If Jadunath Sarkar is one of the best we have got and if this book is his magnum opus, I am not happy. Read the narrative, it looks as if Aurangzeb won the war against Maharaja Jaswant Singh solely because of Jaswant Singh’s incompetence and nothing else. In contradiction to what is presented by Sarkar, I will cite a few things.
1. Jaswant Singh was given the command of the royal army and Qasim Khan was ordered to support him. Either Shah Jahan trusted his competence or wanted him to fail. If he wanted him to fail, there is no reason why Shah Jahan why Shah Jahan was dethroned and was made a prisoner all his life. If he is not a competent commander, his presence on the field would have been titular and he wouldn’t have been given direct command. And if people like Rao Raja Chatrasal is placed under his command, it can only tell his stature.
2. Jaswant Singh had complete access to Mughal government facilities. Was Jadunath Sarkar serious in saying that Jaswant Singh was completely ignorant of Aurangzeb’s advance till he was less than 50 km away from Jaswant Singh’s army? Did Aurangzeb cover 600 km with maybe 30000 without the government knowing anything about it? What of the two Maratha auxiliaries he mentioned? There was no news from their home territories, as well? This is besides the fact that it is estimated that Jaswant Singh waited for Aurangzeb and Murad to join and take them down together.
3. Aurangzeb and Murad Baksh estimated Jaswant Singh’s force as 60000. Aqil Khan estimated Jaswant Singh’s force as 30000. This is an indication of the fact that Qasim Khan didn’t fight the war and held the balance. And knowing that his road to Agra is blocked, it is not rational for Aurangzeb to march with a lesser number. Going by the fact that he stopped at two major garrisons, Aurangabad and Burhanpur, and going by the fact that the initial Rajput attack killed 10000 from Aurangzeb’s army and his army stood ground as if nothing happened, and going by the fact that Murad Baksh with at least 10000, still unmolested(he joined the fight later), didn’t take the opportunity to bring down Aurangzeb can only tell one thing – he had overwhelming numbers, easily 30000 or 40000. So, we are staring at about 50-60000 soldiers on Aurangzeb’s side as against 30000 of Jaswant Singh and with Jaswant Singh doubting Qasim Khan from the start. Had this not been the case, there is no reason for Jaswant Singh to box himself into a safety corridor, into such a corridor where horses can’t maneuver. And Jaswant Singh going on aggression first can indicate only one thing – he got some information of another disproportionate force joining Aurangzeb. The death of prominent nobles like Mukund Singh of Kota and Bundi and Ratan Singh of Ratlam can only be an indication of the desperation. And the constant trickle to Aurangzeb’s side from his can only tell how handicapped Jaswant Singh was.
4. From the book directly. But Aurangzib knew his own advantage and was not willing to strengthen the enemy by granting him time. When the enemy himself was ready to defect, what sense does this sentence make?
5. Only one person reprimanded Jaswant Singh for his cowardice – his wife – cowardice for running away from the battle and there was no reprimand for him from anyone for his conduct on the field.
6. Jaswant Singh was still opposed to Aurangzeb after he became the Emperor. Aurangzeb sent an army to Marwar but was not able to take down the severely drubbed Rathores. It was Aurangzeb who started the parley for peace through Jai Singh and Jaswant Singh accepted it.
7. From being the Mansabdar of Marwar, he climbed to the level of Subahdar of Gujarat and was assigned the additional Subah of Kabul as a stand by with an advance guard to crush a rebellion. If Jaswant Singh is not capable, will Aurangzeb give him such commands?