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The Sikhs Paperback – July 17, 2001
The Amazon Book Review
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As may be expected, Singh is a highly partisan narrator. The Sikhs are always bold and noble, and those who oppress them--the Moghuls, the Hindus, and the British--are conniving and duplicitous. But this aside, he tells a truthful story of the early days of Sikhism up to the 20th-century partition of the Punjab and the diaspora to East Africa and Britain. But the book really takes off when we reach the modern era. He provides a moving account of the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar by Hindu troops acting on the authority of the Indian government in 1984. This led directly to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh bodyguards, which in turn brought swift and widespread retribution, as thousands of Sikhs were rounded up and massacred.
What Patwant Singh doesn't answer, though, is why so many people have felt so threatened by Sikhism over the centuries. Sikhs do not proselytize their religion and they make up only two percent of the Indian population, yet they have been persecuted throughout their history. Maybe, just as nature abhors a vacuum, so religions abhor moderation. --John Crace, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Patwant Singh's book provides a vivid account of the origins, beliefs and subsequent history of this 500 year old, egalitarian faith that originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent.
The book explains the significance behind the unique identity of the Sikh people - their turbans and beards - and brings to mind the sad irony that they are being mistaken, by some in the US, for the very Islamic fundamentalism that they have been fighting against since their beginnings.
The Sikhs are disciples of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the Sikh faith, who was succeeded by nine other Gurus (spiritual masters). Guru Nanak likened all religions to different travelers aiming at one and the same destination but following different paths and diverse ways. Guru Gobind Singh was the tenth and last living Guru who lived from 1666 to 1708. It was this tenth prophet, that gave the Sikhs their present form and appearance, which was a culmination of the constant endeavor, struggle and sacrifices of the Gurus as well as of their innumerable followers.
In Singh's analysis of Sikh relations with Hindus, he points out that the monotheistic and egalitarian principles upon which the Sikh faith was founded proved to be in direct conflict with the philosophy and thought of the "caste-conscious" ruling Hindu-Brahmins i.e. Indira Gandhi. Singh's point is not a new one; there have been other faiths in Indian history that have been repressed by the hands of Brahmin ideology.Read more ›
Diane C. Donovan Reviewer Diane C. Donovan Reviewer
The book is a good read and provides a lot of bullet points, if you wish to know more about Sikhs.
However, the author is not without bias, which is strongly attached to his faith.
Well understood but then he fatally loses insight into one of the many flaws of this young religion. The book lacks solid historical leads at lot of places.
Having read other works on Sikhism, I would strongly suggest you to pick this one.
Fair to say it doesnt tell things in a very balanced way, holistic way but is far (and far) better than other works out there on Sikhs. This, from somebody, who has spent life-time reading about Sikhism and its emphasis on universal values of hard work, morals and fighting oppression.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An essential book in English about the Sikhs. Be aware however that this a history of the Sikh community from its origins, rather than an overall look at the Sikh religion. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robert W. Beamguard
The book was informative and appeared to be an even-handed presentation of events. Although the book was very interesting, I can't say I enjoyed it because it centers primarily on... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Elidan
Very well written, easy to read, concise. Don't expect a neutral opinion of the Sikhs from another Sikh, though, and Mr Singh is somewhat bitterPublished on July 4, 2014 by Tami
Very detailed Sikh events especially between 1700 and 1947 year. Unfortunately it did not continue into the 21st century. Read morePublished on October 27, 2013 by Joe
A must for every Sikh and for folks who are interested in Religion studies. Provides basic principles of Sikhism especially the message of Universal Brotherhood and equality of... Read morePublished on April 7, 2013 by Balwant Lall
In this book, Patwant Singh traces the history of the Sikhs from their beginnings in the teachings of Guru Nanak in the 16th century to the present. Read morePublished on December 21, 2012 by The Reviewer Formerly Known as Kurt Johnson
I found this book to be extremely informative. It provides a historic overview of the Sikh religion and culture. The author tells of both triumphs and failures in a clear manner. Read morePublished on September 13, 2012 by RG
The detail of the research is incredible. The bibliography and the additional reading list are well researched. Read morePublished on January 10, 2012 by Harry
Being of Sikh background and a Seaker of that absolute truth. I feel this book does a great job to reach out to non-sikh audiances. Read morePublished on June 29, 2009 by S. Grewal