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Dr Kharak Singh – A Gem among the Sikh Intellectuals –

Dr Kirpal Singh*

Dr Kharak Singh is no more. The loss will be felt by all Sikhs in India and abroad. His life was dedicated to the cause of the welfare of Sikhs. He did a pioneering work in founding the Institute of Sikh Studies along with late S Daljit Singh.

Dr Kharak Singh belonged to the family of freedom fighters. His father suffered imprisonment several times along with Sardar Darshan Singh Pheruman. He had a brilliant student career throughout. He stood first in Matriculation and did his M Sc (Agricultural Economics) and Ph D in Agricultural from Ohio State University, USA. He was topper and scholarship holder throughout. He served at various places in India, and abroad in various capacities. He served as a Professor in Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Joint Director, Punjab Government and Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India. He was appointed as Agriculture Advisor at various African countries and Iran in the UNO’s Food and Agriculture Organization with its Headquarters at Rome.

After retirement, he settled in Chandigarh and devoted his last decades in the service of Sikh Panth. One of his desires was to see Sikhs in high spirits and he wished to elevate them as a community. He wrote, number of books relating to Sikhs. Some of the books published by Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, are: Sikhism: Its Philosophy and History, Current Thoughts on Sikhism, Gurmat Chetna Lehar Manual, Khalsa and Twenty First Century, Martyrdom in Sikhism, Guru Granth – Guru Panth. His last publication was Guru Nanak: A Prophet with a Difference. This book was specially written for Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. It was very well written and gives a lot of information about the founder of Sikhism.

Dr Kharak Singh’s advice was often sought-after by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar. He had been a member of its Dharam Parchar Committee for a number of years. He played a significant role in telecasting live the kirtan from Golden Temple Amritsar. He got approved the Project of writing history of the Sikhs in five volumes in English. One volume has been published and the second has been sent for publication. The third and fourth volumes are near completion. It was due to Dr Kharak Singh’s persuasion that the Project of editing of Historical Source Material relating to Sikh History was approved. In this project, four volumes of Sri Guru Nanak Parkash had been published. Gurpartap Suraj Granth has been edited. The books relating to lives of Guru Angad and Guru Amar Das have been also published and the book on the life of Guru Ram Das is in press.

Dr Kharak Singh organized a number of seminars on important issues like Apostasy among the Sikhs, Sikh Personal Law, Gurdwara Legislation, Guru Granth – Guru Panth, etc. Last, but not the least, he established International Sikh Confederation. His ideal was to make this Organization representative of the entire Sikh Panth in India as well as abroad.

Dr Kharak Singh was a man of multifarious qualities of head and heart. As a matter of fact, he was a gem among the Sikh intellectuals. His loss cannot be repaired.

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