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Tharparkar District ( ) ( ) is a district is located in Sindhmarker, Pakistanmarker. According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, it had a population of 955,812 of which only 4.54%. The district lies between 24° 10' to 25°45' north latitudes and 69' 04' to 71°06' east longitude. It is bounded on the north by Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts, on the east by Barmer and Jaisalmer districts of Indiamarker, on the west by Badin districtmarker and on the south by the disputed Rann of Kachchhmarker. The total area of the district is 19,638 km².

Until 1990, the present district of Tharparkar, Umarkotmarker and Mirpur Khasmarker composed one district, with Mirpur Khas its headquarters. The division into two separate districts on 31 October, 1990: i.e., Mirpurkhas and Thar established the town of Mithi as the new headquarters of the Tharparkar district, while Umerkot was bifurcated on 17 April 1993.

Etymology

The district, and thus the town, derives its name from 'Thar' and 'Parkar': the name "Thar" is from "Thul", the general term for the regional sand ridges, and "Parkar" literally means "to cross over". It was earlier known as Thar and Parkar district, but later became one word Tharparkar.

History

The history of this district is similar to that of other districts of the lower Sindhmarker region. The major portion of Thar desert was in occupation of Parmar Rajputs named Sodha and portion from east Chachro to Gadra and some area of Taluka Umerkotmarker and Taluka Khipro of Sangharmarker District known as Khaorwas ruled by Rathores. Soomras, a branch of Parmar Rajputs, possessed a portion of Mithi and Diplo talukas west of Chachro known as Deirak Pargna. When Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi led expeditions to Somnathmarker, it is believed that he passed through this desert a number of times.

In 1053, the Soomras embraced Islam taking advantage of the weak control of the Ghaznavid Empire, broke off their allegiance and succeeded in establishing a chief of their own as an independent ruler of the eastern delta. Soomras of desert also acted similarly, claimed to be independent and captured Umerkotmarker making it their capital. They then extended their rule practically to the entire desert. But it appears that the Sultans at Delhi continued to reassert their authority and Soomras were punished by Ghiyas-uddin and then by his son Muhammad Shah. In 13th or 14th century another Rajput tribe named Samma converted to Islam. In 1353 Sammas set up Jam Umer at Thatta as their ruler. The line ended with Jam Feroze who was defeated by Shah Baig Arghun in 1529.

In 1558 the Kalhora family rose into prominence. In the times of Noor Muhammad Kalhora, a Baloch tribe of Talpur came into prominence in 1778. The struggle for power en- sued between Kalhoras and Talpurs and in 1783 Mir Fateh Ali Khan first of the Talpur line established himself as Rais of Sindh and obtained afarman from the Afghan King Shah Zaman for his Government.

It was in 1843 when Sir Charles Napier became Victor of Sindh and this part was merged into Katch Political Agency and Hyderabad Collectorate. Sindh was divided into provinces and was assigned a Zamindar's to collect taxes for British, Zamindar's were also known as 'Wadera'.

Sindh was later made part of British India's Bombay Presidency, and became a separate province in 1935.Later on in 1858 the entire area became part of Hyderabad. Subsequently in 1860 it was renamed as "Eastern Sindh Frontier" with its headquarters at Umerkot handled by Political Superintendent. In 1882 it was renamed as District and its administrative head was Deputy Commissioner. Lastly in 1906 headquarters of the district was shifted to Mirpurkhas. Now in recent arrangements i.e. in December, 1990 district Tharparkar was bifurcated into two districts - Mirpurkhasmarker and Thar - with its headquarters at Mithimarker. In October, 1993 the name of present district was again notified as Tharparkar. General Musharraf appointed the Chief Minister for Sindh from the Arbab family of Thar. The Arbab's are related to the Thakurs through marriage.

Tribes

The population can be divided into three main classes, , which include Muslim and Hindu tribes, [Rahimoon],Baloch and aboriginal Dravidian tribes and Rajputs. The large number of aboriginal Bhils are also settled in Tharparkar district.

Rahimoon

(Rahimoon's community is the largest community in tharparkar especially settled in taluka chachro where sameja and nohri are also in great numbers. Being in majority they entered in politics in 1990 and ultimately became member of Provincial assembly, Mr Inayatullah Rahimoon became MPA twice and Abdul Razak Rahimoon became MPA also twicely, Abdul Razak is presently member of provincial assembly sindh.This community also produced notable figure in every field as engineers,doctors, educationist,officers and civil servants.,as Engr.Shoukat Ali Rahimoon Engr. Wali Muhammad Rahimoon,a renown scientist of Sindh who gave new idea of producing electricity from the hot sand of thar, during his final year research in Mehran university,jamshoro. He was on the post of Assistant electrical inspector Karachi from 1992 to 2004, then resigned from his job in 2004, and announced to take part in coming election against Chief minister Sindh, Arbab Ghulam Rahim. After that announcement, Engr. Wali Muhammad Rahimoon sent jail for twice by the order of sitting CM-sindh Arbab Rahim, in 2005 and in 2006 with 7 false criminal cases),Mr.Rahimoon fought election against Arbab Rahim in 2008 general election, and lost.), Engr. Aftab Ali Rahimoon(A student activist and son of Engr. Wali Muhammad Rahimoon), Nawaz Ali Rahimoon, Muhammad Iqbal Rahimoon, Dr. Wali Muhammad Dr. Liaquat Ali Rahimoon,Dr. Mir Muhammad Rahimoon, Dr. Rehmatullah Rahimoon Mobin Ahmed Rahimoon,Abdul Samad Rahimoon Dhati, Imran Rahimoon remained on important positions in MI2, Murad Ali Rahimoon,as educationist also contributed a lot,mr. Mohsin Ali rahimoon journalist working with mehran tv as editor, hi is first Multimedia student from thar.Muhammad Ramzan rahimoon son of nagar Ali Rahimoon sukhani B.com from sachal Arts collage Hyderabad,working in UAE. Muhammad Mureed Rahimoon, first civil servant of this community is also renowned figure and serving in important departments,he got the world Bank scholarship and did MPA from Columbia University NewYork USA. Many other youngesters are in different educational institutions and prove their worth and contribute for the area in every field. Mr. Abdul Samad Rahimoon Dhati is a social worker in his local area and also in karachi,ARBAB ALI AALMANI RAHIMOON, FATEH ALI AALMANI RAHIMOON,ALI NAWAZ AND GULZAR ALI RAHIMOON ARE THE STUDENTS STUDY IN KARACHI.

Baloch

The Balochs are mainly from the Khosa and Rind tribes who turned to brigandage in Thagfgfdgdfbd fgfvbdfgf rparkar late in the eighteenth century when their Kalhora leaders were supplanted as rulers of Sindhmarker by another Baloch tribe, the Talpur. When the British conquered the Talpur in 1843 they converted the war like Khosa into police and through them established law and order in a region of endemic fending and looting. Rind are mainly residing in Chhachhro taluka of Tharparkar district. The area in the vicinity of Village Janjhi there are over one dozen villages of Rinds.

Pushkarna Brahmin

In Tharparkar there are approximately 500 houses of Pushkarna Brahmin, they are also called as Sindhuwarni Brahmin they migrated from Thatta in the Mughal era. In Pakistanmarker, the Hindu caste Brahmins are only settled in the Tharparkar district.

Lohana & Bania

The urban middle class of Tharparkar consists of Hindu Lohana and Bania, castes devoted to business and commerce. Their Muslim counterparts, the Memon community, have established themselves at provincial level in business and the professions. They (Lohana and Banias) retain a dominant hold over the lower classes of Muslim and Hindu alike through debt bondage.In Brahman Community Amar Jagdesh Kumar Malani was first MPA of PPP , who was died on 1st 1992. Then Motiram Malani was selected Member of National Assembly (MNA) who was died then Dr. Mahesh Kumar Malani was selected Member National Assemly (MNA) & President PPP District Tharparkar.

Bajeer & Khaskheli

The Bajeer and Khaskheli Muslims pride themselves on their personal service to former rulers. Bajeer is a degeneration of Wazir (Minister), used euphemistically to disguise bondage.

Meghwar

From the Dalits Meghwal are most populated in District Tharparkar, especially in Mithimarker Taluka and Diplo. In all the cities or town of district Tharparkar the Meghwals are most populated community.

These artisans are set apart from the Hindu outcastes, most prominent among whom in Thar are the Meghwal, descendants of Jat nomadic herders of Sindhmarker who settled as leather workers and landless farm labourers for the rulers. The Meghwal have largely abandoned leather work, and have devoted themselves to less demeaning skills such as weaving. At present, Meghwal are competing in all fields with other communities of Tharparkar region. There are severel Meghwal students, studying as Doctors, Engineers, doing Bachelors & Masters from top universities of the country. Meghwal have taken special advantage of the spread of education in Thar and are increasingly represented in the professions in the developing district administration.Mr. Surendar Valasai, Dr. Khatumal Jeewan, Engineer Gianchand, Bherulal Balani, Mohanlal Meghwar, are the most influence persons and prominent politicians from Meghwal. Mr. Surendar Valasai is the Founder president of Scheduled Castes Federation of Pakistan {SCFP} and currently working as Media Consultant in Bilawal House, . Senator Dr. Khatumal Jewan, twice elected MNA & once MPA and advisor to CM once. Engr. Gianchand was once elected MPA (at this time he is the member of PPP Sindh Council & Mr. Bherulal Balani was also elected MPA of Sindh Assembly, He was also the chairman of Khidmat committee district Tharparker 1997-1999.

Bheel

The Bhils in Thar have retained the nomadic instincts of their Jat forebears; they regularly migrate with their herds and families to the irrigated areas for seasonal labour, occupying their villages in Thar during the short planting season.

Kolhi

Finally the Kolhis, descendants of the hunting and gathering population once subsisted on Thar's abundant fauna, fruit and wild products such as honey. Although the only original inhabitants of Thar (all the remainder have coronised in historical times), the Kohlis are now the poorest and least established. They enjoyed a period of respect as soldier for the pre-British rulers, but now with the disappearance of game, are reduced to making the painful adjustment to herding and farming.

According to the 1998 census, Hindus were 43.47% of the population and Muslims more than 56%. However in the urban centers of the district, Hindus form an overwhelming majority of population at 71.61% while Muslims account for 27.50% of the urban population.

Rajputs

Of the ruling class, the Rajputs are related to the warrior lords of Rajasthanmarker. The Muslim Rajputs are mainly Samats and its sub-tribes like Sama and Soomro. Besides, there Nohrios (Arbabs), Bhattis, Janjhi, Khokhars, Dars, Panwhar, Halepota, Junejo, Thebo, Mangrio, Langa, Sand, Sameja, Rahamamarker, Neharia, etc. In Thar the Hindu Rajputs are represented by the Sodhas, Bhatis and Dohat,Dandhul Rathore and are found in larger towns as landowners.Thakurs have left to sell their daughetrs to powerful kings. They had given Jodha Bai to Mughal Akbar and also to Mir, Talpur, Arbabs, etc.

Others

Among the labouring classes the Muslim woodworkers, the Kasuthar, and the Hindu Lohar, or metalworkers enjoy a privileged position and would not consider themselves working class at all

Society and culture

Shah Latif portrayed whatever he searched out in the passionate lyricism with seven characters, all women symbolizing the determination for upholding 'truth' in an antagonistic status-quo largely directed by ever changing tide of time.

Tharparkar is the central theme of this classical text consummated by the fascinating lyric and rhythm, Marvi a local Thari girl symbolizes the human attachment and relation ship with the institutions and traditions. The history of Tharparkar, in letter and spirit, is the account of this sentimental humanoid attachment and its reaction towards the changing nature of social fabric.

The indigenous myth and measures to cope with calamities like drought and dearth were losing their potential in the wake of strong influence of cash economy. The fascinating colour of grazing lands and the romantic instinct of tending the flocks of cattle are diffusing in the mushrooming needs of daily life.

The tribes and castes in Tharparkar adopt a kaleidoscopic settlement pattern rather than territorial segregation. Successive waves of invasion have therefore created a mosaic of cultures and ethnic groups in Thar. But all have, in time, bowed to similar means of production and to a common material culture.

The Tharis are honest, hard-working people and are very generous in hospitality. The gatherings between castes is largely restricted to men. The locale for such interactions being the "autak". Each hamlet will have at least one "autak" situated a discrete distance beyond the thorn hedge of the family quarters. Failing an "autak" the nearest shady tree is designated for meetings with outsiders.

Women largely communicate within their own caste, within which they marry exclusively. Opportunities for meeting women of other castes become more restricted with higher status. Rajput women observe strict purdah (seclusion) while poorer Bajeer, Bheel, Menghwar and Kohli are freer to undertake their field tasks.

Personalities

Literary

Raichand Rathore, Nafees Nashad, Nandlal Nandan, Allahdad Janjhi, Ashraf Samoo, Sohail Sangi, Akash Santori Meghwar, Nehru Valasai, Saeendad Saand, Noor Ahmed Janjhi, Faqir Muqeem, Riaz Sohail journalist working with BBC, Khatau Jani journalist working with Daily Kawish / KTN and others.mr. Mohsin Ali rahimoon journalist working with [MEHRAN TV]. Mumtaz Ali Nohrio working with Awaaz TV,

Books on Thar

Tareekh Registan by Raichand Rathore (Meghwal)

Political

Dr.Khatumal Jeewan Meghwar(Senator), Rana Chander Singh Sodho, Ram Singh Sodho, Arbab Amir Hassan, Engr.Gianchand Meghwar Ex-MPA Sindh Arbab Ghulam Rahim,Bherulal Balani, Rajveer Singh Sodha, Jam Saqi, Arbab Attaullah, Bheru Lal Balani Meghwar Ex-MPA & Ex-Chairman Khidmat Committee Tharparkar, Arbab Zakaullah MNA, Faqir Sher Mohammed Bilalani ex Taluka nazim Mithi, Dr. Mahesh Malani MNA, Abdul Razaq Rahimoon and Dr Ghulam Haider Samejo,

Local governments

The Tharparkar district is divided into four taluka municipal administrations:



Geography

The Thar region forms part of the bigger desert of the same name that sprawls over a vast area of Pakistanmarker and India from Cholistan to Nagarparkar in Pakistan and from the south of Haryanamarker down to Rajasthanmarker in India.

The district is mostly desert and consist of barren tracts of sand dunes covered with thorny bushes. The ridges are irregular and roughly parallel, that they often enclosed sheltered valleys, above which they rise to a height of some 46 m. These valleys are moist enough to admit cultivation and when not cultivated they yield luxuriant crops of rank grass. But the extraordinary salinity of the subsoil and consequent shortage of potable water renders many tracts quite uninhabitable. In many of the valleys the subsoil water collects and forms large and picturesque salt lakes, which rarely dry up.

The only hills in the district are at Nagarparkar on the northern edge of the Rann of Kutch, which belongs to quite a different geological series. It consists of granite rocks, probably an outlying mass of the crystalline rocks of the Aravallimarker range. The Aravalli series belongs to Archaen system which constitutes the oldest rocks of the Earth's crust. This is a small area quite different from the desert. The tract is flat and level except close to Nargarparkar itself. The principal range, Karunjhir, is 19 km in length and attains a height of 305 m. Smaller hills rise in the east, which are covered with sparse jungle and pasturage and give rise to two perennial springs named Achleshwar and Sardharo as well as temporary streams called Bhetiani and Gordhro, after the rains.

On the south of the district is the great Rann, an immense salt lake. It is a flat land, almost at sea level, covered with thick layer of salt which has been left by evaporation of sea water over the centuries. During a monsoon it becomes almost part of the sea owing to influx of sea water at Lakhpat Bander on Kori mouth of the Indusmarker and other places. During winter it mostly dries up and surface is covered with salt. At places where the land rises up by a few metres, it becomes an island and is thus called "bet".The most important cities are Mithimarker, Islamkotmarker, Chachro, Nangarparkar, Dano Dandal. While Mithi is noted as one of the most advanced cities of Tharparkar, compared to other cities of world it is tantamount to an African village. Bharat Kumar Soothar has taken some measures to enhance the conditions of Tharparkar.

There is no river or stream in the district. However, in Nagarparkar there are two perennial springs named Acbleshwar and Sardharo as well as temporary streams called Bhetiani river and Gordhro river after the rains.

Climate

The district has a tropical desert climate. In summer, it is extremely hot during the day, but nights are remarkably cooler. April, May and June are the hottest months during the day; December, January and February are the coldest months. The mean maximum and minimum temperature during this period are 28°C and 9°C, respectively.

There are wide fluctuations in the amount of rainfall from year to year and the yearly average for some areas is as low as 100 mm. Most of the rain falls between July and September, during the south-west monsoon, and is often concentrated in a period of two to three days.

Flora

Since the district lies in arid zone, therefore, drinking water is scarce throughout Thar. Drought recurs and usually there is no rain every third year. The soil is generally infertile, and because of severe wind erosion it is overblown with sand. Vegetation consists mostly of stunted scrub and bush, although trees such as the hardy (Prosopis cineraria) (kandi) do occasionally dot the landscape. The main natural ground cover is provided by grasses which are nutritive and a palatable fodder for livestock.

The common plants of the desert are Euphorbia caducifolia (thuhar), Calligonum polygonoides (phog), and Calotropis gigantea. In irrigated tracts, Acacia nilotica (babul or babur), Dalbergia sissoo (talhi) Azadirachta indica (neem), Salvadora oleoides (vann or jar), and Tamarix gallica (kri) are found.

Fauna

Wildlife has a significant correlation with greenery, verdure and forage. In congruence to the desert nature of the area, this district is blessed with beautiful species of birds and animals. Sometimes the black wild ass, the only one of its kind in Pakistan, has been found roaming in the Rann of Kutch area. However, the massive social changes in the district have not affected only the culture of the people but also its physical environment. As a result, this change has diminished and/or vanished many wildlife species. Even so, a number of animals found in the district includes Chinkara (Gazella bennetti), Desert Fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla), Golden Jackal (Canis aureus), Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena) and mongoose (Herpestes sp.).

Among birds the most famous is the Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus). Other notable birds are:

Among waterbirds, the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) and the Black Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa) are found at Chachro Taluka.

In the district dangerous snakes (e.g., khapar, Indian Cobra, etc.) are generally found in the rainy season in large numbers.

See also



References

Tareekh Registan by Raichand Rathore

www.bbc.co.uk/urdu

www.thekawish.com

  1. Urban resource centre (1998 Census figures



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