Indian expat discovers his uncle was part of Omani history

Saman Haziq/Sharjah
Filed on November 18, 2019 | Last updated on November 18, 2019 at 06.33 am
Oman, Oman National day, 49th National Day,  Sultanate of Oman

UAE resident finds that his uncle played a crucial part in consolidating Muscat, Omani territories.

As patriotic fervour grips the Sultanate of Oman on its 49th National Day today, 40-year Sharjah resident Om Prakash Malik couldn't help but celebrate and feel proud that his family had 'special ties' with the country. 

The septuagenarian recently discovered that his uncle - his father's brother - was mentioned in the historical records of Oman as the Wazir (minister) to the Ruler of the Sultanate from 1932 to 1939.

"I went to the US a couple of years ago and met the grandchildren of this uncle - RS Malik Dhuli Chand - at a wedding. There they made a passing reference about their grandfather being one of the advisors of the Ruler of Oman but didn't have any details about it. That statement made me dig through the history of Oman. I even made a few visits to the country. The facts and history I stumbled upon during the journey surprised me," said Malik.

He found that his uncle played a crucial part in consolidating Muscat and Omani territories. Dhuli Chand - after serving as secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs of India at Baghdad, Iraq, in 1932 - was transferred to Muscat and promoted to the rank of Wazir.

"He was welcomed by the Sultan of Muscat and Oman, the late Said Bin Taimur and British protectorate-in-charge, Major Watts. My uncle was known to be excellent at math (calculation) and had also served as treasury in charge in Iraq previously, which is why upon taking charge as the Wazir of Oman, he immediately planned various custom duties on import and export articles.

"With his finance strategies, he started planning to improve the country," Malik said.
"Uncle Dhuli Chand was proficient in Arabic, Persian, English and Urdu languages and would tour the port on horses, camels and chartered small ships at times with the Sultan or local officials. He generated revenue from the rich fisher folks, landowners and businessmen.

"I felt proud of his contribution. It is emotional and overwhelming for me to read about my own uncle in the historical records of Oman," he said.

Malik also discovered that his uncle played a role in building roads, bridges - and even walkways - in Muscat. He also introduced agriculture and started growing vegetables, coconut trees, dates and even wheat.

The enormous treasure of information about his family's ties with Oman has kept the country close to his heart. "Oman National Day is very special and nostalgic as I am reminded of the love and hospitality of Omani people who trusted and accepted my uncle as their own," Malik said.

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