In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.
According to Prof Islam, one should “never forget” that Rani Laxmi Bai was martyred by the joint armed forces of “Sindhias and the East India Company”, adding, “Not only this, one of the leading commanders of 1857 Indian War of Independence, Tatya Tope, was captured in Gwalior State ruled by this criminal Sindhi clan and executed on April 18, 1859 in Shivpuri, part of the Gwalior State.”
Formerly with the Delhi University, Prof Islam quotes from relevant portions of the “Gwalior State Gazetteer”, Vol 1 (page 40), compiled by Luard CE, Government Printing Press, Calcutta, 1908.
The British gazette said:”Sindhia was still a young man when the mutiny broke out, and it was a question of the greatest importance what he would do. Sindhia was young and impulsive and the feelings of his court were strongly anti-British. But he had two strong councilors at his side — Major Charters Macpherson, the Resident, and Sir Dinkar — whose tact and firmness proved to Sindhia that the British-arms would triumph in the end, however much things appeared to be against them. Sindhia at once offered his own body-guard to Mr. Colvin at Agra.
Sindhia was still a young man when the mutiny broke out, and it was a question of the greatest importance what he would do.
“On May 30th (1858) Tantia Topi [sic] and Lachmi Bai [sic], ‘the Rani of Jhansi’, appeared before Gwalior and called on Sindhia to join them. Jiyaji Rao not only refused but without waiting for the column on its way from Agra, led out his troops against them on June 1st. But his army, except the Maratha bodyguard, went over en masse to the enemy, and he and Dinkar Rao fled to Agra.
“On the 16th June Sir Hugh Rose arrived at Gwalior and, after a fight lasting two days, occupied the fort and town of Gwalior and and the city of Lashkar. On the 20th Sindhia, accompanied by Sir Hugh Rose and Major Macpherson was reinstated in his capital.
“For his services in the mutiny lands worth 3 lakhs a year revenue were made over to him, while he was allowed to increase his infantry from 3,000 to 5,000 men and his artillery from 32 to 36 guns.
“Later this British stooge was made GCSI, Councillor of the Empress, GCB, CIE and granted a personal salute of 21 guns.”