SIKH STATES, Political conditions in eighteenth-century India fostered the rise of diverse contenders for power and the creation of new forms of organization. The emergence of Sikh-ruled territorial units was a specially notable development during this period. The Mughal authority was withering throughout India and it had many ambitious successors in Punjab. Besides the Mughal agents trying desperately to reassert imperial authority, they included Persians led by Nādir Shāh, Afghāns having the backing and support of Ahmad Shāh Durrānī, some Marāṭhā chieftains moving northwards, and eventually a number of European freebooters such as George Thomas. In this political maelstrom where they had many enemies and few possible allies, the Sikhs organized themselves for self-protection into jathās or small armed bands and, by the mid-eighteenth century, into a confederacy of twelve misls. Misl as a word means a rank, file or a group of equals and in actuality it was a voluntary army recruited from a political area. Gradually, the misls extended their protection and domination over specific tracts in return for financial considerations and came to assume a position of political sovereignty over their clients, who sometimes were not Sikhs. Eleven of the misls, the Āhlūvālīā, Bhāṅgī, Ḍallevālīā, Faizullapurīā (Siṅghpurīā), Kanhaiyā, Karoṛsiṅghīā, Nakaī, Nishānvālīā, Rāmgaṛhīā, Shahīd, and the Sukkarchakkīā originated in the Mājhā area or the Bārī Doāb between the Beās and the Rāvī rivers while the twelfth, the Phūlkīāṅ, settled in the Mālvā area south of the Sutlej river.
In January 1764, the Sikhs crossed the Sutlej under the command of Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā and pushed their arms up to Sirhind, accurst from its association with the execution of the two infant sons of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. The Afghān governor, Zain Khān, was killed in battle and the town given up to plunder. The Sikhs now had a free run of the country and they ranged abroad unchecked obtaining the surrender of far-flung provinces. In the aftermath of the campaign, members of the Phūlkīāṅ misl soon established their claims to statehood. They included Ālā Siṅgh of Paṭiālā, Hamīr Siṅgh of Nābhā, Gajpat Siṅgh of Jīnd, and Desū Siṅgh of Kaithal. Some of the trans-Sutlej misls also gained a foothold south of the Sutlej from the spoils of conquest. Many misls had their most extensive expansion during the latter decades of the eighteenth century, but the aggrandizement increasingly took place at the expense of one another rather than from a domestic or foreign Muslim overlord. The almost continuous warfare corroded the misl form of organization and weakened the ideal of a Sikh commonwealth. At this disheartening juncture a Sikh sardār with a broader political vision, Raṇjīt Siṅgh of the Sukkarchakkīā misl, emerged. In 1799, he entered Lahore and then began to extend outward his kingdom of Punjab, at first largely with the estates of other Sikh misldārs and then with the possessions of non-Sikhs. In the trans-Sutlej region, the Āhlūvālīā state of Kapūrthalā continued in uneasy existence as a close ally of Raṇjīt Siṅgh while most other misls became extinct. The cis-Sutlej Sikh states of Paṭiālā, Nābhā, Jīnd, Kaithal, Farīdkoṭ, and Kalsīā generally maintained friendly relations with the gradually encroaching Raṇjīt Siṅgh but slowly began to fear his ambition despite his gifts of crumbs of territory from his nearby annexations. Several began negotiations with the rising British power to the south and, in 1809, Paṭiālā, Nābhā, Jīnd, Kaithal, Farīdkoṭ, and Kalsīā secured their future under British protection in return for pledges of military assistance when needed. Eventually in 1826, Sardār Fateh Siṅgh of Kapūrthalā also received British protection for his cis-Sutlej estates while those across the river remained under the guarantee of Raṇjīt Siṅgh and his successors. Meanwhile, in 1843, most of the Kaithal state escheated to the British upon the death without issue of its chief, Bhāī Udai Siṅgh.
The first significant test of the alliance with the British came with the Anglo-Sikh war in 1845-46. When confronted with the demand to support a foreign power against brother Sikhs, the response of the Sikh states varied. Paṭiālā, Jīnd, Farīdkoṭ and Kalsīā promptly committed their resources to the British while Nābhā, Kapūrthalā and Lāḍvā hesitated or fought along with the Khālsā. The loyalists were rewarded with honours and grants of captured territory while the others, like Lāḍvā, forfeited all their privileges or lost part of their territory like Kapūrthalā and Nābhā.
In 1849, the British formally annexed the kingdom of the Punjab and all the trans-Sutlej misls lost their remnants of political sovereignty, though not necessarily their social, religious, or economic prestige. When the British were next challenged militarily in the revolt of 1857 the conspicuous aid of the Sikh princes was most helpful in holding the newly appended Punjab and in recovering the historical locus of imperial authority at Delhi. Now the British finalized their relationship with their Sikh client princes for the next century. Queen Victoria renounced any further annexation and later granted to them the right to adopt heirs so that none of them would suffer the fate of Lāḍvā or Kaithal. Moreover, the Phūlkīāṅ rulers of Paṭiālā, Nābhā, and Jīnd received the distinctive boons of consultation in the selection of an heir from the Phūlkīāṅ family if any one of them died without utilizing his right of adoption and in the formation of the council of regency when one of their states was under minority rule. More immediate signs of favour were titles, honorary orders, remissions of tribute payments, monetary rewards and land. Since the new estates were usually confiscated from British opponents, they only campounded the dispersion of state territories. Kapūrthalā received estates in Oudh, and Paṭiālā, Nābhā and Jīnd acquired districts in Haryāṇā. Until 1947, the Sikh states of Paṭiālā, Nābhā, Jīnd, Farīdkoṭ, Kapūrthalā and Kalsīā would continue as internally autonomous islands in the sea of British Indian Punjab and would serve as reservoirs of military personnel and material whenever the British rāj was threatened on its northwestern frontier or during the wars in China, Africa, and Europe.
The remarkable longevity of these Sikh states may be attributed to their geographical location between a series of opposing political forces and their symbolic role and value as a Sikh political power. These states first served as a buffer between the Mughals at Delhi, the invading Marāṭhās and the Mājhā Sikh misls and then between the British and Raṇjīt Siṅgh.
After India became independent, all the Sikh states were grouped together, along with the Muslim state of Mālerkoṭlā and the Hindu state of Nālāgaṛh, to form the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). In 1956, PEPSU was merged with East Punjab but this consolidated state was further realigned in 1966 when Punjab and Haryāṇā were created as separate Punjabi and Hindi-speaking units.
The states whose individual histories are delineated in the following section are referred to as Sikh states primarily because their rulers were Sikhs. With the exception of Farīdkoṭ, they never contained an absolute Sikh majority population. Like the British Indian province of the Punjab, the Sikh states registered a steady increase in Sikh population during the twentieth century. In the premier Sikh state of Paṭiālā a comparison of the census figures from 1881 to 1931 reveals that the Hindu population declined from 50.1% in 1881 to 38.2 % in 1931 and the Muslim minority remained steady, being 21.9 % in 1881 and 22.4 % in 1931.
The Sikh princes allied themselves with a wide spectrum of political and social factions within Sikh revivalism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The first Sikh ruler to be involved prominently was Rājā Bikram Siṅgh of Farīdkoṭ. He participated in the Amritsar Siṅgh Sabhā and contributed generously to various Sikh educational projects. While the Farīdkoṭ Rājā supported the more conservative Amritsar Siṅgh Sabhā, Mahārājā Hīrā Siṅgh of Nābhā and Mahārājā Rājinder Siṅgh of Paṭiālā sustained Sikh newspapers which were associated with the rival Lahore Siṅgh Sabhā. All the Sikh princes donated substantially to the establishment of Khālsā College at Amritsar and were rewarded with seats on the college council and managing committee and honorary posts like the Chancellorship. In the twentieth century, the heirs of Mahārājā Hīrā Siṅgh and Mahārājā Rājinder Siṅgh, Mahārājā Ripudaman Siṅgh of Nābhā and Mahārājā Bhūpinder Siṅgh of Paṭiālā, expanded their involvement in Sikh political, religious, and cultural activities but also used these spheres to contest their state and personal rivalries.
PAṬIĀLĀ, the first Sikh state to acquire symbols of political sovereignty, eventually outlasted all of its formidable rivals to emerge as the premier Sikh state of India. In 1931, its population of 16,25,520, its area of 5,942 square miles and its annual revenues of almost one and a half crores were more than the combined totals in these categories of the other five Sikh states of Jīnd, Nābhā, Farīdkoṭ, Kapūrthalā, and Kalsīā. Part of its prestige was also attributable to its leading position in the Phūlkīāṅ misl which had been fortuitously located between the advancing armies of Raṇjīt Siṅgh and the British East India Company. In the twentieth century, its prominence had been further enhanced by the ubiquity of father and son, Mahārājās Bhūpinder Siṅgh and Yādavinder Siṅgh, in Sikh affairs and in all-India politics.
The Phūlkīāṅ misl traced its ancestry to Jaisal, a Bhaṭṭī Rājpūt, who founded Jaisalmer state in AD 1180. Phūl (d. 1652), from whose name the Phūlkīāṅ house (Paṭiālā, Nābhā, Jīnd), derived its appellation, was the first member of the family to come into recorded contact with Sikhism. He was blessed with power and plenty by Gurū Har Rāi, the Seventh Sikh Gurū, during his travels in the Mālvā. Phūl, whose name means flower, had seven sons by two wives. The first was Tilok Siṅgh (Tilokā) who was the ancestor of the houses of Nābhā and Jīnd, and the second was Rām Siṅgh (Rāmā) who was the forefather of the rulers of Paṭiālā.
Rām Siṅgh and Tilok Siṅgh were devoted disciples of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh who had called upon them by a hukamnāmā of 2 August 1696 for a detachment of cavalry and had blessed their houses as his own ---terā ghar merā asai. They helped Bandā Siṅgh Bahādur, the first Sikh ruler (1710-16), with men and money in his early exploits. Bābā Ālā Siṅgh (1696-1765), the third son of Rām Siṅgh, was a brave soldier and a shrewd politician, and was successful in carving out the principality of Paṭiālā During much of his early career, he was engaged in intermittent warfare with the Bhaṭṭīs and the Afghāns. By 1732, he had conquered a vast territory around Barnālā which served as his headquarters. In the forties and fifties during the Durrānī-Mughal clashes in the Punjab, Ālā Siṅgh extended his hold over a number of villages in the sarkār of Sirhind and had occupied important towns like Sunām, Samāṇā, Sanaur and Ṭohāṇā. In 1763, he laid the foundation of Paṭiālā Fort, the present Qilā Mubārak, around which Paṭiālā town grew up in due course. Ālā Siṅgh was a close associate of Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā in the conquest of Sirhind in 1764, and purchased the town from Bhāī Buḍḍhā Siṅgh to whom it was assigned by the Khālsā. Qāzī Nūr Muhammad tells us in his Jaṅg Nāmā that during his seventh invasion (1764-65), Ahmad Shāh Durrānī summoned Ālā Siṅgh to his presence, treated him with respect and bestowed upon him a drum and a banner, Tabl-o-'Alam, as insignia of royalty. Bābā Ālā Siṅgh died in August 1765 and was succeeded by his grandson, Amar Siṅgh (1748-81) who received the title of Rāja-i-Rājgān from the Durrānī king. He formed a number of alliances and fought a wide variety of opponents and so expanded Paṭiālā that it became the most powerful state between the Jamunā and the Sutlej. After his death in February 1781, Mahārājā Amar Siṅgh was succeeded by his seven-year-old son, Sāhib Siṅgh (1772-1813). The weak administration of the minor chief encouraged internal refractories and external adventurers to exploit the situation. It was, however, saved by his heroic sister, Bībī Sāhib Kaur, who for some time, took the reins of the government into her hands. She was an able administrator and a brave soldier. It was through her personal dash and daring that she was able to save Paṭiālā and its neighbourhood from the Marāṭhās at a critical moment when, in 1794, they crossed the Jamunā, subdued a number of small chiefs and moved in the direction of Paṭiālā. After Sāhib Kaur's death, the real power in the state passed on to Rāṇī Ās Kaur, the wife of the Mahārājā. Like Sāhib Kaur, she too saved the Paṭiālā state from extinction in its critical years.. She steered the administration in a wise manner during her husband's last years and the minority of her son, Karam Siṅgh (1798-1845), who succeeded his fattier in 1813. Mahārājā Karam Siṅgh helped the British in 1814 in opposing the Gurkhā expansion in the Punjab hills and secured a large tract in the Himalayan foothills. He was an able ruler who not only set his own house in order, but also made up the mutual differences between the Phūlkīāṅ chiefs ---Paṭiālā, Nābhā and Jīnd, and Bhāī Udai Siṅgh of Kaithal by an agreement signed at Bhavānīgaṛh in May 1834. Mahārājā Karam Siṅgh paid special attention towards Sikh historical places and saw that every Sikh gurdwārā in the state had a good building and a proper jāgīr attached to it.
Narinder Siṅgh (1824-1862), who succeeded his father Karam Siṅgh on his death in 1845, aided the British with supplies and carriage during the first Anglo-Sikh war and was amply rewarded with estates from Nābhā and a house from Lāḍvā. Once the Sikh Darbar at Lahore was extinguished in 1849, the Paṭiālā ruler came to be acknowledged as a political spokesman for the Sikh community. Mahārājā Narinder Siṅgh cemented his alliance with the British by his ready support of guns, carriage, loans, and troops in 1857. Once again Paṭiālā was compensated with new titles, honours, estates, and a seat on the newly enlarged Viceroy's Legislative Council (1862) for its ruler. Mahārājā Narinder Siṅgh was a great builder and also a patron of art and literature. He set up in 1861 an akhāṛā of Nirmalā Sikhs which is known as Dharam Dhujā. He also raised a beautiful gurdwārā at the site associated with the visit of Gurū Tegh Bahādur just opposite Moti Bāgh Palace. Narinder Siṅgh died on 13 November 1862 and was succeeded by his ten-year-old son, Mohinder Siṅgh (1852-76). Mahārājā Mohinder Siṅgh is known for his patronage of learning, works of public utility and for measures connected with the improvement and general well-being of his people. He spent millions of rupees on the Sirhind Canal project, contributed seventy thousand rupees to the University College in Lahore, and established Mohindra College in Paṭiālā in 1875, providing free education to all who studied in that college. His noble work was continued by his son Rājinder Siṅgh, who ascended the throne of Paṭiālā after his father's death in April 1876 and died in November 1900 at the age of 28.
Bhūpinder Siṅgh, born in October 1891, was only nine years old when he succeeded his father. He developed into a first class sportsman, an astute politician and an able administrator, and it was he who was mostly responsible for giving Paṭiālā a prominent place on the political map of India. He was practically a life-Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes. He attended the Imperial War Conference in 1918 as a representative of the Indian states. He was also chosen as one of the representatives of the Princes for the Round Table Conference in London in 1930. A great patron of art and literature, his collections of great historical, artistic and zoological interest were highly admired by all who happened to see them. His efforts for the development of Punjabi language deserve highest commendation. He was the only prince to raise it to the position of the court language. It was at his suggestion that the Remingtons invented the Gurmukhī type script. In the field of sports, Mahārājā Sir Bhūpinder Siṅgh was an international figure and was known all over the world for his polo and cricket.
Mahārājā Sir Yādavinder Siṅgh (1913-74), who succeeded his father on his death in 1938, had his education at Aitchison College, Lahore, and was an enlightened ruler with varied interests. He did a lot for the welfare of his people and was a guiding light in the politics of the Princely order. He became the Pro-Chancellor of the Chamber of Princes in 1943. He took a leading part in the negotiations with the Cabinet Mission in 1946. He moulded the views of the ruling Princes in line with the progressive leaders of the country. His greatest service to India was in having saved it from further division into Hindustān and one or more Rājāsthāns (in addition to Pakistan). He not only opposed this balkanization of India but gathered around him a number of patriotic princes and strengthened the hands of the Indian National Congress in opposing the machinations of anti-national elements. He himself was one of the first princes who acceded to the Union of India and helped in integration of the country with the formation of State Union on the lines of British Indian provinces. The Covenant of Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union was signed on 5 May 1948. Mahārājā Yādavinder Siṅgh served as Rājpramukh of PEPSU until 1956 when PEPSU and Punjab were merged. Paṭiālā city then lost its place as a capital but retained certain institutions like the Punjab State Archives and gained new ones like the National Institute of Sports and Punjabi University.
JĪND, one of the Phūlkīāṅ states, was the creation of Gajpat Siṅgh (1738-89) who was the middle son of Sukhchain Siṅgh (d. 1751), the younger brother of Gurdit Siṅgh, of the ruling family of Nābhā. In 1764, Gajpat Siṅgh joined the Khālsā Dal under Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā and took part in the conquest of Sirhind. He then seized the districts of Jīnd and Safīdoṅ and overran Pānīpat and Karnāl. Unlike other Sikh chiefs, he continued his relation with the Mughal court in Delhi also and paid revenue to the emperor. He obtained the title of Rājā under a royal farmān from Emperor Shāh Ālam II in February 1772. From this time Gajpat Siṅgh assumed the style of an independent chief and coined money. He was on war with the Nābhā chief and had seized Amloh, Bhādsoṅ and Saṅgrūr in 1774. Amar Siṅgh of Paṭiālā and chiefs of Bhaṅgī and Kanhaiyā misls compelled him to relinquish the first town to Nābhā but Gajpat Siṅgh retained Saṅgrūr which eventually became the capital of Jīnd state. The daughter of Rājā Gajpat Siṅgh, Rāj Kaur, was married to Mahāṅ Siṅgh of the Sukkarchakkīā misl and she was the one who gave birth to Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh.
Gajpat Siṅgh died in 1789 and was succeeded to the gaddī by his elder son, Bhāg Siṅgh (1768-1819), the younger, Kaṅvar, Bhūp Siṅgh, taking the estate of Baḍrukkhāṅ. Like his father, Rājā Bhāg Siṅgh was also a close ally of Paṭiālā. He joined the Paṭiālā army under Bībī Sāhib Kaur in 1794 against the Marāṭhās, who were repulsed by her from Paṭiālā state. He was mainly responsible for the check to the advance of George Thomas towards the Sikh territories and later on of General Perron of the Marāṭhā service. He maintained friendly relations with the British government and accompanied Lord Lake up to River Beās in pursuit of Jasvant Rāo Holkār. He also invited Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh to settle disputes among the Phūlkīāṅ chiefs. A wise politician, he gained in territory both from the British and the Mahārājā.
Rājā Bhāg Siṅgh died in 1819 and was succeeded by his son, Fateh Siṅgh. Rājā Fateh Siṅgh died in 1822 and his place was taken by Saṅgat Siṅgh who died childless in 1834. Then followed a protracted debate among the British government and the Phūlkīāṅ chiefs and jāgīrdārs over whether the state should escheat to the British and who had the best claim to succeed if it did not. After rejecting the claims of Nābhā and Paṭiālā, the British decided in 1837 in favour of Sarūp Siṅgh (1812-64) of Bazīdpur and declared that he would inherit only those portions, namely Jīnd, Saṅgrūr arid Safīdoṅ, which had been acquired by Rājā Gajpat Siṅgh from whom he claimed descent. The remainder of Jīnd state which had been received as grants from Raṇjīt Siṅgh would be divided between the British and Raṇjīt Siṅgh with the former taking all estates granted before the treaty of 1809 and the latter resuming grants made afterwards. It was by this decision that the British obtained Ludhiāṇā. Rājā Sarūp Siṅgh was very tall and physically well-built. Sir Lepel Griffin, writes in his The Rājās of the Punjab : "In person and presence he was eminently princely and the stalwart Sikh race could hardly show a taller or stronger man. Clad in armour, as he loved to be, at the head of his troops there was perhaps no other Prince in India who bore himself so gallantly and looked so true a soldier." Sarūp Siṅgh had cordial relations with the British and was rewarded with Dādrī in Haryāṇā, and thirteen more villages near Saṅgrūr, a house at Delhi, and an eleven-gun salute.
Sarūp Siṅgh died in 1864 and was succeeded by his son, Raghbīr Siṅgh (1832-87) who rebuilt the town of Saṅgrūr on the model of Jaipur. He helped the British with men and money during the second Afghān war in 1878-80 and was rewarded with the title of Rājā-i-Rājgān in perpetuity. Upon his death in 1887, his eight-year-old grandson, Ranbīr Siṅgh (1879-1948) succeeded him as his only son, Balbīr Siṅgh, had predeceased him. Ranbīr Siṅgh was invested with ruling powers in 1899. Deaf from a relatively early age, Mahārājā Ranbīr Siṅgh lived until 1948 and witnessed fifty momentous years from his gaddī. The Dhūrī-Jakhal and Jind-Pānīpat Railway lines were laid during his reign. He received the title of Mahārājā in 1911. Raṇbīr Siṅgh died early in 1948 and was succeeded by his son, Rājbīr Siṅgh, during whose time the Jīnd state joined the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union.
Jīnd, which consisted of the three dispersed nizāmats of Sangrūr, Jīnd and Dādrī, ranked second among the Sikh states in area (1,299 square miles) and population (3,24,676 in 1931). Its revenues in the 1930's averaged around twenty-five lakhs annually which placed it fourth behind Paṭiālā, Kapūrthalā and Nābhā, and reflected the arid character of Dādrī, the largest district of the state, near the Rājasthān desert. Its Sikh population was only 10% of the total in 1931 while Hindus and Muslims were 75 % and 14% respectively.
NĀBHĀ STATE, founded by Hamīr Siṅgh, a descendant of Bābā Phūl through his eldest son, Tilok Siṅgh (d. 1687), belonged to the Phūlkīāṅ family. Hamīr Siṅgh added considerably to the estates of Kapūrgaṛh and Saṅgrūr which he had inherited from his grandfather, Gurdit Siṅgh. He founded the town of Nābhā in 1755. In 1764 he joined Bābā Ālā Siṅgh of Paṭiālā and the Khālsā Dal in the conquest of Sirhind and received the parganā of Amloh as his share of the spoil. He then declared his independence and exercised the right of coining money.
On his death in December 1783, Hamīr Siṅgh was succeeded by his son, Jasvant Siṅgh, under the guardianship of his stepmother, Rāṇī Deso, a very resourceful woman. Rāṇī Deso secured the military aid of her son-in-law, Sāhib Siṅgh Bhaṅgī of Gujrāt, and Jai Siṅgh of the Kanhaiyā misl, and recovered much of the territory that had been seized by Rājā Gajpat Siṅgh of Jīnd. Rājā Jasvant Siṅgh improved his relations with the Jīnd chief and succeeded in checking the exploits of the Irish adventurer, George Thomas, with the help of General Perron of the Marāṭhā service. He entered into an alliance with Lord Lake in the beginning of the nineteenth century and was formally taken under British protection in May 1809. He helped the British in the Gurkhā war in 1814 and also in the Kābul campaign in 1838.
Jasvant Siṅgh in 1840 and was succeeded by his son, Rājā Devinder Siṅgh (1822-65). During the first Anglo-Sikh war of 1845-46, Devinder Siṅgh whose sympathy was with the Lahore Darbār did not help the British and, in consequence of his conduct, nearly one-fourth of his possessions were confiscated and he was removed from his state, the succession passing to his eldest son, Bharpūr Siṅgh, then a boy of seven years. Bharpūr Siṅgh who helped the British in the suppression of the mutiny of 1857 was rewarded with the grant of the division of Bāwal and Kāṇṭī, with permission, later on, to purchase a portion of Kanaud sub-division of Jhajjar. Like other Phūlkīāṅ chiefs, he was granted the right of adoption, the power of life and death over his subjects and the promise of non-interference by the British in the internal affairs of his state. On his death in 1863, he was succeeded by his brother; Bhagvān Siṅgh, who too died eight years later, leaving no son. As there was no near relative to claim the gaddī of Nābhā, Hīrā Siṅgh of the Baḍrukkhāṅ branch of the Phūlkīāṅ family was selected in 1871 by the two Phūlkīāṅ chiefs of Paṭiālā and Jīnd and a representative of the British government to be the new ruler.
Mahārājā Sir Hīrā Siṅgh (1843-1911) ruled for forty years and did much to improve the image of Nābhā with the British and the Sikh community. His contribution of contingents of state troops to fight in most of the major frontier campaigns was duly rewarded by the British government with many honours including the hereditary titles of Rājā-i-Rājgān and Mahārājā. Mahārājā Hīrā Siṅgh contributed to the establishment of the Khālsā College at Amritsar, and patronized liberally Max Arthur Macauliffe to write his monumental work, The Sikh Religion. He died in 1911 and was succeeded by his son, Ripudaman Siṅgh.
Mahārājā Ripudaman Siṅgh (1883-1942) was a wide-awake ruler. As Ṭikkā Sāhib or heir apparent, he was appointed to the Imperial Legislative Council and there gained a certain reputation as a sympathizer with Indian Nationalism. Some disputes between the rulers of Paṭiālā and Nābhā enabled the British to intervene and Mahārājā Ripudaman Siṅgh was made to abdicate, in july 1923, the Nābhā gaddī in favour of his minor son, Pratāp Siṅgh. His abdication accelerated an Akālī campaign protesting first that the British had forced him to leave and then that state troops under British direction had interrupted the akhaṇḍ pāṭh of the Gurū Granth Sāhib at Jaito. The administration of the state during Pratāp Siṅgh's minority was entrusted to an administrator appointed by the Government of India. Mahārājā Pratāp Siṅgh assumed full powers in 1938 and ruled the state up to August 1948, when it was merged into the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU).
Nābhā was the third largest Sikh state with 947square miles of territory and had the same rank in revenues which were about twenty-eight lakhs but its population in 1931 was 2,87,574 and it ranked fourth behind Paṭiālā, Jīnd and Kapūrthalā. The religious composition of its population in 1931 was 46% Hindu, 34% Sikh and 20% Muslim. 'The state had three nizāmats, Phūl, the tract most directly influenced by Sikhism and the centre of the Jaṭṭ Sikh population, Amloh, the most. fertile area, and Bāval, the sandy appendage whose Hindus and Hindustānī reflected its position in southwest Haryāṇā.
KAPŪRTHALĀ, the only Sikh state which survived north of the Sutlej until 1947, was founded by Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā (1718-83), a prominent leader of the Sikhs (hiring the eventful years of the eighteenth century. Jassā Siṅgh was the right hand man of Nawāb Kapūr Siṅgh in the organization of the Dal Khālsā and he took a leading part in the Sikh struggle against the Mughal governors of the Punjab, Zakarīyā Khān, Yāhīyā Khān and Mīr Mannū. In March 1758, Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā led the Sikhs against Sirhind when it was captured by the joint forces of the Sikhs and the Marāṭhās, and also when they occupied Lahore a month later. Although Ahmad Shāh Durrānī re-established his influence in the winter of 1759, defeated the Marāṭhās at Pānīpat in 1761 and inflicted a heavy loss upon the Sikhs in February 1762, the Sikhs under Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā rose against him and in 1764 conquered Sirhind. In 1774, Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā after defeating the Bhaṭṭī chief, Rāi Ibrāhīm, acquired the present town of Kapūrthalā and made it the capital of the Āhlūvālīā family. By the time of his death in 1783, he had obtained a vast territory around present-day towns of Kapūrthalā and Sultānpur Lodhī.
As Jassā Siṅgh died in 1783 without a male issue, the succession passed on to his second cousin, Bhāg Siṅgh (1745-1801), son of Laddhā Siṅgh. He ruled the state for eighteen years and was succeeded on his death in 1801 by his son, Fateh Siṅgh (1784-1836). A great friend of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's, Fateh Siṅgh entered into offensive and defensive alliances with him shortly after his father's death, but was rather quickly demoted from the position of equal to that of a subordinate partner. Participating in many of Raṇjīt Siṅgh's expeditions and military campaigns, Fateh Siṅgh gained estates scattered on both sides of the Sutlej from his ally. In 1826, he sought British protection for his cis-Sutlej estates. On his death in 1836, Fateh Siṅgh was succeeded by his son Nihāl Siṅgh (1817-52). Kapūrthalā state had a number of parganās to the south of the River Sutlej. The British expected Nihāl Siṅgh to ally himself actively with them against the Sikh Darbār during the Anglo-Sikh war of 1845-46. This he could not afford to do as his main territory lay to the north and Lahore-side of Sutlej. The result was that he lost his cis-Sutlej estates and had to pay an annual tribute of 1,38,000 rupees to retain his other estates.
Nihāl Siṅgh died in 1852 and was succeeded by his eldest son, Randhīr Siṅgh (1831-70), whose valuable services to the British during the mutiny of 1857 were rewarded with the title of Rājā-i-Rājgān, the right of adoption and other concessions, and addition to his state of some territories in the United Provinces of Āgrā and Oudh. He died at Aden in 1870 on his way to England. His son, Rājā Khaṛak Siṅgh (1850-77), reigned for seven years and on his death, in 1877, was succeeded by his five year-old-son, Jagatjīt Siṅgh (1872-1949), who was invested with full powers of administration in November 1890, and who received the title of Mahārājā in 1911. He developed into a great scholar and traveller and was one of the most cultured princes of his day. He took keen interest in the prosperity of his state and made Kapūrthalā a city of beautiful palaces and gardens. On the lapse of British paramountcy in August 1947, the Kapūrthalā state acceded to the Indian Union and joined the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) on its formation in 1948, with His Highness Mahārājā Sir Jagatjīt Siṅgh as its Up-Rājpramukh. Mahārājā Jagatjīt Siṅgh was one of the two most widely travelled Indians of his day and India was best known to the outside world by these two names, i.e. Mahātmā Gāndhī and Mahārājā Jagatjīt Siṅgh of Kapūrthalā. In a number of capitals of the world, the Mahārājā received a singular honour; i.e. a standing ovation by those present. He died in 1949 and was succeeded by his son, Paramjīt Siṅgh (1892-1955), who was in turn succeeded by his son Sukhjīt Siṅgh (b.1934).
Though its area was only 599 square miles and thus fifth among Sikh states, Kapūrthalā was situated in fertile, well watered tracts and supported a population of 3,16,757 in 1931 and enjoyed annual revenues around thirty-three lakhs, including its Oudh estates. Its location might have influenced its population as Muslims constituted 57% while Sikhs were 23% and Hindus 17%. It was divided into five tahsīls of Kapūrthalā, Ḍhilvāṅ, Bholath, Phagwāṛā and Sultānpur Lodhī, and Punjabi was the language of most of its inhabitants.
FARĪDKOṬ STATE. The ruling house of Farīdkoṭ claimed descent from Brāṛ, the seventeenth in line from Jaisal, the Bhaṭṭī Rājpūt, from whom the Phūlkīāṅ rulers and the Bhāīs of Kaithal also traced their ancestry. Brāṛ has lent his name to the tribe of the Brāṛ Jaṭṭ Sikhs to which the Farīdkoṭ family belongs. He was a contemporary of the Lodhīs, and Saṅghar, a descendant of his, of the Mughal emperors, Bābar and Humāyūṅ. Saṅghar is said to have helped Humāyūṅ in his final victory against Sikandar Shāh Sur in 1555. His son, Bhallan, was a contemporary of Akbar, and was always in armed conflict with the Bhaṭṭīs. Bhallan is said to have served Gurū Hargobind in one of his battles against the Mughals and received his blessings. He had no male. issue and was succeeded on his death in 1643 by his nephew, Kapūrā (1628-1708), son of Lālā. During his long life, Kapūrā had the rare honour of serving Gurū Har Rāi and Gurū Gobind Siṅgh during their travels in his part of the country. He was a brave man and soon succeeded in consolidating the family possessions. He founded the town of Koṭ Kapūrā in 1661. Kapūrā received the pāhul or the rites of Khālsā initiation at the hands of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh and came to be known as Kapūr Siṅgh. He was killed by 'Īsā Khān Mañj who, in turn, fell at the hands of his revengeful sons. Kapūr Siṅgh was succeeded by son Sukhīā Siṅgh, who was followed in 1732 by Jodh Siṅgh. The latter had strained relations not only with the Paṭiālā chief but also with his own brothers, Hamīr Siṅgh and Bīr Siṅgh, who complained against him to the leaders of the Khālsā Dal. Jassā Siṅgh Āhlūvālīā and Jhaṇḍā Siṅgh Bhaṅgī brought about a compromise among the brothers.
Hamīr Siṅgh (d. 1782) succeeded his brother Jodh Siṅgh's son, Ṭek Siṅgh. He built the fort of Farīdkoṭ and made it his capital. His son, Mohar Siṅgh (d.1798) was deposed by Chaṛhat Siṅgh (d. 1804), who, in turn, was attacked and slain by his uncle, Dal Siṅgh. And Dal Siṅgh was assassinated by a cousin, Faujā Siṅgh, who acted as the guardian of the minor chief, Gulāb Siṅgh, son of Chaṛhat Siṅgh. The territory of Farīdkoṭ was invaded and occupied by Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh in 1807. It was restored to Gulāb Siṅgh two years later in consequence of the Mahārājā's treaty of 1809 with the British. Gulāb Siṅgh was murdered in November 1826 and was succeeded by his young son, Atar Siṅgh who died soon afterwards in August 1827. Pahāṛ Siṅgh, who succeeded Atar Siṅgh was succeeded by his son, Wazīr Siṅgh who, like other chiefs, placed his resources at the disposal of British government for the suppression of the mutiny of 1857 and was duly rewarded for his loyalty. He died in April 1874 and was succeeded by his son, Bikram Siṅgh.
A dominant figure in Farīdkoṭ history, Rājā Bikram Siṅgh gave a good administration to the state. He beautified the town of Farīdkot with stately palaces and gardens and encouraged his people in agriculture and trade. He also played a significant role in the organization of the Amritsar Khālsā Dīwān. It was he who took elaborate steps to get the Gurū Granth Sāhib translated into Punjabi prose with the help of a band of devoted Sikh scholars headed by Bhāī Badan Siṅgh. He also gave liberal grants for the Laṅgar at Darbār Sāhib, Amritsar, and electrification of the Golden Temple.
Rājā Balbīr Siṅgh (1869-1906) succeeded his father, Bikram Siṅgh, in 1898, and ruled for only eight years before being succeeded by his adopted son, Brijindar Siṅgh who was formally installed in March 1906. Brijīnder Siṅgh earned the title of Mahārājā by his whole-hearted support for the British during the First World War. Mahārājā Harinder Siṅgh (1915-1989), the last autonomous Farīdkoṭ prince, was educated at Aitchison College, Lahore, as his father had been. He was invested with full ruling powers in October 1934. He assiduously devoted himself to the economic prosperity of the state and educational advancement of his people. On the declaration of Indian independence, Farīdkoṭ acceded to the Union of India and joined the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States-Union (PEPSU) on its formation in 1948.
With an area of 638 square miles, Farīdkoṭ was divided into two tahsīls of Farīdkoṭ and Kot Kapurā, lying between Paṭiālā state and Fīrozpur district. Its annual revenues during the 1930's were about eighteen lakhs and ranked fifth among the Sikh states. Still Farīdkoṭ had the distinction of being the only Sikh state in which Sikhs had an absolute majority by 1931. In that year they constituted 57% of the population while Hindus were only 12% and Muslims were 30%.
KALSĪĀ STATE, originally forming part of the territories of the Karoṛsiṅghīā misl founded by Shīam Siṅgh of Nārlī, and later on consolidated by Karoṛā Siṅgh of Barkī who lent his name to it. After Karoṛā Siṅgh's death in the battle of Tarāoṛī in 1761, he was succeeded by Baghel Siṅgh of Jhabāl who greatly extended his exploits and territories, both to the north and the south of the Sutlej with his headquarters at Hariāṇa in Hoshiārpur district, and Chhalaudī in Karnāl district. A prominent companion of Baghel Siṅgh was Gurbakhsh Siṅgh, a Sandhū Jaṭṭ of the village of Kalsīā in Kasūr tahsīl of Lahore district, now in Pakistan. When the Sikhs conquered Sirhind and occupied its territories in 1764, Gurbakhsh Siṅgh also shared the exploits and conquest of the Karoṛsiṅghīā misl and occupied the parganās of Chhachhraulī, Siālbā, etc. Gurbakhsh Siṅgh left his son, Jodh Siṅgh at Chhachhraulī and himself settled down at Banbelī in Hoshiārpur district, where he died in 1775. The state formed around Chhachhraulī came to be called Kalsīā after the ancestral village of the founders. Jodh Siṅgh made considerable additions to his otherwise small principality of Kalsīā. After the death of Baghel Siṅgh in 1802, Jodh Siṅgh succeeded to the leadership of the misl. In 1807, he joined Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh in the latter's attack on Naraiṇgaṛh in Ambālā, and later fought for him in many a battle in the Punjab. The Mahārājā granted him the tract of Gaṛhdīvālā, in Hoshiārpur district, as a reward for his services. Jodh Siṅgh's possessions at the height of his power are said to have yielded him over five lakhs annually. He died at Multān in 1818 of wounds received in the battle, and his son, Sobhā Siṅgh, succeeded him who ruled the Kalsīā state for forty years until his death in 1858. Sobhā Siṅgh's son, Lahiṇā Siṅgh who died in 1869, and was followed in the chiefship by his son, Bishan Siṅgh (d. 1883) and grandsons Jagjīt Siṅgh (d. 1886) and Raṇjīt Siṅgh (d.1908).
The chief figure in Kalsīā during the twentieth century was Rājā Ravī Sher Siṅgh (1902-47) who succeeded his father Raṇjīt Siṅgh on the gaddī in 1908. During his minority, a council of three ministers administered the state and completed the land settlement in 1915. Placing the entire resources of the state at the disposal of the British during World War I, the council earned the title of Rājā for its ruler in 1916. Like many of his fellow Sikh princes, Rājā Ravī Sher Siṅgh was educated at Aitchison College and travelled abroad before being invested with ruling powers in 1922. Though Kalsīā was the only Sikh state not accorded a salute and therefore not eligible for membership in its own right in the Chamber of Princes, Rāvī Sher Siṅgh did serve as a representative member of non-salute states in the Chamber of Princes from November 1924 to March 1933. When Rājā Ravī Sher Siṅgh died in 1947, he was succeeded by his son, Rājā Karan Sher Siṅgh (1931-61), who had been educated at the Doon School. Mahārājā Yādavinder Siṅgh of Paṭiālā served as regent for the teenage prince. The Kalsīā state acceded to the Indian Union on the lapse of British paramountcy in August 1947 and joined the Paṭiālā and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) in 1948. The town of Kalsīā and a number of small enclaves were transferred to Punjab and Himāchal Pradesh in 1950 in exchange of territories taken over by PEPSU from these states.
Kalsīā was the smallest of the Sikh states with an area of 192 square miles, annual revenue of about four lakhs in the 1930's and a population of 59,848 in 1931, which included 48% Hindus, 36% Muslims and 15% Sikhs. Prior to 1857, Kalsīā had lost its trans-Sutlej estates, so that it came to be centred in Ambālā district in the two tahsils of Basī and Chhachhraulī, with an isolated tract at Chiṛak in Fīrozpur district.
KAITHAL, ruling family descended from Bhāī Bhagatū, a revered Sikh of the time of Gurū Arjan, and claimed the same Bhaṭṭī Rājpūt origin as did the Phūlkīāṅ misl. One of Bhāī Bhagatū's descendants, Gurbakhsh Siṅgh, son of Bhāī Rām Diāl, who had gained renown as a holy man, was a frequent ally of Bābā Ālā Siṅgh of Paṭiālā in the latter's conquests. Upon his death in 1764, his five sons, divided their father's estates among themselves. Desū Siṅgh who was widely recognized as the most powerful of the Bhāīs or brothers, established an independent principality at Kaithal sometime between 1764 and 1768. His son, Lāl Siṅgh, personified the stereotype of the defiant, ambitious younger son. In prison for rebellion at the death of his father in 1781, Lāl Siṅgh managed to escape, to eliminate his elder brother, and to expand widely his possessions. When in 1809 the state became a protected state under the British, Lāl Siṅgh, enjoying revenues of two and a quarter lakhs, ranked second to the Mahārājā of Paṭiālā, who had revenue of six lakhs while Nābhā was third among the Phūlkīāṅ sardārs with revenues of one and a half lakhs. After reaching this pinnacle the fortunes of Kaithal rapidly declined. The last sardār, Bhāī Udai Siṅgh, had been bedridden for several years prior to his death on 15 March 1843. For much of his last decade, there were frequent raids on the Paṭiālā Kaithal border which became a no man's land of deserted villages. However it was Bhāī Udai Siṅgh, who had patronized the great poet, Bhāī Santokh Siṅgh who wrote the famous Srī Gur Pratāp Sūraj Granth, monumental history in verse of early Sikhism. Bhāī Udai Siṅgh died without issue and the chiefship and part of the territory worth about one lakh annually devolved to a collateral, Bhāī Gulāb Siṅgh of Arnaulī while the major part of the state which earned about four lakhs annually and included the town of Kaithal escheated to the British. Kaithal became a district headquarters but, in 1849, was absorbed into Thānesar district and then in 1862 was designated a tahsīl of Karnāl district.