peter wrote:Perhaps my post was confusing. Khilji was not an invader. He was firmly planted in Delhi and was part of the Delhi Sultanate.
If we're talking about Turks then Rajputana was well lead by a strong Mewar for centuries of friction with Turks.
What happened at the interim decades of Babur-Humayun-Akbar?
Mewar lost illustrous Sanga, then succession issues and lacklustre leaders took Mewar downhill.
Many of the remaining Kingdoms and petty principalities splintered out of Mewar umbrella .. each to his own.
Amber was going through turbulent succession issues and infighting at chieftain levels. Half old BiharMal had just managed to start trying get Amber back into stability.
Marwar had a never before opportunity and in their excited indiscriminate aggressiion, they aliented Rajputana pretty much like Marathas did up north on a grander scale.
With many heads mushroomed in Rajputana and half of them incapable, instable .. Akbar would have been a fool to not jump on the chance.
peter wrote:Diplomacy did happen even with Ghoris of the world. There is record of letter exchanges before the war(s) started. Apparently Ghori wrote that he would be happy and leave if Prithviraj converts to Islam. Obviosuly Mr Ghori did not know what Prithviraj was all about. So diplomacy failed.
Ok, point taken. My understanding is that PrithviRaj owned a much larger Kingdom than Amber of Akbar's times.
Not sure if this is the best comparison.
peter wrote:We have to study the evolution of Sultanates in India. Delhi had become a Sultanate earlier and reached its zenith under the rule of Allauddin Khilji during late 13th century and early 14th century. Delhi sultanate was strong even earlier too. Khilji pressured whole of rajasthan (which his predecessors also did) and Gujarat and MP and even down south. There were repeated attacks on rajputs in Rajasthan. Ranathambore fell during this time and so did Chittor.
After his demise the delhi sultanate broke. Many splinter sultanates popped up. One in Malwa and one Gujarat and some down south too.
These Sultanates repeatedly attacked rajasthan. Gagron (the stronghold of Khichis, the same clan in which Prithviraj Chauhan was born) was destroyed by these sultanates.
None of these rajput kings gave up a daughter despite having sultans as their neighbours for many centuries.
Yet in 1562 , an Akbar, who had not even attacked Rajasthan yet was given a daughter. And rest of rajasthan rajputs, barring a few , followed suit. Places as far away as Jaisalmer were sending their daughters to the Mughal harem.
There is no rationale for this behaviour. It is only "save your own skin" any which way you can.
I have nothing new to add. We've been through this many times before.
peter wrote:But we are talking about a path not taken. Had rajput clans kept fighting to their best abilities my view is Mughals would have been shrunk back to delhi much sooner.
If there was an Imperial leadership to hold Rajputana together like against Turks, then Yes. But that wasn't the case.
Pure resoluteness and principles don't suffice everytime against every enemy. And it is not like Rajput Kings didn't win wars after Akbar .. they did in both roles - as enemy of Mughals & as Allies.
But now the central leadership was missing even though the common Rajput soldier is the same guy wit hsame courage to kill-die fighting against Mughals. Things have to come together at macro level.
Strong leadership attracts everyone under one umbrella and it becomes possible to stand your enemy.
Doesn't happen in the 'each to his own' case.
peter wrote:But Marathas did attack the Mughals too.
They did yes, in the home turf of Mughals? Delhi-Agra zone? No.
peter wrote:Shivaji's whole life and those of his descendants was spent fighting the Mughals.
Yes, where Shivaji was defending his home turf and Mughals+Rajputs were aggressors.
peter wrote:Later on too Delhi was attacked and Mughal king became a puppet in the hands of Marathas.
I don't disagree on diplomatically owning the Mughal empire, Marathas did that very subtly and was the right way to go about it. But I haven't heard of any major Maratha military attack on the gates of Delhi-Agra.
Even if one or two cases popped up .. it nowhere compares to the amount of indiscriminate military and otherwise aggression they applied in Rajputana.
Various clan based Kingdoms of Rajputana have kept fighting each other and alongside shoulder to shoulder too.
Hot and cold, there is a recognition of brotherhood that we're leaves of the same tree. This feeling was not at political galleries .. but at ground zero among the people, among the common soldiers and officers.
Brothers may fight but they're still close knit, there is a line that is not crossed and they don't plunder each other beyond few battlefields.
The same had to be present at a more macro level between Rajputs and Marathas. In that case, neither sides would've disappointed each other so badly.
peter wrote:Well the problem was rajputs were occupying Maratha forts. And were collecting taxes on behalf of the Mughals in Deccan. The famous Tanaji had a massive fight with Uday Bhan Rathore who was the kiledar of the fort.
Think about it : if anyone comes occupies your territory/house no matter on whosoever's orders you don't like that person.
The fact that rajputs became subservient to the mughals after giving their daughters is what caused the conflict between Rajputs and Marathas.
So they do the easy thing, go against the Rajputs because they're neighbors and below Mughals in the food chain.
The fact is that Marathas went after Rajputs to stamp the new found power and authority and take revenge on the aggression they had faced. But they conveniently forgot that Rajputs were only a part of Mughal armies and administration who were the real enemy.
I would let the Marathas question if they were around to help against Arabs and Turks whom the Rajputs chewed alone for centuries or aginst the Mughals even.
Fact is, Marathas were not even on the scene then. Do I blame them? Obviously not.
Rajputs thought of themselves as the default Hindu leadership of north India. Forget Rajputs, the wild Maratha ambitions couldn't keep even the Jats on their side where there was no bitter history to flavor aginst a good start.
I think each side has their share of faults here.
So now that Marathas revenged from Rajputs, I guess we can excuse the latter from the criticism in the name of Hindu brotherhood.
If Rajputs made a mistake, Marathas followed it with theirs. History was bound to turn the way it did.
peter wrote:But the same was true for Prithviraj Chauhan and so many countless others who kept fighting these invaders from the time the Arabs started attacking India. The first attack that Rajputs fielded and repulsed happened in 7th century A.D. For 800+ years till the last half of 16th century a daughter was not a bargaining chip. Conditions in Rajasthan were not vastly different.
How many middle size Kingdoms were there in Rajputana when PC was reigning from Ajmer in central Rajasthan up in north till Tarain and beyond.
How many middle size Kingdoms were there in Rajputana when Akbar appeared on the scene.
Compare the two.
peter wrote:Rajput kings fought against each other back then and also when akbar ascended Delhi.
Yes, where were they and in how big Kingdoms?
Lie in PC's case many of the ones we're talking about are outside Rajasthan (main Rajputana), like Jaichand in modern UP and the Chalukyas in Gujarat.
My point - look at the degree of division, infighting and the number, size of individual Kingdoms.
Did you see a dozen mid and small size Kingdoms waving separately in Rajasthan itself?
Lets see if even half a dozen were there .. were they not under a central leadership like PC, Kumbha, Sanga etc?
How many clans were there in Rajasthan alone at the time of Akbar and how many were there centuries back?
peter wrote:If you can try to look up Dashrath Sharma's book on Chauhans. It is mind boggling how much rajput vs rajput fights was going on before Prithviraj ascended the throne.
Yet PC emerges as the main leader in Rajasthan .. were there wars between politically+miitarily independent Kingdoms inside Rajasthan?
I will try to look up the book you've suggested.
peter wrote:Pratap was no less as a leader. He only became the king of Chittor after Uday Singh passed away(late 1560 or early 1570). This was many years after the Amber house had given their daughter to Akbar (1562) and many other rajput kings had also done the same.
Pratap didn't have cross clan military services from most of the Rajputana like his grandfather did.
Even Amber chieftains and Sikarwad Rajputs were participating from Sanga's side.
By the time we go from Sanga to Pratap Mughals had settled themselves in delhi-Agra. Could Amber (adjacent to Delhi-Agra) in their political soup of weak Kings and succession wars; have stopped them alone? I think not.
Could Mewar+Marwar+Amber have done it? Piece of cake perhaps.
Like I said above Rao Maldeo behaved the way Marathas did later on. A different approach from him at that point could've
Well I guess its enough of speculative 'if this and that would've happened' from me. Seems redundant and meaningless now
peter wrote:Had these daughters not been given I have no doubt that Pratap was a leader around whom all rajput kings would have rallied behind. And Akbar would been shrunk to a region around Delhi.
Would've been a dream come true
peter wrote:Well here is my take. They were Ram Singh's soldiers/men, in disguise, and after the mission was over they were sent away.
Let me try putting it again. If the palki bearers were identified faces in Delhi-Agra ,, weren't the Rajput soldiers roaming and encamped in Delhi-Agra most of the times; even more identifiable?
Wouldn't there absence obviously raise fingers? Soldiers are always well accounted for. This doesn't seem to fit.
peter wrote:Well why would you not ask the palki bearer where he dropped off Shivaji?
If only I could trace the bugger
.. time to register an FIR
peter wrote:Yes Indeed. Page 88, Futuhati-alamgiri by Ishwar Das Nagar who was a contemporary of Durgadas, Jaswant Singh, Aurangzeb etc:
After a few days a signal was given to Kanwar Ram Singh that that unfortunate wretch be released from the captivity of pride and haughtiness so that a thorn be removed from the foot of the world. But bearing in mind the promises and assurances his father had given him (Shivaji), he procrastinated and warned that unfortunate man of the design also. After hearing this news, Shivaji was much frightened and perturbed. He started thinking out ways and means for his escape. He sent a message to the Kanwar saying, "I came to the court on the assurances of your father. It is regretful the practice is quite contrary. Even if a handful of my bones are mixed with dust, how great shame will stick for long in the minds of the people of the world?" Then the Kanwar sent a reply through others to this effect: "I am more concerned about your liberation than yuo. Don't be impatient".
Thank you so much. So it runs opposite to Sarkar's stand?
In 'A History of Jaipur' he aims to rid Ram Singh from any direct links to the escape.
I'd be more happy if the latter had a hand in it
peter wrote:Sure. Here is the letter (from Sarkar's book on Shivaji):
Then, in a letter to the prime-minister Jafar Khan we have this astounding proposal from Jai Singh to entrap Shiva by the false proposal of a marriage between his daughter and Jai Singh's son, and get him murdered during his journey to the Rajput general's camp :
"I have not failed, nor will I do so in future, to exert myself against Bijapur, Golkonda and Shiva in every possible way I am trying to arrange matters in such a way that the wicked wretch Shiva will come to see me once, and that in the course of his journey or return [our] clever men may get a favourable opportunity [of disposing of] that luckless fellow in his unguarded moment at that place. This slave of the Court, for furthering the Emperor's affairs, is prepared to go so far,—regardless of praise or blame by other people,—that if the Emperor sanctions it, I shall set on foot a proposal for a match with his family and settle the marriage of my son with his daughter —though the pedigree and caste of Shiva are notoriously low and men like me do not eat food touched by his hand (not to speak of entering into a matrimonial connection with him), and in case this wretch's daughter is captured I shall not condescend to keep her in my harem. As he is of low birth, he will very likely swallow this beat and be hooked. But great care should be taken to keep this plan secret. Send me quickly a reply to enable me to act accordingly." [H. A. 139a.]
This letter throws a lurid light on the political morals of the 17th century. When people argue that Afzal Khan could not have possibly intended to stab Shivaji during an interview, they should remember
that the sanctimonious Jai Singh was prepared to
prove his loyalty by lowering his family honour and
laying a fatal snare for Shivaji, a brother Hindu.
Note HA 139 stands for Haft Anjuman which is the book of letters penned by Jai Singh.
Thanks again peter. Oh and wasn't the Haft Anjuman penned by Jai Singh's secretary instead?
They say this guy was very close to Jai Singh ... like eyes and ears and that middle level Rajput officers weren't very fond of it.
He also had converted to Islam later on.
peter wrote:My personal view is that lack of technology use by rajputs is not a big failing as is generally made out. If you read some of the earlier discussion with Airavat on this very thread you will see my arguments. Even in World War 1 I post an excerpt:
I don't know what weapons they used in WW I but too many casualties as the excerpt itself says.
I think the entry of gun powder blasted off the edge Rajputs had via their typical frontal calvary dash.
Marathas (French help) and British have applied and proven it convincingly.