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Found 8 results

  1. 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.
  2. Important Sikh Exhibition

    Herbert art gallery and museum in Coventry are having an exhibition showing the heritage of Punjab and the throne of Maharaja Ranjit Singh ji. It will be on upto the 18th of January next year. https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/culturecoventry/craftsofthepunjab
  3. Sikhi And Monarchy

    Guru Hargobind Sahib decreed long ago that the highest temporal authority for his Sikhs was to be Sri Akaal Takhat Sahib. Later, his grandson Sri Guru Gobind Singh proclaimed that the ascendancy of the Panth was second only to that of Guru Granth Sahib. Did Maharaja Ranjit Singh violate the democratic spirit of our Gurus' injunctions when he established himself as an absolute monarch and a temporal power to rival Sri Akaal Takhat, the representative body of the Panth? It bears mentioning that in spite of his being emperor of Sarkar-Khalsa, the Maharaja often deferred to the judgement of Akali Phula Singh and dutifully responded to Akali Ji's Hukamnama after being declared an apostate for marrying a Muslim dancing woman. On the other hand, it was precisely this system of feudal aristocracy/monarchy that encompassed the eventual ruin of the Sikh Empire. Wily villains like the Dogras and the Brahmin generals who sold out the Khalsa army during the First Anglo-Sikh War would never have attained prominence if not for this system of nobles and royal courts. Secondly, how should Sikhs feel about contemporary monarchs, particularly in those nations where we exist as their nominal subjects (the United Kingdom, and technically Canada, Australia, New Zealand)? I'll confess that I've a hard time comprehending the hysteria that surrounds the Windsors, and I'm unsure if it's becoming for a Sikh to grovel and make propitiations before anyone except our Guru.
  4. http://dailysikhupdates.com/historical-weapons-maharaja-ranjit-singh-stolen-video/ I'm lost for words. It's a bloody good job the british took his golden throne, the kohinoor diamond and whatever else. Our heritage is being lost, looted and destroyed in punjab. At least the british have preserved what they took and made it available to the public.
  5. http://dailysikhupdates.com/2014/01/21/british-who-attended-maharaja-ranjit-singhs-funerals-letter/ thought this was interesting. love reading old accounts!
  6. so was just wondering was he an amridhari? because of his living and lifestyle he doesn't seem to sound like one. he had 26 wives most were hindus, 2 were muslims, he had 100s of dancing girls in his harem and also drank a lot of home made alcohol, in fact it was the alcohol that led to a stroke. he also was proclaimed maharaja with the bagawad gita as witness. he also donated a lot to hindu temples aswell, which I think is anti- gurmat? so I was wondering how did he end up becoming the maharaja of the Sikh empire? I herd the akhalis and nihangs never really warmed up to him and his funeral as well, some of his wives became sati's even his muslim wife gul begum. how was this allowed to happen? his wives actually chose to do sati and were even asked twice. why didn't the akal takht people try to stop this? but have to say under his raj the arts of punjab really developed. its a shame that most Sikhs are unaware of their artistic heritage thanks a Sikh era painting depicting his funeral
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