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The Sikhs and Transfer Of Power - Book By Dr. Kirpal Singh

Publisher: Punjabi-University-Patiala
Authors: Dr. Kirpal Singh
Page: 174
Format: Hardbound
Language: Punjabi
Product Code: SHE191
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Table of Contents For 'The Sikhs and Transfer of Power' - Book By Dr. Kirpal Singh

  Foreword (iii)
  Department Note (v)
  Preface (vii)
1. Introduction 1
2. Cripps Mission 7
3. Simla Conference 18
4. Cabinet Mission Plan 31
5. Wavell's Proplsals 43
6. Mountbatten Plan 54
7. The Sikhs and Struggle For their Shrines 67
8. The Punjab Riots 79
9. The Forced Migration or Exchange of Population 94
10. Conclusion 107
1. Punjab Boundary Award 116
2. Statement of Major J.M. Short 122
3. The Sikh Case for Nankana Sahib Tract 123
4. Author's interviews with British Dignitaries relating to the Sikhs and Partition of Punjab 132
5. All Reports Against Sikhs Found Untrue, Statement of H.S. Suhrawardy , Prime Minister of Bengal 153
6. Bibliography 155


The Partition of Punjab along with partition of India 1947 proved to be a unique event in the history of modern India as it was accompanied by the forced mass migration of over ten million people, abduction of about forty thousand women and children and massacre of about half a million people.

One of the significant perspectives of partition of Punjab was the creation of Pakistan and division of the Sikhs who were recognised as third important community in the Cabinet Mission Plan (vide article 18). How the Sikhs reacted to various British Plans for transfer of power has been the subject of study of this book.

Dr. Kirpal Singh has taken pains to brings fresh record from Public Record Office, London which have been used for the first time in this monograph. Earlier his book entitled Partition of Punjab was published by the University in 1972 and its revised edition in 1989. This book deals with the formulation of Partition Plan, its implementation, the mass migration and its impact.

I hope this book will be useful for the students, researchers as well as for the public in general.

Punjabi University                                                                                                                                                                                                         S.S.BOPARAI     

Patiala.                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Vice Chancellor                                                            


The Partition of Indian sub-continent in 1947 creating Pakistan and free India resulted in the division of Punjab. This event shall ever remain a watershed in the history of the land of fiver rivers. The bifurcation of Punjab was followed by unprecedented massacre of about half a million people, abduction of women and children on a very large scale, unprooting of about  ten million people on both sides of the border resulting  in enforced migration or exchange of population. The Sikhs suffered the most in this holocaust and the on-set of freedom left them downcast and humbled.

The Sikhs occupied a position of unique importance in the Punjab before 1947. According to the Cabinet Mission Proposals, they had been recognised as third community in India for the purpose of transfer of power. It was stated, "we think that for these purposes, it is sufficient to recognise only three main communities in India-General, Muslims and Sikhs, the general community including all persons who are not Muslims or Sikhs."(Para 18c). In a memorandum to Sir Stafford Cripps in 1942, the Sikhs had demanded that the Punjab be divided along the river Ravi, as boundary line. That demand was partially fulfilled by the Radcliffe Award in 1947. It is, therefore, significant to study in detail the Sikhs response to various proposals and plans of the British Govt. for the transfer of power. This forms the main subject of study in this book.

The subject 'The Sikhs and Tranfer of Power' has been occupying my mind ever since I started research work on the "Partition of Punjab" in the fifties of last centuray. For half a century, I worked on various aspects of partition of Punjab and brought forth following books:

1. 1946 de Calcutta de fasadan vich Sikhan di Sewa (1957) (Punjabi)

2. Shahidian (an accountant of communal riots in West Punjab) (1964) (Punjabi)

3. Partition of Punjab (English) 1972, 1989 (2nd ed.)

4. Select Documents on Partition of Punjab (1991) English

5. Punjab Da Batwara te Sikh Neta (Punjabi) (1997)

6. Sikhan De Pakistan Vichon Niklan Di Gaatha (Punjabi) (2001)

During the course of my intensive research in this area, I visited England thrice in 1964, 1983 and 1998. The first trip was financed by Punjab Government and I spent six months there to collected the historical material. The second was sponsored by Indian Council of Hisrorical Research, New Delhi and British Council and I spent three months there. Third time, I visited England through the courtesy of my nephew S.Hardeep  Singh, who had by then established his business in London. He paid all the expences and also made my stay pleasant and comfortable, for which I am grateful to him. It was during this two months' stay in London that I consulted the records lying in the Public Records Office, London and examined Cabinet Papers relating to the Partition of Punjab and Private Papers of Sir Stafford Cripps etc. I was able to take notes and bring some photo copies which have been used for the first time in this book, for that my thanks are done to Public Record office London.

It is my pleasant duty to thank S. S. S. Boparai, IAS (Retd.) Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala who gave me fellowship for writing this book and also spared his valuable time to write the foreward. In am also indebted to former vice-chancellor , Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr. Harbhajan Singh Soch, who encouraged me to pursue research on this topic. I was a fellow of Guru Nanak Dev University when I visited England in 1998. I am grateful to prof. Prithipal Singh Kapur, Former Pro-vice-chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar  who spared time to go through the entire typed script and gave several valuable suggestions.

My thanks are also due to Dr. Dhanwant Kaur, Director, Punjabi Development Department, Punjabi University, Patiala for her unstined co-operation and the Publication Bureau of the Punjabi University, Patiala for taking pains while printing and publication of this book.

#1288, sector 15-B.                                                                                                                                                                                                         KIRPAL SINGH


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