I love books. I enjoy the feel of paper, the way that words dance across paper, and the slightly musty smell of bookshelf dust. Don’t misunderstand me – I appreciate and utilize my Kindle everyday. But the books in my library hold a different energy and presence that e-books can never have. That difference is that when e-books are not being read – they don’t exist. But the books on my bookshelf always are there and they constantly surround me with their wisdom.
So often I have heard the comment, “I can’t find a good Sikh History book. Can you recommend one to me?” Well, indeed, there are many good ones, but Sikh History is a difficult subject because there are very few source documents. Our forefathers lived nearly 100 years in the saddle, suffering brutal oppression from Mugal and then Afghan regimes throughout the 18th century. Few books were written by and about Sikhs, and fewer still survived that time of trial. Mostly what we have is by the grace of the oral tradition that has subsequently been committed to paper in the last 100 years.
As with all books, Sikh History has been written by someone who has interpreted historical data from their own limited perspective. To reach a more complete view of history, I advise you to read parts of many books by different authors, and filter this information through your own understanding. It is in a wide panorama of interpretation that you will see a more complete picture of the amazing Sikh heritage of courage and honor.
A booming GURFATEH to you, and happy reading,
Shanti K Khalsa