The Bhangi Misal

Lahore fort occupied by Bhangi sardars

The word Bhangi is derived from bhang or hemp, a plant of wild growth found in the jungles of the Punjab, and in abundance along river banks. When pounded in a mortar with a pestle and sifted through a piece of coarse cloth, it leaves behind a thick liquid of gree colour. Its drink is intoxicating and soothes the effect of heat in summer. A particular group of Dal Khalsa liberally indulged in this drink, and profusely entertained others with it. At the time of fighting, it made its lovers furious and reckless. On account of addiction to it, this group of Khalsa came to be called Bhangi. This misal was the largest in its size and area it occupied.

This nom de plume attracted the sweeper class also called Bhangi to join them. They were freely welcomed by this band of the Khalsa among them. Some of them were offered important posts. Although the majority of the soldiers of Bhangi misls were Jats, there were substantially number of converted sikhs from lower hindu castes. Here are the name of some of the pioneer Sardars of Bhangi Misal:

Chajja Singh: of village Panjwar, 13 kms from Amritsar. He took pahul from the hand of Guru Gobind singh ji and got many Sikhs from the Majha area to join his band.

Bhuma Singh Dhillon: After the death of Chajja singh, Bhuma singh dhillon of village Hung in parganah Wadani near Moga succeeded him.

Hari Singh Dhillon: aka 'Bhangi' He was the first person to be called Bhangi. He was Bhuma singh's nephew. He was also leader of Taruna dal as well as head of Bhangi Misl.

Whole Sikh army was divided into two Taruna and Buddha Dal,(50 years before Ranjit Singh upto his time) Taruna for young and Buddha for old. He had two songs Jhanda Singh and Ganda singh. They took care of Bhangi Misl after him, later Ranjit singh absorbed this Misl into Sarkar Khalsa. The territories of Bhangi Misl are Cis-Satluj region Buriya and Jagadhri on the Jamuna (204 villages) and on the Satluk bajidpur, Bhedian, Firozepur, Khai, Muhalim, Naggar, Sahjara, Sataragarh, Singhpura and Wan. Bari Doab Amritsar, Bhairowal, Bulaki (29 villages), Chinna, Chubhal, Haibatpur, Karmala, Kohali, Lahore, Majitha, Morowal, Multan (1772-1780) Naushera, Sainsra, Sirhali, Taran Taran, Vairowal. lots of area in Rachna doab too. This misl was stronger than Sukerchakia misl of Ranjit singh.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

  1. Copyright © Harbans Singh "The encyclopedia of Sikhism. "