From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Maharaja Surajmal
Mains level : Significance of third battle of Panipat
A film based on the Third Battle of Panipat recently released. In the film, Maharaja of Bharatpur is reportedly shown as having denied help to the Maratha army, one of the factors leading to the Marathas’ eventual defeat.
In a not so unusual course, various factions from Rajasthan and eastern UP have demanded a ban on the film.
Who is Maharaja Surajmal?
- Maharaja Surajmal was born in 1707 in the kingdom of Bharatpur, Rajasthan.
- He ruled in the 18th century and was the son of the Jat chieftain Badan Singh.
- He is described as “a strong leader who harried the Mughal empire in the anarchic period of its decline, consolidated the kingdom with its capital at Bharatpur.
- He used the resources gained to build forts and palaces, the most famous being the palace at Deeg and the Bharatpur Fort.
The Third Battle of Panipat
- The Third Battle of Panipat was fought between the Marathas and the invading armies of Afghan general Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1761.
- The battle, fought about 90 km north of Delhi, was won by the Afghans and left about 40,000 troops of the Marathas dead.
- Maharaja Surajmal was among those who played key roles in the battle.
- After the battle, the Marathas lost their preeminent position in north India, which ultimately paved the way for British colonial powers to take over.