The victory at Panipat did not make Babur the Ruler of India. He met a stronger foe in Rana Sanga of Mewar. The latter had the ambition of occupy the throne of Delhi itself. Such a formidable foe had to be disposed of if Babur was to have an unchargeable position.
In 1527, Rana Sanga advanced with a large army to Biana. Babur also advanced to Fatehpur Sikri. The advance-guard of Babur was defeated by the Rajputs and the result was that his followers, got disheartened. At this time, Babur showed his qualities of leadership. He ordered the breaking of the cups of wine. He repented of his past sins and promised to give up wine for the rest of his life. He addressed his soldiers in these words: “Noble men and soldiers! Every man that comes into the world is subject to dissolution.
When we are passed away and gone, God only survives, unchangeable. Whoever comes to life must, before it is over, drink from the cup of death. He who arrives at the inn of mortality must one day inevitably take his departure from that house of sorrow-the world. How much better is it to die with honour than to live with infamy. With fame, even if I die, I am contented; Let fame be mine, since my body is death’s. “
The Most High God has been propitious to us, and has now placed us in such a crisis if we fall in the field, we die the death of martyrs; if we survive, we rise victorious, avengers of the cause of God. Let us, then, with one accord swear on God’s holy word, that none of us will even think of turning his face from his warfare nor desert from the battle and slaughter that ensures, till his soul is separated from his body.”
The appeal of Babur had the desired effect and he started the attack with heavy artillery fire. Then, according to Ferishta, “Babur himself, charged like a lion rushing from his lair.” After an obstinate battle, the Rajputs were defeated and Babur became the Victor of Kanwah.
Importance of Battle of Kanwah:
Regarding the importance of the Battle of Kanwah, Prof. Rushbrook Williams has observed thus: “In the first place the menace of Rajput supremacy which had loomed large before the eyes of Mohammadans in India for the last few years, was removed once for all. The powerful confederacy which depended so largely for its unity upon the strength and reputation of Mewar, was shattered by a single great defeat and ceased henceforth to be a dominant factor in the politics of Hindustan.
Secondly, the Mughal Empire of India was soon firmly established. Babur had definitely seated himself upon the throne of Sultan Ibrahim, and the sign and seal of his achievement had been the annihilation of Sultan Ibrahim’s most formidable antagonists. Hitherto the occupation of Hindustan might have been looked upon as a mere episode in Babur’s career of adventure, but from henceforth it became the keynote of his activities for the remainder of his life. His days of wandering in search of fortune are now passed away.
The fortune is his, and he has to show himself worthy of it. And it is significant of the new stage in his career which this battle marks that never afterwards does he have to stake his throne and life upon the issue of a striken field. Fighting there is, and fighting in plenty to be done; but it is fighting for the extension of his power, for the reduction of rebels, for the ordering of his Kingdom. It is never fighting for his throne. And from it is also significant of Babur’s grasp of vital issues that from henceforth the centre of gravity of his power is shifted from Kabul to Hindustan.'”
Dr. R.P. Tripathi says: “The consequences of the battle were indeed far-reaching. It broke the Rajput confederacy which depended for its existence not any enlightened conception of race, community, religion or civilization, but on the prestige of the Udaipur House, the military and diplomatic victories of its warlike leaders, who had now lost their moral prestige. With the breakup of the confederacy vanished the nightmare of Hindu supremacy which had kept the Muslim states in northern India in anxious suspense.
The destruction of many of the most redoubtable Rajput chiefs and the disintegration which set in after Rana Sanga became helpless, once more laid open Rajputana to the ravages of the neighbouring powers, which were only too ready to step in Kanwah removed the most formidable obstacle in the way of the foundation of the Mughal empire.
Babur assumed the title of Ghazi and his throne in India was now quite secure. The centre of gravity of his power now definitely shifted from Kabul to Hindustan. Finally, the defeat of the Rajputs weakened the hands of the Afghans. With the help of the powerful and independent chiefs of Rajputana, they would have been certainly far more formidable rivals to the Mughals than when single-handed.”
According to Dr. G.N. Sharma, “But whatever may have been the causes of the defeat, the consequences of the Battle of Kanwah were immense and immeasurable. The battle had not proved to be a light adventure for Babur who had almost staked his life and throne and suffered a grievous loss in men and money before he could claim success. Nevertheless, the victory had far-reaching results and shifted the sovereignty of the country from the Rajputs to the Mughals who were to enjoy it for over two hundred years.
It would be however a mistake to suppose that the Rajput power was crushed for ever and that they wielded no influence in the politics of the country. No one realized it better than Babur himself who stopped short of further encroachment upon Rajasthan. After Kanwah he did nothing more than storming Chanderi and obtaining possession of that fortress on 29th January, 1528.”
After losing the Battle of Kanwah, Rana Sanga took a vow never to enter the portal of Chittor without defeating Babur. When he heard of Babur’s siege of Chanderi, he started for that place. However, he died in January, 1528, before he could render any help.
According to Dr. GN. Sharma, in spite of heroism, Rana Sanga was not a statesman of high order. “In his relations with Babur he showed vacillation and want of decision and firmness. He broke the agreement with Babur. Even after he had decided not to help him, he failed to proceed and capture Agra which he ought to have done immediately after Babur had moved South of the Punjab to fight with Ibrahim Lodi. Had he done so he would have not only acquired the immense treasures and resources that lay stored in that town but also the support of the entire race of the Indian Afghans and other notables who were at that time thoroughly inimical to Babur.
He occupied himself after Babur’s victory at Panipat in the more congenial task of establishing his rule over the territory in Rajasthan that still belonged to the Afghans instead of making preparations for a contest with Babur. After he had conquered Bayana he did not engage Babur for about a month and foolishly allowed him time to complete his preparations. He proceeded from Bayana to Kanwah by a long route that took him about a month, though from Bayana Kanwah could have been reached in a day’s time. He failed to appreciate the strength and weakness of Babur’s position and military establishment.
The greatest mistake of his life, however, must be considered i be his failure to make an alliance with Ibrahim Lodi for driving away Babur who was then a foreign. tx and hence an enemy not only of Ibrahim but also of all Indians of that time. An impartial student of history must, therefore, conclude the chapter of Sanga’s relation with Babur by adding that the former was completely outwitted by the latter in diplomacy and war.