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Thakur Deshraj

(1895 – 1970) – (Rajasthan)

Thakur Deshraj (Aged 75) a social worker, journalist, nationalist, freedom fighter, and author, was born in 1895 in Rajasthan state, India. After the successful Jhunjhunu adhiveshan in 1932, a group of Jats from Sikar district, led by Prithvi Singh Gothra, requested Thakur Deshraj to organize a similar adhiveshan in Sikar. After lengthy discussions, Thakur Deshraj proposed to have a yagya in Sikar instead.

A meeting was called in Palthana village in October 1933 to discuss this proposal. Activists from Shekhawati attended the meeting, and one member was invited from each family in Sikar district. About 5,000 people gathered in the meeting, but the Sikar thikana tried to make it a failure. The thikanedar sent hundreds of handcuffs loaded on camels along with the police force to terrorize the people attending the meeting.

Thakur Deshraj addressed the audience and said, “These handcuffs will get you independence. If you are afraid of them, you will never be free. We have gathered here for a religious purpose, and we will complete it.” These words energized the audience, and they continued their struggle against the Jagirdars. A resolution was passed to conduct a seven-day “Jat Prajapat Mahayagya” (Prayer ceremony for the Lord of the Universe) in Sikar on the next basant in 1934 to spread the principles of Arya Samaj and create awakening in Shekhawati.

Jaipur Sarkar expelled Deshraj from Jaipur State on 10 April 1935, and he could no longer guide the farmers of Shekhawati. In 1938, he joined Bharatpur Rajya PrajaMandal, Zamindar Kisan Sabha, and Braj-jaya Pratinidhi Sabha. He also joined the Bharatpur state cabinet as revenue minister. After independence, he left politics and focused on Jat history. He passed away in 1970.