Raja Dahirsen is one of greatest warriors who gave tough times to Arab invaders as and when they headed to loot resource rich Sindh. He is also called Arjun of Sindh. His nationalist inclinations are as tall as those of Maharana Pratap, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and even Jhansi Ki Rani Laxmibai. But ask people around if they have heard his name, majority would say no. History is perhaps not as kind to him as it is to others for reasons only historians can explain. This is what perhaps led Pandit Ramchand Shandliyaji to undertake the work “Chachvansh Mahakavya”. He says in his introduction that he first thought of writing verses in praise of Raja Dahirsen but later changed mind to pen down epic profiling life and times of this great warrior and also providing a peep in glorious past of Sindh history. This was the period when Sindh was land of abundance and a separate country. It was also known for its all-time roaring and buoyant Indus river. The period covered is spread over from 516 BC to partition times with major focus however on period 645 AD.
Pandit Ramchand Shandiliya, a noted Sanskrit scholar of his times and also called Sindhu Ratan of Sindhi Samaj and also “Kavi Kalidas” of Sindhi literature for his several works in Sanskrit, was a great educationist teaching languages Sanskrit and English in his service span. He retired as principal Netaji Junior College, Ulhasnagar and passed away in the year 1999 in Mumbai. Pandit Ramchand Shandiliya who has also other Sanskrit works to his credit including Kamdutam, Balnatyawali, winning him title of Sindhi Ratana, had to make exhaustive research over the years to do justice to his ambitious work, “Chachvansh Mahakavya”, the Sindhi version of the book was released at the hands of the former MP, journalist and noted Sindhi social activist Bhagwandev Acharya in 1998 while Sanskrit and Hindi versions were released posthumously.
If Pandit Ramchand Shandiliya must get credit for undertaking highly-researched work enlightening readers on hitherto unsung hero Dahirsen and also for apprising today's generations on hitherto unfamiliar aspects of Sindh history and its other allied sides like its eternally roaring and great river, Indus, Shandiliya's disciple Mr.Manohar Galani, deserves no less credit for making Shandiliyaji's work see light of the day.
Mr. Galani ,one of disciples ,is also one of students of Pandit Shandiliyaji at Netaji Junior College, Ulhasnagar. He was close to Panditji ever since school days.At the time when Shandilya was breathing last, Mr.Galani assured him that he would see to it that this book, “Chachvansh Mahakavya” is released from some befitting platform in other versions too, most especially in Sanskrit and Hindi, as desired by Panditji. At the time Mr.Galani gave such assurances, he was bank official .But, yet he found time after his office schedules and on holidays to get it printed and later got its Hindi version released at the hands of BJP 's iconic leader, L K Advani during one of great all India literary meetings in Bhuj in 2015. Post retirement from the bank a year ago (in 2019), he is busy these days to take this work across the world for fans of Shandilyaji and also for enthusiasts of anthropology and is consulting IT experts to have some website in the name of this book or his Guruji. Meanwhile, English translation too is underway and the Hindi version of this book is now available on Amazon too. Mr. Galani is of firm view that this work is immensely informative work as much on Sindh history as much as on Sindh's great warrior dynasties, Chach and other ones.
Pandit Ramchand Shandiliya must get credit for undertaking highly-researched work enlightening readers on hitherto unsung hero Dahirsen and also for apprising today's generations on hitherto unfamiliar aspects of Sindh history
Not just Mr.Galani, but even other religious scholars and authoritative figures too have similar opinion for “Chachvanst Mahakavya”. Bhai Shri Rameshbhai Ojhaji, widely known as Shrimad Bhagwat kathakar is often seen on TV channels for his discourses on religious works and great scriptures. He says in his foreword for this book “This is first ever such book written on Sindh history. Major idea behind this book is to create awareness. There are very few historical epics and this is one of them. This book can also go a long way in nation building as it helps people establish cultural identity and thus helps them get connected with roots”. Dr. K Shandiylia from Saraswati University, Rajasthan in his introduction for Chachvansh Mahakavya says “Your (Ramchand Shandilyaji) varied works speak for your-faceted and intellectual personality. Hopefully, readers only just like this work but will also feel enlightened”.
History of Sindh rulers' great fights against Arab invaders is truly incomplete without reading histories of great Sindh rulers Chach Dahirsen and others. Thoroughly researched and thought -provoking work, readers will find it highly engaging and literally unstoppable from beginning to last page. It is not just overwhelming but illuminating too. You have to read it to believe it.
(The Writer is a Mumbai based Sr Journalist)