In the west, as well, criminality and religious observance are not always mutually incompatible. Origin and recruitment A group of thugs,. 1863The earliest recorded mention of the Thugs as a special band or fraternity, rather than as ordinary thieves, is found in the following passage of ziau-d din Barni's History of Firoz shah (written about 1356 In the reign of that sultan (about 1290 some Thugs. But not one of these did the sultan have killed. He gave orders for them to be put into boats and to be conveyed into the lower country, to the neighbourhood of lakhnauti, where they were to be set free. The Thugs would thus have to dwell about lakhnauti and would not trouble the neighbourhood of Delhi any more." (Sir hm elliot's History of India, iii. Membership was sometimes passed from father to son, in what would now be termed a criminal underclass.
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Any of these items could have served as strangling ligatures. Religion and Thuggee thuggee groups might be hindu, sikh or Muslim, but Thuggee is particularly associated with followers of the hindu goddess Kali (or Durga whom they often called Bhavani.345 It was noted, even at the time, that only a very small minority of the. Many Thuggees worshipped Kali but most supporters of Kali did not practise Thuggee. Some Thuggee groups claimed descent from seven Muslim tribescitation needed, but the majority of Hindu followers only seem to essays be related during the early periods of Islamic development through their religious creed and staunch worship of Kali, one of the hindu tantric Goddesses. At a time of political unrest, with changes from Hindu rajput rulers to muslim Moghul emperors and viceroys, and possibly back again, a wise group would display allegiance to both creeds, but its ultimate loyalty was probably only to itself. "There seem to have been very few sikh Thugs. But Sahib Khan, the deccan strangler, 'knew Ram Sing siek: he was a noted Thug leader - a very shrewd man who also served with the pindaris for a while and was responsible for the assassination of the notorious Pindari leader Sheikh Dulloo." Sleeman, ramaseeana. Some sources view the Thugs as a cult or sect. Given the extent of the problem, in geographical scale and in the duration of time, it is likely that many groups would wish to keep their secrets from betrayal from within and from intrusion by outsiders and would have evolved into secret criminal fraternities. It also follows that if they were repeatedly successful, then they must have 'divine blessing' and would wish to give thanks to, and worship, the deity to whom they ascribed their support.
Another reason given is the high degree of teamwork and co-ordination both during the infiltration phase and at the moment of attack. This was a sophisticated criminal elite that knew its business well and approached each 'operation' like a military mission. Use of garotte The garotte is often depicted as the common summary weapon of the Thuggee. It is sometimes described as a rumal (head covering or kerchief or translated as "yellow scarf". "Yellow" in this case may refer to a natural cream or khaki colour rather than bright yellow. Most Indian males in Central India or Hindustan would have a puggaree or head- scarf, worn either as a turban or worn around a kullah and draped to protect the back of the neck. Types of scarves were also worn as cummerbunds, in place of a belt.
The leader of a gang was shredder called the 'jemadar this is an ordinary Indian word and is now used as the rank of an Army officer (lieutenant who would command a similar number of men to a thuggee gang-leader. An English equivalent term might be 'the boss' or owl 'the guv'nor' (governor). As with modern criminal gangs, each member of the group had his own function: the equivalent of the 'hit-man 'the lookout and the 'getaway driver' would be those Thugs tasked with luring travelers with charming words or acting as guardian to prevent escape of victims. They usually killed their victims in darkness while the thugs made music or noise to escape discovery. If burying bodies close to a well- traveled trade-route, they would need to disguise the 'earthworks' of their graveyard as a camp-site, tamping down the covering mounds and leaving some items of rubbish or remnants of a fire to 'explain' the disturbances and obscure the. One reason given for the Thuggee success in avoiding detection and capture so often and over such long periods of time is a self- discipline and restraint in avoiding groups of travelers on shorter journeys, even if they seemed laden with suitable plunder. Choosing only travelers far from home gave more time until the alarm was raised and the distance made it less likely that colleagues would follow on to investigate the disappearances.
The killing place would need to be remote from local observers and suitable to prevent escape (e.g., backed against a river). Thugs tended to develop favored places of execution, called beles. They knew the geography of these places well—better than their victims. They needed to, if they were to anticipate the likely escape routes and hiding-places of the quicker-witted and more determined of the travelers. The timing might be at night or during a rest-break, when the travelers would be busy with chores and when the background cries and noise would mask any sounds of alarm. A quick and quiet method, which left no stains and required no special weapons, was strangulation. This method is particularly associated with Thuggee and led to the Thugs also being referred to as the Phansigars, or "noose-operators and simply as "stranglers" by British troops. Usually two or three thugs would strangle one traveller. The Thugs would then need to dispose of the bodies: they might bury them or might throw them into a nearby well.2.
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With anything less than complete success a survivor could escape to book raise a hue and cry. These horrendous but sophisticated operations lay somewhere between organized crime and paramilitary activity and were far removed from the ordinary criminal in the audacity, magnitude, and ruthlessness of the enterprise. The modus operandi was to join a caravan and become accepted as bona- fide travelers themselves. The Thugs would need to delay any attack until their essays fellow travelers had dropped the initial wariness of the newcomers and had been lulled into a false sense of security. The Thugs first needed to befriend the travelers and win their trust.
Once the travelers had allowed the Thugs to join them and disperse amongst them (a task which might sometimes, depending on the size of the target group, require accompaniment for hundreds of miles the Thugs would wait for a suitable place and time before killing. There were obviously variations on a theme. When tackling a large group, a thuggee band might disperse along a route and join a group in stages, concealing their acquaintanceship, such that they could come to outnumber their intended victims by small, non-threatening increments. If the travelers had doubts about any one party, they might confide their worries to another party of the same Thuggee band. The trusted band would thus be the best placed to deal with these members of the caravan at the appropriate time, but might also be able to advise their colleagues to 'back off' or otherwise modify their behavior, to allay suspicion.
Other sources describe the Thugs as a criminal 'tribe' or caste. Over the course of generations, the secrets must be kept within the 'family'. The marriage of offspring within the group both safeguards the secret knowledge, allowing it to be imparted steadily to the children without the risk of uninitiated neighbours overhearing, and reinforces the exclusive and selective nature of the organisation. This preserves the mystique, which is in itself part of the formula of success, and creates an elite aura around. At the moment of attack, the sudden revelation of the identity of the assailants produces a shock that disables defensive manoeuvres, at least for a few, vital moments, while the reputation for invincibility engenders a defeatism that results in a fait accompli.
The practice Thugs were active all over the bengal region of the Indian subcontinent. Maps showing the possessions of the British East India company in 17Thuggee is described as a cult of people engaged in the multiple murder and robbery of travelers. At the time, most travelers in India would travel in caravan for mutual support and security, since travel meant the crossing of difficult terrain before the coming of metalled roads, the passing among different races, religions and castes, at a period before police forces were. In order to attempt the massacre of an entire caravan, the Thugs needed to be numerous and well-coordinated. They also needed to be sufficiently stealthy, at least in the early stages, to begin their slaughter without rousing all at once. This required a high degree of planning, organization including props and patter timing, teamwork and discipline.
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There is some question as to the extent of the religious dimension. Most contemporary sources described Thuggee as being a religious cult, but some modern sources feel it was merely a specialized form of organized crime or paramilitary activity, with no particular religious dimension beyond the normal piety of the villagers from whom its members were recruited. Time period The concept of Thuggee is known from the 17th century, though the term and/or activity possibly dates back as early as the 13th century. Thuggee was actively practiced at least through the end of the 19th century. If remnants of the Thuggee tradition survived into the 20th and 21st centuries, they did so very covertly. The film Indiana jones and the temple of doom is based on the premise that Thuggee cults survived covertly into the early 20th century. Stern suppression by london the British was important in reducing Thuggee activity but more significant was the introduction of modern methods of travel, in particular the displacement of travelling on foot or by horse in groups by the railway, which effectively rendered Thuggee obsolete. The nature The particular groups, as well as the general concept, were often equally durable and would outlive the 'careers' of individual members to develop into a crime family lasting generations. These groups progressed from being simple gangs into becoming 'fraternities' or even 'cults featuring the initiation of new members, either through the heredity of a criminal underclass, or through an apprenticeship, such as normally associated with skilled or learned professions or the training programs.
Additionally, "thugs" usually travel in pairs, though they can work alone or in groups of four to six members, and are typically open about their presence (except to law enforcement officials while "Thuggee" were covert and operated as members of a group, often called. Hence, the word "Thuggee" is capitalised while the word "thug" usually is not; which enables distinction of a "Thug" (here, a short form of "Thuggee from a "thug". In the heyday of Thuggee activity, travellers were typically part of a travelling group, so the term Thuggee typically referred to killing of a large number of people in a single operation. This aspect distinguishes Thuggee from similar concept of dacoity, which means simple armed robbery. Dacoity has similarities with the terms brigand and bandit from. European and Latin American experience, but there appear to be no exact Western parallels for Thuggee. Perhaps the closest concepts would be the format of piracy, though this is solely maritime robbery (usually with murder and the earlier, but similar, format of raids on coastal settlements by viking seafarers. Some paper aspects, however, are reminiscent of the mafia group of organisations. Between them, these classes of criminal activity illustrate some of the mystique that attached to the Thugs and the complex mixture of fear and dread of these murderous men that was felt by the ordinary people who might well be their victims.
Edward Stratemeyer The history of the University of Pennsylvania (1834) by george bacon wood The sad years (1918) by dora sigerson Shorter eff honors Craigslist, gigi sohn, and Jimmy wales with pioneer Awards (2006). Permalink, raw Message, post by and/or m/jai (Dr. Since newsgroup posts are being removed by forgery by one or more net terrorists, this post may be reposted several times. Thuggee, from wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, thuggee (or tuggee, ṭhagī) (from Hindi ṭhag thief, from. Sanskrit sthaga cunning, sly, fraudulent, dishonest, scoundrel, from sthagati he conceals)1 is the term for a particular kind of murder and robbery of travellers in India. Thuggery, the English word "thug" comes from the hindi word "thag meaning "conman". It is one of many Indian words borrowed into English during the British colonial period. The English connotation of 'thug' is synonymous with terms like hoodlum and hooligan, indicating a person (who may or may not be anti-social) who harasses others, usually for tation needed people regarded as thugs might commit assault (or 'menace battery, even robbery and grievous bodily.
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