Rajasthan ministers want to rewrite textbooks to show Maharana Pratap won battle of Haldighati against Akbar

February 9, 2017, 4:00 pm
Rajasthan ministers want to rewrite textbooks  to show Maharana Pratap won battle of Haldighati against Akbar
EDUCATION
EDUCATION
Rajasthan ministers want to rewrite textbooks  to show Maharana Pratap won battle of Haldighati against Akbar

Rajasthan ministers want to rewrite textbooks to show Maharana Pratap won battle of Haldighati against Akbar

Indians flew an aeroplane before the Wright Brothers, Jawaharlal Nehru was not part of the Independence movement and Savarkar was a freedom fighter, Godse was influenced by Communists, north pole was somewhere in present day Odisha, Caste system was created by Muslims, languages across the world was originated from India, Qutub Minar and Taj Mahal was made by Hindu rulers and the latest in the list of Sangh claptrap is Maharana Pratap won the Battle of Haldighati against Akbar.

In its latest attempt to saffronise history and academia, senior ministers of the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government in Rajasthan have backed a proposal to rewrite history taught at the university level to claim that Rajput warrior-king Maharana Pratap won the Battle of Haldighati against the Mughal army of Akbar led by his general Man Singh.

Former Higher Education Minister Kalicharan Saraf (now health minister), School Education Minister Vasudev Devnani and Urban Development and Housing Minister Rajpal Singh Shekhawat want the books to be rewritten to show Maharana Pratap as the actual winner.

Yes, it has been established. A distorted version of history has been taught to generations of students. But the fact is that Akbar was a foreign invader and Maharana Pratap was a brave, patriotic ruler. And if there is a proposal to correct this mistake and tell students that Maharana Pratap actually won the battle, then what is wrong with it?
Kalicharan Saraf , Former Higher Education Minister

University syndicate member and BJP MLA Mohan Lal Gupta had proposed rewriting the history curriculum in Rajasthan university to portray Maharana Pratap as the winner of the 1576 battle. Acting Vice Chancellor Rajeshwar Singh said The proposal has been forwarded to the university’s Board of Studies (for critical examination and appropriate decision).

Meanwhile, authoritative texts on medieval history, say the Battle of Haldighati was fought between the forces of Akbar led by Man Singh and those of Maharana Pratap, assisted among others by “an Afghan contingent led by Hakim Sur which played a distinctive role”. The battle failed to break the stalemate between Akbar and Rana Pratap, with the latter retreating into the hills of southern Mewar.

“The Mughal forces were commanded by Kr. Man Singh. With both the Hindus and the Muslims divided, the battle of Haldighati can scarcely be considered a struggle between Hindus and Muslims. Nor can it be considered a struggle for Rajput independence, influential sections of the Rajputs already having cast their lot with the Mughals. The struggle can be regarded at best as an assertion of the principle of local independence,” renowned historian Satish Chandra writes.

Akbar followed up the battle of Haldighati by coming back to Ajmer, and personally leading the campaign against Rana Pratap. In the process, Goganda, Udaipur and Kumbhalmir were occupied, forcing the Rana deeper into the mountainous tract of south Mewar
Satish Chandra, Historian

But for the Rajastan minister, Akbar was only a foreign invader, and that Rana Pratap actually won the battle.

“Yes, it has been established. A distorted version of history has been taught to generations of students. But the fact is that Akbar was a foreign invader and Maharana Pratap was a brave, patriotic ruler. And if there is a proposal to correct this mistake and tell students that Maharana Pratap actually won the battle, then what is wrong with it?” Saraf was quoted by The Indian Express.

Historian Tanuja Kothiyal, who is specialising in the history of medieval Rajasthan, believes altering historical facts such as the result of the Battle of Haldighati “not only insults history but the education process as a whole”.

This is not the first time the BJP government in Rajasthan has tried to tweak facts. It had, in fact, deleted any mention of Jawaharlal Nehru from the Class VIII social science textbook.