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    1. HISTORY
    8. BIBLOGRAPHY ON MOHYALS - Martial Saraswat Brahmins
    9. A Synopsis of Mohyal History

    1. History

    The origin of the Mohyals is misted over by the clouds of time.

    The jingoist Mohyals trace their roots to the hoary era prior to the epochs of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Their minds are charged with a never-dying euphoria about a Ranoramic past when their great ancestors used to prostrate before the rising sun because they knew that all life beamed out of the sun. Being of the pre-vedic origin, the ancient Mohyals paid homage to their spiritual leaders like Parashurama, the son of Jamdagni. They conceived God as per the rishi-gyan which stressed that the world cannot exist separate from God. Their basic religion was the belief in the laws of morality as enunciated by the sages Vyasa and Vasishtha. They also believed that man was a part of the cosmic rhythm and a transient guest on this planet.

    The Mohyals claim that they are the progenies of the great raj-rishis who were distinctly different from the class of the brahm-rishis because besides being the high priests of spiritualism, they also wielded temporal powers. In fact, Parashurania was the first brahmin in the history to wear arms and to conquer territories. Dronacharya and Ashvathama were both generals of the army.
    There are other postulations about the origin of the Mohyals. Some history buffs have averred that they are the relics of the original Aryan stock. The earliest contacts between the Indians and the Sumerians - the Aryan rulers of Mesopotamia - go back to 3500-3000 BC, i.e. the halcyon days of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
    According to commonly held views, the Aryans originated from the Ural-Caspian basin. Enroute, they settled down in North Afghanistan, around Bactria (present name, Balkh). Bactria was a capital city in the regIon known as Vahlika, situated on the north of the Hindu Kush ranges, beyond Pamirs. It was the meeting place of several trade routes leading to Rome, Greece, Turkey, Russia and China. After a long stay Bactria, during further migration, the peaceful tribes amongst them settled in what was later called Iran or Aryanam - the land of the Aryans; while the warlike ones advanced southwards to India and settled down in the fertile Indus Valley, known as Sapt Sindhu or the land of the seven rivers as described in the Rigveda.
    According to a second opinion, Airya or Airyana Valejo, bordering the Arctic Circle, was the original home of the Aryans till glaciation forced them to move to warmer climes: the plateau of Iran and the subcontinent of India.
    Curiously, Afghanistan during antiquity was known as Ariana and the Pamirs are even now inhabited by an Aryan race, Tajiks.
    The first migratory hordes of the Aryans are believed to have strayed into India around 1600 BC and their maximum influx took place in 1200 BC.
    The Mohyals have figured in the arid Arabia, as denizens and rulers of the land. The Datts believe that their ancestors at one time established a dynasty in Arabia (Gazetteer Jhelum District 1904, page 120121) and they were the standard bearers of the Prophet of Islam in the war of Karbala, fought in 681 AD. They lived in Arabia like free citizens, fraternised by the Muslims, and were never coerced to embrace Islam. The word 'Misr' in the Arabic script is inscribed on the antiques found in the possession of certain Mohyal families.
    It is contended that all brahmin dynasties encountered by the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang, in the 7th century, were Mohyal kingdoms. According to Sir A. Cunningham, they have ruled in Kabul from 830 to 950 AD.
    The real truth about the origin of the Mohyals perhaps lies somewhere between and betwixt the above ponderables; because in a Mohyal we find a fine amalgam of the Hellenic features, the torso of the Arab and blond complexion of the Aryans. He is marked out in any congregation of men by his sheer height, macho build and the swagger. Besides these physical characteristics, he is known for his epicurean zest for life, high sartorial taste and chic precocity. He is the trusty workhorse who is happiest while in the harness and goes back to bed at night after a day's hefty trot.
    The Mohyals are paragons of valour and virtuosity and thought nothing of sacrificing their lives for the sake of Dharma or the nation. Their martial instincts are confirmed by noblest tradition; they have fought determinedly against fanaticism, religious bigotry and social injustice. They have adopted themselves to the successive rules of the Mughals, the Sikhs and the British, with no recorded instance of treachery.
    They reprobate two things: the handling of scale (viz. grocer's profession) and acceptance of charity.
    The appellation of 'Mohyal', a Prakrit form of the Sanskrit word Mahipal, does not seem to be more than six or seven centuries old. In the aeons earlier to that, over the generations, a distinct class of brahmins rose who discarded the traditional priestly avocation in favour of administrative and military career and gradually fashioned themselves into a ruling elite. It was also the custom in those days that the government servants were paid their wages in the form of land grants. The land given remained with the recipient family, in perpetuity, which led to the evolution of a new social order of the landed aristocracy. The Mohyals and the Bhumihars of East UP were an offshoot of this phenomenon.
    There are many connotations of the word Mohyal, the most commonly accepted being that it is a corrupt form of Mahiwal or Mahipal - meaning owner of land. There is another interpretation of its being derived from the word 'Muhin', symbolising the seven castes into which the community is divided. In ancient dialect, Mohi or Mahi denoted 'land' while Al meant 'respectable man'. Mohyals were the masters of land and their deity was Halram, alias Balram, alias Baldev. He is the Aryan god of agriculture; in one hand he holds the plough and in the other, a pestle.
    Curiously, there is a place called Mohyale, situated on the interjunction of the republics of Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan. The place is easily accessible from Arabia, across the Red Sea. A short distance from Mohyale, in the east of Ethiopia, there is another place called Bale, pronounced as Bali in French. There are customs amongst the inhabitants of this region which are similar to those of the Mohyals. For instance, they have a ceremony like the Mundan in which the members of the tribe gather under a Jand tree and lave and shave the child and a goat is also slaughtered on this occasion for the community feast.
    In their fateful voyage of many centuries, the Mohyals have stuck to their ancient moorings. They have stoically preserved their inherited racial traits and their uninhibited ways of life.Their outgoing nature and old world manners, their warrior instinct and tradition of valour; stilI remain the hall-mark of their identity. Their greatest asset till now was a close-knit and insular family outfit; they have stoutly resisted the marrying of their siblings into the other castes, in order to preserve their genealogy. And thus, their little good old world has survived the vicissitudes of time and tide.

    2. The Habitat

    From the times immemorial till the historic partition of the country in August 1947, the main habitat of the Mohyals was Northern India, notably the West Punjab (now part of Pakistan), and the erstwhile NWFP and Jammu & Kahsmir. There were many districts like Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Gujrat, Sargodha and Gurdaspur which had a large concentration of the community. There were villages in these districts in which a certain caste of the Mohyals preponderated and the place was known with that caste as the suffix of its name viz., Kanjrur and Tehi Dattan., Dera Bakhshian and so on. Kanjrur itself was a conglomeration of half a dozen villages, namely Veeram, Bhaiyan, Fatehpur, Kapurdev and Mianwali; each one of them had a good complement of the Mohyals.
    Kanjrur Ki Kahani: The estate of Kanjrur was founded c.1530 AD by Shah Sarup, the disaster child of the Paniad episode, and grew into a capital centre of the Datts. In keeping with their self assured profile, the Datts of Kanjrur adopted the befitting title of 'Chaudhari' with th.eir names. The small town was high on its claims to reputation: It is 1believed to have played host to Guru Nanak The great sage Swami Virjanand was also born here and later due to squabbles in the family, shifted to Kartarpur near Jalandhar to live with his maternal grandfather. A landmark of Kanjrur was the storeyed Haveli built by Dewan Jawahar Mal, the victor of the Multan war fought with the Brithish in 1848-49. He owned large property in Kanjrur and surrounding villages, besides the village of Jawahar Pur which was named after him. The memory of the Basantar rivulet is inseparable from the name of Kanjrur. On its bank stood the hallowed Samadhi of their great hero 'Baba Thakkar'. The spot was the venue of Diwali Mela and it was the custom .for all newly wed couples to visit the Samadhi for paying their obeisance before going to their homes. Baba Thakkar was killed while fighting heroically with the Jats. Accroding to legend, one of the Datts named Midh. had married a Jat girl named Previ and this out of caste alliance led to bitter strife between the two communities. Both Baba Thakkar and Previ were killed. The headless body of Thakkar riding on the horse fell on the bank of the river where the memorial was built. The place where Previ fell also had a shrine in her memory and adjoining to it was the arena where wrestling matches were held. By tradition, three sides of the arena were reserved for the Previ's clan while the fourth side was occupied by the Datt residents of Kanjrur.
    Zaffarwal, a stronghold of Datts near Kanjrur at about I km from river Ravi and Bulhadwal, the noted centre of the Mohans on the other side of the river, due to their congenial proximity, led to many marriages being courted between their constituents. A notable example was that of Mehta N.N. Mohan of Mohan Meakins fame who was married to Smt. Ram Rakhi, the daughter of S. Ishar Sil1gh of Zaffarwal. The sister of Smt. Ram Rakhi was married to S. Shamsher Singh Vaid, the landlord and celebrated industrialist of Ganda Singh Wala (Amritsar). 'The illustrious Baba Mohar Singh of Zaffarwal was a Minister to the Raja of Poonch; his great grandson, the veteran Mohyal Ch. Mulraj Datt, lives in Kirti Nagar, New Delhi. Sadly, the town of Zaffarwal has noW been completely washed away by the floods of Ravi.
    In old days, the river Ravi was regarded as the limit of the Mohyal country, as there were very few Mohyals living on the east side of the river. The Mohyals of the traditional west were so allergic to marrying their daughters with the folks on the east of Ravi that there was apopular dictum: fa Ni Dhiye Ravi; Na Koi Avi Na Koi fav In their ancient abodes, the seven castes of the community lived cheek by jowl, in a chequered mosaic. Many families shared a common terrace or a balcony or the doorway, and their members lived on first-name terms with each other. The bracing climate of the land and sylvan landscape of rugged hills and running brooks, imparted an apparent virility and a Bohemian character to these people.

    3. Numerical Strength

    The earliest available information about the population of Mohyals is found in the Gazetteer of Jhelum District, 1904 (page 120-121) citing an overall figure of 11,000. This figure looked incredibly low considering the burgeoning presence of the community all along during Muslim, the Sikh and the British regimes. They were certainly more than the handful number of 11,000 in the beginning of the 20th century. A serious attempt to determine their strength was made in 1977 and, although, it could not be branded as a perfect census, whatever ground was covered the job was done methodically. The population profile that emerged from this survey established the numerical strenght of the Mohyals at about 2 lacs. Interestingly, the noted author Dr. P.N. Chopra, in his book 'Religions and Communities of India', published by Vision Books in 1982, under the chapter on the Mohyal Community, page 66, has reckoned their strenght at nearly 3 lacs. To figure out latest position, on, the, basis of an annual growth of population in India at 2.2 per cent, It Will be a safe bet to say that It approaches the 3.5 lacs-plus mark. It is a redoubtable strength, meaning more than five times the entire population of the Parsi community living in India.
    Highlights of the Survey conducted in 1977:
    Mohyal Census 1977: On the initiative of the author of this book, when he was the editor of the Mohyal Patrika. Bombay, a census was organised during January to March 1977, with the active participation of the various Mohyal Sabhas of the country and abroad. It was a unique effort covering 66 big cities and small towns, innumerable villages, inaccessible hilly tracts, extending upto Nagaland and Sikkim and transgressing the national borders to encompass foreign lands in cluding the UK, USA, Belgium, Finland, Kenya, the Middle East and the Gulf Sheikhdoms, The campaign, gnerated rave enthusiasm: Mr. R. N. Mehta of Calcutta inserted an advertisement in the Statesman to solicit particulars of the Mohyals living in the eastern region; Mr. J.L. Datt, Secretary, Mohyal Sabha, London, waded through piles of addresses in the London Telephone Directory to locate the Mohyal designations and was dismayed when hundreds of names listed as Laos turned out to be either British or the Chinese broods; two volunteer girls scoured the snowbound hamlets in the Kashmir valley to gather the vital information. The final figures returned in this census were: Balis 12,500 (34% of the total), Datts 8,500 (23%), Chhibbers 5,200 (14%), Vaids 3,750 (10%), Laus 3,600 (10%), Mohans 1,800 (5%) and Bhimwals 1,150 (3.5%) or a grand-total of 36,500 numbers. Considering the dire limitations of the gigantic task, carried out in a voluntary manner in less than three months and without the help of any expert agency; the tally represented a bare fringe of the total roster. Big chunks of the population were not even touched: nearly 30% of the Mohyal population in Delhi and 50% in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, could not be investigated for want of social workers; in UP, the five KA V AL cities with sizeable population of Mohyals went by default for the same reason.
    Consider also the following pertinent points which tip the favour of higher numbers:
    (i). During the survey, it came to light that there are many villages in Jammu and Kashmir in which the Sikhs of Bali caste live in their hundreds and their total population is believed to be anything from 8 to 10 thousand. Very few of them display the caste with their name and they seem to have been ine orably submerged in the ethnic stream of Sikhism, oblivious of their Mohyali connection. When a social worker, Mr. Amarjit Singh Bali of Srinagar, visited them in connection with the Mohyal census, he was physically roughed-up and accused of creating dissensions in their ranks. Curiously, a Muslim named Abdul Aziz Bali, reported about 750 strong population of Muslim Balis in a single village in Jammu called Pogal Paristan. Besides, there are many Datt families living in Bhadarwah in the Jammu state, this place once was the capital of the Pal ruling dynasty. Daraba, 30 kms from Poonch, is another stronghold of the Datts and is known as the Kanjrur of J&K. There are nearly 50 Mohyal families domiciled in Akhnoor and its staellite villages like Hamirpur, Jaurian and Sidhad. A large number of Balis are living in district Baramula. The Balis of Garhi Bawa Jito on Katra-Riasi road have drifted and started calling themselves as Brahmins. There are many Datt families in Tral. Turgwal is a beehive of the Chhibbers. Sunehal Chhibberan, a village in Akhnoor Tehsil has 40 Chhibber families with a population of nearly 250 persons. Their ancestors are believed to have migrated from Punjab during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to seek employment in the army and police force of aharaja Gulab Singh of Kashmir. In village Jhangar district Rajouri Valds live in majority. Japuwal, a small village in district Gurdaspurhas about 26 families of the Mohan denomination.
    (ii). There is a large number of the so-called borderline Mohyals living in Jalandhar Doaba and the districts of Hoshiarpur and Una in the Himachal Pradesh, who have adopted the facile sumame of Sharma and Pandlt. They were alienated from the mainstream centuries ago, due to some political disaster. In Jalandhar district, there is a village Jadala near Nawan Shahar, which is almost wholly inhabited by Mohyals. In Jalandhar city itself, there are Mohallas known as Lau and Balian. The renowned saint of the town, Bawa Sodal, at whose samadhi a big mela is held on Anant Chaudjhmas, is venerated by the Lau community (Note: The mythical child-saint, Baba Sodal, when he was about 6 years vanished from a tank while bathing, nearly 200 years ago. He was not a Mohyal but offspring of a Chadha family. The Mohyal connection is due to reason that there are half a dozen Lau families of Jalandhar who are performing religious rites of the Chadhas and serving as priests at the Bawa Sodal shrine for past many generation and deriving substantial income from the offerings. Information, courtesy Bk. Roshan Lal Chhibber of Chandigarh). The famous temple of Bawa Laljiat Datarpur was built by the Mohyal devotees. The grandson of Bawa Lalji, Kewal Ram Bali, had a large following in his native place Bilot near Dera Ismail Khan. There is a shrine dedicated to his memory in Inderpuri, New Delhi. In village Dhianpur, the family records of Mohyals are kept on the same line as maintained by the pandas of Haridwar. There is a large population of the Balis and Chhibbe in Mehalpur and Govindpur. Another village Lambra, situated 10 kms from Jalandhar on the Nakodar road, is predominantly inhabited by Mohans and Chhibbers. There are many Vaid families in Mehatpur and the place's name appears to be a distortion of Mehtapur. A sizeable number of Mohyals live in Doraha, situated on G.T. Road, a few miles from Ludhiana. In Himachal Pradesh, there is a village called, Bathian Brahminan, situated on Hoshiarpur Phagwara Road, which is entirely inhabited by the Bhimwals. Another village named Chanthu, situated 8 kms from Hoshiarpur, is entirely populated by the Laus. Another very big village called Khad has a large population of DaUs of the Meengat denomination who had migrated from Veeram, centuries ago. Both Swami Dayanand and Swami Virjanand had stayed in a serai at this place, while going to Jawalamukhi from Kartarpur. The village is said to have been gifted by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to one of Datts' ancestors, named Kesar Singh. A veteran Mohyal of Khad, Mr. Mohan Lal Pandit (Datt), has been elected to the State Assembly for three consecutive terms, before and after the partition. There are nearly 25 families of DaUs living in Bagli in district Kangra.
    (iii). An interesting revelation was made by Mr. Jagdish Mittel' Lau, Secretary, Saraswat Mohyal MandaI, New Delhi, in an article published in October 1976 issue of the Mohyal Patrika that there were no less than 5 to 6 thousand of his caste-fellows who had descended from the Mohyals but were now totally cut-off from the parent community. Nearly 200 households of these people are living in Delhi alone. The samadhi of their ancestor, Sidh Shyamji Lau, is situated on the bank of Jamuna near the railway bridge.
    (iv). There are scores of Mohyal families, mostly of Vaid caste, who are living in Ghazipur and Varanasi districts of UP for the past twO centuries, and in many cases have adopted the surname of Sinha. They have sedulously kept their Mohyal identity and marry their children only in their own community.
    The Mohyal census of 1977 also provides an insight into the demo graphic structure of the Mohyal society. It has exploded the popular myth that Datts constitute the largest single caste because that distinction probably belongs to the Balis, whose number has been ballooned due to their Sikh compeers, living in swarming number in Jammu and Kashmir. Another notion that Laus are in a microscopic minority has also been proved wrong, considering their formidable strength as established by the census.
    Bottomline: The Mohyal community after nearly 50 years of its survival from the killing fields of the Partition has found its feet and is now completely rehabilitated. Its constituents have made cosy homes and the life is on the upbeat. Delhi remains their main calling address. They are living in thriving numbers in Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Yamuna Nagar. An offshore place like Bombay boasts of a Mohyal population of over 4,000" There is no count of the Mohyals who have settled in the foreign lands as there is hardly any family whose cousin or an uncle was not harvestip.g a new life either in Sydney or in San Francisco. In this scenario, meriting a special mention is the shining example of Chandigarh and its satellite towns, emerging as the new capital centre of the community. The region is nestling with a population of nearly 8,000 Mohyals and their number is multiplying. The author is indebted to Shri Roshan Lal Chhibber of Chandigarh for providing the following castewise statistics of the Mohyal families living in Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali:

    Besides above, there are many Mohyal families residing in Kalka, lUjore, Surajpur and Chandi Mandir Cantt.

    4. Bulldogs of the Borders

    To be brahmin and a warrior as well is a paradox and this poetic paradox runs in every Mohyal family. The history of the Mohyals is an unending saga of guts and gallantry. They were the sword-arm of anny and stood on the firing line of many a war in all periods of the history. It is truly said of the Mohyal that he is in his best elements, when in the battle array. During the twenties of this century, a visitor to the Mohyal families in any village was generally accosted by an old and haggard woman, sans any male member present in the house, and on querying from her about the whereabouts of the menfolks, the grand lady would pick on her snuff box and croon: Oh! they were all gone to Laam-meaning a long war, being fought on unknown battle-fields, beyond the misty hills and gilded temples of the village. That was the archetypal scenario of every family.
    The first border war of the country was fought in the year 326 BC when a puny chieftain challenged Alexander the Great near Taxila and throttled his entry into the heartland of India. He was Raja Porus, a Vaid Mohyal. After his encounter with Porus, Alexander met with yetmore resistance near Multan from the native forces who were predom inantly Mohyal. MuHan in those days was the capital of the Bali rulers and these people held sway over the surrounding territory and the area was dotted with their castles and forts. They engaged Alexander's army Jin bushfire skirmishes in which many senior generals of the invaders were done to death. Opposition was also organised by a confederacy of republican people of Malloi (Malwa) and Kshudrakas. They had a city wholly inhabited by Brahmins who left the pen for the sword and j5000 of them died fighting for the freedom (Glimpses of Ancient India! by Radha Kumud Mukerji, Page 45). The long and bitter fightingi disillusioned Alexander and forced him to call off his dream of con- 'quering India and to order an ignominious retreat.
    In another border war fought in 712 AD, Raja Dahir stubbornly battled against the Arab legions to stop their penetration into Sind.
    The Mohyals. did not defend only the national perimeters but also used their fighting prowess to uphold the nobler values of life. They shed their blood at Karbala in 681 AD to show their affinity for the i:kins of the Prophet. In 1527, in the harrowing episode at Paniad, they did not mind being slaughtered to the last man just to safeguard the,virginity of a Khatri girl. In the sunset of the Mughal empire they, threatened the bastions of Aurangzeb with their incessant belligerency.
    During the Mughal and Sikh rule, they were bestowed titles like Bakhshi, Dewan, Mehta etc. in reward for their proverbial bravery. Maharaja Ranjit Singh appointed many Mohyals to his famous Vadda 1Risala-the Life Guard of the Lion of the Punjab. During the British period, fifty per cent of the Mohyal commissioned officers, were decorated with awards for their distinguished services.
    Even now their chests and shoulders are overflowing with the badges and epaulettes of honour. During wars with China, Pakistan and BangIa Desh, they have fought with redoubtable valour. The conquest of Haji Pir Salient in J&K in 1965 war with Pakistan, under the baton of Lt. Gen. Z.c. Bakshi, was a water mark in the annals of the modern Indian warfare. When the Military Academy results are published, the Mohyals figure in large number amongst the successful candidates. When the gallantry awards are announced, their names bounce in the list.
    Mehta Kartar Singh Mohan, DSP, was one of the first officers accepted by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to serve as his security officer for over a decade. He was the grandson of late Mehta Arjan Dass and expired in Dec. 1989. Mrs. Indira Gandhi, during her first tenure as the Prime Minister, also had a Mohyal security officer named Mehta Bal Krishan Mohan, ACP, who was the cousin of Mehta Kartar Singh. A Mohyal Air Force Officer, Sqn. Ldr. Sunil Mehta (Chhibber), served as ADC to President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed till his death in office. Other notable Mohyals who served as senior security officers in the PM's office from Pandit Nehru's time to Rajeev Gandni included Sarvashri Amar Nath Bali, B. R. Datt and S.K. Datta (Dir. CBI).
    The large number of Mohyals, holding commanding positions of Brigadier and above, in the higher echelons of the country's fighting forces, not to mention of their prolific presence in the lower ranks, is really amazing for a community of mere three lakhs in a dizzy milieu of 800 millions.
    The Mohyals are an embodiment of the ancient warrior laureate. If the nation ever raises a kirti-stambh or builds a valhalla for its war heroes, their names will make the headlines.

    5. The Courtesy Titles

    All castes of Mohyals have the rare privilege of using certain titles with their names which were bestowed on them by the Moghul and Sikh rulers for their high flying bravery and unimpeachable loyalty. These appellations are still in use and include: Bakhshi, Bhai, Chaudhri, Dewan, Malik, Mehta, Rai and Raizada. These epithets have a Persian connotation and imply status. Bakhshi means benevolent, Chaudhri means head of family or the village, Dewan means a landlord, Mehta means the incharge of finance/property (the term in still in vogue in Gujarat and Maharashtra) and Raizda means a wise man or adviser.
    The title of Bhai was specially conferred on the Chhibbers of ryala by the Sikh Gurus for their great sacrifices and devotion to dharma. It may be mentioned here that the Dewans (prime ministers) of all the ten Sikh Gurus were Chhibber veterans, hailing from Karyala, a unique honour.
    The title of Chaudhri is a distinction mark of the Datts of Kanjrur, Veeram and Zaffarwal. The prefix of Dewan is used by Datts hailing from Guliana and certain other places while that of Raizada is used largely by the Balis and occasionlly by Va ids also. The prefixes of Bakhshi and Mehta are commonly used by the various castes of Mohyals.
    Curiously, patently Muslim suffixes like Beg, Khan and Sultan were also used by Mohyal dignitaries in the past. These were conferred on them by the Muslim rulers of the time for their valour and distinguished services. Kandhi Beg Chhibber was a minister in Turkistan while his son Minocher Khan was chief of the Iranian army. A select class of Datts were known by the designation of Alwal Khan Datts. In Rllqaate-Alamgiri. Fateh Jang Khan Bali has been mentioned as the commander in Gujarat. Yakke Khan Datt (Tis Hazari) was a chief of the Moghul cavalry. His family has prospered in Miani district Sargodha for centuries: Mehta Dhera Mal Datt, one of the architects of the General Mohyal Sabha; Rai Bahadur Dr. Harnam Dass Datt who earned encomiums as a civil surgeon; Mehta Nand Lal Datt who was Director of the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore-the only one of its kind ill Asia; Capt. J. D. Datt of the INA fame; were all offsprings of this illustrious family.
    As some of the titles currently used by the Mohyals are also used by certain non-Mohyal communities, the scrupulous Mohyals advocate the desirability of mentioning both the courtesy title as well as the caste with the name, to clearly denote the Mohyal identity, e.g. Raizada K.L. Bali, T.R. Dewan (Datt) etc.

    6. A Conglomeration of 52 Castes

    A few centuries ago, the family of Mohyals was part of a conglomeration of 52 castes, which were as follows:
    (i) The seven castes of Mohyals as they exist at present, namely, Bali, Bhimwal, Chhibber, Datt, Lau, Mohan and Vaid.

    (ii) Six castes which embraced Islam due to the vicissitudes of time: Hussaini Brahmin, Gakhar, Khakhe, Bombe, Lange and Lohana. The last two are believed to have descended from the Laus. (See footnote).

    (iii) Four castes which migrated to Rajasthan and Gujarat viz., Anavil, Bhanushali, Nagar and Raval.
    (iv) Seven castes which were excommunicated from the community, probably during the 17th century viz., Bhoj Potre, Chhangu potre, Dhan Potre, Lalre or Lalu Potre, Saitpal, Shamu Potre and Takhat Lalre. They are known as Sat Bansi Brahmins. (See Note Below)
    Twenty-eight castes which were very close to the Mohyals and freely courted alliances with them till the early part of this century: Alsaner, Asdher, Bajrai, Balotra, Bamarnial, Begayal, Behlia, Benola, Bhaglal, Bhanot, Bhog, Chunni. Issar. Jaitharia, Jandral, Kale, Lakhanpal, Lodhar, Majho, Meengat, Pal. Passi. Ramde, Sasan, Sedhar, Segan, Sudan and Vasudev. They are called Banjahi Brahmins.
    Total: Fifty-Two
    N.B.: The Jinsi Sikhs who were regarded as derived from the same slock were converted to Sikhism during the Sikh rule. They are believed to have migrated from Pathankot to Kashmir during the invasion of Ahmed Shah Abdali. As they were given salary in kind instead of cash, they acquired the sobriquet of Jinsi Sikh.
    - Gakhars, also referred as Gurkhas: They were a sect of the Hussaini Brahmins who traced their pedigree to Parashurama. According to Sir A. Cunningham. the father of Indian archaeology. they were the Abhisaras of the Mahabharata and the Puranas. One of their ancestors. Raja Sughar. migrated from Ajudhya to Kashmir and his great grandson, Gai Lochan. founded the Gakhar clan. They enjoyed unchallenged sovereignty over the Shivalik ranges. extending from Peshawar to Dehra Dun. For many centuries. They led a daredevil tribal life and were fleree fighters. They fought along with other Hindu rulers to repel the invasions of Muslim marauders from the north. In 761 AD when the Afghans made many onslaughts on Punjab. the Brahmin king of the area deployed a large number of Gakhars along the west bank of river Sind. to serve as seClllity force. and also built a fort near the Khyber Pass which was managed by the Gakhhar garlison. In 1009. Raja Anand Pal of Lahore not only recovered the entire terlitory which had been earlier conquered by Mahmud Ghazni but also drove back his hordes beyond Peshawar. He achieved this with the help of the Gakhars who wrought havoc on Mahmud's forces and made them flee. In this war. more than 3.000 soldiers of Mahmud were exterminated and the historian Farishta has given a harrowing acccount of the fighting. These fabled warriors ultimately succumbed to the proselytism of Shahab-ud-din Gholi and his successors and were converted to Islam. during 12th and 13th centuries. Even after their conversion. they held the Mohyals in high esteem and rewarded them with high posts and jaglrs. Prior to the Sikh administration. Gakhras enjoyed supremacy in Doaba Sind Sagar and Takhat Pari was their capital. Sultan Lashkari Khan who died in 1706 had requisitioned the services of Raizada Mool Raj Vaid from the Maharaja of Jammu and appointted him as his Counsellor and gifted him 25 villages as jaglr. Some of this property was still in possession of the Vaids of Turkwal in Tehsil Gujar Khan. at the time of the partition. In his book titled Balnama. published In Persian by Raizada Rattan Chand Bali. the fraternal relations subsisting between the Mohyals and the Gakhars. have been highlighted.
    - Khakhs: According to Rajtaranginl, Khakhs or Khas (13ombe were an offshoot of the same clan) have ruled a large territory of Kahsmlr along river Chenab upto the Banlhal Pass. from 938 to 1340 AD. Lohar Kot and Rajpuli (present Rajauli) were their main seats of power. The ruling dynasty had a long and distinguished line of monarchs including Maharaja Yeshkar son of Prabhakar Vardhan. Kshem Gupt. Abhimanu. Bhlm Gupt. Tribhuvan Gupt. Nandi Gupt. Rani Dida. Sangram Raj. Hart Raj, Anant Dev. Kalash Dev, Aat Krishan, Harashdev. Achal, Salsal. Bhikshacher. Jaisingll, Parmanoo. Vritidev and Apyadev. Some of these rulers had alliance with the Mohyals. Raja Sngram Raj ruler of Lohar Kot Was marlied to the daughter of Raja Bhlm Shahl. the Datt sovereign of Kabul and Kandhar from 901 to 950. with his capital at Ohind (south of Indus near modem Hazro). Bhim Shahi had only one daughter and no male issue. Rani Dida the daughter of Sangram Raj was married to Kshem Cupt. the noted Khakh ruler. After death of Kshem Cupt. Rani Dida was anointed as the queen and ruled from 981 to 1013. Another royal princess hailing from the house of Raja Trllochan Pal (Vald) of Punjab was married to Candharu Sain son of Tung. the Khakh prime minister and army commander of Rani Dida. Rudarpal son of Raja Bhlm Pal. the last Hindu ruler of Punjab. was brother-in-law of Raja Anant Dev of Kashmir: their wives were real sisters and were daughters of Raja Indu Chand of Jalandhar. The kindred relations existing between the Khakh ruling houses of Kashmir and the Mohyal royalties of Punjab and Afghanistan show that they belonged to one world.
    - Origin of Sat Bansi Brahmins: When the Kshatris of Punjab ostracised the Aroras. uprooted from Sind. and asked their priests not to perform their marriages and funeral rites: the latter in consternation approached their elderman. Sldh Jachik of Arorkot. to help them in their quandary. Sidh Jachik. distressed at the plight of the Aroras. appealed to the saintly Mohyal. Gosain Bhoj Raj Vaid of Thatta (In Multan. then the capital of Sind) to prevail upon his fellow Mohyals to come to the rescue of the Aroras by performing their religious ceremonies. In response to the humanitarian call. in a rare gesture. seven eminent Mohyals. one drawn from each caste. met in Multan. under the leadership of Gosain Bhoj Raj. and declared that they will henceforth adopt the priestly profession. against the avowed tenets of their C'Ommunity. to bailout the Aroras from their predicament. The seven Mohyals who took part in the conclave were: Bhoj Raj Vaid. Chhangi Ram Mohan. Dhanpat Datt. Lalumal Bali. Saitpal Chhibber. Sham Lau and Takhatmal Bhlmwal. Their progenies came to be known as Bhoj Potre. Chhangu Potre. Dhan Potre. Lalu Potre or -Lalre. Saitpal. Shamu Potre and Takhat Potre or Lalre. respectively. These seven families were expelled from the Mohyal clan. as a punishment for having adopted clerical avocation. This episode probably took place in the closing decades of the 17th century when there was lot of political turmoil in the country.

    7. Ancient habitats of Mohyals

    8. BIBLOGRAPHY ON MOHYALS - Martial Saraswat Brahmins
    1. The History of Mohyals-1911. by TP. Russell Stracey (Acctt. Gen.(Retd.) Posts, Madras).
    2. Mohyalltihas in Urdu-1955 by Chuni Lal Dutt.
    3. Mohyal History-1995 by Sh. P.N. Bali ("Woodwinds", St. Andrews' Road, Bandra, Mumbai- 400050).
    4. District Gazetteer, Gujrat-1922 : Customs of Kharian Tehsil.
    5. "Muhiyal" -1916 (Pages 132-136), personal archives of Lala Lajpat Rai.
    6. Dastur-al-Amal Mohyali by Late Mehta Balmukand Mohan of Nahan.
    7. Islah-e-Mohyali by Raizada Ratan Chand Vaid.
    8. Gulshan-e-Mohyali (1923) in Urdu by Hari Chand Vaid (of Sukho).
    9. Jang Nama by Rai Sahib Mehta Arjan Das Mohan.
    10. SMRITI ( Yaad-e-Rafta Mohyali) Quarterly-J.S. Bhimwal, Kalkaji, New Delhi.
    11. Mohyal Referencer-1996, a Global Directory: Mohyal Sabha, Chandigarh.
    12. Monthly Issues of Mohyal Mitter, discontinued Mohyal Patrika (Monthly) and Mohyal Milan (quarterly)-Editor, A.K. Datta, IPS/Rtd., 530, Sector 8-B, chandigarh .
    13. Sisganj by J.B. Bali.
    14. Bhai Mati Das Samarika 1977 in Hindi published by Dr. Paras Ram Chhibber.
    15. Hamare Purvaj by Dr. Lajja Devi Mohan (463-L, Model Town, Panipat-1321 03)
    16. Story of Guru Gobind Singh-Hemkunt Press.
    17. History of India (Urdu)-1915 by Moulvi Zaka Ullah 1915.
    18. Early Medieval India by A.B. Pandey.
    19. Hiatory of Medievaln India by C.v Vaidya
    20. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan by Lt. Col. James Tad.
    21. Glory that was Gurjara Desa by K.M. Munshi.
    22. History of India (Urdu) by Mula Mohd. Kasim Hindu Shah Farishta.
    23. The History of Kathiawar by Capr . Wilberforce-Belf.
    24. Hindu Civilisation : Dr. Radha Kurnud Mukerji.
    25. The Oxford History of India: Vincent A. Smith.
    26. Mythological Ancestors: Nmes by R. Gopal Krishan, former Editor, The Illustrated Weekly of India (discontinued) and Prof. S.C. Chhibber, Ramesh Nagar New Delhi.
    27. Sub-castes & GOTRAS (from Sapat Rishis & Manu SmritJ) : Bali (Prashar) Bhimwa (Kaushal), Chhibber (Braghu), Datt (BharadwaD, Lau (Vashist) , Mohan (Kashyap) and Vaid (Bharadwaj)
    28. Dating of Ramayana :- limes of India, 5 Nov., 1983: Research Work of Late Dr. H.D. Sankalia, Deptt. of Archaeolo JY, Deccan College, Pune.
    29. Dating of Mahabharata : Research work of Dr. E. Vedavyasa, Ph.D., lAS, (Andhra Pradesh) and Prof. Rajesh Kochhar.
    30. General Knowledge Digest-19G8 by Mani Ram Aggarwal.
    31. An Advanced History of India: R.C. Majumdar and H.C. Ray Chaudhary.
    32. The Cultural Heritage of India (Vol. I), Ramakrishna Mission, Calcutta.
    33. The North West India of the Second Century BC-1979 by Mehta Vasishtha Dev Monan.
    34. History of India (Hindi) by D.N. Kundra (1979).
    35. Virjanand Prakash by Bhim Sain Shastri.
    36. Illustrated Weekly of India (discontinued) - Series on Saraswat Brahmans (featuring Shri Sunil Outt, Actor-now Union Minister).
    Above list is Compiled by :K. N. Datt, CE/Retd., 5429, MHC, Manimajra, Chandigarh-160 101
    Phone: 0172-2732554 Mobile: 94173-56640 e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it November-2004
    The Content about Mohyal History is extracted from the book " Mohyal History - 1995 "- Second Edition by Sh. P. N. Bali.

    landmark in the rise of Hindus because we emerged as an independent civilisation-national-state. Hindu power was no longer open to challenge which it would have been in the absence of partition. But the reality could not be so defined because the Congress leadership was not trained to think in terms of civilisational contests and also because the shock of vivisection of Mother India was too great for most Hindus to allow them to realise that they had reached an important milestone on the road to recovery and re-assertion."

    Looking back on 50 years of independence one observes with pain and regret, that despite so much talent and opportunities, India has failed to produce a seer and statesman at the helm of affairs who could set this large country on the right course for proper governance, after freedom from slavery of a thousand years. Gradually, more and more politicians of doubtful integrity and calibre are encroaching the centre stage of political arena.

    Now, as a millennium ago, India continues to suffer from lack of proper leadership.

    "F M Cariappa and Gen. Thimaya brought to the notice of Nehru the need to take suitable measures to counter the Chinese military movements in the North East. It seems Nehru was irked and replied rather sarcastically, "It is not the business of Commander-in-Chief to tell the Prime Minister who is going to attack and where. In fact the Chinese will defend our Eastern frontier. You mind only Kashmir and Pakistan". The rest is history. The Chinese attack shattered him and it was too late to learn from it. Despite the humiliating defeat, India's response was a knee-jerk reaction to increase the number of its armed forces. This national tragedy has hardly left any impact on our governing political elite, which continues to be largely innocent of the need to understand long-range national strategy.

    U.S. strategic analyst George Tanham was commissioned by U.S. Defence Department (!) to conduct a study on Indian strategic culture. He very correctly concluded in his monograph that Indians do not have a tradition of strategic thinking.

    The debate in Indian Parliament on the Pokhran-II tests has proved that Mr. Tanham was absolutely correct. How else does one explain the criticism of these tests by leading members of Parliament (including recent Prime Ministers) on the plea that our security environment did not necessitate the acquisition of nuclear weapons?

    9. A Synopsis of Mohyal History

    1.    Mohyals are directly descended from Pravar Rishis. The name of this progenitor Rishi is the gotra of each caste: Prashar (Bali); Koshal (Bhimwal); Bhrigu (Chhibber); Bhardwaj (Datt); Vasishtha (Lau); Kashyap (Mohan); and Bhardwaj/Dhanwantri (Vaid).
    2.    At the time of marriage the groom has to identify himself by reciting his own name, the names of his ancestors up to three generations – as also their gotra (gotrachar). This is one of the traditions by which Hindus have kept up the memory of their gotra over the millennia.
    3.    During the seventh century CE (=AD) a new religion – ISLAM – came up in Arabia. Soon this religion spread conquering with speed and ease Iraq, Syria (635), Egypt (639), Persia (640), Tripolitania (647) – up to the north-west Africa (670). Khurasan and parts of Central Asia (west and north of Koh Hindu Kush) also came under the Arab Caliphate.
    4.    Southern Afghanistan, south of Koh Hindu Kush, covering the trade route from the border of Iran up to the Khyber Pass, was then ruled by two Hindu states. In spite of strenuous efforts the world conquering Arabs could not subjugate them. A vast Arab Army was destroyed by Rutbil, the Kshatriya Hindu ruler of south-western Afghanistan, in 698. Thereafter the Arabs did not attack this north-western frontier of Hindu India (Al Hind).
    5.    The ancestors of the present day Chhibbers – Chach, his brother Chander and son Dahar – ruled over Sindh from 632 to 712 CE. Their kingdom covered a vast region between the borders of Kashmir and Iran. The Arabs repeatedly attacked Sindh by sea and land but could not occupy any Sindhian territory. Frustrated by their dismal failure against Al Hind in Afghanistan, in 712 the Arabs again invaded Sindh, with the full might of the Caliphate. Dahar, the king of Sindh was killed during this fifteenth attack by the Arabs. The surrounding Hindu states of Gujrat, Rajasthan and Punjab managed to contain the Arabs within Sindh – but did not try to oust them.
    6.    Gradually the Arab power waned and the converted Muslims set up independent kingdoms in the eastern Caliphate – the region east of Iran and north-west of Koh Hindu Kush. One of these, the Saffarids, managed to kill Rutbil, the Hindu King of south-western Afghanistan in 870, by treachery, under the ruse of a peace treaty. The western border of the Hindu kingdom of Kabul (south-eastern Afghanistan) thus became the north-western frontier of India.
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    The Mohyals are very proud of their seven castes and the number seven has a special connotation for them. It signifies the seven days of the week, seven Devas of the Hindu pantheon, seven wonders of the world, seven notes of the musical scale, seven primary colours of the rainbow, sapIa chakras of the Kundalini, sapla-pacli or the seven steps as part of the marriage ritual and seven petals of the Lotus Flowerthe seat of the meditating Buddha.
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    Inderpuri New Delhi
    EG 29, 30 & 30-A, Inderpuri, New Delhi-110012.
    2. Haridwar Mohyal Ashram, Shyam Lok, Residental Complex Bhopatwala Haridwar.
    3. Dehradun Mohyal Bhawan, 1-3 Gurudwara Road Karanpur Dehradun.
    4. Meerut B-64, Defence Colony Meerut.
    5. Vrindavan Under Construction.


    Jheel Kuranja Delhi
    800 Mohyal Bhawan, Satnam Road, Jheel Kuranja, Delhi-110051.
    Mehrauli, New Delhi
    Bhai Mati Das Smarak, Mehrauli, New Delhi-110030
    Karnal, Haryana
    Mohyal Bhawan, Sadar Bazar, Karnal (Haryana)
    Yamuna Nagar
    Plot 69,70,71, Sarojini Colony, Phase I, Model Town, Yamuna Nagar Haryana
    Sector-24-C, Chandigarh
    Jammu (J & K)
    Near General Bus Stand, Jammu (J & K)
    Saharanpur (U.P)
    Mohyal Bhawan, Punjabi Bagh, Behind Hakikat Nagar, Saharanpur (U.P)
    Jallandhar (Punjab)
    EG-119, Mohyal Nagar, Ladowali Road, Jallandhar (Punjab)
    9. Secunderabad G-1, G/F K K Niwas Shakti Nagar Colony R.K. Puram Secunderabad.
    10. Ambala City 162, Prem Nagar, Ambala City.
    11. Hoshiarpur Under Construction.
    12. Faridabad 125 N.H. NIT No.5, Faridabad.
    13. Gurdaspur Baba Thakkarji Maharaj Samadhi Gurdaspur.
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