A functionary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has issued a clean chit to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, popularly believed among a majority of Hindus to be the most tyrant of all Muslim rulers — or at least among all Mughal kings — whereas the widely held belief among Muslims is that he was as exalted as a Sufi. The VHP office-bearer said in an interview today that his organisation did not consider all Muslims to be enemies of the country.
Muhammad bin Tughluq, the reportedly eccentric Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate, was tolerant of Hindus, says Laxman Bansal of the VHP.
Bansal said, “Today, people consider the VHP anti-Muslim while we recognise that they have also contributed in many religious works.” He said that Tughlaq not only promoted the Hindu subjects’ religious freedom but they used to also participate in festivals such as Holi.
Citing Ziauddin Barani, the VHP leader says the status of Hindus in Tughluq’s kingdom had improved. Not only this, he adds, there have been many Muslim rulers who were “secular” with non-Muslim subjects and whose emphasis on peace-loving co-existence had a life effect.
Bansal believes that when it comes to recalling Muslim rulers in India, the name of the Mughals figures first. “Aurangzeb was the most brutal ruler in history. However, the truth is also that he gave many orders, due to which Hindu temples were protected,” he opined.
In addition to land, menstruation assistance was given to Brahmins, Bansal said. “Aurangzeb is accused of banning the festival of Holi. But the truth is that they also stopped festivals like Moharram and Eid. During his reign, Hindus held positions higher than Muslims,” the VHP functionary said in an interview with Dainik Jagran.
Akbar was the ruler of the world who got inter-religious discussions on regular basis and patronized them, Bansal recalls. He credits Akbar with initiating a unique tradition by way of Din-e-Ilahi. While the Mughal king’s attempt is an object of ridicule for most Muslims, the VHP functionary believes scholars of all religions participated in the discourse.
“Therefore, the VHP has only one slogan that will speak of Hindu interest, as well as the organisation,” Bansal added.