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GHULAM MOHIY UD-DIN, SHAIKH

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GHULAM MOHIY UDDIN, SHAIKH (d. 1845), who rose to be governor of Kashmir in Sikh times, was the son of Shaikh Ujala, a munshi or accountant in the service of Sardar Bhup Singh of Hoshiarpur. At a young age, Ghulam Mohiy udDin took up service under Diwan Moti Ram, the governor of Kashmir, later shifting to Lahore. He exhibited great diplomatic skill when in 1823, under Maharaja Ranjit Singh`s instructions, he persuaded Sardar Muhammad `Azim Khan of Kabul, who had marched upon Peshawar, to retire without firing a shot. In 1827, Kirpa Ram, Diwan Moti Ram`s son, took him to Kashmir upon his appointment as governor of the province. 

After four years, however, Kirpa Ram was recalled, and Shaikh Ghulam Mohiy udDin returned with him to Lahore where, according to some sources, he was subjected to punishment for his cruel treatment of the people of Kashmir. But within a year he returned to Kashmir as a deputy to Prince Sher Singh who had been sent as the new governor of that territory.Again the Shaikh was reported to have followed a repressive policy which, coupled with the outbreak of famine, made the lot of the people extremely miserable. The Maharaja recalled Shaikh Ghulam Mohiy udDin, and inflicted a heavy fine upon him besides confiscating all of his property and the hidden wealth which he had amassed at Hoshiarpur.

The Shaikh remained out of favour with the Darbar for some time but eventually found a patron in Bhai Ram Singh who helped him to secure service with Prince Nau Nihal Singh. Nau Nihal Singh took him to Peshawar, and entrusted to him the management of his financial affairs. In 1839, he was appointed governor of the Jalandhar Doab and in April 1841, after Sher Singh`s accession to the throne, governor of Kashmir. In February 1845, Ghulam Mohiy udDin made overtures to the British government with a view to transferring his allegiance to them, but died soon afterwards and was buried in the Khanaqah of Shaikh Hamza Makkhum, Hari Parbat, Srinagar.

References :

1. Sun, Sohan Lal, `Umddt-ut-Twdnkh. Lahore, 1885-89
2. Griffin, Lepel, Ranjit Singh. Delhi, 1957
3. Khushwant Singh, Ranjit Singh, Maharaja of the Punjab. Bombay, 1962

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