Mirza Kalich Beg
|Mirza Kalich Beg مرزا قليچ بيگ|
7 October 1853|
Tando Thoro, Hyderabad, Sindh, Pakistan
|Died||3 July 1929
Buried at Buland Shah, Tando Thoro
Shams-ul-Ulema Mirza Kalich Beg (Sindhi: شمس العلما مرزا قليچ بيگ) is a renowned scholar hailed for his contributions to the Sindhi literature. He was born on 7 October 1853 in a small village called Tando Thoro on the bank of Phuleli Canal in Hyderabad, Pakistan. His father Mirza Faridun Beg was from Kakheti, Georgia.
The ancestors of Mirza Kalich Beg, were from Georgia, his grandfather was a Christian Emir in Kakheti, due to subsequent turmoil between Nadir Shah and the Ottoman Empire; Georgia was annexed and the grandfather of Mirza Kalich Beg was captured along with Mirza Kalich's Father Sedini (later named Mirza Faridun Beg by Nadir Shah).
Mirza Faridun Beg, converted to Islam and served in the Qizilbash cavalry units of Nadir Shah. He served alongside Mir Tala Khan (the founder of the Talpur dynasty). They sacked the fortifications of the ruling Kalhora Nawabs of Sindh and probably served during the dramatic Battle of Karnal.
In the late 18th century, the Talpurs had taken hold of the Pacco Qillo in Hyderabad and were declared official rulers of the city and the Emirs of Sindh. It was during this reign of the Talpurs, that Mirza Faridoon Beg settled in the outskirts of this thriving city. In the years to come his father had made cordial relations with the then ruler Mir Karam Ali Talpur and became his courtier. He was invited to live in the Hyderabad fort (the Pacco Qillo) and married a Talpur princess.
When the British led by Charles Napier took annexed Sindh after the Battle of Miani, the remaining Mirs surrendered and were imprisoned in Calcutta leaving Mirza Faridun Beg no one to serve and he resorted to the small fishing village of Tando Thoro on the banks of the Phuleli Canal. It was here that Mirza Kalich Beg was born.
Culture begged adolescents to be admitted in the village Maktab, where Mirza read the Qur'an. Whilst his time at the Maktab, he began more and more interested in languages most notably Arabic, Persian and Sindhi and pursued related courses. Completing his schooling, he was later admitted to the Government High School, Hyderabad and in 1872, he passed his matriculation and was awarded a special prize for distinction of achieving a first division.
Pursuits for further education left him to Bombay in 1873. He joined Elphinstone College where he came under the tutelage of Prof. Mirza Hairat, the noted teacher of Arabic, Persian and Turkish languages. He bemused the tutor when he saw that Mirza had a very high command over the Persian language and had him appointed a fellow at the Mumbai University. Once he had graduated in mid-1870s, Kalich Beg was employed at the same prestigious institute as a professor of Persian language.
A tragedy and a loss
He was well placed on the highest rungs of his educational career ladder, when his mother died in 1876. He couldn't cope with the tragic events of his mother's death and fell short of scoring well on his examinations and fell seriously ill. He decided he'd return home to Sindh.
Mirza Kalich Beg sought a job in a government department on his return to Sindh. He was appointed as a Tehsildar in Shikarpur and rose to the rank of Deputy Collector. After serving the British government as Deputy Collector for thirty years, he retired in 1910.
The lives of the Mirza family and their Georgian connections are a subject of the 2005 book A Georgian Saga: From the Caucasus to the Indus by family's scion Meherafroze Mirza Habib, Vice-President of All Pakistan Women's Association.
Mirza Kalich Beg wrote 457 books, which are categorised under Drama, Articles, Research books, Novels, and History. His famous books are:
- Alamat-ul-Quran (Signs of Quran)
- Bagh ae Bayani
- Zameen pokhin jo ilm ae Hunr
- Sao Pan Karo Pano (Auto-Biography)