صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

wolves. So overcome with fear were they, that with no man pursuing, they allowed the bazar idlers—butchers, washermen, aud scavengersto relieve them of their horses and spears. Things came to such a pass that the Bhatiyārins, or women attendants belonging to the public sarãe in Mughalpurah, seized each the bridle reins of some five of these Rāwati horsemen, and by hitting them with sticks or throwing bricks at them, un horsed them in spite of their lances, stripped them, and killed them. In their panic the men lifted neither hand nor foot to defend themselves, but crept like mice into any doorway or passage that they could find. They were killed as if they were dogs or cats. It was enough for a shopkeeper to stand up, and with a sign or a frown to demand the surrender of their arms. Calling out, Are būp! Āre bāp! and throwing away their straight Dakhani swords* and their shields, they stood on one leg with a straw between their lips, and besought mercy, saying Nako! Nako ! 3 Two or three leaders of repute lost their lives, among them the chief Santā, who commanded some five or six thousand horsemen. From the gate of the fort to the entrance of the hunting preserve, and the Market (mandavi) and the Takiyah of Majnūn Shāh, à distance of three or four kos, bodies were to be seen in every direc. tion. The slain included many men who, from the darkness of their complexion, had been mistaken for Mahrattas. All the aftābgir, a kind of standard which the Mahrattas carry as a mark of honour, one to every fifteen or twenty horsemen, had disappeared. The lining of their saddles was ripped open, the plundered gold and jewels hidden there were taken, and the bags of coin collected from villages in Rājah Jai Singh's country, were extracted from their waist-cloths. It was estimated that 1,500 to 2,000 Mahrattas lost their lives on that dayThis, the first armed Mahratta appearance at Dihli, where in forty years' time they were to be lords and masters, was not of happy augury. They were not accustomed to street fighting and were, no

[ocr errors]

1 Rāwat (hero, chief), is used here by the Mahomedan historian as a synonym for inferior Hindūs, mere rustics, or in other words“ beggars on horseback."

« straw between teeth, " expressive of abject sabmission, Elliot, “Sapp. Gloss,” 252 ; Are báp =“O father!" an exclamation of sudden terror ; “ Nako, Nako" = Dakhini for “Do not, do not,” Kām Rāj, 66, and J. Shakespear, 2078.

% Dhop.
8 Muhammad Qāsim, 244. The custom known as Dānt-tinka, or

4 See Blochmann, Ain, I, 50. It was a sort of large fan of oval shape at the end of a long handle.

5 Grant Duff, 199, and Briggs, 178, say 1,500 : Wārid, 158a, 2,000. Khāfi Khão, II, 811, says he himself was present as a spectator, and gives the number as 1,500 ; Mīrzā Maḥammad has 3,000 to 4,000; Kām Rāj, 66, four hundred.

doubt, overtaken by irresistible panic. Khāfi Khān draws the moral that this disgraceful rout was a special interposition of Providence. For, if it had not happened, would they not, for ages to come, have boasted that they had gone to Dihlī, the imperial capital, and there deposed and imprisoned the Emperor of Hindustan ? If Khāfi Khān, poor man, had lived a little longer, he would have seen events that turned such a boast into no more than the sober truth !

During this outbreak reports spread that, on learning the intention to seize Farrukhsiyar, Mahārājah Ajit Singh, unable to restrain himself any longer, bad plunged a dagger into Qutb-ul-mulk several times, and had despatched him. Although everybody knew that, except the Sayyads' partisans, there was no one in the fort, and therefore no one likely to do such an act, people were ready, in the confusion and uproar, to believe that anything was possible. It was confidently asserted that Nizāmul-mulk had come out to rescue bis sovereign, but lie was far too prudent to make any such attempt. He stood with his Mughals in the enclosure of the Fruit Market until he heard that Farrukhsīyar had been seized, and thereupon withdrew to his house. Other nobles who still clung to Farrukhsiyar's cause, appeared in the streets and turned towards the palace, prepared to fight their way to it. These were I'tiqad Khān, Mir Mushrif, Islám Khān, Mukhliş Khān, Mun'im Khān, Sayyad Şalābat Khan and Saifullah Khan, Bakhshi, with some of the Walá Shāhi; Şamşām-ud-daulah did not appear in person, but sent his men, Manohar, captain of artillery, with two or three thousand of the emperor's artillery, also took the field. This group advanced as far as the Dihli gate of the fort and the


of the late 'Sa'dullah Khan, just south of that gate. Aghar Khān with his Mughals also appeared on the west side of the fort, in front of the Lāhori gate, and wished to take part in the resistance to the Sayyads. But the gates were shut in his face and he was obliged to beat a retreat. In another direction, that of the Candni Cauk, appeared Ghãzi-gd-din Khân (Ahmad Beg) and Sadat Khãn, the emperor's father-in-law.

The Sayyads advanced their artillery from its position near the imperial stables, and threw several shot from rahkalahs and dhamkahs


[ocr errors]

1 Warid, 158a, Muhammad Qāsim, 244 ; Khāfi Khān, II, 811, 814 ; Mirzā Muḥam. mad, 453; Kāmwar Khān, 193.

% Mir Mushrif, once Dāroghah of artillery in Husain ‘Ali Khan's service, had been lately taken into the Emperor's employ (Khāfi Khān, II, 812). Having quarrelled with Husain 'Alī Khān, he left the Dakhio, and arrived at Diblí on the 26th Rabi' II, 1130 H. (28th March, 1718).

in the direction of their assailants, and more than once the cannon over the Dihli gats were discharged against the men debouching from the Faiz Bāzār; while Sayyad Dilāwar 'Ali Khān, the Sayyads' Bakhshi held the Dihli gate. The fight went on for forty minutes. Sādāt Khān had pushed on as far as the Cabūtrah or Police Office in the Candni Cauk, where he received gunshot and sword wounds which forced him to retire.His son, a youth, was made a prisoner and taken to Husain ‘Ali Khān. Ghāzi-ud-din Khān (Aḥmad Beg) fought his best, but he had no disciplined troops, and the few followers that he led, after iuterchanging a blow or two with the other side, took to their heels. He, too, not being reinforced by other nobles, was forced in the end to beat a retreat to his house, fighting as he went.

About midday the news spread that Farrukhsiyar was a prisoner, and that another prince had been raised to the throne. Then the drums beat within the palace to announce the new reign. In spite of this, the opposing nobles stood their ground and resisted until the afternoon. When at last they saw that there was no further hope of success, and as the saying is, “to beat cold iron is profitless," they dispersed full of apprehension to their homes. The disturbance now ceased. From the square (cauk) of Sa'dullah Khan to the Dihli gate the houses were plundered ; while the imperial stables which surrounded the palace were set on fire, and some of the horses were burned. With these exceptions the city did not suffer.8


From early dawn on the 9th Rabi' II, (28th February, 1719) Qutb-ul-mulk continued to send messengers to persuade Farrokhsiyar to come out and take his seat on the throne as usual. Farrukhsiyar refused absolutely to set foot outside the female apartments. Indeed, he made use of some very florid language. He swore that, by the blood of 'Taimur, the world-conqueror, which flowed in his veins, he would so scourge these rebels, that for years to come their fate should be a tale on the people's tongue, and a warning to traitors intending to follow their example. Qutb-ul-malk knew not what further pretext to devise to win his consent to reappear, in order that directions might issue for

1 For Faiz Bāzār, Dihlī gate of fort, Cauk Sa'dullah Khan, see Carr Stephens, 244, 245 246, 247. Sa'dullah Khan, Wazir of Shāhjahān, died 2nd Jamādi II, 1066, A. (17th April, 1656), M-ul-U, II, 448.

% Sádát Khān died the same night of these wounds.

8 Mirza Muhammad 455; Khafi Khan, II, 80, 812, 813; Ahoặl-i-khau@qõm, 144b, 145a ; Muhammad Qāsim, 245; Kāmwar Khan, 194; Kām Rāj, 66, 67a ; Shiū Das, 26a.

the degradation and seizure of the Sayyads' enemies. Then arose the outbreak in the streets and urgent messages arrived from Husain 'Ali Khān. It was plain that force must be resorted to.1

During the night Farrukhsiyar had hidden somewhere or another in one of the small rooms or closets of the palace. His guard was formed of the Qalmaq or Turki women servants, armed with sword and shield. It is said that during the night Qutb-ul-mulk, with the approval of Sayyad Khān Jabān and Nawāb Auliyā, sent several messages to his younger brother to the effect that, all the offices connected with the person of the sovereign being in their hands, it did not much matter if they maintained the throne, the crown, and the coinage untouched in Farrukhsiyar's name. Seated in consultation with Husain 'Ali Khān, were Ikhlāş Khān, Sayyad Hāshim 'Ali Khān, and most important of all, Muhammad Amin Khān. For the time being the lastnamed had declared himself openly on the side of the Sayyads, because of his anger with Farrukhsiyar for sending hiin against his will to Mālwah, and then refusing him an audience upon his unauthorized return to Dihli. It is said that when Husain ‘Ali Khan and Muhammed Amin Khān first met, the former changed colour, thinking that the man was his enemy. But be recovered his equanimity as soon as his visitor addressed himn thus : “ O Nawăb, why have you not ere this “finished with this son of a Kashmirī. You must write a note asking “the elder Nawāb to depose him.” The three men now united in calling for Farrukhsīyar's removal. The favourable moment, they said, would never recar; if not taken advantage of, their lives were lost. Besides, had not Farrukhsiyar forfeited all right to the throne by his want of discretion and his promotion of low fellows ?! While this discussion was in progress a note arrived from Şamşām-ud-daulah urging them to delay no longer, but seat another emperor on the throne. Husain 'Ali Khān sent an answer to his brother's letter in these terms : “ If you cannot do the business, come out of the palace and let me enter, and I will settle it." Within the palace Mahārajah Ajit Singh also urgently importuned for the deposition of Farrukhsiyar; and it was decided that one of the imprisoned scions of the house of Taimur should be brought forth and placed upon the throne. There is a local tradition among the Sayyads of Bārbah that someone proposed to set aside the imperial house altogether, the throne being transferred to one of the two brothers. This would have been in accordance with Eastern precedent, where the successful rebel usually claims the crown as the prize of victory. And the virtues of the Mughal line as an instrument of rule being obviously expended, it would probably have been better, in most ways, if the sovereignty had been usurped by a newer and more vigorous family. Probably the difficulty, an insurmountable one as it proved, was to decide which brother should reign, neither being ready to give way to the other.

1 Wārid, 157b, Khāfi Khān, 813, 814, Khūshḥāl Cand, 413b, 414a.

* Khushḥāl Cand states that a Maḥzarnāmah or Declaration, for the deposition of Farrukhsiyar was drawn up, and then signed and sealed by all except a few of the nobles. It was brought to Ajit Singh on the last day, and things having gone so far, he had no help for it and signed also.

A consultation was held in order to select a prince, and the lot fell apon Prince Bedār Dil, son of Bedār Bakht, grandson of 'Alamgir, who was known as having the best understanding among all the princes. By the time that this had been decided, the outbreak in the city, as we have already related, had occurred. The case seemed urgent and the greatest haste was made. Qutb-ul-mulk sent his own master of the ceremonies, Qadir Dād Khān, and a number of the Jodhpur Rājah's personal attendants, or Bhundäris,s to bring out the prince selected. When these messengers arrived at the door of the prince's dwelling, where also were assembled the sons of Prince Rafi'-ush-shān, the women jumped to the conclusion that, having made Farrakhsīyar a prisoner, the Sayyads had now sent men to slay all the princes of the royal house, and thus make clear their own way to the throne. Under this impression, they barred the door, locked it on the inside, and hid the prince in a store-cupboard. In vain the messengers called out: “We have come to escort Prince Bedār Dil, and place him on the throne.” Not a word was listened to, and the men were repelled with sticks and stones. As there was no possibility of searching or delaying longer, for the danger that the rioters in the street might get the upper hand increased every moment, the Nawāb ordered a band of men with hatchets to break in the door. On forcing an entrance, their first effort was to find the particular prince who had been named to sit upou

the throne. But his mother wept and wailed beyond measure, nor could they find the key of the store-room. In despair, they turned towards the sons of Rafi'ush-shān, and out of them picked Rafi'-uddarajāt. Although he was the youngest of the three, in intelligence

1 The traditional acoount is that the idea was broached by Jalál Khān of · Jalālābād (Muzaffarnagar district). But he was dead; it might have been suggested, however, by his second son, Dindār Khān, who was present at Dihlī.

% Kām Rāj, 67a ; Gabyā Khān, 125a ; Muḥammad Qāsim, Lāhorī, 239: Khūshļār Cand, 413b; Anwäl-e-Khawqin, 145b, 146a.

8 Bhandāri, A house-steward, treasurer, purveyor (Shakespear, 411).

« السابقةمتابعة »