THE UNKNOWN SIDE OF INDIAN HISTORY
It’s time for India to revive it’s true history and use it for it’s strategic gains, both in internal and external domain.
Alexander invaded India in 326 B.C, then Sakas and Hunas invaded India. Muhammad Bin Qasim invaded India in 712 A.D, Mahmud Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori, Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Mughals and then finally British invaded India. That’s it, this is all what is being taught in our history books, whether it is at school or college. Sometimes a reader of history really wonders was there not a single Indian warrior who was able to defeat the invaders? Well, according to communist historians, definitely there was not a single Indian warrior who was able to defend his motherland from invaders. Is this really true? Was there not a single warrior born in this land able to defend his motherland from invaders, a land where two of the world’s greatest battles took place-Ramayan and Mahabharat, or a land which also gave some of the greatest warriors of the world, i.e, Bhagwan Ram, Rishi Parshuram, Arjun, Bheem and so on? Definitely it can’t be true.
The fact is that these communist historians were paid heavily by the British to distort real Indian history. It is a well known fact that history is written by victors, not losers. Since, British invaded India, it wanted to change the Indian history which would suit only British interest. Hence, they deliberately distorted the true Indian history so that Indians always feel that we were always the losers, and hence foreign rule is justified. So, they used communist historians as their political tool, as these historians were Indian only by birth. Their loyalty was with British raj.
But the Britishers have left India long ago and so it’s time to also kick out their colonial teachings. The first step in this regard is to have a relook at current Indian history and revive it’s actual spirit because we are now the masters of our land, not Britishers. We are free to do what we want. Hence, in this regard a small attempt has been made to show a little bit of what actual Indian history was. Following are six of the great Indian warriors who find very little or no mention in Indian history written by communists :
1) Lalitaditya Muktapid
The three words which can describe this king are unparalleled, undefeatable and invincible. This great king was ruler of Karkot dynasty of Kashmir, which was founded was Durlabhvarman, somewhere near 620s A.D. Lalitaditya took charge of the empire in 724 A.D. At that time Tibetans and Arab muslims had their eyes set on India like a lion’s eye set on it’s prey. Lalitaditya’s first task was to protect India from these invaders, but he was not powerful enough. So he joined hands with king Yashovarman of Kannauj to defend India form Tibetans. Still their army was not strong enough. Here Lalitaditya also used his strategic mindset. Tibetans were encroaching on lands of Tang dynasty, China. So Lalitaditya send his envoy to ruler of Tang dynasty for armed assistance and Tang ruler agreed. Lalitaditya knew that Tang ruler will help him because of their common enemy-Tibetans. Also Tang dynasty had a very advanced military of that time. The trio of Lalitaditya, Yashovarman and Tang king were able to defeat Tibetans. Lalitaditya occupied some parts of western Tibet and also pushed them out from the north eastern parts of India, thus extending his empire till Assam.
Next task of Lalitaditya was to defeat the Arabs and he succeeded. However he was not satisfied merely by defeating the Arabs. Actually Lalitaditya knew that if he really wants to protect India from Arab muslims, he can’t always be defensive, he also needs to be offensive. Hence he started attacking Arabs by entering in their own territory and pushed them almost completely from Central Asia. Here Lalitaditya won all the battles and extended his empire till Iran and Transoxiana region (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan and south west Kazakhatan) touching Caspian Sea.
Lalitaditya soon became vary of growing power of Yashovarman who became very arrogant. This led to a breaking of the alliance and consequently a battle was fought between them in which Lalitaditya emerged, as usual, victorious. Yashovarman became Lalitaditya’s vassal. Finally Lalitaditya extended his mighty empire till river Kaveri in Karnataka and also helped Rashtrakuts to establish their empire in south India.
Therefore, if one looks at the extent of Lalitaditya’s empire, then it would be like- North (western Tibet and some parts of China), North West (Transoxiana region till Caspian sea), West (Iran), South (Kaveri river, Karnataka) and East (Assam). This enormous empire was the combined size of empires of Ashok and Akbar, or twice the size of Mughal empire. At it’s peak empire measured eight million square miles and it was the fourth largest empire of the world of all times, after British, Mongol and Russians. More importantly, Lalitaditya’s empire was the most powerful empire of the world of that time. Westerners calls Lalitaditya as Alexander of India. But this is wrong as Lalitaditya’s empire was much larger and powerful than’s Alexander’s. Lalitaditya was also different from other Indian kings as he believed in pre emptive war, not reactive. In other words he believed in attacking and killing the enemy before latter acts. In fact when Lalitaditya died in 760 A.D, still the Arab invaders dared not to touch India for next 250 years. Such was the psychological fear of Lalitaditya, thanks to his invasion of deep Muslim lands. Lalitaditya only took 36 years to make this huge empire. Looking at the achievements of this king, he can be called greatest king or warrior of the world because the way he extended his empire in such a short time, despite facing severe internal and external threats, speaks volumes of his capabilities. More details about this legendary king can be found in the book ‘Rajtarangni’ by Kalhan.
Lalitaditya Muktapid remains one of the few warriors of the world who never lost a battle. He was able to fight non stop for months. According to some reports, he fought for 12 years continuously and lost none of the battles. Yet he finds no mention in Indian history. No word can describe this king.
2) Bappa Rawal
The mighty Bappa Rawal was born in 8th century in Mewar region of Rajasthan. The great Maharana Pratap was and others were future generations of Bappa Rawal. Bappa played the same role as that of Lalitaditya, but on a small scale. Just like Lalitaditya, Bappa also attacked and defeated Arab invaders and pushed them out not only from India, but even from their homeland. In other words he pushed these invaders even out of Iran, almost till Turkey, and extended Mewar region till Iran, including Afghanistan. For this he made an alliance with Pratihar king Nagabhat 1 and Bhil tribes. Bappa was also known to be the good friend of Lalitaditya. While returning from Iran, Bappa established check posts at every distance of 100 kms, so as to keep an eye on these Arab invaders. Bappa Rawal invaded places like Sindh, Baluchistan, Ghazni, Turfan, Khorasan, and as mentioned earlier, extended Mewar region till Iran.
Just like Lalitaditya, Bappa Rawal also believed in pre emptive war against enemy, and not reactive. Further Bappa was also very realist in his approach. If Arab invaders used barbarian methods during war, Bappa used double of those barbarian methods with Arab invaders. This was unlike other Indian kings who always followed dharm in warfare, since they were myopic fools. Bappa Rawal also never lost a single battle in his lifetime. Jai Eklingji.
3) Maharana Hammir Singh
Hammir Singh was a direct descendant of Bappa Rawal. He defeated Muhammad Bin Tughlaq brutally in Battle of Singoli, captured him and released him after a huge ransom.
Md. Bin Tughlaq was also an expansionist by nature, just like other sultans of Delhi. He set his eyes on Rajasthan as he wanted to subjugate whole of it under his dominion. In 1336, in Singoli (MP) a fierce battle took place between Tughlaq and Hammir Singh with support of Charans. The combined Rajput armies not only crushed the forces of Sultan but also captured the sultan and took him as a hostage. The Tughlaqs came forward with a proposal. They paid to the Hammir Singh, thousands of elephants and lakhs of silver coins, for the release of their sultan Md. Tughlaq. One can just imagine what insult Maharana Hammir Singh brought to Muhammad Tughlaq. The latter wanted to invade whole of Rajasthan, but his administration ended paying huge ransom so that the sultan is released as he was kept hostage for six months by Hammir Singh. By the way this reminds of Bali, who kept Ravan as hostage under his arms for six months. A big salute to Maharana Hammir Singh. Jai Eklingji.
4) Kanhoji Angre
Kanhoji Angre, a well known name in Maharashtra, though not in Indian history, was one of the greatest Admirals of Indian Navy. Born in 1669 at Anganwadi, in Maharashtra, Kanhoji wrecked havoc on naval forces of Britain, Portugese and Dutch.
Besides land route, trade between India and Europe was also carried out on sea. But with the emergence of colonial powers of Europe, India’s sea trade route was always in danger. The Maratha Navy under the legend Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was able to defend the Indian waters from European colonisers. However after the death of Shivaji Maharaj, Maratha Navy became weak. Then the chief of Satara appointed Kanhoji as the Admiral of Maratha Navy. He won this title after he successfully attacked merchant ships of Britain and looted their wealth.
Kanhoji made Kolaba his headquarters. Later on he extended his bases to some part of modern day Mumbai and Ratnagiri. He started attacking naval ships of Britain, Dutch and Portugese. For the next forty years, Angre became undisputed king of Arabian sea as no European power could stop him.
In 1712, Kanhoji captured Algerine, the armed yatch of William Ailabie, the British President of Bombay. He also killed Thomas Clown, a British chief and took his wife as hostage. She was later released for a large ransom.
In 1718, Kanhoji blocked Mumbai port and collected ransom. Governor Charles Boon was leading the British naval forces but was defeated by Kanhoji.
In 1721 combined forces of British and Portugese attacked Kanhoji, but even they were no match for him.
It must be told that Kanhoji started his naval warfare with just eighty ships, while on the other hand The British, Dutch and Portugese led battles with large armed armadas. In fact the British Navy was the most powerful in the world during those days, yet all of them were no match to Kanhoji Angre. One can just imagine how skilled and strategically sound Kanhoji must have been. Kanhoji too, just like Lalitaditya and Bappa Rawal, never lost a battle. Jai Bhavani.
5) Rampyari Gurjar
Indian has produced not only great male warriors, but also great female warriors and Rampyari Gurjar was one of them. Twenty years old Rampyari along with some 40,000 warriors wrecked havoc on Taimur and made him flee India. Rampyari was born in a Chauhan family. Since her childhood she loved to listen to stories of brave warriors. She dressed up like men and took active part in sports like wrestling. All these developed in her a great martial spirit.
In 1398, Taimur invaded India, who was a very barbarian king and his extremist Islamic mindset was well known. He converted lakhs of Hindus into islam by any means. Taimur’s soldiers were more and more eager for damage and destruction of India. His soldiers were always involved in plunder and loot.
During this time, Devpal, a Jat, was the leader of the region comprising parts of Meerut and Haryana. People of different communities like Jats, Gurjars, Ahirs etc. got together to find out a solution for Taimur’s plunders. A Mahapanchayat was organized for this. It was decided that 500 horsemen would spy on Taimir’s army to give details about Taimur’s next plans. At this Mahapanchayat, Mahabali Jograj Singh Gurjar was choosen as the supreme leader. Around 80,000 men joined his army. Rampyari was made the commander of the women army, and around 40,000 women joined her.
Meanwhile the spies brought the news that Taimur would be advancing towards Meerut. All the male and female warriors of Mahapanchayat geared up for the plans. It was decided that they would adopt guerrilla warfare against Taimur’s Army. Then it was decided that while some women would accompany men, others would take up cooking job. Rampyari also instructed the brave women to attack and loot the supplies of the enemy. This will lead to starvation among enemies.
According to some reports around 20,000 Mahapanchayat soldiers attacked Taimur’s army at night at Delhi which resulted in slaughtering of 9000 enemy soldiers. This continued for next three days. A frustrated Taimur left Delhi for Meerut.
At night Rampyari and the women warriors laid surprise attacks on enemy camps, killing and looting them. This continued for another couple of days.
Frustrated Taimur with his forces marched towards Haridwar. The hill tribes who were expert in archery, joined the Mahapanchayat forces and thrice Taimur was defeated. 22 years old Harbir Singh Gulia was able to penetrate Taimur’s chest with his spear. Wounded Taimur, escorted by his soldiers fled the battlefield.
It is said that Taimur could not recover from his wounds and he died after seven years. Taimur had come to India with an army of over 1 lakh, but returned with few thousands of them. Rest of them were slaughtered by Rampyari and other Mahapanchayat forces. Salute to Rampyari Gurjar and other Mahapanchayat warriors.
6) Bajiprabhu Deshpande
Most of us must have seen or at least heard about the movie ‘300’ where King Leonidas fought with thousands of Persians. But how many of us have heard about 300 Maratha soldiers fighting against 12000 Adilshahi’s army?
Most of us must have read about how Shivaji Maharaj killed Afzal Khan. After the Afzal’s death, the Bijapuri army fled. Shivaji with his army pursued them in Bijapuri territory. The Marathas captured Panhala fort near Kolhapur. Another Maratha warrior, Netaji Palker with his forces attacked Bijapur but their attempts were foiled by Adilshahis. Shivaji and few of his warriors fled to Panhala fort and took shelter. The Adilshahis surrounded the Panhala fort when they came to hear about Shivaji’s whereabouts. Netaji Palker tried to break this huge muslim army but all were in vain.
Meanwhile in the fort Bajiprabhu Deshpande came face to face with Shiva Navi, a barber of Shivaji Maharaj, who looked very similar to Shivaji. An idea came to Bajiprabhu’s mind and he discussed it with Shivaji and the latter agreed. Bajiprabhu called Shiva Navi and asked him whether he would help Shivaji escape from the fort and he was also told that since he was looking very similar to Shivaji, his changed attire would make him look like Shivaji completely. He was also told that he can even be caught by Adilshahis and executed, to which Shiva agreed.
Then a plan was made. It was decided that Shivaji with few Maratha soldiers would escape at night towards Vishalgadh. To stop Adilshahis, Shiva Navi would let him arrested as Adilshahis would think that they have captured Shivaji.
Then on a stormy night, Shivaji, alongwith 600 Maratha soldiers, led by Bajiprabhu escaped from the fort. The Adilshahis were about to pursue the Marathas when Shiva let him caught. This gave Shivaji and other Maratha soldiers sometime to escape.
However Adilshahis soon realized their mistake and they let 12,000 of their soldiers under the command of Siddhi Masood towards Shivaji. Bajiprabhu made a plan instantly. He let Shivaji escape with half of the forces to Vishalgadh and himself stayed back with rest half of the soldiers to stop the Adilshahis. Hence it was 299 Marathas VS 12,000 Adilshahis.
A fierce battle took place between remaining Marathas and huge Adilshahis soldiers, this battle is also known as Battle of Pawankhind. One by one all the Maratha soldiers lost their life but not before killing 4000 Adilshasis soldiers and badly injuring the remaining ones. This completely ensured that Shivaji, alongwith rest of his army safely escape to Vishalgadh. A big salute to Bajiprabhu Deshpande, Shiva Navi and Maratha soldiers. Jai Bhavani.
There are many other unsung, great and fearless Indian warriors whose names are completely missing from our history textbooks. Some of these are Rani Chennamma, Durgadas Rathore, Hemu Vikramaditya and so on. On the other hand great warriors like Chandragupta Maurya, Samudragupta, Ashok, Rajaraj Chola and so on have not been mentioned in this article as history books give some account of them. This article only focused on few of some Indian warriors who find little or no mention in history (as mentioned earlier).
It’s a complete myth that Indian warriors always lost to invaders, or they never crossed river Indus. In fact if one reads the true Indian history, he or she will find that there had been a large no. of Indian warriors who defeated the invading enemies, and some of them also extended their empires deep inside enemy territory. In order to know more about these great warriors, one can read the book ‘The Saffron Swords’ by Manoshi Rawal Sinha.
Today, unfortunately, some kind of plague called ‘ahimsa or non violence’ has affected our policy makers. They feel very proud in showing India as a peace loving country always. For instance, in 2019 in one of the foreign tours, PM Modi very proudly said ‘Bharat ne duniya ko buddha diya h yuddha nahi aur Bharat ne itahas me kabhi bhi pehle kisi par humla nahi kiya (India has given Buddha (non violence) to the world, and not yuddha (violence) and India never attacked or invaded any other country in history). This is utter nonsense and shows the cowardly approach of our leaders. Whenever a country is faced with armed and dangerous neighbours, it needs to be ruthless and violent, not non violent. In other words it needs to act like Lalitaditya Muktapid, Bappa Rawal, Maharana Hammir Singh etc., and not like Buddha or Gandhi. In fact Veer Savarkar had termed Gandhi’s ahimsa as a ‘doctrinal plague’.
The problem is that even our decision makers are not fully aware of true Indian history. They have been injected with a deadly virus of ‘ahimsa’ by communists which has made their mind a very peace loving and this has cost India dearly. Hence it becomes quite imperative to revive the true Indian history as soon as possible because this is the only antidote to this virus of ahimsa. Further if one looks at the condition of India today, it is almost similar to thousand years ago. Only thing is that earlier enemies of India have been replaced by China and Pakistan. Therefore, changing India history is the need of the hour.
Another problem with our policy makers, top leaders and even some armed forces officers is that they suffer from what is called ‘Panipat syndrome’, a termed coined by Late IAF officer Jasjit Singh, which says that India wakes up only when enemy enters deep inside it’s territory. This was quite visible in 1962 war with China and 2020 Galwan Valley clashes. This is a very foolish war strategy. It’s better to fight enemy in it’s own land because if something goes wrong, it will give more time to the (forces who are fighting in enemy’s territory) to remedy their wrongs as enemy is far away from their territory. Hence, learning from Lalitaditya Muktapid and Bappa Rawal becomes highly crucial, who invaded deep enemy territory and kicked enemies out from their own land.
Irish statesman, Edmund Burke, once said ‘those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it’. This is quite visible in India’s case since August 15th, 1947. Even in last 1000 years of Indian history some rulers of India did the same mistake and suffered badly. Reviving true Indian history, a history with rulers or warriors having strategic mindset, far sighted approach, and based on realpolitik approaches, is the greatest need of the hour. It will revive the Kshatryita or the martial spirit of Indians today. Therefore time has come for India to revive it’s true history and use it for strategic gains.
Pratik Kumar, student of International Relations.