LATEST RESEARCH ON FOUNDATIONS OF TALPUR POWER IN SINDH

In a recent study Dr.N.A.Baluch,an eminent historian,scholar and former Vice-Chancellor of Sindh University has proved that the contentions of biased historians against the Talpurs as baseless and malicious. He in his paper,read at the Pakistan History Conference Golden Jubilee Session held in October 2001 in Karachi, has proved with authentic documents that Talpurs were influential land holders even before the Kalhoras came into power.In fact Mir Shahdad Khan was instrumental in helping the Kalhoras come into power. He has established that the Talpurs were not the uncouth rustics as the British historians have tried to project. In an 1116A.H (1704 A.D.)document Mir Shahdad Khan is referred to as "Riffat Panah" meaning His Eminence. He also establishes that Mir Shahdad Khan founded Shahdadpur during the years 1125A.H.-1128A.H (1713-1715 AD). The document shows that Mir Shahdad Khan not only had barren lands cultivated but also provided security to the populace by ridding the region of dacoits (thieves). He established new norms for the sharing of produce between the owners and tillers. Mir Shahdad Khan had old canals and waterways renovated and also extended them. He had new canals dug as well and that was how he established the new settlement of Shahdadpur.

The learned Doctor at one point has eleborated thus, "In view of his prestige and popularity, Shahdad Khan was later on offered a land grant of a large area extending from Dung to Kotte Ratta in "the 4th year of the reign of King Muhammad Farrukh Siyar" in 1128A.H.. The contents of the document show that Shahdad Khan had the ability to assemble a large number of tillers and farmers in a joint effort to bring more areas under cultivation. He was bestowed this grant to bring under cultivation entire unsettled areas (Ghair jama'ee) extending from Dung to Ratto Kotte. This was possibly located further north to Pingharo, in present Sakrand Taulkawhere the locality of Dung is well known to this day.

However Mir Shahdad had now his own terms of accepting the offer of the grant of theb unsettled areas of the government lands which were to be reclaimed for cultivation. He joined the tillers as co-sharers in the income acquired from the areas brought under cultivation. Accordingly, it was stipulated that the tillers shall be co-sharers, and it was guaranteed that there "shall be no alteration in these terms and conditions".

This study shows that Mir Shahdad Khan was a born leader of men and had the interests of the people near him very close to his heart. That he was "just ,sagacious and foresighted". It also shows that Talpurs were instrumental in bringing about prosperity in this primarily agricultural country. This was brought about by curbing lawlessness and opening up new areas to cultivation. The Talpurs today can really be proud of having an ancestor like Mir Shahdad Khan Talpur. Without him there probably would have been no Talpur rule in Sindh.