In what can be said a moment of pride for India, 19th-century Indian king ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh’, was crowned as the ‘greatest world leader of all time’. The crowning of ‘Ranjit Singh’ was done based on a poll conducted by BBC.
In a poll were a total of 5,000 BBC readers voted Ranjit Singh got 38 percent of the vote. The Sikh emperor was praised for creating a new tolerant empire. A distant second was African Independence Fighter Amílcar Cabral. Cabral got 25 percent of the polled votes.
Cabral is know for uniting more than 1 million Guineans to free themselves from Portuguese occupation. He also propelled many other colonized African countries to rise and fight for independence. Britain’s Prime Minister during World War Winston Churchill was placed at number 3 with 7 percent of the votes. Churchill is know for quick decision and sharp political maneuvering that kept his country in the war.
The list also contained American President Abraham Lincoln and British monarch Elizabeth in the top 5. Nominations for the polls were sough from renowned historians. Global Historians like Matthew Lockwood, Rana Mitter, Margaret MacMillan, and Gus Casely-Hayford gave their inputs.
“Lion of Punjab“, Ranjit Singh rose to power after a period of economic and political uncertainty. Singh modernized the Sikh Khalsa Army, embraced western innovations without abandoning local forms and institutions. The list also included likes of Mughal Emperor Akbar, French military leader Joan of Arc and Russian Empress Catherine the Great in the top 20. For more about the BBC’s poll click here.