Sunday, April 12, 2020

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-3

Babur of Andijan, making of a Padshah-3

Battle of Panipat

They reached Panipat on 12 April 1526. He had two bad experiences of losing battles with offensive attacks, therefore, considering the size of the troops of Ibrahim Lodi, he followed the strategy of defence cum offensive art of using his smaller troops to win the battle. Cannons (gun powder technology) invented by French, were decisive in Ottoman victory over the Safavid Empire in the battle of Chaldean in 1514. Progressive Babur incorporated artillery and ottoman artillery tactics into his army under the guidance of Ottoman gun master Ustad Ali Quli. 

He fortified his army: The town and suburb of Panipat was to their right. He secured his right flank against the city, while digging a trench covered with tree branches to secure his left flanks. In the centre, he placed 700 carts tied together with ropes. Between every two carts, there were breastworks for his matchlock men. Behind the row of carts, he deployed cannons. Front was loaded by guns and turas; infantry was placed in the rear of the guns and turas; on the left drew ditches and made defences of the boughs of trees; at the distance of every bowshot, a space was left large enough for a 100-150 men to issue forth.They stayed in Panipat for a week. Many of the troops were in great terror and alarm as they had 2-3 months long journey. 

On 19th night 4000 men were sent on a night attack but enemy was alert, therefore, they returned without loss. On 20th night, they had false alarm, followed by call to arms and uproar. 

On morning of 21st April 1526, Ibrahim attacked Babur. Babur troops braced on their helmets and armour and mounted. Right division was led by Humayun, left was commanded by Muhammad Sultan Mirza, right of the centre by Chain Faimar Sultan, left centre by Khalifa, advance was by Khosrou and on the flank of the right division Babur installed himself. 

Ibrahim army of 100000 men and 1000 elephants never made a halt and advanced right upon Babur’s force at a quick pace. When they came closer, they stood for a while but couldn’t halt and, because of narrow approach to Babur’s army, they were unable to advance with the same speed. Babur sent orders to extreme right and left divisions to wheel round the enemy’s flank with possible speed and instantly to attack them in the rear. The right and left divisions were ordered to charge the enemy. They accordingly wheeled on the rear of the enemy and began to make discharge of arrows on them. The battle was likewise obstinate on the right. Babur ordered Muhmadi to advance in the front of the centre and engage, discharged guns many times in front of the line. Mustafa on the left of the centre, managed his artillery with great effect. The right and left divisions, the centre and flankers having surrounded the enemy and taken them in rear, were now engaged in hot conflict and busy pouring in discharges of arrows on them. Ibrahim’s troops made one or two poor charges but were pushed back to their centre. 

Babur’s guns proved decisive. The sound of cannon frightened Ibrahim’s elephants, causing them to trample his own men. Confusion ensued, that the enemy unable to advance, found no road by which they could flee. The battle lasted till mid day, when the enemy were completely broken and routed. Sultan Ibrahim Lodi was killed with his 6000 troops around. He sent Humayun to Agra to take over possession of the treasury and sworn himself as the Emperor of Hindustan in Delhi, founded the ‘gunpowder empire’ of Mughal Dynasty. Babur had engaged in arms a strange nation and conquered, whose language they didn’t understand and who didn’t understand their.

Ibrahim was an ethnic Pashtun, attained throne of Delhi upon the death of his father Sikandar Lodi in 1517. Lodi dynasty was holding throne of Delhi since 1451 after the fall of Sayyid Dynasty (subservient of Timur’s son Shah Rukh). Ibrahim replaced his father’s experienced, old and senior commanders with younger and loyal to him and faced number of rebellions.. At battle of Panipat, he had 100000 men and 1000 elephants. But his troops were engaged to serve for hire. He was young man without experience, was negligent in all movements. He marched without order, retired or halted without plan and engaged in battle without foresight. Mighty army of 100,000 men and 1000 elephants of Ibrahim, in the space of half a day, laid in the dust by army of 12,000 men of Babur with defensive fortification of army, use of artillery and with strategic moves. Babur was a better general, stronger to war, strategy, equipment, bold fight and encounter.

Timur panicked the elephants of Tughluq by fire on camels’ back and Babur panicked Lodi’s elephants by artillery and secured easy victory. Indian elephants were weapons of wars since Mauryan Empire. Seleucus lost the war with Chandragupta in 305-303 BC and made peace treaty by marrying his daughter to Chandragupta Maurya in lieu of 500 war elephants for aiming victory over Europe. Elephants the instruments of victory since ancient time became the burden of defeats for Tughluq, Lodhi and Rajputs. 

Babur installed himself in the Lodi citadel of Delhi and Agra and declared himself Emperor of Hindustan. As tribute, 186 carat Kohinoor diamond was presented to Humayun by Gwalior family. Babur with better generalship and treachery of Hindu Sardar Silhadi of Malwa, defeated Rajput confederacy under Rana Sanga in the battle of Khandva in 1527 and captured Malwa in 1528. But his heart was in Kabul. His plan was to give Hindustan to Hindal (taker of Hind), Badakhshan to Humayun and he to command the continent from Kabul. But India was his destined last home.

His son Humayun 22y age fell ill in Sambal and was brought to Agra in 1530. His disease not yielding the treatment. Babur was depressed to see his son seriously ill and dying. Babur resolves to practice the rite of intercession and self surrender to save his life. He was urged rather to devote the great diamond kohinoor to pious use, refused the substitution of the jewel for his own life, performed the rite. For four days he circumambulated the bed of his son repeatedly, praying to Allah, begging to be taken to eternal world in his son’s place. His prayers were answered. 

22 year Humayun recovered and 47 year Babur fell ill and was bed ridden and died in December 1530 at Agra, leaving Hindustan for his heirs for three centuries. His body was buried first near Agra but later his remains were buried to his beloved Kabul at Bagh-e-Babur in 1543. Mughal Empire he had established ruled India for 332 years, till it was formally succeeded by British rule in 1858. The Emperor of Hindustan was replaced by the British Royal Queen in 1877. 

It is a surprising fact of the history that they were Uzbeks but they declared themselves Mughal. Why did they hide their identity as Uzbek? It’s a mystery.. Was Uzbeks a bad identity those days or was it hazardous in carrying out the affairs in Hindustan? There were 92 tribes in Uzbekistan but 12 were major. Timur was from Barlas tribe. He was known as Timur Koragoniy. Koragoniy means son in law of Chingiz. Chingiz was Mughal, therefore, Buburs successors, mainly Akbar popularised their identity as Mughal, Mughalia Saltnat.

With his limited stay and limited observations, he wrote about Hindustan, a country of Pagans (non-believers-kafir). He observed that the officers of revenue merchants and war place were all Hindus. They had names according to their families. The tradesman has received his trade from his forefathers, who for generations have all practiced the same trade. He found Hindustan, a country of few pleasures, where people were not handsome, no comprehension of mind, no politeness of manner, no ingenuity or mechanical invention in planning or executing their handicraft works, no skill or knowledge in design or architecture, no good houses, no good flesh, no grapes, no musk melons, no good fruits, no ice or cold water, no good food or bread in their bazars, no baths or colleges, no candles, no torches, not a candle stick. He noticed that high mode of calculation: hundred, thousand, lak, crore, arb, kerb, nil, padam, sang, was a proof of the abundance of wealth in Hindustan. He has recorded the methods of reckoning as to measures. He gave descriptions about the social, cultural Hindustan with its flora and fauna. 

He avoided drinking alcohol till he reached the age 30. But in Kabul, he began drinking. Many times, he preferred majjum to alcohol. He wrote: ‘everyone regrets drinking and swears an oath, I swore oath and regret that’. It’s a statement repeated/chanted by many alcoholics!

Babur was an educated, curious observer and nature lover man, had penned down his observations and events in his diary-autobiography Baburnama. He was believer of God, believed that, if a sword shook the earth from her place, not a vein would it cut till God wills. He had good deal of confidence in his feet, made him rough and tough during the wandering in Transoxiana.  He was a keen observer, strategist and had worked on micro details of the geography and the route plan of all his expeditions to Hindustan. He had pride of his clan therefore had recorded details of all members of Mirza families and friends with their names and their role. His diary covers diverse topics on astronomy, geography, military matters, weapons and battles, plants and animals, flora and fauna, poetry, music, paintings, monuments, tours, etc. He had described his life events, the people whom he came in contact and the history and geography of the areas where he lived in. 

Mughal/Uzbek culture had impacted Hindustani culture with music, atticates, food, crafts, paintings, flowers-gardens, and language. Their national dish Plov becomes our Pulao-Biryani. Somsa is our Samosa of mid day brunch. Plov, Somsa, Kabab, etc, mixed with our curry became favourite Mughlai cuisine of the subcontinent. Their tastes of melons, grapes were added into our tastes. Kashmir is more influenced with carpet weaving, embroidery and handicrafts trades as they carry skills of Bukhara. There are hundreds of common words in Uzbek and Hindustani languages. Dost, Dosti, Muhhabat, Mehman, Aziz, Janab, Kitab, Khushbo, Dukan, Bazar, Aasman, Bagh-Bagicha, Samosa, Pulao, Kabab, Rehmat, etc, are the gifts of Uzbek language to us. We welcome guest as God (अतिथि देवो भव।).. They welcome guests, ‘mekhmon otangdan ulug’ (a guest is more honoured than your father). Indian architecture of Mughal era, Humayun Tomb, Tajmahal, etc, were built following architecture of Registan and Gur e Amir of Samarkand. Uzbeks in general were literates because of the network of Madrasahs in Uzbekistan. How much literacy it had increased in India during the rule of three centuries, may be an issue of further study. Did they literate the converts? Babur’s grandson Akbar took some initiatives. 

Babur as founder of Mughal Empire, had secured permanent place in the history of medieval India, and left a lesson that, losers, if learn from the past, they can be successful like him in achieving their goals. 

3 November 2019


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.