Valor is Stability, Not of arms and legs, But of Courage and Soul.
The whole of India is soaring in sentiments for and against Padmavati, a Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Indian Epic Period Drama. Large groups claim Sanjay Leela Bhansali distorted Indian history and many other cerebral-beings says that India is still fuming with the age-old complex! While everybody is busy pointing each other out, let’s get down to actuality and explore some factual and significant Rajpoot History of Sacrifice and Valour!
1. The Greatest sacrifice of Panna Dhai:
तू पुण्यमयी, तू धर्ममयी, तू त्याग-तपस्या की देवी|
धरती के सब हीरेपन्ने, तुझ पर वारें पन्ना देवी ||
तू भारत की सच्ची नारी, बलिदान चढ़ाना सिखा गयी |
तू स्वामिधर्म पर, देशधर्म पर, हृदय लुटाना सिखा गयी ||
– सत्य नारायण गोयनका
During the 16th century, Panna Dhai, nursemaid to Udai Singh 2, left a mark for humans which stands out to be the ultimate deed of sacrifice and loyalty. Appointed by mother Rani Karnavati, she was the caretaker of Udai Singh 2 and Vikramaditya. Maligned by evil intentions to the throne, Banvir conspired to kill both the sons of Karnavati. In such a situation, Panna Dhai acted out and sacrificed her son Chandan by placing him on Udai’s bed. Banvir slaughtered Chandan and instead Udai Singh was smuggled out of Mewar. It is said that at the moment when Chandan was slain, Panna Dhai couldn’t even mourn for her son and fled Chittorgarh! It might seem like a heroic sacrifice with the beating of Large drums and sound of conch in the background, but in reality, this sacrifice was hard and took ultimate willpower. Sacrificing one’s kid is not glorious but ugly! But they did it! For the Kingdom! For the people!
2. The Lionhearted Maharana Pratap Singh:
Maharana Pratap Singh was indeed the greatest warrior and king of the Rajput Dynasty that lived and breathed against the Mughals! Born to Maharana Udai Singh 2 and Maharani Jaiwanta Baiji, his stories of courage and justice served as inspiration for people. When he ascended to the throne of Mewar, he initiated the alliance of several Rajputs against the Mughal emperor Akbar. After many failed attempts of persuasion by Akbar for a diplomacy with Rana Pratap, Akbar chose to wage war. Pratap did not choose to give in but instead decided to fight! This gave birth to the Battle of HaldiGhati. Brave Rana Pratap stood his ground and fought till his army was defeated! After this defeat and death of his beloved horse Chetak, Rana Pratap started living in the forest! He swore that he wouldn’t live a prosperous life and would live in mud huts until he has freed Chittorgarh from the Mughals. He successfully reoccupied kingdoms including Kumbalgarh and Udaipur. Maharana Pratap last years was also a struggle to regain Chittorgarh. During all the time of his fights, Rana Pratap did not give up! His dream of a Mughal free land was intact and kept fighting to achieve his noble mission!
“Maharana Pratap’s defiance of the mighty Mughal empire, almost alone and unaided by the other Rajput states, constitutes a glorious saga of Rajput valor and the spirit of self- sacrifice for cherished principles.”
– Satish Chandra, Historian.
3. Gora and Badal:
The story of Gora and Badal is as great as many true warriors who laid down their lives for a more significant cause. The contribution of Gora and Badal Sonegra in rescuing Ratan Singh, ruler of Chittorgarh, from Allaudin Khilji, played a significant importance! In 1298, When Allaudin Khilji’s eyes lay on the beautiful and brave queen Padmini of Chittorgarh, he abducted Rawal Singh (Ratan Singh) by deceit. Padmini discussed and decided with the war council that she would go to Khilji if he pulled out all his enemies from the trenches! Padmini was to be escorted by female servants and friends in 50 palanquins. These palanquins were accompanied by best of Rajput warriors. Padmini’s palanquin was accompanied by Gora Sonegra, and when they reached Ratan’s Tent, he told Ratan to ride back to the fort. Gora then gave a signal to Rajput Warriors to attack Muslim soldiers! Gora reached out to the tent of Khilji and almost killed him, but the sultan brought his concubine in front of himself! Gora being an honorable warrior didn’t believe in killing an innocent woman and stopped proceeding towards the sultan. Within this gap, Khilji’s soldiers murdered Gora from the back.
It’s true that honor got him killed, but what remains is a song of bravery, courage, and reverence for these true warriors!
धन्य धरा मेवाड़ धन्य गोरा बादल अभिमानी,
जिनके बल से रहा पद्मिनी का सतीत्व अभिमानी |
जिसके कारन मिट्टी भी चन्दन है राजस्थानी,
दोहराता हूँ सुनो रक्त से लिखी हुई क़ुरबानी ||
– श्री पंडित नरेन्द्र मिश्र
4. Rani Padmini (First Jauhar of Chittorgarh):
By sacrificing their lives in fire, Rani Padmini and all the women of Fort proved that they stand to be the epitome of for humankind.
When Allaudin Khilji’s lust arose for the beauty of the queen of Chittorgarh, he tried to trick her into submission to him. The Sultan also asked for meeting Padmini by claiming that he saw her as his ‘sister.’ Ratan Singh could not see the deceit lurking around, but Padmini understood the black curtain of Khilji. Upon taking Ratan Singh as a prisoner by deception and lying, Khilji further said that he would only release him when Padmini would surrender to Khilji’s whim! Padmini with her war council devised a plan to rescue Ratan Singh and using 50 Palanquins and Rajput warriors successfully saved him. This led to a battle between finest of Rajput warriors and Muslim soldiers. Furious by this friction, Khilji pelted down all of his troops to Chittorgarh. When Padmini got the air of defeat, and the thought of slavery to Khilji pushed her and fellow female acquaintances to do something, it went down as the biggest sacrifice and act of courage for humanity! They committed Jauhar. Sacrificing their own lives on fire by choice so they could not be exploited physically and spiritually. She did not give in to his lust! She did not give in to his thrust! What she did, was jumped into the fire and left behind some dust!
दोहराता हूँ सुनो रक्त से लिखी हुई क़ुरबानी |
जिसके कारण मिट्टी भी चन्दन है राजस्थानी ||
-श्री पंडित नरेन्द्र मिश्र
5. The second Jauhar of Chittorgarh:
When Rana Sanga was defeated and killed in the Battle of Khanwa, Rani Karnavati took the kingdoms under her wing. Bahadur Shah set out to invade the whole of Chittorgarh and besieged it. When the Rajput army faced defeat against the Muslim army, now was Rani’s time for her ultimate act of Chivalry. Seeking help from Humayun by sending him a rakhi, Rani Karnavati sought out to stop the sultan from capturing Chittorgarh. But before Humayun’s troops could reach, Chittorgarh faced complete invasion and got surrendered by Bahadur’s forces. Rani saw only one way to protect her and the kingdom’s honor. She and 13,000 women locked themselves with gunpowder and then committed Jauhar. They committed suicide because they could not think of enslavement under the Mughals. They could not see their dynasty turning Islam. They could not breathe thinking that their wives and daughters would become sex slaves and child bearers for these Mughal devils. For them, this act of Jauhar did not take courage, but had to honor it!
6. The Third Jauhar of Chittorgarh:
When Akbar raided into Chittorgarh and captured the Rajput fort, Hindu women, in fear of sexual slavery and forceful conversion to Islam committed Jauhar. According to David Smith, it is said that when Akbar entered the Rajput fort, it was nothing but a ‘mass crematorium.’ It took place in the spring of 1568 CE. Followed by this was Rajput men walking out of the fort taking the Saka ritual. This was one of the many Jauhars that happened in our land for keeping the honor of Hindu Dynasty alive!
7. Maharana Amar Singh:
Maharana Amar Singh had fought 17 battles in his life. He was the one to come up to the neck of Mughals. Akbar’s son, Jahangir, constantly fought and battled with Amar Singh. Jahangir’s most campaigns failed against Amar Singh as Rana continually won against his tactics and plans. Every time, Jahangir planned something out of his nobles and send troops or convoys to raid some specific parts of some village or region of a kingdom, Rana Singh would suddenly attack in a surprise and fail their convoy. But as time grew, Jahangir’s military forces and wings expanded too. Jahangir now started operating from Ajmer by sending his heir Prince Khurram along with Rana Sagar, Raja Narsingh Dev Bundela, Sur Singh Rathore of Jodhpur, Hada Rattan Singh of Bundi, Dost Beg, Arab Khan, Dilabar Khan, Muhammad Khan, Gajni Khan Jalori and others to do his task of crippling Rana Singh. This time the Mughal forces doubled and victory against them seem almost impossible! As complications arose, Rana was presented a treaty under which he would submit and surrender to the Mughal Dynasty. He had two compulsions in hand. One is to protect and safeguard his ancestor’s traditions, customs, and religion and on the other side was the people of Mewar. People had faced enough devastation already. With poverty, disease, and killings increasing due to the invasion, Rana had to meet the ultimate and decide on his life, something which tore him in his gut! He signed the treaty so that he can safeguard the interests of the people of Mewar as the duty-bound Rana was answerable to citizens too. Rana was disappointed as this had put an end to the 90-year-old conflict between Rajputs and Mughals. He wanted to fight more! For his people! For his land!
8. Jaimal – Patta:
During 1567, Akbar’s eyes fell on Mewar, the Rajput Kingdom. Mewar had Chittorgarh as the strongest fort and it also controlled all the routes leading to Gujarat ports. On the knowledge of this Rana Udai Singh moved out of the fort to Western Mewar so that he could interrupt the attack from that side. While he was away he gave the leadership of guarding the fort to Rao Jaimal of Badnore and Rawat Patta of Sisodia. Both were trained in warfare and extremely courageous! Jaimal also had the experience of command at the siege of Mewar against Sharfuddin. The resistance from the Rajput side was so strong that Akbar brought his siege train into play. Using this train, Akbar breached the walls of the fort. Two breaches were made in the wall and in this instance, Akbar shot Jaimal. The fall of their leader was a blow to Rajputs and this feeling of defeat pushed the women to commit Jauhar and Rajput men marched their final cry onto the Mughals. Patta bravely fought alongside his mother and wife. The duo was so brave and courageous that Akbar erected statues of both Jaimal and Patta outside one of the gates in Fatehpur!
9. Hadi Rani:
The marriage of Hada Rajput’s daughter to Chundawat Chieftain of Salumbar, Mewar gave birth to another strong sacrifice which went down in history as the pinnacle of sacrifice and love ever. When Maharana Raj Singh called his son to battle against Aurangzeb’s forces, the Sardar hesitated to go to battle as it had just been a few days since he was married to Hadi Rani. but as he had Rajputana Blood, he was more than just obligated to go to battle against Mughals. Seeing his dilemma Hadi Rani gave him a memento which served as an inspiration for him to win the battle. Hadi Rani cut her head off and her servant presented her severed head tied in a cloth full of blood to the Sardar. Devastated but also proud, he fought Aurangzeb’s forces mercilessly and drove them away from our land. After the battle Sardar cut his neck, losing the desire to live.
10. Rana Sanga:
Rana Sanga, belonging to Sisodiya clan of Rajput, had laid his eyes on defeating Babur as he was gaining more power as Sultan of Delhi. After having his initial gains, he widened his scope of power and wanted to bring whole of India under his control! Rana, with the coalition to Afghan Fugitive princes like Mahmud Lodi, challenged and ordered Babur to leave India. He sends his vassal Sardar Silhadi of Raisen as an emissary to Babur with the message of leaving India. Silhadi was influenced by the emperor and both of them devised a plan to annihilate Sanga. Silhadi promised Babur 30,000 men during battle who will lash out against Sanga. Silhadi went back to Sanga and informed that Babur accepted war instead of leaving! The Battle between Rajput forces and Babur’s army sparked off at Khanwa during 1527. At a critical point of the battle, Silhadi’s forces backstabbed Sanga which caused the Rajput Army to split. Critically wounded he fell unconscious but was brought to safety by Rathore Contingent of Marwar. He was not ready to accept defeat and claimed that he would rebuild an army to defeat Babur. Unfortunately, Sanga was poisoned by his own chieftains! Rana Sanga had around 80 wounds in his body, was blinded in one eye by his brother, lost an arm in a fight, and limped because of an arrow wound!
But Nothing could stop Rana from breathing and roaring out at Mughals! It is truly unfortunate that he was hacked to death by our own people!
The Rajput History has been a history of extreme honor and courage. Our kings and kingdoms which perished because of Mughal invasion did not only retaliate but also had a clear vision for our dynasty’s sustenance and development! But some or other factor led us to our annihilation. All the invasions, all the coldblooded killings, all the loot and murder, all the destruction of our religion and faith by the Mughals wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our Indian Kings. Honorable Rajput warriors and kings got backstabbed by many kings of different regions who joined hands with the Mughal emperors in their lust for land! The Rajput kings traded their princess to these foreigners who were tricking them into strategic alliances for their dominance! Except for some Dynasty of Rajputs like Sisodias of Mewar and Hadas of Ranthambore, all the other so-called ‘Brave Rajput Kings’ sold their timid bravery to these Mughal foreigners. Only if all the kingdoms and clans had united together against these barbarians, our women, society, and religion would have never been maligned! While brave warriors from our land were trying to row our ship farther from the Mughal storm, some Rajput sailors were filling water in our boat!