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Hindu Genocide and Trans-Generational trauma of Hindus

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

Last century was a century of Genocides, technological advancements have made it easier for the belligerents to commit genocides on an industrial scale. The world today knows a lot about the major genocides that took place in last century. Most of the genocides got documented well because of the persisting efforts of many historians. While World War-I is known for the Armenian Genocide committed by ottoman Caliphate and World War-II came to be known for the Jewish genocide committed by Nazis under Third Reich. The last known genocide that shook the world was Rwandan Genocide that took place in 1994.

World today knows a lot about the persecution of Jews. History related to Anti-Semitism is well documented and Holocaust denial is a crime in present day Germany. The holocaust in Europe inflicted a trans generational trauma on the Jewish community throughout the world. The coping mechanism or healing process manifested itself from the trauma of the persecuted Jews through the Nazi trails in Nuremberg and hunt for the notorious Nazi criminals that escaped through the rat lines ( a system of escape routes for Nazis and other fascists fleeing Europe in the aftermath of World War II ) established after the war by Nazi sympathizers.

The events that create trans generational trauma are genocide, war, ethnic violence, mass killings, loss of land, destruction of sacred places. The survivors of the genocide or the direct witnesses are the primary source of information in recording the details of occurrence of a genocide. Perhaps Hindu Genocide is the most unspoken genocide that took place in a span of over 13 centuries in the world today. Western psychologists have examined in detail the effects of collective intergenerational trauma faced by survivors of Jewish Holocaust and Armenian Genocide. Yet, the world is still in the dark about the transgenerational trauma faced by Hindus in India during genocidal violence of Islamic invasions and subsequent colonial conquests aimed at Christianizing the local populace.

In what was probably the world’s biggest holocaust, or in Will Durant’s words, ‘the bloodiest story in history’ and continues till date and is not being acknowledged by the world. This has led to transgenerational trauma in the Hindus.

History of Temple destruction

Every religious place is a space with an absorbed memory and is considered sacred by the people belonging to that Belief system. In that sense, Temples hold special place in Hinduism and is a sacred place for all Hindus. Magnificent temples of scale and style were built until 1000 years ago throughout the sacred geography (extending from Afghanistan to modern day Cambodia) of India. However, few survived and remained intact in North India. What happened to the temples that existed 1000 years ago? The answer is most of them are destroyed by Islamic rulers on purpose to assert their dominance inflicting trans generational trauma on the Hindus. As a result, there are large temples that survived in the South from the medieval and ancient times.

In stark contrast, for almost 1,000 years - 800 years of Muslim rule and almost 200 years of British rule - no magnificent temples were built by Hindus in the northern part of India. Today, they mostly pray within the confines of their own homes. The destruction of temples was to destroy a civilization, a way of life and a faith of people who had built it over thousands of years. The great historian, Will Durant has noted in his book, "The story of civilization" as follows: "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 of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within"

Image: Ruins of Nalanda University in the Indian state of Bihar

According to the historian Konrad Elst, an estimated 6 million Hindus were killed in the Holocaust in the hands of Muslim warriors in the span of over 13 centuries [1] . This destruction over centuries created a fear that paralyzed the Hindu society, and they could not think of building another temple lest it be destroyed again. The list of some of the famous Hindu temples that were destroyed are Ayodhya temple where the God Rama is worshipped, Mathura temple which is dedicated to God Krishna and Kasi Vishwanath temple where God Shiva is worshipped. The temples are destroyed by the Islamic invaders, fanatic Islamic rulers of the time who ruled over India not just once but every time when they are rebuilt. Somnath temple located in Gujarat is one such temple which witnessed the destruction for 17 times during different times of history because of Islamic invasions [2]. Nalanda University which is regarded as one of the oldest universities is destroyed and Buddhist monks there brutally massacred [3] by Turkish chieftain called Bakhtiyar Khilji to justify his religious beliefs. The hundreds of thousands of books and manuscripts of the Nalanda University were also burnt in the process. The temples at these holy sites were not just destroyed, they were replaced with mosques by the Islamic rulers of the time to assert their power and inflict damage on the Hindu Psyche. The list of decimated temples provided here is not exhaustive and to include the detail of every destroyed temple out of scope of this article.

  • What would be Judaism without mount Sinai and Moriah?

  • What would be Christianity without Bethlehem and Golgotha?

  • What would be Islam without Medina?

  • What has been Hinduism without its sacred places?

One should note that Hinduism is polytheistic in nature and therefore it has not just one sacred place but many sacred places which hold an important place in Hinduism. Many temples are still being attacked and destroyed in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan every year just for being a different faith from the official religion of the state of the respective countries. Hindus in these countries continue to live in fear of not just losing their temples but their daughters to forced kidnapping and conversion by the state and the Islamic society they live in.

Kashmir temples and Kashmiri Anti-Hindu pogroms

Image: An illustration of temple in Kashmir

Kashmir which is referred to as Switzerland of Asia is crown of Hindu civilization with many temples that is holy to Hindus. The phenomenon of temple destruction, Anti-Hindu Pogroms because of Islamic conquests and extremism has become rampant in the last 1000 years. The forceful conversion and destruction of temples started from 10th century onwards and continued till date making the Hindus in the Kashmir region a minority in their own land.

According to official records, nearly 208 temples were desecrated and destroyed in Kashmir because of Islamic extremism in the last two decades alone [ 4 ] The genocide of Hindus that spanned over many centuries reached it zenith in 1989 when attacks took place shortly after the inception of the Muslim-dominated insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, which eventually forced Kashmiri Hindu Pandits out of the Kashmir Valley. Panun Kashmir, a political group representing the Hindus who fled Kashmir, has published a list of about 1,341 Hindus killed since 1990. Many families are awaiting justice for the loss of their loved ones and still carry “trans-generational trauma”. Fear in societies is passed on from generation to generation, often in silence and is called transgenerational trauma by the Psychologists. Societies that face persecution, genocide and loss of their sacred spaces go through it till they come to terms with their grief either by giving up their identity altogether or reclaiming what they have lost.

The reclamation is precisely what Israel has achieved through the trails of Adolf Eichmann. In the aftermath of the World War-II many notorious high ranking Nazis went into hiding to many countries (Middle East, South America predominantly) sympathetic to Nazi cause. The new cold war era politics was a watershed moment, Nazis who were considered perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity have become partners of the USA [5] in their fight against Communist Soviet Union. Thus justice to the victims of Holocaust was ignored in the wake of new political alignments of post-World War II world order. The Eichmann trial was the end of the era of sweeping the Holocaust under the rug and the beginning of a new phase, marked by the exhortation to never forget — an idea that still governs Holocaust education throughout the world. Eichmann, one of the major organizers of the Holocaust living with a Pseudonym in Argentina was abducted and brought to Israel in a Clandestine operation conducted by Israeli secret service Mossad and put to trail for his Holocaust crimes against Jews in Tel Aviv and televised to the whole world.

Source: Newsreel clip from the Motion Picture Division of the U.S. National Archives

The Eichmann’s trail has set a precedent to the world regarding the handling of trans generational trauma of the communities that went through persecution. This holds true for Hindus also, who has undergone such genocide over a period of last 1200 years in their own land and around the world. No institution or country in the world bothered to address the injustice they faced. Even an institution like United Nations which is supposed to uphold equality in its outlook towards all religious communities showed its bias against Hindus. The reluctance and apathy of the UN came to public notice when it conveniently forgot to include the word “Hindu phobia” in its draft resolution on the “Freedom of Religion or Belief” in General assembly meeting in August 2020. Where as "Anti-Semitism", "Islamophobia", "Christianophobia" were all included in its draft resolution expressing deep concern the overall rise in instances of discrimination, intolerance and violence”. A sincere acknowledgement of grief and transgenerational trauma will enable the world to understand the needs and aspirations of the masses that were buried under a cloak of secrecy for centuries.

Author: Bhairavi Weber

Show your support and support the Cause

To protest the damage and destruction of Hindu temples Pakistan and in memory of all the Hindu lives lost in temple destruction, genocides of the past, Kashmiri anti-Hindu pogrom that happened in 1989. The Hindus of Germany is organizing a protest. It takes place on 19.1.21 at 11.30 hours at Brandenburger Tor, Berlin So if you wish to help or volunteer in whatever way for the cause, please feel free to fill this form to get in touch with the Organizers.

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A movement all over India with a motto of saving temples has been going on from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.. #LightALamp = #savemandirs = #SaveDharma

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Disclaimer Notice: The information in this article is sourced from different sources. The opinions, beliefs and views expressed by the author and forum participants on this website are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of SatyaWahr.

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