Unseen Passage: Maharana Pratap

Maharana Pratap ruled over Mewar only for 25 years. However, he accomplished so much grandeur during his reign that his glory surpassed the boundaries of countries and time turning him into an immortal personality. He along with his kingdom became a synonym for valour, sacrifice and patriotism. Mewar had been a leading Rajput kingdom even before Maharana Pratap occupied the throne. Kings of Mewar, with the cooperation of their nobles and subjects, had established such traditions in the kingdom, as augmented their magnificence despite the hurdles of having a smaller area under their command and less population. There did come a few thorny occasions when the flag of the kingdom seemed sliding down. Their flag once again heaved high in the sky, thanks to the gallantry and brilliance of the people of Mewar.

The destiny of Mewar was good in the sense that barring a few kings, most of the rulers were competent and patriotic. This glorious tradition of the kingdom almost continued for 1500 years since its establishment, right from the reign of Bappa Rawal. In fact, only 60 years before Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga drove the kingdom to the pinnacle of fame. His reputation went beyond Rajasthan and reached Delhi. Two generations before him, Rana Kumbha had given a new stature to the kingdom through victories and developmental work. During his reign, literature and art also progressed extraordinarily. Rana himself was inclined towards writing and his works are read with reverence even today. The ambience of his kingdom was conducive to the creation of high quality work of art and literature. These accomplishments were the outcome of a long standing tradition sustained by several generations.

The lives of the people of Mewar must have been peaceful and prosperous during the long span of time; otherwise such extraordinary accomplishment in these fields would not have been possible. This is reflected in their art and literature as well as their loving nature. They compensate for lack of admirable physique by their firm but pleasant nature. The ambience of Mewar remains lovely thanks to the cheerful and liberal character of its people.

One may observe astonishing pieces of workmanship not only in the forts and palaces of Mewar but also in public utility buildings. Ruins of many structures which are still standing tall in their grandeur are testimony to the fact that Mewar was not only the land of the brave but also a seat of art and culture. Amidst aggression and bloodshed, literature and art flourished and creative pursuits of literature and artists did not suffer. Imagine, how glorious the period must have been when the Vijaya Stambha which is the sample of our great ancient architecture even today, was constructed. In the same fort, Kirti Stambha is standing high, reflecting how liberal the then administration was which allowed people from other communities and kingdoms to come and carry out construction work. It is useless to indulge in the debate whether the Vijay Stambha was constructed first or the Kirti Stambha. The fact is that both the capitals are standing side by side and reveal the proximity between the king and the subjects of Mewar.

The cycle of time does not remain the same. Where the reign of Rana Sanga was crucial in raising the kingdom to the acme of glory, it also proved to be his nemesis. History took a turn the fortune of Mewar—the land of the brave, started waning. Rana tried to save the day with his acumen which was running against the stream and the glorious traditions for some time.

Q. On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer each of the questions given below with the help of the options that follow:

  1. Maharana Pratap became immortal because:
    1. he ruled Mewar for 25 years
    2. he added a lot of grandeur to Mewar
    3. of his valour, sacrifice and patriotism
    4. both 2. and 3.
  2. Difficulties in the way of Mewar were:
    1. lack of cooperation the nobility
    2. ancient traditions of the kingdom
    3. its small area and small population
    4. the poverty of the subjects
  3. During thorny occasions:
    1. the flag of Mewar seemed to be lowered
    2. the flag of Mewar was hoisted high
    3. the people of Mewar showed gallantry
    4. most of the rulers heaved a sigh of relief
  4. Mewar was lucky because:
    1. all of its rulers were competent
    2. most of its people were competent
    3. most of its rulers were competent
    4. only a few of its people were incompetent

Answer

  1. he added a lot of grandeur to Mewar
  2. its small area and small population
  3. the flag of Mewar seemed to be lowered
  4. most of its rulers were competent

Q. Answer the following questions briefly:

  1. Who is the earliest King of Mewar mentioned in the passage?
  2. What was Rana Kumbha’s contribution to the glory of Mewar?
  3. What does the writer find worth admiration in the people of Mewar?
  4. How could art and literature flourish in Mewar?
  5. How did the rulers show that they cared for their subjects?
  6. What does the erection of Vijaya Stambha and Kirti Stambha in the same fort signify?
  7. Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:
    1. surprising (para 4),
    2. evidence (para 4)

Answer

  1. Bappa Rawal is the earliest king of Mewar.
  2. Rana Kumbha had given a new stature to the kingdom through victories and development in work. During his reign, literature and art also progressed extraordinarily. Rana himself was inclined towards writing and his works are read with reverence even today.
  3. The people of Mewar are loving, cheerful, liberal, peaceful, prosperous and have a pleasant nature. According to the writer, these are the qualities that make them worth admiration.
  4. During Rana Kumbha’s reign, literature and art progressed extraordinarily. The peaceful and prosperous atmosphere of his kingdom was suitable for the creation of high quality work of literature and art. The king himself contributed to literature. Even amidst wars and bloodshed, literature and art flourished.
  5. By building Vijaya Stambha and Kirti Stambha side by side, rulers revealed the proximity between the king and subjects of Mewar.
  6. Vijaya Stambha is the sample of our great ancient architecture even today. Kirti Stambha reflects how liberal the then administration was, which allowed people from other communities and kingdoms to come and carry out construction work in Mewar. Along with mining wars, the ruler patronized art.
  7. Words are:
    1. astonishing
    2. testimony

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