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SRIJASSA SINGH BINOD

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SRIJASSA SINGH BINOD, manuscript dealing with the career of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluvalia (1718-83), a prominent Sikh warrior of the eighteenth century and founder of the erstwhile state of Kapurthala in the Punjab, was written by Ram Sukh Rao at the instance of Sardar Fateh Singh, ruler of Kapurthala from 1801 to 1836. The manuscript, formerly the property of Kapurthala state, is now held in the Punjab State Archives, Patiala, at MS. accession No. M/772. It consists of 250 folios, size 22x16 cm, each containing 16 lines. Not much is known about the author, Ram Sukh Rao, except that he was a Brahman, who had worked as a tutor in the Kapurthala family and who was rewarded with a.jagir, i.e. land grant, after his ward Fateh Singh`s accession to the throne.

He claims himself to be a poet of renown who had written commentaries on some well known literary texts as well as two treatises on poetics. Sri Jassa Singh Binod, after the customary invocatory verses, gives the genealogy and brief accounts of the ancient Hindu kings, Muslim rulers and the Gurus of the Sikh faith, and then assumes the narration of the life story and exploits of the great Sikh hero ending with his death in 1840 Bk/AD 1783. The chronology of events as recorded in the manuscript is somewhat arbitrary and the author often digresses into philosophical and religious reflections. His language, a mixture of Hindi, Persian and Punjabi, is loaded with Sanskrit vocabulary and becomes at places obscure. The script used is Gurmukhi.

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