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Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Book By Mohinder Singh

Foreword of the Book 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh' By Mohinder Singh and Rishi Singh

The National Institute of Panjab Studies was established in 1990 to promote research on different aspects of Panjabi life and letters. It was subsequently recognised by the Panjab University, Chandigarh, as an advanced centre of learning. Apart from promoting research, the Institute has also been organising lectures, seminars, and conferences. Some conferences were also organised in collaboration with other institutions such as the Department of Multicultural Education, University of London, Department of South Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the Centre for Global Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. To mark fifty years of India's independence, the Institute organised an international seminar on 'Partition in Retrospect' in collaboration with the India International Centre, New Delhi.

In connection with the tercentenary of the Khalsa in 1999, the Institute took up a major research project of locating and cataloguing relics which are popularly associated with the Sikh gurus and other historical personalities. Our research team led by the Director of the Institute, visited various parts of India and Pakistan, and located and listed a number of valuable relics. During their field work our team located some very precious relics such as the chola of Guru Nanak, the chola of the Guru Hargobind, chola, dastar and other relics of Guru Gobind Singh and Mata Sahib Kaur, sword-belt, godri and flag of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Our team was able to take pictures of these and other precious relics and record popular evidence connected with these objects. The team also discovered some rare Guru Granth Birs, hukamnamas and other historical documents and coins issued by Banda Singh Bahadur, Sikh chiefs, Maharaja Ranjit singh and his generals.

With a view to sharing the results of our research with the larger audience and creating awareness for proper preservation of the endangered heritage of Panjab and conservation of the valuable relics, the Institute has decided to bring out a series of pictorial books under the 'Panjab Heritage Series'.

The Institute would like to record its gratitude to the Department of Culture, Government of India, for its initial grant for preparing a 'Catalogue of the Sikh Relics', to the Government of the National Capital of Delhi and the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee for their financial support for publication of these books and to various institutions and individuals for allowing the Institute's team access to their rich collections. I would also like to thank my colleagues on the Governing Council and staff of the Institute without whose active cooperation it would not have been possible to bring out these volumes.

  Manmohan Singh
National Institute of Panjab Studies  
Bhai Vir Singh Marg  
New Delhi - 110001  

From the Backcover of the Book 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh' By Mohinder Singh and Rishi Singh

Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) popularly known as the Lion of the Panjab is, perhaps, the most outstanding figure in Panjab history. Because of his extraordinary qualities as a fighter, conqueror and an empire builder Ranjit Singh is often compared with Napoleon Bonaparte, Bismarck and Akbar.

Rising from the position of the chief of one the twelve Sikh confederacies in the eighteenth century Panjab, Ranjit Singh was the first Panjabi ruler who established a vast empire in north India, which extended from the Khybar pass in the North West, Sutlej in the East, deserts of Sind in the South and China and Tibet in the North. Because of his benevolent policies the Maharaja endeared himself to his subjects, a majority of whom were other than his co-religionists. Through his genius Ranjit Singh built a powerful military system and modernized his army on European lines with the help French and Italian generals.

With the advice of a set of highly capable ministers, the Maharaja provided a system of administration wherein all his subjects with diverse religious beliefs and practices could live in peace and harmony. Though Ranjit Singh died in 1839 and his kingdom was annexed to the British Empire ten years later, the legend of Ranjit Singh continues to live and rule over the hearts and minds of the people of Panjab.

This book tries to capture the life and times of the Maharaja based on some of the hitherto inaccessible and unpublished material collected from various repositories in India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom. The text has been provided by Dr. Mohinder Singh, an eminent Sikh historian and Director of the National Institute of Panjab Studies, and his Research Associate Rishi Singh, while pictures have been taken by Sondeep Shankar, one of India's leading photographers.

Author Mohinder Singh , Rishi Singh
Pages 96 ( Art Paper )
Cover Paperback
Language English

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Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Book By Mohinder Singh

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