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.
men annually leave the villages, and remain absent on distant forays till March or April, when they return with their booty, enjoying almost complete immunity, for the reasons stated in the text.  On one occasion some of these Bawarias of Muzaffarnagar stole a lakh and a half of rupees (about L12,000 at that time), in currency notes at Tuticorin, in the south of the peninsula, 1,400 miles distant from their home.  The number of such criminal tribes, or castes, is very great, and the larger of these communities, such as the Sansias, each comprise many thousands of members, diffused over an enormous area in several provinces.  It is, therefore, impossible to put them down, except by the use of drastic measures such as no civilized European Government could propose or sanction.  The criminal tribes, or castes, are, to a large extent, races; but, in many of these castes, fresh blood is constantly introduced by the admission of outsiders, who are willing to eat with the members of the tribe, and so become for ever incorporated in the brotherhood.  The gipsies of Europe are closely related to certain of these Indian tribes.  The official literature on the subject is of considerable bulk.  Mr. W. Crooke’s small book, An Ethnographic Glossary, published in 1891 (Government Press, Allahabad), is a convenient summary of most of the facts on record concerning the criminal and other castes of Northern India, and gives abundant references to other publications.  See also his larger work, Castes and Tribes of the N. W. P. and Oudh, 4 vols.  Calcutta, 1906.  The author’s folio book, Report on the Budhuk alias Bagree Decoits and other Gang Robbers by Hereditary Profession, and on the Measures adopted by the Government of India for their Suppression (Calcutta, 1849), ante, Bibliography No. 12, probably is the most valuable of the original authorities on the subject, but it is rare and seldom consulted.


Sporting at Datiya—­Fidelity of Followers to their Chiefs in India—­ Law of Primogeniture wanting among Muhammadans.

The morning after we reached Datiya, I went out with Lieutenant Thomas to shoot and hunt in the Raja’s large preserve, and with the humane and determined resolution of killing no more game than our camp would be likely to eat; for we were told that the deer and wild hogs were so very numerous that we might shoot just as many as we pleased.[l] We were posted upon two terraces, one near the gateway, and the other in the centre of the preserve; and, after waiting here an hour, we got each a shot at a hog.  Hares we saw, and might have shot, but we had loaded all our barrels with ball for other game.  We left the ‘ramna’, which is a quadrangle of about one hundred acres of thick grass, shrubs, and brushwood, enclosed by a high stone wall.  There is one gate on the west side, and this is kept open during the night, to let the game out and in.  It is shut

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