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Are there any good books on what daily life was like under british rule in punjab and in sikh princely states?


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14 hours ago, dallysingh101 said:

Only a minority of morons would consider these people as 'shaheeds'. They were more like mercenaries.  

 

It's not a minority at all.

Sikhs who fought for the British in the World Wars or other situations (like the Battle of Saragarhi) are always being celebrated, both in Punjabi popular culture, and by average Sikhs who are desperate to find something to make them feel proud and relevant.

Look at the number of statues and monuments in the UK that have been erected, with the support of the local Sikh community, celebrating Sikh mercenaries.

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37 minutes ago, californiasardar1 said:

 

It's not a minority at all.

Sikhs who fought for the British in the World Wars or other situations (like the Battle of Saragarhi) are always being celebrated, both in Punjabi popular culture, and by average Sikhs who are desperate to find something to make them feel proud and relevant.

Look at the number of statues and monuments in the UK that have been erected, with the support of the local Sikh community, celebrating Sikh mercenaries.

You're right, but I don't see hordes of apnay queuing up to join in, like before. We do have a ground level movement that questions the past in the UK like never before. 'No more sepoys'. The whole colonial period is under scrutiny across the board these days. 

Interestingly, this is part and parcel of a growing consciousness in broad areas amongst Sikhs. Of course we will have opportunists and the gullible who struggle to put the past in proper context, but then that just makes the job of de-brainwashing apnay all the more important. We might not be able to educate every last person, but we can make a big difference, enough to reign in the confused.  

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5 minutes ago, dallysingh101 said:

You're right, but I don't see hordes of apnay queuing up to join in, like before. We do have a ground level movement that questions the past in the UK like never before. 'No more sepoys'. The whole colonial period is under scrutiny across the board these days. 

Interestingly, this is part and parcel of a growing consciousness in broad areas amongst Sikhs. Of course we will have opportunists and the gullible who struggle to put the past in proper context, but then that just makes the job of de-brainwashing apnay all the more important. We might not be able to educate every last person, but we can make a big difference, enough to reign in the confused.  

I agree that the situation is improving among western born Sikhs, but I don't think there has been any significant growing consciousness in that regard among Indian Sikhs.

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1 hour ago, californiasardar1 said:

I agree that the situation is improving among western born Sikhs, but I don't think there has been any significant growing consciousness in that regard among Indian Sikhs.

I've worked around a lot of them over the years. For all their faults, none of them (that I've met) seem remotely concerned with the colonial thing, they seem too shrewed and self-serving for that. It's some western raised apnay that do this.    

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Too add another piece of the puzzle of what apnay experienced during the colonial period (as requested in the OP).  

 

Sohan-Singh-Bhakna-The-Man-who-shook-the

 

 

It’s easy to be mistaken by this picture of a gentle, stooped, grandfatherly 95 year-old. He was in fact one of the most feared and dangerous men in British India. So feared was he by the British that, shackled in irons, he was held for 16 years in near solitary confinement 1000kms off the shore of India for fear of the revolution he tried to spark.

This is Sohan Singh Bhakna, founder of the revolutionary Ghadr Party. When India joined WW1, every young Punjabi man was vigorously encouraged to join the Indian Army; British officials, Indian nobility, Indian district bureaucrats, even the Indian National Congress and Mahatma Gandhi joined forces to promote recruitment. Opposing that consensus was a vociferous, violent energetic group, operating from North America called the Ghadrs, or revolutionaries.

Sohan Singh Bhakna became active in the early nationalist movement before he joined the small pioneering stream of men who moved out of Punjab to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s where he worked in lumber mills. America wasn’t colonising India but there was no lack of racism and discrimination toward the ‘Hindoo’ labourers and Bhakna rapidly joined the early Indian labour movement.

He founded the Ghadr party with other North American Indians who agitated for the overthrow British colonial authority in India by means of an armed revolution. The Ghadrs viewed the Congress-led Independence movement as soft and unambitious so adopted a harder stance with their principal strategy to entice Indian soldiers into armed revolt against the British taking particular advantage of the vulnerability of the First World War.

Their revolutionary plans included smuggling arms to the passengers of the Komagatu Maru on their return to India, making overtures to the German Embassy in the US, pumping out revolutionary messages to Indian soldiers via their prolific pamphleteering. Their most seditious and dangerous plot was to coordinate violent armed revolutionary activity with Indian soldiers in SE Asia. Alarmed, the British promptly arrested Sohan Singh as he tried to enter India in 1914 and tried for conspiracy.

Found guilty, he was sentenced to death. A sentence later commuted to life imprisonment in The Andaman Islands, 1000kms off the shore of India. There Sohan Singh settled into a period of revolt and activism with repeated hunger strikes to improve the conditions for his fellow prisoners. Both in the Andamans and back in India where he was imprisoned until 1930 he carried out hunger strikes for Sikh prisoner’s religious rights, the rights of lower caste Indian prisoners and in support of Bhagat Singh.

By the outbreak of the Second world war, Sohan Singh had been released 10 years and was an active and fearsome political voice for the Communist Party. War brought new rules, and the Indian Government arrested and interred the now 70-year-old Sohan Singh for 3 more years in an Indian jail lest he revive his violent tendencies during a time of wartime vulnerability.

He lived another 20 years after Indian Independence and the Partition, a constant and prolific voice in early Indian politics. He died in 1968, ending a phenomenal life of 98 years, in his home district of Amritsar.

-Amandeep Madra

https://barusahib.org/general/sohan-singh-bhakna-the-man-who-shook-the-britishers-with-fear/

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11 hours ago, Premi5 said:

 

 

it's really good he kept his sikhi saroop, instead of some of those grandads who just wore turban for the british indian army and took it off when they came to the uk!

I wonder if his children and grandchildren also kept their kesh, would be interesting if the grandad's efforts also ended up bringing up respectful further generations!

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13 hours ago, ipledgeblue said:

it's really good he kept his sikhi saroop, instead of some of those grandads who just wore turban for the british indian army and took it off when they came to the uk!

I wonder if his children and grandchildren also kept their kesh, would be interesting if the grandad's efforts also ended up bringing up respectful further generations!

 

 

Empirical evidence suggests that any effort by a member of the older generation to live according to Sikhi has zero impact on the younger generation keeping their kesh.

For example, consider the 1960s Wolverhampton bus driver who was not allowed to do his job after he started keeping his kesh. That incident sparked protests. But a generation later, it is not enough to inspire his son to keep his kesh.

And then we can go beyond that and consider descendants of Sikh shaheeds or even descendants of our Gurus!

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