BIKRAM SINGH BEDI, BABA
BIKRAM SINGH BEDI, BABA (d. 1863), was the third and youngest son of Sahib Singh Bedi of Una, a lineal descendant of Guru Nanak. On Sahib Singh`s death in 1834, Bikram Singh suceeded to his father`s jagirs and position as preceptor to royal family of Lahore. After the deaths of Maharaja Kharak Singh and Prince Nau Nihal Singh, Baba Bikram Singh tried to bring about a reconciliation between Maharaja Sher Singh and his collateral Sandhanvalia sardars. Baba Bikram Singh felt irked when British troops were stationed at Lahore after the AngloSikh war of 1845-46.
He was a powerful jagirdar`m the Jalandhar Doab holding lands worth over two lakh of rupees comprising more than a dozen villages granted to him by Maharaja Shcr Singh and Maharaja Duleep Singh, including the forts of Nurpur, Gunachaur and Dakkhni Sarai. The British after the annexation of the Doab in 1846 dispossessed him of arms, and reduced his jagirs. He, however, turned down the offer of a reduced pension and started organizing an armed opposition to the British in the hilly areas of the Sivaliks. Alarmed at his activities, Robert Gust, the deputy commissioner of Hoshiarpur, recommended to the commissioner of the Jalandhar Doab, John Lawerence, that the Baba be banished from the Punjab and sent to Haridvar.
Baba Bikram Singh sent his emissaries to Diwan Mul Raj of Multan and Sardar Chatar Singh Atarivala, the governor of Hazara, who had raised the banner of revolt against the British. In December 1848, he crossed the Beas at Sri Hargobindpur and joined forces with Raja Sher Singh Atarivala and fought the British in the battles of Chelianvala (13 January 1849) and Gujrat (21 February 1849). He surrendered to the British along with the Atarivala sardars at Rawalpindi in March 1849. He was interned at Amritsar where he died in 1863.
1. Griffin, Lepel, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1890
2. Kushwant Singh, Ranjit Singh Maharajah of the Punjab. Bombay, 1962
3. Sobha Ram, Gur-bilas Baba Sahib Singh Bedi. Ed. Gurmukh Singh. Patiala, 1988