Lumbini Natural Minral Water

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DISCOVERY OF MAHUA DABAR (BAHADURPUR BLOCK, BASTI)



The Indian war to attain freedom from the British started on 10 May 1857 at Meerut and on 11 May at Delhi, after that it spread swiftly all over the Northern India.
Thus it was that the Sepoys of the 22nd Native infantry occupied the Faizabad cantonment on 8th June and ordered all the Englishmen to get out of Faizabad. The English were provided with boats to go wherever they wanted, were also given money for travel expenses and were even allowed to take their arms with them. 22 English officer boarded the four boats before down on 12 June to sail down the Ghaghra river for Dinapur, Near Patna.

On 9th June itself, sepoys of the 17th Native infantry, stationed at Azamgarh reached Faizabad to finish off the Englishmen and they run in pursuit of the feeling and Englishmen overtook them at 1.30 p.m on the Ghaghra near Begumganj, which is 18 miles away in the east from Faizabad, and started firing at them from the right bank of the Ghaghra, resulting in the eight officer dead or drawn or missing including superintendent Commissioner of Faizabad Col. Goldney and Major Mill. The remaining officers escape and hide in the Jhawwa Jungle by the river Bank. By evening an Indian Jamadar brought to his home and fed them. At 12 in the moonlit night they were led by the same jamadar towards Amorha on their way to Basti. They arrived at Amorha at 7.00 in the morning of 10th June. There they met their three other colleagues who were in the Boat NO.4, and reached Amorha by some other route and all of them had their arms with them they did not stay long at Amorha and they left for Captanganj. They were given some money the Tehsildar of Amorha who gave them some chowkidars to accompany them and also two mules for Lt. Ritchtie and Lt. Caulty. All of them reach Captanganj from there they wanted to go to Basti. The Jamadars there asked them not to go to Basti and advice them to go to Gaighat because the Sepoys of 17th Native Infantry who were carrying treasure along with them and marching on the Basti-Faizabad Road, had stopped at Basti.

So, the seven English Office one India Sepoys and three Indian Chowkidars left Captanganj for Gaighat, after travel for eight miles the party arrived at the approaches of MAHUA DABAR. This was township by the bank of river Manorma, at 26º.39 N.L. & 82º.41 E.L., under the then Basti Tehsil off Dist. Gorakhpur, at 15 Km south of Basti. It was a major centre of textile industry. The entire population of nearly 5,000 engaged in weaving, dyeing and printing of cloth. A habitat of 5000 was looked upon as a township in 1857 when India had a total population of 17 crores.

Weaver decades ago, had fled from Bengal to escape the British atrocities where they had started cutting hands, of weavers on some pretext of the other. Many of them had settled in Mahua Dabar.
When they learned that a group of Englishmen were coming to coming to Mahua Dabar they, remembering the tortuous oppression perpetuated by the British in Bengal and treatment of their ancestors at their hands, came out with their arms to avenge all that they had suffered and, led by Jafar Ali, attacked the Englishmen when they were crossing the river Manorma. Lt. I.E. Lindsay was the first to be killed and after that the weavers butchered Lt. W.I I. Thomas, Lt. A.F. English, Lt. T.J. Ritchie, Sgt, Edwards and Lt. G.L. Caulty6.

This event at Mahua Dabar was the one which shook the entire English camp at Gorakhpur which was feeling for the last ten days that the lasso-like grip around them was already tightening. First were the Zamindars of Fauna to rise in aims on 31 May, when they blocked the passage through Ghaghra. On the West of Fauna, the centre of Uprising was Narharpur. Its Raja Indrajeet Singh had driven away the police from Brihalgani and released the 50 prisoners., who were building a road, and occupied the ghat. Thus the movement of English forces was blocked both from Benaras and Azamgarh. Then the uprising stalled in Azamgarh on 5 June and on 6 June the sepoys refused to obey the English Officers. On 7 June prisoners tried to run away from the Jail. 20 prisoners were killed. Sepoys at Gorakhpur tried to loot the treasury on 8 June, endangering the lives of all the Englishmen there. All of them were forced to take refuge in the house: of Capt. Steel and 12th Irregular Horse Cavalry was posted to guard them.7

Simultaneously, the sepoys of Faizabad and Gonda rose against the British on 8 June and 9 June respectively. All the Englishmen were besieged in Gorakhpur with roads blocked, their remained no hope of any reinforcement neither from Benaras and Azamgarh nor from Faizabad and Gonda. They had no route left to escape. In these conditions the event of Mahua Dabar took place on 10 June, which further compounded their miserable hopelessness. To murder six fully armed English Officers with Lathis, batons and swords at one and the same time was no mean thing. In fact, it was Mahua Dabar which sent the message to the entire country that the British can be liquidate without canons and canon-balls, even without rifles. That is why the British were shaking in their boots, dreading that they would be completely wiped out if every village rose with Lathis, batons and swords.

The British were amazed and stunned. They could understand it well that the sepoy "Mutiny" has developed into a People's War and they realized it fully that the people's uprising is like a flood which sweeps away everything that comes in its way and spares nothing.

It was in consequence of this understanding that the Gorakhpur Judge W. Wynard and Collector W. Peterson appointed the Zamindar of Birdepur W. Peppe as Deputy Magistrate of Basti and gave him half the troops of the 12th Irregular Horse Cavalry for his backing. Peppe was ordered to crush the people's uprising immediately by whatever means it may be possible.
So, on 20 June 1857, Peppe deployed the 12th eIrregular Horse cavalry and surrounded Mahua Dabar from all sides and torched the township.8

In the same manner as the people of Mahua Dabar had sent a message to the entire country that the British Colonialists could be killed without camons and connonballs, without guns, the British gave a warning to the people of Hindustand that those who murdered the British would meet the same fate as the rebels of Mahua Dabar.

Thus it was that Mahura Dabar, once a prominent centre of the textile industry was completely wiped off from the face of existence, and no trace was left of the entire population of five thousand.

Was this the end of Mahua Dabar ?

No, further measures were taken ...

First, Mahua Dabar was burnt to ashes. But some of the residents had left behind all they had, buried in the ground whatever money, ornaments and tools they had, and fled. They thought they would come back and settle down once things had cooled down.9

But, the British ordered that nobody would inhabit that place10 again. They ordered that the burnt and collapsed walls of the houses should be levelled and the land should be used for farming, so that the place might yield revenue which should be deposited regularly in the British treasury.11

In this way, the place, where weaving, dyeing and printing of cloth was done, which had single-storeyed and double storied houses, markets, schools, mosques with tall minarets, was brought under the plough and no trace of the township remained and the name Mahua Dabar disappeared also from the maps.12

Naturally, the question arises: whey did the British singled out Mahua Dabar for this inhuman treatment? Neither, the houses of the populace of any other place were levelled and brought under the plough, nor any other township or city was made to disappear even from the map of the area. There were many reasons for this.

First, the people of Mahua Dabar had ruthlessly murdered Englishmen cut oft their heads and dismembered their bodies and thrown them away. Secondly, they thought that such savage punishment to Mahua Dabar would terrorize the entire country and the natives would no longer dare kill an Englishman, Thirdly, they had not succeeded in burning each and every soul of the township as many people had escaped before the British army arrived on the scene. The revanchist fury of the British was not fully abated and they were not satisfied. That was the reason why after burning, all the houses were levelled so that nobody could come back and settle down. Fourthly, when the township was levelled, it was no fun to keep it lying vacant and fallow. Why not earn good money from it? So, it was ordered to be brought to be plughed for fanning and the last step was taken to wipe it off the map as a necessary conmmitant.

Fifty years after this episode when all those who had participated in the war of Independence and even those who were witness to the tragic happening had breathed their last, the final step was taken to liquidate even the memory of Mahua Dabar according to a well thought out plan.

H.R. Neville, compiling the Gazetteer of Basti in 1907, identified in its XXXII Vol. page no. 158, Mahua Dabar by village of the same name which was located at a distance of 50 Km from the razed Mahua Dabar, on border of Basti and Gonda at 26°.54 N.L. and 82°.32 E.L, They were planning to perpetuate their rule forever.

Towards this end, after the failure of the War of Independence and after they regained full control of the land, they hanged to death not only those whom they suspected that they might have taken part in the uprising but also those who wore a cap and kurta pajama, and flaunted a beard on their face, even could not have taken part in the uprising.

Wherever they came across a bearded person wearing Topi and Kurta pajama, he was a "mutineer" in the eyes of the British, he was put to sword or hanged without a second thought. During those days so many maulvis were hanged that at times nobody was available to lead the Namaz before the burial and many were buried before this mandatoiy last rite.13

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar has written in his Indian War or Independence that before hanging the alleged "culprits" were savagely tortured, tufts of have were pulled out from their head, their bodies were pierced with bayonets and finally they were subjected to an indignity which made them think hanging and worst of torture to be something lesser than what they were made to undergo. Bayonets were used to stuff the mouths of Hindus with beef and those of Muslims with pig meat.14

In order to crush the spirit of the great War of Independence, the British hanged more than 500,000 persons. A number of historians have recorded that on the hundreds of miles of the Grand Trunk Road all along decomposing bodies should be seen handing from the trees.

Other than this, the British had thought up one more terrorizing method in Hindustan to make the people tremble in fear and anguish. In words of Earnst Johns, Editor of London's People’s Paper: "These merciful Englishmen found a 'humane' method. They would tie up live human beings to the mouth of canons and fired to blow up the body in smithereens.

Blood rained all around and throbbing bits of intestines and flesh fell over the spectators. In this job they left Nero far behind.16

Repression and savagery did not end at this, They did not spare even women and children. Innumerable villages were torched and reduced to ashes. The British army used to surround the village so that nobody could escape. The wailing and crying of the burning human beings was meant to make the withnesses of such terrifying and fearful spectacte senseless and dumb.

All this had created such a terror that people, before talking about 1857, would look around and make sure that no stranger was around (to hear and report).

On the one hand all this was being done and, on the other, a different conspiracy was being hatched. Having noticed that Hindus and Muslims had fought shoulder to shoulder against the British, the colonialists did not want the two communities to live in peaceful brotherhood. They wanted to do some such thing which may make the people to become hostile to each other and to keep rioting among themselves and killing each other. To achieve this objective they started writing distorted and malafide history books. They made use of Hindu and Muslim "historians" to record such fictitious events and episodes which had never taken place.

In fact, they were scheming to rule over the country for more then 600 years of the Muslim governance. They thought there was no reason why they could not. They started covering up all the acts of repression, torture and savagery that they had committed.

This was the purpose in obliterating the township of Mahua Dabar, which was at a distance of 20 Km. to the South of Basti and identify it with a village situated in the North-West of Basti at a distance of 50 Km.

The British, admitting that they had razed Mahua Dabar township because the inhabitants had killed six British Officers, wanted to convey that after that they had also rehabilitated it.17 They wanted to convince the Indians and the rest of the world that "Look! How civilized we are''.

Strangely enough, the entire world accepted what they said and believed what they said.

Even after the British left Indian 1947, people generally believed that the Mahua Dabar of Gaur was the same Mahua Dabar where Six British Officers were butchered.18 While the fact that the British had fully buried the township in the ground and had been tilling the land and extorting land revenue from it and gaining the approbation of the world for really being a civilized people.
Had ever any ruler of India, at any time in history, buried any habitat and its inhabitants ever metad out such treatment as the British did to Mahua Dabar in 1857 - a township which was famous for its industry not only nationally but internationally.

This is the point which I want to make and ask the entire world that why did they cover up the truth and told a lie to the people of India, and to their own people and those of the rest of the world that the Mahua Dabar that was burnt to ashes in 1857 still exists near Gaur? Why?

Note:- When I started looking for Mahua Dabar on 8 February 1994, 137 years after the event had taken place, I found the place, where Mahua Dabar was situated, laden with flourishing crops of peas, wheat and Arhar (Tuar dal). It was not an easy job to find the populace buried under the green crops, in a condition when all proofs indicated that Mahua Dabar existed near Gaur. It took me so long to collect evidence also because no Indian historian had written about Mahua Dabar and those who did, they had written about the same Mahua Dabar which exists near Gaur even today. This is what the British desired.

Had I not found a letter of Sergeant Busher, which is still preserved in the historical records, in which he had clearly spelt out that when he was going along with his fellow British officers, from Captanganj to Gaighat on their way to Dinapur where they could reach to the shore of Ghaghra river, the people of Mahua Dabar attacked them at a point which was 8 miles away from Captanganj and the mob killed Six British officers. This letter is the proof that the Mahua Dabar whose inhabitants had killed the British officers and which was burnt to ashes, was situated between Captanganj and Gaighat and not near Gaur or Babhnan. Had I not found that letter, the truth would never have been known and the British Chicamery to prove themselves a merciful civilized lot would have been established. It was Sergeant Busher's letter that gave the lie to the British Government.

I want to put one more point before my fellow countrymen: That when somebody illegally occupies a person's house or land then that house or land can be vacated only by force and not through the principles of non-violence. I cannot accept that the British had left India out of fear of principles of non-violence of Mahatma Gandhi.

The entire world knows that history repeats itself, and particularly the British, because they were the only one who had virtually ruled over almost the entire world and proudly boasted that the Sun never sets in the British Empire. But after the end of the Second World War in 1945, the British realized that they should leave India otherwise history would repeat itself and they would have to face another 1857.

It was the fear of 1857 that compelled them to give away the Golden bird. Who would have done that without any rhyme or reason?

It would have been something great and wonderful if the entire country had followed the example set by Jafar Ali of Mahua Dabar and his fellow villagers. Had the message been heeded 1857 would have become 1947.

But it has to be said with pain and sadness that it could not happen at that time. With the result that we remained slaves of the British for close to a century. Along with it the very name of Jafar Ali got lost in the oblivion of history because of the capricious efforts of the distorters of history. However, it is an acknowledged fact that history is eternal and those who make history are immortal. That is why I want to ask all my countrymen and also the Indian Government that would it be possible to give their rightful place to Mahua Dabar and Jafar Ali? If yes, then when would the long overdue justice would be done?

In this regard, Shri Ramindra Nath Tripathi, the District Magistrate of Basti had constituted a Committee, comprising Dr. V.P. Singh, President of the A.P.N.P.G. Collage, Dr.J.P.M. Tripathi, Head of the Hindi Department and former Principal Shri Krishna Pandey as members. I am submitting this story for the perusal of any readers on the basis of the report of the said Committee and on the proof provided by available records.
NOTES & REFERENCES
1. Charles Ball, The History of the Indian Mutiny, Vol. 1,1860. P. 398,
Col. G.B. Malleson, The History of the Indian Mutiny, Vol. 1, 1878. P. 400.
John W.Kaye and Col. G.B. Malleson,
History of Indian Mutiny, Vol - III 1897. P. 268. SurendraNath Sen 1857,1957, P. 30.
2. Charles 5a//, Ibid, P. 3 99 Col- G.B. Mallesson, Ibid,
John W. kaye and Col. G.B. Malleson., Ibid, P. 268
3. Charles ball, Ibid, P. 399-401
Col. G.B. Malleson, Ibid, P. 401
John W.kaye and Col. G.B. Malleson, Ibid. P. 269
4. Charlessball, Ibid P.400
Col. GB.Mallescn, Ibid, P. 400
5. Charles Ball, Ibid, P. 400
6. Charless Ball, Ibid, P. 400
Col. G.B. Malleson, Ibid. P. 400
John W. kaye and Col. G.B. Malleson, Ibid, Page 269
Martin Richards Cubdin, Mutinies in Oudh, 1858 Pp. 455-56
H.R.Nevill, Basti Gazetteer, Vol. XXXII, 1907, P. 158
7. Freedom Struggle in Uttar Pradesh. Vol. IV. Pp 144-146, 150.
Ahmar Laari, Short Story of Gorakhpur
8. H.R. Nevill, Ibid, P. 158.
9. Freedom Struggle of Uttar Pradesh, Vol, IV, P. 150-51
Ibid, P. 146.
10. According to Kalwari Police Station, Dist. Basti, U.P.
11. Cf. Revenue record, Settlement of 1889.
12. The name Mahua Dabar cannot be found on any map of Dist. Basti (U.P.)
13. INQUILAB. Urdu daily of Mumbai, Sunday Desk, 5 December 2004.
14. Vinayak Darnodar Savarkar, Indian War of Independence, P. 134.
15. Syed Khurshid Mustafa iRizvi, History of the Indian Sinrgglefor Freedom, 1857, P. 24.
16. P.C. Joshi (ed). Symposium "Inquilab 1857"
17. H.R. Nevill wrote in his Basti Gazetteer, (Vol. XXXII, 1907, P. 192) that Mahua Dabar and kurda is a village with a big population. The falsity of the British statement can be gauged by this fact itself that had the Mahua Dabar near Gaur was burnt down and it was ordered that nobody would ever inhabit that land, how come that during the British rule itself and against their will, within 50 years, that village again became one with a big population ?
18. Kailash Narayan Pandey, Uttar Pradesh District Gazetteer, Basti 1989, P. 84. Dr. Rajendra Rai, in his book "Bharatiya Swat ant rat a Sangram men Poorvi Uttar Pradesh ka Yogdan " (Eastern U.P.'s Contribution in the Indian Freedom Struggle) wrote on Page 140 that Babu Jaalim Singh of Gaur, situated on the Basti-Gonda border led his warriors on 10 June, 1857 and killed six English soldiers. The fact, however, is that Mahua Dabar of which he is writing was not on the Gonda-Basti border. It was situate at a distance 50 Km from there in the South-West near Bahadurpur and the warrior who had led the villagers and killed six English army officers on 10 June, 1857 was Jafar Ali and not Jaalim Singh.

9 comments:

  1. good to see this
    Thanks and Regards,
    Heera Lal
    EMPA -09,
    Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public affairs
    Of Syracuse University, Syracuse.
    Apts-220, Building No. 2
    121 Lafayette Road
    Syracuse, NY,USA-13205
    315-214-5558( landline)
    315-395-0291( Mobile)
    heeralalpcs@yahoo.co.in
    http://cvheeralald.blogspot.com/
    http://heeralalpcs.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. hi
    we are education group center at Babhan(Basti)
    nice contents abt mahuadabur visit:www.computerpointbbn.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks..
    We Are from Star Web Maker Services Pvt. Ltd.
    This is IT Company in Noida.and i also from Basti (Kudhra block)
    9990253785

    ReplyDelete
  4. vastav mey yh hamarey gaurav shali itihas ko rekhankit karta hai, Mr. latif ansari ji key basti ek khoj ka result hai yah, jai basti, jai bharat
    Regards,
    Durga Dutt Pandey
    Basti Up.272001

    ReplyDelete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Really this research is very great. this is one of the most important village which is fight for freedom. And this place is destroyed by British and no one know about this place and it's become part of soil....
    A man is very very great he find out this place. the great man is Abdul latif Ansari.
    the government should develop this place, as it was.
    jai hind .........

    ReplyDelete
  7. its really to feel somethng proud about....from now the question of historical importance of basti can be answered more proudly..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Its nice to know,this rare knowledge about Basti.

    ReplyDelete
  9. a person / country is said to loose it's existence if it looses it's history. I had been always wondering that this biggest district of UP must have contributed extraordinarily in the history of glorious India. Feel proud to belong to a place which shook the roots of Brits.

    Nevertheless to say these liars who reached an epitome to cruelty now try and teach lessons of human rights to us.. what a mockery....
    Proud to be from Basti

    Capt Ajay Kr Pandey,
    Regional Security and CR Manager, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    captajay08@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete