Kidnapping and Forceful Conversion of Hindu Young Men During the Muslim Rule in India
Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari
A Muslim lady, called Nusrat Jahan Ayesha Siddiqa, has written a book in Bengali and titled “Islamic Peace and Massacring the Infidels”, and she has given a nice description of the events, in the preface of that book – how the Muslim kings and nobles used to hijack best Hindu young men, convert them to Islam and give their daughters in marriage to them. The book has been published by another Muslim lady called Laila Anjumand Ara Banu. The paragraphs below present a translation of Preface of the book by the authoress (as quoted by R N Datta in his book “The Silent Terror”).
“Many Hindus of Bengal are aware of the Hindu kingdom and the Hindu kings of Ektakia, in the district of Rajshahi, now in Bangladesh. Saptadurga or Satgarah was their capital. When Syed Hussain Shah was the Badshah of Bengal, having capital at Gaur, now situated in the district of Maldah in West Bengal, Raja Madan Narayan, a Brahmin, was the king of Ektakia. These Hindu kingdoms like Ektakia were not independent but tributaries to the Badshah of Bengal and had to pay annual tax or revenue to the Badshah of Gaur. In one occasion, King Madan Narayan took his two sons Kandarpa Narayan and Kamdeb Narayan with him during his annual visit to Gaur for paying his tribute.
Syed Hussain Shah had many daughters out of his four wives. Being a Sayed, the Badshah used to look down upon the other Muslims who were converted to Islam from Hinduism or Buddhism. So, several of his daughters, though grown up, were remained unwed for want of suitable grooms. But the two charming, educated, intelligent, young and chaste sons of Madan Narayan instantly attracted the attention of Hussain Shah, who decided to marry his two eldest daughters to them. When the Badshah disclosed his mind to Madan Narayan, he told the Badshah with folded hands, said, “O King! You are my Lord and hence you should not play a tyrant to me as it does not look nice and befitting for you.” But the Badshah very cleverly replied, “O dear King, you should not misunderstand me. I personally have much respect and love for the kings of Ektakia. I, being a Syed, is the guru of the Muslims, as you, a Brahmin, is to the Hindus. As your daughters cannot marry anyone except he is a Brahmin, similarly my daughters cannot marry ordinary Muslims. I want to give the hands of my daughters to your sons in marriage, not as a tyrant, but as respect and deep regards for your illustrious family. I do not say that, your sons will have to embrace Islam. It is a natural and common social rule that the wife must follow the religion of her husband and hence you are at liberty to convert my daughters to Hinduism before marriage. If you do not agree, then I should say that your sons have to be converted to Islam. And we shall be glad to include them into our community. Out of these two proposals, I shall follow which you will consider best, but I shall never apply force in any circumstances.”
King Madan Narayan could smell that, the Badshah would show his real face if he disagreed both the proposal. Secondly, being a devout Brahmin, it would not be possible for him to bring a girl from a Muslim family, though after a possible conversion to Hinduism. So, he gave up the hope of his sons and consequently they were converted to Islam and married to the daughters of Hussain Shah. Later on, he kidnapped 11 more young men of the family of Madan Narayan, including his sons and nephews, converted them to Islam and married them with 11 princesses of his family. Only one boy, Ratikanta, the fourth son of Madan Narayan was spared because of his poor eye sight. “Let the fellow with bad eye sight remain a Hindu and for the others with good eye sight, it has been better for them to convert to Islam”, said the Badshah ironically to Madan Narayan in on one occasion. In this way, 20 Hindu princes were hijacked from the Royal family of Ektakia.
This process of hijacking Hindu young men and giving them Muslim Royal princesses in marriage, of course after converting to Islam, was not confined to the Badshah of Bengal only. Even Mughal Emperors, in several occasions, adopted this policy to find suitable grooms for their princesses. Emperor Akbar married two of her daughters using this policy; one to the Music maestro, who was called Tansen after conversion to Islam, and the other daughter to Chandra Narayan, a Prince of the Royal family pf Ektakia. Aurangzeb married his eldest daughter to a Kashmiri Pundit called Krishna Narayan, after kidnapping and converting to Islam. When Sayesta Khan was the subedar of Bengal, Aurangzeb wrote him a letter asking him to kidnap suitable princes of the Royal family of Ektakia and convert to Islam and send them to Delhi under strong protection of the security staff. The above order also carried a strict instruction that said that, no such converted Hindu prince should be sent to Delhi; until he turns into a devout Muslim because the Emperor disliked meeting a converted Muslim who still possessed the hateful habits of the Hindu kafirs.
We used to listen to these stories from my grandmother. She also told us that we were the descendants of Prince Kandarpa Narayan. Though Prince Kamdeb could have been able to accept his conversion to Islam as his destiny, but Kandarpa Narayan could not. He could never become a Muslim by his heart. As there was no other alternative but to accept it as his fate, he ordered his descendants to carry the remembrance of their Hindu root from generation after generation. I belong to the 23rd generation of Prince Kandarpa Narayan and my blood begins to boil when I remember the Humiliation, coercion and torture that compelled my fore-fathers to convert to Islam.”
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