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Features of Ranjit Singh’s Rule

Features of Ranjit Singh’s Rule

1765-1800

  • Between 1765 and 1800, Sikhs acquired Punjab and Jammu. They were organized into 12 Misls (confederacies). These Misls supported each other in every way.
  • During this time, one of the Misls, Sukerchakia, rose to prominence.
  • Its chief was Ranjit Singh, a strong & courageous soldier, efficient administrator and a skilful diplomat.
  • He started his campaign against all the Misls to create one single state of Punjab.
  • He conquered Lahore in 1799 & Amritsar in 1802. He soon brought all Sikh chiefs west of Sutlej under his control and later acquired Kashmir, Multan and Peshawar.
  • As a consequence, the old Sikh chiefs were transformed into landlords and zamindars.

Features of Ranjit Singh’s Rule:

  1. Land revenue was kept unchanged as promulgated by Mughals.
  2. A powerful army was created and recruitment was not only for Sikhs but also Gurkhas, Biharis, Oriyas, Pathans and Dogras without any religious bias.
  3. Modern foundries were setup to manufacture cannons at Lahore.
  4. It is claimed by some that Ranjit Singh had the best army, second only to the British.
  5. The ministers were chosen irrespective of their religion and in accordance to their capabilities.
  6. All religions were given equal status under Ranjit Singh’s rule. In fact it can be stated that his political power was not used exclusively for Sikh benefit.
  • Ranjit Singh made no efforts to resolve the outstanding issues with the British even as he faced immediate threat from the British. This was because he overestimated the strength of his army.
  • The British forbade him to cross Sutlej in 1809, which he didn’t take seriously as he believed that his military strength was superior to British military power.
  • He died later and left the task of dealing with the British to the subsequent rulers after him.                          Features of Ranjit Singh’s Rule
  • But after his death, his kingdom was torn by an internal power struggle and British finally acquired Punjab in 1849.

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