MIR HAMAL HOT KALMATI BALOCH.
“Balochistan is my heart, my soul, and, a cure for all conceivable pains of life.
Why should I not sacrifice, or hesitate to suffer, indignities of confinement,
When, my motherland is facing poisonous bullets”.
(Ghulam Rasul Mullā).
Before, we deal with our legendary hero Mir Hamal Hot Kalmati Baloch; let us give a brief account of the essential events, which previously had changed the entire world and which help provide context for the major events of his life.
During fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the several European nations were very curious for exploration of overseas trade and their supremacy in distant seas and Lands. , in 15th Century, Manuel 1the King of Portugal decided to send a naval mission to the profitable ports of the Indian Ocean. He selected Vasco de Gama a Portuguese the first Admiral of the Seas, who was the first among the Europeans, who sailed off on July 8,1497his historic voyage from Lisbon, the capital of Portugal to Calicut(Kolkata) on the south Indian coast. The voyage traveled through various ports and finally, reached Calicut (Kolkata) India. establishing a trading station at Goa, India on August 29, 1499,he returned home back to Portugal. Thus he laid the foundation of the Portuguese Empire in Asia.
Indeed, Da Gama was the first European to reach India by sea, connecting Europe and Asia, for the first time, by an ocean route. This also connected the Atlantic and the Indian oceans, as well as, the West and the Orient. All of this was accomplished on his first voyage to India.
According to the Portuguese chronicles, his first return voyage to India, by way of the Equator, was the longest Ocean voyage ever made. In the Battle of Diu(a sea port of India),in 1509,the Portuguese defeated the joint Muslim forces and by doing so, dominated the Indian Ocean trade route down to the Cape of Good Hope, through the traditional spice route, (which was constantly under the control of Arabs and Venetians),through the Red Sea and into the Persian Gulf. Certainly, this was a most significant victory, opening the way for an age of global imperialism and enabling a long-lasting Portuguese colonial empire in Asia.
According to the Portugal chronicles His first voyage to India in and outward and return around the world by way of the Equator was the longest Ocean voyage ever made. Thus the total distance of his voyage covered his expeditions was the longest Ocean voyage ever made until at that time.
For his great contributions to the empire, Da Gama was appointed Governor of India in 1524, under the title of Viceroy and granted the towns of ‘Vidigueira’and ‘Vila dos Frades’, in Portugal, along with the revenues and privileges related to his new position.
It is also worth mentioning that, in 1612, during the Dutch-Portuguese War, in the Battle of Swally, (a village near Surat village near the city of Surat, Gujarat, India) the Portuguese were defeated by the Dutch Forces. Certainly, the victory of the Dutch marked the beginning of a new European colonization in Asia and the rise of the East India Company in India.
Mir Hamal Hot Kalmati.
According the historians and Balochi “Daptar Sha’ar” (Ballad of Genealogies)Kalmati is one of the clans of Hot Tribe of Rind Baloches. It is said that during the rule of Hots in Kech Makran,some Kalmati people settled in Kalmat Bandar (port) situated near to Pasni Port Coastal Area of Balochistan. Thus they derived their name as Kalmati.
Ballad of Genealogies describing as below;
“Ash Halaba phadh-khayan,Go Yazida jherav-en.
Kalbala Bompur ma-nyama,Shahar Sistan munzlil-en.
Niki Badr-din dar-akhta, Naghumanen shiddat-en.
Ma-sara Merin Jalal-Han,Chhilo-chyar bolaken.
Hot Makurana nindi,Khosagh ma Kech-edh-en.
Hot, Korai awar-en, Ema Lashar-ghar-en.
Drishak, Hot, Mazar,Ego Rinda yagsar-en.
(The translation by M.L. Dames),
“We are residents of Haleb (Aleppo, in Syria). We started from there, and fought battles with Yazid at Kerbala (61/680), thereafter, we moved towards Bampur. Our last destination being the towns of Seistan Our king at Seistan was Shamas-u-din, who had good relations with the Baloches. But after him, when Badr-u-din became king, he became the enemy of the Baloches. Mir Jalal Han, was then the Chief of the Baloches, he left Seistan, and led them along with forty-four Balaks (tribes), towards the east of Kech (in Makran) and Harin Bunder.The Hot tribe settled down at Makran, and Khosaa in the land of Kech (on Makran Coast). Hot, Korai, Nohani Dodaisand Mazari tribes are a part of a Rind Baloches”.
Let us now give a brief glimpse of our legendry hero, Mir Hamal Kalmati, who resisted and fought vigorously with meagre resource against the mighty forces of the Portuguese.
Undoubtedly, throughout centuries the Baloches have always been engaged in war for their, existence, national identity, culture, traditions, Language, pride and honour. History is witness that they have always fought the battle of resistance, against the powerful rulers and foreign invaders.
It is fact that in the 15th century the Portuguese conquered many parts of India and Oman, including the Coastal Area of Makran. They frequently attacked Gwadar but were defeated each time by Baloches. They of course, looted and set the coastal villages on fire, anyhow, they failed to capture Gwadar and they never established their supremacy, nor they penetrate inland.
Proudly, we may mention that their snatched Cannons are still lying near the central Jail of Gwadar. Their snatched weapons are also preserved in the Pasni Port of Balochistan.
Unquestionably, the Baloches have always taken pride in being Baloch in the true sense of the word and show bravery against all enemies. They have never, ever, tolerated foreign ascendancy and have always engaged in the constant war of resistance against alien forces. This has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and heavy damages to both property and livestock. They have a deep sense of national independence and a restive spirit of resistance to any dominating forces.
Thus, in accordance with the Baloch charisma and The Baloch Mayar’ (The Baloch Code of Honour), Mir Hamal organised powerful bands of committed Baloch comrades, with resolute determination, and vowed to fight to the death against Portuguese aggressors. He resisted them from the Gulf of Oman to Goa. Thus, many sea battles took place between them.
The legend of Mir Hamal and his heroic battles against the Europeans developed after the Portuguese raids on the Baloch coast. His most famous escapades probably occurred during one of the actions taken by the Portuguese against the pirates who were disrupting Portuguese operations in the Persian Gulf.
Hence, in 1581, Lowes Dee Alma, a Portuguese, raided Tiz, Gwadar, Pasni and the port at Kalmat. After heavy fighting, the Portuguese were defeated and failed to capture the Makran Belt. Every time they were faced the fierce and bloody resistance by Mir Hamal. Afterwards, a treaty was made between Lowes de Alma and Mir Hamal, in which, the Portuguese agreed not to attack the Makran coastal area again. However, they dishonored their agreement and attacked Mir Hamal when he was with some friends at sea and kidnapped him. According to one source the Portuguese took him to an unidentified place from where he never returned.
Another reliable source also mentions that one day Mir Hamal set out to hunt at sea with his companions and friends. They started sailing on a yacht, unfortunately, a tidal wave arose with such a great intensity that his yacht was taken to the remote cost of India and reached the coast of Gujarat, which was already in control of Portuguese. The Portuguese blocked his yacht and asked Mir Hamal for surrender, which he refused, and a ferocious fight ensued. The Portuguese managed to arrest him, dishonoring their agreement, and took him to an unidentified place, from where he never returned.
Some trustworthy sources also assert that after the abduction of Mir Hamal, the Portuguese offered Mir Hamal the opportunity of marrying a woman in their country, with many concessions, but he refused their offer.
It is historical fact that the Baloches prefer to die as warriors and die an honourable death, on the battlefield, rather than seek quarter or ‘cow-down’ to others.Without doubt, they are a simple and honest people. They believe in any Eatbar ((Trust); one of the main pillars of the ‘Baloch Mayar’), made with enemies or friends and always honor a ‘Qual’ (promise) once they have made it, even at the risk of their own life. The ‘Baloch-Mayar’ expects, from every Baloch, irrespective of class or cadre, to be loyal to the word or promises he has made.
Indeed, the Baloch history is testamentto the fact that many lost their lives by honoring ‘Eatbar’ or ‘Qual’ including: Mir Hamal Kalmati; Mir Mehrab Khan, the Khan of Kalat; Prince Abdul Karim of Kalat; Babu Naurz Khan, the Nawab of Zahri; Nawab Akber Khan Bugti and many others.
It is also fact that, the Baloch and their poets condemned the egotism of the Portuguese and praised the bravery of Mir Hamal, who fought violently whilst, resisting them.Indeed, the resistance of Mir Hamal, against the Portuguese, is one of the most significant events in the history of the Baloch resistance. He is a celebrated and legendary Baloch hero and will always be remembered for centuries to come.
“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of
the mind next to honor”.
In fact the courage and bravery of Mir Hamal which earned for him a great name in Baloch history as he was a courageous person who fought violently in defending his ancestral land.
Indisputably, Mir Hamal was the legendary hero of the sixteenth centaury, who no doubt became the source of inspiration and symbol of Baloch Resistance.He was patriot Baloch. We must not hesitate ourselves to pay our homage to him ashe is the ‘symbol of patriotism’.
Note: The statue of Mir Hamal Khan Baloch, constructed by the Portuguese, is to be found in an island museum in Goa, India.
Abstracts are taken from the forthcoming book, “The Baloch Resistance”.
© Johar Ali Bugtti.