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Rajputs and Mughals

Rajputs and Mughals

Chittorgarh (Chittor fort), his ancestral home, was under Mughal occupation and his fellow Rajput chiefs, such as Raja Man Singh of Jaipur, were part of Akbar's council. Even his own brothers Shakti Singh and Sagar Singh were serving Akbar. Akbar realized that he can never subdue Rajputs and become sole ruler of India. He decided to pursue diplomacy and was able to convince the Kacchwaha Rajput rulers of Amber (modern day Jaipur) about a matrimonial alliance. King of Amber, Bhagwan Das, agreed and Jodhabai became Akbar's queen and the mother of Prince Salim, who later became the Mughal emperor Jahangir. Soon other Rajput kingdoms in Rajasthan also gave their daughters to Akbar. This was the darkest period in the history of Rajputs.

Only two kings remained against this. The Sisodiyas of Mewar and Hadas of Ranthambore. Hada are Chauhans. Finally Man Singh of Amber and Akbar went and met Surjan Hada that he should become friends with Akbar and Surjan some how agreed but one of his conditions of friendship was that no daughter of Hadas would ever be asked to marry mughals and Akbar agreed. Surjan was very saddened by this friendship with Akbar and the fact that he could not help Maharana Paratap against Akbar. He felt so ashamed that he moved his residence to Banaras and made sure that Hindus in the holy city had no problems at the hands of Muslims. So there remained just the house of Mewar the sole bearer of Rajput pride in the face of immense opposition from Mughals as well as other rajputs who had sold their souls essentially to mughals by giving their daughters.

Maharana Pratap passed a law in his state that none of his followers will intermarry with Rajputs who have given their daughters to Muslims. This rule was followed by his loyal band of Rajputs, which included Rathores, Chauhans, Sesodias, Parihars, Tomaras, Kacchwaha and Jhalas. Maharana Pratap never accepted Akbar as ruler of India, and fought Akbar all his life. Akbar first tried diplomacy to win over Maharana Pratap but nothing worked. All of Akbar's overtures of friendship and peace were rebuffed by Rana Pratap. Pratap just said he has no intention to fight with Akbar but he cannot bow down to Akbar and accept him as the ruler. Some scholars argue that there is some chance that Maharana could have become friends with Akbar but in the siege of Chittor when Akbar killed 30,000 civilian, unarmed residents of Chittor, because they refused to convert to Islam, left a lasting impression on Maharana's mind and he decided he cannot bow to such an unjust and cruel human being as Akbar was. (People should note that when Hindu Kings fought with each other unarmed civilians were never killed in the losing king's territory). The special envoy from Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Jaipur, visited Pratap but Pratap sent his son Amar Singh to dine with him. Man Singh felt insulted and left without eating food. After his departure the utensils he had touched were buried and the whole place washed with Ganga-jal.

 

The Chittor fort

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