A unqiue study by two poeple who will become renowed scholars if they maintain this standard with future works. To publish a hardback book on such a subject in English is unqiue and they have set a standard. Black & White photographs give the book a truly historic feel. The Sikhs has a true warrior race is often forgotten, well this book is absolute evidence of the Sikhs sacrifices for rightoeusness. The narrative is not detailed but then many non-Sikhs reading this book will not want it to be, and Sikhs reading it will be amazed at the photographs. A definite buy for Sikhs due to the unqiueness of the book, and a definite buy for everyone else as a uncomplicated history of a true Warrior Race.
An astonishing picture taken after the Indian mutiny shows two Sikh officers of the British cavalry regiment known as Hodson's horse. Maugn Singh seated on the left served at the siege of Delhi and was in command of the squadron, which seized and shot the sons and heirs to Bahadur Shah effectively ending any claimants to the mughal throne. The white bearded Jai Singh originally served under Ranjit Singh's army and witnessed the death of the legendary Hari Singh Nalwa the most potent force in the Khalsa army. Page 77 is just one example of how the authors have combined outstanding pictures and contemporary accounts to make this aspect of Sikh history alive and extremely readable. Brilliant.
After attending the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert, I ordered this book. The book proved to be extremely high in quality and well structured. It presents an outstanding chronology of significant events in the history of Sikhs to the reader and to the casual person just leafing through the book. Not only does the book document warfare and defense of the times, but it also provides insight into the deep commitment and beliefs of Sikh people. This book is a must for all parties interested in the culture of the Sikhs. Given the great price, the book also makes a terrific and thoughtful gift.
I liked the many rare pictures of the Sikhs covered in this book. The book will act as a reference point for the coming generations, so that they do not forget the great Khalsa traditions. I was impressed by the how powerful the independent Sikh state had got by the time of Ranjit Singh's death. It is always disturbing to read how the Brahmins conspired with the British to end the Sikh State. I would have liked to have seen more about the present day Sikh struggle for Independence from India.More than 250,000 Sikhs have bravely rekindled the spirit of the Khalsa of old ,by laying down their lives to defend the honour and dignity of the Sikh nation. I would have liked to have seen more details about the Indian Government attack on the Golden Temple and 37 other temples in 1984, how Sikhs in their thousands, including woman and children were murdered in cold blood by Indian troops. The deliberate burning of the Sikh reference library which contained many sacred texts by Indian troops will be a wound in every Sikhs heart for generations.
A rich source of information regarding early Sikh military traditions. I was especially fascinated by the information concerning the Nihung or Akali Sikhs. Prior to reading this book I had thought of them as remnants of the 18th century, so I was surprised to learn they had actually evolved from Guru Hargobind's period when they were a small band of dedicated guards for the Akal Takhat (Timeless Throne). This symbol of Sikh political will was practically destroyed in the 1984 attack by the soldiers loyal to the Delhi government. The inclusion of accounts from people who had fought with and against the Sikhs in times gone by is particularly illuminating. One to pass down the generations.
Like the saying goes "A picture speaks a thousend words...", so what this book lacks in written content, it more than makes up for in both the quality and quantity of the pictures. In this way it surpasses what a mainly text book can deliver. The mind's eye is useful, but it is no match for a truly historical picture whether it be painted or photographed. I found the pictures to be very emotive, and by the end of the book I was both joyful and sorrowful. Sorrowful at the many tragedies that have faced the Sikhs, but also sorrowful that I had reached the end of this wonderful book. My joy came from how Sikhs faced these tragedies with unshaking resolve, joyful of the great legacy that they have created and joyful that there still are Sikhs around the world that have earned the right to call themselves Khalsa, through charitable work as well as a Lion's courage. This book has pride of place within my book shelf, it should be on yours also.
I heard a lot of hype and information about this book. After managing to obtain a copy and after scrutinizing each page and photo in depth, I was really taken aback! Its well written and visually stunning. The front cover looks so cool. An essential piece to any collection of Sikh books. Check it out for yourselves and buy it today.
I PERSONALLY CAN NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. THE PHOTOS ARE STUNNING AND CREATE A GREAT PICTURE OF THE SIKH PEOPLE AND THEIR MARTIAL TRADITION. MANY NON SIKHS INCLUDING MOSLEMS AND CHRISTIANS ARE QUOTED HERE GIVING THERE TRUE FEELINGS OF THE SIKHS. AS ONE F. YEATES-BROWN WRITES "I HAVE NEVER MET A DISPONDENT SIKH IN THE FRONT LINE. IN A HOSPITAL IN THE REAR HE WILL MOAN DREADFULLY OVER A SMALL WOUND, BUT IN A FIGHT HE WILL GO ON TO HIS LAST BREATH, AND DIE LAUGHING AT THE THOUGHT OF PARADISE, WITH THE BATTLE CRY OF "KHALSA JI KI JAI AS HE FALLS". THIS BOOK IS DEEPLY ENGROSSING AND A WONDERFULL BOOK TO RAISE ONES SPIRIT WHEN FEELING DOWN.
This book is amazing i read it all in one sitting. Some of the stories and photos are just unbelievable. The courage the bravery the loyalty. What an honour. One of the VC recipients actually lived a few doors away from my mother's house in the village of Sahabpur in Nawanshahr. Gian Singh V.C.