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Raja Dahar (661-712 AD)

Raja Dahar (661-712 AD)

Raja Dahar is the person standing on the verge of civilizations in the history of Indo-Pakistan. It was he who brought about a change of not only rule, but a monarch too. Being the despotic King of Sindh, he canopied the pirates of Sindh while being vindictive towards his subjects.

Shooders/ Antyajas, (the lowest considered strata of Hindus) and the Budhists were not allowed to wear turbans and even shoes and they were ordered to keep dogs with them to get recognized. The ruler of Ceylon sent the widows and children of the Muslims traders (who died in Ceylon) to Baghdad with precious gifts for Walid, the Caliph and Hajjaj, the Governor of the Eastern provinces. Sindhi pirates looted the convoy and imprisoned the ladies and children. Hajjaj demanded the release of the Muslim captives and the reprimand of the pirates but Raja Dahar refused to take any action against the pirates saying that he had nothing to do with them (the pirates). Hearing this, Hajjaj sent a military expedition against Raja Dahar in 711 AD under Mohammad Bin Qasim, his nephew and son-in-law.

Raja Dahar met Mohammad Bin Qasim when the later invaded Sindh. Bin Qasim captured Debal (now Karachi) by firing the flag hoisted on the top of Dabal Temple. After Bin Qasim dominated Nirun and Haiderabad, Raja Dahar came to confront Bin Qasim at Raor. Riding an elephant, Raja was the symbol of morale for his army. But he fell down from his elephant demoralizing his men. Though he managed to ride a horse but the army took him dead and retreated. With the loss of 6,000 soldiers, Raja was killed by Bin Qasim in 712 AD. Chach Nama, the oldest reliable chronicle tells the tale of his defeat and the capture of Uch and Alore after his death. Mohammad Bin Qasim kept Aror and Multan along with some towns of Sindh and established his rule in these areas. The people breathed a sigh of relief after the end of Dahar’s rule and welcomed the new ruler.

Some historians and intellectuals (even a few from Pakistan) call Raja Dahar a fair and just ruler with the perfect religious harmony prevailed among the masses. No Bramanism existed in his empire, they assert. One of such intellectuals is G.M. Sayyed from Sindh who pleaded this and was jailed in 1964 on distorting the historical facts.  He beseeched that Dahar fostered no Brahmanic pre-eminence in the society. They go back to such references from history as the essay on the history of social relations of India which runs that the “the Brahmans did not enjoy social hegemony until the widespread proliferation of agrahara villages (the villages specified only for Brahmans, the most superior strata), a practice that started towards the end of the Gupta period in Bihar during 5thto 7th C, spread very slowly in the rest of India, and took more than a few centuries to crystallize. In the neighboring regions of Punjab, Kuchh, Gujrat, and Rajhastan there is little evidence that agrahara villages ever took shape”. If it is true, why did the Shooders (the untouchable) and Budhists embrace Islam in such a large number? If they were enjoying the equality and fraternity in the society, why did they leave their Raja and rose with Bin Qasim? Why did they cry when Mohammad Bin Qasim left them after three years while they should have taken a sigh of relief instead? Why did they idolize Bin Qasim in their temples after his departure if they were forced to embrace Islam?

Another statement against the light of Islam lit in that age that the rural population came under Islam. Seeing this, they should have been literate today. They object that the literacy rate in Sindh is 45% while Rajhastan’s rate is 61% which is Hindu-dominated. Literacy of today is compared with the literacy of 711 AD. Irony! The literacy of Pakistan is a critical issue even today due to the negligence of the leadership since very inception of Pakistan. Bin Qasim ruled only three years and did not open any schools in Sindh in those years. Such objections are constituted by those who are either nationalists or against Pakistan and argue for the reunification of India and Pakistan.

Another interesting statement from Haji Adeel of ANP (Awami National Party) rose when he declared that his hero was Raja Dahar and not Mohammad Bin Qasim. The reason behind this U-turn he told was that Raja was local whereas Mohammad Bin Qasim was a foreigner whose intentions were money, women and the booty. We should support those who fought for the people of Sindh and not those who invaded and ruled us, he elaborated. Sticking on this formula, Ahmad Shah Abdali, an Afghani Pakhtun, Sher Shah Suri, and Lodhis are equally damnable for him because they were not local. Aren’t they? Haji Adeel is a Pashtun leader from the platform of Awami National Party (ANP). Does the aforementioned formula not expel the Pashtun tribes like Uthmankhels, Jaduns, Durranis, Khalils and Yousafzais from Haji Adeel’s “Empire”? Is he advocating a Hindu Raja as his (and wants to make our) hero who is notorious in the world history for being incestuous towards his real sister? The pages of history are abundant in these details. Mirza Qalich Beg, a writer quotes a letter of Raja Dahar from Chach Nama, the most reliable chronicler of those days. In the letter to his brother, Raja wrote:

“The astrologers divined, by means of their science that this princess would be the queen of Alor, and her husband would be the king who was to hold fast all these territories. To remedy and avert this unpleasant consequence, I took it upon myself to commit this shameful breach of royal etiquette and social rules. We now make the apology that what we considered expedient to do was done through necessity, and not of our own free will. Do therefore excuse us”.

For a leader of the nation which observes “ghairat” (honor) of their ladies especially the sisters and daughters, is it fair to support and propagate a Hindu Raja who has a appalling character?  If Haji Adeel is a Muslim today, is it because of Mohammad Bin Qasim or Raja Dahar? Is he repenting on being a Muslim? As a leader of ANP, who are the people he is leading? Are they Muslims or Hindus?  If Mohammad Bin Qasim is accused of plundering Raja’s empire, which invader invaded without these targets and which invader obeyed the charters of ethics and even humanity in those days?


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