A DURBAR AT LAHORE WITH ITS LANDMARK ANARKULLIE
JOHN LAWRENCE ADDRESSES THE AUDIENCE IN URDU LANGUAGE
ASSEMBLY OF RULERS OF PUNJAB AT LAHORE 18TH OCTOBER 1864
The role of Lord John Lawrence is not a small one. The British were on the verge of losing everything in Hindustan. Had the Army in Lahore not been disarmed over night, the War of Independence in Delhi would have taken a different turn! The Multan rebellion suppression was on the cards too. Lord Lawrence made good decisions for the Empire and saved it from premature collapse. So that Lahore may never be able to be a threat, the walls of Lahore were brought down as well as the Gates of Lahore. Houses demolished and big lanes made inside the city for elephants as well as horse cavalry to go inside the city whenever that may be the requirements of the time. Yes, Lord Lawrence was the Saviour of the British in Hindustan. In recognition of crushing the Mutiny, he was made Viceroy of India.
A grand Durbar was planned in Lahore in October, 1864, and all the Rajahs and Maharajahs and Men of power were invited to Lahore, to feast and rejoice. Men of power do not travel by their own selves, each Raja came with thousands of attendants and all were camped on the bank of the river Ravi, that is the grounds of Anarkullie. By that time the Freemason Hall had already been built in Lahore again in Anarkullie. Lord Lawrence was received in grandeur at the Lahore Railway Station, of which he himself was responsible in a big way. There was a dinner at Governors House, a levee, even a grand affair at Shalimar Gardens Lahore, and a private Durbar for Rajahs was also held in Lahore. The famous LAWERNCE HOUSE was inaugurated and the word Lawrence was on a plaque outside it. All this from about 11th to 18th October, 1864. The finale was the great Durbar itself, where every Rajah was individually presented to the Viceroy. The Order of Merit was also granted by the Viceory to a certain Rajah. It was all well planned to the dot mechanism, which Lord Lawrence was famous for in action. The most amazing thing was that Lord Lawrence well versed himself in Urdu Persian language and addressed the gathering in local Hindustani. An amazing feat as each person listened to him with undivided attention. Today the Urdu speaking nation is addressed in English by the rulers of the country. A switch which cannot be understood in plain terms.
Years later Lord Lawrence on his death bed, said to his wife I AM WEARY. she kissed him and he expired. The services of the Lawrence brothers can never be forgotten by the British Empire.