Gulab Chand Kataria out of Mewar, Congress performs Maharana Pratap card in BJP stronghold

He dominated the dominion of Mewar within the Sixteenth-Century however over 4 centuries later, Maharana Pratap continues to be a political situation in Rajasthan.

Months earlier than Assembly elections are scheduled to be held within the desert state, the Congress is trying to consolidate its presence in Mewar that has historically been a BJP stronghold. In Udaipur, on the coronary heart of the historic Mewar area, the BJP has been left hamstrung due to an influence vacuum shaped after senior chief Gulab Chand Kataria was appointed the Governor of Assam and shifted out of state politics.

Maharana Pratap’s legacy has been on the centre of a tussle between the BJP and the Congress in the previous few years. The Rajput ruler, who fought Mughal emperor Akbar within the Battle of Haldighati, is a revered determine within the state. On Monday, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot introduced that the federal government would kind a Veer Shiromani Maharana Pratap Board to make the youthful technology conscious of “Maharana Pratap’s bravery”. He made the announcement at an occasion in Udaipur commemorating the Rajput ruler on his beginning anniversary.

“This board will make the young generation aware of Maharana Pratap’s bravery. The board will prepare a plan for course content, heritage conservation, new constructions, research on various languages, publicity of the publications, national and international awards, lectures, kavi sammelans (meetings of poets) etc. This will build an atmosphere for the new generation,” learn an official assertion from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Speaking on the operate organised by the Mewar Kshatriya Mahasabha, a Rajput physique, Gehlot mentioned it was the obligation of the present technology handy over “this glorious saga of valour as a heritage to the coming generations”.

While Gehlot was addressing the occasion, state BJP president C P Joshi was taking part in comparable programmes in different areas of Mewar to mark Maharana Pratap’s beginning anniversary. Joshi minced no phrases whereas hitting out at Gehlot, terming his administration as a “Mughal Premi (Mughal-loving)” authorities and saying that the Congress “glorifies” Akbar. The BJP additionally accused the Congress of attempting to erase Maharana Pratap from historical past books.

The Mewar area comes beneath the Chittor Prant of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and for a number of a long time it has been a stronghold of the BJP — and earlier than that its predecessor Jan Sangh — primarily due to the ideological supremacy that the Sangh Parivar enjoys on this space and a devoted cadre base. Despite profitable the 2018 Assembly elections and forming the federal government, the Congress may bag solely two of the eight Assembly seats in Udaipur district. The BJP received the remaining eight seats.

The Rajput neighborhood, conventional voters of the BJP, regards Maharana Pratap as one in all its best heroes. By asserting the formation of the board in a programme organised by the native Rajput neighborhood, Gehlot hopes to ship the message that the Congress is equally invested in defending the neighborhood’s pursuits.

Rajputs, who declare to be 11-12% of the state’s inhabitants, are a potent electoral pressure in Mewar and another elements of the state. In the 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress benefitted, besides in Mewar, from the neighborhood’s anger in opposition to the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP authorities over causes such because the loss of life of gangster Anandpal Singh in a police shootout, the sidelining of late BJP chief Jaswant Singh, and registration of police instances in opposition to Rajput leaders after some protests turned violent.

Book battles

In the previous decade, textbook revisions have turn into the norm as each the Congress and the BJP have sparred over Maharana Pratap and the Battle of Haldighati. The earlier BJP authorities made modifications at school textbooks, claiming that Maharana Pratap defeated Akbar within the Battle of Haldighati in 1576. The books additionally dropped “the Great” from the Mughal emperor’s title.

After the Congress returned to energy in 2018, it shaped a committee to assessment the modifications within the textbooks. Later, when new revisions had been made within the textbooks launched through the present authorities, the knowledge on Maharana Pratap and the Battle of Haldighati as soon as once more stoked an issue.

One of the foremost modifications involved the battle. The new Class 10 social science books mentioned Pratap left the battlefield and his horse Chetak died. It additionally mentioned the conflict between Maharana Pratap and Akbar was not a spiritual conflict however a conflict for superiority between two political forces. Silent on the results of the battle, the chapter went on to explain Pratap’s guerrilla warfare in opposition to Akbar in subsequent years.

The BJP, in response, accused the Congress of insulting the Rajput ruler, whereas Congress hit again saying the BJP makes use of Maharana Pratap’s title for electoral causes.

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