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The Sikhs

 
Khushwant Singh (Author) Raghu Rai (Author)
Synopsis The Sikhs are culturally one of the richest communities of India. The Sikh faith emerged and spread in north India to combat the stifling practices of the Hindu caste system and went on to become an all-encompassing way of life. Tracing the history of this race from the inception of its religion by Guru Nanak, this book explains the turbulent history of the Sikhs, their faith in one God, their ten Gurus and the casteless fraternity of the Khalsa Panth. It chronicles their customs, beliefs, rituals, modes of worship, weddings, baptisms, dances and martial traditions—the factors that make them an assertive and extrovert people with a zest for living. The Sikhs are now prominent in all spheres of modern life. It is said that every Sikh looks upon himself as sava laskh (equal to 125,000 people). The succinct, yet comprehensive and objective text by one of India’s most celebrated authors is enhanced by rare, brilliant and varied photographs taken by one of the country’s best photographers who has explored their private and public lives carefully and lovingly.
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About the authors

Khushwant Singh

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 India’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 Government’s siege of the Golden Temple, Amritsar).

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Raghu Rai

Raghu Rai started photographs in 1965.  He was Chief Photographer of The Statesman (1966-1976).  In 1977, legendary photographer Henri Cartier - Bresson nominated Rai to Magnum Photos, the world’s most prestigious photographers’ cooperative.  Thereafter, Rai was Picture Editor with Sunday (1997-1980) and Picture Editor - Visualiser – Photographer of India Today (1982-1991) where he contributed trail – blazing picture-essays on social, political and cultural themes of the decade.

In 1971, he was awarded the Padmashree, one of India’s highest civilian awards.  In 1992, he received the ‘Photographer of the Year’ award in the United States for his story, ‘Human Management of wildlife in India’, published in National Geographic.  His photo-essays have appeared in many of the world’s leading magazines and newspapers.  He has been on the jury of the World Press Photo contest, thrice and on UNESCO’s International Photo Contest, twice.

Raghu Rai has done extensive photo-documentation of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy and its continuing effects on the lives of the victims as a special assignment for Greenpeace International.

He has 28 books to his credit including Raghu Rai’s Delhi, The Sikhs, Tibet in Exile, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Raghu Rai’s India and India’s Great Master Musicians.  His works have also been published in major books done by Magnum Photo.

Rai’s photographs have been exhibited in one man shows in Bunkamura Museum, Tokyo and Museo De Capitolini, rome.  They have also been exhibited in prestigious galleries.  In 2007, a major retrospective of his work was held at Arles Festival, while in 2008, the bigger ever retrospective of a photographer in India was held at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and Mumbai.

Raghu Rai continues to be an associate of Magnum Photos and works on personal projects and pictorials.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Sikhs
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Roli Books
Language: English
isbn 8174361324
length 144p.