BOOKMARK - BOOK REVIEWS
Secular historians only supress and distort
By M.V. Kamath
Long March of Islam: The Future Imperfect, by R.L. Ohri, Manas Publications, Delhi, pages 438, Rs 695.00
ONE of the saddest tragedies about Indian historians is their utter refusal to see history, especially Islamic history, as it is, with unblinkered eyes. In part, this may be attributed to ignorance; but the truth is that our historians are afraid to look Islamic history in the eye and report what they have seen, lest they give offence to their Muslim friends.
This is as much true of Romilla Thapar as of many others. Ms Thapar recently went even to the extent of defending Ghazni Mohammad´s ransacking of Somath and made it look like an invented story!
The historic background he provides is frightening enough. His study of demographic changes in India with Muslims increasingly turning into a majority in key districts in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh calls for attention.
The author of this book, R.K. Ohri quotes Dr B.R. Ambedkar as saying that Ghazni Mohammad “not only destroyed temples but made it a policy to make slaves of Hindus conquered.” Ohri further quotes Dr Titus, a well-known historian, as recording thus: “Mahmud seems to have made the slaughter of infidels, the destruction of their temples, the capturing of slaves and the plundering of wealth, the main objects of his raids. On the occasion of his first raid he is said to have taken half a million Hindus, ‘beautiful men and women’ who were reduced to slavery and taken back to Ghazni.”
Ohri quotes the Encyclopaedia Britannica as mentioning that “Mughal Emperor Akbar ordered the massacre of nearly 30,000 captured Rajput Hindus on February 24, a.d. 1568 after the battle of Chittor, a number confirmed by Abul Fazl, Akbar´s court historian.”
That may well be, but tell that to our secular historians and they will see red. Islam can do wrong; Muslims are our brothers and never mind if our ‘brothers’ across the border teach their children the ideology of jihad against the infidels, and the Pakistani Army and the ISI have been playing a pivotal role in promoting radical Islam by training thousands of jihadis to destabilise India through terror tactics. Writes Ohri: “The consequences of Islamic militancy for the civil society, especially the future generations, could be very damaging. It is infinitely more dangerous and deeply rooted than the Nazi ideology or communism, neither of which had the support of a religion-based one billion strong following across the globe.”
Ohri is no run-of-the-mill ‘communalist’ as he is very likely to be described by our secularist. He is a high retired officer of the Indian Police Service and had taught at the Internal Security Academy of the Central Police Force besides being associated with the Bureau of Police Research and Development. Not only has he inside knowledge of what is going on in India and the world, he is, in his own way, a scholar who can´t be easily dismissed. In this book he tears the veil of hypocrisy towards jihadis and Islamic militants with a clarity that is frightening. The historic background he provides is frightening enough. His study of demographic changes in India with Muslims increasingly turning into a majority in key districts in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh calls for attention. He claims that within the Indian Union the growth rate of Muslims is nearly one-and-a-half-times higher than that of the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists counted together. As he put it: “In India the presence of three crore Bangla Muslims and their progeny could act as a trigger for the balkanisation of the country, perhaps starting with certain districts in Assam and West Bengal.” The statement is supported with facts and figures from the Census. But is there anything to be frightened about that? Yes, says Ohri. “The Muslims are not bound by the concept of loyalty to their motherland. Their only loyalty is to their religion and ‘ummah’.”
The prospects are that nobody will listen to Ohri. In all likelihood he will be damned as fascist, a saffronite and a vicious communalist—and that would be the end of that. What Ohri reveals about Islamic terrorism and Pakistan, its sponsor, needs to be read carefully by every policy maker in India and abroad. “It was astounding that the Americans did not know that only a fundamentalist state like Pakistan, born out of the unremitting hatred of the infidels, alone could act as a legitimate midwife to the birth of Islamic terror”, says Ohri. But why blame the stupid Americans alone? What about the editors of some of our English newspapers who refuse to see the truth when it stares them in their face? Ohri is sometimes repetitive but that is perhaps because he wants to emphasise the truth about Islamic terrorism.
This is a book which must be must reading for our secularists, our MPs and MLAs and leaders of various ‘secular’ parties. If their minds are not clouded, they still might learn a thing or two about Islamic terrorism.
(Manas Publications, 4858 Prahlad Street, 24 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002.)