Aurangzeb offered bountiful grants and land to ancient Temples: Historian

Allahabad-based historian has claimed that Aurangzeb had offered bountiful grants and land to the ancient Someshwar Mahadev temple on the banks of Sangam in Arail.

Of all the Muslim rulers who ruled vast territories of India from 712 to 1857 CE, probably no one has received as much criticism from Indian Hindu writers as Aurangzeb.

Aurangzeb has been castigated as an anti-Hindu, who taxed them, who tried to convert them, who discriminated against them and many more false allegations made against him.

These views have been heavily promoted in few of the government approved textbooks in schools and colleges across India. These are fabrications against one of the best rulers of India who was a good ruler, fair, open minded towards all religions.

Historian and principal of Serveshwari Degree College Pradeep Kesherwani made this claim based on certain historical facts. “During one of his military campaigns, Aurangzeb and his army had spent time near the temple. During the stay, he not only visited the Someshwar Mahadev temple but also offered grant and land for its maintenance. This fact is mentioned on the ‘Dharma Dand’ (religious pillar) situated on the temple premises,” Kesherwani told TOI.

Kesherwani list another fact that, in the writings of former Allahabad mayor Vishamber Nath Pandey, who later became the governor of Odisha said that during his tenure, as chairman of Allahabad Nagar Palika, “over a dispute of a temple, I came to observe the documents showing grants from Aurangzeb, both in terms of land and money.

Historian Babu Nagendranath Banerjee rejected the accusation of forced conversion of Hindus by Muslim rulers by stating that if that was their intention then in India today there would not be nearly four times as many Hindus compared to Muslims.

Banerjee challenged the Hindu hypothesis that Aurangzeb was anti-Hindu by reasoning that if the latter were truly guilty of such bigotry, how could he appoint a Hindu as his military commander-in-chief?

“Hindus held the highest position in the State Treasury. Some prejudiced Muslims even questioned his decision to appoint non-Muslims to such high offices. The Emperor refuted that by stating that he had been following the dictates of the Shariah (Islamic Law) which demands appointing right persons in right positions,” said Banerjee.

The proof of Aurangzeb’s land grant for famous Hindu religious sites in Kasi, Varanasi can easily be verified from the deed records extant at those sites, Banerjee added.