Lord Jhulelal: An Analytical Study

by Thakkar Harish Gopalji | 2018 | 62,623 words

This thesis studies Lord Jhulelal, the most important deity revered by Sindhis in India and beyond. Traditional views hold Lord Jhulelal as an incarnation of Vedic Deity Varuna (the river God). Historically, Jhulelal is a binding force for the Sindhi community who had to leave Sindh during the partition of India in order to settle at distant places...

Part 7 - Specific Reference of History of Sind

[Specific Reference of History of Sind (From ‘A Gazetteer of The Province of Sindh’ by A.W. Hughes Published on 31-12-1874 by G. Bell & Sons)]

Ancient Hindu Dynasty in Sindh

According to the Chapter 'Early History of Sindh' in the Gazetteer, C.713 AD the Sindh was ruled by a Hindu dynasty. The capital of this dynasty was at Alor on the banks of Indus. Some of the Hindu rulers have been mentioned as Rai Diwaji followed by Rai Siharas, Rai Sahasi, Rai Siharas II and Rai Sihasi II. This dynasty was supposed to have ruled over Sindh for over 137 years. Chach, a Chamberlain to Rai Sahasi II, usurped the throne. His brother Chandar succeeded Chach and thereafter Dahir, who was the eldest son of Chach. (Hughes 1874:23-24)

Mahomed Kasim Invasion and conquest of Sindh:

It was during the reign of King Dahir that Mahomed Kasim invaded Sindh C. 712AD. During the battle, the Hindu king Dahir's army was defeated and the king was killed at fort Rawar. His family was taken away as captives except for his son Jaisya who fled. Mahomed took over Thata, Brahminabad. Alor, the capital of Sindh was captured C. 713AD followed by Multan.

Yazid succeeded Mohamed Kasim followed by Habid. Habid carried on the war with Jaisya, the son of the King Dahir who had regained Brahminabad along with much of the territory from Arabs. The Arab rule over Sindh progressed steadily. By C. 908 AD there was a decline in the power of Khalifahs. In a few years, two Kingdoms of the Multan and Mansura were established in Sindh. (Hughes 1874: 24-26).

An Arab Governor ruled Sindh under the Khalif C. 1019 AD. Around this time the Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Hindustan. Sindh was conquered by his Vazeer Abdur Razai C. 1026 AD. (Hughes 1874: 27)

Sumra Dynasty:

Very soon, C. 1032 AD, foundations of the Sumra dynasty were laid down by Ibn Sumar, the ruler of Multan. They preferred their independence from Ghaznavi rule after C. 1051 AD. Ibn Sumar was succeeded by his son who was followed by other princes in his line. One of the succeeding King Khafif seems to have made Thata his capital. His kingdom spread from Katchha to Nasarpur. The power of Sumra Dynasty waned after the death of Khafif. (Hughes 1874: 27,28)

Samma Dynasty:

The Samma Dynasty, under its first king took over the throne of Sindh by killing Ussuh Mehl the last ruler from Sumra Dynasty C. 1351AD.

Firoz Tughlak the king of Delhi invaded the Sindh C. 1372 AD and the ruler tendered their submission, though nominally. The Samma dynasty ruled Sindh from C. 1351AD to C. 1521AD. Jam Firoz was the last to rule under the Samma dynasty. (Hughes 1874: 28,29)

Arghun Dynasty:

Arghun Dynasty started ruling Sindh in about AD 1521 by Alghun Khan Tarkhan the grandson of Halka who was the grandson of Changiz Khan. The Samma were completely defeated during these times under the ruler Shah Beg. Mirza Shah Hussain succeeded him. When Shah Hussain approach Thatta, Jam Firoz started preparing to collect an army and retreated to Kutch. Shah Hussain defeated Jam Firoz and his army. He later marched to Katchh where he defeated a chief named Khangar. During the reign of Shah Hussain, the Mughal emperor Humayun twice attempted to take over Sindh but was unsuccessful. Shah Hussain died in C. 1554 AD and Arghun Dynasty ended with him. (Hughes 1874: 29,30)

The Arghun dynasty was followed by the Tarkhan dynasty for a brief period. The army of Mughal emperor Akbar defeated Mirza Jani Beg, the ruler of Thata C. 1592 AD. Mirja Jani Beg was in the emperor's service thereafter and was granted the rule of Thatta by the emperor. (Hughes 1874: 30)

Daudpotras (Sons of Daud Khan):

After Akbar's death in C. 1605 AD, the Daudpotras (Son of Daud Khan) founded Shikarpur after defeating Sherkhan, the leader of the influential tribe of Mehrs. (Hughes 1874: 30)

Kalhora Dynasty:

The Kalhoras under Nazir Mahomed Kalhora began to assume the role of governing the Sindh from C. 1658 AD. Yar Mahomad Kalhora took over Shikarpur C. 1701 AD. He obtained from the Mughal the Subhedari of Dera District and the title of ‘Khuda Yar Khan’. He expanded his territory and was succeeded by Nur Mahomad who took over Nhar District from Daudpotra tribe. His authority reached as far as the desert C. 1736 AD. (Hughes 1874: 31)

C. 1739 AD, the Persian King Nadir Shah annexed all province westward of Indus including Thatta and Shikarpur. Nur Mahomed Kalhora surrendered and had to agree to pay tribute C. 1739 AD. As a compensation, he received the title ‘Shah Kuli Khan’ and he extended his authority in South Sindh C. 1746 and 1747 AD. (Hughes 1874: 32)

C. 1748 AD upon the death of Nadir Shah, the Kalhora King had to pay tribute to Ahmad Shah Durani of Kandahar and received a new title 'Shah Nawaz Khan'. The ruler of Kandahar marched towards Sindh in C. 1754 AD to enforce the tribute which was not being paid regularly by the Kalhoras. Shah Nawaz Khan fled from Sindh. His son Mahommed Murad Yab Khan succeeded him and regaining favour with the Kandahar ruler, received the title 'Sar Buland Khan'. He was dethroned as being too oppressive to his subjects C. 1757 AD. His brother Gulam Shah later held the throne C. 1758 AD. He received the title 'ShahVirdi Khan' from Kandahar rulers. His son Sarfaraz Khan C. 1772 AD succeeded him. Sarfaraz Khan C. 1775 AD made the East India Company withdraw the factories they had established at Thatta C. 1758 AD during the rule of his father. (Hughes 1874: 32,33)

C. 1777 AD Ghulam Nabbi Khan became the ruler, who was killed by Mir Bijar Talpur in a battle. His brother Abdul Nabbi Khan with Mir Bijar as his minister succeeded him. C. 1781 AD Mir Bijar defeated an invading army from Kandahar. Mir Bijar was assassinated at the behest of Abdul Nabbi Khan who had to later flee and Mir Bijar Talpur's son Abdula Khan Talpur took over along with his cousin Mir Fateh Khan. Abdul Nabbi with help from Kandahar ruler tried unsuccessfully to regain power repeatedly. His death brought upon the end to Kalhora dynasty and the resultant rise of Talpur Dynasty. (Hughes 1874: 33)

Talpur Dynasty:

Mir Fateh Ali Khan from the Talpur Dynasty was established as ruler C. 1783 AD. The Talpurs were divided into three separate families, the Haiderabad family in central Sindh, the Mirpurs ruling Mirpur and the Khairpurs ruling Khairpur. Fateh Ali was head of the Haidarabad Mirs. They took over Karachi C. 1792 AD and Umarkot C. 1813 AD. The territories were left to the surviving brothers of Mir Fateh Ali upon his death C. 1801 AD. The brother Karam Ali died C. 1828 AD. The brother Murad Ali died, succeeded by two sons Nur Mohamed and Nazir Khan. C. 1841 AD Nur Mohammad died succeeded by his two sons Mir Shahdad and Hussain Ali. (Hughes 1874: 34)

During this period the Khairpur branch and Mirpur branch also went through their successions. The first dealings with the British took place during the Kalhora Dynasty, which was brought to an end in C. 1775 AD by Sarfaraj Khan Kalhora. An attempt to open a commercial mission by British again met with a failure during the rule of Talpur Mirs in C. 1799 AD. (Hughes1874: 35)

However, later C. 1809 AD the rulers of Sindh and the British Government agreed on a treaty of friendship to prevent French from settling in Sindh. (Hughes 1874: 37) One more treaty was executed in 1820 and renewed in 1821 to avoid frontier disputes. C. 1825 AD the British held a demonstration of 5000 strong force to stop Sindhi tribes from their incursion in Katchh. (Hughes 1874: 35) The Mirs had driven out the Afghans from Shikarpur which was their last hold.

The British and the Mirs executed some more treatise C. 1832 AD for commercial passage for traders along the rivers and routes of Sindh. C. 1835 AD the British through Colonel Pottinger got the permission to survey sea coast and Delta of Sindh. C. 1838 AD though it was prohibited to use the river for military purpose, it became necessary for the British to send troops through that route. The provisions of the earlier treaty were suspended by the Governor General Auckland owing to the situation of emergency, (Hughes 1874: 36) This prohibition and obstructions were removed after the use of coercive methods by the British.

Occupation of Sindh by a British Force:

The resistance observed by the British during the above period prompted the British to station a reserve force in Sindh C. 1839 AD and take Karachi fort. Thereafter the British and the Mirs signed a treaty providing for the presence of 5000 British force to be stationed in Sindh for which part of the expenses was to be borne by the Mirs and also abolishing tolls on trading boats on the River Indus. The Khairpur Mirs and the Sher Mahomed of Mirpur also concluded with similar arrangements with the British. This maintained peace in the region and allowed the unimpeded movement of British vessels on the Indus river. (Hughes 1874: 36,37)

C. 1841 AD Major Outram was given the political authority over Sindh. This was followed by Sir Charles Napier taking military and political authority over territories of lower Indus in September 1842. (Hughes 1874: 37) He proposed new terms for a treaty superseding all previous treaties stating that certain towns viz. Karachi, Thatta, Sakhar, Bukhar, Rohri were to be given to British perpetually and all tolls were to be abolished. (Hughes 1874: 37)

Major Outram was recalled to urge the Mirs to accept the terms proposed and avoid bloodshed as Sir Charles Napier was ready with his force prepared for a battle. The treaties were signed by the Mirs 8th and 12th February 1843. But the Balochis from the Mir’s army dissented and attacked the British Residency on 19th February 1843. Major Outram defended the residency but later retreated to one of their vessels on the river. Major Outram travelled upriver to join the force under Sir Charler Napier. They battled the Mir’s army near Miani which is nine miles from Haiderabad and defeated them. Though the British were outnumbered, the Battle was decided by the troop of horse-mounted Artillery of the British and their 22nd regiment according to the account given by Sir Charles Napier. (Hughes 1874:38,39,44)

Thus, the battle of Miani was a very major point in the occupation of Sindh by the British. Subsequent to this victory, the towns of Mirpur and Umarkot also fell into British hands without much resistance. The Sindh was thus declared as a territory conquered by the British and was added to the British possessions in India. After this, the Talpur Mirs lost their power over Sindh. The Talpur Mirs were made state prisoners in 1843. However, in 1854 they were given permission to return to Sindh and reside in Haidarabad. Sir Charles Napier was appointed as the first Governor of Sindh in 1843. The Mirs who had ruled the Sindh were given cash pensions and were allowed to hold the lands as Jagir. All other Jagirdars numbering to about two thousand offered their alliance to the British Government and were allowed to hold their Jagirs upon certain concession promised. (Hughes 1874: 45,49) British, the new rulers quickly established revenue and Judicial system for governance.

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