Articles: Sikh Martyrs:
Sardarni Sada Kaur
Sardarni Sada Kaur
Sardarni Sada Kaur, mother-in-law of Maharaja Ranjit Singh,
is one of the builders of the Sikh Raj. She was born to Sardar Dasaunda
Singh of Ferozepur District and was married to Sardar Gurbakhsh Singh,
son of Sardar Jai Singh, jathedar (Head) of the Ghanya Misl. A misl was
like a kingdom for each of the Sikh sardars. They collected revenue from
their Misl areas.
Sardar Jai Singh was a friend of Sardar Charhat
Singh, the Jathedar of the Shakarchakia Misl. The areas of the two
Misls were adjacent to each other. Unfortunately, Sardar Charhat
Singh died early leaving his young son, Mahan Singh, an orphan. Sardar
Jai Singh extended his sympathy to the bereaved family and raised Mahan
Singh with love and affection.
When Mahan Singh became an adult, he wanted to use his
powers to increase his revenues. He collected money from the nearby
Jammu area, which was under the protection of Sardar Jai Singh. Naturally,
he got angry at the young boy, Mahan Singh, for his unfaithful act.
He ordered him to pay a heavy fine or be ready to be attacked and turned
out of his Misl area.
Mahan Singh understood the blunder he made for the lust
of wealth. He went to Jai Singh to feel sorry and negotiate the fine
to be paid by him. Sardar Jai Singh, being very mad, did not agree
to relax his condition of collecting heavy fines from Mahan Singh.
The reconciliation efforts having failed, he had no alternative but to
face the mighty Sardar Jai Singh. To be able to come up to the level
of giving a good fight to Jai Singh, the young sardar decided to get as
many people on his side as possible. All the opponents and Sikh chiefs
jealous of Jai Singh got on the side of Mahan Singh.
A big battle was fought between the two brave Sikh armies,
each proud of his men and their expertise in fighting skills. Gurbakhsh
Singh, son of Jai Singh was fighting on one front independent of his father.
He was murdered in the fight, leaving young Sardarni Sada Kaur a widow
and his father without support. Jai Singh could not bear the loss
of his only son in the battle and immediately gave up the fight.
He threw away his arms and raising his hands cried aloud to his opponent
to murder him. While weeping he said he did not want to live without
his son, his only hope in the world. The fighting stopped right away
leaving Jai Singh a mental wreck and incapable of managing his Misl.
Sardarni Sada Kaur did not lose her heart even under these
trying and adverse situations. She decided to face all these problems
bravely and tactfully. She reconciled with her main opponent Mahan
Singh. She offered the hand of her daughter Mehtab Kaur to Ranjit
Singh, the son of Mahan Singh. The engagement of the two children
cemented the friendship of their parents and removed all the grains of
mutual enmity and misgivings. The combination of the two big Misls,
Shakarchakia and Ghanya created a force to be counted as number one in
the Punjab state.
It is said misfortunes never come alone. Another
great tragedy struck Sada Kaur. Sardar Mahan Singh died three years
after the engagement of his son Ranjit Singh and left him an orphan at
the age of nine. To face this new unfortunate situation, Sardarni
Sada Kaur had to perform the marriage ceremony for her daughter when she
was just a child. The marriage entitled her to conduct and manage
the affairs of the Shakarchakia Misl as well.
She handled her job so wisely and bravely that she was
able to achieve the long cherished goal of the Sikhs of becoming the rulers
of Punjab. She performed this great task within 9 years after taking
over the charge of the two Misls.
She used both tact and power to unite all the major Misls
to take over the rule of Punjab. Some Sikh chiefs willingly joined
her because of her good negotiating power. Others, she physically
took over with the help of her strong army and annexed their Misls.
She gave them (Sikh chiefs defeated by her) appropriate positions in the
enlarged kingdom to keep them on her side rather than letting them nurse
any ill-will against her as her opponents.
Whenever an opponent tried to weaken her or any invader
tried to loot her territory, she defeated them to silence them forever.
In this way, one success after the other led her to make her son-in-law,
Ranjit Singh, become the ruler of Lahore before the turn of the century.
The Sikh Raj was thus established in 1799 in Punjab. She guided,
advised, and helped him to take over not only the whole of Punjab lying
to the west of the Satlej River, but also to become the ruler of the regions
adjacent to the Punjab. Ranjit Singh thus became a great, powerful
Maharaja of Punjab. He defeated the Pathans and Mughals, and subdued
these great fighters who had been coming from the west, invading and looting
Punjab for almost a century.
Sardarni Sada Kaur thus carved out a place for herself
in the history of northwestern India as one of the builders of the Sikh
Sikh women are good statesmen and great soldiers.
They can organize armies, win battles, and rule the state well.