Sada Kaur (1762-1832) was the mother-in-law of
Maharaja Ranjit Singh and was the daughter
of Dasaundha Singh Gill, was married to Gurbaksh Singh, son of Jai Singh,
leader of the Kanhaiya clan.
the menace of
Ahmad Shah Durrani's incursions receded,
conflicts broke out among the Sikh misl chiefs.
Mahan Singh Sukkarchakia, helped by
Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and Sansar Chand
Jai Singh in 1785.
fierce battle took place at Achal, about 6 KM south of
Batala, which was the seat of the Kanhaiyas.
Jai Singh was defeated and his son,
Gurbaksh Singh, husband of Sada Kaur, was killed. The bereaved, yet
farsighted, widowed Sada Kaur, persuaded her father-in-law, Jai singh, to
offer the hand of her only daughter,
Mahitab Kaur, to
Ranjit Singh, the five-year old son of
Mahan Singh Sukkarchakia.
marriage came off in 1796. Sada Kaur accompanied her daughter to Gujranwala
after the nuptials. She became one of the members of the triune regency for
young Ranjit Singh who had succeeded to the leadership of the Sukkarchakkias
upon the death of his father in 1792.
other two members were
Mai Raj kaur (popularly known as Mai
Malvain), mother of Ranjit Singh, and
Diwan Lakhpat Rai, his minister.
Mai Malvain and
Lakhpat Rai were removed from the scene by
death, the latter having been killed in an expedition against the war like
kaur was now the only one of the triumvirate left to guide and counsel
Ranjit Singh. Being by now head of the Kanhaiya misl, she provided him with
material help as well. She helped him to occupy Lahore defeating the Bhangi
Sahib Singh and [[Chet Singh], from whose
misrule the citizens had sought the Sukkarchakkia Sardar to rescue them.
Lahore fell to the joint command of Ranjit Singh and Sada Kaur on 7 July
1799. Supported by his mother-in-law, Ranjit Singh made further acquisitions
and assumed the title of Maharaja on 11 April 1801.
the campaigns of
Kangra as well as in his expeditions
against the turbulent Pathans of Hazara and Attock, Sada Kaur led the armies
side by side with Ranjit Singh. But bother were strong personalities and
mutual clashes began to occur.
marriage of Sada Kaur's daughter to Ranjit Singh did not prove a happy one.
Mahitab Kaur's first one Ishar Singh, died in infancy. On his return from
the cis-Sutlej campaign in 1807, Ranjit Singh was presented by Sada Kaur
with twin sons,
Sher Singh and
Tara Singh, born to her daughter, Mahitab
Ranjit Singh had already married a second time and the son born to this
union was acknowledged as the heir apparent. This soured relations between
the mother-in-law and the son-in-law. Sada Kaur now opened secret
Sir Charles Metcalfe and Sir David
Ochterlony to secure herself the status of an independent Maharani. She
further offended the Maharaja by not attending the heir apparent's marriage
in 1812. She did not allow even her grandsons, Sher Singh and Tara Singh, to
join the ceremonies. Ranjit Singh started making inroads into the Kanhaiya
territory lying on the other side of the River
breaking point finally came when, on Sher Singh's attaining majority, Ranjit
Singh insisted that Sada Kaur hand over the administration of her estates to
him. Sada Kaur refused and threatened to seek the protection of the British
in the cis-Sutlej territory and hand over to them the town of Vadhni,
located to the south of Sutlej which Ranjit Singh had conquered and
transferred to her in 1808.
Maharaja cajoled Sada Kaur into visiting
Lahore, where she was kept under strict
surveillance. Once she managed to escape in a covered litter, but she was
detected and brought back. Here territory was, in the meantime sequestered
and the wealth of the Kanhaiyas lying at Atalgarh (Mukerian) was
confiscated. Batala was granted as a jagir to
Sher Singh while the rest of Sada Kaur's
estates were placed under the governorship of Sardar
Desa Singh Majithia. Sada Kaur died in
confinement in 1832.