Punjab

MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH’S BIRTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATED AT MRSPTU

November 13, 2020 07:09 PM

ARTIST GURPREET SINGH URGES PUNJAB GOVERNMENT FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY IN STATE, LIVE-PAINTING OF ARTIST ON MAHARAJA RANJIT SINGH MESMERISED THE AUDIENCE 

Bathinda (Face2News)

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University (MRSPTU), Bathinda commemorated the 240th birth anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh with zeal and enthusiasm by organising a function here on Friday.

MRSPTU, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Buta Singh Sidhu (who joined the function online from Chandigarh) led the faculty and staff of the university in paying rich floral tributes to the great Sikh emperor.  

While speaking on the occasion, Prof. Sidhu spoke about the ideals of great Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh and presented a brief history of the leader of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He was born in Gujranwala (now in Pakistan) on November 13, 1780, and died on June 27, 1839, in Lahore.    He is also known as the ‘Sher-E-Punjab’ (Lion of the Punjab)’. 

Prof. Sidhu also presented his views on the contribution of Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a unifying and most dynamic leader of Indian history,  who played a pivotal role in promotion of education, social reforms, nation building and his iron hand rule in that era. 

While recalling his secular approach, Prof Sidhu said Maharaja Ranjit Singh truly ruled over an astonishingly diverse empire. And he was fair to all faiths. His armies had Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims. His military commanders and ministers were an equally diverse lot.

In July 1799 – he was still an 18 year-old – Ranjit Singh led his men to a remarkable victory, capturing the city of Lahore, which was then under Afghan rule. By 1801, he had declared himself as the maharaja of Punjab. Soon, Amritsar – the holiest of Sikh cities – was captured by his army; other smaller towns and provinces followed. The empire grew, and at its greatest stretched from the Khyber Pass to the Sutlej River and from the Valley of Kashmir to the Thar Desert.Making the programme memorable, Live-painting of artist Gurpreet Singh on Maharaja Ranjit Singh mesmerised the audience and kept them spellbound. 

 

While briefing on education era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Prof. Buta Singh Sidhu informed that Maharaja Ranjit Singh  formulated a book known as Punjabi Qaida (which includes basic knowledge of everyday life), which every women were made to compulsorily read and memorize, before marriage. He made sure that every female in every village had a copy of Qaida, which made sure that literacy was built in at family level in Punjab. At the time when Punjab was annexed by the British, there was complete literacy in the state.     Maharaja Ranjit Singh declared Persian as the official language of His kingdom. He did this to encourage people to learn foreign languages. However in this process, he never neglected the local Punjabi language.

Prof. Sidhu also expressed his gratitude towards the Punjab government for carving a university in Malwa on the name of the great Sikh Emperor.Key speaker on the occasion,  Artist Gurpreet Singh Bathinda delivered a very impressive speech on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the history of his kingdom.

He said that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was a Sikh warrior, an empire builder, a contemporary of Napoleon, who became a legend in his lifetime.   “Maharaja Ranjit Singh was almost uniquely, a unifier - a force for stability, prosperity and tolerance. Perhaps that’s why the ‘Lion of Punjab’ is relevant to our times,” said Gurpreet Singh.

Giving brief history,  Gurpeet said the only child of local Sikh chieftain Maha Singh, Ranjit Singh inherited the town of Gujranwala and the adjacent villages known as Shukarchakia Misl upon his father’s death. Ranjit Singh started his military career as a 10-year-old. After his father died, he fought several wars to expel the Afghans in his teenage years and became emperor of Punjab at 21.

Unlettered, short of built and lacking sight in one eye, Ranjit Singh however had the shrewdest of military minds from an early age. Ranjit Singh’s birth name was Buddh Singh which was changed to Ranjit (which means the one who is victorious in battle) by his father to honour his army’s victory over the Muslim Chatha chieftain Pir Muhammad.   He burst onto the scene in northern India at a time when the British East India Company had a vice-like grip on vast swathes of the subcontinent.

In July 1799 – he was still an 18 year-old – Ranjit Singh led his men to a remarkable victory, capturing the city of Lahore, which was then under Afghan rule. By 1801, he had declared himself as the maharaja of Punjab. Soon, Amritsar – the holiest of Sikh cities – was captured by his army; other smaller towns and provinces followed. The empire grew, and at its greatest stretched from the Khyber Pass to the Sutlej River and from the Valley of Kashmir to the Thar Desert.

Making the programme memorable, Live-painting of artist Gurpreet Singh on Maharaja Ranjit Singh mesmerised the audience and kept them spellbound.

It may be mentioned here that the artist, a self-taught painter of Punjab, who has adopted the name of his city as his surname, is Artist Gurpreet Singh Bathinda. His ‘live’ paintings have often gone viral on social media. He is a good teacher, painter, photographer, nature lover and many more qualities.

Artist Gurpreet Singh Bathinda urged the Punjab government for establishment of a Fine Arts University in the state. He also appealed to MRSPTU authorities to focus on research on Technological advancement in the Maharaja Ranjit Singh era.

All India Radio, Bathinda Station, Director, Shri Rajiv Arora was chief guest on the occasion.

A documentary on Maharaja Ranjit Singh and various facets of his life was also played. The programme was organised by Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare under the guidance of Director, Prof. Bhupinder Pal Singh Dhot.  Senior faculty, Deans and Directors of the University graced the occasion. Er. Sukhdeep regaled audience with his song.  Prof. Sunita Kotwal anchored the stage very well, while Navdeep Kaur Kheeva presented a vote of thanks.

 
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