Home Books & Authors Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVII

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVII

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Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XVII

The English translation of a novel ‘Maharaja Dahir’ authored by Kolkata-based renowned novelist Debasree Chakraborti in Bengali language. The novel has been translated by Rajesh Giri

Thar, Mithi, Sindh

Year 2021

On both sides, there is only stretches of lifeless desert, and through this Dr. Iqbal’s car rushes blowing the dust. He arrived in Karachi early this morning, from Karachi airport he is now heading towards Mithi town of Thar. He also plans to travel to the Rohri city from here. This dark asphalt seems to lead him to a gloomy land, as if beyond the mists of this grey desert of Thar there is another alien world, where even today lies the inscription of a tainted chapter in the history of the Sindh, which cannot be perceived with the naked eye, but if the diary of Surya Devi is correct then hopefully he’s on the right track.

On his way back from Syria, he remembers one thing over and over again. Surya Devi started her diary in 716 AD. But if historical information is correct, then Muhammad bin Qasim died in 715 AD, and soon after his death Surya Devi and her sister Parimal Devi were buried alive in Baghdad, Iraq. So if this diary is really of Surya Devi, then how did she be in Syria in 716 AD and started writing the diary! So was she secretly sent from Iraq to Syria?! A deep mystery is hiding behind it. Iqbal is not able to grasp anything, the authenticity of the information given by Surya Devi whether is hidden in Rohri.

“Is the past of Kikan still really being protected by Mahadev of Rohri, or is it lost in the whirl of time!” He was passing the desert of Thar while thinking about all these assorted things.

Sabir bhai was driving the car. Dr. Iqbal said, “What are these huge poles Sabir bhai in the wilderness of Thar?”

Sabir Azakiyya was driving carefully, as he might have to change direction if he saw anything suspicious among the cars around him, so he said while driving very carefully, keeping an eye on everything, “The best quality coal is found in Sindh province. Coal is extracted from those coal mines which are on the border of Sindh and Gujarat to generate electricity and then that electricity is sent to Punjab province of Pakistan through these huge posts. And our villages are still in darkness even after 76 years of independence. Pakistan takes 75% of the natural resources from Sindh province, 65% of the revenue comes from Sindh, while the benefit is consumed by Punjab province.”

And our villages are still in darkness even after 76 years of independence. Pakistan takes 75% of the natural resources from Sindh province, 65% of the revenue comes from Sindh, while the benefit is consumed by Punjab province.”

Dr. Iqbal said, “I don’t understand why Pakistan gives so much importance to its Punjab province.”

– Punjab province must be given importance, most of the Pakistani military comes from this province. Moreover, it is said this Punjab is the hotbed of Khalistan movement. You yourself are working as an agent of WAR, so you need to know why this special Gurdwara was established.

-You know people from different parts of the world come here for two to three months.

Hearing this Panchajanya who was hiding inside Iqbal was reminded of Bapida. Bapida had once gone to Canada with her drama troupe, returning from there he had told everyone with great regret that how gurdwaras of Canada were plastered with pro-Khalistan posters. Bapida can read Gurmukhi very well, so he understood the meaning of these posters reading by himself.

Raja Dahir - Bengali book
Maharaja Dahir – A novel authored by Debasree Chakraborti in Bengali language

During his visit to Toronto in 2018, Bapida saw these posters outside a Gurudwara in Toronto, where it was written that they were going to organize a very big and effective movement for Punjabi farmers in India, which would put a lot of pressure on the Indian government. Indeed, many things happen just in front of our eyes, but even seeing everything, we do not understand anything.

Thinking about these things, he re-established the connection of his mind to the nature outside, the shadows are lengthening in the heart of Sindh, but it is dark all around, there is no light anywhere. Kerosene oil lamps are burning in small hut like shops made out of mud far and wide along the road. Dr. Iqbal’s lips became dry. He said, can you stand on the side of the road and have tea?

Sabir bhai said, so far nothing suspicious has caught my eyes, so we can take a break for tea. Saying this, he stopped the car in front of a shop-hut on the roadside. A folk song in Sindhi is playing on the radio inside the shop. No passengers usually stop here, maybe one or two cars stop here a day. Seeing the passengers getting out of the car, the shopkeeper brought two plastic tools and left them outside the shop and went inside.

The smell of earthy smoke is coming from the oven inside the shop. Sabir bhai said, “Ah, in this smell there is the fragrance of the soil of Sindh. Dr. Iqbal you know the whole of Thar remains in darkness always. Load shedding eleven to twelve hours a day. It has a time to be turned off, but no time to reconnect.

After a while a little boy brought two cups of tea and four toast biscuits in an earthen dish and said to them, “Sir, I have served you biscuits along with tea, you will like it for sure.”

Dr. Iqbal was trained in Sindhi language by Chadda sir, so he easily understood the boy’s speech and said, “We are very hungry, do you have any food to eat?”

The boy said very enthusiastically, “Sir, this afternoon my mother has prepared sweet lolo and sai bhaji, it is still hot, shall I bring it?”

Sabir Bhai said, “Why are you asking for affirmation? Bring it now.”

The boy went inside happily. Sabir bhai said, “The people here are very poor, it is our duty to keep them alive, because these are also children of Mother Sindhu, who have been living with utmost respect and trust in their religion despite of various adversities for ages.”

Before they leave that day, when the boy is asked his name, he says his name is Kanaya Lal. Dr. Iqbal gave five hundred rupees to Kanaya Lal and got into the car. That day when they reached the town of Mithi, it was fifteen minutes to eight o’clock at night. The electricity came back as they are just entering the town, but the people of this town fell asleep very quickly. The streets are almost empty, one or two shops are open, even they’re also preparing to bring the shutters down.

The car entered a dark lane from the main road blowing the dust. There is a temple on the right side of this road. Showing the temple, Sabir bhai said, “Local Hindus worship in this temple. Earlier big businessmen of Sindh province used to live in this region. During the partition of the country, a businessman named Mohanlal was first attacked, then all the businessmen left and took refuge in Hindustan. Still there are 90% Hindus living in this region.”

If a businessman like Mohanlal had lived here, the economy of this country would not have been in this condition. How many such Mohanlal had to leave the country at that time

The car stopped in front of a house. Sabir bhai got out of the car and said, “Iqbal come this way, the house you are looking at is now of a North Indian Muslim Zamindar who came from Hindustan. This house belonged to that Mohanlal, he had a huge prosperous business in Karachi. He used to ship his goods all over the world. Now the city of Mithi falls silent by 9 pm, so what it was like in 1947 you can easily comprehend. One night Mohanlal’s house was surrounded and the main entrance of the house was shattered. Then Mohanlal and his family were forced to leave. He could not take anything with him while leaving. Only to protect the honor and dignity of the women of their family, Mohanlal left for an unknown country with his family in single cloth. He only realizes the trauma of being forcefully uprooted of one’s own soil who undergoes through this.”

“If a businessman like Mohanlal had lived here, the economy of this country would not have been in this condition. How many such Mohanlal had to leave the country at that time, has no idea.”

Dr. Iqbal looked at the house and said, “Now it seems that someone lives here.”

– Yes, a Muslim zamindar from Uttar Pradesh was given Mohanlal’s property to live in. Many of the landowners in the province of Sindh, are not the sons of this land, they are all outsiders. From that point of view, this country is being exploited by the Bhoomiputras of Hindustan. Isn’t it?

Sabir bhai looked at the clock and said, “It’s already very late. Our man has completed all arrangements for dinner. Let’s go inside. Let’s rest after having the dinner. Tomorrow, we have to leave for Rohri via some other places.”

That night Sabir bhai and Dr. Iqbal’s stay was arranged at the house of a person named Mamud Ansari. (Continues)

Click here for Part-I Part-IIPart-III Part-IV Part-V Part-VI Part-VIIPart-VIII Part-IX Part-XPart-XIPart-XIIPart-XIII Part-XIV Part-XV , Part-XVI

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Debasree Chakraborti - authorDebasree Chakraborti is a renowned novel writer of Bengali language. Based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, she has done Master’s in Modern History from the Kolkata University, and authored some thirty books, mostly the novels, with historical perspective and themes. Her most recent novel is ‘Maharaja Dahir’ that covers the history of Sindh from 662, the year of first attack on Sindh by the Arab armies till date. 

Rajesh Giri - TranslatorRajesh Giri, born in Kolkata, had his early schooling from Kolkata and then from Medinipur—a village in Bengal. He graduated from Calcutta University with Physics and Maths and Master’s from Burdwan University in 2016. Now he is associated with Adhdhyaan educational institution teaching Physics. History enthusiastic Rajesh Giri is particularly interested in the ancient civilization of India and other regions like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and North America. He loves traveling.

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