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Know more about Maharana Pratap Jayanti celebrated on June 7

On this day, let us remember the legend that was Maharana Pratap Singh

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Aerial view of Kumbhalgarh. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Pratap Singh ascended the throne in 1572. During this time, Akbar acted as the Mughal Ruler in Delhi.
  • In the Battle of Haldighati that took place in 1576, 20,000 Rajputs fought against a Mughal army of 80,000 headed by Raja Man Singh.
  • In the last ten years of his life, Rana fought many wars, retaking control of Mewar.

Born to Maharana Udai Singh II and Rani Jeevant Kanwar on 9 May 1540, Maharana Pratap was the eldest of twenty five sons. Heir to his father’s kingdom, he was destined to rule over Mewar as the 54th ruler in the line of Sisodiya Rajputs.

However, before his death in 1572, Maharana Udai Singh had named his son, Jagammal heir to the throne. Unsatisfied with this wish, the nobles of the deceased Maharana had named his elder son the heir once again.

Pratap Singh ascended the throne in 1572. During this time, Akbar acted as the Mughal Ruler in Delhi. In order to realise his dream of becoming the Jahanpanah of Hindustan, Akbar had taken various measures to seize control of the Rajput kingdoms.

He had sent six emissaries to Mewar to get Pratap Singh to sign a treaty. To his disappointment, Rana refused each time. He was not ready to let a foreigner seize control of his motherland.

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Rana’s constant refusal to sign the treaty angered the Mughal emperor. He declared war on Mewar. He alienated Mewar from all their traditional allies and encouraged the people of Chittor (the capital of Mewar) to rise against their king. Moreover, Rana’s brothers, Shakti Singh and Jagammal Singh had sided with Akbar.

In preparation for the inevitable war, Maharana brought about changes in his administration. He directed his army to head towards the Aravali ranges and leave no resources behind for the Mughal army.

In the Battle of Haldighati that took place in 1576, 20,000 Rajputs fought against a Mughal army of 80,000 headed by Raja Man Singh. To the astonishment of everyone, the result of the battle was indecisive. Even though Rana Pratap was surrounded by the Mughal soldiers, his army was undefeated. Also, in this infamous war, Rana’s beloved horse, Chetak had died protecting his owner.

After the war ended, the Mughal emperor made several attempts to take over Mewar. The attempts proved to be fruitless. However, the relentless attacks by the Mughals left the Rajput army weak. Rana, along with his family, was on the run. They travelled from jungle to jungle, in the mountains and valleys. Food was scarce and they often slept empty stomached.

A painting of Maharana Pratap Singh. Wikimedia Commons.
A painting of Maharana Pratap Singh. Wikimedia Commons.

There also came a time when the Rajput king had almost made truce with Akbar. When his children’s meal of bread made from grass was stolen by a dog, Rana was deeply hurt. He was filled with self doubt and grief. During this time, he had demanded a “mitigation of his hardship” from the Mughal emperor.

In response to this, Pruthviraj, a poet from Akbar’s court wrote to Rana. He boosted his morale and told him not to give up his fight. This filled the Rajput king with inspiration and motivation that was needed to continue with his fight.

During this time, Bhama Shah, a minister of Rana, could not see his king suffer any longer. He gave away all his wealth to his king, so that the army could be sustained. It was because of his contribution that an army of 25,000 sustained for over 12 years.

In the last ten years of his life, Rana fought many wars, retaking control of Mewar. However, he never gained control of Chittor again. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Amar Singh I. He instructed his son to never give up his fight to free their motherland from the clutches of foreigners.

Maharana Pratap Singh is still remembered for his bravery and courage. His valiant nature has been a source of inspiration for many. May his memory never die!

-By Devika Todi, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: devika_todi

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    Maharana Pratap was a great leader we could ever have. He fought any situations with pride and courage

  • devika todi

    Maharana Pratap Singh was a man of great courage and honor. his love for his motherland is an inspiration for all generations.

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Padmavati First Poster Unfolded On the Eve of Navaratri Is Winning a Million Hearts

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali -- known for his grand period dramas -- "Padmavati" will feature Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, and Shahid Kapoor on the same screen

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Padmavati

Mumbai, September 21, 2017: Actress Deepika Padukone, on Wednesday shared first poster of her upcoming movie “Padmavati” on her twitter.

In the poster, Deepika can be seen dressed up in a traditional outfit and is looking gorgeous, in the movie she is playing the character of Rani Padmavati of Chittor. With the release of its first look, the makers of the film are all set for promotion.

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali known for his grand period dramas “Padmavati” also features Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. Padmavati tells the story of Alauddin Khilji, the medieval-era Delhi ruler who fell in love with Rajput queen Padmavati.

ALSO READ: ‘Padmavati’ Vandals Back, Break Chittorgarh Fort Mirrors known to have reflected Rani Padmavati’s image for Alauddin Khilji’s viewing.

The movie’s shoot went through a lot of hurdles. In January, activists of Rajput Karni Sena had assaulted Bhansali and vandalised the movie’s Jaipur set over alleged distortions in the film’s script.

Later, once the filmmaker had moved the film’s shoot to Maharashtra, an outdoor set of the historic period drama in Kolhapur was reduced to ashes after two dozen unidentified persons torched it in March. (IANS)

 

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Educated Woman: Should She be a Housewife or a Working Woman?

Educated women are often relegated in various societies for opting the role of a homemaker

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Home-making
Housewife doing domestic drudges

By Megha Acharya 

  • The definition of ‘Independent women’ is always weighed with the money she earns.
  • Societies see bread earners as the ones who run the family.
  • This societal taboo disrespects the woman’s choice.

People are of the opinion that an educated woman limiting herself as a housewife is “squandering” her qualification. Women often hear, “what’s the use of studying, if you have to become a housewife”. The choice of staying at home or going to work is completely a personal decision. Both sexes pertain the right to take decisions of their lives.

It’s not necessary that the option to stay at home is always imposed on women, some may opt to become a housewife. The ‘taboo’ of a woman wasting her degree by sitting at home, relegates the choice made by her. Women education is questioned, if they decide being independent by not spending eight hours outside of their homes.

The work profile of a housewife gets restricted to the domestic drudgery in many societies. Had home-making been doing just the domestic chores, then why do working mothers prefer leaving their kids with English-speaking maids or send them to creches, where their baby is under the guidance of educated people. Why do they not randomly pick someone?

An educated woman can make better decisions in home-making. The quality of life of the family would be better in terms of nutrition, cleanliness, health and stress when the person devotes a lot of her time at home. From choosing the right kind of household items to childcare, her qualifications would play a huge role. Young minds benefit from interactions with an educated person. The housewife’s qualifications would help her decide the kind of school her child would fit in, the kind of environment is required for his/her growth, and most importantly the lessons and values to be given to her children.

The contribution made by a housewife gets quantified with money. She is asked, “Do you not feel ashamed while asking for money from your husband?”. Does the woman’s time, effort and sweat in cleaning and maintaining the house, not anything? The definition of ‘Independent woman’ is often misconstrued. The self-earned cash is an important sign of freedom, however, being independent is only weighed with earning money. People fail to understand that, a lady taking the onus of the whole family, making wiser decisions for the well-being of its members qualifies to “being independent”.

Also Read: Working Mothers Can Now Balance Work and Family with These Hacks.

The relationship between a husband and a wife is mutually dependent. Both are reliant on each other for physical and mental support. If a lady homemaker needs money from her husband, then the latter needs cooked food, ironed clothes, clean house and good parenting for his child.

Housewife managing household
Independent woman managing household

[bctt tweet=”The definition of independent women if always misconstrued with money]

Working parents juggle the responsibilities of home and work, which makes them stressed. In such situations, some choose to be the multitasker, while some want to stay at home. Every individual chooses the best for themselves. Rather than judging them, we should respect their decision and show some compassion. Women education never gets wasted if, they willingly decided to take part in the selection of household items. And, we must never forget that education passes on wisdom, and wise decisions always succeed

Megha can be reached at Twitter @ImMeghaacharya


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“Ants Among Elephants” by Indian-Origin Author Sujatha Gidla is Creating Waves in the US

Interview with Sujatha Gidla, who recently wrote a memoir capturing the life of Dalit community in India

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Dalit Women protesting against exploitation
Dalit Women protesting against exploitation. Wikimedia
  • Many instances of discrimination and humiliation that she and her family were customarily subjected to
  • This Independence was not real independence, it was only transfer of power
  • Caste-based discrimination is uniquely cruel

New York, USA, August 27, 2017:  The nation has just celebrated Independence Day with great pomp and fervor but does this special occasion evoke similar sentiments among the Dalits living in the country? No, contends an Indian-origin author Sujatha Gidla, who was born an “untouchable” and is now creating waves in US literary circles with a provocative memoir capturing the life of her community in India.

Until recently, Sujatha Gidla was just another New Yorker, working as a conductor on the City Subway. But her recent memoir, “Ants among Elephants: : An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India”, which not only details her memories of growing up as a Dalit woman in India but also lists the many instances of “discrimination and humiliation” that she and her family were customarily subjected to, has thrust her into the limelight.

On how she responds to special occasions like Independence Day, the author said that, as children, they would admire iconic figures like Gandhi and Nehru, and celebrate the day but things changed gradually as they become more aware.

ALSO READ: Religious minorities, Dalits face discrimination in India: A report by US Commission on International Religious Freedom

“When I joined the RSU (Radical Students Union) we were told that (this) Independence was not real independence, that it was only transfer of power. And now we don’t feel anything because we are not made to feel that we are Indians like other Indians.

“It is the same thing in the universities where I studied. I don’t have that pride of my alma mater because we were not treated as equals. None of us have that pride, not even my mother,” Gidla told IANS in an email interview from New York.

The author further quipped that, by and large, “this is not independence” for members of her community.

“There have been many types of discrimination in various parts of the world. As far as I know, caste discrimination is uniquely cruel. There is racism in America, but I will never compare it with caste and rather say that caste is much worse.

“I will also say this: Blacks here are murdered, they have been lynched. But I have never read about another place where untouchables are fed excreta, made to drink urine and paraded naked. Even under slavery, the slave owners took care to feed their slaves in order to keep them fit to work. Untouchables in India never even had that,” Gidla said.

Sujatha Gidla reiterated that untouchability is neither a religious nor a cultural problem. It is rather a social problem and that there has to be “some sort of fundamental change”; otherwise the Dalits will “continue to suffer”.

Elaborating on the “suffering” that she repeatedly mentions in the book, Gidla said most Dalits in India, particularly those trying to fight against the caste system, live under constant duress due to verbal attacks and the threat of physical violence.

“Our neighbors in India have been actively trying to kick my mom out of her apartment. Her (upper) caste colleagues hate the fact that her daughter wrote a successful book.”

“That is the irony; we cannot even celebrate the publication of the book because we are afraid that it will make people around us unhappy. Even fellow untouchables are not posting it on social media for fear of being exposed to their colleagues and (upper) caste friends as untouchables,” she elaborated.

Also Read: Dr. Kallol Guha: Anglophonic Education will not uplift Dalits

Gidla’s grandparents converted to Christianity at the onset of the 20th century and were educated at Canadian missionary schools. She too, with the help of Canadian missionaries, studied physics at the Regional Engineering College in Warangal, in what is Telangana today. She was also a researcher in applied physics at IIT-Madras.

Gidla initially worked as a developer in software design, then moved to banking but lost her job in 2009 during the economic crisis. Finally, she took up the job of a conductor at the New York Subway.

This book, Gidla said, initially began as an investigation into the caste system but finally took the shape of a memoir as her family members also enriched its pages with their personal experiences and reflections.

So what would bring “freedom” in the true sense to Gidla and her family, as also to over 300 million Dalits in India?

“True freedom is equal access to everything in society -education, jobs, etc. When that is achieved, the prejudices will begin to disappear, but only gradually, not instantaneously. Without having equal access to economic betterment all these words about caste being an evil practice or we should treat untouchables with respect are meaningless,” she maintained.

The book has been published in the US by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan publishers, and is yet to hit the Indian market. (IANS)