Unique is the nature of history, only those who hold the pen have the power to decide the value of the same. The leftist intellectuals, who have dominated the intelligentsia of the nation for a long, and obviously our academia, have told with ‘utmost pride’ as to how Arabs invaded our undivided motherland in 712 AD, under the command of the barbaric plunderer Muhammad bin Qasim, who captured Sindh and beyond, and further proceed to how Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud plundered our Somnath mandir, and destroyed the pride of India for once and for all.
However, there is something amiss. What happened between 712 and 1025, a whole 313 years? What took another invader 3 centuries to set his filthy feet on our holy land? Did no devious barbarian pay attention or the invaders decide to show some mercy towards our India?
If that was the case, you forget that this was the same Bharatvarsha, that was invaded by the likes of Greeks, Sakas, Bactrians, Hunas alike. If they didn’t spare our motherland, how would the bloodthirsty, lecherous Arabian invaders leave us alone, that too, when their supremacy was at their peak, and not even the European warriors could resist them?
Truth be told, this is the same Bharatvarsha, where even the likes of Alexander The Great, the so called ‘World Conqueror’, had to bite the dust. This is the same Bharatvarsha, from which arose the brave warrior, ‘Ayodhyapati’ Shri Ram Chandra, who continues to be revered as a deity for his victory over the tyrannical Rakshasa Raj, Ravan from Lanka. As such, there can be no reason there wouldn’t be warriors that didn’t give a fitting reception to the Arab invaders, and in fact there were such warriors, in front of whom even the coolest of superheroes from the DC verse or the Marvel Universe would look laughable, for their achievements are as real as the sunrise from the East.
Such was the glory of those warriors, who are still shamefully unknown to many Indians, and whose story deserve to be told to be billions across the world. This is the story of four such bravehearts, who united for a Dharmayuddha, that was not only successful, but also created such terror among the invaders, that they dared not step into India for the next 3 centuries.
When Muhammad Bin Qasim invaded and captured Sindh, the usually calm, peaceful and complacent Indians were given a bolt from the blue. Here was an invading force that threw every notion of ethical behavior to the winds. It wasn’t that Bharat faced no invasion before, but the Arabs were a different lot altogether. Culture, Civilization, Ethics – they cared two hoots about them. All that mattered for them was victory and the spoils they’d grab after the same. The worst part, there was nobody to stop this evil force. Nobody. For them, robbery, massacre, rape was a normal pastime.
However, this was no more the ancient Bharat of the yore. Neither there were the majestic Mauryans, nor there were the powerful Guptas, who could check their advance. However, sometimes, as they say, EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!
We Bharatiyas are often accused of never being united for a just cause. But when we do, historians carefully hide those incidents, so as to never let people know that such incidents ever happened in our history at all. They brushed off those incidents, so that none know that amongst our ancestors, there were people, who could make even the likes of Iron Man, Hulk, Spider Man, Aqua Man etc. wonder – Dude, did they really exist, and matter of the fact being, THEY DID!
However, the question still remains, – WHO WERE THESE ‘INDIAN AVENGERS’? Who were these yoddhas who terrorized the Arabs left, right and center? Though they came from different regions of Bharat, but united to save her in the hour of crisis and gave Arabs the wounds that they could never recover from. It all began from Avanti, once a huge Mahajanapada, but now a shadow of itself, ruled by a brave warrior, Samrat Nagabhatta I.
Samrat Nagabhatta I
After capturing Sindh and Punjab, the Arabs decided to conquer the whole of Bharat, and this began with the advent of the lecherous, barbaric governor of Sindh, Junaid Ibn Rahman aka Al Junaid, who invaded Avanti in 725, just a decade more than when Sindh was invaded. Al Junaid and the Arabs were quite confident that the natives would provide no resistance at all. However, Nagabhatta was different, and so were the results. The Arabs were not just defeated, they were so brutally defeated that Junaid had to run for his life. Using their very tricks, Nagabhatta and his warriors had brought the Arabian storm to a halt.
However, through this invasion, Samrat Nagabhatt learnt one thing quick and that was how to repulse an invasion, and another to deter these invaders from stepping into the region again. He needed a solution, a long term solution, and soon enough, the solution in the form of three brave warriors, whose valour was enough to reduce any barbarian to dust.
Samrat Lalitaditya Muktapida
One such braveheart was the Karkotaruler, Samrat Lalitaditya Muktapida, who not only kept India free from invasions, but also whacked the Arabs and the Ottomans in their own backyard.
Lalitaditya’s military strategy was unmatched, as he wasn’t completely on the defence unlike other Indian rulers in the pre-Islamic era. He was the most famous ruler of the Karkota dynasty of India’s Kashmir.He grew increasingly aware of the threats posed by the Arabic invaders, and therefore he raised a powerful military for defence force. What sets him in a different league is his image of a world conqueror.
According to RC Majumdar’s ‘Ancient India’, the Karkota ruler faced his first challenge from Yashovarman, a ruler of Kannauj who was considered the heir of Harashvardhan- the famous ruler of the Pushyabhuti dynasty. It was at the insistence of Queen Ratta, who was under siege, and sought his assistance.
Lalitaditya defeated him and also compelled him into signing a peace treaty. Ultimately, he concentrated on Northern territories- Ladakh and certain Eastern territories which were under the control of Tibetans at that time. Overwhelmed by his benevolence, it is said by many, that Queen Ratta was the same Queen Bhavanagana, whose son, Dantidurga, joined the pan India force, to defeat the Arabs, later establishing the Rashtrakuta dynasty of his own.
The biggest challenge however came from the Middle East. This was also the time when Mohammed Bin Qasim attacked Multan. So, Lalitaditya combined his military and diplomatic powers to defeat the Arabs. He formed an alliance with the Tang dynasty of China.
He also overwhelmed Transoxiana, a region comprising modern day Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, and southwest Kazakhstan. He relentlessly secured territories necessary to keep the Arab invaders at bay, and even occupied Turkistan through Kabul.
His empire was vast- it extended to Dwarka in the South, Odisha coast and Bangladesh in the East, and Central Asia in the West. Lalitaditya understood that he must remain on the offensive for the sake of protecting his own territorial and civilizational interests. He was not just an able warrior but also an architect of some of the grandest temples, such as the Martand Sun Temple in Anantnag, Jammu & Kashmir.
However, Samrat Lalitaditya was not alone in his fight. Imagine RRR in a parallel universe, and you’ll find Samrat Lalitaditya and Bappa Rawal. What? How is this even possible? If two and two are put together, this might be so. According to folklore, one of Lalitaditya’s closest associates was the glorious founder of Mewar, Samrat Kalabhoja, whom history knows better as Bappa Rawal.
Bappa Rawal, 8th-century king of India is especially known for earmarking his victory posts. He was one of the first kings to force Arabs back to retreat to Iran. While returning to Mewar, he stationed 1000 troops each at every 100 km of his trajectory. Modern-day Rawalpindi in Pakistan is one of the most famous posts of Bappa.
Bappa had set his eyes on Chittoor aka Chitrakuta, known today as Chittor, under the control of Arabs. However, winning it was far from easy. But for Bappa, nothing was impossible. What was impossible for the local Moris [Mauryas], Bappa did it with ease.
For Bappa Rawal, the shloka, ‘Veer Bhogya Vasundhara’ was the essence of his life. It simply means that life on Earth is not made for the weak. Only those who are brave and capable can rule the land. This shloka was beseeched by Bhagwan Krishna during Mahabharat which simply means that even if you want to negotiate, bravery is required; the weak are simply crushed by the dominant. This shloka is more in line with the brutal fact of evolution. Life on Earth is no fairy tale; it’s full of indecision, hindrances, anxieties, unforeseen pain, and ill-timed deaths of loved ones. One wrong decision and it will crush you to death.
It took the Arabs less than a decade to spread bloodshed and terror throughout northwest India, but it took 3 centuries for another invader to try a similar effort again. If only we made an effort into reading the effort of our ancestors, and how such bravehearts employed the smartest of tactics to make even the most tyrannical beg for mercy, our country wouldn’t have had to face so many invasions, and blessed be the soil that gave birth to such warriors like Samrat Nagabhatta, Samrat Lalitaditya Muktapida and Bappa Rawal, whom Bharatvarsha should be proud of.
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