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Myths about Hindu Temples

"It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view." ~ George Eliot, Middlemarch

Every once in a while various links to random articles appear on my timeline at social network sites carrying completely distorted and misleading content related to Medieval History of India.
This post is a humble attempt at putting together some historical facts in perspective, only to clear these distortions and help my friends with factually correct information, duly supported with credible sources of information.

Distortion Alert # 1Few months back, I came across this post shared by a 'well educated' friend on FB: It’s A Myth That Muslim Rulers Destroyed Thousands Of Temples

My problem is not as much with the distorted content but more so with the well-educated and 'cultured' friends who consume such content from totally unreliable and morally corrupt sources such as Tehelka, share them widely and then draw twisted conclusions. These otherwise very nice and educated people inadvertently end up spreading lies in the Society.

Now that everyone knows all about the extortionist and 'hit-job' outfit called Tehelka and its annual lit-fest THiNK that had generated a whole lot of Stink last year, I guess we better save the space for quality content.

Lit-Festivals such as THiNK are littered with 'fake intellectuals' who share their 'manufactured' facts at shallow depths over serious discussions and talk-shows, followed by 'networking' dinners over expensive wine with 'socially ambitious' women. During one such lit-fest “THiNK 2013”, one of the  celebrity historians, specialising in Islamic Studies and Medieval History became an instant hit among the 'secular' intelligentsia.

Picture Credit: Tehelka
The name is Eaton, Prof. Richard M Eaton. As per the body of work available in public domain, he has done a huge 'favor' to himself by destroying and twisting facts to build his own career and getting published by Oxford University Press. His very first attempt was an honest one but that did not work well with the Western and Indian Marxist narrative. He realized this rather early in life and was quick to jump the fence towards the Distortionist gang of Historians, contributing to a more 'palatable' version of Indian History.

Noted Indologist and Historian, Koenraad Elst has this to say about Prof. Richard M Eaton in one of his reviews: The Details about Hindu Iconoclasm & I quote:
According to the cover text on his book, Eaton is professor of History at the University of Arizona and a leading historian of Islam. Had he defended the thesis that iconoclasm is rooted in Islam itself, he would have done justice to the evidence from Islamic sources, yet he would have found it very hard to get published by Oxford University Press or reach the status of leading Islam scholar that he now enjoys. One can easily become an acclaimed scholar of Hinduism by lambasting and vilifying that religion, but Islam is somehow more demanding of respect.
So much for Prof. Eaton and the Lit-Fest that offered him the space, visibility & above all the adulation from the 'Secular' crowd.

As for the destruction of Hindu Temples during Muslim Rule that Prof. Eaton claims as Myth? Please read on for more details.

Distortion Alert # 2Just recently came across yet another random link on FB: 
I was going to start looking into JSTOR and other international/national academic journals to commence my research (time permitting)...

I had an instant 'dislike' for this comment, once again, much more dislike than the distorted content that was shared. This was least expected of very well educated and research oriented people. JSTOR? They want to look up JSTOR for credible research papers on Indian History? The subject has been completely ruined, twisted and destroyed by our Marxist Historian intellectuals. Only they have had the exclusive 'state-sponsored' privilege to populate such 'eminent' forums with distorted content,  having it “peer-reviewed” by their gang of colleagues and Oxbridge members, only to be published at JSTOR.

Friends, this is precisely how the distorted version of Indian History travels across frontiers and then enters back into our civilised society, to be shared as 'well-researched fact'.

(Concealment of truth. Statement of Falsehood.)”

Sita Ram Goel is one of the most underrated historians of our time. He has done extensive research on the subject and has always presented facts and data as they are. He derived data and research inputs exclusively from 'primary' and most authentic sources, from the huge archives of Epigraphic and Literary evidences as left behind by the Muslim Rulers. Obviously his work does not gel with that of our 'secular' and 'marxist' historians who have assumed the role of 'secular thekedars' populating content for 'state-sponsored' History in post-independent India. Unlike Prof. Eaton, he never bothered for eminence and 'status' so he refused to collaborate with the 'gang' and on the contrary, always engaged in challenging their distorted and manipulative work.

David Frawley has this to say about Sita Ram Goel in his own words:
  • He was "modern India’s greatest intellectual kshatriya",
  • "One of India’s most important thinkers in the post-independence era".
  • "Sitaram followed a strong rationalistic point of view that did not compromise the truth even for politeness sake. His intellectual rigor is quite unparalleled in Hindu circles..."
Prof. Richard M. Eaton, says this about Sitaram Goel, in his own words:
While Hindu nationalists like Sita Ram Goel have endeavoured to document a pattern of wholesale temple destruction by Muslims in this period, few professional historians have engaged the issue, even though it is a properly historical one.
Notice the 'Hindu Nationalist' tag used for Sita Ram Goel by Prof Eaton there? That says it all!

Coming back to JSTOR for a while, I quickly searched for 'Sita Ram Goel' and just as I had expected, it throws no results on his work, while 'Richard M Eaton' throws a whopping 22,401 search results. And then I looked for the doyen of Marxist Historians, our grand old Romila Thapar and I got 1,263 Search Results.

So much for JSTOR as a source of 'credible' research papers on Indian History.

'Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them' Volume I & Volume II 

~ Sita Ram Goel

Strongly recommend this extremely reliable and a valuable resource for those seriously interested in looking up for an unbiased and a 'free-from-distortion' version on the subject. In this landmark work, he has listed at least 2000 sites, which till date remains unchallenged. The book was considered for a ban in UP in the 90's, due to its unbridled and explosive narrative.

Volume I, Section I: ISLAMIC ICONOCLASM, Chapter 6: “Let the mute witnesses speak”, he draws up a detailed state-wise list of Islamic Monuments built on Hindu Temple sites. This list covers pretty much all of the geography covered under the map of Republic of India.
Volume I, Section III: HISTORY VERSUS CASUISTRY, Chapter 18: History of India: Putting the record straight” he concludes & I quote:

“Today the entire academia and media in India are under the stranglehold of this state-sponsored version of India's history which is eulogised as the secular version, and is supposed to promote national integration.”

Volume II, Section III: FROM THE HORSES MOUTH, Chapter 6: The Epigraphic Evidence: Conclusions, & I quote:

“Three conclusions can be safely drawn from a study of these 21 inscriptions. Firstly, the destruction of Hindu temples continued throughout the Muslim rule. Secondly, the destruction took place all over India. Thirdly, the destruction had no economic or political motive as has been proposed by Marxist scholars and Muslim apologists.”

Volume II, Section III: FROM THE HORSES MOUTH, Chapter 7: The Literary Evidence: This runs into a huge 150 Pages of solid evidence, purely derived from the literary works of Mughal Empire, which still stands tall and unchallenged.

Koenraad Elst commented in his review of the above work of Sita Ram Goel as follows:
  • "None of the negationist historians has come forward with a reply or with the announcement that a mistake has been discovered in Mr. Goel's list of monuments of Islamic fanaticism.
  • Manini Chatterjee, reviewer for The Telegraph, could do no more than calling it a "very bad book". And
  • "Of the hundreds of secularist historians who have signed statements denouncing "communal history distortion", not a single one has been able to challenge even one of the 2000 claims in the list."

Koenraad Elst also comments on Prof. Eaton's distorted research on Hindu Temples in his work titled: The Details about Hindu Iconoclasm, as follows:
Yet, the numerically most important body of data presented by him concurs neatly with the classic (now dubbed Hindutva) account. In his oft-quoted paper Temple desecration and Indo-Muslim states, he gives a list of eighty cases of Islamic temple destruction. Only eighty, is how the secularist history-rewriters render it, but Eaton makes no claim that his list is exhaustive. Moreover, eighty isn't always eighty. 
Contrary to the impression created in the secularist media, Prof. Eaton has not even begun to refute Sita Ram Goel's thesis. He manages to leave all the arguments for Goel's main thesis of an Islamic theology of iconoclasm undiscussed. 
Unfortunately, Prof. Eaton has failed to cite us any paper or book on Indo-Muslim iconoclasm which is less selective. His own studies silence on each one of the testimonies cited by Goel amounts to a selective favoritism towards the data seemingly supporting the secularist theory.

As for the Myths around Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan:

Sita Ram Goel in Volume II, Chapter 4 titled “The Marxists Historians” discusses in less than one page as to “Why Aurangzeb Destroyed the Temple” - he concludes thus and I quote:
“It is difficult to believe that the learned professors did not know of Aurangzeb's firman dated 9th April, 1669 and the large-scale destruction of Hindu Temples that followed. If they did not, one wonders what sort of professors they are, and with what right they pronounce pontifically on this subject.”
I would like to reproduce here a very brief extract from the book titled "A History of India" written by Antonova, Bongard-Levin & Kotovsky, first published in 1984. This extract is taken from the Hindi translation "भारत का इतिहास" of the same, translated & published by Naresh Bedi; Page 336:

औरंगज़ेब की धार्मिक नीति 
निष्ठुर और कुटिल राजनीतिज्ञ होने के साथ-साथ औरंगज़ेब धर्मांध मुसलमान भी था और दारा शिकोह पर उसकी विजय एक ऐसी नीति के सूत्रपात की द्योतक थी, जिसके अंतर्गत हिन्दुओं को उनके अधिकारों से वंचित कर दिया गया और शियाओं का दमन किया जाने लगा।  देश के जीवन को रूढ़ इस्लाम के सिद्धांतों की संगति में लाने के लिए औरंगज़ेब ने शिया त्योहारों, शराब, संगीत, नृत्य, चित्रकला और भांग के बोये जाने आदि का निषेध कर दिया।  १६६५ और १६६९ के बीच उसने कई हिन्दू मंदिरों के गिराये जाने और उनके खंडहरों से मस्जिदों का निर्माण किये जाने के आदेश दिए।  

For a more detailed reading on factual clarifications on the distorted versions surrounding Aurangzeb, recommended further reading: Why did Aurangzeb Demolish the Kashi Vishvanath?

Further reading on Tipu Sultan – 

Tyrant of Mysore, Rare Publications; 1st Edition 2013 edition (November 30, 2013),186 pages.  Book Description:

This book is part of a series of books aimed at disseminating the accurate history of India drawn from the primary sources. History writing, especially about the medieval Muslim rule has been fraught with political correctness, controversy, and in several cases, downright falsification. This has occurred mostly with official state patronage. As a result, any attempts to correct this course has been virulently opposed with the result that most urban-educated Indians have now internalized a politically correct version of Indian history.

Sandeep Balakrishna in this well-researched book, explores both the myths and the truth surrounding Tipu Sultan. A must-read for those who wish to learn the true story of Tipu Sultan.