SŪRAT SĪṄGH MAJĪṬHĪĀ, RĀJĀ (d. 1881), son of Atar Siṅgh Majīṭhīā, was a soldier, commander and notable sardār of the Sikh Darbār. Details of his early career and of his service under Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh are scanty. Sūrat Siṅgh was commandant of the Sikh battalion posted at Peshāwar during the first Anglo-Sikh war. After the peace settlement of 1846, he was retained in the Sikh army by British Resident Sir Henry Lawrence, and posted to Lahore. He fell foul of Wazīr Lāl Siṅgh who became his enemy and ordered the resumption of his jāgīr.
Sūrat Siṅgh played a prominent role in events leading to the Sikh national rising against the British in 1848. He commanded 2,000 men in the division sent under Sher Siṅgh Aṭārīvālā to Multān to quell Dīwān Mūl Raj's revolt. In September 1848, he as well as Sher Siṅgh's troops joined the rebels. His appeal to the Khālsā troops in the name of their sovereign, Duleep Siṅgh and his call to arms against the feringhees brought an immediate response. Many disbanded Sikh soldiers, religious leaders and laymen joined the standard of revolt. Mūl Rāj's troops deserted and rallied round him. He moved northwards, plundered Chiniot and Jhaṅg and fought the British at Sadullāpur, Chelīāṅvālā and Gujrāt along with Sher Siṅgh's force which had swelled to 12,000 men and 28 guns. At Sadullāpur, 6 km from the town of Rāmnagar, at a principal ford on the River Jehlum, the Sikhs nullified General Thackwell's manoeuvre against their flank and safely crossed the river to join Chatar Siṅgh's force. At Gujrāt, the force under Sūrat Siṅgh was the last to yield.
After the annexation of the Punjab, Sūrat Siṅgh's jāgīrs were confiscated and he was removed to Banāras with an annual pension of Rs 720. He lived at Banāras in privation till 1857, when during the mutiny he helped the British and saved the Banāras treasury, which contained the jewellery of Mahārāṇī Jīnd Kaur, on 6 July 1857, he received a sword cut on his leg which made him lame for the rest of his life. For these services, Sūrat Siṅgh was allowed to return to the Punjab, his pension was raised to Rs 4,800 and he was granted a permanent jāgīr in Gorakhpur district. In his village of Majīṭhā to which he came back in 1861, he was appointed an honorary magistrate and was invested with civil and judicial powers. In 1877, the titles of Rājā and Companionship of the Star of India were conferred upon him. He died in 1881 at Majīṭhā.
B. J. Hasrat