Do you agree with the view that the Turkish advent was an ‘Islamic Intrusion’ into Indian History? How
does the literature of the period represent the cultural encounter?
The period from 1000 to 1200 AD was a period of tremendous change in Central and West Asia.The
advent of the Turks in the 11
century is often seen as ‘Islamic Intrusion’ into the Indian
arrival of Islam in India dates to the early 8
century with the Arabs conquest of Sindh under
Muhammad Qasim and trading links with Arabs and the establishment of Arab trading colonies in India
also date from well before the Turkish invasion of the 11
century.In the course of this essay, I would like
to outline at the very beginning the concepts and themes that I would wish to touch upon in analysing
themes like the “Turkish Advent”, “Islamic Intrusion”, etc. But I shall also throw some light
“Indian History” of the time and how renowned historians have described it.
I will talk about the political scene that was prevalent just before the advent of the Turks and how it
changed in their presence, and under their influence. I will then go on to talk about the “Colonial School
of Historiography” and its concept of “Islamic Intrusion”. I will touch upon the idea of “Demonisation of
Muslims”. This I believe is one of the most critically important aspects of this paper. And this is not just
historically speaking; the times that we live in, and the ways in which society is witnessing the perversion
of religious identities to suit ill-motivated and ill-begotten political, personal and sometimes economical
ends serves as an important
for analysing and mentioning this idea of “Demonisation” of
religions, cultures, ways of thinking and ways of living.
I would then talk about the definition of identities in frontier settings, of how “Outsiders” set about
legitimising their presence, solidifying their influence, and consolidating their positions.
I touch upon certain specific themes which would, in one way or another, serve to either demonstrate or
refute this debate of “Intrusion”, temple desecration and the representation of images.The glorification of
individuals (such as Mahmud of Ghazni); the rhetoric of religious texts like that of the Ramayana; the
representation of certain themes in the contemporary literature of those times,like romance in Khusrau’s
and politico-religious ideas in works by Isami etc. This will, in my belief, bring out to a certain
extent, and decide one way or another, whether what happened in medieval India.If coming of the Turks
was an “Islamic Intrusion” or
something entirely different.
The characterization of the Turkish invasion as an ‘Islamic intrusion’ rides upon two main
assumptions.The first being that the Turkish invaders were identified on the basis of their religion and
their actions were religiously motivated.The second
is that there exsited,and indeed has been exsited
from the beginning