Dattaji Rao Shinde is sometimes referred to as Dattaji Rao Scindia. He was the second child of Mainabai alias Nimbabai and Ranoji Rao Shinde, the founder of the Scindia dynasty. His younger brother was Jyotiba Rao Scindia, while his older brother was Jayappaji Rao Shinde. Sardar in the Maratha Empire, Dattaji Rao Shinde, was also known as Scindia. Mahadji Shinde, who subsequently rose to power as the chief of Gwalior, had an older half-brother named Dattaji Rao Shinde. His older brother Jayappaji Rao Shinde was chosen to rule as the Maharaja of Gwalior upon their father’s passing.
After Jayappaji Rao Shinde passed away, Jankoji Rao Shinde succeeded his father as the ruler of the princely state of Gwalior. However, he was only ten years old at the time, so his uncle Dattaji Rao Shinde (also known as Scindia) held power until his passing in 1755. Despite Jaan Koji Rao Shinde having the position of Maharaja, Dattaji Rao Scindia was in charge of all work and administration.
A general in the Maratha army was named Dattaji Rao Shinde. Regarding his contribution to the Maratha Empire, in the northern areas of India, there was a bloody conflict between the Afghans and the Marathas in 1758–1759 AD. Dattaji Rao Shinde was appointed command of the Punjab province during this time to deal with the Afghans.
Dattaji Shinde was at Shukratal at the time that Durrani arrived in Punjab. This town is 40 miles south of Haridwar on the bend of the Ganges and 16 miles from Muzzafarnagar. Nanasaheb Peshwa had entrusted to Dattaji Shinde the task of invading Bihar and Bengal to collect twenty million rupees to pay off the state debts
Dattaji Shinde was at Shukratal at the time that Durrani arrived in Punjab. This town is 40 miles south of Haridwar on the bend of the Ganges and 16 miles from Muzzafarnagar. Nanasaheb Peshwa had entrusted to Dattaji Shinde the task of invading Bihar and Bengal to collect twenty million rupees to pay off the state debts. Dattaji decided to build a bridge across the Ganges by coaxing Najib. But the latter wanted to end the Maratha supremacy. So, he procrastinated with sweet words, and in the meantime, he instigated the Muslim chiefs in Northern India against the Marathas and invited Durrani to invade India.
Realising that Najib was not keeping his word, Dattaji began military operations against him at Shukratal. While he was busy in these operations, Abdal came to Lahore Sabaji Shinde, Tukoji Holkar, and other Maratha leaders in Punjab to defend it. There were violent actions between Durrani and the Marathas, But the Maratha forces could not hold out against Durrani. So Sabaji Shinde came to the camp of Dattaji. When the latter realised that the Marathas had been routed, he collected his details and crossed the Jamuna at Andhera ford, south of Kunjpura, to block Durrani in Punjab. Since Dattaji Rao Shinde led the Marathas in capturing the forts of Attock and Peshawar in 1757–1758, this period will go down in history as one that saw the defeat of Ahmad Shah Durrani. After many centuries had passed, or roughly 700 years, Hindu sovereignty was restored in the Punjab and Sindh region. These regions, which the Mughals had ruled for so long, were taken by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1020 AD after vanquishing the Hindu emperor Trilochan Pal.
Maratha Empire Peshwa Raghunath Rao visited Delhi once more. Dattaji Rao Shinde arrived in Macchiwara in March 1759 AD with a sizable force. Dattaji Rao Shinde shared Peshwa Raghunath Rao’s desire to live somewhere other than Punjab province. He expressed his desire not to reside in Punjab in a letter to the Peshwa. He has assigned Sabaji Shinde to oversee the work of Punjab; Sabaji Shinde will collaborate with Bapu Rao and Dadu Rao. Then Dattaji Rao Shinde and Najib-ud-daulah engaged in combat with the Ganga valley Rohillas.
On the other side, Jahan Khan assaulted Rohtas and retook the forts of Attock and Peshawar without Sabaji Shinde present. Together with the Sikh Sardar, Sabaji Shinde attacked the Afghans in 1759 AD. The Afghans lost this battle that raged for several days. The Son of Jahan Khan was executed. The Afghans and Jahan Khan fled in terror. After this defeat, Ahmad Shah Durrani was enraged and ready to fight. He became even more aggressive as a result of his recent losses. The Rohillas and the Afghans agreed to fight alongside one another. Jahan Khan was once more dispatched to battle by Ahmed Shah Durrani with a sizable army of 60000 troops.
During this period, the Afghans retook Attock and overcame the Maratha garrison in Peshawar. Jahan Khan subsequently routed Trimbak Rao’s 6000 soldiers. Ahmad Shah went toward South Punjab and conquered Lahore as part of his ongoing territorial expansion. Ahmed Shah attacked Dattaji Rao Shinde’s force of 2500 soldiers and returned to Delhi. Ahmad Shah Durrani invaded Dattaji Rao Shinde in 1760 AD after allying with Najib Khan Rohilla. The alliance between Ahmad Shah Durrani and Najib Khan Rohilla strengthened as more forces joined them in January 1760 AD.
Dattaji Rao Shinde was mercilessly executed after losing the Battle of Barari Ghat on January 10, 1760, in Barari Ghat, a town close to Delhi. “Bachenge to aur bhi ladenge” became a part of Maratha folklore after Dattaji Shinde’s passing. In the 1994 Hindi TV series “The Great Maratha,” Mangal Dhillon portrayed Dattaji Rao Shinde.