Rajput organisations have planned mega events to mark the birth anniversary of 9th century ruler Mihir Bhoj. The celebration comes at a time when several Rajput bodies have raised their voice against “distortion” and “appropriation” of their history.
The Rajput bodies have planned the events at over 40 places across Uttar Pradesh and over 200 places across India on October 17 and 18.
Politics around the legacy of King Mihir Bhoj catapulted on September 22 when the local MLA of Dadri invited UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to unveil a statue of Mihir Bhoj, claiming him to be a Gujjar. This was fiercely opposed by Rajput bodies.
“The appropriation of our history will not go down well with the community in the poll-bound state. The government must stay away and outright reject efforts of appropriation of history of Rajputs. Mihir Bhoj was a Pratihar Rajput and his descendants are still alive. How can the politicians stoop so low to steal our history,” said Rakesh Raghuvanshi, state president, Shri Rashtriya Rajput Karni Sena.
“We have planned to install more than a dozen statues of Mihir Bhoj at all important cities of his kingdom. His statues will also be installed in eastern Uttar Pradesh. It is our duty to stop appropriation of Rajput history,” said Raghuvanshi.
The events planned by Rajput bodies are likely to be attended by the descendant of Mihir Bhoj, Kunwar Arunoday Singh Parihar, the prince of Nagod state.
“It is sad that our history is being misused to garner votes. The politicians must always stay away from such efforts to distort and steal our history. The events have been organised to spread awareness in the community about the current situation. If the government continues to play around our history, we will show them the power of Rajput votes. Mihir Bhoj was a kshatriya Rajput Parihar, he was not a Gujjar,” said Mahendra Singh Tanwer, president, Akhil Bharatiya Kshatriya Mahasabha.
Apart from UP, the events to mark Mihir Bhoj’s anniversary on October 18 are also planned across many states.
“The programmes to mark Samrat Mihir Bhoj’s birth anniversary have been planned at the capital cities of his erstwhile empire to spread awareness about his contribution in India’s history. Also, there have been organised attempts to steal the Rajput identity of Mihir Bhoj, we strongly condemn such acts and will spread awareness about his legacy and lineage. Events have been planned at Jalore and Jodhpur areas, which were the capitals of erstwhile kingdom of Mihir Bhoj,” said Rewant Singh Patoda, Kshatriya Yuvak Sangh.
While the Gujjar’s lay claim on lineage of Mihir Bhoj, the historians claim that the word Gurjar in ‘Gurjar-Pratihar Mihir Bhoj’ has been derived from the area from where he started his rule, which corresponds to the modern day Gujrat and southern Rajasthan.
Dr Shree Bhagwan Singh, an ancient India historian, said, “Mihir Bhoj was a Pratihar Rajput and his direct descendants are Parihar and other such Rajput castes of central and north India. He was notorious among invaders for his fierce warfare and massive army. The ancient scriptures of the Arab invaders mention his valour on the battlefield as he repeatedly fended off their attempts to invade India. He defended India from invaders for many years. The word Gurjar in his name is derived from the area from where he ruled, which is the current state of Gujrat.”
Published in India Today by Abhishek Anand.