Nawab Kapur Singh:
h odhai th aan n ithaan eeaa reheh i nim aanan eeaah ||
They remain powerless, even while they have power; they remain humble and meek./
n aanak janam sakaa rathhaa j ae thin k ai sa(n)g m ilaah ||2||
O Nanak, our lives become profitable if we associate with them. ||2||
(GGS ji 85)
Having failed to crush the Sikhs, the then Governor of Punjab, Zakariya Khan, adopted the policy of appeasement towards the Sikhs. He wanted to give the Sikhs a “jagir” with an annual revenue of one lakh rupees near Amritsar and offered the title of Nawab to their leader.
But Jathedar Darbara Singh (under whose leadership the Sikhs had organized themselves and resisted the Mughals) voluntarily declined to accept the title of Nawab and suggested that Kapur Singh be made the commander of the Khalsa Panth as a whole because he himself had become too old to carry the weight of such a heavy responsibility which demanded an energetic and strong leader
After a great reluctance Kapur Singh humbly accepted the honour on the condition that the Khalsa would permit him to continue serving in the community kitchen and looking after the horses. From that day onwards Kapur Singh became Nawab Kapur Singh. However Nawab Kapur Singh surrendered all the revenue from the Jagir to the Khalsa.
He was a great organiser who organised Sikhs into Dal Khalsa and carved out a national glory for them. Above all the greatest service rendered by him to the Khalsa was that although he ruled their destiny in the most effective manner, yet he did not permit its leadership to become personal and hereditary. Lastly his outstanding and wise contribution to the Khalsa was that he left their command into the most capable hands of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and thus paved the way for their further glory and greatness.
According to S.M. Latif, Nawab Kapur Singh “was undoubtedly the most distinguished of the Sikh leaders who paved the way for the greatness of the Sikh nation as an independent ruling power.”