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Turn Of The Century - Sikh Concerns And Responses - Book By Kharak Singh

Publisher: Singh Brothers
Authors: Kharak Singh
Page: 514
Format: Hardbound
Language: English
Product Code: SHE110
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Introduction To 'Turn Of The Century' By Kharak Singh

The Word of Almighty, as revealed to Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, has faced hostility from various quarters even since its revelation. The Gurus, therefore, to preserve its universal approach for posterity, recorded it and authenticated it. Yet, the antagonistic groups have not given up their attempts to dilute and/or distort the same  from time to time. But, the dedicated and committed followers of the Guru have always risen to the occasion , and rebutted any misrepresentation of the Sikh Faith.

The present volume is a saga of the onerous efforts of one such devoted follower of the Guru, made towards preserving the Word of Almighty in its pristine form, and taking it to the world, as envisaged by the Gurus. The volume also presents the crystallized views of the author regarding the burning issues that faced the globally dispersed Sikh community, as a whole, and offers ways and means to resolve the same. Not just mere verbal injunctions, but his diligence, industriousness speaks for itself from the genre of the institutions put in place to attend to every such issue, on the ground.

The absolute commitment to the cause of the Guru is manifest in every word and deed of the author. His conviction that the propagation of the Guru's message, in its true spirit, has a bearing on the future of mankind, and therefore his unrelenting efforts to excuse the same till his last breath are evident herein.

The book reveals what one, driven by love for the Almighty and humanity, can achieve in a short span of time.


About The Author Of 'Turn of the Century'

Dr. Kharak Singh was born on 12th November 1922 at Village Rayya, Dist Amritsar, Punjab, India. A topper and a scholarship holder throughout, Dr Kharak Singh's name stands on his school's Board of Honour. After obtaining his Masters in Agronomy from Solan University, Punjab (now in HP), in 1952, he obtained another Masters and a Doctorate Degree in Agriculture Economics, in a record time, from Ohio State University, USA. On account of his qualifications and expertise, not only Governments of various states on India and the Centre, but also Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations sought his services.

As a true Gursikh, he ever engaged himself in disseeminating the message of Guru Granth Sahib, the scripture of the Sikhs.He was a member of the Dharam Prachar Committee, SGPC, Amritsar, and his name figured prominently on every committee formed by the same to address issues related to the Sikhs and their Faith.

A prolific writer, he has edited and authored several books and well-researched articles, highlighting the issues that need to be addressed, and founded institutions to cater to these.

In short, his contribution towards safeguarding, invigorating and propagating the Sikh Value System, as preached by the Gurus, is immense, which shall aid in furthering the march of the Sikh Panth in particular and humanity in general towards its destined glory.


Editor's Note To 'Turn Of The Century , Sikh Concerns And Responses' By Kharak Singh

I took upon myself to compile, in this volume, the articles written by Dr. Kharak Singh Ji that address various contemporary issues concerning the Sikh Panth in particular and the State of Punjab in general, under the author's supervision. But before this publication was ready for the press, Dr Kharak Singh Ji departed for his Divine Abode on 6th August , 2008.As such, I have been deprived of the guidance and support of my patron saint that I had so much counted on for completing this task in a perfect manner. I hope the readers will Keep this in mind while going through the next.

These articles comprise mainly the editorials of the journal, Abstracts of Sikh Studies (AOSS) of the Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS) along with some other writer ups contributed towards various seminars and publications of the same. Appearing over a span of almost the last two decades, these highlights the tumultuous times that the Panth has passed through, courtesy the numerous burning issues that confronted and adversely affected the same during this period. The conflicting views and variant approaches of the globally dispersed Sikh sangats and their organization towards these issues have been resulting in chaos-like situation. Most of the times, these have led to clear-cut divisions amongst the Sikhs as a community. Dr Kharak Singh was the person who always tried to bring about rapprochement amongst the Sikh sections holding divergent views by proposing the most appropriate and righteous course of action, in line with gurmat, after sincere, thorough contemplation and deliberation.

Dr. Kharak Singh's sole desire, closet to his heart, was unity and charhdi kala of the Panth. His honesty of purpose, as a Sikh intellectual, is undisputed the world over, and so is his forthrightness to call a spade a spade. Thus, his analytical viewpoints expressed in these articles regarding various issues that have a bearing on the Panth, be these political, religious, educational, legal and/or social, are extremely valuable. These not only offer suggestions for sorting out the controversies amicably, but also offer guidlines for progress of the Sikh community on the world stage.

While Dr. Kharak Singh had been consistently expressing his views through speeches and writings, he had also been working diligently and round the clock to achieve his targets. His convictions, based on logic and enduring Sikh ideology, were clear, and he had the strength to execute these. He was one of the founder members of the Institute of Sikh Studies, and was often referred to as its 'heart and soul'. This Institute has made a mark at the international level by rebutting the disinformation being spread by certain vested interests regarding the Sikh History and Sikh Faith.

Dr. Kharak Singh had the will and determination to put into operation his beliefs and vision. He was lately whole-heartedly engaged in giving a practical shape to the Guru's doctrine of Guru Granth - Guru Panth, as it may become applicable in this day and age. He, along with his dedicated team-members of national and international repute, have founded the International Sikh Confederation - A Body that strives to bring all the Panthic organizations under one roof. As such, it provides a platform for resolving the contemporary controversial Panthic issues as well as those that may arise in the future. It will also go a long way in securing for the Panth its rightful identity - as a people, who believe that 'mankind is one race' and who are 'dedicated to the welfare of all'.

Born on the 12th  November 1922, Dr. Kharak Singh possessed a rare amalgam of pristine qualities of head and heart. A topper and a scholarship holder throughout, Dr Kharak Singh's name stands on the Board of Honour of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa High School, Baba Bakala, Distt Amritsar, Punjab India. After obtaining his Maters in Agronomy from Solan University, Punjab (now in HP), in 1952, he obtained another Masters and a Doctorate Degree in Agriculture Economics, in a record time , from Ohio State University ,USA. On account of his qualifications and expertise, his services were sought not only by Punjab and other states of India, but also by many other countries of the world: He served as Lecturer, Punjab Agriculture College, Ludhiana; Jt Director, Directorate of Agriculture, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh; Crop Development officer, Desert Development Board , Rajasthan ; Managing Director, State Farms Corporation of India, New Delhi; also as Agriculture Production Economist, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United Nations, in various countries of Africa and the Middle East, as well as at its Headquarters in Rome. After seeking premature retirement from the FAO, he dedicated himself completely to the cause of the Guru , as he had nurtured a desire all along to contribute his daswandh for this objective, not only in terms of money but also time.

International exposure in service as well as academics coupled with the intense intent to serve the cause of the Guru formed the perfect foundation for his lofty mission. Many other panthdardis, inspired by his qualities of wisdom and vision, clarity and brevity, nobility and humility, genius and genuineness, joined hands with him. HIs advice was sought by various organization , as it was common belief that it emanates from a pure, unadulterated , unbiased mind , absolutely commited to the Panth

Dr Kharak Singh has written the latest three articles from the hospital bed. Even as he became increasingly weak on account of a recent terminal ailment , the only issues that exercised his mind were the contemporary Panthic issues. Following a surgery in the recent past, the first words he uttered in the Recovery Room before gaining full consciousness, in a state of semi-consciousness were , "If, by the Grace of Waheguru, I have survived then I am destined to do more sewa". To him, his very existence was synonymous with sewa.

The merit of the views of such a devote Sikh of this intellectual stature is obvoius. Dr Kharak Singh has voiced his crystallized views very powerfully in these well-researched articles, without mincing words. The importance of these cannot be over-emphasised; these are, in fact, pearls of wisdom. In order that these views may reach the masses to enable them to form informed opinions on matters that concern their own future as a community , I experienced a sense of duty to compile these in the form of a book.

I have, therefore, sincerely reproduced these articles in the present volume; a few have been grouped together to aviod repetition.

Blessed are those on whom Waheguru entrusts noble responsibilities, and also gives them the competence to carry these out. Blessed, thus , was Dr Kharak Singh, who had been chosen by the Almighty for participating so significantly in the service of the Panth in particular and humanity at large.


Foreword To 'Turn Of The Century , Sikh Concerns And Responses' By Kharak Singh

Dr Birendra Kaur, an enlightened writer, has done a commendable job of preparing this anthology comprising the Abstracts of Sikh Studies and a number of other monographs written by the distinguished scholar Dr Kharak Singh.

Editing a scholary journal and writing its editorals is a very important and responsible function. Brilliant writing is difficult to sustain. These write-ups are rigorously balanced assessments of the subjects deftly appraised. Dr Kharak Singh did not demean the writing to which he brought so much passion, pain, adroitness and serene message. He was resolutely devoted to keep very high standard of the journal Abstracts of Sikh Studies. Always tenacious and savvy, he continued writing upto his last breaths. To provide widest possible views on a subject, he encouraged scholars of various genres contribute their write-ups to the journal. Dr Kharak Singh not only ensured quality of the contents of the journal, he worked hard and successfully to arrange financial support for the publication of the journal which did not seek insertion of commercial advertisements to keep it going. The Abstracts of Sikh Studies is consequently a purely scholary, research journal carrying learned contributions of various hues.

After putting the various articles in this compendium, Dr Birendra Kaur simply lets each write-up speak for itself, resisting the temptation to analyse and conclude. What results is an erudite snap-shot of learned pourings of eminent scholarship. This anthology provides valuable material in a compact form which will benefit the reader quite conveniently. It will also provide an opportunity to have an access to the lofty views and erudition of the great scholar Dr Kharak Singh who epitomized what it means to be a good human being and a blessed Sikh - a true follower of gurmat.


Table Of Contents For 'Turn Of The Century - Sikh Concerns And Responses' By Kharak Singh



  Foreword                                                                         Gurdev Singh, IAS (retd) ix
  Editor's Note xi
1. Recent Literature on Sikhism - A Perspective Assessment 1
2. Sikh Religion - The Double-Edge Sword 12
3. Misrepresentation of Sikhism in Western Encyclopaedias 81
4. Need for World Institute of Sikhism 103
5. Guru Nanak in History of Religious Thought 119
6. Blasphemous Attacks 136
7. Manuscript 1245: A Post-1606 Collection 173
8. Goindwal Pothis: A Post-1595 Production 176
9. Tampering with Perfection 182
10. Man of the Century 189
11. Freedom of Research 197
12. A Way out of the Water Dispute 207
13. Nanakshahi Samvat 214
14. War on Apostasy 218
15. Present Educational Challenges 224
16. Apostasy Among Sikh Youth - Causes and Cures 230
17. A Real Saint 244
18. The Razor's Edge 249
19. Sikhism and Temporal Authority 253
20. The Punjab Problem and Fundamentalism 264
21. A Reform Overdue 286
22. Jathedar, Akal Takhat Sahib 290
23. Let's Rise to the Occasion 294
24. The Myth of Farmers' Prosperity 299
25. Punjab Economy - Retrospect and Prospects 303
26. On Gurdwara Legislation 306
27. On Sikh Personal Law 311
28. Panthic Unity and the Principle of Guru Panth 316
29. Hidden no More 320
30. Reflections on the Eve of the Tercentenary of the Khalsa 326
31. Do not Sit Around 332
32. An Affront to History 337
33. Panth and the Present Crisis 344
34. Nanakshahi Calendar 349
35. All India Sikh Gurdwaras Act 353
36. The Need for an Apex Institution 361
37. Contoversies Galore 373
38. Apex Body of Sikhs 377
39. Dasam Granth Contoversy 382
40. History of the Sikh & Their Religion 385
41. On Shatabdis 397
42. Guru Granth - Guru Panth 401
43. Vote 2004 411
44. The Platter of Spiritual Food 415
45. Martyrs Without Parallel 418
46. The Need for a Standard English Translation of Guru Granth Sahib 421
47. Free Speech and the Sardarji Joke 425
48. The Ill-Fated Dossier 427
49. Who Decides One's Religion? 431
50. ISC: The Voice of the Panth 437
51. The Dawn of a New Era 442
52. Breaking Down Barriers to World Peace 446
53. Task Before the ISC 451
54. ISC: 'The New Social Instrument' 457
55. Two Urgent Tasks 462
56. Beginning of the Beginning - Two Momentous Decisions 467
57. Sri Aakal Takhat Sahib 471
58. United on a Minimum Common Program 476
59. Dera Sacha (?) Sauda 479
60. The Changing Demography of Punjab 486
61. Sikhs at Receiving End Again! 490
62. Delay can Spell Disaster 494
63. Annual General Meeting, ISC 499
64. Two Disturbing Developments 502
  Afterword 507
  Glossary 509


Author  Kharak Singh
Pages 514
Cover Hardbound
Language English

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