There is a lot of discussion about Disney Plus Hotstar’s The Empire web series. The first season of the series is airing, the story of which centers on Zahiruddin Mohammad Babar, the founder of the Mughalia Sultanate. What did Babur do to bring India under his control, but in Central Asia, he was unable to achieve complete supremacy despite fighting for a long time? Taking an army of a handful of fighters, he rendered defenseless the then satraps present in and around Delhi, Agra and three years after the Battle of Panipat. This is reflected in the sequence of the battle of Panipat against the very powerful Sultan-e-Hind Ibrahim Lodi in The Empire. Victory in that war made the throne of the Mughal Empire firmly established in India.
In the first battle of Panipat, when Babur stood in front of Lodi, his skill was almost a straw in numbers. The Battle of Panipat took place in April 1526. Historians believe that there were only 15,000 soldiers in Babur’s army. The Lodi army had a contingent of about 40,000 soldiers and at least more than 1,000 elephants. Almost three times more soldiers compared to Mughals. Proper equipment and bottomless logistics. Despite this, Babur’s two strategies paved the way for his victory. And what happened after that is history. The Mughals could not be expelled from Delhi for several hundred years. The Mughal star seems to be setting only after the arrival of more advanced and skilled British fighting skills. After all, what methods did Babur try at the Battle of Panipat and then at Hindustan?
In all the fights that Babur fought for supremacy in Fergana-Samarkand and the surrounding neighborhood, Jai continued to learn lessons from the defeats. These lessons, which he tested in the wars in India, proved useful to him. It is said that in the Battle of Panipat, he made a strategy drawing inspiration from the fighting skills of Mohammad Shaybani Khan. Shaybani was Babur’s enemy. As long as Shaybani was alive, Babur couldn’t control her even after wanting to. Even if it is not, Shaybani is among the most feared warriors of that Central Asian period. Shaybani’s stubborn armies often struck the enemy like lightning. In the blink of an eye, the opposing side seemed desperate and helpless in front of them. Actually, Mohammad Shaybani used to struggle with the “Tulughma” strategy.
Kunal Kapoor in the role of Babar. Photo: courtesy of Disney Hotstar.
Tulugma’s Infallible Uzbek War Tactics
Medieval Uzbeki fighters used this strategy to attack and destroy enemies. Tactically, the Tulugama strategy is considered suitable for small armies. Guerrilla battles, to some extent, resemble Tulugma. But the immediate difference between them is that the guerrillas strike suddenly, create panic in the enemy camp, and flee in the blink of an eye. Guerrilla units are also very small in number and target small enemy units. The purpose of the guerrillas is more to create fear and harm to the enemy than to defeat or win. Guerrilla technology is not tested face to face on the battlefield. It is used during unguarded enemy troop travel and during their encampments. At present, all terrorist organizations in the world use this method of guerrilla guerilla.
What about Tulugama politics?
Tulugama’s strategy is for the battlefield, which also includes the guerrilla method. This method is very accurate, less damaging, and works against really big forces against you. According to the Tulugama strategy, the armies are divided into three main parts. The right and left side of the army and the rest of the army is in the rear. In a one-on-one battle, one party attacks from the front and the rest surround him on all sides and launch a fierce attack. If the attack is effective, then it continues until the result and if it turns out to be harmful, then leaving the field behind with the Tulugama method and fleeing is a safe option. Babur learned this in the wars he fought against Shaibani.
How a handful of Babur’s army broke in Panipat like a death in Lodi
At the Battle of Panipat, when the huge Lodi army was in front of him, he used this method to create panic in the huge Lodi platoon. He also used the Arba method in conjunction with Tulugama, in which horrific attacks were carried out by placing cannons on bullock carts. The elephant squad, which was triggered by the mine, caused damage to Lodi’s own army. There was such chaos that a handful of Babur’s army shot down Lodi’s army on all sides. As soon as Lodi died, the chiefs of his army laid down their arms. The Battle of Panipat is the battle in which Babur used gunpowder and cannons for the first time. Historians say that Babur’s army was determined to die or die in the Battle of Panipat. In Baburnama, he has also written that before the war he had encouraged a handful of his soldiers to a suicide attack. Babur had said before the war: whoever came to this world must die. Life is in God’s hands, so don’t be afraid of death. You swear in the name of Allah that you will not turn your back even after seeing death in front and you will continue to fight while there is life left. The results of Panipat started a new historical current.
Babur did not stop here. Despite defeating Lodi, Rana Sanga, another princely Rajput state, and Lodi’s brother were a great threat to their sultanate. Rana Sanga also had a large army. But at the Battle of Khanwa, he again repeated Panipat’s methods after a year. He did the same in the battles of Chanderi and Ghaggar. These three wars after Panipat gave strength to the Mughal Sultanate. Shaybani’s fighting skills were useful to Babur in India.