Charles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry Griffin.

The Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 online

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jagirof Rs. 125, a grant of two hundred and twenty acres
in Wadala and a grant of two hundred and eighty acres
in Bakh Paimarj Lahore; a service pension of Bs. 200 a
month ; and a grant of five hundred acres in the Gujranwala

The Sardar's elder son, Thakar Singh, entered service in
the Andamans in 1874. On his father's retirement he was
promoted to an Inspectorship of Police. In 1880 he was
killed by a fall from his horse. He left two sons ; the elder,
Sohan Singh, is a Jamadar in the 5th Panjab Cavalry, while
the younger holds the same rank in the 3rd Hydrabad

Sardar Baghel Singh's younger son. Hakim Singh, was
given a direct commission in the 18th Bengal Cavalry, and
served with that regiment throughout the last Afghan
Campaign. He is now a Subadar in one of the Police
battalions in Burma.

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lUthxm Dm. Kashi Bam.


iL Diwan Hakim Jai Gopal Nand OopaL

I Bai s. lefiT J

Bnrjan Mai. | ^

LaohmiSahaL BhibSahai. Diwan Klahan B.Awa» TaraoLnd Haikilhan

Elaur BxireR b. 1879. Das

S. 1680. D. 1888. D. 18i6.

The ancestors of the late Sardar Arjan Singli were in the
service of the Kanhya Chiefs. Mahan Singh and Kabuli Mai
undertook whatever civil administration was attempted by so
rude and warlike a Sardar as Hakikat Singh, collecting his re-
venue and keeping his accounts ; and Diwan Dhanpat Rai and
Harbhaj Bai served Jaimal Singh, son of Hakikat Singh, in
the same capacity. Dhanpat Bai was a man of considerable
ability, and held the office and title of Diwan, and was en-
gaged exclusively in civil work, while the duties of Harbhaj
Bai were of a very varied description. When in 1812, on
the death of Jaimal Singh, his estates were seized by Banjit
Singh, Harbhaj Bai, with his nephew Mathra Das, entered
the service of the Maharaja. He obtained a good appoint-
ment in the Judicial office, and his son Kashi Bam was
placed under him. In 1824 Hakim Bad received an
appointment in the Chariari corps. He was an able man,
and rose so rapidly to favour that, in 1826, he was put in
charge of the estates and person of the young Prince Nao
Nahal Singh, and received an allowance of one per cent, on
all collections from the districts under him. At the same
time he was honoured with the title of Diwan. In 1834 he
accompanied the Prince and Hari Singh Nalwa across the

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Indus, and at f^e close of the successful Peshawar Campaign
against Sultan Mahomed Khan he was made Governor of the
conquered district, with Bannu and Yusuf zai. The Maharaja
also granted him a jagir of Rs. 5,000 in Pothiar. The Prince
then proceeded down the frontier, which he found in a
fearful state of misgovemment ; and the Diwan was made
Gx)yemor of Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, Bannu and IsakheL

When Nao Nahal Singh, on the death of Banjit Singh,
obtained supreme power, be gave to the Diwan, who had
served him so well, a jagir worth Bs. 10,000 in the Sialkot
district, and Hakim Bai relinquished his uncomfortable
frontier duties for attendance at Court. During the reign
of Maharaja Sher Singh he retained his honours, and in the
next reign was appointed Chief Justice of the city of Lahore.
He was averse to the war with the English in 1845, but more
from his knowledge of its certain danger, than from any love
to the British Government j for in 1844-45 he was the man
who at the head of two hundred sowars, under the orders, first
of Baja Hira Singh, and then of Sardar Jawahir Singh, crossed
the Satlaj and violated the provisions of the treaty, with the
excTlse of suppressing dacoity and punishing refractory
zamindars. In 1846 he was sent on the part of the Darbar
to Kashmir to endeavour to bring to reason Shekh Imamudin
Khan, then in active rebellion. He went there slowly enough
by the long road of Bhimbar ; and although there is no certain
evidence of treasonable acts on his part, yet it seems probable,
from his own statement at the time and those of Wazir
Batnu and Colonel Matra Das, that his sympathies were with
the traitor Lai Singh, though he did not venture to render
any active assistance.

In April 1847 the DiwaH was sent, at the recommenda-
tion of the Besident, to Peshawar as Chief Justice and .Civil
Governor in the room of Sardar Chatar Singh Atariwala.
The entire administration of justice and collection of the

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revenue was made over to him, subject to the advice of Major
G. Lawrence, Political Agent ; but the command of the troops
was left with General Gulab Singh Povindia. This appoints
mont he did not hold for long. He had many enemies in
Darbar who were anxious to ruin him, and chief of them
Sardar Tej Singh, President of the Council. Hakim Rai was
a nominee of Diwan Dina Nath, and this was in itself sufficiient
to make the Raja hostile. In a month and a half the adminis-
tration of Peshawar was made over to Gulab Singh, while
Hakim Rai was to remain content with the judicial por-
tion of the work alone. This loss of power very much
irritated the Diwan : he began to neglect his judicial duties,*
and the Resident recommended bis recall in August 1847.
On his return to Lahore Hakim Rai obtained no other
appointment, and the next year saw him one of the most
conspicuous among the rebels. The reasons for his disaffection
may be briefly related.

It has before been stated that Sardar Tej Singh was an
enemy of the Diwan. In the same month that Hakim Rai
was recalled from Peshawar, Tej Singh was created a Raja
and given a jagir of Rs. 28,000 at Sialkot. At this town
Diwan Hakim Rai resided, and here was the jagir of Rs. 10,000
granted to him in perpetuity by Nao Nahal Singh.f Tej
Singh first confiscated two gardens and five wells which
had been in the family for many years. The gardens were
released on the representation of Diwan Dina Natb, and
then the Raja caused the jagir to be resumed. The pensions
of the Diwan and of his second son were also stopped ; and

' * Major G. Lawrence* who was the best judge of the Diwan's work, had a high
opiDion of him. In an Urda letter to Raja Tej Singh, dated 12th Angnst 1847. he
writes : " A parwana regarding the recall of Diwan Hakim Rai was received some time
ag^, bnt, owing to the good management of the Diwan, I considered it more for the
interests of the Darbar to detain him. A second parwana to the same effect has now
arrived. Since the Diwan's arrival at Peshawar be has paid constant attention to his
dnties, and has given me every satisfaction bj his g^od management."

t At the time of Prince Nao Nahal's death, Diwan Hakim Eai held jagirs and
cash allowanoea amounting to Bs. 73,000 a year { Kishan Kaor was in receipt of
Ba. 89,000, jagira and cash.

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the rebellion found him, not unnaturally, a disappointed and
embittered man. Some believe that Raja Tej Singh, who
had certain knowledge of the storm which was preparing to
break on the Panjab, desired to drive Hakim Rai into
rebellion that he might add the Diwan's Sialkot jagirs to his
own. K this was his intention it was eminently successful.
In September 1848 two regiments of the rebels were sent
by Sardar Atar Singh Atariwala to attack the fort of
Bhopalwala, a few miles from Sialkot, belonging to Raja
Tej . Singh. They loudly proclaimed that when they had
taken it they would destroy the houses of Diwan Hakim Rai,
whose son, Kishan Kaur, had destroyed and confiscated their
houses in Gurdaspur. Hakim Rai sent to the Sialkot fort,
asking for protection ; but the oflBcers of the Raja would not
give admittance to him or his family. Shortly after this he
wrote to Kishan Kaur to throw up his appointment and
join him ; and father and son went over to Raja Sher Singh

Diwan Hakim Rai was a great addition to the rebel
strength. Though he brought with him neither men nor
money, yet he was an exceedingly able man ; and the docu-
ment sent to the Resident, detailing the grievances felt by the
Sardar and the reasons for their rebellion, was drawn up by his
hand. But his cleverness could not avert the fate which fell
upon him at the close of the war, when his jagirs, allowances
and personal property were all confiscated, and he, with his
sons, was sent a prisoner to the fort of Chunar. His ability
made him • dangerous and his removal necessary, and he
had also been detected in treasonable correspondence with
some of the rebel leaders after the close of the war ; but
many, more criminal than Diwan Hakim Rai, remained in
the Panjab.

Kishan Kaur had been f roiA his childhood thje play-
fellow and associate of Prinpe Nao Nahal Singh, who

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entertamed for him the greatest regard aad affection. He
receiyed the title of Diwan^ and fayours of all kinds were
heaped upon him. In 1837, when the ?rince was at Pesha-
war, he gave to Eoshan Kanr commaDd of four infantry and
one cavalry regiments, with the customary proportion of
artillery, on a. salary of Bs. 1,500 a month. In 1841 he
was appointed Kardar of Rawalpindi, which office he
held till after the Firozpur Campaign. He rendered all
assistance in his power to the British officers and troops in
the way of procuring supplies at the time of the Afghan War.
When in 1848 Sardar Lahna Singh Majithia, who had been
the administrator of the country between the Bavi and the
Satlaj, left for Banares, Kishan Eaur was appointed to the
charge of the Batala, Dinanagar and Kalanaur districts. He
gave satisfaction by the manner in which he discharged his
duties ; and when the disturbances broke out was at first very
zealous in attaching and confiscating the property of rebels.
He was not, however, able to resist his father's persuasions,
and, as before related, they rebelled together.

Arjan Singh and Tara Gband, the two younger sons, were
mere boys at the time of the rebellion, but were sent to
Chunar with their father. The youngest son, Harkishan Das,
died soon after his birth, in 1847.

Diwan Hakim Bai was kept in confinement at Fort Chunar
for four years along with his family. His conduct during
that period was all that could be desired ; and Mr. Tucker,
the Commissioner, was able in 1853 to procure his release,
and the Diwan settled down with bis family at Banares. His
pension was raised to Bs. 1,200, and that of Eishan Kaur to
Bs. 600. When the Mutiny broke out in 1857 he lent the
assistance of all his influence to the English, and was active,
not only in restraining those who showed an inclination to
join the mutineers, but in r^dering practical service in the
repression of hostilities^ Arjan Singh went down to the

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Treasury on the 5th of June 1867, the day after the Mutiny
broke out at Banares, and superintended the Sikhs, who
helped the European guard to remove the public money to
the barracks.

For the joint service rendered by the father and the
sons, Government gave Hakim Eai a grant of some zamindari
rights and a house at Lucknow, where he took up his residence.
The old man died there in 1868, and Kishan Kaur succeeded
to all the private property and a moiety of the cash pension of
his father. He died, leaving no male issue, in 1880. Both
father and son were distinguished for their high personal
character and courtesy of manner, and no one felt their loss
more than the district officers, who had so often profited by
their coimsel and assistance.

On the death of Diwan Hakim Rai, Government held an
inquiry into his affairs and found that the estate was
seriously involved. An arrangement was made by which all
the debts were paid off, Government taking part of the
pension and part of the revenue of the assigned lands. On
the death of Kishan Kaur the pension was resumed, but Bs.
100 a month were granted to his widow, Masanmiat Meri, and
Rs. 50 to each of the two daughters until they should marry.
The eldest daughter is now the wife of one of the district
officials of Gujranwala. Masammat Meri and her immarried
daughter live in Sialkot.

Soon after his release from Ghimar in 1853 the Diwan
applied for permission for his two younger sons to return to
the Panjab, and this concession Sir John Lawrence was able
to procute for both Arjan Singh and Tara Chand. When
Arjan Singh reached Sialkot in 1860 he found Raja Teja
Singh, the hereditary enemy of his family, in possession of all
his father's houses and estates ; so he set about building for
himself. His pension was then only Rs. 50 a month ; but
the authorities gave him a little land in two villages in the

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Sialkot TahsU. On his father's death his pension was
increased to Rs. 175, and when the death of Eishan Kaur
in 1880 left Arjan Singh the representative head of the
house this was raised to Rs. 400.

He died in 1888, leaving a widow and two married
daughters but no son. From the day he arrived in the
Panjab he set himself to restoring the family fortunes;
and his house in Sialkot became the nucleus of all the
connections of the old Diwan, near and remote. The property
now consists of estates, worth about Rs. 35,000, in three
villages of Sialkot. But he had to fight all his life with
a hereditary disease, which in his later years rendered him a
helpless cripple. His natural kindliness of disposition led him
to support the relations and dependants of the family, not one
of whom had the energy or manliness to work on his own
account. Owing to the nature of his illness, he was not
latterly a familiar figure at Sialkot; but he preserved to the
last the loyalty to Government which he had displayed
when quite a lad, and the gentle bearing which had always
been a marked characteristic of his house.

Tara Chand accompanied his elder brother on his return
to the Panjab, and was soon afterwards appointed Peshkar
of Daska. He rose gradually through the various grades of
district service, and on his death in 1876 was Tahsildar of
Jhilam. He left two widows, one of whom lives in the family
Haveli at Sialkot.

Of the collateral descendants of Diwan Hakim Rai none
have risen to any eminence, and the death of Sardar Arjan
Singh maybe taken to have closed the history of a family
whose political counsels swayed important events in the
Panjab for many years.

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Ami Sbah
(for this brahch
Bee Part II.) Sara,




Charat Singh. Dhana Singh. Man Singh.

Diwan Singh.


Gordeo Singh,


Bhag Singh. Amar Singh.


Mahtab Singh. Jodh Singh.

Hira Singh Mt. Khem Kaor
n. im D. 1886.

ix. M. Kharak
ingh Singh and adopted
B. 1800. S. fiaghwan Singh.

Mangal Singh


B. 1808.

Kaor Singh.
Golab Singh.
Atar Singh.

B. 1822.

Singh Singh
B.1M4. B.1587.

lahar Singh
B. 1840.

Sahib Singh
B. 1869.

Onrdit Singh Chanda Singh Aror Singh Dbnla Singh

D.1861. 0.1807. B. 1829. B. 1839.

S. Bhagwan Singh

D. 1886. ^


B. 1875.

Ganda Singh
B. 1880.

Bhag Singh
B. 1882.

Kiahan Singh
B. 1866.


Hakim Singh
B. 1864.

Sant Singh

Jawala Singh
B. 1866.

Katha Singh

The ancestor who gives his name to this branch of the
Bajwa Jats was one Kalas, whose history is shrouded in
obscurity. He was the son of one Manga, whose grave,
Manga ha Mari, is one of the sights of Pasrur and an
object of veneration to the whole Bajwa tribe-, both
Hindus and Alahomedans. The initial rites of the marriage
ceremony are celebrated on this spot by those Bajwas whose
homes are not too far away to prevent a general family

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Kalas himself seems to have left Pftsrur and founded
a villaget to which he gave his own name. This village is
now known as Kalalwala, a corruption of the original, which
has led to a misapprehension of the origin of this fine old
family. Ealas had two sons. Amir Shah and Pati. The
descendants of the latter, although they were the younger
branch, were the first to bring themselves to the front in the
constant struggles which preceded the fiirm establishment of
the Khalsa in the Panjab.

Hari Singh, the Bhangi Chief, having no son, adopted
Diwan Singh, and towards the year 1760 left him heir to his
estates. Diwan Singh was able to retain only half of his
heritage ; and on his death, a few years later, the Ehalsa
proclaimed Dhana Singh as his successor. Dhana Singh had
already distinguished himself in the service of Hari Singh by
his gallantry at the siege of Bhera and in all the fighting
round Gujrat, while his younger brother, Man Singh, had
lost his life in the service of the same Chief.

When the Bhangi Confederacy wrested Sialkot from
the Pathans and Rajputs and divided the various estates,
Kalalwala (as it was then called), Panwanas, Chuhara and
Maharajke fell to the share of Dhana Singh. On his death
in 1793, Maharaja Ranjit Singh recognized his son Jodh Singh
as the representative Sardar, he being the only one of the
three sons who seemed to inherit his father's spirit. Not
long after this Jodh Singh was attacked by the Maharaja,
who made the connection of the former with his old enemy
Sahib Singh Gujratia the excuse for increasing his own
private estates. Jodh Singh carried on the unequal struggle
for some three years, but in .the end was compelled to make
a complete submission. On this he was granted jagirs to the
value of some Rs. 60,000, and became so accomplished a
courtier that, in 1816, the Maharaja married his son Prince
Kharak Singh to Khem Kaur, the only child of Jodh Singh.

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Sahib Singh did his utmost to preyent this alliano6» which
weakened his own position, on the ground that it was contrary
to the custom of the Bajwa Jats, he. Sahib Singh, having
already married the aunt of Ranjit Singh himself. Jodh
Singh died the same year ; and the personal influence of his
widow at the Sikh Court, added to that of her daughter,
secured the succession of Sardar Ohanda Singh to the family
estates and jagirs. Chanda Singh's father had been a
Subadar in the Sham Souta Regiment, and his steady
adherence to the Maharaja justified the passing oyer of
Nadhan Singh, the only surviving son of Dhana Singh.

Chanda Singh and his elder brother Gurdit Singh rose
in 1848, and, fortifying themselves in Kalalwala itself, had to
be attacked and defeated by an English force, which blew up
the fort and destroyed the village. Though there is now
little doubt that Rani Khem Kaur had induced her cousins
to act as they did, the Government granted her a pension of
Rs. 2,400, which she enjoyed until her death in 1886,
Gurdit Singh and Chanda Singh got nothing ; and the former
died soon after the annexation of the Fanjab. Chanda
Singh settled down to looking after the remnant of Dhana
Singh's estates, and died in 1867.

His only son, Bhagwan Singh, became the head of this
branch of the family. He led the life of a country gentleman,
and for some few years before his death in 1886 exercised the
powers of an Honorary Magistrate. Chanda Singh married
his only other child, Masammat Mahtab Kaur, to Sardar Tej
Singh Atariwala. She accompanied her husband into exile,
and settled down at Bareily, North- West Provinces, where
two of her distant cousins^ Hira Singh and Hakim Singh, have
since joined her.

Sardar Raghbir Singh, the only child of Bhagwan Singh,
is the head of this branch. He was bom in 1875, and is a
student at the Aitchison College, Lahore.

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Sant Singh is the only member of this side of the house
who has inherited its military traditions. He was for three
years with the Ist Regiment of the Central India Horse, and
now holds a commission in one of the Military Police Battalions
in Burmah.

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Pftti (for this

branob. mc




8. Kbnshal

9. 1881.

9, 1861.


». IMl.

8. 8b«m
9. IMI.

B. BtaA Singh
O. 1878.

8. Ja»4t Snr»K
a. 1890.


8. 8h«r8in^
B. 1880.


P»U Singh
n. 1878.

8. Bandar
s. ll87.


8. Ganda

9, ids.

B. 1881.


». 1870.

8. Itar


8. Ralda

9. I860.


9, llo.

8. BaMuii
a. lOiO.

8. Khnsfaal

Tbakar Laohaan

Singh Singh

».l»i. B. 1870.

B. 1860.

NanUn Singh
B. 1888.

Dewa Sin^
B. 1874.

Partab Singh
B. 1870.

B. 188i.

B. 1887.

Fiar Singh
B. imC

Although this side of the family came into prominence
at a later stage, and thus allowed the younger branch to
assume the hereditary Ghiefship, the authenticated history of
its members down to the present day presents a noble record.
They were consistently distinguished by personal bravery,
while one or two have displayed no small military capacity.
But the hereditary feeling of loyalty to their immediate Chief
and, perhaps, the lack of what has been described as " political
divination," have prevented the family from ever acquiring
sufficient land to justify their disputing the Sardarship of the
tribe with the yoimger branch.

The first member of the family of whom an accurate
account is obtainable is Sardar Khushal Singly who seems to

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have been by choice a scholar, and who was only forced
to develop his latent military talent by the reverses of his
brother. On the final defeat of the latter by Mahan Singh,
father of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Ehushal Singh offered his
sword to Sahib Singh Gujratia, to whom he proved a staunch

When Eanjit Singh finally crushed the opposition of the
lesser Sardars, Khushal Singh refused to worship the rising
sun, and retired to the old home, where his name is still held
in reverence. He died there in 1833.

The Maharaja, who never failed to appreciate gallantry,
even in an enemy, persuaded the old Sardar to part with his
sons, both of whom eminently justified his selection. The
elder Gulab Singh became a Jamadar of Artillery, and
fought against the British. On the annexation of the Province
he retired to look after the family property in Kalalwala, but
soon tired of a quiet life. He went to his nephew. Colonel
Jiwan Singh, who secured his appointment as Basaldar in a
cavalry regiment, with which he served all through the
Mutiny. He came out of the campaign with no little
distinction, and died at a ripe old age three years afterwards.

His younger brother, Dula Singh, became one of the
most dashing cavalry leaders of Ranjit Singh's army. He
was constantly employed on the Afghan frontier, and received
two severe wounds in expeditions against Dost Mahomed Khan.
These forced him to retire, while still a young man, on a
small jagir, which was continued to him by the British
Government. He died in 1857 at Kalalwala, leaving three
sons. The eldest, Jiwan Singh, was a remarkable character.
As soon as he was able to bear arms his father secured him a
small command in Kharak Singh's army. He first saw
service in Kashmir, where he was wounded. For his bravery
at Tank he was appointed to the Adjutancy of the Sher
Dil Paltan^ a regiment with which his name is inseparably

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associated. He again went on active service in Easlunir,
where, in the engagement which resulted in the defeat of
Raja Gteruhar Man, he lost his younger brother, Sardar Kishan
Singh. For his services in this campaign he was promoted
to the command of the regiment, and received the village of
Sangah, which is still held in perpetual jagir by the family.
Shortly after the return of the regiment to Lahore, Jiwan
Singh was sent with it to Amritsar to guard the Darbar
Sahib, or Sikh temple. During the Second Sikh War the
old Sardar remained thoroughly loyal, and gave more than
one proof of his fidelity. On annexation the regiment was
taken over by the British, and formed the nucleus of what is
now known as the l^h Panjab Infantry. Jiwan Singh was
confirmed in the position of conmiandant with the rank of
Colonel, and a personal allowance of Rs. 300 per mensem was

Online LibraryCharles Francis Massy Sir Lepel Henry GriffinThe Panjab chiefs: historical and biographical notices of the ..., Volume 2 → online text (page 9 of 29)