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Revolt of 1857
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History of 1857's Revolt in Haryana

The uprising of 1857 is one of the most important events in the public memory of Indians in general and the people of Punjab Province comprising Haryana in particular. In South East Punjab (modern day Haryana), it was the manifestation of their popular discontent against the British rule leading to the grass-roots mobilisation of common people and it sustained for a longer period.

Hodson's Horse at Rhotuck (Rohtak), 1857

Birtish troops heading towards Umballa (Ambala) via Panipat, (1857)

The present Haryana region’s political history may be attributed to the very beginning of the nineteenth century when the British East India Company came to the scene. The Marathas who had over the territory of Haryana were ousted from here by the British. By the treaty of Surji Anjangaon on 30 December, 1803 between Daulat Rao Sindhia and the British, the territory of Haryana passed on the British East India Company. The East India Company assumed the direct control of Delhi, Panipat, Sonepat, Samalkha, Ganaur, Palam, Nuh, Hathin, Bhoda, Sohna, Rewari, Indri, Palwal, Nagina and Ferozepur Zhrka and appointed a resident on behalf of the Governor General. The remaining territory was allowed to remain with the local chiefs under the overall British Sovereignty

For many years the Jamuna had formed the northern frontier of British India, and the Sultlaj the southern boundary for the Sikh empire. The vast tract of land which lay between, was then comparatively neutral ground, the southern and eastern 100 parts of it chiefly were held by small colonies of Sikhs from the Majha country, the centre occupied by indigenous clans called in distinction “Malwa Sikhs” amongst whom the states of Patiala, Jind, Nabha and Kaithal, all branches of the “Phulkian Misl” were pre-eminent, to the westward lay spurious races of Mohammedans, Hindu, Ranghurs, Doghurs and others, while to the north along the left bank of the Sutlej were small colonies of Mohammedans under Pathan chiefs, to the extreme east again were scores of petty lording of landowners, chiefly Rajputs, honoured by the title of Rajah or Rana. Such were the chief component parts of this country, generally known as the cis-sutlaj states it by the year 1809, there came a change in the British Policy, and especially for the northern part of Haryana i.e. the tract from Delhi to the Sutlej river. These areas in those times, were parceled among the chief of various grades from the influential Rajas and Patiala, Nabha, Kaithal and Jind and down to the petty Sardars who had succeeded in securing the possession of a few villages. Ranjit Singh was also in pursuit of the extending his sway beyond the Sutlej towards the Jamuna River, and he demanded Tributes from the cis-Sutlej

Thus, fearing raids of Ranjit Singh they combined themselves and begged the British for their protection against Ranjit Singh. Towards the close of 1808, Ranjit Singh crossed the Sutlej River. Then the British thought of the Sikh chieftains and took concrete steps. They instructed their representative at Lahore to declare the region between the Sutlej and the Jamuna rivers as their protected region. This resulted in the treaty of Amristar of 1809, which was signed on 25th April 1809, thus all the cis-sutlej chief came under the British Sovereignty. The British could not afford to rule the masses living on other side of Yamuna. As a first step towards the new goal, they declared all estates in the region, numbering over four score, with the exception of Bahadurgarh, Ballabgarh, Dujana, Farrukhnagar, Jhajjar, Loharu and Pataudi in the lower region and Jind, Kaithal, Ladwa, Thanesar, Shamgarh, Kunjpura and Ambala in the upper region, as grants. It also provided for the confiscation of permanent estates, if their rulers failed to leave behind male successors. The Treaty of Amritsar led the British to the establishment of an agency at Ludhiana. In April, 1810, Colonel Ocheterlony (afterward Sir David Ochterlony) was appointed Agent to the Governor General at Ludhiana. He conducted his 101 correspondence relating to the affairs of the cis-Sutlej chiefs with the supreme Government at Calcutta through the residence at Delhi, with the appointment of Ochterlony as Agent at Ludhiana, the control over the protected Sikh states was transferred from the residence at Delhi to Ochterlony. This led to the increase of political, work at this agency to a great amount. After the Gorkha Wars (1814-15), the Hill Chiefs also came under the control of the British Government, and Ochterlony had again assumed the charge of the Ludhiana Agency. His designation was up graded as Superintendent of Political Affairs and Agent to the GovernorGeneral in territories of the protected Sikhs and Hill Chiefs between the Jamuna and Sutlej Rivers.

In October, 1815, the office of the Agent of Ludhiana was transferred to Karnal where it remained until March 20, 1822, when it was transferred to Ambala. In June, 1827, the incumbent was designated as political agent at Ambala and he was to look after the affairs of the protected Sikh Stat



Under the administrative measures, on 7 th November 1846, by the orders of the Governor-General, the Ambala political Agency was transformed in to Commissionership of cis-Sutlej States. The Commissioner was to be assisted by the Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners. Thus the chiefs in the cis-Sultej tract lost all their claims except the Patiala, Jind, Nabha, Faridkot, Malerkotla, Chhachhrauli (Kalsia), Rajkot, Buria and Mamdot. The privileges of these chief were reduced; especially the police jurisdictions of the most of the chiefs were abolished. In 1849, the tract of cis-Sultej was placed under the administration of Punjab in 1819, C.T. Metcaff, The Resident at Delhi, Split the Civil and Politial authority between the Resident and the Commissioner considering the territory from Delhi to Rewari and Hansi-Hisar as too unwidely to be administered as a single unit; he divided it into three divisions

1. North-Western Division, Comprising Panipat, Sonepat, Rohtak, Hansi-Hisar

2. Central Division comprising city of Delhi and it environs.

3. Southern Division comprising Palwal, Hodel, Mewat, Gurgaon and Rewari.

In 1820, he changed the designation of the Commissioner as Deputy Superintendent and placed him under the control of the Resident. In 1822, the three member Board of Revenue for the western province took over the administration. By the Charter Act of 1833, the North-Western province was formed with its head quarters at Agra. In the new set up, the Haryana territory was made one of the six divisions of the province namely Delhi, Meerut, Rohilkhand, Agra, Allahabad and Banaras.

The Delhi Division comprised the following districts:- 1. Panipat 2. Hisar 3. Delhi 4. Rohtak and 5 Gurgaon. Each district was under a Magistrate-cum-Collector. It was further Sub-Divided into Tehsils, Zails and villages placed under Tehsildars, Zaildars, Lambardars and Muqaddams, respectively. In the villages, a Patwari helped the Lambardars and Muqaddam in matters of the collection of revenue. In 1849 they were placed under the charge of the Punjab Government. The remaining part of Delhi Division, except Karnal and Ambala. However, remained a part of the North-Western province till 1858, when these too were transferred to the Punjab Government, after the overhaul of administration. Consequent upon the British Success in the first war of independence in 1857, the Delhi territory west of Jamuna, was transferred to the Punjab Government on 5 th February, 1858.

The administration was adopted on the Punjab pattern in which every district was placed under a Deputy Commissioner who was a Magistrate, Collector and Civil Judge-all combined in one. All the three function were executed by one person. The result as expected was complete suppression. The district were placed under divisions-Delhi and Hisar. The Delhi division comprised of Delhi, Gurgaon, and Panipat, while Hisar, Sirsa, Rohtak and portion of Jhajjar State fell under the Hisar Division. Each division was headed by a Commissioner, with its headquarters at Delhi and Hisar respectively. Thus the Haryana territory came into possession of the British East India Company. At the time of mutiny, whole of Haryana rose against the British irrespective of their caste, creed and colour. This war of 1857 is one of the most memorable and 103 inspiring episodes in history of Indian people. Role of Haryana in this war has been unforgettable.

Thousands of known and unknown martyrs sacrificed their lives for the sake of our motherland. Innumerable patriots were hanged on the gallows or blown to death. Prominent of such were Baba Mohar Singh Ahulwalia, Ambala; Lala Hukam Chand Jain and Munir Beg of Hansi, Chowdhary Mohan Singh of Madhopur; Nawab Bahadur Jang Khan of Bahadurgarh; Rao Kishan Gopal of Nangal Pathani; Nawab Noor Samand Khan of Rania; Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabgarh; Nawab Ahmad Ali Gulam Khan, Farrukhnagar, Nawab Abdur Rahman Khan of Jhajjar and Rao Tula Ram and Rao Kishan Gopal of Rewari.

The study related with the Muslims of Haryana and their attitudes towards British Raj during revolt of 1857 must be preceeded with the understanding of social structure of the Haryana. Hence the next part of this chapter is devoted to this understanding.

The Haryanavi society in 1850 was predominantly rural in character, about nine out of ten people living in villages. Western education was yet to spread here; and even indigenous education was far from satisfactory. In the absence of western education, the economic change and social mobilization which took place at that time in various other regions were conspicuous by their absence in the Haryanavi society. People here led a traditional life, carried on agriculture with primitive plough and bullocks, and handicrafts with simple, crude instrument. Their society was covered up by religious and caste divisions which hindered its class division . Religionwise, the Hindus formed a great majority (over 70%) of the population . They were divided into a number of heirrarchically ranked endogamous social units called jatis (castes) where the Brahmans (8%) occupied the highest rung of the social ladder. The Brahmans lived in every village and town, mostly working as purohitas, though some of them had also adopted agriculture and were not directly engaged in religious functions . The second position in the social hierarchy was occupied by the Banias (60%) who were divided into three main divisions. Agarwals, Oswals and Maheshwaris. Like Brahmanwas, the Banias also lived in almost every village and town in Haryana, controlling business, trade and banking. They were mostly well of 104 and for that reason commanded respect in the society.. The third position in the social hierarchy was claimed by the peasant castes of whom Jats (15%) were the most important. They were concentrated in Rohtak, Hisar, some parts of Gurgaon and Karnal and the states of Jhajjar, Pataudi, Farrukhnagar and Jind. Most of the Jats in Hisar and Jhajjar were immigrants from Rajasthan who were uprooted from these by serve famines in the later medieval times. Next came the Ahirs (popularly known as Abhiras in history) who formed about 7% of the population. They were for the most part concentrated in the region around Rewari and Narnaul which, because of their preponderance came to be known as `Ahirwal’ or the Abode of Ahirs. Like Ahirs, the Gujaras also constituted 5 percent of the population. Being a pastoral tribe their settlements were mostly found in the reverine low lands along the hills in the South and Shivaliks in the north. Slightly fewer in number than the Gujars were the Rajputs (5%) who were scattered from north to south down the Yamuna valley and the westward through Rohtak and Hisar. The other important peasant castes were Rors and Sainis. The artisan castes (4%) Sunars, Barhis, Lohars and Kumhars, occupied the next position in the caste hierarchy. And Harijans(12%) the Chamars, Dhanakas, Mehtars came last of all. The Muslim formed the second important community (24%). Although Islam does not permit casteism, the Haryana Muslims were divided into a number of castes. The Syeds and Sheikhs, numbering only a few, stood at the highest rung of hierarchical ladder, they were followed by the peasant castes of whom the Meos (8%) were the most important. They were settled in the southern parts of district Gurgaon. The Meos were organized into 12 pals and 52 gotras and presented a happy combination of Hindusim and Islam. They celebrated Holi, Diwali and many other Hindu festivals; their men, women dressed themselves in the old Hindu fashion; on the occasions of marriage , birth, death and other ceremonies, they adhered to Hindu customs and traditions; and like Hindus they avoided Sagotra marriages. The major occupation of the year Meos had been agriculture; but the barren and hilly tracts of land which they occupied did not yield enough for their subsistence. Naturally, therefore, gifted with such qualities as daring, courage, adventure and hardihood, they took to dacoity and thievery like Gujaras and Ranghars. Unlike the Meos, the Muslim Rajputs (6%) were scattered all over the 105 region, though they hardly commanded any important socio-political status anywhere except in Sirsa and Hisar. Here, of course, the Bhattis, Wattas, Joyas and Mahars held enviable status. Like their Hindu counterparts they were a martial people, engaged in agricultural pursuits. Interestingly, though these people had given up the religion of their forefathers long ago, they still retained, like Meos, most of their ago-old customs and rituals. They avoided Sagotra marriages; preserved the custom of Karewa intact; celebrated many a Hindu festival like Holi, Diwali and Dusshera; and both men and women donned their Hindu garments. The Brahmana purohitas still conducted most of their social and religious ceremonies. Another important Muslim caste was that of the Ranghars (6%), who were probably the Ragars of old and not Rajputs as some early British writers would have us believe. They had embraced Islam during the medieval times and lived in large villages in the Districts of Rohtak, Hisar and Panipat. Financially they were throughout in bade shape. Thus, poor and needy they took to anti-social activites almost everywhere. They became free boaters and thieves, never caring for law and violating it with great ease.

The Muslim Gujars (6%) were mostly settled in the low-lying lands along the Yamuna and were financially poor. They were mostly cattle-grazers and some of them who took to agriculture made poor farmers. Like their Hindu counterparts they loved thieving and stealing. Next come the Kasabs, Telis, Dhobis (7%) who occupied the lowest position in the social hierarchy. They served high caste Muslims and Hindu alike. The entire village population – the peasants, artisans, menials and other-was economically bound together. The material wealth produced by them was distributed among themselves by their mutual consent. There was, thus, left hardly any room for social antagonism in the society. Nor did religious or communal conflict disturb their homogenecity in any way. In fact, bothy the communities, Hindu and Musalman lived cordially, worshipping common village deities and performing various other common religius and cultural formalities. The above discussion shows that the Haryana villages presented a fairly good picture of social homogeneity based on reciprocity between the peasants (Jajmans) and the artisans and menials. This is, however, not to suggest that there was never anything like inter or intra group or caste conflict in the society. But these conflict were mostly quite short- 106 lived and the general assembly of the villagers settled them no sooner than they appeared on the surface. Obviously, this homogeneity without social antagonism provided the key to the vigour of the Haryanavis which helped them fight their enemies. In Haryana a number of factors contributed of its intensity and extensiveness. In short, firstly, the time honoured institutions like the village communities and the panchayats were abolished by the British. In fact these institutions were the centres of all social and economic life of the villages which were characterized by self-sufficiency, stability, the internal cohesion and the highly organized system of self-government. Perhaps it was this peculiarly self-sufficient structure of the village that preserved the civilization of India through the many invasions and the many changes of rulers and governments. Secondly, the land policy adopted by the Company further up-set the life of peasants or petty proprietors who were already poor. It stimulated a wider gulf between the British ruler and the peasants who constituted 90% of the total population. It was generally admitted by the British authorities that the early summary assessment of land revenue was oppressive and the method of assessment and collection were vexatious and extortionate consequently it created tension among the peasantry. The third significant factor of discontent was the frequent famines and epidemic which had worsened the condition of the people. While the chalisa famine of 1783 completely ruined the Hisar District, the families of 1803-04, 1813-14, 1816-17, 1825-26, 1832-34 and 1837-38 severely affected the whole region. The terrible famine of 1803-04 was due to the scarcity of fodder and grain in which thousands of people and the cattle perished. The wheat price rose to seven seers for a rupee. In 1823-34 and 1837-38 the famines led to bread riots. Similarly, the epidemic of 1841 and 1843 caused heavy causalities, and added fuel to the fire. In 1851-52 famine again visited Haryana. In fact the East India Company could not help the poor victims due to the absence of the definite policy in this regard. Fourthly it is in the sphere of justice that the British administration lacked most. Before the advent of the British set up the administration of justice in Haryana as well as in other parts of India was very simple, cheap, prompt and impartial. The village Panchayats played a significant role in this sphere.

The British Judicial set up was repressive, arbitrary and expensive. It was neither liked by the people of the country nor appreciated by the efficient and reasonable British administrators. Martin Montgomery wrote, “the inefficient administration of justice is an admitted evil. The costliness, the procrastination, above all, the perjury and corruption made over civil and criminal courts notorious. Even a utilitarian Governor-General of India like Lord William Bentinck had, vehemently criticized

Fifthly, it was the attack on the Dharma that made the people, the enemy of the British. The Christian missionaries started the campaign of conversion to Christianity. In these efforts they were actively supported by the British officials. Lastly, a large number of feudal chiefs and Sardars could not forget their old good days. A number of estates had been confiscated by the British. For example, significant states like Rania and Chhachrauli, Ambala, Kaithal, Ladwa and Thanesar were permanently confiscated it’s the year 1818, and 1823, 1843, 1845, 1850 respectively. Doctrine of lapse created a sense of dissatisfaction and insecurity among the remaining chiefs. So it can be said at least in regard to Haryana, that the great uprising was partly due to the socio-economic discontent among the peasantry and partly to the dissatisfaction of the princes. The influential leaders of the uprising in Haryana were mainly feudal chiefs like Rao Tula Ram of Rewari, Nahar Singh of Ballabgarh, Ahmed Ali of Farrukhnagar, Abdur Renman of Jhajjar, Bahadurjang Khan of Dadri, Hasan Ali of Dujana and Nur Mohammad Khan of Rania and Ammuddin of Loharu and Akbar Ali of Pataudi. The activities of these leaders and princely states will be discussed at length lateron. All sections of the Indian society had suffered from discrimination and explanation during the last hundred years of the English rule. Colonization of India had stunted economic growth, impoverished the peasantry, and destroyed the handicraft-based industry. Altered trade pattern excessive revenue demands and pressure on land led to indebtedness, fragmentation of holding and impoverishment of peasantry. The rural society provided recruits to the army and the soldiers retained and maintained close links with peasantry in fact they could be called, “Kissans in Uniform” so dissatisfaction in one segment was bound to create disaffection in the other. By mid-nineteenth century people in many 108 parts of the country began to feel, realize and popularize the idea that under the English rule life assets and religion of an Indian, whether Hindu or Muslim, a Kisan or a solider were not secure General and particular grievances of the people were clearly started in a proclamation issued at the beginning of the uprising, “Four things, dear to every man, Religion, honour, life, properly… The English are enemies of these four things…. Where ever they go, disarm the people and in that state hang or shoot or blow up by the mouth of guns any one they like, and deprive any one they choose to destroy his faith and honour. At some places they resort to subterfuge of remitting revenue or reducing the Jama to the malgozars with the intention that after they have established themselves and subjected them to their authority, they might do with them as they please.” (Proclamation issued under seal Mirza Ramjan Ali Birjees Kudur Walee of Lucknow. Keeping in view the causes of the general discontentment, it would be necessary to have a brief survey of the great uprising district-wise in Haryana.

From Delhi the news of the uprising spread throughout the Haryana region. Nearly 300 sepoys from Delhi reached Gurgaon. They were joined by the people and a few feudal chiefs, like Nawab Ahmad Mirza plan and Nawab Duala Jan. W.Ford, the collector-Magistrate of Gurgaon tried to suppress the Revolt but failed. Consequently, he fled to Mathura via Palwal along with some European officials. In Mewat the people under the leadership of Sadruddin a Meo peasant of Pinnghwa, revolted against the British regime. The first target were the loyalists who were murdered. The rebels looted Tauru, Sohna, Ferozepur-Jhirka, Punhana and Pinnghwa. At Nuhthe loyalists gave stiff fight but failed. Similarly, near Hodal and Hathin, the loyal Rawat Jats and the Rajputs of Hathin were beaten at the hands of Surot jats of Hodal and Pathan of Seoli. All the efforts by the British to suppress Major W.F.Eden, the political agent at Jaipur, who reached Mewat with a big contingent consisting nearly seven thousand soldiers could not move towards Delhi. Owing to the Revolt, he had to return to Jaipur. In Ahirwal, Rao Tula Ram and his cousin Gopal Dev struggled and captured. Tula Ram established not only his own administration but also helped Bahadurshah, who confirmed him in his Jagirs of Rewari Bhora-Kalan, and Shahjatianpur. Similarly at Palwal, Faridabad, Bahadurgarh 109 and Farukhanagar the people revolted against the British rule. But, since the month of October, the British Government succeeded in turning the tide. On October 2, 1859 Bregadier General Showers marched towards Gurgaon with a force of 1,500 men, his aim was to crush the Gujars, Mewatis, Ranghars, Ahirs and rebel feudal chiefs. In short period the British captured the forts of Jhajjar (17 October ) Dadri (19 October) Kanod (19 October) Farukhnanagar 21 October and Ballabgarh (21 October), Nawabs of Jhajjar and Dadri and Farrukhnagar were arrested and sent to Delhi. Though Showers gained some success but during the period he faced a number of rebellions. For example, near Sohna the villagers attacked his troops and killed about 60 of them. In fact, he could not capture the prominent leaders of the revolt like Rao Tula Ram. The Mewatis continued their struggle. They plundred the government treasuries and attacked the loyalists. Captain Drummond, the incharge of Sohna and Tauru area receiving the alarming news, proceeded to Rupraka. He burnt all the Meo villages on the Sohna-Rupraka road. At Rupraka nearly 400 Meos lost their lives. To suppress the revolt of Mewat, Clifford, the Assistant Collector of Gurgaon made sternous effort. He burnt many villages and murdered the inhabitants. Perhaps he was in a revengeful mood, as his sister had been insulted humiliated and murdered at Delhi in the presence of Emperor’s son, later he was murdered by the Meos. Like the Meos of Gurgaon, the Ranghars of Rohtak District played a significant role. The leaders of Ranghars were the two peasants Bisarat Ali of Kharkkhauda and Bahar Khan of Rohtak. To help them Emperor Bahadurshah also sent an army under the command of Tafzal Husain. On 24th May, Loch, the Deputy Commissioner of Rohtak, reached to Control the situation, but in vain. On 27th May the Haryana Light infantry which was sent to crush the uprising at Hisar joined the people. Now, it was chaos and anarchy everywhere. The British Government tried to regain the power. They sent the 60th N.I. of Ambala from panipat on 28th May under Loch, the D.C.of Rohtak. He reoccupied Rohtak but on 10th June his own army, the 5 th N.I. revolted against him and the sepoys reached Delhi. The British authorities again made sternous efforts to occupy the district. Consequently, Lieutenant W.S.R. Hadson, was sent with a big force on 15th August. At Kharkhuada, he met with a stiff resistance. Anyhow he reached Rohtak on 16th August. There was again a stiff fighton 17th August in which 110 about 300 Ranghar horsemen under the leadership at Sahar Khan fought against him. Anyhow, later on they left the field and Hodson returned to Delhi leaving Sampla, Meham under the supervision of the Raja of Jind.

After sometime, in September, General von Courtland, the Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepur was sent to Rohtak. Due to the fall of Delhi it was not difficult for him to maintain peace and order and to collect revenue. The people of Hisar, Hansi and Sirsa also revolted their local leaders were Muhammad Azim, a descendant of the royal family of Delhi, Hukam Chand a jain businessman of Hansi, Nar Muhammad Khan of Rania and others. At Hansi, on May 15, the 4 th irregular cavalry revolted and reached Delhi on May 27 the Haryana Light Infantry and the Dadri Cavalry revolted at Hisar. In this revolt, wedderfurn, the Deputy Commissioner of Hissar, along with 12 other Europeans was killed. Then the rebels went to Hansi.

Similarly all prominent officials stationed at Sirsa like Captain Roberts, the Superintendent of Bhatiana, Donald, the Assistant Superintendent, Captain Hillard,. Officer-commanding of Contingent, and others fled away and took shelter at Ferozepur and in Patiala State- In the month of June efforts were made to control the District again. In the first week of June General Van Court-land, attacked the Hisar District on 17th June Nur Samad Khan, the Nawab of Rania, fought but was defeated and later arrested and hanged. General Van Courtland attacked the villages of Chatravan and Khaira. He reached Sirsa on 20th June and defeated the rebels and re-establiehd law and order. Courtland sent Captain Pearse to Hisar who reached there on 26th June. He himself reached there on 17th July, and created a have among the people. He looted the house of prince Muhammad Azim and captured his Begum. Prince Muhammad Azim offered opposition but failed and he had to flee. On 25th September the rebels went towards Tosham. They killed some of the government officials and looted the treasury. On 26th September, they reached Hansi. But they were checked in the way of Courtland. Prince Muhammad Azim again fought but was unsuccessful. In Panipat District, the people fought under the leadership of Imam of the Shrine of Bu Ali Kalandhar but they were defeated and the Imam was arrested and hanged. Some of the village, the jats under the leadership of Ram Lal opposed Captain Hughes of the 1 st Punjab Cavalry, but later the suddenly 111 attacked the village and suppressed the revolt. Like Panipat, the people of Thanesar District revolted. In Karnal the people revolted but the British made security arrangements to control the G.T.Road with the help of the chiefs of the Jind and Karnal but the peasants of this area refused to pay land revenue. At Thanesar town the people revolted with a beat of drum. When the D.C.Thanesar, Captain Mac Neil heard the information, he disarmed a company of the rebel 5 th No.1 on 14th July stationed at Thanesar from Jasomali, a village close to Ambala, with 1500 men and 4 guns on 15th May. The chiefs of Jind Kunjpura and Karnal also sent 400, 359 and 150 men respectively. They guarded not only Thanesar, Karnal and Ambala, but also the G.T.Road from Karnal to Phillor. Similarly, the people of Ladwa, Pehowa, Pundri, Kaithal and Assandh also Revolted. They refused to pay land revenue. Lieutenant Pearson and Captain MacNiel had a hard time in controlling Kaithal and Ladwa and Assandh but later established their authority

In Ambala, the 60th N.I. and the 5 th N.I. revolted against the British but their revolt was suppressed. Later the 60th N.I. reached Rohtak, it revolted against the British. Similarly, the 5 th N.I. which was sent to Rupar under Captain Gardiner revolted under the leadership of Sardar Mohur Singh. But anyhow it was suppressed and Mohur Singh was hanged. There was disturbance of Jagadhri and the Maharaja of Patiala sent a force to help the British. To sum up, on the basis of the above evidences, it can be said that practically the whole of Haryana was in revolt by the end

On the 16th September 1857 Delhi fell Bahadurshah with his wife Zinet Mohal and the family (two sons and a grand son) surrendered himself to captain Hodson who shot the princes with his won hands, and their dead bodies were thrown on the Chabutra, near Kotwali. The King was also tried before the martial court. He was found guilty of declaring war against the queen and the massacre of British Residents. So he was sent to Rangoon with his family where he died on 7 th September 1862

Great territorial changes were made. Infact, the principle of compensation and rewards to the helpers and the punishments and penalties to the opponents of the British was adopted. Except the three small states of Pataudi, Dujana, and Loharu all the other important states like Jhajjar, Dadri, Farrukhnagar, Ballabgarh, Buria, Kalsia were confiscated. These were either merged with other states or were given to the loyal chiefs. While the loyalists were rewarded, the rebels were punished. Three of the prominent feudal chiefs of Haryana were tried and hanged at the Kotwali in Chandni Chowk, Delhi and their property was confiscated. They were Abdur Rehman of Jhajjar (23rd January 1858), Ahmad Ali of Farrukhnagar (23rd January 1858) and Nahar Singh of Ballabgarh (9th January 1858). Bhodurjang Khan of Dadri was also tried and was deprived of his territory. In villages, many Chaudharies and Lambardars who helped the rebels were deprived of their land and property. Property rights of some villages were forfeited. In some villages heavy penalties were imposed. In Gurgaon and Hisar districts more than 368 people were hanged or transported for life imprisonment. In Rohtak a collective penalty of Rs.63,000/- was imposed on the people of Rohtak. Especially the Ranghars, Shaiks and Kesai the residents of Quilla Mohalla become its victim. In fact, the region as a whole suffered a grave set back. It was detached from the North-Western provinces and tagged with Punjab in February 1858. Some of the districts and tehsils of the region were reorganized. Under the administration of Sir John Lawrence it had remained an eye-sore for the British officials. The British left the starving peasantry of Haryana with the only choice of joining the British armies in vain hope of subduing the indomitable spirit which had long scorned their power.

In 1857 there were in all ten princely States in Haryana: seven in lower regionJhajjar, Bahadurgarh (or Dadri Farrukhnagar, Ballabgarh-Pataudi, Dujana, and Loharu and three in the upper region- Buria Kalsia and Jind. Besides these, there were about 11 Jagirs (Kungpura, Arnauli, Karnal, Shahabad, Dhanauda, Tangaur, Jharauli, Shamgarh, Panipat, Shahzadpur, Mustafabad all these states and Jagirs were either created by or existed on the sympathies of the British. Naturally, the princes and Jagirdars could not afford to think of the world without their creators or patrons. The common people in their territories rose an masse and asked them to lead them in accordance with the command of Emperor Bahadurshah. This was, in fact, the worst feature of the uprising. The masses turned to the feudal nobility, which is most of the cases betrayed there



Jhajjar was the biggest state in Haryana. It had an area of 1.230.38 miles and a population of about 1,10,700 people, the majority of whom were Hindus. The state was a creation of the British. Abdur Rehman was a man of taste and ability. In 1857 Abdur Rahman did not play any positive role, though his subjects rose en masse. Immediately after the out-break of the Revolt, he contacted Colvin, the Lieutenant Governor of Agra, asking him to issue instructions as to what he should do. The Lieutenant Governor appreciated the move of the Nawab and asked him to extend as much help as possible to Harvey. His agent at Delhi. He contacted Harvey and assured him of full support in the form of men, money and material on 13 May, he sent a detachment of cavalry to Gurgaon at the request of W.Ford, the Collector and Magistrate of that district. He also sent a detachment to Rohtak at the request of Scot the joint-Magistrate. On 14 May. C.T. Metcafe, Judge of Delhi, came to Jhajjar with another Englishman. The Nawab gave them shelter and deputed his own father-in-law Samad Khan and Imad Ali to took after them. But when the people in the town came to know that the Nawab had given shelter to some Englishmen, there was a hue and cry. Consequently, the Nawab ordered their removal to Chhuchhakwas. Later on the Nawab tried to make good the loss by saving the lives of six or seven English women and children whom he safely sheltered in the Jhajjar territory till 26 July, when they were send to the English Camp before Delhi. Naturally Emperor Bahadurshah was unhappy with the Nawab. He sent an urgent firman to him asking him to march at once to Delhi with all his troops to join him in the fight against the English. But the Nawab did not carry out the royal orders and offered some excuse or the other in evasion. In furiated, Bahadur Shah then sent his trusted agent, a relative of Samad Khan, the General and father-in-law of the Nawab, who contacted the Officers of the Jhajjar forces and other influential persons and impressed upon them the desirability of helping the emperor with money, men and material. In view of the strong anti-British attitude of the people, the army and its officers, including the General, Samad Khan, the Nawab could not afford to displease them. He at once sent a part of his forces- Some 300 Sowards, with General Samad Khan and his grand father Ibrahim. Ali to Delhi on 21 May. He also sent his accredited Agent, 114 Ghulam Nabi to the imperial court. In actual fact of the Nawab had no nerve to take an open stand against the British. Nor did he dare to displease Bahadur Shah. Thus, throughout he played a double game playing lip allegiance to the latter while he extended help with money, men and material to the former. But this pleased neither of the parties. The British in particular viewed him as their enemy. After the recapture of Delhi (20 Sep. 1857), the Nawab was tried under Act XVI of 1857 by special military court constituted under the presidentship of General V. Chamberlain at Delhi. The charges against him were that he had

(1) aided and abetted rebels and others waging war against the British Government in place being at that time under m

(2) furnished troops, money, food and shelter to the rebels;

(3) entered into treasonable correspondence with them.

Metcalfe, loch and Ford, together with some other European officers and Indian witnesses, gave evidence against the Nawab. On 14 December 1857, the Nawab presented his statement of defence. The defence taken by the Nawab was undoubtedly very strong. Being in close proximity to Delhi, with all his people against the British and his soldiery and the commanders having `full sympathy for the rebels’ cause, he could not be expected to have played any substantial role in faovur of the British. But the military court did not take any such factor into consideration, probably on the testimony of C.T. Metcalfe who had earlier swoon that if he were alive and the English came out successful in the struggle, he would make the Nawab suffer for the maltreatment he had received at the Nawab’s hands during the Revolt. In an atmosphere surcharged with the spirit of revenge and vindictiveness, the court gave its verdict against the Nawab.


Farrukhnagar, a small state with an area of 22 square miles and population of 4,400 was founded in 1714 by one Dalet Khan Biloch of Bashirpur, near Farrukhnagar, as a grant from Emperor Muhammad Shah. During the uprising of 1857 Ahmed did not play a significant role. As soon as he heard of the Delhi outbreak and the Revolt of the local population, he decided to cast his lot with Emperor Bahadurshah. He personally paid a visit to the Delhi on 12 May and presented a nazar to the Emperor. After the recapture of Delhi, the British put 115 the Nawab on trial on 12 January 1858. The charges against him were that he had entered in to treasonable correspondence with the rebels; had helped them with arms, other necessary things and; had usurped authority over the pargana of Bhoora, a British territory. On 22 January the court gave it’s verdict against the Nawab. He was held guilty of the charges preferred against him and in consequence thereof the sentence of death by hanging and forfeiture of all property and effects of every description was passed. The Nawab was hanged at Kotwali in the Chandni Chowk of Delhi at 4.00 p.m. on 23 January 1856.


Ballabgarh, a small state in the vicinity of Delhi, with an area of about 190 Sq. miles and a population of 57,000 was founded in the first decade of the 18th century by one Gopal Singh Jat. Raja Nahar Singh the ruling chief at the time of the uprising was a descendant of his when Nahar heard the news of the outbreak of the revolt on 11 May, he did not think it proper to rise against the ‘invincible’ British power. But since he was very close to Delhi, the Centre of the rebels, and his entire state was up in arms against the British, he had no choice but to cast his lot with Emperor Bahadur Shah. But he did not present himself at the court, despite several requests of the Emperor to this effect, and avoided going there. Infact, the Raja wanted to play a safe game, and the only safe game at that time was a double game. Accordingly, he extended help to the British authorities too. He managed the main road between Ballabgarh and Delhi in accordance with the instructions of Emperor Bahadurshah but allowed the British officials and fugitives to go without check nor did he prevent them from passing through his territory. But all these steps could hardly please the British who were aware of the Raja’s double dealing. Consequently, they apprehended him after the fall of Delhi, they apprehended him after the fall of Delhi, and brought him to trial on 19 December 1867. The Raja pleaded ‘not-guilty’ and presented his statement of defence through his Attorney, H.M. Courtney. On 9 January 1858 Raja Nahar Singh was hanged at Kotwali in Chandni Chowk, Delhi in the same manner as the other chief of the Division.


Pataudi was a small state with an area of 74 square miles and a population of 6,000, mostly Hindus. The State was a creation of the British, a gift to a Fais Talab Khan by Lord Lake in 1806 for his meritorious services 116 during the Anglo-Maratha strife of 1803. Nawab Akbar Ali succeeded him in 1829 During the uprising of 1854 Nawab Akbar Ali showing him entire devotion and faithfulness. But this was only lip allegiance because he did not help the Emperor by men, money and material. On the other hand he showed full loyalty and faithfulness to the British, and gave protection to many European fugitives for several days. The British authorities took a lenient view of his activities during the crisis and he


The State of Dujana with an area of 100 square miles and a population of 27,000 was given to one Abdus Samad Khan in 1806 for his services during the Anglo-Maratha strife of 1803. He was a good wise chief who managed the affairs of his state well. He was succeeded by Dunde Khan who remained in saddle until 1850 when he was succeeded by his son Hasan Ali Khan Hassan Ali was a kind hearted Nawab and his subjects liked him very much. In the uprising of 1857, the Nawab did not play any significant role. Except his visits to the court of Bahadurshah, he does not seem to have rendered any useful service to the rebels cause. The British took a lenient view of his activities also and let him go free


KHAN OF BAHADURGARH: Bahadurgarh, a small state with an area of 48 square miles and a population of 14, 400 persons was founded by Ismail Khan, the younger sonof Nawab Nizabat Khan, the founder of the Jhajjar State. Bahadur Jang succeeded him in 1806, as a minor of 2 ½ years. The Nawab of Jhajjar managed the affairs of the State during his minority, and when he came of Age, he led a dissolute life. As a result the State was in a deplorable condition in 1857 on 13 May. Emperor Bahadurshah sent a message to the Nawab directing him to come in person to the imperial court. To this he sent a reply thirteen days later showing his inability to attend the court on account of chaos, confusion and disorder in his state. However, he promised to come to Delhi as soon as law and order was restored. He did not seem to have rendered any service to the Emperor except paying a nazar of four gold mohars through his physician Pir Badhshahpur Khan and lawyer Lach n.man Singh. These facts were taken note of favourably by the British after the fall of Delhi (20 September 1857) and the Nawab was not put before the Military Court on the recommendation of the Commissioner of the Delhi Division. He was tried by an ordinary court instead. The court deprived him of his territorial estates, the total revenue of which amounted to about 1 ½ lakh of rupees per annum. In return the Nawab was given monthly pension of 1,000 rupee, plus Rs.4000/- per annum to be given to his mother, widows at his father and other blood relations. The Nawab was not permitted to reside at Dadri and was removed to Lahore.


Nawab Adminuddin of Loharu, a small state measuring 280 square miles with a population of 18,000 behaved like his other fellow-princes. He played a game of duplicity: on the one hand he paid lip allegiance to Emperor Bahadurshah and on the other he was in secret communication with the British. After the fall of Delhi, the British did not take any serious view of his activities and pardoned him.


The State of Jind (area 376 square miles and population 56,024 enjoyed a big name in Haryana and Panjab. It was founded, with other Sikh States in the region, in 1763 by Gajpat Singh- a great –grandson of Phul. The founder of the Phulkian Mist and the maternal grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1857, Raja Sarup Singh, the fourth descendant of Raja Gajpat Singh was on the Gaddi. He was a brave man with an ordinary intellect, certainly a type who would behave conservatively at the time of crisis. On hearing the news of the Delhi uprising, Sarup Singh chose to take sides with the British 12 stay. The Raja made a substantial contribution of supplies of various kinds for the use of the Delhi field force. On June 7, Sarup Singh personally joined the British Camp at Alipur and the following day at Badli-Ki-Sari. Sarup Singh was the only chief present with the British army at Delhi.


The Jagirdars: As noted above, there were eleven important jagirdars in Haryana during the period under review. In the revolt, all of them, Nawab Muhammad Ali of Kunjpura, Bhai Jasmer Singh and Anokh Singh, of Arnauli, Nawab Ahmed Ali Khan of Karnal, Sardars Partap Singh, Kishan Singh and Dharam Singh of Shantiabad, Sardar Natha Singh and Amar Singh of Dhanaura, Sardar Kehar Singh and Shamsher Singh of Tangaur, Sardar Jawala Singh of Jharauli, Sardars Ram Singh and Khan Singh of Shamgarh. Nawab Aman Ullah Ansari of Panipat. Sardar Jiwan Singh of Shahzadpur, Sardar Rattan Singh of Mustafabad remained loyal, 118 keeping their men under their control and extending whatever help they could be way of supplying men, money and material to the British. They were suitably rewarded for their services, after the Revolt. From the foregoing discussion it is clear that during the 1857 crisis the chiefs and jagirdars of Hayrana behaved in a manner most unbecoming of the leaders of men who fought to out a foreign power from their land. Thus, the great Revolt proved to be a perfect and representative historical event to elucidate the general political attitude of various sections of the Muslim community of Haryana. A large number Sepoys, the people and feudal chiefs of this community participated in this revolt. Their participation and struggle displayed predominantly general attitude of confrontation towards British Raj. In the end one can easily draw an inference that Muslims in Haryana took part in this great revolt with vigour and enthusiasm. As per list of Mutineers hanged or shot in 1857, prepared by Deputy Commissioners in 1920, this community suffered greater penalties than any other community in Haryana.