Overview for A History of the Sikhs (Volume 1: 1469-1839)
First published in 1963, this is the standard and well-established book on its subject. It is accessible to a general, non-scholarly audience, while being based on scholarly archival research. Volume 1 covers the social, religious and political background which led to the forming of the Sikh faith in the fifteenth century. Basing his account of original documents in Persian, Gurmukhi and English, the author traces the growth of Sikhism and tells of the compilation of its sacred scriptures in the Granth Sahib. The transformation of the Sikhs from a pacifist sect to a militant group called the Khalsa led by Guru Gobind Singh is portrayed in detail, as is the relationship of the Sikhs with the Mughals and the Afghans, until the consolidation of Sikh power under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
Khushwant Singh (Author)
Khushwant Singh was born in 1915 in Hadali, Punjab. After university education in Lahore and London, he practiced at the Lahore High court before joining the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. He began a distinguished career as a journalist with all India Radio in 1951. Since then he has been founder-editor of Yojana, editor of the Illustrated Weekly of India and the Hindustan Times and chief editor of New Delhi. Today he is Indiaâ€™s best known columnist. Khushwant Singh has also had an extremely successful career as a writer. His published works include the classic two-volume A History of the Sikhs, the novels Train to Pakistan, Delhi and The Company of Women, his autobiography, Truth, Love and a Little Malice, and a number of translated works and non-fiction books on Delhi, nature, Sikh history and religion, and current affairs. Khushwant Singh was Member of Parliament from 1980 to 1986. Among other honours he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974 by the President of India (he returned the decoration in 1984 in protest against the Union Governmentâ€™s siege of the Golden Temple, Amritsar).