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Maharaja Ranjit Singh Politics, Society And Economy - Book By Fauja Singh , A. C. Arora

Foreword To The Book ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Politics, Society And Economy’ By Fauja Singh , A. C. Arora

The establishment of the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Punjab ushered in a new epoch in the history of this region. Under his rule, not only the unification of Punjab was accomplished, very significant gradual improvements were also witnessed in every branch of administration. The prevailing peace and order in the kingdom together with personal attention and efforts of the Maharaja, created very conducive environment for the development of agriculture, education, literature, fine arts, trade and commerce. Due to the liberal religious policy of the Maharaja the people of all the communities—Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians—lived and thrived in the environ of communal harmony and goodwill.

A seminar organised in the Punjabi University in connection with the 200th birth anniversary celebrations of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in August 1981, focused attention on those historical aspects of the period which had remained unexplored hitherto. Far from paying merely reverential tributes to the Maharaja, the papers presented in the seminar sought to make an objective study of various facets of the subject. The wide spectrum of the themes covered in the seminar, which are included in this volume will, I hope, help understand better the politics, society and economy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's times. Dr Fauja Singh and Dr A.C. Arora verily deserve to be complimented for producing this historical work of great importance. It is said that Dr Fauja Singh was not destined to see this publication in the book-form. The University owes a debt of gratitude to late Dr Fauja Singh, an eminent historian who wrote and edited numerous valuable books for the Punjabi University, Patiala.

Punjabi University                                                                                                                                                      S.S. JOHL
Patiala                                                                                                                                                               Vice-Chancellor
April 17, 1984

Preface To The Book ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh - Politics, Society And Economy’ By Fauja Singh , A. C. Arora

It was under the auspices of the Directorate of Planning and Development that a seminar on 'Maharaja Ranjit Singh : Politics, Society and Economy' was organised in the Punjabi University in August 1981 as a part of the 200th birth anniversary celebrations of the Maharaja. The present volume contains the papers presented in the seminar; its title also emanates scrupulously from the subject of the seminar.

It had been our desire and endeavour from the very beginning to cover hitherto unexplored aspects of the early nineteenth century history of the Punjab. With that object in view, various themes of the seminar were carefully selected and circulated among the scholars well in advance. The response was highly encouraging in terms of both the quantity of the papers and the variety of their themes.

A glance at the papers published in this volume will reveal a wide variety of themes they represent—Ranjit Singh's conquests and defence system, his relations with the neighbouring states, nature of the Maharaja's state, local administration, numismatics, agricultural system and land-market, life and manners of the common people, urbanisation, education, art and literature, trade and commerce, source-materials and historiography, etc. etc. Evidently, the socio-cultural and economic aspects of Ranjit Singh's time have been as adequately represented as the political aspects. We are beholden to all the scholars whose valuable papers appear in this volume.

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