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a. Have students read some of the survivor's testimony through the following on-line sources. A few alternative collections of testimonies are: David Boder (Ed.) I Did Not Interview the Dead, videotaped testimony of five Hungarian Survivors -- The Last Days, Wiktoria Sliwowska (Ed.) The last eyewitnesses : children of the Holocaust speak, Yehudit Kleiman and Nina Springer-Aharoni (Ed.) The Anguish of liberation : testimonies from 1945.

Thanks to my friends who helped me with some of the historical facts - The author
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This article was written in the year 2000, 15 years ago and the situations has not changed much, except that we have now more articles by Hindu scholars in circulation on this subject. Meanwhile, millions of Hindus obliviously watched the movie Jodha Akbar, a historical, fictional movie showing a rather romanticized, secular, Akbar in love with an overly fictionalized Rajput princess. They gloated over it in reviews and made it commercially successful. A television serial by the same name was also telecast for several weeks and months.


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The Rajput ceremony of Jauhar (holocaust), 1567, illustration from 'Hutchinsons History of the Nations'
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There has been much debate among historians as to why the Nazis set out to exterminate the Jews. Some have stated that it had always been Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews, while others have perceived the mass murders as a result of a long and curved process, where the Nazi Jewish policy was gradually radicalised.


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Nadir Shah made a mountain of the skulls of the Hindus he killed in Delhi alone. Babur raised towers of Hindu skulls at Khanua when he defeated Rana Sanga in 1527 and later he repeated the same horrors after capturing the fort of Chanderi. Akbar ordered a general massacre of 30000 Rajputs after he captured Chithor in 1568. The Bahamani Sultans had an annual agenda of killing a minimum of 100000 Hindus every year. The history of medieval India is full of such instances.

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In contrast look at India. There is hardly any awareness among the Indians of today of what happened to their ancestors in the past, because a great majority of historians are reluctant to touch this sensitive subject. It is not difficult for the Indian historians to gather information on the kind of atrocities perpetrated against the people of medieval India, to work out the estimated number people killed in the reign of each ruler, to create vivid pictures of what happened during such battles as the battle of Tallikota when Hampi, the capital of Vijayanagara empire was systematically destroyed for weeks.

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One may say why dwell upon unpleasant facts. True, but can we develop the character of a nation without facing the realities of life, however unpleasant they may be? Can we develop the maturity of thought that comes with the sense of suffering and the sense of responsibility? The purpose of knowing these facts is not to heap vengeance, but to strengthen our national character, to avoid the weaknesses that were responsible for the plight of our ancestors. The Muslims of present day India are also part of this character building because they must know that their ancestors also suffered, that as far as the past is concerned all Indians were in the same boat and that there were no victors and no losers in that great human tragedy. Knowing thus, perhaps they would develop proper wisdom and understanding and right attitude towards other communities.

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Several of your students will have heard of Holocaust deniers, even if they have not heard or read Holocaust denials themselves. One way to counter this movement is to address it explicitly and to have the students read accounts from the guards and bureaucrats who actually executed the plans and the victims.