What are the controversies related to Rajput history?

Kumar Suresh Singh, a Chandel Rajput from Girdhaur, a Scholar of Society Pic Source: here

Sangraam ✍️

  1. Myths of origin Many scholars have attributed foreign origin to Rajput clans,especially in the case of the popular legend of Agnikula or the “fire clan”. It is obvious nobody’s born out of fire. So this led some to assume these tribes were alien immigrants who took some priestly help to invent a myth of divine origin and slowly, these became integrated with Kshatriya class i.e. Rajputs. Nothing could be farther from truth, though. Agnikula clans are said to be four- Chahmanas/Chauhans, Pratiharas/Parihars, Chaulukyas/Solankis and Parmaras. This myth was born in 11th century while inscriptions instituted by Chahmana rulers dating as late as 1119 CE [1] record these rulers only terming themselves as either belonging to Suryavansha or Chandravansha. Evidently, these 4 clans which ruled western-central India suffered this priestly rebranding as a means of being constituted in a special subgroup within the existing framework of bi-family corpacenary structure. Similarly,the existence of many other ancient clans in Rajput community puts an end to this myth of foreign origin. Raghuvanshis, Nimivanshis, Shrinet Nikumbhs of Sattasi , Visens ….too many ancient clans. Visen Rajputs trace origin from Mallas of post vedic period while Raghuvanshis of Jaunpur belong to the stock of Rig vedic Ikshvaku tribe. Apart from this, there is also a simultaneous propaganda on Rajput Origins turning them “descendants of other castes, namely Brahmin, Gujjar, Gond” while refusing to put up a detailed explanation for such loose-hypothesis.

2. Inadequate representation , purposeful marginalisation: While Rajputs would be theorized to be children of Brahmins, Jats, Gujjars or Gonds ; they would also be simultanouesly shamed for this or that reason. Rajput history has been sidelined and under represented, clearly. History books often only look at Rajput military history when a defeat has to be mentioned, an example being the sanguinary battle at Tarain. But Rajput military resistance post-1192, like Chauhan reconquest of Ajmer and massacre of Qivam ul Mulk-led Mamluke garrison(1193), annhilation of a 1,20,000 strong Mamluke Army by a Rajput king of Awadh[2] a few years hence

and repeated vanquishing of Tughlaqs by western Rajputs[3] in 14th century; though empire shaking battles which made mighty Delhi Sultanate meet its end, are totally glossed over or are merely mentioned in passing. The pivotal role, for example, of Katoch Rajputs of Kangra in weakening Tughlaqs by exterminating a whole expeditionary Sultanate Army and paving way for reconquests by Hindu Rajputs and Vijayanagara state in the plains is hardly ever mentioned. And there hardly ever is mentioned the word ‘Rajput’ when talking about battle of Kangra & the vanquishers of Bin Tughlaq only find mention as “Hill tribes”, not to say how utter scholarly ignorance reigns over the fact that how a few thousand Kshatriyas defeated and put to death a vastly numerically superior and better armed Sultanate host.

Now the question arises as to how come Rajput history has been ceaselessly maligned especially in post independence academic era? The answer is left’s dominance over history academia and their burning desire to alienate the Rajput community as a whole, from national discourse by robbing them off richness of their collective historical past and ultimately reducing them to inconsequence.

3. Modern-day appropriation. Add to this the repeated misrepresentation of Rajput history for political motives to secure votebanks. Rajput heroes are stolen, detached from their descendants and “given over” to other communities. Just as Rana Poonja Solanki, a chieftain of Mewar who administered Panarwa Giras in the Bhil territory of Bhomat and was instrumental in securing Bhil support for Maharana Pratap, has now been termed a Bhil himself and is portrayed as such. The fact that his direct descendants, the present Solanki Thakur family have opposed installing of Poonja’s statue as a Bhil bears absolutely no importance.

Similar has been the case of Raja Suheldev Bais of Bahraich who fought in Rajput confederacy to defeat Ghaznavids and kill Salar Jung Masudi at battle of Bahraich, has now been turned into a Pasi, contrary to the fact that he was a Bais Rajput. What otherwise was he doing in a Rajput confederacy? More of the same, the imperial Pratiharas who stopped the juggernaut of Umaiyad Arab Caliphate have now been appropriated by Gujjar zealots. In the same vein, Minhas Rajput Sikh warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur has been appropriated by Jatts and Mohyals; and Aheers have hijacked the Yaduvanshi lineage which only includes the Rajput clans of Bhatis,Jadejas,Choodasmas and Jadauns. Aheers are and always were separate caste than Yaduvanshi Kshatriyas. Mahabharata mentions them(Abhiras) as highway dacoits who attacked a Yaduvanshi caravan and looted it. It was in as late as early 20th century that under the tutelage of Arya Samaj, many castes such Gops, gwalas etc declared themselves Yadavs and incorporated themselves into an Ahir identity. But the Ahirs of the west haven’t accepted their claims to Ahir identity even till today and that’s why no intermarriage happens between the two. And all these undue encroachments and thefts of Rajput history are encouraged by RSS and its other wings with a view of giving different communities a false sense of historical representation.

Indubitably, Left’s vandalism and Right’s appropriation of Rajput history both have led to its marginalisation.

Footnotes

[1] History of the Chahamanas

[2] The Tabaqat-i-Nasiri

[3] Maharana Kumbha

Published by voiceofrajputs

In the Past 30 years or so, the community has witnessed decline- socially, economically and politically, one of the root causes of this multifaceted decline being - the Intellectual decline & alienation of the Community. Hence an attempt to rectify it.

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