In this next post, I will look at the Dogar (Urdu: ڈوگر), who are a Muslim, Punjabi tribe found in the Punjab region of Pakistan and the Uttar Pradesh state in India. Prior to the partition of India, there were several Dogar communities in Haryana, especially in Hissar, Rohtak and Karnal districts, all of whom moved to Pakistan. I would ask the reader to look at my post the Dogar Population of Punjab and the United Provinces according to 1901 Census, which an account of the Dogar prior to the partition of Punjab in 1947.
The Dogars (distinct from the Dogra of Jammu) are an agricultural tribe of Central Punjab. They are overwhelmingly Muslim whereas the Dogras of Jammu are largely Hindu, with each group having a distinct rituals customs and language. The two groups are unrelated but they are often confused with one another because of their similar sounding name and their similar martial tradition. Additionally, the Dogras of Jammu and Kashmir, are named after the area Duggar which they inhabit whereas the Dogars of Punjab are not found in the region, although there are Dogar villages in Sialkot at the edges of this region.
Historically, the Dogars of the Punjab were found in the upper valley of the Sutlej and Beas above the lower border of the Lahore district, and have also spread westwards along the foot of the Himalyas into Sialkot. There were considerable colonies of them in Hissar and Karnal. The Dogars of Ferozepur, where they held the riverside almost exclusively from 20 miles below to 20 miles above the head-quarters of that District, were thus described by the colonial administrator Edward Lyall Brandreth : —
In my account of the Ferozepur ilāqa I have already alluded to the Dogars, who are supposed to be converted Chauhan* Rajputs from the neighbourhood of Delhi. They migrated first to the neighbourhood of Pak Pattan, whence they spread gradually along the banks of the Sutlej, and entered the Ferozepur district about 100 years ago. The Ferozepur Dogars are all descended from a common ancestor named Bahlol, but they are called Mahu Dogars, from Mahu the grandfather of Bahlol. Bahlol had three sons† Bambu, Langar and Sammu. The Dogars of Ferozepur and Mullanwala]] are the descendants of Bambu ; those of Khai the descendants of Langar ; the descendants of Sammu live in the Kasur territory. There are many other sub-castes of the Dogars in other districts along the banks of the Sutlej, as the Parchats, the Topuras, the Chopuras, etc. The Chopura Dogars occupy Mamdot.†† Ferozepur Dogars consider themselves superior in rank and descent to the other sub-castes. They are very particular to whom they give their daughters in marriage though they take wives from all the other families. At one time infanticide is said to have prevailed among them, but I do not think there is much trace of it at the present day.
He writes further:
Like the Gujars and Naipals they prefer pasturing cattle to cultivating. Their favourite crime is cattle-stealing. There are, however, some respectable persons among them, especially in the Ferozepur ilāqa. It is only within the last few years that the principal Dogars have begun to wear any covering for the head ; formerly the whole population, as is the case with the poorer classes still, wore their long hair over their shoulders without any covering either of sheet or turban. Notwithstanding tho difference of physiognomy, however, the Dogars preserve evident traces of some connection with the Hindus in most of their family customs, in which they resemble the Hindus much more than the orthodox Muhammadans.
Although the language is harsh, what is being said is that Dogar were largely a pastoralist tribe, and shared this region with other pastoralists such as the Bhatti, Naipal and Wattu.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, most Dogar groups claimed Rajput ancestry. For example, in Firuzpur, they were divided into two sections, one of which claims to be Chauhan and the other Punwar Rajputs. Their ancestors had arrived from Delhi, and settled in Pak Pattan. Here they were converted to Islam. Edward Lyall Brandreth seems to be critical of this theory, writting the following: —
If they ever did move from Delhi to the Montgomery district, it can hardly have been since the Ghaggar ceased to fertilize the intervening country, and the date of the migration must have been at least some centuries back ; and the Dogars of Hissar came to those parts from the Punjab, probably from the Sutlej across the Sirsa district. The Dogars of Lahore and Ferozepur are essentially a riverside tribe, being found only on the river banks, and appear from the passage quoted above to have retained till lately some at least of the habits of a wild tribe. Their origin was probably in the Sutlej valley. They appear to have entered the Ferozepur district about 1700 A.D., and during the next forty years to have possessed themselves of a very considerable portion of the district, while their turbulence rendered them almost independent of the Sikh Government. In 1808 we recognised the Dogar State of Ferozepur, and took it under our protection against Ranjit Singh ; but it lapsed in 1835.
The Ferozepur Dogar claimed descent from a common ancestor named Bahlol, and were called Mahu Dogars, from Mahu the grandfather of Bahlol. Bahlol had three sons, Bambu Langar and Sammu. The Dogars of Ferozpur and Mullanwala were the descendants of Bambu; those of Khai the descendants of Langar; the descendants of Sammu who lived in Kasur. While according to the Kapurthala Dogars, they were originally settled at Lakhiwal, near which was fought a battle between the Manj and Bhatti Rajputs, the Dogars siding with the latter. The Manj were, however, victorious and expelled the Dogars from Lakhiwal, but for generations no Dogar would drink from the hands of a Manj. Among the Jalandhar Dogars, the Dogars were found largely along the banks of the Sutlej, where the town of Talwan was the centre of the tribe, and home to the Sardar, or chief. They are all claimed to have arrived from Ferozepur. Ferozepur seems to be the central location of the tribe. For example, the Dogars of Gujranwala claim to have come from Ferozepur approximately two centuries ago. While almost all fourteen local villages of the Dogar tribe in Sialkot District, claimed to have been founded by groups arriving from Amritsar, Gurdaspur, and Hoshiarpur. For example, Rao Dogar, of the Mandar got, the founder of the village of Kot Roy Dogran, Tehsil Pasrur, came from the the village Vallah Vehrka, near Amritsar city and similarly Sardar Fateh din founded a village called Panjgrayien came from Hoshiarpur.
Dogars of Haryana
The Dogars of Hisar, where they formed the majority of the Muslim poplulation in that city, claimed their ancestors had arrived from Pakpattan at the invitation of Firoz Shah Tughlaq, who is said to have founded the city in 1354 AD, as ‘Hisar-e-Firoza’, who reigned over the Sultanate of Delhi from 1351 to 1388. Another cluster of Dogars were settled along the Ghaggar in a region called Budhlada illaqa, which was divided between the British district of Hisar and the state of Patiala. Later in the post, I will discuss the role played the Dogar in the formation of that state. A third group of Dogars were found in the town of Agroha. It is interesting both the Karnal and Rohtak claim to have arrived from Agroha. In Rohtak District, the Dogars were found in the village of Para mohalla, which was located near the city of Rohtak, and within the city of Rohtak itself. Para mohalla is now part of the city.
The Dogar tribe is divided into clans, traditionally called gots. The four main clans are the Mattar, China, Tagra, Mahu, and Chokra. Other gots are the Sidhi, Banch, Dare, Chhane, Khame, Mabhi, Mahu, Dadud, Dhandi, Gug, Dher, Tote, Kohli, Pade, Sanapi, Jakhra, Katwal, Chhohar, Chopri, Ghangi, Wali, Wisar, Khari, Sombar, Ilsar, Johde, Kotordal, Gosaal, Saurai, Dhaurai and Gamload. Many of these clans were only found in certain regions. For example, in pre-partition Amritsar, they were Badhar  Benaich  Chani  Chohar  and Dalel . The Dogar septs in Kapurthala were: —
Dasal, from Lakhiwal, founded Dasal which was destroyed by the Sikhs, who had been plundered by the Dogars in their flight from Ahmad Shah Abdali ; Bajwa, or Ratra., from Sunaru; Ripal, Nainah, Mattar, Asar all from Lakhiwal.
While in Montgomery the Dogar had the following gots: —
After the partition of Punjab, the Dogar population is now distributed in several districts such as Okara, Sahiwal, Khanewal, and Toba Tek Singh. This has affected the clan system as well, which is no longer that strong.
Dogars and Patiala State
The Dogars also played an important role in the founding of the Patiala State. The state was said to be established by two friends, Ala Sing Sidhu, a Sikh Jat, and Lakhna Dogar, a Muslim, in about 1721. Initially, they captured twenty four villages and then enlarged the state further by conquering more and more adjacent areas. From the beginning of Patiala State until 1857, the Raja used to be a Sikh, from the family of Ala Sing Sidhu and the Army Commander , a Muslim, from the family of Lakhna Dogar–most likely because of an oral understanding and agreement of the two founders.
The reknown commanders (Sipah Salar) of the Patiala State, from Lakhna Dogar’s family were: Lakhna Dogar, Sadar Deen Dogar, Shaira Dogar, Kaima Dogar, Saida Dogar, Karim-Buksh Dogar and Kala Dogar,who was commander-in-chief of patiala in Anglo-Sikh War, and fought at Mudhki.
The residence of the Lakhna family was at Daska town in Patiala State. In 1947 all of the Lakhna Dogar family, suffering heavy casualties, migrated to Pakistan. The Sardar Shakir Dogar family settled in Muzaffargarh, whiile the Sardar Makhdoom Dogar familysettled in the village Kakar Gill near Khankah Dogran, Shiehkupura
Dogars of Western Uttar Pradesh
In addition to the Dogars of Punjab, a small community of Muslim Dogars are also found in the Bulandshahr District of Uttar Pradesh. They emigrated from the Sirsa to escape the great famine of the 1780s. They now occupy four villages, not far the city of Bulandshahr. A few have also migrated to Pakistan, and are found among the Urdu speaking Muhajir community. Dogar in India.