Author: Prof. Azizuddin Ahmed
The First Punjabi War was the result of a conspiracy involving the head of the Punjabi government, besides Tej Singh, the commander-in-chief of his army. For the Punjab court, the Punjabi army had become such a genie from the bottle of Allah Din that it was not possible to put it back in the bottle. It had become an army that had to face ruin even when the wish was fulfilled and its displeasure resulted. Rani Jindan thought that by fighting the British, the disobedient and rebellious army should be weakened and thus tried to keep it under control. To achieve this goal, it was first propagated that the British were preparing to attack Punjab. Anyway, the British were engaged in these preparations for a long time. So it was not difficult for Jindan to prove it. The Punjabi army too longed to withdraw from its stronghold as there was nothing left to return to the interior. So the army soon became eager to face the British. A common soldier had no idea of the military power of the British, but the Panch of the Punjab army was aware of this. He was initially opposed to the conflict with the British. But Rani Jindan used the same promotional strategy that Panch used to do earlier. He launched a campaign whispering that those opposing the war were British agents and traitors, thus forcing the military panchayats to fight against the British.
War was declared at the tomb of Ranjit Singh. There all the panch committees of the army came together and promised that they would destroy the British and die. On December 11, 1845, the Punjab army crossed the border of the river Sutlej and entered British territory. Neither the people of Punjab were prepared for this war nor did the government have the necessary equipment for the fight. Many minor battles and skirmishes took place in this First Punjabi War. But 3 major battles deserve attention.
Battle of Madaki:
The Punjabi army’s first face-to-face encounter with the British forces of the East India Company took place on 16 December 1845 at Madki, 20 miles from Firozpur. The number of Punjabi army was 30 thousand and it was commanded by Wazir Lal Singh who himself was involved in the conspiracy to defeat Punjab. So the army was betrayed by its commanders. After crossing the Sutlej River, Lal Singh wrote to the British officer, Captain Nicholson, that he would restrain the cavalry for two days so that he could not join the infantry, provided he and Rani Jindan were permitted by the British. Got it To be considered a friend of the government.
Despite the treachery of the commanding general, the common soldier attacked so valiantly that the British army was in turmoil. The legs of the European regiment were washed away by Punjabi artillery fire. But the British won. Because the Punjabi commander left the army and ran away as soon as the war started. Two British generals were killed in this war. One was Major General Sir Robert Bell and the other was Major General Sergeant McCaskey. ( Ongoing )
Note: This book is published by “Book Home”. It is not necessary that the organization agrees with the views of the author (All rights reserved).