“Whichever side may be slain, Islam is the gainer”
This miniature depicts Akbar and Mughal army slaying sannaysis who had come to bathe in the sacred place of kurukshetra near Thanesar
This incident happened c.1567 when a group of sannyasis(referred to as puri by Abdul Fazl) had come to bathe at what kurukshetra. Soon, a rival group of Sannyasis(kur) arrived and there was a brawl over the precedence in bathing at the holy tank.
Akbar took sides and soon the Mughal army indulged in massive slaughter of the other Sannyasis to death.
Western Indologist Bonnie C. Wade tries to pass this off as secular incident and praises the ‘authority’ of Akbar in his high handedness. He instead blames the sannyasis for greed1. He says2
This should not be a case of Muslim versus Hindu2
One wonders why Akbar engaged in massive slaughter, abdicating his function as guardian of public peace.
The assertions of our dear Indologist bite the dust when contemporary Mughal primary sources are examined. In Tabaqat-I-Akbari and the reason of Akbar’s behaviour is expounded. He is reported to have said “har tarf shawwad kushta Sud-I-Islam ast” meaning “which ever side may be slain, Islam is the gainer3
In the beginning, Akbar and the Mughals watched the brawl from a distance. When one group began to prevail over other, he took the side of other group and slaughtered them enmasse. Thus, he ensured maximum blood was shed
1) Bonnie C. Wade, Imaging Sound – An Ethnomusicological Study of Music, Art, & Culture in Mughal India PP.33
3) Khandan-i-Timuria 322a; Khandan-I-Timuria 279; Sarkar, Jadunath History of Aurangzib pp.250