DHURMSALLA to DHURNA
1826.We alighted at a durhmsallah where several horsemen were assembled.Pandurang Hari, 254; [ed. 1873, ii. 66].
DHURNA, TO SIT, v. In H. dharna dena or baithna, Skt. dhri, to hold. A mode of extorting payment
or compliance with a demand, effected by the complainant or creditor sitting at the debtors door, and
there remaining without tasting food till his demand shall be complied with, or (sometimes) by threatening
to do himself some mortal violence if it be not complied with. Traces of this custom in some form are
found in many parts of the world, and Sir H. Maine (see below) has quoted a remarkable example from
the Irish Brehon Laws. There was a curious variety of the practice, in arrest for debt, current in S. India,
which is described by Marco Polo and many later travellers (see M. P., 2nd ed., ii. 327, 335, [and for
N. India, Crooke, Pop. Rel. and Folklore, ii. 42, seq.]). The practice of dharna is made an offence
under the Indian Penal Code. There is a systematic kind of dharna practised by classes of beggars,
e.g. in the Punjab by a class called Tasmiwalas, or strap-riggers, who twist a leather strap round the
neck, and throw themselves on the ground before a shop, until alms are given; [Doriwalas, who threaten
to hang themselves: Dandiwalas, who rattle sticks, and stand cursing till they get alms; Urimars, who
simply stand before a shop all day, and Gurzmars and Chharimars, who cut themselves with knives
and spiked clubs] (see Ind. Antiq. i. 162, [Herklots, Qanoon-e-Islam, ed. 1863, p. 193 seq.]. It appears
from Elphinstone (below) that the custom sometimes received the Ar. Pers. name of takaza, dunning
or importunity. c. 1747.While Nundi Raj, the Dulwai (see DALAWAY), was encamped at Sutti Mangul,
his troops, for want of pay, placed him in Dhurna
. Hurree Singh, forgetting the ties of salt or gratitude
to his master, in order to obtain his arrears of pay, forbade the sleeping and eating of the Dulwai, by
placing him in Dhurna
and that in so great a degree as even to stop the water used in his kitchen. The
Dulwai, losing heart from this rigour, with his clothes and the vessels of silver and gold used in travelling,
and a small sum of money, paid him off and discharged him.H. of Hydur Naik, 41 seq.
(a) A. sits dhurna at Z.s door with the intention of causing it to be believed that by so sitting he renders Z. an object of divine displeasure. A. has committed the offence defined in this section.
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