kashmiri Pandit population living in the
Muslim majority region of Jammu and Kashmir has often come under threat from Islamic militants
in recent years, in stark contrast to centuries of peace between the two religious communities
in the State. Historians have suggested that some of these attacks have been in retaliation
for the anti-Muslim violence propagated by the Hindutva movement during the demolition
of the Babri Masjid, and the 2002 Gujarat riots. This threat has been pronounced during
periods of unrest in the Kashmir valley, such as in 1989. Along with the Hindus, large sections
of the Muslim population have also been attacked, ostensibly for “cooperating” with the Indian
state. Some authors have found evidence that these militants had the support of the Pakistani
security establishment. The incidents of violence included the Wandhama Massacre in 1998, in
which 24 Kashmiri Hindus were gunned down by Muslims disguised as Indian soldiers. Many
Kashmiri Non-Muslims have been killed and thousands of children orphaned over the course
of the conflict in Kashmir. The 2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre was another such incident
where 30 Hindu pilgrims were killed en route to the Amarnath temple.In the Kashmir region,
approximately 300 Kashmiri Pandits were killed between September 1989 to 1990 in various
incidents. In early 1990, local Urdu newspapers Aftab and Al Safa called upon Kashmiris to
wage jihad against India and ordered the expulsion of all Hindus choosing to remain in Kashmir.
In the following days masked men ran in the streets with AK-47 shooting to kill Hindus
who would not leave. Notices were placed on the houses of all Hindus, telling them to
leave within 24 hours or die.As of 2005, it is estimated that between 250,000 and 300,000
pandits have migrated outside Kashmir since the 1990s due to persecution by Islamic fundamentalists
in the largest case of ethnic cleansing since the partition of India. The proportion of
Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir valley has declined from about 15% in 1947 to, by some
estimates, less than 0.1% since the insurgency in Kashmir took on a religious and sectarian
flavour.Many Kashmiri Pandits have been killed by Islamist militants in incidents such as
the Wandhama massacre and the 2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre. The incidents of massacring
and forced eviction have been termed ethnic cleansing by some observers.===Elsewhere in India===There have been a number of more recent attacks
on Hindu temples and Hindus by Muslim militants in India. Prominent among them are the 1998
Chamba massacre, the 2002 fidayeen attacks on Raghunath temple, the 2002 Akshardham Temple
attack allegedly perpetrated by Islamic terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba, and the 2006 Varanasi
bombings (supposedly perpetrated by Lashkar-e-Toiba), resulting in many deaths and injuries.
In Godhra train burning, which happened on 27 February 2002, 59 people, including 25
women and 15 children Hindu pilgrims were the victims. In 2011, Judicial court convicted
31 people saying the incident was a “pre-planned conspiracy”.In Tripura, the National Liberation
Front of Tripura (NLFT) attacked a Hindu temple and killed a spiritual leader there. They
are known to have forcefully converted Hindus to Christianity.In Assam, members of the primarily
Christian Hmar ethnic group have placed bloodstained-crosses in temples and forced Hindus to convert at
gunpoint.The period of insurgency in Punjab around Operation Blue Star saw clashes of
the Sikh militants with the police, as well as with the Hindu-Nirankari groups resulting
in many Hindu deaths. In 1987, 32 Hindus were pulled out of a bus and shot, near Lalru in
Punjab by Sikh militants.On 2 May 2003, eight Hindus were killed by a Muslim mob at Marad
beach in Kozhikode district, Kerala. One of the attackers was also killed. The judicial
commission that probed the incident concluded that members of several political parties
were directly involved in planning and executing the killing. The commission affirmed “a clear
communal conspiracy, with Muslim fundamentalist and terrorist organisations involved”. The
courts sentenced 62 Muslims to life imprisonment for committing the massacre in 2009.===Bangladesh===There have been several instances where Hindu
refugees from Bangladesh have stated that they were the victims of torture and intimidation.
A US-based human rights organisation, Refugees International, has claimed that religious
minorities, especially Hindus, still face discrimination in Bangladesh.One of the major
political parties in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, openly calls for ‘Talibanisation’
of the state. However, the prospect of actually “Talibanizing” the state is regarded as a
remote possibility, since Bangladeshi Islamic society is generally more progressive than
the extremist Taliban of Afghanistan. Political scholars conclude that while the Islamization
of Bangladesh will not happen, the country is not on the brink of being Talibanized.
The ‘Vested Property Act’ previously named the ‘Enemy Property Act’ has seen up to 40%
of Hindu land snatched away forcibly. Hindu temples in Bangladesh have also been vandalised.Bangladeshi
feminist Taslima Nasrin’s 1993 novel Lajja deals with the anti-Hindu riots and anti-secular
sentiment in Bangladesh in the wake of the destruction of the Babri Masjid in India.
The book was banned in Bangladesh, and helped draw international attention to the situation
of the Bangladeshi Hindu minority. In October 2006, the United States Commission
on International Religious Freedom published a report titled ‘Policy Focus on Bangladesh’,
which said that since its last election, ‘Bangladesh has experienced growing violence by religious
extremists, intensifying concerns expressed by the countries religious minorities’. The
report further stated that Hindus are particularly vulnerable in a period of rising violence
and extremism, whether motivated by religious, political or criminal factors, or some combination.
The report noted that Hindus had multiple disadvantages against them in Bangladesh,
such as perceptions of dual loyalty with respect to India and religious beliefs that are not
tolerated by the politically dominant Islamic Fundamentalists of the Bangladesh Nationalist
Party. Violence against Hindus has taken place “in order to encourage them to flee in order
to seize their property”. On 2 November 2006, USCIRF criticised Bangladesh for its continuing
persecution of minority Hindus. It also urged the Bush administration to get Dhaka to ensure
protection of religious freedom and minority rights before Bangladesh’s next national elections
in January 2007.On 6 February 2010, Sonargaon temple in Narayanganj district of Bangladesh
was destroyed by Islamic fanatics. Five people were seriously injured during the attack.
Temples were also attacked and destroyed in 2011In 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal
indicted several Jamaat members for war crimes against Hindus during the 1971 Bangladesh
atrocities. In retaliation, violence against Hindu minorities in Bangladesh was instigated
by the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami . The violence included the looting of Hindu properties and
businesses, the burning of Hindu homes, rape of Hindu women and desecration and destruction
of Hindu temples.On 28 February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Delwar
Hossain Sayeedi, the Vice President of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for the war crimes
committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, activists of
Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked the Hindus in different
parts of the country. Hindu properties were looted, Hindu houses were burnt into ashes
and Hindu temples were desecrated and set on fire. While the government has held the
Jamaat-e-Islami responsible for the attacks on the minorities, the Jamaat-e-Islami leadership
has denied any involvement. The minority leaders have protested the attacks and appealed for
justice. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has directed the law enforcement to start suo
motu investigation into the attacks. US Ambassador to Bangladesh express concern about attack
of Jamaat on Bengali Hindu community. The violence included the looting of Hindu properties
and businesses, the burning of Hindu homes, rape of Hindu women and desecration and destruction
of Hindu temples. According to community leaders, more than 50 Hindu temples and 1,500 Hindu
homes were destroyed in 20 districts.===Pakistan===Hindu women have also been known to be victims
of kidnapping and forced conversion to Islam. An official of the Human Rights Commission
of Pakistan said in 2010 that around 20 to 25 Hindu girls are abducted every month and
forcibly converted to Islam. Many Hindus are continuing to flee Pakistan even now due to
persecution. Krishan Bheel, a Hindu member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, came
into the news recently for manhandling Qari Gul Rehman after being taunted with a religious
insult.On 18 October 2005, Sanno Amra and Champa, a Hindu couple residing in the Punjab
Colony, Karachi, Sindh returned home to find that their three teenage daughters had disappeared.
After inquiries to the local police, the couple discovered that their daughters had been taken
to a local madrassah, had been converted to Islam, and were denied unsupervised contact
with their parents. In January 2017, a Hindu temple was demolished in Pakistan’s Haripur
district.A Pakistan Muslim League politician has stated that abduction of Hindus and Sikhs
is a business in Pakistan, along with conversions of Hindus to Islam. Forced conversion, rape,
and forced marriages of Hindu women in Pakistan have recently become very controversial in
Pakistan.In 2006, a Hindu temple in Lahore was destroyed to pave the way for construction
of a multi-storied commercial building. When reporters from Pakistan-based newspaper Dawn
tried to cover the incident, they were accosted by the henchmen of the property developer,
who denied that a Hindu temple existed at the site. In January 2014, a policeman standing
guard outside a Hindu temple at Peshawar was gunned down. 25 March 2014 Express Tribune
citing an All Pakistan Hindu Rights Movement (PHRM) survey said that 95% of all Hindu temples
in Pakistan have been converted since 1990. Pakistanis attack Hindu temples if anything
happens to any mosque in neighbouring India.Although Hindus were frequently soft targets in Pakistan,
the rise of Taliban forces in the political arena has particularly unsettled the already
fragile situation for the minority community. Increasing persecution, ostracism from locals
and lack of a social support system is forcing more and more Hindus to flee to India. This
has been observed in the past whenever the conflicts between the two nations escalated
but this has been a notable trend in view of the fact the recent developments are due
to internal factors almost exclusively. The Taliban have used false methods of luring,
as well as the co-operation of zealots within local authorities to perpetrate religious
cleansing.In July 2010, around 60 members of the minority Hindu community in Karachi
were attacked and evicted from their homes following an incident of a Hindu youth drinking
water from a tap near an Islamic mosque. In January 2014, a policeman standing guard outside
a Hindu temple at Peshawar was gunned down. Pakistan’s Supreme Court has sought a report
from the government on its efforts to ensure access for the minority Hindu community to
temples – the Karachi bench of the apex court was hearing applications against the alleged
denial of access to the members of the minority community.In 2005, 32 Hindus were killed by
firing from the government side near Nawab Akbar Bugti’s residence during bloody clashes
between Bugti tribesmen and paramilitary forces in Balochistan. The firing left the Hindu
residential locality near Bugti’s residence badly hit.The rise of Taliban insurgency in
Pakistan has been an influential and increasing factor in the persecution of and discrimination
against religious minorities in Pakistan, such as Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, and other
minorities. Hindu minorities living under the influence of the Taliban in Swat, Pakistan,
were forced to wear red headgear such as turbans as a symbol of dhimmi. In July 2010, around
60 members of the minority Hindus in Karachi were attacked and ethnically cleansed following
an incident when a Hindu youth drank from a water tap near an Islamic mosque. In January
2014, in an attack on a temple, the guard was gunned down.Some Hindus in Pakistan feel
that they are treated as second-class citizens and many have continued to migrate to India.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan data, just around 1,000 Hindu families
fled to India in 2013. In May 2014, a member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N), Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, revealed in the National Assembly of Pakistan that
around 5,000 Hindus are migrating from Pakistan to India every year.===Afghanistan===Under the Taliban regime, Sumptuary laws were
passed in 2001 which forced Hindus to wear yellow badges in public in order to identify
themselves as such. This was similar to Adolf Hitler’s treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany
during World War II. Hindu women were forced to dress according to Islamic hijab, ostensibly
a measure to “protect” them from harassment. This was part of the Taliban’s plan to segregate
“un-Islamic” and “idolatrous” communities from Islamic ones. In addition, Hindus were
forced to wear yellow distinguishing marks, however, after some protests Taliban abandoned
this policy.The decree was condemned by the Indian and United States governments as a
violation of religious freedom. Widespread protests against the Taliban regime broke
out in Bhopal, India. In the United States, the chairman of the Anti-Defamation League
Abraham Foxman compared the decree to the practices of Nazi Germany, where Jews were
required to wear labels which identified them as such. The comparison was also drawn by
California Democrat and holocaust survivor Tom Lantos, and New York Democrat and author
of the bipartisan ‘Sense of the Congress’ non-binding resolution against the anti-Hindu
decree Eliot L Engel. In the United States, congressmen and several lawmakers. wore yellow
badges on the floor of the Senate during the debate as a demonstration of their solidarity
with the Hindu minority in Afghanistan.Indian analyst Rahul Banerjee said that this was
not the first time that Hindus have been singled out for state-sponsored oppression in Afghanistan.
Violence against Hindus has caused a rapid depletion in the Hindu population over the
years. Since the 1990s many Afghan Hindus have fled the country, seeking asylum in countries
such as Germany.===Sri Lanka===Most of the LTTE’s leaders were captured and
gunned down at point blank range in May 2009, after which a genocide of Sri Lankan Tamils
in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka has started. Even a book, The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka
has been written on this genocide. Tamils Against Genocide hired US attorney Bruce Fein
to file human rights violation charges against two Sri Lankan officials associated with the
civil war in Sri Lanka which has reportedly claimed the lives of thousands of civilians.===Italy===In Italy, Hinduism was previously not recognised
as a religion, and during Durga Puja celebrations, the Italian police shut down a previously
approved Durga Puja celebration in Rome. The affront was seen by some as a statement against
alleged persecution of Christians in India.However, on 14 December 2012, Hinduism, along with
Buddhism, was recognised and given freedom as a religion not conflicting with the Italian
Law, as per Article 8 of the Italian constitution. The move has been hailed as a new milestone
for religious freedom and equality between religions.===Kazakhstan===In 2005 and 2006 Kazakh officials persistently
and repeatedly tried to close down the Hare Krishna farming community near Almaty.
On 20 November 2006, three buses full of riot police, two ambulances, two empty lorries,
and executors of the Karasai district arrived at the community in sub-zero weather and evicted
the Hare Krishna followers from thirteen homes, which the police proceeded to demolish.
The Forum 18 News Service reported, “Riot police who took part in the destruction threw
the personal belongings of the Hare Krishna devotees into the snow, and many devotees
were left without clothes. Power for lighting and heating systems had been cut off before
the demolition began. Furniture and larger household belongings were loaded onto trucks.
Officials said these possessions would be destroyed. Two men who tried to prevent the
bailiffs from entering a house to destroy it were seized by 15 police officers who twisted
their hands and took them away to the police car.”The Hare Krishna community had been promised
that no action would be taken before the report of a state commission – supposedly set up
to resolve the dispute – was made public. On the day the demolition began, the commission’s
chairman, Amanbek Mukhashev, told Forum 18, “I know nothing about the demolition of the
Hare Krishna homes – I’m on holiday.” He added, “As soon as I return to work at the
beginning of December we will officially announce the results of the Commission’s investigation.”
Other officials also refused to comment. The United States urged Kazakhstan’s authorities
to end what it called an “aggressive” campaign against the country’s tiny Hare Krishna community.===Malaysia===Approximately nine percent of the population
of Malaysia are Tamil Indians, of whom nearly 90 percent are practising Hindus. Indian settlers
came to Malaysia from Tamil Nadu in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Between April
to May 2006, several Hindu temples were demolished by city hall authorities in the country, accompanied
by violence against Hindus. On 21 April 2006, the Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple in
Kuala Lumpur was reduced to rubble after the city hall sent in bulldozers.The president
of the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam in Selangor State has been helping
to organise efforts to stop the local authorities in the Muslim dominated city of Shah Alam
from demolishing a 107-year-old Hindu temple. The growing Islamization in Malaysia is a
cause for concern to many Malaysians who follow minority religions such as Hinduism. On 11
May 2006, armed city hall officers from Kuala Lumpur forcefully demolished part of a 60-year-old
suburban temple that serves more than 1,000 Hindus. The “Hindu Rights Action Force”, a
coalition of several NGO’s, have protested these demolitions by lodging complaints with
the Malaysian Prime Minister. Many Hindu advocacy groups have protested what they allege is
a systematic plan of temple cleansing in Malaysia. The official reason given by the Malaysian
government has been that the temples were built “illegally”. However, several of the
temples are centuries old. According to a lawyer for the Hindu Rights
Action Task Force, a Hindu temple is demolished in Malaysia once every three weeks.Malaysian
Muslims have also grown more anti-Hindu over the years. In response to the proposed construction
of a temple in Selangor, Muslims chopped off the head of a cow to protest, with leaders
saying there would be blood if a temple was constructed in Shah Alam.Laws in the country,
especially those concerning religious identity, are generally slanted towards compulsion into
converting to Islam.===Saudi Arabia===On 24 March 2005, Saudi authorities destroyed
religious items found in a raid on a makeshift Hindu shrine found in an apartment in Riyadh.===Fiji===Hindus in Fiji constitute approximately 38%
of the country’s population. During the late 1990s there were several riots against Hindus
by radical elements in Fiji. In the Spring of 2000, the democratically elected Fijian
government led by Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry was held hostage by a guerilla group,
headed by George Speight. They were demanding a segregated state exclusively for the native
Fijians, thereby legally abolishing any rights the Hindu inhabitants have now. The majority
of Fijian land is reserved for the ethnically Fijian community. Since the practitioners
of Hindu faith are predominantly Indians, racist attacks by the extremist Fijian Nationalists
too often culminated into violence against the institutions of Hinduism. According to
official reports, attacks on Hindu institutions increased by 14% compared to 2004. Hindus
and Hinduism, being labelled the “outside others,” especially in the aftermath of the
May 2000 coup, have been victimised by Fijian fundamentalist and nationalists who wish to
create a theocratic Christian state in Fiji. This intolerance towards Hindus has found
expression in anti-Hindu speeches and destruction of temples, the two most common forms of immediate
and direct violence against Hindus. Between 2001 and April 2005, one hundred cases of
temple attacks have been registered with the police. The alarming increase of temple destruction
has spread fear and intimidation among the Hindu minorities and has hastened immigration
to neighbouring Australia and New Zealand. Organised religious institutions, such as
the Methodist Church of Fiji, have repeatedly called for the creation of a theocratic Christian
State and have propagated anti-Hindu sentiment.The Methodist church of Fiji repeatedly calls
for the creation of a Christian State since a coup d’état in 1987 and has stated that
those who are not Christian should be “tolerated as long as they obey Christian law”.The Methodist
Church of Fiji specifically objects to the constitutional protection of minority religious
communities such as Hindus and Muslims. State favouritism of Christianity, and systematic
attacks on temples, are some of the greatest threats faced by Fijian Hindus. Despite the
creation of a human rights commission, the plight of Hindus in Fiji continues to be precarious.===Trinidad and Tobago===During the initial decades of Indian indenture,
Indian cultural forms were met with either contempt or indifference by the Christian
majority. Hindus have made many contributions to Trinidad’s history and culture even though
the state historically regarded Hindus as second class citizens. Hindus in Trinidad
struggled over the granting of adult franchise, the Hindu marriage bill, the divorce bill,
the cremation ordinance, and other discriminatory laws. After Trinidad’s independence from colonial
rule, Hindus were marginalised by the African-based People’s National Movement. The opposing party,
the People’s Democratic party, was portrayed as a “Hindu group”, and Hindus were castigated
as a “recalcitrant and hostile minority”. The displacement of PNM from power in 1985
would improve the situation. Intensified protests over the course of the
1980s led to an improvement in the state’s attitudes towards Hindus. The divergence of
some of the fundamental aspects of local Hindu culture, the segregation of the Hindu community
from Trinidad, and the disinclination to risk erasing the more fundamental aspects of what
had been constructed as “Trinidad Hinduism” in
which the identity of the group had been rooted, would often generate dissension when certain
dimensions of Hindu culture came into contact with the State. While the incongruences continue
to generate debate, and often conflict, it is now tempered with growing awareness and
consideration on the part of the state to the Hindu minority. Hindus have been also
been subjected to persistent proselytisation by Christian missionaries.
Specifically the evangelical and Pentecostal Christians. Such activities reflect racial
tensions that at times arise between the Christianized Afro-Trinidadian and Hindu Indo-Trinidadian
communities.===United States===Hindus constitute 0.7% of the total population
of the United States. They are also the most affluent religious group. Hindus in the US
enjoy both de jure and de facto legal equality. However, a series of attacks were committed
against people of Indian origin by a street gang called the “Dotbusters” in New Jersey
in 1987, the dot signifying the Bindi dot sticker worn on the forehead by Indian women.
The lackadaisical attitude of the local police prompted the South Asian community to arrange
small groups all across the state to fight back against the street gang. The perpetrators
have been put to trial. On 2 January 2012, a Hindu worship center in New York City was
firebombed.The Dotbusters was a hate group in Jersey City, New Jersey, that attacked
and threatened South Asians in the fall of 1987. The name originated from the fact that
traditional Hindu women and girls wear a bindi on their forehead.In October 1987, a group
of youths attacked Navroze Mody, an Indian man of Parsi (Persian) origin, who was mistaken
for a Hindu, after he had left the Gold Coast Cafe with his friend who fell into a coma.
Mody died four days later. The four convicted of the attack were Luis Acevedo, Ralph Gonzalez
and Luis Padilla – who were convicted of aggravated assault; and William Acevedo – who was convicted
of simple assault. The attack was with fists and feet and with an unknown object that was
described as either a baseball bat or a brick, and occurred after members of the group, which
was estimated as being between ten and twelve youths, had surrounded Mr. Mody and taunted
him for his baldness as either “Kojak” or “baldie”. Mody’s father, Jamshid Mody, later
brought charges against the city and police force of Hoboken, New Jersey, claiming that
“the Hoboken police’s indifference to acts of violence perpetrated against Asian Indians
violated Navroze Mody’s equal protection rights” under the Fourteenth Amendment. Mody lost
the case; the court ruled that the attack had not been proven a hate crime, nor had
there been proven any malfeasance by the police or prosecutors of the city.A few days after
the attack on Mody, another Indian was beaten into a coma; this time on a busy street corner
in Jersey City Heights. The victim, Kaushal Saran, was found unconscious at Central and
Ferry Avenues, near a city park and firehouse, according to police reports. Saran, a licensed
physician in India who was awaiting licensing in the United States, was discharged later
from University Hospital in Newark. The unprovoked attack left Saran in a partial coma for over
a week with severe damage to his skull and brain. In September 1992, Thomas Kozak, Martin
Ricciardi, and Mark Evangelista were brought to trial on federal civil rights charges in
connection with the attack on Saran. However, the three were acquitted of the charges in
two separate trials in 1993. Saran testified at both trials that he could not remember
the incident.The Dotbusters were primarily based in New York and New Jersey and committed
most of their crimes in Jersey City. A number of perpetrators have been brought to trial
for these assaults. Although tougher anti-hate crime laws were passed by the New Jersey legislature
in 1990, the attacks continued, with 58 cases of hate crimes against Indians in New Jersey
reported in 1991.===Canada===In 2013 a Hindu Temple in Surrey had 3 windows
smashed. A baseball bat found there after the attack had Sikh markings.==See also==Expulsion of Indians from Burma in 1962
Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians
Love Jihad Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in
the Punjab 1947==References=====Sources=====External links==
Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities The Hindu Minority in Bangladesh
Attacks on the Hindu Minority in Bangladesh – Amnesty International
Atrocities on Hindus catch US Congressmen’s attention – United States Commission on
Religious Freedom Bangladesh Chapter – 2015 Annual Report by
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom USCIRF

Jean Kelley

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1 COMMENTS

  1. Technophiliac Posted on December 8, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Hunduism is a cult

    Reply
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