Mian Deedo was a brave warrior from Jagti, Jammu who is particularly remembered for his guerilla warfare.
He was a rebel, who revolted against the injustice of landlords and against the Lahore Darbar, the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
He was popular among the common folks of Duggar and was similar to Robin Hood of the west.
He started his fight against the unjust taxes imposed by zamindars after Prince Kharak Singh became the caretaker of Jammu, after the battle of Gumat.
He was captured twice but was cunning enough to fool his captors.
Once a contingent was sent to Jagti under Atar Singh Kalal but Dido was not there. His old father, Mian Hazari, drew his sword when Atar asked him to surrender. Mian Hazari said, “don’t you know that to lay down life bravely is pride of warriors. Surrendering before the enemy like you is a cowardice”. He was killed by Atar Singh because of infirmity of age. That time Mian resided with family at Cherai near Painthal. Gulab Singh camped at Painthal. Mian moved to Trikuta Peak. Gulab Singh was once attacked by Mian’s brigand but before he could be hit, he struck the attacker. Gulab Singh divided his force in three groups to surround Mian. Mian Dharam Singh was deputed to the right, Atar Singh Kalal in the middle and himself took up the left flank. Having spent the first night in complete vigil and caution, Gulab Singh directed Wazir Zorawar Singh Kalhuria and Mian Bishna to Trikuta Peak with instructions to bring him alive in his presence.
Maharaja Gulab Singh had pledged his allegience to the Lahore Darbar and so had to device plans to capture Mian Dido and present him to the Lahore Darbar.
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The priest at Mata Vaishno Devi Bhawan warned him that he was about to be captured and killed. He advised Mian to surrender before Gulab Singh. Proud Mian Dido was undeterred and refused to compromise with his ideals.
When Mian Dido was finally cornered in at Sanjhi Chhat, Trikuta Hills, he waged his sword and slew one of his captors, who had earlier murdered his father also, into two!
Those who had come to capture Mian Dido stood there petrified and did not dare touch him. Mian Dido, with great composure, sat on a rock and asked for his hookka and began to smoke. As nobody dared to go near him, soldiers started firing at him, thus killing the valiant warrior.
Maharaja Gulab Singh was deeply saddened by this incident as he did not want to kill Mian Dido. He took whole responsibility of taking care of Mian’s sons- Basant Singh and Gulshan.
Mian Deedo is an inspiration for the Dogras of today, who have lost the vigour and honour of their past. It is high time that we stood up for our rights and do no compromise with our pride, dignity, identity and honour.