Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bettani Afghans in medieval India

Initially Bhittanis were settled on the western side of the Suleiman mountains. During the reign of Sikandar Lodi the tribe , en-mass, moved through Gomal pass to their present location, east of the Suleiman mountains. Most of the families went over to Hind and joined the Pashtun rulers and 'jagirdars' armies. The clans that remained in Gomal valley gradually increased their influence in the area and reached the outskirts of Kaniguram. However, in a fierce battle , the Wazirs/Mahsuds pushed them back and as a consequence some more families moved out and joined their kinsmen in Hind.

Following are the some of the notable Bettanis ;


Haji Khan Bettani

Haji Khan Bettani played an important role in the Afghan-Mughal conflict. He was one of those generals whom Sher Shah Suri had deployed along with Prince Jalal Khan at the defile of Garhi against the Mughals so that he could get time to transfer the wealth of Bengal to the fort of Rohtas.

After the battle of Chausa, Sher Shah had sent Haji Khan Bettani along with Jalal bin Jalu on the Bengal expedition. They, by defeating the Mughal governor Jahangir Quli Khan who held the Bengal with 6,000 cavalry , re-established Sher Shah's rule in Bengal.

Sher Shah before leaving Delhi for Lahore in persuit of Humayun, had entrusted the administration of Mewat to Haji Khan Bettani.


Fateh Khan Bettani

He was one of the governor of  Bengal during the reign of Islam Shah. He was killed by Taj Khan Karrani and Imad Khan Karrani during the reign of Adil Shah.


Hasan Khan Bettani 

He was a commander in Emperor Akbar's army and was killed in the Karakar pass in Buner in 1585 AD while fighting the Yousafzais.



Ibrahim Khan Bettani

He was among the elite of Emperor Jahangir's court and did excellent work in supplying the deficiencies noticed in the copies of Maghza-i-Afghani' from the original of Naimatullah harvi and other histories.


 



Shaikh Kabir Bettani

He wrote "Afsana-i-Shahan" in the beginning of the the reign of  Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Kabir Bettani's grandfather, Shaikh Ali, was in the service of Sher Shah Suri.



Books consulted

1-  Tuhfa-i-Akbar Shahi or Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi 

2- Makhzan-i-Afghani

3- History of the Pathans: The Ghurghushti, Beitani and Matti tribes of Pathans by Haroon Rashid

4- Afghan nobility and the Mughals 

5- Critique on Afsana-i-Shahan (article)