|PREDECESSORS AND SHORT
The Majithia Sardars are a set of three related families
from the area of Majitha, a town 26 kilometres north of the Punjab city
of Amritsar. The town was founded by one Madho, a Jat of
the Gill clan. He was ‘jetha’ (the eldest son) of his father and hence
the place was ‘Madho-Jetha’, which became in time, Majitha. They rose
to prominence in
the early 19th century by throwing in their lot with the rising
star of the Sikh misls, viz. that of Ranjit Singh, during the late 18th
As Ranjit Singh established the Sikh Empire around the turn of the 19th
century, the Majithia sirdars gained prominence and became very
influential in the Maharaja’s army. Ten different Majithia generals can
be counted amongst the Sikh army during the period of 1800 to 1849, and
they became one of the
three most powerful families in Punjab under the Maharaja.
- Gujar, married and had issue.
- Veghu, married and had issue.
- Dargah Singh, married and had issue.
- Sardar Amar Singh Kalan,
soldier he was appointed Governor of Hazara in
succession to Diwan Ram Dyal;
married and had issue. He died at Hazara.
- General Sardar Kahn Singh, he was granted estates
Kot Bhai and Syadpur; he took part in the
second Anglo-Sikh war, where he fought the British both at Cheliarivala
afterwards his jagir was confiscated and in lieu he was granted a
pension of 3,600Rs
per annum. He died 1853 at Majitha.
- Taighu, married and had issue.
- Izat Singh, with his brother, he followed the fortunes
of the Sukerchukia Sardars; he was able to acquire a strip of the
Dhanni country, and held it till his death; married and had issue. He
- Fateh Singh, married and had issue.
- Chanda Singh
- Wasawa Singh, married a daughter of Sardar Gulab
Singh Povindia (died 1854), and his wife, Sardarni Nand Kaur.
- Sardar Attar Singh, he was adopted by Sardar Uttam
Singh (see below),
appointed Governor of the district around Rawalpindi in 1809; he was
granted estates worth 28,000Rs at Syad Kasra and Ganja Mahal; married
and had issue,
one son. He died 1843 in Hazara. commander and civilian officer under
Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
- Raja Surat Singh C.S.I., commandant of the Sikh
the first Anglo-Sikh war, commanded 2,000 men in the division sent to
to quell a revolt. After the annexation of the Punjab, Surat Singh’s
were confiscated and he was removed to Banaras with an annual pension
720Rs. He lived at Banaras in privation till 1857, when during the
he helped the British and saved the Banaras treasury, which contained
jewellery of Maharani Jind Kaur, on 6th July 1857. For these services,
Singh was allowed to return to the Punjab, his pension was raised to
and he was granted a permanent jagir in Gorakhpur district, appointed
honorary magistrate in his village of Majitha to which he came back in
1861, and was invested with civil and judicial powers. In 1877, the
of Raja and Companionship of the Star of India were conferred upon him,
he married 1stly, a daughter of Sardar Ran Singh of Wachohar, married
2ndly, a daughter of Sahib Singh of Attari, and had issue. He died in
1881 at Majitha.
- Sardar Umrao Singh, born 1870 at Majitha, a
educated at a school in Amritsar and later joined the Aitchison
Lahore, visited England in 1896 with his wife and again in 1897 to
the Diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria. A scholar in Sanskrit and
Persian, he studied philosophy and religion, dabbled in astronomy,
photography and carpentry, and spoke five different languages fluently.
As head of the Majitha family, Umrao
Singh was privileged to attend the Coronation darbars in 1903 and 1910.
In the autumn of 1912, he went with his wife to Budapest, returning to
India in 1921, after the general amnesty had been granted by the King
political offences during the war. From 1929 to 1934, he lived in
returning to India in 1934; he married 1stly, Sardarni Narindar Kumari,
Sardar Gulab Singh
of Attari, married 2ndly, 1911, Marie Antoinette Gottesman, pianist, a
Hungarian lady whom
he had met in Lahore at the house of Princess Sofia Duleep Singh, died
1948, and had issue. He died in Delhi on 17th December 1954.
- Amrita Sher-gil, born 30th January 1913 in
at Santa Anunciata School in Florence, Italy and at the École
des Beaux Arts, Paris (Degree in Fine Arts); a famous painter,
the only Asian to be elected as Associate of the Grand Salon in Paris;
the Government of India has declared her works as National Art
Treasures, and most of them are housed in the National Gallery of
Modern Art in New Delhi; she married in June 1938, her maternal cousin,
Dr. Victor Egan, who was a medical
doctor in her father’s factory, she died sp 5th December 1941 in Lahore.
- Indira Sher-gil, born 28th March 1914 in
of the Indian Civil Service, and had issue. She died 1975.
- Vivan Sundaram, born 1943 in Simla,
painting at the Faculty of
Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda (B.A. Fine Arts, 1965) and at the
Slade School, London
(Post-Diploma, 1968, on a Commonwealth Scholarship); a well known
painter, he held his first solo exhibition in New Delhi in 1966; a
founding member of SAHMAT (Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust, a collective
to building solidarity among artists and individuals on questions of
conscience in politics),
presently a Visiting Professor at the Jamia Milia Islamia University in
New Delhi; married Geeta Kapur.
- Navina Sundaram, born 1947.
- Sardar Bahadur Sir Sundar Singh Majithia, born
February 1872 at
a village 18 kms northeast of Amritsar, educated at Government School,
Amritsar, and Aitchison College, Lahore, finally joining Government
Lahore, to pass the intermediate (undergraduate) examination, secretary
of Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Amritsar from 1894, became a member of the
council of the Khalsa College, Amritsar from 1895, secretary of the
council from 1902 to 1912 and president of the council as well as of
college managing committee from 1920 till his death in 1941, a
of the Chief Khalsa Diwan, established in October 1902, holding the
of secretary from 1902 to 1920 and again from 1934 to 1937. In
he acted as the president of the Diwan. He took a leading part in the
of the Sikh Educational Conference in 1908, and presided at its annual
sessions in 1911, 1924 and 1935, was nominated a member of the
Legislative Council in 1909, elected the first president of the
Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee on the 16th November 1920, resigning the
following year after his election to the Punjab Legislative Council and
appointment as an executive councillor and revenue minister in the
Government, elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly from
constituency on the nomination of the Kalsa National Party Sundar
field of activities extended to commerce and industry as well, Sardar
[cr.1911], C.I.E. [cr.1920], knighted in 1926, Doctor of Oriental
(D.O.L) honoris causa in 1926 awarded by the University of the Punjab,
married 1stly 1886, Sardarni Khushalpal Kaur, daughter of Sardar Bishan
Singh Kandaula, maternal
uncle of Raja Bikram Singh of Faridkot, died 1887, married 2ndly,
Sardarni Lady Parson Kaur, eldest daughter of Sardar Bhagwant Singh,
Rais-i-Azam of Bhadaur,
and had issue, and had issue. He died 2nd April 1941
Lahore. The cremation took place at Amritsar on the premises of his
- Sardar Surendra Singh Majithia (by Sardarni
- Sardar Kirpal Singh Majithia (by Sardarni
married and had issue.
- Sardar Gurnihal Singh Majithia
- Sardar Dilip Singh Majithia
- Sqdr.-Ldr. Sardar Surjit Singh Majithia (by
8th August 1912,
of Lok Sabha I (1952), II (1957) and III (1962), educated at the Khalsa
College at Amritsar, entered the Indian Air Force and reached the rank
of Squadron Leader, he became a member of the Central Legislative
in 1945, Indian Ambassador to Nepal 1947/1949, served as India’s deputy
defence minister 1952/1962, President of the Wrestling Federation of
1964/1976 and President, Cricket Control Board of India 1956/1958,
President of the Yachting Association of India when it was established
in 1960, President of Khalsa College, Amritsar 1944 for three decades,
married the daughter of General Shivdev Singh, of an old family of the
Wazirs of the princely state of Nabha. He died in Delhi on 27th
- Sardar Satyajit Singh Majithia, former
Defence Minister, married and has issue.
- Bibiji Har Simrat Kaur, married 21st
Sukhbir Singh Badal, born 9th July 1962 in Badal, educated at Panjab
University, Chandigarh (Punjab) and California State University, Los
Angeles, USA; B.A (Hons.) Economics, M.A (Economics), M.B.A.; Elected
to 11th Lok Sabha 1996; 12th Lok Sabha 1998/- .
- Kanwar Bikram Singh Majithia, born 1976,
married 21st November 2009
in Delhi, Ganieve Grewal.
- Partap Singh, Zamindar.
- Hira Singh, Zamindar.
- Jaimal Singh
- Sahaj Singh, his nephewa were only young
boys at their fathers death and he took possession of the property
which went to his own son after his death; married and had issue. He
- Sardar Uttam Singh, the estate was forcibly taken by
Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore in 1803-1804; he adopted his nephew,
Attar Singh, married and had adoptive issue. He died sp in 1827 when all his jagirs were
- (A) Sardar Attar
Singh (see above)
- Manna Singh [Mahna Singh], he served under Sardar Charhat
Singh Sukerchukia, and his son, Sardar Mahan Singh Sukerchukia, and
received jagirs for his loyal services; married and had issue. He was
killed in a battle to take Chuniot Fort in 1802 (1803).
- Dassonda Singh, died 1806.
- Jajji Singh
- Sardar Amar Singh Khurd,
he entered army service in the Dera Khas. a regiment of irregular
cavalry composed of
the sons of the Sikh nobility, he
granted the villages of
Thallanwala and Sheikhapur in jagir by Maharaja Ranjit Singh; he
received the Ilaqa of Majrah in recognition of his bravery at the siege
of Multan in 1818, and after the Kashmir campaign in 1819, he was
granted his fathers old estate of Jadah; in 1834, he accompanied the
army under Prince Nau Nihal
Singh and General Hari Singh Nalwa to Peshawar, when the province was
formally annexed to the Sikh kingdom; he fought with distinction at the
battle of Jamrud on 30th April 1837; in 1847, he left the Punjab on a
pilgrimage to Hardwar where he died a year later, married and had
issue. He died 1848 at Hardwar.
- General Sardar Mahtab Singh, born 1811, appointed
subedar while still a young boy and later then to
the rank of Colonel in 1831, and was placed in charge of two regiments
at Amritsar; he accompanied his father in a campaign to Peshawar in
1834 where he served with distinction; he took part in the Afridi
expedition in 1839; he was promoted to the rank of General in 1841 by
Maharaja Sher Singh; he served in the Sutlej campaign in 1846, and was
appointed a Sardar soon afterwards; appointed an Honorary Magistrate at
Amritsar in 1862, married 1stly, a daughter of Bhag Singh of Kila
Chunda, married 2ndly, a daughter of Oghar Singh Lohianwala, married
3rdly, a daughter of Sardar Gulab Singh Gujratia (see Bhangi),
and had issue. He died 1865 at
- General Sardar Gurdit Singh, he entered
military service under Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1834, and rose to
command three infantry
battalions and a wing of light artillery, he was in
command of the
troops at Peshawar in September 1845; married the daughter of Nanak
Chand, and niece of Diwan
Mall, the governor of Multan. He died sp in 1853 at Majitha.
- Colonel Mith Singh, he served as Colonel in the Sikh
army from 1844; married and had issue. He died 1857.
- Bachattar Singh, died of cholera in 1858 at Cawnpore.
- Bijja Singh, born 1844, he succeeded his brother as
- Bishan Singh, born 1856.
- General Kahn Singh, born 1826, he succeeded his father
of the regiment.
- General Hardit Singh, born 1836, married and had issue.
- Partap Singh, born 1855.
- Bhup Singh, born 1858.
- Sardar Naudh Singh, Jagirdar -/1788, a feudal retainer
Singh Bagga of
the Kanhaiya misl, married a daughter of Akal, a Mann Jat
Zamindar of the village Bhagga in Amritsar district, and had issue. He
- Sardar Desa Singh, Jagirdar 1788/1832, born 1768,
commander of 400 sowars
in 1804, appointed commandant of the Fort of Kangra after Ranjit Singh
had occupied it driving away the Gurkha general, Amar Singh Thapa in
made the nazim (administrator) of Kangra and hill districts of
Nurpur, Kotla, Shahpur, Jasrota, Basohli, Mankot, Jasvan, Siba, Guler,
Mandi, Suket, Kulru and Datarpur in 1811, participated in the campaigns
launched to capture Multan in 1818, Kashmir in 1819 and Naushera in
he served as the nazim of Amritsar and its adjoining territories, with
of the Golden Temple as his special charge, married 1stly, married
2ndly, a Kangra lady, and
had issue, three sons. He died 1832.
- General Sardar Lehna Singh Hasam ud-Daula (by Sardarni
and military administrator, and one of the principal sardars of the
court, succeeded his father in 1832 as the nazim (governor) of Kangra
the hill districts, with the title of Qaisar ul-Iqtidar,
holding the appointment until early 1844; he
2 battalions of infantry, a topkhana of 10 light and field guns, and
horse, took part in the Dera Isma’il Khan expedition in 1831, and held
of the management of Sri Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar; in March 1844, he
fell foul of the Jalla regime and left the Punjab for Haridwar and
in Banaras, he was arrested and kept under surveillance by the British
he returned to the Punjab in 1851, but after two years went back to
where he died; he was a man of considerable ability, a skilful
mechanist and an original inventor, he much improved the Sikh
ordinance, and also invented a clock which showed the hour, the day of
the month and the phases of the moon, as an administrator, his
assessments were moderate and his decisions were essentially just;
married (amongst others), 1stly, a daughter of Sardar Gulab Singh
Aimahwala, she died sp six
months after the marriage, married 2ndly, and had issue, an only son.
He died 25th July 1854 in
- Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia, Jagirdar 1854/1898, born
1848 at Banaras,
educated at the Mission School at Amritsar and later privately
English tutors, he served as a member of the managing committee of the
Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar for nearly thirty years; he accepted to
be president of the
standing committee of the Indian National Congress; he was founder of
Singh College and Dyal Singh Library; he was the first president of the
Indian Asociation of Lahore continuing till his death; he was Chairman,
Board of Directors of the Punjab National Bank. He died sp on
- Sardar Gujar Singh, in 1834, he was selected to take
charge of a mission to Calcutta to convey presents to the King of
England, in order to ascertain British intentions with regard to
Shikarpur, he fell in love with an European lady and wanted to marry
her, but only ended up taking back home, English airs and graces as
well as a love for champagne, which killed him two years later, when he
walked over the parapet of his home in Amritsar whilst under its
influence and was killed instantly (#1).
- General Sardar Ranjodh Singh (by Sardarni Katochni), a
of the Sikh Darbar, governor of Hazara and the commander of Darbar
in 1844, commanded a division of the Khalsa army with 70 guns, took
in the battle of ‘Alival on 28th January 1846, made a member of the
of Regency, arrested in 1848 following interception of his
with Diwan Mal Raj of Multan, but was released after the war, his jagir
was confiscated and he was given a pension of 2,500Rs per annum; he
and had issue. He died 1872.
- Sardar Gajindar Singh Majithia
- Bibiji (name unknown)
Sardar Panjab Singh Randhawah of Khundah,
and had issue.
- Sardar Harbans Singh
Majithia (aged 97 in 2005) and his grandson Jagjit Singh.