By Mir Saqib
Qadir Bukhsh Rind Baloch alias Kadu Makrani was a 19th century’s archetypal figure who was born and brought up in Makran, Balochistan. He rose as an insurgent in Kathiawar Gujarat, martyred and buried in Karachi Sindh in 1878. His final resting place in Mewah Shah Graveyard (Lyari) which has become the center of inspiration today. He is also remembered as the eastern Robin Hood.
When life became hard for the working classes in Makran, Balochistan due to British colonists, Kadu Makrani, with his tribe, migrated to Kathiawar, Gujarat in mid of 19th century. Due to their courage and bravery, Nawabs of Kathiawar acquired their services to eliminate dacoits of Kathiawar. Kadu Makrani and people of his tribe earned territories and properties as rewards of their services. The rise of Kadu Makrani was disturbing to British imperialists. They were looking for an excuse to disarm Kadu Makrani and his tribe to break their power. With little effort an excuse was avail when Kadu Makrani rejected social workers to enter their houses in the name of registration and census. When he was given a choice to either give away his weapons or be ready for a fight. He, with his tribe, chose to be insurgents instead of laying down their weapons. British imperialists were not surprised by Kadu’s decision as it was a typical move by a Baloch warrior. When British forces moved to Baloch villages in Kathiawar with heavy weapons, Kadu Makrani with his small army resisted very courageously. Lots of people died from both sides. This followed by series of guerilla attacks on British forces and their local friends by Kadu Makrani. This distressed British forces as they failed to counter Kadu Makrani and his little army. Although British government announced Rs1,000/- and 20 acres land reward for his head. Imaginary sketch of Kadu Makrani.
In late 1870s Kadu Makrani’s companions suggested him to go back to Makran for a while to ease British pressure in Kathiawar, a common practice in guerilla-warfare. From Kathiawar he moved to Ahmedabad and from there he came to Karachi, Sindh by train. In Lyari town of Karachi he set a deal with a Camel-Man (a man with Camels) to transport him to Makran. Camel-Man recognized Kadu Makrani and became greedy to get rewards on his head. Camel-Man asked Kadu to meet him behind Baghdadi police station. Camel-Man with a policeman tried to capture Kadu Makrani when he arrived behind Baghdadi police station. Kadu killed both of them with his dagger and tried to escape from there. While he was running in narrow streets of Baghdadi, a laborer dropped a heavy stone on his head to stop him without knowing who he is. Kadu was captured unconscious and after a short trial he was sentenced to death. Kadu Makrani was martyred in Karachi central jail in 1878. His body was received by Waja Dura Khan and at his burial; he was washed by Mulla Ghulam in Dura Line Kalacot (Lyari Town). This brave son of Baloch was buried in Mewah Shah Graveyard (Lyari) with honor. The actual stone that was dropped on Kadu by a laborer. It has been preserved next to his grave. Grave mark of Kadu Makrani.
In 1960 Sadhana Chitra Film Company (India) made a Gujarati film called “Kadu Makrani” to pay tribute to this national hero. The film was directed by Manhar Rangildas Raskapur. There are lots of Gujarati folk songs and poems which talk about honor, courage, bravery and humanity of Kadu Makrani.
Paolo Santoni-Rugiu and Philip J. Sykes in their book called “A History of Plastic Surgery” wrote: “Perhaps the largest series of nasal reconstructions carried out by a single surgeon in the nineteenth century was that of Tribowandas, who operated on over three hundred patients during his career. Born in 1850 to a poor family in Junagadadh, he completed his medical studies in Bombay and then returned home to begin his practice. He was perhaps aided in his career by the presence in the region of a famous bandit, Kadu Makrani, whose principal activity was cutting off noses on commission.”
It is true that he used to chop off noses of local informers of British forces instead of taking away their lives, but he was not a bandit. This is not the first time when names like bandit, dacoit, and terrorist are given to a freedom fighter by imperialist mentality. Imperialist writers and their Indian friends tried their best to present Kadu Makrani as a very cruel dacoit but people of Gujarat with their folk songs and poems conveyed the true history to new generation to preserve it.