Rajputs of Aligarh

During the early period of 18th century, Rajput taluqdars had held sway over most of the Aligarh district.Akrabad and Sikandara Rao were controlled by the Pundir clan, Khair and Chandaus by Chauhans, and Hathras by the Paroch Rajputs. The Chauhans of Khair were distinguished family, whose head enjoyed the title of Rao and the revenue management of the Pargana. The Paroch Rajputs as lord of the Hathras pargana, held the forts and taluqas of the Hathras, Mendu and Dariapur and had been prominent in that portion of the district for hundreds of years. None of these families, however, could withstand the onslaught of Jat and Maratha invaders during the last half of the 18th century. The taluqdar of Hathras was expelled by the Jat Thakur Baran Singh in 1752, and the Mendu chief was ousted by Jat Surajmal of Bharatpur in 1760. During the Maratha advance, French military adventurer Pierre Cuillier Perron unseated the Rajput chieftains in Khair and Chandaus .The Jat Mukharam Singh got the lease of Chandaus, while the Chauhan holdings in Khair were divided between Muslim Dunde Khan and Jadon Thakur Jai Ram Singh. The Pundir villages were in same fashion made over to Jat Raja Bhagwant Singh of Mursan. The British, when they took over the district, restored the Pundirs to their holdings in Sikandara Rao, confined Mukharam to a portion of his estate known as taluqa Pisawa and dispossessed Dunde Khan entirely in favour of the petty village zamindars. Yet the change of regime benefitted Rajputs a little .The Jat taluqdars retained the bulk of their conquests, including the whole of Hathras while smallholders in Khair were mostly jat by caste as well. As the Rajput clans were by no means forcibly uprooted from their old settlements, but simply reduced in wealth and consequence, the process of dispossession left them aggrieved and discontented, bitterly at odds with their jat neighbours. So intence was the spirit of rivalry, especially along the western side of the district where the jat settlements were concentrated, that the two castes seldom reside in the same village and if let alone would at once fly at each others throats.
In 1857, the Rajputs, still nursing their grievances, saw in upheaval a convenient opportunity to avenge themselves against their jat rivals.The old Rajput and Jat feud broke out with their accustomed fury during the mutiny. In the western portions of the district, and especially towards Sadabad and Mathura, internal struggle raged until the fall of Delhi. When the Rajputs joined the revolt, their jat antagonist commonly remained loyal. In Pisawa, as in Hathras, where the jats owed much of their predominance to British support, jat Shib Singh of Pisawa and Jat Gobind Singh of Hathras remained loyal to British. In Aligarh during the 30 years from 1870 to 1900, Brahmins and Banias increased their land holdings by some 58,340 acres while the Rajputs lost 74,640 acres and the Jats 10,356 acres.