LAHORE: The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) in collaboration with the SK Foundation which is based in the United Kingdom is fixing a life-size statue of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh on horseback at Lahore Fort near the Haveli of Rani Jindan in Jahangir’s Quadrangle, Pakistan Today learnt from the authority, whereas the unveiling of the statue would take place at Lahore Fort on 27th June 2019 at 6pm.
It was learned that the statue has been sponsored by SK Foundation and all the expenses on the making and transporting the statue have been taken up by them and the statue is being placed on the 180th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.
According to Bobby Singh Bansal the President of SK Foundation UK the approximate weight of the statue is around 250-330 kilograms (kg) and the material used includes 85 per cent bronze, 5 per cent tin, 5 per cent lead and 5 percent zinc whereas, the statue is being placed on a three feet high platform. It took us eight months to complete this statue and I am happy that this will lead to a good friendship and revival of history of Sher-e-Punjab in Lahore. We have planned a ceremony for unveiling the statue and we expect high officials and esteemed guests to attend it on 27th June at 6 pm at Lahore Fort,” Bobby Singh added.
The Director Conservation and Planning WCLA Najam Saquib said that the Sikh community from the United Kingdom had contacted WCLA for this statue and the case was presented before the Heritage Conservation Board who approved it and after that the process of its construction started which was completed in eight months. “WCLA has constructed the platform on which the statue will be placed outside the Haveli of Maharani Jinda in Lahore Fort. I am sure that this will be a unique feature added in the majestic Lahore Fort and will be a good tourist attraction. We will be maintaining the statue with small grills so that it is not damaged. The materials used are weather friendly and therefore I am sure the statue will have a good life although we will manage its upkeep, ”Najam added.
Talking to the historian Syed Faqir Saif ud Din on this statue he said that Maharaja Ranjeet Singh was the hero and known as Sher-e-Punjab but unfortunately people and the younger generation had forgotten him. “He was the one who expanded the boundaries of Punjab and today he is lost from the pages of history. I think this is a brilliant initiative by WCLA and SK Foundation to install Maharaja’s statue inside Lahore Fort as it will revive the lost history and people would get to know more about the history of this historic hero. Once there were statues on Mall road Lahore like Queen Victoria’s at Chairing Cross and King Edward’s copper statue which came from England, but with the passage of time, those were removed without thinking that they were adding value and charisma to the city look, similarly Ganga Ram’s statue was also pulled down. I think that the statues are a reminder of the past heroes and I think they do not harm anyone”.
WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari said, “This is a wonderful initiative by SK Foundation and I am pleased to have this collaboration. This will surely be a touristic attraction for the people visiting the Fort and will reflect the religious harmony as well as it will promote religious tourism”.