Response to Girish Shahane on Rajput ‘Failure’ or Victory ?

Posted May 21, 2015 by admin in Academic Negationism

I have just been exposed to a worthless and meaningless article by a self-propagating Hindu phobic writer.

The person I refer to is known as Girish Shahane, who by his own account is the proud owners of multiple degrees from various institutions including Oxford University  – we presume he means the world famous Oxford University as opposed to Oxford International College which was apparently recently closed by the Department of Further Education in the United Kingdom due to violations of the Immigration rules.

In any event this scholar has sought to mock and denigrate the valour and fighting abilities of the Rajput clans who ruled much of medieval India. He has, without providing any valid sources chosen to characterize the Rajput’s as a pathetic failed group of warriors who understood nothing of fighting or warfare.

In doing so selective and malignant usage of history has been used – the full article can be viewed here..

I felt obliged to retort as I find it astounding that Shahane has chosen to omit or was simply not aware of the following events:

738 AD: The Battle of Rajasthan – where a coalition of Rajput kings defeated the tide of Arab conquest from India and thus blunted the wave of Jihad from India for a further 300 years.

1033 . The Battle of Bhairach  – where a Rajput army under Raja Sukhdev surrounded and slaughtered the Ghaznavid army under Salar Masud Ghaznavi thus avenging themselves on their bitter enemies.

1191. The First Battle of Tarain – where Muhamad Ghori was defeated and captured by Prthviraj Chauhan

1200-1350 – desperate and ferocious resistance from Rajput clans spread all over Northern India which erupted into anarchy and destruction

1350-1520   The revival of Rajput power – from the Vijay Stambha (Tower of Victory) erected by Rana Kumbha to the endless wars and fighting of Rana Sangha a century and a half later.

1555  The Eastern Rajputs (Purbia) war bands coalesce under the leadership of Hemu who for a period drives the Mughals from Delhi and is anointed Emperor.

1520-1707 – The Mughals reach a peace with the Rajput clans having understood the impossibility of domination over them and a tenuous compromise is achieved – This is shattered in 1680 following the deaths of Jai Singh and Jaswant Singh and the great Rajput rebellions thereafter under the inspiration of Durga Dass Rathore

1707 – a meeting of the Rajputs at Lake Pushkar revives their age old unity and sense of purpose vis a vis their enemies.

1645 – The Mughals attack Central Asia – Raja Jagat Singh of Nurpur     attacks and defeats a combined army of Uzbek cavalry backed by Hazara tribesmen despite being outnumbered with 2000 troops against 20,000 adversaries. The Rajput king utilized both the lay of the land as well as attacking tactics to defeat the Parthian tactics of the Uzbeks and defeated them utterly

1805-1840 – The Dogra Rajputs dominate the hill regions reaching out to conquer Baltistan and Gilgit as well as Kashmir – they penetrate further and conquer Ladakh and penetrate to Lhasa in Tibet fighting the Chinese army on the Himalayan plateau

There are of course many more examples which puts paid to the vaunted military background and knowledge of Mr. Shahane- He has produced figures for battles for which no source is provided – He has caste aspersions on the skill and fighting abilities of various Rajput armies without an iota of evidence or regarded for the truth.

He has somewhat malignantly tried to paint the Rajput legend for bravery as being based on drugs quite ignoring the facts that in the first instance not all Rajput’s followed the same methodology of war – The Purbia Rajput was quite different from the Rajasthani as different from the Pahari Rajput’s .Secondly he glibly passes over the fact that not just the Rajput but the Mughal, Afghan, tribal clans were all to varying degrees overly fond of opium

One can only conclude that we are witness to a malicious and vicious attempt to malign and denigrate sources of strength and inspiration from Indian History.

The Rajput’s fought against the foreign invaders for over a thousand years.  Not thousands but millions have given their lives in this millennia without abjuring their faith or giving up their pride and desire for freedom.

The history of India is witness to such sacrifice, the enemies of India have been witness to such sacrifice and struggle that has scarce been seen in this world and despite the vain attempts of pseudo scholars inspired by extremist ideologies the truth cannot be hidden.

Sher Singh Chauhan


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