Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Gateway to Sikhism

Hukma Singh Chimni

Hukma Singh Chimni was commander-cum-civil administrator under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was son of Ram Singh, of Bhera, who was the first one in thc family to take the vows of Guru Gobind Singh's Pahul, and who entered thc service of the Sukkarchakkia misl under Charhat Singh as a trooper. After thc death of his father, Hukma Singh was admitted into Ranjit Singh's army and took part in the Kasur expedition of 1807. He soon won the favour of the Maharaja by his valour particularly in the reduction of the Kanhaiya citadel of Pathankot in 1808, and in the seizure of Sialkot the same year from Sardar Jivan Singh. The energy and alacrity of Hukma Singh won from the Maharaja thc affectionatc epithet of Chimni.

Chimna in Punjahi signifies both a man of small stature and a little bird, swift and strong of wing. The nickname fitted Hukma Singh, who was short of staturc, but very virile and active. Hukma Singh was created a sardar and was made the governor of Ramnagar on a salary of Rs 2,000 per month. He also became the controller of customs and salt mine duties. He was assigned a jagir worth 60,000 rupees annually.

Hukma Singh took part in the battle of Haidru, 8 km from the Fort of Attock, in 1813, under Diwan Mohkam Chand, when the Sikhs defeated the Kabul Wazir, Fateh Khan. As Yar Muhammad Khan, the Afghan governor of Peshawar, made an attempt to reoccupy Attock, Hukma Singh drove the Afghan army from the fortress and plundered thc retreating host.

In 1818, Maharaja Ranjit Singh appointed Hukma Singh as thc governor of Attock and Hazara. Hukma Singh was primarily a soldier, and there were few of the Maharaja's campaigns in which he did not participate. He was well rewarded for his skill and bravery and, at one time, held jagirs amounting to upwards of three lakhs of rupees .


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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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