Real “Thugs of Hindostan”: The Indian Tribal Castes.
In the earlier times, The Indian tribal castes who used to live in the dense and thick forests were misinterpreted as Thugs.
These were not actually dacoits, thieves or murderers. They were the real heroes and there is a valid reason for calling them as Heroes! These Indian Tribal castes were the brave fellows who opposed Britishers when they initially started capturing and ruling our nation India.
They were the only brave people, who had opposed and went against the Britishers with full force and power for the reason that the Britishers were damaging forests, the lifeline, and source of living for these tribal castes, to increase their dominance over our land, but these tribal castes were ready to die instead of giving their land and accept someone else’s governance. And indeed it was customary and considered to be normal to go against anyone who wants to capture our land and home.
Confessions of Thug of Hindostan.
One of the famous books which described Thugs is “Confessions of a Thug”, which was written by a renowned author Philip Meadows in the year of 1893 and this books describes thugs as they were mainly the murderer and dacoit. It is considered to be connected to the historical references and ideas associated with thugs of that time.
Primarily the known reference to the Thugs as a group fraternity, rather than ordinary or individual thieves, was found in Ziau-d din Barni’s History of the ruler “Firoz Shah”. He narrated an event of the sultan Jalal Uddin khilji in which 1,000 thugs were being arrested and sent to Gaur. During the ruling time of that sultan [around 1290], various thugs were taken to Delhi and a traitor belonging to that group was responsible for this detention of such a large number of thugs. But none of them was killed by the sultan.
He further only gave orders to his subordinate to shift these thugs in boats and travel through it, to the neighbourhood of Gaur, where they were set to be free. The Thugs were told to reside by Lakhnauti (gaur) and would never trouble the neighbourhood or the residents of Delhi anymore.
Real Thugs of Hindostan in 19th Century
A more commendable conceptualization of the thugs of the early 19th century would be seen in their origins as small groups of bands of “bandit-retainers” or who retains or owns else’s goods those are tied to local elites in a form of client-patron relation. The main debate was led by Wagner’s was that the thugs should only be allowed to set out on expeditions typically only after the harvest of the crops further following the agricultural cycle and especially when resources were limited to an extent.
But for the Britishers, when they were on their way to build an empire, by the same time Sleeman began his anti thuggee operations, which further resulted in the backing off of successive governor general from their positions and duties, which includes William Bentinck, a protest in India rise that was cult of highway murderers in which thugs were using silk roomals and heavy one rupee coins of that time to strangle unsuspecting travellers for killing and looting them, this had to be done to justify the territorial expansion of English law.
History of “Real Thugs of Hindostan”.
There are no physical or historical remains of thuggee of that time, not even small, there were rudimentary shrines which were dedicated to Kali-Bhawani, who was supposedly musically vocalized by both Hindu and Muslim thugs, before that each man consumed a piece of jaggery and set themselves upon night travellers. Their main objective was to loot the travellers, which was then divided among the groups of men. Once by killing the travellers by strangling them with the roomals, the Thuggees would slash their to prevent their bodies from bloating and rotting. The bodies would then be buried in large pits of land dug by them. Though the East India company officials were safe from these Thuggees they never killed them, but popular accounts speak of sepoys were been the victims sometimes.
The earliest recorded traditions about the origins of Thugs is from 1760. Based on genealogies reappeared by some Thugs, historian Mike dash stated that the beginning of the Thuggee started from the second half of 17th century. A general consensus among them was laid which proved that they were originated from Delhi. The thug Gholam Hossyn who was being caught in the early 1800s stated that his cooperator ’s believed that Thugs had existed since the time of Alexander. Another tradition or culture from Thugs who resided in the early 1800s stated that they had lived in Delhi till the time of the great Akbar was ruling there which also comprised of seven great Muslim clans and ancestors, though they had Hindu names, during that period. After one of the most favoured warriors of Akbar was killed, they left that place and moved to other regions fearing being targeted by the emperor. A Brahmin thug when interrogated referred them as Muslim thugs who were also known as “Kunjurs” or Kanjar, though after investigating another Thug denied this.
One thug stated that some of their ancestors told that they were forced to camouflage themselves as Khunjurs while fleeing to Delhi but were considered as high-class Muslims. He however also stated that the accusation laid by the descents can be false because of no subtle evidence also some of them arise from the poor people who worked as the subordinate warriors in the palace. Unlike their claims of Thug, clans were being closed to the outsiders, people of all backgrounds were now allowed to join as per the evidence provided.