The Rajasthan University (RU) has accepted a proposal mooted by a BJP MLA to revise the varsity curriculum to suggest that Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap won the Battle of Haldighati against Mughal emperor Akbar. The latest revision in Rajasthan’s school curriculum also portrays Pratap, and not Akbar, as the winner of the Battle of Haldighati.
The RU’s Board of Studies approved changes to its syllabus last month, adding a section titled “debate on the outcome of the Battle of Haldighati” and incorporating a book that presents “new research” establishing Pratap’s victory over Akbar.
The Indian Express had reported in February about a meeting of the university’s syndicate during which BJP MLA Mohanlal Gupta mooted the proposal, which was backed by three ministers in the government, including the then Higher Education Minister Kalicharan Saraf and School Education Minister Vasudev Devnani.
Rashtra Ratna Maharana Pratap, by Udaipur-based historian Chandra Shekhar Sharma, features in the “suggested reading” list for the second semester of the MA programme in history.
Sharma has also written the section on Pratap in Section II of the new social science textbook for Class X, which claims that Pratap won the Battle of Haldighati despite Akbar’s repeated attempts till as late as 1584 CE.
Sharma said, “Land deeds issued by Pratap in the areas around Haldighati, Gogunda, Jhadol, etc, show that he controlled these areas at least till 1580, four years after the battle in 1576. Persian historians (Abd-ul-Qadir) Bada’uni and Abul Fazl wrote that Mughal forces retreated 6 km towards the Mughal camp.”
“The Board of Studies is a body of academics, not politicians, and they have taken a call… Maharana Pratap was our first freedom fighter and limiting him to any one political party is not right,” Higher Education Minister Kiran Maheshwari said.