Hyderabad: 21-ft statue of Maharana Pratap installed in Begum Bazar

More importantly, Maharana Pratap was the ruler of Mewar, and today has become a Hindutva icon.

Hyderabad: A 21-feet statue of Rajput king Maharana Pratap was installed and unveiled at the ‘Maharana Pratap Chowk’ at Begum Bazaar here on Wednesday, February 28. The statue in Hyderabad is touted to be the first and biggest of Maharana Pratap in Telangana.

The statue was installed at Begum Bazar by the Maharana Pratap Jagruti Manch, which claims that it is also the first of its kind in all of South India.  It weighs about two tonnes and was made by artist Sunder Singh in a period of three months, stated the organisation. “The man behind this initiative and execution is Thakur Surender Singh, a youth leader from Rajput community who put in lots of efforts to install the huge statue,” said a press release from the Manch.

Rajya Sabha Member Anil Kumar Yadav, MLA Makkan Singh Raj Thakur, Corporator Shankar Yadav and others participated in the during the program along with members of Rajput community from the state. Rajputs (mainly Thakurs) hail mostly from northern Indian, and are spread across different states. While their population in the south is sparse, members of the community can be found in urban cities like Hyderabad owing to migration from the north post independence especially.

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Maharana Pratap and the Mughals

More importantly, Maharana Pratap was the ruler of Mewar, and today has become a Hindutva icon. He is most well known and praised within the Rajput community for resisting the Mughals (1526-1857) in the late 16th century. He is particularly praised for resisting Mughal king Akbar, and his stand during the historically famous battle of Haldghati, which Maharana Pratap in fact lost.

While Hindutva proponents love to paint a Hindu versus Muslim ideas of history, it may be noted that the Mughals also fought other Muslim kings. Case is point are Bijapur and Hyderabad, which were run by the Adil Shahi and Golconda (1518-1687) kingdoms. Both cities were taken over and destroyed by Mughal king Aurangzeb in 1686 and 1687.

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