Sandeep Balakrishna on Brutal Mughal Rule & Destruction of India | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 32 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Sandeep Balakrishna on Brutal Mughal Rule & Destruction of India | Abhijit Chavda Podcast 32".


Note: This transcription is split and grouped by topics and subtopics. You can navigate through the Table of Contents on the left. It's interactive. All paragraphs are timed to the original video. Click on the time (e.g., 01:53) to jump to the specific portion of the video.


Intro (00:00)

Kottub breaks down 1000 temples in Kashi and its surroundings. So he ascends the funeral pyre and sets fire to it. Okay, you might say that Krishna Devaraya is dead, but his ghost will be reborn and it will come after us. Look at the map today of these regions. This entire belt is, it is not a coincidence that Assadhuddin OIC's party is strongest in this belt. The following is a conversation with Sandeep Balakrishnan. Sandeep is a historian. He is the author of the Dharma Dispatch blog and also the author of a book called Invaders and Infidels among others. Please subscribe and enjoy the conversation.

Colonialism And Its Impact On Historical India

What is Colonialism? (00:41)

Sandeep G, welcome to the podcast. It's great to have you on. Thank you. So you are a very renowned writer. You've been writing about colonization, about history, so many topics. So today I want to talk about colonization. We in India, we are in 2023, but we are still deeply colonized. So I want to examine the roots of the colonization, how the process began, how it's, like we say in physics, the mechanics and dynamics of colonization, how it happened over time, and eventually maybe we can look at some solutions. So the foreign invasions of India, I mean, they've always been on and off. You know, we had the Huns, we had the Kushans, we had Scythians before them and so on. But the problems began about 1300 or so years ago with the first Arabic invasions of India. So could we begin there, how that affected India and how it started colonizing us? Okay, so first of all, thanks for having me here. Always good to see you. When you say colonization, and before that alien invasions into India, just to set the fundamentals clear, colonization begins after conquest, which is military conquest, followed by a alien rule for some time, where that alien rule takes root. And then the colonization happens. So this is the fundamental concept, but you know how it is always operated, not just in India, but throughout the world, whichever country or culture has been colonized. So that is one. Now, coming to your question of the first colonization, or sorry, the invasions, I wouldn't call the first Arab invasion as an invasion. That I've given my reasons in my book, Invades and Infidels, the first volume. It was more in the nature of a raid. The first person to raid India was obviously well known to all of us, Mohammad Bin Qasim. He came here around the 712 or 715 CE. But before him, like you correctly mentioned, other raiders who came from outside, how does our civilizational memory, how does our inherited cultural consciousness remember those raids? It was hardly a mosquito bite. - Yes. - What in the Western history, the person known as Alexander the Great, right? What was his real impact on us? - Negligible outside, yes. - Like I said, hardly a mosquito bite. So for all their claims of this great world conqueror, fine.

What was the real impact of Alexander the Great? (03:41)

If you measure the extent of his military campaign from far away Greece, all the way to India, to that extent, fine. He was a world conqueror in that limited sense. But since we are in the subject of India, what has been his impact? Negligible. - Negligible. - And what was the extent of territory that Alexander raided and brought under his control? - The Western extremities. - Northwest. - Northwest, yes. - That's all. And even there, after he left, what was the stability or what was the period during which the Greeks could hold on to those territories? - A couple of centuries at most? - No, that's doubtful. But when you're granting that a couple of centuries, what happened to them? What happened to their successors? - They became Indianites. - They all became Hindus. - Yes, absolutely. - Right? - Yes. - So we have to put this in perspective. And then you have perhaps the most barbaric invasion happened during the Gupta period. - The Huns. - The form of the Hunas. - Yes. - So they were swatted away like flies. - Yes. - By the Gupta Empire. - Yes. - But what is the kind of damage that they did in Europe? - Oh, total, total, yes. They were raiding home at the time they were-- - They were raiding at the time they were-- - And you know, it's a very dark period for Europe. - Yes. - So this is something that we need to, these are things that we need to keep in perspective. - Absolutely. - And those Hunas or even the Greeks who stayed back here, the commanders, governors who stayed back here, they became Indianized, they became Hinduized in a very profound sense. - Yes. - There was no coercion. - Oh, absolutely. - You have Heliodorus who was proud to call himself a Mahabharavata. So you have the Heliodorus pillar description in Vidisha. - Yes. - And another example is that the Turkish, or whatever they were called, who were ruling in Gandhara, they defended India from the Turks. - No, Indushahi, I'll come to that. - Indushahi, Indushahi, right? - I'll come to that. So these are things that we need to keep in perspective. The relative stability, our own resilience, our own strength, our own power, and the solidity of our cultural rootedness or military preparedness, all these things have to be kept in perspective. - Now coming back to Muhammad bin Qasim, that was a raid which did not last for long. So he began smashing Debal Raja Dahir, that story is well known. And then he held on to the city of Multan, which is Moolasthana. - Moolasthana. - Right?

Muhammad Bin Qasim Descends India (06:31)

Even there, what he did was he realized that if we break this Aditya Murthy, we cannot hold on to Multan. - Right. - So even there, the land of infidels that he had come to ravage and plunder and convert people to all the infidels to Islam, even there, the infidel God Aditya Surya, he had to rely on him. - So there was a great temple there, the suntan. - It was a suntample. - Yes. - A very great suntample. - In Moolasthana. - Yeah, in Moolasthana. So this is the thing. So they could not hold on. - Right. - And Qasim was not present in India for, I think maximum for three years. - Right. - And then he had to leave. - And he was a little, he was killed. - Yeah, I mean, Baghdad was killed there. - Yes. - A familiar story. - Yes. - So from there, and the interesting thing is that what happened after he left, all the territories that he had raided, people out there drew away the Muslims from there. They drew out the Muslims from there.

People of India Resisted Post-Qasim Rule by Muslims (07:30)

- Right. - And then those that had been forcibly converted, they came back to their matradharma. - I see. - So this is resilience. - Right, indeed. - So they, I mean, you can't simply say that, make these blanket statements that, lower caste Hindus converted because they saw Islam as a egalitarian religion or whatever it is. There is no basis in history to make such claims. - Right. - So that happened and from then onwards, from Qasim till Mahamud of Ghazni, you have a lull of about, Mahamud came here in 1000 CE. So you have, if you take the cutoff date as 715, 2000, so that's about three centuries. - Three centuries, roughly. Yes. - 285 years, right? - Yes. - So roughly three centuries of total, you know, no alien invasions at all. - Right. - What does that tell you? It tells you two things. That we were still strong. And that the invaders were still scared. - Right. - Of our power. - Right. - So yeah, but the unfortunate thing that enabled Qasim to do his raid was that Hindu kings, they had taken their military strength, their political power for granted. - Okay. - That, you know, before Qasim raided here, there were at least six attempts from Arab Muslims to somehow penetrate India. - Okay. - All six attempts failed, which means all four caliphs, caliphs in there, they died without hearing the news of a single breakthrough in Kaffir in the storm. - Okay.

Confusion (09:14)

- So you put this, analyze this in this perspective, a lot of confusions get cleared. - Right. - So that happened and then, you know, you had Mahamud of Ghazni, but by then the Hindu power in all of North India was disunited. There was no single central king, an emperor, a Samrat or Chakravarti, all these, you know, which means a person who can command a vast empire. - Yes. - That was pretty much finished off after the downfall of Harsha Vardana of Kanuch, Kanyakubja. - Right. - After that, you know, all his feudatories, they were then known as Hindu Shahis, those who were residing in central Asia, Afghanistan, that Gandhara you mentioned, right? So they were the Hindu Shahi kings, loosely known as Hindu Shahi kings. The word Hindu Shahi actually comes from the Chachanama. - Chachanama, right? - Chachanama. So that is the source for calling them Hindu Shahi kings, but they were essentially feudatories of various powerful Samarats ruling in North India, who also protected and defended the borders of the Burhad Bharata or undivided India, which included Afghanistan also. - Yes. - So this is the broad picture. And the scene changes when Mahamud comes. - Okay. - And the last Hindu king who gives a brave fight is a man named a great frontier hero, man named Jayapaladeva. - Right. - He loses to Mahamud, he's humiliated, then he commits Dauhar, meaning emolates himself, saying that those kings are kings lived by a certain code of honor. - Yes. - A certain norms of conduct. So he publicly apologizes to his citizens, saying, look, I have failed you. - Yes. - And I have no moral authority to still call myself as your king. So he ascends the funeral pyre and sets fire to it. So his son, Anandapala, he carries on the fight, but even he is beaten by Mahamud. And he becomes his, unfortunately, he becomes his vassal after being defeated. And then what Mahamud does is that in one stroke, he ravages, he comes from Ghazni all the way in Afghanistan, ravages one entire stretch, which includes cities like Mathura. Then he makes a field attempt at Kalin Jarab, which is today's Bundelkan. So he tries to take the fort, but he fails. At any rate, the damage that he causes repeatedly is quite extensive throughout North India. - Okay. - All the way, you know, till he vandalizes and plunders Somnath. - Somnath, yes. - So that has never happened. And that is a huge blow of demoralization that Hindus suffer. - Okay. - So that is still not colonization, and it is still not an invasion. - It's still a raid. - It is still a raid. The difference between an invasion and a raid is that when you invade, you should have some hold. What happens in the aftermath of invasion, to qualify it as an invasion, is that you should hold on to your conquered territory, your invaded territory. Mahamud never left behind any empire in India, in any area that he raided.

Mahmud of Ghazni (13:05)

- So he went back to Ghazni? - He went back to Ghazni. - Right. - So this is the thing. After Mahamud, then you have Mahamud of Gorit, that is when the story really begins. - Okay. - That is why one of the great epochs in Hindu history or in Indian history is the second battle of Tarang. - The second battle, yes. - That was a decisive battle. Until then, you know, whatever these raids and alleged invasions happened, they were beaten back. Or they were either beaten back, or those people did not establish a foothold here. - Right. - They did not control actual territory out here. That happened in the, you know, in the case of Gori, Mahamud of Gori. So even he did not have it easy. He was defeated by, you know, a small boy and a lady near Gujarat. - Yes. - Right. - They didn't have it easy, sir. - Yes, yes. - So she was originally from Goa. - Okay. - Yeah. - Okay. - Her mother's house was Maikejo. - Yes. - She's from Goa. - I see. - Yeah. So a small boy defeats him. - Right. - They didn't really have it easy, you know, contrary to what your textbooks write. - Yes, yes. - They did not have it easy. So he goes back and then he vows revenge, and then comes back and even in the Second Battle of Tharain, it was not a straightforward confrontation. It was not a one-to-one military victory. He attacks in the dawn. - Okay. - It is a perfidy, actually. - Yes. - It's a deceitful war. It's not a full-blooded, you know, one-to-one military confrontation. - A pitched battle. - A pitched battle. - Right. - So that is why Second Battle of Tharain is a pivotal moment in Indian history, in the African Indian history, and after that, it was in Mohammad Gori, for the first time, he ravages a lot of these sacred cities in India, especially in North India. - Yes. - In Uttar Pradesh. For the first time, his general and slave, that is why they were all, it is known as a alleged slave dynasty. - Slave dynasty. - Slave dynasty. So this fellow, Gori, he was a slave of Mohammad of Ghazni. And Mohammad of Ghazni's father, Sabuktigin, he was a slave of some merchant, no, not Sabuktigin, Aliptigin, his grandfather, Mohammad's grandfather. He was bought by some merchant in Central Asia or Turkey of one of those places. Because it was all basically, that's why they're called slave dynasties. - Ma'am looks. - Ma'am looks. So Gori is a slave of Mohammad of Ghazni. Kuthubudin Ibaq is a slave of Gori. Il-Tatmush is also the slave of Gori. - Right. - Okay, so that is why it's called, you know, say that, but Gori, like I said, in large parts of Northern India, all the sacred cities, most notably Varanasi, Kashi. For the first time, Kashi gets a taste of peace. - Yes. - In one single day, Kuthubudin Ibaq breaks down 1,000 temples in Kashi and its surroundings. One day. - Okay. - So that is when, obviously, because you don't have, you know, a samarat, why does this happen? Because of this. - We are disunited.

Atidals (16:57)

- Hindu, the last samarat was Pratirat Chahamana. - Chahamana, yes. - So with him, the whole protection is gone. - So you will, former, you know, chieftains, feudatories, they would declare independence. - Yes. - And they would start fighting with each other. - Yes. - Khi hai me raa tare di hai me raa hai. But collectively, they never come and oppose, you know, push back the salient invader. - So they had the might, but they never came to-- - They didn't have that vision. - Yes. - That civilizational vision they didn't have. So anyway, that is a recurring theme, so I don't want to dwell on that in any detail. So this happens, and when Gauri goes back to Ghazi, his capital, he leaves behind Aibak. - Aibak. - And say that, look, you are the guardian of all my territories in Hind. - Okay. - So that is when Kutubin and Aibak establishes the so-called Delhi Sultanate with Delhi as a capital. - Okay.

Hostile conquest conclusive entry of Islam in India (18:01)

- And you know, he destroys some 27 or 30 Hindu and Jain temples and builds the Kvatul Islam Mosque, which is also the site of the Kutubin. - Okay. - So that is when you get the first, I won't call it an empire, but a first kingdom, a first Muslim alien kingdom in India. - Okay. - Does that answer your question? - Yes, it does. - Yeah. - Yes. So how did the colonization happen? I mean, the mental colonization, that's what I want to understand. So now they have a foothold in India. They have a small principality kingdom. That's the beginning of the slave dynasty, the Mondo dynasty. So how did the Indian psyche start getting impacted? When you have all this destruction that happens, certainly demoralizes you. It's a psychological blow on you. So you start seeing the alien, the invader, the outsider as somehow superior to you. And then they establish institutions and all that to rule you. So how does that start percolating into the Indian psyche, into the Indian consciousness? - Okay, interesting question. Now, even until Jalaluddin Khalji, even after Hindu political power was effectively destroyed and scattered throughout North India, touching the borders of Madhya Pradesh. - Right. - Okay. Even at that time, Hindus were not mentally colonized. - Right. - They never regarded them as superior in any way. The constant word term used for them was Mlech. - Mlech. - Inferior. - Inferior. - Uncleaned. - Uncleaned. - Unhygienic. They never regarded them as superior in any way. - Okay, so when does this begin? How does this begin? - I'll tell you. So the evidence for this comes from Jalaluddin Khalji. - Okay. - This occurs in the end of the 13th century. As late as 1290 or 1293. - Okay. - As late as that, Jalaluddin Khalji is now the sultan and he's sitting on his throne and he's venting out his ranting that, you know, what is the fate of the faith of Mustafa, which is another name of Prophet Muhammad. - Okay. - What is the fate and the strength of the faith of Mustafa that we suffer to see the Hindus go about celebrating their kafir practices like eating pan. - Okay. - And having their daily bath on the steps of the Yamuna. - Okay. - And we are unable to do anything. - Right. - He's referring to the Hindus in Delhi. - Okay. - Who are his subjects basically. - Right, so why was he not able to do anything about that? - That is the whole point, right? So this is, you know, a partial answer to your note about mental colonization. So clearly Hindus have not accepted him as a sovereign. - Right. - And they still have that social power, economic power to challenge him in different ways. - Right, going about your practices as a, yeah. - It's an affront, right? - Yes. - In a pure Islamic state, a kafir has no rights. - Yes.

Mental colonization (21:14)

- If he's allowed to live, live. He has to survive indignities. He has a status of zimmi or dimi. So this dimmi or zimmi, right? That came about roughly around the time of allowed in kalji where, you know, it took an official administrative apparatus to enforce the dimmi status. - Okay. - Okay. It was during allowed in kalji that he made sweeping changes in administration and in economic policies. He consciously made it a point to empower Hindus. - Okay. So you need a whole state apparatus to do this? - Yes. That is when he, you know, that is when this whole thing began. - Okay. - But even then Hindus would rather bear those indignities than convert to Islam. - Okay. - So they were conscious that, look, he's an oppressor. He's not a legitimate ruler. - Hmm. - A legitimate ruler is someone who respects our customs. - Yes. - Maintains the traditional continuity. - Yes. - But here is someone, he has a monster who's doing everything to hurt that. - Right. - And he's doing it as part of a official state policy. - Policy, yes. - So this colonization, mental colonization took a long time to happen. And I think it roughly occurred around the Mughal period. - Okay. - Because on the part of the Hindu side, because there was no one single powerful king, Hindu king to drive them out, or at least a confederacy of Hindu kings who would unite. There's several opportunities. Unfortunately, we didn't make use of it. - Okay.

Weakness of Rajputs (23:13)

- So anyway, you keep getting a split and fragmented. - Hmm. - And look, you had four great powers in Rajput powers, in Rajputana. - Hmm. - The Guhi Lords. - Guhi Lords. - Chahamanas. - Chahamanas. - So four major Rajput dynasties, they never came together. - Right. - If only they had come together. It wouldn't have been difficult to drive out. I'll tell you, until Allahu An-Din Khalji, the maximum extent of territory commanded by the so-called slave dynasty did not exceed 120 kilometers in the vicinity of Delhi. - I see, a small island, isn't it? - That's it. And they had to constantly reconquer the same territories. Hindus would never give up, they never stopped fighting. - Right. - The moment there was a loosening in the imperial throne in Delhi, these guys would come out again and reconquer. Then another guy might come, Jalaluddin Khalji, had to try and recapture Ranthambore. - Okay. - He failed. Again, Allahu An-Din Khalji comes, he recaptures, then he succeeds, but anyway. So this is a constant recurring theme in our history, but our kings never learned actually. The big problem is there. - That's the reason. - So that colonization doesn't happen until the time of Akbar. - Until the time of Akbar, but he's regarded as the great secular ruler, right? - Yeah, very shrewd guy. So to his credit, he did not impose his jizya thing and other, this dimi whole thing. He went about his job in a different way. Flattering the egos of Rajput kings. - Why did all the other Rajput kings submit except Maharana Pratap? - Maharana Pratap was very clear that this fellow, he's not a good guy. He's an enemy of Sanatana Dharma. His business is only to enslave us. So he didn't fall for Akbar's tricks. Others were like, okay, look, the emperor sitting in Delhi. He's showing us so much respect. So that colonization began roughly around Akbar's period. - I see. - Roughly around Akbar's period. - So how did he colonize? First of all, he established friendly relations with various Rajput kings. I suppose he would have had them, made them married, their daughters to him or his family members. So that's how the intermingling happened. - So what Akbar realized, which his predecessors from various other dynasties didn't, was that if you use barbaric force in peacetime when there is no war, if you persecute Hindus, then here's the thing, Abhijit, the Muslims always knew all the emperors till Akbar. They always knew that they were outnumbered in a Hindu majority country.

When is force unnecessary? (26:11)

And that the only way to kind of sustain their rule was through force. - Right. - In peacetime, what is the function of army? - Nothing to guard. - To guard, yeah. - To guard your external borders. But what kind of an administration is it which requires the protection of an army to carry out your regular duties of administration? - Yeah, so it's clearly an outside-- - So you have to hold them by force. - Yes, yes, right. So they knew that they were foreigners. They knew that the only way they could sustain here and amidst so many numbers of Hindus who are hostile to them is through force. So this was the only extent that they could figure out. But Akbar understood that force can work only so far. So there is an Akbar before his barbaric raid on Chittorgar. - Chittorgar. - And there is an Akbar after that. - So what changed? - He realized that this kind of wanton persecution of treating them as infidels and then heaping indignities on them can't sustain for a long time. - Could you speak about the raid on Chittorgar for the audience's benefit? - So Chittorgar, he raided Chittorgar because they refused to submit to him. - Yes. - Harana, Appar, Tep, Sisodia. - This is early in his-- - Early in his reign. - Yes. - So they refused to submit so he got angry and he launched a massive offensive which lasted for a couple of weeks or a week or a couple of weeks. So huge resistance. Finally the fort fell. - There was a fortress. - Yeah, fortress. Same fortress that you see. One of the few living forks in India. It is still a living fort, Chittorgar. - Okay. - So then he didn't stop at that. It would have been okay if it was a military victory. - Yes. - I'm not condoning it. - Yes. - But he didn't stop at that. He rounded up innocent Hindus and massacred them. The numbers vary. Some people say 25,000, some people say 40,000, but any-- - In one day. - In one day. - Men, women, children. - Yeah, all, indiscriminately. And then had their skulls, paraded heap of skulls. This kind of thing. So that is a real Akbar. - So that's the real Akbar. - That's the real Akbar.

The genocide of Hindus (29:01)

And interestingly, one of his officials was also, who also participated in the sack of Chittorgar. So he has written a blow by blow account of the siege of Chittorgar, of the sack of Chittorgar. There he mentions that at several points in the siege, first he laid siege to the fort, and at several points during the siege, Akbar wanted to give up, actually. - Okay. - And each time he was demoralized, he took the help of Quran to motivate himself. - Okay. - So he's mentioned the specific ayats. - That I see. - So that's a document anyway. It's available. I'll do a series on that. - Okay. - So that is the thing. That was the genocide of Hindus. - Yes, clearly, in one day. - One day. So that, this is why Maharana Pratap, that was the main turning point in Maharana Pratap's life and his lifelong ambition to somehow crush Akbar and recover Chittorgar. - Right. - But that didn't happen anyway. So this is Akbar though. Later, Akbar realized that this won't work in the long run. - Not sustain him. - If I have to sustain my empire, there are other means. So conciliation, you give some trade off, key, fine, I'll marry you, I'll marry your daughters, your sisters, whatever it is. And she will have a separate mahal. She can do her jalmas to me, puja, whatever. She can, she's free to follow your infidel faith. But that is fine. What happens to our children? - Exactly. - And his mother was a Hindu. - Yes. Yeah, his successor, Salim. - Salim. - Yes. - So this was Akbar's policy. He was largely successful, but because the elite, the kings Rajputs and similar kings of that nature, who thought that he's a great bacha, he's a sultan, whatever, mighty guy, that is when the mental colonization had already begun. - So they started recognizing him as their sovereign. - Yeah, as a sovereign. - Right. So that will affect their subjects as well. - Yes, it does. - Because they're now wasals. - Yeah, yeah. - So that's when it begins. - That's where it begins. - So that's about Northern India mainly. What about Southern India? - Okay. Southern India, the first, that was also again a raid by Alauddin Khalji. - Okay. - First raid.

The Risk Of Conquest And Establishment Of Sultanates

Mitro Djolas theory on the risk (31:46)

So until, like I said, the extent, territorial extent of Muslim power did not exceed 120 kilometers in the vicinity of Delhi. And the Vindhyas were not even in their realm of fantasy. - Okay. - These are all, they are graphic accounts saying that, that is Jahannam, all the infidel Rajas are very, very strong out there. Let's not even look in that direction. So this was a general understanding of Southern India. - Okay.

Alauddin Khalji (32:20)

- This fellow, ambitious guy, Alauddin Khalji, he said, okay, he gambled his entire career on that one raid. - I see. - His first raid. - Okay. - So he lied to his uncle who was a sultan, Jalaluddin. He was uncle also, he was his father-in-laws. - Okay. - It's common anyway. - Okay. - His brother, Almas Beg, he was, he had, Jalaluddin had given another daughter in marriage to Almas Beg. - Okay. - Alauddin's younger brother. - I see. - So anyway, so he gambles his entire career on this one raid. Because he understands that, if your rebellion has to be successful, you need money. Not, muscle is not enough. Money is needed. - Yes. - So he lies to Alauddin Khalji, I mean, sorry, Jalaluddin Khalji, he says, look, I'm going to plunder Chandary. Chandary is, I think in Madhya Pradesh, or border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. One of the greatest jean centers in India. - I see. - Very ancient times. So he does not, he goes in the direction of Chandary, then takes a different route and comes all the way till Vindhyas, then touches Devagiri and raids it. - Okay. - And then gets a huge bounty. Huge riches. I think one of those fellows, I think Amir Khusruh, or one of those fellows, they were all contemporaries. He writes that the wealth that Alauddin got in that one raid, the first raid of Devagiri, was enough seared capital to start, to establish seven kingdoms from the scratch. - Wow. Okay. - Even if you give space for exaggeration, we can imagine the kind of prolific amounts of wealth that he got in that raid. So he goes back, then he deceives Jalaluddin, murders him. This is another constant familiarity. - Recurring theme. - Recurring theme. - Yes. - That there has never been a bloodless succession in all of Muslim history in India. - I see. I think it's a Turkish legacy, isn't it? - Yeah, it is a Turkish legacy. - Yes. - Fatrasside. - Yeah, fratricide, padrasside, it doesn't matter. Power is an end in itself. So once you get there, how you get there, nobody will ask you. Once you occupy the throne. - Yes, right. - All your past crimes are forgiven. So it's a sick system. But anyway, so he goes there, murders Jalaluddin, becomes a king. And then he understands that this is in the realm of possibility. South India is in the realm of possibility. - Okay. - After that, he dispatches Malika Afoor. During his first and second raid of Devagiri, he does not annex that kingdom, the Yadava kingdom, the Sivuna kingdom. He says, "Okay, you can be my vassal, "give me tributes and all that." But once Malika Afoor enters the scene, he says enough is enough. So from now on, Devagiri is part of the empire in Delhi, Kalje Empire in Delhi.

Afrood Defeats Prataparudra (35:22)

So after that, he goes, penetrates further south. So you have the Kakatiya king, Pratapurudra, in Telangana, Aurangal. - Okay. - And then you have the Pandya brothers in Madurai Ramishram that built. And then you have Hoysala, Virabalala, third Virabalala, he's in Karnataka. And pretty much you've covered all the states, one to four major states.

Chidambaram (35:52)

And Malika Afoor comes there, completely raises through the entire region. It's an extensive raid, basically. He plunders and destroys Dwarasa Mudra, which is Halebir. And to an extent, Bailur. Then Tirunamalai, which is the southern capital of the Hoysala kingdom. - I see, okay. - And then he destroys the famous Nataraja temple in Chidambaram. All these are kissed for the first time by the love of Islam. So Chidambaram temple, Madurai Meenakshi temple, then Ramishwaram, Ramishwaram gets his first mosque during Malika Afoor's raid, then goes back with even more riches to Delhi. So this is a first brush of South India with Islam. - Okay. - And after that, you know, after Alauddin's death, there's some lull, there's some fighting in Delhi. And then Mohammed bin Tughlaq, he becomes the Sultan. And in his time, actually, when he shifts his capital from Delhi to Daulatabar. - Daulatabar. - Devagiri, I don't call it Daulatabar. - Yes, that's what they call it. - Yeah, he renames it Daulatabar. So that is a very, in many ways, it's a pivotal event. You physically shift your capital, including the people of citizens of Delhi. - Crazy. Yes. - So the curses that people give him, you know, it's very described in graphic language. There's no time, so I can't go into it. So it's quite funny also at many levels, tragic, obviously. So when you shift the entire capital, physically move it, your bureaucrats, they're all spread over. - Yes. - So the Muslim presence, the aristocratic Muslim presence, plus the ulemas, all those fellows, they began spreading their tentacles in and around Devagiri. - Okay. - So you have to understand it like that. Then obviously, shifts it back to Delhi, that's a different story, but he also comes to South India. That's another tragic story, very cruel story. That is when Prataparudra, he's dead, he's killed, and he's made a prisoner and then he's killed. - Okay. - Then that is when the Hoysala dynasty is extinguished. - Extinguished, yes. - The Pandyas are gone. So what is left?

Tughlaq dynasty (38:29)

- Right. - And one of Tughlaq's generals, who is also appointed as a governor in South India, in Tamil Nadu, he declares independence, but Tughlaq can't do anything because he's in Delhi fighting the Mongols and other people. - Okay. - One invasion happens from Iran or from Central Asia. I forget the exact thing. But by that time, his whole empire is in a bit, it's getting shattered at a rapid pace. - Okay. - And this fellow declares independence, nothing can be done. Tughlaq is helpless, like I said. And he establishes something called as a Madurai Sultanate. - Okay. - Written a small monograph from that. That gives all the details of how that was founded, what happened to it. So that Madurai Sultanate was so pathetic, that it lasted for less than 40 years. In 40 years, it had six kings. - Six kings. Okay. - But the damage it did was extensive. - I see. - A whole of Madurai, which is a Tirthakshaitra, one of the greatest Tirthakshaitras for Hindus. That whole place is described in, the state of that place is described by Gangadeween, Mathuravijayam. So it's very painful to read. This Tamraparni, the sacred Tamraparni River, where once pious women used to bathe and apply sandalwood paste on their body, and then, you know, dress themselves up and then go to their, do their daily pujas and household work and all that. This place, this sacred Tamraparni is now overflowing, its waters are red with blood. And where in the temples where, you know, beautiful songs and where the mantras used to be chanted, have now become the permanent abodes of wild beasts. It is a place of where jackals and wolves are hooting, and unclean Turskas are drinking there. So it's very painful to read that, but it's just a sample of it. So this happens with that so-called Madareyas Althani. So 40 years is enough for them. You don't build anything from scratch, right? Whatever is beautiful, whatever is valuable, or whatever is invaluable, whatever is sublime, all that is wrecked. Why? Because it goes against your religious tenets, if you can call it that. So this is pretty much the story of this Madareyas Althani, so-called alleged Madareyas Althani. And that is uprooted by the sons of the Sangama brothers, which obviously, as you know, is the rise of the Vijayanagara. So that is the story of this Islamic thing in South India. There is a gap of 68 years after Malika Force invasion and the ascendancy of Vijayanagara Empire. For 68 years, the whole of South India is leaderless, directionless, chaotic. So then you have the rise of the Vijayanagara Empire. And how long does that last? Vijayanagara Empire? About in its pristine form, about 220 years. Yes, and then eventually even that is destroyed. Yeah, all empires have to be destroyed, so it is law of nature. Law of nature. But what gets destroyed with it, and who destroys it is where we must take the real lessons of history. Right, so after the Vijayanagara Empire is destroyed, we have the rise of the Nizams.

Bahmani Sultanate (42:33)

Not really. So I forgot to mention one thing in connection with the so-called Madareyas Althani. One more vassal or governor of this guy, Tughalak. He establishes something called the Bahmani Sultanate. Bahmani Sultanate, yes. Halawdin Hassan Gangung. So that is another byproduct of the Muslim incursion into South India. But because the Vijayanagara Empire was so powerful that the Bahmani Empire, which began as one, and they started fighting with each other, you know, the successors fought with each other, generals and all that, they got split into four or five. Bidar, Bijapur, Golconda, which is Hyderabad today, and Ahmednagar. So look at the map today of these regions. This entire belt, it is not a coincidence that Assaduddin Oise's party is strongest in this world. So as long as Vijayanagara was the bulwark against the rise of Islam, or against, you know, depredations of Muslim forces coming from North India, they did not dare look in this direction.

Penetration And Colonial Effects In South Indian States

South Indian Muslim Penetration (43:51)

But they had their own problems in the form of these Bahmani fellows. So were they never able to crush them? And why was that? Who? Vijayanagara. No, Vijayanagara. Look, it's actually ironical and inspiring at many levels. So at one time, the power of Bahmani and Vijayanagara were almost evenly matched. They were recurring fights and all that, but pretty much, if you look at the overall stats, Vijayanagara always had the upper hand. So they would do this, what you call divide and roll, pit the Bahmani sultans against each other. I see. So that was one way that, you know, their diplomacy, external policy worked. And militarily, they were unconquerable. Okay. This is when all the four Bahmani kingdoms got together and said, let's crush these fellows. Okay. Militarily, it was unthinkable.

Alliance Of the Bahamani State (45:00)

There are accounts which say that Bahmani sultans, they refused to believe that Krishna jayavaraya was dead, even after his death was announced. I see. They were so terrified that, okay, you might say that Krishna jayavaraya is dead, but his ghost will be reborn and it'll come after us. I see. So this was an extent of terror, but again, that guy, Ramaraya, Alia Ramaraya, he was a real power behind the throne after Krishna jayavaraya died. Yes. And he had an inordinate fondness for some of these Muslim Bahmani guy, one king, prince, basically a prince, he called him, he had regular interactions with him. He would call him to his palace, embrace him, and say that you are like my son, things like that. It's a fatal mistake, fatal flaw on the part of Hindus, which led to large scale defections, the infamous Gilani brothers. The Gilani brothers.

Memories Of Krishna Deva Raya, Save Hindi (46:02)

They defected down that site, so unfortunately, so yeah, that was gone. But after the fall of Vijayanagara Empire, that gave rise to what you can call as the age of the Nayakas. The Nayakas. Nayakas. These were former feudatories of Vijayanagara Empire. Okay. This includes the Mysore Vodaiyas. The Vodaiyas. Vodaiyas, so you can't call them Nayakas strictly, but they belong to that era. Okay. So you had Nayakas of Tanjavur, Nayakas of Madurai, Jindji. Jindji. And this part, I think near Coimbatore. So that's in the Tamil region. And Andhra, you had the vestiges of the successor descendants of Vijayanagara Empire in Penukonda, Chandragiri, all these places. And in Karnataka, you had Paligars, basically in Chitradurga. It was scattered. Okay. Even then, some individual Nayakas were extraordinarily powerful. I see. What they also did on a profound note, was to maintain and propagate the cultural inheritance of Vijayanagara. I see. Raghunathan Nayaka, for example, extraordinary man. I see. You can do a separate session on him. I see. Yeah, yeah. Fantastic guy. Right. So, yeah. And on the other side, you had, when the Bahamani kingdom was shattered, and that happened during the time of Aurangzeb, slightly preceding him also. You can take it as Jahangir's time only. Okay. Roughly. The timelines are pretty much around the same thing. The Bahamani kingdom was swallowed by the Mughal Empire. Okay. And they appointed their own governors or made them subservient to these fellows. And then you also had the slight beginnings of the Maratha power. Right, yes. Right. The nascent rise of the Maratha power, Maratha powers, they were vassals of, they reported to the Mughal Empire also. Okay. Initiative, but they were rising. Slowly, but surely they were rising. Right. So, this is overall chaotic scene you get. And one of that thing, during the regime of Aurangzeb, if I'm not mistaken, or maybe Shah Jahan, around that time you have this fellow, one courtier, very powerful fellow called Asaf Jah.

Era of Asaf Jah & controversial considering name of Nizam (48:28)

Okay. He comes to Telangana, makes a base in Hyderabad, declares independence, and calls himself first Nizam of Hyderabad. I see. So, this is roughly around that period, I think around Shah Jahan Aurangzeb's time. I see. He was a courtier or maybe even after, yeah, sorry, Asaf Jah is after Aurangzeb's death. After? Under his son, I think. I see. Mohammed Shah. So, 18th century. Yeah. Early 18th century. Oh, mid, mid, yeah. Mid, mid, mid 18th century. Mid 18th century. I see. So, that's the rise of the Nizams. Nizam means general or something, right? Niz, look, all these titles are grand, sir, okay. Nizam, according to them, literally means the monarch of the whole world. Okay, okay. We shouldn't take these things seriously. I see. Okay, what is the Ibrahim Al-Wadunya, meaning the one who has the whole world in his Mutti. Okay. So, they have all these pompous titles, we don't need to take them seriously. Okay, okay, right. So, we have the rise of the Nizams, we have the, at the same time, the Mughal Empire, the Turkmughal Empire is now crumbling. Because after Aurangzeb, it starts crumbling. It's gone. Yes, we have the Marathas over rising. So, we have India that is now being liberated, essentially, to some extent, of the foreigner. India is being liberated now. Liberated, yeah. Yes, yeah. But by this time, the mental colonization must be really in place, right? Because we have been... Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, yeah, so that was the original point. So much of digression. No, it helps to set the context. Correct, correct.

Turkmugg rules & linguistic colonization (50:18)

So, the colonization that has happened, right, some sections of, in the Hindu society, I'll tell you how colonization happens when political power is established. You no longer have the vehicles, the administration is in the hands of the alien. Right. So, you no longer have avenues for expressing your own culture, which you have inherited for, God knows how many centuries, or millennia. Millennial, yes. Right? Yes. So, all the avenues are blocked, because political power decides everything. Yes. So, Sanskrit is abolished. Hmm. Indian languages are abolished. So, Persian or Farsi, from the beginning, they had a fascination for the grandeur of, or the alleged beauty of the Persian language. Okay. This is from Ilhtatmush time itself. Okay, the Turks were fascinated with the Turks. Yeah, okay. So, it is the official language of the court. Okay. All your official correspondence, documentation, accounting, all done in that language, your poetry, literature, it is all composed in a thing. Turkish, it becomes mandatory, if you have to survive, even as a Hindu, and you know, make a name for yourself, get into government service, or you know, whatever it is, you have to compulsorily learn Turkish, which is what, sorry, Persian or Farsi, which is exactly what has happened to us after independence, or before independence. If you have to have a respectable job, English, English, there we go.

Education system & the fatal essence of English language (51:36)

We are still conversing in English. That's what happened to us. Yes. Same thing projected back to Farsi. Okay. So, schools are education system. Farsi was not made compulsory, but you had to learn it. You look at all the documents related to the history of education in Bengal, for example. Farsi was more or less a compulsory subject. It depends on which stream you had to go, but it had already percolated into the education system. So, once you start using a language, that goes into your head. It not only goes into your head. See, language is also a set of ideas. Yes, it is. So, when you have these words in any language, it has words which are specific to it, not found in any other language. Why does it arise? Because every word is an idea. And to express that, to invent the word. Kaafir is a word which is not present in any Indian language. Yes. But why are we using it?

Cultural Subjugation And Destruction Of Ancient Culture

Learning alien languages (53:05)

When you learn, you know, say Farsi, when you learn any alien language. Now, for example, let's take a random example. London bridge is falling down. My fair lady. Yes. How does it make any sense in our context? It makes no sense whatsoever. Mary had a little lamb. Hmm. Fine. But what sense does it make? Nothing to us. Correct. So, but you still learn that. It has become part of your curriculum. That's what little children are taught. Yes. So, the same thing also happened there, out there, when they started composing their shayaris, and their couplets, and whatever their, Amir Khusru's, whatever thing, and all those risala's, all that, right? So, they all had words in an alien language, which had specific meanings. So, you learn them. So, you form associations with them, which are alien to you. Hmm. Yes. So, that colonization is already krypton. That is a very, very fundamental thing. So, language is a very important vehicle. It is the most important vehicle. Right. Language itself. Okay. Right. That is one. And the other form of colonization is in your dressing. Okay. So, you introduce their own dresses, whatever clothing, fashions, whatever, you can debate about, you know, don't be such a perfectionist. You can't dismiss everything because it came from outside or whatever. They made their contributions. You can concede fair bit of, you know, point about that. One. And food habits. Yes. The way you converse. Hmm. So, there were certain modes of conversation, certain modes of how you conduct yourself in public. Yes. How you greet each other. So, these things cannot be taught in books. Yes. They are part of the organic evolution of the society over those millennia. Yes. That gets disrupted. Hmm. And it gets disrupted in a violent fashion. Hmm. So, that is why we have to compare this and contrast it with what happened with our encounters with the Greeks. Right. Yes. This never happened. This never ever happened. Yes. So, they got integrated with our society. Yes. Correct. They got absorbed. They got absorbed. Yes. Effortlessly, almost effortlessly. Effortlessly. The Kushans, the Skithians. Yeah. We never hear of any race riot when the Skithians conquered Western India. That is a point. Yes. This was not the case here. Hmm. It was a society, an alien rule, like I said, which held this country and its culture. When you say, you know, we were a subject race. This is a term that British used. Yes. A subject race. Subject race. The other word that you can derive from the subject is subjugation. Subjugation. Yes. Right.

Subjugation and colonization (56:11)

So, you were subjugated and over a period, like I said, when this rule takes, it gets consolidated and it is maintained, operation is maintained for a long time. This colonization also percolates. Out of habit. Yeah. You have no avenues, like I said, to express your own culture. Another thing that they know is that all your sacred spaces were gone, destroyed. Yes. Temples, matas. This society, a temple, was the centerpiece of the Hindu society and community. Yes. Now, you destroy one temple. You destroy one mini-civilization.

Mughal destruction of ancient Hindu culture (56:56)

It was the temple was at the heart of the Hindu society. So, you destroy this through a vast, across a vast geography for not once, but multiple times. That leads to, apart from death and slavery and conversion, all that, that also leads to mass displacements, migrations. So, yeah, there's also one form of colonization. You spoke about the way we dress. If we look at ancient temple carvings, we see that ladies dress a certain way. Today is very different. Isn't that another example? I mean, the covering of the body, the Gungat thing, the veil, all that, that wasn't part of our culture. Vail was never part of our culture. Yes. No, no. The veil in the sense that we understand it today, after Islam invaded India and took root, it was out there. There is reference in some of our epics and in some of our literature about the existence of veils. But that was limited to the royal ladies, which makes sense actually. So, that's one thing that happened. The way we dress, it changed. The way you spoke, you interacted with each other, the food that you ate. These things, there were subtle elements that were infused by this colonization. Now, when the Turks, the Mughals ruled much of India, did they change the economics of India? We had our own industries, we had our own handicrafts and whatnot. We were a fully industrialized civilization. Did they do, did they tinker with that also? That's a fantastic question. A very simple, straightforward answer. The basis of what can be called Hindu economics or at least how we understood economics in the past is based on the principle of abundance, material prosperity in the literal sense, as differentiated from a cash currency economy. Not the fiat money, not the cash, actual wealth, material abundance. You know, like 10,000 tons of rice. That's sort of abundance. That's sort of abundance. Clothes, and these are not just mere clothes, okay, exquisite clothes, embroidered clothes. You look at all the textile history of India, look at the variety. There were, at last count, my number might be incorrect here and there. It is said that there are 56 different ways of draping your saree. Okay. Okay, that and then even what are known as gym equipments, your gatas, clubs and all that. Yeah, so they were also produced on a mask here. This was, like I said, an economy of abundance, which is exactly what attracted alien invaders to India in the first place.

The corrupt wealth (01:00:12)

The incredible abundance, prosperity. Prosperity. Yes. The temples are full of gold and spices, food green, you name it. Yes, everything. So, yeah, the sink of India was known as the, or rather paper was known as the sink that corrupted the Roman economy. Yes, yes. Something like that. Yes. So, yeah, so this was, and not just paper, okay, not paper across India, paper only from Malabar. Malabar paper. Right. So, this was, you know, during the Roman Empire. 2000 years ago. Yeah. Yes. This material abundance and we did not believe in, it was not a spinning economy in the sense that we understand it. Wealth creation happened generationally. Yes, generationally. Yes. All right. Right. Not quarter upon quarter profits. No, no, no. It happened generationally. Yes. And this is why, you know, it is all tied together. When you say, you know, you limit the number of children to one or two and all that, but I am not making a one-to-one comparison between that. So, how do you propagate generations only by, you know, having more children? Yes. And it is what is known as a joint family system. It was a necessity because there was only manual labor and the greater the number of hands you had, the better it was for you. More you could grow, more you could produce, more you could store, collect. Right. So, this is how it was. So, at every harvest season, for example, even recent, as recent as, I do not know if it is still there, as recent as 50 or even 60 years back, at harvest time, farmers would first take one portion of their harvest and give it to the local temple or matthar or whatever it is. Right. Only after that, the balance, they would, you know, put it for measurement. Right. You know, this, where does this come from, sir? This has a, this is a civilization memory dating back to millennia. millennia, absolutely. Anyway, so this was how, you know, your, this was a view and theory and practice of economics.

The busy Eyed breed (01:02:28)

Two, in all Muslim rule, it is based on the principle that the king is the absolute monarch. Number one. Number two, there is no private property in Islam. I see. Everything belongs to the state, which automatically means everything belongs to the person who holds the levers of power in the state, which is the sultan or nawab, whoever it is. Whoever it is, yes. So, everybody who works for him or lives in his kingdom is essentially a slave. Right. He can be dismissed or killed or punished or exiled at his whim. So, in such a system, everything in his domain, is meant only for his enjoyment. Yes. So, plunder is the order of the day. You look at any Muslim dynasty here, which has actually produced, which has created wealth. No, it is a system of extortion. So, what, nothing has been produced, you know, during any, any king, any Muslim king here. You keep extorting the people. Why? Because your royal family, your personal vanity, your enjoyment. There is a wonderful book called, India of Akbar or something like that. The India of Akbar or something. Oh, wait. India at Akbar's death. So, Akbar the Great, the great Sikandar. You should look at the descriptions of his economy. It is a huge mammoth section in the book. Okay. This fellow, wherever he went, the water had to be brought compulsory from Ganga Nadi. He only drank Gangajan. Yeah. Where was that? Wherever he was, let's say he was his captain of Zagara, right? He would, let us say, he would go hunting in the jungle of Satpura. So, throughout the route, the water had to come from Kashi. Okay. So, who would get the water? You should have an army of water carriers. Who pays their salaries? The Emperor, I guess. Yeah. Just for this, what a wasteful way of... Exactly my point.

Connie binhs (01:05:04)

Yeah. They didn't create wealth. They didn't produce anything. So, you have a harem, for example. Okay. Abundant harem. Okay. If a relatively minor sultan like Tipu, he had something like, what, 700 plus concubines in his harem. Okay. Look at someone like Jahangir, Salim, or someone like Shah Jahan. They would have harems as big as, say, Mysore, measured in real geography. Okay. And their own governors, their own mansabdars, they would have their own mahals. Stuffing them with concubines. I see. So, what economics are you talking about? How do they feed them? And those are opulent mahals. So, for one concubine in, let's say, one mansabdar has a large mahal, housing about, say, 50 concubines. A random example. Okay. Okay. That mahal would be as big as, say, Bangalore Palace. Okay. Alright. This is a mansabdars mahal. Okay. Alright. So, maintenance, construction activity for that, all opulent mahals, decorations, paintings, who base for all this?

Corruption And Economic Scams In Colonial Times

Concurrency scam (01:06:30)

The people, the state. Yeah. And this is for housing, say, 50 concubines there. Alright. Yes. Their daily routine, I'll give you an example of their daily routine of a concubine. Okay. A typical concubine. Their, the emphasis on beauty. Okay. Physical attractiveness. She would be perfumed. She would be given a luxurious bath with, in rose water and, you know, huge hot water tub with rose petals, perfumes. So, to do this, she will have slaves. Oh, slaves. Those slaves are eunuchs.

Cost of being a royal concubin (01:07:10)

Eunuchs. Eunuchs. Okay. She would be given a luxurious bath with all that samrani and then, you know, wrapped in some expensive cloth, some expensive saree, whatever dress they had. And then she would be given an allowance of quite a substantial allowance depending on her attractiveness and other things. A substantial allowance. And then she would have her own personal treasury of precious necklaces, jewelry. Then her food, which would be sumptuous. Okay. You would have slaves fanning her. Incredible expenditure. Okay. This is one expenses for one concubine. One person. Of a junior guy like a man sabdar. So, you extrapolate the number to, you know, of the expenditure and the lavishness, the extravagant lifestyle of a sulta. Yes. Which economy can sustain this? No, none. Classic case, Bhadur Shahzafar. The last guy. So, his power is pretty much crushed by the British, but they allow him to survive. Yes. I mean, all of us know that, you know, his power did not extend outside the walls of the red foot. Yes. Even there, the British gave him a pension, but this fellow had so many concubines plus his sons who were into expensive habits, you know, hunting, drinking, gambling, this kind of thing. So, it was a substantial pension.

What lent to the death of Muslim Economies (01:08:53)

All right. He ran out of the pension. His queens would approach Hindu money lenders. Okay. There were no Muslim money lenders. That itself is a telling thing.

Decline Of Muslim Economic Power

How Muslim economic power was squandered away (01:09:11)

Okay. Okay. Hindu money lender, states and everybody. Okay. She would run out of money, borrow them at exorbitant rates of interest and to pay that, repay that, this fellow would borrow from somewhere else. Bhadur Shahzafar. Okay. The red foot alone had to maintain 3000 people. 3000 people. 3000 people. I see. So, and he was powerless. He was living on borrowed money literally. Literally, yes. Right. It was Dhol basically, Biksha. Yes. Yes. Which he took from the British. And still he ran up debts. Right. Nizam of Hyderabad, his sons, what happened after he lost power, squandered away the wealth. I see. So, the creditors came calling. They said, you know, cough up or, you know, mortgage, whatever your mortgage does, we'll take it. Right. All the expensive Mahals, palaces, huge bungalows, buildings, all gone. All gone. All gone. I see. By 1960s, some of the immediate descendants of Nizam of Hyderabad, they were bankrupt. I see. So, this, when you say, you know, Muslim economy, Mughal economy, this is a real picture. I see. Extraction. Now, what about the Europeans? What about the Europeans? Now, the Europeans forgot to mention one more important data point. In Shahajahan's time, the extortion was so bad that people in Bengal, especially people in Bengal, parents, they would forcibly castrate their own children, their own sons, young sons to as leave for the revenue tax that they had to pay. Castrate the sons and do what? Send them as servants of the empire. This has already begun in the time of Jahangir. Jahangir himself. Yeah. Okay. So, all your Taj Mahal and all those opulent buildings were financed through this kind of exploitation. I see. Thank you so much for this incredibly detailed and fascinating conversation. I learned a lot and I hope the audience also learns a lot. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks once again for having me here. Hope you enjoyed the conversation. Please share this on your Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp so that this podcast reaches a wider audience.

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