INDIA: A new book on Indian medieval history titled “Swift Horses Sharp swords-Medieval battles which shook India” is penned by Amit Agarwal, an engineer from India. Though the book primarily deals with the early medieval era, it begins with ancient India, wherein the author dealt with India’s glory and success in that era. It tells the riveting story of the 400-years long Journey of Islamic Invasions by Arabs in the early 8th century to the raids of Mahmud Ghaznawi. It ended in the occupation by Ghori in the 12th century. It takes us back into the time of invasions and critically examines the origins and trajectory of Islamic invasions into India.
The book’s initial part provides an opulent glimpse of the rich and vibrant social, economic, and cultural life that prevailed in India during the ancient period. It covers relevant topics such as silk route business and exquisite art during the Gupta period, Hinduism and its caste system, the emergence of Buddhism and its spread in the region.
The initial part builds a social, cultural, and historical background leading to a more tumultuous medieval period.
Later, the book graduates to the medieval period, and numerous battles are superbly pictured. After the invasion of Arabs and Turks started in the early medieval era, however, the decline commenced. In between, the glorious struggle of the Indian warriors have been given due recognition in the book as they are hardly known to a regular Indian.
One would also be pleasantly surprised to know that once Hindus ruled all over Asia without even lifting a sword. The book has a full chapter of tremendous Indian influence in far–off South East Asia and how Cholas built their empire there, and their emphasis on building intricate and majestic Hindu temples like Ankgorvat, which are still a beauty to behold.
The book also deals with the blunders committed by the Hindus during the medieval period. Despite the riches, Hindus did not pay any attention to the development of technology while major military innovation was carried out by the Turks resulting in their massive strength, which subsequently became a major factor in Hindu kings’ defeats despite their bravery.