Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official eBook

William Henry Sleeman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,051 pages of information about Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official.

13.  For elaborate comparisons between the Rajput policy and the feudal system of Europe, Tod’s Rajasthan may be consulted.  The parallel is not really so close as it appears to be at first sight.  In some respects the organization of the Highland clans is more similar to that of the Rajputs than the feudal system is.  The Chambal river rises in Malwa, and, after a course of some five hundred and seventy miles, falls into the Jumna forty miles below Etawa.  The statement in the text concerning the succession of clans is confused.  The ruling family of Riwa still belongs to the Baghel clan.  The Maharaja of Jaipur (Jeypore) is a Kachhwaha.

14.  The barbarous habit of alliance and connivance with robber gangs is by no means confined to Rajput nobles and landholders.  Men of all creeds and castes yield to the temptation and magistrates are sometimes startled to find that Honorary Magistrates, Members of District Boards, and others of apparently the highest respectability, are the abettors and secret organizers of robber bands.  A modern example of this fact was discovered in the Meerut and Muzaffarnagar Districts of the United Provinces in 1890 and 1891.  In this case the wealthy supporters of the banditti were Jats and Muhammadans.

The unfortunate condition of Oudh previous to the annexation in 1856 is vividly described in the author’s Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, published in 1858.  The tour took place in 1849-50.  Some districts of the kingdom, especially Hardoi, are still tainted by the old lawlessness.

The remarks on the fine feelings of devotion shown by the sepoys must now be read in the light of the events of the Mutiny.  Since that time the army has been reorganized, and depends on Oudh for its recruits much less than it did in the author’s day.

15.  Ujain (Ujjain, Oojeyn) is a very ancient city, on the river Sipra, in Malwa, in the dominions of Sindhia, the chief of Gwalior.

16.  Bhajpore in the author’s text.  The town referred to is Bhojpur in the Shahabad district of South Bihar.


Corn Dealers—­Scarcities—­Famines in India.

Near Tehri we saw the people irrigating a field of wheat from a tank by means of a canoe, in a mode quite new to me.  The surface of the water was about three feet below that of the field to be watered.  The inner end of the canoe was open, and placed to the mouth of a gutter leading into the wheat-field.  The outer end was closed, and suspended by a rope to the outer end of a pole, which was again suspended to cross-bars.  On the inner end of this pole was fixed a weight of stones sufficient to raise the canoe when filled with water; and at the outer end stood five men, who pulled down and sank the canoe into the water as often as it was raised by the stones, and emptied into the gutter.  The canoe was more curved at the outer end than ordinary canoes are, and seemed to have been made for the purpose.  The lands round the town generally were watered by the Persian wheel; but, where it [scil. the water] is near the surface, this [scil. the canoe arrangement] I should think a better method.[1]

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Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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