Overview for History of the Sikhs (Volume V)
History of the Sikhs is a five volume survey aiming to present a comprehensive view of the rise, growth and development of Sikh thought and action in every direction. The present volume-The Sikh Lion of Lahore, 1799-1839-deals with Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh rose from the status of a petty chieftain to become the king of an empire extending from Gilgit and Tibet to the deserts of Sindh and from the Khyber Pass to the Satluj. He persuaded the turbulent Sikhs and Muslims to the Punjab to become the willing instruments of an expansionist policy which brought the Kashmiris and the Pathans of North-West Frontier and Baluchis of Multan province under his subjugation. His success was undoubtedly due to his ability to arouse the nascent sense of nationalism amongst his people and make them conscious that more important than their religion was the fact of their becoming a united people leading a harmonious life. The book consists of six parts, Part One deals with the campaigns and conquests of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Part Two depicts his relation with neighbours and others. Part Three deals with his attitude towards secularism. Part Four describes Ranjit Singh's interest in establishing a cosmopolitan society in the Punjab and introducing an element of merriment in their humdrum life. Part Five deals with economic prosperity with special reference to the development of agriculture and growth of industry, trade and commerce. Part Six gives vivid portrait of the Sikh Lion of Lahore. Professor Gupta has based his work on Persian, Urdu, Gurmukhi, and English sources. He has drawn freely on the diaries and accounts of European travellers like Moorcroft, Sir Alexander Burnes, Masson, Fane, Emily Eden, etc. to create a memorable picture of the peasantry and brilliance of the Sikh kingdom at the height of its power and a lively portrait of one of the most colourful characters in the history of India.
Hari Ram Gupta (Author)
Dr. Hari Ram Gupta (1902-93), had his education at Lahore. He was the first person to receive the degrees of Ph.D. and D. Litt. in History from the University of the Punjab, Lahore, and his examiners were Sir Jadunath Sarkar, Sir Edward Maclagan, ex-Governor of the Punjab and Professor H.H. Dodwell of London University. Dr. Gupta was a lecturer at Forman Christian College, Lahore, founder principal of vaish College, Bhiwani (Haryana), and Head of the Department of History at Aitchison College, Lahore. He served for thirteen years as professor and head of the Department of History, and for over a year as dean University Instruction, Punjab university, Candigarh. Later he worked for three years as Honorary professor in the Department of History, university of Delhi. He also headed the Postgraduate Department of History as Honorary Professor at dev Samaj College for Women, Firozpur, Punjab. Dr. Gupta is the Author of over a dozen research volumes including three volumes on India-Pakistan War, 1965. He enjoyed international reputation as an authority on the history of Punjab and North-West Frontier. The Asiatic society of Bengal, Calcutta, conferred upon him in 1949 the Sir Jadunath Sarkar gold medal for his "outstanding original contribution to the history of Punjab."