Brahmins were benefited by Muslim Conquest
By Dr. K. Jamanadas
There is a lot of propaganda, that Muslim period was a foreign rule over Indian masses, who were crushed under the foreign yoke. All this is a great and fake propaganda by the brahmanical scholars. Actually, it was this class who got the maximum benefits of Muslim raj. Here we have to remember that India has triple governance. Governance at the village and town level, second is regional level and top most is national level. The local level governance is the actual governance. In India it makes no difference, who ruled at the top, at the local levels it was the Brahmins who always ruled. And their rule was as per the Laws of caste. Swami Dharma Teertha observes:
"The disappearance of Buddhism and the passing of political power into the hands of the Mohammedans, though they meant the extermination of national life, was a triumph for Brahmanism. ... in the period of national prostration and political chaos roughly from the eight to the twelfth century after Christ, there is a phenomenal revival, expansion and consolidation of the theocratic domination of the Brahmans. One prominent result of the invasion of India by the Mohammedans was that, so far as Hindu society was concerned, Brahmans became its undisputed leaders and law givers.
"After the overthrow of the Hindu princes by the Mohammedans, the Hindu princes and chiefs lost a good deal of their prestige, but the leadership of the Hindus instead of passing into the new political authority, namely Mohammedan rulers, passed almost entirely to the brahmans." [Kelkar S. V., "An Essay on Hinduism, p. 149]
"There were no powerful Indian rulers to question their right to decide what should be or should not be the religion of the people, and by what principles their social life should be governed. When the Mohammedans had overcome all opposition and settled down as rulers, unless some of them were fanatically inclined to make forcible conversions, they left the Hindus in the hands of their religious leaders and whenever they wanted to pacify them by quiet methods, they made use of Brahmans as their accredited representatives.
"Another great advantage was that, for the first time in history, all the peoples of India, of all sects and denominations, were brought under the supremacy of the Brahmans. Till then they had claimed to be priest of the three higher castes only and did not presume to speak for the Sudras and other Indian peoples except to keep them at a safe distance. The Mohammedans called all the non-Muslims inhabitants, without any discrimination, by the common name "Hindu", which practically meant non-Muslims and nothing more. This simple fact contributed to the unification of India more than any other single event, but also, at the same time, condemned the dumb millions of the country to perpetual subjection to their priestly exploiters. Indians became "Hindus," their religion became Hinduism and Brahmans their masters.
"The word Hindu itself is a foreign one. The Hindus never used it in any Sanskrit writing, that is those which were written before the Mohammedan invasion." [p. 22, An Essay on Hinduism, by Kelkar]
"When the Mohammedans came they called all people who were in India, but who did not belong to Mohammedan religion, Hindus.... All castes and creeds which did not acknowledge Mohammedan religion were Hindus." [p.29, An Essay on Hinduism, by Kelkar.]
"Thus was the Indian people by an innocent accident of history, permanently subjected to a disastrous social and religious in the shaping of which they had no hand and could thereafter obtain no voice, but were entirely at the mercy of the Brahmans. Brahmanism became Hinduism, that is the religion of all who were not followers of the prophet of Mecca. Fortified thus in an unassailable position of sole religious authority, Brahmans commenced to establish their theocratic overlordship of all India." [Swami Dharma Teertha, pp. 123 ff.]
What did they do first?
Swami Dharma Teertha explains the activities of Brahmins after they captured the power. It was creation of shastras to suit newer conditions. He observes:
"One of the first signs of Brahmanical revival, as in the past, was the promulgation of new Shastras, Puranas and other religious literature alleged to be the works of ancient sages. The priests must have been conscious of the untenability of their doctrines and their own unworthiness to lay down rules for the good of society, for they wrote new works in the name of ancient authors and altered ancient works to suit their present contentions. There is hardly any Sanskrit composition which has not been tampered with, altered or added to by them. There is no famous Rishi or teacher in whose name they have not concocted scriptures. There is no sacred book into which fiction and legend and imaginary history have not been interpolated. The most ancient of scriptures, the Rig-Veda, has not escaped the profane hand of interpolators and its tenth book is wholly ascribed to gods as if to conceal their true origin and later authorship. Veracity as to facts was never a feature of Brahman authors, so much so that historical unreliability has become a universal literary characteristics of the Sanskrit language. The best critic would be unable to separate the grain from the chaff, to say where facts end and fiction begins. This is even more the case in regard to the so-called sacred literature. The period of brahmanical revival naturally abounds in such fraudulent Shastras and Puranas." [Dharma Teertha, p. 124 ff.]
Thus we see the Muslim Rule was also a Brahmanic rule s far as the masses were concerned. Except for a small period of Akbar's rule, the masses suffered Brahmin tyranny in addition to Muslim fanaticism in between, till Britishers came to the rescue of common man. But even in British Raj, the masses could not escape tyranny of Brahmins, which continues till this date. All these are the ill effects of fall of Buddhism from ancient India.
Brahmanic methods of Conversion
H. H. Risley has given a vivid description of methods of social control and mimesis of Brahmins over the Indian masses, which deserved to be quoted in toto.:
"Brahmanism knows noting of open proselytism or forcible conversion, and attains its end in a different and more subtle fashion, for which no precise analogue can be found in the physical world. It leaves existing aggregates very much as they were, and so far from welding them together, after the manner of Islam, into large cohesive aggregates, tends rather to create an indefinite number of fresh groups; but every tribe that passes within the charmed circle of Hinduism is inclined sooner or later to abandon its more primitive usages or to clothe them in some Brahmanical disguise. The strata, indeed, remain, or are multiplied; their relative positions are on the whole unaltered; only their fossils are metamorphosed into more advanced forms.
"One by one the ancient totems drop off, or are converted by a variety of ingenious devices into respectable personages of the standard mythology; the fetish gets a new name, and is promoted to the Hindu Pantheon in the guise of a special incarnation of one of the greater gods; the tribal chief sets up a family priest, starts a more or less romantic family legend, in course of time blossoms forth as a new variety of Rajput. His people follow his lead, and make haste to sacrifice their women at the shrine of social distinction. Infant marriage with all its attendant horrors is introduced; widows are forbidden to marry again and divorce, which plays a great and, on the whole, a useful part in tribal society, is summarily abolished. Throughout all these changes, which strike deep into the domestic life of people, the fiction is maintained that no real change has taken place, and every one believes, or affects to believe, that things are with them as they have been since the beginning of time. It is curious to observe that the operation of these tendencies has been quickened, and the sphere of their action enlarged by the great expansion of railways which has taken place in India during the last few years."
"The leading men of an aboriginal tribe, having somehow got on in the world and became independent landed proprietors manage to enroll themselves in one of the leading castes, They usually set up as Rajputs; their first step being to start a Brahman priest, who invents for them a mythical ancestor supplies them with a family miracle connected with the locality where their tribe are settled, and discovers that they belong to some hitherto unheard-of clan of the great Rajput community. In the early stages of their advancement they generally find great difficulty in getting their daughters married, as they will not marry within their own tribe, and Rajputs of their adopted caste will of course not intermarry with them. But after a generation or two their persistency obtains its reward, and they intermarry, if not with pure Rajputs, at least with a superior order of manufactured Rajputs, whose promotion into the Brahmanical system dates far enough back for the steps by which it was gained to have been forgotten. Thus a real change of blood takes place; while in any case the tribal name is completely lost, and with it all possibility of accurately separating this class of people from the Hindus of purer bloods, and of assigning them to any particular non-Aryan tribe. They have absorbed in the fullest sense of the word, and henceforth pose, and are locally accepted, as high-caste Hindus. All stages of the process, family miracle and all can be illustrated by actual instances from the leading families in Chota Nagpur.
"A number of aborigines embrace the tenets of a Hindu religious sect, losing thereby their tribal name and becoming Vaishnabs, Ramayats, and the like. Whether there is any mixture of blood or not will depend upon local circumstances and the rules of the sect regarding inter- marriage. Anyhow the identity of the converts as aborigines is usually, though not invariably, lost, and this also may therefore be regarded as a case of true absorption."
"A whole tribe of aborigines, or a large section of a tribe, enroll themselves in the ranks of Hinduism under the style of a new caste, which though claiming an origin of remote antiquity, is readily distinguishable by its name from any of the standard and recognized castes. Thus the great majority of Koch inhabitants of Rungpore now invariably describe themselves as Rajbanshis or Bhanga Kshatriyas - a designation which enable them to represent themselves as an outlying branch of the Kshatriyas who fled to North-Eastern Bengal in order to escape from the wrath of Parasu-Rama. They claim descent from Raja Dashrath, father of Rama. They keep Brahmans, imitate the Brahmanical ritual in their marriage ceremony, and have begun to adopt the Brahmanical system of gotras. In respect of this last point they are now in a curious state of transition, as they have all hit upon the same gotra (Kasyapa), and thus habitually transgress the primary rule of the Brahmanical system, which absolutely prohibits marriage within the gotra. But for this defect in their connubial arrangements - a defect which will probably be corrected in a generation or two as they and their purohits rise in intelligence - there would be nothing in their customs to distinguish them from Aryan Hindus, although there has been no mixture of blood, any they remain thoroughly Koch under the name of Rajbanshi.
"A whole tribe of aborigines, or a section of a tribe, became gradually converted to Hinduism without, like the Rajbanshis abandoning their tribal designation. This is what is happening among the Bhumij of Western Bengal. Here a pure Dravidian race have lost their original language, and now speak only Bengali; they worship Hindu gods in addition to their own (tendency being to relegate the tribal gods to the women), and the more advanced among them employ Brahmans as family priests. They still retain a set of totemistic exogamous subdivisions closely resembling those of the Mundas and the Santals, but they are beginning to forget the totems which the names of the subdivisions denote, and the names themselves will probably soon be abandoned in favour of more aristocratic designations. The tribe will then have become a caste, and will go on stripping itself of all customs likely to betray its true descent. The physical characteratics of its members will alone survive. After their transformation into a caste, the Bhumij will be more strictly endogamous than they were as a tribe, and even less likely to modify their physical type by intermarriage with other races."
"There is every reason to suppose that the movement of which certain phases are roughly sketched above, has been going on for many centuries, and that, although at the present day its working can probably be most readily observed in Chota Nagpore, the Orissa hills, and parts of Eastern and Northern Bengal, it must formerly have operated on a silmilar on a similar scale in Bengal proper and Behar."
"The tendency to imitate the usages of the higher castes, which has been remarked in Behar and Chota Nagpur, operates muich more strongly in Bengal proper and Orisa. In Orissa, for instance, the Goalas take a higher position than in Behar, and rigorously prohibit widow remarriage. Throughout Bengal the Kaibarttas, though ranking below the Nabasakh or group of thirteen (formely nine) castes from whose hands an orthodox Brahman can take water, marry their doughters as infants, and forbid their widows to remarry. In Dacca the gunny-weaving and mat-making Kapalis, and the Chandals, spoken of in Manu as 'the vilest of mankind', have given up widow remarriage, and the practice appears to be confined to the Gareri, Rishi, Coch-Mandai, and other aboriginal and semiaboriginal castes. Similar evidence of the gradual spread of practices Rajbanshis of Rungpore, people of distinctly non-Aryan type, who have abandoned their tribal name of Koch in recent times, now pose as high as high-cast Hindus, and affect great indignation if asked whether their widows can remarry. The Paliyas of Dinagepore, also demonstrably Koch, fall into two sections - Rajbansi Paliyas and Byabahari, or `common' Paliyas. The latter practise widow remarriage, but are begining to be ashamed of it, and in this and other matters show signs of a leaning towards orthodox usage. The former are as strict as the exterme ignorance of the `fallen' Brahmans who act as their family priests admits; and as education spreads among them, they will go on continually raising their standard of ceremonial purity.
"It is clear that tencdencty of the lower strata of Hindu socierty is continually towords closer and closer conformity with the usages of the higher castes. These alone present a definite patten which admits, up to a certain point, of ready imitation, and the whole Brahmanical system works in this direction." [H. H. Risley, "The Tribes and Castes of Bengal", Bengal Secretariate Press, Calcutta, 1891, Quoted by Nair "Dynamic Brahmin", p. 62 ff.]