The Print, a publication run by journalist Shekhar Gupta who is most known for his “coup story”, might have got itself in a bit of a soup.
On Friday it published an article titled, Without our tales of bravery, we Rajputs would be just a bunch of non-intelligent losers. This opinion piece was penned by well known author and former advertisement professional, Anuja Chauhan.
In the report, Ms. Chauhan writes in first person about the special talent of Rajputs in narrating stories of valour about Prithviraj Chauhan, Panna Dai, Rani Padmini, Maharana Pratap, all of whom as per Ms. Chauhan, lost their battles.
She then narrated a few “grandma stories” which as per her described Rajput valour, which she claims is all what they have got without which, she writes:
We are pretty much a loser class, with our best days behind us, a heap of crumbling castles and some denting-painting mechanics businesses to run.
She further cast aspersions on the Rajputs by calling them as, Just a sad bunch of not-very intelligent folk, falling without style and claimed that these heroes are all that the Rajputs have got.
While writing the article she used the phrases, “us Rajputs” or “we are” which to many readers might mean that she belongs/relates to the community and was effectively acting as an unofficial voice of the community.
Soon after the article was published, various twitter users started raising objections. As pointed out by many, Anuja Chauhan had about a decade after her marriage converted to Christianity. A fact which she herself tweeted out in 2014:
I converted to christianity. Ten years AFTER my marriage to a christian. Everybody should have the freedom to chose their religion.
— anuja chauhan (@anujachauhan) December 12, 2014
People as a result objected that neither The Print nor Ms. Chauhan had carried any sort of a disclaimer/disclosure in the article, which was being interpreted as the views of “one of the Rajput community’s own”:
— Petyr Baelish (@doubtinggaurav) November 24, 2017
Find someone who can do both.. pic.twitter.com/7zedNyFRuJ
— Tvashta (@AgentSaffron) November 24, 2017
Rajputana Rifles motto: “The Brave Shall Inherit the Earth”
Gospel (Matthew 5:5): “The Meek shall inherit the earth”@anujachauhan belittles her former identity (Rajput) by ascribing values from her current one. https://t.co/b41Tc2mFWd
— Anuraag Saxena (@anuraag_saxena) November 24, 2017
Daughter-in-law of Margaret Alva. Has openly stated that she has converted to Christianity https://t.co/Av6TMddTQh
— दिव्या (@divya_16_) November 24, 2017
Questions for Shri Gupta:
1. No disclosure that the author converted to Christianity?
2. How does her self-loathing translate into the wholesale denigration of an entire community? "we" and "non-intelligent losers"?
3. Are there NO editorial standards at @ThePrintIndia ? https://t.co/uvM9v7n8yG
— Abhinav Agarwal (@AbhinavAgarwal) November 24, 2017
One was unhappy about the article’s content:
Ma’am you forgot to mention that Maharana Pratap forces defeated Akbar at battle of Dewer. He recaptured most of Mewar before he died. PRITHVIRAJ Chauhan defeated Ghori several times and pardoned him.
Such selective rant…
— deepak joshi (@Joshideepak3) November 24, 2017
Such a stance by the people is understandable as during the midst of a controversy erupting over movie Padmavati which supposedly distorts Rajput history, the article possibly aimed to be a voice from within the Rajput community. Thus if the author’s religious identity has changed, which is her right, it should at the least be declared in the article.
This isn’t the only time The Print has managed to get in the news for the wrong reasons. We had recently carried an open letter by Anuraag Saxena whose efforts to bring back Indian artefacts were maligned by The Print, which gave it a communal colour.