Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue May 11, 2021 4:35 am

National Indian Association
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/10/21

This was possibly the lowest ebb in Vinayak’s life, with both his personal and professional lives in the doldrums. But being committed to the revolutionary cause, he was prepared to face such seemingly insurmountable challenges. He shifted out of India House temporarily to deflect the attention the place was gathering in the press. On 3 April, he moved to Bipin Chandra Pal’s residence at 140, Sinclair Road.

One of the key influencers of the Gray’s Inn decision with regard to Vinayak’s admission was Sir William Hutt Curzon Wyllie (1848–1909). He was a British Indian Army officer who rose to the position of a lieutenant colonel. He had served as the British resident to Nepal and one of the princely states of Rajputana. On his return to Britain, he was appointed aide-de-camp to the Secretary of State for India, Lord George Hamilton. One of his main tasks was the control of high-ranking Indian visitors to Britain and the continent who were suspected of seditious activities. This included native Indian princes such as Gaekwad, the Maharaja of Baroda. 79 He kept a close watch on their movements, the contacts they made while in Europe and the level of official recognition that they were awarded by continental governments. 80 Wyllie also made personal contacts with several Indian students, on occasion inviting them home for a drink or dinner and craftily extracting information from them, all the while behaving as their well-wisher. If any of this information merited attention, he passed it on to his superiors.81

In late April 1909, Curzon Wyllie had personally written to the benchers of Gray’s Inn dissuading them from calling both Vinayak and Harnam Singh to the Bar. Through May 1909, he wrote several letters and supplied a plethora of information to Gray’s Inn about Vinayak’s ‘undesirable’ activities, terming him a particularly dangerous and seditious force. While Harnam Singh was called to the Bar, it charged Vinayak with ‘condoning assassination, inciting revolution and advocating against the nation’. 82 It is said that Curzon Wyllie even travelled to France to gather information about Vinayak and his associates at India House. He spearheaded a few unsuccessful attempts to establish a boarding house for Indian students sponsored by the India Office. He believed that this master stroke of his would help strip away the uniqueness of India House, wean away new recruits for Vinayak and also help foster loyalty towards the British government in the minds of young students.

The anger and resentment among several Indian students in London had reached its zenith and was all set to explode. It was merely a matter of time. On the evening of 1 July 1909, at about 8 p.m., a young, handsome Indian student left his room on the first floor of a lodging house on 106 Ledbury Road in the Bayswater neighbourhood of London. The National Indian Association (NIA) was holding one of its routine parties to encourage interaction between the British and Indians in London. It was being held at Jehangir Hall in the Imperial Institute at South Kensington. Miss Beck, the honorary secretary of the NIA, greeted him at around half past nine. She had met him a few months back and inquired how his studies were progressing. To this he replied that he had finished his course at the University College and would take up the examination for qualifying as an Associate Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (AMICE) later in October before heading back home to India. Since he knew quite a few people at the party he told Miss Beck that he would keep himself busy socializing with them. 83 The young man walked around confidently, waiting for the opportune moment. At around 11 p.m. William Curzon Wyllie, the honorary treasurer of the NIA, made his entry into Jehangir Hall. He exchanged pleasantries with a few Indian students and stopped by to have a longer conversation with the young man. Suddenly, the young man fished out a small Colt pistol and fired four shots at pointblank range, right into Curzon Wyllie’s eyes. 84 Wyllie collapsed to the ground and died instantly. Cawas Lalcaca, a forty-six-year-old Parsi doctor from Shanghai, who rushed to Curzon Wyllie’s aid upon hearing the first shot was also inadvertently hit and lay writhing in pain on the ground. He eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Douglas William Thorburn, a journalist of the National Liberal Club, and several others rushed towards the young man, leapt on him and grabbed him tightly, pinning him to chair, to prevent further harm. In the process, his large gold-rimmed glasses fell. The young man placed the revolver to his own temple and was going to kill himself, but he had used all the bullets. People jostled and struggled to get the pistol off him. In the scuffle, one of the guests, Sir Leslie Probyn, fell and injured his nose and ribs. Thorburn asked him why he had committed such a ghastly act. The young man looked at him sternly and stoically responded, ‘Wait, let me just put my spectacles on!’ 85 He seemed unruffled and calm.

The Evening Telegraph described this trait of his in its report of him: ‘. . . not only being an expert revolver shot, but was the calmest man in the room after the tragedy, coolly inquiring if he might have his glasses’. 86 A fellow Indian, Madan Mohan Sinha, who was at the party, questioned him in Hindustani but the young man remained silent. The former wondered if the young man was under the influence of intoxicants as he appeared in a half-dazed and dreamy condition. Captain Charles Rolleston who held the young man tightly asked him repeatedly what his name was. Finally, he shouted: ‘Madan Lal Dhingra.’

-- Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past: 1883-1924, by Vikram Sampath

Journal of the National Indian Association in 1879

Should not be confused with the Indian National Association

The National Indian Association was formed in Bristol by Mary Carpenter.


Mary Carpenter (3 April 1807 – 14 June 1877) was an English educational and social reformer. The daughter of a Unitarian minister, she founded a ragged school and reformatories, bringing previously unavailable educational opportunities to poor children and young offenders in Bristol.

She published articles and books on her work and her lobbying was instrumental in the passage of several educational acts in the mid-nineteenth century. She was the first woman to have a paper published by the Statistical Society of London. She addressed many conferences and meetings and became known as one of the foremost public speakers of her time. Carpenter was active in the anti-slavery movement; she also visited India, visiting schools and prisons and working to improve female education, establish reformatory schools and improve prison conditions. In later years she visited Europe and America, carrying on her campaigns of penal and educational reform.

Carpenter publicly supported women's suffrage in her later years and also campaigned for female access to higher education. She is buried in Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol and has a memorial in the North transept of Bristol Cathedral...

In 1833 she met Ram Mohan Roy, a founder of the Brahmo Samaj movement which reformed social Hinduism, and was influenced by his philosophy during his short stay with Miss Castle and Miss Kiddel at Beech House in Stapleton before Roy died of meningitis in September of that year. Later that year she also met Joseph Tuckerman, an American Unitarian who had founded the Ministry-at-Large to the Poor in Boston, Massachusetts. He is said to have directly inspired her start on the path of social reform, partly by a chance remark made when walking with Carpenter through a slum district of Bristol. A small boy in rags ran across their path and Tuckerman remarked, "That child should be followed to his home and seen after." He had established a Farm School in Massachusetts, which became the model for later reformatories. Carpenter's later writings are based upon ideas she developed from her correspondence with Tuckerman...

In 1866 Carpenter visited India, which had been an ambition of hers since her meeting with Raja Ram Mohan Roy in 1833. She visited Calcutta, Madras and Bombay, finding that for the most part girls were not educated past the age of twelve years, mainly due to a lack of educated female teachers. During her visit Carpenter met Keshab Chandra Sen, the leader of Brahmo Samaj. Sen asked her to form an organisation in Britain to improve communication between British and Indian reformers, which she did in 1870, establishing the National Indian Association. She visited many schools, hospitals and gaols and encouraged both Indian and British colonial administrators to improve and fund these. She was particularly concerned that the lack of good female education led to a shortage of women teachers, nurses and prison attendants. The Mary Carpenter Hall at the Brahmo Girls school in Calcutta was erected as a memorial to this work.

She also participated in the inauguration of the Bengal Social Science Association, and addressed a paper to the governor-general on proposals for female education, reformatory schools and improving the conditions of gaols. She returned to India in 1868 and achieved funding to set up a Normal School to educate female Indian teachers. In 1875 she made a final visit and was able to see many of her schemes in operation. She also presented proposals for Indian prison reform to the Secretary of the Indian Government.

-- Mary Carpenter, by Wikipedia

The London branch was formed the following year. After the death of Mary Carpenter, Elizabeth Adelaide Manning (E. A. Manning) became secretary and the organisation moved to London where its activities became synonymous with Manning.


Elizabeth Adelaide Manning (1828 – 10 August 1905) was a British writer and editor. She championed kindergartens. She was one of the first students to attend Girton College. Manning was active for the National Indian Association which championed education and the needs of women in India....

In February 1871, Manning and her stepmother [Charlotte Manning (nee Solly)] started the London branch of the National Indian Association. Her stepmother died the following month and Manning increasingly became the society's main proponent. She edited its magazine, whose title shifted from The Journal of the National Indian Association to The Indian Magazine in 1886, and then in 1891 The Indian Magazine and Review, still under Manning's leadership.

In 1882, the NIA launched Medical Women for India, an initiative to train women doctors so that they could work in part on caring for women in India. (See Zenana missions.) The NIA also took an interest in students from India who were studying in Britain. Manning created a book of guidance called Handbook of information relating to university and professional studies etc. for Indian students in the United Kingdom. Manning had an open house policy and she cared particularly for students from India...

In July 1904, Manning was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal, first class, by the King for services to the British Raj.

The Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for Public Service in India was a medal awarded by the Emperor/Empress of India between 1900 and 1947, to "any person without distinction of race, occupation, position, or sex ... who shall have distinguished himself (or herself) by important and useful service in the advancement of the public interest in India."...

The name "Kaisar-i-Hind" literally means "Emperor of India" in the Hindustani language. The word kaisar, meaning "emperor" is a derivative of the Roman imperial title Caesar, via Persian (see Qaysar-i Rum) from Greek Καίσαρ Kaísar, and is cognate with the German title Kaiser, which was borrowed from Latin at an earlier date. Based upon this, the title Kaisar-i-Hind was coined in 1876 by the orientalist G.W. Leitner as the official imperial title for the British monarch in India. The last ruler to bear it was George VI.[4]

Kaisar-i-Hind was also inscribed on the obverse side of the India General Service Medal (1909), as well as on the Indian Meritorious Service Medal.

-- Kaisar-i-Hind Medal, by Wikipedia

Manning left bequests to the NIA, The Froebel Society, the Royal Free Hospital and Charles Voysey's unorthodox church in Piccadilly.

-- Adelaide Manning, by Wikipedia


The National Indian Association in Aid of Social Progress in India was formed by Mary Carpenter in 1870 in Bristol.[1] Its first objective was to improve education for Indian women.[1] Carpenter had visited India in 1866 and she had written about her six months there. She was particularly concerned by the lack of female teachers to educate Hindu girls.[2] The London branch of the association was formed the following year by Charlotte Manning and her step daughter Elizabeth Adelaide Manning.[3] Cities in both the UK and India had local branches of the society.[1]

From 1874 to her death in 1878 Princess Alice was President of the association, she was also the first to subscribe to the Indian Girls' Scholarship Fund, a fund set up by the Association to grant annual scholarships for Indian girls in government inspected schools.[4]


Princess Alice Maud Mary of the United Kingdom VA CI (25 April 1843 – 14 December 1878) was the Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine from 1877 to 1878. She was the third child and second daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort. Alice was the first of Queen Victoria's nine children to die, and one of three to be outlived by their mother, who died in 1901. Her life had been enwrapped in tragedy since her father's death in 1861.

Alice spent her early childhood in the company of her parents and siblings, travelling between the British royal residences. Her education was devised by Albert's close friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar, and included practical activities such as needlework and woodwork and languages such as French and German. When her father, Prince Albert, became fatally ill in December 1861, Alice nursed him until his death. Following his death, Queen Victoria entered a period of intense mourning and Alice spent the next six months acting as her mother's unofficial secretary. On 1 July 1862, while the court was still at the height of mourning, Alice married the minor German Prince Louis of Hesse, heir to the Grand Duchy of Hesse. The ceremony—conducted privately and with unrelieved gloom at Osborne House—was described by the Queen as "more of a funeral than a wedding". The Princess's life in Darmstadt was unhappy as a result of impoverishment, family tragedy and worsening relations with her husband and mother.

Alice showed an interest in nursing, especially the work of Florence Nightingale. When Hesse became involved in the Austro-Prussian War, Darmstadt filled with the injured; the heavily pregnant Alice devoted a lot of her time to the management of field hospitals.
One of her organisations, the Princess Alice Women's Guild, took over much of the day-to-day running of the state's military hospitals. As a result of this activity, Queen Victoria became concerned about Alice's directness about medical and, in particular, gynaecological, matters. In 1871, she wrote to Alice's younger sister, Princess Louise, who had recently married: "Don't let Alice pump you. Be very silent and cautious about your 'interior'". In 1877, Alice became Grand Duchess upon the accession of her husband, her increased duties putting further strains on her health. In late 1878, diphtheria infected the Hessian court. Alice nursed her family for over a month before falling ill herself, dying later that year.

Princess Alice was the sister of Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Empress Victoria of Germany (wife of Frederick III), mother of Empress Alexandra Feodorovna of Russia (wife of Nicholas II), maternal grandmother of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (the last Viceroy of India), and maternal great-grandmother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (consort of Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom). Another daughter, Elisabeth, who married Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, was, like Alexandra and her family, killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

-- Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, by Wikipedia

In 1881 the society spawned an offshoot named the Northbrook Indian Society (NIA) after the Earl of Northbrook, ex-viceroy of India, who was the new society's Honorary President. The Northbrook society had been conceived two years before and in 1880 the new society was running a reading room stocked with both English and Indian newspapers. This society grew to also supply lodgings for visiting Indian students.[5] In 1882 the NIA launched Medical Women for India which was an initiative to train female doctors so that they could work on assisting women in India. The NIA also took an interest in students from India who were studying in Britain. E. A. Manning created a book of guidance called Handbook of information relating to university and professional studies etc. for Indian students in the United Kingdom. Manning's help was not just theoretical,[6] in 1888 Cornelia Sorabji wrote to the National Indian Association from India for assistance in completing her education. This was championed by Mary Hobhouse, and Manning contributed funds together with Florence Nightingale, Sir William Wedderburn and others. Sorabji arrived in England in 1889 and stayed with Manning and Hobhouse. Sorabji became the first woman to complete a law degree at Oxford and kept in contact with the NIA during her later career.[7]

In 1904 E. A. Manning was awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal by the King for services to the British Raj.[8] She died the following year and Emma Josephine Beck was appointed as the new secretary. Beck was at an NIA event in 1909 where William Hutt Curzon Wyllie was assassinated by Madan Lal Dhingra.[9]

In 1910 the society was at 21 Cromwell Street in South Kensington where it shared premises with the Northbrook Society and the Bureau for Information for Indian Students.[5]

The association went into a decline in the 1920s but it did not formally end operations until 1966. The organisation had merged with the East India Association after India left the British Empire and it eventually became part of the Royal Society for India, Pakistan and Ceylon.[1]


1. National Indian Association, Open University, Retrieved 27 July 2015
2. Carpenter, Mary. Six Months in India. London, Longmans, Green and Co, 1868, 141-148
3. Elizabeth Adelaide Manning, Open University, Retrieved 25 July 2015
4. E. A. MANNING. "Women In India." Times [London, England] 21 Dec. 1878: 6. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 26 July 2015.
5. Northbrook Society, Open University, Retrieved 27 July 2015
6. Gillian Sutherland, ‘Manning, (Elizabeth) Adelaide (1828–1905)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2007 accessed 26 July 2015
7. Mary Hobhouse, Open University, Retrieved 26 July 2015
8. Great Britain. India Office (1819). The India List and India Office List for ... Harrison and Sons. p. 172.
9. EJ Beck, Open University, Retrieved 27 July 2015
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue May 11, 2021 5:31 am

Royal India Society [India Society] [Royal India and Pakistan Society] [Royal India, Pakistan and Ceylon Society]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/10/21

The Royal India Society was a 20th-century British learned society concerned with India.

The Society has had several names: the India Society (founded 1910); the Royal India Society (from 1944); the Royal India and Pakistan Society; the Royal India, Pakistan and Ceylon Society; and finally merged with the East India Association in 1966.[1][2][3]

Not to be confused with the London Indian Society, or the British India Society.

The India Society

The India Society was founded in 1910. The earliest members were T.W. Rolleston (Honorary Secretary), T.W. Arnold, Mrs Leighton Cleather, Ananda Coomaraswamy, Walter Crane, E.B. Havell, Christina Herringham, Paira Mall, and William Rothenstein.[4][5]

"In 1910 he [Coomaraswamy] became involved in a very public controversy, played out in the correspondence columns of The Times and elsewhere, on the status of Indian art. This had started when Sir George Birdwood, while chairing the Indian Section of the annual meeting of the Royal Society of Arts, had announced that there was no “fine art” in India and had somewhat unwisely responded to the suggestion that a particular statue of the Buddha was an example of fine art: “This senseless similitude, in its immemorial fixed pose, is nothing more than an uninspired brazen image. . . . A boiled suet pudding would serve equally well as a symbol of passionless purity and serenity of soul. This controversy culminated in the, foundation of the India Society, later the Royal India Society, to combat the views of the Birdwoods of this world." (Mark Sedgwick 2004)[6]

The Society's aims and plans were described in The Times, 11 June 1910 as follows:
"The society desires to promote the study and appreciations of Indian culture in its aesthetic aspects, believing that in Indian sculpture, architecture, and painting, as well as in Indian literature and music, there is a vast unexplored field, the investigation of which will bring about a better understanding of Indian India. Everything will be done to promote the acquisition by the authorities of our national and provincial museums of works representing the best Indian art. The society proposes to publish works showing the best examples of Indian architecture, sculpture, and painting, and hopes to co-operate with all those who have it as their aim to keep alive the traditional arts and handicrafts still existing in India, and to assist in the development of Indian art education on native and traditional lines, and not in imitation of European ideals."

The India Society organised a conference on Indian Art at the British Empire Exhibition, at Wembley, on 2 June 1924.[7]

Publications of the India Society

The Society's publications included:[8]

• Indian Art and Letters - twice-yearly journal, issued from 1925
• Indian drawings, ed. A.K. Coomaraswamy (1910)
• Examples of Indian sculpture at the British Museum: twelve collotype plates (1910)
• Indian drawings II, ed. A.K. Coomaraswamy (1911-12)
• Eleven Plates. Representing Works of Indian Sculptures Chiefly in English Collections, ed. E.B. Havell (1911)
• Kapilar and a Tamil Saint, by A.K. Coomaraswamy (1911)
• Gitanjali (‘Song-offering’), by Rabindranath Tagore (1912)
• Chitra, by Rabindranath Tagore (1913)
• One hundred poems of Kabir, tr. by Rabindranath Tagore and Evelyn Underhill (1914)
• The Music of Hindostan, by A.H. Fox-Strangways (1914)
• Ajanta Frescoes: being reproductions in colour and monochrome of frescoes in some of the caves at Ajanta, after copies taken ... 1909-1911, by Christiana Herringham and her assistants (1915)
• The Mirror of Gesture (1916)
• Handbook of Indian Art, by E.B. Havell (1920)
• Indian Art at the British Empire Exhibition, with introduction by Lionel Heath (1924)
• The Architectural Antiquities of Western India, by Henry Cousens (ASI) (1926)
• The Bagh Caves in the Gwalior State (1927)
• The Brothers, by Taraknath Ganguli, tr. by Edward Thompson (1928)
• Ancient Monuments of Kashmir, by Ram Chandra Kak (1933)
• The Red Tortoise and Other Tales of Rural India, by N. Gangulee (1941)
• A Garland of Indian Poetry, ed. by H.G. Rawlinson (1946)
• The Tulip of Sinai, by Muhammad Iqbal, tr. A.J. Arberry (1947)
• Indian Art and Letters (1947)
• a book on Mughal Painting, edited by Sir T.W. Arnold and Laurence Binyon

The Royal India Society

In 1944 the Society was granted permission to become The Royal India Society under the patronage of the Dowager Queen Mary of Teck.

Subsequent names

After partition, its name was again changed to the Royal India and Pakistan Society, and then again to the Royal India, Pakistan, and Ceylon Society. In 1966 it merged with the East India Association.

External Links

• The Society's archives (held at the British Library)


1. Review, by K.R. Norman, of Coomaraswamy by Roger Lipsey, in Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2 (1981), pp. 339-341.
2. South Asian Review, The Royal Society for India, Pakistan, and Ceylon, 1969, page 374.
3. ... aae64896ef
4. The Times, 11 June 1919
5. S.V. Turner, "Crafting Connections: The India Society and the Formation of an Imperial Artistic Network in Early Twentieth-Century Britain", in S. Nasta (eds) India in Britain, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2013.
6. Mark Sedgwick, Against the Modern World: Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press, 2004, page 52. ISBN 978-0-19-515297-5.
7. The India Society Conference on Indian Art ... t_djvu.txt. Retrieve 22 March 2021.
8. ... ia-society
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue May 11, 2021 5:46 am

Northbrook Society [Northbrook Indian Society] [Northbrook Club] [Northbrook Indian Club]
by The Open University: Making Britain
Accessed: 5/10/21

Date began: 01 Feb 1880

About: From an idea that was formed in 1879, founded in February 1880, as a sub-committee of the National Indian Association, the Northbrook Society was originally designed as a reading room and club providing Indian and other newspapers for Indian visitors to London and British members. Named after Lord Northbrook, former Viceroy of India, who was their president, the Society became a separate entity to the NIA in September 1881. In 1910, the Northbrook Society was housed along with the NIA and Bureau for Information for Indian Students at 21 Cromwell Road, South Kensington. The Society was then able to provide a small number of rooms as temporary lodgings for Indian visitors and students.

Key Individuals' Details: Gerald Fitzgerald (Secretary), Lord Northbrook (President).

Connections: M. M. Bhownaggree, Mehdi Hasan Khan, E. A. [Elizabeth Adelaide] Manning, Dadabhai Naoroji, Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji, Sukumar Ray.

Related organization: 21 Cromwell Road, National Indian Association

Involved in events details: Prince of Wales opened new house of Northbrook Indian Society at 3 Whitehall Gardens, 21 May 1883.

Secondary works:

Khalidi, Omar (ed.), An Indian Passage to Europe: The Travels of Fath Nawaj Jang (Karachi: OUP, 2006)

Burton, Antoinette, At the Heart of the Empire: Indians and the Colonial Encounter in Late-Victorian Britain (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998)

Robinson, Andrew, ‘Selected Letters of Sukumar Ray’, South Asia Research, 7 (1987), pp. 169-236 [Sukumar Ray's account of lodging with the Northbrook Society, 1911-12]

Example: Mary Hobhouse, ‘London sketched by an Indian Pen’, The Indian Magazine, 230 (February 1890), pp. 61-73 at p. 66.

Content: Extracts from a diary written by Mehdi Hasan Khan of his time in London in 1889. This includes mention of a lunch visit to the Northbrook Club.

Extract: In India I had heard disparaging things said about this club. Among other things, that the club being full of Anglo-Indians, Natives were treated badly there, deriving no benefit from, and having no voice in, the club. I am extremely glad to say that I found every one of these remarks contrary to the fact. Natives are treated there on perfectly equal terms with Europeans. It is a most useful institution for Indians. Our students in London assemble there regularly every afternoon, meet Englishmen, see club life, and enjoy one another’s society.

Archive source:

The Times, 6 August 1881, 15 May 1883, 22 May 1883, 10 August 1883, 7 August 1884, 5 November 1886, 1 September 1908, 11 January 1910, 2 May 1926

NIA Minutes, Mss Eur F147/3-4, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue May 11, 2021 6:00 am

Thomas Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/10/21

The Right Honourable, The Earl of Northbrook, GCSI PC FRS
Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire
In office: 7 November 1890 – 15 November 1904
Monarch: Victoria
Preceded by: The Lord Carnarvon
Succeeded by: The Lord Winchester
Viceroy of India
In office: 3 May 1872 – 12 April 1876
Monarch: Victoria
Preceded by: The Lord Napier
Succeeded by: The Lord Lytton
Member of Parliament for Penryn and Falmouth
In office: 24 April 1857 – 15 October 1866
Preceded by: Howel Gwyn
Succeeded by: Jervoise Smith
Personal details
Born: Thomas George Baring, 22 January 1826
Died: 15 November 1904 (aged 78), Stratton Park, Hampshire
Nationality: British
Political party: Liberal
Spouse(s): Elizabeth Sturt ​(m. 1848; died 1867)​
Alma mater: Christ Church, Oxford

Thomas George Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook, GCSI, PC, FRS (22 January 1826 – 15 November 1904) was a British Liberal statesman. Gladstone appointed him Viceroy of India 1872–1876. His major accomplishments came as an energetic reformer who was dedicated to upgrading the quality of government in the British Raj. He began large scale famine relief, reduced taxes, and overcame bureaucratic obstacles in an effort to reduce both starvation and widespread social unrest.[1] He served as First Lord of the Admiralty between 1880 and 1885.

Background and education

Northbrook was the eldest son of Francis Baring, 1st Baron Northbrook, by his first wife Jane, daughter of the Sir George Grey, 1st Baronet. He was educated at Twyford School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated with honours in 1846.

Political career

Northbrook entered upon a political career, and was successively private secretary to Henry Labouchere (Board of Trade), Sir George Grey (Home Office), and Sir Charles Wood (India Office and then Admiralty to 1857). In 1847 he served on the committee of the British Relief Association. In 1857, he was returned to the House of Commons for Penryn and Falmouth, which he represented until becoming a peer on the death of his father in 1866. He served under Lord Palmerston as Civil Lord of the Admiralty between 1857 and 1858, as Under-Secretary of State for War in 1861, as Under-Secretary of State for India between 1861 and 1864, under Palmerston and Lord Russell as Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department between 1864 and 1866 and under Russell as Secretary to the Admiralty in 1866.

When William Ewart Gladstone acceded to power in 1868, Baring was again appointed Under-Secretary of State for War, and this office he held until February 1872, when he was appointed Viceroy of India. In January 1876, however, he resigned. He had recommended the conclusion of arrangements with Sher Ali Khan which, as has since been admitted, would have prevented the Second Afghan War; but his policy was overruled by the Duke of Argyll, then Secretary of State for India.
In 1876 he was created Viscount Baring, of Lee in the County of Kent, and Earl of Northbrook, in the County of Southampton.

Caricature of The Lords Northbrook, Granville, Selborne and Salisbury. Caption read "Purse, Pussy, Piety and Prevarication". Published in Vanity Fair, 5 July 1882.

From 1880 to 1885 Northbrook held the post of First Lord of the Admiralty in Gladstone's second government. During his tenure of office the state of the navy aroused much public anxiety and led to a strong agitation in favor of an extended shipbuilding programme. The agitation called forth Tennyson's poem The Fleet. In September 1884, Northbrook was sent to Egypt as special commissioner to inquire into its finances and condition. The inquiry was largely unnecessary, all the essential facts being well known, but the mission was a device of Gladstone's to avoid an immediate decision on a perplexing question. Northbrook, after six weeks of inquiry in Egypt, sent in two reports, one general, advising against the withdrawal of the British garrison, and one financial. His financial proposals, if accepted, would have substituted the financial control of Britain for the international control proposed at the London Conference of June–August of the same year, but this was not carried out. When Gladstone formed his third ministry in 1886 Baring held aloof, being opposed to the Home Rule policy of the prime minister; and he then ceased to take a prominent part in political life.

Other work

Baring had served in the Hampshire Yeomanry, reaching the rank of major, and was appointed the regiment's Honorary Colonel on 26 January 1889.[2]

In 1890 he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire.

In the 1880s he was president of an offshoot of the National Indian Association, which was named the Northbrook Indian Society after its president.[3] From 1890 to 1893 he was president of the Royal Asiatic Society.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Botanic Society in November 1902.[4]


Elizabeth Baring, wife of Thomas Baring (Richard Buckner)

Lord Northbrook married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Charles Sturt and sister of Lord Alington, in 1848. They had two sons and one daughter. She died in June 1867, aged 40. Lord Northbrook remained a widower until his death at Stratton Park, Hampshire, in November 1904, aged 78. There is a memorial to him at All Saints, East Stratton.[5] He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son, Francis.

Legacy in India

The Ghanta Ghar Multan, or Clock Tower of Multan, was named 'Northbrook Tower'. It is located in the center of Multan in Punjab province, Pakistan.

See also

• Northbrook Hall
• Manor House Gardens


1. James S. Olson and Robert S. Shadle, Historical Dictionary of the British Empire (1996), p. 116.
2. Army List.
3. Northbrook Society, Open University, Retrieved 27 July 2015.
4. "Royal Botanic Society". The Times (36921). London. 10 November 1902. p. 12.
5. "Geograph". Geograph. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2013.

Further reading

• Mersey, Viscount Charles Clive Bigham. The viceroys and governors-general of India, 1757-1947 (1949)
• Gosto Behary Mullick (1873). Lord Northbrook and his mission in India: a lecture., includes his speeches

External links

• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Thomas Baring
• "Archival material relating to Thomas Baring, 1st Earl of Northbrook". UK National Archives.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Tue May 11, 2021 6:40 am

Thomas Walker Arnold
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/10/21

Sir Thomas Walker Arnold, CIE
Sir Thomas Arnold
Born: 19 April 1864, Devonport, Devon, England
Died: 9 June 1930 (aged 66)
Scientific career
Influenced: Muhammad Iqbal

Sir Thomas Walker Arnold CIE FBA (19 April 1864–9 June 1930) was a British orientalist and historian of Islamic art. He taught at Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College,[1] later Aligarh Muslim University, and Government College University, Lahore.[2]

Arnold was a friend of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, who influenced him to write the famous book The Preaching of Islam,[2] and of Shibli Nomani, with whom he taught at Aligarh. He taught Syed Sulaiman Nadvi and the poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal.[3] He was the first English editor for the first edition of The Encyclopaedia of Islam.[2]

Aligarh Muslim University (abbreviated as AMU) is a public central university in Aligarh, India, which was originally established by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875. Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920, following the Aligarh Muslim University Act...

The university was established as the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College in 1875 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, starting functioning on 24 May 1875. The movement associated with Syed Ahmad Khan and the college came to be known as the Aligarh Movement, which pushed to realise the need for establishing a modern education system for the Indian Muslim populace. He considered competence in English and Western sciences necessary skills for maintaining Muslims' political influence. Khan's vision for the college was based on his visit to Oxford University and Cambridge University, and he wanted to establish an education system similar to the British model.

A committee was formed by the name of foundation of Muslim College and asked people to fund generously. Then Viceroy and Governor General of India, Thomas Baring gave a donation of ₹10,000 while the Lt. Governor of the North Western Provinces contributed ₹1,000, and by March 1874 funds for the college stood at ₹1,53,920 and 8 ana. Maharao Raja Mahamdar Singh Mahamder Bahadur of Patiala contributed ₹58,000 while Raja Shambhu Narayan of Benaras donated ₹60,000. Donations also came in from the Maharaja of Vizianagaram as well. The college was initially affiliated to the University of Calcutta for the matriculate examination but became an affiliate of Allahabad University in 1885. The 7th Nizam of Hyderabad, HEH Mir Osman Ali Khan made a remarkable donation of Rupees 5 Lakh to this institution in the year 1918...

Before 1939, faculty members and students supported an all-India nationalist movement but after 1939, political sentiment shifted towards support for a Muslim separatist movement. Students and faculty members supported Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the university came to be a center of the Pakistan Movement.

Dr. Sheikh Abdullah ("Papa Mian") is the founder of the women's college of Aligarh Muslim University and had pressed for women's education, writing articles while also publishing a monthly women's magazine, Khatoon. To start the college for women, he had led a delegation to the Lt. Governor of the United Provinces while also writing a proposal to Sultan Jahan, Begum of Bhopal. Begum Jahan had allocated a grant of ₹ 100 per month for the education of women. On 19 October 1906, he successfully started a school for girls with five students and one teacher at a rented property in Aligarh. The foundation stone for the girls' hostel was laid by him and his wife, Waheed Jahan Begum ("Ala Bi") after struggles on 7 November 1911. Later, a high school was established in 1921, gaining the status of an intermediate college in 1922, finally becoming a constituent of the Aligarh Muslim University as an undergraduate college in 1937. Later, Dr. Abdullah's daughters also served as principals of the women's college. One of his daughters was Mumtaz Jahan Haider, during whose tenure as principal, Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad had visited the university and offered a grant of ₹9,00,000. She was involved in the establishment of the Women's College, organised various extracurricular events, and reasserted the importance of education for Muslim women.

-- Aligarh Muslim University, by Wikipedia


Thomas Walker Arnold was born in Devonport, Plymouth on 19 April 1864,[4] and educated at the City of London School. From 1888 he worked as a teacher at the Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental College, Aligarh. In 1892 he married Celia Mary Hickson,[2] a niece of Theodore Beck.[4] In 1898, he accepted a post as Professor of Philosophy at the Government College, Lahore and later became Dean of the Oriental Faculty at Punjab University.[2] From 1904 to 1909 he was on the staff of the India Office as Assistant Librarian. In 1909 he was appointed Educational Adviser to Indian students in Britain.[4] From 1917 to 1920 he acted as Adviser to the Secretary of State for India.[5] He was Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental Studies, University of London, from 1921 to 1930.[2]

Arnold was invested as a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire in 1912, and in 1921 was invested as a knight.[2] He died on 9 June 1930.[6]


• The preaching of Islam: a history of the propagation of the Muslim faith. Westminster: A. Constable and co. 1896. Retrieved 29 May 2011.
• (trans. and ed.) The little flowers of Saint Francis by Francis of Assisi. London: J.M. Dent, 1898.
• The Court Painters of the Grand Moghuls. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1921.
• The Caliphate. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924. Reissued with an additional chapter by Sylvia G. Haim: Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1965.
• Painting in Islam, A Study of the Place of Pictorial Art in Muslim Culture. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928. Reprint ed. 1965.
• Bihzad and his Paintings in the Zafar-namah ms. London: B. Quaritch, 1930.
• (with Alfred Guillaume) The Legacy of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1931.
• The Old and New Testaments in Muslim Religious Art. London: Pub. for the British Academy by H. Milford, Oxford University Press. Schweich Lectures for 1928.


1. "Empire in Your Backyard: Imperial Plymouth". Retrieved 5 May 2016.
2. Robinson, B.W. "ARNOLD, THOMAS WALKER – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
3. "Sir Thomas Walker Arnold | Aligarh Movement". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
4. "Thomas W. Arnold | Making Britain". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
5. "Thomas Walker Arnold". Goodreads. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
6. Arnold, Thomas Walker (1 January 1913). The preaching of Islam : a history of the propagation of the Muslim faith. London : Constable.

External links

• Arnold, Sir Thomas Walker, School of Oriental and African Studies: home page
• Sir Thomas Walker entry in Encyclopaedia Iranica
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed May 12, 2021 7:23 am

Indian Political Intelligence Office
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/11/21

The Indian Political Intelligence Office (IPIO) was an intelligence organisation initially established in England in 1909 in response to the dissemination of anarchist and revolutionary elements of Indian nationalism to different countries in Europe after the liquidation of India House (where it was based between 1905 and 1910) in London in 1909. It formally came to be called the Indian Political Intelligence (IPI) from 1921.

By the time World War I broke out the IPIO, headed by John Wallinger, had been established in mainland Europe. In scale, this office was larger than those operated by the British War Office, approaching the size of the European intelligence network of the Secret Service Bureau. This network already had agents in Switzerland against possible German intrigues. After the outbreak of the war, Wallinger, under the cover of an officer of the British General Headquarters, proceeded to France where he operated out of Paris, working with the French Political Police, the Sûreté.[1]


1. Popplewell 1995, p. 216: "With the outbreak of the First World War the Indian intelligence network set up by Superintendent Wallinger ... within the general structure of British intelligence in Europe ... In scale it was not much smaller than the European intelligence operations of the Secret Service Bureau, let alone those of the War Office. Moreover, John Wallinger already controlled agents operating in Switzerland, which was to become an important centre of German intrigue ... [he] had cultivated friendly relations with the Paris political police, the Sūreté."


• International Institute for Asian Studies: Indian Political Intelligence Files Released for Research
• Popplewell, Richard J (1995), Intelligence and Imperial Defence: British Intelligence and the Defence of the Indian Empire 1904-1924., Routledge, ISBN 0-7146-4580-X.
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#3)

Postby admin » Wed May 12, 2021 8:10 am

John Wallinger
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/12/21

Sir John Arnold Wallinger KPM (25 October 1869 – 7 January 1931) was a British Indian intelligence officer who led the prototype Indian Political Intelligence Office from 1909 to 1916. He was also the literary prototype of the spymaster of a number of Somerset Maugham's short stories. Wallinger is credited with leading the Indian intelligence missions outside India, notably against the Indian Anarchist movement in England, and later against the Berlin Committee and the Hindu–German Conspiracy during World War I. Among his more famous agents was Somerset Maugham, whom he recruited in London and sent as a secret agent to Switzerland.[1][2]


1. Popplewell 1995, p. 230: "Wallinger tried to re-establish his network [in Switzerland], recruiting among others, the writer Somerset Maugham."
2. Morgan, Ted (1980). Somerset Maugham. London: Jonathan Cape. p. 199. ISBN 0-224-01813-2.


• Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Wallinger, Sir John Arnold (1869–1931), intelligence officer and literary prototype, was born on 25 October 1869 at Poona, India, the son of William H. Arnold Wallinger, deputy conservator of forests in the Indian forest service, and his wife, Anne Jane. He had two brothers and two sisters....

• International Institute for Asian Studies: Indian Political Intelligence Files Released for Research
• Popplewell, Richard J (1995), Intelligence and Imperial Defence: British Intelligence and the Defence of the Indian Empire 1904-1924, Routledge, ISBN 0-7146-4580-X.

Chapter 9: British Intelligence and the Indian Revolutionary Movement in Europe, 1914-19
Excerpt from Intelligence and Imperial Defence: British Intelligence and the Defence of the Indian Empire 1904-1924
by Richard J. Popplewell
©  1995

Chapter 9: British Intelligence and the Indian Revolutionary Movement in Europe, 1914-19

With the outbreak of the First World War the Indian intelligence network set up by Superintendent Wallinger as described earlier might have been expected to play an important role within the general structure of British intelligence in Europe. In scale it was not much smaller than the European intelligence operations of the Secret Service Bureau, let alone those of the War Office.1 Moreover, John Wallinger already controlled agents operating in Switzerland, which was to become an important centre of German intrigue, and was an obvious point of entry for Allied agents into Germany. There were few, if any, secret service officers in 1914 whose experience of the Continent could match that of Wallinger, or who, like he, had cultivated friendly relations with the Paris political police, the Surete.

Soon after the outbreak of war Wallinger proceeded to France, and at some time in 1914 he was made a temporary Major on the Imperial General Staff, as a member of which he performed both 'his own duties and those connected with the war'.2 He was at first largely concerned with preventing Indian nationalists residing in France from contacting the large number of Indian troops who began to arrive in the country from September 1914 onwards.

Wallinger's activities on the Continent, however, were soon no longer confined to Indian agitators. John Wallinger had a younger brother named Ernest who, after being severely wounded in France in September 1914, was appointed to a senior position on the Intelligence Section of the General Staff at British General Headquarters in France. In March 1915 Ernest Wallinger suggested that John Wallinger should run one of two intelligence systems in Switzerland, which the Army Intelligence Section were setting up.3 By December 1915 John Wallinger had set up his headquarters in Paris.4

Though John Wallinger was officially a part of the network of British Military Intelligence he remained primarily an officer of the Indian Department of Criminal Intelligence. According to the Indian Civil List his services had been 'placed at the disposal of the War Office'.5 In 1916 the head of the Special Branch still referred to him as 'the Indian secret service officer'.6 At the end of 1915 Sir Charles Cleveland wrote that

'W' works in Europe partly under the India Office and partly under myself, and the cost of his Agency, including his pay and travelling allowance, is defrayed by the India Office.7

Surprisingly, Cleveland did not mention the control which the War Office exercised over Wallinger. Without doubt his duties were confined to purely Indian intelligence only in the very early stages of the war. But even if J.A. Wallinger's field of action had been so limited it would still have been placed under the general authority of Military Intelligence, because this decreased the problems of overlapping jurisdictions. Army intelligence already ran one network in Switzerland which operated alongside another set up by Mansfield Cumming's Secret Service.8

The DCI were pleased with John Wallinger's work at the end of the first six months of the war. On 20 January 1915 Sir Charles Cleveland informed the Home Department that his work had 'continued to be most satisfactory and valuable'.9 Had it not been for the war, Wallinger would have returned to his post on the CID of the Bombay Presidency, but in August 1915 Cleveland decided that a change of personnel in the DCI's European agency was undesirable.10 By this time Wallinger had requested the DCI to send him help. Cleveland decided that because the 'scope of Wallinger's work' had 'been so greatly widened by the war' he should have 'a second officer of the Indian Police Department to work with him'. This officer did not arrive in Europe until October 1915.11

Though the DCI were able to spare only one officer for work in Europe, they wanted this to the best man they had . David Petrie had had to return to Britain to get rid of fever which he had contracted after his wounding in the Budge Budge affray. However, Petrie turned down the post. Instead the DCI selected P.C. Vickery, an Assistant Superintendent, on the recommendation of both the Inspector-General of Police and the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab. Vickery was at that time working in the non-political crime section of the DCI and before that had spent three years as Personal Assistant to the Deputy-Inspector General of the Punjab CID. He was suited for the post because he had 'a fair knowledge' of French and spoke German well. Vickery's relatively high rank is obscured in documents relating to his work in Europe which he signed using the temporary rank of Lieutenant which he held within British Military Intelligence.12

If by the beginning of 1915 John Wallinger had ceased to he concerned only with Indian 'sedition' in Europe, so too Indian 'sedition' in Europe became no longer the sole preserve of John Wallinger. Indian revolutionary activity around the world had become so widespread that the resources of the Indian police proved inadequate to control it. At some time between December 1914 and January 1915 an interdepartmental committee was formed in London on which all the departments of the British government concerned with the Indian revolutionary problem sat. The Foreign Office was represented by Rowland Sperling, the head of its American Department, because North America was by this time the main centre of the Indian revolutionary movement abroad. The India Office was represented by Malcolm (after 1919 Sir Malcolm) Seton, the head of the Judicial and Public Department, who for the previous five years had worked closely with Wallinger. The Political and Secret Department of the India Office also participated on the committee.13 Throughout the war John Wallinger himself was also an important member, representing the India Office. At the beginning of 1916 the representatives of MI5 were Vernon Kell , its head, and two ex-Indian officers, Nathan and Stephenson. MI1(a) , which carried out 'the distribution and registration of intelligence' and which served as a liaison office for the various intelligence departments, naturally played an important role on the committee. MI1(a)'s chief, Colonel C.N. French, seems to have had a particularly influential voice in its deliberations. The Admiralty was represented by Rayment, an officer of its Intelligence Division. It had a particular interest in the Indian problem because its vessels, in the last resort, kept Indian and German gun-runners away from the coasts of India. The Colonial Office, like the Admiralty, was particularly interested in Indian activities in the Pacific. There is no evidence that the Secret Service participated on the committee. This is surprising, since from the end of 1915 Cumming came to have general control over the operations of British intelligence in North America as well as running a network in Switzerland. Possibly Cumming's interests were represented by the Foreign Office.14

Of the departments other than the India Office which were represented on the Committee, Britain's domestic counter-intelligence agency, MI5, was the most directly concerned with the control of the Indian revolutionary movement in Europe. MIS was known as Section MO5g of the War Office in August 1914, acquiring its modern designation in January 1916. Upon the outbreak of war, the department's head, Vernon Kell, had a total staff of only 19. In November 1918, when the war ended, MI5 was 844-strong." From early in the war the department had Indian experts on its staff. Gradually it came to see itself as responsible for counter-espionage at an Imperial level and this was recognized in September 1916 when a special section -- MI5(d) was formed to co-ordinate counter-espionage measures throughout the British Empire. Another section, MI5(b), was formed in January 1917 'to deal with questions affecting natives of India and other Oriental races'. The official title of the department dealing with the Indian problem in Europe during its most serious phase from 1915 to mid-1916 was MO5(g)A, and it had the general duty of investigating 'espionage and cases of suspected persons'. In 1916 it became known more simply as MI5(g).16

MI5 was reinforced over the course of the war by an influx of officers from India. In February 1917, out of 27 officers working on the staff of MI5(g) alone, eight had served in India. It is not known how long they had worked for MIS. This concentration of Indian intelligence officers is remarkable, particularly at a time when there was a chronic shortage of officers to perform intelligence duties in India and the Far East upon which the security of the Indian empire depended. Within the general scheme of British intelligence in the First World War, overriding priority in the allocation of men and money was given to the main European theatre of the war. A will be seen in Chapter 11, the protection of the Empire in the East was conducted with very scanty resources.

In the early years of the war Robert Nathan was the most important of the Indian officers who served under Kell. He was the former Chief Commissioner of the Dacca District who had helped track down the Dacca Anusilan Samiti in 1907.17 In 1915 he had retired from the Indian Civil Service after 26 years' service. In India he enjoyed a reputation for efficiency and had just been appointed Vice Chancellor of Calcutta University when, at the end of January 1914 he was forced to return home through ill-health.18 By October 1914 at the latest he was the leading Indian officer working in MI5.

The Special Branch acted as the covert executive arm of MI5 but became involved in MI5 cases only wen surveillance was necessary. Relations between MI5 and the Special Branch were often fraught. MI5 resented the way in which Basil Thomson, the head of the Special Branch, publicly took the credit for actions for which they were responsible yet, being officially non-existent, could not avow.19 Robert Nathan was the only officer of MI5 whose assistance Thomson recognized in his memoirs, The Scene Changes.20 He acknowledged Nathan's close involvement in all his dealings with Indians who came to him for interrogation. However helpful Thomson may have been in interrogating and in changing the loyalties of Germany's Indian agents, the real work of counter-espionage was conducted by Nathan and MO5(g)/MI5(g) in concert with John Wallinger who, at this time, operated mainly abroad. Basil Thomson had had no experience of India and Indians in his career before he became head of the Special Branch in 1913. Significantly, he did not sit on the interdepartmental committee.

In the first year of the war the main concern of Indian intelligence in Europe was not with the Indian revolutionary movement, which was thought to have gone into hibernation for the duration of the conflict, but with the Indian soldiers who came to France to fight for the Empire. The first Indian division left India on 8 August 1914 and arrived at Marseilles seven weeks later. Altogether 138,000 Indian troops served on the Western Front in the course of the war. By the end of 1915, after 14 months' service in Flanders, the bulk of the Indian contingent left to fight the Turks.21

'Sedition', in the sense of support for the revolutionary movement, gained no hold whatsoever on the minds of the Indian troops in France. Their morale had deteriorated by the end of 1915, by which time the British censor was worried that the men had started to write poetry, which he considered to be 'an ominous sign of mental disquietude.'22 But Indian morale was not significantly worse than that of English soldiers. Equally, the censor at Boulogne intercepted only a very small quantity of anti-British propaganda sent to the troops by Indian nationalists overseas. None the less fears of an outbreak of unrest among the Indian Army contingent preoccupied the British, despite the increased supervision of Indian revolutionaries by the French authorities. As late as January 1916 the Indian government feared that Indian agitators might get in touch with native troops at the front and at Marseilles, where they disembarked.

The assistance rendered by the French authorities was complete. In Autumn 1914 the Department of Criminal Intelligence supplied the French military authorities with a list of Indians who might attempt to go to the front to subvert the loyalty of the Indian troops.23 Many but by no means all the prominent Indian nationalists fled the Allied countries on the outbreak of war. Madame Cama an old Parsi lady who had figured prominently in the DCl's reports since 1907. Though Wallinger regarded her as 'brainless', the DCI seems to have had some admiration for her tenacity. After war broke out, she lost no time in attempting to persuade the Indian troops of the error of their ways in fighting for the Empire.24 On 27 October 1914 she was ordered to leave Marseilles." The Surete Generale warned her of unpleasant consequences if she did not stop her nationalist activities during the war.'" A worse fate overtook S.R. Rana, the other old leader of the Paris Indian group. The French expelled him, his German wife and his dying son to Martinique. The British feared the effect that such aged revolutionaries might have on the troops, and uncompromisingly opposed the Ranas' return to France, even when the French government itself pleaded with them to permit on humanitarian ground the return of Mrs Rana to France for a cancer operation.27

By October 1914 the Surete was watching Indian nationalist propaganda 'with the greatest care'.28 But this did not the British. In January 1916 they put forward far-reaching measures, which the French Ministry of the Interior and the Surete approved. These gave the British military authorities the power to deport not only Indian agitators who had penetrated into the camps, but also any British subjects whose presence the military authorities considered a danger to the army.29

These measures coincided with the introduction of a greater degree of Indian police control over the Indian troop. In August 1915 the War Office asked that a few officers of the 'Indian Criminal Investigation Department' be placed at the of the Base Commandant at Marseilles. The Government of India agreed to send a staff of three or four Indian police officers together with a British officer, whom they judged necessary for the supervision of the Indian staff. For the senior position they chose Superintendent R.H. Hirst of the Bihar and Orissa police. He left for France on 7 November 1915, with the task of determining the number and class of Indian police officers required.

Despite the growth of Indian police activity in Europe in 1915, the Department of Criminal Intelligence did not have the ready possibility of expanding its network abroad. The war did not remove past restraints which prevented the DCl's growth overseas as well as at home. Its expansion was blocked by its relationship with the Indian Local Governments, upon whom it was dependent for experienced personnel, and by the enduring aversion of the British government to the operation of an Indian imperial secret police, particularly in Europe and America, where a strong 'liberal conscience' continued to exist, despite the rigours of the war.

Wallinger had not prepared for a war with Germany, since he had not expected any increase in the activities of Indian revolutionaries in Europe. In June 1914 the Department of Criminal Intelligence reported on 'The future of Indian nationalist agitation in Europe'. They concluded that terrorism had lost ground while constitutional nationalism had gained in strength.30 In August 1914 Wallinger reported to the DCI that the war had practically put a stop to 'extremist' propaganda and had temporarily rendered Indian malcontents on the Continent innocuous.31 Wallinger realized that 'the sympathies of Indian nationalists, among whom almost all Indian students are to be classed, are with the Germans so far as the war in Europe is concerned . . .'32 Though the British were apprehensive of Indian nationalists contacting the troops, they were far less worried about Indian terrorism in Europe than they had been in 1910, when Savarkar roamed free. However, Germany now took up the cause of the Indian revolutionaries on an international scale.

Wallinger was aware that in September 1914 a prominent Indian revolutionary, Chempakaraman Pillai, approached the German Consul in Zurich and gave him an outline of the strength and plans of the Indian revolutionary movement.33 He also knew that Pillai had left Zurich not long afterwards for Berlin where he was to work under the German Foreign Office.34 However, before the war Wallinger's network had been devoted to the needs of the Indian government. He had not set up a network of agents inside Germany, where the Indian nationalist movement had barely existed before September 1914, when the Indians and the Germans established an Indian revolutionary committee, attached to the German General Staff in Berlin. British intelligence only learned that this had happened in May 1915.35

The four leading members of the committee upon its foundation were Chempakaraman Pillai, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya, Dr Prabhakar and Dr Abdul Hafiz. They were later joined by other prominent pre-war revolutionaries including Har Dayal and Tarak Nath Das. One important Punjabi nationalist, Ajit Singh, made his escape from right under the noses of John Wallinger and the Paris Surete. At the beginning of September 1914 he left Paris without even informing his landlady which, as the DCl pointed out, was 'considered a low trick by agents of the secret service in any country'.36

But there was nothing that Wallinger could have done to prevent the majority of the Indians who reached Berlin getting through since they came from two neutral states, the USA or Switzerland. Wallinger's sources of information about Indian activities in Switzerland were good. He was aware that Chattopadhyaya visited Switzerland in the middle of May 1915 and established agencies at Geneva and Zurich and also that he went to Lucerne where he met the Egyptian nationalist Farid Bey.37

The DCI had been concerned about the danger of a combined effort by the Indian and Egyptian nationalist groups since 1910. By July 1915 it had received information that the German Foreign Office had recruited a number of Egyptians who were helping the 'Indian National Party' to distribute anti-British propaganda. Among them was a medical student named Ali Eloui, whom the DCI already knew to be on particularly intimate terms with Virendranath Chattopadhyaya.38

There is no evidence that the Egyptian intelligence was running any network of agents in Europe at this time. The surveillance of Egyptian nationalists abroad fell largely to John Wallinger. But even in 1917 he seems not to have been working in close association with Egyptian intelligence. In January 1917 Wallinger requested that Egypt provide him with 'the names of suspicious Egyptians going to America from Egypt'. It is remarkable that he was not already in receipt of this information.39

The British received early information that the Germans and the Indians were plotting assassination from Switzerland. Dr Parodi, the Director of the Egyptian School at Geneva, had worked for the British since before the war.40 Leading Egyptian nationalists trusted him. In Autumn 1914 Dr Mansur Rifaat, the former editor of the leading Egyptian nationalist journal abroad, La Patrie Egyptienne, left Switzerland for America in a hurry. The Swiss police seized some of his papers which , however, they allowed Parodi to read, though they denied access to the British authorities. These papers revealed what the British at Berne saw at this time as 'a somewhat vague and wild scheme of action against British India including the assassination of officials and extensive propaganda'. The papers also gave the British an early indication that 'an intelligence bureau' had been formed at Berlin , namely Oppenheim's organization, which was discussed in Chapter 7.41

Parodi's information did not arouse any interest among the British. On the part of the Indian authorities this was understandable. Earlier fears that Egyptians and Indians might collaborate in an assassination plot had proved unfounded. In September 1911 Wallinger had received information from both Paris and London that an attempt was to be made on the life of Lord Kitchener, who was 'evidently extremely unpopular with the Egyptian nationalists and the Indian conspirators [were] at one with them in desiring his removal'." But this plot never materialized.

On 20 March 1915 Gobind Behari Lal, Har Dayal's right-hand man, arrived in Liverpool from New York. The British authorities were worried lest he try to contact Indian soldiers and he was closely watched. But they allowed him to return to America unmolested in April 1915. They did not realize their mistake until two months later, when the US secret service suggested that Behari Lal had intended to cause explosions at the docks.43 Nathan and Thom on only learned at the end of the year that Behari Lal had come to England in connection with a plot to murder Lord Kitchener. The DCI claimed that he failed in his mission because he was unable to find anyone willing to commit the murder.44

It was not until Autumn 1915 that the British had an idea of the full scale of the European plot which the Germans and Indians had evolved. After the obliteration of their spy network in the first days of the war by MO5, the Indians provided the Germans with potential agents in England. The Germans realized that an even more promising field for the use of Indian nationalists lay in Italy, where high-caste Indians were not always distinctive because of their skin-colour.

Though Behari Lal's mission failed, the Germans had managed to establish a small revolutionary cell in England. Soon after the Indian National Party in Berlin was constituted, Virendranath Chattopadhyaya attempted to get in touch with some of the remaining members of the old 'India House'. The existence of the English branch of the European conspiracy was revealed by the British censor.45 The first arrest was only made on 15 June 1915. Examination of Chattopadhyaya's correspondence led British counter-intelligence to a Swiss girl named Meta Brunner, who acted as the messenger between Switzerland and the English group. The small band of conspirators whom Brunner revealed included an Indian named Vishna Dube and his common-law German wife, Anna Brandt. Hilda Howsin, the daughter of a Yorkshire doctor, was known to have knowledge of their plans.46 They were arrested and interned until the end of the war.47 That they were not executed proves that they had supplied no information of any worth to the Germans.

The main strength of the German-Indian plot did not lie in the imprisoned English group. The existence of a large-scale assassination conspiracy was only confirmed late in August 1915, when, once again, the censor seized certain incriminating documents. Thomson wrote:

The plan was to bring about the assassination of the leading men in the Entente countries. These included the King of Italy, the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Grey, and the War Minister, Lord Kitchener, the French President, Poincare, and Prime Minister, Viviani, as well as the Italian Prime Minister, Salandra. The bombs had been manufactured in Italy and were tested by the German military authorities at a military testing ground near Berlin.

It was not clear whether the plot was devised by the Germans or by the Indians themselves.48

In their Weekly Report for 29 June 1915 the Department of Criminal Intelligence reported that they had received information 'from a trustworthy source' that German agents in Switzerland, including Dr Abdul Hafiz, one of the leaders of the 'Indian National Party', were plotting to assassinate Italian government ministers.49 By August the DCI was in possession of full details of the plot. On 22 July Hafiz had come to Zurich and arranged for ten time-bombs to be sent to the German Consul there. Ali Eloui and an Italian anarchist named Bertoni were to take charge of the bombs. The Germans expected Bertoni and other Italian anarchists in their pay to be useful in smuggling the bombs over the Italian border. However, the plot 'miscarried as it was not kept sufficiently secret'. Hafiz was thrown out of Switzerland by the local police.50

Despite these alarming reports it was only on 29 November 1915 that Robert Nathan sent a request through the Foreign Office to the Italian government for all Indians to be stopped from crossing from Italy to Switzerland and, if possible, deported to England. If the German assassination plot was handled ineptly by the conspirators, Italian security measures appear to have been hardly more competent. Nathan noted that 'it would seem to be greatly to the interest of the Italian government to stop any such [Indian) traffic, since, as they know, one of the plots in which the Indian party in Berlin and Switzerland is concerned has been directed against high personages in Italy'. Nathan himself was by this time very impressed with the destructive capabilities of the Indo-German plotters. In a letter dated 4 December 1915 he informed Rowland Sperling of the Foreign Office that recent attempts to blow up the Turin arsenal and the railway tunnel of the Turin-Paris line were probably connected with their activity.51

On 1 December 1915 Sir Rennell Rodd, the British Ambassador at Rome, reported that 'an informer paid by India' had produced evidence which resulted in the arrest in Italy of 'three British subjects'.52 This is the first reference to direct British secret service activity in Italy in connection with the Indian plot. A senior Indian officer was only stationed in Italy in January 1916. On 31 January 1916 Nathan wrote that Major Gabriel , an officer of the Indian Civil Service who was home on leave, had been appointed to the British Military Mission in Rome.53 Gabriel advised the Italian government on the security measures which it finally undertook at this time against Indian suspects.54

At the same time that the plot in Italy was developing, in March 1915, the German and Indian plotters sent out a mission to the Suez Canal with the task of distributing seditious leaflets among Indian soldiers there. The mission included Tarak Nath Das and Tirumal Acharya. The British knew, after the event, that Das reached Constantinople at the end of 1915, and that by March 1916 he was back in Zurich.55 Yet the plan to subvert the loyalty of Indian troops in Egypt never materialized. At the beginning of September 1915 the Intelligence Department of the Egyptian War Office found copies of 'various Indian proclamations' in the Canal, which they assumed had been left by 'enemy individuals coming across the Sinai Peninsula'. No more than this was discovered about the German-Indian plot in Egypt. There was little more to learn, since the Indians called off their propaganda campaign almost as soon as it started. They had soon lost spirit when they realized that the call for the establishment of an Islamic state in India contained in their pamphlets was likely to have little appeal to the largely Hindu garrison of Egypt.56

Basil Thomson admitted that the British only came into possession of 'very definite evidence ... of the extent of the German- Indian conspiracy' in October 1915.57 In that month the London Special Branch arrested an Indian named Harish Chandra who had recently returned from America. Thomson recorded that on 23 October 1915 his 'long investigations' with Nathan into the Indian assassination plot culminated with Harish Chandra's confession , which took four hours to record in shorthand.58 Harish Chandra gave full details of the formation of the 'Indian National Party' in Berlin. The Indians' initial plans had been to subvert the loyalty of Indian POWs and to conduct a propaganda campaign from Berlin. The Germans looked down on them until the arrival of Mahendra Pratap together with his secretary, Harish Chandra. The details of Mahendra Pratap's mission have been given in Chapter 7. Were it not for Harish Chandra's confession the British might not even have known its existence. Though a failure, it was potentially the most dangerous of the German-Indian plots based in Europe. Harish Chandra gave further reliable information that at least two other missions had been sent off -- one to Japan and one to Singapore and also gave some information about the activities of the Ghadr Party in California.59

Despite his impeccable revolutionary credentials -- his father was the founder of a school devoted to educate the youth of India on purely Hindu lines -- Thomson and Nathan persuaded Harish Chandra to work for them as a secret agent.60 In December 1915 he arrived in Switzerland posing as the secretary to a (genuine) Prince who had recently been in England. The revolutionaries freely gave him details of German-Indian plots which Nathan and Thomson found that other sources confirmed.

In January 1916 Harish Chandra's mission in Switzerland was complete and he was examined by Major Wallinger. Chandra provided numerous addresses of Indians sympathetic to, or aiding Germany; the British were already familiar with some of them.61 Chandra provided a list of members of the Indian revolutionary committee at Berlin and gave details of the German secret service in French Switzerland. The importance of the link between Switzerland and unrest in the British Empire in the minds of the Germans was obvious. According to Harish Chandra, two of the most important German agents there were primarily concerned with Eastern affairs. The man 'in charge of the espionage arrangements in French Switzerland', Jacoby, had been in Persia for some years and had been ordered to watch Orientals visiting Switzerland, particularly Persians and Egyptians. Harish Chandra claimed that the Germans were 'anxious to find some person of rank who will proclaim a revolution in India'. In dealing with Egyptians Jacoby employed an Irishman married to a German who had served in the British Army in Egypt.62 On leaving Switzerland Harish Chandra received from the German Consul at Geneva a typewritten plan for a military rising in India led by German officers.63

In May 1916 Harish Chandra carried out a second mission in Switzerland. By this date not only had the German-Indian plans for assassination in Europe and for a rising in Afghanistan failed, but also ambitious schemes to cause mutiny in Burma and to supply arms to the revolutionaries of Bengal had fallen through completely. But Harish Chandra provided evidence that the Indian Committee in Berlin still had some support from the German government. The Indian revolutionaries in Switzerland gave him two glass tubes which he was to carry into India. The first tube contained a letter from the Kaiser to the Indian Princes; and the second contained a summary of the Berlin Indian Committee's aims. This document showed that the Germans were now concentrating on a vain project of inciting the Indian Buddhists. By the end of 1916 at the latest the London interdepartmental committee which dealt with German-Indian plots had concluded that it would be rash to disregard these schemes altogether, and that the best policy was to encourage the Germans to waste as much money as possible upon them for , given a minimum degree of vigilance, they now had no chance whatsoever of success.64

Harish Chandra was not the only Indian agent whom the British successfully used in Switzerland in 1916. In correspondence relating to the assassination plot of 1915 seized by the British censor there were many references to an Indian named Thakur Jessrajsinghji Sessodia. He had already come to the notice of the DCI in 1911 when he started a short-lived nationalist paper, The Rajput Herald in London. He had never been influential with Indian nationalists, who, none the less had propitiated him because he was related to Rajput noble families.65 When, at the beginning of October 1915, Nathan and Thomson interrogated Sessodia about the assassination plot, they found him to be 'a good-humoured-looking person with easy manners'. But on searching his room the police found 'letters addressed to notorious rebels and fomenters of assassination'. Sessodia admitted that his sympathies lay with the Indian nationalists; but that he was only 'coquetting' with the revolutionaries. He truthfully pointed out to Thomson that he had already given some details of the Indian plot to the India Office; Thomson encouraged him to become a British agent and released him.66 According to Thomson he soon 'succumbed' and was put 'on our regular pay list'.67

On 3 August 1916 Sessodia was sent to Switzerland, styling himself, to his great satisfaction, 'His Highness Prince Jessrajsinghji Sessodia of Jodhpur, Marwar' in order to attract the Germans.68 He returned from Switzerland at the end of October 1916 with information which confirmed the impression created by Harish Chandra's second mission that the German-Indian plots were no longer dangerous. The Germans instructed Sessodia to arrange by now fantastic plans for a native rising involving the landing of German armies on the west coast of India.69

Despite the success of his mission Sessodia's career in British intelligence was short. On 16 November 1916 Thomson entered in his diary that he had finished with him because he had shown himself to be 'leaky' by asking the Indian Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council for letters of introduction to Indian Rajahs in order to carry out the tasks which the Germans had set him.70

Not all the operations of Indian intelligence in Switzerland were successful. At the end of 1915 Thomson and Nathan encouraged a plan the boldness of which was matched only by that of the Indian conspirators themselves. Donald Gullick was a 24-year-old marine engineer suffering from a serious illness which led him to believe that he had only a few months to live. He had met Anna Brandt, the German mistress of the Indian nationalist Dube, in a sanatorium and had fallen in love with her. He proposed to Thomson 'a daring scheme for the capture of Chattopadhyaya by luring him into France, on the understanding that, if he was captured, Anna would be set at liberty'. Gullick impressed Thomson, as being 'resolute and powerful'. He was therefore allowed to proceed with his plan.71 Gullick succeeded in getting Chattopadbyaya to come to Berne. Anna Brandt had mentioned Gullick in her correspondence with Chattopadhyaya who, according to Gullick, trusted him. Thomson claimed that 'Chattopadhya was quite ready to cross the French frontier, but just as they came to details, Swiss detectives ran up and arrested them both on a charge of espionage.'72

Despite their early failure to keep pace with Indian plots in Europe, Nathan and J.A. Wallinger succeeded remarkably well in their surveillance of Indian revolutionaries in Europe during the critical period between late 1915 and early 1916. However, by the middle of 1915 John Wallinger's work for Military Intelligence was in disarray after the arrest of most of his European agents by the Swiss police. The Secret Service had fared little better in Switzerland. Wallinger tried to re-establish his network, recruiting among others, the writer Somerset Maugham. However, at the end of May 1916 his Swiss operations were again, according to Kirke, the head of the Intelligence Section at GHQ, close to collapse. Kirke concluded that 'JAW's show so far as we are concerned is a waste of money...' John Wallinger later tried to develop contacts with Germany through Denmark and Holland, which Kirke dismissed in turn as respectively a total failure and 'poaching' on his younger brother Ernest's territory. On 28 July 1916 Kirke recorded in his diary the 'parting of the ways with Wallinger.'73

Yet there is no evidence that Wallinger ever lost the respect of the Indian DCI and Home Department. There is little doubt that he operated primarily as an Indian officer. He continued to be seen as the mouthpiece of the DCI on the interdepartmental committee throughout the war. The main successes of Indian intelligence in Europe during the First World War -- the capture of Harish Chandra and of Sessodia -- owed something to chance, but far more to the knowledge of the Indian revolutionary movement and of its activities in Switzerland, which Indian intelligence had acquired since John Wallinger first arrived in Europe at the beginning of 1910.

It remains unclear whether J.A. Wallinger's failed agent networks in Switzerland, which he ran for Kirke, constituted the main part of his work. It is probable that they did not, and that John Wallinger was largely responsible for Indian operations in Switzerland. This would account for the presence of three British networks in Switzerland.74 There is no evidence that any Asian agent in british employ was ever captured by the Swiss or by the enemy. Dr. Parodi was still working for the British at the end of the war, while in 1917 Harish Chandra was sent on a successful mission to the United States, where he was put in charge of an enquiry into the revolutionary party's finances. In January 1917 Wallinger claimed that the British had also had recent success in sending agents into Germany from America.75

Wallinger did not cease to perform the duties of military intelligence after his 'parting of ways' with Kirke in Juyly 1916. His operations seem to have been placed under the control of Mansfield Cumming and the Secret Service on 1 August 1916. He was still working in Cumming's office at the end of 1917, training an officer to go into Switzerland.76

In 1917 and 1918 Austen Chamberlain, the Secretary of State for India, sent John Wallinger letters of thanks and appreciation. His operations in Switzerland continued to be important, since the activities of Egyptian nationalists there grew in importance in 1919, when serious civil unrest broke out in Egypt and when Switzerland became the scene of the negotiations which ended the Ottoman Empire. In 1919 Wallinger was placed on special duty in connection with the Egyptian political situation in addition to his own duties. Even then he did not have direct contact with all the agencies dedicated to the control of Egyptian unrest.77 By 1919 Wallinger had so much experience of Eastern nationalism in Europe that the Government of India no longer thought of replacing him. He remained the head of Indian intelligence in Europe until he retired in 1926.78



1. See, generally, C.M. Andrew, Secret Service (London: Heinemann, 1985), Ch 2.

2. Curriculum vitae of Sir John Wallinger kindly given to me by his great-nephew, Mr J.D.A. Wallinger.

3. See Andrew, op. cit., pp. 146-7. The Wallingers' sister's diary shows that 25 meetings took place between them in the first eight months of 1915. This information was kindly supplied by Mr J.D.A. Wallinger.

4. In December 1915 John Wallinger's address was 'Intelligence anglaise, 31 Boulevard des Invalides, Paris'. In 1916 it was c/o Cassia, 282 Boulevard St Germain.

5. Note signed 'A.L.', dated 25 May 1916, in Correspondence on the subject of Hector R. Kothavala, Deputy Superintendent, Bombay Presidency, to the Straits Settlements Government. HDB: Nov. 1916, nos. 389-406, in IOLR IOR.POS.10511.

6. Basil Thomson, The Scene Changes, (London: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1939), p. 260.

7. Letter from C.R. Cleveland to Home Department, dated 29 October 1915, in Sedition in the Far East. Proposed deputation of Mr Petrie, Superintendent of Police, Punjab and Criminal Investigation Department, as Indian Intelligence Officer in the Far East. HDA: Feb. 1916, nos. 496-514, in IOLR IOR.POS.7296.

8. Likewise, when an Indian intelligence system was re-established in North America in 1916 it officially formed part of Mansfield Cumming's operations, although all concerned  recognized that its operations were directed by the India Office.

9. Demi-official letter from M.C. Seton to Sir Charles Cleveland, dated 6 November 1914, in Extension of the deputation of Mr. Wallinger in Europe for one year from 1st April 1915, and decision that he shall be paid a fixed salary during that period instead of pay according to the next below rule. HDA: March 1915, nos. 14-16, IOLR IOR.POS.7151.

10. On the termination of his mission to London, the Government of India had hoped to send Wallinger 'abroad to examine the position and to draw up considered proposals for the future'. Note by C.R. Cleveland, dated 2 June 1915. HDA: Nov. 1915, nos. 88-92, in IOLR IOR.POS.7295.

11. Ibid. Telegram from Secretary of State to Viceroy, 19 Aug. 1915.

12. Ibid. Note by C.R. Cleveland dated 11 Oct. 1915.

13. The Judicial and Public: Department was the India Office's department which corresponded to the Home Department of the Government of India. It was, therefore, concerned with the Indian police and with the domestic and foreign intelligence operations of the DCI. The designation of the Political and Secret Department has misled historians into believing that it was India's secret service. In fact it dealt with the Government of India's foreign affairs and corresponded to the Foreign and Political Department of the Government of India. It was largely concerned with the Indian Princes and with the Persian Gulf, since India's relations with most parts of the world were handled by the Foreign and Colonial Offices.

14. Note by Secretary, Judicial and Public Department, on Interdepartmental Conference held at the India Office on 10 March 1916. Deputation of Mr. D. Petrie as Intelligece Officer for the Far East in connection with Indian sedition. HDA: June 1916, nos. 285-95, IOLR IOR.POS.7297. Much of the information at the disposal of the interdepartmental committee has been preserved in Foreign Office Series 371, 'Hindu Agitations'. Reports from the Secret Service in this compilation are notably absent.

15. Andrew, op. cit., p. 174.

16. PRO WO9944 A-3.

17. See Ch. 4.

18. Letter from Harcourt Butler to Hardinge, dated 30 January 1914 in CUL Hardinge Papers, India: Original Correspondence, VII i, Vol. 60.

19. Andrew, op. cit., p. 193. However, the events related by Thomson in The Scene Changes and Queer People (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1922) are all confirmed by Foreign Office and Indian sources.

20. By 1939, when Thomson printed his war diary in The Scene Changes, Nathan had been dead for over ten years. This may have encouraged Thomson to refer to a man who had served not only in M15, but also as head of the political branch of the Secret Service.

21. The cavalry divisions remained. serving on the Western Front throughout the war. Boris Mollo, The Indian Army, (Poole: Blandford Press, 1981), Ch. 5, 'Kitchener's Army, 1903- 1922'.

22. Rozina Visram, Ayahs, Lascars and Princes (London: Pluto Press, 1986), quoting E.B. Howell's report dated 23 January 1915, L/Mil/5/825, part I, ff. 1-185, extracts from censored mails.

23. Weekly Report of the Director of Criminal Intelligence (henceforth 'Weekly Report.' ), 3 Nov. 1914. HDB: Dec. 1914, nos. 223-6, in IOLR IOR.POS.

24. Ibid. Weekly Report, 17 Nov. 1914.

25. Weekly Report, 1 Dec. 1914. HDB: Dec. 1914, nos. 227- 9, IORL IOR.POS.9837.

26. Ibid. Weekly Report, 8 Dec. 1914.

27. Letter from Bertie to Grey, 31 July 1915, in PRO F0371 2494 (104416). Minute Paper on letter from India Office, 5Aug. 1915, in PRO FO371 2494 (107584).

28. Letter from Bertie to Foreign Office, 28 Oct. 1914. in FO115 1907, no. 2.

29. Suspects were to be handed over to the local French civil authorities, who, in turn, were to hand over the suspect to the British military authorities for deportation. Letter from Cambon to Bertie, 28 Jan. 1916, in PRO FO371 2784 (20898).

30. Weekly Report, 15 Sept. 1914. HDB: Dec. 1914, nos. 216-17 in IOLR IOR.POS.9837.

31. Weekly Report, 29 Sept. 1914. HDA: Dec. 1914 in IOLR IOR.POS.9837.

32. Weekly Report, 20 Oct. 1914. HDB: Dec. 1914, nos. 218- 22. IOLR IOR.POS.9837.

33. This meeting with the German Consul was reported in the Weekly Report, 20 Oct. 1914. HDB: Dec. 1914, nos. 218-22 in IOLR IOR.POS.9837. 

34. James Campbell Ker, Political Trouble In India, 1907- 1917 (Reprint, Calcutta: Editions Indian, 1973), p.241.

35. Ibid., pp. 265-6.

36. Ibid., p. 244. Weekly Report, June 1915. HDB: June 549-52,in IOLR IOR.POS.9840.

37. Ibid., Weekly Report, 22 June 1915.

38.Weekly Report, 27 July 1915. HDB: July1915, nos. 516-17 in IOLR IOR.POS.9840.

39. Letter from Seton to Sperling, 24 January 1917. PRO FO371/3064 (19618).

40. Parodi reported to the Consul at Geneva, who in turn reported to Berne. The British Embassy then sent on Parodi's reports to the Foreign Office. It is not clear whether Parodi had been recruited by John Wallinger or whether he had been sent out from Cairo by the Arab Bureau.

41. Letter from Evelyn Grant Duff, Berne, to Foreign Office, 28 Nov. 1914, in PRO FO115/1908, no. 3.

42. Weekly Report, 26 Sept. 1911. HDB: Oct. 1911, nos. 46-9 in IOLR IOR.POS.8972.

43. Telegram from Spring Rice to Foreign Office, dated 29 July 1915, in PRO FO371 2494 (103905).

44. Weekly Report, 21 Dec. 1915. HDB: Dec. 1915, nos. 709-11 in IOLR IOR.POS.9841.

45; Weekly Report, 2 Nov. 1915.

46. Thomson, Queer People, (op. cit.), pp. 98-9. The Scene Changes, op. cit., pp. 250-2.

47. Queer People, op. cit., p. 99.

48. Ibid., p.98-9.

49. Weekly Report, 29 June 1915. HDB: July 1915, no. 520 in IOLR IOR.POS. 9840.

50. Ker, op. cit., p. 247. Weekly Report, 17 Aug. 1915. HDB: Aug. 1915, nos. 552-6 in IOLR IOR.POS.9840.

51. Letters from Nathan, MO5g/2, to Sperling, 29 Nov. and 4 Dec. 1915, in PRO FO371/ 2497 (181824).

52. Telegram from Sir Rennell Rodd, Rome, to Foreign Office, 1 Dec; 1915, in FO371/ 2497 (182672).

53. Letter from Nathan to Lyons, 31 Jan. 1916, in PRO FO371 2784 (17918).

54. He was still working in Rome at the end of the year. Letter from Rodd, Rome, to Foreign Office, in PRO FO371 2789 (191539). The Italian government only gave instructions for the careful examination of all Indians landing in Italy in January 1916. They excused their lack of action by referring to the state of Italian law, which did not allow police measures to be taken against whole categories of people, only against individuals. For this reason no round-up of Austrian and German citizens took place in Italy at the start of the war. 'Indians landing in Italy. Intimation, that the Foreign Office have asked the Ambassador at Rome to deport to England all Indians landing in Italy, or failing that to intimate their names, keep them under observation, and prevent them crossing to Switzerland'. HD(A): Feb. 1916 ,nos.430-8 in IOLR IOR.POS.9841

55. Ker, op. cit., p. 247. Weekly Report, 21 Dec. 1915. HDB: Dec. 1915, nos. 709-11 in IOLR IOR.POS.9841.

56. Intelligence in the Arab world was not a major concern of the Department of Criminal Intelligence. However, the Political and Secret Department noted that Private Cholmeley had sailed on 10 September to Jeddah where he was to serve as Criminal Investigation Department Officer, watching Indian pilgrims. There he served under Lieutenant Colonel C.E. Wilson, who reported to the Arab Bureau in Cairo. Telegram from the Viceroy, Foreign Department, to Cairo, 21 Sept. 1916, in PRO FO371 2789 (192896). In November 1916 Sub-Inspector Shaikh of the Bombay CID was working for Wilson in Mecca. Letter from C.R Wilson, Jeddah, to the Director, Arab Bureau, 11 Nov. 1916, in PRO FO371 2790 (242004).

57. Queer People, op. cit., p.100.

58. The Scene Changes, op. cit., pp. 250-1.

59. Ibid., pp. 250-2.

60. Ker, op. cit., p. 245.

61. Most notably Vincent Kraft, Germany's chief secret agent in the Far East, who was now working for the Singapore authorities.

62. Gifford is the model for the traitor Grantley Caypor in Somerset Maugham's Ashenden Stories.

63. The Scene Changes, op. cit. pp. 260-1. 'Memorandum of information obtained by an Indian during a recent visit to Switzerland', Jan. 1916, in Straits Settlements Correspondence, PRO CO273 450.

64. Letter from Wallinger to Cleveland, dated 29 June 1918. Wallinger wrote that 'the policy of allowing German schemes to develop in channels over which the British can exercise a surveillance in preference to forcing them by preventive action into unknown channels has been generally accepted here by experts with the most intimate knowledge of German workings. If we stop the Germans from spending thousands of pounds on wild-cat schemes for stirring up trouble in India which are so hare-brained as to be almost impossible of success, and can in any case be supervised by us, the time, energy and money which they undoubtedly do spend at present in this fashion will be diverted onto schemes and into channels of which we would be completely in ignorance, and which might ultimately prove a far greater danger to the Empire as a whole than all their present machinations can ever be'.

65. Weekly Report, 26 May 1914. HDB: June 1914, nos. 142-5 in IOLR IOR.POS.9837.

66. The Scene Changes, op. cit., pp. 248-9, p. 305.

67. Scotland Yard gave him the codename 'Mr Jones' by Scotland Yard. Ibid., pp. 248-9, 304-5.

68. Ibid., p. 305. The first person whose attention he attracted was the British Military Attache at Berne, who placed an informant with him. Telegram from Lieutenant Colonel W. Wyndham, Military Attache, to Sir Horace Rumbold, Berne, 10 Oct. 1916, in PRO FO371 2789 (206530).

69. The Scene Changes, op. cit., pp.309-10.

70. The Scene Changes, op. cit., p. 310.

71. The Scene Changes, op. cit., pp. 257-8, Thomson did not reveal how Gullick proposed to entice Virendranath Chattopadhyaya onto French soil. In his short story Giulia Lazzari Somerset Maugham tells how Ashenden tried to get a fictitious Indian revolutionary leader named Chandra Lal into France, by using the latter's ex-mistress as the bait. There is no evidence that Gullick brought Hilda Howsin, the daughter of the Yorkshire doctor, with him to Switzerland, though it seems that she had been one of Chattopadhyaya's many lovers. Giulia Lazzari itself is a combination of the Mata Hari story with that of Gullick.

72. The Scene Changes, op. cit., pp. 257-8. Weekly Report, 23 Jan. 1916. Gullick's plan apparently did not lack inspiration for in May 1916 Thomson urged him to return to Switzerland, in another effort to capture Chattopadhyaya, even though the latter informed the Daily Mail that Thomson made him go to Germany against his will. The Scene Changes, op. cit., p. 288.

73. Andrew, op. cit., pp. 148-53.

74. Admittedly a similar overlapping of the jurisdictions of British intelligence networks existed in the Low Countries, where there was no Indian revolutionary activity. Interestingly of the four surviving Ashenden Stories which relate to events in Western Europe during the War, three deal either in their subject matter or in their source material, with Eastern nationalists. Miss King is about the Egyptians; the character Chandra Lal in Giulia Lazzari is clearly Virendranath Chattopadhyaya; and The Traitor is based on the life of Gifford, the Germans' Egyptian expert at Lausanne.

75. Copy of a note by Major J.A. Wallinger, 2 Jan. 1917, in PRO FO371 3063 (263555/A/16).

76. This paragraph is based on references from the Kirke Diary given to me by Dr Nicholas Hiley of New Hall College, Cambridge.

77. On 24 July 1919 Wallinger sent Cleveland a long memorandum entitled 'The Nearer East and the British Empire'. He was not sure who the author was, though he believed him to be 'an officer specially deputed by General Headquarters, Constantinople, to report on the situation in Switzerland.' Defensive Measures Proposed for Dealing with Bolshevism, HDA: Dec. 1919, nos. 1-7, IOR.POS.8622.

Curriculum Vitae of Sir John Wallinger, op. cit. Vickery left on an important mission to America in 1919 and was replaced by Major Pritchard, a Superintendent of the Indian Police Employment of Mr Newby vice Mr Vickery, pending Major P.A.R. Pritchard's assumption of the office. HDB: July 1919, nos. 122-32 & K.W., IOLR IOR.POS.10516.
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Mansfield Smith-Cumming
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Accessed: 5/12/21

Sir Mansfield Smith-Cumming
Born: Mansfield George Smith, 1 April 1859, Lee, Kent, England
Died: 14 June 1923 (aged 64), Kensington, London, England[1]
Nationality: British
Spouse(s): Leslie Valiant-Cumming ​(m. 1889)​
Awards: Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George; Companion of the Order of the Bath; Order of St Stanislas (Russia); India General Service Medal (with Perak clasp)[2]; Egypt Medal; British War Medal; Officer of the Legion of Honour (France); Khedive's Star; Order of St Vladimir (Russia)
Espionage activity
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Service branch: Royal Navy; SIS (MI6)
Service years: 1878–1909 (Royal Navy); 1909–1923 (SIS)
Rank: Captain
Head: of the SIS
Operations: World War I

Sir Mansfield George Smith-Cumming KCMG CB (1 April 1859[3] – 14 June 1923) was a British naval officer and the first director of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).


He was a great-great grandson of the prominent merchant John Smith, a director of both the South Sea Company and the East India Company, the second son of Abel Smith (d. 1756), the Nottingham banker who founded a banking dynasty and whose business much later became National Westminster Bank, now one of the largest banks in the UK.[4]

Early naval career

Smith joined the Royal Navy and underwent training at Dartmouth from the age of twelve and was appointed acting sub-lieutenant in 1878. He was posted to HMS Bellerophon in 1877, and for the next seven years served in operations against Malay pirates (during 1875–6) and in Egypt in 1883. However, he increasingly suffered from seasickness, and in 1885 was placed on the retired list as "unfit for service". Prior to being appointed to run the Secret Service Bureau (SSB), he was working on boom defences in Bursledon on the River Hamble.[5]

He added the surname Cumming after his marriage in 1889 to Leslie Marian Valiant-Cumming, heiress of Logie near Forres in the County of Moray.[6]

Head of the SIS


In 1909, Major (later Colonel Sir) Vernon Kell became director of the new Secret Intelligence Bureau (SIB) and created as a response to growing public opinion that all Germans living in England were spies. In 1911, the various security organizations were re-organised under the SIB, Kell's division becoming the Home Section, and Cumming's becoming the new Foreign Section (Secret Service Bureau), responsible for all operations outside Britain. Over the next few years he became known as 'C', after his habit of sometimes signing himself with a C eventually written in green ink. That habit became a custom for later directors, although the C now stands for "Chief". Ian Fleming took these aspects for his "M" from the James Bond novels.[7]

In 1914, he was involved in a serious road accident in France in which his son was killed. Legend has it that to escape the car wreck he was forced to amputate his own leg using a pen knife. Hospital records have shown, however, that while both his legs were broken, his left foot was amputated only the day after the accident. Later he often told all sorts of fantastic stories as to how he lost his leg and would shock people by interrupting meetings in his office by suddenly stabbing his artificial leg with a knife, letter opener or fountain pen.[8]

Budgets were severely limited prior to World War I, and Cumming came to rely heavily on Sidney Reilly (aka the Ace of Spies), a secret agent of dubious veracity based in Saint Petersburg.[9]

World War I

At the outbreak of war he was able to work with Vernon Kell and Sir Basil Thomson of the Special Branch to arrest twenty-two German spies in England. Eleven were executed, as was Sir Roger Casement, found guilty of treason in 1916. During the war, the offices were renamed. The Home Section became MI5 or Security Service, while Cumming's Foreign Section became MI6 or the Secret Intelligence Service. Agents who worked for MI6 during the war included Augustus Agar, Paul Dukes, John Buchan, Compton Mackenzie and W. Somerset Maugham.[10]

When SSB discovered that semen made a good invisible ink, his agents adopted the motto "Every man his own stylo". However, the use of semen as invisible ink was ceased because of the smell it produced for the eventual receiver. It also raised questions over the masturbatory habits of the agents.[7][11]


See also: Irish War of Independence

The Government Committee on Intelligence decided to slash Kell's budget and staff and to subordinate MI5 under a new Home Office Civil Intelligence Directorate led by Special Branch's Sir Basil Thomson in January 1919. The powerful partnership of MI5 and Special Branch had managed counterintelligence and subversives during the war, but that was suddenly thrown into disarray. These bureaucratic intrigues happened at the very moment when the Irish abstentionist party Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Army (IRA) were launching their own independence campaign.[12]

Cumming and SIS (then MI1(c)) organized a new espionage unit in Ireland in mid-1920 called the Dublin District Special Branch. It consisted of some 20 line officers drawn from the regular army and trained by Cumming's department in London. Cumming also began importing some of his own veteran case officers into Ireland from Egypt, Palestine, and India, while Basil Thomson organized a special unit consisting of 60 Irish street agents managed by communications from Scotland Yard in London.[13]

On Sunday, 21 November 1920, the Headquarters Intelligence Staff of the IRA and its special Counterintelligence Branch under the leadership of Michael Collins assassinated 14 of Cumming's case officers. Many agents appear to have escaped the IRA execution squads that morning, but Whitehall feared that more of its professional agents would be identified and suffer the same fate; this prompted the hasty withdrawal of most of the remaining SIS agents from Ireland in the days that followed.[14] A blue plaque was unveiled on 30 March 2015 in Cumming's name at the SIS headquarters at 2 Whitehall Court.[15]

English Heritage Blue Plaque at 2 Whitehall Court, London SW1A 2EJ

Portrayal in popular culture

• Cumming was the basis for the fictional head of the SIS, named Control, in the John le Carré espionage novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and other novels. In the movie version of le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Control signs his name as 'C' using green ink, as Cumming did in real life.[16]
• Cumming was also the basis for the fictional head of SIS in the original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming. Fleming chose to name his chief 'M' from Cumming's first name, Mansfield.[7]
• In the television series Reilly, Ace of Spies, he was portrayed by Norman Rodway.[17]
• He was portrayed by Joss Ackland in the BBC1 TV series Ashenden in 1991.[18]
• He was mentioned in the Comedy Central television satire-newscast, Colbert Report 11 October 2010.[19]

See also

• Vernon Kell
• Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart
• Sidney Reilly
• Boris Savinkov
• William Melville
• Charles Cumming


1. "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
2. "The Perak War 1875–1876". Retrieved 23 December 2016.
3. Judd, Alan (1999). The quest for C : Sir Mansfield Cumming and the founding of the British Secret Service. London: HarperCollins. p. 3. ISBN 0-00-255901-3. OCLC 42215120.
4. J. Leighton Boyce, Smith's the Bankers 1658–1958 (1958).
5. West 2006, p. 312
6. "Dictionary of National Biography". Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press. 1995. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
7. Piers Brendon. "The spymaster who was stranger than fiction". The Independent. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
8. QI, BBC One, Season 3, episode 10
9. Spence 2002, pp. 172-173, 185-186.
10. Popplewell 1995, p. 230.
11. Kristie Macrakis (2014). Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to Al-Qaeda. Yale University Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-300-17925-5.
12. Cottrell, p. 28.
13. McMahon, p.39
14. Dolan, pp. 798-802
15. Norton-Taylor, Richard (31 March 2015). "Sir Mansfield Cumming, first MI6 chief, commemorated with blue plaque". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
16. "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: John Le Carre and reality". BBC. 11 September 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
17. Reilly: Ace of Spies at IMDb
18. Ashenden at IMDb
19. "The Colbert Report - Series | Comedy Central Official Site |". 14 March 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.


• Andrew, C: Secret service: the making of the British intelligence community; 1985
• Cottrell, Peter, The Anglo-Irish War The Troubles of 1913-1922, London: Osprey, 2006
• Dolan, Anne: Killing and Bloody Sunday, 1920, The Historical Journal, September 2006, Volume 49, Issue 3.
• Ferguson, Harry : Operation Kronstadt: The True Story of Honor, Espionage, and the Rescue of Britain's Greatest Spy, the Man with a Hundred Faces ; 2010
• Hiley, N: The failure of British espionage against Germany, 1907–1914, HJ, 26 (1983), 867–89
• Jeffery, Keith: The Secret History of MI6, Penguin Press, 2010
• Judd, Alan: The Quest For C – Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the Secret Service, HarperCollinsPublishers, 1999, ISBN 0-00-255901-3
• McMahon, Paul (2011). British Spies and Irish Rebels: British Intelligence and Ireland, 1916-1945. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1843836568.
• Milton, Giles: Russian Roulette: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot, Sceptre, 2013. ISBN 978 1 444 73702 8
• Popplewell, Richard J. (1995). Intelligence and Imperial Defence: British Intelligence and the Defence of the Indian Empire 1904–1924. Routledge. ISBN 0-7146-4580-X..
• Smith, Michael: SIX: The Real James Bonds, 1909–1939, Biteback, 2011. ISBN 978-1-84954-097-1
• Spence, Richard B. (2002). Trust No One: The Secret World of Sidney Reilly. Feral House. ISBN 978-0-922915-79-8.
• West, N: MI5 London: Prendeville Publishers, 1972.
• West, N: Historical Dictionary of International Intelligence, Scarecrow, 2006, ISBN 978-0810855786
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Shivaji [Chhatrapati Shivaji ]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 5/13/21

Shivaji I
Haindava Dharmodhhaarak[2]
Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire
Shivaji's portrait (1680s) in the British Library
1st Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire
Reign: 1674–1680
Coronation: 6 June 1674 (first); 24 September 1674 (second)
Successor: Sambhaji
Born: 19 February 1630, Shivneri Fort, Shivneri, Ahmadnagar Sultanate (present-day Maharashtra, India)
Died: 3 April 1680 (aged 50), Raigad Fort, Raigad, Maratha Empire (present-day Maharashtra, India)
Spouse: Sai Bhonsale; Soyarabai; Putalabai; Sakvarbai; Kashibai Jadhav[3]
Issue: Sakhubai Nimbalkar[4]; Ranubai Jadhav; Ambikabai Mahadik; Sambhaji; Rajaram; Rajkumaribai Shirke
House: Bhonsle
Father: Shahaji
Mother: Jijabai
Religion: Hinduism

Shivaji Bhonsale I (Marathi: शिवाजी भोसले; Marathi pronunciation: [ʃiʋaˑɟiˑ bʱoˑs(ə)leˑ]; c. 1627 / February 19, 1630 – April 3, 1680[5]), also referred to as Chhatrapati Shivaji, was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out an enclave from the declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed the genesis of the Maratha Empire. In 1674, he was formally crowned the Chhatrapati (emperor) of his realm at Raigad.

Over the course of his life, Shivaji engaged in both alliances and hostilities with the Mughal Empire, the Sultanate of Golkonda and the Sultanate of Bijapur, as well as with European colonial powers. Shivaji's military forces expanded the Maratha sphere of influence, capturing and building forts, and forming a Maratha navy. Shivaji established a competent and progressive civil rule with well-structured administrative organisations. He revived ancient Hindu political traditions and court conventions and promoted the usage of the Marathi language.

Shivaji's legacy was to vary by observer and time, but nearly two centuries after his death, he began to take on increased importance with the emergence of the Indian independence movement, as many Indian nationalists elevated him as a proto-nationalist and hero of the Hindus.[6]


See also: Bhonsle § origin

Shivaji was born in family of Bhonsle, a Maratha clan.[7] Shivaji's paternal grandfather Maloji (1552–1597) was an influential general of Ahmadnagar Sultanate, and was awarded the epithet of "Raja".

The Ahmadnagar Sultanate was a late medieval Indian kingdom located in the northwestern Deccan, between the sultanates of Gujarat and Bijapur. Malik Ahmad, the Bahmani governor of Junnar after defeating the Bahmani army led by general Jahangir Khan on 28 May 1490 declared independence and established the Nizam Shahi dynasty rule over the sultanate of Ahmednagar. Initially his capital was in the town of Junnar with its fort, later renamed Shivneri. In 1494, the foundation was laid for the new capital Ahmadnagar. In 1636 Aurangzeb, then Mugal viceroy of Deccan, finally annexed the sultanate to the Mughal Empire.

-- Ahmadnagar Sultanate, by Wikipedia

He was given deshmukhi rights of Pune, Supe, Chakan and Indapur for military expenses.

Deshmukh (Dēśamukh), (Marathi: देशमुख, Kannada: ದೇಶ್ಮುಖ್, Telugu: దేశముఖ్) is a historical title conferred to the rulers of a Dēśamukhi. It is used as a surname in certain regions of India, specifically in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh whose family received it as a title.

In Sanskrit, Desh means land, country and mukh means head or chief; thus, deshmukh means "the head" of a district.

Deshmukh was a historical title given to a person who was granted a territory of land, in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The granted territory was usually referred to as the Dēśamukhi. The Deshmukh was in effect the ruler of the territory, as he was entitled to a portion of the collected taxes. It was also his duty to maintain the basic services in the territory, such as police and judicial duties. It was typically a hereditary system. The title of Deshmukh provided the titled family with revenues from the area and the responsibilities to keep the orders...

It was similar in many respects to the Zamindar and Jagir systems in India, and can be considered as a feudal system. Typically taxes collected were to be distributed fairly, and occasionally Deshmukhs participated in Vedic rituals in which they redistributed all material possessions to the people. However, the title Deshmukh should not be associated to a particular religion or caste. Deshmukhis were granted by the Deccan sultanates, Mughal emperors, Nizams of Hyderabad and other Muslim rulers and by Maratha emperors (Chhatrapatis) to Deshastha Brahmins, Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhus, Chitpavan Brahmins, Marathas, Lingayats, Reddys, Jains and Muslims.

-- Deshmukh, by Wikipedia

He was also given Fort Shivneri for his family's residence (c. 1590).[/b][8][9]

Early life

Main article: Early life of Shivaji

Shivneri Fort

Shivaji was born in the hill-fort of Shivneri, near the city of Junnar in what is now Pune district. Scholars disagree on his date of birth. The Government of Maharashtra lists 19 February as a holiday commemorating Shivaji's birth (Shivaji Jayanti).[a][16][17] Shivaji was named after a local deity, the goddess Shivai.[18] Shivaji's father Shahaji Bhonsle was a Maratha general who served the Deccan Sultanates.[19] His mother was Jijabai, the daughter of Lakhuji Jadhavrao of Sindhkhed, a Mughal-aligned sardar claiming descent from a Yadav royal family of Devagiri.[20][21]

At the time of Shivaji's birth, power in Deccan was shared by three Islamic sultanates: Bijapur, Ahmednagar, and Golkonda. Shahaji often changed his loyalty between the Nizamshahi of Ahmadnagar, the Adilshah of Bijapur and the Mughals, but always kept his jagir (fiefdom) at Pune and his small army.[19]

A statue of young Shivaji with Jijabai installed at the fort of Shivneri in 1960s


Shivaji was devoted to his mother Jijabai, who was deeply religious. His studies of the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, also influenced his lifelong defence of Hindu values.[22] He was deeply interested in religious teachings, and regularly sought the company of Hindu saints.[23] Shahaji, meanwhile had married a second wife, Tuka Bai from the Mohite family. Having made peace with the Mughals, ceding them six forts, he went to serve the Sultanate of Bijapur. He moved Shivaji and Jijabai from Shivneri to Pune and left them in the care of his jagir administrator, Dadoji Konddeo, who has been credited with overseeing the education and training of young Shivaji.[24]

Many of Shivaji's comrades, and later a number of his soldiers, came from the Maval region, including Yesaji Kank, Suryaji Kakade, Baji Pasalkar, Baji Prabhu Deshpande and Tanaji Malusare.[25] Shivaji traveled the hills and forests of the Sahyadri range with his Maval friends, gaining skills and familiarity with the land that would prove useful in his military career.[26] Shivaji's independent spirit and his association with the Maval youths did not sit well with Dadoji, who complained without success to Shahaji.[27]

In 1639, Shahaji was stationed at Bangalore, which was conquered from the Nayaks who had taken control after the demise of the Vijayanagara Empire. He was asked to hold and settle the area.[28] Shivaji was taken to Bangalore where he, his elder brother Sambhaji, and his half brother Ekoji I were further formally trained. He married Saibai from the prominent Nimbalkar family in 1640.[29] As early as 1645, the teenage Shivaji expressed his concept for Hindavi Swarajya (Indian self-rule), in a letter. [30][ b]

Conflict with Bijapur

In 1645, the 15-year-old Shivaji bribed or persuaded Inayat Khan, the Bijapuri commander of the Torna Fort, to hand over possession of the fort to him.[34] The Maratha Firangoji Narsala, who held the Chakan fort, professed his loyalty to Shivaji, and the fort of Kondana was acquired by bribing the Bijapuri governor.[35] On 25 July 1648, Shahaji was imprisoned by Baji Ghorpade under the orders of Bijapuri ruler Mohammed Adilshah, in a bid to contain Shivaji.[36]

According to Sarkar, Shahaji was released in 1649 after the capture of Jinji secured Adilshah's position in Karnataka. During these developments, from 1649–1655 Shivaji paused in his conquests and quietly consolidated his gains.[37] After his release, Shahaji retired from public life, and died around 1664–1665 in a hunting accident. Following his father's release, Shivaji resumed raiding, and in 1656, under controversial circumstances, killed Chandrarao More, a fellow Maratha feudatory of Bijapur, and seized the valley of Javali, near present-day Mahabaleshwar, from him.[38][39]In addition to the Bhonsale and the More families, many others including Sawant of Sawantwadi, Ghorpade of Mudhol, Nimbalkar of Phaltan, Shirke, Mane and Mohite also served Adilshahi of Bijapur, many with Deshmukhi rights. Shivaji adopted different strategies to subdue these powerful families such as marrying their daughters, dealing directly with village Patil to bypass the Deshmukhs, or fighting them. [40]

Combat with Afzal Khan

An early-20th-century painting by Sawlaram Haldankar of Shivaji fighting the Bijapuri general Afzal Khan

Adilshah was displeased at his losses to Shivaji's forces, which his vassal Shahaji disavowed. Having ended his conflict with the Mughals and having a greater ability to respond, in 1657 Adilshah sent Afzal Khan, a veteran general, to arrest Shivaji. Before engaging him, the Bijapuri forces desecrated the Tulja Bhavani Temple, holy to Shivaji's family, and the Vithoba temple at Pandharpur, a major pilgrimage site for the Hindus.[41][42][43]

Pursued by Bijapuri forces, Shivaji retreated to Pratapgad fort, where many of his colleagues pressed him to surrender.[44] The two forces found themselves at a stalemate, with Shivaji unable to break the siege, while Afzal Khan, having a powerful cavalry but lacking siege equipment, was unable to take the fort. After two months, Afzal Khan sent an envoy to Shivaji suggesting the two leaders meet in private outside the fort to parley.[45][46]

The two met in a hut at the foothills of Pratapgad fort on 10 November 1659. The arrangements had dictated that each come armed only with a sword, and attended by one follower. Shivaji, either suspecting Afzal Khan would arrest or attack him,[47][48] or secretly planning to attack himself,[49] wore armour beneath his clothes, concealed a bagh nakh (metal "tiger claw") on his left arm, and had a dagger in his right hand.[50]

Accounts vary on whether Shivaji or Afzal Khan struck the first blow:[48] Maratha chronicles accuse Afzal Khan of treachery, while Persian-language records attribute the treachery to Shivaji.[51][52] In the fight, Afzal Khan's dagger was stopped by Shivaji's armour, and Shivaji's weapons inflicted mortal wounds on the general; Shivaji then fired a cannon to signal his hidden troops to attack the Bijapuri army.[53] In the ensuing Battle of Pratapgarh fought on 10 November 1659, Shivaji's forces decisively defeated the Bijapur Sultanate's forces.[citation needed] More than 3,000 soldiers of the Bijapur army were killed and one sardar of high rank, two sons of Afzal Khan and two Maratha chiefs were taken prisoner.[54]

After the victory, a grand review was held by Shivaji below Pratapgarh. The captured enemy, both officers and men, were set free and sent back to their homes with money, food and other gifts. Marathas were rewarded accordingly.[54]

Pratapgad fort

Siege of Panhala

Having defeated the Bijapuri forces sent against him, Shivaji's army marched towards the Konkan and Kolhapur, seizing Panhala fort, and defeating Bijapuri forces sent against them under Rustam Zaman and Fazl Khan in 1659.[55] In 1660, Adilshah sent his general Siddi Jauhar to attack Shivaji's southern border, in alliance with the Mughals who planned to attack from the north. At that time, Shivaji was encamped at Panhala fort with his forces. Siddi Jauhar's army besieged Panhala in mid-1660, cutting off supply routes to the fort. During the bombardment of Panhala, Siddi Jauhar purchased grenades from the English at Rajapur to increase his efficacy, and also hired some English artillerymen to assist in his bombardment of the fort, conspicuously flying a flag used by the English. This perceived betrayal angered Shivaji, who in December would retaliate by plundering the English factory at Rajapur and capturing four of the factors, imprisoning them until mid-1663.[56]

After months of siege, Shivaji negotiated with Siddi Jauhar and handed over the fort on 22 September 1660, withdrawing to Vishalgad;[57] Shivaji retook Panhala in 1673.[citation needed]

Battle of Pavan Khind

There is some dispute over the circumstances of Shivaji's withdrawal (treaty or escape) and his destination (Ragna or Vishalgad), but the popular story details his night movement to Vishalgad and a sacrificial rear-guard action to allow him to escape.[citation needed] Per these accounts, Shivaji withdrew from Panhala by cover of night, and as he was pursued by the enemy cavalry, his Maratha sardar Baji Prabhu Deshpande of Bandal Deshmukh, along with 300 soldiers, volunteered to fight to the death to hold back the enemy at Ghod Khind ("horse ravine") to give Shivaji and the rest of the army a chance to reach the safety of the Vishalgad fort.[58][page needed]

In the ensuing Battle of Pavan Khind, the smaller Maratha force held back the larger enemy to buy time for Shivaji to escape. Baji Prabhu Deshpande was wounded but continued to fight until he heard the sound of cannon fire from Vishalgad,[7] signalling Shivaji had safely reached the fort, on the evening of 13 July 1660.[59] Ghod Khind (khind meaning "a narrow mountain pass") was later renamed Paavan Khind ("sacred pass") in honour of Bajiprabhu Deshpande, Shibosingh Jadhav, Fuloji, and all other soldiers who fought in there.[59]

Conflict with the Mughals

Shivaji and Subedar's Daughter M. V. Dhurandhar

Until 1657, Shivaji maintained peaceful relations with the Mughal Empire. Shivaji offered his assistance to Aurangzeb who then, was the Mughal viceroy of the Deccan and son of the Mughal emperor, in conquering Bijapur in return for formal recognition of his right to the Bijapuri forts and villages under his possession. Dissatisfied with the Mughal response, and receiving a better offer from Bijapur, he launched a raid into the Mughal Deccan.[60] Shivaji's confrontations with the Mughals began in March 1657, when two of Shivaji's officers raided the Mughal territory near Ahmednagar.[61] This was followed by raids in Junnar, with Shivaji carrying off 300,000 hun in cash and 200 horses.[62] Aurangzeb responded to the raids by sending Nasiri Khan, who defeated the forces of Shivaji at Ahmednagar. However, Aurangzeb's countermeasures against Shivaji were interrupted by the rainy season and his battle of succession with his brothers for the Mughal throne following the illness of the emperor Shah Jahan.[63]

Attacks on Shaista Khan and Surat

Main articles: Battle of Chakan and Battle of Surat

Shaistekhan Surprised

Upon the request of Badi Begum of Bijapur, Aurangzeb, now the Mughal emperor, sent his maternal uncle Shaista Khan, with an army numbering over 150,000 along with a powerful artillery division in January 1660 to attack Shivaji in conjunction with Bijapur's army led by Siddi Jauhar. Shaista Khan, with his better–equipped and –provisioned army of 80,000 seized Pune. He also took the nearby fort of Chakan, besieging it for a month and a half before breaching the walls.[64] Shaista Khan pressed his advantage of having a larger, better provisioned and heavily armed Mughal army and made inroads into some of the Maratha territory, seizing the city of Pune and establishing his residence at Shivaji's palace of Lal Mahal.[65]

In April 1663, Shivaji launched a surprise attack on Shaista Khan in Pune, along with a small group of men. After gaining access to Khan's compound, the raiders were able to kill some of his wives; Shaista Khan escaped, losing a finger in the melee.[66] The Khan took refuge with the Mughal forces outside of Pune, and Aurangzeb punished him for this embarrassment with a transfer to Bengal.[67]

In retaliation for Shaista Khan's attacks, and to replenish his now-depleted treasury, in 1664 Shivaji sacked the port city of Surat, a wealthy Mughal trading centre.[68]

Treaty of Purandar

Raja Jai Singh of Amber receiving Shivaji a day before concluding the Treaty of Purandar

Main article: Treaty of Purandar (1665)

A 20th century depiction of Shivaji on the way to Purandar by M.V. Dhurandhar

The attacks on Shaista Khan and Surat enraged Aurangzeb. In response he sent the Rajput Mirza Raja Jai Singh I with an army numbering around 15,000 to defeat Shivaji.[69] Throughout 1665, Jai Singh's forces pressed Shivaji, with their cavalry razing the countryside, and their siege forces investing Shivaji's forts. The Mughal commander succeeded in luring away several of Shivaji's key commanders, and many of his cavalrymen, into Mughal service. By mid-1665, with the fortress at Purandar besieged and near capture, Shivaji was forced to come to terms with Jai Singh.[69]

In the Treaty of Purandar, signed between Shivaji and Jai Singh on 11 June 1665, Shivaji agreed to give up 23 of his forts, keeping 12 for himself, and pay compensation of 400,000 gold hun to the Mughals.[70] Shivaji agreed to become a vassal of the Mughal empire, and to send his son Sambhaji, along with 5,000 horsemen, to fight for the Mughals in the Deccan as a mansabdar.[71][72]

Arrest in Agra and escape

Raja Shivaji at Aurangzeb's Darbar- M V Dhurandhar

In 1666, Aurangzeb summoned Shivaji to Agra (though some sources instead state Delhi), along with his nine-year-old son Sambhaji. Aurangzeb's plan was to send Shivaji to Kandahar, now in Afghanistan, to consolidate the Mughal empire's northwestern frontier. However, in the court, on 12 May 1666, Aurangzeb made Shivaji stand behind mansabdārs (military commanders) of his court. Shivaji took offence and stormed out of court,[73] and was promptly placed under house arrest under the watch of Faulad Khan, Kotwal of Agra.

Shivaji's position under house arrest was perilous, as Aurangzeb's court debated whether to kill him or continue to employ him, and Shivaji used his dwindling funds to bribe courtiers to support his case. Orders came from the emperor to station Shivaji in Kabul, which Shivaji refused. Instead he asked for his forts to be returned and to serve the Mughals as a mansabdar; Aurangzeb rebutted that he must surrender his remaining forts before returning to Mughal service. Shivaji managed to escape from Agra, likely by bribing the guards, though the emperor was never able to ascertain how he escaped despite an investigation.[74] Popular legend says that Shivaji smuggled himself and his son out of the house in large baskets, claimed to be sweets to be gifted to religious figures in the city.[citation needed]

Peace with the Mughals

After Shivaji's escape, hostilities with the Mughals ebbed, with Mughal sardar Jaswant Singh acting as intermediary between Shivaji and Aurangzeb for new peace proposals.[75] During the period between 1666 and 1668, Aurangzeb conferred the title of raja on Shivaji. Sambhaji was also restored as a Mughal mansabdar with 5,000 horses. Shivaji at that time sent Sambhaji with general Prataprao Gujar to serve with the Mughal viceroy in Aurangabad, Prince Mu'azzam. Sambhaji was also granted territory in Berar for revenue collection.[76] Aurangzeb also permitted Shivaji to attack the decaying Adil Shahi; the weakened Sultan Ali Adil Shah II sued for peace and granted the rights of sardeshmukhi and chauthai to Shivaji.[citation needed]


Statue of Shivaji opposite Gateway of India in South Mumbai

The peace between Shivaji and the Mughals lasted until 1670. At that time Aurangzeb became suspicious of the close ties between Shivaji and Mu'azzam, who he thought might usurp his throne, and may even have been receiving bribes from Shivaji.[77][78] Also at that time, Aurangzeb, occupied in fighting the Afghans, greatly reduced his army in the Deccan; many of the disbanded soldiers quickly joined Maratha service.[79] The Mughals also took away the jagir of Berar from Shivaji to recover the money lent to him a few years earlier.[80] In response, Shivaji launched an offensive against the Mughals and recovered a major portion of the territories surrendered to them in a span of four months.[81]

Shivaji sacked Surat for second time in 1670; the English and Dutch factories were able to repel his attack, but he managed to sack the city itself, including plundering the goods of a Muslim prince from Mawara-un-Nahr who was returning from Mecca.[citation needed] Angered by the renewed attacks, the Mughals resumed hostilities with the Marathas, sending a force under Daud Khan to intercept Shivaji on his return home from Surat, but were defeated in the Battle of Vani-Dindori near present-day Nashik.[82]

In October 1670, Shivaji sent his forces to harass the English at Bombay; as they had refused to sell him war materiel, his forces blocked English woodcutting parties from leaving Bombay. In September 1671, Shivaji sent an ambassador to Bombay, again seeking materiel, this time for the fight against Danda-Rajpuri. The English had misgivings of the advantages Shivaji would gain from this conquest, but also did not want to lose any chance of receiving compensation for his looting their factories at Rajapur. The English sent Lieutenant Stephen Ustick to treat with Shivaji, but negotiations failed over the issue of the Rajapur indemnity. Numerous exchanges of envoys followed over the coming years, with some agreement as to the arms issues in 1674, but Shivaji was never to pay the Rajapur indemnity before his death, and the factory there dissolved at the end of 1682.[83]

Battles of Umrani and Nesari

In 1674, Prataprao Gujar, the commander-in-chief of the Maratha forces, was sent to push back the invading force led by the Bijapuri general, Bahlol Khan. Prataprao's forces defeated and captured the opposing general in the battle, after cutting-off their water supply by encircling a strategic lake, which prompted Bahlol Khan to sue for peace. In spite of Shivaji's specific warnings against doing so, Prataprao released Bahlol Khan, who started preparing for a fresh invasion.[84]

Shivaji sent a displeased letter to Prataprao, refusing him audience until Bahlol Khan was re-captured. Upset by his commander's rebuke, Prataprao found Bahlol Khan and charged his position with only six other horsemen, leaving his main force behind. Prataprao was killed in combat; Shivaji was deeply grieved on hearing of Prataprao's death, and arranged for the marriage of his second son, Rajaram, to Prataprao's daughter. Anandrao Mohite became Hambirrao Mohite, the new sarnaubat (commander-in-chief of the Maratha forces). Raigad Fort was newly built by Hiroji Indulkar as a capital of nascent Maratha kingdom.[85]


The Coronation Durbar with over 100 characters depicted in attendance

Shivaji had acquired extensive lands and wealth through his campaigns, but lacking a formal title he was still technically a Mughal zamindar or the son of a Bijapuri jagirdar, with no legal basis to rule his de facto domain. A kingly title could address this and also prevent any challenges by other Maratha leaders, to whom he was technically equal.[c] it would also provide the Hindu Marathas with a fellow Hindu sovereign in a region otherwise ruled by Muslims.[86]

Controversy erupted amongst the Brahmins of Shivaji's court: they refused to crown Shivaji as a king because that status was reserved for those of the kshatriya (warrior) varna in Hindu society.[87] Shivaji was descended from a line of headmen of farming villages, and the Brahmins accordingly categorised him as being of the shudra (cultivator) varna.[88][89] They noted that Shivaji had never had a sacred thread ceremony, and did not wear the thread, which a kshatriya would.[88] Shivaji summoned Gaga Bhatt, a pandit of Varanasi, who stated that he had found a genealogy proving that Shivaji was descended from the Sisodia Rajputs, and thus indeed a kshatriya, albeit one in need of the ceremonies befitting his rank.[90]:7– To enforce this status, Shivaji was given a sacred thread ceremony, and remarried his spouses under the Vedic rites expected of a kshatriya.[91][92] However, following historical evidence, Shivaji's claim to Rajput, and specifically Sisodia ancestry may be interpreted as being anything from tenuous at best, to inventive in a more extreme reading.[93]

On 28 May Shivaji performed penance for not observing Kshatriya rites by his ancestors' and himself for so long. Then he was invested by Gaga Bhatta with the sacred thread.[94] On insistence of other Brahmins, Gaga Bhatta dropped the Vedic chant and initiated Shivaji in a modified form of the life of the twice-born, instead of putting him on a par with the Brahmans. Next day, Shivaji made atonement for the sins which he committed in his own lifetime. [95]Two learned Brahmans pointed out that Shivaji, while conducting his raids, had burnt cities which resulted in the death of Brahmans, cows, women and children, and now could be cleansed of this sin for a price of only Rs. 8,000, and Shivaji paid this amount.[95] Total expenditure made for feeding the assemblage, general alms giving, throne and ornaments approached 5 million Rupees.[96]

Shivaji was crowned king of Maratha Swaraj in a lavish ceremony on 6 June 1674 at Raigad fort.[97][98] In the Hindu calendar it was on the 13th day (trayodashi) of the first fortnight of the month of Jyeshtha in the year 1596.[99] Gaga Bhatt officiated, holding a gold vessel filled with the seven sacred waters of the rivers Yamuna, Indus, Ganges, Godavari, Narmada, Krishna and Kaveri over Shivaji's head, and chanted the Vedic coronation mantras. After the ablution, Shivaji bowed before Jijabai and touched her feet. Nearly fifty thousand people gathered at Raigad for the ceremonies.[100][101] Shivaji was entitled Shakakarta ("founder of an era")[1] and Chhatrapati ("paramount sovereign"). He also took the title of Haindava Dharmodhhaarak (protector of the Hindu faith).[2]

Shivaji's mother Jijabai died on 18 June 1674. The Marathas summoned Bengali Tantrik goswami Nischal Puri, who declared that the original coronation had been held under inauspicious stars, and a second coronation was needed. This second coronation on 24 September 1674 had a dual use, mollifying those who still believed that Shivaji was not qualified for the Vedic rites of his first coronation, by performing a less-contestable additional ceremony.[102][103][104]

Conquest of southern India

Maratha Empire in year 1680

Beginning in 1674, the Marathas undertook an aggressive campaign, raiding Khandesh (October), capturing Bijapuri Ponda (April 1675), Karwar (mid-year), and Kolhapur (July).[105] In November the Maratha navy skirmished with the Siddis of Janjira, but failed to dislodge them.[106]:23 Having recovered from an illness, and taking advantage of a conflict between the Afghans and Bijapur, Shivaji raided Athani in April 1676.[107]

In the run-up to his expedition Shivaji appealed to a sense of Deccani patriotism, that Southern India was a homeland that should be protected from outsiders.[108][109] His appeal was somewhat successful, and in 1677 Shivaji visited Hyderabad for a month and entered into a treaty with the Qutubshah of the Golkonda sultanate, agreeing to reject his alliance with Bijapur and jointly oppose the Mughals. In 1677, Shivaji invaded Karnataka with 30,000 cavalry and 40,000 infantry, backed by Golkonda artillery and funding.[110] Proceeding south, Shivaji seized the forts of Vellore and Gingee;[111] the latter would later serve as a capital of the Marathas during the reign of his son Rajaram I.[112]

Shivaji intended to reconcile with his half-brother Venkoji (Ekoji I), Shahaji's son by his second wife, Tukabai (née Mohite), who ruled Thanjavur (Tanjore) after Shahaji. The initially promising negotiations were unsuccessful, so whilst returning to Raigad, Shivaji defeated his half-brother's army on 26 November 1677 and seized most of his possessions in the Mysore plateau. Venkoji's wife Dipa Bai, whom Shivaji deeply respected, took up new negotiations with Shivaji and also convinced her husband to distance himself from Muslim advisors. In the end, Shivaji consented to turn over to her and her female descendants many of the properties he had seized, with Venkoji consenting to a number of conditions for the proper administration of the territories and maintenance of Shivaji's future memorial (samadhi).[113][114]

Death and succession

Sambhaji, Shivaji's elder son who succeeded him

The question of Shivaji's heir-apparent was complicated by the misbehaviour of his eldest son, Sambhaji, who was irresponsible. Unable to curb this, Shivaji confined his son to Panhala in 1678, only to have the prince escape with his wife and defect to the Mughals for a year. Sambhaji then returned home, unrepentant, and was again confined to Panhala.[115]

In late March 1680, Shivaji fell ill with fever and dysentery,[116] dying around 3–5 April 1680 at the age of 52,[117] on the eve of Hanuman Jayanti. Putalabai, the childless eldest of the surviving wives of Shivaji committed sati by jumping into his funeral pyre. Another surviving spouse, Sakwarbai, was not allowed to follow suit because she had a young daughter.[115] There were also allegations, though doubted by later scholars, that his second wife Soyarabai had poisoned him in order to put her 10-year-old son Rajaram on the throne.[118]

After Shivaji's death, Soyarabai made plans with various ministers of the administration to crown her son Rajaram rather than her stepson Sambhaji. On 21 April 1680, ten-year-old Rajaram was installed on the throne. However, Sambhaji took possession of Raigad Fort after killing the commander, and on 18 June acquired control of Raigad, and formally ascended the throne on 20 July.[119] Rajaram, his wife Janki Bai, and mother Soyrabai were imprisoned, and Soyrabai executed on charges of conspiracy that October.[120]

The Marathas after Shivaji

See also: Mughal–Maratha Wars

Statue of Bajirao I
The Maratha Empire reached its zenith under the reign of Peshwa Bajirao I.

Shivaji left behind a state always at odds with the Mughals. Soon after his death, in 1681, Aurangzeb launched an offensive in the South to capture territories held by the Marathas, the Bijapur based Adilshahi and Qutb Shahi of Golkonda respectively. He was successful in obliterating the Sultanates but could not subdue the Marathas after spending 27 years in the Deccan.The period saw the capture, torture, and execution of Sambhaji in 1689, and the Marathas offering strong resistance under the leadership of Sambhaji's successor, Rajaram and then Rajaram's widow Tarabai. Territories changed hands repeatedly between the Mughals and the Marathas; the conflict ended in defeat for the Mughals in 1707.[121]

Shahu, a grandson of Shivaji and son of Sambhaji, was kept prisoner by Aurangzeb during the 27-year period conflict. After the latter's death, his successor released Shahu. After a brief power struggle over succession with his aunt Tarabai, Shahu ruled the Maratha Empire from 1707 to 1749. Early in his reign, he appointed Balaji Vishwanath and later his descendants, as Peshwas (prime ministers) of the Maratha Empire. The empire expanded greatly under the leadership of Balaji's son, Peshwa Bajirao I and grandson, Peshwa Balaji Bajirao. At its peak, the Maratha empire stretched from Tamil Nadu[122] in the south, to Peshawar (modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) in the north, and Bengal. In 1761, the Maratha army lost the Third Battle of Panipat to Ahmed Shah Abdali of the Afghan Durrani Empire, which halted their imperial expansion in northwestern India. Ten years after Panipat, Marathas regained influence in North India during the rule of Madhavrao Peshwa.[123]

In a bid to effectively manage the large empire, Shahu and the Peshwas gave semi-autonomy to the strongest of the knights, creating the Maratha Confederacy.[citation needed] They became known as Gaekwads of Baroda, the Holkars of Indore and Malwa, the Scindias of Gwalior and Bhonsales of Nagpur. In 1775, the East India Company intervened in a succession struggle in Pune, which became the First Anglo-Maratha War. The Marathas remained the pre-eminent power in India until their defeat by the British in the Second and Third Anglo-Maratha wars (1805–1818), which left the Company the dominant power in most of India.[124][125]


Council of Eight Ministers (Ashta Pradhan Mandal)

Main article: Ashta Pradhan

The Council of Eight Ministers, or Ashta Pradhan Mandal, was an administrative and advisory council set up by Shivaji.[126] It consisted of eight ministers who regularly advised Shivaji on political and administrative matters.

Promotion of Marathi

In his court, Shivaji replaced Persian, the common courtly language in the region, with Marathi, and emphasised Hindu political and courtly traditions.[127] He gave his forts names such as Sindhudurg, Prachandgarh, and Suvarndurg. He named the Ashta Pradhan (council of ministers) according to Sanskrit nomenclature, with terms such as nyaayaadheesha, and senaapati, and commissioned the political treatise Raajya Vyavahaara Kosha. His Rajpurohit, Keshav Pandit, was himself a Sanskrit scholar and poet.[128][need quotation to verify]
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Religious policy

Sajjangad, where Samarth Ramdas was invited by Shivaji to reside, now a place of pilgrimage
Though Shivaji was a proud Hindu and never compromised on his religion,[129] he is also known for his liberal and tolerant religious policy. While Hindus were relieved to practice their religion freely under a Hindu ruler, Shivaji not only allowed Muslims to practice without harassment, but supported their ministries with endowments.[130] When Aurangzeb imposed the Jizya tax on non-Muslims on 3 April 1679, Shivaji wrote a strict letter to Aurangzeb criticising his tax policy. He wrote:

In strict justice, the Jizya is not at all lawful. If you imagine piety in oppressing and terrorising the Hindus, you ought to first levy the tax on Jai Singh I. But to oppress ants and flies is not at all valour nor spirit. If you believe in Quran, God is the lord of all men and not just of Muslims only. Verily, Islam and Hinduism are terms of contrast. They are used by the true Divine Painter for blending the colours and filling in the outlines. If it is a mosque, the call to prayer is chanted in remembrance of God. If it is a temple, the bells are rung in yearning for God alone. To show bigotry to any man's religion and practices is to alter the words of the Holy Book.[131]

Noting that Shivaji had stemmed the spread of the neighbouring Muslim states, his contemporary, the poet Kavi Bhushan stated:

Had not there been Shivaji, Kashi would have lost its culture, Mathura would have been turned into a mosque and all would have been circumcised.[132]

In 1667, the Portuguese Christians started to forcefully convert Hindus in Bardez. Shivaji quickly raided Bardez in which three Portuguese Catholic priests and a few Christians were killed and stopped the forceful conversion of Hindus.[133][134] However, during the sack of Surat in 1664, Shivaji was approached by Ambrose, a Capuchin monk who asked him to spare the city's Christians. Shivaji left the Christians untouched, saying "the Frankish Padrys are good men."[135]


Shivaji demonstrated great skill in creating his military organisation, which lasted until the demise of the Maratha empire. His strategy rested on leveraging his ground forces, naval forces, and series of forts across his territory. The Maval infantry served as the core of his ground forces (reinforced with Telangi musketeers from Karnataka), supported by Maratha cavalry. His artillery was relatively underdeveloped and reliant on European suppliers, further inclining him to a very mobile form of warfare.[136]

Shivaji was contemptuously called a "Mountain Rat" by Aurangzeb and his generals because of his guerilla tactics of attacking enemy forces and then retreating into his mountain forts.[137][138][139]

Hill forts

Suvela Machi, view of southern sub-plateaux, as seen from Ballekilla, Rajgad

Main article: Shivaji's forts

Hill forts played a key role in Shivaji's strategy. He captured important forts at Murambdev (Rajgad), Torna, Kondhana (Sinhagad) and Purandar. He also rebuilt or repaired many forts in advantageous locations.[140] In addition, Shivaji built a number of forts; the number "111" is reported in some accounts, but it is likely the actual number "did not exceed 18."[141] The historian Jadunath Sarkar assessed that Shivaji owned some 240–280 forts at the time of his death.[142] Each was placed under three officers of equal status, lest a single traitor be bribed or tempted to deliver it to the enemy. The officers acted jointly and provided mutual checks and balance.[143]


Sindudurg Fort provided anchorages for Shivaji's Navy

Aware of the need for naval power to maintain control along the Konkan coast, Shivaji began to build his navy in 1657 or 1659, with the purchase of twenty galivats from the Portuguese shipyards of Bassein.[144] Marathi chronicles state that at its height his fleet counted some 400 warships, though contemporary English chronicles counter that the number never exceeded 160.[145]

With the Marathas being accustomed to a land-based military, Shivaji widened his search for qualified crews for his ships, taking on lower-caste Hindus of the coast who were long familiar with naval operations (the famed "Malabar pirates") as well as Muslim mercenaries.[145] Noting the power of the Portuguese navy, Shivaji hired a number of Portuguese sailors and Goan Christian converts, and made Rui Leitao Viegas commander of his fleet. Viegas was later to defect back to the Portuguese, taking 300 sailors with him.[146]

Shivaji fortified his coastline by seizing coastal forts and refurbishing them, and built his first marine fort at Sindhudurg, which was to become the headquarters of the Maratha navy.[147] The navy itself was a coastal navy, focused on travel and combat in the littoral areas, and not intended to go far out to sea.[148]


Further information: Shivaji in popular culture

An early-20th-century painting by M. V. Dhurandhar of Shivaji and Baji Prabhu at Pawan Khind

Shivaji was well known for his strong religious and warrior code of ethics and exemplary character. He was recognized as a great national hero during the Indian Independence Movement.[149] While some accounts of Shivaji state that he was greatly influenced by the Brahmin guru Samarth Ramdas, others have said that Ramdas' role has been over-emphasised by later Brahmin commentators to enhance their position.[150][151]

Early depictions

Shivaji was admired for his heroic exploits and clever stratagems in the contemporary accounts of English, French, Dutch, Portuguese and Italian writers.[152] Contemporary English writers compared him with Alexander, Hannibal and Julius Caesar.[153] Mughal depictions of Shivaji were largely negative, referring to him simply as "Shiva" without the honorific "-ji". One Mughal writer in the early 1700s described Shivaji's death as kafir bi jahannum raft ("the infidel went to Hell").[154]


In the mid-19th century, Maharashtrian social reformer Jyotirao Phule wrote his interpretation of the Shivaji legend, portraying him as a hero of the shudras and Dalits. Phule sought to use the Shivaji myths to undermine the Brahmins he accused of hijacking the narrative, and uplift the lower classes; his 1869 ballad-form story of Shivaji was met with great hostility by the Brahmin-dominated media.[155] At the end of the 19th century, Shivaji's memory was leveraged by the non-Brahmin intellectuals of Bombay, who identified as his descendants and through him claimed the kshatriya varna. While some Brahmins rebutted this identity, defining them as of the lower shudra varna, other Brahmins recognised the Marathas' utility to the Indian independence movement, and endorsed this kshatriya legacy and the significance of Shivaji.[156]

In 1895, Indian nationalist leader Lokmanya Tilak organised what was to be an annual festival to mark the birthday of Shivaji.[157] He portrayed Shivaji as the "opponent of the oppressor", with possible negative implications concerning the colonial government.[158] Tilak denied any suggestion that his festival was anti-Muslim or disloyal to the government, but simply a celebration of a hero.[90]:106– These celebrations prompted a British commentator in 1906 to note: "Cannot the annals of the Hindu race point to a single hero whom even the tongue of slander will not dare call a chief of dacoits ...?"[159]

One of the first commentators to reappraise the critical British view of Shivaji was M. G. Ranade, whose Rise of the Maratha Power (1900) declared Shivaji's achievements as the beginning of modern nation-building. Ranade criticised earlier British portrayals of Shivaji's state as "a freebooting Power, which thrived by plunder and adventure, and succeeded only because it was the most cunning and adventurous ... This is a very common feeling with the readers, who derive their knowledge of these events solely from the works of English historians."[160]

In 1919, Sarkar published the seminal Shivaji and His Times, hailed as the most authoritative biography of the king since James Grant Duff's 1826 A History of the Mahrattas. A respected scholar, Sarkar was able to read primary sources in Persian, Marathi, and Arabic, but was challenged for his criticism of the "chauvinism" of Marathi historians' views of Shivaji.[161] Likewise, though supporters cheered his depiction of the killing of Afzal Khan as justified, they decried Sarkar's terming as "murder" the killing of the Hindu raja Chandrao More and his clan.[162]


Statue of Shivaji at Raigad Fort

As political tensions rose in India in the early 20th century, some Indian leaders came to re-work their earlier stances on Shivaji's role. Jawaharlal Nehru had in 1934 noted "Some of the Shivaji's deeds, like the treacherous killing of the Bijapur general, lower him greatly in our estimation." Following public outcry from Pune intellectuals, Congress leader T. R. Deogirikar noted that Nehru had admitted he was wrong regarding Shivaji, and now endorsed Shivaji as great nationalist.[163]

In 1966, the Shiv Sena (Army of Shivaji) party formed to promote the interests of Marathi speaking people in the face of migration to Maharashtra from other parts of India, and the accompanying loss of power for locals. His image adorns literature, propaganda and icons of the party.[164]

In modern times, Shivaji is considered as a national hero in India, especially in the state of Maharashtra, where he remains arguably the greatest figure in the state's history. Stories of his life form an integral part of the upbringing and identity of the Marathi people. Further, he is also recognised as a warrior legend, who sowed the seeds of Indian independence.[165] Shivaji is upheld as an example by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, and also of the Maratha caste dominated Congress parties in Maharashtra, such as the Indira Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party.[166] Past Congress party leaders in the state, such as Yashwantrao Chavan, were considered political descendants of Shivaji.[167]

In the late 20th century, Babasaheb Purandare became one of the most significant artists in portraying Shivaji in his writings, leading him to be declared in 1964 as the Shiv-Shahir ("Bard of Shivaji").[168][169] However, Purandare, a Brahmin, was also accused of over-emphasising the influence of Brahmin gurus on Shivaji,[166] and his Maharashtra Bhushan award ceremony in 2015 was protested by those claiming he had defamed Shivaji.[170]


In 1993, the Illustrated Weekly published an article suggesting that Shivaji was not opposed to Muslims per se, and that his style of governance was influenced by that of the Mughal Empire. Congress Party members called for legal actions against the publisher and writer, Marathi newspapers accused them of "imperial prejudice" and Shiv Sena called for the writer's public flogging. Maharashtra brought legal action against the publisher under regulations prohibiting enmity between religious and cultural groups, but a High Court found the Illustrated Weekly had operated within the bounds of freedom of expression.[171][172]

In 2003, American academic James W. Laine published his book Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India, which was followed by heavy criticism including threats of arrest.[173] As a result of this publication, the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune where Laine had researched was attacked by a group of Maratha activists calling itself the Sambhaji Brigade.[174][175] The book was banned in Maharashtra in January 2004, but the ban was lifted by the Bombay High Court in 2007, and in July 2010 the Supreme Court of India upheld the lifting of ban.[176] This lifting was followed by public demonstrations against the author and the decision of the Supreme Court.[177][178]


Commemorations of Shivaji are found throughout India, most notably in Maharashtra. Shivaji's statues and monuments are found almost in every town and city in Maharashtra as well as in different places across India.[179][180][181] Other commemorations include the Indian Navy's station INS Shivaji,[182] numerous postage stamps,[183] and the main airport and railway headquarters in Mumbai.[184][185] In Maharashtra, there has been a long tradition of children building a replica fort with toy soldiers and other figures during the festival of Diwali in memory of Shivaji.[186]

A proposal to build a giant memorial called Shiv Smarak was approved in 2016 to be located near Mumbai on a small island in the Arabian Sea. It will be 210 meters tall making it the world's largest statue when completed in possibly 2021.[187]


1. Based on multiple committees of historians and experts, the Government of Maharashtra accepts 19 February 1630 as his birthdate. This Julian calendar date of that period (1 March 1630 of today's Gregorian calendar) corresponds[10] to the Hindu calendar birth date from contemporary records.[11][12][13] Other suggested dates include 6 April 1627 or dates near this day.[14][15]
2. Some scholars interpret Hindavi Swarajya as meaning self-rule of Hindu people,[31] while others state that Shivaji's struggle was for gaining "religious freedom" for Hindus.[32] However the term hindavi was in use by both Hindus and Muslims in the time period concerned.[33]
3. Most of the great Maratha Jahagirdar families in the service of Adilshahi strongly opposed Shivaji in his early years. These included families such as the Ghadge, More, Mohite, Ghorpade, Shirke, and Nimbalkar


1. Sardesai 1957, p. 222.
2. Satish Chandra (1982). Medieval India: Society, the Jagirdari Crisis, and the Village. Macmillan. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-333-90396-4.
3. Sarkar, Shivaji and His Times 1920, p. 260.
4. James Laine (1996). Anne Feldhaus (ed.). Images of women in Maharashtrian literature and religion. Albany: State University of New York Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-7914-2837-5.
5. Dates are given according to the Julian calendar, see Mohan Apte, Porag Mahajani, M. N. Vahia. Possible errors in historical dates: Error in correction from Julian to Gregorian Calendars.
6. Wolpert 1962, p. 79-81.
7. V. B. Kulkarni (1963). Shivaji: The Portrait of a Patriot. Orient Longman.
8. Marathi book Shivkaal (Times of Shivaji) by Dr V G Khobrekar, Publisher: Maharashtra State Board for Literature and Culture, First edition 2006. Chapter 1
9. Salma Ahmed Farooqui (2011). A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century. Dorling Kindersley India. pp. 314–. ISBN 978-81-317-3202-1.
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31. William Joseph Jackson (2005). Vijayanagara voices: exploring South Indian history and Hindu literature. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 38. ISBN 0-7546-3950-9.: "Probably the earliest use of a word like 'Hindu' was in 1645 in a phrase in a letter of Shivaji, Hindavi swarajya, meaning independence from foreign rule, 'self-rule of Hindu people'."
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34. Gordon, The Marathas 1993, p. 61.
35. Sarkar, Shivaji and His Times 1920, p. 34.
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37. Sarkar, Shivaji and His Times 1920, pp. 41-42.
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64. Indian Historical Records Commission: Proceedings of Meetings. Superintendent Government Printing, India. 1929. p. 44.
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66. Truschke 2017, p. 46.
67. Mehta 2009, p. 543.
68. Mehta 2005, p. 491.
69. Steward Gordon (1993). The Marathas 1600–1818, Part 2, Volume 4. Cambridge University Press. pp. 71–75.
70. Haig & Burn, The Mughal Period 1960, p. 258.
71. Sarkar, History of Aurangzib 1920, p. 77.
72. Gordon, The Marathas 1993, p. 74.
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75. Sarkar, History of Aurangzib 1920, p. 98.
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77. Murlidhar Balkrishna Deopujari (1973). Shivaji and the Maratha Art of War. Vidarbha Samshodhan Mandal. p. 138.
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87. Rajmohan Gandhi (1999). Revenge and Reconciliation. Penguin Books India. pp. 110–. ISBN 978-0-14-029045-5. On the ground that Shivaji was merely a Maratha and not a kshatriya by caste, Maharashtra's Brahmins had refused to conduct a sacred coronation.
88. Gordon, The Marathas 1993, p. 88.
89. B. S. Baviskar; D. W. Attwood (30 October 2013). Inside-Outside: Two Views of Social Change in Rural India. SAGE Publications. pp. 395–. ISBN 978-81-321-1865-7.
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101. Yuva Bharati (Volume 1 ed.). Vivekananda Rock Memorial Committee. 1974. p. 13. About 50,000 people witnessed the coronation ceremony and arrangements were made for their boarding and lodging.
102. Ashirbadi Lal Srivastava (1964). The History of India, 1000 A.D.-1707 A.D. Shiva Lal Agarwala. p. 701. Shivaji was obliged to undergo a second coronation ceremony on 4th October, 1674, on the suggestion of a well-known Tantrik priest, named Nishchal Puri Goswami, who said that Gaga Bhatta had performed the ceremony at an inauspicious hour and neglected to propitiate the spirits adored in the Tantra. That was why, he said, the queen mother Jija Bai had died within twelve days of the ceremony and similar other mishaps had occurred.
103. Indian Institute of Public Administration. Maharashtra Regional Branch (1975). Shivaji and swarajya. Orient Longman. p. 61. one to establish that Shivaji belonged to the Kshatriya clan and that he could be crowned a Chhatrapati and the other to show that he was not entitled to the Vedic form of recitations at the time of the coronation
104. Shripad Rama Sharma (1951). The Making of Modern India: From A. D. 1526 to the Present Day. Orient Longmans. p. 223. The coronation was performed at first according to the Vedic rites, then according to the Tantric. Shivaji was anxious to satisfy all sections of his subjects. There was some doubt about his Kshatriya origin (see note at the end of this chapter). This was of more than academic interest to his contemporaries, especially Brahmans [Brahmins]. Traditionally considered the highest caste in the Hindu social hierarchy. the Brahmans would submit to Shivaji, and officiate at his coronation, only if his
105. Sarkar, Shivaji and His Times 1920, p. 17.
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113. Sardesai 1957, p. 251.
114. Maya Jayapal (1997). Bangalore: the story of a city. Eastwest Books (Madras). p. 20. ISBN 978-81-86852-09-5. Shivaji's and Ekoji's armies met in battle on 26 November 1677, and Ekoji was defeated. By the treaty he signed, Bangalore and the adjoining areas were given to Shivaji, who then made them over to Ekoji's wife Deepabai to be held by her, with the proviso that Ekoji had to ensure that Shahaji's Memorial was well tended.
115. Mehta 2005, p. 47.
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121. John Clark Marshman (2010). History of India from the Earliest Period to the Close of the East India Company's Government. Cambridge University Press. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-108-02104-3.
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140. Pagadi 1983, p. 21.
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144. Kaushik Roy (30 March 2011). War, Culture and Society in Early Modern South Asia, 1740–1849. Taylor & Francis. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-1-136-79087-4.
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146. Bhagamandala Seetharama Shastry (1981). Studies in Indo-Portuguese History. IBH Prakashana.
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148. Raj Narain Misra (1986). Indian Ocean and India's Security. Mittal Publications. pp. 13–. GGKEY:CCJCT3CW16S.
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150. Dossal, Mariam; Maloni, Ruby (1999). State Intervention and Popular Response: Western India in the Nineteenth Century. Popular Prakashan. p. 8. ISBN 978-81-7154-855-2.
151. Laine 2011, p. 158.
152. Sen, Surendra (1928). Foreign Biographies of Shivaji. II. London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co. ltd. pp. xiii.
153. Krishna, Bal (1940). Shivaji The Great. The Arya Book Depot Kolhapur. pp. 11–12.
154. Truschke 2017, p. 54.
155. Uma Chakravarti (27 October 2014). Rewriting History: The Life and Times of Pandita Ramabai. Zubaan. pp. 79–. ISBN 978-93-83074-63-1.
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• Eaton, Richard Maxwell (2015), The Sufis of Bijapur, 1300-1700: Social Roles of Sufis in Medieval India, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-1-4008-6815-5
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• Farooqui, Salma Ahmed (2011), A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century, Pearson Education India, ISBN 978-81-317-3202-1
• Gier, Nicholas F. (2014), The Origins of Religious Violence: An Asian Perspective, Lexington Books, ISBN 978-0-7391-9223-8
• Gordon, Stewart (1993), The Marathas 1600–1818, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-26883-7
• Haig, Wolseley; Burn, Richard (1960) [first published 1937], The Cambridge History of India, Volume IV: The Mughal Period, Cambridge University Press
• Laine, James W. (2011), "Resisting My Attackers; Resisting My Defenders", in Schmalz, Matthew N.; Gottschalk, Peter (eds.), Engaging South Asian Religions: Boundaries, Appropriations, and Resistances, Albany: SUNY Press, pp. 153–172, ISBN 978-1-4384-3323-3
• Mehta, Jaswant Lal (2009) [1984], Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, ISBN 978-81-207-1015-3
• Mehta, Jaswant Lal (2005), Advanced Study in the History of Modern India: Volume One: 1707–1813, Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd, ISBN 978-1-932705-54-6
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• Sarkar, Jadunath (1920) [1919], Shivaji and His Times (Second ed.), London: Longmans, Green and Co.
• Sarkar, Jadunath (1920), History of Aurangzib: Based on Original Sources, Longmans, Green and Company
• Sardesai, Govind Sakharam (1957) [1946], New History of the Marathas: Shivaji and his line (1600–1707), Phoenix Publications
• Truschke, Audrey (2017), Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King, Stanford University Press, ISBN 978-1-5036-0259-5
• Wolpert, Stanley A. (1962), Tilak and Gokhale: Revolution and Reform in the Making of Modern India, University of California Press
• Zakaria, Rafiq (2002), Communal Rage In Secular India, Popular Prakashan, ISBN 978-81-7991-070-2

Further reading

• Daniel Jasper (2003). "Commemorating the 'golden age' of Shivaji in Maharashtra, India and the development of Maharashtrian public politics." Journal of Political and Military Sociology 31.2 : 215.
• B. K. Apte (editor) (1974–75). Chhatrapati Shivaji: Coronation Tercentenary Commemoration Volume. Bombay: University of Bombay.
• James W. Laine (2003). Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-514126-9.

External links

• Shivaji at the Encyclopædia Britannica
• Shivaji at Curlie
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