Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hemu did not declare himself an independent king



Some of the modern historians have taken the allegations of the prejudiced medieval writers leveled against Hemu seriously without making the critical examination of historical facts. None of the historians, Abu Fazal, Nizamuddin and Badauni, suggests that Hemu set himself up as as independent monarch. They merely state that he assumed the title of Raja Bikramjit and other great names. The title Raja Bikramjit was already given to him by Sultan Adil Shah in Chunar (Tarikh-i-Daudi, p-191). No coin of Hemu has been found any where. Only Ahmad Yadgar states that Hemu declared himself sovereign , struck coins and read khutba in his name. But Ahmad Yadgar himself confesses that Hemu acknowledged Adil Shah as his master even after the conquest of Delhi, October 6, 1556. Hemu, therefore, could only assume the insignia of royalty in the interval of a month between Octb. 6 1556 and the battle of Panipat November 5, 1556. But it is extremely improbable that he would commit to such a hazardous enterprise and alienate the Afghan soldiers at a time when he had to concentrate his whole strength against the Mughals. Surrounded by powerful Afghan nobles , he could not become independent of Adil Shah. The Afghan nobles mentioned in the army of Hemu, Shadi Khan Kakar, Husain Khan Faujdar, Rukn Khan Nuhani, Mian Mahmud Lodi, Mian Khwaja Kakar, Ikhtiyar Khan and Mangali Khan were the highest nobles of Adil Shah Sur. As regard the Hindu nobles, they still constituted comparatively a small portion of the nobility. They were Rajya, son of Hemu's sister and commander of the left wing, Sangram Singh, Teharpal (son of Hemu's brother) and Bagwan Das. Abu Fazal says, "from foresight he preserved the nominal sovereignty of for Adil and waged brave wars against his opponents. Therefore there is hardly an justification for asserting on the sole testimony of Ahmad Yadgar that Hemu cut off the slender tie of allegiance to Adil Shah and seized the throne for himself. (Book references ; 1-  "The Successors of Sher Shah" by Nirod Bhuson Roy, pp-91-92, 2-"Sher Shah and his dynasty" by I.H.Siddiqui, p-211)




The defeat of Hemu at the Second Battle of Panipat, a c. 1590s painting by Kankar from the Akbarnama. Neither Hemu nor Akbar are depicted here suggesting that this might be part of a double-page composition.