13 November: Remembering Maharaja Ranjit Singh on his Birth Anniversary
Maharaja Ranjit Singh (13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839) the founder of the Sikh empire, popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab or “Lion of Punjab”.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh was born on 13 November 1780, in Punjab, Pakistan. He was the only child of Maha Singh. He never schooled and did not learn to read and write anything beyond the Gurmukhi alphabet. He was blind in one eye and had a face pitted with pockmarks. At the age of 12, His father died, and after that, he became the chief of the Shukerchakias, a Sikh group.
In 1795, He married his first wife Mehtab Kaur, the married was failed. Later, in 1798, he married Datar Kaur of the Nakai Misl.
In 1799, he celebrates his first major victory against Bhang misl. In 1801, at the age of 20, he was crowned as the Maharaja of Punjab. After his Lahore conquest, he expanded the Sikh empire by taking over the rest of Punjab. A year later, in 1802, he captured Amritsar. In 1807, he defeated the forces of Afghan chief Qutb ud-Din and captured Kasur.
The Afghans and Sikhs fought several battles between 1813 to 1837. In 1837, Battle of Jamrud, the last battle fought by Afghans and Sikhs, Hari Singh Nalwa a general of Ranjit Singh, was killed and Afghans captured Kabul.
In 1819, he finally excluded the Pashtuns from the Vale of Kashmir, and by 1820 he had associated his rule over the whole Punjab between the Sutlej and Indus rivers.
He allowed men from different religions and races to serve in his army and his government in various positions of authority. His policies were based on respect for all communities, Hindu, Sikh, and Muslim. He also built several Gurdwaras, Hindu Temples, and even mosques.
He died on 27 June 1839. He was succeeded by his son Kharak Singh.