Mu’izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori, also known as Muhammad of Ghor, was a Sultan of the Ghurid Empire (The Ghurids were a Persian dynasty from Ghor region that is presently in Afghanistan). The dynasty was originally Buddhist but they converted to Sunni Islam after the conquest of Ghor by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1011 (Kashmir, Doab, Rajasthan and Gujarat were never conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni and remained Hindu dynasties). Mahmud of Ghazni specialised in extreme cruelty, treachery, looting and plunder and extended his empire in the north-western part of Indian sub-continent. He was particularly devoted to the spread of Islam and the tales of his demolitions of Hindu temples can still be seen in many dilapidated structures.
Despite all the cruelties and plunders done in the region by Mahmud of Ghazni, Pak military named its short-range ballistic missile as Ghazanvi missile to honour (!) Mahmud of Ghazni.
The foundation of Muslim rule in India was however laid by Muhammad Ghori. He extended the Ghurid Empire to Delhi and then all the way to Bengal (present day Bangladesh) and greater part of Indian peninsula.
During his conquest of Hindustan, in 1191, Muhammad Ghori captured Bhatinda and planned to take over the neighbouring kingdom of Prithviraj Chauhan. In the First Battle of Tarain (now near Thanesar in Haryana), he was roundly defeated by Prithviraj and was seriously wounded. The Rajput king declined to conduct a hot-pursuit of the retreating Muhammad Ghori’s army as it was considered against the accepted norms of battle that Rajputs believed in.
Mu’izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori and his army, however, didn’t suffer from any of these armed conflict ethics. So, in the Second Battle of Tarain, in 1192, they defeated Prithviraj’s army through guile and deceit (Prithviraj’s army was used to battle between sunrise and sunset whereas Muhammad Ghori’s army carried out successful surprise attacks pre-dawn). Also, since Prithviraj had fought against all his neighbouring Hindu kingdoms, none of them came to his rescue even though he called for help. Prithviraj was defeated, captured and finally executed.
Pak military named three of its medium-range ballistic missile Ghauri-I, Ghauri-II and Ghauri-III, in the memory of Mu’izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori.
The conquest of India by an Islamic Sultan led to, in the ensuing centuries, large-scale forced conversions of Indians. It also coincided with the defeatist attitude by Indians so much so that many Indians fondly recall the greatness and splendour of the Islamic rulers including the Taj Mahal and the Lal Qila.
The last of the Mughals: Bahadur Shah Zafar surrendered to British forces led by Maj William Hodson on 20th Sep 1857 and thus ended the Mughal Empire in India.
The British too not just enslaved us but ensured that in our mindset we would remain enslaved forever. Even after acquiring independence, we had the defeatist attitude that many things such as railways and post & telegraph were done better by the British and that we have to bow to the superior workmanship, doctrine and principled ways of doing things of our erstwhile rulers.
With this national psyche our resolve to do things decisively, on our own, went down gradually until it was literally in our shoes.
The Indian armed forces, on the other hand, refused to have this defeatist attitude and gloriously proved themselves in all wars except in the 1962 war with China wherein Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru considered his becoming a statesman more important than the national strategic interests and succumbed to this honed defeatist attitude and thus ensured our defeat even before the war.
Many historians believe that in 1191, after decisively defeating Mohammad Ghori, had Prithviraj Chauhan carried out a hot-pursuit of the retreating defeated army, perhaps the events that followed later could have been avoided.
Last night, ladies and gentlemen, after 825 years of this tactical mistake by Prithviraj Chauhan (By the way, we named our own SRBM Prithvi. Though it means Earth, but, the fact is that we still adhered to the disciplined and principled way of fighting adopted by Prithviraj Chauhan), our gallant armed forces crossed the LOC and did what Prithviraj should have done to Mohammad Ghori after the First Battle of Tarain.
Terrorists don’t follow rules taking a cue from the tactics of Muhammad Ghori. But, we had a national psyche of restraint despite repeated attacks by the Pak supported terrorists. Our countrymen often wondered what would be the limit of our self-imposed restraint. The Americans, on the other hand, exercised what they termed as Right of Self-Defence thousands of miles away by carrying out relentless drone strikes against terrorist hide-outs in Waziristan.
Last night’s surgical strike, I feel, is a seminal change in Indian psyche and perhaps the beginning of the end to our slavish and defeatist attitude of centuries. As I listen to the news I find all opposition parties (coming out of the mould of the neighbouring Hindu kings of Prithviraj Chauhan) supporting Narendra Modi’s government and saluting the Indian army for a precision, successful and effective cross-LOC surgical strike that should have been first conducted years back.
Jai Hind Ki Sena!
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