SIKH TWARIKH (Sikh History in 5 volumes), written by Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer. Published by: Singh Brothers, Amritsar.
It is pleasant to learn that a complete Sikh history has finally been published and released. Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer’s book “Sikh Twarikh” in five volume runs into 1790 pages; 1922 pages including photographs. The first volume (Nanak Raaj Chalaya) covers Guru Period (1469 to 1708); besides it also presents history of the Sikh homeland and the rest of the land of south Asia from the Indus Valley Civilization to 1469.
This part has further been divided into political, geographical and religious history of the sub continent.
The 2nd volume (Khalsa Ji De Bol Balei) covers 1708 to 1849. It highlights the greatness of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur as well as the role Nawab Kapur Singh, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia and other Misl leaders and finally the victories and the end of the kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The 3rd volume (Sikh Qaum Di Dooji Jadojahid) covers the British period i.e. 1849 to 1947. It gives a detailed account of Singh Sabha movement, Ghadr Party, Akali Dal and Babar Akali movement. The 4th volume covers 1947 to 1984 and the 5th volume depicts the chronology of 1984 to 2007.
There are several remarkable points about this monumental work by the great Sikh historian:
1. The writer is an NRI. He came to Punjab to write and publish this history (After publishing his work, he is gone back). No University of the Punjab, the SGPC or any other institution could get it done. It goes to the credit of Dr Dilgeer who achieved it single-handedly. Three cheers to the great son of the Panth. Dr Darshan Singh rightly comments: “It had been said about the Sikhs that they make history but don’t write it. Dr Dilgeer has proved them wrong.” Dr Amarjit Kaur writes: “Dr Dilgeer has done ‘Prize Work’ and he rightly deserved the award of National Historian of Sikhism’. Dr Dilgeer has proved that he is an Institution”.
2. The books have more than 600 pictures of which more than 100 are rare, hitherto unknown even to the historians.
3. The author has, in the beginning, given a summary of the history of the Sikhs in a few pages. It is a marvellous summary. Unbelievable
4. The author has, at the end of the book, given an assessment of the leadership of the Sikhs. This assessment of the total Sikh leadership is a precious document.
5. The author has given more than 40 maps and about 50 documents, including letters of Gandhi, Kartar Singh Jhabbar and others as well as photos from Bhatt Vahis and newspapers depicting news about the birth of Sikh League, SGPC and various other historical events.
6. The author has given a comprehensive bibliography of the books on Sikh history. A researcher or a reader of Sikh history need not consult any other book on historiography of the Sikhs.
7. The work includes a 90 page index, which proves the seriousness of the work.
Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer deserves thanks from the Sikh Panth for doing this great service. The SGPC or the Punjab Government may (or may not) give him any award but the history and the Panth will always remain grateful to him. May he live long and serve the Panth more.
Dr Gurdev Singh