Sunday, October 04, 2009

Brave Rajput Warriors

I am reading stories about these people.

Aside from their bravery, one thing stands out in most accounts:

- Whenever Mughal kings attacked them, they defeated them, time and again several times and sent them back courteously. Until the Mughal king regrouped, made allies, may be in some causes created a traitor within the Rajput king's army and finally captured the king. How different would the history of India have been when say, the king spares the Mughal king the first time. But the second time, the Mughal king is not spared in the second attempt. Case in point is Prithiviraj Chauhan. He defeats Ghori Ghazni seven times and sends him back. The eighth time, Ghori allies with Jaichand (who has a feud with Prithiviraj) and defeats him. He eventually blinds Prithiviraj when his attempt to humiliate him fails.

- I think petty differences consumed Indian kings. They had failed/refused to unite for a common cause. Eventually, this paved way for Mughal kings, and finally the British.

Of all Mughal emperors, Akbar seems to be the most reasonable one (which also probably accounts for his might). Birbal was a brahmin and was a key minister in his court. Whenever he annexed kingdoms, he appointed Rajputs in key positions eventually leading to a lot of them actually favoring Akbar.

But stories about the Rajput warriors amaze me. Such fierce loyalty to their motherland and their favoritism towards death rather than subordination stand out as common traits. It would be rare to see more than a handful of their kind today. We are today the kind that will watch a man bleed to death in a road accident.

It is easy to observe these in retrospect, but these events have permanently shaped our history and are influencing our culture today to a very great extent.

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