ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Memory and the Making of a Legend

Past and Present

The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200–2000 by Cynthia Talbot, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017; pp 316, $99.99.

In 2004, Sher Singh Rana, the murderer of Phoolan Devi (then sitting parliamentarian and in her previous life, a bandit in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh), staged a sensational escape from New Delhi’s Tihar Jail. He sought fame or notoriety—depending on one’s perspective—as he made a circuitous route, travelling via Kolkata, Dhaka and then Dubai, to reach Kabul and Kandahar in Afghanistan.

His intention was to bring back the remains of Prithviraj Chauhan, the ruler of Ajmer and Delhi between 1178 CE and 1192 CE, who, as most conventional histories go, was defeated in the Second Battle of Tarain, by Shihab al-din, Muhammad bin Sam (Muhammad Ghuri) in 1192 CE. This is one of the essential points Cynthia Talbot’s book, The Last Hindu Emperor: Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200–2000, brings up.

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Updated On : 28th Sep, 2017

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