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ROHILLA (a Pushtu word for " mountain...

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Originally appearing in Volume V23, Page 461 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ROHILLA (a Pushtu word for " mountaineer "), a tribe of Afghan marauders, who, towards the beginning of the 18th century, conquered a district of Hindostan, giving it the name of Rohilkhand, which still survives as an alternative title of the Bareilly division of the United Provinces. The Rohillas are chiefly notable for their association with Warren Hastings, which formed one of the main counts in his impeachment. Having been driven into the mountains by the Mahrattas, they had appealed for aid to Shuja-ud-Dowlah, wazir of Oudh, and ally of the British. The wazir promised to assist them in return for a sum of money; but when the Mahrattas were driven off the Rohilla chiefs refused to pay. The wazir then decided to annex their country, and appealed to Hastings for assistance, which was given in return for a sum of forty lakhs of rupees. Hastings justified his action on the ground that the Rohillas wee a danger to the British as uncovering the flank of Oudh; and while he would never involve the company in an unjust war, neither did he desire an unprofitable one. The Rohillas were defeated by Colonel Champion in April 1774, and the majority of them fled across the Ganges; but the charges of destroying a nation, brought against Hastings by Burke and Macaulay, were greatly exaggerated. The Rohillas were never a nation, but consisted of a small body of Mahommedans, who had imposed an alien rule upon a million Hindus; and one of their chiefs was left in possession of a tract which now forms the state of Rampur (q.v.). See Charles Hamilton, History of the Rohilla Afghans (1787) ; and Sir J. Strachey, Hastings and the Rohilla War (Oxford, 1892).
End of Article: ROHILLA (a Pushtu word for " mountaineer ")

Additional information and Comments

Rohilla were of yousafzai clan of pathans . Ten of thousands of them had settled in the area which later gained fame as Rohailkand. They were distinguished from locals in the way that they were fair in complexation, tall in stature and had distinguished pathan culture and customs. Infact they had proved themelves as separate nation in regard to above mentioned qualities jawwad khan marwat
The word 'Rohilkhand' carries a pure sanskrit word 'khand'.It clearly indicates that the original rulers were hindu rohillas and not muslim rohillas.Had it been muslim rohillas,the name would have something like 'Rohillabad'.Infact encyclopedia Columbia mentions of this.It says there existed a hindu rohilla kingdom with its capital at Barreily from 1702 to 1720. This comment is not to get involved into a hindu-muslim debate, but an attemt at finding out the facts about the hindu rohillas who are spread all over UP.Haryana,Rajasthan.I would be greatful if someone can throw some light on these people ramesh rohilla
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