صور الصفحة
PDF

entourage, and the plotters hoped that by separating the brothers the task of overthrowing them would be rendered easier. There were also the chances and dangers of a campaign to be counted on in their favour. On this occasion we hear for the first time of a plan which was, adopted very frequently in this reign and afterwards. Official orders were given in one sense, and the opposing side received secret letters of a different purport, assuring them of future favour if, they made a vigorous defence and defeated the imperial general sent against them. Letters were despatched to Rājah Ajit Singh urging him to make away with Husain 'Ali Khān in any way he could, whereupon the whole of the Bakhshi's property and treasure would become his ; and he would, in addition, receive other rewards." Husain 'Ali Khān's audience of leave-taking was granted on the 29th Zü, l Qa‘dah (16th December 1713), and his advance tents left Dihli on the 20th Zü, 1 Hijjah 1125 H. (6th January 1714). The generals under him were Sarbuland Khān, Afrasyāh Khān, I'tiqād Khān (grandson of Shāistah Khān, deceased), Dildaler Khān, Saif-ud-din ‘Ali Khān, Najm-ud-din ‘Ali Khān, Asadullah Khān, Sayyad Shujā‘atullah Khān, Sayyad Husain Khān, Sayyad Khān, Aziz Khān, Rohelah, Caghtā, Bahādur, Shākir Khān, Ghulām 'Ali Khān, Rājah Udwant Singh, Bundelah, Rājah Gopāl Singh, Bhādauriyah, Rājah Rāj Bahādur of Rüpnagar and others. From the imperial magazines there were delivered to him 500 mans of powder and lead, 200 rockets, 100 mahtab, and five cannon. Although a letter had been received from the Rājah on the 15th Zä, 1 Hijjah 1125 H. (lst January 1714), the contents not being of a satisfactory nature, the preparations were not suspended and the advance began. Then Raghunath, a munshi in the service of Ajit Singh, came to Sarāe Sahal, escorted by one thousand horsemen, with a view to negotiation.” Husain’Ali Khān was then at Sarāe Allahwirdi Khān. He rejected the terms offered and sent on his tents from Sarāe Sahal.8 On the march thieves gave much trouble. The general caused a ditch to be dug round the camp each time a halt was made, and Mewati watchman were placed outside it on guard. Once two Mina thieves were caught, and next morning were blown from guns. This severity scared the marauders away. In parganah Riwāri and the villages on the road there were splendid standing crops. At first these were des

[ocr errors]

troyed by the camp followers. But to prevent this plundering, petty. officers were placed on duty; next day several men were caught redhanded and brought in bound. They were paraded through the camp, seated on donkeys with their faces to the tail and arrows in their ears and noses. By this means the injury to the crops was put an end to." The Rāhtor army was reported to be twelve kos south of Sãmbhar’;? rumqir said they were hiding in ambush and intended to molest the imperialists while on the march. Not a trace of them, however, was seen between the capital and Ajmer; and as the imperial army passed through parganah Sāmbhar it destroyed Sanamgarh, a place of worship which had been erected at great cost. The march was conducted under great difficulties, the army suffering much in those sandy deserts from the want of water, in spite of the fact that they carried a provision of it along with them. On reaching Ajmer the camp was pitched for some days on the banks of the lake Anasägar,” whence messengers were sent to the Rājah, on the principle that “Peace is better than War.” + After a time the Sayyad moved on to Puhkar,” five miles north-west of Ajmer and thence to Mairtha, about forty miles further on, in Jodhpur territory; but Ajit Singh still fled before him further into the sandy desert. An armed post (thànah) of two thousand men was placed in the town of Mairtha." In the country round Ajmer and between that place and Mairtha, the villages of Rājah Ajit Singh and those of Jai Singh of Amber are intermingled. The inhabitants of the Jodhpur villages were afraid and took to flight. Thereupon orders were issued to plunder and burn down all villages found uninhabited, but to leave all others unmolested. When this became known, the Jodhpur villages interceded through their Jaipur neighbours; their plundered goods were then restored, the only loss being of the houses that had been burned. The country was thus settled and brought under imperial rule, step by step, as the army moved forward. “Abu-s-Samad Khān, who had been recalled from the Panjāb, joined at Puhkar, bnt at the very first interview he and the Sayyad disagreed.” On the way to Mairtha, Husain 'Ali Khān called a council of war,

[ocr errors]

* Thornton, 852, on the south bank of the Sămbhar Lake, about 175 m. S.-W. of Dihli; Rājputänah Gazetteer, II, 159, 39 m. S.-W. of Jaipur.

8 Rājputinah Gazetteer, II, 4 and 61.

* Kåre kih bah swlah bar-nayāyad,

Diwanagi dar is m?-bāyad.

* Thornton, 771 (Pokur), and Rājputānah Gazetteer, II, 67: Thornton, 618 (Mirta), 76 m. N.-E. of Jodhpur; (Mirta), Räjputänah Gazetteer, II, 261.

* Kām Rāj., 55a, Mhd. Qāsim, 197, Ahwäl-i-Khawāqān, 71.

7 Ma,ágirw-l-U I, 321. Ahwāl-i-Khawāqān, 71b, 72a.

and proposed that in spite of the approach of the hot weather, stores of water should be collected and the advance continued. Ajit Singh, he asserted, must either be taken and his head sent to Court, or his son surrendered as a hostage and his daughter offered as a bride to the Emperor. Others advised delay, and much apprehension prevailed. The difficulties were many, the great heat of the sun, the deficiency of water, the high prices, the want of grain and grass for the cattle. In spite of all these, Husain 'Ali Khān resolved to leave most of his baggage behind and make a forced march on Jodhpur.' The conclusion of the campaign was soon announced at Court by a report received ou the 14th Rabi ‘I, 1126 H. (29th March 1714). It appeared that Ajit Singh had retreated in one night from his position south of Sãmbhar and had fallen back on Mairtha, and without making any stand there had gone on to Jodhpur, where he had hoped to be safe, surrounded by the desert. Finding that the Sayyad was still pressing onwards and seemed determined to strike a blow at him in spite of the inaccessibility of his capital, he sent his women and children into: places of safety in the hill country, and himself sought refuge in the deserts of Bikāner.” Evidently he felt himself too weak to meet the imperialists in the open field, and during the time that Sayyad Miyān, the Bakhshi's father, was governor of Ajmer, the Rājputs had learned respect for Husain ‘Ali Khān's qualities as a general. When Husain ‘Alī Khān was within 30 miles of Mairtha, an embassy arrived from the Rājah, escorted by fifteen hundred horsemen.” It was believed that their arrival was a mere subterfuge, devised in order to gain time for the Rājah to escape. In order to make sure of them, Husain ‘Ali IChân told them that if they were in earnest, they must agree to be put in fetters. After objecting to this proposal, as involving infamy and disgrace, they consented. Four of the principal men were put in chains. Directly they made their appearance from the Audience tent in this condition, the loose characters of the imperial camp assumed

1 Kām Râj, 55b, Ahwāl-i-Khawāqān, 72a.

3 Tod, II., 82, says Ajit Singh sent off the men of wealth to Sewanoh and his son and family to the desert of Razdarroh, west of the Loni river. This Razdarroh may be the Raus or Rass of Thornton, 820, a town on the N.-W. declivity of the Aravalli range, 38 m. W. of Nasirābād, Lat. 26° 17', Long. 74° 16'. Sewanoh is possibly the Sewarra of Thornton, 876, 27 m. S.-W. by S. of Jodhpur, 42 m. N. of Disah, Lat. 24° 50', Long. 72°.

8 Khūshbāl Cand, 401b, says that Ajit Singh asked Jai Singh of Åmber for advice, and was recommended to make terms. Is this at all likely P According to Tod, II, 82, the terms were asked for by the advice of Ajit Singh's diwāns, and still more of Kesar, the bard, who adduced a precedent of the time when Daulat Khān, Lodi, had invaded Mārwär.

that the envoys' overtures had been rejected. A body of them rushed at once to the Rājput tents, attacked their guards, and plundered all their property. There was great difficulty in suppressing this disorder. The envoys were sent for, their chains removed, and full apologies made. The envoys themselves were satisfied and continued the negotiation, but news of the outbreak having reached the Rajah, he fled. Husain ‘Alī Khān was thus forced to advance to Mairtha, where he halted until the terms of peace had been arranged."

The terms were that the Rājah should give one of his daughters in marriage to the Emperor, in the mode which they styled Dolah,” that the Rājah's son, Abhai Singh, should accompany Husain ‘Alī Khān to court, and that the Rājah in person should attend when summoned.” Zafar Khān (Roshan-ud-daulah) arrived at Court on the 5th Jamādi I 1126 H. (18th May, 1714), with the news. Husain ‘Ali Khān sent the greater part of his army back to Dihli, and remained for two months in Ajmer, restoring the country to order. On the 26th Jamādi II 1126 H. (8th June, 1714), it had been reported that he was at Puhkar, west of Åjmer, on his way back from Mairtha. On the return march, owing to the great heat, they moved at night and halted in the day. On the 2nd Rajab (13th July, 1714), he arrived at Sarāe Allah wirdi Khān. On the 5th he was presented to the Emperor, being received with great outward cordiality, and the commanders who had served under him were richly rewarded. Zafar Khān was honoured with the special title of Fidwi-i-Farmāmbardār, “the loyal and order-obeying servant.” Kunwar Abhai Singh's audience took place three days afterwards (19th July, 1714), with all fitting ceremony,"

SECTION 16–RENEWAL of open QUARREL witH THE SAYYADs.

During Husain ‘Ali Khān's absence, Mir Jumlah's power had gone on increasing. Farrukhsiyar had made over his seal to this favourite, and was often heard to say openly: “the word and seal of Mir Jumlah are the word and seal of Farrukhsiyar.” On his side, Qutb-ul-Mulk was immersed in pleasure and found little or no leisure to devote to state

! Kāmwar Khān, 195, Khafi Khān, II, 738, Ma,āsir-ul-U. I, 321, Muhammad Qāsim, 190.

* Dolah, a Hindi word for an informal marriage. Tawārīkh-i-Märwär of Murāri Däs, Vol. 2, fol. 80b, states that the girl's Hindú name was Bāe Indar Kunwar.

* Tod II, 82, Abhai Singh was recalled from Razdurroh and marched to Delhi with Husain ‘Alī Khān at the end of Asārh 1770. The last day of that month equals 28th June, 1718, or if the southern reckoning be followed, it then falls in 1714 (17th June, 1714).

* Tod II, 32, says Abhai Singh was made a Panj Hazări (5,000); Kämwar Khān, 146, Wärid, fol. 150b, Kām Rāj., 56a,

J. I. 7

[ocr errors]

affairs. Nor, being a soldier who had come into office without much preparation for civil affairs, was he very competent to deal with the details of administration, for which, moreover, he had no natural taste. Everything was left to his man of business, Ratn Cand, a Hindú of the Baniyā caste, and a native of a village near the Sayyads’ home at Jānsath." He had been recently created a Rājah with the rank of 2,000 zāt. The chief dispute centred upon the question of appointments to office, the fees paid by those receiving appointments being a recognised and most substantial source of emolument. Ratn Cand, in addition to these customary fees, exacted large sums, which were practically bribes or payments for the grant of the appointment. By Mir Jumlah's independent action in bringing forward candidates and affixing the seal to their warrants of appointment, without following the usual routine of passing them through the wazir's office, the emoluments of both the chief minister and of his head officer were considerably curtailed. It is a matter of little wonder, therefore, that Qutb-ul-Mulk felt aggrieved at the unusual powers placed in the hands of a rival such as Mir Jumlah. This noble was much more accessible than the wazir, and was not given to the extortionate practices of Ratn Cand. Naturally, men in search of employment or promotion sought his audience-hall rather than that of Qutb-ul-Mulk. The wazir suffered, in this way, both in influence and in income. Moreover, Mir Jumlah allowed no opportunity to pass without depreciating the Sayyad brothers, and brought forward arguments of every sort to prove that they were unfitted for the offices that they held.” The quarrel which had broken out in the first weeks of the reign was patched up in the manner already recounted. But no thorough reconciliation had been effected ; nor, considering the character of Farrukhsiyar, was any such reconciliation to be expected. The Sayyad brothers could never be certain from day to day that some new plot was

1 My old acquaintance, Räe Bahādur Nihâl Chand, Agarwāl, an Honorary Magistrate of Muzaffarnagar, in a letter of the 1st Dec., 1893, informs me that Ratn Cand was a native of Jānsath town, where he had built a handsome house, now in a ruined state, but still in the hands of his impoverished descendants. He belonged to a sub-caste of the Ågårwäls called Rājah-ki-barādari (i.e., the Bajāh's relations), the reference being to Rājah Agar Sen, the reputed founder of the caste, their ancestor having been that Rājah’s son by a concubine. The epithet of Baqqāl (shop-keeper) attached to Ratn Cand's name, is the Persion version of the vernacular caste name Baniya or Mahajan (trader). None of these words necessarily implies that Ratn Cand had ever kept a shop; they are the name of his caste. Many Baniyās by caste may still be found in the employ of the State, in all grades, *

# Khāfi Khān IIa, 739, Khūshhāl Cand, 399a.

« السابقةمتابعة »