MAHARAJA RANJITH SINGH (SHER-E-PUNJAB)
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the founder of the Sikh Empire, which came to power in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He fought his first battle alongside his father at the age of 10. After the death of his father, he fought several wars to expel the Afghans in his teenage years. At age of 21, he was proclaimed as the "Maharaja of Punjab".
He was born to sardar Mahan singh sukerchakia and Raj Kaur, in Gujranwala city, Punjab, which is now located in Pakisthan. Maharaja Ranjith singh was born on november 13,1780. He was born to sardar Mahan singh sukerchakia and Raj Kaur, in Gujranwala city, Punjab, which is now located in Pakisthan. The picture is the door to the room where Ranjith Singh was born. He survived small pox in infancy but lost his left eye sight and his face remained pockmarked
Ranjith Singh learnt riding, shooting and he started drinking in early years of life.In those days,among sardars drinking was considered as a pride issue,that is the more the one drinks,the more the respect he commanded among sardars. Drinking was considered as a matter of pride. Ranjith singh grew up without any formal education. He remained as an illiterate. He had more traits to become a soldier and a great warrior. He was fond of swimming and excursions.
A Great Conqueror:
Ranjith singh had his first taste of battle when he was only ten years old. His fame grew in 1797,at a young age of 17,when the Afghan muslim ruler Shah Zaman, of the Ahmad Shah Abdali dynasty, attempted to annex Punjab region into his control through his general Shahanchi khan and 12,000 soldiers.The battle was fought in territory controlled by Ranjith singh. Ranjith singh killed the Afghan general and rout his army. This victory gained him recognition.
In 1799,Raja Ranjith singhs army of 25,000 khalsa, supported by another 25,000 khalsa led by his mother-in-law Rani sada kaur of Khanhaiya misl, attacked the region controlled by Bhangi sikhs centered around Lahore. The rulers of Lahore escaped from this attack and this made Lahore as the first major conquest of Ranjith singh. The Sufi Muslims and Hindu population of Lahore welcomed the rule of Ranjith singh. The ruler of Jammu region given away control of his region to Ranjith singh in 1800.
A Secular King:
Maharaja Ranjith singh was well known as a secular king. He treated all religions equally.His court reflected a secular pattern,his prime minister Dhian singh was a dogra, his foreign minister Fakir Azizuddin was a Muslim, his finance minister Dina Nath was a Brahmin, artillery commanders such as Mian Ghausa, Sarrfaraz Khan were Muslims. There were no forced religious conversions in his time.
He treated all religions equally. The soldiers and troop officers included Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and also Europeans. His army included Polish, Russian, Spanish, Prussian and French officers.
His army was not limited to Sikh community. The soldiers and troop officers included Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and also Europeans. His army included Polish, Russian, Spanish, Prussian and French officers.
Maharaja Ranjith singh died on 27 June,1839 in Lahore(present day pakisthan). He died of paralysis on the fifth day of his illness.That was the end of a great ruler who practised Secularism and treated all religions equally.