The Idea of Good Governance Brought in Practice by Maharaja Ranjit Singh: An Appraisal
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The emergence of Sikhism hundreds of years ago was in response to the existing socio-economic inequalities, orthodoxy and dogmatism With the fundamental principles of equality, justice, good of all and up keeping of humanitarian values, the new religion took birth amidst the pervading darkness of ritualism, fanaticism and socio-political malfunctioning that eventually victimised common man, as the then rulers failed in their foremost duty of providing good governance to their subjects. Sikh Gurus henceforth, laid the strong foundation of liberal, democratic and God-centred governance. Beginning with Guru Nanak, who travelled length and breadth to preach humane values and to liberate people from narrow prejudices to the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh who did not give a second thought before persuading his father to sacrifice his life for the righteous cause and remained calm and composed on the martyrdom of his four sons. He brought in to practice the higher standards of socio-religious and ethical values by giving good governance to his people. Human dignity, worth and rights were held in high esteem by the tenth Master and so were held by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who inspired by the teachings of the Sikh Gurus ruled for forty long years over the people but with humility and meekness. He discharged his duties which he accepted were endowed upon him by God ‘s will, he raised sword to expand his empire just like any other emperor but unlike other emperors he did not flaunt his power and authority by bringing his subjects under control and oppression. Maharaja Ranjit Singh rather proved to provide administrative efficiency in his kingdom and emerge as a God oriented, enlightened, God-fearing, truthful, righteous, ethical, compassionate, philanthropic and accountable ruler. After decades of turmoil and unrest, fear and suffering, people under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit singh lived in a blissful state, happy and contended materialistically and aesthetically. The present paper henceforth is an attempt to highlight the way in which good governance as emphasised by the ten Gurus was brought in to practice by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Good governance, Ranjit Singh, God fearing, righteous, truthful.