In the Maharana Pratap serial which airs on Sony TV many of the plots and sequences have been fictionalized to make it an entertaining historical drama. However, the creative writers have taken so much liberty that they have made a major blunder by defaming a character the serial never intended to potray negatively.
Well, I’m talking about Rao Surtan, and based on all the little available information directly or indirectly related to him, I will now connect the dots and analyze where the Maharana Pratap Serial goes wrong with respect to Rao Surtan –
Rao Surtan was Maharana Pratap’s Cousin
Rao Surtan was the grandson of Rana Sangha just like Maharana Pratap from his maternal side as Surtan’s mother was Rana Sangha’s daughter. Therefore, he was not just the 12th Rao and son of Rao Suraj Mal but also the nephew of Udai Singh II of Udaipur. You may wonder why there was any animosity between the two families.
Yes, there could be as Maharana Ratan Singh of Mewar (Elder brother of Udai Singh II) had attempted an attack on Surtan’s father Surajmal where both of them eventually died. Going by this, one can buy the fact – that animosity between the two families existed. However, nothing explains the hate relationship between Rao Surtan and Maharana Pratap because though they were cousins they had a huge age gap.
Well, because Surtan Singh reigned Bundi from 1531 to 1544 while Maharana Pratap, the veer was born in the year 1540. So, by the time Pratap was 4, Rao Surtan was no more a ruler. But, here in the serial we see Pratap in his teens fighting against Rao Surtans and rescuing people from the atrocities of Rao Surtan.
Could a Rajput like Rao Surtan, the ruler of Bundi lust his Maami (Aunt)?
Can a normal guy ever lust his maami (mother’s brother’s wife)? Well, the answer is “No”. Rao Surtan was nephew of Udai Singh II so obviously his wives were his aunt. How could he lust Udai Singh’s wife? Is it logically even possible craving one’s aunt for fulfilling physical desires and that too by a Rajput in the 16th century?
In the historical records, there is not much information about Rao Surtan Singh except his connection with Rana Sangha, and funny thing is the makers of the serial royally ignored the easily available and most common fact about Surtan Singh.
What’s the proof that Bundi was victimized during Rao Surtan Era?
Anybody who is watching the serial will literally hate Rao Surtan for the all the wrong things he has been doing in Bundi. Nothing in him is good – He is a womanizer, takes girls and women just like the dacoits do, and troubles even the weak and innocent prajja. However, nowhere in Bundi’s history will you find such horrendous thing happening during the rein of the Rao’s.
It was Rao Surjan Singh who assisted Akbar and not Rao Surtan Singh
It was Rao Surjan, the son of Rao Raja Arjun Singh(successor of Surtan Singh) and the 14th Rao of Bundi who had given the Rathambore fort to Akbar in the year 1559. This means it was Rao Surjan Singh who assisted Akbar and not Rao Surtan as shown by the factually incorrect and historically handicapped serial Maharana Pratap of Sony TV.
Also, if you notice Rao Surtan Singh was the last man in the family who is addressed as only Rao and not “Raja”. The title of Raja to the Raos of Bundi was given by the Mughals, again hinting that Rao Surtan Singh had no connection with Akbar, if he had he would have been bestowed the title of “Raja” too. In addition, the possibility of Surtan Singh helping Akbar cannot be possible because Akbar was only 2 when Surtan Singh died.
All these facts are already available in the historical records. I have just tried to connect the dots along with the timeline, and without any doubt, it clearly ridicules the falsified story of Rao Surtan which the makers of Maharana Pratap are trying to throw on us.
By: Deepti Verma
Image Source: Bundi Palace Wikimedia By Arian Zwegers, SET India
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