CHANDA UNDER THE BHOSALES OF NAGPUR. (1751-1853)
With the imprisonment of Nilkanth Sah in 1751 by Raghuji I, Candrapur passed directly under the rule of the Bhosales of Nagpur and remained with them till 1853. In fact since the deposition of Appasabeb Bhosale by the English in 1818, the Bhosales of Nagpur
lost their independent status. This state of affairs continued till 1853. At the end of 1853 Bhosale Raghuji III died without a male heir and the entire Raj of the Bhosales fell a victim to Dalhousie's famous doctrine of lapse. The Bhosale Raj was annexed to the British territory and on 18-12-1854 the administration of Candrapur was taken over by Mr. R. S. Ellis of the Madras Civil Service as its first Deputy Commissioner [LSRLRSC. p. 75].
As early as 1803 by the Treaty of Devganv, the Bhosales of Nagpur had ceded to the British, territory to the east of the river Wardha. From this paralysing stroke they never recovered and died their political death in 1853.
During the Bhosale rule, 1751-1853, Candrapur underwent many changes, political and administrative. By the rule of primogeniture the eldest son of the House of the Bhosales ruled at Nagpur with the title Send-Saheb-Subha bestowed upon him
and the scions of the junior branch were given charge of Candra- pur with the title Send-Dhurandhar. This arrangement was originally suggested by Raghuji I. For securing sanction to this arrangement officially from the Chatrapati of Satara, the Bhosale's
of Nagpur had to approach the all powerful Pesvas from time to time. In matters of general policy the Bhosales of Nagpur were supposed to follow the Pesva as the Prime Minister, and to help him. The family dissensions among the sons of Raghuji I ruling at Nagpur and Candrapur often ended in bloody wars. There was contest for Sena-Saheb-Subhaship and Sena-Dhuran-dharship. After the Third Battle of Panipat the Pesva House lost its unity. Following the death of Pesva Madhavrav 1 the rivalry for Pesvaship between Raghunathrav and Narayanrav culminated in the assassination of the latter. The parties at Poona led to formation of factions at the Nagpur Court among the sons of Raghuji I. The factions continued even during the period of Raghuji's grandsons. The history of Candrapur was naturally affected by the course of events taking place both at Poona and Nagpur. The fate of Candrapur. is seen to have been tied inevitably with the affairs at Nagpur and Poona. Since 1751 Candrapur lost its typical Gondi character and was slowly influenced by that of the Bhosales, i.e., the Marathas. With the end of the Bhosale rule over Candrapur ended the mediaeval period of its history. The British ushered in the modern age.
Raghuji I, who was responsible for annexing the Gond Kingdom of Candrapur to Nagpur, died in 1755. He had four sons Janoji, Mudhoji, Bimbaji and Sabaji. Janojl being the eldest naturally considered that he was entitled for the gadi of Nagpur and the title Sena-Saheb-Subha. But Mudhoji, who was next to him in age, claimed for himself Nagpur gadi and Sena-Saheb-Subhaship, on the plea that he was the son of the eldest wife of Raghuji I, though junior in age to Janoji.
When Raghuji was on his death bed, Janoji and Sabaji were with him while Mudhoji was sent with an army to reduce the fort of Gavilgad. On getting the news of his father's death Mudhoji strengthened his position at the newly conquered fort of Gavilgad, but Janoji secured it for himself deceitfully.
War between Janoji and Mudhoji.
Differences between the two brothers became keener every day. Janojl had the support of influential persons and diplomats of his father's regime such as, Baburav Kanhere, Rakhamaji Ganes Citnavis, Trimbakaji Raje Bhosale, Krisnaji Govind, the Subhedar of Berar, Narahar Ballal, the Subhedar of Nagpur, Sivbhat Sathe. the noted Subhedar of Cuttack, Raghuji Karande, Bimbaji Vanjal, Narhoji Jacak, Sivaji Kesav Tajkute, Girmaji Khanderav, Anandrav Wagh and Krsnaji Atole. Mudhoji was backed by Sadasiv Hari, the Desmukh of Parole related to him and Dinkar Vinayak, Sivaji Vinayak and Narasing Bhavani of Prabhu community.
After a few skirmishes the differences between the two brothers
were settled for sometime through the mediation of Pesva Balaji
Bajirav. The two brothers were called to Poona by the Pesva.Janoji was granted Sena-Saheb-Subhaship and was to rule at
Nagpur; to appease Mudhoji the title of Sena-Dhurandhar was
bestowed upon him with Candrapur as his headquarters, Bimbaji
was given the charge of Chattisgad and Sabaji was to administer
from Dane in Berar. This arrangement was made by the Pesva in 1757, but the sanad of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship was actually
given to Janoji as late as 1761 when Madhavrav I was the Pesva [KNI.pp. 115-18.].
When the negotiations between the brothers were on, the Pesva demanded from them the time-honoured nazarana-present- for settling their differences. The sum of the nazarana which was quite big is said to have been substantially brought down by Devajipant Corghade who at this time seems to have been a promising young diplomat [KNBB. pp. 68, 69.]. He was the chief counsellor
of Janoji in all political matters but by his intrigues soon came to be hated by Mudhoji Bhosale and also by the Poona Court.
Mudhoji reduces Candrapur Fort, 1756.
Within a year after the death of Raghuji I, Ballal Sah, the son of Nilkanth Sah, availing himself of the fratricidal war between Janoji and Mudhoji, collected the Gonds and Rohilas and took the fort of Canda. Mudhoji sent his general Mahipatrav, who restored the fort without much difficulty. Ballal Sah, who had escaped from Canda fort, was overtaken at Ganapur of the Ghatkul paragana. A bloody war ensued in which Ballal Sah was wounded by a cannon ball and taken a prisoner to Nagpur. In 1789 Raghuji II released him and graciously offered him a pension for maintenance. He was also known as Bombalya Ballal Sah [KNI.p. 118 and RCI. p. 165.].
Battle of Rahatganv 1759.
The reconciliation between Janoji and Mudhoji brought about by Pesva Balaji Bajirav proved to be shortlived. Mudhoji was given the charge of Candrapur, according to the understanding, reached between the two brothers immediately after the death of Raghuji. But he continued to press his demand that Janoji being the eldest should reside at Nagpur, whereas he should he in charge of the actual administration. Janoji was not agreeable to this suggestion and wanted that Mudhoji and himself should administer their territories from Nagpur and Candrapur respectively as was decided in 1757 through the mediation of the Pesva. As a result of the family feud the revenue affairs of Berar were at sixes and sevens. The Pesva constantly demanded the dues from the Bhosale brothers amounting to Rs. 10,00,000 as the share of each. Mudhoji had actually started collecting revenue from Berar and distributing mokasa rights to persons of his own choice, without caring for Janoji's rights. Before matters went from bad to worse an attempt was made to reconcile the
two brothers. Janoji sent Raghuji Karande and Balaji Kesav to
Candrapur with a view to bringing Mudhoji to Nagpur for a
talk. Mudhoji accompanied by his Phadnavis, Moro Raghunath
arrived in Nagpur and the two brothers met and discussed matters on the auspicious day of Dasara, in October 1759. They
could not arrive at any understanding and Mudhoji fearing
arrest fled from Nagpur. He collected a force of 5,500. To counter this Janoji with his army started out from Nagpur on
the first day of the Dipavali festival. The two brothers with
their forces encountered on the plain of Rahatganv near Amravati. Mudhoji was defeated and fled towards Karanja. The two brothers were once again reconciled on the agreement that Mudhoji should be in charge of the entire administration, and the trio Raghuji Karande, Trimbakaji Raje and Piraji Nimbalkar acting as mediators should ward off all differences in future. Mudhoji's partisans together with Mudhoji himself brought home to Janoji that it was Devajipant Corghade,
his chief counsel, who was mainly responsible for the continuation of the
discord between them, and as such, should be kept in confinement in the fort of Devgad. Another man of Janoji unwanted by Mudhoji was Balaji Kesav Sapre. It was suggested that lie should be imprisoned in the fort of Ambegad in Bhandara, Janoji, of course, could not consent to this proposal as both Devajipant and Balaji Kesav were his right-hand men [KNI. pp. 127, 128.].
In the battle of Udgir Pesva Bhausaheb had invited Janoji and Mudhoji to join him against the Nizam. Janoji with his 12,000 force and Mudhoji with his contingent joined the Pesva when the war with the Nizam was over [KNI. p. 129.]. The Bhosale brothers seem to have avoided accompanying Sadasivrav Bhau to Panipat as their financial condition was not satisfactory. Moreover, the nazarana dues which they owed to the Pesva amounting Rs. 20,00,000 were yet to be paid. Later when Nanasaheb Pesva proceeded from South to help Sadasivrav Bhau who was locked up in the North, Janoji and Mudhoji accompanied him with their armies. But they returned along with the other Maratha noblemen as the sad news of the debacle of the Marathas reached the Pesva Nanasaheb when he was on the banks of the Narmada [KNJ. pp. 131-2.].
Activites during the Pesvaship of Madhavrav I.
In the post-Panipat period the political situation at Poona was
very critical. Quite a large number of families was in mourning
throughout the Maratha country. Raghunathrav was secretly
trying to secure the support of Haidar Ali and the Nizam as he
coveted the office of the Pesva for himself. Madhavrav I, since
he assumed Pesvaship, was carefully watching the activities of
his uncle Raghunath and his supporters. The Nizam, who was
smarting under the shameful defeat he had suffered at Udgir,
was eager to fish in the troubled waters of Poona politics. He
saw within no time that the Poona Court was a house divided
against itself owing to Raghunathrav's ambition to become the Pesva. He found in Janoji a permanent enemy of the Pesva and
therefore his friend. The Pesva's difficulty was Nizam's opportunity. He held for Janoji the promise of making him the
Chatrapati at Satara or at least to place him in a position by
virtue of which he could control the affairs of the Chatrapati.
Mudhoji Bhosale of Candrapur was inevitably drawn into this
Madhavrav Pesva faced the situation calmly and courageously. By taking his uncle into confidence he defeated his arch enemy the Nizam in the Battle of Raksasabhuvan, in 1763. He next proceeded against Janoji Bhosale who had formed an un-holy alliance with the Nizam in the sack of Poona. After Raksasabhuvan the Nizam joined hands with the Pesva Madhavrav I in his campaigns against Janoji. Janoji for his personal gains had deceived both the Pesva and the Nizam.
On 17th October 1765, Madhavrav set out from Poona and was joined by Rukna-ud-daula, the Nizam's Divan with a force of seven to eight thousand. The two brothers Janojl and Mudhoji came together forgetting their differences in the hour of calamity. They carried the members of their family into the fort of Amncr for safety. Nagpur was panic stricken. Timely peace was effected through. the mediation of Raghunathrav who had a soft corner for Janoji, Devajipant, and Vyankat Moresvar, the Pesva's envoy at the court of Nagpur [KNI. pp. 160-2.]. The terms of peace were-
(1) After the battle of Raksasabhuvan the Pesva had secured
territory from the Nizam. Out of this the Pesva had given to
the Bhosales territory worth 32 lacs revenue.
(2) Now the Bhosales should return territory yielding 24 lacs
revenue to the Pesva out of 32 lacs.
(3) The Nizam should receive from the Pesva for the help
he had rendered against Janoji, territory worth 15 lacs revenue
out of his 24 lacs.
The net result of this treaty (1766) which was finalised at Kholapur was that the Pesva got for himself territory worth nine lacs, the Nizam 15 lacs and the Bhosales 8 lacs [KNI.p. 165.]. Out of this territory yielding 8 lacs revenue the share of Mudhoji is not known.
Janoji was not very happy with this arrangement arrived at in
the treaty of Kholapur. He agreed to help Raghunath in his
struggle with Pesva Madhavrav I and drew upon himself the
wrath of the latter. Madhavrav defeated his uncle Raghunath and imprisoned him. He next marched upon Nagpur with a
view to teaching a lesson to Janoji once for all. Janoji deputed Devajipant to Poona for talks. But this time the Pesva was
determined to punish Janojl and carried Devajipant as his
prisoner when he set out for the expedition. The Nizam sent
his contingent of eight thousand under Rukna-ud-daula and
Ramcandra Jadhav. The Bhosales sent their family and
jewellery into the fort of Gavilgad for safety.
On 20th January 1769, the Pesva stormed the fort of Amner and proceeded straight towards Nagpur, without chasing Janoji who had restored to guerilla war tactics. Nagpur was sacked and burnt. The sack of Poona by Janoji on a previous occasion was fully avenged [KNI. p. 175.]. Janoji at this time had the full co-operation of Mudhoji. After the loot of Nagpur the Bhosales defended themselves from the strong fort of Canda. The Pesva's army laid siege to Candrapur. Devajipant, the Machiaevellian diplomat of Janoji, who was at this time in the custody of the Pesva, advised his master to address a letter to him-Devajipant-stating that the Pesva should be encouraged to continue the siege of Candrapur which was not easily conquerable, so that a part of Janoji's army would get time to fall upon Poona. The letter was to be dispatched in such a manner that it should be inevitably intercepted by Pesva's scouts. This trick had its effect KNI.p. 180.]. Pesva Madhavrav, who had other important urgent matters requiring his presence, hastily concluded a treaty with the Bhosales and withdrew the siege of Candrapur.
The treaty between the Bhosales and Pesva known as the Treaty of Kanakpur on the banks of the Godavari was concluded on 23rd March 1769. Among the terms which are relevant to the history of Candrapur may be mentioned: -
1. The Bhosales should help the Pesva when called.
2. The Bhosales should make no changes in their army without the consent of the Pesva.
3. Rebels from the Pesva's territory should not be given a shelter by the Bhosales.
4. The Bhosales should not have diplomatic relations with any one of the following powers without the permission of the Pesva: The Padasah of Delhi, the Navab of Oudh, the Rohillas, the English and the Nizam.
5. The Bhosales should pay annually rupees 5 lacs in five instalments to the Pesva as tribute.
6. The Pesva should not interfere with the internal affairs of Janoji so long as he was satisfactorily looking after his relations.
7. The Bhosales should cede the following mahals to the Pesva: Reva Mukundpur. Mahoba, Carthane, Jintur, Sakarkherda and Mehekar.
8. The Bhosales should dispatch an army against the English at Calcutta only when the Pesva is not in need of their help.
9. In the event of an invasion upon the Bhosales, the Pesvas should help them [NPI. p. 182.]
These terms it seems were applicable both to Janoji and
Mudhoji. Madhavrav's aim in attacking Janoji was to stop the English from sending him any help. Aftei Janoji's death Mudhoji became the ruler of Nagpur m addition to Candrapur which was already with him.
in the early months of 1772, Janoji had been to Theur to see Madhavrav Pesva who was on his death bed. Both the Pesva and Janoji had friendly talks. Janoji, who had no son wanted to adopt Raghuji, his brother's son (Mudhoji's son) as his successor to Sena-Saheb-Subhaship at Nagpur. The Pesva agreed to sanction this arrangement. Janoji left Theur for Nagpur but unfortunately died on the way at mauja Yeral of Paragana Naldurg on 16th May 1772.
Following the death of Janoji, his wife Daryabai pretended that she was carrying and would give birth to a posthumous child. She declared that the arrangement made by her husband of adopting Mudhoji's son as the successor to Sena-Saheb-Subhaship would he unnecessary if she gave birth to a
boy. This would have naturally enabled Daryabai to keep control over Nagpur affairs during the minority of her son who was yet to he born. In fact she was not carrying and therefore never gave birth to a child. She was joined by Sabaji, her husband's brother, against Mudhoji of Candrapur.
Skirmish between Sabaji and Mudhoji at Kumbhari.
When Janoji met Madhavrav at Theur, the latter had agreed
to allow Janoji to adopt Mudhoji's son as the successor to Sena-Saheb-Subhaship at Nagpur. But after Janoji's death the
arrangement was not confirmed as Mudhoji was a partisan of
Raghunathrav. On the contrary the Pesva sent robes of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship for Sabaji. Sabaji's position with the support
of the Pesva became stronger than ever before. Mudhoji seeing
the situation that was developing against him went to his capital
Candrapur with his son Raghuji. Both the parties resorted to
arms and met at Kumbhari near Akola. After a skirmish they
came to terms in which it was decided that none should resort
to war, Raghuji should be recognised as the Sena-Saheb-Subha,
and both Mudhoji and Sabaji should carry on the administration
(28-1-1773). It was decided to depute the Prabhu brothers
Vyankatrav Kasi and Laksmanrav Kasi to Foona in order to secure the robes of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship for Raghuji, from Pesva Narayanrav. When the brothers reached Poona they
learnt that Raghunathrav had been put behind the prison bars
by Narayanrav Pesva. Shortly thereafter Narayanrav was
Battle of Pacganv.Mudhoji successful.
assassinated. Raghunathrav became the Pesva and the cause of
his old partisan, Mudhoji, became stronger. Sabaji, Mudhoji's
rival, joined the league of Barabhais [KNI.pp. 195-202.]. Raghunathrav sent
Muhammad Yusuf, one of the gardis, who was directly responsible for the murder of Narayanrav to help Mudhoji against
Sabaji. Once again the two brothers made preparation for a war
and their armies met on the plain of Pacganv about ten miles
from Nagpur on the Nagpur-Umred road. Sabaji was killed by
a chance shot fired by Mudhoji, (26-1-1775). With Sabaji's death
Mudhoji became the master of Nagpur affairs in addition to
Candrapur region which was under him. On 24-6-1775 Mudhoji's son, Raghuji, received from Savai Madhavrav Pesva the title and robes of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship. This brought
about a rapprochement between the League of Barabhais and
Mudhoji. As a gesture of friendship Mudhoji got arrested Muhammad Yusuf, one of the assassinators of
Narayanrav Pesva and made him over to Parasuram Patvardhan, a member
of the Barabhais [KNI.p. 210.]. Yusuf was blown off from the mouth of a
In the Battle of Badami fought on April 1786, Mudhoji sent his sons Khandoji and Vyankoji to help the Marathas against Tipu Sultan, at the instance of Nana Phadnavls. Khandoji alias Cimanabapu distinguished himself in this battle by his bravery [KNI.p. 213.].
Following the death of Raghuji I, Mudhoji was granted the title Sena-Dhurandhar and was put in charge of Candrapur territory. Since then, as already observed, the history of Candrapur inevitably forms part of Nagpur politics and is also affected by the fast changing affairs at the court of Poona. During Mudhoji's rule of Sena-Dhurandharship (1756-1788) Candrapur did not have independent political entity of its own and Mudhoji does not seem to have paid attention to its progress.
In the changing politics of the day Mudhoji played fast and loose with the Poona court as well as with his own brothers at Nagpur,
for his own interest. This is a common characteristic displayed by many a
Maratha nobleman of the period, completely ignoring the interest of the Maratha Power or Maratha Con-federacy. The best instance in this regard is provided by Raghunathrav Pesva who sought the help of the English for his per-sonal ambition, not realizing that he was selling the freedom of the Marathas as a whole for a mess of pottage. No wonder if Mudhoji of Candrapur provided one more instance by his behaviour, which proved ultimately detrimental to the Maratha interest. In this regard Mudhojis relations with Nana Phadnavis and the British between 1778-1780 merit the attention of historians.
Mudhoji seduced by Hastings.
In 1780. Nana Phadnavis realizing the danger of the growing
power of the English wrote a letter to Haidar Ali of Mysore,
bringing home to him the divide and rule policy of the English, and their plan of subjugating the States of Poona, Mysore, Nagpur and Hyderabad [Rajwade V. K.: Marathyanchya Itihasachi
Sadhane, Vol. 19, p. 56.]. To avert this danger Nana proposed a quadruple alliance between Poona, Nizam Ali of Hyderabad, Bhosales of Nagpur and Haidar Ali of Mysore. Nizam Ali communicated this to Divakarpant Corghade, the Kautilian diplomat at the Court of Nagpur with a view to securing his master's co-operation for the execution of the plan. Nana and Mahadaji asked Mudhoji to play his role of attacking Bengal as the arrears of cauthai from that part had not been paid since long. The other members of the quadruple alliance were to attack the English from different sectors. But Mudhoji on the contrary proposed to Warren Hastings to accept him as a vassal of the English. Later, Khandoji alias Cimanaji, younger son of Mudhoji was, sent to Bengal with an army to exact the payment of cauthai which was in arrears. But before Khandoji could achieve any thing Warren Hastings purchased peace by offering large sums of money to Khandoji. When Goddard arrived on the Narmada towards the end of 1778 he succeeded in persuading Mudhoji Bhosale to grant a passage to the British army through his territory into Gujarat. Similarly. Khandoji Bhosale allowed free passage to Colonel Pearse's troops through Orissa and agreed not to attack Bengal, when he was bribed by presents of jewellery worth one lac, dress worth two lacs and cash of mohors worth four lacs. In the first Anglo-Maratha war there was every chance of the English being signally defeated had Mudhoji done his duty. Mudhoji in this affair acted on the advice of Devajipant Corghade [SNHM. Vol. III, pp. 97-100.].
Devajipant advised Khandoji to secure the friendship of Hastings while making a show of rendering help to Nana Phadnavis. This double role which Mudhoji was playing led Haidar Ali to suspect the honesty of the Maratha activities which were expected to reduce Bengal. Poor Nana often wrote to Haidar Ali to appease him saying that he would soon hear the news of the occupation of Bengal by the Bhosales. But this was never to happen and Nana's plan of carrying out the quadruple alliance completely fizzled out [The terms of the treaty between the Bhosales and the English for which Hastings secured the sanction of the Board of Control on 6-4-1781, see KNI. p. 273.].
Character of Mudhoji.
Mudhoji in his dealings with his relations and subordinates was not a safe man to rely upon. After the death of his father Raghuji I, his plea that he should be granted Sena-Saheb-Subha-ship being the son of the eldest wife of Raghuji is tricky and strange. One of the most trusted servants of Mudhoji, Sardar Mahipat Dinkar Gupte. who had served him loyally, was
imprisoned in the fort of Gavilgad. For twenty years from 1755 to
1775 he had served Mudhoji in Candrapur politics. He was
arrested on the flimsy excuse that he was related to Baburav Hari Gupte in the service of Raghunathrav Pesva, when Mudhoji and Raghunathrav were not on good terms [KNI.p.181.], The treatment which Mudhoji meted out to Udepuri Gosavi, the well known hanker of Nagpur, is equally unbecoming of a King. Mudhoji owed Rs. 50,00,000 to Udepuri. The latter pressed Mudhoji for the payment of the debt. Two young men in the service of Udepuri were treated by him as his sons. One of these men used to visit the house of a prostitute. One day when the person concerned visited the house of the prostitute he found her dead. The young man was charged with murder. Mudhoji's soldiers who had been sent to conduct an enquiry killed the two young men, and forcibly seized the debt deed from the Udepuris-A document showing Rs. 50.00.000 which Mudhoji owed them. The Udepuris shortly left Nagpur as an unsafe place for business. Mudhoji wanted to exact money from Visvambhar, a brother of Beniram Pandit,
his envoy at Calcutta. But the situation was saved owing to the timely mediation of Bhavani Munsi, an old and influential person at the court of Nagpur [KNI. p. 288.].
Mudhoji was short-statured and statuesquely built. He was
noted for his daring and courage. The Pathans in his army
once wounded him for the non-payment of their salary. He gave
promises which he often broke unscrupulously [KNI.p. 287.].
In the history of Candrapur there is nothing worth mentioning to the credit of Mudhoji during his long reign of 32 years (1756-1788). He died in 1788 at Nagpur shortly after his return from pilgrimage to holy places in Maharastra [KNI. p. 214,].
After Mudhoji's death in 1788, his youngest son Vyankoji
assumed charge of Candrapur Subha and Raghuji II ruled at Nagpur as the Sena-Saheb-Subha. Of all the Bhosales
of Nagpur who ruled Candrapur Vyankoji alone merits the attention of historians for his good deeds. He gave Candrapur much wanted peace. Perhaps he did not have a full grasp of the political situation in India. He may not have possessed the foresight of his elder brother Raghuji II, at Nagpur. In 1803 by the Treaty of Devganv his brother Raghuji II had to accept the supremacy of the British. From this time onward it was clear that the days of Candrapur too were numbered. But it was beyond the capacity of Vyankoji to stop this growing encroachment of the British power on Indian States. He was like many a petty prince of his day just a helpless onlooker of the situation. He was an
ordinary good ruler interested in the welfare of his subjects.
Vyarikoji was a man of extraordinary energy and physical
vigour. He loved adventures. He was present in the Battle of
Badanu in I786 and fought against Tipu Sultan at the invitation
of Nana Phadnavis [KNI. p. 213.].
Vyankoji as a Soldier.
It was during the second Anglo-Maratha War that Vyankoji distinguished himself as a military leader and came into his own. Vyankoji proposed to Daulatrav Sindc
and his own brother
Raehuji II that the Maratha forces should intercept the British
army under the protection of the two strong torts Narnala and Gavilgad. This was an appropriate strategy which the situation demanded. Towards the end of this war in November 1803, in the absence of RaghujI II, Vyarikoji was in command of the army camping at Adganv before the final action. Vyankoji
played his role well even when he was aware that the Marathas were fighting a losing war [KNI. p. 332.].
After the Treaty of Devganv, adventurous Vyankoji carried out depredations in the Nizam's territory. As this was a breach of the Devganv Treaty, Vyankoji had to give up his marauding activities when sternly reminded by the Resident. He was arrest-ed for a short time and then released [KNI. pp. 362-3.]. Raghuji II and Vyarikoji were not on good terms though they did not wage wars like the Bhosales of the previous generation. On one occasion Vyankoji thought of joining Daulatrav Sinde so that he might get full scope for his soldierly qualities. Daulatrav in his own way was eager to have a brave soldier like Vyankoji in his service. This would have given Daulatrav an opportunity to keep control over Nagpur affairs. But for reasons not known Vyankoji did not join Daulatrav. His jagir at Candrapur which was confiscated was freed and once again he ruled his subha till his death [KNI. p. 380,].
Vyankoji's career as a soldier was a failure in spite of his per-sonal bravery, as he had to bend before the might of the British along with the other Maratha princes. However, as a builder and patron of learning he deserves a high place in the history of Candrapur of the Maratha period.
Part of the historic fort of Ballalpur or Ballarsah which was in ruins was rebuilt by Vyankoji. The fort of Canda too received his attention. It was put in good defensible condition. This strong and extensive fort afforded good defence to the Bhosales in time of difficulties.
Ramala tank named after Ram Sah. the Gond King, was repaired by Vyankoji. For his own use he constructed a beautiful palace which was destroyed by the British in 1818.
The temple of Muralidhar which is an interesting piece of architecture standing to this day was built along with the palace or
Maha [RCI. pp. 209-12.]l.
Vyankoji's a patron of learning.
Vyankoji was a religious-minded person. With a view to
encouraging learning he ottered land grants to a number of Brahmin families. One Vir Raghavacarya well-versed in the Vedas was a highly respected and honoured person at the Candrapur Court. A number of sanads extant, bear testimony of Vyankoji's munificent land grants to learned Brahmins.
Ganoba Rudrapavar, a Vaidya, who had cured Govindsvami, a saintly person of Candrapur of his stomach-ache within a moment, was given a village by Vyankoji on the recommenda-tion of the Brahmin Vir Raghavacarya [RCI. pp. 219-20.].
Under the Bhosales, Candrapur was a centre of commercial activities next to Nagpur. Candrapur had a large number of weavers. Commodities coming from the east passed towards Nagpur and the Berar via Candrapur.
The following persons in the service of Vyankoji show the different offices in his administration: -
1. Sitaram Sadasiv-Divan.
2. Krsnarav Anand-Phadnavis.
3. Bhikaji Bapu-Citnavis.
4. Ramcandra Wagh-Musahib.
5. Candaji Bhosale-Musahib.
During the last three or four years of his life Vyankoji was suffering from consumption which was then practically an incurable ailment. Tired of life he visited Amarkantak with his mother in 1807-8. In 1810 pious Vyankoji went on a pilgrimage to Kasi, there he was taken ill seriously and breathed his last in August 1811 [RCI. PP. 224, 234.].
Following Vyankoji's death, his son Mudhoji popularly known
as Appasaheb was put in charge of Candrapur subha by his uncle Raghuji II, the Sena-Saheb-Subha at Nagpur. However, for the administration of Candrapur a regent was appointed as Appasaheb was just a boy of fifteen. In addition to Candrapur, Chattisgad was given to the Sena-Dhurandhar when Appasaheb was born. Now when Appasaheb came to the gadi he too got the charge of Candrapur and Chattisgad [KNBB. pp. 181, 182,].
Last Days of Raghuji II.
Raghuji II, the Sena-Saheb-Subha died on 22-3-1816 after a
short but sudden illness. It was rumoured that Appasaheb got
Raghuji killed by the use of witchcraft. Before death Raghuji
had expressed his desire that Appasaheb should be in charge of
the subhas of Candrapur and Chattisgad, while his own son
Parasoji alias Balasaheb, who was physically disabled and mentally deranged, should rule as the Sena-Saheb-Subha at Nagpur
on the advice of the trusted and experienced persons. Raghuji
was apprehensive that after his death, Appasaheb might usurp
Sena-Saheb-Subhaship for himself fully exploiting Parasojis
weakness. With a view to averting this danger Raghuji before
his death suggested this arrangement to Gujabadada Gujar,
Yasavantrav Bhavanisankar. Narayan Gopal Pandit, Gangadhar Madhav Citnavis, Balaji Jamdar, Narayan Kalikar, and others in the presence of Appasaheb. Unfortunately, Raghuji's fears came true shortly after his death.
After Raghuji's death the court at Nagpur was split into two rival parties, Parasoji alias Balasaheb's mother had died long back Bakabai. his step-mother and endeared queen of Raghuji II, was an influential and intriguing lady. She at once took possession of the new palace and there confined Parasoji, the halfwitted prince under the protection of strong guards. She wanted 10 administer and control the affairs of the state on behalf of Parasoji as practically the regent. She secured the support of Dhannaji Bhosale, an illegitimate offspring of the royal family, who was in charge of the state treasury and jewellery of the Bhosales. Gujabadada Gujar, Raghuji's sister's son joined her. Among others who for some time sided with Bakabai were Naroba Citnavis and Narayan Yasvant the mutalik of the Citnavis.
Appasaheb versus Bakabai.
Appasaheb Bhosale, the only capable scion of the Bhosale
House at this time, naturally merited the attention of many an
influential noblemen. Among his chief supporters who backed him from first to last were Ramcandra Wagh and Manbhat Josi. They were clever, brave and loyal to their master. Ramcandra Wagh in particular had the daring to execute the plots he hatch-ed for his master unscrupulously. To oppose Bakabai's designs Appasaheb pleaded that when be was the direct descendant of the royal Bhosale family. Dharmaji, a bastard should not be in charge of the treasury, jewellery and Parasoji, the half-witted prince [KNI.p.395]. Dharmaji, Siddik Ali Khan and Gujabadada Gujar had armies under them. Appasaheb further persuaded the partisans of Bakabai to allow him to carry on the administration as the regent as Parasoji was a half-mad person. He promised them that he would protect Parasoji who had succeeded Raghuji II as the Sena-Saheb-Subha. This had its effect in seducing Bakabai's supporters. At the same time Appasaheb sought the help of Resident Jenkins by agreeing to enter into a subsidiary alliance with the British. Raghuji II, after the Treaty of Devganv, had successfully avoided the formation of such an alliance as it meant the end of his independence. Indian States which had accepted the subsidiary alliance of the British had practically signed the death warrant of their political independence. Blind-ed by the ambition to become the Sena-Saheb-Subha, Appasaheb
Appasaheb accepts subsidiary alliance. sought the help of the Resident. This was the most suicidal
way he chose to paralyse the efforts of Bakabai and her supporters. But in heat or family feud and personal ambition, he
was not aware that the subsidiary alliance with the British was
bound to recoil upon him like a boomerang depriving him of his
freedom once for all. The cunning, opportunist Jenkins simply
jumped at Appasaheb's suggestion to have British help in lieu of agreeing to enter into a subsidiary alliance with them. Secret discussions were held at the house of one Nagopant in which Appasaheb, Jenkins and others were present. It was decided to give Appasaheb a free hand to seize power. Appasaheb called Dharmaji for a talk, chained him and put him behind prison bars. He took possession of the treasury and jewellery and the person of the king Parasoji [KNI. pp. 395-97.]. Parasoji was ceremoniously carried in a palanquin to the darbar, Appasaheb moving a whisk over his head, himself walking on foot. Parasoji was seated on the throne, (14-4-1816). Resident Jenkins was present on this occa-sion. Parasoji was made to declare that he had appointed Appasaheb as the Regent to administer his kingdom. This masterly stroke silenced all opposition to Appasaheb. As the price for this mastery Appasaheb entered into a subsidiary alliance with the British on 28-5-1816, and once for all sold the freedom of the House of the Bhosales at Nagpur. Appasaheb got Dharmaji assassinated and practically secured all power for him-self. All opposition to Appasaheb offered by Bakabai and her supporters broke down.
The act of bringing Nagpur under the subsidiary alliance was duly regarded by Hastings, the Governor General of India, as the greatest diplomatic triumph of the British [The Private Journals of the Marquess of Hastings, pp. 254-55(Panini Office Edition).].
The next obstacle in the way of Appasaheb's ambition, to become the Sena-Saheb-Subha was Parasoji, the King. On 1-2-1817, when Appasaheb was at Candrapur, Parasoji was found dead in bed. He appears not to have died a natural death. It was rumoured that Appasaheb got him killed during his absence from Nagpur in order that he should easily escape the guilt. Mr. Jenkins sent his man to the palace and stated that Parasoji's body indicated no signs of death by assassination [KNI. p. 403.]. Later, when Appasaheb tried to free himself from the shackles of the subsidiary alliance, the British charged him of Parasoji's murder.
Appasaheb sat on the gadi of Nagpur as the Sena-Saheb-Subha on 21-4-1817. From hereon Appasaheb had to face a critical situation as he was pitted against the vastly superior power of the British.
Appasaheb's struggle for freedom and war with the British.
After occupying the gadi, Appasaheb sent his agents to Poona for
securing formal sanction from the Pesva for Sena-Saheb-Subha- ship. The Nagpur Resident too sent letters to the Poona Resident requesting him to secure the robes of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship for Appasaheb. But in the meanwhile Pesva Bajirav II had attack-ed the British Residency at Poona. A war had broken out between the Marathas and the English. Under the circumstance the Resident at Nagpur. Mr. Jenkins, informed Appasaheb that he should not receive robes of Sena-Saheb-Subhaship ceremoniously in the
darbar from the Pesva and that he would not be present in the
darbar for the ceremony. Appasaheb ignored this warning. On the day fixed for the darbar 24th November, 1817, Appasaheb received the robes and the title of Sena-Saheb-Subha, and mount-ed on an elephant announced the acceptance of the title and honour from his master, the Pesva to the gathering. Knowing the difficult times which awaited him he further appealed to his noblemen that his honour and position lay in their hands. By accepting the Sena-Saheb-Subha title from Poona, Appasaheb wanted to prove that his real master was the Pesva and not the English though he had signed the subsidiary alliance with them [KNI. pp. 407-8,]. But it was too late for Appasaheb to play the game with the British who were past-masters in all sorts of intrigues.
Appasaheb had started making preparation for a war with the British in consultation with his trusted men Manbhat Josi, Ramcandra Wagh, Nimbalkar and Naro Sakharam. Secretly he was in correspondence with Cittu, one of the Pendhari leaders and Pesva Bajirav II. With a view to freeing himself from the bonds of the subsidiary alliance he had no alternative but to wage a war with the British.
Appasaheb's war with the British.
Following this decision a bloody battle was fought on the 26th
December 1817, known as the Battle of Sitabardi in which the
army of Appasaheb was finally defeated. Manbhat Josi with his
Arab and Maratha soldiers gave commendable resistance. Ganpatrav Subhedar, Ramcandra Wagh and Amrutrav Kalu also offered good resistance. But in the absence of firm leadership from the master, Appasaheb, the day was lost. Appasaheb from first to last was vacillating in his attitude. When he found that he would be defeated he sent Narayan Gopal Pandit and Narayan Nagare to the Resident for negotiations and when actually defeat-ed, told the Resident shamelessly that his general Manbhat Josi had started the war without his express orders. He was un-worthy of trust. He behaved in a manner which was unbecoming of a king both in peace and war.
In the truce that followed, Appasaheb accepted all the conditions put to him by the English on 6th January. 1818. Appasaheb was allowed to remain at Nagpur under strict vigilance.
Dissatisfied with the lot of his own creation Appasaheb made a last attempt to regain his independence. He entered into secret correspondence with Pesva Bajirav II. Bajirav after his defeat escaped from Poona and marched towards Wasim in Berar. From there he was to proceed to Candrapur, a stronghold under
Appasaheb. It was rumoured that Appasaheb bad ordered the keeper of Canda fort to recruit additional force for its defence.
When Appasaheb's actions had aroused suspicion in the mind of
the Nagpur Resident, he received a letter from Elphinstone, the
Resident at Poona,, revealing the secret correspondence between Appasaheb and Bajirav for joint action against the British. Upon this the Resident arrested Appasaheb and deported him to Prayag along with Ramcandra Wagh and Nagopant, under the escort of Captain Brown. On his way to Prayag Appasaheb slip-ped from the custody. A prize was set for his arrest. In his great escape Appasaheb for some time took shelter with the Gonds of Pacmadhi. Me then went to the strong fortress of Asirgad and after wandering through the hilly states of the Himalayas, finally begged of the Rana of Jodhpur for asylum. True to the Rajput traditions the Rana offered all protection to Appasaheb in spite of protestations from the British political agent at Jodhpur. At Jodhpur Appasaheb died in 1840 forgotten by his subjects and his near relations.
Thus ended the eventful career of Appasaheb who had combined in himself the Sena-Dhurandharship of Candrapur and the Sena-Saheb-Subhaship of Nagpur.
The fall of Candrapur fort.
After his defeat at Poona Bajirav II escaped towards Pandarkavada in Berar. It was feared that he would seek shelter in the fort of Canda. To prevent this Captain Scott and Adams started for Candrapur and reached there on 9th May 1818. Canda fort had not been surrendered to the English though Appasaheb had agreed to do so in the final treaty with the British. Captains Scott and Adams sent their messenger into the fort asking the garrison to surrender. He was killed. Part of the British force took a vantage position on the Mana hill near the Zarpat river. Firing continued from this position for four days without any effect on the wall. The keeper of the fort Ganga Sing, Ali Khan in charge of the artillery, Bhujangrav and Vyankatrav the land-lords of Aheri and Adapalli, respectively, returned successfully the British fire. On the 17th May guns were used against the fort from a distance of 400 yards. They could not create a breach in the wall. At last heavy eighteen pounder guns were trained on the fort walls. They had their telling effect. They created breaches and Captain Scott entered the fort on 20th May. Bhujangrav and Vyankatrav left for Aheri. Ganga Sing, the keeper of the fort, fought bravely till he fell on the battle-field. The Gond King Ram Sah ran away without offering resis-tance. The English took possession of the historic fort of Canda and hoisted their Union Jack. Candrapur was looted and the palace built by Vyankoji was destroyed.
Ganga Sing, who loyally resisted to the last, when seriously wounded took poison to escape dishonour and torture at the hands of the British. In appreciation of his bravery the British offered a pension to the successors of Ganga Sing. Ranajit Sing,
Candrapur 1818 to 1853.
the son off Ganga Sing, constructed a tomb in honour of his
father which stands today outside the Jatpura gate at Candrapur [LSRLRSC. pp. 73, 74.].
After Appasaheb's deposition there was no direct male descendam belonging to the scions of Raghuji I, the founder of the Bhosale House at Nagpur. Nagpur Kingdom could have been annexed to the British territory at this time. Correspondence passed between the Resident of Nagpur, Mr. Jenkins, and Warren Hastings, the Governor General of India, regarding the successor of Appnsaheb. It was decided that Durgabai, the wife of the late King Parasoji, should adopt Bajiba, the son of Banubai. daughter of Raghuji II. Banubai was given in marriage to Vyankatrav Gujar. The adoption ceremony was gone through on 25-6-1818 and the next day. Bajiba styled as Raghuji III was seated on the gadi. Bakabai, who had opposed Appasaheb's designs, was taken into confidence. She was to look after the palace affairs and Gujabadada Gujar was to be the chief counsellor of the King in all political matters. Raghuji
III was. just a ten-year old boy. Actually everything was done in consultation with the Resident. The entire army was under him. He appointed English officers in all departments.
After the death of Vyankoji Bhosale in 1811, the administration of Candrapur region seems to have fallen into confusion. Following the treaty of Devganv (1803) Candrapur was subject to repeated disturbances leading to lawlessness everywhere. It is recorded that owing to continued lawlessness, the population in 1822 was half of that estimated in 1802. Nearly half of the total houses counted in 1802 were found to have been deserted in 1822.
During the period of the British protectorate from 1818 to 1830, efforts were made to restore the prosperity of the Candrapur region. The Gond chiefs who had rebelled were brought to submission. The heavy assessments on land were reduced. Deserted villages were repopulated, ruined irrigation works were repaired and agriculture was encouraged. Education too was encouraged.
From 1818 to 1824. Captain Crawford was the superintendent of Candrapur. He repaired the fort; wall ruined during the war and constructed a prison. Cain Sah, the Raja of Harai, who had helped Appasaheb in his great escape was arrested and imprisoned in this fort [KNI. p. 452.].
Under Crawford the Candrapur revenue was Rs. 3,34,277. Crawford is said to have experienced great difficulties in restoring the land revenue of Candrapur as the old records of the Gond and Maratha periods were destroyed by one Lingopant alias Aba Diksit. Lingopant who was just a clerk or karkoon under the Bhosales had risen to the position of a Sadar Waradpande when Crawford had taken charge of Candrapur as the
Superintendent. He was a very influential man and was consult-
ed by Captain Crawford. He had amassed a large fortune and
owned a number of villages. He is said to have destroyed old
records yielding references inconvenient to him. However, he
enjoyed the confidence of Captain Crawford.
Captain Crawford left Candrapur on 31st October 1824 and
was succeeded by Captain Pew who remained in office till 22nd April 1827. Thereafter Wilkinson became the Superintendent till the end of the British protectorate in 1830 [LSRLRSC. pp. 126, 127.].
Maratha rule resumed.
In 1826 before Jenkins, the Resident, left Nagpur, he held a grand darbar at Nagpur (1st December 1826) and entered into a fresh treaty with Raghuji III. It was signed by him and later (13th December 1826) ratified by the Governor General. Clause No. 9 of the treaty states that the English rule over the feudatories of Candrapur, Devgad, Lanja and Chattisgad should continue. After deducting the expenditure of these areas, a sum of Rs. 17,00,000 should be paid annually to Raghuji by the English. The administration of Canda etc., would be handed over to the Raja when he attains necessary competence for the same. All matters concerning the feudatories and the landlords of the area were to be settled by the Raja in consultation with the English [KNI. pp. 486-87.].
This clause indicates the importance attached to Candrapur by the British in 1826.
In 1830 Candrapur was made over to Raghuji III, though he
had come of age much earlier. According to Jenkins Raghuji
was of average intelligence. He was educated in the three R's according to the time-honoured custom and had preliminary knowledge of Persian which was the Court language under the long Muslim rule in India. He was ease-loving and was interested in petty things. Other Englishmen who had known Raghuji intimately speak highly of his intelligence. He was well-behaved and had good manners. All, however, agree that Raghuji was indolent [KNI. p. 497. Raghuji took great interest in wrestling, races, kite flying, music and dance.]. Like many a prince of his day in India, he does not seem to have made any attempt to understand the impact of the Western Civilization on India and incidentally upon his own state. This was something beyond his grasp.
In 1831. Raghuji got a son. On this happy occasion the Resident gave Raghuji Rs. 5,500 as present. But unfortunately the boy died within six months of his birth [KNI. p. 390.].
Towards the end of his career Raghuji grew despondent and neglected administration.
So far as the administration of Candrapur was concerned the
broad and liberal policy of the British protectorate gave way to
measures that proved to be short-sighted and grasping in the last
years or Raghuji s reign. Land tax became burdensome to those who took genuine interest in cultivation while the influential got their land taxed lightly. Old holders of the land were ejected and villages yielding good revenue were bestowed upon favourites. This naturally gave rise to absentee land owners who leased the richest estates with a view to extracting as much income as they could without caring either for the interest of the country or the people. This was all in contrast to the wise policy pursued by the Gond Kings. Plundering revived in spite of the posting of military parties in the district. As late as 1852 Government treasure escort was attacked and looted by the Gonds on the Mul road, just sixteen miles from Candrapur, the district capital.
End of Maratha Rule.
In 1853, Raghuji died heirless and the Nagpur province together with Canda was declared annexed to the British Empire. The administration of Candrapur was entrusted to Mr. R. S. Ellis of the Madras Civil Service as its first Commissioner. He assumed charge on 18th December 1854.
The Bhosale rule over Canda of just over a hundred years
(1751 -1853) came to an end.
The Marathas conquered Candrapur in 1751, and soon extended their administration over the whole territory. They retained the fiscal machinery and procedure of the Gonds. However, in practice, their method proved to be exacting. They increased the demand on the village and what was taxable was made liable to assessment. The Patels who were Gonds were replaced by their favourites or by those who agreed to raise larger sums than in the previous regime. At the same time the Marathas have to be credited for observing the fundamental principles, namely the ryot should not be asked to pay more than the assessment fixed by the state, and the Patel's duty was to look to his free land, his percentage on collections, his dues and increased cultivation for remuneration. Even during the British protectorate (1818-1830) and the second Maratha administration (1830-53) the principle strictly followed was that the Patel was not to increase the assessment fixed by Government, and was to bring the waste and fallow lands under the plough.
While settling the assessment the Marathas did not rely upon the Desmukhs, Despandes and the Sir Mukaddams, probably because of their being in office since Gondi times. As a check upon these hereditary officials the village papers were forwarded by the Divan to the Subhedar or the head executive officer at Candrapur. This officer after the rains sent an examiner called Tanakhivala with the papers to each village. The Tanakhivala going from village to village called the cultivators before him questioning them one by one as to the actual amount they had paid in the previous year. He then visited the cultivated area and noted if any field had been left out or could be assessed at a
higher rate, at the same time carefully inspecting all the land in the possession of the Patel and his relatives. The original papers
together with the Tanakhivala' s notes were then submitted to the Subhedar who thereupon proceeded to fix the assessment for the ensuring year, sometimes in consultation with the paragana officials but often without their advice. When a village had fallen waste it was settled for a term of five years on what was called istawoa or sawai. In the istawoa the demand for the first year was low and then increased at a fixed ratio say five rupees per year. In the sawai
the rate of increase was one-fourth per year. In both the systems, after the
expiry of the term, assessment was brought to the normal rate as under the Patel's jurisdiction.
Heavy burguns or extraordinary imposts were levied yearly on the paraganas distributed over the villages. These sources of emolument were utilised by all officials from the Divan to Patel, as each exacted from his subordinates something more than what he had to pay.
After the death of Janoji, the Sena-Saheb-Subha, Candrapur was subject to frequent disturbances. In 1803 the Pendharis appeared and during the next fifteen years plundered the country creating consternation among the peasantry. A severe famine swept the country in 1804 when the rich sold their jewels to supply food to the poor. During Appasaheb's hostility with the British, 1817-1818, the city of Candrapur was stormed, sacked and the cattle driven away. The net result was the impoverishment of the country.
Candrapur as already observed was the capital of Mudhoji, Vyankojl alias Nanasaheb and Appasaheb. Their rule was harsh and they dismissed a good number of Gond Patels appointing in their place their favourites and relations. However, absentee farmers were not so common at this time as in the second Maratha period. The net result was that a good area of land fell out of cultivation. Details regarding the revenue collections of this period are not available as the account papers together with the old Gond records were destroyed by Lingopant Diksit. But according to the Resident Sir Richard Jenkins, the collections from the Khalsa portion during the ten years preceding the British protectorate averaged Rs. 3,34,227 per annum.
During the British protectorate (1818-1830) the administration of Candrapur along with the Nagpur territories was con-ducted by the Resident acting in the name of the Raja Raghuji III. He was assisted for the Candrapur subha by Captain G. N. Crawford. He at once took stern action against the Gonds who were up in arms against the new British administration. He put down rebellion and plundering by the anti-British elements.
As regards the land revenue policy he maintained the ancient system and did away
with those Maratha practices which were coercive and had proved abusive to their
power. The period of British protectorate was reckoned as one of peace and
improvement. the burguns and petty imposts which were entered in
the accounts as land revenue were abolished. Tanks were repaired and deserted villages repcopled.
The allowance of the Patels ranged from 13 to 15 per cent of. the total village assessment. The system adopted by Captain
Crawford was that of istawoa for assessment. Among the people it was known as the tahoot bandobast, tahoot meaning lease. The idea was that the sum represented what the Patel could afford to pay from the annual increase to be expected by the improvement of the village. The Resident recorded that Captain Crawford's last or five years' settlement resulted in the decrease of the revenue. However, on the whole the collections showed a rise. During the superintendentship of Crawford, Lingo-pant Diksit popularly known as Aba Saheb was appointed Sadar Waradpande. He wielded great influence with the Resident. It was he who destroyed the records which ran counter to his designs. He died in 1824.
Captain Crawford dismissed Pandes and made the Patels responsible
for submitting the village papers. The system introduced during the period of the protectorate was not free from defects. But the much needed order and peace which he brought was gratefully remembered by the people.
Second Maratha Administration.
In 1830, Nagpur territories were entrusted to Raghuji III and the Candrapur administration was managed from Nagpur
through a resident executive officer styled Subhedar or Subha. His establishment consisted of the following officers:-
4. Sadar Waradpande.
7. Divani Sirastedar.
8. Faujdari Sirastedar.
The bodies of horse and foot police were under a superior officer.
Citnavis.-Citnavis read all reports, petitions, etc., to the Subhedar. He endorsed the Subhedar's orders thereon.
Roznamcanavis.-The Roznamcanavis worked under the Citnavis and kept a regular diary of all that happened in the Court and forwarded a copy of the same daily to the Raja at Nagpur.
Phadnavis and Sadar W aradpande.-The Phadnavis was the head of the revenue department and no payment could be made
from the Sadar Treasury without an order signed by him. The
Sadar W aradpande was subordinate to him in charge of the
village papers and the Khajanci or Treasurer.
Ubhait.-The Ubhait always attended upon the Subhedar and was in charge of the orderly-Caparasis. He noted everything that was done by the Subhedar and forwarded a daily report of the same to the Sadar Ubhait at Nagpur.
Divani Sirastedar, Faujadari Sirastedar, and Moharir.- The Divani Sirastedar was the head of the Civil Judicial Depart-ment, and the Faujadari Sirastedar that of the Criminal. The Moharirs were clerks. All these officials were appointed by the Raja generally on the recommendation of the heads of their respective departments at Nagpur. The Subhedar had no authority to punish them. Each had a good deal of power. The Subhedar knowing their influence over the Raja through their patrons was afraid of incurring their displeasure.
To a certain extent these officials served as a sort of check and counter check upon each other.
Paragana Officials.-The designation of the paragana officer was changed from Divan to Kamavisdar. The services of the Desmukh, Despande and the Sir Mukaddam which had become nominal for the last many years were dispensed with and a Phadnavis was appointed to supervise the revenue work. The official styled as Karkun came to be designated Peskar. Thus the newly modelled establishment of a paragana had-
6. Naj Pande.
All these officers were appointed by the Raja and as a rule were deputed from Nagpur.
According to the report of Major Lucie Smith this system gave rise to nepotism. Persons having influence at Nagpur filled up posts throughout the district. The Patels were ousted. If they left their posts in good grace they were often rewarded with a rent-free land, but if they opposed, they were required to pay for their villages sums which they could not yield. Patels
who had spent generations in the village were dismayed and desperately agreed to pay more but in fact could not raise more money from the villages and in the end the official bidder stepped in. Thus a Patel who was rooted in the soil for generations, had
founded a village, had constructed a tank for its prosperity was ruthlessly ejected to make room for a Nagpur or Candrapur
The officials coming from Nagpur or Candrapur being absentees could not manage the village as the resident Patel could. In consequence the receipts fell and an influential holder of the village pressed for the reduction if jama (collection) which was rarely refused. To make good this loss demands on the village were increased. But when the village could not yield more, threat, fetters and imprisonment were used upon the peasantry. The Patel under the circumstances was forced to join the officials and help them in squeezing the village. He offered them bribes and completely neglected the village which had maintained him for generations. Thus the hen that laid the golden egg was killed. A chain of corrupt officials from top to bottom flourished. The Patel to maintain his position enforced exactions. When this was brought to the notice of the Raja he visited Candrapur and learned how his officials were abusing power. On the first occasion he fined the Subhedar Krsnarav Anand and his accomplices Rs. 1,19,072 and on the second occasion he dismissed the Nagpur Citnavis, his relatives and other officials. But it was too late for the Raja to rectify the wrong done.
At this time one Siubai Josin who came forward as the defender of the people merits our attention. Widowed at an early age she took upon herself the task of giving vent to the public feelings, unable to bear the wrongs that were being done by the officials. She was known for her honesty and character. She fearlessly approached the Raja and got wrongs redressed in many cases. The Nagpur officials feared her and later saw that the Raja would not meet her. But her efforts to help the public in getting their wrongs redressed are noteworthy. Her efforts fell short as hers was a lone voice against the corrupt system.
The land revenue speedily fell. Irreparable wrong was done to many and the people were left demoralised towards the end of the career of Raghuji III. [LSRLRSC. pp. 123-131.]