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Home » » Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]

Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799] (13)
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
AFGHAN SIKH RELATIONS spanning the years 1748 to 1849 go back to the first invasion of India by Ahmad Shah Durrani, although he must have heard of the Sikhs when in 1739 he accompanied Nadir Shah, the Iranian invader, as a young staff officer. Having occupied Lahore after a minor engagement fought on 11 January 1748 during his first invasion of India, Ahmad Shah advanced towards Sirhind to meet a Mughal army which he was informed was advancing from Delhi to oppose him. On the way he had two slight skirmishes at Sarai Nur Din and at the Vairoval ferry, both in present day Amritsar district, with a Sikh jatha or fighting band under Jassa Singh Ahluvalia.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
BUDDHA DAL and Taruna Dal, names now appropriated by two sections of the Nihang Sikhs, were the popular designations of the two divisions of Dal Khalsa, the confederated army of the Sikhs during the eighteenth century. With the execution of Banda Singh Bahadur in 1716, the Sikhs were deprived of a unified command. Moreover, losses suffered by the Sikhs during the anti Banda Singh campaign around Gurdaspur and the relentless persecution that followed at the hands of `Abd usSamad Khan, governor of Lahore, made it impossible for Sikhs to continue large scale combined operations.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
CHALI MUKTE, lit. forty (chalf) liberated ones (mukte), is how a band of 40 brave Sikhs who laid down their lives fighting near the dhab or lake of Khidrana, also called Isharsar, on 29 December 1705 against a Mughal force in chase of Guru Gobind Singh are remembered in Sikh history and daily in the Sikh ardas or supplicatory prayer offered individually or at gatherings at the end of all religious services. Guru Gobind Singh, who had watched the battle from a nearby mound praised the martyrs` valour and blessed them as Chali Mukte, the Forty Immortals. After them Khidrana became Muktsar the Pool of Liberation.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
CHHOTA GHALLUGHARA, lit. minor holocaust or carnage, as distinguished from Vadda Ghallughara (q.v.) or major massacre, is how Sikh chronicles refer to a bloody action during the severe campaign of persecution launched by the Mughal government at Lahore against the Sikhs in 1746. Early in that year, Jaspat Rai, the faiydar of Eminabad, 55 km north of Lahore, was killed in an encounter with a roving band of Sikhs. Jaspat Rai's brother, Lakhpat Rai, who was a diwan or revenue minister at Lahore, vowed revenge declaring that he would not put on his head dress nor claim himself to be a Khatri, to which caste he belonged, until he had scourged the entire Sikh Panth out of existence.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
FATUHAT NAMAH-I-SAMADI, an unpublished Persian manuscript preserved in the British Library, London, under No. Or. 1870, is an account of the victories of `Abd us-Samad Khan. Nawab Saifud Daulah `Abd usSamad Khan Bahadur Diler Jang was appointed governor of the Punjab by the Mughal Emperor Farrukh-SIyar on 22 February 1713, with the specific object of suppressing the Sikhs who had risen under Banda Singh commissioned by Guru Gobind Singh himself, shortly before his death, to chastise the tyrannical rulers of Punjab and Sirhind.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
FATEHNAMAH, by Bhai Dyal Singh, is a versified account of the victory (fateh, in Persian) of the Sikhs in the battle fought on Sunday, 22 Baisakh 1854 Bk/30 April 1797, against Shah Zaman`s forces led by one of his generals Ahmad Khan, also called Shahanchi Khan, in which the latter got killed and his forces fled the field. Nothing is known about the poet who, judging from his diction, belonged to the western parts of the Punjab. The poet showers special praise on the Sikh warrior.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
JANGNAMA, by Qazi Nur Muhammad, is an eyewitness account in Persian verse of Ahmad Shah Durrani`s seventh invasion of India, 1764-65, for which it is the only major source of information. A copy of the manuscript in the hand of one Khair Muhammad of Gunjaba was preserved at the District Gazetteer Office at Quetta in Baluchistan from where Karam Singh, state historian of Patiala, made a transcript which was utilized by Dr Ganda Singh in producing an edited version of the Persian text, with a preface and a brief summary in English. The work was published by the Sikh Historical Research Department, Khalsa College, Amritsar, in 1939.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
KHUIASAT UTTWARIKH, a chronicle in Persian by Munshi Sujan Rai Bhandari of Batala, completed in the 40th year of Aurarigzib`s reign (A.H. 1107/AU 1695-96), edited by Zafar Hasan and published at Delhi in 1918. Sujan Rai was a professional munshi and had served as such under various Mughal nazims or provincial governors. His work became instantly popular. Numerous manuscripts of it exist in the Punjab State Archives, Patiala (No. M428); Bibiliotheque Nationale, Paris, France (No. 544); Asiatic Society, Calcutta (No. D156); `Aligaih Muslim University Library, `AlTgarh (No. 954/ 10); National Library, Calcutta (No. 183, Bb, 91.9); and elsewhere.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
NADAUN, BATTLE OF, fought on 20 March 1691 between an imperial expeditionary force aided by Raja Kirpal Chand of Kangra and Raja Dyal of Bijharval in the Sivalik hills on the one hand and several other neighbouring chieftains who enjoyed the support of Guru Gobind Singh on the other. The hill barons taking advantage of Emperor Aurarigzib`s preoccupation with Maratha insurgency in the South had neglected to pay their annual tributes into the imperial treasury. Early in 1691 orders were issued to Hifzullah Khan alias Miari Khan, Governor of Jammu, to realize the arrears. Miari Khan despatched a punitive force under Alif Khan.
Sikh struggle against Mughal empire [1708 - 1799]
RUHILASIKH RELATIONS. The Ruhilas came from the Yusafzai tribe of Afghans originally belonging to Roh, a tract of land south of Chitral in the North-West Frontier region. They established themselves in the early years of the eighteenth century as a semi independent power in the district lying between the River Ganges and the Kumaon hills and extending eastwards up to Shahjahanpur. Their first powerful chief, `All Muhammad, received from the Emperor Muhammad Shah a mansab or rank of the 4,000 grade and was appointed faujdar of Sirhind in 1745. Ala Singh, the founder of Patiala state, made alliance with him and joined him in a campaign against the Muslim chief of Raikot.

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