Published on December 20th, 2015 | by Sandeep Patil


How to bluff and look scholar – an Aakar Patel case study

Dear Mr. Patel,

I am an otherwise tolerant person (a rare commodity these days), but your opinion (!) pieces drive me to the verge of intolerance. That’s why I normally keep myself at a safe distance. But today I stumbled upon your article about Peshwa Bajirao-I (link) and couldn’t resist writing this reply.  I am not the first one to write something to call out your biases/lies in open. After Mr. Anand Ranganathan wrote this exceptional masterpiece that holds mirror to the hypocritical writings of yours, I thought no further critique of yours was necessary – for if that article doesn’t help, nothing will! Nonetheless I am doing it again, since your whole piece is highly flawed and misguiding . Although in order to keep my reply brief, I will stick only to major ones.

You fancy yourself to be a historian – so I presume you knew that Bajirao was a Peshwa (Minister) of the Kingdom which was found by Chattrapati Shivaji.. and that Shivaji had coronated himself in the title of Go-brahman Pratipalak (the protector of Cows and Brahmins). Shivaji was the first Hindu King in the otherwise Islamic India ever since the fall of Vijaynagar Empire! What does that make Bajirao? Isn’t he a minister of a Hindu Kingdom, no matter how much it may hurt? When something is as obvious as that, why go all the way and do as much circus to prove otherwise? But you have persistently taken the reader through cob-webs of faulty-ambiguous-dubious accounts making it look like a scholarly piece.

“If you can’t convince them, confuse them” – Henry Truman

You have selectively picked some random incidents from history – without head or tail – to convince us mortals that Maratha’s were as ruthless, cruel and atrocious as anybody else (read Mughals). At least you should have bothered to check your timelines. Common sense demands that if you are talking about Peshwa Bajirao-I, you should give the citations from his own times. Rather you chose incidents like Invasion of Bengal (1742), attack on Jaipur (1750), Battle of Panipat (1761) … all after the death of Bajirao-I (1740)!!! It simply beats me how one can build his case on Bajirao-I on the basis of the incidents after his death?

Then, your highly mischievous and subtly misguiding paragraph – “What the Marathas did striking north from the south, the Sikhs did in the opposite direction (they called their extortion ‘rakhi’, or protection, and it was 10% for all Indians). It is undeniably true on the other hand that the Marathas were originals.”


An ancient vessel (to collect toll) at Naneghat, Nashik – Maharashra

First, you make it appear as if Sikh’s were protecting people from Maratha’s – in reality, the Sikh’s were guarding people against the atrocities of peace-loving, benevolent, cultured Mughals – Aurgangzeb’s torturous execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur is well known. Secondly line is a blattant, shameless – in short a typical Aakar Patel – lie. Perhaps you don’t know that the Maratha clan has started up on the similar principles of money for protection. In the early medival periods when the trading ships would land at the west coast of India, the cargo was loaded in ox carts and taken up by the ghat roads up to the deccan plateau. The early Maratha’s used to offer their protection to these traders in the jungles of Western Ghats and impose an octroi.

Your information about the Dussehra tradition is in principle correct but again you could not help goofing  things here too. Firstly, Maratha’s were at one point of time was mainly Infantry, later they became Cavalry and towards the end they relied much in Artillery as well. Maratha’s have their own style of warfare, their own military tactics which is outlined by geniuses like Shivaji, Santaji Ghorpade, Tarabai, Bajirao-I and so on. A good book on Maratha warfare tactics and another good book on Mongols would tell you that just riding on horseback doesn’t make one ‘Mongols of South Asia’.

Then your mischief gets better of you when you say “Bajirao had ‘one’ good battlefield victory…”, does that mean the other 39 victory’s of Bajirao were decided by toss? Your skills of blending truths/half-truths with lies comes further when you bluff ‘in the interest of the reader’ (read, I cannot resist this) that Scindias had fled from Panipat. Don’t you know that the general of Scindia contingent – Janakoji Scindia (forefather of Jyotiraditya Scindia) – laid down his life in the battle of Panipat? The contemporary ballads compare his fight to that of Abhimanyu! Then who fled? Don’t you know that the roots of Panipat battle lay in the incident where another Scindia – the mighty Dattaji Scindia – was killed at Burhadi ghat war near present day Delhi by Abdali’s wazeer? And thus Scindia soldiers were most vengeful in the Panipat war – and you happily claim that they fled – without any remorse whatsoever?

“बचेंगे तो और भी लड़ेंगे” – Last words of Dattaji Scindia

And finally, more than Ala-sing jaat, the person who helped Abdali decisively to win the war was Sujah-ud-daula. A person who got his Kingdom due to help from Maratha’s, but who in the battle of Panipat allied with Abdali and Najeeb in the interest of Islam?

A non-historian, a non-intellectual, a non-sanghi

PS: see also – http://www.sandeeppatil.co.in/watermarks/politics/a-brief-history-of-intellectual-dishonesty/


About the Author

God knows why but I have too many interests. So chances are that you and me have something in common. Let’s see… Patanjali? Chanakya? Romans? Vijaynagar? Shivaji? Renaissance? Vivekanand? Agatha Christie? Tagore? Hitchcock? S.D.Burman? Cary Grant? Satyajit Ray? Grace Kelly? Brucia la terra? Suchitra Sen? Roman Holiday? Vasantaro Deshpande? Robert de Niro? Malguena? Kishore Kumar? Osho? Hotel California? Smita Patil? Erich von Daniken? Pu La? GA? Andaz Apna Apna? Asha Bhosale? PVN Rao? … Watch this space, sooner or later you will something on similar topic

19 Responses to How to bluff and look scholar – an Aakar Patel case study

  1. Maya says:

    Interesting and informative….thank you !

  2. Balvvant singh Bisht says:

    This is exceptionally a good article. In the name of vote bank especially after independence people started praising Mugals. The same who killed raped and forcefully converted hindus. But the fact is we Hindus are only to blame as we never stood together not even today. So we need to get these facts clear and come together as a community then we will survive. Else some people like this Patel will snatch our history from us. Just as this A@@ H@@@ from where he get this version of history.

  3. Hi,
    Very well written article . A tight slap on Aakar Patel’s cheeks .Hope you go through my blog and share your thoughts

  4. Zen says:

    I think you have let your negativity get the better of you. It would have been better to repudiate his points with your facts.

    Most of the points were in general about Marathas and not specifically about BajiRao so you argument on the dates is incorrect. So is the point about Sikhs as like Marathas raiding Delhi which is quite clear if you read carefully.

    Aakar was making the point that Bajirao was primarily fighting for Marathas and not necessarily for Hindus. Yes he was an Hindu as were other kings and generals during that period.

    • 1. It’s very difficult to determine what Mr. Patel was trying to say in his piece – was he speaking about Bajirao or Maratha’s? Because Bajirao had political career of around 20 years, Maratha’s ruled for around 150 years. So you cannot substitute one for the other. If you want to speak about Maratha’s in general, then why pick selected incidents from long 150 year history? (unless you want to mislead the reader)

      2. If you notice, I deliberately kept my comments about the discrepancies in the facts he provided and not about the conclusion whatsoever he had in mind. Because I am strongly against is the “side effects” of this piece. The readers may or may not remember what point the writer was making, but they would carry wrong ideas from the so-called facts. Many people wrote back to me that had they not read this post, they would have carried a false impression. That’s a very dangerous precedent.

  5. Ravi Kumar jadhav says:

    Thanks for sharing ..I was annoyed with Mr Patel’s post but I didn’t want to write a history book to him ..your brief write up on history is awesome may be that should get Mr Patel out of lala land . People tend to forget history is for learning and getting educated , but sadly people like to judge current generation based on ancestry ..Mr Patel is no good than a bramhin in current time who studied wrong shlokas and performing last rights on graha shanti puja and not letting people of lower caste to enter his lala land temple

  6. Bheem says:

    The article is factually and historically incorrect to point one – there were many hindu kingdoms down in south even much before the reign of Shivaji

    • What I said was ‘since the fall of vijay nagar’…

      • Bheem says:

        well what about the kingdoms in Mysore, Madurai and many kingdoms in Keala – they were all Hindu. The fragmented Vijaynagar empire gave rise to some of these kingdoms but unfortunately the Marathas were sworn enemies of these southern Hindu Kingdoms as well like they were of the Rajputs in the North, especially of the Mysore kingdom which led to the rise of Haider Ali

        • Well.. its’ a matter of perspective. After sack of Vijaynager , many vessel states in south declared their independence from Vijaynagar. For that matter, even the Vijaynagar was functional somewhere in south (not sure of the place). So technically there were Hindu Kingdoms in very south, yes. But when I said “Shivaji was first Hindu King since fall of Vijaynagar”.. I meant about a Kingdom that would successfully defy the might of Mughals in North and Bahamani Kingdoms in Deccan.

          The incidents like Maratha’s engaging in problems with others in North and South happened much later… by then the political landscape of India had changed very much. And unfortunately there were no visionary statesmen (among Marathas or otherwise) who could keep all the factions together.

  7. Ashwin Satalkar says:

    Hello Sandeep..I am a historian by hobby n I have a good base on history! I thank u for posting this as I was planning on doing the same n couldn’t have done better!!

  8. Apurva Oka says:

    Fantastic ! I was planning to write something but I cant do it any better here. Perfect reply. कडक.

  9. Ajit Ranade says:

    Thanks Sandeep . Yes , did read the opinions of so called historian Mr. Patel . It seems he has formed his opinions by reading or studying Mr. Jadunath Sarkar the anti Marathi historian of all times. Well written

  10. Sneh Asnani says:

    Well written,.. I was not aware of my facts earlier.. I will add you to my blog lists.. your posts are informative..

  11. adsunsri says:

    You are very versatile with interests in Hiatory as well which is indeed commendable.
    A well researched and befitting letter to Patel I must say.

  12. Archana Kapoor says:


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