By Fazal Amin Beg
Whenever and wherever injustice prevails at individual, collective or societal level, violation of rights could be testified and evidenced in the respective cultural communities across the globe. Resultantly, forces of resistance could be seen at various fronts either to counter the prevailing situation or come in competition or collaboration on the subject matters. Somewhere, demonstration and protests could be observed and at other places revolts or revolutions may emerge. Such notions could be found prominent, at least, in the context of erstwhile Hunza State, which is today a very important and strategic district of Gilgit-Baltistan Region in the northern Pakistan.
This small contribution therefore offers to its readers a historic revolt of October 1940 against the then ruler Mir Ghazan Khan, when a significant number of Wakhi community comprised on 132 people from more than ten villages strongly protested in the court of the ruler at Gulmit (the winter capital of the former Hunza State). The demonstrators opposed the injustices in line with heavy taxes, forced laboring, exploitation of weak and women, and the like.
The revolt was planned initially by the leaders and elders of the four villages of Gulmit, Ghulkin, Sisuni and Passu to put up the genuine demands before the then ruler. In case, he didn’t accept their demands, they then decided to inform the British Political Agent in Gilgit and then leave their homeland and enter in China. Consequently, they planned to invite and bring the Bolshpits that is the Bolsheviks of the socialists in the former Hunza State. This was shared with me by one of the front leaders; late Muhammad Bati Khan son of Muhammad Adab Khan in July 2000 (20 years ago).
However, the activists and front fighters complained that the leaders and elders of Gulmit and Ghulkin were with them in the planning phase but during the implementation time, leaders of both the villages didn’t support them and proved themselves like the American policy makers by pushing people and leaders of other villages in the fighting arena.
The fighting started in the courtyard of the Mir, Ghazan Khan II, and after a great hustle bustle and fighting of the agitators with the security guards, the demonstrators turned it into a revolt movement under the leadership of late Arbob Adab Khan Son of Ali Parast son of Abdullah Khan son of Mir Shah Silum Khan. Here you could observe that the main leader of the revolt movement is one of the strong members of the ruling family of the Hunza State itself. It was Arbob Muhammad Adab Khan of Passu who along with his sons (Muhammad Bati Khan and Muhammad Sayyab Khan) championed to lead the revolt fearlessly with the great support of his closest friends, relatives, supporters and followers from different villages of upper Hunza mainly the Wakhi community members.
Late Muhammad Sayyab Khan son of Adab Khan (a literate person of his time, a deep planner, brave and strong gentleman) was arrested by the security forces in Gulmit and rest of the agitators moved towards the north from Gulmit. They gathered the people from Hussani onward up to Sost and reached Misgar valley (which borders with Afghanistan and China and is about at a distance of a hundred kilometers from Gulmit) and there was the telegraph office served by the British servants at the borderland. The leaders of the coup d’eta thus sent a telegraph to the British Political Agent in Gilgit, conveyed their genuine concerns and demands. They warned if their demands were not met, they would enter China as they had reached at the borderland.
A serious political crisis had emerged in Hunza and what could be done in such critical situation? The Mir, his Wazir and advisors were so concerned and they became proactive to engage their British lords in one way or the other. Otherwise, any worst scenario could be anticipated on the political landscape of the Hunza State.
The Political Agent of the British Government of India at Gilgit thus intervened and consoled the demonstrators to a greater extent as he himself was also so much concerned if the demonstrators entered China and in the aftermath they lead the socialist model of governance in the Hunza State, that’d be a shame and prove the inefficient rule of him in the region. The British representative/officer from Gilgit thus reached Gulmit (140 kilometers away) to mediate the conflict.
In brief, finally, the demonstrators return from Misgar valley down to Gulmit. The levied taxes were waved off to a significant level and the family benefits to Arbob Muhammad Adab Khan and his family was accepted.
I was fortunate and privileged to meet some of the front fighters of the revolt movement who were alive in 2000 that included Muhammad Bati Khan, Muhammad Hayat and Baimal Khan and got their interviews with me. Besides, I also interviewed late Abul Hassan Khan son of Muhammad Adab Khan and the eyewitnesses of the revolt movement from Passu who didn’t take part in the movement and they included late Spicher and Khalifa Tairan Ali of Passu.
Moreover, I also interviewed and discussed the subject matter at length with many elderly respondents from Gulmit, Ghulkin, Hussani and other villages, too. The series of discussions paved the wave for me to go more and more in depth in the revolt of October 1940.
It was thus in this connection again that I had interviewed late Rai Ghulamuddin Khan son of Muhammad Sayyab Khan on July 16, 2009 when his father was so deeply immersed and involved in the movement along with other fellows under the leadership of his grandfather Muhammad Adab Khan.
Rai Ghulamuddin Khan was a well-known, selfless and unmatched community leader of Hunza valley who served the mountain communities of the region as a dedicated volunteer for over 50 years in line with educational development, health, arbitration and reconciliation, cultural preservation and promotion, cross border trade and diplomacy with the neighboring China, rural development and the like.
Although, during the revolt time (natively termed as a revolution), Rai Ghulamuddin Khan was not yet born, he has spent a time of his childhood with his prideful paternal grandfather Muhammad Adab Khan. His late father Muhammad Sayyab Khan had passed away when he was very young but he was so closed to both of his paternal uncles (Muhammad Bati Khan and Abul Hassan Khan) and with the elders of different villages, more particularly supporters of his grandfather’s political mission.
Without taking more time, let me open here the interview in video form and the Wakhi transcription and English translation so to facilitate those who cannot understand Wakhi should get access to the historic event. Click on the following link to watch his impressive interview (July 16, 2009) that was published on the Eagles World Channel:
Interview of late Rai Ghulamuddin Khan on the landmark revolt led by his paternal grandfather, Muhammad Adab Khan, follows here as under.
FAB: Julayi-e dhas shadh torik woz bu hazor et naw.wudhgen drem, z̃hũ bechi ki kkum drem tey, z̃hũ bech Ghũlomuddin woz z̃hũ voch da’n qiti. Yaven yi chandi interview dũrzen, woz khususan z̃hũ beechen, kumdi ki yi ghafch ahm woz azim shakhsiyat wũrek̃hk mukhtalif hawola’er, mukhtalif tajarbayi yo’r. sak hacem en yi chandi qisa dũrzen, yem wakht-e nazokat be tayin caren k̃he. Saker awalgini mihrboni ki carit ey bech k̃he yem ki saker k̃hanit, k̃hũ khondon-e hawola’er saker z̃aq k̃hanit k̃he yan ca’n tra pũrũt c̃hawen, cẽ k̃hũ nung en k̃he…
FAB: It’s 16th of July, 2009. We are going to interview my maternal uncle Ghulamuddin as my aunty (Nikab Sultana), is also with him and they are here with us. More particularly, will discuss with my uncle, who is a great gentleman and has a great personality in different contexts. He has a diverse experience. We’ll therefore try to get some of his thoughts by keeping in view the sensitivity of the time (before us). First and foremost, if you would be kind enough to inform us about your family and then will move ahead, about your family by beginning with your name.
RGDK: Ghũlomuddini z̃hũ nung. Yemi z̃hũ nan-e pup-e nung. Baqi chũvetkem wuz Passu. Z̃hũ tat-e nungi Muhammad Sayob khon.Yowi Muhammad Odob Khon-e petr. Spo rishta’es̃h res̃ht dẽ Abdulloh Khon’nes̃h wost. To tat-e gna en. Nan-e genan en dẽ Gũlmit. Wuzem be wezg k̃he dẽ Gũlmitem setel (obod) vitk. Z̃hũ nan-e inheritenser (virsa’er) zimin gũtetu. To ska skẽ k̃hũ pup-e khunem wuz. Yaven yi dheg̃hd tu.
My name is Ghulamuddin and it’s the name of my mother’s grandfather. I was born in Passu and my father’s name is Muhammad Sayab Khan. my father was son of Arbob Muhammad Adob Khon. Our family line is connected with Abdullah Khan (son of Mir shah Silum Khan). my mother’s family is in Gulmit. The land and properties my mother got in inheritance as she was the only daughter (rather child) of her parents.
Yaven yi zharzh peter tu, Ghazan Khon-e peter Ayash Khon. Karnel Ayash Khone wapas woz ya zamin e, yow’ri yo k̃hetu z̃hũ pupe. Yow-e wopas z̃hũ naner ya dhet. Yowe tuy ne kert k̃he yani ya zamin e ce z̃hũ naner dhet. Yan yo ma’r hawola vite.
My maternal grandparents had a foster son named Ayash Khan son of Mir Ghazan Khan. although, my grandparents had given the lands and properties to their foster son Colonel Ayash Khan but he handed over the inherited lands and properties to my mother as he was not. Married. The properties were thus handed over to me (in heir).
Jamol Khon be ghafch chiz kert, k̃hati ki ye Ghũlomudini ceyi k̃hat dẽ maraka, ma’ri ya chiz-e rangi k̃hat Shoh Ghazanfar-e rang. Yow-e rang i ma’r khus̃hi k̃hat. Wuzem khũshi k̃hat ki z̃hũ vũrũt-e dhast ya zamin tu, sak’ri ya dhetu, magam yowi woz wopas en kert sake.k̃haten ki yow’ni yi peter tey, ya peterer ki wost. Yem tu spo khondon-e chiz (pas manzar). Z̃hũ nanen vũrũt ne tu, ya virken tu, ow-e vũrũt ghafch jald jahon yit, ya wuch vitu. Yow-e nung be Ghũlomuddin tu.
Mir Jamal Khan (last ruler of Hunza) while expressing his satisfactions among the court gathering in Gulmit said that he was too happy for the handing over of the properties and lands to my mother. He said that Ghulamuddin was like his elder son Shah Ghazanfar alli Khan to him. He said: “Col ayash Khan while sharing his ideas and thoughts with me regarding the lands and properties, I also supported his views that my sister (Shafa’at Begum) has a son and should heir the properties.” This was a background of my family. My mother had no brother. He had a brother, whose name was also Ghulamuddin but he passed away in his young age.
Baqi taten, tru vũrũtev yasht tu. Lup-e nung Muhammad Bati tu, Ashraf Khon-e tat. Ca’n z̃aq z̃hũ tat:ca’nem wuz peter yowi tem Mad Sakhi Kũtor’v-e khun, Muhammad Abbos-e khun.ca’n cebasi z̃hũ mulungej k̃hũ Bibi Husni, yowi Buduley’v-e khun, Zafar Tawalloh pup-e per-e dhasti.ca’ni woz Sajit-e dhasti yi dheg̃hdi, Koghaz Bigimi yow-e nung. Yashtev be Buduley, Gũlmit’nev yasht. Bu k̃hũyev dẽ Gũlmit, yi k̃hũyi ce yowi Passu.
My father had two brothers. The elder uncle was Muhammad Bati (father of Ashraf Khan. then follows my father, from whom I’m his only son. Sister Bibi Anjeer is his elder daughter, who is married in the family of Sakhi family of Passu and is wife of Muhammad Abbas. Then is sister Bibi Husni, who is married in the buduley family of Gulmit and is wife of Zafarullah Beg son of Attaullah Beg. Then my third sister, Kaghaz Begum is married in the family of Budul and is wife of Sajjid Khan. Two sisters are in Gulmit and one at Passu. [N.B.: the second brother of Muhammad Sayyab Khan was Abul Hassan Beg, popularly known as Shangũl, having four sons and two daughters].
FAB: Sav-e tat-e tat-e nung?yow be yi ahm shakhisyat wũrek̃hes̃h k̃hanen dẽ torikh.
FAB: What is the name of your father’s father? He is also said to have remained so prominent in history.
RGDK: Yow-e nungi Muhammad Adob Khon.
His name was Muhammad Adab Khan.
FAB: Yow-e hawola’er chiz qisa k̃hak-e zoq carit a?
FAB: Would you like to say something about him?
RGDK: Yow-e wakhtem wuz ghafch z̃aqlay tu. Yow-e tayin k̃haker ghafch charming personality (pur kashish shakhsiyat) tu. Tu bowar car ki wudhg batk en maz̃he yow-e shakhsiyat (personality) rang khalg kuy ne winetk.
During his time, I was so small. he was highly attractive man and had a charming personality. Believe me, so far, I haven’t seen anyone having personality of my paternal grandfather.
FAB: Yodet z̃aq tey a yo’r?
FAB: Do you rmember him a bit?
RGDK: Yodem ya’r. Wuzem da’n nemenjd be bet, z̃hũ k̃hũy’v-e tuy ce vite: z̃hũ lup k̃hũy en woz z̃hũ mulungej k̃hũyen dẽ yi ror vitu. Yanem da majlis nemenjde. Yas̃h ki da majlis nemenjde, ki gezdis̃h nimenj’ner, sanata’es̃h (jirjimes̃h) vite niya. Yi khos soz yowen tu, Abdulloh Khon-e soz’ves̃h k̃hat, hask’es̃h nemenjde.wuz yo’r yod tey.
I remember when I was a child and danced with him on the occasion of my sister’s wedding. The marriages of my elder and middle sisters took place on the same day. he then danced in the gathering. When my grandfather would begin dancing, the audience would keep a silence. He had a special music melody called as the music of Abdullah Khan and he would dance on this music.
Baqi, dẽ Miron’ven yow-e ta’luqot ghafch baf ne wũrek̃hk, chize ki Bapo Abdulloh Khonev shitu. Haca dẽstan, z̃hũ tat-e gnan’n dam en tumer taluqot ne tu. Wezde k̃he z̃hũ nan Ghazan Khon Mir-e peter-e zharzh k̃hũy tu, sletuyi z̃hũ nana (pup)-e yow k̃he, hacet waja’en wezde k̃he z̃aq ya rishta dam en vite.warna z̃hũ pup Adobe sakht qisam-e inqilob wũzmetu, 1941 z̃hũ khiyoler.
Moreover, my grandfather had relatively no good terms with the Mir’s family because my great, great grandfather Abdullah Khan was assassinated by them. For this reason, my father was also not in good term with them. At such a juncture of period, that my maternal grandparents had raised Colonel Ayash Khan, the youngest son of Mir Ghazan Khan. thus relatively a relationship was restored to an extent. Otherwise, my grandfather Muhammad Adab Khan had initiated for a strong revolution against the rulers and the system perhaps in 1941.
FAB: Well, it was in 1940. ..
RGDK: Mũmkin’ni ti s̃hik̃h 1941 hũmũyd, lekin da qoghazi 1941, ma’res̃h sũdhũyd. Maz̃h ta’r k̃hẽnetu ki Ashraf s̃hik̃h rec̃h, kum telegrami ki cem en ya political agente diyetk, Muhammad Adob’ri …
It’s possible with you it may be 1940 but in the documents it’s 1941, I think. I had told you to go to Ashraf and see the telegram that was sent to my paternal grandfather at that time.
FAB: Hmm, yow-e mutobiqi nek 1940.
FAB: Yes, according to those documents, it’s 1940.
RGDK: 1940 a? Bas yemep hũmũyd. To yow sakht yi inqilob tu.
Is it 940? Well, it could be correct then. It was a serious revolution.
FAB: hayowen chiz waja tu ey bech? Yow-e hawola’er ki k̃han.
FAB: Uncle, what were the reasons of that revolt if you could kindly inform us?
RGDK: Yowi z̃ereng ki awal yav-e az̃i k̃hat ki Virchik’v-e bartari me weres̃ht. Gojal-e khalgisht Gojal k̃hũ lupig̃h caren, akobirig̃h caren,lup wocen, ya tu.
there was a point/ reason that they (our leaders) were not in favor of Burushoes dominance and superiority on Gojal and the respective people. there has been a standpoint that the people from Gojal should have their sphere of influence on their own area.
Nane Jamshid Khone, Mir Jamol Khon-e mulungej vũrũt, tuy vite. Ta’nev (gojal en) tuychiyisht wezde. Yow-e tuy vitu da chiz en, Bapo Nafis-e dheg̃hd en. Yowi ki ret wezde k̃he Virchik vũrũtisht z̃ereng ki khalges̃h dominant caren niya. Yan yavev nazarandoz kert, ghafch mũtabarig̃h k̃hak. K̃hẽnakeryav-e k̃hat ki s̃honi e sak siletk, dheg̃hdki spocen, tem en (Gojal en). Tuy da Karimabod vite, to saker akobirig̃h chizer ney? Saker yan lupig̃h chizer ney? Lup in’omotisht saker chizer ney? Bas haska yi baneyev kert k̃he , damev pũzũv ya be ni yaver shak reg̃hde.
There was the marriage of uncle Prince Jamsheed Khan with daughter of Nafees Khan of khudabad, the brides’ party member, were more from the Burushoes. Our people said that the bridegroom was raised by our people from Gojal and likewise the bride was also from gojal, so why shouldn’t there be prominence and rewards to the people of Gojal? so, this might have been one of the factors for Burushoes being dominant upon the area and the people. In their heart, they might have felt it, too.
Da’n yav-e k̃hat ki skẽ saki ashar mẽ ashar ghafch. Center en yemishtes̃h wezin k̃he bapes̃h sak randen. Center en yemishtes̃h wezin ro yit-e wakhter. Dẽ Mir’neves̃h rost ki 15, 20, 30 akobirisht rost ki wezdives̃h k̃hat. Yav-e k̃hat ki to’ri tem chiz khatra? Tu weze, ba sar-e chashm. Hayemev tumer wũzũm k̃he tumer yemver yũwũven cẽ saken yund k̃he.hayem ney. To ya be yi waja tu.
They have then said that there were forced laboring and payment of taxes on them. Our people would justify that the taxes were paid hugely by the people of Gojal and the people in his entourage from Central Hunza appear during the time of consumption and seizure of the revenues. Along with the Mir, between 15, 20 and 30 persons would visit Gojal). they (leaders of Gojal) would argue with the Mir: “When you yourself come to our area, there is no objection at all but when you gather the crow of people officially with yourself how to feed them and it must not be so ahead.” This was also one of the reasons.
Z̃hũ Bapo ce reg̃hde ta, Bapo Ali Parast,yow tu Miron’ven, dẽ Karimabod chũvetu. Yow-e nan ce tu, yow tu common family en (om khondon). Lekin ya dret chũvetu k̃he ta ki reg̃hde k̃he yav-e aska jay ya nik̃hit k̃he haya wakht Miron’v-e k̃hat ki tu saker bap be rand, ashar be car. To ya wir tu. Yow didig̃hd ki nives̃h ki chiz k̃hanem ya’s̃h kũs̃hũyen ney,yowe k̃hat be bet.
My great grandfather Ali Parast Khan was from the family of the Mirs (son of Abdulah Khan (son of Mir Silum Khan III ) who was born at Baltit, was sent to settle at Pasu by the then Mir, as his (Ali Parast’s) mother was from a common family. He was given the land and properties of his maternal grandfather and was demanded by the Mir to pay the taxes to him and also carry out the forced laboring. My grandfather was alone in terms of his kinship and paternal family. He observed that his resistance was proving ineffective at that time, though he demanded on the subject matter.
Ce wakht ki ya petrisht niyes̃hte, tru peter mes̃h ya k̃hat, yowe k̃hat Ghazan Khoner ki z̃i me go, tu maz̃he mustasna car, wuzem family-e khalg. Family en ki chiz facilitiyisht tey, yav e ma’r rand. Jayi z̃hũ nan-e tat gẽnan en tey, likin yem tu me z̃ereng go. K̃hẽnaker, yow yan k̃hat ki yan tirmor, yan bahorer, yan tirmo’er. Ya merte k̃he Ghazan Khon skẽ takht niyeneyandi ya dra chiz vite.
When the three sons of him grew up, he (Muhammad Adob Khon) demanded from the Mir to exempt him from the taxes and forced laboring for being his family member. In addition, the Mir should confer upon him the facilities his family’s avail. He further said that the land and properties were available to him from his father’s mother’s family but the Mir should not do so as he had been imposing the taxes on him. The Mir, Nazim Khan, played tactics by saying that he would consider his submission in spring, in summer and in autum. In such manner of daily tactics, the years passed on and finally Nazim Khan died and his son Ghazan Khan ascended to the throne and during Ghazan Khan’s period, my grandfather along with his sons revolted against the Mir.
Yan ghafch z̃ereng awomilisht tu. Maslan,Gũlmit’ves̃h wezdinyes̃h k̃hanen k̃hũynanisht nũz̃dũn k̃haker. Nane Shoh Khon-e jayisht ce, Bodũr Khon-e jayisht ce, yemishtev Mir-e jayisht tu na. Hayet’v-e nũz̃hdũn k̃hak’rves̃h wezdiyes̃h k̃hanan (asharer).
There were also other factors too. It is being stated that in Gulmit, for instance, the lands today belonging to Shah Khan and Bahadur Khan, women from the surrounding villages from Passu, Hussaini, Ghulkin, Gulmit and S̃his̃hkat, would do forced laboring by weeding the farmlands of the Mir as today you could see those lands in ownership of uncle Shah Khan and Bahadur Khan.
FAB: Kuy k̃hũynanisht ey bech?
FAB: Who were those women, uncle?
RGDK: Passu-e k̃hũynanisht,Sisuni en, Ghulkin en, Gũlmit en. Yemi z̃ũlm. K̃hẽnaker yav-e ne kẽs̃hen.
The women from Passu, Hussani, Ghulkin and Gulmit. When the appeal was submitted to the Mir that It was injustice, the appeal was not heard.
Niv Passu et Gũlmit et Ghulkin et Sisuniye fesla kert ki sak hadem hũkũmat ne halen. Sak yemer warning randen, yem saker ri’oyat cart yowe yan yo ne man (qabũl) kert. Ta’ev Mir-e khalgisht wezde, Mir-e Salomer, ghafch chizishtev vitk. Yemi z̃ereng yi tanta, bu tanta’er woc’n-e chiz nast rost qisa. Yow wezde dra Gũlmit k̃hẽnaker , Gũlmitikisht woz far g̃hirde.
Now, the leaders of Passu, Gulmit, Ghulkin and Hussani decided to warn the Mir that the people of the area would not live under his rule until he comes up with concession for them. But the Mir didn’t accept their demands. The leaders of Gojal have thus come to pay their respects to the mir. Well, honestly speaking, it’s not a discussion of a couple of hours only. When the Mir reached Gulmit, the elders of Gulmit changed their minds.
FAB: Acha, dẽ misev dam’v en qiti tu…, Ghulkinisht bet?
FAB: Alright,earlier they were with the revolutionaries … also the elders of Ghulkin?
RGDK: Yan, Gũlmitikisht, Ghulkinisht be dam’v en qiti tu.Sisunikisht be ada far g̃hirde k̃he yanev cet en reg̃hde.
RGDK Yes, of Gulmit and the elders of Ghulkin were also with them in not joining the revolt. The people of Sisuni also changed their mind and they left from there.
Z̃hũ tatev da maraka giriftor kert.z̃hũ pup-e ce di ya barmari s̃hiket k̃he, yashtev ghafch zurowar dhayisht tu, ghafch zurowar.
My father was arrested while my grandfather grounded the gate and left the venue of the courtyard (kũcha).they were so powerful people, so powerful.
Z̃hũ lup beches̃h qisa kert. Ra past shawaran en wezdi k̃hat ki z̃hũ tati nast. “Saker malũm ne viti k̃hat da halaghual en. Badigard (bodyguard) trẽ cẽbas. Gũlmit-e z̃aq khalgishtes̃h k̃hanen ki ye z̃i me wocit. K̃hẽnaker et di drũm dra’er chiz gok̃hites̃h k̃hand, badigard’ven chukt k̃he s haret n wezde k̃he kumd z̃i k̃hat ki ney Siyob Khoner ki yow ne wezg. Yowev ta wũdretk. K̃hẽnaker et z̃hũ pupe ya yash pishowed,. Pẽshowd k̃he yasht kũ pisheti. k̃hat.
My elder uncle (late Muhammad Bati Khan) would share the story with me and narrated that When they reached at the Past Shawaran (lower polo ground of Gulmit), someone noticed that my father (Muhammad Sayab Khan) was not with them and there was a chaotic situation as the security guards of the Mir were following to arrest us, while on the other, some people from Gulmit would try to counsel /motivate us not to be stubborn. We would beat the security guards severely even taking out the plants from the nearby fields. Someone noticed among our group that sayab Khan was not with us, my grandfather returned and directed his horse towards the courtyard again and all the his supporters followed him.”
Det Izat-e khun s̃hik̃hen wezdi et maz̃he z̃i k̃hat ki: “Ye tat, niven cam’ve dhasst en niyes̃hk. Dũboral en ki reg̃hde, z̃hũ vũrũt to band vite, sakep woz cumer khalgev band caren? Niv qarib ne wocen. Yowe z̃i yash pishowdi k̃hat, cereng pẽ gap vite, ki ney z̃i sar bẽ zoy tu’s̃h k̃hand.”
When we reached near the house of Izat (opposite Marco Polo Inn today), I suggested my father by saying Father! Now we are out of the reach of their arrest and if we did go again to the court area, many of us will be arrested, although they have arrested my brother Sayab Khan. we must not therefore go near them. Unusually, he heard me, changed his mind and directed towards the way forward.”
Z̃iyi k̃hates̃h k̃hand ki lecere ey, ya wakht Shambar gha mshũr tu’s̃h k̃hand da iloqa, “Shambari z̃hũ peter, yowes̃h kuy cereng gok̃ht? Yow ki jeler be reg̃hde, drayi be ya mast dhay, yow tra bar be ki niyes̃hte, kuyes̃h yow cereng gok̃ht?ghazan Khones̃h cereng gok̃ht? K̃he yan pisheti k̃hat.yanev reg̃hde z̃ereng diyor diyorev, regk̃hkev ta.” A
He (Muhammad Adob Khon) said to the people (his followers) that my son is like Schomberg(who was well-known for his physically strong stature in the area). He said: “My son is like the Schomberg and no one could harm him. Even if he is in the jail, he will remain drunk /inebriated. Even what could Ghazan Khan do to him?”
Ta Kheybar en ta’ev yav kũ nik̃hitk, kuy ki ne kimtetk, yavev chuketk, wũs̃hũkev yav dhetk, rek̃hk ta Qalandarchi. Qalandarchi’nev teligram diyetk ki dẽ sak en z̃ereng z̃̃ũlm-e sistemi, lihozao, sakes̃h yem mũlk-e leceren k̃he rec̃h’nes̃h.
From Khyber onward, they have asked the people to join the revolutionaries and when the men did not follow them, they have been scolded and beaten. When they have reached Misgar, from the telephone office, they have sent message of telegram that the Mir and his cronies have made injustice with them and suppressed their voices against their genuine rights and demands. Therefore, they were leaving out their homeland. These have been mentioned in the telegram).
FAB: Kuy’rev ko teligram diyek?
FAB: Who they have sent the telegram?
RGDK: Politikal Ajenter na (to Political Agent) dẽ Gilt. K̃hẽnak’ret cet’nev teligram diyetk et haya kopi (copy) niv da spo khun tey. Yowes̃h k̃hand ki ney damvenep insof wost,k̃hatep wezin.
To the Political Agent in Gilgit. They have sent the telegraph from there A copy of that is available with us in our home. the Political Agent has written that their genuine demands would be accepted.
FAB: Ha, Arbob Adob Khon, Mir famili et z̃erengi da tey.
FAB: Yeah, there has been mentioned Arbob Adob Khon, the Mir family, and the like.
RGDK: Sayisht z̃ereng goyit ki yaver yem kopi be randit, samjaya be carit (ram’v-e pũzũv be kat̃it) ki yasht me rec̃hen.
You do one thing (the Political agent has directed) the Telegraph office bearers to provide the copy of the message to the demonstrators and also make them understand that they should not leave the country.
FAB: Yashtev hata ce rek̃hk, kum’rev tak̃hk tiwetk?
FAB: Where did they wanted to go (out of the country)?
RGDK: Yashtev China tak̃hk tiwetk niya. China’v ska z̃in tak̃hk tiwetk niya. Ska Misgares̃h rec̃hen k̃he Mingtaka z̃in. Yavev yan ca’n pishwetk.
They wanted to go to China from there, as the route to enter China was through the Mintaka Pass in misgar valley. They have been returned from there.
FAB: Taqriban cumer wakht batk’nev ta wũrek̃hk? Kẽs̃heng qisa?
FAB: What have you heard that for how long they remained there (in Misgar)?
RGDK: Z̃hũ khiyoler dhasshadh rorev wũrek̃hk a.
I think they have spent 16 days there.
FAB: Dhasshadh ror?
FAB: Is it 16 days?
RGDK: Mukhtalif diyor’vev reg̃hk . da Misgarev rẽkh et Chipũrsanev rẽmetk. Chipũrsanen yashtev z̃hũ tat-e kazan (cousin).dra gha pawarful powerful dhay, Arbob Muhammad Aziz. Yowi yem Sisuni en Ali Gohar yav-e bech. Yave tra’n khalgev dez̃hg k̃he wezg. Yanev haz̃ereng vitk wozev rek̃hk ta. Yisarishtes̃h k̃hanen ki Mir Jamaol kHoni rek̃hk k̃he yavi pishũwetk.pishũwetk k̃he wũzmetk yanev woz kampromayzev (compromise) k̃hetk. Yem qisayishtev niv ..
They have gone to different villages (while starting from Gulmit) and have reached Misgar. When they were in Misgar,they have sent message to Chipursan valley as there were my father’s first cousins such as Arbob Muhammad Aziz who was a powerful man. He was uncle of Ali Gohar of Sisuni (Hussani). they have also reached Misgar and have gone back after discussion together. Some people say that Mir Muhammad Jamal Khan had gone to Misgar and have motivated the demonstrators to return. There has thus come up a compromise.These discussions ar now ….
FAB: Yan, bech Mamad Yot (Muhammad Hayot) be yem qisa kumd ki k̃hetk, da’es̃h be yem k̃hand ki pup Siyober ki yow ghafch z̃hũ garm khalg tuwes̃h k̃hand. Yowi dra yi qisa tey. Okhir bor yem tra yand nik̃hind k̃he yan trẽ jẽdha topik (topic) rec̃chen.Okhir ceyev wezg da Mir-e maraka, yav-e kum mutolibayisht (demandisht) ki tu, yashtev qabũl vitka?
FAB: Yes, uncle Muhammad Hayat also talks of it that he was closed to Muhammad Sayab Khan and how the situation was tackled at that time. Okay, let’s end this theme here and talk about the demands of the demonstrators if their demands were met after returning from Misgar?
RGDK: Yan, vitkev. Asal, yashtev wezg dẽ Khaybar, dra’er carem nẽ kẽmtetk. Ca’nev wezg dẽ Passu. Dẽ Passu’ev yan cum ror haletk, neyev kẽmtetk.haret en yan Nane Shaboz, Mir, yem Gũlmit-e akobironisht, yemishtev rek̃hk buytru loy k̃he yowev wũzmetk.
Yes, the demands of them have been met. When they have reached Khyber, they tactically didn’t move down towards Gulmit. Again, when they reached Passu, they didn’t go to Gulmit as part of their strategies. From Gulmit, reportedly Mir Jamal Khan (the crown prince), Shahbaz Khan and the elderly people have gone to Passu twice or thrice and convinced him to meet the Mir. My grandfather was thus influenced to be there.
Nag̃hdi, politikal ajent (political agent) tiwetk niya, hayow-e chizi rek̃hk, nokar, Virchik. Yowe k̃hẽnetk, yi chiz nung’ves̃h k̃hat ey, rũms̃hetkem, yowi rek̃hk nag̃hdi k̃he k̃hẽnetki ki : “Safes̃h z̃i k̃hand ki (AP ta rek̃hk tiwetk), yower z̃i k̃han ki, ya Shahzoda’er ki, ya rem me wizit. Wuz da Passu wezim k̃he insof be carem, yiloy yem Mir-e khilof dra yow-e favar (favor)carem.yetisht wo wezdis̃h k̃hand k̃he majbũrev gok̃ht. Gha majbũrev sak gok̃ht k̃he yanen wezdi’s̃h k̃hand.
At night, the Assistant Political Agent (AP) of Gilgit (who had reached Gulmit) has sent one of his Burusho officials (his name I’ve forgotten) towards my grandfather in Passu with the message that Muhammad Adab Khan should resist to go towards Gulmit (as the Mir was insistent in that respect) rather stay in his village. The AP will go himself to Passu and make justice regarding their demands and also favor Muhammad Adab Khan for his stances. But the Mir’s representatives have forced him to meet the Mir in Gulmit and my grandfather along with other people have thus reached Gulmit and met the Mir.
Dem shawaranen wezdi’s̃h k̃hand k̃he ya dhay tem Nane Shoh Khon-e bangola nast a, hacan niyes̃htis̃h k̃he cemtra reg̃hdi’s̃h k̃hand. Ya sak windes̃h k̃hand k̃he yan k̃hũ ruymuyi botes̃h k̃hand k̃he ca’n reg̃hdi’s̃h k̃hand.
When we (the revolutionary demonstrators) entered in the Gulmit polo ground, my uncle said, the AP came out of the bungalow of Shah Khan and his face showed discontentment that my grandfather did not complied with the message the AP had sent to him.
Dra’ev chireng da maraka k̃he yan z̃hũ pup Odobe k̃hẽnetk ki” Ye Ghazan Khon, yem yũrtem dez̃hd reg̃hdim ta. Tu’t yũrt ki k̃hater k̃haker tey a, ta’r hawola. Nastet a, pig̃ha’rep woz z̃ereng gok̃hen. Yanev z̃ereng bapmapisht …
When they have reached in the courtyard and Ghazan Khan was sitting there. My grandfather has said to him: “I took the public to Misgar and brought them back. If you like to retain the public for yourself, they are to you. If you do not respect the public, you’ll face such consequences again led by someone else.
fAB: Ya taxisht yan kam vitk a?
FAB: well, did the taxes were then reduced?
RGDK: Kofi kamev vitk, asharisht kam vitk.
Yes, to a considerable extent the taxes were reduced. The forced laboring also got decreased to a significant level.
AN: Hada dawroni dem Gũlmit kuy chiz tiwetk, akobirisht kuy tiwetk? Arbob et z̃ereng tayp (type) khalgisht?
AN: At that time, who were the elders and chief of Gulmit?
RGDK: Arbobi z̃hũ khiyoler bech La’l Big tiwetk a?
The Arbob (chief) was uncle La’l Baig, I think.
FAB: Pup La’l Big tiwetk a ney pup Gohar Hayot tiwetk? (
FAB: Was he grandpa La’l Beg or grandpa Gohar Hayat?
RGDK: Ney, yow ghal ne vitk tiwetk. Haz̃erengeves̃h chiz gok̃ht’ves̃h k̃hanen. Yi Gũlmit-e khalgisht tu ki da’ev hisa ne dez̃hg,Ghulkin’nev ne dez̃hg. Ghulkin en balki bech Himoyat Shoh rek̃hk hatra yem pup nishot yaven yi bech tiwetk, yower arbobig̃hi k̃hẽnetk Mir ya rẽmetk niya. Bech Spicher yav’ri libigig̃h dhetk, k̃hẽnetki sayisht dem’ en me wocit, khalgev trẽ k̃hat gok̃hit. Yav khalgev ne gũtek,k̃hatev neken vite.
No, my maternal grandfather Gohar Hayot was not appointed then the Chief at that time. The peoples from Gulmit and Ghulkin thus finally did not take part in the revolution. Uncle Himayat Shah of Ghulkin, sent by the Mir to Passu, have discussed with the Mahmud Kũtor, specifically to an uncle of Nishad and conferring him the position of Arbobig̃h (headman) while spicher was granted the position of levy for the purpose of breaking the unity of thee village community. He has thus directed these relatives that they should not take part in the revolutionary march towards China.
AN: Yet pup Nawruz yashtev yandi chiz ne tu a, akobir et Arbob et az̃ereng tayp en?
AN: Was grandpa Nawruz not on such type of social position as a notable or village chief?
RGDK: Ney ey, Nawruz coghdi .. , ghũlchin tu, ghafch cẽbas en vite. Pup Gũrgmol tu z̃hũ yoddorig̃her, yow be ma’r malũm nast ki ya wakhti yow ghũlchin tiwetk a ney.
No, Nawruz has never been on such positions. He was a ghũlchin, supervisor of the Mir’s granary store. Grandpa Gurgmol was the Gũlchin as I remember.
FAB: Ghũlchin chiz viti ye bech?
FAB: What does it mean by Ghulchin, uncle?
RGDK: Samjho yem faynans offissser (finance officer. Bapmap, zhawmaw jama k̃hak,kala’ev jama k̃hak…
Well, you could say he was like a finance officer. Ghũlchins task was to store taxes, grains and the like.
FAB: Acha, yem Maram chiz vite?
FAB: Okay, then what’s Maram? What was his task?
RGDK: Maram vite yani khos khalg. Yowi gher mahram a ney maram. K̃hũ dur-e qisa’es̃h ce yaver caren. Yow maram vite niya.
Maram was the closed person of the Mir with whom intimate discussions were made and he’d keep the secrecies.
FAB: Matlab, yow-e yarkes̃h chiz vite? TOR yem wakhtes̃h ce k̃hanen? Ya’ni Terms of Reference.
FAB: Well, what was his specific task as these days we use a term TOR (Terms of Reference)?
RGDK: Ney, yet woz z̃reng ki kuy’ri ki chiz taklif tey, kuy’ni ki chiz zũlm vitk. Yowes̃h woz reg̃hde k̃he k̃hates̃h ki ney sayisht Mirer yem k̃hanit, bũyat’rem wezg. (Asali z̃ereng ki wuzem ghafch taka vitk (was̃hk). Niyũdhes̃h be ne wost.)
Well, he would communicate the requests between the Mir and people visiting him. For instance, if someone faced any issue or injustice, he or she would go to the ruler and ask the Mahram to convey the appeal to the ruler. (Well, I’m actually exhausted now.)
FAB: Acha, bas borni.ti wakht ne dũrzen. Cẽbas en yan borni chiz go’n. Yem yi ahm topik tu, yowev kaver (cover) kert. Okhirer bor yem ki k̃hanit ki hata’nev ki wezde k̃he ti tatev yandi ta’n nik̃hitu a? Qaydev yow ce k̃hetu? Ney cereng vitu?
FAB: Okay, let’s then close it here. This was an important topic and you covered it. Finally, if you would kindly tell us that when the demonstrating revolutionaries returned from Misgar, was it then your father was released after imprisonment?
RGDK: Ney, ta’n wẽzayn en trẽ mis. Az̃i yower k̃hẽnetk ki dhir me rec̃h. Tẽ z̃hũ pup khun, dr’er woz z̃hũ bech Puyi yow-e khiserz na, hadar’er woz tra z̃hũ pup-e khuni (wezg.az̃i’v ya’r k̃henetk ki ta ta me rec̃h.
No, my late father (Muhammad Sayab Khan) was freed before the return of the demonstrators. He was asked not to go far away. His mobility was restricted not to move towards the north (Passu or towards Misgar).
FAB: Ska digar topikev dez̃hg, yem yi topik tu ki yem ahm chiz tu, save ska qisa kert. Okhirer payghomep rẽdhor zoq carit, mazid tow taklif ne randem.chiz payghomep rẽdor zoq carit, kuy be ki yem kẽs̃hen spo khalgeve.
FAB: Although, you have already talked about other topics and we would not like to bother you further. At the end, what messages would you like to give to those who will listen you (this video)?
RGDK: Kuy ki yem kes̃hen, yaver chiz k̃hanem. Kuy ki hadem hisa dez̃hg a, ya khalgisht taqriban merte ki wuz k̃hanem ki hacam’v en yem kanfarm (confirm) carit. Woz kuy maperisht ki tey.
My message to those who listen my voice are so that those who took part in the revolution have almost passed away, for which I should emphasize to confirm these stories from them. They are not alive to be asked and confirmed.
Chizi be ki tey taraqi, yow-e bũnyodhi ilm.sadakki baf, skulisht baf, digar chizisht . magam bũnoyodhi chizi ce ilmi. Ilmi rushani. Tem khunes̃h liman e ce winen, rushani-e waja’nes̃h winen niya. Ilmer zur caren. Mehnat caren. Siyosat be dishen, wakolat be dishen, digar yark’vep be dishen.koruborev be dishen. Lekin ilm-e k̃hũ zẽman’v-e yek̃hk caren.yow-e dẽstanes̃h yi jazba mes̃ en k̃hũ zẽman’v-e joyũvn wost. Z̃i skulem yow remet k̃hẽnakney. Fisem dhetk k̃hẽnaki kofi nast.
Whatsoever progress there may be, the foundation for it is knowledge. Therefore, the youth should move towards seeking knowledge particularly towards quality education and earn names in their respective fields. Knowledge is light. Today, if we see each other in this house, it’s because of the light. Our people should struggle towards learning knowledge. They should work hard. They would thus learn the politics. They would also learn advocacy. They would know doing other work. They would know business. but it’s important they must provide education to their children. For that purpose, it’s important to educate their children with an enthusiasm. It shouldn’t be so that we have sent the to the school. It’s not sufficient to maintain that I’ve paid the fees of my children.
Ghafch jazba mes̃h en,yav-e kirdor e develop k̃haki ghafch zarũri. Bagher kirdor en ilmi baf nast. Yezwudhgi z̃eng spo vũrũtisht ki peysa be yav dhast ghafch. Baf skul’res̃h be remin. Lekin ta k̃hũ khun ki yav kum tarbiyat ki tey k̃hẽnaker,yowi nast.maslan, ta’lim u tarbiyat. Az̃i ney niya ro ta’lim.yoy tarbiyat.da ta’lim’ni tarbiyat gha zarũri. Haya tarbiyates̃h tatnan cart. Haya tarbiyates̃h da ma’shira wost. Hayowi ghafch zarũri. Baqi agar ki ya tarbiyat ne vit k̃hẽnaker, yan kholi ta’lim k̃hanen, sayisht k̃hat tayin carit ki chizes̃h ya’r k̃hanen, sarkash sokht khalgishtes̃h paydo wocen.
With a true spirit, it’s imperative to develop their character. Without action, knowledge is not productive. Nowadays, we observe our people that they have ample money with them. They send their children to good schools as well but the training they provide to them in their house, it’s discouraging. For instance, education and training. It’s not so to say only education but also training. Along with education, training is so much important that training is provided by the parents. That training the children get from the society. It’s very important. Otherwise, the rebellious type of people emerges.
FAB: Hm, Mawlono Rumen yi misol ce tu ki: Iilm-e bi-amal, zambur-e bi-assal.
FAB: True, as Mawlana Rumi as said: Knowledge without action is like a bee without honey.”
RGDK: Hmm, hayowi.
Hmm, it’s so.
My sincere gratitude to my late maternal uncle Rai Ghulamuddin Khan for sparing little time for this important interview despite the fact he was in a constant ailement for many years due to failrue of both of his kidneys, sugar and hapatitis. He survived for many years minaly due to his strongest will power and then, of course, dialysis on machine.
I’m thankful to Afiyat nazar for facilitating me with regard to the videography of the interview and also am indebted to my nephew Mazdak Jibran Beg for the painful task of subtitling the English translation within the video.