Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Barech Nawabs of Jhajjar

The Jhajjar Nawab's family belonged to Baraich Afghans, a tribe whose original location was in the neighborhood of Pishin and Kandahar , but who gradually made or found a way into the Yusufzai country. Mustafa Khan, the grandfather of the first Nawab of the Jhajjar house, came to India in Muhammad Shah's reign and took service with Alivardi Khan, Governor of Bengal. By various exploits there he gained the title of Nawab, but on being refused the governorship of Bihar, he left his old chief , returning to North India, was presently killed fighting at Azimabad. His son , Murtaza Khan, succeeded to the command of the troop, and entered the employ of Safdar Jang, subadar of Awadh, and his Shuja-ud-Daula; afterwards he left Asif-ud-Daula for the service of Najaf Khan, the commander-in-chief of Mughal Army, and was slain fighting against Jeypur.

Nihabat Ali Khan was the next leader of these free lances, in the place of his father, and performed various brilliant services, in return for which the title of Nawab was confirmed to him by Emperor Shah Alam. He is described as having been a fine soldier, and a cool-headed, far-seeing man. When the war between British and Marathas had become inevitable, he chose the former side.The old chief continued to live in Delhi where he had resided for some 30 years , and left the management of his new estate to his son Faiz Muhammad Khan. He died in 1824 and was buried at Mahrauli in the shade of the tomb of the holy saint Kutbudin Sahib Awlia, where the graves of all the families are. His son was enlightened and Kindly ruler. It was he who constructed most of the buildings at Jhajjar (including the Palace), who introduced and encouraged manufacture of salt , who re-settled many of the deserted villages in his territories , and who constructed the badli band. Poets and learned men gathered at his court , and during his rule of 22 years he showed himself an able chief, worthy of his ancestors. He died in 1835.

With this chief the palmier days of Jhajjar rule  passed away. His son and successor Nawab Faiz Ali Khan , was somewhat a narrow-minded ruler, and a harsh revenue collector. His rule was shortest of all, extending to ten years only; and in 1845 the last Nawab , Abdur Rehman Khan succeeded. There was some trouble with his kinsmen, who disputed his legitimacy at the time of his accession , and when this was over , the Nawab gave himself up for a time to gross debauchery, from the effects of which he never recovered. He was naturally possessed of both taste and ability and it was he who built the beautiful palace in Jehanara garden, and the residence and tank at chhuchhakwas. In 1857 the Collectors of Rohtak requested the Nawab for military help to crush the revolutionists. On the other hand Emperor Bahadur Shah also wanted the Nawab to participate in the revolution Nawab declined the request of the collector and supported the revolutionists and sent his military in their support. The collector of Rohtak was compelled to run away on foot because of the revolt of the Indians in British army. The English captured the Delhi again. The Nawab had to surrender before Colonel Lawrence on 18th October 1857 in Chuchhakwas. He was trailed before the Military commission where he was sentenced  to death on14th Dec.1857. He was hanged to death on 23rd Dec.1857 in front of Red Fort in Delhi.

Source: Gazetteer of the Rohtak District, 1883-84, page-23-24

 Nawab Muhammad Abdul Rahman Khan of Jhajjar, on horseback during a tiger hunt, ca 1820.
This Company painting is by Ghulam Ali Khan, who was working in Delhi around 1820 and was the brother of another Company artist, Faiz Ali Khan. The painting depicts a tiger hunt at Jhajjar, Rohtak District, Panjab. Nearly all of the figures and some of the elephants are inscribed with their names in small Persian characters. In the centre of the hunt can be seen Nawab Muhammad Abdul Rahman Khan on horseback spearing a tiger, and on the horizon is a line of elephants carrying dead tigers and a deer. The nawab was a landlord in Rohtak District who owned Jhajjar, Badli and Karaund. He rebelled during the so-called 'Indian Mutiny' (also known as the First War of Indian Independence) and was executed by the British in Delhi on 23 December, 1857.

 Ghulam Ali Khan (active 1817–55) Nawab Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Khan of Jhajjar with his court and an East India Company political officer in the cool weather, 1852.