Now the evolution of the word Rajput and its connection with the resistance against the Islamist onslaught has already been shown previously. The theory of foreigners conveniently “becoming” an Indian community has no basis in fact, since neither the colonial nor the leftist historians bothered to back their claims with actual evidence.
To compare the invaders-becoming-Indian theory with later times we find that the centuries of Islamic invasion left behind a 20% Muslim population in India with a mere 3% claiming definite foreign origin. Moreover according to this theory the earlier invaders adopted the Indian religions and customs and did not forcibly convert Indians to their own customs or ideology; hence their numbers when compared to the Muslim population would be lower still.
The position of the Gujjar and Jat agricultural classes as Indian infantry has been shown above—it seems that after the Islamic invasions they evolved a separate identity from the dominant cavalier Rajputs. The colonial historians added their usual racist twist to this natural development—they claimed that the word Gurjara does not indicate a province but a people. However there are several ancient references to Gurjara as a province covering southwestern Rajasthan and Gujarat. The class divisions among this people gave rise to the latter-day Rajputs, Gujjars, Jats, etc—once again this version does not account for the evolution of the word Rajput from the Vedic texts.
It has been shown above how the Pratihars of Gurjar defended the region from the Arab invaders, captured Kannauj, and later moved into Punjab. The colonial historians reversed this trend, claiming that the foreign-origin Gurjars “moved in” with the Huns and first settled in Punjab before “moving down” into Rajasthan! As evidence they point to the Gujjar cattle-herders living in Punjab and the neighboring regions but speaking their own Gojri language, which has great similarities to Rajasthani.
The language similarity actually proves the Gurjar expansion from Rajasthan, for otherwise the Rajasthani language should have been prevalent in Punjab where these alleged “foreigners” first settled. The oral traditions of the Gujjars also oppose this theory. What really happened is that the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire disintegrated, leaving behind the Parihar Rajput settlements around their old strongholds. They also left behind the name Gurjar in Punjab where their one surviving kingdom was finally dissolved in the conflict with Kashmir. After the Muslim invasions, landowners manning the elephants and cavalry portion of Indian armies were slaughtered or converted, while the infantry portion recruited from villages were mostly left alone if they did not fight—in the case of the former Gurjar Kingdom these retained their language and culture and became the ancestors of the latter-day Gujjar and allied agricultural classes.
A similar story is told of the Jats. The colonial historians claim them to be a foreign race also found in Iran and Central Asia, from whence they “moved in” to Sindh. Later as the Islamic invaders captured Punjab and the Gangetic plains, the Jats are said to have “moved in” behind them thus accounting for their large numbers. However the presence of Chauhan Jats, and of Jats sporting other Rajput clan-names, who emerged from the bloody conflict of Kannauj and Ajmer with Muhammad Ghori negates this theory. Jat appears to be an occupational rather than tribal term—applied to both farmers and infantry soldiers in the northern India of that period.
In fact the only foreign-origin segment of the northwestern society were the Shahi rulers of the Kabul valley, who were either descendants of the Kushan monarch Kanishka (reigned nine centuries before the Shahis) or belonged to a family of Buddhist Turks from Tibet (who had ruled that region for sixty generations). The long period of rule or actual origin of these foreigners is not important. What is really important is that though these foreigners adopted Indian customs and religions, inter-married with Indian royalty, and ruled for so many centuries—yet they were still regarded as being of foreign origin!
This fact, clearly and repeatedly mentioned in contemporary literature, finds a resonance with the stories of other foreign immigrants to India who have not forgotten their ancestry in all this time. It puts into perspective the modern myths of the colonial historians who claimed that Saka, Kushan, and Hun invaders, after a few generations were conveniently absorbed into the Indian population, forgot their own origins (!), and began claiming an Indian ancestry (!)—to top it all the rest of India also somehow suffered a universal attack of amnesia at this same time and tamely accepted their claims. The damage done to Indian History writing by the colonial and leftist historians will take time and effort to repair.
The evolution of the word Rajput from Vedic texts has been shown previously and its emergence in the ferocious resistance to the Islamic invaders has also been discussed. In the books of Muslim historians the word occurs only from the 14th Century—in Timur's autobiography. Up until then the leaders of the local resistance in Kannauj and Ajmer and other places were termed “Ranas and Rais”—the same terms are used when describing the local resistance in Punjab. But Timur, who traversed through Punjab and dealt with the local powers, only uses the word Rajput for Hindu warriors who faced him in the approach to Delhi and not in the Punjab.
In the Mughal texts of a later age the word Rajput is used only for Hindu warriors of noble birth—it is never used for converts. The following documents from the Ain-i-Akbari will make this clear: the first page describes the Forts, towns, and the military castes in the region between the Rivers Indus and Jehlum. Here are mentioned the Awan, Gakkhar, Janjua, and Afghan tribes—none of the former three are called Rajput. In fact beyond the Ravi River the word Rajput is not used for any community in any of the Mughal documents.
But in the second document, which deals with regions south of the Ravi, i.e. Forts, towns, and the military castes in the region between the Rivers Beas and Ravi (also including a portion of the Kangra hills) the word Rajput appears several times. These forts are found in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, which has retained its traditional Hindu character to this day. Interestingly Rajput is found in conjunction with Sombanshi, which is a version of Chandravanshi, the lunar family of warrior clans mentioned in the Vedic texts.
In all the Mughal texts, when referring to these northwestern regions, the word Rajput is only used for Hindu warriors usually from the hill-states of Uttaranchal, Himachal, and Jammu—those that remained staunch defenders of the Hindu faith.
Punjabi Muslims not connected with the three main phases of Rajput HistoryDescended from the older clans that fought the Saka and Kushan invaders, Rajput identity formation begins with the victory over the Arab invaders, and the formation of the Chhattis Rajkul confederacy. The 36 clans of this confederacy were located in Western and Central India, like the Imperial Pratiharas, Chauhans, Guhilots and Paramaras. The number of clans multiplied into the hundreds in subsequent centuries, but they all trace their ancestry to the clans mentioned in the Chattis Rajkul. The Punjabi tribes are neither mentioned in this muster roll of clans nor do they partake in the victory over the Arabs. Indeed Sindh and lower Punjab remain under Arab rule.
The next phase of Rajput history is the fiery resistance to the Turk invaders in the period 1192 to 1326. The Rajputs gave their lives to protect temples, Brahmins and cows, representing the cultural, intellectual, and agricultural wealth of the country respectively. Punjabi Muslims have no part in this resistance.
The third phase is the period of Rajput dominance from 1326 to 1527, when the Maharanas of Mewar were hailed as the Hindupat (head of the Hindu nation) and all the Rajput clans universally adopted the Singh surname. Rajput identity is incomplete without all three phases of this history, and the Punjabi Muslims cannot stake claim to even one of these. In fact there are communities like the Marathas and Jats, who share Rajput clan names but are not part of these phases of Rajput history either. These communities would still be closer to the Rajputs than the Punjabi Muslims simply because they have retained their ancestral faith.
The case of Kashmir
Unlike Punjab, the Kashmir region of India is protected on all sides by towering mountain ranges. The armies of Mahmud Ghaznavi failed to penetrate this massive barrier. But foreign influence was critical in converting the inhabitants of the fertile valley to Islam.
The internal politico-military framework was already suffering from severe shortcomings as described in the contemporary historical work, the Rajatarangini. Real power lay with groups of military classes called Tantrins (infantry soldiers) and Ekangas, and landowners called Damaras. Their origin and organization is unknown for no other authority describes the history of Kashmir with such detail as the Rajatarangini.
While grappling with these groups, the king did not have any clan (his own armed kinsmen) to rely on, unlike in Ajmer or Kannauj or even in the neighboring regions of Jammu and Kangra. There were frequent changes of dynasties and ministers or even revenue officials could be chosen to become kings while the above-mentioned groups exercised the real power. The only way for a king to establish his authority was to launch military expeditions into neighboring regions (Darads of the Kishenganga valley, Poonch, Punjab)—but ultimately the structure of the kingdom remained socially fractured.
But the worst sin of numerous Kashmiri rulers was their reliance on foreign mercenaries who they allowed to settle down in the valley. From Vajraditya in the 8th Century, who is said to have introduced practices beneficial to Mlechchas, to Rinchan in the 14th Century, who relied on Muslim mercenaries for his power and ultimately passed on this power to them. Again and again the Rajtarangini bemoans the entry of Turushkas and Mlechchas into Kashmir.
In 1301 Kashmir was invaded by Dulucha leading a 60,000 strong army of Turushka, Tajik, and Mlechcha horsemen, who killed and looted the inhabitants of the valley and carried away thousands of slaves. At about that time a Tibetan prince named Rinchan also invaded the unhappy land and easily usurped power—he took the support of the Muslim mercenaries in Kashmir. One of these named Shah Mir later became the first Sultan of Kashmir—his descendant Sikandar forcibly converted the inhabitants of Kashmir to Islam.
The lack of a clan-system of warriors meant that there was no continuing resistance to this change. But such a system was not lacking in the Punjab as will be seen in the next post.
 Hence called the Hun-Gurjar theory.
 The following is a quote from the Mirat-i-Masudi, a history of Masud Ghaznavi, which describes how there were one set of rules for the Hindu rulers and warriors and another set of rules for the farmers. “As soon as Saifu-d dín and Miyán Rajab reached Bahráích, they sent back word that there were no supplies to be obtained there, and that their army stood in danger of perishing, unless help was afforded them. Mas'úd ordered the chaudharís and mukaddims of the pargannahs to be brought before him, and those of seven or eight of the pargannahs were brought. He then called to his presence Bípás, Chaudharí of Saddahur, and Narharí, Chaudharí of Amíthí, and encouraged them in every way, exhorting them to encourage the cultivation of the lands, which would be advantageous both to them and to their ryots.”
 Refer to the history of the Parsi and Jewish immigrants.