Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jhunje Auwa

By the year 1843, the royal lineage of Rathores of Marwar was lapsed without a heir after the death of Man Singh. Takhat Singh was adopted from Ahmadnagar (Gujarat), following the demise of Man Singh. Takhat Singh was a very loyal king to British. Even he had given Sambhar Lake to British government. He was popular for having more than 130 ladies in his harem, including queens, concubines. Most of the time, king was busy in Janan Khana. The administration was run by other people under the influence of British. Being adopted from Gujarat, most of nobles (Sardars) were unhappy from the King, another reason was he had given major posts to gujarati peoples who came along with him from Ahmednagar. Also, the British had become more important than the Sardars. Rajputs of Marwar were not in the favour of British control of power. They frequently disobeyed orders of Takhat Singh and the British.

In the year 1857, the revolt against the British started, the King had issued the orders not to indulge in any such activities and also not to give shelter to any revolutionary. Revolutionary army from Neemuch Cantt tookm shelter at Auwa Thakur Khushal Singh, a premier noble of Marwar. Jodhpur State sent its force under Kiledar Anar Singh Panwar of Mokala to crush the rebels at Auwa and teach Khushal Singh a lesson. Thakur of Auwa was joined by forces of Thakurs of Asop, Lasani, Lambian, Banta, Bhimanlia, Badsan, Rajoda, Sonei Koopawatan, Radawas, Shapuni, Sovaniya, Sela and Nerawas, Roopnagar, Salumbar, Alniyawas etc. Overall there were more than 5000 rajputs in Auwa. Fierced battle took place near the village of Bithuda, where forces of Auwa defeated Jodhpur State forces and Kiledar Anar Singh was killed in the battle. Remaning force of Jodhpur ran away. Despite this humiliating defeat, Takhat Singh was not satisfied. Again, he sent forces having assistance from British. Lt. General Lawrence, who was the A.G.G. (Agent of Governor General) at Ajmer for Rajputana, also came with some forces to attack Auwa. His three different attacks were repulsed with determination. The Jodhpur state forces failed to succeed again, as Auwa was protected on the west, to some extent on the North by a fortification wall on the East was protected by a high earth mound, so the outside attack by cannons could not do any damage, as the cannonballs were absorbed by the earthen mound. Capt. Mason, who was the British Residency Officer at Jodhpur, arrived Auwa with his artillery, but he lost his way to British camp and came straight towards the Rajput camp. He was shot dead and his head was cut-off and was hanged at the fort-gate (in pic.).

The siege of Auwa lasted from September 1857 to January 1858. When in January 1858, Holmes invaded Auwa with a huge army consisting of nearly 30,000 troops on the 20th January 1858 to suppress the revolt, Auwa Thakur made defence preparations and walls of Auwa fort were equipped with 50 artillery pieces. The fighting went on four days. Auwa had lost many warriors. Thakur Kushal Singh had gone out from the east side which was safer to venture out to get more help from the Rajputs, Rawat and Bhil tribes living in the Aravali hills about 15 to 16 Km to the east and from his in-laws, Solankis of Roopanagar (Mewar). The fighting continued six days, the besieged were reduced to sheer helplessness and, the stratagem organised by the Jodhpur troops who persuaded the Kiledar of Auwa (Bhan Singh Champawat) to betray, the fort gates were opened.

They plundered the village mercilessly, killed all survivors, the fort and the palace were burnt. The Jodhpur State and British troops were not satisfied merely with the occupation of the fort. Even the temples and their statues were not spared. So fierce was the spirit of vengeance that even trees were cut down, to destroy any sign to recall the memories of Auwa. They destroyed everything to erase the battle of Auwa from history, but still the spirit of the Rajputs of Auwa, Asop, Alniyawas, Roopnagar, Salumbar, Lasani, Banta and many others, villagers of Auwa is alive in the memories of their people, who faught and gave their life but refused to give away their land to British unlike their King Takhat Singh. To their honour, people in the villages of Godwar, generations after generations still recite this story and the brave fight put up by Thakur Kushal Singh, against the British, to their children and singing songs during spring festival of Holi (in pic), about Capt. Mason’s head being strung at the fort gate, and about Thakur Kushal Singh’s glorious battles with the British and Jodhpur state forces. Generations after generations, these songs still mark the patriotism and the bravery of these warriors and ensure that their sacrifice is not forgotten and their memory still lives in the heart of their people.
।। झल्लै आऊवो ।।

वणिया वाली गोचर मांए, काळो लोग पडियो ओ ,

राजाजी रै भेळो तो फिरंगी लडियो ओ,

काळी टोपी रो ।

हे ओ काळी टोपी रो, फिरंगी फैलाव कीधो ओ,

काळी टोपी रो ।

बारली तोपां रा गोला धूडगढ में लागे ओ ।

मांयली तोपां रा गोलां तंबू तोडे ओ,

झल्लै आऊवो ।

हे ओ झल्लै आऊवो, आऊवो धरती रो थांबो ओ,

झल्लै आऊवो ।

मांयली तोपां तो छूटै आडावळौ धजै ओ,

आऊवे रो नाथ तो सुगाळी ने पूजै ओ ,

झगडो आदरियो ।

हे ओ झगडो आदरियो, आऊवो झगडा ने बांको ओ,

झगडो आदरियो ।

राजाजी रा घोडलिया काळा रै लारै दौडै ओ।

आऊवा रा घोडा तो पछाडी तोडे ओ,

झगडो व्हैण दो

ढोल बाजे, थाली बाजे, भेळौ बाजै बांकियो ओ,

अजंट ने मारने दरवाजे नांकियो ओ,

जूंझे आऊवो ।

हे ओ जूंझे आऊवो, आऊवो मुलकां मे चावो ओ,

जूंझे आऊवो ।