Distorted History - Causes, Consequences and Remedies

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Postby mayurav » 31 Mar 2008 09:05

satyarthi wrote:
mayurav wrote:I think it is because of Buddhism which stunned the nation with its ahimsa and priority of renunciation and Moksha over everything else.

Budhism didn't come to India from outside! It arose in India and swept through India without any aid of physical force.

Therefore it is futile to someow disown Buddhism. India wasn't just ready for Budhism, but going by many such isms including the other great tradition Jainism, was a fertile ground for it.

...


We can't disown this national trait by simply cursing Buddhism. Indian nation and dharma's character have a strong liberal, pacifist core. A dharma-yuddha is a war where the combatants put constraints on themselves in a moral conduct of war. Compare that to Islamic Jihad's conduct of a religious-war.

India is different. Budhhism is a product of that character and can't be disowned when convenient.


You misread my posts disfavoring Buddhism. I have NOT disowned it. Pointing out the faults of a phenomenon does not say anything about ownership and causes of that phenomenon.

The vedic religion emphasized Moksha, but made sure that society did not collapse due to everybody simultaneously rushing for Moksha at once abandoning their svadharma.

From East and the West by Swami Vivekananda

LINK

What does Buddha or Christ prescribe for the man who neither wants Moksha nor is fit to receive it? — Nothing! Either you must have Moksha or you are doomed to destruction — these are the only two ways held forth by them, and there is no middle course. You are tied hand and foot in the matter of trying for anything other than Moksha. There is no way shown how you may enjoy the world a little for a time; not only all openings to that are hermetically sealed to you, but, in addition, there are obstructions put at every step. It is only the Vedic religion which considers ways and means and lays down rules for the fourfold attainment of man, comprising Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Buddha ruined us, and so did Christ ruin Greece and Rome! Then, in due course of time, fortunately, the Europeans became Protestants, shook off the teachings of Christ as represented by Papal authority, and heaved a sigh of relief. In India, Kumârila again brought into currency the Karma-Mârga, the way of Karma only, and Shankara and Râmânuja firmly re-established the Eternal Vedic religion, harmonising and balancing in due proportions Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. Thus the nation was brought to the way of regaining its lost life; but India has three hundred million souls to wake, and hence the delay. To revive three hundred millions — can it be done in a day?

The aims of the Buddhistic and the Vedic religions are the same, but the means adopted by the Buddhistic are not right. If the Buddhistic means were correct, then why have we been thus hopelessly lost and ruined? It will not do to say that the efflux of time has naturally wrought this. Can time work, transgressing the laws of cause and effect?


Therefore, though the aims are the same, the Bauddhas for want of right means have degraded India. Perhaps my Bauddha brothers will be offended at this remark, and fret and fume; but there's no help for it; the truth ought to be told, and I do not care for the result. The right and correct means is that of the Vedas — the Jâti Dharma, that is, the Dharma enjoined according to the different castes — the Svadharma, that is, one's own Dharma, or set of duties prescribed for man according to his capacity and position — which is the very basis of Vedic religion and Vedic society.

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Postby ramana » 31 Mar 2008 09:51

Whoa! How did history turn to religion? Guys please don't hijack threads like this. Its with great difficulty we are able to discuss history in BR. I will be nice this time but any one posting after this will get banned.

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Postby Kaushal » 02 Apr 2008 00:10

shiv, can you pl. get back to me re.ICIH2009, the geopolitical session

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Postby VRaghav » 02 Apr 2008 01:12

'Mind over matter' has been the hallmark of Indic tradition and forms the bedrock of all history, cosmology, evolutionary theories, philosophy and literature of India.

This immaterial, invisible yet palpably undeniable mind has been analyzed to death, literally, by the Masters of India. If one has to appreciate the Indic histories, then one has to immerse oneself into the psyche of the 'mind over matter' thinking. Arcane questions of utility, 'belief' etc. should be thrown away and a fresh approach should be adopted. Nibbling away and writing a book overnight does not make one expert on India.

[i]“The only way that I will ever be great to myself, is not by what I do to my body, but what I do to my mind.â€

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Postby Kaushal » 02 Apr 2008 02:05

Vraghav, are you the same person who translated passages of the Rg and its references to the Saraswati in a thread on AIT (many moons ago)

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Postby VRaghav » 02 Apr 2008 02:07

Yes. I am the same person.

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Postby Kaushal » 02 Apr 2008 02:19

Wow, the constancy of mind over matter. if you still have an interest in such matters, ,you might consider attending ICIH2009, January 9-11, 2009, right after pravasi divas at the India international centre. wehave edtablished a prima facie case that the current narrative of the history is seriously distorted. This conference isteh first of a seris to establish th methdology and approach for a more accurate history.

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Postby ramana » 02 Apr 2008 02:45

Kaushal< I am tryinhg to get a print copy of this book.

x-posted from E-books thread...
ramana wrote:Folks I found this awesome book!

Google Books

Art of Transitional India
Its by good intro by Vinayak Purohit from Popular Prakashan 1988.

Long (1368 pages!) but very interesting. Read Chapter 3 & 4.

Vsunder, CDs will be mailed next week.


Try to read Chapter 3 & 4 please.

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Postby ramana » 02 Apr 2008 04:38


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Postby ramana » 04 Apr 2008 02:07

Googel books

Dardistan- G. Leitner

Very interesting.

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Postby Keshav » 09 Apr 2008 08:49

Not sure if we went over this but...

To what extent was the Maratha expansion a religious awakening? I've heard reports of their excesses in Rajputana and Bengal, for example (although Shivaji was originally allied with Jaswant Singh, curiously).

Was it simply a Maratha empire?

Shivaji made it clear with "Hindavi Swarajya" but to what extent did his descendants carry out that vision?

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Postby ramana » 12 Apr 2008 01:43

It was both.

BTW I found a book on internet by Benoy Kumar Sarkar written in 1916 published from Shangai China "Hindu Culture as World Power". Very illuminating. He traces the Chinese and Japanese culture to the India of the Gupta age.

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Postby Keshav » 12 Apr 2008 02:00

Ramana didn't exactly answer the question properly, so I'll leave that one out there. :)

Another question:
How pervasive was Buddhism before Ashoka began his missionary expansion across India?

Was it his mistake that he propagated Buddhism rather than strengthening the Hinduism that had already existed? Did he really believe in Buddha or was it an imperial move, like Constantine (no comparison between Christianity and Buddhism, though, or between Ashoka and Constantine) to unify the empire?

If he attempted to unifyw with it, its possible that Buddhism had already begun to spread or he simply pushed for it.

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Postby svinayak » 12 Apr 2008 02:17

Keshav wrote:
Another question:
How pervasive was Buddhism before Ashoka began his missionary expansion across India?

Was it his mistake that he propagated Buddhism rather than strengthening the Hinduism that had already existed? Did he really believe in Buddha or was it an imperial move, like Constantine (no comparison between Christianity and Buddhism, though, or between Ashoka and Constantine) to unify the empire?

If he attempted to unifyw with it, its possible that Buddhism had already begun to spread or he simply pushed for it.

The Hinduism what we see today was different in that era.
Vedic Dharma and Buddism combined together to form the Hinduism what we know today.

So the question of strengthening Hinduism did not arise. Dharma prevailed everywhere and Buddhism replaced the Vedic Dharma through ought the land.

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Postby ramana » 12 Apr 2008 04:20

I have been reading a lot of Indian history books written in the Indian freedom struggle days from 1880s in Google, Internet archives, Digital Libraray etc. What strikes me is the early writers were quite clued in to disproving the AIT and all its versions. There was a regional grouping of Bengali and Tamil writers. After their exuent from history writing, somehow Indian history studies got hijacked and we see D.D.Kosambi and his minions distorting Indian history so badly that it is unrecognizable.

I think the Indian scholars were able to handle the British Macaulay/Maxmueller strikes but succumbed to the American writers and their deep pockets. Its from D.D. Kosambi who was trained in US that the perversion starts and even now Romila Thapar is esconsed in Smithsonian! So the group to counter in not the Brits who did seed the early efforts but were successfully combatted, but the American writers. We need to understand why the Americans are inntent on this onslaught on Indian history.

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Postby Rudradev » 12 Apr 2008 06:19

Keshav wrote:Not sure if we went over this but...

To what extent was the Maratha expansion a religious awakening? I've heard reports of their excesses in Rajputana and Bengal, for example (although Shivaji was originally allied with Jaswant Singh, curiously).

Was it simply a Maratha empire?

Shivaji made it clear with "Hindavi Swarajya" but to what extent did his descendants carry out that vision?


1) What is this question supposed to mean? To what "extent" can one "carry out" a vision of Hindavi Swarajya?

The "Hindu-ness" of a Hindu empire can hardly be gauged in simplistic, quantitative terms.

One cannot apply the same model as one might with Muslim states, where such benchmarks as the prevailing degree of Sharia implementation could indicate how Islamic a regime was.

Islamic religious texts explicitly articulate tenets of governance, statecraft and justice that are quite inseparable from any other aspect of Mohammedan doctrine, and no less the unquestionable word of Allah.

There are no parallels to this in Hinduism. The Manusmriti and Arthashastra do not claim any sanction of religious authority, and it is not considered any "more" or "less" Hindu of a state to follow or reject their prescriptions.

If there is any quantifiable extent to which a subcontinental empire of the Maratha era could be thought of as "more" or "less" Hindu, it is only in terms of the freedom and security enjoyed by its subjects to practice the religion of their ancestors, unmolested and with dignity. The "Hinduness" only becomes visible at all in comparison with Muslim states where the people of our land were deprived of that freedom and security. It is only measurable in terms of the degree of permanence and stability with which that freedom and security were reinstated, guaranteed and enforced.

Shivaji grew up in a situation where his father, Shahji, was a Hindu feudatory of the Sultan of Bijapur. In times of peace, Shahji's subjects probably had more freedom to practice Hinduism than those of Bijapur's Muslim vassals. Yet, if the Sultan of Bijapur wanted to levy Jazia on Shahji's Hindu subjects, or destroy a temple on his land, there wasn't much Shahji could have done about it.

The extreme fragility of those religious freedoms, was revealed when war broke out between the Mughals and Bijapur during Shivaji's early childhood. Being a frontier territory, Shahji's lands were overrun several times by armies on both sides. His people had to contend with rapine, enslavement, slaughter, temple desecration and pillage at the hands of Muslim armies, and had no one to turn to for justice. Shivaji grew up with the reality that without a Hindu authority having real power to provide protection and recourse, the lives, dignity and property of his father's Hindu subjects were worth nothing.

That impression was further deepened by Shivaji's youthful experiences in the city of Bijapur, where he accompanied his father to court after the war. Shivaji tried to organize the Hindus of the city against the entrenched religious persecution they faced, demonstrating against cow-slaughter and so on, but received only condemnation from his father, a groveling Uncle Tom terrified of upsetting his Muslim liege.

To the extent that Shivaji's empire, and that of his descendants, was a state where Hindus could live as Hindus without fear of religious persecution, it was an achievement of "Hindavi Swaraj" to the maximum degree possible, and remained so until its demise.

The only other yardstick by which one could measure the Maratha Empire's "Hinduness" is by the extent to which its rulers practiced Hinduism in their own lives. There is plenty of evidence on record to support the assertion that many Maratha rulers were devout Hindus.

When most Maharashtrians greet each other with the word "Ram", they are referring not to Ram of Ayodhya but the Marathi poet-philosopher Sant Ramdas. It was Shivaji who made this greeting customary, a practice that persists to this day.

Shivaji was an ardent devotee of Ramdas, and spoke often of his own spiritual yearning to abdicate the throne and take up sanyas. He very often donned the garb of a sanyasi to travel incognito among his people, or reconnoitre enemy territory. This identification with ochre-garbed asceticism was so deeply embedded in the popular perception of Shivaji that it became a common theme in Marathi folklore. One tale tells of how a divine figure in sanyasi's robes helped divert a squad of Shaista Khan's soldiers, who had trapped Shivaji at a temple in Pune where he was attending a bhajan recital.

Even at the twilight of Maratha power, Sadashivrao Bhau and his generals upheld Hindu martial tradition to the bitter end on the eve of Panipat, ritually breaking their fast on the last grain of rice in their besieged camp, before riding out with turmeric-smeared faces to fight Abdali's hordes.



2) The question "was it simply a Maratha empire?" suggests a contradiction between the Hindu nature of the Maratha kingdom and its identification with a particular ethnic, cultural, linguistic and geographical nationalism.

Absent ill-advised attempts to superimpose modern viewpoints of "Indian nationhood vs. fissiparous regionalism" on the subject... there isn't any contradiction. Again, unlike the followers of Islam, no Hindu need ever choose between his family, his land, his people, his nation, and his religion.



3) I'm not sure what you're referring to as Maratha "excesses" in Rajputana and Bengal. "Excesses" relative to whom, by what yardstick, as seen against the context of what norms?

Shivaji was never allied with Jaswant Singh in particular. Aurangzeb suspected that the two of them had an "understanding", but he suspected every single one of his Deccan generals of some sort of skullduggery when they failed abjectly against Shivaji (rather like the Paki obsession with H&D... if the Hindoos win, there must be treachery involved!)

Aurangzeb even blamed Jai Singh of Amber, a commander of the Mughal Deccan army who had actually defeated Shivaji and forced him to sign the treaty of Purandhar, of later being complicit in Shivaji's escape from house arrest in Agra.

So distrustful was Aurangzeb that he placed a triumvirate in charge of his Deccan army in the early 1670s, in the hope that the three generals (Jaswant Singh of Marwar, Dilir Khan of Afghanistan and the crown prince Muazzam) would keep tabs on each other. In fact, they intrigued against each other as well as the crown, and Shivaji took advantage of the situation by conniving with each of them.

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Postby Rahul M » 12 Apr 2008 07:10

maratha excess in bengal.

http://mr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bargi

the impact of bhaskar pandit on the psyche is shown by the fact that this lullaby is still widespread and in use. (I too listened to it in my childhood).

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Postby Keshav » 12 Apr 2008 07:15

Rudradev-
Thanks a lot for your long response!

Rudradev wrote:3) I'm not sure what you're referring to as Maratha "excesses" in Rajputana and Bengal. "Excesses" relative to whom, by what yardstick, as seen against the context of what norms?


This was what I was referring to when I talked about it being a Hindu empire. How did Marathas treat non-Maratha Hindus? Did they attempt to reconcile with them on religious grounds meaning "We are equal equal because we are Hindu brothers" or did the Maratha empire rob, steal, place higher taxes on other conquered Hindus than themselves.

Rahul M-
The article seems to have been written by a certain Mohammed Shah and has no absolutely no references. I don't doubt that the song is some proof for Maratha raiders, but I would prefer referenced sources.

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Postby Rahul M » 12 Apr 2008 07:49

keshav, the author may be suspect but I can assure you the article is more or less authentic. Bhaskar Pandit and his excesses are well documented. I can't throw you the sources offhand (almost all are in bengali anyway) but that article does match what I have in memory.

My own take of the matter:

the bargi excesses was not state policy of the Marathas but one of conquest against the muslim nawabs of bengal viz. they did conquer orrissa. Most of the urban places mentioned were dominated by the elite muslim class and hindu elites who were cooperating with the nawabs anyway like the Jagat Seths. the marathas of course saw no harm in looting them.

the excesses in the rural areas were carried out by lowest rung soldiers w/o direct orders to that end by the generals. It is very unlikely that the generals would have any interest in looting or ravaging the countryside. this probably was an issue of indiscipline among the soldiers that the generals didn't know/didn't care.

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Postby Rahul M » 12 Apr 2008 08:00

FWIW,

http://bardhaman.gov.in/histandback.html

Marathas' Attack
Maratha army from Nagpur under Bhaskar Pandit had entered into Bengal in 1740. At that time, Alivardi Khan was the Nawab(Governor) of Bengal-Bihar-Orissa. He set out for Orrissa to subdue Shuja-ud-din, deputy governor of Orrissa and on his return journey from Cuttack, he retreated to Barddhaman in April 1742 where the Marathas surrounded him. They cut off his supplies and driven by hunger, he had to attempt a retreat to Murshidabad via Katwa. At Nigum Sarai, fourteen miles from Katwa, a desperate rear-guard action was fought and he managed to reach Katwa. From June 1742 Katwa become the head quarter of the Maratha Army. The west of the Bhagirathi under this district thus temporarily passed into the hands of the Marathas.

The Marathas committed unspeakable atrocities on the helpless population of this district. An eye-witness, Vaneshwar Vidhyalankar, the court pandit of the Maharaja of Barddhaman wrote - ' Shahu Rajah's troops are niggard of pity, slayers of pregnant women and infants, of Brahmins and the poor, fierce in spirit, expert in robbing the property of every one and committing every kind of sinful act. ...'. In 1742, while Bhaskar Pandit was celebrating Durga Puja at Katwa, Nawab Alibardi Khan fell upon him suddenly, after crossing theGanga at Uddharanpur, a mile north of Katwa and drove him out of Bengal.

On march 1743, Raghuji Bhonsle, the Raja of Nagpur accompaind by Bhaskar Pandit, arrived at Katwa to realize the chouth or 1/4th of revenue which had been promised by the Mughal Emperor and in the presence of Peswa Balaji Rao Alivardi promised to pay the chauth of Bengal. But in the next year, in order to get rid of Marathas, Alivardi invited Bhaskar Pandit and his officers and got them assassinated. In December 1745, a battle was fought between Alivardi and Raghuji Bhonsle at Katwa and Raghuji was defeated and returned to Nagpur.

In November 1746, Alivardi came down to Barddhaman and in a severely contested battle, defeated Janoji Bhonsle, the son of Raghuji. An end to the Maratha troubles could not be effected before 1751, in which year a treaty of peace was signed between Raghuji and Alivardi. Alivardi agreed to pay 12 lakhs of rupees annualy to Raghuji as the chauth of Bengal.

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Postby csharma » 12 Apr 2008 08:01

Ramana, extremely valid points. I think apart from American influence, people like Kosambi etc are also marxist in their outlook.
It seems to me that America is probably concerned about Hindu nationalism. Given the history of Hindu suffering, they probably think a resurgent India nursing a sense of injustice could become an aggressive nation. They feel more comfortable with the westernized Indian elite which feels less connected to its past. When nationalism is devalued, states become more easier to manage, I suppose.

It is the same as the US wanting to do business with Shah of Iran. America's desire to create a wetsernized state in Iraq should be seen in the same light. It is better for them when states dilute their nationalism. It can be done when the ruling elite is comfortable with western point of view.

That is a little hypocritical when they themselves seek their roots and opride in the Roman and Greek civilizations.

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Postby sanjaychoudhry » 12 Apr 2008 14:24

csharma wrote:Ramana, extremely valid points. I think apart from American influence, people like Kosambi etc are also marxist in their outlook.

It seems to me that America is probably concerned about Hindu nationalism. Given the history of Hindu suffering, they probably think a resurgent India nursing a sense of injustice could become an aggressive nation. They feel more comfortable with the westernized Indian elite which feels less connected to its past. When nationalism is devalued, states become more easier to manage, I suppose.

It is the same as the US wanting to do business with Shah of Iran. America's desire to create a wetsernized state in Iraq should be seen in the same light. It is better for them when states dilute their nationalism. It can be done when the ruling elite is comfortable with western point of view. That is a little hypocritical when they themselves seek their roots and opride in the Roman and Greek civilizations.


Basically, America's policy is to oppose native nationalism everywhere except in its own country. It knows that nationalists anchored to the traditions of the land pose the biggest danger to its worldwide interestes because they are assertive and sincerely try to make the country rich and powerful. In history, evey country has risen to greatness due to its nationalists, never due to communists, leftists or internationalists. America is deathly scared of Hindu nationalism and prevents everything it can to counter it. On one hand it rebuffs Hindu nationalists (denial of visa to Modi), on the other, it promotes the counter-force of leftists by showering them with awards to raise their profile (Guha, Pankaj Mishra, A. Roy, Romila Thapar, Praful Bidwai, Shekhar Gupta, etc.). In fact, name an Indian leftist and I can show you the Western award he got.

That is a little hypocritical when they themselves seek their roots and opride in the Roman and Greek civilizations.


This is the biggest hoax in history. Anglo Saxons have nothing to do with Rome or Greece. They know they do not have a history to write home about. Till 700 AD, the Anglo Saxons in the whole of Britian were living in huts. They did not even have cities, but small villages all over the land. So they try to hitch their bandwagon to another country's history and claim they are also a part of thier story. It is fraud they are committing.

Romans were brutal invaders of Britain who extinguished the indigenous Celtic civlisation (faced with the Roman invasion, all Celts retreated to Wales, where Celtism is still found in patches). Since when have Britain and America become a part of the Roman or Greece civilisation? The Anglo Americans should stop brianwashing their youth with doctored history and teach their history as it was in reality. Claiming the invader's history as your own is laughable.

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Postby csaurabh » 12 Apr 2008 16:13

sanjaychoudhry wrote:
That is a little hypocritical when they themselves seek their roots and opride in the Roman and Greek civilizations.


This is the biggest hoax in history. Anglo Saxons have nothing to do with Rome or Greece. They know they do not have a history to write home about. Till 700 AD, the Anglo Saxons in the whole of Britian were living in huts. They did not even have cities, but small villages all over the land. So they try to hitch their bandwagon to another country's history and claim they are also a part of thier story. It is fraud they are committing.

Romans were brutal invaders of Britain who extinguished the indigenous Celtic civlisation (faced with the Roman invasion, all Celts retreated to Wales, where Celtism is still found in patches). Since when have Britain and America become a part of the Roman or Greece civilisation? The Anglo Americans should stop brianwashing their youth with doctored history and teach their history as it was in reality. Claiming the invader's history as your own is laughable.


Sorry for going off topic, but that is not very true. Britons and Germans don't really accept that they were 'barbarians' compared to the civilized Roman empire. There was a (vastly popular) game called Rome-Total War that depicted everything from a Roman point of view. There was this team which made a huge (free) total conversion mod called Europa Barbarorum which depicted history from the 'barbarians' point of view.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_Barbarorum

I had a conversation with a guy on another forum and he said that in Britain people feel it is worthwhile buying the game just to play with the Europa Barbarorum mod.

I had another conversation with an Estonian nationalist who said that he was an atheist but if he were to believe in god he would believe in Taara, the ancient Estonian god rather than Christianity which was forced on them by a huge German army.

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Postby sanjaychoudhry » 12 Apr 2008 17:37

Sorry for going off topic, but that is not very true. Britons and Germans don't really accept that they were 'barbarians' compared to the civilized Roman empire.


Who said they were barbarians? Barbarians has a uncivlised ring to it. They were not barbarians, but primitive compared to Romans. This calling of Celts as uncivlised barbarians was early church propaganda. This is not much different than Muslims calling everything existing before Mohammad as "Jahiliya." The argument by church is that Christianity brought light to uncivlised people much like Islam brought light to India according to Muslims. There is a deliberate propaganda against Celts, such as stories of thier sacrificing virgins in the bogs.

Celts of Europe and Britain had their own spiritual traditions and culture with many similarities to Hinduism such as ritual river bathing, sacred groves and sun worship. The society was driven by druids who were the priests and repository of all wisdom. (Druids had exactly the same status as Brahmins had in ancient India. Indeed many consider Druids as Brahmins who migrated from India thousands of years ago and took their traditions with them. Druid is incidentally derived from the word Dravid -- drav means liquid and vid means knowledge, hence one who is immersed in knowledge.)

Still, the druidic or Celtic civilisation was primitive and agricultural, built around small villages that dotted riversides or the coast. It was not imperial or city based with a well-organised bureaucracy like Rome or Greece. Worse, it is doubtful if Celts knew how to write, as not a single pre-Roman inscription or manuscript has been found in all of Britain or Europe. That is why it is said that Romans introduced civilisation to Europe and Britian -- they built roads, created cities, introduced bureaucracy and brought written script.

When the Roman legions withdrew abruptly from Britain in about 300 AD, there was total chaos as the country was defenseless since the Celtic army had been destroyed and the Romans packed up and left. Benefitting from this, the Anglo Saxons from across the Channel started migrating in large numbers and establishing communities all along the eastern coast of England.

There was utter chaos in British society and there is no record of what happened and what wars were fought between Anglo Saxons and native Britions. It was only in 8th or 9th century that first Anglo Saxons kingdoms started appearing. Entire Britain was still pagan. This 500-year period of withdrawl of Roman legions from Britian to the establishment of Anglo Saxon kingdoms is known as the Dark Age.

It is against this historical background that Britons now claim Roman civilisaiton as their own and tag along on the Roman and Greek bandwagon. This is because their history before 700 AD is totally dark with no records or monuments. The earliest monuments they have extant are the Roman temples to Mithras and the Hadrian wall built by the Romans. Before that there is absolutely nothing -- no inscriptions, no monuments, no excavated cities. The only thing they have is Stonehenge whose origins are full of mystery.

So instead of writing about this history of theirs, the Brits and the Americans try to yoke their civlisational bandwagon to Greek and Roman civilisations, which is stretching things a bit too far. It saves them from looking bad in front of Egypt, India and China and they also get a few boasting rights. That is all.

The only Celtic personality who fought tooth and nail against the invading Romans was the Queen Boudica.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica

She can be likened to Jhansi ki Rani of India. She was defeated and killed by Romans and is now supposed to be buried by popular imagination under platform 10 of King's Cross station of London. She is all the Brits know of their kings and queens before 700 AD.

Incidentally, the myth of King Arthur relates to the Dark Age of Britain when there was total chaos after the Roman legions had left. It is beleived this myth may have been based on a roman soldier who stayed behind in Britian and rallied the local Celts to take on the Anglo Saxons who were arriving in huge numbers from the mainland Europe.

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Postby Rudradev » 13 Apr 2008 00:45

This was what I was referring to when I talked about it being a Hindu empire. How did Marathas treat non-Maratha Hindus? Did they attempt to reconcile with them on religious grounds meaning "We are equal equal because we are Hindu brothers" or did the Maratha empire rob, steal, place higher taxes on other conquered Hindus than themselves?


What was the need for a 17th-century Hindu empire in India to distinguish itself from Muslim empires, by means of "reconciliation" with those it conquered?

The Muslim empires had already distinguished themselves by means of imposing Jaziya, destroying temples, and all that other lovely stuff.

The distinction that such institutionalized persecution would no longer apply under Maratha suzerainty, certainly wasn't lost on the non-Maratha Hindu rulers who submitted to the Maratha empire.

The Marathas may have cited Hindu identity as common ground when attempting to cement alliances with non-Muslim states, but in the context of uniting against a common enemy who happened to be non-Hindu rather than appealing to a "brotherhood among Hindus". This cannot be compared to, say, Shah Waliullah of Delhi and Najib Khan of the Rohillas inviting their foreign Muslim brother Ahmed Shah Abdali to invade the subcontinent in the name of Islamic reconquista.

However, what would the Marathas have gained by compromising their authority over vassal states which came under the sway of their empire? I expect that's what you mean by attempting to reconcile with other conquered Hindus as "equal equal Hindu brothers", isn't it?

It's not as if appealing to the Hindu identity of the masses ruled by those vassals would have made a difference... this wasn't a situation of parliamentary politics and vote-banking.

What mattered was the loyalty of tributary feudal lords, who didn't always make their decisions based on religious identity or even Maratha identity. Muslim vassals of Shivaji's empire, such as the Sultan of Golconda, remained loyal even while Shivaji's own brother Vyankoji rose in rebellion from his fortress at Jinjee.

It is all very well for Romila Thapar's ilk of "historians" to talk of how the Marathas' "greedy" imposition of harsh taxes and indemnities on their non-Maratha vassals was singularly responsible for alienating potentially valuable allies. No doubt the Maratha empire levied taxes and tributes on its vassals, Maratha as well as non-Maratha: "Chauth" was a sort of "protection money" tribute collected from subsidiary allies; "Sardeshmukhi" was a land tax. Paying them was probably not fun for the vassals. However, it's worth remembering that this was how empires financed themselves at the time.

It is hardly appropriate to place the onus of maintaining "Hindavi Swaraj" entirely on the Marathas, to the extent of expecting them to finance an empire on love and fresh air just so that the Jats, Sikhs, Rajputs and others who came under their sway might be moved to make common cause against Muslim depredations.

The Peshwa supplied the Sikhs with munitions and equipment crucial to their recapture of Lahore from Durrani Afghans; he militarily supported the Jats under Suraj Mal against the onslaught of Najib Khan's Rohillas. Yet, when the Marathas refused to let their Sikh, Rajput and Jat allies sack Delhi (a Maratha protectorate and also their only reservoir of supplies in the North) on the eve of the Third Battle of Panipat... what did those "allies" do? They walked out and left the Marathas, besieged by Abdali's forces athwart their supply lines, to fight the Afghans alone or starve. Or, in the case of the Rajput princes of Jodhpur and Amber, actually joined themselves with the Afghan forces.

Would such "allies" really have proved more loyal to the idea of "Hindavi Swaraj" if only the Marathas hadn't charged them taxes and tributes (and perhaps allowed them to sack Delhi?)

Certainly that is the view of our Marxist JNU historians. Then again, those historians are intent on maintaining the ideological stereotype that Islamic unity was a superior nation-building force compared to Hindu revival, which was doomed to fail because Hindus could not "think big enough" to transcend regional rivalries.

Which is the entire relevance of this discussion to the present thread :)

And of course, as with any contemporary armed expedition anywhere in the world at that time, Maratha forces were expected to live off the land in their theatre of operations. Large armies invading faraway provinces certainly placed a burden on the people of those provinces, seizing local harvests and resources to feed themselves. It was also common for such armies to destroy what fields and crops they did not plunder, a tactical denial of supplies and resources to unfriendly forces who might have to traverse that ground later. Which brings us again to


Rahul M wrote:maratha excess in bengal.

http://mr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bargi

the impact of bhaskar pandit on the psyche is shown by the fact that this lullaby is still widespread and in use. (I too listened to it in my childhood).


The word "excess" is apparently very easy to trot out, so once again I must ask, "excess" in comparison to what?

To the tender mercies of the Khilji-descended Afghans, who ruled Bengal all the way from the demise of the Sena empire to the arrival of the British?

Are the inevitable consequences of a large invading army living off Bengali land more "excessive" than the trauma of Bengal famines engineered by the British? Were the Maratha rampages more "excessive" than those of Mughal, Khilji and other armies which came before and after? And what norm, exactly, are any of these being described as "excessive" relative to?

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Postby Keshav » 13 Apr 2008 04:12

Rudradev wrote:The Peshwa supplied the Sikhs with munitions and equipment crucial to their recapture of Lahore from Durrani Afghans; he militarily supported the Jats under Suraj Mal against the onslaught of Najib Khan's Rohillas. Yet, when the Marathas refused to let their Sikh, Rajput and Jat allies sack Delhi (a Maratha protectorate and also their only reservoir of supplies in the North) on the eve of the Third Battle of Panipat... what did those "allies" do? They walked out and left the Marathas, besieged by Abdali's forces athwart their supply lines, to fight the Afghans alone or starve. Or, in the case of the Rajput princes of Jodhpur and Amber, actually joined themselves with the Afghan forces.


But why though?! This type of discussion really makes my blood boil primarily because I don't understand why no one worked together! What was the point of withdrawing if they knew the Afghanis could successfully invade India and later on provide problems for them?

Only Chanakya, Chandragupta and Samudragupta seemed to have had that far flung vision of unity.

Were they really that naive about Afghani (or foreign, in general) intentions?

Would such "allies" really have proved more loyal to the idea of "Hindavi Swaraj" if only the Marathas hadn't charged them taxes and tributes (and perhaps allowed them to sack Delhi?)


Considering how little I know about details, I can't say either way, but according to how you've painted the picture, it doesn't seem likely that those taxes would've have meant much.

I suppose belief among Hindus has always been a private affair (barring holidays) because it always seems like ethnicity and regionalism takes precedence over national security. Of course, I suppose there was no hard and fast concept of nation then, either.

We like to say that Maharana Pratap fought for the Hindu cause - the reality is, I don't think he would've accepted the suzerainity of anyone else except himself, regardless of whether or not that person was a Hindu. In the same way, the others did not want to be under anyone else.

Certainly that is the view of our Marxist JNU historians. Then again, those historians are intent on maintaining the ideological stereotype that Islamic unity was a superior nation-building force compared to Hindu revival, which was doomed to fail because Hindus could not "think big enough" to transcend regional rivalries.


I'll be honest and say I must be one of those brainwashed people, because thats how I see it to some degree. Islamic unity may not be great, because obviously they fought amongst each other, but it was certainly greater than that of Hindus, for whom religion was not a community construct - ethnicity determined that, not religion.

However, we don't know how a Hindu revival would have panned out, if at all it happened, because it was snubbed out by the British.

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Postby ramana » 13 Apr 2008 05:13

This is a beautiful small book of 50 pages and a must read to get an idea of the early decades thought process of Indian intellectual elite.

Hindu art: its humanism and modernism; an introductory essay (1920)

By Benoy Kumar Sarkar

he had his own group of scholars called Panini Group! Not the sandwich maker!

----------

I have been reading this book
Advanced history of India by Srinivasa Iyengar

Kaushal he was principal Mrs AVN College!

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Postby Keshav » 14 Apr 2008 05:20

Ramana-
I am currently reading the Rangarajan version of Chanakyas "Arthashastra", but I remember you talking about a version you enjoyed that was put out by the Indian Army.

Was this you and if so, do you know where I might find a copy?

One of the differences is of Book 14, which supposedly is a repository of potions and herbal concoctions that produced certain results. Chanakaya didn't really believe in magic or astrology, but apparently he did believe certain herbal mixes could produce what we would consider magical effects.

Does the Indian Army version of this contain this chapter? Its missing from Rangarajan's version by Penguin Classics.

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Postby ramana » 14 Apr 2008 05:41

I am sorry I think you are mistaking me for someone else. I too have same version.

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Postby Keshav » 14 Apr 2008 05:43

ramana wrote:I am sorry I think you are mistaking me for someone else. I too have same version.


Do you know if the Indian Army put out another version?

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Postby ramana » 14 Apr 2008 06:15

I don't think so. IA doesn't put out books. Definitely not ancient books. The seculars will get them before you can say Sachar. Don't know where you got this.

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Postby Keshav » 14 Apr 2008 06:52

ramana wrote:I don't think so. IA doesn't put out books. Definitely not ancient books. The seculars will get them before you can say Sachar. Don't know where you got this.


Must've been dreaming, sorry.

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Postby Sanjay M » 14 Apr 2008 08:11


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Postby Keshav » 14 Apr 2008 10:12

Sanjay M wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71O8LzOWaWo


... Africa is already almost completely Abrahamic, though, isn't it?

I think the only major pre-Abrahamic tradition is Yoruba and even that is fading out quickly. Africa is set to be the most Christian continent anywhere -

... and yet their still dirt poor.

I guess Jesus doesn't preach the gospel of wealth.

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Postby Airavat » 14 Apr 2008 14:23

Rudradev wrote:Yet, when the Marathas refused to let their Sikh, Rajput and Jat allies sack Delhi (a Maratha protectorate and also their only reservoir of supplies in the North) on the eve of the Third Battle of Panipat... what did those "allies" do?


There were no Sikh or Rajput forces with the Marathas at Delhi or at anytime in the Panipat campaign. The Jat ruler Suraj Mal left the Marathas because they opened negotiations with the Shia Nawab of Awadh and offered to make him Wazir of the Mughal Empire. Suraj Mal wanted his proxy, the Sunni Imad-ul-mulk to be made Wazir.

Rudradev wrote:They walked out and left the Marathas, besieged by Abdali's forces athwart their supply lines, to fight the Afghans alone or starve. Or, in the case of the Rajput princes of Jodhpur and Amber, actually joined themselves with the Afghan forces.


Neither of these rulers were anywhere close to Panipat; so they could not join their forces to the Afghans. After the battle, when Ahmad Shah Abdali found that he had gained nothing by way of finances from his victory, he sent letters to the Hindu rulers of Jaipur, Bharatpur, Jodhpur demanding tribute from them.

But since his army was now in no shape to enforce these claims, these rulers ignored his threats.

Rudradev wrote:
Rahul M wrote:maratha excess in bengal.

Were the Maratha rampages more "excessive" than those of Mughal, Khilji and other armies which came before and after? And what norm, exactly, are any of these being described as "excessive" relative to?


This is true. Maratha plundering did not involve the taking and sale of slaves or the conversion of prisoners, which were common features of the campaigns by Muslim armies.

The leftists make similar equal-equal claims of plundering by Sikh armies.

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Postby SBajwa » 14 Apr 2008 21:11

There were no Sikh or Rajput forces with the Marathas at Delhi or at anytime in the Panipat campaign. The Jat ruler Suraj Mal left the Marathas because they opened negotiations with the Shia Nawab of Awadh and offered to make him Wazir of the Mughal Empire. Suraj Mal wanted his proxy, the Sunni Imad-ul-mulk to be made Wazir.


Exactly!!! Sikhs in 1765 were divided into 13 bands (called misls) which were on overall command of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia is known as "Baandi Chhor". Eventhough Sikh Misls were not supporting or helping Marathas but they stopped Afghanis to take the looty booty and slaves back to the bazaars of middle east. For this reason alone Durrani (ahmad shah abdali) attacked punjab 9 more times and blow up golden temple with gun powder (more than twice). His attacks didn't crossed punjab while the mughals were ruling at Delhi from Najafgarh to Mehrauli.

Why Jassa Singh ahluwalia is known as Baandi Chhor is because in one guerilla raid he rescued over 2200 girls (slaves or Baandi) which were captured for the bazaars of middle east.

One of the Sikh bands under the leadership of Baghel Singh Dhaliwal actually captured Delhi but Sikhs could not decide on who to make the emperor (both Jassa singh ahluwalia and jassa singh ramgarhia want to sit on the throne) thus they had to contend with locating and making nine historical gurdwaras in Delhi associated with Sikh history.

Gurdwara Sis Ganj at Chandani Chowk where Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded on the orders of Aurungzeb.

Gurdwara Rakab Ganj at Raisina village (now it is New Delhi) where headless body of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur was cremated.

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib at a palace of Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur where seventh Guru Guru Har kishen ji stayed during his visit to Delhi.


Gurdwara Majnu Teela where first guru Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji visited.

Gurdwara Nanak Piayo where first guru Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji visited.

Gurdwara Bala Sahib

Gurdwara Moti Bagh Sahib

Gurdwara Damdama Sahib

Gurdwara Mata Sundri Ji where widow of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji lived.

Gurdwara Martyrdom place of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Mehrauli where Banda Bahadur along with 760 Sikhs was beheaded one by one without converting.

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Postby Rudradev » 14 Apr 2008 22:16

Airavat wrote:
Rudradev wrote:Yet, when the Marathas refused to let their Sikh, Rajput and Jat allies sack Delhi (a Maratha protectorate and also their only reservoir of supplies in the North) on the eve of the Third Battle of Panipat... what did those "allies" do?


There were no Sikh or Rajput forces with the Marathas at Delhi or at anytime in the Panipat campaign. The Jat ruler Suraj Mal left the Marathas because they opened negotiations with the Shia Nawab of Awadh and offered to make him Wazir of the Mughal Empire. Suraj Mal wanted his proxy, the Sunni Imad-ul-mulk to be made Wazir.


Airavat-ji,

Why did the Sikh or Rajput forces have to be physically near Delhi? It was a Maratha protectorate and the Marathas had declared their unwillingness to allow them to sack it. Besides, it was east of the Sikh/Rajput dominions while the Durranis were approaching from their west.

The fact remains, Maratha pronouncements to their allies that Delhi was not to be sacked, was interpreted by those allies as high-handedness, and cited as a reason not to bestir themselves against the Durranis.

This, in spite of the fact that Maratha munitions helped the Sikhs to liberate Lahore from the Afghan garrisons of Abdali's viceroy only three years earlier. The only Sikh ruler who kept his commitment to support the Marathas was Ala Singh of Patiala.

Sadashivrao Bhau did indeed negotiate with the Nawab of Avadh to support the ascension of Nanasaheb Peshwa's heir Vishwas Rao to the throne in Delhi.

This actually suggests that the Marathas *did* have a broader vision than regional imperialism, incorporating the importance of national emblems. Reclaiming Indraprastha, the ancient seat of kings and the capital of Muslim empires since the eleventh century, for Hindavi Swaraj would have had colossal significance throughout the nation. It would also have made a profound psychological impact on the remaining Muslim powers in the subcontinent. It was chiefly the Kafir threat to Delhi in the first place, that so agitated Shah Waliullah.

However, as you say, Suraj Mal wanted his own candidate to become Wazir; this was opposed by the Marathas, who after all had fealty from Delhi; and Suraj Mal walked out from the alliance.

Airavat wrote:
Rudradev wrote:They walked out and left the Marathas, besieged by Abdali's forces athwart their supply lines, to fight the Afghans alone or starve. Or, in the case of the Rajput princes of Jodhpur and Amber, actually joined themselves with the Afghan forces.


Neither of these rulers were anywhere close to Panipat; so they could not join their forces to the Afghans. After the battle, when Ahmad Shah Abdali found that he had gained nothing by way of finances from his victory, he sent letters to the Hindu rulers of Jaipur, Bharatpur, Jodhpur demanding tribute from them.

But since his army was now in no shape to enforce these claims, these rulers ignored his threats.



I was referring to the period before Panipat, not after.

From this link: Sadashivrao_Bhau

Durrani attempted to turn the tide against the Marathas by allying with other Rohilla chieftains including the Nawab of Awadh, Prince Vijay Singh of Jodhpur, and Kachawa Prince Madho Singh of Amber. Durrani also recruited Afghans displaced by the war, and by August 1760, Durrani had 120,000 soldiers to block Maratha passage to the south. Durrani isolated the Marathas financially and politically by having his allies convincing other nobles to break their alliances with Bhau and not fund his campaign.


At the very least, it appears that Jodhpur and Amber were contributing to the severance of Maratha supply lines, which enabled Durrani to besiege the Marathas and force them to fight at a time and place of his choosing. I may be wrong.

After the battle of Panipat, you are right of course.

It is important to mention this... Panipat 1761 was a rout for the Marathas, but it was a pyrrhic victory for the Durranis. Ahmed Shah Abdali had come with a huge force, likely intending to re-create an Islamic sultanate in India. The cost of victory was so high (some 40,000 Afghans died) that Abdali gave up on his expansionist ambitions and had to be satisfied with some sacking and brigandage before going home.

Everybody talks about Panipat-III as the end of Maratha expansion and the beginning of their decline; it was, but it also put paid to the last grab that Islamic powers were ever able to make for Delhi. After Panipat, Muslim power in the north only persisted in Avadh and Bengal. The staggering costs of Panipat weakened the Afghans and paved the way for the Sikhs to sweep across the erstwhile trans-Indus possessions of the Durrani empire, establishing an empire of their own. It was only in peninsular India that Muslim rulers Haider Ali of Mysore and Asaf Jah of Hyderabad might have received some respite from relative Maratha weakness following Panipat-III... Hyder Ali was able to establish himself in the Malabar in the following decade.

Thus the story of Abdali's invasion is far different from the invasion of Ghauri or the Khiljis six centuries earlier. He wasn't able to hold Delhi or re-create a dominant Islamic kingdom in the subcontinent, and to the bitter disappointment of the Shah Waliullah types, he had to limp off home instead.

Yes, the non-Muslim forces did not unite to resist him, just as had not united to face earlier Islamic invasions. However, for the first time they were facing something more than a shaky coalition of regional fiefdoms... they were facing a fully established Maratha empire whose writ extended up to Delhi, and an emerging Sikh empire that was poised to assert its writ all the way to the borders of Afghanistan.
Last edited by Rudradev on 15 Apr 2008 01:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Rudradev » 14 Apr 2008 23:32

In fact, this is the most interesting thing.

When the British EIC began its political expansion in India, the FIRST places they targeted were the relatively weak Muslim states.

See this map:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:India1760_1905.jpg

The yellow area is the height of Maratha expansion. This declined after Panipat, but remained strong, though increasingly decentralized with more power devolving from the Peshwa to his vassals (Holkar, Shinde, Gaekwad etc.)

The green areas to the Northwest (Punjab, Multan etc.) became part of the Sikh empire shortly after Panipat.

Only Avadh, Bengal, the Nizam's dominions and Mysore were Muslim-ruled.

They were also the FIRST places that the British targeted... Nizam's Dominions (Carnatic Wars), Bengal (Plassey and Buxar), Avadh (treaty of 1765) and Mysore (Srirangapatnam 1799). Only after massively developing their political and military muscle on the spoils of victory over these Muslim states, did the British feel empowered enough to take on the Sikhs and the Marathas in the following century.

Why? Because the Islamic states of India in 1760 were also the weakest states... Panipat or no Panipat. The real powers in the subcontinent, even after Panipat, were the Sikhs and the Marathas. The Kafirs had, for all practical purposes, finished subcontinental Islam as a political force to reckon with.

Had the second Anglo-Sikh war coincided with the resistance of the gangetic and deccan rulers in the First War of Independence, we might have been living in a very different India today.

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Postby Airavat » 15 Apr 2008 07:50

Rudradev wrote:Why did the Sikh or Rajput forces have to be physically near Delhi?


How else were they supposed to sack it?

Ironically it were the Marathas who had sacked Delhi and the surrounding villages several times before Panipat. This is why the villagers from Panipat to the borders of Bharatpur gave no refuge or aid to the Marathas escaping from the rout in 1761.

Rudradev wrote:Sadashivrao Bhau did indeed negotiate with the Nawab of Avadh to support the ascension of Nanasaheb Peshwa's heir Vishwas Rao to the throne in Delhi.


:?:

Rudradev wrote:At the very least, it appears that Jodhpur and Amber were contributing to the severance of Maratha supply lines, which enabled Durrani to besiege the Marathas and force them to fight at a time and place of his choosing. I may be wrong.


Maratha supply lines were nowhere close to these kingdoms! The Bhau advanced north from Delhi, in the hope of severing the Abdali's supply lines running through the Punjab. He captured Kunjpura and wiped out the Afghans holding this base.....when his food supply ran out the Bhau moved further north towards Patiala. At this time the Abdali army, from their base in Ruhelkhand across the Yamuna, crossed that river and closed the path between Panipat and Delhi.

Rudradev wrote:After Panipat, Muslim power in the north only persisted in Avadh and Bengal.....

It was only in peninsular India that Muslim rulers Haider Ali of Mysore and Asaf Jah of Hyderabad might have received some respite from relative Maratha weakness following Panipat-III...


Muslim power declined worldwide in the 18th century because of the decline in the effectiveness of traditional cavalry formations.

And it survived in Hyderabad and Mysore because European officers transformed the infantry and artillery formations of these Muslim rulers enabling them to take on the British East India Company.

The Marathas who had begun as light cavalry also adopted infantry formations (though manned by non-Marathas) under European command.

Rudradev wrote:Only after massively developing their political and military muscle on the spoils of victory over these Muslim states, did the British feel empowered enough to take on the Sikhs and the Marathas in the following century.


Very exaggerated statement...but not your fault since you were provoked into this by the generalized remarks on "Maratha plundering" by other members.

In the Anglo-Maratha war of 1803 the principal fighting on the Maratha side was done by non-Marathas! All of the important "Maratha" garrisons in North India had Purbias and Ruhelas fighting the advancing British under General Lake.

At the Battle of Laswari 13 battlaions manned by Purbias and Ruhelas fought the British to the end; their only cavalry were 1200 Marathas under Gulab Rai Kadam who naturally were powerless against the accurate British firing and escaped from the field without making a single charge.

In the south Arthur Wellesley, who won the important Battle of Assaye, against the combined armies of Scindia and Bhonsle records, "Their infantry fought well and stood by their guns to the last....their cavalry did us but little mischief."

And it were these Purbia and Ruhela infantrymen who led the revolt of 1857. Even in the Maratha kingdoms of Gwalior and Indore, the non-Maratha army (Purbias and Ruehlas) joined the revolt while the Maratha rulers remained loyal to the British.

In fact the decline of the Rajput states of Rajasthan in that same period came about because of the same decline in cavalry, which had been their principal formation in the resistance to the Turk invasions.

Since the best infantry, Purbias of UP-Bihar and Ruhelas of Western UP, were first hired in the EIC army and then taken up in Maratha armies, very few reached the out-of-way region of Rajasthan. And for the same reason few Europeans came to this area, being absorbed first in the armies of other Indian kingdoms.

This is why the Rajput states lost their independence to Mahadji Scindia and later saw their lands being ravaged by the Pindari and Ruhela brigands of Holkar and Scindia. They had no modern infantry to deter these brigands, and this why they sought British protection.

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Postby Virupaksha » 15 Apr 2008 08:11

This actually suggests that the Marathas *did* have a broader vision than regional imperialism, incorporating the importance of national emblems. Reclaiming Indraprastha, the ancient seat of kings and the capital of Muslim empires since the eleventh century, for Hindavi Swaraj would have had colossal significance throughout the nation. It would also have made a profound psychological impact on the remaining Muslim powers in the subcontinent. It was chiefly the Kafir threat to Delhi in the first place, that so agitated Shah Waliullah.

However, as you say, Suraj Mal wanted his own candidate to become Wazir; this was opposed by the Marathas, who after all had fealty from Delhi; and Suraj Mal walked out from the alliance.


This is where I think we are still in thinking on the lines of the "historians". Why was delhi more important than say awadh or even gwalior or agra? The "emperor" of delhi was a protectorate of marathas.
Let us not make the mistake of reading history with todays lenses.
Of course the marathas had a broader vision of putting back the hindus at the top seat rather than regional imperialism, but I think we are making the mistake of seeing all the marathas as the same. What was the interplay between peshwa, gwalior and other maratha sartraps?


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