Warrior of the World – Praful Shah
(Continued from last issue)
Seeing the shamelessness and cowardice of Sultan Muhammad Azim Khan Barakzai of Kabul, he fled for his life instead of fighting. Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army won a glorious victory but at the cost of a heavy loss. General Fulsinh Akali left for his homeland.
But in war there is victory and defeat, death and injury. After this victory, the Maharaja toured the entire frontier region. Wherever their steps fell, everyone surrendered. Of course, Ranjit Singh understood exactly how difficult it was to rule the region and the people. He assigned this difficult task to his best, Sardar Hari Singh Nalwa. Nalwa accepted this responsibility with a smile. Many warriors are not easy to administer. The policy of ‘one wound and two pieces’ can be successful in the battlefield, but in governance, one has to work with skill and patience. Nalwa remained engaged in this work for seven months.
In such a situation, Maharaja immediately recalled Nalwa back to Hazara as soon as he got word that an old enemy was raising his head again. What happened was that the Torkhel and Tareen Muslims started to unite again. They were led by Mohammad Khan Tara. These people were in a mood of rebellion. At the same time, training for war in the highlands had also started. The Tareen and Torkhel Muslims took three to four other castes with them. This mob of fifteen thousand would come down from the hilly regions at any moment and attack the villages of the basin and plunder. Then they used to hide anywhere around. If a seeker comes back, it will collapse on them. By robbing the innocent, these people amassed wealth, which was spent on feeding and arming the marauding soldiers. Their ultimate goal was to overthrow the Khalsa Raj and establish their own rule. Although there were small tribes, they were very fanatical and cruel.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh entrusted Sardar Hari Singh with the task of poisoning these turbulent elements. Nalwa does not like to sit down after being assigned work. Ward spread like fire that Sardar Nalwa comes. Mohammad Khan Tareen was in a hurry to play the same game with Nalwa as he was playing with everyone else. He was quite adept at his maneuvers.
Tarin and his companions hid behind rocks and trees and anxiously awaited Nalwa’s arrival. As soon as the Khalsa army came near, plans were made to stop and drive them away, but there were few who would have the heart of the Nalwa like that? They did not get upset.
Harisingh Nalwa’s army started to advance but suddenly there was a huge explosion. Most of the soldiers flew here and there with terrible speed. A tunnel was hidden on the way to meet the enemies by swimming. Seeing the enemy approaching, he lit the ammunition hidden in the tunnel.
The blast of this tunnel caused the stones scattered on the road to jump violently into the sky and fall back down with the same speed and force. These stones took the lives of more soldiers than the tunnel. Even the Nalwa itself was thrown by the explosion and fell into the nearby drain. Scarcely was there a part of the body that was not red with blood, with a terrible injury to the head and piercings all over the body. It didn’t take long for him to faint from the loss of so much blood.
In this direction, no one even noticed that Sardar Nalwa was nowhere to be seen. Word spread like lightning in the army that Sardar had left us all and gone to heaven.
But Sardar Mansingh who was with him could not believe his ears. They were in no case prepared to advance or retreat without the body of a wounded or dead chieftain. He made the soldiers run in all directions. One order to all that find Sardar Sahib immediately. After a long search, as everyone was returning in despair, a soldier found Nalwa bleeding in the creek. When Sardar was pulled out with the help of his friends, seeing his blood-soaked body, everyone seemed to forget to breathe. No one could believe his eyes. (Sequentially:)