Thug is a word that is taken for granted today as part of the English language. So are many other words that came to us from India. It is also a word for a particular kind of criminal, a thief who always murdered first.
Because of their techniques Thuggee was unknown among the population at large. They operated away from home in a time when communications were difficult and slow. They would befriend a single traveller or a party then at a signal kill them all. Strangulation was the usual technique. Because the victims were also a long way from home they would merely disappear and finding out what had happened to them was difficult or impossible. Murder was just one of the possibilities then. Tigers, snakes, pigs and dacoits were all part of the realities of India before 1900 AD and to a degree still are.
This may have been because murder without a weapon that caused bloodshed was not liable for death under Mughal law. [ 1 ]
A point of some interest about them is that they proved that a secret society can exist and do things while remaining secret. There are stories about of Illuminati, Freemasons, Knights Templar and so on. Parts are solidly based on historical records. Others are speculation which people enjoy. Thuggee was an ugly and dangerous reality which came to light more or less by accident when the Honourable East India Company started administering native states.
Page 73 Thug: The True Story of India's Murderous Cult by Mike Dash
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Updated on Tuesday, 13 October 2015 09:50:45