About the controversy of Union home minister Rajnath Singh endorsing the Rajasthan government’s move to introduce Maharana Pratap as someone greater than Akbar in the state’s school curriculum.
Maharana Pratap’s (1572-1597) name has been immortalized far beyond the confines of Udaipur, Mewar, in books and poems written in such diverse languages as Sanskrit, Rajasthani, Hindi and Gujarati, as well as English. As the first freedom
fighter in the annals of India, he was the precursor and inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi himself. To the people at large, he is known forever as “the Light and Life of the Hindu Community.”
Maharana Pratap (1572-1597) was the only Rajput who not only fought the Mughals, but actually defeated them (against Akbar’s army, battle of Haldigati, on June 18, 1576). Like Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj or the Rani of Jhansi, Maharana Pratap’s brilliant and daring exploits transcend caste and ethnic barriers and his example remains a beacon of light and hope for all ages. It is sad that in contemporary
Indian History books, Maharana Pratap is not given the pride of place it deserves. His outstanding courage, his respect of Human Rights, even towards the captured wives of his enemies, his good & uncorrupt administration, his giving prime
importance to farmers, his encouragement of arts, and his protecting the great and sacred land of India, should be emulated today.
Maharana Pratap was great in peace as equally in war. As a torch bearer of liberty, he will continue to inspire millions of people in this land for all times to come.
Plays and poems were written to celebrate Pratap’s glory, and countless thousands of children have been named after him in the course of the ensuing four centuries. The famous vows he made during the period of his greatest trial, when
Kumbhalgarh, Chittor, and the incipient Udaipur were all occupied by Moghul forces and he was being hunted from one valley to the next, have been repeated in each generation. They are, that no Maharana would ever offer obeisance to Delhi as long as India remained under foreign yolk, nor even deign to be summoned to Delhi lest such be interpreted as submission; and that, in recognition of fortune’s whimsical habits, every Maharana would eat off a plate of leaves and sleep on a bed of grass, as he had done in the forest. Even today, the head of the family will place leaves
beneath his plate and grass under his bed on certain days of the year in token respect to the vow of Pratap and the humility of his example.
The rulers of Mewar have been for fourteen centuries the humble guardians of a trust vested in them in perpetuity. Today, Arvind Singh Mewar, who became the 76th Custodian of The House of Mewar in 1984, has taken-up this mantle and his carrying his duties and responsibilities towards the people of Udaipur. In his words: “The legendary Maharana Pratap is the embodiment of courage, self-respect, patriotism and righteousness. As 54th Custodian of The House of Mewar, the legendary nationalist, Maharana Pratap, is one of India’s most beloved heroes. In refusing to accept foreign suzerainty Maharana Pratap showcased, during the defining battle of Haldighati, that great valour exhibited by committed secular people of Mewar could prevail over a much larger combinedexternal army. Maharana Pratap stood for self-reliance, asceticism and sacrifice”.
Maharana Pratap will always be remembered in the annals of history as the very first freedom fighter who struggled for the independence of his realm and the preservation of its principles. As an “elemental spirit of India” he kept fighting till the end for his motherland he believed in; for his people and for his honour. Let his sacrifice, as those of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & the Rani of Jhansi, be an example to modern India politicians.
This is why Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT), which I started, has A PERMANENT EXHIBITION ON MAHARANA PRATAP IN the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History in Pune, which shows Indian History as it HAPPENED, not as it has been written. One of our pantings shows how Akbar murdered 30.000 Hindus, men, women and children in Chitoorgarh.
Please tell your friends in Pune and Mumbai to come and visit this Museum, it’s 12 minutes from the Pune airport, past the Air Force base, past Lohegaon village, 300 metres on the right after the Marathwada College of Engineering.