Controversial historian Romila Thapar was once again in the news for all the wrong reasons, when one of her videos went viral on social media. In this video, Romila Thapar is seen speaking at an event where she compared Yudhishthira’s discomfort on the issue of war with the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, and tried to explain how Emperor Yudhishthira was inspired by Emperor Ashoka’s ideals.
This absurd comparison did not go well with the social media users, who doubted whether Romila Thapar was even an actual historian. Needless to say, most of the social media users trolled Romila Thapar fiercely and also schooled her on this absurd comparison.
And here I thought Ramayana & Mahabharata is known to every Indian irrespective of his or her religion!!
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) September 21, 2019
I heard Valmiki wrote the screenplay for The Avengers. Can you please confirm #RomilaThapar? Sources say the story broke from your stable. 😂😭
— Vin Sinners (@vinsinners) September 21, 2019
Ashoka :- 268-232 BCE.
Yudhishthira :- 3500-4000 BCE
But yet Ashoka inspired Yudhishthira as per #RomilaThapar
— Archie (@archu243) September 21, 2019
Mahabharata war happened around 3137 BC and King Ashoka’s time is 304 to 232 BCE, but, historian (😊) #RomilaThapar feels that Yudhishitira got this idea about renunciation from Ashoka! ( @Bharathgyan @sgurumurthy @madhukishwar @davidfrawleyved @rvaidya2000 @TVMohandasPai ) pic.twitter.com/lmViP1OxHX
— Swamiji (@AOLSwamiji) September 21, 2019
However, there were some people who appeared to back Romila Thapar on this subject. One such example was without doubt the self-proclaimed historian and self-proclaimed expert of Sanatan Dharma, Devdutt Pattanaik who posted this tweet in response to a Twitter user criticizing the statement of Romila Thapar.
She is referring to Yudhisthira as a ‘character in an epic’ composed 2000 years ago who is traumatised by war. With a historical figure Ashoka who ‘wrote edicts’ 2300 years ago proclaiming his remorse. Chill https://t.co/weVkbEq4mT
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) September 21, 2019
While defending the indefensible, Devdutt Pattanaik came up with even more degraded logic. In this tweet, Devdutt Pattanaik writes, “She is talking about ‘Yudhishthira’, an ‘epic character’ written 2000 years ago and who has been completely shattered by the war.” He is compared to a historical personality like Ashoka, who was greatly embarrassed by the horrors of war 2300 years ago. Chill “.
So what is the actual truth? The original video of Romila Thapar’s event, in which this controversial statement was made, shows that she tried to show Emperor Ashoka as pre-Yudhishthira in comparing the personality of Emperor Ashoka and Emperor Yudhishthira. Although Romila Thapar is no amateur, and she has generously distorted facts about Indian history more than once, but here she exposed her own worth as a historian by implying that Emperor Ashoka’s reign predated Mahabharata.
But what Devdutt Pattanaik has said is a pathetic attempt to distort history further, for which no condemnation shall be enough. He has tried to prove that Emperor Ashoka was born before Yudhishthira, while the truth is that it has been more than 3000 years since the Mahabharata was over, and now Devdutt is trying to prove that Ashoka inspired a ruler who ruled way before the Mauryan Empire even came into existence. This is as logical as Elvis Presley deriving inspiration from Sonu Nigam.
But this is not the first time that Devdutt Pattanaik has tried to distort Indian history. There are innumerable examples present on social media, where Devdutt proves that there is nobody better than him in terms of being a shameless hypocrite. Recently, when a Twitter user asked for his opinion on some historical remains unearthed in Bhagpath, Devdutt Pattanaik had this to say.
I will check with . your mother
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) September 9, 2019
Devdutt gave this atrocious reply because that Twitter user had the courage to question his rants on the Harappan and Vedic civilization with his example of the historical remains found in Bhagpath. Even earlier, while defending his ludicrous views on the rituals of Sanatan religion, Devdutt has recently made very lewd and absurd accusations on the Sanatani Indians living in America.
Most Hindus who say Muslims should go to Pakistan live in the USA, a country whose President takes oath to office holding a Bible #HaiNaAmazing
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) September 10, 2019
If Devdutt Pattanaik keeps on lying about Sanatan Dharma and ancient India, that is fine, but if someone has the courage to expose him, notice this example to understand how tolerant he really is. When Nityanand Mishra began to expose his hypocritical thoughts a few years ago, Devdutt not only humiliated him, but also mocked the entire Brahmin clan with these tweets –
The farther you live from India, the more you start believing that Hinduism is restricted to Brahmins/Sanskrit/Vedas.
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) January 9, 2017
Angry people attack assumptions.
MY Gita was always my personal reading of The Gita.
Only Brahmins 'know' what Krishna ACTUALLY said. 🙏🏽
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) January 11, 2017
Those who believe in THE truth are itching for a fight.
Those who believe in MY truth, YOUR truth, love to listen, and expand their mind.
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) January 8, 2017
If it was left to the Brahmins, Dyaneshwara's Dyaneshwari, composed in Marathi in 13th century, would never reach the masses.
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) January 9, 2017
In such a situation, when Devdutt Pattanaik tried to tell a false history to defend Romila Thapar, many social media users on Twitter took him to the cleaners as shown below –
Bro Devdutt, this is what everyone think of you: pic.twitter.com/3nrjPrDUlW
— Archer (@ArcherMOF) September 21, 2019
Wow, Mahabharata was written 2000 years ago, during the time of Jesus? The next thing this overrated mythologist is gonna claim is that Hinduism began as an offshoot of Islam.
All evidence says Mahabharata must have been compiled atleast 500-1000 years before Gautam Buddha.
— Abhishek Mishra (@tweet_of_Mishra) September 21, 2019
O baklol she is referring shanti parva 12th chapter of Mahabharata you came here for damage control of her but dear self declared historian you have caught a flying arrow.
— Squirrel of RAM (@Krantikari108) September 21, 2019
कल को नेहरू के चमचे ये बोल दे कि भगवान राम गाँधी की प्रेरणा से वनवास गए थे तो भी कोई अतिश्योक्ति मत समझना,इनको जिम्मेदारी ही इतिहास को तोड़ने मरोड़ने और आने वाली पीढ़ीयों को दिग्भ्रमित करने की मिली हुई है।#RomilaThappar
— Vinod H. Rungta (@VinodRungta3) September 21, 2019
To be honest, Devdutt Pattanaik has fell into his own trap this time. Romila Thapar undoubtedly misrepresented the facts by comparing Ashoka and Yudhishthira in a wrong way, but the way Devdutt came forward to defend Romila Thapar, he proved that nobody can beat him in terms of hypocrisy.