Antiqua Print Gallery First Sikh War
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First Sikh War

The First Anglo-Sikh War was fought between the Sikh Empire and the British East India Company between 1845 and 1846. It resulted in partial subjugation of the Sikh kingdom.

In the Treaty of Lahore on March 9, 1846, the Sikhs were made to surrender the valuable region (the Jullundur Doab) between the Beas River and Sutlej River. The Lahore Durbar was also required to pay an indemnity of 15 million rupees (1.5 crore). Because it could not readily raise this sum, it ceded to the East India Company, as equivalent for one crore of rupees, Kashmir, Hazarah and all the forts, territories, rights and interests in the hill countries situated between the Rivers Beas and Indus. In a later separate arrangement (the Treaty of Amritsar), the Raja of Jammu, Gulab Singh, purchased Kashmir from the East India Company for a payment of 7,500,000 rupees (75 lakh) and was granted the title Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. Maharaja Duleep Singh remained ruler of the Punjab and at first his mother, Maharani Jindan Kaur, remained as Regent. However, the Durbar later requested that the British presence remain until the Maharaja attained the age of 16. The British consented to this and on December 16, 1846, the Treaty of Bhyroval provided for the Maharani to be awarded a pension of 150,000 rupees (1.5 lakh) and be replaced by a British resident in Lahore supported by a Council of Regency, with agents in other cities and regions . This effectively gave the East India Company control of the government.

Sikh historians have always maintained that, in order to retain their hold on power and maintain the figurehead rule of Duleep Singh, Lal Singh and Tej Singh embarked on the war with the deliberate intent of breaking their own army. In particular, Lal Singh was corresponding with a British political officer and betraying state and military secrets throughout the war. Lal Singh's and Tej Singh's desertion of their armies and refusal to attack when opportunity offered seem inexplicable otherwise.

Although the Khalsa was indeed weakened by the war, resentment at British interference in the government led to the Second Anglo-Sikh War within three years.


(Source Wikipedia)