WHAT RANJODH SINGH MAJITHIA SHOULD HAVE DONE
The peace-time strength of Phillaur fort on the right bank of Sutlej opposite Ludhiana, was only one thousand, but in view of the Sutlej campaign it was increased to ten thousand with sixty pieces of artillery under Ranjodh Singh Majithia. Although he crossed Sutlej on 17th December 1845, he failed to take advantage of the fact that since the main British force was concentrated towards Mudki he could have launched a sort of an offensive in which the Sikhs had ample raining and could have laid waste the country in front of him. Also he could have created panic in the British camp and compelled a diversion of their forces from Mudki. Major Carmichael Smyth of North Western Political Agency writes, Ranjodh Singh ought certainly to have marched direct upon Delhi instead of entrenching himself first at Buddowal and afterwards on the banks of the river; his cavalry might have laid waste the country and his army would have increased like a snowball and easily have got possession of a portion of the siege-train which was on the road without proper ammunition and protection. Instead, he confined himself only to attacking Ludhiana and Buddowal with some success but in the process wasted a golden opportunity which could have turned the scales of war against the British.
Soon after the battle of Ferozeshah Tej Singh met the Governor General. The latter is said to have refused to enter into any negotiations, until the British occupied Lahore. This, Tej Singh and other traitors apparently promised to bring about.
GULAB SINGH DOGRA’S TREACHEROUS NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE BRITISH
More dangerous than the treachery of Tej Singh and Lal Singh in the battle field was the political intrigue of Gulab Singh Dogra, who was then conducting negotiations with the Governor General. As the plenipotentiary of the Lahore Darbar, Gulab Singh did not hesitate to sell his country for silver. He had already agreed to the following conditions dictated by the British: (i) that the Sikh Army should be attacked by the British, (ii) that after being defeated it should be abandoned by its own Government and (iii) that the passage of the Sutlej should be unopposed and the road to the capital laid open to the victor.
Luckily for the Sikhs the main hitch still remained : the dispersal of the Sikh Army. Gulab Singh had shown his inability to accomplish this and had left it entirely to the British, whose immediate aim was to drive the Sikhs across the Sutlej by force of arms and secure the unconditional submission of the chiefs and delegates of the army. But a single defeat could not completely disperse so large and well-equipped an army of the brave Khalsa.
Source:Anglo-Sikh Wars and its Inside Tale – Karnail Singh