The Sikhs by Patwant SinghThe Sikhs by Patwant Singh

The Sikhs

byPatwant Singh

Paperback | July 17, 2001

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Five hundred years ago, Guru Nanak founded the Sikh faith in India. The Sikhs defied the caste system; rejected the authority of Hindu priests; forbade magic and idolatry; and promoted the equality of men and women -- beliefs that incurred the wrath of both Hindus and Muslims. In the centuries that followed, three of Nanak's nine successors met violent ends, and his people continued to battle hostile regimes. The conflict has raged into our own time: in 1984 the Golden Temple of Amritsar -- the holy shrine of the Sikhs--was destroyed by the Indian Army. In retaliation, Sikh bodyguards assassinated Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Now, Patwant Singh gives us the compelling story of the Sikhs -- their origins, traditions and beliefs, and more recent history. He shows how a movement based on tenets of compassion and humaneness transformed itself, of necessity, into a community that values bravery and military prowess as well as spirituality. We learn how Gobind Singh, the tenth and last Guru, welded the Sikhs into a brotherhood, with each man bearing the surname Singh, or "Lion," and abiding by a distinctive code of dress and conduct. He tells of Banda the Brave's daring conquests, which sowed the seeds of a Sikh state, and how the enlightened ruler Ranjit Singh fulfilled this promise by founding a Sikh empire.

The author examines how, through the centuries, the Sikh soldier became an exemplar of discipline and courage and explains how Sikhs -- now numbering nearly 20 million worldwide -- have come to be known for their commitment to education, their business acumen, and their enterprising spirit.

Finally, Singh concludes that it would be a grave error to alienate an energetic and vital community like the Sikhs if modern India is to realize its full potential. He urges India's leaders to learn from the past and to "honour the social contract with Indians of every background and persuasion."


From the Hardcover edition.
Patwant Singh's books and articles on India, international affairs, the environment, and the arts have been published in India, Europe, and North America. He has broadcast frequently on television and radio in many countries, and has travelled and lectured all over the world, often as the guest of governments. From 1957 to 1988, he was...
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Title:The SikhsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:July 17, 2001Publisher:The Crown Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385502060

ISBN - 13:9780385502061

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from People of Faith In the remarkable book entitled THE SIKHS by Patwant Singh the author traces the history of the Sikh community in India, which today only represents approximately 2 % of the total population, and roughly speaking is 20 million world-wide, and demonstrates, how extremely important it was to the Sikhs, in their struggles for survival from 1699 to present, to preserve their faith. Patwant Singh gives the reader a true insight in the Religion of Sikhism. We learn how Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last Guru, joined the Sikh community into a brotherhood, with each man bearing the Last name Singh or ’Lion’. Patwant goes into the bravery of Banda’s courageous conquests, which planted the seed of the Sikh State. The author also examines how the open-minded ruler Ranjit Singh founded the Sikh Empire and still followed the tenets of the Guru’s. The author observes, how the Sikh solider became the example of discipline. Unlike the scriptures of other creeds, they do not contain love stori
Date published: 2002-11-10