Thursday, 18 August, 2022
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Yogi Adityanath’s Mughal hatred based on Jizya. But BJP has many modern versions for Muslims

Being anti-Mughal in today’s politics is euphemism for anti-Muslim sentiment. It has little to do with either history or Yogi Adityanath’s understanding of it.

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After renaming Allahabad to Prayagraj, Faizabad to Ayodhya, Mughalsarai Junction to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction, and then, Agra Airport to Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Airport, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has found a new ‘target’. Driven by a compulsive need to rename ‘Muslim-sounding places’ to something that sounds more ‘Hindu’, Adityanath set his eyes on an under-construction Mughal museum in Agra that was envisioned by his predecessor Akhilesh Yadav.

This has very little to do with either history or Yogi Adityanath’s understanding of it. Being anti-Mughal in today’s politics is a dog-whistle and euphemism for anti-Muslim sentiment.

But obviously, the hate for Mughals is deeply rooted in Yogi’s “Babur ki Aulad” politics, which evidently needs to be upped, now that the UP assembly election is less than two years away.

Agra’s Mughal museum, now proposed to be turned into Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum, is just another example showcasing how Adityanath doesn’t consider Mughals as part of Indian history. It is ironic because Mughal history is deeply rooted in his state — for over 90 years, Agra was the capital city of Mughals, from 1560 to 1650.

The problem is convenient political conflating of Muslim invaders with settled Mughal rule. Perhaps, the greatest development feat of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is to have the Ram Mandir built in their tenure. And Adityanath continues to ride the same wave of saffron politics, by insisting that nothing ‘Mughal’ can be celebrated in his state because they are a symbol of “the mentality of slavery”. But how true is that?

Also read: Akhilesh Yadav’s politics has fallen silent. ‘UP ka ladka’ must hit the headlines

Mughals and the BJP

We can continue to malign the Mughals over the Jizya tax — how they levied it on Hindus for providing protection to them in their own land. However, this tax was abolished, reinstated and abolished again, under different Mughal rulers based on their politics, just like today, where different politicians choose to do away or keep the ‘symbols’ that suit their politics. While Akbar abolished Jizya, Aurangzeb reinstated it. However, Jahandar Shah abolished it again.

Power play has largely remained unchanged, and today’s politicians are no different from the Mughal kings 400 years ago. They broke temples then. They break mosques today. They imposed taxes then to make citizens appear like non-citizens. They impose discriminatory legislation, such as National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In this politics of historical revenge, they’re two sides of the same coin. Development and governance takes a toll.

While Aurangzeb is criticised for reinstating the Jizya, on reading the order, one can see that exemption was provided to various classes, including the unemployed, ill or old. The exemption also extended to women and children and those who joined the army. The tax was not uniform either. The wealthiest — those who owned more than ten thousand dirhams — were taxed the most (48 dirhams a year). The poorest, who owned less than 200 dirhams, had to pay one dirham a month. It’s not that only the Hindus were taxed during the Mughal period. Muslims were taxed too. The tax on Muslims was called zakat.

But today, in the golden age of BJP in India, facts don’t matter. Here, the victimisation of Hindus, 400 years ago, is repeatedly roused to evoke the pride of the community so that they re-elect a Hindu Hriday Samrat who can re-instate their self-esteem by painting India and its history in deep hues of saffron. Lessons are not learnt from history, which shows that a government — monarchy or democracy — functions best when secularism and equality are maintained, much like Akbar’s reign.

In fact, the whole idea of looking at the 331 years of Mughal rule with an anti-Hindu prism shows how the lack of education can gravely hinder one’s ability to understand history for what it was. The BJP has always held deep hatred for Aurangzeb. Even if they want to discard all symbols related to him, what about Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and those Mughal rulers who were not only deeply pro-Hindu, much to the dislike of many ulemas of their times, but also gave India some of the greatest cultural gems — the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort, et al, which fill the coffers of BJP-ruled states.

Also read: Priyanka’s support to Kafeel Khan part of larger strategy to tap into ‘distanced’ UP Muslims 

Mughals aren’t harming the economy

Although his compulsive disorder of renaming places seems most likely permanent, the BJP high command should tell Yogi Adityanath to take his attention off Mughals and focus on helping the migrant labourers get back their livelihoods. The UP chief minister had received much praise for bringing labourers and students back home.

Yogi needs to focus on his state, which needs to tide over chronic unemployment and a crippling economy.

Renaming Mughal museum to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj museum — a king who only came to Agra once, and was held captive — will turn into a parody of a museum. If you don’t know your history, don’t play with it. Even if it is to win elections. History will come back to bite you. And it just did with the Jats of UP now getting angry over renaming the Agra museum after Shivaji. They claim that it was the Jat king Surajmal who fought and defeated the Mughals in the UP region and so the museum should have his name. Adityanath now has a new problem in his hands.

The author is a political observer and writer. Views are personal.

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  1. Mughals only ruled a part of Bharat & not the whole of it. They barely ruled for 100 years & despite Aurangzeb’s efforts of trying to win Deccan, he could not do it. Ultimately he died in Ahmednagar district & buried near Ellora temple, which he tried to destroy but he could only damage it superficially.

    After 1947, Muslims asked for their own country & got prime agricultural land of west Punjab,which was well developed. And the East Pakistan, which was the hub of jute manufacturing and other commercial activities.
    Muslims got more share of land, than their population for two reasons. They got land for their entire population and in a place where they had majority. In their calculations they also included the Hindu Dalits & lured them to migrate for a better life.

    However, more than 90% of Muslims of UP & Bihar did not migrate. Why? Because their ultimate aim was to convert entire Hindus to Islam.

    After 1947, having taken their country, Muslims have no business to continue holding Hindu shrines. Post independence Nehru family (fake hindus) have fooled the Hindus by trying to subjugate the Hindus & favoured the Muslims & Christians.

    Yogiji is doing what Nehru (if he was a Hindu) should have done. Now by multiplying feverishly & having multiple wives, Muslims have crossed 40 crores, but are hiding their population from being exposed through NRC.

    As long as Islam teaches Kufra & Gazwaye Hind, Muslims & Hindus will never coexist peacefully. In any case they are staying on Hindu land & Hindus have every right to have their own role models. Fake history written by the fake historians needs to be dumped as junk. All great Hindu kings & kingdom who never allowed the Muslims/ Mughals to have complete sway should be eulogised as symbols of our great Hindu Rashtra.

    Let us not be apologetic to the looters & destroyers of our civilisation and regain our rightful place at the top in the polity of nations.

  2. The author and the media house both seem to begin on the wrong footing while writing this article.
    The Mughals were invaders who cast tyranny amongst the sons of the soil, Hindus of this land. It is true that they never ruled the whole nation ( the subcontinent ever) and we’re effectively challanged by the brave warriors right under their nose. Thus it must be the Hindu kings and rulers who fought and challenged the Mughals who must be remembered in our history.
    Islamic and Mughal history on Indian soil must cover the truth of their anarchy, loot and conversions. The history that is taught and the one that has been written by Muslim and communist after independence is a total whitewash of the facts. It must be changed.

    All the remenents of their existence here on Indian soil must be obliterated and replaced by kings, rulers and Warriors of India who fought relentlessly to protect their people, land and their religion.
    Naming of the Museum after Shivaji is a step in the right direction. In fact the land belonging to the Jat king on lease with AMU must be taken back and renamed after him. Right thing to do.

  3. It does not matter what mughals built , what matters is they are invaders , they had no business in Akand Bharat.
    For most of the Indians the mughals are invaders and looters & rapists.

    So changing the names of the city to more relevant names prior to mughals make more sense to revert the cultural drift. In fact the muslim expansion in India was predominantly a cultural change and was not accompanied by significant gene flow…

  4. As far as i have observed till now, The Print is trying to showcase itself as a centrist news portal in a society which is divided into two sections and the number of centrists are very less. I like this balancing approach as two things can happen in the long run. Either, it will flourish and Shekhar Gupta may even launch his news channel or it will be termed as a total crap which cannot decide on what lines it is reporting and rejected by people from both the sides. I strongly wish for the first one to happen.

  5. Ms Zainab,

    We can read real history due to the Internet. I attest that all Mughal rulers were Islamist who wanted to convert Bharat into a muslim country. You may not realise that your ancestors were subjugated, raped, and converted by the same sword which you are praising.
    Good luck in spreading fake and false information.

  6. Britishers gave us postal service railways and many other good things. Yet we never glorify them because these things can’t be used to justify their loot persecution and exploitation of the society. I’m wondering what Mughals contributed to the society apart from building some monuments and still some people like this author can’t stop praising them.

  7. Very very interesting lesson in History
    Why does Agra need to be showcased as a town of the Mughals?
    1. Agra was the capital of the Mughals for only 90 years.
    But, please immediately forget that:-
    2. Agra was the capital of the Jats and Rajputs for over 1000 years
    3. Agra Fort, the Red Fort, was a fort of local rulers for ovver 2000 years

  8. Interesting Article by the author, but how valid is comparing breaking one Masjid in which namaaz was not being read…and pooja was being done on its outer periphery to compare it with the thousands of temples destroyed (including the most sacred Hindu temples), people killed, converted on the edge of a sword during the Muslim / Mughal rule.
    Author’s sudden comparison of Jizya to NRC and CAA does not flow in the scholarly taste of the article. NRC by definition is a National Register for Citizens, its not a tax with specific religion as its target.
    I agree to the naming of the Museum. If it has Mughal artifacts it should be called a a” Mughal Museum”, and correct historical facts should be shared that how many people died, got forcefully converted, how many temples were destroyed to create this wealth for the Mughals. Let the red gemstones also show how much blood was shed to make them a part of the Mughal treasure.
    Finally I come to Shivaji Maharaj, again the scholarly article deliberately tries to underplay the point. Though it correctly says the Shivaji Maharaj once came to Agra and was put under house arrest by the Great Aurangzeb….he made a daring escape with his prince from the heart of Mughal capital under the very noses of Aurangzeb and his army. Reached safely back to Maharashtra and created an Maratha empire which would put the final nails in the Mughal Coffin. Also even after 30 years of trying and many wars and excesses Aurangzeb could not defeat the Marathas…and maybe this is why Yogi Adityanath wants to name it after Shivaji…because he is the anti-thesis to Aurangzeb. He is a more secular leader, universally loved by all, not known to destroy masjids, but treat all religions and even his enemies with respect.

  9. Sikhs have been demonstrating in thousands before the Pakistani embassy in Delhi in protest against the forcible abduction and conversion of a Sikh girl. She was subsequently married off to a Muslim man.
    But Ms. Sikander would rather not write about it. For it would mean acknowledging the historical fact that all Indic religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, etc. – have been at the receiving end of violence and persecution perpetrated by followers of Islam.

  10. Your whole story is flowing from your inherent Hinduphobic attitude ~ You seem to revel in Mughal past , whose Historical facts twisted & tweaked to suit your Narrative ~ which is nothing short of bashing all that relates with Hindus & Hinduism~ #StopHinduphobia ~ Even your displayed allegiance to the Constitution of India is Pure Hypocrisy~ but Hindus have begun reclaiming & asserting their rightful place in the Indian History ~ You Like it or Not !!!

  11. Do an immidiate Ghar Wapsi honey. Enough revering a MISOGYNIST, genocidal, slave trader, rapist pedophile founder of evilest reallyJUNK of pissFOOLS terrorism who gave you savage sharia where men can bed four and kick you out with 3 utterances while you have no free will. When your defeated ancestors were forced to convert, they had hoped you will reconvert once the danger of cult of pedophile is over, that time is NOW, do a GHAR WAPSI and stop writing such articles. FREEDOM OF SPEECH applies both way, lets make a constitution where you will be handed a death sentence for writing such articles. Live in HINDU RASHTRA or get lost to Saudi or Pak.

  12. Maybe he can start by not accepting the millions of dollars in gate receipts from visitors to Taj and Fatehpur. He can also stop charging GST on kebabs and biriyani since these are all earnings from a history he is busy trying to erase…..idiots come in all shapes and sizes. More so in politics….

  13. The writer seems hurt that Auragnazeb is unfairly ‘criticised’ and comes up with a 100 reasons to say why the imposition of Jazia indeed shows a compassionate ruler. In these times of undoing the glorification of past tyrants the world over, do the editors really expect readers to contribute money so that writers like these can get a platform to spew such glorification of tyrants like Aurangezeb? As if there were not enough examples of rulers like Akbar to use to reflect on Mughal contributions!

  14. It is an interesting view. However, the author and historians forget to ask how does the Average Indian feel about the entire Islamic interaction. The Author and other Liberals seem to restrict themselves only to 331 years of Islamic rule. The end of the Islamic Control over India really. The interaction with Islam began a log time before the Moghul rule and it was never pleasant. Ask any Srivaishnavite and he will tell you tales about Malik Kafur!!! So this rather oversimplified history does not work. It is really a disservice.

    I also do not quite understand the opposition to renaming Islamic names to their original Hindu names. What is the problem here? After all why should they have been renamed to begin with? Answer that and we will move forward.

    The thing that Muslim authors and Liberals do not understand is the need for reassertion and acknowledgement of atrocities committed. No amount of white washing it will help. The author here tries to justify the Jiziya by Aurangzeb by saying Muslims were taxed as well. How is it relevant? Jiziya was excessive taxation on non-muslims.

    These Invaders wrote and glorified their atrocities in their own writings. How can you honor these folks? You cannot bring in Akbar etc… After all the ones that committed the crimes were his progeny. It was not as if Akbar was as benevolent a ruler as he is made out to be. Do we know for sure? After all History is a reconstruction right!!!! It eventually becomes what we believe or not believe.

  15. I cannot answer one very communal question my right wing Hindoooo friends ask me?

    Q: A country divided into 3 parts. 2 for Muslims 1 for others. More than half of those who wanted this partition refuse to go. They increase from 9 % to 17 % of the population. Innocent Mughals are hated for nothing

    Question Over

  16. Just when I was thinking that The Print had toned down its Hinduphobia, comes Smt Zainab Sikandar, back with a bang. So the destruction of over 2000 temples, as written by the new darling of liberals, Shri Arun Shourie, is equated to the condemnable destruction of a single mosque. So the imposition of Jaziya is equated with the CAA which helps persecuted minorities in three neighbouring countries. As for NRC, no country encourages illegal immigrants. People who were asking for birth certificate of Ram, should not shy away from showing theirs.

  17. Another professional ‘intellectual’ apologist for Aurangzeb. What’s new? This is all that English language media can produce in India.

  18. Hindus are raped, murdered and temples and houses destroyed with impunity in pakistan Afghanistan and Bangladesh where they are in minority

    Imagine in INDIA also HINDUS were in minority. What do you think would have happened

    HINDUS believe in education and science and prosperity for all.

    But HINDUS must be ALERT and protect themselves as they are aware what would happen if hyper religious proselytizers take over.

    So only because HINDUS are in majority. INDIA is a democratic country. With equal respect for both believers and non believers.

  19. Ladies and gentlemen If You need to see the Islamic Apologist way of thinking this is the best article to read. How nice of Aurangzeb to have not imposed his tax uniformly. How nice of mughal to become settlers after invading this country. How nice of them to destroy temples and convert people on sword.

    And how Bad are Hindus who rebuilt a temple which was destroyed and made into a mosque. You cant do that. Once a temple is destroyed u cant touch that place. its anti Muslim and anti-secular.

    And how can hindhus call themself Victims. The sole cardholders for victim hood can only be Muslims. And when are in majority we like to have a separate state because we cant live with kafirs. Please Uphold your Secularism

  20. “Deeply pro-hindu”, what a load of garbage. I’m sure Zainab cheered when the statues of slavers were taken down but gets offended at the same thing happening in India. Hindutva interpretation of history is incorrect but to call mughals “pro-hindu” is ignoring genocide.

  21. If non Muslims paid Jiziya in order to be protected then why in today’s time non Muslims are paying income tax as well as feeding and protecting Muslims. But now we’re a secular socialist country so this nonsense is allowed.
    Anyhow this perverse oft repeated drivel of Mughals being Indians needs to be put to rest. Mughals were a cross between Central Asians and Mongols – they were not Indians. In their courts non Indians like Turks, Persians were given high offices. Hatred towards India and Indians by Babur is well documented even in Marxist historiography.

  22. Shivaji came only one time in up, but sanjay Gandhi didn’t come to my village for once yet we have college in his name🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️

  23. Ms. Sikandar, I wonder if today you have worn your Islam colored coolers on.

    To start with, if you feel that Mugals/Islamic Rulers were as much Indian, why even name the Museum “Mughal Museum” in the first place??? Why not “Indian Museum of Post Classical History or just Indian Museum of History”???

    If at all you think Mughals were Indians, I would have expected them to wear Indian clothes, speak Indian language/s and be Indian for all facts and purposes. But they did create their own identity and thrived on it, did’t they?? Which most muslims still follow.

    What was a vote catching, minority appeasing tool with Akilesh is just being used as the same, this time by Yogi. What’s there to complain about that?

    Indians destroying one Babri Masjid (to be condemned by all and the perpetrators should be brought to justice) to the orchestrated campagne of Hindu Temple destruction and forced religious conversion since the start of the last millennium is not the same, Ms.Sikandar.

    See, in todays Indian mentality, there is no place for Vande Matharam controversey, Uniform Civil Code deniers, minority pampering and such.

    You and other Islamists should come out of the Muslin victimisation mentality and start looking at the history as well as the present for what it is truly is and not just taught by vote bank hunting so called “Secularists”.

    • I agree. Ms Sikandar’s feeble research is quite sad to begin with, and calling Akhbar Pro-hindu of all people is laughable. What a joke of an article, Ms Sikandar, if you have to defend a few hundred years of Mughal rule, atleast justify how many years prior to that did India exist, and prosper. Also, monuments like Qutb Minar that we all cherish alike were built on the debris of tens of temples. Justifying the tyrannies of rulers long dead is not going to do the Muslim community any good.

  24. He is right, Mughals were outsiders and why should we build museum for them? Should we build museum for East India Company next?

  25. Why Muslims talk about secularism and equal rights only when they are in Minority, what happens to secularism and minority rights when they become majority, example, what happened to 26 percent Hindus and Sikhs in 1947 in Pakistan side, and now less than 2 percent, how many decades you want to fool Hindus by whitewashing Islamic Invaders destruction on Hindus.

  26. You are so short sighted. When you get opportunity, write about Muslim’s education and poverty. But you have an agenda.

  27. This article is all about false equivalence.
    Such Muslim writers malign Muslims than the normal Muslims. It is true that mullahs and elite of Muslims have hijacked the representation of Muslims and that’s true travesty.

    One must even remember if there were people saying “Ram did not exist” or “Babur needs to be worshipped” then “babur ki aulad” even exists in this country irrespective what Yogi says.

    People first know “Babri was 18 year afgani boyfriend of Babur. The mosque was built in his memory by Babur after his death in war” I do not understand Islamic theology to make statement such mosque for a person and above other place of worship is Islamic or not.

    There are many sane voices which suggests unless there is truth and reconciliation commission of the oppression on Hindus by Mughals ….. there will be cracks in unity due to narrative building by authors like this one.

  28. Why are indian muslims identify themselves with mughals, turks , persians, etc they were all foreigners who looted our country and sent a bounty to larger muslims kingdoms outside country. Why so they get offended when by Babur ki Aulad when it is proved he has destroyed many hindu temples, why feel offended about Aurangazeb when it is a fact that he destroyed thousands of hindu temples. If you have a problem with Yogi’s Politics the simplest way is to not identify with these demons and they will fail.
    Why in this age do muslims require a separate law for them, why dont they identify with country first than their in the air beliefs. This country has always respected and given their deserved places for talent from any community
    And when country was divided by Jinaah on the basis for religion and now persecution is based on religion then what is the problem with CAA based in religion. If Ahamadiyas and others dont identify themselves with their state religion then they too are welcome in CAA, if they dont then it their sectarian probalem.

    • To understand why present day Muslims in India want to identify with foreigners like Turks, Afghans, Persian etc you have to understand the Muslim caste system. At the top are the Ashraf – the descendents of foreign invaders who killed, raped, plundered, converted etc. The next are the Ajlaf – the local people who could not stand up to the invaders or had their backs broken by Jaziya and other exploitative taxes. The saddest are the Arzals. They were told to come out of the caste system of Sanatan Dharma to experience the egalitarianism of Islam. And their situation has not changed, much like Dalit Christians.

  29. Maskins extoll the virtuous Aurangzeb including this author and somehow finds the justification for jaziya as fair tax.

    Whitewashing of historical facts by this author and her ilk will be exposed at every step by everyday people who have access to information, most importantly facts in their hands.

    And they will counter it with Indianess and logic.

    These maskins, with doublespeak, jihad and fundamentalism, have to be exposed everyday 24×7 to save this great nation from future threats.

  30. I would really like to know what are the credentials of the author( if any). Bcoz after reading a significant number of her pieces, it still puzzles me how can a very reputed editor sanction publishing of clearly lopsided sub standard, pointless and baseless articles. I’m all for free speech and opinion. But what is the yardstick the print uses to allow the articles or authors. Bcoz in this country there are over a billion people and a billion opinions. Whats the criteria to get published on the print. Given the space this author is getting for writing, for lack of better expression, pure filth. Just curious.

    • Well sir there’s a thing called click bait articles – such articles get traffic to the website. This is analogous to Arnab’s rants day in day out. Ms. Sikdar is The Print’s Arnab. Drivel gets eyeballs.

      • You are so right. Shri Shekhar Gupta is trying out a model that suits all sections of subscribers. For Hinduphobic subscribers, he has Zainab Sikandar and Bismee Taksim. For castetists, he has Dilip Mandal and Jyoti Yadav. For sheer negativity, he has Shivam Vij. He himself is busy creating an avuncular and reasonable image for himself in Cut The Clutter. I think it is his golden parachute. If The Print fails, he has an alternative source of income.

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