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Amidst 'chauvinist onslaught', forgotten history of South Indian Muslim rulers

By Moin Qazi* 

The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their understanding of their history. ― George Orwell
The Indian civilization has been illumined and inspired by Islamic culture throughout the ages spanning various fields, be it arts, painting, crafts and architecture. These artists inspired human imagination to visualize and conceive variegated artistry. The miniature paintings adorned palaces and mausoleums and the princely rulers decorated their thrones with these artefacts. 
The tragedy, however, is that historians have not documented the entire history without bias. These zealotic historians were filled with rancour against Muslims and were more loyal to their ideology than facts. 
There were several ideology-minded scholars, even among intellectuals, who courted the rulers by destroying and dismantling anything Islamic. So much so that chauvinists appropriated Islamic architecture and presented them as their own. In several cases, the rulers actively patronized the rewriting of history to suit their ideology.
The most significant challenge for authentic historians is to resurrect Islamic heritage and purge them of alien accretions. One brave and passionate historian who has taken upon this audacious task is Syed Ubaidur Rahman, whose zeal and passion for this mission are admirable.
Rahman has culled a vast corpus of unique insights from the humongous mountain of history and condensed them in such an incredible style that the book's conciseness keeps the reader engrossed and helps him understand medieval history in its proper perspective. The facts are also rendered in a fascinating narrative.
Rahman is an author based in New Delhi who seems to have wholly dedicated his life to preserving Indian Muslim history. In the last five years, he has authored at least five books, three of which are highly acclaimed. Among these are 'Forgotten Muslim Empires of South India: Bahmani Empire, Madurai, Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golconda and Mysore Sultanates', 'Ulema's Role in India's Freedom Movement', and 'Biographical Encyclopaedia of Indian Muslim Freedom Fighters'.
His objective is to preserve Indian Muslim history systematically. The most significant disadvantage for South Indian Muslim empires was that it did not attract enough talented historians who believed it was not part of mainstream history. Syed Ubaidur Rahman's book, 'Forgotten Muslim Empires of South India', brings to light the grandeur of that bygone era.
It is a thoroughgoing work of historical revisionism and excavation. It seeks to rehabilitate the Muslim Sultanate of medieval South India into mainstream historical discourse in India, seeking to correct its current marginal status. It is a significant work of historiography, and it succeeds in the goal it sets out to achieve.
The book is divided into five essential chapters dealing with the Bahamani kingdom, the Adil Shahi Sultanate of Bijapur, the Nizam Shahi Sultanate of Ahmadnagar, the Qutb Shahi Sultanate of Golconda (Hyderabad), and the Sultanate of Madura (Ma'bar). The chapters delve into significant aspects of the political history of these sultanates, their rich cultural life, architectural achievements, scholarly investments and lasting contribution, therefore, to the rich texture of Indian civilization.
Ubaidur Rahman narrates the lives of all the kings and major players of Bahamani times, the battles and significant milestones as if these were his family or people he knew personally. The story of Islam and Muslims in South India is fascinating and enchanting. From the first paragraph, the reader is launched into the midst of the action, inside a series of fascinating nuggets drawn from the sidelines of centuries of Deccan history.
This book provides concise but comprehensive exploration of important medieval Indian states
This book provides a concise but comprehensive exploration of a series of important medieval Indian states, whose cultural and artistic are; unique in several respects but are being obscured by vested interest who comprise all disciples so that no trace of authentic history remains even as a minor symbol of this heritage it is a rigidly scholastic and document that speaks of Obaidur Rehman's commitment and devotion to the one-person army in the pursuit of this passion mission He has accomplished an almost unimaginable task every misty nook of history. 
There is no denying the fact that there is a massive population of Muslims down south. However, unfortunately, unlike Muslims in North India, the history of South Indian Muslims, their ruling dynasties, and the Muslim empires haven't been documented in as much detail as needed. On the other hand, a deluge of historians that write Muslim history has overshadowed the so;uth and focused disproportionately on the North.
Even in the case of north India, the focus has always remained on the history of the Mughals, who ruled the country for nearly three hundred years. The history of the Delhi Sultanate and its different dynasties has been richly documented. But other than the Mughals and the Delhi sultanates, not much has been written on various dynasties that have ruled different regions in the North, including the Sharqi Sultanate's ruling dynasties based in Jaunpur or the.
Rahman documents the history of Muslims in medieval India, and the book 'Forgotten Muslim Empires of South India' is the series' first volume. This book established the Bahmani Empire, Adil Shahi Sultanate of Bijapur, Nizam Shahi Sultanate of Ahmadnagar, Qutb Shahi Sultanate of Golconda and Mysore Sultanate that Hyder Ali founded.
The next volume will cover the history of the Sultanate of Gujarat, the Sultanate of Malwa and the Sultanate of Khandesh, and a detailed chapter on the Nizams of Hyderabad.
Muslim history in South India is glorious as a golden era as great as that of the historical and cultural civilization of the Delhi or Mughal Sultanates. At one point in the early fifteenth century, the Bidar-based Bahmani Empire was the most potent empire in South India and across the Indian Subcontine.
The dilemma of Muslims is that they are at crossroads and facing crises on multiple fronts, which makes it challenging to prioritize the various agendas. Only people like Ubaidur Rahamn kep candles are burning in their sphere of passion.
---
*Development expert

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