Saturday, 23 August 2014

THE SIKARWAR RAJPUTS OF INDIA

                                                      
Hi folks,
I have been thinking since long to pen down a brief account of my clan- the Sikarwar Rajputs of India.So here is a brief  history which may be of some interest to some of you.


   SIKARWAR RAJPUTS


INTRODUCTION
The SIKARWARS are a royal warrior clan from Northern India. Their early history is very unknown due to lack of importance in keeping history. The clan name SIKARWAR is derived from SIKAR district of Rajasthan which they ruled for generations. It is included by British historian TOD, amongst the 36 royal races which claim to be descent from LAVA the son of King Ram of Ayodhya.  


            Sikarwars are known to be a very brave and fierce fighters and were well known to fight  unto death but never to surrender. This was one reason for their very low population. In a battle, they formed the “HARAVAL TUKADI” which used to be the first line of offence to face the enemy. According to British historian A.H. Bingley, Sikarwars are among the few races which are considered to be the best fighting soldiers.

EARLY HISTORY

           SIKARWARS established Vijaypur Sikari in 823 AD when Rana Bhatribhat was the ruler of Mewar in Rajasthan. Rao of Sikar was one of the invitees to Chitor during the coronation of Rana Sangram Singh (later popularly known as Rana Sanga) as mentioned in history books. Sikarwars also built the Agra fort, then known as Ajargarhi fort.


           The rular of Sikri during later part of 1400 AD was one  JAIRAJ DEV. He had three sons named Kamdev (the eldest), Dham dev and  Vikram Pratap Dev, the youngest

KAMDEV:-  Kamdev ( probably later known as DHALKOO BABA, proceeded along with his army towards Madhya Pradesh in South and subjugated the Muslim aborigines called Cheras. He established himself in the area of MORENA, GWALIOR and JHANSI etc. Thus ancestors of SIKARWARS toward Morena etc had migrated much before the arrival Mughals.

DHAM DEV :- He was crowned as the ruler of Sikri in 1504 AD. Rana Sangram Singh (Rana Sanga)  who was still the prince of Mewar ( his coronation was in 1505 AD), attended the coronation on behalf of his father Rana Rai Mal. Both Dham Dev and Sangram Singh were known to be very close friends.

VIKRAM DEV:- While DHAM DEV was crowned as Ruler of Sikri, it was Vikram who managed most of the affairs of the state.
           
                                                                      -2-         
            A detailed description of a queen from Sikri was given by Bhaduriya Rajputs. RAJA SHALYA DEV (1194-1208 AD) referred to as SELLA DEV by British historians, was an illustrious ruler of his age. Taking advantage of the disorder prevailing in the country during Ghouri Shah’s invasion, Raja Shalya Dev had attacked and plundered Meerut and Farrukhabad. When QUTUBUDDIN AIBAK attacked BHADAURA GARH in 1208, a fierce battle accompanied and great slaughter took place in which SHALYA DEV was slain. It is said that his pregnant wife who was daughter of Rao of SIKRI escaped and with the help of two loyal servants reached Sikri.

BATTLE OF KHANWA also spelled as Kanwah/ Kanhua)

            During the battle of Khanwa ( village between Agra-Vijaypur Sikri) which commenced on 17 March,1527 AD, between the confederation of Rajputs lead by Rana Sanga and Mughal invader BABUR, DAM DEV not only joined the confederation but provided complete administrative, logistics & operational support to  Sanga. In fact the complete Rajput army  of 1.80 lakh stayed in side and around the Sikri fort for more than a month.  Each house hold of Sikri rose to the occasion to assist in the stay of the force including in cooking food to compensate shortage of cooks etc. Enough ration was also collected and stocked inside the fort, even before the battle started as Rana had planned to capture Agra.
            Earlier Sanga had liberated North India from Afghan ruler, Ibrahim Lodi and was confident of defeating Babur. Unfortunately this could not materialize as Mughals captured  Agra with speed. The Rajputs caused many a Mughal casualties during the night battle. This was after the Rajputs had lost during the day. The main reason for this sudden defeat was due to betrayal of one of the close aid, SILHADI (Siladitya), a TOMAR Rajput chieftain of North East Malwa,  who held a large contingent of 30,000 men, joined Babur’s camp at the critical moment of the battle.

           Rana Sanga was badly wounded and had to be evacuated from the battle field. Thus the command of the Rajput’s withdrawing forces devolved on the shoulder of Dham Dev, which he  conducted with fair amount of discipline and control. The wounded Rana Sanga  and  also the SIKARWAR’S Deity- MATA KAMAKHYA, were loaded on camels and under  protection of a group of Rathor Rajput warriors, transported to the safety in the Aravali mountains. Mean while, walls of the Sikri fort were blown out with guns by Babur’s army and finally captured. 
           
                                                                     -3-
            The defeat in battle of Khanwa was a ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­major set-back in the history of Rajputs.While this resulted in the advent of Mughal rule in the region, the Rajputs had to disperse far and wide to safe their religion and families from the Babur’s atrocities. Sikarwars in particular, suffered more as the battle of Khanwa was fought in their ruled area and Babur considered Vijaypur Sikri as the main cantonment (Chawani) of the Rajputs confederation army. After the victory, the town of Vijay pur Sikri was also re-named as Fatehpur Sikri by Babur. 

“Fatehpur  Pukarat Mughals Naam More Nagari ko,
Vijaypur Nagari Aaz Fatehpur Bhayo Ree”

That’s how Vidyadhar, Bard had narrated the re-naming.

           BABUR himself, while describing the battle of Khanwa in his Baburnama,  had mentioned DHAM DEV RAO at least twice in his book along with that of RANA SANGA, MEDINI RAO, RAO CHANDER SEN, SILHADI (SHILADITYA), MAHMOOD KHAN LODI, HASAN KHAN MEWATI etc.

MIGRATION FROM SIKRI:
            Once this major battle was lost by Rajputs, they had no option but to disperse and migrate to safer locations. Their major  settlements of Sikarwars  had been in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and few in Maharashtra & Gujarat. A detail list of their districts/villages is attached separately.

GENERAL INFORMATION:
(Gotra, Kuldev, Kuldevi, Flag)
Gotra-Sankritayan (Those living in Sikarwari region of Agra & Morena district follow Bhardwaj Gotra)
Prawar- Three, viz. Sankrit, Angiras & Aurav
Ved -  Yajur Ved,    Up Ved- Dhanur
Ved Paad- Dakshin,  Shikha- Dakshin, Chand-Anurisp, Branch-Madhyami, Sutra- Katyaan.
Bird-Owl, Kul Devta- Shiv,  Kul Devi (Eisht) –Mata Kamakhya.
                                                                        -4-       
Flag – Golden red with Bal Surya embossed on it.
 Narrating the genealogy of Sikarwars, the bards say that “Brijraj Dev was the son of Naurang Dev, grand son of Anurag Dev and great grand son of Prayag Dev.


ADDITIONAL INPUTS:
It is well known fact that after independence of India, the government and most of the Indian historians never took much interest to find facts about the Rajput history. It was projected  as dark period of the Indian history. For them the golden period in India started only with the arrival of Mughals. Obviously this was done intentionally as a result of close proximity of Nehru/Gandhi family with Muslims in some way or other, details of which are already in public domain.

The myth that Mughal emperor Akbar established Fatehpur sikri as his capital and nothing existed before that, has been negated by the very fact that it was Babur who renamed vijaypur Sikri to Fatehpur Sikri.  Very few people know that in the year 1999-2000 AD an excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was conducted at the CHABELI TILA of Sikri which yielded a rich crop of Jain statues- hundreds of them, including the foundation stone of a temple with date. The statues were a thousand years old of Bhagwan ADI NATH, RISHABH NATH, MAHAVIR and Jain Yakshainis - says Swaroop Chandra Jain, the senior leader of the Jain community. The excavation, after two years of work, was suddenly stopped by the government.

DV Sharma, former Superintending archaeologist of the ASI in Agra who supervised the excavations told IANS- ‘’we found scores of damaged statues piled up and with dates and also a manuscript. These are now lying in the guest house of Fatehpur Sikri. They should have gone ahead to engage experts to carry out research on these subjects”.

Sharma further added –Quote “My book of Fatehpur Sikri excavations is there in the ASI library with complete details of the findings which un- mistakenly point to a flourishing trade and pilgrimage centre of both the Jains and the Sikarwars. Akbar built a few structures and modified others that were already there. Who demolished the temples and the statues is a subject which further research alone can establish” unquote.

Talking to IANS, Bhanu Pratap Singh, the author of “JAIN DHARM KA PRAMUKH KENDRA THA FATEHPUR SIKRI” said that “Sikri existed much before Akbar. The excavation has clearly established this fact.” Basing his arguments on the excavations by the ASI Bhanu Pratap Singh further reiterated that the antique pieces, statues and structures, all point to a lost culture and religious site, more than 1,000 year ago.
  of India:


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Nepal visit by NAMO



Please see my blog on Nepal dated 7 Aug.2014. Here are few pictures taken during our visit to Kathmandu & Pokhara.
The above photo is of SHIV LING in Darbar Squire, Kathmandu.




An other Temple in Darbar Squire.. Its made of all wood.
A portion of Swayambhu Nath TempleAdd caption
Most of the temples and houses in Nepal  have extensive wooden carvigs. This is a door made of wood with very intricate designs. Below is upper portion of main gate of a temple
AThe sun rise in Pokhara is worth seeing. The peaks ( Annapurna-III & Machchipychi turns golden with sun rays falling on them.dd caption

Momos ( both veg/not veg) is a popular food item here. Cheap, testey & readily available every where.
Add caption

Friday, 8 August 2014

BABAR'S SEPULCHERE IN KABUL- VISIT BY INDIRA GANDHI

I have not been a History student  but after my retirement from Government service, my inquisitiveness to know more about our history forced me look for all available material on the subject .I got this opportunity when my second daughter,Dr. Rashmi Singh, after passing her   graduation in history & Masters in International Relations, left  for London to join LSC for her PhD in 2002. After departure of my all the three kids abroad for study/job I started taking stock of  all the books littered in the house. 

Since all the three children were voracious readers, there were good number of books in the house needing proper storage and accountability. This provided me  an opportunity to go through a large number of History books  left by Rashmi.

While reading History books ,I was surprised to learn that almost all the Indian historians had called the RAJPUT period as DARK period. While enough meitrial was available on RAJPUTS,  their kingdoms, valor and so on, hardly much space was provided by any historian.

There could be many reasons for it which need to be explored. The recent book of Mr. Natawar Singh, a former deplomat and a Minister in congress ruled government, does give some food for thought in this direction.

OUT LOOK dated 11 Aug.2014, an Indian periodical, published an article  titled " A Friend And A Gentleman" on Natwar Singh, by  Mani Shankar Aiyar ( another diplomat & a Minister in Congress Govt.). Aiyar narreted an incident, the gist of which is as under:-


" In the immediate wake of Mrs Indira Gandhi becoming  Prime Minister, her one early trip abroad was to Kabul, On her visit she  insisted  to visit .Babar's Tomb which Natawar Singh arranged. Babar was not an Afghan hero. Hence ,the tomb, located on a hill top, was grossly  neglected. Both Indira & Natwar had to toil up the climb on foot.to reach the grave.

 She ( Mrs Gandhi)  seemed overwhelmed by the occasion and stood silently before the humble sepulchre for several minutes. Then she heaved a sigh  and murmured " Natwar,I've had my moment with history"..

While there is nothing unusual for the Indian Prime Minister to visit Babar's tomb, one wonders if she had similar sentiments for the brave Rana Sangram Singh (Popularly known as Rana Sanga) of Mewar who bravely fought Babar. And if she ever took time to visit the SAMADHI of Rana Sanga at  Chittorgarh?
The answer to many questions as to why our historians refer to Rajput history as Dark period, lies in such neglects by our own leaders.
.

Nepal visit by NAMO

INDO-NEPAL RELATIONS: VISIT OF NAMO Indian Prime minister Shri Narendra Modi ( I prefer to call him NAMO as its more catchy & gives a sense of personal touch) visited Kathmandu on 3-4 August 2014. It has been a historical event in context of Indo-Nepal relations. Media & experts in both countries gave an extensive coverage to this visit giving all the positive side of it. What, however, was missed by most, was why it took an Indian PM so long to visit this strategically important neighbor? The last visit was 17 years back by IK Gujral who himself had a sort stint as PM. Nepal always had a fascination for me since 60s.While in Army and later in Special Frontier Force, when I was handling a special operation in Arunachal Pradesh, travel from Delhi to the rail head- Tinsukhia or Dibrugarh in Assam was in it self a mission, These two stations were the take off point for Siang, Lohit and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh. In those days there was only one train ie. Assam Mail running between Delhi to Tinsukhia/Dibrugarh involving almost 3 days. The Broad gauge was only up to Barauni Jn & beyond it was meter gauge. The train between Barauni to Tinsukhia used to run under the command of the Army with the Senior most officer travelling acted as the Train –in-charge. The stations between Barauni till final destination had special attraction of foreign goods smuggled from Nepal. The wanders on stations, carrying imported items like Chinese fountain pens, cut pieces of trouser and shirt cloth etc. would sell their goods to travelers and even take advance orders for any particular item for next trips. During the visit of our daughter and son-in-law in December,2013, we suddenly decided to go on vacation to some new place and Kathmandu propped up as the best option. Our stay in Kathmandu was more than rewarding. We enjoyed every bit of our stay and found people very friendly, hospitable and helpful. We also happened to come across few retired soldiers of Gorkha Rifles Regiments of Indian Army who were too respectful and eager to help. We also spent few days at Pokhara- another fascinating town of Nepal. Why UPA Government at Delhi did not give required importance to Indo-Nepal on its part. can only be called a misplaced diplomatic priority, which NAMO has tried to bring back on line. Nepal is not only a buffer state between India and Tibet (now China) but have many things in common. Since majority population in both countries are Hindus, our historical,religious and cultural sentiments are entwined very deep. Besides,a large number of Nepali nationals are working in India with sizable number in Defense forces. Nepal has huge natural assets as most of the rivers flowing in Nepal from China finally feed our rivers as well. I have already given an account of it in my previous blog on “our most revered river- GANGA.”. On the whole, a master stroke by NAMO. I only hope all the decisions taken during his visit to Nepal are implemented on ground as well and soon. By the way some tips for those who plan to visit Kathmandu in near future- a. Fly from Delhi to Kathmandu on a clear day and try to get window seat on the left side of the air craft. This will give you lovely view of the Himalaya and its many snow clad peaks. On return flight, sit on right side. b. Try stay in Thamel which is central place of Kathmandu town with all the activities through out day & night c. Must try Nepali local beer. Popular brands are “ GORKHA” & “EVEREST” d. If interested in genuine Khukhari, purchase it from the authorized Nepal Khukhari shop in Thamel run by a retired Colonel of Nepal Army. e. If travelling in winter & wish to purchase jackets, coat parkas, wind cheaters etc, better get in Kathmandu. There are shops dealing genuine mountaineering equipments including American North Face brands Lastly, do get a travel guide book on Nepal & browse on inter-net various sites like trip advisor etc for more details.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Showing Red apple to people by Congress

Election for the 16th LS is over & results will be announced tomorrow ie 16th May 2014.


What so ever may be the out come of this election. But it is clear that congress led government had been so far successful in fooling poor people of India. Two  points which clearly emerge  in this respect are crystal clear -


(a) Announcing projects for welfare of poor people but not really following them in real sense has been the trick number one. Take the case of Rural employment scheme, Right to education, Right to food program etc. While lots on propaganda continue to be generated about these schemes, the reality on ground are disemal.


(b) Its policy of divide & rule has been the master stroke which it has followed since independence. While it has neglected the majority community, it has tried to appease the minority Thus intentionally creating a rift between communities. Prime minister Manmohan Singh's remark that " minority has first right on the natural resources of India" has been most damaging. similarly its policy of taxing income of temples while exempting others has also been disappointing. Poor people do wonder why Muslims are given subsidy for Huj why no such benefit  given to poor Hindus? There are many more anomalies which devide the society.
BJP's manifesto to have a common Civil Code is a corrective major in respect.


Hopefully if modi becomes PM and BJP get enough majority, India will change for better & country will get more cohesive & united.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Election for 16th Parliament in India

General Election in India for the 16th Lok Sabha has finally come to an end on 12 May 2014. The result will come out on 16th when the fate of candidates & there parties will be known to the Nation.


This time election was with a difference. Desire of the voters was obviously to get rid of the Congress lead UPA Government. The emergence of Mr Narendra Modi- the 3 time Chief Minister of Gujrat State was the 1st master stroke of the BJP President Raj Nath Singh. This was in spite of strong resistance of the old guards in the party like Advani, MM Joshi,  Sushma Awaraj and others.




The 2nd master stroke of Raj Nath Singh was to get Modi contest from Varanasi. Being from East Uttar Pradesh him self, he is fully conscious of the backwardness of this region. In fact, the region also called as Poorvanchal, has been neglected by the Central govt since India's independence in 1947. The reason for this utter neglect by Congress (which mostly ruled India since 1947), has been the militant nature of people of this area. During independence movement, it was this region which followed Subhash Chandra Bose style of liberation struggle. Remember 1857, the Ist war of independence ( sadly many intellectuals call it mutiny) and the soldier who ignited the rebalion? He was Mangal Pandey from District Balia. Poorvanchal has also been the area of operation of Thakur Kuwar Singh of District Aara,who, with a small army had fought British forces following the guerrilla tactics. till his death.


People of Poorvanchal, who till date, have been deprived of development, now see a ray of hope in Modi.
 Let us hope BJP comes with thumping majority to anable his new Government to carry out desired development of Porvanchal & fulfill the ambitions of  poor people of this area.


 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

j&k -the true story

J&K- THE TRUE STORY:
For the benefit of our young friends, here is a brief account of the J&K problem between India & Pakistan. It would be seen from the facts that  Pakistan, have been, by presenting distorted historical account, formenting insurgency and terrorism and forcefully occupying area called POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir),tried to change the demography of the valley. While in POK, it has brought in people from Punjab & permanently settled them, it has been trying to get rid of the Hindu population. With the result a large number of Kashmiri Pundits have been forced to vacate the valley & live like refugees in other parts of India.
Since the present demography has become in its favour in the valley, it keeps on harping on having plaebisite.

From the brief description, it is also emply clear why no referendom on any issue can take place in the Valley