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Sikh History Timeline

Today in Sikh History – 1st January



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.



Treaty of Friendship and Amity between the Honorable East India Company and Sirdars Runjeet Sing and Futteh Sing – 1806.

Sirdar Runjeet Sing and Sirdar Futteh Sing have consented to the following Articles of Agreement concluded by Lieutenant-Colonel John Malcolm, under the special authority of the Right Honorable Lord Lake, himself duly authorized by the Honorable Sir George Hilaro Barlow, Baronet, Governor General, and Sirdar Futteh Sing, as principal on the part of himself and plenipotentiary on the part of Runjeet Sing.

Article 1.

Sirdar Runjeet Sing and Sirdar Futteh Sing Aloowalia hereby agree that they will cause Jeswunt Rao Holkar to remove with his army to the distance of 30 coss [koh, about one and a half mile] from Amritsar immediately, and will never hereafter hold any further connection with him, or aid or assist him with troops, or in any other manner whatever, and they further agree that they will not in any way molest such of Jewunt Rao Holkar’s followers or troops as are desirous of returning to their homes in the Deccan, but, on the contrary will render them every assistance in their power for carrying such intention into execution.

Article 2.

The British Government hereby agrees that in case a pacification should not be effected between the government and Jeswunt Rao Holkar, the British Army shall move from its present encampment on the banks of River Beas as soon as Jeswunt Rao Holkar aforesaid shall have marched with his army to the distance of 30 coss from Amritsar; and that in any Treaty which may hereafter be concluded between the British Government and Jeswunt Rao Holkar, it shall be stipulated that, immediately after the conclusion of the said Treaty, Holkar shall evacuate the territories of the Sikhs and march towards his own, and that he shall in no way whatever injure or destroy such parts of the Sikh country as may lie in his route. The British Government further agrees that as long as the said Chieftains Runjeet Sing and Futteh Sing abstain from holding any friendly connections between the enemies of that Government, or from committing any act of hostility on their own parts against the said Government, the British Armies shall never enter the territories of the said Chieftains, nor, will the British Government form any plans for the seizure or sequestration of their possesions or property.

Dated Ist January, 1806, corresponding with 10th Shawal, 1220 H.E.

Seal of Runnjeet Sing Seal of Futteh Sing

-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;

  1. Long spear
  2. Chakar (round, flat metal ring with sharp edges)
  3. Shield
  4. Small ax
  5. Large ax
  6. A gun or sword (not sure as it is covered)

-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.

Investigation Form

  1. Name:
  2. Father’s Name
  3. Name of village (Title):
  4. Education: Name and address of School/College:
  5. Address with Phone No.:
  6. Employment/Business/Industry Phone No.
  7. Address of Punjab with details of property:
  8. Name of nearest Police Station in Punjab:
  9. Do you possess weapons?
    If yes, then answer the following:
    A. What type of weapon?
    B. When is the licence due for renewal? Licence number and issuing authority:
  10. How many members in the family?
  11. Details of business/employment?
  12. Total monthly income?
  13. In which school/college do your children study?
  14. Since when are you staying here?
  15. When did you purchase your house in Bombay?
  16. Prior to this, where did you live?
  17. Why did you leave that place?
  18. Did you pick up a fight with anybody in your place of previous residence?
    If yes, then the name and address of the person and the details of the discord?
  19. Has any complaint been filed against you in a police station?
    Have you been detained?
    If yes, then give details:
  20. Do any of your relatives reside with you?
    If yes, then provide their names, addresses and relationship:
  21. Other special information:
  22. Signature and thumb impression of the individual:

Contact: Station House Officer
Vashinagar Police Station, Vashinagar
New Bombay – 400 703
Ph: 682-159/671-347
[NOTE:- the original copy of this form was written in Hindi language]


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