Nehru, who was Westernized and anglophile, viewed and interpreted India’s cultural heritage and historical context through Western lenses, and his works reflected the same prejudice and distortion. Here is an example of a naive, almost childish comment made by Nehru in his book “The Discovery of India,” which was motivated by conceited presumption and a patronizing Western attitude: “And yet I approached her [India] almost as an alien critic, full of dislike for the present as well as for many of the remnants of the past that I saw. I kind of met her through the West and treated her as a welcoming westerner might have. I was excited and concerned to transform her viewpoint and appearance and dress her in current attire.

Despite being readable, Nehru’s works don’t show any evidence of original research or ground-breaking. His writings cannot be regarded as academic works. His writings in “Glimpses of World History” and “Discovery of India” are re-narrations of existing works, primarily by Western experts with a slant toward Western culture. Even at the level of fresh findings or notions, there is nothing new to be learned from it. It is partially inaccurate in its facts and conclusions. In his books, he treats issues in a cursory manner. His writings on history, politics, and economics don’t contain any critical analyses of the subjects he covered. His interpretations frequently resemble tired Marxist parodies. Let’s look at various instances of how Nehru misrepresented Indian history.

Despite his claim to have discovered India, it appears that Nehru did not fully comprehend current India or the real history of that country, as is shown from the following incorrect interpretation of his in his letter to Lord Lothian from January 17, 1936: “India has never known in the whole course of her long history the religious strife that has soaked Europe in blood… Some conflict aroseswhen Islam came, but even that was far more political than religious… cannot easily envisage religious conflict in India on any substantial scale… The communalism of today is essentially political, economic and middle class… One must never forget that that communalism in India is slatter-day phenomenon which has grown up before our eyes…It will inevitably fade into the background as social issues take centre stage.”

Let’s look at another example of Nehru’s revision of Indian history: the destruction of the Somnath temple. The temple was demolished by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024 CE during his sixteenth of seventeen assaults.

During a 30-year span, bringing camelloads of gold and gems back to India. Mahmud is reported to have personally broken the gilded idol from the temple with a hammer before transporting it to Ghazni, where it was used to build the steps of the new Jamiah Masjid [Friday mosque]. Thousands of defenders were killed, including Ghogha Rana, a 90-year-old challenger to Mahmud.

On the invitation of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (CE 997–1030), Ahmad al-Bîrûnî joined his service and travelled to India, where he spent forty years. Al-Bîrûnî writes in his book Trîkhu’l-Hind as follows: “The linga he razed was the stone of Somnath, for soma means the
moon and natha means master, so that the whole word means master of
the moon. The image was destroyed by the Prince Mahmud, may God be
merciful to him! —AH 416. He ordered the upper part to be broken and
the remainder to be transported to his residence, Ghazni, with all its
coverings and trappings of gold, jewels, and embroidered garments. Part
of it has been thrown into the hippodrome of the town, together with the
Cakrasvamin, an idol of bronze, that had been brought from Thanesar.
Another part of the idol from Somnath lies before the door of the
mosque of Ghazni, on which people rub their feet to clean them from
dirt and wet”- Sita Ram Goel

Arab geographer Zakariya al-Qazwini wrote in the 13th century, ““Somnath: celebrated city of India, situated on the shore of the sea, and
washed by its waves. Among the wonders of that place was the temple
in which was placed the idol called Somnath. This idol was in the
middle of the temple without anything to support it from below, or to
suspend it from above [might have been so, thanks to magnets]. It was
held in the highest honour among the Hindus, and whoever beheld it
floating in the air was struck with amazement, whether he was a
Musulman or an infidel. The Hindus used to go on pilgrimage to it
whenever there was an eclipse of the moon, and would then assemble
there to the number of more than a hundred thousand…When the Sultan
Yaminu-d Daula Mahmud Bin Subuktigin [Mahmud of Ghazni, who was
son of Subuktigin] went to wage religious war against India, he made
great efforts to capture and destroy Somnath, in the hope that the
Hindus would then become Muhammadans. As a result thousands of
Hindus were converted to Islam. He arrived there in the middle of Zi-l
k’ada, 416 A.H. [December, 1025 CE]… The king looked upon the idol
with wonder, and gave orders for the seizing of the spoil, and the
appropriation of the treasures. There were many idols of gold and silver
and vessels set with jewels…”

Yet, in his book ‘The Discovery of India’, Nehru writes about “Mahmud
of Ghazni and the Afghans” in ‘Chapter-6:New Problems, a sentence in which goes, “He met with…on his way back from Somnath in Kathiawar.” That’s all. There is nothing more on Somnath and its destruction!

But, what Nehru totally omits in ‘The Discovery of India’, he does
mention a little bit in his other book which he wrote ten years earlier in
1935—’Glimpses of World History.’ In ‘Chapter-51: From Harsha to
Mahmud in North India’, Nehru writes, “But it was in Somnath that he
[Mahmud of Ghazni] got the most treasure…” Nehru further writes: “He [Mahmud of Ghazni] is looked upon as a great leader of Islam who
came to spread Islam in India. Most Muslims adore him; most Hindus
hate him. As a matter of fact, he [Mahmud] was hardly a religious man.
He was a Mohammedan, of course, but that was by the way. Above
everything he was soldier, and a brilliant soldier. He came to India to
conquer and loot, as soldiers unfortunately do, and he would have done
so to whatever religion he might have belonged… We must therefore not
fall into the common error of considering Mahmud as anything more
than a successful soldier.”

There is no worse historical misrepresentation than this one. Nehru makes an effort to persuade the reader that Mahmud’s destruction was not caused by his religion and that someone from a different faith might have committed the same atrocities as Mahmud. What a load of crap! Nehru also doesn’t linger on the tremendous damage that Mahmud caused.

According to history, several wealthy businessmen gathered when Mahmud of Ghazni was taking the gold Shiva idol from the Somnath temple and promised him even more wealth in exchange for returning the statue. Mahmud replied, “I am an idol breaker, not an idol-seller! ”

Wrote Romila Thapar: “Shaikh Farid al-Din mentions a story where the Brahmans plead with Mahmud to preserve the idol, in return for which they would give him immense wealth, but he refused, stating that he is not an idol seller, but an idol breaker.”

Nehru mentioned in his “Discovery of India”, ““Mahmud [of Ghazni] was far
more a warrior than a man of faith…”

Then about Mathura, he writes, “Mahmud was anxious to make his own city of Ghazni rival the great cities of central and western Asia and he carried off from India large number of artisans and master builders. Building interested him and he was much impressed by the city of Mathura near Delhi. About this he
[Mahmud] wrote: ‘There are here a thousand edifices as firm as the faith
of the faithful; nor is it likely that this city has attained its present
condition but at the expense of many millions of dinars, nor could such
another be constructed under a period of 200 years.”

It’s amusing and surprising that Nehru makes no mention of how Mahmud, who he refers to as “the lover of buildings,” ruthlessly devastated Mathura and Somnath.


Source: Nehru’s 97 major blunders by Rajnikant Puranik

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