Haryana government forms committee to examine historical facts about Mihir Bhoj - Hindustan Times
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Haryana government forms committee to examine historical facts about Mihir Bhoj

By, Karnal
Oct 21, 2023 08:20 AM IST

The government’s decision came two days after the show of strength of the Rajput community members at Kaithal as they accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of not taking action against the members of the Gurjar community

Amid the ongoing tussle over the legacy of the king Mihir Bhoj between Rajput and Gurjar communities in Haryana, the state government has set up a seven-member committee to examine the historical facts about the 9th-century ruler to settle the controversy between the two communities by averting the proliferation of disinformation.

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As per the notification issued by the office of the Haryana chief secretary, the committee will be headed by the Karnal divisional commissioner, while the inspector general of police (IGP), Karnal Range, will be its vice-chairman and deputy commissioner, Kaithal, will be its member secretary. Superintendent of police (SP), Kaithal, two professors of history from Panjab University, Chandigarh, namely Rajeev Lochan and Priyatosh Sharma, and two advocates from Gurjar and Rajput communities will be the members of the committee. The committee has been directed to submit its report within a stipulated period of four weeks.

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The government’s decision came two days after the show of strength of the Rajput community members at Kaithal as they accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of not taking action against the members of the Gurjar community, including BJP’s Kaithal MLA Leela Ram Gurjar, who unveiled the statue of Mihir Bhoj in Kaithal in July with the word “Gurjar” inscribed on the plaque.

The speakers at the Kshatriya Mahakumbh even threatened to not allow the leaders of the ruling parties in the Rajput-dominated villages of Haryana during elections and they slammed the police action against the youths of Rajput community who were protesting the unveiling of the statue in Kaithal in July.

The controversy over the legacy of Mihir Bhoj erupted in July, when BJP MLA from Kaithal Lila Ram Gurjar, along with hundreds of members of the Gurjar community, unveiled the statue of the 9th-century ruler with the prefix “Gurjar Pratihar Samrat Mihir Bhoj”. The move was objected by the Rajput community. They held several meetings in the state and took up the issue with the Haryana government. In reaction, the Raput community from across the state raised a flag against the ruling BJP government accusing the saffron party for not protecting their interests. Within a few hours of the unveiling, 35 BJP office bearers from Kaithal offered to resign in protest and later the 88 members office bearers and volunteers of BJP and RSS from Karnal district offered to resign. Even, Rajput community members held protests and announced to boycott the BJP leaders, banning their entry into their villages leaving the ruling party leaders in a tight spot.

Following this, the matter was taken up with the Punjab and Haryana high court, who directed to cover the word “Gurjar” until judgment. Meanwhile, the state government had agreed before the HC to constitute a committee of representatives from the two communities, Gurjar and Rajput, and historians to find a solution to the controversy surrounding the installation of the statue.

However, the sceptics term government’s decision to form the committee as surprising as it could intensify the ongoing legacy war between Rajputs and Gurjars of Haryana. “Since both the communities were making claims over the legacy of Mihir Bhoj not only in Haryana but in several other states, the report of this committee will be interesting how it will resolve this very sensitive issue. If this committee fails to resolve the issue amicably it could add to the troubles of the government over this issue and cause a social conflict,” said Ramji Lal, a political observer and former professor of political science.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Neeraj Mohan is a correspondent, covering Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Panipat and Yamunanagar districts of Haryana.

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