With some modern-day ‘historian’ attempting to resurrect the tyrant Aurangzeb as a benevolent ruler, and castigating anyone who tries to counter her lies as a ‘Sanghi bigot’, lets look at what some ‘secular’ sources have to say about the Mughal emperor –
1. Encyclopædia Britannica
“Aurangzeb deliberately reversed the policy of his predecessors toward non-Muslim subjects by trying to enforce the principles and practices of the Islamic state. He reimposed the jizyah on non-Muslims and saddled them with religious, social, and legal disabilities. To begin with, he forbade their building new temples and repairing old ones.
Next, he issued orders to demolish all the schools and temples of the Hindus and to put down their teaching and religious practices. He doubled the customs duties on the Hindus and abolished them altogether in the case of Muslims. He granted stipends and gifts to converts from Hinduism and offered them posts in public service, liberation from prison in the case of convicted criminals, and succession of disputed estates.”
Note: Wikipedia has a page named Errors in the Encyclopædia Britannica that have been corrected in Wikipedia, and that page has no mention of Aurangzeb, meaning Wikipedia did not find any error in the above depiction of Aurangzeb
A ‘Secular’ question: Who was responsible for the brutal execution of Sambhaji Bhosale (14 May 1657 – 11 March 1689) andGuru Tegh Bahadur (1 April 1621 – 11 November 1675)?
2. National Geographic – ‘PEAKS OF BRUTALITY’
In this rendering of history’s most lethal periods highlighting the 100 deadliest events of the past 2,500 years, based on work by researcher and author Matthew White, Aurangzeb is listed at number 23, responsible for 4.5 million deaths from 1658-1701.
3. Oxford Islamic Studies
“Aurangzeb Sixth emperor of Mughal India (r. 1658 – 1707 ) at the height of Mughal power and wealth
His policies of military expansion and Islamic orthodoxy undermined the effects of his father Shah Jahan ‘s diplomacy and his brother Dara Shukoh ‘s attempted reconciliation of the monotheistic religions. His strict construction of Islamic government alienated non-Muslim nobles, stultified Mughal culture, and inspired temple destruction and discriminatory taxation. Constant warfare, failure against the southern Marathas, and his distance from his northern officials weakened Mughal unity. Aurangzeb’s legacy to India was factionalism, sectarianism, decentralization, and vulnerability to European encroachment.”
4. British Library
“Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (r.1659-1707) ordered the construction of the red sandstone mosque for the celebration of the Muslim festival of Id [Idgah] in 1670. The mosque was built on the site of an earlier temple, Keshava Deva. Mathura, on the banks of the river Yamuna 150 kms south of Delhi, is a sacred city for Hindus.”
5. Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan-
“The Kesava Deo temple in Mathura, marked the place that Hindus believe was the birthplace of Shri Krishna. In 1661 Aurangzeb ordered the demolition of the temple, and constructed the Katra Masjid mosque. Traces of the ancient Hindu temple can be seen from the back of the mosque. Aurangzeb also destroyed what was the most famous temple in Varanasi- the Vishwanath Temple. The temple had changed its location over the years, but in 1585 Akbar had authorised its location at Gyan Vapi. Aurangzeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constructed a mosque on the site, whose minarets stand 71 metres above the Ganges. Traces of the old temple can be seen behind the mosque. Centuries later, emotional debate about these wanton acts of cultural desecration continues. Aurangzeb also destroyed the Somnath temple in 1706.”
Even sources, as listed below, which try to soften Aurangzeb’s image and manufacture a theory that his destruction of temples was driven by political considerations, are forced to admit elements of his religious bigotry –
6. University of California, Los Angeles
“But he was at the outset faced with one problem, namely that the treatment he had meted out to his own father, subjecting him to imprisonment, was scarcely consistent with the image he sought to present of himself as a true believer of the faith.
From the standpoint of Aurangzeb’s Hindu subjects, the real impact of his policies may have started to have been felt in 1668-69. Hindu religious fairs were outlawed in 1668, and an edict of the following year prohibited construction of Hindu temples as well as the repair of old ones.
In 1679, Aurangzeb went so far as to reimpose, contrary to the advice of many of his court nobles and theologians, the jiziya or graduated property tax on non-Hindus, and according to one historical source, elephants were deployed to crush the resistance in the area surrounding the Red Fort of Hindus who refused to submit to jiziya collectors. The historian John F. Richards opines, quite candidly, that “Aurangzeb’s ultimate aim was conversion of non-Muslims to Islam. Whenever possible the emperor gave out robes of honor, cash gifts, and promotions to converts. It quickly became known that conversion was a sure way to the emperor’s favor” (p. 177).”
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