Thursday, September 3, 2015


(Please click on each link and go through the contents before proceeding further to get the full import of this article)
I was in the middle of writing a series on the Intellectual churn within Islam, reviewing four books which I had the occasion to read over the past few weeks. It was in the middle of this that the NDMC decided to rename Aurangzeb Road in N Delhi as Abdul Kalam Road. I thought it was something that would be welcomed whole-heartedly by all Indians. However, I found Gopal Krishna Gandhi making a quibbling distinction between Aurangzeb and Aurangzebiyat. I wrote a piece on this momentous decision, challenging the GK Gandhi argument. I was, however, surprised to find a chorus of support for Aurangzeb. Some of it was ignorant but a lot more was motivated, with phoney arguments, as if Aurangzeb was actually secular but was only carrying out his mission of an Emperor. One of the better defence was made by Shoaib Daniyal. He gives five reasons in his defence of Aurangzeb just being the child of his times, and not the evil ruler he is made out to be. 
The first argument by Shoaib is that Aurangzeb actually was so beneficent that he built more temples than he destroyed. The bulwark of this argument of his rests on Richard Eaton. Ranged against Eaton, however, is a mountain of evidence. I wonder if Eaton ever went to the Bikaner archives where a host of evidence is available on his being exactly the kind of zealot that makes him a hated figure for most Indians. Eaton says that he destroyed only those temples which lay in territories opposed to him. This is complete hogwash. I had cited in my last blog a letter by his own son Md. Akbar who explicitly mentioned Aurangzeb's anti-Hindu bias. I reproduce it here along with its Hindi translation.

 I also find that Shoaib has quoted Jadunath Sarkar with approbation in support of his Jizya argument. However, what Jadunath Sarkar had to say about Aurangzeb's zeal for temple destruction and as you can see in this link that his general attitude towards Hindus as an Islamic warrior is totally different. In fact, it is as excoriating an indictment of Aurangzeb as anyone could possibly make. I would not put a Richard Eaton ahead of him, specifically because those schooled in religions of the Book have great problems comprehending the attitudes prevalent in the sub-continent. Shoaib has also ignored the most authentic book compiled by Sita Ram Goel which chronicles the destruction of Hindu temples by Islamic rulers in fair detail.
Shoaib's other four arguments are dealt with even more easily. All one needs to do is to click and visit this exhibition mounted by FACT-India. Of the 45 exhibits on display, each one demolishes the arguments advanced by Shoaib. Each exhibit is like a speaking document. What is at display is that here was an Islamic jihadi warrior bent on establishing an Islamic theocracy in India, giving the majority population the status of zimmi, by indulging in signal destruction of their religious and teaching institutions. The argument about jizya and zakat is equally spurious as evidenced by clicking this comparison. Add to all this his brutalities towards Guru Tegh Bahadur, Shambhaji, Devi Chand and the like and it becomes clear that the inspiration for Aurangzeb was not the exigency of statecraft, but a completely wanton, bigoted urge to spread Islam by sword. 
I now move to rejoin the series I was writing on the intellectual churn within Islam. Though I was intending to take up the peace argument first, I have to revise my order of reviewing the books. I take up Wafa Sultan's book "The God Who Hates" because her arguments seek to bare the mentality with which rulers like Aurangzeb are imbued. While reading her book a second time, I also chanced upon this video in which she debates the issue of Islam with one of the bigger hate merchants in the Arab World, Omar Al-Bakri. You can't miss this video.
While the detailed review would be done in the next part of the series. I would like to summarise what she seeks to contend. You must read her views in the context that she is an Arab who has given up Islam and who now lives in the USA. She has experienced the working of her former religion at its worst because it is in the Arab world that the most intolerant version of Islam is at work. She also contends that Muslims in other parts of the world are still largely peaceful because they do not understand the Arabic language and The Qur'an is not allowed to be translated in any other language. As an Arab, it puts her in a unique position to understand the violence contained within Islamic scriptures.
She holds the extreme view that all Islamic scriptures including The Qur'an preach violence against non-believers and women. The concept of justice is different for zimmies as they do not believe in Allah and cannot therefore claim the status that a Muslim enjoys. This is exactly what Omar Al-Bakri is saying in the above video and the view according to the Wahhabi and now increasingly Deobandi version of Islam. 
So the Aurangzeb Doctrine is actually the doctrine that the strict Arab legacy teaches its followers. One hardly needs to emphasise that it cannot work in India or anywhere else in the World. It doesn't work in most places where Muslims are in majority except some notable exceptions like ISIS, and some Arab countries in the MENA area. Let Shoaib Daniyal reflect on what Wafa Sultan and Jadunath Sarkar have to say even as I examine Wafa Sultan's book in greater detail in juxtaposition to the peace doctrine of Maulana Wahiduddin Ahmed in the next part of the series.

Credits: @drkiranvs for the jizya and zakat comparison, @aham1857 for the link to Jadunath Sarkar

1 comment:

  1. Sir,I'm not into an argument as to whether Aurangzeb was a devil or a saint... But NMDC could have found a better option to remember A.P.J. Abdul Kalam....