former Indian Prime Minister,Vishwanath Pratap Singh was a Gaharwar(Gahadavala) from Manda(Praygraj). A visionary and the most successful Rajput politician of post-Independence era. An idealist he selflessly worked for the backward and marginalized castes. It was his short-lived government that also gave Bharat Ratna to Dr Ambedkar. However an embodiment of selfless idealism, his blunder of clubbing largely agrarian rustic Rajputs with urbanized educationally forward, institutionally dominant Brahmins and Banias, eventually led to the former’s own quick socioeconomic downfall and hence further political marginalization.
This article is a Synopsis of how Rajput public has been institutionally alienated and systematically destroyed over 70 years. Since this is a conclusive essay based on the previous chapters, before continuing with this article & to understand the context better, please go through the previous articles listed below:
(1) How “mainstream” Media feels entitled to ignore facts and bury ethics for publically flogging the Rajput people and to paste Labels on Rajput public
Evauating Girish Shahane’s essay against Rajputs (2/3)
(2) Not just Media, but ** “mainstream” “liberal” Academicians** deliberately shame the Rajput public, distort their history and even mislead on their socioeconomic and sociopolitical issues.
Prof Harbans Mukhia & “How To Maul a People”: A Case Study of His BBC Hindi Articles
(3) The well-entrenched eco-system of India’s Public Personalities & Celebrities that flogs Rajput public without any moral compunction.
"Girish Shahane,Scroll.in, Rajputs (3/3): The Making of a Media Narrative on a people
(4) The Hindi Cinema’s role in making Rajputs homo sacer.
Bollywood Caricaturing: Making Rajputs ‘Homo Sacer’
The above articles impart better clarity on how “mainstream” Media, Academia and Cinema are exploited to socially bleed, economically destroy, politically silence and intellectually distract the Rajput Public.
As Rajputs, we must realize that unlike others, who had no History, we have a very detailed clan-wise and subclan-wise history of most of our tribes - backed by inscriptions and written records. Our Past is not disconnected to our present and future. The History of our clans is reflected both in our current demography and socio-economic conditions. Besides, preservation of our history is also indispensable for any collective struggle for a brighter future.
Thus, the detractors often attack History to socially alienate us, and politically silence us.
At other times, they preserve and propagate the image of Rajputs as the “All-powerful Thakur” in the spirit of Bollywood’s quintessential filmy rajput for the very same purpose…
Therefore, let us revisit the mound of narratives which has burried our social awakening, political voice, economic growth and intellectual activism.
I. Mound of Narratives : Alienate & Shame
Table 1: Narratives often used to Alienate, shame & shut-up Rajputs irrespective of ideology
1. Sabotaging Identity with wild Theories of Origins.
We don’t hear of Khannas until Bollywood suddenly hyped their presence. Thus Khannas were a modern-day addition to Indian Population , maybe not before 1950. And since the British ruled India before Khatris became Opinion-Decision-makers(rulers)…Khannas are of British origins .That is exactly how this lady argues.
They will deny the Kshatriyas an independent identity and push their origins further forwards each time. Once they denied the existence of Rajputs in ancient republics and instead assigned them origins in Alchon Huns ; now they even shift Rajput origins to 16th century, and assign them origins in Brahmin, Jat, Gujjar, Ahir i.e. Congressi castes. While they would denounce Ram & Krishna as myths, they would invoke Parshuram slaying kshatriyas as a historical event. At the same time they assume antiquity for their Congressi castes - Brahmin, Khatri, Jat, Gujjar, Ahir etc — even though the Rajputs as soldiers and warriors were the only community of northern India to have inscriptions and written accounts of their own going back to atleast the 5th century CE, even detailing their clans. They would give Rajputs origins in their own castes but each of them would fail miserably to give pre-Mughal and in most cases pre-British accounts of their castes and clans.
Neither the Brahmin nor Khatri Opinion-makers like her, can give history of their own clans from 4 centuries ago The oldest known Khatri Is Kalidas Bedi, who worked under Rai Bhullar Bhati, a Rajput, while Bhatia (a Khatri clan) “claims” origins in Bhatis (a Rajput clan).
Similarly, while Aryabhat, Kautilya, Kalhana, Kalidas etc are identified as Brahmins (caste, class or epithet?), their gotras remain unknown.
The only source of knowledge on Jats, Gujjars & Ahirs (the favoured communities), still remain Rajput & British accounts. Yet, lack of information of Rajput clans before 1500 years becomes a sufficient excuse to propagate wild speculations on their origins - even attributing their origins to these abovementioned groups, notwithstanding that not just the term “rajput” but also most Rajput clans established themselves centuries before the first epigraphic evidence of each of the above communities.
This only highlights the irony of this hackneyed & banal exercise which is less scholarly & more politically motivated.
2. “Defeat Specialists”
Their public personalities and celebrities, flagrantly use “mainstream media” and public platforms to flog Rajput public as “defeat specialists”. However, they may not belittle groups like Jats, Sikhs, Marathas, Afghans, Khatris or various South Indian dynasties for their defeats. Even emphatically project rajputs as inferior to everyone, they would neither bother to elaborate on successes of the other groups with respect to Imperial powers nor explain that how a few decades of hegemony by Maratha or Lahore Darbar establishes them superior to rajput public?
This label was publicaly pasted on the Rajput public by Girish Shahane, brother of Renuka, a Marathi Brahmin. Those on social-media, would be aware of the Marathi Brahmin activism to overhype Maratha Empire’s hundred-year long history and their absolute disgust for the millenium and half-long history of Kshatriyas. The fact that he published this on Pierre Omdiyar-funded Scroll.in which is also owned by Samir Patil, a maratha businessman, further hints at fissiparious caste-politics.
We debunked this label with facts and examples here: “Rajputs defeat specialists !” (1/3): Fact Check on a “mainstream” fraud
3. Reducing Mansingh & Emperor Jaychand to metaphors of Gaddar
They will denounce Rajputs as “traitors”, and even use names of Raja Mansingh Kachwaha or Maharajadhiraj Jaychandra Gaharwar as synonyms of “gaddar”, despite no historical basis to how the last Gaharwar(Gahadavala) Emperor of Benaras is caricatured. Even as a Mughal general, Mansinghji mostly fought battles against Afghans, be it in Afghanistan, in Bengal or in Orissa - he restored power to and conferred title of Maharaja to Ramchandra of Khorda - the dynasty that shaped later years of Orissa.
However compare this to idolization and deification of Shahaji Bhosle and Hemu in Hindutv circles, despite facts. Shahaji destroyed KempeGowdas of Bangalore while Hemu was actually a general of an Afghan Army fighting for Afghan rulers.
4. Cherrypick & abuse Historical figures
Both these Rightwing RSS-backed influencers belong to privileged castes that fought no invaders at all, and yet that wouldn’t stop them from abusing Rajput soldiers
And if that doesn’t suffice, they (as Hindu Hriday samrats) would troll a 26 year old Rajput ruler from a thousand years back, who defeated a 42 year old Turkic Hegemon making him flee to safety. They will use their unearned positions to denounce his victory as a fluke , but never explain how many Turks or for that matter, how many invaders, did their cowardly and unworthy fore-bearers even face? When was the last time they trolled “hindu-Emperor” Hemu or “Hindu Emperor” Shivaji for their defeats? These same “Hindutvadis” go nuts, when some “liberal” abuses Shivaji.
5. Accuse the community of Not Contributing to Freedom Struggle
They will omit the names of all Rajput peasant rebellions, Rajput mutineers, Rajput freedom fighters from Western UP to Purvanchal, even obscure the identity of Ramprasad Bismil or Maj Gen Shahnawaz Khan Janjua and then loudly question rhetorically “where were Rajputs in freedom struggle?” ; And they ask abashedly, as if their entire castes were fighting for Indian Independence.
6. “Jodha-Akbar” jibe , abuse Rajputs for a handful of marriages but omit own history of Concubinage
They will use their media-clout constantly invoke marriages between Mughal dynasty and a handful of Rajput Rajas and sardars from a handful of clans to establish a public narrative of “Rajput-Mughal marriages” and even emphatically ensure its bazaar circulation. But they will not once mention marriages and concubinal relations of Marathas, Jats, Brahmins, Ahoms, Khatris, Gujjars and Ahirs with Muslim rulers, which are also well-documented [Read here].
The frantic zeal of many scholars to reduce history of Rajput people of this subcontinent to the region of Rajasthan and above all, reduce it to the Mughal period of roughly 2 centuries speaks volumes about their insidious dishonesty and inherent caste-politics. Even here, their understanding and obsession has always been the Royal Courts and Royal households.
7. Sikh Jatts good, Dogras just treacherous
Despite the fact that the Sikh Empire, was essentially the hardwork of both Sikhs and Dogra Rajputs, they will ensure that all the positive aspects and achievements of the entity are credited to the Sikhs (who are as glorified as superexclusively superior group as the Marathas in both Left-Right narratives); but everything wrong, including the downfall of Lahore darbar is pinned on the “evil” “treacherous” Dogras.
8. People’s Emperors and Evil Community
They (brahmins) will promote a 13th century Turkic warlord who destroyed even the Pandiyas, Seunas, Kakatiyas and left bloodtrail from Delhi to Madurai as “people’s King”; and use the argument to even justify his excesses on rajput public. Simultaneously, they will stereotype Rajput men as “rapists”. They will write such things about Rajputs, which if at all written or peddled against any human community, would be deemed racist and bigotted. Thus, there is always an argument to exalt a medieval Emperor that accompanies a public shaming of the Rajput masses.
9. Different treatment to similar tragedies of different communities
Prof Tanuja Kothiyal Tiwari teaches history at Ambedkar University, Delhi
War-time excesses forced women, children and even old-men commit suicide to avoid post-war slavery and exploitation . The sombre picture of Sikh women committing mass-suicides during Sikh-Mughal wars, Jalianwala Bagh tragedy or the Partition; the gory details of post-rape suicides by Bengali women in 1971 war, or such instances from other groups evokes public empathy .
However in the case of rajput public, they (brahmin-savarn) would abuse their authority and influence, invoke “feminism”, equate such instances from Rajput community to social malpractices like Sati and set a public narrative to implicate Rajput women for their historical tragedies.
This way they also ensure that the Rajputs (& especially their past) are written off in the most bleak way possible.
10. Mislead & Distort Socio-economic picture of Rajputs
These are words of Prof Kothiyal in her article on Scroll.in
They will also misuse their influence to mislead current socio-economic nature and situation of Rajput people. For decades, they obfuscated the true class-composition of the Rajputs, even using both literature and cinema to perpetuate a public image of Rajputs as “evil arrogant Zamindars”; and in that, ensure that the clan-kinship term “Rajput” remained conflated with the social-class of “Zamindars”. The QFR(quintessental filmy rajput) of 1970s-1990s was always a rich Zamindar, and ironically this coincided with the numerous gallantry awards and sports achievements of working class rajputs in those decades.
No wonder, why the Rajput peasant was alienated from kisaan movements and his struggles (eg. Neemuchana struggle of 1925) were pushed under the carpet.
The over-representation of Rajputs as the All-powerful Thakur’ (the quintessential filmy rajput) to caricature Rajputs as class-equivalent of European landlords has distorted their socio-economic picture, thereby rendered them pariah to social welfare policies of the Indian State. Hence, this stereotype and narratice led to economic destruction of the rural Rajputs.
11. Bogey of “Thakurvad”
Though Rajputs don’t even have a fourth of the representation that the Brahmins enjoy. Yet that won’t stop them (eg Brajesh Mishra, a journalist) from painting target on the community’s back and hypocritically use their hegemony in media-academia to blare false alarms about rajput over-representation.
They will incessantly harangue about the “Rajput privileges” - an average Rajput is no doubt more privileged than an average Dalit or a non-Jat non-Ahir OBC. But if the rajputs even had half the privilege that communities ranging from Brahmins, Khatris to Jats and Ahirs have; would the rajputs be so publicly alienated? Wouldn’t the Rajputs have had voice over their own issues, and their own stories? The fact that all mainstream stories and articles on Rajputs are from these Opinion-makers from these communities, who shape both public perception and decisions on rajputs,is a bold reflection of the state of Rajput privileges.
Though the Brahmins enjoy untrammeled control over Institutions of Decision-making & Institutions of Opinion-building, which includes various Varsities, Media houses & even the 3 National political parties - BJP, Congress & RSS; yet presence of a Rajput CM or PM is always an opportune excuse for them to allege “Thakurvaad”. And this is regardless of the ideology followed by the individual politician of Rajput background - hindutvadi Yogi or secular humanist VPS.
12. Target the community as a Political Rival
Rahul Gandhi made this tweet in context of the Hathras crime, where criminals belonged to the Rajput community. It is rarest of rare - for the chairperson of Indian republic’s oldest and the only other national part INC to openly tweet on a “specific community”. He is a sitting MP, who until 2019 was INC President. And not just that, he is the heir to the dynasty that heads the oldest National party INC - to which a good section of liberal media & academia owe allegiance. He is openly declaring the “varg vishesh” or “specific community”
Crimes and even Caste-crimes by criminals of Jat, Aheer, Brahmin, Maratha, Jatt criminals do not make the entire communities culpable or public-enemies, neither for any political party nor for mainstream intellectuals. However, there are different set of rules for Rajputs. And why not? When rajputs could be put to public-trial 24X7 for false narratives on their past and present, here you have actual criminals from the community as an apparently reasonable excuse. Rajputs must themselves question, why Rahul Gandhi, who in the run up to UP elections has been often marketed as “janeudhari brahmin”, hasn’t tweeted the “specific community” remark on the coeval Adv Devji Maheshwar murder case. Why was no such attack on the “specific community” to which the molestator & murderer of Delta Meghwal belonged or to the “specific community” to which harrassers of Dr Payal Tadvi belonged?
Therefore, they will keep the Rajput public entrapped in a viscious loop of public shame and explanations, demoralizing them and distracting them from their own current burning issues.
We shouldn’t be surprised if new public Narratives against us are added to the mound, because the objective remains same.
Notice that most of the abovementioned Opinion-makers are Brahmins and a few Khatris (Banias). Owing to their traditional status as literary castes, education, and role in pre-Independence Congress, these groups inherited political and bureaucratic power from the British. These groups are over-represented and developed a hegemonic control over opinion-shaping, policy-making and decision-making institutions, post-independence.
II. Tabooing the Rajput identity
The public expression of anti-Rajput hatred is best illustrated when public personalities and celebrities, troll and shame prominent individuals and celebrities (of Rajput background) for self-identifying as Rajputs and identifying themselves with the rajput public. They would make our identity itself a taboo and deny us, our right to be.
This is exactly what happened when mercenaries of identity-politics - Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Jyoti Yadav, Dilip Mandal & Shekhar Gupta pounced on Ravindra Jadeja for calling himself a “rajputboy”. Instead of lecturing his columnists to stop peddling caste-hatred, Gupta, who couldnt even discipline his own employees -Jyoti & Mandal, even harangued Jadeja to stop identifying with his people, as if Jadeja is answerable to him.
Arfa Khanum (the columnist at TheWire.in) & AfreenFatima, the JNUSU president can wear religion up their sleeves, but Jadeja shouldn’t. Jyoti Yadav actively promotes the interests of her Ahir-caste through her position at ThePrint.in, but Jadeja can’t even self-identify
However, the same yardsticks are never applied when celebrities from favoured castes take such pride. The day Jadeja posted the video calling himself “rajputboy”, many eminent Jat personalities - actors and sportspersons like Randeep Hooda, Dharmendra Deol, Saina Nehwal, Phogat sisters shared Jat-centric posts celebrating “International Jat Day”. Nor would it ever be applied to Ahir politicians of Samajwadi Party and RJD (the two parties Jyoti & Mandal symapthize with) who openly flaunt Ahir supremacism, place banners of Ahir pride or shamelessly appropriate legacy of Yaduvanshi Rajputs to that end. It wouldn’t be extended to Samajwadi Party supremo Akhilesh when even as a politician, he would proudly call himself - “Yaduvanshi kshatriya” – no-one including Jyoti Yadav would even point at the factual inaccuracy of his proclamation.
Saina Nehwal, Randeep Hooda, Sanjay Rajoura can take pride in their identities, but Jadeja cannot. The message is no more subtle, but very obvious.
Today in 2020, Shah Rukh Khan can make a movie named Pathan and Randeep Hooda can make movies on Jatts, yet it is impossible for any Rajput filmmaker to make decent movie on Rajput laity to counter the existing anti-Rajput caricaturing in the film industry. To which a detractor, can point at Dharmendra’s film Rajput (1982), which had nothing to do with the rajputs. Can we really think of making a mainstream film on Haifa War (1918) , Boxer Rebellion or Battle of Kasahrada (1178 CE), ? No.
In fact, tabooing the Rajput identity and shaming talented and famous Rajputs, including thinkers, for identifying with and speaking for Rajputs - is actually a deliberate attempt at denying the largely plebian and lower-middle-class Rajputs an enlightened and worthy leadership. Rajputs will have to come out of this shame. The intention of bullying Rajput celebrities and public intellectuals is to pressurize them to make a choice between their people and mainstream acceptance.
The Rajput Community is rural and agrarian unlike the Brahmin-Banias, while at the same time it never benefited from affirmative action (or any such welfare policies) of the State unlike their Jat, Gujjar and Ahir counterparts. This makes the involvement of the educated Rajput bourgeois and upper-class with the larger Rajput masses indispensable - failing which has led to many tangible problems which we witness everyday.
Hence this, way apart from using Mounds of Narratives to - socially alienate, politically silence, and even economically subvert rajputs by pushing them to the margins’ of the welfare State, they even psychologically sabotage the Creamy Rajputs from helping the poor and downtrodden Rajputs and provide them the much-needed intellectual leadership
We must come out of the misconception that we are Kings or accountable to the State.
आप सफाई क्यों दे रहे हो? क्या आप स्टेकहोल्डर हो इस व्यवस्था में? क्या आप शासक हो? क्या आपको शासन की मलाई मिल रही है? आप 70 साल से इस व्यवस्था में आउटसाइडर हो और मार्जिन्स पर हो। आपको इस व्यवस्था में हानि ही हुई है लाभ नहीं। इतनी वफादारी के बावजूद आपको सहानुभूति और सराहना की जगह गाली ही मिली है। आपको जवाब लेने चाहिए आप जवाब दे क्यों रहे हो? सफाई वो देंगे जिनको इस व्यवस्था से सबसे ज्यादा लाभ।
We are citizens of this country with citizens’ duties and citizens’ rights. It is our **citizens’ duty to oppose any form of criminal activity from the community and educate people to give-up brahminical-feudal discrimination, making them realize the moral and material implications of it. Similarly, it is our citizens’ rights to preserve our heritage, legally fight.
III. Why are rajputs targeted even many decades after independence?
Post-independence, the rajputs didn’t enjoy clout in Government jobs, bureaucracy and national politics unlike the brahmins, who literally controlled & still controll Congress, RSS-Jan Sangh and CPM. They also control almost all media-outlets. The Rajput leadership didn’t just gave up their States but also the leadership of the common clansmen - hence Rajputs were destroyed politically. Shaming prominent and talented Rajputs (eg Jadeja) for identifying with their community is also a deliberate attempt to deny Rajputs an elightened leadership.
Onakona Temple (Balod, Chhattisgarh) was built by Kalachuri Rajputs
The rajput commoner didn’t have any economic capital unlike the Khatris or Mahajans. In the name of socialism neither were the Brahmins’ hegemony over govt jobs challenged nor were the private family businesses of the Khatris & Mahajans harmed; however the monuments and forts built, owned and defended by Rajput clan-kinsmen were snatched, and their sole source of livelihood i.e. the lands earned by the rajputs (due to conquests or due to service) were snatched. The Jats and Marathas also underwent a similar process - however their zamindars were quick to present their entire communities as “peasants” and remain on the good side of the coalition. Unlike the rajputs, they were compensated with ‘affirmative action’ Hence the rajput-commoners were uniquely economically pulverized .
Trimukhi Temple (Amarkantak, Annupur dist, MP) is another monument by Kalachuri Rajputs
However, the Rajput people inherited an immense social-capital in terms of at least a 1500 year long history - building monuments, forts, temples (Jain Buddhist or Hindu), founding and establishing villages, towns and cities that are well-documented. . The Rajput is not just an individual, he/she refers to a tribal affiliation. The fact that the Rajputs shared his tribal kinship with not just Kings, Generals, soldiers, Emperors but also Saints and Philosophers of yore, was nother icing on the cakeHence, the fact that Kalachuris had established Jabalpur, Hamirpur (UP) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh) is good enough reason for even a poor rajput peasant from southern Bihar, a Kalachuri clansmen, feel motivated even after sociopolitical decline of his clan centuries back. The social-inheritance of Parihar rajputs of Bundelkhand and Purvanchal is marked by the fact that Emperors Nagbhatt II & Mihirbhoj Pratihar were their ancestors.
This is exactly also why the modern Ruling groups adamantly shame, stigmatize and alienate Rajputs on one hand but on the very other, emphatically even deny them their clan-identity and appropriate their clan-inheritance.
Table 2: Various Market Narratives often used to apppropriate the same Rajputs that they at other times abuse.
IV. Alienate But Appropritate Rajputs
The same public opinion-makers who weave narratives to alienate & shame Rajputs, across the regions and classes of their lineages, also appropriate the very same lineages and personalities connected to it. The same powerful people who sideline and single-out rajput public, also deny them their independent identity. The same Rajput clans, that they stereotype with demeaning narratives on one hand, they would also appropriate them on other situations. Hence, there is a broad ecosystem, favoured equally by the rightwing Brahmins and leftwing Brahmins, that tries to shrink Rajput History to Maharana Pratap, while completely sabotaging and distributing the history of rest of the Rajput clans. The myopic , parasitic and chauvinist Rajput organizations actually help them to this effect by focussing on the few names sanctioned by RSS.
1. The Gujjar leadership will abuse Rajputs by citing certain Rajput-Mughal marriages , but at the same time, they (backed by Brahmins) will appropriate legacy of all the Rajput clans - from Pratihars to Solankis and Chauhans as their own. And to this purpose, they, incuding influential Gujjars, like Col Lohmaror(above) will invent a narrative as per which “all Rajput clans were Gujjars until the coming of Mughals, and those Gujjars who betrayed their Gujjar elderbrothers became Rajputs”. Since their clumsy narrative concocted over a hookah, gets contradicted by mammoth evidence, they resort to muscle-flexing, criminal intimidation and lobbying with parties to erect public structures to foist their flimsy propaganda onto public memory.
2. While Ahir leadership will claim Shudrahood for Bahujan politics on one hand, and at the same time (with the help of Brahmin Elites) they appropriate the entire legacy of Yaduvanshi Rajputs - whether Suraseni Jadons or Banafars, as their own. Ahir Politicians & Ahir elites openly appropriate Rajput figures. Samajwadi Party openly uses its musclepower and state-machineries to facilitate such appropriations of Yaduvanshi rajput clans, for which it never even draws criticism from "mainstream intellectuals"
While Jyoti Yadav (backed by Shekhar Gupta of ThePrint.in) publishes convoluted and twisted arguments to shame Jadeja for self-identifying as a Rajput and her equally communal-casteist associates would abuse the Rajput community. She, as an Ahir, maintains grim silence when Ahir politicians from her hometwon (Rewari) and the Ahir-run “mainstream” political party openly appropriates Yaduvanshi Rajputs, their subclans and their figures like Alha & Udal, two Banafar Jadubanshi rajputs.
4. They (Brahmin comrades) will make Ramprasad Bismil, who was a Gwalera Tomar a Brahmin, & then rhetorically ask where were Rajputs in the freedom struggle.
5. they will also promote General Zorawar Singh Kahluria, a Hindu Chandel rajput as a Sikh-Jatt, even as they stereotype Dogra Rajputs as treacherous.
6 They will turn Pannadhai, a Khichi Chauhan, into Gujjar. Notwithstanding that she was a Khichi Chauhan as per the court-history of Mewar.
7. They (Brahmin ideologues) will rename Rana Punja of Bhomat, a Bhojawat Solanki, who helped Maharana as a Bhil. By encouraging the Bhil leadrrship to appropriate them, they invent conflicts between the Rajputs and the Bhils. The fact that the existence of Rana Punja’s families ie the Solankis of Panarwa (which was capital of Bhomat) and their repeated protests against such vandalism of their family-history for parochial electoral politics of RSS & Congress, has gone unheard shows the degeneracy of Indian politics.
8. Make Raja Suheldev Bais, a general in Gahadavala army as variously Passi or Bhar for politics. They will write books, albeit fictiion, with the aim of caricaturing Rajputs as the evil debauched people and credit the anti-Turk resistance to Pasis and Cholas , as in Amish Tripathi’s Suheldev , when in reality the antti-Turk resistance was solely the work of Rajputs and Suheldev, the commander of Gahadavala Rajputs’ army, was a Rajput himself. The former Rajput taluqdars of Payagpur (in Baharaich) take him as an ancestor.
From Dilip Mandal , liberally-legitimised OBC influencers to even Govt officers, their strategy is quite crystal clear. On Odd days, attack the history of Rajputs to socially bleed and politically silence them. On Even days, appropriate figures from the same Rajput clans and instead deny Rajputs their own clan-heritage by calling us “chor”. Would it be even morally justified to kneel before whims of these “ostensibly liberal” but “politically-dabang” groups to deny our own poor rajputs their own heritage. For eg. the socioeconomic poverty of current Parihar Rajputs is related to their forebearers’ losses to Mamluks & Tughlaqs. Should we deny them their own ancestors’ legacies and surrender them to powerful lobbies and bahubalis of these landed upstart castes ---- groups that had no roles in struggles and tribulatons of the real Parihar subclans whatsoever.
These landed “subaltern bahubalis” castes often blackmail and intimidate people with , are only shielded & empowered by the term “subaltern” bestowed on them by the very same political-correctness culture that the Brahmin-Bania rulers have rampantly used to silence and eviscerate rajputs, by first taking away their lands and now taking away their identity.
In this Nehru-Savarkar State, on one hand Parihar Rajputs are denied their heritage, which is sold to Gujjars for electoral musclepower and on the other, they are expected to be relentlessly apologetic for 16th century decisions of a Kachwaha ruler. For those who understand the centrality of the clan-kinship identity to Rajput politics with each clan having its unique political history, irony only dies a thousand deaths.
History of a Rajput is the history of his clan-khaap group & every Rajput clan-subclan had a history that is intertwined with their geography & has direct bearing on their socioeconomic present. Dilip Mandal, Chiranjeevi Rao, Jyoti Yadav & Col Lohmaror want to both bury these Parihar rajputs under “guilt and shame” while also hijack their heritage. Isn’t it a rare thing?
V. The Ecosystem & its politics of Doublespeak
A political ecosystem consists of decision-makers, policy-makers and opinion-makers. Thus it is an interplay and nexus between political parties, pressure groups, media-houses, film-production houses, academia (esp social-science faculty). The Brahmins & Khatris inherited all of that. The Khatris alongwith Ashrafs dominated Film industry shaping public perception for past sixty years. Under the aegis of “Congress”, the Brahmin bourgeois elite, alongwith Khatris & Kayasths (who were also predominantly urban bourgeois) established institutional hegemony across politics, media, academia and the nascent cinema. These groups became the ruling classes for the entire country ---- both Dr Ambedkar and the Dravidianists were spot-on about the National party.
Almost all media-houses are owned by Brahmins or Banias. Brahmins dominated the pre-Mandalisation regional politics, and even after mandalisation, control the national politics.
The last part can be understood, by the fact that whether it is BJP’s parent organisation RSS, Congress leadership including Nehru family and the CPM Politburo - each is dominated by Brahmins. Hence, its not incorrect to suggest that the Indian Democracy is Brahmocracy.
The next groups were the regionally dominant castes that Congressi rulers ,via Praja Sabhas, saw essential to co-opt for both national integration and sustaining political power. These included - Jats in Western India; Jatts in Punjab, Gujjars in today’s NCR and Ahirs in the Gangetic plains . They are immediately followed by groups like Jats, Ahirs and Gujjars, which have a political dominance due to their demographic concentration in particular regions. These groups were accomodated as satraps (or regional feudatories) by the Congress immediately post-Independence due to their electoral indispensability. These Intermediate landed groups were pampered by reservation (affirmative discrimination) and “Bahujan” label on one hand; and on the other, they were encouraged to invent a “Martial history” by appropriating Rajputs (Kshatriyas). Unlike Rajputs, MBCs and Dalits,these Upstart landed groups benefited from best of both worlds, though they fitted to neither perfectly. They enjoy affirmative discrimination by getting clubbed with MBCs, SCs & STs and yet are also faciliatate these caste-satraps to appropriate Rajput history and heritage as their own.
Advantaged with reservation despite being landed and the unconditional institutional support irrespective of political party, these groups also have entered opinion-making and decison-making institutions (media, academia, cinema and bureaucracy). On the other hand, despite being a “Forward caste”, the Rajputs have remained pariahs to these institutions and have negligent civil-society participation with no mass ethnic-consciousness .
(1) Dilip Mandal, is a columnist on a “mainstream media” portal (Shekhar Gupta’s ThePrint.in) and he is often invited on conclaves and lectures. He is an OBC Activist and has authored books on media and sociology.
His contradictory statements are also reflection of the doublespeak inherent of OBC politics. If our ancestors were commendable and victorious, they would change the very caste of our clansmen - making them Gujjar, Jat, Ahir, Bhil etc. However, at other times, they cite the examples of the same forebearers to weave narratives of “defeat specialists” or “jodha-akbar jibe”. Thus Prithviraj III Chauhan or Mulraja Solanki defeating Muizuddin Ghori is “Gujjar victory” , although their defeats would be used to bash rajputs forever.
(2) Col Ashok Kumar Singh (retd) is a proud Jat. He openly spreads anti-Rajput hatred on social-media but also wants to appropriate Rajput heritage, for which he tweets a particular narrative. Please note, while his bigotted statement is laughable, he is very careful to decorate his profile with liberal parables. Isn’t this how “secular socialism” has been used, from Nehru to Akhilesh, as a coverup for caste-hatred. This way apart from shaming us for our lineage on odd days, they would also steal the heritage of the same very lineage on even days.
Thus on one hand they would negatively stereotype the rajputs in the worst ways possible and on the very other, they would deny them a common united identity. This is done to demoralise the Rajputs (especially educated ones) and ensure that any mass-movement among rajputs is intellectually crushed.
The leadership of these landed OBC satraps are backed by both media and parties, to play dirty politics and peddle caste-hatred. By dubbing Rajputs “manuwadi”, they even mobillise Bahujan support to ironically steal Rajput history and invent a “kshatriya past” This is how Sanskritisation started by Brahmins for “Hindu Unity” has not just been used to deprive Rajputs of their heritages but also alienate them
(3) In fact, the latest narrative peddled by Tanuja Kothiyal Tiwari, Ramya Sreenivasan, D H A Kollf and Cynthia Talbot that pushes the origin of Rajput identity further to 16th century is a cold calculative political narrative to reduce our clan-histories to the period of our decline i.e. the Mughal and the post-Mughal era.While at the same time facilitate Jats, Gujjars, Ahirs etc to appropriate the achievements of our clans’ golden period.
(4) They cherrypick to peddle hatred. And they also obfuscate the identity of commendable real-life Rajputs, while emphasising the rajput identity of randoms they cherrypick to setup a negative stereotypes. And these things have been going on through generations via media, cinema and even academia. We have already discussed this in Bollywood’s treatment of Rajputs. However, this cherrypicking and doublespeak goes beyond the cinema. For instance, they will never talk of the military exploits of Mansingh Kachwaha in Afghanistan or the fact that Sawai Jai Singh Kachwaha had built a large number of monuments, including the Jantar Mantar. But the only thing they will remember to emphasise Rajput-Mughal marriages. And this is true even for academicians like Harbans Mukhia.
Hence the Rajput public is socially alienated to a great extent and politically silenced under mounds of narratives created and propagated by the same ecosystem of opinion-makers and decision-makers who also encourage regionally-dominant satraps to appropriate Rajput heritages and histories. This aspect of the ecosystem doesn’t change regardless whether it is Nehru dynasty’s Congress party or Marathi Brahmin-backed BJP at the helm. Thus both rightwing and leftwing ecosystem (both dominated by Brahmins & Khatris), attacks Rajputs , while at the same time favours these satrap castes in welfare policies, politically supports them and encourages them to appropriate Rajput past.
Comparison between Rajputs and the Satraps
Regardless, rightwing or leftwing, the ecosystem is dominated by and belongs to Brahmin-Bania-Khatris. However, its greatest benefactosr are the landed Satraps.
The Satraps are favoured in the State’s welfare policies regardless of the Party in power, while Rajputs are not denied but portrayed as hoarders of historical privileges. The Satraps are favoured with affirmative discrimination, while lands and resources are taken away from Rajputs. The Satraps are politically favoured through infrastructures and institutions, while Rajputs are placated with a few-odd tickets or positions given to a member - thus community suffers at the cost of some individuals. The Satraps are institutionally supported to preserve cultural folklores and to write history, Rajputs are discouraged to preserve theirs. While community-centric activism by Satrap groups is mainstreamed by political parties, such community-activism by Rajputs is seen as “threat to Hindu Unity” or a “threat to Secularism”.The Satraps are favourably treated in Cinema, Media and Academia, while Rajputs are just their punching bags.
The Satraps are clubbed with SCs, STs & MBCs as “Bahijan” and hence socio-politically favoured. On the other hand, Rajputs are clubbed with the ruling-classes i.e. Brahmins-Bania keeping in mind their medieval dominance than modern. The Rajputs are uniformly caricatured as “Oppressor Landlords”, thereby normalising bigotry against them, while the Satraps are portrayed as “good kisaans” warranting a nuanced human treatment.
VI. Sociopolitical Destruction & Economic strangulation
The Kshatriyas were completely destroyed by being clubbed with Brahmin-Banias, despite their stark socioeconomic nature and condistions. Hence Kshatriyas, who enjoyed great dominance in premodern India owing to their military and political dominance that often spilled into spiritual-dominance (Rajputs had a large number of Bhakti, Jogi and Sufi saints), are on margins of the Indian State. In the name of land-reforms, it was neither the Brahmins’ hegemony in Government jobs nor the Bania’s businesses that were stopped, but the lands owned by Rajputs were snatched. This pushed many Rajputs to poverty. Apart from land, Rajputs’ livelihood was from military service armies raised by their chiefs - these armies were absorbed to form many batallions of modern Indian Army. However, the recruitment of Rajputs in those very batallions was also capped.
The Forts, the temples, the monuments, stepwells etc from Jaisalmer to Tirhut constructed by Rajput elites were also taken away by the Brahmin-Bania dominated governments. Had even half of these been with Rajputs, they could be managed on lines of the Waqf-Board or the Sikh SGPC - the income generated could be used for community-welfare. The Rajputs could have funded education, scholarships, infrastructures and institutions for their people.
The Rajputs were neither educated unlike the Brahmins nor possessed liquid capital and businesses unlike the Banias. Furthermore, they are a rural gentry unlike these groups. Both these groups were institutionally dominant unlike the Rajputs. Yet despite all these differences, the simplistic narrative of Savarn-Bahujan was imposed to club Rajputs with Brahmins and Banias.
Hence apart from sociopolitical destruction, Rajputs were also economically strangulated across the country.
Hence the question arises that despite social, political and economic eradication of Rajputs why has the Indian State and the Indian civil society persevered their apathy and enmity towards the Rajput public? The answer is the Bogey of “Thakur’s privilege”.
VII. The Privilege of Voicelessness & Under-representation
There has always been a strong desire among the elite Jats, Brahmin, Khatris, to hype Rajput privileges and even distort their socioeconomic realities to plant them as “All-hegemonic-class” in public perception instead of themselves. One objective is to deflect public outrage from themselves.
Accusing the Rajputs of aggrandized “Privileges” when they are actually under-represented in Media, Academia, Public services and are completely absent from institutions of Decision-making, Opinion-making and Policy-making ; and when the Rajputs have little say in their own story, is a painful joke. In fact Brahmins, Khatris, Jats, hegemoically control public narratives on Rajputs , while denying rajputs voice even on their history and current socioeconomic struggles. They even distort the Socioeconomic conditions of the Rajputs to caricature them as “All Powerful-Thakur” when in reality they have been rendered voiceless by the “New Ruling castes”. Any public figure can make any distasteful remark - remarks that unequivocally qualify to be “bigotry” when made on others; or mobilize public hatred against Rajputs without compunction. Is this a privilege?
For eg. there was Anti-Padmavat protests in 2017 and the Hathras crime in 2020. Both the incidents were used by the opinion-makers from these above castes to create an anti-Rajput wave via mainstream media. How many Rajputs were allowed to publish in these very same mainstream media to balance out their biases or verify their narratives? And please compare this to very similar situations of Congress-favoured communities ---- Jats, Marathas, Gujjars, Sikhs and Muslims. Is this a privilege or lack of basic fairness that as citizens we are entitled to?
Who is privileged? Those rendered voiceless in their own story post-Independence, or those who hegemonicaly control narratives on others?
Today the Rajputs are rendered so voiceless in their own story by these ruling classes from the ruling castes, that neither can the Rajputs counter the narratives meant to subdue them nor can the rajputs stop rampant appropriation and theft of their clan-histories. How? Unlike the Media houses and Academic Institutions where these groups have an established hegemony, it is impossible for Rajputs to even find a reasonable space. Further, the dearth of Rajput journalists and Rajput academicians only highlights rampant discrimination faced by Rajputs in media and in academic institutions at the hands of their Brahmin, Khatri and Jat faculties and bosses.
The only two things which are cited by these powerful lobbies to instigate public passions against rajputs are these : - (1) the cliched “Chaturvarn hierarchy”, which has actually no meaning for present kshatriyas except for the usage of the term as ethnonyms. (2) The fact that there were two Prime Ministers and many Chief Ministers, notwithstanding their terms and notwithstanding the facts that all of them rose in parties controlled by elite Brahmin lobbies (RSS or the Nehru family), to who alone they were answerable. They were not like Laloos or Akhileshs of RJD and SP (Ahir parties), nor Ajit Singh and Bhoopendra Hooda of RLD & INLD (Jat parties). None of these Rajput ministers actually represented the genuine issues of the Rajputs , and rather answered either to their Brahmin handlers or their Backward Caste constituencies. Hence we rajputs even request the brahmin-bania rulers to debar them from such positions in the future. So that the next time, no one misconstrues them as our privileges.
With lands taken, heritages and monuments taken, military recruitment capped, no affirmative action unlike Jats etc, denied educated leadership, history sabotaged and appropriated and rendered voiceless on socioeconomic issues,one doesn’t understand that what did the Rajputs gain from the modern republic.
The Rajputs were never beneficiaries of the Brahmin-Bania State, instead the latter always had a parasitic relationship with the former, reducing them to mere punching-bags.
A Rajputs’ privilege ends in the village dominated by his khaap (sub-lineage clan brotherhood); outside of it , he has neither friends nor privileges. He is pariah to the ecosystem that caricatures him as the enemy.
For such influencers (like the lady in the picture), Pushpendra wrote
ये राज्य तुम्हारा, संविधान सभा तुम्हारी, संविधान तुम्हारा, न्यायपालिका तुम्हारी, ब्यूरोक्रेसी तुम्हारी, मीडिया तुम्हारी, सरकारें तुम्हारी, अकादमिक संस्थान तुम्हारे, फिल्में थियेटर तुम्हारे, नैरेटिव तुम्हारा और फिर भी प्रिविलेज हमारी??
70 साल से पतन के बावजूद सिर्फ देते आ रहे हैं लिया कुछ नहीं। अब क्या जीने भी ना दोगी दीदी? क्यों मजबूर करती हो दीदी?
Hence for the last 70 years, the Rajput public has not just witnessed systematic targeting and gradual alienation, but they have been deprived from their lands, ethnic heritages and now even their history is being looted by the Ruling Classes of the Ruling castes via different institutions. Even though the community has been on the margins for decades, it has never sought mass-ethnic mobilisation. However, given the circumstances, there is a perfect case for Rajputs undertake mass-ethnic mobilisation to preserve their past, improve their present and secure their future as citizens of this country. That, it is in fact imperative and a neccessary condition for collective welfare, cannot be rejected anymore.
To make matters worse, the rajputs who were predominantly peasant-clan-retainers, who eked living mostly from farming and soldiering were put alongside brahmins,banias,Khatris,Kayasths - literary communities with urban-base that replaced rajputs from the political space. The excuse was - that rajputs like the latter groups were “Savarns” and to bolster this argument they would reduce public representation of Rajputs to Rajas and Zamindars alone. ↩︎