Waraich (clan)


Waraich (clan)

Waraich, "(mainly also spelt Varaich)" is a warrior ethnic clan found in Jatts of India and Pakistan who are descendants of Indo-Scythian tribes. Also, but less commonly it can also be spelt "(Baraich, Braich, Varaitch, Varaich, and Warraich)" depending on which Punjabi dialect is being used.

History and origin

According to some scholars the Sakas were the ancestors of the present day Jatt Waraich clan "(also spelt Wraich & Braich)". [Rose, H.A., A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, (Vol. II), reprinted by the Languages Department, Patiala, Punjab, 1970, pp.361, 300, 237, 25, 35, first published in 1883.] [Rose, H.A., A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Vol. III, reprinted by the Languages Department, Patiala, Punjab, 1970, pp. 64, 423-425, 421, first published in 1883.] The Indo-Scythians were named "Shaka" in India, an extension on the name Saka used by the Persians to designate Scythians.

Population distribution

The Waraich "(also spelt Varaich, Wraich & Braich)" clan population was 2,070, in Amritsar district, during the 1911 British Punjab Census [1911 census of British Punjab - Major General Barstow.] [cite book |title=History and study of the Jats|author=Professor B. S. Dhillon|coauthors=|year=1994|publisher=Beta Publishers|isbn=1895603021] and in the Patiala district it was 1,950 during the 1911 British Punjab Census. [1911 census of British Punjab - Major General Barstow.] [cite book |title=History and study of the Jats|author=Professor B. S. Dhillon|coauthors=|year=1994|publisher=Beta Publishers|isbn=1895603021]

Geographic distribution

Western Punjab

The Waraich clan (also spelled Wraich, Braich, Baraich) is mostly found in western Punjab, Pakistan in two districts Gujrat and Gujranwala. They occupy 141 villages in Gujrat and 84 villages in Gujranwala.

Eastern Punjab

In eastern Punjab in India the clan is found in large numbers in the Majha and Malwa region. Historically they are known as land owners and tenant farmers but are also considered by some as fearless warriors and to date there are large numbers of this clan are employed by both Indian and Pakistani armies.

It alleged that eighty percent of the residents of the village of Bhai Bakhtaur, in the district of Bathinda are Waraich jats with Kartar Singh Waraich (a retired Chief Manager of Punjab State Bank) being one of the eminent personalities from this village.

Mythical history

According to Sir Lepal Griffin, the Waraich established a city named Bharhaich in India. Later, the tribe migrated to Punjab during The reign of Mohammad of Ghazni and settled in Gujrat (in present day Pakistan). [Sir Lepal Griffin. "Chiefs of Punjab". p. 409] .

According to the Epigraphica Indica, Volume I, page 29, a rock inscription at Chamak Harsati Balaghat mentions that "Bharhaich" jats performed ten asvamedha yagnyas (Sanskrit "Horse sacrifice") and, constructed ten ghats in Varanasi. However this jat clan is actually part of the Bhara regime which ruled the entire eastern and Bundelkhand regions of the current Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Basing evidence upon inscriptions on coins and copper plates found near the village of Janghat in the district of Farrukhabad Kashi Prasad Jaisawal, a historian, has referred to these Bharhaich jats as being the mythological Bharshiva who wore the Siva lingam on their shoulders and committed to free region from the Kushans and other Saka rulers with the descendants of these people are alleged to be the Rajbhar and Bhar of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

According to tradition - Waraich, a jat, had five sons who moved from Chenab to two cities Gujrat and Gujranwala. Three brothers moved to Gujrat and the other two moved to Gujranwala. In or about the 10th century A.D. they moved down to the Jhelum River in large numbers and settled down there. Until the 13th century AD they continued to fight with Gujjar tribes. Today these Waraich occupy a very compact area comprising 360 villages in a region called Jatat. During the period of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, a certain Haria leader of these Waraich jats converted to Islam founding a village later called after him Hariawala. Alleged all Waraich jats of the Jhelum region converted to Islam en-masse. No solid evidence is supplied for any of these statements.

Further slightly different traditions have these Punjabi Waraichs as being the progeny of three brothers, Haria, Gunia and Kurtal, who were rulers of Bahraich principality. During Sher Shah Suri's conquest of Bengal, these rulers captured his treasure en-route to the province. It was believed that the Shah would not succeed in his campaign however to their surprise, Sher Shah conquered Bengal and established his rule over a large part of Northern India. Following their defeat these Waraichs left Bahraich and traveled westwards. They settled upon finding suitable grazing grounds on the banks of the Chenab river. This new home was on the lands previously used by Gujjars for grazing cattle. This settlement led to rivalry between the Waraich Jats and the incumbent Gujjars. Traces of clan presence is alleged to be evident from the name "Gujrat" - though this name is evidence from the medieval period and was named after the very same region now the state of Gujat in India. Muslims have Gujrat derived from "Gujar-Jat" without any reference to Indo-Aryan linguistics. If an etymology were to be proposed then it would be *gurjara rastra, "Land of the gurjara" (Sanskrit gurjara, "cow herd").

The Waraich clan gradually spread out to places beyond Gujrat such as Gujranwala and Sargodha (in today's Punjab province of Pakistan).

Other traditions have these variously labelled Jats or Rajputs (or even both) ruling over Shergarh and Nagaur and other cites until 275 AD.

Religion

Members of the Waraich clan in western Punjab are Muslim.

In eastern Punjab and Haryana, the clan is Sikh and are refugees and descendents of refugees from western Punjab.

Famous people

*Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain - Former Prime Minister of Pakistan [Chaudhry Pervez Elahi] - Former Chief Minister Province of Punjab [Chaudry Abrar Ahmad Warraich Of Jalalpur jattan]
*Aitzaz Ahsan - President Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and a leading member of the Pakistan People's Party
*Lt. Gen (Retd.) Imtiazullah Waraich (late) - Vice Chief of Army Staff Pakistan Army
*Chaudhry Zafar Iqbal Waraich - Former Interior Minister of Pakistan
*Chaudhry Najaf Nawaz Warraich-President Asian-British Young Organisation
*Suhail Warraich journalist
*Adeel Warraich-Engineer
*Chaudhry Bilal Assad Waraich [Pahrianwali]

ee also

Chaudhry Abrar Ahmad Warraich
*Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi
*Indo-Scythian
*Sakas

References


*Ram Swarup Joon - History of the Jatt
*History of the Jatt Clans - H.S Duleh
*Website of Wraich community by Raman Wraich (www.wraich.com)


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