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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


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 to Kashmir.

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 54 years.

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 province.

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 a ruler.

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, Lucknow.

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 Medica.

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 years.

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 chest.

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.

Kashmiri Writers B.N. Sharga


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