And the Sultanate in Delhi had seen umpteen rulers belonging to Slave, Khilji, Tughlak, Syed and Lodhi dynasties for almost 500 years when Babar came.
Still, owing to popular culture and the rhetoric during Ayodhya temple movement, Babar** is often seen more as ‘The invader’, on lines of Mahmud Ghaznavi and Mohammad Ghori.
The difference was that Babur didn’t plunder and leave. Babar [born 1483] made
His successors were thus Indians. Just to recall that Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar [also spelt as Babur] didn’t bring Muslim rule to
Either it was the attacks by Huns and Shaks or the medieval period when Turks and Mongols turned towards
Babar’s army defeated him in Battle of Panipat in 1526. History can be interpreted in different ways but it can’t be erased. Babar was yet to establish himself as the supreme monarch as he faced strong opposition and the Lodis hadn’t given up as yet.
Mewat's challenge to Babar
The biggest challenge was the strong-headed Raja Hasan Khan Mewati, the Rajput chieftain whose ancestors had been ruling the region [Mewat] for long [almost two centuries] and who had declared himself as a sovereign King.
Hasan Khan Mewati was ready to take on Babar's might. He formed a grand alliance to take on the Mongol. Along with Rana Sanga, the ruler of Mewar, Hasan Khan Mewati allied with Chittaur's Sisodia Rajputs and got ready to take on the forces of the Mughals.
Besides, several other Rajput chieftains, Afghan chieftain and Ibrahim Lodi’s brother Mahmud Lodi was also supporting this confederation. In his memoirs Babar recounted later how he was troubled by Hasan Khan Mewati.
Rana Sanga and Hasan Khan Mewati alongside other Rajput kings and Mahmud Lodi, fought against Babar’s army that was also supported by several Hindu Rajput chiefs. Hasan Khan Mewati commanded an army of 12,000 soldiers. He fought bravely but died in this battle.
It was theartillery that gave Babar's army an edge. Though he was forgotten, years later the Mewati history termed him ‘a martyr’. Folklore and right-wing nationalism had termed it as Hindu India’s battle against an invader, Babur.
Mewat was for centuries a troubled area for the Sultanate. It was Rana Sanga who had sought Hasan Khan’s cooperation in taking on Babar. It is often not mentioned and remains mostly in history books that who had invited Babur to
Rana Sanga had also invited Babar to India
Apart from Daulat Khan, the Governor of Punjab, who was harassed by Ibrahim Lodi, and Lodi’s kin Alauddin Khan, Rana Sanga had also extended invitation to Babar. Rana offered military aid as well as financial support if he came from
However, it was later that the relations between them got strained. Historians suggest Rana didn’t expect Babur to settle in
|Hasan Khan built this fort in Alwar [Inset: another view]|
Besides, he thought that Babar would return after the victory, just like Timur [Tamerlane]. The Hindus and Muslims, neither kings nor the subjects, in those days were as communal or bigoted as a section in both communities today is.
Neither Rana Sanga's fight was not against Islam nor Babur's against Hinduism [he in fact fought the last Lodhi king]. They were simply driven by political considerations, power and personal ambitions. Babar describes Hasan Khan as leader of the ‘Mewat country’.
Waqiat-e-Mushtaqi accuses Hasan Khan Mewati of creating a confederacy that was aimed at overthrowing Mughal power. It was after Hasan Khan Mewati’s death that the road to establishing the Mughal empire was cleared. Babur faced little resistance thenceforth. But Hasan Khan’s name had remained buried in voluminous texts or just mentioned in footnotes.
The Hero of Mewat
Mewat, located South of Delhi, is a region spread over Haryana, Rajasthan and also part of UP (Uttar Pradesh). Now there is a district ‘Mewat’ in Haryana also. Mews chiefly are Muslim but there customs are close to Hindus as well.
|Mewat, a representative map|
For Mevs [or Meo] their brave leader’s memory lived on. Now he has been resurrected as a hero.Over the last couple of years, Indian historians are again focusing on him.
Eminent author Siddiq Ahmad Mev, who has written several books on the subject including the culture of Mewat, says that Hasan Khan was seventh ruler of the state founded by Bahadur Nahar. Hasan Khan ruled from his capital Alwar. He had built the Qila-e-Bala or fort at the top, which exists till today.
He died on March 15, 1527. Now every year, a grand function is organized in his memory. Top politicians, litterateurs, Members of parliament, activists and Mewati leaders representing different groups pay homage to Hasan Khan Mewati on this day.
[*Muslim traders had arrived in Southern India, particularly, Malabar region of Kerala from Arab in the seventh century itself. Besides, Muslims had reached Sindh almost at a similar period.]
[**Babar is neither a Muslim hero. He is not an absolute villain either. A historical figure and an important medieval king who founded one of the most important dynasties in the world.]
[History is another of my passion and I was thinking of starting a series on Indian history. This first post which focuses on medieval Indian era. The aim is to bring to fore lesser-known facts pertaining to our history through this blog--Indscribe]