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Document Details :
Title: Banditisme et rÃ©pression dans l'Inde coloniale
Subtitle: Les 'Dacoits' et la police dans l'Inde centrale (1857-1947)
Author(s): GENET, Catherine
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 281 Issue: 1-2 Date: 1993
For many centuries, banditism has plagued more than 44000 km2 in Central India, especially in the Chambal river area. There, the outlaws use the deep ravines cut by rivers as a sanctuary. Working with outdated tools and living upon subsistence farming makes most people's lives wretched. In the 18th century, as the Moghol Empire was declining and petty kings were quarrelling, Maratha chieftains and the Pindaris devastated the place, plunging it into a turmoil. From 1835 onwards, the British tried to confront the situation, but with very poor means. Moreover, the Maharajas' own friends and relatives sometimes happened to be in league with the dacoits. Thus, from 1857 to 1947 and even afterwards, poverty still went on together with the gangs' criminal activities in that remote region of Central India.