He Burnt The Nalanda University, We named a Town after him

Bakhtiyar Khilji nalanda

The entire subcontinent is fascinated about how the Islamic rule ushered in ‘golden era’. How there was absolute peace and tranquility and harmony existed between the several factions of the society. There was no religious discrimination against non muslims. Going a step ahead monuments and cities have been named after the invaders who had destroyed them and ransacked them. This is a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome wherein the looters have been potrayed as benevolent rulers and people adulate them giving their deeds a complete disregard.

Bakhityarpur in Bihar is one such place that is named after Bakhtiyar Khilji, the Turkish warlord who served under the slave dynasty ruler, Qutbuddin Aibak and ransacked Nalanda, the world’s first university during his Bihar and Bengal Campaign.

Nalanda used to attract visitors from as far as Japan, China, Nepal, Indonesia but did not fit in the parameters that define a seat of learning and hence got desecrated by the iconoclast invader. 

It is said that when Bakhtiyar Khilji torched Nalanda, its libraries kept on burning till 3 months. The destruction of Nalanda has been described at length in the work “Tabaquat-e-Nasiri” by Minhaj-us-Siraj.

The invaders were requested by the inmates to spare the library as it had done no harm to which he asked whether, it housed in it, a copy of Holy Koran. When replied in the negative, the invader decided to set the library on fire.

The monks were burnt alive and those who tried offering even the smallest of an offense were beheaded.

This burning of the books of Kaafirs was perfectly in sync with the attacks on libraries of Alexandria by the forces of Amr-Ibn-Al As and the destruction of the Zoroastrian library at Ctesiphon.

Even ISIS is burning rare manuscripts and books in every city that it has captured. The latest was in Mosul in Iraq when the Mosul Public Library was bombed using the IEDs turning the 8000 books to ashes. The ISIS even suspended the website of the Mosul Public Library.

The untimely demise of Nalanda as a seat of learning led to the demise of Mathematics, Science, Art, Literature from India. It pushed back Indian knowledge of Science and Arts by centuries. It was something that haunts us till now. If we can give to the world the wonders of Ayurveda, Yog, Classical Music, Natyashastra despite of so many invasions and attacks on our culture, we can imagine how advanced we would have been back then.

The sadder aspect of this aspect is the glorification of Bakhtiyar Khilji by the Muslims of the subcontinent. Al Mahmud, the leading Bangladeshi poet glorified Khilji in his poem Bakhtiyayer Ghora(Horses of Bakhtiyar Khilji) in which he potrayed him as a great hero of Islam as he upheld the flag of Islam high and the religion gained a very high number of converts.

The Muslim intelligentsia of the subcontinent refuses to accept that they are progenies of the same converts who were forced to leave their religion. The only other option was to get killed. Most of them just become insensitive to the abuse and disrespect that was hurled at them in these invasions.

This political correctness has highly distorted the mindset of an average Indian and it needs to be shunned because those who deny history get denied in history.