First published in 1963, this remains the most comprehensive and authoritative book on the Sikhs. The new edition updated to the present recounts the return of the community to the mainstream of national life. Written in Khushwant Singh's trademark style to be accessible to a general, non-scholarly audience, the book is based on scholarly archival research.
Volume I covers the social, religious, and political background which led to the formation of the Sikh faith in the fifteenth century. Basing his account on original documents in Persian, Gurumukhi, and English, the author traces the growth of Sikhism and tells of the compilation of its sacred scriptures in the Granth Sahib.
The transformation of the Sikhs from a pacifist sect to a militant group called the Khalsa led by Guru Gobind Singh is portrayed in detail, as is the relationship of the Sikhs with the Mughals and the Afghans, until the consolidation of Sikh power under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
About the Author:
Khushwant Singh is a renowned journalist, the author of several works of fiction, and an authority on Sikh history. A former editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India (1979-80), and the Hindustan Times (1980-83), he was Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1986. He returned his Padma Bhushan, awarded in 1974, in protest against the Union Government's siege of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Excerpts from Review:
'the indispensable reference point for---an historical and sociological understanding of the Sikh condition...these volumes are a tribute to [the] capacity for both a sympathetic and a balanced rendition of Sikh history.'
-Times of India
'Singh had done a good job of turning dry history into informed reading.'
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