MOTĪ RĀM, DĪWĀN (1770-1837), was the only son of Dīwān Muhkam Chand, one of Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh's most trusted army generals. Motī Rām officiated as the governor of the Jalandhar Doāb during the absence of his father on military expeditions. After the death of his father in 1814, he was confirmed as governor of the Jalandhar Doāb. In 1818, Motī Rām participated in the successful Multān campaign. He became the first governor of Kashmīr when in 1819 the territory was conquered and annexed to the Sikh kingdom, but he became so heart-broken after the death of his son, Rām Diāl, killed in the battle of Hazārā in 1820, that he resigned his post and retired to Banāras to live the life of a recluse. However, the Mahārājā recalled him after an year and sent him again to Kashmīr as governor which post he held up to 1826. He returned to Lahore and was assigned to protocol duties. He accompanied the Sikh mission to wait on Lord Amherst, the Governor-General of India, when he came to Shimlā for the first time in 1827. In 1831 also he was a member of the mission sent from Lahore to meet Lord William Bentinck.

         In December 1831, Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh granted to Dīwān Motī Rām in jāgīr Kuñjāh, his ancestral home-town, and several villages around it worth over three lakh rupees annually. Court machinations led Dīwān Motī Rām in 1832 to take leave of his royal master and to proceed to Banāras where he died in February 1837.


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Harī Rām Gupta