Skip to main content

Scindia 'wasn't alone', Gaekwad took British help to crush Saurashtra Vagher rebellion

Jodha Malek, Mulu Malek
By Our Representative
Jyotiraditya Scindia, on joining BJP, has reportedly invoked forgotten history -- the Scindia's forefathers had joined the British during the first was of Indian independence, 1857. Well-known social activist and researcher Nandini Oza has now revealed that the Scindias were not alone in their support to the British.
Gaekwads, considered one of the most enlightened dynasties in Gujarat, too, had joined the British in crushing the Vagher rebellion in Okha and Dwarka on Saurahstra cost, going so far as to even loot a temple.
In a blog, "Revolt of 1857 and Saurashtra", Oza cites the book ‘Saurashtra no itihas: 1807-1948’ (History of Saurashtra), by AV Jani, published by Darshak Itihas Nidhi (Darshak History Fund), to provide some idea of the 1857-58 revolt in Okhamandal.
"As per this book, it would be interesting to note that by the year 1822, the area under British in Saurashtra barring Amreli under Gaekwad, Diu under the Portuguese, and Jafrabad under the Sidis, was 54,038 square kilometers and income Rs 1,48,87,000... This was a good enough reason for revolts," Oza says.

Here is an excerpt from the book translated from Gujarati by Oza:

The Vaghers of Okhamandal had declared revolt at that time. The Vagher community loved independence and was a militant community... They were opposed to the rule of the Gaekwad or the British. They had revolted against the Gaekwad in the year1820, which was put out by the Gaekwad with the help of the British agency in 1822.
The forefathers of Vaghers ruled this area. Therefore they wanted to remove the rule of the Gaekwad. In 1858, they revolted and took away Beyt and Dwarka from the Gaekwad. At the request of Gaekwad, the British agency called about 1,400 soldiers from Mumbai under the leadership of Col Donavan and sent another army from Rajkot under the leadership of Col Scribe.
This army destroyed the fort of Beyt and won/captured the same. In this (fight) the leader of the Vaghers Devo Chabani was killed. The British looted booty worth 3.5 lakhs from the temple of Beyt, which was returned later. Later they bombarded Dwarka and acquired it.
The British army damaged the temple and the idols and looted the booty. The rulers of Jamnagar, Porbandar, Kutch as well as the business class expressed their opposition to this and asked to return the booty as well as repair the temple; otherwise they expressed fear of revolts in other places…
Many people under the leadership of Jodha Manek ran away to the Gir and hid themselves there. From Gir they adopted guerrilla warfare. Their main leaders were Jodha Manek and Mulu Manek. They had hidden in the hills of Abhpara. Col Homer had driven them out from there. This is how the revolt of the Vagher community came to an end.
Many were caught and kept in the Vadodara jail. They ran away from there and came back to Okhamandal and once again Mulu Manek and Deva Manek, the nephews of Jodha Manek formed their team and began looting.
However they were badly defeated in Macharda village under Jamnagar. At the fight in Macharda, the British commander in chief Captain Latush and Captain Hebart were killed. In the end, on 7-5-1869, the army of Porbandar surrounded Mulu Manek near Ranpur and killed him. This is how the revolt of the Vaghers going on for several years came to an end. The graves of the two British officers remain at Macharda.

Comments

parmarlaxmikant said…
Great to know someone is still missing the jewels of Okha mandal, RIP JODHABHA & MULUBHA MANEKS.
Anonymous said…
Abhapara Hill is in Barda Forest and not in Gir forest.

TRENDING

Political consensus? Celebrations, with over 5,000 plus post-vaccine deaths in India

By Rosamma Thomas*  As India fully vaccinated nearly 20% of its population and celebrated the “milestone” of administering one billion (100 crore) Covid-19 vaccine doses, it was time to remember those who died shortly after vaccination . By October 20, 2021 Twitter handle C400T, tracking deaths reported to have occurred after receiving the Covid-19 shot in India, updated the 5,134th death.

Is sacrilege charge against Punjab Dalits any different from Pak blasphemy cases?

Lakhbir Singh, his wife By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  There is no doubt that Sikhism actually was a revolt against the Brahmanical system and superstition. Guru Granth Saheb is perhaps the only Holy Book which contains matters from different religions as well as those of various Sufi saints, including Kabir, Ravidas, Baba Farid and others. The aim of Sikhism was to create an egalitarian society, and, definitely, Punjab that way is far better than many other States in India, where violence against Dalits is rampant.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Billion vaccine doses? Devil is in details: 70% haven't got 2nd jab; numbers jacked up

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  India has reached the one billion Covid-19 vaccinations milestone. It is indeed a great news and a big salute to the less paid ordinary health-workers in interiors of India for this feat. The government wants all of India's 944 million adults to get vaccinated this year. Around three-quarters of adults in the country of 1.3 billion people have had one shot and around 30 percent are fully vaccinated, the government says.

Uttarakhand, Kerala disaster due to policies favouring India's developmental mafia

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Two of India’s most beautiful regions where thousands of people go to watch and feel the wonders of nature are suffering because of the extremely disastrous rains and floods. The pain that the rains brought to Kerala and Uttarakhand is a warning to all of us. It's nature’s warning to us to mend our ways.

'Human rights trampled upon': Activists, litterateurs, academics 'reimagine' India

Bezwada Wilson, Romila Thapar, TM Krishna By Our Representative  The Reimagining India public lecture series, initiated by the civil rights group India Inclusive Collective, has brought together one platform about 50 prominent speakers in order to highlight how, over the last seven years, there have been “consistent attacks” on the democratic fabric of the country, with Constitutional and human rights of people being “trampled with impunity.”

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

How are Tripura Muslims responsible for attacks in Bangladesh?: 'Concerned' citizens

Counterview Desk  Calling it a “retaliation” of Bangladesh violence, several “concerned citizens”*, including Magsaysay award winning social activist and academic Sandeep Pandey and PV Rajagopal of the Sarvodaya Samaj, have said that the recent attacks on Muslim community in different areas of Tripura is a the reflection of “growing trend of using violence against another community.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Religious mobs replicate blasphemy laws, 'threatening' liberty in a free country

Nihangs, Lakhbir Singh By Ajit Singh*   A Dalit man, Lakhbir Singh, was mercilessly beaten up and lynched to death near farmers’ protest site in the State of Haryana allegedly by Nihang Sikhs. It was alleged that he committed blasphemy by desecrating the Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib.