March 28, 2023

Hemu was a Hindu, born into a humble family. He rose to become Chief of the Army and Prime Minister to Adil Shah Suri of the Suri Dynasty. He was the greatest rival of Akbar at the time of death of Humayun.  

Hemu was a man of extraordinary personality, and one cannot fail to admire his qualities of leadership and his prompt attempt to banish alien rule from the country. In fact being a real native of the soil his claims to the throne of Delhi were superior to that of the Mughals. 

Hemu was bent upon expelling the Mughals from India. On hearing the news of the death of Humayun, Hemu marched towards Delhi and Agra and occupied the same by defeating Tardi Beg Khan, the Mughal governor of Delhi. Hemu assumed the title of Raja Vikramaditya. He thus became the first and the only Hindu to occupy the throne of Delhi during the medieval period. 

The Mughals were alarmed at the fall of Delhi and Agra. Some advised Akbar to retire to Kabul but Bairam Khan was in favour of recovering Delhi and Agra and Akbar accepted his advice. By this time Hemu had consolidated his position by winning over many Afghan officials and soldiers and he was preparing himself to meet the Mughal advance. The two armies viz. the army of Hemu and of Akbar met on the historic battle field of Panipat in November, 1556. The Mughals fought valiantly but Hemu seemed to carry the day. However, he was struck by an arrow in the eye and he became unconscious. This caused panic in his army as it began to disperse in confusion. It marked a turning point in the battle. Hemu was put to death and Mughal victory was complete. 

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