Friday, May 22, 2009

Preface to the Plebeians who would be kings

Preface to the “Plebeians”

“The plebeians who would be the kings”: copyright No.:L-28065/2007.

A Preface being an introduction to a book, gives an outline to the material, there-in and if that is so, then what I have called as Book I, is the proper Preface of my book, which however is very lengthy, so this piece is being added.

I have very romantically called this book or the explorations, there-in as something that I was destined to do, or was born for doing so. Someone reading my lines on the palm may declare so. But after seeing the mediocre outcome of the so-called a work of the destiny, does’nt impress even me. I would ,much rather, say that it has been a matter of chance that I was born in the 1st House of Katehar, about which, by now, every one had quite forgotten, through unceasing rigorous work of agriculture, through generations of a mean and miserly(saving stock of grain for three years against likely poor harvest, in dry-land farming) livelihood. And as the things were destined to happen , I lost my father at a very young age and was taken away to live in Nainital in suddenly an awesome comfort of good life. I turned from a topper to a mediocre second class student , but as destined, I got into the merchant-marine and went around the world many times over. I had the good sense of sending half the money home and called it a day at sea, owing to overwhelming sentiments for father and also for the mother-land, for reasons explained in the text akin to the Preface, and may be unduly so and in a fit of anguish, the way things were going.

However, even before things happened that made me talk of destiny, as if I was the chosen one to redeem the “Raghuvanshies of Katehar”, as if they would have perished otherwise, line, hook and sinker .I doubt any one is ever so thrilled among the country-cousins of Katehar, let alone those of Dobhi, who are insisting on a combined history of the two, notwithstanding the pargana of Sultanipur between the two of them and poles apart in the history and geography of the region I fear it may be berated amongst even amongst the closest of the cousins (simply for having done it). Another certainty is that only one copy would suffice for the entire village, which should come along unpaid for. So specially for the villages with the tag of the 1st house I am keeping something up my sleeve, that every one must buy at least the second edition or the Hindi version, which I intend calling; ”Katehar ke Raghuvanshi,ekal Hindu Samrat ,1194AD to 1793AD’ for the following reason,found in a book given to me by Rao Barauli.I quote:


Hindu Kings

The city was founded some three thousand years back .A detailed history of Kashi in chronological order is not traceable Only inscriptions on stone pillars and the existence of old temples and copper plates give us some rudimentary ideas about the line of kings that ruled Banaras .The city was under the sway of the kings of Kanauj for a considerable time. After the defeat of Raja Jai Chandra by the mussalman invaders one branch of the family fled eastward and set up and independent state. For many years the Gaharwar princes ruled banaras and afterwards they were compelled to retire to Kantit and Bana. The last in the line of the Gaharwar erected the old Rajput fort at Rajghat.The present Kantit family in Mirzapur claims its ancestry from this time.

The Kanauj kings did not penetrate in land and the country was held by Soeries,Bhars and other unsubdued tribes, who were independent throughout Avadh and the eastern districts. The district even today abounds with Bhars especially in Banaras tehsil.

Rajput colonization does not appear to have begun before the 12th or the13th centuries. This is the period popularly assigned to the establishment of the Raghubansi power. One Deo Kunwar came from Ayodhya ,the ancient seat of Raghubansis and married the daughter of Raja Banar, obtaining as dowry the Taluqa of Niar.The Raghubansis are the only Rajputs in the district who seemed to have acquired a position of independence.The Raghubansis claim descent from one Doman Deo,ninth in the direct descent from Deo Kunwar, who lived during the regime of Sikander Lodi and held Katehar as a rent-free tenure.” Unquote;

So even the history that speaks of us has Princess Bindumati married off to Deo Kunwar.Which in our bard’s story is married to the last King of Ayodhya, Nain deo. whose son was Salhe Kunwar, who fathered None Rao and Nangayee Rao While None Rao went away to Kashmir, Nangayee Rao fathered Deo Kunwar, who settled Deorayee in 1380AD.His great grand-father married the daughter of Raja Banar, sometime after 1194AD,after Jai Chandra shifted him to Rajghat in Varanasi or Banaras.Again,Doman Deo is said in the above description as the ninth in the descent from Deo Kunwar.Whereas factually, after Deo Kunwar,it was Birhaj Rai,then Pukar Rai,then Rai Khemraj Singh,then Udai Chand,then Ugaa Thakurayee,whose second son was Doman Deo who comes out to be seventh in line.
Doman Deo was contemporary of Sikander Lodi and even Sher Shah Suri(who had worked in his stable as a runaway in between 1501 to 1515)) upto 1545AD,i.e. three hundred and fifty years after the Raghuvanshies migrated from Ayodhya, and its odd that all Raghuvanshies claim descent from Doman Deo.So one purpose of this exercise is also for the purpose of correction of records in such haphazard descriptions as much as in some old Govt. Gazeteers, and bring for public viewing the correct order of the lineage,and specially for our suspicious cousins in Jaunpur,calling all Katehar cousins not only descendants of Doman Deo,but also of his Ahir consort(in jest).For the records sake Doman Deo fathered five sons from that lady,called,Jalho Mokal,Amba,Chan and Bariyasan Singh.Doman Deo’s other son was Kalyan Shah, whose son Ayirran Shah built the Ayar Kot ,near Varanasi, whose eleventh descent Pratap Narain Singh was adopted by maharaja of Vijayanagaram in Andhra Pradesh and Vijjy etc. were his descent and came to Chandravati ,near Kaithi to claim their share.

Our family bard Banshi Kavi made a record by his memory as a lot of preserved genealogy was thrown in the river Gomti,over some dispute between them, by the descendants of the Chaubeys who came from Ayodhya,accompanying Nain Deo,the last King of Ayodhya.He has done a remarkable work,but his mixing-up of Anno-Domini and Vikram Samvat is quite perplexing at times.

I have taken the benchmark of my own uncles birthdate from the Civil List and gone backwards,allotting a generous twenty-five years as an average to each of my long-living ancestors,eg.130(Ram Sunder Singh),110(Bharat Singh),96(Ram Rup Singh).instead of ASI’s meager 19 and a half years as an average for each generation,as Director Monuments Sri Soundarajan used for calculating Ayodhya’s age as per their excavations and comparing the same with my own table till Ikshawaku son of Manu and Satrupa,who established Ayodhya.Mr. Soundarajan was highly impressed and wrote to me twice, seeking information about the direct lineal descendants of the Raghuyvanshy dynasty of Ayodhya i.e. us.

I have to indeed mention the genealogical table come to my possession,also by chance and good wishes of the village-folk towards the family which had me moving with an invigorating zeal towards what the retired district judge had predicted about me,years ago,in the Lucknow Coffee House,to Thakur Ram Rup Singhji,on reading my palm.I traveled to Gaya and met our family panda(the record-keeper) and checked on the entries of my ancestors about the mystery of the 1857 martyr,Jaipal Singh,about which I read a paper in ICHR session of Kurukshetra and put in the website called , www.1857-amartyramong and the same will be annexed in the book under consideration.There is another paper I should speak about which I read in the ICHR session of Mumbai,was “SherShah in the court of Doman Deo”.Although the great meandering catastrophy of the river Gomti in 1980,pulled me away from my preoccupation of the Raghuvanshies.

Again,it was the 150th anniversary of the martyrdom of Jaipal Singh that brought me back to get active in the cause of the book.I hope I will not keep my cousins and others waiting for too long,as I have decided to do it on my own,entirely,no body being attracted by my website or the blog.

I hope I am able to keep your attention glued to my story-telling in vernacular English,which I thought was fine for merchant marine globe-trotting,but realized its vagary starting on this project.And the requirement of my country cousins of the same book to be written in Hindi has also become my compulsion,so bless me to complete the Hindi version ,soonest ,but not so soon so as to stop you from buying this one,in the meanwhile,because that will not be an out and out translation.So please do not miss out the fantacy of the plebeians at your service.

Suresh Pratap Singh
Navi Mumbai

Thursday, May 14, 2009

return to Kaithi,eventually.

All return to Kaithi,owing to just discovered it’s far-reaching significance,till the doom’day,if there is ever going to be one.
The triangular area coming between an imaginary triangle formed by drawing of a line from the Rajwari -railway bridge over river Gomti to the east of Doman Deo’s demolished mud-fortress and passing on the south-west of the temple of the first Tirthanker’s(Rishabdeo) temple or perhaps even his birthplace in Chandravati upto the Holy Ganges and joining this imaginary line to the new and the original confluence(at the time of Markandey Rishi) of the Gomti with the Ganges and from there back to the Rajwari rail bridge , is found to be of great significance vis-à-vis the onslaught of the imminent “Pralaya” or the doom’s day of the Bible ,as this is being equated to the Noah’s Arc at the time of the last holocaust by the floods of fury to end the world’s existence ,which as the Bible says ,saved a pair of all the species of the flora and fauna and the humanity of course to start another day and another cycle of the World-order.
So all people belonging to Kaithi return to your home-land and stand-by your home-stead and whatever bit of property is remaining in your name, there build a tenement over it for your ownself and who knows for many of your kith and kin and dear and close relatives and friends over the period .So, all the big shots of Kaithi, becoming multi-millionaires else-where ,come back to Kaithi and I can hardly oodle enough of Harry Belafonte’s –“Come back, Eliza, come back, girl – to solid honchos and prim and proper guys, but I do mean as much as Harry singing for his beloved, who had left for the Americas and had dumped him in the West Indies So don’t dump Kaithi and I have warned you,timely and it is all for your own good.
Please don’t insinuate that I am preaching but not practicing from Navi Mumbai, also away from danger-zone locally. I am here only for a short while, trying to find ways and means to publish your story with it’s imminent historicity. And no sooner I succeed, I will scoot for spending my last year or so as some have predicted or last forty years as others have pacified my hurt of dying so young to spend in the place of my birth in the House of Sees Chand built on Rai Chan Singh’s original premises.
I think I shall build a new abode for myself ,as I am getting so much used to living in brand new houses and leave the glorious and raisond’etre’ of my coming to this world to all the very many co-parceners so very keen about the share but none towards it’s upkeep( which is only my duty ,as the only one to have been born in the new version of the Mansion).It may not be necessary to spell-out the necessity of continued up-keep and maintenance by those desirous of a share in the pie(surely after putting forward their claim’s veracity in everyway),or else I shall continue to do so with whatever diminishing returns at my disposal .However , my above call shall work as magic potion to all and sundry. And I do want my burden of carrying forward my late father’s obligations to be over, before August 2011(seemingly the ominous date so far, although I shall try hard not to let that happen, by keeping good health and so on—and shall beat both Bharat Baba and Ram Sunder baba at the time-count).
So, all of you,once again,I shout out loud and clear to “fly by her side and never let her go.” Come to Kaithi and Come back soon.

Yours Lovingly for ever.
Suresh Pratap Singh, at Mumbai.15th of May,2009.

book to be in four parts or not?

My book is already in four parts and is called as Book I, book II, book III and book IV, each of about 125 pages or so, and a total of 500 pages.
Book I deals with the intended attack on Ayodhya in 1026AD by Syed Sallar Jung Ghazi Mian, grand-son of Mahmud Ghazni,and his slaying by a Bhar Raja Suheldeo to save King Veeram Deo of the Raghuvanshies.
Then the decision of the then sovereign Jaichand of shifting the last Raghuvanshy King of Ayodhya Nain Deo to the forest fortressed Katehar in Varanasi and marrying him with his grand-neice Bindumati, whose children we are all,the Raghuvanshiesof today.
After the fall of the Gaharwars dynasty,it was the turn of the Raghuvanshies of Katehar to attain the status of “Hindu Kings”,as for as the history books go,but we remained tillers of the soil, notwithstanding 400 horse’s cavalry and 5000 foot soldiers at our disposal to maintain our status as “independent land-owners” for 600 years till 1793AD.
Somehow,we attained the benediction of Ghiasuddin Tuglaq (1321AD), Sikander Lodi and finally Sher Shah Suri(1545AD),who did not seek any cess from us either.
Book II, deals with the famous Permanent Settlement of Lord Cornwallis(1789-1793) and all the intricacies of revenue law and matters, drawing from my own experience in 626.04acres of our alluvial-riverine land gone on the other side of river Gomti in 1980.
BookIII,is a lucid translation of Raghuvansh-Mahakavya by Kalidas,describing the journey of the first world-conqueror, Raghu, the great grand father of Ram.
BookIV,is about Ayodhya’s transit through 1194 to the 1st war of independence fought thro Awadh to Aarrah and the exploits of Veer Senani Kunwar Singh-Tegva Bahadur, with whom my own ancestor Jaipal singh joined and died fighting.

Will it be a good idea to publish the book in four parts to make it light weight and more convenient to carry-about? Besides a smaller price-tag and selected customer preference, like many guys may never want to know anything about Duncan’s permanent settlement, except those concerned with it in the past, hence curious.

Please advise on the issue of multi-facet production of the book. Phone me, by and by, and send guidance by email. Thanks.

Suresh Pratap Singh, at Mumbai.15.05.09

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

About the author of the plebeians who would be kings

About the author of the book: the plebeians who would be kings.

Born in the house of Sees Chand, at the time when Adolf Hitler was occupying Gdansk in Poland and the Indian Empire of the British was about to disintegrate and the Congress Party of India was on the ascendancy , about to win freedom for the country , Gandhi had already acquired the stature of a deity and everyone had a Congress revolutionary in the family , his own father being arrested for burning the Kaiser Hind aerodrome, built on his own mangroves and land, training young American fliers for the war, his one uncle being arrested for Congress agitations and activities in and around Azamgarh ,and a brother-in-law for refusing to pay in the War-fund kitty of the ruling British class ,and mother’s maternal-uncle for Quit-India movement in Varanasi. The name of his first cousin changed from Bhagat Singh to Virendra Pratap. Born to the rural middle-class affluence ,acquired over regular tilling of soil for frugal subsistence over five hundred years and twenty-two generations of the men of grit and resolve to have claimed their entire possession as “independent land-owners ”,recognizing none as their over-lords or even as sovereigns since their migration from Ayodhya in or around 1194 AD, till 1793.

The most amazing factor of his life is to have been born in the same family, where the Bhrigu-sanhita- mentioned Mahayogi Bharat Singh presided, as the 110 years old sage till 6th of December 1944.However that saw the end of the golden-era of the 1st House of Katehar and by 28.06.1952,three days prior to Zamindari-abolition in United-Provinces or Uttar Pradesh and every thing seem to have evaporated in the thin air over-night. He was but an impressionable young lad of twelve .The Sees Chand Mansion was totally deserted and forlorn ,people took away any thing and every thing they could lay their hands on, there was no one to stop them. By and by the heavy teek doors and almirahs were unhinged and removed after a roomful of teek-slabs had been gradually removed from the house. Huge wooden boxes were shifted away. One such box carried the 1st House genealogical table, which took people by surprise as it was not decipherable. So the word went around of such a find, which was handed-over to him by a stroke of good luck and people’s well-wishes for the family after the return of the prodigal son.

The riddle of the large sheet of high-class Italian art paper supported by cotton-mesh at the back took much of the time and curiosity of the author till a clerk in the Varanasi courts solved it in a couple of Sundays riddle-solving session. This was like a Pandora’s box and a thrilling mystery-book which set the tone of the book to be written by him. The author by now had concluded his ten-year long sea-career and got around to Indian Council of Historical Research and read four papers, mainly based on the knowledge gained from his abovementioned Pandora’s box, aided by the tales of the family bard since shifting from Ayodhya in around 1194AD.

However, the urge to complete the history of migration from Ayodhya to Varanasi and Jaunpur was nipped in the bud, by the horrendous deeds of the river Gomti in 1979 and 1980,on 7th of September, when the author’s village lost 626.04acres of riverine land in one big shifting to south- detour of the river. This and the head of the 1st House of Katehar,Rai Saheb Thakur Ram Rup Singh kept the author busy, from dawn to past midnight(preparing notes to face from the smallest to the highest revenue officials of the State, legally and morally and desperately to claim what was theirs) for next ten years, till the time the author’s spouse rebelled(owing to the needs of the growing family and the prime source of livelihood having gone on the other side of river Gomti) and she very forcefully and resolutely, packed the author, once more , back to sea.

With good sea-wages the priorities changed overnight with improved living conditions and a certain amount of both sloth and indolence setting –in , however starting work on a new mansion in the city(dedicated to the memories of the survival in his last residence: the glorious Sees Chand Mansion in the village, since 1485 till 28.06.1952,by his ancestor Rai Chan Singhjudeo to his own father Babu Rishabh Deo Singhji-aptly calling it the R.M..House) being erected on the insistence of the spouse, and the historicity in mind in altogether a different prospective, the relegated back-ground bringing-out in the open and to city-lights

However the relegated realization of the over-bearing importance of the edifice still holding-on it’s own and standing-by as a reminder of the past history dawned-upon once more, on the occasion of the last rites of the author’s mother in 2005.It came like an awakening of dulled senses and it seemed to the author that he was born only for the purpose of recording the art of survival and passing their time, incognito, also for the sake of survival of the Raghuvanshies migrated from Ayodhya in the thick forests of Katehar,particularly and to hand -over the knowledge to the new generations, of today, for inculcating a sense of pride and humility ,so as not to forget that the Raghuvanshies are born to help the humanity,even today, the Kaliyuga.

It is a different matter that in a book-form,it would throw light on many things, unrecorded hitherto by the historians,like the Raghuvanshies of Katehar holding parganas of Katehar,Sultanipur,Barah,Mahaich and Narwan in Varanasi(plus Chandauli,now) as independent land-owners for nearly six hundred years, so much so that historians refer to them as Hindu Kings,after the fall of the Gaharwars.And that from Ghiasuddin Tughlaq in 1321 to Sikander Lodi to Sher Shah Suri in 1545 could’nt object to their style of functioning(mainly of not paying any revenue cess) or do any thing about their haughty arrogance.

The author took to solitary living in his Mumbai-flat to translate the greatest Sanskrit poet Kaldas’s description of his famous ancestor Raghu,the first ever world-conqueror,as in his quest for realization of his dream to write a Magnum Opus on Ayodhya’s glory from seven millennium BC to 1194AD,when the Raghuvanshies ,more or less,fled from there,or were removed by their benefactor Jai Chand,the then the sovereign of Ayodhya,as well as of Kashi(Varanasi) and Kannauj,as well,of course.That task will take him to Kolkata’s Central Library,in the near future.

The Permanent Settlement of Lord Cornwallis and Jonathan Duncan has found a detailed description owing to his proximity with an authority on revenue matters and an advisor to many ministers in the government of the State, and the author’s own uncle, guiding him and tutoring him, like a stern head-master for days, before sending him to argue-out his case, and of the village, of course, from deputy secretary upto the Secretary ,himself and insisted on getting an order for the same, or else to stay-on in Lucknow,till a copy of the order was in his hands. The officials argued, relentlessly, but obliged most graciously ,after being convinced of the author’s arguments.

That may have made him very stubborn, in defence of his own arguments.

A Hall of Fame of the Raghuvanshies of Katehar is his latest fad,other than a Hall of Fame of the First House of Katehar ,and now he is stationed in Mumbai to go back to sea ,to earn for the same purpose but his detractors are up in arms against him and are throwing their spanners in the works all the time.But he is pressing -on regardlesly and resolutely as in the days when he was facing a battery of revenue officials from the Secretariat to the Board of
Revenue as well as locally, from the Divisional Commissioner to the Qanungo.

So before the book goes to print,dear readers of his blog(just search for Raghuvanshies on google blog search and you will get two on the subject)do read his blog and help him do, what he is trying to do ,for you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The 1857 martyr Jaipal Singh was born in the Sees Chand Mansion of Kaithi,Katehar,Varanasi,and we trace his origin and speak of his need to participate in the 1st war of Independence and hence join Babu Kunwar Singh-Tegva Bahadur,at some stage.

Had it not been for the alluvial action of the river Gomati on 07.09.1980, throwing away our 626.04 acres of riverine and prime agricultural holding across the Gomati in one single stroke 0f the meandering river to straighten her knot and confirm to the total length of the meander of her travel, which was upset in the previous year in Jaunpur and had increase by two to three kilometers in total lenth of the meander of river Gomati. This was corrected in one single stroke of the gorging river on 07.09.80 by breaking the narrowest strip of the land across the ‘Sihore’ Khan in the alluvial area of Kaithi, simply leaving aside two kilometers of her stream from that point to the old confluence near village Patna and our non revenue (Na- Chiragi Mauza)village ‘NAKHANWA’, with the Ganges which created a great hue and cry in the press on the statement of Collector Subodh Nath Jha of Ghazipur district, calling this a justice of nature, that the old injustice of 1840 was corrected, when about 500 acres of villages Kusanhi and Kharauna had accrued to village Kaithi ( under the alluvial and dilluvial regulation 11 of the Bengal Alluvial regulation Act of 1911). When he said he knew this would happen, Then Thakur Ram Rup Singh asked him whether this was in his horoscope as well.? Then when he further asked Thakur Ram Rup Singh to give it away to him(i.e. to his district) the reply came that Jha being from Mhithila (the birthplace of Sita- Ram’s consort )and we being the Raghuvanshies of Ayodhya, the giving should be on his part , that is on the part of Jha and certainly not from Ram Rup Singh a Raghuvanhies. Come to think of it 1840 was the year when Ram Sunder Singh must have been twenty five years old (see the table of Sees Chand’s descendants, counting backward from Ram Rup Singh being twenty five years old in 1925) and Jaipal Singh 50yeaqrs old, when the Gomati was made to shift by the order of the Kina Ram Baaba of Ramgarh (Saying “Gomati Go back –Gomati peechhe hat’’)and a few hundered acres of alluvial land had accrued to Jaipal Singh and Ram Sunder Singh – including 17+8.5 lathas of mazkoor tari and was recorded in the name of Ram Sunder Singh in 1840 and as zamindar in1882-83 quinquennial settlement of village Kaithi of Katehar pargana. So Mr Jha referred to that as a natural injustice to the district of his charge a hundred and forty years ago, when he spoke immediately after the cataclysm of 07.09.80 to the press and wrote to the Government also. And there on it become a question of one-upmanship between S.P Singh of Kaithi and SriS.N Jha of the I.A.S. erstwhile Collector Ghazipur, more of which in “Cornwallis revised by Ram Rup Singh in the alluvial ‘Mahal’ of Kaithi ,” coming out simultaneously after this narration but as I said in the beginning of the para had it not been for the alluvial action of river Gomati, that I would have taken such great interest of the permanent settlement of Jonathan Duncan and the five hundred years old settlement of the Raghuvanshies and my deep interest in the story of the house of Sees Chand, where I too was born.
So back to Jaipal Singh in 1840. The landed gentry of the first house of Katehar had become richer by another thousand acres of reverine land and obviously higher placed zamindars and small rajas came forward to offer their daughters to the of young Raghuvanshies of Katehar’s prime & pristine village. And Jaipal Singh’s son was married to the dowager princess Hansa Kunwar, the prime mover or the Karta woman (Sita & Draupadi are mentioned as Karta women of Ramayana and ‘Mahabharat’ episodes) who, I seem convinced was the cause of Jaipal Singh leaving the house of Sees Chand at the ripe old age of 57, in order to join Veer Senani Kunwar Singh of Aarrah in their own revolt of 1857, gaining ground upto Azamgarh before their hasty retreat, owing to reinforcement of the British from Lawrence and Faizabad / Lucknow one has to go very deeply and in the minute details as regards as to what happened in precise order with exact dates and things of reinforcement, attacks, counter-attacks withdrawals retreats and annihilation and complete routs. I surely place confidence in the coming generation of the Raghuvanshies to rake-up details of Kunwar Singh command and find mention of men like Jaipal Singh of the Raghuvanshees who volunteered to take up arms against the British in 1857, and change the lives of his son / forced to leave house before the next (1882-83) settlement and for his grandson, the Sage-like Bharat Singh to hide the G. Table of first house of Katehar, in order to Safe-guard the service of his Civilian grand son.) Here I am only too happy to have reinforced the 1857 martydom of my direct ancestor in an ICHR paper read by me 25 years ago. Perhaps Jaipal Singh was looking for an identity for himself and for the House of Sees Chand where he was born and had spent many years of his life, incognito and in obscure wilderness, and to be of the ruling dynasty of Ayodhya ,no less. He had an opportunity to be different, which could also, perhaps, provide a distinct identity to the first house of Katehar, something akin to Sees Chand’s cousin Doman Deo, who had Sher Shah as a servant in his stable. This then was the great chance that the providence had offered. Beside it was also a chance to escape the domineering and perhaps even a haggling daughter-in-law Hansa Kunwar but perhaps only, just and marginally so. He was surely a hero’s material inside, who would come out of the realm of the ordinary, but alas for the same forsake a sage like son and grand son who decided to cross the centuries of their own lives and put under wraps the deed of heroism of their immediate ancestor for the sake of their own survival. What was undone by both Ram Sunder Singh and Bharat Singh to the heroic act of Jaipal Singh should be brought out of hiding and declared as a glorious chapter of the first House of Katehar and another unknown and unsung chapter of the 1st Struggle of Independence,beginning in May 1857.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

About Sees Chand Mansion in Kaithi,Katehar,Varanasi

The story of Sees Chand Mansion and of Plebeians who would be Kings

The Hindu nationalists consider the 1857 mutiny or insurgency as the first war for freedom, although every mutinous sepoy from Meerut in May 1857 or 1,39,000 minus only 7796 sepoys of the largest modern Army in Asia, the Bengal Army joined by the entire population, as the inspiration touched a popular crescendo, declared Bhadhur Shah Zafar, the last Moguls emperor as their leader, and emperor. Zafar was powerless to resist being made the leader. Leader of an army of unpaid peasantry and officer less and haphazard soldiers. And while Hindus regard their martyrs who died for the idea of freedom from the foreign yoke, but in and around Delhi it was more of religion, looked upon as a defensive act of rebellion against the work of missionaries of Christianity as well as a generalized fight against foreign domination and the move of the company (E.I.C.) to impose Christian laws in India. The sepoys declared before the emperor on 11th may 1857 we have joined hands to protect our religion and our faith in chandni chowk they asked, Brothers ;are you with those of the faith?. “During the uprising, it is note worthy, the British who had converted to Islam were not molested; but Indians converted to Christianity were mowed- down, being referred to as ‘Kafirs’ (Infidels) and ‘Nasrani’ (Christians). “Although the great majority of sepoys were Hindus, in Delhi a flag of jihad was raised in the principal mosque” and the insurgents were often found calling themselves mujahideen, ghazis and jihadies. And after the initial bravado of the seize when majority had departed from the scene being hungry and getting despised, the remainder were out and out jihadis , including a regiment of “Suicide ghazis” from gwalior who had vowed never to eat again and to fight until they met death- “ for those who have come to die have no need for food “. Closing of urdu madras by the British was one of their grievance. What the news work of Willian Dalrymple’s stories contain shows the Rising of 1857, is a chain of human event, dramatic, arbitrary, accidental and tragic to resurrect the ordinary individuals whose fate is caught up by chance in one of the great up heavals of history. It is through the story of the successes and struggles of the individuals that can bridge the chasm of the time and understanding separating us from the remarkably different world of our ancestors of six to seven generations ago. Duncan ha finished the permanent settlement in Banaras on the lines of Bengal and given the lease to Babu Shivratan Singh of the house of Sees Chand of Katehar in Kaithi and peaceful by any contemporary standards in the villages, the pargana and in the 1st House of Raghuvanshies of Katehar. With ‘Amils’ melting away and officials in the forms of ‘Qanungos’ directly under the ‘Collector’ taking- over, the struggle against the wily Raja was over, So it was time to put more and more of ‘Deeh’ and ‘Damar’ and untilled portions of 2292 Bigha to put under cultivation. Then why the only son of Shiv Ratan Singh of Aarrah to proceed towards Lucknow, by way of Azamgarh?. His father was already very old, or may be dead by then, as his three uncles were also very much junior to him, being contemporary of his son Ram Sunder Singh. There was no reason for a man of fifty-five or sixty to leave home and go fighting. Was there unrest at home/ was his spouse no more and the dowager princess Hansa kunwar, wife of his son, too dominating for his liking , to make an excuse for leaving home and joint the fighting forces. This is because of the fate of the 1st House of Raghuvanshies to be blessed by domineering head of the inner house- hold; like my own mother and grand mother. Hansa Kunwar was so domerineering that Babu Ganga Prasad Singh had to take her to courts for his share from her for partition of residential plot no 1328 in 1901.But she was surely no more by 1904, when her son Bharat Singh took up the cause of appeal to the case. Having given birth to Bharat Singh who died at 110 in 1944 or so, she must have been around 35 in 1857, when Jaipal Singh her father-in-law, went to join Kunwar Singh in the 1st war of independence. Kaithi was secluded from three sides by two rivers and connected by a dirt road to Varanasi, 27 kilometer and Ghazipur, 50 kilometer away and unless Janak Rai is Chet Singh of Katehar involved in the conspiracy collecting 34000 soldiers under Raja Chet Singh of Ramnagar, to abduct Warren Hastings, it was pretty far away from the turmoil’s and Chaos of polities of the day and even a word of the popular uprising of 1857 getting there was obscure. Then how did Jaipal Singh and his cousins from ‘Chhayee’ Patti got together to become unlikely martyrs of the uprising ?.
Perhaps the news of the uprising spread far too well by word of mouth, in the era of minimal mass communication, than what means are today, like we can not comprehend today. The suffocation of foreign domination of a different kind (Having different skin) was overwhelming and up to the neck. The stories told by my father’s cousins who was born in same house seemed wild and clueless when there was no commitment from us to the family and it’s history of any sort. But recently when visiting my widowed sister born in 1925 that is before the demolition of the old house of Sees Chand in 1932 or so, she related of the first floor and the attic of the old house and unknowingly confirmed what kaka had mentioned for the occasion of rebuilding of the old house and efforts being made to collect the barrels of the muzzle- loading guns as many a twenty in the drain out- let of the court- yard of women’s quarter, where they were dumped for hiding after the mutiny was crushed or may he soon after the news of death of Jaipal Singh was heard or felt by the community on withdrawal of Babu Kunwar Singh and his return to Bihar with the story of his failure and sacrificing his wounded arm to mother Ganges at the ripe age of seventy.
On the death of her illustrious and famous husband at the age of 91, my sister was left alone in her Lucknow residence, everyone having gone to Sohna, expect myself to keep her company, began to reminisce about life in Kaithi and she was one of rarest persons, other than our only living aunt, to have seen and lived in perhaps the original version of the house of Sees Chand, although four hundred years then is too long for a Kachchi- “Bakhari” ( no not exactly a Haveli which would be a bit of high faluting description of the fairly large house of Sees Chand, as the income from 2292 Bighas of Kaithi was not matching to be able to build something akin to a grand ‘Haveli’of a prosperous Zamindar of Bengal in the literary works of the nineteenth century ) to have lasted without one or two more demolitions in between . Alas! No on kept a record neither did the great sage of the house- hold confide in anyone. He was very vocal and adamant against its demolition on the keen desire of Collector Moss and his deputy Ram Rup Singh. He must have been born in the particular version of the house of Sees Chand. Perhaps his father(who went away, leaving his family, for a cause of the survival of the family, by saving the landed property from the British raj) and his grand father the cause celebre’ of the hide and seek and speaking only half truths for a maha- yogi, who was claimed to have never spoken a lie in all his 110 years was also born in that house and he must have loved that missing-in- action grand father and his deeds that he kept under covers, the genealogical table of its true identity even from the cousins in the family. As Ram Rup Singh would always say “ We are the most prominent family of Katehar “ (not exactly knowing its meaning of what he has said in deeper sense) so Bharat Singh without the help of the G. table (kept in hiding with him) enforced his prominence through the force of his personality and grandeur and of course the ‘Karma’ as the best agriculturist in entire Katehar. And as per my eldest sister there were secrets in the at attic of that old Bakhari, th match- locks and the lazzims, where the children and women were not allowed to dwell. must have been an object of anxiety for the grand old man as a to what to do with those artifacts of the past. Although as per my Kakaji , the solution came in as quickly to get rid of all those vulnerable things to the security of the family, and to the newly found status of the family house of a brilliant and titled Civil Servant of the British raj, by simply dumping it overnight in a deep well on the “Kot ” of the earlier settlers the famous Seories (who had given the rightful possession to Sees Chand and his two brother to settle in lieu of their non agriculture settlement without any sanction from Raja Banar of the Gaharwars)across the road from the house of Sees Chand so well placed for dumping activities in the dark of the night. This came as a well founded confirmation from the horses mouth as the phrase goes of the stories of the match-locks and muzzle-loaders of the brotherhood of Raghuvanshies of Katehar by the agents of Johnathan Duncan , the British Agent sent for permanent settlement by Governor General in Council (They were willing and anxious to maintain the corporate nature of their zamindari over Katehar and not in the form of individual leases of land under the individual cultivation or occupancy ). Those were the ancient arms and armaments which was counted by Aiene Akhari as maintaining 500 horses and 4000 foot- soldiers by the Raghuvanshies of Katehar (Rajputs) and 1932 saw the end to all that talk of what was Ayodhya and its Sun- Dyansty and of Doman Deo and the pristine glory of Katehar, where the mighty Suri King Sher Shah served for fifteen years (1501-1515) in the stable of Doman Deo to submission and acceptance of global civility and service to the rulers, British or world- wide administrative or economic in nature.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

‘Sees Chand Mansion’
1st House of the first family
of Katehar estbd.. 1485 Village & Post : Kaithi (Markandey)
P.S.: Chaubeypur,
Distt. Varanasi. PIN: 221116.
Website- chatting-

Dear Reader

We have just celebrated 150 th anniversary of the 1857 uprising against the tyranny of the John Company and its aftermath. While the Mughul empire totally disintegrated, small zamindars evaded annihilation by hiding the existence of the mutineers/ rebellions amongst themselves, in order to survive with the art of living peaceably for the sake of zamindari rights for their children and entry in Civil Services created by British for their grand children, and very wise men also chose to ignore the sacrifice of their grand-fathers, in order to simply survive. It was not virtuous to nurture and cherish the dead, the plebeian riff-raff who were the driving force of the rebellion, as they ignited the fire which engulfed thousands of innocent families. Like the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham, their ideal was security and not liberty. “Wars and best to read of, but peace and calms are better to endure.”
I had read a paper on the topic of one such rebellious Raghuvanshi Rajput of Katehar, by name of Jaipal Singh, in the ICHR meet of 1982 and have requeated for a re-read (although at a short notice )the same in 2006 ICHR-proceedings, on the ground of its topical nature .
2. I have also written to Govt. of India and U.P.C.M. on to take-up the martyrdom, of Jaipal Singh, in 1857/58 mutiny, alongside Kunwar Singh of Aarrah, and facilitate visitors from around the world to come and see the house of Jaipal Singh, for which I am ready to provide all basic amenities as required by Ms. Ambica Soni in her recent reply to a question by Sri Mahendra Mohan of S.P. in Rajya Sabha (with whatever little help, assistance, guidance and recognition from the State Govt. as required by the Center)
3. I am releasing the said paper read by me in 1982 with annexures as proof and the genealogical table of the 1st House of Katehar, to which the said martyr belonged and figures in the table.
4. there are letters of Central Govt. (AST) and State Govt. about the authenticity of the subject matter and my approach to the topic for last 25 years.

One and all is welcome to raise queries on my e. mail identity (spsinghnavy@ and other noted below.) and is also welcome to a visit and a glimpse of the house of martyr Jaipal Singh of 1857 struggle for independence.

Awaiting to hear from you.
Yours truly,
(Suresh Pratap Singh)
R.M.House N.16/132-B, Vinayka, Kamachha,
Cell – 09935398306
Phone: 0542-2361159,022-27745804
And at E-4,6/23 Spaghetti,Sector-15,Kharghar,Navi-Mumbai-410210(Maharashtra
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