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A Short History Of Namdhari Sikhs Of Punjab - Book By Joginder Singh

Preface To 'A Short History Of Namdhari Sikhs Of Punjab' By Joginder Singh

The Namdhari Sikhs Of Punjab are generally preceived in the context of Kuka movement. Earliest among the Professional  historians and scholars who introduced Namdhari Sikhs in this context was Dr. Ganda Singh.  He wrote Kukian Di Vithia in 1944 and analyzed the revivalist programme of ' Baba Balak Singh' and 'Baba Ram Singh', the founders of the Kuka movement. The former emphasized on nam-simran and rejection of ritualism and upholding of moral and ethical values. The latter carried on the mission of his spiritual predecessor. He formed Sant Khalsa and evolved its rahit. He made arrangements for the propagation, communication and organization. Baba Ram Singh launched a tirade against the hypocrisy of his contemporary religious leaders. But some unfortunate developments led to confrontration between the Kukas and British government. Dr. Ganda Siingh preceived the Kuka movement in social- religious terms and Kukas' confrontration with the raj an accident. He also gave his Assessment on the status of founders of the Kuka movement. Ganda Singh's formulation assessment irked the Namdhari writers. They felt as if Ganda Singh's assessment was intentionally partisan on several issues. In response to such writings, Namdhari scholar, Nidhan Singh Alam wrote Jug Paltaoo Satguru in 1948 and projected 'Satguru' Ram Singh a revolutionary. Sardul Singh Cavesshar wrote foreword of this book. Lauding Baba Ram Singh, he said that Baba ji directed his "efforts at the moral uplist of the masses, the creation of the spirit of self-confidence and self-sacrifice, the setting up of a parallel Government with a view of toust the foreign domination, the adoption of the cult of swadeshi to ourselves from economic serfdom, defiance and disobedience of laws that restricted our liberties, and  so many other items of national programme that sound so modern and effective in these days when preaching of revolution has been legalized," Meanwhile, Sant Inder Singh Chakarvarti, under the patronage of his 'Satguru' Partap  Singh, undertook a project of writing history. He followed Alam's pattern. In 1955 Nahar Singh wrote Namdhari Ithas. He too followed Namdhari perspective. Primary contribution of works of Nidhan Singh  Alam, Sant Inder Singh Chakarvarti and Nahar Singh Lies in the fact they corroborate their contentions with the archival material. Yet they narrated a number of stories exalting the status of their Satgurus. They were not professional historians and could not explore archival material adequately.

Fauja Singh and M.M. Ahluwalia, the protagonists of nationalist historiography, published their works in 1965. The former wrote Kuka Movement:  An Important Phase in Punjab's Role in India's struggle for Freedom and the later entitled his work Kukas- The Freedom Fighters of the Punjab. These titles make absolutely clear the basic assumptions of these historians. Both of them argued that the programme of socio-religious reforms undertaken by Baba Ram Singh was essentially a spade work for political ends. They believed that the motives and concerns of traditional leaders were found in religious idiom which has had been very effective strategy for mass-mobilization. Both historians comprehensively and adequately used archival material for corroborating their arguments. They concluded that the Kuka Sikhs pioneers in the Indian struggle for freedom. Jaswinder Singh, Namdhari scholar, made serious efforts to dig out more archival material on the Kukas and got it published under the little Kukas of Note in the Punjab: Kuka Documents 1881, Namdhari Darbar, Bhaini Sahib 1984 and Kuka Movement : Freedom Struggle in Punjab, Atlantic Publishers, New Delhi 1985.The later work comprises documents for the period  from 1880 to 1903. Similarly, Bhai Nahar Singh and Bhai Kirpal Singh did a commendable service to the Namdhari history when they collected documents related to 'Guru Ram Singh and Kukas Sikhs for the period from 1863 to 1880 and got them published under the title Rebels Against the British Rule, Delhi 1995.


Table Of Contents For 'A Short History Of Namdhari Sikhs Of Punjab' By Joginder Singh



Page No
  Acknowledgements i-ii
  Preface iii-viii
  Glossary ix-xviii
I Founding the Namdhari Mission 1
II Struggling against the British Raj 30
III In the National Struggle 66
IV Leadership and Organization 94
V Epilogue 129
  Appendices 146
A. Namdhari Rahitnama and Namdhari Ardas 146
B. Kuka Sakhis or Prophecies 150
C. The Depties or Subas under Namdhari Guru Ram Singh 155
D. Officials Perceptions of some Subas 157
E. Subas under Namdhari Guru Hari Singh 167
F. Subas under Namdhari Partap  Singh 168
G. Subas under Namdhari guru Jagjit Singh 170




Members of Namdhari Darbar in 1921

Members of Namdhari Darbar in Thailand



  Bibliography 181
  Index 201


Author Joginder Singh
Pages 200
Cover Hardbound
Language English

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A Short History Of Namdhari Sikhs Of Punjab - Book By Joginder Singh

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