Negationism in Europe usually means the denial of the Nazi genocide on the Jews and Gypsies in World War 2. Less well-known is that India has its own brand of negationism. A section of the Indian intelligentsia is trying to erase from the Hindus’ memory the history of their persecution by the swords-men of Islam. The number of victims of this persecution matches that of the Nazi crimes. The Islamic campaign to wipe out Paganism could not be equally through, but it has continued for centuries, without any moral doubts rising in the minds of the persecutors and their chroniclers. The Islamic reports on the massacres of Hindus, the abduction of Hindu women and children to slave-markets, the destruction of temples, and the forced conversions, invariably express great glee and pride. They leave no doubt that the destruction of Paganism by every means was considered the God-ordained duty of the Muslim community. Yet, today many Indian historians, journalists and politicians deny that there ever was a Hindu-Muslim conflict. They shamelessly rewrite history and conjure up ‘centuries of Hindu-Muslim amity’, and a growing section of the public in India and in the West only knows their negationist version of history. It is not a pleasant task to rudely shake people out of their delusions, especially if these have been wilfully created, but this essay does just that. This essay was started as an expanded translation of a Dutch-language book review of Sitaram Roel’s Hindu Temples: What Happened to Them, written for the KUL periodical Inforient.
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