The history of colonial India has generally been written on the basis of British official records for the simple reason that non-official sources are neither quite so abundant nor as easily accessible. This is especially true for the period up to the end of the nineteenth century, i.e. before organizations like' the Indian National Congress had emerged and the memoirs of leaders, as well as newspapers and journals in Indian languages and in English, became available in some number. This paper seeks to re-examine a small part of this earlier colonial history in the light of a local historical account, or more precisely a chronicle of events entitled Wāqeāt-ō-Hādesāt: Qasba Mubarakpur, written in the 1880s and preserved in an Urdu manuscript in the qasba of Mubarakpur in the district of Azamgarh,____________________
'Wāleāt-ō-Hādesāt': according to Platts' Classical Urdu Dictionary, Wāqeāt = 'events, occurrences; accidents; grievous calamities, battles; conflicts; casualties; deaths'; Hādesāt = 'new things; accidents; incidents; events; occurrences; adventures; casualties; mishaps; misfortunes; disasters; calamities; afflictions'. 'Events' and 'occurrences' would cover both these terms but I have translated them as 'Encounters and Calamities' in the tide of this paper as this seems to me to convey somewhat better the rhetoric and the sense of Ali Hasan's title.