The Dhir Malias
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The Dhir Malias were the followers of Dhir Mal (1627-1677), who was the eldest son of Gurditta, who in turn was the eldest son of Guru Hargobind. Dhir Mal, missing the Guruship ingratiated himself with the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. In 1643 he received a revenue-free grant and became a menace to Guru Hargobind by setting himself up as the next Guru, with the original copy of the Adi Granth in Kartarpur. His intrigues played a part in Guru Tegh Bahadur's move to the Shivalik Hills.
The Dhir Malias have descendants to this day (the Sodhis of Kartarpur), and there are Ram Raiyas in Dehra Dun. In the 1891 census 52,317 Hindus and 30,396 Sikhs returned themselves as 'Ram Raia' . (Census of India, 1891, Vol.XX and Vol.XXI, The Punjab and its Feudatories, by E.D. Maclagan, Part II and III, Calcutta, 1892, pp.826-9 and pp.572-3.) However there are no contemporary official numbers, (see also the note at the end of the Explanatory Introduction).
The descendants of Dhir Mal still have the original Bir of the Adi Granth at Kartarpur. The family has been asked to give the Adi Granth to the Akal Takhat. Its being in Kartarpur rather than in the Akal Takhat in 1984 was fortunate as many ancient Sikh documents perished in the attack and its senseless loss of life.
There is a shrine at Kartarpur in memory of Dhir Mal. The Ram Raiyas have their centre in Dehra Dun where Ram Rai had his Dehra.
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