Articles of the year 2011

The Making of A Legen
Published on May 10, 2011

The now bedtime story in Baloch villages runs thus. "Once upon a time not very long ago, there lived a fierce Prince, who was the scourge of his land, and was feared by all. He terrified the people, so none dared to challenge him, and his will was the law. In the neighboring lands there was a country ruled by an equally fierce General, whose people were called Punjabis, and maintained a huge army for their protection.

In this land of Punjab there were many that met with the fierce Prince to partake of the rich minerals of his land, even though they despised him. Having sold his minerals to the neighbors, his people still suffered in poverty, but as his word was law none dared challenge him, and the people continued to do without.

This continued for many many years till one day the neighbor wanted more and more for less and less, and the Prince refused. And so a grand army was assembled by the neighbours, the Punjabis, and the cruel Prince was driven from his home and was forced to flee and seek refuge in the mountains where none dared follow.

By this time the Prince had become old, his hair silver, but he had not lost his love of a good fight. And so he sent the Punjabi tribes messages that he would drive them from his land. He also shut the gas he had sold the Punjabis, with which they cooked their food and ran their factories.

This upset the Punjabis who turned to their leader, the General. This in turn upset the leader of the Punjabis, as it had upset many of his predecessors. But the Cruel Prince cared not for he had decided that the benefit of his tribe was now worth dying for.

In the meantime many came from far away lands to offer consolation to the Prince, money and support, for they also despised the Punjabis. Meanwhile the Farangis and their moneylenders accused the Great Nawab of spending his money on weapons and leaving his people poor, but the same was said of the Punjabi army by the same Farangi moneylenders, for the Punjabi people also had to do without water and without books.

And so the die was cast and the army of the Punjabis surrounded the hills in which the Prince had taken refuge with a handful of his loyal followers.

When at the end the Punjabis sent their flying machines to bomb the cave he was hiding in, he came out and standing on at the mouth of the cave shook his fist at them, and swore he would remove them from his land. That was the last they saw of him, and he still roams the hills of his beloved land, and has not been seen since.

Some say a flock of Baloch shepherdesses carried him away in the still of the night, from under the watchful eyes of treacherous guides sent to spy on the great Nawab, while others say he was carried aloft in a camel drawn chariot - never to be seen again. The camels were white, as his hair, and there was thunder and lightning, and all the Baloch Sardars that had passed on were standing to pay homage to their greatest son.

The Army of the Punjabis sent back a coffin containing - they say his body, which no one has seen, with two huge locks on the coffin, and shut tight.

So hush my child the dreaded Prince is not yet gone, and he may return. For some have seen a silver hair old man amongst the dunes, the locks have not kept him in ...."

In many countries a legend is important to the people, here the Baloch have been given just that.