The Karorasinghia Sardars
It is said that during the rule of Emperor Muhammad Shah (1719-1748), Sham Singh, a Sandhu Jat, of village Narli, dissatisfied with the treatment of his parents, left his place and joined the derail of Kapur Singh Singhpuria, who was, at this time, up in arms against the Mughal government of the Punjab. For a few days, Sham Singh remained without arms and other equipment necessary for such a career. He called on Kapur Singh and tookp(lAul (baptism) at his hands. He was also able to procure an old sword and a small horse from Sardar Kapur Singh. He starred actively participating in the activities of the Dal Khalsa. All the Sikhs sallying out from Majha joined Kapur Singh.
In due course of time, Sham Singh became one of the most prominent men of Kapur Singh’s derah. He formed a group of ten or fifteen men and managed five or six horses and independently started his activities. Shortly, he was able to gather around him about three hundred horsemen. He came to Doaba and carried out the programmes chalked out by the Dal Khaisa. He took certain places under his protection and later occupied the same.
According to Rattan Singh Bhangu, Sham Singh was his paternal grandfather (his mother’s father). He fought in many skirmishes against the Mughal government forces, always in the front ranks. He was never afraid of death. He always shared his meals with others and never ate alone. If ever he found that the hangar was not enough for the mcn Sittillg in the pangat he would cat after all had taken their meals. He also partook of hangar along with the non-Sikhs, the down-t’odden, and untouchables to keep himself identified with all people irrespective of their castes and also to drive home to them that all were equal in the pangat.
He was sweet-tongued and a very devoted Sikh and for most of his time he recited the gurbani holy scriptures). Whosoever came to him was duly baptised and converted into a Singh.
Sham Singh was issueless. After his death in 1739, during Nadir Shah’s invasion, his nephew (brother’s son) Karam Singh, who was a member of his derah, became his successor.4 Before joining the feral he took paXttl at the hands of Diwan Darbara Singh. Under Karam Singh the Misal progressed considerably. Besides making additions he was able to keep the possessions of Sham Singh intact.
The men of Zakariya Khan, governor of Lahore, forcibly converted into Musalmans most of the relatives of Sham Singh and Karam Singh. In due course of time, Karam Singh, accompanied by Darbara Singh, adequately chastised the guilty Muslims and brought back their relatives into the fold of Sikhism.
In the battle fought at Jalandhar against its administrator Naseer-ud-Din, Karam Singh participated on the side of Adeena Beg. He cut off the head of Naseer-ud-Din’s sipahsalar Khair Shah, and established his position as a brave and fearless warrior and inspired awe into the hearts of his enemies.
In due course of time, Karam Singh also died without a son.
Karam Singh was succeeded by Karora Singh who was a Virk Jat zamindar of Majha. He was also called Barqa after the name of his village Barki in Lahore district. He was a member of the Panjgarhia derah. He had taken baptism at the hands of Sham Singh. Karam Singh’s derah unanimously decided to appoint him his successor.
Karora Singh added more Parganas to his possessions as Hariana and Sham Churasi (now in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab). He collected an army of seven or eight thousand horsemen including that of his Misaldars.
This Misal took its name from Karora Singh, the third and one ofthe most important leaders of the Misal. Karora Singh was an intelligent and a very influential leader. Under his stewarship his derah made rapid strides. Maharaja of Bharatpur fought some battles successfully with the help of Karora Singh., alone was able to resist him up to Farrukhabad.
Once, an Afghan sipahsalar, Buland Khan, clashed with the Sikhs near Batala. Karora Singh routed the Afghans and he unburdened them of their treasures and booty and distributed the same among the Sikh jathas. It was Karora Singh who had cut off the head of Diwan Bishambar Das in the battle of Urmar Tanda (in the present district of Hoshiarpur).
In those days, the Raja of Dek Kumher (in the present Rajasthan state)., came to the Sikhs and asked for their assistance. He promised to give ten rupees per swar per day. With a view to providino military assistance to the Raja, Sardar Karora Singh led five thousand horsemen to his place. On the way, when the Sikh army encamped at Azimabad, which is popularly known as Tarawari, the tehaleas (menial servants) went out to bring grass or fodder for the horses. They began to cut the crops of the zamindars of Tarawari for their horses. The zamindars resisted the reaping of their crops. Karora Singh, with a few of his companions, went to confront the zamindars. He died there as a result of a bullet-shot fired at him by a zamindar. According to another version, he was killed in 1761,
Excerpts Taken From
“A History of Sikh Misals