Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said that that Mughal emperor Akbar was not a great man and that only 15th century Rajput king of Mewar Maharana Pratap was. Addressing an RSS gathering to mark the Mewar king’s birth celebrations on Thursday, the CM praised Maharana Pratap’s persistence in winning back his forts after fighting for years in the Aravalli hills. He said that Maharana Pratap fought in adverse conditions and Akbar was unable to hurt him.
He said that the Mewar king had not accepted Akbar as the king as he was a ‘Turk who could not be trusted’. “Akbar told Maharana Pratap to accept him as ‘badshah’ (king) and that he will not interfere in his kingdom Mewar. But Maharana Pratap said: I cannot accept Akbar as the king… he is a Turk and he will remain so… he will hurt our self-respect in the garb of friendship… we can’t accept a ‘vidharmi’ and a foreigner as our ruler,” Adityanath said amid chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.
“Maharana Pratap proved it was not Akbar who was great but only Maharana Pratap was great by ultimately winning back his forts,” the CM said, adding that Maharana Pratap remained relevant even after 500 years of his death. A special edition of RSS magazine ‘Avadh Prahri’ was also released on the occasion.
Adityanath noted that there were other kings who put their self-respect at stake to accept Akbar as ruler. “But Maharana Pratap stood against all odds,” he said.
Adityanath also used the occasion to ask SC/STs and backward communities to regard themselves as Maharana Pratap’s descendants. “It was actually these tribes, which made Pratap great,” he said. “On whose strength did Maharana Pratap fight… it was castes whom we today call Dalit, backward and Vanvasi.”
Adityanath also referred to the Battle of Haldighati, a battle fought in 1576 between Maharana Pratap and Akbar, to say it was unimportant who won or lost. “It is important that Maharana Pratap fought it for several years in the hills of Aravalli with his self-respect and ultimately won back his forts.”
The CM said that Maharana Pratap set an example of bravery as the fight was not for a day but went on for years. “Lessons from those times were still applicable.”
The Battle of Haldighati was fought on June 18 in 1576. Mughals were the victors and inflicted significant casualties among the Mewaris but failed to capture Pratap, who escaped.