Wednesday, April 13, 2016


(pending: In Henry Lawrence articles on how to improve military administration in India, he had discussed the training of Golundauze along with the Native artillery regiments. The articles by the author were contributed to the Calcutta Review. However no exact definition is presently given here.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Gomastahs were the agents of the East India company. As the agent of the East India company, they moved around inner side of the country and procure the goods which the East India Company then exported to London. In company records and the writings of the British officers on the history of the East of India, they are generally referred as native agents. The term was generally used in Bengal Presidency or the Calcutta government as the Bengal Presidency is referred to in the accounts of the British Officer history. Such agents were authorized after 1757 to undertake monetary transactions and commitments. They enjoyed protection of the Calcutta government as it gradually acquired political power in Bengal Suba. As a result, the native agents overlooked the authority of the officers of the Bengal government or the native government as the British records would like to account in their published works. It is a view among historians, that the later days Indian capitalists were at one time gomastahs which had provided them opportunity to earn private wealth while working for the company government. Raja Ram Mohan Roy had also acted as a gomastah if that interpretation is to be adopted. It was in that capacity, that he earned wealth.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bheel Corps

Bheeln(Bhil) Corps was raised by James Outram. It was raised in 1827 in Khandesh. It was a part of a policy of Governor Elphinstone.

Special Note: The nationalist historians make too much efforts to declare invader an invader. There are many such actions undertaken by invaders which could be a lesson for present to find solution to many problems. Alas, Indian Historiography lacks too much. There are strong biases, constraints and pressures which are hampering in its growth.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Battle of Swally 1612

Battle of Swally:
It was fought between Portuguese and English in 1612.

The Portuguese did not like the establishment of the factory at Surat. They invaded it. Captain Best, who established the factory defeated them.

Surat remained the seat of the British activity in India upto 1686.

Raikes, Charles, "The Englishman of India", 1867, London

Further Reference:
Wikipedia Article on Battle of Swally

Sir James Lancaster

Sir James Lancaster: He was the first commander of the first fleet sent by the East India company to India. It consisted of four big ships and one small boat. The names of the ships and boat were The Dragon, The Hector, The Swan, The Ascension and The Guest.

The fleet under the command of Sir James Lancaster was manned by 480 seamen.

It sailed for India on April 22, 1601.

Raikes, Charles, "The Englishman of India", 1867, London.

Further References:
Wikipedia Note on Sir James Lancaster (Click to Access)

George Earl of Cumberland

George of Earl of Cumberland: He was the person received the first charter of East India Company on December 31, 1600. It was given along with him to 215 knights, aldermen and merchants. The charter was given for fifteen years.

Raikes, Charles, "The Englishman of India", 1867, London

Thomas Stevens

Thomas Stevens: Thomas Stevens was the first Englishman to round the Cape of Good Hope and reached India. He was member of Jesuit mission to Goa. He traveled in a Portuguese ship. He was a native of Wiltshire. He studied in New College, Oxford. He was in India in 1579.

Source: Raikes, Charles, "The Englishman in India", 1867, London.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dwarkanath Tagore

                                                 Dwarkanath Tagore was the founder of illustrious Tagore (Thakur) family of Bengal in India. He was an entrepreneur who dominated the business world of Bengal in 1830s and 1840s in a short span of his life of 53 years. He was born in 1794 and died in 1846. He is credited with introduction of steam engine technology and modern corporate forms in India. He had business interests in coal mining, tea gardens, insurance companies, banking, joint stock companies, silk, indigo, newspapers, landed estates and ocean going ships. In his corporate vision he sought interracial cooperation in business. He also dreamed of an industrialized India to attain a status of equal partner in British commonwealth of nations. The other illustrious sons of this family after him were Debendranath and Rabindranath (Guruji). His decedents now live in Berlin. 

Photograph Source: UNESCO as accessed on February 13, 2011

Information Source: Blair B Kling: Partner in Empire.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nij Cultivation

Nij Cultivation

It was also called zerat cultivation. It was a land settlement between the planters and ryots wherein the ryots were bound to a bond to undertake a cultivation for a particular crop. The issue of indigo crops became a major incidence in Bihar and Bengal region.

It is researched based observation that this system of contract was preferred by the English Planters of indigo. They leased the land from the zamindars and then executed the Nij or zerat cultivation with the crop producers or ryots. The nij contracts were adopted after indigo revolts. Before the indigo revolt (1858) raiyati system was practiced. The nij cultivation declined in Bengal after the indigo revolt and continued in Bihar where it had spread at a later stage.

The leases acquired by the English planters from the Big Zamindars were in form of Thika tenure ( temporary lease) or mukrari tenure (premanent lease).


(based on the quotation and references from Plantations, proletarians and peasants in colonial Asia. pp.178, Edited by E. Valentine Daniel, Henry Bernstein, Tom Brass, Routledge, London, 1992. ISBN 0-7146-3467-0.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



Saptanga means seven elements of State, a theory of state as given by Kautilya and Valluvar. The seven elements are Swami, Amatya, Janapada, Durga, Kosa, Danda and Mitra.

Reference: R. S. Sharma, Aspects of Political Ideas and Institution in Ancient India, pp. 31, Chapter III.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sultan Nizam Shah

Sultan Nizam Shah was the founder of the Nizam Shahi dynasty of Ahmadnagar. His actual name was Malik Ahmad. He was governor of Junar under Bahmani Kingdom. He established his independent rule in 1490 and founded Nizam Shahi dynasty.

Ahmednagar Kingdom was one of the five independent kingdoms which came up after the end of Bahmani Kingdom.

The other four dynasties were Adil Shahi dynasty at Bijapur, Imadshahi dyansty of Berar, Qutubshahi dynasty of Golkonda and Barid Shahi dynasty at Bidar.

Digital Source

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Authority referred

Kingdom of Ahmadnagar
Cultural Archaeology of Ahmadnagar During Nizam Shai Period, 1494-1632
Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Ahmadnagar
Memoirs of Chand Bibi,: The princess of Ahmadnagar (Nawab Lutf un-Dawlah Memorial Series)

Yusuf Adil Shah

Yusuf Adil Shah was the founder of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur. He was a Turkish Noble. The Adil Shahi dynasty was founded by him in 1489.

Bijapur was one of the five dynasties which replaced the Bahmani Kingdom.

The other four dynasties were Nizam Shahi dynasty at Ahmadnagar, Imadshahi dyansty of Berar, Qutubshahi dynasty of Golkonda and Barid Shahi dynasty at Bidar.

Digital Source:

Authority Referred

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HISTORY OF THE RISE OF THE MUHAMMADAN POWER IN INDIA. Volume Two: History of the Dekhan. Part One: Bahmani Kingdom of Kulbarga
The Bahmani kingdom (Short studies in Indian history)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pabna Unrest

Pabna Unrest:
Pabna Unrest was an agrarian unrest. It started in 1873 and continued upto 1885. It was directed against the oppressive zamindars. The peasants adopted the methodology of resisting the payment of revenue which was over and above the legal limits. The Bengal leaders like Bankim Chandra Chatterjea, R. C. Dutt and Surendranath Banerjea, the young Bengalis who were forming an all India ideology of counter the imperialistic rule of Britain, supported it. The time period of 70s and 80s suggests that the Indians had started evolving an ideology against the oppressive rule. However, in the Pabna Unrest, there was no indication of direct opposition to the British rule. It was not an anti-British war cry. They had rather projected that they supported Her Majesty government.

Agrarian Unrest in Karnataka
Agrarian Unrest and Socio-Economic Change in Bihar 1900-1980
Agrarian Unrest in North India: United Provinces, 1918-22
Agrarian unrest in Patna: An investigation into recent repression
Agrarian unrest, peasant struggles, and social change: A study of Telangana in A.P
Peasants and princes: Agrarian unrest in the East Punjab states, 1920-48
Political unrest in Orissa in the 19th century: Anti-British, anti-feudal and agrarian risings (Orissan studies project)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bishnu Biswas

Bishnu Biswas: Govindpur Village, Nadia District, Bengal Province, Indigo Revolt 1859-60

The Santhals
Santhal Women: A Social Profile
Ethnobotany of Santhal Pargana
The Santhals in Historical & Social Perspectives
History of Jharkhand: Birsa Munda, History of Ranchi District, Santhal Rebellion, Rajmahal, Ramgarh Raj, Chasnala Mining Disaster

Digambar Biswas

Digambar Biswas: Govindpur Villagae, Nadia District, Bengal Province, Indigo Revolt 1859-1860. He with his brother Bisnu Biswas started a social boycott movement against the Indigo Planters. They adopted the policy of resistance through legal and political mobilization movement when the nationalist intellectuals were yet to define their role in national movement. The movement started just when the British government had suppressed the Uprising of 1857.

Art and Nationalism in Colonial India, 1850-1922: Occidental OrientationsGlobalization and Religious Nationalism in India: The search for ontological securityRemembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India (Contemporary South Asia)
The Insurrection of Little Selves: The Crisis of Secular-Nationalism in India
The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in India
Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India's Present; Narratives from OrissaRemembering Partition: Violence, Nationalism and History in India

Hem Chandra Kar

Hem Chandra Kar, Deputy Magistrate, Indigo Revolt 1859-60

Indigo Revolt 1859-1860

Indigo Revolt 1859-60: Peasant Uprising in post 1857 period.
The main leaders were Digambar Biswas and Bishnu Biswas. It started from Nadia district. The peasants Biswass Brothers of village Govinderpur in Nadia District of erstwhile Bengal province started it. It is being evaluated by historians to have influenced the nationalist intellectuals who were growing in the perception of anti-colonial rule and germinating the national movement. It had just started after the first war of independence or the Uprising of 1857.

The main methodology of protest was social boycott. No doubt, there were incidences of violent attacks which were rather provoked by the Planters.

Kanhu Murmu

Kanhu Murmu: Santhal Revolt: 1855 to 1866. He was brother of Sido Murmu. They jointly motivated 60000 Santhals against the British Rule whom they called Dihku. Dikhu in their dialect meant the outsider. It were some Dikhus who even helped them like the milk man, black smiths etc. They targeted the British establishment.

Chotti Munda and His Arrow
History of Jharkhand: Birsa Munda, History of Ranchi District, Santhal Rebellion, Rajmahal, Ramgarh Raj, Chasnala Mining Disaster
Tribes of West Bengal: Santhal, Santals, Oraon, Rabha, Munda People, Toto Tribe, Lepcha People, Bhutia, Santhal Rebellion, Bhumij

Sido Murmu

Sido Murmu: Santhal Revolt of 1855 to 1866. He was brother of Kanhu Murmu. They jointly mobilized 60000 Santhals who fought desperately with bow and arrows. It is recorded in the British annals that Rajmahal Hills were drenched red with the blood of Santhals. They fought to push out the Dikhu and bring back independence under the direction of Thakur (God). Their uprising was called hool in their dialect.

Tribes of West Bengal: Santhal, Santals, Oraon, Rabha, Munda People, Toto Tribe, Lepcha People, Bhutia, Santhal Rebellion, Bhumij
Santhal Women: A Social Profile

Santhal hool

Santhal hool is translated as Santhal uprising. Santhals are a tribe of Rajmahal hills between Bhagalpur and Rajmahal (falls now in present Jharkhan state of India). It was headed by Sido Murmu (Santhal) and Kanhu Murmu (Santhal). They were able to motivate 60,000 Santhals from nearly 400 villages to stand against the oppressive activities of British officers and their associates in form of zamindars and moneylenders. The uprising took place in 1855 and was suppressed only by 1866. A major massacre took place during this suppression. An officer of Major General was deputed to crush their uprising. According to British officers, the major carnage resulted because of brute and reckless activities of Santhals. Report of Calcutta Review had called them meek and yielding tribe.

Digital Source: Official Website of Jharkhan State

Authority Referred: Bipin Chandra and five authors: India's Struggle for Freedom


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Chandra Bipin : India'S Struggle for Independence
The Epic Struggle
Nationality and Empire. A running study of some current Indian problems
The Epic Struggle

Monday, June 7, 2010

Gadkaris Revolt

Gadkaris Revolt was a civil uprising which took place in 1844 in Maharashtra. It was participated by peasants against the British revenue policy adopted after subduing the Peshwas.

Digital Source


Authority Referred

Edit Report

Politics For Development: Recreating a Prosperous and Secure Maharashtra
Ram Ganesh Gadkari (Makers of Indian literature)
Traditional Industry in the Economy of Colonial India (Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society)The Transition to a Colonial Economy: Weavers, Merchants and Kings in South India, 1720-1800 (Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society)India and the World Economy: 1850-1950 (Debates in Indian History and Society)

Itihasik Khoj

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