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Maratha - Rajputs Relations

The rise of Maratha in the 17th century is an important event in Indian History. There were many causes of their rise. The geographical situation, Bhakti movement, literature and language, the dominant influence of the Hindu power as well as the Deccan policy of the Mughal emperors – all contributed significantly to the rise of the Maratha power. Shivaji united together the fragmented Marathas scattered in different parts of Maharashtra. He organized them and created an independent state. This led to the direct Maratha – Mughal confrontation. A number of Rajput rulers were sent to the Deccan a Mughal commanders and this resulted in the first phase of Rajput-Maratha contacts.

Maratha Expansion in the North and reaction of the Rajputs

By the end of 17th century the decline of Mughal power had set in. In the last twenty – five years of his life Aurangzeb tried hard to subdue the Marathas but he was not successful. Besides this, the Marathas started to raid the rich provinces of Malwa and Gujarat. In the year 1699 they attacked Malwa for the first time. It was twice attacked by them during the last days of Aurangzeb’s reign. In the year 1706 they also defeated Mughal army in the south Gujarat. But at that time the aim of the Marathas was to harass the empire and divert the Emperor’s attention from his offensive activities in the Deccan. But after his death mutual rivalries in the Mughal court created confusion and chaos in the distant provinces and provided greater opportunity for the Maratha advance into Malwa and Gujarat. In 1710, Maratha sardar Ganga crossed – Narbada and after exacting twenty five thousand rupees from the people on the way he reached as far as Ujjain. This and successive advances of the Marathas into imperial territory were alarming not only for the Mughal emperor but also for the states of Rajasthan. There were two basic causes for this anxiety on the part of the rulers of Rajasthan. One reason was that they were looking with covetous eyes at Malwa and Gujarat and hence considered Maratha power as a stumbling block in their hope of exploiting the declining Mughal power. Marwar wanted to occupy Gujarat, and Amber had an eye over Malwa. Another reason was that the powerful Marathas would then turn to grab the states of Rajasthan particularly Mewar, Bundi, Kota and Marwar. This was a danger signal to the Rajputs too thus Malwa and Gujarat became vital and sensitive points in the defence strategy of the Mughals, and the survival of the empire and independence of neighboring Rajput states were very largely dependent on effective and timely protection of these border provinces. Hence was felt the necessity of appointing there a governor like Sawai Jai Singh of Amber who was considered a suitable vassal price for dealing with the Marathas – both as a diplomat and also as a general. So he was appointed the governor of Malwa. Jai Singh testified his appointment by his brave and vigorous resistance against and victories over the huge Maratha army in May 1715. but the effect of these victories proved short lived. Soon after Sept. 1715 Mai Singh was summoned to the court and was entrusted with the task of suppressing Jats. For the next two years he remained completely engrossed in the Jat campaign. His prolonged absence from Malwa encouraged the Marathas to resume thir raids into that province. His campaign against the Marathas proved abortive.

A new strategy of Maratha expansion began with Bajirao taking over as Peshwa in 1720 A.D. Now the systematic expansion towards north became the definite and declared policy of the Marathas. In accordance with this policy in 1723 he made an incursion into Malwa, collected chauth, which deeply hurt the Mughal Empire. The ambition and security of the princes of Rajasthan received its first set back in 1724 when the Marathas attacked the boundaries of Mewar, Maharana Sangram Singh II of Mewar sought the help of other rulers of Rajasthan to ward off Maratha attacks. This we learn from a “Kharita” written on 25th Nov. 1724 by him to Jai Singh, The Maharana wrote that the “Deccanis always created disturbance in his territory and they would not give up their habits unless they were properly chastised.” This appeal of Maharana did not bear any fruit. The Marathas began their attacks on Rampura, Kota and Bundi too. These raids gave a foretaste of the calamities to the Rajasthan kprinces. Hence maharana sought the help of Emperor against the Marathas. However, it seems that the Mughal Emperor did not take these attacks with the seriousness it deserved. Sangram Singh and Jai Singh also apprised the Nizam with the situation regarding the Maratha raids into various parts of Rajasthan. Not havingh succeeded in securing any assistance from either the Nizam or the emperor, jai Singh tried to involve Kota and Jodhpur in a military organization. These moves of the Rajputs princess naturally alarmed the Marathas, so Shahu sent his two officers, Gopalpant and Appaji Pant, in Mewar to dicsuss the whole matter with the Maharana. But these talks bore no fruit and there was no let at all in the Maratha activities. Hi 1726 Krishanaji Pant, Baji Pant and Ambaji Pant attacked Kota and Bundi. So also the Maratha chieftain attacked Jodhpur too. Mewar was also not spared of these raids. Therefore, fresh efforts to unite the Rajput rulers began. Maharana wrote to Jai Singh that if this evil were not nipped in the bud the virus would spread all over Rajasthan. it appears that Jai Singh not only gave an assurance to Mewar, but also persuaded Durjan Sal of Kota to join the alliance against the Marathas.

Battle of Mandsaur

These remedies were ineffective to beat back the Maratha expansion. They continued to extort wealth from Mewar and other adjoining areas of Rajasthan. In 1726 Baji Bhim visited Mewar arid realized Chauth from a Mewar district in 1728, Bajirao forced the rulers of Dungarpur and Banswara to Pay to him. In this way Marathas raids continued. There are some letters which show that when Chhatrapati Shahu’s attention was drawn towards these raids, he directed his sardars not to interfere in the territories of Mewar and Amber. It appears that these letters did not have the desired effect and the raids continued. In the mean time the Maratha raids endangered the Mughal emperor no less than the Rajputs. Strategically and from the security point of view Malwa became an important focal point for the Mughal Empire and Rajasthan. Hence in 1732, Jai Singh was appointed the imperial governor of Malwa for the third time. In order to drive out the Marathas from Malwa, he in turn obtained the military help from Mewar. The Marathas on hearing of it, Holkar and Sindhia entered Malwa and encircled Jai Singh at Mandsaur and gave him a crushing defeat. He was compelled to agree to pay 6 lacs in cash and promised to cede thirty-eight paraganas in lieu of Chauth. His defeat dealt a shattering blow to the prestige of the Rajasthani rulers in general and Jai Singh in particular it also became obvious that even the combined armies of Rajputs and Mughals were no match to the Marathas.

Bundi Affair

Not only this, the Bundi affair brought the Marathas as mediators in Rajasthan. Sawai Jai Singh was keen to enhance his position in Rajasthan. The first victim of his ambition and aggrandizement was Budh Singh of Bundi, whom be expelled and placed his own son in law, Dalal Singh on the throne. This meddling with the internal affair of a princely state gave rise to a complicated situation and the dethroned hose tried to seek the support of an external power stronger than Jai Singh. According to Vamsh Bhaskar, Pratap Singh Hada, the elder brother of Dalal Singh, was sent to Poona to meet the Peshwa and the other prominent Maratha sardars to enlist military support for Budh Singh. The assistance was promised and on the 22nd April, 1734 Holkar restored the authority of Budh Singh. But the weak and imbecile Budh Singh could not retain his throne for long. After the Marathas forces had departed Jai Singh again removed him, and obtained also the approval of the Mughal court for this action.

However, the Maratha interference in Bundi was an event of great political significance because the Rajput princes were then at least apparently within the hold of the Mughal Empire. This was a prelude to future interventions at frequent interval. It was for the first time that the Marathas took sides in the domestic affairs of a State in Rajputana. It greatly alarmed the Rajputs and created a feeling of terror amongst them. Their weakness was exposed. Thinking minds in Rajasthan began to apprehend danger from the Marathas, and the Rajput princes saw in the Maratha move not only an obstacle in their own dominions. Malwa had already been for all practical purposes a Maratha province and its proximity menaced the safety of Mewar. Maharana Jagat Singh of Mewar was, therefore, naturally very anxious to safeguard the territorial integrity of his kingdom. Similarly, Jai Singh’s plan of forming a large state in Malwa for his younger son, Mdadho Singh, with Rampura as nucleus was severely hampered. He wished to carve out a separate state so as to save Jaipur from a future conflict. Maharaja Abhay Singh of Jodhpur was also keenly desirous of expanding his state.

Hurda Conference

By the time Rajput rulers had realized that the weak and tottering Mughal power was incapable of resisting the Maratha expansion, and felt the imperative necessity of organizing self-defence. They planned to unite against the Marathas to oust them even from Malwa. Some form of collective action was the need of the hour. They could not survive with honour without pooling their efforts against a common danger. This was the beginning of an era of Rajput unity in the face of a common foe. Now the Rajput rulers decided to meet in a conference at Hurda. This was a significant event, as it afforded an opportunity for the meeting of all the important rulers of Rajasthan, who held even antagonistic opinions on several other vital matters. It was attended by Maharana Jagat Singh of Mewar, Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur, Abhay Singh of Jodhpur, Durjansal of Kota, Zorawar Singh of Bikaner, Dalal Singh of Bundi, Gopal Singh of Karauli, Bakhat Singh of Nagaur and Raj Singh of Kishangarh. Prolonged and feverish diplomatic activities preceded the conference. After long deliberations an agreement was signed on 17th July 1734. Its terms were as follows.

1. All are united in good and in evil and none will withdraw there from, on which oaths have been made and faith pledged which will be lost by whoever acts contrary thereto. The honour and shame of one is that of all, and in this everything is contained.
2. No one shall countenance the traitor of another.
3. After the rains, the affairs shall commence and the chiefs of each party will assemble at Hurda. If from any cause the head cannot come, he will send his Kunwar (heir) or some personage of weight.
4. Should from inexperience such Kunwar commit error, the Rana alone shall interfere to correct it.
5. In every enterprise all should exert.

All the rulers returned to their respective states to take the field after the rains. Thus for the first time since the battle of Khanua in 1527, a Rajput confederacy was formed under the leadership of Jagat Singh, the Maharana of Mewar. Once again Mewar was leading the united Rajputs against the Marathas. But how different was Jagat Singh from Sanga? The unity was achieved only on Paper, not in practice. It proved to be only a fiasco and did not produce the desired effect, because every Rajput ruler had his own ambitions, which were usually at variance with the common good. A scheme of collective action requires a spirit of sacrifice and mutual adjustment for which none was willing. The Maharana was a man of luxurious habits, incapable of assuming the command of the united forces. Moreover, internal dissensions did not allow him to concentrate his attention on resistance, and the Rajput rulers would not accent any other ruler as their leader. So they neither reassembled at Rampura as was decided, not took the field after the rains. The Rajputs thus lost a splendid opportunity of resisting the Maratha incursions. However, it is regrettably evident that the Rajput princes did not possess the acumen for a united front against the common enemy. They were too much engrossed in their petty quarrels and lacked the capacity of rising above them. They had all the pre-requisites of unity such as common race, language, customs and tradition in fact even common interest, but they could not appreciate the reality. This was really due to a lamentable lack of statesmanship in them. Perhaps the Rajputs could not understand that chivalry, or bravery, unaided by diplomacy, cannot be effective. Hurda is an example of a venture, which failed because of this innate and stubborn individualism.

Mughal Campaign against the Marathas and Role of Rajput Rulers

According to Vamsh Bhaskar, even the Rajasthani rulers had requested the Mughal emperor to drive out the Marathas. This does not sound impossible. The two pronged attack was launched on the Marathas the one being led by Wazir Qamruddin and another by Bakshi Khane Dauran. The army led by the Wazir marched towards Malwa but it did not bring any laurels. Khane-Dauran began his march on 10th Nov. 1734 from Delhi. While on his way to Malwa, he was given army support by Sawai Jai Singh, Abhay Singh, Durjan Singh etc. This huge army was surrounded by the Marathas after it had crossed the Mukundra Pass - Due to this the supply line was completely cut off. On the contrary, the Maratha army reached Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, and Kota etc. and indulged in arson and looting. As a result of his, the Bakshi had to come to terms with the Marathas. They had to give Rs. 22,00,000 but in vain. The looting went on increasing. Jai Singh felt that the Rajputs could not be united and also that the Mughal emperor was unable to face the Maratha force. He, therefore, started negotiating with them.

Radhabai’s Pilgrimage

An opportunity was available to improve the Rajput – Maratha relations at a time when Radha Bai, Rao Peshwa’s mother, came to the North India on a pilgrimage. She stayed at Udaipur for thirty days where she was given warm hospitality. After paying respect to the Lord Shri Nathji at Nathdwara, she proceeded to Jaipur. There she stayed for fen days. The Jaipur ruler took the advantage of this stay. He gave away Bundi State to his nominated ruler, Dalel Singh and got an assurance for help from the Marathas. In this way, this event helped to improve the Rajput – Marathas in this relations. Although he made it a policy to further improve these relations, it was opposed by the Wazir and Abhay Singh. Hence he could not achieve much success.

Bajirao’s Visit to Rajasthan

When the Jaipur ruler realized that his influence was on the decline he summoned the Maratha agent and told him that he sincerely desired to protect the Maratha interest but was unable to do that. Hence Baji Rao visit North India along with his army. He promised to bear daily expenses of the army. Under these circumstances, Baji Rao decided to visit north India. ‘it was a good opportunity for the political study also. He started on his mission in the month of October 1735 from Poona. Rajasthan was terrified by Holkar’s ravages during 1734 – 35. They already had the taste of the arson and looting. People had believed that the Marathas were invincible. Peshwa’s visit, therefore, cast the shadow of gloom on Rajasthan.

The Peshwa reached Udaipur after visiting Dungarpur and Loniwara. Maharana Jagat Singh received him well and made the arrangements of his stay in Champa Bagh. He also arranged a ‘Darbar in his honour. After the preliminary formalities the talks started regarding ‘chauth’, Sada Shiv, a Maratha agent sent by the Poona ruler, tried hard to get land from Mewar in lieu of chauth. ‘The Maharana showed signs of determination. Ultimately he had to agree to set apart the revenue of the paragana of Banera. From Udaipur Bajirao proceeded to Jaipur to meet Jai Singh. On the way he visited Nathdwara. He reached Bhambhola near Kishangarh by way of Jahazpur, where on 8th March meeting between him and Jai Singh took place. The Jaipur ruler and the Maratha representatives had stressed for the need for an agreement with the emperor who could not formulate a definite policy. Looking to the circumstances, Peshwa was advised by the Jaipur ruler to return to the south. As he had not a big commanding army, he adhered to the advice and went back to the Deccan. At the time when the Peshwa was engaged with Mewar and Sawai Jai Singh, Maharao – Holkar and Ranoji Scindia reached Merta via Shahpura. Abhay Singh was in Delhi but he sent Vijay Raj Bhandari, one of his army leaders, to face the Marathas. Rathore armies, therefore, assembled at Merta. Shapura’s Umed Singh also reached here with his four thousand soldiers to help the Rathors. Holkar besieged the city; after two months, Bhandari got himself free by paying money to the Marathas. The result of the Peshwa’s visit was that the Rajasthani rulers accepted Maratha supremacy. An important change took place in connection with the Maratha – Rajput relations: Rajput states starting paying taxes to the Marathas.

Nadirshah’s Invasion

In 1739 Nadir Shah marched towards Delhi, which gave a big jolt to the Mughal rule. The possibility of his coming to Ajmer terrified whole of Rajasthan but he returned to Iran in the early days of May 1739. Baji Rao wanted to enlist the support of the Rajasthani rulers to drive him out forever and he addressed letters to the rulers of Jaipur and Mewar to this effect. Some of the Rajasthani rulers got together as a result of the efforts made by the Kota ruler, Durjan Sal but no vital effect were gained. Nadir Shah’s return to Iran took much mind out of the organized strength of the rulers and now they again started fighting with each other.

Internal position of Mewar was not sound. Relations between the Maharana Jagat Singh and his son were cordial. Taking its advantage, Marathas became invasive on the boundary line of Mewar. The Maharana sent Rawat Prithvi Singh of Kamore to face the Marathas who got success here about, but this confrontation did not last long because, the Maharana felt the need of Maratha support to face the Jaipur succession struggle.

Struggle for Jaipur Throne and Role of the Marathas

The Jaipur ruler Sawai jai Singh died on 21st September 1743 A.D. His death was the signal for succession struggle between his sons Madho Singh and Ishwari Singh. Madho Singh was the younger son of Sawai Jai Singh from the princess of Mewar who was given in marriage to him in 1708 on the express condition that the son born to her would succeed Jai Singh even if he was younger in age. Ishwari Singh was eldest son, and according to the Rajput custom he was the heir apparent. At the time of his marriage, the Amber (Jaipur) ruler had not counted upon the complexities of the problem but when Madho Singh was born from Mewar princess, he began to visualize the political complications. Although Jai Singh had acquired the pargana of Rampura for Madho Singh, the latter was not satisfied with it. After the death of Jai Singh, Ishwari Singh who was at Jaipur succeeded him. He was given due recognition not only by the Mughal emperor but also by his neighboring Rajput rulers. Similarly, as soon as the news reached the Peshwa, he sent succession presents to Ishwari Singh. Maharana Jagat Singh of Mewar felt insulted, for according to the terms laid down in 1708, Madho Singh should have been the successor. Therefore, he started elaborate preparations to dethrone Ishwari Singh. The Maharana sought help from other Rajasthani rulers. He invited Durjansal of Kota to visit Mewar. After their meeting in Mewar, Maharana and Durjansal marched with their forces against Ishwari Singh and encamped at Jamoli. Ishwari Singh also marched simultaneously with a large force to encounter the combined forces of Kota and Udaipur. For forty days both armies stood facing each other. During this time Ishwari Singh drove a wedge between the Maharana and Durjansal and reached an agreement with the Maharana, according to which, the pargana of Tonk was given away to Madho Singh.

Maratha Help Sought

Madho Singh was not satisfied with this agreement and wanted to have full control over Jaipur. So early in 1744, when Ishwari Singh was at Delhi, the Maharana accompanied by Madho Singh, marched against Jaipur with a large force. To bide time, Jaipur nobles made false promises to the Maharana and sent urgent messages to their master to hurry home. After this he immediately reached Jaipur and sought the support of the Marathas which had far reaching effect on the situation. “Thus began” says H.N. Sinha, “the injurious practice of helping the Rajput chiefs, one against another without care or caution, by receiving heavy bribe from them – It injured the reputation of the Marathas and made them detestable to the Rajputs”. The Maharana was shocked to see such a situation and he had to even promise some money to the Marathas to save his troops from annihilation. Now Ishwari Singh repudiated even Jamoti agreement. Maharana obtains Maratha support the Maharana was not disappointed with the above failure. Now he thought to enlist Maratha support. He sent his confidential vakil to Malhar Rao Holkar for this purpose. Inspire of the opposition from other Maratha sardars. Holkar assured the vakil his military support on the promise of payment of two lakhs of rupees. Now armed with the support of Holkar, Maharana dispatched his forces of Kota and Shahpura. Holkar also sent his son Khande Rao at the head of twelve thousand horses to join the allies. He also wrote to his agent and friends in Jaipur to prevail upon Ishwari Singh to give the four paragana to Madho Singh but to no avail. When the news of march of these invading forces against Jaipur reached Ishwari Singh, he immediately left his capital with a large army. Even against the advice, Ishwari decided to take the initiative and to strike the first blow. A bloody battle was fought at Rajmahal and won by Ishwari Singh on March, 1747. During the battle, according to Shyamal Das and Ojha Khanderao stood aside waiting for plunder, which he did to his heart’s content. After the defeat of Rajmahal, the Maharana realized that without full Maratha support it was difficult to get the Jaipur throne for Madho Singh. Although he could enlist Holkar’s support to his side yet Sindhia and Ram Chandra Baba were apposed to him. Maharana, therefore, sent his vakil Kaniram to obtain the support of the Peshwa. Kaniram pleaded before the Peshwa for the help of Madho Singh. He said that Ishwari Singh had agreed to give territory worth annual income of twenty four lakhs but the Maratha sardars spoiled the whole matter. The vakil also offered an amount of fifteen lakhs if military help was given to get the Jaipur throne for Madho Singh. The Peshwa was impressed by this offer. He wrote to Ramchandra Baba seeking his views on the matter. But he would not agree to it and wrote back saying that the proposed action would only lower the prestige of the Marathas.

Intervention by Peshwa

But Malhar Rao Holkar did not withdraw and pressed for Madho Singh’s claim and advised the Peshwa to take up his cause. Meanwhile the combined army of Mewar, Kota and Holkar moved towards Jaipur. The allied army received the banks of Khari river where slight skirmishes took place between Jaipur and allied forces in which former suffered heavily. At this time the Mughal Empire was threatened by Abdali. The emperor, therefore, appealed to Shahu for help, Shahu ordered the Peshwa to proceed at once to Delhi, but before he arrived Abdali had left India. At this time the dispute between Madho Singh and Ishwari Singh had reached its climax. So the Peshwa entered Jaipur territory in order to coerce the two claimants to come to a reasonable agreement. Madho Singh paid a visit to the Peshwa at Newai but Ishwari Singh did not come and sent his agent to meet the Peshwa. Even though the agreement arrived at but Ishwari Singh did not respect the treaty. Hence a bloody battle was fought on 14th August 1748 between the allies and Ishwari Singh in which latter fared very badly. He could save the situation by bribing heavily the Maratha Sardar Gangn Dhar. Continuous civil war had adversely affected the economic condition of Jaipur state. The salary of troops remained unpaid. The money promised to the Marathas was not paid. The Peshwa, therefore, sent Holkar to realize it. His arrival created great alarm at Jaipur. Ishwari Singh was in a state of invigilance. Being resource less and utterly helpless, he committed suicide. Having captured the city of Jaipur without any resistance, Holkar sent for Madho Singh and installed him on the throne long coveted by him.

Madho Singh and the Marathas

The struggle for succession ended but the pitiable condition of Jaipur had not ended. Madho Singh had been successful because of Maratha support. Now, therefore their demand for money steadily went on increasing. The financial condition of the state was very precarious and it was almost impossible to meet the Maratha greed for money. At this time Jayappa Sindhia also came to Jaipur to realize the money. The Maratha design was to grab one third of the state. Madho Singh, according to the records of Peshwa Daftar, “even poisoned the drinking water.” He even went to the extent of attacking the Marathas who came to see the city of Jaipur. All this caused strained relations between Madho Singh and Marathas from the very beginning of his reign.

Maratha Activities and Rajput Resistance

Even before the culmination of Jaipur struggle, Marathas entangled themselves into Jodhpur dispute. It commenced with the accession of Ram Singh on 13 July 1749 on the throne of Marwar. His right was disputed by his uncle Bakhat Singh. Both the sides made efforts to obtain the support of the Marathas who were interested in money only and hence always changed sides to suit their interests. It created hatred against the Marathas, which culminated in the murder of Jayappa Sindhia on 24 July, 1755. Not only Jodhpur but other states of Rajasthan also felt the heavy hand of the Marathas. They had by now begun exacting tribute from all the states. The Rajput princes resented it very much but individually they were powerless to resist the demands, hence again efforts were made by Jaipur, Mewar and Kota rulers to form a common front against the Marathas. While the talks for an anti-Maratha coalition were going on, Maharana Jagat Singh of Mewar died on 8th June 1751. His death was a great blow to this cause. However, the rulers continued to further their plans against the Marathas and tried to persuade Pratap Singh II, the new Maharana, to join the coalition. But these consultations proved of no avail, as the internal disturbances of Mewar demanded all the attention of the Maharana. After only three years of reign, Pratap Singh died on 10th January 1754 and was succeeded by his ten year old son Raj Singh.

Rajasthan did not pass a single year without paying money to one or more Maratha Sardars. Raghunath Rao and Holkar came to Mewar in 1755. This year Sadashiv Rao, Govind Rao and Kanhoji Jadhava realized money from Mewar. In August 1756, Durjansal had died. As he had no son, Ajit Singh stepped into his shoes. This was done without the prior permission of the Marathas. As a result of this, Ranoji Sindhia came to Kota to realize the succession tax. The new ruler had no alternative but to pay forty lacs of rupees. This year also Holkar and Raghunath Rao came to Kota and realized Rs. 7 thousand. Raghunath Rao collected one lakh of rupees from Javad and after reaching Jaipur he demanded Rs. 11 lakhs from Madho Singh who had to pay Rs.7 lakhs immediately. Next year Jankoji Singh Sindhia visited Rajasthan and desired to collect Rs. 36 lakhs from Jaipur. Money was collected from Mewar also and after reaching Kota, Maharao Ajit Singhas successor, Shatrushal, paid Rs: 2 lakhs in gift. The pitiable condition of Rajasthan had no end. In 1759 A.D, Holkar visited Jaipur again but due to the attack of Abdali, Maratha attention was diverted. Rajasthan therefore passed a peaceful period from 1759 to 1761. Maratha policy embittered the relations with Rajasthan. They could not, therefore, enlist Rajasthan’s help against Abdali. Bhau’s invitation to send their contingent against Abdali was not heeded by them. In fact their sympathies were with Abdali. Madho Singh even actually conspired to bring him to India to drive Marathas south of Narbada. The record available in Rajasthan Archives clearly indicates that there had been an exchange of letters between Vijay Singh and Madho Singh – in regard to opposing the Marathas. During Maratha-Abdali confrontation Rajasthani rulers adopted a natural policy, which was helpful to the latter. Not only this, Madho Singh organized powers against the Marathas and for this he invited the representatives of the important rulers at Jaipur. From the letters preserved in the Banera Archives it is quiet clear that when Marathas were defeated at Panipat, it sent a wave of happiness in Jaipur. These letters reveal that the person who brought the news of Maratha defeat was suitably rewarded by Madho Singh. This altitude of Rajput princes, though unpatriotic, was quite natural because by their continuous plundering raids, the Maratha had completely alienated loved. There past experience of the Marathas deterred the Rajput princes from uniting with them against a foreign invader. Thus they betrayed a lamentable lack of clear political vision and foresight and did not realist the danger of foreign domination. Consequently the chances of the Maratha power to resist the spread of British domination in India were definitely reduced and paved the way for their eventual domination over whole of India.

In this way, Rajput-Maratha relations were harmful to the Rajputs. They were also not in any way advantageous to the Marathas. Even after the battle of Panipat, there was no improvement in this relationship. In the end, to free themselves from the Marathas, the Rajputs in the beginning of the 19th century had to come to certain agreement with the East India Company.



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