Hindus of Afghanistan

For once, the leftist-liberal ‘Guardian’ has been kind to the Hindus and published a story about the Hindus of Afghanistan. What are the chances that such an article will ever be allowed by the champagne liberals and brown-sahib editors of Indian newspapers?

Afghanistan’s marginalised Hindus

Despite its long history in the country, Afghanistan’s Hindu minority has been pushed to the fringes of society

Can you believe that Afghanistan was once a Hindu majority country and the most famous ruling dynasty of Afghanistan is called the Hindushahi Dynasty? Here is a list of the famous Hindushahi kings who ruled Afghanistan:

Khingala of Kapisa (7th c.)
Patoladeva alias Navasurendradiyta Nandin of Gilgit (6-7th c.)
Srideva alias Surendra Vikrmadiyta Nandin of Gilgit (6-7th c.)
Patoladeva alias Vajraditya Nandin of Gilgit (6-7th c.)
Kallar alias Lalliya (c. 890-895) of Kabul
Kamaluka (895-921)
Bhima (921-964), son of Kamaluka
Ishtthapala (?)
Jayapala (964-1001)
Anandapala (1001-c.1010), son of Jayapala
Trilochanapala (ruled c.1010-1021-22; assassinated by mutinous troops)
Bhímapála (died in 1022-1026)

How many Indians even know today about the Hindu rulers of Afghanistan? How many of them have read about how the Hindu kings fought the Muslim invaders tooth and nail to save Afghanistan? Their battles and conduct recieved high praises even from their Muslim adversaries. We Hindus of India owe a debt to them. The least we can do to repay this debt is to tell our children their story.

Here is a short story about defence of Kabul and Zabul by the Hindu kings, narrated by Sita Ram Goel:

HEROIC DEFENCE OF KABUL AND ZABUL

The same story was repeated by the Hindu kingdoms of Kabul (Kapisa) and Zabul (Jabal) which lay to the north-west of Sindh, and which the Islamic armies had started attacking soon after they annexed Khorasan in AD 643. It was in AD 650 that the first Islamic army penetrated deep into Zabul by way of Seistan, which at that time was a part of India territorially as well as culturally. The struggle was grim and prolonged. The Islamic army suffered heavy losses. In the final round, the invader was defeated and driven out.

Another attack followed in AD 653. The Arab general, Abdul Rahman, was able to conquer Zabul and levy tribute from Kabul. The king of Kabul, however, proved desultory in paying regularly what the Arabs thought to be their due. Finally, another Arab general, Yazid ibn Ziyad who had been the governor of Seistan for some time, attempted retribution in AD 683. He was killed by the Hindus, and his army was put to flight with great slaughter. The Arabs lost Seistan also, and had to pay 5,00,000 dirhams to get one of their generals, Abu Ubaida, released.

But the Arabs, inspired as they were by an imperialist ideology, did not give up. They recovered Seistan some time before AD 692. Its new governor, Abdullah, invaded Kabul. The Hindus trapped the Arab army in the mountain passes after allowing it to advance unopposed for some distance. Abdullah agreed to cease hostilities, and the king of Kabul agreed to renew payment of an annual tribute. But the treaty was denounced by the Caliph who dismissed Abdullah. The war against Kabul was renewed in AD 695 when Hajjaj became the governor of Iraq. He sent an army under Ubaidullah, the new governor of Seistan. Ubaidullah was defeated and forced to retreat after leaving his three sons as hostages and promising that �he shall not fight as long as he was governor�.15 Once again, the treaty was denounced by the Caliph, and another general, Shuraih, tried to advance upon Kabul. He was killed by the Hindus, and his army suffered huge losses as it retreated through the desert of Bust. Poor Ubaidullah died of grief. That was the third round won by the Hindu kingdom of Kabul.

In the next round, Hajjaj commissioned Abdul Rahman once again. He made some conquests but could not consolidate his hold. Hajjaj threatened to supersede him. Abdul Rahman revolted and entered into a treaty with the Hindu king to �carry arms against his master�.16 The treaty did not work, and Abdul Rahman committed suicide. The Hindu king, however, continued the war. Masudi, the Arab historian, �makes mention of a prince in the valley of the Indus who after having subjugated Eastern Persia, advanced to the bank of the Tigris and Euphrates�.17 Hajjaj had to make peace according to which the Hindu king was entitled to keep his kingdom in exchange for an annual tribute. The Hindu king, however, stopped payment in the reign of Caliph Sulayman (AD 715-717). Some attempts to force him into submission were made in the reign of Caliph Al-Mansur (AD 745-775). But they met with only partial success, and we find the Hindus ruling over Kabul and Zabul in the year AD 867. The Arabs had failed once again to conquer finally another small Hindu principality, in spite of their being the mightiest power on earth. The struggle had lasted for more than two hundred years.

The kingdom of Kabul suffered a temporary eclipse in AD 870 but not on account of the Arabs, nor as a result of a clash of arms. The Turkish adventurer, Yaqub bin Layth, �who started his career as a robber in Seistan and later on founded the Saffarid dynasty of Persia�, sent a message to the king of Kabul that he wanted to come and pay his homage. The king was deceived into welcoming Yaqub and a band of the latter�s armed followers in the court at Kabul. Yaqub �bowed his head as if to do homage but he raised the lance and thrust it into the back of Rusal so that he died on the spot�. A Turkish army then invaded the Hindu kingdoms of both Kabul and Zabul. The king of Zabul was killed in the battle, and the population was converted to Islam by force. That was a permanent loss to India. But the succeeding Hindu king of Kabul who had meanwhile transferred his capital to Udbhandapur on the Indus, recovered Kabul after the Saffarid dynasty declined. Masudi who visited the Indus Valley in AD 915 �designates the prince who ruled at Kabul by the same title as he held when the Arabs penetrated for the first time into this region�.18

The Hindus lost Kabul for good only in the closing decade of the 10th century. In AD 963 Alaptigin, a Turkish slave of the succeeding Samanid dynasty, had been able to establish an independent Muslim principality in Kabul with his seat at Ghazni. It was his general and successor, Subuktigin, who conquered Kabul after a struggle spread over two decades. The Hindus under king Jayapala of Udbhandapur made a bold bid to recapture Kabul in AD 986-987. A confederate Hindu army to which the Rajas of Delhi, Ajmer, Kalinjar and Kanauj has contributed troops and money, advanced into the heartland of the Islamic kingdom of Ghazni. �According to Utbi, the battle lasted several days and the warriors of Subuktigin, including prince Mahmood, were �reduced to despair.� But a snow-storm and rains upset the plans of Jayapala who opened negotiations for peace. He sent the following message to Subuktigin: �You have heard and know the nobleness of Indians – they fear not death or destruction� In affairs of honour and renown we would place ourselves upon the fire like roast meat, and upon the dagger like the sunrays.��19 But the peace thus concluded proved temporary. The Muslims resumed the offensive and the Hindus were defeated and driven out of Kabul. Dr. Mishra concludes with the comment that Jayapala “was perhaps the last Indian ruler to show such spirit of aggression, so sadly lacking in later Rajput kings.”

The above excerpt is taken from Sita Ram Goel’s book called “Heroic Hindu Resistance to Muslim Invaders.” You can read it online. Go to this website http://voi.org/index.php and click on “books.”

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Hindus of Afghanistan

  1. If the name Hindu Kush relates such a horrible genocide of Hindus, why are Hindus ignorant about it? and why the Government of India does not teach them about Hindu Kush? The history and geography curriculums in Indian Schools barely even mention Hindu Kush. The horrors of the Jewish holocaust are taught not only in schools in Israel and USA, but also in Germany. Because both Germany and Israel consider the Jewish holocaust a ‘dark chapter’ in the history. The Indian Government instead of giving details of this ‘dark chapter’ in Indian history is busy in whitewash of Moslem atrocities and the Hindu holocaust. In 1982, the National Council of Educational Research and Training issued a directive for the rewriting of school texts. Among other things it stipulated that: ‘Characterization of the medieval period as a time of conflict between Hindus and Moslems is forbidden’. Thus denial of history or Negationism has become India’s official ‘educational’ policy .

    Often the official governmental historians brush aside questions such as those that Hindu Kush raises. They argue that the British version is the product of their ‘divide and rule’ policy’ hence their version is not necessarily true. However it must be remembered that the earliest reference of the name Hindu Kush and its literal meaning ‘Hindu Killer’ comes from Ibn Battutah in 1333 AD, and at that time British were nowhere on the Indian scene. Secondly, if the name indeed was a misnomer then the Afgans should have protested against such a barbaric name and the last 660 plus years should have been adequate for a change of name to a more ‘civil’ name. There has been no effort for such a change of name by the Afgans. On the contrary, when the Islamic fundamentalist regime of the Mujahadeens came to power in 1992, tens of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs from Kabul, became refugees, and had to pay steep ransom to enter into Pakistan without a visa.

    In the last 46 years the Indian Government also has not even once demanded that the Afgan Government change such an insulting and barbaric name. But in July 1993, the Government of India asked the visiting Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra to change its name because the word Jerusalem in its name is offensive to Moslem Fundamentalists.

  2. Pingback: Hindus save your self « hindutva123

  3. The government of india should teach the history of ancient india to it’s children especially the attrocities of invaders and their forecible conversion into islam

  4. When I think about my ancestors and co-religionists in Afghanistan and their heroic and tragic struggle against the invaders, tears come to my eyes and by heart breaks all over again. Brave, courageous, heroic, tragic, doomed! What a sad albeit beautiful story.

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