The cohesive bases of the Baloch Nationalism

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

            THE EXPANSION OF BALOCH ETHNO-LINGUISTIC COMMUNITY

Rise of Baloch Rule

When did the first Baloch tribal unions arise? The early political history of the Baloch is obscure. It appears to have began with the process of the decline of the central rule of the caliphate in the region and the subsequent rise of the Baloch in Makkoran in the early years of the 11th century. The Umawid general Muhammad bin Qasim captured Makkoran in 707 AD. Thereafter, Arab governors ruled the country at least until the late 10th when the central rule of the Abbasid caliphate began to decline. The period of direct Arab rule over Makkoran lasted about three centuries. By gradually accepting Islam, the scattered Baloch tribes over vast area (from Indus in the east to Kerman in the west), acquired a new common identity, the Islamic. Thus Islam gave them added cohesion. The Arab rule also relived them from the constant political and military pressure from Persia in the north. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, they benefited materially from the growth of trade and commerce which flourished in the towns and ports under the linked India to Persia and Arabia through western Makkoran. These developments appear to have played a significant role in enabling the Baloch to from large-scale tribal federations that led to their gradual political and military supremacy in the territories now forming Balochistan during the period of 11th to 13 centuries.

With the decline of the central rule of the Islamic Caliphate in the 10th century local rules and trial chieftains begin, once again, to reassert their power and influence. It is precisely during this period that the Muslim chroniclers took note of the account of the Baloch in connection with their conflicts with the rising local Iranian and Turk dynasties in Kirman, Khurasan, and Sistan. The Baloch are reported to have been dealt a devastating blow in Kirman by the Dailami ruler Azdu-al Doula (949-982 AD) and his uncle Muizz-Doula in second Khabis by the troops of Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud and his son Masud, at the beginning of the 11th century.

It is generally believed that the traditional era of the Baloch begins from Mir Jalal Han. The Baloch oral history states that in the 12th century forty-four Baloch Boloks (tribals) headed by Mir Jamal Han were forced by the early Turkish raids or as the historian Dr. Inayatullah Baloch believes, “ by the Persians”, to migrate from Kerman and Sistan into Makkoran, Relying on the corps of traditional poetry, the Daptar, Mir Jalal Han founded a large tribal union was based on an egalitarian system. The Baloch under Mir Jalal Han recognized their military organization by divisions according to Dr. Baloch later became the basis of the five major tribes, namely Rind, Lashari, Korai, Hount, and Jatoi. Jankovesky confirms this notion by asserting that it is evidently during this period that the major tribal unions, which formed the nucleus of the Balochi feudal nationality in the sequel, arose. He adds that “several small feudal states” also flourished there including Turn with its capital Khuzdar in eastern Balochistan, Kanabil, present day Gandava, Kech in Makkoran and others.

The early Balochi epic poetry, which dates from the 12th century, refers to Mir Jalal Han as the ruler of all the Baloch. However, there is considerable confusion surrounding the whole region of Mir Jalal Han. Apart from the Baloch traditions and the writing of the Baloch nationalist writers, there is not sufficient historical record. The war ballads do not give much detail about his further rule and his administration.it is, however, opined that after his death, Mir Jalal Han’s kingdom was divided among his five divisional military chiefs. According to Longworth Dames, however, four of them, namely Rind, Lashari, Korai, and Hout were his sons, and the fifth one, Jato Bibi was daughter. The Baloch nationalist writers and poets have paid Mir Jalal Han great tribute. They consider him as a “founding father of the Baloch nation” and the founder of the first “Baloch confederacy” in Balochistan. At the beginning of the 13th century, Balochistan was attacked over and over again by the Mughals. They destroyed the Baloch polity. The economic system was damaged and oases were reduced to deserts. However, the Baloch ethnic stock, that successfully withstood the onslaughts of the Mughals, founded the Sultanate of Makkoran, with Kech as its capital city possibly in the late thirteenth century. Marco polo, who sailed along the Makkoran coast on his way home in 1290, describes, “Kesmacoran [Makkoran and its capital Kech] is a kingdom having a king of its own and a peculiar language”. He further records that the people “live by merchandize and industry, for they are professed trades, and carry on much traffic by sea and land in all directions.

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Posted on July 19, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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