The Kapurthala Royal Collateral Families
The Royal Family of Kapurthala State is unique for having a number of significant collateral branches. All of these branches emerged as separate powerful entities in their own right due to different historical circumstances.
The family of Harnam Singh
Harnam Singh was a Member of the Council of the Governor-General of India and of the Legislative Council of Punjab, Member of the Hemp Drugs Commission 1893/94, Member of the Council of State for India. He was the second son of Raja Randhir Singh and the younger brother of Raja Kharak Singh. He embraced Christianity at an early age. He was given extensive Estates in Oudh and large properties in Lucknow. He was granted the hereditary title of Raja. His offspring have distinguished themselves in different fields.
Significant persons in public life
- Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, daughter of Harnam Singh, was a Member of the Lok Sabha between 1952 and 1957. She was Union Minister of Health 1947-1957, Union Minister of Health and Communications, 1951-1952, and a Member of the Rajya Sabha from 1957 to 1964, Secretary to Mahatma Gandhi for 16 years; President of the World Health Assembly 1950 and the International Red Cross Conference, New Delhi 1957; Founder-Member and Chairman, Managing Body of Indian Red Cross Society.
- Billy Arjan Singh, a grandson of Harnam Singh, is a wildlife conservationist and writer. He won the J. Paul Getty Award and has been recognised with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan by the Indian Government.
The family of Bikrama Singh
Bikrama Singh was the second son of Raja Nihal Singh. He was one of the main progenitors of the 19th Century Sikh Renaissance, being one of the founders of the Singh Sabha Movement. He founded the Khalsa Press Lahore as well as the "Khalsa Akhbar", the first journal for the Sikhs. He was instrumental in saving the lives of the royal musicians at the Mughal Court of Delhi during the Indian Rebellion of 1857; he gave them shelter at his court in Kapurthala, thus laying the foundation of the Kapurthala Gharana of Hindustani Classical Music. He was involved in a lengthy litigation with his brother Raja Randhir Singh regarding the terms of the Will of Raja Nihal Singh. This dispute was finally settled by a permanent allowance being granted to Bikrama Singh in the form of a Privy Purse from the Kapurthala State. He was also the joint owner of extensive Estates in Oudh along with his brother Raja Randhir Singh. He sought a partition which was denied and, after a long litigation, monetary compensation was paid to him through which large Estates were acquired in the Districts of Sitapur and Rae Bareli. These Estates were confirmed by an Act of the Government of India, the Bikrama Singh's Estates Act of 1883.
The family of Suchet Singh
Suchet Singh was the third son of Raja Nihal Singh. He too was involved in a lengthy litigation with his brother Raja Randhir Singh regarding the terms of the Will of Raja Nihal Singh. This dispute was finally settled by a permanent allowance being granted to Suchet Singh in the form of a Privy Purse from the Kapurthala State. The family also acquired extensive Estates in the erstwhile United Provinces.
Suchet Singh's first had one son, Raja Sardar Charanjit Singh (1883-1970) who was granted the personal title of Raja on 3 June 1932. He had three sons Ajit Singh (b. 1901), Sarabjit Singh (1902), Ripjit Singh (b. 1906) and one daughter, Pamela Devi (b. 1916).
Significant persons in public life
- Jitendra Prasada, elder son of Pamela Jyoti Prasada, was a Member of Parliament. Vice President Congress Party. He married Kanta Prasada, daughter of Justice Chetram Thakur from Himachal Pradesh. She is a social worker and runs an NGO named after her late husband, the Srijan-Jitendra Prasada Foundation for social upliftment and women's empowerment.
- Jitin Prasada is a son of Jitendra Prasada and a Member of Parliament. Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas in the Government of India.
- A History of the Sikhs by Khushwant Singh, Volume-II : 1939-1974, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1962, Page-141]
- The Singh Sabha and Other Socio-Religious Movements in The Punjab (1850-1925), Punjabi University, Patiala, 1997, Page-29,46
- Sir Lepel Grifin – Rajas of the Punjab. 1873
- Challenge and response (1849 – 1873) by Harbans Singh published in the Sikh Spectrum.com Monthly Issue No.11, April 2003
- "Rajya Sabha Members: Biographical sketches, 1953-2003". Rajya Sabha
- Singh, Vishvjit (2007). "The Benefits of reorganization", Seminar Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-04-07