DEVA SINGH, SIR
DEVA SINGH, SIR (1834-1890), a highranking Patiala state administrator, was born in 1834 into an Arora Sikh family, the son of Colonel Khushal Singh, a brave soldier who had once killed a tiger (sher, in Punjabi) near one of the city gates conferring upon it the name Sheranvala which lasts to this day. Deva Singh received the only formal education available at that time by attending a maktab or Persian school, and entered Patiala state service at a very early age in 1846. In 1853, he was appointed assistant judicial minister and in 1855, a Risaldar in a cavalry unit.
Maharaja Narinder Singh (1824-1862), who thought highly of his abilities elevated him in 1858 to the position of Sardar Sahib Deorhi Mu`alla or royal chamberlain. He was made captain in the cavalry in 1860 and then Nazim or deputy commissioner of Pinjore district which comrpised the hill areas of the state. In 1867, he was transferred to Mahendergarh district in the same capacity only to be recalled in 1873 to the capital to become the Diwan or finance minister. He was appointed president of the Regency Council set up to administer the affairs of the state after the premature death of Maharaja Mahinder Singh (1852-1876).
The two other members of the Council were Khan Sahib Namdar Khan and Chaudhari Charhat Ram. Deva Singh was honoured with a knighthood and the title of K.C.S.I. He had a gurdwara erected near the Patiala railway station and donated money and lands for its maintenance. His son, Partap Singh, who also rose to be the finance minister of the state, founded in memory of his father an orphange which is still in existence.Deva Singh was also a fellow of Panjab University, Lahore, and lent support to the campaign for the establishment of Khalsa College at Amritsar. He was very enthusiastic in espousing the cause of the Khalsa College Establishment Committee. Sir Deva Singh died on 6 January 1890. Jn.s.