The world history is full of people with the propensity and ability to do great evil. Some are inherently barbaric, others perpetrate cruelty in the name of religion, and some contribute to human suffering through self-serving actions. This compilation features ten individuals from Indian history whose actions have caused immeasurable human misery.
10. Yahya Khan
It took Adolf Hitler and his Nazi cronies 12 years to identify, transport, segregate and kill six million European Jews, but the Pakistanis led by their President Yahya Khan killed three million of their Bengali citizens in less than a year. The Punjabis and Pathans of Pakistan’s western half had such a racist, visceral hatred for their Muslim brethren in the eastern half that Yahya is recorded as saying in fury: “Kill three million of them, and the rest will eat out of our hands.” Ten million Bengalis fled to India. The disruption of everyday life in the region was of such a cataclysmic nature that more than 30 million people – nearly half the population – left the cities and escaped to the villages and forests.
“Kill three million of them, and the rest will eat out of our hands.”
More than two million of those killed were Hindus—the rest, over a million, comprised Muslims – Awami League members, students, and academics. The Pakistanis targeted women and raped at least 400,000. Among Yahya’s executioners in East Pakistan was General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi, who let loose his Punjabi and Pathan soldiers on the defenseless womenfolk, saying: “Main iss haramzadi qaum ki nasal badal doonga.” (“I will transform the breed of this bastard race.”)
9. Reginald Dyer
On Baisakhi Day, April 13, 1919, more than 25,000 unarmed men, women, and children gathered at Amritsar’s Jallianwala Bagh. Most had simply drifted into the park to relax after having attended the annual fair in the city; some had come to listen to protestors condemning the arrest and deportation to the Andaman Islands of nationalist leaders; very few people in the vast crowd were aware that the British colonialists had declared a ban on public gatherings in Punjab.
At around 4 pm, Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer, the head of the British Army’s 48 Infantry Brigade, was informed about a large crowd gathering in the park. Dyer led a handpicked force of 50 Baloch and Gorkha soldiers who “would have no compunction at shooting Punjabi civilians.” Just before 5 pm, Dyer gave the order to fire. “Havoc ensued. The crowd ran in terror in all directions but found few exits by which to escape. People crammed into the entrances to the narrow passageways, frantically seeking to force their way out.”
The troops were directed to fire on these, killing many and causing more to be trodden underfoot or crushed under the mounds of bodies that eventually built up ten or twelve deep
“The troops were directed to fire on these, killing many and causing more to be trodden underfoot or crushed under the mounds of bodies that eventually built up ten or twelve deep. Many tried to climb the walls and were picked off as they did so. Crowds huddled in the corners of the garden with no way out at all and were shot down where they stood. Retired soldiers in the crowd shouted out that people should lie on the ground to avoid the bullets, and many did so only to be shot as they lay.” Ironically, these were the same soldiers who had fought for Britain in World War I less than a year ago.
The firing continued for 10-15 minutes. The noise in the Bagh was a cacophony of rifle cracks, bullets thumping into flesh and walls, ricochets screeching off the brickwork, the screams of 25,000 people in terror, and the cries of the wounded…The sight was one of horror. The vast crowd staggered aimlessly; the air filled with dust and blood; flesh flew everywhere; men and children fell with limbs broken, eyes shot out, and internal organs exposed. Amid this massacre, a British officer named Plomer remarked to Dyer that “he had taught the crowd a lesson it would never forget.”
When Dyer finally decided to stop firing, it was only when his troops had enough ammunition left to enable them to defend themselves during the march back to their barracks. But even as the soldiers exited, Crampton ordered the Gurkhas with khukris to check if anyone was hiding in the drains near the park. The British estimate was 397 dead; the Indian side claimed 1,600 died, including 44 children. The ‘unofficial official’ count was 1,800. The youngest among the dead was only eight years old; the oldest was 80.
Dyer neither inspected the destruction he had caused nor made any arrangement to care for the wounded. Worse, he ordered a curfew so that the dead and injured were left untended until the following morning. Piteous cries of the wounded asking for water rent the air throughout the night. Many died where they lay overnight.
During his close and prolonged examination by the Hunter Commission, Dyer remained defiant and brazen: “I had made up my mind. I was only wondering whether I should do it or whether I should not do it.” The fact is Dyer didn’t care. Historian S.R. Bakshi wrote about Jallianwala Bagh: “Unwarranted prejudice of the highest degree…It was a heinous crime, nay immoral as well as illegal.”
8. Henry Kissinger
Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain wrote in his 2001 book, A Cook’s Tour, “Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands.” Describing the German-born American Secretary of State as a “treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag,” he added: “I f****** hate him because in my travels I stumble across his good works everywhere I go.”
Bourdain was referring to the carpet bombing of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam that Kissinger ordered. From 1969 to 1973, the US military dropped 540,000 tons of bombs on the region, leaving more than 500,000 civilians dead. In the course of Operation Linebacker, the US dropped a total of 155,237 tons of bombs on North Vietnam. During the 1971 Christmas bombing alone, American bombers dropped 20,000 tons of explosives on North Vietnam.
[Kissinger] winked at Pakistan’s massacre of nearly three million Bengalis, mostly Hindus, in East Pakistan or modern Bangladesh.
Kissinger’s bloodlust didn’t end with mere carpet bombing; he next ordered the military to spray the deadly chemical Agent Orange over the forests and farmlands of the three countries mentioned above to destroy their agrarian economies and their war-fighting capacity. The American chemical warfare killed many thousands, and thousands more developed cancer or were born with physical deformities. It was a calculated strategy aimed at ending the very existence of the people of three tiny countries that refused to accept American imperialism.
Incredibly, the following year, the Western propaganda apparatus tried to create the image of the mass murderer as an agent of peace. American satirist Tom Lehrer commented: “Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Kissinger was a serial offender. In 1971, he winked at Pakistan’s massacre of nearly three million Bengalis, mostly Hindus, in East Pakistan or modern Bangladesh. He had described Indians as “bastards” for invading Pakistan and putting an end to the genocide.
7. Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier, the Spanish missionary, was one of the six pioneers who, in 1534, founded the Society of Jesus, one of the most devious Christian sects and the Catholic Church’s mafia-style enforcers. Xavier had been converting Hindus to Christianity ever since he landed on the Coromandel Coast in 1542. On February 8, 1545, he wrote about his work in Malabar to the Society of Jesus: “Following the baptisms, the new Christians return to their homes and come back with their wives and families to be in their turn prepared for baptism. After all have been baptized, I order that the temples of the false Gods be pulled down and idols broken. I know not how to describe in words the joy I feel before the spectacle of pulling down and destroying the idols by the very people who formerly worshiped them.”
Children were flogged and slowly dismembered in front of their parents, whose eyelids had been sliced off to make sure they missed nothing.
However, Xavier wasn’t satisfied with merely converting large numbers of Hindus; he wanted to make them give up every vestige of Indian tradition and culture. To establish puritanical Christianity in India, he wrote to Portugal in 1545 to establish the Inquisition. Historian Paul Roberts describes what went on in the Inquisition’s Goa court, which had been housed in an old palace and had a huge plaster image of Christ overlooking the scene: “Children were flogged and slowly dismembered in front of their parents, whose eyelids had been sliced off to make sure they missed nothing. Extremities were amputated carefully so that a person could remain conscious even when all that remained was a torso and head. Male genitals were removed and burned in front of wives, breasts hacked off, and female private parts penetrated by swords while husbands were forced to watch…. And it went on for two hundred years.”
Pune-based writer and columnist Shefali Vaidya writes that all Hindu rituals, including marriages, thread ceremonies, and cremations, were banned by law. “More than 42 Hindu customs were considered heretical, including wearing the sacred thread, wearing a tilak on the forehead, greeting people with a namaste, and removing slippers outside a place of worship.” Vaidya adds that the effects of the Goa Inquisition are still felt in Goa today: “There are families torn forever into two; one branch still carries the ancestral Hindu name while the other bears a Christian name. Churches exist where temples once stood.”
Xavier’s relics are kept in a silver casket, elevated inside the Bom Jesus Basilica in Goa, and exposed to the public every ten years. Indian Christians eagerly visit the church to have a glimpse of the remains of this hateful maniac who is surely undergoing a painful time in hell.
Cambodia’s nightmare finally ended in December 1985 when the highly professional Vietnamese Army invaded the country and destroyed Pol Pot’s headquarters. The tyrant fled to Thailand and, after a few years, moved to China, where he was treated for cancer.
Murderous tyrants fill history’s pages, but Timur of Samarkand was cruel towards both men and beasts. Among his favorite pastimes was throwing elephants down steep cliffs.
Once a bandit and cattle rustler, Timur conquered Persia and Mesopotamia and invaded Russia, Georgia, Syria, Turkey, and India. At Baghdad, he had 90,000 of the inhabitants beheaded so that he could build towers with their skulls. At Sivas in Turkey, where he promised no bloodshed in return for surrender, he had 3,000 prisoners buried alive and pointed out that he had kept to the letter of his oath. He also captured the Ottoman Sultan and his wives, kept the Sultan in a cage in his parlor, and had his wives get naked and serve everyone food and drinks.
More than 100,000 Hindu slaves had been seized by his soldiers and camp followers. Even a ‘pious’ Muslim saint had 15 slaves.
In 1397, Timur invaded Delhi, which Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud of the Tughlaq Dynasty then ruled. The entire stretch of land extending from the Khyber Pass to the northern plains was scorched by massacres, rape, pillage and kidnapping.
Strong resistance from the Sarv Khap coalition of the Jats made Timur even more vengeful than usual. After defeating the Sultan, he entered Delhi and left it in ruins. More than 100,000 Hindu slaves had been seized by his soldiers and camp followers. Even a ‘pious’ Muslim saint had 15 slaves. All of them were slaughtered before the attack on Delhi for fear that they might rebel.
During the sacking of Delhi, almost all inhabitants not killed were brought out and distributed as slaves among Timur’s nobles. In his memoirs, he claims his 15,000 Turks each “secured from 50 to 100 prisoners” and that “women were obtained in such quantities as to exceed all count.”
Timur declared his Army had only killed Hindus and spared Muslim civilians. That’s rich coming from someone who massacred the people of Baghdad.
There’s a good reason why the late Canadian author Tarek Fatah said he danced at 2.00 in the night when he heard Delhi’s Aurangzeb Road had been renamed after President APJ Abdul Kalam.
According to Fatah, “Aurangzeb today would be the equivalent of Caliph Baghdadi of the Islamic State if not Osama Bin Laden or Mullah Omar of the Taliban.”
Aurangzeb was a barbaric ruler responsible for the continuing Hindu-Muslim divide in India. The Mughal emperor came to the throne by murdering his scholarly older brother and heir apparent, Dara Shikoh, and blinding Dara’s young children.
He claimed he was “endeavoring to destroy the ancient (Hindu) sovereignties of this country.” According to Fatah, “Aurangzeb today would be the equivalent of Caliph Baghdadi of the Islamic State if not Osama Bin Laden or Mullah Omar of the Taliban.”
The tyrant not only killed his elder brother to stage a palace coup, but he also had his father imprisoned for life. Plus, he had several Islamic leaders hanged to death, among them the spiritual head of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslims of Gujarat.
As emperor, Aurangzeb banned music, dance, and alcohol consumption in the Mughal Empire. In Sindh and Punjab, where many Muslims attended discourses by Hindu Brahmins, he ordered the demolition of all schools and the temples where such interaction took place, making it punishable for Muslims who dressed like non-Muslims.
But nothing is more of a testimony to the cruelty and bigotry of Aurangzeb than the executions of the Muslim Sufi mystic Sarmad Kashani and the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur. He considered the majority of Hindus of his realm as ‘Kufaar’ and placed them as second class to Muslims, waged jihad against Shia Muslim rulers, and wiped out all traces of the liberal form of Islam introduced by his great-grandfather Emperor Akbar.
Islam, under the influence of Hinduism and the strong and sustained Hindu resistance, had lost its edge in India. By the time of emperor Shah Jahan in the late 1680s, a unique culture had formed in northern India, with Islam ready to shed its terrorist outlook towards other religions. Dara Shikoh, who translated the Rig Veda and other ancient Hindu texts, symbolized this remarkable transformation in Islam.
However, Aurangzeb set the clock back on this reconciliation and alienated all his Hindu allies. The partition of India (with British assistance) can be attributed to the divide dug by this terrorist emperor.
His legacy lives on in the hearts of many Indian Muslims who regard him as a true Muslim as against the apostate Akbar. That some Indian Muslims continue to name their sons after an emperor most hated by Hindus is an indication of their fundamentalist mindset.
4. Max Muller
In 1847, the British commissioned a poverty-stricken but ambitious German scholar named Max Muller to come up with the most outrageous lies about the Hindu religion to weaken the entire edifice of the world’s oldest religion. At a time when the salary of an English teacher was £90 per year, Muller was paid £4 per sheet of his writing, which comes to roughly £800 today.
“This is an incredibly high price for only one sheet of writing,” says author and historian Gwylim Beckerlegge. “But it’s the general law of business that the price of a commodity increases with its demand. The British were in such an imperative need to get someone to do this job, and Max Muller was the right person, so they paid whatever he asked for. His enthusiastic letters to his mother reveal the fact that he was desperate to bring Christianity into India so that the religion of the Hindus should be doomed.”
He developed the Aryan Invasion Theory – perhaps the greatest snake oil in history.
Muller, who translated the Rig Veda from 1849 to 1874, exceeded British expectations. He developed the Aryan Invasion Theory – perhaps the greatest snake oil in history. As per Muller’s AIT, there was a primordial race of Europeans with their homeland located somewhere in the Caucasus. From this white, blue-eyed, and blond-haired race, a northern branch migrated to Europe and a southern branch to India and Iran. The Aryans were presumed to be Indo-European speakers who conquered the dark-skinned Dasyus or slaves of India. The upper castes, particularly the Brahmins, were thought to be of Aryan descent, whereas the lower castes and Dalits were considered descendants of Dasyus.
Writes Beckerlegge: “Muller was a British agent, especially employed to write the translations of the Vedas in such a demeaning way so that the Hindus should lose faith in them.”
Muller’s enthusiastic letters reveal that he was keen to bring Christianity into India once Hinduism was destroyed. In a letter to his wife, he wrote: “It took only 200 years for us to Christianize the whole of Africa, but even after 400 years, India eludes us; I have come to realize that it is Sanskrit which has enabled India to do so. And to break it, I have decided to learn Sanskrit.”
In a lecture in London in 1873, he said: “The worship of Shiva or Vishnu and the other popular deities, is of the same, nay, in many cases of a more degraded and savage character than the worship, of Jupiter, Apollo and Minerva; it belongs to a stratum of thought which is long buried beneath our feet, it may live on like the lion and the tiger but the mere air of free thought and civilized life will extinguish it.”
By the 1880s, Muller’s ideas had been adopted by racist ethnologists. For example, as an exponent of race science, colonial administrator Herbert Hope Risley (1851 – 1911) used the ratio of nose width to height to divide Indian people into Aryan and Dravidian races.
Few realize how divisive and dangerous AIT is and how this idea played a catalytic role in the rise of racial exclusiveness among Europeans, especially the Germans and British. Until AIT arrived on the stage, nations did not consider themselves to belong to one race or the other. Muller’s British-incubated notion changed all that. Germany’s leader, Adolf Hitler, used it to advocate his concept of the supremacy of the ‘Aryan’ race and the inferiority of non-Aryans. Over 50 million people died in World War II, and six million Jews were sent to the gas chambers – needless deaths that can be traced directly to Max Muller’s writings.
3. Tipu Sultan
Liberals and Indian Muslims have long sought to portray the Islamic tyrant Tipu as a secular freedom fighter who wanted to evict the British from his kingdom, was benevolent towards Hindus, and was a patron of Hindu temples. Nothing could be further than the truth. The ruler of Mysore was an unapologetic jehadi who had sworn to kill and eradicate all non-Muslims from his territories. He was no different from other Muslim tyrants who had played havoc in North India, such as Mahmud Ghaznavi, Nadir Shah, Timur, Aurangzeb, and Kala Pahar of Bengal.
Burning down the temples, destroying the idols installed therein, and also cutting the heads of cattle over the temple deities were the cruel entertainments of Tipu Sultan and his equally cruel army.
His invasion of Kerala is one of the darkest chapters in Hindu history. According to Lewis B. Boury, the atrocities committed by Tipu Sultan against Hindus in Malabar were worse and more barbarous than those committed against the Hindus in Hindustan by the notorious Mahmud of Ghazni, Alauddin Khalji, and Nadir Shah. Vatakkankoor Raja Raja Varma writes: “There was no limit as to the loss the Hindu temples suffered due to the military operations of Tipu Sultan. Burning down the temples, destroying the idols installed therein, and also cutting the heads of cattle over the temple deities were the cruel entertainments of Tipu Sultan and his equally cruel army… The devastation caused by this new Ravana’s barbarous activities has not yet been fully rectified.”
Portuguese traveler Fr. Bartholomew writes in his book Voyage to East Indies: “Tipu was riding on an elephant behind which another army of 30,000 soldiers followed. Most of the men and women were hanged in Kozhikode; first, mothers were hanged with their children tied to their necks of mothers. That barbarian Tipu Sultan tied the naked Christians and Hindus to the legs of elephants and made the elephants move around till the bodies of the helpless victims were torn to pieces. Temples and churches were ordered to be burned down, desecrated, and destroyed. Christian and Hindu women were forced to marry Mohammadans, and similarly, their men (after converting Hindu men to Islam) were forced to marry Mohammedan women. Those Christians who refused to be honored with Islam were ordered to be killed by hanging immediately.”
About the atrocities in Kozhikode, L.B. Boury writes: “To show his ardent devotion and steadfast faith in Muhammaddan religion, Tipu Sultan found Kozhikode to be the most suitable place. Kozhikode was then a center of Brahmins and had over 7,000 Brahmin families living there. Over 2,000 Brahmin families perished as a result of Tipu Sultan’s Islamic cruelties. He did not spare even women and children.”
The Mysore Gazetteer says that the ravaging army of Tipu Sultan had destroyed more than 8,000 temples in South India. The temples of Malabar and Cochin principalities had to bear the brunt of plunder and destruction.
Tipu’s hatred for Hindus is evident from the over 2,000 letters written in Farsi in his handwriting in his palace following his death in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. Tipu refers to Hindus as “kaffirs” and “infidels” in all of his letters, arguing that they must be cleansed if the dominion of Islam is to be securely established in India.
One of the most widely circulated myths is that Tipu was a patriot who battled the British. The India Office in London has Tipu Sultan’s various correspondences with the French, demonstrating how he conspired with them to drive out the British and partition India. Tipu also asked Zaman Shah, the king of Afghanistan, to invade India and help the Islamic cause. The same is shown in his correspondence with Turkey’s Ottoman Sultan.
2. Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa took money stolen from pensioners by financial fraud artist Charles Keating. She accepted donations from the murderous Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier. She was also a friend of Enver Hoxha, the communist dictator of Albania.
Worse, Teresa’s 600 missions in 123 countries have been described as “homes for the dying” by visiting doctors. The doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers. “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ’s passion. The world gains much from their suffering,” was her reply to criticism.
Teresa quoted Peter 2:18-23, which orders enslaved people to obey their masters even if they are abusive and difficult, and used this text to urge her nuns to obey superiors without question.
Her nuns were not provided with medical advice, the use of mosquito repellents, or information about malaria and vaccinations because Teresa believed “God” would look after the nuns. One of her nuns got into trouble with the order for helping a man with dysentery who was in danger of dying. Teresa quoted Peter 2:18-23, which orders enslaved people to obey their masters even if they are abusive and difficult, and used this text to urge her nuns to obey superiors without question.
And she was a hypocrite. Each time Teresa herself fell sick, she sought the finest medical care. Even though medical tourists from the West travel to India for treatment, Teresa reckoned India wasn’t good enough for her. She was admitted to California’s Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.
Teresa was stingy even during national emergencies. During numerous floods in India, she offered countless prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid.
All the abandoned children who are taken in Teresa’s missions are brought up as Christians. In India, Teresa was (and her mission continues to be) actively engaged in proselytizing work, which is not only illegal but will negatively impact India’s complex social hierarchy.
1. Winston Churchill
This sick racist deservedly takes the pole position in this list.
Like Yahya Khan, the British managed to outdo Hitler and his Nazi cohorts. The Nazis murdered 6 million Jews in 12 years, but their Teutonic cousins, the British, managed to kill almost 4 million Indians in just over a year, with Prime Minister Winston Churchill cheering from the sidelines.
Australian biochemist Dr Gideon Polya has called the Bengal Famine a “manmade holocaust” because Churchill’s policies were directly responsible for the disaster. He knowingly and enthusiastically caused the famine in 1942-43 by transferring vast quantities of food grain from India to Britain.
Churchill was remorseless in diverting food to the British troops and Greek civilians. To him, the starvation of “anyhow underfed Bengalis” (was) less serious than sturdy Greeks. When the British administrators urged him to release food stocks for India, Churchill responded with a telegram asking why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.
He blamed the Indians themselves for the famine, saying they “breed like rabbits.”
Churchill’s hostility toward Indians has long been documented. At a War Cabinet meeting, he blamed the Indians themselves for the famine, saying they “breed like rabbits.” His attitude toward Indians may be summed up in his words to Leo Amery, the Secretary of State for India: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” On another occasion, he insisted they were “the beastliest people in the world next to the Germans.”
According to author Madhusree Mukerjee, “Churchill’s attitude toward India was quite extreme, and he hated Indians, mainly because he knew India couldn’t be held for very long.”
The fact is the British Prime Minister possessed an extraordinary range of prejudices. During World War II, he wrote in a memorandum to the war cabinet about policy toward Italy: “All the industrial centers should be attacked in an intense fashion, every effort being made to terrorize the population.”
He also pushed for the firebombing of German population centers such as Dresden, Leipzig, and Chemnitz, which killed 200,000 civilians in 1945.
In 1944, Churchill okayed a cataclysmic plan to convert Germany into a “country primarily agricultural and pastoral in its character.” The Morgenthau Plan, if implemented, would have starved 10 million Germans to death in the first year alone. US President Franklin Roosevelt said Churchill was “bought off” after the Americans agreed to offer Britain $6.5 billion in Lend Lease.
 Nigel Collet, The Butcher of Amritsar, page 256
 Gwylim Beckerlegge, ‘Professor Friedrich Max Müller and the Missionary Cause’, in ‘Religion in Victorian Britain: Culture and Empire (Vol 5)