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ClassificationForward caste
(except in Karnataka)
ReligionsHinduism, Islam, Sikhism, and Jainism[1][2]
LanguagesHindi-Urdu, Haryanvi, Bundeli, Chhattisgarhi, Marwari, Mewari, Shekhawati, Dhundari, Malwi, Bhojpuri,[3] Awadhi, Magahi, Maithili,[4] Gujarati, Sindhi, Punjabi, Marathi, Pahari (Dogri)
CountryIndia, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh
RegionRajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Punjab, Western Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,[5] and Sindh

Rajput (from Sanskrit rājaputra meaning "son of a king"), also called Thakur,[6] is a large multi-component cluster of castes, kin bodies, and local groups, sharing social status and ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent. The term Rajput covers various patrilineal clans historically associated with warriorhood: several clans claim Rajput status, although not all claims are universally accepted. According to modern scholars, almost all Rajput clans originated from peasant or pastoral communities.

Over time, the Rajputs emerged as a social class comprising people from a variety of ethnic and geographical backgrounds. From 12th to 16th centuries, the membership of this class became largely hereditary, although new claims to Rajput status continued to be made in the later centuries. Several Rajput-ruled kingdoms played a significant role in many regions of central and northern India from seventh century onwards.

The Rajput population and the former Rajput states are found in northern, western, central and eastern India, as well as southern and eastern Pakistan, southern Nepal, and Bangladesh. These areas include Chiraghabad, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Eastern Punjab, Western Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Sindh.


Early references

The word rājaputra (Sanskrit: राजपुत्र; literally "son of a king") finds mention in some ancient Hindu scriptures like the Rigveda, Ramayana and Mahabharata.[7] The word first appears in a sense other than its literal meaning in the 7th century Bakshali manuscript from NWFP in reference to a mercenary soldier, while in the 8th century Chachnama of Sindh, it is used in the sense of elite horsemen.[8] Andre Wink notes that the military nobility of Sindh ruler Dahir to which the Chachnama and Al-Baladhuri refer as thakurs can be seen as Rajputs in the original sense of the word.[9] In the 12th century Rajtarangini, it has been used in the sense of a landowner.[10]

Scholars' views

The origin of the Rajputs has been a much-debated topic among historians. Historian Satish Chandra states: "Modern historians are more or less agreed that the Rajputs consisted of miscellaneous groups including Shudra and tribals. Some were Brahmans who took to warfare, and some were from Tribes- indigenous or foreign". Thus, the Rajput community formation was a result of political factors that influenced caste mobility, called Sanskritization by some scholars and Rajputization by others.[11][12] Modern scholars agree that nearly all Rajputs clans originated from peasant or pastoral communities.[13][14][15][16][17]

Alf Hiltebeitel discusses three theories by Raj era and early writers for Rajput origin and gives the reasons as to why these theories are dismissed by modern research. British colonial-era writers characterised Rajputs as descendants of the foreign invaders such as the Scythians or the Hunas, and believed that the Agnikula myth was invented to conceal their foreign origin.[18] According to this theory, the Rajputs originated when these invaders were assimilated into the Kshatriya category during the 6th or 7th century, following the collapse of the Gupta Empire.[19][20] While many of these colonial writers propagated this foreign-origin theory in order to legitimise the colonial rule, the theory was also supported by some Indian scholars, such as D. R. Bhandarkar.[18] The second theory was promulgated by C.V. Vaidya who believed in the Aryan invasion theory and that the entire 9th-10th century Indian populace was composed of only one race - the Aryans who had not yet mixed with the Shudras or Dravidians. Nationalist historians Vaidya and R.B. Singh write that the Rajputs had originated from the Vedic Aryan Kshatriyas of the epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. Vaidya bases this theory on certain attributes - such as bravery and "physical strength" of Draupadi and Kausalya and the bravery of the Rajputs. However, Hiltebeitel says that such "affinities do not point to an unbroken continuity between an ancient epic period" in the Vedic period (3500 BCE - 3000 BCE according to Vaidya) and the "great Rajput tradition" that started in sixteenth-century Rajasthan instead "raise the question of similarities between the epics' allusions to Vedic Vratya warbands and earlier medieval low status Rajput clans". Hiltebeitel concludes that such attempts to trace Rajputs from epic and Vedic sources are "unconvincing"[21] and cites Nancy MacLean and B.D. Chattopadhyaya to label Vaidya's historiography on Rajputs as "often hopeless".[22] A third group of historians, which includes Jai Narayan Asopa, theorised that the Rajputs were Brahmins who became rulers. However, such "one track arguments" and "contrived evidence" such as shape of the head, cultural stereotypes, etc. are dismissed by Hiltebeitel who refers to such claims and Asopa's epic references as "far-fetched" or "unintelligible".[23]

Recent research suggests that the Rajputs came from a variety of ethnic and geographical backgrounds[24] and various varnas.[25][26] Tanuja Kothiyal states: "In the colonial ethnographic accounts rather than referring to Rajputs as having emerged from other communities, Bhils, Mers, Minas, Gujars, Jats, Raikas, all lay a claim to a Rajput past from where they claim to have 'fallen'. Historical processes, however, suggest just the opposite".[27]

The word "rajput" meant 'horse soldier', 'trooper', 'headman of a village' or 'subordinate chief' before the 15th century. Individuals with whom the word "rajput" was associated before the 15th century were considered varna–samkara ("mixed caste origin") and inferior to Kshatriya. Over time, the term "Rajput" came to denote a hereditary political status, which was not necessarily very high: the term could denote a wide range of rank-holders, from an actual son of a king to the lowest-ranked landholder.[28][29][30][31][32][33]

According to scholars, in medieval times "the political units of India were probably ruled most often by men of very low birth" and this "may be equally applicable for many clans of 'Rajputs' in northern India". Burton Stein explains that this process of allowing rulers, frequently of low social origin, a "clean" rank via social mobility in the Hindu Varna system serves as one of the explanations of the longevity of the unique Indian civilisation.[34][35][36]

The medieval tales on Pabuji depicting Rajput, Charan, Bhil and Rabari warriors fighting side by side as well as other medieval and contemporary texts show claims made by Nomadic tribes of the Thar desert to a higher rank in the society.[37]

Gradually, the term Rajput came to denote a social class, which was formed when the various tribal and nomadic groups became landed aristocrats, and transformed into the ruling class.[38] These groups assumed the title "Rajput" as part of their claim to higher social positions and ranks.[39] The early medieval literature suggests that this newly formed Rajput class comprised people from multiple castes.[40] Thus, the Rajput identity is not the result of a shared ancestry. Rather, it emerged when different social groups of medieval India sought to legitimise their newly acquired political power by claiming Kshatriya status. These groups started identifying as Rajput at different times, in different ways. Thus, modern scholars summarise that Rajputs were a "group of open status" since the eighth century, mostly illiterate warriors who claimed to be reincarnates of ancient Indian Kshatriyas – a claim that had no historical basis. Moreover, this unfounded Kshatriya status claim showed a sharp contrast to the classical varna of Kshatriyas as depicted in Hindu literature in which Kshatriyas are depicted as an educated and urbanite clan.[41][42][43][44][45] Historian Thomas R. Metcalf mentions the opinion of Indian scholar K. M. Panikkar who also considers the famous Rajput dynasties of medieval India to have come from non-Kshatriya castes.[46]

Stewart Gordon writes that during the era of the Mughal empire, hypergamous marriage "marrying up", combined with service in the state army was another way a tribal family could "become" Rajput. This process required a change in dress, diet, worship, and other traditions, ending widow remarriage, for example. Such a marriage between someone from a tribal family, and a member of an acknowledged - but possibly poor - Rajput family, would ultimately enable the non-Rajput family to rise to Rajput status. This marriage pattern supports the fact that Rajput was an "open caste category", available to those who served the Mughals.[47]

Rajput formation continued in the colonial era. Even in the 19th century, anyone from the "village landlord" to the "newly wealthy lower caste Shudra" could employ Brahmins to retrospectively fabricate a genealogy and within a couple of generations they would gain acceptance as Hindu Rajputs. This process would get mirrored by communities in north India. This process of origin of the Rajput community resulted in hypergamy as well as female infanticide that was common in Hindu Rajput clans. Scholars refer to this as "Rajputisation", which, like Sanskritisation, was a mode for upward mobility, but it differed from Sanskritisation in other attributes, like the method of worship, lifestyle, diet, social interaction, rules for women, and marriage, etc. German historian Hermann Kulke has coined the term "Secondary Rajputisation" for describing the process of members of a tribe trying to re-associate themselves with the former chief of their tribe who had already transformed himself into a Rajput via Rajputisation and thus become Rajputs themselves.[48][49][50][25][26]

According to some scholars, the term rajputra was reserved for the immediate relatives of a king; scholars like BD Chattopadhyay believe that it was used for a larger group of high-ranking men.[51]

Emergence as a community

Rajputs of Central India

There are historical indications of the group calling themselves Rajputs by sixth century AD which settled in Indo-Gangetic Plain.[52] However, scholarly opinions differ on when the term Rajput acquired hereditary connotations and came to denote a clan-based community.

An opinion asserts that the terms like rajputra and rauta began to be more commonly used from 12th century onwards to denote a large number of people and a Rajput caste established itself well before the thirteenth century. The reference to the clan structure of Rajputs in contemporary historical works like Rajatarangini by Kalhana along with other epigraphic evidences indicates their existence as a community by 12th century.[53][54][55][56]

Historian Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya, based on his analysis of inscriptions (primarily from Rajasthan), believed that by the 12th century, the term rajaputra was associated with fortified settlements, kin-based landholding, and other features that later became indicative of the Rajput status.[51] According to him, the title acquired "an element of heredity" from c. 1300.[57] A study of 11th–14th century inscriptions from western and central India, by Michael B. Bednar, concludes that the designations such as rajaputra, thakkura and rauta were not necessarily hereditary during this period.[57]

Rajputs were involved in nomadic pastoralism, animal husbandry and cattle trade until much later than popularly believed. The 17th century chronicles of Muhnot Nainsi i.e. Munhata Nainsi ri Khyat and Marwar ra Paraganan ri Vigat discuss disputes between Rajputs pertaining to cattle raids. In addition, Folk deities of the Rajputs – Pabuji, Mallinath, Gogaji and Ramdeo were considered protectors of cattle herding communities. They also imply struggle among Rajputs for domination over cattle and pasturelands.[58] The emergence of Rajput community was the result of a gradual change from mobile pastoral and tribal groups into landed sedentary ones. This necessitated control over mobile resources for agrarian expansion which in turn necessitated kinship structures, martial and marital alliances.[27][17][59]

B.D Chattopadhyaya opines that during its formative stages, the Rajput class was quite assimilative and absorbed people from a wide range of lineages.[38] However, by the late 16th century, it had become genealogically rigid, based on the ideas of blood purity, Dirk Kolff writes.[60] The membership of the Rajput class was now largely inherited rather than acquired through military achievements.[57] A major factor behind this development was the consolidation of the Mughal Empire, whose rulers had great interest in genealogy. As the various Rajput chiefs became Mughal feudatories, they no longer engaged in major conflicts with each other. This decreased the possibility of achieving prestige through military action, and made hereditary prestige more important.[61]

According to David Ludden, the word "Rajput" acquired its present-day meaning in the 16th century.[62] According to Kolff, during 16th and 17th centuries, the Rajput rulers and their bards (charans) sought to legitimise the Rajput socio-political status on the basis of descent and kinship.[63] They fabricated genealogies linking the Rajput families to the ancient dynasties, and associated them with myths of origins that established their Kshatriya status.[57][64][26] This led to the emergence of what Indologist Dirk Kolff calls the "Rajput Great Tradition", which accepted only hereditary claims to the Rajput identity, and fostered a notion of eliteness and exclusivity.[65] The legendary epic poem Prithviraj Raso, which depicts warriors from several different Rajput clans as associates of Prithviraj Chauhan, fostered a sense of unity among these clans.[66] The text thus contributed to the consolidation of the Rajput identity by offering these clans a shared history.[51]

Despite these developments, migrant soldiers made new claims to the Rajput status until as late as the 19th century.[60] In the 19th century, the colonial administrators of India re-imagined the Rajputs as similar to the Anglo-Saxon knights. They compiled the Rajput genealogies in the process of settling land disputes, surveying castes and tribes, and writing history. These genealogies became the basis of distinguishing between the "genuine" and the "spurious" Rajput clans.[67]


History of Rajput Kingdoms

During their centuries-long rule, the Rajputs constructed several palaces. Shown here is the Junagarh Fort in Bikaner, Rajasthan, which was built by the Rathore Rajput rulers (see Rajput architecture).
A royal Rajput procession, depicted on a mural at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur[68]

The Rajput kingdoms were disparate: loyalty to a clan was more important than allegiance to the wider Rajput social grouping, meaning that one clan would fight another. This and the internecine jostling for position that took place when a clan leader (raja) died meant that Rajput politics were fluid and prevented the formation of a coherent Rajput empire.[69]

The term "Rajput" has been used as an anachronistic designation for leading martial lineages of 11th and 12th centuries that confronted the Ghaznavid and Ghurid invaders, although the Rajput identity for a lineage did not exist at this time, these lineages were classified as aristocratic Rajput clans in the later times.[70][71][72][73][74]

However, other scholarly opinion staged emergence of Rajput clans as early as seventh century AD. when they start to make themselves lords of various localities and dominate region in current day Northern India.[75][76][77][78][79][80][13][81][82] These dynasties were Pratiharas of Kannauj, the Chahamanas (of Shakambhari, Nadol and Jalor), the Tomaras of Delhi, the Chaulukyas, the Paramaras, the Gahadavalas, Chandela, Sisodias, Guhilas etc.

The Rajput ruled kingdoms repelled early invasions of Arab commanders after Muhammad ibn Qasim conquered Sindh and executed last Hindu king of the kingdom, Raja Dahir. Rajput family of Mewar under Bappa Rawal and later under Khoman fought off invasions by Arab generals and restricted them only until the border of Rajasthan but failed to recapture Sindh.[83] By the first quarter of 11th century, Turkic conqueror Mahmud Ghaznavi launched several successful military expeditions in the territories of Rajputs, defeating them everytime and by 1025 A.D, he demolished and looted the famous Somnath Temple and its Rajput ruler Bhimdev Solanki fled his capital.[84] Rajput rulers at Gwalior and Kalinjar were able to hold off assaults by Maḥmūd, although the two cities did pay him heavy tribute.[85] By last quarter of 12th century, Mohd Ghori defeated and executed the last of Ghaznavid rulers and captured their region along with plundering Ghazna, the capital of Ghaznavids. After capturing the northwest frontier, he invaded Rajput domain. In 1191, Prithviraj Chauhan of Ajmer led a coalition of Rajput kings and defeated Ghori near Taraori. However, he returned a year later with an army of mounted archers and crushed Rajput forces on the same battlefield of Taraori, Prithviraj fled the battlefield but was caught near Sirsa and was executed by Ghurids.[86][87] Following the battle, the Delhi Sultanate became prominent in the Delhi region.[88]

The Rajputs fought against Sultans of Delhi from Rajasthan and other adjoining areas. By first quarter of 14th century, Alauddin Khalji sacked key Rajput fortresses of Chittor (1303), Ranthambor (1301) and other Rajput ruled kingdoms like Siwana and Jalore. However, Rajputs resurgence took place under Rana Hammir who defeated Tughlaq army of Muhammad bin Tughluq in Singoli in 1336 CE and recaptured Rajasthan from Delhi sultanate.[89] In the 15th century, the Muslim sultans of Malwa and Gujarat put a joint effort to overcome the Mewar ruler Rana Kumbha but both the sultans were defeated.[90] Kumbha's grandson renowned Rana Sanga inherited a troubling kingdom after death of his brothers but through his capable rule turned traditional kingdom of Mewar into one of the greatest power in northern India during the early 16th century.[91] Sanga defeated Sultans of Gujarat, Malwa and Delhi several times in various battles and expanded his kingdom. Sanga led a grand alliance of Rajput rulers and defeated the Mughal forces of Babur in early combat but was defeated at Khanwa through Mughal's use of Gunpowder which was unknown in Northern India at the time. His fierce rival Babur in his autobiography acknowledged him as the greatest Hindu king of that time along with Krishnadevaraya.[92][88][93] After a few years Maldev Rathore of Marwar rose in power controlling almost whole portion of western and eastern Rajasthan.[94]

From 1200 CE, many Rajput groups moved eastwards towards the Eastern Gangetic plains forming their own chieftaincies.[95] These minor Rajput kingdoms were dotted all over the Gangetic plains in modern-day Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.[96] During this process, petty clashes occurred with the local population and in some cases, alliances were formed.[95] Among these Rajput chieftaincies were the Bhojpur zamindars[97] and the taluks of Awadh.[98]

The immigration of Rajput clan chiefs into these parts of the Gangetic plains also contributed the agricultural appropriation of previously forested areas, especially in South Bihar.[99] Some have linked this eastwards expansion with the onset of Ghurid invasion in the West.[99]

From as early as the 16th century, Purbiya Rajput soldiers from the eastern regions of Bihar and Awadh, were recruited as mercenaries for Rajputs in the west, particularly in the Malwa region.[100]

Mughal period

Akbar's period

Rana Pratap, the Rana of Mewar, was popularly known for his role in battles against the Mughal Empire
Man Singh I, an important Rajput official of Akbar.

After the mid-16th century, many Rajput rulers formed close relationships with the Mughal emperors and served them in different capacities.[101][102] It was due to the support of the Rajputs that Akbar was able to lay the foundations of the Mughal empire in India.[103] Some Rajput nobles gave away their daughters in marriage to Mughal emperors and princes for political motives.[104][105][106][107] For example, Akbar accomplished 40 marriages for himself, his sons and grandsons, out of which 17 were Rajput-Mughal alliances.[108][109] Akbar's successors as Mughal emperors, his son Jahangir and grandson Shah Jahan had Rajput mothers.[110] Although Rajput rulers provided the brides to the Mughals, neither Akbar nor his successors provided brides to the Rajput rulers. For example, Akbar got this sisters and daughters married to Timurids and prominent Muslims from central and west Asia. Historian Michael Fisher states that the bards and poets patronized by the Rajput rulers who served Akbar raised Akbar to a "semi-divine" status and gives an example of Akbar being projected as a "divine master" in the "Hindu cosmic order". The writer also finds correlation between the increasing numbers of Hindu Rajput wives in Akbar's household and Hindu Rajputs as well as non-Rajput Hindus in his administration to the religious and political policy followed by him towards non-Muslims which included ending the prohibition on the construction of new temples of non -Muslim faiths like Hindu, Jain etc. In 1564 AD, Akbar had also stopped collection of jaziya from non-Muslims, a tax considered as discriminatory by several non-Muslims which also consisted of his Hindu Rajput officials.[111] The ruling Sisodia Rajput family of Mewar made it a point of honour not to engage in matrimonial relationships with Mughals and thus claimed to stand apart from those Rajput clans who did so.[112] Rana Pratap is renowned as a "Rajput icon" for firmly fighting with Akbar's forces for the cause of Mewar's freedom.[113][114][115] Once Mewar had submitted and alliance of Rajputs reached a measure of stability, matrimonial between leading Rajput states and Mughals became rare.[116]

Shah Jahan's period

One of the most conspicuous event of Shah Jahan's period was rebellion of Bundela rajputs, which was crushed by prince Aurangzeb with iron hand.[117][need quotation to verify]

Aurangzeb's period

Akbar's diplomatic policy regarding the Rajputs was later damaged by the intolerant rules introduced by his great-grandson Aurangzeb. A prominent example of these rules included the re-imposition of Jaziya, which had been abolished by Akbar.[103] However, despite imposition of Jaziya Aurangzeb's army had a high proportion of Rajput officers in the upper ranks of the imperial army and they were all exempted from paying Jaziya.[118] The Rajputs then revolted against the Mughal empire. Aurangzeb's conflicts with the Rajputs, which commenced in the early 1680s, henceforth became a contributing factor towards the downfall of the Mughal empire.[119][103]


Historian Lynn Zastoupil states that the Mughal Emperors manipulated the appointment of the successor of the Rajput rulers.[clarification needed] In the early 18th century, when the Mughal power declined, Rajput states enjoyed a brief period of independence. But soon the Maratha Empire (or confederacy) started collecting tribute from and harassing some Rajput states. Some Rajput states, in the 1780s appealed to the British East India Company for assistance against the Marathas but their requests for assistance were denied at the time.[120][121][122][clarification needed][123]

By 1765, Awadh had become ally of the British East India Company and the increase in demand for revenue led to a continuous tussle in between the Nawab of Awadh and Rajput leadership bringing political instability in the region.[124]

In one 18th century example given by Pinch, Rajputs of Awadh countered the upward mobility of some of the peasant castes, who by virtue of their economic prosperity sought higher status by wearing Janeu, a sacred thread or claimed Kshatriya status. The records indicates that during the tenure of Asaf-ud-Daula in Awadh, when a section of Awadhiya Kurmi were about to be bestowed with the title of Raja, the Rajput constituency of Asaf's court caused stiff opposition to the move despite the fact that the Rajputs themselves were newcomers to the court and were peasant-soldiers a few year before. Rajputs of Awadh along with Brahmins also formed the major groups who gained during Asaf's regime.[125]

British colonial period

Chauhan Rajputs, Delhi (1868)

In the late eighteenth century, despite the request from two Rajput rulers for British support, the British East India company initially refused to support the Rajput states in Rajputana region as they had the policy of non-interference and considered the Rajput states to be weak. In the early nineteenth century, British administrator Warren Hastings realised how alliance with the Rajputs had benefited the Mughals and believed that a similar alliance may give the East India company political advantage in India. In his journal, in January 1815, he noted that Rajput states - Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur had been "devastated" by the Scindia, Holkars, Pindari, Ameer Khan and Muhammad Shah Khan and that the Rajput rulers made multiple petitions to him requesting British protection. Moreover, the Rajput rulers had argued that "British had replaced the Mughal Empire as the supreme power of India and therefore had the responsibility to protect weaker states from aggressive ones". Charles Metcalfe agreed with this reasoning. One by one, many Rajput states in Rajputana came under British protection and became their allies - Kota, Udaipur, Bundi, Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jaipur, Pratapgarh, Banswara, Dungarpur, Jaisalmer by 1817-18 and Sirohi by 1823. The British promised to protect the Rajput states from their adversaries and not interfere in internal affairs in exchange for tribute. However, David Ochterlony, who was in charge of the Rajput states broke the promise to not interfere as in his view interferences would save the states from "ruin". In 1820, the British removed him from his position and replaced him with Charles Metcalfe. For several decades, "non-interference" in internal affairs remained the official policy. However, according to the historian Lynn Zastoupil, the "British never found it possible or desirable to completely withdraw from interference in Rajput affairs".[126][120]

The medieval bardic chronicles (kavya and masnavi) glorified the Rajput past, presenting warriorhood and honour as Rajput ideals. This later became the basis of the British reconstruction of the Rajput history and the nationalist interpretations of Rajputs' struggles with the Muslim invaders.[127] James Tod, a British colonial official, was impressed by the military qualities of the Rajputs but is today considered to have been unusually enamoured of them.[128][129] Although the group venerate him to this day, he is viewed by many historians since the late nineteenth century as being a not particularly reliable commentator.[130][131] Jason Freitag, his only significant biographer, has said that Tod is "manifestly biased".[132]

As per the historian Thomas R. Metcalf, Rajput Taluqdars in Oudh provided a large numbers of leaders to the revolt of 1857 in that region. Kunwar Singh, a Rajput Zamindar was an important leader in Bihar region in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.[133]

Historian Robert Stern points out that in Rajputana, although there were some revolts in the soldiers commanded by British officers the "Rajpur durbar muskeeters and feudal cavalrymen" did not participate in the 1857 revolt at all.[134] But Crispin Bates is of the opinion that Rajput officers had soft corner for the rebels of 1857 fleeing Delhi who were entering into interior areas of then Rajasthan region. He gives examples of rebels who easily found safe havens in villages of Chittor without arrests.[135]

In reference to the role of the Rajput soldiers serving under the British banner, Captain A. H. Bingley wrote:

Rajputs have served in our ranks from Plassey to the present day (1899). They have taken part in almost every campaign undertaken by the Indian armies. Under Forde they defeated the French at Condore. Under Monro at Buxar they routed the forces of the Nawab of Oudh. Under Lake they took part in the brilliant series of victories which destroyed the power of the Marathas.[136]

The Rajput practices of female infanticide and sati (widow immolation) were other matters of concern to the British. It was believed that the Rajputs were the primary adherents to these practices, which the British Raj considered savage and which provided the initial impetus for British ethnographic studies of the subcontinent that eventually manifested itself as a much wider exercise in social engineering.[137]

During the British rule their love for pork, i.e. wild boar, was also well known and the British identified them as a group based on this.[138]

Some unrelated communities tried to change their status to Rajput during the Colonial era. William Rowe, discusses an example of a Shudra caste - the Noniyas (caste of salt makers)- from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. A large section of this caste that had "become" "Chauhan Rajputs" over three generations in the British Raj era. The more wealthy or advanced Noniyas started by forming the Sri Rajput Pacharni Sabha (Rajput Advancement Society) in 1898 and emulating the Rajput lifestyle. They also started wearing of Sacred thread. Rowe states that at a historic meeting of the caste in 1936, every child in this Noniya section "knew" about their "Rajput heritage".[139] Similarly, Donald Attwood and Baviskar give and example of a caste of shepherds who were formerly Shudras changed their status to Rajput in the Raj era and started wearing the Sacred thread. They are now known as Sagar Rajputs. The scholars consider this example as a case among thousands.[140][141]

Post Independence

Princely States

On India's independence in 1947, the princely states, including those of the Rajput, were given three options: join either India or Pakistan, or remain independent. Rajput rulers of the 22 princely states of Rajputana acceded to newly independent India, amalgamated into the new state of Rajasthan in 1949–1950.[142] Initially the maharajas were granted funding from the Privy purse in exchange for their acquiescence, but a series of land reforms over the following decades weakened their power, and their privy purse was cut off during Indira Gandhi's administration under the 1971 Constitution 26th Amendment Act. The estates, treasures, and practices of the old Rajput rulers now form a key part of Rajasthan's tourist trade and cultural memory.[143]

The Rajput Dogra ruler of Kashmir and Jammu acceded to India in 1947,[144] while retaining his title until the monarchy was abolished in 1971 by the 26th amendment to the Constitution of India.[145]

Before the zamindari abolition, the Rajputs in Oudh formed the major Taluqdars and had controlled over 50 percent of the land in the most districts of the region.[146] Historian Thomas R. Metcalf explains that in the province of Uttar Pradesh, majority of the Taluqdars with moderate to large estates were composed of Rajput caste. He also mentions that Rajputs were only next to Brahmins in the ritual hierarchy and also gave the secular elite of the state. According to him, the community controlled most of the best agricultural land in the region and this also helped the Rajput Taluqdars who were usually the head of the local Rajput clan to gather support over non-Rajput rival in the electoral politics of the state.[147]


There have been several cases of Sati (burning a widow alive) in Rajasthan from 1943 to 1987. According to an Indian scholar, there are 28 cases since 1947. Although the widows were from several different communities, Rajput widows accounted for 19 cases in Rajasthan. The most famous of these cases is of a Rajput woman named Roop Kanwar. 40,000 Rajputs gathered on the street of Jaipur in October 1987 for supporting her Sati. A pamphlet circulated on that day attacked independent and westernised women who opposed a woman's duty of worshipping her husband as demonstrated by the practice of Sati. This incident again affirmed the low status of women in the Rajput community and the leaders of this pro-sati movement gained in political terms.[148][149]

Affirmative Action

The Rajputs, in most of the states, are considered a General caste (forward caste) in India's system of positive discrimination. This means that they have no access to reservations. But they are classified as an Other Backward Class by the National Commission for Backward Classes in the state of Karnataka.[150][151][152][153] Some Rajputs in various states, as with other agricultural castes, demand reservations in Government jobs.[154][155][156][157] In 2016, Sikh Rajputs were added under Backward Classes in Punjab[158] but after protest by the community, the government announced that they will be again put under General Category.[159]

Rajput politics

Rajput politics refers to the role played by the Rajput community in the electoral politics of India.[160][161][better source needed] In states such as Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttrakhand, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat, the large populations of Rajputs gives them a decisive role.[162][163][164][better source needed]


The term "Rajput" denotes a cluster of castes,[165] clans, and lineages.[166] It is a vaguely-defined term, and there is no universal consensus on which clans make up the Rajput community.[167] In medieval Rajasthan (the historical Rajputana) and its neighbouring areas, the word Rajput came to be restricted to certain specific clans, based on patrilineal descent and intermarriages. On the other hand, the Rajput communities living in the region to the east of Rajasthan had a fluid and inclusive nature. The Rajputs of Rajasthan eventually refused to acknowledge the Rajput identity claimed by their eastern counterparts,[168] such as the Bundelas.[169] The Rajputs claim to be Kshatriyas or descendants of Kshatriyas, but their actual status varies greatly, ranging from princely lineages to common cultivators.[170]

There are several major subdivisions of Rajputs, known as vansh or vamsha, the step below the super-division jāti[171] These vansh delineate claimed descent from various sources, and the Rajput are generally considered to be divided into three primary vansh:[172] Suryavanshi denotes descent from the solar deity Surya, Chandravanshi (Somavanshi) from the lunar deity Chandra, and Agnivanshi from the fire deity Agni. The Agnivanshi clans include Parmar, Chaulukya (Solanki), Parihar and Chauhan.[173]

Lesser-noted vansh include Udayvanshi, Rajvanshi,[174] and Rishivanshi.[citation needed] The histories of the various vanshs were later recorded in documents known as vamshāavalīis; André Wink counts these among the "status-legitimizing texts".[175]

Beneath the vansh division are smaller and smaller subdivisions: kul, shakh ("branch"), khamp or khanp ("twig"), and nak ("twig tip").[171] Marriages within a kul are generally disallowed (with some flexibility for kul-mates of different gotra lineages). The kul serves as the primary identity for many of the Rajput clans, and each kul is protected by a family goddess, the kuldevi. Lindsey Harlan notes that in some cases, shakhs have become powerful enough to be functionally kuls in their own right.[176]

Culture and ethos

The Bengal army of the East India Company recruited heavily from upper castes such as Brahmins and Rajputs of north-central India particularly from the region of Awadh and Bihar. However, after the revolt of 1857 by the Bengal sepoys, the British Indian army shifted recruitment to the Punjab.[177]

Martial race

The Rajputs were designated as a Martial Race in the period of the British Raj. This was a designation created by administrators that classified each ethnic group as either "martial" or "non-martial": a "martial race" was typically considered brave and well built for fighting,[178] whilst the remainder were those whom the British believed to be unfit for battle because of their sedentary lifestyles.[179] However, the martial races were also considered politically subservient, intellectually inferior, lacking the initiative or leadership qualities to command large military formations. The British had a policy of recruiting the martial Indians from those who has less access to education as they were easier to control.[180][181] According to modern historian Jeffrey Greenhunt on military history, "The Martial Race theory had an elegant symmetry. Indians who were intelligent and educated were defined as cowards, while those defined as brave were uneducated and backward". According to Amiya Samanta, the martial race was chosen from people of mercenary spirit (a soldier who fights for any group or country that will pay him/her), as these groups lacked nationalism as a trait.[182]


Karni Mata, Hindu Goddess primarily worshipped by Rajputs

One of the most revered deities of Rajputs is Karni Mata, whom many Rajput clans worship as family goddess and link their community's existence or survival in dire times.[183][184][185][186] Lord Shiva (who is very popular all across India) and Goddess Durga are popular deities worshipped by the Hindu Rajputs. Lord Shiva's image is found in the shrines in the homes of many of the Rajput families. In Sikh Rajputs, Guru Ram Rai is quite popular. The fierce form of Goddess Durga, called Sherawali Mata or "she who rides a lion" is popular among Rajput women.[187]

Rajput lifestyle

An old Rajput man poses with a hookah in the Maharaja palace of Jodhpur.

The Rajputs of Bihar were inventors of the martial art form Pari Khanda, which includes heavy use of swords and shields. This exercise was later included in the folk dances of Bihar and Jharkhand like that of Chhau dance.[188] On special occasions, a primary chief would break up a meeting of his vassal chiefs with khanda nariyal, the distribution of daggers and coconuts. Another affirmation of the Rajput's reverence for his sword was the Karga Shapna ("adoration of the sword") ritual, performed during the annual Navaratri festival, after which a Rajput is considered "free to indulge his passion for rapine and revenge".[189] The Rajput of Rajasthan also offer a sacrifice of water buffalo or goat to their family goddess (Kuldevta) during Navaratri.[190] The ritual requires slaying of the animal with a single stroke. In the past this ritual was considered a rite of passage for young Rajput men.[191]

The general greeting used by the Rajputs in social gatherings and occasions, 'Jai Mataji' or its regional variants, stands for 'Victory to the Mother Goddess'.[192][193][194] This phrase also operated as a military solgan or war cry,[195] often painted on the shields and banners of the jagirdars.[196]


Harald Tambs-Lyche states that like other martial races of South Asia, Rajputs have a reputation for being Hospitable i.e. they welcome and are friendly to guests.[197][198]


By the late 19th century, there was a shift of focus among Rajputs from politics to a concern with kinship.[199] Many Rajputs of Rajasthan are nostalgic about their past and keenly conscious of their genealogy, emphasising a Rajput ethos that is martial in spirit, with a fierce pride in lineage and tradition.[200]

Female infanticide

Female infanticide was practised by Rajputs of low ritual status trying upward mobility as well as Rajputs of high ritual status. But there were instances where it was not practised and instances where the mother tried to save the infant girl's life. According to the officials in the early Raj era, in Etawah(Uttar Pradesh), the Gahlot, Bamungors and Bais would kill their daughters if they were rich but profit from getting them married if they were poor.[201]

The methods used of killing the female baby were drowning, strangulation, poisoning, "Asphyxia by drawing the umbilical cord over the baby's face to prevent respiration". Other ways were to leave the infant to die without food and if she survived the first few hours after birth, she was given poison.[201] A common way to poison the infant during breastfeeding was by applying a preparation of poisonous plants like Datura, Madar or Poppy to the mother's breast.[202]

Social activists in the early nineteenth century tried to stop these practices by quoting Hindu Shastras:

"to kill one woman is equal to one hundred brahmins, to kill one child is equal to one hundred women, while to kill one hundred children is an offence too heinous for comparison".[201]

Infanticide has unintended consequences. The Rajput clans of lower ritual status married their daughters to Rajput men of higher ritual status who had lost females due to infanticide. Thus, the Rajputs of lower ritual status had to remain unmarried or resorted to other practices like marrying widows, levirate marriages (marrying brother's widow) as well as marrying low-caste women such as Jats and Gujars or nomads. This resulted in widening the gap between Rajputs of low ritual status and Rajputs of high ritual status.[201]

In the late 19th century, to curb the practice, the act VIII of 1870 was introduced. A magistrate suggested:

"Let every Rajput be thoroughly convinced that he will go to jail for ten years for every infant girl he murders, with as much certainty as he would feel about being hanged if he were to kill her when grown up, and the crime will be stamped out very effectually; but so long as the Government show any hesitation in dealing rigorously with criminals, so long will the Rajpoot think he has chance of impunity and will go on killing girls like before."[201]

However, the practical application of the law faced hurdles. It was difficult to prove culpability as in some cases the Rajput men were employed at a distance although the infants could be killed at their connivance. In most cases, Rajput men were imprisoned only for a short time. Between 1888 and 1889, the proportion of girl children rose to 40%. However, the act was abolished in 1912 as punishments were unable to stop infanticide. A historian concludes that "the act, which only scraped the surface of the problem had been unable to civilize or bring about a social change in a cultural world devaluing girl children". In addition to Rajputs, it was observed that Jats and Ahirs also practised infanticide.[201]

Brideprice or Bridewealth weddings

"Bridewealth" is discussed in north Indian Rajputs of 19th century India by the historian Malavika Kasturi. She states that Rajputs belonging to social groups where their women worked in the fields received Bridewealth from the groom's family. She adds that evidence shows that the assumption made by officials of the time that female infanticide among clans was a result of poverty and inability to pay dowry is incorrect.[201]

Rajput women could be incorporated into Mughal Harem and this defined the Mughals as overlords over the Rajput clans. The Sisodia clan of Mewar was an exception as they refused to send their women to the Mughal Harem which resulted in siege and mass suicide at Chittor.[203]

Historically, members from the Rajput ruling clans of Rajasthan have also practised polygamy and also took many women they enslaved as concubines from the battles which they won. During numerous armed conflicts in India, women were taken captives, enslaved and even sold, for example, the capture and selling of Marwar's women by Jaipur's forces in the battle between Jaipur state and Jodhpur state in 1807. The enslaved women were referred to by different terms according to the conditions imposed on them, for example, a "domestic slave" was called davri; a dancer was called a patar; a "senior female slave–retainer in the women's quarters" was called badaran or vadaran; a concubine was called khavasin; and a woman who was "permitted to wear the veil" like Rajput queens was called a pardayat.[204]

The term chakar was used for a person serving their "superior" and chakras contained complete families from specific "occupational groups" like Brahmin women, cooks, nurses, tailors, washer–women. For children born from the "illegitimate union" of Rajputs and their "inferiors", the terms like goli and darogi were used for females and gola and daroga were used for males. The "courtly chronicles" say that women who were perceived to be of "higher social rank" were assigned to the "harems of their conquerors with or without marriage". The chronicles from the Rajput courts have recorded that women from Rajput community had also faced such treatment by the Rajputs from the winning side of a battle. There are also a number of records between the late 16th to mid–19th century of the Rajputs immolating the queens, servants, and slaves of a king upon his death. Ramya Sreenivasan also gives and example of a Jain concubine who went from being a servant to a superior concubine called Paswan[204]

According to Priyanka Khanna, with Marwar's royal Rajput households, the women who underwent concubinage also included women from the Gujar, Ahir, Jat, Mali, Kayastha, and Darji communities of that region. These castes of Marwar claimed Rajput descent based on the "census data of Marwar, 1861".[205] However, the research by modern scholars on the forms of "slavery and servitude" imposed by ruling clans of Rajasthan's Rajputs between the 16th and early–19th centuries on the captured women faces hurdles because of the "sparse information", "uneven record–keeping", and "biased nature of historical records".[204] Ravana Rajput community of today was one such slave community[206][207]

The male children of such unions were identified by their father's names and in some cases as 'dhaibhai'(foster-brothers) and incorporated into the household. Examples are given where they helped their step-brothers in war campaigns.[204] The female children of concubines and slaves married Rajput men in exchange for money or they ended up becoming dancing girls. The scarcity of available brides due to female infanticide led to the kidnapping of low caste women who were sold for marriage to the higher clan Rajputs. Since these "sales" were genuinely for the purpose of marriage, they were considered legal. The lower clans also faced scarcity of brides in which case they married women such as those from Gujar and Jat communities. Semi nomadic communities also married their daughters to Rajput bridegrooms for money in some cases.[208]

Of note, the mistreatment or enslavement of women was not unique to Rajputs. Datta notes Bachanan's observation in 18th century northern-India that, other than the Rajputs, Khatris and Kayasthas also "openly kept women slaves of any pure tribe". The offsprings of these women formed one matrimonial group. Similarly, affluent Muslim families in Bihar kept both male and female slaves – called Nufurs and Laundis respectively.[209]

These Rajput groups(khasa) of Uttarakhand today were formally classified Shudra but had successfully converted to Rajput status during the rule of Chand Rajas (that ended in 1790).[210] Similarly, the Rajputs of Gharwal were originally of low ritual status and did not wear the sacred thread until the 20th century.[211]


An 18th-century Rajput painting by the artist Nihâl Chand

The term Rajput painting refers to works of art created at the Rajput-ruled courts of Rajasthan, Central India, and the Punjab Hills. The term is also used to describe the style of these paintings, distinct from the Mughal painting style.[212]

According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, Rajput painting symbolised the divide between Muslims and Hindus during Mughal rule. The styles of Mughal and Rajput painting are oppositional in character. He characterised Rajput painting as "popular, universal and mystic".[213]

Notable people

See also



  1. ^ Cohen, Stephen Philip (2006). The idea of Pakistan (Rev. ed.). Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0815715030. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  2. ^ Lieven, Anatol (2011). Pakistan a hard country (1st ed.). New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 9781610390231. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Folk-lore, Volume 21". 1980. p. 79. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  4. ^ Roy, Ramashray (1 January 2003). Samaskaras in Indian Tradition and Culture. Shipra Publications. p. 195. ISBN 9788175411401. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  5. ^ Rajendra Vora (2009). Christophe Jaffrelot; Sanjay Kumar (eds.). Rise of the Plebeians?: The Changing Face of the Indian Legislative Assemblies (Exploring the Political in South Asia). Routledge India. p. 217. ISBN 9781136516627. [In Maharashtra]The Lingayats, the Gujjars and the Rajputs are three other important castes which belong to the intermediate category. The lingayats who hail from north Karnataka are found primarily in south Maharashtra and Marthwada while Gujjars and Rajputs who migrated centuries ago from north India have settled in north Maharashtra districts.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Rima Hooja 2006, p. 181.
  8. ^ Sabita Singh (27 May 2019). The Politics of Marriage in India Gender and Alliance in Rajasthan. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199098286.
  9. ^ Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval and the expansion of Islam. Brill. 2002. p. 155. ISBN 0391041738.
  10. ^ Rima Hooja 2006, p. 181–182:"In Kalhana’s Rajtarangini (VII.390) the word rajaputra is used in the sense of a landowner, but if it is read with VII, vv.1617 and 1618 of the same book it would be clear that they acclaimed their birth from the 36 clans of the Rajputs.”
  11. ^ Satish Chandra (2008). Social Change and Development in Medieval Indian History. Har-Anand Publications. pp. 43–44. ISBN 9788124113868. M.N.Srinivas who had used the word "Sanskritization" to denote this process, now accepts accepts that he put too much emphasis originally on the movement of groups towards the varna status of Brahmans. Both Srinivas and B.Stein now emphasize not merely the process of Sanskritization, but other factors, such as the position of the dominant peasant and land-owning classes, political power and production system in the process of caste mobility of groups. Srinivas further surmises that the varna model became more popular during British rule. Thus, growing caste rigidity was an indirect effect of British rule. The rise of Rajputs is a classic model of varna mobility in the earlier period. There is a good deal of discussion regarding the origin of Rajputs - whether they were Kshatriyas of they were drawn from other categories in the population including indigenous tribes. Modern historians are more or less agreed that the Rajputs consisted of miscellaneous groups including Shudra and tribals. Some were Brahmans who took to warfare, and some were from Tribes- indigenous of foreign.
  12. ^ Reena Dube & Rashmi Dube Bhatnagar 2012, p. 59.
  13. ^ a b Eugenia Vanina 2012, p. 140: "Regarding the initial stages of this history and the origin of the Rajput feudal elite, modern research shows that its claims to direct blood links with epic heroes and ancient kshatriyas in general has no historic substantiation. No adequate number of the successors of these epically acclaimed warriors could have been available by the period of seventh-eights centuries AD when the first references to the Rajput clans and their chieftains were made. [...] almost all Rajput clans originated from the semi-nomadic pastoralists of the Indian north and north-west."
  14. ^ Daniel Gold (1 January 1995). David N. Lorenzen (ed.). Bhakti Religion in North India: Community Identity and Political Action. State University of New York Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-7914-2025-6. Paid employment in military service as Dirk H. A. Kolff has recently demonstrated, was an important means of livelihood for the peasants of certain areas of late medieval north India... In earlier centuries, says Kolff, "Rajput" was a more ascriptive term, referring to all kinds of Hindus who lived the life of the adventuring warrior, of whom most were of peasant origins.
  15. ^ Doris Marion Kling (1993). The Emergence of Jaipur State: Rajput Response to Mughal Rule, 1562–1743. University of Pennsylvania. p. 30. Rajput: Pastoral, mobile warrior groups who achieved landed status in the medieval period claimed to be Kshatriyas and called themselves Rajputs.
  16. ^ André Wink (1991). Al-Hind the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: The Slave Kings and the Islamic Conquest : 11Th-13th Centuries. BRILL. p. 171. ISBN 90-04-10236-1. ...and it is very probable that the other fire-born Rajput clans like the Caulukyas, Paramaras, Cahamanas, as well as the Tomaras and others who in the eighth and ninth centuries were subordinate to the Gurjara-Pratiharas, were of similar pastoral origin, that is, that they originally belonged to the mobile, nomadic groups...
  17. ^ a b Richard Eaton 2019, p. 87, [1]In Gujarat, as in Rajasthan, genealogy proved essential for making such claims. To this end, local bards composed ballads or chronicles that presented their patrons as idea warriors who protected Brahmins, cows and vassals, as opposed to the livestock herding chieftains that they actually were, or had once been. As people, who created and preserved the genealogies, local bards therefore played critical roles in brokering for their clients socio-cultural transitions to a claimed Rajput status. A similar thing was happening in the Thar desert region, where from the fourteenth century onwards mobile pastoral groups gradually evolved into landed, sedentary and agrarian clans. Once again, it was bards and poets, patronized by little kings, who transformed a clan's ancestors from celebrated cattle-herders or cattle-rustlers to celebrated protectors of cattle-herding communities. The difference was subtle but critical, since such revised narratives retained an echo of a pastoral nomadic past while repositioning a clan's dynastic founder from pastoralist to non-pastoralist. The term 'Rajput', in short, had become a prestigious title available for adoption by upwardly mobile clan in the process of becoming sedentary. By one mechanism or another, a process of 'Rajputization' occurred in new states that emerged from the turmoil following Timur's invasion in 1398, especially in Gujarat, Malwa and Rajasthan.
  18. ^ a b Alf Hiltebeitel 1999, pp. 439–440.
  19. ^ Bhrigupati Singh 2015, p. 38.
  20. ^ Pradeep Barua 2005, p. 24.
  21. ^ Alf Hiltebeitel 1999, pp. 440–441.
  22. ^ Alf Hiltebeitel 1999, pp. 3.
  23. ^ Alf Hiltebeitel 1999, pp. 441–442.
  24. ^ Catherine B. Asher & Cynthia Talbot 2006, p. 99.
  25. ^ a b Mayaram, Shail (2010). "The Sudra Right to Rule". In Ishita Banerjee-Dube (ed.). Caste in History. Oxford University Press. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-19-806678-1. In their recent work on female infanticide, Bhatnagar, Dube and Bube(2005) distinguish between Rajputization and Sanksritization. Using M.N.Srinivas' and Milton Singer's approach to social mobility as idioms they identify Rajputization as one of the most dynamic modes of upward mobility. As an idiom of political power it 'signifies a highly mobile social process of claiming military-political power and the right to cultivate land as well as the right to rule. Rajputization is unparalleled in traditional Indian society for its inventiveness in ideologies of legitimation and self-invention. This was a claim that was used by persons of all castes all over north India ranging from peasants and lower-caste Sudras to warriors and tribal chiefs and even the local raja who had recently converted to Islam.
  26. ^ a b c Ishita Banerjee-Dube (2010). Caste in History. Oxford University Press. p. xxiii. ISBN 978-0-19-806678-1. Rajputization discussed processes through which 'equalitarian, primitive, clan based tribal organization' adjusted itself to the centralized hierarchic, territorial oriented political developments in the course of state formation. This led a 'narrow lineage of single families' to disassociate itself from the main body of their tribe and claim Rajput origin. They not only adopted symbols and practices supposedly representative of the true Kshatriya, but also constructed genealogies that linked them to the primordial and legendary solar and lunar dynasties of kings. Further, it was pointed out that the caste of genealogists and mythographers variously known as Carans, Bhats, Vahivanca Barots, etc., prevalent in Gujarat, Rajasthan and other parts of north India actively provided their patron rulers with genealogies that linked local clans of these chiefs with regional clans and with the Kshatriyas of the Puranas and Mahabharata. Once a ruling group succeeded in establishing its claim to Rajput status, there followed a 'secondary Rajputization' when the tribes tried to 're-associate' with their formal tribal chiefs who had also transformed themselves into Hindu rajas and Rajput Kshatriyas.
  27. ^ a b Tanuja Kothiyal 2016, p. 265, [2]...from gradual transformation of mobile patoral and tribal groups into landed sedentary ones. The process of settlement involved both control over mobile resources through raids, battles and trade as well as channelizing of these resources into agrarian expansion. Kinship structures as well as marital and martial alliances were instrumental in this transformation.[...]In the colonial ethnographic accounts rather than referring to Rajputs as having emerged from other communities, Bhils, Mers, Minas, Gujars, Jats, Raikas, all lay a claim to a Rajput past from where they claim to have 'fallen'. Historical processes, however, suggest just the opposite.
  28. ^ Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya 1994, pp. 79–80.
  29. ^ Parita Mukta (1994). Upholding the Common Life: The Community of Mirabai. Oxford University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-19-563115-9. The term 'Rajput' before the fifteenth century meant 'horse soldier', 'trooper', 'headman of a village' or 'subordinate chief'. Moreover, individuals with whom the word was associated were generally considered to be products of varna–samkara of mixed caste origin, and thus inferior in rank to Kshatriyas.
  30. ^ Satish Chandra 1982, p. 92.
  31. ^ Norman Ziegler 1976, p. 141:...individuals or groups with which the word was associated were generally considered to owe their origin to miscegenation or varna-samkara ("the mixing of castes") and were thus inferior in rank to Ksatriyas. [...] What I perceive from the above data is a rather widespread change in the subjective perception and the attribution of rank to groups and individuals who emerged in Rajasthan and North India as local chiefs and rulers in the period after the muslim invasions(extending roughly from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries). These groups were no longer considered kshatriyas and though they filled roles previously held by kshatriyas and were attributed similar functions of sustaining society and upholding the moral order, they were either groups whose original integrity were seen to have been altered or who had emerged from the lower ranks of the caste system. This change is supported by material from the Rajput chronicles themselves.
  32. ^ Peabody 2003.
  33. ^ Hastings 2002, p. 54:The Indian historian K. R. Qanungo has pointed out that in " the middle ages ' Rajput ' ordinarily meant a trooper in the service of a chief or a free-lance captain(1960,98); and Dirk Kolff(1990), following both Quango and D.C.Sircar has surely settled the matter with his argument that many Rajput clans came out of pastoralist bands which achieved some degree of landed status in the first half of the second millennium, forming "largely open status groups of clans, lineages, or even families and individuals who achieved statuses as 'horse soldier', 'trooper' or 'headman of village', and pretended to be connected with the family of some king, it became a generic name for this military and landed class(p 71-72)
  34. ^ Association for Asian Studies (1969). James Silverberg (ed.). Social Mobility in the Caste System in India: An Inter Disciplinary Symposium. Mouton. p. 79. ISBN 9783112026250.
  35. ^ Burton Stein (2004). David N. Lorenzen (ed.). Religious Movements in South Asia, 600–1800. Oxford University Press. p. 82. ISBN 978-0-19-566448-5. When the rank of persons was in theory rigorously ascribed according to the purity of the birth-group, the political units of India were probably ruled most often by men of very low birth. This generalization applies to south indian warriors and may be equally applicable for many clans of Rajputs in northern India. The capacity of both ancient and medieval Indian society to ascribe to its actual rulers, frequently men of low social origins, a "clean" or "Kshatriya" rank may afford one of the explanations for the durability and longevity of the unique civilization of India.
  36. ^ Reena Dube & Rashmi Dube Bhatnagar 2012, p. 257.
  37. ^ Janet Tiwary Kamphorst (2004). "Deification of South Asian epic Heroes-Methological Implications". In Hendrik Maier; Jan Jansen (eds.). Epic Adventures: Heroic Narrative in the Oral Performance. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 95. ISBN 9783825867584.
  38. ^ a b Tanuja Kothiyal 2016, p. 8.
  39. ^ Richard Gabriel Fox 1971, p. 16.
  40. ^ Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya 1994, p. 60.
  41. ^ André Wink (2002). Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7Th-11th Centuries. BRILL. p. 282. ISBN 0-391-04173-8. In short, a process of development occurred which after several centuries culminated in the formation of new groups with the identity of 'Rajputs'. The predecessors of the Rajputs, from about the eighth century, rose to politico-military prominence as an open status group or estate of largely illiterate warriors who wished to consider themselves as the reincarnates of the ancient Indian Kshatriyas. The claim of Kshatriyas was, of course, historically completely unfounded. The Rajputs as well as other autochthonous Indian gentry groups who claimed Kshatriya status by way of putative Rajput descent, differed widely from the classical varna of Kshatriyas which, as depicted in literature, was made of aristocratic, urbanite and educated clans...
  42. ^ Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya 1994, p. 59.
  43. ^ Norman Ziegler 1976, p. 150: Rajputs were, with some exceptions, almost totally illiterate as a caste group
  44. ^ Reinhard Bendix (1998). Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait. Psychology Press. pp. 180–. ISBN 978-0-415-17453-4. Eventually the position of the old Kshatriya nobility was undermined not only by the Brahmin priests but also by the rise of a warrior caste in northwest India. Most of the Rajputs were illiterate mercenaries in the service of a king.
  45. ^ Sara R. Farris (9 September 2013). Max Weber's Theory of Personality: Individuation, Politics and Orientalism in the Sociology of Religion. BRILL. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-90-04-25409-1. Weber however explained this downgrading of their status by the fact that they represented a threat to the cultural and intellectual monopoly of the Brahmans, as they[Kshatriyas] were also extremely cultured and educated in the art of administration. In about the eight century the Rajput thus began to perform the functions that had formerly belonged to the Kshatriya, assuming their social and economic position and substituting them as the new warrior class. Ancient illiterate merceneries, the Rajput did not represent a threat to the Brahmininc monopoly and were more inclined to accept the Brahmans' superiority, thus contributing to the so called Hindu restoration.
  46. ^ Thomas R. Metcalf (1990). Modern India: An Interpretive Anthology. Sterling Publishers. p. 90. ISBN 9788120709003. Since then every known royal family has come from a non - Kshatriya caste, including the famous Rajput dynasties of medieval India . Panikkar also points out that " the Shudras seem to have produced an unusually large number of royal families even in more recent times"
  47. ^ Stewart Gordon 2007, p. 16: Eventually, kinship and marriage restrictions defined this Rajput group as different from other elements in the society of Rajasthan. The hypergamous marriage pattern typical of Rajputs tacitly acknowledged that it was a somewhat open caste category; by successful service in a state army and translating this service into grants and power at the local level, a family might become Rajput. The process required changes in dress, eating patterns, the patronage of local shrines closer to the "great tradition", and an end to widow remarriage. A hypergamous marriage with an acknowledged (but possibly impoverished) Rajput family would follow and with continued success in service the family would indeed become Rajput. All this is well documented in relations between Rajputs and tribals...
  48. ^ Detlef Kantowsky (1986). Recent Research on Max Weber's Studies of Hinduism: Papers Submitted to a Conference Held in New Delhi, 1.-3.3. 1984. Weltforum Verlag. p. 104. ISBN 978-3-8039-0333-4.
  49. ^ Hermann Kulke (1993). Kings and Cults: State Formation and Legitimation in India and Southeast Asia. Manohar Publishers & Distributors. p. 251. ISBN 9788173040375.
  50. ^ Reena Dube & Rashmi Dube Bhatnagar 2012, p. 59-62(59)In our view Rajputization refers neither to a caste nor a race, instead it signifies a highly mobile social process of claiming military-political power and the right tocultivable land as well as the right to rule. Rajputization is unparalleled in traditional Indian society for its inventiveness in ideologies of legitimation and self-invention. The fabrication of a Rajput genealogy in the process of climbing from feudatory to king does not constitute an isolated historical event in the early medieval period. In nineteenth-century India, the village landlord, the Brahmin priest, the tribal chieftain, the local Raja who has recently converted from Islam, the newly wealthy lower caste Sudra, the professional soldier or the member of a community with traditions of military labor, any of these men could Rajputize themselves and their families by adopting the lifestyle traditionally recognized as Rajput. These aspirants deployed Brahmins to compose a genealogy that would retrospectively endow the aspirant’s lineage with ritual purity. These social processes get repeated continually and mirrored by communities all over north India that Rajputize themselves to make a bid for political power. With surprising rapidity the newly Rajputized family or clan can gain, over a generation or two, social acceptance of their claim to Rajput status(62, 63) We have culled from the sociological literature, particularly from Srivinas's analysis of Sanskritization, the key differences between the two modes of upward mobility, Sanskritization and Rajputization. Despite the excellent fieldwork on Rajputization by Sinha (1962) and Kulke (1976), there is no clear theoretical definition of the key features of Rajputization, and its differences and similarities to Sanskritization. We argue that theorizing is as important as fieldwork, principally because of the colonial misreading of the term Rajput and its relation to Rajput history and to Rajputization. As a corrective we demarcate the distinction between Sanskritization and Rajputization in terms of attributional criteria - which denotes a code of living, dietary prohibition, modes of worship-and social interactional criteria, which signify the rules of marriage, rules pertaining to women, and modes of power. The attributional criteria for Sanskritization are vegetarianism, prohibition against beef eating, teetotalism, and wearing the sacred thread; the attributional criteria for Rajputized men consists of meat-eating, imbibing alcohol and opium, and the wearing of the sword; the attributional criteria for Rajputized women are seclusion through purdah or the veil and elaborate rules for women's mobility within the village. The religious code for Sanskritization is a belief in the doctrine of karma, dharma, rebirth and moksha and the Sradda ceremony for male ancestors. Conversely, the religious code for Rajputization consists of the worship of Mahadeo and Sakto and the Patronage of Brahmins through personal family priests (historically the Rajputized rulers gave land grants to Brahmins) and the priestly supervision of rites of passage. The social interactional criteria for Sanskritization is claiming the right to all priestly intellectual and cultural vocations, patronage from the dominant political power, and prohibition against widow remarriage. The interactional criteria for Rajputization consists of claiming the right to all military and political occupations, the right to govern, the right to aggrandize lands through wars, sanctioned aggressive behavior, the adoption of the code for violence, compiling clan genealogies and the right to coercively police the interactions between castes.
  51. ^ a b c Cynthia Talbot 2015, p. 119.
  52. ^ Barbara N. Ramusack (2003). The Indian Princes and their States, The New Cambridge History of India. Cambridge University Press. p. 14. ISBN 9781139449083. "By the sixth century AD, there are historical indications of the group calling themselves Rajput settle in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Over the course of ten centuries they came to control land and people
  53. ^ Ali, Daud (2005). "NANDINI SINHA KAPUR: State Formation in Rajasthan: Mewar during the Seventh-Fifteenth Centuries. 308pp. Delhi: Manohar, 2002". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient: 134–135. The appearance of rajputras as mercenary soldiers is proved as early as 7th century CE from the reference in Bakshali manuscript found in the North-West Frontier Province and subsequently from the Chachnama in Sindh in 8th century CE. In all bardic traditions of this period the Rajputs are depicted as horsemen. It may not be again ignored that the Pratiharas, one of the clansmen of the Rajputs of early medieval period felt pride to bear the title of hayapati, "the lord of horses". The term rajput is derived from Sanskrit root rajputra (son of the king). Prakrit forms of the term rajputra are variously known as rawat, rauta, raul and rawal. A transformation in connotation of the term is noticeable from 7th century CE onwards as it began to be used in literary texts in the sense of a landowner rather than "son of the king". In the Harshacharita of Banabhatta (7th century CE) the term has been used in the sense of a noble or landowning chief. In Kadambari also it is used for persons of noble descent who were appointed by the king as local rulers. In the capacity of local rulers they might have naturally governed a large portion of land under them and, thus, played an active role in political and administrative system of the state. The term began to be more commonly used from 12th century onwards. In Rajatarangini the term rajputra is used in the sense of a landowner, acclaiming birth from 36 clans of the Rajputs. The reference of 36 clans and their clan structure clearly denotes their existence by 12th century CE. The 12th century Aparajitprachha of Bhatta Bhuvanadeva, which describes the composition of a typical feudal order, refers to rajaputras as constituting a fairly large section of kings holding estates, each one of them constituting one or more villages
  54. ^ Upinder Singh (2008), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson, p. 566, ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0, The use of the term Rajaputra for specific clans of Rajput or as a collective term for various clans emerged by the 12th century
  55. ^ Irfan Habib (2011). "The Agrarian Classes". In Irfan Habib (ed.). Economic History of Medieval India, 1200-1500. Pearson Education India. p. 66. ISBN 978-81-317-2791-1. Rautas in these inscriptions are clearly ranked beneath the ranakas, and they are obviously more numerous. In the Mahoba Fort inscription (actually from Kasrak near Badaun), in an entry of 1234, the rautas are spoken off as a jati or caste. Rautas is actually the Prakrit form of Rajaputra (modern Hindi Rajput); and a Rajaputra caste had established itself well before the thirteenth century......Military prowess converted itself into land control, and we say by the thirteenth century the rajaputras or rautas had acquired the position of local land magnates
  56. ^ Rima Hooja 2006, p. 181–182: "The Rajputs of Rajasthan are not over-concerned either over the date or period when the term ‘Rajput’ entered common usage. However, epigraphical and literary evidence would indicate that it was probably sometime during the c.twelfth-thirteenth centuries AD period that the usage of terms like Rajputra, Kshatriya, Rautt and similar words denoting connections with kingship, and Rajput became established as more or less synonymous words....In Kalhana’s Rajtarangini (VII.390) the word rajaputra is used in the sense of a landowner, but if it is read with VII, vv. 1617 and 1618 of the same book it would be clear that they acclaimed their birth from the 36 clans of the Rajputs. That would lead us to believe that by the beginning of the 12th century AD these clans had already come into existence”
  57. ^ a b c d Cynthia Talbot 2015, p. 120.
  58. ^ Tanuja Kothiyal 2016, p. 266, [3]Unlike the popular perception, even Rajputs remained engaged with nomadic pastorialism, animal husbandry and cattle trade till much later than it is assumed. Munhata Nainsini in his seventeenth century chronicles, Munhata Nainsi ri Khyat and Marwar ra Paraganan ri Vigat refers to a number of disputes between Rajputs that involved cattle raids. Also, a close reading of the lore regarding Rajput folk deities like Pabuji, Mallinath, Gogaji and Ramdeo, who are viewed as protectors of cattle herding communities actually indicates the intense struggle for control over cattle and pasturelands that Rajputs were engaged in. Rajputs extended patronage to Brahmins and Bardic communities like Bhats and Charans who composed detailed genealogies linking Rajput clans to older kshatriya lineages as well as celestial sources, which not only legitimised their claims to aristocracy but also distanced them from their tribal pastoral origins.
  59. ^ Kolff, Dirk H. A. (2002). Naukar, Rajput, and Sepoy: The Ethnohistory of the Military Labour Market of Hindustan, 1450-1850. Cambridge University Press. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-521-52305-9. What at first sight might seem to be a change of religion, is often a device to register either recruitment or professional success whether military or otherwise. Very often the Rajput to Afghan change — and, one may add, the peasant to Rajput change — was a similar kind of affair, indicating the pervading impact of soldiering traditions on North Indian social history. The military labour market, in other words, was a major generator of socio-religious identities.
  60. ^ a b Tanuja Kothiyal 2016, pp. 8–9.
  61. ^ Cynthia Talbot 2015, p. 121.
  62. ^ David Ludden 1999, p. 4.
  63. ^ Barbara N. Ramusack 2004, p. 13.
  64. ^ André Wink 1990, p. 282.
  65. ^ Cynthia Talbot 2015, pp. 121–122.
  66. ^ Cynthia Talbot 2015, p. 121-125.
  67. ^ Tanuja Kothiyal 2016, p. 11.
  68. ^ "Rajput procession, Encyclopædia Britannica". Archived from the original on 9 November 2014.
  69. ^ Pradeep Barua 2005, p. 25.
  70. ^ Cynthia Talbot 2015, p. 33.
  71. ^ Peabody, Norbert (2003). Hindu Kingship and Polity in Precolonial India. Cambridge University Press. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-0-521-46548-9. As Dirk Kolff has argued, it was privileged, if not initially inspired, only in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Mughal perceptions of Rajputs which, in a pre-form of orientalism, took patrilineal descent as the basis for Rajput social Organization and consequently as the basis for their political inclusion into the empire. Prior to the Mughals, the term 'Rajput' was equally an open-ended, generic name applied to any '"horse soldier", "trooper", or "headman of a village"' regardless of parentage, who achieved his status through his personal ability to establish a wide network of supporters through his bhaibandh (lit. 'ie or bond of brothers'; that is, close collateral relations by male blood) or by means of naukari (military service to a more powerful overlord) and sagai (alliance through marriage). Thus the language of kinship remained nonetheless strong in this alternative construction of Rajput identity but collateral and affinal bonds were stressed rather than those of descent. During the sixteenth and seventeenth cen-
  72. ^ Jackson, Peter (2003). The Delhi Sultanate: A Political and Military History. Cambridge University Press. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-521-54329-3. Confronting the Ghurid ruler now were a number of major Hindu powers, for which the designation 'Rajput' (not encountered in the Muslim sources before the sixteenth century) is a well-established anachronism. Chief among them was the Chahamana (Chawhan) kingdom of Shakambhari (Sambhar), which dominated present-day Rajasthan from its capital at Ajmer
  73. ^ Behl, Aditya (2012). Wendy Doniger (ed.). Love's Subtle Magic: An Indian Islamic Literary Tradition, 1379-1545. Oxford University Press. pp. 364–. ISBN 978-0-19-514670-7. The term Rajput is a retrospective invention, as most of the martial literature of resistance to Turkish conquest dates only from the mid-fifteenth century onward. As Dirk Kolff has noted in his Naukar, Rajput and Sepoy: The Ethnohistory of the Military Labour Market in Hindustan, 1450-1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), the invention of "Rajput" identity can be dated to the sixteenth-century narratives of nostalgia for lost honor and territory.
  74. ^ Bayly, Susan (2001). Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Cambridge University Press. pp. 32–35. ISBN 978-0-521-79842-6. [32]In the arid hill country what is now Rajasthan, located southwest to the Mughal original strongholds in gangetic plain, powerful lords had been calling themselves as Rajputs, a title derived from the Sanskrit (rajaputra, king's son), as far back as thirteenth century AD and possibly very much earlier[33]In both the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, Mughal armies fought bloody battles in this strategic frontier region, and through a mixture of force and coalition, its kingdoms were loosely absorbed into loosely textured Mughal political order. At this time, these armed elites had strong memories of the earlier clan chiefs who had made their mark in turbulent times by adopting known marks of lordship and exalted desent.[34]Yet the varna archetype of the Kshatriya-like man of prowess did become a key reference point for rulers and their subjects under the Mughals and their immediate successors. The chiefs and warriors whom the Mughals came to honor as Rajput lords in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries may not even have been descendants of Rajasthan's earlier pre-Mughal elites. What mattered instead was that for both[] these titles and the markers of refined faith and social life which accompanied them, spoke in recognizable terms of exalted blood and ancestry.
  75. ^ Hermann Kulke & Dietmar Rothermund (2004). A History of India. Psychology Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-415-32920-0. When Harsha shifted the centre of north Indian history to Kanauj in midst of Ganga-Yamuna Doab the tribes living to the west of this new centre also became more important for further courses of Indian history They were first and foremost the Rajputs who now emerged into the limelight of Indian history
  76. ^ Sailendra Nath Sen (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. p. 307. ISBN 978-81-224-1198-0. The anarchy and confusion which followed Harsha's death is the transitional period of history. This period was marked by the rise of the Rajput clans who begun to play a conspicuous part in the history of northern and western India from the eight century AD. onwards
  77. ^ Alain Danielou (2003). A Brief History of India. Simon and Schuster. p. Chapter 15. ISBN 978-1-59477-794-3. The role of the Rajputs in the history of northern and eastern India is considerable, as they dominated the scene between the death of Harsha and establishment of Muslim empire
  78. ^ Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya (2006). Studying Early India: Archaeology, Texts and Historical Issues. Anthem. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-84331-132-4. The period between the seventh and the twelfth century witnessed gradual rise of a number of new royal-lineages in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which came to constitute a social-political category known as 'Rajput'. Some of the major lineages were the Pratiharas of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and adjacent areas, the Guhilas and Chahamanas of Rajasthan, the Caulukyas or Solankis of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the Paramaras of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  79. ^ Satish Chandra (1996). Historiography, Religion, and State in Medieval India. Har-Anand Publications. p. 115. ISBN 978-81-241-0035-6. "In north India, the dominant features of the period between 7th and 12th centuries have been identified as the growing weakness of state; the growth of the power of local landed elites and their decentralising authority by acquiring greater administrative, economic and political roles; the decline of towns, the setback to trades, especially long distance trade and the alientation of land to the brahmans in larger proportions then ever before. The period is also noted for the rise of the Rajputs
  80. ^ Sara R. Farris (5 September 2013). Max Weber's Theory of Personality: Individuation, Politics and Orientalism in the Sociology of Religion. BRILL. p. 145. ISBN 978-90-04-25409-1. "In about the eighth century B.C. the Rajput thus began to perform the functions that had formerly belonged to the Kshatriya, assuming their social and economic position and substituting them as the new warrior class
  81. ^ David Ludden (2013). India and South Asia: A Short History. Oneworld Publications. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-1-78074-108-6. By contrast in Rajasthan a single warrior group evolved called Rajput (from Rajaputra-sons of kings): they rarely engaged in farming, even to supervise farm labour as farming was literally beneath them, farming was for their peasant subjects. In the ninth century separate clans of Rajputs Cahamanas (Chauhans), Paramaras (Pawars), Guhilas (Sisodias) and Caulukyas were splitting off from sprawling Gurjara Pratihara clans...
  82. ^ Peter Robb (21 June 2011). A History of India. Macmillan International Higher Education. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-230-34549-2. From around 1000 ce, notable among these regional powers were various Rajput dynasties in the west and north
  83. ^ André Wink 1990, p. 208 "The Rajputs repelled Arabs from "Stravani and Valla", probably the area North of Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, and the invasion of Malwa but were ultimately defeated by Bappa Rawal and Nagabhata I in 725 AD near Ujjain. Arab rule was restricted to the west of Thar desert."
  84. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 44-45.
  85. ^ Chandra, Satish (2004). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals-Delhi Sultanat (1206–1526) – Part One. Har-Anand Publications. pp. 19–24. ISBN 978-81-241-1064-5.
  86. ^ Sugata Bose & Ayesha Jalal (2004). Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy. Psychology Press. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-415-30786-4. 'It was a similar combination of political and economic imperatives which led Muhmmad Ghuri, a Turk, to invade India a century and half later in 1192. His defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan, a Rajput chieftain, in the strategic battle of Tarain in northern India paved the way for the establishment of first Muslim sultante'
  87. ^ Romila Thapar (1 June 2015). The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-93-5214-118-0. An attack was launched on the Rajput kingdoms controlling the watershed and the western Ganges plain, now beginning to be viewed as the frontier. The Rajputs gathered together as best as they could not forgetting internal rivalries and jealousies. Prithviraja defeated Muhmmad Ghori at First battle of Tarain north of Delhi, in 1191, a second battle was fought at the same place, Prithviraj was defeated and kingdom of Delhi fell to Muhmmad, who pressed on and concentrated on capturing capital of Rajput kingdoms with the assistance of his General, Qutub-ud-din Aibak
  88. ^ a b Chandra, Satish (2004). Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals-Delhi Sultanat (1206–1526) – Part One. Har-Anand Publications. p. 224. ISBN 978-81-241-1064-5.
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  91. ^ V.S Bhatnagar (1974). Life and Times of Sawai Jai Singh, 1688-1743. Impex India. p. 6. From 1326, Mewar's grand recovery commenced under Lakha, and later under Kumbha and Sanga, till it became one of the greatest powers in northern India during the first quarter of the sixteenth century.
  92. ^ Giles Tillotson (1991). Mughal India. Penguin Books. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-14-011854-4. He was immediately challenged by assembled Rajput forces under Rana Sanga of Chittor who was reckoned by Babur as one of the two greatest Hindu rulers
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  138. ^ Mahesh Rangarajan, K; Sivaramakrishnan, eds. (6 November 2014). Shifting Ground: People, Animals, and Mobility in India's Environmental History. Oxford University Press. p. 85. ISBN 9780199089376. The British defined Rajputs as a group in part by their affinity for wild pork.
  139. ^ Lloyd Rudolph 1967, p. 127.
  140. ^ B. S. Baviskar; D. W. Attwood (30 October 2013). Inside-Outside: Two Views of Social Change in Rural India. SAGE Publications. pp. 389–. ISBN 978-81-321-1865-7. As one example among thousands, a small caste living partly in the Nira Valley was formerly known as Shegar Dhangar and more recently as Sagar Rajput
  141. ^ Robert Eric Frykenberg (1984). Land Tenure and Peasant in South Asia. Manohar. p. 197. Another example of castes' successful efforts to raise their sacred status to twice-born are the Sagar Rajputs of Poona district. Previously they were considered to be Dhangars—shepherds by occupation and Shudras by traditional varna. However, when their economic strength increased and they began to acquire land, they found a genealogist to trace their ancestry back to a leading officer in Shivaji's army, changed their names from Dhangars to Sagar Rajputs, and donned the sacred thread.
  142. ^ Markovits, Claude, ed. (2002) [First published 1994 as Histoire de l'Inde Moderne]. A History of Modern India, 1480–1950 (2nd ed.). London: Anthem Press. p. 406. ISBN 978-1-84331-004-4. The twenty-two princely states that were amalgamated in 1949 to form a political entity called Rajasthan...
  143. ^ Gerald James Larson (2001). Religion and Personal Law in Secular India: A Call to Judgment. Indiana University Press. pp. 206–. ISBN 978-0-253-21480-5. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
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  146. ^ Brass, Paul R. (1966). Factional Politics in an Indian State: The Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh. University of California Press. pp. 16–17. The agricultural castes must be further subdivided into the traditional landowning castes, the cultivating castes, and the castes which provide field laborers. Among the traditional landowning castes, the Thakurs and Rajputs are by far the most important. Before zamindari abolition, Rajputs and Thakurs owned the largest share of the land in most of the districts in Uttar Pradesh; in Oudh, Rajputs were the most prominent talukdars and owned more than 50 percent of the land in most districts. Rajputs and Thakurs are associated with traditional Kshatriya class, the ruling class in the classical Hindu order.
  147. ^ Thomas, Metcalf; Metcalf, Thomas R.; Metcalf, Professor of History and Sarah Kailath Professor of India Studies Thomas R.; Kailath, Sarah (2005). Forging the Raj: Essays on British India in the Heyday of Empire. Oxford University Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-19-566709-7. The bulk of the taluqdars, including almost all the Hindu holders of moderate to large estates, are of the Rajput caste. A ritually high caste, second only to the Brahmins, Rajputs have traditionally provided the secular elite of the province. Not only as large Landlords, but as petty zamindars and substantial peasant cultivators, Rajputs control most of the productive agricultural land and have long dominated the village panchayats and other local government institutions. The mere existence of such a large group of influential caste fellows scattered throughout the countryside gives the taluqdar a substantial advantage over a non-Rajput rival in gathering electoral support. But the taluqdar is usually more than just a Rajput; he is also the head of the local Rajput lineage or clan.
  148. ^ Erminia Colucci; David Lester (2012). Suicide and Culture: Understanding the Context. Hogrefe Publishing. pp. 219–. ISBN 978-1-61676-436-4.
  149. ^ Kanchan Mathur (16 November 2004). Countering Gender Violence: Initiatives Towards Collective Action in Rajasthan. SAGE Publications. pp. 44–. ISBN 978-0-7619-3244-4.
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  152. ^ A.Prasad (1997). Reservational Justice to Other Backward Classes (Obcs): Theoretical and Practical Issues. Deep and Deep Publications. p. 69. (continued list of OBC classes) 7.Rajput 120.Karnataka Rajput
  153. ^ Basu, Pratyusha (2009). Villages, Women, and the Success of Dairy Cooperatives in India: Making Place for Rural Development. Cambria Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-60497-625-0.
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  158. ^ The Tribune India (20 December 2016). "Rajput body condemns govt for putting Sikh Rajputs in 'backward classes'". Tribuneindia News Service.
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  165. ^ Lawrence A. Babb (1975). The Divine Hierarchy: Popular Hinduism in Central India. Columbia University Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-231-08387-4. The term Rajput denotes a cluster of castes that are accorded Kshatriya status in the varna system.
  166. ^ Lawrence A Babb (2004). Alchemies of Violence: Myths of Identity and the Life of Trade in Western India. SAGE. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-7619-3223-9. ...the region's erstwhile ruling aristocracy, a cluster of clans and lineages bearing the label 'Rajput'.
  167. ^ Ayan Shome 2014, p. 196.
  168. ^ Catherine B. Asher & Cynthia Talbot 2006, p. 99 (Para 3): "...Rajput did not originally indicate a hereditary status but rather an occupational one: that is, it was used in reference to men from diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds, who fought on horseback. In Rajasthan and its vicinity, the word Rajput came to have a more restricted and aristocratic meaning, as exclusive networks of warriors related by patrilineal descent and intermarriage became dominant in the fifteenth century. The Rajputs of Rajasthan eventually refused to acknowledge the Rajput identity of the warriors who lived farther to the east and retained the fluid and inclusive nature of their communities far longer than did the warriors of Rajasthan."
  169. ^ Cynthia Talbot 2015, p. 120 (Para 4): "Kolff's provocative thesis certainly applies to more peripheral groups like the Bundelas of Central India, whose claims to be Rajput were ignored by the Rajput clans of Mughal-era Rajasthan, and to other such lower-status martial communities."
  170. ^ "Rajput". Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 December 2023.
  171. ^ a b Shail Mayaram 2013, p. 269.
  172. ^ Rolf Lunheim (1993). Desert people: caste and community—a Rajasthani village. University of Trondheim & Norsk Hydro AS. ISBN 9788290896121. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  173. ^ Maya Unnithan-Kumar (1997). Identity, Gender, and Poverty: New Perspectives on Caste and Tribe in Rajasthan. Berghahn Books. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-57181-918-5. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
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  175. ^ André Wink (2002). Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7Th-11th Centuries. BRILL. pp. 282–. ISBN 978-0-391-04173-8. Retrieved 24 August 2013.
  176. ^ Lindsey Harlan 1992, p. 31.
  177. ^ Heather Streets (2004). Martial Races: The Military, Race and Masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857–1914. Manchester University Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-7190-6962-8.
  178. ^ Rand, Gavin (March 2006). "Martial Races and Imperial Subjects: Violence and Governance in Colonial India 1857–1914". European Review of History. 13 (1): 1–20. doi:10.1080/13507480600586726. S2CID 144987021.
  179. ^ Streets, Heather (2004). Martial Races: The military, race and masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857–1914. Manchester University Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-0-7190-6962-8. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  180. ^ Omar Khalidi (2003). Khaki and the Ethnic Violence in India: Army, Police, and Paramilitary Forces During Communal Riots. Three Essays Collective. p. 5. ISBN 9788188789092. Apart from their physique, the martial races were regarded as politically subservient or docile to authority
  181. ^ Philippa Levine (2003). Prostitution, Race, and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire. Psychology Press. pp. 284–285. ISBN 978-0-415-94447-2. The Saturday review had made much the same argument a few years earlier in relation to the armies raised by Indian rulers in princely states. They lacked competent leadership and were uneven in quality. Commander in chief Roberts, one of the most enthusiastic proponents of the martial race theory, though poorly of the native troops as a body. Many regarded such troops as childish and simple. The British, claims, David Omissi, believe martial Indians to be stupid. Certainly, the policy of recruiting among those without access to much education gave the British more semblance of control over their recruits.
  182. ^ Amiya K. Samanta (2000). Gorkhaland Movement: A Study in Ethnic Separatism. APH Publishing. pp. 26–. ISBN 978-81-7648-166-3. Dr . Jeffrey Greenhunt has observed that " The Martial Race Theory had an elegant symmetry. Indians who were intelligent and educated were defined as cowards, while those defined as brave were uneducated and backward. Besides their mercenary spirit was primarily due to their lack of nationalism.
  183. ^ Schaflechner, Jürgen (2018). Hinglaj Devi: Identity, Change, and Solidification at a Hindu Temple in Pakistan. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-085052-4. Among the crowds are many Rajputs who link their community's existence, or survival, to the help of Karni Mata.
  184. ^ Kothiyal, Tanuja (14 March 2016). Nomadic Narratives: A History of Mobility and Identity in the Great Indian Desert. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-08031-7. Several Charani goddesses like Avad, Karni, Nagnechi, Sangviyaan, Barbadi, among others are revered by Rajputs as patron deities.
  185. ^ General, India Office of the Registrar (1966). Census of India, 1961. Manager of Publications. The principal followers of the deity are Charans, who are also the priests and belong to the community to which Karni Mata belonged, and Rajputs who worship her as their family deity .
  186. ^ Prabhākara, Manohara (1976). A Critical Study of Rajasthani Literature, with Exclusive Reference to the Contribution of Cāraṇas. Panchsheel Prakashan. Karni : Presiding Deity of Rajputs and Cāraņas
  187. ^ Aase J. Kvanneid (2021). Perceptions of Climate Change from North India: An Ethnographic Account. Routledge. p. 79-.
  188. ^ Chowdhary, Charu. "7 Interesting Martial Art Forms in India". India.com. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  189. ^ Narasimhan, Sakuntala (1992). Sati: Widow Burning in India (Reprinted ed.). Doubleday. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-385-42317-5.
  190. ^ Hiltebeitel, Alf; Erndl, Kathleen M. (2000). Is the Goddess a Feminist?: The Politics of South Asian Goddesses. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-8147-3619-7.
  191. ^ Lindsey Harlan 1992, p. 88.
  192. ^ Cūṇḍāvata, Lakshmī Kumārī (2000). From Purdah to the People: Memoirs of Padma Shri Rani Laxmi Kumari Chundawat. Rawat Publications. p. 42. ISBN 978-81-7033-606-8. People said 'Jai Karni Mata ki', 'Jai Mataji ki', 'Jai Charbhuja ki', 'Jai Gordhan Nath ki', and so on. Different deities were invoked in different places and by different castes. For example, a Jat would never say 'Jai Mata Ki', only a Rajput or a Charan would say that.
  193. ^ Fisher, R. J. (1997). If Rain Doesn't Come: An Anthropological Study of Drought and Human Ecology in Western Rajasthan. Manohar. p. 61. ISBN 978-81-7304-184-6. In fact the greeting used by Bhati Rajputs is 'Jai - sri' or 'Jai - sri - Kishan' ( victory to Lord Krishna ) as opposed to the general Rajput greeting 'Jai - mata - jiri' (victory of the Mother Goddess).
  194. ^ Simoons, Frederick J. (1994). Eat Not this Flesh: Food Avoidances from Prehistory to the Present. Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 330. ISBN 978-0-299-14254-4. Despite the widespread unacceptability of alcoholic beverages as offerings to high gods in India (Eichinger Ferro-Luzzi, 1977a : 365-66), when Rajputs 'open a bottle of whiskey, they often tip a little on the ground in an offering to the mother goddess before they drink. They say "Jai Mata-ji" as they do this-"Long live the Mother (Goddess)"'.
  195. ^ Somerville, Christopher (16 April 2020). Our War: Real stories of Commonwealth soldiers during World War II. Orion. ISBN 978-1-4746-1775-8. The Muslims shout their battle-cry; the Rajputs cry, 'Jai Mata! Victory to the Mother!' and the Jats shout the war cry of Hanuman the monkey-god. The Japanese, too - they were shouting 'Banzai!' and wielding their samurai swords ... a medieval sight.
  196. ^ Sandhu, Gurcharn Singh (2003). A Military History of Medieval India. Vision Books. p. 428. ISBN 978-81-7094-525-3. Banners and Devices - Rajputs had slogans like 'Jai Mataji', 'Rann banka Rathor' and so on painted on their shields. Jagirdars carried their own flags; this served the same purpose as in ancient and ease of deployment for battle. The ruler's banners and flags were carried on elephants, camels and on horseback. India-identification
  197. ^ Harald Tambs-Lyche (1997). Power, Profit, and Poetry: Traditional Society in Kathiawar, Western India. Manohar Publishers & Distributors. p. 101. ISBN 978-81-7304-176-1. Such hospitality is central to Rajputs, as it is to other martial castes of South Asia
  198. ^ "Hospitable". Cambridge Dictionary. Cambridge University Press.
  199. ^ Kasturi, Malavika (2002). Embattled Identities Rajput Lineages. Oxford University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-19-565787-6.
  200. ^ Lindsey Harlan 1992, p. 27.
  201. ^ a b c d e f g Harald Fischer-Tiné; Michael Mann (2004). Colonialism as Civilizing Mission: Cultural Ideology in British India. Anthem Press. pp. 124–140. ISBN 978-1-84331-092-1.
  202. ^ Manmohan Kaur (1968). Role of Women in the Freedom Movement, 1857-1947. Sterling Publishers. p. 9. ( iii ) Amongst the Rajputs it was a common practice that a mother's breast was smeared with the preparation of 'dhatura ' or Mudar plant or the poppy. The infant drank the milk along with the poison.
  203. ^ Richard Eaton 2019, p. 139, [4]:Only the Sisodia clan of Mewar in southern Rajasthan proudly claiming pre-eminence among the Rajput clans, refused to send its women to the Mughal Harem, resulting in the siege and mass suicide at Chittor.
  204. ^ a b c d Sreenivasan, Ramya (2006). "Drudges, Dancing Girls, Concubines: Female Slaves in Rajput Polity, 1500–1850". In Chatterjee, Indrani; Eaton, Richard M. (eds.). Slavery and South Asian History. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. pp. 136–161. ISBN 978-0253116710. OCLC 191950586.
  205. ^ Khanna, Priyanka (2011). "Embodying Royal Concubinage: Some Aspects of Concubinage in Royal Rajput Household of Marwar, (Western Rajasthan) C. 16". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 72: 337–345. ISSN 2249-1937. JSTOR 44146726.
  206. ^ D. D. Gaur (1978). Constitutional Development of Eastern Rajputana States. Usha. p. 49. OCLC 641457000. These slave communities were known by various names, such as Darogas, Chakars, Hazuris, Ravana- Rajputs, Chelas, Golas and Khawas.
  207. ^ Lindsey Harlan 1992, p. 145,167.
  208. ^ Malavika Kasturi (March 2004). Harald Fischer-Tiné; Michael Mann (eds.). Colonialism as Civilizing Mission: Cultural Ideology in British India. Anthem Press. pp. 128–. ISBN 978-1-84331-363-2. If not, these children became dancing girls or were sold off to other Rajputs as wives.[...]Female infanticide had unintended consequences. [...]The scarcity of girls in many clans of higher status led to the kidnapping of women of lower castes, who were sold to high ranking clans for matrimonial purposes.[...]In some cases women from semi-nomadic communities were married to Rajput bridegrooms of this level in exchange for bride wealth
  209. ^ Kalikinkar Datta (1978). Survey of India's Social Life and Economic Condition in the Eighteenth Century, 1707-1813. Munshiram Manoharlal. p. 68. Buchanan writes that in northern India, the Rajputs, Khatris and Kayasthas openly kept women slaves of any pure tribe, and the children through such women were classed in one matrimonial group . Rich Muslim families in Bihar maintained large number of male slaves called Nufurs and female slaves called Laundis . A distinct class of slaves known as Molazadahs were also maintained by them.
  210. ^ R.D. Sanwal (1976). Social Stratification in Rural Kumaon. Oxford University Press. pp. 43–44. ISBN 0195605314.
  211. ^ Berreman Gerald D (1963). Hindus of the Himalayas. University of California Press(Berkeley). p. 130.
  212. ^ Karine Schomer 1994, p. 338.
  213. ^ Saleema Waraich (2012). "Competing and complementary visions of the court of the Great Mogor". In Dana Leibsohn; Jeanette Favrot Peterson (eds.). Seeing Across Cultures in the Early Modern World. Ashgate. p. 88. ISBN 9781409411895.


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