In the pursuit of its objectives, the Institute Of Sikh Studies (IOSS) organises seminars, group discussions, and represents its views on the burning topics concerning the Sikhs and also publishes a quarterly journal, the Abstracts Of Sikh Studies. The Institute has been regularly holding its annual seminars for a number of years. The topics for discussion in these seminars are determined after thoughtful deliberations. At the annual seminar of the year 2003 held on November 15 and 16, in the lawns of Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Kanthala, Chandigarh — which houses the IOSS office — the topic for discussion was : Guru Granth – Guru Panth. Four sessions — two on each day — were held.
A galaxy of scholars and thinkers presented papers / made speeches at the seminar which was graced by very attentive and responsive audience of distinguished participants. Sardar Anup Singh, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University, presided over the opening session on November 15 and Dr Inderjit Kaur, President, Pingalwara Trust on the afternoon session that day. Giani Harinder Singh, President, Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha presided over the morning session of November 16 and Dr Brijpal Singh, Secretary, Academy of Sikh Religion and Culture, Patiala on the concluding session of the seminar. Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee addressed the seminar in morning session on November 16, 2003. Professor Prabhjot Kaur and Bibi Baljit Kaur ably compered the first and second session, respectively, on November 15 as Stage Secretary. Maj Gen Jaswant Singh and Bhai Ashok Singh deftly conducted the proceedings on November 16 as Stage Secretary.
The audience / speakers had come from all over Punjab as well as from other parts of India and abroad. I had the pleasure of extending heartiest welcome to the participants at the start of sessions on November 15 and 16 and hoped that the deliberations of this seminar would help in providing some solution to the problems faced by the Sikhs and other people. Before the proceedings of the seminar came to close on November 16, 2003, Maj Gen (retd) Narindar Singh thanked the participants for their kind patronage and co-operation to make the seminar a success. Dr Kharak Singh who had put scholarly labours in preparing his Keynote Address presented it in a scintillating manner, which stirred the audience to serious cogitation and set the tone and high level of speeches. The subsequent speakers further enhanced the standard of deliberations. Before the close of sessions each day, a good number of ladies / gentlemen from the audience too made their observations on the seminar subject. There were lively question - answer discussions. At the close of each session, the respective Presidents made erudite observations which were pithy critique of each session. Very informative, elucidating, thought-provoking and learned representations were made by eminent speakers and some of the ladies / gentlemen from the audience. It was a very well organised and well-attended seminar which provided good opportunity to the scholars / thinkers concerned with the welfare of the Sikh people to get together and cogitate upon the daunting issues confronting them. After extensive discussions resolution mentioned at the end of Introduction was unanimously passed before the seminar came to a very successful and smooth end. I am thankful to the members of the Institute of Sikh Studies who extended their help and guidance in the smooth conduct of the seminar.
Dr Kharak Singh, Dr Gurbakhsh Singh, Maj Gen Jaswant Singh and Bibi Baljit Kaur spared no pains to ensure top level participation, learned papers and fruitful deliberations. Bibi Baljit Kaur, Dr Kharak Singh and Bhai Ashok Singh carried out the onerous work of public relations and media interaction. Maj Gen Jaswant Singh raised handsome amount of funds and ensured flawless stage / pandal arrangements. Various organisations and individuals extended us generous assistance for organising the seminar. I would like to make a special mention of the kind patronage and liberal help extended to us by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (Gurdwara Nadha Sahib), management of Gurdwara Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur, Sector 34, and Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Kanthala, Chandigarh. But for their help smooth conduct of the seminar would not have been easy. I am sincerely beholden to all of them for their gracious co-operation and generous help. I am sure their patronage will always be forthcoming in future too.
The IOSS has published the prominent papers presented at the seminar in this book. Views expressed in these papers are not necessarily opinion of the IOSS. These are of the paper presenters whom I am grateful for their hardwork in writing their learned papers. Dr Kharak Singh and Dr Gurbakhsh Singh laboured hard not only in the organisation of the seminar but they continued working with unremitting efforts, missionary zeal and scholarly diligence to compile the papers presented at the seminar. The IOSS staff — Sardar Kartar Singh, Mr Jaswant and Bibi Varinder Kaur — carried out their duties in the organisation of the seminar cheerfully and with zeal. They worked hard in the preparation of this book.
I appreciate their diligent input and am grateful to them. Dr Kharak Singh has made another noteworthy contribution while preparing this compilation. He has written a compact note as Introduction to the contents, which offers a glimpse of the papers in the anthology. I am grateful to him for this and to the learned paper presenters and speakers at the seminar whose efforts might lead to refreshing solutions to the burning issues concerning the Sikhs. I must express my sincere gratitude to my colleagues / members of the Institute of Sikh Studies and its staff for the publication of this anthology. It is a team effort and all of us at the Institute always endeavour to assist readers in framing informed opinion on matters vital to their very existence.
President, Institute of Sikh Studies
March 26, 2004
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