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Mains Answer Writing

One of the key components of these exams is the written test, which consists of a number of essay and comprehension questions. Candidates are expected to write clear and well-structured answers that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the topics being tested.


Q1. “The 3rd Battle of Panipat did not decide who was to rule India, but who was not to.” Comment


Introduction: The Third Battle of Panipat was fought on 14th January 1761 between Durrani emperor Ahmad Shah Abdali and the Maratha chief Sadashiv Rao Bhau, in which the Durrani empire emerged victorious.

The 3rd Battle of Panipat changed the politics of the entire region in one single stroke.

No Indian power remained powerful enough after the 3rd Battle of Panipat:

  • The Marathas’ dream to rule pan India collapsed:
    • The best-trained soldiers perished in the battle. The loss of their important general, Sadashiv Rao and heir apparent Vishwasrao, never gives them the courage to fight back again, at least for 10 years.
    • Panipat’s loudest message was more psychological, i.e., the Marathas were not invincible.
    • With this defeat, Maratha’s expansion in northern India effectively ended. Almost all of their northern Subhas were permanently lost.
  • Afghans:
    • The circumstances made Ahmad Shah Abdali leave India at the earliest.
    • Most of his resources were spent on the battle, especially human resources.
    • Afghans were so weakened by the battle that they never invaded India again.
  • Mughals:
    • Nawab of Awadhhoped to get the wazirship in Delhi, which was quashed by Abdali when he preferred Najib over him.
    • Before departing, he recognises Shah Alam IIas Emperor through a Royal Firman.
    • They were weakened so much that the joint forces of Mughals, Nawab of Bengal and Nawab of Awadh, lost in the Battle of Buxar in 1764 at the hands of the British.
  • Others:
    • The Rajputs were relieved as Abdali had returned to his lands, and the Marathas were too broken to bother them with their demands of Chauth and sardeshmukhi for the next few years.
    • The Rohillas Continued to be the dominant force of Hindustan till the 1770s. After Najib’s death, no worthy successor from his house carried his legacy, and eventually, they were crushed.
    • Jats Gained immensely for not joining the Marathas in Panipat. But their dream of capturing Delhi remained elusive. Ceased to be a major force after the death of SurajMal.
    • Sikhs also benefited from not joining the Marathas in Panipat. After Abdali’s death, they soon filled the power vacuum and ruled north India.


Conclusion: The Third Battle of Panipat decided that none of the Indian powers could match the disciplined, well-equipped, and resourceful Europeans. The victory of Durrani existed only on paper. In reality, no real victor emerged from this battle, opening the gate for the European invasion, marking a watershed moment in Indian history.

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