Jaipur(ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that Maharana Pratap was a true national hero who valiantly fought to defend his motherland.
Addressing a gathering at Pratapgarh in Mewar region of Rajasthan after unveiling a statue of Maharana Pratap, Singh said that he not only inspired the Indians, but his name also became a source of inspiration for people living in other countries.
Highlighting the importance of Maharana Pratap in inspiring many generations of freedom fighters, Singh said: "Maharana Pratap became an icon for freedom fighters because his name evoked a strong feeling of love and sacrifice for motherland. Even the Vietnamese people were inspired by him and it helped them in defeating a powerful country like the United States during US.-Vietnam war."
Showering lavish praise on Maharana Pratap, he said that our text books have not been able to fully recognise his contribution and significance in India's history.
"If Akbar can be called 'Akbar the Great' for his contribution in the history then why can't Maharana Pratap be recognised as 'Maharana Pratap the Great'," he added.
Referring to VS Naipaul's book 'India: A Wounded Civilisation', Singh said, "Naipaul has observed that he found India the only country in the world where history written by foreign historians is taught in textbooks. The Indian historians should pay attention to eminent authors like Naipaul and take corrective measures."
The Home Minister also welcomed the Rajasthan Government's decision to include a chapter on national heroes like Maharana Pratap in school text books.
Singh said that he would speak to the Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani to consider the inclusion of chapters on these icons in the CBSE text books as well.
"Maharana Pratap was loved and admired by all sections of the society. He was loved by his subjects. On the one hand Maharana Pratap had the respect and love of a rich man like Bhamashah who gave all his wealth to him and on the other hand there were people from 'Bheel' tribe who faithfully fought many battles with him against a mighty army. Even the animals like his horse Chetak and his elephants loved him till their last breath," Singh said.
"The Centre has decided to celebrate the 475th birth anniversary year of Maharana Pratap all over the country in a big way and a committee has been formed at the Central level to commemorate the event," he added.