By:Arshdeep Singh Bhinder (Topic b) The Regent of the Sikh Empire Maharani Jind Kaur was the most rebellious and dominant women to ever have power over the Sikh Empire.She was well known to be a courageous and attentive being.After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh,Duleep Singh came into power and Jind Kaur became regent of the Sikh Empire,it was up to her to keep it going.Jind Kaur maintained the Sikh Empire by destroying the threats and protecting the young Maharaja,but after the Loss in the first anglo-sikh war she was replaced by a Council of Regency.
Her influence on the empire still continued and the British exiled her,because of this she lost her power and she never met her son for the next thirteen years!But when she met Duleep after he was converted into a Christian,she inspired him to go back to Punjab and rebuild a kingdom. Jind Kaur did maintain the Sikh Empire for some years, but she did not make the right moves to keep the Empire going. After Maharaja Ranjit Singh died,the Sikh Empire depended on his sons.After three of his sons were assassinated,Duleep Singh came into power at age five with his mother,Jind Kaur,as regent.As being the wife of the earlier Maharaja,Jind kaur knew the threats that would appear against young Duleep Singh so she protected him really well.One such example of this was when Pashaura Singh(one of Ranjit Singh’s sons)wanted to replace Duleep Singh and himself become Maharaja of the Sikh Empire;when Jind Kaur heard of this,she got Pashaura Singh killed immediately.When Jind Kaur was ruling as regent,she had to face many problems.The Sikh Army wanted an increase in their pay,the feudal chiefs wanted a reduction of taxes that Hira Singh charged them,and Gulab Singh and Hira Singh had taken most of the Lahore treasury.
To fix these problems,Jind kaur increased the army pay,Gulab Singh and Hira Singh were brought to Lahore and faced charges of treachery.Hira Singh was replaced by Jawahar Singh as wazir and Gulab Singh was allowed to return back to Jammu after he payed 68 lakh rupees as a fine. Though Maharani Jind Kaur did many good things to run the Sikh Empire but that wasn’t enough to protect the empire from the British.
After Lal Singh and Tej Singh betrayed the Sikh Army and the Sikhs lost the first Anglo-Sikh war,Jind kaur was replaced by a Council of Regency controlled by a British resident.She was given 150,000 rupees pension.One thing Jind Kaur did wrong was that even after all this,she had an open rebellion against the British and so the British exiled her.She was sent to Banaras and there she was locked up in a jail.
From there the Maharani dressed up as a maid and fled to Nepal.Jind Kaur never got to see her son after thirteen years,due to this the British changed Duleep a lot,he was baptized to Christianity and his whole personality was changed!Though Jind Kaur made mistakes in her life that affected the Sikh Empire,she still tried getting Duleep to become a Sikh again and for him to start a new Sikh Kingdom. Jind Kaur was losing her sight and the British did not see her as a threat anymore, so they her visit her son,Duleep Singh in Calcutta.Duleep took his mother to England where in her last two years of her life, she inspired him to become a Sikh again.He followed what his mother said and converted back to Sikhism!She used to tell Duleep stories about Sikh Empire and how it was destroyed,she told him to rebuild the Sikh Empire.
Jind Kaur past away Kensington, England, on 1 August 1863,Duleep Singh tried to fulfill his mother’s dream but he also failed to do so. All the power was under Jind Kaur and everyone was depending on her to maintain the Sikh Empire after the death of Ranjit Singh and many of his successors.Jind Kaur kept the kingdom going or a few years by protecting it from the British and destroyed any posing threat toward the Sikh Kingdom.After the Sikhs lost the first Anglo-sikh war,Jind Kaur was replaced by the Council of Regency and later exiled from Punjab.She never got to see her son again for the next thirteen years.
When she finally did meet Duleep,he had already changed a lot and she tried to make him build another Sikh Empire but Duleep was unable to this.Maharani Jind Kaur did a lot to help the Sikh Kingdom grow but just some mistakes ruined it all and the Sikh Kingdom fell to the feet of the British.