The Second Battle of Panipat took place on the 5th of November 1556. In April 1526, Akbar’s grandfather, Babur, had established the Mughal Empire. He died four years later, and his son, Humayun, was chased out by the king, Sher Shah Suri who found the 20 year-long Sur Empire.
Sher Shah Suri, in my opinion, is one of the greatest kings ever had. He is also one of the most under-appreciated kings. His administrative and financial reforms were practised in India for over 300 years. He was king for just seven years. Sher Shah Suri had a positive impact on India, and his influence lasted down the centuries. He called our currency — the rupee. We call it the rupee. The term, with its variations, is used across South and South East Asia.
Look at the arrogant idiots who lead many countries today. We will suffer the consequences of their tenure has heads of states for many years to come.
Anyway, he died. His successors were weak, and Humayun won back his kingdom. The Sur General, Hemu, declared himself king and made war against the Mughals.
Humayun died, and finally, Hemu’s army met Akbar’s at Panipat. Akbar was just 13 years old at the time, and he was in battle along with his guardian, Bairam Khan.
Soldiers brought Hemu’s body to Akbar at the end of the battle. Bairam Khan asked him to behead Hemu, which Akbar refused to do.
After Akbar agreed to touch his Hemu’s head with his sword, Bairam Khan chopped Hemu’s head off. They hung the head in Kabul and the body at the Purana Qila in Delhi.
Akbar’s reign was secure, and he went on to become one of the greatest kings India has ever seen. Only two kings in India are called ‘The Great’ — Ashoka and Akbar.
Today, however, I live in a country filled with jingoistic fools. They do not think Akbar was a great king because he was a Muslim. Loud, jingoistic fools fill the world.
I couldn’t find the site of the second battle. It seems that there is a statue, or memorial, dedicated to Hemu at the place where he was beheaded. Nobody had a clue. Finally, I arrived at someone’s farmland, with a kind of ‘dargah’ next to it. I don’t think it was a holy place because the old man who lived inside had hidden a signboard belonging to the Archaeological Survey of India beneath sacks of cloth.
A few kids were playing around the fields. I chatted a bit with them. They asked me to photograph them. I am an accommodating kind of chap!
We fooled around. The kids were convinced that this was the site of a great battle. Everyone around me was convinced. They had no idea of the name, “Hemu”, or that he had died there.
I don’t think I ever found the site of the Second Battle.
Still, I had fun with the kids!