I do not have appropriate words to express my gratitude to the Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS), a body of reputed and respected Sikh scholars, for undertaking publication of this book — as I was keen to get my essays critically examined by eminent Sikh historians — to make sure that while connecting the dots, and observing the basic rules of historiography, I did not offend any sensitivities.
I am grateful to Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh for scanning the script and giving a preliminary favorable nod, before it was sent to other scholars, such as Prof. Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, for their opinions. I am especially indebted to Dr. Kharak Singh, for not only navigating the manuscript through the institute, but also writing the Introduction.
My special thanks are due to Mr. Ishwinder Singh MBA, whom I ‘met’ on the internet. I was so impressed by the depth of his maturity at his young age, that I corresponded with him frequently, and e-mailed to him for his opinion, several of my articles, some of which are part of this book. My further gratitude is due to him, for undertaking to proof-read and follow up production of the book. Thank you Ishwinder for sacrificing so much of your time.
Ever since I moved from dear old manual ‘Remington’ typewriter to ‘brother’ word processor, and then to ’Personal Computer’, it has not been trouble-free to keep pace with the galloping technology — Windows 95, 98, 2,000 and then XP.
I am indebted to my school going grandchildren (who are now in colleges) for coming to my rescue, time to time, when the computer would become slow, or freeze, or even ‘crash’ on me. Smart software sometimes created more problems than it solved, especially when the text included a second language (Punjabi) script. In Gurbani or Punjabi poetry ‘Spell-check’ would create problems automatically ’capitalizing’ the first letter of the new line — in English changing b to B, or j into J, would not be that bad, but in case of Punjabi, changing b into BH, or j into JH, makes no sense, and despite all precautions mistakes would creep in.
I am obliged to young Mr. Ravin Sharma, who helped me in formatting the e-copy of the manuscript, when I moved from Baltimore to Delhi, for a few months,
Acknowledgements are also due to Dr. Sanaullah Kirmani, Professor of Comparative Religions, Towson University, who is also doing research on the 1857 Mutiny; Dr. I. M. Ahuja, Lt. General (Retd.), whose brief but meaningful comment on the Mutiny, I have given at the end of the article; Dr. Kaushik Bagchi, Associate Professor of History, Goucher College, Baltimore; Mrs. Mala M. Bagchi, Librarian, Baltimore County Library (they have named their son Kabir); Mr. Mohan Singh Mann of San Francisco; and especially to my cousin, recently expired reputed poet, Sardar Jaswinder Singh Chadha of London, whose opinions I sought from time to time.
My wife, Aban, has not been as deeply involved in my Sikh History project, as we were during our previous ventures since 1951— the Auto Publications, the Pastime Daily and the Delhi Weekly. But, she is the one from whom I usually sought first a ‘reader’s reaction’.
Finally, it would be disingenuous on my part not to acknowledge the financial support that I got for building up my extensive library and carrying on the project for years, from my family — Mr Angad Dev Singh and Mrs. Suman Noor; and Mr. Jehangir Singh and Dr. Bindu Noor.