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Warrior Saints Four Centuries of Sikh Military History. Vol. 1

Publisher: Kashi House
Authors: Parmjit Singh
ISBN-13: 9780956016850
Page: 200
Format: Hardbound
Language: English
Product Code: CFT130
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Table of Contents For 'Warrior Saints Four Centuries of Sikh Military History. Vol. 1' By Amandeep Singh Madra , Parmjit Singh


MAP 1                                                                                               i

SPECIAL THANKS                                                                              11

PREFACE                                                                                           iii

INTRODUCTION                                                                                  v


          THE TEN GURUS AND                                                               IX

          THE MUGHAL EMPIRE (1469-1708)

          MUGHALS, AFGHANS AND                                                        XVIII

          THE RISE OF THE SIKH MISLS (1708-1799)                         

          RISE OF THE SIKH RAJ (1799-1845)                                        XXV                                                                                              

          FALL OF THE SIKH RAJ:                                                             XXIX

          FIRST ANGLO-SIKH WAR (1845-1846)            

          END OF THE SIKH RAJ:                                                               XXXII

          SECOND ANGLO-SIKH WAR (1848-1849)


          MAP II                                                                                          2

         THE TEN GURUS AND                                                                    4

         THE MUGHAL EMPIRE (1469-1708)

         MUGHALS, AFGHANS AND                                                             32

         THE RISE OF THE SIKH MISLS (1708-1799)

         RISE OF THE SIKH RAJ (1799-1845)                                                 68

          FALL OF THE SIKH RAJ:                                                                132

         FIRST ANGLO-SIKH WAR (1845-1846)

         END OF THE SIKH RAJ:                                                                   152

         SECOND ANGLO-SIKH WAR (1848-1849)                                    

         GLOSSARY                                                                                        186

         BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                                 191

        INDEX                                                                                               198

      ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                                                       200 


Preface To Book 'Warrior Saints Four Centuries of Sikh Military History. Vol. 1' By Amandeep Singh Madra , Parmjit Singh

When the first edition of Warrior Saints was published in 1999, we had no idea of the impact it would have.

As British Sikhs on a personal journey to discover our cultural heritage, we possessed little understanding of the significance of our burgeoning collection of vintage photographs and evocative paintings, nor of the notebooks crammed full of jottings taken from obscure historical accounts extolling Sikh bravery and courage.

The call to action came during the preparations for the Victoria and Albert Museum's groundbreaking exhibition, The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms. Held
to mark the tercentenary of the formal establishment of the Khalsa in 1699,the London exhibition was a fitting tribute to the occasion. It later toured in
-ternationally, helping to place Sikh artistic heritage on the world stage for the first time in a generation. By way of supporting the project, we opened up our collection and offered what knowledge and research we possessed to the exhibition's curator, Susan Stronge. It was she who suggested we share our findings in a book, and so the Warrior Saints project was conceived.

On its release, the first edition proved to be an immediate success, becoming widely cited and quickly selling out. As first time authors brimming with
passion for our subject we were naturally delighted and not a little surprised by the response. We were particularly humbled by the recognition that was at last being given to the once-famed Sikh warrior ethos. Warrior Saints led to a wider appreciation of the roots of a martial tradition that had been seeded by the Sikh Gurus themselves, and one that had saved the Sikhs from almost certain extinction on more than one occasion.

Fourteen years on, we felt the time was right to revisit the theme. Our aim was to produce an even richer account of this unique tradition for a worldwide audience, Sikh and non-Sikh alike. This new and revised edition, comprising two volumes, therefore contains many new discoveries that have come to light since that first edition went to press.


Our intention for this first volume is to give a clear understanding of the development of the Sikhs' martial culture-covering practices, philosophical  underpinnings and institutions, both military and political-by tracing the founding and growth of the Sikh 'warrior saint' against a backdrop of political  and religious oppression.

At the heart of the narrative is a Guru's prophecy of kingship for his followers. The Sikhs relied upon their relatively new martial culture to withstand sev  eral gruelling decades of resistance against various foreign invaders. Ultimately, they established dominion in Punjab and lands beyond from the 1760s onward


The days of Sikh supremacy in the land of five rivers were numbered, however, with the coming of a new foreign adversary in the shape of the Honourable East India Company.

Two bloody campaigns spanning 1845-1849, comprising six major battles  and characterised by treachery in the Sikh command, signalled the sunset of  Sikh rule and the dawn of British Raj in northwest India. Within a few generations, the British bulldog had snatched the fabulously wealthy empire from the jaws of a Sikh tiger weakened by self-inflicted wounds. The perils of allowing this wounded tiger to roam free being too great, it was little surprise the British did their utmost to stamp out as much of the Sikhs' original warrior culture as possible.

The similarity to the Scottish Highlander experience of a century earlier cannot be over-emphasised. In the aftermath of the Jacobite rebellion, the British  government passed the Act of Proscription in 1747 that aimed at suppressing the Highlanders' martial culture. From the right to bear arms to their traditional dress and music, all were banned to a Highlander unless he joined the ranks of the British army. The British employed the same strategy with the Sikhs, successfully reigning in their military zeal for their own ends.

This meteoric rise and dramatic decline of Sikh rule is graphically charted in this volume over ninety evocative illustrations comprising rare historical paintings, photographs, artefacts and maps. As with the first edition, these pictures are explained in detailed captions and accompanied by enlightening quotes, many penned by eyewitnesses.

How the vast majority of the conquered Sikh populace underwent a remarkable transformation under Victorian rule is explored in the second volume. The 'warrior saint' ideal was suppressed to make way for the 'saint soldier', a model favoured by the Raj to help fight its colonial wars in far-flung places and to police its ever-expanding borders.

Ultimately the prowess of the Sikh soldier proved invaluable in both British and independent India, as well as on the battlefields of the two World Wars,  where the Sikh soldier's reputation for courage and fearlessness was sealed. That  reputation has endured to this day, in spite of the fact that many of the original traditions of his forebears have, by and large, been lost.

This new edition pays tribute to that original tradition and the legacy of the Sikh warrior saint.



From The Back Cover of 'Warrior Saints Four Centuries of Sikh Military History. Vol. 1' By Amandeep Singh Madra , Parmjit Singh

When savage rule, the ordinary man breaks the shackles of tradition to be reborn as protector.

Empowered by Guru Nanak's message of acceptance and compassion, and inspired by his unceasing defence of these ideals, the Sikhs embarked on an uncharted journey of struggle and resilience. They emerged as guardians of an independent, thriving society and defenders of India's bloodiest gateway, only to fall under the looming shadow of the victorian Conqueror.

Explore the extraordinary people, events and ideas that influenced the genesis of a unique martial culture through 90 rare historical images brought to life with stirring accounts from friends and foes alike.

This substantially expanded and redesigned edition of the classic Warrior Saints is a testament to KASHI HOUSE'S commitment to illuminating a forgotten heritage.


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