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Gradually, Jainism and, especially, Buddhism managed to gain such popularity that, especially in large parts of northern India, Hinduism was gravely threatened with extinction. It was at this time that the centre of Brahminism shifted down south. The Brahminists burned with the desire for revenge, to bring back the Shudras, their former slaves, under their hegemony. They plotted all sorts of conspiracies to extirpate Jainism and Buddhism and to restore Brahminical rule. Brahmins began to infiltrate the Buddhist Sangha, to Brahminise or dilute the Buddha’s original teachings and to destroy the Sangha from within. At the same time, they connived with Hindu kings to launch a slaughter, on a massive scale, of Jains and Buddhists, of both priests as well as lay persons. Jain and Buddhist monasteries and temples across the country were brutally destroyed or converted into Hindu shrines. The Brahmin king Pushyamitra Sanga announced a huge reward for every head of a Buddhist bhikku brought to him. The Shaivite king of Gaur cut down the tree in Bodh Gaya under which the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. As Professor R. S. Sharma very rightly notes, it must not be thought that the extermination of Buddhism from India was simply a result of the ideological or missionary counter-offensive of the Brahminical revivalists. Rather, a key role in this project was played by terror and violence unleashed against Jains and Buddhists on a very large scale, which left the remaining Buddhists with just two alternatives—to either flee to other countries or else to embrace Islam. Massive numbers of Buddhists chose both these options. – Masood Alam Falahi 

 (Translated From Urdu by Yoginder Sikand, for NewAgeIslam.com)

 For Part 1 Go to:

Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 1


For Part 2 Go to: Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 2: Indian Muslim Society in the Shadow of Casteism


For Part 3 Go to: Caste and Caste-Based Discrimination among Indian Muslims - Part 3: The Impact of the Aryan Invasion of India