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Victor Jacquemont - Experiences in Maharajah Ranjit Singh's empire.


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Caste

They [Sikhs] retain the customs of caste which they came from and caste prejudices are as strong among them as among the Hindus, less so than in the rest of India but certainly more so than in the Himalayas. Their priests are always of high caste Hindu descent and they have such a contempt for lower castes that Murray does not allow a Chamar or a Mehtar (sweeper) to enter his house. Those of these castes who have a request to make, make it at the door; he then goes out to the veranda to interview them.

 

 


 

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Fatteh Singh's Muslim wife

Kapurthala is the residence of a Sikh Sardar, Fatteh Singh, who is now erecting outside the city a very large and fine mansion. Seeing a mosque near it, I asked who had built it; Sha Uddin [one of the important Fakir brothers], told me it was the wife of the sardar. This princess is a Muhammadan lady. They have two children, as orthodox Sikh as possible, I was informed. The city is small, but appears prosperous.

 

 


 

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Jacquemont prevented from visiting Harmandir Sahib

 

The guardian of the sacred tank at Amritsar is only a rich Sardar and the post is not hereditary in the family. According to my conductor, the present guardian S. Jiwan Singh [anyone have more info on him?] refused to allow me within the enclosure where this celebrated pool has been excavated, for the possession of which so many battles were fought in the Punjab in the last century. Many times the Mussalmans filled it with the ruins of the surrounding houses and soiled it with the victims of their intolerance. But, when victory reopened to the Sikhs the gates of Amritsar, they carried out bloody reprisals and washed the steps of the pool with the blood of Mussalmans.

 

 

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Jacquemont prevented from visiting Harmandir Sahib

 

The guardian of the sacred tank at Amritsar is only a rich Sardar and the post is not hereditary in the family. According to my conductor, the present guardian S. Jiwan Singh [anyone have more info on him?] refused to allow me within the enclosure where this celebrated pool has been excavated, for the possession of which so many battles were fought in the Punjab in the last century. Many times the Mussalmans filled it with the ruins of the surrounding houses and soiled it with the victims of their intolerance. But, when victory reopened to the Sikhs the gates of Amritsar, they carried out bloody reprisals and washed the steps of the pool with the blood of Mussalmans.

 

This is interesting. It contradicts the commonly held notion that all were welcome to Harmandir Sahib. 

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  • 4 years later...
On 2/17/2017 at 6:42 PM, dallysingh101 said:

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,_Victor.jpg                       http://123himachal.com/Ranjit.jpg

 

 

 


 

*Jacquemont was wrong, Ventura had previously fought the Russians but Allard had not.

Bumping this. Thanks for posting this thread originally. Where did you find out the info ?

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2 hours ago, Premi5 said:

Bumping this. Thanks for posting this thread originally. Where did you find out the info ?

There were these things that a lot of people used to use back in ye olde days. If I recall rightly I think they were called bocs or books (?) or something like that?

Years (decades?) ago I went Southall and brought  a bunch of books from The Sikh Missionary Society. I think this was one of them?

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3 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

There were these things that a lot of people used to use back in ye olde days. If I recall rightly I think they were called bocs or books (?) or something like that?

Years (decades?) ago I went Southall and brought  a bunch of books from The Sikh Missionary Society. I think this was one of them?

Yes, I thought it would be from a book, but sorry I didn't make clear, I meant which book ?

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36 minutes ago, Premi5 said:

Yes, I thought it would be from a book, but sorry I didn't make clear, I meant which book ?

 PUNJAB, A HUNDRED YEARS AGO translated and edited by H.L.O. Garrett, and first published in 1935 by the Punjab Government Record Office, Lahore.

 

This type of work should be readily available on the internet somewhere if you want to chase it. 

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