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British Invaders Would have Lost To Sikh Empire But For Treachery Of 2 Generals

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Brits would have lost to Sikhs, ‘but for treachery by 2 Gens’

   
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.

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it is not a mystery how jammu and kashmir was given to the dogrey kuttey ...that was their payback for stabbing the sikhs in the back they were brahmins who had taken amrit to gain Ranjit singh's confidence and thus wheedle themselves into power positions against Gursikhs including Maharani Jindan

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6 hours ago, jkvlondon said:

it is not a mystery how jammu and kashmir was given to the dogrey kuttey ...that was their payback for stabbing the sikhs in the back they were brahmins who had taken amrit to gain Ranjit singh's confidence and thus wheedle themselves into power positions against Gursikhs including Maharani Jindan

Ranjit Singh, himself had a part to play. Despite the tenth master's injunctions to the contrary, he attached us to Hindu norms of "divine" autocracy.

https://tisarpanthdotcom.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/raj/

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How is this new? Isn’t it always our own that cause us the most pain? 

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6 hours ago, TejS said:

Ranjit Singh made them his own. He trusted them as their kin. Many Dogras are still Sikhs, so they are our own. Punjabi =/=Sikh

As far as I have read, they served him loyally while he was alive. They got bold upon his passing.

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16 minutes ago, KhoonKaBadlaKhoon said:

As far as I have read, they served him loyally while he was alive. They got bold upon his passing.

be specific certain dogrey were trustworthy but the most of them were conniving bhekhi sikhs who always dragged everything back to honouring their brahmin heritage e.g. changing colour of flags to hindu colours  to ripping off the nation to feed their fellow brahmins e.g. refusing to give monies to sikhs and muslims from treasury for their festivities under orders from the Maharaja and Maharani but insisting on brahmins being given double . They are the ones who murdered the loyal dogrey and Ranjit's sons ...so no they were never sikhs they didn't wear shastar etc they helped Ranjit mentally justify disbanding sarbat Khalsa standard of deciding panthic issues. 

 

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5 hours ago, KhoonKaBadlaKhoon said:

As far as I have read, they served him loyally while he was alive. They got bold upon his passing.

They were loyal as far as it suited them but in the meanwhile they was having secret communications with the British agents. For example the prime minister of sarkar-e-khalsa was a dogra hindu punjabi and the general gulab singh was also a hindu dogra. We all know how that turned out. The generals two who betrayed the Sikhs in the anglo-sikh wars were of brahmin hindu stock who hid themselves in hindu mandirs like a typical cowardly hindu brahmin after the surviving angry Sikh troops came looking for them after the battles, I think they were even lynched by the Sikhs after finding them from what i read from historical books. The white european generals and adventurist mercenaries who joined the Sikh Khalsa army were also traitors who even though they hated the British due to the American independence and  Napoleonic wars, they still had racial loyalty to other whites than non-white powers. So they would often have secret communications with the invading white british supremacists in order to do over those they were serving at the time.

Maharajah ranjit singh's govt and empire's downfall was that he trusted non-sikhs in key positions of power. He didn't purge or force conversion to those who wanted to be in his inner circle. Too many people with competing interests and loyalties then betrayed the mother land punjab and his empire because they saw better opportunities with the foreign invaders. Just like in present days we see the same thing in politics of punjab. They do each other over rather than unite and fight the common foreign occupying power (centralised Indian govt in delhi).

The house of pataila has always been a kingdom of sellouts and betrayers of the Sikh panth. The founder of patiala kingdom was a vessal state in all but name of afghan invader abdali when in the mean time the Sikhs of other kingdoms and land of punjab was busy fighting and dying to save the faith and their families of the onslaught. And just as his ancestor betrayed the kaum so did the grandfather of captain amrinder singh who became a freemason to help the british against Sikh empire/punjab. And so did his father and now captain amrinder singh is also a gaddar inheriting the long legacy of traitorous behaviour and mindset by putting his lot in and siding with Indian congress party in order to have some power in the indian establishment.

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