The day when nation was sold

The day when nation was sold
16th March 1846 – THE AMRITSAR TREATY
AND SOLD SO CHEAPLY,

Gulab Singh assumed sovereign rights, over Kashmir as enshrined in Article 4 and 12 of Lahore treaty, signed on 9th March. The treaty of Amritsar, a shadowy deal formalised what was agreed in Lahore. Allama Iqbal says of the deal:

Dahkan, Kisht, Joey Va Khayaban Farukh’tand
Qaum-i- Farukh’tand Va Che Arza’n Farukh’tand!
Peasant, the land, the stream, the avenues sliced
A nation was sold and how cheap was it priced?!

Text of the Treaty [translated from original Persian text]

This treaty was culminated between the Government of Company Bhadur and Maharaja Gulab Singh, the chieftain of Jammu, by Fredrik Kerry Barnet Sahib Bhadur and Major Lawrence Sahib Bhadur acting as diplomatic emissaries/  legal trustees of visionary, praiseworthy Nawab, endowed with power and titles-Rt. Honourable Sir Henry Harding Sahib Bhadur-GBC, Governor General, who is one of special consultants of- full of piety and goodness, supreme in status, Queen of Queens, Her Majesty, the Queen of England  who has entrusted  the Government of Company Bhadur [East India Company] with administration and setting up all affairs in India-big and small and holding all the power to negotiate this particular affair and Maharaja Gulab Singh, present in person [ASALATAN in Persian, a word, we are familiar with in Muslim wedding contracts]

  Article one:-
The British Government hands over the country of Kashmir and Hazara and the entire mountainous region, falling between rivers Ravi and Sindh, falling towards Hazara, with river Sindh on eastern and river Ravi on western side including the territory of Chamb, excluding Lahul,  transferred and presented to British Government, by Lahore royal court, as per article four of the treaty of 9th March permanently, with total sovereign rights to Maharaja Gulab Singh’s male inheritors, in order of succession.
Note: – Hazara, now forms a part of NWFP in Pakistan, it was however exchanged with Lahore Durbar, for territories to the ‘East of Jhelum’ within a year of signing of ‘Amritsar Treaty’, precisely on 25th May, 1847.

An English translation of this agreement reads as:- 

 
An agreement between Government of Maharaja Dilip Singh Bhadur and Government of Maharaja Gulab Singh Bhadur,  with approval of Diwan Dina Nath and Roy Kishan Chand  trustees of Lahore court and Diwan Jwala Sahay and Qazi Mukham-ud-Din, lawyers of Maharaja Gulab Singh was placed in front of the revered Colonel-Sir Henry Montgomery Lawrence Bhadur- Agent of Governor General in Northern and Western territories and Resident of Lahore, presiding with the power vested in him by approval of officials of the two Maharajas, with regard to Hazara and Kohtah to the west of Jhelum belonging to Maharaja Gulab Singh Bhadur and  the territory to the east of Jhelum located towards Jammu belonging to Lahore court. The agreement was conditioned on their approval and acceptance of Grand Captain of Abbot Abad, who with all the talent in his command, while keeping justice in view would examine the documents concerning Hazara and western Jhelum to elucidate the subject and fix an yearly amount, which ought to be half of revenue after exemption, of the territory to the east of Jhelum towards Jammu. A firm line would be drawn, which would ensure, never ever to repeat the draw or result in any misunderstanding, starting from west of river Jhelum, in the vicinity of Muzzafarabad and sticking to the mountainous reaches of Konhar waterway (Nallah in Persian) keeping it as straight, as possible, conditioned on the opinion of the Governor General’s appointee and held straight until river Sindh, so that no doubt is left regarding a complete division of territory between two States. Following this the two States should not seek to alter and dispute the division and exercise control over the territory assigned. Should ever a dispute arise, it would be placed in the court of Agent of Governor General in Northwest and Resident Lahore. A copy of this agreement with signatures of parties involved would be deposited in the offices of Lahore and Jammu court and Resident Lahore.
 Signed on Tuesday; 14th of Zeith 1904, corresponding to 25th of May 1847 A.D in Lahore by the four signatories:
Signed by: Sahib Bhadur Kalan {denoting exalted status (Big/Bada) meaning Agent/Resident in Lahore} All the four emissaries/Trustees/Appointees (Nishana, in Persian, which could even mean deputising) Dina Nath-Kishan Chand-Jwala Sahay-Mahkum-ud-Din   

Article two:
The eastern borders of the territory transferred, as per article one of this treaty would be settled and marked by trustees of British Government and Maharaja Gulab Singh and noted in a separate agreement.

Article three:
Maharaja Gulab Singh, in exchange of territories transferred, as per the articles noted above, shall pay an amount 0f 75 lakhs Nanak Shahi Rupees to Imperial British Government-50 lakhs immediately and 25 lakhs within six months.

Article four:
The borders of Maharaja Gulab Singh’s country would not be subjected to any change without consent of British Government.

Article five:
If ever incidentally, a dispute arises between Maharaja Gulab Singh and Lahore court or any one of his neighbouring states, he would take the dispute to officials of Government of Company Bhadur and whatever the settlement, the officials appointed by Governor General to look into the matter decide on; shall be accepted by Maharaja without reservations.

Article six:
Maharaja Gulab Singh agrees on his own and on behalf of his successors-if ever the victorious British army gets an assignment to be in the mountainous country or in areas, close to territories, under his control-Maharaja, with his all his armed forces, should present himself, as and when required by British armed forces.

Article seven:
Maharaja Sahib agrees never ever to take the British, European or an American, in his employment, without acceptance and permission of officials of Company Bhadur

Article eight:
Maharaja Sahib agrees to keep in view/ in consideration articles 5, 6, 7 of a separate agreement between the British Government and the Lahore Durbar, signed on 11th March 1846, in the territories transferred to him.
Note: – While as, what was signed on 9th was named a ‘Treaty’ within two days, other considerations, in a rapidly changing political scenario led to an agreement. In any case, Lahore hardly had a choice on, what was being dictated by the victor to the vanquished.

An English translation of these articles reads as:-
(5) British Government agrees that the Jagirs (Land holdings) of associates Late Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Late Maharaja Khadak Singh and Late Maharaja Sher Singh (all named as Surag-bashi…residents of Paradise) whose Jagirs are located at places, which have come to be the holdings of British Government, as per articles eight and fourteen of Lahore treaty of 9th March, shall be retained by the holders and the holding deeds shall not be suspended, as long as the present holders are alive.
{Note…these Jagirs were between rivers Ravi and Sutluj and on the right bank of River Sutluj. Sher Singh succeeded his brother Khadak Singh, elder son of Ranjit Singh}

 (6) The Lahore court shall seek the help and cooperation of British Government, in collecting land tax, for the ‘Kharif yields’ of the year 1902 Bikramjit (Indian Calendar year) as well as the pending balance.

(7) The Lahore court shall be entitled to compile a list of items in their treasury, assets and stored items in the places marked in articles three and four of 9th March treaty and British Government shall be entitled to hold, whatever it deems fit, out of these items, on  reasonable payment. Whatever remains, in case the Lahore court wants to, shall be put on auction, in presence of officials of British Government.

Article nine:
British Government affirms to safeguard the RAJ and country of Maharaja from external enemies.

Article ten:
Maharaja Gulab Singh, keeping in view the absolute supremacy and ultimate sovereignty of British Government, agrees to present in tribute, year after year, a high bred horse, twelve Tibetan goat woollen hides of high quality, six male and six female and a two pairs of Kashmiri Shawls.
This treaty, based on ten articles was concluded between Fredrick Kerry Sahib Bhadur and Major Lawrence Sahib Bhadur, on behalf of Respected and highly titled Nawab-Rt. Hon’ble Sir Henry Harding-GBC-Governor General, as emissaries/trustees and Maharaja Gulab Singh, present in person
 Signed (F.Kerry) Signed (H.M.Lawrence)
The takeover of Kashmir was not easy. Lahore double crossed. Article 13th of Lahore treaty was invoked, when Imam-ud-Din, the last Governor of Lahore court, resisted the takeover. The British would have none of it, enforcing Maharaja Gulab Singh’s army with their own men. Resistance was subdued and Imam-ud-Din questioned. He produced three letters from Raja Lal Singh advising Governor Imam-ud-Din to stay put and resist the takeover, even at the cost of his life. He was forgiven, while as Lal Singh was exiled first to Agra and finally to Dehradun.

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival] (Feedback at iqbal.javid46@gmail.com)