'jauhar' An Act Of Courage But Also Of Despair

Jauhar was a practice that lasted for about 2 to 3 centuries and had its roots in repeated defeats of the Rajputs and no way represents Hindu philosophy.
'Jauhar' an act of Courage but also of Despair
Source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jauhar

I have been reading a lot about "Jauhar". What is it? It's basically a ritualistic suicide when a queen and her maids consume themselves in a fire to escape falling into the hands of the Muslim invaders. If someone were to commit this act now the persons supporting or condoning these acts would probably be arrested. Unfortunately, this practice was prevalent for about 2 to 3 centuries in the early part of the Muslim invasion of India. It must be mentioned that it was a practice followed by the Rajput clan in Western India and was not the practice in other parts

of the sub-continent. There is no record of Jauhar anywhere else other than among the Rajputs. Thus it can be surmised that it did not form part of Hindu philosophy where the great saints have condemned suicide. Jauhar, in fact, was suicide by burning as per the modern terminology.

Jauhar had its roots in the repeated defeats of the Rajputs at the hands of the invaders. Once the Rajput chieftains were bested on the battlefield the victors as per the customs of those days captured the women as "spoils of war"  and incorporated them in their harems. This was demeaning to the Rajput clan

and the practice of Jauhar emerged so that the Rajput women could kill themselves before falling into the hands of the victorious Muslim kings.

At best this was a negative concept and does no justice to anybody who was involved in this act. But within about 2 to 3 centuries this practice ceased as the Rajputs accepted the  Muslim emperor as the Shehan Shah ( emperor) and they were content to serve under him. The Rajputs also as a mark of servility forgot all about Jauhar and gave their princess in marriage freely to the Muslim kings. This is a fact of history. Ambrose Dudley has clearly mentioned about this in his Hutchinsons history of Nations, which he wrote in the 16th century. 

As Jauhar is a fact of history it does no good for some Hindus now to ask for a ban on the film "Padmavati." Looks so contrived as after all Bhansali is just depicting what the history books relate to us.



Article Written By Madan G Singh

An early retired Gp Capt from Air Force who is an Executive Director in the Corporate world. Loves to write fiction and articles. Published over 60 short stories and his novel" Romance of the Frontier" is published from Notion Books.His second novel is on way for publication. The author also has close to 10,000 articles on the b net with millions of views

Posted on 19-11-2017 12 0

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