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Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Builder Of A Commanwealth - Book By S.M.Latif

Introduction To 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh , Builder Of A Commanwealth' By S.M.Latif

Even after over 150 years of his death, Ranjit Singh is still remembered by all Punjabis in any part of the world. Even in Pakistan there are two characters of the recent history who are reverently remembered-Ranjit Singh and Bhagat Singh, in that order. There are semi­nars organised on Maharaja Ranjit Singh's coronation day {AD 1801) and on death anniversary (AD 1839). It is because he represented the Punjabi ethos. He is the only sovereign ruler who continues to win our admira­tion even today. He was a legend even during his own lifetime. He was called the Lion of Punjab.

Though unlettered, he respected men of learning. He asked searching questions of whosoever came to see him. Jacquemont, a French, wrote about him, "His con­versation is like a nightmare. He is the first inquisitive Indian I have seen, and his curiosity balances the apa­thy of whole nation. He had asked me a hundred thou­sand questions about India, the British, Europe, Napolean, this world in general and the next, hell, para­dise, the soul, God, the devil and a myriad of others of the same kind." His inquisitiveness made him a learned man himself-and a wise and shrewd ruler. Ranjit Singh possessed multifaceted personality. He was a statesman and could deftly play his hand in the affairs of the state. He was kind, fair but firm, a liberal ruler. A for­eign observer says he was one of the few rulers in the world whose rule had the least criminality.

Having inherited a fractured polity he attempted to unify it. After his first success in the capture of all­important Lahore in 1799 he launched himself on a ca­reer of conquest. He subdued petty chiefs around Lahore and then went on to conquor far off Multan, Kashmir, Derajat and some of north-west. He was the man who transformed a small town of Gujranwala, his hometown, to an empire touching Tibet and China in the north, Peshawar (being a border town between Punjab and Afghanistan) in the north-west and Multan and Sindh in the west~in all an empire of roughly 2,00,000 square miles yielding a revenue of three and half crore of rupees annually.

His was a secular state. In his state Muslims were preponderent. Muslims' proportion was three-fourth of the total population. But he had broad mind and the vi­sion of the unity of his nation. The one-eyed monarch himself claimed that God perhaps has taken his one eye to make him see all with one eye. He regarded every re­ligion equally sacred. Average Muslim was not only happy with him but admired him.

His great ambition was to be ruler of the whole Sikh nation which also included the Sikh states south of Satluj such as Patiala, Nabha and Jind and some other smaller states. But by the Treaty of 1809 with the British he could not expand towards South.

People revered him as a guardian of their hearth and homes. For eight hundred years there had been bar­baric attacks from the north-west and barbaric regimes, but Ranjit Singh hurled back the invaders once forever and established a benign rule free from bigotry, injus­tice, inhumanity and cruelty, which were features of the alien rules the nation had suffered for so long. He was liberal, just and secular ruler. He was accessible to all. He was Maharaja of all Punjabis-c-Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. A sense of Punjabi nationhood was very much palpable.

He was ahead of his times. 

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Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Builder Of A Commanwealth - Book By S.M.Latif

  • Brand: National Book Shop
  • Product Code: ESE170
  • Authors: S.M.Latif
  • Year: 2002
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • Rs.125.00
  • Rs.112.50

  • You Save: Rs.12.50 or 10.00%

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