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Sufism, Culture, and PoliticsAfghans and Islam in Medieval North India$
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Raziuddin Aquil

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195685121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195685121.001.0001

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Mughal-Afghan Interface

Mughal-Afghan Interface

Battles and Mobilization

(p.81) 2 Mughal-Afghan Interface
Sufism, Culture, and Politics

Raziuddin Aquil

Oxford University Press

This chapter notes that Sher Khan's competence as a military commander is praised by both contemporary and later authorities in superlative terms. His credentials as a capable leader came to the fore in his battles against the Bengalis and the Mughals whose armies were both numerically and technologically superior. The chapter examines in detail the battle of Chausa and Qannauj. The victories in these battles through his mind-boggling strategies and enervating tactics catapulted him to the badshahat of Hindustan. Conversely, he was shrewd enough to exploit the enemy's weakness to the hilt as in the battle against Humayun at Chausa. The two battles which he fought against Humayun sealed the fate of the first Mughal kingdom of Hindustan. Though the idiosyncracies of their ‘young’ ruler contributed in part to the failure of the Mughals, Sher Khan's brilliant qualities as a military commander with his thoroughly pragmatic approach to warfare too gave him a definite edge. The chapter also examines the massive mobilization and recruitment of anti-Mughal forces by Sher Khan who successfully led him to victory.

Keywords:   Sher Khan, military commander, battle of Chausa, battle of Qannauj, badshahat, Humayun, warfare, mobilization, Bengalis, Mughals

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