History of Bharatpur/Chapter I
By Jwala Sahai
Printed by Lall Singh, in Moon Press, Agra, 1912
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An introduction of the Jat race
Bharatpur enjoys the distinction of being the only native government in India of a truly national character, where a great proportion of the people belong to the same tribe as the prince and nobles of the State.
Col. Tod, according to whom, the Jats have a place in all the catalogues of thirty-six Raj Kuls or royal races, recognises them as the Getae or Massagetae of the ancient writers, the Jutes of Jutland and consequently the people who founded the first Teutonic kingdom in England.
It is a name widely disseminated in India though with different pronunciation. In the Panjab they retain their ancient name Jat ; on the Jamna and tte Ganges they are styled Jâts ; and on the Indus and in Saurashtra they are termed Jits. The greater portion of the husbandmen in Rajputana are Jats, and there arc numerous tribes beyond the Indus now proselytes to Islam who derive their origin from this class.
The tradition of the Jats claims the regions west of the Indus as the cradle of the race, makes them of the Yadu (Jadon) extraction and corroborate the annals of Yadus, which state their migration from Zabulistan and pronounce them as an important colony of Yuchi, Yuti or Jits.
De Guignes, from original authors, states the Yuchi or Jits to have, established themselves in the Panjab in the 5th and 6th centuries and an inscription applies to a prince whose Capital is Salibahanpur (Sialkot) in these regions where the Yadu Bhattis established themselves on the expulsion of the Taks.
The Jats maintained themselves in the Punjab till Ranjit Singh of Lahore held dominion over the identical region where the Yuchi colonized in the fifth century and where the Yadus driven from Gazni established themselves on the ruins of the Taks. The Jat cavalier retains a portion of his Scythic manners and preserves the use of Chakra or discus, the weapon of Yadu Krishna in the remote age of the Bharath. Hence the Jats are of the Yadu (Jadon) race in which Shri Krishna the last incarnation of the deity made his appearance.
Col. Malleson in his History of the Native States, describing their valour and turbulent character says :-
- " They were Jats, who in 1026 harassed Mahmud of Gazni in his march from Somnath to Multan and who, in the following year were nearly destroyed by him; they were Jats who in 1398 were encountered and massacred by Tamurlane on his march by Multan to Delhi; and finally they were Jats who disquieted Babur] during his advance through the Panjab in 1525."
Mr. Keene in his Fall of the Mugal Empire says:- "Wherever they (the Jats) are found, they are stout yeomen; able to cultivate their fields and to protect them, and with strong administrative habits of a somewhat republican cast.
Within half a century, they have four times tried conclusions with the might of Britain, The Juts of Bharatpur fought Lord Lake with success and Lord Combermere with credit; and their Sikh brethren in the Panjab shook the whole fabric of British India on the Satlaj in 1845 and three years later on the field of Chilianwala. It is interesting to note further that some ethnologists have regarded this fine people as of kin to ancient Getae and to the Goths of Europe by whom not only Jutland but parts of the south-east of England and Spain were overrun and to some extent peopled. It is therefore possible that, yeomen of Kent and Hampshire have blood relation in the natives. of Bharatpur and the Panjab."
The Juts claim to have been born of Brahma's Jata, the matted hairs on the head, as the Brahmans, Kshatris, Vaishyas and Shudras are said to have been born of his mouth, arms, belly and feet respectively. This their pretension may appear to be ridiculous to the orthodox Brahmans as the other assertion to those who know the proportion of the world's population to that of India which is but a small portion and in which alone this division exists. The contiguity of tho words Jat and Jata, however, makes the claim more reasonable than the mere assertion about the division which stands in need of proof.
In reality the inhabitants of India, except the aborigines, Bhils, Gonds, Minas, etc., consist of immigrants from Central Asia who came in many successive streams. One of them the people of which are called Aryas, as they assumed different professions in long ages after their settlement were divided into four classes according to the profession of each, the
Brahmans with regard to their learning and sacred profession were held in highest reverence; the Kshatris or protectors to whom the King and Military leaders belonged were the next; those who took up agriculture and trade were put in the third class named Vaish; and servants including aborigines and me of mixed descent Were named Shudras. The Jats, as ascertained by Col. Tod and many writers, belong to another stream of the Scythic race which entered India at a different time independently of the Aryas, but as they came as invaders, earried on wars and possessed themselves of countries they naturally became Kshatris.
The Jat States
The Jats have been very active and brave even in the modern time and rendered excellent service to the British Government. The chronicles of Bharatpur are to form tire special subject of this little pamphlet, but it is not amiss to take a short notice of the other Jat states which have gained renown by their brilliant deeds in the history of India.
The first of all the states now included in Rajasthan which formed political relations with the British Government, was that of Dholpur, Lokendra Singh, an ancestor of of the Maharana of which, then only Rana of Gohad, as veteran enemy of the Marahtas, was selected to be the fittest ally when a war broke out between the Honourable Company on one hand and Maharaja Scindhia and Haidar Ali of Mysore On the other, to serve as a barrier against the invasion on the British territories, and also as a basis for creating diversion in favour of the military operations from Bombay. Under the treaty concluded in 1779 a joint army of tha allies invaded the Marahtas and the conquered Country was
equally divided among both. Dholpur has ever since been loyal and faithful to the Imperial Government.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore, generally known as "the Lion of the Punjab," was a self-made Maharaja. Being appointed at the age of 18 years in 1798, governor of Lahore by Zaman Shah, the king of Kabul, he devoted his great abilities to the improvement of his army and the enlargement of his territories. With the project of erecting his personal rule upon the fanaticism of his Sikh countrymen, he organised their church militant in an army under European officers and went on without halting on his career of conquest. From Lahore his capital, he extended his dominions in the south to Multan, in the west to Peshawar and in the north to Kashmir. In 1805-6 Lord Lake entered, his country in pursuit of Holkar and in 1808-9 Sir Charles; (afterwards Lord) Metcalfe went on a mission to his court when a treaty of amity and alliance was concluded between him and the Honourable East India Company. Of his rapid progress, it is said that in 1805 he was merely a chief and in 1809 he was a great Maharaja. It is also said to his great credit that until his death in 1839 he was ever loyal to the engagement and a firm friend of the British Government.
The Cis-Satlaj States of Patiala, Jhind, Nabha and Faridkot have been staunch advocates of the British cause even from a time long after which they were taken under the protection of the Government. The Maharaja of Jhind earned the esteem and appreciation of Lord Lake for taking great interest in the success of His Lordship's pursuit of Holkar and the Maharaja of Patiala was rewarded for sending a strong force to serve the Government in the Nepal war 1814-16.
Tn the memorable Sikh war of 1845, the Patiala, Jhind and Faridkot States cast in their lot with and rendered valuable service to the Company's Goverrnment and received suitable rewards in land and money, the chief of the last named state being in vested with the title of Raja and his fort of Kotkapura which had been wrested by the minister of Lahore being restored to him.
"The services rendered by these States during the Mutiny of 1857," says Col. Malleson, "can scarcely be over-estimated; their prompt action had a marked influence, alike on the affairs of the Panjab and on the march of the British troops to Delhi, and it is not too much to say that hostility or lukewarmness on the part of these states at the early stage of the mutiny would have greatly imperiled the position of the Government."
The Maharaja of Patiala supplied an army of 5000 horse and foot that secured communication for 120 miles along the Thanesar road and he freely lent money, a favour most highly, appreciated in those troubled times, The Maharaja of Nabha garrisoned Ludhiana with his force of 800 men, which also escorted the train from that depot to the ridge before. Delhi The only one of all the, native princes of India, and actually the first man among Europeans and natives who personally took tho field against the mutineers and served as an example to give the right turn to the native public opinion was Maharaja Swarup Singh of Jhind. Immediately as the outbreak of the mutiny was known to him, he directly marched upon Delhi and remained in the British Camp till the capture and re-occupation of that city. His troops amounting to
800 formed the vanguard of the British army on their advance and took part in the final assault which made the siege successful. These loyal services were rewarded by grants of the parts of the Jhajjar State confiscated for the rebellious conduct of its Nawab Abdur Rahman Khan, Narnoal and Kanod to the Maharaja of Patiala, Dadri to the Mraharaja of Jhind and Kanti and Bawal to the Maharaja of Nabha.
The history of the Jats proves to satisfaction that they belong to high class which is very old, valorous and enterprising; their being powerful in the Panjab from the fifth century is quite certain; they successively resisted the Mohamadan invasions in 1026, 1398 and 1525, as they have accelerated the downfall of the Mogal empire in the 18th century and they have been loyal and faithful to tho British Government from the beginning to the present time.
While admitting that, "the Jat has a place in all the ancient catalogues of thirty-six royal races of India," Col. Tod says that, "by none is he ever styled a Rajput, nor am I aware of any instance of a Rajput's intermarriage with a Jat. It is a name widely disseminated in India, though does not occupy a very elevated place amongst the inhabitants, belonging chiefly to the agricultural class."
This assertion necessitates to know what the Rajputs are. Col. Tod! himself, while stating six centuries following Vikramaditya to be darkest period without a ray of knowledge, in which India underwent great changes, foreign tribes poured from north and Puranic genealogies were brought to an end, says, " it was expressly declared (adopting a prophetic spirit to conceal alterations and additions) that at this time
the genuine line of princess would be extinct and that a mixed race would rule conjointly with foreign barbarians, as the Turshk, Yawan and others. There is much truth in this; nor it is to be doubted that many of the Rajput tribes', entered India from the north-west regions about this period." These, were evidently not the old Kshatris.
Following are the quotations from the Imperial Gazetteer of India, the Indian Epire, Vol. II. Historical, the Rajputs. "Thus between seventh and tenth centuries A. D. the old racial divisions passeu away, and a new division came in, founded upon status and function. But of the older divisions, two remained at least in theory; the Brahman and Kshatriya. The Aryan Kshatriya had long ceased to be a warrior; he was often a distinguished metaphysician; and according to a popular legend the whole race was exterminated for disputing, with Brahmans. But the theory still held good that to rule was the business of a Kshatriya and Kshatrya kings were common down to the seventh century A. D., although many of thrm were Sudra-Kshatryas, or like the Turki kings of Ohind, not Hindus at all. The place of these Kshatriyas was taken in the middle ages by the clans of Rajputs, or the "sons of kings" whom people called Thakurs or lords." " Every tribe which exercised the sovereign power or local rule for a considerable period joined itself to them." They moved from one place to another and spread all over the country, "Their origin is a subject Of much dispute," "The Rajputs cannot, therefore, be pure Aryans and, if we examine the origin of the most ancient clans we shall find that they are very mixed. In thePunjab we have reigning Brahman families which became Rajputs. In Oudh, Brahmans,
Bhars and Ahirs have all contributed to tho Rajput clans, but the majority appear to have been Aryanised Sudras. Of the clans of Rajputuna some like the Chauhans, Solankis and Gahlots have a foreign origin; others are allied to tho Indo-Scythic Jats and Gujars; others again represent ancient ruling families with more or less probability" "In latter days the bards of the Rajputs invented for thorn many a myth, and invested them with the glory of a descent from Rama or Krishna. The most poetical of these myths is the one which related the origin of the four famous Agnicul tribes, a story which in its earliest form goes back to the eleventh century. When the Brahman Parasu Rama, "Rama with an axe," had destroyed the race, of ancient Kshatriyas, men were masteress and impiety spread over the land. The gods repented them of the evil they had wrought, and repaired to Mount Abu, the abode of holy Rishis, to create a new race of warriors who should rule the earth. Out of cauldron of fire on Mount Abu they brought forth the Parihars, the Panwars, the Solankis and the Chouhans most famous of the Rajput clans. Whether or not the legend is meant to disguise the substitution of a foreign for a native race of rulers, it is based upon one genuine fact. Sacred mountains are common in Rajasthan, and Mount Abu was the holiest of them all. It was also the meeting place of the Agnicula tribes, three of which possessed territory in its immediate neighbourhood. The legend may serve to show how the true history of India is hidden under a thick veil of a Brahmanical or bardic fiction."
History of India by C. F. De La Fosse, M. A. Rajput Ascendency:-With the fall of Kanouj, the History of
Northern India practically ceases for two hundred years. The records of what happened during these centuries are scarce and meagre and the literary remains do not guide us in reconstructing the history of that time. All that we know is that at the end of it Buddhism has almost been swept out of land, and a new power that of the Rajputs has arisen. Who these Rajputs were is a mystery, but there are grounds for believing that they were foreigners who settled in India, and were in Course of time converted to Hinduism. They are spoken of in the legend which gives an account of their origin as sprung from four Kshatriyas recreated in order to drive out the enemies of the Vedas. By the enemies of Vedas, it is thought that the Buddhists are meant, and as Buddhism expressly denied the efficacy of Vedic sacrifices for salvation it is probable that it is. If the Rajputs came into India after the Aryans, they must have been of Scythic origin; for they arose in Western India, and as has already been shown, in the early centuries of the Christian era there were continuous inroads of Scythian hordes in to those parts of India. Like the Aryans before them, the Scythians in time lost their identity by becoming merged in the peoples among whom they lived. But they infused some of their warlike qualities into the mixed race descended from them, and thus wherever they settled the people exhibited a proud and martial spirit."
"The Rajputs were the self constituted champions of Hinduism and in their zeal for the faith they adopted they were prepared to take, any measures that were necessary to stamp out Buddhism. There can be little doubt that they resorted to Violent measures to achieve their object, and that where
they found the Buddhists obdurate, they did not scruple to massacre their priests, images and stupas. To this work they were instigated by the Brahmans and it is probable that for their services in re-establishing Hinduism the Brahmans rewarded them by inventing the fiction alluded to above, that they were miraculously sprung from the Kshatriya race."
Without resorting to the vulgar account of the Rajputs given by Farishta, in his history of India, the foregoing statements satisfactorily establish the fact that as universally admitted among the Hindus, Parsu Ram a powerful Brahman extirpated the Kshatriyas; such of them as persevered in the military profession were actually destroyed and others (who are now Khatris mostly in the Panjab) relinquished the use of arms and betook to trade and commerce and escaped the carnage. Buddha whose religion flourished for about a thousand years annulled the classification on the ground that all men were really equal without the distinction of caste or class. The Kshatriyas were thus extinct; but out of different kinds of people who ruled in different countries under different circumstances, there arose a new community which under the auspice of Brahmans who propagated their religion against Buddhism, was purified and converted into a separate Caste and named Rajput.
Hence it is evident that since the Rajputs were formed, after six centuries following Vikramaditya according to Col. Tod himself, between the seventh and tenth centuries as stated in the Imperial Gazetteer, and two hundred years subsequently to tho fall of Kanouj (about 748) as mentioned by De La. Fosse, the Jats who were already a wide spread
nation with vast governing powers in the fifth century, had no occasion or necessity to be styled Rajputs.
Similarly the Jats had no reason to condescend to make matrimonial connection with the Rajputs who might then rightly be called upstarts. Such an intermarriage far from conferring any additional distinction upon the Jats, would eventually force them to share in that repugnance which some of the Rajputs felt in making relationship with others as illustrated in the following quotations :-
Col. Tod's Annals of Mewar, Chapter III., on the alleged Persian extraction of the Ranas of Mewar :-" The Hindus when conquered by the Mahomedans, naturally wished to gild the chains they could not break. To trace a common though distant origin with the conquerors, was to remove some portion of the taint of dishonour which arose from giving them daughters in marriage to the Tatar emperors of Delhi; a degree of satisfaction was derived from assuming that the blood thus corrupted, once flowed from a common fountain."
Chapter X. reign of Rana Partap Singh :-" To the eternal honour of Partap and his issue be it told, that to the very close of the Monarchy of the Mogals they not only refused such alliance with the throne but even with their brother princes."
Chapter XIV Rana Jey Singh :-"From the royal Urdu or camp, they repaired to Rana Amra at Udaipur, where a triple league was formed, which once more united them to the head of their nation. This treaty of unity of interests against the common foe was solemnized by nuptial engagements, from which those princes had been exduded since the reigns
Akbar and Partap. To be re-admitted to this honour was the basis of this triple alliance, in which they ratified on oath the renunciation of all connection domestic or political with the empire. It was moreover stipulated that the sons of such marriage should bo heirs, or if the issue were females that should never be dishonoured by being married to a Mogal."
Differences in Jats and Rajputs
Tho Jats have their own ways different from those of the Rajputs. Though in the wide circle of free actions enjoyed in their domestic affairs they can legally Jatonise certain castes by taking their women for wives, yet scarcely there can be an instance in which a Jat may have stigmatised himself by alienating his female offspring to a man of other caste and far less to one of other religion, a connection most humiliating, in the Indian point of view.
Majorty of the Jats, indeed, belong to agricultural class and carryon that profession; as most of the lands in thePanjab, Sindh, Gujrat, Rajasthan and greater part of the United Provinces are held by them; but that they do not occupy a very elevated place among the inhabitants," is not correct. Col. Tod seems to have been misled by the works consulted in compiling his history of Rajasthan, which were written under the patronage of the Delhi court or the Rajput Darbars both of which being prejudiced against the Jats they were mentioned in them in contemptuous terms. He may also have been deceived by the shining dress and refined language of the people living in the cities and conceived these marks as the criterians of holding high position in social life; knowing not that in the rural population also with plain dress and modest language there are men who with honesty of character and influence over large commullitics ascend to such
position and command so much respect that the richness and subtility of urban life can not at all afford,
Agriculturists are the proprietors of land or zamindars, a term expressive of respectability, influence and trust, among whom are included all princes and chiefs, the holders of small estates being on the same category as the rulers of dominions. Agriculture is a profession on the arduous working of which depend the kingdoms for their resources and the public for their support and subsistance.
Princes and nobles are comparatively few in all nations as among the Jats, still the Jats besides carrying on their honest and useful work of agriculture, outnumber all others in military profession and are well-known warlike people.
Moreover, the Jats have the superiority of having been always quite free from the most cruel and inhuman practices of Female Infanticide and Sati once much prevalent among tho people pretending to have a high descent.
In regard to the former Sir Meadows Taylar in his history of India says :-
- " At the close of the 18th century when Benares became a British province, it (female infanticide) was found to exist among the Rajputs by Mr. Jonathan Duncan, the Local Commissioner who in Some degree interposed checks Upon it. He followed up his good Work when, as Governor, of Bombay, he discovered that in Kutch, Guzerat, Malwa and Rajasthan, the practice of destroying female children was even more prevalent than in Bengal. But though some effect was produced, and some children had undoubtedly been preserved, the cruel rite was by no means eradicated."
"Whether the restrictive measures imposed upon the Rajputs
by registration of female births and, other means have been entirely successful, may still unhappily be doubted; but there is at least no question, that the crime has greatly diminished, even in the strongest holds of its former unchecked prevalence."
Speaking of women, Col. Tod says, in Chapter XXIV on religious establishment, festivals and customs of Mewar:- "To the fair of other lands the fate of the Rajputni must appear one of appalling hardship. In each stage of 1ife death is ready to claim her; by the poppy at its dawn (girls are destroyed by administering opium), by the flames in riper years (satis were burnt alive); while the safety of the interval depending on the uncertainty of war, at no period is her existence worth a twelve months purchase."
Whatever may have been the origin of the rite known as sati, it was beyond doubt maintained by the Brahmans on the authority of a text in the Rig Veda ; but to Lord William Bentinck whose administration was upright and fearless, it mattered nothing whether the authority alleged was real or fictitious. The practice was an abomination and must be put down. In 1829 an Act was passed which declared all who were implicated in the ceremony to be chargeable murder, and the alisistants being liable to prosecution as accessories.
No Jat has ever been accused of any of these heinous offences, this their virtue alone raises them to a very high rank; but as they are superb in all their qualifications, they undeniably occupy a very respectable and lofty position in the society.
- Note - Images are not part of the Original book but provided from Jatland Gallery to make content interesting.
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