Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
Virendra
BRFite
Posts: 1211
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 23:20

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virendra » 28 Sep 2011 13:05

Sanku wrote:BTW, as a aside, I have read most of your blog and all your posts on BRF with great intrests, and I will be the first to acknowledge that I have learnt a great deal from you have shared. I say this to ensure that there is no misunderstanding during discussions that happen.

Quality threads are free of personal flame wars and blind assertion without seeing the others point. Most of the forums are full of it. But this one is a good example here.

Airavat wrote:There is no such thing as permanent submission or a permanent alliance. History is not all about personalities, as the discussion seems to be going here, but more about resources, geography, military technology, and organization.

That I agree with. I was opposing the same "selective nit picking" and "extrapolation".

Sanku wrote:However the issue is specifically the damage that was cause by the practice of giving away daughters. That was really a low point.

Most of the times politics and ethics teach very different things. There is no ethical justification to that act.

Airavat wrote:In the Battle of Haldighati, Pratap did not stay to fight and die, but escaped to Gogunda. When that place was besieged by the Mughals, Pratap did not think of jauhar, and instead escaped to Kumbhalgarh fort. Mewar was a huge kingdom with numberless forts sitting astride the Aravalli range, affording plenty of depth to draw in the invaders, create ambuscades, and carry out guerrilla warfare. The principality of Amber did not have such strategic depth, sandwiched as it was between the Mughal territories of Delhi in the north and Ajmer in the south. Moreover the Aravallis here are small hillocks with no forest cover.

One had to draw a line wherefrom the differentiation of bravado and strategy is infered. Pratap did fight against a stronger opponent, inflicted mental wounds to the enemy even more than physical and was capable of resuming his struggle take most of his Kingdom back too. But again Amber's disadvantages as mentioned cannot be overlooked. Unity would've mitigated all these odds, but sadly it didn't come around.

Sanku wrote:I am talking about accepting the Mewar Maharana as overlord, permanently stationing nobles and important chiefs in that court, and mutually defending the common border and willing to risk extinction of your clan if need be.

Too much being asked from the clannish Rajputs who wouldn't understand the bigger picture. If that much unity was there, we'd be discussing a very different history perhaps. Then we could take it one step further and talk about Maratha Rajput alliance so the Mughals were literally uprooted from the subcontinent. But nothing like that happened.

Sanku wrote:Would you like to mention why Mewar would not come to aid of Amber? What was the exact correspondences and so on and so forth?

Yes even I want to know that Airavat Ji. Where did it all start, I mean the seed of infighting and clannish indifference towards each other (in Rajputana)?

Sanku wrote:So with conditions similar to Amber, other clans have made other choices. Amber is particularly singled out, since the understanding of the Rajputs of Amber of India, of other Rajputs and warfighting skills went a long way in supporting Mughal powers, the other pre-Mughal (pre Akbar) Islamic Turuksha's could never really hold and consolidate because there really never were supported by a strong Indian principal.
It is Amber which gave the Mogols three generation of overlordship over India, and real acceptability and power -- this alliance was in no small measure built on compromises such as giving daughters away.


Again, I was hoping you wouldn't pivot your arguments on recent demographics and wouldn't view medieval things through a mindset prism of post British India. It is bias to nit pick and blame one medival Kingdom for the way the history of an entire subcontinent or potential nation is shaped. And that is where the fault lies. There wasn't a seamless notion of "one nation India" back then; that one would point fingers for its destiny on anyone in particular; that the point of failing it would arise. What you see today as one country was then a loose colony of Independent quarelling Kingdoms where like anywhere else Kings made alliances, broke them .. kept fighting with each other.
On one side we accept that Amber was a small state and couldn't have taken Mughals all alone (though we also say that it should have) and on the other hand the assertion that Amber was so powerful that it helped Mughals take and maintain entire India??
Can't take it both ways.

Sanku wrote:Only when Amber switched back, did the Mughal power fall again.

Can you elaborate on that please, or provide references for me to read?

Regards,
Virendra

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 28 Sep 2011 13:52

Virendra wrote:
Sanku wrote:However the issue is specifically the damage that was cause by the practice of giving away daughters. That was really a low point.

Most of the times politics and ethics teach very different things. There is no ethical justification to that act.


At some point of time choices have to be made, there are some red lines which must not be crossed. Clearly there were others who made tactical alliance out of compulsion but tried to break it as soon as possible. Amber itself did not follow the policy before and after but only for some time.

There fore the charges stay, and will stick.

Its not a sweeping charge, its a specific charge for a behavior pattern over specific 200 years.

Airavat wrote:In the Battle of Haldighati, Pratap did not stay to fight and die,......

One had to draw a line wherefrom the differentiation of bravado and strategy is infered. Pratap did fight against a stronger opponent, inflicted mental wounds to the enemy even more than physical and was capable of resuming his struggle take most of his Kingdom back too. But again Amber's disadvantages as mentioned cannot be overlooked. Unity would've mitigated all these odds, but sadly it didn't come around.


Retreat and working with enemy are different. The Rus particularly come to mind, they often lost and retreated against other forces, Chengiz khan, Napolean and Hitler, but they did not start working with them. (And Rus was really small in the first instance)

Also, as I said, there have been others in India who were in similar positions as Amber but made different choices, at risk of annihilation. The comparison is not merely with Mewar. Also Pratap at points was in situation worse than Amber ever was, but he fought back and did not submit. Amber too fought unequal battles many a time.

What Bharmal did and set the precedent with, was not in Amber's tradition. Amber did betray its own tradition of taking on unequal foes.


Mughals were not the first Islamist Turkusha to hit India, Amber did not see those dark days for the first time.

Sanku wrote:I am talking about accepting the Mewar Maharana as overlord, permanently stationing nobles and important chiefs in that court, and mutually defending the common border and willing to risk extinction of your clan if need be.

Too much being asked from the clannish Rajputs who wouldn't understand the bigger picture. If that much unity was there, we'd be discussing a very different history perhaps. Then we could take it one step further and talk about Maratha Rajput alliance so the Mughals were literally uprooted from the subcontinent. But nothing like that happened.


There is a difference between "not allying with friends against your enemy" and "allying with your enemies against your friends" -- what Amber did was two.

And the clannishness did not hold them back from offering their clan women and working in Mughal court, but had trouble when working with Mewar?

Well what do I say? That is a more severe criticism that you have laid at their door than even I said.

Sanku wrote:Again, I was hoping you wouldn't pivot your arguments on recent demographics and wouldn't view medieval things through a mindset prism of post British India. It is bias to nit pick and blame one medival Kingdom for the way the history of an entire subcontinent or potential nation is shaped.


Well these charges are not post British, these charges were being made against Amber then by others too.

I find it hard to believe that Amber suddenly forgot that they were fight a civilization war, after already 300-400 years of genocide, rape, retreat from Gangetic lands, temple destructions and what not.

They could fight together with Sanga, but forgot its importance with 100 years?

No they capitulated.


There wasn't a seamless notion of "one nation India" back then;


Forget India, did they also forget the concept of Rajput chivalry? Of protecting Dharma? Of past battles and animosity? Of Independence? Of Honor?

And how come Shivaji could think about Hindavi Swaraj within a 100 years?

No there was always a concept of India, its just that some chickened out. There is no defense, the charge must be accepted. And I would say Amber did finally accept the charges and correct themselves, and in that lies their salvation.

Sanku wrote:Only when Amber switched back, did the Mughal power fall again.

Can you elaborate on that please, or provide references for me to read?

Regards,
Virendra


Well check out the last few posts by Surasena and Peter where they quoted how the Alliance between Amber-Marwar-Mewar was established. (Aurangzeb and later) -- its on the same thread a few posts back.

I believe this period is also covered in Airavat's blog.

Virendra
BRFite
Posts: 1211
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 23:20

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virendra » 28 Sep 2011 15:53

Sanku wrote:There is a difference between "not allying with friends against your enemy" and "allying with your enemies against your friends" -- what Amber did was two.

And the clannishness did not hold them back from offering their clan women and working in Mughal court, but had trouble when working with Mewar?

Well what do I say? That is a more severe criticism that you have laid at their door than even I said.


Like I said, there is no justification for those marriages. As far as working for Mughals is concerned, the Mughals were powerful to ally with and the clannishness avoid them from working with other Rajputana states.
"allying with your enemies against your friends" -- I hope those rulers saw it that way. To them the other Rajputana states were rivals.

Sanku wrote:Well these charges are not post British, these charges were being made against Amber then by others too.
I find it hard to believe that Amber suddenly forgot that they were fight a civilization war, after already 300-400 years of genocide, rape, retreat from Gangetic lands, temple destructions and what not.

They could fight together with Sanga, but forgot its importance with 100 years?
No they capitulated.

My argument was not of the timeline when these follies were criticized, it was to not view the medieval history from a standpoint of modern India which didn't exist then. Like when people say such and such ruler did such and such thing and hence so and so thing happened to India. No that India wasn't there then, except socio religious affinities cutting across the loose colony of states.

Sanku wrote:Forget India, did they also forget the concept of Rajput chivalry? Of protecting Dharma? Of past battles and animosity? Of Independence? Of Honor?

--If they were completely spineless, I wouldn't see the Shekhawats or any other Hindus of Amber walking on this earth today. Extinction by murder or by conversion. I hope you haven't underestimated the brutality of Islamic invasions.
--If they were downtrodden moles they wouldn't have let Pratap pass on a stammering horse and have Shivaji+Sambhaji escape from Aurangzeb's clutches even after signing a bond to Mughal emperor taking personal responsibility of the Maratha King.

Again, I am not playing a zero sum game. I have accepted/applied criticism wherever it was juristic and irrefutable and have tried to defend where it had to be. I'm only trying to be reasonable.

Sanku wrote:No there was always a concept of India, its just that some chickened out. There is no defense, the charge must be accepted. And I would say Amber did finally accept the charges and correct themselves, and in that lies their salvation.

It was always there as a civilzation and society. It wasn't there as one political idea .. as one nation. Why else would there be a lack of national front against turks, then mughals and then british? For more than a whole millennia?

Sanku wrote:Well check out the last few posts by Surasena and Peter where they quoted how the Alliance between Amber-Marwar-Mewar was established. (Aurangzeb and later) -- its on the same thread a few posts back.
I believe this period is also covered in Airavat's blog.

Thanks for the direction but you've mentioned that the alliance eventually broke and that is what I wanted to know about (not the establishment part already explored).

Regards,
Virendra

member_19686
BRFite
Posts: 1330
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby member_19686 » 28 Sep 2011 17:24

Rehabilitating king vidyAdhara and the sense of Hindu identity

Image

The prelude
tvam Adau vikramAdityaH sR^iShTo .abhUH svAMshato mayA |
mlechCha-rUpAvatIrNAnAm asurANAM prashAntaye || (bhaTTa somadeva in the vetAla pa~nchaviMshati)

I generated you vikramAditya as a part of my own self to silence the asura-s in the form of the mlechCha-s

Ekanetra remarked that there was nothing really new to state in geopolitics: either we had prognosticated everything or the events were too subtle for our fragile brains to comprehend. While we were sort of fumbling with connecting the geopolitical dots, ST interrupted us and got me talking about some other issue. Since we felt a certain continuity in having provided a modern explanation for a problem that our great atharvan ancestors first discovered (AV-vulgate 7.116), we waxed on this for a while, losing sight of the geopolitical exposition. Finally, we got around to discussing it with some renewed focus with ST joining – in a sense we spent a while getting her up to speed so the repetition did not sound boring. The central question that concerned us was whether Anglospheric colonialism, i.e. control over the Hindu territory and the Hindu sphere of influence has really ended. On these pages we have repeatedly presented the answer as being a resounding NO.

Erasure and fragmentation of the sacred geography in the Hindu consciousness
As long as mlechCha-s operate with impunity in TSP, a former portion the Hindu sacred geography, the colonialism cannot be said to have been completely overcome. It should be reiterated, because many among the Hindu elite do not understand it; the very creation of TSP and the subsequent abundant patronage offered to it by the mlechCha-s was to ensure that the colonial venture in the subcontinent does not end at all. The Hindus have also internalized some subtle historical propaganda in this regard: The mlechCha-s have been active in creating an alternative history for the sImAnta pradesha-s. Key to their patently false historical narrative is to push the delegitimization of Hindu presence in this lands back in history by claiming the that gandhAra and bAhlika were never a part of the Hindu sphere. Instead, they are handed over to the Iranians and it is presented as though the Greeks legitimately acquired these territories by conquering the Iranians. The Iranian Kushana-s are presented as being cultural derivatives of Hellenism rather than Hindu rulers. Since, the mlechCha-s have also created a false narrative (which is central to their own identity http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... dentities/) that they are the true successors of the yavana-s they hold that these sImanta-pradesha-s are actually a natural sphere of their activity. They might even go as far as claiming that they actually belonged to them as as they are the successors of the yavana-s.

The realization
In past the Hindu-s close to the sImAnta-pradesha-s were concerned about the intrusion of barbarous peoples. For example, in the kathA-sarit-sAgara of the great kavI somadeva, viShNu tells the deva-s that he has caused the emergence of gupta kings like vikramAditya and trivikramasena, strengthened them by his power, to clear the land of the bhArata-s irruptions of the dreadful mlechCha-s (i.e. hUNa-s and Iranian invaders). The consciousness of the need to attack garjanapura (Ghazna) and drive out the Arabs and Turks was also not lacking. Unlike the claims of several modern historical narratives, this was not lost on Hindu kings over a long phase of history nearly lasting 7 centuries. That was not restricted to the kings closer to the sImAnta. The great chAlukya vikramAditya-04 from the south sent a force to attack the turuShka-s from garjanaka and drive them off the Panjab (http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... and-nepal/). Much latter the mahArATTa-s from the south also set their objectives as taking back the land of gandhAra.

But all this is kept largely concealed from the larger Hindu consciousness. The journey of our own realization dawned many many moons ago around the first time we met Ekanetra. After a long journey towards the senAprastha we met them and we got talking about medieval history as was customary for us. Ekanetra introduced me to the events concerning the invasions of the accursed Sebüktegin and Mahmud of garjanaka. We were touched deep within by the pitched battles fought against the turuShka-s in the valiant though unsuccessful defense of the borders of bhArata by jayapAla, AnandapAla and trilochanapAla the last Hindu kings of Afghanistan and the western Panjab. Few months later we encountered the material concerning the invasions of Mahmud in our history textbook. The narrative it conveyed completely obscured not only the struggle of the shAhIya-s but also made it appear that the Hindus were truly imbeciles who verily “scattered like atoms before Amir Mahmud’s assaults”. It gave the impression that the Hindus did not even know to ply a sword or bow even as the turuShka romped all over uttarApatha and madhyadesha. Indeed, the Hindu student perusing the textbook was left imprinted with a sense of deep shame – the textbook might have as well have been one from TSP, glorifying the hero of that hellhole. It was then that it struck us that something was wrong here. The textbook was in essence forcing down our throats a view that had been constructed by certain early English historians of India who informed us that the pusillanimous kings of madhyadesha had fled in terror at the approach of Mahmud. In particular, we were struck by the statement of the English historian Smith that the chandrAtreya monarch of jejAkabhukti retreated in “craven flight” and “capitulated without fighting” when faced with the turuShka assault. This really rubbed the salt in – were our rAjan-s so weak that they were not even capable defending the turuShka rampage? – much like our team in cricket.We wondered if the predecessor of rAnI durgAvatI, who valiantly led her troops against the jihad of the Mogol tyrant Akbar, would flee in so cowardly a manner, especially when their dynasty was at the height of its power. Our textbooks and lecturers were not the ones to answer such questions – in fact they were even unaware of the existence of the paramAra-s or the chandrAtreya-s!

Yet, we noticed that the record of English writers closer to the cataclysmic events leading to their own conquest of bhArata conveyed a rather different picture of the Hindu military capabilities in defending their land. For example we may quote the major W. Thorn on the wars fought against the mahArATTa armies in 1803 (as supplied by the historian Randolf Cooper):

“Hitherto the most incorrect notions have prevailed in this country respecting Indian warfare; in consequence of which misconceptions, the hardest battles have been undervalued, and the most splendid victories have been thrown into shade. Thus the services of our armies in that region suffer in the general estimation, and the exemplary conduct of individuals loses its reward, owing to the distance of the scene, and the comparatively little interest which it occupies in the public mind. The mass of the people are also uninformed in regard to the changes that have taken place among the warlike tribes of India, through the introduction of European tactics and French discipline; which, combined with their natural courage, often bordering on frenzy, and their numerical superiority, has rendered our conflicts with them sanguinary in the extreme … their infantry stood till the English bayonets touched their breasts; the artillery men, with similar firmness, served their guns without receding an inch; and when they could no longer fire, they made use of their tollwars [footnote 1], till they fell under the carriage wheels of their cannon; while the cavalry, in the same spirit, charged up to the very muzzles of our firelocks.”

While Thorn not unexpectedly tries to attribute the military tactics of the Indian armies to European ideas [Footnote 2] he yet concedes their natural courage and their ability to hold the line. Reading such accounts we wondered how the natural courage of the Hindus suddenly materialized in only in the 1800s? How come it was not there when Mahmud of garjanaka was launching his invasions on bhArata – when our kings are said to have fled headlong.

Image

To understand this better in the year of “great quiz” we started collecting data, which was in those days not easily accessible, regarding the Jihads waged by the Mohammedans on the Hindus. Having collected all data we could about these encounters, we visualized the emerging picture (above). It became clear that the Army of Islam episodically surged with its characteristic ferocity, followed by troughs in which the Jihad turned flaccid. These troughs followed periods of intense fighting in which a clear Hindu response was seen after a tipping point of Islamic insults had been reached – the Indian elephant had responded. In the first two centuries the Hindu armies completely neutralized any attempts of the Arab-led Jihad to move beyond the successes of ibn Qasim. The next two surges were led by different Turkic tribes which had a superior military technique to Arabs – even in this case, despite the constraints in terms of supply of horses against the Turkic cavalry force, a comparable pattern of Hindu response could be discerned. These studies lead us along two distinct paths – 1) the hypothesis of the religion of peace being a “memetic prion” that interacted to amplify certain genetic traits in the population (e.g. monoamine oxidase genetic variants) leading to a self-sustaining cycle to generate more Ghazis for the Jihad. This line of reasoning is only now receiving support from genetic associations studies and provides the explanation of what Huntington called “violence within and without” and explains how the Jihad kept on going despite the Hindu resistance. 2) It brought home the enormity of the Hindu struggle against Jihad which had been glossed over by modern historians due to various influences ranging from the English imposed narratives to the newly-wrought obfuscations of Marxist ideology and its manifestations. It was in this context that we began to appreciate the need for proper Hindu narratives of their heroes who placed a wall steel against the waves of the religion of peace.

-o-o-O-o-o-
In 962 CE the Turkic amir Alptegin decided to wage holy war on the Hindus. The shAhIya-s taking up the challenge, pushed back the Mohammedan assault, and took the fort of garjanaka. However, he sent a force to take it back in 963 CE. With this the opening round in the second great Mohammedan surge towards India was initiated. Alptegin purchased Sebuktegin from a pious Arab slave dealer Nasir Haji, just as Alptegin himself had be bought by the Samanid sultan. In 965 Sebuktegin was sent against the Hindus. The Hindu army intercepted the invading army of Islam near Lamghan in Afghanistan and a fierce encounter took place and the Moslems were repulsed. Over the next 8 years there were marauding Mohammedan raids to seize women and boys. In 973 CE the jayapAla the shAhIya king realized the great danger of the Jihad powerfully retaliated by a raid on garjanaka; however he failed to take Ghazni, though his effort put the Moslems on the backfoot. He also communicated with the vijayan ruler of Khotan, pagan Turkic chiefs and the Mongol khan of the Khitan kingdom to form a large network against the army of Islam. In succeeding years, Alptegin died and there was a contest between his son Ishaq, their homosexual lovers such as Pirai and the pagan Turks like Bilgetegin and Toghan. At the end of this contest it was Sebuktegin who was successful and became Amir of Ghazna. He immediately prosecuted the jihad with greatest vigor by invading and seizing Kandahar in 977 CE. Not put off by this jayapAla immediately assembled his army and launched an attack on the Mohammedans. There was a fierce encounter near Jalalabad and the Mohammedan army was forced to retreat. Over the next few years there continued to be raids but on the whole Sebuktegin had been checked. But in 991 CE Sebuktegin had assembled a massive Ghazi force to launch a full-fledged assault on the shAhIya-s. It was at this point that jayapAla realized he might not be able to hold his own against powerful Islamic advance. He called for help to the pratihAra, and the mahAsAmanta-s, the ChAhamAna-s and the chandrAtreya-s. The Hindus put up a united front but the results were mixed as they lost Lamghan to the Mohammedans. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that the rAjpUt coalition managed to prevent further advance of the Mohammedans in the Hindu frontier by checking their armies near the krumu river [Footnote 3]. This series of events showed that the chandrAtreya-s were willing to take forward action and were not wimps in standing up to the Islamic terror. Indeed this action kept the Moslem out of the way for 10 years.

But the Hindu-s were soon to be put to more severe tests soon after Mahmud, the son of Sebuktegin, came to power between 998 and 999 and inaugurated his reign with a jihad against the Shia Assassins of Multan. His jihads against the Hindus began in 1001 – the very first of which eliminated the shAhIya king jayapAla. The coming 25 years that followed the Hindus were subject to 18 devastating invasions of the army of Islam. The only rAjA-s who remained standing against the ghazi whirlwind were vidyAdhara-deva the chandrAtreya, bhoja-deva the paramAra and saMgrAmarAja of Kashmir. The first casualty of the struggle was shAhIya dynasty – four generations of shAhIya fought with utmost valor in the defense of the Hindu dharma. The very first assault of Mahmud in 1001 CE overwhelmed the Hindu defenses of the Khyber pass and a huge encounter with the old rAjA jayapAla army took place just north of puShpapura (modern Peshawar in the terrorist state). The Hindus in an inferior strategic position, with the Moslems commanding the heights, were routed and their rAjA was taken prisoner to be sold as a slave in the market of Ghazni. But before this ignominy could overtaken him jayapAla committed suicide. With this the march of the army of Islam into the Panjab was initiated. Despite his father’s fall the brave AnandapAla continued the struggle by taking the help of the chandrAtreya-s and pratIhAra to defend the rest of the Panjab. Seeing the threat of the Sunni Mahmud, even the Shia Assassin Abdul Dawood joined hands with along side AnandapAla’s mahAsAmanta vijayarAya of the sindhu (capital at modern Uch in TSP) to outflank Mahmud. But they were instead outflanked by the rapidly moving cavalry of Mahmud and the move of AnandapAla to send a force to pincer grip Mahmud failed. There was intense fighting near puShpapura and then south of mUlasthAna. In the latter battle the Mohammedan chroniclers themselves admit that they were repeatedly repulsed by vijayarAya. But Mahmud pressed on and eventually broke through his defenses and slaughtered and plundered the Hindus ending the last Hindu principality of the sindhu. Then he attacked the Shias and forcibly converted Dawood to Sunnism also destroying the famous saura temple in mUlasthAna. However, AnandapAla’s troops ambushed Mahmud while crossing the swollen sindhu and relieved him of his plunder. Then Mahmud proceeded on a central Asian campaign to attack Ilek Khan of Kashgar, and deal with Anandapala subsequently. In 1008 CE having finished his adversaries in the north the Mahmud launched a major invasion into the Panjab descending via the Khyber pass. AnandapAla and his son trilochanapAla along with chandrAtreya, pratIhAra and other rAjpUt and Kashmirian troops advanced to meet him – it was clear that despite their internal rivalry the rAjA-s realized the existential danger to the land of the Arya-s, dharma and their very way of life from Islam and put together an alliance.

The Hindu alliance came face to face with the army of Islam north of Attock in the line between puShpapura and udbhANDapura (Hund in TSP) in the biting cold of the winter of 1008 CE. There was skirmishing for 40 days in course of which Mahmud realized that he did not stand a chance of making frontal assault on the Hindu army. He decided to take up a fortified camp on a commanding height and wait out to see if the winter and the possible ensuing break in the supply lines of the Hindus made them falter. He soon realized that his advantage of height might allow him to launch a mounted archer attack followed by a cavalry charge to break the Hindus. He first probed in an early morning attack by sending a mobile mounted cavalry to shower arrows on the Hindu ranks and return. The Hindus counter-attacked with their long bow archers and having repulsed the mobile cavalry mounted a fierce cavalry attack followed by a massed infantry attack. The Hindu cavalry division broke through the Moslem defenses and fell upon the Mahmud’s center killing several thousand ghazis yearning for their boys and girls in Allah’s paradise. Over the day a bloody battle raged and the Hindus seemed to be gaining the upper hand until a Mahmud pressed an intense attack close to darkness with burning arrows. AnandapAla who was leading from an elephant ordered a retreat to regroup but came under fire himself from sharpshooters and the tactical retreat turned disorderly. Mahmud sensed this immediately and pressed a massive cavalry charge this broke the Hindu order completely and they squandered what was turning to be a near victory. The Moslem charge left several thousand Hindus dead and the rest retreated in utter disarray. The defeat resulted in complete smashing of the Panjab with bhImanagara (Nagarkot) and lavapura (Lahore) fell in quick succession and AnandapAla died a couple of years later. But trilochanapAla moving to the fort of nandana in the Salt Range along with his son bhImapAla continued the struggle with great courage. In 1013 CE bhImapAla fought bravely trying to defend the Marigala pass (near Rawalpindi in modern TSP). In this intense encounter bhImapAla put down a Moslem commander Mohammed ibn Ibrahim after engaging him in a hand-to hand combat with his sword, and turned back their army [hence even the Moslems acknowledge him as niDar bhIm], but Mahmud subsequently returned with a superior force and overwhelmed him . After much fighting for an year the fort of nandana was undermined by Mahmud’s siege moles and it was taken with much slaughter. In the mean time trilochanapAla took the aid of the Kashmirian saMgrAmarAja and advanced to fight Mahmud. This time bolstered by the Kashmirian troops the shAhIya laid a trap for the Moslems after they crossed the Jhelum in 1014 CE. As they were trying to take the Toshmaidan pass the Hindu long bow archers showered arrows on the Moslems from the height. When the Moslem ranks were disarrayed by the attack, aided by the Kashmirian cavalry, trilochanapAla engaged them in short cavalry encounters followed by feigned retreats into the hills, followed by a major thrust which completed routed Mahmud’s army. Knowing that he could be taken Mahmud hastily retreated to Ghazna.

With breaching of the bulwark of the shAhIya-s in the sImAnta-pradesha-s Mahmud took aim at the civilizational centers in bhArata to fulfill the aims of the religion of peace. Mahmud who had been defeated by the rAjA of Kashmir, took three years to recoup and build up his army for a big jihad. The aged pratIhAra king rAjyapAla who had suffered heavy losses in the campaign of the Hindu coalition to shore up AnandapAla was not willing to risk another such effort when trilochanapAla and bhImapAla sought his aid to fight back. He feared that in rejoining a new coalition against the Moslems he might bear the brunt of the attack and retreated from his main cities of sthAnIshvara and kanyAkubja hoping to lure Mahmud deep into his kingdom. But his plan utterly failed, as seeing this moment of weakness among the Hindus, Mahmud struck powerfully savaging the old centers of Hindu sacred geography in deep invasion into madhyadesha: First sthAnIshvara, the city of the great emperor harSha whose court was embellished by some of the greatest Sanskrit wordsmiths, then mathura the holy land of the vaiShNava-s, pAshupatha-s and kaumAra-s and finally kanyAkubja the hoary city of the kaushika-s were reduced to smoldering ruins in the aftermath of this whirlwind attack of 1018. The only Hindu ruler who advanced the against Mohammedan surge was the chandrAtreya monarch vidyAdhara-deva. Based on Katare’s analysis of the jayavarman inscription it is clear that vidyAdhara’s attack on the Moslem army forced them retreat from bhAratavarSha. It is a small wonder that the Mohammedan historians are silent on the matter that is mentioned in the above inscription:
nira~Nkusha-yashaH prasaraH sa jaj~ne vidyAdharo dharaNI-dhAraNa-vIrabAhuH |
hammIra-vIram-uru-vAri-nidhiM pramathya pR^ithivi-bhR^itA karaTikaH …]
The brave vidyAdhara is mentioned as having churned the ocean of the amir’s army in battle. He likely encountered the Mohammedan army East of Gwalior in a sanguinary battle and forced them to retreat. A depiction of this battle in Khajuraho shows the crushing of Islamic warriors under feet of chandrAtreya war elephants. Infuriated by rajyapAla-s inefficient vidyAdhara dispatched his mahAsAmanta arjuna to depose rAjyapAla and take over the territory – rAjyapAla, who showed no intention to fight the Moslems, instead tried to fight arjuna and was killed by arrow in the encounter – a sad end to the pratIhAra power which had on early occasions manfully stood against the army of Islam in the defense of India. Now vidyAdhara gave aid to trilochanapAla and bhImapAla, and sent them supplies to withstand Mahmud and began organizing a large force for the defense of bhArata. In 1019 with the aim of annihilating the shAhIya-s and the wreaking vengeance on vidyAdhara for his actions Mahmud returned with much fury. The Mohammedan chroniclers mention a battle fought on the banks of the yamunA (Moslem Jun) or some other river (Moslem Raahib) between trilochanapAla and the Moslems. The Hindu king resolutely tried to prevent the Mohammedans from crossing the river by showering arrows and bringing down hundreds of Moslems. But wave after wave the ghazis kept pressing on eventually reaching the other side with their Sultan and engaging the Hindu army in close combat with lances and swords. trilochanapAla personally led his men and was surrounded by a Moslem force but he cut his way through with injuries and was relieved by bhImapAla, who drove back the attackers. They felt it might be better to retreat to jejAjabhukti and join the chandrAtreya-s but trilochanapAla either died from his wounds or was assassinated shortly thereafter. With that bhImapAla sought refuge in Kashmir. Thus, after a valiant struggle by 1019 CE the shAhIya kingdom came to an end. Despite the loss of their kingdom, with what ever personal wealth they had left they continued to support Hindu educational structures in Aryavarta till the death of bhImapAla around 1026 CE. Even a partisan of the the enemy, al Biruni, could not help admiring them – indicating that they were good rulers who did not give up defense of Aryavarta without the most strenuous struggle:
“This Hindu Shahiya dynasty is now extinct, and of the whole there is no longer the slightest remnant in existence. We must say that in all their grandeur, they never slackened in the ardent desire of doing that which is good and right, that they were men of noble sentiment and noble bearing.”
It is unfortunate that modern Hindus do little to honor the memories of these intrepid men, who even if unsuccessful, put everything into their struggles against the evils of the rAkShasa mata.


With this the mantle of the struggle against the jihad fell upon vidyAdhara. Analysis of the Mohammedan accounts concerning these encounters are confused and contradictory, in contrast to their general consistency in recording the deeds of Mahmud that are an object of great pride for them. None of them state a proper location regarding where the next battle with vidyAdhara took place. Based on al Athir’s account one might reconstruct that the battle was probably joined South of Bari and North of Gwalior along the line connecting them. We may reconstruct what happened thus: When the two armies came face to face. Mahmud first sent a messenger asking vidyAdhara to convert to Islam in which case he would not go to fight. Of course vidyAdhara rebuffed this offer and prepared for an assault. Mahmud seeing the force of 36,000 cavalry buttressed by infantry and elephant corps amassed by vidyAdhara turned nervous. According to most Moslem authors, except al Athir, no encounter occurred and each claims a miraculous event in which due to Allah’s mercy vidyAdhara fled in terror at night. Mahmud is said to have returned victoriously to Ghazni collecting 580 elephants from vidyAdhara’s deserted camp. The purposeful obfuscation of these accounts and the evidence for a major battle from the Khajuraho depictions suggest that a great battle (confirmed by al Athir) did occur and indeed the Moslems were put to flight. Mahmud sent a band of infantry spearmen to first probe Hindus. vidyAdhara responded similarly with his cavalry – the carvings show that the Hindu infantry fought with khaDga-s, khukri-s and spears. Seeing his men being overcome by the ferocity of the Hindu infantry, Mahmud sent it his cavalry backed by camel corps with lances. The Hindu khaDga and spear-armed cavalry moved into the field to parry it and an intense battle occurred till night fall. By then Hindus inflicted heavy losses on the Moslems and Mahmud saw it wise to retreat. So he sent a messenger to vidyAdhara to seek a safe retreat – who apparently offered it in a typical Hindu fashion and he retreated to Ghazni.

Three years later the Amir-al-Muminin decided to teach vidyAdhara a comprehensive lesson and at the head of a large ghazi force invaded India again in 1022. vidyAdhara sent his sAmanta kIrtirAja the kachChapaghAta to protect Gwalior. Mahmud tried to storm the fort of Gwalior but after four days for persistent fighting he failed to breach the fortifications. Avoiding a sally from kIrtirAja he advanced towards mahotsava and boasted that he would take the fort of kAla~Njar. But the Mohammedan chroniclers again note a peculiar end to this campaign: Apparently vidyAdhara sent a Sanskrit verse (Zaban-i-Hind) to Mahmud praising his valor, which was translated to him into Persian and Arabic. In return he also sent his congratulations praising vidyAdhara and conferred on him 15 forts and other gifts and returned to Ghazni in triumph. How come, we may ask, does one return in triumph after giving 15 forts and gifts to the kaffir enemy one seeks to eliminate! This euphemism suggests that the campaign against kAl~Njar was an unmitigated disaster for Mahmud. Indeed after this campaign we never see Mahmud attempting an invasion of this part of India. We observe the same pattern with Kashmir: After the saMgrAmarAja offered help to trilochanapAla, who defeated Mahmud at the Toshmaidan battle, Mahmud attacked him in 1015 CE. The Kashmirians defended their land using the fort of loharakoTa and repulsed Mahmud. Pricked by this defeat he made a second attempt in 1021 but was routed again by saMgrAma – he never went the Kashmir side again. Indeed, this suggests that Mahmud recognized superior armies and after being hammered by them rarely attempted engaging them again. This was similarly the case when he encountered bhojadeva after the invasion of 1025 CE. Marxist historians and their mlechCha fellow travelers have suggested that Mahmud’s primary intention for the raids were economic and that is why he did not hold on to the territories that he conquered in India. But the euphemisms expressed by the Mohammedan chroniclers regarding the encounter with vidyAdhara indicate that this was not the case at all. Rather, he has simply been overrated based on biased Islamic sources – he simply could not hold his own against the more powerful Hindu armies and faced with vidyAdhara defending from the formidable fort of kAla~Njar, with its elaborate 8 kilometer perimeter defenses, and supply systems, he was forced to cede the territories he had taken on account of rAjyapAla’s capitulation and retreat. While he massed 30-40,000 cavalry before kAla~Njar he realized he stood no chance against it. This was probably a skillful use of a psychological threat by vidyAdhara to reduce his morale. After that he launched a series of attacks on the Moslems to reconquer the strongholds taken by Mahmud and eventually nullified and reversed his advance in madhydesha. Thus, far from having retreated it was vidyAdhara who saved the core of North India from the second great surge of the army Islam – it is not without reason the last great chandrAtreya inscription from Mau remembers vidyAdhara as one of greatest of their clan, who was like indra battling the asura-s.

Until recently the glory of his deeds stood only in the form the great kandariyA mahadeva (above), jagadambi (originally a viShNu) and chitragupta (a sUrya) temples, which are exemplars of the respective Agama-s – perhaps among the greatest works of Hindu architecture [Footnote 4]. The engineering and fractal patterning have never been reproduced thereafter in Indian temple construction. Only recently excavations in Jatkari near Khajuraho have revealed the ruins of an even greater monument that vidyAdhara is likely to have built – the colossal 45 meter temple of rudra (the spire of kandariyA is 30 m). Among these ruins one finds images of the wars fought by the rAjA against the army of Islam – a testimony of his standing up to Mahmud’s assaults. Ironically, in 2008 CE a Moslem book dealer in Uttar Pradesh uncovered a 61cm, 4.25kg copper plate inscription of vidyAdhara with his signature from scrap metal dealers thereby rescuing a critical piece of India’s history. This inscription, while not fully published, indicates that vidyAdhara at kAla~Njara was indeed the wall that blocked Islam in India.

Image

~oOo~
Footnote 1: tollwars or the talvAr is a curved saber of Mongol origin that seems to have been adopted by Hindus after their prolonged encounter with the Moslem. The first effective talvAr-s were made by the Chingizid Mongols and used in their conflicts as an effective cavalry weapon in their maneuvers. It was introduced to bhArata during the invasions of the Mongols after the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate. In the coming centuries it was adopted by the rAjpUt-s and then spread among the mahArATTa-s with the spread of pitched cavalry encounters with the Moslems. Traditionally, the rAjpUt-s before that pointed had used the classical Indo-Aryan khaDga, which was also the main sword used by the south Indian Vijayanagaran state.

Footnote 2: While the Hindus were good at adopting various tactics and weapons from all from quarters Thorn’s blanket claim can be contested. In actual tactics the Hindu armies diverged in many ways from the European model – this can be the topic for a separate discussion in itself. In fact Wellesley adopted some Hindu tactics which led to his successes in the Indian wars but were appropriated and attributed to his genius.

Footnote 3: The Moslem accounts of the incidents surrounding this period is partisan, but their characteristic silence shows the lack of success that they would have otherwise inflated. The inscription in the chandrAtreya capital of mahotsava (Mahoba) shows that there was major battle fought by the rAjpUt coalition in which the Hindu troops contained the Mohammedan onslaught in the least. The chandella rAjA dha~Nga-deva, rAjyapAla the pratIhAra, the tomara-s and the ChahamAna-s were the major players in the coalition.It is possible that dha~Ngadeva’s mother was a princess from gandhAra, which was added incentive for him to send his forces for the defense of jayapAla.

Footnote 4: The architecture of the kharjuravAhika temples has been primarily sensationalized for their sexual imagery leading to the popular idea that they were temple of “sex” depicting the kAmasUtra and displaying the erotic excesses of the chandrAtreya rAjA-s. This is not surprising given that most modern Hindus do not understand why these sexual depictions are found on temples and might regard them as obscene along with mlechCha-s and turuShka-s. There are other points of misunderstanding seen in this regard – certain white indologists and their westernized Indian imitators also believed that these depictions were advertisements for secular sexual services provided by devAlaya kanyA-s. None of these really come close to their real origins. First, it should be noted that these depictions are not limited to Khajuraho but are found throughout India in temples of smArta, pAshupata (i.e. kAlAmukha), saiddhAntika, pA~ncharAtrika, kaula and bauddha affinities. Thus, its origins go back to the ancestral Agama traditions of bhArata. Indeed the early smArta Agama texts mention placing mithuna-s as auspicious marks in the facades and doorways of temple. In this tradition lie the origins of these depictions. In the sthApana tantra-s of the kaula tradition (now largely lost with exceptions like the shilpa prakAsha and the South Indian brahma-yAmala; not to be confused with the original pichu-mata) these underwent an elaboration. In these Agama-s the kAma-bandha-s are said to be depicted on temples to conceal and divert attention away from secret maNDala-s placed beneath them such as the kAmakalA yantra, which protect and consecrate the mandira. The pradhAna devatA-s of this maNDala are mahAkAmakaleshvarI and kAma-shiva and their retinue of yoginI-s of the vIrabhUmi. These yantra-s are said to be understood and revealed only to the tAntra dIkShita-s and are placed on the facades of temples. It is likely that these further developments in the kaula streams were mirrored in other Agamic schools. In this context it might be noted that the chandrAtreya-s themselves were smArta brAhmaNa-s turned kShatriya-s who did receive kaula and saiddhAntika dIkSha-s. One of their earliest temples is a chatushShaShTi yoginI prAsAda of the yoginI-kaula tradition and those in the know can deconvolute the kAmakalA yantra below some of the most famous depictions in Khajuraho.

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... -identity/

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 28 Sep 2011 17:31

Virendra wrote:. As far as working for Mughals is concerned, the Mughals were powerful to ally with and the clannishness avoid them from working with other Rajputana states.

"allying with your enemies against your friends" -- I hope those rulers saw it that way. To them the other Rajputana states were rivals.


Well if they were clannish, they also intermarried with other clans (before Mughals) and thus the clan closeness was with other Rajputs too, you are discounting that.

You are also discounting that they fought against the Islamic Turkusha on their being Maleecha's for the longest time before this period.

So clearly both clan related closeness to other Rajput groups as well as a understanding of Turuksha as outsiders existed.

Even if you do not bring in India as a country argument (which I did not) there are enough reasons to expect the alliance between Amber and such and Mughals to be unnatural and against the code of conduct and history

I would have believed you if the same Rajputana states had not often allied with other Rajputana states on issues of clan closeness (through marriage) and outsider enmity -- yet they did before and after.

So clearly this period was a aberration and not standard political behavior, one which had deep issues.

This does not mean they were completely spineless, just that despite everything, for a while they could not hold on to all aspects of their code.

Sanku wrote:No that India wasn't there then, except socio religious affinities cutting across the loose colony of states.


While my argument does not need the "India" argument -- as a aside, I will argue (and this is the mainstream BRF view) that there was indeed ONE INDIA forever.

But that is a different debate for a different day, I dont need to bring that in right now.

Sanku wrote:--If they were completely spineless,....


They were certainly not completely spineless, I have never said that, but the issue is that they are held to higher standards than say "Buddhist ruler of Bengal".

Both by their own internal metrics
By their history
By their clan metrics
General social view.

They are our "creme de la creme" and therefore must, be seen above everyone else.
:!: :!: :!:

Again, I am not playing a zero sum game. I have accepted/applied criticism wherever it was juristic and irrefutable and have tried to defend where it had to be. I'm only trying to be reasonable.


Completely agree, and I appreciate your posts.

Only trying to make a "reasonable argument" myself, from my perspective.


Sanku wrote:It was always there as a civilzation and society. It wasn't there as one political idea .. as one nation. Why else would there be a lack of national front against turks, then mughals and then british? For more than a whole millennia?


As I said different debate, maybe different day. Meanwhile this has been thrashed out many a times on this thread and other places on BRF. We have "some answers".


Sanku wrote:Thanks for the direction but you've mentioned that the alliance eventually broke and that is what I wanted to know about (not the establishment part already explored).


Oh NO, what I was trying to say was that, the alliance BROKE during Akbar period and was REESTABLISHED during Aurangzeb. I am pointing to coming together.

As for its initial break, I would like to know too.

Virendra
BRFite
Posts: 1211
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 23:20

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virendra » 28 Sep 2011 21:41

Sanku wrote:Well if they were clannish, they also intermarried with other clans (before Mughals) and thus the clan closeness was with other Rajputs too, you are discounting that.

The marriages were a social dimension among the common Rajputs. What was required against Mughals was political unity. The clannishness manifested itself at political levels in form of clannish rulers/chieftains individualism. Evidently, in extreme situations the rulers were capable of allowing/disallowing such marriages on their call.

Sanku wrote:You are also discounting that they fought against the Islamic Turkusha on their being Maleecha's for the longest time before this period.

Definitely not discounting it. Those actions deserve pride and applause. However, the once one or two Kingdoms of Rajputs were later gradually and increasingly branching into so many small states. There were Rathores, Shekhawats, Sisodias, Deoras, Bhaatis and so forth. The Rajput power was continously decentralizing among them.
The Mughals were able to take benefit of this because :
a) Their timing for arrival in the main sub continent east of Indus, was in synch with Rajputs clannish decentralization.
b) Unlike previous invaders, they didn't loot fight and go back. They permanently settled in the sub continent.

Sanku wrote:Even if you do not bring in India as a country argument (which I did not) there are enough reasons to expect the alliance between Amber and such and Mughals to be unnatural and against the code of conduct and history

I didn't bring India as a country argument. Others did it by using it to implicate a lot of things from medieval history.
When people take the actions of a Kingdom and connect its consequential accountability towards "India", they imply India as a united political entity, like it was such in medieval centuries. This is what I don't agree to. This is why I prefer using the term sub continent while examining medieval Kingdoms.
Our viewpoint has so comfortably absorbed India as a united nation that we forget it was a bit different some centuries ago.
I don't mind the lack of knowledge (I myself am not an expert). What hurts is that people take this approach and then run to judgments.

Sanku wrote:While my argument does not need the "India" argument -- as a aside, I will argue (and this is the mainstream BRF view) that there was indeed ONE INDIA forever.

The idea of India is too old, thousands of years old. But it was just that - an idea.
It didn't come out of minds and books to be politically institutionalised and lay over ground policies and practices; except perhaps once in Maurya rule.
But when Deccan states and Marathas were under pressure from sea, how many from up north rallied for them?
Or before that when Rajputs were chewing land invasion from northwest, who rallied to support them?
Is that how a politically united nation reacts to external threats?

"The race hostility between Moghul and Afghan was disappearing, and they were making common cause against the Hindu."
Edgar Saltus : India and the frontier states of Afghanistan, Nipal and Burma
At the same time what was happening inside and among Hindu Kingdoms?
Rajputs were getting increasingly divided and clannish. And there were no major alliances outside as well.
Later when the British were knocking at Indian shores, Marathas almost at the peak of their power started getting embroiled with infighting among holkars/peshwas/sindhias/bhonsle.

Sanku wrote:Oh NO, what I was trying to say was that, the alliance BROKE during Akbar period and was REESTABLISHED during Aurangzeb. I am pointing to coming together.
As for its initial break, I would like to know too.

Mughal Rajput alliance broke during Akbar's rule? That is news to me. What I've read here (in short riddles) is that it started during Akbar's rule and the Rajputs were indeed most frustrated under Aurangzeb's rule. They started breaking out Aurangzeb onwards.
???

Regards,
Virendra

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 28 Sep 2011 22:34

Virendra wrote:The marriages were a social dimension among the common Rajputs. What was required against Mughals was political unity.


Political unity and social unity are not two different things.

Social dimensions forms the basis of political dimensions.

Sanku wrote:You are also discounting that they fought against the Islamic Turkusha on their being Maleecha's for the longest time before this period.

Definitely not discounting it. Those actions deserve pride and applause.


No I did not mean for praise, you are still missing the point, the point is that they had a long history of knowing what Turuksha's were like and had fought with them for the very same reasons.

How come that 300-600 year history of distaste suddenly disappear?

Does not happen my friend.

You are missing the point that giving women to Mogols and collaborating with them was HUGE break from the past. There are no two ways about it.

This you must bring yourself to accept.
:sad smile:

a) Their timing for arrival in the main sub continent east of Indus, was in synch with Rajputs clannish decentralization.


The Rajputs were always clannish, before Mogols and after them so there was no particular change then.

b) Unlike previous invaders, they didn't loot fight and go back. They permanently settled in the sub continent.


This is standard "Marxist" history that is thought to us, but this is pretty much BS. What about Lodhi's? The Khilji's? What about Tuglak? Where did they go back, where did they die?

OTOH where did Babar die? Why did he not stay on in India?

No Mogols are not special, they were just as barbaric and as Turuksha as the rest.

The reality is other way around, Mogols could achieve what previous Turukshas could not because the Rajputs had a weak moment.


The Mogols were not special; the Rajputs made them because they had a moment of weakness.

Sanku wrote:It didn't come out of minds and books to be politically institutionalised and lay over ground policies and practices; except perhaps once in Maurya rule.


Actually this is Marxist BS. Nonsense that has been thought to us, Indian political unity has always been present, in fact the
current India is no patch for other political unities that have easily existed.

We have been told that India was not united, actually bunkum.

But this is not the thread or topic for that, as I said more on that later, and on another thread, there are answers to many questions that you have raised.


Sanku wrote:O
Mughal Rajput alliance broke during Akbar's rule? That is news to me.


No, I meant the Rajput-Rajput Alliance broke. The Mughal Rajput alliance broke during and after Auranzeb.

Supratik
BRF Oldie
Posts: 6435
Joined: 09 Nov 2005 10:21
Location: USA

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Supratik » 28 Sep 2011 23:52

The other day I was looking into the Joshua project to get some numbers on different caste groups.
I was surprised to see that nearly 25% of Rajputs are Muslim while nearly 50% of Jats, Gujjars and Kamboh
were Muslim making up bulk of the population of W. Punjab, POK and Sindh. It would be interesting to
understand what caused these ruling castes to convert after being so vehemently in opposition.

Airavat
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2326
Joined: 29 Jul 2003 11:31
Location: dishum-bishum
Contact:

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 29 Sep 2011 07:03

Virendra wrote:On one side we accept that Amber was a small state and couldn't have taken Mughals all alone (though we also say that it should have) and on the other hand the assertion that Amber was so powerful that it helped Mughals take and maintain entire India??

Even without Hindu mansabdars the Mughal empire would have been formed, as the Delhi sultanate was in the 13th century. But it would have been a purely Islamic state as was the Delhi sultanate, and the Deccan sultanates in the south, which imposed jaziya, pilgrimage tax, and forbade Hindus from bearing arms, riding horses, or building new temples. In the Mughal empire these Islamic principles were imposed by Aurangzeb, leading to war with the Rajputs.

Hindu generals and soldiers, wherever they were prominent, acted more as a check on the Turk, Uzbek, and other mercenary soldiers. As described in the Mughal texts:
It has already been related how Rájá Mán Singh defeated Ráná Kíká, and occupied his country—how the Ráná fled into the high hills, and how the army penetrated to Kokanda, which was the Ráná's home. The roads to this place were so difficult that little grain reached it, and the army was nearly famished. The order was given for Mán Singh to fall back quickly, and he very soon arrived at the Emperor's throne. When the distress of the army was inquired into, it appeared that, although the men were in such great straits, Kunwar Mán Singh would not suffer any plundering of Ráná Kíká's country. This caused the Emperor to be displeased with him, and he was banished from Court for a time.

In Orissa, Man Singh saved the Jagannath temple from the Afghans:
The Mughal fight with the Afghans, Mughal occupation of Orissa through a Hindu general like Raja Man Singh, and the most generous treatment of this Mughal general towards the highly reputed Hindu institution of Jagannatha and the recognition of Raja Ramachandra Deva the founder of Bhoi dynasty as the Superintendent of the temple of Jagannatha, by Raja Man Singh, removed for the time being the fear that their gods would be humiliated in the hands of the Muslims. Akbar's rule in Orissa based on the principle of tolerance and that of non-interference encouraged the Hindus to freely worship their gods. What impressed most the priestly section of the temple of Jagannatha was that Akbar's general Raja Man Singh's wife constructed the Mukti Mandap of the temple of Jagannatha.

This Hindu shrine suffered under the more intolerant successors of Akbar, and at the hands of Muslim generals:
In the reign of Jahangir, with approach of Hashim Khan in Orissa, the priests of Jagannatha were so much frightened at the probable invasion of the temple of Jagannath that, they perhaps with the advice or knowledge of Purusottam Deva the Raja of Khurda, took away the idol of Jagannath from the temple to the temple of Gopalji in Khurda.

In the reign of Shah-Jahan, Mutaqad Khan invaded Puri, plundered the store of Jagannatha and slew Narasingh Deva, the Raja of Khurda. Madalapanji says that Narasingh Deva offered his head for the security of Brahmins and gods.

The reign of Aurangzeb is most disturbing and humiliating to the worship of Lord Jagannatha. With the beginning of the reign of Aurangzeb, Orissa had to feel more the impact or orthodox Islam than before. He was a puritan Muslim and was a great patron of conservative Islam. As soon as he became the Emperor of India he soon passed orders for the restoration of the Officers of the cannon law strictly according to Islamic rule.

Virendra
BRFite
Posts: 1211
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 23:20

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virendra » 29 Sep 2011 09:02

Sanku wrote:Political unity and social unity are not two different things.
Social dimensions forms the basis of political dimensions.

Unity or its lack exists at various levels. For example - when it comes to a clash of civilization and global tussles are talked about all muslims are one. Deep under, at Islamic arena they are fighting as Shias, Sunnis, Ahmedias etc.
Strong and visionary leaders can have the people come above at the higher levels to fight a greater battle than the petty disputes within the tribe.

Sanku wrote:No I did not mean for praise, you are still missing the point, the point is that they had a long history of knowing what Turuksha's were like and had fought with them for the very same reasons.

How come that 300-600 year history of distaste suddenly disappear?

Distaste never disappeared. Only the Rajputs were divided and individual states gradually weaker then earlier centuries.
That is what allowed Mughals to settle and expand.

Sanku wrote:You are missing the point that giving women to Mogols and collaborating with them was HUGE break from the past. There are no two ways about it.

The choice those rulers made was political and unethical. Ethically it should never have happened.

Sanku wrote:The Rajputs were always clannish, before Mogols and after them so there was no particular change then.

They were clannish but weren't as clannish in the initial centuries. Neither was there so much of social branching among clans, nor there was power decentralization due to excessive clannishness and seniority tussles of those clans.
For example Marathas ruled under one centralized lead, for most of the time they were able to control infighting and project themselves as one power. If that one phase of infighting and parallel British arrival was not there, they could've replaced Mughals as Pan India rulers. This was not the case with Rajputs. They were decentralized, divided much more and much earlier.

Sanku wrote:This is standard "Marxist" history that is thought to us, but this is pretty much BS. What about Lodhi's? The Khilji's? What about Tuglak? Where did they go back, where did they die?

OTOH where did Babar die? Why did he not stay on in India?

No Mogols are not special, they were just as barbaric and as Turuksha as the rest.

Misread me. I'm not saying Mughals were any special, holier or rational than others. They were as brutal as anyone else.
What I've said already is: Divisive weakening of Rajputs and Mughals own ambitions of ruling big time - both were the factors. The likes of Lodis were uprooted by coalition of Babar, Rajputs etc. Later against Babar the Rajputs did not have such coalition.

Sanku wrote:Actually this is Marxist BS. Nonsense that has been thought to us, Indian political unity has always been present, in fact the current India is no patch for other political unities that have easily existed.
We have been told that India was not united, actually bunkum.
But this is not the thread or topic for that, as I said more on that later, and on another thread, there are answers to many questions that you have raised.

I'm looking at the history and trying to figure out where have we presented a national front politically or militarily (barring Mauryas). Will leave it for another day then. Can you guide me to it if there's a thread already where the reasons you talk about are mentioned?

Sanku wrote:The Mughal Rajput alliance broke during and after Auranzeb.

Yeah that is what I wanted to know more about. How it happened, who started the break and what followed later.
Anything that I could study?

Supratik wrote:I was surprised to see that nearly 25% of Rajputs are Muslim while nearly 50% of Jats, Gujjars and Kamboh were Muslim

Its the other way and still an incorrect way:
After conversions, various factions of Hindus wherever they went - Muslims/Sikhs, call themselves Muslim Rajputs Sikh Rajputs and likewise which is wrong.
From the point of view that Rajputs or Jats are a caste among Hindus, I personally do not agree to anyone calling himself a Sikh Rajput or Muslim Rajput even if you had converted from Hindu to Sikhism/Islam.
In a monolithic religion where there are no castes, the point of being a Rajput or non-Rajput doesn't arise at all. You're just that - a Muslim/Sikh. Specially the ones converted to Islam aren't considered Rajputs anymore.

Supratik wrote:making up bulk of the population of W. Punjab, POK and Sindh.

That is where most of invasions came through. That is where various Muslim dynasties and Sikhs were (& are) concentrated.

Supratik wrote:It would be interesting to understand what caused these ruling castes to convert after being so vehemently in opposition.

Don't know very specifically by IMO the breakdown of Hindu Kingdoms, others had a free run. People did what they had to, to save their lives.

Regards,
Virendra

vishvak
BR Mainsite Crew
Posts: 5836
Joined: 12 Aug 2011 21:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby vishvak » 29 Sep 2011 11:04

Virendra wrote:The choice those rulers made was political and unethical. Ethically it should never have happened.

Regards,
Virendra

My 2 cents here:
One can not be perhaps judged by how he is forced to yield by barbarians but by, amongst others, how he deals with sajjan/sadhu.

If Shivaji opted to surrender forts when he had to, instead of running grueling wars, was it unethical? I don't think it is correct. To Shivaji what mattered was Hindu Swarajya, and no amount of bull on ethics against adopting and cheating warmongers could affect him. How many warmongers were cheated and annihilated by Shivaji? Still he was a gentleman of the highest order to me. How many times he had to adopt and suffer setbacks?

The definition of ethics can not be modified & narrowed to look down on defender when a powerful invader approaches, it only adds a little to the legitimacy of barbarians.

The choice rulers made, as stated above, were made because they had to. The blame goes to the bloodthirsty warmongers alone. An invader has no legitimacy whatever is feigned, and any setbacks against the invader should be only considered temporal. What matters in the end is Rashtra.

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 29 Sep 2011 12:02

Well I am calling a rest to this discussion/debate for a while, since it appears that we have both for the moment said what we had to and presented our POVs, I also do not think that we disagree a lot, especially in the over all picture, but perhaps some difference in minuates which I will not pursue for now.

Virendra wrote:Can you guide me to it if there's a thread already where the reasons you talk about are mentioned?


Check out the "Distorted history" thread in General discussion forum.

Virendra
BRFite
Posts: 1211
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 23:20

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virendra » 29 Sep 2011 12:18

Agreed. Thanks for the thread, will take a look.

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 30 Sep 2011 23:05

Virendra wrote:
peter wrote:This was not natural but forced upon the rajputs by their action of giving daughters to Mughals. That is by begging Akbar for help in their own internal matters rajputs allowed akbar to break them further. So it is not a cause rather the effect of the daughter diplomacy.

So before that Akbar was too weak to dominate Rajput Kings?

Yes. He had won against Hemu by fluke and was the ruler of very small principality called Delhi. He was trying to expand his dominions. There was really no reason for any rajput king to capitulate without a fight as the Amber king did.

Prior to giving daughters to Akbar rajputs recognised right of primo-geniture. Once Akbar became a "relative" of rajputs every disgruntled rajput went to Akbar and asked for more land and thus weakened the rajput kingdom to which he belonged too. Akbar liked this infighiting and usually granted a jagir to this disgruntled claimant. This caused creation of kingdoms within kingdoms.
Virendra wrote:
peter wrote:It is not about loosing valor rather how to behave when you face a tough situation. One road was taken by Pratap and the other by others. Once you see that your father bowed and accepted Mughal authority the son felt the "weight" of that decision and followed suit. And it was a domino effect. I am surprised you are not able to see this.

I don't deny that it happened. My argument is on why and how.
While political unity was a rare commodity all over India, even then theoritically assuming if all the rajputs had chosen Pratap's way, IMO one of the two things could've happened:
1. They fight the Mughals on their own, get killed in battle and the entire Rajputana turns into a ravaged graveyard like the fallen Chittor fort, which includes civilians of all caste creed, women and children. Either they die or become muslims.
2. They somehow miracuously survive to some extent and eventually realize the importance of unity coupled with diplomacy. Then they fight back with a united front and may be get to hold their ground that way.
You expect a small Rajput kingdom to fight with a Mughal emperor's army?
Very well .. however suicidal, lets say militarily they do it and every soldier dies fighting. What happens to the massive civil population women and children? Thousand or lakhs of people perhaps .. another Chittor massacre?

Are you by any chance suggesting that Akbar was the first invader that rajputs faced in rajasthan? If not then what did rajputs do against these other invaders? Moghals were not the first ones to settle in India. Are we forgetting Khiljis and Balbans?

Were rajputs able to save their kingdom and people against these other invaders? If yes then both your points perhaps do not take into account the history of rajputs?

peter wrote:
Virendra wrote:I'm sure that our coming generations a century or two later, would be blaming us for fighting with Pakistan and not forming a grand alliance in South Asia. Who knows what they'll read and how they'll interpret these times?
We can and have always scrutinized history with our narrow prisms and pointing fingers becomes a natural reaction.

No. One can do an analysis and see how the decisions of various kings fared. Let us take Amber as an example. Within a few decades of Man Singh's death Amber kings were degraded to a Mansab of 800 at the mughal court. Their territory was shrunk, they were afraid of sending their sons and grand sons to serve under the mughals for the fear of assasination.
So if you were an Amber king in late 17th century your life was real hell.
On the other hand the rulers of Mewar had a far higher bargaining power with the Mughal even in late 17th century.

Virendra wrote:I'm referring to the difference in mindset/perception and contextual understanding. For example some people nit pick one medieval Indian Kingdom/Dynasty and paint on it the blame of betraying the country and letting outsiders in, whatever happened to the fact that there wasn't a "one nation", a "political entity" called India back then. that a point of betraying it would arise. It was a loose colony of states warring each other relentlessly and the states politically behaved on those compulsions only.
The same attitude lives today and the same policies decisions take place. Similar could the results and similar could be the blames laid later on.

Hmmm. So are you suggesting that all rajputs did not share a common Kshatriya Dharm? I will ask you again how did these same rajputs survive against the invaders from 7th century A.D till the 16th century AD? Giving of daughters could have started much earlier as a practice. You are still not ready to acknowledge the deterimental effect of daughter diplomacy on the psyche of rajputs.

Virendra wrote:
peter wrote:Question is that before Akbar did most all rajputs ally with a foreign invader? Ever?Answer is no! Akbar's forces smashed Hindu temples (so did the forces of Jahangir, Shah Jahan etc) and they were led by Rajput generals. What do you think caused rajputs to not revolt against such attacks on their religion?


So the decomposition happened in one day or one ruler's time? Are you serious?
It happened gradually and slowly. The reason its effects were visible in Akbar's time is because before Akbar no permanently settled Kingdom of India was so strongly challenging Rajputs and hence the cracks of political unity weren't exposed before.

Not true. There were more potent invaders then Akbar who did settle in India. Balban/Khiljis etc.

Virendra wrote:In the initial centuries there weren't so many Rajput Kingdoms that the point of infighting would arise. Just a couple and very powerful Kingdoms and hence accordingly only a couple cases of infighting - Jaichand vs. PrithviRaj.

This is also not true.

Virendra wrote:
peter wrote:I think you have misunderstood. Chauth signifies lack of independence. The reason Pratap did not bow to Akbar is because he did not want to loose his freedom. So rajputs had some how started feeling that freedom either can not be had or it is ok to be under some yoke. This is very alien to the character of rajput of old.


Firstly me, you or any other mortal in this world cannot know what some rulers "FELT" in a situation centuries earlier so don't be judgemental.

Well they say the proof is in the pudding. If you do analysis of rajputs you will see prior to Akbar's time no rajput gave up fighting. Whether he had a small principality or large he fought for every inch of his land against the invader. Rajputs were defeated. But they always fought back and this is the reason why the sultanate of Delhi, which once controlled a whole lot of India during the time of Allauddin Khilji, had shrunk to a small principality during the time of Lodis.

In essence the daughter diplomacy is indeed a turning point in the history of rajputs.

Virendra wrote:
peter wrote:I was getting an impression that you are defending "somebody" and now it seems that may be true. Perhaps you either don't think what Mota Raja did was all that bad or perhaps since you owe allegiance to the Jodhpur house you don't want to criticise them. I do feel this is a recurrent pattern in rajasthan. Depending upon which clan one talks to either they don't think giving of daughters as a big deal, for all the reasons mentioned in this thread, or they totally slam it. For example very small number of clans go as far as saying that rajasthan has had no Rajput king since Pratap!


Despite of being at odds in my lack of historical knowledge I've tried my best to maintain utmost reason and decency in the debate and now you don't like my defending?

I am thoroughly enjoying this debate and I thank you for that. My question was a loaded one and I should apologize because I did'nt tell you that it was so.
Virendra wrote: If you're arguing that his action led to Mughal dominance over Merta I agree to that. But what would've happened if he hadn't done it?
Would the Merta army increase many fold just by that? I don't know, what I know is that another Chittor massacre could've been due on the people of Merta.

Well the hardship to common man was just delayed by a few decades. After Jaswant Singh's death Marwar was ravaged by Mughals multiple times. Nobody kept a count of how many died.

The argument that Chittor like massacre was avoided by the action of Mota Raja is just not true.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55054
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 30 Sep 2011 23:12

Again Peter and Virendra its educational for all to see the to and fro uncovering of facts. Don't take it persanally.

One fact is the reduction in size of Delhi Sultanate by time of Lodis. The history taught was as if after 1192 there was a solid monolith sultanate in Delhi and was succeded by Mughals (who really were Chagtai Turks) till the British period.

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 30 Sep 2011 23:22

Airavat wrote:^^^Neither Mewar nor Marwar came to Amber's aid when they were facing the Suri sultanate, or the Mughal empire. In the Mughal-Mewar conflict they were actually suspected by the Mughals of sparing their efforts against Pratap.

Virendra wrote:
Yes it is being said that there was no way Maharana on an injured horse could've escaped the cavalry after him if the Amber Rajput generals had not forbidden the chase.


Well immediately after the battle of Haldighati:
a) The mughal forces reached Gogunda and dug a deep trench around their camp.
b) They also created a wall which could not be scaled by an attacking horse rider.
c) These were done to protect themselves from the attack of Maharana Pratap whom the mughals thought was just around and would attack any moment.
d) The mughal forces were so demoralised and out of ration that they killed their own horses to survive. They did not venture out to get food or breakthrough to ajmer for the fear of Maharana. They remained cooped up and kept hoping Akbar would send aid which did not arrive for a long time.
e) Disease was rampant in the Mughal camp because of extremely unhygienic conditions.

Now please tell me were the mughals and Man Singh really in any condition to "allow" Maharana to escape? This is just fable built up by perhaps the Amber house themselves.

And of course all "secular" historians also tow this line because in their minds Akbar was the "greatest" secular king India had and Pratap was this right wing Hindu king who upset the plans of secular Akbar!

Airavat wrote:Large kingdoms with plenty of strategic depth, like Mewar and Marwar, cannot be compared with a small principality like Amber which falls in the same category as Jaisalmer, Bundi, Sirohi, etc.

Well Sirohi fought and did not cave in to the Mughals.

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 30 Sep 2011 23:34

Airavat wrote:
Sanku wrote:Then Amber should have accepted the suzerainty of one of the other two

They did. Prithviraj Kachwaha of Amber fought alongside Maharana Sanga, in the Battle of Khanua. But the favour was not returned, as Mewar did not come to Amber's aid either against the Delhi Sultante of Sher Shah or the Mughal empire of Akbar. They were left to fend for themselves.

Sanku wrote:Yes the men could have all died, the women committed Jauhar, and laid the country to waste and took down a great part of Mogol army with them.

Airavat wrote:When the Mughals attacked Chittor, the Sisodia rulers did not stay to fight and die in jauhar, but relocated to the west. Chittor was defended by Jaimal, the Rathore ruler of Merta.

I am not able to see your point. Would you please explain what do you mean by Chittor was defended by Jaimal? As per my understanding Pratap wanted to stay back at Chittor and defend it when Uday Singh took the decision to relocate to Udaipur. But the nobles of Mewar forbade it and instead chose Jaimal.
Airavat wrote:In the Battle of Haldighati, Pratap did not stay to fight and die, but escaped to Gogunda. When that place was besieged by the Mughals, Pratap did not think of jauhar, and instead escaped to Kumbhalgarh fort. Mewar was a huge kingdom with numberless forts sitting astride the Aravalli range, affording plenty of depth to draw in the invaders, create ambuscades, and carry out guerrilla warfare. The principality of Amber did not have such strategic depth, sandwiched as it was between the Mughal territories of Delhi in the north and Ajmer in the south. Moreover the Aravallis here are small hillocks with no forest cover.

True. And I have wondered about this too. Though Amber's proximity to Delhi did not change in the time of Akbar. It was similar during the sultanate rule in Delhi and besides Marwar is flat too (if you ingnore Siwana) but DurgaDas had no problem in revolting and always remaining one step ahead of the Mughals.

This brings up an interesting question does your terrain make you more brave or one with better resolve?

I will agree that a mountainous terrain is easier to fight a guerilla warfare in but as Durga Das and his band of rajputs showed terrain mattered less rather it was the will that mattered more.

Though it will remain an unanswered question: what would have happened had Jaswant Singh decided to revolt against Aurangzeb? If Durgadas, who was not even a king and had no resources and who had great difficulty in making others follow him during the war of independence in Marwar, could succeed against Mughals perhaps Jaswant Singh would have succeded far more spectacularly?

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 30 Sep 2011 23:42

ramana wrote:Again Peter and Virendra its educational for all to see the to and fro uncovering of facts. Don't take it persanally.

Thanks!
ramana wrote:One fact is the reduction in size of Delhi Sultanate by time of Lodis. The history taught was as if after 1192 there was a solid monolith sultanate in Delhi and was succeded by Mughals (who really were Chagtai Turks) till the British period.

Yes. Indeed. Our history books are terrible and perhaps JNU historians too? How do we convince Airavat to pen one?

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55054
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 30 Sep 2011 23:51

I want you three: Airavat, Peter, and Virendra to go thru the entire Rajput vs. Sultans, Mughal, Maratha intergennum and come up with historical essays.

I want to understand what made them fight and what made them compromise and in what manner.

And I want an integrated picture for we can get bits and pieces and silo look from the older scholars.

Virendra
BRFite
Posts: 1211
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 23:20

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virendra » 01 Oct 2011 08:42

peter wrote:Yes. He had won against Hemu by fluke and was the ruler of very small principality called Delhi. He was trying to expand his dominions. There was really no reason for any rajput king to capitulate without a fight as the Amber king did.

If battles weren't forced on Amber already, I'm not sure what made Bharmal panic so much and cave in.
However two things I'd like to say here:
a) Amber was already isolated among Rajputana. Bharmal may have tried to get help and not suceeded or (knowing the situation) he may not have tried even; but he was surely alone.
b) Amber was not only a small state but perhaps the most proximate Rajputana state to the Mughal epicenter.
Akbar had already become pretty much another sub continent Kingdom ruler at Delhi-Agra just like Lodis. Mughals not yet accepted as a people in the natives of Indian Kingdoms but Akbar's state was nevertheless a political entity switched in the Indian political dispora. To a common man of those times mlechha/muslim have been an alien/enemy people deserving disgust & kickback and that sentiment was reflected by people/rulers at different times but the rulers being the head of state politics weren't as contrasted and religous as the people. They picked sides via a different math - ethical or not is another debate.
We would expect him to follow kshatriya dharma and protect his people. As aleader, would he fight a battle for that or ally with the opponent, his choice to make and ours to scrutinize/criticize. It surely didn't go down well with the Rajput psyche I realize that.

peter wrote:Are you by any chance suggesting that Akbar was the first invader that rajputs faced in rajasthan? If not then what did rajputs do against these other invaders? Moghals were not the first ones to settle in India. Are we forgetting Khiljis and Balbans?

They fought. Rulers were more powerful and their Kingdoms were larger and powerful, less riddled with infighting. Consequently their ambitions and higher confidence clashed with anyone trying to expand in north and west.


peter wrote:
Virendra wrote:In the initial centuries there weren't so many Rajput Kingdoms that the point of infighting would arise. Just a couple and very powerful Kingdoms and hence accordingly only a couple cases of infighting - Jaichand vs. PrithviRaj.


This is also not true.

While the degree of decentralization may have increased a lot after Akbar, Rajputana was still quite divided and contained small states when Akbar appeared.


peter wrote:Well they say the proof is in the pudding. If you do analysis of rajputs you will see prior to Akbar's time no rajput gave up fighting. Whether he had a small principality or large he fought for every inch of his land against the invader. Rajputs were defeated. But they always fought back and this is the reason why the sultanate of Delhi, which once controlled a whole lot of India during the time of Allauddin Khilji, had shrunk to a small principality during the time of Lodis.

There is a phase when seperate Rajput states caved in to Mughal pressure. But later on except Amber pretty much everyone fought back (again alone, not collectively) as and when they saw the opportunity.


peter wrote:Well immediately after the battle of Haldighati:

What myself or Airavat pointed towarads is the last phase of the battle and not what Mughals did after it had ended.

peter wrote:Now please tell me were the mughals and Man Singh really in any condition to "allow" Maharana to escape? This is just fable built up by perhaps the Amber house themselves.

Mughals, they'd never let that happen and we don't have a recorded statement of any Amber general relenting his pursue. But then still he did retreat from an ongoing battle and we know that his army was still fighting. Is that so easy to do? Without being noticed by a larger opponent? When Pratap escaped, whom do you think would gauge the trick - his cousin Rajputs of Amber who knew him and his ways or those Mughals? I'm not claiming it is a gospel truth but is surely possible to have happened.
By the way, it was Man Singh's army and Pratap who collided head on. Mughal cavalry archers mostly encircled and kept shooting arrows at will on both the fighting Rajput infantries. Fulfilling the mission of Islam against kafirs on both sides.

ramana wrote:I want you three: Airavat, Peter, and Virendra to go thru the entire Rajput vs. Sultans, Mughal, Maratha intergennum and come up with historical essays.
I want to understand what made them fight and what made them compromise and in what manner.
And I want an integrated picture for we can get bits and pieces and silo look from the older scholars.


Thanks ramana but forgive me I'm just a software engineer who has some interest in geo politics and military history.
I do not possess immense historic knowledge or research experience as Airavat and Peter do. To be honest I haven't read a single history book (barring NCERT in school) and possess none. Its just been my interest and enthusiasm speaking in the thread.
But I'd surely love to see Airavat or Peter in such consolidation work. I can may be assist at some places by reading specified material and providing desired gist/references therefrom, that would be helpful to the scheme of such work?

Regards,
Virendra

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55054
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 01 Oct 2011 08:57

Sure do help them. We all need to step in and do our bit. Waiting for someone to do the needful will lead to wrong narratives holding sway.

Thanks, ramana

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 01 Oct 2011 12:01

Airavat wrote:
Sanku wrote:Then Amber should have accepted the suzerainty of one of the other two

They did. Prithviraj Kachwaha of Amber fought alongside Maharana Sanga, in the Battle of Khanua. But the favour was not returned, as Mewar did not come to Amber's aid either against the Delhi Sultante of Sher Shah or the Mughal empire of Akbar. They were left to fend for themselves.

Sanku wrote:Correct me if I am wrong, but that was a alliance, not a suzerainty. Only a short term tactical arrangement. I am talking about accepting the Mewar Maharana as overlord, permanently stationing nobles and important chiefs in that court, and mutually defending the common border and willing to risk extinction of your clan if need be.

Would you like to mention why Mewar would not come to aid of Amber? What was the exact correspondences and so on and so forth?

Prithviraj Kachwaha of Amber was subservient to Mewar. And as mentioned above fought alongside Sanga at Khanua. His son PuranMal though died fighting in favor of Humayun's brother, Hindal in 1534 at Mandrail.

Virendra
BRFite
Posts: 1211
Joined: 24 Aug 2011 23:20

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Virendra » 01 Oct 2011 12:01

@Airavat/Peter/Ramana
Count me in as a volunteer if you embark on any such work.
I'm on vacation to hometown for 4-5 days and won't be online regularly.
See you guys later.

Regards,
Virendra

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 01 Oct 2011 13:02

Airavat wrote:
Virendra wrote:On one side we accept that Amber was a small state and couldn't have taken Mughals all alone (though we also say that it should have) and on the other hand the assertion that Amber was so powerful that it helped Mughals take and maintain entire India??

Even without Hindu mansabdars the Mughal empire would have been formed, as the Delhi sultanate was in the 13th century. But it would have been a purely Islamic state as was the Delhi sultanate, and the Deccan sultanates in the south, which imposed jaziya, pilgrimage tax, and forbade Hindus from bearing arms, riding horses, or building new temples. In the Mughal empire these Islamic principles were imposed by Aurangzeb, leading to war with the Rajputs.

Hindu generals and soldiers, wherever they were prominent, acted more as a check on the Turk, Uzbek, and other mercenary soldiers. As described in the Mughal texts:

It has already been related how Rájá Mán Singh defeated Ráná Kíká, and occupied his country—how the Ráná fled into the high hills, and how the army penetrated to Kokanda, which was the Ráná's home. The roads to this place were so difficult that little grain reached it, and the army was nearly famished. The order was given for Mán Singh to fall back quickly, and he very soon arrived at the Emperor's throne. When the distress of the army was inquired into, it appeared that, although the men were in such great straits, Kunwar Mán Singh would not suffer any plundering of Ráná Kíká's country. This caused the Emperor to be displeased with him, and he was banished from Court for a time.


But the statement in bold is, IMHO, an apologist view of the Mughal historian. As I have mentioned above the rajputs under Man Singh and Mughals fighting for Akbar at Haldighati were really in no position to chase Pratap or plunder his territory. They did'nt even have the courage to forage for grains and instead killed their own horses to survive.

Airavat wrote:In Orissa, Man Singh saved the Jagannath temple from the Afghans:


This surely is a POV from one side. It is interesting to see the POV from the common man's side. Hindus did not hold Akbar or his Hindu generals in high regard which became apparent when they boycotted the [[Vishwanath]] temple built by Akbar's general Man Singh (which he built after taking Akbar's permission) because Man Singh's family had marital relations with Akbar. Please see this link http://books.google.com/books?id=XjkEERJrRdwC&pg=PA99&dq=man+singh+intitle:%22Presenting+the+past%22&hl=en&ei=ysqGTo_SD42vrAevvIi_DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=man%20singh%20intitle%3A%22Presenting%20the%20past%22&f=false

Reference is <ref>{{cite book|author=Udayakumar, S. P.|page=99|title=Presenting the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India|year=2005|publisher=[[Greenwood Publishing Group]]|isbn=0275972097}} </ref>

Kakkaji
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3313
Joined: 23 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Kakkaji » 02 Oct 2011 05:10

Re. how Maharana Pratap escaped from Haldighati without being noticed by the Mughal Army, aren't we forgetting the legend of Jhala Sardar who exchanged his turban with Pratap thus impersonating him and drawing the enemy to himself, allowing Pratap to escape?

Airavat
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2326
Joined: 29 Jul 2003 11:31
Location: dishum-bishum
Contact:

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Airavat » 02 Oct 2011 06:18

Virendra wrote:
ramana wrote:I want you three: Airavat, Peter, and Virendra to go thru the entire Rajput vs. Sultans, Mughal, Maratha intergennum and come up with historical essays.
I want to understand what made them fight and what made them compromise and in what manner.
And I want an integrated picture for we can get bits and pieces and silo look from the older scholars.


Thanks ramana but forgive me I'm just a software engineer who has some interest in geo politics and military history.

Such an analysis has already been done by Jadunath Sarkar, who is idolized by the nationalist historians, and for whom even the leftist show some grudging respect. He stands apart from other historians especially because of his focus on military history, and all his works are even more relevant today on a military forum like BRF. Sarkar does not write with a sympathetic viewpoint, his analysis is thorough and to the point. "I would not care whether truth is pleasant or unpleasant, and in consonance with or opposed to current views. I would not mind in the least whether truth is, or is not, a blow to the glory of my country. If necessary, I shall bear in patience the ridicule and slander of friends and society for the sake of preaching truth. But still I shall seek truth, understand truth, and accept truth. This should be the firm resolve of a historian." - Sir Jadunath Sarkar

History of Jaipur: Jadunath Sarkar

Sanku
BRF Oldie
Posts: 12526
Joined: 23 Aug 2007 15:57
Location: Naaahhhh

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Sanku » 04 Oct 2011 14:32

JSarakar needs to be revisited throughly, preferably with a rereading of original materials.

The definition of "nationalists" has changed over 60 years, and a nationalist then would hold different views then as now, it is not about the individual, it is about the prevailing environmental factors and resources available.

One such example is the book Op Red Lotus, another is Solstice at Panipat -- it is time to go beyond JSarkar for those who can.

member_19686
BRFite
Posts: 1330
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby member_19686 » 04 Oct 2011 18:25

JS was working in a British colonial milieu and would take the mleccha line whenever the English were involved, especially when describing encounters between them and the Hindu rulers.

I can even give you an example:
Nevertheless, the attempts at internal revolution by Hindus within the sultanates did not stop – this is where we come to mAdaNNA and akkaNNA and their brilliant coordination with shivAjI. mlechCha subversionists or authors influenced by them, such as Jadunath Sarkar (prior to his U-turn), Basham, Laine and Gordon, have characterized shivAjI as a bandit whose main objective was to plunder South India to make up for the expenses stemming from his lavishness towards brAhmaNa-s during his rAjyAbhisheka. This line comes straight from the near contemporary thinking of the Dutch and English agents who saw shivAjI’s southward movements with fear. The Dutch in particular were close to the Moslem elite and feared the arrival of shivAjI. However, the French agent and spy Francois Martin correctly records the objectives of shivAjI and mAdaNNA – it became clear to him that their objective was to restore the whole of the south to Hindu regime. At his indrAbhisheka shivAjI had clearly declared that he would put an end to slavery, and make sure that the Europeans comply with that. Thus, when shivAjI conquered south India he sent a strong message to all the European companies that he was abolishing slavery. He made it explicit that, though under Moslem rulers Europeans could buy and transport slaves across South India, it would no longer be possible in his reign. He also said that Europeans could not make slaves not try to sell any and that the marATha-s would strongly prevent any such activities. Thus, informed by the tradition of dharma, in 1677 shivAjI acted to restore human dignity, even as the mlechCha-s made money from sale of humans while claiming to be the bringers of civilization. It is not very surprising that the mlechCha sources engage in negative propaganda regarding the Hindu rAjA, especially his southern campaign...

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... -svarajya/

Look at his description in the footnote on pg 325 here:

http://www.archive.org/stream/cu3192402 ... h/vyankoji

Suggest people read the manasataramgini article above.

For those who want to know what the sources are for these claims about Shivaji's campaign, please take a look here:
XENOPHOBIA IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY INDIA

https://openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bitstr ... sequence=2

From the above on page 188:
A final example of the intimate connection of Shivaji’s ideologies
to his practices, or of the nigh impossibility to separate the two, is the
following passage from his qaul granted to VOC ambassador Herbert de
Jager in 1677. In it Shivaji puts his proscription of the slave trade discussed
above in the context of a radical (and ideological) break with the past:
In the days of the Moorish government it was allowed for you to buy male slaves
and female slaves here [the Karnatak], and to transport the same, without anyone
preventing that. But now you may not, as long as I am master of these lands, buy
male or female slaves, nor transport them. And in case you were to do the same,
and would want to bring [slaves] aboard, my men will oppose that and prevent it in
all ways and also not allow that they be brought back in your house; this you must
as such observe and comply with.

The blog writer of manasataramgini in the 2nd post also refers to Akkanna's words about the lack of Muslim loyalty to this land we call India, this too you can confirm at the above source on pg 224:
…you yourself can imagine which
government serves the king best, ours
or that of the Moors; ours being
fullheartedly devoted to the welfare of
the country, while we are not people
who have or seek other countries, but
that of the Moors is only to the end of
becoming rich and then to leave for
those places which they consider to be
either their fatherland or holy.

1
Akkanna, 1683
INTRODUCTION
Or, at least, that is how the words of Akkanna, brother of the Brahmin
prime minister of Golkonda Madanna, were reported by Dutch East India
Company employee Michiel Janszoon in 1683. The quotation is part of a
seven-page report of a private interview that Janszoon had with Akkanna
(the only other person present being a fanner) in August 1683.
Janszoon,
who spoke Telugu well,2
made a transcript of the interview no more than a
few days afterwards and sent it off to Masulipatnam in spite of Akkanna’s
request, twice repeated, not to reveal the true topic of their conversation to
anyone.

As for the French spy Francois Martin's observations (he was an eye witness to Shivaji's southern campaign), they are available online and I have glanced through them.

Yes he does say there that the real objective of Shivaji's Southern campaign was to put all of South back into Hindu hands and he also grudgingly admits that the productivity of the land was much improved under the Brahmins appointed by Shivaji compared to the previous Muslim officials.

ramana
Forum Moderator
Posts: 55054
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby ramana » 05 Oct 2011 00:13

Guys, When you make a post with quotes etc could you for general audience make a conclusion or summary statement?

Otherwwise it looks like a slugfest between experts and no different than a JNU mushaira!

member_19686
BRFite
Posts: 1330
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby member_19686 » 05 Oct 2011 00:20

Okay will do that from now on.

Conclusion for the above is: J. Sarkar while a very good historian worked in a period of British occupation over India and as such put forth views approved by them whenever they conflicted with the native sources. As such we need to update our understanding of history taking into account the new information that has since become available to us (Operation Red Lotus is a good start).

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 05 Oct 2011 23:41

Kakkaji wrote:Re. how Maharana Pratap escaped from Haldighati without being noticed by the Mughal Army, aren't we forgetting the legend of Jhala Sardar who exchanged his turban with Pratap thus impersonating him and drawing the enemy to himself, allowing Pratap to escape?


Analysing any medieval Indian battle ain't easy!

What do we know about the battle of Haldighati?

From Mughal sources:
a) The battle continued till mid day and Akbar's army was very tired says Badayuni.
b) Mughal Vanguard and Left wing were routed. Lunkaran Kachwaha (left wing), Jagannath of Amber (vanguard) and other Kachwahas along with Shaikzadas left the field and did not stop till they were 5 kos from the battlefield. Man Singh Kachwaha's personal troops stood firm and so did the Sayyids of Barha (who were in the right wing). Mihtar Khan's arrival swings the battle in favor of the Mughals (perhaps due to numerical superiority).
c) No prisoners were taken other than an elephant (Ram Prasad which was re-christened PirPrasad by Akbar).
d) Akbar's troops camped near the battlefield on the night of the battle.
e) Next day they reached Gogunda which was largely empty but for a handful of Pratap's rajputs sitting around in temples to defend them and who were killed to the last man in defence of the temples.
f) Though Mughal army was encamped for two months prior to the battle they were without ration when they reached Gogunda.
g) Akbar's army killed their own horses and ate them to survive and also ate mangoes since grain was unavaliable. They got sick.
h) Akbar took away the Dyodi rights of main generals who fought at Haldighati like Man Singh etc.

Rajput sources:
a) Pratap had divided his army into two divisions. One division was led by Hakim Khan Sur who attacked Jagannath Kachwaha and routed him. Other division was led by Pratap. Ram Shah Tomar was in front of Pratap and they attacked Akbar's left wing and routed it.
b) Pratap went deep into Mughal army and challenged Man Singh the Mughal general.
c) In that fight Man Singh's Mahout was killed and Chetak's back leg was injured severely.
d) Mughals were about to loose when the word spread that Akbar had arrived with a reserve army.
e) Pratap had taken some wounds from arrows and spear.

At this point the details are murky. Badayuni says that Mughals did not chase Pratap because they were tired. It is not clear from Badayuni if Akbar's army noticed the retreat of Pratap.

This though begs a logical question that in broad daylight how does a known figure decamp without being noticed? Could Pratap have left the battlefield alone?

Why were no rajputs from Pratap's side captured?

What happened to Mughal camp and rations? How could they loose all their ration in a single day?

Some historians have argued (Kesri Singh in Battle of Haldighati) that Pratap retreated with the bulk of his army intact and Man Singh Jhala and the Tomars did the rear-guard action to stop any chase. Another rajput source says that the Tomars left the most dead in Haldighati.

This seems logical because if many hundred/thousand men are leaving en masse it would be difficult to track/notice Pratap. This would also answer the question that no prisoners fell into the mughal hands. Furthermore the fear that Akbar's troops had of Pratap attacking them again at Gogunda was perhaps rooted in the observation by Akbar's troops that most of Pratap's forces had taken off and were perhaps capable of mounting another attack?

Some sources also mention that Pratap had ordered the Bhils to plunder the Mughal camp which they did to perfection since immediately after the battle was over Akbar's troops had no ration.

Chetak Smarak is not too from the battlefield which perhaps does corroborate that Chetak was grievously wounded in this battle.

peter
BRFite
Posts: 1207
Joined: 23 Jan 2008 11:19

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby peter » 05 Oct 2011 23:48

Surasena wrote:tsarkar there is a reason I didn't reply to you, please check Rahul M's post.

You don't seem to know many basic facts but feel ready to pontificate.

How could you get the two mixed up?

I like both your posts. We all do make mistakes. The idea is to learn from each other. I enjoy reading tsarkar's post even though I may not agree with some of his posts but he does bring in an interesting perspective.

So what he was wrong about some factoid. I hope he keeps posting here.

member_19686
BRFite
Posts: 1330
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby member_19686 » 12 Oct 2011 00:17

Bajirao-I, 1737, tulughama and the like

The collections of unedited and unpublished bakhars from the Shaniwar fort give an account of that brief period when the brAhmaNa general Bajirao-I raised the Maharattas to their pinnacle. It was a momentous event in the history of the Hindus because for the first time in several hundred years they came close to rolling back the army of Islam, which was pursuing its relentless jihad deep in the heart of bhArata. It was the year 1737 CE. A reasonable account of the sequence of events is offered by Sardesai in his history of the Marathas, but the military maneuvers of this highpoint in Hindu military performance has been to a considerable extant understudied by Hindus themselves. Certain parallels between the Chingizid Mongols and Bajirao’s Maharatta senA are apparent despite the two being widely spaced in time. In particular, in 1737, Bajirao’s March attack on Delhi and December rout of the Nizam in Bhopal reminds one of the Mongol movements. The Mongol battles that come to mind are the initial encounter of the army of Chingiz Kha’khan with the Kawarizm Shah, the attack on Jalal-ad-din, the demolition of the German and Polish armies (more similar to the earlier attack on the Nizam at Palkhed), and the surge of Mangku and Kublai to complete the conquest of the Sung.

In particular a detailed comparison of the Maharatta movements under Bajirao-I and the tulughama and mangudai (feign disorderly retreat) of the Mongols would be useful.
The algorithm of the basic Mongol attack was thus:
-Once an engagement was decided the tuemen advanced in 5 single lines, with each line closely packed.
-The lines were separated between themselves by as much 150 meters to give horse men enough room for the acceleration.
-The first two lines were armored heavy cavalry with specialists in close combat and use of diverse weapons, the remaining three with light cavalry mainly archers.
-The light cavalry first attacked upon closing on the enemy by moving through the gaps in the two heavy lines and also firing over the heads of the heavy lines when sufficiently close to the enemy. The light cavalry would swoop upon the enemy ranks repeated firing and retreat.
-When the rate of fire from the light cavalry reached a crescendo, they broke off and the heavy cavalry charged to deliver a frontal assault in the enemy force.
-If the enemy pursued the light cavalry they would divert their retreat paths in such a way that they would direct the flank of the enemy to the waiting heavy cavalry, which would then deliver a punch.
-If the enemy remained unfazed by the light cavalry attack then they would use the tulughama.
-Here the light cavalry would first fall back and the first line of heavy cavalry would assault the enemy head-on. At that time the light cavalry would ride around the heavy cavalry and attack the enemy on both the flanks and try encirclement.
-When the enemies showed confusion and dispersed to respond to the light cavalry attacking the flanks. The second line of heavy cavalry would move into reinforce the first and deliver the coup de grace.

We suspect that from all available information the assault at Bhopal by Bajirao-I followed the above pattern with the final encirclement and defeat of the Nizam achieved by a Tulughama like movement. It is quite possible that the earliest forms of this maneuver were developed by the Iranians (Kushanas, Shaka Haumavarga and Parthians). A primitive form of it was acquired by the Altaic people when the first Hun Kha’khan Motun-tegin was taken hostage by the Kushanas. Since then they kept perfecting it till it reached a culmination in the mind of the great Chingiz Kha’Khan. But how did Bajirao-I develop it: Was it convergent evolution or was he in possession of historical details of the Mongol campaigns that helped him in emulating them?

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... -the-like/

Yagnasri
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9918
Joined: 29 May 2007 18:03

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Yagnasri » 12 Oct 2011 04:00

The manasatarangini blog has several good posts on history and Indic knowledge.

member_19686
BRFite
Posts: 1330
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby member_19686 » 13 Oct 2011 21:01

Geopolitics of the tantra age: an attempt at a blunt assessment
The va~Nga-paNDita placed the following issue before ekanetra and me. He had seen a somewhat convergent theory amongst both Hindus and Hindu-haters. We lay this out as some kind of pUrva-pakSha for further study.

-The beginning in the gupta age and definitely in the period that followed it there was a socio-religio-political development in jambudvIpa that might be termed the “tantra age”. This was marked by the rise in prominence of the tAntrika form of the mantra shAstra and its deployment in rituals both of the lay Hindu (of course we include both the nAstika-s and Astika-s in this term) society and the brahma-kShatra elite. In many cases it even developed a mirror image of most of the earlier vaidika lay and royal rituals and became even more prevalent than those original vaidika rituals. This development of the tAntrika mantra-shAstra also profoundly influenced the development of state administration, and “secular” topics like medicine and chemistry. As a consequence, by the 600s and 700s of CE, one might state that the Hindu kingdoms were becoming tantric states. This tantric system also had a larger geopolitical significance, as it spread from jambudvIpa to Tibet, China, “Indo-China”, Mongolia, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. In each of these places it started exerting considerable influence, converting some these Asiatic states into tantric states comparable to the Indic models. In other cases the tantric system established a symbiosis with the endogenous models of the state became an underlying component. To the west of jambudvIpa, in the lands of the diverse yavana-s, romAka-s and mlechCha-s a related system to the tantric system was emerging under the aegis of the Neo-platonic syncretism. Sadly, the viruses of the mind, in the form of the two prophetic monotheistic delusions, spread out of the Middle East destroying the development of this system and posing an existential challenge to the rest of the world. This is a very brief overview of the history to this point.

-The main claim that was presented to us was that this tantric age was a signal of the decadence of the Hindu world. As supporting evidence it was suggested that not only states in jambudvIpa, but even those beyond it decayed and collapsed when they chose to become tantric states. The most recent of these was said to be Nepal – a late survivor from the original tantric age – unable to adopt modernity due to the binding baggage of the tantric state collapsed and was replaced by the progressive ideology of democracy/socialism (in reality a covert version of the Middle Eastern prophetic delusions). Before Nepal, Tibet, an archetypal tantric state, was presented as having regressed under its tantric ruler the Dalai Lama to a point of no return, from which it was delivered via the conquest by the socialist warriors from chIna. Before Tibet, Mongolia had more than once regressed to decadence after converting to a tantric state – firstly the fall of the early Chingizids was due to the adoption of the tantra. More recently, the collapse of the Mongolian state before communism was also due to its primitiveness stemming from the adoption of the tantric political model. Another tantric state in jambudvIpa—Bhutan is likewise poised to decline and perish. Thus, the model presented is that while the tantric states are great for western “ologists” – tibetologists, mongologists, sinologists and of course the indologists as anthropological samples of “pre-modern” peoples, they are ruinous for the states and their inhabitants themselves. Finally, building up this line of argument, we were informed that bhArata’s own decline and eventual conquest by the civilizing Moslems, those glorious green-robed well-springs of culture, was a consequence of the wantonness of its own tantric states.

-Modern deracinated “rationalists” chime in that the tantra with all its superstitious hocus-pocus is the root cause of the lack of “progress” in India (that is why these types like to term themselves “progressives”). Interestingly, some of this resonates even with a subset of practicing Hindus. These types will say that they follow a higher form of the dharma, whereas the tantric form is somehow depraved. In the more recent centuries even certain smArta-s have attributed the heroic acts of “cleansing” the dharma of its tantric dross (or alternatively cleansing the tantra of its depravity) to their great hero sha~Nkara-bhagavatpAda. Some of these same smArta-s also composed kucha-mardana-s and shR^i~Nga-bha~Nga-s of tantric practices and texts.
Surprisingly, even the Sanskrit scholar’s historian daughter (whose Hindu zeal caused us roma-harShaNa) told us in 1994 that whereas charaka and sushruta are largely scientific the medieval physicians are full of non-scientific tantric influence – clearly a sign of decay. Against this background it is not unusual for people across the belief spectrum to converge in their characterization of the tantric age.

….
When va~Nga-paNDita presented this pUrvapakSha (which is encapsulated above) before us, we took off into a discussion of the early medieval history of India and the developments therein. So many times in the days of our youth we used to time-travel, leaving behind this world for that of the past:
-440 CE, the upheavals in the central Asian realm set the Hunnic movements in motion.
-443 CE a cavalry storm builds in the east and appears at the doors of the Isaist Roman empire. This cavalry force of ultimately central Asian origin besieged the now Serbian city of Nis with a formidable array of battering rams and siege towers. As they broke through the town’s defences, the Isaist Roman force defending found themselves no match to the attack and was crushed. This was followed by the victorious march of their leader Attila who advanced towards Constantinople destroying city after city on his way. Only the walls of the city saved it from destruction.
-454 CE The eastern wing of the Huns (commonly called the Ephthalites or hUNa-s in saMskR^ita) marched straight against Iran. The Shah Yazdigird sallied forth to counter them in north-eastern Iran. The powerful Sassanian sipah met with a cavalry much more than it could handle and was battered on the battlefield and fled in disarray with heavy losses.
-It was the early summer of the year 454 CE. In the city of kUbha in gandhara, a band of bauddha bikShu-s noticed that their shaiva rivals were packing up and getting ready to evacuate the pAShupata maTha. The head muNDaka who normally avoided the jaTila-s asked why they were packing up. The jaTila replied that a great storm was building on the horizon and the evils of kali yuga were to come down upon the world. The muNDaka smiled and walked on continuing his japa of the lokeshvara mantra. Later in the day he noticed that the patrons were not arriving at his vihAra. He stirred out to a neighboring vihAra where other bauddha-s were had stopped their study of the sad-dharma-puNDarIka sUtra because of some news that the king, the kedAra shAhIya had been defeated midway to bAhlika and an army of mlechCha-s was advancing towards the city. Sensing danger, the head muNDaka started organizing his flock to flee south towards suvastu. But even before he could do so, he heard an enormous clattering of hoofs and saw a great swirl of dust darkening the horizon. With in minutes the students in the court yard and the door keepers were rolling in the dust shot by arrows. The muNDaka ran inside to invoke a protective mantra from subAhu-paripR^ichCha, but even as he was entering into his ritual enclave a hideous warrior with a deformed head struck off the muNDaka’s head with his scimitar. It rolled down and fell near his altar. Another muNDaka was being threatened and asked to reveal where the wealth given by the vaishya patrons was hidden. Having bundled it up the victorious hUNa warriors uttered fierce cries and set fire to the vihara. They circled around the burning campus shooting down survivors who tried to flee the smoldering ruins.

The hUNa-s rode rapidly through gandhara, southwards pillaging the towns and slaughtering the inhabitants. A band of pAshupata shaiva ascetics fleeing from this terror crossed the sindhu river and reached a military outpost to the great emperor kumAragupta mahendrAditya. They brought news of the terrifying advance of the hUNa-s. The military outpost conveyed the message to the emperor who was holding court at Udayagiri. He had already received an envoy from the Shah of Iran with a request to supply elephants in the war against the hUNa-s, in addition to a request for Hindu mercenaries to fight the Isaists. The news from a band of bauddha refugees had also reached the emperor that the huNa-s were already poised to ford the sindhu and launch a thrust into bhAratavarSha. The emperor summoned his son the yuvarAja, skandagupta, and asked him to lead the senA to oust the mlechCha-s from the land of the Arya-s.

Image

Udayagiri skanda

After having made the military preparation for the advance into the pa~nchanada to quell the hUNa-s the prince sent a messenger to the vAkATaka-s, his allies to send him a reserve force. Then he went to the cave of Udayagiri, where the god after whom he had been named was enshrined. The brAhmaNa-s drew a vijaya-maNDala and having placed the consecrated kumbha-s at its corners led skandagupta to its center. Here he was consecrated with the ShaDakSharI mantra and asked to lead his troops even as the son of rudra led the devasenA against tAraka and mahiSha. A homa was offered to mahAsena for the victory of the prince with oblations of red sesame seeds. Blood red banners of kumAra were erected in front of the great shrine in udayagiri. Each of the sapta-mAtR^ikA-s were also offered bali-s to inspire the troops in battle, even as the mAtR^ikA-s had attacked the hordes of shumbha and nishumbha. The vAkATaka general leading the auxiliaries had invoked the terrible bhairava and consecrated his sword in shmashAna for victory in the impending battle. Thus having invoked the deva-s, four divisions of the imperial army headed for the pa~nchanada numbering around 60,000 men. The hUNa-s apparently had about 80-90,000 (the bauddha account of this war given in the text chandra-garbha-paripR^ichCha gives the exaggerated counts of the army of skandagupta being 200,000 and that of the mlechCha-s being 300,000).

In the spring of 455 CE decisive encounters between skandagupta’s army and those of the hUNa-s took place near the banks of the sindhu in its middle reaches. The hUNa-s tried to deploy their favored tactic of firing and riding. But the disciplined imperial infantry kept its distance from the hUNa-s whose composite bows were affected by the subcontinental climate. Then the Hindu long-bow corps went into action – having greater range and power than the hUNa bows, and unaffected by the climate it had a deadly effect. In the fierce encounters which are described as having the din of the roaring ga~NgA in spate (ga~NgA dhvaniH) the Hindu archers brought down the horse-borne hUNa-s even before they could close in on the gupta warriors. After the hUNa charges were repeatedly broken by the gupta infantry which had ambushed them, skandagupta ordered the gupta cavalry to swoop on the mlechCha-s “like garuDa-s on hUNa sarpa-s which had raised their hoods”. The sudden cavalry counter attack took hUNa-s by surprised and they were mercilessly put to sword. The khan of the hUNa-s ordered his men to ride out in a rapid escape, but they were ambushed by another force of infantry that skandagupta had pushed to their rear. With the reach of the long-bow they were able to strike from a distance with hail of cloth-yard shafts on the hUNa-s. Now they were utterly broken and the surging gupta cavalry surrounded the khan of the hUNa-s and two other tegins. Now khan and these tegins were summarily executed by skandagupta (Thus we may reconstruct from the chandra-garbha-paripR^ichCha) thereby ending this hUNa invasion.

The reason for taking off on this reconstructed narrative (other than reliving a major fancy of our youth) was to illustrate the point that the tantric age came to fore with in a period of major military challenges faced by many of the world powers as a result of Central Asian expansions into outer Eurasia and the rise of the monotheistic mental infections. Iran fared relatively badly and eventually collapsed probably because if faced the repeated blows from both the central Asians and both the monotheists. The Isaists took a heavy beating from both the central Asian invasions and their Islamic ideological cousins. But the start in India was relatively good with a resounding overthrow of the initial hUNa invasion. The religious background inspiring this gupta achievement was to be a major template for the kings to follow – and at its center lay the tantric system. In the centuries that followed the trend of hUNa invasions piled on. After the death of budhagupta the centralized imperial power of the gupta-s broke down, marking the shift towards a multifocal political system in the subcontinent. Using the opportunity the hUNa-s did break finally through into bhAratavarsha in 512 CE. The gupta general goparAja died fighting the hUNa-s in a fierce battle and invaders spread all over northern India. But their ability to occupy Indian territory was limited. Even in this era of decentralization, the surviving gupta king nR^isiMha gupta bAlAditya and a kshatriya of the aulikara clan, prakAshadharman, rose to the challenge of organizing a campaign against the invaders and in 515 CE repulsed the hUNa chief toramANa and prevented them from attacking the Indian mainland. Around 520 CE the hUNa-s made another attempt by exploiting the weakness of Kashmir after the fall of the gupta-s by invading and occupying it. From there, they made a series of attempts to invade the Indian mainland. But yashodharman a successor of prakAshadharman smashed the hUNa-s and extirpated them and conquered the whole of northern Indian by 530 CE. Further hUNa invasions happened in the next century around 603-4 CE but they were again repulsed by harShavardhana and rAjyavardhana. This was followed by the Arab invasions that we have already described on these pages and the heroic resistance of the Hindu rulers against them. Despite the success in the sindhu we should keep in mind that these decentralized Hindu rulers kept the Arabs out of India even as they destroyed Iran, central Asia and made a deep thrust into Europe.

The tantric states of India were squarely behind these achievements. The image of the warlike skanda and the 7 goddesses from the gupta imagery at Udayagiri repeatedly comes up on the plates of various dynasties all over India – the chAlukya-s describe their dynasty as protected by kumAra and the 7 mAtR^ikA-s, so do the kadaMba-s. This imagery, as we have shown before on these pages, lies at the root of the kula system. The various shaiva systems were to inspire numerous dynasties throughout this period in India and beyond (also discussed previously) – a key point to note is that despite the decentralization the tantric system was the glue that held India and allowed projection of its military and cultural power beyond its boundaries.

Having said this, I stop this note here. The perceptions of the tantric age as the cause or as a phase of decadence like many other historical perceptions that have been thrust upon is unlikely to hold water. I will try to next take up the case of the bauddha-s and Tibet separately.

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... ssessment/

Singha
BRF Oldie
Posts: 66601
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: the grasshopper lies heavy

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Singha » 13 Oct 2011 21:43

the Chalukyas btw have left behind a mighty set of monuments in badami, aihole and pattadakal, which being north interior karnataka around 700km from blr receives much less visitors from southern part of state. at badami, there is a range of hills many miles long, which seem to be topped with defensive wall fortifications all lying vagrant now except the cave temple area atop the lake.

at aihole, 100s of old temples are lying unattended by ASI or still buried under hills and fields due to fund shortages. there's even a few prehistoric dolmens(graves) atop the main hill, showing it as a settled place for 1000s of years.

svinayak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 14223
Joined: 09 Feb 1999 12:31

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby svinayak » 14 Oct 2011 01:00

GD, Did you visit the fort in Chitradurga
Check it out if you have not

Indaruta
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 27
Joined: 20 Feb 2011 21:42

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby Indaruta » 14 Oct 2011 05:16

Surasena wrote:Bajirao-I, 1737, tulughama and the like

The collections of unedited and unpublished bakhars from the Shaniwar fort give an account of that brief period when the brAhmaNa general Bajirao-I raised the Maharattas to their pinnacle. It was a momentous event in the history of the Hindus because for the first time in several hundred years they came close to rolling back the army of Islam, which was pursuing its relentless jihad deep in the heart of bhArata. It was the year 1737 CE. A reasonable account of the sequence of events is offered by Sardesai in his history of the Marathas, but the military maneuvers of this highpoint in Hindu military performance has been to a considerable extant understudied by Hindus themselves. Certain parallels between the Chingizid Mongols and Bajirao’s Maharatta senA are apparent despite the two being widely spaced in time. In particular, in 1737, Bajirao’s March attack on Delhi and December rout of the Nizam in Bhopal reminds one of the Mongol movements. The Mongol battles that come to mind are the initial encounter of the army of Chingiz Kha’khan with the Kawarizm Shah, the attack on Jalal-ad-din, the demolition of the German and Polish armies (more similar to the earlier attack on the Nizam at Palkhed), and the surge of Mangku and Kublai to complete the conquest of the Sung.

In particular a detailed comparison of the Maharatta movements under Bajirao-I and the tulughama and mangudai (feign disorderly retreat) of the Mongols would be useful.
The algorithm of the basic Mongol attack was thus:
-Once an engagement was decided the tuemen advanced in 5 single lines, with each line closely packed.
-The lines were separated between themselves by as much 150 meters to give horse men enough room for the acceleration.
-The first two lines were armored heavy cavalry with specialists in close combat and use of diverse weapons, the remaining three with light cavalry mainly archers.
-The light cavalry first attacked upon closing on the enemy by moving through the gaps in the two heavy lines and also firing over the heads of the heavy lines when sufficiently close to the enemy. The light cavalry would swoop upon the enemy ranks repeated firing and retreat.
-When the rate of fire from the light cavalry reached a crescendo, they broke off and the heavy cavalry charged to deliver a frontal assault in the enemy force.
-If the enemy pursued the light cavalry they would divert their retreat paths in such a way that they would direct the flank of the enemy to the waiting heavy cavalry, which would then deliver a punch.
-If the enemy remained unfazed by the light cavalry attack then they would use the tulughama.
-Here the light cavalry would first fall back and the first line of heavy cavalry would assault the enemy head-on. At that time the light cavalry would ride around the heavy cavalry and attack the enemy on both the flanks and try encirclement.
-When the enemies showed confusion and dispersed to respond to the light cavalry attacking the flanks. The second line of heavy cavalry would move into reinforce the first and deliver the coup de grace.

We suspect that from all available information the assault at Bhopal by Bajirao-I followed the above pattern with the final encirclement and defeat of the Nizam achieved by a Tulughama like movement. It is quite possible that the earliest forms of this maneuver were developed by the Iranians (Kushanas, Shaka Haumavarga and Parthians). A primitive form of it was acquired by the Altaic people when the first Hun Kha’khan Motun-tegin was taken hostage by the Kushanas. Since then they kept perfecting it till it reached a culmination in the mind of the great Chingiz Kha’Khan. But how did Bajirao-I develop it: Was it convergent evolution or was he in possession of historical details of the Mongol campaigns that helped him in emulating them?

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... -the-like/


The Maratha's had already beaten the Mugals , Bajirao was just the first to understand this.

member_19686
BRFite
Posts: 1330
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby member_19686 » 15 Oct 2011 19:00

turuShka-s and mlechCha-s

Over the past 500 years the Hindu nation has had to contend with the combined assault of rapine turuShka-s and mlechCha-s. Long ago, as we wandered on the path to a citadel of the founder of the marATha empire, ekanetra and me separated a bit from the rest of the crowd – with us there were some of our friends who are still around like R and ST, and other fellow travelers like kR^ishamukha, golamukha, hrasvaroman, hastikesha, patita-sAvitra, mahAkAyA, and Igul who have largely passed out of our world. The rest were perhaps immersed in youthful mirth, but ekanetra and I were lost in a deep historical analysis. We do not even talk much of all this with ekanetra nowadays, as much as we do with others of our inner maNDala. In the background two songs from R’s cassette player kept playing in an endless loop as a reminder of her extraordinary eclecticism in musical tastes. But it seemed to subliminally inspire our discussion. We were having a foreboding of the events that were to unfold over the next 15 years. Both ekanetra and I were then still filled with youthful fires of passion, strength and idealism that have since smoldered as the blaze of vaishvAnara after the completion of an agnichayana. We were seeking to create a new understanding for ourselves of a pivotal battle in history, the battle of Panipat between the marATha army and the Moslems led by the Afghan Ahmad Shah. We had read a number of sources on the battle, as well as an astute account by an outsider, Charles Kincaid, the British judge of the Bombay high court. We realized that there were key issues in this Hindu debacle that had profound military lessons for the future. I had forgotten this entirely when ekanetra reminded me by tangentially mentioning that he, seized by some childish fancy, was re-reading Kincaid’s lively prose.

Forsaken by the deva-s?: Like other fellow Hindus we are after all very superstitious :-) So when we spoke of the debacle at Panipat, we were certain that having sadAshiva-rao as the commander of the marATha armies was a recipe for disaster because he was already forsaken by the deva-s. In 1757 sadAshiva-rao was leading the marATha assault on shrirangapaTnam with an artillery battery of 30 large guns. One of his shells, the marATha-s claim accidentally, struck the gopuram of the ranganAyaka temple and caused damage to it. Shortly thereafter, one of the marATha guns blew up ignited a powder stock causing a major explosion resulting the death of several. The marATha-s saw that as a major ill-omen but sadAshiva-rao failed to repair the temple. One of his clansmen, a fallen brAhmaNa, gopAla paThvardhan also stole the donations from the offering-box at ve~NkaTAdri. Thus their clan it self was marked by ruin– so they say he was forsaken by the deva-s…

Right start but bad luck?: bAjirao realized that the actions of his father during shAhu’s early reign had strengthened the hand of the marATha-s. Right when he took the prime-ministership of the marATha kingdom at the age of 17, he clearly announced his idea of rolling back the Islamic and Isaist barbarians from India – “Hindustan is ours”. He decided to adopt the strategy of striking at the “trunk” so that the branches would fall by themselves, something the great shivAjI had conceived but did not live long enough to realize. Thus, he attacked the core of the Mogol power and reached Dilli where he subjugated the Mogol emperor. His original intention was to dethrone the Mogol and finally end the Mohammedan grip over India, but shAhu’s limited vision prevented him from accomplishing this (A lesson Hindus never learned and continued to commit similar mistakes over and over again). Even as the bAjirao curbed the Moslems, he sent his brother chimnAji appa lead the marATha army against the Portuguese. Even the atrocities of the Mogols pale before those of the genocidal Catholics who were running a reign of terror along the west coast of India. The fiercely fought battle of Vasai under chimnAji resulted in a great Hindu victory and the curbing of Portuguese ambitions in India. He then rebuilt the temple of vajreshvarI which had been vandalized by the Isaists [The system kubjikA from the himAlayan regions was transmitted very early on to the Konkans along with the key deities kubjikA in chandrapura (Goa), pratya~NgirA as saptakoTeshvarI, and vajreshvarI (probably as the deity of the great khAdakAstra mantra of the paschimAmnAya) near Bassein. The late survival of the kubjikA system in this region is evidenced by its knowledge in the commentary of kaivalyAshrama on the shrIkula texts. It is said that chimnAjI worshiped vajreshvarI with the help of a tANtrika and in a dream she gave him a hint for the great marATha assault on general da Sylveira’s position]. But luck was not to be with the Hindus, bAjirao and his talented brother chimnAji-appA died rather young thus depriving the marATha-s of their finest leaders. The sons of bAjirao and chimnAji inherited the mantle of the struggle. Early in his reign bAlAji, the son of bAjirao, correctly realized that to fructify his father’s dream of placing back the saffron Hindu flag all over bhAratavarSha conquests he needed to consolidate the conquests in the South, which were once acquired by shAhajI and shivAjI.

The mlechCha-s: French and English:Marquis de Bussy and Ibrahim Khan Gardi: While one of our enemy, we should acknowledge that Marquis de Bussy was an extraordinary man. He was one among those who could have led the French on the path to greatness, almost single-handedly trying to wrest India for the French. Of course no proper account of the French activities under de Bussy has ever been constructed: the English view is keen to discredit both the Hindus and the French and create a larger than life picture for the Pax Anglica. The only Englishmen who expressed some degree of objectivity were Kincaid in the past and Cooper more recently. While English (and their American successors) have always tended to exaggerate their victories and their greatness relative to the French or the Germans, when it comes to Hindus, they tend to exaggerate the greatness of the Europeans as a group relative to the Hindus. Of course now we are free to tell our own history of our encounter with the different kinds of Europeans – it is important for us to appreciate the wide political, religious and culture diversity in their midst despite the lure to club them under the rubric of the term mlechCha.

While the Catholics and Moslems could easily be identified as barbarous enemies by the Hindus, the French and the British were much harder to parse. Both of them were more subtle in their use of Abrahamism as a tool, and also way more cunning in their activities.
Despite lacking the genius of his father, bAlAjI nAnAsAheb was not an incompetent as many have tried to make him appear. He was a reasonably rounded personality, endowed with respectable military, administrative and political skills. He quickly observed the French acumen at building professional armies through a well-structured program. To some degree he understood the “business model” that powered the French army building endeavor. Even as he observed the French, so did the Britons, who were soon to excel at deploying some of the same tactics. It was under these influences that he operated, but perhaps lacked the deep “geopolitical” acumen of shivAjI or perhaps his own father. His first step was to alternatively purchase the French or the English to use against each other as well as against the Moslems. But he found that the English were actually inimical to his interests and favored the African Moslems of the coast. He realized that the English alliance with the blacks considerably hampered his ability to quell the depredations of the Moslems on the coast. He was also keen to restore marATha control over whole of south India by sweeping out the various Moslems, who together wielded considerable power there. He found that against this endeavor de Bussy and the French aided the Moslems with his spectacular artillery and professional army. The Frenchman, however, considered his aiding the Moslems as a means of enhancing French power and also using the Moslems as a front-end to counter his European enemy the English.

We realize from bAlAji-s letters during the Bengal crisis of the Britons that his political outlook was to effect a zero-sum game between them and the French. However, as his main military focus was on South India, even as his brother raghunAtha-rao campaigned in the north, he came increasingly in conflict with de Bussy. The result was an eventual marATha victory over the de Bussy and the Moslem powers he backed. But it was precisely his zero-sum game at holding the balance between the French and the English that, sadly for the Hindu, failed. In order to bring his south Indian campaigns against the dredges of the Mogols to a point of success he tied down de Bussy so completely that it resulted in an inordinate advantage to the English. The English might have lost in Bengal had de Bussy not be held down by the peshvA. For long bAlAjI was wary of the English, but his failure at the zero-sum game weakened the Hindu hand in the big picture. Suddenly the peshvA faced the revolt of the Angres against him, which resulted in the marATha navy being entirely detached from the central command of bAlAjI. The peshvA did not want to deploy the English against his own rebel, but his coastal governor rAmAjI mahAdeva pressed hard and in moment of weakness the peshvA signed a treaty with the Britons to lead an allied fleet to destroy the Angre. In his mind bAlAjI appears to have reasoned that with several thousand marATha sailors in his fleet sailing with the English he would have an advantage over them and could control the course of the war. After all, the treaty had promised the English just two coastal strong-houses for setting up their trading outposts. But he was mistaken – the English seeing their chance dispatched the best naval fighters at their disposal under admiral Charles Watson and Robert Clive with their latest naval artillery. The English armada attacked Vijayadurg where tulAjI Angre was holed up. Seeing their rapid solo advance, bAlAjI dispatched an army under rAmAjI and khaNDojI to attack Vijayadurg by land. He hoped that his land army could seize the fort before it fell into English hands. The Angre was willing to surrender to his compatriots but Watson and Clive pressed a massive attack and by the evening they had crushed the Angre navy with an overwhelming use of firepower and stormed the fort to place the Union Jack atop it. The result of this disaster was to haunt the Hindus beyond anything bAlAjI even imagined. The lessons of this event are enormous for the modern situation of our deals with mlechCha-s and turuShka-s. Its implications are tremendous for our dealing with the US. It is hoped the Hindu thinkers would study this with care.

This was the prelude to Panipat. I was originally going to continue the analysis along these lines, but I am not sure now I will do so. There is more to the story of de Bussy via his student Ibrahim Khan Gardi which was to form a part of this discussion. I will anyhow perhaps meet ekanetra and ST in the near future and we may end up talking of all this again.

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... lechcha-s/

member_19686
BRFite
Posts: 1330
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: Historical Battles in Ancient & Medieval Bharat

Postby member_19686 » 18 Oct 2011 19:47

Cooper’s book on Marathas

Randolf Cooper is one of the few white historians to reconsider the great struggle between the Maharatta-s and the Britons and investigate it more neutrally. A chance to glance at his work: “The Anglo-Maratha Campaigns and the Contest for India…” raised a few points in our mind. History’s narrative is obviously colored by the writers. After their victory over the Hindus and Moslems in the sub-continent the Britons wrote their own histories of these groups, which became the truth for the English speaking secularized Hindu elite. Historian Jadunath Sarkar’s work on Indian military history represents the putrid extreme of this acceptance of this British constructs. A few major points in their narrative were: 1) The trivialization of Hindu India. They sought to show that the concept of India was non-existent in the Hindu mind and that the idolatrous Hindus were already on the decline due to the failings of their institutions. They were already a conquered nation, being completely subjugated by the Moslem rulers culminating in the Mogols. 2) The legitimacy of British conquests. The British narrative presented a sense of direction in history — India was a land to be conquered. It was first conquered by Alexander and his Greeks (wrongly painted as role models for the Europeans), the Moslems with the Mogols being the last amongst them and the Britons finally took over India from them. The Hindu struggles against Islam were simply washed aside. Even more dramatically the recent Hindu struggle against the Britons was completely ignored or misrepresented. 3) The legitimization of Islamic historians. Despite the many battles between the Jihadists and the Britons in the sub-continent, the British and their allies saw the Moslems as long standing collaborators in their wars against many nations (from Suleyman-i-Kaanooni, to the Crimean War, to the Sikh wars, to the Cold war, to Kosovo). Not surprisingly, the British, in addition to translating Islamic histories, legitimized them as true historians of India, in contrast to the ahistorical Hindus.
Cooper notices some of these issues and points to how narratives of world history present the falsehood of a seamless transition between the Silsila-i-Timuria and the Briton as though it was a fact. However, Cooper’s work also shows some of the typical paradoxes that are rife in the products of the secular academic mindset in the gaseous new-fangled such areas as “Post-colonial”, subaltern, “post-modern” studies. At the trivial end of things this is represented by his enormous fascination for the Pakistani-sponsored term “South Asian” in place of the legitimate terms like bhArata, jambudvIpa or India. At a more subtle level, he in many places fails to grasp the distinctive socio-cultural component of the Hindu dharma that made history unfold the way it did in the sub-continent. This is because his western conditioning makes him contrast secular with Hindu, a contrast which is entirely alien to Hindu thought.
Thus we have Cooper stating: “One should not become attached to the notion of that the Maratha military forces of 1803 were ‘Hindu’ armies. A proto-national model would be more appropriate. A model based on the realization that collectively the Maratha armies of 1803 were quite secular and not dissimilar to the armed forces of modern India in being composed of military professionals from across the subcontinent. The Maratha powerbrokers of the era were interested in victory and their military effort drew men from the broadest military spectrum — one that included Hindus from every caste, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. In that respect the Maratha armies of 1803 competed directly with the British for the loyalty of soldiers needed for the projection of power within the contest for India.”
But ultimately he is unable to extricate himself from the reality that Hindu scaffold was defined the nationalist essence (what he calls “proto-national”) element of India. He says: “The Marathas were the last indigenous South Asian power that was militarily capable of not only halting but also rolling back the consolidation process that ultimately produced the British Raj. The Anglo-Sikh Wars (1846-46, 1848-9) and the Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839-42, 1878-80, 1919) occurred after the British had achieved a military perimeter around the majority of Hindus in India. In subcontinental terms, these later wars were comparatively localized conflicts, which would have had limited interethnic political appeal for Hindus beyond the regional strongholds of the Sikhs and Afghans.”
Thus he is forced to concede that it was this Hindu mass which was the primary rival of the Britons and that they aimed at achieving a military envelop around the Hindu core.
Nevertheless, he does confront the main problematic issue with the Western historical narrative:
“Oddly enough, when foreign military cultures seemed technologically similar to our own (i.e. Western), we had a tendency to derogatorily dismiss them as if they were shabby imitations of our cherished ‘Western way of war’.” – Parenthesis mine.
He correctly notices (albeit briefly) that: 1) That the well-developed Hindu sense of war-making had vedic origins. To elaborate on this point: Any proper student of the veda know that in these texts military power is seen as primary aspect of human existence, and it was a major concern of brahma-kShatra elite of Aryan society. While modern Hindus might miss the point it is not out of character to state that the majority of vedic composers whether brAhmaNa or kShatriya were quite intimately associated with military concerns. The vedic evidence suggests that the vishvAmitra-s, bharadvAjas, vasiShThas, and bhArgava-s, in addition to various kShatriya R^iShi-s, actually participated in battle as combatants. Given the importance of combat even in the foundational texts of the dharma it would be surprising to see Hindus as non-warlike nation. This was a false image that the Britons and the Hindu-s subverted by them came to emphasize.
2) The second point Cooper which brings out it is that the called drill and discipline in warfare was well-established amongst Hindus, and owed no western influence for its origins. The English in their narratives attributed to this to Europeans – even claiming to have inherited it from Greeks, Romans and Mesopotamians (very ironic given that the pagan Roman armies fought the barbarian German and Gaul tribes which today have spawned the nations of UK, USA, Netherlands, Germany and France). In course of making his point he describes a vIra-kal from Akluj that eloquently portrays the military order and discipline of the Hindu armies engaged in traditional war with deployments of cavalry, elephant and different kinds of infantry units (lancers, sword and shieldsmen, and archers). He also builds the case that the Hindu armies were professional systems that employed a wide range of individual across different varNa-s and in some cases even foreigners and mixed people. A point to note here is that this was also a pre-European Hindu system. A careful study of the military establishments in South India illustrates this point forcefully. The (semi-)professional soldiers in the drAviDa, karnATa and Andhra countries came from many jAtis, sometime specializing other time diversifying in the military market. In Andhra, as we have seen before, even after the kShatriya-s fell against the Islamic assault, the professional shUdra military based on the Kohlis, Reddis, Kammas and Kapus could continue the struggle and showed remarkable organizational and administrative capability.

http://manasataramgini.wordpress.com/20 ... -marathas/


Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 41 guests