History of Mustafabad-Tankaria
મુસ્તફાબાદ-ટંકારીયાનો ઈતિહાસ ગુજરાતીમાં ભાગ-૧ ઓનલાઈન વાંચવા માટે માટે અહીં ક્લીક કરો.
History of Mustafabad-Tankaria (English) Please click here to download in English
Message for Returning Visitors:
1. Three videos (Links) added on 10th April 2021.
Video 1- Cattle driving water lift from well.
Video 2- This is how our ancestors used to draw water from the deep well
Video 3- Persian Wheel: Ancient Irrigation Techniques popularly known as “Rahat”
2. New information added on the 18th of March 2021 under the subtitle “Tankaria Primary School for Boys”. Please refer to the second paragraph starting from, “The original school building (1865–66) . . . up to . . . branch school for girls at Nana Padar having ten rooms.
I hope it will be helpful and will save the time of returning visitors.
Part 1: Based on authentic historical sources
edited By: Nasir Ahmed Lotiya
First Edition: April 2007 (First draft published on “Tankaria Wet Paint” website)
Latest Edition: March 2021 (Published on “My Tankaria” with newly added interesting information)
The history of a unique village Tankaria is full of virtues. King “Ahmad Shah” of the “Muzaffarid dynasty” and king “Jahangir” of the “Mughal Empire” was influenced by the importance of the village and they gave special priority to the village. Many Sufi saints, Auvliya chose this village as a land of action and chose to be buried in the soil of the village. The villager’s actions for the freedom movement were noted at a meeting at the “United Nations headquarters” in Geneva. Mahatma Gandhi appreciated the contribution of the freedom fighters of this village. English officials were impressed by the quality of education in the village. The people of this village were known throughout the diocese for their sincerity, unity, kinship, and sincere feelings of sharing each other’s sorrows.
The lands of the village were known as wasteland. People of this village made it cultivable by tying belts on their waists in the scorching summer heat. Due to the large families and the scarcity of land in the village, those who got little land or did not have any luck to have a small piece of land, they worked as labourers on the farm without hesitation. By painting, or repairing household items such as lanterns, they fulfilled the basic responsibility of supporting the family. To perform the basic responsibilities of feeding the family, people would carry heavy loads on their shoulders and walk from village to village, regardless of the heat or cold. Due to ploughing the fields, keep walking for door-to-door business, or driving cattle from one village to another, painful corns and calluses develop on their feet. They suffered a lot, but keep following the way of earning halal. The hardworking people of the village have made invaluable sacrifices of their entire lives and have endured hardships for the rest of their lives. The children were educated and the name of the village was brightened in the country and abroad. It is an undeniable fact that in the foundations of the tall buildings of the village’s distinct identity lies in the intelligence of the village elders, and the special contribution of their halal earnings. The echoes of our ancestor’s sounds left in air, are colliding with beautiful tall buildings, returned, frustrated, proclaiming to their children by shaking, awaking and asking, “Why forgotten? I was beaten/buried; I am the foundation of this building” . . .
Dedicating the first part of this latest edition of history to the patriots with the feeling of joy to have the opportunity to write a few words for the history of Tankaria village and its fermenting people full of so many qualities.
Part 1- Based on authentic historical sources:
Efforts have been made with the auspicious intention of preserving the written history of the village before it is lost or destroyed. I keep reading some historical Books/Volumes with curiosity to find the smallest information about our history. Information that was found was recorded, digitised, and published as Part 1.
(Please contact the editor to read Books/Volumes (references for Mustafabad-Tankaria history), written in English mentioned below)
Freedom Fighters of Tankaria:
Musa Esa Captain, Mahatma Muhammad Ibrahim Kabir, Adam Ismail Mustafabadi, Ibrahim Ise Babiyat nicknamed “Nayak Mota” and Dr Alibhai Ghodiwala were well-known freedom fighters of Tankaria village. The seventeenth session of the “Permanent Mandates Commission” (Commission of “League of Nations”), was held at the “United Nations” headquarters in Geneva from 3rd June 1930 to 21st June 1930. It is recorded on page 216 of the minutes of this session that “Communication from Mr Musa Esa Captain, Honorary Secretary of Anjumane Shaukatul Islam and Khilafat Committee Tankaria, India received by the Permanent Mandates Commission on 7th June 1930.”
After a discussion at the meeting, it was finalised to take action against Musa Esa Captain. He was sent to Nagpur Central Jail for seven months; Mahatma Kabir was also sent to Nagpur Central Jail for few months; Gandhiji was in the Nagpur Central jail. Gandhiji himself gave the title of “Mahatma” to Mahatma Kabir and “Captain” to Musa Esa Captain.
The original surname of Adam Ismail Mustafabadi was Rober. He had so much love for the Mustafabad that he used to write Mustafabadi behind his name. Mustafabadi had a good knowledge of the English language and, using his skills, he helped people. He is said to have written a book called “Lohina Aansu” (Tears of Blood). After India’s independence, Ibrahim Ise Babiyat had been serving in the police department. The freedom fighters of Tankaria were also members of the “Khilafat Committee Tankaria”. Freedom fighters were an example of unity in the Tankaria and surrounding area; they created a prominent identity of the village. The people of Tankaria village used to give necessary guidance and advice to the people of the surrounding villages. Our ancestors brightened the name of the village.
Muslim leaders Mohammad Ali, Shaukat Ali, Abul Kalam Azad, and Hasrat Mohani were at the forefront of the “Khilafat Committee”. The agitation was eventually incorporated with the “Non-cooperation movement” by Gandhiji. Khilafat committee gave an added advantage of cementing Hindu-Muslim unity against the British rule.
Tankaria Primary School for Boys:
The construction report for the School Building at Tankaria for 150 Boys published in “General Report on the Administration of the Bombay Presidency, for 1865–66”. It is recorded in the report that “Foundation filled in, plinth raised, and superstructure nearly completed; doors and windows and woodwork of roof prepared.” It is also mentioned in the report that Rs. 6,633 allotted for 1865–66; Rs. 3,116 expended and Rs. 3,517 was balance.
The original school building (1865–66) had seven rooms. Enough space was left open in the front and centre of the building to provide fresh air and sunlight. Open space can be used for extracurricular activities. Clay Bricks were used in the wall, and high-quality teak was used for the roof. Well-designed wooden trusses, rafters, and clay roof tiles were used for the roof. Arrangements of rooms, the utilisation of space, perfectly designed wooden trusses, use of formatted steel plates having bolted connections to provide extra strength to wooden trusses, all those points prove that the building was planned and designed by an Engineer according to the Standards and Engineering Practices being used during 1856–66. After comparing the design of trusses in neighbouring villages with old school buildings like in Tankaria, it is concluded that the design of trusses was centrally controlled during that period to maintain the high-quality of work and similarity. It also proves that well-trained teams of carpenters were assigned for the work of all school buildings being run by the government. At least we can say special care was taken for public buildings in that era and that is why public buildings of that era were durable.
As recorded above, the total construction cost of Tankaria primary school for boys was around Rs. 4000; it was a cheap period!
Construction of another 2 rooms was completed in 1958 (which includes popularly known “Udyog Room/Craft Room”). It was the first extension of the building after the independence of India.
The old building for The Primary Boys School premises at Nana Padar had nine (07+02) rooms. Twelve new rooms added to it making twenty-one rooms. At present, the old school building is partially used. The population of the village is increasing; the area is expanding. For the convenience of children, the demand for branch schools was made. Demand was accepted by the government in 2005. There is a branch school for Boys at Mota Padar having eight rooms and branch school for girls at Nana Padar having ten rooms.
Central Urdu Primary School of Tankaria:
Central Urdu Primary School of Tankaria was among the first school with boarding facilities in the northern division of the Bombay Presidency.
The “Director of Public Instruction” published the official report on the progress of education for 1917-1918. The report specifies that “There were only a few Central Urdu Primary Boarding Schools for Muslims in 1917; among these are the District Local Board and Municipal Urdu Primary School at Nasirabad in the central division and Central Urdu Primary School at Tankaria in the northern division of the Bombay Presidency.” Further on page 119 of this report, it is recorded that, The Central Urdu Boys School at Tankaria in the Broach district presented 11 students at the Vernacular (Urdu) final examination and passed 10 (Year 1917). Three of its student who had passed in the preceding year got admission into the P.R. Training College at Ahmedabad”. The class attached to the “District Local Board”. School at a large Muslim village Tankaria, is under the charge of 3 years trained Munshi on Rs. 45. The moral and physical welfare of the students is carefully attended to. The class is an excellent institution and is fully performing the purpose with which it was founded.”
It is mentioned in the “Quinquennial (Five years) Report on Public Instruction in the Bombay Presidency for the Years 1922 – 1927” that, to solve the issue of unqualified teachers for Muslim Schools, “Government opened special Central Urdu Schools in the district of Ratnagiri, Kolaba and Thana on the lines of that which had long been in existence at Tankaria in the Broach District for the preparation of boys for Vernacular Final Examination with the special view to their becoming teachers.” It is further mentioned that “Since the Tankaria Central Schools was started in 1903 it has passed some 118 boys in the Vernacular Final Examination, particularly all of whom are reported to become Primary school teachers.”
The Bombay Gazette, Tuesday, March 14. 1911 points out “honourable member of the council asked the government, will the government be pleased to state whether it is proposed to ask the Local Boards in all districts to establish central schools as at Tankaria in Broch District?”
A study of the reports described above confirms that The Central Urdu Primary School at Tankaria was a famous and most successful school in the Bombay Presidency. The school was cited as an example in the authentic government reports. During the British rule, some new schools were established on the lines of Tankaria’s Central Urdu Primary School.
Central Urdu Primary School of Tankaria was Government grant aided school. The place where the school was located in the village is still famous as “Santol” (Corrupt from Central or Central Boarding School).
A land survey was carried in Tankaria in 1856 for laying the railway track:
In 1856 CE, a land survey was conducted in Tankaria for laying the railway track by “The Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway” (“B.B. & C.I.”). When Surveyors reached for the survey at Tankaria they faced geographical & technical issues at Tankaria village which were not solved. Engineers of B.B. & C.I. decided to reroute the railway track from Nandewar village.
“Administration report on the Railways in India” specify, “B.B. & C.I was a company incorporated in 1855 to undertake the task of constructing a railway line between Bombay and Vadodara. Laying of railway track work was completed in 1864.”
According to oral tradition (unwritten stories of culture), the railway line supposed to be passed between shrine of “Pir Jummanshah Rahmatullah” (on the east edge of village pond) and “Shah Nazarshah Rahmatullah” (On the eastern side of existing High School, beside Bharuch Palej Road). Onwards the railway line supposed to passed near to the land of shrine “Naseershah Rahmatullah” (Farm lands opposite to Thikariya Bus Stop)
Note: Peer Shongarshah is not the real name, but the real name is “Peer Shah Nazarshah”, such a useful information is taken from “Eternal Natural Religion: Islam: Gujarat and The Sunni Patel Tradition” edited by “Kamal Mustafabadi”. Among other religious literature this valuable religious book contains useful information about the Sufi Saints (Pir/Auliya) of Gujarat.
History of Mustafabad Jam-e-Masjid (Built-in 1453 CE):
An Epigraph affixed to the wall of the historical “Mustafabad Jam-e-Masjid”. Translation of epigraph in English is as below:
“All Masjids are for the prayer of Allah. Do not worship any other than Allah. Prophet sallallahu-alayhi-wa-sallam said, “Whoever builds a masjid of Allah, Allah builds for him a house in paradise.” Jam-e-Masjid of town Mustafabad was built during the ruling period of Emperor Qutub Abul Muzaffar Ahmad Shah by the guidance of Allah. Following the request of the leader of young “Salatuttashrif Saiyyad Ataullah Raja Hayful Mukhatib Saraful Milal” (honoured with Titles), and the effort of “Qaziyul- Mashaikh”, it has been ready on 09 Rabiul-Awwal, 857 Hijri.”
The history of Mustafabad Jam-e-Masjid was recorded in the History Books mentioned below:
(i) “Indian Archaeology” 1972–73, Page 48.
(ii) “Epigraphic Resources in Gujarat”- Page 19.
(iii) “Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India” Edition-1978, Page 48. In this addition, it is recorded that, “As Inscription of the Sultans of Gujarat, District Broach, a slightly damaged record from Tankaria, District Broach, records the construction of the Jami mosque of the town of Mustafabad by Sayyed “Ataullah Raja Husaini, entitled Sharaful-Mulk at the instance of Qutbuddin Ahmad Shah- 2.”
Ahmad Shah- The 1st: Born in 1389; passed away in 1442 (Hijri 846).
Reign: 1411 to 1442. He was titled as “Nasir-ud-din”
Ahmad Shah-The 2nd: Born in 1429; passed away on 25th May 1458 CE (12 Rajab 862 Hijri)
Reign: 1451 to 1458. He was titled as “Qutbuddin Ahmad Shah-The 2nd ”
As recorded in the above-mentioned History Books construction of Jam-e-Masjid completed on Monday, 20 March 1453 CE corresponds to 9 Rabi-Al- Awwal, Hijri 857. Mustafabad Jam-e-Masjid was built during the ruling period of Ahmad Shah-The 2nd (Qutb-ud-din Ahmad Shah-The 2nd ), who was the son of Mahmud Shah-The 2nd and the grandson of famous king Ahmad Shah-The 1st , the founder of Ahmedabad city as Capital. Ahmad Shah-The 2nd sits on the throne as a youth ruler in 1451 CE and he ruled up to his death on 25th May 1458 (Rajab 12, 862 Hijri). He married to a daughter of king Shams Khan of Nagor. Apart from the Mustafabad Jame Mosque, the construction of the famous Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad (Hawje Qutub/Qutubni Hoj), was also completed during the reign of Ahmad Shah-The 2nd. The ‘Qutbuddin Masjid’ (also known as Qutub Shah Masjid), in Ahmedabad is associated with his name, but it was built in 1446 during the reign of his father, Muhammad Shah The 2nd. This mosque is a beautiful example of architecture. Entrance gate of the Masjid looks exquisite. He was buried in the royal mausoleum at Manek Chowk in Ahmedabad in “Ahmad Shahno Haziro” also known as “King’s Tomb”. Mausoleum is a large square-domed structure with a central hall and four square rooms at the corners joined by pillared verandahs. Windows of perforated stone-work allow light into the interior. In the royal mausoleum there are three tombs. The tomb of Ahmad Shah-The 1st is in the centre of the hall; his son Muhammad Shah-The 2nd on left and grandson Ahmad Shah-The 2nd on right.
Mahmud Begda seat on throne after Ahmad Shah-The 2nd.
The original name of Tankaria village was Mustafabad:
This historical fact mentioned at least six to seven times as listed below in authentic history resources:
(i) In the original inscription, which was written in Arabic and affixed to the wall of Jam-e-Masjid, the name of the village is mentioned as Mustafabad only. Tankaria does not mention anywhere in this inscription. This inscription is safe as it was affixed to the wall of the Jam-e-Masjid.
(ii) “Studies in Indian place names”, Volume 9, page 76.
(iii) “Islamic India studies in History, Epigraphy, Onomastic, and Numismatics” Page 57, 79 and 344.
(iv) “Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India, EPIGRAPHIA INDICA – ARABIC AND PERSIAN SUPPLEMENT”- Edition 1975 (Page 30), specifies that “This Arabic epigraph does not only provide the construction history of Jam-e-Masjid, but it also provides us the proof that the name of the village in 1453 CE was Mustafabad”.
(v) According to the statement of Mr N. M. Ganam (Research officer of archaeological Survey of India), “Tankaria was at the date of the record officially called Mustafabad. The epigraph provides one more instance of the present-day customs of the renaming of town. The importance of epigraph for the local history of the town is obvious”. His recorded statement can be found on pages 17 & 18 of “Epigraphia Indica”.
(vi) Dr Z. A. Desai, “Director of Epigraphy Archaeological Survey of India” stated the facts related to a new naming of places: “At least 05 places that are known through epigraphs to have received new names during the pre-Mughal period. These are (1) Tankaria alias (alias – Named at another time) Mustafabad in the Broach district of Gujarat. (2) Diyadar alias Mahmudabad in Sabar Kantha District of Gujarat. (3) Sanchor alias Muhammadabad in Jalor district of Rajasthan. (4) Malia alias Rasulabad in Rajkot district of Gujarat, and (5) Khakharechi alias Ambiyabad in Rajkot district of Gujarat”.
Reference: “Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India, EPIGRAPHIA INDICA – ARABIC AND PERSIAN SUPPLEMENT”- Edition 1974, page 3 and Edition 1975, page 30.
The naming of the existing Institutions in the village, “Mustafabad I.T.I.” and “Mustafabad Youth Club Library” are related to the original name of the village Mustafabad.
[Readers can skip this portion under the bracket, it is added here for further information: Mustafabad was under Muzaffarid dynasty and afterward under Mughal Empire. In 1391, Muhammad bin Tughluq, the ruler of the “Delhi Sultanate” appointed Zafar Khan as the Governor of Gujarat. Zafar Khan (Founder of Muzaffarid dynasty) defeated Farhat-ul-Mulk near Anhilwada Patan and made the city his capital. “Delhi Sultanate” considerably weakened following Taimur’s invasion of Delhi and so Zafar khan declared himself independent in 1407 and formally established “Muzaffarid dynasty”. After him, his son Ahmed Shah I founded Ahmedabad city (on the banks of Sabarmati River) on 26 February 1411 and announced Ahmedabad as the new capital on 4 March 1411. The Muzaffarid dynasty was sultans of Gujarat until the conquest of Gujarat by the Mughal Empire in 1573. In 1573, Akbar the emperor of the Mughal Empire, captured Gujarat by defeating Muzaffar Shah The 3rd ; Muzaffar tried to regain the Sultanate in 1584 but failed. Gujarat remained the Mughal province from 1573 up to 1605]
History of Tankaria village mentioned in the Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency (Published in July 1899 CE):
This volume on the People of Gujarat includes two parts; among two parts, the first part, “The Musalmans” was contributed by “Khan Bahadur Fazlullah Lutfullah Faridi”. He was “Assistant Collector of Customs” at Bombay. On page 59 of this part, it is mentioned that Captain Ovans in one of the notebooks of the first Broach Survey given an account (Description of past events), which he had from Vahoras of Tankaria. According to Captain Ovan’s description, some of the Marvadi prisoners of war were kept as slaves by a Hindu king. They were freed in 1618 CE by Muslim Emperor Jahangir. Those Marvadis became Muslim; they were settled on the waste lands in Gujarat. Subsequent sentence “Some of the Kaira’s (Present days Kheda), cultivating Bahoras give almost the same account, and though these Marvadi converts cannot have been original Bohoras, they may at one time have been distinct class like or the same as “Kakapuries” mentioned below on page 62” gave us further clarification.
After careful reading of all those written sentences it is understood that wisely, Emperor Jahangir settled those newly converted Marvadi Muslims on waste lands such as Mustafad Tankaria and Kheda. The purpose was that those migrants can easily get some land, religious guidance and help from Muslims villagers.
It is recorded in the inscription of the jam-e-masjid and other history books that Muslim leaders of Mustafabad requested to king to build a Masjid, which was accepted. Ahmad Shah-The 2nd built the Jam-e-masjid in 1453; having bigger area; considering the large population of Muslims. In 1618 (after 165 years of construction of the Jam-e-masjid), when those migrants were settled in Mustafabad Tankaria, Muslim population was large.
Captain Ovans actual name was Charles Ovans. He was born in 1798 CE and died in 1858 CE. Both in Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency published in 1899 CE during British rule and, in the Reginald Heber’s Journal, published in 1828 CE by the University of Oxford, his name written as Captain Ovans. He was engaged in the first revenue land survey of Gujarat from 1818 CE to 1829 CE. Captain Ovans handled superintending the land survey operations for revenue.
Part 2- Oral History:
Keeping in view the demands of the time that valuable oral history should be preserved without further delay, we Nasir Lotiya and Mushtaq Daula visited seven Tankarvi elders in the first quarter of 2007. (Four of these elders have left this world).
Considering the importance of oral history, Brother Shakil Bha also published oral history on the website. It contains important information about the village described by the late Ahmed Munshi (an elder of the Chati family settled in Chicago, USA).
In April 2007; our interviews with seven elders were digitised and published under the title “Part 2-Oral History” on http://tankaria.wikifoundry.com (Tankaria Wet Paint website); the Gujarati version of which will be published on our website shortly.