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RANI RAJINDRAMATI CHARITRA

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RANI RAJINDRAMATI CHARITRA by Sahib Singh Mrigind is a versified account (charitra = character; portrayal) in Braj (Gurmukhi characters) of Queen (rdm== queen) Jindan, the wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, here referred to as Rajindramati. Sahib Singh Mrigind (c. 1800-1876) who later became the court poet in the princely state of Jind, served the Sikh Darbar in the early years of his life, but had to leave Lahore following differences with Rani Jindari (Jind Kaur), widow of the Sikh sovereign. Because of his personal grudge against her and because of his loyalty to the Jind rulers who were pro-British, he presents the Rani in very poor light

The poet`s altitude is clearly pro-British. The work has so far remained unpublished. Of the two known manuscript copies, one (No. 41) is preserved in the Languages Department, Punjab, Patiala, and the other in the private collection of Dr Ganda Singh at Patiala. The work was completed by the poet in 1909 Bk/AD 1852, and the Languages Department manuscript, written in the hand of one Gopal Singh, is dated 1949 Bk/AD 1892. It comprises 219 folios, each folio having 8+8 lines on it, whereas the second manuscript has 207 folios with 6+6 lines on each folio. The manuscript opens with a description of the beauty of the city of Lahore and the pomp and glory of the Sikh court.

This is followed by the poet`s tribute or eulogy to Ranjit Singh. Rani Jind Kaur`s father, Manna Singh, one of the Maharaja`s employees, married his young daughter to the ageing Maharaja. Jind Kaur is presented in this work as a very beautiful and voluptuous woman. All the court intrigues after Ranjit Singh`s death which took the lives of many members of the royal family and which ultimately led to the downfall of the Sikh kingdom are attributed to her. The work concludes with verses in praise of Maharaja Narinder Singh (1824-62) of Patiala and Raja Sarup Singh (1837-64) of Jind, who was the poet`s patron.

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