JANJIRA

BRIEF HISTORY

The Sunni Muhammadan ruling family of Janjira (or Jhuzira or Zizera) is of Abyssinian origin. They came across the Arabian Sea to India during the fifteenth century and took service with their fellow countrymen under the Nizam Shahi Kings of Ahmadnagar. They took possession of Dandarajpuri and the island of Janjira in 1490 and were appointed as Captains of the island fortress by Malik Ahmad Shah. Sidi Surul Khan I secured the governorship of the island of Janjira in 1618. The form of government was a sort of aristocratic republic, with an established order of succession; the first officer of the fleet succeeded to the governorship on the death of a Wazir. Emperor Aurangzeb confirmed them in their possessions in 1671, after the Bijapur Sultan had ceded Janjira to him. He also conferred the title of Nawab on Sidi Sumbal Yakut Khan, hereditary Grand Admiral of the Mogul fleet. They were notorious pirates for many years until they entered into an alliance with the HEIC in 1733. Jaffarabad, a town and district on the southern coast of Kathiawar, became part of the island state in 1759.

Although the people of Janjira expressly decided that they wished to remain a separate state under their own ruler, the Indian government disregarded their decision and annexed the state to Bombay.

SALUTE:
11-guns (1/1/1903, 15-guns local 1/1/1921).

ARMS:
Gules a tower within an orle argent, over all a canton vert.
Crest: An eastern galley. Supporters: Habshis. Motto: "Manzur-i-Nazar Hazrat Panjitan" (pleasing in the sight of the sacred five, i.e. Muhammad, 'Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain). Lambrequins: gules and vert.

FLAG:
Red.

STYLES & TITLES:
The ruling prince: Nawab Sidi (personal name) Muhammad Yakut Khan, Nawab of Janjira, with the style of His Highness.
The consort of the ruling prince: Nawab (personal title and name) Begum Sahiba, with the style of Her Highness.
The Heir Apparent: Nawabzada Sidi (personal name) Khan, Wali Ahad Sahib.
The other sons of the ruling prince: Nawabzada Sidi (personal name) Khan.
The daughters of the ruling prince: Sahibzadi (personal title and name) Begum.
The grandsons and other male descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line: Sidi (personal name) Khan.
The granddaughters and other female descendants of the ruling prince, in the male line: (personal title and name) Begum Sahiba.

ORDERS & DECORATIONS:
None known.

RULES OF SUCCESSION:
Male primogeniture, amongst Muslims only, with legitimate sons taking precedence over any others.

SOURCES:
Annual administration report of the Janjira State. 1872-73/-1874/75, 1880/81-1884/85. IOR/V/10. Oriental & India Office Collection, British Library, St Pancras, London.
Lewis Bentham Bowring. Bowring Collection. MSS. Eur. G.38, Oriental India Office Collection, British Library, London.
Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Volume XI, Kolaba and Janjira. Government Central Press, Bombay, 1883.
Report on the Administration of the Janjira State. 1886/87-1897/98, 1909/10-1942/43. IOR/V/10. Oriental & India Office Collection, British Library, St Pancras, London.
G.B. Seton Karr and R.H. Showell. Rough Notes Connected with the petty Principality of Junjeera, Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government. No. XXVI - New Series, Political Department, Government of Bombay, 1856.
List of Ruling Princes and Chiefs in Political Relations with the Government of Bombay and their Leading Officials, Nobles and Personages. Government of India Central Publication Branch, Calcutta, 1931.
Memoranda on The Indian States 1940 (Corrected up to the 1st January 1940). Manager of Publication, Government of India, Delhi, 1940.
Kenneth X. Robbins and John McLeod (eds.). Habshi Amarat. African Elites in India. Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd., Ahmedabad, India, 2006.
Wright, P.T. "Muslim Kinship and Modernization: The Tyabji Clan of Bombay", in I. Ahmad (ed.), Family, Kinship and Marriage among the Muslims in India. Manohar, New Delhi, 1976.
Thacker's Indian Directory, Thacker's Press & Directories, Ltd., Calcutta 1863-1956.

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Nawabzadi Sidi Tazeen Jehan Begum.
Father Lawrence Ober, SJ.
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