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Summary of Question:Sikh History - Scrutinized
Category:Sikh History
Date Posted:Monday, 8/02/2004 6:47 PM MDT

Sat Siri Akal,

I recently came across the following book in a local Sydney library in Australia. The name of this book is titled as 'Solder Sahibs', those who fought on the north western border's of India during the times 1830-1845, which as been written by Charles Allen. Allen describes the 'Sikhs' as reformed Hindu's and in many ways seems to insult not only our history but the famous fighters involved. By what I understand from Allen's book, he clearly stands for the British Anglo Movement/British India and is defensive against the enemies known as the Sikh's. I had to put the book down only after reading just over 150 pages because I was completely disgusted by the way Raja Ranjit Singh was described as an ‘illiterate drunk’, and to my knowledge on Ranjit Singh, he was an educated man skilled amongst many.

Also there are further insults against ‘Hari Singh’ and ‘Sheer Singh’ (please forgive my spelling mistakes and grammar). Charles Allen writes that Hari Singh was a leader who left fear in the Pathans and his slogan for Hari Singh was rapine and vandalism and still echo’s amongst the people of Pakistan to this day. Allen speak so highly of British Imperialists, who were leading the those on the British front ie officers, lieutenants and generals.

Can someone of high intelligence and knowledge please read this book by Charles Allen as I felt rather angry and disturbed after reading it, how dare he insult our famous warrior men who fought to defend India against the British who are the real thieves, not only in history but known throughout the world (just ask any Australian).

I think I should also mention he describes ‘Khalsa Dan’, as a fanatical movement brought on by ‘Guru Gobind Singh’, this takes the cake (slang Australian saying for 'I have had enough') for Allen as he has insulted our Guru, culture, history and people.

Thank you,

Nina Burji

Sat Siri AKaal. Ninaji, this is not something volunteer moderators can take on, none of us are Sikh historians. Check the copyright date of the book. It may have been written solely to make British imperialists look good during a time when the British still ruled half the world. There are so many versions of the same history, it's a question of whose eyes are looking and what the historian is trying to prove. Do your own historical research on the time he wrote about, have the reference librarians there help you, and you'll find out what you want about that time. Just because a book is written and called 'history' doesn't make it true. You might also find written refutations of Allen's book if you probe deeply enough.
You might want to take your concerns to a Sikh chat room or to the discussion forum. Good luck,
Guru ang sang,

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