Angry with Chetan Bhagat's allegedly uncharitable and 'factually incorrect' references to its members in his new book Half Girlfriend, the erstwhile royal family of Dumraon, in Buxar district of south-central Bihar, is set to sue the bestselling author.
"In the novel, members of my family have been described as drunkards. It has also been stated, erroneously so, that the erstwhile Dumraon estate has gone into bankruptcy," Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh of Dumraon told HT on Wednesday.
Singh's remarks came as protests against the book and its author continued for the third successive day in Dumraon, about 100 km west of state capital Patna.
The protests began on Monday when locals burnt an effigy of Bhagat and staged a demonstration against him and the the book for portraying Biharis in a poor light.
"In the novel, Biharis have been shown in the way that suggests they do not know English well, which, of course, is not true," said Ranjan Kumar, who was at the forefront of the protest.
According to Singh, among the other inaccuracies in the novel are claims that the last 'maharaja' of Dumraon died 10 years ago and a lady was its incumbent 'queen' who doubled as a school teacher.
"My father, Kamal Singh, remains the maharaja of the Dumraon estate and he is still alive. There is no lady in his family who runs the estate. Besides, we are not drunkards," he said.
"Our family has not lost the respect of the people as claimed in the book. We continue to enjoy popular respect, as in the past," he added.
Singh, 67, said a legal notice was being prepared and will be served to Bhagat "within a day or two".
"Subsequent to that, we will prefer to file a defamation suit against the Half Girlfriend author for his derogatory remarks against my family and the erstwhile Dumraon estate," he declared.
Founded by a branch of the Parmar rulers of Jagdishpur (Bhojpur), Raja Narayan Mal, was the first king of Dumraon (1604-1622), according to a zamindari document.
The document says Bahadur Kamal Singh (now 88), a former Bharatiya Janata Party MP, is the15th maharaja of Dumraon (since November 1, 1949). The accession of the 'riyasat' to the Indian union took place in May 1951.
According to a Facebook post on Indian royalty, the Dumraon-Burma case, regarding the maharaja of Dumraon's Burma estates, was one of the most famous court cases in India at the turn of the century.
Babu Chittaranjan Das was the Dumraon maharaja's lawyer while the opposing lawyer was none other than Motilal Nehru, father of Jawaharlal Nehru's India's first prime minister.