Causes of Conflict:
1. Bahadur Shah was very ambitious and he has set his eyes upon Delhi. Humayun was equally ambitious to expand his territories.
2. Bahadur Shah had given political asylum to Mahdi Khwaja, a brother- in-law of Humayun, who had claimed the throne of Delhi. He had also sheltered some of the Lodi princes who were enemies of Humayun and wanted to regain their lost territories from the Mughals.
Bahadur Shah of Gujarat had started expanding his territory. He captured Malwa, Chanderi, and Ranthambore and laid siege to the fort of Chittor. The Rajput’s made an appeal to Humayun for help. Humayun proceeded to Chittor but subsequently he changed his mind and did not attack Bahadur Shah. In this context it is sometimes said that Humayun changed his mind as he felt it inappropriate to attack a Muslim ruler who was fighting against infidels. Whatever be the real reason, Humayun lost a golden opportunity.
According to another version karanwau, tne ‘Kajmata’ of Mewar had sent a rakhi’ to Humayun and sought his assistance as her brother. According to Dr. R.P. Tripathi, Humayun desired to consolidate his army, win over those people of Malwa who were against Bahadur Shah and arrange for the stoppage of help coming to Bahadur Shah either from Mandu or Ahmedabad – both places under the control of Bahadur Shah.
Humayun reached Mandasor, 60 miles from Chittor and checked the return route of Bahadur Shah from Chittor to Gujarat. Bahadur Shah also reached Mandasor but fled away and took shelter in the fort of Mandu: Humayun pursued him. From Mandu, Bahadur Shah ran from place to place: Champner, Cambay and finally to Goa. By that time, the entire Malwa and Gujarat had come under Humayun.
Humayun appointed his brother Askari as the governor of Gujarat. Askari proved incompetent. Bahadur Shah took the full advantage and captured Gujarat. Malwa was occupied by Mallu Khan in the name of Bahadur Shah.
Result of Gujarat expedition:
About the loss of Gujarat and Malwa, Lane-poole has commented, “Malwa and Gujarat two provinces equal in area to the rest of Humayun’s kingdom had fallen like ripe fruits into his hands. Never was conquest so easy. Never too was conquest more recklessly squandered away.” Thus Humayun lost them as quickly as he had gained those two territories. The loss of these two territories lowered the prestige of Humayun.
Humayun’s Encounter with Sher Shah and his expulsion from India:
Causes of the conflict:
Babur had captured the throne of Delhi from the Afghans. They therefore, were quite hostile to Humayun. Sher Shah Suri was also an Afghan. While Humayun was busy in fighting against Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, Sher Shah consolidated his position in Bihar. He was in the possession of the strong fort of Chunar. Most of the Afghan nobles had gathered under his banner. He attacked Bangal twice and took huge tribute from the ruler. Humayun realized that it was necessary to subdue Sher Shah.
Events of struggle:
Humayun and Sher Shah had three encounters with each offer i.e. at Chunar, Chausa and Kannauj.
Siege of Chunar. (1532):
The news of Sher Shah’s success in Bengal and Bihar alarmed Humayun. He hurried from Gujarat but instead of proceeding straight to Bengal where he might have secured the help of Bengal’s ruler, Humayun spent about six months in besieging the fort of Chunar is Bihar which was under Sher Shah. Sher Shah, realising his weak position, made a purely perfuntory submission and Humayun raised the sieze.
Battle of Chausa (1539):
There were apparently no major conflicts between Sher Shah and Humayun for about six years. During this period Sher Shah greatly strengthened his position. He reorganised his army. On the request of the ruler of Bengal, Humayun went to Bengal and spent about eight months is 1538 and 1539. During these eight months Sher Shah captured a number of places like Banaras, Sambhal etc.
In the meanwhile Humayun’s brother Hindal declared himself as the emperor of Delhi. Humayun decided to return to Agra from Bengal. However, Sher Shah blocked his way at Chausa, the boundary between Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The two armies remained there facing each other for three months. In the meanwhile rainy season started.
This created problems and confusion for the Mughal army which was camping in the lowland. The Mughal camp was flooded. At this juncture Sher Shah hit upon a plan. He gave out that he was preceding against a tribal leader who had been defying him.
After marching a few miles in that direction, he returned suddenly in the night and fell upon Humayun’s army from three sides in the early down of June 26, 1539. Humayun lost the battle and was wounded. To save his life, he plunged his horse into a stream and was saved from drowning by a water carrier whom as the story goes, Humayun allowed to sit on the throne for two days and who struck coins of leather.
It was a great victory for Sher Shah and consequently he declared himself the Sultan.
Sher Shah, thereafter captured Bengal.
Again it was a great setback to Humayun.
The Battle of Kannauj (1540):
After his defeat at Chausa, Humayun reached Agra and sought help from his brothers. However, all the brothers could not unite. Humayun recruited a big army which comprised mostly new recruits and proceeded towards. Kannauj when Sher Shah had already encamped himself. Sher Shah’s victory was decisive. Humayun fled and reached Agra.
Results of the conflicts:
1. After his defeat at Kannauj, Humayun had to spend about fifteen years in exile from 1540 to 1554.
2. Sher Shah became the ruler of Delhi.
Causes of the defeat of Humayun and Sher Shah’s success:
1. Inability of Humayun to understand the nature of Afghan power.
2. Lack of organisational ability in Humayun.
3. Unhelpful attitude of Humayun’s brothers.
4. Humayun’s incapability for sustained efforts.
5. Sher Shah’s diplomatic submission and lifting of Chunar’s sieze by Humayun.
6. Sher Shah’s qualities of a military leader.
7. Humayun’s revelry and wasting valuable time.
8. Humayun’s war camp at low land.
9. Struggle at several fronts by Humayun. Sher Shah’s sudden attack at Humayun’s army in Kannauj.
10. No unity of command in Humayun’s army.