The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Itihaas Sankalan Yojana has rejected criticism that it made a mistake picking India’s former Hindu emperor, Samrat Hemchandra Vikramaditya, also known as Hemu, as its new Hindutva icon.
“Hemu might have spent his career serving Afghan kings, fighting Afghan battles and sharing war loot with fellow Afghan soldiers, but in his heart he always was a Virat Hindu,” contended Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Subramanian Swamy.
The Minister of Culture, Shripad Yasso Naik, told reporters that Hemu’s 29-day reign in 1556 epitomised good governance, unlike the policy paralysis that ensued in the 300 years of Islamic rule that followed his defeat and the 200 years of British rule that came after that.
Government officials strongly defended Hemu’s military record. “His heroic one-day stand at the Second Battle of Panipat should be an inspiration to us all,” said Minister of State for External Affairs General Vijay Kumar Singh. “It was never going to be easy to to defeat his formidable opponent, the 13-year old emperor Akbar.”