After the controversy over the inauguration of 9th-century emperor Mihir Bhoj’s statue in a college in Greater Noida on September 22, the Gurjar community has decided to install more such statues along with other renowned historical figures in Gurjar-dominated villages in Delhi NCR.
Akhil Bhartiya Veer Gurjar Mahasabha (ABVGM), an organisation of Delhi NCR Gurjar leaders announced its decision on Sunday after its meeting at Shyam Giri Mandir near ISBT in Delhi.
The office-bearers of ABVGM said that along with Gurjar Pratihar Samrat Mihir Bhoj, they will also install the statue of seven other great kings as they claimed that they all have Gurjar ancestry.
They are Bhoj Parmar, Prithviraj Chauhan, Vanraj Chavda, Bhimdev Solanki, Anangpal Tanwar, Vidhya Dhar Chandela and Dhan Singh Gurjar.
The announcement might face strong opposition from the Rajput community who believe that except Kotwal Dhan Singh Gurjar all the seven great kings of the medieval period in India were Rajput rulers. Direct descendants of some of these dynasties also claim that they belong to the Rajput community. However, the Gurjar community asserts that they have historical and archaeological shreds of evidence to prove that all the kings belonged to their caste.
While Bhoj Parmar ruled the Malwa region in India in the early 11th century, Prithviraj Chauhan belonged to the Chauhan dynasty whose kingdom spread from the north to the western part of the country.
Vanaraja Chavda was the most prominent figure among the Chavda dynasty and ruled Gujarat from 746 AD to 780 AD. King Bhimdev Solanki, a historical legend from the Solanki dynasty, controlled the Gujarat region from 1021 AD to 1073 AD.
Anangpal Tanwar was among the powerful kings of the Tomar dynasty of Delhi and Vidhya Dhar Chandela ruled Central India from 1003 AD to 1035 AD as one of the mightiest kings of the Chandela dynasty.
Known as one of the starters of the 1857 revolution against the East India Company, Kotwal Dhan Singh Gurjar was a police chief in Meerut who played a crucial role at the beginning of the Indian mutiny.
“There are over 300 villages in Delhi NCR where Gurjar community dominates. We have decided to install the statues of these eight historical figures in all these villages. The Gurjar community take immense pride in the fact that they are from our ancestors. We have full support from our other organisations across the country. We will extend it in other states as well,” Narendra Gurjar, Founder, ABVGM, said.
He further informed that ABVGM has already installed the statues of all these eight historical legends at Fatehpur Beri village in Mehrauli on September 8.
“The September 22 incident has strengthened our resolve. It was unexpected for a national party like the BJP to stoke controversy by deleting the word Gurjar from the statue of emperor Mihir Bhoj. This incident has encouraged us to honour our ancestors who are also the historical pride of the nation,” Jai Prakash Tanwar, National Spokesman, ABVGM said.
On September 22, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath came to Dadri in Greater Noida to inaugurate Mihir Bhoj's statue. Hours before his arrival, however, the word 'Gurjar' on the plaque, which earlier read 'Gurjar Pratihar Samrat Mihir Bhoj ' was blackened and made invisible.
A day later, on September 23, BJP leader and former MP Surendra Singh Nagar’s picture with the statue was circulated on social media in which Gurjar word had resurfaced on the plaque once again.
Angry with the CM, some people also blackened his name on the nameplate. Local police lodged an FIR and arrested Gurjar leaders regarding the incident. The ABVGM has demanded their immediate release.