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Chetan Bhagat Issues Clarification and Apology For Portrayal of Bihar Royals in Half Girlfriend

A file photo of Chetan Bhagat.

A file photo of Chetan Bhagat.

Bestselling author publicly apologizes for maligning reputation of erstwhile Royal family in his book

Widely read and reviled author Chetan Bhagat published a clarification today in which he stated that his depiction of the very real-life royal family and former rulers of Dumraon, Bihar in his book, Half Girlfriend, was entirely fictional.

Bhagat, no stranger to controversy, was taken to court by members of the family in a defamation case and was required to publish the statement to resolve the dispute.

Bhagat's statement, further demonstrating his incompetence as a writer stated, "It has been passingly mentioned that the ancestors of the lead character were involved in gambling and alcoholism, leading to bankruptcy due to which the women of the family took charge of affairs and managed the family. I clarify that the aforesaid description of the Royal family of Dumraon was completely based on fiction, is imaginary, unintentional and has no factual basis. I apologize to anyone if hurt by the said fictional representation of the assumed Royal Family in the novel."

Chandra Vijay Singh, son of Maharaja Bahadur Kamal Singh, had originally sought damages to the tune of Rs 1 crore from the bestselling author, who has seen several of his books turned into Bollywood films, including the one under contention. The royal scion also sought a permanent injunction to restrain Bhagat, publisher Rupa Publications and other involved parties from further publication, sale and circulation of Half Girlfriend in its current form "with immediate effect".

Bhagat also noted, "As per record, the erstwhile Royal family of Dumraon governed Dumraon beefore Independence and ruled since 1018 until formal handing over of Dumraon in 1952 and the said Royal family had a respected history for their contribution to Dumraon. The last ruler, Maharaja Bahadur Kamal Singh, continues to reside at Bhojpur Kothi, Dumraon along with his son Sh. Chandra Vijay Singh and grandson Sh. Shivang Vijay Singh, according to the family."

first published:June 08, 2017, 12:37 IST