An event of immense and lasting impact in Indian history was the advent of the Muslims in the north-west. Lured by tales of the fertile plains of the Punjab and the fabulous wealth of Hindu temples, Mahmud of Ghazni first attacked India in 1000 AD. Other raiders from Central Asia followed him. Hindus never forgot the repeated destruction of the Somnath Temple, the massacre of Buddhists at Nalanda, or the pogroms of the Mughals. Hindus gallantly resisted, knowing full well that defeat would mean a choice of economic discrimination via the jaziya tax on non- Muslims, forced conversion, or death. It is no wonder that the residents of Chittor, and countless other people over the length and breadth of Bharat, from present-day Afghanistan to present-day Bangladesh, thought it better to die gloriously rather than face cold-blooded slaughter.
Will Durant (1885-1981) the well-known American historian would like the West to learn from India, tolerance and gentleness and love for all living things.
He says in the book The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage page 459:
…the Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within.” Almost all the Muslims of South Asia are descendants of weaker elements of the population who had succumbed to forcible Islamic conversion.” )
“The Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest
story in history”. The Islamic historians and scholars have recorded with great glee and pride of the slaughters of Hindus, forced conversions, abduction of Hindu women and children to slave marketsand the destruction of temples carried out by the warriors of Islam during 800 AD to 1700 AD. Millions of Hindus were converted to Islam by sword during this period. “
“The growth of Buddhism and monasticism in the first year of our common era sapped the manhood of India, and conspired with political division to leave India open to easy conquest. When the Arabs came, pledged to spread a simple and stoic monotheism, they looked with scorn upon the lazy, venal, miracle-mongering Buddhist monks, they smashed the monasteries, killed thousands of monks, and made monasticism unpopular with the cautious. The survivors were re-absorbed into the Hinduism that had begotten them; and eased the return of the prodigal by proclaiming Buddha a god.”
“At Elephanta the Portuguese certified their piety by smashing statuary and bas-reliefs in unrestrained barbarity; and almost everywhere in the north the Moslems brought to the ground those triumphs of Indian architecture, of the fifth and sixth centuries, which tradition ranks as far superior to the later works that arouse our wonder and admiration today. The Moslems decapitated statues, and tore them limb from limb; they appropriated for their mosques, and in great measure imitated, the graceful pillars of the Jain temples; time and fanaticism joined in the destruction, for the Hindus abandoned and neglected temples that had been profaned by the touch of alien hands.” “Even in its ruins the Temple of Shiva at Elephanta, with its massive fluted columns, its “mushroom” capitals, its unsurpassed reliefs, and its powerful statuary, suggests to us an age of national vigor and artistic skill of which hardly the memory lives today.”
“No blood has been shed for religion in India except by its invaders. Intolerance came with Islam and Christianity; the Moslems proposed to buy Paradise with the blood of “infidels” and the Portuguese, when they captured Goa, introduced the Inquisition into India.”