- The rise of Jat power
’ (king) was conferred upon him in 1724. [Dr P.L. Vishwakarma, The Jats, I, Ed Dr Vir Singh, (Delhi:2004), 116]
In past Jats always rose against tyranny, injustice, economic and social exploitations and were never overawed by claims of racial or tribal superiority. They have always stood in ancient as well as medieval times like rock in the face of invaders seeking to ravage the motherland. Whenever the occasion arose they beat their ploughshares into swords and taking advantage of decrepit political structure, they laid the foundations of political power under several tribal chiefs.
Maharaja Suraj Mal, the builder of Bharatpur, was by far the most resplendent star in the eighteenth century. [Preface by Ram Niwas Mirdhain G.C. Dwivedi’s, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003]
They have shown in all times – whether against Sultan
Mahmud of Ghazni, or against Nadir Shahand Ahmad Shah Abdali– the same propensity to fall upon the rear of a retreating army undeterred by the heaviest odds, or the terror-inspiring fame of great conquerors. When encountered they showed the same obstinate and steady courage unmindful of the carnage on the field or of the miseries that were in store for them after defeat. [Qanungo, Jats,30] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.11-12]
In 1669 this race of warrior-agriculturists, the Jats, rose against the narrow and over-centralised despotic regime of
Aurangzeb. (See - The Jat Uprising of 1669) The Jat power under the leadership of Churamantook a big leap forward during the rule of the imbecile successors of Aurangzeb. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.55-56]
Aurangzeb’s departure from the north
The decade following
Gokula’s rebellion in 1669 corresponded with the period of a strong Mughal government. Aurangzeb with the bulk of his forces was present in the north. However, this period of effective control over the political affairs in the north also witnessed his growing religious persecution. Temple destruction went on briskly in the Empire, the Hindus were excluded from the public offices and the much hated Jizya was reimposed. Such step caused increasing bitterness among the non-Muslims and tended them to rebellion. Apparently the policy of Aurangzeb was preparing a background for the impending storm in the north. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.31]
The Jats, though simmering with discontent, were constrained to remain quiet during these ten years. It is not difficult to trace the reasons for their general passivity. The bitter memory of their ruthless suppression by the imperialists had yet not faded completely form their minds. They must have been deterred also by Emperor’s general success against his enemies. Then again it is also likely that the Jats as yet were not able to make good their heavy loss suffered during the preceding encounter with the Mughals. Finally, they were perhaps disinclined to repeat the folly of a rash collusion with the Emperor, more so at a time when he had northern India tightly under his grip.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.32]
The Jats were obviously looking for a suitable opportunity. This was provided by Aurangzeb’s departure from the north and his subsequent involvement in the unending Deccan WarsStoria, II, 300] [Massir-ul-Umra,I,435] Roznamcha, 133]
The brief spell of an uneasy clam prevailing among the
Jatswas broken in the early eighties, when they rose in arms again. Its leaders changed, tactics varied and its fortunes fluctuated but the revolt once restarted was henceforth a continuous process, ultimately resulting in the overthrow of the Mughal authority in the suba of Agraand the establishment of Bharatpur State.
The first leader who rose against
Aurangzebof whom we are informed was Brij Raj, the chieftain of Sinsini(16 miles north west of Bharatpur) [Imperial Gazetteer, VIII, 75] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 47] U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 100f] In all likelihood it was this Brij Raj whom Manucci refers to as he leader. “Oldest in age and the greatest in authority” of the farmers of Agra, Who raising their heads had withheld revenue due to the imperial treasury. [Storia, II, 209] In order to force these villagers to pay, Aurangzebsent Multafat Khan the faujdarof the environs of Agrawith a strong force. Multafat Khan attacked a village, where the rebels had rallied together. Their leader first assured the Khan but later incited his people against him. “Resolved to die rather than pay revenue” they came out and fought with such desperation that the force of the faujdar was routed. After humiliating him they set free Multafat Khan who succumbed to his wounds on 26 June 1681(19th Jamadi II, 1092 A.H.) [Storia, II, 209-210] [Maasir, 209] [Massir-ul-Umra,II,282] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.33]
Brij Raj also plundered passers by and convoys on the roads. In 1682, a Mughal contingent pursued him up to his stronghold
Sinsini, which was put to siege. The Jat Chief somehow succeeded in sending away his women from the fortress but was himself killed along with his son, Bhao Singh, while defending it. [Odier,3/25] [Waqa Rajasthan, 2/45] [Gokal Chandra Dixit, Brajendra Vansh Bhaskar, 18] [Sahyog March 15,1945] [Jat Jagat cited by U.N.Sharma, Ithas,I,186] Sinsinifell into the hands of the enemy. Having fled form Sinsini the family of Brij Raj sought safety in a small and obscure mud fort (5 miles from Bayana). Hero one of the wives of Bhao Singh gave birth to a posthumous son, named Badan Singh. It is after the name of this personage that the garhi is still known as “Badangarhi” [Odier Settlement Report, Bharatpur, ref by Ganga Singh, op. cit.,47-48]
Raja Ram Jat(c. 1682-1688)
The next chief of whom we hear is the famous
Raja Ramof Sinsini.Maasir, 311] [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 131b] Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 9] He was the son of Bhagwat alias Bhajja Singh, the brother of Brij Raj. [Sujan,5] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 32 and 48] The absence of Aurangzeband his best troops from the north and the sloth and weakness of the local officers provided Raja Ram the opportune moment, [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 133-134] M.U., I, 437] [Memoires des Jats, 9] Raja Ramdisplayed a capacity to learn from the past and an insight into the exigencies of the present. He could infer from Gokula’s example that lack of training and proper equipment, pitched contest against the powerful Mughal army and weak Jat debacle in 1669–1670. His reorganization bears testimony to it that he tried to remove these glaring defects. He knew that the gallant Jats could give an impressive account of themselves under one leader. With this end in view he allied his Sinsinwarclansmen with the Sogaria.
Jats under Ramachehara, who possessed the castle of
Sogar(4 miles south east of Bharatpur). [Memoires des Jats, 9,10] He fraternized with the Jats of Sidgiri region ( Bayana, Rupbasaia). [Vanshbhaskar, 2886] He also befriended the Jats of Ranthambhor against the Amber ruler, Ram Singh. [Ram Pande, Bharatpur, 8,10] On the basis of the contemporary despatches it can unmistakably be deduced that Raja Ram proved a great rallying point and great number of the Jats were united under his leadership. [Infra, Ch. II, Estimate of Raja Ram] Next he began to organize his followers from the military point of view. He gave them military training and equipped them with fire-arms. He organized them into regiments placed under different captains. Simultaneously, he impressed upon the self willed and freedom loving Jats, the necessity of remaining disciplined and obeying their captains. Thus he imparted to them the semblance of a regular army14. [Qanungo, Jats, 40] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 104-105] He gave similar attention to the strengthening of his defence for he must have seen how Tilpat was easily stormed for lack of proper defence and thus sealing the fate of the Jat rising under Gokula. Raja Ram, therefore, built his forts in dense deep Jungles and surrounded them with mid ramparts. The forest infested environs and the mud walls rendered them stronger.Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 10] than was the chief stronghold of Gokula. These forts served as bases for operation and refuge as also places for dumping the booty. As is apparent from his tactics Raja Ramstuck to the traditional mode of the Jat warfare, popularly known as “Dhar” ( Guerilla) System. All through he avoided positional warfare with the Mughals and confined himself to sudden and intrepid attacks. This ensured him maximum benefit with minimum loss. [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 9-10] These changes proved beneficial and gradually contributed to the success of the Jat rebellion.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.34]
Having thus prepared himself, Raja Ram began to organize raids in the countryside of the Suba of Agra. The Jats hovered on the roads and plundered the caravans and the travelers. The Subadar of Agra, Safi Khan was virtually besieged in the Agra fort. Along with the other rebels, the
Narukas, the Panwars, the Gujarand the Mevs they practically closed the roads for normal traffic between Dholpurand Delhi, and Agra and Ajmer via Hindaun and Bayana. How deep was the consternation created by the insurgents would be clear by one instance that in an important place like Mathurano place except Jama Mosquewas deemed safe. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 131b, 132b] Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 134] [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 10-11] [M.U., I, 435] Raja Ram also tried to ransack Akbar’s mausoleum at Sikandara. But his attempt was foiled by the local faujdar, Mir ABul Fazl. He confronted the rebels at a place. 10 miles from Sikandara, The Faujdar, succeeded in repulsing them, though in the process, he was seriously wounded and a number of his troops also perished. Raja Ram also suffered heavy casualties. Aurangzeb rewarded the faujdarwith the title of Iltifat Khan, increasing his Manasab by 200 sawars. Unsuccessful at Sikandara, Raja Ram then fell upon Shikarpur and grabbed rich booty from the place. There from, he retired towards Ratanpur. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 131b-132b] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.35]
Raja Ram’s mischief and disturbances went increasing.Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 132b] This worried the Emperor. On 3rd May, 1686 (19th Jamdai II 1097 A.H.) he appointed Khan-i-Jahan Bahadur Zafarjang, Kokaltash in order to punish the rebels. Despite his strenuous efforts, however, Khan-i-Jahan failed to capture any of the Jat strongholds or to punish the people. [Maasir, 274] [Roznamcha (Pers.), 133] [Muntakhab-ul-Lubab, II, by Khafi Khan (Bib.Ind. Series), 395] [Kamwar (Pers. Ms.), II,223] Therefore, he ordered his son, Muhammad Azam, to proceed against the Jats. But he had only reached Burhanpur (July 1687) when more pressing needs of Golconda compelled Aurangzeb to recall the Prince. Thereafter, Bidar Bakht was sent (December 1687) to assume supreme Command in the Jat war, while Khan-i-Jahan was to act as his deputy. [Maasir,298-299, 311] [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 133] [Muntakhab-ul-Lubab, II, by Khafi Khan (Bib.Ind. Series), 437-438] Kamwar (Pers. Ms.), II, 231]
Meanwhile, Raja Ram showed greater audacity. He fell upon the Mughal commander, Aghar Khan. The Khan with his retinue was enroute from
Kabulto Bijapurwhen the Jats attacked him near Dholpurand fled away capturing many bullocks, carts horses and women. The general gave them a hot chase but was killed in the ensuing skirmish along with his son-in-law and 80 other men. Two hundred Jats were killed in the action. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 164b] [M.U., I, 155] [Sarkar, Aurangzeb,V, 297-298] The psychological gain from this audacious act was much more than the material one. Their success in killing and routing the reputed suppressor of the frontier afghans must have whetted the audacity of the Jats. They carried their depredations further. Early in 1668 Raja Ram attacked Mahabat Khan who on his way to Lahore was encamped near Sikanadara. A fierce fight ensued in which Raja Ram was finally overpowered and driven back after losing 400 men. The casualties on the other side included 150 dead and 40 wounded. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 132a, 132b] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.36]
After a short while, Raja Ram reappeared at Sikandara and taking advantage of the delay in coming of Shaista Khan, the governor designate of Agra, he attacked and plundered Akbar’s mausoleum. The Jat leader carried away the precious articles of gold and silver, carpets, lamps etc. and destroyed what he could not carry. According to Manucci the Jats dragged out the bones of Akbar threw them angrily into fire and burnt them. Muhammad Baqa (the Naib of Khan-i-Jahan) who was then at Agra, did nothing to frustrate the rebels. As a punishment therefore his "
mansab" was reduced by 500 and that of Khan-i-Jahan) by 1000 sawars.Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 132b-133a] The Jats also ransacked the villages set aside for the support of Taj Mahal, Some Jats ravaged the environs of Khurja, while others captured the local Mughal officers at Palwal. [Pande, Bharatpur, 7]
One noteworthy fact is that the local Mughal officials and soldiers in general, winked at the disobedience of the Jats and even secretly entered into collusion with them to share the booty grabbed by them. [Qanungo, Jats, 342] [Jaipur Records (Sarkar’s collection, R.S.L. Sitamau transcriptions] It is also to be noted that Muhammad Baqa, the deputy of Khan-i-Jahan at Agra, had remained inactive while Raja Ram robbed Akbar’s tomb. This exasperated Aurangzeb and the reduced the deputy’s Mansab by 1000 sawars. Meanwhile, the daring and audacity of the Jats alarmed Aurangzeb and he ordered Raja Ram Singh (who was at Kabul) to chastise Raja Ram. But due to his sudden death the Raja could not resume his charge. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 133a]
Raja Ram on the other hand persisted with his refractory activities. His strength and resources now began to attract the attention of others.
During these days the existing feud between the
Chauhans and the Shekwawat Rajputs over disputed land in Bagtharia (22 miles north east of Alwar) and some other pargansas had erupted into an open war. The Chauhans appealed to Raja Ram for help, while the Shekhawats implored the help of Murtaza Khan, the Mughal faujdar of Mewat. Bidar Bakht, Rao Raja Anirudh Singh of Bundiand Maharao Kishor Singh Hada joined the faujdar and the Shekhawats. A severe battle was fought near Bijal. Opposite Raja Ram was the Hada Chief upon whom he inflicted a crushing defeat. Anirudh Singh himself could not stand before the Jat onset. He became nervous and fled along with his troops. When the battle was in its full fury the gallant Raja Ram led a fierce charge against the centre, consisting of the Mughal. Meanwhile a Mughal musketeer who had hidden himself in a tree, fired Raja Ram at his chest. He fell down form his horse and died immediately (Wednesday 4 July 1688- 15th Ramzan 1099 A.H.). His fall signaled the defeat of the Chauhans. Raja Ram’s head was severed from the body and later on presented to Aurangzebin the Deccan (5th September 19th Zi-Qada, 1099 A.H.) Ramchehara was captured alive in the battle. He was subsequently beheaded and his head was publicly exposed at Agra. [Fatuhat (Pers. Ms.), 134a-135a] [J.Records, XII, I, 1,7] [Maasir, 311-312] M.U., I, 438] [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 11-12] [M.L. Sharma, Kota Rajya Ka Itihas, 207-209] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.37]
Raja Ram Jat
Raja Ram Jat. 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 ChuramanII 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 guerrillatactics 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 Ramaimed at, and succeeded also in forging, a joint front of his brethren as Churamanalso did later on. But whereas Churamanthrough 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. [J.Records, Darkar's collection (Pers. Ms.), XII,3, 7] [Raghuvir Singh in Brij,166] 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 Sogariaand RanthambhorJats 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 ChuramanII 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. 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. [Sarkar, Fall of the Mughal Empire, II (calcutta:1934), 426] that Raja Ram work left no trace behind. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.38]
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 Ramachieved 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 Delhito 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 Sinsiniand killing of the Jats. [J.Records, Sarkar's collection (Pers. Ms.), XII,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 recalcitrants. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.38-39]
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.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.39]
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
Aurangzebwas engrossed in unending Deccanwars, this blockade was bound to cause him deep anxieties. [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 11] 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 where from 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. [J.Records, sarkar's coll. (Pers. Ms.), IX, 58-59, 375] [Qanungo, 'Bishan Singh', Proc. I.H.C., Xi, 171] ,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 Ramas 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 the sole motivating factor, or booty as such was its ultimate goal, is to oversimplify the facts of the situation. [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics at the Mughal Court, 1707-1740 (Aligarh:1959), Introduction,34] [Habib, op. cit., 341] 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. [Raghuvir Singh in Brij, 164] 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.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.39-40]
Imperial operations and the fitful activities of the
The unity among the Jats that Raja Ram was able to build up, seemed to crumble down after his death. [J.Records, Sarkar’s coll.(Pers,Ms,), XII, 3,7] We do not come across any capable supreme leader among them during the interregnum between his death and the ascendancy of
Churaman. 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.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.40]
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 Ramwas not so easy. Brij Raj, Bhao Singhand Raja Ram’s associate Ram Chehrahad perished. Fateh Singh[J.Records, Sarkar’s coll.(Pers,Ms,), IX,356] [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), II, 206a] the son of Raja Ramdoes not appear to have to have been a promising youth. Amidst the circumstances, Raja Ram’s aged father, Bhaija Singh of Sinsini assumed the leadership of the Jats.William Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 322] [Qanungo, Jats, 43] Ganga Singh, op. cit., 55] , while Raja Ram’s other son, Jorawar Singh took up as his deputy . [Akhbarat (J.Records), 19] [Rabi-us-sani] But it can be reasonably inferred on the basis of the Vakil reports [J.Records, Sarkar’s coll. 9Pers. Ms.), Xii, 7] that the successor of Raja Ramlacked his efficiency and resourcefulness. He could not carry on Raja Ram’s policy of uniting the Jats under one leadership. It caused a setback to the newly emerging forces of unity and gradually the deep rooted clan feeling reasserted itself. 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. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.41]
Raja Bishan Singh’s campaign against Jats
After the death of Raja Ram, his old father
Bhajja Singhof Sinsiniassumed the leadership of the Jats. Bishan Singh Kachhwah, the new Raja of Amber( Jaipur), was appointed by the Emperor as faujdarof Mathurawith a special charge to root out the Jats and take Sinsinias his own Jagir. [Ishwardas, 133 a] He gave the Emperor a written undertaking to demolish the fort of Sinsini[Ishawar, 139 a, 135 b] as he was burning to distinguish himself and win a high " mansab" like his father Ram Singh and grandfather Mirza Raja Jai Singh. Bidar Bakhat laid siege to Sinsini. But the campaign in the jungles of the Jat country severely taxed the invading army.Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed Dr Vir Sinngh, 2003, p. 25]
The Mughals before
Sinsinihad to undergo great hardship from scarcity of provisions and water, as the enemy by frequent attacks cut off the grain-convoys and watering parties. Incessant night- attacks kept the siege-camp in perpetual alarm. “The men were prostrated by hunger, and the animals perished in large numbers through weakness” But the besiegers held tenaciously on, and in four months carried their trenches to the gate of the fort, mounted guns on raised platforms, and laid mines. The jungle round the fort was cleared. One mine under the gate was fired, but the Jatshaving previously detected it and blocked its further side with stones, the charge was driven backwards, destroying many of the artillerymen and supervising officers of the Mughal army. A second mine was then laid and carried under the wall in month’s time. It was successfully fired (end of January, 1690), the wall was breached, the Jat defenders lining it were blown up, and the Mughals stormed the fort after three hours of stubborn opposition. The Jats disputed every inch of the ground and were dispersed only after losing 1500 of their men. On the imperial side 200 Mughals fell and 700 Rajputs were slain or wounded. The remnants of the garrison were captured along with Jorawar Singh and put to the sword, while others fled. [Ishwardas, 136 b – 137 a] [M.A. 334] [Hamid-ud-din’s Ahkam, S 26] The Emperor learns of the fall of Sinsinion 15 February, 1690 from the letters of news writers. [Fatuhat, 136a-137a] [Maasir, 334] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., 58] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.44] Jorawar Singh, his wife and children having been imprisoned were first taken to Mathura and finally presented to Aurangzeb in the Deccan. They were brutally slain and their limbs thrown to dogs. [Qanungo, Diggi, 97] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 142] The fall of Sinsinifulfilled the cherished desire of both the Mughals and Bishan Singh. Among the notables Fateh Singhof Sinsiniand Churamanmanaged to escape. [J.Records, Sarkar’s coll., IX,356]
Next year (
21 may 1691) Raja Bishan Sing surprised the other Jat stronghold of Sogar. The Raja hastened there with the imperial army. By chance, as the gate of this little fort was kept open at the time for admitting grain, the invaders entered it at the gallop, slaying all who raised their hands and taking 500 of the rebels. [Ishwar] The result of these operations was that the new Jat leaders went into hiding in ‘nooks and corners’ unknown to the imperialists. [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed Dr Vir Sinngh, 2003, p. 26]
By the year 1695, the incessant chase of the intractable Jats had completely worn out Bishan Singh. He found himself at sea with the Jats. [Qanungo, 'Bishan Singh', Proc. I.H.C., XI, 172] Shah, 2] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.49] Now his brave general, Hari Singh had also died. Few would deny that from the view point of actual results, the Jat war proved to be a miniature of
Aurangzeb’s war against Marathas. “General massacre” and “extirpation” of the Jat rebels were the avowed objectives with which the imperialists had waged a seven year long strenuous warfare against them. They covered a big area, stretching from Mewatto the Chambaland from Hathrasto the borders of Jaipur, in course of their operations. In the process they, no doubt, captured 52 rebel strongholds, slew or drove away thousands of rebels from them and imposed a curb on their activities. Nevertheless, as in the case of Marathas in south, the daring of the Jats could not be suppressed. [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 182] Let alone their whole body, even all the Jat leaders could not be exterminated, Manucci hits the truth when he says that the imperialists merely succeeded in making the Jats retreat. [Storia, II, 301] Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 12] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.49-50]
The Jat war must have disillusioned the ambitious
AmberRaja. As its upshot, the existing feud between the Amber House and the Jats must have been sharpened. The Emperor had reasons to be worried over the pernicious developments so close to the capital. The contemporary despatches show his pre-occupation with the Jat problem. The fact that the Jats had remained unsubdued even after exertions added to his predicament. At last he was forced to depute ( 9 May 1695) no less a personage than Prince Shah Alamhimself to cope with the situation. [Maasir, 372-373] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.50]
Churaman(1695 – 1721)
It stands to reason to believe that the rebuff sustained by the Jat reacted upon the future prospects of
Fateh Singh, who otherwise being the son and heir of the distinguished Raja Ram, must have enjoyed a unique position among his clansmen.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.51]
Getting skeptical about his capabilities, the Jats discarded
Fateh Singh[Muttra Gazeteer (Drake-Brockman: 1911), 197] [Ganga Singh, op. cit., p. 64] in favour of Raja Ram’s cousin, Churaman, who was unquestionable more capable than Fateh Singh. We learn from Ahkam-i-Alamgiri that Fateh Singh later fell somehow into the hands of the Mughals. At first kept at Lahore, he was afterwards taken to Agra. Aurangzeb seduced him to embrace Islam by promising to set him free and also to reward him with a suitable masnab. Failing that, Fateh Singh was ordered to be vigilantly kept in prison as before. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), II, 206a-206b] We have already noted that Bhao Singh [Wendel, Memoires des Jats, (Fr.Ms.), 12] had died earlier and Jorawar Singhwas killed after the fall of Sinsini(1691). The aged Bhajja Singhalso seems to have perished. The disappearance of these prominent Sinsinwars from the scene must have also facilitated the emergence of Churamanas the supreme leader.
The departure of
Shah Alamand Bishan Singh from the province of Agrain 1696, [Maasir, 382] obviously provided the opportune moment to Churamanto make up the losses, consolidate his position and carry forward the work of Raja Ram. Bold, practical, unscrupulous and rapacious, Churamanpossessed a good capacity for organization and for making clever use of his opportunities which he was lucky to enjoy almost throughout his career. [Qaunaungo, Jats, 45-46] About his early career it is said that he engaged 500 horsemen and 1000 footmen. Nanda Jat, the father of Bhure Singhand grandfather of Daya Ramjoined him with 100 men. [Imad-us-Saadat by Ghulam Ali Khan Naqawi (Gaekwad Library, B.H.U. Ms,), 83] The mewatis under Bayzid Khan, the Khuntelaof Sonkh, the Sogarias under Khem Karanand Bargujars under Hathi Singh of Dahana also joined him. [Akhbarat Muhammad Shah’s reign (R.S.L. Sitamau transcript) XXIII, 82] Ganga Singh, op. cit., 69] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 197] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.52] Churamanrobbed the wayfarers and caravans on the royal highways. He strengthened his bands with musketeers and cavalry. Step by step the number of his followers increased to 14,000.Imad (Pers. Ms.), 83] Meanwhile as a number of the Jat castles had been occupied or demolished by the imperialists, Churamanbuilt new forts into the impenetrable jungles for the purposes of defence and preservation of booty. In it he was aided by the hidden wealth of his ancestors including Raja Ram. Among the new forts he built a formidable one at Thun(11 miled to the west of Deeg) in a low marshy and thickly wooded tract. According to Shivads, so thick a jungle of thorny bushes surrounded Thun, so that even the birds found it difficult to pass through it. Its rampart was as high as heaven while the moat around was so deep that water burst up from the bottom. [Shivdas, 19] Iqbal, 23] Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 14]
Side by side his predatory activities went on unabated. He plundered first, the countryside of
Agraand then Kota, Bundi, Hindaunand Bayana. [Memoires des Jats (Fr.Ms.), 13] He seized the wealth and places of the weaker ones. Attending to his job with “great perfection Churamanrose higher and higher and gradually became most redoubtable in his neighborhood .
About the year 1704,
Churamanrecaptured Sinsinifrom the Mughals, though not by the might of his sword but by gold. Accepting substantial amount from the Jats, Devi Singh, the fort commandant handed over Sinsinito them. The Jas seized all the imperial effects including two big guns eighteen rahkalahs stores of lead and gunpowder and other articles. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 7b, 67b, 73b, II, 203a, 205b] Obviously the loss of Sinsiniwas as distressing to the Mughals as its re-occupation was heartening to the Jats. Mirza Muhammad says that Churaman re-occupied all those forts which had earlier been lost to the Mughals.
This flare up grieved Aurangzeb. What must have added to his worries was the fact that the royal treasure amounting to rupees 30 lakhs (realized from Bengal and other places) lay accumulated at Agra and it had to be sent safely to the Deccan. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 36b,II,204b] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.53] Deeply censuring the nazim of Agra for his manifest carelessness, the Emperor ordered him to put up utmost exertions to immediately re-capture Sinsini, “extinguish the fire of rebellion and plunder” and “eradicate the name and vestige” of the Jats rebels from the land. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), II, 203b, 204a, 205b, I, 69a, 73a]
Mukhtar Khan the nazim of Agra had given an undertaking (22nd ZilHijja ?) to the Emperor “to annihilate” the Jats within two years, if he was granted rupees ten Lakhs for recruiting additional troops, 1500 sawars (at the monthly salary of rupees 25 per sawar) and 2,000 footmen (at the monthly allowance of rupees 4 per footmen) for the purpose. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 69b, II, 203b] Mukhtar Khan was advanced rupees one Lakh from the Agra treasury. The Faujdars of the Suba of Agra and Delhi along with 5,500 sawars were also deputed for crushing the Jats. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 78b, II, 203, 204a, 204b]
The imperialists laid siege to
Sinsiniin 1705. But it proved arduous again and dragged on. The surprise attacks of the Jats coupled with the rains impeded its progress. The Jats completely destroyed three of the five big Mughal cannons deployed to storm the fort and rendered another unworkable by inserting an iron bar inside the barrel. All these days they continued to be supplied with provisions form outside. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 36a, 77b-78a, 72b, II, 201b, 203b, 204a] The nazim initially found himself helpless ag against the tenacious Jats. [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 77a] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.54]
Mukhtar Khan however clung on to his business and on 9th October 1705 (2nd Rajab 1117 A.H.) he succeeded in reducing
Sinsini. The news of the fall of the fortalice along with its golden key was sent to the Emperor. In reward for his services Mukhtar Khan got an addition of 500 zat to his existing rank. [Maasir, 498] [Ahkam (Pers. Ms.), I, 79a] [J.Records, Sitamau coll. (Pers. Ms.), I,27] [Kumbh Karan to Jai singh in 1705 (1117 A.H.)] The Prince was now ordered to cancel his departure. Mirza Muhammad adds that the nazim recaptured other fort also from the hands of Chruaman.
What a glaring contrast in situation! No Jat power worth the name existed when
Aurangzebhad ascended the throne, but by the time of his death, the Jat power, if not the Jat State, had certainly come into existence. The Jatsfundamentally agriculturists, were converted into unpacified and unsubdued foes of the Mughal authority, ready to wrest any advantage that the troubled times might offer to them. Such a change in the attitude of a people whose one prominent section under Hathi Singh Jathelped Aurangzebat a critical stage on his march to contest the Crown of Hindustan, must have added to the agony of his last days. The incident mentioned mentioned by Ishwar Das is that when Prince Aurangzeb, on his way to oppose Dara, came to the fords of Chambal, he found them barred by the opposite entrenchment. He was ignorant about other ferries, while the waters were deep. This perturbed Aurangzeb. At this critical juncture Hathi Singh Jat, a zamindar of Gohad, came forward to lead his troops to a neglected ford (Kanira), where from Aurangzeb crossed the Chambal. Though by itself a small incident, it in one stroke turned the scales against Dara. He had to hurry up for the Capital, leaving heavy artillery behind, which greatly weakened his position. [Ishwar das (Fatuhat, Pers.Ms.,23a]
Precarious detente between the Mughals and the Jats
Jatrelations entered into a new stage after the death of Aurangzeb. Until then both the government and the Jats had displayed inveterate hostility and repugnance towards each other. After Aurangzeb the changing circumstances obliged both sides to dilute their former intransigence. Consequently, for the first time during the Mughal rule, the Jats came to be actively and directly associated with the imperial affairs. This was destined to have considerable repercussion especially upon the history of the Jats.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.57]
Expediency and political sagacity induced the Mughals to placate the Jat chief,
Churaman. The geographical proximity of the Jat country and their growing military importance made the Jat support worth obtaining both for the contestants of the imperial Crown and the factional leaders of the Mughal court. Conviction also tended the Mughals in the same direction. The Mughal government after 1707 generally pursued a lenient policy, shunning the sternness and inflexibility of the days of Aurangzeb. This reversal of the policy was a welcome relief to the Jats.
It may safely be said that more under the pressure of the circumstance than by deliberate policy both the Mughal government and the Jats were obliged to soften their attitude towards each other.
The death of
Aurangzebin 1707 caused a deadly contest between Muazzam and Azam for the Crown of Hindustan. The rivals faced each other in the battlefield of Jajau. Mirza Muhammad tells us that Bahadur Shah, in an attempt to muster up as big an army as possible, despatched assuasive messages to Churaman, aksing him to present himself with his force. Responding to the royal summons, Churaman. came with two to three thousand sawars and waited on Bahadur Shah. [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 134f] This version of Mirza Muhammad dispels the impression that Churaman went to Jajau of his own “to pillage the vanquished” [Contra see Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 322] [Qanungo, Jats,48] [Pande, Bharatpur, 13] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 200] The audacious Jat, however, did not forget to turn the discomfiture of the enemy to his advantage. In the thick of the fight he slipped away and vigorously plundered Azam’s baggage. Finally he departed grabbing goods, cattle, treasure and precious Jewels.Roznamcha, 135] Bahadur Shah Nama, 164] [K.K. II, 668] It seems that Churamantaking advantage of the situation following Jajau, recaptured Sinsiniand resumed depredations around Mathura on the Delhi-Agra Road. As a result the traffic on the road was completely stopped for two months and hundreds of travelers including the wife of Amin-ud-din Sambhali got stranded. In August 1707, troops were sent to chastise the Jat plunderers. [Akhbarat, 13 August, 1707] [Dastur-ul-insha quoted by Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 321, footnote] Memoires des Jats, 13] The Wazir, Munim Khan, however, found it expedient to ignore his misdeeds. He once again called and on 16th September presented Churamanbefore the Emperor. Bahadur Shahconferred upon him the " mansab" of 1,500 Zat and 500 sawar and entrusted to him the charge of the road between Delhi and Agra. [Roznamcha (Pers. Ms.), 135] [K.K. II, 668-669, 776] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.58]
The year 1707, particularly marked an epoch in the early career of
Churaman. In its wake, it brought to him honour, power and immense riches, such as “his predecessors had not acquired (even) in a lifetime.” Majma-ul-Akhbar in Elliot, VIII,360] [R.Pande (Op.cit., 14)] It secured for him admission to the proud ranks of the imperial mansabdars. A confirmed rebel was suddenly exalted to the zenith of a Mughal peer, officially entrusted with the charge of a part of the imperial highway. It obviously enhanced his image among the local people who must have rallied round him in greater numbers. In the changed situation Churaman revised his tactics. Partly moved by the conciliatory attitude of the new administration and partly by his own keenness to have more opportunities for advancement, he chose to display loyalty to Bahadur Shah, [K.R.Qaungo, Jats,48] However, loyalty with him was more a matter of convenience than of conviction. Thus, he would help the Mughal government but at the same time incite his people to connive at the lawless course. Probably getting a hint form him the Jats had refortified Sinsini. Bahadur Shah, therefore, sent Raza Bahadur to reduce it. On 2nd December, 1707 a bitter fight ensued in which 1,000 Jat were killed. Raza Bahadur demolished the fortress, seizing then carts worth of weapons from the vanquished.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.59]
Churaman Helps the government
In keeping with his new policy,
Churamanapparently chose to be passive on the Sinsiniaffair. Similarly in the next few years, he applied a restraint on his predatory habits, though local malefactors sometimes indulged in plundering on the roads. [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 321, footnote] Mirza Muhammad emphatically adds that henceforward till the defeat of Jahandar Shah (i.e. from September, 1707 to January 1713) he devoted himself to the imperial service and did not permit any obstructions on the road. Early in 1708, he helped the local naib faujdar, Rahim-ul-la Khan, in suppressing the local Afghan rebels. Having attacked the village of Thiravali (5 miles to the east of OL) he accompanied the Khan in an expedition against the Baloch rebels of Shergarh (20 miles to the north of Mathura). They resisted the invaders for three days but ultimately turned their backs, promising to make over a property worth two thousands to the Jat. This further enhanced his image as a powerful chief. Little wonder, therefore, that greater recognition awaited Churaman. In July 1708 Jai Singh had occupied Amber, expelling the local faujdar, Sayyid Hussain Khan, Thereupon, Bahadur Shahsent re-inforcements to him for recovering that place.
In this context Hussain Khan sought the help of the redoubtable Churaman. The Khan sent him money to recruit troops for the purpose. The Jat leader responded and collecting a big force, moved to Narnaul where Hussain Khan had been living ever since his expulsion. About the same time (i.e. the end of September) Jai Singh appealed to
Churamanto detach himself form the Sayyidand thereby co-operate with him (the Raja) against the Mughals, who were out to destroy the Hindus. In return, the Raja assured him to expel his opponent, Jaitra Singh, from the paragana of Kaithwada. Churaman, There after deserted the Sayyid. However this was not necessarily due to his “veneration for the Hindu sentiment” U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 217] It is also to be borne in mind that he had already recruited a big force of his own out of the Mughal resource. Besides, he had got Jai Singh’s assurance about Kaithwaraand taking advantage of it he eventually (In November 1708) wrested that place form Jaitra Singh. Thus once his interest appeared to have been served, the clever Jat thought it foolish to burn his fingers unnecessarily in the impending Rajput war. More so, it was sure to annoy Jai Singh and in turn endanger his prospects at Kaithwada. Thus what he precisely did was that on some pretext he withdrew leaving Hussian Khan to his own fate. Later he sent a very humble massage to Jai Singh calling himself the Raja’s “own servant”, he intimated that he wished to see him (Jai Singh) personally and that he never desired to oppose him. Further he assured Jai Singh of his ‘ services’ to do the needful in the Mathura region. [Bhatnagar, Sawai Jai Singh, 41] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 67ff] This episode incidentally, depicts Churaman at his real self. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.60]
From Sayyid Hussain Khan’s camp Churaman proceeded to
Kama, where Raza Bahadur, the local faujdar was preparing to fight the local Rajput zamindar, Ajit Singh. The latter withholding the payment of revenue had expelled the local officers and openly challenged the Mughal authority in that area. His turbulent ways caused worry to both the local faujdar as well as to the ambitious Churaman, whose chief stronghold, Thun, lay so close to Kama. Hence both these united and with a big force (about 18,000) attacked Aiit Singh who confronted the enemy with about 10,000 horses and gunners. A bitter fight ensued near Kama in which the Rajput artillery played a major role in repulsing the Jats and the Mughals. The jubilant rebels pursued their enemies up to Khoh (about 8 miles to the south). After three days (i.e.7th October, 1708) they rallied again and then charged the Rajputs. The Mugla-Jat combine appeared to gain advantage. But the Rajputs, fighting gallantly re-emerged victorious in the end. Many on both sides were killed and wounded. Raza Bahadur was also killed. Churaman and his men, who had been surrounded by the Rajputs towards the end, sallied out against the besiegers. He however received wounds from a sword cut delivered by a Rajput soldier, while he was on his way to Thun. [AKhbarat, Kartik Sudi 5, Samvat, 1765 (7 October, 1708) quoted by U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 215, 212-215] [Kamwar, II, 315] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.61]
About two months later, (December 1708) Churaman with 6,000 horses joined Mir Khan, the
faujdarof Narnauland passing through Sonkh-Sonkhari, attacked the rebel Rajputs. Jai Singh Naruka of Jawali, offered them a stiff resistance. [M.L.Sharma, Jaipur, 138]
It is said that Churaman’s brother Ati Ram, who was a friend of the Naruka, mediated a settlement between Churaman and the Naruka and hence, further operations were given up.
Hereafter, there is a gap of about twenty one months (January 1709 - October 1710) in our information of
Churaman’s movements. Perhaps these days he was silently busy in expanding and consolidating his hold. Sometime in October 1710 possibly on being summoned he presented himself to Bahadur Shah(ca. October 1710) somewhere near Delhi, [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 323,106] when the Emperor was on his march against Banda. He was placed under Muhammad Amin Khan, who had been ordered to capture Sarhind. Subsequently, serving the Wazir faithfully, he took part in the campaigns at Sandhaura and Lohagarh. [K.K.II, 669,670] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 323] The Wazir, who had shown his favours, died in February 1711; and this exposed him to the pressures of the Court. We learn form the Akhabarat that the fortress at Halena being built by his brother, Ati Ram, would be demolished. [Akhbarat, 24 July 1711] It is not clear whether or not this was carried out, Churaman, however, moved on with the Emperor to Lahore.
battle of Lahore(March 1712) consequent upon the death of Bahadur Shah, the Jat leader sided with Azim-ush-Shah. Therein he looked after the supplies to the Princes camp. Churaman and the banjaras had promised to maintain regular supplies. He carried out his pledge faithfully and the Prince looked satisfied. However largely due to his conceit and evasive tactics Azim-ush-shah was defeated and killed. Thereafter, plundering the Camp, Churaman, apparently made his way home. Providences smiled over him again. Though the contestant whom he had joined, lost the race for the Crown, he was pardoned by the victor, Jahandar Shah. Probably through the intercession of the new Wazir, Zulifqar Khan, whose pro-Hindu leanings were evident, he was presented a khilat and re-instated in his mansab. [Murtaza Hussain, Hadiqat-ul-Aqalim (Nawal Kishore ed.), 129] [S. Chandra, Parties and Politics, 76,122] [Irvine, Later mughals, I, 167] This leniency reflected the general policy of Jahandar Shah’s government.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.62]
Hence, compulsion and policy induced the government to be considerate towards the redoubted Churaman who had grown into “the de facto ruler” of the entire region stretching form
Delhito the Chambal.Qanungo, Jats, 49]
The Emperor sent order to Churaman and several Rajput Rajas to join prince Azu-ud-Din, who had been deputed to Agra to watch the movements of Farrukh Siyar. But all of them procrastinated. Azi-ud-Din was subsequently defeated at Khajuha (November 1712). This alarmed Jahandar Shah. Early in December, making fulsome promises he sent a farman to Chruaman to reach Agra with his men against Farrukah Siyar. Churaman came with a big force and fought on the side of the Emperor at the battle of Agra (January 1713) But once his cause appeared to have been lost, the audacious Jat felt no qualms of conscience in plundering the rear of his professed master. He went back to
Thuncarrying treasures, many elephants and camels together with their baggage. He did not spare the camp of the victor either. The Jats so thoroughly looted it that Farrukh Siyar could not find anything better than a filthy screen and a small wooden platform to sit on, while receiving the homage of his officials. [Akhbarat, 29 October, 29 November, 2 December, 1712] [Jahandar Nama and Mirat-i-Wariat, quoted by Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 232,234,244,223]
Involvement in the court politics
The high-handedness and the daring of Churaman looked dangerous to and justly infuriated Farrukha Siyar. [Ajaib-ul-Afaq (R.S.L. Ms.), 56] Memoires des Jats, 14] Early in his reign, he appointed Raja Chhabela Ram, his personal adherent and a brave soldier, as the governor of Agra, his birthplace. The Emperor ordered him to proceed at once beyond the Yamuna and crush the Jats, leaving Raja Girdhar Bahadur in charge of the suba of Allahabad. His subsequent efforts against the recalcitrant showed some results. However, his plans did not come off and he increasingly found it difficult to cope with the Jats. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.63]
Coupled with the talk of his transfer, Chhabela Ram wrote to the Emperor:
:“I am pleaded over His Majesty’s desire of may transfer. This would be my good fortune, if His majesty’s thinks like that. The person, who dares to accomplish the difficult task of suppressing Churaman Jat, may be granted an imperial farman so that he might extirpate him. However, it must be enquired form him as to how long will he take (to accomplish the task) ? This will automatically reveal his boastfulness. Whosoever is appointed to fulfill this task (of uprooting Churaman), shall himself fail in his efforts.” [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.57-58] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.64]
Chhabela Ram hit the truth, for, despite his long exertions of four months, he himself failed in suppressing Churaman mainly because of “the obstacles” placed by the Wazir and the Mir Bakshi. Chhabela Ram was, therefore replaced by a willing Khan-i-Dauran, also a native of Agra, as the governor of that province. [Roznamcha, 51, 135-136] [Kamwar, II, 400]
The new governor of Agra, Khan-i-Dauran, knew that to crush Churaman by force of arms was an extremely difficult task. By temperament also he was more a man of diplomacy rather than force in dealing with the Jat problem. He sent several letters to Churaman, asking him to present himself before the Emperor. Churaman agreed and on 25th September, 1713 (16th Ramazan 1125 A.H.), arrived at Barahpula. Raja Bahadur Rathora, son of Azimush-shan’s maternal uncle, was sent to receive him. On 20th October, he marched in at the head of 3,000 to 4,000 sawars. Khan-i-Dauran advanced in person to receive and conduct him to Diwan-i-Khas. The Jat leader presented 21 mohars and two horses to the Emperor. Farrukah Siyar granted him the title of Rao Bahadru Khan along with a khilat and an elephant. His mansab was also increased. Three others (presumably including Khem Karan Sogaria) accompanying him, were also given the khilat. The charge of the royal highway from Barahpula (Delhi) to the Chambal was given to Churaman. [Akhbarat,11,15 Ramzan (20,24 September), 11, Shawwal (20 October)] Roznamcha, 136] [Kamwar, II, 399] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 223] [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics, 123] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 237-239] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.65] It is said that at the request of the Mir Bakshi he was also granted five parganas, Baroda Meo (Nagar), Kathumar, Akhaigarh (Nadbai) Au and Helak, as Jagir. Khem Karan Jat was given the title of “Bahandur Khan” and assigned the Jagir consisting of the paraganas Rupbas, Bharatpur, Malah, Aghapur, Barah and Ikran. [Muttra Gazeteer,197] [Tarikh-i-bharatpur, 4a] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 239, 243] [Thakur Deshraj, Jat Itihas, 568,556,557]
Criticizing the royal favours, the author of Raznamcha observes, “the disobedient and quarrelsome” Churaman was “thus flattered”. The Emperor, however, was mistaken, if by showing these favours, he expected that Jat to mend his ways. Soon Churaman exploited his position to usurp the imperial territories and strengthen his power. The Mewatis and other local people and the Zamindari veered round him and his authority and control became exceedingly strong. Grievous complaints were made to the Emperor that he harshly exacted the road dues (rahadari) G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.66] and meddled with the affairs of the rightful jagir-holders. Thus he advised the zamindars of paragana Sahar not to pay their dues to the jagirdars. According to another report (of March 1716) he exacted as nazrana rupees two each form all the manasabdars and zamindaras of paragana Thun. His followers infested the roads, waylaid the caravans and the passers by and ravaged the jagir and khalisa, spreading ruin and insecurity up to the Capital. To cite a few instance, in June –July 1715 the reports reached that he plundered the Villages of the pargansa of Kama, Sahar, Fatehpur Sikari, Mewat and Agra. Later onin October, his bands looted the villages of Wati and Dhulhera in the parganas of Mathura and Sikari, threatening the latter in the process. In March 1716 Churaman frustrated Izzat Khan, the faujdar of Mewat, in his effort to restore order in that quarter. Moreover, he secretly manufactured arms and ammunition and fortified his garhis including Thun. [Akhbarat, 14,16, April, 20,28 June, 18 July, 16 October, 2 November, 1715, 16,20,29 March 1716] Shivdas, 16-18] [Iqbal, 22-24] [Qanungo, Jats, 51] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 321, footnote, 323] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 244-248] In all probability, Wendel’s undated statement that Churaman “plundered several ministers of the Court” and “attacked.. the revenue sent form the provinces”, refers to this period.
Jai Singh’s Jat expedition : Siege of Thun (September 1716 – May 1718)
The reports of
Churaman’s increasing turbulence enraged the Emperor and the Emperor and he once more resolved to extirpate him. But to find out a valiant person capable enough to undertake this arduous task, was a real problem for him. At last he turned his thoughts to Sawai Jai Singh, who him self bore a grudge against the Jats. It may be recollected that a hereditary feud existed between the Jaipur ruler and Churamanand his followers. The latter offered renewed provocation to the Raja, by despoiling some parts of his own state as well. [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 250] In September 1715, Farrukah Siya ordered Jai Singh to present himself at the Court from Malwa. At length to the response to the repeated and urgent summons, he turned up on 25th May 1716 and undertook to “the great pleasure” of the Emperor, the responsibility of leading the Jat expedition. [Kamwar, II, 417-418] [Irvine, Later Mughals, I, 324]
Early in September, 1716 the Emperor gave formal orders to Raja Jai Singh to proceed against the Jats.Roznamcha, 137] Siyar, I, 139] , Maharoa Bhim Singh
Hadaof Kota, Budh Singh of Bundi; Gaj Singh Kachhwahaof Narwar, Chhatrsal Bundela, Durga Das Rathore, Rao Indra Singh and others were ordered to Join Jai Singh. The latter was presented with a splendid khilat and an elephant. He was also given rupees 40 Lakhs to meet the expenses. At this time Sanjar Khan and Shamsher Khan were sent in advance with 1,000 walashahi troops to Palwal(36 miles south to Delhi) for the purpose of keeping communications open and providing convoys form that place to Hodal on one side and to Faridabad on the other.Shivdas, 16] , I [qbal, 22-23] Ahwal,59] [V.S.Bhatnagar, Jai Singh,77] On 15th September (9th Shawwal) Jai Singh started on the auspicious day of Dashehra. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.67] Jai Singh commanded a big army consisting of about 50,000 cavalry and more of infantry. [Shivdas, 16,25] , Promising to procure for him a mansab, the Raja won over Bayzid khan Mewati “trusted follower of Churaman’ and placed him to lead his vanguard.Shivdas, 17] Iqbal, 24] [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.67-68]
On getting the news of the Raja’s coming Churaman dispersed
guerillacontingents under his son, Mohkam Singhand his nephews Badan Singhand Rup Singh to harass and intercept the invaders. When Jai Singh reached near Kama (14 miles south of Deeg) Badan Singh taking 2,000 horses, surprised Bayzid Khan, on 15th October, 1716. Bayzid was wounded in the fight. But Badan Singhhad to fall back after the arrival of Rajput re-inforcements. Jai Singh fixed his base camp at Kama. A few days later (end of October), he occupied Radhakund (4 miles north of Govardhan) and prepared to press the enemy on two sides. [Akhbarat,16,18,19,27 October,1716] As Jai Singh moved on, the local Jat population, evacuating their dwellings, scattered to other places or repaired to Thun where Churaman lay “determined to defend himself to the Last” [ Memoires des Jats, 14,15] The fort of Thun with its lofty ramparts, a very deep ditch and thickly wooded environs, was rendered fairly strong. Churaman had stored provisions sufficient for several if not altogether 20 Years. On the eve of the siege he asked the merchants to evacuate Thun leaving their goods and property behind. He assured them of compensation if he emerged victorious. [Shivdas,19-20] [Iqbal, 26-27] Besides his own warrior tribesmen, Churaman had about 12,000 professional sanyasifighters in his stronghold. He also employed many afghans of Shahjahanpur and Bareilly at three rupees per day. This apart, he enjoyed the support of the local people including the Mewatis, who were ready to harass the imperialists through guerrillatactics. [Iqbal, 23-24] [Akhbarat, 20 October 1716] [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics, 124] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.68]
In the second week of November, 1716, the imperialists moved closer to Thun. On 9th instant, Rup Singh with 2000 horses fell upon the advanced guards of the Raja. A severe action ensued near Thun in which Rup Singh was wounded and his brother Ati Ram fell, fighting bravely. The same day Jai Singh fixed his camp near Thun and began to besiege the forts. [Akhbarat, 9,21 November,1716] [Kamwar,II,418]
Broadly Jai Singh’s problem was twofold; first, he had to steer his way through the impregnable and thorny jungles to Thun to invest it effectively, secondly, at the same time he had to cope with surprise attacks of the Jats. The task was indeed a difficult one, but remaining unperturbed, the Raja put up great exertions from the very beginning. He began to clear the jungles and make trenches, sabats and posts to station his selected troops. [Roznamcha, 175] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.69] But the Jats taking shelter in the jungles and nearby garhis often engaged and harassed the assilants. Thus, Muhkam Singh attacked the Raja’s forces near Bahaj (Bahore, 9 miles west of Govardhan) and after a little fight, drove them back. Again on 11 December 1716 was reported another fierce contest at Thun, in which the Raja overpowered the Jats. [Akhbarat, 17,21 November 1716] [Kamwar, II, 418] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, 258 ff] But the over all progress was very slow, which irritated the Emperor. On 13 March 1717, he wrote, disapprovingly that though seven months had elapsed since the Raja’s appointment, Thun had not been “invested (even) from one side, not to speak of its conquest... the Jats come out under its (jungle’s) shelter and attack the royal army. [J.Records, (Add. Pers. II, 143] [Satish Chandra, Parties and Politics, 124-125]
Success seemed doubtful, Adbus-samad Khan, the brave and energetic governor of Lahore who had won great fame by crushing the Sikhs, was recalled from the Punjab to reinforce Raja Jai Singh. However, owing to Court intrigue, he was not sent. Khan-i-Jahan, the maternal uncle of the
Sayyids, was ordered to go to Thun, outwardly to help but really to frustrate Jai Singh, as his subsequent actions prove. [Kamwar, II, 418,421] Shivdas, 17-18]
In the second week of December 1717, the Rajputs attacked (Bhusawar, south of Thun), then defended by Churaman’s brother, Ati Ram. Rup Singh and Muhkam Singh, leading succour fought desperately but were overpowered. The Jats, then, fell back to Jharsauli to offer resistance to south of Thun. In such continual fighting both sides suffered heavy losses. In spite of the presence of the Raja’s army, the roads and the countryside were also not cleared of the plunderers. To cite one instance, a group of the Jat and the Mewati freebooters attacked a merchant caravan near
Hodaland carried away merchandise worth rupees 20 lakhs. [Iqbal, 23,5] [U.N.Sharma, Itihas, I, 267] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.70] The siege had now dragged on for eighteen months with little prospect of an imminent success. In November 1717, Jai Singh was replaced by Muhammad Amin Khan as the Governor of Malwa. This affected his resources at a time when he from his own pocket was spending a lot in the Jat campaign. Hence this added further to his difficulties. Churamanhad also allies outside, viz, the zamindars and villagers who kept the imperialists in perpetual alarm by pillage and plunder. The siege dragged on for twenty months without any definite result. Party strife at the Court, between the Hindustani faction headed by the Sayyed brothers, and the Turani faction led by the Nazam-ul-mulk proved the salvation of Churaman. The wazir, Sayyid Abdullah was hostile to the Jaipur Raja whose success, therefore, he did not wish. Through a relation and agent of the wazir, Churaman made offers of submission by promising to pay a tribute of 30 Lakhs of rupees to the imperial treasury, and another 20 Lakhs to the wazir himself. Farrukh-siyar was helpless, like Sindbad the Sailor, with the two Sayyids upon his shoulders; so he reluctantly and ungraciously granted pardon to the rebel, brought before his presence, under the safe conduct of the wazir. From this time Churamanbecame an active and trusted partisan of the all-powerful Sayyids. [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),31]
Churaman and the Sayyid Brothers
In February 1719, Farrukh-siyar was deposed, blinded, and put to death by the Sayyids who raised a consumptive youth, Rafiud-darjat, to the throne. The new Emperor was deposed after three months, and his elder brother Rafi-ud-daula succeeded him. This man was so fortunate as to die a natural death after four months. Then the throne was given by the Sayyids to
Muhammad Shahin September 1719. However, this end of the King-makers was drawing near. A woman’s curse rested upon one, and extreme insolence drew down Heaven’s vengeance upon the other. [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),31-32] Churamanfollowed the Sayyids like a shadow; he was with the army of Husain Ali at the time of Farrukh-siyar’s deposition. Later on he accompanied him to Agra in the expedition against a pretender. Neku Siyar, who had been proclaimed Emperor by the enemies of the Sayyids. He was assigned an important post in the siege of that fort, [Orme MSS. p. 70 of J.N. Sarkar’s transcript] and it was through his influence with the garrison that the fort was surrendered. After that he started for the Dakhin with Husain Ali when he marched against the Nizam-ul-mulk (May 1720). For his faithful services, the Sayyid promised him the title of Raja, but this promise could not be fulfilled as Husain Ali was soon afterwards murdered by the Mughals with the connivance of Muhammad Shah. Large rewards were offered to Churaman to induce him to desert the cause of the Sayyids. Considering it foolish to incur the enmity of the Emperor for nothing he accepted them and joined Muhammad Shah’s army. The cunning Jat persuaded the Emperor to change his route which would have passed through his villages. Leaving his own villages at a distance, he led the army of the Emperor across the territories of his enemy Raja Jai Singh, and took it over high hills, thorny, Jungles, and waterless waste. [Irvine, Later Mughals, II, 68-69] [Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),32]
When Sayyid Abdullah advance at the head of a large army against Muhammad Shah, Churaman went over to the minister with all his Jats. In this he was not certainly actuated by sentiments of devotion and gratitude to his old patron. xi. The cynical Jat argued that “in case of the Sayyid’s defeat, it would be much easier to secure pardon from Muhammad Shah, then it would be, in the reverse case, to save himself from the Sayyid’s vengeance” [Irvine, Later Mughals, II, 81] Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),33]
On the day of the battle (Nov. 1720), fought in the neighbourhood of
Hodal, Churaman [(Fr.Ms.) p.73] with his Jats was employed to make diversion by attacking the camp and baggage of Muhammad Shah. He threw himself heartily into this congenial task which meant a maximum of gain with a minimum of loss. Like a pack of wolves, the Jat fell upon the baggage camp from the west, south and east in succession, and though driven back with difficulty, they carried off many oxen and horses and created much confusion among the camp followers. But in actual fighting, the day had ended in the virtual destruction of Abdullah’s army. So, next morning, Churaman without caring for the favour or frown of either party, plundered both sides with strict impartiality and made off with the booty to his won country. Churamannow openly acted as an independent Raja though he did not assume that title for fear of exciting the jealousy of his kinsmen. He strengthened himself against the Kachhwahas by making an alliance with Raja Ajit Singh Rathorof Marwarand he sent assistance to the Bundelas to keep the Mughal Government busy in the east. But he committed an indiscretion and injustice by throwing his nephew Badan Singhinto prison. Badan Singhwas released by the intervention of other Jats who began to be suspicious of Churaman’s design. Family dissension afforded fresh opportunities to his enemies. Badan Singh fled for protection and assistance to Saadat Khan, Subedar of Agra, who had already begun a campaign against the Jats. Muhakam Singh, son of Churaman, inflicted a crushing defeat upon Nilkanth Nagar, deputy of Saadat Khan. The Khan himself fared no better, and was accordingly removed from his office. Again Raja Jai Singh took the command against the Jats, to wipe off the disgrace of his previous failure. But by this time, old Churaman had committed suicide by taking poison (Sept.- Oct. 1721)
Character and estimate of Churaman
Churamanwas one of those men of History to whom destiny proved remarkable unsparing and bounteous. Majama-ul-Akhbar though a later work, aptly sums up.”...... his good fortune proved like waters richly fertilizing the field of his successful career in life...” [Francklin, The history of the reign of Shah Aulam (London:1798), 51] More due to the combination of fortuitous circumstances than to his won endeavours, he rose from the depths of a despised rebel to the enviable height of a Panchhazari Mansabdar and the uncrowned king of the region between Delhi and the Chambal. Stars smiled upon him right form the dawn of his eventful career. It was his luck as a chief Fateh Singhfailed and hence the leadership was devolved on him, though he did not directly descend from the famous Raja Ram. Further, his tenure as the Jat chief coincided with the waning Mughal power. This offered him golden opportunities to fulfill his designs. Besides, it is noteworthy that, although he was not negligent in his turbulent ways, again and again he received royal favours. To Crown all, he was extremely fortunate in gaining the favour of certain influential nobles of the day. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.85]
Our authorities speak very little of his character. An inference may, however, be drawn on the basis of his performance. Ambitious, bold and rapacious,
Churamanwas cunning to an unusual degree. Certain traits of his character suggest that as a person he was complex. His movements after the murder of Husain Ali reflect his coolness and foresight, but the case of his suicide reveals his sense of devotion and gratitude. At the same time his conduct in the wars of succession generally testifies to his being unscrupulous and deceitful. Similarly, while his treatment and imperious disposition, the way he held back in face of extreme provocation from his eldest son, Muhkam Singh, speaks of his occasional resignation and self restraint. Churamandisplayed a passionate love for money and plunder throughout his life. Examples of occasional loot were not wanting among the Jats either before or after him. But no other Jat leader of his caliber had ever given himself to plunder to this extent.
So far as Churaman’s loot in course of wars was concerned, it must be remembered that it was in keeping with the general practice of the age. [Tarikh-i-Ahmad Shahi, 133b] The examples of the Mughals, Marathas and even Rajputs indulging in it can easily be multiplied. [G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.86]
Churamanwas a good soldier, a fine tactician and a diplomat of considerable merit. His successful defence of Thun against Raja Jai Singh stands out as his masterpiece. Churaman was a skilful military organiser too. The interest he evinced in training, equipment and expansion developed the Jat army into a reckonable force. He also improved upon the system of Jat defence by building strong mud-forts like Thun well provided with arms and ammunitions. By his skillful handling of his opportunities and resources as well as his high associations, Churaman grew extremely strong. He became the “de facto ruler and law giver “of the entire population under his sphere of influence. [Qanungo, Jats, 45,49]
The Jat power made rapid progress during his leadership. Essentially Machiavellian in approach, he could change postures to serve his end. An implacable rebel till the end of Aurangzeb’s reign, he later found it convenient to profess loyalty to the Mughal throne. In turn he, for the first time, gained the royal favours. But he reverted to his old ways and tried to fish in troubled waters during the reign of Farrukh Siyar. Efforts at his suppression were tried but failed and in the end Churaman received additional concessions. However, the concessions offered from a position of apparent helplessness defeated their very objective. Instead of making Churaman sincerely loyal, they made him conscious of his mischief potential and thus eventually whetted his contumacious designs. Side by side the dictates of self interest drew him closer to the mighty Sayyids and the latter themselves, for reasons already explained extended their support to churaman to the point of infuriating Farrukh Siya. With the Emperor demanding his annihilation and the Wazir and the Mir Bakhshi offering him full protection, the Jat problem in general and Churaman’s case in particulars assumed interesting dimension.G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.87]
The role of Sayyids in the ascendancy of Churaman has not been properly brought out. Besides what we have described at the relevant places, it is to be noted that for the first time in the history of Jats, a chief could attain such heights as to become an ally and close confidant of an imperial Wajir and a Mir Bakhshi. To their patronage, more than to any other single factor, Churamn owed his spectacular rise-a-debt which he openly acknowledges. He received all that he could perhaps aspire for except the title of Raja, which though promised, could not be conferred upon him due to the murder of Husain Ali. In return, the grateful Jat served them with devotion till their end. This was a pleasant exception in a career otherwise marred by unrivalled cunning and deceit. However, his association with the Sayyids was not an unmixed blessing. It gave an added provocation to their opponents as already mentioned.
Undeniable Churaman did not prove himself to be a farsighted statesman. He lacked that vision prudence and spirit of accommodation, which were necessary in a successful leader of a tribal and democratic people like the Jats. Though born and brought up among them, he failed to appreciate their susceptibilities. As a result, despite his resources and status he could not weld them into a compact and homogeneous unit or state. On the contrary, unrest and rift came to the forefront even during his lifetime. In the circumstance
Badan Singhhad to considerably overhaul his system and devise sagacious policies for the creation of the Jat State. Nevertheless, it would be unfair to deny Churaman his due recognition. By leaving an armed force, numbering 14,000 quite a few strong mud forts, considerable wealth and people conscious of their potentiality, he contributed a good deal towards the emergence of the Jat state. ALi his shortcoming admitted, the general condition of the Jats at the time of his death was better than it was at his assumption of their leadership. Except depletion in his rank and followers, the rest of his long life’s work was intact, when his son, Muhkam Singhstepped into to fill up his place. As we shall see, Jai Singh’s victory over the latter, no doubt, inflicted a blow to the rising Jat power. But Churaman cannot be held solely responsible for whatever happened after his death. In any case churaman’s much talked about treasures escaped Jai Singh, and turned out to be of much use to Badan Singh.Memoires des Jats, 18] G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in the Mughal Empire, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p.88]
Death of Churaman
The Story of his death of
Churamanruns as follows :- “One of his relation, wealthy man died childless. The brethren sent for Muhkam, the eldest son of Churaman, and made him head of the deceased’s zamindari and gave over to him all his goods. Zul karan, the second son of Churaman said to his brother, “Give me too a share in those goods and admit me as partner.” A verbal dispute followed and Muhkam made ready to resist by force. Zul Karan determined to have the quarrel out, gathered men together, and attacked his brother. The elders of the place sent word to Churaman spoke to Muhkam. The son replied to his father in abusive language, and showed himself ready to fight his father as well as his brother. Churaman lost his temper, and from chagrin swallowed up a dose of deadly poison which he always carried with him and going to an orchard in that village lay down and gave up the ghost. After a long time had elapsed, men were sent to search for him and they found his dead body “ [Later Mughals, II, 122] Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),34]