Hindu history of Afghanistan
Afghanistan" comes from "Upa-Gana-stan" Raja Jaya Pal Shahi, Ruler of Punjab bore the brunt of the Islamic Onslaught.
The year 980C.E. marks the beginning of the Muslim invasion into India proper when Sabuktagin attacked Raja Jaya Pal in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is today a Muslim country separated from India by another Muslim country Pakistan. But in 980 C.E. Afghanistan was also a place where the people were Hindus and Buddhists.
The name "Afghanistan" comes from "Upa-Gana-stan" which means in Sanskrit "The place inhabited by allied tribes".
This was the place from where Gandhari of the Mahabharat came from Gandhar whose king was Shakuni. The Pakthoons are descendants of the Paktha tribe mentioned in Vedic literature. Till the year 980 C.E., this area was a Hindu majority area, till Sabuktagin from Ghazni invaded it and displaced the ruling Hindu king - Jaya Pal Shahi.
The place where Kabul's main mosque stands today was the site of an ancient Hindu temple and the story of its capture is kept alive in Islamic Afghan legend which describes the Islamic hero Sabuktagin who fought with a sword in every hand to defeat the Hindus and destroy their temple to put up a Mosque in its place.
The victory of Sabuktagin pushed the frontiers of the Hindu kingdom of the Shahis from Kabul to behind the Hindu Kush mountains Hindu Kush is literally "killer of Hindus" - a name given by Mahmud Ghazni to describe the number of Hindus who died on their way into Afghanistan to a life of captivity . After this setback, the Shahis shifted their capital from Kubha (Kabul) to Udbhandapura (modern Und in NWFP). Sabuktagin's son Mahmud Ghazni, kept up the attacks on the Shahis and captured Und. Subsequently, the Shahis moved their capital to Lahore and later to Kangra in Himachal.
The recovery and significance of the inscription, telling a story of the Hindu ruler Veka and his devotion to lord `Siva', was told by leading epigraphist and archaeologist Prof Ahmad Hasan Dani of the Quaid-E-Azam University of Islamabad at the ongoing Indian History Congress here.
If historians, preferred to revise the date of the first Hindu Shahi ruler Kallar from 843-850 AD to 821-828 AD, the date of 138 of present inscription, if it refers to the same era, should be equal to 959 AD which falls during the reign of Bhimapala'', Dani said in a paper `Mazar-i Sharif inscription of the time of the Shahi ruler Veka, dated the year 138'', submitted to the Congress.
The inscription, with eleven lines written in `western Sarada' style of Sanskrit of 10th century AD, had several spelling mistakes. ``As the stone is slightly broken at the top left corner, the first letter `OM' is missing'', he said.
According to the inscription, "the ruler Veka occupied by eight-fold forces, the earth, the markets and the forts. It is during his reign that a temple of Siva in the embrace with Uma was built at Maityasya by Parimaha (great) Maitya for the benefit of himself and his son''.
Dani said ``the inscription gives the name of the king as Shahi Veka Raja and bestows on him the qualification of `Iryatumatu Ksanginanka'.... and (he) appears to be the same king who bears the name of Khingila or Khinkhila who should be accepted as a Shahi ruler''.
Dani further said ``he may be an ancestor of Veka deva. As his coins are found in Afghanistan and he is mentioned by the Arab ruler Yaqubi, he may be an immediate predecessor of Veka deva...... Both the evidences of inscription and coins suggest that Veka or Vaka should be accepted as an independent ruler of northern Afghanistan.
"Thus we find another branch of the Shahi ruler in northern part of Afghanistan beyond the Hindukush. Veka is said to have conquered the earth, the markets and the forts by his eight-fold forces, suggesting that he must have himself gained success against the Arab rulers of southern Afghanistan''.
Dani observed that going by the findings it seemed that during the rule of the Hindu Shahi ruler Bhimapala there was a break in the dynasty -- one branch, headed by Jayapala, ruled in Lamaghan and Punjab, and another branch, headed by Veka, ruled in northern part of Afghanistan.
"The northern branch must have come to an end by the conquest of Alptigin in the second half of tenth century AD'', he said.
(source: Inscription throws new light to Hindu rule in Afghanistan - indianexpress.com)
India has developed a highly constructive, imaginative reconstruction strategy for Afghanistan that is designed to please every sector of Afghan society, give India a high profile with the Afghan people, gain the maximum political advantage with the Afghan government, increase its influence with its Northern Alliance friends and turn its image from that of a country that supported the Soviet invasion and the communist regime in the 1980s to an indispensable ally and friend of the Afghan people in the new century.
(Source: Hinduism (The forgotten facts)')