AHIMSA Literally nonviolence. Used negatively by Mahatma Gandhi to describe his political tactics and positively to express his doctrine of moral or spiritual force as the dominant principle of life.
AKALI Literally followers of the Timeless One (Akal). Description of a class of armed devotees among the Sikhs. Today it is applied to a Sikh political organization.
AMIR Literally lord. Used as both name and title and to denote a member of the Mughal official nobility.
AVATAR Incarnation of a deity. Vishnu has had nine forms including Krishna and Rama, with a tenth to come.
BAHADUR Literally warrior or hero. Used as a name and title and as a general name for a prominent as well as a valiant person.
BEG A Turkish word for chief or leader. Used of Babur's followers.
BHAKTI Religious devotion to a deity. Such cults of Hindu deities are an important part of popular Hindu religion.
CHAUTH Literally one-fourth. The fourth part of the revenue claimed by Marathas when they overran but did not annex a district.
DACOIT Member of a robber gang.
DARSHAN Literally seeing. The beholding of saints, kings, and other distinguished persons was thought to confer merit.
DAR-UL-ISLAM Literally House of peace. A country ruled by Muslims.
DAR-UL-HARB Literally House of war. A non-Muslim country.
DASTAK A permit or passport. In early days of the Company the permit authorizing free transit of goods.
DHARMA Moral duty or virtue.
DHIMMI Non-Muslim under a Muslim government who paid a tax in return for protection.
DIWALI Hindu festival of lights commemorating Rama's homecoming after defeating Ravan and rescuing Sita. Held on the dark day of the moon in October.
DIWAN Court or tribunal. Title of the chief revenue officer of a state or province.
DIWANI Relating to the revenue administration.
DURBAR The court of a king or a man of rank. Also used as a synonym for government.
FARMAN A royal mandate or ordinance.
GURU Hindu religious teacher or spiritual guide.
HARTAL Suspension of work or business as a mark of indignation.
HEGIRA Flight of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca in 622 A.D. from which the Muslim era is dated.
HOLI The Hindu spring festival in the month of March.
JAGIR Assignment of land and its rent on varying conditions.


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India: A Modern History
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