Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa made a demand in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to exhume the remains of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last ruler of the Sikh empire, from his grave in England and bring it to Amritsar, where his last rites should be performed as per Sikh traditions.
Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Bajwa said the issue is close to the heart of entire Punjab and that “history should be corrected.”
Duleep Singh was born in Lahore in 1838 to Maharaja Ranjit Singh. At the age of five, he sat on the throne of the Sikh kingdom, and Punjab was annexed to British India after the second Anglo-Sikh war in 1849, Bajwa said.
Duleep Singh was removed from the throne and separated from his mother, Maharani Jind Kaur, who was imprisoned. Bajwa said Duleep Singh was then taken to England and converted to Christianity at the age of 16, and lived there under the patronage of Britain’s Queen Victoria.
After 13 years, he was reunited with his mother, and upon learning the history and Sikh identity, he decided to reconvert and gave away British pension. In 1886, Duleep Singh set sail for India with his family but fearing mutiny the British detained him and placed him under hour arrest, the Congress leader said. He added that Singh’s grave is in the English countryside.
Through a separate Zero Hour mention, Ahamed Hassan of TMC raised the issue of killing of five labourers from Murshidabad, West Bengal, in terror attacks in Kulgam in October. He said families of the labourers let them go and work in J&K after Home Minister Amit Shah told the nation that total normalcy had been restored in the erstwhile state.