DOGRAS ARE STRONG WILLED AS A RACE
Dogras are those people who speak Dogri as their mother tongue. This includes people professing different faiths, beliefs, thoughts, based on the principles of fair-mindedness where justice is imparted without any bias. One thing which sets Dogras apart from others is their mental toughness which has proven optimally since they faced and withstood invasions from all sides; both from Mughals, Afghanis and even from Punjab and others. Dogras are known for their resilience, resoluteness, traits of fulfillment of their commitment despite hurdles and provocations, etc. It is in accordance with the Lord Rama’s Kul (Ancestry): Raghukul Reet Sadha Chali Ayi Pran Jaye Par Bachan Na Jaye – t is the tradition of Raghukul to die rather than fulfill commitment.
WITH TAWI RIVER FLOWING WITH UTMOST SERINITY & MAJESTICALLY
WARM BONHOMIE & COMPLETE HARMONY BETWEEN PEOPLE OF ALL RELIGIONS
Though it is an undisputed fact that although people of different religions (Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, form composite lot as Dogras, yet there has not been any major breach of peace. There has been peace and harmony between the people. All disputes are settled either through judicially or through robust Panchayati Raj System in the rural areas.
BELIEF SYSTEM IN DOGRAS OF ALL HUES
One thing that sets the Dogras is their self-belief and indomitable belief on God. Seemingly, it goes to prove that Dogras are spiritually oriented, where their way of life starts in the morning with prayers and meditation and ends up prayers in the evening prayers. We observe ringing of bells in the temples along with chanting of Mantras/Prayers, Azaans in the Mosques, recitation of Naam in Gurdwaras are heard and followed with immense religious fervor and enthusiasm besides sweet prayers from the Churches. An heavenly existence indeed.
It is also worthwhile to mention here that Dogras worship their Family Deities. There is also common Deity of different sub-castes where people gather every year and commemorate their Deities. For example, my family deities are: Raja Kalivir Ji, Maa Mal Devi Ji, Reverent Bua Ji besides Baba Guru Ji.
ORIGIN OF DOGRAS
Although, the origin of Dugars or Dogras has many historical perspectives but whatever is known to us through various sources, one thing which sets them apart is their sense of commitment which remains in Dogras even presently. In other words, it is in their blood.
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF DOGRA AND DUGAR DESH
In essence, the historical perspectives of Dugar Desh is really very colourful. One thing is sure to impress us is the bravery, steadfastness, farsightedness, courage, adaptive instincts etc. One thing which stands out is their zeal to withstand any adverse eventuality and then will to survive and come out unscathed. This has proven, if we go through the historical perspective of Dogras. Many a times, the Dogras faced many a hurdles but due to their inborn courage and determination they rose and established themselves to make difference.
ADAPTIVE NATURE WITH SIMPLICITY AS THEIR PLANK
Besides having unquestionable integrity and loyalty, the Dogras are known for their adaptive nature. In other words, the Dogras can adjust in any changing situations and conditions. Wherein so ever they go and settle, they adjust with the environs they live without much difficulty because they are not having any set agenda. The Dogras believe in simple living and high thinking. They pride in their cultural identities without causing any aspersion (daamareekaran) on others. Love begets love is the forte of every Dogras.
Dogras are known for their straightforwardness and fair-play, compassionate to the core and are always ready to contribute their mite in whatever way they are capable of. The Dogras are sincere with simple attitude and behavior pattern since Dogra blood flows in my veins. As a Dogra I have seen many a ups and downs in my life yet with inborn traits of changing with the changed situation and condition have come out unscathed with self-belief and strong belief on Supreme God. Jammu is also termed as the CITY OF TEMPLES wherein there are innumerable temples at every nook and corner. Then we have BAHU FORT where there is the temple of BAWE DI MAA wherein people get their problems solved through insightful and sincerest prayers.
The Dogras are sweet natured with their Mother Tongue as the sweetest one. Mithdi eh Dogren Di Boli Te Khand Mithe Log Dogre….(ए होए मिट्ठडी ऐ डोगरें दी बोली ते खंड मिट्ठे लोग डोगरे””) proves that Dogras are sweet tempered, well immersed and well versed in their cultural mores of behaviour.
No enduring purpose would be served till such time we make mention about the VALIANT POLICE FORCE. They are courageous, dispassionate along with the traits of dealing with the law and order situations with aplomb without any bias or discrimination. Besidess, the Dogras’ contribution for the defence of our country is second to none. The contribution of defence personnel from Samba, Jammu and other areas is exemplary. Their devotion to duty, dedication and loyalty are second to none. We are obviously proud of Army and Police forces. It is most relevant to mention that the terrorism unleashed by our neighbor could not have been leashed but by the joint efforts of military and central para-military forces along with the active support of J&K Police.
DOGRA & THEIR CHEQUERED HISTORY
Jammu city was founded by Jambu Lochan
About 3,000 years ago
On the right banks of river Tawi
He considered this site as the most appropriate
Since he saw a goat and a lion taking water together
His brother Bahu Lochan
Had laid the foundation of the city on the left side
Of the river Tawi
Tawi river is most sacred one indeed
Since it has layers of many a historical perspective in its bosom
Some very mystical but full of love,
some very hysterical
Some very historical.
My most venerable Bawe-Wali-Maa too is witness to all
What happened there – on the Eastern & Western side of Tawi.
The reference of this city is found too
In the chronicles of Timur Lung
Who ransacked this town
During his 1398-99 invasion
Timur found the people full of courage
Well built and feared none
Whosoever came their way
During this invasion
They faced with utmost guts
That time Jammu was ruled by Maldev
Who converted to Islam after his defeat
But reconverted to Hinduism afterwards
Then Jammu was ruled by Bhim Dev.
During 15th century Bhim Dev helped Sultan Mubarak Shah
Of Delhi against Jasrat Kokhar of Punjab
But unfortunately was killed during that action.
Subsequently, Jammu remained at war
With the rulers of Punjab and others
Till under the rule of Kapur Dev
Differences started simmering in the ruling family after 1571.
The two sons of Kapur Dev – Samil Dev and Jay Dev
Declared their independent rules
At right and left side of the River Tawi
Jammu and Bahu respectively.
This dissention made Jammu weak
It made the task of Mughals easy – a cake walk
For the Mughals to take control over the entire territory.
The two sided got united under the rule of Hari Dev during 1652-82
But the unity was short lived
After the demise of Hari Dev.
Then during the rule of Ranjit Dev
Jammu became peaceful again
In fact gained past glory again
He extended his territories extensively
Then the Dogras became bold and started
Robbing the Mughal caravans
Between Punjab and Kashmir.
The rift between the two royal families
Were exploited by Moghals
Attacked and defeated Ranjit Dev in 1748
And his step-brother Ghansar Dev was installed to rule.
In 1760 , Ranjit Dev came back and started ruling Jammu.
Thereafter he started expand hising his territory
Due to the weakening of Mughal empire
Because of invasion of Afghanis
By 1773 Ranjit Dev’s empire expanded
From Jasrota to Kaluwal on Chenab to Gurdaspur,
Even Rajouri, Bhimber and Poonch came under Jammu
It was during this rule that there was economic sufficiency
Along with the stability of territory
Under the rule of Ranjit Dev rule and a glorious history.
Woefully, after the demise of Ranjit Dev in 1780
The Jammu suffered under Sikh Misls
After Afghanis left Punjab.
After the death of Ranjit Dev
His son Brij Lal took over
Subsequently, was succeeded by his one year old son
Thence there was change of guard
Yet the condition was not as stable as during Ranjit Dev rule
Then Ajit Singh, the nephew of Brij Lal took over the reigns
Then under the banner of Maharaj Ranjit Singh in 1808
Maharaja sent his army under Hukam Singh invaded Jammu
Mian Mota with a small force confronted Sikh army
The two armies met outside the Gumat Gate.
Here, young Gulab Singh of only 16 years old
Played a prominent role in this battle
Along with Mian Dido
A Dogra Hero
This battle became an example for others too
Hukam Singh was forced to withdraw his forces
But thereafter the Jammu’s defences
Could not sustain the onslaught of Sikh Army
The whole of Jammu was under Sikh suzerainty
Then picture changed dramatically
Mian Dido decided fighting Sikhs
Whereas Gulab Singh decided cooperating with Sikhs
Subsequently, he was made the Commander of Sikh Army
Thereafter, Maharaja Ranjit Singh awarded him two Jagirs
In 1819, Kashmir was brought under Sikh rule
And in this Gulab Singh played a main role.
His bravery in various battles proved his mettle
As a great warrior and loyalty
He became an example which is difficult to emulate.
Whereas Mian Dido continued with his guerrilla tactics
Mian Dido was the descendent from Hari Dev
Who ruled Jammu from 1652 to 1688 with utmost earnestness
His generosity and helpful attitude towards his subjects was excellent
He won the hearts and minds of his people of all cultural identities.
Mian Dido too was received with open hands by the people
He assisted the poor people
Even by plundering the rulers
Thereby proving to be a Robin Hood of Jammu
He inflicted heavy causalities on the Sikh garrison
With his guerilla battle tactics.
By 1816, he had earned for himself name and reputation
So much so was his influence on general masses
That even the communication
Between Punjab and Kashmir had become unsafe by the rulers
In 1820, he looted the fruits and other materials came from Kashmir
Thus becoming an affront to Maharaja Ranjit Singh
When everything failed to placate Mian Dido
Gulab Singh persuaded Maharaja Ranjit Singh
To let him chastise Mian Dido
Which was ultimately agreed.
Thereafter, Gulab Singh was awarded with jagirs in Jammu region
Subsequently, he was awarded the title of Raja
Gulab Singh identified the supporters of Mian Dido
Then tried to weed them off and keep them away from Mian Dido
He was forced to move to Trikuta peak- near Shrine Vaishno Devi
There were fights between Dido and forces against him
From then on, after the death of Mian Dido
The agitation launched by him ended too.
Gulab Singh even helped to locate and capture Agar Khan
A known fugitive who challenged the Lahore Court
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was more than convinced
That Gulab Singh was the fittest persona for ruling Jammu
Hence he was conferred as the ‘Rajgi’ of Jammu
On 17th January 1822 at Akhnoor.
Jammu along with many other Jagirs were also dovetailed
So, he was made the Raja of a vast territory by Maharaja Ranjit Singh
As was hitherto done by his powerful ancestor Ranjit Dev.
In the Dogra-Tibetan War
Fought between May 1841 to August 1842
Between the forces of Dogra
And Tibetian under Qing China
Raja Gulab Singh’s General Zorawar Singh Kahluria
And he was defeated due to the inclement weather
Thence Jawahir Singh was sent with reinforcement
In the battle near Leh in 1842
Lead to a Tibetan defeat
Then status quo ante was reached and maintained
Under the treaty of Chushul in 1842.
DOGRA – HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Dogras are an Indo-Aryan ethno-linguistic group
Speaking Dogri as their mother tongue
Dogras ruled city Jammu
Of which Raja Gulab Singh
Has left a most deep-seated impact
On the annals of historical records.
The origin of Dogra originated from Durgara
Mention of which is therein 12th Century inscription
As indicated in copper-plate in Chamba
In the message it has been mentioned
That The Raja of Chamba
Faced an attack by Kiras
With the active help of Lord of Durgara
A medieval term – the term Durgar
Is changed afterwards to Dugar
Which subsequently changed to Dogra
Even though the Rajataragini
Authored by Kalhana has no mention about this historical truth
But the name Vallapura
Could be attributed to modern Billawar
In Kathua District
Or Babbapura – the modern Babor.
There is also an important mention
That Durgara people
Originally migrated from Rajasthan to Terai Belt
Similar to Gurjars and Kodavas
The word during Durg (Fort)
Indicates that these people
Were warriors of immense reputation
Who formed various small Pahari kingdoms
Between Cheenab and Ravi rivers
And subsequently extended upto Sutluj river
There were eleven Dogra states
Which were later absorbed into Jammu state
This emerged as the powerful-composite state
With immense power and influence
The people revered their Raja as their saviour.
Jammu has beautiful temples
Representing artistic activity
Rajatarangini makes menton
About Raja Vajradhara of Babbarpura
Having allegiance to Bhikshachara of Kashmir
In 12th Century AD
Along with chiefs of neighbouring kingdoms.
Jammu Dogras lived
Between slopes of the Shivalik range of mountains
The lakes of Saroin Sar and Mansar
And then spread to Jammu region
The inhabitants speak Dogri
With Hinduism, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians
Being the speaks Dogri as the language.
During the rule of Raja Gulab Singh
Dogras got special recognisation as the warriors
From the British Rulers
His empire included
Whole of Jammu, maximum part of Ladakh region
And also part of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh
Kashmir Valley too
According to the treaty of Amritsar
Dogra King of Jammu
Was known as theMaharaja of Jammu & Kashmir State
Was handed over to Gulab Singh – a Dogra dynasty of Rajput
By the British Rulers
According to the provision of Article IV
According to treaty of Lahore
On 9th March 1846
Rajputs ruled the state from 1847 to 1947.
The Sikh Empire spread from Jammu Region
To Kashmir Valley, Tibet, Ladakh, Gilgit and Nagar
Which after war of Sikhs with Britishers
Was handed over Gulab Singh for aligning with Britishers.
Dogras have the rich tradition and culture
The festivals like Lohri and Holi are celebrated
A traditional dance Heren is performed during Lohri
Performed by youth accompanied with songs and dance
In which songs –
Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicaharaa ho!
Dullah bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
People celebrate Holi with great reverence
It is the time when people apply colours on each other
And exchange gifts
Thence at nightfall a bonfire is lit
Around which the devout take rounds
As pray to God for His graces/
Then Basant Panchami too is celebrated
This festival is commemorated
Representing change of season
A pleasant one at that.
When people wear yellow dresses
Basakhi too is celebrated with immense joy
It is a festival season
Which the farmers celebrate with great enthusiasm.Fur
Then Fumenie and Jagarana, Bakh/Gwatri/Kark/Masade
Gwattri, Karak and Benthe are performed and appropriate songs sung
Dogra too celebrate Dussehra, Diwali, Eid, Guru Prakashs, etc
With equal fervor and top-heavy delight.
We Dogras take wheat, maize and bajra besides rice as the staple diet
Besides daal, ambal, mitha madra, khir, khichri, auriya, kulth, cheese etc.
Dogras are the warriors of repute
Dogra Regiment is one of the famous regiments
Of British Indian Army
It showed its valour and bravery in Ist Warld and 2Nd World Wars
On many fronts around the world
I know it since my father too participated WW I
When serving in this Regiment.