Skip to main content

'Erased from history': Ghana bloggers on four African kings who ruled in India

A blogging site carries an interesting article, "4 African Kings Who Ruled India That Have Been Erased From History". Two Ghana bloggers (Koby PI and MR Eris), apparently, are owners of the site, which calls itself “Mind Builders Fellowship", which, it says, is an organization that helps each and everyone to liberate oneself by "renewing of the mind and flashing out the unwanted elements out of the mind.”
Interestingly, the bloggers are from a country which shot into prominence for India last year after several scholars from the country called Gandhiji “racist”, leading to removal of the his statue from the University of Ghana. Now, Ghana bloggers seek to suggest how India has “ignored” African kings.
Reproduced below is the blog:
*** 
“…The darkest man is here the most highly esteemed and considered better than the others who are not so dark. Let me add that in very truth these people portray and depict their gods and their idols black and their devils white as snow. For they say that God and all the saints are black and the devils are all white. That is why they portray them as I have described.” – Marco Polo, after visiting the Pandyan Kingdom in 1288
More than a thousand years before the foundations of Greece and Rome, proud and industrious Black men and women known as the Dravidian erected a powerful civilization in the Indus Valley. From those origins, African Kings in India drove the region’s commerce, culture, and belief systems.
Dr. Clyde Winters, author of “Afrocentrism: Myth or Science?” writes:
“Ethiopians have had very intimate relations with Indians. In fact, in antiquity the Ethiopians ruled much of India. These Ethiopians were called the Naga. It was the Naga who created Sanskrit. A reading of ancient Dravidian literature which dates back to 500 BC, gives us considerable information on the Naga. In Indian tradition the Naga won central India from the Villavar (bowmen) and Minavar (fishermen).”
He goes on to say: 
“The Naga were great seamen who ruled much of India, Sri Lanka and Burma. To the Aryans they described as half man and snake. The Tamil knew them as warlike people who used the bow and noose. The earliest mention of the Naga, appear in the Ramayana , they are also mentioned in the Mahabharata. In the Mahabharata we discover that the Naga had the capital city in the Dekkan, and other cities spread between the Jumna and Ganges as early as 1300 BC.
“The Dravidian classic, the Chilappathikaram made it clear that the first great kingdom of India was Naganadu. The Naga probably came from Kush-Punt/Ethiopia since the Puntites were the greatest sailors of the ancient world, and in the Kemetic inscriptions there is mention of the Puntite ports of Outculit, Hamesu and Tekaru, which corresponds to Adulis, Hamasen and Tigre.”

Even the legends of India revere the Black race that laid the foundation of their civilization, and the holiest books of India also affirm that enlightenment came from Ethiopia ((The first God of India was a dreadlocked black man called Shiva.)

Malik Andil Khan Sultan

Little is known about Shahzada Khoja Barbak – the Ethiopian that conquered the Bengal Kingdom and established the Habshi dynasty in 1487. But we know that he was a Siddi.  
African Siddis in a moment of levity with Aryans
The Siddi, also known as Sidi, Siddhi, Sheedi,Sawahili or Habshi, are an ethnic group inhabiting India and Pakistan. Members are descended from the Bantu peoples of the East African region. 
We also know that he was assassinated by one of his own shortly after coming to power. The man who took his place was Malik Andil Khan Sultan. 
Upon assuming the throne, Malik Andil Khan changed his name to Saifu-d-din Abul Muzaffar Firuz Shah, and actually proved to be a wise king.
According to coins found bearing his name, he reigned from 1487–1490. He secured peace and comfort for his subjects, was “matchless in his generosity”, and “bestowed on the poor the treasures and largess of past sovereigns, who had hoarded the same with considerable exertions and pains.” A story from the "Bibliotheca India" illustrates his empathy for the poor:
"The members of Government did not like this generosity towards the poor, and used to say to one another: 'This Abyssinian does not appreciate the value of the money which has fallen into his hands, without toil and labor. We ought to set about discovering a means by which he might be taught the value of money, and to withhold his hand from useless extravagance and lavishness.'
"Then they collected that treasure on the floor, that the king might behold it with his own eyes, and appreciating its value, might attach value to it. When the king saw the treasure, he inquired: 'Why is this treasure left in this place?' The members of Government said: 'This is the same treasure that you allotted to the poor.' The king said: 'How can this amount suffice? Add another lak to it'.”
Today, you can still visit a mosque, a tower and a reservoir in the city of Gaur erected by him.

Jamal al-Din Yaqut

Jamal began his rise to power in Delhi as a habshi, one of many enslaved Africans of East African descent frequently employed by Muslim monarchs as mercenaries and members of royal security teams. Shortly after his employ began, the then reigning sovereign Queen Raziya (1236- 1240) the first female monarch of Delhi took a liking to him. He was subsequently promoted to a royal courtier and later rose to occupy the important post of superintendent of the royal stables.
She awarded him the honorific title Amir-al-Khayl (Amir of Horses) and later the much higher Amir-al-Umara (Amir of Amirs), much to the discontent of the Turkish nobility who at the time also had dealings in the region.
Jamal al-Din Yaqut
Already resented for being a woman ruler by the Muslim nobles and clerics, Razia’s proximity to an Abyssinian slave (considered racially inferior to the Turkish nobles who ruled the Sultanate) alienated the nobility and clerics and soon provoked open rebellion and conspiracy.
Jamal al-Din Yaqut was eventually killed off by his haters.

Malik Sarwar

Malik Sarwar, also described as a Habashi, became the governor of Jaunpur, a sultanate close to Delhi. Under the title of Malik-us-Shark (king of the east) he captured the Jaunpur province. According to the "History of Medieval India, Part I" (S.Chand & Co, 2007), “In 1389, Malik Sarwar received the title of Khajah-i-Jahan. In 1394, he was appointed as the governor of Jaunpur and received his title of Malik-us-Sharq from Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah II Tughluq (1394 – 1413)." 
Soon, he established himself as an independent ruler and took the title of Atabak-i-Azam. He suppressed the rebellions in Etawah, Koil and Kanauj. He was also able to bring under his control Kara, Awadh, Sandila, Dalmau, Bahraich, Bihar and Tirhut. The Rai of Jajnagar and the ruler of Lakhnauti acknowledged his authority and sent him a number of elephants. After his death, he was succeeded by his adopted son Malik Qaranfal, who took the title of Mubarak Shah.
Malik Sarwar and his five successors namely Malik Mubarak Quranfal, Ibrahim Shah, Mahmud Shah, Bhikhan Khan and lastly Hussain Shah are called Sharqi kings who ruled the kingdom of Jaunpur for little less than a century. They were all without exceptions black Indo-Africans otherwise called Habashis or the Ethiopians in India.This was the period of peace and prosperity in the history of Jaunpur witnessing remarkable achievements in the fields of art, architecture, education, trade and commerce.

Malik Ambar

One of the most famous among the Indo-Africans was the celebrated Malik Ambar (1550-1626). Malik Ambar, whose original name was Shambu was born around 1550 in Harar, Ethiopia. After his arrival in India, he was able to raise a formidable army and achieve great power in the west Indian realm of Ahmadnagar.
Ambar was a brilliant diplomat, tactician, and administrator. In 1590, Ambar broke away from Bijapur and built an independent mercenary army of over 1500 African, Arab and local Dakani men.
He eventually joined the state of Ahmadnagar and later imprisoned King Murtaza II, naming himself regent minister. Ambar promoted minorities of various ethnic groups to key positions and implemented financial, educational and agricultural reforms. Ferista, a contemporary Arab historian, praised Ambar:
“…he appears to have been the most enlightened financier of whom we read in Indian history.”
Malik Ambar with King Murtaza
Ambar also organized a 60,000 horse army and successfully beat back the Moguls for the next 20 years. The Moguls could not conquer Dakan until after his death.
In the 16th century, there were many other powerful Habishi in the political scene of India. Chingiz Khan, the prime minister to Nizam mul-Mulk Bani, King of Ahmadnagar in 1575, was of African origin.
After the king’s death, the king’s son Murtaza I led a successful revolt with several Habshis against his mother’s claim to power. In 1595, during the reign of Murtaza II, the prime minister Abhangar Khan was also a Habashi.
Today, the Habshi communities have been diminished due to widespread intermarriage with other Muslims, but their influence is undeniably imprinted on the faces of the people there today, as well as the local architecture.
The men mentioned above are just a few of the Abysinnian, Habasi, Ethiopian, and Dravidian rulers, leaders, and wise men that shaped today’s India.
Their existence should reinforce the fact that more research needs to be done, so that we have the irrefutable proof of what we already knew; that the African man and woman brought the light of civilization to the world.
---
Edited for style

Comments

TRENDING

Mental health: We talk of poverty figures, but not increase in suicides since 2014

By IMPRI Team Highlighting  the issue of mental health and addressing the challenges involved, # IMPRI Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized a panel discussion on Institutional Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing under the #WebPolicyTalk series The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps . The discussion was chaired by Prof Vibhuti Patel, Visiting Professor, IMPRI and Former Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai . The distinguished panel included – Prof Anuradha Sovani, Former Professor and Head, Department of Psychology, and Former Dean, Faculty of Humanities at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai and National Core Committee member and Ethics Committee Chairperson, Association of Adolescent and Child Care India ; Dr Soumitra Pathare, Director, Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy at Indian Law Society, Pune ; Dr Swati Rane, Founder CEO at SevaShakti Healthcare Consultancy, Mumbai and Founder V

Dishonesty, corruption, manipulation and sustainable growth of mediocrity

By Arup Mitra* The theory of mediocrity would suggest that the meritorious who are always small in number as a nature’s gift will be dominated by a vast number of mediocre as the latter cannot withstand the inferiority they suffer from. By subjugating the merit, they derive a pleasure of having established their superiority. Such processes are functional in all spheres in life though the field of art is the worst sufferer. An artist mind is most sensitive and those who are meritorious in this lot possess exceptionally different traits. This makes them more vulnerable and, on the other hand, it paves the path of the mediocre to cast their shadows all around. Unjust and strong criticisms are sufficient to detract many. In developing countries, the modes of subjugation are many. Individuals do not hesitate to take recourse to criminal means as the subconscious prevalent with vengeance, accesses easily the outlets for execution. The lack of civility and the power of money form a unique com

Beyond Naxalbari: Defective tendencies, mechanical copy of Chinese path

By Harsh Thakor* Naxalbari Movement in May 1969 ushered a new era in Indian history. The scenes were reminiscent of a spiritual renaissance with Marxist political consciousness elevating at an unparalleled scale. This year it was its 55th anniversary on May 25th. Similar to time of Naxalbari agricultural workers and the peasantry are enslaved with burden of debts and globalization has entangled them like an octopus.Corporates have virtually alienated tribals. Inspired by the Chinese Revolution and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution Naxalbari movement upheld the concept of agrarian revolution protracted peoples War and New Democratic Revolution, revolting against the revisionism of the CPI and CPM. It formulated that India was still engripped by semi-colonialism and semi-feudalism since 1947, with landlordism only abolished on paper and economy bounded to service of foreign capital. Naxalbari inspired the peasantry and other oppressed sections that they could form their own organs of

How India, Bangladesh perceive, manage Sunderbans amidst climate change

By IMRPI Team The effects of climate change have been evident, and there have been a lot of debates around the changes to be made locally to help and save the earth. In this light, the nations met at the COP 26 conference recently. To discuss this further, the Center for Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development (CECCSD) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi , organized a panel discussion on “COP 26 and Locally Led Adaptations in India and Bangladesh Sunderbans” under the #WebPolicyTalk series- The State of the Environment – #PlanetTalks . The talk was chaired by Dr Jayanta Basu, Director, Non-profit EnGIO, Faculty at Calcutta University and an Environmental Journalist, The Telegraph , ABP . The Moderator of the event, Dr Simi Mehta, CEO and Editorial Director, IMPRI , started the discussion by stressing the talk on the living conditions of people living in the Sunderbans Delta from both the countries, i.e. India and Bangladesh. According to the report

NEP: Education must shift away from knowledge, move to teaching students

Dr Anjusha Gawande* The Education sector in the globe is changing dramatically. Many manual jobs may be captured over by machines as a consequence of multiple spectacular advances in science and technology, including the machine learning, and artificial intelligence. A professional workforce, particularly one that includes mathematics, computer science, and data science, as well as multidisciplinary competencies in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, will be in incredibly popular. As a result, education must shift away from knowledge and toward teaching students, how to be creative and transdisciplinary, and how to innovate, adapt, and process information differently in innovative and rapidly changing sectors. The education development agenda at the global level is represented in Goal 4 (SDG4) of India's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted in 2015. Ministry of Education has announced the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) on 29.07.2020. In J

40 per cent of Australia’s population reported having No Religion in 2021 Census

South Asia Times, a Melbourne-based news site, says , Australia’s 2021 Census shows, there is ‘no religion’ surge in the country amidst religious diversity: The 2021 Census has revealed increasing diversity in the religions Australians identified, reflecting continuing changes in the country's social attitudes and belief systems. Christianity is the most common religion in Australia, with over 40 per cent (43.9 per cent) identifying as Christian. This has reduced from over 50 per cent (52.1 per cent) in 2016 and from over 60 per cent (61.1 per cent) in 2011. As in earlier Censuses, the largest Christian denominations are Catholic (20.0 per cent of the population) and Anglican (9.8 per cent). While fewer people are reporting their religion as Christian, more are reporting ‘no religion’. Almost 40 per cent (38.9 per cent) of Australia’s population reported having no religion in the 2021 Census, an increase from 30 per cent (30.1 per cent) in 2016 and 22 per cent (22.3 per cent) in 20

Inflation targeting in India: Why RBI should focus on stabilizing the real economy

By Kaibalyapati Mishra, Krishna Raj* Inflation is a piece of bad news. In recent months, the pressure of hyperinflation that is galloping hope of the common man has stayed in the limelight with the fear of a continuous prevalence. The onset of COVID followed war trodden global equations and the resultant crude oil price menace, this ripping effect of inflationary tendencies has over-burdened the recovery process in India. With a surge of 15.08% in WPI and 7.79% in CPI, the turbulence has invited strict actions from the central bank in terms of hiking interest rates with an upward calibrated stance. Amongst these tumultuous situations, several structural questions have started gearing the discussion up in the academic and technocratic fora. Questions about the flaws of the existing framework of inflation targeting, its replication in real terms and possible viable alternatives are reasonable to be discussed. In this piece, we discuss the flaws of the inflation targeting framework in the

Addressing challenges of digital divide, public awareness, inclusive development

How is digital awareness propelling rural development in India? A note by S M Sehgal Foundation: *** John Rawls in his path-breaking book titled, A Theory of Justice, proposed the two following principles that can easily be extended to empowerment and development of all citizens of a country, and in this context, the diverse population of India. (1) Every citizen is entitled to equal rights along with basic liberties (2) Social and economic inequalities are to be balanced in a way such as to: (a) Provide the greatest benefit to the least advantaged, (b) Provide equality of opportunity for all offices and positions. Inclusive growth is a relevant policy goal for the people of India that will result in both growth and inclusion, and follow the Rawlsian “maximin” principle. The target should be to maximize the welfare of the poorest. As we complete 75 years of independence, the diversity and divide in India is still stark and negatively skewed. With a large population still dependent on a

Impact of climate change on Gujarat pastoralists' traditional livelihood

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Karen Pinerio* We are sharing a study[1] based learning on climate resilience and adaptation strategies of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat. There are two objectives of the study: (i) to examine the impact of climate on traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Gujarat state; and (ii) to explore and document the adaptation strategies of pastoralists in mitigating climate adversities, with a focus on the role of women in it. In order to meet these objectives, the research inquiries focused on how pastoralists perceive climate change, how climate change has impacted their traditional livelihood, i.e., pastoralism in drylands (Krätli 2015), and how these pastoral families have evolved adaptation strategies that address climate change (CC)/ variabilities, i.e., traditional livelihood of pastoralists of Kachchh district, Gujarat state. Pastoralism is more than 5,000 years old land-use strategy in India; it is practised by nomadic (their entire livelihood r

West Bengal police inaction in immoral trafficking case of a Muslim woman

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) writes to the Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, on Muslim woman victim trafficking, police inaction, and need immediate rescue: I am writing to inform you about a case of illegal trafficking and profuse police inaction regarding the same of a marginalized Muslim teenager named Anima Khatun (name changed), daughter of Mr. Osman Ali. The victim and her husband had been residents of the village Daribas, under Dinhata police station Cooch Behar district since their marriage in 2014. Six months following their marriage, Anima Khatun along with her husband, sister-in-law, sister-in-law's husband as well as her in-laws shifted to Delhi in search of work. They stayed there for 2 years after which they all came back to their native village. They stayed at their native residence for about one month and then they went back to Delhi. In Delhi, Anima was in touch with her family till the next six months, after which t