When Ranjit Singh established a sovereign Punjabi kingdom in 1799, he did make serious efforts to encourage the teaching of Punjabi. According to some accounts, he ensured that every household was supplied with a free qaida, a primer of Punjabi language. As a result, there was massive increase in literacy, especially female literacy, in Punjab. One estimate, perhaps an exaggeration, suggests that there was nearly 100 per cent literacy by the end of the Punjabi kingdom in 1849. However, even Ranjit Singh did not give the official status to Punjabi in spite of it being a highly developed literary language. The Persian language continued to be the language of the court and official administration. Since no formal explanation of this contradictory approach by Ranjit Singh to Punjabi language — promoting its use but not giving it an official status — is available, we can merely speculate that it could be due to sheer administrative convenience that the use of Persian continued for official purposes.