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Sikhism Sicques, Tigers And Thieves

dalsingh

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Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
"Sicques, Tigers, or Thieves":: Eyewitness Accounts of the Sikhs (1606-1809) By Amandeep Singh Madra, Parmjit Singh

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Product Description

In 1812, Sir John Malcom, a Lieutenant General in the British Army wrote "A Sketch of the Sikhs," commonly believed to be the first account of the Sikhs written by a non-Sikh. In truth, soldiers, travelers, diplomats, missionaries, and scholars had provided accounts for many years before that. Drawing on this difficult-to-find material, the editors of this volume have compiled a unique source that offers a fascinating insight into the early developments in Sikh history. From the first ever written accounts of the Sikhs by Persian chroniclers of the Moghul Emperor to the travel diary of an Englishwoman, this volume contains material invaluable to those studying the evolution of the Sikh religion.

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  • Amazon Sales Rank: #1026101 in Books
  • Published on: 2005-01-05
  • Released on: 2004-12-23
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 448 pages

<hr> Editorial Reviews

Review
"A fascinating account of the Sikhs as seen by foreign travellers in the land which was to become their kingdom. They give us an insight into the macho self-image that Sikhs have to this day - anything you can do I can do better. This spirit of upmanship has sustained the community miniscule in numbers but grand in achievements."--Khushwant Singh, author, A History of the Sikhs

"Better than time travel... a richly-peopled, intimate journey through the dawn of Sikh history."--Christy Campbell, author of The Maharajah's and Fenian Fire: The British Government Plot to Assassinate Queen Victoria "This is a splendid compilation of documents which should have an appeal beyond the narrowly academic to a range of readers, including many with general interests in the expansion of British rule in northern India as well as those particularly interested in early Sikh history at whom the book is most directly targeted."--Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society


From the Inside Flap
"A fascinating account of the Sikhs as seen by foreign travellers in the land which was to become their kingdom. They give us an insight into the macho self-image that Sikhs have to this day - anything you can do I can do better. This spirit of upmanship has sustained the community miniscule in numbers but grand in achievements." --Khushwant Singh, author, A History of the Sikhs"Better than time travel... a richly-peopled, intimate journey through the dawn of Sikh history." --Christy Campbell, author of The Maharajah's and Fenian Fire: The British Government Plot to Assassinate Queen Victoria
About the Author
Amandeep Singh Madra is an independent researcher based in London. He co-authored Warrior Saints for IB Tauris and is currently contributing to Oxford's New Dictionary of National Biography. Parmjit Singh co-authored Warrior Saints with Madra.

<hr> Customer Reviews

An outsiders mine of informations on the early sikhs /khalsa.

This book is specialy interesting and instructive to be read by the sikhs
and those who have allready some knowledge of Sikhism.

Step into the Past

I bought this book expecting to read articles with a bigoted, mis-informed view of the Sikh culture and people from an anti-Sikh western viewpoint, or worse, pure ignorance. I was pleasantly surprised by the detailed and fascinating detail on the circumstances of Sikh people and life during the periods covered. I appreciate that there are gaps in coverage, but that adds to the authencity of the accounts and helps you formulate a view in your mind how the Sikh's could've changed from a small band of warriors under Bhanda Singh to the organised armies under Ranjit Singh. What I liked were the commentaries by the narrators who put the writer's circumstances into context before putting the writer's actual account before the reader. This helps the reader appreciate the limitations of the writer's perspective, and appreciate the actual gems of insight where they are to be found. The book also gives a glimpse into the past when it wasn't necessary to be 'man with turban' to be sikh, but there were other ways to be spiritually sikh without donning the appearance of a Khalsa sikh.

Overall, a gr8 read. Now onto Patwant Singh's book...


A must for Sikh History researchers

This book has got all that you need to avoid reinventing the wheel. A must for Sikh history researchers.



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Last edited by a moderator:

kds1980

SPNer
Apr 4, 2005
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INDIA
Re: Siques, tigers and theives......

i haven't read that book.coud you please tell me whats interesting in it
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
Re: Siques, tigers and thieves......

It's a collection of early European accounts of Sikhs. The ones from the late 1700's are really interesting. Most of the people worked for the Mughals so we have to be careful of bias, but they record bhang taking amongst Singhs, and "Amrit" ceremonys where some boars' blood is put into the water for Muslim converts. Weird stuff to hear today. I'll try and post some of the stuff in the next few days.

"They abhor smoking of Tobaco, for what reason I cannot find, but intoxicate themselves freely with either spirits or bang; a cup of the last they seldom fail taking at night after a fatigue. Their dress is extremly scanty, a pair of blue drawers, a kind of chequered plaid worn partly around the middle and partly around the shoulder with a mean blue turban.....

Their chiefs are distinguished by having some heavy gold bracelets on their wrists and sometimes a chain of the same metal around their turbans and by being mounted on better horses, otherwise no distinction appears amongst them."

Antoine Louis Henri Polier in a paper read on December 20, 1787.
 
Last edited:

lakhtan

SPNer
Apr 12, 2006
3
0
Re: Siques, tigers and theives......

This is a MUST HAVE book if you can lay your hands on it (got mine from Amazon.co.uk). The historical accounts through the eyes of non asiatics is fascinating and as dalsingh says, it is WEIRD in some ways and bizarre - but highly fascinating insight into the lives of misaldari period sikhs. The books authors state that the material has no where been published previously and as far as I can recall ( i read the book about a year ago), this is true. A hundered thousand congratulations to those who put the time and effort into researching this book and producing it.

Most memorable pieces from the book ( as I recall it - re told in my own manner):

1.
A hukumnama permitting the use of alcohol around the time of battle....err I guess for medicinal purposes only - yeh right!

2.
A jatha goes to some river (Hardwar I think) at the same time a Hindu mela is being held there. There are lots of armed Hindu yogis who run the show there. Anyhow one morning some old Singhs and Singhnis go to the river side and put up the Nishan Sahib, under which they commence prayer. The yogis are miffed about the flag and tear it down and tell the old Sikhs to get lost back to their camp! Back at camp there was an uproar about the insult to our flag and a message got back to the Punjab villages. Anyhow day by day a few Sikhs peacefully came down to the river and quietly prayed. As this went on some nau-jawan Singhs were arriving at the camp after hearing about what happened on the flag (the yogis were probably chuckling to themselves about what a walk-over these so-called lions are - well my friends the babbar shers have arrived now!). On the last day of the camp the sikhs mounted their horses and whilst the old men, women and children stayed at the camp they charged the mela - planted the Nishan Sahib back on the ground and demonstrated in a very close up manner the sharpness of their tulwars as the fleeing yogis scattered like scared rabbits! On renewing our honour the jatha returned back to the Punjab.

Waheguru ji ka Khalsa Waheguru ji ki Fateh!
 

xishveirx

SPNer
Dec 7, 2004
10
0
37
Ipoh, malaysia / Indiana, usa
Re: Siques, tigers and theives......

WJKK WJKF
I tried searching the book title on amazon.com and ebay.com but there were no results
Anyway, anyone interested in purchasing the book, here is the isbn:1403962022 which will return the result.

just thought of letting everyone interested know

WJKK WJKF
 

Admin

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Jun 1, 2004
6,636
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SPN
Good News for Book Readers!! SPN is shortly launching its own exclusive Books Store on various topics in philosophy besides many other collectors items for your daily use. Enjoy. You can have a glimpse of the new exclusive SPN Shopping Mall by clicking here.

And, the book that you are looking for is right here at SPN --> Sicques, Tigers or Thieves. Buy books from SPN and support us. :wah:


Enjoy !!


SPN Management
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
May 25, 2005
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A fascintaing book and a treasure trove of eye witness acounts of Sikhs.

This together Sikh History fro Persian Accounts provides a fascinating read.

Read it cover to cover.

BTW one of the authors of this book Amandeep Singh Madra is a moderator on www.sikh-history.com.

Thanks
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
Lakhtan wrote

Most memorable pieces from the book ( as I recall it - re told in my own manner):

1.
A hukumnama permitting the use of alcohol around the time of battle....err I guess for medicinal purposes only - yeh right!"
------------
That sounds like Mcleod's book, not the Madra and Singh one.

Actually, has anyone read Mcleod's book on Rahit? What do you make of it?
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
May 25, 2005
2,936
2,948
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United Kingdom
dalsingh said:
Lakhtan wrote

"Most memorable pieces from the book ( as I recall it - re told in my own manner):

1.
A hukumnama permitting the use of alcohol around the time of battle....err I guess for medicinal purposes only - yeh right!"

That sounds like Mcleod's book, not the Madra and Singh one.

Actually, has anyone read Mcleod's book on Rahit? What do you make of it?
Hi Dall Singh,

The use of alcohol and bhang was quite common by standing armies. It was used in such times. Used medicinally to calm nerves, stop muscle cramp.......but in small doses.

However...........being Punjabi's we have taken this to the extreme and used such substances to get off our heads.........
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
randip singh said:
Hi Dall Singh,

The use of alcohol and bhang was quite common by standing armies. It was used in such times. Used medicinally to calm nerves, stop muscle cramp.......but in small doses.

However...........being Punjabi's we have taken this to the extreme and used such substances to get off our heads.........
Hi Randip,

You have to be careful of some of the stuff in the book. Let me tell you why I think this. I lived for many years in an area with a high population of Pakistanis, a few years ago a middle aged women informed us that she had heard that Sikhs are told to keep their hair long so they can dip it in Muslim blood. Also that when Sikhs score the prasaad with a kirpaan, it should have muslim blood on it.

If incorrect views such as these are held in this day and age, it wouldn't be surprising if some of the stuff repeated by the Europeans in the book was of a similar ilk. Especially seeing as Moguls would have viewed Singhs with great dread as a threat to themselves.

That being said, Punjabis are probably the most nasha loving people around so nothing realy surprises me in this capacity. They can give the Irish a run for their money and make English drinking look feminine.

Regarding pigs blood in amrit! I guess infiltration was a big issue.

Bu a further point remains, was the past rahit not as strict as the one today? A possibility that past Sikh scholars were influenced by puritan Christian values remains seeing as research indicates that things were a bit more lax in the past.
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
May 25, 2005
2,936
2,948
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United Kingdom
dalsingh said:
Hi Randip,

You have to be careful of some of the stuff in the book. Let me tell you why I think this. I lived for many years in an area with a high population of Pakistanis, a few years ago a middle aged women informed us that she had heard that Sikhs are told to keep their hair long so they can dip it in Muslim blood. Also that when Sikhs score the prasaad with a kirpaan, it should have muslim blood on it.

If incorrect views such as these are held in this day and age, it wouldn't be surprising if some of the stuff repeated by the Europeans in the book was of a similar ilk. Especially seeing as Moguls would have viewed Singhs with great dread as a threat to themselves.

That being said, Punjabis are probably the most nasha loving people around so nothing realy surprises me in this capacity. They can give the Irish a run for their money and make English drinking look feminine.

Regarding pigs blood in amrit! I guess infiltration was a big issue.

Bu a further point remains, was the past rahit not as strict as the one today? A possibility that past Sikh scholars were influenced by puritan Christian values remains seeing as research indicates that things were a bit more lax in the past.
You are 100% right Dal, but what I have also done is tried to get things like this verified by elders........everyone (and these were Amritdhari's in armed forces), stated alcohol and bhang was used like this.

Note I am a teetotaler and do not drink and think alcohol and drug consumption is against Sikhi..........nhowever, small doses of these substances can be used medicinally. Our Guru's were against people using these substances to escape reality..........using such substances medicinally does not count as that. This was hardly social usage, but times of need and conflicy.

Just my two pennies, but I hear where you are coming from.
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
randip singh said:
You are 100% right Dal, but what I have also done is tried to get things like this verified by elders........everyone (and these were Amritdhari's in armed forces), stated alcohol and bhang was used like this.

Note I am a teetotaler and do not drink and think alcohol and drug consumption is against Sikhi..........nhowever, small doses of these substances can be used medicinally. Our Guru's were against people using these substances to escape reality..........using such substances medicinally does not count as that. This was hardly social usage, but times of need and conflicy.

Just my two pennies, but I hear where you are coming from.
Hey morphine, derived from opium itself, is still used medicinally!

You said you sought verification from amritdharis in the armed forces, did you mean that they said that bhang taking is practiced by some of these people even today?
 

Randip Singh

Writer
Historian
SPNer
May 25, 2005
2,936
2,948
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United Kingdom
dalsingh said:
Hey morphine, derived from opium itself, is still used medicinally!

You said you sought verification from amritdharis in the armed forces, did you mean that they said that bhang taking is practiced by some of these people even today?
Nihungs have taken Bhang taking to the extreme. By Bhang id mean marihuana (not the smoked kind)....but that taken as Sukka.

Some soldiers do take small quantities of bhang before an operation. It does calm nerves apparently. You will find though, if you actually speak to the soldiers today, hardly any will admit it. :wink:

Unfortunately, many of these fauji's do drink.
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
randip singh said:
Nihungs have taken Bhang taking to the extreme. By Bhang id mean marihuana (not the smoked kind)....but that taken as Sukka.

Some soldiers do take small quantities of bhang before an operation. It does calm nerves apparently. You will find though, if you actually speak to the soldiers today, hardly any will admit it. :wink:

Unfortunately, many of these fauji's do drink.

Not surprising at all. Soldiers
 

dalsingh

SPNer
Jun 13, 2006
1,064
233
London
In travelling through the Shringnaghur country, our party was joined by Sicque a horseman, and being desirous of his acquaintance, I studiously offered him the various attentions which men observe to those they court. But the Sicque received my advances with a fixed reserve and disdain, giving me, however no individual cause of offence.; for his department to other passengers was no less contemptuous.His answer when I asked him the name of his chief, was wholly conformable to the observations I had made of his nation. He told me (in a tone of voice, and with an expression of countenance, which seemed to revolt at the idea of servitude) that he disdained an earthy superior, and acknowledged no other master than his prophet!

George Forster - 1783
 

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