SIKHAN DE RAJ DI VITHIA
Sikhan De Raj Di Vithia, by Shardha Ram Philauri, written in Punjabi in 1922 Bk/A.D. 1866 and publihed in A.D. 1868 contains an account of the Punjab from Guru Nanak (1469-1539), founder of the Sikh faith, to the advent of the British in 1849. It was primarily meant for the new English administrators who had come into the Punjab in the wake of annexation. An English translation of the book made by Henry Court was first published in 1888. Bhai Jawahir Singh brought out another English translation of the book in 1901, with a lengthy introduction pointing out the numerous factual errors in the work.
The work is divided into three parts, the first dealing with the lives of the ten Gurus (pp.1-82).This section is full of inaccuracies not only of detail but also of basic facts. The second section (pp. 82-145) touches very briefly on the twelve misis and then proceeds to sketch the rise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, ending with the occupation of the Punjab by the British. The third section (pp. 146-200) gives a short resume of the customs, rites, folk-songs and proverbs of the Punjab.
It also contains brief narratives of several sects of the region. At the end of the book are given twenty anecdotes from a Janam Sakhl on biography of Guru Nanak. Since the author had had no knowledge of Sikh history or religion and had not apparently read the Guru Granth Sahib or any of the detailed historical works, many errors of a serious nature crept into the text.
1. Amarjit Singh, Punjabi sahit da itihasâ€”Qissa kal, Amritsar, 1981.
2. Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature, 6 Vols., Delhi, 1995.
3. Ramdev, Jaginder Singh (ed.), Punjabi Likhari Kosh, Jullundur, 1964.
4. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.