FAMINES IN THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT, 1500 to 1767
|1682 (a) OR 1681: Ahmedabad area, Gujarat|
|Documented causes: probably drought|
|Documented effects: urban rioting|
|Lieut. Col. A.T. Etheridge, "Report on Past Famines in the Bombay Presidency" (1868) [Reports collected by local officials in all districts]|
|p63 [Hoozoor, by the Hoozoor Deputy Collector, from the "Miratey Ahmedee"]: "Hijree 1093, Sumvut 1739-40, A.D. 1682-83 [CORRECT DATE MAY BE 1 YEAR EARLIER; SEE QUOTATION BELOW]. The people complained of the dearness of grain to the Sooba of Ahmedabad, the rate being one Rupee for 3 or 4 seers. The Soobedar, Mahomed Ameen Khan, on his return with a procession at the 'Eed' holiday found himself surrounded by men, women and children, who complained very bitterly of their condition, and who were instigated by one Shaik Aboo Bukkur to abuse the Soobedar and to throw stones at him. The Soobedar's followers came forward to fight with the people, but he, apprehending a riot, managed to pacify the mob, and to reach home safely. This occurrence was reported to the Emperor, who ordered that those who were engaged in the riot should be killed; but the Soobedar was an old man, and did not lend himself to such severity. He, however, invited several persons to a feast, and quietly managed to poison Aboo Bukkur, the leader of the mob."|
|Ali Muhammad Khan (trans. M.F. Lokhandwala), "Mirat-i-Ahmadi: A Persian History of Gujarat" (1965)|
|pp268-9: [Ahmedabad area, 1092 AH (=1681 CE)] "In the year one thousand and ninety-two, a severe famine took place due to scarcity of food. People suffered afflictions for want of bread. They earned their complaints and lamentations beyond limit to Muhammed Amin Khan. A short account of this long description is: whatever is understood from reports of aged men who heard them from their ancestors in succession, is that when the pan of balance of dearness of corn and high price of cereals rose high, people began to moan and lament. By chance, 'Id fell during these days. Muhammed Amin Khan had gone out for prayers. On his return when he entered the city through bazar-road, small and great, young and old, men and women, who had come out for recreation, loosened tongues in complaints and lamentation about dearness and anguish for sustenance. A mischief-monger, Abu Bakr, who had become known among people that he was working solely for God, was present in that gathering to induce and excite masses to riot. Mode of his instigation was such that they regarded his instructions and wicked promptings solely due to attainment of the pleasure of God and so the affairs passed from oral complaints, lamentations and cries to arrogance and daring for throwing stones, clods of earth, rubbish on the litter of Muhammed Amin.|
With one utterance of that man of distracted affair
So much mischief arose from every side
Fire of mischief became so keen
That thou wouldst have said there was a day of resurrection in that city
On seeing this immoderate behaviour, the party of soldiers who were with him failed to repel them. They made use of war weapons in defence. Muhammed Amin Khan, understanding the exigency of time that it was a public revolt, prevented them from so doing. He reached the Bhadra Fort at any cost. A report of it was sent to His Majesty by himself as well as by news writers within a few days. His Majesty was much enraged. Wrath of a sovereign is a specimen of Divine wrath. He issued an order to Muhammed Amin Khan to put him to death as a leader of rioters. As it was a preliminary to public rising, Muhammed Amin Khan, instead of pulling down the palace of his life who created disturbance but worked in the name of God, sowed a flower of goodness and arranged a feast inviting the common-folk as well as the shaikhs ( spiritual directors }. He also invited Abu Bakr to it.
He who injures men with a sword of tongue
Drinks poison and uses a sting of scorpion as a tooth pick
When the banquet was arranged and dishes of food were spread out on the table, Muhammed Amin Khan summoned the Shaikh near to himself. After being free from food, he cut a melon, which was specially kept ready for feasting the shaikh and personally treated him by offering him with his hand, a few poisoned slices.
Do not extend a hand of intention to the way of world
For they have poisoned this morsel
As soon as he ate them, his condition changed. He got up from the banquet and went home. Muhammed Amin Khan said, 'Shaikh! where do you go in such a hurry?' He replied, 'To the house I have built I go.' It is said that he died by the time he reached home."