17. Lahina Singh
Lahina Singh (1797), one of the triumvirate who ruled over Lahore for more than 30 years before its occupation by Ranjit Singh, was the son of Dargaha and was adopted by Gurbakhsh Singh Roranvala, a Sikh chief of note belonging to the Bhangi misl, after whose death in 1763 he succeeded him to his estates. The most spectacular achievement of Lahina Singh, in collaboration with Gujjar Singh and Sobha Singh, was the capture of Lahore from the Afghan nominees, Kabuli Mall and his nephew, Amir Singh, and minting in 1765 the Sikh coin. Lahina Singh ruled over Lahore most successfully for 32 years, with some intermissions, until his death in September 1797. He enjoyed complete obedience and respect of the subjects. When in December 1766, Ahmad Shah Durrani invaded Lahore and Lahina Singh retired towards Kasur, the Muslim citizens of Lahore pleaded before the Shah to confirm Lahina Singh in the governorship of the Punjab. To this end, the Durrani actually invited Lahina Singh, but the latter declined the proposal. He returned to the Shah the fruit he had sent him, saying that such delicacies were meant for royalty alone. The Sikhs, he told the messenger, lived on parched gram, which they thought of as almonds. Of this he gave a quantity to the messenger to be presented to Ahmad Shah, on his behalf. Lahina Singh re-occupied Lahore as soon as the Shah left for Afghanistan. Lahina Singh retained a permanent body of 3,000 cavalry and 2,000 infantry and in an emergency he could muster a force of 7,000 horse and 4,000 foot. His territory yielded about 15 lakhs of rupees annually.