Hari Singh Nalwa - Champion of The Khalsa - Book By Vanit Nalwa

Publisher: Hari Singh Nalwa Foundation Trust
Authors: Vanit Nalwa
Page: 367
Format: Paperback
Language: English
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Introduction of The Book 'Hari Singh Nalwa - Champion of The Khalsa’ By Vanit Nalwa

The Kingdom of the Sikhs, or the Sarkar Khalsaji, was a manifestation of the spiritual path initiated by Guru Nanak that was eventually crystallized into the tradition of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh. In 1799, the Sikhs established their kingdom in that part of the Indian subcontinent most traumatised by the invaders.

The Sarkar Khalsaji stretched from the banks of the Satfuj to the very foothills of the Hindu Kush Mountains in the trans-Indus region. Hari Singh Nalwa was the Commander-in-Chief at the most turbulent North West Frontier of Ranjit Singh's kingdom. He took the frontier of the Sarkar Khalsaji to the very mouth of the Khyber Pass. For the past eight centuries, marauders indulging in loot, plunder, rape and forcible conversions to Islam had used this route into the subcontinent. In his lifetime, Hari Singh became a terror to the ferocious tribes inhabiting these regions. He successfully thwarted the last foreign invasion into the subcontinent through the Khyber Pass at Jamrucl, permanently blocking this route of the invaders. Even in his death, Hari Singh Nalwa's formidable reputation ensured victory for the Sikhs against an Afghan force five times as numerous.

Hari Singh Nalwa's performance as an administrator and a military commander in the North West Frontier remains unmatched. Two centuries on, Britain, Pakistan, Russia and America have been unsuccessful in effecting law and order in this region.

This book chronicles the spectacular achievements of Hari Singh Nalwa, the celebrated general of the Indian subcontinent. His life exemplified the tradition established by Guru Gobind Singh such that he came to be hailed as the' Champion of the Khalsa j i'.

PREFACE

During an interview with a correspondent, about my work as a personal enrichment trainer, I was asked about my surname. As I began to recount the story of how my ancestor, Sardar Hari Singh, acquired the cognomen 'Nalwa', I realised how little I knew about my ancestry. A couple of days following this interview came 11 September 2001. The events of that day changed the world order and sent everyone scurrying to locate Afghanistan on the nearest map.

I commenced my search for information on the ancestor who had spent a lifetime subduing the Afghans in the first half of the. nineteenth century. I found Hari Singh's contribution in consolidating the Kingdom of the Sikhs chronicled in Persian, Urdu, Gurmukhi, English and even Marathi. The information, however, was fragmentary and scattered. History needed to be a faithful record of facts relating to events as they happened. My training as a scientist led me to those sources of information that best met this criterion. My endeavour was to rely on information recorded nearest to the time of occurrence of the relevant events. I have presented the information such that its source may be available to the reader.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, the British East India Company governed 'Hindoostan' from their headquarters at Fort William in Calcutta. 'Sikh Affairs' were under the charge of their 'Foreign Department'. British agents, stationed at Ludhiana, were deputed to keep an eye on the affairs of the Punjab. The National Archives of India, New Delhi, had in its collection detailed reports dispatched to the British Governor-General spanning the period of the Sikh Kingdom. The information incorporated in these records was truly phenomenal. A report by one such agent was used by the Secretary in the Persian Department of the East India Company to compile the first book on Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ruler of the Punjab. This book, published during Hari Singh's lifetime, remained a ready reckoner for information on the Kingdom of the Sikhs.

Reports by the functionaries of the East India Company on spying missions — Charles Masson, Alexander Burnes and William Moorcroft — provided eye-witness accounts. Mohan Lal Kashmiri and Shahamat Ali, both employees of the East India Company, presented an even more knowledgeable Indo-British view. The British Gazetteers, compiled after the annexation of the Punjab, filled in many of the gaps.

European travellers through the Punjab — Godfrey Thomas Vigne, Reverend Joseph Wolff and Baron Charles von Hugel — rendered their personal, often unbiased, first-hand accounts of their meeting with Hari Singh Nalwa. Baron von Hiigel was the most outstanding of the three. This German had taken part in the war against Napoleon and had thereafter travelled widely in Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. The journal relating to his travels in South India, Punjab and Kashmir was translated from German into English and published under the patronage of the Honourable Court of Directors of the East India Company. Every 'India man' of consequence read his book. The British translator of his work referred to him as a 'nobleman of high birth and great good sense'. Hugel's observations were of special interest because he did not entertain the prejudice of the English rulers of Hindustan or the bias of Muslim historians.

The most authentic indigenous source consulted was the five volumes of Sohan Lal Suri's Lahore Court chronicle — a diary of events maintained contiguously with the rule of the Sikhs. There was a remarkable concordance between the court chronicle and the British reports. There were two other sources of information from within the Punjab that were consulted. The first was a compilation of letters written by a spy retained by the Deccan Peshwa at Ranjit Singh's court. The second was an account rendered by young Amarnath before he gained employment with Ranjit Singh as the paymaster of the Irregular Cavalry.

Following Hari Singh Nalwa's death, leading poets in the Punjab penned ballads in his memory. Besides supplementing information on the Sardar's career, these works lent an invaluable insight into how he was viewed by the people of the Punjab. The family record of the Nalwas with the Pandas at Haridwar and Pehowa revealed much more than Hari Singh's genealogy. During the course of the research, I discovered a rich collection of artistic renderings of Hari Singh with private collectors and museums world wide.

The archival and other records reveal the amazing story of the most formidable general of the Sikh Kingdom, Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa. It chronicles his achievements and participation in the reversal of eight centuries of history of the Indian subcontinent. Hari Singh Nalwa was not only instrumental in wresting a large portion of the Kingdom of Kabul, but also successfully governed it. The Sikh Kingdom retained its independence from the Afghans and the British. In the mid-twentieth century, the larger part of the erstwhile Sikh Kingdom went to form Pakistan. Two centuries on, Hari Singh's major field of operation — the North West Frontier Province, the region from where the Taliban arose — continued in a state of violent ferment. Hari Singh was instrumental in quelling of the first indigenous jihadi uprising in the Indian subcontinent.

I owe a deep sense of gratitude to Sardar Gur Pratap Singh, Fellow ITP (India) — my sounding board for every aspect of this work. In the true spirit of kar sewa, he most carefully read the manuscript and gave me detailed feedback. I am grateful to him for helping me with the maps included in the book. He kindly translated numerous Persian documents; he also transliterated and translated all the poetry in Gurmukhi incorporated herein.

I thank Professor J.S. Grewal for allowing me generous access to his time and expertise; especially with fine-tuning the Panda record translations and giving his invaluable guidance on various other aspects. I am thankful to Professor Prithipal Singh Kapur, Dr. Mira Seth and Professor Indu Banga for reading the manuscript and giving me their valuable feedback. I extend my gratitude to Sardar Khushwant Singh for giving me such a prompt response on the contents of the book at an early stage. Dr. Fatana Najibullah, Dr. Yunus Jaffrey, Dr. Manohar Singh Batra, Nidar Singh Nihang and Dr. Martine Meunier helped with the Gurmukhi/Persian/Pushtu/French translations — I thank them all for voluntarily sharing their expertise.

My special thanks go to the staff at the National Archives of India, especially Jaya Ravindran and PK. Roy, Research Room; Dr. Santosh Tyagi, Library; Mr. Mehra, Mr. Mani and Dr. Faizan Ahmed, Museum; and Jagmohan Singh, Reprography. Dr. Nasim Akhtar, Curator, Manuscript Division, National Museum gave his whole-hearted assistance; Rajbir Singh, Photography Division, Archaeological Survey of India, did a great job. I am obliged to Syed K. A. Qadiri, Director; M. Mahadevaiah, Superintending Archaeologist; S.K. Khanna, Senior Conservationist, Archives & Museums division, Government of Jammu & Kashmir, for facilitating my access to the Ramnagar Palace. Tarlochan Singh facilitated the work at the Punjab Government Archaeology and Archive Division, Chandigarh. Poonam Khanna, Curator, and S.M. Dhammi, Photographer, Government Museum and Art Gallery Chandigarh; Raman Kumar, Curator, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, Amritsar, were generous with their help. The staff at the Nehru Memorial Library; J.S. Anand, Librarian, Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan Library, New Delhi; Pratap Singh, Manuscripts, Khalsa College Library, Amritsar, greatly facilitated my work. Dr. (Ms.) Devinder Kaur, Librarian, Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha Library, Punjabi University, Patiala, provided every possible help for access to the Ganda Singh Collection.

I thank Sardar Jasdev Singh for allowing me access to the amazing art collection of The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi. I am very grateful for assistance with identification, procuring and locating of images to Sardar Parmjit Singh of the United Kingdom Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA), Ominder Singh Chowdhary of The Imperial Hotel and Dr. Daljeet, Curator, Miniature Painting, National Museum. All three gave me their unstinting help. The Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committees, Amritsar and New Delhi, gave me their full-hearted co-operation for use of the images from their collections. I offer my gratitude to the San Diego Museum of Art, USA; British Library, London, UK; Royal Asiatic Society, London, UK; and the Lahore Museum, Pakistan, for granting me permission to reproduce images in their collections. I gratefully acknowledge the generosity of private collectors for allowing me access to their collections and permission to reproduce lithographs, photographs and paintings in their possession.

I am grateful to my publisher, Mr. Ramesh Jain, for his co-operation. Mr. Balbir Singh, GM (Repro), and his team at Ajanta Printing & Packaging did a commendable job.

My family has always been there for me. This book fulfils my father's dream. He passionately supported my endeavour. My mother improved upon the quality of the publication in more than one way. Sarvjit contributed at every stage of the work. Preeti patiently read and re-read the manuscript at various stages and provided valuable suggestions. Harjit and Avijit, a constant source of delight, were the real reason behind this effort.

New Delhi                                                                                        Vanit Nalwa
13 January 2009                                                                                Vanit Nalwa

 

About Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa

".. .champion of the Khalsaji"

Lepel Griffin in The Punjab Chiefs, 1865
(Bengal Civil Service, Assistant Commissioner, Lahore)

".. .builder of the Sikh Empire"

A.S. Sandhu in General Hari Singh Nalwa 1791-1837,1935
(Sikh historian)

On being asked about the Sikh Kingdom, Mohan Lai informed Abbas Mirza — the Persian Qajar crown prince and military commander during wars with Russia and the Ottoman Empire:
".. .if Sardar Hari Singh were to cross the Indus, his highness would soon be glad to make good his retreat to his original government in Tabriz."

Mohan Lal Kashmiri in Travels in the Panjab, Afghanistan, and Turkistan, etc., 1846
(In service of the East India Company)

"The noblest and the most gallant of the Sikh generals of his time, the very embodiment of honour, chivalry, and courage..."

K.M. Panikkar in The Founding of the Kashmir State, 1930
(Historian, Author, Diplomat and Editor Hindustan Times in 1925)

Ballad speaks...
Bey - Bahut hoya Hari Singh doolo, jida naam raushan door-door saare,
Dilli Dakhan te CheenMacheen taayn, Baadshanha nu khaufzaroor saare,
Raja Karan te Bikramajit vaangu, Hatam Tai vaangu mashoor saare,
Kadaryar jahaan te nahi hone, sakhi oh budand hazur saare. [2]

(Qadir Bakhsh urf Kadaryar in Kissa Sardar Hari Singh, c.1840)

Bey-Han Singh was exceptionally brave; his name and fame travelled afar. Kings in Delhi, Deccan, China and Tibet trembled at the mere mention of his name. The legendary Raja Karan, Raja Bikramajit and Hatim Tai were all famous, said Kadaryar, but none could match him (Hari Singh) in philanthropy.

About the Author ‘Vanit Nalwa’ of the Book ‘Hari Singh Nalwa - Champion of The Khalsa

Vanit Nalwa is a Consultant Psychologist and Hypnotherapist and heads EmPower-Consulting Psychologists. She conducts personal enrichment programmes for individuals and companies. Vanit taught Psychology for over a decade at the University of Delhi, India, and at Assumption University, Thailand.

Vanit received a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology (1984) from the University of Delhi, India. She was a recipient of the Commonwealth Scholarship to do post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford, UK (1986). Vanit won a Fulbright Scholarship to train at the National Institutes of Mental Health, Maryland, Bethesda, USA (1991). Her research work has been published in Indian and International scientific journals. She has authored two books, besides numerous articles in the popular press.

Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa's authentic seal in Gurmukhi and Persian, sourced from the Panda Records, can be seen on the spine of the book and page (i).

Cover: Hari Singh Nalwa seated in regal style, attired in purple—the colour of nobility and spirituality—adorned with a beautiful kalgi, emeralds and pearls, holding a matchlock in his right hand and sword in the left; an armed attendant stands guard behind him with a golden whisk in his right hand. Courtesy of The Imperial Hotel, New Delhi.

Table of Contents For ‘Hari Singh Nalwa - Champion of The Khalsa’ - Book By Vanit Nalwa

CONTENTS  
   
List of Maps xi
Preface xii
Timeline xv
   
Kingdom of the Sikhs 1
(1799-1849)  
   
Sikh Nation 1
Persecution of the Sikhs  3
Rise of the Sikh Nation 4
The 'Sicques' 5
Shukarchakia Sardari 8
Consolidation of the Sikh Kingdom 9
Sarkar Khalsaji 10
Khalsaji 12
Command in the field 14
Tactics of war 15
Neighbours of the Sikh Kingdom 16
Festivals at Lahore Court 18
Ranjit Singh's inheritors 19
Achievement of the Sikh Kingdom 20
   
Sardar Hari Singh 'Nalwa' 21
   
Early life (1791-1812) 21
'Khande-da-Rahul' 22
Cognomen of 'Nalwa' 23
Lahore Court 25
On becoming a 'Sardar' 26
Conquest of Kasur 27
'Sardaran-i-Namdar' 28
Commander of Lahore Army 29
Baisakhi of 1812 30
'Sipah Hari Singh Nalwa Sardar' 30
Man of destiny 32
   
Sikhs & Afghans 33
(1813-1819)  
   
Indus Frontier  33
Revenue from the Salt Range  34
Kabul Kindom seeks Khalsaji's help 35
Hari Singh sent to Attack 36
Kabul King conspires against Ranjit Singh 36
Ranjit Singh gets the Kohinoor 37
Conspirators & Intrigues 38
Hari Singh at the Indus Frontier 38
Grievously wounded at Multan 40
Sikhs foray into Peshawar 41
Most formidable Afghan foe 42
   
Governor of Kashmir 43
(1820-1821)  
   
Sikh Gurus and Kashmir 44
Appalling conditions of the Hindus 44
Sikhs conquer Kashmir 44
Pandits, Shias, Khakhas & Bamhas 46
Closing western routes 48
First Khalsa Governor 48
Problems in Kashmir 49
Sikh versus Afghan rule 50
Sikhs & Kashmiris 51
Hari Singh's administration 52
Reforms 53
Boost to trade 57
Holy cow 59
Subduing rebellion 61
   
Resolving a Conundrum 63
   
The conundrum 63
Case of two officers at war? 63
Best governor of Kashmir 64
Horse doctor and Sayyid 65
Hari Singh —Kashmir to Ladakh 67
Tribute from Ladakh 68
Invitation, intrigue & menace 70
Ranjit Singh's indecisiveness 71
Moorcroft's threats 73
Fuelling insurgency 74
Moorcroft associate test 74
Prinsep's Muha-Raja Ranjit Singh' 75
History repeats itself 76
Promoter of Sikh Forward Policy 76
   
Jagirdar-Governor Greater Hazara 77
(1822-1837)  
   
Urasa  77
Early Sikh attempts 78
Battle of Mangal—conquest of Damtaur 82
Jagirdar — Hazara 82
Crushing defeat to Tarins & Bamhas 86
Battle of Sirikot  88
Mohammed Khan Turin 89
Gakhar Lords defeated 90
Administrative coup 90
Land reforms 91
Water-management  93
Revenue earners 93
New trade route 94
Important marts  95
Revenue allocation 95
Weights & measures 96
Education & hygiene 96
Population 97
Shrines 97
Jagirdar-Governor — Chliachch, Pothohar & Dhani  98
Jagirdar —Salt Range, Kachhi & Thal 100
Ranjit Singh's cost-effective strategy 101
Hari Singh's efficacy 103
   
Viceroy on the Western Frontier' 105
(1822-1831)  
   
Mankera — last Saddozai bastion 105
Trans-Indus territory 106
'Pashtunistan'  107
Battle of Naushehra 108
In pursuit of the Barakzais 112
Valiant Yusafzais 113
British expansionist agenda  113
Command of Western Frontier  115
Sayyid Ahmad 'Barelvi' — Wahhabi Messiah 116
Hari Singh saves Hazro 117
Battle of Saidu 117
Death of Sayyid Ahmad 123
'British' Sayyids  124
Hari Singh & mullahs 127
Ford the Indus 128
West of Indus 129
Governor of Jehaungeer 129
Royal Order for success 130
Nalwa fortifies Pashtun territory 131
Sikh forward post 131
   
Mission to Simla 133
(1831)  
   
Character, talents and ability 133
Russian bogey 136
King of England sends gifts  137
Magnificent 'khilat'  138
Reception of the Khalsa  139
Mission's progress to Simla  140
Hari Singh & William Bentinck  141
Formal conference  142
Lady Bentinck dances  143
British 'khilat'  143
Blossoming of the garden of friendship"  144
Nalwa's recommendations  147
Ropar meeting  149
Wide awake and vigilant  152
   
Governor of Peshawar 153
(1834-1837)  
   
Winter capital of Kingdom of Kabul 154
Approach-avoidance conflict  154
Peshawar acceded by treaty  155
Rumour of Ranjit Singh's death 156
Sikh Army crosses the Attock  157
Dost Mohammed Khan  158
Intrigues in Kabul  159
Jirgah — Afghan war council  159
Wade & the Afghans 160
Shah Shuja defeated 160
Peshawari Barakzai Sardars  160
Nalzoa occupies Peshawar  161
News of Sikh conquest 164
Renowned Khans flee  164
Hari Singh's administration 165
Generating resources from the Yusafzais  168
Monetary reform  168
Dost Mohammed challenges Nalwa 169
Conciliatory moves  171
Retreat of Dost Mohammed 171
Only man standing  173
Last meeting  174
Where the mighty Mughals Fell  174
Sikh-Afghan role reversal  175
   
Final Frontier—Jamrud 177
(1837)  
   
Barakzais  179
Initial skirmishes  180
Sikh Frontier troops  181
Afghan levies  183
Message intercepted  183
Hari Singh's strategy 184
Nalwa arrives 185
Raging battle  186
Treachery of jamadar's troops  188
Hari Singh to the fore  188
Afghans refuse,to renew hostilities  190
Disorderly Akalis  191
Cease-fire  191
Report of Hari Singh's death  192
Losses incurred  195
Peshawar after Jamrud 196
Who killed Hari Singh Nalwa?  196
Conspiracy within  198
Dogra motive —Kashmir  201
Governor of Kashmir for a second term  203
Opportunity—Jamrud  205
Hari Singh's applications  205
Maharaja furious with Dhian  206
Dhian suppressed correspondence  207
Khushal Singh's treachery  209
Mahan Singh—a Dogra collaborator?  210
Unfair demand on Nalwa  211
Dynamics of Ranjit Singh's mind  216
Sikh Kingdom after Hari Singh  217
   
Towns, Forts, Gardens & Shrines 221
   
Hazara  222
Peshawar  227
Hassan Abdal  229
Salt Range Katas  231
Amritsar  233
Tarn Taran  236
Kashmir  236
Gujranwala  240
Ferozepur— Muktsar  244
Treasurer of Guru Nanak's wealth  244
   
The Legend 247
   
Legends & ballads  247
Chastising the Sayyid of Jhang  250
Conquest of ' Sialkot  251
Rescue of Malerkotla  252
Battle of Multan  252
Dexterity with the sword  253
Sher Khan jihadi of Subah Kabul  253
Tales from Kashmir  254
Trans-Indus battles  255
Destruction of Michni  258
Baaz Gul Khan's treachery  258
Hari Singh & Alexander  260
Sardar Hari Singh's chivalry  262
Hari Singh & a Yusafzai  263
Collecting tribute from Pashtuns  264
Feminine apparel for Pashtuns  264
Sardarni Sharnagat Kaur  264
Sikh 'Rehat Maryada'  266
Dost Mohammed's "naa mardana" act  266
Gratitude of Harsharan Kaur  268
Concealing the death of Hari Singh  268
Complicity of Gulab Singh  269
Barakzai & Nahva  269
Nalwas & Tiwanas  271
Nakva in Lahore  271
Mistaken identity!  272
Hari Singh Nalwa's family  273
Nalwas in the Sikh War  278
Hero of Chillianwala  279
Annexation of the Punjab  280
Many Nalwas  283
Memory of Hari Singh lives on  285
   
'Champion of the Khalsaji' 287
   
Rape of the subcontinent for 800 years  288
General-Governor-Jagirdar  290
Friends, Punjabis, Countrymen  305
Camaraderie  309
Secular outlook  309
Gracious host  313
Hari Singh's last journey  313
'Nulwah' in the Vindhya Range  315
Impact of Hari Singh's death  316
NWFP—Nahva's gift to undivided India  317
Hari Singh Ghar  317
Memorials  318
Ranjit Singh's champion  320
Tribute by Lord Auckland  323
Accolades by historians  324
Sixty volumes!  325
Icon  325
Portraiture  327
International rating  327
Independence movement  328
Befitting tribute  329
Place in history  330
   
Chronology 334
Bibliography 337
Notes on Illustrations 347
Glossary & Index 351
   
   
List of Maps  
   
Kingdom of the Sikhs Inside cover
Indian subcontinent in CE1795 and CE1823 17
Physical terrain of Pakhli, Damtaur, Darband, 80
Hazara-i-Karlugh (Haripur), Gandhgarh, Khanpur,  
Dhund & Karral Hills in Hazara  
Inhospitable terrain of Hazara inhabited by ferocious tribes 81
successfully conquered and governed by Hari Singh Nalwa  
Kingdom of the Sikhs (trans-Satluj) versus British 134
India (cis-Satluj)  
Kingdom of the Sikhs blocked most of the ancient trade routes 135
linking the Indian subcontinent to North and Central Asia  
Bird's eye view of the Peshawar Valley identifying the 153
peaks and passes that form its mountainous garland  
Tribes Hari Singh Nalwa fought, defeated and governed 165
in the Peshawar region  
Hari Singh Nalwa's dharamarth (charitable) grants, and 221
the forts and shrines built by him  
Hari Singh ka Bagh in Amritsar 235
Hari Singh ka Bagh in Srinagar, Kashmir, on the banks of the 238
Vitasta River (Jehlum)  
'New Town' of Gujranwala built by Hari Singh Nalwa 240
Growth of the Sikh Kingdom (1809-36) highlighting 289
Hari Singh Nalwa's contribution  
Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa's jurisdiction as a Governor, 290
General and Jagirdar  

 

Books
Author Vaneet Nalwa
Pages 367
Cover Paperback
Language English

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