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 early revolts:

The British defeated the Khanate’s army killed Mehrab Khan, and occupied Kalat in 1839, Incited by the British advancement westward, the Shah of Iran captured western Balochistan in the 1850s. Throughout their Balochistan the British and the Persians were expending their authority. The Baloch era was coming to a close. It was in this milieu that many tribes stood in revolt against the alien force. Writing about their bravery, Tucker stated that the Baloch never submitted to the British completely. During the blockades and in battles they fought to the last man. According to Tucker, the sheer number of casualties is the best proof of it. When on 1st October 1847, 700 Bugtis were blockaded in a battle on the border of Sindh against Lieutenant Merewether, commanding the famous Sindh Horse, none of them surrendered to the British. All fought till the last man was killed, except two who avoided capture.

On 26th January 1867, the 1200-strong combined forces of Butis, Marris and their allied tribe , Kethran, fought an important battle in the Chachar Valley near the border of Dera Ghulam Hossori Bugits led the Baloch troops in the battle. He was lost by the Baloch forces. On the 14th of October 1896, a religious group of Marri, called Ghazis, headed by Haji Kala Khan, commonly known as “Mast-Faqir”, attacked the British railway and telegraph lines. The Ghazis movement, however, couldn’t last long. The British soon defeated them, and the Mast Faqir with five other Ghazis was executed in Sibi on the 2nd of November 1896.

British, who ordered an attack on the district from Karachi to assert their authority. Resistance was organized by Mehrab Khan and Mir Baloch Khan. A large number of lashker[ tribal force] gathered at Gokprosh, a few miles from Turbat, on 27th January 1898 to fight the advancing British troops. The British forces, however, defeated the Baloch lashker, killing all 250 of them including their leader Mir Baloch Khan. It is said that Mehrab Khan and Baloch Khan were encouraged and supported by their brethren from western Balochistan who were revolting against the Shiite Persians at the same time. The revolt leaders in Iranian Balochistan, Hossein Khan and later Mir Bahram Khan, both had close relation with Mehrab Khan and Baloch Khan. Defeated by the British army, Mehrab Khan Gichki who was the prime mover in the revolt sought refuge in Western Balochistan.

When a proposed to recruit mercenaries in Balochistan was put forward in January 1917, the Baloch Sardars not only opposed the idea, but also revolted against it. Two decisive battles were fought at Gunbuz and Hadab in which the Marris were defeated. It is said that seven hundreds of them were killed and five hundred received injuries in the battle of Gunbuz. The rebel chief, Misri Khan Baloch, fled to the Soviet Union and formed the delegation to the famous “Baku Congress of the people of the East”. In 1918, another rebel chief, Karim Khan Baloch, from Iranian Balochistan migrated to Soviet Union with his tribe and took refuge. He was also one of the delegations to the Baku Congress. As the head of the Baloch delegation, it is said that Misri Khan also met lenin and some other top leaders of Soviet Union.

Having outlined the theoretical guideline and directives for “national liberation movements” in the east; the Bolsheviks launched campaigns to spread the revolutionary views and proletarian revolution to the colonies and semi colonies of the East. In the credentials issued to Y. Z. Surites, first Soviet Representative in Afghanistan, signed by Lenin in 1919, it was stated that the Council of people’s Commissars appointed Y.Z, Surites the “Representative Extra-Ordinary and plenipotentiary of the Soviet Federal Socialist Republic in central Asia, empowering him to maintain diplomatic relations with the people of independent Afghanistan, independent [tribes of] Balochistan, and the people of the India fighting for their liberation.

Baloch resistance to the British authorities continued for more than a century with varying intensity. These were undoubtedly the acts of individual tribal chiefs or a collection of them who were aggrieved by one or another action of the government. The early uprisings could not assume the form of a national struggle. The lack of commutation between the Baloch tribes and contact with the Indian people having an enemy superior in arms and resources, and the lack of a proper political organization to mobiles the masses were the main reasons this. But in spite of this drawback, the Baloch continued their resistance in their own particular way throughout the British period of hegemony and never allowed the alien influence to pervade their society. However, the Baloch look upon this battle as evidence of their valorous warlike traditions. Account of battle with the British have the same revered place in Baloch folklore as those about war with the Persians, Afghans, Moguls and Hindus. The Baloch poets of the late 19th century, such as Rahm Ali Marris, glorified the leaders of the uprising and composed songs of patriotism condemning the pro-British Sardar, and declaring them traitors.

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Posted on February 21, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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