Chapter -II


Pre-historic and Ancient Period

The earliest reference to Haryana occurs in a Chahamana Inscription describing Arnoraja as carrying arms into Haritanaka (i.e. Haryana 1). The territorial designation Hariala mentioned in the Skandapurana2 also stands for the same region. The Delhi Museum Inscription of the reign of Muhammad Tughluq (A.D. 1328) gives the name as Hariyana `the very heaven on earth and where lies the city Dhillika (Delhi), built by the Tomaras3. This agrees with the Palam Baoli Inscription of the time of Balban (A.D. 1280) which provides its variant name Hariyanaka4.

There has been considerable difference of scholarly opinion on the origin of the word Haryana. Attempts have been made to derive it after various mythological gods and persons such as Hari (Indra), Haryana (name of a person), Harishchandra and Parashurama or to declare it as a corrupt form of Abhirayana which originated after the Abhiras, a prominent tribe of the region5. The suggestions, having absolutely no historical basis are mere conjectures and need not be given any serious consideration. The word Haryana, in fact, signified a land which abounded in greenery and vegetation. Its other name Bahudhanyaka which occurs in the Mahabharata and on the Yaudheya coins conveys the same meaning6. The area covered by present Haryana was variously known in ancient times as Uttaravedi, Brahmavedi, Brahmavarta, Brahamarshidesha, Kurudesha, Kurukshetra, Kurujangala, etc.

Haryana is the cradle of Indian culture, and also the traditional battlefield where many a time the fate of India was decided. To understand this one has also to take into account the geo-political background which has greatly stimulated its historical and cultural growth. Bounded in the north by the Himalayas, in the south by the Aravallis and in the west by the great desert of Rajasthan, the region has always been considered a gateway to the plains of Northern India. To this strategical importance was added the economic prosperity mainly due to its river beds—the Sarasvati, the Drishadvati and the Yamuna with their numerous feeders. This natural setting, in

1. Ajmer Museum Inscription, Line 17; Dasharatha Sharma, Early Chauhan Dynasties, 1959,
P. 181.

2. A.B.L. Awasthi, Studies in Skandapurana, part I, p.36.

3. Epigraphia Indica, Vol. I, pp. 93-95.

4. Ibid. Vol.V., Appendix, p 34.

5. Budha Prakash, Glimpses of Ancient Hariyana, Haryana Research Journal, 1966, Vol. I, No. I, p.I.

6. Ibid.

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fact, provided the key to the spiritual elevation and material advancement of the people. Quite significantly, it has been called Dharmakshetra-Kurukshetra. The religious sanctity and spiritual associations of Haryana largely depended on its material conditions and geo-political situation. `A region, on the security of which the destiny of millions of men depends, cannot but be the land of highest religious purity and cultural significance1'.

Archaeological explorations in Haryana began more than a century ago with the efforts of Sir Allexander Cunningham2 and Rodgers3 and latter followed by
D.B. Spooner and others4. These attempts, though pioneering were mainly exploratory in nature and largely confined to historical period, hence "their full import could not be understood for want of scientific technique and advanced archaeological knowledge." B.B. Lal5 was the first to bring to light archaeological evidence for the pre-Budha history of the region with his discovery of the Painted Grey Ware, a proto-historic ceramic industry of the first half of the first millennium B.C. at Kurukshetra, Pehowa, Amin, Panipat, etc. He has associated this pottery with the Aryans of the Mahabharata period. The discovery of stone age tools from Pinjor and Chandigarh further suggests the hoary antiquity of the human habitation in this region6.

Proper exploration and excavation of the region was undertaken for the first time by the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. Udai Vir Singh, in collaboration with
Suraj Bhan conducted excavations at Daulatpur, Karan-Ka-Qila and Mirzapur7. Suraj Bhan started exploration of the region8 since 1961and discovered as many as two

1. Buddha Prakash, `Glimpses of Ancient Hariyana' in Haryana Research Journal, 1966, Vol, I, No. I, p.2.

2. A. Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India, Reports, Vol. II (1862-65 ), XIV (1978-79 ), Varanasi, 1972.

3. Chas. Rodgers, Report of the Punjab Circle of the Archaeological Survey (1888-89 ), Calcutta, 1891.

4. D.B. Spooner, Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report, 1921-22, 1922-23.

5. B.B. Lal, `Excavation at Hastinapur and other explorations in the upper Ganga and Sutlej Basins,' 1950-52, Ancient India 10-11 (1954-55).

6. G.C. Mahapatra, `Preliminary Reports of the Explorations and Excavations of Stone Age Sites in Eastern Punjab', Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Insititute , 1966,
pp. 221-37.

7. U.V. Singh, `Recent Archaeological Discoveries in the vicinity of Thanesar', Kurukshetra University Research Journal . X, 1976, p. 24; `Archaeology of Kurukshetra', Souvenir , All India Oriental Conference, 1974.

8. Suraj Bhan, Excavations at Mitathal (1968) and other Explorations in the Sutlej-Yamuna Divide, Kurukshetra, 1975; `Siswal—A Pre-Harappan site in Haryana, `Puratattava, 1972; `Srughna or Sugh, An old capital of Ancient Punjab' Vishveshvaran and Indological Journal, Hoshiarpur, Vol. I, No.I 1969.


hundred archaeological sites. He conducted independent excavations at Sugh (1964-65), Mitathal (1968) and Siswal (1970), and worked on pre-historical archaeology of Sarasvati and Drishadvati valleys. Jointly with Jim. G. Shaffer, he conducted an extensive archaeological survey in northern Haryana bringing to light a number of pre-Harappan, Harappan, Late-Harappan, PGW, historical and medieval sites1. The Banawali excavation, conducted by R.S. Bisht of the Department of Archaeology, Haryana,2 has brought to light one of the most important town sites of pre-Harappan and Harappan cultures in the region, while at Bhagwanpura excavation J.P. Joshi of the Archaeological Survey of India, adduced for the first time, evidence of overlap between the Late-Harappans and the Painted Grey Ware Culture, a discovery of considerable significance for the early cultural and historical study of the region3.

These archaeological discoveries prove beyond doubt that the region was inhabited from very early times and was the centre of vigorous cultural and political activity. It perhaps holds the key to some of the fundamental questions of our early history and archaeology.

The Shiwalik foot hills and possibly also the region around the Aravallis present a clue to the earliest inhabitants of Haryana who were a primitive people using stone tools4, while the settlements found at Siswal and Mitathal and at Banawali provide the earliest phases of its proto-history. These latter settlers who are called Pre-Harappans, lived in the chalcolithic stage (C.2300 B. C.-2000 B.C.). of culture. They built houses of mud or sun-dried bricks or huts of reeds plastered with clay, knew the cultivation of cereals, and domesticated bull and goat. They decorated themselves with objects of gold, copper, clay and semi-precious stones. They used wheel-made red ware painted in black and decorated with incised designs both on the interior and exterior5. It has been suggested that the close affinities of the culture with Kalibangam or Sothi culture of North Rajasthan, the proximity of the region of its provenance to North Rajasthan and a more evolved character of the culture in Haryana (as seen in Siswal and Mitathal ) points to North Rajasthan as the source of the culture6."

The second phase in the proto-history of the region is marked by the advent of

1. Suraj Bhan and Jim G. Shaffer, `New Discoveries in Northern Haryana, `Man and Environment, Ahmedabad, Vol II, 1978.

2. R.S. Bisht, Banawali; A look back into the pre-Indus and Indus Civilization: Banawali, Public Relations Department Publication, Haryana.

3. J.P. Joshi, `A note on the Excavation at Bhagwanpura, ` Puratattva, No. 8, 1975-76,
New Delhi.

4. G. C. Mahapatra, op. cit; Suraj Bhan ` The Dawn of Civilization in Haryana', HSHC, P.I.

5. Suraj Bhan ` Recent Archaeological Investigation and their Contribution to the Cultural History of Haryana, Source of the History of India (ed. S.P. Sen ), Kolkata, 1979, Vol II,
p. 112.

6. Ibid. p. 110.

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the Harappans (C. 2000 B. C.- 1700 B.C.).The most prominent of the Harappan sites in the region are Mitathal, Rakhigarhi and Banawali. The existence of twin mounds at these sites suggests that the Harappans followed the typical pattern of the well-known classical sites of the Harappan culture1. A clay seal bearing the characteristic Harappan script has been recovered from Rakhigarhi. However, there are certain other features which mark to the regional character (with closer affinities with North Rajasthan than the Indus Valley ) of Harappan civilization in the region2. The settlers seem to have migrated to Haryana as colonizers probably from North Rajasthan. "The far fewer Harappan sites and the dominating character of their towns as compared to the numerous pre-Harappan chalcolithic villages, the super-imposition of the latter sites by the former at Mitathal etc,. and the co-existence of the two at several sites perhaps do not rule out the possibility of a political bias in the expansion of the Harappans in this region"3.

The next phase is called the late-Harappan culture (C. 1700 B.C.-1500 B.C.) representing the decadent phase of the Harappan Civilization. It was discovered at Mitathal which provided for the first time a clear stratigraphic evidence of the survival of the Harappan culture in North India. The material equipment of this phase as found at Mitathal (period II B) and Daulatpur (period I) excavations suggest a degenerated stage as indicated by the evolved shapes, inferior treatment of the surface and the simpler and fewer decoration in the pottery4. The remains of oval ovens, charred grains, grinding stones along with copper fish-hook and bone-points at Daulatpur suggest that hunting and fishing supplemented the food supply of the people. The people decorated their persons with ornaments like bangles of faience and beads terracotta and of semi-precious stones5.At Mitathal was discovered a copper harpoon, ring and axe (parshu), all typical of the well known ` Copper Hoards' and a Neolithic ring stone is significant for providing for the first time late-Harappan context for the Copper Hoards6. The changed ecological conditions might possibly have led the Harappan to adopt new tool-types imitation of the Neolithic people. This process of assimilation of the two cultures led to the evolution of a composite culture in the region, which later on extended farther east into the Ganga-Yamuna Doab providing for the first time cultural unity to the ancient Madhyadesha7.

1. Source of the History of India edited by S.P. Sen, Kolkata, 1979, Volume-II, P. 111.

2. Such as ` the use of sun-baked bricks, the absence of present drainage, the use of pure copper, the absence of female figurines, the comparative dearth of antiquities and ornaments and co-existence of the surviving pre-Harappan elements' etc. (Suraj Bhan, op. cit.)

3. Ibid.

4. U.V. Singh, ` Sources of the history of Ancient Haryana', in Sources of the History of India.
p. 82.

5. Ibid. p.112.

6. Ibid. p.112.

7. Ibid. p.112.


What led to the disappearance of the Harappan culture in this region?
Suraj Bhan has thrown some interesting light on this issue. On the basis of physiographical and archaeological evidence he suggests that in the remote past "Yamuna flowed to the south-west along Mitathal and Tosham, perhaps forming a part of the Saraswati system in the pre-Harappan and Harappan time and it drifted eastwards to acquire the Khaddar bed along Panipat, Sonipat, Delhi etc., to join the Ganga at Allahabad, about 1000 B.C1. The appearance of the pre-Harappan and Harappan sites along the lost westerly course of the Yamuna, and the earliest PGW sites on its easterly course, seem to favour such a contention. Similarly, it may also be possible that "the Saraswati and the Drishadvati were also caught by the Yamuna by the Painted Grey Ware times; resulting in the growing desiccation of the Saraswati basin, specially in lower Haryana and Rajasthan,2 a fact which also explains the decline of the Harappan culture in Haryana and the migration of its people to north-east and across theYamuna in search of better living conditions. "Perhaps, it is these desiccated and desolate points of Haryana and North Rajasthan which came to be known as Khandava and Kurujangala to the literary tradition3". Various Vedic and Puranic legends on the disappearance of the Sarasvati at Vinasana also point to the same direction.

Towards the beginning of the first millennium B.C. with the advent of the Painted Grey Ware (PGW) culture, a new era dawned upon Haryana. PGW has been traced from a large number of sites in Haryana, specially in the Kurukshetra region. It has been recovered from several sites mentioned in the later Vedic literature and associated with the Mahabharata period. "The preponderance of the ware in the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati Valleys, its chronological position in the first half of the first millennium B.C. and its occurrence at sites alluded to in the later Vedic and Sutra literature might indicate the association of the PGW culture with the Later Vedic and the Sutra Age"4. For long, scholars were puzzled over the clear breach between the Harappans and the Aryans but the excavations at Bhagwanpur (District Kurukshetra) have brought to light for the first time juxtaposition of the Late-Harappans and the PGW culture as reflected in the continuity of pottery-types in painted designs, and in the terracotta figurines and burials. This is of considerable importance for the historical reconstruction of the region from the middle of the

1. Suraj Bhan ` Recent Archaeological Investigation and their Contribution to the Cultural History of Haryana, Sources of the History of India (ed S.P. Sen ), Kolkata, 1979, Vol II,
p. 112.

2. Ibid. pp.112-113.

3. Ibid. p. 113.

4. U.V. Singh, ` Sources of the history of Ancient Haryana, ` in Sources of the History of India, p. 114.

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second to the first few centuries of the first millennium B.C.1 Further, the Bhagwanpura excavation throws welcome light on three phases of the structural activity of the PGW people-semicircular thatched huts and oval shaped structures of highly burnt mud-walls, mud wall houses and houses built of baked bricks2.

Watered by the divine rivers-the Sarasvati, the Drishadvati and the Yamuna, the region gained considerable religious importance. On the holy banks of these rivers were kindled sacred fires, and vedic hymns composed and recited3. It was the birthplace of Prajapati Brahma4, the seat of his creation5 and the land of divine sacrifices6 which become the foremost and highest form of duty for gods as well as men. There are numerous references7 in ancient literature to the lotus lakes of the region. From very early times this beautiful region had lakes full of lovely lotus-beds, a striking feature which can be witnessed even today at its various sacred tanks.

The advent of the Bharatas, the most powerful Aryan tribe of the Rigvedic period, makes the history of the region coherent and meaningful. Settled between the Sarasvati and the Yamuna,8 the Bharatas (after whom the country was called Bharata) were the earliest inhabitants of the region of whom we have any written record. Their King Divodasa vanquished the Purus, the Yadus, the Turvasa, Shambara, dasa king, and the Panis; and also encountered the Paravatas and the Brishayas on the bank of the Sarasvati.9 But the most striking event is the battle which was waged between Sudasa (a Bharata ) and a confederacy of ten kings. It was a continuation of a struggle for supremacy began in the time of Sudasa's predecessor Divodasa. The immediate cause of the battle was the dismissal of Vishvamitra (a priest) by Sudasa who appointed a new priest Vasishtha, reputed for his learning. In the battle of Parushni (Ravi ), the Bharatas emerged victorious under Sudasa's leadership defeating their formidable enemies led by the Purus. He waged another battle on the bank of Yamuna defeating a few other non-Aryan tribes10.

1. J. P. Joshi, op. cit.

2. Ibid.

3. Rigveda X. 75. 5-6, III. 23. 4; II. 41. 16; I.3. 11-12; P.V. Kana, History of Dharmashatra. IV, p. 680 ff.

4. Narada Purana, 64. 13; Vamana Purana, 23. 18, 21-24; Mbh III 81-121.

5. Ibid.

6. Maitrayani Samhita, II. I.4; IV. 5-9.

7. Shatapatha Brahamana, XI. 5. 1. 4; Vishnupurana (Wilson ed ) Book IV, Ch. VI; Vayu Uttara, 29. 29-30; Mbh (Gorakhpur ed) Text with Hindi Trans. Adi, 207, 47-8; Harshachrita (Bombay ed.) III, p.94, Cowell and Thomas, p. 79; JV. p. 123 C&T, p. 104.

8. The Vedic Age (ed R.C. Majumdar and A.D. Pusalkar), London, 1957, p. 245.

9. Macdonell and Keith, Vedic Index, I, p. 383.

10. Rigveda, VII. 18. 6-8, 12, 13, 19.


The Bharatas, who defeated a confederacy of kings, were well versed in military warfare . They worshipped nature and encouraged learning. The glory of the Bharatas finds a special mention in the Mahabharata1 and in Bhasa's famous play the Svapnavasavadattam2. "The greatness of Bharata', says the Shatapatha, `neither the men before nor those after him attained , nor did the five (tribes of )men, even as a mortal does not touch the sky with his arms3" .

The Purus, though defeated in the battle of ten kings, were an influential people and surely settled on the banks of the Sarasvati4. The enumeration of a number of their kings in the Rigveda signifies their power5. Their king Trasadsu tried to salvage the honour of his family by subduing the Bharatas6.

Social compulsions led to the beginning of the process of assimilation among the Purus and the Bharatas and consequently emerged the Kurus, though not specifically mentioned in the Rigveda as tribe, were a distinct people, after whom the region came to be known as Kurudesha. The Kurus were the most prominent people of the Brahmana period and in making this region the home of Vedic culture they made a distinct contribution by their excellence in military skill, by their idealism and innate literary and spiritual reserves. It is no wonder that the Brahmanas call their speech as the best and purest and their mode of sacrifice as ideal and perfect7.

The Puranic traditions mention the spiritual and material advancement of the region under the Kurus. According to the Mahabharata8 the sage King Kuru cultivated this land with passionate devotion. The Vamanapurana describes the courage, intensive devotion and asceticism of Kuru and elaborates on the King's cultivation of the eight-fold ethical conduct (ashtangamahadharma) of austerity (tapas), truth (satya), forgiveness (kshama), kindness (daya), purity (shaucha), charity (dana), yoga and continence (brahmacharya)9. Those traditions point out Kuru's crucial role in the cause of the regeneration of his people. By his emphasis on the growth of agriculture and cultivation of moral conduct, the twin pillars of material prosperity and spiritual elevation, Kuru laid the foundation of that type of culture which was

1. Mbh. (Gorakhpur ed.), Adi, 94. 1-64.

2. Ganapati Shastri ed., p. 140.

3. XIII. 5.4. 14, Sacred Books of the East, XLIV, Pt V, Eggeling's Trans p. 398.

4. The Vedic Age, p. 246; Vedic Index, I, p. 327.

5. Ibid.

6. Buddha Prakash, Evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Punjab, Patiala, 1971, pp.17-18.

7. Shatapatha, III. 2.3.15, IV. 1.5.13; Panchavismsha XXV. 10; Aitareya, VII. 30; Jaiminiya. III, 126.

8. Mbh. text (Gorakhpur ed.), Shalya, 53, 1-26

9. Vamana (Benaras ed) XXIII, pp. 126-28.

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spiritual without being unworldly and material without being avaricious. It was this culture which was considered later on by the Manusamhita as "worthy of emulation by humanity all over the world1".

This land of Kurus reached the pinnacle of its glory during the Mahabharata period. It is known to the epic as the land of plentiful grains and immense riches. In course of Nakula's western expedition, mention is made of Rohitaka (Rohtak ) full of horses, cattle-wealth and crops and blessed by the war-god Kartikeys and where he (Nakula) had a severe encounter with the valiant Mattamayurakas. From here Nakula marched to the other end of the region comprising the deserts and brought the city of Sirsa (sarriska)2, under its sway. Elsewhere the Mahabharata provides an account of the religious, social and economic conditions of the people. It speaks highly of the character of the people, their adherence to dharma and their material prosperity as indicated by the fertility of soil, abundance of water and vegetation3.

The great Bharata battle which was fought at Kurukshetra inspired `highly sophisticated and subtle philosophical thought' which has come down to us through the Shrimadbhagavadgita, the most revered of the Hindu sacred texts.

The Gita is both simple and philosophical, simple for those, who devoid of subtlety of thought and philosophical niceties, still guide their life through contemplation; and philosophical for those who traversed in the austerities of deep speculation appreciate keenly the metaphysics and subtlety of profound thinking . Probably there is no work in the literature of mankind where such high and profound philosophy harmonizes with the simple religious precepts4.

Any attempt at the search of the actual place where Lord Krishna expounded his philosophy would be futile unless satisfactory answers are found to a few basic questions. First, what was the original Gita which represented the period when the battle was fought ? Second, what are the different phases of the earlier thought which culminated in the philosophy of the Gita? The other names of the Gita-Brahmavidya, Yogashastra and Upanishad indicate that it was not really a sudden isolated creation,but had behind it the tradition of philosophical speculations nurtured since the Vedas, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads. Third, what part of the holy land of Kurukshetra is particularly associated with this spiritual evolution? For the present we can only suggest that the place which may possibly deserve this distinction is the area round the sacred tank (Brahmasara) which came to prominence as a centre of philosophical

1. Manusmriti, II, 20.

2. Mbh (Cr. ed.) II, 29, 3-5.

3. Adi (Gorakhpur ed. ) 108. 1-16; 206.

4. Ibid. pp. 47-48.


speculation long before the Mahabharata. According to the Mahabharata1 the battle took place at Samantapanchaka (another name of the holy tank) and, this is probably the place where the divine message was delivered.

Both on the historicity and the date of the Bharata war, there has been much controversy and speculation among scholars. Largely the controversy has arisen due to the conflicting nature of evidence -literary, archaeological and astronomical. But a critical and comparative study of these sources lead to a reasonable inference that the battle was an actual historical event extending roughly over the area covering Kaithal, Pehowa, Thanesar and Amin took place in all probability between
1200-1000 B.C.2

According to the Puranas, the Bharata war left the Pandavas as the supreme political power in the north. They were succeeded by Parikshit who was acclaimed as a universal king in whose kingdom (rashtra) `milk and honey' flowed3. According to the epic tradition his kingdom covered the land between the Sarasvati and the Ganga corresponding approximately to the present Haryana4. The glorious reign of Parikshit ended with his tragic fall in the struggle with Takshaka, the Naga king of Taxila5. This was avenged by his son Janamajeya, who conquered Taxila and performed a snake sacrifice6. Tradition has it that it took place at Sarpidarvi or Sarpadaman (modern Safidon in Jind district ). The Mahabharata7 states that Janamejaya sometimes held his court at Taxila where Vaishampayana narrated the story of the great war. In the Brahmanas,8 Janamejaya is glorified as a great conqueror and performer of horse sacrifice. The Mahabharata 9 informs that he attended a sacrifice at Kurukshetra along with his brothers Shrutasena, Ugrasena and Bhimasena. From the Puranas it is gathered that Indraprastha (Modern Delhi ) and Hastinapura (in district Meerut) were the capitals of Kurus much before the times of Janamejaya 10 .

1. Mbh. (Gorakhpur ed.) 1.2.13.

2. For details see V.N. Datta and H. A. Phadke, `Historicity of the Bharata War' , Press
Sept. 20, 1975; H.A. Phadke, when did the Bharata War take place ?; Mahabharata; Myth and Reality, pp. 192-94 and for various other views on the controversy .

3. Atharvaved (Bloomfield's ed.), pp.197-98, Verses 7-10.

4. The Vedic Age, p. 319; H. C. Raychaudhuri, Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta, 1953, pp. 21-22.

5. Mbh. I. 36.40; 45-57; Devi Bhagavata, 2.8-10, S.S. Chitray, Bharatavarshiya Charitra Kosha, Poona, 1964, p. 401.

6. Mbh. 1.3.20.

7. Ibid. XVIII.5.34.

8. Aitareya, VIII. 21; Shatapatha, XIII, 5.4. 1-2.

9. Mbh. 1.3.1.

10. The Vedic Age, p. 301, H.C. Raychaudhuri, op. cit. p. 43.

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Asandhivat (modern Asandh) served probably as second capital on strategical grounds for the control of the northern parts of the kingdom.

The Puranas provide information about the successors of Janamejaya. In the reign of Adhisimakrishna a three-year sacrifice was performed on the banks of Drishadvati, while during Nichakshu's reign the Ganga washed away Hastinapura and the Kurus shifted their capital to Kaushambi (its ruins lie near the village Kosam about 48 km. from Allahabad 1). This was followed by other calamities .

The Chandogya Upanishad2 refers to the devastation of crops in the Kuru country by Matachi (hail stones or locusts) resulting in the migration of people to other parts of the country. The inquiries about the Parikshitas in the Brihadaranyaka3 show that the glory of Parikshitas had already ended before the rise of the Videhas of Mithila.Furthermore, the story of Vide-ha Mathava carrying the sacred fire of Yajnas from the banks of the Sarasvati to Vidaha4, and the dialogue between Yudhishthira and Markandeya in the Matsya Purana 5 highlighting the importance of Prayaga indicate eastward movement of the Aryans and the emergence of new cultural and religious centres.

The natural calamities which visited the Kuru Kingdom must have considerably affected Kurus outlook on life. The Kuru-Panchalas who were regarded as authorities on the whole corps of rituals, began to learn eagerly about the concept of Ultimate Reality and Spirit, and later converted as the followers of the heterodox teachings of Mahavira and Budha 6 . But even under the changing outlook, the kurus retained and cherished the basic values of life; spiritual knowledge, justice, truth and rectitude. Few people in the world could have conceived such an ideal and fewer could have gone so far towards its realization. During the sixth century B. C. the Haryana region was known as Kurujanapada or Kurudesha, frequently mentioned in the Pali religious literature 7. Buddha is said to have delivered some of his wisest discourses to the Kurus who embraced Buddhism 8. In his account of Shrughna(Sugh in Yamuna Nagar district ) the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang mentions towards the west of Yamuna
an Ashokan Stupa containing the hair and nail relics of Tathagata (Buddha) at a spot

1. Vayu, I, 10-12; Matsya, 50, 65-67; F. E. Pargiter, The Purana Text of the Dynasty of the Kali Age, London, 1913.

2. Chandogya, I. 10. 1; H. C. Raychaudhuri, op cit., p. 45.

3. Brihadaranyaka, III, 3.1.

4. Shatapatha I. 4.1. 10.f.

5. Matsya, Chap. 109.

6. H.C. Raychaudhuri, op. cit. p. 69.

7. Diggna Nikaya, II,200; Anguttara Nikaya, I, 213 etc.

8. B.C.Law, `Kurukshetra in Ancient India', Belvalkar Felicitation Volume, 1957, p. 259.


`where the Tathagata had preached the law to convert men; and to its right and left were stupas containing the mortal remains of Buddha's famous disciples Sariputta and Maugalyayana and other great arhats 1. This eye-witness account and the existence of a similar stupa at Thanesar shows that even the Buddhists acknowledged the religious importance of the region and constructed stupas in the sacred memory of their Great Master and other renowned Buddhist saints. The Kurus-enjoyed reputation for their wisdom, generosity and bodily health. The Jatakas mention their way of life as Kurudhama which represented a householder's ideal of life, a simple code of conduct completely divorced from the traditional ideas of heaven and hell or salvation, which had gained ascendency long before Buddha's birth. The Jatakas state that even from district Kalinga, the Brahmins went as far as Kurudesha to seek knowledge on their dharma, and brought back the text inscribed on golden plates as a gift to their king. The Papanchasudani refers to this code as Kuruvattadhamma, and the Atthakatha recalls the Kurus inquiry into samadhi (state of mind beyond consciousness). It is stated that servants, slaves and even womenfolk assembled at village wells debated problems like Smrityupasthana (application of awareness ). Panini also refers to Kurugarhapata (the code of conduct of the Kuru household ), a special feature of the social life of the Kurus, which represented possibly their moral and spiritual attitude similar to that commended in the Kurudhama Jataka. Kurudesha although shrank to an ordinary Janapada during the Buddhist period, continued to be a model of moral and spiritual life 2.

The extreme north-west of India was subjected to Persian rule under Cyrus (558-529 B.C.), Darius (528-486 B.C.) and Xerxes (486-465 B.C.3). Xerxes's successors proved weak-lings and lost their hold over Indian possessions when their hegemony was completely shattered by Alexander in 330 B.C. From classical accounts it is gathered that Indians enjoyed the confidence of the Persian sovereign and also the distinction of protecting him in their fight against the Greeks4. Probably the Indian contingent which fought the Greek included soldiers of the Kuru realm well-known for their valour.

With his Macedonian contingent Alexander intended to proceed as far as Ganga Valley but he stopped his advance near the Beas and did not cross it because he had received reports about the strength, tenacity and material prosperity of the people

1. Buddhist Records of the Western World, Trans. Samue Beal, 1969.p. 187.

2. For a detailed account see H.A. Phadke, `Buddhism in Kurudesha', Proceedings, International Seminar on Biddhism and Jainism, Cuttuck, 1976, pp. 154-158.

3. Age of the Nandas and Mauryas (ed. K. A. Nilakanta Shastri ), p.33, Raychaudhuri, op. cit. p. 239 ff.

4. K.A. Nilakanta Shastri, op. cit.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

beyond it1. The reference is obviously to the people of Haryana renowned for their martial and sound economy.

Haryana formed a part of the extensive empire of the Nandas2. It is not unlikely that its people also took part in the war waged by Chandragupta Maurya (who was educated at Taxila) and Chanakya (also a resident of that place) in the expulsion of the Macedonian garrisons and the overthrow of the Nanda King of Magadha. Under the Mauryas, the region was included in the administrative division called Uttarapatha with its headquarters at Taxila. The discovery of NBP ware in Taxila, in Udergram, in the Swat Valley, in Charsada (ancient Pushkalavati) and in Sugh (Shrughna) of Yamuna Nagar district further confirms Mauryan control over the area3.

King Ashoka in his early life had to pass through this region in order to subdue the rebellious people of Taxila. It was again through this very region his preachers carried the Master's great message to the western world.

The importance of the region as a stronghold of Ashoka's dominion is confirmed by the Topra edict, pillars at Hisar, and stupas in Thanesar and Chaneti4. The Topra edict raised at a village of that name on the Yamuna in Ambala district, was removed by Firoz Shah in 1356. Firoz Shah's historian Shams-i-Siraj gives a vivid description of its installation at Kotla in New Delhi 5. It bears several edicts of Ashoka.

Ashoka greatly encouraged the planting of banyan trees and mango groves (for providing shade to men and cattle), the construction of wells, and the setting up of drinking booths for travellers. His inscriptions bear testimony to the King's idea of morality (Dhammathambhani), the appointment of special officers (mahamatras), and his proclamation for the material and spiritual happiness of the people6. The other pillar at Fatehabad was most probably brought from some nearby place of antiquity like Agroha or Hansi. Firoz Shah had an ardent passion for removing columns and planting them at his favourite resorts in order to perpetuate his name. The Ashokan epigraph had been deliberately effaced, and replaced by Firoz Shah's own gene-alogy7.

1. Mcerindle, Invasion of India by Alexander the Great, p. 121.

2. `From the Puranas we learn that the supreme authority of the Nandas extended over an extensive area which included the Kuru kingdom also (Wilson, Vishnu Purana, p. 184.)

3. Mortimer Wheeler. Charsada:A Metropolis of the North-west Frontier, p. 35.

4. Inscriptions of Ashoka ed. E, Hultzsch, 1969, Intro XV-XVII, pp.119-37; B.C. Chhabra, `Ashokan Pillar at Hissar, Punjab', Vishvesvaranand Indological Journal, II Pt. II, pp. 319-22; Devendra Handa, `A Mauryan stupa at Chaneti', Vig, 3V. pt. I, pp. 75-9; Buddhist Records of the Western World, p. 186.

5. Elliot and Dowson, III,p. 350-51.

6. Hultzschm op. cit., pp. 134-35.

7. Marg, Haryana Heritage, XXVII, p.23.


Hiuen Tsang describes the location and importance of Ashokan stupa at Thanesar. He relates1:

"To the northwest of the city (Sthaneshvara) 4 or 5 li is a stupa about 300 feet high, which was built by Asokaraja. The bricks are all of yellowish red colour, very bright and shinning, within is a peak measure of the relics of Buddha. From the stupa is frequently emitted a brilliant light and many spiritual prodigies exhibit themselves."

Cunningham on the basis of Hiuen Tsang's account, located the stupa towards the Aujasghat near the Sarasvati, thickly covered with large broken bricks of a reddish or yellowish red colour2.

After the fall of the Mauryas, the region also suffered due to the invasions of Bactrian Greeks. These invasions are mentioned, in the Patanjala Mahabhashya, Kalidasa's play Malvikagnimitra, and the Gargisamhita3. This was just a passing phase. The Buddhist work Divyavadana4 and the other finds of this period suggest that the Sungas maintained some hold, if not their direct rule over the region. The Manavadharmashastra which was written sometime during the Sunga period, considers the region's standards of piety and good conduct as `ideal, and worthy of emulation by entire humanity.

The end of Pushyamitra Sunga's rule marks the rise of republican people-the Agras and the Yaudheyas, whose coins, seals and sealings are recovered at various places in Haryana. The Agra or Agratyas admittedly settled in the area covering Agroha, Banawali and Naurangabad,as is evident from the discovery of coins mostly of copper at these places5. The earliest Yaudheya coins in this region were found at Khokrakot, Naurangabad, Hansi, Hisar, Bhiwani and Behat, which show their extensive

territory 6. Quite interestingly these coins refer to the title of their rulers, the name of the people and their land which was known as Bahudhana or Bahudhanyaka (i.e. of plenty of corn). The Yaudheyas ruled over the region of Haryana `till they were conquered by the Indo-Greeks towards the end of the 2nd century B.C. or in the beginning of the Ist century B.C.7.

1. Buddhist Records of the Western World, p. 186.

2. Conningham, ASIR, II, 220-21.

3. Mahabhashya, II< 118-19; Malvikagnimitram, Act V.Mankad, Yugapurana.

4. Divyavadana, pp. 433-434 (ed. Cowell and Neil).

5. Silak Ram, Archaeology of Rohtak and Hissar Districts, p. 115.

6. Ibid. p. 114.

7. Ibid. p. 115.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

The Indo-Greek rule in the region may have lasted for a short period, but the discovery of quite a large number of their coins from Sonipat, Khokrakot, Sugh, Jagadhari, Sadhaura, Raja Karna-Ka-Qila, Theh Polar (now district Kaithal), Agroha, and coin-moulds from Naurangabad (district Bhiwani ) leaves no doubt that the Greeks attacked this region during Sunga rule and after1. The legends of these coins bear the name of thirteen Indo-Greek Kings2.

The Indo-Greek rule in the region was probably ended with the coming of the Sakas towards the last quarter of the first century B.C. or in the beginning of the first century A.D.3 who became the master of this territory between the Sarasvati and the Yamuna. The Saka rule in this region also finds support in the adoption of the Saka title Mahakshatrapa by the Yaudheys and their coins legend Svamino indicate that these coin-types were issued after they became independent of the Saka Kshatrapas4.

In view of the above and the Junagadh Rock Inscription of Saka Rudradaman, the precise date of the Saka rule in the region is somewhere between C 20 B.C. and A.D. 150, admitting, of course, that the Sakas did not rule all this period5. But the absence of the Saka and the Yaudheya coins in the region during this period presents a major difficulty in the chronological reconstruction. This can be explained away by supposing that the overlordship of the Sakas was nominal, which did not allow them to issue either their coins in the territories of the Yaudheys or to permit the latter to issue coins in their name, which would have meant their virtual

The region was included in the empire of the Kushanas which extended as far as Mathura and Varanasi in the east. This is confirmed by the Kushana coin-moulds from Naurangabad7 and Rohtak8 and coins from Theh Polar9. The Kushan sway over this area is also attested by the recent discovery10 of a hoard of about 5,000 copper coins from Sonepat, which relate to the times of Kanishka, Huvishka, Vasudeva,

1. Silk Ram, Archaeology of Rohtak and Hisar Districts, p. 118.

2. Ibid. P. 111

3. Ibid. p.114.

4. Ibid. p.121, Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, 1965, XXVII, pt. II, p. 134.

5. Silk Ram, op. cit., p. 122.

6. Ibid. 122-24.

7. JNSI. XXXII, 1970, pt. II, p. 160.

8. Ibid. XV, i, pp. 68-9.

9. ASIR, 1930-34, p. 143.

10. Silak Ram, op. cit, p. 125 ff; 262-66 and also `Puri-Kushana Coins-A Reappraisal in the light of the Sonipat Hoard', All India Oriental Conference, 1974, Summaries, pp. 217-18.


other Kushana chiefs and the Yaudheys. A fragmentary stone inscription1 from Karnal and some antiquities from Raja-Karna-Ka Qila2 also belong to this period.

The Kushana domination in the region was challenged in course of time by the Yaudheys, who, as stated earlier, appeared on the political scene by striking their own coins in the late second century B.C.3. It is not unlikely that when the Bactrians raided the east, these people put up strong resistance. That is why in the inscription of their enemy saka Rudradaman, tributes are paid to their heroism in warfare4.

According to A. S. Altekar5 the Yaudheys made a second bid for their independence towards the end of second century A.D. They came out successful in their venture by freeing their homeland and ousting the Kushanas beyond the Satluj. This is proved by the discovery of their coins from Ambala, Abohar, Sirsa, Hansi, Hisar, Panipat, Sonipat, Theh Polar besides Rohtak which was their capital6. Their new type of coins showing standing figure of the war-god Kartikeya7, their coins legends proclaiming the victory of their republic (Yaudheya ganasyajayah) and their seals found at Sunet and Naurangabad describing them as invincible warriors holding the charm of victory further confirm it. Under the Yaudheys the region witnessed the revival of ancient values : martial spirit, love of Sanskrit learning and a curious blend of material and altruistic interests.

Other republics of this region which collaborated with the Yaudheys were the Audumbaras and the Kuunindas, who settled between the sutlej and the Yamuna. The coins of the former show the figure of the Vedic sage Vishvamitra8, the priest of the Bharatas, the most influential people of the region during the Rigvedic period. The coins of the Kunindas, cast on the Kushana model suggest their struggle with them9. The Audumbaras and the Kunindas in course of time lost their independent existence and were merged into the expanding republic of the Yaudheys. Thus by the end of the third century A. D. the Yaudheys dominated in the region.

The Yaudheys, though removed from the political scene after the rise of the Guptas, were regarded a brave people enjoying great material prosperity.Somadeva

1. R.C. Agrawala, Early History and Archaeology of Haryana, HSHC, p. 25.

2. Ibid. pp.23-24.

3. Silak Ram, op.cit., p.253.

4. El, VIII, pp. 44, 47.

5. A New History of the Indian People, VI, 1946, pp. 21, 29.

6. Silak Ram, op. cit., pp. 129, 258-59;

7. Cunningham, ASIR, XVI, p. 141 f.

8. Buddha Prakash, Hariyana Through the Ages, p. 18.

9. Ibid. p. 19.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

(a Jain author of the 10th century A.D.), paid a glowing tribute to them.

He wrote: 1
"The Yaudheya country was like an ornament of the earth, and was replete with all requisites of good and happy life. Its villages were full of cattle wealth. Abundance of irrigation works rendered them free from the vagaries of rains. Their fields yielded bouncing harvests".

Somadeva adds further 2 :

"The bulk of the people consisted of the working classes, artisans, and peasants who were hospitable and large-hearted. They were loyal to their rulers and were devoted to Kartikeya, the general of the gods. Their ladies, beautiful and robust, laden with ornaments, and dressed in tight garments worked in farms and fields and attracted travellers. The people led a peaceful and quiet life without social friction."

Somadeva refers to the metropolis of the Yaudheys as Rajpura probably identical with modern Rajpura, near Ambala which was perhaps their second capital, other than the famous Rohitaka mentioned in the Mahabharata. This description gives a vivid picture of the peace, affluence and culture in Haryana under the Yaudheys.

Soon after the accession of Samudragupta to the Magadha throne, the Yaudheya domination in Haryana came to an end. The Prayaga prashasti expressly mentions that the Yaudheys submitted to Samudragupta and subsequently their kingdom too must have passed on to the Gupta empire. But the folk culture of the region continued to flourish. A contemporary text speaks of `the drummers of Rohtak who attracted crowds of hundreds by their folk-music, played in the Yaudheya tunes to the accompaniment of lutes, set with sheets of bronze, in the Bazaars of distant Ujjain 3. This shows that folk- culture of the region not only maintained its identity but made its impact on far region of the country.

Under Chandragupta II Vikramaditya, Haryana continued to be a part of the Gupta administration. The Mehrauli pillar Inscription recounting Chandra's (Vikramaditayas) expedition to the Punjab and Bactria 4 and the recovery of plenty of his silver coins all over eastern Punjab5 seem to confirm it. The region was,

1. Yashastilakachampu (ed. Sunder Lal Shashtri, Varanasi, 1960 ), Eng. Trans; Buddha Prakash, Haryana Research Journal, 1966,pp. 13-14.

2. Ibid.

3. Chaturbhani ed. V.S. Aggrawal and Motichandra, p. 168; Budha Prakaskh, op. cit., p.7.

4. D.C. Sircar, Select Inscriptions, p. 276.

5. R.D. Banerji, The Age of the Imperial Guptas, Benaras, 1935, p. 30.


however, lost to the Guptas much before Skandagupta's accession possibly during the latter part of Kumaragupta's reign, when it succumbed to Huna incursions. However, prince Skandagupta took the challenge and by his courage and heroism suppressed the Hunas before the Gupta year i.e., A.D. 457-58.

After Skandagupta's death (C.A.D. 467-68 ) the Hunas under their able commanders, Toramana (C.A.D. 500-515 ) and Mihirakula (C.A.D. 515-550 ) had no difficulty in establishing their hold over this region. An inscribed stone seal of Toramana in Brahmi discovered at Sugh 1 and the coins of this ruler alongwith those of his successor Mihirakula from Ambala probably suggests that some part of the region was conquered by the Hunas 2.

During this period of struggle for political power in northern India, there arose a new dynasty founded by Pushpabhuti in Haryana which was then known as Shrikantha Janapada. The early rulers of this dynasty probably served under the Guptas but with changing circumstances, they demonstrated their allegiance also to the Hunas who, as shown earlier, were gaining ascendency in this region. After the defeat of the Hunas they might possibly have established their independent principality. According to the Harshacharita of Bana, Pushpabhuti was the founder of the dynasty. On the basis of the account of Hiuen Tsiang, and the Buddhist work Manjushrimulakalpa the Pushpabhutis belonged to the vaishya caste (Fi-she) 3 . Pushpabhuti was probably a feudatory of Samudragupta or his successor.

The genealogy of the dynasty given in the inscriptions 4 of Harsha is as follows : Narovardhana, Rajyavardhana I, Adityavardhana, Prabhakaravardhana, Rajyavardhana II and Harshavardhana. In Bana's account the early rulers do not find any place, but he specifically mentions Prabhakaravardhana in order to give a background of his master and patron Harsh. Similarly, Bana's portrayal of Pushpabhuti was also necessary to acquaint the reader with the founder of the dynasty to which Harsha belonged. First three rulers of the dynasty assumed the title of Maharaja only which indicates their feudatory status. They were probably the feudatories of the Hunas, the Guptas and also the Maukharis at different periods. According to R.C. Majumder,5 they flourished between A.D. 500-580. Adityavardhana, the third ruler was highly influential, for queen was the sister of Mahasenagupta, a later-Gupta

1. Manmohan Kumar, Archaeology of Ambala and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, 1978, MS,

K-U-K, p. 270.
2. Ibid. p. 186 ff.

3. Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, p. 377.

4. Epigraphia Indica, I, p. 67 f; IV, 208 f.

5. The classical Age. p. 97.

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ruler of Magadha, who is mentioned in the Harshacharita 1 as a contemporary of both Prabhakaravardhana and Harshavardhana, and whose two princes Madhavagupta and Kumaragupta stayed in the Vardhana court.

This matrimonial alliance soon gave to the Pushpabhuti dynasty an imperial status. Prabhakarvardhana, the son and successor of Adityavardhana was a powerful ruler. The inscriptions of Harsha and Bana's Harshacharita provide a graphic account of this ruler's courage, beneficent disposition, military campaigns, his patronage of religion and above all, the peace and prosperity enjoyed by people under him 2.

Bana's Harshacharita is a valuable source of ancient tradition and record of contemporary histroy. It informs that Prabhakaravardhana was also known as Pratapashila who cemented political alliances with his contemporary powers. He embarked on a bold policy which made him the greatest ruler of this part of India, and his name stirred reverential awe in the kingdoms of Huna, Malava, Lata and Gurjara 3.

Pratapashila (a title used by Bana for Prabhakaravardhana)is identical with the Pratapashila of the coins found in the village Bhitaura in Fyzabad district of

U.P. 4.The discovery of these coins with those of Shiladitya (the title of Harsha) and of Maukhari rulers support such an identity. That Harsha was also known as Shiladitya is confirmed by Hiuen Tsiang 5. There is further evidence to show that Harsha did issue coins in his name, 6 and the Pratapashila coins might have been issued by him in memory of his father after the transfer of his capital to Kanauj. This explains the absence of Pratapashila coins in this region 7.
During the closing period of Prabhakaravardhan's reign, the region was threatened by another Huna invasion and Rajyavardhana was sent to repulse it. Harsha also left Thanesar to assist his brother, but had to return hurriedly because of his father's illness 8.

1. Harshacharita (Parab ed.) p. 138.

2. Ibid. pp. 120-21, Cowell and Thomas, pp. 101-02.

3. Harshcharita (Parab. ed) pp.120-21, Cowell and Thomas, pp. 101-02.

4. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society , 1906, pp. 843.

5. Watters, Travels of Yuan Chwang, pp. 343-44.

6. JNSI, XXVII, Pt. I, 103-06.

7. H.A. Phadke, `Harshacharita: A Source of the History of Haryana , Sources of the History of India (ed. S.P. Sen) Vol. II. pp. 118-25.

8. HC, pp. 150-52.


The Harshacharita gives a vivid account of the king's serious illness, sufferings and parting words, the funeral procession of the King, and the glooms had descended upon the royal capital 1.

Thus passed away Prabhakaravardhana, the great ruler of Haryana. He was a skilful military leader well versed in the art of diplomacy. The alliance he formed with the Maukharis of Kanauj by marrying his daughter, Rajyashri, to Grahavarman had significant results. This matrimonial alliance brought Vardhana prince into the politics of the Kingdom of Kanauj, and subsequently the union of the two Kingdoms took place. The date of death of Prabhakaravardhana cannot be determined, but possibly it occurred sometimes in A. D. 605.

Rajyavardhana learnt about his father's death while he was busy fighting the Hunas. After reaching Thanesar he came to know about the murder of his

brother-in-law Grahavarman and the imprisonment of his sister Rajyashri by the king of Malava who was in league with Shashanka, the King of Gauda. Rajyavardhana soon embarked on his expedition to wreak vengeance upon the Malava king, defeated him and recovered Kanauj, but yielded to the wily designs of the Gauda King who treacherously murdered him 2.
Rajyavardhana was deeply influenced by Buddhist philosophy as can be gathered from the spiritual disposition of his mind reflected in the Harshacharita 3. It also explains the Buddhist title Paramasaugata (great devotee of Buddha) attached to him in Harsha's inscriptions 4. It is not unlikely that in his early life Rajyavardhana might have come in contact with some of the famous Buddhist scholars of the region, who changed his outlook on life.

Such was the life of Rajyavardhana tragic and forlorn. Though his short life falls into relative insignificance before the dazzling career of his successor, Harshavardhana, it cannot be denied that Rajyavardhana by his victory over the Hunas and the Malavas paved the way for his successor to consolidate his empire 5.

Harshavardhana ascended the throne of Thanesar sometime in A.D. 606. Soon after he started his war against Gauda, king of Malava as stated by Hiuen Tsang, he

1. HC., pp. 153-72; C&T, pp. 136-60.

IV, p. 208 f; I,

2. Ibid. p.186; EI, p.67 f; Watters . Travels, II, p.115.

3. HC. pp. 173-74, 180, C& T, pp. 162-63, 170.

4. Madhuvan and Banskhera inscriptions .

5. For a detailed study of Rajyavardhana see-H.A. Phadke, `Haryana ka eak vismrit Samrat', Janasahitya, April, 1967; `Paramasaugata Rajyavardhana', Journal of Haryana Studies, 1972, IV, pp. 13-15.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

succeeded in the extension of his rule in five divisions of north India 1. The

Harsha-charita, 2 on the other hand, tells about the chance recovery of Rajyashri by Harsha in the Vindhya forests. These events in Harsha's life have no direct bearing on the history of Haryana. Suffice it to say that in view of the political exigencies, Harsha had to shift his capital to a central place like Kanauj which made it convenient to establish control over a large part of northern India. Thus the king of Haryana, became the supreme lord of northern India (Sakolottarapathanatha).

With the transfer of the Vardhana capital to Kanauj, the political importance of this region somewhat declined, but it continued to retain its religious importance. Due to the rise of the Bhakti which pre-supposes image worship, the number of tirthas and temples in the region increased. Most of the temples disappeared because of Muslim invasions, but quite a few fragmentary specimens which have survived suggest that much artistic activity of the classical age took place in this region 3.
The Dharmashastra literature laid an emphasis on visits to tirthas because of the prevailing belief that a holy place was the abode of some divinity. The Puranas provide details of these centres of pilgrimage with their natural setting, sacred rivers,forests, ashramas, and above all, the life of meditation, penance and austerity that was led there.

The Mahabharata 4, the Naradiya5 and Vamana6 puranas elaborate on the tirthas or places of pilgrimage in Kurukshetra the holiest of the holy places in Haryana. The Puranas and the account of foreign travellers make special mention of the merit of taking bath at the holy tank of Kurukshetra at the time of solar eclipse7. This sanctity may possibly be due to the central position of Kurukshetra for astronomical calculation,8 but the tradition continues even today (when on the occasion of the solar eclipse (16th February, 1980 ) about 14 lakh people are reported to have taken dip in the sacred waters of Kurukshetra ).

1. Watters, Travels, I, p. 343; Beal, Hui Lis Life of Yuan Chwang, p.83; R.S. Tripathi, History of Kanauj, p. 78 f, Devahuti, Harsha : A Political Study, etc.

2. HC, p. 248.

3. ASIR, 1921-22, 1922-23, 1930-34; Cunningham, ASIR, XIV, p. 97 f, R.C. Agrawal's article in HSHS, p. 32 f.

4. Mbh, Van. & Shalya.

5. Nar. 64, 65.

6. Vam. XXIII.

7. Matsya, 199. 12 (Calcutta ed.); Padma Adi, 27.28, Mbh, III, 81.167, Vamana, Saro 13.50,

20. 9; Akbarnama (ed. Beveridge), II p. 422 f; Benier, Travels , 1972, pp. 301-303.

8. Bhaskaracharya, Siddhantashiromani, Goladhyaya, 24.


The Harshacharita1 of Bana provides valuable details of the social, economic and cultural life of the people of Haryana.

According to Bana the secret of the prosperity of the Shrikantha Janapada was the fertility of its soil, abundance of its crops and vegetation, the cattle wealth and above all, the hospitality and generosity of its people. It was just like `heaven descended upon earth', full of lotuses and sugarcane enclosures and corn-heaps. Rice crops stretching over the land were watered by `pots of Persian wheel'. Wheat crops were dense with ripe rajamasha (Rajama) patches. Singing herdsmen were seen mounted on buffaloes, with bells bound to their necks and roaming herds of cows in the forest. (The delightful sight is familiar to even these days). Thousands of spotted antelopes were met with in the region. Round the villages were seen ketaki beds, pot herbs and plantations; there were young camels looking about flocks of sheep and wandering droves of mares. It was a pleasure `to see parrots,attacking the seeds of fruits, and monkeys climbing up the trees'. There were `groves of coconut, and date-trees, and forest pools encircled with tall arjuna trees: The land resources could be judged by its ` animal world'. Such was the land of Shrikantha where `false doctrines faded away' and `vanished were the sinful ways'. Caste confusions ceased, and calamities ended. There was the rule of law, and `mishap did not arise' 2.

Bana's account suggests that in this country of plenty, people were dutiful,

broad-minded and cared little for cast distinctions. They followed virtuous conduct, condemned false doctrine and avoided sin. Healthy in body and mind, they suffered no disease, no epidemic, no premature death, but led a life of creative activity.

The capital of this region was the splendid city of Sthanishvara. Bana gives a beautiful account of its sages and soldiers, its trading community and artists, its scientists and philosophers, its temples and monasteris, its bazaars and emporiums, its palaces and forts and educational institutions.Thanesar appeared like the `encampment of krita age with thousands of flaming sacrificial fires, like rival to the Northern Kurus'. It thronged with `hundreds of great rivers uproarious with tumult3:
Bana, a sensitive poet, was fascinated by the women of Thanesar about whom he wrote:4

1. HC. pp. 94-6, C & T, pp. 79-81: V.S. Agrawal, Harshcharita eak sanskritik adhyayana, p. 55.

2. Ibid. P.55 HC, pp. 94-6, C & T, pp. 79-81; V.S. Agrawal, Harshacharita eak sanskritik adhyayana, p. 55.

3. HC. pp. 97-99, C & T, pp. 81-83. That this region had a political indentity is confirmed by the discovery of the clay seals and sealings from Daulatpur bearing in Brahmi character the legend `Sthaneshvarasya' i.e. of the lord Sthaneshvara.

4. Ibid. pp. 98-99, C & T, p. 82.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

"There are women like elephants in gait, yet nobleminded; virgins, yet attached to worldly pomp; dark, yet possessed of rubies; their faces are brilliant with white teeth, yet is their breath perfumed with the fragrance of wine.... Their cheeks alone give a perpetual sunshine; for pomp only have they jewelled lamps by night.Their voices alone are their sweet lutes, harp playing is but an irrelevant accomplishment. Laughs are their exceeding fragrant perfumes, needless is camphor powder. The gleam of their lips is a more brilliant cosmetics, saffron unguent is a worthless blot upon their loveliness... Drop of the sweet of youthful warmth are their artful bosom ornaments, necklaces but a burden."

Si-yu-ki (or the Buddhist Records of the Western World ) of Hiuen Tsiang is another vital source of information on the history of Haryana of this period. About Thanesar or Sa-ta-ni-shi-fa-lo, Hiuen Tsiang wrote 1 :

"The Kingdom is about 7000 li in circuit, the capital 20 li or so.The soil is rich and productive, and abounds with grain. The climate is genial, though hot. The manners of the people are cold and insincere.The families are rich and given to excessive luxury. They are much addicted to the use of magical arts, and greatly honour those of distinguished ability in other ways. Most of the people follow worldly gain, a few given themselves to agricultural pursuits. There is a large accumulation here of rare and valuable merchandise from every quarter. There are three Sanghasramas in this country with about 700 priests.They all study the little vehicle (Hinayana). There are some hundred deva temples, and sectaries of various kinds in great number."

The Description of the land, its fertility, its abundance of crops and the interest of people in magical arts agrees with the account of Harshacharita. The Chinese pilgrim specially notes the declining condition of Buddhism in the region. It seems that the picture portrayed by him is quite realistic as it shows the materialistic leanings of the inhabitants whereas Bana's description was quite an idealised one. Further, quite interestingly Hiuen Tsiang testifies to the importance of Kurukshetra as Dharmakshetra, supports the historicity of the Mahabharata battle and finally, though indirectly, refers to the theory of Karma, the cycle of life and death and mukti which had been expounded in the Gita.

1. V.A. Smith, `The ltinerary of Yuan-Chwang', appended to Watters' On Yuan Chwang's Travels in India, 1961, p. 330 f; Buddhist Records of the Western World, pp. 183-186.


In his account of Shrughna(Sugh in district Yamuna Nagar ) the Chinese pilgrim mentions five Sanghasramas with about one thousand priests who discussed clearly and ably the most profound abstract question. The capital of Shrughna, whose name is not mentioned was 20 li (about 3 ½ miles ) in circuit and was deserted though its foundations were strong. The people were sincere and truthful, had faith in heretical teaching, and greatly esteemed the pursuit of learning, principally religious

wisdom 1.

As Hiuen Tsiang's stay in this region was rather short for any objective assessment, his observations may possibly have been based on what he had learnt from the unworldly ascetics passing their life in the monasteries. This may be the reason why he did not mention the ruling dynasty of the region. Further, the purpose of his mission was not political, but religious i.e. to visit the Buddhist places of pilgrimages, and to study Buddhist religion and philosophy. The places that served his purpose, he treated them with reverence, and the rest he just ignored. The description of Sugh (in district Yamuna Nagar) may be cited as an instance in this respect. His entire itinerary was thus deeply influenced by his Buddhist
inclinations 2.

The fame of the region spread as far as Laos and Cambodia during this period. A stone inscription found in Laos3 describes the setting up of a mahatirtha (great place of pilgrimage) to be known as new Kurukshetra in the second half of the fifth century A.D. Another inscription found at Prah Vihar (in Combodia) dated 1037-38 further confirms that the people of Haryana served their adopted country very well. It states that the keeper of the Royal Archives, Sukarman was a native of Kurukshetra, who for the excellent services rendered, was recommended by king Suryavarman for the grant of some territory which also came to be called Kurukshetra 4.
The inscriptions suggest the migration of people from Haryana to distant Laos and Cambodia. It also points out their erudition and administrative acumen which won them royal favour in the country of their adoption. But the thing which deserves special mention is the unbounded love of these migrants for their native place which inspired them to name their settlements after Kurukshetra.

1. Beal, op.cit., p. 187.

2. For a detailed and critical account of Yuan Chwang see H.A. Phadke, `Hiuen Tsang on Kurukshetra and Thanesar', proceedings, Punjab History Conference, 1975, pp. 31-38.

3. Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 34-35; Journal of Haryana Studies, IV, 1972, pp. 9-10.

4. Inscriptions du Combodge ed. G. Coedis, VI, 261 as quoted in Kalyan Kumar Sarkar's monograph Early Indo-Cambodian Contacts in Vishva Bharati Annals, Vol XI, 1968, pp.


Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

It is rather difficult to reconstruct the history of Haryana from Harsha's death in A.D.647-8 to the rise of Yashovarman.It is generally believed that the political importance of this region declined in the early years of Harsha's reign when he changed his capital from Thanesar to Kanauj. A reference to the existence of Bhandikula in a Pratihara inscription tends to modify this view.

It is evident from Bana's account that Bhandi was the son of Harsha's maternal uncle. No successor of Harsha is known. Since Bhandi was the only nearest relative associated with his military campaigns, it is not unlikely that Harsha left him in control of this region. After Harsha's death when anarchy prevailed over the large portion of North India, probably Bhandi or his successor established himself over this region, and later his family continued to rule there until the time of the Pratiharas.

Haryana seems to have formed a part of the kingdom of Kanauj under Yashovarman (c. A.D. 690-740 ). The poet Vahpatiraja describes the march of his army through Shrikantha and Kurukshetra and places connected with the Bharata war.The same work alludes to his victory over the Arabs in this part of the country 1. Yashovarman's hold over this region was short lived for the Rajatarangini 2 informs of his crushing defeat at the hands of Kashmir ruler Lalitaditya Muktapida who established his hold over the region for sometime. Later on, Pratihara Vatsaraja(A. D.775-792 ) a ruler of Rajasthan, conquered it from the famous Bhandi clan 3. Vatsaraja too, like earlier rulers could not keep it under his control for long. Following his defeat at the hands of the Rashtrakutas in the Ganga Valley, he sought refuge in Rajasthan. Dharmpala of Bengal (A.D. 770-810 ), Pratihara Vatsaraja's rival in the north, seized this opportunity and established his hold over the kingdom of Kanauj. Since a king of kuru clan was present at Dharmapala's imperial assembly at

Kanauj4, Haryana seems to have continued to owe allegiance to the kingdom of Kanauj.

With the accession of Pratihara Nagabhata II (A.D. 792-833 ), a new era began in this region.From the account of his conquest as furnished by the Gwalior
inscription5, it appears that his empire had extended far and wide. Further, the Skandapurana6 informs that Brahmavarta(the region between the Sarasvati and the

1. Gaudavaho ed. S.P. Pandit, verses 434, 439, p. 126.
2. ed. Stein, IV, p. 139.

3. EI, XVIII, p. 99 f, verse 7.

4. H.A. Phadke, `Haryana and the Gurjara-Pratiharas', Haryana Research Journal, 1967, I No. 3, pp. 5-10.

5. EI, XVIII, p. 99 f. verses 8-10.

6. Brahmakhanda, Dharmahanyamahatmaya.


Drishadvati) was in his possession. According to the Gwalior Inscription which mentions his conquest of Rajagiridurga(identified with Rajarri), it appears that his empire had extended up to Punjab, including , of course, the region of Haryana1.Under Mihira Bhoja (A.D.836-890 ) the Pratihara empire extended up to Takkadesha (Southeastern Punjab) in the north2. His inscriptions from Pehowa3 and Sirsa4 and coins5 from district Rohtak support his rule over this region. His Pehowa Inscription (A.D. 882) records `an agreement mutually entered into by certain pious traders who had met at horse-fair at Pehowa, with a view to imposing upon themselves and their customers certain taxes, the proceeds of which were to be distributed among some temples, priests and sanctuaries in duly specified proportions:6 This shows that Pehowa had grown into a commercial and cultural centre of Haryana during this period. Another Pehowa Inscription7 of the time of Mahendrapala (A.D 890-910), the successor of Bhoja, gives the genealogy of the Tomara rulers of the Kurukshetra region, who were the feudatories of the Pratiharas. The earliest of these rulers was Raja Jaula in whose family was later born Vajrata who acknowledged Pratihara Bhoja's supremacy. His successor was Jajjuka, who was again succeeded by his son Gogga, the Pratihara Mahendrapala's feudatory. Gogga and his two step-brothers, Purnaraja and Devaraja, built three temples of Vishnu in Prithudaka on the bank of the Sarasvati. The inscription also provides a beautiful description of Kurukshetra and its holy river Sarasvati8.

It may be difficult to establish the relationship of these Tomaras of Haryana with those of Delhi who were defeated later by the Chahamanas of Shakambhari, but in view of the bardic tradition9 which associates the Tomaras with Delhi, it is reasonable to believe that the Tomara family of Haryana was connected with the region formerly known as the Delhi division of Punjab.This is confirmed by the Palam Baoli Inscription10 (A.D. 1280) stating that the land of Hariyanaka was first enjoyed

by the Tomaras and then by the Chahamanas. Again `according to the Delhi

1. H.A. Phadke, ` A Note on Rajagiridurga of the Gwalior Inscription of Bhoja' Journal of Bihar Research Society, 1963 (Altekar Com. Vol. ).

2. Rajatarangini, ed. Steir, p. 206.
3. EI, I, p. 184 ff.

4. Ibid. XXI, pp. 295 f.

5. Silak Ram, op.cit., p. 267.

6. B.N. Puri, History of the Gurjara-Pratiharas, p. 54.

7. EI, I, p. 242 f.

8. Ibid. Verses 3-4.

9. Col. Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, I, p. 104.

10. EI, V, Appendix, p.34.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Museum Inscription (A.D. 1328) there is `a country called Hariyana, a very heaven on earth. There lies the city called Dhillika built by the Tomaras'.From the above it follows that the Tomaras settled in Haryana at least from the 9th century A.D. when they came under the sway of the Pratihara empire. But with the decline of the Pratiharas about the middle of the tenth century A.D. a section of the tribe probably founded an independent principality around Delhi.

Now this had reached the gloomy period of the history of India in general and of Haryana in particular. Sabuktigin, a Turkish chieftain of Afganistan, attacked northwest of India in A. D. 986 and occupied Peshawar.His son and successor, Mahmud embarked on a definite policy of raiding the rich and politically unstable kingdoms of India. After defeating Jaipala and his son Anandapala, the rulers of Punjab,he marched on to Thanesar in 1014 A.D.

This expedition which formed a part of Mahmud's plan of India's invasion has been commented upon by a number of Muslim writers such as Al-Biruni, Utbi, Isami and Firishta. Al-Biruni accompanied Mahmud during the Indian expedition and visited a number of places. He wrote his famous book on India (Kitabul Hind ) about A.D. 1030 when Mahmud died. Al-Biruni, however, did not make any direct reference to the contemporary events he had witnessed. This deliberate silence need not be construed as evidence against the historicity of events which were mentioned elsewhere. Al-Biruni says quite a few illuminating things about Haryana's places of religious sanctity such as Kurukshetra and Thanesar1. He refers to a bronze image of Chakraswami (Vishnu) at Thanesar which was later `lying in hippodrome in Ghazni'. Further his mention of the image being made as a `memorial' of the Bharata War 2 not only demonstrates his knowledge of Puranic literature but shows that even during his time these stories greatly fascinated people in this part of the country.

Utbi, another contemporary writer, points out the objects of Mahmud's Thanesar expedition. He also explains the strategy which had brought him victory. According to him, Mahmud had decided in Ghazni to attack Thanesar in order to acquire elephants and to `plant the standards of Islam and extirpate idolatory'3. The battle was fought in the vicinity of Thanesar in 1014, and it is probable that Mahmud rushed to Thanesar through the desert via Multan.

1. AI Biruni's India , ed. Edward C. Sachau, 1964, I, p.117.

2. Ibid.

3. Utbi, Tarikh-i- Yamini, Eng. Trans James Reynolds, Memoirs of Mahmud of Ghazni, London, Chap. XXXVIII, pp. 393-95.


According to Firishta1 when Anandapala learnt about Mahmud's resolve to attack Thanesar and desecrate its temples, he submitted a `respectful protest' which was turned down by the latter. The Raja of Delhi thereupon called other rulers of India to his aid in order to defend Thanesar. But Mahmud attacked Thanesar before any resistence could be offered .

The Muslim accounts do not mention the ruling chief of Thanesar. Probably he was a descendant of the local Tomara dynasty who had political connexions with the Shahi's of Punjab as well as the Tomaras of Delhi whose help he had sought for the defence of his kingdom.

In the following years (1018-20) Mahmud again had to march through the region in course of his expeditions 2 to Bulandshahr, Mathura, Kanauj, Gwalior and Kalanjara.The region was subsequently raided by Mahmud's successors Niyaltigin and Masud in 1034 and 1036 respectively 3. Masud attacked the fortress of Sirsa. He found the track rich in sugarcane. So his forces filled the moat with sugarcane and stormed the fortress. He next marched to Sonipat and defeated its govenor, Dipal Hari. A considerable part of Haryana thus passed on to the Ghaznavide rule 4. Masud's son, Majdud ruled over this region from his headquarter at Hansi. He refused allegiance to his brother Maudud, the new ruler of Ghazni. Consequently a struggle for dominance ensued between the two brothers which resulted in the death of Majdud at Lahore in 1041. Probably he was poisoned.Maudud, now master of the region, consolidated his gains by appointing his own men at Hansi, Thanesar and other

places 5.

These dissensions among the Ghaznavidis and the impending danger of the Seljuq attack on their territory in the west offered an opportunity to the Hindu rulers to unite under the leadership of the Tomara ruler of Delhi 6. The rulers belonged to the Chahamana, Paramana, and Kalachuri dynasties. They recaptured Hansi, Thanesar and other dependencies and recovered Haryana from the Ghaznavids. They further advanced up to Nagarkot and Lohore. Although the Hindu army was forced to withdraw its siege of Lahore, it succeeded in wiping out Muslim influence towards the east of Ravi.

1. Tarikh-i-Firishta, Eng. Trans (The Rise of the Mohammadan Power in India) John Briggs, Calcutta, 1966.I, pp.29.31.
2. C.V. Vaidya, History of Medieval Hindu India, 1926, III, pp. 71-86.

3. The Struggle for Empire ed. R.C, Majumdar, p. 92; Briggs, Firishta, p. 63.

4. Briggs, op. cit., p. 69.

5. Ibid. p.70.

6. Ibid. p. 70-71.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

In 1059 with the accession of Ibrahim, the son of Masud I, the region was again raided several times. Similarly, his son Mahmud, the governor of Punjab had also to enter this region following his expeditions to Agra, Kanauj, Kalanjara and


In this time of trouble when the region was frequently raided by foreign invaders, the Lohara Kings of Kashmir also decided to make capital out of it. Kalhana, the Kashmiri historian, mentions the impact of King Ananta's oppressive rule as far as Kanauj 2, while Bilhana, another Kashmiri poet, refers, though obliquely, to his son Kalasha's expedition to this region, specially his attack on Kurukshetra, and his advance up to the Yamuna3.

This calamity probably compelled the Tomaras to come to terms with the Ghaznavids as indicated in the Parshvanatha-Charita of Shrivara4. The Tomara rule in Haryana was finally put to an end by the Chahamanas in the first half of the 12th century A.D.
The fragmentary Chahamana prashasti5 of Ajmer Museum describing Arnoraja, makes a special mention of his ` carrying the Chahamana arms up to the Sindhu and the Sarasvati rivers and his expedition into Haritanaka'. This finds confirmation in the Dvyashrayamahakavya of Hemachandra, a contemporary jain author, who refers to the assistance offered to Arnoraja by the rulers of eastern Madra and

Vahikadesha6. Furthermore, the epithet udicyarat applied to him in the same work suggests that Arnoraja by his attack on the Sindhu and the Sarasvati also brought Haryana under his subjection, which was then ruled by the Tomaras. The Chahamana victory was short-lived because the Tomaras of Haryana continued to fight for their survival until the reign of Vigraharaja IV.

According to Bijolia Inscription, Vigraharaja defeated the Bhadanakas and captured Delhi and Hansi 7. As in the Kavyamimansa 8 of Rajaskhera, the Bhadanakas are mentioned in conjunction with the inhabitants of Maru(Thar desert ) and Takka

1. The Struggle for Empire, p. 94.
2. Rajatarangini, VII, 235-37, 325, pp. 114, 118; Buddha Prakash `Kashmir and Haryana in Eleventh Century', JHS,II, Nos, 1-2, 1970, pp. 13-17.

3. Vikramankadevacharita, XVIII, 67; Buddha Prakash, op. cit.

4. Dasharatha Sharma, Rajasthan Through the Ages, I, p. 260; `The Tomara Kingdom of Delhi', Rajasthan Bharati, Pt. 3-4, pp. 17-26.

5. Dasharatha Sharma, Early Chauhan Dynasties, p. 180-81.

6. XVI.15; Dasharatha Sharma, op. cit., pp.45.

7. JASB, LV, pp. 41 f ; XXVI, p. 104.

8. Kavyamimansa (Gayakwad Oriental Series), p. 51.


(southeastern Punjab) as speakers of Apabhramasha, they must have lived somewhere near these regions `comprising the tract including the present district of Gurgaon, a part of Alwar, and the Bhiwani Tahsil of present Bhiwani district of Haryana1 as suggested by Dasarath Sharma. This region was most probably ruled by Ahirs for they were intimately connected with Apabhramasha `a dialect which has affinities with both Rajasthani and Haryanavi and which still preserves the tradition of Tomaras who were determined to fight the Chahamana Bisala (Vigraharaja IV) and

Prithviraja III2 : As noted earlier, Haryana was known to the Mahabharata as Bahudhanyka which was ruled by the Yaudheys with their capital at Rohtak. It is quite likely that these people came to be known to the said inscription as Bhadanakas which was in all probability a corrupt form of the original Bahudhanyaka meaning `rich in corn'. Delhi was in possession of the Tomaras before the Chahamanas took it. Hansi was recaptured by the Tomaras from the Ghaznavids and probably remained with them until its conquest by the Chahamanas.

The Tomara-Chahamana struggle ended with the capture of Hansi and Delhi by Vigraharaja. The Tomaras weakened by their continuous struggle against the Muslims and the Chahamanas surrendered their independence and became the feudatories of the latter. That Haryana formed a part of the Chahamana Kingdom under Vigraharaja is clear from the Delhi-Siwalik Inscription3 & on the Ashokan pillar originally found at village Topra(in Ambala District), which Firoz Shah shifted later to Delhi. The inscription dated A.D. 1164 contains eulogy of the Shakambhari King Visaladeva (Vigraharaja IV), the son of Annalladeva (Arnoraja ), who subdued the whole region from the Vindhyas to the Himalayas and exterminated the mlechchhas. The inscription was written at the king's orders in the presence of an astrologer Tilakaraja by Gauda Kayastha Shripati when Rajaputra Sallaksana was serving as mahamantri 4. The inscription gives an idea of the role which Haryana played in resisting the Muslim invaders, and shows how it formed a part of the Chahamana administrative system.

From the Hansi Inscription5 of Prithviraja II, it appears that he defeated the chief of Panchapura, probably Pinjaur, an old town near Kalka .Prithviraja II appointed his maternal uncle Kilhana as governor of Hansi, keeping in view the strategic importance of the area in resisting the frequent Muslim incursions.

1. Dasaratha Sharma, op. cit., p.92.

2. Ibid.

3. Delhi Siwalik Inscription, Verse 1.

4. Ibid.

5. Indian Archives, XLI, p. 19.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

The next ruler in this line was the famous Prithviraja III, the son of Someshavara, whose fight with the Bhadanakas in Haryana was recounted by the Jain author, Jinapati Suri (1181 A.D.)1. It shows that Prithviraja scored a decisive victory over them. Having gained his hold over Delhi and Haryana Prithviraja's next move was to acquire the position of the supreme sovereign (Chakravrti ) of north India.Though ambitious and resolute, he lacked foresight. He attacked the Chandellas, the Gahadavalas, the Chaulukyas and other neighbouring states and thereby incurred their hostility when the urgency was to enlist their support against the formidable Ghoris, who were attacking and ravaging his kingdom.Prithviraja refused to recognise the gravity of the situation due to his conviction in his invincible strength.

The Tabaqat-i-Nasiri is an important source of information on the Muslim expeditions of this part of India during this period (1175-1192 ).It details Muhammad Ghori's conquests of Multan, Uchchha, and Gujrat 2. At the last place Ghori met with reverses at the hands of the Chaulukyas. Surprisingly Prithviraja did not send any help to the Chaulukyas nor did he make any attempt to present a united front against the Muslims, a lapse which proved detrimental to the independence of the whole country.

The Muslim invaders then captured Sialkot and within five years became undisputed masters of the Punjab by overthrowing Khusrau Malik, the last Ghaznavide ruler of Lahore 3. From the Prithvirajavijaya 4 it appears that Ghori sent an emissary to Prithviraja possibly demanding surrender, but the proposal was rejected. Prithviraja regarded the destruction of the Muslim invaders as his true mission 5.

There is much difference of opinion among the Hindu and Muslim writers on the number of encounters between the contending parties. According to Prabandhachitamani the Praba-ndhakosha and the Prithvirajaraso their number was twenty-one but the Prithvirajaprabandha and the Hammiramahakavya state them as seven 6. The Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, Firishta and the Tabaqat-i -Akbari suggest that only two battles were fought, the first in A.D. 1191, and the other a year later 7. Dasaratha Sharma 8 points out that this discrepancy in the absence of independent evidence, can be settled by realising that the Hindu account also includes the success

1. Dasharatha Sharma, op.cit., p.74, 13.

2. Tabaqat-i -Nasiri, Raverty's Trans, pp. 449-51.

3. Dasharatha Sharma, op. cit., p. 81.

4. Prithvirajavijaya , X 42.

5. Ibid.

6. Dasharatha Sharma, op. cit.,p. 81.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.


gained by their frontier forces in repulsing the Muslim invaders which the Muslim writers have ignored.

Advancing from Ghazni or his new base at Lahore, Mahammad Ghori captured Tabarhindh (Bhatinda or Sirhind ) in the dominion of Prithviraja and made adequate provisions there 1. He had received the news that Prithviraja was marching towards Tabarhindh with Govindaraja, the feudatory ruler of Delhi and some other princes with a big force of elephants and horses 2. Ghori decided to advance further and met the Chahamana forces at Tarain (a village in district Karnal). In the encounter that followed the Muslim army was routed by the fierce Hindu attack on its right and left wings. Although Muhammad Ghori knocked out two teeth of Govindaraja, he himself was severely wounded by the latter's javelin throw. The Sultan nearly fell from his horse but for the timely help of a Khalji soldier who by supporting him in his arms took him out of the battle field. The scattered Muslim army united once again when they heard of the providential escape of the Sultan, and finally went on their way home 3.

According to the Hammiramahakavya 4 the battle was fought due to the local ruler's appeal to Prithviraja for protection against Mahammad Ghori. Chandraraja, son of Gopalachandra, took a leading part in it. He was possibly Chandra Pundira of Prithvirajaraso, ` the head of the Pundarika clan whose home Pundri is not far from Taraori 5 :

Following his victory Prithviraja could have expelled the Muslims from India once for all but instead-and there lay the tragedy-he spent the time in the company of his newly wedded wife Sanyogita and in attacking his neighbouring states 6. But Ghori was altogether in a different mood. His defeat rankled in his heart. With a large army of 1,20,000 Turk,Tajik and Afghan horsemen he moved in India and reached Taraori again 7. Prithviraja, who accepted Ghori,s ultimatum of `a declaration of war should the Indians refuse to embrace the true faith', was already on the battlefield with an army of 3,00, 000 horses, 3,000 elephants and considerable

infantry 8. One hundred and fifty of the Rajput princes fighting under him swore by

1. Raverty, op.cit., p. 455.

2. According to Firishta Hindu army numbered 200,000 horses and 3,000 elephants.
3. Raverty, op.cit., pp. 460-65.

4. Dasharatha Sharma, op.cit., p. 83, fn 59.

5. Ibid. p.84.

6. Prithvirajaraso, 64th and 65th Samayas (Nagari Pracharini Sabha ed. ).

7. Raverty, op.cit., p.464; Dasharatha Sharma, op. cit., p. 85.

8. Briggs, Firishta ,I, p. 175.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

the water of the Ganga to conquer their enemy or die as martyrs to their faith 1. Ghori who knew the valour and fighting quality of the Rajputs valued stratagem to force and sent a reply seeking `a truce till his brother was informed of the situation and his answer was received: 2 This wily letter produced the desired effect. The Hindus took the Sultan at his word and spent the night languidly in a hilarious mood.Early next morning they had to pay a heavy price for this short-sighted policy. Muhammad Awfi, a contemporary writer gives a fairly reasonable account of Ghori's tactics in the Second Battle of Tarain.According to him, Ghori kept `a number of fires burning all the night where his army had encamped during the day, and marched off himself in another direction with the rest of his forces: 3 Further, the Sultan divided his ranks into four divisions each consisting of 10,000 mounted archers, and ordered them to attack on the right,left, front and rear of the Hindu army and retire pretending

flight 4 `.

From the Hindu as well as Muslim sources, it is clear that the Rajputs were not prepared for any encounter 5. It was early morning when the Muslim attacked. Prithviraja was sleeping, and his soldiers were just pottering about for their daily ablution and other morning duties. Under such circumstances, the Rajputs naturally hadicapped, could not resist the invaders. Further, `the Parthian tactics bewildered and baffied the Hindus. They spent their energy and time in the futile game of chasing and trying to catch up the elusive central Asian horsemen before them 6 .' About three o'clock in the afternoon, when the Hindu forces were completely worn out, Ghori led his final charge with his reserved troops. According to Hasan Nizami, 7 the Hindus who were completely routed, lost about 1,00,000 men. Among the slain was Govindaraja who was recognised by his missing teeth which the Sultan had earlier knocked out. Prithviraja, who joined the battle late, tried to escape but was recognised, pursued, and captured in the neighbourhood' of Sarasvati (Sirsa). He was beheaded later by the orders of the Sultan.

Prof. Jadunath Sarkar attributes the defeat of the Hindus to the following
factors 8 :

1. Dasharatha Sharma, op. cit., p. 85.

2. Briggs, Firishta, I, p. 176.
3. Elliot and Dowson, II, p. 200; Dasharatha Sharma, op.cit., p. 85.

4. Raverty, op.cit., p. 468.

5. Dasharatha Sharma, op. cit., p. 86.

6. J.N. Sarkar, Military History of India, Calcutta, 1960, p.36.

7. Elliot and Dowson, II, p. 215.

8. J.N. Sarkar, op.cit., pp. 35, 36, 37.


" ........ the tactical initiative (of the Turks) forced the Hindus to fight on the ground and in the manner of the Turk's own choosing, instead of the defenders delivering any attack, planned and prepared before ...... Shihabuddin's plan of battle was to give the Rajput cavalry no chance for their shock tactics which had proved irresistible in his first encounter with them, but to make them move as he willed.

The Hindus had to fight on empty stomachs...... in the second battle of Taraori, the Rajputs could take no breakfast; they had to snatch up their arms and form their lines as best as they could in a hurry..... (Further) their rigid caste rules also prevented them from being readily refreshed with food and drink in the battle front."

In the Second Battle of Tarain Indian history took a definite turn. Haryana and Delhi along with the forts of Hansi, Sirsa and Thanesar passed on to the Muslim rule for centuries to come.

No authentic account of the social, economic and cultural conditions of Haryana is available for the period ranging from the death of Harsha (A.D. 647-648) to the Second Battle of Tarain (A.D. 1192). The Arab historians, inscriptions, the Rajatarangini and the Gaudavaho only confirm that even during the Muslim invasions, the region retained its religious importance, though the number of its pilgrims dwindled. The Shandaradioyijaya 1.of Anandagiri and Madhavacharya refer to Adishankaracharya's visit to this part of the country, but as the Acharya himself did not say anything on this aspect of his life, these latter works cannot be relied upon.

The wealth in the temples seems to have attracted the foreign invaders to the region. Only a few vestiges of the temples and sculptural pieces have survived the iconoclastic fury of the invader but they reflect the artistic of the region during the Pratihara-Tomara period.

The discovery of hundreds of images representing Vishnu, Shiva,

Uma-Maheshvara, Brahma-Sarasvati, Ganesha, Kartikeya; Surya,Ishana, Revanta, Gaja-Lakshmi, Tirthankaras and Buddha from serveral places in Haryana2 suggests existence also of beautiful temples there. The brick temples at Kalayat and the Sarasvati

1. K.T. Telang, Select Writings and Speeches, Bombay, II, pp. 259-60, 265, Life of Sankaracharya' and `Sankaravijaya of Anandagiri.'

2. For details see Silak Ram, Archaeology of Rohtak and Hissar Districts (1972 ); Dharmpal Singh Punia, Archaeology of Mahendragarh and Gurgaon Districts (1976); Manmohan Kumar, Archaeology of Ambala and Kurukshetra Districts. Haryana, (1978) MSS, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra.

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doorway at Pehowa are the only surviving relics of the architecture of that period, while the ruins of Thanesar, Sirsa and Hansi -the ancient cities of Haryana,can be seen in thier extensive mounds. It is not unlikely that the Tomaras or the Chauhans might have fortified the city of Thanesar for its protection against the Muslims. This suggestion is further strengthened by the reference of Muslim historians to the fort of Thanesar without any mention of its builders1. Thus under the efficient

Pratihara- Tomara rule artistic activity in Haryana sprouted at its various centres, Pinjor, Pehowa, Thanesar, Tosham, Sirsa, Hansi and Kalayat.Simplicity, grace, vigour and expression were its chief features. Subsequently the picture changed. The general decadence. which is noticed throughout India was also seen here in the stiffness of pose and artificiality of ornamentation, a development which may be due to the construction of many temples when the conventional sculptures led to deterioration in art standards2.

Medieval Period

Haryana Under the Delhi Sultans

The Battle of Taraori (1192) was decisive and it laid the foundation of Muslim domination in Northern India3. The subsequent attempts of the relation of Prithvi Raj to recover their lost power proved to be of no avail. Different parts of northern India were conquered in the course of few years by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak, the most faithful of Muhammad's Turkish officers. Thereafter he tried to strengthen his position by matrimonial relations. In 1192, he captured Hansi and Delhi. He chastised Bhim-dev of Gujrat for his having caused some trouble and plundered his capital and returned to Delhi by way of Hansi.

Qutb-ud-din Aibak cemented the foundations of the Turkish rule in India on July 24, 1206. The territory now comprising Haryana became a part of his newly established kingdom along with adjacent territories . References to his having established military outposts here are found in contemporary literature. Of these, outpots at Hansi, Hisar, Sirsa, Mewat area, Rohtak, Sonipat, Rewari and Thanesar were important. The officials incharge of the outposts were called darogas. The main duties of these darogas were to collect the land revenue and suppress the uprisings.

Aibak's death in A. D. 1210 brought chaos and confusion for a while. Nasir-ud-din Qubacha, the governor of Punjab, tried to fish in the troubled water. He occupied

1. Ain-i-Akbari, Eng. Trans. MSS. Jarrett, Delhi, 1965, II, p.301; William Foster, Early Travels in India (1583- 1619), Indian edition, 1968, pp. 157-58, Cunningham, ASIR, XIV, p.96.

2. S.P. Shukla, `Thanesar: Past Revealed', Haryana Review, August, 1977, pp. 6-9.

3. Advanced History of India, 1967, by R.C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhri and K. Datta, p. 270.


the Sirsa district and began to rule over it independently. But his sway over the district proved short-lived. Taj-ud-din Yildiz the ruler of Ghazni, snatched the territory from him along with other territories. But he could not hold these territories for a longer period. In A.D. 1214, Taj-ud-din Yildiz being driven from Ghazni by Sultan Muhammad, the Shah of Khwarzan, fled to Lahore, conquered Punjab up to Thanesar and tried to establish his independent power.

This was what Iltutmish could hardly tolerate. He promptly marched against his rival and defeated him in a battle near Tarain in January, A.D. 1216. Qu-bacha helped Iltutmish, for after the battle of Taraori, Sirsa came under Qubacha's control. A cunning fellow as Qubacha was, he enhanced his power very rapidly, so much so that in 1227 he became independent. Iltutmish launched a fierce attack on him. Having defeated Qubacha, Iltutmish brought the Sirsa district under his control.

After making his position strong and stable, Iltutmish is reported to have made some serious changes which had great impact on the administration. He divided his kingdom into several iqtas of which Hansi, Sirsa, Pipli, Rewari, Narnaul and Palwal were from Haryana region. The officers called muktas or bali controlled the affairs of the iqtas under the direct supervision and control of the sultan.

Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, the eldest son of Iltutmish died in April A.D. 1229, while governing Bengal as his father's deputy. The surviving sons of the Sultan were incapable of the task of administration. Iltutmish, therefore, nominated on his death-bed, his daughter, Raziya, as his heiress. But the nobles of his court were too proud to bow their head hefore a woman, and disregarding the deceased Sultan's wishes, raised to the throne his eldest surviving son, Rukn-ud-din Firuz who indulged in low taste and proved to be unfit to rule the state. Matters were made worse by the activities of his mother, Shah Turkhan, an ambitious woman of humble origin, who seized all powers while her son remained unmarried and spent time in enjoyment. The whole kingdom was plunged into disorder and authority of the Central Government was set at naught in Multan, Hansi and Lahore. The nobles of Delhi, who had been seething with discontentment about the undue influence of queen-mother, made her a prisoner and placed Raziya on the throne of Delhi. Rukn-ud-din Firuz met his doom on the 9th November, A.D. 1236.

The queen was not, however, destined to enjoy a peaceful reign. The undue favour shown by her to slave Jalal-ud-din Yakut, who was elevated to the post of master of stables, offended the Turkish nobles, who stood organized against her. Ikhtiyar-ud-din Altuniya, the governor of Sirhind openly revolted against her. The queen marched with a large army to suppress the revolt, but in the conflict the rebels slew Yakut, and imprisoned her. She was placed in the charge of Altuniya and her

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brother Muiz-ud-din Bahram was proclaimed Sultan of Delhi. Raziya tried to extricate herself from the critical situation by marrying Altuniya but to no effect. She marched with her husband towards Delhi, but on arriving near Kaithal she was deserted by the followers of Altuniya and defeated on 13th October 1240 by Muiz-ud-din Bahram.She was put to death next-day.

The removal of Raziya was followed by a period of disorder and confusion. Her successors on the throne of Delhi, Muiz-ud-din Bahram and Ala-ud-din Masud, were worthless and incompetent and during six years of rule the country knew no peace and tranquillity. Foreign invasions added to the woes of Hindustan. The Amirs and Malik raised to the throne Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, a younger son of Iltutmish on 10th June, 1246. As a ruler, Nasir-ud-din's abilities fell far short of what the prevailing complicated situation demanded. Ghiyas-ud-din Balban, his minister, and later on his deputy was the real power behind the throne. Nasir-ud-din Mahmud died on the 18th February, A.D. 1266, leaving no male heir behind him. This had extinguished the line of Iltutmish. Balban, a man of proved ability, whom the deceased Sultan is said to have designated as his successor, then ascended the throne with the acquiescence of the nobles and the officials.

Balban was confronted with a formidable and difficult task on his accession. During the thirty years following the death of Iltutmish, the state affairs had fallen into confusion through the incompetence of his successors. The treasury of Delhi Sultanate had become almost empty, and the prestige had sunk low, while the ambition and arrogance of the Turkish nobles had increased.

Mewat area was much turbulent since the death of Iltutmish. Balban had to chastise the rebels when he was minister1. The struggle against the Meos continued. For twenty days the work of slaughter and pillage continued and the ferocity of soldiery was stimulated by the reward of one silver tanqa for every head and two for every living prisoner. During this campaign many were massacred. Some were trampled to death by elephants, others were cut to pieces and more than hundred were flayed alive by scavengers of the city . Those who had saved themselves by flight returned to their homes and ventured on reprisals by infesting the highways and slaughtered wayfarers. Balban having ascertained from spies the hunts and movements of the bandits, surprised them as before by a forced march, surrounded them and put to sword 12,000 men, women and children2.

1. Wolsley Haig, The Cambridge History of India, Volume-II, Turks and Afghans, 1958, pp. 67, 72, 88.

2. Ibid. p. 72.


In spite of these invasions and slaughter of population en masse, it appears that during the period of early Muslim rule, the area known as Mewat was never permanently conquered. The depredations of Meos, extended at times to the walls of Delhi and beyond Yamuna into Doab and northward in the neighbourhood of Delhi1. The general massacre had little effect on them. As per Wolsley Haig, "Balban could never get complete subjugation on their part".

Up to 1290, the Hissar district was under the subjugation of Shams-ud-din, the last so called slave kings; since then it came under the control of Khaljis.The new rulers followed a policy of ruthless financial exploitation and bloody repression of the people which they tolerated under compulsion until the death of Ala-ud-din (1316). However , after this powerful ruler passed off the stage; the suffering masses rose up against the khalji tyranny and freed themselves. This situation continued until 1320 when Ghiyas-ud-din, Tughluq noble, who having effectively fished in the troubled waters usurped the Delhi throne.

Ghiyas-ud-din brought the people under his tight control. Sirsa was the first place to have been possessed by the Tughluq noble, the area came to occupy somewhat important position as long as he remained the Sultan of Delhi. Ghiyas-ud-din gave a place of succession to Muhammad Tughluq in whose reign, no significant event recorded in the history of Haryana.

Firuz was the next ruler of Tughluq dynasty. He brought Hissar district into prominence. The new ruler followed some-what unusual fancy for the tract. Being on the direct road from Khursan, Multan and the West Punjab, which ultimately reached Delhi, it had a great importance from military and trade point of view. Besides, the place was admirably adapted as a starting point for the hunting expedition in which Sultan frequently indulged2. Firuz established towns of Fatehabad and Hissar and built two canals, Ghagghar at Phulad and Western Yamuna Jamuna Canal. The head-quarters of the Shikk or division of Hansi which included the tract comprising present Hissar district.

Hindus raised their heads when Muhammad Tughluq's successor, Firoz-Shah Tughluq started oppressive activities and destroyed their temples at Sohna, and Gohana3. To subdue them, Firoz Shah did like his predecessor; a large number of `rebels' were either put to sword or converted to Islam. But the Tughluq ruler seems to have changed his stand after some time when he devoted his time, money, and

1. R.C. Majumdar, The History and Culture of the Indian People, Volume VI, The Delhi Sultanate, 1967, p. 97.

2. Hissar District Gazetteer, 1915, p. 21.

3. For details see Futuhat-i-Firozshahi (Aligarh University ), p.11.

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energy to developmental work. He liked the Hansi-Hisar-Sirsa tract and took special delight in going on hunting expeditions in the jungles over there. He founded the town of Firozabad near Rania in 1360 and got drawn a canal from the Ghaggar, passing by the walls of Sarsuti (Sirsa) to Hisar. A pertinent question is often posed : why did Firoz develop such a fancy for this otherwise arid tract? The reason for this is not far to seek: Firoz's mother belonged to this area 1 and he is believed to have spent a part of his early childhood here.

The situation worsened further when Timur (1336-1405 ), the Amir of Samarkand, launched a fierce attack on India in 1398. After crossing the Indus in September, and traversing through the plains of Punjab and Rajasthan in the succeeding two months he entered the Sirsa district in November. Timur made a halt for some time at Kinar-i-Hauz, probably the Annakai Chhamb lake near Rania. Having relaxed here, he resumed his march with speed. His first attack was on Firozabad where he met little opposition. Emboldened by this, he attacked Sirsa. Here, too, the story of Firozabad was repeated 2. The inhabitants opposed him fiercely. But they were easily overpowered . Timur's soldiers captured the town of Fatehabad. Wealth was looted and a large number of people were killed .Timur's soldiers set fire to the fort of Alhruni and plundered the houses and not a house was left standing. From Ahrwan Timur went to Tohana and from Tohana he went to Samana (Punjab).

Timur had no desire to stay in India. After halting at Delhi for 15 days, he returned Meerut and defeated Hindu armies near Haridwar, After timur's departure, chaos and confusion prevailed everywhere. In that hour, Khizar Khan captured Hisar but it was recovered by Sultan Mahmud. In 1411 Hansi came into the hands of Khizar Khan, who with the help of Amirs of Hisar-A -Feroza defeated Daulat Khan Lodhi, who had ascended the throne in A.D. 1413. The latter surrendered and was kept prisoner at Hisar. Khizar Khan took possession of Delhi and set up Sayyad dynasty (A. D. 1414). In A.D. 1428, the fief of Hisar was conferred upon Mahmud Hasan as a reward for his good services. Lastly, Behlol Lodhi controlled the affairs until 1526 when Lodhis were knocked down by the Mughals.

The history of India from A.D. 1526 to 1556 is mainly the story of the Mughal-Af-ghan contest for supremacy in this land. A opportunity came to Babur when he was invited to India by a discontented party. At that time India was distracted by ambitions, disaffections and rivalries of the nobles and the Delhi Sultan-ate existed in nothing but in name . The last nail in its coffin was driven by the ambitious and

1. See Barkat Ali, Tarikh Bhatian, 1965, p. 49.

2. Timur, Malfuzat vide Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own Historians, 1969, Vol. III, pp. 428-29.


revengeful spirit of some of the nobles. Two of them, Daulat Khan, the most powerful noble of the Punjab who was discontented with Ibrahim Lodhi because of his cruel treatment he had meted out to his son, Dilawar Khan and Alam Khan, an uncle of Ibrahim Lodhi and a pretender to the throne of Delhi; went to the-length of inviting Babur to invade India, probably Rana Sanga had some negotiations with Babur about this time.

The First Battle of Panipat (1526 )

Babur set out towards our country in November, 1525 and was joined on his way by Humayun with his troops from Badakhshan. On his way Babur met

Daulat Khan who was dislodged and the former occupied Punjab without any resistance.

The next step was a contest with Ibrahim Lodhi which was a far more difficult task than the conquest of Punjab. Babur, therefore, made all necessary preparations for it and paid every attention to the Lodhi pretender , Alam Khan. As he advanced towards Delhi, he received encouraging offers from a number of important nobles of Delhi. Probably, at this very time Rana Sanga of Chittor sent his proposal for a joint attack upon Ibrahim. As the invader's intention was not clear.

Ibrahim collected a large army and proceeded towards the Punjab to meet him in the battle, sending two advance parties towards Hisar. One of these was routed by Humayun. The other, too was beaten and driven back. After a few marches, Babur reached Panipat and set up his camp there. Babur proudly writes in his Memoirs that he defeated Ibrahim Lodhi with 12 thousand men. His admirer, Rushbrook Inllians goes a step further and says that he could not have more than 8 thousand men and perhaps less than that on the field of Panipat. According to Shri A. L. Srivastva, a Babur's force had swelled cosiderably after his success against Daulat Khan because, as usual, thousands of Indian mercenaries were ready to join him and a number of noble chiefs had already made common cause with him. The strength of his army at Panipat could not have been less than 25 thousand ".

Babur drew up his army east of the town of Panipat with his face to the south and protected his front by a laager of seven hundred movable wagon carts (araba), the wheels of every two of which were tied together by ropes made of raw hides. In between the sets of carts he left sufficient gaps-60 to 70 yards each-in order to allow a hundred or more horsemen to charge through abreast. He raised six or seven movable breast works (tura) between every pair of guns to afford shelter to his gunners. Artillery was ranged behind the breast works, Ustad Ali on the right side and Mustafa on the left.
Behind the artillery was stationed his advance guard which was commanded by Khusrav Kuktash and Muhammad Ali-Jang. At the back of it was centre (Chul)

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where Babur himself took up his position. The centre was divided into two

divisions-right and left centre, Babur himself riding in between two. His right wing rested on and was sheltered by the town of Panipat, while the left wing was posted in the dry-bed of the river Yamuna, three kilometres east of Panipat and not ten miles (16 kilometres) now, and was protected by ditches and an abatis of fuelled trees.

On the extreme right of the line was posted the right flanking party (right tulghuma) and on the extreme left the left flanking party (left tulghuma). These consisted of Turkish cavalry whose main duty was to turn the enemy's flanks and takes him in the rear. Behind the line at a little distance there was the reserve of picked horsemen, under Abdul Aziz, the Master of the Horse. The right wing was commanded by Humayun and Khawaja Kilan, while the left by Muhammad Sultan Mirza and Mahdi Khawaja.

Ibrahim Lodhi's army, on the other hand, numbered, according to Babur, one lakh of men and one thousand elephants. But considering the fact that there used to be in that age a number of camp followers and servants for every combatant, the effective fighting strength of Ibrahim's army could not have been more than 40 thousand 1. It consisted of troops of all description who had been hastily raised on the spot of moment. They were divided into the four traditional divisions- the advance guard, the centre, the right wing and the left wing.

The armies came up face to face on 12 April, 1526, with a few kilometres distance between them but neither side took up the offensive for eight days. During the night of 20th April, Babur sent out 4 to 5 thousand of his men to make a night attack on the Afghan camp which failed in its object.But it provoked Ibrahim who gave orders for his troops to advance the next morning and covered the intervening distance in three hours. When they came near and noticed Babur's front line defence, they hesitated and checked their quick pace abruptly and thus lost the advantage of a shock charge. Moreover, the sudden halt of their front line caused confusion and disorder in the long tail of their army.
Babur took advantage of the enemy's hesitation and directed his men to take up the offensive. The battle was thus joined on April 21, 1526. Babur immediately ordered his flanking parties to wheel round and attack the enemy in the rear where there was a considerable confusion and uncertainty. They made a detour on the right and the left and reaching the Afghan back began to rain arrows on them. At the same time Babur's right and left wings were not slow to react.

In order to sever the Mughal connections with the town of Panipat and turn his flank through this gap, Ibrahim now ordered an attack on Babur's right wing which

1. A.L. Srivastava: History of India (1000-1707), 1989, p. 322.


found itself in difficulty. Ibrahim's plan was to avoid the enemy's laager and guns and push to the main body of Babur's troops and attack them with vigour. But Babur quickly sent reinforcements from the centre which succeeded in repelling the Afghan left wing.

The battle now became general and Babur ordered his gunners to open fire. Thus, the Lodhi army was surrounded and overwhelmed. It found itself exposed to artillery shot in front and arrows on either flank and the rear. In spite of them being outmanoeuvred and outclassed in weapons, the Indian army under Ibrahim Lodhi fought valiantly. The battle lasted from 9' O,clock in the morning till noon, when the superior strategy and generalship of Babur won the day. Ibrahim Lodhi was killed fighting bravely to his last breath and 15 to 16 thousand of his men lay dead on the field. Of these, six thousand fell round the body of their King. Among the victims was Raja Vikram Jit of Gwalior who fought like a true Rajput on the side of Ibrahim who lately been his enemy.

"The sun had mounted spear high", writes Babur, "When the onset began and the battle lasted till mid day when the enemies were completely broken and routed, and my people rose victorious and trumphant. By the grace and mercy of Almighty God this difficult affair was made easy to me and that mighty army in the course of half day was laid in the dust".

The Battle of Panipat (1526) proved to be absolutely decisive. The military power of Lodhi was completely shattered. The sovereignty of Hindustan departed from the Afghan race at least for a temporary period, and passed to the Mughals who were to retain it, with about 15 years break, for more than two centuries. The Turko-Afghan ruling class in India had become degenerate and its supremacy was in danger. As a consequence of Babur's success of Panipat, new blood and vigour were injected into the foreign ruling class. The Mughal dynasty which was thus established, gave to the country a series of remarkably successful rulers whom the country was to undertake a new experiment of evolving a composite culture for the land.

As for Babur was concerned, Panipat marks the end of the second stage of his project of the conquest of Northern India. Though after this victory, he became King of Delhi and Agra, yet his real work was to begin after Panipat. There were a few formidable enemies to be encountered before he could become the king of Hindustan. But Panipat gave him a valid claim to its sovereignty. His other contests were an attempt to enforce that claim.

So, a modern writer has aptly remarked "the magnitude of Babur's task could be" properly realised when we say that it actually began with Panipat. Panipat set his foot on the path of empire-building, and in this path the first great obstacle was the

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opposition of Afghans under a number of military chiefs. Never-the-less, the battle of Panipat has its own significance in the sense that it marked the foundation of Mughal domination in India 1."

At the time of Babur's invasion, Hasan Khanzada was the chief of Mewat. As, he declined to submit, Babur led an expedition against him, Hasan Khan was killed in A.D. 1527 and his son, Nahar Khan, submitted to the Mughal over-lordship.Mewat was made a part of Mughal empire and hence-forward regular governors were appointed for this area.

At the time of Babur's invasion, a big force was stationed at Hisar under the command of Hamid Khan. On getting the news of invasion, this force marched to check Babur's line of advance after Sirhind (Punjab). On reaching the Ghaggar, the invader came to know of Hamid's coming and he at once sent a big army under prince Humayun to neutralise it. A severe contest ensued in which Humayun came out successful and Hamid Khan was defeated. Humayun's force entered Hisar and sacked it. Babur was very much pleased with Humayun on his first victory on the Indian soil and gave him Hisar as a reward.2 Humayun retained it (Hissar ) under his control until 1530, when Babur died. Administratively this region was divided into four sarkars Delhi, Mewat, Hisar and Sarhind.

The historian's view about the assessment of Hemu of Rewari is as under:-

"He thus became the first and the only Hindu to occupy the throne of Delhi during the medieval period of our history. Modern European writers have joined the medieval chroniclers (whose prejudice to a Hindu, who made any attempt to free his country from foreign yoke, is obvious3) in finding fault with him. No impartial student of history, however, can fail to admire Hemu's qualities of leadership and the promptitude with which he seized the opportunity of banishing alien rule from the capital though unluckily, his success proved to be short-lived. The foreigners like Humayun and the descendants of Sher Shah could advance claim to rule over his ancestral land. Had he succeeded in driving the Mughals out of India, historians would have formed a different opinion about him. The fact that Akbar eventually proved to be a national ruler need not be taken as an argument for the erroneous view that his claims to the throne of Delhi in 1556 was superior to that of Hemu. The charge of treachery against Adil, who had strangled his nephew to death and occupied his throne is groundless. Hemu only regulated his authority, through rebellion and

1. The Advanced History of India, 1967 by Datta,Majumdar and Chaudhry, p. 420.

2. B.S.Nijjar, Punjab Under Great Mughals (1526- 1707 A.D.), 1968, p. 16.

3. A.L. Srivastava : The History of India (1000-1707), 1989, p. 438.


even use of force is legitimate against foreign rule. No praise can be, too great for Hemu's bold endeavour to re-establish indigenous rule at Delhi after more than 350 years of foreign rule."

The Second Battle of Panipat, 1556

The news of the fall of Delhi and Agra alarmed the Mughals and they advised their sovereign, then encamped at Jalandhar, to return immediately to Kabul. As the number of Mughal army was not more than 20,000 while Hemu's army was reputed to be 1,00,000 strong and was flushed with its recent successors. But Bairam Khan decided in favour of recovering Delhi and Akbar heartily agreed with his guardian.

Leaving Khizr Khan at Lahore to deal with Sikandar Suri, Akbar left Jalandhar on October 15, 1556 on his expedition against Hemu. At Sirhind, three fugitive governors of Agra, Delhi and Sambhal joined Akbar, and counselled him to retreat to Kabul. Bairam Khan, however, took prompt action to silence them by putting Tardi Beg Khan to death with Akbar's permission. Though condemned by some contemporary historian, who accused him of personal jealousy towards the deceased, the act was necessary to restore confidence in the army and stamp out sedition. Army continued its uneventful march towards Delhi.

Hemu who had consolidated his position and won over his Afghan officers and soldiers by a liberal distribution of wealth that he had acquired at Delhi and Agra, made preparations to check the advance of the Mughals. He sent forward his advance guard with a park of his artillery to encounter that of Akbar's which was proceeding rapidly under the command of Ali Quli Khan Shaibani. Ali Quli Khan was lucky enough to inflict by a successful ruse a defeat on Hemu's advance guard and capture his artillery.

Within a week or so, the main armies met on the historic battle field of Panipat on November 5,1556. Bairam Khan commanded the ten thousand strong Mughal army from a long distance in the rear and placed Ali Quli Khan (later created Khan-I-Zaman) in charge of the centre, Sikandar Khan Uzbeg in the charge of the right wing and Abdullah Khan Uzbeg in the charge of left wing, while young Akbar was kept at safe distance behind the army.

Hemu's fighting strength consisted of 30,000 Rajputs and Afghan cavalry and 500 war elephants who were protected by the plate armour and had musketeers and cross-bowmen mounted on their backs. He had, however, no guns. He took his position in the centre and gave charge of his right wing to Shadi Khan Kakkar and left wing to Ramyya, his own sister's son. In spite of the loss of his artillery in the preliminary engagement, Hemu boldly charged the Mughals and overthrew their right and left

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wings. He then launched an attack on their centre and hurled his 500 elephants against it. The Mughals fought valiantly but were about to give way and Hemu seemed to be on the point of winning. The Mughal centre,however could not be broken, for by this time most of the troopers of their defeated wings had collected themselves and moving to Hemu's flanks had launched an attack on them. Moreover, there was a deep ravine in the front of it, which barred Hemu's advance.

Taking advantage to it, Ali Quli Khan with a part of his cavalry, made a detour and attacked Hemu's centre from behind. Hemu made a brave counter charge and fighting continued fiercely. At this time a stray arrow struck Hemu in the eye and made him unconscious. His army,presuming that its leader was dead, was seized with panic, and fled in all directions. Hemu's elephant driver tried to take his unconscious master beyond the reach of danger, but was overtaken by a Mughal officer named Shah Quli Mahram who conducted him to Akbar.

Bairam Khan asked his royal ward to earn the tittle of Ghazi by slaying the infidel Hemu, with his own hands. It is expressed by a contemporary writer Arif Qaudhan-that he complied with the request and severed Hemu's head from his body. Abul Fazl's statement that he refused to kill a dying man, is obviously wrong.

The Second Battle of Panipat produced momentous results. The Mughal victory was decisive : with the fall of Hemu, his upstart military power collapsed instantly, and his wife and father fled from Delhi into Mewar. After the victory in the Second Battle of Panipat, Iskandar Khan, the Ugbeg, was sent in pursuit of the fleeing enemy. He followed them with great slaughter, to the gates of capital, which he entered and, secured for emperor 1.

The political results of the battle were even more far-reaching. The Afghan pretenders to the sovereignty of Hindustan had gone for ever. An unsuccessful attempt was made to apprehend Hemu's widow. His aged father was captured and put to death on his refusal to embrace Islam. Thus, within two years of his victory at Panipat, there remained no survival to contest Akbar's claim to the sovereignty of Hindustan.

Akbar, like Sher Shah, was a great administrator. He divided his empire into several provinces; provinces into sarkars and sarkars into mahals. The village was like the earlier times, the smallest unit of administration. The administrative picture of the Haryana region based on the Ain-i-Akbari was as given below2 :-

1. Wolsely Haig : The Cambridge History of India, Volume-IV, 1973, p. 72-73.

2. See Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari, Eng. tr. H.S. Jarret, Vol. II pp.291-310.


Administrative divisions during the reign of Akbar.

Subah Sarkar Paragans

Delhi Delhi Islamabad Pakal, Adah, Panipat, Palwal,

Jharsa, Jhajjar, Dadri, Rohtak, Safidon,

Kutana, Sonipat, Toda Bhawan, Chinana,

Kedla, Gangir Khora, Karnal, Ganaur, Beri,

Dubaldhan, Kharkhauda
Rewari Bawal, Pataudi, Bhora, Taoru, Rewari, Ribhal, Sohna, Ratai-Jatai, Gahlot, Kohana
Hisar Ahroni, Mangiwal, Agroha, Atha-Khera,
Uniyann Mandgi, Barwala, Bhattu, Birwa,
Tohana, Tosham, Jind, Jamalpur, Hisar,

Dhatrat, Sirsa, Sheopran, Siddhamukh,

Bhiwani, Shahzadpur, Fatehabad, Gohana,
Meham, Hansi, Baniwal Punia, Saj-dehat,
Sirhind Ambala, Binaur, Pal, Bhandar, Pundri,
Thanesar, Chahar, Charkh, Khizrabad, Dorala,
Dola, Devrama, Sadhaura, Sultanpur, Badha,
Shahbad, Fatehpur, Kaithal

Agra Tijara Indore, Ferozpur-Jhirka, Kotla, Ujina, Umri,
Sumra, Pininghwa, Bisra, Bihor, Jhamrawat,
Khanpur, Sakras, Sandhawadi, Gesar, Nigina
Narnaul Kanaud, Narnaul, Kanohari, Kanti, Khudana

Sahar Hodal, Nuh
Saharanpur Indri
During the reign of Akbar and successors the Mughal empire was firmly established. In 1567, when Akbar encamped at Thanesar,an extraordinary incident is said to have occurred, which throws a rather unpleasant light on ferocious aspect of his character. The Sanyasis or faquirs, who assembled at the holy tank were divided into two parties; Kurs and Puris. The leader of the latter complained to the king that the Kurs had unjustly occupied the accustomed sitting-place of the Puris, who were thus debarred from collecting the `pilgrims' alms. Neither party would listen to friendly counsel. Both factions begged permission that the dispute might be decided by

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fighting. The desired permission having been granted, the hostile parties drew up a line, and the fight began with swords, one man on each side advancing in a braggart fashion and starting the fray. Swords were discarded for bows and arrows, and these again for stones. Akbar, seeing that the puris were outnumbered, gave the signal to some of his more savage followers to help the weaker party. The rein-forcement enabled the Puris to drive the Kurs into headlong fight. Akbar enjoyed the sight greatly1.

The rebel Ibrahim Husain Mirza, defeated by Akbar, moved northward with the object of creating disturbances in upper India and the surrounding country. He passed Karnal district and plundered Panipat and Karnal in A.D. 1573. In 1606. Prince Khusrov after having escaped from his semi confinement at Agra made his way to Punjab. He passed through Panipat and Karnal districts plundering and pillaging as he went. When he reached Panipat, he was joined by one Abdul Rahim. Jahangir (A.D. 1605- 1627 ) himself shortly followed in pursuit to capture the rebel prince. He used to moralise on the success which Panipat had always brought to his family. The Friday prayers were always held in the mosque of Kabuli bagh which Babur had built at Panipat.

The administrative set-up remained intact during the reigns of Akbar's successors Jahangir (1605-1627), Shahjahan (1627-1658) and Aurengzeb (1658-1707). The economic exploitation and bigotry of Aurengzeb forced the Satnamis of Narnaul to challenge his authority.

The Satnamis-Uprising

During the medieval period, the Bhakti movement spread in different parts of India. This movement came into Haryana in the 16th century. Its leader in this region was Birbhan, native of a small village, Bijesar in the area of Narnaul. Like other saints of the Bhakti movement, he taught his people the age-old idea of one Supreme Being. He spoke against idol worship, caste system, blind faith, superstitions, ritualism, and the like. He laid much emphasis on purity and wished his disciples to imbibe it in their lives. His followers were called Satnamis, Sadhus or Mundiyas. This sect was an off-shoot of Raidasi sect founded by great saint Raidas(Chamar).

According to Zulfiqar Ardistani Mobed, the author of the Dabistan-I-Mazahib, "goldsmiths, carpenters, cobblers and other peoples of such professions joined the Satnami fold". That they combined mendicancy with militancy and puritanism with professionalism is manifest from the following remarks of Khafi Khan in his

1. V.A. Smith, Akbar The Great Mughal, 1966, p.56.


Muntakhab-al-Lubab: "though they dress like faquirs, most of them follow agriculture or trade on a small capital. Following the path of their own faith, they wish to live with good name and never obtain money by any dishonest or unlawful means.

If anyone tries to oppress them, they cannot endure it. Most of them carry arms".

One of their texts, Satnami Sahai (Pothi Giyan Bani Sadh Satnami) denounces caste, begging, hoarding and servitude, "the rich as per its injuction, do not harass the poor, shun the company of an unjust king and a wealthy and dishonest man, do not accept a gift from them or from kings."

The seven precepts of the Satnami sect, founded by a chamar, Ghasi Dass, of Chhatergarh in 1820-30, based on the tenets of the parent sect, include abstinence from meat, liquor and certain vegetables of red colour (due to similarity with blood), abolition of idol worship, prohibition of the employment of cows for cultivation and social equality of all men with, of course, a higher status for the family of Guru. As Russel says, "The Satnami movement is in essence a social revolt on the part of despised chamars and tanners. The fundamental tenet of the gospel of Ghasi Dass appears to have been the abolition of caste. The Chamar cultivators carry up their relation with their Hindu landlords".

Thus, it is clear that Satnami sect represented a reformist, puritanical and revolutionary movement against the common people, mostly peasants and artisans, in a fraternity transcending the bounds of caste, creed and religion. Hence, naturally it came into conflict with the ruling order.

A small incident symbolic of a widespread phenomena gave it strong impulsion. In 1672, the Satnamis came in direct conflict with Aurangzeb's govenment. So started the quarrel that one day a Satnami peasant of Narnaul had a hot dispute with a foot-soldier (piada) who was on the watch duty of government fields in that locality. The soldier struck the Satnami peasant with his club. The Satnami raised a cry and soon many Satnamis assembled on the spot. They beat the soldier so much as to reduce him almost to a corpse.

When the shiqdar of Narnaul came to know of this happening, he sent a body of soldiers to arrest these men. But the Satnamis, on the contrary, beat these soldiers too and snatched away arms.

The news of these catastrophes spread like fire in the region around Narnaul. Hundreds of thousands of Satnamis collected and showed determined will to fight

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against the religious oppression of Aurangzeb. In the words of Jadunath Sarkar :

"The quarrel soon took on a religious colour and assumed the form of a war for the liberation of Hindus by an attack on Aurangzeb himself. An old prophetess appeared among them and declared that her spells could raise an invisible army at night; that the Satnamis fighting under her banner would be invulnerable to the enemy's weapon; and that if one of them fell, eighty of these would spring up in his place".

This raised the morale of the Satnamis. Their number at that moment was estimated to be over five thousand. Thus encouraged, the Satnamis plundered several villages and when at last, the Faujdar of Narnaul himself came out to oppose them, they routed him with heavy losses and seized the town.

When the news of the uprising of the Satnamis reached Delhi, a great panic spread throughout the city. The grain supplies became scanty and superstitious stories demoralised the imperial army.

Aurangzeb at once sent a large army under great Rajas and experienced generals to crush the Satnamis. So great was the panic and alarm in the country that when this army reached near Rewari, they lost heart and fled away enmasse.

This roused Aurangzeb. On March 15, he sent another force comprising 10,000 strong under the command of prince Muhammud Akbar, accompanied by such experienced generals and commanders as Randandaz Khan, Yahya Khan, Dabi Khan, Kana luddin, Pevot Mewati, Iskander Bakshi, etc. and to boost up the morale of his army to counteract spell of Satnamis. Aurangzeb, who had the reputation of being a living saint, wrote out hymns and magical figures with his own hand and got them sewed on the banners of his forces1.

When the royal forces reached in the vicinity of Narnaul, the Satnamis left the town and came out to attack them. Despite their poverty in war material, they enacted the scenes of great war of the Mahabharata.

The Satnamis fought gallantly, but being superior in number, arms and equipment, the royal army soon overpowered them. Yet the Satnamis would not effect a retreat and stood where they were till all of them were cut to pieces. Very few of them escaped. The casualties on the Mughal side were also great. Most of the royal army and soldiers died in the battle.

Aurangzeb felt very jubilant over this success and bestowed rewards on his nobles who accompanied the forces to Narnaul. Randandaz Khan was given the title

1. Dr. Buddha Prakash : Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967, P. 56.


of Shujakhan, and all other officers received promotions and robes of honour.

Thus ended this vast and popular upsurge against the current system of Government. Like all value-oriented and horizontal revolts, it did not creat a hierarchy of leadership which could direct even after that disaster.

The Satnami revolt, inspite of its religious complexion, was not a purely Hindu movement. Had it been so, some Muslim generals would have refused to fight with them nor some Rajput commanders agreed to do so.

Rebellious activities of Mewatis during Sultanate Period

The history is replete with struggle between the central power at Delhi and its difficult and recalcitrant neighbours to the south. For nearly two centuries, the people of the region sturdily resisted the Muslim domination and the history of the region is a record of incursions of the people of Mewat area which included districts of Gurgaon, Mathura (UP) and parts of former states of Alwar and Bharatpur (Rajasthan) into Delhi territory and of punitive expeditions undertaken against them1. The region was finally subdued after the defeat of Prithviraja Chahamana by Muzz-uddin Muhammad Ghuri in A.D. 1192. In the reign of Qutb-u-din Aibak (A.D. 1200-1210), Hemraj, son of Prithviraja, invaded the Mewat from Alwar, but he was defeated and slain. Aibak then despatched Sayyid Wajih-un-din who was slain and it was reserved for his nephew Miran Hussain Jang to subdue the Meos, who agreed to pay Jazia, while some accepted Islam2.

Mewat of the land of the Meos and Khanzadas, lying to the south of Delhi and including considerable portion of the modern districts of Mathura, Gurgaon, Alwar and Bharatpur, was inhabited by people, extremely contumacious, who during the Sultanate period remained a source of great trouble to the rulers of Delhi. They acquired during the early medieval period a notoriety of being thieves and robbers. On account of the hilly terrain and the large extent and density of the jungles that existed south of Delhi during the first half of the thirteenth century, they had succeeded in extending their depredatory activities to the outer walls of the metropolis. So much did they become troublesome that the contemporary writer Minhaj was constrained to remark that they had become a terror even to the devil.

During the period of iltutmish, Mewat as a part of the kingdom of Hindustan was peaceful. But after iltutmish's death none of his successors took up seriously the task of holding Mewat under control. Largely on account of the incompetence of the

1. Imperial Gazetteer of India, Provincial Series, Punjab, Volume - I, 1908, pp. 265-66.

2. H.A. Rose, A Glossary of Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West (Frontier) Provinces, 1870, Volume-III, p. 82.

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successors of iltumish, the Mewatis had become so emboldened as to infest the jungles lying to the south of Delhi, and to attack there the travellers going southwards. Thus they had created a situation which called for immediate action. In 1249, therefore, Nasiruddin Mahmud, the reigning Sultan, directed Ulugh Khan to conduct a campaign against them. But this period being one of general disorder throughout northern India, Ulugh Khan could not achieve anything beyond effecting some destruction of Mewati property and collection of some booty.

The weak personality of the king coupled with the intrigues of Imamuddin Rihan and the dismissal and disgrace of Balban must have made action against the Mewattis difficult. They could, therefore, continue on a course of mischievous activities. Under the leadership of a Hindu named Malkha, they in 1257, committed an imprudent robbery of the transport camels belonging to Balban on the eve of one of his projected campaigns against the Mongols. This action of the Mewattis had aroused Balban's personal resentment, and when he was free from the activities of the Mongols, he decided to deal with the rebels of Mewat. On 29th January 1260, he therefore, left Delhi with an army of 10,000 soldiers, and in a single forced march penetrated upto 50 Kos and took the rebels completely by surprise. For twenty days the work of slaughter and pillage continued. In order to achieve quick results, Balban ordered the reward of one silver tanka for every head, and two for every living prisoner. The soldiery thus stimulated, soon activated themselves and without caring for geographical difficulties they began to bring forth either the heads of the rebels or living prisoners from amongst them. The Afghan section of the imperial army was particularly active, and Minhaj goes to the length of saying that each one of them brought at least one hundred Hindu prisoners. The rebel chief Malkha was arrested with his entire family together with 250 other leading men of the tribe. Besides this, 142 horses were captured and 60 cotton bags, each containing 30 thousand tankas, were obtained in loot. A British historian gave a description of the struggle of Balban and Mewatis in the para detailed below :-

"For twenty days the work of slaughter and pillage continued, and the ferocity of the soldiery was stimulated by the reward of one silver tanka for every head and two for every living prisoner. On March 9 the army returned to the capital with the chieftain who had stolen the camels, other leading men of the tribe to the number of 250, 142 horses, and 2,10,000 silver tankas. Two days later the prisoners were publicly massacred. Some were trampled to death by elephants, others were cut to pieces, and more than a hundred were flayed alive by the scavengers of the city. Later in the year those who had saved themselves by flight returned to their homes and ventured on reprisals by infesting the highways and slaughtering wayfarers. Balban, having ascertained from spies the hunts and movements of the bandits, surprised them as


before by a forced march, surrounded them, and put to sword 12,000 men, women and children1.

Having thus accomplished apparently a great victory for the Muslim armies, Balban returned to Delhi on 9th March, 1260. A grand reception was ordered for him and the Sultan organised a great durbar at Hauz-i-Rani to celebrate the victory. Two days later the prisoners were publicly massacred. Some of them were trampled to death by elephants, others were cut to pieces by the Turkish soldiers and several hundreds were flayed alive. Thus, in his own ruthless way Balban tried to curb the menace of rebellious neighbours."

Sometime later, news was again received at the capital about the activities of some of those rebels who had run away at the time of the earlier campaign and who, on their return, were reported to be infesting the highways, Balban left Delhi on 5th July, 1260 and as before, by a forced march reached the heart of Mewat and surprised them, and a large number of them were taken prisoners. Thus, by two vigorous campaigns Balban succeeded in establishing peace in Mewat for a period of five years.

But the geographical features of Mewat and the old rebellious habits of the Mewattis made them challenge the authority of Delhi Sultans once again. They had temporarily bowed down to the might of the imperial armies and to the strategy of Balban, but were up in arms again. Balban, on his part must also have seen the transitory nature of his earlier success. He must have noticed the fresh activities of the rebels , and would have realised how they constituted a psychological pointer to the weakness and incompetence of the imperial government. Therefore, immediately after his accession, Balban planned a definite policy of action against Mewat. His hands were more free now as he was no longer a minister pursuing a dictated policy but was a sovereign himself. The result was that even before the end of the first year of his reign, he decided to deal with this problem in right earnest.

In the programme of the new government, the destruction of the Mewatti menace was given top priority. The Sultan, accordingly, ordered the camps of the army to be pitched outside the town. Barni points out two reasons for the increase of the nefarious activities of the Mewattis. In the first instance, the incompetence of the successor of Iltutmish had taken away the feeling of awe from the hearts of the people at large, and secondly, the growth of dense jungles around Delhi had provided secure places of concealment to these bandits.They used to prowl freely into the city of Delhi after sunset and rob and harass the citizens. They also plundered the travellers even during

1. Wolseley Haig, The Cambridge History of India, Volume III, Turks and Afghans, 1958,

p. 73.

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the day time and rendered the movement of trade difficult. They struck so much terror that people dared not move out of their houses after evening prayers. The famous picnic spot Hauz-o-Sultan lay neglected because it was here that the bandits several times stripped off the clothes of the water-carriers and women drawing water from the large reservoir. Indeed, it was out of the fear for these Mewattis that the western gate of the Metropolis used to be closed after the hour of after-noon

The very first year of his accession saw Balban in action against these bandits. He rightly concluded that the clearance of woods around Delhi was the first step in dealing with them. Accordingly, for one full year he was constantly engaged in getting the woods to the south of Delhi cleared, and bringing the place under cultivation. This was followed by military activity. The net result of the year-long exertion was the massacre of a very large number of the Mewattis. Not satisfied with this, Balban further got constructed a fort at Gopalgiri and established a number of police stations around Delhi, which were garrisoned with Afghans. Barni records with great satisfaction that from that time onwards the people became free from the Mewatti menace.

Balban's Mewat policy had been successful to a large extent as there was hardly any mention of trouble from Mewat for nearly a century. During this period the chiefs of Mewat appear to have maintained satisfactory relations with the authorities at Delhi. Nor were there any serious acitivities of the dacoits in that region. So far as Balban himself was concerned, he certainly had no more worry on their account for the rest of his reign. Thus, by a combination of ruthless massacre, show of military force and wanton destruction, `Balban succeeded to a considerable extent in effectively controlling Mewat. Wolseley Haig had, however, rightly pointed out that in spite of all these measures, Mewat was still not completely subjugated.

There is no mention of Mewat in the Persian chronicles during the period of the Khalji rule. It appears that Balban's measures were still paying dividends. The fear for the central authority was further reinforced by the drastic punishments given by Allauddin Khalji to such rebels as the Jalali nobles and the New Musalmans. This terror of the central authority continued to be felt by the Mewattis till the days of Muhammad Tughlaq.
It was during the days of Firuz Tughlaq that the proselytizing activities of the Muslim State reached Mewat. It resulted in the conversion to Islam of a considerable section of the Hindu population of northern Mewat. In his autobiography, Firuz writes how he got destroyed a Hindu temple at Sohna. Powlett, on the basis of the family histories and traditions of Khanzadas of Mewat, holds that their ancestors became


Musalmans during the days of Firuz Tughluq. But the southern portion of Mewat remained for many years free from the religious impact of Musalmans. One of the members of Yaduvanshi Rajput family who had been ruling over northern Mewat accepted Islam probably to obtain greater power from Firuz. He was Bahadur Nahir who better known to history as the founder of the Khanzada tribe of Mewat.

The depredations of Meos, extended at times to the walls of Delhi and beyond the Yamuna into the Doab. Subsequent events even support the view that the various clamants to political power in Delhi took refuge and sought help from the chieftains of Mewat. Thus Khan Jahan, the powerful and cunning minister of Firuz Shah Tughlaq (A.D. 1351-1388), having failed in his scheme to capture the throne, fled to Mewat, seeking shelter with chief Koka Chauhan, but he was seized and killed. This happened about the year A.D. 1387. During the reign of the feeble successors of Firuz Shah, the nominal allegiance of Mewat was transferred from one prince to another. The caprice of the local chieftains determined how their own interests would be served in long run. The depredations of the Meos again extended across the Yamuna into the Doab, and northward even into the streets of Delhi1.

By 1389, Bahadur Nahir had become an active participant in the court politics at Delhi, and till his death he often held the balance of the rival parties. Sultan Ghiyasuddin II, greatly relied upon him and entrusted to him the conduct of an important campaign against Prince Muhammad. In this enterprise the Mewatti chief showed great vigour. After the assassination of Sultan Ghiyas, Bahadur Nahir joined the ranks of the new Sultan Abu Bakr and helped him against Prince Muhammad. But Abu Bakr was also not destined to rule for a long time and he soon discovered to his consternation that an important faction at the court was secretly in league with Prince Muhammad. Having lost his nerves, Abu Bakr fled to Mewat and took shelter with his friend Bahadur Nahir at the latter's Kotla. Like a devoted friend, Bahadur Nahir extended to him all help. This necessitated a campaign against him, and the Imperial army under Islam Khan obliged him to submit. Abu Bakr was taken to Delhi as a prisoner, but Bahadur was pardoned. Further, in an attempt to convert an erstwhile enemy into a friend, he was even awarded a robe of honour and sent back to his Kotla.

But used as he was to play the part of a free-booter, Bahadur could hardly stay quiet. By middle of 1393, he had already re-started his plundering activities. This

1. R.C. Majumdar, The History and Culture of the Indian People, Volume Vi, The Delhi Sultanate, 1967, pp. 97, 110-112,121, 125. The Cambridge History of India, Volume III, Turks and Afghans, 1958, pp. 194, 199, 201, 205, 515.

Ishwari Prasad, History of Medieval India, 1952, pp. 336-39.

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required immediate attention. Though ill, sultan Muhammad Shah personally led an army against him. In a series of clashes the Mewatti chief was defeated and obliged to retreat. After the death of Muhammad Shah in January 1394, Bahadur managed to re-enter the arena of court-politics taking advantage of the civil war that now ensued among his successors. His friend Mukarrab Khan who was a leader of one of the rival factions, recalled him from Kotla and put him in charge of the fortress of old Delhi.

In the wake of the general confusion that followed Timur's occupation of Delhi at the close of 1398, Bahadur withdrew to his Kotla and watched the development of events from there. Mewat during this time was flooded with fugitives fleeing from Delhi and Khizr Khan Syed, the future Sultan of Hindustan, was one of those who took shelter in Mewat. That the Mewatti chief was enjoying a high reputation at this time is shown by the fact that from Delhi, Timur had sent him two envoys who invited him for a meeting with the invader. Bahadur accepted this invitation, met the invader and offered him rare and suitable presents, which Timur praised highly.

Since the fall of Delhi to Timur1 in 1398 & during the reign of Muhmud Tughlaq (A.D.1395-1412), a number of prominent nobles like Masand Ali, Khizr Khan, Mubarak Khan and Zirak Khan took shelter in the hills of Mewat 2 which, as usual, became a sanctuary for the fugitives flying from Delhi. Timur called upon the Mewati chief, Bahadur Nahir, to submit and surrender all the fugitives who had taken shelter with him. In response, Bahadur Nahir sent a very humble reply to the effect that he was "one of the very insignificant servants of the Amir and would proceed to his court to wait upon him". He also sent as tribute "two white parrots which could talk well and pleasantly3".

After the departure of Timur from Hindustan, widespread anarchy prevailed over northern Hindustan. Such a situation was advantageous to the Mewattis, who took to their old rebellious activities. Throughout the period of the Syed rule, they harassed the Sultans of Delhi. In 1411-12, Khizr Khan, the powerful governor of the Punjab invaded Mewat, ostensibly for the purpose of looting it, but really to prove his military prowess. He over-ran the northern portion of Mewat upto Tijara and plundered the important commercial centre of Narnol (Narnaul) and other towns

1. The account of Timur's dealings with the Mewati Chief is mostly taken from an article entitled "Did Timur send an Embassy Bahadur Nahar Mewatti" by B.S. Mathur (Journal of Indian History, Volume XLII, Part II, August 1964,pp. 371-75).

2. Tarikh-i-Mubarak Shahi-Translated by Basu. p. 172; Zafar-Nama pp. 121-23 (Culcutta Edition).

3. Mulfuzat-i- Timuri, Elliot & Dowson, The History of India As Told by its Own Historians, Volume III, 1970, p. 449, (Reprint).


like Sarhata and Kharol. In the middle of 1413 he repeated his visit to Mewat, where Jalal Khan, the nephew of Bahadur Nahir, came to wait upon him. All these incursions of Khizr Khan were really a prelude to his later attempts to capture the throne of Hindustan.

The habitual laxity of the Mewattis in rendering their stipulated tribute afforded a good pretext to the new Sultan Khizr Khan to attack them. In 1421 he advanced as far as Kotla of Bahadur Nahir and besieged it.Finding resistance difficult the beleaguered garrison fled towards the interior of the mountainous terrain . Kotla was razed to the ground and thus the strong citadel which had resisted many earlier attempts, was at last demolished.

But the recovery of the Mewattis was as usual quick. In the winter of 1424, the new Sultan Mubarak Shah proceeded against them. This time the Mewattis followed a scorched-earth policy and retreated towards Jahara. The Sultan having thus failed to get the necessary supply of fodder and grain returned to Delhi without achieving anything. But this failure rankled deep in his mind and in 1425-26, he led yet another expedition against them. Jalal Khan and Qadr Khan, the grandsons of Bahadur Nahir adopted the old tactics of Sultan pushed on with the siege of Indore. Finding it difficult to hold on any longer, the Mewattis retreated to Alwar. Ferishta tells that in spite of the great pressure of the imperial army, the Mewattis defended the passes leading to Alwar with much obstinacy. They had, however, to yield to superior force and Qadr Khan personally went to pay homage to the Sultan. But he was made a prisoner and with him Mubarak returned to Delhi. While on his way to Bayana during the winter of the same year, Mubarak Shah again passed through Mewat probably to see that everything was in order there.

In the fifteenth century, Mewat again became what it had been in the fourteenth century, a sanctuary for fugitives flying from the wrath of the Sultans of Delhi. Thus we find Muhammad Khan Auhadi, the rebellious governor of Bayana, who had been interned at Delhi escaping to Mewat and organizing his opposition from there.

Meanwhile, at Delhi Qadr Khan was not sitting idle. He was found to have been in secret correspondence with Ibrahim Khan Sharqu of Jaunpore. Mubarak found it a good pretext to get rid of Qadr Khan and got him murdered, Since this step was likely to cause great discontent in Mewat, Wazir Sarwarul Mulk was deputed to go to Mewat to suppress any rebellion that might arise in the wake of Qadr's murder. Taking this to be another attack upon them, the Mewatti leaders like Jalal Khan, Ahmad Khan and Fakhruddin again shut themselves up in the fortress of Indor. But upon the advance of the imperial forces they beggad for peace. Sarwarul-Mulk collected khiraj and returned to the capital.

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Jalal was bitter. He lay low waiting for an opportunity to avenge the death of his brother. The opportunity presented itself in the conditions created by the rebellion of Jasrath Khokhar which turned the attention of the Sultan northwards. Now Jalal became active again. When Mubarak heard about Jalal's movement, he turned towards Mewat and reached Taoru (Gurgaon district). Jalal shut himself in the fortress of Indor later shifting to Kotla which was considered safer on account of its being in the interior. But the Sultan pushed on devastating a greater part of Mewat. Failing to hold his own against the imperialists any longer, Jalal submitted and agreed to pay tribute. In the confused situation that prevailed over northern Hindustan at that time, the Sultan could not expect anything more. Jalal was accordingly pardoned. This turned out to be the last campaign of Mubarak Shah into Mewat, for he was himself assassinated in February, 1434. Mubarak was the second Sultan after Balban who gave serious thought to Mewat affairs. Like Balban, he also tried to solve this problem by force, but unlike Balban he did not supplement force with constructive measures. No roads were laid, no forts constructed and no garrison posts established. Thus, thougth credit must be given to Mubarak for having brought vigour into the campaign against the Mewattis, the result in the end remained the same-Mewat was hardly subdued.

Yet, largely on account of Mubarak's repeated attempts, the rebellious tract remained comparatively quiet during the days of his successor, Muhammad. In 1438, Ahmad Khan Mewatti came to Delhi to pay his obeisance to the new Sultan. In spite of this apparent submission, the Khanzadas had not given up their love for intrigues and we find some of them inviting Sultan Mahmud Khalji of Malwa to occupy the throne of Hindustan. Besides, they were also quietly extending their sphere of influence and activities. The country lying upto Lado-Sarai was under their control at the time of Bahlul's accession.

Accordingly, one of the earliest measures of Bahlul was to bring Ahmad Khan back into the fold of submission. To accomplish this work, he marched into Mewat. Ahmad Khan submitted and offered his uncle Mubarak Khan for employment in the service of the Sultan. Ahmad Khan was punished with a loss of seven parganas which were bestowed upon Tartar Khan. These parganas remained with Tartar Khan till the reign of Sikandar Lodi. But when Bahlul was at war with Hussain Shah Sharqu, the Mewati chief again deserted and joined the Sharqu King. Therefore, the moment Bahlul was free from the Sharqu war, he marched into Mewat. It was Khan-i-Jahan, an influential noble, who brought about a reconciliation between the two opponents. Like his predecessors Bahlul also did not think it proper to annex Mewat to his kingdom. No further mention of Mewat is found in the Persian sources till the days of Babur, when the reigning Mewatti chief Hasan Khan joined the ranks of

Rana Sanga against the invader.


Thus, for a period of about three centuries, Mewat remained a problem tract for the Sultans of Delhi. Incorrigible till the end of the Sultanate period, the Mewattis constantly remained stubbornly hostile and rebellious. Their misdeeds, therefore, necessitated frequent visitations of the imperial army. True that they suffered heavily both in men and money as every imperial expedition into Mewat resulted in considerable damage and devastation to their life and property. But they remained undeterred and almost rash in their contumacious behaviour. By the end of the 15th century they were no longer thieves and robbers for they had organised themselves into some sort of political power. Yet they remained unchanged so far as their rebellious and hostile attitude to the Delhi government was concerned. In the evolution of this attitude the geographical features of Mewat had played important part, because it was nature which had often shielded them from the wrath of the Delhi Sultans.

It must be admitted that in dealing with this rebellious tract, the Sultans of Delhi generally failed. It is true that each expedition against them succeeded in extracting a promise of submission and a payment of tribute. But from the Mewatti point of view, each time it turned out to be what Edward Thomas calls concessions to expediency. Indeed, the Mewattis submitted each time to the superior force, but the moment it was withdrawn, they reverted back to their old habits. The failure of the Delhi Sultans against Mewat was largely due to fact that they made no efforts to evolve a clear policy on a long-range basis. The rebellions of the Mewattis were treated as isolated events, and not as manifestations of the activities of a newly rising tribe. As such, efforts were made to suppress them by force only. It is surprising that in spite of repeated rebellions in Mewat, no Sultans of Delhi ever thought of annexing it permanently and thereby governing it as a part of the kingdom of Hindustan. No imperial governor was ever appointed to control Mewat probably till the Lodhis, and no administrative machinery was evolved to maintain a touch with it. All these steps were later on taken by the Mughal government, which resulted in making Mewat a quiet administrative unit under them.
Mewat continued to remain a part of the Delhi empire under the Sur Dynasty. Mashad Ali Khawas Khan, one of the chief generals of Sher Shah Suri, was in Mewat at the time of the latter's death in A.D. 1545. He incurred the hostility of Islam or Salim Shah(A.D. 1545-1553), the son and successor of Sher Shah, for siding with Adil Khan, the elder brother of Islam Shah. After the defeat of Adil Khan, in the vicinity of Agra, Khawas Khan and Isa Khan Naizi retreated to Mewat. Islam Shah despatched a powerful force, in pursuit of Khawas Khan, and a battle took place at Firozpur Jhirka. Islam Shah's troops were routed, but Khawas Khan, perceiving his inability to continue the fight, went to the skirts of the Kumaon hills, and for a long

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time desvastated the territories of Islam Shah in their vicinity. He was ultimately murdered treacherously under the Sultan's orders.'

Role of Banda Bairagi

In 1709-10, Banda Bairagi, the disciple of Guru Gobind Singh, in an effort to continue the fight against oppression, collected an army of Sikhs and occupied the whole of the country west of the Yamuna. He laid the whole neighbourhood waste and especially the areas of Karnal, where he killed the Faujdar and massacred the inhabitants. He was repulsed by Bahadur Shah about 19 kilometres of Sadhora in December, 17901.

With the decline of the Mughal empire, territorial ambitions were let loose. Frequent changes in the ownership of estates were effected either by imperial orders in favour of loyal nobles or were brought about by powerful local parties backing their claims with force. Above all, the Maratha chieftains, Holkar and Sindhia were vigorously engaged in extending their territories in this area. Whoever was the authority, it was the cultivator who suffered by having to pay taxes to changing masters. For example, Maham bestowed by Akbar in jagir on Shahbaz Khan Afghan, was plundered by Rajputs under Durgdas in the time of Aurangzeb. In subsequent years, the Marathas disregarded the imperial decree with impunity. Emperor Farrukh-Siyar granted Rohtak area along with rest of Haryana in 1718 to his minister Rukn-ud-din who transferred it a few years later to the Nawab of Farrukhnagar.

The family was in possession of a large part of Haryana including present district of Rohtak when a Maratha army under Raghunath Rao and Malhar Rao Holkar obliged the reigning Nawab to pay tribute. Prince Ali Gauhar, who later became emperor Shah Alam-II, also followed the policy of demanding tribute. The Nawab of Farrukhnagar, who had previously paid tribute to the Marathas and taken a lease of his territory from them, was then forced to pay revenue to the prince also. In his campaign of collections the prince attacked Auliya Khan Baluch of Dadri and secured a promise of large tribute and then came to restore his out-post at Jhajjar2.

As a natural sequel to the notorious incapacity of the unworthy descendants of Babur, Akbar and Aurengzeb, and the selfish activities of the nobility, the Mughal State grew corrupt and inefficient. It lost its prestige not only within India but also outside it. The country famous for its riches, which excited the cupidity of external invaders from time immemorial, became exposed to the menace of a foreign invasion,

1. Wolseley Haig, The Cambridge History of India, Volume-iv, (The Mughal Period), 1963,

p. 323.

2. Jadu Nath Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, Vol. II, P. 116.


as had been the case during the dismemberment of the Turko-Afghan Sultanate. This time the invader came not from central Asia but from Pursia1.
Nadir Shah commenced his march towards India in A.D. 1738. The alleged violation of promises by Mohammad Shah, served as the Casus belli for his invasion. As the Mughals had sadly neglected the north-east frontier, Nadir easily captured Ghazni. Then whole province of the Punjab was thrown into great confusion and disorder while the pleasure-loving emperor and the Carpet-Kinghts of his court, whose conduct during Nadir's invasion "forms a tale of disgraceful inefficiency amounting to imbecility, did nothing to oppose him.

Emperor Mohammad Shah (A.D. 1719-1748) with an enormous army occupied a strongly fortified camp at Karnal. Nadir Shah marched to Tirawari which surrendered to him after a brief bombardment in February, 1739. Nadir Shah, now finding that dense jungles would impede a direct advance from the north of Karnal, inclined slightly to his right and encamped in open plain to the west of the town. He sent prince Nasrullah Mirza, his youngest son, with a considerable force to a spot north of the Shah Nahar close to Karnal. All this time Mohammad Shah was not aware that Nadir Shah was in such close neighbourhood. Just at this time a detachment sent by Nadir-Shah, instead of opposing Burhan-ul-Mulk came to close quarters with Mohammad Shah's camp. Nadir Shah and son marched to the support of this detachment and cut off Mohammad Shah's supplies from the open country in the rear, Mohammad Shah starved into submission, and yielded to the invader who led him in his train to Delhi. Balkrishan, the Rao of Rewari, who fought heroically at the head of an army of 5,000 strong against Nadir, was killed in this Battle. Nadir the victor, praised the late Rao's heroic deeds2.

In 1748 when Ahmad Shah Durani invaded the Punjab, the Mughal forces sent against him under Prince Ahmad, passed through Panipat and Karnal, and advanced to Machiwara on the Satluj. On the way back to Delhi, Prince Ahmad was crowned as emperor in the camp at Panipat; as Mohammad Shah had died at Delhi.

The struggle of Raja Balu

The role of the Raja of the then Bharatpur state in the middle of eighteenth century and the Raja of Ballabgarh (Ballu) can-not be underestimated from the history of Haryana. They put up stiff resistance against the later Mughals.

The exploits of Balram, popularly called Balu, came to prominence in the fifties of the 18th century, he was the son of a petty revenue collector of Faridabad3. Supported

1. Wolsely Haig, The Cambridge History of India, Vol. iv, (The Mughal Period), 1963, p.359.

2. Man Singh, Abhir Kula Dipika, (Urdu), 1980, Delhi, P. 110.

3. Faridabad District Gazetteer, 1994, P. 32.

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by his family connection with Badan Singh, the Jat Raja of Bharatpur, (d, June 7, 1756), he extended his power by seizing the neighbouring villages and ousting their lawful owners and the local magistrates. He killed Murtaza Khan, the local Mughal Government officer at Faridabad who had once imprisoned his father. He practically closed the Delhi-Agra road. He took full advantage of the ascendancy of the Bharatpur chiefs with the Mughal court. In 1739, Muhammad Shah, the Emperor gave the titles of Naib Bakshi and Rao to Balu. When after Muhammad Shah's death in 1748, Balu expelled the imperial outpost at Shamspur; Safdar Jang, the Wazir of the new Mughal emperor Ahmed Shah, sent a force there which was boldly resisted by Balu. Thereupon, Safdar Jang himself marched against him. The Wazir had only reached Khizirabad (probably on June 30, 1750) when Balram in terror came and made his submission through the Maratha envoy. He was sent back to his home after a few days, on his promise to be the Wazir's follower. He had built a mud fort and named it Ballabgarh1 (8 kilometers south of Faridabad), and by taking the lease of revenue collection of Palwal and Faridabad (which lay in the Nizam's jagir) soon made himself a district governor and noble (rai)2.

Balu then participated actively in the imperial politics. In 1752, when acute difference arose between the Wazir and the all-powerful eunuch Javed Khan, paramour of the Queen mother, Udham Bai or Nawab Qudsia Begum. Javed Khan employed Balu to create disturbances. Balu attacked Sikandrabad across the Yamuna, 51 Kilometres south east of Delhi, expelled the local Faujdar and plundered the city. Balu accompanied Suraj Mal to Delhi when the latter was called for counsel and assistance by Safdar Jang on the occasion of the murder of Javed Khan on August 27, 1752, by the Wazir.

Then began a civil war, Ahmad Shah dismissed Safdar Jang, and appointed Intizam-ud-daulah as new Wazir. Safdar Jang revolted and decided to try his strength. The emperor was supported by Intizam-ud-daulah and Mir Bakshi, Imad-ul-mulk. The Ruhelas led by Najib-ud-daulah, as well as the Marathas joined the emperor. In his struggle against the emperor, Safdar Jang won over Suraj Mal and Balu to his side. The civil war lasted for a year and a quarter. The city of Delhi, its environs, and the regions of Faridabad and Ballabgarh were the scenes of fighting. Safdar Jang established his headquarters at Sikri, 5 kilometers south of Ballabgarh, and with his Jat allies put up a stout resistance. However, after having been defeated, he fled to

1. The name is probably a corruption of Balramgarh, the fort of Balram, its founder, Balu had built this fort to celebrate his acquisition of the titles of Naib bakshi and Rao in 1739.

(Delhi District Gazetteer, 1883-84, pp. 212-13.)

2. Tarikh-i-Ahmed Shahi, ff : 22b-23a; Delhi Chronicle (a diary of events written in Delhi from 1738 to 1798). But Chahar Gulazar-i-Shujai of Harcharan-das (f. 402 a).


Avadh in November 1753. Imad-ul-mulk then tried to gain possession of the lost areas from the enemy.

Imad's chief agent, Aquibat Mahmud Khan, son of Murtaza Khan (who had been killed by Balu) opened the campaign of re-conquest on Faridabad side. Here the leading disturber of law and order was Balu. When Aqibat came with 500 Badakshis and 2,000 Maratha troopers and demanded the revenue of district (Faridabad) and the tribute due to the emperor, Balu offered fight. Imad sent 7,000 more troops and 30 pieces of light artillery with rockets to Aqibat to match the guns of Ballabgarh. After some fighting Balu made his submission, saw Aqibat and agreed to pay the rent and tribute due from him. Then Aqibat advanced to Palwal, about 23 kilometers south of Ballabgarh, but found the peasants afraid to pay him rent lest Balu should demand it again. The revenue collector of the place, whom Balu had ousted, told Aqibat that unless he captured Ballabgarh and killed Balu, he would fail to get control over the administration of the area. A thanedar sent by him to Fatehpur village was turned out at Balu's bidding. Aqibat, therefore, marched back to a plain near Ballabgarh and asked Balu to come and settle the revenue demand. Balu arrived with his Diwan, one son and an escort of 250 men. Aqibat demanded payment. The Jat Chief replied defiantly, "I have not brought the money in my pocket. I only promised to pay the tribute after collecting the rent. If you want to wrest this tract from me, you will have to fight for it."High words were exchanged and Balu in anger laid his hand on the hilt of his sword. But the Badakshis surrounding Aqibat's palki fell upon Balu and slew him with his son, his Diwan and nine other men (November 29,1753)1. The garrison of Ballabgarh kept up fire till midnight after which they evacuated the fort. Aqibat took possession of it with all its artillery and armament and gave up the other property within the fort to plunder by his soldiers. The areas were then conferred upon Imad.

Aqibat quickly followed up this success in other directions. In the following week, he sacked the walled villages of Mithaul and Hathin (19 kilomeres south and south-west of Palwal), where refractory peasants had fought all day and had fled away at night. He also attacked the small mud forts of the chief all around Palwal and brought them under his rule. Then after a visit to Delhi, he started (December 27) again for Faridabad, taking Khandoji Holker and his troops to assist him in the campaign. But he could not control this tract, as his soldiers refused to obey his

1. Tarikh-i-Ahmad Shahi, 89a-92a.

Khawajah-Aftab Khan, the Jamadar of Badakshis, who had cut off Balu's head, was rewarded with two pearl pendents taken from his ears. The head was exposed on pillar by the roadside near Faridabad (Ibid, ff. 92b, 98b). Ballabgarh was named Nizamgarh after Imad's new title Nizam-ul-Asaf (Ibid, f, 106b).

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agents, and the Jats seized the opportunity to expel the outposts set up by him at Hathin and other newly conquered places. So he appealed to his master to come in person and Imad marched from Delhi to Ballabgarh.

Khandoji Holker son of Malhar Rao Holker had encamped at Hodal (27 Kilometres south of Palwal) and sent detachments which plundered the Jat villages all around, even as far as Barsana (19 kilometres) and Nandgaon (27 Kilometres) south of Hodal, ousting Jawahir Singh, Suraj Mal's son from these and establishing Maratha posts there (end of December,1753). This strengthened Aqibat's position and he sacked the village of Ghangaula (14 kilometres south-west of Ballabgarh) belonging to a brother of Balu and planted his own thana there (January 5, 1753). On January 8, Imad advanced from Ballabgarh to Palwal and got into touch with Khandoji at Hodal. The fort of Ghasera (24 Kilometres west of Palwal) had been wrested by Suraj Mal from Bahadur Singh, Bar-Gujar, the Faujdar of Chakla Koli (Aligarh)1. On April 23, 1753, after that chieftain had slain his women and rushed to death in battle at the head of 25 desperate followers, Imad appointed Bahadur's son, Fateh Singh, master of his father's fort, which the Bharatpur garrison had evacuated in terror. Thus a mortal enemy of the Jats was planted there with orders to attack their hamlets around.

In short, most of the homes on both banks of the Yamuna now fell into Imad's hands and his rule was established even as far south as Mathura and Agra from where many Hindus had fled away. Another officer expelled the Jat force that had seized Koli (Aligarh) and Jalesar. Imad sent his men to restore the civil administration in all along disturbed places and to induce the peasants to return to cultivation. Soon afterwards the Marathas laid seige to Kumher in Bharatpur and he was called there2. In February 1756, Aqibat squeezed the peasants of Rewari and other places. But shortly afterwards the Jats again began to assert themselves and recovered their power to a large extent.

During his fourth invasion in 1756, Ahmed Shah Abdali encountered Marathas at Faridabad and sacked and burnt the town. In 1757, Ahmed Shah Abdali marched down the west bank of the Yamuna, by way of Khizrabad and Badarpur, to a place about 10 kilometres south of Ballabgarh. His objectives were Suraj Mal's strongholds of Kumher and Dig. At first, he left Ballabgarh untaken in his rear. But as his foragers, spread over a vast area, approached this place, the Jat garrison attacked them, slaying and wounding many. There-after fort of Ballabgarh was attacked and captured. After the capture of Ballabgarh, Ahmed Shah Abdali set forth for Mathura still held by the Jats under Suraj Mal.

1. Bharatpur District Gazetteer, 1971, p. 64 (Rajasthan).

2. Tarikh-i-Ahmed Shahi, ff. 93b, 94b, 102a, 104b, 107a.


The Maratha domination over Punjab could give no peace to the province, Adnabeg died on the 13th October, 1758 and the whole of Punjab fell into anarchy and confusion affecting Maratha interests. To remove this, the Peshwa sent a strong force there under Datta ji Sindhia in 1759, and the latter placed Sabaji Sindhia as governor there. But the province was soon invaded by a strong Durani army, and by the end of November, 1759, the Punjab was finally lost to the Delhi empire. Ahmad Shah Abdali then marched towards Delhi. Abdali defeated Datta ji Sindhia at Thanesar towards the end of December, 1759, and compelled him to fall back towards Delhi. Maratha general was killed by the Afghans at Barari Ghat on 9th January, 1760. From the fatal field of Barari ghat the Maratha army fled headlong towards the south-west, with the fresh Durani horse men on their heels.

Third Battle of Panipat (1761)

The royal armies at Panipat ._ On 7th October, 1760, the Bhau left Delhi to capture Kunjpura so as to drive the Abdali to north and relieve pressure on Delhi; instructing Govind Pant Bundele to cross into the Doab and devastate Reuhelkhand. He captured Kunjpura on 17th and took Najabat Khan, its Commandant, prisoner. The latter died of his wounds, while his important colleagues were put to death.

The provisions and money acquired at Kunjpura relieved Maratha distress for some time. The news of the fall of Kunjpura came like a shock to Abdali invader who decided for an immediate attack and crossed the Yamuna at Baghpat, north of Delhi. On 25th October, 1760, proceeding along the right bank of the river, he arrived at Sonipat when the Bhau received news of this great feat on the part of the invader, he turned back from north and arrived at Panipat within 6 kilometres of the Abdali's troops. About the end of October, the two armies sighted each other and had slight skirmishes. As the Bhau found the enemy prepared for a combat, he gave up his original plan of a surprise attack and on the advice of Abrahim Gardi entrenched himself on the plain to the south of the town of Panipat with a view to remaining on the defensive and not to attacking the Abdali invader until he had been weakened by starvation.

He was encumbered with a large number of non-combatants, including women, and therefore, ruled out a bold attack for cutting through the enemy's ranks as an obvious impossibility. The Maratha camp extended for 7 kilometres from east to west and was two kilometres deep north to south. A large trench, about 25 yards broad, and six yards deep, surrounded it which was further protected by an earthen wall upon which heavy artillery was arranged. The Abdali's camp lay about 5 kilometres south with the village of Sonipat at his back. It was also fortified with trenches and abatis of felled trees.

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The Bhau was in high spirits for several days after his arrival at Panipat, instructed Govind Pant Bundele to raid Ruhelkhand and send him provisions and funds. But the position was reversed when the Abdali moved his camp quite close to the bank of the Yamuna which assured him plentiful supply of water and easy communication with the Doab which being in Najib's Possession sent him regular supplies of grain and fodder. Moreover, the Abdali posted strong guard all round the Maratha camp and cut off the Maratha supplies and communications with Doab, Delhi and Rajputana. The country in the north was yet open to the Marathas, but as the Abdali recaptured Kunjpura soon after, the Maratha communications with the Punjab too were snapped. On account of the development there was a considerable suffering in the Maratha camp. No supplies could reach the Bhau from any quarter and for two months, no news from Panipat reached the Dakin.

In spite of the great distress, the Bhau did not lose courage and from

Ist November, 1760 to 14th January, 1761 fought several skirmishes with the enemy, which however, did not produce any decisive results. On 19th November, Ibrahim Gardi's brother Fateh Khan made a surprise night attack on the Abdali's camp, but was repulsed. On 22nd November Jankoji Sindhia attacked the Abdali's Wazir and pursued him right upto his camp, but had no return for want of proper support from the Peshwa's troops. On 7th December Najib attacked a party of Marathas in which more than 300 Rulelas were killed. On 17th December Najib's Ruhelas surprised Govind Pant Bundele who was collecting provisions at Jalabad in the south-west of Ghaziabad, and put him to death. Maratha army was now in the grip of starvation. The Bhau established mints in the camp and melted down gold and silver ornaments into coins for purchasing grains, the price of which had run very high, but even this did not suffice for more than two weeks. Driven to desperation the Bhau made his last attempt to negotiate peace with the Abdali; offering him a heavy war indemnity, but the proposal was rejected on the advice of Najib.

Actual Fighting Between The Rival Armies

The Bhau was now anxious to have a final combat with the enemy as soon as possible, but Abdali was not in hurry to provoke the Marathas and asked his impatient allies to leave the military operation to him but not to bother him with politics.

The Marathas had no food to eat and their chiefs approached the Bhau to fight without delay. "It is now two days since we have had anything to eat," they said. " Do not let us perish in this misery. Let us make one spirited attack against the enemy and whatever is our destiny that will happen". The Bhau decided for a final battle. On the advice of Ibrahim Gardi, the whole force was to move slowly in a square formation,


all the four sides of which were to be protected by heavy artillery. The ladies and non-combatants were to be put in the centre and the whole mass was to move in a block under the protection of Ibrahim Khan's cannon".

In this formation the Maratha troops moved out for attack early in the morning of 14th January, 1761. The Bhau made one final attempt to avoid the conflict and sent a note to Keshraj, a Maratha officer in the service of Shuja-ud-daula, saying, "the cup full to brim, not a drop more can it contain. Please let me have a final reply on the adjustment of the dispute". On the 14th morning the note was delivered to the Shah who wanted a day to think over the matter. It was now too late, for the Maratha army was already in the field.

The Maratha army, 45,000 strong with a large number of non-combatants in the centre, advanced slowly but their original plan of mass movement could not be carried out. The Bhau, therefore, reformed his troops in a long line, taking his stand in the centre along with Vishvas Rao, both riding on a magnificent war elephants with the Bhagwa Jhanda in their front. To his left was stationed Ibrahim Gardi with his regular battalions, and Damji Gaikwar on his immediate right. On the Bhau's right Malhar Rao Holkar and Janko ji Sindhia took their stand. The Bhau did not keep any part of his troops in reserve.

The Maratha made a desperate attack attempting to rush through the enemy ranks which consisted of 60,000 combatants, half of whom were foreigners and almost all were cavalry men with a small number of foot soldiers. The enemy centre was commanded by the Abdali's wazir Shah Wali Khan who had the select Durani cavalry under his charge. Shah Parasand Khan and Najib-ud-daula were posted on the left flank, forcing Jankoji Sindhia and Malhar Ro Holkar-Shuja-ud-daula was stationed between the Abdali Wazir and Najib-ud-daula. On the right flank were Barkhurdar Khan and Amir Beg at the head of Ruhela and Mughal contingents. The Abdali himself took his stand at the back of his centre near a picked reserve so as to keep his eye on the development of the action in the various parts of the field.

The Maratha attack began at about 9 in the morning with a fierce discharge of artillery and rockets from Ibrahim Gardi's heavy guns. Gardi's first attack was made on Hafiz Rahmat Khan, Dunde Khan and Ahmad Khan Bangash. The Ruhelas fought bravely, but Ibrahim's guns slew and wounded 8 to 9 thousand of them and pressed them back. The Gardi-Ruhela duel lasted 3 hours after which in the confused hand to hand to hard fighting with the help of fresh Afghan-troops sent by Abdali, the Gardi battalions were almost annihilated.While this contest was going on, the Abdali's centre under his wazir was attacked by the Bhau with the whole of the Maratha household cavalry.

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In spite of the Afghan resistance, the Marathas broke through three of their lines. Shah Wali Khan was bewildered. He dismounted his horse and made a vain attempt to rally his men saying,"Our country is far away, friends, whither do you fly?"

But none listened to him. It seemed, therefore, that the battle was going on against Abdali whose right flank was turned, the centre was broken and only the left was holding its own. The desperate resistance of Najib-ud-daula to a Maratha charge ultimately saved the situation. The Ruhela contingent that faced Jankoji Sindhia and Malhar Rao Holkar, was much superior in number to that of the Marathas but there being a secret understanding between Najib and Malhar Rao Holkar, the latter fled from the field, leaving Jankoji Sindhia to his fate. At this time, the Abdali threw in his fresh reserves and sent round his military police to force the stragglers who were running away to the rear, to proceed to the front. He posted 4,000 men to cover his right and despatched 10,000 troops to reinforce his wazir Shah Wali Khan with instructions to charge his sword in hand. At the same time, he ordered Shah Parasand Khan and Najib-ud-daula to take the Maratha centre in flank.

The Afghan swivel guns mounted on camels were now ordered to fire. The enemy camels galloped along the lines and began firing swivel from their saddles into the closed ranks of the Marathas. The simultaneous counter attcks by fresh troops launched all along the lines at the same time when the Marathas were tired and hungry, brought about their collapse. Still they contested the ground, inch by inch, and for full two hours; there was such a deadly struggle that nothing could be seen or heard except the clash and battles of weapons and battle cries of rival armies.At about

2.15 p.m. a chance bullet struck vishvas Rao and killed him. The Bhau now desperately threw himself on the enemy, fought for some times and was killed in the confusion. At this all of a sudden the Maratha resistance collapsed. "All at once," writes kashraj," as if by enchantment the whole Maratha army turned their backs and fled at full speed; leaving the field of battle covered with heaps of dead". The Afghans pursued them to their camp and gave them no quarter. They mercilessly slew at the stragglers that they could find. The slaughter went on during the night also and through the next day. The entire Maratha camp was plundered and women children converted into slaves.

When the sun rose on the 15th January, 1761, the magnitude of the Maratha losses was revealed to the world. "The field of battle looked like a tract sown with tulips, and as far as the sight could extend, nothing could be discovered but bodies stretched at the foot of bodies, as if they had been asleep or marshalled by art". Thirty two heaps of the slain were counted, each with 500 to 1,000 dead bodies, the total reaching 28,000.Almost an equal number of dead bodies was found lying in the ditches and around the camp.


Nearly 9,000 who had concealed themselves in the town of Panipat were slaughtered in cold blood. Kashraj who was himself a Maratha and eye witness describes the fanatical fury of the Abdali Afghan in these words :
"Every Durani soldier brought a hundred or two of prisoners and slew them in the outskirts of their camps, crying out," When I started from my own country, my mother, my father, sister and wife told me to slay as many as kafirs for their sake, after we had gained the victory in this holy war, so that the religious merit of this act (of infidel slaying) might go to them.

In this way thousand of soldiers and other prisoners, were massacred. In the Shah's camp, except the quartering of himself and his nobles, every tent had a heap of severed heads before it. One may say that it was really the doomsday for the Maratha people. Among the notables that fell on the field were Vishvas Rao, the eldest son of the Peshwa, the Bhau himself, Jaswant Rao Pawar, Tukoji Sindhia and a few others. Jankoji Sindhia was severely wounded and later put to death. Ibrahim Gardi was taken prisoner and also put to death. Malhar Rao Holkar had fled from the field leaving the Jankoji Sindhia to his fate, and he safely reached Poona.Mahadji Sindha, though wounded and lamed for life,saved himself by flight.Antaji Mankeshwas was killed by the Bluchs of Farrukhnagar.In short, the Maratha casualties were estimated at 75,000. " There was not a home in Maharastra that had not to mourn the loss of a member, and several houses lost their heads, and entire generation of leaders was cut off at one stroke" 1.

About 25,000 Marathas escaped and saved their lives.These included 8,000 who had taken shelter in the camp of Shuja-ud-daula who generously offered them protection and had them escorted to Suraj Mal's territory, financing the journey from his own pocket. Suraj Mal, forgetting the wrong done to him by the Holkar and Sindhia, did his utmost to provide shelter, food, clothes and medical aid to countless Maratha refugees 2.

The great historian Sir Jadu Nath Sarkar who says that "a dispassionate survey of Indian history will show how unfounded this (Marathas) chauvinistic claim is. A Maratha army did, no doubt, restore the exiled Mughal emperor to the capital of his forefathers in 1772, but they came then not as a king makers, not the dominators of Mughal empire and the real masters of his nominal minister and generals. That proud position was secured by Mahadji Sindhia only in 1789 and by the British in 1803".

1. Jadu Nath Sarkar : Fall of the Mughal Empire, Volume-II, p.257.

2. A.L.Shrivastava : The Mughal Empire, 1993, p.473.

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The main cause of defeat was : Above all, by their (Marathas ) wanton aggression and grasping interference with the people of northern India including the Rajput chiefs and the Jat Raja of Bharatpur (Surajmal) for more than ten years, the Marathas had alienated the sympathies of the Hindus and Musalmans alike. The people of northern India did not, therefore raise their little finger to help the Bhau in his distress.In as much as popular sympathy and support constitute a second time of defence, the Maratha disaster at Panipat must be ascribed to the people's antipathy as well.

Hari Ram Gupta, an eminent historian, is of the view that the real importance of the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 lies in a different directions .He further says,

"in the middle of the eighteenth century, two strong powers, namely, the Marathas and Afghans, made efforts for supremacy in India, and for some time(1750 to 1761) it was quite an open question which power would reach its goal. At that time only the first glow of a third power, namely, English was discernible in the Indian political horizon. Ahmad Shah's invasion resulted in the rout of the Marathas and in inflicting blows to the tottering edifice of the Mughal empire which it was all equipped to sustain. The Mughal empire, in consequence, became a broken wreak with a swarm of plunderers quarrelling over its fragments. Panipat, for all intents and purposes sounded the death-knell of Mughal empire. As it was, the destruction of the Maratha power did nothing to hold together the various states into which the empire had been broken, or to restore the power and authority of the emperor" 1.

After the Third Battle of Panipat, the Marathas lost courage to go to their native place but many of the families resided at various places in Haryana. The details are as under :-

Name of the place No. of the families settled

1. Kaithal 80

2. Assandh, Buichpur 40

3. Karnal, Panipat, Shahbad & Hat 9

4. Kheora, Murthal, Pinana, Sarogthal. 2

5. Sikandarpur Majra 500 Maratha Brahmans

Kheri, Dadri and Rothak etc.

6. Hansi and Narwana 90

7. Bhiwani and Phurlak 2

1. Dr. Hari Ram Gupta : Maratha And Panipat, 1961, pp. 263-64.


8. Rithal near Rohtak 15

9. Girawar, Kharanthi Renhry 50

States, Karmla(Jind district)

10. Julana Mandi 10

11. Paincear, Kharkhauda and Mai near Majra 6

12. Brahmandas near Julana and Rob 15
13. Manodothi near Asodha 20

14. Chhatera Basoma and Jhamri, Shaledas,

Thana (on Rohtak-Kosli Road) 150

15. Kanaud and Landioni 7

16. Jaiwanti near Bahadurgarh 7

Among the descendants of the Maratha soldiers are some belonging to Vatsa gotra or the Varchhas gotra and others to the Chipavan gotra which is said to be the gotra of the Peshwas of Maharastra.
Suraj Mal was emboldened by the defeat of Marathas in the 3rd Battle of Panipat in 1761, attempted to capture large parts of Haryana. He also sent his son Jawahar Singh to attack on Musavi Khan, the Mughal faujdar of Gurgaon and Rohtak. He himself followed the army. Musavi Khan was arrested and Farukhnagar, the headquarters of Musavi Khan was captured by Suraj Mal in December, 1763 1.He also conquered the territories of Pataudi, Rewari and Rohtak. He also repulsed the attack of Bahadur Khan, the Biloch leader of Bahadurgarh, who was defeated and his territory was also occupied. These incidents, on the other hand, alarmed Najib-ud-daula who demanded the immediate release of Musavi Khan. Suraj Mal accepted his demand. However, Najib-ud-daula attacked Suraj Mal and killed him in a battle near the river Hinden on December 25, 1763. His death was a great loss to the Jats particular and Hindus in general. In fact, he was the man who was loved by Jats, respected by his neighbours and feared by foreigners2.

Najib-ud-daula had to fight with the people of Rohtak and Hissar who refused to pay land revenue. In December, 1765, he attacked the village of Kaluwas (near Rohtak) and set it on fire. The villagers sought safety in flight, but some of them were slain or made prisoners. The adjoining areas of Bhiwani district were also plundered.

1. S.C.Mittal, Haryana : A Historical Perspective, 1986, p. 4.

2. J.N. Sarkar : Najib-ud-daula as Dictator of Delhi, Islamic Culture, Vol. VII, 1934, p. 625.

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The murder of Suraj Mal embittered his son, Jawahar Singh.He made friendship with the Sikhs to continue struggle against Najib-ud-daula. But he had to leave the territories of Haryana. By instigation of Raja of Jaipur, Jawahar Singh was assassinated in August, 1768 in Agra fort.Najib-ud-daula troubled the turbulent peasantry of Haryana. Due to the prevailing anarchy and confusion, the peasants of Sonipat district revolted against Delhi Sarkar and refused to pay revenue. Their leaders belonged to a body of village Buana 1. He sacked the villages and slaughtered the inhabitants. Nearly two thousand men were slain and about the same number of women and children were carried away.

Following the death of Najib-ud-daula in 1770, his son Zabita Khan had occupied the districts around Delhi in the name of Emperor Shah Alam II who was in exile at Allahabad. But on the occupation of the capital and the Red Fort by the Marathas in February 1771, Visaji Krishan was appointed by Mirza Jiwan Bakht, the Crown Prince, as collector of the districts around Delhi, especially to the north, which Najib had so long appropriated to himself 2.

Mirza Najaf Khan was appointed Second Paymaster General of the Mughal empire on June 5, 17733. He set himself to raising a new army for the emperor, with his usual energy. The response for recruits was prompt and ample in the country around Delhi, especially the Baluch colonies in Mewat. But the main difficulty was how to feed and equip this force. An attack upon the Jat Raja of Bharatpur, was decided upon as the only course left. Against such an adversary, the Jats were hopelessly outclassed. They were already torn by family dissensions between Nawal Singh, the regent of the minor ruler, Kesri Singh, and his brother, Ranjit Singh. Balu's sons had also defected as the Jat Government had dismissed them from service and wrested their fort. Although they died just at the same time, their successors nursed a deep grudge against the Bharatpur ruler.

The Mughal general set out from Delhi on September 24, 1773. He had already captured the mud fort of Midangarhi (e, August 17), 21 kilometres south of Delhi. His lieutenant, Najaf Quli Khan, had despoiled the Jat detachment which, issuing from Farrukhnagar, had attacked the garhi of Hansaru, west of Gurgaon. Marching by way of Barapula and Badarpur, Najaf Khan reached Ballabgarh. Here he received a highly important accession to his strength in the person of Ajit Singh son of Kishan

1. Father Francosis Xareir Wendel : Accounts of Jats (in French ) quoted by J.n. Sarkar, Vol.II, p. 390, 1971.

2. Jadunath Sarkar, Fall of The Mughal Empire. Volume III, (1771-1788), 1964, p. 21.

3. Ibid. p. 62.


Singh and Hira Singh son of Bishan Singh, the dispossessed heirs of Balu1. They offered to assist the imperial forces with their local knowledge and influence if Najaf Khan would promise to restore their patrimony to them after it had been wrested from the Jat Raja's agents. The defection of such men at the very outset of the campaign "broke the waist of Nawal Singh's resolution", and he fell back from his first post of Bawnikhera (Bamnikhera), about 10 kilometres south of palwal to Banchari, about 15 kilometres further south, where he entrenched his camp. While Mirza Najaf himself halted at Sikri-Fatehpur Biluch, 8 kilometres south of Ballabgarh and about 15 kilometres north of Palwal, Najaf Quli Khan who had just arrived from his successful operations on Rewari side, was sent off with the vanguard (October 8) to clear the way. Najaf Khan advanced, daily fighting, skirmishing and driving back the Jat patrols. No where was any stout defence offered, and the villages in the north of Jat territory lay helpless before the imperial army.

So greatly were the Hindu troops demoralised by the example of their craven chief that one day (October 11) they abandoned their camp at Banchari in a ridiculous panic. While they were at their midday meal, they mistook a dust cloud in the west for the approach of Najaf Khan's army and fled away in fear, leaving their entire camp as it was. The cloud moved like a spiral. The villagers of Banchari, on seeing the helpless condition of the fugitives, looted their camp. On the news of this reaching Najaf Khan's encampment in the rear, every man went out of it and looted what remained of the rival camp, and at night fell back to their own base.Nawal Singh took refuge near Kotvan, about 7 Kilometres south of Hodal (and 13 kilometres south-east of Banchari) amidst its abundance of jungles and broken ground.

After skirmishes for ten days, a decisive battle was fought on October 30, midway between Sahar and Barsana.Najaf Khan's superior generalship gave him victory over the Jat chief. In the strategic moves before the battle of Barsana, the imperialists had marched southwards along the eastern route from Hodal by Chhata and Sahar, leaving Kotvan untaken behind them.Kotvan which was held by Sitaram, the father-in-law of Nawal Singh, was also taken by the end of November, 1773. Agra fell on February 18, 1774. The fort of Ballabgarh was captured from the Jat Raja's garrison on April 20, 1774, and Farrukhnagar on May 6. Ajit Singh and Hira Singh were restored the pargana of Ballabgarh, Ajit Singh was formally entitled `Raja' and Hira was called `Raja' as also `Salar Jang'.

1. Delhi District Gazetteer, 1883-84, p. 213 : Hira Singh is said to be the son of Rao Kishan Dass, which is apparently wrong. He was the son of Bishan Singh. It has also been wrongly recorded that the sons of Balu dismissed from service in 1774. This surely took place in 1773.

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Meanwhile, Abdul Ahad Khan, the Deputy Wazir, after gaining unrivalled sway over the emperor's mind, was playing a double game. He pointed out that all the conquests made by Mirza Najaf had merely strengthened him without bringing the least gain in territory or revenue to the emperor, though the emperor's personal troops had cooperated with Najaf's in making those acquisitions. The emperor's poverty had, in fact, only deepened in consequence of Najaf's adventures. The district around Delhi, north and west, which had formerly belonged to the emperor's privypurse, as well as the recent conquests from the Jats to the south-west of Delhi and in the mid Doab, had all been appropriated by Mirza's officers on the plea of providing their soldiers pay. His lieutenant, Najaf Quli Khan, had occupied Mewat and Rewari. With all such arguments, Abdul Ahad tried to set the emperor against Mirza Najaf and his intrigues continued for quite a few years while the Mirza was again campaigning Bharatpur (1775-77) and Alwar (1778). Abdul Ahad pointed out that not a single pice of revenue had been paid to the emperor. No share of the spoils of war had also been credited to the public treasury. If the emperor himself marched into Rajputana, the rajas and chiefs were sure to present themselves and offer tribute. The emperor yielded to his exhortations and leaving Delhi on November 10, 1778 for Jaipur, reached Rewari in the third week of December. Mitrasen Ahir of Rewari was interviewed and saddled with a tribute of Rs. 1,25,000. The emperor returned to Delhi in

April, 1779.

The Sikh-Raids and their Relations with Mughals and Marathas

Ahmad Shah Durrani retired from Punjab in December , 1762. Thereafter, Sikhs appeared on the scene in Karnal, Ambala and Panipat areas.They defeated and killed Zain Khan, the Durrani Governor of Sirhind, and took possession of the whole of Sirhind province as far south as Panipat 1.

The noted Sikh chiefs who commanded sub-contingents of troops under the Misaldars at once dispersed in various directions and according to their strength seized what fell in the way of each. Raja Gajpat Singh seized Jind, Safidon, Panipat, Karnal, Bazidpur and Rohtak; Mehar Singh Nirmala seized the paragana of Shahbad and Ismailabad; Sahib Singh and Gurdit, both brothers, seized Ladwa, Indri, Babain and Shamgarh territories consisting of 117 villages; Bhai Mit Singh together with his two nephews, Bhanga and Bhagi Singh, seized the territories of Pehowa and the suburbs of Thanesar. Duleha Singh Karorsinghia occupied Radaur and Damli. The Afghan Nawab of Kunjpura managed with difficulty to retain the total revenue of a

1. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, Vol. I, 1952, pp. 197-213.


number of estates; in case of others he was forced to give a share to Shamgarh chief and the Sikhs of Churne 1.

Ahmad Shah Durrani, after the battle of Jullunder Doab with the Sikhs, reached Kunjpura by the end of February, 1765. There he halted for some days and discussed plans of action to be adopted in order to crush the Sikhs, but weather conditions being unfavourable, he decided to return to Afghanistan.

Amir-ul-Umara Najib-ud-daulah, the Bakshi of the Mughal empire, then held the charge of Hariyana. Soon after the Diwali celebrations (October 14) of 1765 at Amritsar, the Sikhs made for Hariyana and commenced plundering Najib's villages. Najib-ud-daulah, who had anticipated this irruption and had been making preparations, marched to oppose their advance, and met them near Shamli, 12 miles (19 kilometres) east of Karnal. After having fought for two days furiously, the Sikhs crossed the Yamuna with all their baggage and camp in the darkness. In the morning not one horseman of them was left 2.

The off and on plundering by the Sikhs in the paraganas of Karnal and Panipat continued in the following few years. Najib-ud-daulah fought many battles with them but was defeated in 17683. Later on, taking advantage of the illness of Najib-ud-daulah, the Sikhs launched their raids and arrived near Panipat on 4th January, 1770, plundering and ravaging the country as they went. Najib's eldest son, Zabita Khan, tried to oppose them, but he could not carry out his plans properly. The Sikhs plundered every village between Panipat and Delhi4.

On the death of Najib-ud-daulah on October 31, 1770, Zibita Khan succeeded to his estates including the district of Panipat. No sooner was the news of the removal of the strong hand of Najib-ud-daulah known to the Sikhs, than they carried several plundering raids into the Panipat area5. Complete anarchy prevailed in the tract in which were situated the towns of Sonepat (Sonipat), Panipat and Karnal. It formed a sort of no-man's land between the Sikh and Maratha powers,coveted by both but protected by neither. It fell a victim to every freebooter who happened to come that way6.

Mughal Ali Khan, the Governor-designate of Sirhind helped by Daler Khan, son of Nijabat Khan of Kunjpura, with a body of 500 horse was attacked near Kunjpura

1. Karnal District Gazetteer. 1918, p.21.

2. Buddha Prakasha, Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967, p. 60.

3. Ibid. p. 62.

4. Ibid. p. 63.

5. Ibidem, p. 67.

6. Imperial Gazetteer of India,Provincial Series, Punjab, Volume 1, 1908, p.303.

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by Sahib Singh, Dyal Singh, Dana Singh and Laja Singh with a body of 6,000 horse. Severe fighting took place and continued the whole day in which about 500 men were killed on both sides. In the darkness of the night Mughal Ali Khan and Daler Khan repaired to the fort. The Sikhs immediately besieged it. Hostilities continued for thirteen days. On the next day the Mughal soldiers were defeated and on the advice of Daler Khan, Mughal Ali retired to Delhi1.

Mughal Ali's defeat was a great shock to the Mughal emperor, but the pleasure-seeking court of Delhi swallowed the bitter pill without showing any sign of their displeasure. The success of the Sikhs, however, alarmed Janko Rao, the Maratha chief stationed at the capital. At the head of a strong force he marched from Delhi into Panipat and Karnal districts2. His movements caused consternation among the Sikh chiefs of the Cis-Satluj, who believed that the Maratha chief was coming to punish them. The Maratha General, however, showed no signs of hostility, and did not advance farther than Pehowa3. The purpose of his visit was partly to take a religious bath in the holy stream and partly to find out if the Sikhs were up to any other mischief. On his return after a short while, the Sikh chiefs of the neighbourhood heaved a sigh of relief.

In 1774, Gajpat Singh seized Karnal.Shortly afterwards Najaf Khan, the Imperial Wazir, marched in person to restore his authority, and by a treaty concluded between the Rajas and the emperor, the Sikhs relinquished their conquests in Karnal and its neighbourhood, excepting seven villages which Gajpat Singh was allowed to keep and which probably included Shera, Majra, Jatan, Dharmgarh, Bal Jatan and Bala4.

Samru, the deputy of Faujdar of Sirhind, was assigned the districts of Sonipat (Sonepat) and Panipat and was authorised to possess himself of whatever territory he could wrest from the Sikhs, in particular from Gajpat Singh of Jind, whose territory lay quite adjacent to the area under his charge.

Samru took charge of his post early in July, 1774 at the head of nearly 2,000 soldiers, some of whom were Europeans, with five pieces of cannon, a considerable quantity of ammunition and six elephants. He garrisoned Gharaunda which had been evacuated by the Sikhs who assembled at Karnal. Samru finding that his position was not tenable, resigned his job. Just about this time, on a request from Warren Hastings, Governor of Bengal (1772-1785), Samru was dismissed from the service by the emperor5.

1. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, Volume II, 1944, pp. 46-7.

2. Ibid. pp. 47-8.

3. L. H. Griffin, The Rajas of the Punjab, 1870, p. 38.

4. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1918, p. 22.

5. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, Volume II, 1944, pp. 52-3.


Accompanied by Prince Mirza Jahan Shah Farkhunda Bakht, Nawab Abdul Ahad Khan left Delhi for Patiala to deal with the Sikh menace in June, 1779, with 50.000 horse and foot and 200 pieces of cannon and marched along the western bank of the Yamuna. In July they were encamped at a distance of two kos from Panipat. At Karnal many Sikh chiefs including Sahib Singh Khondah, Diwan Singh, Baghel Singh and Karam Singh Nirmala waited upon the Nawab; but the Prince was not happy to have the Sikhs in his army. Gajpat Singh, a zamindar of Karnal, the most loyal Sikh sardar of the emperor, on paying homage to the Mughal prince, was made to pay a tribute of two lakhs of rupees. Abdul Ahad Khan received three lakhs of rupees as tribute from another Sikh chief, Desu Singh of Kaithal and took his son, Lal Singh as a hostage for the payment of one lakh more. Bhanga Singh and Bhag Singh also joined the imperial camp at Thanesar on the 12th September.

Abdul Ahad moved his camp towards Patiala on the 22nd September, and crossed the Saraswati stream near Pehowa. He encamped at Siyana Sayadan (about 6 kilometres north of Pehowa). On the 27th, camp moved forward and on the 28th Abdul Ahad marched on to Ghuram (about 24 kilometres south of Patiala), which became the base of operations of the Imperial forces. At this stage, the Karnal contingent deserted him and the Nawab was forced to fall back to Panipat. The Sikhs plundered everything they could lay their hands on during his retreat.

Thereafter, complete anarchy prevailed in the Cis-Satluj country which was accentuated by internecine warfare among the Sikh chiefs themselves, Sahib Singh Khondah, Dulcha Singh, Bhag Singh and other Sikhs attacked Thanesar to oust Bhanga Singh. They also asked Zabita Khan, the Mir Bakshi of Delhi, to help them in expelling Desu Singh's sons from Kaithal and to acknowledge their rule over Thanesar.

Mirza Shafi, assisted by Zabita Khan was appointed in charge of a regular campaign against the Sikhs. Shafi maintained his ground at Kunjpura for two months. When the Sikhs entered the Ganga Doab, he chased them back into the Cis-Satluj territory. Husanpur was plunderd, and Baghel Singh's military post was expelled from Indri. The guerilla tactics of the Sikhs gave him no peace, and his temporary successes achieved no lasting results. The Amils (Mughal officers in charge) of Buriya, Sadhaura and Shahabad (Shahbad) were given no rest by the Sikhs. They continued harassing the Amil of Shahabad (Shahbad), who in spite of his precarious condition and repeated appeals received no reinforcements. Ultimately he surrendered. This fact greatly disheartened Shafi who made a pathetic appeal to Delhi for reinforecement. In June 1781, Shafi sent Jai Singh Rai to Diwan Singh, Baghel Singh and Gurdit Singh to settle terms of peace. He offered them Radaur, Babain and Shamgarh in return for the booty of Shahbad (Shahbad) but the Sikhs did not agree. He was then

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compelled to make peace with the Sikhs, generally on their own terms. Gajpat Singh was recognised as the ruler of Jind area with the title of Maharaja (July 12, 1781), and his tribute was fixed at rupees six lakh. Zabita Khan and Gajpat Singh interviewed the other Sikh chiefs and persuaded them to come to agreement with the Delhi Government. Thus the Mughal emperor of India formally accepted the sovereignty of the Sikhs over the country situated to the Upper Doab1. This peace was, however, short-lived. In 1782, Emperor Shah Alam was forced by circumstances to seek the protection of Mahadaji Sindhia and to appoint him Vakil-i-Mutliq (Regent Plenipotentiary)combining the office of the Wazir and the Commander-in-chief.

Sindhia dominated the politics of northern India for a decade to come. The presence of the Sikhs in the Ganga Doab greatly alarmed him. He took various steps to counteract this danger. He won over the celebrated Begam Samru of Sardana, a woman of masculine intrepidity and correct judgement, added several parganas to her jagir, some to the west of the Yamuna in order to keep a check upon the Sikhs. Ambaji Ingle was appointed Faujdar of the districts north of Delhi with the main object of protecting the capital from the Sikhs. At the same time he made a treaty with the Sikhs in 1785 which provided for the safety of crown-lands situated between Delhi and Panipat. Not content with this, Sindhia despatched his officers to various parts of the district to overawe the Sikhs into submission. The Marathas received submission from the Sardars of Thanesar and Kaithal and also received rupees five lakhs from Dewan Nanu Mall of Patiala. In 1787, Ambaji Ingle, under orders from Mahadji, led an expedition into the Sikh territory with the object of exacting tribute from the Sikh chiefs. After taking some action he appointed Bakshi Shyam Rao as his deputy at Karnal and returned to join Sindhia. Bakshi Shyam Rao, not being able to maintain his position at Karnal, handed it over to Bhag Singh of Jind and escorted by Diwan Singh proceeded to Delhi ceding Panipat to Begum Samru on the way.

When the Sikhs, offended the Marathas by offering asylum to the mother of Ghulam Kadir, the Rohilla chief who had captured Delhi in 1727, an expedition was launched against them. Rane Khan, Ali Bahadur and others, entrusted with this operation, crossed the Yamuna, reached Kunjpura and threatened to invade Patiala. But the expedition failed to achieve anything2. Encouraged by their success, the Sikhs assembled in large numbers to invade the Doab and ravaged the country lying between Karnal and Sonipat (Sonepat).

Curiously at this stage the Marathas were called upon to defend the Patiala territory. Nanu Mall sent his son to wait upon Sindhia and appeal to him for help.

1. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, volume II, 1944, pp. 123, 134-35.

2. Ganda Singh, The Maratha-Sikh Relations, Punjab, Past and Present, October, 1967, p. 341.


Upon this Sindhia dispatched Devji Gavle and Bapuji Malhar at the head of a force. About the end of May they reached Sonipat (Sonepat) where they plundered a few villages and realized fifty thousand rupees as tribute. The Maratha generals halted at Panipat and refrained from marching further into the heart of the Sikh country. Sindhia also sent Begam Samru to Panipat to join the two Maratha commanders. By now the Sikh chiefs had come to regard the Maratha raids as a normal occurrence and nobody took them seriously.

Devi Ditta, son of Dewan Nanu Mall of Patiala was staying in Sindhia's camp as a hostage for the tribute expected from Patiala. At Nanu Mall's death, Sindhia appointed him to the charge of the Karnal district with 500 Maratha troops in recognition of his valuable service. Devi Ditta led an expedition against the Ranghars of Gharaunda, and established peace and order. He also defeated Gurdit Singh of Ladwa who attacked Karnal. When he and later on, his brother Sipahi Mall fell fighting against the Ranghars, Karnal was seized by Bhanga Singh of Thanesar.

Nana Rao, a Maratha chief appointed to realize revenues from the Cis-Satluj Sikhs, soon found that his task was a difficult one. The fluid politics of the Sikh chiefs could not be relied upon. As he arrived at Panipat in 1795, several agents of the Sikh chiefs attended on him. He proceeded to Karnal and demanded a tribute of Rs. 5, 000 from Bhanga Singh of Thanesar. He also called Gulsher Khan, Karam Singh Nirmala, Gurdit Singh, Jodh Singh Kalsia and Rai Singh Bhangi for the same purpose. He helped Gulsher Khan, Nawab of Kunjpura to obtain Biana (about 26 kilometres north of Karnal) from Bhanga Singh of Thanesar. To achieve success Nana Rao exploited the mutual rivalries among the Sikhs and used one chief against another. Rai Singh Bhangi of Buriya saw through this game. He did not like the civil war among the Sikh chiefs at a time when the Marathas were staying in their country. His success in persuading the various Sikh chiefs to his view, therefore, made things difficult for Nana Rao who, however, pushed on his plan of attacking Thanesar.

Bhag Singh, quitted Thanesar and at the request of the Brahmans of Thanesar, Nana Rao spared the city and appointed one infantry regiment and five hundred horse to protect the town.

The Sikhs being disappointed at the loss of Thanesar tried to excite Lal Singh of Kaithal to claim it as it originally belonged to his family. On his refusal to do so they turned against him as he was proclaimed to be very rich, incited Nana Rao to demand a heavy tribute from him.They also advised Nana Rao to secure a large sum from Patiala 1.These demands of Nana Rao united Lal Singh and Bibi Sihib Kaur of Patiala, who was a woman of remarkable generalship and diplomacy. At the same

1. Dr. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs, volume II, 1944, pp. 256-60.

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time, Nana Rao was being pursued by Bhanga Singh of Thanesar who made night attacks on the Marathas. As his supplies were also running short, Nana Rao made up his mind to retreat. He failed to collect any tribute from Patiala. He only received

Rs. 5,000 from Karam Singh Nirmala in exchage for the fort of Gumthala (Thanesar tahsil) which belonged to Bhanga Singh.The latter, however crept back into Thanesar as the Marathas left.

History of Principalities1

The detailed history of the Kaithal, Ladwa, Thanesar and Kunjpura erstwhile States, cannot be given here. We can only mention the principal features relating to their origin and administration.

Kaithal in the time of Muhammad Shah (A.D. 1719-48) was a pargana consisting of 13 tappas. In A.D. 1733, it was held from the Delhi Government in jagir by one Qamr-ud-din Khan, a Baluch by tribe. This man was slain in the massacre of Delhi by Nadir Shah in A.D. 1739. Azimullah Khan, his successor, seeing the declining state of the empire, endeavoured to shake off his allegiance and assume independence. Ikhtiar Khan, an Afghan, was one of the principal zamindars whom he engaged. The latter sometimes paid but frequently resisted and appropriated the revenues.In A.D. 1751, Inayat Khan Afghan, an influential zamindar, persuaded the people to join him in resisting the demands of the Baluchis, raised a considerable force for the purpose and enjoyed the revenues himself.Matters continued in this state till 1755.

In A.D. 1756, Tahawwur Khan, brother of Qamr-ud-din, made an unsuccessful attempt to recover the Kaithal jagir from Inayat Khan. Thus ended the Baluch possession. The family of Inayat Khan continued in possession of Kaithal till A.D. 1767, when Bhai Desu Singh marched against Kaithal, which succumbed after a week resistance, and thus commenced the Sikh rule. Bhai Desu Singh built the original fort of Kaithal and several small forts around Kaithal, numerous kachcha dams along the Saraswati and brought a water- course from Mangna to Kaithal.

Of the three sons of Desu Singh, Khushhal Singh died in childhood. Bahal Singh succeeded to the rule as his elder brother, Lal Singh, was under restraint at Delhi. Lal Singh's mother obtained his release on payment of Rs. 40,000. He shortly returned and assumed the Government, driving his brother, who strongly opposed

1. For an account of the chiefs and families of note in the Karnal district, refer to L.H. Griffin, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab, Volume I, 1909,pp. 9-48.

2. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1918, pp. 30-31.


him, to Kularan. Bahal Singh acquired Budhlada, but was soon put to death by hired assassins.

Lal Singh proved the greatest chief of his dynasty.He was regarded as the most powerful of the Cis-Satluj Sardar after the Raja of Patiala. He is described as having been a very able man, though he was utterly untrustworthy, unscrupulous and of a violent disposition. He was held in some respect by the lesser chiefs who frequently submitted to his arbitration . He acquired large tracts of land by plundering his neighbours on all sides. He succeeded in regaining possession of the much coveted Thanesar which originally belonged to the Bhais of Kaithal, but that had been captured by their old rivals Bhanga Singh and Bhag Singh of the Dallewala Misl from Manjha. He did good service to Parron in defeating George Thomas, and was rewarded in consequence by the gift of paragana Sular on payment of a nazrana of Rs. 60,000, little better than one year's revenue. His services were acknowledged by Lord Lake by the grant of Gohana (Sonipat district) for life. He joined the British forces in the pursuit of Jaswant Ochterlony in the Gorkha War, and was liberally treated. He had been a firm ally of Raja Bhag Singh of Jind all his life, and on more than one occasion had come to his assistance in repelling the attacks of George Thomas.

Lal Singh resided chiefly at Kaithal. He added to the fort of Kaithal, and, in fact, may almost be said to have re-built it, for it was nothing but a mud building before. He ruled for 33years and died in A.D. 1818.

On Lal Singh's death, his sons, Partap Singh and Udai Singh, being 4 and 3 years old respectively, the Government carried on in the name of Partap Singh, under the regency of his mother (Sahib Kaur); but the boy only lived to the age of 12 years, and died of smallpox.

Udai Singh, still a boy, succeeded under the regency of his mother, who continued to exercise very great influence in public affairs even when he came of age. Udai Singh was a weak-minded youth, without ambition and without energy to keep what his father had acquired. During his chiefship the disorder and affrays on the Kaithal frontier became so serious, stopping all trade and disturbing the peace of the whole country, that a strong remonstrance was addressed by the British authorities to him and the neighbouring Sardars, who were jointly responsible for the good government of the area.

Udai Singh resided chiefly at Kaithal but went frequently to Pehowa , and both places bear witness of his taste for architecture. He enlarged and beautified the fort of Kaithal, built palaces there, after the model of Ochterlony's house at Karnal, only on a more imposing scale, and near it a bridge over the Bidkiyar lake. At Pehowa, the

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garden house is a credit to his architectural taste, but was left incomplete on his death. A masonry dam that he erected across the Saraswati, which threw water down but irrigating numerous villages for 16 miles (about 26 kilometres ) towards Kaithal, was destroyed by the British authorities after the escheat. In public Udai Singh was a tyrant. He was bedridden for some years of his later life, and died at Kaithal on March 14, 1843, when the greater part of the estate lapsed to the British.

Only that territory which was acquired by Gurbakhsh Singh, the original founder of the family, was conferred upon Bhai Gulab Singh and Bhai Sangat Singh of Arnoli, collaterals of Udai Singh in the third generation1.

This lapse was highly distasteful to the Phulkian chiefs of Patiala, Jind and Nabha, who, as relatives of the deceased, were desirous of retaining the possession in the family. But nothing came of their efforts to influence the British Government nor did the insurrection of the people who had been excited at the prospect of loss of Kaithal produce any result in spite of the fight they gave and Kaithal was finally taken over in 1843.


The founders of the Ladwa estate were Sahib Singh and Gurdit Singh who mastered Babain and Ladwa, Shamgarh, Sage, Karnal and some villages of Panipat. They had come from the Manjha,3 and established themselves at Babain and Ladwa. After the defeat of the Afghan at Sirhind in 1764 A.D., these Sardars lost Panipat and Karnal. Sahib Singh, who was afterwards killed in action near Karnal, bestowed Shamgarh on his brother-in-law, Kirpal Singh, who accompanied the confederacy in the conquest.

Gurdit Singh was succeeded by his son, Ajit Singh, who obtained the tittle of Raja from Lord Auckland for building a bridge over the Saraswati at Thanesar. He sided with the Sikhs during the First Anglo-Sikh War (1845-46)and was imprisoned at Allahabad. The estate lapsed in 1846.


The founder of the Kunjpura family was a Pathan named Nijabat Khan who flourished in the early part of the eighteenth century. He built a strong tower in the

1. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1918, p. 34.

2. Ibid.

3. The Manjha Sikhs inhabited the country in the Upper Bari Doab ; later the country also came to be Known as Manjha.

4. L.H. Griffin, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab, Volume I, pp. 13-23.


Yamuna marshes and named it Kunjpura, "The Heron's Nest 1". The Chakladar of Saharanpur, Izzat Khan, advanced against the freebooter but was killed by one of Nijabat Khan's relations.The Emperor of Delhi, hearing the death of his Chakladar, enticed Nijabat Khan through the intercession of Mulraj, Governor of Panipat and kept him there as a prisoner for one year. Eventually he was released; and his estate Nijabat Nagar, and other villages were granted to him in jagir on condition of his restraining the restless Jats and Rajputs from causing disturbances.

Nijabat Khan submitted to Nadir Shah in A.D. 1739 and supplied him with provisions. He became a Risaldar of 1,000 swars and was recognised as rightful owner of Kunjpura by the new power. The Maratha army under Sada Shiv Bhau plundered Kunjpura in 1760 when Nijabat Khan was killed. Nijabt's eldest son, Daler Khan succeeded in escaping across the Yamuna, and had his revenge in the following year by taking part in the battle of Panipat, when the Marathas suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Durranis.

Daler Khan's assistance to the Durranis was evidently of considerable value, and he was confirmed in the rule with the revenues of Kunujpura, Indri and Azimabad. The grant extended over 150 villages in Karnal, Indri, Thanesar, Shahabad (Shahbad) and Badauli. The mahals of Karnal and Safidon were afterwards bestowed in lieu of certain other villages resumed. Daler Khan and his successor Gulsher Khan had to struggle hard to maintain their position against the encroachments of the Sikhs. Some family possessions had to be surrendered, in other cases part of an estate was kept while the remainder was given.

The head of the Kunjpura house enjoyed the title of Nawab, and his jurisdiction as a semi-independent chief was only lost to him under the operations of Lord Hardinge's order in 1846.Thereafter the Nawabs of Kunjpura were mere Jagirdars, occasionally exercising judicial powers specially conferred. The Nawabs of Kunjpura migrated to Pakistan after the Partition and the estate was acquired as an evacuee property.


The founder of the Thanesar chiefship was Mith Singh. He belonged to Manjha and came to this region with the Dallewalia misl in company with his nephews, Bhag Singh and Bhanga Singh. The royal fort at Thanesar was held by the troops of the Bhais of Kaithal under the command of Desu Singh.Bhag Singh and Bhanga Singh waited their opportunity in the neighbourhood while Mith Singh advanced with the

1. His sons renamed the fort and called it Nijabat Nagar.

2. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1918, pp. 36-37.

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conquering Sikhs, and was killed at Meerut. Bhanga Singh and Bhag Singh, with assistance of the Ladwa Sardars and Karam Singh Nirmala of Shahbad(Shahbad), after one failure, made a successful night attack and possessed themselves of the fort of Thanesar. After the death of Bhai Desu Singh of Kaithal, a large part of his possessions in Indri and some estates near Pehowa fell into the hands of the two Thanesar Sardars and of the Ladwa chief. The territory conquered by Bhanga Singh and Bhag Singh comprised a number of estates in the present Indri pargana, some villages in Pehowa , and a large tract in the Thanesar tahsil. A partition was made, Bhanga Singh taking 3/5 and Bhag Singh 2/5, Bhanga Singh was savage and determined ruler, and was the only Cis-Satluj chief whom Ranjit Singh feared. He died in 1815, leaving a son, Fateh Singh and a daughter by his wedded wife, and a son, Sahib Singh, by a concubine. The daughter, Karam Kaur married Karam Singh, the Raja of Patiala, and six villages of Indri were given as her dowry. Sahib Singh had a Jagir of 9½ villages in Indri, and was succeeded by his son, Bishan Singh, who died without a male issue. The remainder of Bhanga Singh's estate descended to his son, Fateh Singh, who died in 1819 leaving his mother Mai Jian and two young widows. Mai Jian managed the estate till 1830, and died in 1836. Ratan Kaur, one of the widows, died in 1844, leaving the other widow Chand Kaur, in possession of the estate,which lapsed on her death in 1850.

Bhag Singh, the brother of Bhanga Singh, died, leaving four sons, three of whom died childless. The estate descended to Jamiat Singh the son of the Youngest brother, Baj Singh, who also died childless and the estate lapsed.

Role of George Thomas in Haryana and Neighbouring areas

Early Life and career of George Thomas

Among the most notorious adventurers in northern India towards the end of the eighteenth century was a foreigner who entitled himself the Raja of Hansi. It was George Thomas, an Irish, known in this province as Jahaz Sahib. He was born about the year 1758. The poverty of his parents left him uneducated and compelled him to leave for India to earn his livelihood. He served in a ship as a cabin-boy, or as some affirm, a common sailor, and landed at Madras (now Chennai) in 1780. Having spent some years in Karnatak with Poligars, a poor class of chiefs inhabiting the jungle and mountainous districts, he became discontented with his position.Five years later he went to Hyderabad and enlisted in the Nizam's army as a private gunner. He gave up this job six months afterwards, and in 1787 walked on foot to Delhi where he sought service under the celebrated Begam Samru, who held the fief of Meerut district.


Above six feet in height and extraordinary strong, he was at once employed by the Begam who was an excellent judge of character. His ability and bravery soon won him the confidence of the Begam. He fell in love with the Begam but soon lost interest in the old lady and found enjoyment with the young beauties in the Begam's large household. The Begam, then married him to one of her slave girls named Marie whom she had adopted. The emperor had granted her a jagir on the borders of Delhi on the condition of checking Sikh inroads from that direction. The Begam appointed George Thomas to administer this jagir. He repulsed the Sikh attacks, penetrated into their villages, laid waste their fields,and charged heavy blackmail. He was then promoted to the command of a battalion in her army. In 1789 Shah Alam II invested the fort of Gokalgarh, a little to the north-west of then Agra under the charge of Najaf Quli Khan, a rebel courtier of Delhi.Begam Samru with George Thomas was in attendance upon the emperor. One night Najaf Quli attacked the imperial army unexpectedly when they were dissipating themselves in debauch, and defeated it. The emperor would have been taken prisoner if George Thomas had not been there. The Begam on realizing the delicacy of the situation ordered Thomas with 100 men and a six- pounder gun to rescue the emperor; whilst she herself rode in a palanquin, reached the scene of battle and commenced the fight. After a desperate conflict Najaf Quli was beaten and the emperor saved. For this signal service the Begam was rewarded with the title of "His Most Beloved Daughter". and Thomas received a rich reward.

As the Sikhs were frequently invading the Doab, the Begam, to protect the territories placed under her charge by the emperor, appointed Thomas in the civil and military administration of an extensive tract with his seat at Tappal, 53 kms. north-west of Aligarh. This duty he performed admirably and the Sikh incursions into his territory considerably decreased.The revenue of district amounted to

Rs. 70,000.

In 1792 he was thrown out of the Begam's favour by the intrigues of a rival named Le Vaisseau, who commanded the artillery of the Begam, whom he married. Thomas raised the standard of revolt. The Begam at once marched against him, besieged Tappal and forced Thomas to surrender. In view of his past services, the Begam generously spared his life and allowed him to depart unmolested.

When leaving Tappal he had only fifty pounds with him. But he was not to remain unoccupied. His immense strength, wild energy, daring intrepidity, considerable foresight and gigantic form soon attracted to him a band of desperadoes. He took to plundering and increased the number of his followers to 250 mounted men. With this

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body he marched to Anupshahar where he was employed by Apa Khande Rao Hari a feudatory of Sindhia for Mewat region in October, 1793.
James Skinner who knew him personally writes about him thus: "His manners were grave and gentle, and he was courteous to all. He was frank, generous and humane, though subject to sudden ebullitions of temper, in which he committed acts of which he quickly repented, and as soon as atoned for. His conduct to the families of all who fell or were disabled in his service, was a convincing proofs of his generosity, and the devoted attachment of his personal followers is the best evidence of their appreciation of his character".

George Thomas in Maratha service, 1793-98

Apa Khande Rao assigned to him as fiefs of Tijara, Tapukra, and Firozpur Jhirka. He plundered Bahadurgarh and seized Jhajjar, all worth one lakh and a half annually.He served in this area from October, 1793 to October, 1795 and successfully battled against Sikh inroads, whose intensity largely decreased.

In October, 1795 a body of 5,000 Sikhs entered Saharanpur district, and began plundering Jalalabad. Apa Khande Rao sent Thomas to expel the Sikh raiders. He discharged this duty so admirably that it drew appreciation of Lakhwa Dada, Sindhia's Governor of Northern India. Lakhwa Dada appointed Thomas warden of the frontier along the Jamuna with 2,000 infantry, 200 cavalry and 16 pieces of cannon. He was granted the revenues of Sonipat, Panipat, and Karnal districts for the maintenance of his force. In October, 1795 Begam Samru was imprisoned by her stepson Zafaryab Khan who assumed control over the Begam's estates. When all her efforts to secure liberty had failed , she appealed to Thomas for help. Thomas did not fail in his duty towards his old patron and mistress. He marched to Sardhana, defeated and imprisoned Zafaryab and restored the Begam to authority.

Thomas had to maintain a regular fight with the Sikhs on both the banks of river Jamuna throughout of his employment as warden of the marches, and he was generally successful. This fact aroused the jealousy of Apa Khande Rao who instigated many plots against him. He even tried to kill him. To his luck Apa Khande Rao died on June 25, 1797. Apa's successor was his nephew, Vaman Rao, who continued his uncle's policy towards Thomas

George Thomas's fights with the Sikhs, 1797-98

Shamli, an important town in Muzaffarnagar district near the eastern bank of the Jamuna, was one of the parganas assigned to Sikhs as the price of their maintaining peace in the Doab, in the discharge of which duty the Sikhs had always failed.The district was under the charge of Gurdit Singh of Ladwa who ruled over this place


through his agent, a Sikh officer. This person was intriguing with his co-religionists on the other side of the river, and was stirring up a rebellion against the Marathas.

On the 27th June, 1797, it was reported to Dhar Rao that some soldiers of Gurdit Singh of Ladwa plundered a village which was included in the jagir of Imam Hussain Khan. Dhar Rao wrote to the Sikh chief to restore property and cattle as "such deeds did not behove them". He also threatened to punish him in case he refused to comply with his request.

When the news of the refractory attitude of this person reached Bapuji Malhar, the Maratha Governor of Saharanpur, he summoned George Thomas to punish him. Thomas immediately marched to Shamli, met the Sikh chief outside the town, and forced him to retire within the walls. "After a most gallant resistance" on the part of the Sikh commander, he then delivered an assault on the town and took it by storm. The officer, his son and all others who had not fled from the place lost their lives.

After the capture of Shamli Thomas marched to Lakhnauti where Baharmand Ali Khan, the chief of Turkoman colony had revolted in the expectation of assistance from the Sikhs. Bapuji had laid siege to the place, but his plans were foiled. When George marched to the rescue of Bapuji, Baharmand Ali offered terms of peace, which were at once accepted, in order to be free to act against the Sikhs. Thus Thomas's valour and energy nipped the insurrection in the bud.

Early in 1798 Thomas marched to Karnal where a body of Sikhs had gathered in rebellion against the Maratha rule in that district. Here four successive actions were fought, in which both sides sustained heavy losses. Thomas's artillery always proved superior to the tactics of the Sikhs who did not possess this arm. In this fight Thomas lost 500 men and the Sikhs nearly twice as much. Peace was then concluded and in accordance with the terms of the treaty the Sikhs evacuated the place.

After this Thomas marched into the Doab to join Bapuji against a Rohilla chief who, at the instigation of the Sikhs had crossed over the Ganga and created troubles in the Maratha country. But before Thomas's arrival Bapuji had defeated him. A body of Sikhs had reached there by this time to assist the Rohillas; but finding Thomas to oppose them retired without any fighting. Bapuji,thereupon returned to his seat of Government at Saharanpur.

Shortly afterwards some differences arose between Bapuji and George Thomas. In order to counterpoise Thomas's energy and activity he enlisted a body of Sikhs in his service. These Sikhs worked upon his fears against his formidable subordinate, and widened the gulf between the two. It led to the outbreak of hostilities, and an

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engagement took place at a ford on the Jamuna. This time the country people joined the Marathas against Thomas, and commenced plundering his camp; but he forced them to give him a passage.

Thomas's expedition into Jaipur territory, 1798

George Thomas retired to Jhajjar where he began to act almost independently. He stood badly in need of money. He attacked the neighbouring territory of the Raja of Jaipur, and began collecting ransom for sparing villages and towns from plunder. At Urika, 58 kms. north -east of Jhunjhunu, he obtained a ransom of Rs. 52,000 which gave him some relief.

In 1798, Lakhwa Dada ordered Thomas to join the Maratha army in fighting against Jaipur. He immediately responded to the call. After a fierce battle Thomas occupied Fatehpur, a fortified town, 50 kms. north of Sikar.In this bloody engagement Rajputs sustained 2,000 casualties in killed and wounded, whilst Thomas's loss was only 300 men.

In April, 1798 Thomas gave up Maratha service owing to continuous intrigues of Vaman Rao, and settled down at Jhajjar as an independent chief. In September, 1798, Thomas attacked the territory of Bikaner. The Raja secured peace by paying a sum of one lakh rupees.

Thomas carves out an Independent principality in Haryana

George Thomas carved out for himself a small independent principality in the neighbourhood of Delhi. He set up his headquarters at Jhajjar 35 kms. west of the capital. He had such a successful career in all his warlike activities that he was called "Jauraj Jang" or George the Victorious. He built a strong fort near Jhajjar and named it Georgegarh after his name. He commanded "a force of eight regiments of foot, a thousand horsemen and about fifty guns".

As George Thomas was bitterly opposed to the Sikhs, Almas Beg of Hansi invited him to occupy the whole of Haryana with his headquarters at Hansi, 130 kms. south-west of Delhi, which stood nearly in the centre of Haryana. Thomas took the hint and shifted to that place. Situated on an eminence, the place could easily be defended. Thomas repaired the fortifications and established a gun foundry. He cast his own guns, made matchlocks, muskets and powder. He set up a mint, and issued coins in his own name. In order to remove the scarcity of water he sunk wells; and encouraged traders and merchants to settle there.


He then extended his territory. It was bounded in the north by the territories of Raja Sahib Singh of Patiala ; in the north-west by the country of Bhattis, in the west of Bikaner, to the south by Jaipur, on the south-east by Dadri, to the east by districts adjoining Delhi, and in the north-east by Rohtak and Panipat. The tract possessed by Thomas was oval in shape, extending to the north as far as the river Ghaggar, to the south by the town of Behal, in the east to Maham and in the west to Behadra. It measured about 200 kms.from the north to south and the same distance from east to west, with a total area of nearly 8,000 square kilometres. His principality contained 14 parganas consisting of 253 villages with a revenue of Rs. 2, 86,000. Besides these, five more parganas having 151 villages with a revenue of Rs. 1,44,000 were held from Marathas as service tenure. Several important towns such as Fatehabad, Hissar, Tohana, Hansi and Bhiwani were included in his territory.

Some European officers served in his army. Morris was the first to join him. In 1801 more Europeans, Birch and Hopkins, and an Anglo-Indian Haidar Jang Hearsey joined him. All of them came from the brigades of French General Peron. Two European sergeants were also in his service.

George Thomas's expedition towards, Raekot, 1798

Bedi Sahib Singh of Una declared a religious war against the Afghans of Aaekot, Ludhiana and Jagraon. Their chief was Rae Ilyas, a lad of fifteen. The Sikh force numbering about 7,000 was opposed by him at village Jodh. The Afghan commander, Roshan Khan, was killed in the action. Rae Ilyas sought help from Patiala and other sardars in the neighbourhood. The chiefs of Patiala, Jind, Kaithal and Kalsia immediately came to his rescue and drove away the Bedi.

The Sikh villages oppressed by Afghan collectors invited the Bedi to relieve them of their tyranny. The Bedi led the second invasion against Raekot. He besieged Ludhiana.Rae Ilyas invited George Thomas for help. "Thomas who was rapidly extending his territory, was only too glad of an opportunity of interference in the affairs of any of the Cis-Satlej States, and at once left Hansi with a strong force". On hearing this news the Bedi raised the siege and retired to his territory.

George Thomas's expedition to Patiala, 1798

The Sikhs raided the territory of George Thomas. He was enraged and not only repelled their attack but also closely pursued them up to Patiala .The Sikhs fought hard to check his advance, but he went on. Raja Sahib Singh of Patiala fled away. His sister, Sahib Kaur, bravely defended the capital. Eventually she accepted the terms of peace, and George Thomas, returned to Georgegarh, plundering Jind on the way. Sahib Singh did not approve of the terms, and hot words passed between the

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brother and the sister. Sahib Singh imprisoned her. She sought help from Thomas who immediately left for Patiala at the head of a strong force. On his approach to Patiala Sahib Singh agreed to the terms, set Sahib Kaur free, and paid full expenses of George's second expedition. Thomas declared that Sahib Kaur was "a better man than her brother".

The Sikhs constrain Madho Rao Phalke, March, 1798

George Thomas's rapid actions had no effect on sturdy Sikhs, who did not decrease their lawless activities. In March, 1798, Madho Rao Phalke was the nazim of Saharanpur. He was constantly troubled by the Sikh raiders. His assistant Jaguji distinguished himself for a signalled advantage gained over the Sikhs in an action. But this success did not help Madho Rao much, as the Sikhs continued their exertions unabated. Shortly after the Maratha resistance ceased, and their forces fell back to Saharanpur, where they took up a defensive position. Captain Bradshaw, Assistant to the Resident with Daulat Rao Sindhia in a despatch dated Fatehgarh, the 5th April, 1798, stated that the Sikhs "might oblige it altogether to quit that quarter, if the distracted state of the Punjab harassed by the dissensions of its numerous petty chiefs, did not furnish sufficient employment for them in their own territories".

The Sikhs fight in alliance with Shambu Nath against Ashraf Beg

September-October, 1798

A few months later the Sikhs served under the new nazim of Saharanpur. Shambu Nath Mahajan was the Diwan of Imam Bakhsh Khan, the district officer of Saharanpur under Lakhwa Dada, the Maratha Governor of the Upper Doab. Daulat Rao Sindhia, the successor of Mahadji Sindhia, was fighting at this against the latter's widows popularly known as the Bais. Lakhwa Dada had espoused the cause of the widows and was already busy in fighting for them. On behalf of his master Lala Shambu Nath managed to employ 5,000 Sikh horsemen; and with 10,000 infantry and 20 pieces of cannon marched southward with a view to seize the estates of various European officers in the service of Sindhia. General Perron, who had succeeded his countryman De Boigne in the command of Daulat Rao Sindhia's largest regular force, was at this time at Aligarh. He despatched his veteran commander Ashraf Beg at the head of three battalions, 1,000 horse, some Rohilla infantry and 10 pieces of cannon. A little later General Perron detached on the 15th September, Captain F.L. Smith with two battalions to join Ashraf Beg, while on the 20th September he himself left in that direction. Perron commanded forty battalions each consisting of 500 men, and provided with "4 field pieces, a carronade or Howitzer, and some pieces of ordnance of large calibre for the purpose of throwing grape". When Ashraf Beg reached Khatauli in Muzaffarnagar district, he learnt that Shambu Nath was at hand ready to attack


him.Ashraf Beg immediately took up a strong position to defend himself. Next morning the Sikhs alone appeared on the scene, and failed in their attempt at decoying him from his post.The following morning Shambu Nath arrived with a force and called upon Ashraf Beg to surrender.This proposal was scornfully rejected by Ashraf Beg with the remarks that "Buneas (or shopkeepers, of which caste Simboonauth was)had best mind their own business, and not think of threatening soldiers, whose lives were sold as sheep were to the butcher; and that, for his own part,he had come there to die, or to teach him to sell grain".

Shambu Nath immediately attacked him. Ashraf Beg offered stout resistance. He ultimately succeeded in repelling the attack and seizing four or five of Shambu Nath's cannon, but at a great loss, having sacrificed one-fourth of his three battalions alone in killed. In the evening he took shelter inside the town. Shambu Nath at once besieged the place.

Ashraf Beg decided to take the enemy by surprise. At 3' O,clock in the morning when Shambu Nath's soldiers were fast asleep, Ashraf Beg delivered a vehement assault with all his horse and 1,000 infantry. This had the desired effect. Shambu Nath's camp was overrun and several pieces of cannon were taken away from him. By this time the day broke. Shambu Nath and his men recovered from the effects of the sudden sally, and attacked Ashraf Beg on all sides. Ashraf Beg at once threw his men into a square and retreated to the town with all his cannon. "The Sikhs pressed him hard, and fought nobly". Ashraf Beg sustained heavy losses in this affair. About three hundred men were left dead on the field including several officers of great ability and courage.This disheartened Ashraf Beg so much that he remained shut inside the town for five days.

Perron advances against the Sikhs, December, 1798-April, 1799

General Perron who was marching to join Smith and Ashraf Beg against Shambu Nath was at Nakar on the Ist November, 1798. By this time Shambu Nath had retired to the Punjab. Perron therefore turned towards Delhi where he arrived on the 25th November.After some resistance the qiladar submitted to him on the 2nd December. Perron spent some time in making arrangements for the work of government and on the 15th December left for Karnal to chastise the Sikhs. He reached Karnal on the Ist January, 1799 when he summoned Raja Sahib Singh of Patiala, Raja Bhag Singh of Jind, Bhanga Singh of Thanesar, Gurdit Singh of Ladwa, Bhai Lal Singh of Kaithal, and several other petty sardars. The Sikh chiefs made a show of resistance and gathered at Patiala to concert a plan of action. Perron also got busy to employ local Muslims against them. The first to join was Gulsher Khan of Kunjpura, and by the 20th February he had collected as many as 10,000 horsemen. Perron then marched to

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Thanesar; but Bhanga Singh escaped Patiala.The Sikhs, however, came to terms and the peace treaty was signed on the 10th March, 1799. Perron stayed at Thanesar till the Ist April, by which time all the Sikh chiefs between the Jamuna and the Satluj had visited him. He left Thanesar on the 2nd April and arrived at Panipat on the 10th April, where he was joined by Begam Samru with four battalions.

George Thomas's offensive campaign against Jind,

November, 1798-May, 1799

On the retirement of Perron the Sikhs were left undisturbed for about six months, when they were again engaged in a serious scuffle with George Thomas. Appa Khande Rao had committed suicide by drowning himself in the Jamuna in 1797. His death was a severe blow to George who was now left without a patron. Soon afterwards he was taken in service by Bapuji.After employment of about a year or so differences arose between him and his master. Bapuji dismissed him and the lands granted to him were resumed. Thomas was again left without a master and without the means to maintain troops numbering 3,000. He took to the profession of a freebooter, and began plundering towns and cities in the neighbourhood of Delhi, which formed the crownlands .

The Emperor Shah Alam II had been reduced to such a miserable condition that he had no courage and means to check his inroads. The Delhi Akhbar of the 18th October, 1797 states :

"His majesty having remarked the absence of his domestics, who had neglected to attend in consequence of their wages having been withheld, became sorely vexed ; and beating his head with both of his hands he exclaimed in the bitterness of his heart, against the severity of his fate, deploring the humiliated condition to which he was reduced, from a state of a sovereign, commanding wealth and empire, to that of an individual abandoned by his most menial dependents.Mirza Akbar Shaw, who witnessed this affliction of his majesty, administered every argument of comfort and consolation to alleviate his distress".

Thomas's impatient and impetuous nature and restless energy would not give him any peace. In the cold weather of 1798, finding himself free he started a campaign against Raja Bhag Singh of Jind, who had not liked Thomas's establishing himself in his close neighbourhood.
The cause of this invasion given by William Francklin, the historian and biographer of George Thomas, is that Bhag Singh of Jind "had from, Mr. Thomas's first entering the Province, behaved towards him in a hostile manner, for which Mr. Thomas now determined to retaliate.


This charge against the Raja of Jind may be true, as George Thomas was a man of very ambitious nature. The existence of his independent principality in his neighbourhood was not a thing of pleasure for the Sikhs, and was indeed a source of perpetual danger and constant menace. He himself says : "At length, having gained a capital and country bordering on the Seik territories, I wished to put myself in a capacity, when a favourable opportunity should offer of attempting the conquest of the Punjab, and aspired to the honour of planting the British standard on the banks of the Attock".

Griffin assigns another reason. He says that "in 1797, he (George) made overtures to the principal Sikh chiefs inviting them to join him in a combined resistance to the Marathas, and in the conquest of northern India ; but they regarded him with suspicion, for his selfish aims were barely concealed, and they thought that to help him would only be to resign their own independence".

Bakhtmal describes some other incident which brought about this catastrophe. He writes that one Hasan Khan complained to George that he had been dispossessed of village Ksohan received by him from the Raja of Patiala as a jagir by Khushhal Singh, a courtier of Raja, and that the Raja had refused to interfere. He offered George Rs. 7,000 if he would restore him his estates. Thomas took the money, and seized the village. As the village was situated near the city of Jind, Bhag Singh felt alarmed and expressed his displeasure. This enraged Thomas and he decided to attack Jind.

An opportunity offered itself soon to George. In the winter of 1798 Shah Zaman invaded the Punjab, and the Sikhs got busy to oppose him. In view of the weak position of the Sikhs, George laid siege to Jind.

In conformity with his usual tactics, Thomas decided to take Jind by storm. In November, 1798, he suddenly appeared before the walls of the town. The Sikh garrison numbering, 3,000 offered him a bold resistance. In a fierce conflict Thomas was driven back with a loss of 400 men. The sudden and unexpected as the defeat was, it did not dismay Thomas. Just a few kilometres distant from Jind he reorganised his troops, returned to the place and laid siege to it expecting to compel the garrison to surrender.

On hearing of the siege of Jind the Raja of Patiala and the neighbouring Sikh chiefs of Karnal district were greatly perturbed in their own personal interest. At this time Shah Zaman had entered the Punjab, and the rumours stated that he was bound for Delhi, which created great alarm in the minds of the Sikh chiefs whose territories lay on his way.

Raja Sahib Singh of Patiala, "an indolent, weak-minded man" could not decide what to do, and invited the neighbouring Sikh chiefs to Patiala for consultation. On

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the 29th November, a letter arrived from Bhai Lal Singh of Kaithal stating that he could not come as he was going to Jind to assist Bhag Singh. On the 5th December another letter from him announced that he was encamped at Kole on his way to Jind and was there waiting for Bhika Singh, Diwan Ramdayal, Sawan Singh, Shyama Singh and Mamu Khan and other sardars. Raja Sahib Singh in reply stated that owing to Shah Zaman's approach everybody was apprehensive otherwise many chiefs would have gone to Jind.

On the 8th December Lal Singh's letter informed Sahib Singh of his arrival with Bhika Singh 21kms. from Jind. He asked the Raja to send reinforcements immediately observing that if Thomas took Jind he would invade Patiala afterwards. The Raja was alarmed, and consulted his sister Bibi Sahib Kaur, "a woman of a masculine and intrepid spirit". It was settled to send Tara Singh.

On the 10th December Dadar Singh arrived at Patiala from Jind. He was sent by Raja Bhag Singh to press Sahib Singh either to march himself or to send Bibi Sahib Kaur at the head of a strong force to assist him. He stated that Bhika Singh, Mahtab Singh and Bhai Lal Singh had joined Bhag Singh and lay encamped at Kadela, 8 kms. from Jind. The garrison with the assistance of Lal Singh made a sally, and Bhika Singh endeavoured to cut off the working party of the besiegers. Thomas's army opened fire upon them, and the Sikhs fled away to their respective places. Four horses and many of the besiegers were killed and wounded in the trenches. At one of the batteries they had given way; but later on they were forced to retire.

On the 11th December a letter came from Raja Bhag Singh urging Sahib Singh to come to his relief. The Raja consulted Bibi Sahib Kaur. She offered herself to take the field, and requested him to furnish her with Rs. 10,000.

On the 13th December when Bibi Sahib Kaur was ready to march to Jind, Raja Sahib Singh came to her. He expostulated with her saying that all were full of apprehension on account of Shah Zaman's invasion, and at such a juncture, it was improper for her to go. Bibiji replied that "Raja Bhag Singh's house was as his own house; he had put off going from day -to-day, and now forbade her to go; who then could go as none of the old officers were there". After a long discussion it was decided that Chaudhri Jaswant Singh should be sent for. Sudha Singh Jamadar was immediately despatched with a letter to Majha. Jaswant Singh who went to Jaimal Singh, Bibiji's husband in Majha, came and presented that before his arrival, Jaimal Singh had sent off all his goods to the hills, and had dismissed him with a sum of

Rs. 12,000. Bibiji took charge of this money.


On the 14th December it was reported that Jind was in danger of falling into the hands of George Thomas. In consequence Bibi Sahib Kaur immediately marched to that place with some troops.

On the 16th December Lal Singh's letter arrived. It stated that he had cut off some of Thomas's supplies, and killed and wounded many of his people. The Raja remarked that the great difficulty to encounter against George Thomas was his artillery; but his supplies could be cut off. He wrote to several Sikh chiefs to assist his sister in the campaign.

Bibi Sahib Kaur along with Tara Singh was joined on the way by Baghel Singh, Dip Singh and Hira Nand, the last of whom was accompanied by 200 horses. As soon as this party came within the striking distance, Thomas subjected them to a heavy artillery fire, and attacked them so vehemently that they fled back. Thomas pursued them driving them through their own camp, which consisted of straw huts. All the encampment was set on fire and plundered by Thomas's men.
On the 25th December Lal Singh's letter pressed Raja Sahib Singh to proceed to Jind with troops and artillery. The courtiers advised him to remain in the capital to give confidence to the people who were alarmed because of Shah Zaman's presence in Lahore.

By this time the troops of Raja Jaswant Singh of Nabha, Gurdit Singh of Ladwa, and Bhanga Singh and Mahtab Singh of Thanesar had arrived at Jind. So after a few days Bibi Sahib Kaur rallied Sikh troops under her command, and returned to the contest with a force of about 9,000. She succeeded in occupying two redoubts of Thomas in which "many of his best men were cut to pieces".

This proved the turning point in the course of the siege. Thomas's difficulties began to increase on all sides. Supplies of provisions ran short, country people who so far had remained neutral now turned against Thomas, and began to harass his men. The number of his troops was daily decreasing, while that of the Sikhs was increasing .

Thomas persisted in his attempt of continuing the siege till the end of February, 1799, when he decided to raise it. By this time the number of Sikhs had grown to 10,000 and Raja Sahib Singh had also left Patiala to join his sister with several pieces of artillery.

After a blockade of three months George Thomas suddenly retired from Jind and hurried towards Hansi. He was pursued by the Sikhs. The peasantry rose on all sides, and checked his progress. Frequent attacks were made on his flanks and rear, and George was given a hard time. In order to relax the efforts of his pursuers Thomas

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adopted a trick which availed him nothing. He gave out that he was not going to Hansi; but was bound for Jaipur. This had no effect on his enemies, and they continued the pursuit.

It was the turn of the Sikhs to deceive Thomas. They gave up the pursuit, and by a different route managed to get between him and Hansi hoping to intercept him, and encamped at Narnaund, situated in the centre, between Jind and Hansi, the distance between these two places being about 40 kms. Thomas with his usual tactics decided to take the offensive. For this purpose he marched all night, and at dawn fell upon the Sikh camp. The Sikhs who were unprepared for the attack could not hold their ground. Their tents, baggage, howdahs of their elephants, their bazaar, 1,000 saddles and about 200 horses fell into Thomas's hands. He might have seized their artillery and elephants also, had not his soldiers got out of control by dispersing on all sides in search of plunder.

The Sikhs being discomfitted fled back to Jind. To their disappointment they found the doors of the town closed upon them by Bibi Sahib Kaur who scolded and taunted them for their cowardice. Then she got ready to take the field in person to show them how to fight. The Sikh chiefs felt extremely humiliated for "being exceeded in spirit by a woman". They resolved to resume their offensive with the determination either to conquer or to perish in the struggle.

Hot weather had now begun, and Thomas returned to Meham where he had securely deposited his heavy baggage. The Sikhs came to attack him, and at night encamped at a short distance from Thomas. At that late hour they held a council of war deliberating upon the tactics they should employ. They had kept no watch. Just then their camp was attacked by a large band of robbers who created a great alarm by sounding trumpets in the same way as Thomas did. The Sikhs thought that they had been attacked by the full force of George and they were seized with panic. Conseqently, they abandoned their camp and galloped away with great precipitation. An article entitled "Patiala and General Perron". Published in the proceedings of Indian Historical Records Commission, xviii, pp. 341-8, states that on this occasion the Sikh army was "disunited and demoralised,'' and that "the Nabha army held aloof; and Karam Singh Shahabadia fled on receipt of 5,000 ashrafis".

Both sides were now tired of war. After some time George Thomas opened negotiations for peace through his Diwan Udai Chand on the terms that each party should remain in possession of their territories possessed before the siege of Jind. The termination of hostilities satisfied all except Raja Sahib Singh who refused to ratify the treaty. But Bibi Sahib Kaur signed it on behalf of Patiala in spite of the remonstrances of her brother. This enraged the Raja who immediately imprisoned


his sister. Thomas could not tolerate the humiliating treatment meted out to a lady of a singular prowess, and threatened the Raja with dire consequences. The Raja fearing from war being dragged to his own country set her free.

Sahib Kaur was again maltreated by Sahib Singh. The gallant lady was heart-broken at the unjust treatment that she had received and died shortly afterwards in 1799.

Thomas's idea to conquer the Panjab

Lord Wellesley became the Governor -General of India in 1798. He was a great imperialist and was bent upon extending the British empire in India. He wrote to George Thomas to supply him an account of the state of the Panjab. Thomas replied that he would be glad to do so, but as he had forgotton English, he would write the memoir in Persian.

In this memoir he explained that the Durrani rule in the Panjab had almost ended, and the Sikhs were completely disunited, though he praised them as cavaliers: "When mounted on horse-back their black flowing locks, and half- naked bodies, which formed in the stoutest and most athletic mould, the glittering of their arms, and the size and speed of their horses, render their appearance imposing and formidable, and superior to meet most of the cavalry in Hindostan".

He suggested that he could conquer the Panjab for the British Government if he were given a little support. Wellesley could not fully trust an Irishman. He was not prepared to undertake such a scheme without deep consideration and full preparation. Besides his immediate attention was required towards Mysore and Marathas. Hence he rejected George's plan. George Thomas then decided to work independently and extend his own state into the territories occupied by the Sikhs. This scheme fell through owing to the appearance of another enemy on the scene.

Perron opposes Thomas

At this time the French revolutionary war was going on in Europe mainly between Great Britain and France. Ireland was trying to throw off the British yoke and sought help from France. The British Government suppressed the independence movement in Ireland.George Thomas was an Irish, yet he was favourably inclined towards the British and hated the French like an ordinary Englishman.

Mahadji Sindhia had employed in his service an eminent French general, comtede Bogne, who served Sindhia from 1785 to 1796. He made Sindhia's army "the most formidable owned by any native prince in India." Another French general Perron succeeded him. He commanded with much brilliancy and success, the northern

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division of Maratha army. He was also "a man of conspicuous ability". His army was very strong and well trained. The Sikh sardars had come into contact with both Thomas and Perron, and knew that Perron was a superior general and better man. They were familiar with the ruthless methods of Thomas and knew that he was ambitious to become an independent ruler of Panjab.

While George Thomas was ambitious to seize the Panjab, Perron thought of conquering the whole of India. Perron wished first of all to expel George Thomas from his principality of Hansi. The Sikh sardars were already keen to drive away Thomas from their neighbourhood. The Raja of Jind had suffered much at the hands of Thomas. Kaithal and Patiala were with him. So Raja Bhag Singh of Jind, Bhai Lal Singh of Kaithal, and two prominent sardars from Patiala, Hamir Singh and Chain Singh waited on Perron.

The First Battle of Georgegarh, September 27, 1801

Perron immediately agreed to help them. A strong contingent of 2,000 troops under Louis Bourquien was ordered to join the Sikh force of 6,000 men at the end of August, 1801. These were the troops from Jind and Kaithal, while Patiala kept aloof and sent no help. Thomas had 5,000 men in action. Now a fierce campaign began. Thomas displayed great vigour and energy. With George Thomas were Captains Hearsey, Hopkins and Birch. Bourquien had besides Raja Bhag Singh of Jind and Bhai Lal Singh of Kaithal, an English officer Captain Louis Ferdinand Smith who was in Perron's service. The battle was fought at Georgegarh. In this battle Bourquien had not joined. Smith was defeated and driven away.

The Second Battle of Georgegarh, September 29, 1801

Two days later Bourquien himself came forward to retrieve his position. Bourquien had his full force of 8,000 men. Thomas had about 5,000 men. A most bloody and determined battle was fought. But the result remained indecisive. Each side lost atleast 2,000 men. Seven European officers fought under Bourquien. Of these two were killed and two were seriously wounded. George Thomas had only two European officers of whom one was killed. At the end of the battle Bourquien's troops felt dejected and depressed. If George Thomas had delivered the attack the following morning, he might have won the day, and in that event history of Delhi would have been different. But at this critical moment the base side of the great adventurer had its way. He spent the night in dissipation and drunkenness, and lost the only opportunity of winning the day.


Siege of Georgegarh, September, 30-November 10, 1801

Bourquien sought reinforcements immediately. Perron sent colonel Pedron with four battalions. To strengthen his position five more battalions were despatched from Colonel Hessing's brigade at Agra. Five thousand horses were also pressed on, Begam Samru contributed two battalions. The Sikhs were already there.

George Thomas took up an entrenched position at Georgegarh. He was completely surrounded on all sides. The situation was beyond control. Thomas held out obstinately for six weeks. No help came to him from any quarter. Supplies of food and fodder were entirely exhausted.

On November 10, 1801, at 9 p.m. Thomas with his two European officers and three hundred valiant horsemen dashed through Colonel Hessing's five battalions. Bourquien lost no time in putting the whole of his cavalry in pursuit of Thomas who made for his capital at Hansi. This place was 100 kms. by the straight and shortest route. Thomas covered 200 a roundabout way. He successfully reached Hansi, and the place was immediately invested.

Thomas had sustained heavy losses. He lost his camp equippage and guns. His army was gone. They were disarmed and offered service by Perron. All of them rejected the proposal with great contempt, saying they could not be unfaithful to their master.

George Thomas surrenders at Hansi, December 20, 1801

The siege of Hansi lasted for 40 days. Thomas, his companions and a handful of soldiers faced the rigours of a siege bravely. On December 10, 1801 a violent assault was delivered on the town as well as on the fort. Thomas made a gallant defence. He lost 500 men out of 1200 men. Bourquien lost about 1,000 men. George Thomas left the town and took up his position in the fort. It was continuously bombarded for ten days. When everything - food, fodder, munitions ran short, Thomas sued for peace and surrendered on December 20, 1801. Thus his most remarkable career came to an end. Thomas was allowed to go away in safety to British territory.

The battle of Delhi, September 13, 1803

Perron was not destined to enjoy his supreme position for long. The British had been steadily advancing from Calcutta towards the north-west. At the debut of the nineteenth century their dominions extended upto the eastern banks of river Jamuna.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

At this time there was no other organised and disciplined army in India than General Perron's army. This general was in service of Daulat Rao Sindhia of Gwalior.

The British authorities considered General Perron as the only menace threatening their dominions and their policy of expansion. The Marathas and the Sikhs, though brave, were completely disunited. They feared lest Perron might act against the British under instigation of Napoleon Bonaparte. Hence the British decided to begin a campaign against the Marathas, but in fact their real aim was to crush the power of Perron.

Lord Lake advanced from Kanpur towards Aligarh which was Perron's headquarters, and captured it at the end of August, 1803. Perron was so much disheartened that he left the service of Daulat Rao Sindhia. Lake then marched upon the imperial capital, Delhi; Bourquien was holding this place with the help of Gurdit Singh of Ladwa and Bhanga Singh of Thanesar, at the head of 5,000 troops. In the battle of Delhi, fought against Bourquien on September 11, 1803 the French general was defeated. Besides these two Sikh Chiefs no sardar had joined either side. Lake took the blind, 83 year old emperor Shah Alam II under British protection. Daulat Rao Sindhia was again defeated at Laswari on November 1, 1803. He ceded to the British the districts of Delhi, Gurgaon, Rohtak, Hissar and Agra. The British government appointed an officer in charge of Delhi, called Resident of Delhi.

Now the Cis-Sultuj area lying between the rivers Jamuna and Satluj was divided into two clear-cut regions.The northern parts upto the neighbourhood of Delhi consisting of the districts of Panipat, Thanesar, Ambala, Patiala, Nabha, Ludhiana and Firozepur remained with the Sikhs. The southern parts including Delhi consisting of the districts of Gurgaon, Rohtak, Hissar and Sirsa were under the British. Formerly Shahabad and Thanesar were the royal parganas in the sarkar of Sarhind, as were Samana and Sunam. Indri was in the Sarkar of Saharanpur. It extended to the Jamuna, which in earlier days ran under the present western high bank of the canal. The possessions of the Sardars of Ladwa and Kaithal were originally a part of the Subah of Delhi. The taluqas of Jind and Narwana were in the sarkar of Hissar.

With the establishment of the British rule in the Delhi region as well as in the Ganga Doab, the Sikh domination of the Delhi Empire came to an end and the Sikhs raids in the Ganga Doab ceased to a large extent.1

1. Hari Ram Gupta, History of the Sikhs , Volume III, 1980 (Revised edition ), p. 308.


Supremacy of Marathas over Haryana

The role of Marathas since the battle of Panipat is most significant in Haryana. They made consistent efforts to establish their supremacy over Haryana as well as Delhi. The sudden death of Mirza Najaf Khan (1782) created a period of uncertainty, anarchy and confusion in this region. The Sikhs, the Mewatis and Gujars began plundering northern Haryana and neighbouring areas of Delhi, the national capital. In those days, the Mughal court was arena of dirty politics and intrigues. Under these circumstances, the Mughal noble, Afrasiyab Khan invited Mahadji Sindhia who met the old emperor on October, 22, 1784. Due to diplomacy of intrigues,1 Mahadji became the supreme authority at Delhi2. He was given the administration of the Subas of Delhi and Agra. later, he directed Amba Ji Ingle to supervise the administration of Delhi and he was appointed as faujdar of Sonipat.

Then Amba ji turned towards Panipat to subdue the raiding Sikhs. A group of nine Sikhs met him at Bakhtawar on March 27, 1785. Mahad ji made a treaty on May 10, 1785 in which the Sikhs were given supremacy in Punjab. But the Sikhs continued their plundering activities. In 1787, Amba Ji moved towards Punjab. He also tried to seek the help of Karam Singh of Shahabad and Gurdit Singh of Ambala. Some Sikh soldiers and Sardars helped him. On his return journey, he was accompanied by Bhagat Singh and Six other sardars who joined him at Panipat.

On the other hand, the sudden rise of Ghulam Qadar, the grandson of Najib-ud-daula and son of Zabita Khan, had proved that despite the death of Rohilla chief, the anti Maratha party was still left with a formi-dable leader.3 Encouraged by the defeat of Mahadji at Jaipur, Ghulam Qadar rushed towards Delhi. He sought the assistance of rebellious and disgruntled elements and reached there on 24th August, 1787. He deposed and blinded the emperor. The emperor sent message to Mahad ji to come as early as possible. Mahadji reached Rewari after September 2, 1787. Before fighting against Ghulam Qadar, Mahadji decided to win over Mirza Ismail Beg and he was bestowed upon the jagir of the Rewari-Narnaul area in October, 1788. It was his diplomatic move to divide the unity of Mirzas. Thus Ghulam Qadar was put to sword by Mahadji on 3rd March, 1789.

The revengeful end of Ghulam Qadar gave a relief to emperor Shah Alam who had given the full command of administration to Sindhia ji. In this way Mahadji had

1. R.C. Majumdar: The Maratha Supremacy, p. 389.

2. J.N. Sarkar, The Fall of Mughal Empire, vol III,p.161.

3. J.N. Sarkar, The Fall of Mughal Empire, vol iv ,p.I.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

become supreme authority of Delhi. Then he turned his eyes to Haryana. It was divided into a number of small principalities. The main powers may be alluded to as under:

The northern Haryana including Ambala, Karnal and Jind had been under the Sikh chiefs. Najaf Quli Khan had occupied the territories of Rewari, Narnaul, Gurgaon, Jhajjar and Rohtak.He posed to be an independent ruler, with Gokalgarh as his capital. The north-east territory of Haryana was under the Bhatis. They had in their possession Fatehabad, Rania and Sirsa. So practically the whole of Haryana was independent. Mahad ji had to put much efforts to conquer and administer the territories1.

Mahadji wanted to subdue Najaf Quli Khan, so he sent Ismail Beg against Najaf Quli Khan who had in his possession the territories of Gurgaon, Rewari, Narnaul and Kanaud. Ismail Beg occupied Gurgaon, Beri and Rewari. The administration of the above area was given by him to his father, Munim Beg. Najaf Quli Khan fought bravely against Ismail Beg from Kanaud but he could not resist for long. He fled and hid himself in the fort of Kanaud (Present Mahendragarh ). He further sent his army to capture Narnaul, Rohtak and Charkhi Dadri which were occupied by Beg.

In 1790, ten thousand Sikhs raided the frontier of Oudh and captured Lt. Col. Robert Stuart, the Commander of English battalion and he was confined in the fort of Thanesar belonging to Bhanga Singh. This action was done to distress the Marathas. Later Robert Stuart was released at the payment of hefty ransom.

On the other side, Mahadji detailed Tukoji Holkar to secure Mewat areas against the Sikh raids. Gopal Hari, the thanedar of Nuh tried to seize the adjoining territories. Mirza Ismail Beg got irritated and his men killed Gopal Hari. Soon he doubted the sincerity of Marathas and the differnces erupted. Ismail Beg made a pact with the king of Jaipur. The kings of Jaipur and Jodhpur-Rajputs-promised to pay heavy amount for it.

Mahadji Sindhia could not tolerate it and he soon sent troops under the supervision of Gopal Bhau assisted by Jiva Dada Bhakshi and Col. De Boigne, who marched towards Rewari. Mahadji restored the jagir of Najaf Quli Khan and thus he got assistance in the time of lurch. The contest began in May, 1790. Gopal Bhau besieged and occupied the fort of Gokalgarh near Rewari on 16th July, 1791and kept Ismail Beg's father Munim Beg as prisoner in Agra fort. Disgusted with Rajputs, Ismail Beg moved towards Kanaud. As the widow of Najaf Quli Khan offered him the fort of Mahendragarh and promised to tie in wedlock with him, but Ismail Beg could not decide his future planning. By this time the widow had changed her mind due to the changed political circumstances. Thereafter she decided to fight against

1. S.C. Mittal : Haryana, A Historical Perspective, 1986, p. 22.


Ismail Beg. She did not allow the troops of Ismail Beg to enter the fort of Madhogarh (Mahendragarh district) and set up a post near it. Khande Rao marched towards Madhogarh and occupied it on 16th February, 1792.Ismail Beg attacked the fort of Kanaud after the death of widow queen of Najaf Quli Khan. The troops capitulated to the Maratha forces. Ismail Beg was captured and imprisoned in the fort of Agra and put to death in March, 17941. In the mean-while, Mahadji ousted Bhattis and occupied Fatehabad, Rania and Sirsa.

Mahadji divided the territories of Haryana into four parts. The details are as under :

1. Delhi- It included the emperor's palace and family and the surrounding area of Haryana;

2. Panipat- It constituted the present districts of Karnal, Sonipat, Ambala and Kurukshetra ;

3. Hissar- It included Hissar and some parts of present district ;

4. Mewat- It included Gurgaon, Rewari, Narnaul and Mahendragarh.

Thereupon Mahadji turned his attention towards the Sikhs.He wanted to make peace with them. He could not succeed in maintaining cordial relations with the Sikhs. After the death of Mahadji Sindhia at Poona on 12th February, 1794, his northern Viceroy Gopal Bhau appointed Devji Gaula and Bapu Malhar at Panipat, and Apa Khande Rao who was in charge of Delhi district at Jhajjar. In November, 1794 Daulat Rao Sindhia appointed Lakhwa Dada his viceroy of the north in place of Gopal Bhau. Later Lakha Dada appointed his deputy Nana Rao at Karnal and allowed him to collect the revenue from the cis Sutlej country. But the Sikhs refused to pay.The Patiala queen and Bhanga Singh of Thanesar defeated Nana Rao and compelled him to return to Delhi in October, 17952.

The Marathas controlled the administration of Haryana till 1803. A.D. After the defeat of Maratha in the Anglo-Maratha war in September, 1803, Marathas had to sign the treaty. During this Anglo-Maratha war, the Sikh showed their allegiance to the British; particularly, Bhai Lal Singh of Kaithal, Bhag Singh of Jind and later Bhanga Singh of Thanesar helped the British. With the battle of Lasawari (Anglo-Maratha War-as already alluded to on Ist November, 1803, the Maratha power vanished from northern India.

1. Michaul Edward : The King of the World : The Life and Times of Shah Alam, 1970,

pp. 227-228.
2. S.C. Mittal : Haryana, A Historical Perspective, 1986, p.16.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

On December 30, 1803, Daulat Rao Sindhia ceded the territory of Haryana to the British East India Company through the treaty of Surji Anjangaon. Haryana was included in the Presidency of Bengal with a Resident at Delhi to administer it. The British kept under their supervision the territories which generally included Panipat, Sonipat, Samalkha, Ganaur, Haveli Palam, Nuh, Hathin, Tijara Bhora, Tapukara, Sohna, Rewari, Indri-Palwal, etc. These territories were known as assigned territory and placed under Resident. The remaining region was divided among different chiefs and Sardars. For example, Nawab Isa Khan and Ahmad Baksh Khan were granted their old jagir. Faiz Talab Khan and Ahmad Baksh Khan were given the paraganas of Pataudi and Loharu, Ferozpur-Jhirka, respectively.Rao Tej Singh got the territory of 87 villages in Rewari paragana. Similarly, Murtaza Khan and Mohammad Ali Khan got Hodal and Palwal paraganas, respectively. Rohtak, Meham, Beri, Hissar, Hansi, Agroha, Tosham, Barwala and Jamalpur were given to Rohilla chief, Bambu Khan1. Later they were transferred to Abdus Samad Khan. Muhammad Ali Khan of Muzaffar Nagar got possession of some villages in paraganas of Karnal and Gurgaon 2.Other jagirs remained as earlier. For example, Nawab Dhir Khan of Kunjpura, Raja Bhanga Singh of Thanesar, Bhai Lal Singh of Kaithal, Gurdit Singh of Ladwa and Sardar of Sham-garh remained in possession of their territories. Through their cunningness and diplomacy, the major portions of Haryana were placed under Nawab-rulers that the general public might remain in slavery. The policy of Divide & Rule was implemented and perpetuated.

In fact, the treaty of Surji Anjangaon marks "the tragic end of Mughal empire as political institution3". It also marked the end of the period of great anarchy in Haryana and proclaimed the emergence of the British rule in this region.

As already explained that for the services rendered during the war, the paragana of Dadri was given in Jagir to Ismail Khan, the younger son of Nijabat Khan, the founder of the Jhajjar State. The British rulers gave the Taluka of Loharu in reward to Maharaja of Alwar, who had loyally aided them during the 1803 campaign against the Marathas. The Maharaja in turn, with the assent of the British Govt, entrusted Loharu to his Vakeel, Ahmad Bakash Khan, who had fought gallantly on the British side under the title of Nawab4.

Ismail Khan and Ahmad Bakhsh Khan seem to have controlled their respective areas satisfactorily, but neither Ilias Beg nor some of his successors proved equal to

1. S.C. Mittal : Haryana, A Historical Perspective, 1986, p. 21.

2. Buddha Parkash, Hariyana Through the Ages, p. 87.

3. J.N. Sarkar, The Fall of Mughal Empire, Vol. IV, p. 337.

4. Hissar District and Loharu State Gazetteer (Loharu State), 1915, pp. 2-3; Alwar District Gazetteer, 1968, p.65.


the charge. When however, Ilyias Beg was killed after a short while by the Bhattis, his place was given to Nawab Bambu Khan's successors. The people did not pay any revenue to the new Nazim as well as harassed him so much that he left the uncomfortable possession .Unhappy with the developments, the British appointed their trusted servant, Ahmad Bakash Khan of Loharu. Being a man of plenty of guts and unusual intelligence, it was hoped that the new ruler proved able but in vain. Thus the whole of Haryana region was placed under the East India Company.

Modern Period

The establishment of the rule of East India company ended the period of anarchy in Haryana. The people of Haryana did not accept the new masters. Consequently, people rose in revolt irrespective of caste and religion against the Britishers.

The Sikh chiefs of Ambala, Karnal and Thanesar were the first to oppose the company rule1. The British authorities at Delhi took a serious note of the rebellious attitude of the people. They sent out columns to crush them. Karnal was first region to be tackled. Col. Burn routed the Sikhs and others who assembled under the leadership of the chief of Thanesar in the end of 1804. In March, 1805 an amnesty was proclaimed to all on the condition of peaceful behaviour but Gurdit Singh of Ladwa was expressly excluded from this amnesty and in April of the same year the British forces marched upon the fort of Karnal and captured it 2. The Sikh forces first fought but soon left the field with the lone exception of Gurdit Singh of Ladwa. But he was also defeated at Karnal.A part of his jagir, i.e. the paraganas of Karnal, was confiscated. The chiefs of Jind (Bhag Singh ) and Kaithal (Lal Singh) soon surrendered to General lake.

The revolt in the areas of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Mahendragarh was prolonged through many series. The people fought gallantly against the British. The graphic account of the harassment caused by the people to the British is given in words of Metcalf as detailed below :-

" Those were the days, when the force at Delhi was not sufficient to keep in awe the neighbouring villages, when Resident's authority was openly defied within a few kilometres of that city; when it was necessary to draw a force from another district, and employ a battalion of infantry with guns, and a squadron of cavalry, to establish the authority of the Government in the immediate vicinity; when the detachment was kept on the alert by the bodies of armed villagers menacing the pickets, and when sepoys who strayed were cut to pieces ; when it was necessary to

1. S.C. Mittal, Haryana, A Historical Perspective, p. 34.

2. For details see The Settlement Report of Karnal District (1872-80), pp. 21-22.

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disarm villagers and when swords were literally turned down into plough-share; when every village was a den of thieves and the city of Delhi was parcelled out into shares to the neighbouring villages, of which each co-partnership monopolised the plunder of its allotted portion; when a company of infantry was necessary to attend the officer making the revenue settlement and even that force was threatened with destruction, and daunted with the menace of having its muskets taken as playthings for the villagers' children ; when to realise a single rupee of the settlement then purposely concluded on the lightest terms, it was necessary to employ a battalion of infantry with guns; when to subdue a single unfortified village a force of five battalions with cavalry and artillery was deemed necessary; and when the villagers instead of awaiting the assault, sallied forth against this force and for an instant staggard the advancing columns with briskness of their attitude1."

Hissar was taken next to subdue the revolters. The Muslim Bhatti Rajputs of the western Haryana took a tough attitude. They organized under the leadership of Zabita Khan of Sirsa and Rania and Khan Bahadur Khan of Fatehabad.The several expeditions were sent by the Government to crush the people's opposition. The British put a strong garrison at Hansi fort under the command of Ilias Beg, who was appointed Nazim of the district by Col. Ochter loney. But he was killed by the people. Unable to restore the order, the British authorities gave the tract to the local Chief-the Nawabs of Jhajjar, Loharu and Doojana, one by one. But on account of serious opposition of the people, they resigned their uncomfortable position2.

Then the British sent Col. Browning, but the Bhattis again defeated the British forces. In the confrontation Col. Browning was killed. Another expedition was put to action in 1809 under Col. Ball, but in vain. At last, in November, 1809 Col. Adams was sent with a big contingent. He attacked Fatehabad, Sirsa and Rania on 21st November. Col. Adams won all the battles during expedition. Khan Bahadur Khan and Zabita Khan both fled away from battlefield. Anyhow both the leaders were given sympathy diplomatically. The jagir of Zabita Khan was restored to him and Khan Bahadur Khan was given a pension of Rs. 1,000 annually in lieu of his jagir of Fatehabad.

The people of Loharu and Bhiwani also faced the British forces gallantly.In the struggle of Bhiwani (1807), the Nawab of Loharu lost his eldest son and he resigned the grant of this area in 1809. Thereafter, the British approached Raja Bhag Singh of Jind and Bhai Lal Singh of Kaithal to hold this region since their possession lay quite

1. Foreign Political Consultation No. 34. July 22, 1809; Kaye, Selections from the Papers of Charles Metcalf, Vol. I, p.55.

2. Dr. Buddha Parkash, Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967, p. 77.


close to it. But to their great disappointment, both the chiefs declined to accept the offer. When Nijabat Ali Khan, the Nawab of Jhajjar, saw that nobody was coming forward to occupy this tract, he offered his services. But the British did not consider it appropriate to entrust the area to him for the reasons that a man possession of such big tract in proximity of Delhi could prove harmful at a time of crisis.

The people of this area did not brook the authority of anybody. Lord Minto, the Governor-General, advised Seton, the British Resident at Delhi, to use military strength to crush the turbulent people of this central region consisting of Rohtak, Bhiwani and eastern part of Hissar ; consequently, a big force was sent in March, 1810 under the charge of Gardiner, Assistant to the Resident at Delhi. In the beginning, little difficulty attended the Assistant's proceedings but at Bhiwani they were checked manfully. The people gave a good account of themselves. For two days they continued their gallant action and stopped the enemy. But on the third day, they could not maintain their position and retreated to the town. Since the British forces were equipped with heavy artillery, they breached the walls of the town. A bloody struggle ensued. The people of Bhiwani fought with courage but were driven back and followed into the fort. There were heavy losses especially on the Indian side who suffered about 1,000 lives. On the British side Col. Bull and eighteen others were killed and 120 wounded 1. After the battle entire tract was brought under the British control without any stiff opposition.

Confrontation of the British with the chief of Chhachrauli State


Though the British controlled the Delhi territory in 1809-10, yet the opposition did not completely subside.There were many factors which encouraged antagonism between the rulers and the ruled.

The Bungalia Singh, the chief of Chhachhrauli State died in 1809. He did not have any male issue. Jodh Singh, the chief of Kalsia occupied Chhachhrauli. David Ochterlony opposed his action and demanded his immediate withdrawal so that the state might be given to Rani Ram Kaur, the widow of Bungalia Singh. Ochterlony also threatened to launch his attack. Consequently, Jodh Singh Withdrew his forces in 1810.

But Jodh Singh did not forgo this deep longing for the above territory. In 1818 he re-occupied the territory. The British authorities sent Brigadier- General Arnold with heavy troops in October, 1818. Meanwhile, Rani Ram Kaur lost the sympathy of her subjects due to her mishandling of the administration. Then Jodh Singh won

1. Mill, History of Political India, Vol. III, pp. 138-39.

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the sympathy of the people. But Jodh Singh could not retain his position and had to return back. Thereafter Chhachhrauli State was annexed to the British territory 1.

The Interference of the British in the internal affairs of Jind State


Raja Bhag Singh of Jind State suffered a paralytic attack in March, 1813. Unfit to run the affairs of the State, the ailing chief wished to appoint prince Pratap Singh, the ablest and wisest of all his sons as his regent to do his work. But the British agent favoured the rule of primogeniture and inclined towards the selection of the elder son, Fateh Singh. However, the draft will of the ailing chief was sent to the Resident at Delhi for further transmission to the Govt. of India.

The British Government declared Pratap Singh as incompetent for succession : as the British Government to whom the anti-British bearing of the prince was known. As a result, Rani Sobrahi, the mother of third son, Mehtab Singh was appointed as regent in 1814. Prince Pratap Singh raised a standard of revolt on June 23, 1814. Being a popular figure, the State forces also revolted and joined him forth with. With their help, he occupied the Jind fort on 23rd August, 1814 and put to sword the Rani Sobrahi, her main adviser Munshi Jaishi Ram, the commander of the fort and

others 2.
This alarmed the British authorities very much and the British Resident at Delhi sent his force against Pratap Singh. The prince thinking that he would be unable to give fight to this force from Jind fort, retired to a relatively stronger position at Balanwali, a fort in the wild country about Bhatinda. The British attacked him with full force and after a fierce fighting for some time, Pratap Singh had to leave the fort and take his position in the country on the other bank of the Satluj after crossing it at Makhowal . Here he was joined by Phula Singh Akali.

Pratap Singh remained with Phula Singh at Nandpur Makhowal for two months and persuaded the latter to assist him actively at Balanwali . When the British came to know that Phula Singh had crossed the Satluj, they directed Nabha and Malerkotla rulers to attack him. Balanwali was then invested by Patiala troops and was almost prepared to surrender when its defenders heard the approach of Phula Singh. They at once broke the negotiations while Pratap Singh went in advance and with a few men threw himself into the fort. The Patiala troops marched to intercept Phula Singh who was unable to relieve the fort and retired towards the Satluj. The British directed

1. J.D. Cunningham, A History of Sikhs for Origin of the Nation to the Battle of Sutlan (1st Edition Reprinted in 1972).

2. Behari Lal Dhingra, Jind State: Brief Historical and Administrative Sketch, p. 2.


Nabha and Kaithal chiefs to help Patiala troops. Balanwali was surrendered and Pratap Singh was taken prisoner on January 28, 1805. He was merely placed under a nominal restraint. He later fled to Lahore in the vain hope of getting shelter from Raja Ranjit Singh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh refused a asylum to Pratap Singh and gave him to the British who placed him in confinement in Delhi where he died in 1816.

The administration of Jind state was entrusted to prince Fateh Singh. Though Raja Bhag Singh did not like this arrangement, yet he did not oppose it. In fact, he had neither the will nor the means to do it. Raja Bhag Singh died in 1819, and Fateh Singh succeeded him. He ruled for a short time only and died three years later (1822). Now Sangat Singh (11 years old) succeeded him.

He hated the authority of the British which the latter noted with grave concern. He also made friendly relations with Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He visited Lahore twice in 1826 and 1827 respectively. He was given a number of Jagirs. These concessions roused the suspicion of British authorities. To escape the eyes of the British authorities, Sangat went to live in a town 128 km. away from Jind. In fact, it encouraged confusion and disorder. Robbery, dacoities and outrages were committed frequently.

In 1834, Sangat Singh went to Lahore, which infuriated the British and they censured him for his unauthorized negotiations with Lahore Court. He died suddenly on 2nd November, 1834. As the Raja had no issue, the British Government at first thought of annexing the whole state of Jind but later postponed the idea. However, the British Government forefeited a part of Sangat Singh's estate.

The annexation of Balanwali territory was not liked by the people. The inhabitants under the leadership of Gulab Singh Gill, formerly a Risaldar in Jind army and Dal Singh, brother-in-law of Partap Singh, rose in revolt. The rebels also got a good deal of inspiration from Mai Sul Rani, the widow of Pratap Singh. The people of neighbouring villages liked Bhai Chakian, etc and Akalis of Gurusar had joined hands with them. The villagers fought well, but being inferior to their enemy in military knowledge, strategy and tactics, arms and ammunitions they lost the day. The casualties in the action were quite heavy, Gulab Singh being one of them. Dal Singh and Mai Sul Rani were apprehanded and put behind the bars along with their supporters. Thus ended the popular revolt after much bloodshed and cruelty on the part of British Government. Later, Sarup Singh, cousin of Sangat Singh, was formally installed in April, 1837.

The surrender of the Chief of Rania (1817) before the British

Though the Bhattis surrendered before the British yet they organised regular predatory incursions inside the British territory and despite their best efforts, the

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British could not stop them till 18101 . During this year, however, the British launched a fierce attack on Sirsa and Rania on December, 19 and 21 respectively. Col. Adam, the British Commander found his work very easy as Nawab chose to surrender without fighting .

The British treated Bhati chief with sympathy. He was allowed to keep his jagir of Sirsa and Rania as before. This situation changed after 1817. The people of this area began plundering activities in the British territories. In 1817, William Fraser, the Resident at Delhi took serious note of the whole affairs. He sent a message to nawab to give up his jagir in return for a pension or face serious consequences. The nawab accepted to surrender his jagir. In consequence, he was given a pension of

Rs. 1,200 per month and small jagir comprising 5 to 6 villages and town of Rania2.

Interference in the affairs of Loharu State by Resident Fraser

William Fraser, earlier member of Board of revenue was Resident of Delhi. He was oppressive, unpopular and immoral. He was murdered on March 22, 1835.

Two versions attributed for his murder. First, Shamsu-ud-din Khan, nawab of Ferozepur-Jhirka and Loharu did not want to part of his territory for the maintenance of his two brothers, as desired by his father, Ahmad Bakhsh. Fraser instigated his brothers to get their share.Secondly, it is said that Fraser seduced the beautiful cousin of Nawab-Shamsu-ud-din, who respected Fraser like his elder brother. Then Shamsu-ud-din conspired against Fraser who was shot dead by Krim Khan Darogai-I-Shikar of former.

Shamsu-ud-din and Karim Khan were put to trial and awarded capital punishment.Karim Khan was hanged on 28th August, 1835; similarly, Nawab was hanged on 8th October, 1835. Nearly 8,000 people witnessed the gallows at Delhi between Kasmiri gate and Mori-gate.

Harsh measures against the Sikh Chiefs during 1845-50

When the British were on war with the Satluj Sikhs, the other Sikh chiefs were directed by the British authorities to supply aid of men and material. The Sikh chiefs refused. Consequently, the Government deprived some of the chiefs of the authority vested in them. Some of the chiefs were removed and their lands confiscated. The state of Thanesar was confiscated in 1850. Really most of Sikh chiefs reduced to the position of ordinary Jagirdars. Then the British resorted to the methods of

annexation and consolidation. Certain measures were adopted in the disguise of

1. Sirsa District Gazetteer, 1988, p. 33.

2. Barkat Ali; Tarikh Bhattiana, p. 92.


reforms: (1) police jurisdiction in most of the states were abolished, (ii) transit and custom duties were also abolished, (iii) and some modifications to the legal system were also made. In June, 1849, many chiefs were deprived of all civil, criminal and fiscal jurisdictions. Thus, the British brought the Cis-Satluj Sikhs within their extent and yoke.

After suppressing the initial rising against the company rule, the British paid attention towards administration. The whole- region was divided into several sub-districts from the point of view of administrative convenience. These divisions were called tahsils and officers were called tahsildars and were made incharge of these. Each tahsil was further divided into several zails comprising few villages. Each zail was put under the charge of a headman known zaildar. He was usually a prominent lambardar and served as a link between the villagers and tahsildars. In the villages the administration was entrusted to the care of the headmen called lambardars or muqaddams. Their main duty was that they, along with the patwaris, should help in the collection of land revenue. The village chowkidar worked as a peon and guard 1.

In 1819, the political and civil affairs of the Resident were divided between Resident and the Commissioner, respectively. The assigned territory was divided into three divisions: north division including Panipat, Sonipat, Rohtak, Hansi and Hissar; (ii) central division including the city of Delhi and its environs; and (iii) southern division including Palwal, Hodal, Mewat, Gurgaon and Rewari. All the three divisions were kept under Assistant Commissioners. Ochterlony was appointed as Resident. In the succeeding year the post was designated as Deputy Superintendent in place of Commissioner and he was kept under the control of the Resident.

Northern division having Hissar being unwieldy was bifurcated into northern and western division in 1820. Hissar along with Bhiwani and Sirsa was included in the former and Hansi was made its headquarters2. In 1832, the Haryana territory officially designated as Delhi division, comprising the districts of Hissar, Delhi, Rohtak, Panipat(Karnal)and Gurgaon was brought under the regulation of the East India Company and included in the Northern-Western Provinces3. Hissar was made headquarters of the newly-formed Hissar district in place of Hansi. As already Stated, under the new arrangements, Haryana region was made one of the six divisions of the new province under the name of Delhi division. Its headquarters was placed at Delhi. Each district was placed under the Magistrate- collector.

1. Thomson, The Life of Charles Metcalf, pp. 118-119. quoted by Budh Prakash, Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967. p. 78.

2. Hissar District Gazetteer, 1915, pp. 39-40.

3. Imperial Gazetteer of India (Provincial series Punjab Vol. I), 1908, p. 250.

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Factors promoting 1st War of Independence, 1857 in Haryana

There were a number of factors which contributed to its intensity and extensiveness. The time honoured institutions like the village communities and panchayats were abolished by the British. In fact, these institutions were the centres of all the social and economic life of the villagers. Even Metcalf praised these institutions in Haryana. His actual words are:

"The village communities are like little republics, having nearly everything they want within themselves, and almost independent of any foreign relations. They seem to last where nothing else lasts. Dynasty after dynasty tumbles down; revolution succeeds revolution; Hindu, Pathan, Mughal, Marathas, Sikh & English are masters in turn; but the village communities remain the same. In times of trouble they arm and fortify themselves; a hostile army passes through the country; the village community collect their cattle within walls and let the army pass unprovoked; if plunder and devastation be directed against themselves and the force employed be irresistible, they flee to friendly villages at a distance, but when the storm has passed over, they return and resume their occupation. If a country remains for a series of years the scene of continual pillage and massacre, so that the villages cannot be inhabited, the villagers never-the -less return whenever the power of peaceful possession revives. A generation may pass away but the succeeding generation will return. The sons will take the place of their fathers, the same site for the village, the same position for the houses, the same lands will be reoccupied by the descendants of those who were driven out when the village was depopulated; and it is not the trifling matter that will drive them out, for they will often maintain their post through times of disturbance and convulsion and acquire strength sufficient to resist pillage and oppression with success" 1.

No doubt that village communities and the panchayats were built up according to the requirements of the people and under them they felt themselves secure and happier. Their destruction brought social instability and people felt insecure and unhappy 2".

After assuming the central authority in the region, they directed their attention towards the peasants and their agrarian conditions. They wanted to break the backbone of the farmers by imposing heavy revenues and cesses. The Government decided in order to induce the cultivators to feel secure and extend their efforts, to make a three-year settlement with them to be followed by a second for the same period. By 1820 there were settlements ranging from three to twenty years. The assessments were

1. C.T. Metcalf, Minutes of the Board of Revenue, November 17, 1830.

2. Ramesh Chander Dutta, Economic History of India, Volume II, p. 89.


heavy; less than 50% of the gross produce remained with the peasants. The payment of the revenue in kind was replaced by prompt payment in cash 1.

The land policy pertaining to the settlements ruined the peasantry of Haryana. They were not enforced with the consent of the people, On the other hand, "When the settlements were made, the headmen were imprisoned till they agreed to the terms offered and having accepted them, till they furnished security for payment.2"

The poor farmers could not pay the revenue which their village headmen had agreed to pay under compulsion, they had to visit jail four to five times in a matter of few years. The mode of collection of land tax was extortionate as the assessment was oppressive. The collections were made in February and September, long before the harvest. To-cite an example of oppression, in a small tract of Karnal district, 136 horsemen were retained for the collection of the revenue, while 22 were sufficient for police duties of the same tract 3.

In the Karnal pargana, to escape ruination, the inhabitants of some villages, nearly to man; had abandoned their lands and homes and migrated to distant parts. A report from the Karnal district revealed many interesting facts regarding the principles of early settlements of the British. The village of Chatra Bahadurpur, which had been assessed for Rs. 860, was made to pay Rs. 1, 400; Malba Mazra, assessed at

Rs. 2,180, beat Chatra Bahadurpur, Kishanpur assessed at Rs. 41,309 was inhabited by a few zamindars only and they were all intolerably crushed by poverty; and Ateal, which suffered more than any of these villages on account of over-assessment, was deserted completely, by its inhabitants.
A painful picture of the condition of the people of Sonipat paragana is drawn in the Settlement Report of the Delhi District. The nine villages-Pabnera, Patti Brahmannan and Behga, which were settled in 1826 were completely deserted by 1842. The revenue reports of those days are full of such remarks. In the parganas of Rewari and Rohtak the injudiciously heavy revenues greatly retarted the progress of the areas.

In the then Hissar district, the demands for three summary settlements for five and ten yearly respectively during 1815 and 1840 were so high that full collections were the exceptions4: For example, the demand of the first settlement (1815-1825) was so high that it exceeded by 20% the revenue fixed in earlier settlements.

1. Settlement Report of Rohtak District, pp. 101-3.

2. Buddha Prakash, The Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967, p. 82.

3. Settlement Report of Karnal District, p. 47.

4. The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Oxford, 1909, Vol. XIII, Hissar District, p. 153.

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So, this policy of heavy revenue greatly demoralized the people and shattered the peasant's economy. Similarly in other districts it was harsh and unsympathetic. In fact, this oppressive policy compelled many of the peasants to desert their lands and houses. They nursed a grudge against the new masters, the British.

The judicial set-up was also repressive, arbitrary and expensive. There was no proper check on the judges and a provision for appeal was not made in the legal system. It was neither liked by the people of the country nor appreciated by the efficient and reasonable administrators . It is said that bribery and corruption among the judges were prevalent.

The attack and interference in the religion (dharam) caused some resentment in the hearts of the people of Haryana towards the British. The Christian missionaries started their campaigns of conversion to Christianity. American Presbytarian mission was set-up at Ambala cantonment in 1818. A Kaystha teacher-Ram Chander of Delhi College, Delhi embraced Christianity on 5th May, 1852. The news perturbed hundreds of Hindus and Muslims who condemned the action and criticised the attitude of the Government.

A large number of feudal chiefs and sardars could not forget their old days. The British lapsed many estates under the policy of Lapse. For example-significant states like Rania, Chhachhrauli, Kaithal, Ladwa and Thanesar were permanently confiscated. The Gohana and Kharkhauda- Mandauthi estates lapsed to the British on the death of Lal Singh in A.D. 1818 and Bhag Singh in 1820. The doctrine of lapse created insecurity and dissatisfaction among the remaining chiefs.

Beginning of the Ist War of Independence (1857) in Ambala District

It is a matter of pride and gratification that the bugle of the War of Independence (uprising of 1857) was sounded first by the people of Haryana at Ambala on 10th May, 1857, about nine hours before the outbreak at Meerut. Thus, the whole of the nation was led to revolt against the British by raising the standard of 1857 War of Independence. The details of the rising in the district of Ambala are as under :-

In the north-western India the first military station to feel the contagion of the mutiny (War of Independence ) was Ambala. Besides being a large cantonment, this city was also one of the three musketry depots to which detachments from different regiments in the Punjab and North-Western Provinces had been detailed for training in the use of the `notorious' Enfield rifle.

The sepoys at the depot had learned of the decision of the panchayats to regard as outcastes and expel from all communion anybody who used the greased cartridges. Consequently, there was a great alarm and disaffection. Further fuel to the fire was


added by faquirs and other interested persons 1. Among the latter was British military officer who had been cashiered at Meerut. He embraced Islam under the name of Abdullah Beg and then visited Ambala, instigating the soldiers not to use the greased cartridges. He used to say, "I know these cartridges are smeared with the fat of pigs and cows and the Government intends to take your caste".

Having vowed not to touch these cartridges, the sepoys went to their officers and lodged strong complaints to the effect that they feared expulsion from their castes on return to their regiments owing to the alleged adulteration of the grease used in cartridges.

On receipt of such reports from various quarters, Col. Birch Assistant Adjutant General, issued instructions to the musketry depots that cartridges sheathed in yellow glazed paper should, therefore, be used in the dry state only in lieu of the greased cartridges.The new arrangement, however, did not ease the tension in any way. The sepoys still believed that the fat of cows and pigs had been applied on the glossy surface of the paper which gave out a fizzing sound and smelt as if there was grease in it. So firm was their belief that even negative report of the chemical examiner did not satisfy them. The attitude of sepoys seemed quite intolerable to many, and the Commander-in-Chief, General Anson bursted in anger, "I will never give in to their beastly prejudices". To Forsyth, the Deputy Commissioner of Ambala, there seemed to be in the sky the "small cloud like a man's hand which portended the approaching storm". Surprising, he and his government remained mere onlookers and did nothing in their power to control the situation. The discontent shown by the sepoys in the middle of March was not deemed seriously by the Commander-in-Chief.

Two non-commissioned officers, Hav. Kasi Ram Tiwari and Naik Jeolal Dube of the 36th Native Infantry, attached to the depot went to visit their friends who were part of the escort of the Commander-in-Chief General Anson. Here they were taunted with the words "Christians". It became clear to them for the first time that all persons working at the depot had been ousted from their respective castes by their comrades-in-arms in their parent units. On return to their lines, the N.C.O's shared their indignation and alarm with friends. The N.C.O's approached Cap. Maritineau, a senior musketry instructor and placed the tale of grief before him. Next day Captain Martineau made a full representation of this case in a D.O. letter to Birch, the Assistant Adjutant General.

"The state of affairs is lamentable, he said, as it discloses that actual feelings of the whole of the Native Army..............They (sepoys) placed in my hands letters from various regiments which convinced me that a widespread conspiracy was matured".

1. Yadav, K.C. : The Revolt of 1857 in Haryana, 1977, p. 40.

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The immediate result of this was that General Anson inspected the musketry depot on March 22, 1857 and addressed the sepoys in a personal darbar, a new thing in the history of the Bengal army, and the people saw for the first time, the Commander-in-Chief condescending to explain the action of the Government and the reasons for that action to the native officers1. The Commander-in-Chief tried his utmost to convince the native officers that the rumour of the new cartridges affecting the religions of the sepoys was quite baseless. But his explanation bore no fruit and soon afterwards captain Martineau, was again approached by the native officers with the request that "it is not mere a question to us of obedience or disobedience".The story was so generally circulated and was so generally believed, not only by the sepoys but by their relatives and by villagers all over the country, that the sipahis can not use the cartridges without incurring the certainty of social degradation, the loss

of caste".
The matter weighed very heavily on General Anson's mind. He was in a fix.At one time he thought of breaking up the depot and sending back the detachments to their regiments on the pretext of hot season for the purpose of easing the situation. But he thought that it would lower the British dignity yet something was to be done to soothe feelings of the agitated sepoys. The general directed the musketry instructors not to proceed to the point of firing until a special report was received from Meerut on the subject of the cartridge paper. But this could not be done because to Lord Canning it appeared that any postponement of the target practice of the drill detachments would be mistake. It would be a concession to unreasonable fears, which would like an admission that there was reason in them and he telegraphically informed the authorities at Ambala not to give up the target practice.

Among the sepoys there were a few exception like Subebar Harbans Singh of the 36 Native Infantry who came out to fire with the dreaded cartridges publically on March 26, 1857 and saw no objection in doing so. But there being great co-operation among the sepoys the `black sheep' were punished at once. Hardly 12 hours had elapsed since the Subedar had volunteered himself for the use of new cartridges when his house and property were destroyed by fire. On 13th & 15th April, the fire broke out for identical reasons.

It was at this time that question was again mooted whether the cartridges should be used at Ambala. It was the unanimous opinion of the officers at the depot that cartridges should not be used. But Commander-in -Chief thought otherwise. On 16th

1. Mlleson, Lt. Col. G.B, The Red Pamphlet (The Mutiny of Bengal Army) London, 1858,

p. 114.


April, 1857 he gave his decision that the sepoys should be compelled to fire the cartridges in utter disregard of their prejudices and fears. This caused further concern among the sepoys. Trumpet Major Murry of the Horse Artillery, while going to bazar in the evening of 16th April saw the sepoys in a group discussing their intention to burn the bungalows, stores and barracks. But he brushed it aside as mere gossip. The sepoys, however, meant what they said. In the night they successfully attempted two fires and destroyed Government property worth Rs. 30,000. It was really an expensive amusement, remarked a British official; teaching the sepoys to fire with the Enfield rifle at-least as far as it has turned out at Ambala.

Brigadier Halifax, the Station Commander, took every possible precautionary measures to put a stop to this arson. Mounted patrols and pickets were begun, and all faquirs, travellers and idle persons, not belonging to the station, were expelled. But there was no effect. The sepoys still assembled and faquirs did address the sepoy meetings. One such instance was reported by R. Burton to the court of inquiry instituted to find out causes of the incendiary fires. He said;

"At about eight on the 17th April, I was walking through the gardens and I perceived there was fire; at the same time my attention was attracted by murmuring of voices, I went in the direction of the sound and I saw number of natives collected together. I looked over their holders and saw a native, naked with long beard. He appeared to be addressing these natives and every second or third word seemed to be an approval of what he said. I heard the word `Khuda' `Ag'. When they saw me, they surrounded me, took hold of me and upon my attempting to shake them off, they spat in my face".

Charles Ball gives details of another such meeting held in the evening of April 20: "A group of the native soldiers was earnestly discussing some topics-the unintentional intruder (a man of the 9th Lancers) upon their privacy was no sooner observed than discussion ceased and the man was surrounded by an angry crowd".He somehow, escaped and got safely to his quarters, but he was stabbed while sleeping in his bed room a few hours later. The said incident was followed by two disastrous fires in the Indian infantry lines. This was but a prelude to many such scenes.Fires became almost nightly occurrences. Suddenly in the dead of night, said Forsyth, "flames would burst out various parts of cantonment bungalows, or stables of officers attached to the musketry depot. Government buildings containing stores for European soldiers were fired". Cap. Howard, the cantonment Joint Magistrate has given a detailed account of these fires. The details of the incident are as under :-

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Period Incident

March 26, 1857 Depot Musketry(late 28th Regiment Native Infantry lines)-Attempt to fire the house of Subedar Harbans, 36th Regiment Native Infantry, attached to Musketry Depot.

April 3, 1857 Depot Musketry-Europeans' Chuppur burnt.

April 15, 1857 60th Regiment Native Infantry Lines-Riding Master Bouchers' out houses set on fire.

April 16, 1857 Hospital (Late 28th Regiment Native Infantry ) in which the Europeans' Musketry) Depot were located, but empty when fired. (ii) No. 9 European Infantry Barrack in which were 442 casks of bear for European were fired.

April 17, 1857 50th Regiment Native Infantry Lines-Lt. Whiting's bungalow fired; attempt to fire Lieutenant Walker's stables, 60th Regiment Native Infantry.

April 19, 1857 60th Regiment Native Infantry Lines House occupied by Lieutenant Graigie, 36th Regiment Ross, 9th Regiment, Corfield, 3rd Regiment, officers attached to Musketry Depot, stable burnt; Fired also the house of Sheo Narain Singh, Subedar, 3rd Company, 5th Regiment Native Infantry Lines and a civil Police Chowki on the G.T.Road.

April 20, 1857 Attempt to fire the houses of Jamadar and Havaldar, 5th Regiment Native Infantry Lines both attached to Musketry Depot.

April 21, 1857 Six or seven houses, 6th Company, 60th Regiment Native Infantry fired, in which was the property of sepoys proceeded on furlough.

April 22, 1857 5th Regiment Native Infantry Mess compound, Sheep house set on fire; European Infantry Lines-Major Laughton's stables attempted to be fired.

April 23, 1857 9th Lancers Lines- attempt to fire Captain Sounder's house, 41st Regiment Native Infantry,attached to the Musketry Depot.

April 25, 1857 9th Lancers Lines-Bank Master's house, Her Majesty's 9th Lancers, Regimental property burnt.

April 26, 1857 Attempt (during the day) to fire Lieutenant and Riding Master Shaw's house, 9th Lancers Lines.


May 1st, 1857 Baijnath Sepoy's hut (5th Regiment Native Infantry Lines) burnt.

The courts of inquiry instituted to find out the minds and hands behind incendiary fires bore no fruits. The Deputy Commissioner was at work, the military authorities did their utmost and there was an inducement of Rs 1,000 to any one who would give any clue of the incendiaries, yet there was no progress. Captain Howard said, "Were it the act of only one or two or even a few persons, well disposed sepoys would at once have come forward. Though all and every individual comprising a regiment may not form a part of the combination-that a (organised) league in each corps is known to exist and such being upheld by the majority, or rather arrived at therefore, no single man dares to come forward and exposes it".

Sham Singh a sepoy of the 5th Native Infantry told Forsyth towards the end of April, 1857:

"The great body of the sepoys were highly indignant and excited state under the apprehension that they were all to be compelled to use the offensive cartridges; and they had resolved that whenever such an order be issued, every bangalow in the station should be in flames. He further exposed a conspiracy giving the details thus : Two Native Infantry Corps were to seize the magzines; the Light Cavalry to seize the gun; the heilropes of the horses of the H's 9th Lancers were to be cut and the horses let loose; and a general rise and massacre to ensure".

A police official (the Bazar Kotwal) also confirmed the existence of such a conspiracy though in a different way by deposing that a pandit had told him that according to Hindu astrological calculations, it was certain that blood would be shed within a week either in Delhi, Meerut and Ambala. The matter was immediately reported to the local military authorities as well as to the Commander-in-Chief who was then, "on a sporting excursion among hills". The former took precautionary measures and posted vigilant guards at every point of importance, so much so that the English soldiers hardly got two nights a week in bed, but the latter could not take any prompt action. He openly confessed that "What was passing at Ambala sorely puzzled him." "Strange", he wrote to Lord Canning, "that incendiaries should never be detected. Every one is on the alert there, but still no clue to trace the offenders".

John Lawrence, the Chief Commissioner of the Punjab, saw grave consequences ahead if the new cartridges were not abandoned.Sounding a note of warning to this effect he pointed out :

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

"This mischief will spread- disaffection, pervades the whole of native regulars. Even punishments will not prove effective, for the sufferers will become object of sympathy and be looked upon as martyrs for their religion".

But his warning was not heeded by Commander-in-Chief, still persisted in the use of the new cartridges. As matter of fact, the greatest breach of military discipline and faith was made by the highest military authority of the land himself by forcing the sepoys at the depot to use the cartridges, which as the authorities had said were not to be issued to any native sepoy. Evidence in support of this has been furnished by Anson himself who said boastfully : "The new cartridges were supplied to the sepoys and the men of all grades unhesitatingly and cheerfully used the new cartridges". The last part of his statement is quite contrary to the facts. There were no cases, excepting a few in the whole of the Indian army, where the sepoys used the cartridges unhesitatingly and cheerfully".

In the 1st week of May the situation worsened. Sham Singh, a sepoy of the 5th N.I. informed Forsyth that the Musalmans and the Hindus were united in the determination to resist what they looked upon as tampering with their religions and that there was a clique who held consultations which were not communicated to the sepoys generally. A few days later it was reported that "in the following week blood would be shed at Delhi and Ambala and that a general rising of the sepoys would take place."

There was a great deal of truth in these bits of intelligence. The sepoys at Ambala had planned to rise in open revolt on 10th May when all the Europeans would be attending the opening ceremony of a new church situated at an open place close to the lines of the both N.I. and the 5th N.I. what their plan was, has been described by Cave Brown in the following words :-

"The lancers and artillery men, without horses and guns all officers with their families mutinous collected together at a distance from the remaining European troops and they, mostly unguarded or in a hospital would have been an easy prey; and unsuspecting congregation would have been at their mercy, surrounded by atleast 1,500 armed mutinous sepoys; they would probably have been shot down before they could offer any resistance or help could arrive" 1.

But fortunately, it was decided on 9th May that, "as new church was not yet fit for use, divine service should be held in the old church near the middle of the European lines, the 9th Lancers on one side and the British artillery on the other. As such the congregation could not be stormed unnoticed by the European soldiers living in these

1. Cave Brown J. : The Punjab and Delhi in 1857, Vol. I,pp.186-87.


lines. There the guns too were quite close at hand. So, the sepoys's original plan got completely foiled by the change in the programme of service from the new church to the old one.

At approximately 9 a.m. on Sunday, 10th May, 1857 about nine hours before the outbreak of the 1st War of Independence at Meerut, the 60th N.I. openly revolted at Ambala. The sepoys left their lines as one man, seized arms from regimental kote and arrested their European officers. But to their great surprise the next movement they found themselves surrounded by a superior number of European forces.Under the circumstances the sepoys could not proceed ahead with their plan. Nor could the British troops fall upon them, for in the words of the eye witness. "They (sepoys) had their officers (Englishmen) as prisoners and threatened them to shoot them if they came down". So, both the forces stood still for a while and then bargaining started. In the words of same eye-witness : "If we (Englishmen) did not attack them, they (sepoys ) would return quietly : The Enlishmen had no other alternative but to agree to their proposal.

The 60th Native Infantry had not even fully quietened down when the 5th N.I.turned out at 12 O,clock. Having burnt their fingers once, the Britishers immediately rushed to the trouble spot and surrounded the 5th N.I. with cavalry and artillery, superior to them in number and fire power.So, the uprising of 5th N.I. was also checked.

At the same time trouble burst forth at the third spot, the treasury. Here the detachment of the 5th N.I. was on duty and when they heard that their comrades had risen, they too rebelled. But promptitude on the part of the British again saved the situation.

For the whole day both the regiments stood with their arms and their captive European officers on the parade grounds in open defiance of the law. In the evening General Henary Barnard came in person and after granting them `unconditional pardon', quietened and induced them with pledges and promises. In the absence of any historical evidence, nothing can be said precisely what their promises and pledges were which the General made. But it is clear from some passing reference in the government papers that "unconditional pardon was one of the pledges, and their arms would not be taken, was another promise. Both these promises of the General were subsequently confirmed by the Commander-in -Chief, though much against his wish, when he arrived at Ambala on 16th May, 1857.

The sepoys could not forward from Ambala and the rising was suppressed by the British officers with chicanery by offering tall promises.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Uprising of 1857 (Gurgaon and Faridabad areas)

By 18571, the life in the then district seemed to have settled down to a peaceful and quiet routine. The feudatory races had betaken themselves to agriculture, the higher castes to trade and British service. The old feuds, if not extinct, were at least dormant. When in May, 1857 the freedom fighter Rao Gopal Dev from Meerut entered Delhi; W. Ford of the Bengal Civil Service, was the Collector and the District Magistrate of Gurgaon 2.

The proximity of the district to the imperial capital was to play a major role in shaping its destiny. Its chiefs and people, especially the former, threw in their lot with the representatives of the House of Timur. Its destiny was thus linked with that of Delhi3.

Gurgaon was attacked on May 13, 1857, by a large party of the 3rd Light Cavalry troops who had come through Delhi. Ford, with the assistance of a body of Pataudi sowars who were in attendance of him, drove off these troopers and seized their 10 men and 20 horses4. He also suppressed an outbreak in the jail. But eventually he was compelled to leave the station, which was thereupon plundered and burnt. Accompanied by four or five clerks and some officers, he fled away to Mathura via Bhundsi, Saialni and Palwal, picking up the customs officers of all these places. He reached Hodal on May 14 and Mathura on May 155 . No symbol of the British authority was to be seen throughout the length and breadth of the district 6.

The complete political vacuum thus caused led the people to believe that the British had ceased to exist. The role of the people of the then Gurgaon district in the Uprising of 1857 is described below 7.

"The Mewatis rose up at once in great numbers.Their cardinal leaders and chaudharis addressed letters to Bahadur Shah acknowledging him the emperor of Hindustan and began to conduct the `intizam' of their villages and localities in accordance with his instruction 8.

1. The Gurgaon district, in 1857, formed a part of the Delhi Division of the North-Western Provinces of the Bengal presidency.The Delhi Division also comprised the imperial city of Delhi, a district of the same name, and the districts of Hisar, Panipat and Rohtak.

2. Gurgaon District Gazetteer, 1910, p. 23.

3. Kaye and Malleson, History of the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58, Volume VI, 1896, p. 139.

4. Ibid. Volume V, 1896, p. 357.

5. Gurgaon District Gazetteer, 1910, p. 23.

6. Jawala Sahai, The Loyal Rajputana, p. 260.

7. Buddha Prakash, (ED), Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967, pp. 85-90.

8. File R/269; Trial of Bahadur Shah, 118; Sultan Akbar, June 10, 1857.


"In the last week of May, when almost the whole of the rural Mewat had come under the rule of emperor Bahadur Shah, the urban Mewat still owed allegiance to the British through their "native officials" and wealthy persons, on whom the favours had been showered by the government earlier. Large gathering of Mewatis attacked such towns. They did not meet any opposition at Taoru, Sohna, Firozepur Jhirka, Punahana and Pinangwan, and easily reduced them to subjection. A great deal of plundering and destruction also took place. The town of Nuh proved to be a hard nut to crack. The local police and the "Loyal Khanzadas"1 gave a stiff battle to the Meos. But soon they were overpowered by the superior number of the latter. The Khanzadas suffered heavy casualties 2. After the Khanzadas of Nuh, the Rawat Jats of the region near Hodal and the Rajputs of Hathin, "who were supposed to be on the part of the (British) Government," were attacked by a large gathering of Surot Jats of Hodal, Pathans of Seoli and the Meos. The fight continued for several months and the `loyalists' suffered heavy losses3. On receipt of the S.O.S. signal from the Rawats, the British authorities at Delhi despatched small force to Hodal to help their supporters. The loyalists and the British troops fought well, but they were completely routed by the Mewatis.

"In the middle of June Major W.F. Eden, the Political Agent at Jaipur, happened to pass through Mewat at the head of a big contingent force comprising about 6,000 men and 7 guns. He was going to Delhi, but finding Mewat, intervening between him and Delhi, in a "most deplorable state of anarchy," he thought it advisable to settle it before going to Delhi, for its "turbulent population"could at any time pose a serious danger to the forces before Delhi 4.

`Major Eden's contingent force met stiff oppositon at the hands of the thousands of armed men from the villages between Taoru and Sohna. Had he not been in possession of the artillery guns, his force would have experienced heavy losses 5. He

1. They are an allied caste of the Meos, and consider themselves to have sprung up from the Rajputs of the Yadava clan. For details see Sharaf -du-din, Muragga-i-Mewat, pp. 79-134; Gazetteer of Ulwar, 1878, pp. 40-41.

2. Gurgaon District Gazetteer, 1910, pp. 5-6.

3. Ibid. p.24.

4. Jawala Sahai, The Loyal Rajputana, pp. 258-59.

5. Jawala Sahai, describes it thus "Major Eden's artillery opened fire in different quarters, burnt villages and destroyed a number of the Meos".

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

destroyed many villages. He halted at Sohna for three days.Ford 1 and thirty European officers came down from Mohena and joined him there. After that, his force moved towards Palwal and remained between that place and Hodal for a long time. But sickness, discontent and growing spirit of revolt among his troops obliged him to return to Jaipur in August 1857 2.

"The departure of Major Eden's force led to further deteriorations in the situation. Even the fall of Delhi on September 20, 1857 did not effect improvement in the situation.Consequently, on October 2, a strong column of 1,500 men with a light field battery, a few 18-pounder guns and 2 mortars, was sent under Brigadier-General Showers to punish the turbulent Meos, Gujars, Ranghars, Ahirs and `the princes'; and to settle the Gurgaon district. Throughout the month of October, the Brigadier General laboured hard to realise his aims. He seized the Nawabs of Jhajjar, Dadri, Farrukhnagar and the Raja of Ballabgarh and dispersed their troops and took their forts3. In the settlement of Mewat, his work was shared by Clifford, the Assistant Collector of Gurgaon. Clifford's sister was " stripped naked at the palace, tied in that condition to the wheels of gun-carriages, dragged up in the `Chandni Chowk' or Silver Street of Delhi and then, in the presence of King's son cut to pieces", Clifford "had it in his mind that his sister, before being murdered, was outraged by the rebels". Naturally he had a fire of revenge burning violently in his heart . He burnt village after village and destroyed the country side . In his own words, "He had put to death all he had come across, not excepting women and children4. But he could not carry on his ruthless campaign for long, for he was killed by the Meos of Raisina and Muhammadpur5.

"Brigadier-General Showers carried fire and sword far and wide. All the villages between Dharuhera and Taoru were indiscriminately burnt and their inhabitants were

1. Accompanied by four or five Englishmen and one hundred Bharatpur Horse, Ford had come to Hodal from Mathura on May 20. He stayed at Hodal till May 29 when he started for Palwal, accompanied by some European custom officers and others. On May 30, the party proceeded from Palwal to the ferry over the Yamuna at Chhensa, intending to cross over to Bulandshahr. Hostile demonstrations on the Bulandshahr side of the river prevented this and the party then proceeded to Mohena where they were hospitably entertained by Mir Hidayat Ali, Risaldar of the 4th Bengal Irregular Cavalry. They left for Sohna on June 8 and joined Eden on the following day. Ford returned to Gurgaon on October 13. (Gurgaon District Gazetteer, 1910,p.23).

2. Foreign Secret Consultations Nos. 440-52, Dec. 18. 1857.

3. Punjab Government Records, VII-II, 209.

4. Griffiths, A Narrative of the Siege of Delhi (with an account of the Mutiny at Firozpur in 1857), 1910, pp. 96-7.

5. Punjab Government Records, VII-II, 209, File/R 188, p.19, File R/194, pp. 89-90.


shot down ruthlessly. At the deserted town of Taoru some 30 persons were killed. A few kilometres short of sohna, his column met a stiff resistance at the hands of the inmates of a Meo village who killed about 60 sepoys of General Showers' column in a hand to hand fight. Describing the strife of a brave Mewati, an eye witness observes: A Mewati, a huge fellow, armed with shield and sword, was put up half way down the Khud(pit) at our feet. Twenty shots were fired; but the bold fellow held steadily on, springing from rock to rock, descending to the bottom of the den and then mounting the opposite face. The braveman, who put up this heroic show for quite a long time, was ultimately put to death by the Guides1.

"The column, having cleared the area around Sohna and Taoru and leaving it in charge of a Gorkha detachment of the late 22 N.I, under Captain Drummond, went to Delhi via Ballabgarh 2.An account of his experiences in the district of Gurgaon by Brigadier-General Showers is worth noticing: "from the time I entered the Gurgaon district, I was in enemies' country, that in all encampments and during every march I was exposed to the attacks of the enemies horsemen ...................I had to anticipate attack from every village that I passed, where I had to be continually on the alert against an enemy3.

"In the third week of November 1857, Captain Drummond received intelligence through the "native officials" of Sohna, Hathin, and Palwal that " several thousand Meos and a few hundred cavalry were congregated about Kot-Rupraka" and had been attacking the "loyal Rajput villages" for several days. Besides, they were also intent on plundering the Government treasury at Palwal4. Captain Drummond with a small force comprising a detachment of Hodson's Horse, another of Tohana Horse, and some 120 men of the Kumaon Battalion, at once proceeded to Rupraka. On the way, he was reinforced by a company of the 1st Panjab Infantry (Coke's) from Ballabgarh5.

"Captain Drummond's force burnt all the Meos villages on the Sohna-Rupraka route and destroyed their crops. Panchanka, Geopur, Malpuri, Chilli, Utawar, Kot Mugla Mitaka, Kululka, Guraksar, Malluka, Jhanda, etc. were among these unfortunate villages6. When the column reached Rupraka, 3,500 Meos and others drew up in front of the village, and gave them a tough fight. Though the Meos fought heroically

1. Ball, Charles, The History of the Indian Mutiny, Volume II, pp. 58-9.

2. Ibid. p. 59; Foreign Secret Consultations, Nos. 21-27, January 31, 1858.

3. File R/191.

4. Foreign Secret Consultations , Nos. 21-27, January 29, 1858.

5. Ibid. Records of Intelligence Department (N.W. Provinces), II, 220.

6. Foreign Secret Consultations, Nos. 21-27, January 29, 1858.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

and lost 400 men, the day went to the British who possessed superior firepower1. The action at Rupraka, says Captain Drummond,was very important in the way that "not only have the Meos been defeated, their villages and property burnt and destroyed, but the friendly villages, who have hitherto been kept in a state of siege by constant aggression on the part of their enemies, are relieved"2 .

"On November 27, 1857, another rebel force commanded by a Meo leader Sadar-ud-din attacked the Pargana of Pinangwan3.A British force under Captain Ramsay from Palwal and Gurgaon was despatched at once to meet the danger. The force reached Pinangwan on November 294. But the rebels were then at a small village. They made for that village next day and reached there at 7a.m.. The Meos took the defence in the village. Exchange of shots continued till mid-day. Then the British troops bombarded the village with guns. Three Gorkha regiments took the defence, advanced upon the village from three directions, and they seized the village in a short time5.The entire village was destroyed by fire. They cut down 28 Meos in the village including Sadar-du-din's son, and 42 more in the neighbouring villages6. Making an assessment of the whole affair, Macpherson, the Joint Magistrate of Gurgaon, and the chief actor in the action at Mahun, observed : "Altogether I look upon it as a most successful affair, I should say about 70 rebels killed.The whole number of the rebels assembled was so small that their resistance was to me a subject of the greatest surprise7".

"Having crushed the last of the risings in Mewat, the column effected its retreat, but not before making a clean sweep of the villages and people suspected to have taken part in Uprising. The villages of Shahpur, Bali Khera, Kherla, Chitora, Nahirka, Gujar Nagla, Baharpur, Kheri, etc., were set on fire and wiped out of existence8. After some time, many more villages in the neighbourhood of Pinanghwan met the same fate for assisting the rebel leader Sadar -ud-din and refusing to pay revenue to the British Government9.

"The landed property of several of the villagers, Chaudharis and lambardars was confiscated in accordance with the Acts XXV of 1857 and 1858 for their rebellious

1. Ibid. Records of Intelligence Department II, 220.

2. Foreign Secret Consultations Nos. 21-27, January 29, 1858.

3. Delhi Division Records, Military Department, Case No. 1 of 1858, Report by Mr. Macpherson, Joint Magistrate of Gurgaon (State Archives Patiala).

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.

7. (State Archives Patiala).

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.


acts and failure to extend any help to the British at the time of sore need. The villagers of Jharsa, Kheri, Jalalpur, and Davela in the Jharsa pargana and Shikrawah and Ghaghus Kheri in the pargana of Nuh, suffered confiscation of the entire landed property of theirs. Bhaktawar Singh of Jharsa and Udampur, IIahi Bax of Badhshahpur and Dhanuspur, Mirkhan of Naurangpur and Abu of Bhora and Binola in the Jharas pargana, Brija Nand of Shahjahanpur, Ramjas and Hamza Ali of Chhajunagar, Jaffar, Narkhan, and Ghariba of Rasulpur in the pargana of Palwal got their shares of landed property confiscated 1. Besides that, 235 persons were hanged and many more got long term imprisonments for taking part in the rebellion. Heavy fines were imposed on the individuals and rebel villages".

Role of Raja Nahar Singh in the War of Independence (1857)

The British, believing in the age-old Roman imperial dictum of divide it impera, strove hard to disturb the communal harmony wherever they could during the Movement of 1857. This helped them in conducting Indian affairs effectively and comfortably. Contemporary accounts show that the situation, as it existed then, was not so simple that mere appeals and firmans could have served the purpose. Thanks to the efforts of the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah and the like-minded leaders of the Movement, the situation improved. Besides, the religious leaders, pandits and maulvis also played a significant role. The news-papers too tried to influence public opinion and made moving appeals to the people to unite. As a result, the communal situation at Ballabgarh improved. The local leaders of the Movement spared no pains for improving it still further. The example of Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabgarh is a case in point. The following account shows his interest and keenness to foster the communal unity in his state :—

"Although I, in my heart, profess the Hindu religion, still I follow the dictates of Muhammadan leaders, and an obedient to the followers of that creed. I have gone so far as to erect a lofty marble mosque within the fort of Ballabgarh. I have also made a spacious Idgah.......... close to my fort2".

Besides this, the Raja appointed many Muslim officials to the responsible posts in the administration.The fact of the matter is that the communal relations in Haryana during the Uprising of 1857 were very cordial. The Hindus and the Muslims stood side by side and made joint efforts to oust the British from their land.

When the Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabgarh heard the news of the outbreak of the revolt on May 11, he did not think it proper to rise against the British powers. But

1. (State Archives Patiala ).

2. K. C. Yadav, The Revolt of 1857 in Haryana, 1977, p. 86.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

since he was very close to Delhi, the centre of rebels , and his entire state was up in arms against the British, he had no choice but to cast his lot with Emperor BahadurShah. He also sent a detachment of his cavalry, consisting of some 30 sowars under Defedar Kalandar Bas to Delhi and deputed his confidential agent to the imperial court. But he did not present himself at the court, despite several requests of the emperor to this effect and avoided going there by extending some pretext or the other. Nor did he comply with Bahadur Shah's requests for supply of money.

The British were raged with the Raja over his alliance with the freedom fighters. Consequently, they apprehended him after the fall of Delhi and brought him to trial on December 19, 1857. The charges against him were that he held treasonable correspondence with the rebels ; helped them with men, money and material in waging war against the British and usurped unlawful authority over the British Pargana of Palwal.

Raja Nahar Singh pleaded not guilty and presented his statement of defence through his attorney, H.M. Courtney. He confessed that a few messengers from Emperor Bahadur Shah had gained admittance to his presence, replies had been sent to the royal rhuqqas and in one case a few gold mohars had also been sent to the king. His attorney put forth convincing reasons to account for this kind of behaviour of his client.

The solid and weighty defence put forth by the Raja could not extinguish the fire of revenge burning into the hearts of the Britons who constituted the commission. It was unanimously decided by them on January 2, 1858 that the Raja was guilty of the charges preferred against him with the exception to the word `money' of which the court acquitted him'. In consequence, they sentenced him to be hanged by neck until he be dead and further to forfeit all his property and effects of every description.

On January 9, 1858, Raja Nahar Singh was hanged at Kotwali in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, in the same manner as the other chiefs of this division. All executed rulers were deprived of their properties1. The land and property of Raja Nahar Singh were also confiscated. The sacrifice of Raja Nahar Singh is just like a beacon light for the coming generation.

Role of Rao Tula Ram in the Revolt of 1857

On hearing the news of the happenings at Delhi, the people of the Rewari area rose up in revolt. In the Rewari area lead was given by Rao Tula Ram.His cousin Gopal Dev also stood by him. As seen above, the forefathers of the Raos had helped the Marathas in 1803 in their fight against the British and as a result when the latter

1. N. K. Nigam, Delhi in 1857, 1957, p. 169.


came out successful in the struggle, they confiscated their jagir and gave instead an istamarari grant of about 58 villages. This was a great blow to the Raos which shattered their position and made them unhappy with British Raj.

On 17 May, 1857, the Raos went to the tahsil headquarters at Rewari with four to five hundred followers and deposed the tahsildar and thanedar. They appropriated the cash from the tahsil treasury, took all the government buildings in their possession and proclaimed, under the sanction of Emperor Bahadur Shah, independent over the pargana of Rewari, Bhora and Shajahanpur. For their headquarters, they chose Rampura, a small fortified village, in the south-west of Rewari.Tula Ram, the elder Rao became Raja and Gopal Dev his commander-in-chief.

After assuming charge, Tula Ram organised the Revenue Department and collected revenue and taxes. He took donations and loans from the mahajans of Rewari. He raised a force about five thousand men and set up a large workshop in the fort of Rampura where a substantial number of guns, gun-carriages, and other small arms and ammunition were manufactured. The Rao enforced law and order and defended his state from outside attacks.

These activities pleased Bahadur Shah and he confirmed Rao Tula Ram in his jagirs of Rewari, Bhora and Shahjahanpur. Tula Ram, in return, rendered all possible help to Emperor Bahadur Shah and those revolters waging war against the British in Delhi. He sent Rs. 45,000 through General Bakht Khan at such a critical time when non-payment of the salaries to the sepoys had caused great insecurity and anxiety, though this small sum did not improve the situation. The Rao also supplied the Delhi forces with large quantities of necessary commodities1.

But this help could not protect Delhi which fell to the British on September 20, 1857. Soon after Brigadier-General Showers led out a column (from Delhi) of 1,500 men with a light field battery, 18 two-pounder guns and two small mortars, "to attack and destroy Rao Tula Ram and his followers and to raze his fort (at Rewari)". The column had light skirmish with some Rewari-Sawars on October 5, 1857 : "They-fired at our advance and bolted at speed," said Hodson. The column's next attack was directed on Rewari which was still held by Rao Tula Ram. The situation was serious and the Rao foresaw that a fight with the British forces in the mud fort of Rampura, in the changed circumstances after the fall of Delhi, would result in the complete destruction of his army without any serious loss to the British. So, he left fort before Shower's arrival.

1. Mahendragarh District Gazetteer , 1988, p. 47.

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The British column reached Rewari on October 6. The fort of Rewari (Rampura) was taken without any opposition. Immediately after the occupation of the fort of Rewari, Brigadier-General Showers sent a messenger to Rao Tula Ram telling him that if he submitted alongwith guns and arms, he would be treated on merits. But Rao Tula Ram turned down the inducement.

Showers stayed at Rewari for a week and settled the villages around it. On October 12, he left for Jatusana where some horsemen of the Nawab of Jhajjar had collected. These sawars had no spunk to oppose the column and they surrendered without resistance. Next going via Kosli, Ladain, Matanhail, the column reached Chhuchhakwas (about 16 km.from Jhajjar ), the hunting resort of the Nawab of Jhajjar, on October 16.

The British forces moved speedily towards Kanaud. They halted for a while at Nahar, 48 km. from Jhajjar, where they were joined by other forces. Here a party of revolters from Jhajjar and Delhi attacked them but they were soon defeated. The revolters lost 40 of their men, 50 cavalry horse and a few nine-pounder guns.

A word about happenings in the Narnaul-Kanuad tract was spread. As noted above, the Nawab Abdur Rahman Khan did not play any positive role. But his father-in-law, General Samad Khan displayed sincere attitude towards the emperor Bahadur Shah. He also gave inspiring lead to the people who rose up en masse against the British. The Nawab actually had no nerve to take an open stand against the British. Nor he dare to displease Bahadur Shah. At Chhuchhakwas, Showers contacted Nawab of Jhajjar and asked him to surrender. He was arrested later, tried and hanged.

Showers next asked his forces to proceed to Kanaud. The arrest of the Nawab had demoralizing effect on the garrison stationed there. It was for this reason that the British forces captured one of the strongest, best planned and best kept forts in India without firing a shot. Fourteen heavy guns, one 8-Inch mortar, two 6-pounder guns and a large quantity of small arms and ammunition fell in their hands. Besides that,the Nawab's treasure amounting to five lakh of rupees was also seized. Leaving Capt. Tozer in command of the garrison (comprising a wing of the 23rd Punjab Infantry and men of Tohana Horse) Showers left for Delhi via Rewari, Farrukhnagar, Ballabgarh, Taoru and Sohna on October 22.

But despite all these apparently impressive gains, the Brigadier-General's campaign could hardly be called successful : he had failed to realize his main aim that of capturing Rao Tula Ram or General Abdus Samad Khan of Jhajjar, who had acted as nucleus of revolt in the district. Conversely, the attack of Showers came as a blessing in disguise to these persons they left their respective places on Shower's approach and moved into the northern Rajasthan where they met a rebel force, the


Jodhpur Legion from Rajasthan and formed a junction with it . Then they marched to Rewari and reoccupied it. But strategically speaking, Rewari was not a good place to camp, so they abandoned it in the first week of November and occupied Narnaul.

The British authorities at Delhi were alarmed by these developments. They sent a strong column comprising about 1,500 strong under Colonel Gerrard, an officer of conspicuous merit on November 10, 1857. The column reached Rewari three days later. They occupied the abandoned fort of Rampura. Here they were joined by two squadrons of the carabineers.

After a few days' rest at Rewari (Rampura), Col.Gerrard proceeded to Narnaul via Kanaud and reached there in the evening. In the night he was joined by the Haryana Field Force. On November 16, Gerrard marched to Narnaul. As the track was sandy, the column reached Nasibpur, small village, 3 km. north-west of Narnaul and halted for a short rest.

The rebel force, having abandoned their strong fort in the centre of the town pounced on them. Rao Tula Ram's first charge was irresitible and the British forces scattered before them. The Patiala Infantry and the Multani Horse on the British side were completely disheartened. The whole of the right flank fled. But at this juncture, the Guides and the Carabineers came to their rescue and saved the situation.

The English fire, especially of the artillery, was too much for the revolters. The Guides and the Carabineers, under the cover of the artillery fire, made a heavy attack. Next, the 1st Bengal Fusilliers, swooping upon the weak revolters with artillery, captured some of their guns. This encouraged the British cavalry on the right and they pressed through the Indian ranks and successfully overpowered them on right flank and in the centre.

But soon the situation took an unexpected turn when Col. Gerrard, the British Commandant, was mortally wounded by a musket ball, with the result that the British troops were demoralised. Taking full advantage of the circumstances, Rao Tula Ram swooped down upon them. The British could not stand the charge and the Multani Horse fled away in bewilderment. They recaptured their guns and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy. The right and the left wings of the British forces were thrown into confusion.

Appreciating the gravity of the situation, Major Caulfield, the officiating British commandant, ordered his artillery to start heavy bombardment and his cavalry and infantrymen to charge straight on with full force into their front ranks. Rao Tula Ram's forces fought back furiously and stood their grounds. The British artillery fire, nevertheless, broke their backbone and split their forces into two parts-one engaged

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in the close quarter battle and the other fleeing to go out of the range of the British guns. Meanwhile,Kishan Singh and Ram Lal, the two best commanders, received musket shots and died. This disheartened Rao Tula Ram's forces and they retreated.

The British resumed advance until they came to a dry bed of a stream flowing between Nasibpur and Narnaul. The British guns were unable to cross the stream owing to sand, so they diverged to the right and took up a position near the Horse Artillery guns, whilst the 23rd Panjab Infantry and Patiala Infantry with other units of the cavalry crossed the stream and went towards the camp.

The heavy artillery and infantry fire confused Rao Tula Ram, and his forces ran pell-mell in all directions. Mostly, they retreated to town and hid in the buildings. The pursuit of the fleeing soldiers was quick and inexorable, and they were very soon driven out of the town after a little fighting. Rao Tula Ram lost the day and, when the sun went down, there remained none in Narnaul except heaps of corpses here and there. Though Tula Ram and Abdus Samad Khan escaped, Rao Kishan Singh, Ram Lal, Samad Khan's son and many other top-ranking officers were killed in action. The British captured nine guns and other arms.The total loss on the British side was 70 killed and 45 wounded. They lost their commander, Col. Gerrard and Capt, Wallace, while Lieutenants Graije, Kennedy and Pearse were severely wounded.

The battle of Narnaul was undoubtedly one of the most decisive battles of the Uprising of 1857. The English felt jubilant over their success in this confrontation, for it resulted in the complete rout of all the revolters, and thus marked the close of the crucial period of the struggle in the Haryana region and northern Rajasthan.

After the battle, Tula Ram, the hero of 1857, moved into Rajasthan; then joined Tantya Tope's forces for one year. After the British proclamation of promising unconditional pardon, amnesty and oblivion to all offences against the British to all except those who directly or indirectly took part in the murder of British subjects (issued on November 1, 1858), he tried to explain his position for the revolt, but the British disagreed with his plea. He was followed for he was chief hero and prime mover of the revolt. He, therefore, left India in 1862. He went to Iran;then to Afghanistan in the winter of 1862, where he died at Kabul on 23 September 1863 at a young age of 38.

His cousin Gopal Dev also fled from Narnaul and took asylum with one of his relatives at Udairamsar, a village in former Bikaner State. He stayed there in perfect secrecy for four years. Offers of surrender were made to him through his friends by the Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon but he shunned all enquiries.In consequence, his jagir of 41villages was confiscated after his death.


Events (1857) in Rohtak and Sonipat areas

The greater part of the population in the country between the Yamuna and the Satluj showed sympathy with the Uprising of 1857. In the Rohtak district, the Ranghars and Jats who had been serving in the regular regiments of the East India Company in large numbers were discontented with their British masters. The sepoys of these regiments coming home on leave spread disaffection among the villagers. Noticing these symptoms, John Adam Loch, Collector of Rohtak, took steps to preserve order by calling into headquarters all the sepoys who were on leave in the district. The horsemen sent to Rohtak for help by the nawab of Jhajjar in response to the demand of the Collector proved very unruly and in fact inflamed the villagers as they came along. As the days passed, the dissatisfied of the population began to stir the entire population against the British. The arrival of Tafazzal Hussain, an emissary of Emperor Bahadur Shah with a small force in Rohtak added to the fire. The Collector, John Adam Loch, found himself in a difficult situation. Failing to give fight to Tafazzal Hussain, he fled to Gohna with Thanedar, Bhure Khan. The other officials and Europeans followed his example to run away. Unopposed, the troops burnt the offices, courts and bungalows of the British officials. They destroyed official records, plundered the wealthy people in the town and forced their way into the District Jail to set free the prisoners inside it. On his way back to Delhi with a part of the Rohtak treasury in his possession, Tafazzal Hussain attacked the town of Sampla where he burnt all the buildings in which the Europeans lived. The custom bungalows at Maham, Madina and Mandothis were also burnt down. True that the troops of Tafazzal Hussain did not spoil their hands with British blood but they had done enough damage in the Rohtak area before returning to Delhi. All outward signs of law and order now disappeared for a time. The Ranghars hoisted their own flag. Hearing how things had gone well, the emperor of Delhi issued a proclamation to the people of Rohtak forbidding acts of violence and enjoining obedience to the landlords who were loyal to his cause.

The arrival of the 60th Regiment of Native Infantry under Thomas Seaton, accompanied by Loch, the Collector, checked disorder for a while . This regiment was encamped in the compound of the District courts but its loyalty could not be relied upon in view of deteriorating morale. The expected happened in the afternoon of the 10th June when the grenadier company which had all along been the spearhead of insubordination revolted and seized their arms. As the European officers rode away, they were fired upon by their men.Turning their back on Rohtak these officers made for Delhi and reached the ridge on the morning of the 11th June. Loch fled on foot to Sampla and thence on horseback to Bahadurgarh from where he reached Delhi.

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With no one in command of the administration, chaos reigned supreme. The local chiefs engaged themselves in fierce feuds to settle old scores. The Ranghars used the opportunity to collect in large numbers under the leadership of one Babar Khan. The British feared that these rebel forces in the Rohtak area would impede the advance of the siege train on its way to Delhi from Ferozepur. Capt. Hodson of the British army was sent from Delhi with a small force to prevent the rebels from doing so. After dealing with the men of the irregular corps whom he encountered at Kharkhauda and on August 15, 1857, Hodson proceeded towards Rohtak where he successfully engaged the Ranghars in an action.

As already mentioned, the Ranghars rose en masse against the British. Their struggle was very intense for two reasons; first, a large number of Ranghar soldiers whose regiments had mutinied, came and joined them. Secondly, they found good leaders like Bisarat Ali and Babar Khan. The former was a peasant from Kharkhauda. He had joined the army and was thus quite familiar with the principles of military organization and warfare.

The Ranghars led by Bisarat Ali freed the major portion of the area from the British control. But despite their best efforts, they could not free Rohtak entirely from the clutches of the British.The British authorities took a very serious view of these incidents in Gohana area. Since the Grand Trunk Road passed through the district of Sonipat, the rebels could greatly impede the passage of men and material from Punjab to Delhi.It was, therefore, considered very essential from the military point of view that the district be recovered without any loss of time.Accordingly, Major General Wilson commanding the Delhi-Field force sent Lt. Hodson with a force comprising 6 European officers, 103 men of the Guides, 233 of Hodson's Irregular Horse and 25 of the Jind Horse, (361 in all)in the early hours of 15 August, 1857.

Hodson was checked at Kharkhauda on August 15, 1857. The villagers and especially the `leave men' of the irregular corps who had taken position in one of the strong building belonging to a lambardar of the village opposed Hodson bravely. Under the inspiring leadership of Risaldar Bisarat Ali, the villagers fought gallantly. Even Hodson admitted. "They fought like devils". Because of their large numbers and superior fire power, the British soon overpowered the rebels, Risaldar Bisarat Ali fell fighting along with twenty -five of his men. The British also suffered a number of casualties on their side.

Hardly had Hodson finished this encounter when the intelligence reached him that a large number of rebels under a new peasant leader Sabar Khan were preparing their schemes. He at once left for Kharkhauda and after a short halt and respite in a village moved forwards to meet the challenge of the rebels.


In the early hours, Hodson was attacked by about 300 Ranghar Horsemen belonging to different irregular cavalry regiments and a mass of foot men certainly not less than 900 or 1,000 in number. A fierce fight took place. After sometime the rebels left the open field and retired in bushy hides.

As the situation warranted, the Indian force made a retreat. Hodson did not follow them. In the end, Hodosn left for Delhi, leaving the towns of Kharkhauda, Sonipat and Gohana under the care and watch of the Raja of Jind and some local chaudhris.

During the 1st war of Independence (1857), the tahsildar of Sonipat ordered the inhabitants to vacate the city. But the people defied his orders. Then action took place and many persons were killed. Ultimately, the tahsildar Fazale-Hussain was hanged at Ganj Bazar of the old town of Sonipat by the rebels1.

Not only these officials, but all the Europeans and "Loyal Officers" fled from the district. The rebels burnt the office and Bunglows of the British officials. They destroyed the records, plundered the Mahajans and Banias and set the prisoners free from jail.

Contribution of the people of Bhiwani, Hissar and Sirsa areas to the Revolt of 1857

The people of Bhiwani areas rose en masse and destroyed all vestiges of British rule from the region. The people of Dadri and Loharu followed suit. The revolt in Loharu was so serious that it was only with the help of British cavalry that Nawab restored his authority. The turbulent situation in the area continued upto September when General Van Courtland came with a big force and defeated the people and established British order again.

During the uprising, the revolt of the troops, stationed at chief towns of Hissar, Hansi and Sirsa, set the ball of rebellion rolling in the last week of May, 1857.There was a quick reaction among the civil population and they threw themselves heart and soul into the rising. "The villagers," report an eye-witness, "created unheard of mischief"2 -killed the European officials, their women and children, plundered their bunglows, destroyed the offices, Kacheris, jails, and so on, looted the Mahajans, Banias, and other loyal elements and destroyed all that belonged to the British.

Muhammad Azim, the Assistant Patrol of Bhattu, who happened to be prince of royal family of Delhi, proclaimed the end of British rule and established his authority

1. Newspaper-Afase-Alam, (Urdu), February 2, 1859; this extract has been taken from the Diary of Bahadur Shah Jafar, Dt. August 21, 1857.

2. Dr. Minas Narrative, vide chick, Annals of the Indian Rebellion, 1857-58, p. 713.

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on behalf of Emperor Bahadur Shah in his territory. At Hansi, Hukam Chand jain, his nephew Fakir Chand and friend Meena Beg played a prominent role. They addressed letters to Emperor Bahadur Shah and offered services of men, money and material to him.

Hansi was the first station to witness the flame of Uprising in this area.On May 15, the 14th Irregular Cavalry stationed there, revolted.They could not, however, make much impact on either their fellow soldiers or civil population.They rose up and made their way to Delhi. But two weeks later, the Haryana Light Infantry troops and a detachment of the Dadri cavalry stationed there, did a great job and their revolt was fierce. Major Stafford, the commanding officer of the Haryana Light Infantry and other officers managed to flee but eleven men, women and children who could not escape, were killed. The bungalows of Europeans were set on fire and the houses and the shops of loyalists were plundered. On May 27, the Haryana Light Infantry stationed at Hissar followed suit. They rose up like one man under the leadership of Subedar Shah Nar Khan. At about 1 p.m. a few persons clad in green attacked the Hissar fort where Wedderburn, the Deputy Commissioner, was living with his family. The man at the gate, did not object to their entry into the fort, and as though the whole thing was preplanned, led them in fort. Two English men came out on hearing the noise,but they were shot dead before they could do anything1. The shots served as a signal for a popular rising; the troops were joined by the civil population in a twinkle of an eye. They broke the district jail, released about two score of prisoners from there, plundered and destroyed the houses and bungalows of the Europeans and seized the district treasury containing Rs.1, 70,000.Wedderburn, the Deputy Commissioner and twelve other European were killed. Next they occupied the tahsil treasury and seized Rs. 8,000 from there. Having done that, the rebels went to Hansi where all the troops of the district had already assembled.

A sizeable number of sepoys stationed at Sirsa, too, rose in revolt. But the news of uprising and murdering of Europeans at Hansi and Hissar reached the European residents at Sirsa well in time. In consequence, they fled before they could be overtaken. Capt. Roberts, the superintendent of Bhattiana and his family moved to Ferozepur via Dabwali and Bhatinda.Others Europeans, about 17 in number, went to Sahuwala with Donald, the Assistant Superintendent, and took shelter in Patiala State. Hillard, officer commanding of the contingent, and Mr. Fell-Assistant Patrol proved a little less intelligent; they went into barracks of the sepoys who did not listen to them at all and asked them to leave at once. They left to die. The sepoys vanished all signs of the British supremacy2.

1. Hissar District Gazetteer, 1987, p.39.

2. Sirsa District Gazetteer, 1988, p. 34.


In the first week of June, prince Muhammad Azim, alongwith a strong force from Hariyana, went to Delhi and offered his services to Emperor Bahadur Shah. But his absence from this important region proved very harmful. General van Courtland, the Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepur (now in Punjab), at the instance of Sir John Lawrence, the chief commissioner, marched for the reduction of Hissar district, with a force of 550 men and 2 guns. Captain Robertson acted as a political officer with the column. The column was reinforced by some 120 men of the Kasmir Raj at Malaut, a big village near Sirsa.

The force did not meet any hindrance until they arrived at Udha, where Nur Muhammed Khan, the nawab of Rania opposed them with a force of three and four thousand strong on June 17. The nawab with his followers fought a fierce battle but he was defeated and lost. Nur Muhammad Khan (the nawab) with his followers tried to escape, but he was caught while passing through the then Ludhiana district and condemned to death by hanging. On June 18 the village of Chatravan where Captain Hillard and his brother-in-law were killed, was attacked.The villagers were ruthlessly butchered and the village was burnt to ashes. Again the column had hardly reached near Udha, when another force of the Bhattis comprising several thousand strong gave a tough fight to the column at village Khanda on the left bank of the Ghaggar river on June, 19.But they also met the same fate as their brethern had met at Udha and lost as many as 300 men.

Overcoming the stiff opposition that they met and destroying the villages they passed through, the column reached Sirsa on June 20. Here General Van Courtland received second reinforcement consisting of 800 men and 2 guns from Raja of Bikaner. With fire and blood the general resettled the region of Sirsa in a little more than a fortnight. The civil organization of the region was re-established and soon the situation reverted to its former state.

Along with the field force, General Van Courtland left Sirsa on July 8. Meeting opposition at the hands of the villagers, where they passed through, the General reached Hissar via Fatehabad on July 17. General massacre of civil population in the area of Hissar went on for many days.The house of Muhammad Azim in Hissar was completely destroyed and his Begum was made captive 1.

On knowing these developments, Emperor Bahadur Shah sent prince Azim to Hissar from Delhi with a big force consisting of 1,500 cavalry, 500 infantry and 3 guns. The people of this area hailed the arrival of the prince and several thousand of them collected around him in a short time. Meanwhile,General Vancourtland, leaving

1. Buddha Prakash, Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967, p.95.

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a strong garrison force under captain Mild May at Hissar, went to Hansi, where the situation was deteriorating.

Order was soon restored at Hansi after the General's arrival. The General had hardly settled at Hansi when a fierce attack was launched on Hissar by prince Azim in a bid to recover his wife. In a bloody battle, in which 300 rebels lost their lives, the garrison force was overpowered; but meanwhile the reinforcement arrived from Hansi and prince Azim had to flee for his life, losing the battle.

On September 2, the rebel forces attacked Tosham (now in Bhiwani district), the headquarters of the tahsil and killed all the government officials-Tahsildar, Nandpal, Thanedar Pyre Lal, Qanungo Khazan Singh and plundered the treasury and royal bankers. The rebels proceeded towards Hansi. General Vancourtland advanced to meet them. On August 6, he met an insurgent force at village Hajampur near Hansi. He subdued the rebels and burnt the village.

But this, in no way, affected the strength of the rebels whose ranks were further swelled up by rebels of the 10th Light Cavalry of Ferozepur and a number of Jhajjar sowars. The force was stationed at a considerable village Mangala. This caused some anxiety to General Vancourtlandt.He sent a strong force under Capt. Pearse to meet the rebels on September 10, 1857.A heroic struggle was waged by the rebels under the inspiring leadership of prince Azim. But the superior fire power of the British defeated them. Their loss was quite negligible: village Mangala was burnt down. On September 30, prince Azim fought the last battle with the British forces at Jamalpur but again he was a loser. Prince Azim left Hissar along with his followers and moved down to Gurgaon district.

Uprising of 1857 in the areas of Panipat, Karnal and Thanesar

The Uprising of 1857 clearly showed that the people in many areas of this region rose in opposition to British authority. To have a clear view of the happenings of the Uprising of 1857, it seems essential to keep in mind the then administrative set-up of the areas now forming the Karnal district.The Panipat and Karnal tahsils comprised the then Panipat district while the remaining portion, viz. Thanesar, Kaithal and Gula (Gula) tahsils, formed a part of the then Thanesar district.

The British authorities felt that it was of utmost importance to keep open the road between Ambala and Meerut to facilitate the junction of the forces from these two points. Both on account of its proximity to Delhi and its location on the highroad from Ambala, it was in the interest of the British to put down all opposition in this area.


The then district of Panipat on account of its location was under the heel of the British. It was a frequent sight for the civil population to see British forces marching to and from Delhi and the Punjab1. Besides, all the important towns of the district were heavily guarded by the forces of the Patiala and Jind chiefs, who, to protect their own interests, were aligned to the cause of the British.

As soon as the news of the happenings of 1857reached Jind, the Raja collected his troops and, reaching Karnal on the 18th of May, he prevented the local opposition from gathering strength. He then marched down the Grand Trunk Road in advance of the British columns and after recovering Panipat and Samalkha from the opposing forces of freedom fighters, kept the road open for the British forces between Karnal and Delhi. The Maharaja of Patiala too helped the British by holding Karnal, Thanesar and Ambala and keeping the road open from Karnal to Phillaur.

At Thanesar town the people revolted with a beat of drum. When the Deputy Commissioner Captain Mac Niel heard the information, he disarmed a company of the rebel 5th Native Infantry on the 14th July stationed at Thanesar. The British Govt. appealed to the chiefs of Patiala, Jind, Kunjpura and Karnal for help. Consequently, the Maharaja of Patiala came to Thanesar from Jasomali, a village close to Ambala, with 1,500 men and 4 guns on 15th May. The chiefs of Jind, Kunjpura and Karnal also sent 400;300 and 150 men respectively. They guarded not only Thanesar,Karnal and Ambala, but also the G.T. Road from Karnal to Phillaur.

Similarly, the people of Ladwa, Pehowa, Pundri, Kaithal and Assandh also revolted. They refused to pay land revenue. Lt. Pearson and Cap. Mac Niel had a hard time in controlling Kaithal, Ladwa and Assandh, but later established their authority.

The civil population rose in almost every big village. Consequently, the civil administration was thrown out of gear, the revenue and police officers ceased to function and even many zamindars and important villagers were in no mood to help the British.

In the Panipat Bangar, 16 of the largest villages in the Naultha zail refused to pay their revenue, and joined action in the Rohtak district. Another 19 large villages, mostly in the Bhalsi and Kuran zails rose in opposition, burnt some Government buildings and refused to pay revenue. The Gujjars also rose and joined hands. These freedom fighters had to pay heavily for their courage. The British were merciless in their atrocities after the Uprising was suppressed. All these villages, besides being

1. Kaye's and Malleson, History of the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8. edited by colonel Malleson, 1914, Volume VI, p. 140.

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fined, were punished in various other ways; and Lambardars' allowances to the amount of Rs. 7, 317, representing a revenue of Rs. 1,46,340 were confiscated1.

In the town of Panipat, those up in arms against the Government collected in the shrine of Buali Shah Qalandar under Imam. They would have attacked the Collector's office but the Jind troops had prevented them from doing so.The British behaved mercilessly; hostages were seized, people were hanged and the pension of the shrine was reduced considerably. The Tahsildar of Gharaunda, a Panipat man, was removed on charges of disaffection. Imam was arrested and hanged.

The Nardak area did not lag behind the Bangar. Some of the large villages notably Siwan, Asandh, Jalmana, Bala, Dachar, Gandar and Salwan refused to pay revenue and defied the British authority. A force of about 250 troops was sent from Karnal under Captain Hughes on July 13. This force was checked at village Bala, about 40 kilometres from Karnal, by a strong force comprising 900 match-lock-men and many mounted sowars. After a fierce fight that lasted a short while, the freedom fighters compelled the enemy to flee away, Captain Hughes dispatched a messenger to Karnal for reinforcements and he himself encamped in the jungle near by. But during the night the Ranghars flocked in from the neighbouring villages. They numbered about 3,000; under shelter of a small jungle and the banks of a canal, they kept up a harassing fire. Captain Hughes could not withstand this pressure and at the day-break of July 14, effected his retreat. Meanwhile the reinforcements comprising two guns of the Nawab of Karnal (Ahmad Ali Khan) and 50 Sikhs (Patiala men), with 20 of the Nawab's troops, arrived. Coming up un-noticed, they suddenly opened fire.After much loss, the Ranghars had to leave the ground2.

The village of Bala (Bullah) was re-attacked. The villagers took up the defence in a strong building, the double barricades of which could defy the enemy without artillery. When the fire of guns of the British force caused considerable damage to the building,its inmates, coming out in open, launched an attack on the enemy. The British cavalry, by a flank manoeuvre,got between the rebels and the town-people with speed and completely encircled them. In the grim battle that ensued, nearly 100 persons fell and the day was lost. The losses of the British side were limited to two Indian officers and three troopers, fifteen wounded and several horses killed. Captain Hughes own horse received three wounds3.

1. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1918, p.40.

2. Cave Browne, Rev.J., The Punjab and Delhi in 1857, Volume II, pp. 143-44 (Reprinted by the Language Department, Punjab, 1970).

3. Buddha Prakash, Glimpses of Hariyana, 1967, p. 97.


The villages around Bala were sacked and made to pay heavy fines in addition to the arrears of revenue. But this in no way disspirited the people. Hardly had the British force left Karnal, when they again started their activities. A huge force assembled at the village of Jalmana and gave fight to Lieutenant Pearson who had attacked them. The opposition grew so strong that he failed to register a victory over them. He asked for reinforcement but not getting any owing to the precarious British position at Panipat and Ambala, he retired from the field.

The Deputy Commissioner of Panipat learnt on June 8 that a hostile force of the freedom fighters was on its way from Jullundur to Delhi.He thought that this force might march upon Ambala and Patiala but in any case Thanesar was certain to be attacked. The Maharaja of Patiala took an alarm at it and withdrew his forces from Thanesar to protect his own capital. Under these circumstances, Lieutenant Pearson was called back leaving Jalamana as it was . In fact, the Jullundur force proceeded to Delhi and did not attack any of these places.

With the danger over, Lieutenant Pearson on June 15, re-directed his attention to settling the Kaithal region and brought it under control. Similarly, Ladwa village which had successful risen in opposition was attacked and destroyed by the Deputy Commissioner of Thanesar.

Towards the western side of the district, the opposition to the British was still brewing. The Ranghars living in the areas, collected in great numbers, attacked and captured the Asandh police station.

On hearing this, Pearson advanced towards Asandh with a strong force. But so strong was the opposition of the Ranghars that he could not dare to attack them; on the contrary he was attacked and pushed back by them.

While these events were happening, the position of the British had become more favourable for them in the districts of Hisar (Hissar) and Rohtak. Similarly, the work of suppressing the opposition in Asandh, Jalmana and other villages was taken in hand with the help of the Patiala force. The village of Asandh was bombarded and reduced to ashes. The British also cruely burnt the village of Jalmana. All other villages met a similar fate. Heavy fines were realized from all these villages at the point of the bayonet.

The Role of other Princes in the Revolt

Abdur Rahman Khan of Jhajjar- Jhajjar was the biggest state in Haryana. It had a large territory and a population of about 1,10,700 people, the majority of whom were Hindus. The state was a creation of the British who gave it to Nawab Nizabat Ali Khan, a Baharaich Pathan of Kandhar side in 1806, for his meritorious services

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during the Anglo-Maratha strife of 1803. Nizabat was succeeded by Faiz Muhammad Khan in 1824. He was a good ruler and people liked him very much. He died in 1835 and was succeeded by Faiza Ali Khan; he ruled for only five years and was succeeded by Abdur Rahman Khan (1845).

In 1857 Abdur Rahman did not play any positive role though his subjects rose en masse. Immediately after the outbreak of the revolt, he contacted Colvin, the Lieutenant Governor of Agra, asking him to issue instructions as to what he should do. The Lieutenant-Governor appreciated the move of the Nawab and asked him to extend as much help as possoble to Harvey, his Agent at Delhi. He contacted Harvey and assured him of full support in the form of men, money and material. On 13 May, he sent a detachment of cavalry to Gurgaon at the request of W. Ford, the Collector and Magistrate of that district. He also sent a detachment to Rohtak at the request of Scot, the Joint-Magistrate. On 14May, C.T. Metcalfe, Judge of Delhi, came to Jhajjar with another Englishman. The Nawab gave them shelter and deputed his own father-in-law Samad Khan, and Imad Ali to look after them. But when the people in the town came to know that the Nawab had given shelter to some Englishmen, there was a hue and cry. Consequently, the Nawab ordered their removal to Chhuchhakwas-his hunting resort some ten km. off. They were put up in a state building which had not been in use for long. Tired and exhausted, these Englishmen at once went to bed. But they had hardly slept for a while when they were again aroused at about 8 or 9 a.m. and shown a peremptory order from the Nawab that they should leave the place immediately. Two unarmed guides escorted them through the Jhajjar territory. At this, Metcalfe felt greatly insulted and swore : "If the British survived and he (Nawab) was alive, he would account for this treachery". When the reaction of Metcalfe was made known to the Nawab, he felt very sorry, and sent his sowars in search of the `guests' in every direction. Later on the Nawab tried to make good the loss by saving the lives of six or seven English women and children whom he safely sheltered in the Jhajjar territory till 26 July, when they were sent to English camp at Delhi.

Naturally Emperor Bahadur Shah was unhappy with the Nawab. He sent an urgent firman for asking him to march at once to Delhi with all his troops to join him in the fight against the English. But the Nawab did not carry out the royal orders and offered some excuse or the other in evasion. Next, the emperor sent pressing calls for the supply of money and material. But this too fell on deaf ears. Infuriated, Bahadur Shah then sent his trusted agent, a relative of Samad Khan, the General and father-in-law of the Nawab, who contacted the officers of the Jhajjar forces and other influential persons and impressed upon them the desirability of helping the emperor with money, men and material. The officers and the troops who apparently were already inclined to favour Bahadur Shah, joined with the agent and went to the Nawab along with


Samad Khan and pressed him to proceed to Delhi with his treasure, magazine and all his troops. In view of the strong anti-British attitude of the people, the army and its officers, including the General, Samad Khan, the Nawab could not afford to displease them. He at once sent a part of his forces-some 300 sowars, with General Samad Khan and his grandfather Ibrahim Ali to Delhi on 21May. He also sent his accredited agent, Ghulam Nabi to the imperial court.

In the month of June, Bahadur Shah again requested the Nawab to send money, but the Nawab did not pay any heed to the royal firman. In the second week of July he was again asked to extend a loan of the value of Rs. 3 to 5 lakh. The Nawab again did not send any reply to it. This offended the emperor and he sent a threatening order to the Nawab, saying : "If the money was not sent, he (emperor ) would take other steps to enforce his order". The Nawab gave a prompt reply to the imperial threat and showed his inability to send money as he had spent all the revenue on his army. He addressed many letters of excuses and pretences to the emperor couched in highly flattering terms.

The tall and empty promises of the Nawab could not satisfy Bahadur Shah. He sent a small force under Risaldar Mujahid Ali Khan to realise the amount by force. The Risaldar quarrelled with the Nawab who refused to pay even a single cowrie to him. When the Risaldar returned to Delhi empty-handed, the emperor sent Azim Khan and Mirza Khuda Bakhsh to Jhajjar with a small contingent to collect the money by force.The Nawab, deeming further resistance inexpedient, yielded a sum of Rs. 60,000 to them and promised another Rs. 40,000 within fifteen days. Thereupon the emperor called back the force from the Jhajjar territory.

But once the troops were out of the Jhajjar territory the Nawab forgot his promise. Instead of money he sent letters saying that he had practically no money, although his treasury contained gold and silver coins of the value of Rs. 11 lakh. He also turned down the order of Bahadur Shah to come to Delhi in person with his retainers and followers.In actual fact the Nawab had no nerve to take an open stand against the British. Nor did he dare to displease Bahadur Shah. Thus, throughout he played a double game paying lip allegiance to the latter while he extended help with money, men and material to the British. But this pleased neither of the parties. The British in particular viewed him as their enemy. After the recapture of Delhi(20 September 1857), the Nawab was tried under Act XVI of 1857 by a special military court constituted under the presidentship of General C V Chamberlain at Delhi. The charges against him were that he had

(1) aided and abetted rebels and others waging war against the British Government in places being at that time under martial law;

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(2) furnished troops, money, food and shelter to the rebels;

(3) entered into treasonable correspondence with them.

Metcalfe, Loch and Ford, together with some other European officers and Indian witnesses, gave evidence against the Nawab. On 14 December 1857, the Nawab presented his statement of defence. Pleading himself `non-guilty' he stated:

"All the officers, my troops and Abdus Samad Khan came in a body to me resolved on going to Delhi, and plainly told me that I should proceed thither in person, with the treasure, magazine and the whole of the forces, and on no account seemed to hear a refusal. I, without hesitation, told them in answer that I would never go".

He further said that on finding him hesitant to go, Abdus Samad Khan required that Ibrahim Ali Khan should accompany him (to Delhi) and requested that "I should write a petition. Feeling my perfect helplessness, I wrote a petition and despatched him with 50 horsemen". He further stated that whatever money he paid to Emperor Bahadur Shah was "very small in quantity and he did so under extreme compulsion". Moreover it was a way to evade the full payment demanded by the emperor. To quote his own words:

"Had I really intended to give money, I would have done so without any delay ........ I had in possession, treasure in gold and silver coins to the extent of 11, 00,000 of rupees, as well as stores of ammunition.Had I been in combination with the rebels I should have given them not promises but the treasure itself".

He further pleaded:

" It had been my resolve, if I would have got any portion of my soldiers to accompany me, to have presented myself in camp before Delhi, but....... I was helpless....... If I went away, the mutinous soldiery would have taken possession of the treasure and magazine and proceed with them to Delhi. Giving an account of his other acts of help, such as giving shelter to some Englishmen, women and children, he said, "I have through every vicissitude remained the staunch and devoted subject and servent of the British Government".

In an atmosphere surcharged with the spirit of revenge and vindictiveness, the court gave its verdict against the Nawab thus:

"Having found the prisoner guilty of the charges preferred against him, do sentence him, Abdur Rehman Khan, Nawab of Jhajjar to


be hanged by the neck until he be dead, and the court further sentences him to forfeit all his property and effects of every description.

A graphic description of the details of the execution of the Nawab on

January 23, 1858 is furnished by Zaka Ullah Khan, a summary of which is as follows:

The time of hanging was evening (sahpahar). All the gates of the city were closed. A company of the European band came playing on their musical instrument and stood before the Kotwali (Chandni Chowk). The prince was brought from the Red Fort on a wooden cart. He was made to sit on it on his feet ukarun. His hands were tied on back (mashken kasna) and covered with a piece of cloth. The European spectators sat on all sides. When the prince was brought to the gallows and the plank was removed, and the prince suffered death, the Europeans sitting nearby felt jubilant.

Another eye-witness, a European army officer, observes that the Nawab was humiliated even at the gallows. During such executions, he remarks, the Europeans used to bribe the executioners to keep them (mutineers) long time hanging as they liked to see the criminals dance a `pandies horn pipe', as they termed the dying struggles' of the victims'. the Nawab was also a'long time dying'.
Ahmad Ali of Farrukhnagar.— Farrukhnagar, a small state with a population of 4, 400, was founded in 1714 by one Dalel Khan Biloch of Bashirpur, near Farrukhnagar, as a grant from emperor Muhammad Shah.It was a big state then, but on acount of the failure of its fourth ruler Ise Khan to render prompt service to the British in 1803 during the Anglo-Maratha struggle, the British reduced its size. Ise Khan was succeeded by Yakub Ali who proved to be a good ruler. But his successor, Ahmed Ali, who came to the gaddi in 1850 was made of a different fibre by all standards, a mediocrity.

During the Uprising of 1857, Ahmed did not play a significant role. As soon as he heard of the Delhi outbreak and the revolt of the local population, he decided to cast his lot with Emperor Bahadur Shah. He personally paid a visit to Delhi on 12 May and presented a nazr to the Emperor. A careful study of the petitions and other documents pertaining to his dealings during the year 1857 reveals that the Nawab, alongwith his uncle Ghulam Muhammad Khan, consumed all his energy in fighting with his neighbour, Rao Tula Ram of Rewari, in furtherance of his selfish interests, instead of rendering some substantial help to the rebels cause with men, money and material.

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After the recapture of Delhi, the British put the Nawab on trial on

January 12, 1858. The charges against him were that he had entered into treasonable correspondence with the rebels; had helped them with arms, other necessary things and; had usurped authority over the pargana of Bhora, a British territory.

The Nawab pleaded `not guilty' and presented his statement of defence on

22 January, 1858. He stated :
"My uncle Ghulam Muhammad Khan is and has been a seditious character.........when the outbreak of the rebellion took place at Delhi, depending upon the influence and support of his father-in-law, Mohammad Hussain Khan, who had become adjutant in the army, Ghulam Muhammad Khan accompanied by some 50 or 60 sowars or infantrymen came forcibly to Farrukhnagar, removed me from my seat as chief of the estate, made me a prisoner, seized my seal and constituted himself master of my territory..........correspondence must have been maintained by Ghulam Muhammed Khan........ I had not the power nor the presumption of power that I should have taken possession of Bhora".

This statement of defence did not contain a grain of truth. No substantial evidence was put forward in support of the contention that he was actually a helpless prisoner in the hands of his uncle Ghulam Muhammad Khan .On the other hand, many of the petitions written by him to Emperor Bahadur Shah bore his signatures and seal impressions. One of his petitions to the emperor dated 2 September, 1857, asking for a title of distinction, is enough to prove that these petitions were written by the Nawab himself and none else. There is also the evidence of Munshi Jiwan Lal that he had presented himself in the court of Emperor Bahadur Shah on 31 July. Occupation of Bhora by his troops under his uncle Zafar Yar Khan is quite well-known. He was driven out from Bhora by the forces of Rao Tula Ram in the month of August, 1858 against whom he made several representations in the court of Emperor Bahadur Shah.
On 22 January the court gave its verdict against the Nawab.He was held guilty of the charges preferred against him and in consequence thereof the sentence of death by hanging and forfeiture of all property and effects of every description was passed.The Nawab was hanged at Kotwali in the Chandni Chowk of Delhi at 4 p.m. on 23 January 1858.

Akbar Ali of Pataudi.— Pataudi was a small state with an area of 120 square km.and a population of 6,600, mostly Hindus. The state was a creation of the British, a gift to a Faiz Talab Khan by Lord Lake in 1806 for his meritorious services during the Anglo-Maratha strife of 1803. Nawab Akbar Ali succeeded him in 1829.


During the Uprising of 1857 Nawab Akbar Ali addressed several letters to Bahadur Shah showing him entire devotion and faithfulness. But this was only lip allegiance because he did not help the emperor by men, money and material. On the other hand he showed full loyalty and faithfulness to the British, gave protection to fugitives (European) for several days. The British authorities took a lenient view of his activities during the crisis and he went unpunished.

Hassan Ali Khan of Dujana.— The State of Dujana with an area of 160 square km. and a population of 27,000 was given to one Abdus Samad Khan in 1806 for his services during the Anglo-Maratha strife of 1803. He was a good & wise chief who managed the affairs of his state well. He was succeeded by Dunde Khan who remained in saddle until 1850 when he was succeeded by his son, Hasan Ali Khan. Hassan Ali was a kind-hearted Nawab and his subjects liked him very much. In the Uprising of 1857, the Nawab did not play any significant role. Except for his visits to the court of Bahadur Shah, he does not seem to have rendered any useful service to the rebels' cause. The British took a lenient view of his activities also and let him go free.

Bahadur Jang Khan of Bahadurgarh.— Bahadurgarh, a small state with an area of 60 square km. and a population of 14, 400 persons, was founded by Ismail Khan, the younger son of Nawab Nizabat Khan, the founder of the Jhajjar state.Bahadur Jang succeeded him in 1806, as a minor of 2½ years. The Nawab of Jhajjar managed the affairs of the state during his minority, and when he came of age, he led a dissolute life. As a result, the state was in a deplorable condition in 1857.

On 13 May, Emperor Bahadur Shah sent a message to the Nawab directing him to come in person to the imperial court. To this he sent a reply thirteen days later showing his inability to attend the court on account of chaos, confusion and disorder in his state. However, he promised to come to Delhi as soon as law and order was restored. He did not seem to have rendered any service to the emperor-except paying a nazr of four gold mohars through his physician, Pir Badhashah Khan and lawyer Lachhman Singh.

These facts were taken note of favourably by the British after the fall of Delhi (September, 20 1857) and the Nawab was not put before the military court on the recommendations of the Commissioner of Delhi Division. He was tried by an ordinary court instead. The court deprived him of this territorial estates, the total revenue of which amounted to about 1½ lakh of rupees per annum. In return the Nawab was given monthly pension of 1,000/- rupees, plus Rs. 4,000/- per annum to be given to his mother, widows of his father and other blood relations. The Nawab was not permitted to reside at Dadri and was removed to Lahore.

Aminuddin of Loharu.— Aminuddin of Loharu, a small state measuring

448 with a population of 18,000, behaved like his other fellow-princes. He

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played a game of duplicity : on the one hand he paid lip allegiance to Emperor Bahadur Shah and on the other he was in secret communication with the British. After the fall of Delhi the British did not take any serious view of his activities and pardoned him.
Raja Sarup Singh of Jind .— The state of Jind (area 584 sq. km. and population 56, 024) enjoyed a big name in Haryana and Panjab. It was founded, with other Sikh states in the region, in 1763 by Gajpat Singh, a great-grandson of phul, the founder of Phulkian Misl and the maternal grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1857, Raja Sarup Singh, the fourth descendant of Raja Gajpat Singh was on the gaddi. He was a brave man with an ordinary intellect, certainly a type who would behave conservatively at the time of crisis.

On hearing the news of the Delhi Uprising, Sarup Singh chose to take sides with the British (12 May). He despatched two messengers to the commissioner of the cis-satluj States to solicit orders for him. On May 14, the commissioner asked him to proceed to Karnal with his troops. He at once collected some 800 of his men from the infantry and cavalry regiments and reached Karnal on May 18. Here he undertook the defence of that city and its cantonment . From Karnal the Raja sent a detachment to secure the bridge of boats at Baghpat, in north of Delhi, enabling the Meerut force to cross the Yamuna and Join the Delhi Field Force under General Bernard. Besides, Jind troops secured the Grand Trunk Road from Karnal to Delhi.

Besides this, the Raja made a substantial contribution of supplies of various kinds for the use of the Delhi Field Force. These were despatched by him in three instalments: first of all he sent 77 hackneys, 191 camels, 50 donkeys , 10 bearers and 1,000 maunds of atta, 115 maunds of ghee, 100 maunds of dal to Alipur near Delhi.

On June 7, Sarup Singh personally joined the British camp at Alipur and fought the following day at Badli-ki-Sarai. His troops behaved very well in the battle and were complimented by the Commander-in-Chief who sent one of the captured guns to the Raja as a present. On June 19, the Jind troops helped in repulsing the Nasirabad forces which had attacked the camp; and on the 21st they repaired the bridge of boats at Baghpat though later it had to be destroyed as the mutineers had attacked the Raja in overwhelming numbers, compelling him to retreat. The forces under their Commandant Kahan Singh, took a prominent part in the last assault of the city, sealing the walls side by side with the English troops.

Sarup Singh was the only chief present with the British army at Delhi. After the fall of Delhi, he returned to Jind, but not his troops. He left 25 men for service at the Larsoli tahsil, and the same number at Delhi.He sent a detachment of 200 men with General van Courtland to Hansi and 100 men under their commander Khan Singh to Jhajjar with Col. Lawrence. Besides these, 250 Jind troops remained stationed


at Rohtak, 50 at Gohana till the parganas were fairly settled for good. The Raja was greatly rewarded after the expiry of the Uprising of 1857.

Other States.— The ruler of Kalsia state, Sardar Sobha Singh also rendered `meritorious' services to the British. He guarded many ferries on the river Yamuna above and held a police post at Dadupur. He also provided men for patrolling the main road between Kalka, Ambala and Ferozepur. Besides, he sent 100 of his men to Awadh. The British Government rewarded his son Lehna Singh for these valuable services.

Similarly Sardar Jiwan Singh, the Chief of Buria state remainded loyal and extended all sorts of help to the British. He was also suitably rewarded for his loyal services.

The Jagirdars.— As noted above, there were eleven important jagirdars in Haryana during the period under review. In the revolt, all of them, Nawab Muhammad Ali Kunjpura, Bhai Jasmer Singh and Anokh Sinhg of Arnauli, Nawab Ahmed Ali Khan of Karnal, Sardar Partap Singh, Krishan Singh and Dharm Singh of Shahabad, Sardars Natha Singh and Amar Singh of Dhanaura, Sardar Kehar Singh and Shamsher Singh of Tangaur, Sardar Jawala Singh of Jharauli, Sardars Ram Singh and Khan Singh of Shamgarh, Nawab Aman Ullah Ansari of Panipat, Sardar Jiwan Singh of Shahzadpur, Sardar Rattan Singh of Mustafabad remained loyal, keeping their men under their control and extending whatever help they could by way of supplying men, money and material to the British. They were suitably rewarded for their loyal services, after the revolt.

The War of Independence sank mainly due to double dealing of King Bahadur Shah, his queen Zinat Mahal and his sons. "There are thousand reports hatched in the palace and circulated in the city which have no foundation whatever. The king, the princes and officers are all an imposture and a farce. Lies have their paradise here. Zinat Mahal Begam played an infamous part in the defeat of nationalist forces."

Post-Revolt (1857) Incidents

On the 16th September, 1857, Delhi fell. Bahadur Shah with his wife Zinat Mahal and his family (two sons and a grand son) surrendered himself to Capt. Hodson who shot the princes with his own hands and their bodies were thrown on the Chabutaru near Kotwali. The king was tried and sent Rangoon with his family.

Hakim Abdul Haqi, one of the foremost leaders of the then Gurgaon district, was executed on November 2, 18571. The Raja of Ballabgarh was hanged on April 21, 1858. Nawab of Farrukhnagar was executed on January 25, 1858. Besides, many

1. S.B. Chaudhry, Civil Rebellion in the Indian Mutinies (1857-1859), 1957, p. 239.

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persons1 were awarded capital punishment or transported. Rao Tula Ram died as a hero of 1857 and his Rewari istamari was confiscated.

Abd-Ur-Rehman, Nawab of Jhajjar, was suspected of having abetted the rebels and others who were waging war against the British Government, while he had ignored the appeals of the British authorities for assistance. On the other hand he had most readily put into effect the orders of Emperor Bahadur Shah, furnished him troops, presented him with a nazar and had remained in regular correspondence with the imperial court. The suspicion against him was strengthened by the fact that his father-in-law, Abd-Us-Samad Khan, had fought against the British at Delhi. Col. Lawrence summoned the nawab to come to Chhuchhakwas and surrender himself.

The Jhajjar territory was placed under the management of Col. Lawrence pending the result of the nawab's trial, which took place at Delhi in the Audience Hall before a military commission on the 14th December. Having been found guilty, the nawab was sentenced to be hanged. He was executed on the 23rd December in front of the Red Fort and his body was consigned to the ignominy of a nameless pit. Bahadur Jang Khan of Bahadurgah, was at Dadri (Charkhi Dadri) in May, 1857, and remained there until he surrendered to the British like his cousin, the nawab of Jhajjar. He had not taken any active part against the British except that he sent an offering to the emperor and addressed him a letter of praise. Besides, the rebels of Delhi had drawn supplies from Bahadurgarh. Taking all these things into consideration, together with his old age, it was decided not to try him for life, but to confiscate his possessions. Nawab was removed to Lahore where he was given a pension of Rs. 1,000 a month.

In many villages, chaudhries and lambardars who helped the rebels were deprived of their landed property. Property rights of some villages were forfeited. In some villages heavy penalties were imposed.In Rohtak a collective penalty of Rs. 63,000/- was imposed on the people of Rohtak. Especially the Ranghars, Shaikhs and Kesai, the residents of Qila Mohalla, became its victim2.

In the present Sonipat district, the British followed a ruthless policy after the end of the revolt and revolters and their families were penalised heavily. Many rebels were shot and hanged. Property stolen was as far as possible recovered ; the area was actually disarmed throughout ; the outstanding revenue was promptly collected; the villages which had been most prominent in the rebellion were heavily fined; and rewards were given to the loyal people and the lands of the guilty in the eyes of the British, were confiscated3.

1. A list of executed persons has been appended at the end of the chapter.

2. Sri Ram Sharma : Haryana Ka Itihas, pp. 38-41.

3. Sonipat District Gazetteer, 1990 (October), p. 43.


As per a list found in the file R/131,there were many local chaudhries who extended all sorts of help to Lt. Hodson with money and material and later on held their local services. These loyal persons did not belong to one or two particular castes and communities, but to many. The people of two villages of present Sonipat district, namely; Kundli and Shamli murdered the English officials while passing through the territory of Sonipat. The British after Uprising, confiscated the lands of the villagers as a measure of punishment.Great territorial changes were made. In fact, the principle of compensation and rewards to the helpers and punishments and penalties to the opponents was extended to other areas. Except three small states of Pataudi, Dujana and Loharu, all other important states like Jhajjar, Dadri, Farrukhnagar, Ballabgarh, Buria and Kalsia were confiscated. These were either merged with other states or were given to the loyal chiefs. Maharaja Narender Singh of Patiala who showed greatest loyalty and helped the British with 8 guns, 2,156 horsemen, 2,846 infantry with 156 officers was rewarded with the Paraganas of Narnaul valued at Rs. 2,00,000 a year; Charkhi Dadri (now in Bhiwani district), which was in the possession of Nawab Bahadur Jang, a relative of Jhajjar Nawab, was confiscated. It was conferred on Raja Sarup Singh of Jind State 1.Similarly, Raja Bharpur Singh of Nabha State was awarded the Paraganas of Bawal and Kante in the confiscated Jhajjar territory of Rs. 1,06,000/- per year.

In Hissar district also, work of prosecution was taken up on a large scale. The property rights of several villagers were forfeited, heavy fines were levied on the score of others. Nearly 133 persons were hanged and properties of hundred of others were confiscated. Fearing punishment, thousands of persons ran away to distant places2.

The present Sirsa district was not spared. The proprietary rights of seven villages-Mangala, Jamalpur, Hajimpur, Odhan, Chhatrian, Kharian, and Jodhkan were forfeited, while heavy fines were levied. Nawab's family was most sufferer. Besides Samad Khan, his cousin Gauhar Ali was arrested and hanged at Sirsa on August 18, 1857. His relatives, Wazari Khan, Amar Ali Khan, Suba Khan and Umrao were hanged at Hissar3. Ali Khan cousin of Nur Samad was given life sentence. Fearing ill fate, hundred of persons ran away to distant places 4.

At Thanesar Rs. 2, 35,0005 and at Ambala Rs. 2,53,591 were forcibly collected as fines. In fact, the region as a whole suffered a grave set back.

1. Phulkian States Gazetteer (Patiala, Jind and Nabha), 1904, p. 303.

2. Hissar District Gazetteer, 1987, p. 40.

3. Sirsa District Gazetteer, 1988, p. 35.

4. Barkat Ali, Tarikh Bhattian, pp. 104-105.

5. S. C. Mittal, Haryana, A Historical Perspective, 1985, p. 58.

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Elsewhere in Haryana, the fear of revolt had gone down and the British continued their oppressive policy towards the people.

Impact of the Revolt of 1857

The events of 1857 brought the company's rule to an end. India was henceforth to be governed by and in the name of her majesty. The impact brought by the events of 1857 was direct and indirect.

"One indirect effect of the revolt is clearly seen in the birth and rise of extremism in Indian politics. The excesses of the movement engendered a feeling of hostility in the minds of some Indians : as well as some Enlishmen in India, which being aggravated by the growing racial discrimination between the two, has been influencing political thought and administrative policy in India in modern times"1.

Russel, the Times Correspondent in India righty observed in his diary that "mutinies have produced too much hatred and ill feeling between the races to render any mere change of the rulers a remedy for the evils which affect India of which these angry sentiments are the most serious exposition".

It is also important to look at the arrangement during a century between 1818 and 1918, the beginning of political growth in Haryana.

Formation of present Rohtak district began when the gift was abandoned by Dujana chief.The Gohana and Kharkhodha-Mandothi estates, as already explained, lapsed to British Government on the deaths of Lal Singh in A.D. 1818 and Bhag Singh in 1820. When Hissar district was created in 1820, the Beri and Maham-Bhiwani tahsils were included in it and other portions of the present northern tahsils in Panipat. In 1824, the Rohtak district was formed as a separate unit consisting of Gohana, Kharkhodha- Mandothi, Rohtak-Beri and Maham-Bhiwani tahsils2.

Until 1832 the whole area of Haryana including Rohtak was under the Resident at Delhi; but when that year it was brought under the same regulations the rest of North India, the Resident became Commissioner. The Rohtak district was abolished in 1841 A.D. : Gohana going to Panipat, and the rest of tahsils to Delhi, but in the very next year it was created again. The two districts of Rohtak and Jhajjar together with the rest of the Delhi and Hissar divisions were detached from North-Western provinces after 1857 and passed to the Punjab by the Government of India Notification No. 606 of the 13th April, 1858.

1. An Advanced History of India, 1967 by Majumdar, Datta and Ray Chaudhry, p. 776.

2. Rohtak District Gazetteer, 1970, p. 3.


As already stated, the Narnaul -Mahendragarh, Kanti-Bawal and Charkhi Dadri areas were gifted to the chiefs of Phulkian States as a reward for their loyal services. Jhajjar, including some areas of Narnaul, Kanaud (peresnt Mahendragarh) and Dadri was at first created as a new district but was abolished shortly afterwards in 1860. In the following year, the Maham tahsil was abolished and after making necessary territorial adjustments in favour of Hissar and Delhi, the rest of the area was added to the Rohtak district. All these changes were completed by the 1st July, 18611.While the Jhajjar tahsil itself was added to Rohtak, several Badli villages were transferred either to Delhi or Gurgaon, and two detached Jhajjar estates were given to Raja of Jind.

The district of Bhatiana and Hissar were transferred to the Punjab in 1858 and the district of Bhatiana was renamed as Sirsa. In 1861, Bhiwani tahsil was detached from Rohtak and added to Hissar district .Tosham tahsil was abolished and added to Bhiwani tahsil in the same year.

After the revolt of 1857, Delhi was made the headquarters of a Commissioner's division comprising the district which formed Ambala division in the then Punjab. In 1861, the Sonipat tahsil was transferred to Delhi and from 1862 onwards, the Delhi district consisted of three tahsils-Sonipat, Ballabgarh and Delhi 2.

The rising of Charkhi Dadri Area in 1864

Raja Sarup Singh of Jind State died in 1864. He was succeeded by his son Raghubir Singh. Immediately after his installation, Raghubir Singh faced a serious revolt of the people in the newly-acquired territory of Dadri. In May, 1864, the exploited people of about 50 villages in the tract led by Hakim Kasim Ali rose en masse, captured police station, arrested Thanedar and proclaimed end of the Raja's rule.This was a big challenge to the Raja who soon marched in person at the head a big army. His first attack was on Charkhi-Dadri (May 14), where 1,570 or 2,000 persons of the rebellious villages had collected and entrenched themselves. They resisted the Raja to the last, but ultimately, they were defeated and their villages were burnt. Next, Mankawas near Charkhi-Dadri was attacked, and destroyed. However, the defeats did not dishearten the brave villagers who gave a tough battle to the Raja at Jhauju (May 16). But here also they shared the same fate and their defeat quelled the rebellion once for all.

1. Revised Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Rohtak District, 1880, p.44.

2. Delhi District Gazetteer, 1976, p. 3.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Socio-Religious Movements

The latter half of nineteenth century was a period of social and religious awakening and growth of new spirit leading to socio-religious movements. In Haryana these movements sprang up among the Muslims and the Hindus. Their main objects were the eradication of social evils, the development of education of their people and the revival of their old religion.

The Wahabi Movement

Immediately after the great Revolt of 1857, Delhi figured as a centre of the Wahabi movement (with its headquarters at Patna), which had its aim of the restoration of the Muslim rule in India after driving out the British. Sayyad Ahmed of Rai-Barelly, founder of this movement in India, was greatly influenced by the teachings of Shah Walinullah, started his crusade against the infidel rulers1.

The British started the police action against the Wahabis and judicial prosecutions were also sped up against them. During these state trials, a number of centres for the efficient working of the anti-British movements came to notice.Robert Montigomery, the then Judicial Commissioner of Punjab reported that the Muslims of Patna and Thanesar (present Kurukshetra district) were in correspondence with the 64th Native Infantry near Peshawar and urged it to revolt. Haryana region was one of the major centres of its activities.Some of the big zamindars joined the movement. Besides Delhi, other important centres were Thanesar, Ambala, Pehowa and Panipat.

Some of the notable leaders of Haryana were Maulvi Muhammad Qasim of Panipat, Husaine and Muhammad Jafar of Thanesar and Muhammad Shafi of Ambala. Shafi used to supply meat to Europeans in all cantonments from Ambala to Naushera, Muhammad Qasim of Panipat was a true follower and associate of Sayyad Ahmed of Rai-Barelly. He wrote inspiring letters to Maulvi Wilayat and leaders of Patna centre. Muhammd Peeroo Khan (Jafar) was a disciple of Wilayat Ali Khan of Patna. He was the incharge of the north- western region of India. In fact, he was the centre of all activities of Wahabis movement in Haryana.Thanesar was described by the British as one of the main depots and Jafar as one of the chief organizers. He considerably helped the Wahabis in fighting against the British2.

The net-work of this organization was exposed during 1863-64 due to Ghuzzan Khan, a Pathan Police Sergent at Chowki Panipat. Soon Muhammad Jafar and others were arrested. In the state trial at Ambala before Sir Herbert Edwards, the Commissioner of Ambala, the activities of Wahabis came to light . Some of the

1. Delhi District Gazetteer, 1976, p. 92.

2. V.N.Datta and H. A. Phadke : History of Kurukshetra, 1979, p. 215.


leaders were condemned to long sentences of imprisonments; other sent to the Andeman islands. The movement virtually met its doom after 18641. It was completely suppressed in India in 1888.

Though the movement failed yet it left its impact. Probably it was the first planned and highly organized revolutionary movement after the Uprising of 18572.But being a purely Muslim movement for the revival of their community and for establishing the Muslim rule in India against the English as well as other in fields, it could not be appreciated by the other communities. It gave a impetus to the separatist tendencies in Indian society and widened the gulf between the Hindus and the Muslims.

The Arya Samaj

Like the Wahabi movement, the Arya Samaj was revivalist in form and reformist in content. It exercised a profound influence in Haryana. It became popular among the Hindus, particularly young men.

The first place of Haryana visited by Swami Dayanand was Ambala. On 17th July, 1878 he halted here for sometime while going from Punjab to Roorkei in Punjab. Here he condemned the social and religious weakness of the orthodox Hinduism. In 1880, Swami Dayanand visited Rewari at the request of Rao Yudhister who later became the disciple of Swami Dayanand who delivered eleven religious discourses and took part in discussions. He again made violent attack on puranic gossips, incarnations etc. At the appeal of Swami Dayanand, a goshala was established at Rewari3.As a result, some Arya Samaj organizations were established at Jagadhari and Ambala Cantonment in 1881 and 1883, respectively.

Swami Dayanand Ji left for heavenly abode on 30th October, 1883. After his death Arya Samaj became popular in Haryana by the efforts of Lala Lajpat Rai, Pandit Baste Ram, Lala Chander Lal, Dr.Ram ji Das and Rao Udhistar. During 1883 the branches were established at Karnal. The Arya Samaj movement in its own way accelerated the desire for reform. Starting in about 1890 with a Mandir in Rohtak, the movement soon spread to Sanghi, Meham, Jhajjar and Mahra villages. This programme, creating a new social consciousness, spread gradually from urban to rural areas4. In nutshell, the branches of Arya Samaj were established at Panipat, Hissar, Narnaund, Malikhpur, Sunikpathra (Karnal ) and Jind during 1890's.

1. B.K. Muztar : Kurukshetra, Political And Cultural History , p. 97.

2. R.C. Majumdar : History of the Freedom Movement in India, Vol. I, pp. 251-252.

3. S.C. Mittal : Haryana, A Historical Perspective, 1983, p. 66.

4. Rohtak District Gazetteer, 1970, p. 29.

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The Arya Samaj at Hissar had 59 members.The credit for boosting the Arya Samaj movement goes to Lala Lajpat Rai who came to practise as a Vakil at Hissar in 1886. He placed Arya Samaj and National programme before the people. Ram ji Lal, an associate of Lala Lajpat Rai propagated the ideals of Arya Samaj among the people in Sirsa district. As a result, the Arya Samaj was established at Sirsa in 1892.Other towns and big villages followed suit soon after.

Arya Samaj brought awakening to the people of the State. It denounced caste rigidity and advocated the freedom of movement from one caste to another based on character, action and nature. It also made efforts to raise the status of the so called untouchables. It took interest in social uplift of the lower and oppressed classes. It also started Shudi movement to prevent the conversion from Hinduism to Islam and Christianity.It also took steps to ban cow-slaughter.

The writers and local Bhajni (singer) like Pt. Baste Ram made the Arya Samaj on a permanent footing in Haryana. Pt. Baste Ram played a dynamic role in this respect. His Bhajans and other works became very popular among the rural masses. In early 20th century Swami Brahmanand, Bhagat Phool Singh (Sonipat), pt. Lakhpat Rai (Hissar )and Lala Chuda Mani pleader of Hissar were on the fore-front of the Arya Samaj Movement. However, many workers of this movement gave their life. Bhagat Phool Singh was one of them. He worked day and night in raising the plight of Scheduled Castes.

During the Ist decade of 20th century, the branches of Arya Samaj were also established at Radaur, Disaur Kheri, Fermana, Salwan, Thol, Kalka, Gurgaon and Sohna. Then Arya Samaj emerged as a vital force. Besides the religious activities, it centred its programme in eradication of social evils. It also campaigned against infant-marriages. It also advocated widow-marriages.

The Arya Samaj was perhaps the first purely Indian association to organise orphans and widow homes1. A significant work was done by the Hissar Arya Samaj and the Bhiwani Arya Samaj branches. The orphanage was set up under the leadership of Lala Chandu Lal and Lala Chudamani. Besides the religious and social spheres, the Arya Samaj touched the domain of education. It introduced the Gurukul system of education which became very popular. In 1911 first Gurukul was established at Kurukshetra. Lala Jotiparshad of Thanesar contributed liberally an amount of

Rs. 10,000 for the establishment of the Gurukul. Besides cash amount, he donated land also.The foundation stone was laid by Swami Shardanand2. Later, Gurukuls were established at Matendu(now Sonipat district ) in 1915, Bhaiswal in 1918 and

1. Punjab Census Report, 1907, p. 116; Lajpat Rai : The Arya Samaj, p. 125.

2. Balban Singh Solanki : Swami Shardha Nand, 1978, p. 50.


Jhajjar in 1924. As regards the female education, Arya Samaj, Hissar gave the lead. A number of Kanya pathshalas were begun at different places in Haryana. The people attracted towards their philosphy.
Due to the participation into national activities Arya Samajis were put under suspicion by the British Government. Like Punjab, in Haryana also a fairly large number of Arya Samajis were shadowed by the C.I.D. men.The members of Arya Samaj were dubbed as wicked persons.Their literature was snatched and their flag was torn-up. The Deputy Commissioner, Karnal, instigated the people to make ficticious case on the persons who were Arya Samajis. The Government curbed their activities at Rohtak and Hissar with different illegal methods.

Arya Samajists and Unrest in the Army

"Aryas are careful not to publish except in a very guarded manner, their political aim which is in short "India for the Indians" .............They teach the advantages of local self-government as carried out in the manner of the old village `Panchayats' with the criticim and vote of all individuals of the community directing such government; following this, the idea of general self-government is gradually instilled.

To furnish this aim, criticism of the existing form of Government is freely indulged in, and no means are left unturned to breed discontent in the minds of the people and to foster `swadeshism', self-help and self-sacrifice".

As it was obvious that the Indian soldiers helped the alien Government to rule the country, the Arya Samaj at first preached against military service.Youngmen, whenever possible, were dissuaded from entering the army, antipathy to the service was taught in villages and schools, and endeavours were made to make the soldiers dissatisfied with their position and pay.

The assessment of the Arya Samaj was made by the Army Department, Government of India, on the basis of some concrete material which started coming their way in the northern region, especially after 1890s. For example, Munshi Ram (later Swami Shraddhananda ) and Rambhaj Dutt Chaudhary were reported in 1899 to have spread sedition of the worst type; while canvassing for subscriptions for the gurukula Kangri at Gujrat, Sialkot and Gujranwala, they spoke against the government in a very mischievous tone, "saying among other things that sepoys were foolish enough to enlist on Rs. 7 or 8 per mensem to be killed, but after being carefully taught in the gurukula they would know better". Munshi Ram was also reported to have preached in a similar vein in 1903 at Jhang for the same cause. In Jhansi an Arya upadeshaka, Daulat Ram, addressed a large meeting which was attended by a number of sepoys belonging to a native regiment (6th Jat) and read out to them

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`portion of the Satyartha Prakasha which contains an `objectionable passage'(What a pity that the descendants of these Aryas were being crushed under the heels of the foreigners'). He also gave out that the religion of the Hindus was in danger. In several other regiments, specially those composed of the Jats and other castes belonging to Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan who were under the influence of the Arya Samaj. Arya upadeshakas invariably said such things in their discourses.

These developments caught the attention of the British authorities as soon as they took place and as was expected stern measures were taken `to nip the evil in the bud'. In consequence, an order was passed and circulated by the army headquarters that `no Arya is to be allowed to enter the precincts of regimental barracks'.

This was a severe blow to the Arya Samajists. There were protests against the order from all parts of the country. An open letter addressed to the Commander-in-Chief by Munshi Ram, criticised the contents and spirit of the order by raising protests against the ban imposed by the British officers and hence a lengthy excerpt from it as follows.

"An order has been circulated in all regiments directing that no Arya is to be allowed to enter the precincts of regimental barracks. I have appealed to His Excellency, the Commander-in-Chief, and have submitted that the most degraded criminal and the variest scapegrace stands in need of spiritual solace and consolation. In Europe, anarchists assassinate kings. What offence can be viler than that? But if one of these criminals be a Roman Catholic and were to appeal to a Protestant Government that he wants a priest of his own persuasion to attend to his spiritual ministrations, his wishes are respected and the request granted. You cannot forget that last year, in compliance with the wishes of a Brahmo anarchist, Pandit Shiv Nath Shastri, a Brahmo missionary, was allowed to see him and to prepare him for death. Compare this with the treatment meted out to the Arya Samaj. Arya soldiers-not criminals, mind you, are debarred from the inalienable right of human beings to have their Updeshaks with them to provide them with moral sustenance and to cheer them up in dark hours of temptation and weakness. This is my last appeal to the Commander-in-Chief.I hope that the demands of justice and fair play will be satisfied and the order based upon false and lying representations or unfortunate misconceptions cancelled".

The protests it seems, did not carry any weight with the authorities. The unjust order stayed in letter and spirit. Not only that, after some time the following measures were also taken by the commanding officers to check `the evil influence of the Samaj on the soldiery:'

(i) Formation of Arya Sabhas was forbidden.

(ii) The weekly meetings (Satsangs) were stopped in the regimental lines.


(iii) The soldiers were forbidden to keep books like the Satyartha Prakasha and periodicals like the Kesari.

(iv) The wearing of Yajnopavita (sacred thread)was prohibited.

(v) Eating of meat (forbidden diet for the Aryas)was encouraged.

(vi) The soldiers were prohibited to go to the Samaj and political meetings outside their lines even with `out passes'.

These measures went a long way to serve the desired purpose but not to the entire satisfaction of the army authorities. Some Arya Samajists with `advanced views defied the measures without caring for the consequences' and suffered immensely, in most cases by losing their jobs. The example of a first class Hospital Assistant in an Indian Regiment who was an active Arya Samajist would give an idea of such sufferings in a noble cause'. This man was asked by his Medical Officer to resign the membership of the Arya Samaj. "The latter in order to save his subordinate all further trouble prepared the following draft in his own hand-writing to the address of the Secretary of the Arya Samaj of which he was member ......

"Sir : I hereby resign my membership of the Arya Samaj and I shall be greatly obliged if you will acknowledge the receipt of this letter of resignation and will inform me in writing from that date my name has been struck off the list of members of the Arya Samaj".

The Hospital Assistant gave a serious thought to the matter and ultimately decided to leave his job rather than' give up his dharma'. He wrote to the medical officer:

"Sir : I most humbly and respectfully lay before you the following few lines for favour of your kind consideration and forwarding to the proper authorities if you consider necessary.

I have pondered deeply over your verbal orders and the draft of the letter addressed to the Secretary of Arya Samaj......which you so kindly gave me. I beg most respectfully to say in reply that as I am an Arya Samajist by faith since my childhood with all my family members. I will be acting against my conscience if I send in my resignation from the membership of that religious body.

"I further beg humbly to urge that as all Government servants are allowed complete freedom in religious matters, you will very kindly see your way to reconsider the matter of kindness I shall ever pray".

As the above request did not meet with favourable consideration, the Hospital Assistant sent in his resignation, not from the membership of the Arya Samaj but

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from his service. Wrote he :-

"Sir : In connection with my previous petition, in obedience of your today's verbal orders I most humbly beg to submit my resignation from my service, because I can not conscientiously sever my connection with the Vedic Church (Arya Samaj) of which I am a member from my childhood".

Such `hard nuts' were found in a number of regiments. In 1906, the commanding officer of the 123rd Rifles approached the army headquarters with a proposal that the only way to deal with these men was to stop the enlistment of Arya Samajists in the army. A careful examination of the problem on the part of the authorities convinced them, however, that there were not enough grounds to justify such an extreme action. But at the same time it was emphasised that the British officers must watch the `effect of the teachings of the Arya Samaj on their men'.

The agitation against the partition of Bengal (1905) and the peasant unrest in Punjab (1907) had profound influence on our national movement. The Arya Samajists, as indicated elsewhere, were in the forefront of both the movements. There was a sort of stir in the armed forces, too, about this time.It was feared that the Arya Samajists were out to create trouble there.

In August, 1908 all general commanding officers `were warned concerning the report that large numbers of (Arya) Sadhus were on the move to tamper with the Native Army'. In May, 1909 the Criminal Intelligence Department reported that efforts by the various Arya Samajas' were being directed towards securing the attendance of Native Officers and men of the Native Army at all their meetings in places where troops were stationed'. The commanding officers were warned to be on their guard and prevent their men from attending such meetings. Severe actions were taken against the Arya Samajists who flouted these resolutions as the following report shows :-

In July(1909) two reports of activity on the part of the Arya Samaj in this respect were received as having taken place during May. One at Kohat where some sepoys of the 12th Infantry took active part in a meeting of that society. The second case had occurred in 125th Rifles at Bangalore where, as subsequently came to the commanding officer's knowledge, at a farewell entertainment given in the lines to a Subedar who was being sent on pension partly on account of the fact that he was an avowed `Arya'. In August last a report was received that a Jat sepoy of the 94th Russell's Infantry, at Baroda, who has been known for 2 years to be a member of the Arya Samaj, on return from furlough had shown great activity in attempting to spread the tenets of his society in the Regiment. The man took his discharge when this came to notice. A considerable


amount of literature relating to the Arya Samaj and in some cases containing seditious matter was also reported to have been in circulation amongst the Jats of this regiment .........

Lately, the case of sedition in the 10th Jats came to light and it is understood , that some, if not all, of the men implicated were Aryas.

The case of the 10th Jat referred to above, was very serious and caused great consternation among the army authorities. This regiment had been a mixed regiment of Hindus (Brahmans and Rajputs) and Muhammadans, but in 1892 it was formed into a `class regiment' of Jats from Hissar, Rohtak and Jind which were centres of Arya Samaj. As a result, a large bulk of the sepoys in the regiment were either active Arya Samajists or they sympathised with the Samaj. This explains how in spite of opposition of their officers, these men could hold meetings under the auspices of the Samaj in their lines.This practice did not last long, as `highly objectionable' and forbade the sepoys from holding them. The sepoys swallowed the bitter pill. They gave up holding meetings in their lines and started going out to the city to attend the weekly satsangs there. Even this was not liked by the authorities who forbade their attending the satsangs altogether . This was intolerable for the sepoys but they bore with it for the time-being.

In 1904 the regiment was shifted to Kanpur. Taking advantage of the engagements of their officers at the new station, the Arya activists again started the practice of holding weekly satsangs. But no sooner had they done that than the authorities forbade them to hold them. Not only that the sepoys were ordered not to keep books like the Satyartha Parakasha etc. with them in the lines.The patriotic fire burning in the hearts of the sepoys was thus extinguished outwardly. But inside, it was still smouldering. For instance, in 1905, when the northern region came in the grip of swadeshi movement, a number of sepoys took part in the meetings held in preaching swadeshi in Kanpur. In September of the same year, sepoy Surjan Singh, their leader, was reported by the police for attending a swadeshi meeting and subscribing to its funds. He was punished for indiscipline. The following year meetings of the 10th Jats and 10th Hodson's Horse were held in infantry lines; books like the Satyartha Prakasha were read; and newspapers of a political character were taken in, such as the Kasari, Jat Samachar, and Jat Hitkari. Lajpat Rai gave a lecture at Kanpur in the cold weather of 1907. Many Sepoys of the Jat regiment attended the lecture.

This was a little too much for the authorities to bear with and they asked the Arya activists to leave the Samaj and part with sacred thread. Many people obliged their officers. But there were others who were made of stronger fibre. They wrote

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anonymous letters to the Commander-in-Chief seeking his intervention against `their religious persecution'. When this did not yield any positive result, about a dozen of them came out in the open to oppose this arbitrary action of the authorities. Naik Jot Ram, the most vocal of them all, was court-martialled for insubordination and sent to jail. Ram Gopal, ward orderly, was discharged from service, and ten others' were suitably punished'.

In February, 1908, the regiment was shifted to Alipore. The Arya Samajists were very active at the new place; and they formed links with the sepoys right at once. One Seth Chhaju Ram, a Jat multi-millionaire businessman from Alakhpura in district Hissar from where the bulk of the sepoys came, was the connecting chain between the two parties. Chhaju Ram says that the commanding officer of the regiments, only entertained them(the sepoys and J.C.Os), their wives and families, but had also driven to the lines to visit them several times. "The fact that this had not been reported made me suspicious, as the native officers generally like reporting the arrival of any influential friend"...... Chhaju Ram was reported to have impressed on the officers-Jat Junior commissioned (J.C.Os) that they should always keep in mind that "when men of the regiment were guarding prisoners at Alipore Jail, they were guarding their own brothers".

After some time the regiment went to Midnapore for training. As many as 39 detectives were posted by the local police to keep watch on them. The Criminal Intelligence Department sent an extra detective for this purpose. Despite all this, however, the sepoys did their work, Says Brigadier-General Cowans, who enquired into the matter later in this regard .

Some men of the 10th Jats had been entertained in the houses of some extremists in Midnapore and shown an exhibition of sword-play; that some of the heads of the extremist party had been seen visiting the 10th Jats in their camp; and that some of the 10th Jats had been taken to see Khuditram Bose's house and had refused to give their names to a police sub-inspector who found them there. He further added that he was informed by the commanding officer of the regiment that `certain of his men were entertained by the Raja of Midnapore, so notorious in the bomb case, and who narrowly escaped transportation for life. The junior commissioned officers of the regiment were at least in sympathy if not in league with the seditious sepoys. This is borne out by the following observation of the Brigadier-General, which he made while discussing the regimental C.O's behaviours :-

"On questioning him (C.O. of the 10th Jats ) regarding what was going on in the regiment, I ascertained that his Subedar-Major and other native officers were of practically no assistance to him in keeping him informed of anything undesirable


(i.e. in sedition line ) that was going on, and he seemed to be entirely dependent for such information on a Muhammadan Hospital Assistant and his regimental schoolmaster (a havildar). This procedure seemed to me very unusual and I told him so, and, further, that I considered that a Subedar-Major and native officers who so little fulfilled their duty were not worth keeping in the battalion".

After the annual exercises were over the regiment came back to Alipur, their headquarters in December, 1909. Although the intelligence net was tightened around the regiment about this time, yet the Arya Samajists did their job very efficiently. The Arya Samajists visited Samaj mandir (temple) regularly and formed links with the Bengal revolutionaries. The authorities had no knowledge of their doings. A few of them even went to the extent of joining a secret revolutionary society which had its branches at Kiddarpur and Shibpur (Calcutta). Sarat Chandra Mitter, Suresh Chandra Mitter, Bhuban Mohan Mukherji, Kristo Bhan(alias Bhutan) Mukherji, Narendra Nath Chatterji, Lalit Mohan Chakravarty and Nani Gopal Gupta were the Bengali revolutionaries who had induced them to do so.

What did this secret society like for which the sepoys had joined : And what were its aims and objectives : Answers to these questions can be had from the following oath which the sepoys took on the occasion of joining the society :-

1. "From today, I am initiated to be a member of this society, and so long as the liberation of the motherland is not effected, I shall continue to be a member of this society and work for the welfare of my country.

2. I do not become a member of this society under the influence of any evil motive.

3. If I have any ill-feeling or quarrel with any member of the society, I shall sincerely make that up as order by the leader, and I shall look upon the other members of the society as my brothers.

4. I shall work under the orders of the leader; I shall obey him in whatever he orders without any questioning and take his orders to be such as can never be disobeyed.

5. Without the permission of the leader, I shall not disclose any secret matter in connection with this society to any one, not even to any other member of the society.

6. If I voluntarily do any thing which is against the interests of the society, I shall gladly take any punishment inflicted by the leader, or by his orders.

7. I shall not marry so long as I shall be a member of the society.

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8. After taking the Gita, fire, sword or dagger, and Ganges water, I take this oath, with God as my witness, that so long as I live, I shall continue to be a member of this society. If I voluntarily desert, then on the orders of the leader, any member can take my life as a punishment. For that he shall not be responsible to God.

9. If I disobey any of these commandments, may my ancestors go to hell and may, be guilty of drinking my mother's blood".

Before the sepoys and revolutionaries could do anything worthwhile, one of them Lalit Mohan Chakravarty, exposed a plot hatched by the men of the 10th Jats and the revolutionaries. The plot, one of the most dangerous conspiracies ever hatched by revolutionaries, was as follows:-

During the Christmas holidays in 1909, a ball was to be held at the residence of the Bengal Governor to which the Viceroy, Commander-in-Chief and all the high-ranking officers and officials of Calcutta were to be invited. The 10th Jat Regiment was to do sentry duty during the ball. The undercover patriotic organisation which had established contact with the soldiers decided to take advantage of this convenient ball to blow up the ballroom and thus destroy the colonial Government. As the Consul wrote, it had been intended to "arouse in the country a general perturbation of minds and thereby afford the revolutionaries an opportunity to take the power in their hands".

The police had suspected nothing, and it is hard to say what the outcome would have been had the soldiers not been betrayed by one of their comrades who informed the authorities about the impending coup.

The British government was shocked to hear of such a serious conspiracy and they at once took stringent measures against the culprits who were 42 in number. They were tried by a military court-martial whose proceedings were kept highly confidential. Surprisingly, however, these were leaked to the Russian Embassy which made them public through their paper Zemschina, which wrote that

"the sepoys had conducted themselves with great poise at the trial. They declared that they had joined a revolutionary union set up by Bengali patriots and were aware of the fact that this union wanted to overthrow British rule in India. They declared that they had taken an oath of allegiance to maintain unity and were duty-bound to help conduct revolutionary agitation among the troops. One of the accused told the judge: "Don't think there are only 25 such sepoys. Oh no! There are many such sepoys and the fate of British domination in India is in our hands ! "The English


court imposed severe penalties upon the arrested soldiers".The details of the punishment inflicted upon the revolutionary soldiers were as follows: By the order of the Commander-in-Chief, Hav. Chuni Lal and Sepoy Surjan Singh were dealt with summarily(summary court-martial under the Indian Articles of War ) and sentenced to be imprisoned with hard labour for the years and to be discharged from the service. Besides them, 25 Non-Commissioned officers and men out of 145 who might apparently have been implicated, or whose characters were doubtful, were summarily dismissed. On 31January, the battalion was sent in the R.I.M.S. Northbrook for Karachi.

Besides these steps Brigadier-General Cowans very strongly recommended that the constitution of the 10th Jat be changed :-

"From all that I have heard recently, he said, the area of country from which they are recruited appears to possess an unusual number of leading members of the extremists or seditionist sections of the community, and there is little doubt that these men are holding out large pecuniary and other inducements to men in the native army to join what is meant to be a serious movement to attempt the downfall of the British Empire in India."

A class regiment is peculiarly amenable to such attempts, and one in which it is very hard to ascertain what is going on. With a change of constitution would naturally come a transfer of certain of the British officers, some of whom cannot be altogether absolved of negligence in the matter of not keeping their native officers up to date. Especially is this so in the case of Lieutenant-Colonel Pressey, who says little or nothing of what steps he took to keep himself informed of what was going on in a battalion, which to his own knowledge, apparently, had been toying with sedition for many years and which in the light of the many warnings issued to Commanding Officers from army headquarters during the years 1906-08, evidently required special attention. His complaint that the civil authorities did not inform him that outsiders were likely to attempt to tamper with the fidelity of his men can hardly be justified after receipt of these warnings, and after he himself had, in 1908, to convict a havildar clerk of insubordination, due to outside influence of a political nature(vide his report under 1908).

Lt. Col. Pressey was sent on forced retirement for his negligent behaviour. The subedar-major was also sent on pension. All the sebedars i.e. company commanders, were summarily discharged from service with such pensions or gratuities to which they were entitled. The recruiting of the 10th Jat was confined `to Jats enlisted under

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

the recruiting officer for Rajputana and central India with a view to introducing other classes than those which have lately shown signs of disaffection'.

That was not the end of the story, however. The problem of the 10th Jat was resolved, but the bug of the Arya Samaj was not killed. It was an immensely dangerous community for which there could not have been any place, at least in the army. The Commander-in-Chief, therefore, moved in the matter. He wrote a very strong note on 22 March,1910 on the question recommending to the Army Department that notification be issued putting a blanket ban on the recruitment of Arya Samajists in the army. But before that was done, he said the permission of the Government of India be sought. In consequence, the matter was submitted to the Home Department.

The Home Department gave a serious thought to the question and advised against taking any such step in haste. There would be a lot of opposition to such a measure, they said. Representations would be sent to the government, memoranda would be addressed to the secretary of state and questions would be asked in the Parliament against such a measure. It was necessary, therefore, that before agreeing to such a proposal, they got hold of definite evidence supporting on an action. The Home Department, it seems, had grown wiser from their experience gained from Lajpat Rai's case. They had no sufficient grounds to deport the Lion of the Punjab and as such had to eat the humble pie when there were protests against their action in and outside Parliament. They did not want to repeat the same mistake.

"To be on surer ground before such a bomb is exploded," the Home Department thought it proper to seek the opinion of the governments of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh on the question. In consequence, express communications were sent to them. The two governments took serious note of the problem and gave their considered opinion. The Punjab government said:

Unless the army authorities have very definite proof that Arya Samaj as a body is teaching sedition in the army, the Lt. Governor would deprecate any direct action against the society as a whole and would deal with individual cases as they occur i.e. anyone when found to be seditious, should be dismissed.

The Uttar Pradesh Government also thought likewise. It would be a mistake, they said, "to proscribe the whole Samaj". The Lt. Governor expressed his inability to accept the proposal put forth by the Commander-in-Chief.

The Viceroy agreed with the observation of the Home Department and the governments of Punjab and U.P.He considered it inadvisable to proscribe the entire Arya Samaj for being seditious. It was left to the Army Department to tackle the problem of recruitment of undesirable elements in the army thoughtfully.


Accordingly, the C-in-C devised a novel remedy to the problem. Addressing an Army Order to all General Officers Commanding divisions and independent brigades and all recruiting officers, he observed :-

In view of the maintenance of discipline, good order and loyalty in the Indian army and to prevent discord and dissension arising among the Native ranks, it is desired all Commanding Officers and Recruiting Officers to carry out the policy of government in carefully restricting the enlistment in units to the classes duly authorised to from "their composition.To illustrate this I am to point out that as in a Hindu Rajput Company Mohammedan Rajputs are not enlisted and as Brahmins who are Sikhs are not eligible for regiments enlisting Brahmins, so in the case of companies for which Jats are authorised, steps should be taken to prevent the enlistment of Jats who have changed their religion to that of the Sikhs, Vishnois, Brahmo Samajists, Arya-Samajists, or of any other sect, and this rule should be applied to all classes enlisted in the Indian army."

Thus the enlistment of Arya Samajists was forbidden in the army. This practice continued all through the period under study. No relaxation was made even during the First World War, 1914-18, when they were in dire need of recruits, as the following letter written to. The Tribune by Sir Chhotu Ram, an eminant Jat Leader of Rohtak on 8 May, 1917 shows :-

"The other day, an Arya Samajist offered himself for enlistment in the Army. He was asked to put off his sacred thread as a condition precedent. He refused to comply with his demand, and was rejected in consequence."

Emergence of Sanatan Dharma Sabha

As already explained, Arya Samaj opened the eyes of the people towards social evils and patriotism. Sanatan Dharma Sabha emerged in Haryana as a byproduct of Arya Samaj.

It was established at Jhajjar in 1886 by Din Dayal Sharma.Its main objects were: preaching of Sanatan Dharma; eradication of the social evils prevailing in the society ; the encouragement of Sanskrit and Hindi languages; opening of educational institutions and inculcating an urge for social service. Its basic aspects were the respect for the gods and goddesses and faith in the theory of incarnation.

The Sanatan Dharma Sabha became popular in Haryana during the last decade of the 19th century. Some of its notable local leaders were Nathu Lal, Chander Bhan, Harbans Lal of Jhajjar; Lala Sohan Lal and Hargolal Sharma of Hissar; Lala Gauda Ram of Ambala cantt; and pandit Din Dayal, Maul Chander Sharma, Goswami Ganesh Data and pt. Neki Ram Sharma of Bhiwani.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

The leaders of the Sabha made extensive tours of the country and a number of discourses on religion were given at many places. The branches were established at prominent towns and cities of Haryana such as Bhiwani, Hissar, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Safidon, Rewari, Palwal, Kaithal, Rohtak and Beri to fulfil its mission.

The Sanatan Dharma Sabha also propagated the study of Sanskrit and Hindi. Some schools were established to promote the vernacular languages. People were advised to use Hindi in courts.

It also encouraged the establishment of the libraries and reading rooms.

As already explained, the Sabha made efforts to eradicate the social evils. It attacked the use of tobacco and liquor, child-marriages, extra expenditure on litigation etc. It also opposed the dancing of harlots and ramps at marriages. Some orphanages were also set up by the Sanatan Dharam Sabha. It also advocated the widow marriage and removal of untouchability to some extent.

The other religions like Islam and Sikhism were also affected by the establishment of purely religious organization like Sanatan Dharma Sabha. The people of these organizations sharply reacted and tried to establish their own bodies to safeguard the religious interests. The following associations came to the forefront in Haryana, particularly in Ambala and Hissar :-

Area Name and place of organization Aims and objectives

Hissar Central National Muhammadan Bettering the lot of Muslims

Association, Hissar

-Do- Anjuman-i-Islamiya -Do-

Ambala Anjuman Rijah-i-Am, Socio-political awakening of

city Ambala city Indians

-Do- Anjuman-i-Islamiya, Bettering the lot of the Ambala City Muslims

-Do- Singh Sabha, Ambala city Safeguarding the interest of
the Sikhs

-Do- Central National Muhammadans Safeguarding the interest of

Association, Ambala City the Muslims
-Do- Anjuman-i-Islamiya, Ambala Bettering the lot of the cantt. Muslims

-Do- Singh Sabha, Ambala Reforming Sikh religion



Development of Education, Literature and press

In the sphere of education, Haryana was one of the most backward regions in India. Neither the British nor the private agencies paid attention towards the progress of literacy and education. Though the British occupied the Haryana region earlier than the Punjab itself, yet no progress was made even in the indigenous system of education 1. Only the maktabs and madarsas, Sanskrit and Nagri pathshalas, the Gurumukhi schools represented Muslim, Hindu and Sikh institutions, respectively2.Their main object was the preaching of religious instruction, while the Mahajani schools catered to the needs of the trading classes.

Like education, the increase in the production of literary works and periodicals in Haryana was very low and slow. The writers like Balmukand Gupta, M.D. Mishra, Bishambar Nath Sharma, Tulsi Ram Denesh and pt. Baste Ram aroused the feelings of patriotism and self-reliance among the masses through their literature and preachings. They also highlighted the evils prevalent in those days.

The sphere of press had some wanting. There were a few periodicals in those days. Some papers represented their caste bias, 3 for example, Ahir patrika from Rewari, Jat Gazette and Jat Sepoy from Rohtak, Thakur Patrika from Hissar and Brahman Samachar from Jagadhari. The Cantonment Advocate of Ambala generally represented the grievances of the people of Ambala. There was another paper-Bharat Pratap in Urdu from Jhajjar whose editor was pt. Bishambar Dayal Sharma4.

The foundation of the Congress and the participation of Haryanvis

In fact, political consciousness began during the last phase of 19th century.

Mr. A. O. Hume was the real founder of the Indian National Congress which was established in December, 1885. To secure the British rule in India and to inject the spirit of loyalty, he tried to contain the national consciousness into constitutional channel. The Ist session of All India Congress was held at Bombay. Haryana was represented by a young pleader of Ambala, Lala Murlidhar as a representative of The Tribune. Munshi Jawala Prashad, a pleader of Ambala, also took part in the 1st session.

In 1886, three delegates belonging to Haryana attended the session at Calcutta. They were Lala Murlidhar of Ambala, pt. Din Dayal Sharma of Jhajjar, the then editor of The Kohnoor of Lahore and Babu Balmukand Gupta of village Guryani. In 1887, out of the total of nine delegates from the then Punjab, Lala Murlidhar represented this area.The Congress party was boosted into much activities by the

1. G.W. Leitner : History of Indigenous Education in Punjab since Annexation, part III, p. 32.

2. A.R. Mehta : A History of the Growth and Development of Western Education in Punjab, 1846-1884, pp. 14-15.

3. Jagdish Chandra : Freedom Movement in Haryana, (1919-1947), p. 10.

4. Sri Ram Sharma : Meri Apni Ram Kahani, p. 3.

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joining of Lala Lajpt Rai into the Congress at Hissar. He started his practice there. Lala Lajpat Rai attended the session at Allahabad in 1888 for the 1st time. Perhaps he was the Ist Indian leader, who spoke on the Congress platform in Hindi1. Some other notable figures of Haryana who attended the session were Chhabil Dass, Gauri Shankar and Lala Murlidhar.

Political consciousness was engendered by the Indian National Congress whose programme began to attract attention. On October 12, 1888, a Congress meeting attended by many lawyers and honourable magistrates was held at Chopal Dehri, (Rohtak) under the presidentship of Toraboz Khan where Lala Lajpat Rai spoke. In 1889, Lala Lajpat Rai also attended the session of the Congress at Bombay. Thereafter he remained aloof from the Congress for next four years.

In the session of 1891, Lala Murlidhar exhorted the delegates to give up foreign clothing and luxuries and to sympathise with the poor. In 1892, Lala Lajpat Rai left Hissar and settled at Lahore for practice.

In those days, the Congress only gained some ground among the few urban belts which contained the lawyers or some business men, mostly Hindus. But majority of the people kept separate from the Congress. Some of the Muslims of the then Punjab wanted to set up a political association but Sir Syed Ahmad Khan opposed to this idea. By the turn of the century, it looked as if they held themselves aloof from all political activities. Sikhs, being a small minority, had scant choice. They were mainly busy in their social and educational activities through the Singh Sabhas

Growth of Political Struggle

Like other provinces, the then Haryana witnessed a series of oppressive acts of Lord Curzon. People criticized his administrative measures. The leaders and vernacular press strongly attacked his administrative measures. Bal Mukund Gupta, prominent Hindi writer of Haryana compared Curzonshahi with Nadir Shahi.

Swadeshi Movement.- After the partition of Bengal, Swadeshi Movement gained momentum, Late Murli Dhar voiced his views in favour of Swadeshi movement. A vigorous campaign was launched against the foreign cloth, the use of foreign sugar, etc. The people were motivated to take up the cause of Swadeshi in big towns of Haryana. For example, at Rohtak a meeting of Jain young men was held on the occasion of Dushera festival in which Lala Jauhri Mal, pleader, presided and where a cloth merchant took a vow to denounce the sale of German and Italian cloth.

During the Swadeshi Movement, it was decided that a company be established with limited liability to manufacture, sell and let handlooms do all other things. It

1. S.C. Mittal : Darshtan Lala Lajpat Rai, p. 14.


was calculated to promote the weaving industry in the province, and float stores for the Swadeshi goods. On 21st October, a largely attended meeting of Swadeshi company took place in Hindu Hall at Ambala City under the aegis of Lala Murlidhar in which Beni Prashad and Lala Dawarka Dass also took part. Similar meetings were held at Ambala Cantonment and other places.

Oppressive Acts during the regime of Lord Minto.- After the exodus of Lord Curzon, Lord Minto became the new Viceroy of India. During that period, the unrest did not subside. It increased the economic hardships. The people were already under the impact of natural calamities like famine and the outbreak of dreadful plague. Some legislation like the Punjab Limitation Act, 1904, the Transfer of Property Act, 1904 and the Punjab pre-emptions Act, 1905 were passed to weaken the position of money-lenders. The Punjab Land Alienation Act-Amendment Bill, 1906 was a further attempt to place more alienation restrictions. It generated political discontent, especially among the Hindu commercial castes. It was considered by them as an act of great injustice and hardship.

Arrest of Lala Lajpat Rai and Deportation

Lala Lajpat Rai spoke against the oppressive Acts. Consequently, Lala Lajpat Rai and Sardar Ajit Singh were arrested at Lahore and deported without trial in the middle of 1907. The deportation generated a new spirit and agitated the minds of the people of Haryana. This high-handed action on the part of the British Government shook the faith of the people. On account of the arrest of Lala Lajpat Rai, a revolutionary movement began in Haryana. On the suggestion of Morley, Minto released both Lala Lajpat Rai and Ajit Singh on 18th November, 1907.

But their release did not subside the anti-government propaganda. Sardar Ajit Singh vigorously campaigned for the establishment of a network of revolutionary societies. Pt. Neki Ram Sharma, a prominent leader of Haryana wrote an article captioned Vipti Par Vipti (Calamity after Calamity) which was published at Allahabad. Consequently, the Government was alarmed and Mr. Josep, the Deputy Commissioner of Rohtak warned him for his anti-British activities. The year 1909 witnessed the explosion of a bomb at the house of Mr. Sykes, the Deputy Commissioner, Ambala. Perhaps, this was the Ist serious revolutionary action in Haryana 1. On the night of December 29, 1909, a servant of Mr. Sykes found a tin case on a road leading to his master's house and opened it in the compound. The tin case contained a bomb which exploded badly shattering the man's hand.

The Government became alarmed from the very beginning. The repressive methods adopted by the authorities included the persecution of the press, the ban on

1. S.C. Mittal : Haryana ; A Historical Perspective, 1983, p. 91.

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papers, pamphlets, books circulars etc., the arrests and deportation, prohibition of public meetings and encouragement of the loyalists.

The Government of India not only banned the political activities but also restrained the religious activities. Rohtak district was declared to be a proclaimed disturbed area under the persecution of Seditious Meetings Act. But the repressive measures did not dampen the revolutionary spirit of the Haryanvis.

Communal representation introduced in Haryana

In 1908 `Minto-Morley reforms were announced and through which communal represention was started. The opening of door to the communal representation was neither liked by the moderates nor the extremists but was welcomed by the Muslim League. This doctrine of communal representation created tension and conflicts in various communities.

In accordance to the Minto-Morley reforms, two members were taken from Haryana for the then Punjab Legislative Council . They were Rai Bahadur Jawahar Lal Bhargava, advocate from Hissar and Rai Bahadur Ch. Lal Chand, advocate of Rohtak.

Under the Minto-Morley reforms, as embodied in the Indian Council Act, 1909, the District Boards and othe local bodies of the Gurgaon, Rohtak and Hissar districts were constituted into an electoral unit to elect a member to the Punjab Legislative Council.

On the abolition of Hissar division in 1884, the Rohtak district was transferred to the Delhi division. Rohtak district had four tahsils, Rohtak, Gohana, Jhajjar and Sampla but in April, 1910, the last named tahsil was abolished for reasons of administrative economy and its area was divided between the Rohtak and Jhajjar tahsils.

During 1911, the Emperor George V made a historic announcement about the transfer of the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi. Many reasons had been advanced for the transfer of the capital. Calcutta was thought to be geographically ill-adopted. The apposite reasons for the transfer of capital were as under :-

"The peculiar political situation which has arisen in Bengal since the partition made it eminently desirable to withdraw the Government of India from its present provincial environments. On geographical, historical and political grounds, the capital of Indian empire should be Delhi. The political advantage accruing from the transfer of the capital could not be over-estimated. Delhi was still a name to be conjured with. It is intimately associated in the minds of the Hindus, with sacred legends which go


back even the dawn of history. To the Muhammadans it would be a source of unbounded gratification to the ancient capital of Mughals, restored to its proud position as the seat of empire" 1.

The change of national capital from Calcutta to Delhi cast its shadows on the territorial adjutments of Haryana which was a scattered one in these days. The district had three tahsils ; Sonipat, Ballabgarh and Delhi. The Sonipat tahsil which had remained attached to the Delhi district since the year 1861, was added to the Rohtak district in September, 1912, on the separation of Delhi territory from Punjab2. A part of Ballabgarh tahsil was transferred to the Gurgaon district in 1912. This was formed into a new tahsil of Gurgaon3. The Rohtak district was attached to Ambala division.

The Contribution of Haryana to the World War I (1914-1918)

The Ist World War broke out in 1914 and India being a part of the British empire was dragged into the war activities. The people of Haryana helped the Government by providing recruits and by contributing money and material. Haryana's contribution to the army personnel was 71, 366.4

The total number of men from the then Gurgaon district served during World War I (1914-1918) was 20, 181, out of which 17,700 were enlisted during the war. The related position of the district in the then province of Punjab in these respects was 9th and 10th, respectively. The district registered 314 fatal casualties. Pataudi ; which was then a separate princely state, contributed 450 persons. This was a 14.5% of eligible males, which was about the same as in the Gurgaon district (14.2%). The villages, namely Uton, Khandsa, Biser, Akbarpur and Khotala Serai in the Gurgaon district gave practically every able-bodied man and boy.

The people of Ambala helped the Government in its war efforts. The village peasants gave 8, 341 recruits for the army.The urban rich contributed to the war loans and funds.

In the sphere of recruitment, all kinds of inducements were held out to those who brought the recruits. Public rewards were given to those who helped the Government. Almost in every district durbars were held. It was in a durbar held by Sir Michacl O, Dwyer in Haryana that the Government assured that it would dig Bhakhra Dam Canal which might change the face of Haryana.

1. Confidential Note of Governor-General in Council, dated 25th August, 1911.

2. Rohtak District Gazetteer (Statistical Table) 1936, p. 3.

3. Gurgaon District Gazetteer, 1984, p.3.

4. M. S. Leigh, The Punjab And The War, p. 59, Lahore, 1922.

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During the war, the efforts of Rohtak district in supplying manpower to the army and making substantial contributions to the various funds placed it among the Ist five districts of the province. Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy made a special visit to Rohtak as a mark of appreciation. A total number of 22, 144 recruits were taken from the Rohtak district which topped the list.

In the Ist World War, the people of Bhiwani area helped the Government in its war efforts in two ways, first, by providing recruits and second by their contribution to the war loans. The peasants, including the Ranghars provided approximately 10,000 combatants to the Indian army and imperial troops 1. The rich business people of the town and landlords gave substantial monetary help.

The Jind State in the war days maintained its loyal tradition by placing all resources at the disposal of the British authorities. The Jind Imperial Service Regiment was on active service for about 3½ years in East Africa. The present Mahendragarh district was a part of princely State of Patiala whose king also helped the British authorities in providing men and material.

A recruiting centre was opened at Delhi, for the drafting of youths of Haryana. Jhajjar, Rewari and Bhiwani were other centres of recruits. In fact, in this way, the communal feeling was encouraged 2. Later it was replaced by the territorial system of recruitment through which men of any class could be enrolled in every district. Coercive methods were also used with a view to enlisting recruits 3.

The proposals for conscription methods were also made. But the Government of India rejected the idea of conscription on political grounds.

The attempts were made to encourage loyalty to get more recruitment. Indian officials and respectables were employed in recruiting work in each district. Honours and commissions were given to them by the Government. Some of the notables who helped the Government very much were Chaudhry Lal Chand and Pt. Parbhu Dayal of Rohtak ; Rao Balbir Singh of Gurgaon; Chaudhry Lajpat Rai of Hissar and Chaudhry Bansgopal of Karnal 4.

As regards the war funds and war loans, Haryana made a notable contribution. The total war loan so collected district-wise is as under :

1. Bhiwani District Gazetteer, 1982, p. 37.

2. S.C. Mittal : Haryana, ; A Historical Perspective, 1985, p. 94.

3. Home Department (Political-B), Government of India Proceedings, June, 1918, No. 28.

4. Shri Ram Sharma, Haryana Ka Itihas (Hindi), p. 55.


District/States War Loans


Native States 12,90,000/-

Ambala District 25,96, 441/-

Karnal ,, 24,45,226/-

Gurgaon ,, 15,99,118/-

Rohtak ,, 24,12,865/-
Hissar ,, 82,90,016/-

General Dwyer described, the war-loan as Phal-nale Phallion(honour with profit). A day was fixed in Haryana in order to collect the funds and the people of Haryana, as already explained, contributed generously. The highest individual contribution made in the province was Rs. 10 Lakh from Rai Bahadur Sukh Lal of Bhiwani, and 4.5 lakh from Rai Sahib Tara Chand; whereas the wife of former subscribed another one lakh to the women's section of the loan. The town of Bhiwani, which had initially promised Rs. 15 lakh as loans, contributed Rs. 25 lakh. It was the highest contribution in proportion to the population.

The Jind State's war gifts, amounted to over Rs. 24 lakh; while the total loan raised in the State amounted to Rs. 11 lakh.

The British Government thanked the Maharaja very heartily after the war 1. The then area of Mahendragarh and Narnaul (present Mahendragarh district) contributed liberally to the War Fund and War Loan. Bihari Lal of Rewari and Jagannath of Gurawada who contributed Rs. 65, 000, respectively 2.

Besides the supply of manpower for the purpose of war, Karnal district also contributed substantially to the Aeroplane Fund, the Imperial Indian Relief Fund, Comforts Funds and War-Loans 3. The people of Sirsa area did not lag behind in extending loyal and giving monetary help to the British Government during the war days. The contribution of the Sirsa area to the war-loan is as under 4:

Name Amount


Seth Sukh Lal 12,00,000

Family of Ram Sukh Dass 1,06,000

1. Jind District Gazetteer, 1986, p. 28.

2. Mahendragarh District Gazetteer, 1988, p. 52.

3. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1976, p. 47.
4. Sirsa District Gazetteer, 1988, p. 36.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Mrs. Sukh Lal 1,00,000

K.S. Khan Yakin-ud-din 66,000

Major rewards were given for war-services. The district-wise persons shown for this purpose are as under :-

Details of rewards

Name of No.of persons Jagir worth(Rs.) recruiting Square of

district badges rectangle


Hissar 35 1,500 7 52

Rohtak 46 1,500 13 79

Gurgaon 28 950 19 44

Karnal 30 - 6 76
Ambala 49 - 6 145
A few rich town dwellers and big zamindar from villages received jagirs and other benefits for their war services but not others. The Sirsa area, a part of the then Hissar district, got rewards, which are as under :

Name Place Rewards

M.Ajit Singh Kalanwali Kaisar-i-Hind Medal

Baba Bashanda Rori Seat in provincial Durbar


R.S.Ram Gopal Sirsa M.B.E and jagir (Rs.500)

Seth Sukh Lal Sirsa O.B.E. Rai Bahadur

Khan-Yakin-ud Sirsa Khan Sahib and Square land

Though the people of Haryana helped the British Government in war activities, yet the Government paid no attention towards their hardships.Just after the expiry of World War Ist, the services of nearly 15,500 soldiers from Haryana were terminated in the wake of demobilization. They were deprived of their earning and were not substituted with employment or other means of livelihood.

Just after the war, natural calamities like floods, plague and influenza increased their tension. The district of Gurgaon and Rohtak suffered heavily in the whole Punjab and the death-rates were the highest. The Government made efforts to help the people


by prohibiting the export of grain, by selling salt at cheaper rates, by retailing of cheaper cloth and control of sale of kerosene. These measures could provide nominal relief to the people living in towns only. The villages were totally neglected.

Impact of Ghaddar Party in Haryana

On account of World War activities, Haryana could not participate actively in any national movement. The rural masses, as already pointed out, took more interest in the war than national activities.

The Ghaddar movement in those days was at international level. Kanshi Ram of Ambala district was one of the architects of the Ghaddar party in Sanfrancico with Hardyal 1. He returned to India in 1914. He was arrested by the British and on 27th November, 1915 he was hanged. As per historians view, he was the Ist Haryanvi martyr in this phase of freedom movement. His property worth Rs. 40,000 was confiscated by the Government. Pt.Neki Ram Sharma evinced keen interest in Home Rule Agitation. Some agitations were held at Rohtak and Bhiwani. But with the arrest of Neki Ram Sharma in July, 1918, when he plunged in the Home Rule Agitation and defied the prohibitory directions of the Government at Delhi by holding public meeting at Birla Mandir Dharamshala, the Home Rule Agitation petered out in Haryana.

Congress Party Session

During 1917-18, the Congress party began to gain some footing. In 1917 the Congress Party Committee was established at Rohtak. Chaudhry Chhotu Ram and Babu Shyam Lal were its president and secretary, respectively. In 1917, at the Calcutta session of Congress five persons of Rohtak represented the district. These participators impressed the audience, by their emotional speech. In 1918, when the people of Haryana were suffering from the economic hardship particularly of begar, it was

pt. Neki Ram Sharma who took initiative against the social and economic evils. He was the Ist political leader of Congress Party in Haryana who opposed this exploitation of the poor. He visited many places in Haryana and created political consciousness among the people of Haryana.

In 1918, the Congress session was held at Delhi under the presidentship of pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya. Pt. Neki Ram Sharma and Chaudhry Peeru Singh and Lala Daulat Ram participated in this session. Establishment of the Congress Committees at various places generated a new spirit and consciousness among the masses.

1. For detail see S.C. Mittal : Kanshi Ram, Ghaddar Party Ke Mahan Neta, 1972.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

During the year of 1919, there blew a wave of unrest and distrust. The people had ungrudgingly brooked all types of tribulations and miseries during the Ist World War and made common cause with the British. These factors coupled with the tall promises made by the British had roused high expectations. But while the people expected a reward for their services with utmost loyalty, the victory over an enemy enhanced the ego of the British Government to a new height and stiffened their neck beyond all proportions. The people expected right to self-determination and due consideration of India's claims for self-government and they got the Rowlatt Bills and Chelmsfod Report 1.

Rowlatt Bill Agitation

Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy of India appointed the Rowlatt Bill Committee to investigate into the revolutionary movement in India and make recommendations accordingly to crush it. It surveyed the revolutionary activities in India and recommended that certain drastic powers be given to the executive authority of the Government of India. Consequently, the Government of India drafted two bills and presented them to the Imperial Legislative Council on 18th January, 1919. This move was universally opposed by Indians of all shades of political opinion.

These Bills shocked Gandhi ji. "Its recommendations startle me", said Gandhi ji. He described these Bills as "Unmistakable symptoms of deep-rooted disease in the governing body. He called for a all India agitation in support of the demand for the with-drawal of the Bills. These Black Bills generated a wave of anger throughout the country.

The year 1919 was an important landmark in the history of India's struggle for freedom. With the advent of Mahatma Gandhi into the arena of Indian politics, there came a new technique and new orientation of spirit. The people were called upon to disobey the repressive laws by non-violent methods. Mahatma Gandhi declared `March 30, 1919' as the day of hartal all over India. Later on it was postponed to April 6. The whole of the Haryana State responded to the call of hartal.

The hartal was observed at Rewari on March 30,1919. Then on April 3 and 4, a few persons, both Hindus and Muslims, came to Rewari and again spread a idea of hartal in the town. There was thus a complete hartal on April 6,1919. The people were restless and moved about in crowds. Rumours were set afloat that Mahatma Gandhi and a few other leaders were shortly expected at Rewari. Some people gathered in Birhamgarh near the great tank to prepare a rostrum. The main crowd reached the railway station and forced the refreshment rooms to be closed. A meeting was held in

1. J.K. Majumdar: Indian's speechs and Documents on British Policy, 1937, p. 186.


the evening at Birhamgarh and several people delivered lectures, but there was disappointment as no important personality had come from Delhi. At Ballabgarh and Faridabad shops remained closed for a couple of hours on April 6; emissaries from Arya Gurukul at Khawaja Serai in Delhi territory kept coming to Ballabgarh tahsil to induce to local zamindars to refuse to pay land revenue . A meeting was held at Molarband just on Delhi border in this connection.

At Palwal a complete hartal was observed on April 6. A meeting was held and a collection was raised for defence of those who might be prosecuted.

Hearing of the trouble in Punjab, and on the invitation of Satyapal and Swami Shardhanand, Mahatma Gandhi started for Delhi on April 8. On April 9, he was served with an order at Palwal to reside within the Bombay Presidency and was thus prevented from entering Punjab or Delhi. On his refusal to obey the order, he was arrested and turned back from there by a special train to Bombay on April 10. Hartal was, therefore, renewed at Palwal on that day (April 10) and continued for 3 days.

At Hodal a meeting was organized on April 11 and hartal was observed on the same day. At Ferozepur and Taoru there was a hartal on April 13 and 14. Partial hartal was also observed at Gurgaon on April 10. At night a large meeting was held in which it was decided to hold hartal on the following day and on the last Saturday of every month till the Rowlatt Act was repealed, the latter suggestion was not carried out. As decided, hartal was continued on the 11th, and a Hindu-Muslim meeting was held in the Arainwali mosque. To curb these activities the Government proclaimed Section 15 of the Indian Police Act, 1861 in the then Gurgaon district.

In Rohtak, the Arya Samaj played a dynamic role among the people of the dominant community in the district.1 English-educated young men were the main organizers of the Satyagraha-Hartal Movement.The newspapers-The Vijay and The Congress created an atmosphere of agitation. The leaders of the movement like Maulvi Ahmad of Delhi and Pt. Tola Ram of Aligarh toured the Rohtak district . The trading classes adopted the practice of dishonouring the hundis of those persons who stood out against the movement. In fact, the movement was so strong and so far reaching that single private person in the Rohtak district was able to stand against it.

In the Ist week of April, 1919, a hartal was observed at Sonipat. As a result, postal telegraph lines at Gohana were damaged. A mass meeting was to be convened at Sonipat had to be abandoned under the Government pressure. On account of these activities, this area of Sonipat was declared as a disturbed area under the Police Act on April 21, 1919. The publication of the news in Jat Gazettee pertaining to the

1. The Disorders Inquiry Committee, Volume V, 242 (A statement issued by R.C. Bolster, the Deputy Commissioner, Rohtak, )

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disturbances was forbidden.1 The tahsildars of Sonipat and Gohana were found to be sympathetic to the Arya Samajist leaders, were transferred.

In response to the Rowlatt agitation, a hartal was observed at Panipat and a meeting was held in the town. An Urdu hand-written notice advocating mourning and prayers for passive resistance was found stuck in the bazar at Karnal. A successful hartal was observed at Karnal. On the 9th April, Ram Naumi was celebrated at Panipat and at Rath-yatra Hindus and Mohammadans fraternized and organized a demonstration in honour of Mahatma Gandhi Ji. On the 11th April a complete hartal was observed at Panipat and a Delhi freedom fighter, Bhagwan ji delivered strong speech and warrant under Defence of India Act was subsequently issued for his


On the 12th April, a general Railway, Post and Telegraph strike was threatened at Karnal. The same day a meeting was held at Shahbad to arrange for observance of hartal on the following day. In the evening Hindus and Sikhs congregated in the Imambara and fraternized with Mohammadans. At Panipat a contribution was levied on a shopkeeper who had not participated in the agitation. Efforts were also made at Thanesar to form a Hindu-Muslim panchayat to settle the cases.

After the passage of the Rowlatt Bill, the people of Ambala district also rose against the Government. Hartals were observed in every town, processions were taken out and meetings were held in opposition of the Act from March, 1919 to the end of April.

The Hissar and Bhiwani area did not lag behind in the agitational activities. Hartals were observed throughout the region particularly at Hissar and Bhiwani. At Hissar Shyam Lal and Bhaksi Ram Kishan organized hartal with the help of Hindu club. At Bhiwani pt. Neki Ram Sharma led the hartalis. K.A.Desai and Ram Kumar Bidhat also joined and assisted the hartalis with the encouragement from Yuvak mandal. In public meeting at Bhiwani the people pledged to help the agitation unless and until Act was repealed.

The anger of the people against the British can be seen from the fact that the carpenters of Rohtak refused to make a biar of Reavened Carlyon, a Christian missionary and no labourer came forward to dig out the grave. His last journey was delayed for six hours. On 11th April in a mass meeting at Gau Kararn at Rohtak, the sale of proscribed literature was advocated and joint Hindu-Mohammandan Committee was also formed.

1. Sonipat District Gazetteer, 1990, p. 45.


Impact of Jallian Wala Bagh (Amritsar)

In Punjab the educated classes were disturbed due to Dwyer's stringent actions and his inflammatory speeches. Sir Michal of Punjab had denounced the concept of self-government in the following words. "India would not be fit for self-government much before doomsday."

As a result of these insulting remarks of Dwyer, the people were discontented. On 13th April, 1919 the cold-blooded massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar. Like the towns of Punjab, a number of violent incident took place at Ambala, Karnal and Rohtak. Telegraph wires were cut on the North-Western Railway line near Barara station(Ambala district) on 14th April. At Bahadurgarh attempts were made to damage the Railway bridge and wreck a mail train ; It was said,

"Break up the bridge; the rule of the English has disappeared,"

The attempt to wreck No. 4 Down Mail at Bahadurgarh appeared to have been made because the train was carrying a company of European wireless operators for Karachi.

On learning the news of massacre at Amritsar, the people of Sonipat area rose against the British. The Government property was damaged and the post office at Gohana was destroyed and telegraph lines were cut off. Aeroplane demonstrations were carried by the Government over Ganaur to cow down the people 1.

The Government strengthened the executive powers to suppress the disturbances with strong hand. The Seditious Meetings Act, 1907 was introduced in the Gohana area. On April 15, telegraph wires were also cut between Rohtak and Samar Gopalpur. At Sonipat a public meeting was held at Imambara. On 16th April, at Rohtak a rumour spread about the rape of a weaver woman by soldiers which aroused excitement . On 18th April, a mob at Kaithal damaged the Railway Station. At Ambala Cantonment, the Sikh Pioneer Depot of 1/34 military regiment was burnt down2.

It would not be a digression to point out the Rohtak district was on the forefront in the agitation in those days. On 20th April, 1919, a canal was cut near Jat High School, Rohtak. This explosive situation upset the Government. Mr. Dwyer felt angry about the happenings at Rohtak. In a letter to Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy of India, he wrote :

"Rohtak as a great Arya Smaj and also a great military district is reported very shocking though we have a staunch party of loyalists there, consequently immediate police force was done."

1. Sonipat District Gazetteer, 1990, p. 45.

2. The Independent Inquires, April 23, 1919, The Report of Punjab Disturbances, 1919, p. 58.

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Special police guards were posted at all important vulnerable points. People were harassed by the bureaucracy. They were compelled for patrolling duties for the protection of the telegraph and railway lines. A local defence scheme was prepared at Rohtak in case of disturbances. Certain other precautionary measures were adopted. A sixteen seater motor was operated to ensure the mobility of the troops at Rohtak. An armoured train was got together by the General Officer Commanding, Delhi brigade and used for journey to Bahadurgarh to demoralize the people.

Despite the above expounded measures, the people of Rohtak resisted at various places. The people of Sanghi Kalan and Khadwali in Rohtak district displayed boldness. Chawdhry Lal Chand of Rohtak confessed his inability to join the Government in a loyal manifesto or to issue one in his name. Ch. Peru Singh, Tek Ram, Abdur Aziz and Sagar Chand were arrested under the Defence of India Rule. The Seditious Meetings Act was also extended to the entire region. Lala Kanshi Ram, Lala Munshi Ram and Jawala Prashad were also put under detention. At Gohana Molana Abdur Aziz was also arrested and sent to Lahore Central Jail for his critical views.

The mayhem of Jallianwala Bagh became the focal point of the national movement of resistance all over the country. There were demonstrations throughout the Karnal and Panipat areas against this horrible massacre of April 13, 1919. A public meeting was held at Karnal. A procession followed by a public meeting was observed at Panipat.

On the 18th April, considerable excitement prevailed at Panipat owing to presssure from some Delhi freedom fighters. The same day, a meeting was held at Fatehpur (Pundri). An unsuccessful attempt for hartal was also made at Pundri. Hartal was observed at Kaithal, during which about 100 Hindu and Muslim boys visited the Railway Station and tried to induce the railway staff to participate in the strike. Ladwa was visited by a unknown barefooted and bare-headed Mohammadan, who convened a meeting of Hindus and Muslims, whom he informed that the Muslims of Delhi had given up cow-killing and urged them to follow Delhi's example and promote Hindu-muslim unity. He also told them that Delhi people had vowed to remain barefooted and bareheaded till Gandhi ji was set at liberty. On the 19th April, the people damaged Kaithal railway station. The Government suppressed the movement with strong hand.

It can be said that Rowlatt Bills agitation was perhaps the first of all India agitation which marked not only the beginning of the Gandhian struggle in this region but also widened and deepened the current of nationalism 1. Opposition to the Rowlatt

1. S.C.Mittal, Haryana : A Historical Perspective, 1985, p. 107.


Bills laid the foundation of an agitation, the intensity of which was unparalleled in the recent years.

The Khilafat Movement

The Khilafat was a protest movement by the Indian Muslims against the hostile attitude of the British Government towards the Sultan of Turkey whom they considered as the Khalifa (the spiritual leader). It was feared by the Muslim that Sultan of Turkey would be completely deprived of all the authority1.

The word `Khilafat' was taken to mean against or opposed to and Muslims took its meaning as opposed to the Government, while officially it was understood as Khuli Afat, the open revolt. The Ali brothers-Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali and Dr. Syaed Mahmud were the prominent leaders of the Khilafat movement.

In Haryana Khilafat movement found some footing. Abdul Rashid and Gulam Beg Naurang, the advocates; Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan, a landlord, Hanif Khan and Hakim Shamin Ullah, businessmen of Ambala district; Legullah and Sufi Iqbal, landlords, Maulana Usmani and Sanaunual Usmani lambardars of Karnal district; Abdul Ghani Dar, a leading businessman of Ghasera; Mohammad Yasu Khan, a land lord, Yakul Khan, an ex-jamadar and a businessman of Palwal played a prominent role. Besides, there were other prominent leaders; their names are listed here: Bakshi Ahmed Khan, a hakim of Jhajjar; Zaman Ali, Hajis Aladin, businessmen of Rohtak; Abdul Aziz, a shopkeeper of Gohana; Maulvi Mulhadan and Khair Mohammad Khan, businessmen of Jhajjar; Mohammad Shafi a businessman of Bahadurgarh; Habibul Khan of Talao, and Maulvi Abdur Ghafar a landlord and Jan Mohammad, a member of Municipal Committee, Rohtak; Mustaq Hussain, a leading lawyer of Rohtak district, Mohammad Usmani, a big businessman of Bhiwani; Nazi Beg Mohammad Ismail and Nider Khan landlord of Hissar2.

The Khilafat Committees with the local leaders were formed in all the district and tahsils. In Bhiwani district, the agitation was further intensified when Khilafat movement gained momentum in 1920. Barring a few, the entire Muslim population of the tract got affected by this movement. Bawani Khera, Charkhi Dadri and all places where Muslims lived, took part in the agitation3. The Government tried its best to check it and organized loyalist propaganda against the movement, but it had little effect 4.

1. A.C.Niemeijs : The Khilafat Movement in India (1919-1920), 1972,pp. 68-69.

2. Jagdis Chander, Freedom Struggle in Haryana, (1919-1947),1976,pp. 56-57.

3. The Tribune, March 23, 1920.

4. Bhiwani District Gazetteer, 1982, p. 38.

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Khilafat manifesto was issued in January, 1920. Gandhi saw an opportunity of uniting the Hindus and the Muslims over the Khilafat issue. He gave maximum help to strengthen the cause of the Muslims. On 19th March, 1920 the Khilafat Day was observed through out the country. In April, 1920 pt. Neki Ram Sharma along with Lajpat Rai toured Hissar, Bhiwani and Rohtak and supported the movement. In June Neki Ram ji addressed the public meeting at Bhiwani in which he condemned the betrayal on the part of the Government.

Government tried to subdue the movement. Loyalists were encouraged. A loyalist organization entitled Kharkhuwa Majlis was set up with its branches at Bhiwani, Rohtak, Gurgaon and Karnal. But this organization had little impact on the people.

The Government began to arrest all the leaders who were on the forefront of the movement. The persons from outside were not allowed to meet the Khilafat leaders in jail. Even Gandhi ji and Ali-brothers were not permitted to see them.Public meetings were banned. But with expulsion of the Khalifa from Turkey in 1923, the Khilafat movement began to fizzle out and disappeared from India.

Gandhi's Non-Co-operation Movement

The Punjab atrocities, discontentment over the Khilafat issue and the report of the Disorders Inquiry Committee on 26th May, 1920 had completely shaken the faith of the people.

The hectic efforts for the establishment of the Congress Committees were made for the Ist time in Haryana. In Rohtak, Hissar, Gurgaon, Ambala and Karnal districts, a number of Congress Committees were established and their membership ran into thousands.

The Non-Co-Operation Movement was very intense in Ambala district. A large number of people jumped into the struggle and offered themselves for satyagraha.Lala Murlidhar, renounced his title and several medals received from the Government. A number of students left schools and colleges and several lawyers boycotted law courts. Foreign cloth was replaced by Khadi. About 45 shopkeepers of Ambala promised not to sell foreign cloth and goods. About 11,00 people enrolled themselves for offering Satyagraha.

Later in the mid of 1920, Ist Ambala Divisional Conference was held at Bhiwani. It was presided over by Lala Murlidhar and Gandhi ji was the chief guest.Ali brothers, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, Swami Satya Dev also attended the conference. Gandhi ji for the Ist time, called the British Government as `satanic Government.He appealed the audience for the boycott of courts, services in school, titles and adoption of Khadar. Gandhi ji's visit to Haryana left profound impact.


During the Non-Co-Operation Movement, Congress Committee was organized at Sirsa. Luxmi Narian Pediwal who financed the organization in a big way was its treasurer. Inspired by the Congress Committee, many students left schools and lawyers boycotted the courts. Swadeshi movement gained momentum. The shopkeepers of Sirsa took vow not to buy or sell foreign cloth.

In 1920, Gandhi ji in alliance with the Ali brothers, launched an All-India Campaign of non-violent non-co-operation to bring the British administration to a standstill. A district conference, organized at Rohtak in November,1920, and attended by ten to fifteen thousand persons, passed a resolution to launch non-co-operation. It was attended by Pt. Rambhuj Datta, Lala LajpatRai and Swami Satya Dev. One of the ugly events that happened in the conference was that when the non-cooperation pledge was to be taken by the audience, a prominent leader of Haryana opposed it. Being strongly opposed to the non-cooperation, he and his followers severed their connections with the Congress. He vehemently criticized the non-payment of taxes and renunciation of titles etc. Mohar Singh, the Editor of the Jat Gazettee supported the loyalists view.

Despite the opposition to the Non-Co-Operation Movement from large section of people, the movement progressed in Rohtak under the influence of Gandhi ji. A Swaraj Ashram to serve as office, reading room and hostel for workers was established on Railway Road, Rohtak. In response to Gandhi ji's call to do away with Government sponsored institutions, the Jat High School and Vaish High School, Rohtak, disaffiliated themselves from the university of the Punjab. Gandhi ji and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad addressed a large meeting at Kalanaur.

Due to programme of the boycott of Government aided institutions, the work in these institutions became standstill. Gandhi ji's visit to Haryana stirred the unrest among the students community. Eighteen students left Bahadurgarh High School and joined National High School, Rohtak. He visited the Jat High School. Ch. Chhotu Ram started a new Jat Heroes Memorial High School at Rohtak. In Karnal and Ambala the boycott of schools and colleges could not be successful.

The Non-Co-Operation Movement laid stress mainly on the propagation of the Swadeshi and the boycott of foreign-made articles. Gandhi ji toured the region also and gave a call for a complete boycott of foreign clothes at any cost. In Dehati Conference, Bhiwani, Gandhi ji declared, `` Give me Khedar, I will give you Swaraj''. A Khadi procession was taken out at Rohtak on Ist August, 1921. Similar big processions were arranged advocating the case of Swadeshi at several places. At

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various places, the cloth merchants decided to sell only Swadeshi cloth. At Ambala a party of Congress volunteers approached nearly 60 cloth dealers of whom 45 agreed to boycott the foreign cloth and gave their signatures and promises not to give fresh orders. As many as 7,000 Muslims of Hansi decided to boycott foreign cloth. At Karnal a Khadi exhibition was arranged and prizes were distributed to Khadi manufacturer1. At Bhiwani the cloth contractors boycotted these cloth-merchants who did not toe the line of other merchants. In Rewari, a wedding ceremony was deferred owing to refusal of the bridegroom to marry the bride clad in foreign dress.

The another important aspect of the Non-Co-Operation Movement was of picketing the liquor shops. At Rohtak and Karnal the picketing took place and no bidder could be found at the time of annual auctions. At Ambala picketors were manhandled by the police and were imprisoned for three months for not allowing the auction bidding. As a protest against the excesses of the Police, the Jhajjar Congress Committee decided to picket the octroi posts. Shri Ram Sharma of Jhajjar was arrested. At the Municipal Committee the Union Jack was torn and the National flag was hoisted. Some typical events were also occurred. In Sirsa, the people plastered the face of King Edward's statue. They also took over a procession with two donkeys in European fashion to represent one English man and a woman. In Rohtak, a playcard in a neck of dog was hanged on which it was written, `I am an English man."

The lawyers also boycotted the courts.Lala Shyam Nath of Hissar gave up his practice for a year. Lala Duni Chand, Shahgada Ram and Lala Tara Chand also gave up their practice. Great interest was shown for the establishment of panchayats. In Bhiwani Rashtrya Nayalaya (National Court)was also set-up. In the above court, six branches were opened and appellate courts were also taken up.

Pt. Neki Ram Sharma toured Haryana to mobilize the people not to enter councils till the wrong was redressed. He went to Sirsa, Bhiwani and Hissar and addressed the public meetings. A number of Vakils withdrew themselves from the council's candidature. Lala Duni Chand, Vakil of Ambala withdrew his candidature for the council. Similarly, Lala Jugal Kishore, K.A. Desai and Harnam Singh remained away from the Council's elections.

In those days, as already explained, Khadi became the symbol of patriotism. When Abdul Rashid and Lala Duni Chand released from the jail, they were welcomed by creating 40 gates of Khadar. One of the gates was of Charkha, in which the flowers of Khadar were bestowed on them. Even the welcome address was also printed on Khadar.

1. S.C. Mittal : Haryana, A Historical Perspective, 1985, p. 112.


As desired by the leaders, the people also made substantial contribution to Tilak Swaraj Fund. At rural conference Bhiwani, held on 15th February, 1921, Gandhi ji got Rs, 60,000 against this. Even Hissar Municipal Committee offered a donation of Rs. 100 despite official objection.

Many volunteers were arrested in Gurgaon district for civil disobedience, picketing of liquor shops and defying law in various ways. Persons co-operating with the British administration were boycotted. Bonfires of foreign cloth were made on Ist August. On November 24, 1921, the provisions of the Criminal Law Amendment Act XIV of 1908, part-VI, were extended to the Gurgaon district also. All volunteer bodies were declared unlawful. Many persons were arrested and lodged in the police station which was then attacked by a crowd numbering two to three thousand. The police opened the fire killing 3 and wounding 29. Situation was saved by the timely arrival of some troops of Alwar State.

Under these circumstances, Lord Reading, the then Viceroy of India, admitted in December, 1921 that Government was puzzled and perplexed 1. Thereafter the Government adopted repressive measures. Certain leading persons were prosecuted. Individual restrictions were imposed. Many leaders were arrested. Anti-non-co-operation meetings were also arranged and the pro-Government workers from Aman Sabha and Rajbhagat Sabha took part in these meetings & weakened the non-co-operation movement.

Unfortunately, violence erupted at Chauri Chora in Gorkhpur district, in which 22 police men were slain by the violent mob on the 5th February, 1922. Gandhi ji declared the suspension of the movement and consequently on February 12, 1922, the non-co-operation movement was withdrawn.

Though the movement failed, yet it left its imprints on the growth of India's struggle for freedom. In Haryana, the impact of this movement was very intensive and it had succeeded in creating an atmosphere of hostility against the Government. It widened the gulf between the Government and the masses.

Communal Riots in Haryana

After the termination of non-co-operation movement, the Congress party was divided into two parts. Some people of Haryana also engaged themselves into local trivialities and Hindu-Muslim conflicts. The atmosphere already was surcharged with violence. The Muslims were emboldened by the Khilafat leaders. In 1923, a Central Jamiat-i-Tabligh-ul-Islam was formed with the headquarters at Ambala and Syed Bhik Narang, a leading lawyer of Ambala, was appointed its Secretary. The main aim

1. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru : An Autobiography, p. 70.

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of the organization was the unity of the whole community as enunciated in the manifesto of Khilafat movement.

Tanzim (organization) and Tabligh (conversion) movement became popular. On the other hand, among the Hindus, Shuddi and Sangathan movement gained momentum, Swami Shardhanand was the leader of Hindu organizations.

The factors which stirred the communal feelings were as under :-

(i) One of the factors had been the formation of the legislative council and bodies on the basis of a separate electorate. The result had been the formation of the communal groups which were constantly at logger-heads. The proposal of the redistribution of seats and the extention of communal representation in local bodies by Muslim-leader-Mian-Fazl-i-Hussain, the then Education Minister of Punjab further excited communal passions. The Muslims up to 1922 had never demanded more seats in municipalities. Consequently, it created strifes. The non-Muslims of the Municipal Council at Ambala resigned.

(ii) The economic domination of the Hindus over Muslims gave an impression to the Muslims that they were in danger. The fall in prices which took place in the middle of 1922 left Muslims with a heavy burden and with little means to repay. The Money Lenders Bill, latter known as Borrowed Protection Bill, was widely opposed by the Hindus and further created fissures between the Hindus and the Muslims.

On the basis of surcharged atmosphere with communal consciousness, some communal riots took place at many places in Haryana. In August, riots occurred at Panipat. The cause of disturbances was, Muslim objection to Arti worship being performed in temples, while the call for prayer `Azan' was being made in mosques. In those days Mahabir Dal and Ali Ghol were formed. In August, 1925, due to strained relations between the Hindus and the Muslims, the trouble rose again. The years of 1926-1927 also witnessed communal riots at Ambala, Karnal and Rohtak.Swami Shardha Nand was manhandled on 23rd December, 1926.In 1928, two Hindu-Muslim riots occurred on Bakred at a village of Ambala, in which ten persons were killed and 9 injured. The other incident occurred at Safta village of present Faridabad district in which 14 persons were killed and 33 injurred.

The period from 1923 to 1928 witnessed at least 14 riots in Haryana. In the series of riots, Panipat had the highest, 4 riots, because the Muslims were in majority in that area. The population of the Muslims was 19,975 while that of Hindus was only 6,561.


Gandhi ji was shocked by these communal riots. He took 21-day fast. The unity conference and establishment of Central National Panchayat could not produce desired results. Anyhow these ugly incidents dampened down with the passage of time and sagacity of great leaders from both the communities emerged.

As elsewhere, the withdrawal of the non-co-operation movement, gave a sort of setback to the national movement in this district(Panipat). The Congress men were divided into two camps: Swarajists who wanted to give up the non-co-operation movement (also called pro-changers) and non-cooperationists did not like it, the former being in majority. The Unionist Party1, a newly formed organization by Sir Chhotu Ram in 1923, took part in the elections.

The Political and Constitutional Developments

The communal conflict, as already detailed, adversely affected the political and constitutional developments in the country. Most of the leaders refrained from participating in the elections.

The Congress had not participated in the general elections of 1920. The dissidents, Chhotu Ram and Lal Chand, however, contested the elections and won. Two years later, the question was hotly debated in the Congress circles as to whether any change was desirable in the Congress attitude towards the legislatures. This resulted the emergence of Swarajists Party on sound footing. A branch of Swarajist Party was formed at Rohtak under the leadership of Sri Ram Sharma, whose local paper, the Haryana Tilak came to be regarded as the organ of the Congress in this region.

The first enlarged Punjab Council on the whole represented the more moderate current of political opinion in Punjab and was by no means extremist body. It was definitely loyal.Most of the elected members were without specific party.The residential qualifications brought mainly the land proprietors from the rural constituencies. The urban members were mostly lawyers, with a sprinkling of commercial and retired officers. Mian Fazl-i-Hussain formed a party of his own which came to be known as the Rural block; but was later called the Rural party. It was mainly agriculturist and its policy was pro-British and anti-urbanite Hindus and Sikhs2.

In the communal atmosphere, the council could not make any progress. In the end of 1923, Lala Harkishan, the then Minister of Agriculture, had resigned due to the undue interference of the Government of India in the Finance Department and his

1. Formerly this party was known National Unionist party but its name was changed as Punjab Unionist Party in 1937.

2. Khuswant Singh : A History of The Sikhs, Volume II, p. 245.

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appearance in Sir Sankaran Nair's case as witness in o, Dawyer Vs Nair1. Then Rai Bahadur Chaudhry Lal Chand, a rural Hindu, was selected as Minister of Agriculture. Later he had to resign under some compelling circumstances.

There was clash at the time of Second Reformed Council between the Congress and the Unionist Party.It also showed a marked political advancement in the party system. The election manifesto was brought out in the then Punjab for the Ist time. The abolition of residential qualifications provided wider field of selection to the rural constituencies. During the elections of 1920 the percentage of votes was low (32%) owing to the non-co-operation movement but in the general elections of 1923, 40% of the voters recorded their votes. Out of total 71 elected members, 9 were elected from Haryana.

In Punjab, the educated opinion in the Congress appeared in favour of the Swarajist Party. By the efforts of C.R. Das and Moti Lal Nehru, a branch of Swarajist Party was established in the then Punjab. Lala Duni Chand of Ambala, a member of the Provincial Committee of Swarajist Party played significant role. Out of 9 seats of Punjab Legislative Council (1923), 2 seats were bagged by Lala Duni Chand of Ambala and Lala Sham Lal of Hissar. All other seven seats were won by the Unionists. The details are as under:

Sr. No. Name Place from which they belonged

1. Mohammad Sahfi Ali Khan Ambala

2. Ganga Ram Ambala

3. Duli Chand Karnal

4. Pohap Singh Gurgaon

5. Sahib Dad Khan Gurgaon

6. Chhotu Ram(Sir) Rohtak

7. Ch. Lal Chand Rohtak

Ch. Chhotu Ram was then appointed as minister by the Lieutenant-Governor.

The elections to the third new council were held in November, 1926. The Congress sustained severe reverses. The main cause of the reverses was the resignation of Lajpat Rai from the membership of the Swarajist Party and death of

C.R. Das.Secondly, the internal conflicts of Congressmen came to forefront. Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya and Lajpat Rai formed a new independent Congress Party.

1. K.L. Gauba : The Hon'ble Sir Shadi Lal, p. 94.


During this election, the Rural Party headed by Mian-Fazl-i-Hussain and

Ch. Chhotu Ram, could not do much headway in winning the election.Its basic object was to assist and encourage the backward areas and backward communities. It won only 4 seats (Sir Rahim Bakash Maulvi from Ambala), Duli Chand from Karnal, Yasim Khan from Gurgaon and Ch. Chhotu Ram from Rohtak.

Out of the five remaining seats from Haryana, two were won by the Independent Congress Party. The successful candidates Mr. Thakur Das(Ambala) and Chhaju Ram (Hissar). A new feature of the election was the success of the Hindu Sabha in Haryana.It held two seats, Ganga Ram(Ambala) and Balbir Singh(Gurgaon); One seat had gone to the Swarajists; their candidate, Baldev Singh, was elected from Rohtak.

Disregard to the Simon Commission

In those days, every where confusion and depression was prevailing due to the communal situation. Keeping that things and forthcoming elections in view, the conservative Prime Minister announced the appointment of Simon Commission on November 8, 1927. As it was a purely whitemen commission, no Indian was included in the commission. Practically all the parties decided to boycott the commission. The All India Congress met at Madras in 1927 and passed the resolution relating to the boycott of Simon Commission.The All India Muslim League, the Khilafat leaders and even the National Liberal Federation also decided to go against the commission. Consequently, it was greeted everywhere with black flags and slogans like Simon go back.

Rohtak and Jhajjar municipal committees expressed their dissatisfaction by adopting a resolution protesting against the commission 1. Numerous meetings were held for boycotting and condemning the appointment of commission. Important meetings were held at Bhiwani, Gurgaon and Jagadhri and resolutions were passed against the appointment of commission.

On 30th October, 1928, an incident occurred at Lahore which roused the public sentiments. Lala Lajpat Rai was assaulted by the police when he was leading a peaceful procession, which resulted in his death. His death on November 17, 1928,created a widespread resentment through out the country. Pt. Neki Ram Sharma held the commission responsible for Lala Lajpat Rai's death. The people pledged to take revenge.
Anyhow, the boycott of the commission proved to be uniting link of all political elements, scattered all over.

1. Rohtak District Gazetteer, 1970, p. 32.

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Role played by the Navjawan Bharat Sabha and Kissan Party

The formation of Indian Youth Association was taken up in Lahore.It was anti-British. In the beginning, the activities of the Sabha comprised debates on moral, literary and social subjects, lectures on Swadeshi goods, unity, simple-living, physical fitness, the Indian culture and civilization.For its membership, every person was made to sign a pledge that he would place the interest of the nation above those of his community. Later it modified its aims which are detailed below:-

(a) To establish a complete independent Republic of labourers and peasants;

(b) to infuse a spirit of patriotism into the hearts of the young men of the country;

(c) to express sympathy with and to assist the economic, industrial and social movements;

(d) to organize labourers and peasants.

The branches were set up in Haryana at Ambala, Karnal, Rohtak and Hissar. Its activities in Haryana were limited.It could not become as significant as it was in Punjab. The socialist leanings of the Sabha could not gather more momentum in Haryana. It aroused only one or two agrarian agitations in 1928 but could not garner more peasants' sympathy. Perhaps the Sabha had only one village branch in Ambala and it was confined to the cities and middle class people. Its leaders in Haryana were more or less pro-Congress.

The Government could not brook its agitational approach. It vigorously tried to suppress the movement. The Sabha was declared unlawful association and its offices were searched and confiscated by the Government. Its members were arrested and ill-treated in jails.

The Sabha played a significant role in creating political awakening and advancement during 1926-1929 by spreading anti-British movements and revolutionary ideas among the youth. In Haryana a number of youth organizations started in different names like Navjawan Hindu Sabha at Hissar and Ambala, youth league at Rohtak and Bal Bharat Sabha at Mandi Dabwali.

Role of Kirti Kissan Party .— The other important revolutionary group was Kirti Kissan Party which was fathered by Santokh Singh, an Indian revolutionary in U.S.A.It began to fight against begar and sought reduction in taxes and land revenue. One of the branches suggested the boycott of the Zamindara League started by

Sir Chhotu Ram. Its conference was held at Rohtak on March 10, 1928 in which


Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru also participated. Thereafter it changed its name as worker's and Peasant's Party.

The organization was suppressed by the repressive measures of the Government.Its impact in Haryana was not so much.

The Session of Congress Party(1929)

The Congress Party started its hectic activities. In Haryana on 8th and 9th March, 1929, Punjab Provincial Political Conference was held at Rohtak which was attended by Moti Lal Nehru and Jawahar Lal Nehru.Dr. Satyapal presided over the session. In the conference significant resolutions on Nehru Report and remission of land revenue were passed. The new Congress Committees were formed at Rohtak, Hissar, Karnal and Ambala.
The session of the Congress Committee was held at Lahore in 1929.In this session for the Ist time the resolution of the declaration of Puran Swaraj (Complete Independence ) was passed. It was pledged to carry out the Congress instructions issued from time to time for the purpose of establishing Puran Swaraj.

At Sonipat, there was bonfire of foreign cloth on April 11 and National week was celebrated on April 15, 1929. People went about in Perbhat pheries in the morning singing national and patriotic songs and poems. In June 1929, a Jatha of volunteers left Rohtak for Peshawar. The police arrested them near Karnal. Most of the agile and youthful volunteers came from village pathshalas of Gohana tahsil1. The mutiny week was celebrated and public meetings were held. People attended these meetings in large number. Women also participated in these meetings. The District Congress Committees, in pursuance of the resolution passed by the All India Congress party at Lahore, issued a circular to all their units with regard to the celebration of Independence Day on January 26, 1930 by taking the following pledge2.

"We pledge ourselves afresh to this great cause of India's freedom and to end the exploitation of our people and to resolve to work to this end till success comes to our people.The British Government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe, therefore, that India must sever its connections with the British and attain complete independence-poori Azadi."

1. Sonipat District Gazetteer, 1990,p. 46.

2. R. C. Majumdar, History of the Freedom Movement in India, 1963, Vol.III, p. 331.

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In almost all the cities, towns and big villages, "Independence Day' was celebrated. At Sonipat a big procession was led by prominent Congress men, speeches delivered and pledge taken 1.

The Civil Disobedience Movement, 1930

The Congress Working Committee passed the Civil Disobedience Resolution at Sabarmati and Gandhi ji was given the right to guide the movement. On March 2, 1930, Gandhi ji warned the Viceroy about the launching of the Satyagraha 2. In March 1930, Gandhi ji undertook the historical Dandi March. On April 6, a country wide Civil Disobedience Movement was started. Gandhi ji broke the salt law.

In Haryana public meetings were held. Resolutions for celebration of complete independence were passed and salt laws were broken. Satyagraha Sabhas were formed at Sirsa and volunteers were recruited who went to jail after breaking the salt laws. The movement was launched on April 6, 1930 when the Sirsa Congress Committee organized a large meeting and made salt openly. Many arrests were made by the Government to crush the movement. There were indiscriminate lathi-charge at many places, especially on picketers of liquor shops. In Sirsa Congress Organization was declared unlawful. Alongwith the illegal manufacture of salt, the boycott of foreign cloths were made; picketing was made on the shops which were selling foreign cloth at Sirsa, Abdulapur and Abdul Masjid.

The Hissar district did not lag behind in the national activities. On April 13, 1930, the Hissar Congress Committee organized a large meeting and made salt openly. The salt thus prepared when auctioned, fetched very handsome amount of money.The Punjab Satyagraha Committee appreciated the efforts of Hissar district branch3. Strong protests were also made in Hissar against the Press Ordinance on May 2, 1930; the Hissar Bar Council pleaded for its undoing. From May 11to 16 (1930), the Mutiny week was also celebrated here.

A no-tax campaign was also launched in Hissar district. Villages of Skinner Estate near Hansi were prominent in this struggle. The peasants formed a Kissan Sabha and waged a struggle. Skinners ultimately yielded and accepted the demands of the peasants. The Government adopted repressive measures to crush the movement.

The incident of breaking the salt law at Rewari carries the most significance. At Rewari illicit salt was prepared and auctioned for Rs.1,032. A packet of salt was

1. Sri Ram Sharma, Haryana Ka Itihas, 1929.

2. Manorajan Jha : Civil Disobedience Movement And After, 1973, p. 68.

3. The Tribune 12th & 16th April, 1930.


purchased by a twelve years old girl for Rs. 60 which was her total saving at the rate of two pies a day 1.

Similarly, salt laws were broken at Rohtak, Sonipat and Ambala. The cloth dealers of Rohtak, Bhiwani and Ambala pledged not to import foreign cloth. The foreign sugar and vegetable ghee was also boycotted.

During the movement, the swadeshi or Khaddar was propagated. At Ambala nearly 5,000 people pledged to wear Khaddar. Some women started picketing at temples and allowed entry to only those persons who were in khaddar. Some futile efforts were made in Haryana for boycotting the educational institutions but it could not succeed as the proposal was opposed by the guardians of the students.

Minor efforts were made at picketing the polling booths for the elections to council at Rohtak. But the proposal was opposed by the big zamindars of Rohtak.

A significant feature of the Civil Disobedience Movement was against the high rent. Pt. Neki Ram Sharma and Lajpat Rai of Alkhpura- launched a movement in this connection. The peasants were exhorted not to pay taxes. Neki Ram ji voiced against the begar.

During the movement, many villages of Karnal district showed signs of disaffection. On his visit to Salwan, the Commissioner of Ambala Division was greeted with black flags. A police party was posted there by way of punishment.Many arrests were made throughout the district.

In the beginning the British Government did not pay much attention towards the Civil Disobedience Movement. But soon it became serious. The Government adopted repressive means. Leaders were arrested. There were firings and Lathi charges in prominent cities and towns. Processions and public meetings were banned. The Press Act of 1910 was again revived by the Viceroy. The Government passed an Emergency Power Ordinance which gave very wide powers to the Government and their officers. Believing that the purpose of Civil Disobedience Movement was to create a public opinion hostile to the rulers by giving publicity in the press; the Government of India banned publication of any information in the newspaper regarding the Movement which had not been approved by the press authorities in New Delhi. The Deputy Commissioners were asked to keep watch over the newspapers in their respective district and to make use of the different agencies at their disposal particularly with a view to correcting or contradicting of false rumour set afloat by the freedom fighters.

1. R.C. Tendulkar, Mahatma (Life of Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi) Vol. II, p.24.

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Keeping in view the instructions, publication of Haryana Tilak (Urdu) an Urdu Weekly of Rohtak, being the chief spokesman of the people, was stopped. On receipt of the directions, the Deputy Commissioner, Rohtak asked other newspapers to follow instructions. The Chamonistan (Kharkhoda), the Dehat Sudhar (Rohtak), the Jat Gazettee (Rohtak) were ordered to comply with the instructions.

On Ist May, 1930 Gandhi ji called this repression as Goonda Raj. Consequently, on 4th May, Gandhi ji was arrested. Public meetings and demonstrations were prohibited. Aman Sabhas were again revived.

During this time the British Government decided to proceed with the Round Table Conference, regardless the Congress Party's attitude. In January, 1931 Gandhi ji was released.The members of the Congress Working Committee also were released on January 26, 1931 and on 5th March, the Gandhi-Irwin pact was concluded. The Civil Disobedience Movement was suspended and all prisoners were released.

The Congress on its part called off its programme of Civil Disobedience Movement, while the District Congress Committee of Rohtak suspended its programme of Civil Disobedience, as required it did very useful organizational work during the Gandhi-Irwin pact. Conference was held and more than 200 Congress Committees were formed. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, invited to address a provincial conference, stressed the need of Hindu-Muslim unity. This conference was attended by a large number of ladies1.

At this juncture the execution of Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukh Dev excited great resentment through out the country. At Karachi Congress Session was held in which 17 Congress men from Haryana participated. Gandhi ji was allowed to represent the Congress at the Second Round Table Conference. But it also proved unsuccessful. Gandhi ji resumed the Civil Disobedience Movement again.Many arrests were made. Gandhi ji was arrested again. Leaders like Shyam Lal, advocate, Sri Ram Sharma and Neki Ram Sharma were also arrested. In Ambala-60, Karnal-45, Gurgaon-28, Rohtak-350, and Hissar-73 people were arrested. The houses of great leaders were searched out. But after some time all the leaders were released.

All India Meo-Panchayat

All India Meo-Panchayat was founded in Alwar and in 1932 at Nuh, the Meos were advised not to pay interest on loans to the Hindu Sahukars. Conferences held in Gurgaon area in sympathy with the demands of the Meo population in Alwar State.British officers in India were unhappy with the Alwar ruler and therefore, they instigated the agitation against the Maharaja. Finally, the Alwar ruler was asked by the British Government to leave the State within 48 hours and not to return till normal

1. Rohtak District Gazetteer, 1970, p. 32.


conditions had restored. To the Meos, the movement represented a fight for independence of Mewat as a consolidated and autonomous state under the British Crown. With the appointment of British political Agent at Alwar, the movement fizzled out.

Reappearance of Civil Disobedience Movement

On its revival in 1932, the Civil Disobedience work was organized by the volunteers throughout the Karnal district.On request, three parties of four volunteers each from village Gagasina and Salwan proceeded to Lahore and courted arrests there. Besides, many other persons from Karnal, Kaithal, Shahbad,Panipat, Salwan and Urlana Kala were arrested. The movement continued unabated till May, 1934, when it languished.

The Civil Disobedience Movement marked a step towards the national consciousness. Gandhi ji checked the revolutionary activities in the country but demonstrated the country's resentment against the Government policies. It inculcated the feelings of patriotism, self-reliance and sacrifice among the people.

Treatment towards political prisoners During Civil Disobedience


It would be worthwhile to look at the treatment in the jails towards political prisoners during the Civil Disobedience Movement during the period 1930-34.

During the Civil Disobedience Movement, as mentioned earlier, a large number of persons had been arrested and convicted. The policy of the Government towards the political prisoners continued to be far from satisfactory. Separate confinement, withdrawal of all privileges except special diet, forfeiture of remissions and barfetters were inflicted on them by the prison authorities 1.

Not only this, there were instances like the one that during the Lahore Conspiracy case, Lala Duni chand, Bar-at-Law, was not allowed even to sit in the court room as legal adviser of Sardar Bhagat Singh and other conspiracy case prisoners.

The agitation for better treatment of political prisoners had in fact started even before the start of the Civil Disobedience Movement. A committee consisting of

Col. Barker, Inspector-General of Prisons, Punjab, as Chairman, Chaudhry Afzal Haq, R.B. Mohan Lal, Sardar Harbakash, Sardar Mahindra Singh, Daulat Ram Kalia, Ch. Zafarullah, Mr.Muhammad Hayat Khan Kureshi, Lala Duni Chand, advocate, Ambala as members and Mr. Ogilive, Home Secretary, Punjab as Secretary, was formed by the Punjab Government to enquire into jail administration. Lala Duni

1. D. R. Grover, Civil Disobedience Movement in the Punjab, (1930-34), p. 254, (1987).

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Chand, a confirmed non-cooperator, joined the committee in the hope that he would be able to do some thing to improve the lot of the political prisoners. The suggestions of the committee were laid on the table of the Punjab Legislative Council on 2nd December, 1929. But only one of these suggestions which related to the ill-advised classification of the prisoners was adopted by the Government. The numerous other recommendations unanimously made by the committee were ignored.

Rules regarding classification of prisoners were also violated frequently by the Magistrates. The rules were applied in a haphazard manner according to the whims of the individual Magistrates-and in many cases the prisoners who ought to be placed in class `A' or'B' were treated as ordinary criminals.

Some times the local Government also placed the prisoners in a lower class against recommendations of the Magistrate. Lala Sultan Singh of Rohtak, who was Municipal Commissioner for years, Vice President of the Municipality for one year, a matric, an income tax payer, possessed property worth Rs. 30,000 and a registered voter for council of State, was placed in `B' class by the High Court on January 8, 1932 but the recommendations were not accepted by the Government which placed in class `C'. In fact in reply to a question in the Punjab Legislative Council , the Government admitted that in all 118 cases during the first phase of Civil Disobedience Movement, the government had placed the convicts in the lower class awarded by the court.
Commenting on the classification of prisoners, Lala Duni Chand of Ambala stated that graduates, professors, editors of respectable papers and income tax payers were indiscriminately put in `C' class. He added that in good many cases men of higher social status than that enjoyed by the convicting magistrates themselves given `C' class 1.

During the Civil Disobedience Movement, the Punjab Government even issued an order putting a ban on the use of Gandhi cap by the political prisoners in the Jail precincts. They were asked to wear the prison caps or some other headgear. The explanation of the government was that the Gandhi caps were taken off from the heads of prisoners entitled to use their own clothes as this concession did not cover the wearing of political symbols which were strictly prohibited

The undertrial prisoner used to be shut up in his cell at 8 o'clock at night instead of being permitted to sleep in the open and was given no cot to sleep in. The hand-cuffing of satyagrahi undertrial prisoners was also done. Lala Daulat Ram Gupta and Lala Tansukh Rai Jain of Rohtak, both of whom were charged under Section 108, were handcuffed while bringing to court.

1. D.R. Grover, Civil Dis-obedience Movement in the Punjab (1930-34) 1987, p. 267.


The treatment of political prisoners drew comments from various persons. Thus commenting on the jail administration in the Punjab, Pandit Bhagat Ram Shukla who had remained in Ambala jail as a prisoner, wrote that it was very expensive. The jail staff was heavily paid. Lala Duni Chand, advocate of Ambala and a prominent leader of the Congress said in a letter, addressed to the Home Secretary, Punjab Government ,

"I am afraid that if a generous policy is not adopted by the Government regarding the treatment of political prisoners, the Government shall be confronted with a situation that the Government is facing outside the jails". He further added, "All the political prisoners who are being put in jails in connection with the non-violent Civil Disobedience should be treated as a special class prisoners either A or B class and instructions to that effect should be issued to all the Magistrates."

Specific account of Rohtak and Ambala jails is given below :-

Rohtak Jail

At Rohtak, Messers Daulat Ram Gupta and Tunsukh Rai Jain were entitled to get their food from outside but they were given ordinary jail diet which was injurious to their health and the food from outside was not allowed. Daulat Ram Gupta was suffering from a serious disease and he could not sleep on ground. No shaving arrangement was at all provided for political prisoners, many of whom were accustomed to daily shaving. Washing soap was not provided to the convicts or undertrials, and it was not allowed from outside also. Men of position were forced to wear dirty clothes which were very insanitary and troublesome.

Religious books, such as the Satyarth Parkash, Jail Shastra and the Ramyana were snatched away from the prisoners in an insulting manner. The `B' class political prisoners had to cook their food themselves. On 29 August, 1930 Dr. Brahma Sarup's utensils were taken away with the result that he could not cook his food and forced to fast for the day. The papers concerning their cases were snatched away from the political undertrials and they were handicapped in preparing their cases. Again on the same day, i.e. 29th August, 1930, a search of the political prisoners was conducted in a very insulting manner and several ironical remarks were passed at the same day by the Jail officials.Here even Pt. Sri Ram Sharma was put in barfetters like a dacoit and taken through the bazars.

Ambala Jail

In Ambala jail also, there was a general complaint against the treatment of

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authorities of the district jail. Pandit Bhagat Ram Shukla, on his release from the jail, stated that this jail was meant for habitual prisoners only such as dacoits, thieves, rogues, pick pockets, etc. undergoing long terms of imprisonment and accordingly was made up by double barracks. It was neither meant nor suitable for political prisoners but `A' class prisoners of high status, like Mr. V.J.Patel, were kept therein.

There were complaints regarding diet also. It was alleged that parched dal was served only in the morning followed by two big chapatis with vegetables at 11 a.m. The evening meal consisted of two large chapatis with dal. The prisoner with hard labour got ten annas per month as his wages in exchange for which he might have

9 chhataks of Indian sugar (gur) per week or 4½ chhataks of gur and two pedro cigrettes a day.

Food for about 500 persons was cooked in one kitchen by a batch of langris. The whole process had to be completed within a few hours, twice a day. The vegetables were hacked into pieces with a hatchet in the way fodder was prepared for cattle. Some-times they were crushed with feet and thrown into kettle. The dal was cleaned not with hands but with feet. The flour was also kneaded with feet. The mere sight of the cooking processes was to give many people nausea. Every prisoner was given two flat iron bowls. He used to put sag in one and water in the other with chapptis in his left hand or he could put chapatis in one of iron bowls and take water out of the small earthen pitcher. He was not given a lota. Some ten years ago, the iron utensils were disapproved on medical grounds and almunium was agreed upon in place of iron. But the same rejected iron utensils were still in use in spite of the fact that these iron utensils were rejected by the Punjab Jail Committee also.

Some of the prisoners were put on leg-fetters for many days. Even Abdul Gaffar Khan, highly revered person of Ambala was subjected to the most shabby treatment in jail.

The Elections to Reformed Council(1930-38)

During 1930, the Fourth Reformed Council was formed by the participation of Unionist Party, Hindu Mahasabha and the Congress Party. Out of the 9 seats from Haryana region, 4 seats were won by the Congress Party. These constituencies were: Ambala, Karnal and two candidates from Hissar. Gurgaon seat was bagged by the candidate of Hindu Mahasabha; whereas the 4 seats were won by the Unionist Party.

During October/Novemeber, 1934, the election for the Central Legislative Assembly was held and Sham Lal of Congress Party was elected to the Assembly seat from Ambala Division. During this period, the Unionist Party played a significant


role. Sir Fazl-i-Hussain was called to form ministry. He took Sir Chhotu Ram in his Council of Ministers 1.

In 1937, the election to the Punjab Legislative Council was held. According to the Act of 1929, the number of the elected members of the council increased from

9 to 22. The Congress, the Nationalist Party, the Unionist Party and Hindu Mahasabha were the main contestents.

The Congress Party fought election on all seats(22). Sri Ram Sharma and Hardev Sahai were incharge of the Congress Party in Haryana. Similarly, Sir Chhotu Ram and Rao Balbir Singh were the main projectors for Unionist Party and Hindu Maha Sabha, respectively. Mrs Sarojini Naidu and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru made extreme tours of Haryana and addressed many public meetings. Swami Satya Dev, a prominent Arya Samaj leader made marked impression through his eloquent speechs at Ambala and Jagadhari. Raja Madan Mohan Malviya toured for the Nationalist Party.The Unionist Party won 12 seats; the Congress 4; Hindu Maha Sabha 1 and Independents5.

This time the Unionist Party won 50% seats, as detailed above. The Congress lost its position in comparison to the Unionist Party. In Punjab Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, the Unionist leader, was called to form ministry. He formed his 6-member cabinet; 3 Muslims, 2 Hindus and 1 Sikh. From Haryana Ch. Chhotu Ram and

Ch. Tikka Ram were made ministers.

The Political activity was kept alive on the basis of local and national issues after the elections of 1937. Protests were organized against Begar and high-handedness of local officers. A chamar Sabha was organized to voice the grievances of their community at Karnal.

Subhash Chander Bose's visit during the famine of 1938-39

Due to complete failure of rains, there was a severe famine in Hissar and in some parts of Gurgaon and Rohtak districts.A large number of people and cattle perished. People took to robbery and other crimes.

The Congress party made great efforts to help the famine-ridden people. A Congress Kehat Committee (Congress Famine Relief Committee) was formed in 1938. S.C. Bose, the President of All India Congress, visited Hissar, Bhiwani and Rohtak in November, 1939. Later Swami Brahamanand, the Congress leader, toured the affected areas and went on hunger strike at Hissar on the issue in December. Gandhi ji also made appeal through press for help.

1. Rao Mohar Singh of Gurgaon district was a close associate of Sir Chhotu Ram and espoused the cause of peasanry.

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The Hyderabad Incidents Cast effect on Haryana

Before the beginning of World War II, some happenings in Hyderabad State cast their shadows on the lives of the people of Haryana. Though the Hyderabad State was ruled by Muslim called Nizams, its main population was Hindu. As per Census of 1936, the Hindus constituted 87% of population and Muslims of 10%.

There were some religious discrimination on the part of the ruler. Certain restrictions were imposed on the right of worship. Some fanatic Muslim officers planned to curb the activities of the Arya Samaj workers in the state. Consequently, Arya Samaj was declared illegal and anti-government. Arya Samajists were deprived of all types of religious freedom. They were debarred from preaching their doctrine, constructing their temples and organizing their activities.

The Arya Samaj could not brook discrimination. The leaders made efforts to solve the matters peacefully, but in vain. The Arya Samaj planned a Satyagraha under the leadership of Mahatma Narayan Swami. A Satyagraha Samiti was formed in October, 1938. At Sholapur, an All India Arya Samaj Conference was held.Hyderabad Day was celebrated. On 30th January, 1939, the Satyagraha Samiti declared Satyagraha.

In the above agitation, the people of Haryana took leading role under the leadership of Swami Swantra Nand. Satyagraha Samities were formed in all important towns and villages. At several places more than 5 jathas were sent; Satyagraha Samiti of Rohtak district sent four jathas from Gurukul Bhainswal (Now Sonipat district) under the leadership of Acharya Harish Chander. Bhagat Phul Singh was one of the moving forces in this agitation. The other jathas were sent from Gurukuls of Gharaunda, Matindu, Jhajjar, Kurukshetra and Gundpuri.Besides, from Jind Jathas were sent. Perhaps there was no significant town of Haryana, where the people did not participate to the agitation.

The Hyderabad Government adopted all repressive measures. The Satyagrahis were beaten mercilessly. Bad food was provided . No medical aid was given in jails.

It was guessed that up to 8th August, 1939, nearly 10,579 were in jails. Almost 28 Satyagrahis died in jails. Sunhere Singh of Bulana, Fakir Chand of Sherda (the then Kurukshetra district) died in jail due to the absence of medical help.

The Hyderabad Government was compelled to change its decision and gave the right of worship on 19th July, 1939 to all the Arya Samajis. Finally, on 17th August, 1939, the Satyagraha was withdrawn.


World War II

In September, 1939, the Second World War broke out. Lord Linlithgo, the Viceroy of India, also declared war and sent Indian troops abroad. While in the Ist World War, all the people helped the Government with men and material, but this time the public opinion was different. The Congress party refused to co-operate with the Government of India on account of dragging India into war without consulting her. The Congress withdrew its members from the Central Legislature. All the Congress provincial ministers resigned.

In Rohtak district Civil Disobedience Movement was revived; Satyagrahis who shouted slogans were arrested. Among the imprisoned Satyagrahis was Sri Ram Sharma who made a hectic tour in the district before courting arrest.

The Congress party appealed to the people to refrain from recruitment as well as donations. Rather it pressed the Government to accept the genuine demands of the country. Again the Congress Committees were reorganized throughout the country and conferences were held.

Armed Revolt of Ahir Regiment at Singhapur (1940)

During the beginning of 1940 when the Second World War was in full swing, a Ahir company of Hyderabad Regiment raised a armed revolt. All these army men belonged to Haryana and they were under the spell of Arya Samaj and Congrss party which was spearheading in the National Movement.

An army officer, Zahir Khan, was a diehard against the British and a staunch nationalist. He used to preach the past history of the Bharat and always explained the theory of Mahatma Gandhi.

The British soon came to know such revolutionary activities in the army. They started keeping a strict vigil over the Ahir company. Many letters written by Mohamm-adan officer to his sweet heart containing anti-British material were caught by the British army officer of Hyderabad. These letters were posted to Loharu where his beloved lived.

When the Ahir company was at patrolling duty in the jungle area under the command of Zahir who was adjusted against the stop-gap arrangement when the real commander was away on official purpose. During this period, a German lady, who was top spy, met Zahir on the patrolling spot.

One day strange incident took place; the German lady attended the morning parade in the company of Zaher and she shook hand with every jawan. At that time Zaher was explaining the merits of independence and he said, "slavery is sin".

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That spy lady transmitted the secret message to top ranking British officers. Consequently, the Ahir company was recalled at Singhapur and Zaher was cashiered. The sepoys could not brook this insult and they came out from their barracks and raised slogans against the British. The army officer wanted to know the reasons for raising slogans. The soldiers explained that injustice was meted out to Zaher.

The Commanding Officer gave a telephonic message to all the centres that Ahir company of Hyderabad was revolting against the British. The European Garden Hylanders reached the spot. One section of this company was on duty of quarter guards. That was removed immediately and transferred from the scouting guard. The keys were kept by the Commanding Officer himself. All the sainiks were surrounded by the armed regiments.

The Ahir sainiks started hunger strike before their barracks. They were of the view; no food, no compliance of the order of the superiors. This company who abetted in their activities by the another company of Jats which was posted there. They also joined the hunger strike. The officers had earlier experienced of the revolt of pathan company in 1928. So, they were by hook and crook considering the ways and means of avoiding this atmosphere of terror.

General Thyamia was called in and advised to make a compromise with the sepoys. General Thyamia brought the revolters to home after a parley of two hours. The strike was withdrawn at his instance. Though the sepoys restarted their army duties but the burning fire for the independence of the country could not be doused.

Loharu Incident (1941)

Loharu was a Mulim State while the population was predominantly Hindu. According to 1941 Census, its total population was 27,892, Hindus constituted 95%.

The ruler of the State obstructed the activities of Arya Samaj which was established in April, 1940. Pt. Ganganath Satyagrahi and Thakur Bhagat Singh were its local leaders 1. In May-July, 1940 some Arya Samaj leaders went there. Finally, the Arya Samaj decided to celebrate its annual function on 29th March, 1941. The proper arrangements were made; permission had been sought. Unfortunately, procession was stopped and attacked near a mosque. As a result, more then 60 persons were injured.

This event created a feeling of revenge and antagonism. Some articles highlighting the incident were written. Representations were made to the Political Agent. In fact this incident kindled a hope among the depressed people and they started parjamandal movement.

1. S.C. Mittal : Haryana: A Historical Perspective, 1985, p. 137.


The Quit India Movement

The Congress Working Committee urged the British Government for the declaration of India's independence. The demand was repeated when the Congress Working Committee met again in Delhi in July, 1940.

The series of individual Satyagraha launched by the Congress under the guidance of Gandhi ji as a symbolic protest against the continuance of British rule was so formulated as not to interfere with the war efforts of Government of India. During this struggle, many people were arrested.The Government action was equally strong. The Congress Organization was declared unlawful in Haryana and its activists were arrested. The people came out to fight; several offered satyagrah. Chaudhry Devi Lal (former Deputy Prime Minister) and Shri Mool Chand Jain also played very important role in those days. Both Ch. Devi Lal and Mool Chand are known as legendary freedom fighters. The British Government arrested Ch. Devi Lal, Ram Dayal, Hukum Chand, Madan Gopal, Sahib Ram, Lekh Ram, Jan Mohmmud and Pt. Pat Ram Verma for raising their voice in favour of Quit India Movement and other freedom activities.

As the crisis deepened Sir Stafford Cripps arrived in Delhi on March 23, 1942 with the British cabinet proposals.Gandhi ji held talks with him on March 27, and finding little hope for settlement, left Delhi on April 4. A meeting of the working Committee of Congress met under the chairmanship of Maulana Azad. The British proposals were turned down. Events moved fast to a crisis in the following months. The demand for the with-drawal of the British from India began to grow in view of the failures in Malaya, Singhapore and Burma.

The Congress Working Committee passed the `Quit India' resolution atWardha on 14th July, 1942. The All India Congress Committee met again in Bombay on 7th August, 1942 to consider the resolution. In fact, it was the last political movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. During this movement the upper class rich people, landlords and princes helped the Government. The Muslims generally rema-ined aloof. It was the lower middle classes and the peasants who whole-heartedly supported the movement1. Perhaps it was student-peasant middle class movement. Gandhi ji gave a call to do or die.

The battle of Indian freedom had reached its final stage. There seemed to be a lull, but no one could imagine the velocity with which the storm would rage.On the night of 8th August,1942, the British Goverment arrested Gandhi ji and members of Congress Working Committee and removed to semewhere in India. The people accepted the challenge vigorousy and revolted. The news about the arrest of leaders

1. Amba Prasad, The Revolt of 1942, Delhi; 1958.

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infuriated the masses and they could do to register their protest. The war of Independence began on August 9 in every part of India. This day is considered a historic and significant day in Indian history.

The arrest of Gandhi ji in August, 1942 was followed by hartals and processions in nearly the whole of the Rohtak-Sonipat area. The repressive measures of the Government provoked arson and violence at many places. Telephone wires were cut; fish plates were removed from the Railway line and letter-boxes were burnt by the reactionary elements in the district. Spontaneous hartals, demonstrations and strikes were observed at Sonipat and Murthal. At Sonipat the leaders appealed to the students to go on strike. Amaranth ji (Sonipat tahsil) who was connected with sabotage in Sonipat was arrested on October 27, 1942 for writing and sending threatening letters to the officers.

The Rohtak area did not lag behind in the National Movement in these days. Rati Ram,a poor boy of 17 years belonging to chamar caste of Bohar village of Rohtak district plunged into Quit India Movement after renouncing his married life. He was put into the Borstal jail at Lahore where he died due to the torture of jail authorities in 1942 for his anti-British activities.1 Likewise, a Jat youth named Ranbir Singh of village Sangi (Rohtak district) also jumped into the movement at an early age.

The District Congress Committee, Rohtak, unanimously supported the Quit India Movement (resolution) adopted by the Congress in 1942. The people of this district enraged at the arrest of the leaders. An effort was made to set on fire the library of the Govt. College Rohtak, on October 31, 1942. A sizeable number of persons courted arrests.

As elsewhere in Haryana, the Congress Organization was declared unlawful in Ambala district. Its leaders were arrested. This, however, did not dishearten the people of Ambala who gave a tough fight to the British. Hundreds of people offered Satyagraha. There were some violent activities also; telephone wires were cut and railway lines were dislocated. The police stations were stoned at number of places in Ambala tahsil, at last the Government dealt with heavy hand. There were lathi-charge on about two dozen places. About 298 persons were arrested. The office of Ambala Congress Committee was sealed and property was confiscated.

The leading persons of the then Karnal district, unanimously approved the `Quit India' resolution adopted by the District Congress Committee, Karnal. The declaration of the Congress Committee as unlawful led to a sharp reaction. There was explosion

1. P.N. Chopra, Chief Editor, All India Gazetteer, who's who of Indian Martyrs, Volume-I, p. 302. The All India Congress Committee supported this version that Rati Ram was a staunch Congress Worker.


at the Karnal Post-office aimed at setting fire to the dak. The distillery was set on fire at several places; Government buildings were damaged. The national flag was installed and unfurled on the Municipal Committee building, Karnal inspite of the strict watch kept there by the police guards 1. The police lathi charged the gathering in front of the building. Many of them along with their leader, Man Singh Rathee, were arrested and sent to central jail, Multan. The Government took strong action and curbed the movement by putting the political leaders behind the bars.

When many of the political workers in urban areas had been arrested or had gone underground, workers started pouring in from rural areas. A batch of workers came from Gagsina to unfurl the national flag on the tahsil building at Karnal. A severe lathi-charge was made which resulted in serious injuries to several persons. The authorities became more stern and caused sufferings to political workers.

In Hissar district also people rose in revolt at the call of the Congress Committee. Telephone wires were cut and railway lines were dislocated.

In Gurgaon district the demonstrations were subjected to indiscriminate lathi-charge. Babu Hari Harlal, a labour leader, was arrested and beaten ruthlessly for having obstructed the construction of an aerodrome near Gurgaon. Neki Ram Sharma who attended the Bombay meeting was arrested on 14th August, 1942 at Bhiwani. The Quit India movement came to an end in 1944.

Role of Indian National Army (INA)

The people of Haryana played a notable role by joining themselves as members of Indian National Army, raised by Hon'ble Subash Chander Bose. Its main object was to wage war against the British. They believed in organized revolt. The INA was formed with the battle cry "Dilli challo".

As many as 2,248 soldiers from Haryana joined Indian National Army. The highest number of soldiers was from Gurgaon district, i.e. 986 and the next was from Rohtak district, i.e. 873; nearly 273 laid their lives for the sake of country's freedom.

The Indian National Army waged war against the British from outside of India. As explained above, Nataji Subash Chander Bose held the reins of the INA. Dile chalo (March on to Delhi) was the main slogan of this National Army, so redolent of history and to hoist the national flag on the ramparts of the Red Fort was its burning desire.

By a curious irony of fate, some of its leaders, all ex-officers of Indian Army,had to face a trial in the historic Red Fort where the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah,

1. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1976, p. 50.

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had faced the British Court Martial earlier, almost 87 years ago. Nealy 17,000 men of Indian National Army were brought back to India as prisoners of war. Pt. Devi Singh of Sonipat, who was the driver of Neta ji Subash Chander Bose, is known as Swantrata Sainani in the history of India.

The Congress Party appointed a Defence Committee for their release. It included Bhulabhai Desai, Tej Bahadur Sapru and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. The trial proceedings aroused public interest. Long before the trial was due to begin, a crowd collected across the main road outside the Red Fort carrying placards "Save" the INA patriots and "Patriots are not Traitors". The "Cries of Jaihind" rent the sky. Delhi police cordoned off all the entrances to the Red Fort while the entries to the Fort and Circuit House were all guarded by the British military police. In the near by tents additional police force was kept in reserve. Strict security was made of the people entering the court.The press as well as the members of the public, who were to attend the trial, were checked at several places. Shrimati Sarojni Naidu, Master Tara Singh,

Sir Frederrick James and Sardar Mangal Singh among the members of public, who attended the court martial. The alleged accused-captains G. S. Dhillion, Shah Nawaz Khan and P.K. Sehgal-were in their uniforms without any mark of rank. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, doning the barrister's robe for the Ist time in 22 years, sat along with the other defence counsels.

Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru along with Pt. Neki Ram Sharma visited Haryana in 1946 and gave a call to the Relief Fund for the defence of the Indian National Army's prisoners and to support their dependents 1.

No doubt, the Indian National Army could not achieve its desired targets to hoist National Flag on the Red Fort. But its impact cannot be ignored. It gave a new life to the freedom movement and helped to bring the goal nearer. The Indian National Army showed unique blend of communal harmony and comradeship 2.

Profile of Sir Chhotu Ram vis-a-vis Unionist Party

As to Chaudhry Sir Chhotu Ram's life, his late life was known to each and every one, even the children in the villages and cities. He was born in 1887 in a peasant home at Garhi Sampla in Rohtak district, the village and the district which he made famous by his subsequent public service. He had to face many difficulties and surmount obstacles during the earlier period of his life but with usual perseverance, ability and zeal, he got over all of them and graduated in Law.

1. S. Gopal : Jawahar Lal Nehru's Biography, Volume-I, 1976, p. 308.
2. Tara Chand : History of Freedom Movement in India, Vol. IV, 1972, p. 458.


First of all, he practised as a lawyer at Agra and then he shifted to his home district of Rohtak in 1912. He soon found that legal work not the only thing which interested him and he began to take up interest in wider affairs of local politics and education. He started founding schools and many of them exist today to his great memory. Later on he became popular figure in local District Board and he started party on non-communal and economic lines. He did very well in the District Board and gained popularity all over the district.

During the period of Ist World War, the Congress party had two blocks-Gram Dal(extremists) and Naram Dal(liberals). Chaudhry Chhotu Ram became the president of District Congress at Rohatk in 1917. District Congress conference was held in November, 1920 to pass a resolution of non-cooperation. It was attended by Lala Lajpat Rai and others. One of the ugly events that happened in the conference was that when the non-cooperation pledge was to be taken by the audience, Chaudhry Chhotu Ram, a prominent Jat leader of Haryana did not agree to them. He was averse to the non-payment of taxes and renunciation of the titles. But the resolution was passed next day with dissident votes.

During 1923 Ch. Chhotu Ram formed Unionist Party in collaboration of Muslim leader Fazl-i-Hussain.The Unionist Party supported by Ch. Chhotu Ram participated in the elections of Punjab Council in November, 1923. Ch. Chhotu Ram and Lal Chand won the seats from Rohtak area. Fazl-i-Hussain and Lal Chand were nominated ministers by the then Lt. Governor, Sr. Edward Meelagan. But the defeated candidate, Shri Matu Ram, challenged the election of Shri Lal Chand in the court. Matu Ram ji won the court case and the election of Lal Chand declared invalid for six years. He had to demit the ministership. In place of Lal Chand Lt. Governor nominated Chaudhry Chhotu Ram. Then the position of Unionist Party became strong because after the expiry of Khilafat Movement many Muslims joined it under the influence of Fazl-i-Hussain. After becoming minister in 1924, he worked with zeal and enthusiasm, for the welfare of Zamindars. He made his voice felt in the wider provincial field and he was soon found to be popular defender of the rights of farming community.

As noted above, he was the co-founder of the Unionist Party with Sir Fazl-i-Hussain and worked as his first Lieutenant and right hand man till Mian Sahib left to join the Central Government. Sir Chhotu Ram then became the factor and de jure leader of Unionist Party for a long time in the old Legislative Council. His stand for ideals was so strong that at one time he had only one Hindu follower left. But still he stuck to his guns and he had unique distinction of being the only Hindu leading the party with a majority of Muslims.

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Before he returned to power in 1936, it is well-known that ministership was offered to him many times. It is also well-known that he could have been leader of certain other sections which were ready to have him as their leader. But he said, "No, I will not have anything to do either with the ministership or leadership unless it is on Unionist lines and according to the programme that he had in view."

His chance came in 1937 when the party of which he had been the leader, returned to power.He was then appointed Minister of Development and later as Minister of Revenue. He died in 1945.

His work in the interest of the poor of all classes, and particularly of Zamindars is well-known. The part he played in getting the agrarian legislation passed through is praise-worthy.The step raised the economic condition of the farming community. He did this under those difficult circumstances for communal harmony.

He was a statesman with dynamic personality. His contribution to the life of the oppressed will be long remembered. He passed away but the ideals and the work he had done shall remain a beacon light for the farming community. His honesty was never questioned.

Praja Mandal Movement in the then Princely States

In Haryana region, before Independence, there were some small princely states which included Loharu, Pataudi, Dujana, Jind and present Narnaul and Mahendragarh tahsils which were a part of Patiala State. People of these states were dissatisfied because of the repressive attitude and coercive policies of their rulers. Heavy taxation, the system of begar and the religious restrictions were generally the causes of discontentment. Efforts were made by the Praja Mandal Party to get some of grievances redressed.

As already explained above, the areas of Mahendragarh and Narnaul were gifted to the Sikh ruler of Patiala State who supplied men and money to the British during the Ist War of Independence, 1857.The people of Mahendragarh Nizamat were subjected to great economic exploitation by their ruler. To improve their lot, some enlightened people formed a Praja Mandal in the Nizamat in 1938. Ram Saran Chand Mittal was one of them. Soon its branches were opened in towns and villages.Narnaul was very active branch of the Praja Mandal.

The Patiala ruler did not like the behaviour of his subjects indulging in such anti-state activities.He warned the people but Praja Mandal did not listen to him and launched a movement. Public meetings were organized to voice their grievances. During the Quit India Movement, the Praja Mandal also gained momentum. The Sikh ruler warned the people again and again to leave the path of agitation but they kept up their struggle. Meantime, some revolutionaries also came in the field and


joined the movement.The revolutionaries were, however, arrested before they could execute their plans because an accidental explosion exposed them to the authorities.

As a result of frantic efforts on the part of the police, about 18 persons were arrested. There was a lot of reactions in the Narnaul town. The masses got agitated over the arrests of these leaders. People observed hartal and demanded release of the arrested persons. The leaders of Praja Mandal capitalized in this situation and started their agitation with greater gusto. The hundreds of people came up to offer their arrests. The situation became grim . Ultimately, the ruler gave way before the public pressure. All the arrested persons were released and most of their demands were accepted.

In the Bawal area which was a part of Nabha State, the condition of the people was bad; the authorities used to take begar and levied heavy taxes on the people. Educational and medical facilities were denied to them. In 1940's, when there was awakening in other states, the people of Bawal area also organized themselves to get over their difficulties.The Praja Mandal was set up there. The ruler tried to overcome the agitation but did not achieve success. By 1946, the Praja Mandal gained momentum in the region. On March 25, the state authorities arrested all the prominent Praja Mandal activists and promulgated Section 144 in the entire region. This, however, did not dishearten the people who offered satyagraha in large numbers. Ultimately, the ruler yielded and released the prisoners and their demands were met.

The Role of Praja Mandal in Jind State

The ruler of Jind State was also loyal to the British but indifferent towards the prosperity of the subjects. Instead of looking after the welfare of the people, he effected their economic exploitation. The poor and ignorant masses braved under the exploitation of the Raja. In the Ist quarter of the present century when the winds of political awakening and enlightenment reached even the remote corners of the country, the people of Jind State were also affected. They became conscious of their pitiable conditions and began to ponder over as how to get over their difficulties.The formation of All India State People's Conference in 1929 and the Punjab States Ryasti Praja Mandal in the following year showed them the way. Nihal Singh Takshak of Bagvi village founded Jind State Praja Mandal in 1939 and remained its president till 1949. However, in the conditions which were then in vogue, no open membership drive of Mandal was possible. Members were recruited secretly; Praja Mandals appear to have been established at Narwana and other places in support of the National movement. They launched stir against the Raja. Hira Lal Chinarya demitted the post of Naib-tahsildar under the spell of Praja Mandal Movement. He also put himself in the movement with zeal. The Sikh peasants also joined the Praja Mandal Movement. The `agitators' as they(Mandalists) were called them led their main attack on the enhanced revenue rates, corruption and the high handedness of the Chief Minister of

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the State. Raja Ranbir Singh took a stiff attitude and suppressed the stir to a great extent. The people did not lose heart. Later the Praja Mandal Movement spread to almost all the parts of the state. The branches of Praja Mandal Movement were opened at Dadri (now Charkhi Dadri), Jind and several big villages of the state. Shri Banarsi Dass Gupta (former Chief Minister of Haryana) formed a parallel Govt. at Charkhi Dadri and defied the directions of the Raja of Jind. As a Praja Mandalist, he played a very important role. The role of Surender Kumar Jain is also praiseworthy.The other prominent leaders were Lahri Singh,Sagar Dutt Gaur, Ram Kishan Gupta, Devi Dayal Sharma, Mansa Ram, Mangla Ram and Rajender Kumar Jain.

The Praja Mandalists, waged a long stubborn struggle for the reduction of taxes, abolition of begar and popular representation in the Government. Their efforts bore fruits, though belated, and the Raja accepted their demand for an elected Assembly and formed a representative government on 18th January, 1947 with five ministers; two Praja Mandalists, two Akalis and one Muslim. The Raja had the power to veto any decision of his cabinet.

This arrangement did not satisfy the people especially in the Dadri region, now a part of Bhiwani district. They rose in revolt and courted arrests in large number and formed a parallel government of their own. This compelled the Jind authorities to write the president of the All India State People's conference for negotiations. On his advice the people withdrew the agitation. The state authorities promised to look into their grievances and release all the Praja Mandal activists.

Former Pataudi State (Parjamandal activities)

The state of Pataudi was granted to one Faiz Talab Khan, a transborder Pathan by the British for his loyal services during the Second Anglo-Maratha War(1803). It was a very small state having population of about 21, 250. By a rough estimate more than 89 per cent of the population of the state was Hindu and the rest were Muhammadans. The State's income was about Rs. 3½ lakhs per year.

It was in the first quarter of the present century that the people of the state began to `feel' and speak against the excessive revenue, taxes and such practices as begar (forced labour) etc. The then Nawab, Mohammad Iftikar Ali Khan, a well-known cricketeer, however, did not take any note of the happenings and relaxed as usual leaving the internal administration of the state in the hands of the Dewan (Prime Minister) Khan Bahadur Sheikh Alam Ali. The state's condition then went from bad to worse every day and the inefficiency and corruption became the order of the day. There was oppression everywhere and almost nothing was done for the welfare of the people. It is highly amazing that the state had only a small dispensary and five primary schools; and these were also in a very bad shape.


In 1930, the people of the State came in the open to fight the forces of oppression and exploitation. In this struggle they received some help from the Congress leaders of Gurgaon. To begin with, they formed a Praja Mandal on Ist June, 1939. Its leaders were Nuruddin, Nand Kishore Jain, Babu Dayal Sharma, Shiv Narain, Rup Chand etc. These leaders carried the message of the Praja Mandal to the masses through various agencies-lecturers, singers, Bhajnis and conferences.They helped them to focus their attention on their difficulties and problems and inspired them to fight getting them solved. On 10th July, 1939, the people framed their charter of demands for their well-being. Maulana Nuruddin was elected president to press the Sarkar to accept their demands. He was authorised to give an ultimatum for an agitation in case the demands were not accepted. The Nawab was at that time in England, playing cricket. The Dewan informed him of the happenings, on hearing which the Nawab at once returned and declared the Praja Mandal `an illegal body.'

This was a serious challenge for the people and they accepted it with great pleasure. On 17th August the leaders of the Praja Mandal started the satyagraha and very soon, besides leaders, as many as 200 satyagrihis were put in the jails. Others were ready in large numbers to follow suit : On 4th October 1939, almost 500 persons marched to the Nawab's residence to offer satyagraha. This would have been an unbearable financial burden for the state; and as such better sense prevailed upon the Nawab who offered a compromise to the leaders of the Praja Mandal. The basis of the compromise were as follows:

(i) The Praja Mandal would be recognised as a legal body;

(ii) Exemption of revenue for Kharif 1939 by 12½ per cent would be effected; and a committee of four elected members and the settlement officer would propose the new rates of revenue which would be accepted without any hesitation;

(iii) The Punjab Panchayat Bill would be introduced in the state.

On reaching an agreement on the above lines the Nawab immediately released all the Satyagrahis. As a result, peace was soon restored. But unfortunately it proved to be short-lived.The Nawab did not fulfil his promises and Praja Mandal leaders were again forced to give the following charter of demands to him on 24 February 1940. :-

(i) Declare immediately a 50 per cent reduction in land revenue;

(ii) This reduction should not be compensated by levying other taxes;

(iii) Reduction in the Nawab's private purse should be effected;

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(iv) Unnecessary administrative expenses should also be reduced;

(v) A committee be set up (whose members should be elected by the public) to carry on the administration and control finances of the state; and

(vi) Declare Praja Mandal as a legal body and grant civil liberties to the people.

The Nawab refused to accept these so to say `harsh' demands and consequently the Praja Mandal again came into conflict with the State authorities. The latter acted promptly and with force.The police arrested the leaders of the movement-president and the secretary of the Praja Mandal on 9 March under IPC Sections 115-A, 121-A and 153-A. Hundreds of other people who evinced sympathy for the movement were arrested. A notification was issued by the authorities declaring the Parja Mandal and its activities as illegal.

This brought the movement to a stand-still, but luckily soon afterwards, the `Quit India Movement' was launched.This brought new life to the Parja Mandal Movement in the state. But it could not go on for long.As the movement of 1942 failed, the Praja Mandal movement was also nothing better than a life-less thing. This demoralized the public and it was not by March,1946 that they could muster any courage to fight the Nawab.

On 17 March 1946, the leaders of the Praja Mandal again came in the political arena. The Nawab at once ordered arrests of all the leaders; Rup Chand, Vinodi Lal, Gauri Shankar, Chhote Lal, Chandgi Ram, Ram Nath, Kishore, Suraj Kishan, Net Ram, Ami Lal, Rama Nand, Babu Dayal and Ram Singh were behind the bars in no time. On the arrests of their leaders the people started satyagraha. To begin with, a dharna was staged in front of the Dewan's residence.It led to a firing and lathi-charge by the police in which many people were injured. These severe repressive measures of the authorities, however, failed to suppress the movement ; rather it further gained strength.

Ultimately when the pressure became unbearable, the Nawab had to bend. He released all the leaders of the Praja Mandal and accepted almost all their demands forthwith. The people had won a great battle indeed.

Dujana State

Dujana was another small State with a population of 30, 666 people and a revenue yield of Rs. 2,31,000 per annum. During the period under study the State was being ruled by Iqtidar Ali Khan, an imbecile man. There was corruption and oppression everywhere.


The first flash of popular opposition to Iqtidar Ali Khan's oppression and exploitation became visible in the 1930's.But then the flash was too weak to be taken any note of it. But in the next decade the situation improved. The dissent became more potent. Young men like Neki Ram(Bisoha), Hari Ram (Karoli) and Tara chand(Karoli) joined into the fray.They organized a political conference at Kosli in 1939 which was presided over by Sardar Kishan Singh, father of martyr Bhagat Singh. This had a healthy impact on the people in the Dujana State, especially in the Nahar area which was made headquarters of the Mandalists

Meantime, the people led by Rao Dev Karan Singh, Neki Ram, Hari Ram and Sardar Singh approached the Nawab to solve people's problems. But he did not pay any heed to their appeal. Rather leaving the affairs of the State in the hands of his Naib Dewan whom he had raised from a school teacher to the post of Naib and who was looting and robbing the people mercilessly, he relaxed. Meantime, the Quit India Movement(1942) was launched and Nawab arrested Rao Devkaran Singh and other five enlightened leaders. They were, however, released after four months.

After the release from jail, Rao Devkaran Singh formed Praja Mandal at Nahar. Dev Karan Singh and Sardar Singh became its president and general secretary respectively. Neki Ram Yadav,Hari Ram Arya, Tara Chand, Budh Ram (Bisoha), Sheo Chand (Bisoha), Mohan Lal (Nahar), Mangtu Haqim (Nahar), Ramji Lal, Mam Chand (Nahar), Khem Ram (Lukhi), Kishan Lal (Lulodh), Sheoram (Bahu), Pt. Dev Karan (Bahu), Khub Ram(Juddi), Ram Karan( Bahu), became active workers and took the new message to almost every village.In this way they prepared a charter of demands and presented to the Nawab.But he paid no heed to them. Eventually,they exhorted the people to start a Civil Disobedience Movement, and the people of the state refused to pay taxes. As a result, the Nawab became restless and adopted to repressive measures in order to suppress the movement. Dev Karan alongwith Hari Ram Arya, Sardar Singh and six others were arrested(12 October, 1946). The Praja Mandal was declared an illegal body and Section 144 CPC was imposed. The people accepted the challenge and led by Neki Ram and others they organised a Haryana Rath Political Conference at Nahar on 19 November 1946, in defiance of the order. Besides local leaders, Brish Bhan and Harbans Lal, president and general secretary of the Punjab State Praja Mandal, Ram Saran Chand Mittal, Kamla Devi, Ishwar Singh Azad took part in this conference. These leaders condemned the attitude of the Nawab towards the Praja Mandal leaders and demanded `their unconditional release failing which a great movement, unparalleled in the history of the state would be launched.' This unnerved the Nawab and he effected a compromise. In February 1947, he bowed down and released all the leaders and accepted almost all their demands.

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Praja Mandal Movement in Loharu State

The State of Loharu was situated in the south-east corner of Haryana near the borders of Rajasthan. It had a population of 27, 892 (rural 23,869 and urban 4,023) people.

The founder of the State was Ahmed Baksh Khan, a Mughal Sardar who was employed by the Raja of Alwar in consultation with Lord Lake in 1803.In recognition of his service he received Loharu in perpetuity from the Raja. In 1940 his third descendant Mirza Aizuddin Ahmed Khan was the ruler. He was not an enlightened person and trade, commerce, industries, irrigation, education, medical facilities and development were sadly neglected by him. Besides, the Nawab realised heavy land revenue and a camel tax (probably Rs. 2-8-0 per head, was levied on every owner of a camel). Various other taxes were also imposed. He was also intolerant of other religions.

In 1940, the Arya Samaj leaders, like Thakur Bhagwat Singh, Dil Sukh, Nathu Ram, Ganga Sahai, Chander Bhan and Shankar Lal raised their voice against the religious intolerance and cruelty of the Nawab. The Nawab tried to suppress them but failed.Meanwhile they formed a Praja Mandal also which raised its voice against the collection of land revenue and camel tax.Chaudhary Bansi Lal was Secretary, Praja Mandal of Loharu State in 1943-44. Mandalists also demanded appointment of Hindus, who were 95 percent of the total population, on higher posts.Neki Ram Sharma also helped the cause of the Loharu people. At last, the Nawab accepted all their demands.

Last-Phase of Election in Pre-Independent Country

The elections to the Central and Provincial legislatures were held in December, 1945. The main parties were the Congress Party, the Unionist and Muslim league. In the composite Punjab, the Unionist Party was not so popular at the time of election. It was partly due to death of its prominent leaders like Sir Chhotu Ram, Fazl-i-Husain and Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan and Partly due to changed attitude of the Government.

In the election Muslim League secured highest seats, i.e. 75 (from Punjab region 69 and from Haryana area-6). The Congress Party got 51 seats(from Punjab region 40 and from Haryana region 11). The Akalis stood at the third ladder by winning 22 seats from Punjab area. The Unionist bagged 16 seats from Punjab region and 4 from Haryana region. The Independents (7) got their entry in the legislature.

Despite the heavy majority, the Muslim League could not form ministry. All other groups combined together and formed the coalition government under Khizar Hayat Khan. This enraged the Muslim League and they started campaign against the coalition Government. Consequently, Khizar Hayat Khan resigned in March, 1946 and the then Punjab was placed under the Governor's rule.


The Circumstances leading to Partition of Country

As already made clear that the Crips Mission (March-April, 1942) ended a complete failure. Throughout these negotiations, the Congress could not count on the support of the Muslim League. Mr. Jinnah repudiated the "democratic system of parliamentary Government on the conception of a homogenous nation and the method of counting heads as impossible in India and publicly expressed the view that neither minority safeguards nor separate electorates could save the Muslims from the Congress raj at the centre". When the Congress Ministries in the provinces resigned,the Muslim League observed a day of deliverance and thanksgiving throughout India1. Since 1940, Mr. Jinnah was clamouring the two-nation theory. He declared that the Hindus and the Muslims formed two separate nations "who both must share the governance of their common motherland. In the Lahore Session of Muslim League, he declared that the Muslim nation must have a separate independent state. In the other words he advocated the establishment of Pakistan.

On 6th May, 1944, Gandhi ji was released from prison on the grounds of health. He held a series of discussion with Mr. Jinnah but no agreement was reached. Lord Wavell,who succeeded Lord Linlithgo as Governor-General flew to London in March, 1945 and came back with the proposals.He summoned a conference at Simla on

25 June, 1945 to execute the action over the proposals but it broke down as the Congress and the Muslim League could not come to an agreement.

Due to separatist tendencies, the communal tension increased in 1945-46 and this had its repercussions on the Mewat area of Gurgaon district of Haryana. A branch of All India Muslim League was established there and a large number of Meos joined it 2. In the election of 1946 to the Punjab Legislative Assembly, two Muslim leaders were returned as members from Gurgaon area. Later, a scheme of organizing Mewat into a separate Meo Province was mooted,3 and it had sympathies of All India Muslim League.

A new and dynamic factor was introduced when Lord Mountbatten succeeded Lord Wavell on March 24, 1947 to implement Atlee's assurance that independence would be granted to India by date not later than, June, 1948. The Viceroy summoned to Delhi all front-rank political leaders, including Gandhi ji and Jinnah, in this endeavour to find a solution to the vexed Indian problem. The plan of June 3 was

1. An Advanced History of India, 1967, by Majumdar, Ray Chaudhry & Datta, P. 987.

2. Alwar District Gazetteer, 1968, PP. 93-96.

3. Hashim Amir Ali, The Meos of Mewat, 1970, PP. 30-32.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

grudgingly accepted. Lord Mountbatten explained in a broadcast that "the only alternative to the coercion is partition". Freedom and Partition came hand in hand in August, 1947. At the last stroke of mid-night August,14, the members of Constituent Assembly pledged themselves to the service of the nation "to the end that this ancient land shall attain her rightful place in the world and mark her full and willing contribution to the promotion of world peace and welfare of mankind." Thus India and Pakistan became Independent nations on August 15, 1947.

As a result communal riots started. These riots took place in some parts of North-Western Punjab. According to an estimate the casualties ran in thousands. In Haryana also communal riots started at Rohtak, Hissar and Gurgaon. Migration too started. The Meos of Gurgaon became the victims of revenge. A number of villages burnt, houses were plundered; people were slaughtered and property was looted. Troops were called to control the situation.

Just after few months of Independence, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru stated on October 12, 1947. The details are as under:

"So far as India is concerned, we have very clearly stated, both as a government and otherwise, that we cannot think of any state which might be called a communal or religious state. We can only think of a secular, non-communal, democratic state, in which every individual, to whatever religion he may belong, has equal rights and opportunities."

Settlement of Displaced Persons

The Independence of India also resulted in its partition, and was followed by a mass migration of population from the territory now comprising Pakistan, especially West Pakistan to the Punjab and vice versa. Lakhs of Hindus and Sikhs moved from West Punjab to East Punjab and almost a similar number of Muslims travelled from East Punjab and U.P. to West Pakistan.

This movement was one of the most massive in the history involving inevitable hardships, miseries and also tragedies. Inspite of official efforts to protect the migrating refugees, lawless elements, on both sides played havoc with many convoys. Communal feelings have been aroused. The districts of Karnal, Gurgaon and Rohtak also witnessed a series of communal riots1. The feeling of revenge and retaliation reigned supreme and the love of plunder added fuel to the fire. These riots created a feeling of fear and insecurity.

There was a considerable Muslim population in the region of Haryana. The district-wise details are as under :-

1. Darbara Singh : The Punjab Tragedy, 1949, pp. 273-74.


District Percentage of Percentage of Percentage of

Muslims Sikhs others



Hissar 28.2 6.0 64.6

Rohtak 17.2 0.1 81.7

Gurgaon 33.5 _ 66.8
Karnal 30.6 2.0 67.0
Ambala 31.6 18.4 48.7

The above table1 indicates the maximum number of the Muslim population which was in Gurgaon district. About 1,25,000 Meos from the district shifted to the refugee camps. But they evacuated in a limited number. In addition to the Meos of the Gurgaon area, a proposal was put forward and accepted to settle about 15,000 Meos belonging to the States of Alwar and Bharatpur displaced during these riots. The area of Nuh and Ferozepur Jhirka was declared non-refugee area. Nearly 10,000 Hindus and Sikhs refugees who were allotted land within area were asked to vacateit2.

Almost 50 lakh Hindus including Sikhs from West Pakistan left for India during August-September, 1947. Within a week after August 15, 1947, nearly 11 lakh refugees had arrived in the East Punjab and in the following weeks another 25 lakh were received. The evacuation work was done by tractors, road transport and on foot. Nearly 673 trains evacuated 27,94,368 refugees from August, 1947 to November, 1947. Similarly, about 12 lakh came through road transport and nearly 8,49,000 reached Punjab for shelter and security on foot. They could not forget their tortures and pain that was suffered during the shifting.

Refugee Camps.— After the migration of population from Pakistan to India the Government had to face a lot of hardships in establishing them here. Their immediate location in a large number of camps and eventual rehabilitation in rural and urban areas created numerous problems which the Government faced with courage. According to 1951 Census, the then Karnal district alone absorbed 2,50,471 of which 1,32,709 persons settled in rural areas and the remaining 1,17,762 in urban areas as shown below :-

1. M.S. Randhawa : Out of the Ashes, 1954, P.9.

2. A.N. Bali, How It Can be Told, 1949, P. 112.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Tahsil No. of displaced persons settled

Total Rural Urban

Karnal 92,908 49,201 43,707

Panipat1 59,435 19,614 39,821

Kaithal2 50,819 37,090 13,729

Thanesar3 47,309 26,804 20,505

Although accurate statistics are not available, it is estimated that 3,00,688 Muslims migrated from the then Karnal district to Pakistan. They consisted of Afghans, Bluchis, Muslim Rajputs, Sayyids, Gujars and Sheikhs. The immigrants into this area were mainly Brahmans, Virks, Mazhabi Sikhs, Arora and Khatris from Shekhupura, Gujranwala, Multan and Muzaffargarh districts of Pakistan.

As a first step, the refugees were given shelter under canvas tentage in relief camps. Five such camps were set up at Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Kaithal and Shahabad. The biggest of these was established at Kurukshetra which had 1,75,000 refugees. The people were also sent to Ambala, Hissar, Gurgaon and Karnal. By the end of November, 1947, the total camp population in Haryana had shot up to 7,20,000, out of which Kurukshetra camp had 2,75,000.

During the process of this gradual elimination of gratuitous relief, the unattached women and children and infirm and aged persons who were living in these general camps were encouraged to shift to Mahila Ashram, Karnal. A Seva Sadan accommodating nearly 250 women and children was earlier established at Karnal but was wound up on the establishment of the Asharm.

Lands in Karnal district were allocated to displaced persons mainly from Gujranwala, Shekhupura, Dyallpur and Montgomery, Chuman tahsil of Lahore district and the colonists originally belonging to the Karnal district. Every effort was made to allot land of similar quality as that left by the claimants in Pakistan. Sub-urban land was allotted to the claimants of similar land or to other claimants on a valuation basis.

Like land, the houses were also given on a temporary basis in the 1st instance. The properties abandoned by the Muslims were insufficient to provide shelter to all the displaced persons settled in Karnal district. To meet the grave situation from the inadequate residential accommodation available in East Punjab, and to provide shelter

1. Now Panipat is a fullfledged district.

2. Kaithal has been declared a separate district.

3. Thanesar is a part of Kurukshetra district.


to the incoming population according to income groups, the government established new townships in addition to 8-marla (cheap) housing colonies and 4-Marla (cheap) tenements. The new townships accommodated the rich and upper middle class displaced persons; the 8-marla (cheap) housing tenements to the poor, particularly to the displaced persons occupying places of worship or living in Dharmashalas, and living on the pavements.

Besides the new houses as detailed above, the mudhut colonies were constructed later on for providing accommodation to the residual population living in refugee-camps. These were constructed on the respective sites of camps at Karnal and Panipat with 1,600 and 600 mud-huts respectively, and each mud-hut covered an area of 210 square feet. These were immediately offered to the occupants of refugee-camps who belonged to Scheduled castes and Backward classes and to the persons who were resourceless and landless.

The rush of displaced persons obliged the Government to establish the refugee camps in Gurgaon district. Accordingly, 6 refugee camps were set up in the then Gurgaon district; three at Gurgaon and one each at Palwal, Rewari and Faridabad, and approximately 35,000 were accommodated in these camps. Available buildings, including educational institutions were utilized for sheltering refugees and tented camps had to be set up. The services of teachers and students were utilized in the managements of these relief camps. In lieu of the recognised service, students were given certificates/degrees by the newly set up Punjab university, entitling them to have qualified in their respective examinations without actually undergoing examination.

Camp life was made reasonably agreeable by the provision of number of facilities. Free ration was distributed in these camps. Fruits, multi-vitamin tablets and other special items of diet were issued to the refugees on medical advice. Blankets, quilts and clothes were supplied during the winter. Dispensaries were opened in tents for immediate medical relief. These camps provided much needed relief to the displaced persons and gave breathing time to all concerned to plan their future.

Though by the summer of 1948, the routine of camp life and administration of relief was well organized, the stage had arrived for the Government to take the next step of enabling displaced persons to find independent means of existence.

The population in the camps started decreasing gradually as a result of the steps taken for the speedy resettlement of the displaced persons. Displaced persons from rural areas moved into villages evacuated by Muslims while those from urban areas were sent into towns where they took to various avocations to earn their livelihood. For the destitutes two infirmaries were set up, one at Palwal in 1951 and

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

another at Rewari in 1954. The former was closed in 1961 and its inmates were transferred to the latter. Subsequently, Rewari infirmary was shifted to Rohtak in 1964 and merged with Mahilla Ashram, Rohtak. During the period 1954-64, the maximum number of inmates in the Rewari infirmary was 2,060; of this number, 1,152 were rehabilitated.

The Muslim population of the then Gurgaon district consisted of Meos, Afghans, Baluchs, Muslim Rajputs and Sheikhs. No accurate figures are available to show the precise number of Muslims evacuees but the diminution of about 86,000 in the Muslim population in the census figures of 1941 and 1951 indicate roughly the extent of their migration to Pakistan.

The displaced persons from Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali, Muzafurgarh and other parts of Pakistan were settled in then district of Gurgaon.

The following table shows the displaced persons settled in urban and rural areas of the district:—

Place Number of persons in rural area

Gurgaon 2,116

Ballabgarh 2,236

Ferozpur Jhirka 9,370

Nuh 2,203

Palwal 2,005

Rewari tahsil 9,798

The refugees settled in the then Hissar district were mainly from Multan, Lyallpur, Dera Ghazikhan and Bhawalpur.

The details are as under :-

District of origin Number of displaced persons settled

Rural Area Urban Area Total

Multan 42,927 15,470 58,397

Lyallpur 2,059 3,675 5,734

Dera Ghazikhan 637 790 1,427

Jhang 150 127 277

Others 7,055 2,560 9,615

Bhawalpur 3,138 1,710 4,348

Total : 55,966 24,332 80,298


A number of facilities were provided in the camp including free food-grains. A dispensary was also opened for immediate medical relief.

In urban areas of Hisar, Fatehabad and Tohana, there were 4,053 evacuee properties which were managed by the District Rent and Managing Officers. These properties became a part of the evacuee pool for compensating displaced persons with verified claims.

The properties abandoned by the Muslims were not sufficient to provide shelter to the incoming refugees. To solve acute housing problem, scheme was framed and the pattern for construction of colonies already adopted in other areas was followed in the then Hissar district.

With reference to rehabilitation of displaced persons in Ambala district, the position is not much different. The Muslims who migrated to Pakistan consisted of Sheikhs, Qurreshis, Rajputs and Gujars. On the other-hand, almost 1,88,892 displaced persons (1,00,535 males and 88,357 females) settled in Ambala district. The immigrants were mainly Khatris, Aroras, Labanas, Jats and Brahmans from Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Jhelum, Shekhupura and Gujrat districts of Pakistan1.

It is quite necessary to mention the changes in territories after India became free. With the abolition of princely states throughout India, Dujana State was also merged in Jhajjar tahsil of Rohtak district in 1948 and new sub-tehsil of Nahar was created. In 1948, with the formation of PEPSU - Mahendragarh territory from Patiala State, Dadri territory from Jind State and Bawal territory from Nabha State were constituted into Mahendragarh district with the headquarters at Narnaul. There were three tahsils, namely Narnaul, Charkhi-Dadri (Dadri) and Bawal and Mahendragarh district became one of the 19 districts of the then Punjab.

The people of Haryana are very famous for their heroic qualities. They always remain ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of country. They also showed unflinching loyalty towards the country when China made attack in 1962 and Pakistan aggression came in 1965. A large number of people were awarded Paramvir-Chakara and Vir Chakara during hostilities.

Major M.S. Chaudhry resident of Dubaldhan majra/Jhajjar of the then Rohtak district was awarded Mahavir Chakara posthumously for giving his life to the country. A list of such persons is so long that cannot be added here. A Shahid Smark College was started in the memory of seven martyrs of village Tigaon (Ballabgarh tahsil). These seven persons died fighting against the enemy when China invaded Indian territories in 1962 and Pakistan in 1965.

1. Regarding more details, please see Chapter-III-People.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

The circumstances leading to the Creation of Haryana as a separate state

Even during pre-Independent India, some leaders gave a call for a separate state of Haryana. In 1932, Deshbandhu Gupta of Panipat forcefully stated, "Hindi speaking region had never been a part of Punjab. Ever since its inclusion in Punjab, the region had been suffering economically, politically and culturally. It was essential for the development of the region to separate it from Punjab and form a new state by uniting with it certain adjoining parts of Delhi, Rajasthan and of U.P.1".

In fact, this demand of creation of the `Greater Delhi' or `Vishal Haryana' was actively supported by several leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Moti-Lal Nehru, Asaf Ali, Sir Chhotu Ram, Jat leader and Pt. Thakur Das Bargava2.

Along with the demand for Greater Delhi and Vishal Haryana, the idea for Sikh State sprang up early in 1942. With the migration of the Muslims from East Punjab in 1947, the problem of language was eliminated for the time-being. However, the Sachar-Giani-formula of October 1, 1949 could not satisfy the Hindus and the Sikhs. According to it, the state could be divided into two liguistic regions - Punjabi and Hindi. It was decided that the language of the region was to be the medium of instruction in all the schools up to matriculation stage.

The Re-Organisation Commission rejected the demand of greater Delhi or Vishal Haryana on the ground that "separation of Haryana areas of Punjab which are deficient areas will be no remedy for any ills, real or imaginary, from which this area at present suffers." Similarly, the State Re-Organisation Commission rejected the demand of creation of a separate Punjabi Suba. Its main arguments were the lack of popular support, difficulty of demarcating linguistic boundaries, opposition of a large section of the Punjab population, no real language problem and that the demand would not solve the problem of internal tensions.

The Akali Dal of Punjab under the guidance of Master Tara Singh started vigorous movement for Punjabi Suba. Meanwhile the Government of India made another attempt to prevent the division of Punjab. A new system known as `Regional Formula' was introduced. It was to accept the respective claims of Hindi and Punjabi language without the division of the State. In the formula both the languages were given the status of official language upto the district level. Consequently, separate regional committees were setup. However, this system did not succeed in the coming five years 1960-1965. In those days, the demand of the Punjabi speaking province became more pressing but the Government did not accept it.

1. The Hindustan Times, 9th December, 1932.

2. Ranbir Singh : Genesis and Exposition of the Demand for Vishal Haryana, Kurukshetra University, Research Journal, 1968, pp. 213-16.


During communal strife and agitation, the Government of Punjab gazetted the establishment of the Haryana Vikas Committee on March 2nd, 1961. It was to give suggestion for the social and economic uplift of the region. Sri Ram Sharma was appointed its Chairman with Chaudhry Chand Ram, Rao Nihal Singh and G.L. Bansal as its members.1 It sent its recommendations after nine months.

On September 25, 1965, the Government of India appointed a parliamentary committee under the chairmanship of Sardar Hukam Singh, Speaker of Lok-Sabha, to study the question of the division of Punjab. The committee submitted its report on March 18, 1966. A number of memorandum were presented by the representatives of Haryana Lok Samiti, Haryana All Parties Action Committee, Haryana Arya Samaj and other organizations2. This committee, recommended the creation of a Punjabi speaking State and also proposed the establishment of a Hindi speaking State of Haryana. It also recommended the inclusion of Chandigarh and Kharar tahsils in Haryana.

The Government of India accepted most of its recommendations and set-up Shah Commission popularly known as `Punjab boundary Commission to settle the boundaries of new states. The Punjab Reorganization Bill was passed by the Parliament on 10th September, 1966, Haryana as the seventeenth state of India came into existence.

After becoming the separate state, some more districts were made to increase development activities. As on March 31, 1991, there were 16 districts in Haryana and a number of tahsils and blocks. By the end of December, 2001, there were 4 divisions; 19 districts; 47 sub-divisions; 67 tahsils; 45 sub-tahsils and 116 blocks.

Now the Haryana State is making a stellar progress under the leadership of its own representatives. It is known as bowl of rice and white revolution has ushered. The people of Haryana are maintaining a communal harmony, moral standard, tradition of going armed forces and having a background of Arya Samaj to shine a principle of simple living and high thinking .

List Of Executed Persons Due To Their Participation In The War Of 1857

Ahmed Baksh.- s/o Amirullah Sheikh of Sohna (Gurgaon); was shot at Delhi on

27 December, 1857.

Ahmed Mirza Nawab.-b. 1819, resident of Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt; was arrested and shot with 98 other persons on 15 December, 1857.

1. Sri Ram Sharma : Haryana Ka Itihas, p. 146.

2. Report of the Parliamentary Committee on the Demand of the Punjabi Suba, 1965, p. 56.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Ajmer Khan.-v. Badshahpur(Gurgaon) was shot dead by the British column in an encounter on 10November, 1857.
Akbar Khan.-v. Nangli (Gurgaon) was hanged in February, 1858.

Akbar Khan.- v. Hasanpur(Gurgaon) served in the Gwalior Contingent, British-Indian army mutinied at Gwalior, came home and played active role in the revolt; was hanged on 13 January, 1858.

Akbar Khan Nawab.- resident of Gurgaon, took leading part in the revolt: was arrested by the British authorities and hanged on 15 December, 1857.

Albela Singh.-s/o Zalim Singh v. Kasan (Gurgaon) attacked a British party carrying treasure, captured it and distributed the money among the villagers; arrested after the revolt; was hanged in his own village on 16 January, 1857.

Ali Bahadur.- Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt, was captured and hanged on 15 December, 1857.

Ali Gauhar.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt, was captured and executed by hanging at Delhi on 22 February 1858.

Allah Baksh .- v. Badshahpur (Gurgaon); was captured by the British and executed at Delhi on 1 April, 1858.

Allahbad. - Resident of Gurgaon; was captured by British troops after the revolt and executed at Delhi on 15 December 1857.

Allahuddin.- Resident of Gurgaon; was captured by British troops after the revolt and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Amanat Ali.-S/o Farzand Ali; a Sayyad of Sultanpur (Gurgaon); served as a soldier in the Gwalior contingent, British Indian Army; took active part in the revolt; was captured by British soldiers; and was hanged on 5 January, 1858.

Amir Ali .-S/o Mubarak Ali; Meo by caste; v. Barka (Gurgaon); took leading part in the revolt; was arrested and tried for sedition in December 1857 was found guilty and executed on 6 January, 1858.

Amir Khan Nawab.-Resident of Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt was arrested after the revolt and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Amir Khan .- A young Meo of Dist. Gurgaon; well known for his daring feats; was captured by the British soldiers after the revolt and hanged in January, 1858.

Anwar Khan .-v. Nuh(Gurgaon); took active part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 26 January, 1858.


Asaf Khan .-Resident of Palwal; hanged on 16 January, 1858.

Asalat Khan.-S/o Najbi Khan; Pathan of v. Hussainpur, (Gurgaon); took leading part in his locality; was arrested after the revolt and executed by hanging on

13 January, 1858.

Auqab Bakht.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British troops in December, 1857 and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Azam Ali .- V. Rasulpur, Distt. Gurgaon; a soldier in the Gwalior contingent, British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British troops in December, 1857 and executed by hanging in January, 1858.

Azam Beg.-V. Khajurka (Gurgaon ); a soldier in the Gwalior contingent, British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was hanged on 30 January, 1858.

Azim Ali.- A young Meo peasant; v. Nangli, Distt. Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured; hanged in January, 1858.

Azim Ali.-S/o Arhad Ali; v. Rasulpur (Gurgaon); hanged on 5 January, 1858.
Azim Beg.-S/o Mohd. Beg; v. Sohna, District Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities after the revolt; executed by hanging on 21 December, 1857.

Azimullah.-A cook with Mr. Kitchen, Gurgaon; revolted; was hanged on

13 November, 1857.

Azizuddin. Mirza.-An old, respectable man of Gurgaon, took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Badlu.- A jat of v. Badshahpur, district Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt; was captured by General Showers column and shot dead in November, 1857.

Badulla.- Resident of Palwal; was hanged on 16 January, 1858.

Badullah.-A peon at Gurgaon; was shot along with 29 others on 2 December, 1857.

Bahadur Ali.-An official in the court of the Nawab of Jhajjar; was arrested with the Nawab by Brig. General Showers and was executed in December, 1857.
Bahadur Khan.- S/o Khuda Bakhsh; Sheikh of v. Kanhore, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; arrested and tried for sedition; found guilty and hanged on 30 December, 1857.

Bahadur Khan.- A resident of Gurgaon district was captured by Showers' troops and executed at Delhi on 10 November, 1857.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Bahadur Khan.-A Biluch of Farukhnagar; S/o Bhikari; arrested and hanged on

16 December, 1857.

Bahadur Singh.-A Jat Jagirdar of v. Jharsa, district Gurgaon owned besides his own village, the villages of Badshahpur, Tijra, Tikli and Bhunaspur, took leading part in the revolt; was arrested by Brig. General Showers; executed at Gurgaon Cantonment(in the campound of present Civil Hospital) in October 1857; his entire property was confiscated and given to a loyalist named Chain Sukh Mahajan of Badshapur village.

Bakhshish Hussain .- Colonel in the Jhajjar army; was killed by the British forces on 18 October, 1857 after the fall of Jhajjar.

Bali.-S/o Khuda Baksh; resident of Palwal; was hanged on 16 January, 1858.

Banda Ali.- S/o Zorawar Ali; v. Sultanpur, Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed by hanging on 5 January, 1858.

Bandrah Ali.-V. Hassanpur, a soldier in the Gwalior Contingent, British Indian Army; took active part in the revolt, was captured and executed by hanging in
January, 1858.

Bathee.-V. Rasulpur, was captured by the British after the revolt and executed at Delhi on 16 January, 1858.

Bazid Khan .-S/o Maru; a Rajput of Jatusana, Rewari district hanged on

12 August, 1858.

Bhagirath .-S/o Sadhu Ram; Jat of v. Patli (Gurgaon) was hanged on

11 November 1857.
Bhagta.-v. Badshahpur(Gurgaon); was hanged on 11 November, 1857.

Bhawani Singh .-Resident of Gurgaon took active part in the revolt; was arrested and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Bhulla.-A daring Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.
Birda .- A Jat peasant of Patli (Gurgaon) was hanged on 7 December, 1857.

Bihari Lal.-S/o Ram Sukh; a Mahajan of v. Badshahpur Gurgaon; was arrested by the British after the revolt; charged with having aided the rebels; hanged at Gurgaon on 11 November, 1858.
Birja .-V. Chhajjunagar, district Gurgaon; took a leading part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on January, 1858.

Boohad Ali .- A Meo of Nangli, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was


captured by British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.

Brij Nandan .- S/o Mula; v. Chhajjunagar (Gurgaon); took leading part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 12 January, 1858.

Buddha.-A Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.

Bul-aqi Mirza.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Bunyad Ali.-A resident of Palwal; was hanged on 16 January, 1858.

Bunyad Ali.- A Sayad of Rewari; hanged on 6 May, 1858.

Chaina .- A Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was executed on the gallows in February, 1858.

Chaina Ram.- A Jat youngman of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed in January, 1858.

Chand Khan.- S/o Saadat Khan; was hanged on 13 January, 1858.

Chatroo.- A Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt; was executed by hanging in February, 1858.

Chet Ram.-S/o Surja ; a Jat of v. Aherowan (Gurgaon); was hanged on 8 December, 1857.

Chet Ram.-S/o Bhura Ram; a Jat of v. Aherowan (Gurgaon) took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 8 December, 1857.

Chhajia.-A lambardar of v. Qadurpur (Gurgaon); was hanged on 7 December, 1857.

Chhote Mirza.-Resident of Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Chuna.- S/o Bhura; v. Chhajjunagar (Gurgaon); was hanged along with 7 persons on 13 January, 1858.

Dalel Khan.-A Meo of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed by hanging in February, 1858.

Dalip Singh .- Resident of Gurgaon ; took leading part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Daulah.- A Meo of Palwal took leading part in the revolt; was captured and executed on 16 December, 1857.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Daulat Ali.- S/o Bakhshi; a Meo of Chhajjunagar, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 13 January, 1858.

Dhanna Singh .-A Rajput `dare-devil' of Faridabad took very active part in the revolt; participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured after the revolt and hanged at Delhi on 4 January, 1858.

Dhan Singh.-S/o Dhanwant Meo of Nangli Adwar (Gurgaon) was captured and hanged with 44 other Meos on 9 February, 1858.

Dhiri.- A Meo of Tushaim (Gurgaon ); was hanged on 24 March, 1858.

Dillay.-S/o Khubee of v. Aherowan (Gurgaon ); took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 8 December, 1857.

Diya Ram.-S/o Bohru; v. Patli; Jat was hanged on 11 December, 1857.

Dula Jan. Nawab .-Resident of Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt at Gurgaon; was arrested and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Dulla.- A Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was executed in February 1858.

Duli Chand.- A Jat of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was executed in December, 1857.

Faiyaz Shah.- Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Fakir Chand Jain.- Nephew of Hukam Chand Jain; resident of Hansi, district Hissar; struggled against the British in the beginning, but later on played a double-game; was arrested after the revolt; and hanged on 19 January, 1858.

Fateh Ali.-Lambardar of v. Kherali, District Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 10 November, 1857.

Fateh Ali.- S/o Zabardast Khan; Lambardar of v. Khera -Jharsa (Gurgaon); shot on 11 November, 1857.

Faujdar Khan.- S/o Hidayat Khan; Pathan of Khera Hussainpur, soldier in the Gwalior contingent of British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was arrested and executed by hanging on 13 January, 1858.

Gafur Mirza.- Resident of Palwal; was captured and hanged in December, 1857.

Gama.-Resident of Dadri; killed many Europeans; arrested after the revolt; and was hanged in October, 1857.

Ganga.- A Gujjar youngman of v. Rithauj, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in December, 1857.


Ganga Parsad.- A Sunar of Banda (U.P.), living in district Gurgaon; was captured by the British after the revolt and executed at Delhi on 24 March, 1858.

Gareeba.- A Meo of Ghagas (Gurgaon); S/o Chuna; took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British and executed at Delhi on 24 March, 1858.

Gariba.-A Meo of district Gurgaon; soldier in the Gwalior contingent of British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed by hanging in January, 1858.

Ghazanfar Ali.-Sultanpur, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 13 January, 1858.

Ghazanfar Ali.-v. Hasanpur, soldier in the Gwalior contingent of British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was executed by hanging in January, 1858.

Ghisa.-S/o Dalel Ajimullah; v. Khera-Jharsa (Gurgaon); a cook with Mr. Kitchen; was shot on 13 November, 1857.

Ghiyasuddin Mirza.-Resident of Gurgaon; took leading part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Ghulam Ashrafi .-A Pathan of Karnal; took active part in the revolt; participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured by the British and executed at Delhi on 4 February, 1858.

Gulam Baksh.- Resident of district Gurgaon; was captured by the British troops; and executed at Delhi on 10 November, 1857.

Gulam Mohammad Din.-Resident of Gurgaon; was executed at Delhi on

15 December, 1857.

Ghulam Nabi.-V. Badshahapur, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by Showers' column; and shot dead in November, 1857.

Girdhar Lal Ahluwalia.-B. 1827 at V. Fatehpur; for killing the British at Kaithal; his village was burnt by British troops. Girdhari Lal gave himself up; British soldiers shot him dead.

Gomesh Singh .- Resident of Rewari; served as Havildar in the British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured by the British troops after the revolt and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Gopal Singh .-Resident of Gurgaon; was arrested by the British authorities after the revolt and tried for sedition; was found guilty and executed by hanging on

15 December, 1857.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Gurdial Singh.- Resident of Gurgaon; was arrested and executed by hanging on

15 December, 1857.

Haider Khan.- of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by British troops after the revolt; executed at Delhi on 10 November, 1857.

Hanno Khan.-Resident of village Saral, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 29th March, 1858.
Haodad Khan.-V. Badshahpur, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British soldiers and shot dead in November, 1857.

Hardeo Singh.- A peasant of v. Garli Patti, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.

Hardeva.- S/o Gulwa; v. Chajjunagar (Gurgaon); took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British army; and was executed at Delhi on 13 January, 1858.
Hardi. - A youngman of district Gurgaon; took part in the revolt; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in January, 1858.

Harnam Singh.-Resident of Gurgaon; took part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; was found guilty and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Harsukh.-S/o Radha Krishan; resident of Palwal; took active part in the revolt at Palwal; was captured by the British army and executed at Delhi on 2 March, 1858.

Harum Baksh.- V. Hasanpur, soldier in the British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed by hanging in January, 1858.

Hasan Ali.-S/o Mir Ali; a Sayed of Rewari; hanged on 6 May, 1858.

Hasti.-A Meo of v. Akhera, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by British soldiers and hanged on 22 January, 1858.

Hatia.-A young man of v. Dighot; took active part in the revolt; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in January, 1858.

Hayat Ali.- Resident of Palwal; was a Thanedar, took leading part in the revolt; participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured and executed at Delhi on 11 February , 1858.

Hoshdar Khan. -S/o Rehmet Khan; v. Hasanpur, soldier in the British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was hanged along with 8 persons on 13 January , 1858.


Hoshiar Khan.-S/o Rehman Khan; a Sheikh of v. Hussainpur took active part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; executed by hanging on 2 January, 1858.

Hosna .-A Meo peasant of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Hukam Chand Jain.-B.1816 at Hansi; S/o Duni Chand Jain; was well-versed in Persian and Mathematics and wrote several books; was appointed Qanungo in 1841, first at Hansi and then at Karnal; organised freedom struggle at Hansi and then at Karnal; offered his services to the British after the district had been reoccupied by them; worked as a Tehsildar for them; but later on his letters written to Bahadur Shah landed him in trouble; was apprehended and executed in front of his own house by hanging on 19 January, 1858.

Ilabi Baksh.- V. Badshahpur, district Gurgaon; was captured by the British troops after the revolt and shot at Delhi on 10 November, 1857.

Imad Ali Munshi.-An official in the court of the Nawab of Jhajjar; was arrested by Showers along with the Nawab in October, 1857; was executed at Delhi in December, 1857.

Imam Ali.-A Sheikh of v. Jharsa; S/o Mohammad; took active part in the uprising; was hanged on 4 December, 1857.

Imam Baksh.-V. Sultanpur, district Gurgaon; was also known as Dalla in the locality; took leading part in the revolt; was apprehended in December, 1857; and executed at Delhi on 16 January, 1858.

Imam Khan.-Resident of Palwal; took leading part in the revolt; was hanged on

16 Janaury, 1858.

Imam Bakhsh.-S/o Sanwat Meo; v. Bas (Gurgaon); also lived at Sringar ; was captured and hanged on 22 January, 1858.

Imamuddin.-S/o Chand Khan; resident of Palwal; took leading part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 13 January, 1858.

Inayat Ali.-A Sayad of Palwal; was hanged on 26 November, 1857.

Inkar Shah.- of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was caught and executed at Delhi on 24 March, 1858.

Ishtiaq Ali.-V. Rasulpur; was captured by the British after the revolt and executed at Delhi on 13 January, 1858.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Ishtiaq Ali.-S/o Ashuk Ali; v. Rasulpur(Gurgaon); soldier in the Gwalior contingent, British Indian army; took active part in the mutiny; was captured by the British soldiers and executed by hanging on 5 January, 1858.

Jaffar Hussain.- S/o Babar Husan; v. Rasulpur (Gurgaon); soldier in the Gwalior contingent, British Indian army; took active part in the mutiny; was captured by the British soldiers and executed by hanging on 5 January, 1858.

Jafar Khan.-S/o Bisarat Khan; v. Gudhrana; a Pathan; was hanged on

8 January, 1858.

Jagroop.- of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Jahangira.-V. Badshahpur, district Gurgaon; was captured by British troops and executed at Delhi on 10 November, 1857.

Jai Ram.-A peasant of v. Kasum, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British soldiers and hanged in January, 1858.

Jan Mohammad.-V. Badshahpur, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Jaswant Singh.- A Jamadar in the service of Nawab of Jhajjar; was shot dead by the British forces on 18 October, 1857 after the fall of Jhajjar.
Jauhar Beg.-A Mughal of Rewari of the then district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured and executed at Delhi on 18 January, 1858.

Jawahar Singh.- Daroga of the magazine in the service of the Nawab of Jhajjar; was shot dead by the British forces in October, 1857 after the fall of Jhajjar.

Jayat Singh.-Resident of Gurgaon; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Jeva.-V. Chhajjunagar, district Gurgaon; was captured and executed at Delhi on

12 January, 1858.

Jia Ram.-S/o Dan Singh of v. Kasan (Gurgaon); was Lambardar of the village; took active part in the revolt; looted the British treasury and distributed it among the villagers; was arrested after the revolt; and executed on 16 January, 1858.

Kabul Khan.- A Meo youngman of v. Infantry; took active part in the mutiny; captured and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Kahan Singh.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was arrested and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.


Kahera.-A Meo of V. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged after the revolt in February, 1858.
Kalam Singh.- A youngman of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in January, 1858.

Kalan Mirza .-Resident of Gurgaon; was apprehended and hanged on

15 December, 1857.

Kallan.-S/o Mohan Singh; v. Dighot(Gurgaon); was hanged on 13 January, 1858.

Kallu.- V. Chhajjunagar, district Gurgaon; was captured and executed at Delhi on

12 January, 1858.

Kallu.-A peasant of district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in January, 1858.

Kallu.-A Meo of v. Nangli(Gurgaon); was captured and hanged in February, 1858.
Kalu Kalan.-A Sheikh of Sonepat; took active part in the revolt; and participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured and executed at Delhi on 24 December, 1857.

Karamullah.-Resident of Palwal took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged on 16 January, 1858.

Kareemullah.-V. Rasulpur, district Gurgaon; was apprehended and executed at Delhi on 16 January, 1858.
Karim Baksh.-Resident of Sonepat; took active part in the revolt; and participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army, was captured and executed at Delhi on 24 December, 1857.

Karim Baksh.-V. Badshahpur, district Gurgaon; was captured and shot dead in November, 1857.

Karim Baksh.-S/o Badan; was hanged on 13 January, 1858.

Karim Baksh.-S/o Abdullah of v. Hassainpur was arrested and executed by hanging on 2 January, 1858.

Karim Baksh.-A Sheikh of Ballabgarh; took active part in the revolt; participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Kewal Khan.-S/o Saikhan; Meo of Saral, Firozepur (Gurgaon); was hanged on

29 March; 1858.

Kairathi.- A Meo peasant of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Khairati.-A Sheikh of Narnaul; took active part in the revolt and participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured and executed at Delhi on 18 January, 1858.

Khait Ram.- A young farmer of distt. Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in December, 1857.

Khizruddin.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt, was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.
Khuda Bakhsh.-A Manihar (Bangle-seller) of Faridabad was captured and executed by hanging at Delhi on 22 February, 1858.

Khuda Bakhsh.-An official in the court of the Nawab of Jhajjar; was apprehended and executed at Delhi in December, 1857.

Khuda Bakhsh.-A Sheikh of Palwal participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured and executed at Delhi on 16 January, 1858.

Khurram Bakhsh.-A resident of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 10 November, 1857.

Khushal.-A Meo of v. Barka (Gurgaon);S/o Khauda Ram; was captured and hanged in January, 1858.

Khushali.-A wealthy Ahir of V. Badshahpur (Gurgaon); took active part in the revolt and helped the rebels by money and material; was arrested by the British and hanged at Gurgaon on 11 November, 1857.

Kishan Bal.- S/o Bhoja; a farmer; v. Garli Patti; hanged on 1 February, 1858.

Kishan alias Khushi.- S/o Chandu of v. Barka, district Gurgaon; Meo by caste; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; was sentenced to death and executed by hanging on 6 January, 1858.

Kishnu.-of v. Garli Patti, district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in

February, 1858.

Kundan Singh.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was arrested and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Kunwar Chand.-V. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in

February, 1858.

Kutbuddin.-S/o Karim Bahsh of v. Hussanpur, Sheikh by caste; took leading part in the revolt and was executed by hanging on 2 January, 1858.


Lachhman Singh.-Resident of Gurgaon; was arrested and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Lachhman Singh.-S/o Priji Singh, of v. Garhi Patti, district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Lalji.-S/o Moti Ram; v. Aherowan was hanged on 8 December, 1857.
Lehru.-V. Aherowan, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was executed at Delhi on 7 December, 1857.

Lekha.- V. Chhajjunagar, district Gurgaon; was caught and executed at Delhi on

12 January, 1858.

Lekha.- Resident of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in January, 1858.

Madan Ali.- S/o Hinayat Ali, Sayed of v. Sohna (Gurgaon) was hanged on

1 February, 1858.

Maha Singh.-S/o Kewal Ram Dhobi; Aherowan ; was hanged on 8 December, 1857.

Mahbub Ali.-S/o Roshan; Sheikh; was hanged on 13 January, 1858.
Mahfuz Ali.-S/o Amanat Ali; v. Sultanpur (Gurgaon); was hanged on

5 January, 1858.

Mahfuz Ali.-V. Hasanpur; soldier in the Gwalior contingent, British Indian army; took part in the revolt; was captured and executed by hanging in January, 1858.
Mahmud Ali.- An official in the court of the Nawab of Jhajjar; was arrested with the Nawab in October, 1857, by Showers; was executed in December, 1857 by hanging at Delhi.

Mahtab.-S/o Dalmer Ranghav of Shahjahanpur (Gurgaon); hanged on

1 February, 1858.

Makhan.-A resident of Gurgaon; was hanged on 13 November, 1857.
Maluka.-A Lambardar of Tusaim, Firozepur; took active part in the revolt; captured at Punhana; was hanged on 24 March, 1858.

Man Singh.-S/o Kimu; Dhobi of Aherowan (Gurgaon); took part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 8 December, 1857.

Mani.-Resident of Palwal; took part in the revolt; was captured by the British column and hanged in January, 1858.

Manwar Khan.-Kotwal in the service of the Nawab of Jhajjar; was killed by the British forces on 18 October, 1857 after the fall of Jhajjar.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Mansur Ali.-Naib-Nazir, from Salt Deptt. Mathura; resident of Gurgaon, was captured and executed at Delhi on 16 March, 1858.

Mata Din.-Resident of Gurgaon; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Matru.-A Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.

Mehbub Bakhsh.-S/o Roshan Pathan of v. Hussainpur; was arrested and executed by hanging in January, 1858.

Mehdi.- A Meo of district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Mehra.-A Gujjar peasant of v. Patli (Gurgaon); was hanged on 7 December, 1857.

Mehtab.-S/o Dalmer Ranghav, v. Shahjahanpur(Gurgaon); hanged on

1 February, 1858.

Mir Khan .-A Meo of v. Raisina, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Mira.-Lambardar of Qadurpur (Gurgaon); took active part in the uprising; was hanged on 7 December, 1857.

MohammadAli Mirza.- Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Mohammad Bakhsh Mirza.-Resident of Palwal; was arrested after the revolt and hanged in December, 1857.

Mohammad Hairu.- Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.
Mohammad Ibrahim.-Resident of Gurgaon; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Mohammad Ibrahim Mirza.-Resident of Palwal; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in December, 1857.

Mohammad Khan.-Resident of Palwal; was hanged on 16 January, 1858.

Mohammad Khan.-S/o Kadir Bakhsh; v. Hasanpur, soldier in the Third Regiment of the Gwalior contingent in the British Indian army; took part in the revolt; was captured and hanged on 31 December, 1857.

Mohammad Khan.-S/o Sabut Khan of v. Hussainpur; Sheikh by caste; took active part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; was executed by hanging on 2 January, 1858.

MohammadKhan.-S/o Naib Khan; was hanged on 13 January, 1858.


Mohammad Khan.-S/o Qadir Bakhsh of v. Hussainpur; took active part in the revolt; was arrested and executed by hanging on 21 December, 1857.

Mohammad Yar.-A Biluch of Bahadurgarh, district Jhajjar district took leading part in the revolt at Bahadurgarh; as also participated in the defence of Delhi against the advancing British army; was captured and executed at Delhi on 29 December, 1857.

Mohammad Yusuf.-Resident of Gurgaon; took part in the revolt against the British was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Mohan Singh.-S/o Ram Kishan; v. Birehra Sangata; hanged on 13 January, 1858.

Mohara.- Resident of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 7 December, 1857.

Mohrob.-A Gujjar of v. Kadurpur, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in December, 1857.

Mudgur.-A Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured by the British soldiers after the revolt and hanged in February, 1858.

Mozdar Khan.-S/o Rehman Khan; Sheikh in caste; v. Hassanpur (Palwal); hanged on 13 January, 1858.

Mughal Beg.- S/o Mirza Jan Beg of Jhajjar, the then district Rohtak; took some part in the revolt at Delhi in the first week of May; killed Fraser; went underground but captured in 1861; was tried; found guilty and executed in February, 1862.

Mukbra.-A Meo of Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Munir Beg Mirza.-Resident of Hansi; friend of Lala Hukam Chand Jain; wrote a letter jointly with Hukam Chand to the Mughal Emperor asking for arms, ammunition and other supplies for carrying on struggle against the British. After the fall of Delhi; he was executed by hanging at Hansi on 19 January, 1858.

Munir Khan.-S/o Nasir Khan Meo; v. Raisina (Gurgaon); hanged on 18 February, 1858.

Muzaffar Ali.-A Sayad of Sultanpur; hanged on 5 January, 1858.

Muzaffar-ud-Daulah.-Resident of Gurgaon; took part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities after the revolt and tried for sedition; sentenced to death and executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Nabi Baksh.-S/o Bakeeullah; Sheikh of Palwal; hanged on 31 December, 1857.

Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I

Nabi Khan.- S/o Kadir Baksh; a Rajput of Hassanpur; was hanged on 31 December, 1857.

Nahar Khan.- S/o Gauhar Ranghar of Shahjahanpur(Gurgaon); hanged on 1 February, 1858.

Nanda.- V. Rithauj, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in December, 1857.

Nannu Ram.-A farmer of district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in January, 1858.

Narain Singh.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities after the revolt and tried for sedition; executed by hanging on 15 December, 1857.

Naseer.-A Meo of v. Nangli, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and hanged in February, 1858.

Nazimuddin.-Resident of Rewari S/o Imamuddin Sheikh; was captured by British soldiers after the revolt and hanged on 11 February, 1858.

Niamat Ali.-Resident of Palwal, captured and hanged in December, 1857.

Nizabat Ali.-A Sayad of Palwal; was hanged on 8 December, 1857.

Nur Baksh.- V. Nangli, district Gurgaon; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.

Pir Ali Mirza.-Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 15 December, 1857.

Pir Bakhsh.- Resident of Bahadurgarh; took active part in the revolt; was captured and executed at Delhi on 1 April, 1858.

Piru.-Resident of Palwal; was captured by British soldiers and hanged on 16 January, 1858.

Pir Das.- B. 1800 at v. Rohnat, distt. Hissar; as Lambardar took active part in the revolt; was captured by the British and blown to death with a cannon.

Pir Khan.- V. Nangli, distt. Gurgaon; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.

Qadir Bakhsh.- District Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was apprehended and executed at Delhi on 22 May, 1858.

Qutbuddin.-S/o Karim Baksh; was hanged on 13 Janaury, 1858.


Radha Kishan.-S/o Bhakta Ram; a peasant; v. Hodal; was captured by British soldiers and hanged on 1 February, 1858.

Reham Khan.- District Gurgaon; a soldier in the British Indian army; took active part in the revolt; was captured by British soldiers and executed by hanging in January, 1858.

Rehamtullah.-S/o Niamatullah; Sheikh of Palwal; was hanged on 13 December, 1857.

Rahim Baksh.- An official in the court of the Nawab of Jhajjar; was arrested by Showers along with the Nawab in October, 1857; executed at Delhi in December, 1857.

Rahim Khan.-S/o Hafizullah of v. Hussainpur, took leading part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; was hanged on 13 January, 1858.

Rajbhan.- V. Ranger(Gurgaon); hanged on 22 January, 1858.

Raj Nandan.-A farmer of v. Garhi Patti, district Gurgaon; was captured by British soldiers and hanged in February, 1858.

Ram Bakhsh.- Jamadar in Police at Jhajjar; was shot dead by the British forces on 18 October, 1857 after the fall of Jhajjar.

Ramdin Singh.- S/o Kewal Singh of v. Badshahpur, district Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was arrested by the British and hanged at Gurgaon in January, 1858.

Ram Richhpal.- An official in the court of the Nawab of Jhajjar, arrested by Showers at Chhuchhakwas along with the Nawab in October, 1857; was executed at Delhi in December, 1857.

Ram Sukh.- V. Badhsahpur(Gurgaon); was hanged on 11 November, 1857.

Ramzani Mirza.- Resident of Gurgaon; took active part in the revolt; was captured by British troops and executed at Delhi on 15th December, 1857.

Ranbaz.-S/o Malkhan of v. Barka, district Gurgaon; a Meo by caste; took active part in the revolt; was arrested by the British authorities and tried for sedition; was executed by hanging on 6 January, 1858.


Haryana State Gazetteer, Volume - I