Treachery by insiders was the primary cause of defeat in wars fought against invaders in medieval India, said Col Ajay Singh, the author of ‘India’s Battlefields: From Kurukshetra to Balakot’, Saturday. He was speaking during a discussion on his book at Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh. The discussion was moderated by Lt Gen GS Sangha (retd). The author traced the history of military campaigns through India’s history and pointed out that one of the running features in most setbacks was that there were treacherous elements within the Indian side.
Col Ajay said that the defeat of the Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat was the blackest day in the history of India as it paved the way for the subsequent foreign rule in the country including that by the British. He also elaborated on how nearly 20,000 women and children of the Marathas were taken captive in this battle, which was because an edict issued nearly 40 years earlier permitted the Maratha Army to take their women along in military campaigns.
The author, whose book will be released in the coming days in Delhi by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Anil Chauhan, also highlighted how it was through a stroke of luck that the Indian Army came to know that Pakistan Army had planned to occupy Siachen in April 1984.
He said when the Indian Army approached European high altitude clothing vendors they were told that the entire stock had been purchased by the Pakistan Army. It was then that the Army pushed through the occupation of the heights around Siachen Glacier and surprised the Pakistan Army in turn, he said. Among other book discussions which took place were ‘Orphaned at Freedom: A sub continent’s tale’ authored by Arun Bhatnagar; ‘Pratirodh: The resistance’ by Lt Gen Dalip Singh; and ‘Along Came a Warrior: Banda’s Dharamyudh and the Sikh Theory of Just War’ authored by Dr Rupinder Singh Brar and Lt Gen RS Sujlana (retd).