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Rajaram - An estmate by Dvivedi(3)

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  • Ravi Chaudhary
    ESTIMATE OF RAJA RAM Thus perished Raja Ram. As a leader of men and as a soldier, organizer and tactician, he was certainly more capable than any other
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 22 11:44 AM
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      Thus perished Raja Ram. 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 [30]. 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. [31] 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 [32] that Raja Ram work left no trace behind.

      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.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
      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.

      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.

      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 wherefrom 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. 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

      40 THE JATS
      the sole motivating factor, or booty as such was its ultimate goal, is
      to oversimplify the facts of the situation [37]. 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. [37a] a 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.
    • Ravi Chaudhary
      - 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
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 22 11:46 AM
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        The unity among the Jats that Raja Ram was able to build up seemed to
        crumble down after his death. [38] We do not come across any capable
        supreme leader among them during the interregnum between his death and
        the ascendancy of Churaman II. 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.

        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. His associate Ramchehara, Bhao Singh and
        Brij Raj had perished. Fateh Singh, [39] the son of Raja Ram does not
        appear to have been a promising youth. Amidst the circumstances, Raja
        Ram's aged father, Bhajja Singh of Sinsini assumed the leadership of
        the Jats, [40] while Raja Ram's other son, Jorawar Singh took up as
        his deputy.[41] But it can be reasonably inferred on the basis of the
        Vakil reports[42] that the successor of Raja Ram lacked his
        efficiency and resourcefulness. He could not carry on Raja Ram's
        policy of uniting the Jats less than one leadership it caused a
        setback to the newly emerging forces of unity and gradually the deep
        rooted clan feeling reasserted it. 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.


        It has been mentioned above that Aurangzeb had appointed Raja Ram
        Singh to undertake the Jat war. But he died. Thereafter, Bishan Singh
        endeavored through his Vakil to procure from the Emperor his
        patrimony, the Faujdarship of Mathura and the charge to uproot the
        Jats [43]. Bishan Singh gave an undertaking to the Emperor to crush
        the Jat recalcitrants and capture their main stronghold, Sinsini.
        Aurangzeb agreed and bestowed upon the Rajput Prince the title of
        Raja., the Tika of Amber, 'Khilat', and a Mansab of 2000/2000 'do
        aspah. 'The Emperor appointed him (30th April. 1688 – 9 Th Rajab. 1099
        AH), faujdar of Mathura with repeated orders for the "general
        massacre" of the Jats. He was also granted the zamindari of Sinsini
        and other Jat mahals and was promised further promotion and grant if
        he succeeded in his task. The Emperor also issued an oral order (to
        the Amber Vakil, Kesho Rai) to the effect that the foremost duty of
        Bishan Singh was the extirpation of , the "Jat-i- badzat"(the Jat of
        evil breed)" [44].

        Bishan Singh's keenness for his new job cannot be explained merely on
        the ground of his longing for earning distinction and a high mansab
        like his father and grandfather [45] Other factors also lay underneath
        it. Enmity with the Jats he had in inherited from his predecessor. Ram
        Singh and he must have been anxious to settle the old score. Moreover,
        the Jats had already penetrated into and seized some land belonging to
        him. Their expansion was detrimental to the socio-economic interests
        of the Rajputs. Therefore, Bishan Singh did not relish the Jat
        ascendancy on the borders of his state. Lastly, the Raja was seeing in
        this enterprise an opportunity of extending his territorial
        possessions also. [46]

        On the other side, Auranzeb's choice of the Raja for the onerous task
        was an exquisite piece of his political craft and shrewdness. The
        Emperor perceived in Bishan Singh's eagerness a possible chance of the
        destruction of the Jat miscreants.

        By picking him Aurangzeb placed a mighty thorn in the side of the Jats
        and sharpened the feud between the Kachwahas and the Jats.


        1. For details of the above developments see Sarkar, Aurangzeb, ffl.
        4,183-191,228-244,298-301.313-314. V.395ff.

        2. Storia, H. 300. Roznamcha, 133; Memoires des Jots 10; M.U., 1, 437
        The JATS
        3. For details see Sarkar, Aurangzib, V, 359ff.
        4. Imperial Gazetteer, VIH, 75. It spells his name as "Brijh" which
        is a mistake for Brij Raj, who was the son of Khan Chand. See Sudan,
        Sujan Charitra (Kashi ed.), Ganga Singh, op. cit. 47. U.N. Sharma,
        Itihas. 100f
        5. Storia, H. 209.

        6. Ibid., 209-210; Maasir, 209; M.U., H. 282.

        7. Odier Settlement Report, Bharatpur, referred to by Ganga Singh,
        op. cit., 47-48; Somnath. Dirgh Nagar Varnan, (Kashi Nagari
        Pracharini. Hindi Ms.) 3, Ras Peeushnidhi and Madhav Vinod in Somnath
        Granthawali (ed. by Sudhakar Pande. Kashi. 1971A.D.), 3, and 318,
        presents an exaggerated picture of the qualities of Bhao Singh.

        8. Maasir, 311; Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.). 131b; Memoires des Jats (Fr.
        Ms.), 9.

        9. Sujan.5; Ganga Singh, op. cit., 32 and 48; U.N. Sharma, Itihas, l00f.
        10. Storia, H. 300; Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.) 133-134; M.U. 1,437;
        Memoires des Jots (Fr. Ms.), 9
        11. Memoires des Jots (Fr. Ms.), 9, 10.

        12. Vanshbhaskara, 2886.

        12& Ram Pande, Bharatpur, 8, 10.

        13. Infra, 3840.

        14. Qanungo Jats, 40; U.N. Sharma (Itihas, 104-105) claims that
        Aurangzeb summoned Raja Ram to Delhi, where he was properly received
        and was granted "the gaddi of Mathura and a jagir consisting of 575
        villages". He, however, cites no contemporary authority in support of it.

        15. Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.) 10 also footnote 11.

        16. Ibid 9-10

        17 Fathuhat (Pers. Ms.). 131b. l32b; Storia II, 300; Roznamcha (Pers.
        Ms.).134; Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.). 10-11; M.U., I, 437; Qanungo,
        `Some Sidelights on the Career of Raja Bishan Singh Kachhawaha of
        Amber', Proceedings of Indian History Congress, 1948 XI.

        18. Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 131b-132b.

        20. Maasir. 274; Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.). 132b; Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.),
        133; Muntakhab-ul-Lubab, II by Khafi Khan (Bib. Ind. Series). 395;
        Kamwar (Pers. Ms.). II. 223; M.U.1.437; Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.).
        10. According to Abul Fazl Mamuri. Aurangzeb sent Khan-i-Jahan
        ostensibly in order to crush the Jats but really to rid the Deccan of
        his presence", as he was "suspected of being friendly with the
        Marathas". Vide Tarikh-i-Aurangzeb referred to by M. A. Ali, "The
        Mughal Nobility under Aurangzeb" 103-104.

        21. Maasir, 298-299,311; Roznamcha (Pers Ms.), 133; K.K.II. 395;
        Kamwar (Pers. Ms.). II, 231; M.U., I, .437-438.

        22. Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 164b; K.K.(II 395) adds that Aghar Khan
        succeeded rescuing his women, but was shot dead while besieging a
        fortalice; M.U., I, 155; Sarkar Aurangzeb .V.297-298.

        23. Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.). 132a-132b.

        24. Storia, H. 300; Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 132b-133a.

        25. Pande, Bharatpur, 7.

        26. To give one instance, Fazl Khan a Mughal official at Agra, was
        ordered to escort the royal treasure to the river Chambal. He,
        however, secretly informed the Jats about it and on demand even
        supplied them with ammunition. Thereafter, the said treasure was
        plundered according to the pre-meditated scheme. Qanungo, Jots, 342;
        Jaipur Records (Sarkar's collection, R.S.L. Sitamau transcriptions)
        number of pages cited here, VII,
        335; cf. Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.), II
        27. Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.). 132b-133a.

        28. Ibid, 133a

        29 Ibid 134a-135a; XH. 1.7; Maasir. 311-312; M.U. 1.438; cf. Kamwar
        (Pers. Ms.), II; 231; Memoires de Jats (Fr. Ms. 11-12) says that Raja
        Ram succumbed to his wounds sustained while being pursued; M.L. Sharma
        "Kota Rajya Ka Itihas, 207-209.

        30. J. Records, Sarkar's coll. (Pers. Ms.). XH. 3. 7; Raghubir Singh
        in "Brij", 166.

        31. Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.), 9.

        32. Sarkar, fall of the Mughal Empire, II (Calcutta: 1934). 426.

        33. J. Records, Sarkar's coll. (Pers. Ms.). XII, 3.
        34. Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.), n.
        35. J. Records, Sarkar's coll. (Pers. Ms.). DC, 58-59, also 375;
        Qanungo, `Bishan Singh'.
        36. Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.), 9.

        37. Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics at the Mughal Court,
        1707-1740 (Aligarh: 1959), Introduction, 341. Habib, op. cit, 341.

        37a. Raghubir Singh in Brij, 164.

        38. Records, Sarkar's coll. (Pers. Ms.), XII, 7.3.

        39. J. Records, Sarkar's coll. (Pers. Ms.), IX, 356; 'Ahmak' (Pers.
        Ms.), H. 206a.

        40. William Irvine, `Later Mughals', I, 322; Qanungo, `Jats', 43;
        Ganga Singh, op-cit., 55; Dr. Pande (Bharatpur, 10) claims that Fateh
        Singh succeeded Raja Ram as overall leader. This does not appear to
        have been the case. The testimony of Kamwar Khan (Kamwar, U. 231)
        leads us to infer that Fateh Singh became the leader after the fall of
        Sinsini and the arrest of Jorawar Singh.

        41. Akhbarat (J. Records). 19 Rabi-us-sani; Kamwar (Pers.Ms.n.231)
        thinks that Jorawar was the brother of Raja Ram. Also see Ganga Singh,
        op. cit., 55.

        42. J. Records, Sparker's coll. (Peers. Ms.), XH. 7.

        43. J. Records, Sparker's coll. (Peers. Ms.). VH. 276,314

        44 Ibid, Vn. 314-315 also 103.107.317.320. IX. 370.341. XH. 1-5, 7-8
        11; .J. Records, Sitamau coll. (Pers. Ms.) 1.7-8; Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.)
        133a; Quanango. Bishan Singh ,Proc.IHC..XI.170.171.

        45. Contra see Sarkar, `Aurangzeb' V. 300; `Qanungo', Jats, 43.

        46. Pande, Bharatpur, .10; U.N. Sharma. Itihas, 126.
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