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YoungBites. Dated: 5/9/2017 10:17:54 AM

9 May 1540: Maharana Pratap, Indian ruler, was born

Maharana Pratap, one of the most celebrated Rajput warriors in history, is renowned for the honour, integrity and dignity he showed while dealing with the Mughals, especially Akbar. The Battle of Haldighati and the use of the Guerilla warfare against the Mughals, have been talked about through ballads and paintings, down the centuries. A hero, who did not stoop to the Muslim rule and kept fighting for the rights of his land and kingdom, is a story told with pride all over India.
Pratap Singh was born to the eldest wife of Maharana Udai Singh II, Maharani Javanta Bai Songara (Chauhan) on 9 May 1540, in the Kumbalgarh Fort, near Udaipur (Rajasthan). The family originally ruled Chittor, but due to Mughal invasion they had to leave and settle in Gogunda. Pratap was not happy with the shift. He wanted to fight the Mughals and take back their land. His elders although convinced him not to.
As a common norm of that era, Udai Singh had 25 wives, and “more than a score of legitimate sons” and daughters. His favourite was Jagmal, his second wife’s son, whom he wanted to ascend the throne after him. But, the chiefs in the kingdom did not agree with Udai Singh. Thus, after his death, they removed Jagmal from the throne, and persuaded Pratap to take his ‘rightful’ place. Maharana Pratap Singh became the 54th Mewar ruler. His sole purpose in life became taking back Chittor from the Mughals.
Unlike many Rajput kings of the time, Maharana Pratap was not ready to accept Akbar as “the ruler of India.” Despite Akbar’s attempts for diplomatic negotiations, Pratap did not budge. After six tries, a battle between the two seemed inevitable, especially when Raja Man Singh, Akbar’s brother-in-law and fellow Rajput approached Maharana Pratap on the Mughal’s behalf. According to historians, Pratap was angered by the fact that a Rajput had joined the opposite force.
The Battle of Haldighati, between Maharana Pratap and Akbar is remembered with great pride among the Rajputs (and Indians). This war not only displayed Pratap’s courage and integrity, but also showed the loyalty of his supporters, including his horse, Chetak. It all began in 1573, when Maharana Pratap was alienated by his “kith and kin” at the behest of Akbar. Mewar was isolated as well. Two of Pratap’s brothers were believed to have joined the opposite forces.
Maharana Pratap knew that he couldn’t get his freedom and kingdom without a fight. In order to prepare, he moved into the Kumbalgarh Fort with his warriors.


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