Maharana Pratap, the embodiment of courage, bravery, self-respect, patriotism and the spirit of independence, is the name of a glorious and towering personality. Words fail to give a true description of characteristics, which immortalised him to be remembered with due respect and honour. The possessor of an excellent physique, character and sagacity along with high morality, Maharana Pratap was born on May 9, 1540. His father was Maharana Udai Singh II and his mother was Rani Jeevant Kanwar. Maharana Udai Singh II ruled the Kingdom of Mewar, with its capital at Chittor. Maharana Pratap was destined to be the 54th ruler of Mewar, in the line of the Sisodiya Rajputs.
|Pratap pledge – “Till I do not liberate my divine mother-land from the enemies, I will not live in the palace, nor will sleep on the bed, nor will eat in golden, silver or any other metal pot. Only tree shade will be my palace, grass my bed and leaves will be my pot for food”.|
In 1567, when Crown Prince Pratap Singh was only 27, Chittor was surrounded by the Mughal forces of Emperor Akbar. Maharana Udai Singh II decided to leave Chittor and move his family to Gogunda, rather than capitulate to the Mughals. The young Pratap Singh wanted to stay back and fight the Mughals but the elders intervened and convinced him to leave Chittor, oblivious of the fact that this move from Chittor was going to create history for all times to come.
In Gogunda, Maharana Udai Singh II and his nobles set up a temporary government of the Kingdom of Mewar. In 1572, the Maharana passed away, leaving the way for Crown Prince Pratap Singh to become the Maharana. However, in his later years, the late Maharana Udai Singh II had fallen under the influence of his favorite Queen, Rani Bhatiyani, and had willed that her son Jagmal should ascend to the throne. As the late Maharana'sbody was being taken to the cremation grounds, Pratap Singh, the Crown Prince decided to accompany the dead body of the Maharana. This was a departure from tradition as the Crown Prince was supposed to instead prepare to ascend the throne, so that the line of succession remained unbroken. Maharana Pratap, in deference to his father'swishes, decided to let his half-brother Jagmal become the next King. However, knowing this to be disastrous for Mewar, the late Maharana'snobels, especially the Chundawat Rajputs, forced Jagmal to leave the throne to Pratap Singh. Unlike Pratap, Jagmal did not willingly give up the throne. He swore revenge and left for Ajmer, to join the armies of Akbar, where he was offered a jagir?the town of Jahazpur?in return for his help.
Meanwhile, Crown Prince Pratap Singh became Maharana Pratap Singh I, 54th ruler of Mewar?founded in 568 AD by Guhil?in the line of the Sisodiya Rajputs. He struggled for the independence of his motherland and the preservation of moral values till the end. In 1576, Maharana Pratap displayed great courage and bravery in the battle of Haldi Ghati. After the historical and decisive victory in the battle of Dewair in 1582, he led Mewar State on the path of social and cultural advancement and made Chawand his capital in 1585. He died in 1597. Maharana Pratap personified divine qualities. His enlightening deeds still continue to shine brightly in the mind, heart and soul of Indian people. His name will continue to glitter in the pages of world history forever.
Maharana Pratap personified divine qualities. His enlightening deeds still continue to shine brightly in the mind, heart and soul of Indian people. His name will continue to glitter in the pages of world history forever.