Quote Originally Posted by Kulin View Post
An interesting excerpt about Pathans of India from the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 35, page 98-99.

It will also, I think, be proper to mention the Indian Pathans, before I leave my present class of Fighting-Fanners. I do not now tonch on the proper Pushtoo-speaking Pathans. I do not reckon them as Indian, and all the Pathans beyond the Indus, as well as a few on this side (in the north of the Hazareh District and, west of that of Rawal Pindee), are Pushtoo-speakers. The Pathans are the only Central- Asiatic people who have in comparatively modern times colonised to a considerable extent in India. They have never come in large bodies, nor occupied any large tracts at any ono spot, but Afghanistan has alwaj's been as it were the base of opera tions of all the successive Mahommedan Empires in India ; and from that base Pathans have immigrated in the service or under the pro tection of Mahommedan rulers, and have settled themselves here and there at many places throughout Northern India and even in some places in Southern India. They are not nearly so much mere Urban fortune-seekers as other Mahommedans, but are generally settled in villages, in many of which they own and cultivate the soil, and in some of which they form large brotherhoods, approaching those of Jats and Rajpoots. Their constitution and modes of government also seem to me to be in these villages very similar. They have been generally a favoured class who have had in places a good deal of jagheer and rent-free land, and still look a good deal to service, but many of them pay their rent or revenue by honest cultivation like any one else. Indian society is a wonderful solvent and absorbent ; every one who long lives in it, becomes Indianised ; and so all the Pathan colonists, even those whose immigrations are matter of recent history, are essentially Indian, not Affghan. Among Indians, they have very marked characteristies, but their nationality is changed, and the Pathans from the Frontier, who came down in the mutiny times, utterly refused to acknowledge the proudest Indian Pathans as having anything in common with themselves, and chopped off their heads with the utmost non-chalance. In many respects, however, the Indian Pathans are a very great improvement on the wilder Pathans of the Frontier. They are very much more civilised and educated. In India, in fact, the Pathans are quite an aristocratic class. Not withstanding the wide door to corruption of blood opened by the Mahommedan laws of marriage, they are still a very handsome people ;
n large proportion of them are in a respectable well-to-do position, and many of them are very well educated. After all a well-educated Mahommedan has much more in common with us than most Hindus, and comes much nearer our idea of a gentleman. It may be, too, that these Fathans retain some little trace of that non-Indian character which makes us readily become familiar with Affghans. Altogether I have no hesitation in saying that (putting the Punjab apart), among Hindustanees, the Pathans are by far the best class with whom we come in contact. They have always been very numerous in our Irregular Cavalry and also had a large share in our Civil Service. I shall be sorry, if, partly on account of the more insinuating and it may be in some respects sharper character of subservient Hindus, and partly from the difficulty of imposing our education on those who have already an education of their own, these and other Mahommedans are gradually extruded from the public service. Pathan settlements are dotted here and there about the Punjab, but they are not very numerous. In Hindustan they are more so. They are found about Dehli, and are very numerous in the Upper Doab and Rohilcund, though it must not be supposed that the latter is really a Rohilla country ; it is only a Rohilla jagheer, and the Pathans, though positively numerous, are relatively but a small minority of the population. It may be mentioned that the term ' Rohilla' does not signify any particular tribe, but is applied in India to Pathans generally, meaning apparently " mountaineer." The Rohil cund and Dehli Provinces are the chief nurseries of Pathan soldiers, &c., but all over Hindustan, and indeed all over India, Pathan Princi palities and Jagheers, Pathan settlements, and Pathan families are found here and there.
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