Sardarni Sada Kaur - A Valiant Warrior
Sada Kaur - A Valiant Warrior (1762-1832 AD)
GuruGobind Singh ji's Amrit of the two-edged sword brought about a won-derful transformation in people. Besides bringing revolutions in other aspects of so-ciety, he raised woman to a position of equality with man. The equality was not only in social, religious, or political affairs, but on the battlefield as well. Among the numerous examples of Sikh women who displayed feats of courage and strength, Sada Kaur stands out as a matchless warrior and ad-ministrator, endowed with the admirable qualities of statesmanship.
Sada Kaur was born in 1762. From her early childhood she showed clear signs of being endowed with her warlike forefathers' spirit and leadership qualities. She mastered the soldierly art of horse riding and wielding weapons of war. Sada Kaur married Gurbaksh Singh Kanhaiya, the only son of the powerful Misaldar, Jai Singh Kanhaiya.
Charat Singh Sukarchakia's son, Mahan Singh, succeeded in raising his misal to an important confederacy. This aroused the envy of the most powerful misal, the Kanhaiyas. The two came into conflict over the control of Jammu, and in one of the many battles that took place between them, Gurbaksh Singh was killed. Jai Singh's pride was humbled and he agreed to the betrothal of his deceased son's only child, Mehtab Kaur, to Mahan Singh's five-year-old son, Ranjit Singh. Jai Singh died shortly afterwards, leaving the Kanhaiya misal to his widowed daughter-in-law, Sada Kaur, the mother of Mehtab Kaur. Mahan Singh Sukarchakia died in 1792. The legacy, which Ranjit Singh inherited from his father, consisted of a large district in the heart of the Panjab. Ranjit Singh married Mehtab Kaur in 1796.
Artist Kirpal Singh captures, in this painting, the valiant Sada Kaur along with Ranjit Singh at the outskirts of the Lahore Fort, captured with her help in 1799. Her martial prowess and statesmanship was the stepping stone for Ranjit Singh to become the Maharaja of Panjab
Sada Kaur played an important role in uniting the Khalsa forces under the com-mand of Ranjit Singh to drive out the Afghan invader, Shah Zaman, from the Panjab. She also became a close advisor of Ranjit Singh and guided him in becom-ing the Maharaja of Panjab.
When Ranjit Singh received an invitation from the important citizens of Lahore to fin-ish Bhangi's misrule and take over their city, he sought Sada Kaur's advice. She told Ranjit Singh that whosoever controls the capital of the state will soon become the master of the Panjab. She, however, ad-vised him to tell his soldiers and command-ers not to plunder or inflict suffering on the innocent citizens. They should be told that they were going to Lahore not as con-querors but as friends and deliverers. On June 26,1799, with an army of 25,000 se-lect soldiers, Ranjit Singh marched towards Lahore and reached there in the evening. By sunrise, Ranjit Singh's forces were ready for attack. Special troops entered through the breaches made in the walls. They asked the citizens of Lahore to open the gates for Ranjit Singh's troops to enter. Ranjit Singh entered the city through Lahori Gate and Sada Kaur led her horsemen through Delhi Gate. Lahore was taken with little blood-shed or loss of life.
For providing effective guidance and support to Ranjit Singh in his early con-quests, Sada Kaur has been rightly called 'the ladder by which Ranjit Singh climbed to his glories as Maharaja of the Panjab'.
(Article- courtesy Dr. Santokh Singh -"The Guru's Word")
A Sketch of Sardarni Sada Kaur, by the Court Artist of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, "Kehar Singh"
Diwan Mohkam Chand, who along with Sada Kaur was the chief advisor and comrade of Ranjit Singh at the conquest of Lahore.