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TWARIKH GURU KHALSA

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TWARIKH GURU KHALSA, a voluminous prose narrative delineating the history of the Sikhs from their origin to the time when they lost the Punjab to the British. The author, Giani Gian Sihgh (1822-1921), claimed descent from the brother of Bhai Mani Singh, the martyr, who was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh. The work is divided into five parts : Janam Sakhi Dasari Guruari, Shamsher Khalsa. Raj Khalsa, Sardar Khalsa, and Panth Khalsa. In the first part the author presents biographies of the Ten Gurus and sketches the evolution of the community culminating in the emergence of the Khalsa.

The second part deals with the career of Banda Singh Bahadur, the sustained struggle Sikhs waged against the Mughals in face of fierce persecution, their reorganization in the form of the Dal Khalsa and the running battle between Ahmad Shah Durrani and the Sikhs. The third part describes the rise of the twelve misis or independencies and of the sovereign kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and ends with the annexation of the Punjab by the British. The fourth part contained accounts of Sikh principalities which did not form part of Ranjit Singh`s kingdom. The fifth part treats of Sikh sects, gurdwaras and preaching centres.

As Giani Gian Singh himself relates in the book, he spent more than fifteen years collecting information, mainly verbal. His sources were his own elders, Nagahia Singh, Raghu Singh and Bakhta Singh who had served Guru Gobind Singh, Banda Singh Bahadur and the eighteenth century sardars such as Nawab Kapur Singh and Baba Ala Singh. Besides, he travelled extensively in quest of materials. Two of the older works he admits to having made use of were those by Ratan Singh Bharigu and Bute Shah. He received encouragement from his mentor, Tara Singh Narotam, a Nirmala scholar, and completed in 1867 his first work, the famed Panth Prakash which was a connected history of the Sikhs in Punjabi verse.

The Twankh Guru Khalsa was its expansion in prose. The first edition of the Twankh comprising the first three parts was printed in 1891 at Guru Gobind Singh Press, Sialkot, with the help of Mahant Prem Singh, Bhai Hari Singh of Sialkot and Buta Singh of Rawalpindi. Gian Singh made over the rights of publication of his Twankh to the Khalsa Tract Society, Amritsar. Besides all the copies of the published first three parts of the Twankh, the manuscripts of the remaining two unpublished parts were also handed over to the Society.

The Panth Khalsa (the fifth part) was published in Urdu as late as 1919 and the Sardar Khalsa (the fourth part) was never published. The first three parts severally and collectively of this monumental work ran into several editions in Urdu as well as in Punjabi. They were last published in two volumes in Punjabi by the Languages Department, Punjab, Patiala, in 1970.

References :

1. Bhagat Singh, Giani Gian Singh. Patiala, 1978
2. Singh Sabha Patrika (Sri Guru Panth Prakash Ank). Amritsar, 1979

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