The exchange of Rajput Princesses into the Mughal Harems (as a barter against their lost privileges) only highlights the Rajputs as cowards and not brave!
Predominantly belonging to three lineages – Suryavanshi (Solar Race), Chandravanshi (Lunar Race) and Agnivanshi (Fire Race) – Rajputs, are a kshatriya clan of indigenous India known for their bravery and courage through ages. Over the time, they have nurtured a warlike and military personality. However, the same warriors who carried the genes of might, power and valor were defeated by the Mughal invaders consistently, no matter how much they tried. This was then compensated by giving their sisters and daughters hand to the Muslims rulers as a Quid Pro Quo – Exchange to retain their lost privileges.
Brave enough, why did they trade the lives of their own women to get back their pride and honor? Why did they sacrifice the Rajput women into the Mughal harem, doesn’t this act makes them cowards and rip off from the bravery tag? Well, time to have a fresh look at the “bravery of Rajputs” during the Mughal Era –
When Muslim rulers tried to invade the territories of India, be it the Delhi Sultans or the Mughals – the Rajputs, the fiery Indian warriors in spite of showing enormous valor, always ended up in the losing end. Whether it was the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan against Mohammad Ghori in the battle of Tarain or the attacks of Akbar against Rana Pratap, the Rajputs were always crushed by the Muslim invaders. Makes one wonder – “Did all these defeat played a vital role in altering their psyche in taking drastic steps to retain their prestige, privilege and power or was their fall of power also the fall of their pride?”As we all know, the Rajputs during the Muslim era traded their sisters and daughter to re-establish their provinces which they lost in the battlefield.
The marriage of Hira Kunwari, daughter of King Bharmal of Amer province (Jaipur) with Akbar is one such example. It was an historical alliance between the two drastically opposite communities and after this marriage soon the trend followed with many Rajput Kings and chieftains giving the hand of Rajput princess to the Mughals as wife or concubine. These princesses then became one of the several wives or one of the hundred concubines of the emperor and lived a life in Purdah as well as seclusion until their death. I see, for the sake of their happiness, the life of the women fraternity was sacrificed, did it really make the then Rajputs brave or was it an act of total cowardice?
Rajput are the kshatriyas and well-known over the ages for their sense of dignity, pride and act of heroism. However, if the Rajputs were so brave and full of self-esteem, why then they traded the poor princess to these lusty rulers and sex starved men? Why they forgot their age old culture of self-respect, dignity and admiration towards women in lust of the jagirs they lost?
Instead of trading women they should have joined hands together to fight the Mughal troops. But no, they never came together and continued to fight amongst themselves for their petty lands. Lord Rama was a kshtraiya too and from the Suryavanshi lineage just like them. However, he for his lady had gone extremes to fight one of the most intelligent and powerful man of his era. I wonder, what might be his plight when he would have witnessed from the heaven that the Rajputs out of their own cowardice/greed ushered their daughters into the Muslim harems? No wonder, this was the darkest phase in the history of Rajputs till today.
However, even during this time, there were two Rajputs who always remained against it. One was the Hadas of Rathambore and the other, the Sisodiyas of Mewar. Besides, who can forget the brave Maharana Pratap who fought bravely till his last breath?
Still, there were majority of the Rajputs that followed the trend of sending the Rajput Princesses into the Muslim harems who after going there became nothing more than an object of desire for the Muslim rulers. This makes me wonder did greed take over their sense of consideration towards their own daughters and sisters?
By Deepti Verma