Just one look at the Idgãh, built in Mathura, is sufficient. It shows a mosque standing side by side a Hindu temple. The viewer gets an idea that it has been forcefully constructed over a Hindu temple.
But then, sometimes looks can be deceptive. Maybe it is a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity! The syncretic Indian culture! Are the Hindus of India trying to usurp a mosque by lying? Auragzeb destroyed the Krishna temple and built this mosque, they claim. Let us try to find out.
The current battle to reclaim Krishna Janmabhoomi is not a new one. Just like the Ramjanmabhoomi case, it is centuries old. The citizens would have solved the Ayodhya issue amicably, but for leftist Historians. They have been playing a similar role in Krishna Janmabhoomi case also.
For brevity, we will stick to recent history. It was September 15, 1986. A news appeared in “The Times of India”. The headline was, “Krishna’s Birthplace after Aurangzeb”. It stated that some prominent citizens of Mathura have formed a committee. And, the purpose of committee is to liberate the temple. The traditional name of the temple is Dera Keshav Rai temple. It was a front page story. Moreover, the newspaper published a photograph of the temple and mosque.
The letter from “eminent” historian
Readers of the newspaper congratulated the editor for being bold enough to carry the story. But, some readers opined that the news item was “communal” in nature. Soon enough, the editor received a letter from “eminent” historians of that time.
Romila Thapar, Muzaffar Alam, Bipan Chandra, R. Champaka Lakshmi, S. Bhattacharya, H. Mukhia, Suvira Jaiswal, S. Ratnagar, M.K. Palat, Satish Saberwal, S. Gopal and Mridula Mukherjee were signatories to the letter.
The readers should bear in mind that they use the same tactic even today. Some persons decide to raise a hue and cry. They draft a letter or a petition. Then, they ask some juniors to sign the letter in order to inflate the numbers. Anyway, let us get back to their letter.
The first paragraph was:-
Sir, We have noted with growing concern a recent tendency in The Times of India to give a communal twist to news items and even to editorial comments. An example of this is a report from Mathura dated 15 September and entitled, “Krishna’s Birthplace after Aurangzeb.” It evoked considerable correspondence some of which, as could be expected, was markedly communal in tone.
Significance of the site
Note the ex-cathedra tone. Also note that they are using the term “communal” in a derogatory tone. But, it is the second paragraph that is more interesting.
Your readers should know that historical analysis and interpretations involve more than a mere listing of dates with an eye to pious sentiments. The Dera Keshava Rai temple was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo Bundela during Jahangir’s reign.
They are trying to throw their weight around, in the first sentence. Whereas, the import of the second sentence is more significant. They are trying to create a secular image of Jahangir. Moreover, they are implying that it was just a 3-4 centuries old temple. Therefore, it could not have been Krishna Janmabhoomi.
The truth is otherwise. Numerous evidences support that a temple dedicated to Krishna existed for thousands. These evidences are centuries old. An inscription of SvãmîMahãkSatrapaŠoDãsa recovered in 1913 testifies that a temple dedicated to Vãsudeva existed at Mathura in the first century BC. There are more than two dozen epigraphic evidences for existence of Keshav Rai temple at that site. It is just like the case of RamJanmabhoomi.
The filter of Financial motive
Marxist historians use many filters to sanitize Islamic bigotry of Muslim kings. One of those filters is “the motive was financial”. Their objective is to shift the blame from Islamic theology, onto mundane objectives. They further write in their letter:-
This large temple soon became extremely popular and acquired considerable wealth. Aurangzeb had this temple destroyed, took the wealth as booty and built an Idgah on the site.
They are accepting that Aurangzeb destroyed the temple but his objective was financial. In other words, it had nothing to do with religious bigotry or Islamic Jihãd. Unfortunately for them, Aurangzeb has left his own records for us.
Truth from the horse’s mouth
For this, we will look at the Akhbãrãt of Aurangzeb’s reign.
During this month of Ramzan abounding in miracles, the Emperor as the promoter of justice and overthrower of mischief, as a knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet, issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated in Mathura, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rai. In a short time by the great exertions of his officers, the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum. This temple of folly was built by that gross idiot Birsingh Deo Bundela. Before his accession to thethrone, the Emperor Jahangir was displeased with Shaikh Abul Fazl.
This infidel became a royal favourite by slaying him, and after Jahangir’s accession was rewarded for this service with the permission to build the temple, which he did at an expense of thirty-three lakhs of rupees.Maasir-i-Alamgiri trans. by Sir Jadunath Sarkar, p 60
Aurangzeb transports idols – throws them under steps of mosque
Next paragraph from the Mughal documents is even more revealing:-
Praised be the august God of the faith of Islam, that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence, such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing this instance of the strength of the Emperor’s faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled, and in amazement they stood like images facing the wall. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels, which had been set up in the temple, were brought to Agra, and buried under the steps of the mosque of the Begam Sahib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad.Maasir-i-Alamgiri trans. by Sir Jadunath Sarkar, p 60
Had Aurangzeb demolished the temple due to financial reasons, the idols would not have transported to Agra. Which financial motive was Aurangzeb achieving by putting the idols under the steps of a mosque? It was an act of hatred for Hindu traditions. This single fact is sufficient to expose claims of historians who have held our country to ransom.
Next they stated in their letter that:-
His (Aurangzeb’s) actions might have been politically motivated as well, for at the time when the temple was destroyed he faced problems with the Bundelas as well as Jat rebellions in the Mathura region.
Again, a very smart ploy. A layman would swallow this bait – hook, line and sinker. Destroying the temple of a political opponent can be termed pragmatism. Especially, if he belongs to a different religion. Although it is an absolutely non-Hindu trait.
The problem with this argument is that there were many Muslims who rebelled against Aurangzeb. But, Aurangzeb did not demolish any mosque although there were many wealthy mosques.
Also, there was no Bundela rebellion at that time. Shah Jahan had destroyed the first Bundela rebellion in 1635. He killed Bundela prince Jujhar Singh and abducted his wives. Shah Jahan inducted these women into his harem. Champat Rai, the leader of second Bundela rebellion committed suicide in 1661, culminating the rebellion. Thus, there was no Bundela rebellion in 1670.
The Jat rebellion started when Aurangzeb issued the firman to destroy temples and not the other way round. The firman from Aurangzeb incensed the Jãts, in and around Mathura. The Jãts decided to revolt against the Mughal rule. Therefore, it is a classic case in which, the “eminent historians” have put the cart ahead of the horse.
And in this article we have assessed just one paragraph of these historians. In next part we will discuss more on the subject.