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Current Affairs

Statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh vandalized

Date: 21 August 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The bronze statue of founder of Sikh empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, was vandalized by miscreants in Lahore.

 

Background

A member of ultra-radical outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) was accused of performing the act.

 

Details

  • The Hindu, Muslims and Sikhs had invited Maharaja Ranjit Singh to rule the city of Lahore. He captured the city in 1799.

  • The city was in dilapidated condition with crumbling Mughal Empire unable to sustain it. The residents were forced to pay exorbitant taxes.

  • The security of the city was unable to prevent repeated raids by Afghan chiefs and there was infighting among Sikh groups.

  • Ranjit Singh proclaimed himself ruler of Punjab in 1801 and ruled without any religious discrimination. He revived its economic and cultural glory.

 

Ranjit Singh’s contribution

  • Maharaja was admired by large sections of Pakistanis for his secular credentials. He had appointed several Hindus and Muslims in high positions.

  • Ranjit Singh handed back the Sunehri Masjid back to Muslims, which was earlier, converted to Gurudwara by Sikh militants.

 

Threats to statue

  • The statue was installed at the Lahore fort and was a major tourist attraction. Critics say that required permission was not asked before installing the statue.

  • Since it was unveiled, this is the third vandalism on the statue. Radical Islamists groups have been propagating its removal.

  • Islamists say that installation of statue was not suitable as Ranjit Singh had committed atrocities against the Muslims during his rule.