Battles of India: Critical Analysis

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Postby asprinzl » 30 Apr 2006 20:48

Murugan wrote:We have objection to the use of word MUTINY.

people who are out there to write about indian history does not have enough appreciation of the situation most of the time.

It was india's first war of Independence.

MUTINYING happens against a constituted authority
- while these thugs got power by using all foul means - back channel jugglery, playing with indian sentiments, dividing people of india with only one objective:TO LOOT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, like the invaders like ghaznavis, ghauris and abdalis.

this so called authority was different from -invaders- of the past. other invaders viz., greeks, huns, scythians, pahalavas, kushanas and even mughals who came to invade or win/rule india - but - ultimately became part of india and now they are there everywhere as indians, don't know even i am descendent of one of the invaders, but heart bleeds for the nation,e winning their bread and butter with pride in this nation. while european colonialist came here with only one purpose - to trade. the natives of that time of india probably considered them somewhat similar to earstwhile traders or invaders and hoped that they will also became one with the nation and will have a similar identity. but the natives were wrong. gradually these natives were being treated like slaves, then these colonialists started purchasing the local chiefs and lords and ultimately grabbed power. started their judicial system and clerk producing educational system rendering artisans and other skilled workers jobless, built railway (where indians were not allowed to travel or allowed to travel only in third class) to stash away raw material from India and bringing the final product back to india and selling them at higher rate in the same country and shamelessly calling this country as crown jewel of their empire. fired at our hapless people in jalianwalabagh, hanged our people, ill treated them, even constructed a jail in our homeland to punish our own people...

now people who were up in arms against them being called mutineers... is it justified?

Are they mutineers or FREEDOM FIGHTERS?

what these colonialists had done other than decimating the red indians in US, Maoris in New Zealand, Aborigines of Australia and large part of african population. can these natives' struggle for their survival in their own homeland and for just rights can be called MUTINY?

Given enough time, they too would have been Indianized and absorbed by India. As it is, some of them were already Indianized when 1947 arrived. Time was a factor but by then the Indian asset called time was something India was not willing to waste.
Trust me. An island of 40 million cannot hold for long a continent sized land.. Preety soon reverse colonization and Indianization of England would have taken effect. As it is, curry has become an English thing now.

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Postby Raj Malhotra » 30 Apr 2006 21:00

I believe that there can be 'mutiny' only against a democratic Govt, the soldiers are free to rebel to throw down any other sort of autocratic Govt which is not representative of the people.

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Postby Sonugn » 01 May 2006 09:05

Apologies for posting something not directly related to this thread.But some history is discussed here the following might be useful:-

"Discovery of a century" in Tamil Nadu
Stone axe with Indus Valley script found near Mayiladuthurai ... 670100.htm
He estimated the date of the artefact with the script to be around 1500 B.C. "I have cautiously and conservatively put it between 2000 B.C. and 1500 B.C.," Mr. Mahadevan said. It was in the classical Indus script. He ruled out the possibility of the celt coming from North India because "the material of this stone is clearly of peninsular origin
Mr. Mahadevan commented that the latest discovery was very strong evidence that the Neolithic people of Tamil Nadu and the Indus Valley people "shared the same language, which can only be Dravidian and not Indo-Aryan."

More news ... 992000.htm
Links between Harappa and Neolithic Tamil Nadu
What is the real significance of this find?In what way will it attect the AIT?


Postby pkakkar » 01 May 2006 09:27

Last edited by pkakkar on 04 May 2006 10:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby ramana » 03 May 2006 02:27

I think Aurganzeb's destruction of the Shia Kingdoms Bijapur and Golconda who were based on Turkish origins was a significant event in the growth of Islam. Are there any accounts of Mughal writers if the destruction was based on fears of Shia rise in India? Recall it was the same time as Safavid rise in Iran. Note that the war in Deccan was started by Jehangir as a Prince. Was it pure territorial expansion or sectarian or fear of rise of Shias?

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Postby Murugan » 16 May 2006 14:29

can these below listed uprisings can be called battles?

1) Bhil Uprising
2) Rangpur Uprising
3) Mopla Uprising
4) Sanyasin Uprising
5) Murmu Uprising
6) Peasant Revolt
7) Santhal Uprising

Long before the Sepoy Rebellion -- often regarded as the first war of Indian independence -- hungry peasants of Bengal and Bihar, victims of a terrible famine (1770) rose in revolt against the East India Company, which had been exacting money and crops from them. This was the famous Sannyasi rebellion.

A large number of sannyasis and fakirs who were being fleeced by the British rulers through various forms of exactions, played an important role in organizing the peasants and hence the name --Sannyasi Rebellion. Along with the peasants and the sannyasis and fakir, there were also village artisans -- the famous silk weavers of Bengal, who had been made to slave for the British merchants -- and the thousands of unemployed soldiers from the disbanded Mughal army. Led by Majnu Shah, Bhabani Pathak, Debi Chaudhurani and a host of heroic figures, the rebellion continued till the beginning of the 19th century and was marked by daring attacks on the East India Company's offices in different parts of Bihar and Bengal, killing of notorious Indian landlords and money-lenders as well as of oppressive British traders and army officers, and both guerilla and positional warfare against the British army.

The chieftans' uprising of peasant rebels spread all over South India from 1800-1801, against the British soldiers and Indian feudal princes. The rebels under the leadership of Marudu Pandyan of Sivaganga, Malappan of Ramnad, and several other chieftans -- all men of the masses -- succeeded in forming a Peninsula Confederacy all over South India, and after having defeated the British army in different parts of South India, established their sway over a large number of villages, where people's committees were formed and villagers refused to pay taxes to the East India Company. [South Indian Rebellion -- First War of Independence, 1800-1801 by K. Rajayyan, 1974].

in 1820, the Ho tribal peasants of Chhotanagpur in Bihar, rose against the British rulers and the local money-lenders and zamindars. The establishment of British authority in the area, had led to dislocation in the socio-economic living pattern of the Ho people.

he Oraons -- another tribal communityrebelled in 1820, 1832, 1890. The Kol tribals organized an insurrection in 1831-32 which was directed mainly against Government officers and private money-lenders. The Mahajans extracted 70 per cent or more interest and many Kols became boded labourers for life. The immensity of the Kol rebellion could he gauged from the fact that troops had to be rushed from far off places like Calcutta, Danapur and Benaras to quell it.

Another important rebellion of this period was the Wahabi uprising in Bengal under the leadership of the famous Titu Meer in 1831. What began as a religious reform movement soon turned into an armed revolt against orthodox mullahs, feudal landlords and British soldiers. Although Titu and his peasant followers who fought their last heroic battle from within a bamboo fortress in a village called Narikelbaria, were defeated by the British in course of the insurrection, Titu had managed to oust the British through successive operations from several villages in South 24-Parganas, Nadia and Jessore, where he established a parallel authority and collected taxes from zamindars.

But a more stirring source of inspiration for future agrarian struggles ws the Santhal uprising of 1855-57. The Santhal country extended from Bhagalpur in Bihar in the north to Orissa in the south, the centre being Damin-i-koh (meaning the skirts of the hill), situated near the Rajmahal Hills, stretching from Hazaribagh to the borders of Bengal. The Santhal tribes reclaimed from wild jungles every square foot of arable land, where they cultivated and lived peacefully till the arrival of Bengali and other traders and merchants. The latter persuaded the Santhal peasants to buy luxury goods on credit, and later at harvest time forced them to pay back the loans along with interest. The balance against the Santhal in the mahajan-cum-trader's book increased year by year, till the poor peasant was compelled to give up, not only his crops but gradually his plough and bullocks, and finally his land, to meet the demands of the traders.

As the debt, lying like an incubus upon the landless Santhals, daily grew upon them, many were reduced to bond-slaves pledging their future descendants to the service of the creditors' families.

The leaders of the Santhal rebellion were two brothers -Sidu and Kanu of Bhagnadihi. Organized on a vast scale, it swept across the entire Santhal region from Bihar to Orissa.

Frustrated in their repeated attempts in the past to seek justice from courts and minions of the law, the peasants raised the cry -- "Death to the money-lenders, the police, the civil court officers and the landlords !" It thus took on in effect the nature of an anti-feudal and anti-state movement. Within a few months the tables were turned.

The whirlwind fanned up by the money-lenders swept down upon them without pity or remorse. Notorious landlords, traders and mahajans were selected and killed. Later historians expressed their shock at the "brutalities" committed by the rebels, but chose to ignore the years of grinding brutality that the peasants had to suffer at the hands of the landlords and traders.

The Santhal rebels were joined by poor and landless peasants of other lower castes and village artisans. They defeated the British troops in several encounters, forcing the colonial administration to declare martial law over a vast expanse from Birbhum and Murshidabad in Bengal to Bhagalpur in Bihar --the area where the rebels succeeded in destroying all semblance of British rule. The Santhal rebellion was finally crushed by the British troops. About 10,000 rebels perished in the unequal fight between peasants armed with bows and arrows on the one side and soldiers equipped with firearms, on the other.

Sporadic peasant revolts found their culmination in the 1857 uprising, which besides being a mutiny of sepoys and a putsch by the ex-rulers of the country had, as an important component, thousands of spontaneous peasants' jacqueries all over North India. Although bourgeois historians have glossed over the role of the peasantry in the 1857 uprising, contemporary records provide ample information to help us measure the extent of peasant participation. A British eye-witness account, according to one historian, admits : ".. .in Oudh the whole population was up in arms; every village was fortified, and everyman's hand was against us. As an example it may be pointed out that out of the 40,000 men who besieged Lucknow, 20,000 went away to sow the fields." [The Sepoy Mutiny and the Revolt of 1857, R.C. Majumdar, Calcutta, 1963]. In February 1858, in the battle that took place at Miagunj, between Lucknow and Kanpur, among the 8,000 rebel soldiers that fought the British, only 1,000 were sepoys, the rest being peasants from adjacent villages.

Within a few weeks of the uprising, British rule was almost demolished all over northern India. In a bid to establish some sort of people's rule, the rebels set up a "Court of Administration" with elected representatives from the sepoys and other sections of the population. The rest of the story is well known.

Even after 1857, and the consolidation of British rule in India, the ferment of unrest among the peasants burst forth periodically into revolts. The peasants of Bengal, forced to cultivate indigo under a life-long bondage to the British planters who exported the blue dye to Britain to feed the requirements of the growing cotton industry there, rose in a rebellion in 1850, and succeeded in putting an end to the hated system.

Birsa Munda etc Episode

Under the leadership of Birsa, the Mundas of the Ranchi area fought the Hindu landlords in 1895. In the princely states of Rajasthan, the traditionally militant Bhil and Meo peasants fought against the local money-lenders and landlords. In the south, the Moplah peasants of Malabar rose against feudal extortions and oppression.

Indeed the sparks for the First War of Independence

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Postby Murugan » 25 May 2006 18:11


Dr. Mishra has also given a detailed account of Hindu heroism in defence of Somanath which Mahmud had attacked in AD 1026. According to Firishta, “The battle raged with great fury, victory was long doubtful.â€

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Postby Murugan » 09 Jun 2006 12:07


This was a rebellion of the Paiks, i.e., the landed militia
of Orissa to whom the English conquest had brought little but
ruin and oppression. Brave and undaunted as the Paiks were
in comparison with the British Sepoys, the nature of the
country and their intimate knowledge of it gave them an
advantage which rendered the contest very severe. Sterling
has written about the Paiks who combine with "the blindest
devotion to thewill of their chiefs, a ferocity and
unquietness of disposition which have ever rendered them an
important and formidable class of the population of the
Province". They were paid by service lands which they
cultivated with their own hands in time of peace subject to
the performance of certain military and police duties
whenever called upon by their chiefs. People from all
classes, Chasa, Pana, Kandara, Bauri, Mohammedans,Telgu,
Kaisthas, etc. could become Paiks. In fact, they
constituted the second line of defence like the Territorial
Army of today.

The Paiks of Orissa were divided into three ranks,
distinguished by names taken from their occupation, or the
weapons which they chiefly used, viz., (1) The Paharis, who
carry a large shief made of wood covered with hide and
strengthened by knobs and cirlces of iron, and the long
straight national sword of Orissa, called the Khanda. They
are stationed chiefly as guards. (2) The Banuas, wo now
principally use the matchlock (in lieu of their old missile
weapons), but have besides a small shield and sword. It was
their duty to take the field principally and to go on distant
expeditions. (3) The Dhenkiyas, who are armed with bows and
arrows and a sword, and perform all sorts of duties. The war
dress of the Paiks consists, or did consist, of a cap and
vest made of the skin of the tiger, or leopard, a sort of
chain armour for the body and thighs, and a girdle formed of
the tail of some wild animal. Their ferocious dress combined
with their irrestible courage in the battle ground terrorised
their foes. They knew fighting well, both in the open field
and in the jungles. They fought a good many bloody battle
with the Mughals and did not prove inferior to any infantry
which the Marathas ever brought into the field during their
government of the Province.

A body of local landed militia of this kind might have been a
tower of strength to the British Government, had liberal and
conciliatory measures been adopted from the first. But by a
fatal and shortsighted policy, Major Fletcher had been
allowed to resume their service lands shortly after the
confiscation of the Khurda estate. Nor was this all.
Deprived of the lands which they had enjoyed from time
immemorial, they were subjected to the grossest extortion and
oppression at the hands of the Sarbarakars and other
underlings to whom the Government entrusted the collection of
the revenue, and also to the tyrannies of a corrupt and venal
police. A leader was all that was required to fan the
lurking embers of rebellion into open flame.

The opportunity produced the leader in the person of
Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bhramarbar Rai, an officer who
had inherited from his ancestors the post of Bakshi or
Commander of the forces of the Raja of Khurda, being second
only to the Raja himself in rank. Besides Jagirs or grants
of land and other perquisites, the family of Jagabandhu had
held for several generations the valuable estate of Killa
Rorang at a low quit-rent. This estate was in Jagabandhu's
possession at the time of the British conquest, but
eventually he was dispossessed when in June 1814 the
Government passed orders that no settlement should be made
with him, until he should have established at little to the
property in the regular course of law. Jagabandhu was
reduced to beggary and for nearly two years derived his
maintenance from the voluntary contributions made by the
people of Khurda for his support. He was constantly attended
by a ragged tribe of followers bearing the insignia of state
pertaining to his former condition. When advised to
institute a suit for the recovery of his estate he evinced
the greatest reluctance to do so, pleading his want of means,
the degradation of suing as a pauper, and the uselessness of
any reference to the courts established by a foreign

This was the position of Jagabandhu in March, 1817 when a
body of Kandhas, four hundred strong, from the State of
Ghumsur crossed over into the Khurda territory and openly
unfurled the banner of revolt. The Paiks rose as one men and
joined them under the their former leader, Jagabandhu. They
proceeded to attack the police station and other government
buildings at Banpur where they killed upwards of a hundred
men in the employ of the foreign government and carried off
some fifteen thousand rupees worth of treasure. The rebels
then marched on Khurda itself, increasing in numbers as the
proceeded. Their success at Banpur had set the whole country
in arms against the British and seeing the hopelessness of
resistance the whole of the government officers stationed in
Khurda sought safety in flight. All the civil buildings were
burnt to the ground by the rebels and the treasury sacked.
Another body of the rebels advanced into Paragana Lembai and
murdered one of the native officials who had rendered himself
obnoxious. On the intelligence of these events reaching
Cuttack, the British Government at once despatched such a
force as they thought would be sufficient to quell the
disturbance and restore order. One detachment marched direct
to Khurda and another proceeded to Pipli to protect Paragana

The Magistrate thinking that his presence would help to
restore order, set out on the first of April, accompanied by
a detachment sixty sepoys with the intention of joining the
force which had proceeded to Khurda. On the evening of the
following day he arrived at Gangapada, a village only about
two miles (3.2 kilometres) away from Khurda. A barricade had
been erected here, which was defended by a considerable body
of rebels. The British troops were fired upon, and as it was
growing dark, it was resolved to halt for the night and
attempt to force the stockade early in the next morning. A
letter was sent off to the officer who had proceeded to
Khurda begging him to march out with his force from Khurda so
as to place the enemy between two fires. Early next morning
the messenger returned with the intelligence that the village
of Khurda had been totally destroyed, and that the troops
were nowhere in the neighbourhood. There was nothing for it
under the circumstances but to beat a speedy retreat. No
provisions had been brought from Cuttack and none were to be
procured on the spot. The sepoys were worn out with hunger
and fatigue and the number of the rebels gradually swelled to
about three thousand men. As soon as the retreat was
commenced the Paiks opened a brisk fire. The English troops
kept as much as possible to the open, the Paiks on the other
hand, kept well under cover of the jungle, from which they
suddenly emerged now and again to fire, or to secure whatever
baggage had been dropped or abandoned in the confusion.

The situation was a critical one, but no loss of life was
sustained, and after marching without a halt from 5.30 a.m.
until 3.30 p.m., the troops safely reached Balakati on the
Puri road, and there halted. While preparing to resume their
march at 9.30 p.m. they were again attacked under cover of
the darkness by a large body of insurgents; but a
well-directed volley soon scattered the rebels, and the
troops continued their retreat without further molestation.
They reached Cuttack on the 4th of April, having lost tents,
elephants, and every article of heavy baggage which they had
taken with them. The Magistrate wrote to Government as
follows :

"This instant returned; after a most fatiguing march of a
day and night, from Khurda; I can only write for the
information of His Lordship in Council, that my retreat was
forced, and that the whole of the Khurda territory is in a
complete state insurrection. The insurgents call upon the
Raja of Khurda, and Jagabandhu issues orders in his name.
Their avowed intention is to proceed to Puri and reconduct
him in triumph to his territory".

The detachments of sepoys which had proceeded to Khurda and
Pipli were not more fortunate than the Magistrate's party.
The officer in command of the Pipli detachment, in attempting
to force the rebel position at Gangapada and effect a
junction with the Khurda force, was killed at the head of his
men. Both detachments were compelled to retreat, with the
loss of all the baggage, to Cuttack via Pipli. The latter
place fell into the hands of the Paiks, who sacked it and
burnt the police station. On the other hand, an officer who
had been despatched with a force for the protection of Puri,
reached that town on the second of April and found all quiet
there. His progress had not been molested in any way, and he
wrote to recommend that a force should be detached for the
special duty of falling upon the rebels and bringing on a
decisive action with them. Accordingly on the ninth of
April, an officer with five hundred and fifty men and few
guns, marched on Khurda, and on the twelfth of April martial
law was proclaimed in the Khurda territory.

On the morning of the same day a large body of the isurgents
assembled at Sukal, a small village near Puri. In the
evening they entered the town by the Loknath Ghat, and burnt
the Government court-house and several other public and
private buildings. The houses of the European residents were
situated then on the sea-shore about half a mile (0.8046 km)
from the town. In these the Indian officers of the
Government took refuge. The troops were located in the
bungalow of the Salt Agent. On the morning of the thirteenth
of April, the rebels emerged from the jungle which skirted
the town on the east and opened a desultory fire. The sepoys
returned it, and the contest was continued for about two
hours, but at length the sepoys charged the enemy and drove
them back into the town.

The success was, however, only temporary. The insurgents
returned in greater numbers, having been reinforced by others
of their own party and joined by many of the rebels belonging
to the temple and to the Raja's private establishment. Some
of the inhabitants of the town also joined the rebels, and
the priests of the temple openly proclaimed the fall of the
English rule and the restoration of the authority of the
ancient line of sacred kings. Being thus hemmed in on the
three sides by the insurgents and the sea, the British deemed
it advisable to beat a speedy retreat to Cuttack by the only
road till left open. Provisions were beginning to run short,
and it was found impossible to procure a fresh supply. It
was important, too, to prevent the Government treasure from
falling into the hands of the rebels. Puri was, therefore,
abandoned ; and the fugitives, among whom were the Salt
Agent and the Collector of the Pilgrim Tax, reached Cuttack
on the eighteenth.

All communication between Cuttack and the southern portion of
the Province was now completely cut off; consequently,
nothing had been heard of the force despatched to Khurda on
the ninth of April, and the greatest apprehensions were
entertained for its safety. The detachment, however, reached
Khurda without encountering any opposition; and the officer
in coomand, on hearing that the insurgents had gone in great
force in the direction of Puri, proceeded against them by
forced marches. On the second day after leaving Khurda he
came upon the rebels, about a thousand strong drawn up behind
a line of embankments.

The Paiks, as they were small in number and ill equipped,
could not successfully encounter this large body of
disciplined and better armed troops and had to retreat into
jungle. The British force resumed its march on Puri, entered
the town, and captured the Raja who could not be successful
in his escape.

Several other encounters took place between the British
troops and the insurgent Paiks, and the rising spread to
Cuttack, where it was stamped out without much difficulty.
British authority soon re-established itself everywhere,
although the country did not at once recover its accustomed
tranquility and security. Bands of Paiks continued to infest
the jungles of Khurda for sometime after the pacification of
the rest of the country, and disturbed the Britishers in
their administration. In May, 1817, two English Judges were
posted at Khurda to award punishments of death,
transportation and long term imprisonment to the imprisoned
rebels. In the early part of the year 1818, the British
Government had also to take recourse to military operation in
the jungles of Khurda which lasted till the year 1826. In
this operation bands of Paiks, including Bakshi Jagabandhu,
were hunted down and many were brutally murdered. The
British Government appointed a Commission to investigate into
the causes of this outbreak. The Commissioners reported that
the Government itself was to a large extent to blame and that
the peasantry had many real grievances to complain of. The
resumption of large tract of service land, the currency
regulation which compelled the people to pay their land tax
in silver instead of in cowries as before, the heavy salt
duty, the extortions and chicanery of subordinate officials,
were all bitter grounds of discontent. These grounds can
very well show that the Paik Rebellion of 1817 was a common
man's agitation, it was not initiated by any aristocratic
blood. In fact, the Raja of Khurda and Bakshi Jagabandhu
joined the rebellion were accepted as leaders by virtue of
their past postions.

Raja Mukunda Deva died a captive in November, 1817. He was
the last king of Khurda and after him his successor came to
be known as the Raja of Puri, the title of 'Raja' being only
nominal, and he depended on a political pension. The
management of the Puri temple, however, remained in his

Ramachandra Deva III(1817-56), the son of Mukunda Deva, built
a new palace on the Car Road at Puri and amassed much wealth
by his thrifty habits. He was succeeded by Birakishore Deva
II (1856-62) and the latter by Dibyasingh Deva II (1862-77)
who was transported for life on a charge of murder. His
successor Mukunda Deva III died in 1926 and was succeeded by
his adopted son, Ramachandra Deva IV, who was the
Superintendent of the Jagannath temple till 1960 when the
management of the temple was taken over by the Government of
Orissa. The present king of Puri (Gajapati) is Sri Dibyasingh
Deva III who is son of Sri Ramachandra Deva IV.


In 1827, the people of Tapang Garh under sthe leadership of
Samanta Madhaba Chandra Routray, their Dalabehera, revolted
against the oppressive alien rule of the British. Since the
Paik Rebellion of Khurea (1817-1818), the people of this area
did not pay rent to the British Government as a consequence
of which on the 23rd May 1827, one British Officer with some
sepoys was sent from Khurda to collect arrear rent from

At the instigation of Madhaba Chandra, the people refused to
pay rent to the British. One Govardhan Bairiganjan shot two
Englishmen to death. Some British sepoys were seriously
wounded in the scuffle. The British authorities took a
strong view of the situation and Lieutenant-Colonel Harcourt
sent an ultimatum to the Dalabehera to Tapang to clear the
arrear rent immediately and surrender himself in the court at
Khurda. But Dalabehera Madhaba Chandra paid little heed to
ultimatum and prepared himself for a confrontation with the
British. Col. Harcourt marched to Tapang with a contingent
of British force in June, 1927, and met the rebels in the
battle field of Kandagoda near Tapang. After a protracted
fight the rebels were repelled and the revolt was finally
subdued. Dalabehera Madhaba Chandra subsequently surrendered
to the British and was pardoned for his nobility and bravery.

Source : Orissa District Gazetteers (PURI), 1977

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Postby Airavat » 12 Jun 2006 06:53

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Postby Murugan » 15 Jun 2006 15:37

airavat: especially you will find this very interesting


THE Superintendent of elephants shall take proper steps to protect elephant-forests and supervise the operations with regard to the standing or lying in stables of elephants, male, female, or young, when they are tired after training, and examine the proportional quantity of rations and grass, the extent of training given to them, their accoutrements and ornaments, as well as the work of elephant-doctors, of trainers of elephants in warlike feats, and of grooms, such as drivers, binders and others.

There shall be constructed an elephant stable twice as broad and twice as high as the length (áyáma) of an elephant, with separate apartments for female elephants, with projected entrance (sapragrívám), with posts called kumári, and with its door facing either the east or the north.

The space in front of the smooth posts (to which elephants are tied) shall form a square, one side of which is equal to the length of an elephant and shall be paved with smooth wooden planks and provided with holes for the removal of urine and dung.

The space where an elephant lies down shall be as broad as the length of an elephant and provided with a flat form raised to half the height of an elephant for leaning on.

Elephants serviceable in war or for riding shall be kept inside the fort; and those that are still being tamed or are of bad temper shall be kept outside.

The first and the seventh of the eight divisions of the day are the two bathing times of elephants; the time subsequent to those two periods is for their food; forenoon is the time for their exercise; afternoon is the time for drink; two (out of eight) parts of the night are the time for sleep; one-third of the night is spent in taking wakeful rest.

The summer is the season to capture elephants.

That which is 20 years old shall be captured.

Young elephants (bikka), infatuated elephants (mugdha), elephants without tusks, diseased elephants, elephants which suckle their young ones (dhenuká), and female elephants (hastiní) shall not be captured.

(That which is) seven aratnis in height, nine aratnis in length, ten aratnis in circumference and is (as can be inferred from such measurement), 40 years old, is the best.

That which is 30 years old is of middle class; and that which is 25 years old is of the lowest class.

The diet (for the last two classes) shall be lessened by one-quarter according to the class.

The rations for an elephant (of seven aratnis in height) shall be 1 drona of rice, ½ ádhaka of oil, 3 prasthas of ghi, 10 palas of salt, 50 palas of flesh, 1 ádhaka of broth (rasa) or twice the quantity (i.e., 2 ádhakas) of curd; in order to render the dish tasteful, 10 palas of sugar (kshára), 1 ádhaka of liquor, or twice the quantity of milk (payah) ; 1 prastha of oil for smearing over the body, 1/8 prastha (of the same) for the head and for keeping a light in the stables; 2 bháras of meadow grass, 2¼ bháras of ordinary grass (sashpa), and 2½ bháras of dry grass and any quantity of stalks of various pulses (kadankara).

An elephant in rut (atyarála) and of 8 aratnis in height shall have equal rations with that of 7 aratnis in height.

The rest of 6 or 5 aratnis in height shall be provided with rations proportional to their size.

A young elephant (bikka) captured for the mere purpose of sporting with it shall be fed with milk and meadow grass.

That which is blood-red (samjátalóhita), that which is fleshed, that which has its sides evenly grown (samaliptapakshá), that which has its girths full or equal (samakakshyá), that whose flesh is evenly spread, that which is of even surface on its back (samatalpatala) and that which is of uneven surface (játadróniká) are the several kinds of physical splendour of elephants.

Suitably to the seasons as well as to their physical spendour, elephants of sharp or slow sense (bhadra and mandra) as well as elephants possessed of the characteristics of other beasts shall be trained and taught suitable work.

[Thus ends Chapter XXXI, “The Superintendent of Elephantsâ€

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Postby Airavat » 15 Jun 2006 22:56

Thanks Murugan, I had just finished downloading the Arthashastra and will read up all the info on military and administrative matters.

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Postby Murugan » 25 Jul 2006 09:40

First Battle of Panipat (1526 AD)

The first Battle of Panipat gave a death blow to the Lodhi empire and marked the end of the Delhi Sultanate's rule in India. It led to the establishment of the Mughal Empire in India. Mongol prince Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad, known as Babur, had promised to help Daulat Khan Lodhi, Governor of Lahore, to fight the Sultan of Delhi Ibrahim Lodhi in 1523 and made many raids into Punjab. Babur, after occupying the whole of Panjab by 1525 AD, marched towards Delhi. In November 1525 he set out to meet the Sultan of Delhi. Passage of Indus took place on 15th December. Babur had about 12,000 soldiers. Crossing Sutluj at Roper and reached Ambala without meeting any resistance. On April 1st Babur reached Panipat. It was barren wasteland dry and naked with few thorny bushes. Rumors came that Sultan was coming with an army of 100,000 and 1000 war elephants. The Afghan Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodhi advanced from Delhi to meet the invader. Babur had a strong artillery which was effectively pressed into service.

The battle started at six in the morning. Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi advanced rapidly . At about 400 yards Babur's Cannons opened fire, noise and smoke from the artillery terrified the Afghans and the attack lost momentum. Seizing the movement Babur sent out his flanking columns to envelop the Sultan's army. Here the Afghans met for the first time the real weapon of Mongols 'Turko-Mongol Bow'. Its superiority lay in the fact that it was the weapon of the nobles, of the finest warriors. Such a bow in the hands of a Mongol warrior would shoot three times as rapidly as musket and could kill at 200 yards.

Attacked from 3 sides the Afghans jammed into each other. Elephants hearing noise of cannon at close range ran wildly out of control. Ibrahim Lodhi and about 6000 of his troops were involved in actual fighting. Most of his army stretching behind up to a mile never saw action. Battle ended in about 3 hours with the death of Ibrahim Lodhi who was at forefront.

And in place where fighting had been the fiercest, among the heap of Mongols slain of his sword, lay the vain but courageous Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi. His head was cut off and taken to Babur. Ibrahim Lodhi's tomb is still present in Panipat. When afghans fled they left 20,000 dead and wounded. Losses to Babur's army were heavy 4000 of his troops were killed or wounded. Had Sultan Ibrahim survived another hour of fighting he would have won, as Babur had no reserves and his troops were rapidly tiring in Indian mid-day sun. Babur observes in his autobiography, "The mighty army of Delhi was laid in the dust in the course of half a day." In the words of Rushbrook Williams, "If there was one single material factor, which more than any other conduced to his ultimate triumph in Hindustan, it was his powerful artillery." The elephants trampled their own soldiers after being frightened away by the explosion of gunpowder.

Two weeks later the victorious Babur entered Agra where he was presented with the famous diamond 'Koh-i-noor'. Babur celebrated his victory in a lavish manner and occupied Delhi and Agra.

first battle of panipat

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Postby Murugan » 25 Jul 2006 09:52

Battle of Khanwa

The Battle of Khanua (1527) was the second of the series of three major battles, victories in which gave Mughal warlord Zaheer-ud-din Babur overlordship over north India. The First battle of Panipat was the first of the series, the battle of Ghaghra was the last. This battle was fought near the village of Khanwa, about 60 km west of Agra on March 17, 1527. Babur defeated a formidable army raised by Rana Sanga of Mewar in this battle and firmly established his rule over North India.

In the early years of the 16th century, North India was ruled by Ibrahim Lodi, a sultan belonging to the Lodi clan of Afghans. Under the Lodi rulers, the sultanate of Delhi encompassed both the Ganga River basin and the Punjab. Yet, this empire was also crumbling at its very core and was ready to implode.

Zaheer-ud-din Babur was a Mughal warlord belonging to the lineage of Timur and Genghis Khan. His father had ruled the Fergana valley in central Asia, but Babur had early been driven out from there by his relatives, and was in 1526 ruling over Kabul in Afghanistan. He was forever longing to regain his beloved Fergana valley in central Asia. However, that was not to be; he was destined to found an imperial dynasty in India.

Ibrahim Lodi’s governor in Punjab, Daulat Khan Lodi, in cohorts with certain other Lodi chiefs of Punjab, opened communication with Babur, inviting him to attack Delhi and offering all help. Babur probably realized that it was hopeless to aim for Fergana, as the Uzbeks who now ruled it were simply too powerful for him. He concentrated his energy towards making his fortune in India. He started raiding the outlying Indian districts periodically, and finally, in April 1526, advanced towards Delhi. Ibrahim Lodi confronted Babur near the town of Panipat, not far from Delhi. The ensuing first battle of Panipat resulted in the collapse of the sultanate of Delhi; Ibrahim Lodi himself was killed on the field.

Whereas the sultanate of Delhi had been humbled, it was not at all clear what the future held for north India. It has long been the established tradition for invaders from the north-west (Afghanistan and central asia) to destroy all in their wake, conquer Delhi, loot the surrounding countryside, and then retire to their native lands with the booty thus obtained, leaving north India in a chaotic political vacuum. Not unnaturally, many in India surmised this to be Babur's intent as well, and prepared to exploit the situation.

Rana Sanga, more formally known as Maharana Sangram Singh I, ruler of Mewar in western central-India, was among the better placed to do so. Sanga was an intrepid warrior; legend has it that he had received as many as eighty wounds during his career of warfare. Unbelievably, Rana Sanga had at this point united nearly all the major Rajput clans of India under his leadership, an event with neither precedent nor recurrence, and had thus formed a powerful confederacy. This situation whetted his appetite for conquest.

Immediate cause of the battle

The immediate cause of the battle seems to have been the defiance of Hasan Khan Mewati, a Muslim chieftain belonging to the Meo community, who ruled over the Mewat region as a vassal of the Lodhi emperors. Mewat is a region lying south of Delhi, spread across south Haryana and North-East Rajasthan. The Meos themselves are Muslims of definitely Indian provenance, ethnic cousin of the Jat and Gujar castes. After the overthrow of the Lodhi dynasty, Hasan Khan aligned himself with Rana Sanga and refused to acknowledge the suzerainty of Babur. Babur tried to win him over with promises of high position in Mughal service, but Hasan Khan was apparently not impressed. It is possible that he also surmised that Babur would soon return to Kabul, and being firmly rooted in the land of Mewat, had no wish of follow him; Hasan Khan placed his bets firmly on Rana Sanga.

The battle

Babur moved into Mewat to chastise Hasan Khan, and soon Rana Sanga joined the war. The two armies closed in near Khanwa in March 1527.

Strength of the armies

According to Mewari sources, the Rajput army which took to the field comprised of 80,000 horsemen and 500 war elephants and included 7 Rajas, 9 Raos and 104 Rawals and Rawats (lesser chieftains). It had no artillery or Muskets. Hasan Khan Mewati and Mahmood Lodhi (the claimant to the Lodhi throne) joined this army with their contingent. Estimates of Mughal army strength are not clear. Babur had come to India with twelve thousand soldiers. There is reason to believe that this number must have swelled, as Mughal army must have been joined by the Afghan nobles who had invited Babur to India. Yet it is generally believed that Babur was vastly outnumbered by the Rajput confederacy. However, the Mughal army possessed artillery and firearms, which were a novelty in India at that time. This gave them a decisive edge in the battle.

Babar motivates his men

The challenges facing Babur appeared insurmountable. The entire broad basin of the Ganga was dominated by Afghan chiefs who had strong associations with the Lodhi dynasty. Although in disarray at that moment, they had formidable military potential. Thus, with most of the neighboring strongholds held by his foes, he was virtually surrounded. His own men, suffering from the heat and disheartened by the hostile environment of this new land, had no notions of supplanting the Lodhi Afghans as the settled gentry of the country; they only wished to return home to central asia with the booty of war. As if all this was not enough, Babur's astrologer warned him against this conflict. All this might have disheartened a lesser man, but not Babur. By using threats, reproaches, promises, and appeals, vividly described in his memoirs, Babur preserved his army’s unity.

The theatrics that Babur employed to motivate his men remains to this day one of the most excellent displays of military leadership. Publicly addressing his men, he declared the forthcoming battle a Jihad or Islamic crusade. His soldiers were facing a non-Muslim army for the first time ever. This, he said, was their chance to become either a Ghazi (soldier of Islam) or a Shaheed (Martyr of Islam). Then he thought up something truly brilliant. Babur was a hard drinker in the tradition of Turko-Mongol warriors, and so were most of his men. He now publicly renounced alcohol and urged his men to do the same. To dramatize the event further, he ordered all the wine in his army collected and poured down a well. All wine cups, vessels etc were broken down. Gold and silver or the precious cups were taken out to be distributed among the poor. No wonder the spirits of his men lifted.

Precursor to battle

Babur sent about fifteen hundred choice cavalry troops in a probing attack on the Indian army. These were entirely destroyed by the Indians; this prompted Babur to ask for a negotiated settlement of the conflict. Unfortunately, Rana Sanga failed to follow up his advantage, being hampered by discord among his allies (one reason why Rajput confederacies were few and far between and seldom worked). He sent his one of the most trusted generals, Silhadi (Shiladitya), a Tomar or Purabia Rajput chieftain, to Babur for discussions. Babur won over this general by promising him an independent kingdom in northeast Malwa. Silhadi came back and reported to Sanga that Babur does not want peace, and wants to fight. The die was cast.

In preparation for the battle, Babur used the same tactics that he had used a year earlier at the first battle of Panipat. He lined up the wagons and connected them with ox-hide ropes and chains to form a barricade. In front of this barricade, he dug trenches to prevent his fortification being overrun by cavalry charge. Behind this barricade and in between the wagons, he positioned his artillery and musketeers. Every few yards between this line of carts, he left gaps from where his horsemen can sally forth and attack the enemy. Babur calls this fortification an Ottoman tactic. He had effectively created a movable fortress right in the middle of the flat plains.

The armies meet

On March 17, Rana Sanga launched a furious attack on the centre and right wing of the Mughal force; the conflict lasted several hours. Mughal artillery wreaked havoc in the Rajputs’ closed ranks. Their cannon fire caused the elephants in the Rajput army to stampede. Mughal cavalry archers made repeated flanking charges from the left and right of their fortified position. These mounted archers seem to have inflicted maximum losses on Indian ranks, as the latter were not accustomed to these tactics. Despite sustaining heavy losses because of superior Mughal tactics, the Indians initially appeared to have an advantage due to their sheer numbers and their frenzied charges at the Mughal position. Yet after many hours, the Rajputs failed to overrun the strongly defended central "fortress" of the Mughal army. This signaled to Silhadi which way the penny would drop.

Rana Sanga sustained more wounds, at one time being felled by an arrow; nevertheless, he fought on. For a while, the battle's outcome hung in balance. Then, sensing that Rana Sanga’s ship was sinking, Silhadi decamped to Babur with his entire force. After ten hours, the confederacy broke. It was all over for Mewar. The defection of a significant portion of the army fatally weakened the Indians. Mughal flanks finally rolled back the Indian flanks. The Rajput army disintegrated rapidly now. Rana Sanga chose to retreat from the battle, to live and fight another day.


After the customary erection of a tower of the heads of dead and prisoner enemy soldiers, a ritual that comes right from the Mongolian steppes, Babur added the title of Ghazi to his name, signifying his role as a warrior for Islam. The battle of Khanwa was almost certainly the first in which Babur confronted a Non-Muslim army. He remained firm on his vow of abstinence from alcohol till his death in 1530. At one time, he is said to have wistfully commented “Others have taken to the cup and later regretted it, I renounced the cup and later regretted it.â€

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Postby Atish » 07 Aug 2006 23:26


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