Reasons for the success of the turks.docx - Critically...

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Critically examine the circumstances that facilitated the success of the Turks. In the early 13 th century, northwestern India witnessed the beginnings of Turkish rule in the form of the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate. However, it took the Turks about two centuries to lay the foundations of Turkish rule in India, beginning with the invasions of Mahmud Ghazni in the early 11 th century. He invaded India seventeen times but never established a political kingdom in India. His looting of temples enabled him to organize an efficient army required for the establishment of a strong Turko-Persian empire in Central Asia. Later he did annex a part of Punjab but the intention was to use it as a stepping-stone for further raids in India. Then there were invasions by Muhammad Ghori in the 12 th century, who did annex Indian territories but saw then as a part of the larger Ghurid Empire in Central Asia. But all these invasions did prepare the ground for the establishment of a separate Turkish kingdom in India. And in this pursuit, the Turks faced a stiff resistance from the Rajput kings and local chieftains. However the fact remains that the Turks were successful in conquering parts of India. Various theories have been advanced and various explanations have been attempted to explain the successful Turkish conquest of northern India. However, before going into the details of these, it is important to mention the source material that has been used by historians in this context. Unfortunately, there is paucity of sources in this regard. Moreover, of the three contemporary chroniclers – Hasan Nizami, Mihhajus Siraj and Fakhr-i-Mudabbir – the first two say nothing about the causes of Turkish successes in India though they have described the campaigns. It is strange that for them neither strategy nor tactics nor any other military explanation had any relevance: ‘Almighty God gave victory to Islam’. On the other hand, the available Rajput baric literature over- exaggerates the achievements of the Rajput chieftains who entered into conflict with the Turks. Anyway, the most useful source remains Fakhr-i-Mudabbir’s ‘Adab ul-Harb’, which gives a fair deal of idea about the military organization of, and strategies adopted by the Turks and the Rajputs. Western historians of the 19 th century like Elphinstone, Lanepool and Vincent smith, undermining the resistance offered by the Rajputs, argue that the Indians were basically non-violent and peace-loving people, while the Turks loved fighting. The Turks were barbaric and military adventurers. Thus the Turkish success can be attributed to this difference in the attitude of the Rajputs and the Turks towards war. This argument however, does not hold water. K.A. Nizami points out that the Rajput was, in no way, inferior to the Turk in courage and spirit of sacrifice. Infact Rajput heroism and chivalry were proverbial. The assertion that the Indians were defeated on account of their non-violent attitude

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