Hemu Vikramaditya, the last Hindu king of twenty-nine days.

Hemu Vikramaditya was the last Hindu king of Malwa province who captured the Red Fort of Delhi and ruled for twenty-nine days. This is the same Hindu emperor who defeated Akbar in the second battle of Panipat in 1556. Such a Hindu warrior did not get the place in history that he deserved. Akbar’s sycophant Abul Fazal and historian Badayun had made many derogatory comments about this great warrior about his life and personality. Even the historians of independent India did not do justice to him. Not remembering even on the occasion of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence would be injustice to the soil of Malwa and Bharat Bhu.

The names of many kings, maharajas and warriors of Malwa are recorded in the history books, but very few historians know about Hemu Vikramaditya, the emperor who drove away Akbar from Malwa. The new generation is completely unaware of the bravery of Hemu Vikramaditya. There is no monument of Hemu Vikramaditya in any part of Malwa. Whereas this last Hindu king of Malwa had recorded his name in golden letters in history by defeating the huge army of Akbar and ruling Delhi for twenty-nine days.

Hemu Raja was not a member of any royal family. He was a resident of Rewari (Haryana) near Delhi and worked as a craftsman to earn his living and settled in Malwa to expand his business. At that time in Malwa, people of Balai community (who are also called weavers) also used to work in spinning yarn and weaving clothes. After joining hands with him, his clothing business flourished. Some historians believe that Hemu’s father was the son of Purandah ji, a follower of the Vallabh sect and Hemu used to sell military material to Shershah Suri’s army. According to another belief, after seeing Hemu sitting on an elephant and being strong in Rewari, Sher Shah Suri brought him with him to Malwa. Hemu was a clever and intelligent person. He had gained fame in Malwa province with his intelligence. After the death of Sher Shah Suri in 1545, his son Islam Shah ascended the throne and made the intelligent Hemu the controller of Delhi market. Gradually, due to his work, Hemu reached the position of chief advisor to Islam Shah and later Hemu was made his Chief Minister. After the death of Islam Shah, when Adil Shah made his 12 year old son Mark the head of Malwa, he kept Hemu as the Chief Minister because of his bravery. Hemu fought bravely against the Afghan rebels of Adilshah and won 22 battles. The Mughals had an old enmity with the Suri rulers of Malwa. Humayun established his rule in Malwa by defeating Sikandar Shah Suri. During another war, Adilshah himself fled to Chunar and Hemchandra was sent to fight Kumar.When in 1555, Humayun, a merchant, died after falling down the stairs, Hemu considered it a good opportunity and attacked the Mughals and launched a campaign from Bayana (the historical capital of the present Bharatpur district, which was under the control of Adil Shah) to Agra. Adopting Hemu’s clever warfare strategy, he marched from Bengal and expelled the Mughals from Bayana, Etawah, Sambhal, Kalpi and Narnaul. Frightened, Mughal governor Iskander Khan Uzbek fled from Agra and Hemu defeated Mughal army leader Tardibeg Khan badly in Tughlakabad. For this brave battle skill he assumed the title of Vikramaditya.

To avenge his Tughlaqabad defeat, Akbar sent commanders Khan Zamana and Bairam Khan along with his Lashkar for a decisive battle in the field of Panipat on 5 November 1556. Which is known in history as the second battle of Panipat. Hemu Vikramaditya bravely faced Akbar’s army. The army was about to win, when an arrow hit Hemu Vikramaditya’s eye and he attained martyrdom.

Akbar’s guard Bairam Khan Hemu was so enraged by the fighting skills of Vikramaditya that he asked Akbar to behead the brave Hemu from the dead body. Akbar refused, saying ‘I will not put a dead man’s head in the pen’. Then in anger Bairam Khan cut off the head of the last Hindu king of Malwa region and sent it to Kabul.
The memorial prepared in memory of the last Hindu king of this great Malwa was unveiled by the then Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhajan Lal ji on 29 December 1991. This brave warrior should be remembered in the soil of Malwa, so that the new generation of Malwa can be made aware of his morale and strength to defeat a cruel and tyrannical king like Akbar.
Dr. Balaram Parmar ‘Hansmukh’

Edit by Manisha.

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