Gulab Singh

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Gulab Singh
Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.jpg
Raja of Jammu
Reign16 June 1822—16 March 1846 [1]
PredecessorKishore Singh
Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir
Reign16 March 1846—30 June 1857
Successor Ranbir Singh
Wazir of the Sikh Empire
In office31 January 1846 – 9 March 1846
Predecessor Lal Singh
Born(1792-10-17)17 October 1792
Jammu
Died30 June 1857(1857-06-30) (aged 64)
WivesNihāl Kaur Jamwal
Issue Ranbir Singh Jamwal
Full name
Gulab Singh Jamwal
House Jamwal Dogra dynasty
FatherKishore Singh Jamwal

Maharaja Gulab Singh Jamwal (1792–1857) was the founder of royal Dogra dynasty and first Maharaja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, the second largest princely state in British India, which was created after the defeat of the Sikh Empire in the First Anglo-Sikh War. During First Anglo-Sikh War, Gulab Singh helped the British against the Sikhs. [2] The Treaty of Amritsar (1846) formalised the sale by the British to Gulab Singh for 7,500,000 Nanakshahee Rupees of all the lands in Kashmir that were ceded to them by the Sikhs by the Treaty of Lahore. [3]

Contents

Early life

The Hill Fort of Maharaja Gulab Singh, 1846 drawing. The Hill fort of Maharaja Gulab Singh, 1846 drawing.jpg
The Hill Fort of Maharaja Gulab Singh, 1846 drawing.

Gulab Singh was born on 17 October 1792 in a Dogra Rajput family. His father was Mian Kishore Singh Jamwal. He joined the army of Ranjit Singh in 1809 and was sufficiently successful to be granted a jagir worth 12,000 rupees and also 90 horses. [1]

In 1808, following another conflict, Battle of Jammu (1808) was annexed by Ranjit Singh. Raja Jit Singh, who was expelled, found refuge in British India, and later received in appanage the estate of Akhrota, Pathankot. Ranjit Singh appointed a governor to administer the newly conquered area which was expanded in 1819 with the annexation of Kashmir by a Sikh force. In 1820, in appreciation of services rendered by the family, and by Gulab Singh in particular, Ranjit Singh bestowed the Jammu region as a hereditary fief upon Kishore Singh. [1] Apart from their sterling services, the family's intimate association with the region commended Kishore Singh's candidature to the Lahore court.[ citation needed ]

In 1821, Gulab Singh captured conquered Rajouri from Aghar Khan and Kishtwar from Raja Tegh Mohammad Singh (alias Saifullah Khan).[ citation needed ] That same year, Gulab Singh took part in the Sikh conquest of Dera Ghazi Khan. He also captured and executed his own clansman, Mian Dido Jamwal, who had been leading a rebellion against the Sikhs.[ citation needed ]

A statue of Gulab Singh at Amar Mahal Palace, India. Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir.jpg
A statue of Gulab Singh at Amar Mahal Palace, India.

Raja of Jammu

The palace of Maharaja Gulab Singh, on the banks of Tawi River, Jammu, mid 19th century. The palace of Maharaja Gulab Singh, on the banks of Chenab, Jammu, mid 19th century.jpg
The palace of Maharaja Gulab Singh, on the banks of Tawi River, Jammu, mid 19th century.

Kishore Singh died in 1822 and Gulab Singh was confirmed as Raja of Jammu by his suzerain, Ranjit Singh. [1] Shortly afterward, Gulab Singh secured a formal declaration of renunciation from his kinsman, the deposed Raja Jit Singh.[ citation needed ]

As Raja (Governor-General/Chief) of Jammu, Gulab Singh was one of the most powerful chiefs of the Sikh Empire. Under the Imperial and Feudal Army arrangement, he was entitled to keep a personal army of 3 Infantry Regiments, 15 Light Artillery Guns and 40 Garrison Guns. [4]

In 1824 Gulab Singh captured the fort of Samartah, near the holy Mansar Lake. In 1827 he accompanied the Sikh Commander-in-Chief Hari Singh Nalwa, who fought and defeated a horde of Afghan rebels led by Sayyid Ahmed at the Battle of Shaidu. Between 1831-39 Ranjit Singh bestowed on Gulab Singh the jagir of the salt mines in northern Punjab, [1] and the nearby Punjabi towns like Bhera, Jhelum, Rohtas, and Gujrat.[ citation needed ]

In 1837, after the death of Hari Singh Nalwa in the Battle of Jamrud, the Muslim tribes of Tanolis, Karrals, Dhunds, Satis and Sudhans rose in revolt in Hazara and Poonch. The insurgency was led by Shams Khan, a Chief of the Sudhan tribe [5] [6] and former confidential follower of Raja Dhyan Singh [6] . Thus the betrayal of Shams Khan Sudhan against the regime was taken personally and Gulab Singh was given the task of crushing the rebellion. After defeating the insurgents in Hazara and Murree hills, Gulab Singh stayed at Kahuta for some time and promoted disunion among the insurgents. Then his forces were sent to crush the insurgents. Eventually, Shams Khan Sudhan and his nephew were betrayed and their heads were cut off during their sleep while the other tribesmen lieutenants were captured, flayed alive and put to death with cruelty. The contemporary British commentators state that the local population suffered immensely. [7]

Intrigue at Lahore

On the death of Ranjit Singh in 1839, Lahore became a center of conspiracies and intrigue in which the three Jammu brothers were involved. They succeeded in placing the administration in the hands of Prince Nau Nihal Singh with Raja Dhian Singh as prime minister. However, in 1840, during the funeral procession of his father Maharaja Kharak Singh, Nau Nihal Singh together with Udham Singh, son of Gulab Singh, died when an old brick gate collapsed on them.[ citation needed ]

In January 1841 Sher Singh, son of Ranjit Singh tried to seize the throne of Lahore but was repulsed by the Jammu brothers. The defense of the fort was in the hands of Gulab Singh.[ citation needed ]

After peace was made between the two sides, Gulab Singh and his men were allowed to leave with their weapons. On this occasion, he is said to have taken away a large amount of the Lahore treasure to Jammu.

Recognition as Maharaja

Maharaja Gulab Singh rides a well decorated white stallion across a green field. Circa 1840-45. Gulabsingh1840.jpg
Maharaja Gulab Singh rides a well decorated white stallion across a green field. Circa 1840-45.
Memorial Shrines for Gulab Singh and Ranbir Singh, Jammu, India, ca.1875-ca.1940 Memorial Shrines for Gulab Singh and Ranbir Singh, Jammu, India, ca.1875-ca.1940 (imp-cswc-GB-237-CSWC47-LS10-008).jpg
Memorial Shrines for Gulab Singh and Ranbir Singh, Jammu, India, ca.1875-ca.1940

Meanwhile, in the continuing intrigues at Lahore, the Sandhawalia Sardars (related to Ranjit Singh) murdered Raja Dhian Singh and the Sikh Maharaja Sher Singh in 1842. [8] Subsequently, Gulab Singh’s youngest brother, Suchet Singh, and nephew, Hira Singh, were also murdered. As the administration collapsed the Khalsa soldiery clamored for the arrears of their pay. In 1844 the Lahore court commanded an invasion of Jammu to extract money from Gulab Singh, reputed to be the richest Raja north of the Sutlej River as he had taken most of the Lahore treasury.

However, the Gulab Singh agreed to negotiate on his behalf with the Lahore court. These negotiations imposed an indemnity of 27 lakh Nanakshahee Rupees on the Raja.

During First Anglo-Sikh War, Maharaja Gulab Singh Jamwal (Dogra) helped the British Empire against the Sikhs. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] After the defeat of the Sikh Empire The Treaty of Lahore (9 March 1846) and the Treaty of Amritsar (1846) (16 March 1846) were signed. As part of The Treaty of Lahore, signed between the 7 year old Maharaja Duleep Singh (Sikh) (4 September 1838 – 22 October 1893) and the British Empire on (9 March 1846), Jammu was taken over by the British Empire on paper. [21] [11] [9] [10] [11] [22] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] . Article 12 of the Treaty of Lahore stated: "In consideration of the services rendered by Rajah Golab Sing of Jummoo, to the Lahore State, towards procuring the restoration of the relations of amity between the Lahore and British Governments, the Maharajah hereby agrees to recognize the Independent sovereignty of Rajah Golab Sing in such territories and districts in the hills as may be made over to the said Rajah Golab Sing, by separate Agreement between himself and the British Government, with the dependencies thereof, which may have been in the Rajah's possession since the time of the late Maharajah Khurruck Sing, and the British Government, in consideration of the good conduct of Rajah Golab Sing, also agrees to recognize his independence in such territories, and to admit him to the privileges of a separate Treaty with the British Government."

Then as part of the The Treaty of Amritsar (1846) Maharaja Gulab Singh Jamwal agreed to serve the British Empire under Article 6: "Maharajah Gulab Singh engages for himself and heirs to join, with the whole of his Military Forces, the British troops when employed within the hills or in the territories adjoining his possessions." and in exchange under Article 9 "The British Government will give its aid to Maharajah Gulab Singh in protecting his territories from external enemies." [21] [11] [9] [10] [11] [22] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] After which the Dogras served the Britsh Empire in the Indian Rebellion and in the various wars [21] [11] [9] [10] [11] [22] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] . Hence a large percentage of the Kashmiris fought in the First World War and in the Second World Wars, as part of the Jammu and Kashmir State Forces and directly with the Royal Navy, The British Army, the merchant navy and Gilgit Scouts as mentioned by Major William A. Brown in his book THE GILGIT REBELLION 1947. Hence 1.1 million Kasmiris now live in the UK. The high taxes to support these wars were resented by all the Kashmiris including the Hindus, Muslims and the Sikhs [21] [11] [9] [10] [11] [22] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] . And combined with the tens of thousands of trained men, comming back from the Second World War generated a highly volatile situation in 1947. [11]

Lacking the resources to occupy such a large region immediately after annexing portions of Punjab, the British got Gulab Singh pay 75 thousand Nanakshahee Rupees for the war-indemnity. The angry courtiers of Lahore (particularly the baptized Sikh, Lal Singh) then incited the governor of Kashmir to rebel against Gulab Singh, but this rebellion was defeated, thanks in great part to the action of Herbert Edwardes, Assistant Resident at Lahore. The Kashmiris also rebelled throughout Jammu and Kashmir [11] .

To pay for this, from the very start the Kashmiris were heavily taxed and complained of being sold into slavery and extensive liturature was written by the British writers regarding these treaties [21] [11] [9] [10] [11] [22] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73) abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73) came into force before the Treaty of Amritsar (1846) was signed (16 March 1846). As far back as 1868 in the book Cashmere Misgovernment, Robert Thorp stated that the people of Kashmir were sold into slavery to Gulab Singh [23] . Arthur Brinkman in his paper "The Wrongs of Cashmere" written in December 1867, also states he: "informs the reader of the wretched condition of a people we sold against their inclination, and their united cry to us." Arthur Brinkman was an Anglican Missionry and the Anglican Missionary Groups had worked with the Anti Slavery Society to push for The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 a few years earlier [24]

The area west of the River Indus was not in the The Treaty of Lahore (9 March 1846) and the Treaty of Amritsar (16 March 1846). The Gilgit Agency was independent at the time. In the book THE GILGIT REBELLION 1947 By William A. Brown writes extensively about this area. [21] [11]

In the second Sikh War of 1849, he allowed his Sikh soldiers to desert and go to fight alongside their brethren in Punjab. The treaties of Chushul and Amritsar had defined the borders of the Kingdom of Jammu in the east, south, and west but the northern border was still undefined. In 1850 the fort of Chilas in the Dard country was conquered.

Maharaja Gulab Singh died on 30 June 1857 and was succeeded by his son, Ranbir Singh.

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 K. Jagjit Singh. "GULAB SINGH (1792-1857)". Encyclopaedia of Sikhism. Punjabi University Patiala. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  2. Fenech, E. Louis; Mcleod, H. W. (11 June 2014). Historical Dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 130. ISBN   978-1-4422-3601-1.
  3. Panikkar, Gulab Singh (1930 , p. 112)
  4. The History of Sikhs, J D Cunningham, Appendix
  5. Sir Alexander Cunningham, Four Reports Made During The Years 1862-63-64-65, (The Government Central Press, 1871), Volume I, Page 13.
  6. 1 2 Sir Lepel H. Griffin, The Panjab Chiefs., (T. C. McCarthy, Chronicle Press, 1865), Page 594.
  7. Hastings Donnan, Marriage Among Muslims: Preference and Choice in Northern Pakistan, (Brill, 1997), 41.
  8. J. S. Grewal (1998). The Sikhs of the Punjab. Cambridge University Press.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Fenech, E. Louis; Mcleod, H. W. (11 June 2014). Historical Dictionary of Sikhism. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 130. ISBN   978-1-4422-3601-1.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 6 G. S. Chhabra (7 February 2011). Advance Study in the History of Modern India (Volume-2: 1803-1920). p. 188.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 William A. Brown. THE GILGIT REBELLION 1947.
  12. Pranay Gupte (15 February 2012). Mother India: A Political Biography of Indira Gandhi. p. 266. ISBN   9780143068266.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Stanley Wolpert. India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict Or Cooperation?. p. 21.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Christopher Snedden. Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris. p. 67.
  15. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Bawa, Satinder Singh (1974). The Jammu Fox: A Biography of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Kashmir, 1792-1857. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 263.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mridu Rai. Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights, and the History of Kashmir. p. 20.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Raja Afsar Khan, 2006 - Islam. The Concept, Volume 26, Issues 1-6. p. 42.
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Vijay Kumar. Anglo-American Plot Against Kashmir. People's Publishing House, 1954 - Jammu and Kashmir. p. 10.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 G. M. D. Sufi. Kashir, Being a History of Kashmir from the Earliest Times to Our Own, Volume 2. Light & Life Publishers, 1974 - Jammu and Kashmir.
  20. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Satinder Singh Bawa. Gulab Singh of Jammu, Ladakh, and Kashmir, 1792-1846 University of Wisconsin--Madison, 1966. p. 218.
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 William A. Brown. THE GILGIT REBELLION 1947.
  22. 1 2 3 4 5 Pranay Gupte (15 February 2012). Mother India: A Political Biography of Indira Gandhi. p. 266. ISBN   9780143068266.
  23. Robert Thorp (1868). Cashmere Misgovernment. pp. 2–.
  24. W. Mulligan, M. Bric. A Global History of Anti-Slavery Politics in the Nineteenth Century. pp. 152–.

Bibliography

Further reading

Gulab Singh
Born: 18 October 1792 Died: 30 June 1857
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jit Singh
(as Raja of Jammu (tributary to the Sikh Empire))
Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir
1846–1857
Succeeded by
Ranbir Singh

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