“Ramgarhia” A Victorious honour by the Sikh Panth
The success story and rise of Maharaja Jassa Singh presents a very unique phenomenon in the 18th century Sikh history. He was very intelligent and skilful to represent dissent, dare-devilry, art to build forts, bungas and was a vibrant warrior which proved his forte to claim a position among front rankers of the Dal Khalsa.
Adeena Beg, Subadaar of Jalandhar, found Jassa Singh an equally ambitious and upcoming Sikh Chief with capacity and determination to withstand the trial and tribulations of the troubled times. He called upon him to command hiscontingents
Anarchic conditions prevailed in Panjab when Jassa Singh seriously thought of raising fortresses and one of them was called Ram Rauni. Not long after, the Sikh had to face a protracted siege to defend their only defence post. The besieging forces drew contingents from Lahore and Adeena Beg’s forces from Jalandhar led the besieging force.
As, Khushwaqt Rai narrated, Sikh Dal Khalsa was on the brink of losing the battle, when they sent a letter to Jassa singh for help to the besieged khalsa forces. He had an ill feeling when he found his co-religionists besieging and in the fortress in a state of dying . His courageous bravery, diplomatic skills and timely help rescued his brethren inside the Ram Rauni fort and won the battle and siege was lifted.
Jassa Singh’s timely help was duly acknowledged by the Sikh maltitude and he was appointed as custodian “Quiladaar” of Ram Rauni fort later repaired and strengthened and called “Ramgarh”. Thereafter, Jassa Singh and his entire camp followers, garrison came to be called Ramgarhias.
The word “Ramgarhia” (which is not a caste) is honorific Name given by the Sikh Panth.
So, Jassa Singh came to acquire such an aura around himself that the Misl headed by him also got his honorific name. This remained exclusive feature of Ramgarhia Misl, because other Misls were known either by the name of villages from which the chiefs of the Misl came or by their typical traits.
Jassa singh was now the only chief Sardar who had the rank of RISALDAR and had number of territories and villages under his sovereignty. The victory of a Ramgarhia Sardar over “Kangra” Raja paved the way for subjugation of all hilly rajas who fought against Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This added power, prestige and legacy of his structure among the galaxy of Sikh chief Sardars. All hilly Rajas then progressively decided to accept his suzerainty and to pay him annual tribute to avoid further confrontation. To rule over rulers and make them to pay revenues earned him another victorious honourable title of “Maharaja” and thus came to be known as Maharaja Jassa Singh RamgarhiaRegards