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.

3. Ante, Chanter 36, notes 26 & 27.

4.  The Baiza Bai was the widow of Daulat Rao Sindhia.  He had died on March 21, 1827.  With the consent of the Government of India, she adopted a boy as his successor, but, being an ambitions and intriguing woman, she tried to keep all power in her own hands.  The young Maharaja fled from her, and took refuge in the Residency in October, 1832.  In December of the same year Lord William Bentinck visited Gwalior, and assumed an attitude of absolute neutrality.  The result was that trouble continued, and seven months later the Maharaja again fled to the Residency.  The troops then revolted against the Baiza Bai, and compelled her to retire to Dholpur.  This event put an end to her political activity.  Ultimately she was allowed to return to Gwalior, and died there in 1862 (Malleson, The Native States of India, pp. 160-4).  The author wrote an unpublished history of Baiza Bai (ante, Bibliography).

5.  Long since abolished.

6.  The law now permits the person injured to be compensated out of any fine realized.

7.  The system of employing gangs of prisoners on the roads was open to great abuses, and has been long given up.  The prisoners are now, as a rule, employed only on the jail promises, and cannot be utilized for outside work, except under special circumstances by special sanction.

8.  The notes to this edition have recorded many changes in India, but no change has taken place in the difficulties which beset the administration of criminal law.  They are still those which the author describes, and Police Commissions cannot remove them.  The power to exact security for good behaviour from known bad characters still exists, and, when discreetly used, is of great value.  The conviction of atrocious robbers and murderers is, perhaps, less rare than it was in the author’s time, though many still escape even the minor penalty of arrest.  The want of a sound moral public opinion is the fundamental difficulty in Indian police administration—­a truth fully Understood by the author, but rarely realized by members of Parliament.

9.  The title of the Dholpur chief is now Maharaja Rana.  In 1905 his reduced army numbered 1,216 of all ranks (I.  G., 1908).  The force is not of serious military value.

10.  The identification of the Jats, or Jats, with the Getae is not even probable.  The anchor exaggerates the lowness of the social rank of the Jats, who cannot properly be described as people of ’very low caste’.  They are, and have long been, numerous and powerful in the Panjab and the neighbouring countries.  It is true that they hate Brahmans, care little for Brahman notions of propriety, either as regards food or marriage, and to a certain extent stand outside the orthodox Hindoo system; but they are heterodox rather than low-caste.  The Rajas of Bharatpur, Dholpur, Nabha, Patiala, and Jind are all Jats.  The Jats are a fine and interesting people, who seem to suffer little deterioration from the notorious laxity of their matrimonial arrangements.  They are skilled and industrious cultivators.  A saying has been current in Upper India that, if the British power is ever broken, the succession will pass to the Jats.

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