In 1670, Aurangzeb ordered the demolition of the Keshava Rai temple at Krishna Janmabhoomi. In its place a lofty mosque was built. The idols of the Temple were brought to Agra and buried under the steps of the Begum Sahib mosque. The name of Mathura was also changed to Islamabad.
Everybody talks about racism today, but very few people mention that the worst kind of racism is religious & that Aurangzeb was a champion of violent religious racism. We know how the Spanish and Portuguese armies, along with their Christian priests, eradicated entire civilizations in South America such as the Aztecs and Incas. But no historian write that one of the greatest examples of this religious racism came under the form of Muslim invasions in India and their seeking to impose violently Islam onto Hindus. From the Hindu Kush to Mumbai 2011, it has been calculated that approximately 80 million Hindus were murdered. Aurangzeb, much praised in history books, forbade Hindus to ride elephants or palanquins, imposed the humiliating jizya tax, razed their temples, murdered them etc. Is it not one of the worst forms of racism? Recently, the ethnic cleansing of the Hindus of the Valley of Kashmir, which was done in the name of Islam: ‘convert or die’, the mosques of Srinagar and the Valley blared and many Hindu leaders and intellectuals were murdered (I was there), prompted an exodus of 350.000 people, who became refugees in their own country. This was a legacy of Aurangzeb’s hard Sunni brand of Islam.
Yet Aurangzeb is revered in Pakistan (and in most Indian and western history books), & this fascination for him, gave birth to books like the Last Mughal and White Mughals. This is bizarre, to say the least, as Mughals were the biggest perpetrators of Human Rights abuses of their time, not only against Hindus but also against Sikhs.
William Dalrymple, the author of these books considers Aurangzeb “absolutely fascinating”... "very self aware, very Shakespearean". Speaking about the about the richest Mughal emperor who was also the 2nd longest reigning after Akbar, Dalrymple says: “by end of it he does become a monster of myths, but his final letters are full of regret and awareness about how much he destroyed of what he had inherited”. And he adds: “What is little spoken is that he was an extremely generous donor of various ashrams and maths. Just the sheer data that can be gathered about his donations to Hindu monasteries is extraordinary".
Now is that true? Aurangzeb (1658-1707)was a neither the eldest, nor the favorite son of his father Shah Jahan. To ascend the throne, he killed his two brothers, dispatched his father to jail and subsequently murdered him by sending him poisoned massage oil and later had his own son imprisoned (in his will, he admonished: “never trust your sons “). He was also very cruel to the majority of his subjects, the Hindus, ordering all temples destroyed, and making sure that the Hindu Gods and Goddesses were buried under the steps of the mosques (like the Jama Masjid in Delhi) so that future generations of Muslims will trample upon them. Aurangzeb did not just build an isolated mosque on a destroyed temple, he ordered all temples destroyed, among them the Kashi Vishvanath, one of the most sacred places of Hinduism and had mosques built on a number of cleared temples sites. All other Hindu sacred places within his reach equally suffered destruction, with mosques built on them. A few examples: as we said, Krishna's birth temple in Mathura, the rebuilt Somnath temple on the coast of Gujurat, the Vishnu temple replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares and the Treta-ka-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. The number of temples destroyed by Aurangzeb is counted in 4, if not 5 figures. Aurangzeb did not stop at destroying temples, their users were also wiped-out; even his own brother, Dara Shikoh, was executed for taking an interest in Hindu religion. Let us all remember this as the greatest example of religious racism against one of the most lovable people of this planet – the Hindus.
Read the original Akhbarats from Aurangzeb’s Court regarding the demolition of the Keshava Rai temple at Krishna Janmabhoomihere:
Visit “Aurangzeb, as he was according to Mughal Records”, an exhibition mounted by FACT containing and based on original Akhbarats from Aurangzeb's Court as preserved at the Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner, contemporary official records and credible Persian sources: www.aurangzeb.info
François Gautier (latest book: “Hindu Power in the 21st century” – Har Anand 2020)