Yeah the silence is creating more swirl.
Lord Roberts came up with the martial races theory after 1857 to skew/justify the recruitment patterns.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_Race
he British faced fierce resistance in some regions while easily conquering some others. The British officials sought 'martial races' accustomed to hunting or agricultural cultures from hilly or mountainous regions with a history of conflict. Still others were excluded due to their 'ease of living' or branded as seditious agitators. The doctrine of 'martial races' postulated that the qualities that make a useful soldier are inherited and that most Indians, with the exception of the specified groups, did not have the requisite traits that would make them warriors.
The British recruited heavily from the 'martial races' for service in the colonial army. Sensing the inequalities and fierce loyalty to one's tribe or group of the diverse native peoples of the subcontinent, the British found opportunities to use it to their own great advantage. These already wide divides were a fertile breeding ground to inculcate pride in one's identity based on 'race'. This served the British in two ways. On the one hand it made sure that there was no repeat of the Indian rebellion of 1857 by ensuring there was no unity among the different subjects of the Raj. On the other hand it encouraged a sense of competition among the different 'races'.
A British general and scholar, Lieutenant-General Sir George MacMunn (1869–1952) noted in his writings "It is only necessary for a feeling to arise that it is impious and disgraceful to serve the British, for the whole of our fabric to tumble like a house of cards without a shot being fired or a sword unsheathed". To this end, it became British policy to recruit only from those tribes whom they classified as members of the 'martial races' and the practice became an integral part of the recruitment manuals for the Army in the British Raj. According to Dr. Jeffrey Greenhut, "The Martial Race theory had an elegant symmetry. Indians who were intelligent and educated were defined as cowards, while those defined as brave were uneducated and backward."
The British regarded the 'martial races' as valiant and strong but also intellectually challenged, lacking the initiative or leadership qualities to command large troops. They were also regarded as politically subservient or docile to authority. For these reasons, the 'martial races' theory did not apply in the case of officer recruitment, which was based on social class and loyalty to the British Raj. One source calls this a "pseudo-ethnological" construction, which was popularised by Frederick Sleigh Roberts, and created serious deficiencies in troop levels during the World Wars, compelling them to recruit from 'non-martial races'. In fact, Winston Churchill was reportedly concerned that the theory was abandoned during the war and wrote to the Commander-in-Chief, India that he must, "rely as much as possible on the martial races". After Indian Independence, the Indian Army abandoned this theory and recruitment took place without discrimination.
Critics of this theory state that the Indian rebellion of 1857 may have played a role in reinforcing the British belief in 'martial races'. During this event some Indian troops (known as 'Sepoys'), particularly in Bengal, mutinied, but the loyal Pathans, Punjabis, Gurkhas, Kumaoni/Kumaunis and Garhwalis did not join the mutiny and fought on the side of the British Army. From then on, this theory was used to the hilt to accelerate recruitment from among these 'races', whilst discouraging enlistment of 'disloyal' Bengalis and high-caste Hindus who had sided with the rebel army during the war. Some authors, such as Heather Streets, argue that the military authorities puffed up the images of the martial soldiers by writing regimental histories, and by extolling the kilted Scots, kukri-wielding Gurkhas and turbaned Sikhs in numerous paintings. Richard Schultz, an American Jewish author, has claimed the Martial Race concept as a supposed clever British effort to divide and rule the people of India for their own political ends.
The hillmen Kumaonis, Garhwalis, Dogras and Gorkhas were initially a great impediment to the establishment of the British Empire but once they gave their loyalty to the British they helped them greatly in their administration and were thus conferred the status of martial race. Kumaonis had helped the British in their efforts against the Gurkhas in the Nepal War. When they were observed by the British to be fighting from both sides — the British as well as the Gorkha side — their valour was given recognition by the British and they were included in the British Army. It is interesting to note that the 3rd Gorkha Rifles was known as the Kumaon battalion when it was formed and it included Kumaonis as well as the Garhwalis along with the Gorkhas. The Kumaonis, once accepted as a martial race, were themselves to be recruited in the Hyderabad regiment and displace the native troops, ultimately becoming the Kumaon Regiment after Independence of India......
The Marathas were classified as 'non-martial'after the 1857 rebellion(in which the Marathas of Kanpur and Jhansi played a key role, blatantly ignoring the military achievements of the Maratha Empire or the Maratha Regiment's contribution against the Turks during the First World War, when they were recruited by the British Indian Army.The two Victoria Cross winners were forgotten. However, the Jadhavs, the Dhangars and the Mahars considered by British as martial races belong to the Marathi community. Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste or to the Maratha and Kunbi castes together; outside Maharashtra or generally it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people; historically, it describes the Maratha Empire founded by Shivaji in the seventeenth century and continued by his successors, which included many castes.
The Mahars were recruited by the Marathi king Shivaji as scouts and fort guards in his army. They were also heavily recruited by the British East India Company, at one part forming one-sixth of the Company's Bombay Army. The Bombay Army especially favoured the Mahar troops for their bravery and loyalty to the Colours, and also because they could be relied upon during the Anglo-Maratha Wars. They achieved many successes, most notably on 1 January 1818, when 500 men of the 2nd Battalion 1st Regiment of the Bombay Native Light Infantry along with 250 cavalrymen and 24 cannon defeated 20,000 horsemen and 8,000 footsoldiers of the Maratha Army in what would be called the Battle of Koregaon. This battle was commemorated by an obelisk, known as the Koregaon pillar, which featured on the Mahar Regiment crest until Indian Independence. The Bombay Army also saw action in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, and two regiments (the 21st and 27th) joined the revolt under the British.
The South Indian troops who had proved their valour in the battlefields of central and south India were disbanded after 1857 to make way for more martial races. The recruitment of 'Madrassis' for infantry only took place during the Second World War when large numbers of troops were required to defend British Empire in the form of a newly raised Madras Regiment. The Nairs of Kerala were initially included in the list, however after the Nairs of Travancore rebelled against the British under Velu Thampi Dalawa, they were recruited in lower numbers.
The martial tradition amongst Sikhs seems to have its precepts in the militirisation of the Sikhs by the Sixth and Tenth Sikh Guru's. The tenth Sikh Guru Guru Gobind Singh proclaimed that one Sikh was equal to sava lakh (one hundred twenty five thousand) and a fauj-a one man army.