Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jinnah, India-Partition, Jaswanth Singh's Book, A Critical Look.4

So he writes "The advent of Islam (Muslims) into India was in three broad waves,spread over almost eight centuries."Arabs in the seventh nd eighth Sindh...fought a fe skirmishes and left...Muhammad Bin Qasim also left after initial entry.....Nadir Shah and other (Turkic-Mongols) and some Afghans ,of which some stayed back."The advent of Persianised Turks into inndia is routinely characterised by historians as 'Muslim conquest'.This to my mind , is an oddity,for to term this entire period from the thirteenth to the eighteenth century as a 'Muslim Era' is wrong ,also, simplistic.Principally, because there is a significant conceptual and terminological error here, which over the centuries has got embedded.The query bieng: are we to term an invasion,any invasion for that matter by the faith or religious beliefs of the invader: Islamic/pagan/ancestor-worshipper/shamanistic or whatever; or establish identity by ethnicity and the place of origin of the invader?When we relate these invasions of India with comparable historical encounters elsewhere,then the oddity....Why do we not speak of 'Christian conquest ' of America?"

He then goes to explain that the "recordings of most 'Indo -Persian' chroniclers of medieval India identified Islam with the fortunes of their royal patrons.....and these 'sycophants' then reduced accounts of those reigns into such 'hagiographical nonsense' ".

Two questions arise here in my mind: Mr Singh is obsessed with the fact that the historical writings of those times always refer as 'Mulim invasion' and not the other way round. To this a rather simplistic answer maybe,the writers ,sycophantic or otherwise ,even European historians are studying or recording this in the context of 'Muslim' history.

The other objection I have to the use of the term 'hagiographical nonsense' and he has written earlier that "is this acccount merely a recapitulation of those happenings; a linear narrative of events simply recounted?" 'Or is it to be what the great Arab historian Ibn Khaldun reflected history to be,rather ought to be, in his epic treatise 'The Muqadammah'.Is all recording of history done in the form of "correct" historical writings. Are there not various methods of recording history ? When is historical writings or treatises consider authentic? When is the earliest record of historical writing first seen? Do recordings of events in holy books such as the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayan not a part of 'historical knowledge'

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