DHURMSALLA, s. H. and Mahr. dharm-sala, ‘pious edifice’; a rest-house for wayfarers, corresponding to the S. Indian Choultry or Chuttrum (q.v.).

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 debtor’s 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.

c. 1794.—“The practice called dharna, which may be translated caption, or arrest.”—Sir J. Shore, in As. Res. iv. 144.

1808.—“A remarkable circumstance took place yesterday. Some Sirdars put the Maharaja (Sindia) in dhurna. He was angry, and threatened to put them to death. Bhugwunt Ras Byse, their head, said, ‘Sit still; put us to death.’ Sindia was enraged, and ordered him to be paid and driven from camp. He refused to go…. The bazaars were shut the whole day; troops were posted to guard them and defend the tents…. At last the mutineers marched off, and all was settled.”—Elphinstone’s Diary, in Life, i. 179 seq.

1809.—“Seendhiya (i.e. Sindia), who has been lately plagued by repeated D’hurnas, seems now resolved to partake also in the active part of the amusement: he had permitted this same Patunkur, as a signal mark of favour, to borrow 50,000 rupees from the Khasgee or private treasury…. The time elapsed without the agreement having been fulfilled; and Seendhiya immediately dispatched the treasurer to sit D’hurna on his behalf at Patunkur’s tents.”—Broughton, Letters from a Mahratta Camp, 169 seq.; [ed. 1892, 127].

[1812.—Morier (Journey through Persia, 32) describes similar proceedings by a Dervish at Bushire.]

1819.—“It is this which is called tukaza1 by the Mahrattas…. If a man have demand from (? upon) his inferior or equal, he places him under restraint, prevents his leaving his house or eating, and even compels him to sit in the sun until he comes to some accommodation. If the debtor were a superior, the creditor had first recourse to supplications and appeals to the honour and sense of shame of the other party; he laid himself on his threshold, threw himself in his road, clamoured before his door, or he employed others to do this for him; he would even sit down and fast before the debtor’s door, during which time the other was compelled to fast also; or he would appeal to the gods, and invoke their curses upon the person by whom he was injured.”—Elphinstone, in Life, ii. 87.

1837.2—“Whoever voluntarily causes or attempts to cause any person to do anything which that person is not legally bound to do…by inducing…that person to believe that he…will become…by some act of the offender, an object of the divine displeasure if he does not do the thing…shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.


“(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.

“(b) A. threatens

  By PanEris using Melati.

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