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Sikh Empire
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{{distinguish|Kingdom of Sikkim}}{{short description|Empire in the Indian subcontinent that existed from 1799 to 1849}}{{Use Indian English|date=July 2016}}{{Use dmy dates|date=February 2011}}







factoids
| common_name = Sikh Empire| year_start = 1799| year_end = 1849| date_start = 7 July| date_end = 29 March| p1 = Sikh Confederacy| flag_p1 = Kattar Dhal Talwar.jpg| border_p1 = no| p2 = Durrani Empire| flag_p2 = Flag of Herat until 1842.svg| p3 = Maratha Empire| flag_p3 = Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg| border_p3 = no(British India)}}| flag_s1 = British Raj Red Ensign.svg(princely state)}}| flag_s2 = Jammu-Kashmir-flag-1936-1953.gif| image_flag = Sikh Empire flag.svgNishan Sahib>Sikh Empire Flag| flag_border = no| era = Early modern period| event_start = Capture of Lahore by Ranjit Singh| event_end = End of Second Anglo-Sikh War| image_map = Sikh Empire tri-lingual.jpg| image_map_caption = Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Sikh Empire at its peak in c. 1839| capital = Lahore| national_anthem = Deg Tegh Fateh| stat_pop1 = 3,500,000Amarinder Singh`s The Last Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar| stat_year1 = 1831| stat_area1 = | religion = SikhismCoin>Sikke
  • Persian (court)BOOK, Fenech, Louis E., The Sikh Zafar-namah of Guru Gobind Singh: A Discursive Blade in the Heart of the Mughal Empire, 2013, Oxford University Press (USA), 978-0199931453, 239, We see such acquaintance clearly within the Sikh court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, for example, the principal language of which was Persian.,
  • Punjabi
  • Dogri
  • Kashmiri
  • Pashto}}| government_type = Monarchy| title_leader = Maharaja| leader1 = Ranjit Singh| year_leader1 = 1801–1839| leader2 = Kharak Singh| year_leader2 = 1839| leader3 = Nau Nihal Singh| year_leader3 = 1839–1840| leader4 = Chand Kaur| year_leader4 = 1840–1841| leader5 = Sher Singh| year_leader5 = 1841–1843| leader6 = Duleep Singh| year_leader6 = 1843–1849
Jind Kaur {{small>(regent)}}| year_leader7 = 1843–1849| title_representative = | representative1 = | year_representative1 = Vizier>WazirDATE=1990 URL=HTTPS://BOOKS.GOOGLE.COM/BOOKS?ID=2_NRYFANSOYC&PG=PA107 PUBLISHER=CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS ISBN=0 521 63764 3, 15 April 2014, | year_deputy1 = 1799–1818| deputy2 = Dhian Singh Dogra| year_deputy2 = 1818–1843| deputy3 = Hira Singh Dogra| year_deputy3 = 1843–1844Jawahar Singh (wazir)>Jawahar Singh Aulakh| year_deputy4 = 14 May 1845 – 21 September 1845| deputy5 = Lal Singh| year_deputy5 = 1845 – 1846Gulab Singh{{sfn>Satinder Singh, Raja Gulab Singh's Rolepp=46-50}}| year_deputy6 = 31 January 1846 – 9 March 1846
  • China
  • India
  • Pakistan{edih}| demonym = | area_km2 = | area_rank = | GDP_PPP = | GDP_PPP_year = | HDI = | HDI_year =
}}{{Part of History of India}}The Sikh Empire (also Sikh Khalsa Raj or Sarkar-i KhalsaBOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 15, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, ) was a state originating in the Indian subcontinent, formed under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who established a secular empire based in the Punjab.WEB,weblink Ranjit Singh: A Secular Sikh Sovereign by K.S. Duggal. ''(Date:1989. ISBN 8170172446''), Exoticindiaart.com, 3 September 2015, 2009-08-09, The empire existed from 1799, when Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, to 1849 and was forged on the foundations of the Khalsa from a collection of autonomous Sikh misls.EB1911, Ranjit Singh, 22, 892, BOOK, Grewal, J. S., The Sikhs of the Punjab, Chapter 6: The Sikh empire (1799–1849), Cambridge University Press, 1990, The New Cambridge History of India,weblink 0 521 63764 3, At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. Religiously diverse, with an estimated population of 3.5 million in 1831 (making it the 19th most populous country at the time),Amarinder Singh`s The Last Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar it was the last major region of the Indian subcontinent to be annexed by the British.The foundations of the Sikh Empire can be traced to as early as 1707, the year of Aurangzeb's death and the start of the downfall of the Mughal Empire. With the Mughals significantly weakened, the Sikh army, known as the Dal Khalsa, a rearrangement of the Khalsa inaugurated by Guru Gobind Singh, led expeditions against them and the Afghans in the west. This led to a growth of the army which split into different confederacies or semi-independent misls. Each of these component armies controlled different areas and cities. However, in the period from 1762 to 1799, Sikh commanders of the misls appeared to be coming into their own as independent warlords.The formation of the empire began with the capture of Lahore, by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, from its Afghan ruler, Zaman Shah Durrani, and the subsequent and progressive expulsion of Afghans from the Punjab, by defeating them in the Afghan-Sikh Wars, and the unification of the separate Sikh misls. Ranjit Singh was proclaimed as Maharaja of the Punjab on 12 April 1801 (to coincide with Vaisakhi), creating a unified political state. Sahib Singh Bedi, a descendant of Guru Nanak, conducted the coronation.The Encyclopaedia of Sikhism {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20140508213214weblink |date=8 May 2014 }}, section Sāhib Siṅgh Bedī, Bābā (1756–1834). Ranjit Singh rose to power in a very short period, from a leader of a single misl to finally becoming the Maharaja of Punjab. He began to modernise his army, using the latest training as well as weapons and artillery. After the death of Ranjit Singh, the empire was weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement. Finally, by 1849 the state was dissolved after the defeat in the Anglo-Sikh wars. The Sikh Empire was divided into four provinces: Lahore, in Punjab, which became the Sikh capital, Multan, also in Punjab, Peshawar and Kashmir from 1799 to 1849.

Background

Mughal rule of Punjab

The Sikh religion began around the time of the conquest of Northern India by Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire. His conquering grandson, Akbar the Great, supported religious freedom and after visiting the langar of Guru Amar Das got a favourable impression of Sikhism. As a result of his visit he donated land to the langar and the Mughals did not have any conflict with Sikh gurus until his death in 1605.{{harvnb|Kalsi|2005|pages=106–107}} His successor Jahangir, however, saw the Sikhs as a political threat. He ordered Guru Arjun Dev, who had been arrested for supporting the rebellious Khusrau Mirza,{{harvnb|Markovits|2004|page=98}} to change the passage about Islam in the Adi Granth. When the Guru refused, Jahangir ordered him to be put to death by torture.BOOK, Melton, J. Gordon, Jan 15, 2014, Faiths Across Time: 5,000 Years of Religious History,weblink ABC-CLIO, 1163, Nov 3, 2014, Guru Arjan Dev's martyrdom led to the sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind, declaring Sikh sovereignty in the creation of the Akal Takht and the establishment of a fort to defend Amritsar.{{harvnb|Jestice|2004|pages=345–346}} Jahangir attempted to assert authority over the Sikhs by jailing Guru Hargobind at Gwalior, but released him after a number of years when he no longer felt threatened. The Sikh community did not have any further issues with the Mughal empire until the death of Jahangir in 1627. The succeeding son of Jahangir, Shah Jahan, took offence at Guru Hargobind's "sovereignty" and after a series of assaults on Amritsar forced the Sikhs to retreat to the Sivalik Hills.The next guru, Guru Har Rai, maintained the guruship in these hills by defeating local attempts to seize Sikh land and playing a neutral role in the power struggle between two of the sons of Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh, for control of the Mughal Empire. The ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, moved the Sikh community to Anandpur and travelled extensively to visit and preach in defiance of Aurangzeb, who attempted to install Ram Rai as new guru. Guru Tegh Bahadur aided Kashmiri Pandits in avoiding conversion to Islam and was arrested by Aurangzeb. When offered a choice between conversion to Islam and death, he chose to die rather than compromise his principles and was executed.{{harvnb|Johar|1975|pages=192–210}}

Formation of the Khalsa

Guru Gobind Singh assumed the guruship in 1675 and to avoid battles with Sivalik Hill rajas moved the guruship to Paunta. There he built a large fort to protect the city and garrisoned an army to protect it. The growing power of the Sikh community alarmed the Sivalik Hill rajas who attempted to attack the city but Guru Gobind Singh's forces routed them at the Battle of Bhangani. He moved on to Anandpur and established the Khalsa, a collective army of baptised Sikhs, on 30 March 1699. The establishment of the Khalsa united the Sikh community against various Mughal-backed claimants to the guruship.{{harvnb|Jestice|2004|pages=312–313}} In 1701, a combined army of the Sivalik Hill rajas and the Mughals under Wazir Khan attacked Anandpur. The Khalsa retreated but regrouped to defeat the Mughals at the Battle of Muktsar. In 1707, Guru Gobind Singh accepted an invitation by Aurangzeb's successor Bahadur Shah I to meet him. The meeting took place at Agra on 23 July 1707.WEB,weblink Gobind Singh Guru (1666-1708), Ganda Singh, Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, Punjabi University Patiala, 11 August 2014, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20140508213214weblink">weblink 8 May 2014, dmy-all,

Banda Singh Bahadur

In August 1708 Guru Gobind Singh visited Nanded. There he met a Bairāgī recluse, Madho Das, who converted to Sikhism, rechristened as Banda Singh Bahadur.WEB,weblink Banda Singh Bahadur, Encyclopædia Britannica, 15 May 2013, A short time before his death, Guru Gobind Singh ordered him to reconquer Punjab region and gave him a letter that commanded all Sikhs to join him. After two years of gaining supporters, Banda Singh Bahadur initiated an agrarian uprising by breaking up the large estates of Zamindar families and distributing the land to the poor peasants who farmed the land.{{harvnb|Singh|2008 |pages=25–26}} Banda Singh Bahadur started his rebellion with the defeat of Mughal armies at Samana and Sadhaura and the rebellion culminated in the defeat of Sirhind. During the rebellion, Banda Singh Bahadur made a point of destroying the cities in which Mughals had been cruel to the supporters of Guru Gobind Singh. He executed Wazir Khan in revenge for the deaths of Guru Gobind Singh's sons and Pir Budhu Shah after the Sikh victory at Sirhind.{{harvnb|Nesbitt |2005 |page=61}} He ruled the territory between the Sutlej river and the Yamuna river, established a capital in the Himalayas at Lohgarh and struck coinage in the names of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh. In 1716, his army was defeated by the Mughals after he attempted to defend his fort at Gurdas Nangal. He was captured along with 700 of his men and sent to Delhi, where they were all tortured and executed after refusing to convert to Islam.BOOK, Singh, Kulwant, Sri Gur Panth Prakash: Episodes 1 to 81, 2006, Institute of Sikh Studies, 9788185815282, 415,

Dal Khalsa period

 
File:PicKingRaja.jpg|thumb|200px|right|Nawab Jassa Singh AhluwaliaJassa Singh Ahluwalia

Sikh Confederacy

The period from 1716 to 1799 was a highly turbulent time politically and militarily in the Punjab region. This was caused by the overall decline of the Mughal empireWEB,weblink Sikh Period - National Fund for Cultural Heritage, Heritage.gov.pk, 14 August 1947, 9 August 2009, that left a power vacuum in the region that was eventually filled by the Sikhs of the Dal Khalsa, meaning "Khalsa army" or "Khalsa party", in the late 18th century, after defeating several invasions by the Afghan rulers of the Durrani Empire and their allies,Meredith L. Runion The History of Afghanistan pp 70 Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 {{ISBN|0313337985}} remnants of the Mughals and their administrators, the Mughal-allied Hindu hill-rajas of the Sivalik Hills,BOOK, Patwant Singh, The Sikhs,weblink 2007, Crown Publishing Group, 9780307429339, 270, WEB,weblink Sikhs' Relation with Hill States, www.thesikhencyclopedia.com, en-GB, 2019-04-13, and hostile local Muslims siding with other Muslim forces. The Sikhs of the Dal Khalsa eventually formed their own independent Sikh administrative regions, Misls, derived from a Perso-Arabic term meaning "similar", headed by Misldars. These Misls were united in large part by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Cis-Sutlej states

The Cis-Sutlej states were a group of SikhBOOK, Jayanta Kumar Ray, Aspects of India's International Relations, 1700 to 2000: South Asia and the World,weblink 2007, Pearson Education, 9788131708347, 379, states in the Punjab region lying between the Sutlej River to the north, the Himalayas to the east, the Yamuna River and Delhi district to the south, and Sirsa District to the west. These states fell under the suzeraignty of the Maratha Empire after 1785 before the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803–1805, after which the Marathas lost control of the territory to the British East India Company. The Cis-Sutlej states included Kalsia, Kaithal, Patiala State, Nabha State, Jind State, Thanesar, Maler Kotla, Ludhiana, Kapurthala State, Ambala, Ferozpur and Faridkot State, among others. While these Sikh states had been set up by the Dal Khalsa, they did not become part of the Sikh Empire and there was a mutual ban on warfare following the treaty of Amritsar in 1809 (in which the empire forfeited the claim to the Cis-Sutlej States, and the British were not to interfere north of the Sutlej or in the empire's existing territory south of the Sutlej),WEB,weblink Lt. Gen. Kirpal Singh Randhawa, PVSM, AVSM (Retd.), Sikh Wars,weblink en-GB, 2019-04-13, following attempts by Ranjit Singh to wrest control of these states from the British between 1806 and 1809BOOK, Jayanta Kumar Ray, Aspects of India's International Relations, 1700 to 2000: South Asia and the World,weblink 2007, Pearson Education, 9788131708347, 379–380, Sangat Singh, the Sikhs in History. The Sikh crossing of the Sutlej, following British militarization of the border with Punjab (from 2,500 men and six guns in 1838 to 17,612 men and 66 guns in 1844, and 40,523 men and 94 guns in 1845), and plans on using the newly conquered territory of Sindh as a springboard to advance on the Sikh-held region of Multan,BOOK, Jayanta Kumar Ray, Aspects of India's International Relations, 1700 to 2000: South Asia and the World,weblink 2007, Pearson Education, 9788131708347, 381, would eventually result in conflict with the British.

Empire

File:Punjabin_1809_AD-History_of_Punjab_pg32.jpg|thumb|right|The expanding empire in 1809 CE. The Cis-Sutlej states are visible south of the Sutlej riverSutlej riverThe formal start of the Sikh Empire began with the unification of the Misls by 1801, creating a unified political state. All the Misl leaders, who were affiliated with the army, were the nobility with usually long and prestigious family backgrounds in Sikh history. The main geographical footprint of the empire was from the Punjab region to Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, Sindh in the south, and Tibet in the east. The religious demography of the empire is estimated to have been just over 10%BOOK, Kartar Singh Duggal, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Last to Lay Arms,weblink 2001, Abhinav Publications, 9788170174103, 55, to 12%BOOK, J.S. Grewal, The Sikhs of the Punjab, Volumes 2–3,weblink 1998, Cambridge University Press, 9780521637640, 113, Sikh, 80% Muslim, and just under 10% Hindu. The population was 3.5 million, according to Amarinder Singh's The Last Sunset: The Rise and Fall of the Lahore Durbar.{{citation needed|date=April 2019}} An estimated 90% of the Sikh population at the time, and more than half of the total population, was concentrated in the upper Bari, Jalandhar, and upper Rechna Doabs, and in the areas of their greatest concentration formed about one third of the population in the 1830s; half of the Sikh population of this core region was in the area covered by the later districts of Lahore and Amritsar.BOOK, J. S. Grewal, The Sikhs of the Punjab, Volumes 2–3,weblink 1998, Cambridge University Press, 9780521637640, 113, In 1799 Ranjit Singh moved the capital to Lahore from Gujranwala, where it had been established in 1763 by his grandfather, Charat Singh.BOOK,weblink World and Its Peoples: Middle East, Western Asia, and Northern Africa, 2007, Marshall Cavendish, 9780761475712, 411, File:Ranjit Singh holding court - Court and Camp of Runjeet Singh - pg203.jpg|Ranjit Singh holding court in 1838 CE.|thumb|right|Ranjit SinghRanjit SinghHari Singh Nalwa was Commander-in-Chief of the Sikh Khalsa Army from 1825 to 1837.BOOK, War, Culture and Society in Early Modern South Asia, 1740–1849, Roy, K., Roy, L. D. H. K., 2011, Taylor & Francis, 9781136790874,weblink 147, 10 December 2014, He is known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Kashmir, Attock and Peshawar. Nalwa led the Sikh army in freeing Shah Shuja from Kashmir and secured the Koh-i-Nor diamond for Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He served as governor of Kashmir and Hazara and established a mint on behalf of the Sikh empire to facilitate revenue collection. His frontier policy of holding the Khyber Pass was later used by the British Raj. Nalwa was responsible for expanding the frontier of Sikh empire to the Indus River. At the time of his death, the western boundary of the Sikh Empire was the Khyber Pass.

Geography

missing image!
- Joppen1907India1805a.jpg -
thumbnail|Indian subcontinent in 1805 CE.
The Punjab was a region straddling India and the Afghan Durrani Empire. The following modern-day political divisions made up the historical Sikh Empire:
  • Punjab region, to Mithankot in the south
  • Kashmir, from 5 July 1819 to 15 March 1846, India/Pakistan/ChinaThe Masters Revealed, (Johnson, p. 128)Britain and Tibet 1765–1947, (Marshall, p.116)
    • Kashmir Valley, from 1819 to 1846
    • Gilgit, Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan, from 1842 to 1846WEB, Ben Cahoon,weblink Pakistan Princely States, Worldstatesmen.org, 9 August 2009,
    • Ladakh, 1834–1846BOOK, Pandey, Dr. Hemant Kumar, Singh, Manish Raj, India's Major Military and Rescue Operations,weblink 2017, Horizon Books, 9789386369390, 57, WEB,weblink Frontier: The Making of the Northern and Eastern Border in Ladakh From 1834 to the Present, Jonathan M., Deng, SIT Digital Collections Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. 920., 2010,
  • Khyber Pass, Afghanistan/PakistanThe Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion, (Docherty, p. 187)
    • Peshawar, PakistanThe Khyber Pass: A History of Empire and Invasion, (Docherty, pp. 185–187) (taken in 1818, retaken in 1834)
    • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan (documented from Hazara (taken in 1818, again in 1836) to Bannu)Bennett-Jones, Owen; Singh, Sarina, Pakistan & the Karakoram Highway Page 199
  • Parts of Western Tibet,BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, vii, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, China (briefly in 1841, to Taklakot),BOOK, Kartar Singh Duggal, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Last to Lay Arms,weblink 2001, Abhinav Publications, 9788170174103, 131,
Jamrud District (Khyber Agency, Pakistan) was the westernmost limit of the Sikh Empire. The westward expansion was stopped in the Battle of Jamrud, in which the Afghans managed to kill the prominent Sikh general Hari Singh Nalwa in an offensive, though the Sikhs successfully held their position at their Jamrud fort. Ranjit Singh sent his General Sirdar Bahadur Gulab Singh Powind thereafter as reinforcement and he crushed the Pashtun rebellion harshly.Hastings Donnan, Marriage Among Muslims: Preference and Choice in Northern Pakistan, (Brill, 1997), 41.weblink In 1838, Ranjit Singh with his troops marched into Kabul to take part in the victory parade along with the British after restoring Shah Shoja to the Afghan throne at Kabul.Encyclopædia Britannica – Ranjit Singh

Policy

The Sikh Empire was idiosyncratic in that it allowed men from religions other than their own to rise to commanding positions of authority.Kartar Singh Duggal (1 January 2001). Maharaja Ranjit Singh: The Last to Lay Arms. Abhinav Publications. pp. 125–126. {{ISBN|978-81-7017-410-3}}.The Fakir brothers were trusted personal advisors and assistants as well as close friends to Ranjit Singh,BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, ix, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, particularly Fakir Azizuddin, who would serve in the positions of foreign minister of the empire and translator for the maharaja, and played important roles in such important events as the negotiations with the British, during which he convinced Ranjit Singh to maintain diplomatic ties with the British and not to go to war with them in 1808, as British troops were moved along the Sutlej in pursuance of the British policy of confining Ranjit Singh to the north of the river, and setting the Sutlej as the dividing boundary between the Sikh and British empires;BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 27, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, negotiating with Dost Muhammad Khan during his unsuccessful attempt to retake Peshawar, and ensuring the succession of the throne during the maharaja's last days in addition to caretaking after a stroke, as well as occasional military assignments throughout his career.BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 28, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, The Fakir brothers were introduced to the maharaja when their father, Ghulam Muhiuddin, a physician, was summoned by him to treat an eye ailment soon after his capture of Lahore.BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 25, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, The other Fakir brothers were Imamuddin, one of his principal administration officers, and Nuruddin, who served as home minister and personal physician, were also granted jagirs by the Maharaja.BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, iv, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, Every year, while at Amritsar, Ranjit Singh visited shrines of holy people of other faiths, including several Muslim saints, which did not offend even the most religious Sikhs of his administration.BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 3, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, As relayed by Fakir Nuruddin, orders were issued to treat people of all faith groups, occupations,BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 19, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, and social levels equally and in accordance with the doctrines of their faith, per the Shastras and the Quran, as well as local authorities like judges and panches (local elder councils),BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 17, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, as well as banning forcible possession of others' land or of inhabited houses to be demolished.BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 18, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, There were special courts for Muslims which ruled in accordance to Muslim law in personal matters,BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 20, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, and common courts preceded over by judicial officers which administered justice under the customary law of the districts and socio-ethnic groups, and were open to all who wanted to be governed by customary religious law, whether Hindu, Sikh, or Muslim.One of Ranjit Singh's first acts after the 1799 capture of Lahore was to revive the offices of the hereditary Qazis and Muftis which had been prevalent in Mughal times. Kazi Nizamuddin was appointed to decide marital issues among Muslims, while Muftis Mohammad Shahpuri and Sadulla Chishti were entrusted with powers to draw up title-deeds relating to transfers of immovable property. The old mohalladari system was reintroduced with each mahallah, or neighborhood subdivision, placed under the charge of one of its members. The office of Kotwal, or prefect of police, was conferred upon a Muslim, Imam Bakhsh.(File:Sikh_helmet.jpg|thumb|left|x400px|Sikh warrior helmet with butted mail neckguard, 1820–1840, iron overlaid with gold with mail neckguard of iron and brass)Generals were also drawn from a variety of communities, along with prominent Sikh generals like Hari Singh Nalwa, Fateh Singh Dullewalia, Nihal Singh Atariwala, Chattar Singh Attariwalla, and Fateh Singh Kalianwala; Hindu generals included Dewan Mokham Chand Nayyar, his son, and his grandson, and Misr Diwan Chand Nayyar; and Muslim generals included Ilahi Bakhsh and Mian Ghaus Khan; one general, Balbhadra Kunwar, was a Nepalese Gurkha, and European generals included Jean-Francois Allard, Jean-Baptiste Ventura, and Paolo Avitabile. other notable generals of the Sikh Khalsa Army were Veer Singh Dhillon, Sham Singh Attariwala, Mahan Singh Mirpuri, and Zorawar Singh Kahluria, among others.The appointment of key posts in public offices was based on merit and loyalty, regardless of the social group or religion of the appointees, both in and around the court, and in higher as well as lower posts. Key posts in the civil and military administration were held by members of communities from all over the empire and beyond, including Sikhs, Muslims, Khatris, Brahmins, Dogras, Rajputs, Pashtuns, Europeans, and Americans, among others,BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 22, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, and worked their way up the hierarchy to attain merit. Dhian Singh, the prime minister, was a Dogra, whose brothers Gulab Singh and Suchet Singh served in the high-ranking administrative and military posts, respectively. Brahmins like finance minister Raja Dina Nath, Sahib Dyal, and others also served in financial capacities.BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 23, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, Muslims in prominent positions included the Fakir brothers, Kazi Nizamuddin, and Mufti Muhammad Shah, among others. Among the top-ranking Muslim officers there were two ministers, one governor and several district officers; there were 41 high-ranking Muslim officers in the army, including two generals and several colonels, and 92 Muslims were senior officers in the police, judiciary, legal department and supply and store departments. Thus, the government was run by an elite corps drawn from many communities, giving the empire the character of a secular system of government, even when built on theocratic foundations.BOOK, Waheeduddin, Fakir Syed, The Real Ranjit Singh, 1981, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India, 978-8173807787, 24, 1st,weblink 14 May 2019, A ban on cow slaughter, which can be related to Hindu sentiments, was universally imposed in the Sarkar Khalsaji.Lodrick, D. O. 1981. Sacred Cows, Sacred Places. Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 145Vigne, G. T., 1840. A Personal Narrative of a Visit to Ghuzni, Kabul, and Afghanistan, and a Residence at the Court of Dost Mohammed, London: Whittaker and Co. p. 246 The Real Ranjit Singh; by Fakir Syed Waheeduddin, published by Punjabi University, {{ISBN|81-7380-778-7}}, 1 January 2001, 2nd ed. Ranjit Singh also donated large amounts of gold for the plating of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple's dome.BOOK,weblink The Sacred City of the Hindus: An Account of Benares in Ancient and Modern Times, Matthew Atmore Sherring, Trübner & co., 1868, 51, BOOK, Madhuri Desai, Resurrecting Banaras: Urban Space, Architecture and Religious Boundaries,weblink 2007, ProQuest, 978-0-549-52839-5, The Sikhs attempted not to offend the prejudices of Muslims, noted Baron von Hügel, the Austrian botanist and explorer,Hügel, Baron (1845) 2000. Travels in Kashmir and the Panjab, containing a Particular Account of the Government and Character of the Sikhs, tr. Major T. B. Jervis. rpt, Delhi: Low Price Publications, p. 151 yet the Sikhs were described as harsh. In this regard, Masson's explanation is perhaps the most pertinent: "Though compared to the Afghans, the Sikhs were mild and exerted a protecting influence, yet no advantages could compensate to their Mohammedan subjects, the idea of subjection to infidels, and the prohibition to slay kine, and to repeat the azan, or 'summons to prayer'."Masson, Charles. 1842. Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan and the Panjab, 3 v. London: Richard Bentley (1) 37

Decline

File:SORS1.jpg|thumb|200px|right|The Samadhi of Ranjit Singh is located in Lahore, Pakistan, adjacent to the iconic Badshahi MosqueBadshahi MosqueAfter Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, the empire was severely weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement. This opportunity was used by the British East India Company to launch the Anglo-Sikh Wars.The Battle of Ferozeshah in 1845 marked many turning points, the British encountered the Punjab Army, opening with a gun-duel in which the Sikhs "had the better of the British artillery". As the British made advances, Europeans in their army were specially targeted, as the Sikhs believed if the army "became demoralised, the backbone of the enemy's position would be broken".Ranjit Singh: administration and British policy, (Prakash, p.31-33) The fighting continued throughout the night. The British position "grew graver as the night wore on", and "suffered terrible casualties with every single member of the Governor General's staff either killed or wounded".Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the last to lay arms, (Duggal, p.136-137) Nevertheless, the British army took and held Ferozeshah. British General Sir James Hope Grant recorded: "Truly the night was one of gloom and forbidding and perhaps never in the annals of warfare has a British Army on such a large scale been nearer to a defeat which would have involved annihilation."The reasons for the withdrawal of the Sikhs from Ferozeshah are contentious. Some believe that it was treachery of the non-Sikh high command of their own army which led to them marching away from a British force in a precarious and battered state. Others believe that a tactical withdrawal was the best policy.Frasier, G.M. (1990) Flashman and the Mountain of Light, Harper-Collins, LondonThe Sikh empire was finally dissolved at the end of the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849 into separate princely states and the British province of Punjab. Eventually, a Lieutenant Governorship was formed in Lahore as a direct representative of the British Crown.

Timeline

List of rulers

{|class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"!S. No.!Name!Portrait !colspan=2|Birth and death!colspan=3|Reign!colspan=2|Note|1Ranjit Singh>Maharaja Ranjit Singh75px)|13 November 1780|27 June 1839|12 April 1801|27 June 183918011206|27}}|The first Sikh ruler|Died in office |2Kharak Singh>Maharaja Kharak Singh75px)|22 February 1801|5 November 1840|27 June 1839|8 October 183918392710|8}}|Son of Ranjit Singh||3Nau Nihal Singh>Maharaja Nau Nihal Singh75px)|11 February 1820|6 November 1840|8 October 1839|6 November 18401839811|6}}|Son of Kharak Singh|Assassinated |4Chand Kaur>Maharani Chand Kaur{{small|(regent)}}75px)|1802|11 June 1842|6 November 1840|18 January 184118400601|18}}| Wife of Kharak Singh and the only female ruler of Sikh Empire|Abdicated|5Sher Singh>Maharaja Sher Singh75px)|4 December 1807|15 September 1843|18 January 1841|15 September 184318411809|15}}|Son of Ranjit Singh |Assassinated |6Duleep Singh>Maharaja Duleep Singh75px)|6 September 1838|22 October 1893|15 September 1843|29 March 184918431503|29}}|Son of Ranjit Singh|Deposed| —Jind Kaur>Maharani Jind Kaur{{small|(regent)}}75px)|1817|1 August 1863|15 September 1843|29 March 184918431503|29}}|Wife of Ranjit Singh|Deposed

Gallery

File:Maharaj Ranjit Singh.jpg|Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1830 CE.Miniature painting from the photo album of princely families in the Sikh and Rajput territories by Colonel James Skinner (1778–1841)File:Ranjit Singh at Harmandir Sahib - August Schoefft - Vienna 1850 - Princess Bamba Collection - Lahore Fort.jpg|Maharaja Ranjit Singh listening to Guru Granth Sahib being recited near the Akal Takht and Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab, India.

See also

References

Citations

{{Reflist|30em}}

Sources

  • {{citation |last = Heath |first = Ian |title = The Sikh Army 1799-1849 |publisher = Osprey Publishing (UK) |location= |year=2005 |pages= |ISBN = 1-84176-777-8 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=}}
  • {{citation |title = Sikhism |series = Religions of the World |last=Kalsi |first=Sewa Singh |authorlink= |year = 2005 |publisher=Chelsea House Publications |location= |ISBN = 978-0-7910-8098-6 |page= |pages= |url= }}
  • {{citation |title = A history of modern India, 1480-1950 |last=Markovits |first=Claude |authorlink= |year=2004 |publisher=Anthem Press |location=London, England |ISBN = 978-1-84331-152-2 |page= |pages= |url = |accessdate=}}
  • {{citation |title = Holy people of the world: a cross-cultural encyclopedia, Volume 3 |last=Jestice |first=Phyllis G. |authorlink= |year=2004 |publisher=ABC-CLIO |location= |ISBN = 978-1-57607-355-1 |url =weblink }}
  • {{citation |title = Guru Tegh Bahadur |last=Johar |first=Surinder Singh |authorlink= |year=1975 |publisher=University of Wisconsin--Madison Center for South Asian Studies |location= |ISBN = 81-7017-030-3 |page= |pages= |url =weblink }}
  • {{citation |title = Federalism, Nationalism and Development: India and the Punjab Economy |last=Singh |first=Pritam |authorlink= |year=2008 |publisher=Routledge |location= |ISBN = 978-0-415-45666-1 |page= |pages=25–26 |url =weblink }}
  • {{citation |title = Sikhism: A Very Short Introduction |last=Nesbitt |first=Eleanor |authorlink= |year=2005 |publisher=Oxford University Press, USA |location= |ISBN = 978-0-19-280601-7 |page = 61 |url = }}

Further reading

  • Volume 2: Evolution of Sikh Confederacies (1708–1769), By Hari Ram Gupta. (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. Date: 1999, {{ISBN|81-215-0540-2}}, 383 pages, illustrated).
  • The Sikh Army (1799–1849) (Men-at-arms), By Ian Heath. (Date: 2005, {{ISBN|1-84176-777-8}}).
  • The Heritage of the Sikhs By Harbans Singh. (Date: 1994, {{ISBN|81-7304-064-8}}).
  • Sikh Domination of the Mughal Empire. (Date: 2000, Second Edition. {{ISBN|81-215-0213-6}}).
  • The Sikh Commonwealth or Rise and Fall of Sikh Misls. (Date: 2001, revised edition. {{ISBN|81-215-0165-2}}).
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Lord of the Five Rivers, By Jean-Marie Lafont. (Oxford University Press. Date: 2002, {{ISBN|0-19-566111-7}}).
  • History of Panjab, By Dr L. M. Joshi and Dr Fauja Singh.

External links

{{Commons category}} {{Sikhism}}{{Sikh Empire}}{{Empires}}

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