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The Successors Of Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Book By S. P. Gulati

Introduction To The Book 'The Successors Of Maharaja Ranjit Singh' By S. P. Gulati 

Maharaja Ranjit Singh had seven sons but only five of them had been involved in the tragic happenings following his death viz. Kharak Singh, Sher Singh, Kashmira Singh, Pishora Singh and Duleep Singh. Kharak Singh was the eldest and was nominated his successor to the throne by the Maharaja himself. Since the princes were born of different mothers they had little fraternal affections for one another.

Much in the fashion of Mughal rulers, Maharaja Ranjit Singh 's sons also wrangled for succession to the throne. Though the succession of Kharak Singh had been duly solemnised, it had been perceived to be vulnerable as the new Maharaja was known to be deficient in the qualities of head and heart and, therefore, considered incompetent and unfit to rule. His succession was also not to the liking of his Prime Minister Raja Dhian Singh who had been the single most powerful official in the kingdom. What is more, even Maharaja Kharak Singh's son, Nau Nihal Singh, a fiery ambitious lad, who had inherited much of the ability of his grandfather, was not enthused by the succession of Kharak Singh to the throne. The pomp and pageantry attending on his marriage making it an event of history had given him the notion that he was being contemplated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to be his successor, bypassing his father and uncles who were libertine and pleasure­seekers, irresponsible and thus unfit to rule. ·

Very soon, Prince Nau Nihal Singh started asserting himself in the affairs of the state and in just three months after the death of Ranjit Singh he managed to replace his father on the throne, the latter finding himself in solitary confinement.

But the succession of Nau Nihal Singh, so young a lad, able and full of self-confidence, did not suit the views of many of the courtiers who had begun to relish the easing of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh's grip on them during his ailment preceding his death.

Quite early in his career as ruler, Nau Nihal Singh let it be known to courtiers, ministers and generars that in future they would he answerable to him. This was the period full of court intrigues, conspiracies, assassinations, treacheries, betrayals and wars. Three Maharajas, three princes, three wazirs and two of the principle sardars were killed during the period of intense turbulence that also saw the end of tile Sikh rule in Punjab.

Kharak Singh remained in confinement for some nine months , broken-hearted and suffering from colic (spasmodic affection of the limbs and bowls) and with the design of hastening his end, Nau Nihal Singh committed him to the care of specially appointed quacks who had their own parts to play in the tragedy. Kharak Singh breathed his last at the early age of thirty-eight on 5th November, 1840.

The next day, 6th November, 1840, as Nau Nihal Singh was returning from the obsequies of his father and was passing through the northern gate of the Hazari Bagh a parapet, which had been loosened for the purpose, fell upon him. He was wounded but his death was announced three days later provoking a wide-spread suspicion that his death perhaps was not by accident but by a well laid-out plot to do away with him. The plot was masterminded, it was believed, by none else but the Prime Minister Dhian Singh who was most affected by the young Prince's ascendency to power.

Nau Nihal Singh's mother Chand Kaur took over the reigns of power but she had to contend with the claims of Prince Sher Singh. After a brief armed conflict between the two, she was prevailed upon to retire in favour of Sher Singh. Within a year's time she was murdered by her own maid servants who were promised attractive rewards by Sher Singh. 

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The Successors Of Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Book By S. P. Gulati

  • Brand: National Book Shop
  • Product Code: SHE246
  • Year: 2001
  • ISBN: 8171162231
  • Page: 152
  • Format: Hardbound
  • Language: English
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • Rs.140.00
  • Rs.126.00

  • You Save: Rs.14.00 or 10.00%

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