How the Muslims tricked Trilochanpala, kidnapped and murdered him by luring him using Muslims dressed as Hindu hermits (Sanyasis)
After snatching victory through subterfuge at Lahore, the Muslims began to penetrate deeper into the country. Anandpala attained veergati (martyrdom) through the deceit of the Muslims, as had his father Jayapala. Now the teenaged grandson of Jayapala Shaiya, Tirlochanpala Shahiya took the reins of the death struggle against the Muslims in to his hands. He was then just a teenager at seventeen years of age when the ascended the once glorious throne of the Shahiyas.
The Shahiya empire which had once stretched from the rivers Yamuna to the Kubha (Kabul), was now a shadow of its former glory. The first move Tirlochanpala did was to shift the capital from Lahore to Kangra in today's Himachal Pradesh. Kangra was in a relatively fortified position, from where he tried to reorganize the defense of his vastly reduced domains.
The Shahiya empire which stretched from Herat to Hardwar, was now pushed to one fifth its size and its western border which was once at Herat during the reign of Jayapala Shahiya was now pushed about a thousand miles east at Kalka in the Shivalik Hills which were the foothills of the Himalayas. The Shahiya domains had now shrunk and did not occupy a position to block the further advance of the Muslims into the Gangetc plains - the Indian heartland. But he followed the valiant example of his father and grandfather and allied himself with the kings of Kashyapmeru (Kashmir) and Tibet, to eject the Muslims from Punjab and Upaganasthan (Afghanistan).
Sabuktagin's son Mahmud Ghazni, wanted to nip this effort in the bud. He again made use of the patented Muslim mechanism of subterfuge. He sent a group of his soldiers dressed up as Hindu mendicants to meet Tirlochanpala. These mendicants went to Kangra and sent in a message that they come from Kubha (Kabul) and bring a message to their king whose ancestors originally ruled Kabul. With this trick, they gained entry into Tirlochanpala's headquarters at the fortress of Kangra.
Once in his presence, the mendicants surrounded the unsuspecting young prince and sliced his neck and made off with his severed head, leaving a note beside his headless body that Islam will finally overcome anyone who decided to block the path of Allah's soldiers. A few days later a Muslim army arrived at the Kangra valley, stormed the fort of Kangra, and sacked it to srip it off the opulent riches that it held from the once vast Shahiya empire. This happened in the year 1020 C.E. The downfall of the Shahiya empire was so complete within forty years spanning a struggle over three generations that a few centuries later people even doubted if the Shahiyas (Hindu-Shahis) ever existed. Thus the memory of a dynasty that had held guard at the North West frontier of India since the days of the Kushanas in the 3rd century C.E. disappeared into the sands of time. The only reminder today are the ruins of the fortress of Kangra around which the gold and silver coins artfully minted by the Shahiyas are still to be found.
The surviving remnants of the once formidable Shahiya army, became leaderless and demoralized. They migrated deep into the Himalayas and settled down as goat-herds known today as Gaddis. These Gaddis follow this profession to this day and they still inhabit the Himalayas coming down to the Shivalik foothills and the plains of Punjab in the winter to graze their cattle. Thus with Tirlochapala's death, the last scion of the Hindu dynasty that ruled Afghanistan and Punjab passed away.
The next Hindu (Sikh) king of Punjab and Afghanistan was to be Maharaja Ranjit Singh who ascended the throne after a gap of eight hundred years in the 18th century. The interregnum was to be the dark interlude of Muslim tyranny, during which the majority of the Hindus of Afghanistan, Paktoonistan and West Punjab were converted to Islam at the pain of death.
The plunder of Somanath by Mahmud Ghaznavi
The defeat of the Shahiyas opened the Indian heartland to these heartless invaders and Mahmud of Ghazni, repeatedly attacked India. His raids for plundering and destroying Hindu shrines at Somnath, Palitana, Thanesar (Staneshwara), Mathura, Kannauj, Khajuraho regularly every year are still recollects with dread. His aim initially was limited to collecting a large booty every time as also take many Hindu captives who were sold into slavery in the bazaars of Baghdad and other Muslim cities. His raid on the famous Hindu shrine of Somnath located at Prabhash Patan in Gujarat is seared in Hindu memory till today.
The many Hindu captives that he took from were transported on foot across the Western ranges of the Himalayas. Many Hindu captives could not face up to the merciless treatment of their cruel captors, and died in large numbers along the way. These deaths of the Hindus is remembered in the name which the Muslim gave to the Western Himalayas as "Hindu Kush", which means the Killer of Hindus (Kush means ‘to kill' in Persian)
How the Hindus inflicted the first major and decisive defeat on Muslims at the battle of Baharaich in 1033
The fact that in spite of the subterfuge that the Muslims used, the Hindus did register one spectacular victory over the Muslims in 1033 at Baharaich in today's Uttar Pradesh. The invader was Mahumd Ghazni's son, Masud Ghazni, who following his father's footsteps invaded India with a large army. The difference now was that he did not intend limiting himself to looting as his father had done, but planned a permanent occupation of the entire country.
With this aim in mind, he penetrated deep in to the Ganges valley and established his camp at Baharaich in today's eastern Uttar Pradesh. From there he sent word to the surrounding Hindu kings to surrender and embrace Islam!
As was their practice, before the beginning of hostilities, the Hindu kings also sent a messenger to Masud that this land being theirs, his troops should peacefully vacate it (as was done once again unsuccessfully by the Government of India before the inception of the 1999 Kargil war when Pakistan occupied Indian territory at Kargil Drass and Mushkoh sectors in Kashmir). But Masud sent a reply that all land belonged to Khuda (the Persianized version of Allah) and he could settle wherever he pleased. And that it was his holy duty to convert to Islam all those who did not recognize his Khuda and accept Islam.
Consequently, Masud's huge army was besieged by the even greater Hindu army and no side gave the other any quarter. The Hindus, for once as an exception had learnt their lesson about Muslim treachery, after being victimized for four hundred years from 638 onwards. At the battle of Baharaich, gradually the Hindus began to decimate the Muslim army and as the hostilities progressed, Masud saw the unsuccessful end of his expedition. This bitter and bloody war was fought in the month of June 1033.
In this ferocious and bloodied war, no side took any prisoners and it ended only with the slaughter of the entire invading Muslim army along with many martyrs from the defending Hindu army.
What was exceptional during this war was that the folly of pardoning a defeated enemy, that was displayed by Prithviraj Chauhan 160 years later in 1191, was not to be seen. The Hindus seemed to have followed the tradition of their ancient king Ramchandra of Ayodhya when he defeated and killed Ravana and his entire army at the battle of Lanka.
The battle of Baharaich ended on 14th June 1033. At the gory end, the entire invading army along with their commander lay dead. Not one enemy soldier was allowed to return. There still exists today near Baharaich the grave of the commander of the invader - Prince Ghazi Mian Masud. There he is hailed today by the local Muslims as a Ghazi and a Peer (a Muslim who is raised sainthood by being a killer of non-Muslims). And every year till this day an Urs (Muslim religious assemblage) is held in his memory. What is forgotten is the valiance of the Hindu soldiers who lost their lives in this major victory against the first Jihadi invasion in to the Indian heartland. Ironically and foolishly, some local Hindus too visit the invader's grave to ask for personal boons.
After this decisive and ruthless Hindu victory, peace prevailed in the country for a century and a half; till the next (and now, unfortunately a successful) wave of Muslim invasions started under the leadership of Mohammed Ghori.
This interlude of one hundred and fifty years from 1033 up to 1187, had made the Hindus forget the treacherous nature of the Muslims. The Ghaznivid kingdom of West Punjab (established by Mahmud Ghazni on the former territory of the Shahiya kingdom), had made peace with its Hindu neighbors and the Hindus were under a delusion that the Muslims were like any other invader who would settle down in India and be absorbed into Hindu society, as had happened earlier with the Greeks, Huns, Kushans, etc.
The policy of the Ghaznivid occupiers of West Punjab to issue coins in Sanskrit and use the Sanskrit version of Muslim names as Mahamada for Mohammed, fuelled this wrong impression about the true nature of the Muslims in the minds of the innocuous Hindus.
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In: Afghanistan, Other
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