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Mysore we have already sufficiently noticed (p. 231). Travancore is a State of 1,300,000 people, noted for its prosperity, schools, roads, reservoirs, and yearly surplus, after defraying the expenses of the Government—this model native kingdom thus being an exception not only to its neighbours, but also to the Imperial Government—it being unnecessary to say that a surplus in the Calcutta treasury is a something unknown to latterday India. Cochin* is a small State to the south of Malabar, which for centuries maintained its independence against native and foreign aggression until it fell under Hyder Ali. In return for the aid the English gave him in expelling that conqueror, the Zamorin pays us tribute to the amount of £20,000 per annum, in addition to the cost of maintaining a battalion of native infantry. The country is, however, prosperous. It consists of a part of the level flat hemmed in between the sea and the Ghauts, in addition to the latter range of mountains which wall it off from inner India. Accordingly, it is everywhere cut through by mountain streams, which in places form“ backwaters” (p. 182). Great crops of rice are grown on the lowlands, and from the bills the torrents carry down to the coast immense quantities of timber, particularly teak, which, though vastly decreased in abundance, still exists in the north-eastern part of the State, and forms no inconsiderable source of wealth. Cotton, pepper, betel-nuts, ginger, and the usual Indian crops grow well, and coffee, which has of late been introduced, promises to add another item to the wealth of this flourishing feudatory kingdom of Southern India.
Among the cis-Sutlej States, Puttiala, with more than a million and a half of people, is the most important. It occupies part of Sihrind, that great plain between the Sutlej and the Jumna, where so many battles for the mastery of India have been fought. The noble services of its Maharajah and people have raised it high into the favour of the English Government. Indeed, it is owing to the acuteness of its ruler that Puttiala has been gradually increased. One of the sovereigns aided us in a war against Nepaul, another in the contest with the Sikhs; whilst the late occupant of the throne not only kept the road from Delhi to Lahore open during the Mutiny year, but lent money and troops freely to the Indian Government. For these offices he was amply rewarded, and the favour has been extended to the two Mahrajahs who have subsequently reigned in his stead. The Rajalis of Jhind and Nabha, though governing States not of such importance as Puttiala, are equally loyal to us. Kalsia is a smaller State ruled by : Sirdar; Maler Kotla is thickly inhabited, and is governed by a Nawab of Pathan descent, the family to which he belongs having originally come from Cabul to take service under the Mogul Emperors. The State of Faridkot was, up to the Sikh war of 1815-6, in the possession of the family of Mokam Chand, Prime Minister at Lahore, who had seized the sovereignty. But in that year the British Government, to mark their appreciation of the services of the Chief of Faridkot, restored him to the confiscated throne with the rank of Rajah. Kapurthala, Mandi, Chamba, and Sakit, are among the minor trans-Sutlej States. Khyrpore and Bhawulpore are Mohamedan kingdoms, which stretch along the left bank of the Sutlej and the Indus. The latter has an area of 6,000 square miles, and is a remnant of the family States of the Talpoor Ameers of Sindh, saved out of the general wreck of the fortunes of that family. Its ruler being detected in an attempt to gain more than his share by means of forged documents, was punished by having part of his dominions forfeited, and by being deposed from the rank of Reis to that of Meer. Bhawulpore is a long strip of country lying between the Indus and the desert which bounds Rajpootana on the north-west. It comprises some 15,000 miles, but only about a third of it is cultivated. The country has seen some stormy times, and was likely to sink into anarchy until the British Government interfered, and put the young Nawab under the tutelage of a tutor. He has been carefully educated, and last year commenced to reign in his sovereign capacity.
* Day: “Land of the Permauls" (1862).
But of all the States of Northern India, Cashmere, or, as it is now usually written, Kashmir, is the most important. Of its products and capabilities, some account has already been given (p. 196), but its prosperity bears but an indifferent ratio to its capabilities. With a larger area than Great Britain, it has a population not numbering over a million and a half, and is yearly threatened or devastated by famine. The present condition of the country is about as bad as bad can be, and if matters do not mend it is impossible to allow the easy, well-meaning, but supine Maharajah to misgovern the kingdom after the manner which has been the rule for so many years past. The kingdom includes not only the far-famed “Vale of Cashmere” but the hill-districts of Jammu, Baltistan, and the Tibetan district of Ladâk (pp. 104, 109). The people, though Moslems, are mostly of Hindoo race, with a mixture of Tartar and Tibetan elements, but the ruler is a Sikh prince, whose father was allowed to purchase the sovereignty of the province from us for £750,000 sterling. Previous to falling into our hands it had experienced the yoke of many successive masters, until, finally, the fall of Runjeet Singh brought it to us by right of conquest. The Maharajah owes fealty to England, and pays yearly a tribute of shawls, shawl-goats, and one horse. Srinagar, the capital (p. 256), has been called the Venice of the East, from the fact of the Thelam river on which it is built permeating almost every part of it. It is a picturesque pleasant town, and as Cashmere has of late years become the favourite holiday haunt of English officers, and even of English tourists, has been described and figured in a multitude of books.* The reports which reached the India Office during 1879-80 give a forbidding picture of the condition of matters in the lovely valley. Famine raged, yet it is affirmed that food existed in abundance at Srinagar, and that had the supplies there been properly distributed no one need have suffered, instead of thousands dying of starvation. The Maharajah's officials, it is said, laid their hands on all the supplies the Government obtained, and then retailed them to the famine-stricken people at exorbitant prices, or, as some accounts declare, stored them up in granaries so that the Mohammedan majority might be compelled to die of sheer want. In this manner the Dogra officials gratified their greed, or their religious and political antipathies. The Maharajah's ambition is to extend his kingdom in the direction of Tibet, and by the conquest of Ladâk, and the still more recent operations in the Gilgit Valley, some progress has been made in that direction. Ranbir-Singh, the present sovereign, is, like Scindia, a general in the British army. But if the bill of indictment which bas been presented against him be true, his generalship had always best remain of a purely honorary description. He resides for the greater part of the year at Jammu, allowing the Valley
* Wakefield : “The Happy Valley” (1879); Ince: “ Handbook to Kashmir” (1877); Cunningham : *** Ladâk” (1854); Drew: “The Northern Barrier of India" (1874); Wheeler : "Imperial Assemblage at Delhi" (1878), &c. &c.
of Cashmere, as in former times, to be governed by a deputy, to whose misconduct is due the present condition of a country endowed with every element of prosperity, but possessing none of it.
MEDIATISED AND MINOR CHIEFS.
Mr. Aitchison* classes the tenures of the guaranteed chiefs into two great classes —those chiefs in the administration of whose affairs the interference of the feudal
* « Treaties, Engagements, and Sunnuds relating to India," quoted in Malleson : “ Native States," p. 352.
superior is excluded by the express terms of the guarantee, and those chiefs whose "sunnuds” contain no such stipulation. Among other regulations under which the latter come is that they are not to have the power of life and death. These mediatised chiefs must submit all trials for “heinous offences and all sentences of death, transportation, or imprisonment for life to the local officer of the British Government.” To name all these mediatised and quashed petty kingdoms would be tedious, and not very profitable. In
Central India and Malwa there are, for example, Rajahs of Rutlam, Sillana, Alerajpore, Jhabua, Bukhtgurh, Narwar, Sheopore, and Khangurh ; Thakurs, that is, lords hereditary landowners, of Piploda, Jamasca, Naolana, Sheogurh, Dabri, Bichrod, Narwar, Salgurb, Piplia, Naogong, Dutana, Ajraoda, Dhulatia, Biloda, Mooltan, Kachi Baroda, Baisola, or Dotra, Khaltoun, Ragwgarh Burra, Sillani and Bukhtgurh Pithari, Bagli, Karodia, Tonk, Patharea, Singhana, Bai, Ragugarh, Kaytha, Khursi Jhalaria Phungat, Agra Burkhera, Dubla Dhir, Duria Kheri, Kumalpore, Dubla Ghosi, Khursia, Jhalera, and Kakurkheri; Chiefs of Punth Piploda, Sirsi, Chota Kusrawul, Dhungong, Mayne, Dhawra Kanjara, Bhoja Kheri, Basonda, Nursingarh, and Jabria Bhil; Raos of Kalukhera, Burdia, and Hirapore; Bhumias* of Nunkhera or Tirla, Kolà Burkhera, or Sorepore, Mota Burkhera, Kali Bauri, Barud poora, Jamnia, or Dabir, Rajgurh, and Ghurri, or Bhysa Kheri; a Turcis of Jumti, whose revenue is about £190 per annum; a Dewan of Khilchipore, who for the right of ruling a population of 35,000 pays tribute to Scindia; and a Jaghirdar of Sutatea, who leases twelve villages from the Rawut of Rajgurh. Now, though these rulers are styled petty-and many of them are so—yet were it not for the fact that they are feudatories of other princes who have already been named, their territories are in some cases much larger than those of the semi-independent sovereigns. However, there are, in addition, Nawabs of Kurwai and Mahomedgurh, and a Chief of Basonda, who are directly dependent on the British Government. Did space admit of this, a curious chapter might be written on the endlessly varied tenure by which, under the Indian feudal system, these numerous lords hold their sovereignties. They enable India to be governed more cheaply than would otherwise be possible ; but cheapness, it is needless to say, is purchased, according to our way of thinking, at the cost of justice to the people. Yet that is perhaps a sentimental grievance, for certainly the villages far in the central region of India seem happy enough, and probably get along more pleasantly with the simple patriarchal system of ancient India then under the more complex and costly régime of the British Government. In Bundelkhund there are twenty-four chiefs—whom we need not name--who hold their States as vassals and dependants of the English Government. In Western India there are nine Satura Jaghirdars, whose possessions have been guaranteed by the English Government; two chiefs, descended from old Abyssinian adventurers; and four other States under various administrations. In the Gujerat Peninsula, or Kattiwar—which contains 21,000 square miles—there were in former days 137 chiefs tributary to the Peishwa, and lll to the Gaikwar. Nowadays, though the Gaikwar still retains his tribute, it is collected by the British officials, and with the Peishwa's, which was ceded to England over sixty years ago, amounts to 1,181,140 rupees; and the gross income of the chiefs may be set down at 100,000,000 rupees, collected from 1,475,685 people, though, as no regular census has been taken of these native States, all such estimates must be considered only provisional guesses. In the Pahlanpore Agency there are eleven States—four Mohammedan and seven Hindoo—containing a population of 321,645 people, and gross revenues of 610,000 rupees per annum. In the Mabikanta States, with an area of 4,000 miles, and a population of 311,046, there are, in addition to the Rajahs of Idar and Ahmadnagar, a number of semi-independent chiefs, mainly noted as freebooters, and whose engagements with us consist for the most part in more or less fragile promises not to steal. In the Rewa Kanta States there are a number of little plundering proprietors, but there are only six rulers of any consequence; and, with the exception of three, all of them are tributaries of the Gaikwar.
SOUTHERN AND EASTERN INDIA.
In this part of the empire the “Tondiman Rajah” who rules Pudukotta is the truest ally of the English, but among a number of smaller subordinate States there are in
* The Bhumia is a feudal lord who is bound to protect travellers and the villages he has charge of from robbers, and is liable to the payment of pecuniary indemnification to sufferers from crime within his limits.