Chachnama – Part I

The multi-genre Persian text Chachnama (also known as the Fatehnama Sindh as well as Takrekh-Hind wa Sindh) was written by one of Qazi Ismail’s ancestors. Qazi Ismail bin Ali a resident of Bhakkar (the fort midstream between Sukkur and Rohri) was the tutor of Ali bin Mohammad Kufi a resident of Uch Sharif who translated the book into Persian from Arabic in 1226. The English translation of the book was done by  Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg in 1900. The name of the book was taken from Raja Chach of Sindh who was the father of Raja Dahar. -Editor

The multi-genre Persian text Chachnama (also known as the Fatehnama Sindh as well as Takrekh-Hind wa Sindh) was written by one of Qazi Ismail’s ancestors. Qazi Ismail bin Ali a resident of Bhakkar (the fort midstream between Sukkur and Rohri) was the tutor of Ali bin Mohammad Kufi a resident of Uch Sharif who translated the book into Persian from Arabic in 1226. The English translation of the book was done by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg in 1900. The name of the book was taken from Raja Chach of Sindh who was the father of Raja Dahar. -Editor

The multi-genre Persian text Chachnama (also known as the Fatehnama Sindh as well as Takrekh-Hind wa Sindh) was written by one of Qazi Ismail’s ancestors. Qazi Ismail bin Ali a resident of Bhakkar (the fort midstream between Sukkur and Rohri) was the tutor of Ali bin Mohammad Kufi a resident of Uch Sharif who translated the book into Persian from Arabic in 1226. The English translation of the book was done by  Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg in 1900. The name of the book was taken from Raja Chach of Sindh who was the father of Raja Dahar. -Editor

THE CONQUEST OF HIND AND SIND

 An account of Rai Dáhar son of Chach son of Selaij and his death at the hands of Muhammad Kásim
The reciters of stories and the authors of histories have related as follows. The town of Alór was the capital city of Hind and Sind. It was a town adorned with various kinds of royal buildings, villas, gardens, fountains, streams, meadows and trees (and was) situated on the bank of a river called the Mehrán.
In this beautiful and splendid city, there lived a king whose name was Sahiras son of Sáhasi Rai. This king had innumerable riches and immense buried treasures. His justice was well known in the world, and his liberality and bravery (were) widely spread. The limits of his dominions extended on the east to the boundary of Kashmir, on the west to Makran, on the south to the coast of the sea and Debal, and on the north to the mountains of Kurdan and Kíkánán.
He had appointed four Governors (Maliks) in his kingdom: one at Brahminabad; and the fort of Nerun and Debal, Luhánah, Lákhah, Sammah and the river were left under his management; another at the town of Siwistán; and Ladhia, Chingán, the skirts of the hills of Rojhán up to the boundary of Makrán, were given into his charge; the third at the fort of Iskandah; and Báhíah, Stwárah, Jajhór, and the supplementary territories of Dhanód were given in his possession; and the fourth at the town of Multan; and the towns of Sikkah, Karnd, Ishthar and Kíh up to the boundary of Kashmir were entrusted to him.
The king himself had his head-quarters in the city of Alór, retaining Kurdán, Kíkánán, and Barhamas directly under his sway. Each of these Governors was called upon by the king to keep in readiness troops and arms, and accouterments for horses. He ordered them to protect the interests of the country and the people, to look after the repairs of the (State) buildings, and to keep the feudal assignees and estate holders happy.
In his whole dominion, there was not a single refractory or rebellious head who perversely opposed the measures passed by him or (transgressed) the boundaries fixed by him.A s the great God willed it, all of a sudden an army of the king of Nímrúz made an invasion on his country, and entered Kirmán. When, King Sahiras got this news, he issued from the fort of Ráoi with his main army, with the steadfast purpose of meeting the enemy by advanced marches. He soon came up to them and the battle commenced.
After a number of brave soldiers and illustrious warriors were slain on both sides, the people of Fars, placing full trust in the direction of the All Powerful God and resigning everything to him, made a vigorous assault. The army of Rai Sahiras, completely overpowered and overthrown, took to flight. Sahìras, however, to prevent ignominy, stood there fighting with the enemy till he was killed.
The King of Fars returned to Nimruz, and Rai Sáhasi son of Rai Sahiras ascended the throne of his father and was confirmed in his kingdom. All the four governors, who had been appointed by his father made obeisance to him, and behaved obediently and agreeably towards him. They surrendered their countries together, with their treasures to him, and did not attempt to swerve from their fealty. Owing to his excellent policy and majestic dignity, Rai Sáhasi brought the kingdom under his firm control. The subjects and original residents of the country enjoyed much respect, and lived a happy life.
He had a wazir, by name chamberlain Rám. Rám was well acquainted with the various departments of knowledge, and his administration was in every way absolute and supreme, in as much as there was none to interfere in his work, or to oppose him. The Council of State was entirely committed to his care and wise policy. Rai Sahiras had also a firm belief in his eloquence and good logic, and he (the Rai) never overstepped his counsel or suggestion.

The coming of Chach son of Selaij to pay respects to the chamberlain Ram

Once, when the chamberlain Ram, the Brahman wazir, had come to his office, a Brahman came to visit him. He (that Brahman) began to praise (him) and speak highly of him in beautiful language. The chamberlain Ram asked him: “O Brahman, whence do you come and for what purpose have you taken the trouble of coming (here)” The Brahman replied “my name is Chach son of Seláij, Brahman My brother Jandab and my father live in a temple in a rural place at ched to the town of Alór, and pray for Rai Sáhasi and the chamberlain Ram. It occurred to me that I should pay a visit to you; and as eloquence is the origin of good fortune and the solver of difficulties, I thought of showing you my readiness to serve you.”
The chamberlain Rám said, “No doubt, (in the matter of) eloquence and rhetoric, your speech is fluent enough, but are you acquainted with law and morals?” Chach replied: “I have all the four books of the Hindu religion on the tip of my tongue; if Your Excellency be pleased to give the word, I will recite some of those master-pieces of eloquence and rhetoric, on which I have been working so long. Is hall thereby (also) show my sincerity and truthfulness.”
While they were thus conversing with each other, some dispatches were received for consultation and disposal, from the direction of Debal. The chamberlain gave those letters to him. Chach read them out in his very best manner, and wrote a reply in the most chosen words and in an excellent handwriting.
When Rám acquainted himself with what he had written, he greatly applauded Chach for his consummate wit and cleverness. He extended his patronage to him by respecting him greatly and giving him rich presents He told him: “I have many important affairs for disposal. As I am the secretary in attendance at the Royal palace and have to do my office work, I am so busy that I have hardly sufficient time to discharge my duties properly. You will therefore be of some assistance to me.”
Chach accepted the offer and entered on his duties. In a short time, he became prominent in the correspondence department of the Council.
One day, Rai Sáhasi came to the public audience hall, and the great men and chieftains of the city were all present there. Some letters from the district of Siwistan having arrived, the Secretary Rám was called. But he had not yet come to the Council office; so Chach sent word, saying, “I am the Assistant of the Secretary Ram. If anything is to be written, I am ready to write it and to dispose of the work in hand.”
King Sáhasi called him. Chach read out excellently the letters that had been received, and explained their purport with full details. He then wrote a reply in a sweet style and in a beautiful handwriting, and submitted the same to the king for perusal and approval.
The king had a great liking for excellent penmanship. He went over the letter of Chach, and was much pleased with the style. He invested him with a robe of honour and ordered that he be confirmed in his post of Assistant Secretary.
When, (shortly afterwards,) the chamberlain Rám met the king in his palace, Rai Sáhasi asked him: “This assistant of yours is a very clever fellow; he is an eloquent speaker and a good writer. Whence have you brought him? Treat him kindly.” The chamberlain Rám said: “He is a son of Selaij Brahman, and is an honest, straightforward and experienced man.”
When the chamberlain Ram found the king favorably inclined towards Chach, he asked him to do the work of the Secretary, too, for him and to carry on the whole business of that office during his presence or absence. Thus Chach began to perform important business, and disposed of State affairs and political matters in a business-like manner.
Every time that he had occasion to go into the presence of the king, the latter rewarded him and patronized him by giving him a dress of honour or some other present, and advised him to persevere (diligently) in that course of employment, telling him that, by means of such employment, the affairs (of State) would be well transacted and he would be entitled to a higher post. In this fashion, the king went on encouraging him and giving him good hopes by making pleasant promises. (Eventually) as the great God willed it, the life of the chamberlain Ram came to its close and the hand of death tore the collar of his garment.
 
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