The Obstinate Regainer of Chittor The story of this great Maharana again reinforces the observation that the saga of survival and ascendance of kings to the throne of Mewar in this Sisodia dynasty has been quite bizarre, and how fate intervened to snatch victory from near certain defeats of Mewar, or saved the Maharanas and their armies from the very brink of extinction by a single stroke of luck. All this makes for the most compelling read ever recorded in human history. Sometimes, one is forced to believe that there was a divine power audaciously determined to keep the Hindu resistance alive in the subcontinent: how else was it possible for one single house to continue ruling Mewar as an oasis of resistance to unceasing Islamic attacks for one thousand years! As friends turned foes, affluence to abject poverty, gaiety to sorrow, dances of celebrations to dances of death, as all the beauty of Mewar architecture, created over centuries, were plundered by Islamic marauders in a span of a few days and Hindu customs and traditions were crushed brutally, cities were destroyed and entire populations slaughtered to fulfill just one wish of the Islamic invaders, conversion to Islam, the resistance of the Mewar kings continued as determined as ever. It is indeed baffling how these amazing kings, outnumbered and often outwitted by the Islamic invaders, managed to stand firm in their opposition to the murderous assaults on Hinduism. What was that singular force that made not only the maharanas stand against the raging forces of jehad, but the entire population of Mewar, and sometimes the whole of Rajasthan, stand united behind their kings? After Ratan Singh was killed in 1303 AD by Allauddin Khilji, Chittor was taken by the Islamic forces for the first time and every haveli, temple and structure of consequence desecrated or destroyed. Before going out for Saka, after the Jauhar by Maharani Padmini and thousands of other Hindu women, Ratan Singh had instructed his sons and brothers to escape from the rear gate of Chittor at night. He ordered them to fight the Muslims and retake the fort at an opportune time. Almost nine generations of Ratan Singh died trying to regain Chittor, but finally Bhuvan Singh took the fort. Many great warriors like Rahap, Mahap, and Karan Singh laid down their lives trying to regain their ancestral place. Bhuwan Singh was succeeded by Laxman Singh, and, in the meantime in Delhi, the throne had gone from the Khiljis to the Tughlaqs. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq attacked Chittor and Laxman Singh, along with his son Ari Singh, died defending Chittor, but once again Chittor was lost. The younger son of Laxman, Ajay Singh, escaped with severe injuries and built his capital at Kailwada where Jain munis sheltered and healed him. Laxman Singh had two sons, the younger Ajay Singh and the elder Ari Singh. Once, Ari Singh went out to hunt boars in the jungles of Kailwada and came across a local lass who confronted him when Ari Singh wanted to enter a corn field while chasing a wounded boar. The girl asked Ari Singh not to overrun the farm and wait for her to return with the game. To Ari Singh’s utter amazement, the girl came back with the carcass of the animal. Then the girl asked Ari Singh to cook the boar in the village and enjoy his meal. As they were walking back, Ari Singh, already impressed with her, saw how carrying a milk pitcher on her head, she was effortlessly dragging two buffaloes. Ari Singh contemplated, ‘If I were to have a son from her, he would be a very powerful man indeed.’ Ari Singh inquired about the family, who were Chandana Rajputs, and asked for her hand from her father. Ari Singh married the girl, but because she was no royalty, kept the marriage hidden. He kept visiting the girl off and on and a boy was born to the Chandani girl who was named Hammir Singh. Then Muhammed Bin Tughlaq attacked Chittor and won it after killing Laxman Singh and Ari Singh. The other son of Laxman Singh, Ajai Singh, who escaped from the war with Tughlaq, settled at Kailwada and had two sons of his own but both were weak and ineffective. Ajai Singh was constantly challenged by a local mountain chief, Moonja Balocha, but was too old to fight him. Then some Saamants loyal to Ari Singh told Ajai Singh about Hammir Singh, who was beckoned from his village Oondwa. Hammir Singh was all of 13 years of age. Hammir set up his men and learned that Moonja would be coming to Semari village to attend a function. Hammir attacked and beheaded him, and came back to Ajai Singh with Moonja’s head on his saddle bow. Ajai Singh kissed his nephew, and there and then did a teeka on the forehead of Hammir with Moonja’s blood. Thus, Hammir Singh became the king of Mewar overcoming his circumstances by displaying extreme valor and an aggressive personality. Ajai Singh’s own sons, Sajjan Singh and Kshem Singh, were exiled by their father to prevent a civil war in the family. An act of extreme foresight and sacrifice for a father to skip the line of succession of his own sons for a worthier nephew. It is anyone’s guess what would have been the future of Mewar had Hammir not been chosen by Ajai Singh. Sajjan Singh went to the Deccan where his progeny was destined to correct the wrongs done to Hindustan by the then Mughal ruler at Delhi, Aurangzeb. Sajjan Singh was the ancestor of the great Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of Satara throne of the great Marathas, and the lineage is also recorded in the chronicles of Mewar. Thus, in one move, two lines of resistance to Islamic invasions were created by one just act of Ajai Singh’s. Hammir made Kailwara his residence and the first act he did was to order the people of Mewar to vacate the plains and climb up the hills. This was done to render the plains of Mewar barren and useless for the enemy and create such hardships for the invading army that they would starve in absence of local farming and other commodities helping them. This evacuation of the plains and shifting the entire population to the hills was a movement that had been carried out by successive Maharanas of Mewar when countering Islamic invaders. It was quite an amazing feat that Hammir achieved to even communicate such a message to the entire state in those difficult times. Even more baffling was the total trust the population had bestowed on their king and the joy and commitment with which they followed their Rana through a life of extreme hardship and adversity. One can only look back in awe at such trust and love showered by an entire population on their premiere and it is difficult to decide whose sacrifice among the two was greater — the Maharanas who chose to destroy the entire commerce of their state or the people who followed the Maharanas willingly into poverty and deprivation. We will see this in the lives of the other Ranas of Mewar too whenever this practice of evacuation of the plains was implemented, but the most remarkable example of this practice being carried out successfully happened with Maharana Hammir, and two centuries later, with Maharana Pratap. It was not an easy journey for Hammir, even after putting his people through all the hardships and destroying all local commerce, as Hammir did not get much military success, and a time came when he did not even have the money to pay wages to his army. In the meantime, Tughlaq went back to Delhi giving Chittor to Maldeo Songara of Jalore. Though Kailwada provided the perfect retreat to the emigrants from the plains, with repeated failures at getting Chittor back, the Saamants and friends of the Royal House of Mewar began disintegrating. Hammir then went to Dwarka in Gujarat abandoning his home, dejected and defeated, where he camped in a village of Chaarans at night. There was a woman mystic by the name of Barwadi Bai whom Hammir met and shared his misfortunes with. Barwadi looked at Hammir and proclaimed, “O brave brother! Go back to Kailwada! You will get Chittor. And when you get a matrimonial offer from the most unexpected place, don’t reject it, accept it. That offer will be instrumental in getting back your lost kingdom.” Hammir replied, “Bai, how will I get Chittor back? I don’t have a horse to ride, nor men to fight for me and no money even to to feed my dear ones.” Barnadi told Hammir that her son Biru will come to Kailwada with a caravan of 500 horses. “Build an army with them and pay me back when you have enough”, she said. Hammir did not have anything to lose by following the Chaaran lady’s advice. He came to Kailwada and within weeks, Biru followed him with his 500 horses. Hammir saddled all of them and Biru was taken in as the Raj Kavi of Mewar and a lot of villages were given as grants to him. Biru’s descendants inhabit those villages even today. Then a strange turn of events happened and Maldeo of Jalore, who was entrusted with Chittor by Mohd Bin Tughlaq, was advised by his well wishers that without getting the entire Mewar under their rule, the Songaras were merely watchdogs of Chittor, and to truly expand their frontiers, it would be a wise move to give a daughter to Hammir. The historian James Tod writes that this Songara princess was a child widow and hence the offer was made, but other historians vehemently contest this opinion of Tod. Whatever be the reason, without doubt, Maldeo merely wanted to use the matrimony to augment his own power. Little did he know what fate intended for him. From Hammir’s perspective, this offer was unacceptable because of very high chances of treachery, but Hammir was convinced about Barwadi’s prophecies and hence consulted his Saamants. The priests from Maldeo approached Hammir and told him about the traditional friendship between Jalore and Mewar. The priests also told him that the forefathers of Hammir were killed by Mohammedans, not Maldeo or his family. Whether Maldeo’s offer was meant to entrap Hammir, or as an insult, Hammir calculated all possibilities and scouted all dangers in his mind; but in the end, the words of the mystic and his obsession to retake Chittor made him accept the offer. He told his assistants that ‘the coconut might be retained!’ He is supposed to have uttered, “My feet shall at least tread in the rocky steps in which my ancestors have moved. A Rajput should always be prepared for adverses; one day to abandon his abode covered with wounds; and the next to reascend with the crown on his head.” Thus, Hammir undertook the most daring adventure of his life walking straight into the arms of the enemy with nothing except raw guts and faith in the mystic Chaarani’s words at his disposal. The marriage happened at Chittor and the Songara princess won Hammir’s heart on the first night itself. The princess laid out the plans to him to win back Chittor. She advised Hammir to ask for Maldeo’s servant Mauji Ram for himself, to which Maldeo consented. Mauji Ram came to Kailwada with the newlyweds and immediately approached Hammir and said that now is the time to make your move, for which you had asked my loyalties from Maldeo. Hammir followed Mauji Ram who took Hammir and his small army to Chittor at midnight and since the gatekeepers recognized Mauji Ram, the gates of Chittor were opened and Hammir captured Chittor, slaughtering whatever little resistance he faced. Maldeo was furious when he learned of this and gathered his army to attack Chittor. Maldeo had five sons who fought for him. Hammir gathered all his former chieftains and repelled the attack of the Jalore army. Maldeo approached Tughlaq and the joint forces of Muhammed Bin Tughlaq and Jalore came to attack Chittor. In the meantime, as the people of Mewar learned about Hammir’s ascendance to the throne of Mewar, the pride of ‘Hindwa Sooraj’ reinstated, they poured in streams from the Western highlands and the valley of Kumbalgarh to cheer their king. The glory of Chittor being restored was the signal for the people to return to their ancient abodes in the plains from the hills and other hideouts. Every chief of Hindu blood who wished to uproot the barbarians occupying his motherland rejoiced at the possibility of once more throwing off the barbaric yoke of the Islamic marauders. Armed with such zeal and fervour of the people and Saamants of Mewar, Hammir collected a vast army and instead of waiting for Tughlaq to attack him, decided to march towards him and meet him at a place of his choice. There are three routes to approach Mewar, the Western through Marwar, Central through Dewair, and Eastern through the plateaus of Aravalis. Tughlaq was ill advised by his counselors to approach through the East where his superior numbers were rendered useless by the intricacies of the narrow passes of Mewar. Tughlaq assembled his army on the banks of Chambal at the village of Singoli. Hammir attacked him there, slaughtered his army, killed most of his generals, also killed Hari Singh, a son of Maldeo, in a single one on one combat and took Tughlaq prisoner. So much for the mighty Delhi Sultanate which finds such eulogistic references in our history text books, a sultanate that was a mere occupation of a few hundred square kilometers, while all reference to Maharana Hammir and his critical victory over Delhi has been erased from our textbooks and civic life. A note must be made that most of the Indian historians relied on Persian or Arabic record keepers for digging out the truth about Medieval India. One such writer has been Ferishta who has been quoted extensively by Indian historians. But Ferishta himself being loyal to his faith completely obliterates even the mention of this Battle of Singoli. Only a few inscriptions from Jain temples of the time and the return of Mewar to her lost splendor direct us to the truth recorded in the annals of Mewar. It is a matter of shame for academicians and historians of modern India that they participated in this deliberate distortion of Indian history, the motives of which only they know. If teachers and record keepers start concealing truth and peddle white lies in a society, the total destruction of that society is inevitable sooner or later. Hammir took Tughlaq to Chittor and kept him prisoner for six months. The ‘mighty’ Delhi Sultanate’s occupier was kept captive like a dog in the ordinary prison of Chittor but not one soul dared to lead an attack on Chittor to free him from the clutches of Hammir. Does it require rocket science to deduce that Mewar was the real power center of India in the fourteenth century? Tughlaq was forced to surrender Ajmer, Ranthambore, Nagamand and Shivpuri to Hammir, besides giving Rupees 50 lakhs as fine and one hundred elephants as a penalty. Thus, almost the whole of Rajasthan and parts of Sindh and Punjab came to Mewar. Hammir was so confident by now that while releasing Tughlaq, he did not even extract any promise from him of no further attacks on Chittor. Hammir was reported to have said this to Tughlaq as he stood in chains in the royal courts of Mewar: “If you were ever to attack Chittor again, be prepared that I will defend Chittor, not from within but outside her walls”. Thus humiliated and defanged, Tughlaq was released by Hammir and this decisive victory over Islamic imperialists remains one of the most crucial yet unsung story of a great king who was the sole Hindu power center left in India. Banbeer, the other son of Maldeo, aligned with Hammir and went on to become one of the trusted lieutenants of Hammir. Hammir is quoted to have said this to Banbeer, when granting him the Jagirs of Neemach, Ratanpur and Kairar: “Eat, serve and be faithful. You were once the servant of a Turk, but now of a Hindu of your own faith. For I have taken back my own, the rock moistened by the blood of my ancestors, the gift of the deity I adore, and who will maintain me in it; nor shall I endanger it by the worship of a fair face, as did my predecessor.” Hammir is probably referring to Lord Shiva here who was the presiding deity of the house of Mewar. His reference of a “deity of fair face” might refer to Lord Vishnu or a fair form of a goddess, which can only be surmised. Hammir’s adversary, Maldeo, died of old age in Jalore later. Banbeer was a Songara prince and this alliance of Sisodias with Songaras would prove critical to the survival of the Sisodiyas as we witness in the ascent of Maharana Pratap to the throne and his relentless fight against the Turk imperialist, Akbar. Hammir became the sole prince of power in India surrounded by three Muslim states of Delhi, Malwa and Gujarat but capable of expelling all three simultaneously. The Hindu chiefs of Marwar, Amer, Boondi, Gwalior, Chanderi, Raesen, Sipri, Calpi, Aboo, etc brought their levies and paid homage to the prince of Chittor. Mewar saw unprecedented wealth and prosperity in the times of Hammir. The trade routes flourished and the people of Mewar became the richest in India. The architecture and the scale of the buildings, columns and temples of these times bear witness to this unprecedented prosperity. Hammir invited the Chaarani mystic, Mata Barwadi from Gujarat, and kept her in Chittor in affluence and with full honor. He even constructed a temple in her memory which was called the Annapoorna temple and stands till date at the fort of Chittor. Hammir’s story from birth to death is a surreal saga of what Sisodia princes endured in medieval India to keep themselves free from Islamic imperialists and maintain Hindu dharma at the core of their lives. That Mewar came back from the brink of extinction by the miraculous intervention of Mata Barwadi is a well documented incident of Mewar history. It not only demonstrates the deep influence of Chaarans on the Sisodia clan but also the fact that they were the well wishers, protectors and providers of this valorous clan of Rajputs when all had abandoned them. Why else would a mystic lady of Gujarat rebuild the Mewar kingdom from scratch, investing her goodwill and resources, risking enmity with Islamic imperialists and other houses of Rajasthan, if not for the unflinching trust that the great Sisodias of Mewar were the only hope for Hindu survival in the subcontinent. Hammir’s conquest of Delhi Sultanate and imprisonment of Mohd Bin Tughlaq was like a dagger driven into the heart of Islamists who were dreaming of Islamizing the nation after capturing Chittor and the near decimation of the Sisodia Rajput clan of Mewar. Hammir ruled for almost sixty years, uninterrupted, rebuilt Hindu temples all over India up to Gaya and Benares, died at a ripe old age due to natural reasons, leaving behind a name venerated in Mewar, as one of the unbeatable Hindu kings who reestablished the supremacy of Mewar in India and created such wealth and nurtured such powerful alliances that Chittor remained the beacon of Hindu dharma for two centuries. This article is extracted from Shri Omendra Ratnu’s forthcoming book on the true, hitherto largely unrevealed, Mewar history to be soon published by BluOne Ink in India. The article is copyrighted and no part of it may be reprinted without permission.
The King Who Rode His Misfortunes to Glory The third child of Maharana Raimall, Rana Saanga’s story of ascent to the throne of Mewar and the subsequent struggles and victories form the most intriguing saga ever to be found around a king anywhere in human history. Raimall had 13 sons, the elder two being Prithviraj and Jaimall followed by Saanga. The three brothers went to consult a fortune teller who predicted that it is Saanga who will adorn the throne of Mewar. Prithviraj lost his temper and hit Saanga’s right eye with the rear of his sword which ruptured Saanga’s eye and left him blind with one eye for life. Both elder brothers attacked Saanga to kill him but Saanga was saved by Surajmall, brother of king Raimall. After a few months, the question again bothered the elder brothers and they took Saanga along with their uncle to a chaaran girl who was supposed to be Shakti incarnate (Mother Goddess), Biri Bai. Biri had arranged a throne and a carpet in the temple of the goddess. Prithviraj and Jaimall sat on the throne and Saanga and his uncle sat on the ground on the carpet. When the elder brothers asked Biri Bai as to who will ascend the throne of Mewar, she replied, “The decision has been made. This carpet was meant to be for the king of Mewar. Since Saanga sits on it, he will rule Mewar after Raimall. The other two brothers will be killed in war with the enemies of Mewar.” The two brothers attacked Saanga, determined to kill him there and then. But Surajmall intervened and fought them as Saanga escaped with his life. Jaimall chased Saanga who ended up in a village called Sevantri . An old friend of Mewar family Rao Beeda was at the temple of Roop Narayan at Sevantri. Beeda took Saanga under his protection and gave first aid to his wounds. Jaimall arrived soon and Beeda fought with Jaimall and his forces and laid down his life, but gave enough time and rest to Saanga to escape further westwards to Marudhar (Marwar). Rana Raimall exiled both his sons on hearing of this internal feuds among brothers. Saanga gave up his horse and started living like a shepherd in Srinagar, near Ajmer at the place of Thakur Karamchand Panwar, who was a Rajput who sustained himself by dacoity. In subsequent years, Jaimall was killed by a fellow Rajput Ratan Singh. Prithviraj was a valorous prince and fought many battles to victory. He was poisoned by his brother in law and cremated at Kumbalgarh. Raimall was dejected with the loss of his elder sons when he heard of Saanga being alive. Saanga was beckoned and Raimall showered Thakur Karamchand with jageers for protecting his heir all these years. Raimall died in 1508 AD and thus Saanga became the king of Mewar. The purpose of narrating Saanga’s turbulent youth and ascent to the throne of Mewar is threefold:- First — The deep impact of astrology and divine incarnates on Hindu psyche and life is aptly demonstrated by predictions about Saanga’s life by the fortune teller and Biri Bai. The Hindu Samaj, through ages, has been guided by these metaphysical domains. It is not the author’s attempt to speak for or against the practices. The idea is to merely present an aspect of social life throughout ages which had such a profound influence on royal families. We can only imagine how the ordinary citizens of Mewar yielded to these occult practices. Second, the evils of polygamy affecting the history of Mewar so adversely too deserves a mention. It is not only a relic for barbarism and primeval necessity, but gave birth to so many trajectories of family feuds that it became impossible to contain them. While the Islamic marauders were at the door of Hindustan, every queen of the Maharana was engaged in conspiracies to make her son the crown of Mewar. The argument that matrimonial bonds were forced to augment the economic and military might of kingdoms does hold some merit but if we weigh the cost-benefit ratio, the cost of polygamy in royal families far outweighs the benefits of this practice. Third, the turbulent childhood and violent ascent of Saanga to the Mewar throne also tells us how adversity shapes the persona of a royal warrior. We will get more examples of similar nature in the life of Maharana Pratap and Maharana Amar Singh too. Prima facie, it appears that Prithviraj, the elder brother of Saanga was of a fit temperament and skills to become the next king of Mewar but his pettiness and his myopic pursuit of his ambition itself ends up with him being killed untimely by his own brother-in-law. Saanga appears to be a timid and a reclusive person in his youth. Although fit and muscular, he did not fight his brothers aggressively and even endured the loss of an eye with a certain degree of indifference. His naivete in trusting his jealous siblings also shows in his conduct in youth when after losing an eye to Prithviraj, he yet again goes to Biri Bai for the same question. But for his uncle Surajmall, Saanga would have been killed at the temple itself. We can only imagine the consequences if such a disaster would have befallen the Hindus of the subcontinent. Saanga’s “agyaatvaas” (living incognito) at Thakur Karamchand in Ajmer underlines his aloof persona, calmly resigned to a life of anonymity. But we also witness the metamorphosis of the very same mundane and disinterested person into one of the most aggressive warrior kings ever to have ruled Mewar. Saanga’s expansion of the kingdom matched that of Rana Kumbha in area and reach, though he inherited a war-torn house of Mewar. It establishes Saanga as a deeply spiritual and fiercely loyal servant of Mewar, who though uninterested in the throne, rose to the occasion and responded wholeheartedly when his motherland beckoned. As we study further the life of this amazing Maharana who defeated the mighty Lodhis of Delhi, we will realize the steely resolve, military acumen and leadership skills of the highest quality seen anywhere. Maharana Saanga’s life is a tale of how a beaten up timid prince overcame his physical and psychological handicaps and rose from a very pathetic degradation of his being to the highest pedestal mortally achievable. The single biggest message of Saanga’s life reminds us that no defeat is final, no handicap crippling enough, no hardship severe enough if the inner resolve of a person remains unbent to the external movements. Man has the infinite capacity to recover from every setback in life. Once on the throne, Saanga immediately got down to the business of governing and expanding the borders of Mewar. The Delhi throne after the Chouhans was filled successively by the dynasties of Ghazni, Ghori, Khilji and Lodhi; but was now only a relic of its past glory. Rana Saanga set out with 80,000 horses, seven Rajas of the highest ranks, nine Raos, and one hundred and four chieftains bearing titles of rawal and Rawat, along with 500 war elephants to conquer the vast territories of Northern, Central and Western India. The princes of Amer and Marwar paid homage to him; Raos of Ajmer, Gwalior, Sipri, Raesen, Kalpi, Chanderi, Boondi, Gagroun, Rampura and Abu served him as tributaries and acknowledged him as their chief. Saanga gave Karamchand Parwar, the Thakur who had sheltered him, the grant of Ajmer and title of Rao for his son Jugmal. It is quite remarkable that a prince who had so meekly surrendered his right as the heir of Mewar and was resigned to live a life of anonymity rose to become one of the strongest premiers of Mewar under whom the expanse of Mewar resembled that of Rana Kumbha. Strange are the ways of life! A meek person who would otherwise have been relegated to the dustbin became the king of Mewar and took her glory to amazing heights. Saanga’s ambition was countered by the surrounding Muslim kingdoms of Delhi, Malwa and Gujarat. 18 pitched battles were fought between Mewar and the forces of Delhi and Malwa in which two battles were fought frontally between Saanga and Ibrahim Lodhi at Bakrole and Khatauli. At Khatauli, the army of Lodhi was slaughtered and Lodhi’s son taken as a captive. Here also, Saanga lost one of his hands in combat and one leg too was hit by an arrow such that Saanga had a limp for the rest of his life. Saanga took the Lodhi prince to Chittor and released him after extracting a heavy cost. Saanga attacked Mahmud Khilji at Gagraun and captured him alive, took him to Chittor and took care of him and released him honorably. One cannot fathom the motive of this act of Saanga because though Khilji could never damage Mewar, for the rest of his life, he kept aligning with the enemies of Mewar and never showed any gratitude to Saanga for not taking his life. It must also be remembered that Khilji’s ancestor Allauddin was responsible for the first Saka of Chittor when 30,000 Hindu women committed Jauhar due to Allauddin’s siege and one of Saanga’s forefathers, Raja Ratan Singh died fighting the Khiljis. It defies any strategic sense that Saanga should have let Mahmud live except for a mercurial streak of grandeur very much prevalent in Hindu kings of those times to forgive their enemies. On the other hand, Mahmud Khilji stayed loyal to the ‘Ummah’ or Muslim brotherhood and saw Saanga as the eternal Hindu rival. Khilji kept aligning with Saanga’s enemies and bothering him till his death. This disease of ‘benevolence’ got over only with Rana Pratap when he would mercilessly slaughter his enemies instead of yielding to a fake morality and individual glory at the cost of the safety of Mewar. Muzaffar Khan, the Nawab of Gujarat was the third enemy that Saanga overcame in the siege of Ahmednagar towards the south. One particular incident of the siege deserves mention: One of the chiefs of Saanga, Doongar Singh Chauhan, was fighting along with his sons and brother for Mewar and showed exemplary courage. One of Doongar’s sons, Kanha Singh did an unbelievable act of valor. The Muslim army of Muzaffar had locked itself inside Ahmednagar fort and the outer gates had spears on them to deter elephants from breaking them down. Kanha stood between the elephant and the gate and ordered the Mahout to charge the elephant to the gates. Kanha’s body was crushed but the gates of the fort were breached and Mewar won. Doongar Singh’s family survives even today in Doongarpur. Saanga restored the prestigious and impregnable Ranthambore from imperialist General Ali and killed him. Thus, during Saanga’s time, Mewar extended from Peela – Khal (yellow rivulet) near Bayana in North to Malwar and Gujarat in South; up to Sindhu river in the West, while the Aravallis formed the Eastern boundary. Saanga reached up to the Afghan city of Ghazni twice during his victory campaigns. He also killed Firoz Shah Pathan to annex Nagaur. It is against this might and expanse of Mewar’s Rana Saanga that the Chugtai Turk Babur from Ferghana, Uzbekistan, invaded India’s Northern frontiers. Babur defeated a weak and depleted Ibrahim Lodhi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 where Ibrahim Lodhi was slain and his army destroyed. Babur was a fanatic Islamist and always credited his victories to his God and thus inspired confidence of his troops. He is supposed to have remarked after the First Battle of Panipat, “Not to me, oh God, but to thee, be the victory!” On 21st Feb, 1527 Saanga met the Turk forces at the town of Bayana at the North-Eastern border of Rajasthan. Approximately 2,00,000 forces of Saanga crushed the Turks and Babur escaped with his life. Babur meditated upon his loss and made peace overtures to Saanga which Saanga negotiated but the talks broke down when Saanga insisted that Babur give yearly taxes to Mewar. Babur then appealed to the theological affinity of his troops and gave very passionate speeches to his men to fight and kill the infidels in the name of Islam. Even when a Mughal astrologer predicted defeat, Babur did not back off and there is a folklore that he beheaded the fortune teller there and then and proclaimed, “Just like his forecast or his own age has been falsified, so will be his prediction of the defeat of Allah’s army.” Additionally, Babur vowed publicly never ever to touch wine and women and never shave his beard and never tax a Muslim again. Thus, stirring Islamic passion and zeal in his army of mostly Turkish, Uzbek, Tatar, Afghan and Mongol mercenaries, Babur prepared for the final showdown with the Hindu forces. In the meanwhile, a local Rajput who had converted to Islam, Hasan Khan Mewati, joined Rana with 10,000 horsemen and many subordinates of Ibrahim Lodhi joined the Rana, the main amongst them being Mohammed Khan Lodhi. The following is a portion of the speech given by Babur as written in his own biography, Baburnama: “Noble men and soldiers, and every man that comes into the world, is subject to dissolution. Allah is only ever lasting. Whoever comes to the feast of life must, before it is over, drink from the cup of death. How much better it is to die with honor than to live with infamy! With fame, even if I die, I am contended; let fame be mine, since my body is death’s. “If we win, we will be the Ghazis; If we lose, we will be Shaheed; either ways, riches await us. Let us then, with one accord, swear on Allah’s holy name that none of us will even think of turning his face from this warfare, nor desert from the battle and the slaughter that ensues, till his soul is separated from his body.” Having filled his army with this religious fervor, Babur hatched the evil conspiracy to bribe a Hindu pagan to defect to his side and turn the tables on Saanga’s formidable army. He found the traitor in Salhadi Tanwar of Raisen near Gwalior who had deep grudges against Saanga for subjugating him a few years ago. Babur bribed him and fuelled his anger against Saanga. Saanga had realised the vile nature of the Turk, Babur, whose religious zeal was unparalleled in attacking the very soul of Hinduism. Saanga kept indulging Babur in superficial talks making impossible demands of him and assessing Babur’s strength in the interim. Babur realised after two weeks of negotiations that Saanga will attack him. Saanga had indeed made up his mind to fight the Turk and capture Delhi once and for all and bring it under Hindu rule. Below is the text of Rana Saanga’s speech to his troops, which is ample evidence that Saanga was fed up with Islamic invasions and had come to root out the Turks forever: “Everyone must act according to the warrior’s code remembering the brave deeds of our forefathers. This is the final occasion of destroying the invaders who have tainted our holy land for centuries. Once we seize this opportunity, they will never be able to raise their heads again, and the flag of Hindu Pad Padshahi will fly over the entire country.” On 16th March, 1527, the forces of Mewar and Babur clashed at the Battle of Khanwa. A very lethal surprise awaited Saanga and his forces in the form of Mughal cannons equipped with their fire power. Rajputs were totally bewildered by the might and effects of gunpowder. Thousands of Saanga’s forces collapsed and the horses and elephants rampaged backwards on their own army. The Rajputs then came up with an amazing solution to the cannons. In an ultimate act of sacrifice, Rajputs sunk their heads into the blazing cannons thus rendering them useless by studding them with their meat and blood. Mughals were astounded to see this extreme act of valor by Saanga’s army and the tide started turning towards the Mewar army. Another deadly war tactic amongst Muslim invaders was to depute dozens of their best archers secured by guards to search for the enemy king or leader and bombard him with barrage of arrows to kill, or at least incapacitate him. The Islamic invaders themselves never exposed themselves to the Hindu armies and stayed behind their ranks and file. Hindu kings on the other hand led from front as an act of valour and leadership — an act of naïveté which cost Hindus a lot of wars with Islamists. Babur had deputed his best archers to identify Saanga and hit him singularly with the barrage of arrows, and one arrow hit him hard on his skull and Saanga lost consciousness. He was taken away from the battlefield by his lieutenants. Ajja Jhaala of Halwad, who matched Saanga in height and personality , wore the royal dress himself and feigned as Saanga to keep the morale of his troops high. The trick worked and the Mewar army kept fighting and pushing back the Turks. Then the death blow was struck to the Hindu army when Salhadi Tanwar along with his 35,000 horsemen defected to the army of Babur. Saanga’s chieftains regrouped and resumed attack even after this treachery but one by one they kept dying. By evening, the fate of the Mewar army was sealed. Every single chief of any consequence had laid down his life to save the Dharma. The entire Hindu army was slaughtered barring a few thousand who escaped without a leader to follow. The roads to Delhi, Agra, Bayana and Alwar were littered with limbs and bodies of soldiers from both sides. The victory of the Turks was not one sided though. Babur had lost almost all of his artillery and his cannons rendered useless. Most significantly, Babur had witnessed the ferocity and extreme valor of the Hindus in defending their king and land and hence he did not chase Saanga. With his depleted forces, Babur turned Eastwards and created massive destruction in Awadh and today’s UP. Saanga regained consciousness and was cross with his chiefs for removing him from the battlefield. The knowledge that almost all of the Mewar army was decimated did not deter that spiritual king and he told his chiefs that he will not go to Chittor without defeating Babur. Among those who carried Saanga away from the battlefield were the kings of Amer, Marwar and Sirohi who counselled him to go back to the safety of Mewar. Saanga retreated to Ranthambhore and started regrouping his army to challenge Babur again. On a sad day in April, 1527, a year after the Battle of Khanwa, at the young age of 45 years, Maharana Saanga was poisoned by his own Saamants who were tired of fighting wars under him and who thought that his plans to fight Babur will be suicidal. Thus the life of one of the most courageous and visionary Hindu kings that ever ruled Bhaaratbhoomi came to a tragic end at the hands of his own myopic people who bought a few years of a wretched life instead of standing with their king, a king who had fought all adversity with such nonchalant bravery, could have been killed only by such deceit since even death was scared to confront him frontally. Saanga was one eyed, one armed and one footed with 84 wounds of metal on his body, but his Prana, his spirit, was untouched by physical trauma and he never let his physical handicap overpower his psyche. It is quite remarkable that a king possessing such a wreck of a body inspired such confidence in his troops that they followed him equally to victory or death . Can we even imagine a king limping his way to mount a horse with some help and a damaged eye, leading his armies up to Afghanistan, Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi and instead of evoking doubt, weakness and pity at his physical features, evoking such confidence in his generals and the army that he singlehandedly created the largest Hindu kingdom of medieval India ! Death is an inevitability in this fragile world, but before leaving his mortal body, Saanga, in his life and death, sowed the seeds of wisdom, valour and supreme sacrifice for the generations to come. A generation that saw a fighter king like Pratap who singlehandedly withstood the Turkish invasion when all hope has been lost . Saanga taught the fighters of Mewar that with Islam they were fighting an existential conflict in which there could be no relenting because, since Bappa Rawal, the Islamic invaders had continued attacking Hindustan and they were not going to stop with a war or two. It was going to be an unending conflict till one of the two would be completely annihilated. Saanga not only continued the traditions of the amazing Ranas of Mewar but took valour and steely resolve to audacious standards, inspired by which, the royal line of Mewar could never be enslaved by the Turk invaders and remained the ‘Hindutwa Sooraj‘ as the apex guardian and protectors of Hindu Dharma for centuries to come. This article is extracted from Shri Omendra Ratnu’s forthcoming book on the true, hitherto largely unrevealed, Mewar history to be soon published by BluOne Ink in India. The article is copyrighted and no part of it may be reprinted without permission.
The Fortification Of Mewar Rana Udai Singh died at the young age of forty-nine at Gogoonda, four years after the loss of Chittor. He left behind 25 sons, all from royal blood and thus laid a fertile ground for a civil war in the state of Mewar. Udai Singh’s last act could have actually triggered this civil war when he nominated Jagmal, the son of the Bhati Rani as the heir of Mewar. It must be said to the credit of the democratic traditions of Mewar and the foresight of the Saamants serving the royal house, who immediately gathered to discuss this grave injustice committed by Rana Udai Singh. Below is the account of how the events unfolded from Udai Singh’s death to Pratap’s ascendance: In Mewar, there is no interregnum; the last rites of the departed king and the Rajyabhishek of the new king is done simultaneously at the same priest’s house. So, while his brothers and nobles attended the funeral of the departed Rana, Jagmal took the throne in the new but yet unbuilt capital of Mewar, Udaipur. The Songara prince and the Jalore Rao, both asked Kistna, the ‘great ancient’ of Mewar and the leader of Chundawats, how this injustice of Jagmal sitting on the throne was sanctioned by him. “When a sick man has reached the last extreme and asks for milk, why refuse it?” replied Kistna. Kistna also added, “Songara’s nephew is my choice and I stand by Pratap.” The Nobles gathered, and heated and concerned discussions ensued amongst them. Akshay Raj Songara is recorded to have said to Rawat Krishnadas of Deogarh and Rawat Sanga of Saloombara, “If Jagmal is to be the king, it has to happen with your consent.” ‘On one hand, we have a formidable enemy like Akbar, Chittor is gone, Mewar is becoming barren, if the royal house sinks into infighting, then Mewar is sure to be ruined and enslaved ‘ mused the Saamants. Both the nobles consented with Songara adding that for what fault should the eldest son Pratap, worthy and brave, be rejected? Pratap never wanted a bloodbath in the family and, reconciled to his fate, was saddling his Chetak to ride away to his solitude when the Saamants approached him and informed him of their decision to name him the king of Mewar. Pratap was reluctant to dishonor his father’s wish but he saw the doom of Mewar if Jagmal was to remain the king. Thus, Pratap’s Rajyabhishek was done at Gogoonda itself. Pratap rode to Udaipur where Rawat Kistna and Akshay Raj along with Ram Shah Tanwar of Gwalior, took the arms of Jagmal and, with gentle violence, removed him from the throne. The hereditary Premier Kistna remarked, “You have made a mistake Maharaj, that place belongs to your brother.” Then, girding Pratap with a sword, thrice touching the ground, hailed him the next king of Mewar. Maharana Pratap Singh became the ruler of Mewar at the age of 32, in the midst of the gravest existential crisis faced by the Sisodia clan and people of Mewar. Pratap’s ascendance to the throne is a strange mix of human weakness and strength in the most trying times. Udai Singh’s traumatic childhood and insecure journey to becoming the king of Mewar turned him into a weak, insecure and indecisive person who dwelled perpetually in his victimhood and yielded to sycophants and ended up making poor judgements all his life. Pratap, on the other hand, turned the insults and trauma of his childhood into his strengths and overcame all insecurities to make a true leader and warrior out of himself. Pratap’s turbulent life began with his childhood itself, but because of his iron will and a deeper understanding premised on spiritual guidance by the likes of Muni Roopnath, Pratap did not deviate from his goal of serving his motherland to his fullest. To quote Col. Tod: ‘Pratap was often heard to exclaim, “Had Dajiraj Sa (as every Mewar King was referred to by his sons) never been, or none intervened between him and Rana Saanga, no Turk would have ever given laws to Rajasthan.” ‘Hindu society had assumed a new form in the century preceding. The wrecks of dominion from the Ganga and Jamuna had been silently growing into importance; Amer and Marwar had gained such power that the latter single handedly coped with the mighty imperialist Sher Shah; a prince of commanding genius alone was wanting, to snatch the sceptre of dominion from the Islamites. ‘Such a leader they found in Saanga, who possessed every quality which inspires spontaneous obedience, and the superiority of whose birth, as well as dignity, were acknowledged without cavil from the Himalayas to Rameshwaram. These states had powerful motives to obey such a leader in the absence of whom their ancient Patrimony was lost; and such they would have found in Saanga’s grandson Pratap, had Udai Singh not existed, or had a less gifted sovereign than Akbar been his contemporary’. Fate had put Pratap in the most difficult predicament faced by any Hindu king of India at his time. After his humiliation, Jagmal left Mewar for Delhi and prostrated to the arch enemy of the house, Akbar, proving the decision of Mewar Saamants to be right. Jagmal was a petty prince, who aspired for power that wasn’t his in the first place. It is to the credit of the foresight of Mewar chieftains who saw this and defied the royal decree to replace him with Pratap. Jagmal was granted the Jagir of Jahajpur in Bhilwara by Akbar. Jagmal was married to the daughter of Sirohi king, Man Singh, who died without a heir in 1571. Jagmal approached Akbar to help him annex Sirohi from Surtaan, the royal nominee of Sirohi. Akbar sent his two Rajput generals and the royal army to assist Jagmal in annexing Sirohi. On 17th October, 1583, Jagmal attacked Abu where Surtaan was fortified and one of the most glorious battles of Rajasthan was fought there in which the army of Akbar was crushingly defeated by a very small army. The two Rajput generals, Rai Singh and Koli Singh, along with Jagmal, were killed by Surtaan and Surtaan became the undisputed king of Sirohi. Thus ended a threat to Pratap and Mewar which could have complicated the resistance of Pratap to Islamic imperialists. Pratap became the King of Mewar and succeeded to the titles and renown of an illustrious house, but a kingdom without capital, without resources for his clan and Saamants dispirited by reverses, his subjects demoralised; and yet equipped with the noble spirit of his race, and a steely resolve to overcome the immense challenge in front of him, Pratap meditated on recovering Chittor and vindicating and recovering the pride and power of his clan. Akbar, though unstable in Delhi, was gaining strength and allies rapidly. The houses of Amer, Bikaner and Marwar forged alliances with Akbar and thus Pratap had to reconcile with the fact that he was going to fight not only Turks but also his own brothers in faith and blood. A fact which would weigh very heavily on the mind of Pratap in subsequent wars he was to fight with Turks. One of his other brothers, Sagar also deserted him and allied with Turks. The scars of the Third Saka of Chittor ravaged the consciousness of Mewar and the whole population of Mewar was dejected and demoralized. Pratap inherited a wounded Mewar but was also nobly supported by old friends like the sons of Jaimal Rathore and Patta Chundawat. The houses of Saloombara, Deogarh, Amet etc. announced full loyalty to Pratap. The erstwhile chief of Gwalior, Ram Shah Tanwar became his main army general and the chief of Dailwara became the king’s ‘Right Hand’. Bhaama Shah, the Oswal Jain cashier of the royal house, was an even fiercer and greater warrior than a finance manager. He, along with his valorous brother, Tarachand, swore his loyalty to Pratap and was instrumental in both the funding and war strategy of the two major wars that Pratap was to fight against the Turk imperialist : Haldi Ghati and Dewair. A special mention must be made of Shakthi Singh, his estranged brother who played a critical role in Pratap’s life by spying for Mewar all his life in Akbar’s court , saving Pratap’s life at Haldi Ghati and eventually joining hands with Pratap at the decisive Battle of Dewair . From 1572, his ascendance to the throne to 1597, his year of moksha, all 25 years of his life, Pratap single handedly withstood the might of an Empire and ultimately defeated it. His own people deserted him for greener pastures, but Pratap stood ground, alone in the wilderness. Fighting wars, killing his enemies ferociously, losing friends and allies to death and deceit, flying from one rock to another, causing much destruction in the planes to Guerilla warfare in the mountain passes, feeding his family and army from the fruits of the native hills and rearing the nursling hero Amar Singh amidst savage beasts and savage men, Pratap energised his people and army with his amazing leadership and resolve to continue fighting the Turk imperialist. The magnitude of the perils he faced only strengthened his fortitude. The mere idea that the ‘son of Bappa Rawal should bow to a mortal man’ was unthinkable. It must be said to the immense credit of the Saamants and general population of Mewar, that they stood by their king through unimaginable suffering, death and poverty. Mewar had witnessed the destruction caused by Akbar at Chittor on 25th February 1568 at the third Saka and yet she rose to defend her freedom and honor from the ashes of Jauhar at Chittor. She rose to become the beacon of Hindu hope in the subcontinent just because of one man — Maharana Pratap Singh, the greatest Hindu warrior of all times. One man, who changed the entire discourse of the attempted Islamic subjugation of the Indian subcontinent by his insurmountable grit and determination. One man who was not a reckless, self serving, indulgent monarch sucking the blood and money of his people but a Mahayogi, who donned the mantle of a warrior to free the motherland and fight the dark clouds of slavery that loomed over the Hindus of the subcontinent. One man who gave up all comfort and riches that a Maharana could have enjoyed, had he compromised with the Turk Imperialist, and chose a life of hardship because honour was dearer to him than a few years of a mundane life of ignominy. A true spartan who chose to sleep with his spear as his pillow than to rest his head on velvet at night. Following are the four vows that Pratap took on becoming the king of Mewar, and they became part of the folklore of Mewar and readied the most insignificant and remote subject of Mewar to take on the Mughal marauder: All articles of luxury and pomp will be abandoned until Chittor is reclaimed.The gold and silver dishes will be laid aside for “Pattals” or plates and utensils made out of leaves.The beds of cloth and soft velvet will be replaced by straw and leaves.The martial ‘nagadas’ which used to lead royal processions will be placed at the rear to mark and remember the fallen fortunes of Mewar and stimulate its recovery. Pratap got down to the business of governing and generating revenues immediately. New grants were issued to the nobles, with regulations defining the services required. Kumbalgadh was declared the capital of the state and strengthened. Similarly, Gogoonda and other mountain fortresses were strengthened and fortified. As fellow Rajput houses of Bikaner, Amer, Marwar and rest of Rajasthan barring Boondi, surrendered and aligned with the Turk, Pratap severed all alliances with them, and to carry forward the line of the heirs of Mewar, he sought out and incorporated with the first class of nobles of his own kin. Pratap married several princesses from in and around Mewar to ensure the loyalties of those houses, thus multiplying the might of his own house. Pratap started attacking and looting the Mughal caravans traveling through Mewar and even carried such campaigns as far as Gujarat in South and Malpura in North. This was done to incentivise and enrich the Mewar warriors. Unable to keep the plains, Pratap reverted to the ancient system of his ancestors commanding his subjects to retreat to the mountains. Pratap prepared himself for the impending protracted war with Turk imperialist with meticulous implementation and unrelenting severity to enforce compliance of his edicts. The fertile area between Banas and Beris was to be evacuated and left ‘bey-chiragh’ i.e without a lamp. The idea was to burden the Mughals with carrying their own supplies whenever they were to attack Mewar. There would be no local supply of any kind and also no slaughter of ordinary citizens, which was the norm of the Turks at that time. Pratap would personally enforce the strict rules on the people of Mewar. Once, accompanied by a few horsemen, Pratap set out to invigilate the implementation of his orders. The silence of deserts prevailed in the once green pastures of Mewar; jungle grass replaced the fields of corn; the highways were chocked with thorny babools; beasts of prey inhabited the deserted villages. In the midst of this wilderness, a lone shepherd took out his flock to the remnants of vegetation in the once luxurious meadows of Ontalla, on the banks of Banas river. After a short enquiry, the shepherd was killed and his corpse hung high on a tree to send a message to the violators of Pratap’s plan of fighting the Turks. To quote Tod: ‘By such patriotic severity, Pratap rendered ‘the garden of Rajasthan’ of no value to the conqueror, and the commerce established between the Mughal courts and Europe, conveyed through Mewar from Surat and other ports, was intercepted and plundered.’ We can only imagine the resolve and determination of the people of Mewar who rallied behind Pratap in following his plans to make life hell for the invading Turk forces. All farming community shifted out of Mewar between 1572, Pratap’s becoming the king, and 1583, the Battle of Dewair. Ordinary citizens relocated into the hills of Aravalis and thus thousands of new villages came into existence. This also resulted in close contact between the people of Mewar and the mountain dwelling ‘Bheels’ who welcomed them with open arms and fed an entire population on the fruits of the jungles, and kept them protected as well. Bheels were instrumental in this movement of population from plains to the hills and this community has had the distinction of adorning the royal insignia of Mewar for centuries now. Bheels were also the mainstay of the armed resistance by Mewar as will be detailed later. Inspired by Pratap, the Saamants and the chieftains became liberal with tax collection from their impoverished subjects. The love and trust the people of Mewar showered on Pratap is unparalleled in the history of mankind. Armies fight wars and soldiers die and kill for honour and riches, but never had an entire population fortified itself against a foreign invader as happened in Mewar. If any other king were to pass such edicts, Mewar would surely have been littered with traitors and revolts making it ungovernable. This only shows how extraordinary Pratap was as a leader, war strategist, compassionate king and a man of foresight who could anticipate the hardships that he and his people would have to endure and had prepared for them accordingly. Not only did he plan the campaign against the Turk imperialist but very effectively communicated it to the last of his subjects. The wars of Haldi Ghati in 1576, the seven years of interim rule, and the final victory at Dewair in 1583, were to prove the effectiveness of Pratap’s genius in pushing the Turk invader away for as long as he lived. Pratap learned from his grandfather Saanga’s mistakes of exposing themselves to Mughal fire power and decided to fight Mughals from the safety of Aravallis. Pratap hired the services of Hakim Khan Sur, an Afghan descendant of Sher Shah Sur, who had a personal score to settle with Akbar. Pratap learned from the third Saka that the enemy was a ruthless marauder who will pitch Rajputs against Rajputs and will mercilessly slaughter Hindus without remorse. Pratap had seen how fellow Hindu kings like Bhagwandas of Amer had stood meek witness to the slaughter of Hindus and plunder of Hindu and Jain temples at Chittor and how he had to fight this battle on his own to retain his freedom and honour. Pratap observed the vile and hideous nature of Islamic imperialists and was convinced that war was the only option with these barbarians and coexistence was not an option. Pratap devised a long term campaign to defeat Akbar and weed him out of Mewar permanently. He struck alliances, subjugated rebellion, purchased loyalties of the fence sitters, created a socially cohesive alliance of all communities in Mewar and implemented the campaign with clinical precision. We Hindus haven’t truly understood and recognised the military genius and supreme sacrifice of Maharana Pratap Singh, the one man who had shaped the contours of the Hindu Muslim conflict in the Indian subcontinent with unparalleled ferocity towards Islamic imperialists and had established the Dharma so effectively into the psyche of a dying Hindu Samaaj that dozens of kingdoms rose against the Mughals, and within three generations of Akbar, the Mughals were finished while Mewar, in all its glory, stands even today. Not as a relic of a turbulent past but a glorious reminder of power, sacrifice and fortitude. This article is extracted from Shri Omendra Ratnu’s forthcoming book on the true, hitherto largely unrevealed, Mewar history to be soon published by BluOne Ink in India. The article is copyrighted and no part of it may be reprinted without permission.
Akbar’s slaughter of Hindus at Chittor When Rana Udai Singh of Mewar refused to surrender Mewar to Mughals, Akbar decided to Attack Chittor. Udai Singh got the information and after a meeting with the Saamants and chieftains of Mewar, Udai Singh retreated to the safety of Udaipur and left 8,000 warriors to defend Chittor along with 60,000 civilians living inside the fort. On 23rd October, 1567, Akbar surrounded Chittor. The two main warriors of the Rajputs were Jaimal Rathore and Patta Chundawat. The others inside holding fort were Saidas Rawat, Ballu Solanki, Thakur Saanda and Eesardas Chauhan. Finding the walls of the Chittor fort impregnable, Akbar ordered two underground tunnels leading to the walls of the Fort which he planned to blow away with dynamite. The labourers who dug the tunnels were killed by the Rajputs from inside the fort with arrows and gunshots. For one bucket full of sand one silver coin was paid to the local labourers. The Mughals were ready to pay that cost for Chittor. After three months, the warriors inside the fort decided to raise the white flag and send a peace overture to Akbar. So Thakur Saanda Of Dodiya and Sahib Chauhan were deputed to descend from the fort and talk to Akbar. Thankur Saanda spoke thus, “We are ready to give you gifts and acknowledge your greatness if you lift the siege and end this conflict.” Akbar replied, “I am a king and I will receive gifts only from a king. Udai Singh has to come and surrender, else there will be no end to the siege. You are a brave and loyal servant of your master, ask anything of me except lifting the siege.” Saanda replied, “If war is inevitable, my only demand is that the corpses of Hindu warriors be cremated in the Hindu tradition.” Akbar accepted this glorious demand of the Rajput. Akbar blasted the northern wall of the Fort with 4800 kilos of dynamite but the warriors inside repulsed the attack of Mughals and repaired the wall overnight. The southern wall was similarly blasted but it ended up killing some of the best Mughal soldiers. Akbar started a frontal attack on the fort with cannons damaging the walls of the fort here and there but the Mughals still couldn’t breach the walls of the impregnable fort of Chittor. The Mughals used to take the cover of the broken stones and fire with guns towards the parapets of the Fort. One fateful day, Akbar aimed his gun (called Sangram) at a very active frame inside the fort and hit him. It was Jaimal Rathore whose leg got broken by the bullet. Jaimal called the chiefs and counselled that the resources of the Mughal army were unlimited and with rations running out, it was time to open the gates and slaughter as many Mughals as they could and ascend to their Devas. The women were of course advised to commit ‘Jauhar,’ where huge wooden pyres would be lit and women and children less than 10 years of age would give themselves to the fire. The reason for this painful choice of dissolving their bodies was the Islamic practise of Necrophilia, where the Mughal army would sexually abuse the dead bodies of Hindu women. After Jauhar, all that the barbarians would get would be ashes. Seeing the smoke and ambers rise into the sky, the traitor king of Amber, Bhagwan Das, fighting from the side of Akbar warned the Mughal army that the final attack by Mewar’s warriors is imminent. Thus, all tender bonds of love and concern for the safety of the family put to fire, the Rajputs and other warriors ate the last ‘Beera’ (Betel leaf) and put on saffron robes to ride to Veergati. The next morning, the gates of Chittor fort were opened. Jaimal couldn’t walk, hence his brother Kalla, made him sit on his shoulder so that Jaimal could fulfil his last wish of slaughtering as many Mughals as he could. Both were martyred after killing dozens of Mughals between the Hanuman Gate and the Bhairav Gate of the Fort. Akbar personally beheaded Jaimal as documented by the Mughal historian Abul Fazal. Dodiya Saanda descended with his horsemen and died fighting the Mughals on the banks of Gambhiri river. Akbar pushed his elephants into attacking the Mewar army. The Rajputs also took the elephants head on. Ishardas Chauhan climbed up an elephant named ‘Madkar’ and asked the name of the Mahout. Then Chauhan sliced the trunk of the elephant saying to the Mahout “Say my hello to Akbar”. Akbar entered the fort surrounded by his elephant army. Patta Chundawat was to give the final assault to Mughal forces once Chittor was breached. Patta was wounded by an elephant and was brought to Akbar carried by the elephant in its trunk. Akbar beheaded the wounded Patta at the Ram Gate of Chittor Fort. Mughal historians themselves write about the valour and fearless assault of the Mewar warriors on Mughal army. ‘When one Rajput was beckoned, ten would rush to help him. They attacked our elephants like bees. When one would fall the other would start stabbing the elephant. And they were fair warriors. Every single fighter of Mewar fought one on one with Mughals and kept dying.’ After the slaying of 8,000 warriors, Akbar had to face the resistance of 40,000 residents of the Fort. The artisans, labourers, mahouts, horse keepers, barbers, blacksmiths — all of them picked up swords and fought the Mughal army and were brutally killed by Akbar. Col. James Tod, the British historian writes — “Akbar measured his success by the quantity of cordons (Janeu) taken from the necks of the slain Hindus. And 74 and a half “Muns” is the amount recorded. A “Mun” is 40 kilos. So 2,980 kilos was the weight of the threads of Janeus on the Hindus killed on that dark day. To eternalise the memory of this disaster, to date these numerals, 74½ are accursed. Marked on a banker’s letter in Rajasthan, it is the strongest of seals, for ‘the sin of the slaughter of Chittor’ is thereby invoked on all who violate a letter under the safeguard of this mysterious number. So long as ‘74½’ shall remain recorded, some good will result from the calamity, and may survive when the event which caused it is buried in oblivion.” Even today, in Mewar, if a letter is marked with the digits 74½, no unauthorised person will open that letter lest that person suffers the sin of the slaughter at Chittor. On the afternoon of 25th February, 1568, after a siege of four months, Akbar seized the Fort of Chittor and raised the Mughal flag over it. This day is one of the darkest days of Hindu resistance to Islamic invaders in our history when 40,000 civilians and 8,000 warriors, besides approximately 10,000 women and toddlers committing Jauhar, were killed mercilessly by Akbar. But this day is also the glorious reminder that our forefathers chose death over surrender. The Hindu Dharma was dearer to them than conversion to an alien faith. The immense sense of loyalty to their ancestors even when faced by imminent brutal death. What was the “tattva” that made the women and children of Chittor enter the funeral pyres willingly? What was the reason that, beginning from the Jauhar of Maharani Padmini, the Hindus continued it for centuries at regular intervals but never yielded their freedom and Dharma? What kind of steely resolve would a man possess to send his wife and little children to funeral pyres just because he couldn’t give up his Dharma? What would a man be possessed with, to throw himself in front of a mighty, enraged elephant!! What was that faith and hope of the hopelessly outnumbered Hindus to die fighting than to convert to Islam? What was the spiritual quotient of these amazing people to face death with such grace only because they were sure that their Maharana was safe somewhere and will continue fighting the Turkish murderers? If we can muster up even a fraction of that courage, that hope, that fortitude, maybe we can win this clash with alien faiths going on even today in our besieged nation. If we can keep alive the memory of the ‘74½’ in our civic life, our families and spiritual discourse, that day of the greatest sacrifice of Hindus will go down in history as a glorious testimony of a people who looked death in the eyes and didn’t blink. A people who gave their families to the purity of fire and themselves to the purity of swords. A people because of whom we are Hindus today, as the heirs of the oldest Dharma thriving on this planet.
If you Google “Hindu murders in Karnataka”, you will get a plethora of reports citing varying numbers of RSS, VHP or Bajrang Dal activists lynched to death by those claiming to wage a jihad against the so-called infidels. There may be disputes over the number of Hindus murdered, but all articles reporting this agree on specific killing of Hindus by jihadi elements. The gross average of the numbers comes to 12 in the past two years. Twelve families destroyed, yet no reports on media! No outrage at Jantar Mantar. No storming of the streets by the bindi brigade. No discussion on prime time television. No letter of condemnation to the ‘intolerant’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi by former bureaucrats and self-proclaimed academicians. Contrast this with the murder of Akhlaq in Uttar Pradesh two years ago. The whole leftist jihadi cabal went berserk and tremors of the ghastly murder were felt even in the United States where The Washington Post and The New York Times published articles on “murderous” Hindu gangs. The government of the State gave a government job to the kin of the murdered, approximately Rs 1 crore worth of compensation and properties to the bereaved family. A similar sequence has been repeated in the Kathua rape case. It is as though this rape (still unproved) and murder was more newsworthy than incidents of similar crimes reported everyday by the media. On an average, three Hindu girls are raped everyday in neighboring Pakistan for the singular reason that they are Hindus. Three Hindu underage girls raped everyday! Let that sink into our consciousness. Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about it? Why are Hindus the most forsaken people on this globe? In any civilized society, a murder or rape is a heinous crime. Why do rapes and murders of Hindus evoke a yawn from the Indian media and so-called civil society while the same entities go ballistic on the mere reporting of a rape or murder of a Muslim? Of course, that one rape or murder is the retribution for another is not my case. There is a pattern to this madness. Four reasons can be inferred directly from this strange conduct of the global community and the media to this direct assault on Hindu life and ethos. First, money, the eternal motive. Because Hindu society is devoid of a central core of leadership, all attacks on Hindus are left to be defended by local resistance, which almost never happens. On the other hand, the Abrahamic faiths, plush with funds from zaqaat and tithe, fund the spread of lies against Hindus so as to malign the Hindu faith globally. It isn’t without reason that very aggressive spokespersons of the Church and jamaat councils find prime airtime to view their side of the narrative whereas Hindus are represented by tilak-wielding, dhoti-kurta clad, usually overfed mahantas from some godforsaken akhada, who not only are ill at ease speaking English but also whose Hindi is pathetically inarticulate, sounding more like a cacophony instead of an argument. Why isn’t ever a Rajiv Malhotra, a Satish Sharma or a Vamsee Juluri invited to TV channels to articulate the Hindu side of the story? Obviously, to make Hinduism look mediaeval and archaic to the global community as well as the urban Hindus themselves. RSS swayamsevak Rudresh was stabbed to death in broad daylight in Bengaluru Second, human beings are generally infected with the desire to appear good and just to the world around him. It is a psychological malaise that camouflages the sloth and cowardice of the self-proclaimed liberals in the garb of justice and equanimity. Hence, all atrocities against Hindus are downplayed or brushed under the carpet because the Hindu intelligentsia and media have internalized the strange hypothesis that crimes against the majority are not as bad as those against the minorities. So, when there is genocide of Hindus in Bangladesh and Pakistan, the world looks the other way, but a stray incident where the usual community of perpetrators is targeted — or the religion of the victim does not even occur to the criminal — and the whole cabal mounts horsebacks to defend the so-called minorities. This active trivialization of crime against Hindus is partly due to the lack of efficient and honest Hindu leadership and partly due to the proclivity of looking good to others, even at the cost of hushing up the truth and siding with lies. Man’s capacity to deceive himself is infinite. And nothing proves this more than the abject bigotry of the nation’s elite and intelligentsia towards atrocities on Hindus in Bharat. A case in point: Ever wondered why not a single movie has been made on the Kashmiri exodus of Hindus by the rudalis of Bollywood? Not a lucrative business? But Mumbai riots and demonization of Balasaheb Thackeray in Bollywood continues uninterrupted. In fact, there is a well oiled, well funded machinery of writers who keep churning out atrocity literature against the Hindu faith on a regular basis. Sometimes, in the name of an obsolete Manu Smriti and, sometimes, in the name of caste conflict. They never run out of ideas to malign the Hindu civilisation. The idea is to generate a sense of victimhood in the minds of people, especially from the minorities and the poorer sections of Hindu society. Once victimhood finds roots in the human psyche, man is capable of the worst kind of violence and mayhem. It is a very dangerous game that the media and self-styled liberals are playing. When the beast of victimhood manifests, it is mayhem unleashed on one’s own citizenry, which even the most well-meaning and well-equipped police cannot control. Third is the lack of poorva paksha (homework and research). The Indian intelligentsia first co-opted the lines of sarva dharma sama bhava from Hindu scriptures and then turned it on its head to attack Hindus from all sides. The so-called Hindu leadership of the RSS and VHP too are part of this circus since they too believe that all religions are the same. This is a white lie. And this lie comes out of a deficient, linear understanding of dharma instead of a holistic one. The Macaulay system of English education has produced a crop of apparently educated people in this nation with zero spiritual quotient. Sarva dharma samabhaava is a beautiful yogic realisation penned down by Hindu rishis after decades of meditation in their ashramas. It was a peak experience they recorded in the Upanishads and it came after real, solid hard work of tapasya. They did not believe in sarva dharma sama bhava; they saw it and hence they lived it, too. It was an experience of a perfect harmony with nature and fellow human beings. Now, in today’s world, when there is a direct conflict for supremacy of a religion over another, sarva dharma sama bhava is a perfect recipe for disaster because it is completely out of context, and in fact a white lie, especially when there are religions that come to the table with options of violence and rape for those who do not believe in their religion. The Hindu leadership and the fake intelligentsia of this besieged nation lies when it parrots an Upanishadic wisdom to unsuspecting Hindus. And lies have consequences. Horrible consequences that are borne by poor, unsuspecting Hindus living on the cusp of jihad in States like Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir. The Hindus on this globe are confused and lost because they are being asked to be accommodative of all other faiths while the other faiths are carrying on with their predatory nature to kill or convert Hindus all over the world. This is an asymmetric conflict in which Hindus are at a huge disadvantage of narrative as well as resources. This warrants the study of yet another case in point: Demographics of the Indian subcontinent. About 15% was the population of Hindus in Pakistan in 1947. It is now 1.4%. 35 % of Bangladeshis were Hindus in 1947; the Hindus now comprise a mere 7% of the population. Even in India, Hindus have reduced from 88% in 1947 to just about 79%. Eight crore Hindus have been murdered in 1,400 years of Islamic invasion of this unfortunate nation of ours. (Will Durant) These are official census data on which there is no TV debate ever, although demography is destiny especially in a democracy. The state and the media are both ignoring the demographic inversion of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and parts of Jammu to the peril of Hindus. If the situation is a figment of the imagination of the Hindutva brigade, even then, these issues need to be discussed — to call the bluff of Hindu activists. Fourth, offense is the best form of defense. Because the jihadi-leftist nexus is already indulging in a dance of death in Bharat and globally, the slightest aberration by Hindus is trumpeted as a ‘majoritarian’ backlash — although on the scale and ferocity of it, these acts of Hindu vandalism are no match to what is being unleashed by Islamist terrorists in Kashmir and communists in Kerala. The constant onslaught on Hindu lives and thoughts have resulted in a Hindu leadership that is constantly apologetic and a Hindu citizenry that is in complete disarray. In spite of being the most unaggressive and sublime thought mankind has ever achieved, Hinduism is on a constant guilt trip and consequently, the great ethos of Hindu civilisation is getting diluted, eventually disappearing. If the largest community of this nation feels orphaned, it is a matter of serious concern for the policymakers of this nation because a universal grudge of the majority community cannot be ignored for long. Eventually, it will explode with unmanageable consequences. God forbid, if some fanatic Hindu radicals exploit the entire Hindu anguish and come up with a physical response to attacks on Hinduism, we will be witnessing an unprecedented mayhem, the glimpses of which we got in the form of mobs unleashed on streets in the name of cow vigilantism and random lynching of people by madmen masquerading as Hindu warriors in the not so distant past. Father of Gudiya (name changed) addressing a press conference in Kolkata, complaining that the city police is scared to venture into the neighborhood where his daughter was kidnapped by a Muslim suspect The constant attacks on Hindu ethos, and sheer concern for survival, have already led to a reverse consolidation of Hindus against the ‘Breaking India’ forces, a term coined by Rajiv Malhotra who has meticulously identified the patterns of attack by other faiths along Hindu fault lines. It is finding resonance in many upper and middle class Hindu households. The advent of social media has given a very wide reach to the works of Hindu scholars. This too is leading to a reverse consolidation of Hindus against the incessant onslaught on their way of life. The social media has also ensured that Hindus are no longer helpless victims of this constant demonization of their faith. A counter narrative to Hinduphobia is being built up by some brilliant minds on raw data and meticulous poorva paksha by Hindu scholars. Every society must either be governed by a just law or impeccable morals. Law comes from the state and morals from religion. In a nation-state like Bharat, the grounds of legal apartheid were laid when different civil codes were applied to different sets of population. So there goes the law. If Hindus were to take to streets demanding a uniform civil code, would the Indian state be justified in cracking its whip on them? Does the Indian state have the moral fibre to look Hindus in the eye and question the Hindu angst on Article 370, Hindu genocide in Kashmir, Pakistan and Bangladesh, murders of Hindu leaders all over Bharat, and scores of such issues which genuinely contribute to accumulated Hindu anger? As far as morals are concerned, Hinduism is an egalitarian faith which has been evolving continuously for more than 8,000 years. Even the scriptures are not considered sacrosanct, what to say of holy men or gods of the past. Hindu faith even accepts nastikta (atheism or non-acceptance of the authority of the Vedas — Ed.) as a school of thought. Contrast this with the Abrahamic faiths that insist on one god, one book and one prophet. Without going into the merits of one religion over another, does anyone in his right mind actually think that such varied understandings of religions can eventually give rise to a moral code that can govern a society as complex as India? Even if it is done, how will we arrive at a consensus? By shastrartha (theological debates)? As of now, that does not seem to be happening. All we see are a spate of deceitful or forceful conversions and acts of random but unceasing violence against Hindus. How does a society function and progress where law and morals are so debilitating and partisan in nature? This is a question that must shake the consciousness of every politician and policy maker of this glorious but besieged nation. It is only a matter of time before Hindus consolidate and respond to the constant encroachment on the physical, spiritual, moral, educational, emotional and mental space of the Hindus. In the absence of a coherent and visionary leadership, what shape that resistance is going to take is anybody’s guess. Hindus are being pushed to the wall and the rest of the world led by leftists, evangelists and jihadi forces are trying to put the blame on Hindus themselves, albeit unsuccessfully. The absurdity of this is going to fall sooner than later. If we have been able to deduce with reasonable certainty that Hindu majoritarianism is a joke and a lie woven by the leftist opinion makers, we can also safely conclude that Hindus themselves are under attack. So what is the real remedy for Hindu anguish? First, stick to the idea and practice of secularism with absolute clarity and unflinching commitment. The state must be indifferent to religion. Period. No preference to this or that religion on artificial premises of numbers and economic conditions. The former prime minister Manmohan Singh had stated that Muslims had the first claim on the resources of India. This kind of thought should be seen as the worst kind of violation of the spirit of secularism. Real secularism is the key to the survival and productive functioning of a modern state; all discrimination based on religion should be firmly done away with. Second, talk to Hindus. They are helplessly witnessing their 8,000 year old civilisation crumble in front of their eyes. There are enough Hindus who will not let this crumbling happen without resisting it tooth and nail. If a Muslim or a Christian is proud of his faith, why not a Hindu? Do not make ‘Hindu’ a bad word. Let Hindus be. The anguish of Hindus on the Kashmiri genocide, the demographic inversion, the murders of Hindus of south India, the incessant attacks on Hindu life and property are all genuine. The state and all concerned parties must address these or be prepared for an overwhelming reaction, which could become uncontrollable. The writing on the wall is clear. Hindus are tired of being defensive about their faith and are patiently waiting for the Hindu leadership to respond. If the state continues to ignore the Hindu narrative, the Hindu beast might be unleashed. Hope things don’t come to that pass.
The author at the feet of Maharana Pratap at the memorial in Dewair , Mewar If we search Dewair on Google, what pops up is the second battle of Dewair between Rana Amar Singh of Mewar and Mughal oppressor Jehangir, in which Rana defeats the Mughals. But the real battle that changed the course of history in the Indian subcontinent was the first battle of Dewair fought between Maharana Pratap of Mewar and forces of Mughal infiltrator Akbar in which Pratap conclusively defeated the Mughals. 36,000 Mughal troops were slaughtered in a day and the entire battlement of Mughals was decimated. This piece isn’t about the facts of that great battle but an attempt to find reasons for the omission of a critical Battle like Dewair from education curricula, history courses and the public life of our nation. Why did the Leftist historians and the self-proclaimed intelligentsia of India remove this vital event from the collective consciousness of the nation? Let us attempt to establish the historicity of Battle of Dewair by connecting few historical events and comments from eminent historians of Mewar. Firstly, the British historian, Col. James Tod, writes in his phenomenal work ‘Annals and antiquities of Rajasthan’ that Dewair was the place where Rajputs conclusively defeated Akbar. Tod has written an immortal aphorism comparing the battles of Mewar with the Mughals with the Greeko Persian conflict. In the Battle of Thermopylae, the Spartans, hopelessly outnumbered by the Persians, fought valiantly and in the Battle of Marathon, the Greeks defeated the Persians convincingly and conclusively. Tod writes thus: Huldighati is the Thermopylae of Mewar; the field of Dewair her Marathon. Tod continues, “Pratap surprised Shahbaz Khan at Dewair, whose troops were cut into pieces. The fugitives were pursued to Amait, the garrison of which shared the same fate. Ere they would recover from their consternation, Komulmer was assaulted and taken; Abdoola and his garrison were put to the sword and thirty two fortified posts in like manner carried by surprise, the troops being put to death without mercy. Pratap made a desert of Mewar. All except Chittor and Mandalgarh were recovered by Pratap. Udaipur was regained without a fight as the Mughals ran away.” Secondly, Dewair is the battle for which the great Bhama Shah gave his entire life’s earnings to Pratap and funded his army. Bhama Shah has been immortalised in the folklore of Mewar and the Leftists couldn’t erase him, but mysteriously, they managed to conceal the battle that was funded by him. Thirdly, the very famous incident of Pratap slicing the Mughal general Bahlol Khan into two along with his horse happened on the fields of Dewair. This incident has been verified by different authors. Fourthly, Dewair has been repeatedly mentioned in fair detail by various historians over a scattered frame of time. Besides Tod, the Telugu historian Ranchod Bhatt Telang has given exquisite details in two of his books: Raj Prashasti and Amar Kavya. In the late 19th century, Kaviraja Shyamlal Das wrote the ‘Veer Vinod’ detailing Dewair. The date of the Battle of Dewair: Vijaydashmi, 16th September, 1583. The result of the battle: Mewar won conclusively with 84 garrisons and 36 check posts of Mughals decimated. Kumbhalgarh was regained by Pratap and, barring Chittor and Mandalgarh, Mewar was in full control of Pratap — Raj Prashasti. Several modern day historians have also written on and documented Dewair. Dr. Gopinath Sharma, professor of history at Rajasthan University writes: Dewair’s take over was the brightest spot in Pratap’s life. Where Haldi Ghati was a challenge of morality and fortitude of the Rajputs, Dewair was decisive. Pratap establishes firm control of Mewar after winning Dewair and the Mughal army was totally demoralized. The blood of the Rajputs slain at Haldi Ghati was avenged at Dewair. After examining these evidences, if we look at the whole issue with a linear logic, then the battle of Dewair indeed appears to be the turning point in the incessant Hindu Muslim conflict in the Indian subcontinent. As has been taught to us in schools and colleges, if Haldi Ghati was the only battle that Pratap fought and lost, then how did Hinduism survive in India? If Pratap spent his life as a fugitive with occasional guerrilla attacks on the Mughals, how come there are coins bearing Pratap’s name in Mewar and papers with Pratap’s seal to land owners in Mewar? Dewair laid the grounds for the army of Mewar to be equipped with vigor and resources such that the coming generations of Amar Singh and Raj Singh defeated Jehangir and Aurangzeb respectively. Then why has Dewair been concealed from our collective consciousness? Why is it that such an important event finds no mention in NCERT books? Why has Pratap’s valor and love for independence been diluted and he is shown as a defeated warrior in Mewar? Instead of depicting Mewar, and her courageous people, as an independent sovereign state, why was it shown as a mere rebel to the Mughals? We will need to investigate these burning questions and arrive at our own conclusions, lest we forget and disown our own glorious past. The first obvious possibility sprouts from the fact that post-independence, from 1947 to 1977, four Muslims, Maulana Abul Kalam, Nurul Hassan, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed and Humayun Kabeer were education ministers of the Indian union. Were these leaders serving their faith more than the nation in deliberately pushing the entire history of Mewar under the carpet? Unfortunately, the reins of independent India went into the hands of a self-proclaimed Leftist, Jawaharlal Nehru, who outsourced writing our history to hard core Leftists like Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib, writers with doubtful integrity and scholarship. Was reducing the bravery of Mewar to a mere foot note in history and eulogizing foreign invaders only a ploy to fill the Hindus with an inferiority complex? Secondly, a civilizational lie created by the entire Left has been that Hindus have been slaves for one thousand years. To maintain this lie, it was crucial that the victory saga of Hindus and the defeats of Islamic invaders were deleted from our history. Hence, not only battles like Dewair, but even the mention of warriors like Bappa Rawal, Prithviraj Chauhan, Raja Lachit of Assam, Durgadas Rathore, Chatrapati Shivaji, or the kingdoms like Vijaynagar and the Maratha empire have all been relegated or simply erased from the history of our nation. Very surreptitiously, the historians of this nation only refer to Islamic historians like Abul Fazal or Al Badayuni who have a distinct bent for their masters while contemporary Hindu historians and authors are completely ignored although dozens of Indian historians have done exhaustive work on the Battle of Dewair and the Maharanas of Mewar. The third reason for relegating the historic victories of Mewar could be an alliance of Islamic theologists with the Leftists and the Indian National Congress because what Islamic expansionism couldn’t achieve by the sword, it set out to achieve by deceit. What better way to deceive the masses of this nation than to lull them into submission to their faith by destroying crucial evidence of the pushback of our great ancestors against this very encroachment being attempted for centuries! This makes it critical for Indian society to revive the memories of events like Dewair and to establish truth very objectively and dispassionately. Only then can the Hindu Samaj be jolted out of the stupor it has been pushed into by decades of Leftist propaganda. Only then can the future generations of Indians understand that the Hindus were not enslaved for even a minute by the medieval intruders, leave alone a thousand years. We must remember that Islam converted Mesopotamia to Iraq, Persia to Iran and overran Egypt and the entire Middle East in a span of few decades but Islam’s progress was halted in India and that fact doesn’t sit well with many fundamentalists and Leftists in this nation. They are baffled by the fact that starting from Mohd. Bin Qasim’s attack on Raja Dahir of Sindh, in the seventh century, and even after 1400 years of relentless attacks on India, there are still a hundred crore Hindus thriving in India and Sanatana Dharma pulsates in India with full vigor. Dozens of libraries like Nalanda were burnt and eight crore Hindus slaughtered (source: Will Durant) but still the Brahmins of this country kept the Hindu scriptures alive through verbal transmission called ‘Shruti’ over generations. Leaders of the mercantile class, like Bhama Shah, gave up their entire life’s earnings to fund armies across Bhaarat, the Kshatriyas turned the streets of this nation red with their blood to protect the honor of their women and Kuldevis, and the lowest in the social ladder, the Bheels, aligned with the ruling class and fought and defeated the invaders. Eminent historian, Prof. K.S. Gupta of Sukhadia University, Udaipur, says that Dewair is a milestone in the Hindu Muslim conflict in the subcontinent because after Bappa Rawal, Pratap was the first king to go on an offensive and attack the garrison at Dewair. Before this, almost all Hindu kings were on the defensive against the invaders. In all civilised societies, a historian’s dharma is to find facts and preserve them for future generations and for those who were themselves not present. The readers of history trust the historians and accept what they tell him as the truth. But if the historians themselves are corrupt, dishonest and lack integrity, or their world view is skewed by their ideology, then they will convey lies to the reader, and the reader will treat those lies as truths and will act on them, will come to harm and grief, and in extreme cases, even to destruction. The Leftists actually believe that it is moral to lie in order to advance their philosophy. As a result, the unsuspecting reader gets fed with lies which act like poison that destroys, slowly or quickly. Honesty and integrity are the core values of life and anything that sanctions lies is anti-life, and will always destroy life. The erasure of Dewair and the valor of the Maharanas of Mewar is treachery of the worst kind with Hindus in general and the academic scholarship in particular, and these must be corrected. If India has to fight radical terrorism then we have to be free of this inferiority complex instilled into our psyches by the Leftist ecosystem because only the names and faces have changed, the same civilizational conflict is being played out brazenly in the subcontinent. We cannot fight the passion and fervor that radical religions generate but we have to find a matching narrative to evoke a similar zeal amongst those who live for Dharma. Only when we rise as a nation, equipped with the knowledge that our glorious forefathers fought the forces and agents of bigotry with bare hands and raw guts, will we be proud of Maharana Pratap and his victories and we will be eternally grateful to the Rajputs, the Baniyas, the Brahmins and the Bheels of Mewar who fought for and defended our Dharma. We must reject those bigots masquerading as historians who concealed the truth from us by serving us half baked stories and made a mockery of our trust in them. The Tatars and the Turk invaders were made to bite the dust by Pratap and his lineage, and as a consequence of that, the Hindus are still standing up to Islamic expansionism even today. Adharma has to be resisted at all costs. That is the central message of Yogeshwara Sri Krishna in the Geeta. Our valorous ancestors did exactly that. Are we ready to give our ahuti, our contribution, to that Mahayagya of Dharma? Col. Tod, comparing British history with the warriors of Mewar, writes: How did the Britons at once sink under the Romans, and in vain strive to save their groves, their druids, or the altars of Bal from destruction! To the Saxons they alike succumbed; they, again, to the Danes; and this heterogeneous breed to the Normans. Empire was lost and gained by a single battle, and the laws and religion of the conquered merged in those of the conquerors. Contrast with these the Rajputs; not an iota of their religion or customs have they lost, though many a foot of land. Some of their States have been expunged from the map of dominion; and, as a punishment of national infidelity, the pride of the Rathor, and the glory of the Chalukya, the overgrown Kanauj and gorgeous Anhilwara, are forgotten names! Mewar alone, the sacred bulwark of religion, never compromised her honour for her safety, and still survives her ancient limits; and since the brave Samarsi gave up his life, the blood of her princes has flowed in copious streams for the maintenance of this honour, religion, and independence.” Today, when we have the financial resources, the numbers and a sensitive power structure in India, equipped with the internet and a modern communications network, what can prevent us from establishing a just and prosperous Hindu Rashtra for all citizens of this amazing nation! When we will pause and look back at this 1400 year old struggle to establish Dharma and Satya , Dewair will be that pious memory which will remind us of the bravery and sacrifice of all of Mewar under the leadership of Pratap. Read in Hindi
माई ऐड़ा पूत जन, जेड़ा दुर्गादास, बाँध मुंडासे राखियो, बिन थांबे आकाश! Mother, give birth to a son just like Durgadas, Who stopped the flooding dam of the Moghuls without any support. Veer Durgadas was one of the chieftains of Jaswant Singh, the King of Jodhpur, when Aurangzeb ruled Delhi. The king developed some disease and was to die of it. He was young at the time and his son, Ajeet Singh, was still a suckling infant. Jaswant Singh knew in his heart that the rest of the greedy chieftains would kill Ajeet Singh the moment he would die. Hence, he was very restless on his death bed! It is here that a young Durgadas approached the dying king and asked him the reason for his restlessness! Jaswant Singh told Durgadas of his fears and said that he is unable to die in peace because of it. Veer Durgadas collected a few of the trusted chiefs loyal to the King and swore on Mother Jagadamaba to protect the family of the king as long as even one of them were alive. Trusting the custody of his toddler with Veer Durgadas, Jaswant Singh bid adieu to the mortal world! Those were very treacherous and tricky times. There were people who wanted to join hands with the Moghuls and take over the reins of the Kingdom of Marwar (Jodhpur). No one could be trusted! Then Aurangzeb himself wanted to merge Jodhpur into the Moghul empire under the pretext that Ajeet Singh was an infant. Durgadas created a network of espionage and counter espionage to keep himself informed about every move of the locals as well as the Mughals. It was this extremely tricky and intelligent foresight that kept Durgadas ahead of the enemies of the State of Marwar! Aurangzeb, with the support of other Rajput chiefs who were jealous of the erstwhile King and Durgadas, annexed Jodhpur and took the child Ajeet Singh into custody. Durgadas, with the Thakur of Balunda (a small principality in Marwar), planned the escape of young Ajeet Singh from the clutches of the Mughals. With Durgadas there was a poet warrior (known as a Chaaran), Jadaaw ji, who dressed up like a snake charmer and went into the palace where Ajeet Singh was being kept. Jadaaw ji hid little Ajeet in a basket and took him out of the palace. The Mughal army immediately went out in their pursuit, and the escape happened quite in the Bollywood style! 10-15 valorous Rajputs would stay behind to engage the Moghuls and thus provide time for Durgadas and Ajeet Singh to gain some distance. All the warriors would be slain and then the pursuit would resume. In the end, Durgadas, Thakur Mokham Singh of Balunda, Jadaaw ji, and seven other horsemen were all that managed to reach the safety of Marwar, and kept Ajeet Singh in Balunda till his teenage. Durgadas continued inflicting heavy damages on the Moghuls by engaging them in relentless guerrilla warfare! With Aurangzeb growing old, and his grip on power loosening, a war of succession broke out between his children. Durgadas supported one of his sons, Akbar, in the war of succession. Akbar died of some disease and Aurangzeb asked Durgadas that his daughter-in-law and grandchildren be returned to him. Durgadas, the man that he was, returned the lady and her children to Aurangzeb ! Aurangzeb is supposed to have asked his daughter-in-law: कैसा दिखता है वो चूहा? — How does the rat look? The daughter-in-law replied: कैसा दिखता है? जहाँपनाह, जोधपुर में उन्हें बाबोसा कहा जाता है. और किसी की हिम्मत कहाँ कि उनसे नज़र मिला के उनकी तरफ देख सके! हमने तो सिर्फ उनकी रोबदार आवाज़, या जूतियों की आहट ही सुनी है ! — How does he look? He is called “babosa” in all Jodhpur. None dares look him in the eyes. I have heard only his strong voice or the sound of his footfalls. For a barbarian like Aurangzeb, it was inconceivable that his daughter-in-law would have remained untouched in custody, but Veer Durgadas was a man of such integrity and honor that he never even looked at the Moghul princess! This was the unwritten code for the worshippers of Shakti — to respect and protect the honor of women, even if they belonged to the enemy camp! Such decency in times when it was a done thing to have the women of the opposite camp for yourself. आठ पहर चौबीस घडी, घुडले ऊपर वास। सैल अणि सूं सेकतो, बाटी दुर्गादास ॥ Riding on horseback, days and nights would pass! On the rough terrain of the Aravalis, Durgadas baked flour balls with the tip of his spear ! For a good 20-25 years, Durgadas kept on fighting from the hills of Sirohi and Pali. In 1707, Aurangzeb died. This was an opportune time for Durgadas and he attacked Jodhpur and took control of Jodhpur after a little resistance from the disarrayed Mughal Army. Here is where we see the actual greatness of Durgadas and his real character. There have been many warriors in Rajasthan who fought for defending their land and women but we know of only one Durgadas who fought for concepts as abstract as loyalty and religion. On annexing Jodhpur, he did the coronation (rajyabhisheka) of Ajeet Singh and fulfilled the promise he had made to his father Jaswant Singh. He could have easily eliminated Ajeet Singh and become the King himself, but he chose to remain loyal to his word and gave the kingdom effortlessly to Ajeet Singh! Nowhere in history can we find such unflinching loyalty to his motherland and such absolute detachment from power as in the life and deeds of Veer Durgadas Rathore ! Alas, if we Hindus had learnt and drawn inspiration from this soul, the history of this subcontinent would have been entirely different! Instead of an unending saga of humiliating defeats at the hands of any and everyone who managed to cross the Indus, we would have been a proud race, unyielding in our honor and self respect! सिंघां देस विदेस सम, सिंघां किशा वतन्न । सिंह जिका वन संचरे, सो सिंघां रा बन्न ॥ Homeland or a foreign land is the same for lions! What nation can contain a lion? Whichever land he wanders into, that land belongs to the lion ! Final chapter of Durgadas’s life. Tragic, but also, one that raises Durgadas to sublime heights! Sometimes, I find it difficult to believe that we Hindus are the progeny of such noble souls ! Once Durgadas crowned Ajeet Singh the king of Jodhpur, he relegated himself to the background, largely spending his time and energy in rebuilding temples destroyed during the Moghul reg But he also helped Ajeet Singh tighten his grip on his regime. Then things happened, as has always been the misfortune of this great land of ours. Ajeet Singh, probably as a consequence of his insecure childhood or his below average mind, got jealous and suspicious of Veer Durgadas, the very man because of whom he was alive! Though largely metaphorical, there is a story that once Ajeet Singh is supposed to have said to Durgadas..”बाबोसा, आप म्हारे हामी मति बैठिया करो !” — Old man, you must not sit in front of me in the Durbaar . When Durgadas gave him a questioning look, Ajeet said ..”आपने देखूं तो मने विखा रा दिन याद आवे !” — When I see you, I am reminded of the days of my deprivation! So much for the wisdom and grace of our erstwhile rulers! Durgadas endured such insults off and on, just for the sake of his loyalty to his motherland, till one day Ajeet Singh’s yes-men convinced him to do away with Durgadas altogether. Durgadas got the whiff of the plans and the day he was to be murdered, he approached the King in the Durbaar and spoke aloud — I had procured a lot of gold in the battles of South India. I am an old man now, I want to gift you the gold and retire! Ajeet Singh indicated to his point man to refrain from killing Durgadas, and then an appointment was fixed for Durgadas and Ajeet Singh to meet in the outskirts of Jodhpur …. Durgadas had asked 500 horsemen loyal to him to lay an ambush there. As soon as Ajeet Singh turned up, he was surrounded by the horsemen and Durgadas said to him: ऊंदरा, थूं मने मारेला? हूँ तुर्कों रे हाथ नी आयो, थूं मने मारेला? अगर थारा बाप ने वचन नी दियो वेतो तो अबार थारो माथो वाड देतो! थाने सोनो चावे? औ जोधपुर रो राज दियो नी थाने …अबे आगो जा ! — You rat ! You will kill me? I could not be contained by the Turks and you will kill me? Had I not promised your father to protect you, I would have beheaded you right now! And what more gold do you expect from me? I have given you the kingdom of Jodhpur! Now, get lost before I forget my promise to your father .. Durgadas Rathore, well into his 70s, along with a few of his loyal friends, turned his back to his motherland and rode away into the sunset, never to return. Durgadas walked away from the land he had taken birth in, had nurtured with his blood and sweat for the sake of a vow he had made, his head held high, in honor and unflinching loyalty ! The lion of a man walked away after showing his prey his real worth! The eagle cast a final glance on the kingdom of Jodhpur, spread his wings, and took his flight into oblivion, leaving behind the dust to settle and the turkeys to flutter their noisy wings of mediocrity. The land of Marwar lost her only noble son to the back stabbings of lesser mortals! From Jodhpur, Veer Durgadas went to stay in Udaipur. Then one day, the Maharana of Udaipur gifted watermelons to the camp of Durgadas. Upon receiving the watermelons, Durgadas immediately asked his men to pack up. When asked the reason, Durgadas replied, “The Maharana has sent us a message. Watermelon is called ‘matiro’ in Mewari. This can be also be understood as ‘mati’ (do not) and ‘ro’ (stay)! Durgadas then went to Ujjain and lived an ascetic’s life with the locals there. On 22 November 1718, on the banks of the Kshipra river at Ujjain, aged 81 years, Veer Durgadas Rathore breathed his last, with only a handful of his loyal friends by his side to witness his departure. The samadhi of Veer Durgadas lay in ruins for almost three centuries, till my grandfather, the late Thakur Akshay Singh Ratnu, went to Ujjain in the 1950s and wrote at least 300 letters to different organizations of Rajputs to rebuild the samadhi. Sometime in the 1980s, the present day Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh, a fine and compassionate soul, took the trouble to go to Ujjain and got the Jeernoddhar (renovation) done. Renamed the Chakrateertha, the samadhi of Durgadas was rebuilt in red sandstone. Author’s Personal Note
दिवेर के स्मारक पर महाराणा प्रताप के चरणों में लेखक । वैसे तो हिन्दुओं की सामूहिक चेतना में दिवेर नाम के स्थान का कोई बोध ही नहीं है , परन्तु यदि गूगल पर भी जाएँ तो दिवेर का द्वितीय युद्ध ही प्रगट होता है जहाँ महाराणा अमर सिंह ने मुग़ल घुसपैठिए जहांगीर को पराजित किया था । वास्तविक महत्व का युद्ध था दिवेर का पहला युद्ध जो कि मेवाड़ के महाराणा प्रताप सिंह व सुल्तान खां के नेतृत्व में मुग़ल सेना के बीच लड़ा गया । यह युद्ध हल्दीघाटी ( 1576 ) के सात वर्षों बाद दिवेर की घाटी में हुआ जहाँ प्रताप ने मुग़लों को निर्णायक रूप से पराजित कर 36,000 यवनों को मौत के घाट उतार कर पूरे मेवाड़ से मुग़ल ज़ख़ीरे को मटियामेट कर दिया । यह लेख इस महान युद्ध के तथ्यों पर नहीं लिखा जा रहा । वह भिन्न विषय है । यह लेख, लेखक द्वारा चार भिन्न स्त्रोतों, दिवेर की व्यक्तिगत यात्रा तथा तत्कालीन शिलालेखों से ऐतिहासिक प्रामाणिकता सिद्ध करने के बाद इसलिए लिखा जा रहा है कि दिवेर जितने महत्वपूर्ण युद्ध को हमारी शिक्षा प्रणाली, इतिहास व सार्वजनिक जीवन से क्यूँ पोंछ दिया गया । क्या कारण है कि वामपंथी इतिहासकारों, तथाकथित बुद्धिजीवियों, व विचारकों ने एक क्रान्तिकारी युद्ध को हमारी सामूहिक स्मृति से ही मिटा दिया है ? इस पर हम चर्चा करेंगे किंतु पहले कुछ तथ्यों द्वारा दिवेर की सत्यता स्थापित कर लेते हैं। पहला, अंग्रेज़ इतिहासकार जेम्स टॉड लिखता है कि दिवेर का युद्ध ही वह युद्ध था जिसमें मुग़लों पर हिन्दुओं ने निर्णायक विजय पताका लहरा दी । जिस प्रकार ग्रीक इतिहास में मैराथन की लड़ाई हुई , जिसमें ग्रीक सेना ने फ़ारस की सेना को पूरी तरह पराजित किया था इसी प्रकार दिवेर को भी टॉड Battle of Marathon of Mewar की संज्ञा देता है । टॉड के शब्दों में : “ दिवेर की नाल में प्रताप ने मुग़ल सेना को भी गाजर मूली की तरह काट डाला । भगोड़ों का आमेट तक पीछा कर के सारे ज़ख़ीरे को मौत के घाट उतार दिया।कोमलमेर में अब्दुल्ला व उसकी सेना निर्ममता से काट डाली गई । उदयपुर से तो मुग़ल सेना भाग ही खड़ी हुई। चित्तौड़ के अतिरिक्त पूरा मेवाड़ प्रताप ने जीत लिया। प्रताप के प्रतिशोध ने मेवाड़ को मरुस्थल बना दिया। “ दूसरा, दिवेर का युद्ध ही वह युद्ध है जहाँ के लिए भामाशाह ने अपने जीवन की पूरी संपत्ति महाराणा प्रताप को अर्पित कर दी । भामाशाह का नाम तो वाम पंथी छुपा न पाए, पर दिवेर का सत्य चबा गए । तीसरा, दिवेर के युद्ध में ही वह प्रसिद्ध प्रकरण घटा जहाँ बहलोल खां नाम के मुगल सिपहसलार को प्रताप ने घोड़े सहित काट डाला था । चौथा, भिन्न भिन्न कालखंडों में इतिहासकारों द्वारा दिवेर का युद्ध वर्णित है जिनमें कर्नल टॉड के अतिरिक्त मुख्य हैं रणछोड़ भट्ट तैलंग द्वारा लिखित ‘ राज प्रशस्ति ‘ तथा कविराज श्यामलदास जी द्वारा रचित ‘ वीर विनोद ‘ । कई आधुनिक इतिहासकारों ने भी दिवेर का विस्तृत वर्णन किया है । द्विवेर का तिथिक्रम – विजय दशमी १६४० तदनुसार, 16 सितम्बर 1583 । द्विवेर युद्ध का निर्णय – मेवाड़ की निर्णायक जीत 84 मुगल चौकियां ध्वस्त की गईं, व 36 थाने मेवाड़ से उठ गए ,कुम्भलगढ़ पर पुनः प्रताप ने कब्जा किया तथा केवल चितौड़ व मांडल गढ़ को छोड़ कर सम्पूर्ण मेवाड़ पर प्रताप का आधिपत्य हो गया ।( राज प्रशस्ति ग्रंथ ) राजस्थान विश्वविद्यालय के शीर्षस्थ इतिहासकार स्व० डॉ गोपीनाथ लिखते हैं – ‘ दिवेर की विजय महाराणा के जीवन का उज्ज्वल कीर्तिमान था । हल्दीघाटी का जो नैतिक विजय व परीक्षण युद्ध था, वहाँ दिवेर का युद्ध एक निर्णायक युद्ध सिद्ध हुआ । इसी विजय के फल स्वरूप सम्पूर्ण मेवाड़ पर महाराणा का अधिकार स्थापित हो गया ।इस युद्ध के पश्चात मुगल सैनिक हतोत्साहित हो गए ।हल्दीघाटी युद्ध मे बहे राजपूतों के रक्त का बदला दिवेर में चुकाया गया। दिवेर की विजय ने यह प्रमाणित कर दिया कि महाराणा प्रताप का शौर्य, संकल्प और वंश गौरव अकाट्य और अमिट है, जिसने त्याग व बलिदान से सत्ता वादी नीति को परास्त किया । ‘ किन्तु यदि एक सरल तर्क से भी देखा जाए तो भी दिवेर का युद्ध हिन्दू मुस्लिम संघर्ष में एक निर्णायक मोड़ का महत्व रखता है । यदि हल्दीघाटी का युद्ध ही निर्णायक होता तो हम हिन्दू होते ही कैसे ? यदि प्रताप के जीवन पर छापामार युद्ध करते हुए भटकते ही रहे थे तो उस काल में प्रताप के नाम के सिक्के व ज़मीनों के अधिकार के ताम्रपत्र कैसे मिलते हैं ? यदि हल्दीघाटी का युद्ध अनिर्णीत रहा ( जो कि विवादित है ) तथा प्रताप अरावली के जंगलों में आश्रयहीन भटकते रहे तो मेवाड़ में हिन्दू बचा कैसे ? मेवाड़ में हिन्दुओं का नरसंहार क्यूँ नहीं हुआ ? मेवाड़ के मन्दिर कैसे अक्षुण्ण रहे ? मेवाड़ में हिन्दुओं का जबरन धर्मान्तरण क्यूँ नहीं हुआ ? दिवेर के संग्राम में हिन्दुओं की निर्णायक विजय ही वह कारण रही कि ना केवल मेवाड़ बल्कि समूचे भारतवर्ष में हिन्दू धर्म बच गया । दिवेर की विजय से ही वह नींव पड़ी जिसके चलते उत्साह व संसाधन से सुसज्जित मेवाड़ की सेना ने आने वाली पीढ़ियों में जहांगीर को महाराणा अमर सिंह व औरंगज़ेब को महाराणा राज सिंह जी ने धूल चटाई । तो दिवेर का युद्ध किस षड़यन्त्र के चलते हिन्दू चेतना से मिटा दिया गया ? क्या कारण है कि दिवेर का युद्ध NCERT की पुस्तकों में वर्णित ही नहीं है ? क्यूँ प्रताप के शौर्य व स्वाधीनता के संकल्प को लघु कर के उन्हें एक पराजित योद्धा के रूप में स्थापित किया गया ? मेवाड़ को एक स्वतंत्र, संप्रभु राज्य ना दिखाकर केवल काल्पनिक मुग़ल सल्तनत का विद्रोही राज्य दिखाने के पीछे इस देश के इतिहासकारों का मन्तव्य क्या था ? इन मौलिक प्रश्नों का अन्वेषण हमें करना ही होगा, अन्यथा हम अपने स्वर्णिम इतिहास को तो झुठालाएंगे ही, हमारी अमूल्य धरोहर को भी सदा के लिए गँवा देंगे । पहला कारण जो स्पष्ट दिखता है वह यह है कि अंग्रेज़ों से स्वतन्त्रता के पश्चात् 1947- 1977 के कालखंड में चार मुसलमान ; अबुल कलाम , नूरुल हसन, फक्कुद्दीन अली अहमद व हुमांयू कबीर भिन्न भिन्न समय पर भारत के शिक्षा मंत्री रहे । क्या ये चारों अपनी मुस्लिम निष्ठा के चलते दिवेर का युद्ध व उसके बाद मेवाड़ के राणाओं के पराक्रम का पूरा इतिहास ही छुपा गए ? दुर्भाग्य से, क्यूँकि स्वतंत्र भारत की बागडोर एक स्वघोषित वामपंथी जवाहर नेहरू के हाथों में थी, उसने रोमिला थापर व इरफ़ान हबीब सरीखे वामपंथियों व छद्म जेहादियों को ही प्रश्रय देकर इस छल को बढ़ाया । प्रताप के शौर्य को बौना कर, विदेशी मुग़ल आक्रान्ताओं का असत्य महिमामन्डन हिन्दुओं को हीन भावना से भरने का कुचक्र नहीं तो और क्या था ! दूसरा, एक सभ्यतागत झूँठ जो वामपंथियों द्वारा गढ़ा गया व प्रचारित किया गया वह था कि ; हिन्दू एक सहस्त्र वर्षों तक मुसलमानों के दास रहे । यदि इस झूठ को स्थापित करना था तो यह आवश्यक था कि हिन्दुओं की विजय गाथा व मुसलमानों की पराजय को इतिहास में वर्णित ही नहीं किया जाए । इसीलिये ना केवल दिवेर का युद्ध या मेवाड़ के राजघराने का बलिदान, बल्कि बाप्पा रावल, पृथ्वीराज चौहान, विजयनगर साम्राज्य, आसाम के राजा लाछित, वीर दुर्गादास राठौड़, छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज, मराठों का पराक्रम, तथा अनेकानेक हिन्दू विजय को या तो लघु कर दिया गया या पोंछ दिया गया । बहुत चतुराई से वामपंथियों ने केवल इस्लामी इतिहासकारों जैसे कि अबुल फ़ज़ल या अल बदायूंनी को उद्धृत करते हुए भारतीय इतिहास हमें पढ़ाया । हिन्दू साहित्य व इतिहासकारों की पूर्ण उपेक्षा कर दी गई । यद्यपि दर्जनों इतिहासकारों ने मेवाड़ के युद्धों का विस्तारपूर्वक वर्णन किया है । इतिहास का संकलन, आकलन व शिक्षा बहुत गंभीर विषय हैं । जो समाज अपने इतिहास के साथ खिलवाड़ करते हैं, इतिहास उनके साथ भी खिलवाड़ करता है । तीसरा कारण यह हो सकता है कि जब इस्लामी आतंकी तलवार के बल पर हिन्दुओं से नहीं जीत पाए तो इन्होंने वामपंथियों व कांग्रेसियों से गठजोड़ करके हमारे गौरवशाली साहित्य को ही मिटा डाला , जिससे कि इस्लामी प्रसारवाद बिना संघर्ष के ही विजयी होता चला जाए । इसलिए हिन्दू समाज के लिए यह अत्यधिक महत्वपूर्ण हो जाता है कि दिवेर के युद्ध की ऐतिहासिक सत्यता पूरी निष्पक्षता से स्थापित करके हिन्दू समाज को इस अमर शौर्य गाथा का वर्णन किया जाए । तभी और केवल तभी हिंदू समाज उस तामसिक निंद्रा से जाग सकता है जिसमें वामपंथियों के दुष्प्रचार ने उसे जकड़ रखा है। तब ही हिन्दू समाज यह उद्घोष कर सकता है की सहस्त्र वर्ष तो दूर हिन्दू एक क्षण के लिए भी किसी के दास नहीं रहे। कुछ ही दर्शकों में मेसोपोटामिया को इराक़,फ़ारस को ईरान, व मिस्त्र तथा पूरे मध्य पूर्व को इस्लामिक बनाने वाला मज़हब भारत में आकर कैसे पराजित हुआ, यही बात इस्लामिक प्रसारवादियों को शूल जैसी चुभती है । ये कैसे हुआ की सातवीं शताब्दी में मोहम्मद बिन क़ासिम के हमले से लेकर आज तक के इस्लामी आक्रान्ताओं के उपरांत भी सौ करोड़ हिन्दू भारत में जीवित हैं तथा सनातन धर्म अपनी पूरी गरिमा के साथ भारतीय उपमहाद्वीप में स्पंदित है ? नालंदा जैसे दर्जनों पुस्तकालय को जला देने के उपरांत भी श्रुति द्वारा हिन्दू इतिहास को जीवित रखने वाले ब्राह्मण, पूरे जीवन की अर्जित संपत्ति को समाज के हित तो अर्पित करने वाले भामाशाह सरीखे बनिये, अपनी स्त्रियों व कुल देवियों के मान के लिए कट मरने वाले राजपूत, व राष्ट्र पर आए संकट को देखकर क्षत्रियों के साथ कंधे से कंधा मिलाकर लड़ने वाले भील ; हिन्दू समाज के हर वर्ग ने सामूहिक रूप से इस्लामी आक्रान्ताओं का न केवल सामना किया वरन् उन्हें बुरी तरह पराजित भी किया। सुखाड़िया विश्वविद्यालय के प्रख्यात इतिहासकार श्री के० एस० गुप्ता के अनुसार दिवेर का युद्ध भारत के हिन्दू मुस्लिम संघर्ष में इसलिए मील का पत्थर है क्यूँकि पहली बार राणा प्रताप ने मुग़ल सेना पर आक्रमण किया । इससे पहले हमेशा मुग़ल ही मेवाड़ पर आक्रमण करते थे तथा मेवाड़ केवल अपनी रक्षा करता था । दिवेर के अमर युद्ध व मेवाड़ के महाराणाओं का विस्मरण हिन्दू समाज के साथ बड़े से बड़ा छल है जिसका निरूपण परम आवश्यक है। यदि हिन्दू समाज को समकालीन इस्लामी आतंकवाद से लोहा लेना है तो दशकों से हमारे चित्त में डाली हुई हीन भावना से मुक्त होकर ही वह संभव है , क्योंकि केवल नाम व चेहरे ही बदले हैं ।वही सभ्यतागत संघर्ष आज भी हिन्दुओं की छाती पर खेला जा रहा है। हम इस युद्ध में पराजित मानसिकता के साथ नहीं उतर सकते हैं । यदि हम इस ज्ञान के साथ आतंकवादियों से लड़ने निकलेंगे कि हमारे पुरखों ने इन्हीं दुर्दान्त भेड़ियों को पराजित किया था तो हमें गर्व होगा प्रताप सरीखे पूर्वजों पर जिन्होंने रिक्त हाथों व सीमित संसाधनों के उपरांत भी विजय प्राप्त की । हम रृणी होंगे मेवाड़ के वीर राजपूतों, ब्राह्मणों, बनियों व भील समाज के, जिनके कारण हम आज भी ससम्मान हिन्दू हैं । हमें घृणा होगी इन मक्कार इतिहासकारों से जिन्होंने सत्य छुपाकर हमें अर्द्धसत्य पढ़ाया व हमारी सहज श्रद्धा के साथ छल किया । तातारों व तुर्कों को धूल चटाने वाले हिन्दू यदि आज भी इस्लामी विस्तारवाद के विरुद्ध खड़े हैं तो मात्र इस कारण कि प्रताप जैसे शूरवीरों ने कभी भी अपनी तलवार म्यानस्थ नहीं की । उसी गौरव व आत्मबल के आधार पर हमें अधर्म को पराजित करना है । कर्नल टॉड मेवाड़ के धर्मनिष्ठ लड़ाकों की तुलना स्वयं की अंग्रेज़ जाति से करते हुए लिखता है ; “ जबकि ब्रिटिश लोग रोम से हारे, फिर सैक्सनों व डेनिश सेना से । पूरे साम्राज्य एक युद्ध के परिणाम में हारे या जीते गए तथा विजेता के नियम व धर्म ही पराजित को अपनाने पड़े । मेवाड़ ने चौदह सौ साल के संघर्ष में रत्ती भर भी धर्म व रीति रिवाज नहीं गँवाए । मेवाड़ के राणाओं ने अपने रक्त की धाराओं के प्रवाह से हिन्दुओं के सम्मान, धर्म व स्वतंत्रता को सींचा । “ आज जबकि हमारे पास धन बल है, संख्या बल है, इंटरनैट व सूचना तंत्र है, तथा संवेदनशील सत्ता तंत्र भी है, तो भारत को हिन्दू राष्ट्र बनाने से कौन रोक सकता है ? सत्य व धर्म की पुनर्स्थापना के महायज्ञ में जब हम पीछे मुड़ कर देखेंगे तो दिवेर का संग्राम वह पावन स्मृति होगा जो हमें प्रताप के नेतृत्व में मेवाड़ के शूरवीरों के त्याग , शौर्य व धर्म के प्रति निष्ठा का स्मरण कराएगा । हिन्दू सभ्यता के भविष्य के प्रति हम आश्वस्त होंगे कि यदि एक व्यक्ति अपने धर्म व स्त्रियों की रक्षा के लिए सर्वस्व दाँव पर लगा कर मुग़लों को पराजित कर सकता है तो सौ करोड़ हिन्दू यदि धर्म की हुंकार भरें तो हमारी आर्थिक, भौगोलिक, आध्यात्मिक व राजनैतिक स्वतंत्रता मनुष्यता के अस्तित्व तक अक्षुण्ण रहेगी । Read Original Article in English
15 अगस्त, 1947 के लिए महर्षि अरविन्द ने यह कहा था – “भारत को केवल राजनैतिक स्वतन्त्रता प्राप्त हुई है । भारत को आध्यात्मिक रूप से अभी स्वतन्त्र होना है । और यह स्वतन्त्रता तब मिलेगी जब ‘भारत शक्ति’ का उदय होगा ।” जैसे किसी स्त्री का कोई पागल आदमी बलात्कार कर सकता है किन्तु उसका प्रेम पात्र कभी नहीं बन सकता। बलात्कारी, उस स्त्री का शरीर तो खंडित कर सकता है पर उसकी आत्मा को छू भी नहीं सकता । वैसे ही 1400 वर्षों से इस्लामी आतंकवादी सत्य सनातन भारत भूमि पर आक्रमण करते करते थक गए किंतु ना तो वे हिन्दुओं का प्रेम पा सके, ना हिन्दुओं को दास बना सके और ना वे हिन्दू धर्म की आत्मा को छू पाए । जिस प्रकार एक शोषित स्त्री धैर्य व संकल्प के साथ न्याय के लिए लड़ती है, हिन्दू मानस भी अपमान व अत्याचार सहकर भी न्याय के लिए लड़ता रहा है । इस चमत्कारिक तत्व का सर्वाधिक प्रामाणिक प्रतीक है अयोध्या की श्रीराम जन्मभूमि जहां मन्दिर का शिलान्यास होने जा रहा है । यह राम मन्दिर प्रतीक है हिन्दू हठधर्मिता व सत्य के प्रति समर्पण का । लाखों हिन्दुओं ने प्राणों की बलि देकर भी इस युद्ध को जीवित रखा । लिखित इतिहास में कोई और ऐसा उदाहरण नहीं है जहाँ पाँच सौ वर्षों तक एक पवित्र स्थान के लिए संघर्ष चला तथा इस्लामी आतंकियों को अंत में हार कर भागना पड़ रहा है । कैसे कैसे भयानक काल खंडों से गुज़रा है राम जन्मभूमि मुक्ति का आंदोलन । हम कल्पना भी नहीं कर सकते कि औरंगज़ेब व अन्य मुग़लों ने इस स्थान की स्मृति को भी मिटाने के लिए क्या क्या प्रयास किए होंगे । पर हमारे साधुओं ने, संतों ने, ब्राह्मणों ने, सर्व समाज ने इस घाव को हिन्दू मानस से मिटने नहीं दिया । हमारी सामूहिक चेतना में यह शूल चुभता ही रहा कि राम जन्मभूमि मुक्त करानी है । कोई मोबाइल नहीं था, दूरदर्शन, तार, या कोई और सूचना तंत्र के बिना भी कैसे इस विषय को जीवित रखा गया, यह अपने आप में एक शोध का विषय होना चाहिए । जैसे एक शोषित स्त्री के बलात्कारी को बचाने बिचौलिए दलाल, धन का झुनझुना लाते हैं, समझौते की विभिन्न संभावनाएँ बताते हैं, वैसे ही वामपंथी व जेहादी ठग हिन्दुओं के पास भी आए थे : चिकित्सालय बना दो, सर्वधर्म सद्भावना केन्द्र बना दो, बगल में मस्जिद बना दो इत्यादि । नमन करना होगा हमें हिन्दू नेतृत्व को, कि एक इंच जगह भी ऐसे दलालों के तर्क को नहीं दी बल्कि श्री राम मन्दिर की छाया से भी कोसों परे मस्जिद की जगह पर आग्रह किया । जैसे एक स्त्री का शील विनिमय के लिए नहीं होता, वैसे ही धर्म व सत्य के प्रति निष्ठा भी विनिमय नहीं की जा सकती, यह सुन्दरतम सत्य हिन्दुओं ने अपने रक्त की स्याही से काल के ललाट पर अनन्त काल के लिए रेखांकित कर दिया है। महाराणा प्रताप, छत्रपति शिवाजी महाराज, श्री गुरु गोबिन्द सिंह जी महाराज जैसे महापुरुष जेहादियों से सतत लड़ते रहे जिससे कि तुलसीदास जी जैसे ब्राह्मणों को श्री राम की चेतना को पुनर्जीवित व हिन्दू जनमानस में स्थापित करने का अवसर मिला । सोते समय कोई राम, सुबह कोई राम बोला,कमा कर राम कोई, गँवा कर राम बोला, कोई गिरा तो राम, कोई उठने पे राम बोला,कोई मिलते समय, कोई बिछड़ते राम बोला, राम आनन्द में, दुख की घड़ी भी राम बोला, समर में राम राजा, प्रेम की घड़ी राम बोला,जनमते राम बोला जो, वो मरते राम बोला ।। पाँच सौ साल की दासता के प्रतीक को मिटाकर उस पर हमारी वास्तविक स्वतन्त्रता की नींव रखी जा रही है । हिन्दुओं के संकल्प की महानता कदाचित इस घटना से स्पष्ट हो जाए जो गत माह तुर्की में घटी जब सैंकड़ों वर्षों पुराने कैथीड्रल को किस निर्लज्जता से मस्जिद में परिवर्तित किया गया । विश्व के दो सौ करोड़ ईसाई मुँह में गुड़ डालकर चुपचाप देख रहे हैं । वही राम जन्मभूमि हेतु हिन्दुओं ने युद्ध, विनय, प्रेम, काव्य, राजनीति या न्याय किसी भी प्रकार से इसे प्राप्त कर के ही साँस ली । जो बन्धु इस्लामी परम्परायें जानते हैं, वे समझेंगे कि राम जन्मभूमि की मुक्ति, मगरमच्छ के मुँह से निवाला छीनने जैसा कठिन काम था । राम जन्मभूमि की मुक्ति सर्वाधिक महत्वपूर्ण मील का पत्थर है इस्लाम व सनातन धर्म के संघर्ष में । यह दिव्य स्वीकृति है अस्तित्व की, कि हिन्दू धर्म ही मानवता का भविष्य है । यह एक हुंकार है हिन्दू मानस की, कि काशी व मथुरा भी स्वतंत्र करवा लिए जाएँगे । नाचिए, गाइए, दीप जलाइए हमारी इस विजय पर । सत्य सनातन धर्म आततायियों की छाती में शूल गाड़कर पुनर्स्थापित हो रहा है । कदाचित यही वह वास्तविक स्वतन्त्रता है जिसकी ओर महर्षि अरविन्द ने इंगित किया था । यही वह ‘भारत शक्ति’ का उदय है जिसकी अपेक्षा उस महायोगी को हिन्दुओं से थी । हमारे ऋषियों ने स्त्री को ‘शक्ति’ यूँ ही नहीं कहा है । नारी का संकल्प व ऊर्जा ही जगत को चलाते हैं । हमारे पूर्वजों को ज्ञात था कि धर्म का वास्तविक स्वरूप स्त्रैण है । इसी स्त्री सुलभ संकल्प व ऊर्जा से सनातन धर्म क्रूर पाशविक आततायियों के सम्मुख भगवा ध्वज लिए खड़ा है । यह पृथ्वी मंदिर ढहाने वालों व मनुष्य को दास बनाने की प्रवृत्ति वाले राक्षसों के हाथ में नहीं जाएगी । यह उद्घोष श्री राम मन्दिर के शिलान्यास से सारा विश्व सुन ले। हम हिन्दू स्वतन्त्र थे, हैं और रहेंगे । यहाँ से आगे का मार्ग अब कठिन नहीं है । धर्म पुनर्स्थापित होगा । अधर्म का समूल नाश होगा । जय श्री राम ।।