On May 17th, the Founders’ Day of the Maritime History Society, an academic initiative of the Western Naval Command of the Indian Navy was celebrated in Navy Nagar in Mumbai. Other than a commemorative lecture on the inception of the Maratha navy by Vice Admiral M.S.Pawar (Retd), a unique one of its kind book titled, “Bharat’s Military Conquests in Foreign Lands” was released. The book is authored by Shri Venkatesh Rangan and published by Subbu Publications. It was officially unveiled by dignitaries from the Western Naval command including Vice Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command; Vice Admiral Sanjay Bhalla, Chief of Staff; Vice Admiral A. R. Karve, member administrative, Armed Forces Tribunal – Mumbai bench and MHS patron and Vice Admiral M S Pawar. Shri Venkatesh Rangan gave a short presentation on the book in front of a packed auditorium composed of naval personnel, academic scholars, historical researchers, and maritime enthusiasts.
The Book is a unique one of its kind work busting the myth that Hindu Kings never ventured outside Bharat to conquer and conduct military operations in Foreign countries. The book has forewords by noted public intellectual, Anand Ranganathan and the erudite Vice Admiral A R Karve.
The book details that between 900 BCE and 1680 CE, at least 21 military expeditions were launched by Indian rulers across raging seas and beyond the most formidable mountains to far-off foreign lands. There, Indian fleets and armies clashed with some of the mightiest military powers of human history. The myth-busting book provides a thrilling yet factual account of these expeditions and explores what they tell us about the “Indic strategic mindset” from a historical perspective.
Conquests and expeditions covered in the book include the conquest of Palestine by Chakravarti Jaya, the victory over Persia and Transoxiana by Chandragupta Vikramaditya, the defeat of the Rashidun Caliphate by Chalukya Pulakeshin II in Al Faw (Iraq); the raids on Arabia, Iraq, Iran by Pratihara Nagabhata, the Pallava and Chola conquests in South East Asia, the counter-offensive in Turkestan by Paramaras, the conquest of Yunnan and Han China by Mauryas and Gahadavalas and several other unheard of conquests and expeditions. An interesting expedition described in the book is the “Freedom of Navigation naval expeditions” conducted by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj against the Europeans and Arabs between ports in Bharat on the one side and the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf on the other. The book’s concluding two chapters analyze the various objectives, unique features and results of these conquests from a strategic and historical perspective. The concluding chapter specifically counters key myths that exist today about the military history of Bharat.
The Book is a part of the series of books that have in recent years sought to upstage the Colonial-Leftist narrative of a passive, accommodative and fragmented Indic civilization that sought to “assimilate” and “accept” its invaders rather than fight them. It unapologetically highlights the “Kshatara dharma” or martial tradition of Hindu civilization which has been the main reason for keeping this ancient civilization alive, while the sun has set on the Egyptian, Persian, Roman, Celtic, Norse civilizations in other parts of the world.
Priced quite reasonably at Rs. 449, it is a must read book for all military history aficionados throwing light on the until now never discussed great military expeditions and conquests of Hindu Kings on foreign shores correcting the distorted narrative by leftist historians portraying Hindu Kings as a bunch of clueless losers to foreign invaders.
The book is available on Subbu publications at https://subbupublications.com/product/vr1-2/