GURMUKH SINGH GIANI, BHAI
GURMUKH SINGH GIANI, BHAI (d. 1843), a man of letters and an influential courtier in Sikh times, was the son of the celebrated scholar, Bhai Sant Singh, who had been the custodian of Sri Darbar Sahib at Amritsar. Gurmukh Singh was trained in Sikh religious lore at Amritsar under the care of his father. When the father, saddened by the death of his younger brother, Gurdas Singh, quit his office and retired to Amritsar to devote him self to reading and expounding the Scripture, Gurmukh Singh succeeded to his position at the court. He took over his father`s work at Sri Darbar Sahib after the latter`s death in 1832.
His influence at the court however diminished during the time Prince Nau Nihal Singh held the reins of power. After the death of Maharaja Kharak Singh and Prince Nau Nihal Singh in November 1840, Bhai Gurmukh Singh took up the cause of Karivar Sher Singh. On the die being cast in favour of Rani Chand Kaur, he was one of those who signed the document for her regency, but went over to Sher Singh as soon as he arrived in Lahore in the second week of January 1841.
On assuming the throne, Sher Singh treated Bhai Gurmukh Singh with great consideration bestowing upon him liberal jdgirs. Bhai Gurmukh Singh fell a prey to courtly intrigue soon after the death in September 1843 of Maharaja Sher Singh. Hira Singh Dogra who had gained power during the reign of minor Maharaja Duleep Singh had him seized and assassinated and confiscated his family jdgirs. His sons were also taken into custody, placed in chains and treated with cruelty.
1. Suri, Sohan Lal, ` Umdat-u t-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89
2. Griffin, Lepel, and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
3. Smyth, G. Cannichael, A History of the Reigning Family of Lahore. Paliala, 1970