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10 March, 2008

Maharaja Ranjit Singh
MARCH 9. It was on this day in 1846 that the Treaty of Lahore, which marked the end of the so-called Sikh War, was signed.

The British were prepared to leave Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the saddle as the ruler of Punjab if he paid Rs.7.5 million in war reparations. He could not come up with the money.
Gulab Singh, Ranjit Singh’s commander in charge of the Jammu and Kashmir region, struck a deal with the British. He paid the amount demanded by the British, and they made him the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
It was following the Battle of Plassey in 1757 that the British first obtained control of territory in the subcontinent. With the annexation of Punjab, conquest of the subcontinent was completed. They were still to bring many of the tribes of the northwest and northeast fully under their control when they pulled out in 1947. Here are some interesting points emerging from these facts of history:
The British took close to a century to bring the entire subcontinent under their heel.
In another year, they had to quit.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir came into being only a century before Independence.

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