Author Ratan Sharda pointed out that the government of India’s cultural website ‘Know India’ displays an obscene affinity for the Mughals who desecrated and destroyed hundreds of Hindu temples and inflicted thousands of atrocities on native Hindus. Throughout the ‘Medieval India’ segment, a whole page was dedicated to the Mughal rulers, with the opening paragraphs describing the Mughal rule in India as the ‘greatest empire ever’. The detailed report that was presented earlier today on August 23 highlighted the blatant glorification of external invaders and the complete washout of atrocities against Hindus in India committed by those invaders.
The ministry of culture clarified in the afternoon, after much embarrassment on social media, that they do not run the website. Additionally, the ministry clarified that it is working with concerned entities to ‘accurately portray’ the events. Following the outcry by social media users about the sheer incompetence displayed by concerned government staff regarding information about India’s history on a government website, the site now has changed some of the texts regarding the Mughal empire. The entire section that extolled the Mughals and described them as the ‘greatest ever’ has been removed. The current page now displays a list of all Mughal rulers in chronological order.
In the earlier paragraphs, Jehangir was praised as a ‘tolerant’ ruler who loved Hindus, Jews, and Christians. A few factually incorrect and false details about Guru Arjan Dev’s murder have also been eliminated. Since then, the lines glorifying them as rulers of most of India have been removed. Aurangzeb’s glorification has also been largely removed. Yet it is still unclear why all the rulers of the Mughals are mentioned individually while the same is not done for other Hindu empires of India that existed before or during the Mughal rule. No mention of the brutal atrocities perpetrated by the Mughals on India’s cultural, archaeological, and religious treasures is found on the entire page. It is not mentioned how they destroyed hundreds of Hindu temples and converted them into mosques, including the holiest of Hindu shrines.
The entire passage praising Aurangzeb earlier has been simplified into a few sentences. Ignoring the destruction of Hindu temples and daily atrocities committed against Hindus and Sikhs in the hands of the Islamist tyrant, he ducked out. Additionally, he ignored Indian dynasties that ruled before or during the Mughal period. It is nowhere near as elaborate as the descriptions of the Mughals in earlier pages, which mention only briefly the great dynasties of the Pala, Pratihara, Rashtrakuta, and Sena. The reasons behind the Mughal obsession remain a mystery. There is a more detailed discussion of the Cholas. Vijayanagara has also been mentioned.
No mention of Kalinga’s Gajapati empire, no mention of Ahoms, no Bajirao
Strangely, the Know India website does not mention Kalinga’s Gajapati dynasty, which fought Muslim Sultans in medieval India and established a vast empire from the Ganga to the Godavari in the 15th century. While the website emphasizes the Mughals so much, it neglects the fact that the Ahoms under the command of Lachit Borphukan gave them a crushing defeat and stopped the spread of the Mughal empire in Assam. Peshwa Bajirao is not mentioned at all in the brief paragraphs on Marathas or his Hindavi Swaraj, which is described as a ‘small kingdom’.
On all of the pages about the Islamic invasion of India, there isn’t a single mention of how the Islamic invaders looted Hindu temples, razed them to the ground, and forced millions of people to convert. In this book there is no mention of Rajput women committing Jauhar in order to escape Islamic brutality, nor is there any mention of how the Islamic invasion devastated Hindus and Buddhists, or how the Mughals killed Sikh Gurus with utmost brutality. Interestingly, the website refers only to Sikh Gurus as martyrs. It does not mention how or by whom they were killed. This is a good step by the culture ministry to acknowledge the problem. It is always good when the government addresses citizens’ grievances. However, there are other concerns here that need to be addressed as well.