JAṄGNĀMĀ LAHORE, by Kāhn Siṅgh, is a poem describing the battles fought between the British and the Sikhs during 1845-46. Kāhn Siṅgh belonged to Baṅgā, Jalandhar district, and undertook the work at the instance of the British Deputy Commissioner of the area, Mr Vanistart. Though there is no internal evidence to date the work, we can safely assume it to have been completed sometime before 1853 as one of the several manuscript copies of the work which are extant is dated 1910 Bk/AD 1853 by the scribe. The only printed text available is in the anthology Prāchīn Vāran te Jaṅgnāme, edited by Shamsher Siṅgh Ashok. The Jaṅgnāmā written in a language that is a mixture of Punjabi, Hindi and Persian, has 444 couplets composed in the masnavī style. After the customary invocation to the Divine, the Jaṅgnāmā proper begins with the treaty of friendship signed between the British and Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh who is praised for his qualities of valour and justice. However, after his death on Thursday, Hāṛ sudī Ekam 1896 Bk/27 June 1839, the intrigues and machinations of courtiers and officials led to internal feuds resulting in the fall of the Sikh kingdom. Since the Jaṅgnāmā was written on the instruction of a British official, the poet tends to be biased in favour of the British, though at places he does give credit to the Sikh soldiers for their stamina and chivalry. The sole responsibility for the Anglo-Sikh war is fastened upon Jind Kaur, the widow of Raṇjīt Siṅgh, who, according to the author, wished to avenge the murder of her brother, Jawāhar Siṅgh, by having the Sikh forces punished by the British. The battles of Mudkī, Pherū (Shahr), Baddovāl and Sabhrāoṅ, have been dealt with in detail by the poet, and in the process he has given names of some Sikhs who got killed in action. Among them are Bhāī Jaimal Siṅgh Akālī (264-65) and his brother Buddh Siṅgh Akālī (296-98), Atar Siṅgh Kāliāṅvālā (294-95), Kaur Siṅgh (290), Gaṇḍā Singh Bhaṇḍārī of Butālā (299), Nidhān Siṅgh of Tuṅg (322-24), Shām Siṅgh Aṭārīvālā, Hīrā Siṅgh (383-84), Hukam Siṅgh Malvaī (38), Pañjāb Siṅgh, Belā Siṅgh (381), General Mevā Siṅgh Majīṭhīa (380) and Mākhe Khān (377) . This feature is especially noteworthy, for no other contemporary or near-contemporary work records the names of so many of the warriors who were killed in the first Anglo-Sikh war.


    Ashok, Shamsher Siṅgh, ed., Prāchīn Vārāṅ te Jaṅgnāme. Amritsar, 1950

Dharam Siṅgh