A newly published book, "The Great Sons of the Tharus: Sakyamuni Buddha and Emperor Asoka", written by Subodh Kumar Singh claims that Buddha did not come from a royal family but a "Tharu" community that today is at the bottom of the social hierarchy in Nepal, living as bonded labourers.
Singh, himself is a Tharu and says ‘The word Tharu comes from Sthabir in Sanskrit, meaning monk or the Buddha. The Tharus are therefore the Buddha’s people.’
In his book, Singh claims that when Buddha came back to his kingdom after attaining enlightenment so many people joined him as followers. But he selected only a few of them and told others to be Buddhists after being indoctrinated by these chosen leaders. These people who became Buddhists were called Stharu, which ‘perverted’ into Tharu, in due course of time. Singh says, Tharus are originally Kshetriyas.