Rani Jindan Ji

Rani Jind Kaur the mother of Dalip Singh, the ruler of Lahore kingdom, was the brain behind the rising of 1848-49 against the British authorities. She was known for her intelligence and intrepid spirit, Jindan was one of the few persons who was intensely disliked and also feared by the British.

Rani Jindan played a conspicuous role in the Punjab politics after her son's elevation to the throne of Lahore kingdom. The British entered into a treaty known as the treaty of Bhyrowal with the Lahore kingdom in December 1846 which made the British the virtual masters of the Punjab. They had not only excluded the Rani from participating in the negotiations which led to the signing of the treaty but also of all share in the government of the Lahore Kingdom. She was removed from the Regency Council, which was to conduct the administration during the minority of Maharaja Dalip Singh. She hatched a plot to murder the British Resident and the members of the Regency Council who collaborated with the British. Prema, an old retainer of Gulab Singh, along with some other persons were to execute the plan. The plan however failed but the British could not take action against the Rani for lack of evidence. But they wanted to get rid of her and imposed restrictions on her movements. The chiefs of the Lahore Darbar were forbidden to see her.

The Queen had become a symbol of national dignity. She continued to urge the freedom fighters back in the Punjab to continue the struggle dauntlessly. Through her trusted band of servants, she continued to send letters and messages to Dewan Mul Raj, Sardar Chattar Singh and Raja Sher Singh, the chiefs of the rebellion.

As soon as the British came to know of the secret designs of the Rani, they transferred her to the Chunar fort on 6 April 1849. On the same evening, she escaped from the fort in the guise of her attendant and proceeded towards Nepal. She reached safely in the Nepalese territory on 27 April. The Government of India confiscated all her jewels and other property at Benaras and allowed her to stay in Nepal on a monthly pension of one thousand rupees.

In Nepal, Rani Jindan, carried through her secret plans for the expulsion of the British from the Punjab. She wrote letters to influential people both inside and outside Punjab to rise once again against the British. In the rising of 1857, she found a fresh opportunity to stimulate a rising in the Punjab. But her efforts were against rendered futile by the vigilance of the British.

Being sadly disillusioned, the Rani ultimately thought to seeing her son Maharaj Dalip Singh, who was then staying in England as a Christian gentleman. Her health was shattered and she became almost blind. The British Government allowed Dalip Singh to come to India and to take his mother along with him to England.

Disillusioned, her health shattered and almost blind she went to England to stay with her son Maharaj Dalip Singh. Rani resided in a separate house in England till her death in 1863. As per Rani·s last wishes, Dalip Singh brought her body back for cremation to India, but was disallowed by the Britishers to perform the last rites in Punjab. He therefore cremated her body at Nasik and returned to England.

Article taken from these book.
Encyclopedia of Sikhism edited by Harbans Singh ji.





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