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Indian Encounters:The Turks, The Mongols, And Islam

1156 words - 5 pages

A society that is often overlooked that has made great achievements and who has had a significant impact on modern day society is nonetheless, India and ancient Indian civilization. After the fall of the Gupta Empire in 480, small kingdoms throughout the region, which was invaded by the Turks and Mongols, but was not conquered, would rule India. The northern parts of India frequently were raided and invaded by the Turks, all the way from Afghanistan to Central Asia. Muslim Turks decided to rule a state in north India called the Delhi sultanate, which was ruled for several centuries, and in the mean time Islam gained its adherents throughout the southern regions of Asia. Hinduism continued to flourish throughout the nation, while Buddhism went into a deep decline, and Islam would begin to convert many of its people. The encounters that the ancient Indian people had to endure with the Turks, Mongols, and Islam have had the most memorable impact and impression on Indian culture and other societies throughout the east.
To begin with, the Indian encounters with the Turks took a significant toll on Indian society. The Turks were a group who specialized in metalworking, frequently raided parts of China and often had civil wars within their own nation. The Turks were a very violent and hostile nation, and it is even stated in Understanding World Societies that the Turks proclaimed they would rather destroy each other rather than live side-by-side (293). The regions of South Asia felt the impact of the arrival of the Turks when horsemen from both the east and the west of the Turk nation sent armies south to raid and invade all of north India. The Turks would destroy the Mauryan Empire in 185 B.C.E., and this is what would leave India politically divided into small kingdoms for centuries (304). In the centuries that followed the invasions of the Turks, India would witness the developments of regional cultures that were profoundly shaped by the Turkish nomads from central Asia who brought their culture, and most importantly ushered in Islam into India (305).
Furthermore, the Mongols were much like the Turks as they invaded India from the west and took pleasure in the destruction of sacred temples of Hindu gods that were built from the Indian ancestors of their time. The success of the Mongols in ruling vast territories and regions throughout the land was due in large part to their willingness to incorporate other ethnic groups into their armies and governments by allowing whatever their original country or religion to those who served the Mongols loyally would be rewarded. The only reason these men of the Mongol society fought and inflicted havoc upon other nations was to simply gain riches, by regularly looting the settlements they conquered and taking what they wanted from whomever they wanted (301). The Turks and Mongols were groups that both contained many of the same values and ideas and decided to merge together and by this, the Mongols decide...

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