Empire of the Sikhs: The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

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  1. Admin Singh

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    Empire of the Sikhs: The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
    By Patwant Singh

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    Product Details


    • Amazon Sales Rank: #812171 in Books
    • Published on: 2009-03-28
    • Original language: English
    • Binding: Paperback
    • 312 pages

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    Reader's Comments:
    Empire of The Sikhs, The Life and Times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh by Patwant Singh and Jyoti Rai makes an exceptional read. The book to me belongs to three distinct categories and would attract selective readers from each. Sikhs, Historians and Wisdom Seekers. The last category of readers this book is aimed at entices me most. I had picked it up for the first reason, but half way through the book - I concluded that I am reading it because of the third. Wisdom in any English is good, but wisdom punctuated and corrected to the closest synonym makes for an interesting reading.
    I am not much of a student of History, but Sikh History for obvious reasons is close to my heart. One one side I believe that Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Sikh Empire have not earned their rightful place in the World History, on the other side I believe Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s over expansionist reign reflected and sowed seeds for the collapse of The Empire he created within few years.
    The book has been adopted by the G.K. Saberwal Foundation as the subject was close to our mother. The foundation carries the tasks, views and objectives which were close to her heart. Maharaja Ranjit Singh is also known as the Lion of Punjab. --- Simarprit Singh
     
  2. Archived_Member5

    Archived_Member5 (previously jeetijohal, account deactivated at her

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    Any thoughts on why the British did not murder the wife of Maharajah Ranjit Singh instead of bringing her and her son Dalip to England to be retained in confinement, seperated until the death of the wife and mother of Dalip ...

    There are many contradictory allegories on the internet all evading the issue of why she was retained, confined at Lancaster Gate, seperated from her son, until she died at the age of 46... ?<O:p</O:p
     
  3. spnadmin

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    Jeetijohal ji

    My understanding is that she was very much a political activist. Not only did she have enemies among the British, but she had enemies among Sikhs who wanted to curry favor with the British. I am guessing that she had enough political influence that the British could not leave her in India because her influence there would work against them. If they murdered her then they would prolong the conflict with her political allies. The politics of this period were very complicated. In England she could have an influence on her son, building political support for him overseas. So the British were keeping her confined and close at hand so her activities could be supervised and spied upon, and at the same time preventing her assassination in India.
     
  4. Archived_Member5

    Archived_Member5 (previously jeetijohal, account deactivated at her

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    As a wife of the murdered Maharajah she would undoubtedly inherit his mantle of power, yet I find it perplexing why the British did not murder her too, in order to allay any counter uprisings from the ranks of the Sikhs. It is one of those questions that nags me at times. The Maharajah, similarly to Guru <?xml::schemas:contacts" /><st1:GivenName w:st="on">Gobind</st1:GivenName> <st1:middlename w:st="on">Singh</st1:middlename> <st1:Sn w:st="on">Ji</st1:Sn> could not be murdered within his own state and people easily unless there was collusion from his own men. There arises a nasty stench of deceit, treachery and betrayal, as <st1:GivenName w:st="on">Jesus</st1:GivenName> too was betrayed by his disciple and handed to an enemy he would not bow to or assimilate with. From time beginning to present day the state of play seems not to change in any way at all.


    The inference the Queen was a political activist is a laughably misleading and self serving one for the British, exonerating the same from blame of her capture and imprisonment. With due consideration given to the fact her husband was murdered, it would follow a state under invasion and siege would look to the figures of authority for leadership. It would seem her own family were adversely influenced and the British with deep derision of stalwarts betraying their own King would have paid a levy to appease the anarchy. There is an untold tale in the whole scenario, the need to conceal foul acts of each cause a cover up of a great magnitude, as always....
    <O:p
    It would seem the Maharajah’s wife was bartered for something in kind, maybe betrayed by her own brothers in lieu for seats of power. It is all very disheartening, in times of need and warfare, one battles with an invasive besieging force and coercion from one’s own internal people. The world changes, and yet it remains entrenched in an eternal damnation of treachery by its own misdeeds, executed by its own peoples. Fidelity will win man his swarg, to his nation, to his faith, to his creed, to his spouse...

    <O:pWhat is that factor, that incendiary device that causes so much dissension and for man to rise against his own brothers kith and kin, in times of according protection to the good it is invariably exploited by the unscrupulous, Great Kings are stained and foolish ones retained to assuage the lower ranks who find their foolish behaviour emboldening. We look about and find in the west no heroes, thinkers, activists at all. To question Why is to expose the evil deception and skulduggery by which the modern seats of power are gained and sustained. The world revolves and turns, yet life changes not ...
     
    #4 Archived_Member5, Dec 23, 2008
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  5. Archived_Member5

    Archived_Member5 (previously jeetijohal, account deactivated at her

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    There may exist an entire people willing to die for their freedom, yet the invading and oppressive enemy will nominate and give power to the vilest and unprincipled causing a loss of faith and support rank and file and a disseminating of the people. There may be billions willing to wage war for the noble cause of a lost Eden’s empire yet it will a small group of treacherous rogues led by evil counsel. Greed and sin nature causing a sense of shame to the good and upstanding and an ultimate defeat that with hindsight is concealed to cover up the sins of such infidels, mainly because good men remained silent, and did not act, and did not act largely because their leader would not sacrifice any good men to what is a defeatist battle against the contingents within and the cunning and vicarious without.


    All religions and faiths reveal the need to curry favour, Islamic hierarchies connive with ffice:smarttags" /><?xml:namespace prefix = st2 ns = "urn:[​IMG]</st2:country-region>America against neighbouring nations, <st2:country-region w:st="on">Russia</st2:country-region> was unhinged by a rally for perestroika that backfired when used by an evil empire to undermine the economic and social infrastructure of <st2:country-region w:st="on"><ST2:pRussia</ST2:p</st2:country-region>. A world of good noble, wholesome souls, suffering for the sins of the few at the helm, for Bush and Obama, for the half wit <?xml::schemas:contacts" /><st1:GivenName w:st="on">Charles</st1:GivenName> and Brown. Devious unscrupulous idiot monkeys gaining power and backed by equally moronic lunatics currying favour and seeking glory by affiliation. The disgusting and lewd Camilla’s tyranny and deception, double adultery is well publicised and the Obama’s are the merest candidates yet rule supreme backed and endorsed by Hindu’s, Islamic’s, Jews, and Sikhs, for services rendered, in this age of the rule of feminists and eunuchs, as vile as what has come before, and what seeks ardently to replace them.
    <O:p
    ‘’Jinna de kahr vich dhaane, ona de kamle vi siaanne ...’’

    ***The one great mind able to unite the collective world people will invariably be oppressed and the reigns overtaken by the very vile forces of treachery and evil it sought to annihilate and destroy. The enviers of the noble and wise have always overtaken any good force or will initiative to peace. The leading fountain of light and wisdom is destroyed and replaced by ruthlessly ambitious and compliant rogues always with the intervention of a scurrilous and evil force. It has assumed power. We await our end fate and the sinful seek to cast its sin as always upon the blameless and sinfree. History does not change, men lack the courage to ask why it does not ...***
     
    #5 Archived_Member5, Dec 23, 2008
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  6. spnadmin

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    Jeetijohal j

    There is no doubt in my mind that there were internal forces and personalities who saw that their best-interests were not served by allowing the maharani remain a free and influential woman.
     
  7. spnadmin

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    Just some historical context found at info-sikh.com

    Maharaja Ranjit Sukarchakia Jindan Dalip

    [FONT=Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif]Maharani Jind Kaur was popularly known as Jindan, the wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and mother of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Sikh sovereign of the Punjab. She was daughter of Manna Singh, an Aulakh Jatt of Gujranwala. The big eyed queen became regent for her young son Dalip Singh, when he was made Maharaja after the death of his foster-brother, Maharaia Sher Singh. Rani Jindan, a woman of beauty, rose to be a heroine of the Sikh nation.

    She resisted the efforts of the British to annex the Punjab for some time, but when the British did take power she was removed from the Regency Council, which was to conduct the administration during the minority of Maharaja Dalip Singh. The Queen had become a symbol of national dignity. She continued to urge the freedom fighters back in the Punjab to continue the struggle dauntlessly. She was known for her intelligence and intrepid spirit, Jindan was one of the few persons who was intensely disliked and feared by the British.

    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Georgia, Times New Roman, Times, serif]By the end of her life and expelled to Nepal the once noble lady became disillusioned, her health shattered she went to England to stay with her son Maharaj Dalip Singh. Rani resided in a separate house in England till her death in 1863. As her last wishes, Dalip Singh brought her body back for cremation to India, but was disallowed by the British to perform the last rites in Punjab. He therefore cremated her body at Nasik and returned to England.[/FONT]

    And another interesting bit of history,

    Maharaja Ranjit Singh died on 27<sup>th</sup> June 1839. On 2<sup>nd</sup> February 1844 at the tender age of five, Duleep Singh was proclaimed as the Maharaja of Punjab and his mother Rani Jind Kaurbecame regent. In December 1845, war broke out between the Sikh and British army. The Sikhslost the Anglo-Sikh wars. Rani Jindan was put under house arrest; where as the young Maharaja was taken away to Mussorrie, where he was put under the guardianship of Dr. Sir John Login and his wife, lady Login.

    From WSN-Heritage News-The film on the life and times of Maharaja Duleep Singh was released in its DVD version in Southall at

    You can see that she had significant political clout. She was regent for a short time. These paragraphs are only a superficial treatment of her political situation. I know that somewhere there is a much better historical discussion of this situation but I do not have that information bookmarked. If I find it I will post it. She succumbed to some very vicious in-fighting.
     
  8. spnadmin

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    Here is another very poignant and tragic bit of information about her death in England.

    Gravestone of Maharani Jindan Kaur

    In 2006 while removing debris at the Kensal Green Cemetery the Marble Gravestone of Maharani Jindan Kaur was found. She had died in 1863 and her son Maharajah Duleep Singh had arranged for her body to be temporarily housed in the catacombs as cremation was illegal in Britain at the time. In the spring of 1864 the Maharanis casket was shipped to India and the smashed stone was left under debris for 140 years until it was discovered in 2006.

    Source from the Sikh-Heritage Trail:
    Gravestone of Maharani Jindan Kaur - Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail

    And from World Sikh Times a related article:

    Maharani Jindan’s headstone finds place in museum
    many Sikhs visit


    WSN Network
    LONDON: A broken headstone that marked the temporary grave like structure raised to the memory of Maharani Jindan has found a permanent place at the Ancient House Museum, Thetford, and will now be a part of the showcased Anglo-Sikh heritage.
    Maharani Jindan was mother of Maharajah Duleep Singh. Many tourists throng the west Suffolk and the south Norfolk town every year to pay homage to the last Maharajah of the Punjab and Britain's first Sikh settler, who lived at Elveden Hall. Duleep Singh was buried at the village church and has a statue in nearby Thetford.


    Harbinder Singh, director of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail, has said the gravestone of the Maharajah's mother, who died in London in 1863, would add to the town's popularity among the UK's Sikh community. The stone was a chance discovery of Lahore's headstone in the catacombs at Kensal Green Dissenters Chapel, northwest London, during a restoration project in 2006 had stunned historians and was "highly significant" for Anglo-Sikh heritage.


    http://www.worldsikhnews.com/19 March 2008/Maharani Jindan headstone finds place in museum.htm
     
  9. spnadmin

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    Jeetijohal ji

    You always manage to get me started on another investigation. :)

    Here is something very interesting. There is another book -- about the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh -- Prince Duplip Singh. The book is Exile by Navtej Sama. Below is an excerpt in the words of the prince about his short reunion with his mother.

    Excerpts from The Exile

    Does it matter where one dies, in which country, which land? Does it matter at all if the last breath is drawn among your own people, friends and lovers, or among strangers, or completely alone? If you have not lived at home, perhaps there is no cause to die there.

    And what is home? Where I was born, or where I lived all my life? Do I call Punjab my home, or England? If I had a choice, where would I want my bones to become dust, and would it matter?

    I know these things mattered to my mother. Bibiji. Beautiful Jindan, ruined by the same fate as I

    When I met my mother in Calcutta, after our separation of fourteen years, before she decided to come with me to England, her only wish was to pass her remaining days at some holy place on the banks of the Ganges. She would never have been at peace if I had let her bones lie in England, far away from the land of her ancestors. That is why I had to do what I did, carry her back across the seas, let the few fistfuls of her burnt-out remains flow into the Godavari. I could not immerse her ashes in the Ganges or the Sutlej.

    And there is the memory of the light filtering through the filigree of marble on to the floor of the haveli, making patterns that I would step on and imagine myself dressed in a gown woven with light. I wondered then how the light came to us from so far away, how the sun rose and set. I’d asked Mangla once, and she had said, ‘Ask the Angrez and he’ll tell you his race controls it all.’ Or perhaps this never happened, perhaps it is only a false memory and I imagine this because the British certainly were to control all my days and nights, all my stars. My life, such as it was.

    From the window of Bibiji’s chamber the tall minarets of the Badshahi Mosque were clearly visible. When they fought each other for the throne after my father’s death, guns were mounted on those minarets and cannonballs flew over Hazuribagh and crashed into the Akbari gate. There was so much killing, Bibiji said, that rivers of blood flowed from the fort to the bazaar below and the people of Lahore covered their ears with their hands and shut their eyes and lowered their heads and waited, on their knees, for the nightmare to pass.

    Nobody will understand why I am dying like this, alone, in this small hotel room, in a beautiful but strange city, from where I can see only the edge of a narrow cobbled street below and a thin strip of sky. The buildings across the street seem close enough to touch. Why am I here, denied all the wide open spaces of my life . . . the wheat fields that stretched away into the distance below the Lahore fort, the rolling countryside of Elveden?

    words of Prince Dulip Singh
     
  10. Archived_Member5

    Archived_Member5 (previously jeetijohal, account deactivated at her

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    ‘’My Son, My Sun, the Sum of all that I Am,
    My Love, My Life, My Lord, Light of my being
    Yonder dwells cast away from a mothers yearning heart

    My Son, my lonely abandoned one, to trace the steps
    Of a destined fate unchanged, unaltered for other ones
    My hearts ache leaves my souls in darkness of a cave
    <O:p
    My Son my shining star, my life’s one joy, so cast afar
    Embittered with an evil counsel, estranged to his core
    My son whom I so adore, abandoned I and one alone
    <O:p
    Of foreign lands, and strangers smiles, of wiles and remiss
    Of haunting ghosts beseeching lament, a rage unspent, Lord
    My Son, be abide in peace, in blissful retreat, in peace.
    <O:p
    Of fathers long since parted, and spouses gone away
    Of friends and followers, adorers and foes, leave behind shadows
    Of former past glories and stories of past setting suns and ones to come.

    My Son, my master and my soul, my aching heart imparts
    For a vision of you, a glimpse to satiate these thirsted eyes
    Cries weeping tears of blood for my little one alone, unsung.
    <O:p
    My Son, My Sun, My life, My Love and My Light .....’’
     
  11. Archived_Member5

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    The legend of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, the last Emperor of the Greater states of the is retold with as many versions as narrators. It is said following his murder, his wife and young son were forced by the Angrez to sign over rights to the territories to the British who duly assigned the same to their favoured hangers on. The Mother and Son were brought to <?xml:namespace prefix = st2 ns = "urn:[​IMG]</st2:country-region><ST2:pEngland</ST2:place whereafter <st2:personName w:st="on">Prince <?xml::schemas:contacts" /><st1:Sn w:st="on">Dalip</st1:Sn></st2:personName> was raised in the shires and kept wilfully and maliciously apart from his mother, who was held captive at Lancaster Gate. She wrote many letter beseeching the then reigning monarch, Queen Victoria for her own release and to see again her estranged and ill counselled against her, much loved Son. It was refused and Jinde finally expired, breathing her last at the age of 46. She was highly intelligent and indeed beautiful.

    Reasoning for the restraining of Jindan from access to her beloved Son can be deemed only as malicious. Her capture and retaining in isolation a similar brutal act. A Sikh hero arrived on these shores to assist her release and in slaying was murdered, shot dead. Indeed akin to similar events it seems a conspiracy of the indigenous reigning politicians, malevolence on the part of the invading British and what seems a contemptible aggressive need to inflict violence upon her senses. A tragic take indeed clouding the tale of the Great Conqueror that was Maharajah Ranjit Singh. His rallying and ease of acquisition of all the surrounding territories happy to be governed by Sikhs was probably partly the problem and cause for the following sinister and macabre actions ...
     
    #11 Archived_Member5, Dec 23, 2008
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  12. spnadmin

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    jeetijohal ji

    Thanks for the poem. It reads like a mother's blessing. But why the :p? That one threw me.
     
  13. Saint Soldier

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    Sat shri akal,:D
    Maharajah Ranjit Singh no doubt was a great ruler and king but he was hinduised to a greater extent and more over I'm astonished when his name appears under the list of Jat rulers.:eek:
     
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