When Saud Villagers Captured the Land of Gweel Villagers
(As narrated by late Kwanri Devi Kukreti, Jaspur Garhwal)
Jaspur village is more than six hundred years old village. First Kukreti of Garhwal established Jaspur. The elder brother settled in Gweel one mile south from Jaspur and he became Padhan or Landlord. He used to collect revenue on behalf of British government from Malla Dhangu. There is a village below Jaspur called Saud. The land of Saud village was under Gweel Padahn. However, Saud Farmers were not owners of the land that they used to plow and harvest because Saud farmers were Khaikar of Gweel or in some cases, Khaikar of Jaspur. Khaikar farmers used to plow, sow and harvest the land and used to offer one third of Harvesting to land owners.
There is a place below Jaspur west of Jaspur and east of Saud called Kalsun having more than hundred contour fields plowed by Saud people. Those fields were also owned by Gweel villagers. The Kalsun land is still fertile due to hard works of Saud farmers. Saud farmers had been plowing sowing the land for centuries but could not become owners of the said land. The Indian freedom movement was on its peak and there was awareness about rights and duties of people and governing bodies everywhere including Saud. Along with Independent Movement there were other movements related to social causes in India. There had been always discussion and arguments among Saud villagers and Gweel villagers about Kalsun Land ownership. Since Jamindari or Land lordship was not abolished, the law was in favor of Gweel.
The Jhangora (Millets) was ripped in Kalsun field and as usual the farms were plowed sowed by Saud villagers. The Saud women were the most aggravated lot. They taunted their husbands and brothers or fathers that though the land is sowed and plowed by Saud people but the real ownership was for Gweel villagers. Saud women challenged their men if they were real men they should get the ownership and should stop paying tribute (one Third of crop grew in Kalsun) to Gweel people. The Saud men felt insulted by the taunts an gibes from women.
The men had a conference one day before the Harvesting day of Kalsun. In normal circumstances the Gweel farm owners used to come with bags to collect Tihad or one third of crops at Kalsun on the harvesting day. One that day too Gweel people started coming to Kalsun from Gweel with large bags. However, when Gweel people reached to bordering Kalsun they were aghast by seeing that Saud men were with swords, spears and axes all over bordering the whole Kalsun area.
Saud men and boys were announcing loudly at the Border of Kalsun – Ju Aj kalsun Ma Khut Dharal waiki Maun Chhindare Jali. That who put his foot on Kalsun land we shall behead his head by Sword. Saud men started walking towards Gweel people and Gweel people started runback. Saud men again cautioned loudly the Gweel people – Go to your village if you wanted your life. Gweel people ran away without taking Tihad or tribute.
From that day, Kalsun came under the ownership of Saud and Gweel people never came to Kalsun for taking tribute or Tihad. . After independence, Saud became officially the land of Saud people.
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai 14/2/15
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