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Table of Contents For 'Sunset of The Sikh Empire' - Book by Sita Ram Kohli
|List of Plates||ix|
|About the book||xi|
|2.||A Bolt from the Blue||11|
|3.||The Heel of Achilles||32|
|5.||Hira Singh as Prime Minister of the Punjab||70|
|6.||The Last Year of Freedom||93|
|7.||The Beginning of the End||104|
|8.||The Kingdom of Lahore Becomes the State of Lahore||125|
|9.||Rising at Multan and the First Siege||145|
|10.||The Hazara Episode and the Defection of Sher Singh||162|
|11.||The Curtain Falls||176|
About the book 'Sunset of The Sikh Empire' By Sita Ram Kohli
In the summer of 1962 when I was engaged in writing my volumes on the history of the Sikhs, I came across a mass of conflicting data regarding the sequence of events which led to the first war between the Sikhs and the English. Not being a trained historian, I was unable to sift fact from fiction and I decided to seek the guidance of Principal Sita Ram Kohli. I had read his works and had borrowed liberally from his Khalsa Durbar Records and his life of Ranjit Singh (by far the most reliable account of the Maharajah) to write my own biography of the Sikh ruler. Although I had never met Principal Kohli, I took the liberty of writing to him and questioning his authority for the exact date when the Sikh army crossed the sutlej and so precipitated hostilities with the forces of the East India Company. (In the preface to Shah Mohammad's ballad of the firts Anglo-Sikh war, Principal Kohli had mentioned a date which did not tally with the English records). Principal Kohli was at the time living in retirement in Rohtak, and unknown to me, seriously ill. It was a long time before he replied to my questionnaire. I treasure his letter, wherein he also said, "I only hope God will give me the strength to complete this work on which I have been engaged for the last ten years.' In July 1962, death overtook Principal Sita Ram Kohli.
Students familiar with Principal Kohli's books know how thorough and painstaking he was in his work. No historian of the Punjab, dead or living, set the same high standard for his research or achieved it in the same measure. This book was his last child but destined to be born after its sire had ceased to be.
The book deals with the most vital period in the history of the Punjab-the ten years between the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the annexation of the state by the British Government. It has all the elements of a great tragedy; its pages drip with blood; they arouse emotions which often lie too deep for tears.
Principal Sita Ram Kohli's manuscript was given to me after it had been through many hands. By then some pages had been lost and the last three chapters, which were still in his handwriting, were terribly multilated. I have done the best I could to delete repetitions and fill in some omissions without taking too much liberty with the original.
London, S. W. I.
Introduction to the Book 'Sunset of The Sikh Empire' By Sita Ram Kohli
Sunset of the Sikh Empire is the last book of Sita Ram Kohli, edited by Khushwant Singh and published posthumously in 1967. The book provides a detailed history of the ten years between the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the annexation of the Sikh Empire by the British. The author has utilised a huge mass of material pertaining to Maharaja Ranjit Singh's times-about three lakh folios covering the period of the Lahore Darbar from 1811 to 1849, kept in the tomb of Anarkali at Lahore-and British archival material from the National Archives, New Delhi. Day-to-day events are explained in detail, with dates being cross-referenced from various sources. This classic reissue retains the sanctity of the 1967 edition while giving it a completely new look.
This authoritative work is a primary sourcebook that will appeal to students and scholars of history and colonial studies.
About the Author 'Sita Ram Kohli'
Sita Ram Kohli (1889-1962) was one of the most renowned historians of the Sikh Empire. He was a lecturer in history at the Government College, Lahore and retired, in 1951, as
Principal of Ranbir College, Sangrur, Punjab. Professor Kohli served on a number of historical organisations such as the Indian Historical Records Commission, Indian History Congress and Punjab History Conference. Punjabi University, Patiala, instituted an annual lecture series in his honour. He compiled the Catalogue of Khalsa Darbar Records (in two volumes), and published in both Punjabi and English.