Skip to main content

Thamas Kuli Khan's Loot

While tracing the family history of Nehru Clan, Dom Moraes in his book Mrs. Gandhi (1980) gives the reader an account of Nadir Shah's saking of Delhi. He tells us that on May 16 1738 when Nadir Shah finally left Delhi, along with the famous Kohinoor and the famous Peacock throne
his soldiers, after having killed Thirty thousand people in five hours, also carried along with them to Persia more that thirty million pounds sterling in cash, jewels
plate...and other valuable property...also... thousand elephants, seven thousand horses, ten thousand camels, a hundred eunuchs, a hundred and thirty writers, two hundred builders, a hundred mason and anticlimactically two carpenters". The pathos of this section from the book ( which Moraes based on Sir Wolsely Haig's Cambridge History of India Vol. IV, 1922) is built upon realization that Nadir Shah's great campaign ended anticlimactically with enslavement of two carpenters. In wars and related matters hundreds, thousands, missions are acceptable figures of speech, while two is pathos. It adds an air of abomination to the campaign. It offers an abnormality. Almost manages to pronounce the loot unholy.

Everything was normal with the campaign by the end of which two hundred thousand people were killed.


James Fraser in his book 'The history of Nadir Shah, formerly called Thamas Kuli Khan, the present emperor of Persia' (1742) [link] offers:

The Particulars of what Nadir Shah carried away with him:

Jewels from the Emperor and Omars valued at 25 Crore, Utensils and Handles of Weapons fet with Jewels, with the Peacock Thronem and none other fet with precious Stones valued at 9 Crore, Money coined in Cold and Silver Rupees valued at 25 Crore, Gold and Silver Plate worth 5 Crore which he melted down and coin'd, Fine Cloths and rich Stuffs of all kinds valued at 2 Crore, Household furniture, and other valuable Commodities: 3 Crore, Warlike Weapons, Cannon, etc: 1 Crore. The total thus around to 70 Crore. In addition he carried with him Elephants 1000, Horses 7000, Camels 10000, Eunuchs 100, Writers 130, Smiths 200, Masons or builders 300, Stone-Cutters 100, Carpenters 200.

So that paragraph from Indira Gandhi's biography should read simply 'and two hundred carpenter'. No Anti-Climax.

-0-

Nadir Shah was awarded the name 'Thamas Kuli Khan'  or more probably 'Tahmasp Qoli Khan' by his lord Tahmasp II after  Nadir Shah helped him fend-off a powerful Afghan challenge in 1729. And Kuli also got to marry one of Tahmasp's daughters. 

Comments

  1. why everything in round figure, do you really think they would have counted people..

    ReplyDelete
  2. A lot of history is approximation.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

I always like to hear back :)
However, irrelevant comments and irrelevant links will not be published. Needless to say, same goes for abusive comment and spam. Leaving back links related to the topic is encouraged. I know it can be tempting but try not to leave your email ids, phone nos and CVs in the comment.

Popular posts from this blog

Famous Old Faces of Doordarshan

Some people recall the faces and some people recall the names. Here are images of some of the famous readers and presenters of Doordarshan down the years. If you recognize any of them, leave a comment. [ Update 1 : Most of the faces now have names thanks to helpful comments by olio-gallimaufry ] [ Update 2 : Included image of one of the earliest presenters, Gopal Kaul. Send in generously from personal collection by son, Ashutosh Kaul. Sept, 2010.] [ Major Update 3: Got a tip-off about a documentary about the famous faces of Doordarshan from the makers   of     “The Golden Trail , DD@50 :Special feature on Golden Jubilee of Doordarshan ” from which these caps were taken. I managed to catch the incredible documentary and am adding some more faces/name and part of the docu here. New ones can be found after the image of  Narotam Puri. 30th Oct, 2010]  Pratima Puri. Believed to be the first Doordarshan reader.

Indian Cigarette Vintage Ads

He put a cigarette in his mouth and, as a matter of silent routine, offered one to Gwyn, who said ‘No thanks.”Richard looked at him.”I packed it in.”"You what?”"I stopped. Three days ago. Cold. That’s it. You just make the life choice.” Richard looked up and inhaled needfully. He gazed at his cigarette. He didn’t really want to smoke it. He wanted to eat it. Almost the only thing that he still liked about Gwyn was that he still smoked…Paradoxically, he no longer wanted to give up smoking: what he wanted to do was take up smoking. Not so much to fill the little gaps between cigarettes with cigarettes (there wouldn’t be time, anyway) or to smoke two cigarettes at once. It was more that he felt the desire to smoke a cigarette even when he was smoking a cigarette. The need was and wasn’t being met… While it would always be true and fair to say that Richard felt like a cigarette, it would now be doubly true and fair to say it. He felt like a cigarette. And he felt like a cig

Woman by Arun Kolatkar

a woman may collect cats read thrillers her insomnia may seep through the great walls of history a lizard may paralyze her a sewing machine may bend her moonlight may intercept the bangle circling her wrist a woman my name her cats the circulating library may lend her new thrillers a spiked man may impale her a woman may add a new recipe to her scrapbook judiciously distilling her whimper the city lights may declare it null and void in a prodigious weather above a darkling woman surgeons may shoot up and explode in a weather fraught with forceps woman may damn man a woman may shave her legs regularly a woman may take up landscape painting a woman may poison twenty three cockroaches - a poem by Arun Kolatkar from year 1967. Translated by Adil Jussawalla. Found it in New Writing in India (1974) ed. by Adil Jussawalla.