Everyone of us knows about Prithvi Raj Chauhan but there is another unsung hero we all even don’t know about. Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, popularly known as Hemu was the last Hindu emperor to rule India. Hemu was born in a Hindu Brahman family at Rewari (in Haryana) in 1501. He was originally a shopkeeper who supplied cereals and saltpetre to Sher Shah’s army. During that period he came in contact with Sher Shah son Ismail Shah. After Sher Shah death Ismail Shah succeeded him. During his reign, Hemu was made the Superintendent of the Markets. Gradually, Hemu rose to the position of Chief of Intelligence.
After the death of Ismail Shah his nephew Adil Shah forcefully occupied the throne. But he was the incompetent ruler. He appointed Hemu as his Wazir. It’s said that Hemu fought twenty-two battles against the Afghan rebellions of Adil Shah and won all of them. This increased fear in the heart of enemies.
On the other side, Mughals were growing strong under the leadership of Humanyun who had also defeated Adil Shah’s brother-in-law, Sikandar Shah Suri. It was in 1555 when Humanyun died that Hemu sensed an opportunity to strike out Mughals.
Hemu began a rapid march from Bengal, driving out Mughals from Bayana, Etawah, Sambhal, Kalpi, and Narnaul. In the city of Agra, the governor didn’t even put up a fight and fled. But the major win came when Hemu’s forces won against Mughals at Tughlaqabad. After capturing Agra, Hemu set out to capture Tughlaqabad where he defeated Tardi Beg Khan. One of the advantages that Hemu had against Mughals was the arrival of fresh reinforcements that came from Alwar. On 7th October 1556, Hemu captured Delhi after a day’s battle and declared himself as the Emperor of Delhi. He took the name ‘Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya’, a title many kings have adopted since Vedic Times.
He re-established the native Hindu rule for a short period and got coin minced in his name. But his victory didn’t last long. Just after a month, On 5th November 1556, Hemu’s forces were met with Akbar’s at the famous battlefield of Panipat. Hemu was leading the army himself, riding an elephant. Akbar’s troops were led by some of his finest soldiers including Akbar himself. It was an intense battle and Hemu’s forces were posed great damage to the Mughal army. Just when Hemu was close to victory, an arrow stuck his right eye and he got severely wounded and collapsed. In the absence of their leader, the army panicked and ultimately lost the battle.
Today this brave warrior who fought so hard is nowhere in the memory of people. People should not forget such heroes and should spread awareness among others also of all such unsung heroes who has been forgotten.Their stories should be known to all that how such brave heroes have fought so many battles and one should learn to be courageous and brave like them. Salute to all such heroes !!!
Source: Sanskriti Magazine