Four little things that shaped India: Part 2

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Continued from Part 1

2. Siraj Ud-Daula forgets to bring a tarpaulin sheet to the battle of PlasseyGives British the gateway to establish their empire.

The 1700’s was an interesting time for India, for that was the time Europeans started realizing the riches that our country had to offer. So, Europeans from all countries, rich or poor, started settlements in the Indian sub-continent to make a quick buck. The Dutch, The French and even the friggin Danes found their way to India. And then the English arrived.

The East India Company, set up shop in India in 1612 claiming to be a trading company, trying to make a bit of cash. They did try to exceed their brief in 1682, when Job Charnock (Better known as the guy who established Kolkata) tried to capture Mughal fortifications on the Hooghlee river.

Mughals, specifically their Emperor, Aurangazeb, did not like it.

In retaliation, Aurganzeb gave them such a pounding that within a month, all of Job Charnock’s forces were wiped out (Child’s war). And for some more fun, Mughals captured the port of Bombay. Scared s***less by the aggressive Mughals, British ambassadors begged pleaded and even prostrated in front of Aurangazeb to get Bombay back. They finally had to pay an indemnity of 600,000 17th century pounds for Aurangazeb’s benevolence. Also, they promised to keep their tails firmly between their red backsides.

So when Aurangazeb died in 1706, what did the British do? They broke their promise.

Playing one Indian Nawab against another, the British started expanding. Aiding them in this endaevour was the outbreak of the seven years war in Europe. The European Franco-English contest soon spread to India, in the form of the Carnatic Wars. Indian Nawabs now had to take sides. Inevitably the war spread to one of India’s largest states at that time, Bengal.

Bengal was then ruled by a guy called Aliwardy Khan. British got the first toehold in Bengal, when the Khan solicited their help to keep out the rampaging Marathas. In return, Brits got the permission to trade in Bengal. Aliwardy however, was shrewd enough to keep the British at an arms length, lest they involve him in their war against the French.

That common sense disappeared when Aliwardy Khan died in 1756. He was succeeded by his stupid, short tempered nineteen year old grandson, Siraj Ud Daulah. The succession happened around the time British started fortifying their trading center in Calcutta. Siraj did not like it and asked the them to stop immediately. And when the Brits showed no signs of listening, he did what any nineteen year old with a real army and cannons would do.

He attacked Calcutta.

Defeating the small British Army stationed there he took 146 British prisoners, including civilians. Siraj was happy, I mean how many nineteen year old’s in history, can boast of capturing Calcutta and defeating the British in a real war?

Then, in one of the biggest dick moves in Indian history, Siraj Ud Daula stuffed the 146 Englishmen, into a dungeon meant to house six people. When the dungeon was opened, Siraj came face to face with 127 dead and nineteen delirious Englishmen in what is known as the black hole of Calcutta.

Understandably, the Brits were pissed.

To teach the nineteen year old a lesson, 500 whites, 2500 native sepoys and Robert Clive marched into Bengal from Madras. First they recaptured Calcutta, and then for some action, sacked the nearby French settlement of Chadranagar. As the French were now Siraj’s allies, He, once again, attacked the British. On the 23rd of June, 1757, the two armies came face to face at the village of Palashi, 140 kms north of Kolkata.

Siraj came to Palashi with 35,000 infantry, 7000 cavalry and 53 cannons, 8 of them Made in France. Facing up to his mass, were 750 Europeans, 2100 native Indians, 8 cannons and one Robert Clive. If this was a wrestling bout, it would have looked something like this.

The British though had one ace up their sleeve. Those who paid attention in History class, at this point will say, Mir Jafar. In reality though, the ace was not even a human being. It was far more mundane. It was a

A canvas tarpaulin sheet

British, being meticulous and all, had bought along tarpaulin sheets from Madras, to cover themselves. Siraj, in his hurry, forgot to bring one. And the night before the battle, it rained.

British covered their Gunpowder with their tarpaulin sheet. Siraj just abused the Gods, because

Basic science suggests that when water mixes with gunpowder, the result is the equivalent of

Siraj now had plenty of  it. Which ensured, the only way his cannons could do same damage, was by physically falling on the British.

While the British, gunpowder covered with aforementioned tarpaulin sheet, had cannons that were

When, Siraj charged at the British with his numerically, for the want of a better word, superior army, British uncovered their cannons. When, Siraj tried to retaliate, all he had was a gooey mess that was his gunpowder, which could not fire a miniature pistol, let alone a friggin cannon. Siraj’s main army was torn to shreds and his most important general of the day, Mir Madan Khan was killed. Center lost, Siraj turned to his flanks, where his other General, Mir Jafar was waiting with 10,000 men.

At this point, Jafar showed the 1757 equivalent of the middle finger to Siraj and walked over to the British.

Siraj lost the day and was chased away from Bengal. Mir Jafar was made the Nawab, who gratefully gave the British the right to collect taxes in the province of Calcutta. Using this windfall, in 1764, they engaged and defeated the then Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam, in the battle of Buxar. As spoils of war, they gained  the administrative and economic control of Bengal, Bihar and Orrisa. Now a recognized power with a lot of cash, they turned on other Indian kings and the rest is history.

What if Siraj had covered his gunpowder?

We would today be participating in the Jeux de la Francophonie. In other words, we would have been ruled by the freaking French. And so would have been the whole of Europe. The French would have been kings.

A french man

If you did not realize, the French supported Siraj. That is why those 8 Made-in-France cannons. If Siraj had won, it would have been the French who would have got the control of Calcutta and all its riches. The now rich French’s first priority would have been to eliminate their main adversary on the sub-continent, The British. And British would not have had a chance, as their army would have been annihilated at Plassey. Driven out of India, French would have had a free hand. So in everything that happened in India after Plassey, just replace the British with the French.

Also, why do you think the British became the Kings of the world? Because they could wage war with impunity. And why were they able to that? Because the constant inflow of  the booty from India gave them the economic power to do it. Transfer all that wealth to the France, and imagine a new Europe. In this Europe, French would have been emperors.

If only Siraj remembered to bring a tarpaulin sheet.

1. Cyril Radcliffe gives the town of Gurdaspur to India. Hands Kashmir to India on a platter. 

1947, India is on the cusp of independence. But, instead of celebrating this momentous occasion, both Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Jawaharlal Nehru were busy playing the game of ‘Who wants to be the Prime Minister of India’. Unfortunately in this game, there was not going to be a sporting loser.

Creating two positions of the Prime Minister was deemed unfeasible. But both had to be satisfied. So, it was decided that two new countries were to be formed instead, each with one Prime Minister’s post. Now both of them could become P.M’s and go home happy. And India could be independent.

However, there was one small flaw in the plan. They had no clue on how to divide the country.

Enter ace lawyer, Knight of the British Empire and a guy who had never been to the east, forget India in his 48 years of existence, Cyril Radcliffe.

Politicians said he was chosen for the most critical vivisection in the History of the world, for his acumen. Others however said, he was chosen for his total ignorance about India. Which meant the neutrality of his line could not be questioned. Whatever the reasons, he had to draw a border that was going to impact 88 Million people directly and many more indirectly, for generations to come. And he had to do it, in little over a month, for a pay of Rs 40000. Software Engineers in Bengaluru, get more time and more money to do stuff million times less complicated and critical.

Radcliffe ensconced himself in a quaint little cottage in Shimla to perform this operation. To give him company were army maps, population charts, religious statistics and a retinue of servants. He started his line from the south of Kashmir with an intention of terminating it in Rajasthan. The line arrived at a little district in Punjab called Gurdaspur.

This was Grudaspur’s religious distribution, in 1947.

Muslims : 47%  Hindus: 40%  Other religions 13%

Radcliffe was given strict instructions to push as many Muslim majority districts into Pakistan and extend the same favour to India for the Hindu dominated ones. Going by that logic and all other logics of  that time, Gurdaspur had to be given to Pakistan.

Instead, Radcliffe gave Gurdaspur to India.

What made Radcliffe’s task of separating Punjab easier was the Indus river. Radcliffe simply followed the river to divide India and Pakistan, accounting for the above instructions. Most of the districts happened to lie along the river so there were no issues, apart from Gurdaspur. Though having a Muslim majority, giving Gurdaspur to Pakistan would have meant creating a bulge, an awkward abciss, spearing into India.

Like This

If nothing else, he wanted the border he drew to look good on the maps and other geographical entities. So Radlicffe, decided to give Gurdaspur to India.

Jinnah and his Muslim league cohorts protested at losing a Muslim  majority district to India. Muslims in that district, like all the other districts, were never asked for their opinion. After shouting for sometime, Jinnah gave up. At the end of the day, what profound difference would it have made to Pakistan to have got one additional district in Punjab?

Turns out a lot, especially if the name of the district is Gurdaspur.

Once all the independence formalities were done, money, chairs, tables and library books divided, Douglas Gracey, the general of the British Pakistani army wanted to take a break. Jinnah advised him to go to Kashmir. As a Muslim majority state, ruled by a Hindu ruler Hari Singh, Jinnah took it for granted that Kashmir belonged to Pakistan.

However, when Gracey reached the borders of Kashmir, he was refused entry. Which was the first sign of the Kashmir cake slipping away from Pakistan.

When India and Pakistan were freed, the rulers of the princely states were given an option to join either India or Pakistan or remain independent. Hari Singh chose the third option. Jinnah was wild.

Sending troops in the guise of tribals, Jinnah decided to snatch Kashmir away from the hapless Hari Singh. When his meagre forces were routed by the Pakistani army, Hari Singh had only one choice. He appealed to India for help. Nehru, in his few moments of sanity and intelligence, demanded Hari Singh accede to India if he wanted troops. Hari Singh gave in. Kashmir was now India’s.

See...I can be intelligent too!

As a part of the agreement, India immediately flew in the 161st regiment into Srinagar with further reinforcements on the way. The first task of the Indian army was to defend the Srinagar airport, which at that point of time, was Kashmir’s sole point of contact with India. Initial attacks by Pakistani ‘Tribals’ were repulsed, but Indian hold on the Srinagar Airport, was at best tenuous. As there were innumerable ‘tribals’, reinforcements were mandatory. And without reinforcements, the airport was a lost cause.

Loss of the Srinagar airport, meant loss of contact with India. Which effectively meant, the loss of Kashmir.

The Indian Air Force in 1947 consisted of a piffling 12 Dakotas and some other fighters. Their capacity to haul in troops was severely limited. And they could not fly in tanks. The only way the Indian army could get the support that was needed, was by road. A road, which could handle heavy military traffic, something akin to a National Highway.

Now, Go back to Gurdaspur.

Look for 1A

1 A on the map is the other name for National Highway 1 A. The only military traffic capable road link to Kashmir. And as you can see, 1A passed through Gurdaspur.

Gurdaspur now being Indian property, Indian army, tanks, howitzers and all other heavy machinery, rolled through the same highway to Kashmir. Whether they paused at Gurdaspur to thank Radcliffe is not known, but this army arrived in Kashmir and routed the Pakistanis. Not expecting to face Indian tanks, Pakistanis fell back quickly. As the final happy ending to this story, the North-Indian Indian map today looks like this

What if Radcliffe had swayed the other way? 

The North Indian map, today would have looked something like this.

And we're screwed

Without the heavy machinery, the troops holding the Srinagar airport would have been overwhelmed. Without access to Kashmir, Indian army generals would have watched Pakistanis run amok in whatever Kashmir that remained. The king, Hari Singh, would have been killed and Pakistan would have claimed Kashmir for themselves.

The Kashmir issue would have gone to the United Nations, who would have insisted on a plebiscite. And a cease fire with the proviso that the territories held by the armies holds true till that plebiscite is held. Which effectively meant Kashmir would have stayed with Pakistan forever.

Kashmir now being in Pakistan, would have ensured direct contact between China and Pakistan. And India being surrounded by enemies on three sides instead of two. So India would not have gone to war against Pakistan in 1965 and 1971, as Pakistan would have had the option to open the third front.

Similarly, Pakistan would have controlled the source of their main river, the Indus. Hence a very important bargaining chip would have been lost to India. Also, Pakistan would have controlled Siachen. Importance of Siachen, with respect to it being a source of water is immeasurable.

All this avoided, simply because Radcliffe wanted his border to look good on the maps.

To compensate what Radcliffe did for India, we should institute a special Rs 40000 note with his face on it. And put a gold statue of his in Gurdaspur, if not anywhere else. And name NH 1 A as the Radcliffe Road, just to rub it in the faces of the Pakistanis.

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183 thoughts on “Four little things that shaped India: Part 2

  1. Excellent. Entertaining. Elucidative. Yes I googled the third word.

  2. Superb!! What an amazing piece man. I am a fan 🙂

  3. Sorry if I’m being a sour puss and puncturing any humour here but Gurdaspur was not awarded to India because“Radcliffe wanted his border to look good on the maps”

    G was actually first awarded to Pakistan based on, as you rightly pointed out, the principal of communal majorities agreed to by the Congress, AIML and the British’ Luckily for India, The Congress, and especially Nehru, were very close to Mountbatten and the plan was shown to the Congress surreptitiously. It was after that that Mountbatten pressured Radcliffe to amend this award in India’s favour.

    Reference: Partition of India—Legend and Reality; HM Seervai

    Nevertheless, a well writtne post!

    • So it turns out Nehru was intelligent on more than one occasion…

    • Also, as per the current Google maps (can’t be sure how it looked in 1947) highway 1a doesn’t fall in gurdaspur district. The district is flanked on the west by river Beas which in turn flows to the east of the highway 1a. Twisted facts?? And yes, the mountbatten connection instead of mr. radcliffe’s whims i guess.

  4. @Hades:Sorry to poke my nose in here but Nehru was very close to Lady Mountbatten and you know how convincing can a woman be!!! It was after that that Mountbatten pressured Radcliffe to amend this award in India’s favour 😛

    • Ricky, it would be great if you site some sources to substantiate your point in the above comment. And I hope your sources are not frivolous posts that you might have seen on Facebook or forwarded emails.

      • Actually, the times of india ran this on their frontpage, and left the congress redfaced. Nehru did his part i guess

  5. amazing writing man … me a fan too 🙂

  6. I stumbled on this,,,but man!!…what read it was…Excellent!!

  7. Well written. Apart from knowing stuff, you have a flair for humor that makes your post enjoyable. Read your other post on our History as well. Immensely enjoyable. If you haven’t yet read them, I would request you to read Kalki’s Sivakamiyin Sabatham and Ponniyin Selvan. The former Presents the glory of Pallavas, their rock cut temples built by Mahendra Varma Pallavan and his son, the Maamallan (legend behind Maamallapuram) Narasimha Varma Pallavan, who was also responsible for beating Pulikesi II, who beat Harsha. Basically Pulikesi II had put a kaipulla agreement with Harsha that indha border a thaandi neeyum vara koodathu, naanum vara maaten after their war. So North of Vindhyas was Harsha and South of it was Pulikesi II. He then went further South, sacked the Pallavas and Mahendra Varman and went. Narasimha Varma Pallavan went all the way up to Vatapi, in Karnataka, sacked it for revenge and came back. The Chalukyas never recovered.

    And in India’s history, only 8 Kings have never been beaten in war in their lives. Ashoka, Chandragupta Maurya, Karikala Chozhan, Samudragupta, Vikramaditya, Narasimha Varma Pallavan, Raja Raja Chozhan and Rajendra Chozhan.

    Kalki, in Ponniyin Selvan, brings in a similar “little thing that shaped our history” account. Raja Raja Chozhan, when he was a Prince called Arulmozhi Varman (his actual name), was living incognito circa 970 AD. His elder brother was just murdered and his father, the Emperor, was incapacitated with the Kingdom basically in a flux. He was also the target of Pandya spies. He was coming back from Lanka to Tanjore to gauge the crisis and do his best. Being a popular Prince, he knew he would be surrounded by people and went disguised as a Dhobi but was discovered by a Pandyan spy who just went to the streets and called his name out so that people would flock him, thereby impeding his journey to Tanjore. That is what happened. He was stranded for the night in Sirkazhi and was to go with all the people in the morning on an elephant, which would take a hell a lot of time. Anything could happen in Tanjore by then. The Pandyan spies meanwhile had replaced the Mahout with their guy who was to set the elephant amok and kill Arulmozhi who would be sitting on it, making it look like an accident. Seeing that the elephant was uncomfortable with the mahout next morning, Arulmozhi sensed that something was fishy and being a master at handling elephants, he himself made the elephant wild, which in turn threw the Pandyan spy disguised a Mahout out of reach. Using this sudden confusion, Arulmozhi pounced on the mad elephant and became his own mahout and went on a bypass to Tanjore. Kalki says if he had not pounced on this split second confusion that prevailed on that fine morning in Sirkazhi, our history would not be the same. How? People would have gotten back their senses after a minute and would have accompanied him to Tanjore, which would have taken a couple of days. Tanjore could have slipped in the political unrest by then and Arulmozhi could have also been killed by the enemies outside the fort. What he did was go overnight as a mahout with a Princess, whom he met midway to Tanjore (his sweetheart), claiming to carry information to the royal family and got into the fort by stealth and gauged the situation, used all his wit, bravery and diplomacy and saved the day. If he had not pounced on that elephant, we would have no Raja Rajan, no ‘grand’ temples, no Rajendran, no conquests and a premature take over by the Muslims, about whom Arulmozhi himself mentions (same time when Ghazni was rampaging Somnath) as wishing to subdue and save the seas, infested with Arabian pirates, the Chozha Kingdom, our belief and the temples and went off on that mission, to succeed. All because he was able to get on a freaking wild elephant.

    PS: If you don’t mind, I am whoring a blogpost of mine here, on a related note.

    • Thanks for the comment 🙂 and anything that tells people about our glorious history is welcome

    • Why there are no Pandyan/Cheran Kings in the list? Vidambalamba nindra pandiyan or thalayanganathu cheru vendra pandiyan or cheran chenguttuvan or chelvakkadungo vaazhiyadan?

    • Chalukyas again under vijayaditya defeated pallavas and diid not do any harm to people of kanchi and kannada inscriptions regarding this can be seen till today in kanchi temple.

    • There is history and then there is literature. Your story is a bit like talking about Rama invading Lanka with a bunch of monkeys.

  8. Finally a cracked.com style article for India! Well written and well researched. I’ve always loved this style of writing!

  9. man this was awesome piece..stumbled upon it thru a friend…thoroughly enjoyed it..!!!

  10. Good analysis of actual History. This article proves one thing I have been mentioning all along that historical facts are distorted to suit the needs of the times.

  11. Fan-bloody-tastic! Great read … thanks!

  12. Why did I hate History in school ?

    Such a great write up. Thank You !

    • I would just prefix “NO WONDERS” to your comment:

      NO WONDERS Why did I hate History in school ?

      Such a great write up. Thank You !

  13. just been today love your blog on history and pictures , recommend you to have a look at 2ndlook.wordpress.com , quicktake.wordpress.com too.

    but by the logic gurdaspur population will be 40%hindus + 13% sikh which is more 53% it belongs rightfully to india

  14. Superbly written pieces man; though the Kashmir story misses some dark/ grey facts which went on to become the seeds/ reasons for the unrest there, ouster of Kashmiri Pundits and the so-called ‘freedom struggle’ there which writers like Arundhati sympathize with

  15. Amazingly written. I just stumbled onto this on Facebook.
    Great one! 🙂

  16. Great read …. one of the best I have read in recent times.

  17. Freaking enjoyable. Great way to remember history. had almost forgotten the names in the last four decades. Memories flooding back.

    • Good to know atleast these people were in your memory. For most, words like Hemu/Iltutmish/radcliffe might as well be the name of the latest shoes

  18. Amazing Stuff 🙂 Indian History in just 2 hours … I know it would have taken u hours of writing this stuff.. Brilliant .. I remember the Front Cover of the Old NCERT Text book – History … Better write a modern version text book for Indian History … shall become No.1 Seller ..Keep the Good work .. Expecting more

  19. hahahaha, very informative and educative.

  20. What an entertaining piece! Being the cynical Indian I am, I’m not going to accept all you said as true, but it certainly made for an engaging and amusing read. Keep on writing!

    May be you should work on a comic on Indian history. That’s how I pictured this whole thing while reading!

  21. Good read but the Hemu piece is taken too far with all the what ifs. And in reality, the map of North India looks something between the two you have showed with all due respect to the ‘The map of India is neither accurate….’ disclaimer found in all non-India printed maps.

  22. awesome research..and very well written…none of this could be found in history books which are typically written by the Europeans…highlighting inane events like India was “founded” by Vasco Da Gama…bollocks !!! Da Gama had lost his way and was escorted to India by a rich Gujarati merchant with ships twice the size that of Da Gama’s…
    Anyways…gr8 stuff…I love history and just loved your narration…

    • Dear Hemant

      Indian history books are written/ doctored by none other than our dear Congressians (yeah, if you alluded to Sonia G by mentioning ‘Europeans’, then that’s a different story :p ). Enough proofs of the doctoring of history books by the Congressian politcos are there on the net

    • Shekhar is right. Indian history has never been told by Indians. Read my ‘Greatest Heist series’ to know how our history has been doctored over the years. And keep an eye out for part three and four, which I think I will publish it in February.

      • India as a country has a very short history beginning in 1858. It may be recalled that India as a country is a British legacy. Prior to that it was just small principalities and kingdoms. For a long time even these kingdoms (mainly North Indian) were ruled by invaders from Persia and Arabia. So be grateful to the British who united the country and gave us democracy.

  23. Dude, Simply Awesome.. I always loved history but this is epic.. Keep it up..

  24. It has been a long time since i read an article as well written and entertaining as this. This one will go viral for sure.

  25. Awesome read. Looking forward to more stuff like this.

  26. I have never seen history and reason kicked in the ass as carelessly as in this blog. Half knowledge as they say is worse than no knowledge!!

  27. Super stuff dude 🙂 Looking for more writings from you

  28. Again, WOW. Made me miss history. And made me want to go back in time.

  29. Reading history has never been so entertaining at the same time so enriching! Superb work. Big fan

  30. If only the stuff we read in history books could have been half as interesting to read as this article….
    Brilliant stuff !!!!

    Yeah…. waiting for the rest of the heist series too…. Suggest some further reads too, I can’t let the sudden interest in the actual Indian History to die down.

  31. Wow! This was absolutely riveting! I love the way you write, mixing the facts with just the perfect amount of humor.

    You should be writing history textbooks so that the kids of this country grow up knowing a little more than we did about our history.

  32. What an amazing read!! IF only History were taught this way I’d never forget the dates and the drudgery of studying it!

  33. Awesome article!! Thanks for writing this.

    Only question: I don’t see 1A passing through Gurdaspur.

    • The NH 1 A passing through Gurdaspur, does not mean it passed through Gurdaspur the town, but Gurdaspur the district. Please check the first Gurdaspur district map, for confirmation.

      And thank you for taking time out to read and appreciate my blog.

  34. brilliantly written sir, hats off!! 🙂

  35. Brilliant writing. I loved the post.

  36. a very entrtaining article… nice take on history.. 🙂 keep up d good work!!!

  37. Finally a modern age History Guru !!!! Really awesome Blog mate, I guess you should have included the exploits of Alaudin khilji too! that great defender of Delhi, against the mongols, and his general Malik Kafur, who stole our Pandyan Capital of ‘Madurai’ from us in 1313 AD 😦 but thanks to Vira Pandian, It was called a truce !!! Please include our Tamil History too,… After all, we were the ‘Lords of the High Seas !!!!’ conquering territories as far as modern day Indonesia!! and sending ambassadors to Ancient Rome and China !!! 😀

  38. At least some thing good happened in the history for India 🙂

  39. Dude it was gr8…..Keep on the good work…..

  40. Well written, but most of it is conjecture, especially your analysis of a post Hemu win India. We can never say for sure that Hemu would have been better for India than the Mughals. I understand that this is opinion, but Hemu could have started beheading Muslims as easily as Asoka became a peace-loving ruler in the second half of his rule. The Marathas, the Sikhs and the Rajputs could have still risen against him for powers’s sake. Religion was/is never the only consideration.

    In fact, even if Siraj had won against the Brits back then, to say that the French would have ruled India is a bit far fetched, no? Conjecture, yet again.

    Also, the map of India as shown in point 4 is what India wishes the map looked like. When Pakistan attacked Kashmir, they took Gilgit and Baltistan with them. That region is what we call PoK now. Also, China (without the benefit of having Pakistan as a direct neighbour) still managed to sink its teeth into part of J&K’s territory. That’s what we call Aksai Chin.

    Nevertheless, well written. Would have enjoyed it better if you left the conjecture out.

    • This map is the officially recognized Map of India.Any other map and Sibal will be onto my poor blog before I can say Sibal. He even halted the shipment of an issue of the Economist because of a map for God’s sake.

      As far as the conjecture is concerned, Let me put it in an other way. If Hemu had won, Mughals would not have ruled India. Same if, Siraj had won at Palashi, British wouldn’t have ruled India. So those two little events did end up shaping India as it is today, which was the title of my post.

      And the what-if part is conjecture. And if we study History through Conjecture, I believe it makes it more entertaining and alluring, which is kind of my objective.

  41. Worth every second spent reading this!!!! Informative and well presented!!!

  42. Shesha- On the first part. British had a deal with Mir Jafar thats why Clive went ahead with a small team and set up a battle ground away from calcutta. Even if there was no rain- the result would have been the same

    Second part is new and informative for me- a new opening. I haven done any research on boundy line till date. I cant comment anything now. will talk about that later.

    Continue writing – still waiting for more into modern history

    – INA role, Bose( untold story in history ), Nehru’s mistakes ( UN Security council seat in 1959, pakistan war and no possiblity of PoK ) , lal bhadhur shastry’s mysterious death, sanjay gandhi’s role during emergency, his sudden death, operation blue star etc etc

    Now that you are read by many people. Its better to be neutral and do criticze BJP as well. You dont need to keep quiet on their opportunistic hindutva politics just because you oppose congress.

    better not to take any side or show explicity you are a pro hindutva or bjp ideologist. Talk in general about hidden stories from a neutral perspective.

  43. Wonderfully written and very enlightening. Hats off to you for such a brilliant piece!

  44. Pingback: indian history « true void

  45. Awesome Stuff ..Sharing

  46. Dude,
    What a fantastic dissection of little known facts that shaped up India’s history!
    It was truly a pleasure reading the well made out analysis, which obviously are missed out in our History books.
    You must have made a Salman Rushdie equivalent of a historian – either worshipped or stoned! Keep it up.

  47. Really im the kind of guy who cant read anything for nuts – Still hold the record of not having read even a single novel… I say this because ” your Piece of art through Words have made me read the Entire story without Boredom “.

    Really Appreciate It . . . . CHEERS 🙂

  48. Enjoyable post but i think it fades a bit in comparison to part 1 😉

    BTW, a book suggestion for you: ‘After Tamerlane’ by John Darwin.

  49. Ur citing is gud…but too much of exaggeration…the black hole incidence has been dumped as false by Indian Historians bcos it had been used as a spurious reason by British to attack Calcutta…Plassey was not a battle…it was a treason…Mir Jaffar was approached by British even before the war and it was planned well before the war to cross over the sides…ur posts may seem excellent to those who does not know what history is all about…but to me ur work is yet another work of Jadunath Sarkar…

    • But Mir Jafar, also commanded the least number of men.And was in the reserve. He was not even the first general of the day. If Siraj had gunpowder, mebbe he would have blown the British away, and Mir Jafar wudn’t have even been used. It is all conjecture. You say it was pre planned, but I could say it was the gunpowder. It is all about perspective and both perspectives have solid data to support it.

      Also please point out the source, from where you derive the fact that Black Hole of Calcutta is false. Even Wiki article, says it needs additional sources.

      And finally, what certifies that you know history or more history than other readers? Please don’t put yourself on an intellectual pedestal and pass comments on other’s knowledge. By doing that you are insulting people who have appreciated/read the post, and by extension, me.

  50. Excellent blog….its entertaining and informative…Keep up the good work 🙂

  51. What an article man……….You have effortlessly combined history with humour……..Thought the conjectures are debatable but the tenour is hilarious and the effort makes for a wonderful read……..

  52. Dude….I am reading your post for the first time and I have fallen in love indeed.
    Looking forward to more such narrations
    Awesome narration peppered generously with a great sense of humor.
    History with a sense of humor (of what would have happened if something didnt happen). What more can you ask for?

  53. awesome post… i never imagined i can actually enjoy history so much… a few conjectures seemed far fetched, but i am not going to hold it against you, definitely not…. they can be just left for open discussions and thats what makes this interactive and interesting. waiting for more posts from you!
    keep up the good work! cheers!

  54. Excellent articles.. I really enjoyed your way of articulating…. Maybe, you can help re-write the “History School Books” to make it an interesting subject, which until now, I felt unworthy and boring….

  55. Well nicely written but it sounds more like coffee table history
    sirajuddaoulla and before him Alivardi were routinely beaten by Marathas who lost to Britishers. Nawabs of Bengal were no military force and if not that battle british would have found some other excuse and defeated them . Just look at how they annexed Oudh or Nizam step by step or how they divided and conquered mighty marathas. There was technological and managerial superirority with east india company which was demonstrated again and again. The Mughal of who you are so praiseworth had no naval force to speak of and even ships owned by Mughal princes used to pay levy to Portugese….

    Similalry gurudaspur is not what it is made to be. There are 5 tahsils in district and three are Hindu majority. Specifically the one though which road to kashmir passes. and if you look at TOR of radcliffe commission it talks about “other factors”..do you know tharparkar (which is even today hindu majority district in pakistan) was surreptiosuly merged with neighbouring mirpur khas just before partition and thus denied to india. Chittagaon hill tracts which were 97% non muslim were given to pakistan on argument of economy dependent on Chittagaon. jessore and murshidabad were assigned to India and Pakistan respectively but were exchanved later because of problems in navigation it would cause.
    and source of Indus is still not in India but in tibet (china)

    as far Hemu is concerned he was a Hindu general of Afghan army and it is doubtful that his leadership would have been tolerated for lot.

  56. wow amazing mannnnnnn

  57. Amazing article I have read in years… Wonderful concept though….loved it so much…Much like freaknomics….

  58. Kudos to you for such an amazing piece of alternate history..Really enjoyed it.

    But is it right to credit the rains entirely for the British victory in the Battle of Plassey?I’m asking this due to the fact that Robert Clive himself was aware that his force was vastly outnumbered and voted for a delayed attack in a Council Meeting(as against a team by Major Eyre Coote).But a communique from Mir Jafar gave him the confidence to go ahead with the attack immediately.In fact,it was even arranged that Mir Jafar would be made the Nawab at the end of the battle.I say this not to discredit the rains,sure they helped a lot,but wasn’t Clive prepared for the battle even without the rains?

    Also,I’d like to mention about the “Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle”,here.

    The French actually captured Madras in the “Battle of Madras”(between the British and the French) of 1746,during the “War of Austrian Succession”.In the said treaty,the French agreed to return Madras to the British in exchange for Cape Breton Island in Canada from the British.Had that not been done,the British chances in the Battle of Plassey,whose bulk of the troops were from Madras,would have been nothing.And maybe,as you had mentioned,”We would today be participating in the Jeux de la Francophonie”. 🙂

    Hats off once again..!!

  59. Excellent posts, I read both carefully.

  60. Awesome man! This is the way I feel History should be, tickling our imaginations with a generous dose of what-if analysis. I loved your writing. Its entertaining. Will look forward to more posts of yours.

  61. Thanks for sharing bud. Keep writing. Big fan.

  62. Wow !!! The standard of writing is amazing and reminded me of Cracked.com articles. Good stuff !

  63. Very well written. Love your style of presenting things.

    Can’t stop reading your posts even it meant procrastinating my work.

  64. That was awesomeness * infinity. No adjectives. Seriously with pile load of work in office and mind clogged in that, i started reading your post and for once i would not regret a nice spank in my ass for not doing my work. If only our history books had been like this, i would have become a history graduate.

  65. LOOKING FOR MORE SUCH DETAILS AND I AM OVERWHELMED BY YOUR AFFINITY TOWARDS HISTORY- KEEP GOING

  66. SUPERB!!! YOU ROCK!!

  67. awesome stuff in both parts!!! completely changed my perspective on the way I read about people like Hemu, Iltutmish, Mir Jafar n others……….. phew!!n d way they taught history in school……….same for Genghis Khan…….. 🙂

  68. KS, how and where did u dig up so much info! Amazed, pl continue with,’what if’ after gaining our Independence, Congress went with the Mahatma’s advise of dissolving the Congress, What if, Indian constitution had a clause, no PM to hold office more than two terms, what if, no one can be a Minister for more than one term, what if our Law Courts had a different approach than ape the British Law, What if ……..some how the infighting within us seems to dog our parliament todate. Indian History needs to be re-written, the one we were taught was all with British flavor.

    Great job, well written, enjoyed it.

  69. gentlemen, I had a History teacher by name, Late.Mohammed Ghouse who taught History for my class in 1976-77 at KV Tambaram, Chennai. Students from the science stream used to listen to his History classes by sitting underneath the windows & missing their science classes. History has always been an interesting subject like Electronics is. It all depends on the teacher who makes it interesting. If students are exempted from taking exams then I feel these two subjects will out class all others.
    A great read. Keep it up.

    • Like wise..Great post.

      I had a History teacher called Mr. Muthiah when is studied in Zion Maticulation school in Kodaikanal. He used to teach history like a story with full screen play. We used to feel we are standing in the middle of panipet when the war is taking place. He was the one who taught me to read anything and everything that u see printed in paper. I actually started reading papers that my mother throws after unpacking the grocery and yes it helps in getting lot of info.

      To add i scored 98 in history out of 100 and 89/100 in geography which boosted my 10th std scores. I was pathetic in Maths!!!!.But soemwhere in the middle i had to move to science and now have ended up a sales guy for ERP!!!!!!!!

      Now i have started collecting lots of books on Indian History to continue my reading where i left after 10th standard. thats how i came across this blog and i am telling you ” YOU ROCK”. Keep going

  70. Well written , Holy, how did i even miss this blog …. good work 🙂 🙂

  71. The mongol hordes were stopped by the Mamluk soldiers of Egypt and they also had a disastrous sea expedition against Japan (they were land lubbers, and lousy sailors). So it’s not certain they would have overrun India – they were not unstoppable. They were mainly victorious on grassland territories and Indian geography and climate and fracturing could have defeated them as much as any Indian army.

    While Genghis Khan devastated individual cities, he was no more destructive than Alexander, Samudragupta, RajaRaja Chola, most Roman emperors, Timur, Asoka, Akbar, European colonial powers, Pizzaro, Cortez etc. In fact, according to Jack Weatherford’s book on “Genghis Khan : The Making of the Modern World”, he created the world’s largest contiguous free market empire. What he did to the Persians, Chinese, Tatars and Europeans was as civilized or as barbaric as they were doing to the others.

    BTW, Kublai khan’s conquest of China ushered in one of the most prosperous eras in its history. It’s possible that if Genghis had conquered India, he would done it with no more damage than Mohammad Ghori or Alauddin Khilji. And perhaps he would have introduced paper, cannons, better saddles, horse breeding, the compass, canal locks etc to India several centuries earlier. 🙂

  72. Brilliant article. Superb writing. Funny, incisive, accurate and insightful.

  73. Hahaha! I’m sorry but you need to do a third series of this! YES!

  74. Absolutely Brilliant. History would have been so interesting in school if the books were written by you. You just got another fan

  75. Excellent article … A very good perception .
    Fortunate to read it

  76. A readable yet un-authentic article ! Facts have been gvn clr at the whims n fancy of the author with half baked facts sprinkled here n there.
    All the four points are not exactly true and presumptions made are quite vague – u cannt PREDICT history. It unfolds itself in its own maner. OK
    About G’Pur, well, as per records, it was our grt Iron Man of India who put his foot dowm , even in the face of opposition fm Nehru – that G’pur is with India – Patel, of course the only land contact wid K.

    🙂

  77. If only they taught history like this during school days!!!

  78. Amazing account of Indian history. How I wish Hemu had survived. And thanks to Radcliff. Nicely done piece.

  79. Brilliant blog! Even the “It is not that RSS, Mr. Digvijay Singh” is awesome!

  80. EH Gombrich X (Monty Python)^1000!

  81. Excellent piece two additions to the era you are dealing with (post 1000 AD). What if Shah Jahan had been succeeded by Dara Shikoh and not Aurangzeb. The 4 sons of Shah Jahan had a proper battle royale between em with Shah Shuja playing a decisive role for Aurangzeb. The erudite and cultured Dara (he translated the Mahabharata into Persian) was beaten and eventually executed as an apostate. If Shah Shuja had changed sides and Dara had won the Mughals may have lasted longer.

    Another conjecture what if the Marathas and Afghans had not gone to war. One of the reasons the British could conquer the subcontinent so easily was because the two premier powers (Afghans and Marathas) were spent from fighting each other to a stalemate. A strong unspent Maratha force would have licked the Brits easily.

  82. Awesome~~~ A wonderful read..Read a very well written article after long!! 🙂

  83. Awesome – A very well written article

  84. Wow… Dude u are simply superb… Let me start a fan club for you and let me be the leader of that club…! 🙂 excellent writing man..

  85. Loved reading these 2 articles and little known facts!

  86. Awesome writing..made my day man 🙂

  87. Great work my friend.!! 🙂
    But wait isn’t it true that mongols did attack India, Not Genghis Khan, But his great grandson (from Chagatai ) as a Khan of Khorasan region. In fact they attacked seven times if not more and all seven times they went back defeated when Alhauddin Khilji was ruling Delhi. So how do you say that Indian civilisation could not have held Mongols. They actually did. Its just that Genghis khan was far from some barabaric ruler who just wanted loot and pillaged towns for survival ending large empires.
    Secondly you could have included the third battle of panipat which was more crucial than the second. What if marathas had won the battle. and Sadashiv rao did manage to do what he committed to his Peshwa Lord.” If all goes well we shall march all the way into Kandahar”, after victory at attock in modern day Af-pak border. Had only the Damdji Gaekwad and Vitthal Virchurkar stood to the word of their supreme commander and defended the Gardi’s who were relentless against Afghans and not carried away by the sucess. Marathas could have still managed to survive the battle and India would have seen a HIndu ruler in Delhi in the name of VIshwas Rao, who was to be made the emperor of India. The British would have never manage to come to India had there been an empire controlling whole India. Infact it is the british sources who claim this battle as turning point in the Indian history leaving a void at the Centre.

    • Agree , the loss of third battle of panipat by Marathas was the turning point as Marathas were the only power who were planning to take on the English after their encounter with Afghans at Panipat , their loss of manpower and prestige was a debiliting set back from which the Marathas could recover only after a decade when they returned to North India under the leadership of Mahadaji Scindia ,but it was too late as the English had consolidated their position.

  88. A small nitpick – the Mongols did invade India when Aluddin Khilji defeated them and drove them back.

  89. Hi, I accidentally bumped into your blog through a link from facebook. Your writings on 4 little things which shaped India completely enthralled and captivated me. History was never as interesting before as it is now. Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. Your writing style is completely sensational. However, what is written about, i am afraid, has more subjectivity than objectivity.
    1. Until 1947, there is no concept of India and until 19th century there is no ‘Nation state’.
    2. The bias for ‘homegrown’ over ‘alien’ and the argument that ‘homegrown’ would have done better good is a little unfounded.
    3. The derision of Mughals (by extention, muslims) is really warranted??

    Lastly, Patriotism and feeling great about about one’s own ethos is fine and contributing back to one’s roots is a duty. But beyond a point, where you are born (country / community) is of little a matter of pride for one, especially when you have no control over it.

    Shall follow your blog.
    Karthik.

  90. Just superb! Arrived here out of curiosity (through another site) and now I am hooked for life!

  91. Quite interesting style of writing. However, you made the line between facts and fiction somewhat blurry.

    Anyone interested in these two topics should go through these books. They are not like regular boring history books but more like unputdownable novels…

    1. Pakistan Army 1947-49 ( http://goo.gl/47cKH )
    2. Kashmir: The Untold Story ( http://goo.gl/7blP7 )
    3 . Kashmir: The Unwritten History ( http://goo.gl/mCFOf )
    4 . Plassey 1757 ( http://goo.gl/Xbnba )

  92. Nice illustration 🙂 Would love to read something like this again 🙂

  93. LoL, Awesome, when we look back at history, it is just an awesome feel of what had happened 🙂

  94. good attempt – but princely states given the choice to remain independent?!? are you serious? Patel saab and his able aide Menon would be twitching in their graves.

  95. So, I can’t seem to find the part 3 and 4 – is it because they haven’t been written or is there some other reason. If they have been written, could someone point me the links?

  96. Reigns supreme! How you carry out the amount of research required to pull off something like this is as amazing as the fact that you make history not just readable but entertaining (loved the ‘Gerard 300 This is Sparta Butler’). Nicely done!
    (PS: I think you should also have included PrithviRaj Chauhan’s forgiving Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191, which led to him being defeated in the Second Battle, paved the way for establishment of the Delhi Sultanate and hence affected over 700 years of Indian history.)

  97. Awesome ! it was so good to read . please resume writing here

  98. Very nice read. Enjoyed every bit of it. 🙂 Keep up your good work.

  99. Dear Sir,

    Regarding the Battle of Plassy, one important fact was missing from your otherwise superbly written article.

    !! MANGO !!

    Since very ancient times to this day , this fruit has been gaining a supernatural status in the minds and hearts of all Indians which is proven by the fact that Mango is the National Fruit of India and Pakistan and National Tree of Bangladesh.

    The Mughals were specially fond of good quality Mangos and emperor Akbar the great during his reign ordered one lakh mango trees of the finest variety to be planted in the are and that orchard came to be known as ” Laksha Bagh “. These trees produced mangos which were of an exotic quality and obviously beyond the reach of common soldiers and officers due to their high price.

    It was end of June and end of the Mango season. All the soldiers in Siraj’s army knew that they would have to wait another year for treating their tongues to that heavenly taste ( pls note even 3rd grade substitutes like Frooty, Maaza or Slice were not available those days ). On 21st June night was dark when Siraj stopped his army only 1km short of Laksha Bagh and waited for Col. Robert Clive to arrive. For 26 hours they waited in that place whose air was saturated with the intoxicating aroma of ripe mango which was so near to them yet so far. In vain they requested their superior leader to advance a little more and occupy the Mango grove, but he refused.

    This was a monumental mistake done by Siraj and his generals who could not understand the desperation in their men for Mango as they used to have 10 Mangoes of similar high quality everyday; Col. Robert Clive however was much more practical and at 1:00 am, on 23 June, when they reached their destination beyond the village of Plassey, he quickly occupied the adjoining mango grove, the Famous Laksha Bagh, which was 730 m long and 270 m wide. He quickly ordered his soldiers to get into the trees and eat Mango and bring himself some. The soldiers obeyed and after one hour of this activity everyone’s ( both Indian Sepoys and European troops ) stomach was filled with the finest quality Mango from Laksha Bagh and their fatigue was gone and spirit lifted. All this was happening in front of Siraj’s troops and they got demoralized on seeing this.

    ” In War Moral is to Men is Three is to One ”
    Napoleon Bonaparte
    French Emperor

    Thus we see how these premium quality mangoes demoralized the enormous host of Nawbab of Bengal and strengthened the British on the eve of battle. But that was not all; unlike Siraj, Clive fully understood the influence of these bright yellow coloured fruits on the minds of those present in the battle zone ( both friend and foe ) and decided to fully leverage this on the day of battle itself. Hence he instructed his men to keep some of the trees in the front of the mango grove untouched so that Siraj’s trrops could see them. This had deadly effect !!

    On 23rd June at daybreak, the Nawab’s army emerged from their camp and started advancing towards the grove. Their army consisted of 35,000 infantry of all sorts, armed with matchlocks, swords, pikes and rockets and 18,000 cavalry, armed with swords or long spears, interspersed by 53 pieces of artillery, mostly 32, 24 and 18-pounders. In front of the Nwababi troops was only one goal, to reach the grove and climb the trees and eat some heavenly Mangoes before they go to heaven. Clive had already anticipated this and had placed his canons ready to fire grape-shots with deadly effect. Thus many brave officers and men from Siraj’s army was killed in futile attempts to charge the Mango grove, and the battle was lost.

    Siraj ( who had his usual quota of Mangoes for breakfast ) could not understand what was happening with his troops and fled to Murshidabad leaving the battlefield. He was later captured and killed.

  100. Since you’ve read India After Gandhi, may i take the liberty of jogging your memory? Guha says that it was on Mountbatten’s suggestion that Nehru had Hari Singh sign the treaty of accession. Nehru not so smart, then? But, honestly, can’t help loving Nehru for his idealism.. If all the world of politics was made up of idealists, maybe we would be living in utopia!

  101. great write up buddy. First time a very serious story screen played funny and interesting.

  102. Nice post. Informative, well written and AWESOME!

  103. You are wrong about the dividing line in Punjab being the Indus river. Its the river Ravi, not Indus. Indus now lies deep into pakistan, flowing to the west of lahore. had Indus being the dividing line, Lahore would have part of India. Get your facts right mate, i think you made up some details of the Radcliffe story.

  104. do you have rss feed to your blog? if not, then i’d appreciate it if you can add one. very useful.

  105. Dammit, I was missing soo much by not knowing about the existence of such wonderful page. I am a fan.

  106. Man this is seriously a nicely written piece…. I m your fan now…

  107. Simply AWESOME!!!

  108. Awesome article . .. history was never this appealing to me and i learnt a lot today .. thanks !

  109. fantastic stuff sir! very inspiring.

  110. Mindblowing…! Extreme writing buddy!

  111. Rs 40,000 at that time (mid 1900 India) should have been a good enough amount. Not sure if the comparison with Bengaluru engineers today is fair 😛 But very interesting read!

  112. Only if my history teacher made it THIS interesting i would not be sitting in this lifeless IT office and sneaking into reading historical facts on web ! SIGHHHH .. so yes .. a great great read ! Thoroughly enjoyed it

  113. best read. really a overlooked history milestones. thanks for unveiling

  114. wrong dude sardar patel was home minister and he told if he want help then he has to give state to United India

  115. Jayant Narlikar wrote a fantastic story, ‘The Adventure’ about one such incident, which changed our country’s history forever. That of the death of Viswas Rao in the 3rd Battle of Panipat between the Marathas and Ahmad Shah Abdali. Your wonderful article reminded me of that! Kudos! 🙂

  116. Excellent article!! Keep us more informed about other stories as well. Wish our history books were so interesting. Why don’t you apply for a part-time history book writer with NCERT?

  117. Where have you been hiding all this while……absolutely delightful to read.

  118. Awesome Article Dude.!! 😀

  119. Well written article… Non stop reading is commanded by article… Kudos for that.

    Some things are wrongly put… Nehru was not responsible for accession of Kashmir to India or for matter of fact not even a single state… Sardar Patel was responsible. Map of India shown is wrong… Had Nehru not been there then the map as depicted by India would have been the actual map… Nehru had declared over All India Radio, all of a sudden, in eccentric way (without consulting cabinet/ Sardar Patel) that India is declaring unilateral cease fire and that United Nations should intervene and signed documents which allow plebiscite to be conducted in Kashmir. This is reason why Pakistan harps on every united nations stage for plebiscite in Kashmir. Technically speaking despite Simla agreement, if big wigs of United Nations want, plebiscite can be held in Kashmir… Which is a instrument of blackmail in hands of westerners against India… One needs to dig reasons behind eccentric ways of Nehroo… All against interests of nation.

    Again a nice interesting article…. Needs some refinement on role of Nehroo… Could be ended what if (1) Nehroo was not the Prime Minister of OR (2) MK Gandhi responsible PM not a vain fasting man.

  120. If our history texts were written like this,I would have ACTUALLY read history! Absorbing and with relevant and interesting pictures. I’m interested in learning more about the history of my country because of this. Thanks! 😀

  121. An interesting read… athough, in retrospect, one would still wonder if Kashmir was worth it… all this senseless killing could’ve been avoided and hopefully, we would’ve had better ties with Pakistan. Water sharing would’ve been a much trivial issue as compared to what it has become now… and about enemies on all sides (additional front), let’s be realistic, if China decides to screw us up, I don’t thing it would need a third front, any front/back would do.

  122. Based on wiki (i know, not the most reliable source but still) Radcliffe refused his salary after he saw the post-partition chaos.

  123. Hi Kaipullai, Nice try, but did not like the four deciding events of the list created. Anyways though each list might be “personal”, what I strongly do not agree is the Bengal – Siraj-ul-Daula event. Prior to Charnock in Kolkata, East India would not have stood a day more than 14th Feb 1689. Thats when Mughal Army captured Bombay Factory and territory. The East India Company then took the help of Marathas (3000). They helped the East India company retain their base in India. (By then they lost their grip on Surat and Hooghly. Madras and Masulipatnam was still under their control but ruled from Bantam, Indonesia). This helped them hold the base and build there upon. Unfortunately Marathas are glorified for their anti-Muslim deeds. But in this glory is masked the dark truth that Marathas were the cause and reason for British East India rule. First is the above mistake. Next is the 3rd Anglo-Maratha War, which offered whole of India on a platter to British.

  124. Really great post. The previous one was equally great.

    I have mostly thought we Indians get the short end of the stick. But not in case of Gurdaspur.

  125. amazing. very interesting piece of history. thanks for sharing.

  126. I’m a Pakistani – and I think this was an amazing piece – humor and all – “Jinnah was wild” had me rolling in the aisle 😀

  127. Wow! Dude! You rock \m/

  128. Very nicely written.great retrospective analysis of history.interesting

  129. A great article ! It is like I am watching docudrama and I am enjoying it too…

  130. This is such a good read and yet I am horror struck by this atrocious line…

    ‘Life and death, for Hemu, was like an African’s left hand. Neither right nor fair.’

    What world do you live in? Seems to me the one in which Fair and Lovely are the best thing since sliced bread.

    Yuck…disgusting

  131. Such a piece of lovely writing, kept me glued till the end, and the occasional dab of humor to spice it up.

  132. Yaar ya nee , chancae illa
    Really super , i am not a good reader , normally i will skim off . but for the first time i read each and everything in the last 2 forum . Keep up the good work .
    I wish all Indians reads this. Mainly because i saw a road poster where someone took a random map of India to show a political leader a PM . but in that map , there is no Kashmir , they took the map which some bad organisation portray as Indian map .

    Really very informative.

  133. Thale kalakkite!!, very informative. Good humour..
    Article summa adhurudhu!!

  134. I would like to add one more incident, known as the Third Battle of Panipat, 1761. The battle was fought between Marathas and Ahmad Shah Abdali (Durrani).
    Before that battle, the Marathas were at the top of their powers. They had captured almost all of North India and looked set to rule the complete nation. But at that battle they committed a cardinal sin by keeping the pilgrims with them. Even the British were afraid of them.
    Abdali was supported by the Nawab of Awadh, Rohillas, and the other Afghans ( the Muslim fraternity, Brotherhood). Sikhs, Rajputs and Jats played neutral.
    However, the battle was even until a stray cannon hit 19-year old Vishwasrao. The troops were demoralized and were routed. Some 30000-40000 Maratha soldiers were killed along with 40000-70000 common people.
    Such was the devastating effect of the war that it took 10 years for them to recover and that too only partially. But had that cannon not hit him, the history could have been different.

  135. where is part III & IV?

  136. applause…. you are the “Kaipullai”

  137. Pingback: Quora

  138. Bloody Amazing Article 🙂

  139. Wonderfull …. Awestruck revelations :O 😀

  140. Nice to read history like this

  141. Boss. Am your fan! I couldn’t have known all these facts in a better way than reading you!

  142. another interesting fallout of gurdaspur coming to india is some thing to do with ahmadiyya sect .

    ahmadiyaa sect is headquartered in qadiyan in gurdaspur in punjab india.

    ahmadiyya sect’s sites still proudly state the fact that they were pivotal in the formation of pakistan. their claim : when m a jinnah was disgusted with the factionalism in muslim leadersip in the pre-partition india and was prepared to quit politics for ever, ahmadiyaa leadership prevailed on him and brought him back to action and this resulted in the formation of pakistan.

    but – fate is a cruel mistress.

    muslims of ahmadiyya sect did make impressive contribution to pakistan. for e.g.the father of pakistan’s nuclear bomb a.q.khan belongs ahmadiyya sect.

    now ahamdiyya sect is declared nonmuslim in pakistan. and is being literally done to slow death in pakistan.

    the facts their headquarters is in india and there are sizable ahmadiyya sect muslims overseas are the two life lines for this sect

  143. Awesome Read. What stands out is your knowledge of history alongwith your sense of humour. Extremely Good!

    There are innumerable such what-ifs that would have had a profound affect on World or India’s History and hence on you & me.

    One event which I often reminisce while walking every morning in the Roshanara Garden (Delhi) is what would have happened if Roshanara didnt ploy with Aurangzeb to kill their elder and more deserving brother Dara Shikoh. India under Dara Shikoh would have been quite different. He was monogamous (very rare in Muslim rulers at that time and at all times)

  144. Amazing & Superb article. What stands out is your history’s knowledge munched together with your sense of humour. Good!

    Everyday while having a morning walk in Roshanara Garden (Delhi), I reminisce what would have happened if Roshanara would not have ployed with Aurangzeb to kill their elder brother and apparent heir Dara Shikoh.

  145. You should add 2 more.
    1. Prithviraj chauhan being an idiot in forgiving mohd gauri.
    2. Babar using guns against elephants.

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