The first martyr of Dharma- Raja Dahir

Raja Dahir and Mohammad Bin Qasim

Brahman Dynasty: Not much has been said and written about the Brahman dynasty mainly because of the immature glorification of Arabs by historians. Brahman Dynasty succeeded the Rai dynasty in Sindh in 632CE. The governing structure of the Brahman Dynasty was quite similar to the present day ‘American Democracy.’ The kingdom had a king (president), sarpanch (senators), and even mukhiya (Mayor) in different towns/cities of this beautiful kingdom. The people elected mukhiyas and sarpanch. The official religion of the Brahman dynasty was Hinduism, with Buddism also recognized and appreciated. In this kingdom, education included the Gurukuls, and everyone had the opportunity to choose their career path irrespective of the background. Rishis (scientists) took center stage, and the king himself backed Ayurvedic research.

This dynasty is the oldest proof of how democracy has failed in the longer run. Despite a healthy run for over 92 years, the Brahman dynasty collapsed after Arab invaders ‘taxed neighbors’ to win a battle against Raja Dahir.

Umayyad Caliphate was a growing power in the middle east after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. The Umayyad Caliphate didn’t murder or mutilate nonbelievers in the middle east, unlike Islamic conquests. However, the Christians and Jews of the middle east were forced to pay the jizya (tax), whereas Muslims were spared. The Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians were called dhimmis (second-class citizens).

As the Umayyads grew in size, they invaded and conquered the neighboring kingdoms bordering Sindh, which lead to widespread fear among the people in the region. However, in Sindh, Raja Dahir (the last Hindu king of the Brahman Dynasty) knew that the conquest wouldn’t last long because of the non-Islamic majority in the neighboring regions. He ignored the initial warnings. He was wrong. Fearing taxes and second-class citizen treatment, many people converted to Islam.

The neighboring Buddist tribes started paying tribute to Arabs, and later mass conversions around the area prevailed (to avoid tax and death).

Raja Dahir got ready for war.

He said,

“I am going to meet the Arabs in the open battle, and fight them as best as I can. If I crush them, my country will then be put on a firm footing. But if I am killed honorably, the event will be registered in the books of Arabia and Bharat and will be talked about by great men. Other kings in the world will hear it, and it will be said that Raja Dahir of Sindh dedicated his precious life for the sake of his country, in fighting with the enemy.”

Raja Dahir defeated the Arabs in the first two wars. No one will ever write this. Arabs were crushed, and their raids were called off. However, the neighboring Buddist tribes submitted to Caliphate after mass-rapes and execution by Arabic forces.

Al-Hajjaj ( Governor who served the Umayyad Caliphate) knew that that Raja Dahir would let the people choose their representatives (Mukhiya). So he started planting compromised stooges in the Political establishment of the Brahman Dynasty.

In early 700 AD, Mohammad bin Qasim invaded Debal and, on orders of Arab’s Al-Hajjaj, freed the earlier prisoners and captives from the lost wars.

From Debal, Mohammad bin Qasim traveled to Nerun for supplies, the city’s Buddhist governor had accepted it as a tributary of the Caliphate after the first campaign and surrendered to the second. Qasim’s armies then captured Siwistan (Sehwan), forced loyalty from several tribal chiefs (through threats), and secured the surrounding regions. His combined forces captured the fort at Sisam and successfully raided the area and initially overwhelmed Dahir.

Before the final battle, Dahir’s advisor approached him and suggested that Dahir take refuge with one of India’s friendly kings.

Dahir responded, “You should say to them, ‘I am a wall between the Arabic army and India. If I fall, nothing will stop this ruthless invasion’ If that wasn’t acceptable to Dahir, said the advisor, he should at least send his family to some safe point in Bharat. Dahir rejected that as well. “I cannot send away my family to safety while the families of my Thakurs remain here.”

For months, Dahir successfully prevented Qasim from crossing the Indus River by leading the battle. Qasim lost his army five times, but he was always quick to regain lost grounds by enslaving the new converts and using them in war. It is impossible to fight an enemy who would tax nonbelievers until they forget their roots and become slaves of an ideology.

Qasim crossed Indus after numerous failed attempts, invaded Sindh and Killed Raja Dahir. Dahir’s head was cut off from his body and sent to Hajjaj bin Yousuf.

Rather than accepting defeat, and embracing Arabic beliefs, Raja Dahir chose to fight until death.

Raja Dahir became the first martyr of Dharma! He believed History books would respect him as the protector of his land. But we abandoned him. People have forgotten the last Hindu King of Sindh. People have forgotten the first martyr of Dharma.

We failed him.

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