Giani Kartar Singh made his mark
in rehabilitating the refugees from what became Pakistan. Here
he was ably assisted by Dr M. S. Randhawa.
One of Giani
Kartar Singh's most able lieutenants was Jasdev Singh Sandhu.
It is he who got articles written by most of the luminaries
who had been in public life at the same time as Giani Kartar
The book is a
compilation of these articles and includes monograms written
by I. K. Gujral (Giani Kartar Singh was the colleague of his
father), Prof Harbans Singh (who recorded Gianiji memoirs),
Baldev Raj Nayar (who interviewed him while researching for
his Ph.D), Giani Zail Singh (who made the state look after him
when Giani Kartar Singh was very ill), Lala Jagat Narain
(whose ties went back to Lyallpur days), Ajit Singh Sarhadi
(who calls him the brain of Sikh leadership), and Swaran Singh
(Gianiji gave up his selection as Minister in Khizar Hyat
Cabinet for him).
It also has
reminiscences by Pandit Mohan Lal, Hukam Singh, Gurmukh Singh
Musafir, Kuldip Nayar, Amar Singh Ambalvi, Gursewak Singh and
S. S. Narula.
As one reads
the book, one comes across various vignettes in the life of a
person who devoted himself totally to public service. He was
controversial, but no one could doubt his integrity or his
This book is
a good attempt to remember the man who had so much impact on
the destiny of Punjab. It was Jasdev Singh Sandhu's mission to
bring out this book, but fate willed otherwise, and it is now
his son Tejinder Pal Singh Sandhu who has brought it out, with
the help of Dr Dharam Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala,
who edited the book, which would have been better if it also
carried an index.
Most such books are
hagiographical in nature to a certain extent. So is this
volume, though given the sheer number of his contemporaries
who had personal relationships with him brings out interesting
aspects of the life of Giani Kartar Singh. The renowned
historian, Hari Ram Gupta, dedicated the fourth volume of his
"History of the Sikhs" to Giani Kartar Singh, who
"lived and died as a genuine faquir". One can't say
that about many politicians of today.