Back In Time (Sikh History By Dr. Harjinder Singh Dilgeer)


1947-2014 (Archived)
It took Sikh historian Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer 12 years, including umpteen visits to the National Archives of India in New Delhi and the India Office Records housed in the British Library, London to put together his biggest project ever. Dilgeer, who is often regarded as an institution in Sikh history and credited with over 50 titles in Sikh studies, is the former director of Sikh History Research Board with Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and is currently working on a ten-volume book project on Sikh history.

The first two volumes were released on Tuesday at a well-attended function held in the city. “I have previously published Sikh History in Punjabi in five volumes. The English volumes have more documentation and pictorials like coloured photographs, maps and copies of original documents,” says Dr Dilgeer, currently the international director of Guru Nanak Institute of Sikh Studies and president, World Sikh Writers Conference. While the first volume covers the Guru period up to 1708, it also presents a survey of the previous 3,000 years of ancient Punjab and its political, geographical and religious scenario. “It was quite a task researching not just existing work by historians but as many as 10 billion files housed in The British Library’s Commonwealth Records section,” says the writer who researched around 2,000 books. “I have rejected mysticism as a factor associated with the Gurus and given a logical perceptive,” he explains.

The author’s second volume is about the role of Banda Singh Bahadur. “I have rejected the story of the Tat Khasla-Bandai Khalsa dispute,” he says. The third volume War & Peace covers the establishment of Sikh rule and its occupation by the English. The fourth volume will cover the period from 1860 to 1926; fifth volume will cover the period from 1926 to 47; sixth - 1947-78; seventh - 1978-84; eighth - 1985-95; ninth - 1995-2010 and the tenth would be a pictorial history book.

Dr Dilgeer also released his three other books on the occasion — Ravidas Baani, an English translation of Bhagat Ravidas’s hymns, 100 Sikh Ladies in Punjabi and Martyrs of Bhai Mani Singh & his family, also in Punjabi.

The next three volumes are expected to be out by December this year


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