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Maharaja Ranjit Singh Named As “Greatest Leader of All Times” by BBC World Histories Magazine

March 17, 2020 | By

Chandigarh: Sher-e-Panjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh is named as the “Greatest Leader of All Time” in a poll conducted by BBC World Histories Magazine. The nominations for the contest were recommended by famous historians and over 5000 readers of the magazine voted in the poll.

A portrait of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh

At the beginning of this year, BBC World Histories Magazine asked historians including Rana Mitter, Margaret MacMillan and Gus Casely-Hayford to nominate their ‘greatest leader’ – someone who exercised power and had a positive impact on humanity – and to explore their achievements and legacy. The list was voted on by more than 5,000 readers, and Maharaja Ranjit Singh has been named history’s greatest leader.

Darbar of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

Taking more than 38 per cent of the vote, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was described by nominating historian Matthew Lockwood as a modernising and uniting force, whose reign “marked a golden age for Punjab and north-west India”.

Nomination for Maharaja Ranjit Singh was filed by Matthew Lockwood, assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama.

In second place, with 25 percent of the vote, is African independence fighter Amílcar Cabral (nominated by Hakim Adi), who united more than one million Guineans to free themselves from Portuguese occupation and in turn propelled many other colonised African countries to rise and fight for independence. British prime minister Winston Churchill (nominated by Andrew Roberts) is in third position with 7 percent of the vote for his sharp political manoeuvring that kept Britain in the war.

Further down the list, American president Abraham Lincoln (nominated by Adam I P Smith) is in fourth place and British monarch Elizabeth I (nominated by Tracy Borman) is the highest ranked female leader in fifth position, with 4 percent of the vote.

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