Maharaja Ranjit Singh History
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was born on 13 November 1780 AD in Gujranwala, Sukerchakia Misl. His father, Maha Singh, the commander of the Sukerchakia Misl and his mother, Raj Kaur, an intelligent woman. When Ranjeet Singh was a child, he was affected by smallpox and infected with his one eye. So he lost his eyesight. During childhood, Punjab ruled according to the Confederate Sarbat Khalsa system and the territories was divided among misls. When he was 12 years old, Maha Singh died and was raised in the care of his mother, Raj Kaur. At 16, he married Mehtab Kaur, the daughter of Gurbakash Singh, the commander of Kanhaiya Misl. Later in the marriage, his mother-in-law looks after the career of Ranjit Singh.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Expanding the Kingdom:
At the age of 18, he concentrated on expanding his territory. Raja Ranjit Singh started conquering all the parts of other misls. He also defeated the region of central Punjab from the Sutlej to the Jhelum and founded Sikh Empire. His bravery and courage caused him to call Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which means Ranjeeth was the Lion of Punjab.
At the age of 20, he set forth further expanding his territory. He started invading other habitats. At first, they conquered the holy city of Amritsar in 1802 AD from their ruler Bhangi Misl and later defeated the reign under Afghan chief Qutb-ud-Din in 1807. In 1809 AD, he conquested the Ghurka force in the Himalayas and added Kangra to his Empire. He continued the fighting against the Afghans to drive them out of Punjab. In the war, he captured Pashtun, Peshawar and Multan provinces in 1818 AD. He also ended the Muslim rule in Multan and annexed Kashmir in 1819 AD.
Ranjit Singh was a secular ruler and respected all religious rituals. He recruited soldiers from various religious communities and gave critical positions to the Hindus and Muslims in his army. Maharaja Ranjit Singh appointed several European officers to train the infantry and the artillery. This training helped the army to conquest in North-West Frontier.
In 1830 AD, the British planned to expand their territories in India. But the king strongly defies their plans. The British also did not dare to try to annexe his territories for as long as he was alive. He died in 1839 AD; later his death, the Sikh army was defeated in the first Anglo-Sikh war in 1846 AD and 1849 ad. Due to these two wars, the glory of the Sikh Empire ended, and British authority expanded in Punjab and surrounded territories.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Personality
In those days, the kings behaved brutally and lacked kindness towards their enemies or people. But the character of Ranjit Singh was very kind, hateful cruelty and total absence of malice. He strictly followed the tradition and ethos of the Sikh religion. He had been motivated by the preaches of Sikh Gurus.
He was very generous and a philanthropist. He didn’t suppress the daily practices of the Hindus and Muslims. Before him, the Mughals failed to maintain religious tolerance and even killed the Sikh Guru Tejh Bahadur Singh. However, Maharaja Ranjit Singh exceptionally renovated the Hindu and Muslim monuments. He played the patron role of traditions and culture of all religions. Once, a Muslim Calligraphist transcribed the Quran by hand, and nobody bought it at a high cost. This news reached Maharaja Ranjit Singh, then called the calligraphist, who honoured him by giving him one lakh rupees in those days.