Today in Sikh History – 1st January
|1806||Maharaja Ranjit Singh, under the advise of Kapurthala’s Sardar Fateh Singh Ahluwalia, signed a friendship treaty with the British. The signatories to this treaty were Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Fateh Singh, and Lord Lake. Under the treaty Maharaja Ranjit Singh accepted not to help Holkar and British agreed to respect territories of Lahore Darbar. Jaswant Rao Holkar left Amritsar disappointed.
==> 1806 TREATY: The Marathas and the Sikhs were the only people who offered stiff resistance to the British and the Afghans. While the Maharaja Ranjeet Singh was consolidating his powers, many political events were taking place around him. On the one hand he had to mediate a quarrel between the cheifs of Patiala and Nabha and on the other hand he had to save the face of Jawant Rao Holkar, the Maratha (Marhatta) chief, who had set his sights on whole India.
The British had clashed with the Marathas and had inflicted heavy defeats upon them. They had first taken over Delhi and Agra, defeated Scindia (a Marhatta chief), and driven out the remaining Marhatta chief Jaswant Rao Holkar.
Holkar and his Rohilla ally, Amir Khan, after having failed to obtain any support from the Malwa cheifs, moved to Amritsar. They were being followed by the British commandar, Lord Lake. He had been persuing Holkar and encamped himself on the banks of Beas. While Holkar appealed to Maharaja Ranjeet Singh for help in driving the British back, the British commander made it known to the Maharaja that doing so would extend the Anglo-Marathan hostilities to his domain (Punjab). It created a big problem for the Maharaja. The Sikh Maharaja could not afford to make his state the theatre of war between the Marhattas and the British. That is why he offered to mediate in this treaty.
The Sikh signatories guaranteed that the Holkar’s army would leave and they will have nothing to do with them. They allowed Holkar to take whatever possessions he had and recross the Sutlej without being harrased.
This was a smart political move on the part of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. It saved his kingdom from unnecessary bloodshed. It also saved the British face. They really did not want to fight the Sikh ruler.
Below is the complete text of the treaty signed between the East India Company, Ranjeet Singh and Fateh Singh on January 1, 1806. Please note the different spelling used for names in the treaty.
-Ref. Maharaja Duleep Singh Correspondence, pages 641-642, published by Punjabi University, Patiala.
|1949||Akali Dal decided to hold a conference in Delhi, on Feb. 20, 1949, to expose Sikh grievances.|
|1961||the number of SurSikhs courting arrest for the Punjabi Suba agitation reached 55,000.|
|1966||Guru Khalsa Panth successfully sought "Shashter’s" (weapons) of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. These weapons were mostly found due to the efforts of Sardar Nahar Singh. He had written a book called "Documents relating to Sacred Swords of Guru Gobind Singh in England." He published that book in Delhi and distributed it. Dr. Shamsher Singh Ashok had also provided some research material. These Shashter’s include;
-Ref. "Punjabi Duniya " in its Feb. 1967 issue, Languages Department , Govt. of Punjab.
|1991||The following form was circulated for completion by Bombay area Gurdwara management, upon orders of the Commissioner of Police, Greater Bombay Police Headquarters, Bombay, India. It was later rescinded after complaint lodged by various Sikh Societies of Maharashtra. However, it clearly reflects the official discrimination, harrasment, subjugation and humiliation of the Sikhs.
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