Sunday, 28 July 2013

India's unsung Heroes.......King Sukhdeo.

*      King Sukhdev was the ruler of Sravasti, UttarPradesh, India in the early 11th century. He was also known as Suhaldev.

*      Masood Ghazni, the nephew of Ghazni invaded India with the army of more than 100,000 men with 50,000 cavalry in May 1031. This time, the army was not a raiding one like that of Mahmood Ghazni, who came with intention of raiding, looting and retreating with the loot to Afghanistan. Masood was backed by the imperial army of the Persian empire and came to India with the intention of permanent conquest and Islamization of India.

*      King Anandpal Shahi tried to check this Ghazni advance towards the heartland of India. He was helped by the king of Sialkot, Rai Arjun. But, this alliance was overwhelmed by the superiority of numbers of the Muslim army. After defeating Anandpal Shahi and Rai Arjun, Masood advanced towards Malwa and Gujarat. King Mahipal Tomar tried to check the advance but he too was defeated.

*      After victories across the northern Indian plains, Masood settled at Bahraich near Lucknow. He stayed here up to mid-1033. To fight the invader, 17 Rajput kings forged the biggest confederation under the leadership of King  Sukhdev.

*      In June 1033, Masood was intimated by this confederation that the land belonged to the Rajputs and Hindus and he should evacuate these lands. Masood replied that all land belonged to the Allah and hence he would not retreat.

*      On June 13, 1033 the Rajput army of about 120,000 descended on the Ghazni camp at Bahraich. Masood's army was completely besieged and encircled. The battle continued for hours. In the end, each and every man in Masood's camp was killed. No prisoners were taken, no mercy was shown on the invaders. The great battle was fought near the Chittaura Jheel, a lake about 8 km from the modern city of Bahraich on the Bahraich-Gonda Road. The battle ended on 14 June with victory for Raja Sukhdev and his Rajput alliance. On the evening of 14 June 1033, Masood was killed by Raja Sukhdev.

*     The invasion was completely crushed and victory was so resounding that no Arab invader from the Northwest dared to invade India for next 160 years.

*     This is one of the golden pages of Indian history. Sadly this battle neither is taught in the text books, nor has been given due importance in the history books; while lesser battles depicting Mughal victory have been given undue importance. This is injustice to thousands of soldiers who laid down their lives fighting for the honour of their country.

*     If future kings had shown half the courage against the Mughal invaders, history of India would have been different.

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