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I believe this question is directed more at historic traditions of Rajputs rather than their lifestyle as it exists today, and I will answer accordingly.
Rajputs hail from the western part of India– the region roughly corresponding to the present state of Rajasthan. However, now they have settled in many other stated of India, particularly to the states adjoining Rajasthan.
They belong to the Kshatriya(or warrior) cast – one of the four main casts in of hindus. The word Rajput means ‘son or descendants of kings’.
The origin of can be traced back to 606 A.D. when King Harshvardhana of Kannauj was crowned as Rajputra Siladitya. They rose to prominence during the 9th to 11th centuries.
The land of Rajputs is mostly desert and arid area. To adapt to this environment they had no option but to become hardy, independent and fearless. Thus they developed a martial spirit, and fiercely proud and independent temperament. They become very capable, and brave soldiers.
Rajputs had high sense of honour, honesty, and loyalty. They were very touchy about being disrespected, and often made great sacrifices to avoid domination by others. However, once they pledged their loyalty to someone, they were very reliable. It was this loyalty of Rajputs, made the great Mogul King Akbar, a mohmedan, appoint so many Rajputs in senior position in his court and army.
Rajput valued their honour and word above their lives. They would risk their own to protect a person who has taken refuge under them. They never forgot favour done to them, and when opportunity arose returned the favour many times over.
Rajputs prefered to die in battle rather than accept defeat. There are many recorded incidents in history when Rajputs soldiers and their womenfolk, under condition of certain defeat at the hands of enemy, preferred to lay down their lives, rather than surrender. In such incidents, the ladies of the fort would commit collective self-immolation in a collective pyre, thereby escaping molestation and dishonour at the hands of the invading army. This Then the fort gates would be opened and men would ride out to meet the enemy, dying gloriously on the battlefield. This collective self-immolation by ladies is calle Jauhar, and fight until death of men is called Saka. The famous fort of Chittor was the site of the three most famous Jauhars recorded in history.
These qualities enabled Rajputs to carve out many small and medium kigdoms for themselves. Out of about 600 kingdoms that existed within British India, prior to independence in 1947, two thirds were ruled by Rajputs. However Rajputs could nould not establish very big kingdoms, perhaps because of their rigidity fostered by self respect, which at times turned in to ego.
Lifestyle of Rajputs, which stood them in good stead in the past, is no longer that relevant now. Also withtime, the soldierly qualities have wasted away due to lack of use. The current lifestyle has both positive and negative features with respect to needs of modern time.
Rajputs today are proud of their lineage and tradition. While they have an egalitarian approach within their clan and sub clan, they tend to look down upon people of lower cast. Their past tendency to resist domination comes in way of becoming effective players in organizational setup. Instead of being self respecting they end up being rude and arrogant. Also they have become vain and extravagant in their effort to establish a higher status in the society.
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