Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/672

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University Mission College at Delhi, the Medical School and the Mayo School of Art at Lahore; and the Punjab Chiefs' College, also at Lahore.

History.—For the early history of the Punjab from the Aryan immigration to the fall of the Mogul dynasty see India: History. It deserves, however, to be noted here that from the time of Alexander onwards Greek settlers remained in the Punjab, and that Greek artists gave their services for Buddhist work and introduced features of their own into Indian architecture. Besides the bases and capitals of large Greek columns at Shahderi (Taxila) and elsewhere, numerous sculptures of Greek workmanship have been found at various places. These are single statues (probably portraits), also figures of Buddha, and representations of scenes in his legendary history, and other subjects. They are obtained from ruins of monasteries and other buildings, from mounds and the remains of villages or monumental topes. Of Buddhist buildings now remaining the most conspicuous as well as distinctive in character are the topes (stupa), in shape a plain hemisphere, raised on a platform of two or more stages. One of the largest of these is at Manikiala, 14 m. east of Rawalpindi. These Buddhist buildings and sculptures are all probably the work of the two centuries before and the three or four after the beginning of the Christian era. The character of the sculptures is now well known from the specimens in the India Museum, South Kensington, and both originals and casts of others in the Lahore Museum. Unfortunately they have no names or inscriptions, which give so much value to the sculptures of the Bharhut tope.

The several bodies of settlers in the Punjab from the earliest times have formed groups of families or clans (not identical with Indian castes, but in many cases joining them), which have generally preserved distinct characteristics and followed certain classes of occupation in particular parts of the country. Some of the existing tribes in the Punjab are believed to be traceable to the early Aryan settlers, as the Bhatti tribe, whose special region is Bhattiana south of the Sutlej, and who have also in the village of Pindi Bhattian a record of their early occupation of a tract of country on the left bank of the Chenab, west of Lahore. The Dogras, another Aryan clan, belong to a tract of the lower hills between the Chenab and the Ravi. Others similarly have their special ancient localities. To the earlier settlers—the dark race (Dasyu) whom the Aryans found, in the country, and who are commonly spoken of as aborigines—belonged, as is supposed, the old tribe called Takka, whose name is found in Taksha-sila or Taxila. And from the later foreigners again, the Indo-Scythians, are probably descended the great Jat tribe of cultivators, also the Gujars and others.

It was during the events which brought Baber, the first of the Mogul dynasty, to the throne, that the sect of the Sikhs was founded by Nanak; and it was under the persecution of Aurangzeb that they were raised into a nation of warriors by Govind Singh, the tenth and last of the gurus. For their tenets and history see Sikhism.

The break-up of the Mogul Empire in the 18th century allowed the Sikhs to establish themselves, as a loosely organized community of marauders, in the eastern plains of the Punjab, on both banks of the Sutlej. Here, after long internecine warfare, one of their chieftains succeeded in enforcing his authority over the rest. This was Ranjit Singh, the “Lion of the Punjab,” born in 1780, who acquired possession of Lahore as his capital in 1799. Ranjit was a man of strong will and immense energy, of no education but of great acuteness in obtaining the knowledge that would be of use to him. When he endeavoured to include the Sikh states south of the Sutlej within his jurisdiction, the heads of these states—chiefs of Sirhind and Malwa, as they were called—sought and obtained in 1808 the protection of the British, whose territories had now extended to their neighbourhood. The British were at this time desirous of alliance with Lahore as well as with Kabul, for protection against supposed French designs on India. A British envoy, Charles Metcalfe, was received by Ranjit at Kasur in 1809 and the alliance was formed. Ranjit steadily strengthened himself and extended his dominions. In 1809 he got possession of Kangra, which the Nepalese were besieging. In 1813 he acquired the fort of Attock on the other side of the Punjab; and in the same year he obtained from Shah Shuja, now a refugee in Lahore, what he coveted as much as territory, the celebrated Koh-i-nor diamond, which had been carried off by Nadir Shah from Delhi. In 1818, after some failures in previous years, he captured Multan. Kashmir, which had successfully opposed him several times, was annexed the following year, and likewise the southern part of the country between the Indus and the hills. The Peshawar valley he succeeded in adding four years later, but he found it best to leave an Afghan governor in charge of that troublesome district. These trans-Indus and other outlying tracts were left very much to themselves, and only received a military visit when revenue was wanted. Peshawar was never really ruled till Avitabile was sent there in later years. When he was gradually raising his large and powerful army Ranjit received into his service certain French and other officers, who drilled his troops and greatly improved his artillery. Whilst he relied on these foreigners for military and sometimes also for administrative services, he drew around him a body of native ministers of great ability, of whom the brothers Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh of Jammu were the most influential.

Ranjit always maintained friendly relations with the British government, and just before his death gave tacit approval to the scheme for placing Shah Shuja on the throne of Kabul. His death in 1839 was followed by six years of internal anarchy, princes and ministers being murdered in quick succession, while all real power passed to the army of 90,000 trained troops. At last this army, unpaid and unmanageable, demanded to be led into British territory, and had their way. They crossed the Sutlej in December 1845. The battles of Moodkee, Ferozeshah and Aliwal were followed by the rout of the Sikh army at Sobraon on the 10th of February 1846, when they were driven back into the Sutlej with heavy loss, and the British army advanced to Lahore. Of the Sikh guns 256 fell into the hands of the British in these actions on the Sutlej. A treaty was made at Lahore on the 9th of March with the chiefs and ministry who were to hold the government on behalf of the young maharaja, Duleep Singh. By this treaty the Jullundur Doab and the hill district of Kangra were ceded to the British, also the possessions of the maharaja on the left bank of the Sutlej. In addition the British demanded a money payment of £1,500,000. The services of Gulab Singh, raja of Jammu, to the Lahore state, in procuring the restoration of friendly relations with the British, were specially recognized. His independent sovereignty in such lands as might be made over to him was granted. The Sikh government, unable to pay the whole of the money demand, further ceded, as equivalent for £1,000,000, the hill country between the Beas and the Indus, including Kashmir and Hazara. Gulab Singh was prepared to give the amount in place of which Kashmir was to have become British, and by a separate treaty with him, on the 16th of March 1846, this was arranged. At the urgent request of the durbar a British force was left at Lahore for the protection of the maharaja and the preservation of peace. To restore order and introduce a settled administration a British resident was appointed, who was to guide and control the council of regency, and assistants to the resident were stationed in different parts of the country.

Peace was not long preserved. The governor of Multan, Diwan Mulraj, desired to resign. Two British officers sent by the resident to take over charge of the fort were murdered, on the 19th of April 1848, and their escort went over to the diwan. Another of the assistants to the resident, Lieutenant Herbert Edwardes, then in the Derajat, west of the Indus, on hearing of their fate, collected a force with which to attack the Multan army while the insurrection was yet local. This he did with signal success. But Multan could not fall before such means as he possessed. The movement spread, the operations widened, and the Sikh and British forces were in the field again. Multan was taken. The severe battle of Chillianwalla on the 13th of January 1849 left the Sikhs as persistent as after the two terrible