Title: The saga of Islamic atrocities in Ahmedabad
Author: Nikhil Patwardhan
Date: Mar 16, 2002
Let me tell you the story of a beautiful city state. This city was built on the banks of a sacred river. So rich and bountiful was the harvest that was nurtured by the waters of this river that the river itself was named “Sabarmati” meaning “The provider of nectar”. Along the banks of this river many sacred spots of pilgrimage flourished. The presiding deity of this rich and beautiful city was Devi Bhadrakali, the divine protectress of good Karma. The people in and around this city were such devout Hindus that they built thousands of temples and shrines dedicated to the divine couple Lord Shiva and Devi. Nowhere else was the nine day festival of Devi, the “NavaRatri” celebrated with such pomp and splendor. Colorful Garbas to the accompaniment of Bhajans filled the air.Intricate carvings, sumptuous embroidered cloths, jewelry, foodstuffs, cotton, precious stones all added to the wealth of the city, which soon became famous for its tradition of trade or business.Lord Kartikeya the son of the divine couple himself was moved to visit this place, when he heard accounts of the spiritual depth and beauty of this city and its citizens. The grand wise sages, the SaptaRishis too came to visit the city and stayed at a spot where Sabarmati merged with six other rivers in a place called the Saptasangam meaning “The Union of Seven Rivers”. It was here that young Lord Krishna rested on his way to the famous Shiva temple of Siddhanath for his “Mundan” (tonsure) ceremony. It was here that the Pandavas rested on their way to the “Swayamvara” competition near the ancient Trinetreshwar Mahadeva Temple of Panchal Pradesh. That was where the heroic Arjuna of the Mahabharata won the competition that won Draupadi for the Pandavas. Such was the resplendent and sacred heritage of this ancient city known as Ashaval, Rajnagar or Karnavati.
Today that city is called Ahmedabad.
Karnavati’s name was changed to “Ahmedabad” in honor of a monster by the name of Sultan Ahmed Shah who came to rob and desecrate this beautiful city in 1411. Overnight the thousands of books and manuscripts which spoke of the wondrous Karnavati were burnt to ashes and it’s identity desecrated to Ahmedabad – “City of Ahmed” in an obscene gesture of assertion of power. Sultan Ahmed Shah, the devout Muslim that he was, swore to destroy all traces of “Kafir” (Non Muslim) worship in the land, for the sake of Allah. In Islam it is the religious duty of every Muslim to destroy any place which promotes “Ignorance” meaning any religion other than Islam. In 1414, Ahmed Shah appointed officers to break the idols and strip the riches off every Hindu temple in the vicinity.
In 1415, Sultan Ahmed Shah himself went to Siddhapur to break the Shiva shrine of Rudramahalaya of Siddharaj. The broken pieces were buried underfoot at the entrance and the vast and beautiful Temple was converted into a Mosque. The ancient Bhadrakali Temple at the heart of Karnavati, was desecrated also completely. Idols of the Devi were crushed and broken and buried under the doorstep. Tantric patterns which decorated the friezes and pillars were chipped off. The golden ceiling which was lined with rubies, emeralds, sapphires, diamonds and jade was stripped completely. The Sanctum Sanctorum where throne pedestals once held images of the benevolent and glorious goddess, was converted into a graveyard. The thrones of the Goddess were used as gravestones. One of the rising spires of the roof was broken off as it was completely covered with carvings of various Shaktis. And since that day the Bhadrakali temple of Karnavati was changed to the Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad.
The walled fortresses and palaces, the Hindu towers which were engineering marvels that shook, the local specialty of incredibly intricate carving skill, the artisanship of stone cutting, the vast Baolis where accountants sat amidst the breeze cooled by the sweet waters of the well, all of these were snatched and converted to Mosques and Muslim palaces for the pleasure of the Sultan’s court. Thousands of the Hindu citizens of Karnavati were massacred or enslaved. Rani Sipri and Rupmati both of who were local princesses were forcibly kidnapped, raped and thrown into Harems. To this day their temple palaces are known by their names, but sadly referred to as Mosques. Muslims soon filled the entire walled fortress area of the city which used to be called “Bhadra” in reference to BhadraKali. The disillusioned Hindus of Ahmedabad had no choice but to reconcile themselves to living with their neighbors.
But soon the Hindus found that they could no longer practise their own faith peacefully within the very city which had been created and nurtured by their hard work. The history of Ahmedabad is riddled with instances of Islamic intolerance forcing the Hindus to defend themselves.
In 1713 , the Hindus of “Ahmedabad” were celebrating Holi, when suddenly they were rudely startled by the agonized sounds of Cows being slaughtered in a deliberate attempt to insult and denigrate the sacred festival by Muslims. Bloody Riots soon erupted when hundreds of innocent Hindus were slaughtered by the Muslims.
In 1892, Muslims deliberately led their Moharram procession through the Hindu quarters of “Ahmedabad”, in the process splattering the blood of sacrificed animals all over the shocked Hindus. As the outraged Hindus protested, the Muslims attacked women and children and forcibly rubbed the blood onto their faces while thrusting pieces of meat down their throats.
In September of 1927, Hindus were singing Bhajans in the Temple during Janamashtmi. Suddenly Muslims began pouring out of Jama Masjid and shouting against the Hindus for interrupting the Namaz. Rocks and glass bottles were thrown at the Hindus in the temple as passerby’s throats were slashed. The result was a full scale communal riot.
In 1941 the Muslims of “Ahmedabad” set fire to the entire Maneckchowk bazaar, because a Hindu businessman was not willing to lower his prices under threat of extortion from local Muslims. Chemicals were poured all over the Bazaar in what was obviously a planned operation and then set ablaze. Many Hindu families were burnt alive and hundreds rendered homeless in addition to an incredible amount of loss of property.
In 1946 the Muslim league gave a call for liberation from India. Thousands of Muslims poured out into the streets in order to teach the Hindus a lesson. “Ahmedabad” burned for three days, as shops were plundered, women’s throats slashed, men mutilated and Temples looted and destroyed by rampaging Muslim mobs.
In 1953 Ganesh Chaturthi happened to coincide with Moharram. When Hindus took out processions, they were splattered with blood from animal sacrifices and told to go home or face the consequences. They were blocked from taking processions through the Muslim areas of the city. Naturally the enraged Hindus retaliated.
In 1963 a Hindu girl was raped and badly mutilated by four Muslims in Junagarh. When Hindus demanded that the culprits be punished, the Muslims threatened them with dire consequences. Angered Hindus tried to catch the criminals to take them to the police, in response the Muslims erupted in large scale rioting. The violence spread to other cities all over Gujarat including “Ahmedabad”.
In 1969 Muslims came out and attacked the Jagannath Temple during the Rath Yatra festival. The idol was damaged and scores of Hindus were injured by the marauding Muslim hordes. A priest was also killed and the angered Hindus retaliated.
Year after Year the Muslim community of “Ahmedabad” pelts the participants of the Annual Rath Yatra with stones and rocks. When Hindus retaliate, engineered riots ensue immediately. The obvious motivation of the Muslims is to provoke and insult the Hindus to make them feel powerless in their own city. It is largely this repetitive, constant provocation by the Muslim community, that has made the Hindus of “Ahmedabad” bring BJP to power. Congress governments over the past decades have not only ignored the provocation by Muslim elements, but even financed many institutions which are used to shelter and breed terrorists of this type.
On March 24, 1998 a huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosives were recovered from Gandhinagar and Dariyapur locality of Ahmedabad. The weapons were supplied by Pakistan’s ISI to the Muslim gangs which lived in Changez Pol and Sadar areas of Ahmedabad. The complicity of the Muslim community with the ISI’s designs was confirmed when protests by Muslims followed the arrest of Latif and Razzaq Abdul Wahab gangmembers.
On October 13, 1998, a plot to assassinate Union Home Minister Shri L.K. Advani and Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, was foiled when the Muslim culprit was caught. The culprit Abu Kasem alias Ajmal related that his orders came from Pakistan’s ISI and that he had been sheltered in the home of a well known Muslim businessman of “Ahemedabad” city. The weapons and explosives for the attempt were being kept in a Mosque by another ISI agent named Bablu or Usman.
As the Kargil conflict came to an end this July, many patriotic Amdavadis wanted to express their joy and celebration at the Victory of the Indian Armed Forces. In addition the ignominious defeat of Pakistan at the hands of India and later Australia during the World Cup Cricket series,
motivated the citizens to celebrate with even more enthusiasm. Naturally nationalistic fervor was at an all time high and parades were taken out to salute the Kargil martyrs as well as to denounce the Pakistanis. Effigies of Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif were burnt as cries of “Pakistan Hai Hai” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai” rent the air. It was these celebrations that supposedly “offended and angered” the Muslims.
What could possibly be offensive about these celebrations? Any Indian who loves his/her country would add their voice to the chorus. Should the citizens of India be expected to shout slogans in support of Pakistan’s Jihadis now?? Instead of joining in as any nationalistic Indian should, the Muslim community of “Ahmedabad” started throwing stones at the celebrations. Cries of hatred against “Kafir Hindustan Murdabad” and “Pakistan Zindabad” filled the air within the walled city, where Muslims predominate. It was natural for the Hindus to be outraged and infuriated at this response.
Last week as the Hindus of ‘Ahmedabad” took out their annual Rath Yatra procession, they were stoned yet again by Muslims. Acid bulbs were also thrown at the women and children in the procession in order to disrupt it. It was obvious that the Muslims wanted to retaliate for the Kargil parades. As the procession wound its way through the walled city, sporadic incidences of stabbing started happening. On July 21, a Hindu visitor Nageswara Rao was stabbed in Kalupur. He died the same day. Violence then erupted in the Muslim areas within the walled city such as Kalupur, Dariapur, Shahpur, Raipur, Karanj and Shahlam where stone throwing and arson was reported. On July 24, the Muslims claimed that they had found a boy’s body with stab wounds, as a result they went on a stabbing spree, killing four Hindus in cold blood.
As Police curfew was imposed, tensions increased. Hundreds of instances of stabbing, looting, arson and stone throwing were reported as irate Muslim mobs descended in hundreds upon innocent passersby. Hindus retaliated with full force. They were further infuriated by the fact that the Police began arresting the Hindus instead of the Muslim culprits who were instigating the violence. Over seven people have been killed and forty injured. Of these five of the dead and almost all the injured are Hindus.
Even as the Bharati Majlis(a Muslim Organization) and members of the Congress Party started screaming about the culpability of “Extremist Hindu elements”, the Police unearthed a bomb-manufacturing unit inside a closed textile mill in the Saraspur area. As many as 90 petrol bombs, a huge quantity of raw material and empty shells of hand grenades were seized from the spot. The Saraspur Police had received information that following an attack on Jalampur-ni-chawl, Muslims were getting ready explosives which were to be used to attack Hindus.
The Muslims were using used soft drinks bottles and liquor for making the bombs. An igniting strip was to be attached to the tip of the bottle after filling it with the explosive solution.
How can the Hindu citizens of a city feel safe in such a hostile environment? They are being deprived of their right to practise their religion, culture and tradition in their own city and country. The riots have been deliberately planned to drive out the Hindu residents of “Ahmedabad” out of fear. The only beneficiaries to such a situation would be the Congress, Shankarsingh Vaghela and the Muslim elements of “Ahmedabad”.
Even as cries of denouncement against the “Hindu fundamentalists” fill the air throughout the “Secular” politics and media of India, it is time for the Hindus of “Ahmedabad” and innumerable other Indian cities which have been robbed of their culture, to realize that the problem is NOT temporary. The only way to defeat these dark forces that threaten to overwhelm democracy is by ensuring that they don’t come to power.
For the Hindu citizens of what was once the glorious city of Karnavati, there is only one weapon left in their defense; Their Vote.