BIJAYBINOD, a chronicle in Punjabi verse of the turbulent period following the death in 1839 of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the sovereign of the Punjab, written according to internal evidence in 1901 Bk/AD 1844. The only known manuscript of the work, still unpublished, is preserved in the private collection of Bhai Haridhan Singh of Bagariari. The manuscript, which comprises 84 folios, with 495 stanzas, is dated 1921 Bk/AD 1864. The poetic metres used include Dohara, Soratha, Bhujarig Prayat and Kabitt. The work was undertaken by the poet, Gval, at the instance of Pandit Jalha, a close confidant of Hira Singh Dogra, prime minister to Ranjit Singh`s son, Maharaja Duleep Singh, and that explains much of his bias in favour of the Dogras.
The work begins with verses eulogizing Ranjit Singh who is deified as an incarnation of Lord Krsna. Raja Dhian Singh, the Dogra minister, is presented as the incarnation of Arjuna (25). The author dwells at length on the qualities of Dhian Singh (2636) and is at pains to establish that Dhian Singh and his son Hira Singh were the real well wishers of the Sikh state and personally loyal to the Maharaja which was not true of the Sandhanvalias, especially Atar Singh, Lahina Singh and Ajit Singh. Ajit Singh Sandhanvalia visits Calcutta to seek the help of the British against Maharaja Sher Singh (26971), but, when he fails in his mission, he asks for royal forgiveness which he obtains through the intercession of Dhian Singh and Bedi Bikram Singh.
Dhian Singh is also stated to have secured, on Ajit Singh`s request, the release of Lahina Singh Sandhanvalia. The poet casts the Dogras as the benefactors of the Sikh state and Sandhanvalias as traitors. The work concludes with Hira Singh`s protestation of loyalty to the new king, Duleep Singh. The poet`s object obviously was to clear the Dogras of the slur that had accrued to them because of their betrayal of the trust the Maharaja had reposed in them. This has led to severe distortions of historical fact.