GURDIT SINGH SANDHANVALJA
GURDIT SINGH SANDHANVALJA, the youngest of the four sons of Thakur Singh Sandharivalia, who led the campaign for the restoration of Maharaja Duleep Singh to the throne of the Punjab and who was prime minister of the Maharaja`s emigre government set up in Pondicherry, was barely in his teens when he crossed over to the French territory with his father. Of the three brothers of Gurdit Singh, Gurbachan Singh had been adopted by his uncle Partap Singh, Bakhshish Singh had been adopted by a collateral Shamsher Singh, and Narendra Singh (married to the daughter of Rao Umrao Singh of Kutesar) lived with his father in law at Meerut and was adopted by Karivar Dharam Singh of Dadri.
Gurdit Singh was, thus, the only legal heir to Thakur Singh. After the death of Thakur Singh, Gurbachan Singh applied for forgiveness of the government for himself and his brothers which was granted in 1890. On his return to British India, Gurdit Singh lived at Manarivala, in Gujrariwala district, and inherited a virtually bankrupt estate. His petition (jointly with his brothers) for the restoration of the agir was rejected. At the time of the resumption of the jagir, the British government had allowed the sons of Thakur Singh an allowance of Rs 100 per mensem to be divided equally among the three brothers. After Independence, Gurdit Singh`s sole surviving son, Pritam Singh, received in compensation a politicial sufferer`s grant of Rs 6,000 from the Punjab government.
1. Ganda Singh, ed., History of the Freedom Movement in the Panjab (Maharaja Duleep Singh Correspondence). Patiala, 1972