South Indian States in 18th Century
The rulers of the South Indian states established law and order and viable economic and administrative states.
The politics of South Indian states were invariably non-communal or secular. The motivations of their rulers were being similar in economic and political terms.
The rulers of South Indian states did not discriminate on religious grounds in public appointment; civil or military; nor did the rebels against their authority pay much attention to the religion of the rulers.
Following were the important states of South India in 18th century –
Hyderabad and the Carnatic
The autonomous kingdom of Hyderabad was founded in 1724 by a powerful noble at the imperial court, Chin Qulich Khan, who eventually took the tile of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah. He never openly declared his independence from the Central government but in practice he acted like an independent ruler.
He subdued the refractory zamindars and showed tolerance towards the Hindus who had economic power in their hands and as result, Hyderabad witnessed the emergence of a new regional elite who supported the nizam. For example, a Hindu, Purim Chand, was his Dewan. He consolidated his power by establishing an orderly administration in Deccan.
After the death of nizam, Asaf Jah, Hyderabad began to experience a series of crisis.
During the subsequent years, the Marathas, Mysore and the Carnatic – all settled their territorial scores against Hyderabad.
The situation improved again after 1762 during the period of Nizam Ali Khan, who seized control of the administration and during his long reign lasting up to 1803, he settled border disputes with his neighbours giving Hyderabad the much-desired political stability.
The Carnatic was one of the subahs of the Mughal Deccan and as such came under the Nizam of Hyderabad’s authority. But just as in practice the Nizam had become independent of Delhi, so also the Deputy Governor of the Carnatic, known as the Nawab of Carnatic, had freed himself of the control of the Viceroy of the Deccan.
Later, after 1740, the affairs of the Carnatic deteriorated because of the repeated struggle for its Nawabship and this provided for an opportunity to the European trading companies to directly interfere in Indian politics.
Next to Hyderabad, the most important power that emerged in South India was Mysore under Haidar Ali.
The kingdom of Mysore had prescribed its precarious independence ever since the end of the Vijayanagar Empire.
Haidar Ali born in 1721, in an ordinary family, started his career as a petty officer in the Mysore army. Though uneducated, he possessed a keen intellect and was a man of great energy and daring and determination. He was also a brilliant commander and diplomat.
Cleverly using the opportunities that came his way, Haidar Ali gradually rose in the Mysore army. He soon recognized the advantages of western military training and applied it to the troops under his own command.
In 1761, Haidar Ali overthrew Nanjaraj and established his authority over the Mysore state.
He took over Mysore when it was weak and divided state and soon made it one of the leading Indian powers
Haidar Ali extended full control over the rebellious poligars (zamindars) and conquered the territories of Bidnur, Sunda, Sera, Canara, and Malabar.
Haidar Ali practiced religious toleration and his first Dewan and many other officials were Hindus.
Almost from the beginning of the establishment of his power, Haidar Ali was engaged in wars with the Maratha Sardars, the Nizam, and the British forces.
In 1769, Haidar Ali repeatedly defeated the British forces and reached the walls of Madras. He died in 1782 in the course of the second Anglo-Mysore War and was succeeded by his son Tipu.