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HOLKAR, JASVANT RAO

HOLKAR, JASVANT RAO (d. 1811), Maratha chief of Indore, who, defeated at Dig and Fatehgarh in 1804 by the British, moved northwards to obtain succour from the cissutlej Sikh rulers and from Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Accompanied by his Ruhila ally, Amir Khan, he arrived in 1805 at Patiala, where he received assurances of help from the Sikh chiefs assembled there. Meanwhile, Lord Lake`s army came in hot pursuit of the Maratha refugee. On hearing the news of Lake`s arrival at Panipat, he crossed over into the Jalandhar Doab and ultimately reached Amritsar. Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who was then camping near Multan, hastily came to see him.

According to Sohan Lal Sun, the official Lahore diarist, the Maharaja was hospitable to his "unwelcome guest," and kept him in royal style. A congress of the Khalsa was held to decide what Ranjit Singh might do to help Holkar. The Sikh ruler was counselled against engaging in an armed conflict with the British. It is also recorded that the Maharaja`s decision was based on a "command" obtained from the Guru Granth Sahib. Ranjit Singh, nevertheless, interceded with the British on behalf of Jasvant Rao as a result of which a treaty was made between him and the East India Company. The Maratha ruler secured the greater part of the territory which had been scixed by the British. Jasvarit Rao Holkar became insane in 1806 and died on 20 October 1811.

References :

1. Suri, Suhan Lal, `Umdat -ut-Twankh- Lahore, 1885-89
2. Khushwani Singh, A History of the Sikhs, vol. I. Princcton, 1963
3. Hal-bans Singh, The Heritage of the Sikhs. Delhi, 1983

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