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Friday, August 15, 2008

A Secular Ruler and a Statesman

A book that has been released recently seeks to highlight the secular and meritocratic principles on which Maharaja Ranjit Singh's administration was based, besides his qualities of statesmanship that enabled him to stave off British attempts to usurp his empire, for as long as he was alive.


Sidhusaaheb said...

Thanks for sharing. Will get it and read it. But whenever I think of Ranjit Singh, I am reminded of Shah Mohammad’s lines:

ਸ਼ਾਹ ਮੁਹੰਮਦਾ ਇੱਕ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਬਾਝੋਂ
ਫੌਜਾਂ ਜਿੱਤ ਕੇ ਅੰਤ ਨੂੰ ਹਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੇ …
Somehow I feel lost. Punjab would have been a different shape and size if he had been granted a few more years.
Manpreet | Homepage | 08.15.08 – 7:54 pm | #


Singh is KING!!! Akshay Kumar ….
UTP | Homepage | 08.18.08 – 6:47 pm | #


@Manpreet: Thanks for the beautiful poetry! Let me transliterate it in the Roman script:

“Shah Muhammadaa ik sarkaar baajhoN
FaujaaN jitt ke antt nu haariyaaN ne…”

I agree with you about his ability to influence the course of history.

@UTP: This one was for real, unlike Akshay Kumar.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 08.18.08 – 7:13 pm | #


So do you plan to read the book?
Mridula | Homepage | 08.19.08 – 6:56 am | #


I hope to.
Sidhusaaheb | Homepage | 08.19.08 – 8:34 am | #

Sidhusaaheb said...

Indeed Ranjit Singh is least known of India’s greatest statesman. His exploits find very little mention in history books, but his deeds were far greater than what is known.

I have all the reason to be excited about this book as my family traces its lineage to his court and our family name is in fact a title bestowed by Ranjit Singh himself.
nomad | Homepage | 08.28.08 – 10:21 am | #


Maharaja Ranjeet Singh was a statestamn no doubt. But here in Pakistan many historians paint him as a brutal Sikh ruler who tried his level best to crush Muslims. I think he did excesses to stabilise his rule which every other king whether Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or of any other faith would have done under the same circumstances.

The Faqir family of Lahore about whome the authors make a mention of, still lives in Lahore and is proud to have inherited the relics of their forefathers who served in the court of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.

I think this book should be read as much by Indian readers as by the Pakistani scholars and historians.
Nayyar Hashmey | Homepage | 08.31.08 – 7:52 pm | #