The Seed of the Rajput


Editorial Note: The term Rajput is used here as much to denote Sanatana Ksyatriya warrior culture of Hindus as to the Kshatriya blood lineages. Although neither Rana Pratap nor Rana Hamir were of (Shoor)Saini Kshatriya or Yadava lineage, yet there is much in this letter that resonates with Punjabi Saini (Jadon) historical experience and ethos. As frontline Rajput warriors who confronted invading Islamic armies of Central Asian Turks and kept them out of India prior to second battle of Tarain in 1192 CE, they showed the same doggedness and grit later on in their refusal to give up Hindu identity or serving in Islamic armies, even when it brought same advantages as those which Prithvi Raj Rathore successfully persuades Rana Pratap to reject with scorn in the letter given below. It is noteworthy Rana Pratap's equally brave, and his proud ancestor's namesake and relative, Rana Hamir Dev Chauhan had Saini (Jadon) or Shoorsaini Generals in his army, with Rana Gurdan Saini being the most celebrated among them. 

Writes historian Dasrath Sharma (1966) , "The Shura Rajputs , of whom Hammira's minister and commander, Ranamalla, was one, probably represented the ancient Surasenakas".  

Please also note that term "Saini" here is used as an abbreviation of the historically grounded term Shoorsaini, which is the Yadava lineage to which belonged kings like Raja Shalivahan, Raja Gaj, Raja Bhati (Bhupati), Hindushahis of Kabul and Lahore, Jadon and Tomara lineages of  Mathura and Delhi. It is explicitly not used here in respect to the non-Punjabi groups which adopted a fabricated Saini or "Sainik" identity in 20th century for their social promotion and easier  access to army jobs.

Prithviraj Rathod's letter to Rana Pratap


The letter from Prithviraj Rathod sent to Pratap in poetic language, ran like this.
Patal sun Patshah, bole mukh hunta bayanMihir picham dis mahn, uge kasap rao utPatakun munchyan pan, ke patakun nij tan karad'
' Dije likh Deewan,in do mahali bat ik
(The mouth of Pratap has begun to say "Badshah". O Rao! has the sun started rising in the West, as well? Should I keep my hand over my mustache or should my body fall with my own hands? Write, O Deewan! to give an answer choosing between the two.)
Pratap replied to this letter like this.
Turak kahasi turakado, in mukh sun IklingUge jya hi ugasi, prachi bich PatangKhushi hunt Peethal Kamadh, patako munchyan panJete hai pachatan Pato, kilama sir kewan
(Lord Eklingji will always make my mouth call him "Turk". The sun will rise in the east always. O Prithviraj Rathod be happy and put your hand over your mustache. Till Pratap stands on his feet, his sword will keep hovering over the heads of the invaders.)
When the exiles were facing the prospect of actual starvation, Pratap wrote to Akbar indicating his readiness to negotiate a treaty. Pratap's first cousin (his mother's sister's son) Prithviraj Rathod, who was one of Akbar's courtiers, heard of this overture. He is said to have grown despondent and wrote thus to his cousin Pratap:
The hopes of the Hindu rest on the Hindu surya yet the Rana forsakes them. But for Pratap, all would be placed on the same level by Akbar; for our chiefs have lost their valour and our females their honour. Akbar is the broker in the market of our race; he has purchased all but the son of Udai (Singh II of Mewar); he is beyond his price. What true Rajput would part with honour for nauroza [the Persian new year's festival, where Akbar selected women for his pleasure]; yet how many have bartered it away? Will Chittor come to this market ...? Though Patta (an affectionate name for Pratap Singh) has squandered away wealth (on warfare), yet he has preserved this treasure. Despair has driven man to this market, to witness their dishonour: from such infamy the descendant of Hammir (Maharana Hammir) alone has been preserved. The world asks, from where does the concealed aid of Pratap emanate? None but the soul of manliness and his sword.. The broker in the market of men (Akbar) will one day be surpassed; he cannot live forever. Then will our race come to Pratap, for the seed of the Rajput to sow in our desolate lands. To him all look for its preservation, that its purity may again become resplendent. It is as much impossible for me to believe that Pratap has called Akbar his emperor as to see the sun rising in the west. Tell me where do I stand? Shall I use my sword on my neck or shall I continue my proud bearing?
Pratap replied to him:
"By my God Eklinga, Pratap would call the oppressor Turk alone (the word 'Turk' carries a pejorative flavour in many Indian languages) and the sun would rise in the east. You may continue your proud bearing as long as Pratap's sword dangles on the mughal head. Pratap would be guilty of Sanga's blood, if he was to tolerate Akbar. you would have the better of it, no doubt Prithviraj, in this wordy quarrel."
Thus ended the incipient rapprochement between Pratap and Akbar. This Prithviraj Rathore was the husband of Kiranmayee ,sister of Shakti Sinh (a stepbrother of Maharana Pratap, who gave Rana Pratap his horse to escape after Chetak died).


Rana Pratap



Rana Hammir Dev Chauhan

Rana Hammir Dev Chauhan was Rana Pratap's direct ancestor Rana Hamir Singh's  namesake and relative, whose bravery is celebrated in Hammira Mahakavya of Nayanchandra Suri.  Both had direct paternal and maternal lineage from Prithviraj Chauhan. He had Saini (Jadon) Generals in his army, most well-known among whom was  Rana Gurdan Saini, whose battlefield prowess and bravery has been commended by Amir Khusro. 




 
"The Shura Rajputs , of whom Hammira's minister and commander, Ranamalla, was one, probably represented the ancient Surasenakas "

-Rajasthan Through Ages , pp 13, Dr. Dasharatha Sharma, MA , D.Litt , Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner, 1966