Maharana Pratap : The Hindu Nationalist

Statue of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, commemorat...
Statue of Maharana Pratap of Mewar, commemorating the Battle of Haldighati, City Palace, Udaipur. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was a braveheart who never gave up fighting for his freedom and the for independence of the State of Mewar. The battles he fought against the might of Mughal emperor, Akbar, through victory and defeat, are the stuff of inspiring legend since they happened some 500 years ago.

Born May 9, 1540, patriotic Pratap exemplifies bravery, chivalry and sacrifice through the struggle between Rajput confederacy he led and the invading alien hordes. His was a Hindu nationalist’s crusade against relentless Muslim aggression, much in the mould of Prithviraj Chauhan, brothers Harihar and Bukka, Guru Gobind Singh,  Chhatrapati Shivaji and Chhatrasal Bundela’s against powerful armies of the same religious, cultural and administrative enemy.

Maharana Pratap perceived Mughals as foreigners who had invaded India and, though smaller in resource, he refused to surrender to guile, entreaty or threat even in his defeat. His own father, Udai Singh, had condemned the house of Man Singh for their marriage with unclean foreigners and Pratap Singh continued to address Akbar as a ‘Turk’ and not an emperor. Pratap’s resistance did not falter his army’s defeat in the Battle of Haldighati when, on the run, he had to wander in the hilly woods of Aravalis and despite  being reduced to starvation.

In perspective, Maharana Pratap’s was a sacred mission rather than a wager for power. He remained true lifelong to his vow of not indulging in comforts of palace life till he had recaptured his entire kingdom from the Mughals. The conciliatory offers he received from Akbar were lucrative and beyond precendent, in terms of jagirs and subedaris, but within the Mughal suzerainty. There were others around him who agreed for far less; but not Pratap. He turned away six diplomatic missions while his own brothers and several chieftains entered vassalitude for a life guarantee of much wealth and status. The sole goal that Pratap breathed, woke up and slept with, was to recover his ancestral seat of Chittor.

Chittorgarh, Fort with Vistory Tower in the background.

Pratap pursued his guerrilla war from his hideout in wilderness of the Aravallis. He raided the outlying check-posts, fortresses and encampments of his adversary, some of whom were Hindu vassals appointed by the Mughal in the wake of Pratap Singh’s defeat at Haldighati. He was much assisted by Bhamashah, who along with his brother Tarachand plundered Mughal territories in Malwa and offered large booty to Pratap to carry on his fight against the Mughals. The Bhil tribals of Aravalli hills provided Pratap with their support in war and with their help and expertise in living off the forest during his exile.

With the fund at his disposal, Pratap organised a major attack — Battle of Dewar — in which he gave a crushing defeat to his foes and was able to regain much of the lost territories of Mewar, except Chittor.

Pratap’s Mayra Cave hideout was spacious enough to serve as his armoury. It had a stable for the horses and a kitchen in which, legend reads, his family also had to partake pancakes made of grass because there was nothing else to satiate their pangs of hunger.

Pratap's Hideout In Exile

Maharana Pratap died at Chavand on 29 January 1597, of injuries sustained in a hunting accident.

His life is an inspiration as a giant spirit and a leader of men who never moved away from honesty, freedom and truth.

English: This pic is click when the fort is il...
The Kumbhalgarh fort is the birthplace of Maharana Pratap – the grear Mewar warrior. The fort is illuminated each night for 30 mins afterwhich there is complete darkness and the fort dissappears in the shadow of the night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Maharana Pratap : The Hindu Nationalist

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s