- Diwan (title)
The originally Persian title of "diwan" (also quite commonly known as Dewan; also spelled "-van") has at various points in the Islamic history, designated various differing though similar functions.
The title diwan is derived from the name of a particular sofa-like piece of sitting furniture known as a "divan", which is the common shape of
thrones in the Indian subcontinent, either a Hindu "Gadi" or a Muslim "Musnaid".
The word first appears under the
Caliphateof Omar I (A.D. 634–644). As the Caliphatestate became more complicated, the term was extended over all the government bureaus. The "divan of the Sublime Porte" was the council or Cabinetof the state. In the Ottoman Empire, it consisted of the usually (except in the Sultan's presence) presiding Grand Vizierand other viziers, and occasionally the JanissaryAğa.
In Javanese and related languages, the
cognateDewan is the standard word for council, as in the Dewan Perwakilan Rakyator Council of People's Representatives.
During the effective rule of the
Mughal empire, the "diwan" served as the chief revenue officer of a province.
Later, when most vassal states gained various degrees of self-determination, the finance — and/or chief minister of many
princely states (especially Muslim, but also many Hindu, including Baroda, Hyderabad, Mysore, Kochi, Travancore— referred as "Dalawa" until 1811) became known as a "diwan".
Exceptionally, a ruler was himself titled Dewan, notably
Jaso( Jassu) and in Bandhora(which was split from it circa 1750)
Khilchipurtill 1873, then Rao Bahadur
Palanpur, where Malik Ghazni Khan II, having married the foster sister of Mughal Emperor Akbarand received Palanpur, Deesaand Dantiwadain dowry, was granted the hereditary titleof Diwan in 1551 for his services in command of the force that took Attockfrom the Afghans, till the dynasty was promoted in 1910 to the rank of Nawab, with the full style "Zubdat ul-MulkDiwan Mahakhan Nawab" (personal name) "Khan, Nawab of Palanpur"
Nowadays, the title is used amongst certain upper-middle-class families in the South Asia; several landlords in villages and provinces across the subcontinent have names prefixed with this title. The title, in its variant form "Dewan", is especially common amongst
Muslimland-owners in Bengaland the Punjab.
Derived and compound titles
Diwan Deo was the hereditary title borne by the
Chief Ministerof Cooch, held by a junior branch of the ruling Narayan dynasty
The term "Diwani" is sometimes used to refer to British
sovereigntyor suzeraintyover India, either just before or during the British Raj.
French India, one of its colonies, Yanaon, had Zamindarand Diwan. They were active in its local and municipal administration during French rule. The Zamindar of Yanam was given a 4 gun salute by French counterparts.
Diwan— Bouloussou Soubramaniam Sastroulou
Sovereignty— French Colonial Empire
ources and references
* [http://www.4dw.net/royalark/India/salute.htm RoyalArk- see each princely state mentioned above]
* [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/India_princes_A-J.html WorldStatesmen- India]
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