The “Vivid” Themes of Kshatriya History

Penned by Awdhesh Shekhawat Dhamora

These days, willful distortion of history and nitpicking on historical Kshatriya figures, is an ongoing trend. We all are familiar with it, and we also often harangue about its various solutions.

First of all, the so-called trained historians have done grave injustice to the subject in general by limiting Kshatriya history only to wars. Even  historians from the Kshatriya society, in the name of writing history, merely wrote genealogy collections and heroic stories of great men and clans. Once when I went to Rajasthan Granthagar at Jodhpur, I saw that there were about 50 books on Maharana Pratap alone yet  basically all the books were written on his war skills from different perspectives. If even half of these historians had discussed aspects other than battles, the situation of historical discourse would have been better than what it is today.

For example, some themes of Kshatriya history that deserve to be elaborated –

1) Kshatriya-Subaltern relations –

Not even a single Rajput king considered Dalits as untouchables. On the contrary, there are many historical examples of mutual harmony between Subalterns and Kshatriyas in history.

Thakur Ramdevji Tanwar of Pokharan made Dali Bai Meghwal his dharambehan and both of them undertook social reforms together. Even today among the Kshatriya families, Bhadrapada Shukla Ekadashi is threatened by Ramdevji and Dali Bai on Shukla Dashami.

Ravidas ji, the Guru of Meera Bai, the daughter of Marwar and the daugher-in-law of Mewar royal family, was from the Dalit community.
The Rashtrakut prince (nephew of the erstwhile chief of Hathundi) Pabuji Rathore’s main aides Chanda and Dama both were from the Bhil community.

When Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar had to leave his government residence, then Sirohi Maharaja Abhay Singh Deora gave his private residence at Delhi which has been converted into Ambedkar Memorial after Babasaheb’s death.Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu allowed the entry of Dalit community in temples and arranged special scholarship for Dalit youth for the upliftment of Dalit society.Similarly, Maharaja Ganga Singh gave huge financial assistance to Baba Saheb for proper education system for Dalit community.
There are plethora of examples which can be written upon, authoritatively.

2) The principle of “power corrupts” & Kshatriya Kings –

                                                                              Shakyamuni Buddha of the clan of Gautam kshatriyas

There is a general acceptance in political science globally that “power corrupts”  but a careful perusal of Kshatriya history proves that this cannot be accepted as a universal rule. Power corruption could not affect Buddha and Mahavir, both of who were kshatriyas. Raja Gopichand and Raja Bharthari renounced the throne and retired and did public service. King Pratap Singh Khichi (Pippaji) of Gagraun (who had defeated Firoz Shah Tughlaq) renounced the throne, retired and spent his life in public service. Even after the victory in the Girisumel battle, Prince Bhimraj (Sunderdasji) of Bikaner retired and founded the Naga branch of Dadupanth (who later fought Aurangzeb’s army to protect the temples). King Mallinath ji of Marwar (who had defeated Nizamuddin of Malwa) left the Rajpaath and along with his queen Rupade Parmar engaged in social reform works like eradicating untouchability and discrimination. Thakur Gogadev Rathod of Shergarh (brother of King Ravchunda of Marwar) left the Rajpat and made Jalandharnathji his guru and retired and spent his life in public service.

Mahavir Chakra recepient Lt General Hanut Singh Rathore did his entire job on Re 1 income, Brigadier Bhavani Singh, the war hero of the western border in 1971 war, did his entire job in the army on Re 1 income, similarly the personality of sant Thanedar Ram Singh Bhati could not be corrupted by power. Many more such examples can be observed throughout our history. Vishwanath Pratap Singh Gaharwar implemented the OBC reservation, risking his political career; and when later he was offered another tenure as Prime Minister of the nation, he refused.

However today, when even a village Sarpanch tries his best to fill his personal coffers. In such a situation, when we read the history of such kings who abandoned their official properties, the truism of this adage “power corrupts” becomes questionable. Doesn’t it seem that this aspect of the Kshatriya civilization needs to be explored?

3) Environment Protection & Kshatriya community –

Lake Gadisar, Jaisalmer

Today, when there is a rising global awareness about environment, then looking at the history on this subject, we find that all the temples established by the Kshatriya kings had thousands of acres of land left in the form of Oran, where there was no room for cutting trees. Hunting was not allowed. Such examples of biodiversity conservation are not seen anywhere else in the medieval monarchical system.
Such Kshatriya social reformers like Jambhoji Panwar who even said in his 29 messages that even if a head has to be cut to save a tree, it is not an expensive deal (सिर साटे रुंख रहे, तो भी सस्तो जाण).

Today, when the whole world is struggling with the water crisis, the country’s most artificial lakes, stepwells and ponds in Rajasthan bordering the desert reflect the thinking put in by the Kshatriya kings regarding water conservation. This is the reason why the Thar desert is the most densely populated desert in the world.
environmental protection and water conservation.

There are thousands of such examples done by the Kshatriya kings on this day, on which many authentic history books can be written by researching which can guide in environmental protection and water conservation. Coincidentally today is Environment Day.

4) Infrastructure Development –

Only 5 new cities (Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Bhubaneshwar and Jamshedpur, Dholera) have been built in the past 75 years of independent India. However, there are hundreds of cities built by the Kshatriya kings , who also built railways, dams and some of the nation’s UNESCO monuments.  India’s first modern and planned city “Jaipur” was established by Maharaja Jaisingh II of Amer.

Similarly, the Jantar Mantars built by Sawai Jai Singh in 5 main cities of the country (Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Banaras, Mathura) are important tribute to astronomical traditions of India. Should Jantar Mantar be seen only as a tourist palace? Is not that a heritage of Indian scientific culture?
Bikaner Maharaja Ganga Singh, known as the Bhagirath of Kali Yuga, bringing Ganga canal in the dhors of the desert was not as revolutionary as the Green Revolution for the farmers.
From this perspective, are not these Kshatriya kings creators of present India? Shouldn’t there be well-researched works published on these subjects?

5) Religious tolerance-

Modern historians unnecessarily looked at and wrote medieval history using the communal “Hindu versus Muslim” lens, whereas upon careful perusal of history, we find that in medieval era (except few examples like Aurangzeb to Maharana Raj Singh’s war), no battles happened due to clash of religious motives. Further, the Kshatriya kings were not myopic to fight over religion. Hasan Khan Mewati and Mahmud Lodi fought on behalf of Maharana Sanga in Khanwa, Hakim Khan fought on behalf of Maharana Pratap in Haldighati, presence of scholars like Nasiruddin in Maharana Amar Singh’s court, Kumbha’s patronage of Somdev Suri, Bhuvankirti in the court and Hemratna Suri Jain scholars in the court of Maharana Pratap, relation of Rajput kings with many Muslim Sufi saints during the period of Sufi movement state protection provided to Jain and Buddhist religions by many medieval Rajput kings etc. are umpteen examples to corroborate this These are just some examples,  that Rajput kings adhered to Kshatra Dharma (situational ethics) instead of Hindu religious bigotry.

This was the reason why Hammir fought with Allauddin Khilji and put his kingdom at stake to protect two refugee Muslims, Muhammad Shah and Kehbru. This was the reason why Prithviraj Chauhan left Muhammad Ghori, who was taken prisoner after the defeat in the first battle of Tarain, and put his state and life at stake. This was the reason that Durgadas Rathore arranged for the upbringing and education of the grandson of his enemy Aurangzeb, just like it happens in a Muslim family.
There is a great need for research in this subject to understand the difference between Kshatra Dharma and Hindu Dharma. We must also understand the subtle difference between kesariya and bhagwa.

Here only symbolic examples have been invoked to present history from non-conformist views, there are thousands of examples to corroborate each point of view and the above-mentioned 5 themes are only indicative, there are many other points of view that must be explored.
Now talking about the solution, we should motivate the youth of the society to take up more and more history subjects and undertake NET JRF in it. The society should start giving as much respect to the lecturers engaged in the subject of history as it gives to the administrative officers, this will make them realize their responsibility and their morale will increase, so that they will be able to do research in the right direction and new youths will be inspired to become lecturers from history.
Proper research in history will not only benefit the Rajput community, it will have a positive impact on the entire society, promote a rational and scientific outlook, enhance kshatriya-brotherhood, shape kshatriya political outlook and establish social harmony. Properly researched work on Dalit-Kshatriya relations will also help reduce the distance between the communities and strengthen the society. By properly researched writing on religious tolerance, Rajput youth can be dissuaded from becoming pawns of radical religious and political organizations.
in short we must establish a “School of History”.

क्षत्रिय सामाजिक, राजनीतिक और धार्मिक चेतना मंच।

Jai Ramdev ji | Jai Tejaji |JaiGogaji |Jai Jambho ji| Jai Dulla Bhati | Jai Banda Bahadur |

Important Links

Contact Us

© 2023 kshatriyavoice

Start typing and press Enter to search

Shopping Cart