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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.

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