Recently, the statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh which was installed in 2019, vandalised by a member of radical outfit Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a religious organisation at the Lahore Fort in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Important points:

  • He was born on 13th November, 1780 in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan.
  • He was the only child of Maha Singh, on whose death in 1792 he became chief of the Shukerchakias, a Sikh group.
  • His inheritance included Gujranwala town and the surrounding villages, now in Pakistan.
  • He was the founder of the Sikh Empire by overthrowing Misls.
  • At that time, Punjab was ruled by powerful chieftains who had divided the territory into Misls.
  • Misls refers to the sovereign states of the Sikh Confederacy that rose during the 18th century in the Punjab region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent after the collapse of the Mughal Empire.
  • He ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century.
  • He was given the title Lion of Punjab (Sher-e-Punjab) for his success in freeing Lahore (his capital) from the Afghan invaders.

International Recognition:

  • In 2016, the town of St Tropez in France unveiled the maharaja’s bronze statue as a mark of respect.
  • His throne is displayed prominently at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
  • In 2018, London hosted an exhibition that focused on the history of the Sikh Empire and the international relations forged by the Maharaja.


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