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CHAPTER I.— Historical Sketch of Poona and its
P^NviRONS— Mallojee Bhonslay (Siwajee's grand-
father) to MhADAJEE SiNDIA— 15CX), TO I2TH

February 1794 A.D i— 17

CHAPTER II.— Historical Sketch— Confim/ed. Nana

FURNAWEES AND BaJEE RaO, 1794 TO 1799 A.D. . 18— 36

CHAPTER III.— Historical Sketch— Continued. Death
OF Nana, Holkar and Sindia, Treaty of Bassein,
1800 TO 1816, A.D 37— 53

CHAPTER IV.— Historical Sketch— G?;;///^/^^. Down-

Annexation, 1817 to 1880 A.D 54— 76

CHAPTER v.— The Poona and Deccan Press . . 77— 81

CHAPTER VI.— The "Scourge of the Deccan". . 82— 99

CHAPTER VII.— The Siwajee Revival 100— 112

CHAPTER VIII.— The Deccanee and Deccanised—

Konkanee Brahmins 113—123

CHAPTER IX.— The Pure Konkanee Brahmins— A

Chitpawan Legend 124—133

CHAPTER X. -The Shenwee Brahmins 134—136

CHAPTER XL— The Parbhu 137-H1

CHAPTER XII.— The Mahrattas of the Syadrees—

OF THE Ghaut Mahta— of the Plains .... 142—154




CHAPTER XIIL— The Konkanee Mussulman . . . 155—168

CHAPTER XIV.— The Deccanee Mussulman— /"^r/z. 169—182

CHAPTER XV.— The Deccanee Mussulman— /^^r/ 2. 183-191
CHAPTER XVI.— The Trading Classes. The Agri-
cultural AND Labouring: Rural Castes. The

Artisan Castes 192-213

CHAPTER XVII.-The Out Castes, The Hill or Wild

Tribes, The Migratory and Predatory Tribes. 214—226

CHAPTER XVIII— Aliens 227-241

CHAPTER XIX.- PooNA Police 242-250

CHAPTER XX.— Summary and Conclusion . . . 251—253



The City of Poona and its Environs— Historical Sketch (1500
TO 12 February 1794 Pages i to 17

Poona under the Nizam — Shahee Dynasty 15th and i6th Centuries —
Mahrattas already troublesome — The Bhonslays of Verole (Ellora) — Mallojee,
Siwajee's grandfather, pacified by grant of Poona and Soopa districts,
Fortresses of Sewneree and Chakun, with command of 5,000 horse and
title of Raja in 1604 — Mallojee succeeded by son Shahjee Siwajee, born
at Sewneree, May 1627 — Shahjee builds palace at Poona for Siwajee and
his mother, 1637 — Siwajee educated there — Raises father's standard in the
Konkan and thence raids the Deccan — Shaisteh Khan ordered to punish
him, plunders Poona, occupies Siwajee's palace (1662), but cannot dislodge
Siwajee from Singhur — Siwajee's daring exploit — Moguls evacuate Poona,
1663 — Siwajee dies, 5th April, 1680 — Succeeded by son Sumbhajee, who,
is pursued to Poona by Mogul Viceroy who occupies City (1685) — Bubonic
Plague in Deccan and Poona, 1689 — Aurungzebe holds Poona and Deccan,
1693 to 1699, from camp at Brimhapooree — Five years' futile efforts to
crush Mahrattas in Deccan — Proceeds to Beejapoor to check them in
Carnatic, 1705 — Returns and dies at Ahmednuggur, 1707 — Origin and rise
of Sindia and Holkar — Ballajee Bajee Rao Peishwa— Proclaims Poona
Capital of the Mahrattas (1705) — His struggle with Nizam Ally— Growth
of Mhadajee vSindia's power — Alarm of Nana Furnawees, Minister of
youthful Peishwa Mhadow Rao — Sindia's grand progress to Poona with
Imperial Firmauns — Encamps at Poona, ilth June, 1 791 — The Great
Durbar — Sindia's influence over young Peishwa — Despair of Nana — Sudden
death of Mhadajee Sindia at Poona, 12th February, 1794 — Character of
Mhadajee — Why he failed "to crush the Brahmins."

Historical Sketch— C<?^///;z?/^^ Pages 1 8 to 36

Suicide of young Peishwa at Poona, 25th October, 1795 — Nana Furnawees
distrusting Bajee Rao, intrigues to supplant him — Bajee Rao's counterplots
with Sindia and Balloba Tattya are successful — Nana and Bajee Rao swear
friendship (1796) and throw over Sindia and his Minister — They march
on Poona— Nana feigns to retire from office— but accepts Balloba's plan to
depose Bajee Rao and enthrone Chimnajee when adopted by widow of
suicide — The puppet Raja at Satara — Mutual distrust of Nana and Balloba —
Bajee Rao inveigled into Sindia's camp, is detained prisoner — Chimnajee
made Peishwa (25th May, 1796) — Balloba tries to seize Nana— The latter's
desperate position — He rises to the emergency — Intrigues with Bajee Rao —


Balloba decides to send Bajee Rao prisoner to Hindostan in charge of
Ghatgay, but Bajee Rao corrupts the latter — Meantime Nana matures his
plans — Secures British co-operation^— Arrests Balloba and Chimnajee— Makes
treaty with Sindia and Nizam Ally — Resumes Prime Ministership (25th
November, 1796) — Reseats Bajee Rao as Peishwa (4th December) — Annuls
Chimnajee's adoption — A Mahratta kaleidoscope — Vana's reorganisation —
Affray in Poona — Death of Tookajee Holkar — Nana supports youngest son
whom Sindia kills at Poona, while two other sons fly for their lives —
Sindia interferes in government — Bajee Rao, egged on by Ghatgay, turns
against Nana — Arrests him (31st December, 1797) — Lets Ghatgay loose to
ravage Poona — ^^Pries but fails to seize Sindia — Bajee Rao allies himself
with Nizam Ally — Sindia seeks British mediation— Neglects advice
tendered — Bajee Rao plays his best trump — Treats with both Nana and
Sindia — The latter banishes Ghatgay— Nana, Bajee Rao, and Sindia
reconciled, 1798.


Historical ^k^tcu— Conti?med (1800 to 1816) . . Pages 37 to 53

Death of Nana Furnawees, 13 March — His character — His Statesmanship —
His fear and respect for the English — Baiee Rao and Sindia quarrel over
his property — Sindia destroys recently reinstated Shenwee Ministers —
Balloba dies in prison — Two others barbarously executed at Poona — Bajee
Rao hunts down Nana's friends— His unpopularity — Captures and murders
Wittoojee Holkar at Poona — -Jeswant Rao Holkar vows vengeance — Bajee
Rao strives to conciliate him — Tries to seize Ghatgay, who escapes to Malwa
and defeats Holkar at Indore — Holkar, in 1802, reappears in great force,
near Poona — Bajee Rao asks, but is i-efused British aid — Trifles with Holkar —
Holkar and Sindia race for Poona — Battle at Poona between Holkar and
Sindia, 25 .October, 1802, with British troops and Peishwa looking on —
Signal defeat of Sindia— Bravery of Holkar — Flight of Bajee Rao to
Konkan — Takes refuge with the British at Bassein — Holkar sets up Bajee
Rao's brother, Amrut Rao, who incites Holkar to plunder Poona — British
Resident leaves Poona — Visits Bajee Rao at Bassein — Treaty of Bassein,
3 December, 1802 — Bajee Rao escorted to Poona by British troops —
Reseated on throne, 13 May, 1803 — Holkar and Amrut Rao fly — Treachery
of Bajee Rao — Forms Mahratta Confederacy against the British — Fails to
dupe Mr. Elphinstone — His infamous favourite, Trimbuckjee Dainglia —
Trimbuckjee murders Gungadhur vShastree of Baroda at Punderpoor when
under British guarantee — Is seized at instance of Resident — Is imprisoned
at Tannah, but escapes — Raises Hill Tribes with Bajee Rao's connivance —
Elphinstone insists on surrender of Trimbuckjee — Peishwa temporises —
Elphinstone's firmness and 'energy — New treaty with Bajee Rao, 10 May,
181 6 — His complete humiliation — Nevertheless he resumes his treacherous
intrigues— Sir John Malcolm duped by him — Elphinstone's warning to
Sir John.


Historical ^YiETCH— Completed (1817 to 1880) . . Pages 54 to 76

Singhur, Raighur and Poorundhur restored to Peishwa (August) — General
Smith with Deccan Army occupies Chandore range — Bajee Rao at Maholee
matures plot against British — Reveals it to puppet Raja — Confines him at
Wassota — Trimbuckjee arms Hill Tribes — Bajee Rao's secret missions to
Nagpoor, Sindia, Holkar and Pindarrees — Employs Ghoreparay to corrupt


British Officers and Troops — Proposes to murder Elphinstone at a conference —
Gokhla objects— The Dussera insult to British Troops, which change their
position — An anxious night, 28 October— Gokla urges action — Bajee Rao
delays — More insults to Resident — The Battle of Kirkee— Signal defeat of
Peishwa — Arrival of General Smith — He occupies Poona — Flight and
pursuit of Bajee Rao — The Battle of Koreygaum — Renewed flight of Bajee
Rao, towards Mysore, back to Sholapoor, to Chandore, to Kopergaum,
to Nagpoor territory — Is abandoned by all Chiefs except Vinchoorkur and
Poorundharee — Appeals to Sir John Malcolm — Surrenders to Lieutenant
Low, 3 June, 1818 — Abdicates— Is pensioned at Bithoor — Adopts the future
Nana Saheb — End of the Brahmin Dynasty — British accession — Bajee Rao's
character — Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay — Thirty-seven years' peace —
The Mutiny years — The Railway opened to Poona — Sir Battle Frere —
Prosperity of Poona — Its filthy condition — Its Riots, Dacoities, and Jubilee
Murders — To whom ascribable — Inhabitants of Poona law-abiding — Only
want governing — Not by Brahmins.

The Poona and Deccan Press Pages 77 to 81

Injustice of stigmatising all the Native Pi-ess as disloyal — Soundness of
the Bombay Press — Faults of the Native Press — They exist in England —
Good Anglo- Vernaculars — Congress newspapers — Their back-bone black-
mail — "Sangvinary Veeds" thriving in high places, must be uprooted —
The Law suffices — Temperature Chart of the Native Press.

The "Scourge of the Deccan" ...... Pages 82 to 99

Saturday Street, Poona — The office of the "Scourge" — Baba Saheb — A
sucking Peishwa — His ambition — The Pryvit Saheb— How to start a Native
Paper — The Editor's Room — A Brace of Rascals — The Secret Compact —
The Babooneese language — Two Editorials in the "Scourge" — End of the
Editor — The Snake's Progress— Baba Saheb's brilliant prospects.

The Siwajee Revival Pages 100 to 112

Curious outburst of Brahmin patriotism — Valuable documents — Where
Siwajee was burnt at ^Raighur—Siwajee's Durbars — Soyera Bye's Curse —
View from Raighur — Afzool Khan and Siwajee — Brahmins arrange a
friendly conference — Sivvajee's religious and other preparations — The deadly
embrace— Who would have thought it? — Killing no murder — Hurrah for


The Inhabitants of Poona.
The Deccannised— Konkanee Brahmins . . . Pages 113 to 123

Injustice of condemning all Brahmins because there are some malignants —
Good specimens — ^Judge Ranade's admirable speech — The malign influence
of the Deccan climate on Konkanee Brahmins— Swelled head — A specific
for it — An unused Government remedy — Passionate Brahmins prize fowls.



The Inhabitants of Voo^k— Continued.

The Pure Konkanee Legend— A Chitpawan Legend. Pages 124 to 133

Deorookhas and Javvala Brahmins — Chitpawans — Chiploon their place
of origin — Why they are 'twice born' — The true Legend — Their Immor-
tality — Their Treachery — Indra sees his mistake— Their little game — How
Indra paid them out — Hurrah! they die like any Deshast.


The Inhabitants of V 00^ p^— Continued.

The Saraswata, Senoy or Shenwee Brahmin . Pages 134 to 136

Origin of the Shenwees— Shameful scandal spread by Chitpawans —
Shenwees are rivals to them — Their many good traits — Antidotes to
Brahmin poison — Perhaps the best of all Hindoos.


The Inhabitants of Voo'^^k— Continued.

The Parbhu— Prabhu— (Anglice) Purvoe. . . Pages 137 to 141

Their low position in the scheme of mixed castes — Another Brahmin
scandal — Their high character — Their tenderness to their women — Their
conspicuous gallantry in battle — Three notable instances of it — Siwajee
highly valued them — Their decay regrettable.


The Inhabitants of V 00^ a— Continued.

The Mahrattas of the Syadrees— of the Ghaut-Mahta^of the
Plains Pages 142 to 154

The habitat of the Syadree Mahrattas — Their warlike tradition — Are
descended from Rajpoots — Wasteful cultivation — Their poverty and sim-
plicity — Their mode of life — A terrible domestic tragedy — Father and Son —
A grand old man — Ghattees are descendants of Siwajee's Mawullees— How
they have been gradually reclaimed and civilised — The Plain Mahrattas —
The hereditary Patells or village head-men — Their good work — Their
staunchness as soldiers.


The Inhabitants of Poona— Contiiiued.

The Konkanee Mussulman Pages 155 to 168

The Konkanee Mussulman at home — Their good service after the
Peishwa's downfall — Their deplorable decadence — The story of Abdul
Farreed — He adopts a waif — Is tried for murder and acquitted — Throws up
his appointment — Is pursued into his retreat by Brahmin conspiracies — Is
foully slandered about the waif Khatiza — Anonymous accusations— I visit
him — He is persuaded to part with Khatiza, who marries — His persecution



The Inhabitants of Voo^\— Continued.
The Deccanee Mussulman; The Deccan— Actual and Possible.
A Study in the Famine Question— /iz/-/ 1. . Pages 169 to 182

Mr. Geddes' Article on Cyprus — Fitting the Cypriote coat on the Deccanee
back — From Poona to Beejapoor — The Arid Zone — How produced — The City
of the Dead — The Legend of the Peerstan of Shahpoor — The Peer-Zadah
is rescued from penury by Government— Gentlemen of the Deccan apo-
strophised — Now is the appointed time — Moral for the Government.


The Inhabitants of Voo^k— Continued.
The Deccanee Mussulman; The Deccan— Actual and Possible.
A Study in the Famine Question— /^<?// 2. . Pages 183 to 191

The City of the Dead left — The Arid Zone traversed— What might
have been — What might yet be done — Disforesting causes dessication —
Impoverishment and economic ruin follow — A brighter belt of country —
The reason of it — The Well Shaft and water-galleries at Hoongoond —
// faut cultiver son jardin — Water mining better than water damming —
The result a rise of acre values — Moral for the Powers that be — The
Hygiene of Peace.


The Inhabitants of Voo^ a— Continued.

The Trading Classes— Bhattias— Goozurs—Wanees— Marwar-

rees—Khojahs— Borahs— Miscellaneous Shopkeepers— All live

AMICABLY TOGETHER— Contented— Industrious— Indifferent to

Politics— Charitable Pages 192 to 213

The Agricultural^ Labouring and Rural Castes.

The Koonbees, Ryots or Cultivators. — Their patience and industry : their
condition now and in the old times: their homes.

Coolies, Bigarrees, Porters, Day Labourers, and odd men.

Gowlees or Milkmen. — High in vShudra rank: their little weaknesses,

Mallees or Gardeners. — Are well connected, well to do, well affected.

Dhungars or Shepherds and Herdsmen. — How they collect their flocks:
their progress to their markets: should be well off, but rarely seem so:
are quite harmless.

Nhawees, Hajams or Barbers. — Have the failings of all Figaros: their
independence: "Tom the Barber."

Gabeets, Boodeemars, Fishermen and Divers. — How they net the rivers,
and recover drowned bodies: good fellows, but quarrelsome in their cups.

The Bhundarrees or Toddy-drawers. — Their conceit and vanity : excellent
public servants: once your friend always your friend.

The Artisan classes.— Sonars or Goldsmiths the best of the Shudras:
ambitious of admittance as Brahmins: their intelligence: their women
educated: their honesty and skill. Miscellaneous Artisans: Carpenters,
Blacksmiths, etc.

Shimpees or Tailors. — Competition resulting from sewing-machines : their

Moochees or Shoemakers.— Skilful but drunken and unreliable : competition
of Madrassees and Chinamen.



The Out Castes— The Hill or Wild Tribes— The Migratory and
Predatory Tribes . Pages 214 to 226.

The Mliars are the' aboriginals of Maharashtra: are indispensable and
ubiquitous: are splendid soldiers, good masons, good servants: shamefully
ne.trlected in Poona.

The Mhangs. — Their foul employment and food: their destitution: their

The Hill or Wild Tribes. — Ramooshees of the Ghauts — their bitter
poverty: reasons for it: their evil traditions: they are used, cheated, and
betrayed by Brahmins: their presence in towns ominous: a Ramooshee
Police Corps recommended. — Ramooshees of the Station are a mixed lot:
their nocturnal and daily habits: their discretion. — Bheels, Kolees, and
Katodees do not come to Poona.

Brief list of Migratory and Predatory Tribes. — All filthy: all debauched —
all thieves, except the Waddars, the Navvies of the Carnatic, who have
been reclaimed.

The Tamasha Wallas or Showmen and Jugglers. Formerly accompanied
Mogul armies: their honesty doubtful: they levy blackmail: their sudden
disappearance from a city presages disturbance.

The Gosaees have fought well in old days: ai-e good spies: some are
wealthy traders: the ascetics and contortionists probably half witted:
Gcsaees needed in the Police.

The Alien Inhabitants of Poona Pages 227 to 241

The Parsees. — Their worth: the superiority of their women: some distin-
guished Parsees: their benefactions: public spirit; enterprise: their services
to the State: weak points of younger generation: exhortation to Parsees.

The Moodliars (Madrasses). — Their insignificance: are kindly, charitable
easy-going, ready dupes: they represent nobody.

The Izrailies or Oil factors. — Their supposed origin: are good soldiers,
mechanics and artificers.

Goanese and other Eurasians. — Are numerous: harmless, indolent: fond
of liquor, poultry, and pork: good musicians: fair artificers: inherit
weaknesses of both races.

The Poona Police Pages 242 to 250

Are utterly inefficient: sometimes brutal: are shamefully underpaid while
heavily tempted. — Urgent need for reform. — Warnings from those who know
disregarded. — Failure of Lord Harris's scheme. — Evil traditions of Poona
Police: Two infamous Inspectors. — Reform very simple: how to be made:
how to be paid for.


Summary and Conclusion Pages 251 to 253

General disaffection and discontent does not prevail in Maharashtra —
Is confined to a small body of one caste — Q.E.D. — The Moral— Hoping
against Hope.





The Conference. {Full Page Frontispiece^ 4


BY Lord Egerton of Tatton. {Medallion on Title Page) 5

Parbuttee Temple and Palace. {Full Page.) 9

Sumbhajee's Day Durbar. {Full Page.) 19

Office of the "Scourge of the Deccan." {Full Page.) . 83

The Secret Compact 87

The Sjjake's Progress. {Full Page.) 95

Siwajee's Cremation Platform loi

Siwajee's Nocturnal Durbar. {Full Page.) 103

The Wagnuk 109

The Deccan Brahmin 114

Brahmin Lady 120

The Konkanastha, or Chitpawan Brahmin 126

GowALKOTE. Stronghold of the Konkanastha. {Full Page.) 131

The SnfeNWEE Brahmin 135

The Parbhu 138

The Mahratta of the Syadrees 143

Syadree Mahrattas— Father and Son. {Full Page.) . . 151

The Konkanee Mussulman 156

Fort Victoria— Bankote— Home of the Konkanee Mus-
sulman. {Full Page.) 165



The Deccanee Mussulman Gentlemen 170

The Big Dome. (^Full Page?) 175

The Asar Mahal 179

The Big Gun. {Full Page:) 185

The Wanee 193

The Marwarree 194

The Khojah 195

The Borah 196

The Koonbee 199

The Coolie 200

The Gowlees 202

The Dhungar 204

The Nhawee 205

The Gabeet 207

The Bhundaree 209

The Sonar 211

The Shimpee 212

The Moochee 213

The Mhar 215

The Ramooshee of the Station . 217

The Phansee Pardees. {Full Page) 219

The Tamasha Wallas. (7^?/// P^^^.) 223

The Gosaee 225

Parsees 228

Lady Jamsetjee's Dam. {Full Page.) 231

The Moodliar 238

The Israilee , . . . . 239

The Goanese 240

Poona Police . . 243


History of the Mahrattas. (Grant Duff) Times of India Press.

Indian Caste. (John Wilson, D,D., F.R.S.) Ditto.

History of the Parsees. (Dossaehoy Framjee Karaka, C.S.L)

Macmillan & Co.
The Hindu Pantheon. (Edward Moor). New Edition with Plates

BY W. O. Simpson.
Memoir of C. T. E. Rhenius of Edinburgh. (By his son J. Rhenius.)
Mahabharata, Miscellaneous Extracts. (John Muir, D.C.L.)
Mahabharata, Further Metrical Translations from the.

CJoHN Muir, D.C.L.)
Indian and Oriental Arms, etc. (The Right Honble. Lord

Egerton of Tatton.)
The Contemporary Review (June 1897). Article by Mr. Patrick

One Hundred Bombay Notes. (Extracts from different


Early Days of the Bhonslays of Satara. (H. B. E. Frere.)


"The news from India is serious, though it must not be
exaggerated. It does not follow that because English officers are
shot at, the whole of India is in a state of latent rebellion," so
said, wisely and temperately— as is its wont,— the Sf. James's Gazette
of the 30th June after the Poona Jubilee murders. Would that the
rest of the English Press had been as sober, as prudent! Alas!
while the whole pack has been in full cry, Mahommedan fanaticism
has been dragged, like red herrings tied to Brahminical threads,
across the scent.- The pack has broken up. Some couples— the
fiercest and the rashest— have run to heel on the line of Native
Press Suppression; others have pursued the foul Plague phantom,
and mauled brave "Tommy Atkins"; a few still bay at Brahmins
good and bad indifferently; while hare-brained Scotch, Irish, and
"Padgett" M.P'S have ridden recklessly ahead, scattering on each
line abundant lies, provided by cringing Fergusson College Professors
and pestilent Deccan "Sabhas." "Filled is the air with barbarous
dissonance" and the British public is bewildered.

There is great present danger that the innocent may be confounded
with the guilty: there is greater danger that the guilty may evade
detection— as has often happened before— and that the character
of harmless classes may be irreparably injured through misappre-
hension. There is still greater danger that thus a general feeling
of disaffection, which I hope to prove does not yet exist, may
actually be produced.


At such a time it behoves those who have passed many years
in Western India, who know something of the people and their
languages, and who feel for their present sufferings from famine and
pestilence, to endeavour to prevent the widening of the gulf that
must always exist between Asiatics and their British rulers. If
anything I have written, or may write, shall awaken keener interest
in, diffuse a better knowledge of these peoples and of their real
needs, I shall not have laboured in vain.

There are many books and documents bearing on the subject
of this work, to which access has unfortunately been impossible
because the India Office Library has been closed since June 1896.
I have striven to make the best use of history, (quoting largely
from Grant Duff,) of ancient Sanscrit traditions and legends, of the
memoirs and researches of distinguished writers, and have ventured
to intersperse incidents and experiences in my own life; thus
bringing everything up to date, without, I hope, unfair comment,
even on those misguided men— a mere handful, after all— who
have brought about all the trouble.

The names of people and places are herein spelt in accordance
with their rendering by Grant Duff and other Anglo-Indians before
the Hunterian style was invented. Forced down officials' throats
by official orders, the system has never been popular with the
Services, nor has it ever been fully adopted.

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Online LibraryArthur Travers CrawfordOur troubles in Poona and the Deccan → online text (page 1 of 15)