Battle of Ravi, 1306

Battle of Ravi, 1306

Battle of Ravi, 1306

The battle of Ravi (1306) was the fourth and last of a series of defeats suffered by Mongol armies in the Delhi Sultanate that greatly reduced the Mongol threat to northern India.

The third of those defeats had seen a large Mongol raiding force under Ali Beg and a second commander defeated at Amroha. Both of the Mongol commanders had been taken back to Delhi, where they were trampled to death by elephants.

The Mongols responded by sending yet another army into India, this time led by a leader called Kabak. The Sultan of Delhi, 'Ala ud-Din, appointed the victorious generals of 1305, Malik Kafur Hazardinarai and Ghazi Malik Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlug, to deal with this new threat (after the previous battle Tughlug had been granted the title Ghazi, or killer of infidels).

The Mongol horde crossed the Indus near Multan, and advanced towards the Himalayas, raiding as it went. On their return journey the Mongols found their route blocked at the River Ravi, close to the Indus. The Mongols were desperately short of water, and were forced to attack almost immediately, suffering a heavy defeat in the process. Kabak was amongst the many prisoners taken, while only 3,000-4,000 of his original army of 50,000-60,000 escaped. Kabak shared the fate of his predecessors, and was taken to Delhi to be crushed to death by elephants.

Although this defeat didn’t entirely end the Mongol threat to northern India it did reduce it to the level of small-scale raids. The Mongols didn't return in great force until Tamerlane's invasion at the end of the century.


What If Mongol Empire Never Existed?

The Mongol Empire (1206-1368) was the largest contiguous land empire in history, covering most of what is now Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Persia, Iraq, Turkey, and Southeast Asia, to the Sea of Japan. Yet it failed to capture India. Discussion on Facebook of why the India campaign failed.

Under the leadership of the first five Khans — Genghis Khan (1162-1227), Ögedei Khan (1185-1241), Güyük Khan (1206-1248), Möngke Khan (1209-1259), Kublai Khan (1215-1294) — the empire expanded. But by the time of Kublai’s death, the empire began to fracture.

Ten more Khans ruled over the next 76 years, but the empire collapsed in 1368 when Ming Dynasty overthrew the Yuan, the Mongols‘ ruling power in China.

“The Battle of Ravi (1306) was the fourth and last of a series of defeats suffered by Mongol armies against Delhi Sultanate that greatly reduced the Mongol threat to northern India. Mongol has raided Eurasian plains since the rise of Genghis Khan in 1206 CE who eventually sacked and occupy China (Jin Dynasty) and sacked both of its capital Beijing in the north 1215 CE and Kaifeng in the south in 1233 CE. Mongols then moved both northwest and southwest. In the northwest, Mongols reach Russia and defeated Russian army in 1237 CE. Mongols then enter Persia and sack Abbasid capital Baghdad in 1258 CE. Since 1222 CE, at the time of Genghis Khan himself, Mongols have been conducted massive invasion to the Indian subcontinent, but consistently defeated by Delhi Sultanate forces. After the breakup of unified Mongol Empire in 1259, Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia continue to conduct invasion to India. in 1305 the third of great Mongol invasion was again defeated by Delhi Sultanate forces. In 1306 CE, Mongol-Chagatai Khanate once again invades India to avenge their loss in 1305 CE in the Battle of Amroha. Mongol contingent was split into three division, one lead by Mongol general, Kopek. The Sultan of Delhi, ‘Ala ud-Din, appointed the victorious generals of 1305, Malik Kafur Hazardinarai and Ghazi Malik Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlug, to deal with this new threat. Delhi sultanate army under general Malik Kafur quickly moves to Mongol position. Both forces met near Ravi river (the present-day border between Pakistan and India). The Mongols were desperately short of water and were forced to attack almost immediately. A fierce battle ensued between two forces.

“Mongol army defeated in the battle, many Mongol soldiers slained by Delhi’s army. Kabak was amongst the many prisoners taken, while only 3,000-4,000 of his original army of 50,000-60,000 escaped. Kopek shared the fate of his predecessors and was taken to Delhi to be crushed to death by elephants. Although this defeat didn’t entirely end the Mongol threat to northern India it did reduce it to the level of small-scale raids. Delhi Sultanate successfully defends India from Mongols at the height of Unified Mongol Empire. Something that is rarely achieved during that time, other nation that successfully defeats the Mongol invasion was Japan, Egypt, and Java. While other nations was sacked, occupied or submit to the various Mongol powers.” — Youtube page.

“John Green teaches you, at long last, about the most exceptional bunch of empire-building nomads in the history of the world, the Mongols! How did the Mongols go from being a relatively small band of herders who occasionally engaged in some light hunting-gathering to being one of the most formidable fighting forces in the world? It turns out Genghis Khan was a pretty big part of it, but you probably already knew that. The more interesting questions might be, what kind of rulers were they, and what effect did their empire have on the world we know today? Find out, as John FINALLY teaches you about the Mongols.” Text.


RZIM apologist who wrote book with Ravi Zacharias admits shortcomings, says he was deceived

An apologist who worked closely with Ravi Zacharias and co-authored a book with him said he was deceived by the late apologist who was embroiled in several sexual abuse allegations that were substantiated by an independent investigation released earlier this year.

In an interview with Josh and Sean McDowell that was streamed online Friday, Abdu Murray, who has been in the leadership of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries since 2017, explained why he believed the late apologist’s version of events when accusations were made public, and apologized for how he and the ministry handled making statements when the allegations arose.

“We really cannot afford to elevate ministry above people or certainly above Jesus,” Murray said, speaking about what he learned amid the gradual exposure of Zacharias that took place the past few years.

“I think that we have this mentality in ministry that somehow ministry is itself sacred, that ministry is itself untouchable. And so when an allegation of abuse happens, we find it unbelievable because these people could not possibly have done it.”

Yet the Bible says otherwise, he continued, as many who had a calling from God committed terrible acts.

Murray co-authored Seeing Jesus from the East: A Fresh Look at History's Most Influential Figure with the late apologist, which was released weeks before Zacharias died after a battle with cancer in May 2020.

When asked what contributing factors led so many to believe Zacharias’ deceptions for so long, specifically regarding what happened with Brad and Lori Anne Thompson — the Canadian couple at the center of much of the scrutiny of the apologist when allegations of sexual misconduct first emerged in 2017 — Murray said he could not answer for what others thought, but that he considered Zacharias’ “unblemished record” as proof of his trustworthiness.

Abdu Murray speaks at the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee, in February 2020. | NRB via screengrab

Zacharias had portrayed the Thompsons' as a couple who were attempting to extort money from him and denied any inappropriate interactions with them, especially Lori Anne, whom he groomed into an illicit online relationship. Zacharias subsequently filed a racketeering (RICO) lawsuit against the couple.

Adding to his belief that Zacharias was trustworthy was that he believed in and employed women who wanted to study and do apologetics, and he wanted them to be in leadership positions across RZIM.

Zacharias presented an “I’m not going to hide . let the truth be known” approach to the allegations in 2017, Murray said, noting that he first learned of them when the RICO legal action was announced in the organization.

“This is the actions of an innocent man,” he said, recalling his thinking at the time.

“I’ve since learned something very important . that this can be a tactic to silence people.”

Once more damning information emerged, “my thinking should have given way,” Murray said, “to a more critical examination, but the reality of it was that I didn’t want it to be true.”

Emails obtained by The Christian Post show that Murray wrote to Zacharias in November 2017 to give him encouragement because he believed the allegations amounted to a spiritual attack on the ministry, given its effectiveness worldwide in reaching people for Christ.

Murray elaborated in the interview with the McDowells that realizing that the allegations of misconduct against Zacharias were true presented another irony — that he came to faith in Christ, not wanting the Gospel message and claims of the Christian faith to be true.

“When I came to faith, I did so despite my desire for it not to be true. I’ve often said that I value truth over comfort. But the reality is this, it’s that even though you’ve done that in your life, and I did that in my life, it doesn’t mean you can’t be vigilant all the time now.”

“You have to be ever-vigilant,” he reiterated, “guard your own heart . Is this true or are you claiming it’s false because you don’t want it to be true? I think that’s a big part of why a lot of people were able to believe [Zacharias’] side of the story. They just could not possibly fathom it. But I think we have to embrace the truth no matter how inconvenient it is.”

The RZIM leader admitted that he was skeptical when additional charges emerged in August 2020 from massage therapists who had repeatedly interacted with Zacharias over the course of several years. But regardless of how uncomfortable it was, he and others within the ministry pushed for an independent investigation and they wanted the truth.

RZIM hired the Atlanta firm Miller & Martin to conduct the review, and its full report was published in February.

During the interview, Murray also addressed a statement that was circulated in the media and attributed to him about him wanting to hire a rough Atlanta ex-cop to investigate women who made sexual misconduct allegations against the late apologist with the goal of discrediting them.

What actually happened, Murray said, was that he was asking a lawyer, Brian Kelly, about potential investigators who were reputable. Kelly told him and the only one he knew of was “a rough Atlanta ex-cop who doesn’t have a light touch.”

When he relayed that to the RZIM team in a meeting amid mounting questions about Zacharias’ conduct, Murray recalled saying that they “could not go that route” and advocated not using such a person.

In an email to CP on Tuesday, Steve Baughman, an attorney and author of the book, Cover-Up in the Kingdom, who brought Zacharias’ sexual misconduct and misrepresentation of his academic credentials to light, said he believes Murray when he said he didn't suggest they hire a rough ex-cop to investigate the women who accused Zacharias of abuse, and that it's a particularly ugly thing to be falsely accused of doing.

Yet, Murray’s reputation is widely known as “Ravi’s pitbull,” he maintained.

“Despite his recent mea culpa, RZIM insiders have revealed that Murray pressured team members who questioned Ravi, he wanted to use attorney-client privilege to keep ugly information from the public, he put a positive spin on Ravi’s 2016 written suicide threat to Ms. Thompson, he defended Ravi for the false statements in the press release announcing the lawsuit settlement, and more,” Baughman said.

“Abdu Murray can now plead blindness. But his blindness was knowingly and willingly self-inflicted. Abdu made it his mission to snuff out the red flags.”

Since the release of the Miller & Martin report earlier this year, RZIM has announced that it's changing the ministry's name and restructuring to become a grant-making organization supporting evangelism and abuse victims, laying off the majority of its staff.

Send news tips to: [email protected] Listen to Brandon Showalter's Life in the Kingdom podcast at The Christian Post and edifi app Follow Brandon Showalter on Facebook: BrandonMarkShowalter Follow on Twitter: @BrandonMShow


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Vajiram & Ravi 's Optional Subject Teachers would meet students through a webinar to help them make their optional choice for the Civil Services Exam on the 11th, 12th and 13th June 21 on VajiramandRavi Official YouTube Channel.

please invite Himanshu Kashyap sir for law optional

Vajiram & Ravi

Question- General Studies
Check out this space for the answer tomorrow evening.

Vajiram & Ravi

The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced that it has selected EnVision as its next orbiter that will visit Venus sometime in the 2030s.
EnVision is an ESA-led mission with contributions from NASA. Once launched on an Ariane 6 rocket, the spacecraft will take about 15 months to reach Venus and will take 16 more months to achieve orbit circularisation.

Vajiram & Ravi

Question- General Studies
Check out this space for the answer tomorrow evening.

Vajiram & Ravi

PM recently approved the "Deep Ocean Mission," of Rs 4077 estimated cost, at the cabinet committee on economic affairs. Deep Ocean Mission is proposed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop technologies to optimize the ocean resources.

The Deep Ocean Mission consists of the following six major components:

1) Development of Technologies for Deep Sea Mining, and Manned Submersible
2) Development of Ocean Climate Change Advisory Services
3) Technological innovations for exploration and conservation of deep-sea biodiversity
4) Deep Ocean Survey and Exploration
5) Energy and freshwater from the Ocean
6) Advanced Marine Station for Ocean Biology.


About Ravi Ravindra

Ravi Ravindra obtained degrees of B.Sc. and M. Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, before going to Canada on a Commonwealth Scholarship to do an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Toronto. Later, he did an M.A. in Philosophy also, and at different times held Post-doctoral fellowships in Physics (University of Toronto), History and Philosophy of Science (Princeton University) and in Religion (Columbia University). He is now Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University in Halifax (Canada) where he served for many years as a Professor in the departments of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and of Physics.

He was a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, and the Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. He was a member of the Board of Judges for the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He is an Honorary Member of the Scientific and Medical Network and a Fellow of the Temenos Academy, England.

Ravi's spiritual search has led him to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. I. Gurdjieff, Zen, Yoga, and a deep immersion in the mystical teachings of the Indian and Christian classical traditions. He is the author of several books on religion, science, mysticism, and spirituality.


Emperor Chayamana on the Sarasvati River:

Even on the political and administrative fronts, the Vedic people were highly organised. Not only did they have sabhas and samitis which dealt with legislative and perhaps judiciary matters, but they also had a well-established hierarchy amongst the rulers, viz. samrat, rajan and rajaka. Thus, in RV 6.27.8 Abhyavarti Chayamana is stated to be a Samrat. (Soverign), while RV 8.21.8 states that, dwelling beside the Sarasvati river, Chitra alone is the Rajan (king) while the rest are mere Rajakas (kinglings or petty chieftains). That these gradations were absolutely real is duly confirmed by the Satapatha Brahmana (V.1.1.12-13), which says:

‘By offering the Rajasuya he becomes Raja and by the Vajapeya he becomes Samrat, and the office of the Rajan is lower and that of the Samraj, the higher
(raja vai rajasuyenestva bhavati, samrat vajapeyena l avaram hi rajyam param samrajyam).

AbhyAvartin CAyamAna is an Anu king, and he clearly appears as a hero in VI.27. However, it is equally clear that this is only because he is an ally of the Bharata king SRnjaya: his descendant Kavi CAyamAna who appears (though not in Griffith’s translation) in VII.18.9 as an enemy of the Bharata king SudAs, is referred to in hostile terms. In RV VII.18.8, he was killed while fleeing from battle. He was an enemy of Sudas and son of Cayamana. He was probably brother of Abhyavartin Cayamana who is mentioned as the conqueror of the Vrcicantas under the leadership of Varasikha (RV VII.27.5,8).

Sudas was well known for having two sage advisors, Vasishtha and Visvamitra. He was an author of Hymn 133 of the 10th book of the Rg Veda in addition to being a great warrior and king. He gave much to his priest, Vashistha (200 cows, 2 chariots, 4 horses with gold trappings,…).

Sudas and Bheda: King Sudas also fought with the non-Aryan King Bheda who led 3 tribes (Ajas, Sigrus, Yaksus) against Sudas. King Sudas beat them all at a battle on the Yamuna River.

All enemies of Sudas were defeated, thousands were killed, several drowned and swept away by the mighty rivers and the remaining fled away. Sudas’ armies marched in all directions except the South. He emerged victorious and several gifts were presented to him by the defeated enemy. It was really a great historical event.


Guru Nanak and the Ravi

There are other folk-religious narratives about the Ravi, which present a contrasting account of the frequent inundation of the river.

About 120 kilometres north of Lahore is the final resting place of Guru Nanak. Here, flirting with the international border, the Ravi meanders between India and Pakistan before it finally commits to Pakistan.

The shrine of Guru Nanak in the village of Kartarpur is believed to have been constructed at the location where the founder of Sikhism spent the last 17 years of his life tilling land during the day and preaching in the evenings.

The Ravi had become Nanak’s permanent companion during the dusk of his life. He would turn to the river every day to bathe, while it would also provide him with water for his land.

When I once visited the shrine during the monsoon season, parts of the Ravi had yet again broken its banks and flooded the surrounding areas.

In the room of the caretaker of the shrine, a local media news channel was reporting about the latest floods. During our conversation, the caretaker told me how the locals believe that the Ravi breaches its banks every 20 years in order to touch the boundary wall of the shrine.

They believe that is the river’s way of paying homage to the saint.

It was also the Ravi that allowed Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh guru, to perform his final miracle. He had been tortured by Mughal authorities on the orders of Emperor Jahangir for five days.

Even Mian Mir, the most prominent Muslim Sufi saint of the city, offered to intercede on his behalf, but the guru refused. Before his impending death, he was granted his wish of one final bath in the Ravi.

The guru took a dip in the river and disappeared. He had decided to pass on to the next world on his own terms.

About 300km from Lahore, just before the Ravi merges into the Chenab, stand the remains of three temples — the Sita Gund, Ram Chauntra and Laxman Chauntra.

Legends suggest how when Lord Ram went for a dip in the Ravi, Sita waited for him at its banks. As Ram went deeper into the river, the Ravi, which curved, began to straighten out so that even from afar Ram could keep a watch over his wife.

Centuries later, their devotees built these three temples to mark this miracle of the river.

On October 5, another merger took place with the Ravi. The granddaughter of Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar immersed his ashes in the river.

With this, Nayar, who had been born in 1923 in Sialkot in present-day Pakistan, returned home, becoming one with Valmiki, Lav, Ram, Guru Nanak, Guru Arjan, Bava Jhengardh Shah, Vasti Ram and countless others for whom the story of the Ravi is more than the story of India-Pakistan, Hindu-Muslim, believer and infidel.


Battle of Ravi, 1306 - History

Medieval > First War of Scottish Independence

In early 1306 Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick gambled all on a rebellion against Edward I. He murdered his rival, Sir John Comyn, and was crowned King of Scotland. However, the campaign did not start well when an English force under Aymer de Valence virtually destroyed Bruce’s fledgling army at the Battle of Methven (1306).

Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286 leaving a seven year old granddaughter, Margaret, as his only heir. When she died in 1292 over thirty rival claimants sought the Scottish throne including Robert the Bruce. To prevent anarchy, Edward I of England was invited to arbitrate and, at Berwick Castle on 17 November 1292, the King announced his verdict in favour of John Balliol whom he anticipated would be a reliable vassal. However, Edward's excessive demands for men and money to support a war with France placed the new Scottish King in an impossible position forcing him into rebellion. When John mustered his forces Robert the Bruce, whom by this time was Earl of Carrick, refused to participate and thereafter fled to England. Concurrently an English army marched north and defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar (1296) after which John Balliol was stripped of his Royal title and the Scottish throne was left vacant.

Not only did Robert the Bruce refuse to assist King John, he had actively supported Edward I's campaign to overthrow him. Bruce then spent much of the next decade attempting to endear himself to Edward I hoping that he would be appointed as the Scottish King. However, by early 1306 Bruce had given up hope and sought to take matters into his own hands. His first step was to eliminate his rival for the throne, John Comyn, whose family had supported the Balliol claim and had vigorously opposed Bruce. He met Comyn in Greyfriars Church in Dumfries and allegedly a heated exchanged followed which ended with Bruce murdering his opponent. Such an act on consecrated ground would inevitably mean excommunication and accordingly Bruce hastened north to Scone enabling his close ally, Bishop William Lamberton of St Andrews, to crown him before a Papal decree prevented it. The coronation took place on 25 March 1306 and Bruce was also appointed 'Guardian of Scotland', a position previously held by William Wallace. Scotland was in rebellion once more.

It was early April 1306 before Edward I became aware of the extent of the trouble in Scotland. The English King was ill and an immediate deployment of the entire Royal host was not an option. Nevertheless, on 5 April 1306 Edward I appointed his half cousin Aymer de Valence (later Earl of Pembroke) as his Lieutenant with instructions to "burn, slay and raise dragon". Valence, who was also brother-in-law of the murdered John Comyn, headed north leading the vanguard of an English army whilst the King mustered the feudal host. At a ceremony held at Westminster Palace on 20 May 1306 Edward I knighted the Prince of Wales and 250 others in preparation for the upcoming campaign. At the subsequent banquet two decorated swans were served with the King and the newly knighted men swearing an oath to avenge Comyn's death - the so-called Oath of the Swans. It was doubtless an impressive event but it would be another year before the Royal army amassed on the Scottish border. By contrast Valence had punched into Scotland and by early June had seized Perth. His numbers were swelled by supporters of the murdered Comyn.

The capture of Perth left Bruce with a dilemma. On the one hand he needed to take action to show he was an effective commander and it made sense to deal with the English vanguard before the entire might of the army arrived under Edward I. However, Bruce only had limited forces with which to deal with a well equipped English host. On balance he decided to fight and marched to Perth arriving outside the walls of the town on 18 June 1306.

The English army was under the command of Aymer de Valence, an experienced soldier who had fought with Edward I in his continental campaigns and in Scotland. The size of the army at his disposal is disputed with the various sources contradicting each other as to whether it was larger or smaller than the Scottish force. The configuration of the English army is also unknown although it seems likely it consisted on a significant number of mounted troops.

The Scottish forces were under the direct command of Robert the Bruce and are generally numbered around 4,500 strong although this figure is probably over-inflated. Bruce's deputy at Methven was Christopher Seton with other notable commanders including Gilbert Hay and James Douglas.

The battle was fought in the early morning of 19 June 1306.

Late afternoon on 18 June 1306 Bruce's force approached Perth. Envoys were sent forward to request the English march out of the town and fight a pitched battle. Valence refused to accept the challenge on the grounds it was too late in the day for a battle to be begin. The relative size of the two forces may also have been a factor in his decision. Either way Bruce believed that no battle would be fought that day and withdrew his forces five miles west towards Methven. That site was chosen due the proximity of a small brook and a woodland enabling the Scots to forage for supplies. They then settled down for the night pitching their billets across the area. There seems to have been little thought given to deploying sentries or sending scouts forward to keep an eye on the English.

Valence had no intention of agreeing to an orderly pitched battle. As far as he was concerned, he was not only dealing with rebels but ones that had murdered a relative on holy ground. Before dawn on the 19 June 1306, he led his men out of Perth and proceeded west along the road to Crieff. Little is known about the sequence of the battle but, whenever the Scots became aware of the English advance, it was too late. The English assault would have been spearheaded by the heavily armoured, mounted Knights that stormed into the unprepared Scottish camp. With no time to muster a defensive formation, the dispersed Scottish infantry had no chance and were cut to pieces.

The Scottish forces fled the battlefield but were cut down and casualties may have numbered in the thousands. Some form of rearguard action must have been fought because Bruce and his key supporters, along with 500 troops, managed to disengage and retreat west towards Crieff.

Bruce fled the battlefield but at Dalrigh was ambushed by one thousand members of the MacDougall and MacNab clans led by John MacDougall of Lorne, kinsmen of the murdered Sir John Comyn. This action, known as the Battle of Dilrigh, was another defeat with Bruce's small force being depleted further. He came perilously close to being killed himself when he was almost dragged from his horse by MacDougalls who had grabbed his cloak and only survived by releasing his broach (which remains a trophy of the MacDougall clan). Thereafter Bruce fled west into hiding in the caves, mountains and islands of western Scotland where he allegedly was inspired by the perseverance of a spider.

With Bruce suppressed, the English started rounding up his supporters. The pro-Bruce clergy - Bishop Robert Wishart of Glasgow and Bishop William Lamberton of St Andrews - were arrested and imprisoned in close confinement. Valence then pursued Bruce's brother (Neil Bruce), wife (Elizabeth Burgh) and daughter (Lady Marjorie) to Aberdeenshire where they were captured near Kildrummy Castle. Neil Bruce was hung, drawn and quartered at Berwick. Queen Elizabeth and Lady Marjorie were taken to the Tower of London. The young Lady Marjorie was cruelly displayed within a cage in the zoo located in the Tower's Barbican and strictly forbidden to speak to anyone.

Methven was the low-point of Bruce's career but in May 1307 he started his fight back. He crossed into Ayrshire, formerly part of his Earldom of Carrick, and won a minor victory at the Battle of Loudoun Hill (10 May 1307). Fortune smiled on Bruce when, on 7 July 1307, Edward I died whilst at Burgh-by-Sands on the verge of crossing into Scotland with a vast Royal host. His replacement, Edward II, was a pale reflection of his father. Whilst Edward I had died demanding his body be carried into action against the Scots, the new King had little stomach for a protracted fight. The English army withdrew leaving Bruce free to start reducing English controlled castles. Edward II remained inactive until 1314 when he felt obliged to act to save Stirling Castle from falling to the Scots. The subsequent campaign was a disaster for the English with a catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314).

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Today the battlefield is a mixture of urban development, managed woodland and farmland - all of which makes the terrain quite different from the fourteenth century. Nevertheless a significant factor in Bruce choosing this as a camp site was inevitably due to the availability of fresh water served by the brook that runs through the site. A short battlefield walk from the main road takes you past this water feature and on to a small monument.

Battlefield Walk . A short battlefield walk starts from the main road.

Methven Burn . The presence of a fresh water source sufficient for thousands of men was doubtless a major reason why Methven was chosen as a camp site.

Monument . A small stone commemorates the battle.

Woodland . A significant portion of the battlefield is woodland. This may well have also been the case in the fourteenth century.

Battlefield . The eastern portion of the battlefield. This may have been entirely covered in woodland at the time of the battle.

Methven is found to the west of Perth on the A85. The battlefield walk is sign-posted from the main road and starts at the junction between the A85 and the Square. On-road car parking is possible along the A85.


Contents

Born in the kingdom of Calicut in 1745, Ravi Varma belonged to the Padinjare Kovilakam (Mankavu Palace), of the Zamorins Royal Family (Nediyirippu Swarupam), which had been ruling the Kingdom of Calicut for the last 600 years. [1] The incumbent Raja of this family was popularly referred to as Zamorin or Samoothiri. [1] Unlike his more famous contemporary and close personal friend Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, the prince-regent of Kottayam, very little is known about the personal lives of Ravi Varma Raja and the other princes of the Padinjare Kovilakam. [2]

In 1767, as the Mysorean army edged closer to the outer reaches of Calicut, the Zamorin sent most of his relatives to safe haven in Ponnani and to avoid the humiliation of surrender, committed self-immolation by setting fire to his palace, the Mananchira Kovilakam. [2] [3] His Eralppad Kishen Raja, continued his fight against the invading Mysorean forces from South Malabar. He marched to Ponnani and then Tanur, and forced Hyder's troops to retreat. By the time he had fled to Travancore in 1774, Kishen Raja had managed to force Hyder Ali to cede many parts of Malabar to local rulers, who were supported by the British East India Company.

The Mysorean invasion of Malabar had forced most of the royal Nair households to flee to Travancore, where they were helped to rehabilitate themselves by Dharma Raja. With most of royals in exile, the young princes of Padinjare Kovilakam took charge. Their immediate goal was to oust Mysorean garrisons from Calicut. [4]

Krishna Varma was the eldest man of this western branch – but it was his abler and more active nephew Ravi Varma who took greater role in military affairs. This uncle and nephew together with their junior male relatives prepared for war.

Hyder's policy of torture and financial extortion of residents of Zamorin country also caused widespread resentment among masses and this drove people into arms of rebels. Mysorean exploitation thus gave birth to an 18-year cycle of reprisals and revolts.[MGS and Logan]

During monsoon of 1766, whole of Zamorin domain rose in revolt but were disastrously defeated at Putiyangadi near Ponnani after which they chose to fight only guerrilla warfare. To crush the rebellion, Hyder unleashed a reign of terror in which he murdered as many as 10,000 people in Zamorin country. But that proved to be of no use as rebels led by Ravi Varma once more rose up in 1767 and Hyder's army of some 15,000 men were trapped inside their stockaded camps across Zamorin country. [Logan]

, a prince seventh in line of succession,

The rebellion in the southern Malabar was led by Ravi Varma. [5] He also helped 30,000 Brahmins flee to Travancore.

In 1768, Hyder pulled out his troops from Zamorin country as well as from all of Malabar since they were on verge of defeat. Also Hyder was threatened with imminent attack by Marathas and Nizam and so withdrew from Malabar. Hyder restored possessions to Rajas on condition that they pay him tribute. [Logan]

During the 1780s, Ravi Varma Raja, the Eralppad of Calicut led a successful rebellion against the Mysore forces. Though Tipu conferred on him a jaghire (vast area of tax-free land) mainly to appease him, the Zamorin prince, after promptly taking charge of the jaghire, continued his revolt against the Mysore power, more vigorously and with wider support. He soon moved to Calicut, his traditional area of influence and authority, for better co-ordination. Tipu sent a large Mysore army under the command of M. Lally and Mir Asrali Khan to defeat the Zamorin prince at Calicut. It is believed that Ravi Varma Raja assisted several members of the priestly community (almost 30,000 Namboothiris) to flee the country and take refuge in Travancore, to escape the atrocities of Tipu.

Ravi Varma helped the British defeat the Mysore Army and in return was promised full powers over Calicut. But after the defeat of Tippu Sultan, the British reneged on the promise. An irate Eralppad and his nephew, Ravi Varma Unni Raja II (Ravi Varma Unni Nambi) stabbed the Dewan Swaminatha Iyer (who later recovered with the help of English doctors) and fled to Wynad, where they joined the guerilla army of Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja. Ravi Varma Raja I died in the guerilla warfare, while his nephew committed suicide upon capture by the British.

So the new Zamorin who was in exile came back and took power in 1768 and princes of Padinjare Kovilakam were eclipsed till 1774. Zamorin Raja learnt little from past disasters—instead of building up his military force to meet Mysorean threat or paying tribute to Hyder to purchase peace and safety, he did neither. Instead he plunged his country into another war with Cochin – this was also last war between Cochin and Calicut. [Iyer]

In 1774, once more Hyder's troops invaded Malabar and Zamorin Raja fled to Travancore and thus princes of Padinjare Kovilakam once more rose to prominence. Krishna Varma became overall head and Ravi Varma the commandant of rebel force. Ravi Varma's rebels made shrewd use of forested and mountainous landscape that covered most of Zamorin country. [Iyer]

Ravi Varma moved capital away from vulnerable Calicut and Ponnani to Kalladikode in Nedumganad province (Modern Ottapalam taluk) his military headquarters. They also took war into enemy territories in Coimbatore district [one of richest parts of Hyder's domain] which they looted and devastated in retaliation to Mysorean reprisals.[Iyer and Buchanan]

In November 1788, the Mysorean forces under Hyder's son Tipu Sultan attacked Calicut and captured the Karanavappad of Manjeri. [6] Their assaults were met with resistance by the Nairs of Calicut and southern Malabar led by Ravi Varma and other princes of the Padinjare Kovilakam. [6] Tipu sent 6,000 troops under his French commander, M. Lally to raise the siege, but failed to defeat Ravi Varma. [6]

By 1779, Hyder had enough of war with Ravi Varma and invited him for talks to his camp in Calicut. But some unusual troops movements around the guest-house where he was staying roused his suspicions that Hyder was planning to arrest him and so he left immediately to Kalladikode.[Iyer]

In 1782, Ravi Varma's men recaptured all of Zamorin country and even helped British to capture forts of Calicut and Palghat. But in 1784, Tippu got Malabar back by Treaty of Mangalore and once more Ravi Varma had to deal with Mysorean troops. [Logan and Iyer]

Tippu bribed Ravi Varma in hope that he will give up war and submit to Mysore authority. But Ravi Varma's dream was independence of his country and restore her former prestige. So he kept up irregular warfare to harass Mysore army of occupation. But even so, prospects of peace became brighter by 1788 when Krishna Varma even visited Tippu in Calicut for peace talks. Krishna Varma sent an agent for peace talks. [Iyer]

Tippu's promise was restoration of Zamorin country to Zamorin Raja on one condition – Zamorin must help him conquest of Travancore. Tippu even sent a large sum to Krishna Varma to bribe him. But even so Varma refused to agree. Some account says that his refusal was because of Tippu's forcible conversions.[Iyer]

Tippu angry at his failure in negotiations unleash a wave of savage religious persecution and Ravi Varma and rebels rose up and seized whole of Southern Malabar and marched and captured Calicut in 1788. Even though a Mysore army under French general Lally recaptures Calicut same year, Ravi Varma and his rebels still dominated most of Zamorin country.[Logan and Iyer]

In 1789, Tippu came with a vast army and Ravi Varma and men were forced to flee to forests. Towns and villages were seized by Tippu's troops but they reached nowhere in jungle warfare with Ravi Varma and his partisans. [Logan]

In 1790, Tippu invaded Travancore only to be checked by Dharma Raja's troops and this provoked British to attack Mysore in retaliation [Travancore was under British protection as per Mangalore Treaty]. Soon rebels of Malabar also joined hands with British. [Logan]

In 1790, a British force of 2,000 men under Colonel Hartley landed in South Malabar to deal with Mysore army of 9,000 Sepoys and 4,000 Moplays. Ravi Varma rushed to aid with 5,000 of his best Nairs and that helped to turn tide in favour of British. [Buchanan]

Colonel Hartley in his letter to Governor-General Charles Cornwallis stated that this victory was of decisive importance to British success in Third Anglo-Mysore War. [7]

Ravi Varma and his uncle Krishna Varma aimed to restore independence and greatness to their kingdom. But they were angered when faint hearted Zamorin Raja in exile agreed to terms that made Calicut a dependency of British. They were even more angered by the fact that it was Swaminatha Pattar, prime minister of exiled Zamorin Raja who persuaded latter to surrender to British.[Refer Ravi Varma below]

From their stronghold in Nedumganad, Ravi Varma and his men contacted Pazhassi Raja and his partisans. He even sheltered a large number of Pazhassi fugitives and even began to collect tax from Zamorin country without British permission. He warned Swaminatha Pattar not to betray his country to British any more and even threatened death if latter did not mend his ways.[Refer Ravi Varma below]

British soon accused Ravi Varma of conspiracy to undermine British rule and warned that severe punishment would be given to Ravi Varma and nephews if they harmed the traitor Swaminatha Pattar or if they tried to rule the country without asking British permission. British government asked Ravi Varma to pay 100,000 rupees immediately.[Refer Ravi Varma below]

In 1793, Krishna Varma died at Karimpuzha in Nedumganad. But Ravi Varma decided to war with British and so he contacted Pazhassi Raja and Moplay malcontents of Southern Malabar along with discontented princes of Palghat and even with his old enemy Tippu Sultan for joint action- his aim was to oust British from Malabar.[Logan and Refer Ravi Varma below]

The British offered rewards for information about the whereabouts of Pazhassi Raja (3000 pagodas), Vira Varma Raja (1000 pagodas), and Ravi Varma Raja (1000 pagodas). [8]

First he invited traitor Swaminatha Pattar, (who being a double agent in British payroll) to a great extent bore responsibility of British supremacy in Zamorin country, to Padinjare Kovilagam palace in Mankavu where he was stabbed by Ravi Varma and his nephews but was saved by treatment of a British surgeon named Wye.[Logan]

After this, Ravi Varma fled towards Wynad in join Pazhassi Raja. But he was arrested on way by Captain Burchall and men and sent to Cherpulassery where he died in captivity. Official version for death cause was complications that arose from an old bullet injury.[Logan and [Refer Ravi Varma below]

Ravi Varma's nephew Ravi Varma junior along with his four brothers also died in suspicious circumstances during their imprisonment. But there is no evidence either to prove that Ravi Varma the elder and his five nephews were murdered in captivity.

He was cremated at his stronghold of Kalladikode. Rebel leaders of Malabar – Pazhassi Raja included – mourned death of Ravi Varma.

Ravi Varma died even before he could a full revolt. His nephew, also named Ravi Varma, was arrested and also died in custody in 1793. But rest of Padinjare Kovilakam princes evaded British capture and kept a large part of Southern Malabar in state of chronic disturbance. It was only in 1797 that they agreed to surrender to British. This four-year-long rebellion by Calicut princes is not a well recorded event in Malabar history. [Logan]

During war with Mysorean troops, Ravi Varma commanded the largest rebel force in Malabar and his help proved to be vital for British victory in Third Anglo-Mysore War. In spite of all these factors, Ravi Varma belongs to that class of leaders who are almost lost to history.


‘Bengal and its Partition: An Untold Story’ review: Roots of a division

Anyone seeking a deeper understanding of India’s partition will find former ambassador Bhaswati Mukherjee’s book, Bengal and its Partition, insightful. The writer traces the genesis of partition to events in Bengal dating back to the 1757 Battle of Plassey which the East India Company won by deceit. The spoils and plunder of that battle and the systematic economic exploitation of Bengal cast an ominous shadow on the rest of India, eventually triggering the revolt of 1857. The ironclad grip that the Empire established under a well-orchestrated ‘divide and rule’ policy was designed to make ‘the Jewel in the Crown of the Empire’ serve the larger cause of sustaining its global imperialism.

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State of famine

The writer elaborates how Britain’s exploitative economic policies resulted in impoverishment of Bengal and the rest of the country the Permanent Settlement of Cornwallis introduced in 1793 reduced within no time about 20 million farmers to landless labourers as most abandoned their land holdings unable to pay high taxes. Instead, some preferred to be daily wagers and some others turned indentured labourers, which the author stresses is another form of slavery that the British remains unapologetic for to this day. Food stocks were frequently diverted abroad to feed British soldiers fighting losing battles for the Empire in decline. Culmination of these policies led to Bengal being in a state of perpetual famine. The Great Bengal Famine of 1943-44 starved about 3.5 million to death.

The resilient spirit of Bengalis found sustenance in the renaissance and reformation movements of the 19th century to which the Bengali intelligentsia significantly contributed. Feelings of patriotism and nationalism gave a definitive direction to the freedom movement. However, the rise of sectarian Islamic movements, owing to acute poverty, created conditions for divisive communalism, which the writer laments destroyed the syncretic culture of Bengal that for centuries had amalgamated both Hindu and Islamic beliefs and faiths.

Segmented depiction

The author explains how the casual interpretation of Indian history by the British eventually influenced the two-nation theory. The publication of James Mill’s The History of British India in 1817 divided Indian history on religious lines into three parts — Hindu, Muslim and British periods. This segmented depiction of Indian history created mental blocks in the collective consciousness of the people. It is indeed revealing that Jinnah was initially not serious about partition, but was only seeking to enhance his bargaining clout in the political calculus. The appointment of H.S. Suhrawardy as Chief Minister of Bengal in 1946 in a Hindu majority state was a deliberate ploy by the British to widen the communal divide. The call for ‘Direct Action Day’ by the Muslim League on August 16, 1946 led to thousands being killed and many more wounded akin to a civil war, not a riot. This pogrom was deliberately aimed at moulding public opinion for creation of a separate Muslim Bengal with Calcutta as its capital. These developments had wider ramifications for India.

Mukherjee strongly feels that the partition of Bengal could have been avoided if only the leaders of the Indian Congress opposed the Communal Award of 1932 that created separate electorates on the basis of religion and caste. She argues that the partition of Bengal and the rest of the country on the basis of religion was a historical blunder. Much later, the creation of Bangladesh on the basis of language and cultural identity, not on religion, vindicated her assertion.

Bengal and its Partition: An Untold Story Bhaswati Mukherjee, Rupa, ₹595.


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