Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul
A shrewd diplomat and a great strategist
By Dr. B.N. Sharga
Politics we all know as per old saying is the last refuge of
scoundrels. But in the words of Paul Valery the politics is the art of
preventing people from taking part in affairs, which properly concerns them.
Paradoxically the politicians with no base and mass appeal have started taking
help from criminals, musclemen and mafia dons to win the elections. Now these
criminals and mafia dons dominate the political scene in our country. There are
many politicians in our country against whom a number of criminal cases are
pending in different courts but they are ruling the roost and practically
enjoying all the benefits at the cost of poor tax payersí money. Diplomacy on
the other hand is something entirely different. A good politician may not be a
good diplomat or a statesman. Diplomacy is an art to brain wash the opposite
party with your forceful arguments and convincing logic to support your view
point and line of thinking. It requires real calibre, knowledge and deep
understanding of the subject to achieve the required goal. Chanakya also known
as Kautilya was the greatest diplomat and strategist of his times ever produced
by India. He helped Chandragupta Maurya in the 14th century B.C. to build up a
vast unified empire spanning Afghanistan in the northwest to Kamrupa (Assam) in
the northeast and from Kashmir in the north upto Kerala in the south. He also
wrote a comprehensive treatise on good governance known as Artha Shastra which
is still considered to be a masterpiece document ever written by anybody on the
subject to turn any complex situation to his favour with confidence.
Lord Krishna has
very clearly pointed out this fact in the Bhagwad Gita. He who discards
scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither
perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination (16-23). A human mind is
not the best instrument to come up with all the right answers. We need to go to
the experts. And the biggest expert is the god himself who has set out
everything in great detail in the bonafide scriptures like the Bhagwad Gita.
An intelligent person takes advantage of such instructions.
Knowing these rules and regulations one should act in such a way so that he may
gradually be elevated to a higher level of knowledge (16-24). An intelligent
person does not experience with his life but takes a lesson from the time tested
and proven injunctions of the scriptures.
Therefore a diplomat for getting success in his mission
should have the capacity to judge the coming events before hand to plan his
strategy accordingly to meet any exigency with confidence. India has produced a
galaxy of world renowned diplomats, in different periods who have made
outstanding contribution in deciding and farmulating the policy matters of
different governments from time to time. One such versatile diplomat and a great
strategist of the 20th century was Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul who played a key
role in deciding the policy matters of different princely states in British
India and carved out a very special place for him in the political horizon of
the country in that period for his various acts and achievements.
According to reliable information collected from various
authentic sources Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaulís ancestors were the famous
Dattatreya Kauls of Rainawari mohalla of the Srinagar district in Kashmir. His
ancestor Swami Jageshwar Nath Kaul who was born around 1480 was a great Sanskrit
scholar and highly religious and orthodox person. He was the custodian of the
famous Ganpatiar temple. He had a son Swami Nath Kaul who was born around 1510
and a grandson Swami Kanth Kaul who was born around 1530. Swami Kanth Kaul had a
son. Swami Madhav Kaul who was born around 1560 and a grandson Pt. Shanker Kaul
who was born around 1580. The main occupation of this Kaul family at that time
was to look after the management of the Ganpatiyar temple and the religious
rituals connected with it.
The Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605) annexed Kashmir in 1586
after taking into custody the last Kashmiri Sultan Yusuf Shah Chak, Raja Man
Singh then took Yusuf Shah Chak as a prisoner to Bihar for his confinement
there. Yusuf Shah Chak died in detention later on in September 1592 and was
burried at a place known as Biswak near Patna. The Mughals then started
consolidating their position in Kashmir by building a fort over Hari Parbat.
When Jahangir became the emperor in 1605 he sent Meeru. Pandit Dar to Kashmir
and gave him big jagirs. The Mughal emperor. Jahangir (1605-1627) then
made Pt. Shanker Kaul the incharge of the royal Nakkarkhana which was
meant for giving due publicity to the royal proclamations and decrees from time
to time. After this appointment the family members of Pt. Shanker Kaul became
famous as Nagaria Kauls.
Pt. Shanker Kaul had a son Pt. Mahesh Kaul who was born
around 1635 and a grandson Pt. Mukund Kaul who was born around 1670. The name of
his son was Pt. Krishna Kaul who was born around 1705. He had two sons Pt. Har
Kaul and Pt. Las Kaul.
Pt. Har Kaul who was born around 1755, had a son Pt. Bala
Kaul who in turn had two sons Pt. Lal Kaul and Pt. Govind Kaul. Pt. Lal Kaul who
was born around 1795 at Srinagar, Kashmir, after completing his education went
to Kabul around 1814 and got a job in the army there. He was a very good fighter
and a skilled marksman. Due to his martial qualities he rose rapidly in the
court at Kabul and became a minister. He used to come to Kashmir quite often
from Kabul to study the political situation in his motherland and to meet the
local people just to feel their pulse. Somehow he developed strained relations
with the subedar of Kashmir Azam Khan over some trivial issue and to seek
mental peace he went to the holy shrine of his spiritual Guru Pt. Mansa Ram
Razdan popularly known as Dhooni Sahab at Gujarat in Punjab. There he had a
chance meeting with Maharaja Ranjeet Singh who extended an invitation to Pt. Lal
Kaul to come to Lahore to see him.
Pt. Lal Kaul was nursing some grudge against the Afghan subedar
Azam Khan so he thought it proper to grab this God sent opportunity to teach a
lesson to Azam Khan. He without wasting any further time immediately rushed to
Lahore and accepted the offer of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh who made him the
commander of his Rawalpindi Brigade of the Sikh army. The Rawalpindi Brigade
under his command took part in many campaigns of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh and won
many battle honours.
In Kashmir subedar Azam Khan appointed many Hindus
like Pt. Sahaj Ram Dar, Pt. Hardas Tikku, Mirza Pandit Dar, Pt. Birbal Dar and
Pt. Sukhram Safaya, etc. as the Kardars or revenue collectors and fixed a
target for each one of them for collecting the land revenue from big zamindars.
In this process some differences cropped up between Azam Khan and Pt. Birbal Dar
as the former levelled certain charges over the latter for committing bunglings
in collecting the land revenue to the tune of about a lac of rupees which Azam
Khan actually wanted to realise from Pt. Birbal Dar. Soon a conclave of notable
Pandits took place over this crucial matter in which a decision was taken to
approach Maharaja Ranjeet Singh to take his help to free Kashmir from the
tyrannical rule of Afghan subedars and their illegal demands.
Under this plan Pt. Birbal Dar along with his son Pt. Raja
Kak secretly left for Lahore. Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu helped them to seek an
audience with Maharaja Ranjeet Singh at Lahore as Raja Gulab Singhís younger
brother Dhyan Singh was the Prime Minister of the Maharaja. Though Maharaja
Ranjeet Singh was initially somewhat reluctant to send his army again as he had
suffered a great humiliation in his previous campaign to Kashmir in 1812 after
which Pt. Hardas Tikku was killed in 1813 for treason on the suspicion of
inviting. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh to Kashmir. But the forceful logic and
convincing arguments of Pt. Birbal Dar had such a great impact on the mental
make up of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh that he finally agreed for the second campaign
Consiquently a contingent of the Khalsa army consisting of
30,000 Sikh soldiers under the supervision of Misr Dewan Chand and Pt. Lal Kaul
with commanders like Raja Gulab Singh, Hari Singh Nalwa, Sardars Jwala Singh,
Hukum Singh and Shyam Singh left Lahore for this Kashmir campaign.
Subedar Azam Khan of Kashmir got the news about this
secret mission of Pt. Birbal Dar. Sensing trouble he along with Pt. Suraj Tikku
who was the son of Pt. Hardas Tikku left for Kabul for bringing reinforcements
after installing his brother Jabbar Khan as the subedar of Kashmir. On
the way to Kabul Azam Khan killed Pt. Suraj Tikku in revenge at Baramulla,
whereas Jabbar Khan started consolidating his forces and resources to face the
Sikh army of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in the battle field. The Sikh army was
camping at Karewa a place near the Shopian town. Jabbar Khan wearing a peculiar
turban on his head was taking a round in the mountainous region to locate the
position of the enemy when he was spotted by Sardar Phool Singh from a high
ridge, who asked. Pt. Birbal Dar to identify him. When Pt. Birbal Dar confirmed
his identity as Jabbar Khan, Sardar Phool Singh then opened fire at him, Jabbar
Khan received serious bullet injuries and lost his balance due to which he fell
on the ground from the horesback and became unconcious on account of exessive
bleeding. This incident created a panic in the rank and file of the Afghan
forces and they ran away from the battle front.
On the 20th June 1819 Pt. Birbal Dar along with the Sikh army
made a triumphant entry into the Srinagar city and Kashmir became free from the
Afghan rule. Though in this process Pt. Birbal Darís wife had to commit
suicide to save her honour so that she may not be deflowered by the lustful
Afghans who abducted his daughter in law and took her to Kabul where she was
forcibly converted to Islam.
The Sikh army generals after liberating the whole Kashmir
Valley then chalked out a comprehensive plan to destroy all the symbols of
foreign occupation from its soil to correct its distorted history, but Pt.
Birbal Dar prevented them from doing so even at the risk of his own life perhaps
to show his sagacity and large heartedness which now we feel was not a very wise
step on his part. An impartial analysis of all those events clearly indicate
that Pt. Birbal Dar was not a farsighted person. The learned readers should keep
in mind that when Spain was freed by the Christians after its 700 years long
Moorsí occupation the former not only wiped out the religious symbols of the
latter from its soil, but also removed the history of that dark period from the
text books so that the future generations may not suffer from any inferiority
complex or develop any slave mentality. Even the complete exchange of population
between the two took place to preserve the ancient identity and cultural
heritage of Spain.
Maharaja Ranjeet Singh became very happy with this grand
success of his army in the campaign and bestowed a lot of jagirs and
other honours to his most trusted army generals. He gave a lot of jagirs
to Pt. Lal Kaul in Kashmir for his notable performance in this difficult
mountainous and inaccessible region. But Pt. Lal Kaul preferred to be near the
Lahore durbar than settling down in Kashmir with his family members. He
continued as the commander of the Rawalpindi Brigade of the Sikh army. He was
then made the subedar of the Multan province.
The British used to keep a constant eye on the activities of
the Lahore durbar and used to chalk out plans to make Punjab a part of
their territory. After the death of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1839 the
successive rulers of the Punjab kingdom were not that competent and strong to
keep their kingdom intact. Getting an opportunity the British launched a massive
assault on Punjab in 1845. This Anglo-Sikh war came to an end after the battle
of Sobroan on 5th March 1846 when a Treaty was signed at Lahore through which
the Punjab kingdom ceded the territories of Jalundhar Doab and Kashmir to
the British. Raja Dina Nath Madan signed this Treaty on behalf of the Lahore durbar.
The British then to make up the
losses of this war signed another Treaty with Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu at
Amritsar on 16th March 1846 through which they ceded the territory of Kashmir to
Maharaja Gulab Singh after taking Rs. 75 lacs from him as war compensation. Thus
Raja Gulab Singh became the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir Riyasat.
In 1849 the British again launched a major campaign against
the Punjab kingdom in which fierce battles were fought at Gujrat and at
Chidenawala where Sir Hugh Gough engaged the Sikh troops. The British finally
succeeded in dethroning the last Sikh ruler of the Punjab kingdom Maharaja
Duleep Singh and made it a part of their territory.
Though Pt. Lal Kaulís Rawalpindi Brigade fought very
gallantly against the British troops in both these. Anglo-Sikh wars of 1846 and
1849 but the British under their policy of divide and rule neither sacked Pt.
Lal Kaul from his position nor confiscated his jagirs which were given to
him by the previous Sikh rulers. On the contrary on the recommendation of Sir
John Lawrence the British made Pt. Lal Kaul as the main administrator of the
Rawalpindi district and also sanctioned a good amount as pension for him. Pt.
Lal Kaul died after a few months of this appointment in 1849 at the age of about
Pt. Lal Kaul had two sons Gola Kaul and Raja Suraj Kaul. Pt.
Gola Kaul had a son Pt. Jan Kaul and a grandson Pt. Mahanand Kaul. Pt. Lal Kaulís
second son Raja Suraj Kaul was born in 1833 at Lahore.
Raja Suraj Kaul was hardly 16 years old when his father Pt.
Lal Kaul died in 1849. Though Sir John Lawrence wanted to absorb him on some
good post to maintain the economic status of his family but his lack of
knowledge of the English language came as a big hinderance for his appointment
in the political department. Sir John Lawrence ultimately appointed him as a
clerk in the office of the newly constituted administrative council which was
formed by the British after the war to run the administration of the Lahore
Raja Suraj Kaul then after gaining some administrative
experience was promoted by the British and was made the suprintendent of the
commissionerís office in Rawalpindi. After sometime he again got a promotion
and was made the Tehsildar of the Rawalpindi district. He then after a few years
became the extra assistant commissioner of the Rawalpindi district.
The countryís border with Afghanistan was a constant
headache for the British due to unlawful activities of the tribal chieftains of
this region. To keep an eye on them and to assess the political developments
there the British used to send regular diplomatic missions to Kabul to have the
first hand information about the ground realities there so that an appropriate
military action could be taken in time to supress the growing resentment in the
local people of the border areas against the British imperialism.
In 1883 the British sent Raja Suraj Kaul on this difficult
diplomatic mission to Baluchistan. Though usually the people belonging to the
martial races were generally selected for this kind of risky job. So Raja Suraj
Kaul being a Kashmiri Pandit was obviously not a proper choice for such an
assignment demanding martial skills. But Raja Suraj Kaul at great personal risk
handled this task very tactfully and exhibited an exemplary courage in
fulfilling it to the fullest satisfaction of the British for which he won their
laurels and appreciation. In this process he developed all the traits of a brave
Sikh soldier. He was a skilled horseman and a great marksman. He was also an
able hunter and a sharp shooter. Because of all these qualities he became a very
favourite native officer of the British who then started giving him due
importance in the administrative and political affairs. He retired from active
government service in 1888 after attaining the age of superannuation. The
civilian title of Rai Bahadur was conferred upon him by the British for his
meritorious record of service.
Though the British ceded the territory of Kashmir to Raja
Gulab Singh of Jammu in 1846 but they soon realised their mistake due to the
strategic importance of Kashmir for the defence of the country from foreign
aggression from the north. So when Maharaja Ranbir Singh (1857-1885) died in
1885 and his son Pratap Singh became the ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Riyasat the
British in order to curtail his powers formed a Regency Council under the
British Resident Frederick Currie to run the administration of the Jammu and
Kashmir Riyasat. Raja Amar Singh, Raja Ram Singh, Raja Suraj Kaul and Rai
Bahadur Pt. Bhragu Ram were made the members of this supreme governing body
which was constituted on 18th April 1889 by the government of India on the
instructions of Lord Henry Lansdown. (1888-1894) the then Viceroy of India.
Prior to this the British succeeded in persuading Maharaja
Ranbir Singh to appoint Mr. Drew in 1870 and Mr. Jhonson in 1871 both Englishmen
as the commission of Ladakh respectively. Maharaja Ranbir Singh had a desire
that his younger son Amar Singh should succeed him, but the British recognised
his elder son Pratap Singh as the natural sucessor, though he was not fit to be
Raja Suraj Kaul first became a revenue member of this Regency
Council and then the finance minister of the Jammu and Kashmir Riyasat. Maharaja
Pratap Singh bestowed upon him a lot of jagirs in the Riyasat. Raja Suraj
Kaul lived in Kashmir for about 8 years upto 1897 and during this period he
brought many eminent Kashmiri Pandits from the plains and provided them good
jobs in Kashmir including his youngest son Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul who became
the personal secretary of Maharaja Pratap Singh. He then returned back to Lahore
to perform his new duties which were assigned to him by the British.
In 1897 the British constituted a Legislative Council for the
Punjab province to enact laws and to help the then Lt. Governor Goodworth Young
in the proper administration of the province. The Lt. Governor then appointed
Raja Suraj Kaul as an honourable member of this Council which further raised the
status and stature of Raja Suraj Kaul in the whole Punjab province. He did a lot
of social and religious work in the province which made him quite popular among
the masses. He in 1899 organised a big meeting at his residence in Lahore in
honour of Dr. Annie Besant to welcome her and also gave her a big amount of
money as donation to establish a Hindu College in Benaras (Varanasi). The
British decorated him with the title of Raja in 1900 and in the same year
he was elected as the president of the Hindu Sabha of Punjab. He also organised
a big prayer meeting for the success of the British in the Transval War in which
he recited some Sanskrit Shlokas very enthusiastically. Some local news
papers even dubbed him as communal but he never cared for such comments as he
had very coordial relations with the Muslims and some of them were his very
close friends. He always did whatever his inner conscience allowed him to do
without caring for anybody. He left for his heavenly abode in 1901 at the age of
about 68 years.
Raja Suraj Kaul was married with Manorama the daughter of Pt.
Bhawani Das. Mattoo of Patiala. He had three sons Dr. Bal Kishan Kaul, Hari
Kishan Kaul and Daya Kishan Kaul besides a daughter Kashi Shuri who was married
with Pt. Sri Ram Taimni the son of Pt. Durga Prasad Taimni of Chaupatian,
Raja Suraj Kaulís eldest son Dr. Bal Kishan Kaul was born
in 1866 in his haveli in Vachchuwali in the Lahore city. He had his
initial education in Government College, Lahore. He then did his M.B.B.S. from
the King Edward Medical College, Lahore and became the first Kashmiri Pandit to
have that qualification. He was a very popular medical doctor of Lahore with a
roaring practice. He also taught as a professor of Medicine for sometime in the
King Edward Medical College. He was considered to be an authority on Materia
Dr. Bal Kishan Kaul was very active member of the
Theosophical Society of India and was very close to Dr. Annie Besant. His
position and status in Lahore was the same as that of Pt. Moti Lal Nehru at
Allahabad. He was also an active member of Dharam Sabha of Lahore so as
such he was more conservative and traditional unlike Pt. Moti Lal Nehru who was
more liberal and modern in his views. He always worked for the unity and
prosperity of the community and always tried his best to save it from
disintegration. He died at Lahore in 1937 at the age of about 71 years. The
British conferred upon him the title of Rai Bahadur for his out standing
contribution in the medical field. Dr. Bal Kishan Kaul was married with Dhanrani
Kaul. He had a son Autar Kishan and a daughter Uma who was married with Pt.
Suraj Narain Raina the elder brother of ex-army chief Gen. Tapeshwar Narain
Raina and the son of Pt. Anand Narain Raina of Ludhiana. Pt. Autar Kishan Kaul
was married with Kunwarpati who was the daughter of Pt. Iqbal Nath Taimni of
Lahore. He had two sons Baldev Kishan (b-1917) and Swaroop Kishan (b-1919)
besides a daughter Girja (b-1913), who was married with Justice Shiv Nath Katju
the son of Dr. Kailas Nath Katju of Allahabad, Pt. Baldev Kishan Kaul died young
around 1941 at the age of about 24 years, unmarried. Pt. Swaroop Kishan Kaul was
married with Kamini Hazari who was the daughter of Pt. Karta Kishan Hazari of
Lahore. He was born on 19th December, 1919 at Lahore and died on 3rd January
1983 at Delhi. He had three sons Rajiv, Sushant (Gopal) and Rajat besides a
daughter Rashmini (b-1950) married to Manoj Shivpuri.
Pt. Rajiv Kaul who was born on 3rd October, 1945 is married
to Aparna Raina, Pt. Sushant Kaul was born on 15th November 1953 is married a
Bengali beauty recently and Rajat who was born on 12th November, 1957 is married
with Manju Bakaya.
Dr. Bal Kishan Kaul also adopted Khema the daughter of his
youngest brother Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul. He arranged her marriage with Pt.
Autar Kishan Tankha of Madhya Pradesh.
Raja Suraj Kaulís second son Raja Hari Kishan Kaul was born
in 1869. He too had his education in Government College Lahore and did his B.A.
around 1889 from the Punjab University, Lahore, which was established by the
British in 1881. He was then taken by the British in administrative service of
the Punjab province. He prepared the census report of the province in 1911 very
meticulously for which he received all the praise and appreciation from his
superior British officers.
When King George V came to India in 1911 for his coronation
Raja Hari Kishan Kaul organised a Badshahi Mela on a very grand scale in
his honour. He was the first Indian to become a full fleged commissioner at that
time of the Jalundhar division in Punjab. For his outstanding and meritorious
record of service the British honoured him with the titles of Raja, Rai
Bahadur, C.I.E. and C.S.I. at different times. He retired from active government
service in 1924.
He became a member of the Economic Reforms Committee in 1926
to serutinize the government accounts of different departments and to suggest
the measures to be adopted to curtail the wasteful government expenditure of
these departments. Then in 1928 he was sent by the British as Dewan to the
Bharatpur state to improve its administrative structure for showing better
results. He became the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Riyasat in 1931 where
he worked under Maharaja Hari Singh (1925-1947) upto 1932. His name was also
recommended in 1939 for the membership of League of Nations, which was formed
after the First World War (1914-1919) but the Second World War broke out in the
meantime in 1939 and his nomination was eventually cancelled. He then took Sanyas
from public life in 1940. He died in Lahore in 1941 at the age of about 74
Raja Hari Kishan Kaul was married in the Takru family of
Lahore. He had two sons Shiv Kishan and Mahendra Kishan besides two daughters
Lalita, who was married with Pt. Kunwar Kishan Sukhia of Allahabad ans Saraswati
who was married with Pt. Inder Kishan Wali of Jaipur. Pt. Shiv Kishan Kaul was
married with Bilas Rani who was the daughter of Pt. Chain Narain Tankha. He had
a son Jeetendra Kishan, who is married with Preeti, Tankha.
Pt. Mahendra Kishan Kaul became the General Manager of the
northern railway after independence. He was married with Brij Kishori who was
the daughter of Pt. Trijugi Narain Tankha of DehraDun.
Raja Suraj Kaulís third and youngest son Raja Sir Daya
Kishan Kaul was born around 1872 at Lahore. After completing his education from
the Government College, Lahore he went to Kashmir and became the private
secretary of his father Raja Suraj Kaul in 1896 who was the finance minister of
Jammu and Kashmir Riyasat at that time. On the recommendation of his father
Maharaja Pratap Singh appointed him as his private secretary in 1899 on Rs.
1600/- per month which was duly cleared by the then British Resident of the
Riyasat Sir Walter Lawrence. This appointment of Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul was
rectified by the then foreign secretary of the Indian government Sir Hough
Barnes who wrote on the file that we always favour such appointments and fully
appreciate the decision taken in this regard of appointing a well educated
person from a respectable family.
Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul functioned on this post upto 1909
and became very close to Maharaja Pratap Singh due to his art of diplomacy and
knack of handling the most difficult situations with great ease and confidence.
He soon started weilding a considerable power in the Riyasa.t Due to all
these qualities which were naturally not to the liking of many other nobelmen in
the durbar they then started hatching conspiracies against his meteoric
rise secretly so much so that when Maharaja Pratap Singhís younger brother
Raja Amar Singh died in 1909 and the Maharaja suggested to the British Resident
the name of Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul for his appointment on the vacant post of
Raja Amar Singh in the Council of Regency and to make him the finance minister
of the Riyasat, it was deadly opposed by Francis Younghusband on the plea that
if Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul would be appointed as the finance minister of
Kashmir then his hold and influence over the Riyasat would become so strong that
it would become quite impossible to dislodge him from the Riyasat in future.
During his short tenure in Kashmir Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul
brought many eminent Kashmiri Pandits from the plains to Kashmir and arranged
good jobs for them in the administration. He also played a key role in
establishing Sir Pratap Singh Hindu College in Srinagar in 1905 by providing all
the required facilities to Dr. Annie Besant for the same as his father Raja
Suraj Kaul was very close to Dr. Annie Besant and also donated a hefty amount
for this purpose.
The British then in 1910 sent Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul from
Kashmir to Alwar state and made him a dewan there. He worked in the Alwar state
for about six years on that post upto 1916 and gained a lot of experience in
administrative matters. He also developed an expertise in keeping the Rajas and
Maharajas always in good humour as he used to study their basic instincts very
carefully and meticulously especially their likings and dislikings so that
nothing could be left to chance to spoil their mood. He always took a great care
in providing fullest satisfaction to them in their hour of demand and need for
which he was duly recognised and always adequately compensated. Because of these
unique qualities in him he earned a lot of money and became extremely popular
and a right hand man of every ruler. He soon developed a total control over the
Alwar state with full command over its administrative structure. He also had his
own system of gathering information from different sources just to keep a close
watch on the political developments in the state especially on the palace
intrigues so that he may not be caught off guard any time. He functioned as the
finance minister of the Alwar state upto 1916.
The foreign department in British India then sent Raja Sir
Daya Kishan Kaul to the Patiala state which was the biggest and richest state of
the Punjab province at that time with a colourful history. During that period
Shimla was the summer capital of the country from where the government of India
used to function for about seven months every year. So all the Rajas and
Maharajas had their palaces in Shimla. The Maharaja of Patiala Rajinder Singh
(1872-1900) also had his palace in Shimla; who was given the title Farzand-e-Khas
Daulat-e-Englishia meaning the most favourite son of the English empire by
the British. But when Lord Curzon became the Viceroy of India he banned the
entry of Maharaja Rajinder Singh of Patiala into Shimla. The incident became a
hot topic of debate in those days among the high ranking civil and army officers
as to why the entry of the Maharaja was banned by the Viceroy in Shimla when he
was having very coordial relations with the British. Various theories were then
floated for this action. Some said that perhaps the closeness of the Maharaja
with the English ladies made the British officers jealous of him. Then there was
also a rumour of Maharaja taking an English girl on the horse back in a real
Rajput style to his palace followed by the Viceroyís body guards which
prompted this action. But the real story came to light only in 1990 about 100
years later when a British travel writer thoroughly scrutinised the archives of
Lord. Curzon in connection with his research work.
It was actually Lady Curzonís vainty that resulted in the
banishment of Maharaja Rajinder Singh of Patiala from Shimla. It transpired that
Maharaja had played host to Lady Curzon in his Shimla palace and during the
party his friends persuaded Lady Curzon that she would look gorgeous if she
dressed in an Indian Saree and wore jewels from the Maharajaís treasure
The Vicereine was a veritable niagara of diamonds in a gold
laced Saree. To add majesty to her persona a diamond diadom or coronet of
the Maharaja was placed on her head after which she was duly photographed. When
this incident was leaked to Lord Curzon he became extremely furious for this
game of Maharaja with Lady Curzon and banned his entry into Shimla so that such
a thing may not be repeated again in future.
After the death of Maharaja Rajinder Singh in 1900 his son
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh became the ruler of the Patiala state. Raja Sir Daya
Kishan Kaul became the finance minister of the Patiala state in 1916 during the
rule of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh who was famous for his Patiala peg and the
Patiala necklace which had five ros of diamond encrusted platinum chains, with
2,930 diamonds including the world's síventh largest De Beers. The Maharaja
and a fancy for women, jewels, good food, travelling and sport especially polo.
He had four wives and a harem for his 365 most beautiful women in the
famous Moti Bagh Palace. Very soon Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul due to his
administrative accumen and great political foresight became a right hand man of
the Maharaja and his most trusted person. The Maharaja became so much pleased
with the performance of Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul that the former made the
latter his prime minister with unrestricted powers. In that period organising
grand mahfils and mujras of high class courtisans was the most
favourite pass time of the elite of the society. It was considered to be a
status symbol in the high class society representing both culture and affluence.
But then there were some people with leftist ideology who were dead against this
type of pomp and show and vulgar display of wealth even in those feudal days. It
is said that one such person was Lahore based Pt. Gopi Nath Gurtu, who used to
publish a news paper Akhbar-e-Am in Urdu from Lahore. His father Pt.
Mukund Ram Gurtu though was a friend of Raja Suraj Kaul, but his ancestors were
the Kul Purohits of this Kaul family in Kashmir. Pt. Gopi Nath Gurtu
perhaps due to some personal grudge started a vilification campaign against Raja
Sir Daya Kishan Kaul in his newspaper. Akhbar-e-Am. He succeeded to a
great extent in creating a major rift between Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and Raja
Sir Daya Kishan Kaul over the arrangement of such programmes in the Moti Bagh
palace. Due to these growing differences Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul had to leave
the Patiala state with bag and baggage at a very short notice in 1924 after
serving the state for about nine years.
Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul had a very colourful record of
service in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Alwar and Patiala. Though Raja Sir
Daya Kishan Kaul lived for a very short spell in Kashmir from 1896 upto 1909 but
he always maintained a close contact with Kashmir even while living at far away
places. While in Kashmir he established trade links with the neighbouring
country Tibet for the economic growth and development of the Valley.
He had acquired sizeable property holdings in Srinagar around
Dal Lake and in the Jammu province. He also acquired leases on the villages of
Lasjian and Sogan in 1905 fully using his power and influence. He also allowed
the investment of the foreign capital in the state. He according to the then
British Resident S.W. Fraser influenced Maharaja Pratap Singh to purchase large
properties in Punjab. In Lahore, in 1901 he bought bunglows on Lawrence Road
worth 40,000/- rupees from the funds of the Maharaja and claimed later on that
it was a gift from the Maharaja to him. He took about Rs. 20,000/- from the
Maharaja for his memorable trip to Calcutta (Kolkata). He also cajoled the
Maharaja to grant him a pension of Rs. 800/- per month so that he may be able to
maintain his family properly. Earlier about 500 acres of land was given to his
father Raja Suraj Kaul for his role in Baluchistan in the Gujranwalla district
in Punjab (now in Pakistan) on which later on Chenab Canal Colony was developed
by Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul. He was a big capitalist as well as a big zamindar.
He also owned vast amounts of forest and timber land which he made commercially
viable by their proper development. To utilise the timber he established the
match factories in Kashmir in Baramulla district and in Shadara an industrial
area of the Lahore city. To utilize the herbs of the forest he established a
pharmaceutical concern to produce Santonin for treating intestinal worms. He
also had a big garden on 10000 acres of land in Gujranwalla. He completely
renovated the Jwala Devi temple in Kangra which was completely damaged in an
earthquack from his own pocket in 1905.
Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul during his stay in the Patiala
state very ably sorted out its differences with the neighbouring Nabha state by
using his personal relations with Raja Gyan Nath Madan another Lahorian who was
its chief administrator over the boundary dispute. The British government for
his all these outstanding acts and performance at different times conferred upon
him a number of titles like Rai Sahab, Dewan Bahadur CIE and Kt. (Knighthood).
The Maharaja of Patiala Bhupinder Singh bestowed a jagir on him and the
heriditory title of Raja.
Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul trained his nephews Pt. Shiv Kishan
Kaul and Pt. Mahendra Kishan Kaul who were the sons of Raja Hari Kishan Kaul to
look after his vast business empire. Pt. Shiv Kishan Kaul was made incharge of
the timber business who later on started his own textile trade. While Pt.
Mahendra Kishan Kaul was assigned the job to look after the management of Indian
Steamship and Navigation Company at Bombay. Pt. Mahendra Kishan Kaul later on
joined the Tata Steel Company. After independence between the general manager of
the northern railway.
Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul married twice. From his first wife
he had a son Raj Kishan Kaul, who was sent to England under the guardianship of
Sir Walter Lawrence for education. Pt. Raj Kishan Kaul was married with Rani who
was the daughter of Pt. Onkar Nath Raina of Faizabad. He died quite young in a
road accident in Lahore without any issue.
Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul from his second wife Patrani who
was from a Shivpuri family of Bazaar Sita Ram, Delhi had a son Upinder Kishan
besides five daughters Janak who was married with Pt. Madan Mohan Nath Sahab of
Mutthiganj, Allahabad, Dulari who was married with Pt. Omkar Nath Bakshi of
Kashmiri Mohalla, Lucknow, Kishori who was married with Pt. Shyam Sunder Narain
Haksar. I.C.S., Khema who was given in adoptation and Sheela who was married
with Col. Jeevan Nath Zutshi of Rewa.
Raja Upinder Kishan Kaul joined the family business. He used
to look after 10,000 acres fruit farm in the Bahawalpur state (now in Pakistan).
He then started looking after the affairs of the match factory at Lahore. He was
married with Sumati Bakaya the daughter of Pt. Bishambhar Nath Bakaya of Multan.
He had only one son Manmohan Kishan.
In 1943 Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul was going on his car from
Lahore to Rawalpindi to look after his business, when he suffered a massive
heart attack and died on the way before any medical aid could be provided to
him. His dead body was brought back to Lahore and then was cremated on the bank
of the Indus river.
After the partition of the country in 1947 the family of Raja
Upinder Kishan Kaul came to Delhi from Lahore and started living with Pt.
Manmohan Nath Dar of Mohan Brothers on 16, Curzon Road. Later on Raja Upinder
Kishan Kaul bought a big bunglow in old Delhi area for the living of his family
members. His son Pt. Manmohan Kishan Kaul is now a lawyer of the Supreme Court.
He is married with Geeta Razdan the daughter of Pt. Suraj Narain Razdan. He has
two sons Neeraj and Sanjay. Pt. Neeraj Kaul is married with Vatsala the daughter
of Air Vice Marshal Vishnumurti Raina. Justice Sanjay Kaul is the judge of the
Delhi High Court. Raja Sir Daya Kishan Kaul had set many milestones in the
different fields of human endevour. The saga of his life can never be forgotten.
In the words of the great philosopher Confucius - The superior man is modest
in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.