THE GENEROSITY OF A LAHORI
GIFTING A COMPLETE CITY AWAY
GIFT OF WAZEERABAD
An unbelievable story for Guinness Book of Records
A literary professor of Wazeerabad was roaming around the city in 1947. The city was in turmoil, and the effects of partition were visible all around. Ahmad Hussain Qureshi came across scattered manuscripts, documents, property records outside the havelli of the Diwans of Wazeerabad, namely Kirpa Ram Chopra, and Thakur Dass. Kirpa Ram was also once the Prime Minister of Jammu under the Mahrajah of that time. Both the Diwans were much loved in Wazeerabad, and had a huge Muslim following with them. Various poets of the area had written Qasidas praising both the Diwans. The famous Qasida in honour of Thakur Dass is most famous for its depth, written by Qazi Khuda Baksh. Everything was well.
Nawab Izzad Baksh was the direct descendant of Nawab Wazeer Khan of Emperor Shah Jahan. He was the last male descendant. His daughter went ahead and married Chajju Baig, a tenant of the mosque of Wazeer Khan in Lahore. Izzad Baksh also had a room of his own in the mosque. The Mutavallis were different as well as the family of the Imams. A long story. Going back to Nawab Wazeer Khan, whose real name according to old records, was Ali-ud-din, the history observed him as a shrewd gentleman. It is said that no transaction was made in Lahore in which he did not get a percentage. Of all the things he did, he founded the city of Wazeerabad. That is why it is still named after him. Although portions were owned by others (sold with time), the bulk of the city was that of the Nawab himself. And most of the city was owned in the 1850s by Nawab Izzad Baksh, the direct descendant of Nawab Wazeer Khan.
Nawab Izzad Baksh was totally dissatisfied with his son-in-law Chajju Baig, who had not only seduced his daughter by sending love messages, but also stolen all the relevant documents from the mosque itself as well as his home in the Serai of Wazeer Khan in Lahore, which is seen to have existed till 1904 at least. He was not interested in transferring his entire wealth to this shrewder than any shrewd gentleman. The result he decided to gift the wealth to those he actually loved. And Thakur Dass was his favourite friend.
From the pile of ‘RADI’ (waste) on the floor, Ahmad Hussain Qureshi picked a up a Registration deed to the city of Wazeerabad. It was a gift made by Nawab Izzad Baksh to Diwan Thakur Dass. It was witnessed by two important people, Hakeem Qaleem-ullah and Sarfraz Janjua of Wazeerabad. The deed was dated Bhadon 1904 Samvat or about August, 1852 AD. The deed was recorded as the transfer made in the Official Property Record of the Municipality of Wazeerabad. A COMPLETE CITY HAD BEEN GIVEN AS A GIFT FROM A MUSLIM NAWAB TO A HINDU DIWAN.
And yet there is more. The records of Lahore High Court shows a judgement made by a learned British judge around 1862. After the death of Nawab Izzad Baksh, Chajju Baig went to court to try to recover the gift made by his father-in-law. It was an act of desperation. The Judge passed the judgement which is still on record that A GIFT ONCE GIVEN CANNOT BE TAKEN BACK. Chajju Baig had lost the case of Wazeerabad.
All is is on official record and it is a fascinating story and worth writing again and again. But busy in the stress of our lives, we fail to see the stress already seen by previous generations. The attitude of Muslims did not delve in bigotry, and they were open to other ways of life.