Suheldev: Medieval King, Modern Politics

PUBLISHED ON: June 22, 2018 | Duration: 17 min, 15 sec

  
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For those who track the politics of Uttar Pradesh closely, the story of Suheldev is a familiar one, an 11th century king who is thought to have ruled from Shravasti, now in eastern Uttar Pradesh. From the freedom struggle to contemporary politics, he has been built up alternatively as a Hindutva icon, a Dalit icon, and more recently as an icon of the OBC Rajbhar caste. So when one of India's best-selling authors Amish Tripathi, known for his retelling of Indian mythological stories, decided to write a book on Suheldev, it was bound to evoke a response. A few days after the release of the book's cover and its first two chapters, the writer announced a postponement of its release. No explanation was given. On the ground, Rajbhar groups had been protesting against what they perceived was an incorrect depiction of Suheldev. In this episode, we look at the fascinating story of Suheldev and the repercussions in contemporary politics and fiction.
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