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Records of Rayanna's properties fake, says researcher

Bangalore, Sept 14, 2013, DHNS : 0:21 IST
Researcher and historian Jyoti Hosur said on Saturday that records pertaining to the properties of freedom fighter Sangolli Rayanna on stamp paper, dated to 1814, were fake.

The Indian Stamp Act was brought into force in India by the British only in 1899 and stamp papers were available post-1900. Fake documents have been created and this needs investigation, he said.

Prof Hosur told reporters that he had visited Sangolli village in Bailahongal taluk of the district and had examined the documents. They have been written using ball pen and in modern Kannada language and are in good condition.

In 1814, Kannada had the impact of Hale Kannada (old Kannada) and that language is difficult to understand. The survey numbers mentioned too are false as in this part of the State, the British first conducted a survey only in 1843 to tax farmers as per their land holdings. During the earlier days, pens were not used for writing. ‘Tak’ — as pens then were called — were used and they had to be dipped in inkpots for writing. The first few letters in such writings were thick and the impressions faded thereafter. Then, the handwriting was continuous and spacing between words was not like those seen in the “fake documents”, he said.

The joint family system was strong then, he said. The partition of the property and its mortgaging by Rayanna’s family were not acceptable as it was a well-to-do family, Hosur said. All these indicate that the property papers are fake, he said.

Blank stamp papers of the earlier era may have been used to create such records. After 1857, India came under complete rule of the British and emblems of kings and queens were being used by them in their colonies, Prof Hosur stated.

The British first carried out survies during 1843 in Dharwad district. Belgaum district was formed in 1838 and the survey was carried out between 1849 and 1860 and revision survey in 1880-83. The contents of the “fake” stamp paper could not be accepted, he said.

One of Rayanna’s descendants Karaveer Rogannavar said the government must investigate Rayanna’s properties and verify mutation records as they would like to know what happened to them.

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