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Title: Multan: From the Fall of Afghan Rule to its Annexation with the British Empire- A case Study of Politico-Enconomic Steup
Authors: Ali, Ahmad
Keywords: Social Sciences
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Islamia University, Bahawalpur.
Abstract: The present work deals with the politico-economic setup of Multan during the period from 1818 to 1849. The main reason for selecting this era and area was that Multan proved to be a turning point in the history of Punjab because in 1818, after the conquest of Multan by Ranjit Singh, Durrani and Afghan rule was smashed in the Punjab and Multan became the new province of Khalsa State. Similarly, 1n 1849, when Multan was captured and annexed by the British in 1849, the whole Punjab was gone under the direct control of the British. The second main reason was that Multan, due to the improvement of the law-and-order situation under Sawan mal, had secured the title of Dar-ul-Aman. This era is significant in the history of Multan. It was a reign of the decay of the Mughal-Afghan rule and the rise of the Sikhs as the sovereign rulers. They arose as the rulers of Punjab completely on the strength of their arms and presaged the building up of a dynasty under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. During the period under review, Multan offered a picture of quick political changes. With the failure of the Mughal Afghan rule, Punjab was divided into several states and principalities. Ranjit Singh amalgamated the territories of Punjab into a realm, autonomous in all aspects. This was a vital development having far-reaching magnitudes for the politics and economy of Multan. Multan has remained the main focus of foreign invaders due to its economic and geographical position. It is called golden sparrow, that’s why a large number of nations have invaded it since ancient times. One of them was Sikh. After the decline of the Mughals, the Sikhs appeared on the scenario of Punjab in the late eighteenth century as ruling power and founded the Sikh Kingdom under the headship of Ranjit Singh in 1799. Later on, he captured Multan in 1818 and appointed his Nazims (governors). Although the Sikh rule in Multan started in 1818 and the period from 1752 to 1818 is known as Saddozai’s rule, yet historians considered it Misaldari Period too. If we admitted this fact, then it would be true to say that the period from 1752 to 1849 is marked as Misldari Period. As indicated by historians, after the deterioration of the Mughal control, Multan was captured by the Sikh Sardars known as Misldars who, later on, partitioned it into twelve Misls and began governing over their particular regions. Rather than joining together and founding a state, these Misldars were always occupied with civil war, organizing, and reorganizing in the battle for superiority. It required a solid hand to check these domestic clashes. Luckily, Ranjit Singh seemed on the scene, he overwhelmed their domains and bound them together with the entire of the Multan. On the contrary, the new proof gathered during the most recent three decades has made XXVI it clear that the Sikhs were not by any means the only rulers of Multan during the second half of the eighteenth century, there were Muslim rulers in the south-west of Punjab. The affixed atlas of the late eighteenth century Multan indicating regions under the belongings of the Sikh chiefs makes it clear that the Sikhs were the rulers of almost one-fourth part of Punjab just while more than three-fourth was under the ownership of the non-Sikhs (Muslim Chiefs). Throughout the eighteenth century, when the grasp of the Mughal control debilitated, these middle people, instead of paying income to the State, began keeping it to themselves and procured more assets and power. They paid praise to Ahmad Shah Abdali yet, when Abdali was not able to go to Multan and Punjab, these chiefs had just to suppress acknowledgment and to safeguard themselves against their neighbors to wind up distinctly autonomous. The political foundation of the Sikh chiefs in Multan amongst the late eighteenth century was not quite the same as the Rajput and Muslim rulers. The Sikh rulers had been relatives of normal subjects of the Mughal Empire concerning the peasant class or to the classes related to it. They had to remunerate a long effort against the Afghans and the Mughals to build up their territories. In 1818, Ranjit Singh raised a large army, equipped with essential tools, to attack Multan. Nawab Muzaffar Khan, the Governor of Multan, fought courageously but failed to save the territory. From 1818 to 1821, six governors were appointed here but they could neither maintain law and order situation nor good management. They also failed to submit revenue proficiently and were expelled and detained before long on the charges of misuse of State levy. At last in 1821, Ranjit Singh appointed Sawan Mal as the seventh governor in Multan who already had pulled in the consideration of the Maharaja. Ranjit Singh turned his regard for the hills and made the rulers of the territories of Multan recognize his suzerainty. It was a chunk of his general approach to claim suzerainty over self-sufficient chiefs as a prelude to the extension of their territories. He possessed Multan along with Peshawar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bannu, and Dera Ismail Khan too. The instructions of Ranjit Singh, nonetheless, were, tended to Nazims, Diwans, Thanadars, Jagirdars, and Kardars of customs, additionally separated from Chaudharys, Amils, Muqaddams, and Zamindars. During the Sikh period, several reforms were introduced in Multan to collect revenue for the Sikh State and Military. They improved land revenue, built many wells and perpetual canals under the governorship of Sawan Mal and Diwan Mulraj. These XXVII two were considered to be the most useful officials of the Maharaja in revenue generation. It has been tried to break new ground, challenging the viewpoint of previous writers about the local history in the first half of the nineteenth century. The reason behind the selection of this era and area is that the political, economic, and revenue system has a unique significance which not only provided the right direction for future policies but also gave peace and calm to the native people. At that time, Multan was an important unit of the Punjab where policies were formulated at a higher level and translated into action throughout Punjab. Ranjit Singh was like an asteroid who shot up in the sky and controlled the scene for about half a century in the History of Punjab. His enormity cannot be paralleled by any of his contemporaries. He was a benevolent ruler and always cared for the wellbeing of his masses regardless of their caste or creed. He had full reliance on the broad-based coherence and collaboration with which the Muslims and the Hindus lived and sustained peace and prosperity. The evidence of the wholehearted co-operation of the Governors, Administrators, and Generals is not far to seek. The spirit of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's rule was secular. Working on such a topic entitled, "Multan: From the Fall of Afghan Rule to Its Annexation with the British- A Case Study of Its Politico Economic Setup" was very difficult, however, despite many complications, an endeavor has been made to build this dissertation with the help of existing primary and secondary sources. A large number of Hindu Governors and administrators were serving at the Lahore Darbar under the command of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Some of them were of caliber, great importance, and considerable note. A few of them had also formerly occupied ministerial posts in the Mughal Government. Their role, contribution, and achievements in the civil and military administration of Lahore and Multan were not simply important. They proved useful in consolidating and strengthening the Sikh dynasty. Though many valuable research schemes have been undertaken and accomplished on numerous aspects and accomplishments of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and even his successors, yet to the best of my information, no systematic and autonomous study about the said issue has been undertaken by the researchers hitherto. This work is an effort to fill up this annulled in the history of Multan of Ranjit Singh’s time and the era till 1849 when it was annexed by the British. Also, an endeavor has been made to offer a comprehensive account of the most prominent governors of Multan, who were XXVIII working in average dimensions. Their role in the formation of the Central Secretariat, financial department, and commanding expeditions of Multan have been debated. The presentation of these governors in the Civil Administration has also been scrutinized at length but critically. Their associations with Maharaja Ranjit Singh and with his successors as well as with the nobility at Lahore Darbar have also been inspected thoroughly and analytically. Present work belongs to Ranjit Singh's rise and his achievements in various fields like military, civil, and general administration as well as on the political, economic, and socio-cultural conditions. The Hindu governors and Officials of Multan who served in Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign and under his successors were mostly middle-class Hindus or Khatris. Their careers, contributions, achievements, and importance have been traced out from various primary, contemporary secondary sources available in Urdu, Persian, Punjabi, and English related to the present study. During the present study, it has been felt that there was a large scope to include details about the establishment of the Central Secretariat and in the organization of the Financial Department of Sikh administration which is largely modeled on Kabul and Delhi Government. Thus, the scope of further exploration of this subject is not only immense and self-explanatory but also essential to comprehend autonomous contributions in detail. The purpose of this study is to examine critically Maharaja's aims and objectives behind recruiting Hindus in his court. It is also to study what prompted them to join service under him and even to continue during the time of Maharaja's successors. The power, privileges, and position enjoyed by them as well as the constraints put on them have been examined critically. The innovative reforms which were familiarized by them in the provincial management were also discussed. The significance of their existence and role in the day-to-day actions under Ranjit Singh and even till the annexation of Multan in 1849 has been highlighted as it is one of the objectives of the present study. Their role in intrigues and conspiracies especially after the death of Ranjit Singh has also been inspected critically. The impact of their careers, characters, and caliber on various grounds of life, such as economic, military, political, and socio cultural has too been debated analytically. Another objective of this research has endured studying if their company in any way assisted the Maharaja and its successors in keeping the native elements under operative control. The merits of their services in XXIX the civil and military administration have been examined and discussed critically. How did they perform their responsibilities which were assigned to them and to what extent did they prove useful to the Maharaja’s likings and disliking also the goal of this study? Lastly, it will be expressive if the chapterization of the present work is reported here to just give a clue about the entire plan of the study. Besides the Introduction and Conclusion, the present study is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter consists of two parts. The first part deals with the ancient history of Multan from an early age to the beginning of Sikh rule. Besides this, the part second belongs to the origin, evolution of Sikhism, their Gurus, and Misls. Similarly, the arrival, invasions, and ruling period of the Sikhs in Northern India, including Kashmir, Peshawar, and Punjab, have also been discussed. It examines the facts and reasons too which have caused the decline of the Mughal Empire. The second chapter deals with the early life and career of Ranjit Singh. It also encloses his invasions, conquest of Multan as well as its adjacent areas, and those interests which inspired him to come on the scene of Punjab and Multan and ruled over it. The third chapter is the description of the political situation of Multan during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It was a period ofstruggle between the Afghan, Mughal, and the Sikhs. The Sikhs emerged successful in eliminating them and at last, Punjab was unified into a kingdom under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It has not only been highlighted the invasions and expeditions of Ranjit Singh towards Multan but also narrated about some famous courtiers of Lahore Durbar who played a vital role in Multan. Besides this, a brief history, as well as the role and achievements of invaders and governors of Multan, have been discussed too. The fourth chapter provides a detailed account of the successors of Ranjit Singh, a sketch of the Anglo-Sikh wars as well as evidence and facts for the political, social, and economic flaws. It also encloses those drawbacks of later rulers which caused siege, defeat, and annexation of Multan. The fifth chapter maps out the nature of civil administration (central, provincial, and regional), civil secretariat, local management, military as well as judicial setup and educational system. Annexing policies of Ranjit Singh, his successors and governors have also been mentioned. The sixth chapter belongs to the agro-economic reforms, land revenue, and taxation system in which all kinds of techniques have been discussed. Besides this, it highlights the irrigation system, patronage, and some other XXX miscellaneous sources of income and taxes. In the seventh chapter, an attempt has been made to evaluate the territory sector in terms of various issues relating to society, religion, culture, education, and some other aspects. This chapter is a detailed analysis of the social structure of the Punjabi society which was based on a hierarchical structure. The social structure was dominated by the ruling class. The ruling class was heterogeneous which included people of all classes, castes, religions, and regions. The arguments behind the construction of the geographical unit and the role of historical interpretations, in the formation of regional/cultural/linguistic/racial identities, have also been examined. The last chapter, which is related to the decisive remarks, highlights the assumptions and interpretations about the history of Multan during the Sikh period. The conclusions arrived at in this study are only such as primary and contemporary evidence have yielded. In the case of all information, a rigorous historical methodology has been applied and proper historical balance has been constantly kept in mind. This chapter is not concerned with the truth or falsity of the contents of the texts but identifies contact with the history of indigenous and foreign scholars and historians.
Gov't Doc #: 23631
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