Gannama Nayaka or Malik Maqbul
Gannama Nayaka was the governor of the fort of Warangal under Prataparudra. Telugu folk history says when the king is captured, he placed a washerman on the throne and went to search for the king. We have many such instances in Indian history where a powerful noble tried to salvage the kingdom, without looking for his personla benefit. Also, it’s said that after he was taken as a prisoner to Delhi, he converted to Islam and he was as loyal to the Delhi Sultanate as he was to that of the Kakatiyas, there by epousing the principle that Whoever your ruler is, be loyal to him. Finally he died as one of the most powerful men in the Tughluq Sultanate.
There is no sufficient historic information regarding his life. But, an anecdote regarding him goes as – Kharavela is an enemy of the Mauryan Empire. Knowing this, a Greek king or raider or whatever proposed to him to combine both the armies and attack Mauryan empire in unision. It’s said that Kharavela rejected the offer and directed his army against the Greek invader and making him turn back, giving a nice instance of patriotism. The reason for his attack on Maruyan Empire was sorted out peacefully because of this.
It’s said that the last Kakatiya ruler was expecting an army on the field from the Reddy feudatories which can prolong the fight with Tughluq by god knows how long. But in the meanwhile, the walls of Warangal were breached. He surrendered immediately to his enemy just to ensure that his kingdom is safe and people are not massacred, even though he was in a sort of dictating position. After this personal bravery sacrificing himself for the benefit of his kingdom, he commited suicide in Narmada while being taken back as a prisoner to Delhi.
Probably he may be a great king, but one thing for sure is he ruled from his heart and not from his head. What’s the point marching to the battlefield against Ghori without an army? How long does his bravado stand? He came first to the battlefield with a token army and was expecting his actual army later. Ghori was unaware of this for a few days, but when he got aware, he attacked and destroyed the central authority of India. This foolishness and arrogance of Prithvuraj Chauhan is one of the main reasons why India came under the Muslim rule, after being the one which stopped Islam completely in it’s tracks in the east for almost 300-400 years. Also, it’s said that Prithviraj killed Ghori blindfolded in the middle of his court. When Ghori got to know that Prithviraj is a great archer, he asked him to shoot something blindfolded. He said I want two arrows, not one. With the first one, he shot the fruit. The king will be the first one to start clapping or praising. With the second one, he killed the king. Later, he committed suicide.
He was one of the most prominent generals under Allauddin Khilji. He is credited to be one of the very few generals who never lost a war. He stopped majority of the Mongol invasions during the Khilji reign. Legend says he had been such a terror for the Mongols that whenever their horse refused to drink water, the Mongols would ask them if they had seen Zafar Khan. He lost his life in the last battle he fought in 1299, but Allauddin prevailed in the battle.