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Dr Kharak Singh – A Man of Sterling Qualities

Dr Harnam Singh Shan*

With the passing away of Dr Kharak Singh, a legend seems to have passed away – a legend which ushered in with the advent of the Singh Sabha Movement and associated with it some highly devoted and wide-awake Sikh intellectuals of the day, viz, Bhai Gurmukh Singh, Ditt Singh, Jawahar Singh, Vir Singh and Bhagat Lakshman Singh. Dr Kharak Singh appears to have followed their footprints, adding to them his world-wide wisdom, farsighted approach, vast knowledge, varied experience, Panthic spirit, unflinching faith, firm determination, missionary zeal, liberal attitude, organisational ability, and whole-hearted devotion to the causes so dear to us.

The Institute of Sikh Studies, its unbroken chain of annual seminars, a rich crop of publications and Abstracts of Sikh Studies devoted to projecting a correct image of the Sikhs and Sikhism, rebutting any distortions or misrepresentation of its doctrine, history or traditions, and repulsing academic challenges as well as its independent entity/identity, organising public opinion on many other vital issues affecting the community at home and abroad, pointing out problems and dangers ahead, analyzing them wisely and suggesting their effective solutions speak volumes of his noble aspirations, sincere efforts and lofty achievements.

Launching of the International Sikh Confederation with the sole object of dedicated service to the Panth has been his latest contribution. This has raised him further as the leading figure of the ongoing Sikh Awakening Movement and pronouncing him not only a man of sterling qualities but also an institution in himself. That is why his wise counsel on Sikh affairs was eagerly sought and valued both by the Punjab Government and the Sikh Organizations, like the SGPC. His irreparable loss has, therefore, been mourned widely by the Sikhs at home and abroad.

 

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