The Last Durbar of Lahore: The End of a Glorious Reign
Lahore, March 29, 1849 - Today marks the end of a glorious era in the history of the Punjab. The last Durbar of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign was held by his youngest son, Maharaja Dalip Singh, at the Lahore Fort. However, the proceedings of the Durbar took a turn for the worse when the Kohenoor diamond and the kingdom were taken away by the British. It was a solemn occasion as the young Maharaja, only ten years old at the time, presided over the Durbar. The Durbar was attended by the nobles, generals, and officials of the Sikh kingdom, along with representatives of the British East India Company. The British officials had come to witness the formal transfer of power to Dalip Singh, who was the last surviving heir of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. However, things did not go as planned. As the Durbar was coming to a close, the British suddenly presented a document to Maharaja Dalip Singh, which had been signed by the young ruler himself. The document stated that he was voluntarily surrendering the Kohenoor diamond and the kingdom of the Punjab to the British. The young Maharaja was only ten years old and could not have understood the gravity of the situation. The British officials had taken advantage of his innocence and obtained his signature through deception. The Kohenoor diamond, which was one of the largest diamonds in the world, was taken away along with other treasures of the Punjab. This incident marked the end of the Sikh kingdom, which had been founded by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1799. The kingdom had flourished under his rule, and the Sikh army had become one of the most powerful in the region. However, with the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839, the kingdom had plunged into chaos, and the British had taken advantage of the situation to annex the Punjab. The last Durbar of Lahore will go down in history as a day of great treachery and injustice. The British had taken away the kingdom of the Punjab and its treasures through deceit, leaving a once-great kingdom in ruins. The people of the Punjab will never forget this day, and it will remain a painful reminder of their loss of sovereignty and independence. .