New Age History and Economics

The Day We See The Truth And Cease To Speak it, Is The Day We Begin To Die. MLK Jr.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jind Family

This month is for fillers; 

                    THE FREEMEN

Dear Brethren,           

The Jind Family.- After the death of last Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb in 1707 there occurred an era of chaos and confusion. There remained no authority which could exercise control over vast areas. In Jind the Jats, Rajputs, Ranghars and Ahirs became disorderly and would not pay land revenue to their old masters or accept their authority. One Gajpat Singh, a great grandson of Phul, the founder of the Phulkian Misl, one of the 12 confederacies of the Sikhs in the 18th century took advantage of the above situation. He took part in the attack of the Sikhs on the province of Sir hind in 1763 in which Zain Khan, the Afghan governor of the province was killed. Gajpat Singh occupied a large tract of the country including Jind and Safidon as his share of the spoil. He made Jind his headquarters and built a large brick fort there-1.
In 1772, Emperor Shah Alam conferred upon Gajpat Singh the title of Raja. From this time onward, the Sikh chief ruled as an independent prince and coined money in his own name. The Delhi authority failed several times to bring him under its control. In 1774 a serious quarrel arose between Gajpat Singh and Hamir Singh, the then ruler of Nabha. Gajpat Singh used force and took possession of Amloh, Bhadson and Sangrur. By the intervention of the ruler or Patiala and other friends, the first two places were restored to Nabha, but Sangrur, then a village, was retained: Raja- Gajpat Singh's daughter, Bibi Raj Kaur married Sardar Mahan Singh Sukrachakia and became the mother of famous Maharaja Ranjit Singh. His strategic position in the northwestern corner of the Rohtak region made it easy for him to have his hold over some parts of Haryana-Gohana, Hisar, etc. which he and his successors held until the beginning of the last century-2

Raja Gajpat Singh died in 1786, and was succeeded by his son Bhag Singh. George Thomas, an Irish adventurer, gave Bhag Singh a very tough time. But he overcame this serious menace with the help of his brother chiefs of the cis-Satluj tract and the Marathas-3.

Bhag Singh was a shrewd man. He was the first of all the cis-Satluj princes to seek an alliance with the British. In 1803, he assisted Lord Lake in his war against the Marathas and received confirmation of the Gohana estate. He also prevented his nephew Maharaja Ranjit Singh from espousing, the cause of Jaswant Rao Holkar. The British recognised' in him a great friend and ally and showed him many marks of favour and regards-4.

Raja Bhag Singh, suffered a severe paralytic attack in March, 1813. Being Unfit to run the administration of his state, the ailing chief wished to appoint Prince Pratap Singh, the ablest and wisest of all his sons as his regent to do his work. But the British government to whom the anti-British bearing of the prince was known stood in his way and got Rani Sobrahi, appointed in place of the prince in 1814. This was unbearable for Pratap Singh and he raised the standard of revolt on June 23, 1814. Being a popular figure, the state forces also revolted and joined forces with him. With their help, the prince lost no time in occupying the Jind fort and establishing his government after putting the Rani, the puppet of the British government, to the sword.-5.

This alarmed the British authorities very much and the British Resident at Delhi sent his force with more deadly weapons against Pratap Singh. The prince thinking that he would not be able to give a fight to this force from the Jind fort, retired to a relatively stronger position at Balanwali, a fort in the wild country near Bhatinda. The British attacked him with full force (WMD) and after a fierce fighting for some time Pratap Singh had to leave this fort and take his position in the country on the other bank of the Satluj after crossing it at Makhowal. Here he was joined by Phula Singh Akali-6. Prince Pratap Singh remained with Phula Singh at Nandpur Mokhowal for two months and persuaded the latter to assist him actively at Balanwali. When the British came to know that Phula Singh had crossed the Satluj, they directed Patiala, Nabba and Malerkotla rulers to attack him. Prince Partap Singh went in advance and re-took the Balanwali fort. The Patiala troops marched to intercept Phula Singh who was unable to reach the fort and retired towards the Satluj. Nabha and Kaithal chiefs attacked Balanwali fort. Balanwali Surrendered and Pratap Singh was taken a prisoner and was placed under merely a nominal restraint. Pratap Singh fled to Labore. Maharaja Ranjit Singh refused a shelter to Pratap Singh and gave him up to the British who placed him in confinement Delhi where he died in 1816. -7

The administration of Jind was entrusted to Prince F'ateh Singh. Though Raja Bhag Singh did not like the arrangement, yet he did not oppose it. In fact, he had neither the will nor the means to do it. Bhag Singh died in 1819, and F'ateh Singh succeeded him. He ruled for a short time only and died three years later (1822). Now Sangat Singh, (11 years old) succeeded him. He hated the authority of the British which the latter noted with grave concern. But, before they could think of dealing with him, he died a sudden death on November 2, 1834. Annoyed as the British Government was with the deceased Raja, they forfeited a number of his estates in Ludhiana, Mudki, etc. (about 150 villages) and in the trans-Satluj region (Halwara, Talwandi, etc.). The latter estates were given to Ranjit Singh.-8

Since the deceased Raja left no male heir behind him, Sarup Singh, his cousin succeeded him. He was very friendly and loyal to the British, but not to his people, especially of Balanwali. They did not relish the change and organized themselves to oppose him. Gulab Singh Gill, formerly a Risaldar in Jind army and Dal Singh, brother-in-law of Prince Pratap Singh, were their leaders. The rebels got a good deal of inspiration from Mai SuI Rai, the widow of Prince Pratap Singh.

A British force was despatched against the rebels in early 1835. By March the ranks of the rebels had swelled a good deal. The people of the neighboring villages like Bhai Chakian, etc. and the Akalis of Gurusar, a place of pilgrimage had joined hands with them. The villagers fought well, but being inferior to their enemy in military knowledge, strategy and tactics, arms and ammunitions, they lost the day. Their casualties in the action were quite heavy, Gulab Singh being one of them. Dal Singh and Mai SuI Rai were apprehended and put behind the bars, along with their supporters. And thus ended a popular revolt after much bloodshed and cruelty on the part of the British government.

Raja Sarup Singh gave great help to the British government for his selfish motives. In 1857, immediately on learning of the outbreak, he conducted his troops to Karnal and undertook the defense of the city and cantonment. He then sent a detachment of his troops to north of Delhi, thus enabling the Meerut force to cross the Yamuna and join Sir H. Barnard's column. The Jind forces marched in advance of the British army recovering Satnalkha and Rai, securing the road and collecting supplies for the army. They were complimented on the field by the Commander-in-Chief, who sent one of the captured guns to the Raja as a present. In the assault of Delhi also the Jind troops took a prominent part. Resultantly Dadri and Kularan were made over to the Raja, privileges of full sovereignty were granted to him and his successors in perpetuity and honorary titles were conferred on him:

Raja Sarup Singh died in 1864. He was succeeded by his son Raghbir Singh. Immediately after his installation, Raghbir Singh was faced with a serious revolt of the peasantry in the newly acquired territory of Dadri.  In May, 1874, the poor exploited peasants of about 50 villages in this tract led by their local Chaudharis and Hakim Kasim Ali, rose en masse, captured police station, arrested Thanedar and proclaimed end of the Raja's rule. This was a big challenge to the Raja who immediately marched in person at the head of a big army. His first attack was on Charkhi (14 May), where 1,500 or 2,000 persons of 'the rebellious villages had collected and entrenched themselves They resisted the Raja to the last, but ultimately, they were defeated and their village was burnt. Next, Mankawas was attacked, captured and destroyed. However, the two defeats did not dishearten the brave villagers who gave a tough battle to the Raja at Jhauju (16 May). But here also they' shared the same fate and their defeat quelled the rebellion once for all. The Raja punished the leaders but permitted the Zamindars to return and rebuild their ruined villages.

The Raja also took side of the British government on the occasion of the Kuka outbreak in 1872. Again, when the second Afghan war broke out six years later, he gave help to British with men, conferred the title the money and material. The British government conferred the title of of Raja-i-Rajgan on Raghbir Singh.-9

Raghbir Singh died in 1887. His only son Balbir Singh had died during his own lifetime, and therefore, his grandson, Ranbir Singh, then only 8 years of age, succeeded him. During the period of his minority, a Council of Regency administered the state. During this regime, the state troops took part in the Tirah campaign of 1897. He was "invested with full ruling powers in November, 1899.-10

During the First World War, Jind maintained its loyal traditions by placing all the resources of his state at the disposal of the government. The Jind' Imperial Service Regiment was on active service for about 3 years in East Africa; state's war gifts amounted to over 24 lakh; while the total loan raised in the state amounted to 11 lakh.

The Praja Mandal Movement.-The Raja, as indicated above, was very loyal to the British but indifferent towards the prosperity of his subjects. Instead of looking after their welfare, he effected their economic exploitation. The poor and ignorant masses groaned under this exploitation by the Raja. In the first quarter of the twentieth century when winds of political awakening and enlightenment reached even the remotest corners of the country, the people of Jind were also affected. They became conscious of their pitiable conditions and began to ponder over as to how to get over their difficulties. The formation of All India State People's conference in 1927 and the Panjab States Riyasti Praja MandaI the following year showed them the way. They too, established the Jind State Praja MandaI. However, in the conditions which were then in vogue, no open membership drive of the MandaI was possible. Members were recruited secretly. Praja Mandals would appear to have been established at Narwana and other places in support of the national movement. The Sikh peasants joined the Praja MandaI movement and they launched the stir against the Raja. The 'agitators' as they were called then, led their main attack on the enhanced revenue rates, corruption, and high handedness of the Chief Minister of the state. Raja Ranbir Singh took a stiff attitude and the stir does not seem to have achieved any big success. But this did not dishearten the people; In the late thirties the Praja MandaI movement spread to almost all parts of the state. The branches of Praja MandaI were opened at Sangrur, Dadri, Jind and several big villages in the region.-11

The Praja Mandalist, waged a long stubborn struggle for the reduction of taxes, abolition of begar and popular representation in the government. Their efforts bore fruits, though belated, and the Raja accepted their demand for an elected assembly and formed a representative government on 18th January, 1947 with five ministers; two Praja Mandalists, two Akalis, and one Muslim. The Raja had power to veto any decision of his cabinet. This arrangement did not satisfy the people especially in the Dadri region, where they rose in revolt in February, 1947. They courted arrests in large number and formed a parallel government of their own. This compelled the Jind authorities to invite the president of the All India state People's conference for negotiations. On his advice the people withdrew the movement. The state authorities promised to look into their grievances and released all the Praja Mandalists who had been arrested."

When India got independence (August 15, 1947), a non-official poll was taken by the Jind state Praja Mandal in Jind and Dadri to ascertain the views of the people about their future whether they wanted to merge with Panjab or stood for a separate state. The majority of people voted for the former proposal. But the government merged the state with the newly-created state of Patiala and East Panjab States Union (PEPSU) on July 15, 1948. However, eight years later, with the dissolution of PEPSU State the area was transferred to Punjab.
Subsequently on November 1, 1966 the district comprising the tahsils of Jind, Narwana and Safidon passed on to Haryana . This continues as on date

References;

1. For details see Journal of Haryana Studies, Vol. III (1971) No. 1 pp. 17-19; Bihari Lal Dhingra, Jind State : A Brief Historical and Administrative Sketch, p. 1.
2. Phulkian States (Patiala, Jind and Nabha) Gazetteer, 1904 p. 215.
3. Journal of Haryana Studies, Vol. IV (1972), pp. 16-21.
4. Beharl Lal Dhingra, Jind State: A brief Historical and Administrative Sketch, p. 2.
5, L. H. Griffin. The Rajas of the Punjab, London, 1873, pp. 313-14.
6. Ibid, pp. 314-18.
7, ibid pp. 319-20.
8. Ibid, pp. 343-44.
9. Phulkian States Gazetteer (Patiala, Jind and Nabha), 1904, p. 217.
10. Behari Lal Dhingra, Jind State: A Brief Historical and Administrative
11. K. C. Yadav, Haryana Mein Swatantrata Andolan Ka Jtihas 1975 (Hindi), pp. 175-76.

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