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The Marathas Part 19 The Saranjamdari System

Canberra, 8 August 2022 The great king Shivaji established a well-knit monarchy, within which the king doubled as the supreme military commander and the head of the civil administration. The Maratha military forces, amounting to a standing army of 200,000, were always led into battle by the king, minor skirmishes and battles being delegated to […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction: 50 Years of Chaos Section VIII: Balaji Rings the Death Knell: The Third Anglo-Maratha War

Canberra 4 August 2022 On the conclusion of the long drawn Second Anglo-Maratha War, Bajirao managed to maintain cordial relations with the English, who left him alone to pursue his personal interests. Bajirao revelled in the new freedom that he enjoyed, free from the restrictive control of Nana Phadnavis and the intrusive actions of powerful […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction: 50 Years of Chaos Section VII: The Second Anglo-Maratha War

Canberra, 29 July 2022 The new regime in Pune, propped up and controlled by Yashwantrao Holkar was inherently flimsy by nature. For all his military acumen, Holkar was no visionary and did not have a long-term prescience to follow—his governing decisions were always short-sighted and opportunistic. On the other hand, the challenges to the government […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction Section VI: Acceleration of Decay and Dissolution

Canberra 21 July 2022 Richard Wellesley (1st Marquees Wellesley, 2nd Earl of Mornington) was a member of the English East India Company’s Supreme Council in Calcutta from 1793 and was appointed the Governor–General in 1797, holding the post till 1805. When he took over, Nana Phadnavis in the last years of his life and in […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction: 50 Years of Chaos Section V: Every Man for Himself

Canberra, 15 July 2022 Although Raghunath Rao had died in December 1783, his legacy of creating disunity, chaos and turmoil lived on through the actions of his wife and three sons. There is no doubt that he had brought enormous misfortune on his country by his single-minded pursuit of his personal ambition, pushed to the […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction Section IV: Debilitating Disunity

Canberra, 10 July 2022 The Treaty of Salbai, although favourable to the Marathas overall, it also provided increasing power to the major leaders within the Maratha polity. Of these, the Scindia clan benefitted the most and they became a semi-autonomous royal house in their own right. Scindia in North India From the time of the […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction: 50 Years of Chaos Section III Dealing with Tipu: Turmoil and Wars

Canberra, 5 July 2022 [Note: The narrative in this chapter only deals with Tipu’s interaction with the Maratha Empire and to some extent with the repercussions of some of his actions elsewhere on the Maratha polity. A detailed analysis of the father-son team of Haidar Ali–Tipu on their takeover of the Kingdom of Mysore and […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction: 50 Years of Chaos Section II Renewed English Wars

Canberra, 2 July 2022 In Calcutta, leading the Supreme Council, Warren Hastings had been newly titled as the ‘Governor-General’. He was single-mindedly determined to wipe out what he termed as the ‘disgrace of Wadegaon’. He placed Colonel Goddard as the supreme commander of all forces in Bombay, giving him explicit instructions to restore the credibility […]

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The Marathas Part 18 The March to Destruction: 50 Years of Chaos Section I: Early English Invasions

Canberra, 23 June 2022 Moroba Phadnavis who was the prime plotter in the repeated attempts to capture the infant Peshwa, his mother and the senior ministers of the Federation had not been chastened and remained at large to further pursue his nefarious activities, brought on by his intense jealousy of his cousin Nana Phadnavis, the […]

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The Marathas Part 17 The Supreme Council of Calcutta: English Interlude

Canberra, 23 June 2022 In April 1774, when he started his retreat from his march towards Pune, Raghunath Rao entered into negotiations with the English East India Company through their Bombay Government. The English, still basking in the glow of the resounding victory Robert Clive had achieved in Bengal, readily grasped at the overtures although […]

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