In the year 1854, the Central India Agency was formed by merging many minor political offices that reported previously to the Governor General of India. The agency was managed by a resident of British India, also known as political agent, who officially served as a diplomat but was also responsible for keeping the ruler to maintain the association and alliance with the British administration. The Resident influenced the princely states of the Governor General. The British political agent was headquartered at Indore state.
History of Central India Agency
British supremacy over the states of Central India commenced in the year 1802, after several states in the Bundelkhand and Bagelkhand regions came under the control of the British administration at the conclusion of the Treaty of Bassein between the Maratha Peshwa Bajirao II and the British. After the end of the Second Anglo Maratha War in 1805, the British control of Bundelkhand extended. The rest of the princely states such as Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior and other minor states in the territories of Bundelkhand, Nimar and Malwa also came under the control of the British in 1818, at the conclusion of the Third Anglo Maratha War. Later in 1844, the Chanderi estate was ceded by the British government of India to the Scindia ruler of Gwalior.
Moreover the Jhansi state was seized by the British administration in the year 1853, under the doctrine of lapse, and was incorporated to the United Provinces. Gwalior Residency was separated from the Central India Agency in 1921 and the Makrai state was reassigned from the Central Provinces and Berar to Central India in the year 1933.
Princely States of Central India Agency
The Central India Agency included a total of 148 Indian princely states, which varied in size and rank. Around 11 princely states maintained treaty relations with the British authorities and were identified as the Treaty States- Rewa, Samthar, Datia, Orchha, Jaora, Dewas Senior, Dewas Junior, Dhar, Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior. The 31 sanad states had close associations with the British, but not through treaty. These states, in Bagelkhand and Bundelkhand, were granted sanads or deeds which confirmed rulers in possession of their states. The native rulers in return signed a written bond of allegiance known as Ikrarnama, to the British. The rest of the minor states that remained were known as guaranteed or mediatized states. These mediatized states were under the control of a larger and more prominent state, with the liaison and association between the states arranged through mediation of the British government. The Guaranteed states were located only in the Malwa region and were under the influence and authority of larger princely states. The British assured the rights that existed at the time of British occupation of the territory at the end of the Pindari War.
The Indian princely states were well linked to a political officer that was rearranged numerous times in the Agency. After India attained independence in August 1947, the political offices comprised of Indore Residency and the Bhopal, Bundelkhand and Malwa Agencies.
The political offices of the Central India Agency included the following territories-
The Bundelkhand Agency was borederd by Bagelkhand in the east, Lalitpur District in the west, the United Provinces in the north and the Central Provinces in the south. In the year 1871, the Bagelkhand Agency was split from Bundelkhand. Later in 1900, the region nine states, thirteen estates and the pargana of Alampur that belonged Indore state. In the year 1931, all the states under the Baghelkhand Agency, except the princely state of Rewa, were reassigned to Bundelkhand.
Bagelkhand Agency was founded in March 1871, when the territory was separated from Bundelkhand agency. In the year 1900, the region included the area of 12 states, including Orchha State. Later in 1931, all the states, except the princely state of Rewa, were transferred back to Bundelkhand, and Rewa was reassigned to the Indore Residency in 1933.
Gwalior Residency was assigned to the Central India Agency in the year 1854 and separated from the Agency in 1921. It included the Benaras (Ramnagar), Rampur and Gwalior.
The Bhopal Agency covered an area of 30,180 sq km and included Rajgarh, Pathari, Narsingarh, Muhammadgarh, Makrai, Kurwai, Khilchipur, Dewas Senior, Dewas Junior and Bhopal.
The Indore Residency included almost all of the princely state of Indore and also Rewa State after 1933.
Malwa Agency covered an area of 23,100 sq km which included parts of Gwalior, Indore and the princely state of Tonk, as well as the states of Sailana, Sitamau, Ratlam, Piploda and Jaora. In the year 1925, the Malwa Agency was merged with Bhopawar Agency.
Bhopawar Agency included the princely states of Ratanmaal, Kathiwara, Mathwar, Jobat, Alirajpur, Jhabua, Barwani and Dhar and also included the states of Gwalior and Indore.
Since the year 1927, the Central India Agency was known as the Southern States Agency, later the Southern States and Malwa Agency and after the year 1934, it was renamed Malwa Agency. After Indian achieved independence from the British rule on 15th August 1947, the native rulers of the princely states acceded to the newly formed Union of India, also known as Dominion of India. The eastern region of the Central India Agency, including Bundelkhand and Bagelkhand agencies, created the new state of Vindhya Pradesh. Later in the year 1956, the states of Bhopal, Madhya Bharat and Vindhya Pradesh were amalgamated into the present state of Madhya Pradesh.