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SIVAJI. 157 imperial generals from Delhi and by the independent Muham- madan kingdoms of the Deccan. Those kingdoms, with the help of the Mardthls, long proved a match for the imperial troops. But no sooner were the Delhi armies driven back, than the Marathas proceeded to despoil the independent Musalmdn kingdoms. On the other hand, the Delhi generals, when allied with the Marathis, could overpower the Muhammadan States. Sivaji, 1627-1680. — Sivajf, the great Maratha. leader, saw the strength of his position, and, by a life of treachery, assas- sination, and hard fighting, he won for the MaratMs the practical supremacy in Southern India. As a basis for his operations, he perched himself safe in almost impregnable hill forts among the Western Ghats. His troops consisted of Hindu spearmen, mounted on hardy ponies. They were the peasant proprietors of Southern India, and they could be dispersed or promptly called together according to the season of the agricultural year. Except at seed time and harvest, they were always at leisure for war. Sivaji had therefore the command of an unlimited body of men, without the expense of a standing army. With these he swooped down upon his enemies, exacted tribute, or forced them to come to terms. He then paid off his soldiery by a part of the plunder, and retreated with the lion's share to his hill forts. In 1659, ne lured the general of the independent Muhammadan kingdom of Bijipur into an ambush, stabbed him at a friendly conference, and exterminated his army. In 1662, Sivaji pil- laged as far as the extreme north of the Bombay Presidency, and sacked the imperial city of Surat. In 1664, he assumed the title of king (Raja), with the royal prerogative of coining money in his own name. The year 1665 found Sivaji helping the Mughal armies against the independent Musalmdn State of Bijapur. In 1666, he was induced to visit Delhi. Being coldly received by the Emperor Aurangzeb, and placed under restraint, he escaped to the south and raised the standard of revolt. In 1674, Sivaji enthroned himself with great pomp at Raigarh, weighing himself in a balance against gold, and distributing his weight in gold among his Brahmans. After sending forth his hosts as far as the Karnatik in 1676, he died in 1680. Aurangzeb's Mistaken Policy, 1688-1707. — The Em-