DĪNĀ NĀTH, DĪWĀN (1795-1857), civil administrator and counsellor of considerable influence at the Sikh court for well over three decades, was the son of a Kashmīrī Paṇḍit, Bakht Mall, who had migrated to Delhi during the oppressive rule of the Afghān governors of the valley. He was also closely related to Dīwān Gaṅgā Rām, head of the military accounts and keeper of the privy seal at Lahore. In 1815, at the instance of Dīwān Gaṅgā Rām, Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh invited Dīnā Nāth to Lahore and offered him the post of mutsaddī, or writer, in the department of military accounts. In 1826, when Dīwān Gaṅgā Rām died, Dīnā Nāth succeeded him as the head of military accounts department and keeper of the privy seal. In 1834, when Dīwān Bhavānī Dās passed away, the Mahārājā made him the head of the civil and finance office and conferred upon him, in 1838, the honorary title of Dīwān.

         By his ability and political acumen, Dīnā Nāth rose to the highest position of power and influence in the affairs of the State. Lepel Griffin styles him the Talleyrand of the Punjab. Dīnā Nāth knew how to keep his ambition in check and was one man in Lahore who made no enemies at the court. In the turbulent days following Raṇjīt Siṅgh's death, he refused to take sides with Rāṇī Chand Kaur or Kaṅvar Sher Siṅgh. However, Sher Siṅgh upon his succession to the throne, reposed his full trust in him. Dīnā Nāth retained his position at the court. during the wazārats of both Hīrā Siṅgh and Jawāhar Siṅgh as well as during the regency of Mahārāṇī Jind Kaur. After the Anglo-Sikh war of 1845-46, the British nominated him a member of the Council of Regency established in Lahore for the minor king, Duleep Siṅgh. In November 1847, the title of the Rājā of Kalānaur, with a jāgīr worth 20, 000 rupees annually, was conferred upon him.

         After the annexation of the Punjab in 1849, Dīnā Nāth served under the British who confirmed him in his jāgīrs worth about fifty thousand rupees annually.

         Dīwān Dīnā Nāth died at Lahore in 1857.


  1. Sūrī, Sohan Lāl, 'Umdāt-ut –Twārīkh'. Lahore, 1885-89
  2. Griffin, Lepel, and C. F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
  3. Hasrat, B. J. , Life and Times of Ranjit Singh. Hoshiarpur, 1977

Harī Rām Gupta