Military & Aerospace

Factors Affecting Outcome of War
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Issue Book Excerpt: Hinduism & its Military Ethos | Date : 25 Apr , 2016

What were the causes for Hindu defeats? The simple and short answer is ‘Military non-performance of the Hindus’.

To examine the reasons of that non-performance, we have first to understand the nature of war, i.e. the factors that determine the outcome of war.

‘War’ is a three-letter dirty word, involving death and destruction, murder and mayhem, and everything unpleasant and unpalatable. However, it is war, which determines the fates of nations, and their pecking order in the comity of nations. Civilizations rose to their glory and grandeur on the shoulders of war; that was the case with all major civilizations, e.g. Greek, Roman, Christian and Islamic. War has dominated the human affairs right from the dawn of history, which is essentially a chronicle of wars. Those civilizations who could not understand the centrality of war in human affairs fell by the wayside; unfortunately, the Hindu civilization falls in this category. The one unimpeachable lesson of history is that maintenance of the delicate balance of civilizations requires War, or the ‘Threat of War’; that is the only language the world at large understands.

Civilizations rose to their glory and grandeur on the shoulders of war; that was the case with all major civilizations…Those civilizations who could not understand the centrality of war in human affairs fell by the wayside; unfortunately, the Hindu civilization falls in this category.

It is not that the Hindus could never appreciate the importance of war. Actually, one of the very first persons to understand the centrality of war in human affairs, was a Hindu; his name was Chanakya Kautilya. As early as the 4th century BC, Chanakya told everything that needed to be known about war; and he did that in a very blunt and forceful language. If Hindus had paid even part heed to Chanakya’s concepts, they could have gone on to dominate the world. However, the Hindus lost the script and their way very early in their history.

War is central to the issue under discussion by us. Like a computer, war has two aspects, i.e. Software and Hardware, viz.:

  • Software Factors, or ‘Mind’ Factors

Strategy and Generalship — Tactics

Troops — Skill Levels

Hindu Mindset

  • The Hardware Factors, or ‘Muscle’ Factors

Number of Troops
Weapons Technology and Quantities
Battle Venue — Distance from home base
War Animals — Horse vs Elephant

For victory in war, it is essential that both the Hardware and Software elements are present in reasonably adequate quantity and even more importantly, in quality. No war can be fought in the absence of either of these elements. However, there can be endless arguments as to which of the above element is more important. All that we can say is that history records many cases in which armies even severely deficient in Hardware but adequate in Software, recorded victory after victory. There are not many cases in which armies short on Software could record victory, even if overflowing with Hardware. The Software factor could also be called morale, though only in a limited sense.

Amongst the Hindus, Prithviraj Chauhan was a general of very high caliber. But, it would be difficult to avoid the conclusion that Prithviraj Chauhan was out-maneuvered and out-foxed by Muhammad Ghauri in 1192 AD.

The primary cause of Hindus going under was their comprehensive defeats by the Muslims in the following two battles:

  • 1009 AD; Mahmud of Ghazni vs Anandpal
  • 1192 AD; Muhammad Ghauri vs Prithviraj Chauhan.

The first battle showed how vulnerable Hindus were. The second battle demonstrated how easy it was to subdue them for the long term. In the following paragraphs, we examine the Software and Hardware factors of the Hindu and Muslim armies in the context of the above two battles.

Software Factors

Skill Levels: In terms of skill levels of troops, the Muslim armies appeared to have an advantage; they had an edge at least in one respect, i.e. they were better horsemen. The Muslim armies had special columns of ‘mounted archers’, who could fire arrows with precision, whilst at full gallop; Hindu armies had no answer for that.

Generalship: It is generally believed that Muslim generals were of higher caliber. Especially, Mahmud of Ghazni is counted amongst the best generals of the world. Amongst the Hindus, Prithviraj Chauhan was a general of very high caliber. But, it would be difficult to avoid the conclusion that Prithviraj Chauhan was out-maneuvered and out-foxed by Muhammad Ghauri in 1192 AD.

Hindu Mindset: This is the subject at the center of our study. It is a rather complex issue and is discussed in detail in chapters 40 and 41.

Hardware Factors

Troop numbers: As stated earlier, almost all the Rajput Rulers of North West India contributed their troops for both the battles. That would lead us to conclude that Hindus armies must have had a significant numerical superiority; they could have easily had twice or thrice the numbers of troops when compared to the Muslim armies.

Weapons Technology: At the start of the second millennium AD, Hindu civilization was a very advanced one. There is nothing to suggest that in weapons technology, Hindus could have been in any way less advanced than the Muslims could. As such, weapons of both sides could be considered to be of comparable class. In spite of the known and proven innumerable shortcomings and disadvantages of the elephant, the Hindu commanders, for some inexplicable reason, continued to use the elephant as their major weapon of war.

Battle Venue: Both the above battles, as all other Hindu–Muslim battles, were fought in the very backyard of the Hindus. Hindu armies had an enormous advantage in terms of Supply and Support Systems. Muslims were fighting far away from their home base and were thus at a major disadvantage.

War Animals — Horse vs Elephant

Before the invention of the machine, the horse was the most important weapon of war. It had been used in that role from times immemorial; almost from the beginning of human history. Every famous general has ridden it; and he has ridden nothing else. One common feature of all victorious generals was their unshakable faith in the horse as a weapon of war. The most famous horse of history was Busephelus belonging to the most famous general of history, Alexander the Great.

The horse, the rider, and the sword, constitute the first example of what in modern military terminology is called the ‘Weapon System’. The sword is held (firmly) in the hand of the rider, who is in (firm) touch with the body of the horse, through his legs. Through that physical touch, the horse can read the mind of his rider, including his state of confidence or panic. Thus, the horse can anticipate commands of his master and give a real-time response. This single factor of close and instant interaction of the ‘horse, the rider and the sword’, resulted in achieving innumerable victories.

Hindu armies, though using horses relied excessively on elephants. Hindu commanders used elephants in two ways:The horse is one of the most intelligent animals. It has all the qualities essential for the battlefield, i.e. speed, stamina, agility, flexibility, easy maneuverability and endurance. The greatest factor in favor of the horse is the positive control that the rider has through means of the reins; that ensures total control and instant response, an indispensable requirement in a war situation. In addition, there is the great sense of loyalty of the horse to his master. History records many instances where the horse saved his master from hopeless situations, and in some cases from certain death. In the Indian context, we have the case of the horse named Chetak, who saved his master Rana Pratap from a very tricky situation.

  • In large numbers to form offensive phalanxes in the battle line-up.
  • As an individual mount of the commander, especially the commander-in-chief, or the king.

In addition to the Hindus, two other countries known to have used elephants in war in a major way were Iran and Carthage of North Africa. Hannibal (3rd century BC) of Carthage used elephants when attacking Europe. However, Hannibal did not ride the elephant himself; he always rode the horse.

For the Muslim commanders, it was horses all the way. In fact, all commanders all over the world used only the horse; these included Alexander, Caesar, Genghis Khan and all others. They might have heard of the elephant, but they knew its limitations as a weapon of war; it was never to be used as a mount for the commander.

Now, as a weapon of war, the elephant lacks almost all the qualities of the horse, which we have detailed earlier. All those attributes are either absent, or highly deficient in the elephant. Its most serious deficiency is the lack of any positive control; the elephant has nothing resembling the rein of the horse. Whatever limited control is there is not by the commander/rider, but through the means of a third party, called mahout in Hindi.

The commander/rider stands isolated in a sort of metal container (called howda in Hindi) on the top of the elephant. The commander has no interaction with the elephant and thus, lacks any type of rapport with it. The commander’s orders to the animal have to be given through the mahout. In the clutter and din of the battle, the mahout may not hear the order or misunderstand it, and sometimes even pretend not to hear. In some exceptional circumstances, the mahout may be bribed by the enemy to let down the commander at a crucial moment of battle. The mahout may try to get the order implemented by the elephant, who may not respond due to the lack of any positive control. There were many instances where elephants went out of control and acted as they wished.

The elephant has no speed, is cumbersome in movement and sluggish in response — all self-destructive attributes in a war situation. It has lot of mass and strength; that often proved delusive in actual war situations. The elephant has no loyalty to the commander/rider and hardly even recognizes him. So, it cannot be expected to save its rider from tricky situations, as horses have reported to have done.

…there is the great sense of loyalty of the horse to his master. History records many instances where the horse saved his master from hopeless situations, and in some cases from certain death.

Now in an actual war situation, the commander cum king stands/sits perched high on the back of the elephant. That might generate a feeling amongst the troops that the commander is isolated from them, and sitting rather safely on a high perch; in other words, not sharing the risks with them. Further, if a mishap were to occur to the commander, it would be almost instantly noticed by the troops; that may demoralize them and result in chaos. That actually happened in at least two cases of crucial battles, as will be seen in later paragraphs.

There is still another serious disadvantage of the elephant. In the earlier days, the sword was the primary and most important weapon of war; warrior’s reputation was known by his skill and mastery of the sword. It is the only weapon useable in close combat situations, which invariably determines the final outcome of war. When the general is sitting on the top of an elephant, he is in no position to use the sword. That is a major drawback and liability.

In spite of the known and proven innumerable shortcomings and disadvantages of the elephant, the Hindu commanders, for some inexplicable reason, continued to use the elephant as their major weapon of war. Towards that end, we list below four major battles that Hindu Commanders fought against the invading forces:

It is noticed from the above that.

  • All four invaders were on horseback, and all four emerged victorious.
  • All the four defending Hindu Commanders were on elephant, and all four were defeated. Of course, there were also other reasons for the Hindu defeats — riding the elephant was just one of those.

History records the following episodes in respect to the above campaigns:

  • 326 BC: Porus employed phalanxes of elephants as a defensive cum offensive shield. Under heavy onslaught of arrows from the Greek cavalry, the elephants panicked and started backing off, stampeding their own forces. In addition, Porus was himself riding an elephant.
  • 710 AD: There was a stage in the battle when Hindu forces had an upper hand. Dahar was on his elephant and was consequently rather exposed. An arrow hit Dahar and he was killed; panic spread in the Hindu forces and they retreated.
  • 1009 AD: At a crucial stage in the battle, when the Hindus were winning, Anandpal’s elephant got panicky and bolted from the field. That was a signal for panic and the Hindu forces dispersed, pursued by the Muslim cavalry.
After the Muslims had been ruling India for 300 years, there was the last Sultanate king Ibrahim Lodhi. He also employed phalanxes of elephants in his confrontation with the fresh Muslim invader Babur. Now, Babur had come with the gunpowder cannons. The din caused by the firings of cannons caused mayhem amongst the elephants and they stampeded their own troops.

Hindu Military Mindset

History tells us that certain races and civilizations were traditionally war-like and aggressive. The Greek, Roman, Christian and Islamic civilizations fall in this category, though at different points of times in history. Then, there were the tribal civilizations like the Mongols/Tartars, Huns and Goths, who spread murder and mayhem all over the world. They established major empires based on their drive for dominance, backed by raw courage.

On the other hand, there was the Hindu civilization, which, came to be (wrongly) considered by the Hindus themselves as non-offensive, docile, tolerant and the accommodating type. Even today, most Hindus like to project themselves as such. Hindu generals for some strange reason never ventured out of their land borders, even when they had the means and the duty to do so. The difference between Hindu civilization and the rest is too stark to be missed by anyone. In this respect, Hindu civilization stands almost alone in its (dubious) splendor, to its great disadvantage and at great cost to itself and its people.

Hindu civilization stands almost alone in its (dubious) splendor, to its great disadvantage and at great cost to itself and its people.

Over the ages, Hindus acquired a number of mindsets, some under the influence of Buddhism; these were to prove their undoing . Hindu generals for some strange reason never ventured out of their land borders, even when they had the means and the duty to do so.It is fashionable for Hindu apologists to project ‘non-invasion of foreign lands’ as a great virtue and an outstanding characteristic of the great Hindu culture and civilization. ‘We never invaded anyone in our 3000 or 5000 years of glorious history’ croak the Hindu leaders. One hears of this argument ad nauseam during TV debates and seminars.

‘How unique, how wonderful is our record of non-invasions,’ say Hindu leaders, with a touch of pride and twinkle in their eyes. Though we may note in passing that the great lord Rama did invade foreign lands. Actually, this viewpoint is nothing but a reflection of the muddled Hindu thinking on military issues.

this viewpoint is nothing but a reflection of the muddled Hindu thinking on military issues.

This reasoning shows lack of the fundamental military principle, i.e. Offence is the best form of Defense; you have to get to your adversary before he can get to you. If you are on the offensive, you have already won half the battle; if you are on the defensive, you start with a great disadvantage. This is how the psychology of war works, and has always worked throughout the ages. Almost every war in history establishes the truth of this dictum. In the vast majority of battles, the party on the offensive won. Muslims won almost every battle as they were always on the offensive, and carried the battle to other people’s land. The great strategist Chanakya, in his Arthshastra, has laid great emphasis on ‘offensive actions’. The capture of (weak) neighboring states has been prescribed as the sacred duty of the king.

Let us examine the international practice on the subject of ‘offensive action’. In chapter 35.1, we have listed some of the famous generals of history. In studying their careers, we find many common features. These generals spent most of their time on horseback, with their sword drawn, ready to strike. Each dawn, they would throw a challenge to a new land and a new country — ‘Submit, or else’, was their clear and crisp message.

They took no quarter and gave none. They marched from land to land, planting their flag and moving on. They went to the enemy’s lair, and seldom allowed him to come to theirs. The military initiative always lay with them. That is why history recognizes and respects these generals. Alexander became the world conqueror, as each week he had a fresh land to conquer. Genghis Khan and Timur became the terror that they were, as they identified their next victim as soon as they had decimated one. Atilla the Hun is famous, because he was always on the offensive. None of the famous generals allowed themselves to be on the defensive.

They took no quarter and gave none. They marched from land to land, planting their flag and moving on

There is the case of the Punic wars; these were fought in 3rd century BC between Rome and Carthage, a country in North Africa. Around 216 BC, General Hannibal of Carthage landed in Europe for some offensive actions. He captured Spain and surrounding territories, and started attacking the mighty Roman Empire. Over a period of some ten years, Hannibal inflicted a series of defeats on the formidable Roman legions. In one engagement alone, he is reported to have killed some 50,000 Roman soldiers, a humongous number those days. Having been bored with his victories, Hannibal went back to Carthage. Now, Roman General Scipio attacked Carthage, and defeated Hannibal decisively in his own den, in the famous battle of Zama in 202 BC. Moral of the story is that Hannibal was winning as long as he was on the offensive; he lost when he adopted defensive posture.

We have earlier quoted the little known Sanskrit shloka (verse) — ‘Veera Bhoga Vasundhra’, i.e. Brave will enjoy the Earth. Those generals were the perfect example of that. They lived for the day, and enjoyed fully the fruit of their labor in the present life, without worrying about the next. That is what human spirit is all about, that is the human DNA. Human spirit is not about first non-performing, and then cooking up reasons for defeat.

Let us now explore Hindu scriptures on their attitude towards offensive actions. We start with the holiest of the holy, the one and only Bhagwad Gita; its central message is somewhat on the following lines:

Tolerate no injustice — never, under no circumstances
Engage in (righteous) war
Kill, or be Killed (nothing in between)
Kill, and enjoy the fruits of earth
If killed (in battle), enjoy the fruits of heaven.

When in an offensive action, you are the winner all the way; if you win, you enjoy the fruits of earth; if you lose and are killed in battle (which you have to be, if you lose), you enjoy the fruits of heaven. This is the message of the great Lord Krishna himself. No other religion is more clear and unambiguous on the imperatives of offensive action. It was after getting this message and direction that Arjuna went on the offensive and emerged victorious. We now take the Hindu’s second most holy book, i.e. the Rig Veda. The Rig lists the innumerable military exploits of Indra, all in the offensive mode. He is shown repeatedly attacking various demons, defeating and killing them; those include the invincible demon Vrtra, for which Indra took help from Vishnu.

The Hindu scriptures are full of tales of gods being on the offensive against the demons, and demons against the gods. In many of those offensive actions, the great lords Vishnu and Shiva play crucial roleThen, there are the two great epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharta; in these lies the very soul of the Hindus. These epics are, in essence, the glorification of war and offensive actions.

Ravan had abducted just one lady (Sita); Lord Rama lost no time in crossing the seas, and dispatching that abductor to hell.

Rama in Ramayana and the Pandavas (assisted by Krishna) in the Mahabharta, were on the offensive, and both emerged victorious, even against heavy odds. The great goddess Kali is depicted always on the offensive against various types of demons, including the most formidable ones. She shows no hesitation even in drinking their blood. What can be a greater endorsement of ‘offensive actions’ in Hindu scriptures?

In view of the foregoing, it is difficult to see from where the Hindus have picked up their theory of and obsession with ‘no offensive action’. It has no sanction in Hindu scriptures; Hindu culture and tradition revolves around ‘offensive action’. We can keep on quoting example after example from Hindu scriptures, which stress on offensive actions and other imperatives of war. The great Lord Rama himself had gone on the offensive against a foreign land and returned victorious with full honors. Ravan had abducted just one lady (Sita); Lord Rama lost no time in crossing the seas, and dispatching that abductor to hell.

There is no way Hindus can justify their non-invasion of the Afghanistan of the early centuries of 2nd millennium AD.

The Ghaznis and Ghauris routinely abducted hundreds and thousands of Hindu women with a view to dishonor them. Some Rajput clans trace their ancestry to a Suryavanshis of Lord Rama. But, the Rajput ‘Suryavanshi’ blood was not stirred by these wanton acts of the Ghaznis and Ghauris. Not one Rajput ruler followed the example of their ancestor, the great Lord himself, and went to Afghanistan to teach a lesson or two to those upstarts and molesters

There is no way Hindus can justify their non-invasion of the Afghanistan of the early centuries of 2nd millennium AD. Such an invasion was imperative for a variety of reasons, including saving the honor of their women; a most sublime cause, if there is ever one. Even if one Rajput ruler had taken that route, there would have been no need to conduct the abhorrent practice of ‘jahaur’ — mass self-immolation of women on funeral pyres.

Muhammad Ghauri had started nibbling at Indian territories in 1176 AD. By 1186 AD or so, he had incorporated large parts of Punjab up to Bhatinda in his empire. What was the response of Prithviraj Chauhan? Nil; he sat tight in his state. That was the Hindu mindset at work. The fundamental and cardinal military principle is to be always on the lookout for a ‘potential’ threat, and to eliminate it immediately, sometimes even before an actual threat.

Problems do not go away by pretending that these do not exist, or by shutting one’s eyes to reality.

Chanakya’s Arthshastra spells it out explicitly; every successful (foreign) general followed it literally. It was incumbent on Prithviraj to take on Muhammad Ghauri as soon as he saw him taking over Ghazni, and building a power base there. The Vedic dharma required that line of action. There is no way Prithviraj should have allowed Ghauri to take over Indian cities like Peshawar, Multan and Lahore, leave alone the next-door citadel of Bhatinda. Problems do not go away by pretending that these do not exist, or by shutting one’s eyes to reality.

In 1191 AD, Prithviraj had the good fortune to defeat Muhammad Ghauri. However, Prithviraj allowed a wounded Ghauri to get away. If Prithviraj was unable to kill or capture Muhammad Ghauri on the battlefield, it was incumbent on him to pursue the Turko-Afghan to his lair in Lahore or Multan or Peshawar. Actually, Prithviraj should have traveled all the way to Ghazni and Ghur, and smashed Muhammad Ghauri’s power at its very base; from the military point of view, that was the only option. That course would have prevented future upstarts to cast their lustful eyes on this holy land. Hindu history would have developed along entirely different lines.

  • The Hindu mind, mostly under the influence of Buddhism and Jainism, came to suffer from a series of pre-conceived concepts and notions, viz.:
  • The Hindu mind failed to comprehend the centrality of war in the affairs of men, and in determining the fate of nations and civilizations. They failed to develop a military culture of offensive action (an international norm), essential for the survival as a free and proud nation.
  • At some stage, Hindus started suffering from an overdose of ahimsa (non-violence), shanti (peace) and satya (truth) — the ‘ass’ syndrome. This was partly under Buddhist influence, especially the ahimsa part.
  • Under the influence of Brahmin priests, Hindu rulers got overtly obsessed with their next-life. If they could assure their after-life, they did not perhaps mind going-under in the present life.
  • Hindus also suffered from frequent bouts of bogus morality and phony spirituality. Hindus must understand that they need not and do not have any greater share of these two attributes, than any other people on this earth do.

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The above type of mindsets unnerved people from the tasks of life, especially those relating to war; that sapped the national will to fight. To date, Hindus keep on justifying the non-performance of Hindu rulers on the pretext of some non-existent tradition of ‘No offensive action, please; we are Hindus’; in that one sentence, and mindset, lies the cause of Hindu downfall.

The Achilles Heel of the Hindu armies appeared to lie in the arena of pre-determined mindsets and the lack of motivation; in their inability or unwillingness to ‘stand up and fight’; and to fight until victory or death, as dictated by the great Lord Krishna himself in the Bhagwad Gita.

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28 thoughts on “Factors Affecting Outcome of War

  1. The thesis presented here is just a display of age old “Hindu” mindset of strategic analysis in the context of military, if I may say with full respect to the Air Marshal. “Chanakya Kautilya” is long passe, as such has no relevance in the modern world and whatever little I have read about his concepts, I shove it in the dustbin of rubbish as triviality. As formulated by Clausewitz, military power, economy and foreign policy (i.e. politics) of a nation state are locked together – a concept totally lacking in Chanakya. And the Hindu Indian nation (India) completely missed that fundamental in exercise of its state craft. And that is what led to India being invaded by external powers time and again. Here comes the understanding of “power projection” by those at the helm as political masters of the state : you do not fight a war on your own sovereign territory. If you do that, you are doomed. It does not matter whether horses are agile or elephants are slow to move. It has nothing to do with your weapon system. You fight war in the territories of your enemy external to yours. That lies at the core of the art of warfare. I was discussing this matter once with a highly placed retired Air Force Officer (IAF). It came out that although the IAF is a derivative of the British RAF, it did not learn the philosophy of power projection from the British in spite of learning many things in flying and otherwise technically. Maybe with the recent contact and liaison with the USAF, it will learn what “power projection” is all about. And that is true for all branches of the Armed Forces. Without that concept sinking in, the Indian military will be in the same situation as in the historical past in the service of the Indian State.

  2. Well lets put foreign victories in incl Persian, Greek , Muslim and British was they were far superior as military strategists, fighters and military organisation.
    Their governance and state craft was also much superior.

    Genghis Khan was the first to evolve a modern Nation State, the mechanics of governance of conquered territories by co-opting the conquered as part of the ruling edifice. Mongols built an empire that extended from the East Asia from Pacific to France, from Scandinavia to India-the largest Empire ever by having Mongol overlords in Regions but with local populace being co-opted as nearly equal partners.

    The author has made much ado about use of elephants in battle.
    There was no real alternate option, horses were not natural to the Indian subcontinent, nor were there that many.
    Similarly there were no chariots too, chariot designs were unknown possibly because there were no horses,nor were they used in battle.

    Persian and Greeks used horse cavalry and chariots in war, the Afghans and Mongols used compact fast moving cavalry with very skilled archers and swordsmen.Genghis Khan direction for his troops was simple, for every Mongol killed in battle take “100 of the enemy with you.”

    Another facet is that Indians were not naturally martial, could not sustain protracted wars.There are recorded instances when faced with a possible protracted siege, a sell out was often resorted to by parts of the formations than fight and die.

    British grapple hold of the subcontinent was because of additionally superior technology driven armaments.
    The Industrial Revolution had by passed the most parts of Asia except perhaps Japan.India a rich agrarian economy was content in the prosperity.The reason India slipped as a rich nation in 1600 AD to a basket case by 20th century was not because of loot by the British as the popular notion is, but it missed the Industrial Revolution altogether.

    Macualy was the first to make necessary corrections to bring in Science Education.

  3. this hindu writer has forgotten 1 basic law of nature”kafir cant defeat islam”2nd he is going to make a mistake > the country of hinduus *valley of ganga and jumna” but these ganga jumanee hinduus as per their nature always try to show otherd land of them>you have right to defend Hindustan(ganga jumni valley) but when you will think to capture other land will suffer same like your forefathers

  4. Ill conceieved and irrelevant. Ill conceived because the evaluation of the ‘Hindu military mind’ is restricted to the oft templated narrative of ‘hindu versus muslim’ narrative to the exclusion of the conflicts between the southern Hindu rulers with the european invaders. In fact the narrative completely excludes the military might and mind displayed by the southern indian dynasties in their successful expeditions to the far east of Asia. I also find the narrative irrelevant in the 21 century when military minds or mindsets have to be evaluated in the backdrop of strict professional parameters of technology sans any religious, ethnic or regional groupings.

    • Yeah couldnt agree more…though there are many interesting facts and revelations about the mind set of many former rulers of India, it completely ignores the fact of how the southern Indian rulers who reached all the way to Southeast asia waged their wars…also it forgets to mention Shivaji and great generals like Bajirao who inflicted humiliating defeats on Mughals and others…granted that it was probably not a sustained campaign but sure do have some great examples of leadership and caliber…and as someone mentioned below inspite of all this so called defensive mindset Indians and Chinese have managed to live through many invasions and survive…

  5. Yes sir ..what you have mentioned is exemplary and worth reading. Especially horse vs elephant argument. Probably this was the reason why Marathas uprooted mughal empire throughout India as Maratha movement during battle was always swift ,horse mounted and had lot of aggression. It was Marathas who gave India freedom from Mughals.


  7. hindko the idol worshippers as we are called by the jihad propoga,nists and savage hordes because of a advanced agraian economyturned into traders , shopkeepers,commissionagents and rent seekers . The modern brahmin bania combine never encouraged , respected the warrior class and hence India remained a slave nation for 1000 yrs first to the muslims , then the gora bastards and now again preparing
    for the next slaveryby economic miltary cultural invasionwhere the politcan babus and the corrupt businessclass deposit their money in tax havens through corrupt bankers and send their children to american , british australian academic institutions . The poor sardars, malyalees , andhraites, and people from other states pay lakhs to go to the gulf for slave labour . The ruling elite the babus in India live in lutyens delhi both protected by the spg and nsg. women committed jauhar and sati during the moghul times today women and young children are raped murdered and hung on trees . The common indian and his family are already slaves in their own country where the police , govt , local civic bodies donot work , hospitals for sick are slaughter houses , food sold poisoned with chemicals and fertlisers , where riversare flowing with filth , streets are choked crime and crimnals in all walks right upto the parliament . what independance do we talk today except urinating , defecating on the streets and breaking laws. for 60 yrs the congress enslaved the Indians whilst a italian house frau ruled the country through a meek timid spineless sardar whose honesty is now tumbling out as shown by justice katjus staments.

  8. Let us go back to history – who corrupted Indian war fighting traditions. It was Buddha and Mahavir. They converted a fairly conquest minded Aryans into vegetarian and peaceful people. This was the undoing of traditions of Ramayan and Mahabharat in confronting the enemy in a battlefield for the right reasons. So when Alexander crossed Khyber Pass he ran into a vegetarian citizens army which had not drilled into battle formation (Greek historian Plinny) or kept up to date with western battle tactics of horse riding commando force. But Porus fought well into draw and then agreed for a peace. Otherwise Porus would be dead and Alexander lost another 10,000 Greek soldiers, which he could not afford to loose. Plinny also mentions that Indian swords were much, much inferior and shorter. Soldiers had no body armour and lance was shorter compared to the Greeks. The stage was set for defeat. But peace was established.

    This problem of low quality arms continued when Anandpal and Prithviraj Chauhan lost to Muslim in 1009 and 1192AD. Indians still had not mastered the horse. Arms were inferior and tactics non existent. Indian followed the tactics of Mahabharat battle i.e. face to face combat in sunlight. Mahmoud Ghor had hired a special Turks cavalary unit from Turkish speaking lands, north of Afghanistan to outmanoeuvre Prithviraj at second battle of Terrain. Ghori never ruled India. He handed over India to his hired Turk General Qutub Bin Aibak as promised.

    Indian never mastered any part of military tactics or strategy or upgraded their arms during Muslim rule since 1192AD. They fought bravely, Rana Sangha and Partap, Shivaji, Guru Gobind Singh, Lachit Sen but never prevailed.

    Our religion from our birth teaches prayer to God to relieve our sufferings. Lord Vishnu had to come ten times to relieve our pain. Self help or active resistance to tyranny is not the rule but a convenience. Hence we want to loose our head resisting but never smarten up to cut enemy’s head.

    • “@Hari Sud– on whose authority or on which persons written description are you saying Porus lost to Alexander. Greek Magesthenes who wrote INDICA who was Ambassador in Chandra Guptas court within 10 to 15 years of 326 B.C. in no way mentions about this battle had it been won by any Greek the ambassador would have left no effort to blow his country’s trumpet of victory and it is only after about 700 to 800 years later that some Greeks comment on his works and claim that Alexander defeated Porus like wise about a 100 years later in SHAHNAMA the Persian poet and author claims that Porus defeated Alexander further description by these Greeks give indications that Porus won it was a careful guise on part of western historians studying comparative history took this as cutoff date to classify time prior to it dark period please visit

  9. The article is rather school-boyish, particularly, a school boy who has studied the CBSE history syllabus. That syllabus considers the history of Delhi as the history of India. Delhi was not the capital of India and its fall or rise did not have any effect, may be, beyond twenty five miles of the place. If Hindus were so inept at warfare and so unaware of the centrality of war to survival in a world full of madmen, the adherents of that religion would have long been converted to the faiths of their invaders.
    It must be remembered that there is a part of India that lies south of the Vindhyas, where Hindu kings defeated every comer, their numbers of weaponry notwithstanding. In the North, too, there were doughty fighters like Rana Pratap.

    As for johar and, even, kesariya, the do or die assault, these were the result of the chivalry that Hindu warrior observed. Anything like conversion to another faith and rape of enemy women were unknown in India before the invasions of the Mongols and Muslims. These were the aims of the invaders. Hindus came to consider death the better option than being raped or converted.

    The history of Hindus is not that of defeat, but of victory. Picking up the only examples that the CBSE’s stable of historians produced for winning the votes of minorities and to give Hindu majority an inferiority complex produces such articles.

  10. All civilizations mentioned above have perished.a debt ridden italy is whats left of rome,greeks are begging from imf and germany for their daily bread.muslims are being blown to pieces by other muslims and drones.the christians are surviving on chinese money.
    The only two civilizations that stood the test of time are the indian and chinese. Both of whome are the longest contonuous civilisations of human history.interestingly these are the only two civilisations which had always maintained a defensive and inward looking mindset.the example of the ‘the great wall of china’ comes to mind.indians or chinese never attacked foreign land because they had plenty of resources be it fertile land,fresh water,a large population,any and every mineral resource waging war they had nothing much to gain and a lot to loose.on the other hand muslims and christians had nothing to loose and a lot to gain.i mean what would prithviraj chavan have gained from the deserts of afganistan? Also the muslims and christians wanted to convert the hindus but they could not.they only managed to convert the shudras and other backward casts which the hindus had rejected anyways.hence at the end of it all,as darwin had said”it is not the strongest or largest of species that survives,but the one which is most responsive to change.” There are a total of 1 billion followers of hinduism,and 1 billion more of in practice the hindu civilization influences humanity the most.and that too without waging wars.quite an accomplishment i must say.

  11. muslims called hinduuos who worshiped idols> so hindu civilization means valley of ganga and jamna civilization but problems with people of these ganga and jamna valley they deliberately show others parts of south asia hve same race and culture.this is actuall mistake.pakistan was not part of civilization of valley of ganga and jamna civilzations>hey where muslims who made empires of south asia and with help of sword united different nations and races> in this modern age this is not possible> khalistan zaina bad>lol

  12. The article is thought provoking.Go back to the history of India it has been corruption in multiple( actions-thoughts-responses-no actions- non performance) made India as a true heavens for the Invaders from the west. The Armed Forces do not operate in isolation the entire country & every Indian needs to be the part of the operation. Simply showing anger/reaction/yelling does not indicate participation in mil operation. Simple example The Business & war are the same. In business every person contribute for the growth , same rule is valid for the war.Example of 1962 war we can not forget why we went to defend our India when slogan is Hindi Cheeni Bhai-Bhai.War can not be fought with emotions.

  13. Sir you have written the same stuff that was written by Vatican people or by Indians who were sycophant of Vatican people. You said Alexander defeated King Porous (pls do a proper research on this issue) but truth is something else..Alexander would have been killed in battle of Hydaspes only but he called for truce by sending his wife to tie a knot on Porous’s hand..that’s how this war was stopped.

  14. I do not think that all of the air marshal’s resons are correct. The initial arab invasion was not successful, and it was only the sixth effort that put sindh under Bin Qasim. The treason of the Buddhists had a major role to play. It must be understood that Sindh and Punjab were frontier territories colonised by Brahmanas who brought organization and high culture in what was essentially pastureland dominated by shepherding tribes that used to fight each other. So once the elites were destroyed, organisation collapsed and the other tribes could not face the continuing advance of the islamic armies. Similarly Punjab even until recent times was sparsely populated till the british built the canal systems; only the salt range, Multan and some other specific regins had good numbers.
    The comparisons the author gives are not completely accurate. The Ghaznis were a turkic tribe recently converted to islam, with all the fervour and enthusiasm. Besides, they had a history of cavalry and mounted archery, in which india had a known weakness. The indian rulers were justified in using elephants to offset this disadvantage. Reasoning along the same lines, the numerical superiority of hindu troops cannot be asserted. It is most likely that Anandpal and tarain were personal defeats of the rulers, because whenever a confederation was formed (battle of rajasthan, later under raja bhoj) the muslim armies were defeated. Even otherwise the chandellas, kashmiri kshatriyas, himachali rajputs and garhwalis have defeated the muslims time and again. The main reason why the muslims prevailed is that the entire ummah was bent on only one activity that is the destruction of the kaffirs. The muslims quickly ground down the culture of the conquered lands and put the skills and knowledge of babylon, ionia, egypt persia etc to destroy the hindus. It must be admitted that muslim skill levels, strategy were better due to greater experience across asia and the new converts from various regions. But th

    • contd..
      But the hindus also learnt quickly as they mounted effective challenges time and again. The actual reason why Bharat was dominated was because Muslims had unlimited resources through slave trade, plunder and heavy taxation and could afford to wage continuous jihad against the infidels. It can be said that the effort to conquer India economically destroyed vast regions of islam; all of iraq iran and central asia are virtually deserts as a result of over exploitation by Muslim kings. On the other hand, Indian kings taxed lightly especially in the north and had become too refined. Though they could fight when required, they could not wage 100 year or 30 year wars for faith. This is illustrated in the story where women gave up their gold to fund anandapal’s armies (it happened across india in 1962 also, but is forgotten). This despondence is due to our failure to remember our great kings and heroes.
      In south India the story went differently, and this is never told. Initially alaudin khilji and malik kafur, truly great generals with the best army in the world ran through all the kings. But people did not give up even though the kshatryas were gone. Shudra jatis like reddys, kammas, kapus, mukkulathor saw the destruction and took up full scale war. With the help of brahmin warriors and administrators, they were able to set up a functional state and gradually managed to eradicated the muslims from those regions. The kingdoms lasted for 2 centuries and were critical in preserving our civilization. Even later when muslims became more successful they couldnt hold on for any long period of time. The critical factor here was that southern kings increased the taxes and quickly learnt new techniques and technologies and yes, these armies had elephants. Historians deliberately ignore the southern part which has many lessons for military theorists. So Marshal sir, i do not think that elephants or the hindu attitude was in any way responsible.

      • The author feels that of afghanistan should have been invaded. I doubt whether it would have been feasible given the constraints in Punjab at that time, which was not so densely populated as it is now. At that time, muslim armies were really superior both in skill and strategy and had the support of a large number of kingdoms to their west. As for the Rajputs, blaming them is easy; to understand the problems which held them is difficult. They first of all had to defend and protect what was left over, as well as reboot the economy of the region. It is true that they had become sluggish due to too much refinement and intercinine conflict, and had adopted a defensive posture. Intellectuals and skilled people from other castes avoided the Punjab and gandhar regions for their supposed impurity and the local kshatriyas made no attempt to attract talent to their regions. This could have led to a low level of strategizing and managerial skill. Interestingly, the famous dynasties of dahar and hindu shahi kings are mentioned to be of brahman origin. The point is that these people did not develop their kingdoms equitably. On the contrary, kashmiri king lalitaditya attracted talent from far and wide. The result was that kashmir was one of the last kingdoms to fall, mainly due to internal treason of Rinchan and the sufi conversions(this was a brahminical failure).

        • But the fundamental reason for the eclipse of hindus in the north was due to the position of the Shudra jatis. As skilled workers, engineers,farmers and

          weavers, they played a critical role in the kingdoms, but were not included in power sharing nor consulted on major issues. The “dvij” jatis had become

          too refined and theoretical and did not have the practical wisdom necessary in the real world. In addition to their lower status, they had become disengaged with their rulers and did not mind who actually ruled the land since all they had to do was pay their taxes. So when the kshatriyas fell, all the poltical power which they held passed directly to the conqueror. This was not the case in South India. Shudras had a say in almost all aspects of running the kingdom and were represented in politics, religion and economics. Thus even when the kings fell to the muslims, lots of chieftains and warlords were
          fully trained and ready to fight. This happened in the north when the jats, another farming community took up arms against the mughals. So the failure of the north was due to a polarisation of power and the apathy of a big part of the population. Intellectually, the northern brahmins must also take some blame. They had become too conscious of their status and had refused to connect with the common people or to solve their problems, and gradually lapsed
          into a fantasy world. The Kashmiri pandits are specially illustrative. After being expelled from Kashmir, with their supposed intelligence should have formed a confederation of rajputs to expel the invaders. There were many warriors fit for the job and the kashmiri pandits had a first hand knowledge of muslim practices. Yet they never organized any resistance nor informed other hindu kings about the seriousness of the situation. And after enjoying the patronage of the kings they rushed back to kashmir at the first opportunity. There was no idealism and no patriotic resolve to destroy the invader.

  15. It Looks the Marshall has never stood near an elephant or seen it in its anger he should visit Jaipur at least to see it next a commander cannot fight from top of an elephant wah! general sahib senior commanders atop elephant does not fight physically but DIRECTS the battle and there can be no place better than an elephant further he asserts that sword is the main weapon in battle if one cannot use it everything is secondary Sirji there are things known as spears ,bow and arrows which are more effective Marshall shaib that is where Hindustan Mar Ka Gaya when people like you were at helm of affairs even today cannot think independently and discern the real cause of Hindu military mistakes you must withdraw the book and write it a fresh as you have brought out nothing new which the Britishers did not do to belittle the Indians

  16. There are few facts in above articles, If we are keeping apart Brahmins,Jainism, Budhdhism, (once again dividing one nation in different groups is not good in terms of Military tactic but it was also one of the reason that we were not united when Gazhani come). Say Prithviraj when he gave defeat to Ghauri then rule of wars says that destroy the enemy from roots for your own good, but he never followed that, he shall have done that. Also not going as an offensive when he seen the rise of the enemy not for the good of India.We have not learnt the lessons from that it can be seen in 1948,1962,1965,1971,1999 and still same mentality due to this even countries like Bangladesh can show us threats. China can build infrastructure in or close to our borders and if we do so they give us threat by coming in our territory and what our leadership does is negotiations. So that is the issue of Mentality and Not strong leadership. What Chanakya said that Kill the enemy before it rise.

  17. The Hindu mind, mostly under the influence of not Buddhism and Jainism, but under the influence of Brahmanism that made India like this. You take Ramyana itself, how Rama killed bali, from the back. How Rama succeeded in Killing Ravana, only with the help of Ravana’s brother Vibhisana. How did Vamana incarnation of Vishnu took control of present day kerala from Mahabali the Dravidian king, only through deception. Brahmins have never been any good warriors, they won more by deception rather than raw guts. Who could forget Ekalavya, may be Hindus would have had a greater warrior in Ekalavya than Arjuna had Dronacharya was not that racist.

    Every race and tribe of India has contributed to Hinduism, but Brahmins became the sole owners of this religion and forced the society to shape according to their taste. Dravidian kings of south India were more good warriors than south Indian Brahamin rulers, yet you and others speak of these Dravidians as Demons. Even Lord Shiva and Kali were Dravidian gods and not Aryan ones.

    India will have to loose if we continue to look Hinduism through the prism of Brahaminism. Until castesim is broken out of the Hindu society, Hindus will not put up a unified front because of suspicion to each other. Dravidians whose civilization we all known theirs descendents in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are living as scheduled castes. Lord Krishna whose descendents all over India are living as Yadava’s (OBC), the list is endless.

    If anyone thinks castesim was not an issue of that scale, then BJP would have won all its election with a thumping victory from the day of its formation. Its not secularism that is keeping the Hindus from uniting, rather the fear of castesim under a social herriarchy headed by the deceptive Brahamins. Afterall who could forget the good old days when lead was used to be poured on the ears of nonbrahmins for the only crime of hearing sanskrit.

  18. though I will buy his book but from the gist of his book in this article he reeks of colonial history put forward during the British period which is in grained in him from his childhood days. He compares horses and the elephant and seems to be groping like the seven blind men the elephant. where has it been emphatically written that Alexander defeated Raja Porus, sir he conquered the then known world (Like frog in the well) but not India he was stopped by Raja Porus who gave him a safe return passage in exchange for large tracts of territory and war booty. so what if the Macedonian’s went back home a few thousand kilometres away and wrote that they won. sir, Hindus have a different mind set then what you are purporting please consider Junagarh Goa, Hyderabad, Sikkim ,Bangladesh and of course but not to mention the 1962 when you must have been a youngster .Sir take pride that you were born as a Hindu. sir where are the Huns,Kushans,The lodis,The Suri’s the Mughals and the Britishers.

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