The Sikh domination of Delhi and the Ganga Doab deeply alarmed the British Government. Their authority extended up to the eastern bank of river Ganga. Warren Hastings, the governor-general, was now keen to occupy Delhi and Agra and to make the British government successor of the Mughal Empire. His plan was upset by the Sikhs. He wanted to deal with the Sikhs by studying their past history. For this purpose he sent George Forster to travel in the Sikh country and write their history in 1782. He employed Sayyid Ghulam Husain to write a h story of India with special reference to the Sikhs. At the same time he deputed lames Browne to Agra and Delhi. His business was to turn away the Sikhs from Delhi and the Ganga Doab by negotiations as well as by organising a confederacy against them. Browne reached Agra in February, 1783, and shortly afterwards opened correspondence with Dhaliwal Jat Ruler Baba Baghel Singh. The sardar did not wish to divert his attention from the construction of gurdwaras. He directed his vakil Lakhpat Rai who represented him at the Mughal court to reply to Browne’s letters. Lakhpat Rai suggested to Browne to correspond with Jassa Singh Ahluwalia who was the highest authority among the Sikhs and who was called “Badshah Singh.”
Browne wrote several letters to Baghel Singh and in December, 1783,came to Delhi. Baghel Singh had left the capital a few days before Browne’s arrival.Before appointing Mahadji Sindhia Regent in December, 1784, the Emperor had in his mind to bestow this office on Baghel Singh. From the Emperor’s point of view this was the best solution to save crown lands from Sikh depredations, and to subdue the rebel chiefs with Sikh help. It was for this reason that the Emperor had granted him a share in the revenues of the capital for life. Warren Hastings came from Calcutta to Lucknow to bring the Emperor’s design to naught.His plan to replace the Emperor by his rebel son Prince Jahandar Shah failed. Baghel Singh did not take advantage of this situation.
- History of Sikhs -Vol. IV ,The Sikh Commonwealth or Rise and Fall of Sikh Misls By Hari ram gupta.