Legacy of British Aristocratic Order Continues
By Naveed Tajammal
Be it any part of present Pakistan it would be very hard, but for a few exceptions, for any the leading Aristocratic class to prove that, the grant still held was Not for services rendered to the East India Company or the Crown later.so continue the descendants in the chain, who since 1947 have changed coats, flags, bandwagons, what irks one the most that how after 1947,they managed to change the clauses of the grants, as they all till British Rule ended remained subject to the law under which they had been awarded in the first place. As will be subsequently explained in the article all grants irrespective of acreage remained subject to the whim and wishes of the state.
The legacy of this new class is not old at all, after the annexation of the Sikh Kingdom, or earlier in what came to be called Sindh or Balochistan, Kalat state, and upper regions were made in Punjab, and Gilgit agency. Not discussing the Buffer zones created, as well keeping in view the looming threat of Czar of Russia to access the warm waters in the south.
One interesting point which became a sore issue with the new class was the personal service to the government clause, as and when required by the state to invoke, in case of any threat to its Frontiers. The clever English knowing the weakness of these men, but loyalist, came up with a new law to circumvent the old clause. To ensure that these loyal lackeys continue to rake the poor and fill the coffers of the state exchequers, and compensate the Crown by providing them cannon fodder for its Wars, by giving recruits in lieu off. The rule was fixed that,” Two-Anna’s were to be paid to the Government for each Rupee of Jagir revenue, in special cases, however the bulk paid, ”Four -Anna’s in the rupee and for succeeding generations it was Eight-Anna’s in the rupee, however
those who provided exceptional good services and looked after the long line of communications, ferry-points, camels/horses when required, or men, the Crown Acknowledged their services, by giving them permanent reduction in their rate of commutations to just One-Anna to the rupee, however Two-Anna remained for the most.
In 1864 emerged a new list of precedence of new chiefs, and native gentlemen of Punjab and its dependencies [excepting Simla states] who were invited to attend the Vice-regal Darbar to be held at Lahore on 18th October 1864.The said list was divided into two classes A and B, total number of men invited were 603 individuals, with 39 more who came as government officials designated
in various parts, The list column as given in the list has, the Region/Division from which he hailed, his seat number[on which he was to sit] Name, Nazr[due from him],Khilat [Crowns due back to him] and remarks of his standing i.e. From Peshawar, seat number 32,was of Syed Aya uddin of Kunar, Nazr [Rs.800],Khilat [RS.1600] jagirdar/Magistrate of Morazai, Again from Peshawar, Seat number 565,wasof Kazi Nadir Ali, Nazr [RS.100],khilat [RS.125] Vakil of Jammu Government, in attendance on Deputy Commisioner of Hazara.
Example from Derajat [trans-Indus, from Kashmore till Isakhel and Bannu, Marwat, Tank regions] an exceptional case being quoted from a actual old family, Seat number 145,Mian Shahnawaz Sarai, Nazr [Rs.500],Khilat [RS.625] Descendant of the Kulhora Rulers of Sindh-Jagirdar/Magistrate of Rajanpur. Another example from Derajat,seat number 416,Faiz ullah khan Bannochi, Nazr [RS.100]
Khilat [Rs.250] son of lalbaz khan a malik of Bannu. From Lahore, seat number 15 was of Raja Harbans Singh.Nazr [RS.1400],Khilat worth RS.1750 consisting of 3 jewels, Tass Khilat of 7 pieces,1 sword,1 shield,1 belt.in remarks it was mentioned that he was the adopted son of Raja Tej Singh, again from Lahore was seat number 602 given to one Nizamuddin, Nazr [RS.50], Khilat [Rs.75].
From Rawalpindi which included Shahpur [later sargodha]/Kushab, seat number 514,was of Fatah khan Tiwana, Nazr [RS.100],Khilat [Rs.150].Again from Rawalpindi, seat number 514A,[co-shared],Mohar singh Dowiatalia, Nazr [Rs.100] khilat [Rs125].From Multan,seat number 402,Kazi Muhammad Jan, Nazr [RS.100] Khilat [Rs.200],again from multan, seat number 373,Ghulam Kadir khan khakwani,Nazr [RS.100] Khilat [Rs 200].
Out of 603 invited, from whole British Punjab, Lahore division had 107 representatives, Derajat, 99, Peshawar. 60,Rawalpindi, 50,and Multan 12, in all 228.
Most of people inducted here were those who had taken part with Major. Edwards, in his move from Bannu towards Multan, in 1848, to fight the Revolt of Dewan Mul-Raj. Governor of Multan province of Sikh kingdom. Later all these people had petitioned the Company for rewards due, and vide letter No.1975 dated 18 june 1850,The Board of Administration under its Rule no.2 had given following
executive orders to its Deputy Commissioners, It was upon the petitioner to prove that he or his other members of his family were with the columns of Major Edwards in Various, battles fought to establish the Writ of the Company, where need arose.
After the death of Ranjit Singh, The British had sent a political agent to Peshawar to keep a check on activities of local Tappadars who raked the revenues from poor to pass on to the Sikh Darbar or Takht Lahore.
An example of such a correspondence is, as seen in the Press List of records of North West Frontier Agency [which was prior to annexation of Sikh kingdom the region now called East Punjab] with HQ at Ludhiana. for the years 1840-1842.the letter was despatched from Peshawar by Lieut. Mackenson dt.17 july 1840 to G.R. Clerk, esq, the agent to Governor General. Subject was; Defeat of Mukarrab Khan of Punjtar by Arsala khan of Zaida with Sikhs in his support, being a local Tappadar of sikhs.
The Abstract of the letter was; Lieut. Mackenson reports, that, copies of letters from the Mir of Sodum in Yusufzia reporting
that one Arsala khan a portege/Tappadar, of Sikhs,has defeated Mukarab khan of Punjtar,adds that sikhs are said to have collected about RS.40,000/- of revenue from Yusufzia territory this year;
The British in order to retain on the seat their new class of created loyalists,had also come with Court of Wards,concept,whereby as most were habitual Gamblers they used to run in heavy Debts with local money lenders,in most case lock, stock and barrel was hocked to the Hindu khatri moneylenders. So an amendment was made in August 1895,appendix ix to Deppt of [Rev.]and [Agric.][G] no’s79-105,proposed the amendment to the law. As by June 1895, the number of estates which were in court of ward had arisen to 64,with an income of RS.10,53,531/- and expenses of RS.10,59,067/-
The law was very clear it was for only those jagir holders who held land from the Crown, and not for those who through speculation had acquired large tracts of land, they were left by the state to Rise and Fall on their merit.
The D.C of the concerned district, in matter of Court of Wards, took over the estate paid off the debt and next in line was given the charge of the Jagir.
The swat River Canal had come in operation from Khariff 1885, and it extended to Kalpani and was to irrigate the whole Maira circle.
However large grants in anticipation had already been awarded to loyalists,Vide PRAR Feb.1896 for Mardan and Swabi,the following Eight persons got the bulk of Jagirs awarded to them, for having in the past provided services to the Company and Crown, beyond call of Duty. In all 136,643 acres barani/nahri [irrigated/none irrigated] was given to just these Eight.
Khawaja Mohammad khan of Hoti was given 24,905acres, Muhabbat khan of Toru got 24,226 acres, Khan Bahadar Ibrahim khan s/o malik ghulam khan got 24,892 acres, Shad Mohammad Khan s/o Mir Afzal khan got 24,646 acres, Sher Ali of Hoti got 6738 Acres, Musammat. Mastura Bibi Aunt of Shad khan of mardan, got 1562 Acres, Progeny in direct line of Mir. Babu khan got 30,961 acres, Subedar Habib Khan got 5721 acres in land and RS.3,076 in Inam.
The terms of these Grants were very clear.For Service and position . To be continued to a single heir designated by Crown, heir to be chosen by the Government. Services required. Subject to good behaviour and service. f]Govt, service to be rendered when required.
To see to it that these large 8 grants were in a compact blocks, Captain Deane and Lala Mangal Sen Extra Assistant Commissioner had to remove a very large number of people who already held land in the region, reduced, now in narrow long strips, as division of the family lands, they were removed elsewhere and given land in a block of the total strip when measured. So were accommodated these Eight new Jagirdars.
By 1896 the land of Shad Mohammad khan above cited had been shifted to the Court of Wards, and let on lease @ RS.1-8-0/- or for one rupee and eight anna’s per acre.
Covering the rest of Peshawar District having seen the major Jagirs awarded in Mardan and swabi, we move to Peshawar Tahsil and Nowshera. Vide assessment report of tahsils by Louis W. Dane esq.1896.pages 28-34.
Tahsil Nowshera had 7 jagirs awarded, example being, Estate :Banda Shekh ismail circle chahi /nahri. Name of jagirdar. Farid khan and murad khan sons of Arbab Abdul Majid and Mussammat. Zamurra, Daughter of Arbab Fateh Mohammad. Acreage was 4/5th of total village land measuring 1343 acres. revenue being RS.444/-.Remarks. Part of khalil arbabi jagir RS.5000 released under orders conveyed in Punjab Govt.no.1903 of 12th april 1859 to abdul majid on the death of his son Fateh Mohammad in 1879, the grant changed into perpetuity grant in favour of his children subject to resumption of 1/4th on death of each child.
In Tahsil Peshawar total jagirs numbered 41, The case study of one in the end is a must to further elucidate the point that these jagirs remained always under the Thumb of the state, how after 1947 the change came baffles one’s mind.
Estate : Landi Yarghajo and 14 other estates, Name of Jagirdar. Arbab Muhammad Hussain Khan son of Arbab Sarfraz khan of Landi Yarghajo-total acres-27,007. revenue RS.10,937/- remarks: given vide Govt. of Indialtr. no,106 dt.13 jan 1875. to Nawab Sarfraz khan on condition of Arbabi services, and vide ltr.no.842.dt 11 may 1887 to Arbab Muhammad Hussain RS.300/- for life and remaining RS.10,637/- during the pleasure of Government as an arbabi grant.
As we see all Grants irrespective of Size were governed by the same hand and subject to strict rules and regulations, displeasure was revoking of the grant.