AKHBARAT-I-DEORHI-MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH BAHADUR
AKHBARAT-I-DEORHI-MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH BAHADUR, a Persian manuscript written in nastaliq, mixed with shikasta, preserved in the National Archives of India at New Delhi. This is a copy of the roznamacha, i.e. a day today account, of the proceedings of the court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh covering the period from January to December 1825. Written in black ink on Sialkot paper, it comprises 677 folios. The name of the author/copyist does not figure anywhere in the manuscript. To refer to the contents: Nazrana is collected at Amritsar (fol. 1).
Allard, the Frenchman, collects Rs 40,000 from ta\’alluqa Mansoval and is ordered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to retain the amount as amanat (fol. 1). Shortage of grass at Amritsar (fol. 250). Bullocks of the top khana (arsenal) arrive at Amritsar from Lahore and are sent to Haryana Bhumaka for grazing (fol. 1). Madsudan Pandit will procure articles to be given in charity on the amavas (the last day of the dark half of the lunar month) day (fol. 1). A harkara sent by the news writers of Shahjahanabad (Delhi) comes with news from that part.
The harkara is paid Rs 10 as inam (fol. 1). The qanungos of ta\’alluqa Mansoval present Rs 30,000 to the Maharaja and are paid Rs 200 by way of expense (fol. 1). Letters are issued to the kardars of Nurpur, Pathankot, Sujanpur and Hajipur to come with their account books (fol. 1). A harkara brings an arzi from Nawab Shah Nawaz Khan of Mankera touching on events in that part. Rs 20 paid to the harkara (fol.1). Baba Malak Das and Mihan Singh, the Nanakputras, request for the lease of ta\’alluqa Mansoval. They are told that Mansoval will be farmed out to them after Barkhani Khan kardar has cleared his accounts (fols. 12).
Hakim Imam ud-Din, qiladar of Gobindgarh, is directed to sell the old grain and buy new instead (fol. 2). Shiv Dayal, grandson of the late Ramanand Sahu, is summoned and asked to disclose the entire assets, in cash and kind, of Harsukh Das (fol. 2). Chet Singh, thanedar of qila Jalandhar reports that the fort is in a dilapidated condition. He is ordered to execute necessary repairs after getting some money from Charhat Singh, kardar of the place (fol.2). The Maharaja weighs himself against ghi, shakaratari, til, mash on the amavas day and gives these and Rs 2,000 in cash, two pairs of gold bracelets, two cows and several robes to the Brahmans in charity.
Afterwards, the Maharaja makes an offering of Rs 5,000 and a tray of sacrament (patashe) to the Guru Granth Sahib at the Harimandar at Amritsar (fol. 2). Nau Nihal Singh, son of Kharak Singh, is summoned and seated in the lap by the Maharaja. The Maharaja talks to him for a while in a kind and sweet tone and gives him a pair of gold bracelets (fol. 3). The Maharaja pays Rs 100 to the chobedar who leaves for Peshawar to escort William Moorcroft to Lahore (fol. 4). The Maharaja holds court at the Ram Bagh baradari in Amritsar when officers such as Hakim Aziz ud-din, Imam ud-din, Bhavani Das, Munshi Shiv Dayal, Sarb Dayal, Sardha Ram, Diwan Moti Ram, Sukh Dayal, Jivan Mall, Misr Divan Chand, Budh Singh Sandhanvalia, and Khushal Singh Jamadarare present (fol. 5).
A courtier informs the Maharaja about the intentions of the British government to lead expeditions against the rulers of Pegu (in Burma) and Assam to subdue them (fol. 5). The Maharaja sends a shuqqa, or a royal order, to Baj Singh, nazim of Multan, to maintain friendly relations with the local people and send the Bharigi top (cannon) to him (fol. 6). Dharam Chand, a confidant of Nau Nihal Singh, son of Kharak Singh, informs the Maharaja that the salgirah (birth anniversary) of the Sarkar\’s (Ranjit Singh) grandson falls the next day (22 February 1825) and says that it will be appropriate for him to participate in the celebration.
The Maharaja expresses his inability to join owing to certain reasons and pays Rs 1,100 to meet the expenses (fol. 6). Sardar Himmat Singh states that a slip in Gurmukhi relating to the release of Sardarni Sada Kaur was placed before the Guru Granth Sahib in the Harimandar at Amritsar. Nothing is known about the outcome. The Maharaja replies that there was an indication that she should not be released (fol. 6). The Maharaja crosses the Ravi in the company of 150 riders and amuses himself with hunting. Mian Dhian Singh hunts two deer and three hogs. The Maharaja hunts several hogs, deer and hare (fol. 7). A pair of harkaras brings news about Peshawar.
They are paid Rs 20 (fol. 9). The Maharaja listens to songs and music of the dancing girls who are paid Rs 1,000 for dresses (fol. 11). Gulab Singh Kabba tells the Maharaja that horsemen under him have requested for Holi payments. They are paid Rs 100 for wine, Rs 300 for payment to the dancing girls and Rs 50 for sweets (fol. 16). The langaris (cooks) of the camp report famine of fuel and state that fuel is not available in Lahore at the rate of even one rupee per maund (fol. 16). The courtiers are provided with gold syringes. The trays of gulal are asked for. Gulal is thrown on the courtiers (fol. 16). Hakim Aziz ud-din informs the Maharaja that Imam ud-din, qiladari Gobindgarh, has bought 500 maunds of sikka (lead) from Amritsar.
The Maharaja orders for the purchase of 2,000 maunds of sikka more for manufacturing cannons (fol. 23). Babu Baj Singh, qi-Jadar of Multan, offers 3 horses, 2 dromedaries and 2 ashrafis and tells the Maharaja that Jawahar Mall, kardar of Multan, had killed an innocent zamindar and that such a person should not be appointed subahdar of any province. The Maharaja on hearing it sends a parwana with a khillat and a pair of gold bracelets to Hazari Madan Singh appointing him subahdar of Multan, instructing him to rule with justice (fols. 2324). Misr Belt Ram tells the Maharaja that Misr Ralia Ram and Narsingh Das had been in his confinement for the last two or three days and asks what he should do further.
The Maharaja asks him to collect the arrears of revenue from them and the acceptance of the lease for the next year (fol. 489). The Maharaja goes for a morning walk (fol. 489). The qiladar of Hajipur presents a nazr of two rupees and requests payment of salary to troops under him (fol. 489). A sum of Rs 2,000 is sent to Sri Javalamukhi on account ofpu/a (fol. 489). A letter is sent to Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan of Bahawalpur, with instructions to transmit all the arrears of revenue as early as possible failing which an army would be sent against him (fol. 489).
Kaura Mall Sahu is sent for and pashmina worth Rs 10,000 is sold to him (fol. 489). Shuqqa is addressed to Hazari Madan Singh, subahdar of Multan, with directions to execute repairs of the fort there (fol. 489). An arzi, along with two bahangis of apples sent by Chuni Lal, nazim of Kashmir, is presented to the Maharaja who gives Rs 10 to the bearers of the bahangis by way of inam and sends a khi Jat of seven pieces and a pair of gold bracelets for the nazim (fol. 490). Ram Ratan Sahu of Qasba Jalandhar is summoned by the Maharaja who fixes upon him the lease money of one lakh and five thousand rupees per year in respect of Jalandhar and honours him with a turban and dopattaibanarasi on the occasion (fol. 490).
The zamindars of Kot Kamalia present one rupee each to the Maharaja and then apprise him of the atrocities perpetrated on the subjects by the amil of the said place. The Maharaja offers to them the lease of the qasba but they express their inability to accept it (fol. 491). A parwana is sent to the Raja of Chamba to send two bahangis of preserves of green myrobalan to the Maharaja (fol. 492). A letter is received from Sardar Fateh Singh Ahluvalia to the effect that fever has broken out at Kapurthala (fol. 492). KidarNath, a jeweller of Shahjahanabad sells two bracelets made of emeralds to the Maharaja for Rs 5, 000 (fol. 492). The vakil of Sardarni Sada Kaur communicates her message to the Maharaja saying, “I have grown old in the jail I am assigned to by the Maharaja.
I am ready to hand over the entire property to the Maharaja. I request to be set free so that I may pass the remaining days of my life in worship and prayer to God.” The Maharaja gives no reply (fol. 493). The Maharaja distributes fifty rupees among the Akalis (fol. 484). Sundar Singh Daroghai`Adalat is adjured by the Maharaja to do justice and refrain from acts of highhandedness (fol. 586). Qazi Badr udDin, vakil of Sardar Yar Muhammad Khan, informs the Maharaja about the death of William Moorcroft (fol. 593). Diwan Moti Ram reports high prices of grain in Mankera (fol. 616). Ganesh Datt, kochwan, is ordered to have a new bugghi made. He tells the Maharaja that a bugghi could not be made locally; it could be had from Calcutta (fol. 616).