Raja Bikram Singh Brar Of Faridkot

Raja Bikram Singh Brar Of Faridkot was born into a Brar Jat family ,He was the son of Raja Wazir Singh Of Faridkot , He succeeded his father at the age of 32 and because 9th Raja Of Faridkot and 12th Generation Chief of KotKapura. He was Well skilled in languages and an able ruler, he administered the State with conspicuous ability and inaugurated various reforms.

He abolished the Tahsil of Kotkaptra and amalgamated pargana Dipsingwalá with Faridkot, and Bhagta with Kotkapúra. Thethánas in these abolished parganás were reduced to the status of out-posts. He employed retired British officials of experience, and in 1875 he formed offices and courts un the British model, and adopted British Law. Twelve year was fixed as. the period of limitation in cases of debt. The period was reduced to six year in 1881.In the same year receipt stamps were ordered to beaffixed on ordinary receipts, under the Indian Stamps Act. The army was doubled and the police force organised on a regular basis.Palaces were built and gardens laid out, adding thereby vastly to the attractions of the State.In 1879 the Raja introduced restriction on the consumption of intoxicating liquors.Distillation was forbidden and under the Excise Act, an Abkári Department and distillery were established o in Farídkot.The people of Faridkot State at first used to live in the Fort, butin1837, a town was laid out beyond its walls and The people were settled there.In 1885, bazars were erectedon an improved plan and the town became a fine looking city.Formerly the agriculturists had paid cash revenue or batái at uniform rates and no distinction was made between owner or tenants because righty of tenantship or ownership were not defined.

In 1879 therefore, survey according to tho British settlement rules began and in 1899 an assosament of the revenue was made.In this settlement the Raja’s claim to ‘l’aluqdári rights over almost all the villages of the State was established and the zamindárs were declared inferior propriotors (málikadna). But the Raja retained the rights of ownership over about half the area of the State, i.e., over 33 complete villages and over 175,000 ghumáons of land in various other villages. ‘Those who were in possession of these lands were declared occupancy tenants and tenants-at-will. In 1892 revenue rates were fixed and the revenue increased. by Rs. 90,000.

As regards inheritance it was decided that sore, grandsons, widow, mother, grandmother or paternal aunt of the deceased owner should succeed on payment of a succession fee of one anna per rupee of the jama or revenue proper. The relatives up to the seventh generation were rrquired to pay y succession fee vurying from twice to ffteen time the revenue.the revenue. ‘he remoter agnates of the ancestral line were made to pay one-fourth of the market value of he property. Thus the succession laws of the State were codified.

The Sirhind Canal was brought into the State in 1885 with the result that cultivation greatly increased and crops unknown before Ca were now produced. The North-Western Railway was extended to the State in 1884.

Markets were established and in 1894 land was given at low prices to shop-keepers and tradery from outside the State. Octroi duties were abolished, and in 1896 cattle fairs were established, large sums being spent on these fairs in prizes. Schools and charitable hospitals were started in 1875 and dharamsalas and rest-houses for travellers were built in 1886. Sadabarnts or free kitchens were established in Faridkot, Thanesar and Amritsar. Metalled roads were constructed and lined with trees. Sanskrit patshalas were opened where food was given to the students. ‘The Raja subscribed towards all works of public utility. During the famine of 1896 he sold his old stock of grain at cheap rates, thousands otmaunds being sold to the people of the State and adjacent territories. Revenue was suspended and takávi advances made to the agricultural classes.In 1881 one pice postal stamps were introduced into the State for use on letters despatched from the State. On letters received st rom the British Post Offices fur distribution in the State a cash fee besides that levied by the British postal authorities was realized. But in 1887, & Postal convention was signed between Government and the State by which the State stamps and postage demands were abolished. Since then postage stamps have been supplied to the State by Government at cost price and are sold at the usual rates.

In 1875 the Sri Gobind She Shankar Bank was established in Farídkot. This Bank has advanced many thousands of rupees to the people of the State and others. The Raja was appointed a Fellow of the Punjab University which he aided with large sums of money. Bikram Singh also took a keen.interest in Social Reform.He spent large sums in getting a commentary of the Guru Granth Sahib made by Gianis, Sadhus, Mahants, Dants and others, who were invited from remote places. He erected a Gurdwára of GurúGobind Singh at MauzaGurúsar. One plough of land was granted to it in múafi. He al:o erected another temple in the Lakhi jungle at Mauza MehmáSarjá and granted a múáfi to it. He had a Gurdwará of Guru HarGobind Sahib built at Srinagar in Kashmir and made a grant of Re. 1-4-0 per day for káralpershad in the mandirs at Amritsar, Patns, &c. He built the temple at Muktsar and showed his religious zeal by going on various pilgrimages.

The Raja had a fondness for the mechanical arts and erected many handsome buildings in Faridkot, including the large building in the fort. He took a keen interest in the well-being of his State and fully appreciated his responsibilities. His loyalty to the British Government was shown on many occasions, notably when in 1878 he despatched a contingent for service in the Afghan war.

As aresult of this act the title of “Farzand-i-SadaatNishanHazrat-i-Kaiser-i-Hind” was bestowed on the Raja and his heirs. In 1887 the State raised a contingent of Imperial Service Troops consisting of 50 cavalry and 200 infantry. Raja Bikram Singh was twice married, his first wife being the daughter ofTewatiaJat ruler Raja Nahar Singh of Balabgarh, but she died  issueless . He therefore married the daughter of SardarPartab SinghRallawala of Patiala, and TikaBalbir Singh, the present Raja, was born in August 1869. After a rule of 24 yeursRaja BikramSingh died in August 1898, aged 56 years.

Tikka Balbir Singh succeeded his father Raja Bikram Singh and, was installed on thogadi in December 1898.

References :-

  • Ganda Singh, The Patiala and the East Punjab States Union. Patiala, 1971
  • Punjab States Gazetteers volume XVI a Faridkot State, 1907
  • The Rajas of the Punjab by Lepel H. Griffin/TheHistory of the Faridkot State,
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