A History Lesson By Girish Karnad? Deccan Sultanates’ ‘Mahagathbandhan’ Responsible For Downfall Of Vijayanagara Empire

A History Lesson By Girish Karnad? Deccan Sultanates’ ‘Mahagathbandhan’ Responsible For Downfall Of Vijayanagara EmpireTheatre personality Girish Karnad joins people to support a campaign ‘Not in My Name’ in protest against the lynching of Muslim boy, at Town Hall on 28 June 2017 in Bengaluru. (Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Actor, writer, director, playwright Girish Karnad has spoken at an event recently held in Bengaluru. He said that a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ of Sultanates from the sixteenth century was responsible for the downfall of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire.

He spoke in reference to the Battle of Talikota that took place on 23 January 1565 in the plains of villages called Rakkasa and Tangadi.

Vijay Karnataka, a Kannada daily quoted Karnad as saying, “In the Battle of Rakkasa Tangadi, the Vijayanagara Empire was defeated just in a day’s time. The battle was fought only from one end of the Krishna river and the other end remain untouched. Historians have failed to depict this fact. The sultans of Bijapur, Ahmednagar, Golconda, Bidar got together and formed a ‘Mahagathbandhan’ to defeat the Vijayanagara Empire. This was a big deal back in the fifteenth century.”

“In the history of the state of Karnataka, there can be three significant coalitions that can be pointed out. The movement of Basavanna in the twelfth century, history of Tipu Sultan in the 18th and the other one being the aforementioned. The Battle of Rakkasa-Tangadi sandwiches between the two that I mentioned. The reason for the sultans coming together is because of the rift created by Rama Raya (Emperor of Vijayanagara) by playing politics with the sultans, in an attempt to put them at loggerheads. This instigated the sultans to get together and build a coalition to defeat the emperor. Half a day before the sultans could get to Hampi, it was already in ruins, hence it is unfair to blame the Muslims for its destruction.”