Ripudaman Singh

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Ripudaman Singh (4 March 1883 – 12 December 1942), later known as Maharaja Gurcharan Singh and as Sardar Gurcharan Singh, was the Maharaja of Nabha from 1911 to 1928, when he was deposed by the British. He later became a Sikh revolutionary.

Early life[edit]

Singh was born on 4 March 1883 at Nabha, the only son and heir of Hira Singh. From 1906 to 1908, he was a member of the Imperial Legislative Council, where he spoke on behalf of the Sikh interest and pioneered reformist legislation. He represented Nabha in 1911 at the coronation of George V.

Maharaja[edit]

Upon his father's death in 1911, Ripudaman Singh ascended the gadi of Nabha. Continuing his interest in legal affairs, he reformed the state judiciary and enacted numerous pieces of progressive legislation. He also established a legislature and an executive council to govern Nabha. Shocked by the events of the Amritsar Massacre in 1919, he publicly opposed the British, clashing with his distant cousin Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, who was a strong supporter of British rule in India.

Ripudaman Singh was granted a local salute of 15-guns in 1921, but he would not stay in British favour for much longer. In 1923, he was forced to relinquish control of Nabha to a British administrator after he was suspected of kidnapping and attempted murder through poisoning.

Deposition[edit]

In 1923, Ripudaman Singh agreed to leave Nabha and to settle at Dehra Dun. For this he was granted a large allowance. However, he continued to intrigue and attempt to regain control of Nabha to some degree. In 1927, he went on pilgrimage to Sri Abichal Nagar Hazur Sahib and retook the Khalsa initiation rites, taking the name of Gurcharan Singh. The next year, he was formally deposed by the British for sedition and succeeded by his eldest son, Pratap Singh. He was stripped of his rank and titles and exiled to Kodaikanal in the Madras Presidency. Thereafter, he was known officially as Gurcharan Singh.

Death[edit]

Ripudaman Singh died at Kodaikanal on 12 December 1942, aged 59. He had been succeeded in 1928 by his eldest son, Pratap Singh.

Family[edit]

Ripudaman Singh married three times, twice to ladies of royal blood and once morganatically:

  • 1. Jagdish Kaur (1884-20 February 1925). Married at Nabha in 1901. She had a daughter:
    • Amar Kaur (8 October 1907-)
  • 2. Sarojni Devi (1898-19?). Married at Nabha 10 October 1918 and had issue:
    • 1. Pratap Singh, who succeeded as Maharaja of Nabha
    • 2. Kharak Singh (d. 1970 in Canada)
    • 3. Gurbaksh Singh (d November 1963). Married in 1950 Chandra Prabha Kumari (1932-). He had one son and two daughters:
      • Vivek Singh
      • Krishna Kumari (1962–1994)
      • Tuhina Kumari
    • 4. Kamla Devi Sahiba
    • 5. Vimla Devi Sahiba
  • a. Gurcharan Kaur (1904–1983). Married Gurcharan Kaur in 1923 and had issue:
    • 1. Narinder Singh (1924-). A son and a daughter.
    • 2. Fateh Singh (1935-). Two sons.
    • 3. Jasmer Singh
    • 4. Shamsher Singh
    • 5. Vijay Kaur
    • 6. Charanjeet Kaur. Two sons.
    • 7. Nandhem Kaur

Titles[edit]

  • 1883-1911: Sri Tikka Sahib Ripudaman Singh
  • 1911-1927: His Highness Farzand-i-Arjumand, Aqidat-Paiwand-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Barar Bans Sarmur, Raja-i-Rajagan, Maharaja Shri Ripudaman Singh Malvendra Bahadur, Maharaja of Nabha
  • 1927-1928: His Highness Farzand-i-Arjumand, Aqidat-Paiwand-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Barar Bans Sarmur, Raja-i-Rajagan, Maharaja Shri Gurcharan Singh Malvendra Bahadur, Maharaja of Nabha
  • 1928-1942: Sardar Gurcharan Singh

Honours[edit]

References[edit]