Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia had no male child. He had two daughters of whom one was married to Mehar Singh and the other to Mohar Singh.  Jassa Singh’s wife Raj Kaur had impressed upon him to nominate one of their sons-in-law or her brother to succeed him but he did not agree as he did not find the necessary qualities of a ruler in any of them.

Bhag Singh, a close relative of Jassa Singh and Diwan Burha Mai, had been responsibly shouldering most of the burden of the administrative affairs of the state. Bhag Singh believed that the Diwan was not an honest man who sometimes misappropriated the state funds. But since the Diwan was an important man Bhag Singh could not do any thing against him during Jassa Singh’s time.

After Jassa Singh’s death, both of his sons-in-law claimed inheritance to his territory and property. The Sikhs assembled on condolence of Jassa Singh at Kapurthala and desired that the late Sardar’s elder son-in-law should succeed him. But Jai Singh Kanaihya, who was friendly to Jassa Singh’s cousin Bhag Singh, born in 1747, managed to get the latter appointed as the new ruler of the Ahluwalia Misal.  He was in his 38* year at the time of succession to the gaddi.  Bhag Singh had to face a constant challenge from the sons-in-law of his predecessor. Although Bhag Singh did not have high opinion of Diwan Burha Mai he did not like to take a drastic step of doing away with his services at the very outset of his rule.

Appointing Diwan Burha Mai and Sher Karim Din to look after his administration Bhag Singh came out of Kapurthala and toured the whole of the Doaba. He realised parganas from the jagirdars of Phagwara and Nurmahal.  The first quarrel that Bhag Singh found at his hands was one bequeathed to him by the late Ahluwalia chief who had joined Hakikat Singh Kanaihya in attacking Jammu, then ruled by Raja Brij Raj Deo. Bhag Singh renewed his alliance with the Kanaihya chief and his first expedition was, in company with Jai Singh Kanaihya, against Wazir Singh and Bhagwan Singh, chiefs of the Nakka territory between Lahore and Gogaira. In the next year Bhag Singh went to the assistance of Jai Singh, when Maha Singh Sukerchakia, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra united to destroy him. His help could not be effective and Jai Singh suffered a defeat near Batala.

In 1784, on the complaint of the people of Salan, Sardar Gurbakhsh Singh was removed from the territory placed under his care. Then, Bhag Singh took Sharkpur from the Nakkais. Accompanied by some other Sardars, he conquered Kasur. It was there that he learnt the news of the birth of his son who was named Fateh Singh in memory of their victory at Kasur. war-path against Jassa Singh Ramgarhia. Sometimes he was defeated by the Ramgarhias and at other times he defeated them.

The Ahluwalia Jat Sardar even tried to befriend Sansar Chand Katoch of Kangra but they, mostly, ranged themselves on opposite sides in the event of a battle. The important battles of this period were those of Nagoke, Miani, Begowal and Garhdiwala. The assistance rendered to the Ahluwalia chief by the Sandhu and Bhatti Jat chiefs Kanaihyas and Sukerchakias against the Ramgarhias marked the continuing pattern of politics practised in this part of the Punjab.

Bhag Singh was given to constant meditation and he gave alms to Brahmans. 6 ‘ He got excavated at Kapurthala a Devi Tank and a Devi Dawara was also got repaired. The pujaris were provided with subsistence. All the new Sadhus entering Kapurthala ware entertained sumptuously by him. 70 He was an extremely kind-hearted man and would not tolerate cruelty even to the animal and insect life. In his early days he was required to look after the needs of the mendicants. This had made him sympathetic to the poor to whom he gave a great deal in charity. He ruled his Misal for nearly eighteen years

References :-

  • Lepel Griffin, op. tit, p. 473; Rarnjas, op. tit, p. 312.
  • Gian Singh, op. tit, 735; cf, Lepel Griffin, op. at, p. 473.
  • Ramjas, op. tit, p. 313, 318-19.
  • Ibid, p. 311.
  • Ibid, pp. 314-17.
  • Ibid, pp. 317-18.
  • Gian Singh, op. tit, p. 735; Bute Shah, op. tit, IV, p. 268; Ramjas,
    op. tit, pp. 311,314,316-18.
  • Lepel Griffin, op. tit, p. 473; Gian Singh, op. tit, p. 735; ‘Ramjas, op. tit, pp. 313-314.
  • Ramjas, op. tit, p. 316.
  • Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. tit, p. 20; Ali-ud-Din Mufti, op. tit, Vol. I, pp. 308-09; Lepel Griffin, Punjab Chiefs, pp. 173-74; The Rajas of the Punjab, p. 473; Gian Singh, op. tit, p. 238; Ramjas, op. tit, pp. 325-26.
  • Ramjas, op. tit, p. 324.
  • Lepel Griffin, The Rajas of the Punjab, pp. 473-74, Gian Singh, op. tit, p. 736. According to Khushwaqat Rai, Bhag Singh died of great uneasiness and regrets (Tawarikh-i-Sikhan, MS., GS., P- 67).
  • Khushwaqat Rai, op. tit, p. 67; Ahmad Shah Batalia, op. tit, p 27; Bute Shah, op. tit, IV, p. 261.
  • Khushwaqat Rai, op. tit., p. 67; Bute Shah, op. tit, p. 268.
  • Khushwaqat Rai, op. tit, p. 67; Ramjas, op. tit; p. 329.
  • Ramjas, op, tit, pp. 342-44.
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