Modern History of Rajasthan : Since the early 1700s, the Maratha Empire began expanding northwards, led by Peshwa Baji Rao I of Pune. This expansion finally brought the newly founded Maratha Empire in contact with the Rajputs. Rajasthan saw many invasions by the Marathas, under military leadership of Holkars and Scindhias.
In 1707 Bharatpur city was further developed by a Jat (peasant caste) conqueror. By 1803 Maratha conquered some parts of Rajasthan and was led by Peshwa Baji Rao I of Pune. Most of the Rajputs passed under the control of the Maratha Empire and continued to pay tribute to Pune. This kept on happening till the British East India Company replaced the Marathas as preeminent rulers. In 1857, the British started their rule in India and most Rajput states allied with them. Association of Rajput and British allowed Rajasthan to continue as independent states, subject to certain political and economic constraints. Under the British rule, the nineteen Rajput states signed a treaty and came under an umbrella called Rajasthan.
British colonial period (1858-1947 CE)
The arrival of the British East India Company in the region led to the administrative designation of some geographically, culturally, economically and historically diverse areas, which had never shared a common political identity, under the name of the Rajputana Agency. This was a significant identifier, being modified later to Rajputana Province and lasting until the renaming to Rajasthan in 1949. The Company officially recognized various entities, although sources disagree concerning the details, and also included Ajmer-Merwara, which was the only area under direct British control. Of these various areas, Marwar and Jaipur were the most significant in the early 19th century, although it was Mewar that gained particular attention from James Tod, a Company employee who was enamored of Rajputana and wrote extensively, if often uncritically, of the people, history and geography of the Agency as a whole.
Alliances were formed between the Company and these various princely and chiefly entities in the early 19th century, accepting British sovereignty in return for local autonomy and protection from the Marathas and Pindari depredations. Following the Mughal tradition and more importantly due to its strategic location Ajmer became a province of British India, while the autonomous Rajput states, the Muslim state of Tonk, and the Jat states of Bharatpur, Dholpur were organized into the Rajputana Agency. In 1817–18, the British Government concluded treaties of alliance with almost all the states of Rajputana. Thus began the British rule over Rajasthan, and then called Rajputana.
Post-independence (1947 CE – present)
At the ceremony held in Udaipur on April 12, 1948, the reconstitution of the Rajasthan Union, which the Maharana of Udaipur becomes the New Rajpramukh, Jawaharlal Nehru administers the oath of allegiance to Manik Lal Verma, Premier of the Union.
The name of Rajasthan was probably popularized by Tod and during his lifetime some people believed that he had coined it. Although he claimed that it was the classical name for the region, the term seems first to be documented in an inscription dating from 1708 and to have become popular by his time.
It took seven stages to form Rajasthan as defined today. In March 1948 the Matsya Union consisted of Alwar, Bharatpur, Dhaulpur and Karauli was formed. Also, in March 1948 Banswara, Bundi, Dungarpur, Jhalawar, Kishangarh, Kota, Pratapgarh, Shahpura and Tonk joined the Indian union and formed a part of Rajasthan. In April 1948 Udaipur joined the state and the Maharana of Udaipur was made Rajpramukh. Therefore, in 1948 the merger of south and southeastern states was almost complete. Still retaining their independence from India were Jaipur State and the desert kingdoms of Bikaner, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer. From a security point of view, it was claimed that it was vital to the new Indian Union to ensure that the desert kingdoms were integrated into the new nation. The princes finally agreed to sign the Instrument of Accession, and the kingdoms of Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur acceded in March 1949. This time, the Maharaja of Jaipur, Man Singh II, was made the Rajpramukh of the state and Jaipur became its capital. Later in 1949, the United States of Matsya, comprising the former kingdoms of Bharatpur, Alwar, Karauli and Dholpur, was incorporated into Rajasthan. On January 26, 1950, 18 states of united Rajasthan merged with Sirohi to join the state leaving Abu and Dilwara to remain a part of Greater Bombay and now Gujarat.
Gurumukh Nihal Singh was appointed as first governor of Rajasthan. Hiralal Shastri was the first nominated chief minister of the state, taking office on 7 April 1949. He was succeeded by two other nominated holders of the office before Tika Ram Paliwal became the first elected chief minister from 3 March 1951.
In November 1956, under the provisions of the States Re-organisation Act, the erstwhile part ‘C’ state of Ajmer, Abu Road Taluka, former part of Sirohi princely state (which were merged in former Bombay), State and Sunel-Tappa region of the former Madhya Bharat merged with Rajasthan and Sirohi sub district of Jhalawar was transferred to Madhya Pradesh. Thus giving the existing boundary Rajasthan. Today with further reorganisation of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Rajasthan has become the largest state of the Indian Republic.
The princes of the former kingdoms were constitutionally granted handsome remuneration in the form of privy purses and privileges to assist them in the discharge of their financial obligations. In 1970, Indira Gandhi, who was then the Prime Minister of India, commenced under-takings to discontinue the privy purses, which were abolished in 1971. Many of the former princes still continue to use the title of Maharaja, but the title has little power other than as a status symbol. Many of the Maharajas still hold their palaces and have converted them into profitable hotels, while some have made good in politics. The democratically elected Government runs the state with a chief minister as its executive head and the governor as the head of the state. Currently, including the new district of Pratapgarh, there are 33 districts, 105 sub-divisions, 37,889 villages, 241 tehsils and 222 towns in Rajasthan.
Modern History of Rajasthan – Click here – download
1. New States in Rajasthan during Modern Period
- Jat Rulers of Bharatpur
- Kachwaha Rulers of Modern Alwar State
- Kachwaha Rulers of Jaipur
- Shekhawats of Sikar
- Rulers of Jhalawar
2. Maratha Power in Rajasthan
3. British Rule & Freedom Movement in Rajasthan
- British Treaty with Rajputana States
- Revolt of 1857 in Rajasthan
- Press and Journalism during British Rule