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chatanga1

How did the Sikhs loot Nadir Shah's army?

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I have been reading about the Koh i Noor over the last few days. There is little information on who actually attacked Nadir's army. Nadir's army had so much loot that they took from Delhi.

This is the actual page from the book:

image.thumb.png.9c383263346c2ed4d39d312bbaef50c1.png

 

The reference to bare bottomed peasants I think is refering to the Sikhs who wore cholas and no pyjamas. I think the reference is to the lower half of their body not being covered.

 

http://ignca.gov.in/Asi_data/21254.pdf

 

In the above PDF go to page 17 and read on. There are only about 3 or 4 pages to read. It is a PDF of a translation of the original Persian written by a Kashmiri man who accompanied Nadir on his return from Delhi. He also does not name the Sikhs as such but just calls them the "inhabitants" of that country. It's very interesting to read how those "inhabitants" actually looted nadir's army on the Chenab.  Also it states that Zakaria Khan was with Nadir at the time of his return through Panjab, which has been recorded by Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu in the famous conversation between the two which is often quoted by the Sikhs.

 

 

 

 

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48 minutes ago, chatanga1 said:

I have been reading about the Koh i Noor over the last few days. There is little information on who actually attacked Nadir's army. Nadir's army had so much loot that they took from Delhi.

This is the actual page from the book:

image.thumb.png.9c383263346c2ed4d39d312bbaef50c1.png

 

The reference to bare bottomed peasants I think is refering to the Sikhs who wore cholas and no pyjamas. I think the reference is to the lower half of their body not being covered.

 

http://ignca.gov.in/Asi_data/21254.pdf

 

In the above PDF go to page 17 and read on. There are only about 3 or 4 pages to read. It is a PDF of a translation of the original Persian written by a Kashmiri man who accompanied Nadir on his return from Delhi. He also does not name the Sikhs as such but just calls them the "inhabitants" of that country. It's very interesting to read how those "inhabitants" actually looted nadir's army on the Chenab.  Also it states that Zakaria Khan was with Nadir at the time of his return through Panjab, which has been recorded by Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu in the famous conversation between the two which is often quoted by the Sikhs.

 

 

 

 

Hmmm...why would Zakira Khan ask for the release of the Indian prisoners? Where these the people he kidnapped to try and build a city in Persia?

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58 minutes ago, dalsingh101 said:

Hmmm...why would Zakira Khan ask for the release of the Indian prisoners? Where these the people he kidnapped to try and build a city in Persia?

Nadir took 3 groups of people with him to Persia. The first group was the skilled workers, the artisans/craftsmen who had built, but by this time, largely maintained the Moghal buildings. The 2nd group was the women who he had married (perhaps forcibly) to his soldiers. I'm guessing these would include both hindu and muslim. The 3rd group was the people who had been captured to be slaves. Only from this group were some released.

I'm not sure why Zakaria asked for the release of some captives. I think that either they were Muslims or that they may have belonged to some class or had some skills that Zakaria needed. It could just have been out of pity as well. It's certainly interesting though.

 

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4 hours ago, chatanga1 said:

. It is a PDF of a translation of the original Persian written by a Kashmiri man who accompanied Nadir on his return from Delhi. He also does not name the Sikhs as such but just calls them the "inhabitants" of that country. It's very interesting to read how those "inhabitants" actually looted nadir's army on the Chenab.  Also it states that Zakaria Khan was with Nadir at the time of his return through Panjab, which has been recorded by Bhai Rattan Singh Bhangu in the famous conversation between the two which is often quoted by the Sikhs.

Was this in J.S.Grewal's Persian Sources book?

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22 hours ago, dalsingh101 said:

Was this in J.S.Grewal's Persian Sources book?

 

No. I've just had a look through that today but was quite surprised to see there is nothing there from between the decades of Baba Banda Bahadur's shaheedi, 1710s and the emergence of the Sikhs as a competing power around 1750s.

Obviously there are more sources but maybe they are not focused on the Sikhs too much to have warranted it making it into grewals book.

Does anyone have "Sicques Tigers and Thieves" ?

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14 hours ago, chatanga1 said:

 

No. I've just had a look through that today but was quite surprised to see there is nothing there from between the decades of Baba Banda Bahadur's shaheedi, 1710s and the emergence of the Sikhs as a competing power around 1750s.

Obviously there are more sources but maybe they are not focused on the Sikhs too much to have warranted it making it into grewals book.

Does anyone have "Sicques Tigers and Thieves" ?

Yeah I agree. Unless it explicitly mentioned Sikhs he wouldn't have put it in. I think things might have gone quiet in that period between Banda SIngh and the 1750s. Singh's must have been operating in gupt, and consolidating themselves. 

I've got that  "Sicques Tigers and Thieves" somewhere. 

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On 4/7/2019 at 7:42 PM, dalsingh101 said:

Hmmm...why would Zakira Khan ask for the release of the Indian prisoners? Where these the people he kidnapped to try and build a city in Persia?

This gives us a clue (from Sikhs of the 18th Century by Surjit Singh Gandhi):

 

image.thumb.png.eb675e4a3eef0bf321bcd0a34f656dfd.png

 

8 hours ago, dalsingh101 said:

Yeah I agree. Unless it explicitly mentioned Sikhs he wouldn't have put it in. I think things might have gone quiet in that period between Banda SIngh and the 1750s. Singh's must have been operating in gupt, and consolidating themselves. 

I've got that  "Sicques Tigers and Thieves" somewhere. 

 

Dig it out and have a look if there is any info about this topic.

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Really good thread created veer jis i have also found that suleman ghost had originally come to india via iran nadar shah. Its written in the 16 page pdf of the story.

 

Here is a screenshot of the wording. It is also in the audio conversation but i have not listened to it fully yet

Screenshot_20190411-192619_Chrome.jpg

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On 4/9/2019 at 8:34 PM, chatanga1 said:

Dig it out and have a look if there is any info about this topic.

In George Forster's Sicques, Tigers and Thieves (1783) it says:

673340676_forsterquote.png.84fcdd3279b940700e1b76f8a64e6557.png

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You know what I think might have happened.

Singhs were sabotaging and attacking Nadir Shah's caravan taking chunks of the loot away. Zakriya Khan secured the release of the prisoners (for whatever reason) and then he might have essentially secured a deal with Singhs to escort the former captives to their homes. This way he got them out of the area and busy so they couldn't attack Nadir Shah's caravan anymore. 

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7 hours ago, dalsingh101 said:

Zakriya Khan secured the release of the prisoners (for whatever reason) and then he might have essentially secured a deal with Singhs

 

Panth Parkash Vol 2 episode 94/95/96 deal with the invasion of Nadir Shah and then Zakaria's attitude towards the Sikhs. It was Nadir who warned Zakaria about the Sikhs and how they would usurp his rule. This led to to Zakaria giving rewards for the heads of Sikhs. I personally don't think that at this time Zakaria was looking to make any deals with Sikhs.

Pg 176 of this PDF http://sikhbookclub.com/Book/Shri-Gur-Panth-Prakash-Volume-II-Episodes-82

for anyone who hasn't read it yet.

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On 4/27/2019 at 5:23 PM, chatanga1 said:

 

Panth Parkash Vol 2 episode 94/95/96 deal with the invasion of Nadir Shah and then Zakaria's attitude towards the Sikhs. It was Nadir who warned Zakaria about the Sikhs and how they would usurp his rule. This led to to Zakaria giving rewards for the heads of Sikhs. I personally don't think that at this time Zakaria was looking to make any deals with Sikhs.

Pg 176 of this PDF http://sikhbookclub.com/Book/Shri-Gur-Panth-Prakash-Volume-II-Episodes-82

for anyone who hasn't read it yet.

I don't think he particularly wanted to make deals but political expediency may have forced him. Let's look at Zakiriya Khan. His first major contact with Sikhs (as a young man) would have been when he and his father was fighting Banda Singh. If I'm right, his family had a big hand in taking the SIkh prisoners back to Delhi after Banda Singh's fort was broken. So he knew how stubborn Singhs could be when fighting. 

He is governor of Panjab and appears to have subjugated himself to Nadir Shah hence the escort through his territory, and we have Singhs sabotaging Nadir's retreat and looting the loot. Now that would have been highly embarrasing for ZK, who would look like he was failing in maintaining law and order in his provence. 

Singhs (by that time) had a reputation of not harming women as evidenced by the famous extracts from Jangnama, so if  Singhs did escort prisoners back to their homes, it may have been a shrewd move on ZK part, to prevent NS becoming further exasperated and to also save his own reputation as a governor of the state somewhat. 

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^^^^^^

@chatanga1

Just flicked through the Bhangu text and what I said in the last post makes sense in that context. Singhs embarrassed the hell out of ZK, that explains why he went even more vicious with the persecution after Nadir Shah left. 

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On 4/29/2019 at 3:07 PM, dalsingh101 said:

I don't think he particularly wanted to make deals but political expediency may have forced him. Let's look at Zakiriya Khan. His first major contact with Sikhs (as a young man) would have been when he and his father was fighting Banda Singh. If I'm right, his family had a big hand in taking the SIkh prisoners back to Delhi after Banda Singh's fort was broken. So he knew how stubborn Singhs could be when fighting.

If ZK father had been part of the campaign that subdued the rebellion and bought Banda Bahadar's reign to an end then I would think that ZK would have been encouraged by this not to lose heart against the Sikhs and carrying on the fight against them rather than look to  make some deal.

 

On 4/29/2019 at 3:07 PM, dalsingh101 said:

Singhs (by that time) had a reputation of not harming women as evidenced by the famous extracts from Jangnama

Jangnama came a lot later didn't it? 1764 ish?

 

On 4/29/2019 at 3:07 PM, dalsingh101 said:

so if  Singhs did escort prisoners back to their homes, it may have been a shrewd move on ZK part, to prevent NS becoming further exasperated and to also save his own reputation as a governor of the state somewhat. 

I can't see someone like ZK allowing the Sikhs anywhere near him or the prisoners. Nadir Shah would barely have left Panjab when ZK started his pogrom of rewards for killings Sikhs.

 

On 4/29/2019 at 3:07 PM, dalsingh101 said:

He is governor of Panjab and appears to have subjugated himself to Nadir Shah hence the escort through his territory, and we have Singhs sabotaging Nadir's retreat and looting the loot. Now that would have been highly embarrasing for ZK, who would look like he was failing in maintaining law and order in his provence. 

Why would he be embarrassed? He was not the ruler of Panjab at the time. ZK was the subordinate of Rangila, who was the subordiante of Nadir. Nadirs' army was way more powerful than ZK, so if they were unable to see off the Sikhs, I can't see why that would make ZK uncomfortable. rather if it was the other way round, that might have made ZK embarrassed at this own failure.

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Good find Chatanga. A new book has been published on the history of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, maybe it contains some info also. I’ve recieved my copy and will post if there is any interesting info from Afghan sources on their rule over Afghan sikhs in Pashto areas and  Punjab. 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Afghan-Hindus-Sikhs-Inderjeet-Singh/dp/9385854380

Edited by amardeep

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On 5/1/2019 at 4:47 PM, chatanga1 said:

If ZK father had been part of the campaign that subdued the rebellion and bought Banda Bahadar's reign to an end then I would think that ZK would have been encouraged by this not to lose heart against the Sikhs and carrying on the fight against them rather than look to  make some deal.

I can't see someone like ZK allowing the Sikhs anywhere near him or the prisoners. Nadir Shah would barely have left Panjab when ZK started his pogrom of rewards for killings Sikhs.

That ZK and his father were at the forefront of the campaign against Banda Singh is irrefutable. Here's Khafi Khan's Muntakhabu 'l Lubab completed 1731:

khafi_khan_png.png.556349f59f9623018791f1ff0f88b2b1.png

You know what though. You are absolutely right. I'm trying to squeeze a SIkh tradition into the evidence we have - with no justification. I mean if we go by the evidence including later Sikh sources like Bhangu, it doesn't look like apnay rescued those captives. 

I just thought given what ZK witnessed with the captives from the Banda Singh campaign and how no single person asked for quarter and their defiance - it would make an impression on him (and anyone else). So here we are 15 years after Banda's and his SIngh's brutal executions and some Singhs are still acting defiant. I think this led to even more extreme actions on his part, as Bhangu says, he went from targeting combatants to killing even the peaceful, civilian type SInghs who were just farming (on the surface of it) - but the reality is that they would have been covertly supporting their fighting Sikh brothers, hence destroying them was an attempt to destroy the fighting Singh's support networks - which failed and probably just turned more people into fighters.  

 

Quote

Jangnama came a lot later didn't it? 1764 ish?

Yeah that's right, but those Singhs must have been raised like that by their families and the culture to act like they did. It wasn't a cultural practice that just emerged. It was something our traditions attribute to dasmesh pita's teachings on conduct in warfare, and not to behave like a typical sullah soldier would at that time (or even now judging given what happened to Yahzdhis lately). 

 

Quote

Why would he be embarrassed? He was not the ruler of Panjab at the time. ZK was the subordinate of Rangila, who was the subordiante of Nadir. Nadirs' army was way more powerful than ZK, so if they were unable to see off the Sikhs, I can't see why that would make ZK uncomfortable. rather if it was the other way round, that might have made ZK embarrassed at this own failure

He'd be highly embarrassed I reckon. He was a Mughul subordinate, and his superiors just got ar5e-raped by Nadir in Delhi. Now he has to show his submission to Nadir who has just emptied the Mughul khazana and whilst Nadir is passing through his territory - it looks like 'bare bottomed peasants' have enough audacity to challenge his (and Nadir's authority). Hardly a ringing endorsement for his abilities at maintaining law and order is it. 

khafi_khan.tif

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On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

That ZK and his father were at the forefront of the campaign against Banda Singh is irrefutable.

Not disputed.

 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

as Bhangu says, he went from targeting combatants to killing even the peaceful, civilian type SInghs who were just farming (on the surface of it) - but the reality is that they would have been covertly supporting their fighting Sikh brothers, hence destroying them was an attempt to destroy the fighting Singh's support networks - which failed and probably just turned more people into fighters.  

It also succeeded in driving the Sikhs out of Bari Doab into Jalandhar and Malwa.

 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

He'd be highly embarrassed I reckon.

I can't see him being embarrassed by it a great deal. Infuriated, yes.

 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

He was a Mughul subordinate, and his superiors just got ar5e-raped by Nadir in Delhi.

Yes, so his own masters were slaves. This pushes even further down the scale of power-holders.

 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

Now he has to show his submission to Nadir who has just emptied the Mughul khazana

Actually ZK had already been defeated in battle by Nadir outside Lahore, after which he (ZK) offered his submission to Nadir. Nadir then moved onto Delhi. The partial destruction of Panjab moghal happened before the near-annihilation of Delhi moghal rule.

 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

Hardly a ringing endorsement for his abilities at maintaining law and order is it. 

I don't think that Nadir cared too much about it to be honest. Nadir was more concerned with carrying his loot back to Persia, and I would say was more annoyed that a band of rebels had taken from him, what imperial armies what afraid to take. He destroyed the Moghal army, only to be attacked by rebels living in the most meagre conditions.

 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

You know what though. You are absolutely right.

About what?

 

On 5/9/2019 at 7:12 PM, dalsingh101 said:

I'm trying to squeeze a SIkh tradition into the evidence we have - with no justification. I mean if we go by the evidence including later Sikh sources like Bhangu, it doesn't look like apnay rescued those captives. 

I think that Sikhs did rescue and free captives in their attacks on Nadir (and also Abdali). I can't see the Sikhs as having just attacked Nadir's army to take wealth and leave the captives there.  However at this time, we can also say that ZK/Lakhpat also did get some captives released.

 

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^^^

I think it's obvious that by this time the Moghul's were in decline. They already wasted a lot of resources in military campaigns in the South, then Nadir comes along and empties their khazana. 

This wasn't lost on Singhs, who actually helped engineer this situation by staying out of Nadir's way when he passed through. 

What they looted from Nadir's caravan probably helped big time in funding subsequent attacks on waning Moghul authority.

I wonder too, that given this overall situation, if Moghul vassals now worried about the Moghul states ability to maintain itself.  Also, during this period, how was the revenue from the agricultural sector (in Panjab) that normally went to the government effected? Moghuls are getting hit from all angles. 

 

Quote

I think that Sikhs did rescue and free captives in their attacks on Nadir (and also Abdali). I can't see the Sikhs as having just attacked Nadir's army to take wealth and leave the captives there.  However at this time, we can also say that ZK/Lakhpat also did get some captives released.

I'm surprised Bhangu never mentioned this? 

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^^Just want to add:

As someone who grew up in the fag end of the british empire - note here too, that brits 'victory' on the continent essentially involved taking apart the remnants of an already depleted and exhausted moghul empire in serious decline. One that had Maharattas, Singhs and people like Nadir Shah already vigorously attacking it. This old gora presupposition that it was down to some superiority of whites is simply not true. 

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8 hours ago, dalsingh101 said:

I think it's obvious that by this time the Moghul's were in decline.

The invasion of Nadir was seen as the death-knell for the Moghal Empire as an effective fighting force able to hold onto the empire.

 

8 hours ago, dalsingh101 said:

What they looted from Nadir's caravan probably helped big time in funding subsequent attacks on waning Moghul authority.

Most likely but I think also the audacity of the Sikhs in attacking Nadir won a lot of support in Panjab.

 

8 hours ago, dalsingh101 said:

I'm surprised Bhangu never mentioned this?  

What hasn't he mentioned?

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21 minutes ago, chatanga1 said:

The invasion of Nadir was seen as the death-knell for the Moghal Empire as an effective fighting force able to hold onto the empire.

 

Yeah, definitely. They didn't even offer any serious resistance to Nadir.

 

Quote

Most likely but I think also the audacity of the Sikhs in attacking Nadir won a lot of support in Panjab.

Yep, it would have cemented their reputation for bravery and audacity. Plus the use of the resources they looted would have given them a better appearance than before. It would've further undermined Moghul rule. Zakriya (and his superiors in Delhi)  couldn't offer any serious resistance to Nadir, but Singhs could steal his loot - that wouldn't have been lost on the people of Panjab. 

Again, it explains why he went overboard with his oppression after this, to try and salvage his reputation and authority. 

It also explains why Nadir came back to blow up Harmandir Sahib. 

 

Quote


What hasn't he mentioned?

 

Singhs freeing female captives. Did this story gain popularity in Singh Sabha times? 

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On the topic of looting. This is interesting (from Hans and Singh's paper on Bhai Vir Singh's editing of PP). It's obvious that pre-annexation Sikh historians like Bhangu had no hang ups with Singhs being poor, looting (or rioting) than Bhai Vir SIngh later did.

loot_bhangu.thumb.png.565743607ebc9c20a08a48d38646718d.png

 

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@dalsingh101 Dal thats a bit hard to read. Have you got a clearer copy at all?

 

I was listening to katha of Panth Prakash, and in it, Bhangu has written that the Dal Panth had no qualms in looting invaders, or the moghal government. In fact they looked upon it as honourable enterprise.

 

2 hours ago, dalsingh101 said:

Singhs freeing female captives. Did this story gain popularity in Singh Sabha times? 

I don't know. What SS sources tell thi story?

 

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15 hours ago, chatanga1 said:

@dalsingh101 Dal thats a bit hard to read. Have you got a clearer copy at all?


 

That's the quality of the copy I got. It might be clearer in the original which you can find here. Try downloading that? The editing by BVS is subtle but highly significant.  

https://www.scribd.com/document/50691250/Bhai-Vir-Singh-s-editing-of-Panth-Prakash-by-Dr-Harinder-Singh-Chopra-Dr-Surjit-Hans

 

Quote

I was listening to katha of Panth Prakash, and in it, Bhangu has written that the Dal Panth had no qualms in looting invaders, or the moghal government. In fact they looked upon it as honourable enterprise.

According to the article above BVS started the trend of being ashamed of such things? It was obviously a reaction to gora propaganda, which may have made some people ashamed of certain aspects of the past. This is ridiculous really, because no one has really been bigger thieves than the english in this respect.

 

15 hours ago, chatanga1 said:

I don't know. What SS sources tell thi story?

(Regarding the freeing captives), I don't know, but I guess we'll find out. For now we can say that the fact Bhangu doesn't mention it is very interesting. 

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