Five Arrows of Banda Singh Bahadur
|Author:||Mohinder Paul Singh|
|Publisher:||LAHORE BOOK SHOP, LUDHIANA|
|Other Details||8.50x5.50 inches|
I consider it my proud privilege to write a few words on the historic novelette "Five Arrows of Banda Singh Bahadur " penned by Dr. Mohinder Paul Singh. I have known Dr. Singh for last 30 years or more, first as a journalist, then as a professor and a preacher of divinity and later as an exponent of the history of Punjab. Earlier too, Dr. Singh wrote an historical novel "Koh-i-Noor which beautifully depicts the entire travelogue of this priceless gem as well as the glory of Sikh Empire. His present work highlights the exemplary struggle carried on by the disciples of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Baptised and enlightened by the divine grace of the Tenth Guru, Banda Bahadur stuck to the mission as laid down by his "Great Master". With his rare spiritual insight, unbending courage and valour, Banda Bahadur propagated the tenets of Sikhism with utmost sincerity, dignity and devotion. With a sense of deep dedication, religious tolerance, justice and equality for all, he laid down the very foundation of the Sikh State. His great sacrifice for the down trodden and men of soil has no parallel elsewhere in the world.
This year, Tercentenary of Banda Singh Bahadur is being celebrated and the release of this book on the auspicious occasion adds a feather to it. I wish all success for it!
Banda Singh Bahadur flashed like a lightening rod across Mughal India's horizon. He struck the monument of tyranny and injustice with such a fury as to get one of the mightiest empires of the time stunned and whole mechanism of inhuman ruthlessness paralysed for a while. Leading brightly people's revolution, first of its kind, Banda Singh goes down in history as the first Sikh Generalissimo as well.
Picked up by Tenth Master himself, a young Rajput turned Madho Das-turned Banda Singh Bahadur was granted "Five Arrows", saffron flag, drum (Ngara), and blessed by him. Banda Bahadur became first temporal leader of the Sikhs after Guru period. With him Sikh history enters second phase. Whereas Gurus' battles were defensive in nature, Banda goes on offensive. An embodiment of faith and devotion; victory and freedom; bravery and sacrifice; he gave to the world first Sikh state, royal coins, stamp and seal, all signs and symbols of royalty and ruling power.
This book treats stately Banda Singh Bahadur, a creature of flesh and blood much as he lives in popular imagination. Therefore, controversial aspect has been honestly avoided. From tragic scene of deer hunting until his own extremely horrific death in Delhi, he moves like a colossus as Khalsa general throughout his theatre of activity in between Delhi and Lahore, almost entire southern Punjab Haryana of nowadays and across Jamuna valley. He valiantly broke the myth of Mughal invincibility. Conquest of Sarhind, the crown city, is Banda's crowning achievement, of course. A yogi, a bairagi and a Sikh, all rolled into one, Banda Singh lived like a hero and died like a martyr, thus justifying his title "Bahadur" bestowed upon him by his mentor, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, The Lord of Khalsa.
Among several people, institutions and organistions that proved continuous source of inspiration for me, a few deserve my heartfelt gratitude. Cariboo Gursikh Temple Society Quesnel B.C., Sikh Society of Manitoba, Gurdwara Kalghidhar Darbar, Winnipeg, Canada, Sikh Youth Association of Australia, Singh Sabha Southampton, Gurdwara Guru Tegh Bahadur Southampton, UK.
So do some well wishers like Raj S. Mann, Raghbir Singh Basati, Yadwinder Singh Nut, Mohinder Singh Takhar, Surinder Singh Morsara, Sukhdev Singh Sandhar and fairly of NMV Lumber, Ajit Singh Sahota, Jujhar Singh Dode, Harbhajan Singh Chauhan, Jay Minhas, Ranbir Singh Manj, Jaswant Singh Grewal, Jasmel Singh M.A. B.cd., Joginder Singh Giran M.A. (Canada), Thakur Singh Basati (U.S.A) 25 well as Princpal G. S. Barara, Dr Ramesh Kumar Sharma, Jagjit Singh Dardi of Charhadi Kala Enterprise, Reference Library, Principal Prem Singh Bajaj of Punjabi Sahit Acadmy Ludhiana and many more.
As usual, my family and children both in India and Canada, provided me with safe, literary and warm haven in which to work. My wife Principal Tripat Kaur, as always, looked after the whole project with professional accuracy.
Above all, my granddaughter Aishmann Kaur Singh lent her own innocent charm to the book with her sweet interruptions. I am duly thankful to Lahore Books; Tajinder Bir Singh & Gurmannt Singh, my Publishers; Onkar Singh Dillay (Computer Work) who with keen sight for quality and publishing experience made this book see the light of day.
On the solemn occasion of 300th anniversary of the conquest of Sarhind, I most humbly offer this book as a tribute to Banda Singh Bahadur and his Khalsa warriors! May the saffron flag hoist ever and aver.......
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