The name of this ruler has been heard by me not only from my ancestors but also through famous columnist Tarek Fatah. Never read about him in the history books, my curious soul searched the internet to find what history has to say about Raja Dahir.
There were a couple of things that came to my knowledge and in this blog; I’ll be sharing the same with you.
Who Was Raja Dahir?
We all have read about the river Indus and how its banks have been one of the oldest regions having human inhabitation. The Indus river valley has given birth to flourishing civilizations and has been rich with culture and natural treasures.
The region near the Indus river and the Thar desert is known as the Sindh region. This area was ruled for a long time by the Pushkaran Brahmin Dynasty of Sindh and Raja Dahir was a descendant of the same.
Raja Dahir Sen, born in 663 AD was the son of Chach of Aror. He ruled over parts of Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Pakistan and Iran. He is said to be the last Hindu ruler of Sindh before his land was conquered by Mohammad Bin Qasim and he was killed in a battle near Nawabshah.
After his death, his wife and the rest of the female household committed Jauhar to save themselves from the enemy. However, their daughters Surya Devi and Preamala Devi fell in the hands of the conquerors and were buried alive in a wall (some real Anarkali story here).
What Is His Importance In History?
Raja Dahir died long back however, he is still worshipped by Shia and Sunni Muslims of Sindh like a historical hero. He is regarded so because of his secular and generous attitude. According to legends and books, he gave asylum to Hussain Ibn-Ali, the persecuted grandson of Prophet Mohammad.
While Raja Dahir is portrayed as a villain in Pakistan’s history books, the Indian histories haven’t done much to honour his contribution either.
Why Are We Talking About Him Now?
While India is at unrest due to the recent Citizenship Amendment Act and the rumours of implementation of the National Register of Citizens, we should talk about Raja Dahir. Not just because of the secular harmony but also because of the events of persecution that followed soon after the rule of Dahir collapsed.
According to Indian historian Upendra Thakur, the new Muslim rulers persecuted the Hindus of the Sindh region on the basis of religion. It is believed that all able-bodied men were murdered while their wives and daughters were held captive as war booty by the rulers.
The same is still true for the Sindh region. The Hindus living in the Sindh region are facing religious persecution by the radical Islamic government of Pakistan and the evidence of the same are available.
Raja Dahir isn’t a celebrated hero; neither in India nor in Pakistan but his generosity and what followed after the fall of his rule is worth considering when looking at the present situation in India and Pakistan.
Image Source: Google Images
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