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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXVIII

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXVIII

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


Year 712 AD

Two contrasting images appear on the same interval on the dynamic mirror of time. Maharaja Dahir sitting in a corner of his room is writing his diary. As he write, he looked at the window open to his left. In the distance across the river Mehran, dots of light can be observed. Mohammad bin Qasim camped across the river with his army. These lights resemble like the eyes of hyena, these alien beasts are slowly swallowing his felicitous kinship. But he is unable to do anything. Maharaja Dahir began to write:

—Today reaching at the horizon of my life it seems that my entire philosophy of life is wrong; at this stage it seems that the life of the Dahir, son of a Brahmin, has been circulated in the wrong direction from the beginning. A life of tolerance and forgiveness has made me a potentially impotent person. By this flawed conception of life I have misguided my entire Sindh family. But never thought that the people outside my extended family would not understand the value of my philosophical sentiments. I have always cognized the idea that the liberation of soul is the only goal of life, but before finding the path to this liberation, I have never thought that a strong circle must be established around the family. Today if every member of my Sindh family was skilled in martial arts, then they wouldn’t fall into death like this. We have been taught that Atithi Narayana (strangers also should be treated as Divine), so we welcomed them unarmed with arms outstretched. In return we fell to death; one after another the daughters of my houses losing their dignity and become slaves of foreigners. An alien faith, the philosophy of which we have no idea, is being forced upon the common people, and those who are not accepting they are being turned into slaves and sold in the markets of Arabia. My children are suffering the consequences of my aloofness.

Maharaja looked into the darkness on the right side while writing; he can see the helpless face of the ruler of Nerun, who after the defeat of Nerun, fled to Maharaj Dahir. Nerun’s ruler broke down and said, “Your Majesty, there was no other way other than surrendering. Everything was fine; all around the city there was sphere of security, but such a huge border wall, we never expected that could be broken down like this at all. How did they manage to break and crush such a well-built strong wall into dust? And Your Majesty, we are Buddhists, Ahimsa is our primary aspect of religion, the ruthlessness that is practiced in Debal; we didn’t want the people of Nerun to die a horrible death like this. Our chief monk wished to guide the Arab warriors to the path of non-violence; we thought our behavior would change their psychological state, but my lord, they are very cruel like animals, they can kill people laughing. My Majesty, I handed over my entire army including myself to you, we have to turn back before Aror falls.”

Maharaj recorded his conversation with Nerun’s ruler and looked again through the dark window, river is flowing in the dark canvas, the flambeau of a few forts like Moaz, Budhia, Sesam are only visible in the deserted terrain on both sides of the river. From the direction of Sewistan, it is like a dark giant is approaching from the darkness of the night shouting Allah Hu Akbar. This same sound is advancing from the direction of the sea towards the watercourse of the river.

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

As this sound grew louder, the flame of the fort’s torches become brighter and brighter. Then from these forts the sound of Har Har Mahadeva rush like a war-hunker to counter the evil of Allah Hu Akbar, while thousands of burning arrows from the forts were shot towards the enemy. Learning from Debal, Nerun, Sewistan, the people of this region forgot all so called principles and prepared themselves to face the enemy. The troops of Sindh were also joined by the troops of the forts of these regions. Jai Singh, son of Dahir, prepared a strong army under his command within these forts, connecting all the forts with the adjoining territories and turning them into a protective chain. After the fall of Debal, Prince Jai Singh became a hardened warrior, alike an island cut off from everything in the world, he set his mind to build and prepare the armies of Sindh. Jai Singh created awareness about the Arab invasion among the people and rulers of Aror and its surrounding areas. At that time Jai Singh’s representatives went to the villages in the dark of night to create awareness through secret meetings. He convinced the villagers that cutting off the supply of food and drinking water would ensure the downfall of the foreign troops. Jai Singh secretly met the people of the adjoining areas including Moaz, Budhia, Kotak on both banks of the river. First he approached Moaz. At Moaz there is an ancient fort on the one edge of a grain field on the banks of the river, into which the citizens of the region are invited one day. Inside this fort, Jai Singh was sitting on an altar built on the side of a huge pond. Inside this fort was a vast area, where the citizens listened intently to Jai Singh. There was a strange firmness in his throat that day. He said, Debal was our soul, this city was the backbone of Sindh’s financial structure. I have seen Debal’s dead body, how horribly they ruined Debal. Thousands of women became ‘sati’ to protect their honour, those who did not get the chance to be burn themselves, were shackled and taken to Baghdad on foot, then they were sold like animals in the market of Baghdad. They destroyed the temple of Debal’s presiding deity Mahadev and massacred the place. They have such powerful weapons with which they broke the city walls of Nerun and turned it into dust. The people of Nerun were forced to surrender. The place they are passing through is turning into a valley of death. If they accept their religious beliefs, they release them, otherwise they have to pay a huge jizya, those who cannot pay, the men of their families are killed, and the women and children are sold as slaves to an unknown country. We must all come together now, or a terrible turn like Debal awaits us. I, Jaisina, son of Maharaj Dahir, extend my hand towards you.

Let us all hold each other’s hands and protect our motherland.

Motivated by Jai Singh, everyone raised their hands and said Jai Maa Sindhu.

Jaisina became excited to see the enthusiasm of the crowd. He said, “The only way to defeat our enemy is to cut off all their food and drinking water supplies.” You all have to keep one thing in mind that they are not guests, they are enemies, so if you offer them water and food as Narayana (God), they will appear to you as Rakshasas (devils). Now is the time to harvest, so don’t wait any longer – from today all the crops around the fields should be cut, then they should be stored in the grain storage room under the house. They are attacking from both sea and land, we don’t know when they will attack. So the foremost task is to be done is to store all the grains in their own secret place. I think there is no place more secure than this fort and all the grain must be stored here. My troops will be with you in the surrounding villages in the guise of villagers. When the crops are harvested, my troops will give you some military training, through which you will be able to defend yourself.

Maharaj saw in the moving mirror of time, Jai Singh mobilized all the surrounding townspeople against the Arab army. As was the case at Debal, here too the attack was launched by both water and land. One late night when a flock of bats came screeching out of a hole in the secret vault of Sisum Fort, a black owl perched on the branch of a huge banyan tree in the middle of the fort hooted with a flutter of wings to announce the arrival of the enemy. A flock of boats came along the river and stopped at the shore. On the other side, a thick black shadow came slowly from the desert and continued to spread across the desert. It seemed as if black hot lava was pouring out from the volcano. Sensing the threat of attack, Jai Singh’s soldiers kept alerting the villagers by calling like various nocturnal animals. At dawn the next day they saw the Arab army encamped on the outskirts of the city. Thousands of their boats are there in the river. The river water in these areas was not suitable for drinking, so common people had to rely on the water of the well that was available inside their homes for drinking water. The Arab soldiers began to fall sick for want of water in this terrible summer heat.

Another image of the same time appeared in the mirror. This is another aspect of the same series of events. One day after the Isha prayer, Muhammad bin Qasim stood up after supplicating to Allah, hearing a commotion he came out of his camp to see two guards running towards him.

The guards informed him, “Lord, every day soldiers go to nearby villages in search of water, but none of them are coming back, our soldiers are getting sick due to lack of water and harsh environment, thirteen soldiers have died today.”

Muhammad bin Qasim said, “Ask the Chief Hakim to come at once, I want to speak to him first.”

The guards brought the Chief Hakim. In the dusky environment of the camp, Mohammad bin Qasim spoke privately with his chief Hakim. Hakim’s eyes showed a terrible worry. He said, “Lord, if this continues, one army after another will continue to die.”

Qasim said, “You tell me clearly, where the real problem is lying?”

Chief Hakim said, “Fighting against the harsh nature of the Sindhu Desh and the scorching heat of summer days, their body water is depleting, and they are slowly dying due to lack of drinking water in the region.”

Qasim said, “Then, what’s the way now?”

– If you want to protect your troops, leave the area quickly, for now the troops need to rest in a place where they can have enough drinking water and rest. After resting for a few days, they will be able to fight again as before. Sometimes to achieve success in life, you have to step back a little. Backing off doesn’t mean admitting defeat, it means being stronger, you are moving towards the goal of victory.

The advice given by the chief judge that night etched on Qasim’s mind. Shortly after Hakim left, Hajjaj’s messenger appeared with his letter. Qasim began to read the message under the light of his camp lamp. Hajjaj wrote in that letter, “By hook or by crook we have to conquer Sindh. I was reported that the soldiers were getting weak. At this moment Dahir and his subordinate rulers must be defeated at any cost. First try to bring them under you bribing with gifts and all kinds of temptations. If they don’t agree, then you start the massacre, kill the people of Sindh so brutally that the water of the rivers of Sindh, of the sea will turn bloody. Allah’s blessings are on you, Sindh victory is in your hands.” (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-XIXPart-XXPart-XXI Part-XXIIPart-XXIII Part-XXIV Part-XXV Part-XXVI, Part-XXVII


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.



  1. Excellent plot of ancient histoty Raja Dahir and Sindh the ancient land of civilization anf mystery. The characters are original moving touching the feelings of the reader the enthusiasm incteasing to tead whole noven in one sitting, I love it.


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