2400 YEARS OF STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM
The Islamic Armada, which had sailed the seven seas, unchallenged & remained invincible, when it came to Hindustan, met its watery grave in the Ganga.
“The Islamic Armada, which had sailed the seven seas, unchallenged & remained invincible, when it came to Hindustan, met its watery grave in the Ganga.” Maulana Hali
300 BCE – 700 CE
Alexander, the first foreign aggressor to set foot in Hindustan in 327 BCE had to retreat after a crushing encounter with Porus. Historians differ as to who won but let it be suffice for now that it was Alexander who left, lock stock and barrelnever to return or conquer anything. Porus, remained King (not a vassal) with much more territories than before. Within 7 years of Alexander’s retreat, Chandragupta Murya & Chankya wiped all remaining influence of the “world conquering” Macedonian.
Then came the Kushans (1 century CE) from central Asia ony to be defeated and absorbed into the Sanatan culture of India. Their biggest king Kanishka, turned to Buddhism & became known as the second Ashoka.
The barbaric Shakas (1 century CE) and Huns (5 century CE). They cut deep into thee body and soul of our Bharatvarsha. The North India reeled under the swords of Mihirgula and Torman. Again, from the heart of Bharatvarsha rose a series of warrior-kings like Harshavardhan, Yashodharma, Vikramaditya & Shalivahana. These warrior-kings resurrected national honour and broke the shackles of invaders. Over the next few centuries these invaders were absorbed into the vast ocean that is Sanatan.
700 CE – 1600 CE
The 7th century CE saw the arrival of the most vicious & brutal of all invaders. These Islamic invaders & marauders were fueled by religious fervor, blinding hate for the polytheist Sanatanis and greed for gold & riches of Bharatvarsha. After initial forays by Moammad Bin Qasim, Bappa Rawal led a coalition of kshatriya warriors deep into the invading Arab’s territories and imposed such prohibitive costs that the Arabs never ever attacked India again. The first dynasty of the Ummayad Caliphate were overthrown by the Abbasids, Sunni Islamic world broke into Shia & Sunnis.
It was only in 11 century CE that Mh Ghazni & Mh Ghori attacked India. Their entry into Hindustan was not easy. They paid a heavy price in blood, gold and personal losses. But these attacks were successful because of the inability of Indian rulers to project power out of India, a skill they lost after demise of Bappa Rawal.
The invading tribes of Turks & Turkmans, Afghans & Moghals attacked Hindustan like locusts, killing and devouring everything in their path. They left behind them mountains of skulls, horrid tales death and slavery. Hindu women were taken and sold in the bazaars of Kabul & Arabia, small male children were used for prostitution & many were castrated and turned into eunuch to serve in the harems & brothels that dotted the Islamic world
P.S. – For a glimpse of the brutal nature of the Islamic invasions, look at the brutality of Islamic State & their treatment of Kurds & Yazidis.
For 800 years, Hindustan waged a relentless war, a freedom struggle. This struggle is possibly the mist stirring saga of an unending struggle for national freedom, anywhere & anytime in history. From Maharana Kumbha to Maharana Pratap in Raasthan, Hukka & Bukka to Krishnadevraya of Vijaynagar in South, from Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to Baji Rao Peshwa in Maharashtra, from martyr Sikh Gurus like Guru Govind Singh to warriors like Banda Bairagi & Maharaj Ranjit Singh in Punjab, from Chatrasal in Bundelkhand toLachit Barfukan in Assam – countless warriors, kings, leaders fought against the brutal invaders. During the 800 years of Islamic invasions and rule, the invaders did not enjoy even 1 year of peace. Our resistance was as relentless and was their brutality.
1600 CE – 1900 CE
Because of the constant wars, rebellions & attacks the bloody sword of Islam lay broken in the dust of Hindustan. But before we could start rebuilding our nation, our matrubhoomi, Hindustan was caught in the coils of an even more dangerous enemy. This enemy had slipped in quietly into Hindustan, unnoticed in the war for freedom from Islamic invaders. They were far more organized, devious and armed with a new form of warfare. They used guns in away that made Indian cavalry of Marathas & Sikhs obsolete. Their cannons were lighter, shot further & killed better than anything Indians had. They were the white Europeans, especially the British.
The sons of Hindustan once again rose up in rebellion 1770 Sanyasi rebellion was followed by the 1857 national revolt. It was only through providence that the British escaped total defeat.
In another 90 years Indians had imposed such a cost on the British Empire that they not only had to leave India but also see the collapse of their entire global empire
BIRTH OF NATIONAL RENAISSANCE
Post 1857, a new wave of national awakening & resistance was gaining momentum. Led by stalwarts like Swami Dayanand Saraswati in Punjab (Arya Samaj Movement), Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, Swami Rama Tirtha, Ramana Maharshi and Yogi Aurobindo rekindled the immortal flame of nationalism & cultural ethos into the people. Swami Vivekananda rekindled the nation’s dormant manliness of the people. People like Surendranath Banerjea had developed national appeal among India’s diverse people. in 1878, Sir Henry Cotton, CS of Benghal Government wrote this about Surendranath Banerjea –
“….A quarter of a century ago, the idea of any Bengalee influence in the Punjab would have been conception incredible. Yet it is the case…..of a Bengalee lecturer, lecturing in English, in upper India, assumed the character of a triumphal progress; and at present the name Surendranath Banerjea excites as much enthusiasm in Multan as in Dacca”
And this was much before Congress even came into existence.
The daring death defying acts of bravery and martyrdom by countless, nameless ordinary Indians against the foreign invaders, fired up the nation’s imagination and made them heroes. The great leaders (that were written out of history) of the revolution like Ramsingh Kuka in Punjab, Vasudev Balwant Padke in Maharashtra to Veer Sarvarkar, Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, VVS Iyer, Rasbehari Bose, became immortal symbols of sacrifice and bravery for the matrubhoomi.
The common misconception has been that it was MK Gandhi who mobolized Indians into mass movement. Rather it was Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who had his fingers on the pulse of the people. He gauged the right time to mobilize the youth into a potent force that shook the foundations of British empire. In fact it was a British journalist who gave, Tilak, the sobriquet of “FATHER OF INDIAN UNREST”. The noble vision of independence and freedom was made real in the minds of Indians by the famous trio of LAL, BAL, PAL. (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak & Bipin Chandra Pal.
Aurobindo Ghose & Bankim Chandra Cahterjee sublimated nationalism into worship of Divine Mother as a spiritual sadhana. The arena was ready for MK Gandhi to use this opportunity to assume leadership of the freedom movement. He did so by making himself the supreme commander of the freedom struggle. His simple austere ways, his dress and food, his talk of ahimsa, all projected the image of an ancient seer. The Indians accepted his leadership under the impression that he was a holy man, a mahatma.
But it would be this mahatma, who would deal India a fatal body blow on the eve of our Independence. This fatal wound would do to India what Alexander, Kushans, Huns, Turks, Arabs couldn’t do. The mahatma with his lackeys cut Hindustan into 3 parts (Pakistan, India, East Pakistan – Bangladesh) thereby create religious fundamentalist enemy states on both our eastern and western borders.
With Nehru’s trademark poetic speech, on the dark Amavasya midnight, 31 guns boomed and the Union Jack was lowered to be replaced by the Tiranga. But this dark night, hid in its bosom, the seeds of enmity in form of a new state, Pakistan, that came into existence after India’s partition.
Nehru, in 1929-30 led the Indian National Congress to take a pledge of “Purn Swaraj”. The holy water of Ravi bore witness to that sacred vow. Indians bled, sweated and bemoaned the loss of their young towards the fulfilment of that sacred vow. But now that very river found no place in Independent Bharat that was now India – a nation with its arms cut off. The city established by Lav, son of Bhagwan Ram was no longer accessible to Hindus.
MK Gandhi, betrayed his every public stance on India’s division., Nehru, who poohpoohed the idea of 2 Nation theory, eagerly divided our matrubhoomi for personal and political power.
Our Tryst with Destiny was bloody and incomplete.
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