Tuesday, May 31, 2016


BATTLE REPORT # V - PANIPAT 1526 (re-done)

Discussion in 'Military History & Tactics' started by AUSTERLITZ, Dec 9, 2015.







Panipat has been described as the pivot of Indian history for 300 years. And its story begins in the first great battle of 1526. After the fall of the sayyids, the Afghan Lodi dynasty had seized power at Delhi. The power of the sultanate had decreased considerably at this time, though the sultan could still command significant resources. Ibrahim lodi, the third ruler was unpopular with the nobility for his persecution and execution of a large number of old nobles. A prominent noble,Daulat  khan fearing for his life appealed to Zahir-ud-din Babur, the Timurid  ruler of Kabul to come and depose Ibrahim  Lodi. It was thought that Babur would defeat lodi, plunder and leave. Babur however had different ideas.

Babur,a timurid prince with descent from Timur and Chingiz khan had originally inherited the kingdom of fergana  -one of the breakaway regions in the aftermath of the breakup of the once mighty timurid  empire. The 2 foremost powers in the region at this time were the Safavids of Iran and The Uzbeks of central asia. Squeezed between them babur had to fight for survival.Gaining and losing Samarkand 3 times he eventually moved to Kabul in 1504,where he aimed to consolidate a  powebase. It was here that he came into touch with India and between 1504 and 1524 had raided across the North-West frontier 4 times. His main goal at this time was to consolidate his position in Afghanisthan  by crushing the rebellious pathan tribes of the region, particularly the Yusufzais. Having given up his aspirations of retaking Samarkand in 1512 he now dreamed of a new empire east of the Indus, and bided his time for an oppurtunity. In the Baburnama he writes that as these territories were once conquered by timurlane he felt it was his natural birthright and he resolved to acquire them by force if necessary.The invitation of the Afghan chiefs provided him with this opportunity.


(India 1525 & Babur's Invasion route - The delhi sultanate and rajputs under Rana sanga were the 2 major powers in north india.South india being dominated by the deccan sultanates and Vijaynagar)​


Babur started for Lahore, Punjab, in 1524 but found that Daulat Khan Lodi had been driven out by forces sent by Ibrahim Lodi. When Babur arrived at Lahore, the Lodi army marched out and was routed. Babur burned Lahore for two days, then marched to Dipalpur, placing Alam Khan, another rebel uncle of Lodi's, as governor.There after he returned to Kabul to gather reinforcements.Alam Khan was quickly overthrown and fled to Kabul. In response, Babur supplied Alam Khan with troops who later joined up with Daulat Khan and together with about 30,000 troops, they besieged Ibrahim Lodi at Delhi. He defeated them and drove off Alam's army , Babur realized Lodi would not allow him to occupy Punjab.Meanwhile Alam also demanded Babur assign Delhi to him after its capture,which was not acceptable to Babur.In 1525 November ,Babur set out in force to seize the empire he sought.Crossing the Indus a census of the army revealed his core fighting force numbering 12,000.This number would grow as it joined his garrison in Punjab and some local allies or mercenaries to around 20,000 at Panipat.Entering Sialkot unopposed he moved on to Ambala.His intelligence alerted him that Hamid Khan was about to reinforce Lodi's force with a contingent,he sent his son Humayun to defeat his detatchment at Hisar Firoza.From Ambala the army moved south to Shahabad, then east to reach the River Jumna opposite Sarsawa.


At the same time Ibrahim Lodi, Sultan of Delhi, had gathered his army and was advancing slowly north from Delhi, eventually camping somewhere close to Panipat. Late in March 1526 Ibrahim decided to send a small force across the Yamuna into the Doab (the area between the Yamuna and the Ganges).Babur learnt of this when he was two days south of Sarsawa, and decided to send a raiding force across the river to attack this detachment.His right wing had won the victory on 26 February, and so this time he detached his left wing, once again reinforced with part of the centre, so the two armies may have been about the same size. Babur's men crossed the Jumna at midday on 1 April, and advanced south during the afternoon.At day-break on 2 April Babur's men reached the enemy camp. Daud Khan and Hatim Khan would appear to have been caught by surprise and attacked before they could form their men up into a proper line. Babur's men quickly broke their resistance, and chased Ibrahim's men until they were opposite Ibrahim's main camp. Hatim Khan was one of 60-70 prisoners captured, along with 6 or 7 elephants. Just as after the battle on 26 February most of the prisoners were executed, again to send a warning to Ibrahim's men.

 After this victory Babur continued to advance south, reaching Panipat on 12 April.Here Babur recieved news of the apparent huge size of Lodi's army and began to take defensive measures.He was confident in his troops,the core of which were battle hardened veterans , loyal friends to him through thick and thin.He also enjoyed a solid rapport with his men and treated them on a equal footing.Anyone could dine at his table.Ibrahim lodi however was facing dissension in ranks.He even had to resort to distributing riches to encourage his troops and promised more.Personally brave,ibrahim was an inexperienced commander and quite vain which upset some of the afghan nobility. For eight days Both armies stood facing each other without making a decisive move. Finally Babur in an attempt to goad Lodi into attacking him ordered a night raid by 5000 picked horsemen.However the attack faltered badly,and the Mughals narrowly escaped.

Elated by his success,Lodi now advanced to meet Babur's forces on the fields of Panipat.


                  THE OPPOSING ARMIES


The Delhi sultanate armies had traditionally been based around cavalry.To this the addition was made of the Indian war elephant.The Elephant and horse formed the 2 pillars of sultanate military strength.The army would be based on a quasi-feudal structure.A small central force uder the Sultan's direct control at Delhi supplemented by large number of contingents brought by the different afghan chiefs or Jagirdars,plus Jagirdars(turkish) and indian feudal levies and mercenaries(largely infantry).There was no gunpowder artillery and infantry was very much a cannon-fodder force. Ibrahim Lodi was at this time involved in attempts at centralization which was unpopular amongst his chieftains.Ibrahim Lodi's army at Panipat may be estimated at 50,000 men and 400 war elephants.Perhaps 25,000 of these were heavy cavalry predominantly afghan ,rest being feudal levies or mercenaries of less value



Heavy Cavalry - 

 The afghans were not a steppe people and thus didn't master horse archery.Rather they relied on heavy shock cavalry as the basis of their military power.Above shows the equipment of an afghan mailed heavy lancer.To the left is one wearing the standard plate-chainmail hybrid armour of the day.To the right is iron lamellar armour.Both would have been in use ,though mail would have predominated.2 in the second picture depicts a typical afghan mailed lancer in action.They were a redoubtable foe and under Sher shah proved could easily turn the tables on the Mughals.


Ghulam Armoured cavalry,standard melee cavalry of the Delhi sultanate since the time of the Ghurids. These would have changed little since the early days of the sultanate except perhaps in armour. Even though the turks were no longer in power at delhi, most Turkish  jagirdars would be bringing cavalry  replicas of similar type. Armed with Shield,lance, Mace and scimitar.

Ibrahim's Primary shock force was his 400+ armoured elephants.

 A terrifying shock weapon as well as mobile fortress,used properly they were a formidable problem.They mounted a mahout and 2-3 infantrymen with spears and bows.Against the earlier mongol invasions of the delhi sultanate under the khiljis,the combination of armoured elephants and Sultanate cavalry had proved too much even for the mongols.However this descendant of genghis had something-that the earlier chagatai mongols didn't have - Cannons.


India's humid climate, the impact of archery and the dominating presence of war elephants didn't allow the development of heavily armoured infantry or  pikemen  in packed formations as in europe. Infantry were very much cannon fodder. Lodi's army would have consisted of several types of infantry, infantry itself being held in low regard during his period.

 1.The afghan chiefs would have brought with them along with their mounted retainers, Pashtun tribal foot infantrymen armed with an assortment of weapons including axes, swords and spears.May or may not be armoured according to wealth.

 2.Muslim foot archers armed with the composite bow and a sword.(seen above left)

 3.Bumi feudal levies conscripted by the local zamindars/chieftains making up the numbers.Generally no armour,a traditional bamboo longbow(inferior than the composite bow but more durable and easier to obtain) and a broadsword.Mercenaries might have armour. 


The battle formation consisted of the traditional five-fold divisions - the vanguard, the right, the left,the centre and the rear.Sultan stood at the centre with a picked body of cavalry.Skirmishing and night raids were common.The Afghans based their battle tactics around the shock strike forces of their elephants and heavy cavalry. Brute force in massed frontal assaults on the flat plains were therefore key elements of Ibrahim lodi's plan.A considerable part of this army was feudal contingents from the various nobles,they were thus not drilled nor trained to work in co-operation with the whole body,and suffered from lack of manuevreability.

They were however well equipped and courageous,if lacking the discipline of the veteran baburids.They also had no understanding of the Tulughma tactics of Central Asia.

                                          THE MUGHUL ARMY

(Baburid shock cavalry)


Babur's army consisted of turks,mongols,iranians and afghans.It was built as a veteran core which had been campaigning alongside him for over a decade and thus the troops and commanders were confident,and familiar with each other.It also had an element of equality where any trooper could dine with babur or give his opinion on tactics in contrast with the tiered hierarchy in the sultanate army.And they were campaigning far away from home,where defeat would mean annihilation with nowhere to retreat.All these factors contributed to better morale.

The army was organized along timurid lines -units of 10,50,100,500,1000.
Army at Panipat numbered 15,000-20,000 men.

 The bulk of them timurid cavalry,supplemented by turkish gunners with gunpowder matchlocks and cannons-till now an unknown feature on the indian battlefield.


Cavalry was the centrepiece of the mughul army.Babur's horsemen would have been composed of Horse archers - mainly mongols recruited from moghulistan in central asia and masters of steppe warfare and also turks and heavy melee cavalry(who may also use bows).Even the horseachers in the mughul army wore full armor.Lamellar armour was in extensive use alongside chainmail-plate hybrid armours.(so called 'mirror' armor).First picture on top shows baburid shock cavalry using lances ,swords.They usually wear mailshirts beneath a padded jacket on top.On the right is a light horseman with scimitar.Second picture above shows a cavalryman in lamellar armour and lance on the left,he is fully capable of acting as a horse archer.On the right is pure heavy cavalryman in mail armour(mail more suited to close combat)with straight sword and batle-axe.


Mughul Horse Archer in full armour and composite bow to his side.

 A product of steppe warfare,horse archers were the primary cause of the superiority of nomadic armies in the age of cavalry and among the most effective troop types in military history.Though the afghans had excellent horsemen as well,they relied on heavy mailed cavalry over mounted archers.They were masters of ambushes,raiding,feigned retreats.The deadliest mughul weapon was the Turco-Mongol Composite bow.Generally capable of shooting 3 times faster than a matchlock it was in the hands of a veteran horse archers possible to launch volleys of 6 shots in 20 seconds.It was accurate upto 70-100 yards and still dangerous upto 200 yards.Babur employed his horse archers to the flanks and in front of his army as a screen.



At the back -Timurid Horse archer on his mount.Standing in front is a Turkish 'Turkhaan' or hero-an elite Mounted trooper in full body armour and faceplate -usually a member of the commander's bodyguard or a captain of a unit.In front is an elite infantryman of the guard (Shamshirbaaz) with sword,shield and bow.Babur's cavalry was battle-hardened and well-drilled.



Babur's infantry was of 2 main types. Footarchers armed with composite bows and a secondary weapon and more importantly Matchlock musketeers. Ratio of archers to matchlockmen was 4:1.Both weapons had about the same effective range of 100 yds .But bowmen had almost 3 times the rate of fire while matchlocks had unparalleled armour  penetration and lethality,capable of stopping a horse or even an elephant dead in its tracks. Matchlock musketeers were called Tufang or Bunduqchi and used a protective mantlet as cover when firing the weapon. Matchlockmen in babur's service were mostly turkish origin.

Gunpowder weapons were introduced in central asia by the Mongols who brought them from china,but these were very rudimentary mainly siege devices.The ottomans developed gunpowder weapons quite early along with the europeans.In the first decades of the 16th century the newly equipped ottoman gunpowder armies inflicted stunning defeats on their safavid rivals who in a crash programme equipped themselves with similar weapons.Babur who was in intimate contact with safavid military developments at this time possibly acquired these weapons in the same manner.


Babur began a new epoch in indian military history with the introduction of field artillery which he would use to devastating impact.Four the basic models were used by Babur—the zarb-zan, (light cannon), kazan, (heavy cannon), kazan-i-bozorg (siege gun) and firingi (swivel/anti-personnel gun) with only the first 2 types present at Panipat.Babur’s artillery used only stone shot.Stone was cheap and plentiful, but the production of stone cannon balls was extremely labor intensive. Metal was more expensive, but metal shot was much easier to make. Stone projectiles were not as dense as metal and transferred less energy to the target, but they might also shatter on impact, producing lethal shrapnel as a secondary effect. Metal ammunition did have one very important advantage—it could be made hollow. When left empty such projectiles were lighter and could travel further. When loaded with gunpowder, they could be fused to explode on impact.They were not horse drawn but rather mounted on carriages.Babur had 20 cannons at Panipat.



Babur's tactics at Panipat showed the influence of a mix of 2 military traditions - The Ottoman and the Mongol-timurid.The use of wagon carts as battlefield defenses was first pioneered by the Hussite rebels of Europe under Jan Zizka,though the Hungarians it was transmitted to the Ottomans who made it the centrepiece of their tactical system - The Tabur Cengi( camp battle).Even previously the ottomans employed infantry in the centre behind natural defenses to act as a pivot flanked by mobile cavalry wings,an advance guard and a reserve to the rear as demonstrated at Nicopolis.The adoption of the cart-wagon line allowed them to create artificial defenses for their infantry now.These tactics were used to devastating effect vs the safavids in 1514 and against the hungarians at Mohacs in 1526.It was through his turkish gunners that Babur came to be acquainted with this system of battle.

Below- On top the Ottoman Tabur cengi.Boxes with Diagonal shades -Cavalry.Cross shades -Infantry.Light colour indicates light cavalry or infantry.Akinci light cavalry screens ottoman center deployment,skirmishes the enemy and draws him into attacking the ottoman centre through harassment and feigned retreats.Infantry and artillery in the centre behind wagon ladder defenses.Irregular Azap infantry on the flanks and janissaries with muskets in the centre,cannons spread over the wagon line.Sipahis on both wings..these will conduct the main mobile battle looking to outflank the enemy and push him inwards infront of the janissaries and cannons where they can be mowed down.Generally a reserve of more sipahis to the rear on each wing.Finally the Sultan with his personal household troops -The kapikulu sipahis and a chosen infantry bodyguard as a last reserve.The use of carts in battle is also called Araba.


The tulughma implied dividing a smaller force into subordinate divisions within the traditional divisions for better manuverability and flexibility. The highly mobile right and left divisions peeled out and surrounded the larger enemy force,especially through employment of flanking parties.The standard Central Asian battle array, or yasal, was divided into four basic parts—the irawul(Harawal) or vanguard, the ghol(Kol) or center, the chadavul or rear guard, and the jaranghar and baranghar—the left and right flanks. During the early expansion of the Turkic and Mongol empires these units were composed almost exclusively of cavalry, but as these states and their rulers became increasingly sedentary, larger numbers of infantry began to appear.

The vanguard was composed primarily of light cavalry and light infantry. It was responsible for scouting and skirmishing.The vanguard acted essentially as a shock absorber for the center, using skirmishing tactics and missile fire to slow and disrupt a frontal assault by enemy heavy cavalry, infantry or elephants. When hard pressed they gradually gave ground and fell back to merge with the main force.Against less aggressive enemies they were tasked with staging harassing attacks followed by feigned retreats designed to lure the opponent into contact with the center and to make them vulnerable to overextension and flanking maneuvers.

The center was the largest component and included the commander’s headquarters and bodyguard.It could in conjunction with the vanguard withstand a frontal assault, fixing the enemy in place for envelopment from the flanks. It was also capable of delivering shock action, either as a first strike or on the counterattack. The rear guard was smaller and could act as a reserve but generally protected the baggage.

The flanking units had the most specialized and demanding task. They were responsible for carrying out the tulughmeh, or encircling maneuver (This term was also used to describe the contingents of soldiers responsible for carrying out that tactic). These groups were comprised exclusively of well trained light cavalry, especially horse archers. Their job was to race around the opposing army’s flanks and towards its rear as it was engaged with the main force.When an army approached an enemy that was stationary or falling back, the flank units often pulled well ahead of the main body as they began their encircling maneuver, so that the entire formation changed its shape to resemble a crescent with the points facing forward.When on the defensive they might initially pull back, “refusing” the flanks and creating an arc facing in the opposite direction.Babur learned the intricacies of this technique in his battles with the Uzbeks.He writes in the Baburnama -

“In battle the great reliance of the Uzbeks is on the tulughmeh. They never engage without using the tulughmeh.'' - Babur

As tactics became more sophisticated particualrly under Timur the larger units were broken down into sub groups which could operate independently.In the picture the standard mughul tulughma formation is shown with qarawal scouts screening,a vanguard ,rightwing and left wing composed of infantry in front and cavalry to the rear. Illtimish Reserves behind each flank.The tulughma flanking parties on the extreme ends.The centre or Kol is divided into 3 divisions -The reserve composing the commander's bodyguard ,The centre right division and the centre left division.Rearguard protects camp.Both the jaranghar and Baranghar wings try to outflank their oppposing flank while the tulughma parties carry out a wide envelopment,centre and vanguard act as a pinning force that can also counterattack frontally.The illtimish reserves behind each flank can reinforce their respective wings or join the flanking movements.Similarly the left centre and right centre can reinforce the wings or take up positions vacated by the wings cavalry while they are carrying out the wheeling movements against the enemy's flanks.

Babur drilled his cavalry regularly to carry out the complex manuevres.

The fusion of these 2 similar tactical systems would be employed by Babur at Panipat.



Afghans in Green.Mughuls in Red.

To avoid being outflanked by the large afghan army,Babur anchored his right flank close to the walls of the city of Panipat,while his left flank was protected by a ditch strengthened with a wooden stockade to prevent cavalry movement.

In the centre he had a line of 700 ox-carts tied together with rawhide ropes to breakup any charge.At intervals of 100 to 200 yards there were intervals with passages for cavalry to sally out and attack.These passages were heavily defended with archers and matchlockmen and were were possibly closed with chains(chains being lowered when cavalry sallied out).Behind this protective barrier Babur sited his guns.Between every 2 guns,5-6 protective mantlets behind which matchlockmen were deployed.

Screening these preparations was the Qarawal light cavalry scouts deployed up front.
Behind the infantry and artillery on the cart-line the main body of cavalry was deployed in the standard mughul battle array divided into vanguard,left wing and right wing.(Initials used RW for right wing for eg.).Plus the centre in 3 sub-divisions and the illtimish reserves.(Illtimish = I ,RC = Right centre,LC = Left Centre).Rearguard protects the camp.
At the extreme sides are the tulughma flanking parties (FP).Babur deployed his half-wild Mongol horse archers in these contingents due to their mastery of steppe warfare.

Babur's plan is to hold the afghan mass in front,and roll its wings onto the centre where the whole body would become a concentrated target for his matchlocks,archers and artillery and suffer devastating losses.Humayun leads the right flank,Chin Timur the vanguard and Sultan mirza the left flank.His ottoman gunner Ustad Ali Quli is in charge of the atillery.It is also he who shows babur how to employ the cart-line field fortifications.

Lodi deploys his force in 4 divisions.Two flanks ,a large vanguard and a centre containing much of the inferior infantry.He places himslef at the very centre of the battle line with a body of 5000 picked mailed lancers.In front of his army stands the massive phalanx of 400 armoured war elephants.

1. As the afghan War elephants move up,they are greeted by the utterly unfamiliar noise of mughul cannons which terrifies them and they refuse to advance further.

2. The Afghan Vanguard clashes with the horse archer screen and sweeps it away,sensing success- the pathans surge forward.The vanguard of the afghans has advanced too quickly,thus creating a gap with the centre which is still far away .

3. The light cavalry of the former qarawal screen withdraw back through the passages and merge with the mughul vanguard.

Lodi aims his attack where the mughul right flank meets panipat,and the Afghan right moves forward in columns to try and outflank the mughal right.Babur observes the afghan body inclined to its left advancing on his right flank and immediately reinforces the flank with its illtimish mobile reserve.


(The dotted arrows indicate ranged attacks,either bows or artillery and matchlocks.And white boxes previous position of a unit before movement)

1. As the leading elements of the afghan left wing approaches the mughul right,they are taken aback by the wagon line fortifications and hesitate on seeing the mughals reinforcing their right flank.As a result the front ranks halt,throwing the rear ranks already in a cramped space into some disorder.The tulughma flanking parties now wheel and hit them with showers of arrows from the rear.

2. The centre of lodi's vanguard is held up by the concentrated fire from the cart line as the mughul cannons and matchlocks open fire,supported by archers and unable to advance due to the cart line-defenses.The noise and smoke terrifies the afghans.

3. The elephants now under artillery attack and totally unnerved by the sound turn and trample back through the advancing rear ranks of the afghan army, disorganizing and demoralizing it.

4. The mughals begin their celebrated tulughma wheeling manuevre.The right flank reserves move to outflank the Pathan left wing.The afghans now get a taste of the real weapon of the mughals-the deadly turco-mongol composite bow.The afghan heavy cavalry is unable to cope with the mobile timurid horse archers.

5. Babur Piles on the pressure.He dispatches his right centre to join the assault on the afghan left wing.(See how each new reserve takes the place of the preceding formation,as that goes to flank the enemy as if turning a wheel)The afghan left wing is packed into a dense mass,due to the disorder caused by friction between front and rear ranks and becomes a massive target for concentrated mughul firepower from arrows,matchlocks and cannons.They take devastating losses.

6. Similarly on the afghan right wing,the mongol flanking parties bombard the pathans from the rear by wheeling in.
Simultaneously the mughul left wing moves in and joins the fray,even as the mughal gunpowder weapons take a toll on the front.

7. Babur senses a growing panic in the afghan ranks,and orders his left centre and left mobile reserve to sally out through the gaps and join the assault on the afghan right wing.

1. Bombarded from all sides,unit cohesion breaks down in the sultanate forces- as the aggresively wheeling mughal flanks compress the afghans into a central mass-a perfect killzone for the mughul artillery and gunners.

2. See the mughul taulaghma wheeling manuevre complete on both sides,as the battalions have wheeled almost in synchronization and surrounded the afghan flanks.This exceptional performance was made possible in part by the drilling and combat experience of babur's cavalry.

3. Lodi makes a desperate charge,cutting down quite a few mughals before he is killed.This was perhaps a premature move as he still had many reserves left and babur had nearly none.

4. Lodis' death triggers general collapse and afghans rout.

The second line now disintegrate on hearing of lodi's demise.

- Afghans suffered 15,000 killed or wounded.The mughuls 4,000


Babur's victory led to the end of the delhi sultanate and the establishment of the Mughul dynasty which was to mark an epoch in the history of medieval india.Babur went on to deal with threats to his position at Khanua against the Rajputs and Gogra against the Afghans,but died before he could consolidate what he had conquered.His son humayun had to deal with a resurgent afghan threat under Sher Shah.The final consolidation of the Mughul Empire was left to Akbar,Babur's grandson.Militarily,the battle of panipat marks the beginning of the gunpowder age in earnest and the end of the age of elephants as the prime weapon of indian warfare.



1. Intelligence - The difference in effiecient intelligence had been apparent.Babur's espionage system allowed him to intercept reinforcements from hamid khan to lodi.While babur continously probed the afghans during the standoff,ibrahim lodi had not sufficiently prepared for the true nature of the Moghul defences and was surprised.His intelligence on babur's army too seems to have been minimal as he gave no thought to effect of cannons on elephants and made them a cornerstone of his tactics.

2. Discipline - Babur's army was by far more disciplined,being able to execute the complex wheeling manuevre flawlessly,while the afghans were thrown into disorder by their own follies and also charged prematurely ahead of the centre.

3. Morale - Morale seems to have been high in babur's camp.Babur treated his soldiers with an air of equality and the mughals were in enemy territory with nowehere to run.Ibrahim Lodis' troops on the other hand ,at least a part of them were discontent and the vanity of lodi himself didn't help matters.The elephant havoc and lodi's death were the last straw.

4. Technology -Babur's forces had the next generation of weapons technology available in form of cannons and matchlocks.While these were still primitive in form they rendered the elphants useless and gave babur an edge.

5. Firepower Dominance -While the afghans placed their faith on shock tactics,the mughals enjoyed a total dominance throughout the battle in firepower.The artillery,matchlocks but above all. the turko-mongol composite bow shattered afghan ranks with a ceaseless barrage.Firepower's effect is not only physical,but also psychological-as there is nothing worse to a soldier than to be fired at without being able to reply.

6. Surprise - Babur's unorthodox tactics.The use of the cart line and the artillery placement and the Tulughma flanking attacks,befuddled the afghans.These were things not seen before in the subcontinent's battlefields.

7. Failure of Elephants - The reverse rout of the elephants trampling through their own ranks,totally ruined afghan rear ranks cohesion and was a major reason why they never participated in the battle.But the elephant was a weapon of a bygone age.

8. Ibrahim's Death - Lodis' charge was premature and unnecessary,while things were desperate upfront,he still had his centre division-shaken and albeit disorganized ,but intact.He would have better served to rally his reserve and assault the flanking mughal columns.If he had lived another hour,the mughals may have lost the battle as babur had minimal reserves left and the mughals too had suffered heavy causalities.

9. Security - To Napoleon - ''The whole art of war consists of a well-thought out and extremely circumspect defensive,followed by a rapid and audacious counterattack''.Babur's tactics at Panipat were a perfect balance between caution and aggression.He secured his flanks with natural or artificial obstacles and his centre with this cart-line offsetting the afghan advanatge in numbers.


........................................................................... X-----------------X ................................................................................

Cannons versus Elephants :The Battles of Panipat - Col.Harjeet Singh
Osprey Men -at Arms - Mughuls

 Mughals at War : Andrew De la Garza (Dissertation paper)




GOVERNANCE : Five Blunders of Narendra Modi

Dear friend,


Narendra Modi Government is  finishing two years in office. This is the time for a mid-term review and, if required, course correction. The government does not lack enemies and opponents. However, it lacks friends who can speak up and call a spade a spade.

With your blessings and support, I take upon myself this onerous task. Today's article FIVE BLUNDERS OF NARENDRA MODI (4100 words) has taken me a lot of time, efforts and courage. It is for you to judge whether it has been worth it.
Please read it and let me have your comments. If you like it, please pass it on. 
With best wishes and regards,
Anil Chawla

        Five Blunders of Narendra Modi
              Author – Anil Chawla
The other day, a leader of BJP visited my house. When I started criticizing the way BJP was running the central government, he was quick to accuse me of “intellectual frustration” (whatever that means). This was not surprising. I am glad that I was not accused of being anti-national or a traitor. BJP and its leaders do not know how to talk to friends. They react with ferocity even when the criticism comes from a well-wisher. I have seen many of them, including Narendra Modi, from very close quarters. I wish them well and am pained when they make mistakes. There are many who enjoy throwing stones and mud at them – certainly not me. 
As a friend and well-wisher, I consider it my solemn duty to point out when a friend is making a mistake. Moreover, when my friend’s mistakes have the potential of causing serious harm to my country I owe it to my country to try to stop my friend from pursuing the disastrous course. 
As part of my pursuit of my dharma, I shall like to point out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi five blunders that he has made in the past eighteen or so months that he has been in power. The five blunders (in no particular order) are: (a) Make in India (b) Start-up India (c) Smart City (d) Smriti Irani and (e) Arun Jaitley. Let me explain each of the five blunders in some detail.
1. Make in India
Make in India is an invitation to foreigners to come and make in India. It tells the world that we Indians are morons; our entrepreneurs are too stupid to set up enterprises; we need outsiders (a la East India Company) to do manufacturing in this country; o, the white guys, the superior race, please we beg of you to come and set up industries in India. 
Make in India is an anti-thesis of swadeshi. No wonder that Swadeshi Jagran Manch, a sister organization of BJP and RSS, is hiding its head in the sand somewhere far away. 
After independence, India has made rapid strides in technology and manufacturing capabilities. Our engineers have the capabilities to make practically anything and everything – if they are given the opportunity to do so. They have proven it again and again, whether it be nuclear weapons, or rocket to Mars, or something as mundane as a car. India is one of the very few countries in the world with the capabilities of designing and manufacturing automobiles.

 The biggest stumbling block for Indian

engineers and entrepreneurs has

always been its babus and netas

(bureaucrats and politicians). Sadly,

with BJP at the helm of affairs the

block has become larger and more

The BJP, flanked by the RSS and Swadeshi Jagran Manch, and colored in the strong hues of ultra-nationalism, came to power on the tacit promise of supporting Indian entrepreneurs, engineers and businesses. Sadly, the opposite has happened. Across the country, entrepreneurs and industrialists are crying; their businesses are sinking. And the Government of India has no time to listen to their woes. The Government of India and the Reserve Bank of India, under the able leadership of closet Americans, see this as an opportunity to kick entrepreneurs and promoters hard. RBI and GOI have no empathy for entrepreneurs. RBI and GOI are only concerned about the way NPAs (Non Performing Assets) have grown in the past few years. No, the elite rulers cannot be bothered about the systemic reasons for growing NPAs. Even if all the units of a particular sector across the country have gone sick due to faulty government policies or events like coal scam, the men in ivory towers cannot be bothered.

 The blue-blooded men of the government are busy consulting lawyers about how to use the NPA status to kick the ‘bloody dirty Indian’ entrepreneurs out of their enterprises and sell it all to the white-skinned guys who are, of course, angels descended from heaven to save the country.
Does it sound a bit exaggerated? Yes, it does to anyone who is not an entrepreneur at the moment in India. But, ask someone who is going through the pains of running a factory in today’s India. I can assure you that he will tell you stories that are so horrible that it will either make your blood boil or curdle. Some time back, the Chairman of a stock-exchange listed company rang me up and told me stories of how some public sector banks do not care about their own written commitments and are doing all that is possible (legally or illegally) to throw him out of the business that he nurtured for four decades. Surely, this is not an isolated incident. The atmosphere for Indian entrepreneurs, industrialists and businesses has never been more hostile since independence.
Let me give an anecdote to show the anti-national disaster that Make in India is. In October 2015, IIT Bombay Alumni Association organized Global Business Forum (GBF) in Goa. Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister, was present at the GBF. I saw him. No, I did not meet him. My friend, S, who is a batch-mate of Manohar and is a significantly more accomplished engineer and technocrat than Manohar, was also present at the GBF. S put in a formal request for a one-to-one meeting with Manohar. The appointment was granted and S went to meet Manohar. Later I asked S about his meeting. S was furious. He said that he is not stupid enough to discuss strategic technological ideas for national defense in the presence of foreigners.

 When S went to meet Manohar, there were three foreigners representing global corporations sitting besides Manohar. Apparently, the message that Manohar wanted to convey to all IIT alumni present at GBF was that, look, if you want to do business with Ministry of Defense, you will have to go through one of these white guys.

Manohar, apparently, believes that in the new environment when Modi government is going to outsource defense manufacturing lock-stock-and-barrel on a long term basis to multinationals, the best he can do for alumni of his alma mater is to act as a liaison between the alumni and the new colonial masters. I also attended the Special Interest Group of Make in India at GBF where the loud-and-clear message was that Indian entrepreneurs should learn to pick up small mercies thrown their way by the large global corporations as part of their local content commitments under Make in India. 
Like any patriotic Indian, I am aghast, ashamed and angered by Make in India. The insult to the abilities of Indian engineers, entrepreneurs and businesses is too big to swallow. The red carpet that the Modi government is rolling out for foreigners is in sharp contrast to the treatment that it is giving to Indians. It pains to be treated as a second-class citizen in one’s own country and more so by people who claim to be ultra-nationalists. Surely, nationalism is much more than just singing Vande Matram, shouting Bharat Mata Ki Jai and putting up gigantic flags across the country.
2. Start-up India
Most people tend to wrongly equate start-ups with entrepreneur ventures. There is a world of a difference between being an entrepreneur and being promoter of a startup. The concept of startup is a quintessential American concept. 
The traditional family value based entrepreneurship

model of India, and the investor-controlled startup

model, are like cheese and chalk. Indian

entrepreneurs build businesses with their blood and

sweat with dreams of handing it all to future

generations. The startup model is based on making a

quick buck, converting x to 10x in a short time and r

etiring (or running away). 
The GoI has released Startup India Action Plan dated 16 January 2016. The Action Plan defines Startup as follows:

“Startup means an entity, incorporated or registered in India not prior to five years, with annual turnover exceeding INR 25 crore in any preceding financial year, working towards innovation, development, deployment or commercialization of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property. … Provided further that a Startup shall be eligible for tax benefits only after it has obtained certification from the Inter-Ministerial Board, setup for such purpose”. 
Without getting involved with all the legalese, we can be clear that most new ventures started across the country every year will NOT be eligible to be classified as “startup”. Government of India, in its wisdom, is going to set up a centralized Inter-Ministerial Board (IMB), which will certify a venture as startup or not a startup. No prizes for guessing the hidden under-the-table costs involved for getting the certificate from IMB. For a country of the size of India having a central body for such a certification seems a sure recipe for corruption. 
IMB certification is not the only hurdle that a venture has to jump before being certified as a startup. It has to be funded or supported by either a PE fund or venture capital or some specified government agency. If a technocrat puts in his own or family funds and starts a venture, he / she will not be eligible for being called a startup. 
If one looks carefully at the Action Plan announced by the Government of India, the Plan appears as a well crafted instrument to convince Indian high potential entrepreneurs to sell a significant part of their company equity to one or the other sharks (read, Private Equity / Venture Capital Funds). Government will fund the sharks to buy the equity of such startups and to make money from the innovation strengths of Indian innovators. The government support to the sharks is announced to be of the order of about Rs. 10,000 Crores.
It is not clear why the government has decided to extend the support to various funds which are known sharks and has not found it worthwhile to trust public sector banks for the purpose. The government is setting up a “Fund of Funds” to provide financial support to “daughter funds”. There are too many unanswered questions that such a concept throws up. As it seems, in the name of startups the government is providing budgetary support to financial sector outside the nationalized / public sector banks. Since the Action Plan acknowledges that startups are prone to failure, this may well finally turn out to be a grand scam whereby public money lands up in private hands with no accountability and no gains for the country as a whole. There is also the question of regulating the relationship between the sharks and the poor promoter of a startup. One has often heard terrible stories in this regard. Funding the sharks without any protection of actual innovators and technologists is going to make it all much worse.
Let me ask the proponents of Startup scheme one super-successful venture in the history of independent India that would have been eligible to be classified as a startup. Surely, Reliance or Tata Consultancy or Infosys or WIPRO or Mahindra or Kirloskar or Nirma would never have been eligible to be classified as a startup in terms of the definitions and criteria put forth. On the other hand, major e-commerce giants like Flipkart, Snapdeal etc. did not have any innovation content when they started. Almost without exception, all of them have been clones of e-commerce companies of USA. In such a scenario, what gets classified as innovation and what gets rejected will be purely a matter of discretion. Probably, the only key criterion will be whether foreign-owned funds have found the idea worth investing in. 
Most developing countries have grown their industry on the basis of reverse engineering and small steps in the fields of technology. India is no exception. Instead of innovation, if the government had emphasized technological relevance for the country, it would surely have made more sense. Most technological innovations are small smart steps taken in the course of a long, tiring and boring journey. By supporting smart, educated entrepreneurs government and banks can create an eco-system where innovation flourishes. Instead of the grand Start-up Action Plan, government could have applied its mind to change the mindset of bankers who look only at collaterals and refuse to look at the capabilities of entrepreneurs. Of course, that is not as easy as handing over Rs. 10,000 Crores to hungry sharks.
Is the Startup Action Plan based on lessons learnt from global experiences? The concept of startup comes from the USA which is going down in terms of industrial growth. Germany, China, Japan, Israel and South Korea have entirely different entrepreneur eco-systems with no focus on startups. Is it not strange that India is copying a falling giant instead of learning from successes of the rising stars?
This is not the place to discuss business environment of various countries. But, there can be no denying that USA has followed policies which have led in the past five decades of richer becoming richer and poor becoming poorer. It is said that 1% of USA owns more than 95% of the wealth of USA. This level of inequality has on one hand led to social tensions and on the other is leading to stifling of industry and entrepreneurship of the country. 
BJP is not a pro-capitalist political party on the lines of Republican Party of USA or the long-dead Swatantra party of India. BJP believes in uplifting of the last man at the end of the queue. Deendayal Updhyay’s humanism talks of uplifting the poor and not of funding super-rich so that they can benefit from innovations of the best minds of the country. Sad to say that Startup Action Plan of Government of India is against all that the BJP has always stood for. 
Fortunately for the BJP, the Startup Action Plan has

gone almost unnoticed. Even Indian banks have

taken no notice of the Action Plan. May I appeal to

the bosses of the BJP to please correct this blunder

before it blows on their faces!
3. Smart City
I live in Bhopal, a city which is one of the twenty chosen for Smart Cities Mission (SCM). It would appear that I should be elated. But the fact is that within the city of Bhopal opposition to the Smart City Scheme is already building up. Though there is no clarity about what is meant by Smart City, as it seems to most knowledgeable persons, SCM is an attempt to create islands of ultra-superior infrastructure within the existing cities.
Creating islands of prosperity with first-world quality infrastructure can be politically suicidal. When Narendra Modi came to power, he proposed that each Member of Parliament (MP) chooses one village to develop as a model village using his MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund. A few MP’s did follow Modi’s proposal. But most MP’s soon realized that creating one village with far superior facilities than all others will be politically disastrous due to reactions from other villages. If a constituency has 2000 villages, an MP who develops only one village risks losing votes from 1,999 villages. No wonder that most MP’s refused to go with the suggestion of developing a model village and ignoring all others.
A similar situation is likely to unfold in twenty cities of India with SCM. In Bhopal, it is proposed to develop about 2% of the city in the style of Singapore or Paris. It is foolish to think that 98% of the city that is not developed will applaud the development of the 2%.

Chances are that the 98% of the city will kick the BJP

 hard where it hurts most.

Obviously, the persons who have planned the Smart Cities Mission are architects and bureaucrats who do not understand politics. So, it falls upon us, the friends of the BJP, to point out the blunder, which has the potential to wipe out the BJP from urban India. Also, let me hasten to add that as a person who believes in the politics of taking care of all sections of society, the whole idea of SCM is abhorrent. 
4. Smriti Irani
I do not like to talk of individuals. Hence, it is painful for me to talk about this woman. I am forced to talk about her because the damage she is doing to my beloved party, the BJP, is too enormous to ignore.
I do not want to talk about her personal life; about how she moved from being Smriti Malhotra to Smriti Irani; and also about various rumors concerning her. However, in public life, it is difficult to separate rumors from facts. Often perceptions become more important than the real person behind the image. The sad fact is that the perceptions about her are extremely negative. Yes, the actress pleases die-hard BJP loyalists with her fiery speeches and aggressive gestures. Unfortunately for her, the die-hard BJP loyalists are a minuscule minority. On campuses across the country, a significantly large percentage of the students (and even faculty members) refer to her in such insulting words that are largely unprintable. 
The hatred is, of course, mutual. She has never failed to insult and hurt the most respected of the academic community at every public and private forum.

She believes that this country’s education system has

been ruined by all those who were stupid enough to

get educated beyond secondary school.

She believes that God has chosen her to kick, punch and be the messiah of this bunch of idiots with Ph.D.’s, D.Litt’s and such fancy degrees. And if the idiots do not prostrate to her and accept her divine authority, she is fully justified in delivering more kicks and punches.
Does it sound exaggerated?

Let me assure you that it may be metaphorical but is not exaggerated. Let me give one example. From the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, the process of selection of Director for an IIT was carried out in a set pattern. A selection committee chose four or five renowned professors. Being shortlisted by the committee was a matter of honour. The shortlisted professors were called to Delhi in a most respectful manner. Each professor was called in on a different day and time, without anyone of the selected few knowing the other selected ones. Initially, Jawaharlal Nehru himself used to be present in these personal discussions (not called interviews, keeping in view the VIP status granted to the selected professors). Smriti Irani found the whole system of treating learned professors with dignity and respect, highly objectionable. She insisted that there should be a shortlist of twelve professors for each IIT and the process of selection of directors for three IIT’s should be combined. At her direction, 36 professors were called for personal discussions all at the same day and time. The earlier kid-glove respectful approach was dumped and replaced by treating the whole bunch of 36 senior-most professors of the country as a herd of sheep. It would have been easy to stagger the discussions with them over one or two days and call each of them at a separate time. But, that would have deprived Smriti the sadistic pleasure of making them wait the whole day, looking at each other’s faces with an expression of embarrassment. To make it worse, the interviews were cancelled twice after everyone had assembled. 
The above is just one instance. One has to sit with academicians at any of the reputed institutions of the country to hear similar sad stories of insults and embarrassments. There is no doubt that Smriti is having a great time kicking everyone with a respectable degree. Stories of this sadistic fun are being passed on from senior professors to junior faculty and then to the students. In the process, the damage she is doing to the BJP is enormous.
Narendra Modi came to power riding on the wave of popular support among the country’s youth. Modi was seen as the great hope for the country. Smriti can take the credit for singlehandedly contributing the maximum in turning this wave of Modi admiration and adulation to anti-Modi mood.

Smriti, by insulting and hurting academicians, has done more damage to Modi and the BJP than Sonia, the Congress, and all opposition parties could do with their constant barrage of attacks against Modi.

       Surely, Modi needs no enemies

       when he has friends like Smriti.

5. Arun Jaitley

While Smriti has been having fun hurting learned persons, Arun Jaitley has done nothing of the sort. Actually, that sentence could have been abridged to say that

 Arun Jaitley has done nothing.
Arun Jaitley can be accused of no wrong except that he has done nothing whatsoever and has only continued in the tracks set by his Congress predecessors.
As far as I know, Arun Jaitley was a non-descript and mediocre lawyer till he was lucky to be picked up to be a Cabinet Minister in the Atal Bihari Government. As a politician, he is a master of playing his cards well. He has always been close to the top guns in the BJP.

 He is an expert at knowing which side of the bread is

 buttered, and on keeping the bosses in good humor.

But his arrogance and egoistic nature is much talked about among the BJP cadres. It will not be an exaggeration to say that Arun is hated fairly universally among the rank and file of the party. Personally speaking, I have yet to meet a guy who spoke well of him. No wonder he has never won an election except, of course, to the Rajya Sabha where the top guns of the BJP ensure his victory.
Arun, like Smriti, speaks well. It is to his credit that he is able to camouflage his mediocrity and lack of intellectual depth with his impeccable language, style and mannerisms. Unfortunately, language, smartness and style can help one only to some distance. In the long run, one needs to perform.

 [  ON SPEECH POWER "ARUN JAITLEY  be considered as a replica of "KRISHNA MENON" who can speak on an issue from morning till  COWs RETURN in the evening without even touching the issue, forget about delivering or reaching to any  any conclusions - Vasundhra ]

Performance comes from capabilities, knowledge, ability to build & carry a team, creativity and, in politics, by being in touch with ground realities. Almost everyone who has been watching Arun Jaitley for the past two years is convinced that he lacks all these qualities. 
Arun Jaitley is, in fact, an opposite of all that Narendra Modi represents. Narendra Modi comes from a small town and from a humble family background. On the other hand, Arun Jaitley is a Delhi guy with a family history of political connections.

 It is an irony that a master of intrigue

 and political game-playing, Arun

Jaitley, has become the face of

 Narendra Modi Government. 
Narendra Modi came to power on the promise of a new economic model and all-round economic development, leading to prosperity for all. Instead, the country has landed up with a finance minister who has zero knowledge of economics; who is using up all the political goodwill of Narendra Modi to push for the Congress economic agenda; who has no new ideas, and who is not willing to even listen to new ideas. 
The disaster that Arun has brought on Narendra Modi can be felt by talking to a cross section of Gujarati businessmen in Mumbai. Two years back, they were willing to put up as much money as may be needed to see Modi come to power. Today, they would rather not discuss about Modi or politics. They are disappointed, hurt and feel cheated. 
Dear Modi ji, 
I know that you have no dearth of enemies – people who want to see you thrown into the dustbin of history as soon as possible. Let me assure you that I do not fall in that category. 
I worked directly with you in the 1998 elections of Madhya Pradesh and have always appreciated your dynamism, hard work, commitment, sincerity and dedication. I think that your failure will be a great loss for our country. I know that your patriotism and zeal for doing well for the country are beyond an iota of doubt. 
In pointing out the above five blunders, I mean no harm whatsoever to you or to the BJP. As I said earlier, I am a well-wisher and friend of the BJP. My intention to point out the above five mistakes is only to help you correct the course before it is too late.
I do hope that you and your colleagues will take my harsh words as a bitter medicine that will do enormous good to the BJP, to your legacy and most importantly for the country. 
Anil Chawla
18 March 2016
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ANIL CHAWLA is an engineer and a lawyer by qualification but a philosopher by vocation and an advocate & strategic consultant by profession. His works can be seen at www.samarthbharat.com 
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