By Rishi Singh and Sondeep Shankar Foreword by Hardeep Singh Puri
About the Book
Sikh Heritage: A History of Valour and Devotion is a succinct and delightfully photographed glimpse into the community’s religion, its ten gurus, its temples, traditional systems of governance, history,
architecture, and the famous Golden Temple. This book traces the history of valour and devotion of the Sikh community, which forms a small percentage of India’s one billion population, yet produces a significant amount of the country’s food reserves. Despite the brutal assaults of history faced by the Sikh community – such as the partition of Punjab – they have still maintained the merit of their heritage.
A photographic documentation of the Sikh historicity through objects both in time and space, such as the beautifully captured images of Harmandir, its toshakhana, and takhats or temporal seats of the Sikhs, portray a unique relationship between the edifice and the Sikhs – thus, each photograph is a story in itself. This new approach aims at the conception of Sikh heritage not only as the sacred masterpieces of the past to be valued and conserved, but also as emblematic and living spaces to be appropriated by the local communities, who are the bearers of a rich and active collective memory.
About the Author and Photographer
Rishi Singh is a Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was awarded the prestigious Felix Scholarship to do his research at the university. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s in Arts in Persian Language and Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and has an M.Phil in Persian Language and Literature from the University of Delhi. Coauthor of a well acclaimed book on Maharaja Ranjit Singh, he has been a Research Associate of books on Golden Temple, Anandpur Sahib and Hemkunt Sahib. His most recent and well reviewed publication is State Formation and the Establishment of Non- Muslim Hegemony: Post- Mughal 19th century Punjab. He has been involved as a Project Advisor (India) for the United Nations University Leadership Academy, Amman. Well published in national newspapers, research journals, and magazines in India and Canada, he speaks fluent Persian, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English, and was also instrumental in the structuring, planning and the execution of the project www.canadiansikhheritage.ca, under the auspices of University of Fraser Valley.
For over three decades, Sondeep Shankar has roamed the length and breadth of India to document the human side of any activity, whether social, cultural, religious or political. Beginning his career as a photographer with the Hindustan Times, he has since worked for various national and international media organizations. Sondeep is currently consulting editor for pictures with the Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle. Sondeep’s first book, Rajasthan, was published by Roli Books in 1980. His other published works include a ten-book series on various aspects of Sikhism, Childhood in India, Havelis of Old Delhi, Ganesha—The Lord of Beginnings and Devi.