Saturday, May 11, 2013

Battle of Rajasthan – Hindu martial prowess crushed brutal Islamists

Islamic invasion into India (down the centuries) has been culpable enough to ravage the entire nation, exterminate Hindus, desecrating their religious bastions, faith also and thus, introduce an alien ideology in this land that speaks of violence only. What is most striking, all these have been recorded in history and as far Islamists are concerned they have myriad of such annals. But this is a partial truth.

Hindus, as well, never gave up and waged violent battles from time to time to thwart the violent march of Islamic radicalism into India. They sacrificed themselves, their kith and kin and sometimes even the posterity but the specter of violence or death never made them retreat.   

Battle of Rajasthan that was fought in 738 AD was a historic victory for Hindus, becoming successful in inflicting a crushing defeat on Islamists or invading armies from Arabia, hell-bent to wrest power from Hindus and thus plant the seeds of Islamic power in India. The triumphant Hindu alliance, led by Gurjar Emperor Nagabhata I of Pratihara Dynasty in North India and Emperor Vikramaditya II of Chalukya Dynasty in South India, faced the Islamic imperialists on the border area between Sindh and Rajasthan and indeed their valor proved to be too heavy for Islamists marching all the way from Arabia.  

It is worthwhile to mention, to check the advance of brutal Islamists, Nagabhata I entered into an alliance with Jaysimha Varman of Chalukya Empire who assigned his own son Avanijanasharya Pulakesi to support Nagbhata and the joint command of two forces beefed up the Hindu dynasty of Mewar, then under Bappa Rawal, engaged by then in a war against Muslim radicals in the border of Rajasthan.   

The battle that ensued between Hindus and Muslims was outstanding in every manner since not more than 5, 000 – 6, 000 Hindu infantry and cavalry fought against the Muslim army comprising more than 30, 000 Islamists. But this disparity failed to dampen the spirit of Hindus, fighting desperately to retain own independence and above all the sanctity of Dharma. Hindu warriors had estimated the consequence of loss in the battle; not the temples, Hindu cities would be vandalized, despoiled only but it would bring a disaster on Hindu women (to be looted) and the foundation of Dharma also.

As a result, Hindu warriors fought fiercely, astonishing Islamists extremely. Desperate Hindu warriors killed Emar Junaid, commander of Arab forces and also infamous for his treatment against Hindus, and the strong Muslim army, bereft of their leader, got both demoralized and disorganized soon. They had to retreat and at this time, Hindu warriors did not miss a chance to attack them to recover independence once more. The dispirited and beleaguered Muslim army had to go back to the Indus river resulting in the stoppage of Islamic invasions into India for (almost) the next two centuries.    

Albeit, Tamim ibn Zaid al-Utbi, succeeding Junaid, tried recurrently to invade the Hindu dominions in Rajasthan, he faced loss at every time. The joint command of King of Kanauj and Gurjar Emperor Nagabhata I restricted Islamists to the territory of Sindh across River Indus.  Anecdotes confirm that the defeat was so crushing for Islamists that even the Islamic Caliphate geared up to stop them from adopting any adventures to the Hindu kingdoms.   

The best appraisal of this Hindu valiance came from Suleiman, well-known Muslim historian. He stated that owing to defeats, “a place of refuge to which the Muslims might flee was not to be found.” He also termed Gurjar Emperor Nagabhata I of Pratihara Dynasty that in “India there is no greater foe of Islamic faith than he.”

It’s the time to revive this martial prowess of Hindus once more.

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