Sketches of rulers of India
240 pages
English
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Sketches of rulers of India

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240 pages
English

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08gAs SKETCHES OF RULERS OF INDIA VOL. IV THE PRINCES OF INDIA AND ALBUQUERQUE • •• •ASOKA BABAR AKBAR AURANGZIB MADHAVA •RAO SCINDIA AND TIPU SULTANHAIDAR ALI •RANJIT SINGH ALBUQUERQUE BY G. D. OSWELL M.A. OXON. OF INDIAPRINCIPAL RAJKUMAR COLLEGE, CENTRAL PROVINCES,RAIPUR, OXFORD AT THE CLARENDON PRESS 1908 HENRY M.A.FROWDE, PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD NEW YORKLONDON, EDINBURGH, AND MELBOURNETORONTO INTRODUCTION Much exists both as to the constitutionmisconception of the Native States of and as to the extent of theIndia, area that in the vast Indian Greatofthey occupy Empire inBritain. Sir John his valuable work, India,Strachey, ' has thus written : The term Native States is to con-apt the idea that are Indian nationalities invey they existing the midst of our dominion. This indeed is thegreat foreign belief. It is assumed that in ourEnglishpopular conquest we our rule onof India thathadimposed people previously theirbeen of own race : that we tookgoverned by princes the of ancient Native which weplace dynasties destroyed, and for ourselves the more valuablethat, having kept we have for one reason or another allowed some provinces, India to retain their Nativeof Noportions governments. could be more to fact. afterWhen,suppositions contrary the death of in the was1707,Aurangzib Mogul empire a scramble ensued for the andbreaking up, fragments, this lasted the of thethrough greater part eighteenth The chief the latter half ofcentury.

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08gAs
SKETCHES OF
RULERS OF INDIA
VOL. IV
THE PRINCES OF INDIA
AND ALBUQUERQUE
• •• •ASOKA BABAR AKBAR AURANGZIB MADHAVA
•RAO SCINDIA AND TIPU SULTANHAIDAR ALI
•RANJIT SINGH ALBUQUERQUE
BY
G. D. OSWELL
M.A. OXON.
OF INDIAPRINCIPAL RAJKUMAR COLLEGE, CENTRAL PROVINCES,RAIPUR,
OXFORD
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
1908HENRY M.A.FROWDE,
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
NEW YORKLONDON, EDINBURGH,
AND MELBOURNETORONTOINTRODUCTION
Much exists both as to the constitutionmisconception
of the Native States of and as to the extent of theIndia,
area that in the vast Indian Greatofthey occupy Empire
inBritain. Sir John his valuable work, India,Strachey,
'
has thus written : The term Native States is to con-apt
the idea that are Indian nationalities invey they existing
the midst of our dominion. This indeed is thegreat foreign
belief. It is assumed that in ourEnglishpopular conquest
we our rule onof India thathadimposed people previously
theirbeen of own race : that we tookgoverned by princes
the of ancient Native which weplace dynasties destroyed,
and for ourselves the more valuablethat, having kept
we have for one reason or another allowed some
provinces,
India to retain their Nativeof Noportions governments.
could be more to fact. afterWhen,suppositions contrary
the death of in the was1707,Aurangzib Mogul empire
a scramble ensued for the andbreaking up, fragments,
this lasted the of thethrough greater part eighteenth
The chief the latter half ofcentury. competitors during
the were the the Muhammadan PowersMahrattas,struggle
of southern and the The share ofIndia, English. larger
the fell to the but our had nogain English, competitors
better titles than our own. All alike were inforeigners
the countries which werefor they contending.' Similarly,
Sir Alfred in his Asiatic as SirStudies,Lyall, quoted by
'
John has written : One of the notionsStrachey, popular
in and the establishment ofEngland Europe regarding
the in India is that our absorbedEnglish Empire conquests
and levellednationalities, displaced long-seated dynasties,
ancient nobilities. These are some of the self-accusations
A24 INTRODUCTION.
which theby average home-keeping Englishman justifies
to himself the of down andindulgence sitting casting
dust on his head whenever he looks back theupon exploits
his in an attitude which is observedof India,countrymen
towith orby foreigners suspicion impatience according
their into character. Yet it would beinsight English easy
to that one reason the soprove important why English
India was that the countries thatthis,rapidly conquered
fell into our hands had no nonationalities, long-seated
or ancient that hadruling dynasties, aristocracies, they
in fact no solid or of kind,permanent organization any
but were treasure trove at the of thepolitically disposal
could The best thatfirst, who, found,having keep. proof
in these countries the noEnglish destroyed organized
institutions is the historical fact that in the coun-
political
tries which such had been left for themannexed nonethey
to On the other wherehand,destroy. indigenous political
institutions of still it is theexist,long standing English
who have saved them from destruction.'
These statements are supported by irrefragable proofs
their truth. to show thatof Sir John Strachey proceeds
the Native States are of two classes.principal roughly
The first the the measurecomprises possessing largest
of and the most of these are theindependence, important
Muhammadan and the Mahratta States which survived the
of the and the of the nine-struggles eighteenth, beginning
'
centuries. Their JohnSirteenth, rulers,' says Strachey,
'
inare all cases None of these States are muchforeigners.
older than our own dominion : the officials areprincipal
as as the chiefs : the armed forcesusually foreign usually
consist of and there is no closer mercenaries, sym-
between the and their rulers than that whichpathy people
exists in the The HaidarabadBritish Territories. State,
which isthe chief relic ofMuhammadansurviving supremacy
in is the State of this class. The States ofIndia, principal
and Baroda are the survivalsIndore,Gwalior, principalINTRODUCTION 5
of the Mahratta States. The most of these isimportant
All existence middleGwalior. these came into about the
Their chiefsof the areeighteenth century. entirely
to the are as Sir Griffinindeed,foreign people. They Lepel
has the of the hordesshown, representatives predatory
until crushed British turned the fertilewhich, by arms,
Central India a wilderness. Theof into Maharajaplains
for the head of the Mahratta State ofScindia, instance,
is the of the of aGwalior, representative single family
successful of who annexed in thearmies,captain eighteenth
all the he could hands andwhosecentury territory lay on,
so in one that hisson finally encamped long place camp
his Baroda is theinto Nativegrew capital.' principal
India. Its isState of western who the Gaik-ruler, styled
claims the of over allwar, proud pre-eminence precedence
the Native chiefs of but his it is needless toIndia, claim,
is not the other inchiefs,recognized by great thoughsay,
the number he is entitled he ranks anof onto,guns equal
with the rulers of Haidarabad and Kashmir.footing
Even the Bhonsla branch of the Mahratta whichhouses,
has been characterized intense of race,always by pride
refuses to concede it. The Bhonslas claim
still, indeed,
over all the chiefs in the territories once sub-precedence
it isto their a claim that can noject sway, though they
Anenforce. illustration of this came underlonger amusing
the writer'sown observation on one occasion. A reception
was in western India one of thebeing given by leading
chiefs of that in honour of theregion present representa-
tive of the Bhonsla and of another offamily, prince
ancient from southern who claimed to be ofIndia,dynasty
descent. The Bhonsla claimed but theRajput precedence,
other chief could to his had thepoint family having
conferred them of a salute of nine andupondignity guns,
as India iswith the Government of precedence largely
a matter of the Bhonsla had to his claim.guns, give up
The second of the classes into which Native States may6 INTRODUCTION
be divided is inferior to those the first ifof class, judged
their and andonlyby area, population, politicalimportance,
as SirJohn observes : aremorenumerousbut, Strachey 'they
and more are the of Indiainteresting. They only parts
where ancient institutions and ancientpolitical dynasties
still and their is due to thesurvive, preservation entirely
British Government. The this class areStates ofprincipal
those of in Centraland there are othersRajputana, many
in in theandIndia, Bandel-Khand, BombayBaghel-Khand,
The constitution of these States is differ-Presidency. very
ent from that of the Muhammadan and Mahratta States.
In the latter the in at and toruler, least,theory subject
his to the British exercisesGovernment,responsibilities
absolute In like those ofStatespersonal power. Rajputana,
whose ancient theinstitutions have been con-preserved,
stitution of the is different. Thegoverning authority very
chief is the head of a the membersclan,hereditary military
of which have for centuries been the soil. He andlords of
the minor chiefs and are to be descendednobles supposed
from a andcommon ancestor: he is inter"primus pares",
while all the branches of the stock are tooriginal ready
their chief in time of his actual overjoin danger, power
them under limited.is, circumstances, very greatlyordinary
to the the familiescustom of some ofOwing rulingadoption
in Inback to an unknownRajputana some,go antiquity.
such as and the families toUdaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur,
which the chiefs have ruled in the samepresent belong
territories for more than Sir Griffin1,000 years.' Lepel
has borne his the and un-to kindlytestimony generally
selfish attitude the and thetowards brotherhood people
that in these States. Of somegenerally prevails Rajput
of these and others in Central India,Rajput chiefships
'
Sir David Barr has in :said, picturesque language Many
of the smaller States of Central India are in inex-mingled
tricable with the and inconfusion larger States, exemplify
the most manner the result of the sudden Britishstriking

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