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Zaheeruddin Babar

Zaheeruddin Babar

Zaheer ud din Muhammad Babur is known as founder of the Mughal dynasty which ruled Indian Empire for almost one hundred and fifty years and won many laurels in various domains of life.  Zaheer_ud Din Muhammad Babur, surnamed “Babur”  was born in 1483 to Omer Shaikh Mirza ( Fifth in male descendant from Taimur ) and Kutlak  Nigar Khanum ( in the 15th degree from Chingiz khan ) thus he was connected with both families of Taimur and Chingiz Khan ,thus he had in him the blood of the two great conquerors of Central Asia, “the ferocity of the Mongol, and the courage and capacity of the Turks.”

 

Two persons who moulded his personality were ,his family teacher, Sheikh Majid and his own grand mother ,Ahsan Daulat Begum . He learnt Turki, Persian and poetry from his tutor and the art of administration from his grand mother in his childhood.

At the early age of 12, his father, Sultan Omer Sheikh Mirza  died and Babur became king of  Farghana . At the time of the accession, he was surrounded on all sides by his enemies. His uncles and cousins took advantage of his youth and inexperience and attacked him on right and left. With the help of his experienced and wise grandmother, Ahsan Daulat Khanum , he hurriedly went through his coronation ceremony and put his house in order. Then he addressed himself to the task of saving his county from the foreign invaders. First of all he sent a message to his paternal uncle, Ahmed Mirza , to put Farghana under Babur ,but the offer was rejected  and it led to war, which resulted Ahmed Mirza‘s retreat to Samarqand . Babur‘s maternal uncle  Mahmud khan also got disheartened by the stiff resistance put up by the besieged at Akhsi and retired to his country . Farghana was thus saved.

 

The city of Samarqand was the capital of Amir Timur  for a long time. The town was the heart of Central Asia, politically, commercially, and above all culturally. There was a great yearning in Babur’s heart to sit on his ancestor’s throne in his capital. When his paternal uncle Ahmed Mirza, died in July, 1494, and a civil war broke out among his sons. In this civil war, Babur found an opportunity of conquering Samarqand, but his attempt failed. Next year, he made a second attempt, which was successful. He sat on his ancestor’s throne and his life’s ambition was realized. But he was forced to abandon his capital after a hundred days rule. He felt ill in Samerqand and the news of his illness reached Farghana where a rebellion broke out against him. When he recovered, he proceeded towards Farghana to suppress the rebellion, but he was disappointed to find that Andijan, his capital, had already passed into the hands of the rebels. He then returned to Samarqand but was disappointed to find that city also had been captured by his enemies.

 

Babur’s Wanderings

Babur, wandered for two years because he had no territory except a small hilly distract of Khokand. The number of his followers had reduced to the point that he had to turn his reins from Hissar to seek the hospitality of Sultan Ahmed, the great Khan of the Mongols. On his way he decided to take a chance at Samarqand where great discontent prevailed against the Uzbek conqueror. One dark night his supporters managed to smuggle him and his followers into Samarqand. He was hailed by the people who rose up in arms against the Uzbeks. It was resulted a defeat of the Shaibani Khan. Babur’s joy knew no bounds. He celebrated his success by marrying one daughter of each of his two uncles who had ruled at Samarqand.

 

Burning with revenge, Shaibani Khan reorganized his forces for a final showdown. Babur moved out of Samarqand in 1501. A well contested battle was fought at Saripul, in which Babur was discomfited. Samarqand was so vigorously besieged that the inhabitants of the town began to starve. Losing all hopes of saving the town, Babur sued for peace and surrendered the city of Samarqand. In 1503, Babur and his maternal uncles made a second bid to conquer Farghana but were not succeeded.

 

First battle of Panipat (1526)

Babur in order to set out for the conquest of India, first of all, he had to deal with Daulat  Khan who had turned out Ala-ud-Din from Lahore. After defeating him, Babur advanced to Delhi. Ibrahim Lodhi came out of Delhi to give battle to Babur. The opposing armies met on the historic plains of Pani Pat. Babur had certain advantages,he sent out 4 to 5 thousands of his men to make a mighty  attack on the Afghan camp which failed in its object. When the Afghan army came near Babur and noticed Babur’s front line defense, they hesitated and thus lost the advantage of a shock charges. Babur took the advantage of the enemy’s hesitation and directed his men to take up the offensive. Thus the superior general ship and strategy of Babur won the day. Ibrahim Lodhi was killed fighting bravely.

 

Battle of Kanwaha

The victory of Panipat did not make Babur the ruler of India. He met a strong foe in Rana Sanga of Mewar, who had a desire to occupy the throne of Delhi himself. Such a formidable foe had to be disposed of if Babur was to have  an unchallengeable position.  In 1527,Rana Sanga advanced with a large army, Babur also advanced to Fateh Pur Sikri. the advance-guard of Babur was defeated by the Rajputs. His followers got dishearted.At this time Babur demonstrated his qualities of leadership. He decided to capitalise on the religious fervor of his army and ordered the breaking of the cups of wine. He repented of his past sins and promised to give up wine for the rest of his life. The appeal and motivation had the desired effect. He started the attack with heavy artillery fire. after an obstinate battle the Rajputs were defeated.

Death of Babur, 1530

The circumstances leading to the death of Babur in December,1530, were such that when his son Humayun,  fell sick and it was declared that there was no possibility of his survival. It was at this time that Babur is said to have walked three times round the bed of Humayun and prayed to God to transfer the illness of his son to him. it is stated that from that time onward Humayun began to recover and condition of Babur went from bad to worse and ultimately he breathed his last. At the time of his death Babur was hardly 48 years of age.

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