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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XX

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Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XX

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

On that day the old fathers of every family in Debal said to their warrior children:

‘Swadharmapi chavekshya na bikompitumarhsi.

Dharmyadhi Yudhachreyannat, Kshatriyasya na Vidyate

Swadharmam, api, cha, abheksya, na, bicompitum, arahsi,

Dharmyat, Hi, Yudhat, Shriah, Anyat, Kshatriyasya, Na, Vidyate.’

That is, as a Kshatriya considering your own dharma you should know that there is nothing benevolent for a Kshatriya than to fight for the sake of dharma. So, you should not hesitate.

The citizens of Debal used to obey this saying of Gita. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Dharma. Debal’s warriors were a quarter of the number of almost 16,000 Islamic warriors. Yet as long as the last breath of life lasted, they continued to fight. Muhammad Bin Qasim was observing that Debal’s warriors were nothing to them in numbers, yet they were fighting valiantly and Debal was not being defeated at all. He built his huge army camp outside the city of Debal. Debal was so surrounded by the Muslim army that no message could be sent from this city to the capital Aror at this time. As the warriors of Debal continued to fight unceasingly, some Sindhi warriors, noticing the utter desperation in the eyes of the Islamic soldiers, said, the fall of Debal is never possible, the protector of this city is Mahadev himself. As long as he and his temple are there, Debal’s defeat is never possible.

Hajjaj had instructed him not to show any mercy to the people of Debal, and to punish them in such a way that even after hundreds of thousands of years, people cannot forget the terrible memories of the conquest of Debal.

Sometimes overconfidence leads to danger, and so it did in this case. It was some of the Debal’s people who informed the Arabs of their secret of Debal’s armour. The way Debal’s warriors were retaliating the huge army of Islam, it was impossible for them to win Debal if they continued to fight like this. Moreover, it was Ramadan days, fasting was on at this time, so the strength of the Muslim jihadis was very weak owing to no water all the day; because of this they might not be able to face the infidels. Muhammad bin Qasim did not wait any longer after hearing that if the top of the Shiva temple did not fall, Debal would not fall. He called his engineer and ordered that the 120 feet high spire of the Shiva temple in the midst of Debal should be demolished as soon as possible. Muhammad Bin Qasim understood very well that if the pinnacle of this temple, the symbol of faith and belief of the people of Debal, could be destroyed, the morale of the people of Debal would end and the conquest of Debal would be complete. His assumption was not false. Some 700 women of Debal took shelter inside this temple. They thought that no one could harm them as long as Mahadev was there. But thousands of soldiers attacked this temple from all sides and broke the four gates and entered into it. At that time huge wealth used to be stored beneath the sanctum sanctorum of every temple. As the religious warriors of Islam entered the temple, the women who took shelter there cried out. They tried desperately to escape but could not defend themselves. Hundreds of jihadis were deprived of female bodies for long, while the Indus women were especially known to the world for their dignified beauty. After so many days, they became insane after finding out 700 beautiful women; moreover, raping Hindu women in Hindu shrines was considered a pious Islamic duty for them.

That day the Arab bandits gang-raped the Sindhi women inside the temple and destroyed the idol of the temple and looted all the wealth hidden inside the sanctum sanctorum. Then 700 women were turned into sex slaves shackled with iron chains on their hands and feet.

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

At sunrise on Friday, the 120-foot Shiva Temple of the Debal was crushed into dust by the enormous impact of two huge stones. Debal’s warriors became completely demoralized witnessing the scene of Debal’s Shiva temple collapsing with a terrible sound. The daughters and mothers of the houses who took refuge in this temple, understood that their family dignity ​​and honour were all dusted down like the top of this temple. It was a Friday, and with the dawn of the sun, the fall of Debal was accomplished.

As the crimson light of the morning sun slowly spreads over the entire city, the news of the fall of Debal also reaches the city dwellers. With the fall of Debal, the Muslim army assembled at the center of the city to pray, and construction of a mosque began on that very site by the orders of Muhammad bin Qasim. The Muslim soldiers attacked and looted the houses of the people of Debal; Debal was the treasure chest of the country of Sindh; every family in this city was connected with foreign trade and each of them had unlimited abundance. The daughters of the house surrendered themselves to the fire to save their honor.

The house of Maheshwar Vanik was also attacked that day. Seeing Debal’s condition, his two sons hid their sister and mother in the cellar under the house. Maheshwar Vanik had long dealings with Arab merchants, so everyone in Arab countries knew that Maheshwar Vanik was the richest man in Debal. Hajjaj pointed out that Maheswar Vanik has long time relationship with the Arabs, despite of being so powerful he made no effort to save the followers of Allah from their captivity. So let ensure that his punishment be the worst. Thousands of Islamic soldiers attacked Maheshwar’s house that day. With the fall of the Shiva temple, the morale of the citizens of Debal was all gone. Maheshwar’s guards could not resist for long that day. Like terrible sea monsters, Islamic jihadis entered the Vanik’s palace, cutting off the heads of the guards with their swords. Hara and Bhava were standing at the entrance to the palace, before they could make any resistance their heads were separated from their torsos. There were many valuable items in different places of this palace. The jihadis spread all over the palace to loot the goods. From the time of the conquest of Kikan, Arab crusaders knew that Sindh had another separate room under each house, in which they hid the women of their family along with their wealth. They had the description of every member of Maheshwar Vanik’s family.

That day the Arab bandits gang-raped the Sindhi women inside the temple and destroyed the idol of the temple and looted all the wealth hidden inside the sanctum sanctorum. Then 700 women were turned into sex slaves shackled with iron chains on their hands and feet.

That day, when the news of Debal’s defeat reached Maheshwar Vanik’s house, Gauri sat silently in a room in the southern part of the palace. She came to know that their city was attacked by foreign enemies and the city fell some time ago. The foreign enemies have also destroyed the temple of Mahadev, the symbol of their trust and faith. She does not know what to do in such a situation. But there was a lot of pain in her heart; it seemed that everything was a dream; she remembered Somaditya very much; she felt that Somaditya was a very beautiful dream, which dream could not be real anymore; Gauri felt that suddenly she woke up from her dream and faced a terrible reality. It was as if she was preparing herself to face the harsh reality that was to come. At that moment she heard the sound of hooves of horses, ‘Allah Hu Akbar’ came rushing towards their palace from the east of their house. Gauri’s mother entered her room of the southern part and held Gauri’s hand tightly, took her and entered into the underground room kind of running through the secret passage in the worship room. Gauri had never entered this room before. This is the first time she came here holding his mother’s hand; today she remembers her father very much, if he had stayed here, maybe Debal would not have fallen. Since Debal’s downfall, she was feeling very upset for her confidantes. How are they in such situation? Gauri burst into tears, she wanted to scream and cry, but sitting in this dungeon she can hear the death screams of their security guards. Some time ago she heard the agony of her two elder brothers. She is watching that her mother started pouring oil from an earthen pot all over herself and Gauri’s body; Now Gauri become very much frightened. She might have sensed the glimpse of the dire consequences. By repeating Har Har Mahadev Her mother took the torch from the wall set herself on fire, then she came towards Gauri and embraced her, Gauri closed her eyes and sacrificed herself in the bosom of that terrible death. Maheshwar had gone to South India for trade. This news Arabs already knew, but his daughter and wife somewhere in the palace whom they were unable to find; then they started looking for the entrance to the dungeon. While Arab crusaders are frantically searching for that entrance, right at that moment black coils of smoke rolled out from inside the room of worship of the palace. When the jihadis entered inside the temple they found that where the Shiv Linga is kept, smokes coming out around of it. The soldiers realized that this area was the entrance to the basement. When they examined the room carefully they found the entrance to the room next to the Shiva linga.

As soon as the door was opened, black coiled smoke began to spread outside. The soldiers brought a large quantity of water in big vessels and poured it down inside the room. However, when the fire was extinguished, they found the charred bodies of two women in that cellar. Then on that day they looted the entire palace and left the house of Maheshwar Vanik.

Bin Qasim then gave his engineer 10,000 dirhams as a prize for demolishing the spire of the Shiva temple. Some of the remaining wealth was divided among the soldiers and the remaining wealth was sent to the Caliph in Baghdad. On that day, 700 women of Debal could not become Sati; they were sent to Baghdad on foot. It was possible for Muhammad bin Qasim, to send them to Baghdad in a ship with others, but he did not do so, because Hajjaj had instructed him not to show any mercy to the people of Debal, and to punish them in such a way that even after hundreds of thousands of years, people cannot forget the terrible memories of the conquest of Debal. Small children were sliced from the middle and their bodies were floated in the sea. Except the women who had become Sati, others were continued to be gang-raped for three consecutive days; the men of the city were killed and their severed heads were deposited in the premises of the Shiva temple. Thus after three consecutive days of pillage and slaughter, Muhammad bin Qasim proceeded from Debal to Narun, and Debal remained standing with his charred and mutilated body as the culmination of Islam’s conquest of Sindh. (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-XVIPart-XVIIPart-XVIII , Part-XIX

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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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