There is a story for everything; we just have to find it. Just like this, the stories of Indian Princely States are there but yet untold and unknown to masses. When half of India was fighting for freedom and thinker and philosopher were encouraging people towards new thoughts. There were still such sections which were ruled by Kings and Queens. These rulers gave their silent support to the freedom struggle. But the legends of them and their kingdom were untold, so let explore how they came to be and how they became a part of Indian Union.
There are many princely states in Indian history but we are going to discuss Tonks Princely state. So let's start the way a story is started.
A long time ago namely in 1798, there was an adventurer and military leader from Pashtun descent from Afghanistan called ‘Amir Khan'. He rose to the position of military commander in the service of Yashwantrao Holkar of the Maratha Empire. Amir Khan received the state of Tonks from Holkar's and later on after Third Anglo-Maratha war Amir submitted to British East Indian Company (BEIC).
Amir Khan was able to keep his territory and received the title of Nawab. Tonks states internal autonomy remained outside British India but the state was under the Rajputana Agency. This state enjoyed the revenue of £ 77,000 from the British Government but didn't pay any tribute to the government.
This was the short story of Tonk state, how it came into existence, how it survived the brutal struggle of British India. But beyond all this all difficulties the State joined the Independent Union of India in 1947 and today, it is the part of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states.
We can also learn about this state history through it coinage. The above show copper coinwas issued during the reign of Muhammad Sa'adat Ali Khan. Its obverse depicts Arms of state, Crescent, AH date in the inner circle with King's Name and title in the outer circle. The reverse side depicts the date below the leaf and face value in the inner circle and George is inscribed in Persian on the outer circle.
The above show coin was one example of Tonks monetary system, learn more its economy and history through it’s coinage.
Some Interesting fact
Nawab Sir Muhammad Ibrahim Ali Khan the ruler of Tonks state was one of few royals attend both Lord Lytton's Durbar in 1877 and Delhi Dubar of 1903.
Foundation of Tonk State led to the creation of a large Rajasthani Pathan community.
To know about princely states click here.
Image Courtesy: Classical Numismatic Gallery