HISAB I AFWAJ MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH
HISAB I AFWAJ MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH, Persian MS. No. 622, in the Oriental Public (Khuda Bux) Library, Patna, is a manual of the accounts of Maharaja Ranjit Singh\’s army. It is a highly illuminated manuscript with gold ruled borders, size 12″x 71/s” 477 folios, written in mixed shikasld and nasta fiq, with equivalents of essential details, especially the figures, given in Gurmukhi. The anonymous author gives no date of its completion. The work provides information concerning Maharaja Ranjit Singh`s military administration recruitment, equipment, scales of pay, organization and composition of the different branches of the Sikh army and its accounts.
The three main sections it deals with arc: Infantry (ff. 1135), Cavalry (ff. 136203a), and Artillery (ff. 204a477a). The entries in most cases commenced with bardwards or muster rolls prepared by the commanding officers of different units. There arc also bardwards of the paltans or battalions and of the zamburkhdnd or light artillery, of swivel guns and of the topkhdnd or arsenals. The regimental staff of the regular Slatepaid army consisted of generals, colonels, kumeddns or commandants, ajltans or adjutants, mehjars or majors, subahddrs, jamdddrs, havalddrs, ndiks, sarjans or sergeants.
The regimental list is invariably followed by an account of the camp followers under the title amid, and these include quartermaster, munsfn or writer, mutasaddior accountant, granthior scnpiur creader,jhanddbarddror ensign, Idngnm cook, saqqd or water carrier, dafian, sdrbdn or camel driver, bugler, drummer, trumpeter, piper, khaldsl or tent pitcher, belddr, spades man or sapper and miner, dhangar or blacksmith, najjdr or carpenter and gharyali who struck the hour. The zamburkjidnds which came under infantry had a kumeddn or commandant with a monthly salary of 340 rupees.
Here in place of the amid, we have lawdhiqs, i.e. followers or domestics munshi, mutasaddi, mistn, sdrbdn, sipdhis and nafars each of whom received a monthly salary between seven to nine rupees. The military accounts of the three arms arc given under sub heads: infantry regiments, cavalry squadrons, and artillery, partly organized on the European model. The accounts of each infantry regiment and cavalry have been shown under their respective commanding officers. Each regiment was divided into companies and the pay and allowances of the officers of the eight companies of infantry and the cavalry squadrons are given under their respective names.
The account of each regiment closes with a statement about the amid and the mulfarriqdl or general miscellaneous expenditures such as those on repairs, light, stationery and pensions called dharamdrth, ranging from two to five rupees to the heirs, widows and children of those incapacitated or killed in action. In similar formal is the account of artillery establishments. Each commanding officer under whose name the expenses of his establishment are shown was attached to or had been in charge of a field gun. Each gun had a figurative designation representing a concept in terms secular, religious or mythological.
The pay and allowances of officers attached to each gun arc shown under their respective names. The account closes with a statement of miscellaneous expenses. A large number of officers attached to the artillery were Muslims. No distinctions of caste or creed were made in recruitment. In the Sikh army were represented several different races and nationalities. Besides Sikhs, there were in its ranks Hindus, Gurkhas, Afghans, Punjabi Muslims, Rajputs and Europeans. References occur in the work to the French General, Allard. Among other foreigners who figure in it arc John Holmes Kumedan and his son, Perron Feringhce Kumedan, Lawrence Feringhce, Monsieur Court, Francis Bahadur and de la Roche.