Pashto was spoken in Rampur as late as 1815 | Rohillas

Pashto was spoken in Rampur region of Uttar Pradesh as late as 1815 AD. This was reported by Mountsuart Elphinstone in his book “the account of kingdom of Cabul” which was published in 1815. Elphinstone had visited Afghanistan in 1808 as ambassdor of British East India Company and met Shah Shuja Durrani in Peshawar. He collected information about Afghans and Afghanistan in the years between 1808 and 1815. He also had knowledge about Rohillas and Rohilkhand since he had spent some time in the Nageena town of Rohilkhand. In his book he writes:

” “The residence of the Nabob (Nawab) is at Rampur, the manner of which place still resemble those of the Berdooraunees (Bar-Durranis). Pushtoo is the principal language, and one sees in the square before the Nabob’s place, fair, strong, and handsome young men, sitting or lounging on beds, with that air of idleness and independence which distinguishes the Eusofzyes (Yousafzais).” [“An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul”, p-351]

The Nawab of Rampur at that time was Ahmad Ali Khan. The term ‘Bar-Durrani’ (Bar means upper in Pashto) in the above passage refers to Yousafzais.  This title bestowed by Ahmad Shah Abdali upon the Yousafzais, Ghoria Khels, Khattaks and some other eastern Pashtun tribes.

Yousafzais had begun to settle in large numbers in Rampur and other regions of Rohilkhand in early decades of 18th century. They preserved the language and culture of Pashtuns to great extent in the first half of 19th century.

Hafiz Rahmat Khan
A late 19th century drawing depicting death of the Rohilla Chief (Hafiz Rahmat Khan Barech) while fighting soldiers of the British East India Company during the Rohilla War of 1773 to 1774. From “Alden’s Oxford Monthly Illustrated Journal”, Volumes 2-3, 1871
Mounstuart Elphinstone
Mounstuart Elphinstone



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