Raja Jaswant Singh (1775-1840), succeeded his father, Raja Hamir Singh, to the throne of Nabha in 1783 at the age of eight, under the guardianship of his stepmother, Mai Deso, a very resourceful and energetic woman. In 1790, after the death of Mal Deso, he assumed the reins of government into his own hands. Jaswant Singh conducted protracted campaigns, first against Jmd and then against Patiala, to regain disputed territory for his state. His feud with Jind ended in 1789 with the death of the Jind ruler, Raja Gajpat Singh. With the help of General Perron of the Maratha service, he succeeded in checking the advance of the Irish adventurer, George Thomas.

In 1804, he entered into an alliance with Lord Lake against Yashwant Rao Holkar. In 1805, Raja Jaswant Singh in company with Raja Bhag Singh of Jind appealed to Maharaja Ranjit Singh to arbitrate his dispute with Patiala and though the dispute was not resolved, Jaswant Singh was able to extend Ins territory with grants from Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Despite these favors, Jaswant Singh joined hands with the other Sutlej princes under the treaty of 1809. Jaswant Singh helped the British in the Gurkha War in 1814 as well as in the Kabul campaign in 1838.

Raja Jaswant Singh was a popular prince much loved by his subjects. Writing about him, Sir David Ochtcrlony, British diplomat and soldier, said, “Jaswant Singh is one of the principal Jat under our protection and by far superior in manner, management, and understanding to any of them I have yet seen.” Sir L.H Griffin considered him “the nearest approach to the civilized among the whole set of rude barons.” Raja Jaswant Singh died at Nabha on 22 May 1840.

References :-

  • L.H Griffin, Rajas of the Punjab [Reprint]. Delhi, 1977
  • Maharaja Jaswant Singh Of Nabha – The Sikh Encyclopedia
  • Ganda Singh, The Patiala and East Punjab Suites Union. Patiala, 1951
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