H/T Noxi for raising this important point.
Baba Saheb was one of the greatest scholars of the 20th century connected to the SA world (even his detractors praise him for his scholarship). In addition he used to despise Hindu upper caste with every fiber of his body (with the fullest justification). So it is automatic that his well considered judgement (as a Buddhist) on the key role played by Islam in destroying Buddhism in India should be taken at face value by all, especially those people in BP who put him on a pedestal (I am one of them).
Dr. BR Ambedkar writes, “There is no doubt that the fall of Buddhism in India was due to the invasions of the Musalmans. Islam came out as the enemy of the ‘But’. The word ‘But’ as everybody knows is an Arabic word and means an idol. Not many people however know what the derivation of the word ‘But’ is. ‘But’ is the Arabic corruption of Buddha. Thus the origin of the word indicates that in the Muslim mind idol worship had come to be identified with the religion of the Budhha.” On the issue of destruction of Buddhist monasteries he writes, “The Musalman invaders sacked the Budhhist Universities of Nalanda, Vikramasila, Jagaddala, Odantapuri to name only a few. They razed to the ground Budhhist monasteries with which the country was studded.” Babasaheb further writes, “Such was the slaughter of the Budhhist priesthood perpetrated by the Islamic invaders. The axe was struck at the very root. For by killing the Budhhist priesthood Islam killed Budhhism.”
It is a promising news that followers of Ambedkar have established neo-Buddhist (Dalit) orders in Maharashtra (we visit such a temple, near Igatpuri frequently for Vipassana lessons). The neo-Buddhist Dalit Pandits (called monks) are back from extinction (though sad to say, superstitions rule the day). Indian govt and the Dalit community needs to get their act together and recover the lost glory of those old Universities. Only then will the wheels of justice come full circle.