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Hemu (1501–1556) (हेमू) the Naloleon of Medieval India was a Hindu Jat ruler. Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, Hemu Vikramaditya or simply Hemu (Hindi: सम्राट हेम चंद्र विक्रमादित्य) (1501–1556) was a Hindu Emperor of India during the sixteenth century. This was the period when the Mughals and Afghans were desperately vying each other for power to rule over India.

According to Hawa Singh Sangwan real name of Hemu was Basant Rai who was born at Deoti village of Rajgarh tahsil in Alwar district in Rajasthan in the family of Pranapala, a Jat Zamindar.


Hem Chandra was born at Deoti-Machhari village of Alwar District in Rajasthan in the year 1501.[1]

Hem Chandra was born to Rai Puranmal on Ashwin Shukla Vijaidashmi, 1558 Vikrami Era or 1501 CE.

Hemu's sister was married into Gun Chandra. Gun Chandra and his ancestors lived at Qutabpur, district Rewari, in Haryana. [2]

Assumed title of Vikramaditya

Hem Chandra ascended the throne of Delhi on 7 October 1556, assuming the title of "Vikramaditya" that had been earlier adopted by many Hindu kings since the Vedic times. His Rajyabhishek (coronation) ceremony took place at Purana Quila in Delhi. He re-established the Hindu rule (albeit for a short duration) in North India, after over 350 years of Muslim rule. Hemu struck coins bearing his title.

Victories of Hemu against the Mughals

After the victory of the Mughal ruler Humayun over Adil Shah's brother Sikander Suri, on 23 July 1555 the Mughals regained the Punjab, Delhi and Agra after a gap of 15 years. Hemu was in Bengal when Humayun died on 26 January 1556. Humayun's death gave Hemu an ideal opportunity to defeat the Mughals. He started a rapid march from Bengal through present day Bihar, Eastern UP and Madhya Pradesh. The Mughal fauzdars abandoned their positions and fled in panic before him. In Agra, an important Mughal stronghold, the commander of Mughal forces Iskander Khan Uzbeg fled after hearing about Hemu's invasion, without a fight. Etawah, Kalpi and Bayana all in present day central and western UP, fell to Hemu.

In the words of K.K.Bhardwaj, "His triumphant march from Bihar to Dilli (Delhi) can be equated to the Italian campaign of Napoleon: "He came, he saw, he conquered"."[3] Hemu never saw defeat in battle and went from victory to victory throughout his life (he died in the only battle he lost). Hemu won the loyalty of his soldiers by his ready distribution of the spoils of war among his soldiers.[4]

After winning Agra, Hemu moved for the final assault on Delhi. Tardi Beg Khan, who was Governor of Delhi, for Akbar, wrote to Akbar and, his regent, Bairam Khan that Hemu had captured Agra and intended to attack the capital Delhi, which could not be defended without reinforcements.[5] Bairam Khan realising the gravity of the situation, sent his ablest lieutenant Pir Muhammad Sharwani to Tardi Beg. Tardi Beg Khan summoned all the Mughal commanders in the vicinity to a war council for the defence of Delhi. It was decided to stand and fight Hemu and plans were made accordingly.

Sir Jadunath Sarkar writes in detail about the "Battle for Delhi" at Tughlaqabad: "The Mughal army was thus drawn up. Abdullah Uzbeg commanded the Van, Haider Muhammad the right wing, Iskander Beg the left and Tardi Beg himself the centre. The choice Turki Cavalry in the van and left wing attacked and drove back the enemy forces before them and followed far in pursuit. In this assault the victors captured 400 elephants and slew 3000 men of the Afghan army. Imagining victory already gained, many of Tardi Beg followers dispersed to plunder the enemy camp and he was left in the field thinly guarded. All this time Hemu had been holding 300 choice elephants and a force of select horsemen as a reserve in the centre. He promptly seized the opportunity and made a sudden charge upon Tardi Beg with this reserve."

Confusion ensued resulting in a defeat for the Mughals. Hemu was helped by reinforcements from Alwar with a contingent commanded by Hazi Khan. The desertion of various Mughal commanders with Pir Muhhammad Khan who fled the battle field, to Tardi Beg chagrin and surprise, forced the Mughal commander to withdraw.

Hem Chandra won Delhi after a day's battle on 6 October 1556. Some 3000 soldiers died in this battle. However, Mughal forces led by Tardi Beg Khan vacated Delhi after a day's fight and Hem Chandra entered Delhi victorious under a royal canopy.

According to Abul Fazl, in the Akbarnama, Hem Chandra after winning Delhi planned to attack and win Kabul. He made several changes in his Army, including the recruitment of many Hindus, but without the dismissal of any Afghan.

Second Battle of Panipat

On hearing of Hem Chandra's serial victories and the fall of large territories like Agra and Delhi, the Mughal army at Kalanaur lost heart and many commanders refused to fight Hemu.[6] Most of his commanders advised Akbar to retreat to Kabul which would serve better as a strong-hold. However, Bairam Khan, Akbar's guardian and chief strategist, insisted on fighting Hemu in an effort to gain control of Delhi.

On 5 November 1556, the Mughal army met Hem Chandra's army at the historic battle field of Panipat. Bairam Khan exhorted his army in a speech with religious overtones and ordered them into battle. Akbar and Bairam Khan stayed in the rear, eight miles from the battle ground, while Hemu led his army himself into battle, atop an elephant. He was on the cusp of victory, when he was wounded in the eye by an arrow, and collapsed unconscious. This led to confusion amongst the soldiers, with no supreme commander to coordinate decisions.

Unconscious and at death's door, Hemu was captured by Shah Qulin Khan and carried to the Mughal camp for execution. He was first struck by Akbar himself, so that Akbar could earn the title of "Ghazi" (holy warrior). He was then beheaded by Bairam Khan.[7] His head was sent to Kabul, where it was hanged outside the Delhi Darwaza, while his body was placed in a gibbet outside Purana Quila in Delhi.

After Hemu's death, a massacre of Hemu's followers was ordered by Bairam Khan. Thousands were beheaded and towers of skulls built with their heads, to instil terror among the Hindus. At least one painting of such minarets is displayed in the "Panipat Wars Museum" at Panipat in Haryana. These towers were still in existence about 60 years later as described by Peter Mundy, a British traveler who visited India during the time of Jahangir.[8]

Clan of Hemu

Kanwal Kishore Bhardwaj writes that It is not known for certainty as to when and where Hemu was born, of course the widely prevalent view is that he was born at Qutabpur near Rewari in Haryana into the Dhusar caste of Vaish or Baniyas.[9] Kanwal Kishore Bhardwaj further writes at p.12 that Hemu Bakal, a Hindu, was raised to offices of high trust and soon became the Minister who exercised the most commanding authority.

M L Bhargava had held the view that he was born at Deoli or Deoti in south of Alwar.

हवासिंह सांगवान जाट[10] ने इतिहास के कुछ अनछुए अध्यायों पर अनुसन्धान किया है । उनका कहना है कि हेमू को बनिया या भार्गव ब्राह्मण मानना इतिहासकारों की भूल है । उन्होंने सप्रमाण हेमू को तिजारा के देवती गाँव का जाट सिद्ध किया है. शोरे का व्यापारी होने के कारण इतिहासकारों ने बनिया लिख दिया है ।

हवासिंह सांगवान जाट लिखते हैं कि अंग्रेजी की पुस्तक मुगल इम्पायर इन इण्डिया में साफ-साफ लिखा है - दूसरी पानीपत की लड़ाई के योद्धा हेमू का असली नाम बसन्तराय था जो अलवर क्षेत्र में तिजारा के पास राजगढ़ तहसील में देवती गांव का रहने वाले जाट जमींदार प्रणपाल का लड़का था । लेकिन लोगों ने इसे बनिया व बकाल तक लिख डाला । ब्राह्मणों ने इसे ब्राह्मण भी घोषित करने का प्रयास किया जिसने एक महीने तक दिल्ली पर शासन करके विक्रमादित्य की पदवी धारण की थी । लेकिन जाटों ने कभी इनको जाट नहीं कहा ।[11]

हवासिंह सांगवान जाट[12] लिखते हैं कि वीर योद्धा हेमू उर्फ बसन्त राय जाट - भारतीय इतिहास में इस महान् जाट को बार-बार बनिया और बकाल लिखा गया है। लेकिन सच्चे इतिहास को दबा दिया गया और इन्हें जाट कहने से परहेज किया गया। इसी प्रकार विष्णु-प्रभाकर की पुस्तक ‘शहीद भगतसिंह’ में चौ० छाजूराम को बार-बार सेठ लिखा गया है और कहीं भी चौधरी, लाम्बा या जाट नहीं लिखा गया। आने वाले 500 सालों के बाद इन्हें भी बनिया या बकाल मान लिया जाएगा। जैसा कि आज हेमू जाट के साथ

पृष्ठ 63
हो रहा है। अंग्रेज लेखक सर एडवर्ड सुलीवान की पुस्तक ‘मुगल इम्पायर इन इण्डिया’ के पेज नं० 259-260 में यह सच्चाई दर्ज है, जो इस प्रकार है -
हेमू का असली नाम बसंत राय था जो अलवर क्षेत्र में तिजारा के पास देवती गांव का रहने वाला जाट जमींदार का लड़का था, जिनके पिता का नाम परणपाल था। इनके बड़े भाई का नाम जुझारूपाल तथा बहिन का नाम पूनम बाई था। बड़ा होने पर इन्होंने शौरे का व्यापार शुरू किया जो बारूद बनाने में काम आता है। इसने शेरशाह सूरी के लड़के सलीम शाह को शौरा सप्लाई करना आरम्भ किया, जिसके कारण उसके साथ उसकी मित्रता हो गई। शेरशाह सूरी के खानदान का जाटों से भावनात्मक लगाव था क्योंकि हुमायूं के साथ लड़ाई में जाटों ने शेरशाह का साथ दिया था जिसका कारण था कि शेरशाह ने बचपन में जाटों के यहां नौकरी की थी। (शेरशाह शूरी खत्री जाति से सम्बन्ध रखता था।) बसन्त राय उर्फ हेमू में जाट होने के कारण क्षत्रिय गुण स्वाभाविक थे, रिवाड़ी कस्बे में रविदास नाम के ब्राह्मण से इनकी मित्रता थी जहां वे अक्सर आते-जाते ठहरा करते थे। सलीम शाह के बाद शेरशाह सूरी का साला आदिलशाह गद्दी पर बैठा तो उसके साथ भी बसन्त राय की व्यापार और मित्रता घनिष्ठ होती चली गई। एक दिन आदिलशाह बीमार पड़ गया तो कालिंजर किले की कमान बसन्त राय उर्फ हेमू को संभालनी पड़ी। बसन्त राय को युद्ध कला से बाल्यकाल से लगाव था जिस कारण उसने एक दिन सेनापति का कार्यभार संभाल लिया।
एक दिन उन्होंने अपनी सेना के साथ दिल्ली के लिए कूच किया और 7 अक्तूबर 1556 को दिल्ली को जीत लिया तथा विक्रमादित्य की उपाधि धारण की। 7 अक्तूबर 1556 से 5 नवम्बर 1556 तक अर्थात् एक महीना दिल्ली पर राज किया। इसी बीच पानीपत की दूसरी लड़ाई लड़नी पड़ी जिसमें बसन्त राय उर्फ हेमू ने एक सेनापति के बतौर शौर्य के साथ युद्ध लड़ते हुए वीरगति को प्राप्त होकर भारतीय इतिहास में विख्यात हुए।

पृष्ठ 64
इससे स्प्ष्ट है कि हेमू एक वीर जाट था लेकिन व्यापार करने के नाते उसे बनिया कहा जाता है तथा ब्राह्मण से मित्रता होने के कारण एक ब्राह्मण भी बतलाया जाता है। लेखक ने मालूम किया कि देवती गांव आज भी जाटों का गांव है।


  1. Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya By Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya Dhusar (Bhargava) Memorial Charitable Trust (Regd.),Rekmo Press, New Delhi page 5
  2. M.L. Bhargava, Hemu and His Times, page 3
  3. Modern Europe, By C.D.Hazen, (Reprint),Delhi(1956), p.156
  4. Himu - A forgotten Hindu Hero", Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, p.100
  5. Bhardwaj, K. K. "Hemu-Napoleon of Medieval India", Mittal Publications, New Delhi, p.25
  6. Fazal, Sheikh Abul (trans. by Dr. Mathura Lal Sharma) "Akbar Nama", Kailash Pustak Sadan, p.155
  7. Dalpat Vilas
  8. Islamictrivia.html http;//ibloga.blogspot.com/2009/02
  9. Hemu: Napoleon of medieval India By Kanwal Kishore Bhardwaj, p. 10
  10. असली लुटेरे कौन, 2009, पृ. 16
  11. जाट कौम ने अपनों को किया पराया !
  12. Asli Lutere Koun/Part-I,p.62,63,64

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