Saturday, December 22, 2012


                               THE BALLAD VERSION

                                               Dr K Prabhakar Rao

                Swaroop Singh A Rajput chief was sent to impregnable Jinjee fort ( In Tamil Nadu) to rule as his representative by Delhi’s Emperor in 18 century and he won the respect and loyalty of the people of Senji ( Jingee) during his rule where Hindus and Muslims lived in peace and prosperity. A son was born to Swaroop Singh whom they named Tej Singh pronounced as Desingu in Tamil. Swaroop Singh had a secret wife called , and they had a son called Dawood Khan who was a little older than Desingu. Fearing that Dawood might pose a threat to the succession of the throne in years to come, on the advice of his commander and close confidant Yusuf Khan Swaroop Singh persuaded his wife to leave Senji, taking little Dawood with her. Desingu who had integrity and courage grows up with his childhood friend, another brave young man called Mohammed Khan and two were always inseparable.

                        At this juncture, the Sultan of Delhi offered to free any state coming under his dominion whose ruler managed to tame a wild horse in his stable. Hearing this in the intention to have a free kingdom, Swaroop Singh left for Delhi to takeup the challenge. Despite trying very hard, he failed to tame the wild horse and was imprisoned by the Sultan of Delhi as per conditions. Upon hearing this, the minister informed Desingu who rushed to Delhi where he met his uncle Bheem Singh for advice. The dauntless Desingu manageed to tame the stallion and rode it, to the loud cheers of the huge audience. Filled with admiration, the Sultan freed Swaroop Singh who had earlier failed in this endeavour and gave them a written proclamation ( Firman) of Senji’s independence. Desingu married Bheem Singh’s daughter and reached Jinjee. In course of time Swaroop singh passed away leaving many dues as taxes to the Emperor at Delhi and Desing took over Jinjee as the next ruler.

                   Meanwhile, growing up as an illegitimate child, Dawood vowed to rule Senji some day. But in her deathbed, his mother extracted a promise from Dawood that he would not cause any harm to Desingu. Dawood went to Arcot and won the confidence of the Nawab. The pleased Nawab appointed him as his General. When Dawood expressed his determination to subjugate Senji, the Nawab expressed his helplessness, stating that nothing could be done as long as Desingu had the written proclamation of Senji’s independence in his custody. It is around the same time Desingu dismissed his General Yusuf Khan from service when he was caught trying to commit adultery. The Nawab in the mean time managed some how to steal the proclamation of Delhi's emperor from Desing.

                        The nawab of Arcot sent Dawood Khan to meet Desingu to request Senji kingdom to pay tax. Desingu announced in pride that Senji would not bow to the Sultanate of Delhi. Now that Senji had no proof of its independence, Arcot declared war on Senji for non-payment of taxes. Under the resolute leadership of Mohammed Khan, Senji emerges triumphant in warding off the Arcot forces. Mohammed Khan was killed in treachery by Yusuf Khan . Wanting the brothers to fight against each other now, Yusuf Khan sent false reports to Desingu that it was Dawood who killed Mohammed Khan. Thirsty with revenge for the death of his friend, Desingu rushed to the warfront and soon challenged Dawood to a duel. Dawood was hesitant to fight with his brother, and even advised Desingu that they could leave the fighting to their troops. But Desingu was no mood to listen and soon the brothers are engaged in a bitter duel. Handicapped by his oath not to harm Desingu, Dawood was soon vanquished and was killed. Desingu’s delight is short-lived, as Yusuf Khan informed him that Dawood was none other than his brother. Adding to his grief at the death of his friend, Desingu is horrified at having killed his brother, and in a moment of abject remorse, killed himself. The Nawab’s troops soon entered the fort in victory, and Desingu’s brave wife Ranibai committed self immolation ( Sati).The Nawab sad at the turn of events built a town nearby and named it Ranipet in memory of queen of Desingu.

Note. Heeding to public demand, the Govt of Tamil Nadu has decided to erect a statue of Raja Desingu at Jinjee

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