The Fake Photo of Hari Singh Nalwa

Here goes very interesting anecdote. A street vendor selling portraits entered a house and showed a beautiful portrait of a graceful person. The price was also very attractive, just one hundred rupees. The house owner was quite impressed but as the habit of bargaining goes, gave a counter-offer of fifty rupees.

After vigorous haggling and bargaining the portrait seller finally put his foot down at fifty five rupees. But the stubborn buyer still clung to his offer of fifty rupees. Bargain failed just for the difference of five rupees and the portrait seller left the place.

Next door, he found a buyer and sold the portrait to him. The new owner proudly put the portrait in his drawing room. Next day, the failed buyer who had rejected the portrait happened to be in his neighbor’s house and was curiously looking at the missed portrait. The proud owner of the portrait asked him, what are you looking? He is my maamoo (maternal uncle). He is very rich. My maamoo has cloth mills, owns oil wells, has fleet of trucks and taxis, and owns mansions and so on.

At this the neighbor who had missed the portrait said, I know, I know. I missed the deal by just five rupees. Otherwise he would have been my maamoo.

Something like this is happening with us. A portrait of Afghanistan Amir Sher Ali Khan (1825–Feb. 21, 1879) had been put on display at Bangla Sahib Sikh Museum with the caption that this is the portrait of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Hari Singh Nalwa (1791-1837) . Sada maamoo.


The photo which was displayed at Bangla Sahib Sikh Museum

The photo which was displayed at Bangla Sahib Sikh Museum
The photo which was displayed at Bangla Sahib Sikh Museum


fake photo hari singh
The original photo attributed to Comyn Taylor Clarenc “Afganistan – two durbar groups

The said portrait is in fact of Sher Ali Khan, Shah of Afghanistan wearing a karakul (black lamb’s wool cap) with Cd. Charles Chamberlain and Sir Richard F. Pollock. It is a camera picture taken at Ambala Durbar held in 1869. Amir Sher Ali Khan’s eldest brother Akbar Khan Muhammad had led the attack in which General Hari Singh Nalwa was martyred. Maharaja Ranjit Singh had died at the age of fifty nine in 1839 and Hari Singh Nalwa two years earlier in 1837. This photograph was taken thirty years later in 1869.

It is time to preserve history but truthfully.

Article Originally Published By: Gurcharnjit Singh Lamba on Sikhnet

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