Earlier today, author Ratan Sharda had highlighted how the government of India’s cultural website ‘Know India’ (knowindia.gov.in) displays an obscene and outrageous affinity for the Mughal invaders who had desecrated, destroyed hundreds of Hindu temples and had inflicted innumerable atrocities on native Hindus of the land.
An entire page of the ‘Medieval India’ segment was dedicated to the Mughal rulers, with the opening paras describing the Mughal rule in India as the “greatest empire ever”. Our detailed report earlier today on August 23 had highlighted the blatant glorification of external invaders and the complete whitewashing of their atrocities on the Hindus of India.
After much embarrassment on social media, the ministry of culture clarified in the afternoon that they do not run the website. The ministry further clarified that they are working with concerned entities to ‘accurately portray’ the events.
It is notable here that after the outrage by social media users about the sheer incompetency displayed by concerned government staffers regarding information about India’s history in a government website, the website now has changed some of the texts regarding the Mughal empire.
The entire section that praised the Mughals to the heavens and glorified them as “greatest ever” has now been removed. The current page now displays a brief summary of all Mughal rulers chronologically.
The earlier paragraphs singling glory of Jehangir as a “tolerant” ruler who loved Hindus, Jews and Christians have been removed. The false and factually incorrect details of the brutal murder of Sikh Guru Arjan Dev has also been removed. Subsequently, the lines falsely glorifying them as rulers of most of India have been removed.
The glorification of Aurangzeb has been mostly removed too. But it is still not understood why the Mughals get a full mention of all their rulers individually while the same courtesy has not been extended to other Hindu empires of India that existed before, or during the Mughal rule.
On the entire page, there is still not a single mention of the brutal atrocities inflicted by Mughals on the cultural, archaeological and religious wealth of India. There is no mention of how they destroyed hundreds of Hindu temples, including the holiest of Hindu shrines and converted them to mosques. No mention of how Islamic invaders plundered and looted Hindu temples.
Here is the entire para glorifying Aurangzeb earlier that has now been reduced to a brief 2-3 sentences. It had no mention of how the Islamist tyrant had destroyed Hindu temples and inflicted atrocities on Hindus and Sikhs alike.
Indic dynasties that ruled before or during Mughal rule ignored
In earlier pages, the great rulers of the Pala, Pratihara, Rashtrakuta and Sena dynasties only find very brief mentions, nowhere near the elaborate detailing that the Mughals have got. The reasons behind the Mughal obsession are still unknown.
The Cholas find a slightly more detailed mention. Vijayanagara has been mentioned too.
No mention of Kalinga’s Gajapati empire, no mention of Ahoms, no Bajirao
Strangely, the Know India website has no mention of Kalinga’s Gajapati dynasty that bravely fought Muslim Sultans of medieval India and established a vast empire from Ganga to the Godavari in the 15th century.
The website focuses so much on Mughals but doesn’t mention how the Ahoms under the command of Lachit Borphukan gave them a crushing defeat and halted the spread of the Mughal empire in Assam.
Even the brief paragraphs about Marathas and the mention of Shivaji’s Hindavi Swaraj as a “small kingdom” has no mention of the conquests of Peshwa Bajirao.
In all the pages about the Islamic invasion of India, there is not a single mention of how the Islamic invaders looted Hindu temples, razed them to the ground and forcefully converted millions of people. There is not a single mention of Rajput women committing Jauhar to escape from Islamic brutalities, nor a single mention of how the Islamic invasion wreaked havoc on the Hindus and Buddhists, or how the Mughals killed Sikh Gurus with utmost brutality.
Curiously, the website only mentions Sikh Gurus were ‘martyred’. It does not say how or by whom they were killed.
The culture ministry has done well to acknowledge the problem, it is always good when the government addresses the grievances of their citizens. At the same time, one hopes that the other concerns raised here will be addressed too.