Maharana Pratap (1572-1597), the 54th custodian of the House of Mewar and son of Maharana Udai Singh, has been a Rajput ruler who is celebrated throughout the country for his courage and patriotism. Col. Tod, the famous British antiquarian, says, “There is not a pass in the Alpine Aravalli that is not sanctified by some deed of Maharana Pratap – some brilliant victory, or oftener, more glorious defeat.”
As the first freedom fighter in the annals of India, he was the precursor and inspiration for Mahatma Gandhi himself. To the people at large, he is known forever as “the Light and Life of the Hindu Community.” What is the mettle that made Maharana Pratap? Undoubtedly, it was his seamless courage, respect for his dynasty and the unshakable principle of never bowing down to the wrong or unjust. A famous poem on him rightly asks the readers, “Has anyone seen the Maharana bow his head before the balustrade in the Mughal court?”
Maharana Pratap’s principles never failed to flow down to his horse. Chetak, his favourite charger died in the battle, but not before saving his master’s life. The horse is known to have jumped over a mountain stream when pursued by two Mughal chiefs. Chetak died soon after he had seen his master to safety.
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