This slim biography brings to light the indomitable will and determination of Maharana Pratap, a symbol of bravery and patriotism in the country. While dealing with the character of Pratap, the author also portrays a comparative study of the unique personalities of Pratap and Emperor Akbar. The book, which has undergone many reprints in its original Hindi edition, has now been brought out in English translation to reach a wider readership.
Rejendra Shankar Bhatt, an accomplished biographer and historian, retired as Director, Public Relations and Language Department, Government of Rajasthan. He has authored many books related to the history and culture of Rajasthan including biographies like Sawai Jai Singh, Maharana of Mewar, Shahanshah Akbar etc.
Shubhankar Mishra, an Assistant Research Officer with Central Hindi Directorate, New Delhi, is a prolific translator from Hindi to English and viceversa having translated many research papers, monographs, articles etc.
Maharana Pratap ruled over Mewar only for 25 years. However, he accomplished to much grandeur during his reign that his glory surpassed the boundaries of countries and time turning him into an immortal personality. He along with his kingdom became a synonym for valour, sacrifice and patriotism. Mewar had been a leading Rajput kingdom even before Maharana Pratap occupied the throne. Kings of Mewar, with the cooperation of their nobles and subjects, had established such traditions in the kingdom, which augmented their magnificence despite the hurdles of having smaller area under their command and less population. There did come a few thorny occasions when the flag of the kingdom seemed sliding down. Their flag once again heaved high in the sky thanks to the gallantry and brilliance of the people of Mewar.
The destiny of Mewar was good in the sense that barring a few kings, most of the rulers were competent and patriotic. This glorious tradition of the kingdom almost continued for 1500 years since its establishment, right from the reign of Bappa Rawal. In face only 60 years before Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga drove the kingdom to the pinnacle of fame. His reputation went beyond Rajasthan and reached Delhi. Two generations before him. Rana Kumbha had given a new stature to the kingdom through victories and developmental work. During the reign, literature and art also progressed extraordinarily. Rana himself was inclined towards writing and his works are read with reverence even today. The ambience of his kingdom was conducive to the creation of high quality work of art and literature. These accomplishments were the outcome of a longstanding tradition sustained by several generations.
The life of the people of Mewar must have been peaceful and prosperous during the long span of time; otherwise such extraordinary accomplishment in these fields would not have been possible. This is reflected in their art and literature as well as their loving nature. They compensate for lack of admirable physiques by their firm but pleasant nature. The ambience of Mewar remains lovely thanks to the cheerful and liberal character of its people.
One may observe astonishing pieces of workmanship not only in the forts and palaces of Mewar but also in public utility buildings. Ruins of many structures which are still standing tall with their grandeur are testimony to the fact that Mewar was not only the land of the brave but also a seat of art and culture. Amidst aggression and bloodshed, literature and art flourished and creative pursuits of literatures and artists did not suffer. Imagine, how glorious the period must have been when the Vijaya Stambha which is the sample of our great ancient architecture even today, was constructed. In the same fort, Kirti Stambha is standing high, reflecting how liberal the then administration was which allowed people from other communities and kingdoms to come and carry out construction work It is useless to indulge in the debate whether the Vijaya Stambha was constructed first or the Kirti Stambha. The fact is that both the capitals are standing side by side and reveal the proximity between the king subjects of Mewar.
The cycle of time does not remain the same. Whereas the reign of Rana Sanga was crucial in raising the kingdom to the acme of glory, it also proved to be his nemesis. History took a turn. The fortune of Mewar - the land of the brave, started waning. Rana tired to save the day with his acumen which was running against the stream and the glorious traditions for some time.
After Rana Sanga, his sons Ratna Singh and Vikramjeet sat one the throne respectively. Before Uday Singh occupied the throne, Banveer who was enthroned as well as dethroned by the nobles of the kingdom ruled Mewar. All three of them brought about such a mess that the fall of Chittor seemed imminent. The reign of all the three kings were quite everntful but evoid of nay glory. By the time Uday Singh sat on the throne, the distination that chittor had of being as invincible fort no longer held water.
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