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The Sikhs Of The Punjab - Book By J S Grewal

Preface To 'The Sikhs Of The Punjab' By J S Grewal

Writing his History of the Sikhs in the 1960s Khushwant Singh looked upon J. D. Cunningham as his predecessor whose work, written over a century earlier, had become a classic. Khushwant Singh himself has written with 'Power and passion ' under 'masterly restraint.' That the present volume takes into account the research on Sikh history during the past two decades may be regarded as its major claim upon the reader's attention. It touches upon religious , social, political , economic , cultural and demographic developments over the entire span of Sikh history.

Within the broad context of Indian history, Sikh history falls into four well-marked periods: from its beginning with the mission of Guru Nanak to death of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708; from the rise of Banda Bahadur to the annexation of the Punjab by the British in 1849; the near century of colonial rule up to 1947; and the four decades of Independence. During the past century historians of the Sikhs have concentrated on the first two periods. Interest in the colonial period goes back only to the 1960s. The movement for a Punjabi-speaking states and the crisis culminating in the Operational Bluestar in June 1984 have induced many a writer to take interest in the history of the Sikhs in Independent India. This broad pattern of historiography is reflected in the treatment of Sikh history in the present volume: generalizations yield more and more place to factual though analytical narrative as we pass from one period to another in an attempt to identify change.

For an invitation to pursue a subject which had been my major occupation for two decades, I am thankful to the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press; I am equally thankful to the editors of The New Cambridge History of India for leaving me all the freedom I needed to write this volume.

I am indebted to many scholars and institutions for help, but I would like to mention specifically Professor Indu Banga and Professor W. H. McLeod among the scholars, and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, among the institutions. Dr. Veena Sachdeva, Dr Radha Sharma  and Dr Harish Sharma  have helped me the most from amongst my colleagues and research students. I am thankful to Jaswant Singh and T. M. Majumdar for secretarial help, and to O. P. Sarna for cartographic assistance. N. K. Maini has helped me in checking the proofs and in preparing  the index.

My wife, Harjinder, gave me all the care and affection I needed for completing this study through the 1980s.

P.S.

Since the publication of this book in 1990, the publishers have found its sales satisfactory enough to bring out a paperback edition. The author has taken the opportunity to bring its Epilogue up to 1997, to add to its Chronology events from 1849 onwards, to replace its maps for better cartographic representation, to update the Bibliographical Essay, and to make necessary 'corrections' in the text, footnotes and the Index.

 

Inrtoduction To 'The Sikhs of Punjab' By J S Grewal

In a revised edition of this original book, J.S. Grewal brings the history of the Sikhs, from its beginning in the time of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, right up to the present day, Against the background of the history of the Punjab, the volume surveys the changing pattern of human settlements in the region until the fifteenth century and the emergence of the Punjabi language as the basis of regional articulation. Subsequent chapters explore the life and beliefs of Guru Nanak, the developments of his ideas and institutions under his successors and the growth of his following. The book offers a comprehensive statement on one of the largest and most important communities in India today.

 

About The Author Of 'The Sikhs Of The Punjab'

J. S. Grewal is Director of the Institute of Punjab Studies in Chandigarh. He has written extensively on India, the Punjab and the Sikhs. His books on Sikh history include Guru Nanak in History (1969), Sikh Ideology , Polity and Social Order (1996), Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity (1997), and Contesting Interpretations of Sikh Tradition (1998).

 

Table of Contents For 'The Sikhs of the Punjab' - Book By J S Grewal

 

CONTENTS

 
  List of Maps x
  General editor's preface xi
  Preface xiii
  Glossary xv
  Introduction 1
1 The Turko-Afghan rule 9
2 Foundation of the Sikh Panth 28
3 Evolution of the Sikh Panth (1539-1606) 42
4 Transformation of the Sikh Panth (1606-1708) 62
5 Rise to political power (1708-1799) 82
6 The Sikh empire (1799-1849) 99
7 Recession and resurgence (1849-1919) 128
8 In the struggle for freedom (1920-1947) 157
9 Towards the 'Punjabi Province' (1947-1966) 181
10 In the new Punjab state (1966-1984) 205
  Epilogue  
  Appendices  
  1 The successors of Guru Nanak 242
  2 The descendants of Guru Ram Das 243
  3 The Mughal rulers of India  244
  4 Chronology of events from 1708 to 1997 245
  5 Heads of British administration in the Punjab 258
  Bilbliographical Essay 259
  Index 268
  M A P S  
  1 The land of the Five Rivers 2
  2 Akbar's empire 43
  3 The Mughal empire (1740s) 86
  4 The Punjab under Sikh rule 102
  5 British India (twentieth century) 129
  6 The British Punjab (twentieth century) 148
  7 Contemporary India 190
  8 The Punjab (1956-1966): linguistic zones 192
  9 Contemporary Punjab 206

 

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