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Sikhs In Kashmir - Book By Jasbir Singh Sarna

Foreword To 'Sikhs In Kashmir' By Jasbir Singh Sarna 

Jasbir Singh Sama's work Sikhs in Kashmir is a unique contribu­tion to the history of the Sikhs.

Though only infinitesimal in number, that is to say only just over one percent, of the total population, their contribution to the history, culture, and well being of the State is enormous. The main reason of course is that the local Sikhs treat themselves as part and parcel of the Jammu and Kashmir and there is not an iota of feeling of alienation.

Jasbir Singh Sama has traced the history of the Sikhs from the earliest times till today. Guru Nanak himself visited Jammu and Kash­mir a few times and the learned scholar has given details of these visits. Later on also some of the other Sikh Gurus kept on visiting Kashmir and carved for the Sikhs a rich niche in the Kashmir valley.

Kashmir has had a chequered history. It is a fascinating saga of suffering as well as of heroic struggles and exploits from the earliest times till today. The Jammu and Kashmir region has always been at the crossroads although geographically tucked in the extreme North West of India.

During the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Kashmir was part of the Sikh Empire and the Sikh soldiers conquered the northernmost areas of the province. Those were the days of peaceful glory for Kashmir and intercourse and trade with the rest of the State was brisk. Many foreigners, who frequented the State of Maharaja Ranjit Singh took special permission to visit the beautiful valley of Kashmir. The beauty of Kashmir has always held a charm for the rest oflndia and the world since times immemorial and till today. The Moghul rulers had a special love for Kashmir which permeated down to the masses.

It is a pity that such a beautiful spot should also be, at the same time, a spot of strife and suffering.

Jasbir Singh Sama has dwelt on the contribution of the Sikhs in the literary and artistic fields also. Although small in numbers, they have yet enriched the arts, culture and literature of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sarna has listed the outstanding personalities of the Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir and their contributions to the State. In fact, the contribution of the Sikhs to the arts, crafts, defence, industry, agricul­ture, and literature has, at the same time, been their contribution to the wide stream of Indian thought, arts and crafts.

Although the present volume is small, yet one must pay a great tribute to Jasbir Singh for his painstaking research in all aspects of the life of the Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir. It is not an easy task to dig up the facts and figures as he has done. Sama deserves a thousand kudos for this small and in a way voluminous work on the Sikhs inJammu and Kashmir.

"Kashmiri Sikhs Through Ages" is a valuable contribution to the Sikh history and thought and at the same time to the history of Jammu and Kashmir and of India as a whole.

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Sikhs In Kashmir - Book By Jasbir Singh Sarna

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