HISĀB-I-AFWĀJ-MAHĀRĀJĀ RAṆJĪT SIṄGH, Persian MS. No. 622, in the Oriental Public (Khudā Bux) Library, Paṭnā, is a manual of the accounts of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's army. It is a highly illuminated manuscript with gold-ruled borders, size 12"x 71/2", 477 folios, written in mixed shikastā and nasta'līq, with equivalents of essential details, especially the figures, given in Gurmukhī. The anonymous author gives no date of its completion. The work provides information concerning Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's military administration recruitment, equipment, scales of pay, organization and composition of the different branches of the Sikh army and its accounts. The three main sections it deals with are : Infantry (ff. 1-135), Cavalry (ff. 136-203a), and Artillery (ff. 204a-477a). The entries in most cases commenced with barāwards or muster rolls prepared by the commanding officers of different units. There are also barāwards of the palṭans or battalions and of the zambūr Khānā or light artillery, of swivel guns and of the topkhānā or arsenals. The regimental staff of the regular State-paid army consisted of generals, colonels, kumedāns or commandants, ajīṭans or adjutants, mehjars or majors, sūbahdārs, jamādārs, havaldārs, nāiks, sarjans or sergeants. The regimental list is invariably followed by an account of the camp-followers under the title amlā, and these include quartermaster, munshī or writer, mutasaddī or accountant, granthī or scripture-reader, jhaṇḍābardār or ensign, laṅgrī or cook, saqqā or water-carrier, daftarī, sārbān or camel driver, bugler, drummer, trumpeter, piper, khalāsī or tent-pitcher, beldār, spadesman or sapper and miner, āhangar or blacksmith, najjār or carpenter and ghaṛyālī who struck the hour. The zambūrkhānās which came under infantry had a kumedān or commandant with a monthly salary of 340 rupees. Here in place of the amlā, we have lawāhiqs, i.e. followrs or domestics -- munshī, mutasaddī, mistrī, sārbān, sipāhīs and nafars each of whom received a monthly salary between seven to nine rupees.
The military accounts of the three arms are given under sub heads : infantry regiments, cavalry squadrons, and artillery, partly organized on the European model. The accounts of each infantry regiment and cavalry have been shown under their respective commanding officers. Each regiment was divided into companies and the pay and allowances of the officers of the eight companies of infantry and the cavalry squadrons are given under their respective names. The account of each regiment closes with a statement about the amlā and the mutfarriqāt or general miscellaneous expenditures such as those on repairs, light, stationery and pensions called dharamārth, ranging from two to five rupees to the heirs, widows and children of those incapacitated or killed in action. In similar format is the account of artillery establishments. Each commanding officer under whose name the expenses of his establishment are shown was attached to or had been in charge of a field gun. Each gun had a figurative designation representing a concept in terms secular, religious or mythological. The pay and allowances of officers attached to each gun are shown under their respective names. The account closes with a statement of miscellaneous expenses. A large number of officers attached to the artillery were Muslims. No distinctions of caste or creed were made in recruitment. In the Sikh army were represented several different races and nationalities. Besides Sikhs, there were in its ranks Hindus, Gurkhās, Afghāns, Punjabi Muslims, Rājpūts and Europeans. References occur in the work to the French General, Allard. Among other foreigners who figure in it are John Holmes Kumedān and his son, Perron Feringhee Kumedan, Lawrence Feringhee, Monsieur Court, Francis Bahādur and de la Roche.
Syad Hasan Askarī