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RAM SINGH, RAJA

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RAM SINGH, RAJA, son of Mirza Raja Jai Singh of Amber, was a 4 hazdn mansabddrof the Mughal emperor, Aurangzib. During Jai Singh`s absence in the Deccan on campaigns against Shivaji and the Bijapur state in 1664-67 Karivar Ram Singh remained in Delhi in their palace in Raisina and represented his father at the imperial court. The Amber family had been admirers of the Sikh Gurus since the time of Guru Hargobind. On account of this old connection. Guru Har Krishan stayed with Karivar Ram Singh when he came to Delhi in response to the emperor`s summons.

Here he was taken ill and died on 30 March 1664. Gurdwara Barigia Sahib now marks the site of his brief sojourn in Raisina. In November 1665, when Guru Tegh Bahadur was arrested at Dhamtan and brought to Delhi, Karivar Ram Singh interceded and secured his release. Raja Jai Singh, who was leading expeditions in the South, succeeded in persuading Shivaji, on personal assurance for safety, to attend Aurangzib`s court. It was Karivar Ram Singh who presented Shivaji and his son, Shambhuji, to the emperor at Agra on 12 May 1666.

The emperor received the Marathas with seeming respect and arranged for them to stay with Ram Singh, instructing the latter to keep watch over them. This was virtual detention, and when Shivaji and Shambhuji escaped on 19 August 1666, their custodian naturally fell under suspicion. He was punished, first by being forbidden the court and then by being deprived of his rank and pay. However, on his father`s death in July 1667, Ram Singh was recognized as successor and restored to his rank. But the emperor had not completely absolved the family from blame. On 27 December 1667, Raja Ram Singh was nominated to lead an expedition against the Ahom rebels of Assam which was a hazardous assignment.

Ram Singh received his formal orders on 6 January 1668. Assam or Kamrup was notorious for the sorcerous arts and he was advised by his mother to seek the blessing of Guru Tegh Bahadur. The Guru was then travelling in the eastern districts. Ram Singh met him and requested to accompany him. Guru Tegh Bahadur granted him his request. Together they reached Rarigamati on the bank of the Brahmputra in the second half of February 1669. Raja Ram Singh met with very stiff resistance from the Ahoms, and the contest remained undecided. According to Sikh chroniclers, Guru Tegh Bahadur eventually arranged a truce opening the way for a negotiated settlement.

In celebration of the peace, the Guru had a mound built on the Brahmputra bank at Dhubri by Ram Singh`s soldiers. A Sikh shrine called Thara Sahib or Damdama Sahib still exists atop this mound. Guru Tegh Bahadur returned to Patna and therefrom back to the Punjab. The peace brought about by him did not last long and hostilities broke out again. But both sides were weary of war and there was a stalemate in the fighting extending over six years. .At last Raja Ram Singh received permission to leave Assam; he reached the imperial capital in June 1676. Not long afterwards he was called upon to take part in the Deccan campaign. His last expedition was to northwest frontier where he died assisting Amir Khan. the Mughal general, in quelling local lawlessness. The date of his death is not known.

References :

1. Kuir Singh, Gurbilas Patshahi 10. Patiala, 1968
2. Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa [Reprint]. Patiala, 1970
3. Trilochan Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur: Prophet and Martyr. Delhi, 1967
4. Harbans Singh. Guru Tegh Bahadur. Delhi, 1982

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