Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday insisted Mughal emperor Akbar was not great and that only 16th century Mewar king Maharana Pratap was. He praised Pratap’s persistence in winning back his forts after years of fight in the Aravalli hills and his refusal to accept Akbar as king. Adityanath said the Mewar ruler did not accept the Mughal emperor asking as he was a “Turk who could not be trusted”.
Adityanath maintained Pratap remained relevant even after 500 years of his death while addressing an RSS gathering to mark the Mewar king’s birth celebrations. A special edition of RSS magazine ‘Avadh Prahri’ was also released on the occasion.
He referred to the 1576 Haldighati battle and said it was unimportant who won or lost. “It is important that Maharana Pratap fought it for several years in the hills of Aravalli with his self-respect and ultimately won back his forts.” He said Pratap set an example of bravery as the fight was not for a day but went on for years.
“Maharana Pratap proved it was not Akbar who was great but only Maharana Pratap was great by ultimately winning back his forts.”
Adityanath said Akbar had asked Pratap to accept him as the king and promised in return that he would not interfere in the affairs of his kingdom of Mewar. He said even Jaipur king Man Singh came as a messenger but Pratap refused.
“I cannot accept Akbar as the king… he is a Turk and he will remain so… he will hurt our self-respect in the garb of friendship… we cannot accept a foreigner as a king,’’ Adityanath quoted Pratap as saying amid chants of “jai Shri Ram”.
He claimed there were other kings in those times who put their own self-respect at stake to accept Akbar as king. Adityanath added Pratap stood against all odds.
He said lessons from those times were still applicable. Adityanath claimed some people are ready to disturb their own society, culture and country even today for their benefits. He added that they then suffer damage.
Adityanath asked scheduled castes, tribes and backward communities to regard themselves as Pratap’s descendent. “It was actually these tribes, which made Pratap great,” he said.
“On whose strength did Maharana Pratap fight… it was castes whom we today call Dalit, backward and Vanvasi…,’’ he said. Adityanath added Pratap fought in adverse conditions and Akbar was unable to hurt him.