MAJITHIA

 

MAJITHIA (Family)

 

LOCATION: Punjab DYNASTY: Gill clan (Shergil
sub-sept)

RELIGION: Sikh
PRESENT HEAD OF HOUSE: 
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT
HISTORY:

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
century.
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,
          a
          distinguished
          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
            at
            Kot Bhai and Syadpur; he took part in the
            second Anglo-Sikh war, where he fought the British both at Cheliarivala
            and
            Gujra,
            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
        died 1772.

        • 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
              battalion posted
              at Peshawar
              during
              the first Anglo-Sikh war, commanded 2,000 men in the division sent to
              Multan
              to quell a revolt. After the annexation of the Punjab, Surat Singh’s
              jagirs
              were confiscated and he was removed to Banaras with an annual pension
              of
              720Rs. He lived at Banaras in privation till 1857, when during the
              mutiny
              he helped the British and saved the Banaras treasury, which contained
              the
              jewellery of Maharani Jind Kaur, on 6th July 1857. For these services,
              Surat
              Singh was allowed to return to the Punjab, his pension was raised to
              4,800Rs
              and he was granted a permanent jagir in Gorakhpur district, appointed
              an
              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
              titles
              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
                village in
                Amritsar
                district,
                educated at a school in Amritsar and later joined the Aitchison
                College,
                Lahore, visited England in 1896 with his wife and again in 1897 to
                attend
                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
                for
                political offences during the war. From 1929 to 1934, he lived in
                Paris,
                returning to India in 1934; he married 1stly, Sardarni Narindar Kumari,
                daughter of
                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
                  Budapest,
                  educated briefly
                  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
                  Budapest,
                  married K.V.K.
                  Sundaram
                  of the Indian Civil Service, and had issue. She died 1975.

                  • Vivan Sundaram, born 1943 in Simla,
                    studied
                    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
                17th
                February 1872 at
                Majithia,
                a village 18 kms northeast of Amritsar, educated at Government School,
                Amritsar, and Aitchison College, Lahore, finally joining Government
                College,
                Lahore, to pass the intermediate (undergraduate) examination, secretary
                of Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Amritsar from 1894, became a member of the
                governing
                council of the Khalsa College, Amritsar from 1895, secretary of the
                college
                council from 1902 to 1912 and president of the council as well as of
                the
                college managing committee from 1920 till his death in 1941, a
                founder-member
                of the Chief Khalsa Diwan, established in October 1902, holding the
                office
                of secretary from 1902 to 1920 and again from 1934 to 1937. In
                1932/1933,
                he acted as the president of the Diwan. He took a leading part in the
                founding
                of the Sikh Educational Conference in 1908, and presided at its annual
                sessions in 1911, 1924 and 1935, was nominated a member of the
                Viceroy’s
                Legislative Council in 1909, elected the first president of the
                Shiromani
                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
                Punjab
                Government,  elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly from
                Batala
                constituency on the nomination of the Kalsa National Party Sundar
                Singh’s
                field of activities extended to commerce and industry as well, Sardar
                Bahadur
                [cr.1911], C.I.E. [cr.1920], knighted in 1926, Doctor of Oriental
                Learning
                (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
                at
                Lahore. The cremation took place at Amritsar on the premises of his
                permanent
                residence.

                • Sardar Surendra Singh Majithia (by Sardarni
                  Khushpal
                  Kaur)
                • Sardar Kirpal Singh Majithia (by Sardarni
                  Khushpal
                  Kaur),
                  married and had issue.

                  • Sardar Gurnihal Singh Majithia
                  • Sardar Dilip Singh Majithia
                • Sqdr.-Ldr. Sardar Surjit Singh Majithia (by
                  Sardarni
                  Parsan
                  Kaur), born
                  8th August 1912,
                  Member
                  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
                  Assembly
                  in 1945, Indian Ambassador to Nepal 1947/1949, served as India’s deputy
                  defence minister 1952/1962, President of the Wrestling Federation of
                  India
                  1964/1976 and President, Cricket Control Board of India 1956/1958,
                  first
                  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
                  September
                  1995.

                  • Sardar Satyajit Singh Majithia, former
                    Deputy
                    Defence Minister, married and has issue.

                    • Bibiji Har Simrat Kaur, married 21st
                      November
                      1991,
                      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
        died 1781.

        • 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
          resumed.

          • (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
      was
      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
        Majitha.
      • 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
        Lahore
        troops at Peshawar in September 1845; married the daughter of Nanak
        Chand, and niece of Diwan
        Sawan
        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
          Jamadar in
          the force.
        • Bishan Singh, born 1856.
      • General Kahn Singh, born 1826, he succeeded his father
        in command
        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
    under Amar
    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
    died 1788.

    • 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
      1809,
      made the nazim (administrator) of Kangra and hill districts of
      Chamba,
      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
      1823,
      he served as the nazim of Amritsar and its adjoining territories, with
      management
      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
        Katochni), Jagirdar
        1832/1854, was
        commander, civil
        and military administrator, and one of the principal sardars of the
        Sikh
        court, succeeded his father in 1832 as the nazim (governor) of Kangra
        and
        the hill districts, with the title of Qaisar ul-Iqtidar,
        holding the appointment until early 1844; he
        commanded
        2 battalions of infantry, a topkhana of 10 light and field guns, and
        1,500
        horse, took part in the Dera Isma’il Khan expedition in 1831, and held
        charge
        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
        settled
        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
        Banaras
        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
        Banaras.

        • Sardar Dayal Singh Majithia, Jagirdar 1854/1898, born
          1848 at Banaras,
          educated at the Mission School at Amritsar and later privately
          by
          English tutors, he served as a member of the managing committee of the
          Darbar
          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
          the Dyal
          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
          9th
          September
          1898.
      • 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
        military
        commander and
        jagirdar
        of the Sikh Darbar, governor of Hazara and the commander of Darbar
        troops
        in 1844, commanded a division of the Khalsa army with 70 guns, took
        part
        in the battle of ‘Alival on 28th January 1846, made a member of the
        Council
        of Regency, arrested in 1848 following interception of his
        correspondence
        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
        married
        and had issue. He died 1872.

        • Sardar Gajindar Singh Majithia
    • Bibiji (name unknown)
      Kaur,
      married
      Sardar Panjab Singh Randhawah of Khundah,
      and had issue.

OTHER MEMBERS:

  • Sardar Harbans Singh
    Majithia (aged 97 in 2005) and his grandson Jagjit Singh.

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