Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them

From Dharmapedia Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Hindu Temples – What Happened to Them
Author Sita Ram Goel
Arun Shourie
Harsh Narain
Jay Dubashi
Ram Swarup
Country India
Language English
Subject Hinduism
Genre Non-fiction
Publication date
1991
ISBN Script error: No such module "template wrapper". (Volume 1)
ISBN 81-85990-03-4 (Volume 2)
OCLC 41002522
LC Class DS422.C64 H562 1998

Hindu Temples – What Happened to Them is a two-volume book by Sita Ram Goel, Arun Shourie, Harsh Narain, Jay Dubashi and Ram Swarup. The first volume was published in the Spring of 1990.

The first volume includes a list of 2,000 mosques that were built on Hindu temples, based primarily on the books of Muslim historians of the period or inscriptions found on mosques. The second volume excerpts from medieval histories and chronicles and from inscriptions concerning the destruction of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples. The authors claim that the material presented in the book as "the tip of an iceberg".

The book contains chapters about the Ayodhya debate. The appendix of the first volume contains a list of temple-destructions and atrocities that the authors claim took place in Bangladesh in 1989. The book also criticizes Marxist historians, and one of the appendices of the second volume includes a questionnaire for "Marxist professors", one of which the authors sent to well-known Indian historian Romila Thapar.

In August 1990, while releasing the book "Hindu Temples – What Happened To Them", Bharatiya Janta Party leader L. K. Advani chided Goel for using "strong language".[1] There were proposals in November 1990 in Uttar Pradesh to ban the book.[2]

Reviews[edit]

Koenraad Elst claimed that "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". Very bad for the negationists, indeed." [1] And Elst further claimed: "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." [2]

Cynthia Talbot in 1995 claimed that Goel's list of destroyed temples is "greatly inflated", but also called for a systematic and unbiased study of the subject, without which it is very difficult to gauge the extent of damage wrought on Indian temples.[3] Cynthia Talbot noted that in the decades after 1565, temple desecration were on the rise in Andhra Pradesh, which is in accord with the dates of temple destructed provided by Goel's list (in Goel's chapter "Let the Mute Witness speak"). Reflecting on Goel's list, Talbot states: "Five date from the fourteenth century (phase one), six come from phase two, and nineteen date from 1565 to 1650 CE (phase three). The remaining thirty or so cases stem from the century after 1650, with a notable bunching of incidents in the late 1600s, when the Mughal empire was absorbing the former Qutb Shahi kingdom of Golconda."[4]

Manini Chatterjee, in a review in the Calcutta Telegraph, called Goel's book a "very bad book".[5] Richard Eaton also criticized the book.[6] Eaton discussed one of the cases in Goel's list of destroyed temples: "an inscription dated 1455, found over the doorway of a tomb-shrine in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh" which mentions "the destruction of a Hindu temple by one Abdullah Shah Changal during the reign of Bhoja, a renowned Paramara king who had ruled over the region from 1010 to 1053". Eaton says that the inscription is "hardly contemporary" and "presents a richly textured legend elaborated over many generations of oral transmission until 1455". He acknowledges that "Goel does, however, consider it more likely that the event took place during the reign of Raja Bhoja II in the late thirteenth century rather than during that of Raja Bhoja I in the eleventh century." Richard Eaton thinks that "we cannot know with certainty" if the temple destruction did take place.[7] Eaton also claimed that Goel has used "selective translations of premodem Persian chronicles, together with a selective use of epigraphic data".[8] According to Vimal Yogi Tiwari, such an historical assessment as in Goel's book "Hindu Temples" has by and large been missing in India.[9]

Goel's book also includes an exchange of comments between Romila Thapar and Goel.[10] Romila Thapar has criticized Goel, claiming that he does not understand how to use historical sources, without actually refuting any of the facts presented by Goel.[11]

In August 1990 while releasing the book "Hindu Temples - What Happened To Them", Bharatiya Janta Party leader L. K. Advani chided Goel for using strong language.[12] Cynthia Talbot believes that Goel's list of destroyed temples is "greatly inflated", but also calls for a systematic and unbiased study of the subject, without which it is very difficult to gauge the extent of damage wrought on Indian temples. [13] Cynthia Talbot noted that in the decades after 1565 temple desecration were on the rise in Andhra Pradesh, which is in accord with the dates in Goel's list of temple destructions (in Goel's chapter "Let the Mute Witness speak"). Reflecting on Goel's list, she says: "Five date from the fourteenth century (phase one), six come from phase two, and nineteen date from 1565 to 1650 CE (phase three). The remaining thirty or so cases stem from the century after 1650, with a notable bunching of incidents in the late 1600s, when the Mughal empire was absorbing the former Qutb Shahi Kingdom of Golkonda."[14]

Contents Volume 1[edit]

  • Contents
  • Second Preface
  • First Preface
I
  • 1. Hideaway Communalism
  • 2. The Tip of An Iceberg
  • 3. Some Historical Questions
  • 4. In the Name of Religion
  • 5. A Need to Face the Truth
  • 6. Let the Mute Witnesses Speak
  • 7. Destruction of temples in Bangladesh
II
  • 8. Rama-Janmabhumi Temple Muslim Testimony
  • 9. Ram Janmabhoomi : some more evidence
  • 10. The Ayodhya debate
  • 11. Summary of the Ram Janmabhoomi evidence
  • 12. Takeover from the experts
  • 13. Not impartial (B.B. Lal)
III
  • 14. In the name of history
  • 15. Visakha, Saketa or Ajudhya (Alexander Cunnigham)
  • 16. Party line history writing
  • 17. Historians Versus History
  • 18. History of India putting the record straight
  • 19. What the invaders really did
  • November 9 Will Change History
  • From Shilanyas to Berlin Wall
  • Appendix

Contents Volume 2[edit]

  • Preface
  • Section I
  • THE TIP OF AN ICEBERG
  • Section II
  • SUPPRESSIO VERI SUGGESTIO FAWI
    • 4. The Marxist Historians
    • 5. Spreading the Big Lie
  • Section III
  • FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH
    • 6. The Epigraphic Evidence
    • 7. The Literary Evidence
    • 8. Summing up
  • Section IV
  • ISLAMIC THEOLOGY OF ICONOCLASM
    • 9. Theology of Monotheism
    • 10. The Pre-Islamic Arabs
    • 11. Religion of Pagan Arabia
    • 12. Monotheism Spreads to Arabia
    • 13. Meaning of Monotheism
    • 14. The Bible Appears in Arabic
    • 15. Muhammad and the Meccans
    • 16. The Prophet Destroys Pagan Temples
  • Section V
  • APPENDICES
    • 1. Muslim Dynasties in India’s History
    • 2. Was the Ka‘ba a Šiva Temple?
    • 3. Meaning of the Word “Hindu”
    • 4. Questionnaire for the Marxist Professors 408
  • Bibliography

See also[edit]

Extracts[edit]

  • Shykh ‘Abû Bakr Tûsî Haidarî (Thirteenth Century AD). He was a qalandar (anchorite) of the Haidarî sect founded by a Turk named Haidar, who lived in Sawa in Kuhistan. His disciples migrated into India when the Mongols sacked their homeland. Delhi .“The most prominent Indian Haidari was Shaikh Abu Bakr Tusi Haidari, who settled in Delhi in the mid-thirteenth century. There he demolished a temple on a site on the banks of the Jamna where he built a khanqah and organized sama gathering. Shaikh Nizamu’d-Din Auliya’ was a frequent visitor of Abu Bakr as was Shaikh Jamalu’d-Din of Hansi when he was in Delhi. The latter gave Shaikh Abu Bakr the title Baz-i Safid (White Falcon) symbolizing his rare mystical achievements.”
  • Sufi Qãyim Shãh “Qayim Shah… came here from Hindustan. He was the cause for the destruction of twelve temples. He lived to an old age and passed away on the 17th Safar AH 1193.”
  • Sufi Nûr Muhammad Qãdirî. Vellore (Tamil Nadu) “Hazarat Nur Muhammad Qadiri was the most unique man regarded as an invaluable person of his age. Very often he was the cause of the ruin of temples. Some of these were laid waste. He selected his own burial ground in the vicinity of the temple. Although he lived five hundred years ago, people at large still remember his greatness.”
  • “…Originally there were five domes in the liwan all compiled of Hindu fragments, as is evident from their corbelled interiors…
  • Allãh of the Qur’ãn now throws away the mask he has worn in order to pass as Allãh of the pagan Arabs. He comes out in his true colours. He is no other than the old Jehovah of the Bible, the hardened gangster we have met in the earlier section. And like his earlier incarnation, he, too, is a denizen of the dark depths in human nature. Only the situation in which Jehovah alias Allãh intends to operate this time is totally different. (Vol II)
  • Meanwhile, the Stalinist "historians" led by Romila Thapar and S. Goapl (son of the late President of India, Dr. Radhakrishanan) had jumped into the fray. A letter written by this gang had been published in The Times of India, New Delhi, on 2 October 1986 accusing the daily of "giving a communal twist to news items and even editorial comments". The "provocation" for their outburst had been provided by two photos which had been front-paged by the newspapers in August and September, 1986. The first photo was of two stones from the Kutub Minar at Delhi depicting defaced carvings of Hindu deities. The editorial comment had said that the stones were found with their faces turned inwards during repairs of a wall of the Minar. The second photo was that of Aurangzeb's Idgah on the Katra Mound at Mathura standing on the site and built with the rubble of a pre-existing Kesavadeva Temple. The editorial comment was that a Committee had been formed at Mathura for the liberation of Srikrishnajanmabhumi. I was told that the photos had been displayed by Arun Shoruie who had joined The Times of India a few month earlier to take over as Chief Editor from Girilal lain who had decided to retire soon. His appointment had been -approved by Girilal lain as lain himself told me.
  • The Stalinists had proclaimed that the Kesavadeva Temple which had been destroyed by Aurangzeb for rich booty as well as for being a centre of Hindu rebellions, was built at first during the reign of Jahangir and occupied the site of a Buddhist monastery destroyed by Hindus. They had questioned the historicity of Sri Krishna and Sri Rama and contended that, according to a Persian text, the Babri Masjid did not occupy the site of a pre-existing Rama Temple. At the same time, they had accused Hindus of having destroyed Buddhist and lain monuments and pre-Hindu animist shrines. The letter was in keeping with the concocted history which the Stalinists had been selling for quite some time through the Indian History Congress, the Indian Council of Historical Research, and the National Council of Educational.Research and Training, all of which they had come to control progressively during the period of dominance by the Soviet stooge, Pandit ]awaharlal Nehru, and his daughter Indira Gandhi. Pandit Nehru had gone further and rewritten the history of medieval India in both his Glimpses of World HistorY and The Discovery of India. Several Hindu scholars, including myself, wrote letters to The Times of India refuting the Stalinist canards, A to Z. But Girilal lain refused to publish them, and thus let the Stalinist accusation stand that The Times of India had become a mouthpiece of 'Hindu communalism'. I visited Arun Shourie in his office at the newspaper to find out why our letters had been held up. He told me that he had been sidelined and no work was being sent to his desk any longer. A few days later it was announced in the newspaper that Dilip Padgaonkar, a Hindu-baiter to boot, had been promoted to as the Executive Editor of The Times of India. The rumour went round that Padgaonkar and not Arun Shourie was going to succeed Girilal lain. The rest is history. Fortunately for Hindus, Arun Shourie had meanwhile received an offer to take over as Editor-in-chief of the Indian Express, and joined it after resigning from The Times of India.
  • I was busy putting together the material when I saw the Indian Express of 5 February 1989 carrying an article by Arun Shourie-'Hideaway Communalism'. It told the story of how a book written in Arabic and Urdu by a rector of the adawatul-Ulama at Lucknow mentioned several historical mosques which had replaced pre-existing Hindu temples, and how the references to this replacement had been omitted in the English translation of the same book published by the rector's son, Ali Mian, the present rector and Chairman of the Muslim Personal Law Board. Arun Shourie's article in a major newspaper was the first of its kind after a long time. It had violated a taboo placed by the mass media and the academia on any unfavourable narration of the history of Islam since the days when Mahatma Gandhi took command of the Indian National Congress and launched his first no-cooperation movement in support of the Turkish Khilafat. The correct thing since that time had been to praise Islam and its heroes, and not to ask any inconvenient questions about its belief system or its deeds or its goals. In fact, Islam had imposed an Emergency on India and enforced it by means of terror, verbal as well as physical. Hindus were free to praise Islam but if they asked any inconvenient questions, they invited not only swear- words form all respectable quarters but also the assassin's dagger.

Shahabuddin went on shifting his ground and indulging in a lot of casuistry in a series of letters published in the Indian Express in response to the evidence provided by Dr. Harsh arain and A.K. Chatterjee. Now he asked for evidence from Babar's own time. Hindu scholars, I could see, had walked into a trap-Muslims and Stalinists demanding more and more evidence about a pre-existing Rama Temple and even about the historicity of Sri Rama, and Hindus coming forward with it. It was clear that no amount of evidence could ever satisfy the likes of Shahabuddin and the Stalinist gang. They were playing a well calculated game of keeping Hindus on the defensive, reserving for themselves the right to ask any number of fraudulent questions and making it obligatory for Hindus to go on providing the answers. I, therefore, decided to shift the focus from Ayodhya and revert to what I had done earlier in my articles-marshalling evidence of large-scale slamic iconoclasm inspired by a belief system. I put together whatever evidence I had collected about Muslim monuments standing on the site and or built with the materials of Hindu temples, all over India. From my point of view it was a very small list-only the tip of an iceberg. But it proved formidable for the Shahabuddins and the Stalinists. I had just completed this article when A. Ghosh (Houston, Texas, USA) sent to me a list of Hindu temples and monasteries destroyed or desecrated by Muslim mobs in Bangladesh in October-November 1989 as a reaction to the hila Puja Yatra and Shilanyasa ceremony from September 30 to November 1989 performed by the VHP. Hindus were molested, even killed and their properties destroyed on some scale all over Bangladesh.

    • Second Preface, Volume I
  • A court order in 1986 threw open for Hindu worship the gates of the temple-turned-mosque at the Rãmajanmabhûmi at Ayodhya. Hindus were overjoyed, and started looking forward to the coming up of a grand Rãma Mandir at the sacred site. But they were counting without the stalwarts of Secularism in the Nehruvian establishment. It was not long before a hysterical cry was heard – “Secularism in danger!”
    • Preface, Volume II
  • It is intriguing that the Marxist professors never mention the destruction of Buddhist and Jain establishments in Transoxiana, Sinkiang, Seistan and India which on the eve of the Islamic invasion included present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Every historian and archaeologist of that period knows that the vast Buddhist and Jain establishments at Bukhara, Samarkand, Khotan, Balkh, Bamian, Begram, Jalalabad, Peshawar, Takshasila, Mirpur-Khas, Nagar-Parkar, Sringar, Sialkot, Agroha, Mathura, Hastinapur, Kanauj, Sravasti, Ayodhya, Sarnath, Nalanda, Vikramsila, Vaishali, Rajgir, Odantpuri, Bharhut, Paharpur, Jagaddala, Jajnagar, Nagarjunikonda, Amaravati, Kanchi, Dwarasamudra, Bharuch Valabhi, Palitana, Girnar, Patan, Jalor, Chandrawati, Bhinmal, Didwana, Nagaur, Osian, Bairat, Gwalior and Mandu were destroyed by the swordsmen of Islam. Smaller establishments of these faiths, which met the same fate, add up to several hundred.

References[edit]

  1. Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 9
  2. "Ayodhya and After - Chapter 12 - Book Banning". Koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-18. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Cynthia Talbot. Inscribing the Other,Inscribing the Self:Hindu-Muslim Identities in Pre-Colonial India. Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol.37, No.4 (Oct. 1995).
  4. Cynthia Talbot. Inscribing the Other,Inscribing the Self:Hindu-Muslim Identities in Pre-Colonial India. Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol.37,No.4 (Oct. 1995).
  5. Manini Chatterjee, review in the Calcutta Telegraph (ca. 30-1-1991). Koenraad Elst Who is a Hindu? (2001)
  6. Richard Eaton: "Temple desecration and Indo-Muslim states", Essays on Islam and Indian History. Chapter Six
  7. Richard Eaton: "Temple desecration and Indo-Muslim states", Essays on Islam and Indian History. Chapter Six
  8. Richard Eaton: "Temple desecration and Indo-Muslim states", Essays on Islam and Indian History. Chapter Six
  9. Review by Vimal Yogi Tiwari in the Pioneer. Elst, Koenraad, Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
  10. Appendix 4 of "Hindu Temples – What Happened to Them"
  11. Romila Thapar et al.: Communalism in the Waiting of Indian History, People's Publishing House, Delhi 1987 (1969), pp. 15–16, and repeated in her letter to Mr. Manish Tayal (UK), 7-2-1999, concerning Arun Shourie: Eminent Historians, ASA, Delhi 1998. Manish Tayal: "Romila Thapar's reply to 'Eminent Historians'", 16-2-1999. "Koenraad Elst Who is a Hindu? (2001)
  12. Goel, Sita Ram, "How I became a Hindu", Chapter 9
  13. Cynthia Talbot. Inscribing the Other,Inscribing the Self:Hindu-Muslim Identities in Pre-Colonial India. Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol.37,No.4 (Oct. 1995).
  14. Cynthia Talbot. Inscribing the Other,Inscribing the Self:Hindu-Muslim Identities in Pre-Colonial India. Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol.37,No.4 (Oct. 1995).
  • Sharda does mention Sita Ram Goel’s book Hindu Temples, What Happened to Them as the key to the Ayodhya affair (p.79 ff.).. But he does not go into Goel’s actual message: that Muslim rulers not only destroyed Hindu temples (that much is well-established, and his list of destroyed temples has often been denounced but never challenged) but did so as an implementation of Islamic doctrine. Plenty of Hindu ideologues acknowledge the fact of the destruction but give the soothing explanation that “some Muslims have misinterpreted the true, tolerant Islam as envisaged by its founder”. Goel upsets that sweet illusion. It is not just the secularists who ought to be shaken out of their false beliefs, but also the official Hindu movement. The RSS has accused really existing Muslims of misconduct but keeps on flattering Islam. Koenraad Elst, On Modi Time : Merits And Flaws of Hindu Activism In Its Day Of Incumbency – 2015 Ratan Sharda’s Secrets of the RSS. Demystifying the Sangh (Vishva Adhyayan Kendra, Mumbai, first edition 2011, second edition 2014).

External links[edit]

  • Online version:
---Volume 1 First Edition (There is also a second revised and enlarged edition.[1] The online version is the first edition.)
---Volume 2 Second Enlarged Edition