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Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Punjab's Man Of Destiny - Book By Syad Muhammad Latif
Introduction To 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh , Punjab's Man Of Destiny' By Syad Muhammad Latif
Travelling through Punjab during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Captain von Orlich writes in his travelogue, "In battle, he (Maharaja Ranjit Singh) was always seen at the head of his troops and foremost in combat. In energy of will and endeavour he was unequalled by any of his people. The want of education was covered by the splended mental powers with which nature endowed him, and prudence and knowledge of mankind enabled him to maintain himself in the high position. By means of excessive liberality he attached faithful servants and brave warriors to himself."
This was the kind of man who is fondly remembered even today over one and half century after his death. Not only in Punjab (India), Maharaja Ranjit Singh is remembered even in Pakistan most of whose territory formed the Maharaja's dominion.
Writing in the later part of the nineteenth century, Sir Lepel Griffin, his biographer, says, "Although half a century has passed since his death, his name is still a household word in the province (Punjab), his portrait is still preserved in castle and carriage. It is a favourite subject with the ivory painters of Amritsar and Delhi."
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was heartly loved and revered by his people. They showered upon him their heartiest blessings, for they looked upon him as their liberator and protector. They revered him as a God-sent guardian of their hearths and homes and upholder of their national honour. For eight hundred years there had been barbaric attacks from the north-west and despotic regimes, but Ranjit Singh hurled back the invaders once for ever and established a benign rule free from bigotry, injustice, inhumanity and cruelty, which were the features of the alien rules the nation had suffered for so long.