History of Treachery in India
Tryst with treachery in India is rather ancient. However at first, I will refer to two namely Jaichand and Mir Jafar. Have you ever met any person in India with identical name? No and never. Their treacherous conduct is too well known. However one name is not so notorious. He is Gulab Singh. People do name Gulab but reason is that his treachery is not too well known.
Jaichand is also spelled as Jai Chandra and has a wiki page devoted to him here. According to this page the betrayal of Jaichand is fictional. As if history is not fictional. As per another wiki page, Jaichand was king of Kannouj and there was no Prithviraj Chouhan.
As regards Mir Jafar, it is too recent to falsify. He is a character which is also part of French History. Mir Jafar, was the commander in the army of Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah. He betrayed Siraj ud-Daulah to become the next Nawab. Thus after helping the British defeat Siraj ud-Daulah he became the new Nawab of Bengal in 1757 with military support from the British East India Company as a reward for his betrayal. Wiki page on Mir Jafar affirms this.Gulab Singh was son of Kishore Singh. The latter was Governor of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Sikh empire under the Rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Gulab Singh after succeeding Kishore Singh betrayed Ranjit Singh and in the War between British and Sikh after the death of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1839. Gulab Singh refused to send the armies to help Sikh empire and after the fall of Sikh empire was rewarded with title of Maharaja of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh for which he paid Rupees 75Lacs (??) and a sale deed was executed in his favour. Surprisingly the wiki pages do not mention about this treachery either. The list is end less.
Jaliawala Bagh Massacre
The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April, 1919 when a crowd of non-violent protesters, along with Baishakhi pilgrims, who had gathered in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab, were fired upon by troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer. At that time the Governor of Punjab was also General Michael O’Dwyer. Similar names.
One is Mr. Thapar who as head of Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) offerred a Siropa to General Dwyer, the Governor of Pubjab. Grand son of Mr. Thapar in 2002 apologised about it as under:
“shiromani akali dal (amritsar) chief simranjit singh mann has sought an apology from the panth for the presenting of a siropa to general michael o dwyer by his maternal grandfather and the then jathedar of akal takht, giani aroor singh. the general was responsible for the jallianwala bagh massacre of april 13, 1919. mann was speaking during the budget session of sgpc, held here on saturday. terming the presenting of siropa to dwyer as a ‘panthic mistake’, mann said” his act of seeking apology would give peace to his nana’s soul. “
Above apology was published in Times of India. above text is linked to the relevant page. Dr. Sangat Singh in “The Sikhs in History states as under:
Shortly afterwards, the situation in the Punjab exploded because of the agitation against Rowlatt Bills, and the call for Satyagraha by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It led to perpetrationof the Jallianwala Bagh massacre on Baisakhi, April 13, 1919, when troops under Gen. Dyer opened fire killing 379 and wounding over 2,000 unarmed persons. Then followed brutal repression. The wind of change did not affect the Chief Khalsa Diwan and the traditional Sikh leaders. Arur Singh,Sarbrah, and the head priests of the Golden Temple, Amritsar, not only conferred saropa (robe of honour) on General Dyer but also initiated him and Capt. Briggs into the brotherhood of the Khalsa, investing them with the five k’s, the sacred emblem of brotherhood by letting them off from keepingkeshas, long hair, and giving up smoking. This was outrageous.
Above does not refer to Mr. K.S. Thaper who was President of the Managing Committee, but he too was there. One more question: Was this Mr. Thaper? Was this Mr. Thaper an ancestor of historian Romilla Thaper and her cousin Karan Thapar, the journalist? Was this Mr. K.S. Thaper was also related the General Thaper who was Chief of Indian Army in 1962 war with China and which India lost?
In past few days I have come across few cases which have treachery written all over it. All over properties. Deception is part of treachery. This reminded me of the novel of Mario Pujo called “Sicilian“. The novel presumes that treachery so deep so as to become “Double Cross” was born in Sicily, a city of Italy. I am not too sure.
The way people in India, especially rich or middle class play deception to appropriate what is not their own, is amazing. May be we should acknowledge this malaise publicly. It should also serve us as reminder to be careful of Mir Jafars amongst ourselves and deal with them sternly. Meanwhile “Trust is Ok but first lets try.”