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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/199

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PERIOD, 1000-1764 A.D.

Mufn ul Mulk was rewarded with the governorship of the Panjab. He was soon forced to cede to the Afghan the revenue of four istricts. His failure to fulfil his compact led to a third invasion in 1752, and Mum ul Mulk, after a gallant defence of Lahore, had to submit. In 1755-56 Ahmad Shah plundered Delhi and then retired, leaving his son, Timur, to represent him at Lahore. Meanwhile the Sikhs had been gathering strength. Then, as now,they formed only a fraction of the population. But they were united by a strong hatred of Muhammadan rule, and in the disorganized state of the country even the loose organization described below made them formidable. Owing to the weakness of the government the Panjab became dotted over with forts, built by local chiefs, who undoubtedly lived largely by plunder. The spiritual organization under a Guru being gone, there gradually grew up a political and military organization into twelve mists, in which "a number of chiefs agreed, after a somewhat democratic and equal fashion, to fight under the general orders of some powerful leader" against the hated Muhammadans. The misls often fought with one another for a change. In the third quarter of the eighteenth century Sarddr Jassa Singh of Kapurthala, head of the Ahluwalia mi si, was the leading man among the Sikhs. Timur having defiled the tank at Amritsar, Jassa Singh avenged the insult by occupying Lahore in 1756, and the Afghan prince withdrew across the Indus. Adina Beg, the governor of the Jalandhar Doab, called in the Mahrattas, who drove the Sikhs out in 1758. Ahmad Shah's fifth invasion in 1761 was rendered memorable by his great victory over the Mahratta confederacy at Panipat. When he returned to Kabul, the Sikhs besieged his governor, Zin Khan, in Sirhind. Next year Ahmad Shah returned, and repaid their audacity by a crushing defeat near Barnala.