'File 9/4 Bahrain Reforms. Introduction of Reforms in Bahrain' [5r] (26/224)
The record is made up of 1 volume (98 folios). It was created in 30 Dec 1921-27 Jul 1924. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
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1 2 n ^ a plot ofland belonging to the sons of Mohsin Sisi. Shaik
Abdulla sold this to Shabin Al Shomli for Rs. 3,500. The owners freouentlv
complained to the rulers but got no hearing.
A few weeks ago they decided to make a combined complaint to the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. .
Shaik Abdulla heard of this and called a meeting of some of his personal friends
to try the case, this in spite of the fact that he is supposed to have withdrawn from
all public offairs.
They ordered the plaintiffs to pay Rs. 500 to Shahin Al Shomli as compensa-
tion and to take their land back. Both parties are now dissatisfied. The one
because they have paid Rs. 500 for their own land, the other because he has paid
Rs. 3,000 and gained nothing. Shaik Abdulla keeps a prostitute named Masoodeh
a Jewess whom he seduced, and who was for a time his mistress. He has had an
arrangement with this woman whereby she lures young men of respectable
families to her house. There they are raided by Abdulla's fidawis and sums of
money are recovered from them under threats of exposure and imprisonment."
A considerable sum of money is said to have been realised in this way.
4. Last hot weather the wife of a tailor of Sinabis was forcibly abducted and
detained for several days in Shaik Abdulla's house. The husband was threatened,
and in any case could only complain to Shaik Abdulla himself, who is the absolute
ruler of Sinabis.
5. Shaik Abdulla is ruler of the village of Jidhafs. His wazir there, one
Abdulla bin Razi and his wife, act as procurers for Shaik Abdulla. Several women
have been compelled to visit Shaik Abdulla at the wazir's house. The daughter
of Bin Marhun was abducted and kept there for some days, as also was the daughter
of Syed Qasim. In each case the parents were threatened and as they would get
no justice in any case, endeavoured to escape the ignominy of public exposure.
These two girls have since been sent to Qatif each year when it is the season for
Abdulla to visit Jidhafs. The cases are well known locally.
6. The rulers have a right by established custom to collect, from Bahrain boats
only, a tax on pearls found of value exceeding Rs. 10,000. The tax is payable
by the boat concerned. Last year Ahmed bin Khamis bought a pearl value Rs.
40,000 in Qatif, not even within Bahrain territory.
When he brought it back to Bahrain to sell, Shaik Abdulla sent men to demand
the tax from him. He then endeavoured to arrest him and seize the pearl, but
he succeeded in evading him and sought refuge in the Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. where he was afforded
protection by Major Dickson, the then Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. . Others who have been
unjustly made to pay this tax recently are:
Haji Hussain Madhaub.
Haji Abdulla Abu Dib.
Ali bin Hussain Haichi.
7. No death duties are legitimately levied in Bahrain, and such a tax is un-
a,uthorised in Shara. Ahmad bin Yusuf Mahomed died and left two lakhs of rupees.
Shaik Abdulla levied a tax of Rs. 20,000 without right. He then by subterfuge
caused disputes among the heirs by means of which nearly half the estate was
taken as " Khidmeh " or court fees which are now levied at 10%.
8. A plot of land with some dwelling premises belonging to Abdul Rasool
bin Haji Hussain of Sinabis has been seized without pretext by Shaik Abdulla
and given to one of his mistresses, who now lives there.
9. On the death of Haji Khalaf Saru Shaik Abdulla put his property under
restraint and did not hand it over to the heirs till Rs. 1,000 had been paid. It is
universally stated that he had no claim against the estate.
10. Shaik Abdulla seized the honse of Haji Ahmad bin Shaaban in Sinabia
on a false pretext, and still retains it.
About this item
The volume contains printed copies of Government of India confidential correspondence, relating to the Bahrain reforms. The majority of the letters contained in volume are printed copies of correspondence originally sent to the Government of India either by the Political Resident A senior ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul General) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Residency. in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. (Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Trevor or Acting Resident Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Knox), or the Political Agent A mid-ranking political representative (equivalent to a Consul) from the diplomatic corps of the Government of India or one of its subordinate provincial governments, in charge of a Political Agency. at Bahrain (Major Clive Daly). Much of the correspondence featured in the volume can be found in the original (or as office copies) in a number of files in the two Bahrain Agency An office of the British Government and, earlier, of the East India Company. subsubseries ‘File 9 Bahrain Reforms’ (IOR/R/15/2/127-138) and ‘File 8 Miscellaneous’ (IOR/R/15/2/121-126), and the Bushire Residency A diplomatic office of the British Government established in the provinces and regions considered part of, or under the influence of, British India. subsubseries ‘File 19 Bahrain’ (IOR/R/15/1/314-77).
The printed correspondence contained in the volume covers a range of subjects:
- Events leading up to the programme of reforms carried out in Bahrain: allegations of the oppression of Bahraini subjects by members of the Āl Khalīfah family, violence, the deteriorating economic situation;
- The reforms proposed and implemented by British officials: replacement of Shaikh ‘Īsá by Shaikh Ḥamad as defacto ruler, economic reforms, judicial reforms, pearl diving industry reforms, customs house reforms;
- Specific incidents of violence involving Sunnis and Shias, or Najdis and Persians.
Some of the papers in the volume are accompanied by duplicate copies:
- Folios 61-64 are duplicates of folios 57-60;
- Folios 68-69 are duplicates of folios 66-67;
- Folios 81-84 are duplicates of folios 77-80.
- Extent and format
- 1 volume (98 folios)
The volume's contents are arranged in approximate chronological order, starting with the earliest items at the front and finishing with the latest items at the end.
- Physical characteristics
Foliation: The volume is foliated from the front cover to the inside back cover, using uncircled pencil numbers in the top-right corner of each recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. . Most of the items in the volume are printed items that have their own internal pagination systems, using printed numbers in the top-right corners of recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. pages and the top-left corners of verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. pages, or centred at the top of both verso The back of a paper sheet or leaf. and recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. pages. The following foliation anomalies occur: 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 1f.
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