Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

The good news is that I actually feel OK today for the first time since the flu hit last weekend. Since it’s my birthday on Sunday, I’m going to give myself a couple more days to recover and, barring any setbacks, we’ll be back to normal operations on Monday. Meanwhile, here’s today’s history post and… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: Nader Shah sacks Delhi (1739)

Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Karnal (1739)

Nader Shah played an important role in the demise of two of the three Islamic “Gunpowder Empires” of the early modern (16th-18th century) period. Obviously the Ottomans chugged along until World War I. But in addition to closing the book on the Safavids altogether, Nader Shah also hastened the downfall of India’s Mughal dynasty, and… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Karnal (1739)

Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Diu (1509)

The appearance of Portuguese explorers in India in 1498 was, it’s safe to say, a world-altering event. When Vasco da Gama proved that it was possible for European ocean-going vessels to reach India by going around Africa, it meant changes not only for Europe and India, but for the kingdoms in between, whose economies had… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Diu (1509)

Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Talikota (1565)

Muslim control over India was always somewhat precarious, because whatever Muslim dynasty happened to be in power at any given time was guaranteed to be a religious minority ruling over a vast Hindu majority. The Mughal Empire, which ruled northern India, modern Pakistan, and modern Bangladesh for most of its lifespan (although it did expand… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Battle of Talikota (1565)

Today in South Asian history: the Third Battle of Panipat (1761)

Usually when a place is the site of three major battles, particularly when those battles take place over the (relatively) compressed period of about 250 years, the reason is, as real estate agents say, location, location, location. Panipat, located more or less along the most direct route from the Khyber Pass (historically the best/most popular… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Third Battle of Panipat (1761)

Today in South Asian history: the Indo-Pakistani War and Bangladesh Liberation War both end (1971)

India and Pakistan have fought no fewer than four full-on wars since the two nations came into being in 1947. Where the 1971 war stands out from the others is that it had nothing (directly, at least) to do with the disputed region of Kashmir. In fact, the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War was really the final… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Indo-Pakistani War and Bangladesh Liberation War both end (1971)

Today in South Asian history: the Durand Line is drawn (1893)

The Durand Line, AKA “the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” is one of those legacies of colonial times that everybody’s still, unfortunately, living with today. Named after the guy who dreamed it up, British Foreign Secretary for India (at the time) Sir Mortimer Durand, it was meant to fix the border between British India and… Continue reading Today in South Asian history: the Durand Line is drawn (1893)