LUCKNOW: Dr. Bishambhernath Pandey, a freedom fighter, a historian, Parliamentarian, scholar & ex-Governor of Odisha wrote that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was not a fundamentalist who destroyed Temples as alleged by many biased historians.
Infact there are evidences which proved that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb granted land and cash to Hindu Temples for their up keep and maintenance.
Dr. Pandey came across such evidences during 1948-1953 first, when he was the Chairman of Allahabad Municipality. He had to deal with the claims of two Hindu priests over the rights of a temple and its properties, as the chairman of Allahabad Municipality.
One of the Hindu temple priest filed, as evidences to his claims, some documents which were in fact Shahi-Farman (Royal-Orders) issued by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
The Hindu priest claimed, on the basis of these royal documents of Mughal era, that his fore fathers were granted lands as well as cash from Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
In those times, even eminent personalities like Dr. Pandey fell prey to the false propaganda that Mughal Emperor was a fanatic Islamic ruler who destroyed temples and forced conversions.
Therefore, he thought maybe these are fake documents which have been forged to make a claim over the temple and temple properties.
Dr. Pandey, therefore referred these documents to Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, who was an eminent jurist, distinguished lawyer apart from an expert in Persian & Arabic who had vast knowledge of historical documents. He was also a Brahmin, like Dr. Pandey himself. He had the expertise to examine the official documents from Muslim and Mughal periods, which were in Persian.
Dr. Pandey sent those documents, claimed as Royal Order issued by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru for scrutiny. Sir TejBahadur Sapru examined the documents and declared that those were genuine Royal Farmans issued by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
For Dr. B.N Pandey, it was a historical discovery of a fact which conveyed a different story about Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Thus, Dr. B. N. Pandey wrote letters to Chief Priests of many famous temples, all over the country, requesting them to send him a copy of any Farman issued by Mughal King Aurangzeb, if any, that they may have in their possession.
Dr. B.N Pandey wrote that response to his letter was over whelming. He got not only copies of Farmans of Mughal King Aurangzeb issued to Hindu temples, but also from Jain temples & Sikh Gurudwaras.
Many famous and principal Hindu temples, Jain temples & Sikh Gurudwaras had in their possession, Royal Orders by Mughal King Aurangzeb, which granted them lands and jagirs which consisted of large parcels of agricultural lands during the period 1659 and 1685.
Such lands were granted by the Mughal Emperor so that income generated from these lands may be used to incur the expenses of maintenance of these Hindu, Jain temples and Sikh Gurudwaras.
Dr. B.N Pandey was convinced by these evidences that all allegations made against the Mughal King Aurangzeb of being anti-Hindu who destroyed Hindu temples were false and fabricated.
While huge pile of evidences he collected during his research proved that the Mughal King, on the contrary, granted land, Jagir, Wazifa, cash help to temples, Gurudwaras and Hindu, Jain, Sikh priests.