Maharana Pratap Singh (1540- 1597)

Discussion in 'Indian History' started by garry420, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The Rajputs of Mewar have always been renouned for their courage and bravery in resisting the tyranny of the Lodis and later the Moghals. The father of Rana Pratap, Rana Udai Singh II ceded the city of Chittor, the capital of Mewar to Akbar after a military defeat. It is said that after Akbar conquered the city, he ordered a massacre of 30,000 captured Rajput warriors and unarmed civilians.

    Having lost the capital, Chittor, the family of Rana Udai Singh II fled to Udaipur. In 1572 Rana Udai Singh died and Maharana Pratap ascended the throne of Mewar. Before becoming king, Rana Pratap made a vow that he would not sleep on a bed, eat fancy food, or wear nice clothes until he liberated Chittor from Moghal tyranny.

    The Emperor Akbar realising the threat that this single rana posed to his empire in Rajputana, requested his brother in-law Rana Man Singh to form a truce with the Rana Pratap's forces. Akbar thought that sending a fellow rajput to Rana Pratap may improve his likelyhood of peace.

    Rana Pratap rebuffed Rana Man Singh, calling him a traitor for letting his sister marry a foreign invader. He told Rana Man Singh that he would not rest till Chittor was liberated from foreign yoke. Maharana Pratap revealed in this instance that he would not abandon his motherland, even if it meant his impending doom. He was well aware of the vast army that Akbar had available, but he still refused to give up and surrender to opression.

    Rana Man Singh along with Akbar's son Salim (later Jehangir) led a massive army to crush Rana Pratap according to Akbar's orders. At the mountain pass of Haldighati, vast quantities of blood flowed as the Moghals narrowly won, but nevertheless failed to capture Rana Pratap, who escaped on his legendary horse.

    After this escape the Rana found himself amongst the Bhil tribals, who supported his cause, and pledged their loyalty towards his mission of liberating Chittor. The remanents of Rana Pratap's army and Bhil warriors waged a powerful guerilla war against the Moghals. These attacks greatly devastated the Moghal military. Rana Pratap regained virtually all of his ancestral kingdom with the exception of the fortress of Chittor. Unfortunately, Rana Pratap fell ill prematurly, and died seeing his Chittor remain in foreign hands.

    Rana Pratap embodies the Hindu resistance against tyranny. He is considered a hero all over India, and prefered the life of sacrifice to that of pleasure provided by a foreign invader. He could not tollerate abandoning his motherland, and dedicated everything to liberating her.

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