The cohesive bases of the Baloch Nationalism

The subject has been taken from book of Taj Mohammad Breseeg “Baloch Nationalism, its origin and development”.

Rise of the Baloch Rule

The 16th century saw not only the rise Safavid power in Iran, but also the Mughal power in India, and arrival of Europeans ships in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Towards the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese found their way to the region and captured several places along the Makkoran coast. In 1510 AD, they occupied the port of Gawadar, east of Chabahrar, in western Balochistan. Later, they also occupied two other important ports of Pasni and Gawadar, and burnt them. Thus, the conflict of interest of these three outside powers (the safavids, the Mughals and the Portuguese) could not fail to affect the internal politics of the Baloch and other communities that lay between them.

Although the Baloch confederacy did not survive more than three decades (1485-1512), it brought far-reaching cultural and ethnic changes to the region. It reinforced this fresh influx without any opposition. Administratively, the area divided Sivi with Rind, and Kech- Gandhava with Lashari, while a Rind representative ruled Turan. Soon after the creation of a unified Baloch state, rivalry began between the powerful factions of the confederacy, the Rind and Lashari, and led to civil war with disastrous implication. Their differences began over the division of the fertile lands of Kacchi and Sibi, and led to a thirty-year civil war. The legendary chiefs of the two tribes, Mir Charkar Rind and Mir Gwahram Lashari, sought help from neighboring rulers.

Finally, the Lasharis suffered a humiliating defeat at the hand of Mir Chakar and fled to Gujrat. Mir Chakar, however, weakened by this war stayed in Sibi. Simultaneously he faced contested battle with Shah Baig Arghun, the ruler of Kandhar, Mir Chakar gave up Sibi his capital and moved to Multan.

As earlier mentioned, Mir Chakar Rind ruled for about three decades from Sibi, which became the center of Baloch standards were set in the arts, literature bravery and chivalry. Even today almost every Baloch tribe aspire to treat in front print of Mir Chakar who do not doubt was a brave warrior and at the same time a man filed with compassion, generosity, and hospitality. Describing the medieval importance of Sibi, the capital city of the rinds-Lashari confederation.

The Baloch nationalist describe the region of Mir Chakar Rind as the golden age of the Baloch and regard him as the “Great Baloch”. Sardar Khan asserts, “ The age of Rind supremacy in all spheres of Baloch life, in its way and colour was just as important in its crude from in Baloch history as the Age of Preicles in ancient Greece, the Renaissance at the close of Middle Ages, and the Industrial Revolution in modern time. Having moulded their destiny by uniting them under one banner, Mir Chakar Rind gave the scattered Baloch tribe a common identity. Thus, in nationalist account he is considered “like a pillar of strength for the Baloch race and author of Baloch code of honour and Balochs traditions.

It is believed that Mir Chakar had an army of 40,000 men. While Babur conquered India with Babur conquered India with a army of only 12,000 soldiers. Describing his army of only thousands warriors collect on Mir’s call, all descendants of one ancestor. All bedecked with coats of mail and iron armed with bows and arrows, with silken scarves, with overcoats, and red boats on their feet, with golden rings on their fingers. The Baloch under Mir Chakar were well organized and well disciplined. It is speculated that Mir had some 400,000 to 500,000 followers on his march. The misfortune of Mir Chakar according to Inayatullah Baloch was that he did not have the political imagination or skill to concert his tribal confederacy into a more unified political identity.

The most famous song in Baloch nationalist circles. He mastered the martial virtues of the Baloch and established the largest ever, even though short-lived Baloch confederacy Marri writes of him.

Although the Baloch who settled in Punjab and Sindh are not closely linked to the mainstream of Baloch life today, but the principal link with their past for most of them is the vast body of popular ballads dating back to the day of Mir Chakar. Handed down from generation to generation, and first recorded by British scholars, sung by professionals wandering minstrels, center. In these ballads, Mir Chakar occupies a dominant position

In Balochi poetry, be it war ballades or love lyrics, Mir Chakar is mentioned extensively. As indicate above, it was he who led the Baloch tribes into the highlands of Kalat and lowlands of Kacchi. Again it was due to him that the Baloch came to rule over parts of Sindh and in Multan, even if for only short periods. He died in ca.1550 A.D. and lies buried in a mausoleum in the Sahiwal district of Punjab.

The inter-tribal rivalry dealt a fatal blow to the Baloch confederacy. It destroyed Baloch central organization, weakened their strength and forced them to leave Balochistan and migrate eastwards, to Sindh and Punjab. In Sardar Khan Baloch’s opinion. “The fratricidal plunged the whole race into a bath of blood and made the Baloch structure of collapse and sapped to its foundation”. The main reason, according to inayatullah Baloch, were the nomadic character of the Baloch society and the lack of statesmanship of Mir Chakar Rind. They could not resolve petty matters by diplomacy. Despite prosperity in Sibi and Kacchi, ir Chakar’s failure to stop Lashari challenges had so polarized the community and the civil war so drained the tribes that the Baloch failed to maintain their confederacy. The division of the newly occupied land the political power, according to professor Abdullah Jan Jamaldini of Balochistan University were the main cause of war between the two main rival factions, the Rinds the Lasharis.

In this respect, however, the interference of the two powerful neighbors of Balochistan, the Arghuns of Kandahar and the sammas of Sindh Played an important role. Their constant involvement protracted the war. As viewed by Dr Shah Muhammad Marri, “The rich lands of Sibi not only coveted the Baloch feudals, but also whet the appetite of the coveted the Baloch feudal, but also whet the appetite of the outside rulers”. The Arghuns supported the rind chief, Mir Chakar Rind, while the Sammas gave their assistance to the appoint camp, headed by Mir Gwahram Lashari. As a result of this lasting war the Baloch power in Balochistan weakened and finally disintegrated.

The end of Chakar era the whole Baloch society was disrupted by inter-tribal wares, which led to enormous migration towards Sindh and Punjab. Mir Chakar, as mentioned above, migrated with about four to five hundred thousand persons.

The ends of the Rind-Lashari confederacy in about 1512 A.D. ended an era in Baloch history. Subsequently, the Baloch country was divided into several independent kingdoms, including the Dodai Kingdom of Derajat, the Makkoran Kingdom of Malik and Boleidai, and the Khanate of Balochistan or the second important Baloch confederacy in 1666 AD. Its unification, however was completed by the Khans of Kalat, Abdullah Khan (1714-1734), and Nasir Khan the Great (1746-1795), which will be discussed in the following section.

The Khanate of Balochistan

The Khanate of Balochistan grew, and became established, from the middle of the seventeenth century onwards. Centering in the Kalat highlands, southwest of Mir Chakar’s former capital, the Khanate was the first Baloch State to embrace all the Baloch regions such as Makkoran, western Balochistan, Derajat Sistan, and Lasbela and consolidate them into a body under the authority of a central government. The Khanate not only gave the gave the Baloch a concept of Unity and patriotism but also provided an body under the authority of a central government. The Khanate not only gave the Baloch a concept of unity and patriotism but also provide an unwritten constitution (Rawaj or Dastur) that became a “holy” document. The khanate of Balochistan later became known, as the Khanate of Kalat or Kalat State because of its capital city, Kalat.

When in 1666, Mir Ahmad 1 was elected by the Jirga (council of the elders or tribal assembly), as the Khan of living around Kalat. As a political synthesis, its internal cohesion was still very weak, and indeed such weakness is typical of all tribal confederation, there were numerous local power centers, but no sovereign figure of reference. The Khanate of Kalat came into being

By exploiting this very vacuum, which followed after the disintegration of the Rind Lashari confederacy in Balochistan in the early fifteenth century.

Mir Ahmed I expanded the border of the Khanate. From then on, the history of the Khanate. From then on, the history of the Khanate assumed a clear, definite shape and its chronology could be determined. Formation of the Khanate, according to historian Inyatullah Baloch, was another important and significant chapter of Baloch history. The Rind- Lashari Confederacy did not survive because of its nomadic character. The Baloch State of its dependency on Mughal India. Makkoran maintained its independence and internal tribal conflicts with its Baloch neighbor, Kalalt.                          

To be continued….


Posted on October 14, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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