Lucknow: The Mughal emperor Akbar wasn’t really all that great, according to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who took a dive into medieval history on Thursday, emphasising that the label of greatness should, in fact, be bestowed upon Maharana Pratap, the 16th century king of Mewar. Adityanath, who was speaking at an RSS event to mark Pratap’s birth celebrations, sought to highlight the Mewar ruler’s tenacity in wresting back his forts and his refusal to accept the Mughal king as the emperor of Hindustan, The Indian Express reported.
Pratap considered Akbar to be a “Turk who could not be trusted”, the UP chief minister said. “Akbar asked Maharana Pratap to accept him as ‘badshah’ and that then he won’t interfere in his kingdom Mewar. Maharana Pratap said we can’t accept a ‘vidharmi’ and a foreigner as our ruler. Maharana proved it wasn’t Akbar, but he who was great, by winning back his forts,” Adityanath said as quoted by news agency ANI.
Adityanath stressed that Pratap was relevant even though he had died half a millennia ago. Referring to the famous Haldighati battle of 1576, Adityanath said who won or lost was not important. “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.
Adityanath also said that backward castes, Dalits and tribal communities were on Pratap’s side, and it is they who made him “great”.