Why did it seem as though India, the country formerly known as Bharata Varsha, was so easily conquered by outsiders who invaded it and then ruled over it for so many years? We must keep in mind that the first foreign invaders to India were repulsed. They did not find it simple to enter the nation and conduct themselves as they pleased. Some of these included Cyrus the Great of Iran in the sixth century BCE and Queen Semiramis of Babylon in the eighth century BCE. They had sent out vast armies to attack India, but were routed at the borders and fled with few survivors. Of course, Alexander also invaded and reached Northern India before his army was halted by the valiant resistance of a few warrior republics, which prevented his army from moving any farther. In close proximity to the present-day city of Peshawar, Pushkalavati was one of the armies that resisted Alexander. 7,000 of Queen Cleophas’ warriors lost their lives protecting the state when she was in control of this. Alexander himself was hurt and experienced a setback in his eleven-year drive to rule the world during this conflict. Alexander was the ruler of Macedonia, a country that was greatly affected by Hellenic (Greek) culture and was located north of the city-states of ancient Greece.

Alexander decided to attack India in 336 BCE when he was just 21 years old, after capturing most of Asia Minor and the Middle East.

When Alexander arrived in the region beyond the Jhelum River and faced the valiant warrior-emperor Porus, he successfully met his challenge. To stop Alexander from crossing the Hydaspes River, King Porus established a position. Porus was a big guy who appeared to be the same size as a regular man riding a horse when he was mounted on his war elephant. Porus was ultimately victorious after a protracted battle, but the struggle caused Alexander to second-guess taking on this endeavor, thinking that the risk was beyond his bravery. The Macedonians’ resolve waned after such a grueling win [May, 326 BCE] over only 22,000 Indians. Alexander treated Porus well after capturing him, and he was given control of his old realm.

Instead of encountering mercenary mercenaries, Alexander’s men encountered devoted patriotism, which caused many of them, along with top commanders, to oppose his continuing presence in the area. Additionally, the fact that they suffered significant casualties at the hands of a woman leader of a little republic caused them all to have second thoughts about what else they may discover if they traveled further into India. They were well aware of the Nandas’ notoriety, who reigned over a sizable portion of the nation known as Magadha. They were particularly unenthusiastic about Alexander’s plan to bridge the Ganges, a river that is reputed to be four miles wide and six hundred feet deep, only to run into an army of 200,000 soldiers, 80,000 cavalries, 8,000 chariots, and 6,000 war elephants on the other side. In addition, the excruciating heat of northwest India was exhausting them. Alexander then departed from India in 325 BCE by sea. Alexander’s army traveled down the Indus River on a flotilla of rafts and barges.

Alexander came perilously close to death at one of the fortified cities they halted to capture along the road. The first person to ascend the ladders into the Malians’ city wall was Alexander, who then descended into the town while just two of his guards followed. Alexander was hit in the ribs by an arrow and was struck with a club, both of which rendered him unconscious before the other Macedonians could catch up to him and save him. When they took him away, he was not conscious, and when the physicians removed the arrow, he lost consciousness. Alexander’s death was the subject of swiftly spreading rumors. In 323 BCE, he passed away en route home. Even Seleucus Nicator, Alexander’s successor in East Asia, attempted to invade India, succeeded in taking some area, but was forced to withdraw. He even made a marriage union with the Indian monarch of the time to show his respect. India and its troops were therefore not to be underestimated.

The extent of India’s territory was one factor in keeping it safe. This is a crucial topic given how much of it has been seized from India in recent decades and the necessity of maintaining protection for Kashmir and Northeast India along the borders of China’s occupation of Tibet and other regions. The Northwestern passes, which any invading army had to cross before reaching India, were the Indian peninsula’s weak points. India was given protection while its territory stretched across the Indus and included the kingdoms of Gandhara, Peshawar, portions of Afghanistan, and Kashmir. These kingdoms’ collapse made it possible for Alexander’s army to advance via the Northwestern passes and into India.

Only after that incident did the politicians start making plans to unite India so that it could better protect itself. As a result, India’s division was another weakness that made it easy for foreigners to conquer it. The magnificent Mauryan Empire and the era of Chandra Gupta the Great followed. Its administration was well-organized, it upheld its cultural values, and its populace was productive, making it a beautiful empire. Even before the arrival of the Europeans, it was a constitutional monarchy. The point is that while there may have been significant fratricide wars in early India, there were also significant freedoms available, which is largely contrary to what some historians, like Basham, have claimed. Early Indian society was mostly organized along tribal lines, with everyone being treated equally under the control of an assembly of elders, which was then overruled by the king, who sought advice from the priests or Brahmanas. Many of these kingdoms later evolved into republics with armies, democratic legislatures, and civil governments. These predated the Greek versions of democracy by a very long time. The monarchical system of administration didn’t return to India until after the early invasions when there was a need to reunite the country.


Source: Crimes Against India by Stephen Knapp

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