The Indian Army has a rich history of grandeur and valour associated with it. The men in uniform always evoke an emotion of pride and reverence within us. We admire them for their bravado and wonder how they live in the most detrimental conditions, safeguarding our country. However, it is a concern when someone squanders our sentiment towards the Army and use it for their own benefit. The self-proclaimed Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj is a conman who uses YouTube to publicise his work, and that’s how he played with the popular sentiment to become a hero, a source of inspiration for many. A majority of his videos have managed to fetch more than a million views.
Disguised as an army man
It all started when Shifuji claimed himself to be an army man. Later, he claimed that he trains the army. He was also seen in the Tiger Shroff-starrer movie “Baaghi”, where he trains Shroff in martial arts. Several eyebrows were raised after all these publicity. After which a man named Abhishek Shukla wrote letters to the Defence Ministry, Home Ministry and Information & Broadcast Ministry seeking the truth about Shaurya Bharadwaj.
Here is the video shared by Abhishek Shukla:
On his website, Shifuji had earlier designated himself to be an army officer and trainer. However, after controversies started pouring in, he dropped the designation. But even today, if you put your cursor on the tab of his website, it reads Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj, Indian Black Cat Commando, MARCOS.
He has appeared on TV shows and has shared the platform with famous singers like Kailash Kher, Alka Yagnik, Adnan Sami and others. He has enjoyed unquestionable reverence from the live audience and TV audience “STEALING VALOR” of the army. Here is one of such video link with more than 1.5 million views.
In a recently released video, Shifuji openly admits that he was never into Indian Army and never even claimed to be a part of it. However, the video description reads his designation as a “Commando mentor”.
Even the name Shaurya Bharadwaj courts doubt as you’ll find the same man in Google if you search by the name Deepak Dubey. Surprisingly, Deepak Dubey’s face matches with that of Shifuji along with his stern moustache and raised eyebrows.
We agree that Shifuji, in his latest video, said that he never claimed himself to be an army man, yet all over his website and other videos, he is seen sporting an Army uniform. In one of the photos, he is seen wearing a commando badge and also there many instances where he has forcefully put commando insignias on his uniform using photoshop. It is a gross violation of law and not only disrespects the army but also plays with people’s emotion. In one of the posts, he claimed himself to be a Special Commando Trainer of The Hawk Commandos, Special Armed Forces, Counter Terrorist Group, Special Task Force & Anti-Terrorist Squad.
There has been a police complaint filed against him by former army members. Here is the complaint copy:
There is a petition as well highlighting the improper use of Elite Special Forces’ Balidan badge, Maroon Beret and Marcos badge.
According to Shifuji, he has created the Closer Quarter Battle (CQB) technique. However, after researching it was found the Major Deepak Rao was the creator of CQB. He was given the Major rank on November 1, 2011, the same day when former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni was given the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj first came to limelight last year during the JNU controversy, where he had threatened the student community of the JNU. People with popular sentiment of hyper-nationalism much liked his videos. During the Uri attack, Shifuji courted controversy by saying that he will take the law into his own hands.
The Logical Indian Take
There’s no doubt that Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj is good in his fitness work. But unfortunately, he is not an army-man as is widely believed. The sudden craze and following he received is the manifestation of our own irrationality. Shifuji encashed the emotion of the mass and people started to believe him. Gullible minds believe his statements to be of the Indian Army. The abusive words he uses in his videos put a dent on Indian army. Now people have become that serious that criticising Shifuji might brand you as a traitor or a Pakistani.
We as a citizen should be cautious of people like him. People like him encashes on our lack of reasoning, insecurity, nationalistic sentiments and emotions to make themselves popular.