Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asked historians to revisit history by giving Mewar ruler Maharana Pratap more credit.
“I have no objections to historians writing Akbar The Great. But why not Pratap The Great? The valour and sacrifice that the Maharana demonstrated in the Mewar region was equally impressive and he should be accorded more respect and dignity,” he said while unveiling a statue of Pratap at the Collectorate campus in Rajasthan’s Pratapgarh district on Sunday.
“I personally consider Maharana Pratap as great,” he said eulogizing the Mewar king who was defeated by Akbar in the historic Battle of Haldighati. “History should be presented in correct light. Pratap must be introduced as great for the next generations,” Singh said.
He pointed out that Pratap’s patriotism and the sacrifices he made should be highlighted and this would work as inspiration for the country.
“The guerrilla warfare that the Maharana had waged against the Mughals became an inspiration for freedom fighters like Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and even Chhatrapati Shivaji and Banda Bairagi,” he said. Singh said the Maharana was not king of a particular caste or community but fought for his country and people from all walks supported him.
“Virtues of Maharana Pratap have become more relevant in today’s world,” he said. He further said that there are several accounts in Indian history that should be modified and corrected. “I congratulate the Rajasthan government for introducing a chapter on Maharana Pratap and I assure that I will take up with the HRD ministry to introduce a similar chapter in CBSE and ICSC syllabus too,” Singh said.
Singh referred to Nobel laureate VS Naipaul’s book ‘India: A Wounded Civilisation’ and said, “Naipaul has observed that he found India the only country in the world where history written by foreign historians is taught in textbooks. Indian historians should heed to Naipaul and take measures in right earnest.”
Singh assured that the Centre would encourage celebration of Pratap’s forthcoming 475th birth anniversary in a big way.