1971 A Brief Study of the Pindaris Back to Ideas on South Asia

Pindari Society and the Establishment
of British Paramountcy in India

by Philip F. McEldowney
Sections -- The Rise of the Pindaris | The Independent Period |
Pindari Society | Initial Clashes with the British | The British Reaction |
Summary and Conclusions | Footnotes | Bibliography
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts (History) at the
University of Wisconsin - 1966


In the past historians of the British period in India have emphasized both the British and the political-military aspects. For the early nineteenth century, considerable literature exists concerning the Presidencies, British policies of expansion, and the outstanding Governor Generals. Few historians have extensively examined the social and economic developments in the rest of India between the Wellesley and Lord Hastings administrations. This paper, in part, hopes to fill this gap. In addition, it provides a study of an area immediately prior to European control.

This study began in fulfillment of one of the requirements for the Indian Studies M.A. In spite of subsequent expansion and revision, I am disappointed not to have discovered more material about the social structure of the Pindaris, their economic effects upon India, and the complex social situation in central India. I believe I have examined most sources readily available in the United States on the Pindaris, especially at the University of Wisconsin libraries, but also the Chicago, New York City, and the Minnesota Ames libraries. Additional material, undoubtedly available in England and India, would contribute to a better-documented examination.

I.   The Rise of the Pindaris . . . . .  1
II.  The Independent Period . . . . . .  8
III. Pindari Society  . . . . . . . . . 16
IV.  Initial Clashes with the British . 29
V.   The British Reaction   . . . . . . 36
VI.  Summary and Conclusions  . . . . . 48
     FOOTNOTES    . . . . . . . . . . . 66
     BIBLIOGRAPHY   . . . . . . . . . . 75

I. The Rise of the Pindaris

European expansion overseas formidably began in the sixteenth century. During the next four centuries this process took many shapes and forms. Europeans discovered, conquered, settled, and ruled in a large portion of the world. Local conditions and circumstances often significantly influenced the pace and the nature of European involvement. The establishment of British rule and paramountcy in India provides one such example. More specifically, the activities and existence of the Pindaris directly affected the establishment and the pace of British rule in India during the first two decades of the nineteenth century, as had conditions within the Maratha Confederacy, the Mughal empire, and other Indian states during the previous two centuries.

The Pindaris are one of the most controversial groups, among the many, which the British conquered during their rise to paramountcy over India. In addition, Pindari ruthlessness and atrocities rank along with sati, infanticide, and human sacrifice in the mind of British writers of the time. According to them, the advent of British civilization, peace, and prosperity meant such contradictory practices could no longer exist. Yet it took the right moment, circumstances, and man before the British successfully suppressed the Pindaris.

Writing about the Pindaris, the Maratha historian, G. S. Sardesai, states ,

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Their true history has perhaps not yet been written. The profuse British accounts suffer from a natural bias created by the last years of their activities perpetuating the impression that the Pindaris were the enemies of society and such loathsome pests as deserved to be exterminated. [1]
This paper in no way proposes to write the definitive history of the Pindaris. Not only are British accounts distorted by their prejudice, but the earlier history of the Pindaris is obscure. They left no written record of their own activities. Historians, such as S. N. Sen and G. S. Sardesai, have examined the scanty primary sources. Their research, however, has resulted in no further astounding revelations. Because of the absence of reliable sources and unless new ones are discovered, a complete and comprehensive history of the Pindaris is not presently possible.

Because of this speculative nature of early Pindari history, this paper concentrates attention on the latest and better-documented phase, from 1800 onward. Among the several aims of this essay is the examination of the internal history of the Pindaris, in particular, their origin and early history, their growth in numbers, land, and wealth, the development of an independent leadership, their social and military structure, incursions into British territory, and their relations with the Maratha powers. The second area of concern is British policy and opinion toward the Pindaris during this same period. Thirdly, the paper shows how the operations against the Pindaris were intimately connected to the growth of British paramountcy ln India.

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The emphasis throughout the paper is on the Pindaris themselves. It is necessary to examine their place ln Indian and British history, besides the military operations against them, in order to provide an overall and continuous perspective. But this is not an essay on Lord Hastings and his times, the Maratha states, nor the military history of the destruction of the Pindari system. Hence, secondary sources provide most of the material for the description of these aspects.

In view of the sources available in the United States, and given the political system in India during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, almost all of the sources are British and in English. Contemporary public and official opinion created a "black legend" about the Pindaris. This paper does not wish to establish a "white legend." Rather, it endeavors to avoid both extremes. It proposes to examine the events, causes and circumstances which lie beneath the often-repeated, emotional events in the writings of the British imperialists or ardent Indian nationalists.

The Pindaris originated during the late nineteenth century and developed into a group serving as auxiliaries to Indian armies. Unfortunately, their origin and early history is obscure. Only some tentative propositions are possible from the early references. Even the meaning of the term "Pindari" is controversial.

An exact etymology of the word Pindari does not exist; not because no one has attempted to discover an origin, but

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because writers have suggested so many different etymologies. Many of these may be partially true, but no single one may claim complete authenticity. [2] The most probable etymology suggests that the term originates from pinda, the intoxicating liquor which Pindaris often drank. Most Pindaris felt this was the origin of their name. [3] Two other possible origins are the Hindi and Marathi terms, pendha hare and pind parna. The first, "one who takes a bundle of straw," refers to the function Pindaris sometimes performed for armies as collectors of forage for horses. The second, "to follow closely or to the death," alludes to the Pindaris as stragglers attached to an army. The terms Pandhar and Bidaris are concerned with two geographical regions with which the Pindaris may have been connected. The Pandhar theory has little to support it as this region on the Nerbudda River became the area where Pindaris held land long after they were known as Pindaris. [4] Before this they were associated with another region in the Deccan, Bidar. It is possible that their name is a corruption of Bidari, meaning those from Bidar. One possible transformation would be from Bidari through Bindari to Pindari. This is the region in which writers first mentioned the Pindaris.

These several etymologies provide a basic definition for the Pindaris. They were a group of loosely organized horsemen or cavalry, attached to an army for the purpose of plundering and harassing the enemy's lands and camps. They originated in an area in the Deccan around Bidar and eventually settled in a region once known as Pandhar. During the

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last period of their existence they gradually detached themselves from any army. They then plundered for themselves in any region irrespective of whether it was enemy territory.

In the context of this basic definition, groups of this nature were not new in Indian politics and warfare. Two well-known treatises on ancient and medieval Indian policy mention that a king should employ robbers and thieves as part of his strategy against the enemy. [5] Though these are statements of what a king should do, they probably represent in some form the actual situation. For this reason, many rulers may have employed similar groups to accomplish their purposes.

After the Mughals began ruling in India, it is therefore not surprising that they eventually adopted military units similar to the groups sometimes hired by their predecessors. In the Deccan, such a contingent formed part of their army. This least-known period of Pindari history can be distinguished as the Muslim Period in comparison to the two later periods. During the succeeding Maratha Period, Maratha chiefs added the Pindaris to their armies. Finally, in the Independent Period, the Pindaris gradually broke with this Maratha control and plundered for themselves.

The Muslim historian, Firishta, makes the first clear reference to the name Pindari in 1689 during Aurangzeb's campaign in the Deccan. [6] At the same time another source mentions that the Bidaris or Pindaris marched with the Mughal armies as privileged and recognized thieves. The Italian adventurer. Niccolao Manucci, states that they are

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"the first to invade the enemy's territory, where they plunder everything they find." [7]

No substantial additional material is available besides this brief account of the Muslim Period. During the succeeding Maratha Period, source material is equally scanty. The Marathas did not employ Pindaris until after Sivaji's time, but probably during the rule of Balaji Rao, the Marathas hired them under the Pindari leader, Gardi Khan. [8] Sources provide no reason for this change of sides. Perhaps the Pindaris revolted against the Muslim effort to control them more strictly, or they may have felt that opportunities for plunder were more frequent and lucrative under the Marathas. [9] Their position as a regular part of the Maratha army dates from this time. The Poona court permitted each chief, such as Holkar and Sindhia, to keep a prescribed number of Pindaris in their camps. Within the Maratha military system the Pindaris formed the fourth type of cavalry. The other three consisted of the Khasgi paga or a small elite guard, the Silhedars or the paid high-caliber horsemen, and the Ekas or Ekandas or volunteer cavalry. [10]

Under this system, which prevailed during the eighteenth century, the Pindaris provided a source of income for the Maratha chiefs. The chiefs protected the Pindaris and allowed them to plunder areas through which the Maratha armies marched. The Pindaris, in return, paid the chiefs a tax called palpatti. [11] Evidently the Marathas found them useful because of their skill as marauders who owned their own horses, because of their speed and endurance for long

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marches, and their ability to take action on their own initiative. From a Maratha viewpoint it was reassuring that the Pindaris never became sentimentally attached to any one powerful leader. ]12]

This arrangement with the Pindaris benefited the Marathas as long as they maintained the army as an organized unit serving the purposes of the Maratha state, and as long as strong chiefs tightly controlled the Pindaris and their army. But during the late eighteenth century Maratha leadership deteriorated, leaving less able men to rule. Under them the semblance of a confederacy slowly decayed with each chief trying to retain control in his own area and to promote himself to the leadership of the confederacy.

Under these circumstances, the Pindaris grew ln numbers and wealth during the turn of the century. Their character changed considerably from auxiliaries to an army to a semiindependent cavalry under their own leaders with only nominal alliance to certain Maratha chiefs. This change characterizes the transitional phase in Pindari history between the Maratha Period and the Independent Period.

II. The Independent Period

As with any periodization, the Independent Period of the Pindaris is somewhat arbitrary, but for the purposes of this paper lt was from about 1800 to 1818. During these two decades the Pindaris and their leaders plundered at will, while Maratha leadership rarely exercised even nominal control over them. For this reason the Period may be designated as the Independent Period. But the Pindaris were neither strong enough nor did they wish to declare their formal independence. Since they lived ln an area controlled by the Marathas, they never formally repudiated their nebulous overlordship.

Three conditions account for the growth of the Pindaris into an independent and formidable force by 1815. They are their increase in numbers and wealth as well as the rise of a new and independent leadership.

The increase of the Pindaris in numbers defies any exact calculation because census reports for this period are non-existent. British observers estimated the numbers of the Pindaris occasionally from sight, but mostly by adding informants' reports about the various durrahs (groups of Pindaris under a recognized Pindari leader). In 1810 Captain Sydenham, the Resident at the Berar court, complained that he could not give anything "in the shape of a regular or accurate account of the Pindaris" because of the "imperfect materials" he possessed.[13] Furthermore, there was no recognized definition of Pindaris. Some observers tended

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to include certain durrahs which others excluded. Some reports were selective, while others included all irregular cavalry in the area. Consequently, most estimates are inaccurate or contradictory. To add to the confusion, the Pindaris seemed to rise and fall according to the success or failure of their plundering raids.[14] Often the numbers of Pindaris for a single raid or luhbur increased to twice its original size because the people, whom the Pindaris plundered, Joined the luhbur out of desperation at the loss of all their possessions. Ruffians and vagabonds also Joined the luhbur as it passed through their locality. [15]

Thus, three accounts of the Pindaris in 1812 estimated the numbers of the Pindaris as 22,000, 26,000, and 44,000. [l6] A compilation of the various estimates illustrates this confusion further:

     1800      Jenkins         2,250 
     1800      Sydenham       10,000 
     1804      Malcolm        10,000 
     1809      Jenkins        24,550 
     1809      Sydenham       25,000 
     1810      Sydenham       20,000 
     1811      Jenklns    not less than 4-5,000 
     1811      Fitzclarence   26,000 
     1811      Prinsep        25,000
     1814      Sydenham    20-25,000 
     1814      Prinsep        20,000 
     1800-1818 Malcolm     20-30,000 [17] 
In conclusion, the numbers of Pindaris probably increased during the Independent Period as much as from 10,000 in 1800 to about 25-30,000 in 1814. An estimate, however, of the annual increase is virtually impossible.

Equally difficult to measure with any satisfactory accuracy is the increase ln land and wealth of the Pindaris

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during this period. The three accounts above estimate the annual revenue from Pindari lands at 834,000, 1,200,000, and 1,957,000 rupees. [18] This compares with the only figure before 1800 of 50,000 rupees annual revenue. [19 ] Various reports on Pindari land indicated that Pindari leaders received grants of land during this period from the Maratha chiefs (mainly Sindhia and Holkar) for their services. They retained these territories in their possession and tried to extend them. Most of these lands, located Just north of the Nerbudda River in central India, provided the Pindaris with a steady income, a place for their families to live, and a center from which to plunder. During the Maratha Period, Baji Rao I and later the Bhonsla Raja gave the Pindaris grants of land. These lands, however, soon passed from their possession. Moreover, they were not as extensive or as lucrative as their land during the Independent Period. [20]

In addition to the revenue from land, the Pindari leaders occasionally received cash allotments in lieu of abstaining from plundering, but there are no estimates of this source of income. [21] As the Pindaris became stronger, they sometimes intimidated a central Indian chief or prince with the threat of pay-or-we-plunder. Reports of the 1811 Dusshera meeting confirm this. Karim Khan tried to convince another Pindari leader, Chitu, to plunder the neighboring Bhonsla territory. Chitu refused to Join him. One can reasonably speculate that Chitu received a large bribe from the Bhonsla ruler. Consequently, the plundering never occurred. [22]

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Plunder provided the largest, though most transient, source of Pindari income and wealth. After returning from an expedition, the Pindaris immediately spent their plunder for the payment of debts and on amusements and carousing. [23] One may conjecture about the effect this plundering had on the Indian economy. If the Pindaris had plundered more extensively and for a longer period, they might have transformed the Indian economy instead of aiding to destroy it. Most of-the wealth they plundered consisted of precious jewelry or hard currency. Often extracting much of this hoarded wealth by means of torture, they began the circulation of otherwise stagnant capital. (This, of course, could also cause inflation.) Their operations, however, were not that extensive. In fact, the hoarded wealth merely changed hands from the robbed to the merchant in central India who again probably hoarded it.

The emergence of a new kind of leadership characterizes the third aspect of the Pindaris' growth to independence. On one hand, Pindari leadership grew more independent, not because they acquired more capable leaders, but because they filled a power vacuum in central India. During this time) the Maratha leaders were weak. The Peshwa at Poona had been defeated by the British as had Sindhia. Holkar had maintained his independence, but his insanity in 1808 meant a continual struggle for power in his court and a deterioration of control over his relationships with other power groups. [24]

On the other hand, the Pindaris gradually transferred

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their primary devotion and obedience from the Maratha chiefs to their own durrah leaders. During the first decade of the nineteenth century, it was fairly easy to designate the different Pindari groups as belonging to either the Holkar or Sindhia Shahi, meaning royal possession or royal. In subsequent years the bond between these chiefs. and the Pindaris weakened. Furthermore, most of the active and larger groups belonged nominally to the Sindhia Shahi. Hence, this title became less meaningful and the designation, durrah, more useful. [25]

A closer examination of the history of the different Pindari leaders will clarify this transition. Among these leaders were Ghazi-u-Din, Gardi Khan, Shah Baz Khan, Hiro, Barun, Karim Khan, Chitu, Wasil Muhammad, and Numdar Khan.

Ghats-u-Din was the first Pindari hired by the Marathas. He fought under the Peshwa, BaJi Rao I, in Hindustan. When Holkar formally recognized his military achievements, he and one of his sons, Gardi Khan, attached-themselves to his court. This group of Pindaris, even after their hereditary leadership became extinct, remained under Holkar down through the Independent Period. Before his insanity, Jaswant Rao Holkar firmly controlled the Pindaris. It is even possible that he may have planned to destroy them. After Tulsi Bai gained control, she gave them titles and land. In this way the Pindaris gained positions of greater strength. [26] Yet, during the Independent Period, this group of Pindaris mainly under Kandir Bakhsh's leadership was less active compared to other Pindari groups.

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Shah Baz Khan organized the second main division of the Pindaris, generally connected with Sindhia. He died in a Hindustan campaign in Sindhia's service, but his group continued their association with the house of Sindhia. During the last decade of the eighteenth century, Shah Baz Khan's sons, Hlro and Barun, offered their services to the Nawab of Bhopal. When he hesitated to accept this offer, the Bhonsla family at Nagpur hired them. The Pindaris' first assignment, which they executed with enthusiasm and success, was to plunder Bhopal. Jealous of the wealthy loot accumulated in this assignment and siding with Hiro in a dispute, the Bhonsla Raja plundered the Pindari camp and took Barun prisoner. [27] Hiro fled to Sindhia uncertain of his own safety. Both leaders died shortly after in 1800. ,

Similar to the Holkar Shahi, hereditary leadership of a durrah became less significant in the Sindhia Shahi after 1800. Two new leaders, Kc rim Khan and Chitu, rose to prominence at this time. During the Independent Period they remained the dominant leaders of the Pindaris.

Karim Khan was briefly the wealthiest and most powerful Pindari leader. As a young soldier, he successively served under the Peshwa, Sindhia, and Barun. When the Bhonsla Raja took Barun prisoner, he fled and served under Sindhia. In the wars against Hyderabad, especially at Kharda (1795), he amassed a fortune in plunder. To safeguard this newly acquired wealth, he established himself at Shujaulpur in central India. There he attracted a large Pindari following. Later, ln 1804, Sindhia confirmed his possession of

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this land which was worth 15 lakhs of rupees annual revenue. Seeking to set himself up as a prince, Karim Khan tried to expand unsuccessfully into Bhopal. In 1806, Sindhia, fearing Karim Khan's expansionist ambitions and growing power, enticed him to his camp and took him prisoner. [28] Karim Khan's mother fled with her son's wealth to the prince of Kotah, Zalim Singh. During the next five years, Karim Khan remained a prisoner of Sindhia while other Pindari leaders continued to expand their power.

Chitu, the other outstanding Pindari leader of the Independent Period, was born a Jat near Delhi. Dobble Khan, whose sons led Barun' B durrah, bought Chitu as a slave and then adopted him as his son. Eventually Chitu acquired the leadership of Barun's group. [29] Like Karim Khan, Sindhia gave Chitu a title and lands in 1804, but also took him prisoner in 1807. [30]

On payment of a large ransom, Sindhia released both leaders in 1811. During the Dusshera festival they planned to join forces against Sindhia and the Bhonsla. As has already been mentioned, the Bhonsla bought off Chitu with grants of land. Chitu then joined Sindhia by helping his officer, Jago Bapu, defeat Karim Khan. [31] Karim Khan fled to Zalim Singh for protection. At the same time Sindhia threatened Zalim Singh with reprisals if he gave Karim Khan asylum. Karim Khan finally turned to Amir Khan and Holkar for help. They negotiated a settlement, by which Karim Khan remained under their confinement until 1816. When he obtained his freedom in that year. he again attempted a union

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with Chitu for a common defense against the British. Quarrels between the two prevented such an alliance.

Numdar Khan and Wasil Muhammad were among the leaders of smaller durrahs during this Period. As Karim Khan's nephew, Numdar Khan occasionally plundered Sindhia's territory to avenge his uncle's subjugation. [32] His durrah numbered only about 2,000 men compared to the 10,000 of Karim Khan's. Wasil Muhammad, who was a son of Hiro, generally remained loyal to Sindhia with a durrah of 5,000 men. [33]

Pindari leadership thus achieved its greatest power and wealth in 1804-06 when Sindhia gave titles and recognized or gave lands to the Pindari leaders. The fact that Sindhia imprisoned both Karim Khan and Chitu at one time indicates that he feared they were becoming too strong and independent. The main weakness of Pindari leadership was demonstrated in the Dussheras of 1811 and 1817 when they could not and did not unite. Hence, the Maratha powers were able to bribe them or play one oft against the other.

III. Pindari Society

No study of the Pindaris would be complete without some consideration of the nature and structure of Pindari society. Though contemporary interest in such issues as the numbers, wealth and leaders of the Pindaris tended to obscure the character of Pindari society, it nevertheless existed distinct from other groups. The Pindaris were essentially an association of cavalrymen, banded together for the purpose of plundering. Not simply organized robbers, nor military men, they combined both aspects and selected those methods which most effectively served their purposes. An examination of their military structure, social composition, some religious practices, a comparison with other quasi-mllltary groups, and a review of their annual life differentiate the particular features of Pindari society.

Sources relating to the Pindaris reveal no formal military structure. Four hierarchical units, however, are evident. At the top the Pindaris professed loyalty to either Sindhia or Holkar. Every group identified itself as belonging to the Sindhia or Holkar Shahi. Below this broad dual division, the many Pindari leaders controlled their members in durrahs or camps. These durrahs subsequently consisted of several "parties," the smallest definable unit. The size of these parties varied considerably depending on the skills and reputation of the party leader.

Cutting across durrah distinctions, the luhbur or raiding expedition usually consisted of parties from several

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durrahs. Of the 1O,OOO Pindaris participating in the 1816 luhbur on the Madras Presidency, 7,000 belonged to Chitu's durrah, 1,000 to Karim Khan's, 500 to Dost Muhammad's, and 1,500 to the Holkar Shahi. [34]

A Pindari belonged to a party by his own choice. He could transfer his loyalty and obedience to another leader for several reasons. He might have feuds with other party members, or another leader might attract him by offering more beneficial rewards and a better position. Various factors, however, contributed to a [air amount of stability. Several generations of service and loyalty under one leader traditionally bound a Pindari's family to one particular party. A Pindari might also have a recognized rank of some status within a party. Accounts of the quarrels at the annual Dusshera meetings and the wide variation of the size of the durrahs, however, indicate that a leader had to uee his arbitrational skills, and provide a minimal amount of financial and physical security to maintain his group or attract new members.

Such a heterogeneous group, united primarily by a de-sire to plunder, attests to the multiplicity of their origins. The majority, "hard core" Pindaris grew into their occupation by birth. Their fathers, and perhaps even great grandfathers, as in the case of Dost Muhammad, were Pindaris. Reports of the kidnapping of women and children on luhburs, or the buying of child slaves like Chitu indicate only slight variations from this regular pattern. [35] The wealth obtained from plunder and the freedom of Pindari life also attracted

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additional members such as Karim Khan. The transition of occupation from an irregularly paid cavalry man under Sindhia to a Sindhia Shahi Pindari who acquired his own subsistence through plundering was fairly easy. Thus, many Pindaris were originally Muslim or Maratha cavalrymen who were disbanded or found Pindari life better than formal military service. [36] Sydenham provided other origins. He reported that those who wished to escape debtors, who were expelled from their communities because of crimes or were unemployed for various reasons also joined the Pindaris. The only requirements were the possession of a horse and a spear. [37]

Pindari society was, therefore, composed of many classes and castes, who came from several areas. [38] It is impossible to distinguish any proportion of specific groups. [39] Certainly, the Pindaris tolerated and permitted the existence of a variety of customs and traditions which groups continued to practice. Even the scanty knowledge about certain religious practices confirms this. Most Pindaris professed to be Muslims, but some could not even repeat the karma or Muslim creed nor knew the name of the prophet . [40] They worshipped several gods and goddesses. Among the most widely revered was a deified warrior, Ramasah Pir, who had been killed in battle. Muslims called him Zair Pir while Hindus worshipped him as Goga Pir. Women especially sought this god's favor when their husbands set out on a luhbur. At such times they offered small clay or stone icons of horses to his shrine. In addition, for good luck, Pindaris often wore

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coins around their necks stamped with the image of Ramasah Pir on horseback. [41] By these religious practices the Pindaris permitted the accommodation of two traditions under one god. The auspiciousness of the horse as icons or on coins also affirms the centrality of the horse to the Pindari's livelihood.

A valuable method off further determining the peculiar nature of Pindari society is to compare them with two other groups in central India, the Pathans and the Marathas. The Pathans were militarily very similar to the Pindaris . Amir Khan led this group who were also in central India at this time. British writers sometimes tended to confuse the Pathans as part of the Pindaris. Both concentrated their activities in approximately the same area of India, both served Maratha chiefs, and both were primarily horsemen. [42] But some essential differences existed. The Pathan leaders regularly paid their troops for their services, while the Pindaris never received pay. Rather, they paid their leaders part of their plunder in return for protection and the privilege to plunder. Only rarely Maratha chief s provided the Pindaris with a compensation pay to support themselves while they suspended their plundering activities. [43] Secondly, the Pathans employed some infantry and: artillery though cavalry predominated. The Pindaris, on the other hand, consisted exclusively of horsemen. Only a very small number of artillery and infantry protected their lands and leaders in central India. [44] The Pathan cavalry was also more disciplined and regular than the Pindaris. [45] While the Pathans

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extended their activity from central India toward the north->west in Rajputana, the Pindaris plundered east and mostly south of central India. [46] Finally, the Pathans consisted of more homogeneous groups (being mostly Pathans) than the Pindaris. The main differences were, therefore, organizational rather than functional. Writers, who regarded the functional aspect, i.e. their destructive and plundering activities under Maratha chiefs as more significant, tended to view these two groups as one.

The Pindaris also differed from another group in central India, the Marathas. The Pindaris nominally served under the Maratha chiefs and existed within the territories which the Marathas controlled. A more essential difference, however, was the Marathas' "national)' feeling based on their territory, Maharasthra, and their religion, Hinduism. They had an established form of government and administration. [47] The Pindaris, on the other hand, had no historical or emotional attachment to any one area as their own. Most of them professed to be Muslim, but the undogmatic nature of their religion and the tolerance of other religions and practices among them provided no basis for a "national" feeling. Their peculiar customs and life discouraged a permanently settled life under a responsible government of their own. In order to plunder, they could respect few laws of established governments. They stole, killed, burned, tortured, and destroyed life and property. They recognized only the rules and commands of their durrah leaders. These they followed in order to plunder and to protect themselves

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from other groups. The Pindaris, therefore, only superficially resembled the Marathas. Both raided territories on horseback, the Marathas during the eighteenth century to levy chauth and sardeshmukhi, and the Pindaris for plunder. Any emphasis of the difference between the Marathas and Pindaris is, therefore, functional rather than organizational. The Marathas held a position of power as a government which they wished to maintain. The Pindaris only wished to plunder.

The Pindari's cycle of life during a year most thoroughly reveals his character. His life centered around two seasons, the rainy season and the raiding season. During the rains, he led an "inactive" life in central India. After the rains, he joined the plundering luhburs.

Throughout the monsoon season (June-October) a Pindari lived in the area which a protecting Maratha chief or a Pindari leader provided for him. During the Independent Period this territory consisted of the land north of the Nerbudda River in Malwa and central India. Chitu held land in the mountainous area around Sutwas and Nimwar just north of the Nerbudda. Karim Khan held the largest amount of land in the Pan] Mahals, and Wasil Muhammad held land around Karewye and Udaipur. [48] These lands were given by and held under Sindhia, while Holkar's government also provided lands for his Pindaris west of Bhopal . [49]

The moist ground and the swollen rivers prevented the Pindaris from plundering during this season. They supported themselves mostly by loans from merchants or cash payments

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from Maratha chiefs and the land revenue from durrah leaders. 50 Other than this the activities of the Pindaris are least known during this part of the year. Contemporary writers were not concerned with the peaceful and "inactive" Pindaris.

Several remarks, however, indirectly demonstrate that the Pindaris possibly worked at other occupations during this season. After the 1817-19 war the population of central India suddenly and completely absorbed about 20,000 Pindaris. [51] John Malcolm, the agent responsible for establishing British control and administration in the area, could only suggest a few places to which these Pindaris had disappeared. A few leaders were pensioners of the British in Bhopal and Nimwar. Between five and six hundred sold toddy at Mhow. Others made thatched roofs and transported building materials and grain. The majority had been "amalgamated with the lowest of labouring classes, whence many had originally sprung." [52] It is, therefore, concluded that previous to British control many Pindaris followed these occupations, such as toddy selling and transporting goods, during much of the year. This income supplemented their wealth derived from plunder and supported them during the years or months they did not plunder. [53] Only such a proposition can account for the ease by which the Pindaris were absorbed after the war.

The most widely known and feared Pindari was the plundering Pindari. After the rains ended the Pindaris gathered at a point north of the Nerbudda, usually Nimwar, at the

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time of Dusshera (the end of October to the first of November). The significance of this festival for the Pindaris is uncertain. Perhaps it was a continuation of the tradition established by the Marathas, who had always assembled during Dusshera before dispersing to collect chauth. On the other hand, the Pindaris may have associated some religious meaning to the homage paid to the gods or goddesses worshipped at this festival. It may simply have been a convenient, well-known date for meeting after the rains. What-ever the reasons, the Pindaris and their leaders gathered and planned their activities for the coming year. Leaders formed alliances, settled arguments, and decided what areas to plunder. The Pindaris repaired their equipment and weapons and bought and prepared their horses in anticipation for the expeditions.

The key organization for plundering was the luhbur or raiding expedition. A luhbeerea led the expedition. Pindaris chose him on the basis of his familiarity with the country to be plundered. Durrah leaders themselves remained in their camps in central India and seldom led a luhbur. They advised the parties within their durrahs of areas to plunder. Their messengers kept them informed of the progress and success of these parties. [54]

During the weeks or months after Dusshera, the luhbeerea formulated his plans and sent envoys to inform the Pindari parties of them. Then, on a selected day, he rode out of camp unannounced and sounded his horn. Those who chose to follow him dropped everything and rode oft after him. [55]

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The luhbur generally consisted of 1,000 to 4,000 Pindaris but other persons often Joined the initial group along the way. [56] It was a mixed group composed of several parties with their own subordinate leaders. [57] About half of the luhbur was well-mounted, while the rest rode tattos, galloways, or ponies. The Pindaris usually bought these horses from the Marathas. They took great care in feeding and handling them, though they did not practice horsemen-ship. [58] The most common weapons were spears, eight to twelve feet long, and swords. One in every twenty was armed with a matchlock and some leaders carried pistols . [59]

As the luhbur headed directly for its destination, it often used lens frequented roads. The group traveled ten to twenty coss, or twenty to forty miles a day. It could traverse as much as sixty miles a day. [60] Usually, it stopped twice during the day, once from noon to four in the afternoon, and again from midnight to dawn. [61] The luhbeerea called a halt by planting his standard in the ground. The whole luhbur rode past him, leaving him in the rear. In this way he could arouse everyone by riding through camp, when he wished to proceed.

The Pindaris were well-known for their mobility and endurance. They traveled light, carrying no tents or baggage. They trained both their horses and themselves for long and swift marches. [62] When they slept on their paddles, they tied the rein of their horses around their wrist, ready for any surprise attack. For subsistence along the way, they ate the little food they brought with them. When that

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was exhausted, they lived off the land, demanding food from the local inhabitants and collecting forage for the horses.

Local inhabitants, travelers, fakirs, and sadhus provided the Pindaris with intelligence about wealthy places to plunder, the movement of troops, and other Pindari parties. [63] They had no other intelligence system of their own and, thus, employed no spies in areas they plundered. Their advanced guard acted as a scouting party but did not seek places to plunder. [64]

When the luhbur reached their destination, they separated into parties of 50 to 100 to plunder the villages in the area. This final destination might be as much as 400 miles from their base camp. [65] Riding into a village by surprise, they first tried to locate the wealthiest residences and then looted the village of its valuable articles. In order to find any hidden wealth they tortured the villagers. They used several methods, besides beating. Two common methods of torture were the "sack" and the "boards." For the first one, they filled a sack with hot coals, ashes and spices, placed it over a person's head or nostrils, and thumped him on the back to make him inhale. The victim either revealed where his wealth was hidden or he died of burns and suffocation. The "boards" derives its name from the two heavy boards between which the Pindaris made a person lie on the ground. Then two Pindaris stood and jumped on them, one on each end, until the tortured person's rib cage collapsed or he told the location of his money and jewels. British writers also recorded other atrocities,

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such as burning men, dividing children with swords in mid air, and raping women. [66]

After plundering several villages during the day, the luhbur collected for the night. Sometimes they burned villages and crops to indicate their positions to other parties of the luhbur. [67] They forced the inhabitants to collect forage, carry heavy stolen articles, bring and cook food, and spent the night with the "best looking women" of the area. [68 ] Sometimes they held the headman overnight as ransom. They would progressively send cut-off parts of his body to the village and warned that the next would be his heart it the villagers did not send more money soon. [69]

After several days of plundering in an area, the luhbur returned to their base camps above the Nerbudda. If the amount of plunder satisfied them, they remained there.Otherwise they headed in another direction for more plunder. Parties, within the luhbur, could leave it at any time and plunder on their own. [70 ] The pace of the return march was usually, and naturally, faster to escape pursuing troops.

Most of the plundered articles consisted of easily transportable goods, such as silver and gold coins, jewelry and rings. These the Pindaris carried on them. But sources also mention stolen elephants, that local inhabitants carried heavy articles for the Pindaris, and that sixty bullocks transported the plunder from one town. [71] This indicates that while the Pindaris took most of their plunder with them, they also employed local people and other means of transportation to carry bulkier goods.

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If the local inhabitants received news of an approaching band of Pindaris, they usually fled to the hills and forests with their valuable articles. [72] One contemporary Indian described the times in these words:

Hindustan was at this time tormented by demons from the lowest hill. I cannot describe the horrors of those days: Ram Ram, Sitaram--may they never come again! The very name of Pindaree, or of Cheeto, their Chief, was ac- cursed. Merchants trembled when they heard it � young women wept;--no one felt safe. [73]
As late as 1890 one British writer discovered a village tower from which the inhabitants of Bijapur district used to watch for Pindaris. [74] These reveal the nature of the reaction to the Pindaris. The villagers feared and fled from Pindari luhburs. Their name excited alarm over a wide area of India during this time.

After returning to their camps from an expedition, the Pindaris divided and sold their plunder. The valuable articles attracted merchants, brokers, liquor sellers, and entertainers. The Pindaris divided their plunder several ways, often depending on the force of the demanding person. Sometimes the durrah leader received one-fourth of all the plunder, sometimes only the valuable articles (such as elephants, and large wealthy objects) and sometimes nothing. The luhbur leader usually received some compensation, in addition to all the disputed articles. The Pindaris themselves, however, kept most of the plunder they had taken. This they first sold to pa y off debts. The rest they spent on entertainment, carousing and drinking. [75] On one occasion the plunder taken from a luhbur amounted to so much that

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merchants from Ujain had to come before the Pindaris could sell all of it. [76] After spending this plunder, the Pindaris either planned their next expedition or stayed at their homes until the next raiding season.

A Pindari's life, like Pindari society, had a variety of aspects. During much of the year he and his family lived in the towns and villages of central India along with the other inhabitants. During this time he might supplement his income by several "moonlighting" occupations. After the rains and Dusshera, however, he "earned" his main income on luhburs. His life as a plunderer was rough and carefree. He relied completely on his riding skill, his endurance, his horse, his weapons, his alertness, and often his cruelty to protect him and provide his income. Such a life was both exciting and precarious. British indignation at the extension of luhburs into their territory and their subsequent policies eventually terminated the existence of this society.

IV. Initial Clashes with the British

The detailed description of a luhbur in the previous chapter provides a background for the examination of Pindari raids into British territory. These raids are significant for Pindari history because they directly precipitated the British decision to destroy the Pindaris.

British writers provided two main theories concerning the extension of Pindari activities over a larger area. The first suggests that since the Pindaris had completely exhausted the area in central India which usually supported them, they were forced to plunder elsewhere . [77] The second implies that durrah leaders, with the support of Maratha chiefs, supervised and directed their parties to plunder British possessions. [78] Both conjectures are difficult to assess. The prospect of plundering in new, "virgin," and wealthy areas certainly might have attracted the Pindaris. It is possible that the area previously plundered was no longer worth plundering. Pindari parties also followed the suggestions of their leaders, but the sources do not indicate whither this was part of a conscious Maratha conspiracy against the British. The natural presumption is that since Pindari envoys often attended Maratha camps and since the Marathas had fought and thought of the British as enemies, they wanted to and did use the Pindaris to destroy the resources of the enemy.

Writers also presume that before the Pindaris started raiding British territory (1812), they annually plundered

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the territories of the Nizam, the Peshwa, and the Bhonsla. Yet the sources reveal no details about this. Karim Khan had raided the Nizam's territory when he served under Sindhia in 1794. [79] He had also served the Bhonsla against Bhopal. Later he tried to extend his possessions of land into both these areas in 1804-5. [80] There is no record of specific raids into the Peshwa's territories. Either the observers of Pindari activities felt these raids were too insignificant or they never occurred.

The following account also illustrates British reaction to the Pindaris. After recovering from the initial shock of the Pindari audacity of invading British possessions, they devised a plan of defense. When this proved only partially successful, the British decided that open war presented the only means to destroy the Pindari menace.

The first luhbur into British territory occurred in March 1812 on the frontier of Mirzapur. First reports indicated that a party, belonging mostly to Dost Muhammad's durrah, was headed for the territory of the RaJa of Nagpur. Along the way, however, they met an expelled zamindar from Allahabad. [81] He convinced them to change the destination of their luhbur. The Mirzapur area was not only prosperous, few troops were stationed there at the time. The luhbur of about 3,000 entered the districts of Mirzapur through the territory of the Raja of Rewah. They plundered five or six villages, and threatened but did not enter the city of Mirzapur. Hurriedly, the group crossed the Son River, passed through a district of the Raja of Nagpur, and back to their

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base. [82] By the time reports reached the Government in Calcutta, the Pindaris had left. In order to prevent a recurrence of this, the Government stationed troops to defend this frontier and concluded a treaty with the Raja of Rewah. [83] The Pindaris never raided this area again.

Such events revealed several significant observations. Both a weakly-defended and prosperous area attracted Pindari luhburs. When the Government stationed troops on the frontier, the Pindaris did not risk another luhbur there. The Pindaris obtained their intelligence from a variety of sources, in this case a zamindar. Their raid was so swift that it was over before the Government received news of what had happened. Mobility was the Pindaris' best defense.

The following winter (l812-1813) the second Pindari incursion entered British territory in the west, around Surat. Five thousand horsemen plundered four or five villages and the frightened people fled to Surat for protection. Before the Government sent any troops against the Pindaris, they had returned to their base with a great loot. Reports indicated that they contemplated another raid but never carried it out. [84]

The following two seasons the Pindaris made no attacks on British territory. However, as a prelude to the worst devastation of British possessions, they plundered the Nizam's territory in October and November of 1815. During this raid the high level of the Krishna River prevented the Pindaris from crossing it. The Madras Presidency was, thus, probably saved from a luhbur. The group raided along the

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River as far as the frontier of Masulipatnam. They successfully avoided the troops of Colonel Doveton, who was protecting the Nizam's territories. The booty they carried back to Nimwar was so large that merchants from Ujain had to come for its sale. [85]

Encouraged by this success, the Pindaris prepared for another luhbur, larger than the first. It headed south in February (1816). The luhbur crossed the western frontier of Masulipatnam on March tenth and plundered and looted the Company's territories for the next twelve days. They especially concentrated their activities on the Guntur and Caddapa districts. The raid adequately demonstrated their swiftness and destructiveness. In two days alone (March eleventh and twelfth) the luhbur plundered 146 villages and covered 76 miles. [86] Though the Madras Government dispatched troops to intercept them, they did not overtake the Pindaris. The luhbur recrossed the Krishna without a skirmish. Only once, in the Nizam's territory, Colonel Doveton surprised a small party of Pindaris. By May this group had returned safely to their base.

A commission, sent to assess the destruction caused by this raid to Company property, reported the Pindaris had plundered 339 villages, killed 182 persons, wounded 505, and tortured 3,603. [87] Mr. Dalzell, in Guntur at the time of the raid, reported his impressions as "the most consulate misery I ever recollect to have witnessed." [88] He also recorded how an on-the-spot defense by local parias (outcastes) had protected the collector's office from being plundered, and of

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the "heroic" inhabitants of Ainavole, who had burned themselves and their village after failing to defend it against the Pindari's. [89] Other villagers deserted their homes for several weeks and fled to the hills for protection. The British felt this desertion showed that the people had lost confidence in the protective power of the British. They considered this moral injury much more serious than the material loss, estimated at more than L100,000. [90]

By the following October (1816) Colonel Walker had established a defensive line along the southern bank of the Nerbudda River. Three groups of Pindaris finally evaded these defenses after considerable difficulty. For simplicity, they can be designated as the Bidar, Poona, and Gunjam luhburs.

The Bidar luhbur plundered around Bidar and Nirmal during the later part of December. Owing to the indecision of their leaders, they did not cross the Krishna or Tungabhadra Rivers into the Company's Ceded districts. In the middle of January, Major Macdowal surprised and completely routed them. This caused the group to disperse into small parties and return to their base. Another small party, under Shiekh Dulla, had separated from the main Bidar group. It plundered the western coast of India and encountered difficulty from British troops only in recrossing the Nerbudda. [91]

The Poona luhbur entered the Peshwa's territory in the last part of November. Major Lushington completely routed this group on December twenty-sixth near Poona. With 350 men of the Madras Light Cavalry he made an unusual march of

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70 miles in 17 hours. When he finally overtook the Pindari's during their afternoon halt, his cavalry completely surprised them. They killed or captured 800, while about 500 escaped. [92] These returned disorganized and also had trouble recrossing the Nerbudda because of troops stationed there.

Of the three luhburs, only the Gunjam one penetrated into British territory. The circumstances and conclusion of their raid differed little from the others. After passing through Walker's defenses, the luhbur, under Narsaika Ramzan, headed east and appeared in the Northern Circars in mid-December. [93] They first plundered Kimedi, then almost all of the district, and finally part of the town of Gunjam. Mr. Spottiswoode, collector of Gunjam, reported the Pindaris took more than four lakhs of rupees in money and Jewels from the town alone. [94] Again the people fled for protection. They especially feared that the Pindaris might plunder Puri and the sacred temple of Jaganath. By the end of December, however, the Pindaris had left without raiding these places. British troops had overtaken them only twice. Once Major Oliver attacked a small group after the Kimedi raid. Major Brothwick more thoroughly dispersed them after the Gunjam raid. This luhbur had difficulty returning to their base, even though Wasil Muhammad (to whose durrah most of them belonged) had warned them of the new defensive preparations. By this time the line of defense had been extended further east and north from Walker's original line. Captain Caulfield succeeded in attacking and partially destroying this group. Major Clarke also attacked the fugitives. Only a few

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returned to their base unharmed. [95]

Except for two unsuccessful attempts to plunder in the east in Bundelkhand, the Pindaris made no more raids into British territory. During the rainy season of 1817, K&rim Khan tried to convince other Pindari leaders to join him in a Pindari plan for defense. Disagreements among the Pindari leaders, particularly with Chitu, destroyed any hope of a concerted effort even in fa�e of the impending war with the British.

V. The British Reaction

Several complex factors contributed to the establishment of British control over India. From one perspective the British achieved this by defeating other contenders. Of these the most outstanding rivals were the Mughals, the Afghans, Tipu Sultan, other European powers (especially the French), the Marathas, and the Sikhs. The Pindaris never sought to rule in India. They nevertheless participated in the Maratha's final effort to share in the control of India. One of the main factors which contributed to the successful achievement of British paramountcy in the subcontinent was the decision and action taken to destroy the Pindaris.

As early as 1804 General Wellesley had written, "we run a great risk from the freebooter system." He warned that the people feared the Pindaris so much they would not cultivate their fields unless the Government stationed troops in each village . [96] Continued British expression of hostility toward the Pindaris dates from this time. Several officials and observers favored a "forward" or aggressive British policy. It found expression in several different forms.

Eventually Government policy also reflected this same opinion. After the wars, which established the British in Madras and Bengal, a period of non-intervention in costly wars, and a feeling that Indian affairs would take care of themselves followed with Pitt's India Act of 1784. Lord

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Wellesley, however, successfully reversed this policy during his rule on the pretense of a French danger in India. But he went beyond merely defeating the French bid for power ln India. He defeated and allied other Indian states to the British. Reaction to the debts incurred by his wars, an unsuccessful campaign against Holkar, and the increasing danger of the French in Europe provided reason for Wellesley's recall. From this time, though the British recognized that eventual paramountcy was necessary for a peaceful and prosperous trade and rule in India, they postponed dealing with the issue until Lord Hasting's Governor- generalship. [97]

Most historians place the responsibility for the growth of the Pindaris on the treaties of 1805 and the policies of the Cornwallis, Barlow, and the Minto administrations. [98] On the one hand, the treaties weakened the Maratha princes. The rulers disbanded their forces and cavalry which joined the Pindari groups and made them more difficult to control. on the other hand, the Government permitted enough freedom of internal policy so that the Marathas could secretly encourage the Pindaris.

In 1809 Captain Sydenham, Resident at the Bhonsla court, presented one of the first thorough accounts of the Pindaris to the Government. He reported that "the incursions of these common enemies of peace and tranquility are so regular as the periodic returns of the monsoon." His opinion stated that "the extirpation of such a race of men would he not only a measure of policy, but a service to

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humanity itself." He advised that no system of defense nor distribution of troops would be able to protect any area, since the Pindaris were so evasive. [99] Sydenham's statement set the main arguments which writers, who had seen the Pindaris or knew much about them, expressed during the next decade.

British writers presented four principal, related reasons why the Government should destroy the Pindaris. First, the Government should replace the anarchy, which the Pindaris had created, with a regular and responsible government. The Pindaris were a symptom of the disease which would eventually engulf and destroy central India, if not checked. [100] Second, the Pindaris destroyed life and property on their luhburs as exemplified in the 1816 raid on the Madras Presidency. Their attacks provided zamindars and ryots with reasons to falsely claim lower revenue payments. [l01] Thirdly, the Pindaris morally damaged the image of the "protecting Company" in the eyes of the people. The villagers had

convinced themselves as living under the protection of a power whose very name was a sufficient barrier of defense: the contrary has been proved to them; and on the report of danger they now fly to the hills, nullahs, and to the sea-shore, rather than rely on the protection of a power which has once proved inadequate to the task. [102]
Thus, the British had to annihilate the Pindaris as a "sacred duty to shield" the subjects of the King of Great Britain "from further ravages and misery...." [l03] Fourth, (even though the Pindaris created anarchy) their increasing power became a threat to British stability. The British feared

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that the Pindaris would establish themselves following the Maratha pattern. [104]

The Government devised two "milder methods" or alternatives to deal with the Pindari menace before they decided on a policy of [till-scale war. First, they encouraged the Maratha chiefs to destroy or control the Pindaris by themselves. Second, Lord Hastings promoted a policy of defense or containment.- The Government stationed troops along the southern bank of the Nerbudda River below the Pindari bases. Their dual responsibility was to keep the Pindaris within their central Indian bases and destroy them as they returned from expeditions. The British felt both of these methods were never fully successful. Consequently, they chose a policy of full-scale war.

Lord Hastings is responsible for the conception and eventual execution of this policy. He had not always favored a policy of expansion and aggression in India, but upon his arrival in India in 1813 he began to advocate placing the British in a paramount position in India. [105] For many years the opposition of the Court of Directors and his own Council prevented him from acting on this judgement.

The Court of Directors had strictly prohibited the Company in India "from engaging in plans of general confederacy, and offensive operations against the Pindaris either with a view to their utter extirpation, or in anticipation of an apprehended danger." [106] In spite of this, Lord Hastings continued to urge his policy for the tranquilization of central India. It involved not only the

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elimination of the Pindaris but the establishment of a confederacy of native states headed by Britain. He formally presented this policy to the Council in Calcutta in 1815 but they rejected it. [107]

Through their activities the Pindaris played a prominent role in formulating the policy of Lord Hastings and the Court of Directors. Lord Hastings continually received reports of Pindari destructiveness. [108] Reacting to the reports of the raids in 1815-1816, he wrote,

...I am strictly forbidden by the Court of Directors to undertake the suppression of the fiends who occasioned this heart rendering scene (the self-destruction of Unioval), least I should provoke a war with the Marathas . [109 ]
After the Court received the report of these same raids, they sent Lord Hastings reluctant permission to "suppress the Pindaris and destroy their further means of action." [110] Already in Calcutta, however, the Council had passed a resolution before they received this communication. In response to the raids during late 1816 in the northern Circars, they stated they could no longer refrain "from any system of offensive operations against the Pindaris...." They unanimously decided "that the adoption of vigorous measures for the early suppression of the Pindaris has become an indispensable obligation of our public duty." [111]

Supported with this sanction of his-Council, Lord Hastings began to execute his plan for the destruction of the Pindaris. Since M. S. Mehta has adequately and fully dealt with the relations between the Pindaris, Indian States, and the British Government in his book, it is sufficient to

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relate only some of the salient features of these events here. [112]

Lord Hastings first prepared for the war by concluding treaties with the several states around the Pindaris. These treaties contained stipulations that the states would cooperate with the British against the Pindaris and would offer Pindari parties no refuge within their states. In justifying this step, Lord Hastings claimed, "I have insisted on rendering the British government safe against the growth of any similar pest" (like the Pindaris) by binding states to Britain, which can crush such associations in their bud. [113] In actuality, these treaties provided for the permanent submission of the states to the Crown of England. With few exceptions and changes, they were the basis for British power and control of these areas for the next 130 years.

Sindhia, whom the Pindaris had often acknowledged as their nominal leader, presented a special problem. In recent years the British Government had regarded him with suspicion. Officials thought that of all the native powers, he was in the best position and had the means to control the Pindaris. He had kept Karim Khan in confinement for several years. After Karim Khan's release and his subsequent attempt to plunder Sindhia's territory, Sindhia had defeated him. After that, Karim Khan was forced to seek the protection of Amir Khan and Holkar. Another time, when the Pindaris had raided British territory, he sent a force against them to control them. But this force was unsuccessful. British officials generally recognized that he had dispatched these

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troops in order to placate the British rather than suppress the Pindaris. [114]

Just before the campaign opened, Lord Hastings forced Sindhia to choose sides. Either he could cooperate with the British against the Pindaris or be treated as an enemy. Meanwhile, the British troops had assembled for the campaign in the north. They were close enough to threaten Sindhia's territory. Sindhia signed the treaty in late October.

Amir Khan, the Raja of Bhopal, several Rajput states, and others also concluded treaties with the British at this time. The British had completed "political arrangements" for the war.

Lord Hastings' plan for the war showed caution, foresight, and ingenuity. He proposed to destroy the Pindaris by surrounding them, driving them from their bases, and slowly closing the circle while preventing them from escaping. He placed reserve troops to deal with any hostile acts, which the Maratha or native princes might attempt. Lieutenant-Colonel Blacker has provided the most complete account of the Third Maratha and Pindari War. The account, like others, concentrates on the movements of British troops with only a few references to the Pindaris. [115] Nevertheless, it is necessary to examine this last period of Pindari activity.

During October 1816, British troops took positions to the north and south of central India in preparations for the war. The Bengal forces in the north consisted of four divisions. Major-General Brown commanded the Center Division

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at Kanpur, Major-General Donkin the Right Division at Agra, Major-General Marshall the Right Division in Bundelkhund, and Sir D. Ochterloney the Reserve Division near Delhi. In the south Sir Thomas Hislop commanded the five divisions of the Army of the Deccan with the First Division directly under him. Brigadier-General Doveton led the Second Division of Hyderabad troops, Brigadier-General Malcolm the Third, Brigadier-General L. Smith the Fourth Division of Poona, and Lieutenant-Colonel Adams the Fifth of Nagpur. Brigadier-General Pritzler led a Reserve Division, while Major-General Keir commanded the troops from Gujerat. Lord Hastings took the field as commander-in-chief over all the troops.

Four main phases distinguish the movements against the Pindaris, conveniently corresponding to the months of November, December, January, and February.

During the last half of November, the British troops in the south crossed the Nerbudda River, occupied the bases of the Pindaris, and began pursuing them as they fled to the north. The Third Division under Malcolm invaded Chitu's possessions, while the Fifth Division under Adams marching northwestward, and the Left Division under Marshall marching westward, occupied the lands of Karim Khan and Wasil Muhammed. The combined durrahs of Karim Khan and Wasil Muhammad along with their families and baggage headed for Gwalior. Chitu's durrah joined Holkar's forces in the meantime. Malcolm, who was pursuing him, retreated to a safe position not daring to attack this combination. The First

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Division under Hislop finally joined him, and they took a position north of Ujain ln preparation to attack Holkar. Major-General Keir at the same time proceeded toward these Divisions from Gujerat.

During December the British prevented the Pindaris from seeking refuge under Sindhia, the Raja of Kota, and Holkar. In close pursuit of the Pindaris, they attacked them several times. First, a cavalry brigade from the Center Division cut off the Pindaris' communication and march to Sindhia at Gwalior. The Pindaris then headed toward the territory of the Raja of Kota. For a short time they remained in this area but only after defeating some of the Raja's troops who were protecting his frontier. A light cavalry from Marshall's forces overtook the Pindaris, defeated a group of about 1,000, and pursued the remaining 2,000 to the Prabati River. Donkin with the Right Division had marched to a position eight miles from Kota. He captured the baggage and families of Karim Khan's durrah, as they fled northward in his direction. Though Karim Khan avoided contact with Donkin and Marshall's forcer, further south on the Prabati, Adams dispatched Clarke with some cavalry who routed a party of this group. Karim Khan then joined Holkar s forces to the west. During the last part of the month Donkin received word that Chitu's forces were near Kota. By the time he reached the area, Chitu had fled to Jeswant Rao Bhao of Jawad.

During January the war reached the turning point. The British invaded the Jawad area and occupied the last place

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where the Pindaris sought refuge. All Pindari parties eventually returned south near their bases, with the British in close pursuit. During the last part of December, at the invitation of Jeswant Rao Bhao, Karim Khan had ridden north from Holkar's camp, while Chitu had come west from Kota into the area around Jawad. British forces surrounded them on all sides. Donkin moved west to prevent a northern escape. Adams was to the southeast, while Brown from the Center Division moved into a position east of Jawad. Keir and Grant proceeded north pursuing the Pindaris after Holkar's defeat. As Grant occupied the area around Jawad, Keir prevented Chitu from circumventing the British forces to the west. Both Chitu and Karim Khan began moving south toward their bases at the Nerbudda. By the last part of January, Chitu had evaded British troops and proceeded to the ghats. Heath at Hindia received information of his party. He pursued, attacked, and completely dispersed the group. Chitu fled to Bhopal, where he tried to reach an agreement with the British through the Nawab. The British rejected his plans as too extravagant. Returning to central India, Karim Khan's group split into three bodies, but the British troops still detected them. Clarke's cavalry attacked one group around Gangraur, while Adams pursued the rest into the Bhopal area.

In February most of the Pindari leaders surrendered to the British authorities. Namdar Khan gave himself up on February third, and Karim Khan surrendered to Malcolm on the fifteenth. Others gradually followed their example. Only

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Chitu escaped. He participated in the events connected with Appa Sahib at Nagpur but eventually fled to the jungle, deserted by his followers. Near the end of February 1819 his body was brought to Malcolm. He had been attacked and killed by a tiger. [116]

For the British the campaign against the Pindaris had been completely aggressive. The enemy always fled. They never made a prolonged stand nor attacked British forces. The British succeeded in destroying the Pindaris only through continued pursuit and relying completely on the mobility of their cavalry forces. In this way they sometimes overtook the Pindaris groups and gradually reduced their numbers. A few areas provided local support and refuge to the Pindaris, but these were only temporary until the British discovered them.

During the campaign other significant events had occurred. The Peshwa, Holkar, and Appa Sahib had all "rebelled" against the British and had been defeated. At the end of the campaign in 1819 the British had suppressed the "predatory" powers of central India. The area was now free from the misery of plundering horsemen and anarchy. [117] As one Indian soldier remarked? "The name of the Company Bahadoor became great." [118] Now capable men, such as Elphinstone in Bombay and Malcolm in central India, laid the foundations of that type of administration which became the hallmark of British rule in India for the next 130 years.

In conJunction with British consolidation after the war, John Malcolm arranged for the Pindari leaders and

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their families to settle in northern India at Gorakpur with pensions and land. [119] To prevent any resurgence of the Pindaris, the British permitted only Namdar Khan, Karim Khan's nephew, to settle in Bhopal near the old banes of the Pindaris. Karim Khan's lands provided 16,000 rupees annually, while Kadir Bukhsh's lands yielded 400 rupees. Ironically, in 1822 dacoits from Oudh attacked Kadir Bukhsh's house. They killed four of his people, wounded many, and took some of his property. [120]

About a century later a Gorakpur gazetteer reported the inglorious history of the Pindari descendants and their land. The land had passed from rent-free to assessed land though the revenue was very low. The descendants lived in pretentious opulence with the title of Nawab, which the Government refused to recognize. [121]

Though a few leaders, such as Sheikh Dulla, continued to plunder the Deccan areas during the 1820's, their followers were few and their devastation minimal. [122] By 1825 Malcolm reported that most of the Pindaris had become absorbed into the general population of central India. He found it difficult to trace them. [123] Other groups and events now occupied the center of the Indian stage of history.

VI. Summary and Conclusions

In reviewing Pindari history one is struck by several themes and problems. These provide an understanding of the development of the Pindaris, besides raising serious doubts about the accepted ideas of the nature of Pindari society and British policy toward them.

The Pindaris developed within a traditional Indian framework. Their history after 1800 during the Independent Period shows a continuity with their previous Muslim and Maratha Periods in spite of the transformation of circumstances surrounding them. During the last part of the seventeenth century, Muslim leaders were the first to employ the Pindaris. At that time the Pindaris served in conjunction with Muslim armies against the enemy in the Deccan. During the eighteenth century the Marathas organized and recognized the Pindaris as part of their military system. The Maratha chiefs utilized them as an efficient and effective unit who destroyed the enemy's resources and demanded no payment except the wealth they plundered. As Maratha power declined and the British strengthened their position in India, the utility of the Pindaris became less apparent to Maratha chiefs. The British irritation toward them increased. During this Independent Period, the Pindaris, nevertheless, developed along traditional patterns rather than inventing new methods in response to the changing situation. Their two nominal leaders, Holkar and Sindhia, recognized and awarded them lands and titles in the same wag as

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the Muslims and Marathas had awarded Jagirs to other military commanders for their achievements. The Pindari chiefs settled their families and followers in these areas and forced payments of land revenue ln the usual Indian manner. Even with these moderating influences of land-holding and settling ln central India and though their nominal leaders no longer requested their participation in wars of consolidation or expansion, the Pindaris refused to relinquish their habit of planning luhburs and plundering. With no clear distinction between enemy and ally, all areas became fair game. Eventually, the Pindaris selected the Nizam, the British, and sometimes the Bhonsla as "enemy" land. They generally abstained from devastating the territories of their previous benefactors, Sindhia, Holkar, and the Peshwa.

During the same time British policy toward the Pindaris also reveals a consistent development. Wellesley was the first to recognize that the British must destroy the Pindaris to attain control of India. With his recall, the pendulum swung-in the opposite direction. For a period the British wished to refrain from extensive involvement with the Indian states. As early as 1809, however, one British observer near the scene of Pindari activity began to advocate a policy to deal with the Pindari menace. Slowly other Government officials sought this same policy. Lord Hastings was the first Governor-General in several years desirous and willing to commit British troops and resources to their destruction. Another five years lapsed, however, before reports of Pindari raids, and his demands from India convinced the Court of

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Directors in London that the British could no longer tolerate this menace.

The cooperative treaties concluded with Indian states in central India, the military preparations, and the events of the war successfully hindered the achievements of Pindari and Maratha aspirations. These activities and events prevented the materialization of a coordinated effort against the British. Pindari groups fled before the enemy as the British continuously closed all avenues of necessary assistance or escape. The end of the war and the establishment of British control meant a complete transformation of the situation in which the Pindaris had functioned for one and a half centuries. No power accepted their special abilities as legitimate or beneficial to their purposes.

Accepted ideas about the Pindaris vary considerably from the above general presentation as well as to more specific aspects. The traditional picture conceives the Pindaris as a group composed of the worst villains of society who suddenly arose after 1800 and increased their numbers rapidly. Their only desire was to plunder, rape, murder, and burn. By these full-time activities they caused wide-spread anarchy and destroyed mu�h of the productive ability of India. [124]

Any close examination, however, even of the British sources of this period makes such a view unacceptable. In order to more completely understand this period, one must attempt to reconstruct both the "Pindari" and the "British" points of view.

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The Pindari considered his occupation more than simply a military career. He refused to rely on regular pay. Through destroying and plundering the enemy' B camps and resources, he earned his living and served his military commander. When weather or peaceful conditions prevented this occupation, his leaders provided areas in which he settled among the other inhabitants. Every source indirectly indicates that at such times he obeyed prevalent customs of Indian society. If his income from his chief or creditors proved insufficient, he often earned his living through a variety of occupations. [125] As the dharma or law of a farmer prescribed that he should cultivate crops before the monsoons, the Pindari's dharma prescribed that he should plunder after the monsoons. Popular acceptance and even support of the Pindari indicates that the Indians, as well as the Pindari himself, viewed his occupation as legitimate. On luhburs the Pindari committed atrocities, plundered, and burned crops and villages from the conviction that he was acting in a warlike situation against an enemy.

Such a view of Pindari society dose not justify their destructiveness or atrocities. Rather, it demonstrates the role of the Pindari in Indian society in this period. Certainly, it partially destroys the myth that the Pindaris were full-time enemies of society whose only ambition and occupation was to plunder.

The Pindaris also did not cause widespread anarchy. The treaties of 1802-05 introduced a new period into central India. Though the British did not directly control the area,

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their power was more evident than ever before. British forces patrolled Hyderabad and Poona and along Sindhia's frontier. Residents closely reviewed events at most of the Courts. Indian rulers remembered the defeats they had suffered from the British in the Second Maratha War. They, therefore, acted cautiously to insure against arousing British disapproval and consequential complete defeat. Though British treaties successfully restricted the actions of Indian rulers, they failed to form treaties with the subordinate or secondary powers in central India. The Pindaris and Pathans seized the opportunity to extend their power. They proceeded in the traditional manner of bringing areas under control and receiving the ruler's recognition of their right to the revenue of these areas. Pindari leaders, a generation earlier, had acquired lands through a similar process. Only a few writers, therefore, could include this traditional process of the transferal of power within a very broad definition of anarchy.

One of the most difficult problems to assess is the accusation that the Pindaris were responsible for the destruction of much of India's productive capacity. Economic and social studies of this period and immediately after it support no such hypothesis. [126] Rather the Pindaris affected limited areas only temporarily. Even the exceptional Guntur-Caddapah raid during 1816 directly affected a small proportion of the villages and raised food prices for only a short time. Though the Pindari luhburs extended into several parts of India, they destroyed the productive

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capacity of those areas in a very restricted sense.

The historical sources for this period provide insufficient evidence that the numbers of the Pindaris increased significantly. The first estimate of the Pindaris in 1809 reported numbers as large as the estimates during the following decade. It is also possible that Pindari membership did not double from 1800 to 1809. Rather, such a speculation conveniently supported the British observer's desire to attract Government attention to an "increasing" menace.

As an understanding of Pindari society contributes to a more complete picture of India in the early nineteenth century society, so does the examination of British attitudes and ideas. British officials selected and emphasized only certain aspects of the Pindaris. They based their selectivity on the necessity to morally justify their actions. Their choice of words, exaggerations, and repetitions demonstrate this. British writers viewed the Pindaris as enemies of society, pests, swarms of locusts, the lowest form of freebooters and banditti, a scourge and plague on the earth, fiends, and "masses of putrefaction in animal matter." [127] The British constantly repeated and magnified the worst atrocities of the Pindaris, especially their raping of women and the complete destruction of Ainavole. They were convinced that the Pindaris were an unusual and inhuman forge. An such, the British had to deal with them through exceptional methods expressed by the terms -- suppress, extirpate, eliminate, or destroy. Simply "defeating" them would have admitted

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them within the realm of humanity. The British felt that they had a moral duty to terminate this evil and provide a peaceful life for the inhabitants.

Two incidents especially reflect this British attitude. During the period that the Court of Directors in London still withheld permission to suppress the Pindaris, they proposed that Lord Hastings might deal with the Pindaris by playing off one faction against another. The words used in the response of the Governor-General reveals his attitude:

...I am roused to the fear that we have been culpably deficient in pointing out to the author)" ties at home, the brutal and atrocious qualities of those wretches. Had we not failed to describe sufficiently the horror and execration in which the Pindaris are justly held, I am satisfied that nothing could have been more repugnant to the feelings of the Honourable Committee, than the notion that this Government should be soiled by a procedure which was to bear the colour of confidential intercourse of a common cause, with any of those gangs. [128]
The second incident demonstrates two assessments of the Pindaris. First, the destruction of the Pindaris constituted an essential ingredient in Lord Hastings' policy of paramountcy. Without this justification, the conclusion of the treaties, which also required the submission of Indian states to British power, would not have been possible. Second, the British refused to accept the Pindaris as a regular power. Near the end of the Pindari war, in February 1818, Chitu negotiated with the British through the Nawab of Bhopal. [129] He demanded a Jagir and that the British accept his troops into their-army. The British refused to accept these terms. Three months previously, however, they

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had concluded a treaty with Amir Khan containing exactly the same terms . 130 The treaty provided him with a jagir, the area of Tonk in perpetuity, and requisitioned some of his troops into the British forces. Evidently Amir Khan was exempt from British wrath because he and his cavalry had devastated and committed atrocities in Rajputana instead of in British territories. The British denied the Pindari leaders any terms short of "unconditional surrender," though the Pindaris proposed them.

It is clear that any thorough appraisal of Pindari history results in the revision of the traditional view. In the future, examinations of the Pindaris might produce four views. Each would emphasize certain aspects and present an oversimplified and unbalanced account. They can be characterized as Imperialistic, Romantic, Marxist, and Nationalistic. The Imperialistic view would be a restatement of the traditional view. It proposes that the British Government in India brought peace, prosperity and civilization to an area devastated by uncontrolled hordes of robbers and ruled by incompetent princes.

A Romantic approach would utilize the Pindari in a similar way that United States television writers have thoroughly exploited the heroes of the West. This view would emphasize the carefree and rugged Pindari life. It would present him as the embodiment of a skillful, daring, courageous, and adventurous horseman. Riding swiftly across the Deccan plain on his trusty horse, his spear protruding upright, he would surprise and plunder British villages.

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Marxists would have difficulty justifying the annexation of this area in purely economic terms. The British sought to acquire this area of India, not to provide raw materials or markets for British goods, but as a moral duty and for strategic purposes to unite the intermediate area between their three Presidencies. Lord Hastings' economic reasons hardly correspond to a possible Marxist ideology. Before a court of inquiry he stated that it was less expensive to destroy Pindari power in one campaign than to maintain British defensive troops and permit the yearly devastation of British territories. [131] Only the long period of the Director's reluctance and refusal to invest Company funds in a costly war could possibly provide the Marxists with an argument somewhat consistent with his philosophy.

Indian Nationalists can view this period with more optimism. They could present the Pindari as the last heterogeneous group, before the Mutiny, who resisted the expanding alien rule of Britain. Historical events, however, hardly substantiate this view. The Pindaris increasingly became more independent after 1800 as the British forced Maratha states to bind themselves to the British Government. In this situation the Pindaris eventually selected to devastate the territories of the "enemy," Britain and their close ally, the Nizam. Before the 1817-19 War, the Peshwa, Bhonsla, Sindhia, Holkar and the Pindaris sought to coordinate a plan to resist the British invasion. Sources provide no specific details about Pindari intentions through this alliance. It ia impossible to discover the degree to which the Pindaris

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consciously chose to plunder British territory and unite in a defense. A Nationalist could deduce that the Pindaris recognized the British as their enemies and actively subscribed to a plan to resist them. Evidence, however, indicates another possible motive, a materialistic one. Pindari groups primarily plundered British territories for their wealth and prosperity. They would have raided other areas if they were equally prosperous. Before the War the Raja of Berar formalized arrangements with Chitu which offered him 5,000 rupees to cooperate with his troops against the British. [132] These instances throw some doubt on any Nationalist proposal that the Pindaris recognized the British threat to India and worked for their destruction.

Writers often compared the Pindaris with other groups. Among these were the Marathas and Pathans within India, and the Saharan Taureq, the Russian Cossacks, the Central Asian Tartars, and the Italian condottieri. The suggested similarities were often superficial or even falsely based. For instance, the identification of the Pindaris with the Taureq rested solely on the false proposition that both were primarily nomadic. [133] The condottieri proposal incorrectly presumed a feudal situation ln India. In spite of these drawbacks, however, other comparisons contribute to the consideration of the Pindaris outside the Anglo-Indian context, thus extending the perspective of their study. This paper briefly considers two specific cases and one general framework. These are the Cossacks, the Buccaneers, and guerrilla-type warfare.

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Like the Pindaris, the Cossacks were originally a heterogeneous society, composed of a variety of people fleeing from their past because of the imposition of a rule they disliked or had broken. [134] Unlike the Pindaris, they eventually established themselves as a distinct society fashioning and fashioned by the frontier they conquered. Areas became identified with their name because they not only controlled them, but settled on them as the majority of the population. They resembled the Pindaris more in military customs than social culture, and during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries than the subsequent centuries.

The Cossack cavalry consisted of irregular, undisciplined, but highly skillful, rugged, and courageous horsemen. They learned to travel light, far and fast through rough, and often unfamiliar, terrain. During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries Russian and Polish rulers employed the Cossack to defend their frontiers against Tartar attacks. Later the Cossack prominently contributed to the extension of the Russian frontier eastward into Siberia. Eventually he became a distinguished part of the Russian military system.

Both the Pindaris and the Cossacks were famed for their lawlessness in enemy territory but peacefulness at home. Yet while the Pindaris conformed to the society in which his family lived, the Cossacks created their own society. They gradually established the traditions of elected assemblies and leaders, communal lands, and their

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own recognized laws. Though usually uneducated, they adhered fervently to an orthodox Christian faith which added zeal to the occasional lacerative attacks on "barbarian" Tartar lands .

The more than four centuries of Cossack history contrasts sharply to the two centuries of Pindari history ln their social and religious customs, their continued utility to the Russian state, and their eventual adaptation and partial incorporation to the changing situation around them. The striking similarities to the Pindaris of fighting habits, skills, and lawlessness existed for only a limited time and to a restricted degree.

In spite of the separation ln geographical location and difference of terrain, the Buccaneers of the West Indies resemble the Cossacks. [135] During the seventeenth century, in response to a frontier situation of a sparsely populated and unsettled land, they skillfully adapted to the situation and eventually established their own set of laws. They also maintained the vestiges of their religion. Though almost all Europeans, they were originally fugitives from the restrictions of established society, the economic and political outcasts of several nations. For many years they harassed a common enemy, the Spaniards, and protected and enriched infant colonies. The British and French governors employed them since they lacked the funds for regular military forces. In payment, the Buccaneers kept the plunder they obtained.

Like the Pindaris and Cossacks, the Buccaneer, though

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transported on a ship instead of a horse, relied on mobility, surprise, and the protection of his terrain, the open sea. He was a brave, cruel, tough seaman, and an excellent navigator. Both the Buccaneers and Pindaris were infamous to their enemies and useful to their allies because of their ability to destroy. The Buccaneer raids on Puerto Bello and Panama are especially noted for the pillage, torture, and devastation they caused. The Buccaneer also secured no victories. Instead, regular naval squadrons (comparable to regular Maratha armies) achieved these. Unlike the Pindari, however, the Buccaneer attacked strongholds and fought formal enemy forces. Even so, these strongholds always promised a sizable loot, and the Buccaneers refused to waste effort on less prosperous prospects.

By the end of the century the Buccaneer bands disappeared from the Caribbean. Only the prolonged efforts of governors, such as Morgan (himself once a buccaneer) and du Casse, the desire for more regular trade, and the settlement of Buccaneers on plantations produced this result. As the Cossacks, the Buccaneers adapted to a changing situation and escaped the fate of a war directed against them.

For modern experts of military strategy and world affairs, guerrilla warfare is a controversial, contemporary, and crucial problem. [136] The abundant recent literature concentrates on examples from the period after the second world war and faire to agree on a precise definition. In spite of this a few propositions are possible) Guerrilla warfare is a restricted form of warfare, which independent and

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quasi-military groups wage usually beyond or on enemy lines and in connection with regular troops and a war. The groups desire to achieve some political goal through their activities of harassing, raiding, capturing, destroying, or redirecting the enemy's forces and supplies. A guerrilla movement requires at least passive popular support and a difficult terrain to provide supplies, intelligence, recuperation, and security. It is a transitory phase and self-defeating in that its intended result is successful withdrawal of the enemy and the establishment of a government.

Pindari activities conform to several aspects of this definition, while contradictions and deviations preclude its inclusion within the total framework. At greatest variance are the aspects of a definite political goal, popular support, and activity behind enemy lines in conjunction with a war and allied troops. The Pindaris, as already mentioned, articulated no political goal. Rather, they appear primarily motivated by the desire to plunder, though still willing to raid areas which their leaders and the Marathas defined as enemy territory. The populace often supported the Pindaris but usually under duress through the threat of violence or reprisals. During the Pindari War, the reluctance of inhabitants to provide intelligence about Pindari movements often prevented British troops from continuing their pursuit of Pindari bands. Maratha leaders admired the Pindari methods of fighting and often promised them asylum and protection. Fakirs, sadhus, and other travellers willingly provided Pindaris with necessary intelligence of troop movements and

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the progress of other Pindari parties.

The Pindaris did not restrict their activity to behind or on enemy lines. Factionalism among themselves and the Maratha leaders provided ample opportunity for plundering within "allied" territory. During the Independent Period they also operated during a time of peace, and independent of allied troops. Their activities with the Marathas on campaigns into Hindustan and the Deccan during the eighteenth century and the plan to co-ordinate their efforts with the Marathas in the Pindari War indicate that, within the total context of Pindari history, independent luhburs were the exception rather than the rule.

Despite the aims of the Pindaris, their irregular method of warfare closely resembled guerrilla tactics. They were mobile, small units operating in a rugged terrain. They surprised the enemy, destroyed his resources and escaped through country in which pursuit was difficult. They avoided conventional engagements with enemy forces. As Indians who knew the language and culture and were familiar with the area, they had an advantage over the alien white officers. The Pindari weapons of the lance and the sword were not the most modern but, nevertheless, they were effective and required little maintenance and no ammunition. Without the usual military training, organization or discipline, they were a quasi-military group. They ultimately depended, as did any guerrilla movement, on the outside support of a regular military system. Once the enemy controlled that, all the other guerrilla type practices of the Pindaris were ineffectual.

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A comparison of the Pindaris, Buccaneers, and Cossacks reveals several common features. Originating during transitional periods, the diverse members of these societies gradually developed distinct social, political, economic, and military customs. Ruling states, within which these societies occupied subordinate positions, sought to restrain their military activities by channeling them against the enemy. The result benefited both the rulers and the irregular forces. Because of the lack of funds and resources, or because of binding peace treaties, the governments employed the irregular groups to destroy and harass the enemy or to defend certain areas. Many of the tactics, which these groups used, resembled guerrilla-type warfare. In return for their activities, the groups obtained privileged concessions from the governments, especially the right to plundered goods and the assurance of restricted governmental interference in the groups t affairs. Eventually, circumstances changed so that governments sought more peaceful conditions and stricter control over these groups and areas. The destructive activities of these groups threatened such developments. The French bought off Buccaneer leaders. The British outlawed Buccaneer activities and offered attractive alternative occupations, such as owning plantations. The Russians incorporated the Cossacks within their military system.

In retrospect, it appears unusual that the British refused to negotiate with the Pindaris and otter them legitimate positions in Indian society or the incorporation of

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their cavalry into the British army. The proportion and esteem of the Gurkhas and the Sikh (both of whom at one time fought against British expansion) exemplifies such a possibility. Only Lord Hastings' contempt for the Pindaris and the convenience of concluding treaties and waging a war against them to establish British paramountcy in India excluded a more peaceful alternative.

Most significantly, a comparative examination of the Pindaris, Cossacks, Buccaneers, and guerrilla warfare contributes to a more objective interpretation of the Pindaris. The Pindari atrocities, their tortures, their mundane desire for plunder, their irregular methods -- none of these are the exclusive characteristics of the Pindaris.

An enduring assessment of the Pindaris in Indian history cannot be content with an overemphasis of the "immoral" actions of the Pindaris during luhburs or exaggeration of their threat to the peace and prosperity of India. Such treatment considers only the military and moral aspects at the expense of the social, political, and economic.

A thorough study of the Pindaris reflects many things. In part, it reveals the dynamic situation which the war and treaties of 1802-05 caused. The defeated rulers signed restrictive treaties, while semi-independent and subordinate groups increased their base and strength of power. This transformation occurred within a traditional pattern. As such it had little disruptive effects on the population. In spite of factionalism between central Indian leaders, the Marathas' interest in, and indirect encouragement of, Pindari

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activities exemplifies a common dissatisfaction with the existing situation and their frustration with the restrictive treaties.

Pindari history finally reflects the inflexible British attitudes during this period. However incorrect British ideas were about Pindari society, their selection, emphasis, and propagation of the most destructive aspects conveniently provided the necessary support to Lord Hastings' policy of British paramountcy in India.

Click back to the top See also
1971 A Brief Study of the Pindaris

(Pindari Society's)

      1.  G.S. Sardesai, A New History of the Marathas (Bombay:
1948), vol. III, p. 477. 

     2.  Each of these etymologies can be found in Henry Yule and
A.C. Burnell, Hobson-Jobson (London: John Murray, 1903), p.
711-12 in which the original source is mentioned. 

     3.  John Malcolm, A Memoir of Central India (London: 1824),
vol. I, p. 433.

     4.  Louis Renou, Hinduism (New York: 1961), p. 186. The
Pandhari region is mentioned in a poem by the great Maharastrian
poet, Tukaram (1607-1649). 

     5.  S . N. Sen, The Military System of the Marathas (Bombay
s 1958), p. 73-74. I have looked up as far as possible the quotes
Sen takes from Kautilya and Bindasara and find no such exact
words. There is mention of the engagement of wild tribes for war
in R. Shamasastry's Kautilya's Arthasastra (Mysore, 1960), p.
372, but not brave thieves and wild tribes" together. Either S.N.
Sen has taken his quotes from a different page or translation or
he has misquoted and misled. Using the same translation and
source for Brihaspati as S.N. Sen quotes from, there is no such
quote on the page. There has also only been one edition of this
source. Thus, the only possible reason for including such a
conJecture is that Kautilya does mention the use of wild tribes
similarly to the Pindaris and the possibility that I have just
not been able to locate the proper sources. 

     6.  J. Scott, Firishta's History of the Deccan (London:
1794), vol. II, p. 122. Yet this- is under the general heading of
the year 1706-07. Malcolm's Central India (I, p. 426) and
Fitzclarence's Journal (p.4) mention the date 1689 from this same

     7.  Niccolao Manucci, Storia do Mogor (London: 1907), vol.
II, p. 459. W. Irvine, the translator, raises the question
whether this is really a reference to the Pindaris or simply to
the Bidaris, a completely different group. S.N. Sen (Military
System, p. 74) believes this was a reference to the Pindaris
because contemporary Maratha chroniclers also mention the
Pindaris in the Mughal army. 

     8.  Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 432. And Sen, Military
System, p. 74. 

     9.  Ross of Bladensburg, The Marquis of Hastings and the
Final Overthrow of the Maratha Power (Oxford: 1900), p. 51. And
Yule and Burnell, Hobson-Jobson, p. 712. 

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10. Sen, Military System, p. 67-69. 11. Sen, Military System, p. 73. 12. M.S. Mehta, Lord Hastings and the Indian States (Bombay: 1930), p. 477. 13. Great Britain, House of Commons, Parliamentary Papers (University of Wisconsin microcard), 1818, vol. XI, p. 246, Captain Sydenham, Letter, March 10, 1810. 14. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 428-29. 15. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 429. And H.D. Sandeman, Selections from Calcutta Gazettees (Calcutta: 1869), vol. V, p. 192. A writer in the Selections reported that one luhbur increased from 500 to 5,000 or ten times its original size. 16. Gr. Br., P. P., 1818, XI, p. 267-68, a report by R. Jenkins, Resident at the Court of the Raja of Berar, June 21, 1812. - 17. Compiled from: Fitzclarence's Journal, p. 6; Malcolm's Central India, I, p. 428; Prinsep's Narrative, p. 27-28; and Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 244, 246, and 265 of Sydenham's reports, and p. 268 and 273 of Jenkins' report. 18. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 267-68 of Jenkins' report. 19. Gr. Br., P. P., 1818, XI, p. 273 of Jenkins' report. This total of the income includes only Hiro and Barun and not other Pindaris at the time. 20. George A.E. Fitzclarence, Journal of a Route across India, through Egypt, to England (London 1819), p. 5. 21. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 436. Says four annas a day to each Pindari was the usual price paid for not plundering. 22. Henry T. Prinsep, A Narrative of the Political and Military Transactions of British India, under the Administration of the Marquess of Hastings (London: 1220-), p. 27. 23. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 178. 24. V. Smith, Oxford History of India (London: 1958), p. 561. 25. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 271-75. Jenkins' report flats the various durrahs under the Shahis and shows that they are sometimes mixed. 26. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 436-37.
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27. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 438-39. And Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 273, Jenkins report. Both give an account of the argument between Hiro and Barun. 28. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 25-26. 29. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 440. 30. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 271, Jenkins' report. 31. Gr. Br., P.P., 1819, XVIII, p. 665, Letter no. 8, March 1, 1812. 32. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 456. 33. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 439. 34. H.N. Sinha, ed., Nagpur Residency Records (Nagpur: 1953), vol. III, p. 570. 35. As a society, the Pindaris did not exhibit any striking irregularities from other groups in this respect. They probably produced an equal number of males as females, did not practice polyandry, or female infanticide. There is nothing to suggest that Pindaris married many non-Pindari women or that there was a shortage of Pindari women. See Charles Grant, Gazetteer of the Central Provinces (Bombay: 1870), p. 95n. 36. James Grant Duff, A History of the Marathas (London: 1826), vol. III, p. 328. 37. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 245, Sydenham's report. 38. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 177. 39. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 177. Malcolm is discouragingly vague; he does not even mention one of these various tribes so as to clarify if he really means tribes or castes, or Just people from a certain part of India. Only once does he mention caste in connection with the Pindaris after they are defeated. This is the low caste, Ladul, grass- and fire- bringers, with whom some Pindaris rejoined, p. 176. The Commission sent to report on the 1816 Madras Presidency raid, reported the Pindaris were of all tribes--Turk, Brahmin, Rajput, Paria and Cuckler. This, however, is only a conjecture as is their numbers. East India Company, Papers Respecting the Pindari and Maratha War (London: 1824), p.56. 40. Grant, C. P. Gazetteer, p. 95n; Sandeman, Calcutta Gazettes, p. 176 41. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 177-78n.
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42. R. Sinh, Malwa in Transition (Bombay: 1936), p. 318. Sinh is one that confuses and places Amir Khan as a Pindari. 43. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 29. And Ross, Hastings, p. 54. 44. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 271-74, Jenkins' report gives figures of the small Pindari infantry. 45. Ross, Hastings, p. 54. 46. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 29. 47. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 245, Sydenhan's report; and Mehta, Hastings, p. 15-16 have attested to the Pindaris lawlessness and lack of government, while Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 427 to a lack of national feeling like the Marathas had. 48. Fitzclarence, Journal, p. 6-7. And Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 271-73, report. Both list places where the Pindaris held land in central India ln detail. 49. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 274-75, Jenkins' report. 50. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 178. And Sinha, Nagpur Residency Records (Nagpur, 1953), III, p. 571. 51. Such a figure as 20,000 is based on the high estimate of 3,000 killed in the war and the 2,000 settled outside central India, and subtracting this from 25,000. Even if a much lower number is accepted, such as 10,000 instead of 20,000, it is still difficult to account for the absorption and disappearance of this number except with such a theory as suggested here. 52. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 176-77. 53. Additional circumstances support such a statement. The 25,000 Pindaris formed only a small portion of the population in a widely dispersed area where they lived. Owning horses, they could fulfill the demand for the transportation of materials and goods. Also, the largest recorded luhbur consisted of 5,000 men. If one permits an additional 5,000 men participating in other luhburs at the same time, the total remaining is 15,000. Luhburs also lasted for only a few months at the most. This means that during a year about 15,000 Pindaris remained ln central India for the whole year, while all of the Pindaris lived in central India for six to nine months of the year. Malcolm was also amazed at the prosperity and orderliness of Sutwas, one of the main Pindari headquarters. Though reports outside central India indicate the destruction the Pindaris caused there, they evidently maintained order and contributed to the economy Or the places they lived.
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54. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 271, Jenkins' report. 55. Sandeman, Calcutta Gazettes, p. 177. 56. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 244, Sydenham's report gives the usual number in a luhbur. Sandeman, Calcutta Gazettes, p. 178 says others joined. Also, see footnote number 15 of this paper. 57. H. N. Sinha, ed., Nagpur Residency Records, III, P. 570. 58. Sandeman, Calcutta Gazettes, p. 177. And Prinsep, Narrative, p. 22-23. 59. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 22-23. And Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 572. 60. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 431. 61. Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 572. 62. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 244, Sydenham's report. This repudiates a notion held by F.D. Drewitt in his Bombay in the Days of George IV (London: 1907), p. 113 that women and children went along on the luhbur. It is possible that women were along during the Maratha Period of Pindari history, when the Pindaris had no permanent homes and were attached to an army. The women probably went along with tents and baggage and stayed with the army while the Pindaris went out raiding, but in the Independent Period women could not have accompanied the luhburs which went so fast because they traveled so lightly. Malcolm (in Central India, II, p. 177-78) makes a very confusing reference to women. In a footnote he tells of the god which women invoked while their husbands were away on expeditions, while in the following sentences he says the women were hardy and masculine from accompanying their husbands on excursions. Wither excursions and expeditions mean two different things or only one of these contradictory statements is true. From all other descriptions of the luhburs, there id no mention of Pindari women on luhburs. 63. Sitaram, From Sepoy to Subadar (Lahore: 1873), p. 37- 38. This soldier also complains of the lack of information for the British in the Pindari war. While he was staying with a fakir, some Pindaris came and asked the fakir freely about where the British or other Pindaris were. East India Company, Papers, p. 56 mentions that beggars and fakirs informed the Pindaris in t heir 1816 raid on the Madras Presidency. 64. Gr. Br., P. P., 1818, XI, p. 271, Jenkins' report.
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65. Gr. Br., P. P., 1818, XI, P . 244, Sydenham's report. And Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 430. 66. East India Company, Papers, p. 55. 67. Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 574. 68. Sydenham mentions (Gr. Br., P. P., XI, p. 244) in this respect that the Pindaris would "indulge their licentious passions upon women, and sometimes destroy the miserable females whom they have first robbed, and then polluted by their savage embraces." Sitaram, Sepoy, p. 28 says that the women were the best looking. 69. Sitaram, Sepoy, p. 28. 70. Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 573. 71. Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 574 mentions the elephants. ar. Br., P. P., XI, p. 280, Letter from Mr. Ross dated March 24, 1516 tells of 60 bullocks laden with booty. 72. Gr.Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 280, Mr. Ross's letter. 73. Sitaram, Sepoy, p. 29. 74. James Douglas, Bombay and Western India (London: 1893), p. 106. 75. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 178 says one-fourth of the plunder was given to the durrah leader. Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 574 says all kept their plunder except elephants. Sandeman, Calcutta Gazettes, p. 177 says all kept their plunder except the luhbearea got disputed articles. 76. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 116. 77. Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 551. 78. Ross, Hastings, p. 91 gives the reason as British indifference and Maratha encouragement. Sinha, Nagpur, III, p. 572--a Pindari said that they were told where and when to plunder by their chiefs. 79. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 450 80. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 438-39, 452 81. But Prinsep says they were of Karim Khan's durrah, Narrative, p. 29. 82. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 249-50, Extract from a dispatch from the Governor General in Council to the Secret Committee, dated March 5, 1814.
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83. Ross, Hastings, p. 54 feels this was a punitive measure against the Raja for having allowed the troops to pass through his territory. Reports in the Parliamentary Papers at this time seem to indicate that the Raja had only the alternatives of permitting his area to be plundered or letting the Pindaris through and, therefore, that he cannot be blamed. 84. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 259, a dispatch from Jenkins in Nagpur, dated March 25, 1814. 85. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 116. 86. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 116. 87. East India Company, Papers, p. 56. 88. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 278, Letter from Mr. Dalzell, dated March 15, 1816. 89. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 278, Mr. Dalzell's letter, dated March 18, 1816. 90. Mehta, Hastings, p. 100. 91. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 165. 92. Sandeman, Calcutta Gazettes, p. 165. 93. Sandeman, Calcutta Gazettes, p. 179 supplies the leader's name. 94. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 285, Letter from Mr. Spottiswoode, dated January 6, 1817. 95. Prinsep, Narrative, p. 169. 96. Wellesley is quoted in R. a. Burton, The Maratha and Pindari War (Simla: 1910), p. 4. 97. This general background is taken from V. Smith, Oxford History of India (London: 1958), p. 581-91 and 548-63.- 98. Mehta, Hastings, p. 9; Prinsep, Narrative, p. 18; Ross, Hastings, p. 53; and Sardesai, New History, p. 478. 99. Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 244, Sydenham's report. 100. Mehta, Hastings, p. 17. 101. East India Company, Papers, p. 58. And Gr. Br., P.P., 1818, XI, p. 280, Letter from Mr. Long, March 23, 1816. 102. East India Company, Papers, p . 59.
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103. Fitzclarence, Journal, p. 2-3. 104. Fitzclarence, Journal, p. 2. And Prinsep, Narrative, p. 20. 105. Mehta, Hastings, p. 15. 106. H.H. Wilson, The History of British India (London: 1846) vol. II, p. 199 quotes this secret letter to Bengal, September 29, 1815. 107. Mehta, Hastings, p. 17-23. 108. Most of these reports and letters have been stated above as letters and dispatches from Mr. Dalzell, Mr. Ross, and Mr. Spottiswoode. He also received letters from the various residents at the courts at Hyderabad, Nagpur, and Poona concerning the Pindaris. 109. Ross, Hastings, p. 91. And Lord Hastings, Private Journal, p. 113. 110. Ross, Hastings, p. 96 111. Gr. Br., P.P., 1819, XVIII, p. 640-41, dispatch to the Secret Committee from the Governor General, December 21, 1816. 112. Mehta, Hastings; and Edward Thompson, The Making of the Indian Princes (London: 1943). 113. Gr. Br., P.P., 1819, XVIII, p. 686-88, dispatch to the Secret Committee, from the Governor General, camp, two marches west of Julawa, November 4, 1817. 114. Mehta, Hastings, p. 101-03. 115. V. Blacker, Memoir of the British Army in India during the Maratha War of 1817, 1818, 1819 (London: 1821). 116. Wilson, British India, II, p. 386. 117. Gr. Br., P.P., 1831-32, VIII, p. 186, Lord Hastings' summary of the operations in India with their results. 118. Sitaram, Sepoy, p. 40. 119. Gr. Br., P.P., 1819, XVIII, p. 686-88, dispatch to Mr. Adams from Sir John Malcolm, dated March 22, 1818. 120. Wilson, British India, II, p. 297n. 121. H.R. Nevill, Gorakhpur: A Gazetteer (Allahabad: 1909), vol. XXXI of the District Gazetteers of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, p, 121, 122.
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122. R.V. Russell, ed., Central Provinces District Gazetteer; Nimar District (Allahabad. 1905), p. 41-42. 123. Malcolm, Central India, II, p. 176-77. 124. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 428-34. 125. See discussion, Chapter III, p. 22-23 of this paper. 126. Kenneth Balhatchet, Social Policy and Social Change in Western India, 1817-1830 (London: 1957); B.H. Baden-Powell, The Land Systems of British India (Oxford: 1892 , vol. I, p. 195-96; R.E. Frykenberg, Guntur District 178 l-1848 (1965), p. 5. These show that the Pindaris minimally affected the areas they were active in. 127. Malcolm, Central India, I, p. 431. 128. Letter in Wilson, British India, p. 204n. My underlining. 129. Wilson, British India, p. 294-95. 130. C. Aitchison, Treaties, Engagements and Sunnuds (Calcutta: 1909-1929), vol. III, p. 227, 241-42. 131. Gr. Br., P.P., 1831-32, VIII, p. 184. 132. Rustom D. Choksey, ed., The Last Phase: Selections from the Deccan Commissioner's Files, 1815-1515 (Bombay: 948), p. 166 and 171. 133. Drewitt, Bombay, p. 113. 134. Robert Wilson, Character and Composition of the Russian Army (London: 1810), p. 25-39; William P. Cresson, The Cossacks (New York: 1919), p. 1-21; K.M. Smogorzewski, "Cossacks" in Encyclopedia Britannica (1965), VI, p. 587-88; and Maurice Hindus, The Cossacks (New York: 1945), p. 27-42. 135. Parry and Sherlock, A Short History of the East Indies London: 1956), p. 81-94; Burney, History of the Buccaneers (London: 1902), p. 37-41; Charles C. Lloyd, "Buccaneers" in Encyclopedia Britannica (1965), IV, p. 337-338. Since writing this paper, I have noticed that W.H. McNeill also makes a reference to a Cossack-Buccaneer comparison in Rise of the West (New York: 1963), p. 672n. 136. E.M. Howell, "Guerrilla Warfare" in Encyclopedia Britannica (1965), X, p. 996-1000; F.M. Osanka, ed., Modern Guerrilla Warfare (New York: 1962), p. 3-38.
Click back to the top See also
1971 A Brief Study of the Pindaris

(Pindari Society's)
     There are two types of general histories on the Pindaris
which are most useful for a general survey. First, there are the
histories written at the time of the Pindaris by people connected
in some way with them. Malcolm's Central India is the most useful
book in this respect, but Grant Duff, Prinsep, and Fitzclarence
are also helpful. Grant Duff wrote from his political and
military experience with the Marathas; Prinsep from his
experience as a secretary in Calcutta; and Fitzclarence from his
travels and study of the Indian situation. Second, are the
histories written after the time of the Pindaris by those who had
no direct connection with them. Wilson, Mehta, Ross, and Thompson
are the best of this type and in that order. 

For the etymology of the Pindaris, Yule and Burnell contains all of the etymologies so far discovered. Prinsep and Wilson's Glossary have devised etymologies which are within Yule and Burnell's book.

For the earliest references to any type of group, such as the Pindaris, Kautilya and Brihaspati (Sacred Books of the East) have been looked at and compared with S.N. Sen's quotes (See footnote No. 4).

For the Muslim Period, Firishta's History and Manucci provide the only original information. S.N. Sen (for military aspects), Malcolm, Grant Duff and Sardesai are the best sources for the Maratha Period.

Malcolm is the best overall summary of the Independent

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Period, but an interview with a captured Pindari in Sinha, the Sydenham and Jenkins reports in the Parliamentary Papers, Sandeman, and Prinsep provide important expansion, explanation, and confirmation of Malcolm's contentions.

For raids on British Territory, the investigation by the Commission at Cumbum contained in the East India Company's Papers, reports and letters in the Parliamentary Papers, and some in Sandeman and Sinha provide good on-the-spot reports and opinions of Just how the Pindaris operated.

For British policy and opinion, Ross, Mehta, Wilson, and Hastings' Diary are the best references. Blacker gives the fullest account of the war, while Prinsep and Wilson give shorter accounts, and Sitaram gives an interesting account from the soldier's point of view.

Malcolm again (both in the P.P. and Central India) is the best source after the war, and Nevill for 100 years later. The rest of the books provide spotty and only single, special references.

I have only listed the books I have used; not all the books which I found touched on the subject of the Pindaris in this period.

Aitchison, Charles U. Treaties, Engagements, and Sunnuds. Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing 1909-1929. Baden-Powell, B.H. The Land Systems of British India. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1892. Ballhatchet, Kenneth. Social Policy and Social Change in Western India, 1817-1830. London: Oxford University Press, 1957.

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Blacker, Valentine. Memoir on the British Army in India during the Maratha War of 1817, 1818, 1819. London: Black, Kingsburry, Parbury, and Allen, 1821. Broughton, Thomas Duer. Letters Written in a Maratha Camp, 1809. Archibold Constable and Company, 1892. (Only useful because he mentions the Pindaris did not receive pay compared to other soldiers.) Burney, James. History of the Buccaneers of America. London: Unity Library Ltd., 1902. Burton, R. G. The Maratha and Pindari War. Simla: Government Monotype Press, 1910. Carter, E.H., Digby, G.W., and Murray, R.N. History of the West Indian Peoples: From Earliest Times to the Seventeenth Century. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, Ltd., 1959. Choksey, Rustom Dinshaw, ed. The Last Phase: Selections from the Deccan Commissioner's Files (Peshwa Daftar), 1815-1518. Bombay: Phoenix Publications, 1945. Cresson, William Pen. The Cossacks: Their History and Country. New York: Brentano, 1919. Douglas, James. Bombay and Western India: A Series of Stray Papers. London: Sampson, Low, Marson and Company, 1593. (Strays enough to tell about a village tower, built to watch for Pindaris, still standing in the Bijapur district, and that fields were cultivated better farther from the road to avoid the Pindaris.) Drewitt, F. Dawtrey. Bombay in the Days of George IV. London: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1907. (Mentions that women and children accompanied the Pindaris incorrectly--see footnote no. 62. Also makes a comparison of the Pindaris to the Taureq on this assumption.) Duff, James Grant. A History of the Marathas. 3 vols. London: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1826. East India Company. Papers Respecting the Pindari and Maratha War. London: J.L. Cox, 1857. (This was printed in conformity to the resolution of the court of Proprietors of East-India Stock, March 3, 1824, to look into the administration of Lord Hastings. It contains the report of the Commission at Cumbum which reported the destruction caused by the Pindaris in the 1816 Madras Presidency raid. Otherwise, the documents can be found in the Parliamentary Papers.)
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Firishta's History of the Deccan. Jonathan Scott, trans. Shrewsburry: J. and W. Eddowes, 1794. Fitzclarence, George A.E. Journal of a Route across India, through Egypt, to England, in the latter end of the year 1817 and the beginning of 1818. London: John Murry, 1819. (An interesting view of a British subject about his fellow British subjects in India, written at the height of the war and feeling against the Pindaris by one who had done some study on the subject.) Frykenberg, R.E. Guntur District 1788-1848 : A History of Local Influence and Central Authority in South India. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965. Grant, Charles. Gazetteer of the Central Provinces. Bombay: 1870. Great Britain, House of Commons. Parliamentary Papers, 1818, vol. XI. University of Wisconsin Microcard. (Pages 254-285 contain the important Sydenham and Jenkins reports besides references by people on-the-spot in Mirzapur, Surat, Guntur, and Ganjam raids.) ----------. Parliamentary Papers, 1819, vol. XVIII. University of Wisconsin Microcard. (Pages 665-688 contain decisions reached by the Council, some letters from Lord Hastings, and Malcolm's arrangement with the Pindaris after they had surrendered to him.) ----------. Parliamentary Papers, 1831-32, vol. VIII. University of Wisconsin Microcard. (Pages 179-186 contain Lord Hastings' summary and justification of his operations in India.) Hastings, Marquess of. The Private Journal of the Marquess of Hastings. Marchioness of Bute, daughter, ed. Saunders and Otley, 1858. Hindus, Maurice. The Cossacks: the Story of a Warrior People. New York: Doubleday, Doran and Co., Inc., 1945. Howell, Edgar M. "Guerrilla Warefare" in Encyclopedia Britannica. Vol. X. Chicago: 1965. Irvine, W. "Etymology of the Word Pindhari" in Indian Antiquary. Vol. XXIX, 1900, Temple, Richard Carnac, ed. (A good examination of 17th and 18th century references to the Pindaris.) Kautilya's Arthasastra. R. Shamasastry, trans. Mysore: Mysore Printing and Publishing House, 1960.
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Lad, Charles C. "Buccaneers" in Encyclopedia Britannica. Vol. IV. Chicago: 1965. McNeill, W.M. The Rise of the West. New York: Mentor, 1963 and 1965. Malcolm, John. A Memoir of Central India. 2 vols. London: Kingsburry, Parbury, and Allen, 1824. (The most complete history of the Pindaris.) Manucci, Niccolao. Storia Do Mogor or Mogul India, 1653- 1708. William Irvine, trans. London: John Murry, 1907. (Volume II contains a possible reference of the Pindaris as Bidaris in the Muslim Period by this Italian adventurer.) Metha, Mohan Sinha. Lord Hastings and the Indian States, 1813- 1823. Bombay: D.B. Taraporevala Sons and Company, 1930. Muller, Max F., ed. Sacred Books of the East. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889. (Volume XXXIII, page 241 is the reference made by S.N. Sen which does not exist.) Nevill, H.R. Gorakhpur: A Gazetteer. Volume XXXI of the District Gazetteers of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. Allahabad: Government Press, 1909. (This book contains the only reference to the descendants of the Pindaris in the twentieth century.) Osanka, Franklin Mark, ed. Modern Guerrilla Warfare. New York: Free Press of Glencoe, 1962. Parry, John Horace, and Sherlock, Philip M. A Short History of the West Indies. London: Macmillian and Co., 1956. Payne, C.H. Malcolm's Memoir of Central India. London: George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., n. d. (A briefer and compiled account of Malcolm's work.) Prinsep, Henry T. A Narrative of the Political and Military Transactions of British India, under the Administration of the Marquess of Hastings, 1813-1818. London: John Murry, 1820. Renou, Louis. Hinduism. New York: Washington Square Press, Inc., 1961. (The reference to the Pandhari region by a 17th century poet is interesting--perhaps there are more elsewhere.) Ross of Bladensburg, John F.G. The Marquis of Hastings and the Final Overthrow of the Maratha Power. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1900.
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Russell, R.V. ed. Central Provinces District Gazetteer Nimar District. Vol. A. Allahabad: Pioneer Press. 1905. Sandeman, Hugh David. Selections from Calcutta Gazettes. Calcutta: Calcutta Central Press Company, Ltd., 1869. (This volume of the years 1816-1823 gives some reports from correspondences in the field around the Pindaris, and shows what type of current articles were being printed about the Pindaris in newspapers.) Sardesai, Govind Sakharam. A New History of the Marathas. Bombay: Phoenix Press,1948. Volume III. Sen, Surendra Nath. The Military System of the Marathas. Bombay: Orient Longman's, 1958. Sinh, Raghubir. Malwa in Transition or a Century of Anarchy, the First Phase 1698-1765. Bombay: Taraporevala and Sons, Company, 1936. (Despite the title, this book only provides a couple references on the Pindaris, one of which is incorrect. See footnote no. 38) Sinha, H.N., ed. Selections from the Nagpur Residency Records. Vol. III, 1812-1817. Nagpur: Government Printing, 1953. (These selections contain one reference from Elphinstone [giving the reason for the Pindaris plundering outside central India--the country was exhausted] and a Pindari interview. This interview is the only reference I have discovered of a statement by a Pindari himself. He is Kandu Pindarrah, captured in the 1816 Madras Presidency raid.) Sitaram. From Sepoy to Subadar: being the Life and Adventures of a Native Officer of the Bengal Army written and related by Himself. Norgate, trans. and publisher. Lahore: Victoria Press, 1873. (This interesting and fantastic account is the only one related by a man in the lower ranks of society and the army during the military campaign against the Pindaris.) Smith, Vincent. Oxford History of India. London: Oxford University Press, 1958. Smogorzewski, Kazimiez M. "Cossacks" in Encyclopedia Britannica. Vol. VI. Chicago: 1965. Thayer, Charles Wheeler. Guerrilla. New York: Harper and Roy, 1963. Thompson, Edward. The Making of the Indian Princes. London: Oxford University Press, 1943
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Wheeler, James Talboys. India under British Rule from the Foundation of the East India Company. London: Macmillian and Co., 1896. (A typical British view of the establishment of its rule with all the generalizations including some false and exaggerated ones.) Wilson, H.H. A Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms. London: William H. Allen and Co., 1555. Wilson, Horace Hyman. The History of British India from 1805-1835. Vol. II. London: Modden and Malcolm, 1546. (The best overall history written after the Pindari period.) Wilson, Robert. Character and Composition of the Russian Army. London: C. Roworth, 810. Yule, Henry, and Burnell, A.C. Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive. New edition edited by William Crooke, London: John Murry, 1903.
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1971 A Brief Study of the Pindaris Ideas on South Asia | Writings

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