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JANGNAMA SARDAR HARJ SINGH

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JANGNAMA SARDAR HARJ SINGH, by Ram Dial Anad, is a versified account, in Punjabi, of Hari Singh Nalva`s last crusade against the Afghans in which he won the field but lost his life. The poet, about whom not much biographical information is available is a Hindu (Anad) Khatri of Navari Shahar. The poem begins with an invocation to the various Hindu gods (16) and goes on to describe the Afghans` capture of Peshawar (8). Hari Singh is the only Sikh general who accepts the frontier assignment willingly and happily (10).

He moves with his troops to Peshawar via Rohtas (14), Sarai Kala, near Taxila (15), and Hazara (17). He was accompanied by Mahari Singh, Jawahar Singh, Jamit Singh Muhar and others. Hari Singh is killed fighting against the Afghans at Jamrud. Historically, it is not a very significant work as it contains no dales nor any other relevant data. However, it is a fine literary piece and provides a great deal of information about contemporary social life, rituals and customs. D.S. JANGNAMA SARDAR HARJ SINGH NALVA, attributed to Bhai Kahn Singh of Bariga, is an incomplete poem, in Punjabi, narrating the Sikh general`s successful military campaign against the Afghans (1835-37).

The only known manuscript, with some pages missing both at the beginning and at the end, was preserved in the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, under MS. No 5854 until 1984. Now it is available in published form in an anthology entitled Prdchm Varan te Jangndme edited by Shamsher Singh Ashok and brought out by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in 1950. Jangndmd Sarddr Han Singh Nalvd begins with the birth of Maharaja Ranjit Singh whose career is traced up to his succession to the leadership of the Sukkarchakkia misi after the death of his father, Mahari Singh, in 1792. After briefly touching upon Ranjit Singh's success in suppressing the feudal chiefs, the poet shifts over to the Afghan challenge in the mid thirties of the nineteenth century to the authority of the Sikh monarch.

With a view to bringing Peshawar effectively under control, the Maharaja resolved to send Hari Singh Nalva to lead the campaign to subdue the Afghans who liad invaded the territory from beyond the Khaibar Pass. The account deals with Hari Singh`s march to Peshawar, minor skirmishes with the tribals and the decisive battle against them and their ally, Dost Muhammad Khan. Hari Singh Nalva and his small contingent of men were surprised in the Fort of Jamrud by the forces of Dost Muhammad Khan. The action that ensued is narrated in vivid detail. Hari Singh Nalva falls fighting, and the poet pays full homage to his spirit of courage and heroism.1. Ashok, Shamsher Sirigh, Prachm Varan te Jangname. Ainrit-sar, 1950

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