Monday, December 6, 2010

1. Nanak …A Tiller till Today

Sometimes history plays truant…..as I am sure it has done with many of us on this count. I for one plead guilty, so will many others I am sure.
Guru Nanak the farmer
For the longest time I believed that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the unspoken benefactor of vast amount of estates to Nankana sahib as a tribute to his Guru. There are documents dating back to 1930 AD that the Nankana sahib Gurudwara owned around 18000 acres of land, but there was no indication as to whence they came.
A casual reference in passing by a friend indicated that there was more to it than the logical assumptions I had made, and he said they were in all probability misplaced in totality……That was a lead worth following, where it would lead to was a surprise I least expected….
Bits and bobs of information laid sequentially was pointing towards Rai Bular…the benevolent ‘Bhatti Sardar’ of Rai Bhoi di Talwandi but it was authenticated  only when I happened to get a referral on the an article by Dr. Harpal Singh, published in S. G. P. C’s December 2003 volume of Gurmat Parkash. It was titled ‘Kohe´-Noor’s appraiser, Rai Bular, Khan Sahib’. This was a pleasant surprise as the dignity in the persona of Rai Bular has always impressed me.
The why and wherefore   were still an unraveled mystery, at least for me. There was a cloud of exciting uncertainty and I was looking forward to see what the records held….and they were very clear in all terms of reference. As per these historical revenue records, now in possession of the family, Rai Bular …..The ‘ Bhatti Sardar’ of Rai Bhoi di Talwandi with many villages under him owned around 1500 ‘murabas’…..for those who may not have heard this revenue term of  bygone century…. A murabba is   made up of 25 acres .Rai Bular chose to bestow half of the lands which he owned towards Nanak’s ordained divine task. This was a gift from his heart in appreciation of the divinity he could see in Guru Nanak, even when he was a little boy. On the other hand, it is ironic that Mehta Kalu, Nanaks father was in oblivion and was unable to see the extraordinary in his son.
This tribute of 757 marabbas amounted to 18,750 acres of the most fertile acreage in the area.  Perhaps some time later Rai Bular   himself quantified the division of the estate he bequeathed.
Records show he gave:
 247 marabbas of land to …………..Nanak's birth-place (Janam Asthan), along with an    annual jagir (stipend) of Rs 9996
220 marabbas for ……………….Gurdwara (Bal Lila) place where Nanak played as a child; an annual jagir of Rs 31 .
290 marabbas for………………. the Gurdwara Mal Sahib and an annual grant of Rs 50
Time never stops and just over half a millennium has passed by since the Guru Nanak, nonetheless posterity still stands witness, for even today land registry records show that Guru Nanak is the tiller of these Murabbas.

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