Maharana Pratap of Mewar fighting at the Battle of Haldi Ghati. (Photo: Daniel VILLAFRUELA/Wikimedia Commons)

By Deep Mukherjee 

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has removed plaques in Rajsamand district’s Rakta Talai that said Rajputs forces had to retreat during Maharana Pratap’s battle with Mughal emperor Akbar in 1576.

Some locals in Rajasthan and people from the Rajput community had taken offence to the plaques, following which politicians like BJP MP from Rajsamand Diya Kumari had also raised the issue.

Bipin Chandra Negi, ASI Jodhpur circle superintendent, told The Indian Express on Thursday that the plaques have been removed.

“The state government had put up these plaques in Chetak Samadhi, Badshahi Bagh, Rakta Talai and Haldighati in1975 when Indira Gandhi had visited the area. At that time, these weren’t centrally protected monuments. These sites were declared as monuments of national importance in 2003 but the plaques didn’t have this information. Over time, they became worn out and also had controversies about date and some other information,” said Negi.

He added that he had received submissions from scholars and public representatives for the removal of the plaques. “Following this, I took cognizance of the matter. The old plaques didn’t even contain the name of ASI. The Culture Ministry had also raised the issue with our headquarters,” said Negi.

He added that the fresh plaques will be based on ‘proven historical facts.’ “We have removed the plaques. We will replace them with new plaques, where the text will be based on proven historical facts which will be standard basic information,” said Negi.

The plaque at Rakta Talai which has been removed mentioned, “The fight was so deadly that the whole field was strewn with dead bodies. However, circumstances forced the Rajputs to retreat and the struggle ended at mid-day of the 21st June 1576AD.”

A Hindi version of the plaque too said the same thing.

Chandra Shekhar Sharma, associate professor, government Meera Girls’ College, Udaipur, said that the old plaques had come to his notice, following which he had submitted a representation to the ASI to remove them.

“I had raised this issue last month on Pratap Jayanti. The date of the battle, as well as the fact that Rajputs had to retreat, were wrongly written on the plaques. These are historically wrong because actually the Mughal forces had retreated. I went to Haldighati and mobilised youths before conducting a seminar on the issue. Earlier I had sent a representation to ASI to remove them. Thereafter the issue was also raised by Rajsamand MP Diya Kumari before then Union culture minister Prahlad Patel. Rajsamand MLA Deepti Kiran Maheshwari also raised the issue,” said Sharma.

He added that he had also objected to the name of one of the spots, Badshah Bagh.

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