If I’m allowed to criticize the makers of Padmavati, it is only for exemplifying this notion, ‘Any publicity is good publicity’. Even before it’s released, ‘Padmavati’ has garnered more attention than it actually deserves at this moment. While some are up in arms against the movie for allegedly attempting to defile the honor of Rani Padmini and her husband Rawal Ratan Singh, a sizeable army of pseudo intellectuals and Bollywood dignitaries with vested interests have put their weight behind the film and the filmmakers, completely ignoring the blatant disregard they’re showing to the relevant authorities by holding private screenings for some select journalists and the British Censor Board, without even informing the Indian Censor Board [CBFC] about the same.
As if this is not enough, this horde of intellectuals are leaving no stone unturned in glorifying the villain here, i.e. Alauddin Khilji, one of the first tyrants to have ruled the Delhi Sultanate with an iron hand and a pinch of barbarism. Be it the fake articles from Scroll.in accusing Rajput kings of the heinous crime of rape [though it backfired by some vigilant social media resistance] or the tall claims about Khiljis and the other Islamic rulers being the superior side, while reducing Rajputs to a mere bunch of idealist buffoons, each of them exemplifies the Goebbels’ principle, ‘Make a lie so big, that it appears as TRUTH!’ Their sole motive is to make Indians disrespect the native warriors and prostrate in reverence to every foreign invader, no matter how barbaric or tyrant they were.
However, when I heard of this slugfest and happened to read some of those gut wrenching, baseless articles, my natural instinct was to look for a real retort, that would the nail right on the head, the head of the brainless Indian pseudo intellectual. Even though this is the age of digital information, I found it extremely hard to find of such Rajputs, who gave a sound beating to any Islamic ruler who dared to cross their paths, until I found a story, rather a legend, which was too good to be true, but tell you what, this legend is absolutely true, and the warrior had such victories to his credit, that the current batch of Marxist bred historians found it better to brush his tales under the carpet of obscurity. However, they forgot one thing; you can hide everything but TRUTH.
They say that Chittor was wrecked apart by Alauddin Khilji in 1303, and the glorious rule of Ratan Singh, or Ratnasimha came to an abrupt end. They say that Rani Padmini allegedly committed Jauhar, and until Rana Kumbha, no Rajput ruler was strong enough to give the Islamists from Delhi a stiff resistance. What they can’t tell you, or to be precise, what they wouldn’t want you to know, is that there was precisely a Rajput warrior, who was brave, and devious as well, who not only restored the honor of both Mewar and its capital Chittor, but also was the first, as well as the most lethal nail in the coffin of the Turkish Sultanate that had its seat in Delhi.
Even though this hero was never executed, his victories and honors are such that today’s selfish intellectuals, who claim to be enlightened historians of India, are hell bent on undermining his valor and brushing him off the golden pages of Indian history, just so that their malicious agenda reigns supreme. The warrior they wish to kill by the lethal weapon of ignorance is the one who, along with two other noblemen from the Southern region of India, were chiefly instrumental in initiating the downfall of the very Turkish Sultanate, which aimed to imperialize India and bring it under the fold of Islam.
This man was also a social reformer of his own class no left liberal of today would like to let the country know about. This man’s name is Hammir, Hammir Singh Sisodia, who was the founding father of the famous Sisodia dynasty that not only ruled Mewar, but also restored the lost glory of the entire Rajputana, what is now known as the state of Rajasthan.
We know that the Rajputs were mostly on the defensive and the marauding invaders were on the offensive. However, Hammir, who was apparently born in 1303, the same year when Chittor was wrecked apart by Khilji’s invasion, was of a different breed altogether.
Now everyone is aware of this fact that Rawal Ratan Singh, or Ratnasimha, as some others call him, was the last ruling face of the famed Guhil [Gehlot] clan of Rajputs, who had established the kingdom of Mewar, with the glorious Chittor fort serving as their capital. Now it happens that Rawal Ratan Singh had a distant relative, who was in a way a commander of the cadet troops, or what in modern military terms would be a Junior Commissioned Officer. This man, Lakshman or Laksha Singh, had seven sons, and by blood, were direct descendants of the famous warrior Bappa Rawal, who was one of the main forces behind the Islamists not being able to run over the Indian subcontinent for another three centuries since they struck first at Sindh in AD 712.
Laksha hailed from the village of Sisod; hence his successors adopted the surname Sisodia. His eldest son, Ari, had married Urmila, a pretty village belle from the adjoining village of Unnava, who belonged to a poor clan of Chandana Rajputs. They were blessed with just one son, born probably in 1303 or 1313 [the exact birth year is still disputed]. This was Hammir, who would soon change the map of the entire nation.
Barely a couple of months after this blessing, Laksha and his sons were summoned to the ultimate battle against the horde of marauders, who had invaded Chittor, under the leadership of the tyrant Sultan, Allauddin Khilji. Joining the ranks under Rawal Ratan Singh himself, Laksha and his seven sons fought bravely to the last, and martyred themselves, one by one, protecting their motherland from the hands of the lustful invaders. Sensing an imminent defeat, and having learnt of the previous exploits of Sultan Khilji [courtesy the enslaving of the Vaghela Queen and Princess at his hands] Maharani Padmini led thousands of Rajput women in a mass suicide by jumping into fire, later famous as the 1st Jauhar of Chittor, in order to protect their honor from falling into the hands of Sultan Khilji and his lustful marauders.
It is not documented well, but from other sources, and the folklore that is famous in the region of Mewar, one can deduce that Urmila was also among the women who had committed the Jauhar. This left Hammir apparently as a homeless orphan, though it is later known that Ajay Singh, the younger brother of Ari, and the 2nd son among the seven brothers, had survived the battle with grievous injuries. The next few years were spent in finding the young Hammir, and soon, his efforts brought fruits.
Ever since Chittor was conquered by Alauddin Khilji, the kingdom of Mewar was at the mercy of marauders and invaders. Dacoits could rob homes at will, plunderers could raid temples and other places of importance at will, destroying sacred idols and forcing the native Sanatanis into submission. Total chaos had enveloped the kingdom of Mewar. It was in a dire need of a savior, who could inspire them to rise and fight for restoring the lost glory of the once glorious kingdom. Into this chaos, stepped the notorious dacoit king of Kantaliya, Munja Balecha.
Munja was apparently a minor sycophant of Sultan Khilji, who used to terrorise the commonfolk of Mewar for his own pleasure. However, this was where Hammir rose to prominence. At the bare age of ten, when he found Munja unleashing his reign of terror on the hapless people, Hammir attacked him head on and killed him with his swift and dexterous archery. This was when Ajay Singh first spotted Hammir, and learnt of his lineage.
Taking Hammir under his tutelage, Ajay Singh, who was well versed in the ancient shastras, taught Hammir the art of warfare, along with various other subjects in his small, but well fortified retreat of Kelwara, located strategically between the roads from Chittor to Delhi. The long lost teachings of Chanakya, as compiled later in Arthashastra, were brought back when Ajay tutored his nephew Hammir with regards to political diplomacy. Unlike other Rajput kings, who didn’t think twice before ramming into the enemy head on, he contemplated on what actually pulled them back from teaching the Islamic Sultans a lesson for life. Ajay taught Hammir that not all battles could be won by strength; some would be won with the right application of the brains.
A quickie quiz for all the readers: Who restarted the long forgotten concept of widow remarriage in India? Pat would come an answer: ISHWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR. But if you think that way, I’m really sorry, you’re wrong mate. Widow Remarriage restarted way back in the 14th century, in Chittor, under the very patronage of Rana Hammir, something any left liberal would puke at, given a chance. However, nothing can obfuscate this fact that Rana Hammir had reintroduced the concept of widow remarriage as he was cementing his position as the future Rana of Mewar, and there is a very interesting anecdote behind it.
After the decline of Chittor, Alauddin Khilji had deputed Raja Maldeo, the ruler of Jalore, with the captured forts and territories that he had won in Rajputana. Maldeo, who wished to rule over Chittor like a boss, found the slow but steady rise of young Hammir as an obstacle in his way, and in order to bring him under submission, he decided to use his own daughter, a widowed princess named Songari, as a pawn, by marrying her off to Hammir.
In those days, giving a widow in marriage was considered the worst form of insults among Rajputs However, Hammir, who got to know the truth, not only open heartedly accepted the young widow as his wife, but also engineered a coup detat against Raja Maldeo, giving him a taste of his own medicine, and claiming back his lost motherland of Chittor. Hard to believe, right? Yes, it seems so, but if one delves deeper, this fact also supports another fact: Sati was not an evil imposed by upper caste Hindus. It was a voluntary exercise, though misused in the early 19th century. If Sati / Jauhar was a compulsion, then how come Hammir accepted a child widow as his wife?
In a way, it was Rana Hammir, a Sisodia Rajput, and not Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, as today’s Marxist bred historians’ claim, who initiated the process of widow remarriage, almost five centuries before Vidyasagar actually took any such steps. However, thanks to the same historians, he is wrongfully left behind in the obscure pages of the Indian history.
In 1326, at a young age of 22-23, Hammir Singh Sisodia, along with his wife Songari, ascended the throne of Mewar, and proclaimed himself as Maharana Hammir, the 1st Maharana [Prime Minister] of Mewar. Though Hammir’s uncle Ajay could not live to see that day, he would certainly have been proud to witness his protege adhere to his teachings so well.
However, this was not the end. The years of learning ancient shastras and training in innovative warfare brought unexpected results as well. Since Hammir was now the ruler of Mewar, he refused to accept the suzerainty of the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad Bin Tughluq. Muhammad Bin Tughluq, to be precise, was an exact replica of Sultan Allauddin Khilji, who killed his own relatives, in this case his father Ghiyasuddin Tughluq, to claim the throne of Delhi. The only difference between him and Sultan Khilji was that of impatience. Yes, Sultan Muhammad Bin Tughluq was quite impatient, which lead to his downfall, and subsequently, a crushing defeat later at the hands of Rana Hammir.
Now not much is known of the episode between Hammir and Sultan Tughluq. However, what stands out is the fact that Raja Maldeo, the traitor was not the one to accept defeat lying down. At the very first opportunity, he escaped from the prison, and sought the help from Muhammad bin Tughluq. Even though the dynasty ruling Delhi had changed, the loyalties hadn’t, and the Sultan, already irritated at Hammir’s defiance, grasped this opportunity with both hands. However, fate had some new tricks up her sleeve.
While it is uncertain in which year did Ran a Hammir pummel Muhammad Bin Tughluq into oblivion, it is certain that this battle was fought between 1333 and 1336. Here lies the difference between Alauddin Khilji and Tughluq: while the former was a wily, barbaric and shameless ruler who calculated his moves carefully before delivering the final blow, the latter, even though cruel and ambitious, didn’t sport the same level of patience and intelligence as his predecessor did. In an aim to become a world ruler, he decided to invade China through the Himalayan passes. However, he did not anticipate a stiff resistance by the Katoch clan of Rajputs, who resided in what is today’s Himachal Pradesh, and gave Tughluq’s army a massive beating. However, when Tughluq invaded Chittor with Raja Maldeo, he clearly forgot this treatment.
The battle between the forces of Mewar and that of Delhi was the final testament of Rana Hammir ’s supremacy, both on and off the field. Thanks to the teachings of his uncle, and having spent most of his childhood in the region of Kelwara hills, Hammir was quite adept in guerrilla warfare, way before Maharana Pratap and Chattrapati Shivaji could master it on their own. Even though his force was outnumbered four to one, Rana Hammir knew one maxim of the war, something that could’ve averted the plans of Muhammad Ghori and Alauddin Khilji, had Prithviraj Chauhan or Rawal Ratan Singh ever cared to know it. The maxim, later immortalized by famous American general George S. Patton, was:- ‘The object of a war, is to not die for the country, but to make the other man die for his’.
Rana Hammir didn’t fear death, but he knew, that if he wanted the glory of both Mewar and Rajputana to be restored, he needed to win, and he needed to kill.
As local legends tell us, Rana Hammir conducted a surprise attack on the enemy camp midnight, with only a battalion strength of his army. The enemy, taken unawares, were slaughtered like carrots. Nobody knows the exact fate of Raja Maldeo, but if we deduce the folk legends that are still famous around Mewar, it can be deduced that the treacherous king of Jalore met a deserving end at the hands of the Mewar forces. Soon enough, not only Rana Hammir had won the war that very night, but also did the unthinkable, he took the Sultan of Delhi, Muhammad bin Tughluq as his prisoner.
Yes, a Rajput king, all of 30-32 years, had managed to avenge the humiliation wrecked upon his Chittor by reducing the pride of the Delhi Sultan to dust.
The Sultan was kept hostage, and he was left only when he agreed to, in writing, giving the independence of the entire region of Rajputana, along with Mewar. Even though he was left alive, Muhammad bin Tughluq was crushed, and could never dare to attack Mewar again. Only a few years later, in 1336, either directly or indirectly inspired by this very tale of valor, two brothers, Harihara and Bukka Rai, defeated the forces of the same Sultan near Warangal, and laid the foundation of the glorious Vijayanagar Empire. Even though Hammir had stepped down from the throne of Mewar in 1364, his days of glory continued to inspire many Rajputs in the Rajputana for centuries to come.
The road to the revival of Hinduism was laid down by these two powers, though the first was unjustly pushed back to the backwaters of oblivion. Fun fact, even though Muhammad bin Tughluq was replaced later by his elder brother, and a far bigger bigot, Firoz Shah Tughluq, the fate never changed. Firoz Shah Tughluq attacked Mewar twice, when it was under the reign of Kshetra Singh and Lakha Singh, the successors of Rana Hammir, and both the times, he was comprehensively defeated. The same Sisodia dynasty was carried forward by living legends like Maharana Kumbha, Maharana Sanga, Maharana Pratap, as the list goes on.
As a cabal of pseudo intellectuals aim to reduce the tales of such glorious warriors to penury, it is imperative that these tales are kept alive by making it reach as many people as we can. This is my humble tribute to keep the tale of such Indians alive, who refused to bow down to imperialist forces, and fought till their death to keep the idea of India alive.
Sailendra Sen, a Textbook of Medieval Indian History
An Advanced History of India, by Romesh Chandar Majumdar
Classical Accounts of India, by Romesh Chandra Majumdar
Military History of India, by Sir Jadunath Sarkar
Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, by James Todd [though this is not the complete source]