Guardians of the Gate A Military History of the Mohyal Fighting Brahmins

G D Bakshi

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This is the Military History of the Mohyals – an Indian clan of fighting Brahmins. They are Saraswat Brahmins who dwelt on the banks of the ancient river Saraswati - that once flowed from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea. As such they came in the path of each and every invader who came to loot or subjugate India. The warrior sage, Parshuram, had militarised them in the early epic period. From priests these Brahmins had morphed into Mohyal fighting Brahmins, brave and tenacious fighters with a great tradition of soldiering. After Alexanders invasion, Chanakya recruited the Maurayan Army from this region. They became the Bhumiar Brahmins who later settled in Bihar and UP, and helped unify India for the Maurayanempire. Surprisingly, aMohyal clan fought in Iraq on the side of the Shias’ in the famous Karbala war. The MohyalShahi rulers of Afghanistan stopped the world conquering Arab armies on the Hindu Kush and gave them their first taste of defeat and held them off for 300 years. They fought the Arab invasions of Sindh, MehmoodGhaznavi and Muhammad Ghori. When the Mughal empire turned tyrannical under Aurangzeb, they flocked to the banner of the Sikh Gurus to overthrow this evil tyranny. Baba Paraga, Bhai Mati Das and Banda Bairagi were great soldier saints of the Sikh military tradition. They were all Mohyals who played a major role in the Indian military revival that took place with the Sikhs and the Marathas. This book is an invaluable record of all the military invasions of India from the third century B.C. onwards. The soldiers and scholars of History will find it an invaluable document about Indian Military History per se – right from the Vedic times to the present era. These fighting Brahmins have maintained their military traditions. Post-independence, 2/Lt PuneetDatt won the Ashok Chakra – the highest gallantry award in the land. Four Mohyal officers won the Mahavir Chakra and other four, the Vir Chakra. Six Mohyals have risen to the rank of Army Commander and equivalent in the Indian Army and Air Force, and three became the governor of states. 10 became Lt Generals and 15 Maj Generals – all from a miniscule community – just 6 lakh strong. They are like the Samurai of Japan – great patriots, scholar-warriors and erstwhile feudal lords who have made enormous sacrifices for their country. They have been the guardians of it’s gates.

G D Bakshi Maj Gen (Dr) G D Bakshi is a combat veteran with considerable experience in Kargil, Kishtwar and Rajouri sectors of J&K. He is a renowned military historian and a prolific writer who has written over 35 books. He is India’s most popular commentator on TV on matters of military.

Contents

Foreword

Introductory Note

1. Prologue: A Paradigm Shift in Indology: From the Indus to the Saraswati
2. Geneology: Reflections on Caste: Saraswat Brahmins and the Mohyal Clans
3. The First Rebellion: The Battle Axe of Parshuram and the Rise of the Fighting Brahmins
4. Guardians of the Gate: Facing the Greeks of Alexander
5. The Bhumihars of the Imperial Mauryan Army and the Sunga Dynasty
6. The Arab Interlude: The Heroic Role of the Brahmins in the Karbala War
7. The ShahiMohyal Brahmin Dynasty of Afghanistan: Halting the Arab Invaders
8. The Invasion of Sindh: Chach and Dahir. Resistance by Mohyal Brahmin Rulers
9. The Turko-Mongol Invasions: Holocaust from Afghanistan
10. The Mughal Empire
11. The Rise of the Sikhs and the Role of Mohyals in the Indian Military Revival
12. The British Empire: Mohyals as A Martial Class: Fighting Brahmins of the Cavalry
13. Arya Samaj, Freedom Struggle and the Holocaust of Partition
14. Resurrection: The Role of The General Mohyal Sabah
Select Bibliography

 

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