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

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXXIII

Maharaja Dahir – Resurgence of Sindh – Part-XXXIII

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

That night Dr. Iqbal could not sleep at all; several characters of the past were constantly merging with the present; the barriers of time line as it were being obliterated. The same course of events that began during Maharaja Dahir is repeating itself in a new form, where Surya Devi and Mithila are consolidated. Being trapped into a chakravyuha (circular maze), this character has to carry a terrible curse; he has to enter the chakravyuha and bring her out, so that she does not have to carry this curse again in the future.

Surya Devi wrote, “My father gave shelter to the Arabs. He didn’t realize how big conspiracy it was. This Mohammed Alafi alias Bani Asama is actually a fodder of Arab bandits. For many years they tried to invade Sindh but could not succeed by any means, so this termite Alafi was first introduced to weaken the foundation of the Sindh country. We Hindus are never united, but they are a very united community. They entered into the Sindh army like termites and completely destroyed its structure. When Muhammad bin Qasim reached the banks of the Mehran River, Alafi and his troops began to attack the villages across the Sindhu River in Aror. News came to us that daily one village after another was being looted first and then entirely burnt. We thought that the Arab army had come across the river in the dark of night and were doing this. Then one day Sheetal’s village was attacked. Sheetal somehow saved her life and came to our palace. I am writing down the exact description that Sheetal gave that day.

Sheetal said, “The evening vesper had just ended in our village temple. During this time, the village people used to sit on the temple benches and chant Shivakirtan, while some other people spend time sitting under the big tree or on the banks of the river. Even last night the atmosphere of the village was so calm and beautiful. I went inside the millet field to meet Mohan of our village. Suddenly, I saw all the houses of the village are burning, cry and agony of the villagers are floating around the air. Mohan and I started running through the millet field and entered the village to see that they are chopping the unarmed poor villagers just like they cut sugarcane. As I used to deceive the villagers every day to meet Mohan, similarly I covered my whole body with my black veil and ran towards my house through the back of the dark thorny bush. I went and saw that they had set our house to fire. In the courtyard my father’s severed head is lying.

My family taught us from childhood that if there is an attack on the village or on the family, then try to save your own life instead of trying to save the victims. If one of the family members is alive, then the lineage of that family will be preserved. I didn’t see any of my family anymore. I don’t know what happened to other members of my family, but like my grandmother, I ran away to preserve my family line. On my way, I found this gold arm bangle on the road, with something written.”

“Seeing Sheetal, I realized that day, that how selfish people may become in the time of danger. I also felt at that moment that how poignant and heart touching even the rules which are set up by families to protect one’s own family who have been under foreign attack for ages. Even despite of being a princess, I felt that Sheetal and I were on the same boat of fate.”

“After sunset father used to stay in his room. It was his habit to write daily diary, so either he would be writing diary or having discussion with the Prime Minister Budhimaan in private. I went to father’s room with Sheetal in the dark of night.”

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

“I found that father was very worried and talking to the Prime Minister Budhimaan. I handed over that bracelet to my father. Sheetal also went with me. Because father told her to take rest after receiving the news of her arrival. Then called her into his room around evening. Father asks Sheetal to completely describe what happened to their village while carefully observing the arm band.”

“Father’s face waned as he listened to Sheetal’s description. He handed over the arm band to Budhimaan, the light of the lamp illuminated the Arabic letters written on the arm band. When Sheetal completed her description, slowly, very slowly a word came out of my father – Alafi.”

“Father stood up and put his hand on Sheetal’s head and said, “Maa! as long as your this father is alive, no one can harm you. Maa, I may not be able to return what you have lost, but I will try my best to keep your family alive.” I took Sheetal out of father’s room and asked her to leave. When Sheetal left, I hid in the dark in a corner outside the room. I knew no one comes here at this time. I saw my father’s helplessness that day. Father says to his prime minister, “Budhimaan, my father used to say that it is a great sin to lose faith on human, now it seems that trusting human is a great sin. Alafi committed such a great betrayal!!”

Budhimaan replied, “Your Majesty, Prince Jai Singh is much more practical than you, so he understood the situation and separated his army from the main army of Sindh. You were enraged that he attacked on the force of Qasim in the dark of night. But Maharaj, these Arab jihadis will not understand your philosophy. They understand the language of treachery and deception. You have to understand the enemy’s method of attack and then blow your counterattack, the reply to deception is always deception.”

Father said, “Though I was verbally against Jai Singh’s tactics of attack, somewhere in my heart there was support for him. I understood the situation. But what is the way out of the death circle that Alafi has created? Budhimaan, I can’t figure out anything.”

Budhimaan said, “Maharaj, you are a very simple and straight person, you trust everyone easily and everyone takes advantage of your simplicity. The Arabs collected all the information about you before Alafi came, then they sent Alafi. No Sindhu-basi should trust the Arabs after the terrible attack they made on Kikan. You made that same mistake by yourself despite of being king.

Budhimaan himself went closer to father and said, “Maharaj, you should not worry, Prince Jai Singh has kept Nerun’s army under his control. He is secretly contacting the armies of the neighboring rulers. Bett’s castle is now completely under his control. Brahmanabad fort is also under his complete control. The outcome of the war with Mohammad bin Qasim now depends entirely upon the Prince. Hope all goes well.

The bracelet that Sheetal found that day was an ornament used by Muhammad Alafi’s army. One by one, similar to Sheetal’s, the villages are slowly burned down to the ground, their wealth and women are plundered and sent across the Mehran River. But my father hopelessly remained silent. Our brother Jai Singh continuously protect the area of Bet, Brahmanabad, including the surrounding areas as a security ring. But Aror was going out of his hands. Alafi expanded his authority in the region and took complete control over it. It is said that among the Termites there is a queen whose venom is more poisonous than that of a cobra. This Alafi was that venomous cobra. By completely destroying the spine of Aror and making it fragile from within, one day Alafi left Aror and joined Muhammad bin Qasim’s army across the river Mehran. After that, his representative came and told my father that being a Muslim it is impossible for him to fight against the crusade so he joins Muhammad bin Qasim. (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-XXVIPart-XXVIIPart-XXVIIIPart-XXIXPart-XXX , Part-XXXI, Part-XXXII


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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