This Needs Research - IX: T. SHER SINGH
Why Are There No Descendants of Ranjit Singh And Duleep Singh Today?
Duleep Singh, the Last Emperor of Punjab, was not only a contemporary of Victoria, Queen of England, but also spent most of his life in England, a somewhat parallel life with hers. She had virtually adopted him, almost as a son, and took him under her wing soon after he was captured by the English as a child and brought to exile in England for the sole reason of securing English colonial interests.
Victoria and her husband had 9 children.
Duleep Singh too had 9 children (not 8, as most accounts list. His first born who never makes it to these lists died a couple of days after birth and is buried in Perthshire, Scotland.)
Victoria had 42 grandchildren and 87 great-grandchildren.
Duleep Singh’s progeny, as far as we know, gave birth to no children of their own.
Victoria’s went on to rule much of Europe as emperors and kings, queens and princesses, and a smattering of nobility across the continent and beyond.
On the other hand Duleep Singh’s lineage, stemming from Ranjit Singh, mysteriously produced no grandchildren. There are no direct descendants of the Emperors of the Sikh Kingdom of Punjab today.
Why the divergent trajectories of the two families if Duleep Singh’s family lived in similar grandeur to Victoria -- his sprawling estate was actually coveted by her and her family visited it frequently? Moreover, he came from a long history of prolific child-bearing. No history of infertility, no affliction, no medical condition.
The last survivor of Duleep Singh‘s children -- Princess Bamba Duleep Singh -- died on March 10, 1957 in Lahore at the age of 87, thus ending Ranjit Singh’s direct lineage with her.
What happened? What went wrong?
There is conjecture that the English had insisted that none of Duleep Singh’s progeny give birth to any children. Preposterous as it may appear prima facie, the primary question that comes to mind is, how could they possibly enforce such a structure?
Having taken his kingdom and everything of any substantial value in Punjab under false pretenses -- ship-loads of loot were taken to England under the personal orders and supervision of the then Governor General of India, Dalhousie, including the legendary Koh-i-Noor -- certain pensions were promised to Duleep Singh in exile through terms of a ‘treaty’. Which incidentally, was a one-sided document with a child/minor coerced to sign it in acceptance.
Thereafter, once Duleep Singh was in England and introduced to the English regal lifestyle -- his closest friend, confidant and fellow-playboy throughout his youth was no other than Edward (then the Prince of Wales, who later succeeded Queen Victoria to the British throne as King Edward VII) -- his ’pension’ was decreased or turned off or otherwise manipulated for the purpose of keeping Duleep in line and having him obey the government’s directives.
He had no choice, often having to face penury and an army of creditors; sooner or later he had to comply, or the flow of funds would summarily be turned off with bankruptcy staring at him.
His children were denied the right to inherit his property, including his palatial estate at Elveden where they had grown up. Each of them was entirely dependent on a state ’pension’ of his or her. They too had grown up in, and lived the lifestyles of the nobility. Those who lived long enough became leaders in their respective fields and made a mark on the national scene.
It is believed that their activities were kept in check through the manipulation of their pensions. They were not allowed to have independent incomes and were totally dependant on what the government gave them.
It is therefore believed that they were under tremendous pressure to not to have children of their own, and they were left with no option but to give in. The English felt it imperative that they end Ranjit Singh’s lineage, now that they had his progeny as prisoners under their total power, in order to protect any possibility of a movement in Punjab to resurrect the Sikh Kingdom and throw off the yoke of foreign rule. While the rest of the subcontinent had accepted servility with ease, Punjab continued to be in ferment.
But so far, what the English may have done to accomplish their nefarious goal is conjecture.
That is not good enough.
A good research scholar should be able to get to the bottom of this issue, especially since there is no dearth of evidence to show a pattern of similar behaviour throughout English history. The protection of the English Crown has always taken precedence, even at the cost of murder, mayhem and all-out war.
Richard the Third’s murder of the little princes has been immortalized by no other than Shakespeare. In the modern era, the jury on Princess Diana’s mysterious death is still out.
Several questions come to mind. How did the spouses of Duleep Singh's children handle the demands from the government? There would invariably have been a relentless monitoring. The result as we know it was not by coincidence or happenchance. It was a manipulated result. Was medication invoved? Medical procedures? Abortions? There have to be medical records floating around. And endless correspondence, memoranda, record keeping, reports, investigative and detectives' files ... remember, the Brits are a nation of clerks who record everything in interminable ledgers.
Why do we need to get a definitive answer as to the how, when, where, etc vis-à-vis Duleep Singh‘s family?
I’ll let you, dear reader, figure it out for yourself.
January 23, 2017