HINDUISM AND SANATAN DHARMA

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Revenge of Panipat by Marathas

The revenge of Panipat (1771)

” To their Benefactors the Marathas are grateful, to their enemies relentless. If they are insulted they will risk their lives to avenge themselves.”

Hiuen Tsang.

NEITHER these domestic distractions, nor the treacherous civil wars;nor the rise of such new and dangerous enemies as Haidar and Tippu, could make the Marathas forget their duty to avenge the day of Panipat and inflict condign punishment on all those who dared to go against them there, For some time

after the death of Nanasaheb, Holkar and Shinde were the two chief Maratha sardars who kept guarding their national interests in the north as best as they could. HVhen the civil troubles and intri-

gues of Raghoba could be fairly managed, Madhao Rao in 1769 determined to despatch a punitive expedition to the north under the command of Binivale.

All Maratha generals in the north were ordered to join the force. Crossing the Narbada with a set purpose of resuming the direction and control of the Hindu

Empire and of inflicting a crushing penalty on all those Indian principalities who had dared to pray for and work for the ruin of the Maratha power since 1761 A. D., the powerful Maratha army reached Bundelkhand, quelled the petty disturbances there and punishing the recalcitrant princelets and princes on

their way, reached the Chambal without much serious opposition.

After defeating jats near bharatpur, Maratha array marched forth towards the gates of Delhi, expecting their sworn enemy there would put up some fight against them. But the old fox, that wily

Nazib khan, was again all humility and repentance, the very news of the victorious march of the Marathas

brought him to the camp as a supplicant for life. He returned all his spoils in the Doab, smoothened the way of the Marathas to Delhi, and would do anything for them, if but pardoned and allowed to live that he might conspire once more against them as soon as a favourable opportunity presented itself. But this

time nothing seemed likely to shield him from the vengeance of the Marathas had not Death himself intervened and shielded the author of Panipat from the wrath of the countrymen of those who had fallen there.

The Marathas entered Delhi : there was none to contest the capital of Akbar and Aurangzeb. Ahmed shah Abdally, who contested it last, had at last come to terms and had already opened negotiations with the Peshwa and sent his envoys to Poona. There after protracted deliberations the parties reached an understanding by which Ahmed shah Abdally virtually promised to cease to dabble in the Imperial politics of India and acknowledged the Marathas as the protectors of the Indian Empire.

Thus the victor of Panipat himself confessed the political futility of his victory and of the ambition that led to the battle and acknowledged the Hindus to be the

paramount power of Hindustan. Having thus eliminated the Afghan element from the Imperial politics of India and taken possession of Delhi, the Marathas completely isolated the Pathans and the

Rohillas who were about the only two really powerful Muhammadan centres in India that still would have, if they could, contested the Imperial power at the hands of the Hindus. But their day of reckoning had come. The memory of the outrages and indignities the Rohillas and Pathans had inflicted on the Marathas at Panipat had set on edge the steel of

theMaratha vengeance and roused the forces of retribution that could perhaps be crushed, but never coaxed. This the Pathans knew as well as the Rohillas. They, under their old leaders, Hafiz

Rahimat and Ahmed khan Bangash, both of whom had seen Panipat, joined hands and determined to present, a bold front to the Maratha hosts as they came.

Halting for a while at Delhi the Marathas entered the Doab. They found that the forces of their old enemies growing menacingly great. Some 70000 Moslems were in arms. But the Marathas did not wait to count them. Field after field was furiously fought. But field after field the Pathans and Rohillas got mercilessly hewn down. Wresting fort after fort and town after town from the hands of their foes and sweeping the whole Doab clean of Pathan resistance, the advancing army of Maharashtra invaded Rohilkhand and crushed the Rohillas as mercilessly as they had done the Pathans. Death had shielded Nazib khan from their vengeance, but his son Zabeta khan still lived to pay for the sins of his father and his own. He had taken shelter behind the walls of the

impregnable fortress ot bhukratal. The Marathas marched straight against the fort, opened a furious bombardment against it and inflicted such a terrible

loss on the contingent inside that Zabeta khan could no longer hold it against them. One night he fled away and crossing the Ganges entered Bijnoor. Crossing the Ganges quick, the avenging army of the

Marathas too forthwith marched towards Bijnoor in the very teeth of the fearful fire that the Moslem batteries, kept by Zabeta khan to guard the gates, opened on them. They carried the batteries, they routed the two powerful armies that contested their way they put thousands of the Rohillas to the sword and entered Bijnoor. The whole district lay trampled under the hoof of their horse. Zabetakhan fled to Nazib gad. The Marathas pursued him there and took Futteh gad. Here to their boundless delight the immense booty, that Nazib khan and his Rohillas had carried away from the Maratha camp at Panipat, fell

back in the hands of the victorious Marathas. Their triumph was complete. Even the wife and children of Zabeta khan were captured by them. The cruel and

brutal fate that had met the few Maratha women and hundreds of youths at Panipat at the hands of those

very fierce Rohillas would have justified the Marathas in dealing out vengeance in terribly equal measures to the family of Nazib and Zabeta now, but true to

the tradition of the Hindu triumph the Maratha vengeance did neither contemplate their forcible conversion, nor their victimization to the brutal passions of the camp bazaars. The Hindu arms, even without resorting to these barbarous and brutal acts, had struck such terror in the hearts of the Rohillas and Pathans all over the land, that the very sight of a Maratha trooper was enough to make a whole village of Rohilla Moslems take to their heels. Those of

their leaders who survived, fled away to the interior of the forests of Terai. There too it was only the setting in of the rainy season alone that shielded them from the steel of the Maratha vengeance. So terribly had they to pay for Panipat.

Having thus carried their colours to the very borders of the forests of Terai and cowed down all their foes, the return march was sounded and the armies

of Maharashtra marched back towards Delhi in 1771 A.D. There their diplomats had already reaped the fruits of the victories of thetr generals and outwitting

and frustrating the designs of the English and Suja to secure the person of Shah-alum, the Mogul claimant to the throne, and thus assume the position of the

paramount power in India, had forced Shah-alum to resign to the Marathas all rights and responsibilties of conducting and defending the Indian Empire

in return for nominal recognition of him as the Empiror of India. Even this nominal recognition he would not get till he agreed to pay back all accumulated arrears since the day of Panipat and

Chowth to the Marathas and consented to divide equally any new acquisition of territory. Once what was nearly done in 1761, was fully done in 1771 A, D. After the crushing defeat of the Rohillas and

Pathans there remained no Moslem throughout India who could contest the sovereignty of the Hindus in Hindustan. That year really marked the end of

Muhammadan independence and power and ambition. The Moguls, Turks, Afghans, Pathans, Rohillas, and Persians, Northern and Southern, all sections and sects of the Moslems, strove to contest and seize the

Imperial power of India and rescue their Empire from falling into the hands of the avenging forces of Hindustan. After 1771 we may dismiss the Moslems

as a power in the political field of India. The Hindus had finished them and had recovered thus Hindustan and the independence of their Hindu race from

Attock to the seas.

The recovery of the Marathas was complete after just ten years of the Panipat saga and it is said that in the last moments of Abdalis life he was informed that his arch foes were back in Delhi, mingling the call of death with the bitterness of eventual defeat after his repeated attacks on India. The powers of fanaticism and bigotry combined with utter mercilessness were repelled by the steadfastness and resolution of the Hindus of India, a tribute and reminder that freedom is never cheaply bought with confronted with the politics of ‘Terrorisation’

Reference – HINDU-PAD-PADASHAHI

OR A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE

HINDU EMPIRE OF MAHARASHTRA book by Veer savarkar.

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2019 by in HINDUISM SCIENCE and tagged , .

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