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Found 17 results

  1. Lal Singh Bhaman who became a British agent during the 1st Anglo/Sikh war and was regularly providing the British with information along with Gulab Dogra
  2. Would be interesting to know how the british imperialist colonialists treated the natives of punjab and how sikh raja's of nabha,faridkot,jind, patiala, karputala treated their subjects from eye witness accounts.
  3. nice little bit of history, The Times 1841 mentions Maharani Chand Kaur becoming the queen. Chand Kaur was the wife of Maharaja Kharak Singh. A few hours after Kharak Singh died their son Nau Nihal Singh, next in line to become Maharaja also died. The whole thing most likely was a planned murder, Kharak Singh was poisoned while Nau Nihal Singh was murdered. It most likely was planned by the dogras, other families that opposed Ranjit Singh and probabaly some of Maharaja Sher Singhs men as well. Soon after Nau Nihal Singh died Sher Singh proclaimed himself Maharaja, Chand Kaur the widow of Kharak Singh and mother Nau Nihal Singh challenged Sher Singh with the claim that her dead son Nau Nihal Singhs wife Sahib Kaur is expecting a baby and till the baby is not born she will sit on the throne, therefore Maharani Chand Kaur sat on the throne in Lahore. Brave woman for standing up to the giants of the Sikh empire! She also managed to get a big % of the Sikh army on her side. Tragically when Sahib Kaur did give birth it was a still born baby. Maharaja Sher Singh then did not wait any longer when he heard of the still birth and marched with his troops towards Lahore fort. Chand Kaur refused to give up her title and the city broke into civil war. Massive parts of the city were blown up and the number of casualties was very high. Eventually Chand Kaur and her forces had no choice but to surrender and leave Lahore fort. Sher Singh then became Maharaja. Chand Kaur then retired and started living in her sons haveli in Lahore but was still seen as a threat and was beaten to death in the haveli. The Times 1841 mentioning Chand Kaur becoming queen.
  4. Chillianwala – the forgotten British defeat Previous Next Previous Next Lt. Col Muhammad Arslan Qadeer (Rtd) 4:59 PM | January 08, 2020 Just 35 Kms south west of Kharian located on the eastern bank of the river Jehlum is the village of Chillianwala. Insignificant as it looks and unknown to most, this small village apparently is no different to the vast countryside surrounding the Kharian Garrison on either side of the GT road. Nevertheless, it is this singular and unique honor attached to the village of Chillianwala or Chillianwallah as it was spelled then, to have served as one of the biggest and bloodiest battlefields in the history of warfare. The Anglo-Sikh war of 1849 is perhaps one of the few battles which go down in history symbolizing the greatest military debacles the British had suffered. Right on the entrance to Chillianwala, on the western side of the road situated on a high ground is the gleaming gigantic grandeur of the obelisk made of red sand stone reverberating the great battle fought under the British Commander in Chief Lord Hugh Gough and Sardar Sher Singh Attariwala. On four sides of the structure are the inscriptions in English, Hindi, Urdu and Persian. Enclosed in the same premises are the five graves in perfect condition. Out of these, two in the foreground are thought to be of Brigadier John Pennycuick and Brigadier Alexander Pope. The gravestones however are regrettably missing. Just adjacent to it is another premises housing a giant metallic cross resting on a huge foundation. The main inscription reads: A Cruce Salus To record the names of the brave officers who fell in the great battle fought on the adjoining plain, 13 th January 1849. The Cross was placed beside their tombs by Richard 6 th Earl of Mayo Viceroy and Governor General 1871. On the western side of the base holding the cross is inscribed the long list of names of European officers killed in the battle. The first two in the list are Brig John Pennycuick Commander 5 th Brigade and Brig Alexander Pope Commander 2 nd Brigade of Cavalry, the two being the senior most officers in the British side among a total of 2357 casualties on 13 January 1849. On the eastern side are the infantry, Cavalry and artillery unitsthat took part in the battle. The battle of Chillianwala is unique as it marked the foundation of the Indian rebellion and led to the great uprising of the native armies then under the control of the East India Company. Chillianwala marks the biggest debacle wherein the British was defeated most decisively despite beingmilitarily and logistically overwhelmingly superior. In addition to military preponderance, the British also enjoyed towards their side the advantages of favourable terrain and weather as opposed to that in Afghanistan in the three Anglo afghan wars – the situational factors so fondly highlighted by British historians. As the story goes, it all started after the death of Ranjit Singh (1839) when his incompetent sons proved to be too weak to hold the throne. Karak Singh his first successor could not stick around for long and was deposed within four months. Another son Naunehal Singh though a very capable and competent person met a premature death after being crushed under a falling arch. He was succeeded by one of Ranjit Singh’s many illegitimate sons who was despised by the elders and nobles of the court and was soon removed from power. It was then Rani Jindan, one of the many wives of Ranjit Singh and a former dancing girl usurped power ruling in the name of Duleep Singh, her five year old son. Rani Jindan along with her hindu confidants was wary of the strength of the sikh army. She knowing well that her fragile marriage with power could fizzle out any time struck a deal with the British which envisaged destruction of the sikh military might and continuation of her rule. To materialize the plan the sikh army was incited and launched across the Sutlej river (The Anglo-Sikh boundary) to invade East India Company’s territory. As a result of treachery and poor leadership the sikh army was thus decisively defeated on the 10 th of February 1845 and the Sikh state came under the domination of the English East India Company. Henry Lawrence, who was the British Resident, became the de facto ruler overlooking the affairs of the state on behalf of the infant Duleep Singh. The Sikh army had been humiliated and felt that it had not been defeated militarily but merely betrayed by its leaders who wanted destruction of the Sikh army and acted treacherously. Later in April 1848, Diwan Mulraj, the Governor of Multan, which was the southern Punjab province of the Sikh State rebelled against the British regent and all the sikh troops at Multan joined him. To suppress this uprising the British organized three columns to march towards Multan; one under General Sher Singh, one under Lieutenant Edwards and one under Lieutenant Lake to recapture Multan. Consequently, in August 1848 a siege was laid against the city of Multan. On the 14th of September Sher Singh with all his troops crossed over to the rebel side. Sardar Sher Singh Attariwala as he was known, after consultation with Mulraj decided to move north of the Chenab River. His father Chattar Sigh the Governor of Hazara province who had already rebelled, joined him by occupying the strategic Attock Fort. Thus the British lost almost the whole area north of the Chenab River in addition to the Multan Fort. The Governor of East India Company had meanwhile issued orders for the invasion of Punjab and crush the sikh rising under the leadership of the overall Commander-in-Chief of India and also the East India Company’s private Bengal Army, General Sir Hugh Gough. On the 11th of January 1849, Gough resolved to attack Sher Singh’s position the centre of which rested a few miles west of Chillianwala. On the 12th of January while carrying out a reconnaissance, he discovered that the Sikh had swung forward. On discovery of the Sikh position so close to Chillianwala, Gough decided to attack the Sikh position on the next day that is 13 Jan 1849. The British Army was divided into two infantry Divisions (3 rd and 2 nd ) with a Cavalry Brigade each on outer flanks. The 3rd Division commanded by Brigadier General Colin Campbell formed the left or southern Division launched an enthusiastic but reckless attack based on a conventional bayonet charge. Though they did manage to reach the Sikh positions, however in the process the punishment inflicted was too severe. The Sikh counter attacked and the assailants withdrew in disorder towards Chillianwala. The leading Brigade Commander Brigadier Pennycuick and his son Lieutenant Alexander Pennycuick killed in the bloody engagement. The 2nd Infantry division commanded by Major General Sir Walter Gilbert formed the right (northern) division. Gilbert’s leading Brigades aptly supported by artillery successfully cleared all Sikh positions in front and drove the Sikhs close to the River Jehlum. While Gilbert was reorganizing for the final assault, he was suddenly counter attacked by the Sikhs in force from his rear. This happened due to the fact that his integral cavalry brigade which was commanded by Brigadier Pope and was responsible to guard the right (northern) flank and rear of Gilbert’s Division, completely overrun by the ferocious cavalry charge of the Sikhs leaving the right and rear flank vulnerable to counter attack. Sher Singh Attariwala immediately ordered a counter attack and Sikh infantry and cavalry located on the north-west hills immediately advanced down from the heights through the open gap created by the absence of Brigadier Pope’s cavalry and encircled Gilbert’s division from the rear followed by a ruthless massacre. The damage done at Chillianwala to the prestige of British might was enormous and played a major role in changing the attitude of native states towards British leading directly to the ‘Great Sepoy Rebellion’ (The war of independence 1857) in which the British almost lost their Indian Empire and the English East India Company whose private Bengal Army had fought Chillianwala lost India to the British Crown. https://nation.com.pk/08-Jan-2020/chillianwala-the-forgotten-british-defeat
  5. A great programme watch downloading for future and showing your family and friends https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bfnldw
  6. Video of Hari Singh Nalwas shield from the exhibition "empire of the Sikhs" i went to this exhibition it was amazing. Came across these great videos from the exhibition giving information about the artifacts and the people that owned them. The guy doing the talks is Davinder Singh Toor he is an art collector and has an amazing collection of art and objects from the Sikh empire. Respect to him for buying these things when the gorreh try flogging them at auction!
  7. Gobindgarh Fort Amazing India The Secrets of the Gobindgarh Fort By Akshay Chavan July 11, 2017 at 2:40 AM Though the capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom was Lahore, it is this fort that was at the heart of his empire Millions travel to Amritsar each year. Home to the most sacred shrine of the Sikhs, the Harmandir Sahib ( Golden Temple), there is another part of the old city that is now accessible to visitors. This year, the State government opened the historic Gobindgarh Fort to the public. Few people realise that while the capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom was Lahore, it is this fort that was at the heart of his empire. It housed the largest armoury and mint in the empire, and the control of Gobindgarh gave Ranjit Singh religious sanction, as this fort of his protected the Harmandir Saheb, the holiest of shrines in Sikhism. This fort has a fascinating history that harks back to the early days of the Sikhs, when the land was carved into small principalities controlled by powerful Sikh clans called misls. The Gobindgarh Fort originally called the Qila Bhangian, which literally means ‘the Marijuana Fort’ has an interesting story to tell. ‘Bhangion da Qila’ or the fort of the Bhangis. Bhangi Misl The rise of the Sikhs coincided with the decline of the Mughal Empire. By the early 18th century CE, Punjab was divided into principalities called misls. They controlled all the land in heart of Punjab and beyond and eventually acted as the base from which Maharaja Ranjit Singh built his great Empire. But long before Ranjit Singh’s time, Amritsar was under a misl called the Bhangi Misl controlled by its chief Sardar Gujjar Singh Bhangi. Called Bhangi, because the soldiers from the clan were known to be fond of Bhang or Marijuana, this was a powerful clan. It was Sardar Gujjar Singh who is credited for building a small fort at the site of the Gobindgarh Fort in the 1760s. Locally it was called ‘Bhangion da Qila’ or the fort of the Bhangis. Maharaja Ranjit Singh Gobindgarh under Ranjit Singh Maharaja Ranjit Singh was born in 1780 CE in a family of the head of Sukerchakia Misl, a small kingdom in Gurjanwala district of today’s Pakistan. Ranjit Singh's rise was astounding and by the time he was in his twenties, he was charting an aggressive course of empire building. Over the next few decades, Maharaja Ranjit Singh would conquer one misl after another and establish a large empire that stretched from Multan to Kashmir. He was only 22 years old, when in 1802 CE, he conquered Amritsar from the Bhangi misl and incorporated it into his empire. The conquest of Amritsar, was crucial for Ranjit Singh as it was the second largest city in Punjab after Lahore and the spiritual base of the Sikhs. The Gobindgarh Fort was originally called the Qila Bhangian, which literally means ‘the Marijuana Fort’ Not surprisingly, one of the first things he did on taking over, was the renovation and expansion of the old Qila, which was located just outside the walled city of Amritsar. He ordered his commander Shamir Singh Thethar to improve the fort with additions and fortifications that took around four years to complete. The result was the creation of a magnificent fort, aptly named in honor of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Maharaja Ranjit Singh keenly adapted latest European military technologies and a number of European mercenaries served in his army as well. The main defensive walls were arranged concentrically, their multiple tiers surrounded by a deep and broad moat. This was the latest European defence architecture of the time and protected the fort from cannon attacks. Inside the fort was a large armoury, treasury and also a palace. Inside the Fort The fort was separated from the walled city of Amritsar by an open ground. Over 12,000 soldiers were deployed in the fort to protect the city. An important armoury where weapons were manufactured was set here and the fort also functioned as the largest mint or tanksal where silver and copper coins of Maharaja Ranjit Singh were minted. Maharaja Ranjit Singh keenly adapted latest European military technologies and a number of European mercenaries served in his army as well During Ranjit Singh’s reign, the Gobindgarh Fort became the center for essential supplies for his army as they pushed their boundaries and the Sikh Empire expanded. The supply of cannon bags and arms for the all the campaigns around Punjab and the surrounding hills came from here. It was the site of the state treasury and surprisingly, it was also the place where the Kohinoor diamond was kept. The Emperor of Afghanistan, Shah Shuja, surrendered the diamond to Ranjit Singh in 1813 CE. It was paraded around the streets of Amritsar. Later, the diamond was kept sure at the Tosakhana (Treasury) in the fort premises. Emily Eden visits Gobindgarh Lord Auckland was the Governor-General of British India between 1836 and 1842 CE. The British were fearful that Russia would invade India through Afghanistan and Punjab and hence wanted to be friendly with Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In 1838 CE, Lord Auckland along with his sister Emily Eden made a state visit to Amritsar where they were lavishly entertained by the Maharaja. He also invited them to a tour of Gobindgarh, which apparently surprised everyone as it was a restricted area. But they thought Ranjit Singh really wanted to be friendly with the British. Emily Eden (1797-1896 CE) was a noted English poet and novelist . She wrote extensively about her travels in India, which was later published as a popular book ‘Up The Country: Letters Written to Her Sister from the Upper Provinces of India (1867). In her dairy dated Monday, Dec. 17, 1838 CE, Emily writes: “THE MAHARAJAH ASKED G. [GEORGE EDEN, LORD AUCKLAND, HER BROTHER] TO GO WITH HIM ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON TO LOOK AT HIS FORT OF GOVINDGHUR, IN WHICH HE KEEPS ALL HIS TREASURES; AND IT IS CERTAIN THAT WHOEVER GETS HOLD OF GOVINDGHUR AT HIS DEATH WILL ALSO GET HOLD OF HIS KINGDOM.HE NEVER ALLOWS ANYBODY TO ENTER IT, AND E. SAYS, THAT IN ALL THE THIRTEEN YEARS HE HAS BEEN WITH HIM HE HAS NEVER BEEN ABLE TO GET A SIGHT OF IT, AND HE WAS CONVINCED THAT RUNJEET WOULD EITHER PRETEND TO BE ILL, OR TO MAKE SOME MISTAKE IN THE HOUR, SO THAT HE WOULD NOT REALLY SHOW G. EVEN THE OUTSIDE OF IT. IT WAS RATHER LATE BEFORE KURRUCK SINGH CAME TO FETCH G.; HOWEVER, THEY SOON MET THE MAHARAJAH, AND WENT TOWARDS THE FORT. AN OFFICER CAME TO ASK HIS ‘HOOKUM,' OR ORDERS, AND HE TOLD HIM TO HAVE THE GATES OPENED, AND DESIRED G. TO TAKE IN ALL THE OFFICERS OF HIS ESCORT, EVEN ANY ENGINEERS. THEN HE LED HIM ALL OVER THE FORT, SHOWED HIM WHERE THE TREASURE WAS KEPT, TOOK HIM UP TO THE ROOF, WHERE THERE WAS A CARPET SPREAD, AND TWO GOLD CHAIRS, AND THERE SAT AND ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CANNONS AND SHELLS, AND MINES, AND FORTS IN GENERAL. THE EUROPEANS WERE ALL AMAZED; BUT THEY SAY THE SURPRISE OF RUNJEET'S OWN SIRDARS WAS PAST ALL CONCEALMENT; EVEN THE COMMON SOLDIERS BEGAN TALKING ABOUT IT, AND SAID THAT THEY NOW SAW THAT THE SIKHS AND ENGLISH WERE TO BE ALL ONE FAMILY AND TO LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE.' IT CERTAINLY IS VERY ODD HOW COMPLETELY THE SUSPICIOUS OLD MAN SEEMS TO HAVE CONQUERED ANY FEELING OF JEALOUSY, AND IT IS ENTIRELY HIS OWN DOING, AGAINST THE WISHES AND PLANS OF HIS PRIME MINISTERS, AND OF MOST OF HIS SIRDARS; BUT HE HAS TAKEN HIS OWN LINE, AND SAYS HE IS DETERMINED TO SHOW HOW COMPLETE HIS CONFIDENCE IS.” The fort in present day Gobindgarh under the British Sadly, contrary to what Maharaja Ranjit Singh had hoped, the Sikh empire and British were not ‘to be all one family and to live in the same house’. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839 CE, the relations between the British and the Sikh empire deteriorated. Fights broke out between the various factions of the Sikh court. The Sikhs and the British fought two wars - the Anglo-Sikh wars between 1845 and 1849 CE. The Sikh army was defeated and the Kingdom of Punjab became a British protectorate. The fort of Gobindgarh was occupied by the British forces in September 1848 CE. Finally, in 1849 CE, Punjab was annexed and made part of British India by Lord Dalhousie. In his private papers, Lord Dalhousie wrote in March 1850 “… the fort of Govindghur … the most important place in all of India perhaps ……” After Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death in 1839 CE, the relations between the British and the Sikh empire deteriorated The fort was soon occupied by the British Indian army. In 1850 CE, there was a proposal to demolish all the forts of Punjab to prevent any revolt, but thankfully this plan was not carried through. The palace inside the fort was demolished sometime around 1855 CE. Over time, as the frontier of the British Empire spread to borders of Afghanistan, Gobindgarh lost all its strategic value. It was during the Partition of 1947, that large number of refugees took shelter in the fort. Later it was handed over to the Indian Army. Zam Zama canoon The Fort Today The Gobindgarh Fort has since been restored and was thrown open to the public in February 2017. Go to the fort and you will find it is steeped in history and goes beyond the Sikhs. One of the great attractions in this fort, is a replica of the great and historic cannon ‘Zam Zama’. Made on the orders of Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Abdali, it was used in the Third Battle of Panipat, against the Marathas in 1761 CE. The battle broke the Maratha power over North India and gave Afghans control over Punjab. In 1762 CE, the Bhangi chief had captured this cannon near Lahore, brought it to Amritsar and called it ‘Bhangion di Tope’. It was a prized possession of Maharaja Ranjit singh. However, it was damaged in battle and taken back from Amritsar to Lahore in 1818 CE, where it can still be seen today. A close reproduction of it can be seen at Gobindgarh. Also an attraction at the Gobindgarh fort are the four bastions at four cardinal points of the fort and the Toshakhana- the place where the Kohinoor was placed. The British period structures within the fort include the Durbar Hall, said to have built in 1850 CE as a six-bed hospital, the Barrack which was originally built during Ranjit Singh’s time but re-modelled in 1850 CE and the Chloronome House which was used for the treatment of water through the process of chlorination. So when you visit Amritsar next, don’t forget to visit the Gobindgarh fort, the most important fort of the Sikh empire, which remains in the Indian side of the state of Punjab.
  8. I once read how Prince Nau Nihal Singh was crowned Maharaja of Punjab after the death of his father Kharak Singh, but after a few hours of being crowned a stone/bricks fell in his head and after a few hours he was dead. Even then there were speculations of it being a planned murder. I think it's pretty obvious that it was murder. Soon after his mother chand kaur took over and became empress. He was 19 years old and had a son, not sure what happened to his son ... I don't anyone ever got to the bottom of this incident though I think there was an "investigation" I think if it was a murder then the obvious choices are either the British or the dogra brothers. Sher Singh, his uncle? Sounds like a fishy character to me, maybe it was plotted by him because soon after he did become Maharaja. I think Sher Singh did end up getting a bit too friendly with the British. After Ranjit Singh i don't think the raj was stable, too much drama, plot twists, betrayals, mysteries.
  9. As advertised on FB by Sikh Discover Inspire Talk 9 at Khalili lecture Hall london EC1H 0XG on 9th sep 2018 at 17:00 , tickets 5 GBP: Musician and PhD researcher, Kirit Singh, delves into the story of music at the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh with a talk and unique performance reflecting some of the music associated with the Court of Lahore in collaboration with the dhrupad vocalist, Shri Prassanna Vishwanathan. This illustrated talk and musical performance will be followed by a Q&A session. Kirit Singh is a PhD student at SOAS university where he is undertaking research on the development and interaction between Hindustani music and the Gurbani Kirtan tradition, during the historical period in which Sikh patronage of the arts was at its greatest. He is also a musician and disciple of one of the leading torchbearers of dhrupad vocal music, Pt. Uday Bhawalkar. As a co-founder of the South Asian Music Forum, he is activeley involved in supporting young and talented UK-based musicians and encouraging intimate and authentic concerts of South Asian music. This lecture series has been organised by the UK Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA) in partnership with the SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI) . Image: Detail from a painting by August Schoefft of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Amritsar listening to Gurbani Kirtan, circa 1841-43 (Princess Bamba Collection, Lahore Fort)
  10. Talk eight as advertised on Sikh Discover Inspire taking place at Khalili Lecture Hall london EC1H 0XG , Sunday 9th Sept 2018 at 15:00 , ticket 5GBP: The series continues with our eighth talk, in which historian and ethnomusicologist, Radha Kapuria, establishes how Punjab emerged as a major centre for classical music patronage under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, revealing the particular centrality of sword-yielding, cross-dressing female dancers in his diplomatic negotiations with political rivals. This illustrated talk will be followed by a Q&A session. Radha Kapuria trained as a historian at the University of Delhi before joining the Jawaharlal Nehru University for her MPhil degree. Her research investigated the oldest classical music festival of north India- the Harballabh of Jalandhar, Punjab. She built on this ‘micro-history’ by researching a more macro-level social history of music in the region during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for her PhD at King’s College London. She currently divides her time between preparing a book manuscript titled Music in Colonial Punjab: A Social History, based on her PhD, and working as part-time Lecturer in Ethnomusicology at King’s. This lecture series has been organised by the UK Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA) in partnership with the SOAS South Asia Institute (SSAI). Image: Dancing girls and musicians at the Court of Lahore, by Bishan Singh, 1874 (Collection of Prince and Princess Sadruddin Aga Khan)
  11. When we look back at our history the Sikh community only were able to achieve great victories those who tried to exterminate us by being unified and feeding into a pot that helped the community become self sufficient and then the goal of creating a commonwealth of Sikh populated area's of influence. What we have nowadays is Sikhs busy trying to further their own selfish interests, trying to accumulate their own financial needs instead and putting each other down of looking at the bigger picture of community progressing to a strong position so that population grows instead of it declining and suffering as see it with Sikhs in islamic dominated hell holes of afghanistan, pakistan and kashmir and now even punjab our population is not the healthy majority it used to be. I see some Sikhs with huge houses, latest flashy cars some even helping build big beautifully decorated gurdwara's and it reminds me of Sikhs of the past. They were rich, they were royals, business or land owners they spent huge monies one expensive personal goods and also build gurdwara's all over the place. Then the british east india company army came along and the Sikh empire was no more and then 1947 happened and those huge numerous beautiful gurdwara's were destroyed by musilms or converted into masjids or pakistani govt buildings. The Sikhs should have spent their resources on creating a huge population by either birth rate or converting the muslims and other masses to Sikhi instead of building gurdwara's because its the people that matter not the buildings they can be destroyed or converted by enemies.
  12. Brits would have lost to Sikhs, ‘but for treachery by 2 Gens’ William Dalrymple (right) speaks as (L-R) Amar Pal Sidhu, Mandeep Rai and Dr Sukhmani Riar look on at the Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR Ajay Banerjee Tribune News Service Chandigarh, December 9 Adept in Indo-British history, two leading historians today differed on what could have been the British Empire’s future after the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1846, but both agreed that the East India Company-led army had almost lost the war had the Sikhs — surprisingly or prompted by the treachery of two Generals — not surrendered. Speaking on ‘Anglo-Sikh wars’ at the Military Literature Festival here, London-based historian Amar Pal Sidhu argued: “The British lacked ammunition, had no water and were, thus, incapable of fighting. Then Governor General Lord Henry Hardinge was in the battlefield and he would have had to surrender. The entire British Raj could have collapsed.” Sidhu, who has authored separate books on the first and the Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-49), said: “Had the Sikh army not surrendered, the British Empire’s history in India would have been different. It would have been a seminal moment resembling the one at Waterloo (where Napoleon Bonaparte of France lost).” The treachery by Generals Tej Singh and Lal Singh changed the course of history. The two owed their positions to Maharani Jindan, one of the queens of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. “Punjab probably would have been united and would still be united,” said Sidhu. William Dalrymple, author of “Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan”, accepted that the military edge in the First Anglo-Sikh War was with the Sikhs. He, however, differed on the outcome of the British Empire had they (Sikhs) won the first war. “At that point, it was easy to defeat the Company-led army, though they could have used their backup of vast resources and men,” he averred. They had resources much bigger than Punjab’s. Between 1790 and the early 1800s, the company was earning hugely from Bengal. The private army of the East India Company was twice the size of the British army. Mandeep Rai, who was moderating the session, said: “Historians have not realised that had the Sikh army not surrendered, the Lahore durbar would have survived and the state of Pakistan would not have come into being.” Dr Sukhmani Riar, Professor of history at PU, asserted that “the creation of the Dogra state (now J&K) after the First Anglo-Sikh War was still a mystery. How the Sikh kingdom collapsed within a few years of the death of Ranjit Singh (in 1839) is a matter of study”. The First Anglo-Sikh War led to signing of the ‘Treaty of Umritsar’ (Amritsar) and carving out a separate Dogra kingdom. It meant partial subjugation. Three years later, the Second Anglo-Sikh War led to total defeat of the Sikh army and the subsequent collapse of the Sikh kingdom.
  13. Victor Jacquemont (8 August 1801 – 7 December 1832) was a French botanist and geologist who visited Panjab during the early part of Ranjit Singh's reign (he met him). His journals were translated into English and published as PUNJAB, A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, after his death. The work was translated and edited by H.L.O. Garrett, and first published in 1935 by the Punjab Government Record Office, Lahore. Here are some excerpts: *Jacquemont was wrong, Ventura had previously fought the Russians but Allard had not.
  14. what relgion was diwan mohkam Chand, he was a general in maharaja ranjit singhs army, I was just reading about the battle of attock and events related, very impressive! is it fair to say that Kashmir and Jammu are in india/Pakistan simply due to the Sikh empire, even the Kohinoor, well... was lol I actually had never herd of him before! many Sikh figures have disappeared over time, its a shame...
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