PUNJAB from British Annexation to Lahore Resolution (1839-1939)
Punjab called ‘the Lahore Province’ or ‘the Lahore Kingdom’, during the Reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh stretched from Sutlej in the east to the Khyber Pass in the west. The Kingdom fell apart due to the in-fighting among the Sikhs and lack of effective leadership. The British annexed Punjab in 1849 and after the Mutiny of 1857, Delhi and Hissar were added to it while NWFP (presently KPK) was carved out of it in 1901.
Great development of Punjab took place under the British like the building of canals and extension of irrigation facilities, establishment of educational institutions, railways, electricity and telegraphs. An efficient bureaucracy, justice and administration were developed by them. Many social evils like Sati and thuggee were put to an end. Punjabi youth benefitted as they were recruited from the Army.
Land Alienation Act was passed to prevent monelylenders from capturing land. However, the Colonization BIll was opposd by the Punjabis with great vigour and it had to be withdrawn.
In 1912, the capital Delhi was separated from the Punjab which was now named ‘the Provinde of the Punjab’. Punjabi youth abroad got involved in the Ghadar Movement and the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre fruther distanced them from the British. Gandhi’s call for Non-Cooperation and Civil disobedience had little effect in Punjab where the Unionist Party was too strong. The Communal Award was used by the British to divide the communities providing quota to the minorities.
Muslim league forged ties with the British to lay the path for Pakistan once the Lahore Resolution of March 1940 has been passed.
Gurprit Singhdid his Engineering from IIEST, WB in 1981. He retired as a GM I/c (Computer and IT) in Steel Authority of India Limited in 2021. His research interests include History, Ancient Mettalurgy, Archaeology, Epigraphy and Paleopraphy. He has a keen interest in the study of languages and history of the Punjab. He works as a freelancer, book author and a translator. He contributes regularly on articles related to Punjab in Social Media. He has also translated the bookPunjab Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansedby Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmed into Hindi, published by Aakar Books, Delhi.