12th Session Of Military Literature Festival Held

12th Session Of Military Literature Festival Held

The 12th session of the ongoing Military Fest Lucknow held online on 30 Oct was devoted to military history. Dr Pratyay Nath from Ashoka University, who specialises in the early modern history, discussed his seminal book “ Climate of Conquest “ which elaborates about the military strategies and ways of war of the Mughal period, specially Akbar’s time.

The humongous logistics, engineering and supply system of those armies depended heavily on local or indigenous man power including skilled labour. India had abundant of skilled people and craftsmen besides the peasants joining the Forces during the lean farming period . The story of ten thousand boatmen used in the Bengal Campaign carried much fascination.

The flotilla of Akbar’s riverine navy consisted of 400 boats on which were mounted the guns , infantry archers and special soldiers firing matchlocks which were made locally in the towns of Gangetic Plains. The food supply chain was managed by Banjaras in huge numbers.

The name came from the fact that these were translated by one Nasir Tusi . The tenets were employed by the kings with much adaptation and flexibility to suit the prevailing political , social and environmental concerns. The heterogeneous nature of many facets was well managed through a highly organised military preparedness system.

It clearly stood out that Indian local resources, specially skilled or unskilled manpower was extensively used by the Mughals. Without the contribution of these people, many from special castes , those armies would not have succeeded. Evidence of exploitation of these labours or people also exist. There are lessons in the book which are even relevant today.

In second half of the session, eminent architect, artist and educator, Sonal Mithal, who belongs to Lucknow gave an elaborate presentation on Cartographic History of Lucknow Cantt. What stood out was the artistic recreation of the famous Bibiapur Kothi and fascinating design of a church besides the story of the ice factory as it existed in mid nineteenth century. Mithal has written books on various aspects of architecture specially the heritage projects.

Her art and works have been displayed around the world. Definitely, such historical studies will make a contribution to the tourism and conservation of heritage in Lucknow. The 13th session of the Festival is being held on Sunday, the 31 st Oct - The Veterans: A Gold Mine for Nation Building.

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