The and they started to increase their power
Posted On June 7, 2019
The British were the main reason for the demise and downfall of the Sikh kingdom. The Sikh empire lasted for many decades under the rule of Ranjit Singh, and it had a bright and promising future. However, after the death of Ranjit Singh, the British took advantage of this situation and they started to increase their power and strength. Long before the birth of ” The Maharaja of Punjab”, the British came to India and took over almost all of India. The main opposing force left was Punjab, which was controlled by the Sikh kingdom. Eventually after some hard fought battles, the British won the war and took down the Sikh empire, and this was the demise of the empire. The British were responsible for the downfall of the Sikh empire as they were the ones who had caused the Anglo-Sikh wars. They were also responsible for the demise due to the fact that they were the ones who kept Duleep Singh( the last Maharaja of the Sikh empire) and his mother, Maharani Jind Kaur, away from each other. Although the British and the Sikhs did not get along well, they were not responsible for all of the destruction brought to the kingdom. Instead, the corrupt generals of the Sikh army were a part of bringing down Sikh kingdom as well. They had betrayed their own kingdom.The British were responsible for causing the Anglo-Sikh wars. There were two Anglo-Sikh wars: First Anglo and Second Anglo-Sikh War. The first war had happened and was caused by the British for the reason that they went against the Treaty of Amritsar, 1809. This treaty stated that there would be a perpetual friendship between the state of and Lahore the British East India Company(BEIC) and that there would be no concerns between what territories were under Ranjit Singh and which ones were under the British East India Company. River Sutlej was the boundary line for both the Sikhs and the British East India Company. The British went against this treaty, and they established a military cantonment at Ferozpur and annexed Sindh. In this treaty Sindh was under the control of the Maharaja, so they basically attacked the Maharaja’s territory. With this, the British had begun the First Anglo-Sikh War. Many battles(such as the Battle of Mudki, Battle of Ferozeshah, Battle of Aliwal, and Battle of Sabroan) were fought and many other treaties were signed within this war. During this war, the British had looted most of Punjab and the Punjab government was also under the control of the British East India Company. So the kingdom was slowly falling and the second Anglo-Sikh war was coming near. Due to the growing resentment at British interference in the government, the second Anglo-Sikh war started and it was certainly true that things weren’t going well for the Sikh empire. Also, many battles were fought in this battle( such as the Battle of Chillianwala, Battle of Gujrat, Battle of Kineyri, and Battle of Ramnagar). Most of these battles resulted in the Sikhs surrendering or being defeated. During this time of war, Duleep Singh also signed away all the claims on the rule of Punjab. The Sikhs couldn’t do anything now that the population of Punjab was poor, and most importantly the British East India Company and their forces were too powerful and overwhelming. With this said the British caused these Anglo-Sikh wars, and therefore were responsible for the demise of the Sikh kingdom. In addition to this, the British had also kept Duleep Singh and his mother away from each other, which caused further disruption amongst the Sikh kingdom.The last Maharaja of the Sikh empire, Duleep Singh, was kept away from his mother, Jind Kaur, and this was one of the main reasons the British were responsible for the demise of the kingdom. Being the youngest son of Ranjit Singh he needed his mother by his side to help him run the kingdom, but the British did not allow Jind Kaur to remain with her son. His mother ruled as Regent, but was replaced by a Council of Regency, and later on imprisoned. The British did not allow the son and mother to meet for thirteen and a half years. With this cruelty alone, the British were making plans to destroy the Sikh kingdom. They were kept away from each other until near to her death. After years and years of trying to meet his mother, Duleep Singh was finally allowed to meet her in January on 1861, at Spence’s Hotel in Calcutta, and he was allowed to take her to England. The British knew that she no longer deemed to be of any threat because she had lost a lot of energy and was old, helpless, and blind. The British also did this so that the Sikhs could face defeat once and for all due to the fact that they knew he was the last Maharaja, and they knew that if the Maharaja and Maharani stayed together, they would have regained power. At this point Maharani Jind Kaur was two years away from her death. All she could have done was talk to Duleep Singh about his father’s success on the battlefield and about his rule over the Sikh Kingdom. He eventually re-embraced Sikhism, but the British kept apart the two people that could have saved the Sikh kingdom, and they again proved to be the cause of the demise of the Sikh kingdom. At the same time, the British were not liked by the Sikhs, but the betrayers in the Sikh army generals were also the ones who had caused destruction to the kingdom and brought the kingdom down.The Sikh army was fighting with the British during the Anglo-Sikh wars but little did they know, their own generals were also responsible for the demise of the Sikh kingdom. At the time of the Anglo-Sikh wars, the Sikh army was led by General Lal Singh, along with Tej Singh. These generals were thought to be the leaders and were thought to be the ones who would lead the Sikhs to victory. However, these corrupt generals were working to take down the Sikh kingdom as they were the ones who betrayed the Sikhs during the course of the war. Lal Singh was always providing information to the British about what was going in the Sikh kingdom, and he was informing them about their plans. Along with this, he was also receiving instructions from them about what to do. Lal Singh and Tej Singh showed that they were working against the Sikhs several times during the wars. During the Sikh advancement towards Ferozepur, the Sikh army under Tej Singh made no effort to attack the British when they required rest and reinforcements. Instead, Tej Singh waited until the British recovered. Lal Singh showed this during the Battle of Ferozeshah, when he kept the Gorchurras, the elite of Khalsa, away from the battlefield. Also because of this, they were comparatively ineffective against the opposition army. In this battle, Lal Singh made no effort to reorganize his army, and Tej Singh also withdrew from leading the army. Also during the Battle of Sobraon, Tej Singh deserted the Sikh army during the battle. However, the remaining Sikh warriors fought to death. With all of these betrayals, they let the Sikh kingdom down and were therefore also declared the cause of the demise of the kingdom. What hurt the most about this was that they were the demise of their own kingdom. As a result of everything happening, the Sikhs faced the brutal side at the end.In conclusion, the British were vigorously responsible for the demise of the Sikh kingdom. The British were responsible since they started the Anglo-Sikh wars and they kept Duleep Singh and his mother away from each other. In comparison, Lal and Tej Singh were equally responsible for the demise of the kingdom for they had double-crossed the Sikh army. They were heavily responsible for the fall of the kingdom. Although Ranjit Singh left this world with the dream of expanding the Sikh Empire, the British and the untrustworthy generals did not allow this to happen. The Sikh Kingdom not only fell at the end of the Anglo-Sikh wars, but it also had its downfall when Duleep Singh was taken by the British and was not allowed to fulfill his father’s goal. All in all, all of these factors were the reasons for the demise of the Sikh kingdom.