“Maharanas: A Thousand Year War for Dharma’ Author: Omendra Ratnu, Publisher: Prabhat Publication, New Delhi, Pp 400, Rs 500.00
With detailed descriptions of dynasties, ascendance, wars, and most importantly rulers of ancient Bharat, Indian history is truly a wonder! But what is it which truly amuses us? I would say, the struggles and Maharanas: A Thousand Year War for Dharma authored by Omendra Ratnu briefly summarises the wars fought by Indian rulers against Islamic invaders.
Apart from presenting facts, the author voices various significant questions, for instance – did Babur actually win the Battle of Khanwa against Rana Sangha? If so, then why does history point otherwise? Why was jauhar chosen as a way to die instead of poison by Rajputana women? And why does the number 74½ hold such importance in Rajasthan and how is it related to wars fought centuries ago? Many such astounding conclusions backed by factual evidence leaves the reader in deep contemplation.
This book led me to a process of unlearning. We realise that a lot of what we had been taught was wrong and to be enlightened with the veracity of Indian history was definitely a true refreshment!
Besides viewing the Sisodhia dynasty externally, the author writes about inter-family disputes and follies committed by Indian kings repeatedly. Ratnu draws notable comparisons between Islamic expansion in India v/s in the West Asia and describes the terror of such an invasion. The Islamic invaders would not just loot and plunder but go on to stimulate violence, and commit heinous crimes like rape, harassment and necrophilia. The greatness of Indian rulers is a million times more than what we know and depict! Can we even imagine a lame king with a damaged eye mounting a horse with some help, leading his armies up to Afghanistan, Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi without ever evoking doubt, weakness or pity on his physical frame? The great Maharana Pratap had sworn to abandon all articles of luxury and pomp until Chittor was reclaimed. It is however disheartening to see that the memory of a king who was respected and loved infinitely by his subjects is nothing but tainted by Leftist-jihadi historians who fail to understand the military genius and supreme sacrifice of the bravest kings the land ever saw!
Lucidly written and supported by photos of the present-day historical monuments, the extensive and well analysed book truly captivates the audience. This book led me to a process of unlearning. We realise that a lot of what we had been taught was wrong and to be enlightened with the veracity of Indian history was definitely a true refreshment!