The movie “Prithviraj” stars Indian actor Akshay Kumar. (photo via IANS)
By ARCHANA SHARMA
JAIPUR (IANS) – Rajasthani Gurjars have threatened to stop the screening of Bollywood film ‘Prithviraj’ starring Akshay Kumar if the film continues to use the term ‘Rajput’ for Prithviraj Chauhan.
The community claimed that Prithviraj was from the Gurjar community and he was not a Rajput. However, the leaders of the Rajput community strongly rejected their claim and said that the Gurjars were initially ‘gauchar’, who later converted to Gujjars and then Gurjars. They are basically from Gujarat and hence have been given this name, national spokesperson Shri Rajput Karni Sena, Vijendra Singh Shaktawat said.
It is a term related to location and not a term related to caste, he added.
Two days ago, members of the Gurjar community staged a protest in Ajmer, threatening to block the screening of the film if Prithviraj Chauhan was not portrayed as a Gurjar king.
Gurjar Chief Himmat Singh said, “#Prithviraj movie is made based on Prithviraj Raso written by Chand Bardai and the same was shown in Prithviraj movie teaser. After studying the available inscriptions in the story, scholars believed that Chand Bardai wrote it about 400 years ago after the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan. In the 16th century, the epic Raso was written, which is fictional. The epic is written by Chand Bardai in Pringal language which is a mixture of Bajra and Rajasthani language.
“During the reign of Emperor Gurjar Prithviraj Chauhan, the Sanskrit language was used but not the Pringale language which was used by the poet.”
This is historical proofs that Rajputs never existed before 13th century, we have proved this from historical facts and this has also been accepted by people of Rajput caste at present and hence they claimed themselves as Kshatriya and not as Rajputs. In fact, even in a dispute, after the unveiling of the statue of Emperor Gurjar Mihir Bhoj in Dadri and Gwalior, the Rajputs submitted their caste as Kshatriya to the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Singh said.
The controversy over the film is due to the fact that the word Rajput was used during the time of Chand Bardai and not during the reign of Prithviraj Chauhan, he said, adding: “Prithviraj Chauhan’s father, Someshwar, was related to the Gujjar caste, and therefore the son himself should be a Gurjar,” he added.
Shaktawat said it is true that Rajput is a title and not a caste. But it is also a fact that the Rajputs symbolize those who are earth bound i.e. the sons of the soil who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of their land.
It is true that 13th century did not find mention of the word Rajput, Lord Ram was Kshatriya but he was never known as Rajput. Rajput is a title that means son of Raja, the legacy that lives on among the royal family where kings get the title, he added.
He said that Someshwar was the king of Gurjarland which was part of today’s Gujarat and Rajasthan and hence called Gurjadhipati or Gurjaradheer which connected southern Rajasthan and Gujarat. All claims of the Gurjar clan are therefore groundless, he claimed.