The rise of Jat power

The rise of Jat power

’ (king) was conferred upon him in 1724. [Dr P.L. Vishwakarma, The Jats, I, Ed Dr Vir Singh, (Delhi:2004), 116]

In past Jats always rose against tyranny, injustice, economic and social exploitations and were never overawed by claims of racial or tribal superiority. They have always stood in ancient as well as medieval times like rock in the face of invaders seeking to ravage the motherland. Whenever the occasion arose they beat their ploughshares into swords and taking advantage of decrepit political structure, they laid the foundations of political power under several tribal chiefs. Maharaja Suraj Mal, the builder of Bharatpur, was by far the most resplendent star in the eighteenth century. [Preface by Ram Niwas Mirdha in G.C. Dwivedi’s, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003]

They have shown in all times – whether against Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, or against Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali – the same propensity to fall upon the rear of a retreating army undeterred by the heaviest odds, or the terror-inspiring fame of great conquerors. When encountered they showed the same obstinate and steady courage unmindful of the carnage on the field or of the miseries that were in store for them after defeat. [Qanungo, Jats,30] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.11-12]

In 1669 this race of warrior-agriculturists, the Jats, rose against the narrow and over-centralised despotic regime of Aurangzeb. (See - The Jat Uprising of 1669) The Jat power under the leadership of Churaman took a big leap forward during the rule of the imbecile successors of Aurangzeb. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.55-56]

Aurangzeb’s departure from the north

The decade following Gokula’s rebellion in 1669 corresponded with the period of a strong Mughal government. Aurangzeb with the bulk of his forces was present in the north. However, this period of effective control over the political affairs in the north also witnessed his growing religious persecution. Temple destruction went on briskly in the Empire, the Hindus were excluded from the public offices and the much hated Jizya was reimposed. Such step caused increasing bitterness among the non-Muslims and tended them to rebellion. Apparently the policy of Aurangzeb was preparing a background for the impending storm in the north. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.31]

The Jats, though simmering with discontent, were constrained to remain quiet during these ten years. It is not difficult to trace the reasons for their general passivity. The bitter memory of their ruthless suppression by the imperialists had yet not faded completely form their minds. They must have been deterred also by Emperor’s general success against his enemies. Then again it is also likely that the Jats as yet were not able to make good their heavy loss suffered during the preceding encounter with the Mughals. Finally, they were perhaps disinclined to repeat the folly of a rash collusion with the Emperor, more so at a time when he had northern India tightly under his grip.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.32]

The Jats were obviously looking for a suitable opportunity. This was provided by Aurangzeb’s departure from the north and his subsequent involvement in the unending Deccan WarsStoria, II, 300] [Massir-ul-Umra,I,435] Roznamcha, 133]

The brief spell of an uneasy clam prevailing among the Jats was broken in the early eighties, when they rose in arms again. Its leaders changed, tactics varied and its fortunes fluctuated but the revolt once restarted was henceforth a continuous process, ultimately resulting in the overthrow of the Mughal authority in the suba of Agra and the establishment of Bharatpur State.

Rise of Brij Raj

The first leader who rose against Aurangzeb of whom we are informed was Brij Raj, the chieftain of Sinsini (16 miles north west of Bharatpur) [Imperial Gazetteer, VIII, 75] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 47] U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 100f] In all likelihood it was this Brij Raj whom Manucci refers to as he leader. “Oldest in age and the greatest in authority” of the farmers of Agra, Who raising their heads had withheld revenue due to the imperial treasury. [Storia, II, 209] In order to force these villagers to pay, Aurangzeb sent Multafat Khan the faujdar of the environs of Agra with a strong force. Multafat Khan attacked a village, where the rebels had rallied together. Their leader first assured the Khan but later incited his people against him. “Resolved to die rather than pay revenue” they came out and fought with such desperation that the force of the faujdar was routed. After humiliating him they set free Multafat Khan who succumbed to his wounds on 26 June 1681 (19th Jamadi II, 1092 A.H.) [Storia, II, 209-210] [Maasir, 209] [Massir-ul-Umra,II,282] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.33]

Brij Raj also plundered passers by and convoys on the roads. In 1682, a Mughal contingent pursued him up to his stronghold Sinsini, which was put to siege. The Jat Chief somehow succeeded in sending away his women from the fortress but was himself killed along with his son, Bhao Singh, while defending it. [Odier,3/25] [Waqa Rajasthan, 2/45] [Gokal Chandra Dixit, Brajendra Vansh Bhaskar, 18] [Sahyog March 15,1945] [Jat Jagat cited by U.N.Sharma, Ithas,I,186] Sinsini fell into the hands of the enemy. Having fled form Sinsini the family of Brij Raj sought safety in a small and obscure mud fort (5 miles from Bayana). Hero one of the wives of Bhao Singh gave birth to a posthumous son, named Badan Singh. It is after the name of this personage that the garhi is still known as “Badangarhi” [Odier Settlement Report, Bharatpur, ref by Ganga Singh, op. cit.,47-48]

Rise of Raja Ram Jat (c. 1682-1688)

The next chief of whom we hear is the famous Raja Ram of Sinsini.Maasir, 311] [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 131b] Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 9] He was the son of Bhagwat alias Bhajja Singh, the brother of Brij Raj. [Sujan,5] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 32 and 48] The absence of Aurangzeb and his best troops from the north and the sloth and weakness of the local officers provided Raja Ram the opportune moment, [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 133-134] M.U., I, 437] [Memoires des Jats, 9]

Raja Ram displayed a capacity to learn from the past and an insight into the exigencies of the present. He could infer from Gokula’s example that lack of training and proper equipment, pitched contest against the powerful Mughal army and weak Jat debacle in 1669–1670. His reorganization bears testimony to it that he tried to remove these glaring defects. He knew that the gallant Jats could give an impressive account of themselves under one leader. With this end in view he allied his Sinsinwar clansmen with the Sogaria.

Jats under Ramachehara, who possessed the castle of Sogar (4 miles south east of Bharatpur). [Memoires des Jats, 9,10] He fraternized with the Jats of Sidgiri region (Bayana, Rupbasaia). [Vanshbhaskar, 2886] He also befriended the Jats of Ranthambhor against the Amber ruler, Ram Singh. [Ram Pande, Bharatpur, 8,10] On the basis of the contemporary despatches it can unmistakably be deduced that Raja Ram proved a great rallying point and great number of the Jats were united under his leadership. [Infra, Ch. II, Estimate of Raja Ram] Next he began to organize his followers from the military point of view. He gave them military training and equipped them with fire-arms. He organized them into regiments placed under different captains. Simultaneously, he impressed upon the self willed and freedom loving Jats, the necessity of remaining disciplined and obeying their captains. Thus he imparted to them the semblance of a regular army14. [Qanungo, Jats, 40] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 104-105] He gave similar attention to the strengthening of his defence for he must have seen how Tilpat was easily stormed for lack of proper defence and thus sealing the fate of the Jat rising under Gokula. Raja Ram, therefore, built his forts in dense deep Jungles and surrounded them with mid ramparts. The forest infested environs and the mud walls rendered them stronger.Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 10] than was the chief stronghold of Gokula. These forts served as bases for operation and refuge as also places for dumping the booty. As is apparent from his tactics Raja Ram stuck to the traditional mode of the Jat warfare, popularly known as “Dhar” (Guerilla) System. All through he avoided positional warfare with the Mughals and confined himself to sudden and intrepid attacks. This ensured him maximum benefit with minimum loss. [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 9-10] These changes proved beneficial and gradually contributed to the success of the Jat rebellion.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.34]

Having thus prepared himself, Raja Ram began to organize raids in the countryside of the Suba of Agra. The Jats hovered on the roads and plundered the caravans and the travelers. The Subadar of Agra, Safi Khan was virtually besieged in the Agra fort. Along with the other rebels, the Narukas, the Panwars, the Gujar and the Mevs they practically closed the roads for normal traffic between Dholpur and Delhi, and Agra and Ajmer via Hindaun and Bayana. How deep was the consternation created by the insurgents would be clear by one instance that in an important place like Mathura no place except Jama Mosque was deemed safe. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 131b, 132b] Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 134] [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 10-11] [M.U., I, 435] Raja Ram also tried to ransack Akbar’s mausoleum at Sikandara. But his attempt was foiled by the local faujdar, Mir ABul Fazl. He confronted the rebels at a place. 10 miles from Sikandara, The Faujdar, succeeded in repulsing them, though in the process, he was seriously wounded and a number of his troops also perished. Raja Ram also suffered heavy casualties. Aurangzeb rewarded the faujdar with the title of Iltifat Khan, increasing his Manasab by 200 sawars. Unsuccessful at Sikandara, Raja Ram then fell upon Shikarpur and grabbed rich booty from the place. There from, he retired towards Ratanpur. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 131b-132b] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.35]

Raja Ram’s mischief and disturbances went increasing.Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 132b] This worried the Emperor. On 3rd May, 1686 (19th Jamdai II 1097 A.H.) he appointed Khan-i-Jahan Bahadur Zafarjang, Kokaltash in order to punish the rebels. Despite his strenuous efforts, however, Khan-i-Jahan failed to capture any of the Jat strongholds or to punish the people. [Maasir, 274] [Roznamcha (Pers.), 133] [Muntakhab-ul-Lubab, II, by Khafi Khan (Bib.Ind. Series), 395] [Kamwar (Pers. Ms.), II,223] Therefore, he ordered his son, Muhammad Azam, to proceed against the Jats. But he had only reached Burhanpur (July 1687) when more pressing needs of Golconda compelled Aurangzeb to recall the Prince. Thereafter, Bidar Bakht was sent (December 1687) to assume supreme Command in the Jat war, while Khan-i-Jahan was to act as his deputy. [Maasir,298-299, 311] [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 133] [Muntakhab-ul-Lubab, II, by Khafi Khan (Bib.Ind. Series), 437-438] Kamwar (Pers. Ms.), II, 231]

Meanwhile, Raja Ram showed greater audacity. He fell upon the Mughal commander, Aghar Khan. The Khan with his retinue was enroute from Kabul to Bijapur when the Jats attacked him near Dholpur and fled away capturing many bullocks, carts horses and women. The general gave them a hot chase but was killed in the ensuing skirmish along with his son-in-law and 80 other men. Two hundred Jats were killed in the action. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 164b] [M.U., I, 155] [Sarkar, Aurangzeb,V, 297-298] The psychological gain from this audacious act was much more than the material one. Their success in killing and routing the reputed suppressor of the frontier afghans must have whetted the audacity of the Jats. They carried their depredations further. Early in 1668 Raja Ram attacked Mahabat Khan who on his way to Lahore was encamped near Sikanadara. A fierce fight ensued in which Raja Ram was finally overpowered and driven back after losing 400 men. The casualties on the other side included 150 dead and 40 wounded. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 132a, 132b] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.36]

After a short while, Raja Ram reappeared at Sikandara and taking advantage of the delay in coming of Shaista Khan, the governor designate of Agra, he attacked and plundered Akbar’s mausoleum. The Jat leader carried away the precious articles of gold and silver, carpets, lamps etc. and destroyed what he could not carry. According to Manucci the Jats dragged out the bones of Akbar threw them angrily into fire and burnt them. Muhammad Baqa (the Naib of Khan-i-Jahan) who was then at Agra, did nothing to frustrate the rebels. As a punishment therefore his "mansab" was reduced by 500 and that of Khan-i-Jahan) by 1000 sawars.Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 132b-133a] The Jats also ransacked the villages set aside for the support of Taj Mahal, Some Jats ravaged the environs of Khurja, while others captured the local Mughal officers at Palwal. [Pande, Bharatpur, 7]

One noteworthy fact is that the local Mughal officials and soldiers in general, winked at the disobedience of the Jats and even secretly entered into collusion with them to share the booty grabbed by them. [Qanungo, Jats, 342] [Jaipur Records (Sarkar’s collection, R.S.L. Sitamau transcriptions] It is also to be noted that Muhammad Baqa, the deputy of Khan-i-Jahan at Agra, had remained inactive while Raja Ram robbed Akbar’s tomb. This exasperated Aurangzeb and the reduced the deputy’s Mansab by 1000 sawars. Meanwhile, the daring and audacity of the Jats alarmed Aurangzeb and he ordered Raja Ram Singh (who was at Kabul) to chastise Raja Ram. But due to his sudden death the Raja could not resume his charge. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 133a]

Raja Ram on the other hand persisted with his refractory activities. His strength and resources now began to attract the attention of others.

During these days the existing feud between the Chauhans and the Shekwawat Rajputs over disputed land in Bagtharia (22 miles north east of Alwar) and some other pargansas had erupted into an open war. The Chauhans appealed to Raja Ram for help, while the Shekhawats implored the help of Murtaza Khan, the Mughal faujdar of Mewat. Bidar Bakht, Rao Raja Anirudh Singh of Bundi and Maharao Kishor Singh Hada joined the faujdar and the Shekhawats. A severe battle was fought near Bijal. Opposite Raja Ram was the Hada Chief upon whom he inflicted a crushing defeat. Anirudh Singh himself could not stand before the Jat onset. He became nervous and fled along with his troops. When the battle was in its full fury the gallant Raja Ram led a fierce charge against the centre, consisting of the Mughal. Meanwhile a Mughal musketeer who had hidden himself in a tree, fired Raja Ram at his chest. He fell down form his horse and died immediately (Wednesday 4 July 1688 - 15th Ramzan 1099 A.H.). His fall signaled the defeat of the Chauhans. Raja Ram’s head was severed from the body and later on presented to Aurangzeb in the Deccan (5th September 19th Zi-Qada, 1099 A.H.) Ramchehara was captured alive in the battle. He was subsequently beheaded and his head was publicly exposed at Agra. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 134a-135a] [J.Records, XII, I, 1,7] [Maasir, 311-312] M.U., I, 438] [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 11-12] [M.L. Sharma, Kota Rajya Ka Itihas, 207-209] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.37]

Assesment of Raja Ram Jat

Thus perished Raja Ram Jat. As a leader of men and as a soldier, organizer and tactician, he was certainly more capable than any other preceding Jat chief, His influence upon the contemporary history has not been properly assessed so far. It was he and not Churaman II who, first of all, endeavored to transform his warrior followers into more or less disciplined troopers. The number of his regulars could not have been big but the credit of laying the foundation of a regular army, equipped with arms must be given to him. Then again, he highlighted the efficacy of the guerrilla tactics and defences by building the mud fortresses in dense jungles. It is apparent that his dashing attacks in the presence of larger Mughal forces not only restored the shaken morale of his people but also infused in them a vigour that enabled to withstand temporary reverses later on.

Raja Ram aimed at, and succeeded also in forging, a joint front of his brethren as Churaman also did later on. But whereas Churaman through his indiscretion failed to preserve that unity, Raja Ram, through his tact and resourcefulness, maintained it. Disunity among the Jats did raise its head after his death, but it was not due to his policy but due to the disappearance of his rallying personality. A contemporary report (8th August. 1688- 20th Shawwal, 1099 A.H.) about this disturbed period testified to it. [J.Records, Darkar's collection (Pers. Ms.), XII,3, 7] [Raghuvir Singh in Brij,166] From this standpoint it would appear that as a leader of his people Raja Ram possessed better talents than Churaman. Raja Ram had deeper penetration into the individualistic and clan-conscious temperament of the Jats. If his dealings with the Sogaria and Ranthambhor Jats are a pointer, Raja gave due deference to them and tried to strengthen his leadership, by winning their gratitude and reposing confidence in them. It is true that Churaman II achieved far more success than Raja Ram, Who owing to his untimely death could not carry his policy and work to its logical conclusion. His mission was still in the offing yet he should not be deprived of due credit for laying down certain policies which facilitated the task of his successors including Churaman. At least the fortune that he amassed proved to be of immediate and definite help to them. There is a little room for suspicion that be his stress upon a common leadership, the unity of various Jat clans, a regular force and a modified strategy for Jat defence a new and useful direction to the Jat affairs. It would not be off the mark to point out that had he lived longer, he might have taken winds out of Churaman's sails. Hence, there is insufficient ground to support the view. [Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, II (calcutta:1934), 426] that Raja Ram work left no trace behind. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.38]

The steps undertaken by Raja Ram leave an impression that he wanted to throw off the Mughal yoke and he entertained the dream of regional independence. His premature end, coupled with the relentless pressure of the imperialists later, shattered such political ambitions for the present. Yet it is apparent that the measure of success that Raja Ram achieved during his life-time and the legacy that he bequeathed to the posterity proved in a corresponding degree detrimental to the interests of the Mughal Empire. So long as he was alive, he openly repudiated and practically eclipsed the Mughal authority in a big part of the suba of Agra. He held lawless sway over an area stretching from Delhi to the Chambal. His bands intermittently indulged in predatory activities. The Mughal officers failed to contain them. So great was the dread exercised by him that the contemporary opinion rated the feat of killing of Raja Ram alone as equivalent to the capture of Sinsini and killing of the Jats. [J.Records, Sarkar's collection (Pers. Ms.), XII,3] The perturbed Aurangzeb deputed one general after the other, to crush him and his Jats but to no avail. Even Bidar Bakht with his big forces was in effective against the recalcitrants. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.38-39]

It is obvious that his persistent defiance often resulting in an utter rout of the reputed generals like Aghar Khan or in the object helplessness of great commanders like Khan-i-Jahan seriously undermined the prestige of the Mughal arms, so well established by Hasan Ali Khan in 1669-70. Though, taking advantage of the dissensions caused by Raja Ram's death, the imperialists temporarily repressed the Jats, the former awe and respect for the Mughal arms could not be restored and they resumed their offensive soon afterwards under Churaman.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.39]

It needs no stress that their successful defiance encouraged other insurgents also. The royal highway passing through Delhi and Agra had been completely blocked by the Jat rebels. At a time when Aurangzeb was engrossed in unending Deccan wars, this blockade was bound to cause him deep anxieties. [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 11] Raja Ram's rebellion, besides making the political and military situation in the suba of Agra, also had its repercussions on the financial condition. There were areas where from no revenue collection had been made for some time. To give one instance, we learn from a letter to Bishan Singh that, owing to the disturbance created by the Jats, the mahals of Kol and Islamabad had been "ruined" and no revenue could reach the exchequer from them. [J.Records, sarkar's coll. (Pers. Ms.), IX, 58-59, 375] [Qanungo, 'Bishan Singh', Proc. I.H.C., Xi, 171] ,There is ground to suppose that more or less the same situation prevailed in other parts affected by the Jat rebellion. We do not have records to check the exact financial loss to the Mughals. Even if it did not materially affect them it must have been a source of concern to them. The loss to individual wayfarers must have been indeed severe as they generally lacked military protection.

It would not be inappropriate here to consider one aspect of the Jat revolt under Raja Ram as also other Jat leaders. In the wake of their military activities, Raja Ram and his bands perpetrated loot and plunder on the royal highways and in the countryside. Plunder assured enrichment in an easier and faster way. No doubt, this fact played its part in tempting people to the lawless course. Notwithstanding, the point of plunder in the Jat movement cannot be magnified. To conclude that it was the sole motivating factor, or booty as such was its ultimate goal, is to oversimplify the facts of the situation. [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics at the Mughal Court, 1707-1740 (Aligarh:1959), Introduction,34] [Habib, op. cit., 341] The harshness and exactions of the local officers and the robbery by their neighbors, Gujars and the like, also goaded the Jats into a predatory life. Likewise, the terrible retaliation by the Mughals in 1670 must have tended them to the same direction. The Jats had seen their houses and religious places being demolished, their property plundered, their women molested and males tortured by the Mughal soldiers. Stubborn and warlike as they were, they could not accept all this meekly. So when they got their opportunity they paid their enemies in the same coin. Further, the inadequate measures for safety of the war material and royal treasure sent to the Deccan through the Brij country offered them a natural temptation for plunder. [Raghuvir Singh in Brij, 164] Finally, with limited means at their disposal the Jat chiefs, political ambitions understandably canalized in sudden and intrepid attacks, which besides enriching their material resources, also served to weaken the imperial authority. Thus it would appear that the predatory activities of the Jats were more circumstantial than instinctive and were employed by their leaders largely to serve as a means to an end rather than to be an end in themselves.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.39-40]

Imperial operations and the fitful activities of the Jats (1688–1695)

The unity among the Jats that Raja Ram was able to build up, seemed to crumble down after his death. [J.Records, Sarkar’s coll.(Pers,Ms,), XII, 3,7] We do not come across any capable supreme leader among them during the interregnum between his death and the ascendancy of Churaman. The contemporary news-reports, which throw a flood of light on this period, refer to several petty Jat leaders springing up and creating disturbances in different quarters.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.40]

Besides the exit of Raja Ram’s towering personality, two other probabilities may be suggested for the Jat activities being fitful in the period. First, as we shall see, the imperialists, especially Bishan Singh’s forces operated vigorously against the insurgents from 1688 to 1695. They were at work throughout besieging the forts and fighting the rebels in different directions in the province of Agra. This increased pressure compelled the rebels to operate in nooks and corners. Secondly, the absence of a competent and inspiring leadership also tended to scatter their movements.

Choosing a successor capable of accomplishing the unfinished work of Raja Ram was not so easy. Brij Raj, Bhao Singh and Raja Ram’s associate Ram Chehra had perished. Fateh Singh [J.Records, Sarkar’s coll.(Pers,Ms,), IX,356] [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), II, 206a] the son of Raja Ram does not appear to have to have been a promising youth. Amidst the circumstances, Raja Ram’s aged father, Bhaija Singh of Sinsini assumed the leadership of the Jats.William Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 322] [Qanungo, Jats, 43] Ganga Singh, op. cit., 55] , while Raja Ram’s other son, Jorawar Singh took up as his deputy . [Akhbarat (J.Records), 19] [Rabi-us-sani] But it can be reasonably inferred on the basis of the Vakil reports [J.Records, Sarkar’s coll. 9Pers. Ms.), Xii, 7] that the successor of Raja Ram lacked his efficiency and resourcefulness. He could not carry on Raja Ram’s policy of uniting the Jats under one leadership. It caused a setback to the newly emerging forces of unity and gradually the deep rooted clan feeling reasserted itself. Several petty leaders heading one clan or the other sprang up. One noteworthy feature of the coming years is that the repression of the Jats and their lawlessness continued side by side. When the imperial arms turned towards one direction they created turbulence in the other. When chastised, they fled to renew the disturbances elsewhere. This state of affairs generally persisted till 1695. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.41]

Raja Bishan Singh’s campaign against Jats

After the death of Raja Ram, his old father Bhajja Singh of Sinsini assumed the leadership of the Jats. Bishan Singh Kachhwah, the new Raja of Amber (Jaipur), was appointed by the Emperor as faujdar of Mathura with a special charge to root out the Jats and take Sinsini as his own Jagir. [Ishwardas, 133 a] He gave the Emperor a written undertaking to demolish the fort of Sinsini [Ishawar, 139 a, 135 b] as he was burning to distinguish himself and win a high "mansab" like his father Ram Singh and grandfather Mirza Raja Jai Singh. Bidar Bakhat laid siege to Sinsini. But the campaign in the jungles of the Jat country severely taxed the invading army.Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed Dr Vir Sinngh, 2003, p. 25]

The Mughals before Sinsini had to undergo great hardship from scarcity of provisions and water, as the enemy by frequent attacks cut off the grain-convoys and watering parties. Incessant night- attacks kept the siege-camp in perpetual alarm. “The men were prostrated by hunger, and the animals perished in large numbers through weakness” But the besiegers held tenaciously on, and in four months carried their trenches to the gate of the fort, mounted guns on raised platforms, and laid mines. The jungle round the fort was cleared. One mine under the gate was fired, but the Jats having previously detected it and blocked its further side with stones, the charge was driven backwards, destroying many of the artillerymen and supervising officers of the Mughal army. A second mine was then laid and carried under the wall in month’s time. It was successfully fired (end of January, 1690), the wall was breached, the Jat defenders lining it were blown up, and the Mughals stormed the fort after three hours of stubborn opposition. The Jats disputed every inch of the ground and were dispersed only after losing 1500 of their men. On the imperial side 200 Mughals fell and 700 Rajputs were slain or wounded. The remnants of the garrison were captured along with Jorawar Singh and put to the sword, while others fled. [Ishwardas, 136 b – 137 a] [M.A. 334] [Hamid-ud-din’s Ahkam, S 26] The Emperor learns of the fall of Sinsini on 15 February, 1690 from the letters of news writers. [Fatuhat, 136a-137a] [Maasir, 334] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 58] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.44] Jorawar Singh, his wife and children having been imprisoned were first taken to Mathura and finally presented to Aurangzeb in the Deccan. They were brutally slain and their limbs thrown to dogs. [Qanungo, Diggi, 97] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 142] The fall of Sinsini fulfilled the cherished desire of both the Mughals and Bishan Singh. Among the notables Fateh Singh of Sinsini and Churaman managed to escape. [J.Records, Sarkar’s coll., IX,356]

Next year (21 may 1691) Raja Bishan Sing surprised the other Jat stronghold of Sogar. The Raja hastened there with the imperial army. By chance, as the gate of this little fort was kept open at the time for admitting grain, the invaders entered it at the gallop, slaying all who raised their hands and taking 500 of the rebels. [Ishwar] The result of these operations was that the new Jat leaders went into hiding in ‘nooks and corners’ unknown to the imperialists. [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed Dr Vir Sinngh, 2003, p. 26]

By the year 1695, the incessant chase of the intractable Jats had completely worn out Bishan Singh. He found himself at sea with the Jats. [Qanungo, 'Bishan Singh', Proc. I.H.C., XI, 172] Shah, 2] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.49] Now his brave general, Hari Singh had also died. Few would deny that from the view point of actual results, the Jat war proved to be a miniature of Aurangzeb’s war against Marathas. “General massacre” and “extirpation” of the Jat rebels were the avowed objectives with which the imperialists had waged a seven year long strenuous warfare against them. They covered a big area, stretching from Mewat to the Chambal and from Hathras to the borders of Jaipur, in course of their operations. In the process they, no doubt, captured 52 rebel strongholds, slew or drove away thousands of rebels from them and imposed a curb on their activities. Nevertheless, as in the case of Marathas in south, the daring of the Jats could not be suppressed. [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 182] Let alone their whole body, even all the Jat leaders could not be exterminated, Manucci hits the truth when he says that the imperialists merely succeeded in making the Jats retreat. [Storia, II, 301] Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 12] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.49-50]

The Jat war must have disillusioned the ambitious Amber Raja. As its upshot, the existing feud between the Amber House and the Jats must have been sharpened. The Emperor had reasons to be worried over the pernicious developments so close to the capital. The contemporary despatches show his pre-occupation with the Jat problem. The fact that the Jats had remained unsubdued even after exertions added to his predicament. At last he was forced to depute (9 May 1695) no less a personage than Prince Shah Alam himself to cope with the situation. [Maasir, 372-373] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.50]

Rise of Churaman (1695 – 1721)

It stands to reason to believe that the rebuff sustained by the Jat reacted upon the future prospects of Fateh Singh, who otherwise being the son and heir of the distinguished Raja Ram, must have enjoyed a unique position among his clansmen.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.51]

Getting skeptical about his capabilities, the Jats discarded Fateh Singh [Muttra Gazeteer (Drake-Brockman: 1911), 197] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., p. 64] in favour of Raja Ram’s cousin, Churaman, who was unquestionable more capable than Fateh Singh. We learn from Ahkam-i-Alamgiri that Fateh Singh later fell somehow into the hands of the Mughals. At first kept at Lahore, he was afterwards taken to Agra. Aurangzeb seduced him to embrace Islam by promising to set him free and also to reward him with a suitable masnab. Failing that, Fateh Singh was ordered to be vigilantly kept in prison as before. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), II, 206a-206b] We have already noted that Bhao Singh [Wendel, Memoires des Jats, (Fr.Ms.), 12] had died earlier and Jorawar Singh was killed after the fall of Sinsini (1691). The aged Bhajja Singh also seems to have perished. The disappearance of these prominent Sinsinwars from the scene must have also facilitated the emergence of Churaman as the supreme leader.

The departure of Shah Alam and Bishan Singh from the province of Agra in 1696, [Maasir, 382] obviously provided the opportune moment to Churaman to make up the losses, consolidate his position and carry forward the work of Raja Ram. Bold, practical, unscrupulous and rapacious, Churaman possessed a good capacity for organization and for making clever use of his opportunities which he was lucky to enjoy almost throughout his career. [Qaunaungo, Jats, 45-46] About his early career it is said that he engaged 500 horsemen and 1000 footmen. Nanda Jat, the father of Bhure Singh and grandfather of Daya Ram joined him with 100 men. [Imad-us-Saadat by Ghulam Ali Khan Naqawi (Gaekwad Library, B.H.U. Ms,), 83] The mewatis under Bayzid Khan, the Khuntela of Sonkh, the Sogarias under Khem Karan and Bargujars under Hathi Singh of Dahana also joined him. [Akhbarat Muhammad Shah’s reign (R.S.L. Sitamau transcript) XXIII, 82] Ganga Singh, op. cit., 69] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 197] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.52]

Churaman robbed the wayfarers and caravans on the royal highways. He strengthened his bands with musketeers and cavalry. Step by step the number of his followers increased to 14,000.Imad (Pers. Ms.), 83] Meanwhile as a number of the Jat castles had been occupied or demolished by the imperialists, Churaman built new forts into the impenetrable jungles for the purposes of defence and preservation of booty. In it he was aided by the hidden wealth of his ancestors including Raja Ram. Among the new forts he built a formidable one at Thun (11 miled to the west of Deeg) in a low marshy and thickly wooded tract. According to Shivads, so thick a jungle of thorny bushes surrounded Thun, so that even the birds found it difficult to pass through it. Its rampart was as high as heaven while the moat around was so deep that water burst up from the bottom. [Shivdas, 19] Iqbal, 23] Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 14]

Side by side his predatory activities went on unabated. He plundered first, the countryside of Agra and then Kota, Bundi, Hindaun and Bayana. [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 13] He seized the wealth and places of the weaker ones. Attending to his job with “great perfection Churaman rose higher and higher and gradually became most redoubtable in his neighborhood .

About the year 1704, Churaman recaptured Sinsini from the Mughals, though not by the might of his sword but by gold. Accepting substantial amount from the Jats, Devi Singh, the fort commandant handed over Sinsini to them. The Jas seized all the imperial effects including two big guns eighteen rahkalahs stores of lead and gunpowder and other articles. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 7b, 67b, 73b, II, 203a, 205b] Obviously the loss of Sinsini was as distressing to the Mughals as its re-occupation was heartening to the Jats. Mirza Muhammad says that Churaman re-occupied all those forts which had earlier been lost to the Mughals.

This flare up grieved Aurangzeb. What must have added to his worries was the fact that the royal treasure amounting to rupees 30 lakhs (realized from Bengal and other places) lay accumulated at Agra and it had to be sent safely to the Deccan. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 36b,II,204b] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.53] Deeply censuring the nazim of Agra for his manifest carelessness, the Emperor ordered him to put up utmost exertions to immediately re-capture Sinsini, “extinguish the fire of rebellion and plunder” and “eradicate the name and vestige” of the Jats rebels from the land. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), II, 203b, 204a, 205b, I, 69a, 73a]

Mukhtar Khan the nazim of Agra had given an undertaking (22nd ZilHijja ?) to the Emperor “to annihilate” the Jats within two years, if he was granted rupees ten Lakhs for recruiting additional troops, 1500 sawars (at the monthly salary of rupees 25 per sawar) and 2,000 footmen (at the monthly allowance of rupees 4 per footmen) for the purpose. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 69b, II, 203b] Mukhtar Khan was advanced rupees one Lakh from the Agra treasury. The Faujdars of the Suba of Agra and Delhi along with 5,500 sawars were also deputed for crushing the Jats. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 78b, II, 203, 204a, 204b]

The imperialists laid siege to Sinsini in 1705. But it proved arduous again and dragged on. The surprise attacks of the Jats coupled with the rains impeded its progress. The Jats completely destroyed three of the five big Mughal cannons deployed to storm the fort and rendered another unworkable by inserting an iron bar inside the barrel. All these days they continued to be supplied with provisions form outside. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 36a, 77b-78a, 72b, II, 201b, 203b, 204a] The nazim initially found himself helpless ag against the tenacious Jats. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 77a] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.54]

Mukhtar Khan however clung on to his business and on 9th October 1705 (2nd Rajab 1117 A.H.) he succeeded in reducing Sinsini. The news of the fall of the fortalice along with its golden key was sent to the Emperor. In reward for his services Mukhtar Khan got an addition of 500 zat to his existing rank. [Maasir, 498] [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 79a] [J.Records, Sitamau coll. (Pers. Ms.), I,27] [Kumbh Karan to Jai singh in 1705 (1117 A.H.)] The Prince was now ordered to cancel his departure. Mirza Muhammad adds that the nazim recaptured other fort also from the hands of Chruaman.

What a glaring contrast in situation! No Jat power worth the name existed when Aurangzeb had ascended the throne, but by the time of his death, the Jat power, if not the Jat State, had certainly come into existence. The Jats fundamentally agriculturists, were converted into unpacified and unsubdued foes of the Mughal authority, ready to wrest any advantage that the troubled times might offer to them. Such a change in the attitude of a people whose one prominent section under Hathi Singh Jat helped Aurangzeb at a critical stage on his march to contest the Crown of Hindustan, must have added to the agony of his last days. The incident mentioned mentioned by Ishwar Das is that when Prince Aurangzeb, on his way to oppose Dara, came to the fords of Chambal, he found them barred by the opposite entrenchment. He was ignorant about other ferries, while the waters were deep. This perturbed Aurangzeb. At this critical juncture Hathi Singh Jat, a zamindar of Gohad, came forward to lead his troops to a neglected ford (Kanira), where from Aurangzeb crossed the Chambal. Though by itself a small incident, it in one stroke turned the scales against Dara. He had to hurry up for the Capital, leaving heavy artillery behind, which greatly weakened his position. [Ishwar das (Fatuhat, Pers.Ms.,23a]

Precarious detente between the Mughals and the Jats

The Mughal-Jat relations entered into a new stage after the death of Aurangzeb. Until then both the government and the Jats had displayed inveterate hostility and repugnance towards each other. After Aurangzeb the changing circumstances obliged both sides to dilute their former intransigence. Consequently, for the first time during the Mughal rule, the Jats came to be actively and directly associated with the imperial affairs. This was destined to have considerable repercussion especially upon the history of the Jats.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.57]

Expediency and political sagacity induced the Mughals to placate the Jat chief, Churaman. The geographical proximity of the Jat country and their growing military importance made the Jat support worth obtaining both for the contestants of the imperial Crown and the factional leaders of the Mughal court. Conviction also tended the Mughals in the same direction. The Mughal government after 1707 generally pursued a lenient policy, shunning the sternness and inflexibility of the days of Aurangzeb. This reversal of the policy was a welcome relief to the Jats.

It may safely be said that more under the pressure of the circumstance than by deliberate policy both the Mughal government and the Jats were obliged to soften their attitude towards each other.

The death of Aurangzeb in 1707 caused a deadly contest between Muazzam and Azam for the Crown of Hindustan. The rivals faced each other in the battlefield of Jajau. Mirza Muhammad tells us that Bahadur Shah, in an attempt to muster up as big an army as possible, despatched assuasive messages to Churaman, aksing him to present himself with his force. Responding to the royal summons, Churaman. came with two to three thousand sawars and waited on Bahadur Shah. [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 134f] This version of Mirza Muhammad dispels the impression that Churaman went to Jajau of his own “to pillage the vanquished” [Contra see Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 322] [Qanungo, Jats,48] [Pande, Bharatpur, 13] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 200] The audacious Jat, however, did not forget to turn the discomfiture of the enemy to his advantage. In the thick of the fight he slipped away and vigorously plundered Azam’s baggage. Finally he departed grabbing goods, cattle, treasure and precious Jewels.Roznamcha, 135] Bahadur Shah Nama, 164] [K.K. II, 668] It seems that Churaman taking advantage of the situation following Jajau, recaptured Sinsini and resumed depredations around Mathura on the Delhi-Agra Road. As a result the traffic on the road was completely stopped for two months and hundreds of travelers including the wife of Amin-ud-din Sambhali got stranded. In August 1707, troops were sent to chastise the Jat plunderers. [Akhbarat, 13 August, 1707] [Dastur-ul-insha quoted by Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 321, footnote] Memoires des Jats, 13] The Wazir, Munim Khan, however, found it expedient to ignore his misdeeds. He once again called and on 16th September presented Churaman before the Emperor. Bahadur Shah conferred upon him the "mansab" of 1,500 Zat and 500 sawar and entrusted to him the charge of the road between Delhi and Agra. [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 135] [K.K. II, 668-669, 776] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.58]

The year 1707, particularly marked an epoch in the early career of Churaman. In its wake, it brought to him honour, power and immense riches, such as “his predecessors had not acquired (even) in a lifetime.” Majma-ul-Akhbar in Elliot, VIII,360] [R.Pande (Op.cit., 14)] It secured for him admission to the proud ranks of the imperial mansabdars. A confirmed rebel was suddenly exalted to the zenith of a Mughal peer, officially entrusted with the charge of a part of the imperial highway. It obviously enhanced his image among the local people who must have rallied round him in greater numbers. In the changed situation Churaman revised his tactics. Partly moved by the conciliatory attitude of the new administration and partly by his own keenness to have more opportunities for advancement, he chose to display loyalty to Bahadur Shah, [K.R.Qaungo, Jats,48] However, loyalty with him was more a matter of convenience than of conviction. Thus, he would help the Mughal government but at the same time incite his people to connive at the lawless course. Probably getting a hint form him the Jats had refortified Sinsini. Bahadur Shah, therefore, sent Raza Bahadur to reduce it. On 2nd December, 1707 a bitter fight ensued in which 1,000 Jat were killed. Raza Bahadur demolished the fortress, seizing then carts worth of weapons from the vanquished.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.59]

Churaman Helps the government

In keeping with his new policy, Churaman apparently chose to be passive on the Sinsini affair. Similarly in the next few years, he applied a restraint on his predatory habits, though local malefactors sometimes indulged in plundering on the roads. [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 321, footnote] Mirza Muhammad emphatically adds that henceforward till the defeat of Jahandar Shah (i.e. from September, 1707 to January 1713) he devoted himself to the imperial service and did not permit any obstructions on the road. Early in 1708, he helped the local naib faujdar, Rahim-ul-la Khan, in suppressing the local Afghan rebels. Having attacked the village of Thiravali (5 miles to the east of OL) he accompanied the Khan in an expedition against the Baloch rebels of Shergarh (20 miles to the north of Mathura). They resisted the invaders for three days but ultimately turned their backs, promising to make over a property worth two thousands to the Jat. This further enhanced his image as a powerful chief. Little wonder, therefore, that greater recognition awaited Churaman. In July 1708 Jai Singh had occupied Amber, expelling the local faujdar, Sayyid Hussain Khan, Thereupon, Bahadur Shah sent re-inforcements to him for recovering that place.

In this context Hussain Khan sought the help of the redoubtable Churaman. The Khan sent him money to recruit troops for the purpose. The Jat leader responded and collecting a big force, moved to Narnaul where Hussain Khan had been living ever since his expulsion. About the same time (i.e. the end of September) Jai Singh appealed to Churaman to detach himself form the Sayyid and thereby co-operate with him (the Raja) against the Mughals, who were out to destroy the Hindus. In return, the Raja assured him to expel his opponent, Jaitra Singh, from the paragana of Kaithwada. Churaman, There after deserted the Sayyid. However this was not necessarily due to his “veneration for the Hindu sentiment” U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 217] It is also to be borne in mind that he had already recruited a big force of his own out of the Mughal resource. Besides, he had got Jai Singh’s assurance about Kaithwara and taking advantage of it he eventually (In November 1708) wrested that place form Jaitra Singh. Thus once his interest appeared to have been served, the clever Jat thought it foolish to burn his fingers unnecessarily in the impending Rajput war. More so, it was sure to annoy Jai Singh and in turn endanger his prospects at Kaithwada. Thus what he precisely did was that on some pretext he withdrew leaving Hussian Khan to his own fate. Later he sent a very humble massage to Jai Singh calling himself the Raja’s “own servant”, he intimated that he wished to see him (Jai Singh) personally and that he never desired to oppose him. Further he assured Jai Singh of his ‘ services’ to do the needful in the Mathura region. [Bhatnagar, Sawai Jai Singh, 41] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 67ff] This episode incidentally, depicts Churaman at his real self. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.60]

From Sayyid Hussain Khan’s camp Churaman proceeded to Kama, where Raza Bahadur, the local faujdar was preparing to fight the local Rajput zamindar, Ajit Singh. The latter withholding the payment of revenue had expelled the local officers and openly challenged the Mughal authority in that area. His turbulent ways caused worry to both the local faujdar as well as to the ambitious Churaman, whose chief stronghold, Thun, lay so close to Kama. Hence both these united and with a big force (about 18,000) attacked Aiit Singh who confronted the enemy with about 10,000 horses and gunners. A bitter fight ensued near Kama in which the Rajput artillery played a major role in repulsing the Jats and the Mughals. The jubilant rebels pursued their enemies up to Khoh (about 8 miles to the south). After three days (i.e.7th October, 1708) they rallied again and then charged the Rajputs. The Mugla-Jat combine appeared to gain advantage. But the Rajputs, fighting gallantly re-emerged victorious in the end. Many on both sides were killed and wounded. Raza Bahadur was also killed. Churaman and his men, who had been surrounded by the Rajputs towards the end, sallied out against the besiegers. He however received wounds from a sword cut delivered by a Rajput soldier, while he was on his way to Thun. [AKhbarat, Kartik Sudi 5, Samvat, 1765 (7 October, 1708) quoted by U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 215, 212-215] [Kamwar, II, 315] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.61]

About two months later, (December 1708) Churaman with 6,000 horses joined Mir Khan, the faujdar of Narnaul and passing through Sonkh-Sonkhari, attacked the rebel Rajputs. Jai Singh Naruka of Jawali, offered them a stiff resistance. [M.L.Sharma, Jaipur, 138]

It is said that Churaman’s brother Ati Ram, who was a friend of the Naruka, mediated a settlement between Churaman and the Naruka and hence, further operations were given up.

Hereafter, there is a gap of about twenty one months (January 1709 - October 1710) in our information of Churaman’s movements. Perhaps these days he was silently busy in expanding and consolidating his hold. Sometime in October 1710 possibly on being summoned he presented himself to Bahadur Shah (ca. October 1710) somewhere near Delhi, [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 323,106] when the Emperor was on his march against Banda. He was placed under Muhammad Amin Khan, who had been ordered to capture Sarhind. Subsequently, serving the Wazir faithfully, he took part in the campaigns at Sandhaura and Lohagarh. [K.K.II, 669,670] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 323] The Wazir, who had shown his favours, died in February 1711; and this exposed him to the pressures of the Court. We learn form the Akhabarat that the fortress at Halena being built by his brother, Ati Ram, would be demolished. [Akhbarat, 24 July 1711] It is not clear whether or not this was carried out, Churaman, however, moved on with the Emperor to Lahore.

In the battle of Lahore (March 1712) consequent upon the death of Bahadur Shah, the Jat leader sided with Azim-ush-Shah. Therein he looked after the supplies to the Princes camp. Churaman and the banjaras had promised to maintain regular supplies. He carried out his pledge faithfully and the Prince looked satisfied. However largely due to his conceit and evasive tactics Azim-ush-shah was defeated and killed. Thereafter, plundering the Camp, Churaman, apparently made his way home. Providences smiled over him again. Though the contestant whom he had joined, lost the race for the Crown, he was pardoned by the victor, Jahandar Shah. Probably through the intercession of the new Wazir, Zulifqar Khan, whose pro-Hindu leanings were evident, he was presented a khilat and re-instated in his mansab. [Murtaza Hussain, Hadiqat-ul-Aqalim (Nawal Kishore ed.), 129] [S. Chandra, Parties and Politics, 76,122] [Irvine, Later mughals, I, 167] This leniency reflected the general policy of Jahandar Shah’s government.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.62]

Hence, compulsion and policy induced the government to be considerate towards the redoubted Churaman who had grown into “the de facto ruler” of the entire region stretching form Delhi to the Chambal.Qanungo, Jats, 49]

The Emperor sent order to Churaman and several Rajput Rajas to join prince Azu-ud-Din, who had been deputed to Agra to watch the movements of Farrukh Siyar. But all of them procrastinated. Azi-ud-Din was subsequently defeated at Khajuha (November 1712). This alarmed Jahandar Shah. Early in December, making fulsome promises he sent a farman to Chruaman to reach Agra with his men against Farrukah Siyar. Churaman came with a big force and fought on the side of the Emperor at the battle of Agra (January 1713) But once his cause appeared to have been lost, the audacious Jat felt no qualms of conscience in plundering the rear of his professed master. He went back to Thun carrying treasures, many elephants and camels together with their baggage. He did not spare the camp of the victor either. The Jats so thoroughly looted it that Farrukh Siyar could not find anything better than a filthy screen and a small wooden platform to sit on, while receiving the homage of his officials. [Akhbarat, 29 October, 29 November, 2 December, 1712] [Jahandar Nama and Mirat-i-Wariat, quoted by Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 232,234,244,223]

Involvement in the court politics

The high-handedness and the daring of Churaman looked dangerous to and justly infuriated Farrukha Siyar. [Ajaib-ul-Afaq (R.S.L. Ms.), 56] Memoires des Jats, 14] Early in his reign, he appointed Raja Chhabela Ram, his personal adherent and a brave soldier, as the governor of Agra, his birthplace. The Emperor ordered him to proceed at once beyond the Yamuna and crush the Jats, leaving Raja Girdhar Bahadur in charge of the suba of Allahabad. His subsequent efforts against the recalcitrant showed some results. However, his plans did not come off and he increasingly found it difficult to cope with the Jats. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.63]

Coupled with the talk of his transfer, Chhabela Ram wrote to the Emperor:

:“I am pleaded over His Majesty’s desire of may transfer. This would be my good fortune, if His majesty’s thinks like that. The person, who dares to accomplish the difficult task of suppressing Churaman Jat, may be granted an imperial farman so that he might extirpate him. However, it must be enquired form him as to how long will he take (to accomplish the task) ? This will automatically reveal his boastfulness. Whosoever is appointed to fulfill this task (of uprooting Churaman), shall himself fail in his efforts.” [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.57-58] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.64]

Chhabela Ram hit the truth, for, despite his long exertions of four months, he himself failed in suppressing Churaman mainly because of “the obstacles” placed by the Wazir and the Mir Bakshi. Chhabela Ram was, therefore replaced by a willing Khan-i-Dauran, also a native of Agra, as the governor of that province. [Roznamcha, 51, 135-136] [Kamwar, II, 400]

The new governor of Agra, Khan-i-Dauran, knew that to crush Churaman by force of arms was an extremely difficult task. By temperament also he was more a man of diplomacy rather than force in dealing with the Jat problem. He sent several letters to Churaman, asking him to present himself before the Emperor. Churaman agreed and on 25th September, 1713 (16th Ramazan 1125 A.H.), arrived at Barahpula. Raja Bahadur Rathora, son of Azimush-shan’s maternal uncle, was sent to receive him. On 20th October, he marched in at the head of 3,000 to 4,000 sawars. Khan-i-Dauran advanced in person to receive and conduct him to Diwan-i-Khas. The Jat leader presented 21 mohars and two horses to the Emperor. Farrukah Siyar granted him the title of Rao Bahadru Khan along with a khilat and an elephant. His mansab was also increased. Three others (presumably including Khem Karan Sogaria) accompanying him, were also given the khilat. The charge of the royal highway from Barahpula (Delhi) to the Chambal was given to Churaman. [Akhbarat,11,15 Ramzan (20,24 September), 11, Shawwal (20 October)] Roznamcha, 136] [Kamwar, II, 399] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 223] [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics, 123] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 237-239] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.65] It is said that at the request of the Mir Bakshi he was also granted five parganas, Baroda Meo (Nagar), Kathumar, Akhaigarh (Nadbai) Au and Helak, as Jagir. Khem Karan Jat was given the title of “Bahandur Khan” and assigned the Jagir consisting of the paraganas Rupbas, Bharatpur, Malah, Aghapur, Barah and Ikran. [Muttra Gazeteer,197] [Tarikh-i-bharatpur, 4a] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 239, 243] [Thakur Deshraj, Jat Itihas, 568,556,557]

Criticizing the royal favours, the author of Raznamcha observes, “the disobedient and quarrelsome” Churaman was “thus flattered”. The Emperor, however, was mistaken, if by showing these favours, he expected that Jat to mend his ways. Soon Churaman exploited his position to usurp the imperial territories and strengthen his power. The Mewatis and other local people and the Zamindari veered round him and his authority and control became exceedingly strong. Grievous complaints were made to the Emperor that he harshly exacted the road dues (rahadari) G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.66] and meddled with the affairs of the rightful jagir-holders. Thus he advised the zamindars of paragana Sahar not to pay their dues to the jagirdars. According to another report (of March 1716) he exacted as nazrana rupees two each form all the manasabdars and zamindaras of paragana Thun. His followers infested the roads, waylaid the caravans and the passers by and ravaged the jagir and khalisa, spreading ruin and insecurity up to the Capital. To cite a few instance, in June –July 1715 the reports reached that he plundered the Villages of the pargansa of Kama, Sahar, Fatehpur Sikari, Mewat and Agra. Later onin October, his bands looted the villages of Wati and Dhulhera in the parganas of Mathura and Sikari, threatening the latter in the process. In March 1716 Churaman frustrated Izzat Khan, the faujdar of Mewat, in his effort to restore order in that quarter. Moreover, he secretly manufactured arms and ammunition and fortified his garhis including Thun. [Akhbarat, 14,16, April, 20,28 June, 18 July, 16 October, 2 November, 1715, 16,20,29 March 1716] Shivdas, 16-18] [Iqbal, 22-24] [Qanungo, Jats, 51] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 321, footnote, 323] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 244-248] In all probability, Wendel’s undated statement that Churaman “plundered several ministers of the Court” and “attacked.. the revenue sent form the provinces”, refers to this period.

Jai Singh’s Jat expedition : Siege of Thun (September 1716 – May 1718)

The reports of Churaman’s increasing turbulence enraged the Emperor and the Emperor and he once more resolved to extirpate him. But to find out a valiant person capable enough to undertake this arduous task, was a real problem for him. At last he turned his thoughts to Sawai Jai Singh, who him self bore a grudge against the Jats. It may be recollected that a hereditary feud existed between the Jaipur ruler and Churaman and his followers. The latter offered renewed provocation to the Raja, by despoiling some parts of his own state as well. [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 250] In September 1715, Farrukah Siya ordered Jai Singh to present himself at the Court from Malwa. At length to the response to the repeated and urgent summons, he turned up on 25th May 1716 and undertook to “the great pleasure” of the Emperor, the responsibility of leading the Jat expedition. [Kamwar, II, 417-418] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 324]

Early in September, 1716 the Emperor gave formal orders to Raja Jai Singh to proceed against the Jats.Roznamcha, 137] Siyar, I, 139] , Maharoa Bhim Singh Hada of Kota, Budh Singh of Bundi; Gaj Singh Kachhwaha of Narwar, Chhatrsal Bundela, Durga Das Rathore, Rao Indra Singh and others were ordered to Join Jai Singh. The latter was presented with a splendid khilat and an elephant. He was also given rupees 40 Lakhs to meet the expenses. At this time Sanjar Khan and Shamsher Khan were sent in advance with 1,000 walashahi troops to Palwal (36 miles south to Delhi) for the purpose of keeping communications open and providing convoys form that place to Hodal on one side and to Faridabad on the other.Shivdas, 16] , I [qbal, 22-23] Ahwal,59] [V.S.Bhatnagar, Jai Singh,77] On 15th September (9th Shawwal) Jai Singh started on the auspicious day of Dashehra. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.67] Jai Singh commanded a big army consisting of about 50,000 cavalry and more of infantry. [Shivdas, 16,25] , Promising to procure for him a mansab, the Raja won over Bayzid khan Mewati “trusted follower of Churaman’ and placed him to lead his vanguard.Shivdas, 17] Iqbal, 24] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.67-68]

On getting the news of the Raja’s coming Churaman dispersed guerilla contingents under his son, Mohkam Singh and his nephews Badan Singh and Rup Singh to harass and intercept the invaders. When Jai Singh reached near Kama (14 miles south of Deeg) Badan Singh taking 2,000 horses, surprised Bayzid Khan, on 15th October, 1716. Bayzid was wounded in the fight. But Badan Singh had to fall back after the arrival of Rajput re-inforcements. Jai Singh fixed his base camp at Kama. A few days later (end of October), he occupied Radhakund (4 miles north of Govardhan) and prepared to press the enemy on two sides. [Akhbarat,16,18,19,27 October,1716] As Jai Singh moved on, the local Jat population, evacuating their dwellings, scattered to other places or repaired to Thun where Churaman lay “determined to defend himself to the Last” [ Memoires des Jats, 14,15] The fort of Thun with its lofty ramparts, a very deep ditch and thickly wooded environs, was rendered fairly strong. Churaman had stored provisions sufficient for several if not altogether 20 Years. On the eve of the siege he asked the merchants to evacuate Thun leaving their goods and property behind. He assured them of compensation if he emerged victorious. [Shivdas,19-20] [Iqbal, 26-27] Besides his own warrior tribesmen, Churaman had about 12,000 professional sanyasi fighters in his stronghold. He also employed many afghans of Shahjahanpur and Bareilly at three rupees per day. This apart, he enjoyed the support of the local people including the Mewatis, who were ready to harass the imperialists through guerrilla tactics. [Iqbal, 23-24] [Akhbarat, 20 October 1716] [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics, 124] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.68]

In the second week of November, 1716, the imperialists moved closer to Thun. On 9th instant, Rup Singh with 2000 horses fell upon the advanced guards of the Raja. A severe action ensued near Thun in which Rup Singh was wounded and his brother Ati Ram fell, fighting bravely. The same day Jai Singh fixed his camp near Thun and began to besiege the forts. [Akhbarat, 9,21 November,1716] [Kamwar,II,418]

Broadly Jai Singh’s problem was twofold; first, he had to steer his way through the impregnable and thorny jungles to Thun to invest it effectively, secondly, at the same time he had to cope with surprise attacks of the Jats. The task was indeed a difficult one, but remaining unperturbed, the Raja put up great exertions from the very beginning. He began to clear the jungles and make trenches, sabats and posts to station his selected troops. [Roznamcha, 175] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.69] But the Jats taking shelter in the jungles and nearby garhis often engaged and harassed the assilants. Thus, Muhkam Singh attacked the Raja’s forces near Bahaj (Bahore, 9 miles west of Govardhan) and after a little fight, drove them back. Again on 11 December 1716 was reported another fierce contest at Thun, in which the Raja overpowered the Jats. [Akhbarat, 17,21 November 1716] [Kamwar, II, 418] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 258 ff] But the over all progress was very slow, which irritated the Emperor. On 13 March 1717, he wrote, disapprovingly that though seven months had elapsed since the Raja’s appointment, Thun had not been “invested (even) from one side, not to speak of its conquest... the Jats come out under its (jungle’s) shelter and attack the royal army. [J.Records, (Add. Pers. II, 143] [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics, 124-125]

Success seemed doubtful, Adbus-samad Khan, the brave and energetic governor of Lahore who had won great fame by crushing the Sikhs, was recalled from the Punjab to reinforce Raja Jai Singh. However, owing to Court intrigue, he was not sent. Khan-i-Jahan, the maternal uncle of the Sayyids, was ordered to go to Thun, outwardly to help but really to frustrate Jai Singh, as his subsequent actions prove. [Kamwar, II, 418,421] Shivdas, 17-18]

In the second week of December 1717, the Rajputs attacked (Bhusawar, south of Thun), then defended by Churaman’s brother, Ati Ram. Rup Singh and Muhkam Singh, leading succour fought desperately but were overpowered. The Jats, then, fell back to Jharsauli to offer resistance to south of Thun. In such continual fighting both sides suffered heavy losses. In spite of the presence of the Raja’s army, the roads and the countryside were also not cleared of the plunderers. To cite one instance, a group of the Jat and the Mewati freebooters attacked a merchant caravan near Hodal and carried away merchandise worth rupees 20 lakhs. [Iqbal, 23,5] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 267] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.70] The siege had now dragged on for eighteen months with little prospect of an imminent success. In November 1717, Jai Singh was replaced by Muhammad Amin Khan as the Governor of Malwa. This affected his resources at a time when he from his own pocket was spending a lot in the Jat campaign. Hence this added further to his difficulties.

Churaman had also allies outside, viz, the zamindars and villagers who kept the imperialists in perpetual alarm by pillage and plunder. The siege dragged on for twenty months without any definite result. Party strife at the Court, between the Hindustani faction headed by the Sayyed brothers, and the Turani faction led by the Nazam-ul-mulk proved the salvation of Churaman. The wazir, Sayyid Abdullah was hostile to the Jaipur Raja whose success, therefore, he did not wish. Through a relation and agent of the wazir, Churaman made offers of submission by promising to pay a tribute of 30 Lakhs of rupees to the imperial treasury, and another 20 Lakhs to the wazir himself. Farrukh-siyar was helpless, like Sindbad the Sailor, with the two Sayyids upon his shoulders; so he reluctantly and ungraciously granted pardon to the rebel, brought before his presence, under the safe conduct of the wazir. From this time Churaman became an active and trusted partisan of the all-powerful Sayyids. [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),31]

Churaman and the Sayyid Brothers

In February 1719, Farrukh-siyar was deposed, blinded, and put to death by the Sayyids who raised a consumptive youth, Rafiud-darjat, to the throne. The new Emperor was deposed after three months, and his elder brother Rafi-ud-daula succeeded him. This man was so fortunate as to die a natural death after four months. Then the throne was given by the Sayyids to Muhammad Shah in September 1719. However, this end of the King-makers was drawing near. A woman’s curse rested upon one, and extreme insolence drew down Heaven’s vengeance upon the other. [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),31-32]

Churaman followed the Sayyids like a shadow; he was with the army of Husain Ali at the time of Farrukh-siyar’s deposition. Later on he accompanied him to Agra in the expedition against a pretender. Neku Siyar, who had been proclaimed Emperor by the enemies of the Sayyids. He was assigned an important post in the siege of that fort, [Orme MSS. p. 70 of J.N. Sarkar’s transcript] and it was through his influence with the garrison that the fort was surrendered. After that he started for the Dakhin with Husain Ali when he marched against the Nizam-ul-mulk (May 1720). For his faithful services, the Sayyid promised him the title of Raja, but this promise could not be fulfilled as Husain Ali was soon afterwards murdered by the Mughals with the connivance of Muhammad Shah. Large rewards were offered to Churaman to induce him to desert the cause of the Sayyids. Considering it foolish to incur the enmity of the Emperor for nothing he accepted them and joined Muhammad Shah’s army. The cunning Jat persuaded the Emperor to change his route which would have passed through his villages. Leaving his own villages at a distance, he led the army of the Emperor across the territories of his enemy Raja Jai Singh, and took it over high hills, thorny, Jungles, and waterless waste. [Irvine, Later Mughals, II, 68-69] [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),32]

When Sayyid Abdullah advance at the head of a large army against Muhammad Shah, Churaman went over to the minister with all his Jats. In this he was not certainly actuated by sentiments of devotion and gratitude to his old patron. xi. The cynical Jat argued that “in case of the Sayyid’s defeat, it would be much easier to secure pardon from Muhammad Shah, then it would be, in the reverse case, to save himself from the Sayyid’s vengeance” [Irvine, Later Mughals, II, 81] Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),33]

On the day of the battle (Nov. 1720), fought in the neighbourhood of Hodal, Churaman [(Fr.Ms.) p.73] with his Jats was employed to make diversion by attacking the camp and baggage of Muhammad Shah. He threw himself heartily into this congenial task which meant a maximum of gain with a minimum of loss. Like a pack of wolves, the Jat fell upon the baggage camp from the west, south and east in succession, and though driven back with difficulty, they carried off many oxen and horses and created much confusion among the camp followers. But in actual fighting, the day had ended in the virtual destruction of Abdullah’s army. So, next morning, Churaman without caring for the favour or frown of either party, plundered both sides with strict impartiality and made off with the booty to his won country.

Churaman now openly acted as an independent Raja though he did not assume that title for fear of exciting the jealousy of his kinsmen. He strengthened himself against the Kachhwahas by making an alliance with Raja Ajit Singh Rathor of Marwar and he sent assistance to the Bundelas to keep the Mughal Government busy in the east. But he committed an indiscretion and injustice by throwing his nephew Badan Singh into prison.

Badan Singh was released by the intervention of other Jats who began to be suspicious of Churaman’s design. Family dissension afforded fresh opportunities to his enemies. Badan Singh fled for protection and assistance to Saadat Khan, Subedar of Agra, who had already begun a campaign against the Jats. Muhakam Singh, son of Churaman, inflicted a crushing defeat upon Nilkanth Nagar, deputy of Saadat Khan. The Khan himself fared no better, and was accordingly removed from his office. Again Raja Jai Singh took the command against the Jats, to wipe off the disgrace of his previous failure. But by this time, old Churaman had committed suicide by taking poison (Sept.- Oct. 1721)

Character and estimate of Churaman

Churaman was one of those men of History to whom destiny proved remarkable unsparing and bounteous. Majama-ul-Akhbar though a later work, aptly sums up.”...... his good fortune proved like waters richly fertilizing the field of his successful career in life...” [Francklin, The history of the reign of Shah Aulam (London:1798), 51] More due to the combination of fortuitous circumstances than to his won endeavours, he rose from the depths of a despised rebel to the enviable height of a Panchhazari Mansabdar and the uncrowned king of the region between Delhi and the Chambal. Stars smiled upon him right form the dawn of his eventful career. It was his luck as a chief Fateh Singh failed and hence the leadership was devolved on him, though he did not directly descend from the famous Raja Ram. Further, his tenure as the Jat chief coincided with the waning Mughal power. This offered him golden opportunities to fulfill his designs. Besides, it is noteworthy that, although he was not negligent in his turbulent ways, again and again he received royal favours. To Crown all, he was extremely fortunate in gaining the favour of certain influential nobles of the day. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.85]

Our authorities speak very little of his character. An inference may, however, be drawn on the basis of his performance. Ambitious, bold and rapacious, Churaman was cunning to an unusual degree. Certain traits of his character suggest that as a person he was complex. His movements after the murder of Husain Ali reflect his coolness and foresight, but the case of his suicide reveals his sense of devotion and gratitude. At the same time his conduct in the wars of succession generally testifies to his being unscrupulous and deceitful. Similarly, while his treatment and imperious disposition, the way he held back in face of extreme provocation from his eldest son, Muhkam Singh, speaks of his occasional resignation and self restraint. Churaman displayed a passionate love for money and plunder throughout his life. Examples of occasional loot were not wanting among the Jats either before or after him. But no other Jat leader of his caliber had ever given himself to plunder to this extent.

So far as Churaman’s loot in course of wars was concerned, it must be remembered that it was in keeping with the general practice of the age. [Tarikh-i-Ahmad Shahi, 133b] The examples of the Mughals, Marathas and even Rajputs indulging in it can easily be multiplied. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.86]

Churaman was a good soldier, a fine tactician and a diplomat of considerable merit. His successful defence of Thun against Raja Jai Singh stands out as his masterpiece. Churaman was a skilful military organiser too. The interest he evinced in training, equipment and expansion developed the Jat army into a reckonable force. He also improved upon the system of Jat defence by building strong mud-forts like Thun well provided with arms and ammunitions. By his skillful handling of his opportunities and resources as well as his high associations, Churaman grew extremely strong. He became the “de facto ruler and law giver “of the entire population under his sphere of influence. [Qanungo, Jats, 45,49]

The Jat power made rapid progress during his leadership. Essentially Machiavellian in approach, he could change postures to serve his end. An implacable rebel till the end of Aurangzeb’s reign, he later found it convenient to profess loyalty to the Mughal throne. In turn he, for the first time, gained the royal favours. But he reverted to his old ways and tried to fish in troubled waters during the reign of Farrukh Siyar. Efforts at his suppression were tried but failed and in the end Churaman received additional concessions. However, the concessions offered from a position of apparent helplessness defeated their very objective. Instead of making Churaman sincerely loyal, they made him conscious of his mischief potential and thus eventually whetted his contumacious designs. Side by side the dictates of self interest drew him closer to the mighty Sayyids and the latter themselves, for reasons already explained extended their support to churaman to the point of infuriating Farrukh Siya. With the Emperor demanding his annihilation and the Wazir and the Mir Bakhshi offering him full protection, the Jat problem in general and Churaman’s case in particulars assumed interesting dimension.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.87]

The role of Sayyids in the ascendancy of Churaman has not been properly brought out. Besides what we have described at the relevant places, it is to be noted that for the first time in the history of Jats, a chief could attain such heights as to become an ally and close confidant of an imperial Wajir and a Mir Bakhshi. To their patronage, more than to any other single factor, Churamn owed his spectacular rise-a-debt which he openly acknowledges. He received all that he could perhaps aspire for except the title of Raja, which though promised, could not be conferred upon him due to the murder of Husain Ali. In return, the grateful Jat served them with devotion till their end. This was a pleasant exception in a career otherwise marred by unrivalled cunning and deceit. However, his association with the Sayyids was not an unmixed blessing. It gave an added provocation to their opponents as already mentioned.

Undeniable Churaman did not prove himself to be a farsighted statesman. He lacked that vision prudence and spirit of accommodation, which were necessary in a successful leader of a tribal and democratic people like the Jats. Though born and brought up among them, he failed to appreciate their susceptibilities. As a result, despite his resources and status he could not weld them into a compact and homogeneous unit or state. On the contrary, unrest and rift came to the forefront even during his lifetime. In the circumstance Badan Singh had to considerably overhaul his system and devise sagacious policies for the creation of the Jat State. Nevertheless, it would be unfair to deny Churaman his due recognition. By leaving an armed force, numbering 14,000 quite a few strong mud forts, considerable wealth and people conscious of their potentiality, he contributed a good deal towards the emergence of the Jat state. ALi his shortcoming admitted, the general condition of the Jats at the time of his death was better than it was at his assumption of their leadership. Except depletion in his rank and followers, the rest of his long life’s work was intact, when his son, Muhkam Singh stepped into to fill up his place. As we shall see, Jai Singh’s victory over the latter, no doubt, inflicted a blow to the rising Jat power. But Churaman cannot be held solely responsible for whatever happened after his death. In any case churaman’s much talked about treasures escaped Jai Singh, and turned out to be of much use to Badan Singh.Memoires des Jats, 18] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.88]

Death of Churaman

The Story of his death of Churaman runs as follows :- “One of his relation, wealthy man died childless. The brethren sent for Muhkam, the eldest son of Churaman, and made him head of the deceased’s zamindari and gave over to him all his goods. Zul karan, the second son of Churaman said to his brother, “Give me too a share in those goods and admit me as partner.” A verbal dispute followed and Muhkam made ready to resist by force. Zul Karan determined to have the quarrel out, gathered men together, and attacked his brother. The elders of the place sent word to Churaman spoke to Muhkam. The son replied to his father in abusive language, and showed himself ready to fight his father as well as his brother. Churaman lost his temper, and from chagrin swallowed up a dose of deadly poison which he always carried with him and going to an orchard in that village lay down and gave up the ghost. After a long time had elapsed, men were sent to search for him and they found his dead body “ [Later Mughals, II, 122] Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),34]

Raja Muhkam Singh (1721–1722)

Raja Muhkam Singh (1721–1722) succeeded his father Churaman to the leadership of Jats from c. September- October, 1721 - 18 November 1722. Fransoo, while giving the genealogy of the Jat rulers, mentions him as the first Raja, who set up his Raj at Thun. [Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 14a,14b] It appears, however, that he himself adopted the title of the Raja. [Dow, Hindustan, II, 352]

Ill tempered, domineering and pugnacious, young Muhkam Singh was incapable as a leader. [Siyar, I, 329] He is believed to have forcibly occupied the vacant leadership, much against the then prevalent custom among the Jats. A majority of the Jat leaders, (apparently headed by Badan Singh) did not approve it. They also disliked his intemperance and wished to sack him. [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 93] Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 15a] , This situation precipitated an internal crisis again. Getting jealous of Badan Singh’s “bravery and ability” Muhkan Singh threw that chief into prison at Khoh (6 miles north-west of Deeg).G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.89]

This was thus Badan Singh’s second imprisonment within a short time. The maltreatment at the hands of Muhkam Singh ultimately strengthened his cause. Fransoo adds that as many as 22 prominent sardars (Said [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 304, 310] to be Raja Ram’s son, Fateh Singh of Ajan, Anup Singh of Arig, Ati Ram’s son, Shardul Singh of Halena, Gujars of Sihi and Helak, Purohit Kalu Ram and Lalji of Barsana and others), who loved Badan Singh for his “good behaviour” appealed to Muhkam Singh to release his cousin but he refused .

At a time when Muhkam Singh’s strength was dwindling owing to the widening discord, he and his brother Zul Karan further provocated the Mughals. They created widespread turbulence in their neighbourhood. They committed depredations on the royal highways, and despoiled the village and towns. Expelling revenue officials, they illegally realized revenue from khalisa and jagir mahals. Saadat Khan failed all through to chastise the insurgents. All this caused deep anxiety to the government.

Jai Singh's second expedition against Jats

Again did Raja Jai Singh Sawai appear on the scene to subdue the Jats. On 9 April 1722 Raja Girdhar Bahadur, Arjun Singh of Orchha, Ajit Singh of Kama and others were placed under him. He began his operations with 14,000 horseman, and the number by subsequent reinforcements rose to 50,000. Now he marched and when he was still on his way to Thun, Badan Singh coming from Deeg, met him once more, and offered him presents. Jai Singh reciprocated the gesture by presenting, a shield and a sword. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in Mughal Empire, p.90] The sons of Churaman were besieged in Thun, whose chief defence was a belt of impenetrable jungle. The imperialists gradually closed upon the fort by cutting the trees. Badan Singh who was with the army of Raja Jai Singh pointed out the weak spots and helped in the reduction of two fortified outworks. After conducting the defence for about two months, Mukham Singh lost heart, and secretly fleeing from Thun, took refuge with his father’s ally, Raja Ajit Singh Rathor. Next morning the Raja wanted to entre the fort. But Muhkam Singh's flight, despite abundance of supplies in Thun, convinced Badan Singh of the leader's treachery. He therefore prevented the Raja from going inside the fort and thereby prevented a major disaster. In fact Muhkam Singh while had laid a death trap for the enemy. He dug up mines in the fort and spread gun powder on their floor. Hardly had Jai Singh decided otherwise when the fort mines began to explode, "hurling the stones through the sky". Jai Singh expressed his gratefulness to Badan Singh for having wisely saved his own life and his associates' lives. [Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 17a-18b] [Kamwar, II, 484] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in Mughal Empire, p.91] On November 18, 1722; the imperialists entered the place. The ruler of Jaipur Jai Singh entered into an agreement with Badan Singh in his camp at Thun. The Raja placed a turban on his head. The French missionary says that he also bestowed upon the Jat chief the title of "Raja of Brij", the teeka, the nishan, the naggara and the five-coloured flag (which was that of Raja of Jaipur also). But Badan Singh took no other title except that of Thakur.Memoires des Jats, 16] [Rustam,495] [Dastur Qaumwar, VII] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas,321] [Mujma-ul-Akhbar in Elliot, VIII,361]

Jai Singh's second Jat expedition was no less remarkable than the first one. The conquest of Thun and other forts fulfilled the cherished desire of the Mughals as well as the Jaipur chief. The Emperor expressed his great pleasure by ordering the beating of drum continuously for three days. [Kamwar, 484] [Memoires des Jats, 84] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in Mughal Empire, p.92] A deeper insight, however, can not but reveal the shallowness of the achievement. It has to be conceded that Jai Singh thrived upon the mutual discord and enmity among the Jat fraternity. It is open to dispute whether without Badan Singh's help and guidance, the Rajput could have succeeded so quickly or comfortably. This naturally makes dim the glory of Jai Singh's victory. Even he succeeded in destroying was the power of the sons of Churaman and not the Jat power as such. The loss sustained by the Jats was, thus, more ostensible than real. [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics, 178-179] [Contrs see Sarkar, fall,II,426] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in Mughal Empire, p.93] The imperialist attained little beyond reducing or destroying a few Jat forts and putting to flight the existing leader, Muhkam Singh. Paradoxical though it may sound, their victory turned out to be a boon in disguise for the Jats. it only forced the deficient and unpopular Muhkam Singh to make room for the capable Badan Singh, who raised Jats to glory to unprecedented heights. The irony was that Mughal Emperor and Jai Singh themselves facilitated as well as sanctioned the elevation of Badan Singh.

Thakur Badan Singh, founder the Ruling house of Bharatpur

Thakur Badan Singh, father of Suraj Mal, started his career as a feudatory of Sawai Jai Singh of Amber (Jaipur), who had given him the Lands and title of Churaman Jat in the reign of the Emperor Muhammad Shah. Nevertheless, it is clear that within a few years of his accession, he grew powerful enough to shake off his dependence upon Amber. Badan Singh them uniting himself with the rebels of Mewat, carried raids into the territories of the Raja of Jaipur, who had to conciliate him by a grant of lands, yielding 18 Lakhs of Rupees a year. [Imad-us-Saadat, p.55] [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),35] Taking advantage of the confused state of affairs, he made some acquisitions in the Bayana district and built a fort at Wair, which was given to his youngest son Pratap Singh. His greatest achievement was the establishment of the authority of his house over almost the whole of the Agra, Mathura districts, partly by posing as the protector of the Hindus against Muslim misrule, but mainly by clever matrimonial alliances with some powerful Jat families of those places. He married the daughter of a wealthy and influential Jat of Kamar, [Growse, Mathura, 23] , Chaudhuri Maha Ram and took another wife from the laird (Zamindar) of Sahar. These marriages made him virtually the master of the entire Mathura district.Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),36]

In the eyes of the Mughal Government, Badan Singh was still a plebeian rebel who deserved the severest punishment, if only the corrupt and effete Court of Delhi could inflict it. Had Nadir Shah decided to stay in Hindustan a few months more, or made his intended pilgrimage to Ajmer [Irvine, Later Mughals, 374] the Jat chief would have been the first to feel the weight of the Persian’s arm. Since his departure the timed gaze of the Mughal Court was mainly fixed on north-west. In the meanwhile, Thakur Badan Singh silently consolidated his authority over many outlying districts, without much difficulty. People welcomed him because he meant to rule and not plunder them like his predecessors. His one dear object was to secure the title of Raja, and for this, he was even ready to bow before the imperial throne, which he could otherwise have safely defied. But he was not successful, perhaps owing to the jealousy of the ruler of Jaipur, who affected to look upon the Jats as his subjects. It was perhaps from this time that the ruling house of Bharatpur openly laid claim to the Yadava lineage and the title of Braj Raj, a claim if not sanctified by past tradition, at least justified by their complete sway over what is known as Brij-mandal or the Mathura region. Ajit Singh and Abhai Sing of Marwar, it is said, used to address Badan Singh as Raja. His ambition was certainly flattered, when he was invited to the Ashvamedha [Jawala Sahay, History of Bharatpur] sacrifice of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, and the honour of a prince was accorded to his son Suraj Mal. Undoubtedly Badan Singh worked and live in a manner to deserve that title. He kept Court with adequate grandeur.

Badan Singh had some aesthetic sense and a taste for architecture too, which is testified by the remains of his numerous buildings and garden-palaces, which are known as the Purana Mahal. At Wair in the Bayana district, he planted within the fort a large garden with a beautiful house and reservoirs in the centre, now called Phul-bari. He also built palaces at Kamar as well Sahar, which are now in ruin, and dedicated a temple at Brindaban known by the poetic name of Dhir Samir. [Growse, p. 139] Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),37]

Badan Singh lived to a ripe old age, which he spent in happy retirement at Sahar, leaving the management of his State to his most capable son Suraj Mal. He died on the 9th of Ramzan, 1169 A.H.- 7 June, 1756 [Waga, 133] under the usual suspicion of being poisoned, though there was no imaginable ground for it.

Emergence of Jat Kingdom (1723–1756)

The emergence of Thakur Badan Singh as the leader of the Jats, marks the dawn of a new era in their history. It signaled the ascendancy of the forces of stable conquest and steady growth over those of dubious and erratic expansion.Iqbal, 210] Qanungo, Jats, 60] Jai Singh, 103] However, the situation that he inherited was difficult, if not “almost hopeless”. Far from being a homogenous unit, the Jats, so accustomed to clannish and individual independence, were broadly divided on policy matters into two hostile camps. Dispossessed Muhkam Singh with his continual machinations to regain the leadership posed a potential threat to the new chief. There is little doubt that the adherents of Churaman and his sons, Like Khem Karan, Bhure Singh and Daya Ram of Mursan, Chhatar Singh and the chief of Motia (Near Fatehpur), were on the look out for re-establishing Muhkam or asserting their own authority or both.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.96]

Acquisition of booty and protection against the Mughals had been the magic bond of Churaman and his successor to increase their following. But since Badan Singh did not mean to plunder, the Jats used to the ways of Churaman must have kept themselves aloof from him.

In fact all the chieftains kept their own band of troops [Ajaib,122] and were determined to preserve as far as possible their separate existence. Consequently, power and wealth lay dispersed among various Jat headmen.Memoires des Jats, 17] Then again, some system of administration had also to be evolved, if Badan Singh aimed at establishing an independent state. Churaman, with all his worth, had done little in this direction. Finally in order to buttress his image, he had also to repel the likely impression that he was Jai Singh’s parasite or worthless weakling. [Memoires des Jats, 16-17]

Thus, the task of Badan Singh was onerous indeed. But gifted as he was with bravery, perseverance, “unrivalled wisdom and cunning” he rose equal to it. To begin with, his political ideology, (endorsed by his able successor, Suraj Mal as well) was that the Jat power could be “integrated” and thus made stronger under only one leader. [Memoires des Jats, 29] More precisely, conscious of the need of a Unified political system Badan Singh wanted to transform his princely insignia into the “reality of a sovereign power. [Sarkar, Fall, II, 428-429] This presupposed his reducing different Jat headmen to submission, after seizing their estates and wealth. But any such endeavour had to be reconciled to their deep-rooted democratic and individualistic temper. Added to it, was the fear of the possible Mughal opposition.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.97]

Badan Singh, therefore, began cautiously, combining coercion with conciliation, force with appeasement and princely grandeur with humility. He raised a well-equipped force consisting of infantry and cavalry. In Place of Thun, Sogar and Sinsini destroyed earlier, he began building new forts as Deeg and Kumher, the foundation of the former having been laid by Jai Singh. [Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 19a] [ Sujan, 217,219] [Memoires des Jats, 19, 27] [Dirgh,1-2]

With a view to enhancing his power and position, he almost like Tudor Henry VII of England, contracted political marriages in the families of the leading chieftains such as those of Kama and Sahar [Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 19a,20a] Qanungo, Jats, 61] [Sarkar, Fall, II,432] and possibly of Salempur, Hodal, Bachhamadi and Pathena. He however, meted out a different treatment to those who did not submit even after persuasion. The hardcore followers of Churaman and Muhkam Singh largely fell in this category. Their independent existence and pro Muhkam predilections, besides hindering expansion and stability also constituted a serious threat to his own existence.

Testifying Badan Singh’s repugnance to predatory life, Iqbalnama emphatically states that he:

:“Sowed that seeds of happiness and made the plant of virtues green. He acted in a way contrary to the habits and practices of his predecessors..... who had been accustomed to ..... plunder ..... (and) .. .. who practiced theft and robberies as highwaymen.”

A later authority (Shah Nawaz Khan) though one of the most relentless critics of the Jats also corroborates it saying that the Jats under Badan Singh gave up their marauding practices. [M.U. I, 441] It is also significant that the Polish historian who took note of loot by some other Jat chiefs, is absolutely silent about Badan Singh. Further, if Badan Singh really indulged in highway robbery, the normal traffic on the roads was bound to be suspended a fact which even Wendel has not suggested about, much less to prove. On the contrary, we learn from an eye witness that Suraj Mal during the reign of his father ensured continual flow of traffic on the highways passing through the Jat sphere of influence. [Sujan,10] Likewise, the other contemporary authorities (Tawarikh-i-Ahmad Shahi and Tarikh-i-Alamgir Sani) testify that Badan Singh’s principality had been an extremely safe place, where, in face of the external dangers, the terror-stricken people of the Capital fled for shelter and the Jats not only protected them but also treated them well.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.99] [Tawarikh-i-Alamgir Sani, Anon, (R.S.L. Sitamau Ms.),166] [Tawarikh-i-Ahmad Shahi, 33a]

The fact is that probably nowhere in contemporary Hindustan wealth and honour of the people was as safe as it was in the reign of Badan Singh and Suraj Mal, where, as it to be noticed, on several occasions, the multitudes in their dire distress flocked to. This needs no stress that they were inspired with the humane outlook to the ruler concerned and the measure of peace and order that he was able to enforce in his realm. This confidence was not generated overnight nor the political stability achieved accidentally. Both were the gradual offshoots of the benign attitude and policies that Badan Singh and his regent Suraj Mal had adopted at the very start.

Loot and robbery was never his policy nor was he in any way personally associated with it.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.100] Qanungo, Jats, 60,62] At best the only thing relevant in Wendel’s version may be that during the traditional phase of his leadership, Badan Singh did not possess sufficient strength to control plundering by the local malefactors and other chieftains and hence for the time being he was obliged to get on with them. [Akhbarat 15th Shawwal, 5th year of Muhammad Shah’s reign]

That Jat leader could have hardly remained for long, a silent spectator of their pernicious activities. He proceeded to deal with them as soon as he mustered up adequate strength. Vijay Ram Garasia, the chief of Pathena, being a close associate of Churaman and his sons, had in the past and still opposed Badan Singh. In an attempt to bring the Garasia close to him, he married Suraj Mal with his daughter, Kalyan Kaur (Kalayani). [Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 22b] But this conciliatory step failed to mend his ways. Thereupon, he granted Pathena as a jagir to Shardul (the son of Ati Ram of Halaina) whom he had earlier won over to his side. Shardul killed Vijay Ram and held Pathena under Badan Singh. [Pathena Raso, Quoted by Ganga Singh, op. cit., 100-101,91] Similarly, he got Bhure Singh and Daya Ram of Mursan, subdued (c.1730) by Suraj Mal. [Sujan,6] Then came the turn of yet another strong partisan of Churaman, Thakur Khem Karan, Jat chieftain of Fatehpur. In 1733 Suraj Mal attacked him and demolished his garhi at that place. But Khem Karan was not killed in the action as is commonly believed. [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 325-330] [Qanungo, Jats, 65-66] [Pande, Bharatpur, 46] , He lived on for some time more till Suraj Mal managed his end through Bhunda Ram Jat of Arig (c.1753). [Tarikh-i-Hunud,20b-21b] It is said that Badan Singh also removed from his way Chhatar Singh, who had been “the right hand” of Churaman. [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 99-100] Sometime early in 1730 Suraj Crushed the Sikarwar and Gujar miscreants of Bayana and Rupbas. He demolished their fortresses and established his authority over the region. This was formally handed over to Badan Singh on a promise to pay and annual tribute and then the construction of the fort at Wair was taken up. This place was given as Jagir to Pratap Singh. [ Sujan, 118,222] Imad,84] Memoires des Jats, 19] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 348] Jai Singh, 101]

If he could succeed in toppling down such redoubtable chieftains, it was not at all difficult for him to reduce the petty ones to the level of common Jats. By and by he established his hegemony over the area approximating to Agra and Mathura districts. From the status of a zamindar he became a small Raja strong enough to manage his business and inspire awe among his neighbours. [Memoires des Jats, 17,29] [Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 18b] [Sarkar, Fall, II,429] He increased his forces as he gained new territories. The construction of new forts also continued side by side. He furnished his strongholds partly with small cannons seized form others but mostly with self designed large cannons. [Memoires des Jats, 17,27,29] Hoarding wealth underground was a practice fairly popular among the Jats. Hence, there is sufficient ground to accept the then current belief that Badan Singh had his luck in discovering treasures of Churaman and his other predecessors. This largely enabled him to meet his “immense” expenditure. Meanwhile, Badan Singh also started keeping harem befitting a King.

Once he became the undisputed strongman in his home, Badan Singh set himself to expanding his possessions and authority, following the general practice of the age. Apart from his own commendable resourcefulness and uncanny wisdom three other factors that facilitated his bid were the lethargy and growing imbecility of the Mughals, the good will and patronage of Jai Singh and the invaluable services of Suraj Mal as also of Pratap Singh.

Relation of Badan Singh with Jai singh

The relations between Jai Singh and Badan Singh continued to be close till the death of the Rajput ruler in 1743. Isolation was inexpedient and risky in the politics of his day. None, much less an astute and ambitious Badan Singh, could afford to stand in proud isolation and yet have pretension for increasing one’s power. Even the highest in the land, the court nobles, the Marathas, the Rajputs etc. sought allies.Jai Singh, 102]

On his part, Jai Singh had his own reasons to be amiable and helpful to Badan Singh. The sentiments of gratitude move Jai ingh as well. If he had helped Badan Singh in assuming the leadership, the latter had saved his (the Raja’s) very life from the devouring Jaws of death, at Thun. Moreover, the Raja could count on the Jat help in need if he remained friendly to them. Further with his won protégé being at the helm of the Jat affairs, Jai Singh’s cherished designs of personal hegemony over Agra looked to be at least indirectly fulfilled. Side by side the Raja felt that his patronizing the Jat chief would “shed reflected luster” on his person. [Sarkar, Fall, II, 428]

Thus convinced of the usefulness of Badan Singh as also of his ever remaining grateful to him,Memoires des Jats, 19-20] Jai Singh generally extended him his favours. During his governorship of Agra, Badan Singh and Suraj Mal became “Plenipotentiaries” with liberty to do what they wished. The Raja’s deputy, (Kirat Singh of Diggi) in fact openly sided with them. Jai Singh connived at the Jats encroachment upon imperial territories and turned a deaf ear to the complaints thereon. [TAH,23a] [Sujan,36] He also procured for the Jat chief the rahdari of the roads between Faridabad, Agra and Jaipur. [TAH, 23a] [Sujan, 40] On the occasion of the Ashwamedha Yagya, Jai Singh betook and blessed Suraj Mal as his son. [Qanungo, Jats, 63] U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 326]

On his part Badan Singh reciprocated the kind gestures of the Jaipur chief by his humility and submissiveness. Whereas not even once did he appear in the Mughal Court, he never missed so long as his age permitted going every year to Jaipur to pay his homage to Jai Singh . [Memoires des Jats, 33] , If Iqbalnama is to be believed he hardly took any step without consulting the Rajput Raja. [Iqbal, 157] The gallant Jat Warriors matched the kindness of Jai Singh by shedding their blood at his and his successor’s call. More than once did they rescue the Jaipur rulers from gloomy situations, fighting bravely in their vanguard. Sudan hardly exaggerates when keeping in mind the heroic performance of Suraj Mal in the battle of Gangawana he says that the Jat “defended Kuram (Jai Singh) by wielding sword in this hand”. [Sujan, 6] Apart from this battle, the Jats fought on the side of the Jaipur Rajas in 1740 against Jodhpur in 1744 against Kota, in 1748 against Madho Singh.

Yet the amity between the two need not be over emphasized. Under it lay a dormant feeling of mutual suspicion and jealousy. Tow immediate neighbours having an age old record of socio-political feud, [Sarkar, Fall,II,423] [Qanungo, Jats, 62] could not have turned forthwith really sincere to their professions of friendship. More so, when their respective ambitions overlapped with regard to the occupation of the Agra province. There is ground to share the then prevailing suspicion that even if Jai Singh did not openly lend his troops to Badan Singh, he did secretly “employ” him to weaken the Mughal authority in the province so that his own dominance might be established there. By implication it meant that he could be the last man to acquiesce in the emergence of an independent and strong Jat State. It is noteworthy here that Jai Singh forbade Badan Singh to construct the scheduled fort on a hill at Paharatal or Bayana lest its strategic site should induce the owner to become independent of Amber. [Pande, Bharatpur, 34-35] Jai Singh also used his influence to mould the Jat policy to suit his designs, often detrimental to the Jat interests. His attitude during Baji Rao’s march through the Jat area (1736) is a case in point. [Imfra, Ch. VI] Jai Singh, 104]

In ultimate analysis, then Jai Singh was trying to fulfill his ulterior designs rather than help the Jats. And all along he was expecting Badan Singh to show him servile devotion. As it was, Badan Singh aspired for an independent principality of his own and as such Jai Singh’s ulterior motives insofar as they pertained to his neighbouring areas were bound to discomfit him. This coupled with his own expansionist goal possibly lay at the root of his understanding with the Meo rebels, carrying raids to the Jaipur territories. Jai Singh was then compelled to placate the Jat chief by granting him the lands of Sinsini, Thun and Nagar, which yielded rupees 18 Laksh per annum. [Pande, Bharatpur, 33] Tarikh-i-Bharatpur, 4b] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 323]

However, the factor which helped Badan Singh most in expansion was the invaluable assistance of his eldest (living) son and the destined successor, Suraj Mal. Born about the beginning of the year 1707, of his Jat wife a bit of manner and behaviour “quite early in his youth. [Memoires des Jats, 28] Amiable, soft and unostentatious in living, he wore rather a simple dress and spoke his mother tongue, Braj. He was prudent shrewd and brave. In an apparent reference to the earlier part of his long career, Ghulam Ali Khan remarks, “in prudence and skill, and ability to manage the revenue and civil affairs, he had no equal among the grandees of Hindustan except Asaf Jah Bahadur (The first Izam)” he was a good statesman too. [Jai Singh, 105]

See also

*The Jat Uprising of 1669
*Maharaja Suraj Mal
*Jats in the pre-Aurangzeb period


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