Mughals ruled India from 1527 to 1757. Thereafter British ruled India for the next 190 years. Many Indians cry that Britain took away 45 trillion Pounds from India during its rule. A certain section of Indians, including Shashi Tharoor, showers praise on Mughals for not taking anything away from India. It is not clear if they do so out of ignorance, political compulsion or stupidity. British had “home” but Mughals had not. However, this section of Indians while praising the Mughals conveniently forgets the taking away of tens of thousands of Hindu slaves (including female sex slaves), as well as, gold, silver and precious jewels worth trillions of Pounds by other Muslim invaders who had “home” like British. They included Muhammad bin Qasim, Sultan Mahmud, Muhammad Ghori, Nader Shah and Abdali. No Muslim ruler or invader of India was ‘holier than thou’.
There is a general tendency among Indian Hindus to eulogize Mughals. The Islamists of India also join them in this endeavour. It is like praising the occupiers of your house who came from outside and ruled upon you because your great grandfather lost the battle to them. Certain Indian Hindus do not feel exhausted in praising Humayun’s Tomb, Agra Fort, Taj Mahal and Lal Qilla etc. Further, they extol Mughals for settling in India and becoming Indians by choice. But it is not understood how with their foreign language, traditions, dress, food, customs, mores and ethics they became Indians? In actuality, they had Mughalized India and made us classic cases of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. Let us revisit the history and try to understand the reality.
In 1494 AD, following the death of his father, Babur (founder of the Mughal Dynasty in India), a 12 years old child, became the ruler of Farghana in Uzbekistan. After two years he conquered Samarkand (South Uzbekistan) but lost Farghana to a rebel. He tried to conquer Farghana, but in the process lost Samarkand too. In 1501 AD Babur tried to recapture both Farghana and Samarkand but failed. Babur was reduced to a vagabond warrior with about 200 to 300 armed followers.
In 1504 AD Babur moved to the South and captured Kabul more than 1000 KMs from Farghana. From there, Babur captured Samarkand for a brief period but lost it again. Babur was left with very few options after being soundly beaten by the Uzbeks in his bid to recapture Samarkand (1511-12 AD) and was lucky to escape unhurt. He knew his only chance of survival was to take on the weakening Lodhi Empire of Delhi and there was no going back once he entered the Indian subcontinent.
Babur didn’t need any invitation as he had already decided on invading India. In fact, Babur’s first attempt was made as early as 1519 AD in Punjab without much success. He would taste victory against Lodhi only in his fifth attempt at the first battle of Panipat in 1526 AD. In 1527 AD, Hindu Rajput Rana Sanga of Mewar confederacy with a big army engaged with Babur in the battle of Khanwa (60 KMs West of Agra), but Rana lost miserably to the small army of Babur. The Jihadi fervour of Mughals and their hitherto unknown fire-powered cannons sealed the fate of Rana.
Our history books have given more significance to the first battle of Panipat (1526 AD) despite knowing that the Lodhi Empire was a spent force and was long crumbling before this. Even the Rajputs had defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in Khatoli (1517 AD) and Dholpur (1518 AD). At that time, there were two superior forces which wanted to stake claim to Delhi’s throne – the Rajput Mewar confederacy under Rana Sanga and the Mughals under Babur.
It is the battle of Khanwa (1527 AD) which sealed the fate of India rather than the first battle of Panipat one year earlier (1526 AD). But Nehruvian Leftist historians of India had unnecessarily given importance to the first battle of Panipat to give Islamic touch to Indian history. A win for Rana Sanga would have laid the foundations of a Hindu empire. Babur’s win at Khanwa had a double impact on India’s geopolitics – the fragmentation of Rajput unity while the Mughals consolidated their Empire with tactical alliances and religious fervour.
Babur had no plan to leave India as he had nowhere else to go. And descendants of Babur remained in India for that reason only. Mughal rule is famous for its construction of great Mosques, Forts and Tombs. “Deen-e-Ilahi” of Akbar was literally the ‘religion of Allah’. All Mughal kings were more or less involved in the destruction of Hindu temples and force-conversion of Hindus to Islam. Shashi Tharoor and the likes of him should stop deriving virtue out of vice.