The prince of darkness is here . But its for fun only and no blood please.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
A Princess Without a Crown: Princess Bambi Daughter of Last Sikh Emperor Dalip Singh
Princess Bambi Dalip Singh, the Last of Maharajah Ranjit Singh Family
Princess Bambi Dalip Singh was the last of the Ranjit Singh clan.She settled in Lahore in Pakistan where she breathed her last in 1959. She was given a Christian burial and some ministers of the Pakistan government attended. No Pakistani Sikh or Indian was allowed to attend the funeral. Her grave is at Lahore.
The beginning or End?
Ranjit Singh expired in 1839. He was succeeded by his
youngest son Dalip Singh in 1843. After the 2nd Anglo Sikh war Dalip Singh was
deposed and taken to England. He had 8 children, but only his daughter princess
Bambi Duleep Singh achieved any recognition and survived.
Rise of Dalip Singh
Dalip Singh's rise to the throne was itself mired by
bloodshed as two of his elder brothers were killed in court intrigue and he was
put on the throne when he was just a child in 1843. After Dalip Singh was
deposed, his upbringing was taken over by the British who converted him to
Christianity and took him to England. Dalip Singh was well received in society
in England . But on being refused an increase in pension he left England in
1882. Dalip Singh married twice and had 8 children. Unfortunately all his
children deceased except Princess Bambi Dalip Singh.
She was born in 1869
in England from his first wife Maharani Bamba Muller. She received her
education in England and soon became a part of London society as a self styled
'Maharani' from Punjab. She petitioned the British government for a restoration
of her title and return of the kingdom of Punjab. This was a naive request as
no power hands over any land after it is annexed.
Return to India
She made her first
visit to India in 1924, when she was 55. She landed in Bombay and proceeded to
Pune, where her grandmother Rani Jindan Kaur was buried. She got the remains of
her mother transferred to Lahore and installed next to the samadhi of her
grandfather Maharajah Ranjit Singh. This was her first visit to Lahore and the
teeming bazars enthralled her. In Punjab she wished to recreate the magic of
the Lahore Durbar and set about tracing the nobles who had worked with Ranjit
Singh. She was able to trace the descendants of Hari Singh Nalwa and
Sandhanwalia. She married but had no children. She continued staying in London,
but took a keen interest in the affairs of the Punjab. But she had very little
clout and no political standing , for which the Punjab political leaders
She was opposed to
the division of Punjab and lobbied against it, but no one listened to her.
After 1947 princess Bambi settled in Lahore in Pakistan. She lived a quiet life
surrounded by her memorabilia of paintings and sculptors. These are now
displayed in the Lahore Museum as after her death the collection was taken over
by the Pakistan government.
Maharani Bambi died in 1959 at the age of 90. She was given
a Christian burial, though in her last days she had converted to Sikhism.She is
buried in the Lahore cemetery. But in a churlish act, The Pakistan government
refused any Indian or Sikh permission to attend her funeral. Thus passed away
the last of the Ranjit Singh clan.Only a small obituary in the daily newspapers
announced her death. The dynasty that had ruled Punjab( modern day Pakistan)
went into oblivion.