Variants of name
He played important role in administration of Maharaja Suraj Mal. Rup Ram Katara was a friend of Jayappa Sindhia. Maharani Kishori requested Diwan Roop Ram Katara to take letter of Maharaja Suraj Mal with the proposal of peace treaty with him.
K. R. Qanungo writes....Rup Ram figured prominently in the reign of Suraj Mal. The Marathi chronicles mention him several times with his title Katari. He "having acquired great reputation as a Pandit in the earlier part of the last [the eighteenth] century, became Purohit to Bharatpur, Sindhia, and Holkar, and was enriched by those princes with the most lavish donations the whole of which he appears to have expended on the embellishment of Barsana and other sacred places within the limits of Braj his native country" [Growse's Mathura, 178].
K. R. Qanungo gives at f.n. ...Qanungo does not take note of the Sindhia's invitation to Suraj Mal. 5000 Jat troops under Rup Ram Kataria joined Sindhia on 8th November, 1759, at Sukkartal not at Delhi. On 8th December Sindhia raised the futile siege of Sukkartal. On 20th December, 1759 he entrusted his family, heavy baggage and the disabled camp followers to the care of the Jats to be escorted to Delhi. On 4th January 1760 Rupram Kataria escorted them towards the Jat country. Rajwade, I,143,144, 147, 150;S.P.D., II.110; cited by G. C. Dwivedi, The Jats: Their role in the Mughal Empire, 178.
Suraj Mal’s withdrawal from Bhau’s camp
K. R. Qanungo writes....Suraj Mal, greatly disgusted and mortified, left the assembly and returned to his place, cursing his own folly in coming to the Marathi camp. He was virtually a prisoner and his position was one of great danger. Sindhia and Holkar had pledged their word of honour for his safety, and upon thier fidelity depended his only chance of escape. These two chiefs, now greatly concerned, met secretly and thus deliberated: "We have brought the Jat here by pledging our word of honour to him; the design of the Bhao is very bad. Balwant Rao and the Bhao have secretly planned to arrest Suraj Mal Jat, imprison him and plunder his camp. Suraj Mal
[p.79]: must be anyhow sent away in safe , so that the blame of faithlessness may not be laid on us. Let the master (the Bhao) do what he can (to punish us) on this account." Having deliberated thus, they sent for Rupram Katari, the vakil of the Jats, and advised him thus: "Do flee from this lace to-nightt by any means. The encampment of the Bhao Sahib lies at a distance: without letting him know it, slip out in silence. The pledge of honour between you and us is thus redeemed; say not a single word to us after this"; saying these words of two chiefs pulled their own ears in repentance and made a silent vow not to compromise their honour and involve themselves in such difficult situations again for the benefit of such a haughty and faithless master.
Rupram Katari came back to the Jat camp and explained the whole situation to his master. Raja Suraj Mal found himself between Scylla and Charybdis, the Bhao on one side and the Durrani on the other. He said to Rupram, "If by fortune we manage to escape to-night we incur the enmity of the Bhao. Should he succeed by chance in beating the Durrani, my ruin is inevitable. If he is in earnest, I shall find no refuge and none will be able to save me. Should I stay here, in fear of this future danger, I become a prisoner. Both courses are beset with difficulties. What is to be done now?" Rupram replied, "You know the proverb - Escaping one bad astral conjunction in one's horoscope means a further lease of twelve years of life. Both the Bhao and the Durrani are equally strong and equally implacable enemies. Who knows which of them would come out successful? Till then, in our own place we shall sit silent, holding our breath. Whatever is destined ahead for us by God must be good. Why do you trouble yourself now by the thought of the future (which is uncertain)? Let what may come afterwards; but to-night we must flee." Rupram's cool head and clear vision chalked out the right path for Suraj Mal, whose indecision might otherwise have brought down disaster on his head at this critical point.
When three hours of the night remained, the Jats silently struck their tents, packed their baggage, and marched off, with the connivance of Sindhia and Holkar, in the direction of Ballamgarh, the nearest Jat stronghold, 22 miles to the
[p.80]: south of Delhi. Malhar Rao, whose policy was to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, sent his Diwan Gangoba Tatiya to the Bhao, after Suraj Mal had covered four kos, to inform him that Suraj Mal without telling anything to anybody, had gone away; and that their forces had been sent in pursuit, and that the Bhao should send his own army to join them in the chase. Suraj Mal safely reached Ballamgarh; the Maratha troops who went in pursuit came back after plundering some bazars. The Bhao bit his lip in anger, and exclaimed in public, "God willing, if the Durrani is defeated, of what greater weight (the affair of) the Jat can be?
Tej Ram Katara
K. R. Qanungo mentions that during Siege of Kumher (Jan. 1754-May 1754) by Marathas, Maharani Kishori, in order to create division in the enemy's camp, one night sent Tejram Katari, son of Rupram, with a letter from Suraj Mal and his turban to Jayaji Sindhia, to implore his protection and friendship by an exchange of head-dress. Jayaji made a noble response, accepted the pledge of Suraj Mal and sent him his own turban in exchange with an encouraging letter, and a leaf of the sacred Bel tree, taken from the offerings to his patron deity (Bel Bhandar), as the most solemn proof of his sincerity. The news of the incident leaked out and Holkar became despondent.
- History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Maharaja Sawai Jawahar Singh Bharatendra (1764-1768),p.102 f.n.
- History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Ahmad Shah Durrani’s Campaign Against the Jats,p.66 f.n.
- History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Surajmal’s Great Disappointment,pp.79-80
- History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Suraj Mal’s Struggle with the Marathas,p.54
- Bhao Bakhar, p.6.