When Aurangzeb pleaded for mercy

22 08 2008

A page from History When Aurangzeb pleaded for Mewar Rana’s mercy
By Ganeshi Lal Verma

The Mughal-Rajput war was started after the death of Maharaja Jasvant
Singh on December 20, 1678 and it continued for nearly 30 years. The
Maharaja had died in Jamrud, Afghanistan, where he was posted by
Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. On his death Aurangzeb expressed
happiness and said: “Pillar of infidelity has fallen.” He took
advantage of the situation and tried to annex Marwar—the Maharaja`s
kingdom. Aurangzeb went to Ajmer to make proper arrangements and
overawe the Rajputs of Marwar.

Meanwhile, Maharaja’s family reached Delhi in June 1679. Aurangzeb
ordered that the Maharaja’s family along with infant Ajit Singh, the
late Maharaja’s son, should be sent to the royal harem. The Mughal
Emperor said that Jodhpur gaddi (throne) could be given to Ajit Singh
on condition of his adopting Islam. This led to a fight between the
Mughal army and the Rathore warriors under the command of Durgadas.
The Rathore warriors easily defeated the Mughal forces. Ajit Singh
was safely taken to Marwar and proclaimed the Maharaja of Marwar.
Hearing about the defeat of Mughal forces, Aurangzeb himself took the
command of his army and invaded Marwar to suppress the revolt.

Aurangzeb suspected that Rana of Mewar was helping the Rajputs of
Jodhpur. So in retaliation Aurangzeb imposed jazia on Rana of Mewar.
Rana realised that Aurangzeb was bent on annihilating Rajput power.
Indeed the Mughals had invaded Mewar. Rana abandoned Udaipur,
surprised Mughal camp at Chittor and defeated the Mughals at Bednoor.
Aurangzeb now planned three-pronged attack from three different
directions. Still the Mughals could not make impressive advance
against the Maharana’s defences.

During the campaign Aurangzeb himself was encircled in a precipice by
the Rajputs. The Rajput closed the back movement of the Mughal army
by felling the overhanging trees. Aurangzeb’s favourite wife Udaipuri
Begum, who was also accompanying him in the war was also encircled in
another part of mountain. She however surrendered and was taken to
Rana, who treated her with utmost respect.

Meanwhile, Aurangzeb and his garrison was without food and water for
two days. The Emperor would have died of hunger if the siege had
continued. The Mughals however cried for Rana’s clemency. A treaty
was signed between Rana and Aurangzeb. It was promised on Aurangzeb’s
behalf that in future sacred animals would not be slaughtered. The
magnanimous Rana ordered his forces to withdraw from their stations
so that way could be cleared for Mughal army to withdraw along with
their emperor. The Begum, with her retinue was also sent to the
Emperor, who had withdrawn to Chittor.

Colonel Tod comments on the incident: “But for repeated instances of
ill-judged humanity, the throne of Mughals might have been completely
overturned”. (Annals & Antiquities of Rajasthan, Vol. I p. 379).
Aurangzeb learnt nothing from the defeat. Once out of danger,
Aurangzeb forgot the promise of not slaughtering the cows and the
clemency of Rana. Aurangzeb continued the war claiming that Rana’s
generosity was the result of fear of future vengeance by the Mughals.

Rana’s magnanimity was misplaced. It was as great a blunder as the
ill-fated interview between Rana Pratap and Man Singh at Udai Sagar
Lake. Mughal empire could have been shattered long before than
Marathas did it, if the Rajputs had been more politically minded.


Editorial: Defiance of Terror (arab news)

18 05 2008

Editorial: Defiance of Terror
17 May 2008
Source: arabnews

It is still unclear who was behind the horrific series of bomb attacks in the Indian city of Jaipur on Tuesday which killed 63 people and left some 200 injured. Suspicions, however, are being pointed at a Jihadist group, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) which is thought to be based in Bangladesh. Its leader in India, Mohammed Jalaluddin, who claimed to have been behind the 2006 Mumbai train bombings which killed 187 people, was arrested in Lucknow last year and reportedly told police at the time that Jaipur was one of his organization’s top targets.

If this is true, then sadly once again deviants have been responsible for what is a crime against humanity. Given that possibility, we state again the most important fact here: What twisted minds did in Jaipur is at variance with everything Islam stands for. They and their actions stand utterly condemned by the overwhelming majority of Muslims here, in India, in Bangladesh, everywhere.

If the intention was to divide Jaipur, the majority of whose inhabitants are Hindus, although there is a substantial Muslim community, it has gratifyingly done the exact opposite. The shock has resulted in both communities getting together and talking together. That is no surprise. The inhabitants of Jaipur, whatever their faith, have a strong sense of identity as Jaipuris. In the aftermath, they did not ask if a victim was Muslim or Hindu or Christian, they mourned them all regardless. In fact, at least 12 who died in the blasts were Muslim and 30 Muslims were injured — another indication that Muslims are as much in danger from the fanatics as anyone else. Already, Jaipur is shaking off the dust and getting back to work now that the curfew is lifted. There is a resilience there, a determination not to be intimidated. It is not a particularly Jaipuri thing. It is the same resilience that has been seen after in New York, London, Madrid, Sri Lanka, Bali and anywhere else where terrorists have struck in the belief that they can effect political change. It is a human refusal not to bow to terror — which is why the terrorists have never succeeded in changing anything and never will.

That refusal to be cowed is linked to another factor that the terrorist fails to comprehend. India has faced violence from a various sources — Jihadists, Maoists and Naxalites, Sikh militants, militants in the northeast wanting independence. Two of its prime ministers were assassinated; intercommunal violence is a beast that remains unvanquished. But, horrific though they are, bombs in Jaipur are of no long-term significance, other than to the victims and their families. That is because the overwhelming majority of Indians have confidence in their political system — just as the overwhelming majority of Spaniards, Britons or Americans have confidence in theirs. That is the reason why terrorism and violence in India will not succeed. Indian democracy will not be undermined; the drive to Indian prosperity will not be halted. Nor even will the Rajasthan tourist industry will be destroyed — because the world has confidence in India.

Shivaji Paintings: A Hero for Modern India : Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

15 11 2007
A Hero for Modern India : Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji Exhibition 1st to 15th March at Ravindra Natya Mandir