History, BJP style: Maharana Pratap won battle of Haldighati

Rajasthan: After various protests in Rajasthan over Bhansali’s upcoming film Padmavati, Vasundhara Raje government has backed a proposal to rewrite history taught at the university level to say that Rajput warrior-king Maharana Pratap won the Battle of Haldighati against the Mughal army of Akbar led by his general Man Singh.

The proposal, was backed on Tuesday by former Higher Education Minister Kalicharan Saraf (now Health Minister) and School Education Minister Vasudev Devnani during discussion at a meeting of Rajasthan University. On Wednesday, Urban Development and Housing Minister Rajpal Singh Shekhawat joined the chorus.

In the previous week, university member and BJP MLA Mohan Lal Gupta had proposed rewriting the history curriculum in Rajasthan university to portray Maharana Pratap as the winner of the 1576 battle. Acting Vice Chancellor Rajeshwar Singh said the proposal has been forwarded to the university’s Board of Studies (for critical examination and appropriate decision).

According to a report in Indian Express, authoritative texts on medieval history, such as Satish Chandra’s Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals- Mughal Empire (1526-1748), say the Battle of Haldighati was fought between the forces of Akbar led by Man Singh and those of Maharana Pratap, assisted among others by “an Afghan contingent led by Hakim Sur which played a distinctive role”. The battle failed to break the stalemate between Akbar and Rana Pratap, with the latter retreating into the hills of southern Mewar.

“The battle of Haldighati can scarcely be considered a struggle between Hindus and Muslims as during the battle both the Hindus and the Muslims divided because the Mughal forces were commanded by Kr. Man Singh. Nor can it be considered a struggle for Rajput independence, influential sections of the Rajputs already having cast their lot with the Mughals. The struggle can be regarded at best as an assertion of the principle of local independence,” Chandra notes.

“Akbar followed up the battle of Haldighati by coming back to Ajmer, and personally leading the campaign against Rana Pratap. In the process, Goganda, Udaipur and Kumbhalmir were occupied, forcing the Rana deeper into the mountainous tract of south Mewar,” he writes.