’According to another informant, some “banias” are called by the palace officers and directed to open their shops in the palace precincts, and money is given them to stock their shops. The poor people are then allowed to loot them. No shops are allowed to be looted in the bazaar.
’I cannot learn that any particular name is given to the ceremony, and there appears to be some doubt as to its meaning; but the best information seems to show that the reason assigned above is the correct one.
’I cannot give any information as to the existence of the custom in other Mahratta states.’
The custom was observed late in the sixth century at the birth of King Harsha-vardhana (Harsa-Carita, transl, Cowell and Thomas, p. 111). Anthropologists classify such practices as rites de passage, marking a transition from the old to the new.
‘Bania’, or ‘baniya’, means shopkeeper, especially a grain dealer; ‘gadi’, or ‘gaddi’, is the cushioned seat, also known as ‘masnad’, which serves a Hindoo prince as a throne; and ‘dohai’ is the ordinary form of a cry for redress.
12. Ninety-two lakhs of rupees were then worth more than L920,000. The I.G. (1908) states the normal revenue as 150 lakhs of rupees, equivalent (at the rate of exchange of 1_s._ 4_d._ to the rupee, or R 15 = L1) to one million pounds sterling. The fall in exchange has greatly lowered the sterling equivalent.
13. The Bhil tribes are included in the large group of tribes which have been driven back by the more cultivated races into the hills and jungles. They are found among the woods along the banks of the Nerbudda, Tapti, and Mahi, and in many parts of Central India and Rajputana. Of late years they have generally kept quiet; in the earlier part of the nineteenth century they gave much trouble in Khandesh. In Rajputana two irregular corps of Bhils have been organized.
14. Daughter of Mahadaji Sindhia. She died in 1834. See post, Chapter 70.
15. ’In 1886 the fort of Gwalior and the cantonment of Morar were surrendered by the Government of India to Sindhia in exchange for the fort and town of Jhansi. Both forts were mutually surrendered and occupied on 10th March, 1886. As the occupation of the fort of Gwalior necessitated an increase of Sindhia’s army, the Maharaja was allowed to add 3,000 men to his infantry’ (Letter of Officiating Resident, dated 30th Dec., 1892). In 1908 the Gwalior army, comprising all arms, including three regiments of Imperial Service Cavalry, numbered more than 12,000 men, described as troops of ’very fair quality’ (I.G., 1908).
16. Ante, Chapter 26, note 8; Chapter 32, note 9; Chapter 49, note 2.
17. In Ramaseeana the author has fully described the practices of the Thugs in taking omens, and the feelings with which they regarded their profession. Similar information concerning other criminal classes is copiously given in the Report on Budhuk alias Bagree Decoits. See also Meadows Taylor, Confessions of a Thug, in any edition.