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Anglo-Sikh Wars and its Consequences in the Punjab: A Case Study of Lahore and Multan

Ahmad Ali*, Mazher Hussain, Khizar Hayat and Muhammad Akbar

Department of History, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan

*Corresponding Author:
Ahmad Ali
Department of History
The Islamia University of Bahawalpur
Tel: +9250243 9250241

Received date: 24/06/2018; Accepted date:28/08/2018; Published date: 12/09/2018

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Maharaja Sikh Monarchy in the Punjab, which strained form river Sutlej to Khyber Pass. He had reigned Ranjit Singh recognized a great the Punjab for forty years which remained the unique phase of the Sikh political attainment. His rule, by all morals, was impartial, humanitarian and lenient towards all societies. He certainly not found it essential to punish even a single individual to decease, not even those who bid to assassinate him. His empire was never a hereditary because he was the ruler of one of the federations. He had exclusive credit for deporting the Afghans and the Mughals from the regions under the Sikh domain. He clarified that he was one of the Sikhs and did not call him the Maharaja. He should only to be called Singh Sahib. These were all the components of the Sikh state. However, he did not work a lot in making the Sikh state as his successional realm and bring the Sikh at the top of state management. He deceased in Lahore on June 27, 1839, after a simple attack of paralysis. With his demise, the Sikh kingdom began to collapse on social and political sphere. Two Anglo-Sikh wars overthrew the Sikh armed forces and the seizure of their monarchy in 1849.


Ranjit singh, Mudki, Sobraon, Mulraj, Treaty of Lahore and Sutlej, British


Maharaja Ranjit Singh named his rule as 'Sarkar-e-Khalsa' and its coinage was named Nanak Shahi [1]. He clarified that he was one of the Sikhs and did not call him the Maharaja. He should only to be called Singh Sahib. These were all the components of the Sikh state. However, he did not work a lot in making the Sikh state as his successional realm and bring the Sikh at the top of state management [2]. He deceased in Lahore on June 27, 1839, after a simple attack of paralysis. With his demise, the Sikh kingdom began to collapse on social and political sphere. Two Anglo-Sikh wars overthrew the Sikh armed forces and the seizure of their monarchy in 1849. Their social deterioration also began at the similar time. He had left seven sons1 which were born of various wives. But the decline of the Sikh rule started rapidly because there was no one sturdy and capable enough to succeed him. At the top of the executive set up, there were no dedicated Sikhs to save it from the intrigues of the British. It provided a unique occasion to the cunning and judicious British to enter intrigues with conspirators which they could not do in Ranjit Singh’s life. His sons were not capable to deal with such a dangerous condition because all of them were eliminated one after the other with the help of the Dogras and the Brahmins [3].

The land of Multan has been remained the target of insurgent activities of the foreign invaders and dictators. These foreign forces not only exploited its brave, hardworking, fearless and dauntless people but also divided it into pieces. They attracted the local people with the lust for earning and enrolled them in the army because their sole aim was to prepare them for fight against their accused enemies. These foreigners belonged to different religions, civilizations and geographical tracts. Multan has also enjoyed the Muslims rule for three centuries. During this period, it maintained its social, political and religious position but in 1707, after the death of Aurangzeb Alamgir, the Mughal Empire began to scatter. At last in 1818, Ranjit Singh conquered Multan. The political circumstance also stayed extremely melted and geo-political changes frequently occurred. As a result, two Anglo-Sikh Wars fought which caused the decline of Ranjit’s Kingdom.

Brief Descriptions of Anglo-Sikh Wars and the Fall of Sikh Rule

The area under study has an extremely incredible importance in the history of Punjab and Multan. The first half of the nineteenth century was a time of radical changes in the Punjab which was dominated by the Sikhs. But after the death of Ranjit Singh, his successor could not maintain it due to many reasons. One of them was Anglo-Sikh Wars which totally demolished the Sikh Kingdom. During the proposed period, the Sikh rule was on the verge of closure and the new British rulers were attempting to obtain the entire Subcontinent. The present work related to those reasons which resulted the decline of the Sikh Rule. Besides this, it highlights the major facts and consequences of these wars. Its main aim is to examine the causes and consequences of these wars in promoting or demoting Sikh rule.

Kharak Singh, the eldest son of Ranjit, was designated as the Maharaja by his father. Ranjit Singh assigned the task of his protection to Dhian Singh Dogra who asserted to be honest with him and the Sikh state. Yet, Ranjit Singh understood that he would soon prove to be traitor to his son, family and the Sikh state. Besides this, Kharak Singh was not appropriate to elaborate problems that revealed at the crucial time [4]. So, Dhian Singh was visualizing to install his son, Hira Singh, on the chair of the Sikh state. He and his brother, Gulab Singh, tried their best to assume all the powers of the selected Maharaja but could not be fruitful. Chet Singh Bajwa handled the Maharaja Kharak Singh in government matters. He put aside the Dogras and Nau Nihal Singh, son of Kharak Singh. Under the treacheries, Nau Nihal Singh was made de facto as monarch on August 10, 1839, and his father was restrained in the fortress [4]. Nevertheless, Nau Nihal Singh rejected to play into the hands of these fabulous Dogras. He recognized his competence to rule and the determination to administer the state. By this act, he dissatisfied the Dogras and recouped the control over the military too [4].

On November 5, 1840, Kharak Singh died and the very next day when Nau Nihal Singh came to the citadel, the mischievous fell down which extremely hurt his head with the stone block. This block cracked his head and, as a result, he died. Briefly, he could not become the Maharaja, however he had demonstrated his competency to grasp the high title. If his expiration had not come so soon he would have administered the kingdom excellently and intrigues against the Sikh state could have been escaped [5]. Kharak Singh and Nau Nihal Singh’ demise hastened a catastrophe which not only enfeebled the State but was also the first step of inner uproars. Chand Kaur, mother of Nau Nihal Singh, took the supremacy of the state in her hands. Sher Singh and Chand Kaur were two plaintiffs because Sher Singh was the son of the Maharaja’s first wife. He was relatively a healthier administrator. He, with the reinforcement of Dhian Singh, made a proposal for the throne whilst Chand Kaur was reinforced by the chiefs of Sandhawalia. On November 9, 1840, Sher Singh was installed as the Maharaja but, after just 23 days, he was dislodged by Chand Kaur. On December 2, 1840, she took the sovereignty and declared Malika Mukaddas2 (Queen Empress). During November 5, 1840 and January 18, 1841, there appeared a bloodstained and Sher Singh proclaimed himself as the Maharaja. Maharani surrendered all the privileges to throne and received a Jagir of 9 Lakh rupees per annum [6].

Sher Singh administered from January 20, 1841 to September 15, 1843. He nominated Dhian Singh as Chief Minister. In spite of the hardships and the penetrating groups in the Sikh Sardars, he governed in the Punjab with capability and astuteness. He had been welcomed by the Sikh command and the adjacent British Empire. He was too feeble and nervous to control. He not only elevated substantial alarm for Lahore Durbar but also the British who predicted nothing lower than a total turmoil. In these circumstances, some British officials recommended that an army of 12000 men should be proceeded to Lahore to preserve the Maharaja from the Sikh military. Although he had introduced himself as a king to the troops, yet he was unable to command them [7]. The troops were disciplined and there was no mark of disobedience. For some time, the Maharaja fully trusted on the favour of Dhian Singh but he, by assuming his too much power, called back the Sandhawalias. They had not disremembered that embarrassment which they had experienced [8]. So, the British granted them shelter. In November 1842, Ajit Singh, who was anti Dogras and Pro-British, was appointed as a commander in the armed forces. On September 15, 1843, he and his uncle, Lehna Singh, assassinated Dhian Singh, Sher Singh and his son, Partap Singh. They had strategy to rule over the State. But Hira Singh killed the both in revenge of his father's assassination, yet Dhian Singh's demise was in the Sikh interests [9].

With the assassination of Sher Singh, the supremacy transferred to the disordered army. Dalip Singh, in the presence of his three surviving brothers, was designated as the Maharaja on September 15, 1843. Hira Singh was made his chief minister, yet his brothers, Pashaura Singh and Kashmira Singh, did not resign to the assertion of the throne [5]. Rani Jindan, mother of Dalip Singh, had played an appropriate role, yet she failed to transmit the harmony amongst her family and the Sikh Sardars. Pashaura and Kashmira Singh communicated with the Sikh army. They also met Bhai Bir Singh, an ex-army man, yet the Sikh armed forces blasted his Dera. The Sikh army killed Attar Singh, Kashmira Singh as well as Birr Singh. Pashaura Singh ran to the British Empire and caused further strife in the Sikh state. After this, the Sikh army attended to Hira Singh for Rani Jindan’s character assassination. He tried to run away from the Sikh dynasty but he was also murdered. Rani Jindan took over the control of the state affairs in her hands with the assistance of her brother, Jawahar Singh [5]. Pashaura Singh seized the Attock fort and declared himself as the Maharaja but he was killed by the Sikh military. The Khalsa army Punchayat found Jawahar Singh to be accountable and instructed him to appear before it. On September 21, 1845, when he came before the Army Punchayat, he was deceased [10]. But it failed to have any impression on the Sikh state. All these circumstances had been noticed by the governors and officials of Multan but they kept quiet.

After Ranjit’s demise, the story completes with the challenging Anglo-Sikh Wars which observed the decline of his kingdom in the hands of his descendants. The initial strain in Anglo-Sikh relationships happened over a quarter century after the confirmation of the Sutlej Treaty3 It endorsed an Anglo-Sikh dual attack at Afghanistan to keep Shah Shuja on the seat of Kabul [11]. The demand for the course of troops was not as clear as it showed because the British wanted to quantify the power of the Sikh armed forces, however the abuse of benevolence was to be taken still more. In 1841 the British, for sending its troops in Kabul, claimed Lahore Durbar’s assistance. Lahore Darbar satisfied them to send a force under Gulab Singh but the British attempted to buy him [12].

Events of the First Anglo-Sikh War

The British took serious note of the inaugural battle of the First Anglo-Sikh War in their internal councils, since it was soon obvious that a high cost had been paid for its triumph and catastrophe [11]. On December 13, 1845, the British pronounced war on the Sikhs with the decree that the area beyond Sutlej would be regarded under their sphere too. Five battles, Mudki, Ferozshah, Buddowal, Aliwal and Sobraon,4 were fought from December 18, 1845 to February 10, 1846. The Sikh armed force achieved Ferozepur as it was in a position to overcome the British armed forces. The head of the Sikh armed forces was also supporting the British [13]. The Sikh and the British armed forces met on the combat zones at Mudki on December 18, 1845 and at Ferozshah on December 21, 1845. Tej Singh, the commander-in-chief of the Sikh armed force, guaranteed the annihilation of the Sikh forces as the British army was not in a position to crush the Sikhs [7]. He, along with 5000 Sikh warriors, fled from the front line at Mudki by instructing the Sikh forces to leave the war exactly when the army was at the stage of triumph. Same approach was adopted by the Sikh leaders at Ferozshah as per guideline from the British [7].

On January 23, 1846, the Sikh armed forces battled with the British at Sobraon, yet this fight was lost even before the war because the leader of the Sikhs had sent data to the British about the Sikh army two days earlier. He guaranteed that the Sikh military would be misinformed and would be overcome [13]. The Sikh military, who was still occupied with war, surprised when it found sand in the sacks of ammo. In such a traitorous circumstance, how could the armed force be triumphant? The double dealing in the skirmish of Aliwal was repeated by the Brahmin officer [14]. Hasrat [8] narrates:

If, Lal Singh and Tej Sing, Generals of the Sikh armed force, had not sold out their armed force, the aftereffect of the skirmishes amongst the Sikhs and the British would have thoroughly been distinctive [8].

In this way, the British could win these fights otherwise it was difficult to vanquish the Sikh armed forces. Cunningham [7] describes:

The English, therefore, humiliated Gulab Singh because their willingness to recognize a Sikh sway in Lahore should have been dispersed, yet the Raja announced his powerlessness to manage troops which still intimidated him and other well-wishers of the Ranjit Singh’s family. This powerlessness was somewhat overstated to narrow minded objects. Under these conditions of subtle approach and blatant sedition, war of Sobraon was battled [7].

He further described:

Indeed Tej Singh, rather than leading fresh men to support the worsening strength of the troops to his right side, fled on the initial attack and either unintentionally or by conformation sank the boat on the bridge [7].

It was the peak of treason and infidelity where more than fifteen thousand Sikhs murdered. The holders of wealth, nourishment and ammo of war helped the British to vanquish them and joined the foes to concede the foundation of their Government at Lahore [7]. The penetrating competitions and egotistical inspirations of the Sikh Sardar were obviously accountable for such circumstances. It was sure that Lal Singh was not only in correspondence with Capt.Nicolson but also referred the plan of the Sikh’s arrangement at Sobraon to Col. Lawrence on February 7, 1846 [7]. Majorgeneral Sir J. Littler crossed the Sutlej at night and on February 12, 1846, the fortress of Kasur was occupied without restriction [14]. On February 15, 1846, the raja and a few Sardars met with Governor General at Kasur. They were informed that Dalip Singh would keep on his sovereignty, however the territories between the Bias and the Sutlej would be held by the subjugators. He must paid 1500000 pound as insurance for the expenditures of the war. On February 20, 1846, the terms were reluctantly concurred and the British armed force landed at the Sikh capital of Lahore [14].

Dalip Singh was announced as the Maharaja of Punjab whilst Tej Singh was made Minister and Chief of armed forces [15]. It is not comprehended why their intrigues could not be known to the Sikhs and why they were not repulsed for such horrifying violations. It is unmatched that how these few rascals succeeded to crumble such enormous Sikh Empire and to make the valour Sikhs vulnerable by their intrigues. Truly, it was their disloyalty that the British were permitted to reach Lahore on February 26, 1846 as per the preplanned strategy [15].

On March 11, 1846, a pact was settled between the Sikh ruler and the British by which the whole region under the realm of the Sikh was separated into following three sections [7].

• The region amongst Sutlej and Bias was affiliated by the British.

• The regions of Jammu and Kashmir was handed over to Gulab Singh Dogra in acknowledgment of the services as conspirators of the Sikh.

• The rest of the Punjab region was admitted to be under the sphere of Maharaja Dalip Singh as the Sikh State.

It was also mentioned in the accord that Dalip Singh, until achieving the age of adulthood on September 4, 1854, would stay under the custody of the British government. It was a joke because, during Ranjit Singh’s era, the Britishers did not attempted to enter in the Punjab for half a century. We see that, during the first Anglo-Sikh war, Multan and its ruler kept silence like an impartial one and did not play any part in support or against the both sides. The reason was that Mulraj was really going to resign and had no enthusiasm for the war. The reality is that, he would have surrendered if he had the chance.

Brief History of Second Anglo-Sikh War

The British preceded their tricks with the assistance of the deceivers even in the region reserved for Dalip Singh. If the success of the Punjab had been the object then it must have been inaccessible operations to cover Peshawar and Multan [14]. For this purpose, they made equipped uprisings in Multan with the inspiration of pushing their military for further affiliation. The inhabitants were included in spreading the revolt against Multan. Actually, the Sikh armed forces had united with the supposed defies of Multan against the British plotting. The Multan Rebellion, oppressed by the British, had irritated the Sikhs [16].

Towards the end of the Sikh battle 1845-46, Sir Charles Napier walked to Multan and reached to the central command of armed forces. In the areas of Multan and Hazara, the British forces were sent to annihilate the uprisings. It was the height of roguish plots, yet there was no power to uncover it. The Govt. of India had chosen the Punjab to reach a critical stage [16]. On November 21, 1847, Diwan Mulraj offered his resignation. Mr. V. Agnew and Anderson were sent to Multan with Kahn Singh who was to take a charge of the new Diwan. A little force of 530 irregular men was also sent with them. Both were assaulted by Mulraj's people and killed. So, it was planned to send a force to penalize this deed and insubordination [14]. In July 1848, it was agreed to quick operations against the stronghold of Multan with the help of the troops of Nawab of Bahawalpur and Edwards so that Diwan Mulraj could be defeated. On July 22, 1848, a decree was issued against Mulraj with regards to his disobedience and tricky murder of the British officers [17].

Lord Dalhousie, who was exceptionally eager to wipe out the Sikh power, announced the war against the Sikhs. He said that it was the second Anglo-Sikh war and they are not on the eve of, but in the core of war with Sikh dynasty. I have drawn the sword and discarded the scabbard [18]. On August 18, 1848, Major General Whish marched with seven thousand men and stayed near Multan fort. He issued a decree to the residents and a convention of war was held with regards to the technique of assault on September 06, 1848. The place was blasted and different operations were started5. On September 14, 1848, Sher Singh, with his troops, walked from Multan whilst General Whish held a meeting in which it was resolved to pull back from the siege and wait for assistance [17].

On November 18, 1848, the occupant issued a decree that the British armed forces have entered in the districts of the Punjab and will not come back to its cantonments until the full chastisement of all rioters. The operation, to put down all armed resistance, had been continued for three and a half months [14]. On December 27, 1848, Bombay regiment under Brig. D Dundas, arrived and assaulted the foe's entrenchments by a shell of the mortars [17]. The foe's primary magazine was exploded then a large number of houses as well as a majestic mosque annihilated. On January 10, 1849, Luckee was taken and Muhammad Azim Khan entered in Bannu on January 11, 1849. Six thousand men and four gun took part in the possession of Dulipgarh [17]. On, January 22, 1849, Tylor took the control of Bannu and Luckee and thus the whole of the neighbouring territories of Multan were seized. Some days after the above events, the fort of Harrand had also been taken by Lieut. Young. In early February, the Nazim of Multan gave up the hopeless contest which finished the war in this quarter of the Punjab [17]. Till January 22, 1849, number of injured and killed persons was 1198 [14]. This end of the siege was due to the General Whish who acted with incredible reasonability without endangering a failure.

On January 13, 1849, the second notable war was battled at Chillianwala. Chattar Singh, Nazim of Hazara, was accused by the British. His Jagir was seized and he was adjourned from the office. So, he chose to fight a war with the British and occupied the citadel of Attock and seized Haripur. In this expedition, Col. Canora was executed and Sher Singh, along with his troops, left the British. He clearly criticized the British for their mistreatment and wildness [11]. On January 10, 1849, Lord Gough knew about the fall of Attock. Besides this, he came to know that Chattar Singh, along with his military6, is also proceeding under Sher Singh [14].

By an uncommon coincidence, this memorable engagement occurred at the same site where King Purus, 2175 years ago, had battled a war against the Macedonians under Alexander. This time it was the burglar on Indian land who was soundly crushed. The Sikhs, under Sher Singh and his father, were present in the jungles near Chillianwala [11]. Formerly, the Sikhs were outperformed in the field until increasing their number to 10000. After this, they attacked the British and the fight proceeded for the whole day. The Sikhs caught four guns and three colonels of British brigades. It was measured the worst beating endured by the British since their control of India. As a result, 2446 men along with 132 officers expired. It is said that three thousand British officers were assassinated or injured by the Sikhs [11]. On the fourth day, the British armed force retreated to the Chenab River. The Sikh Ghorcharas separated the British horse regiment and chop down their horsemen. At another site from inside the wilderness the weapons opened up with demolishing effect. Brookes, a Lieut. Col., of the 24th Foot, was also murdered. In another meeting, a vast group of the Sikhs encompassed the Second Infantry Brigade. Gilbert's army had neither the shelter of guns nor the provision of cavalry. As a result, the contingent was scorned and driven back with overwhelming misfortune [19].

The Sikh armed forces had snatched George Lawrence and discharged him with the terms of compromise to leave the Punjab and accept Dalip Singh as an undeniable Maharaja. This bargain was not adequate to the British because Lord Dalhousie was designing to vanquish the Chillianwala. He wished to eradicate the Sikh realm from the substance of India and launch British government in the Subcontinent by annexing the Punjab [16]. Since, the extension was in delay from the higher strata of the Britain, Dalhousie's affirmation was welcomed. Despite the fact that there was a large number of the people at London who was not in favour of the seizure of the Punjab. With the end goal of expansionism, it was chosen to apprehend Gujarat because the British had a dream that if they won this fight they would achieve their goal to control India [20].

On February 21, 1849, another decisive war was fought in the territory between the town of Gujarat and River Chenab. The British had 11569 cavalry and 56636 infantry whereas the Sikh army contained 20000 men. A violent war occurred, yet the Sikh military's ammo exhausted. They showed such a valour which the British acknowledged them. They hold the knives of British warriors with the left hand whilst affected them angrily with their right hands [11]. To Sandford [21]:

I feel embarrass to state, even we succeed to spare our men from the retribution. I dread, they were executed thereafter. Yet, after all, it is a war of eradication [21].

On March 11, 1849, Sher Singh and his father handed over their swords to Major General Gilbert near Rawalpindi. Bhai Maharaj Singh was one of the individuals who was expelled to Singapore. The hesitancy of some Khalsa troops, to surrender their weapons, was clear. Some could not detain their tears whilst anger and scorn were visibly depicted on the faces of others. The comment of one dark facial hair, as he put down his weapon, was that, “Aaj Ranjit Singh mar giya” (Today Ranjit Singh expired) [5]. In this way, the war came to be an end. The Sikhs fought like villains. They ran right on the knife blade and collided with their attackers when they were stabbed [21]. Lord Gough rewarded the Sikh fighters in these words:

Strategy blocked me freely recording my opinions on the mind blowing courage of our fallen adversary or to record the demonstrations of valour showed not only separately but also jointly by the Sikh Sardars and the military. I announce that it was not from a profound conviction that my nation's great required the detriment and I could have sobbed to have seen the dreadful butcher of so committed a group of men [22].

This situation will be adequate to show the infrequent species of courage by these men. The dedication with which they stayed at their posts when the climate around them was completely fired by the British weapons does not concede portrayal. It is stated that they never retreated but battled valiantly with their Talwars (swords) to the end [23]. It was also recorded that they attacked the British domain. They made no assault on their distant cantonments nor set foot in their domain [20]. According to Dalhousie:

There will never be calm and peace in the Punjab if the individuals are permitted to hold the chance of making war. There never can be currently my certification for the serenity of India until he should have influenced the whole overpowering of the Sikhs and eradicated them [24].

Self-protection may require the scattering of the Sikh army but how do we legitimize the seizure of our companion's region who, in adversity, helped us to recover our matters [25]. After this war, the unsteadiness of the Sikh state expanded. The Sikhs armed forces attempted to take the Sikh affairs into their own hands but all in vain because the military did not have full control over the Sikhs. After this war, paltry annexation of the Punjab was made by Harding whilst Dalhousie completed the aggregate annexation.

Total Annexation of the Punjab

On March 10, 1849, Sher Singh, along with his father and a few Sardars, reached in his camp and handed over their swords. On March 11, 1849, they were captured by the British and thus they convinced that no Sikh left to fear them [14]. The British then chose to annex the whole regions of the Sikh dynasty. On March 29, 1849, the text of affiliation was constituted. Maharani Chand Kaur and her son, Dalip Singh, were sent to England. This narration was engraved on marble stone on the wall of Sheesh Mahal [6]. The points of this pact were that:

• Maharaja Dalip Singh surrenders his all rights and the privilege of his successors in regards to the Punjab and all territory of the Punjab is given to the British in pay for the gigantic amount of expenses spent by the British during the skirmishes.

• Kohinoor, precious stone, is given to Queen of Britain which Ranjit Singh had taken from King of Kabul.

• The British would offer forty five hundred thousand rupees every year to Dalip Singh and his relatives as expenses.

Dalip Singh rapidly signed on this agreement and thus, the administrations of all his old workers were ended. In 1854, his all other properties were seized and sent him to England. He embraced Christianity and was given him a domain at Elvedon in Suffolk.

From December 18, 1845 to February 21, 1849, detail of Murdered, injured and missing in the Anglo-Sikhs fights are as under in Table 1 [14].

Year Date Battle Officers & Men Horses
1845 18th December Mudki 872 297
21st , 22nd December Ferozshah 2419 507
1846 28th January Aliwal 589 353
10th February Sobraon 2383 148
Total 6263 1305
1848 23rd November Ramnagar 90 140
3rd December Sadoolapur 73 48
1849 2nd January Multan 1198 0
13th January Chillianwala 2357 176
21st February Gujarat- 807 280
Grand Total 10788 1899

Table 1: Detail of Murdered, injured and missing in the Anglo-Sikhs fights.

On 29 March 1849, after the annexation of the Punjab, the Nanakshahi mints of Amritsar, Lahore, Derajat, Multan, Pind Dadan Khan, Peshawar and Rawalpindi were abrogated and the currency was introverted and intentionally replaced with the currency of the British Company. All Nanakshahis were recollected from the treasuries at Moti Maunder, Lahore, Amritsar, Peshawar and Multan. All transactions, salary of the soldiers and revenues, were paid by the Company currency [11].

With the Battle of Gujarat, the last confrontation of the Khalsa Army ended and thus, Lord Gough recovered his repute which received a shock in the War of Chillianwala and had been succeeded by Sir Charles Napier as the Commander-in- Chief [26]. The sight was pitiful for the Khalsa army which had experienced repeated lashing since 1845-46. As the Sikh warriors sent with their weapon and offer farewell to their horses. The mutineers were trailed in a systematized way. The opportunity of the Sikh-Afghan collaboration was upset. All 41 guns and 16000 weapons were laid down. Besides Rachhpal Singh and Maharaj Singh, who fled without supporters, all the Sardars had capitulated [8].

The triumph of Sobraon gave Harding the right of subjugation. The success at Gujarat forced Lord Dalhousie to proclaim that right. He reminded Henry Lawrence that he had planned to demolish the Sikh power and the treason of its authority [27]. In January 1849, he was informed by the Home Department that it was only in the situation of emergency that he was granted the right to seize the Punjab. Henry Lawrence thought that the affiliation of the Punjab is unfair and unwise [28]. The affiliation of the Punjab was intentionally approved by the Parliament, Court of Directors and the British nation [19]. Lord Dalhousie sent Henry Elliot, Foreign Secretary, to Lahore to safe his accord in the British Government’s verdict to destabilize the empire of Late Ranjit Singh. He also sent Diwan Dina Nath and Tej Singh with the explanation that the British Government had decided to annex the Punjab [29].

After the annexation of the Punjab, the first difficulty was to adopt a system of government for the newly attained provinces because captivation of the Punjab offered administrative problems. For a consistent civilian management, first gadget was a Board of administration. Besides this, in the history of India, a truly operative system of fortifications was formed for the military and political duties, the supervision of the Sardars and demilitarization of the old army [30]. Every Presidency, under its Council and Governor, was authorized to endorse a code of Regulation when any region was added by invasion or the pact, yet the Punjab was not dedicated to any Presidency but merely affiliated to the British colony. It became the first organized province on the basis of long executive experience [31]. The practice of Interventionism could be found to the Regency era. It indicates a system of administration which deals with its public and authoritarian in a generous way [32]. The Punjab province was classified into following seven Divisions.

First, the Cis-Sutlej Division on the East of Sutlej River, second was the Trans-Sutlej Division on the West and third was Lahore or the Central Division. Similarly, on Southern side, the fourth Division was Mooltan which was close to the convergence of the Indus and its branches. Fifth division was named the Sind Sager Doab Division. Besides this, Peshawar and Derajat Divisions were known as the sixth and the seventh respectively [33]. Initially, newly subjugated regions were classified into following four focal groups or commissionership.

• The Lahore Division encompassed the upper locations of the Ruchna and Bari Doabs covering political capital Lahore and the viable center Amritsar of Ranjit Singh’s Monarchy. It was consisted of Lahore, Amritsar, Batala, (Gurdaspur), Sheikhupura (Gujranwala) and Wazirabad (Sialkot).

• The Jhelum Division comprised the Chuj Doab and the zone in the Salt Range (Hazara) in the Sind Sager Doab.

• The Multan Division incorporated the lower places of the Ruchna and Bari Doab, with three districts such as Multan, Jhang and Pakpatan (Fatehpur Googian).

• The Leia Division, which encompassed the site of the Sind Sager Doab, consisted of all Derajat, South of the Salt Range and Trans-Indus Zones up to the latitude of Kalabagh.

Leia had four districts, Leia, Dera Ghazi Khan, Khangarh and Dera Ishmael Khan including Bannu. However, Peshawar was the fifth division which created later in which Peshawar, Kohat and Hazara districts were included [34]. Each Division was employed under a Commissioner along with suitable subservient officials. In subordination to the Board were the Commissioners, Dy. Commissioners, Asst. Commissioners and Extra Asst. Commissioners [35]. Commissioners performed as appellate judges and controlled the Dy. Commissioners which intruded directly upon the lives of the inhabitants. They also performed the functions of Magistrate, Revenue Collector and Criminal as well as Civil Judge. The staff of Dy. Commissioner’s Office consisted of Superintendent, Reader, Record Keepers, Deputy Record Keepers, Accountant of Revenue, Superintendent of Town Accountants and Departmental Clerks [35].

The gathering of revenue had totally broken down and various techniques were invented to substitute the Sikh structure of collecting taxes which had been enforced by the power [36]. After the battle of Gujarat, the pacification of the Punjab was originated with ameliorative processes [9]. Addition of the Punjab proceeded the borders of the British Empire to the mountain series. It intensely transformed the British relationships to the politics of Kabul and Central Asia. Before the British era, the tribes, by aggressive actions, were engaged in struggle and the Nazims of Multan and Derajat reserved their plunders [37]. With the end of the Gujarat war, the British troops engaged the city of Peshawar. The domain of the Punjab had assisted as a sturdy buffer state between Afghanistan and tribal strongholds on the one hand and the regions of the Company on the other. British officials prejudiced the tribal chiefs in such a way that many of them gathered round the British during the Multan Revolt. After the affiliation of the Punjab, the difficulties expected twofold characteristics i.e., the formation of a constant boundary between the Afghanistan and the Punjab and the Government of that boundary [38].

To protect the inner peace, two different bodies of police; the civil and the military were prepared. The former body was allocated the duties to lookout and preserve the interior peace in the ward, villages and town under civil officers. Whilst the later was consisted of 8100 strong men to stop crime and detain criminals under the mechanism of military officers. They were given the duties to supply guards and patrol the region [9]. Police was accountable for the anticipation of antisocial events like burglary, dacoit and Thugee etc. One admirable characteristics of the police institute was that the revenue collectors or Tehsildars were explored with police authorities in their dominion and thereby their collaboration was encouraged earlier. The second remarkable quality of the police setup was that the best in the native measures was merged in it [38]. Within a two years, Board was able to report that all ferocious criminalities have been crushed, all bunch of criminals, assassins and robbers have been creased and the agitators carried to justice. The life and property have been saved in the boundaries of the Punjab [38].

The reconciliation and alliance went side by side in the Punjab. The Lahore Durbar, in relations with military and police, was incomplete. Each British effort, in the subjugation of the Punjab, was followed by discharging and disarming of the Punjabis. The procedure began with the Treaty of Lahore in 1845, when the Khalsa army was deactivated and restricted. This tendency sustained during 1848-49. With the annexation of Multan, the step and gauge of demilitarization increased. New army and police setup was presented with a sight to merge the administrative, political and economic grasp of the British in the Punjab. The Board originated its strategy towards the royal family, nobility and the princely states in order to eradicate the conferred benefits and incentive the favourites.


The decline of the Sikh rule started rapidly after the first Anglo-Sikh War because there was no one sturdy and capable enough to succeed him. At the top of the executive set up, there were no dedicated Sikhs to save it from the intrigues of the British. It provided a unique occasion to the cunning and judicious British to enter intrigues with conspirators which they could not do in Ranjit Singh’s life. His sons were not capable to deal with such a dangerous condition because all of them were eliminated one after the other with the help of the Dogras and the Brahmins. So, as a result of second Anglo- Sikh War, the Sikh Kingdom became more weakened and then fall into decline. These Anglo-Sikh wars proved a turning point in the history of the Sikh dynasty because they had totally changed the political scenario of the Punjab and Multan. After second Anglo-Sikh war, the Punjab and Multan had gone under the direct control of the British Empire which demolished that Sikh state which Ranjit Singh had founded by a great struggle. It can be easily observed that only Ranjit Singh’s successors were not responsible for the decline of the Sikh kingdom, but he, for some extant, was also responsible. Dogras and the Brahmins, who had neither share in founding the Sikh state nor any commitment to the Sikh state, had been installed on the key posts. The consequences of these blunders were proved catastrophic for the Sikhs. Similarly, he had no rationalization for exiling the chiefs of the confederacies from the management of the Sikh State. If he had not transported the Dogras and the Brahmins to the helm of the government and given the civil management into the hands of the skilled and faithful Sikh Sardars then could be escaped from this catastrophe.

1Kharak Singh, Sher Singh, Tara Singh, Kashmira Singh, Pashaura Singh, Multana Singh and Dalip Singh.

2On January 17, 1841, Chand Kaur conceded to relinquishing the title of Queen in favour of Sher Singh amicably.

3This treaty was signed on June 26, 1838 amongst Shah Shuja, Ranjit Singh and the East India Company.

4Battle of Sobraon is known as the Waterloo of India.

5The British officers, Lieut. Edwards, General Cortlandt, Nawab of Bahawalpur, Lieut. Lake, Lieut. Lumsden, Major General Whish, Lieut. Pollock, Capt. Cristopher, Lieut. Drew, Lieut. Richardson, Brigadier Markham, Lieut. Llyod, Colonel Patoun, Major Montizambert, Lieut. Cutil, Master Taylor, Mrs. James, Mr. Quin, Major Wheler, Brigadier Cheap, McMahon, Capt. Smyth and Lieut. Young etc., participated in the battle of Multan.

6Sher Singh’s army was consisted of thirty to forty thousand men and sixty two guns. Research & Reviews: Journal of Social Sciences