We have often been told that Islamic rule over Bharat lasted 800 years. In his article, Sanjeev Nayyar explains how this myth has been propagated by reviewing Bharat’s history from the eighth to the nineteenth century. In its Heroic Hindu Resistance series, HinduPost highlighted the stiff resistance put up by Hindu rulers that ensured Islamic invaders were kept away from overrunning Bharat as they did in other nations.
The Arab naval expeditions to Thana, Broach, and Sindh, ended in failures. Another Arab expedition was sent to Sindh in 712 CE. Despite the extraordinary courage displayed by Raja Dahir’s son and queens, the unequal contest could not last long and the entire Sindh, including Multan, passed into the hands of Muslims by 713 CE.
It must be noted that it took seven decades of relentless efforts on the part of Arabs to merely secure a foothold in Sindh. Despite centuries of invasions, their rule was confined to the two petty states of Multan and Mansurah. Hindu power was revived in Sindh in 715 CE by Rai Jaisiah, who returned from Brahmanabad.
The resistance by Nagabhata I Pratihara and Avanijanashraya Pulakesin Chalukya stopped the victory march of the marauding Arab armies. He put in his entire might, and in the fierce battle that ensued, Pulakesin emerged victorious and destroyed the Arab forces so much so that the Arabs lost all the regions they had conquered over the years.
“Except within areas where Turkish armies operated, the India of the age belonged to the heroes of the resistance. Outside this area lay large parts of North India and the whole of the South-in fact three-fourths of the country where India followed its unbroken way of life”, opines KM Munshi about the period 1000-1300 CE.
After Raja Suheldev’s victory over the army of Ghazni’s nephew Masud in 1033, Islamic invaders did not set foot on Bharat for the next one and half centuries. The South was firmly in the grip of dynasties such as the Cholas, who extended Hindu rule to Ceylon and South-East Asia.
“The popular notion that after the conquest of M Ghori, India formed a Muslim Empire under various dynasties is hardly borne out by facts. It was ‘Ala-ud-din Khilji who established Muslim suzerainty over nearly the whole of India for the first time. But his actual sovereignty did not extend beyond the Vindhyas, save in the Western Deccan during the last three years of his rule”, says Dr. RC Majumdar.
Kakatiya ruler Prataparudra II routed the Muslim armies of Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316) during its first attempt to capture Warangal in 1302-1303 CE. There was a revival of Hindu power in the South by 1335, according to Nayyar, regarding the period 1300-1526.
The period 1526-1707 CE saw the Mughals establish their power over almost the whole of Bharat. At the beginning of this period, the Rajputs in the north, the Deccan sultanates, and the Hindu Vijayanagar empire played a prominent role in Bharat’s history alongside the Mughals. The Marathas and Sikhs rose to prominence towards the end of this period, coinciding with the decline of the Mughals.
It was effectively only during the Mughal period from Akbar to Aurangzeb that the Muslim rule extended over most of Bharat. This is merely 151 years. However, it must be remembered that even during this period, the Marathas and Vijayanagara kingdoms, among others maintained their independent principalities.
The Muslim rule was confined to the Bharatiya sub-continent’s Urdu-speaking areas, known as Hindustan. The myth of 800-year Muslim rule over Bharat originates in the Muslim domination over the Urdu-speaking areas (probably Delhi and adjoining areas).
It is, therefore, safe to conclude that the Islamic invaders could never overrun the whole of Bharat in the face of brave Hindu resistance.
(Featured Image Source: Newslaundry)