What kind of a ruler was Maharaja Ranjit Singh?

Editor’s Pick | OPINION |

How do we see the rule and empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh? For sure the misldars and Ranjit Singh were Sikhs, but can we call his confederacy Sikh Empire.

Lahore-based Panjab studies scholar Dr Khola Cheema discusses the issue at the Akaal Channel’s One Show moderated by Dr Gurnam Singh and Manjit Kaur.

She argues that Ranjit Singh, a.k.a. Shere Panjab, was first and foremost a Panjabi ruler and that is how we should see him. To support her argument she drew attention to the fact that Maharaja Ranjit Singh allowed men from different religions and races to serve in his army and his government in various positions of authority, and that his policies were based on respect for all communities, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim.

You can follow the discussion, mostly in Panjabi, here.


Posthumous portrait of Maharajah Ranjit Singh (Asia Samachar, 29 June 2020)


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  1. I find it very hard to label his rule as Sikh rule as there were a lot of Hindu practices adopted by him.

    “Maharaja Ranjit Singh died of paralysis at Lahore on June 27, 1839, and was cremated on June 28, 1839. Four of the Maharaja’s Ranis and seven of his slave girls followed the practice of sati and burnt themselves on his funeral pyre.”

    I find it sad and pathetic that 11 healthy women had to burn to death because one old fart kicked the bucket.No way the Sikh Gurus would have condoned this wickedness.