Chatha

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Chatha (Urdu:چٹھہ, Punjabi: ਚੱਠਾ)) (also spelt as Chattha) is a Punjabi Jatt tribe that inhabits parts of the Punjab in India and Pakistan.[1]

History[edit]

The Chatha Tribe is one of the largest tribes of Punjab. The Chatha Tribe originally settled in the Gujranwala District, in which they held 184 villages. They claim to be descendants of Chatha, a grandson of Prithviraj III, Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the Chauhan King of Delhi, as well as a step-brother of the ancestor of the Cheema. In the 10th generation from Chatha, approximately 500 years ago, Dahru came from Sambhal to Moradabad, where the bards of the Karnal Chauhans still live, to the banks of the Chenab and married among the Jat tribes of Gujranwala. They were converted to Islam in about 1600 AD and rose to considerable political importance under the Sikhs.[2]

The Chatha tribe under the warlord Pir Mohd Khan of Rasulnagar and Alipur Chatha held considerable tracts of land under their control, until he lost these lands to Ranjit Singh of Sukerchakia Sikhs, who later became Maharaja of Punjab. Under the rule of Ranjit Singh, the Chathas rose to political importance. Chaudhary Khuda Buksh Chattha and Chaudhary Nawab Khan Chattha were generals in the army of Ranjit Singh.[3]

Maha Singh was a chief of the Chatha tribe and Lea of the Sukerchakia Mis who's son, Ranjit Singh, became the Maharajah of Punjab.[3] Nowadays, the Chattha Tribe is at its peak due to its political importance. Hamid Nasir Cahttha is one of the famous personalities of Chattha tribe. He was the 9th speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan. He also holds many other posts, such as the Education Minister. Chattha Sangyana is one of the famous Sikh Chatthas.

Geography[edit]

Historically Chathas have been confined to the Gujranwala District. But slowly they migrated to all parts of Punjab including Indian Punjab. Chattha tribe is totally dominant in Gujranwala district, in which they have 184 villages. Important Chatha villages include Ahmadnagar Chattha, Mandiala Chattha, Jandiala Bagh Wala, Kot Bhaga, Kot Panah Chatha, Dehla Chattha, Ali pur Chattha, Mancher Chattha,Shori Chattha, Bucha Chattha, Suyan Wala Chattha, Ramky Chattha, Jamky Chattha, Jukhyan Chattha, Verpal Chattha, Pandori Chattha, Chak Chattha,Kot Asaish Chattha, Jhamwala Chattha, Rukan pur Chattha, and Sahran Chattha.[4] They marry among the Jat tribes of Gujranwala. However, during the 18th Century, the Chatha migrated east to as far as Patiala, and in the west to Attock. As a result of these migrations, the Chatha clan is also found south-east of Rawalpindi District, with Mandar Chatha, Hakim Chatha and Chatha Bakhtawar being the most important. Most of the Rawlpindi Chatha claim to be Rajputs. In neighbouring Jhelum District, they are found in the villages of Chatha and Chak Chatha, and in Gujrat District, they are found in the village of Chatha.[3]

Sikh Chathas[edit]

In Indian Punjab, Chatha Jats who follow the Sikh faith are found in the districts of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Patiala. In Jalandhar, there main village is Dhandowal in Nakodar tehsil. These Chatha are immigrants from Gujranwala, and are entirely Sikh.[5]

Chatha villages in the Canal Colonies[edit]

Many Chathas migrated to Lyallpur Faisalabad and Sahiwal District districts during the build-up of the canal network by the British.[citation needed] The group of six Chatha villages of Faisalabad is situated near the town of Chak Jhumra. People of these villages are peculiar in the sense that they are not direct migrants from Gujranwala. They come from Gurdaspur District and are the progeny of one Chatha person who migrated from Gujranwala to Gurdaspur. When the Rakh Branch canal was dug they were allocated agricultural land by the British Indian Government. They came to Faisalabad in 1888 from Gurdaspur District. The Rakh Branch canal is the same canal that irrigates much of the Tehsil Samundri passes from Abdullahpur in Faisalabad, and also irrigates the six Chatha villages. The canal originates at Head Khanki. The towns of Sangla Hill and Salarwala are also situated along this canal.

After the partition of the Punjab in 1947, many Sikh Chathas from Gujranwala district migrated to East Punjab.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rose, H. A. A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-west frontier province II. p. 145. 
  2. ^ Ibbetson, Denzil; MacLagan, Edward; Rose, H. A. (1911). A Glossary of the Tribes & Casts of the Punjab & North-West Frontier Province II. p. 155. 
  3. ^ a b c Gujrat District Gazetteer. Part A: 44. 1921. 
  4. ^ A Gazetteer of Gujranwala District (Civil and Military Gazette Press). Part A: 82. 1935. 
  5. ^ A Gazetteer of Gujranwala District. Part A: 63. 1904.