LAHINA SINGH, SARDAR
LAHINA SINGH, SARDAR (d.1893) a military commander during Sikh rule in the Punjab, came of a Sohi Khatri family of Gharjakh, a village adjacent to the town of Gujranwala (now in Pakistan). His grandfather, Panjab Singh, was a trooper in the regiment of Sardar Fateh Singh Kalianvala, a general in the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After Fateh Singh`s death in 1807 in the battle of Naraingarh, Panjab Singh left his regiment to join another directly under Ranjit Singh`s command, where he rose in rank and was given a jagir. His son, Kahn Singh, was given the command of 500 horse and ajagir worth 15,000 rupees a year.
He remained in the service of the Maharaja for nine years and was dismissed on account of some discrepancies discovered in his accounts. Kahn Singh then served successively under Hari Singh Nalva, Atar Singh Sandhahvalia and Colonel Mithan Singh, governor of Kashmir. Lahina Singh was the youngest of the three sons of Kahn Singh and Kishan Kaur. As he grew up, he joined army service under Ajit Singh Sandhanvalia. He married Chand Kaur, daughter of Hari Singh Nalva. According to Baba Prem Singh Hoti, Hari Singh `Nalva, Lahina Singh was present in Jamrud Fort at the time of the general`s death.
Lahina Singh`s family (including Kahn Singh and his other sons) continued to receive royal patronage until the murder of Maharaja Sher Singh in September 1843. Raja Hira Singh, who then came into power, confiscated the jagir and threw Lahina Singh and his elder brother, Fateh Singh, into prison. Lahina Singh managed to escape and sought asylum in the dera of Baba Bir Singh of Naurangabad. The family was restored to their former position after the fall of Hira Singh in December 1844. Kahn Singh was killed during the first AngloSikh war, and the family jagir was restricted to an annual revenue of 2,910 rupees.
After the annexation of the Punjab to British dominions, the jagir was resumed by the government and pensions in cash were granted to different members of the family. Lahina Singh`s share was 360 rupees per annum. He, at the request of his mother in law, Mat Desari, retired to live with the latter in Sardar Hari Singh`s haveli or mansion in the heart of Gujranwala town. There, under the influence of a holy man, Baba Ratan Singh, he turned to spiritual pursuit adopting a simple way of life, and came to be known as Sant Lahina Singh. He died at Gujranwala in 1893. His widow, Sardarni Chand Kaur, was allowed by government to draw half of his pension for her lifetime.
1. Griffin, Lepel and C.F. Massy, Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. Lahore, 1909
2. Suri, Sohan Lal, `Umdat ut-`Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89
3. Hoti, Prem Singh, Hari Singh Nalva. Lahore, 1937