We all have heard the adage, “Half knowledge is dangerous”. However, it becomes lethal when the person with the half-knowledge has power, authority and the platform to speak his mind. The same has happened with Rajasthan Congress chief Govind Singh Dotasara who appears to be on a suicidal streak to miff the Rajasthani’s by dissing their cultural icon, the great Maharana Pratap.
The Congress government in the state is already performing dismally and the statements by its leaders are making sure that the party gets wiped out, come the next assembly elections.
Former Rajasthan Education Minister and Congress state unit president Govind Singh Dotasara have found himself in hot waters once again for his half-baked knowledge. Reportedly, during Congress’ two-day training camp in Nagaur, Dotasara accused the BJP of doing politics in the name of Maharana Pratap. The Congress leader said that the struggle between Maharana Pratap and Akbar was just a power struggle but the BJP and the RSS link it to the nation and religion.
The Congress chief further added that BJP had restructured the curriculum in the Vidya Bharati Schools during its rule to glorify Maharana Pratap. He said that the BJP had included the fight between Maharana Pratap and Akbar as a religious fight, whereas, it was a power struggle. He added that BJP sees everything through the prism of the Hindu-Muslim religion.
The Congress government in Rajasthan is now on the receiving end of flak for downplaying the valour of Maharana Pratap. BJP MP from Jodhpur and Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat took to Twitter to teach Dotasara a lesson.
He tweeted, “The Mughals may have gone but they have left behind their Congress agents who link the fight for the honour of the motherland with power. On what basis is Rajasthan Congress state president Govind Singh Dotasara saying that our pride Maharana Pratap had only fought with Akbar for power?
मुगल चले गए अपने पीछे कांग्रेसी एजेंटों को छोड़कर जो मातृभूमि के सम्मान की लड़ाई को सत्ता से जोड़ देते हैं।
राजस्थान कांग्रेस प्रदेश अध्यक्ष गोविंद सिंह डोटासरा किस आधार पर कह रहे हैं कि राजस्थान के माथे का तिलक हमारे महाराणा प्रताप ने अकबर से सत्ता के लिए युद्ध किया था? pic.twitter.com/WkBNLAWEC6
— Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (@gssjodhpur) February 17, 2022
Not Dotasara’s first rodeo with controversial remarks
However, this is not Dotasara’s first rodeo with the delicate issue. In 2019, when a man vandalized the statue of Maharana Pratap, the then education minister in Govind Singh reportedly remarked that it was not necessary to know who won the battle between the two.
He further refused to acknowledge that Maharana Pratap was a greater leader than Akbar. Instead, Dotasara remarked that he will make an assessment based on the reports and findings of his government.
A corrupted history penned by Marxist historians
As reported by TFI, last year, in an attempt to correct the corrupted history, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) announced that it was removing plaques across the state that had altered the version of the valour of Maharana Pratap. The action was undertaken after BJP MP Diya Kumari from Rajsamand requested the union tourism and cultural minister to correct the plaques.
Throughout the history books, the left-Marxist historians, soiling themselves for the Mughals have claimed that Pratap lost the Haldighati battle, despite having little to no evidence and relying on hearsay and anecdotal proofs to corroborate their claims.
The true history of Maharana Pratap
Thus, a little history lesson never hurt anybody. The Battle of Haldighati was fought on June 18, 1576, which the now-removed plaques wrongfully mentioned being June 21, 1576.
Akbar, the then Mughal emperor was on a quest to conquer the entirety of India. Having annexed nearly every Rajput state and princely region in West India – the final frontier for Akbar’s grand plans passed through Udai Singh, the father of Maharana Pratap and his kingdom. Akbar laid siege to Chittorgarh in October 1567.
The Rajputs were surrounded and besieged by the Mughals. Udai Singh was forced to quit and the responsibility of defence was given to King Jaimal of Merta, who was killed during the battle. Udai Singh continued to stay in the forests of Aravalli till his death four years later.
Maharana Pratap mobilises his forces
Fast forward, Maharana Pratap took charge of the forces and two armies gathered to fight in the yellow-turmeric-coloured soil of Haldighati, surrounded by the Aravalli mountain range.
There’s no denying the fact that Pratap’s army was far outnumbered by Akbar’s army led by Man Singh I of Amber. Some estimates say that Pratap’s 3,000 strong force went toe to toe against the 80,000 soldiers of the Mughal Empire.
A fierce battle ensued and despite being small in numbers, the Rajputs more than made up for it with their valour and sheer indefatigable spirit. To revive the falling morale in the Mughal camp, a soldier spread the rumour that Akbar himself was taking the field for the battle.
No, Maharana Pratap never retreated
Surrounded by the enemy fighting with a renewed vigour, Maharana Pratap didn’t stop fighting and threw a spear at Man Singh which, unfortunately, instead of hitting him, pierced the Mahouth of his elephant.
Sensing the situation turning worrisome for his king who has fighting alone with the hundreds of Mughal soldiers, Man Singh Jhala of Badi Sadri, donned the visible emblems of Mewar’s ruler and created a diversion for Pratap to gather himself. Jhala was eventually killed but Pratap managed to gallop away towards the surrounding hills.
By the time, the light of Moon fell on the battlefield and brought an end to the four-hour-long battle, both armies had suffered casualties with Mughals receiving more hurt, due to the obvious bigger size of the army. While Pratap lost his beloved Chetak, he still remained in the fight.
Chandra Shekhar Sharma, an associate professor at Meera Girls College in Udaipur notes, “In the light of recent research and evidence, historians have come to the conclusion that Pratap’s army never retreated from the Battle of Haldighati. The war was won by Pratap.”
School history books need to be corrected
The school history books currently in circulation across the country are replete with innumerable botched stories regarding the rich history of Bharat. There are several kingdoms and kings whose reigns are barely mentioned in the books.
Freedom fighters who died giving their lives for the motherland are reduced to caricaturist figures while the likes of cruel, blood-hungry rulers like Akbar, Tipu Sultan and Aurangzeb are glorified as the apostle of patriotism. And leaders like Govind Singh Dotasara blindly lap it up and regurgitate their toxicity on public platforms.