Punjabi Review
Valley’s Sikh connection
Dalbir Singh

Kashmir Laee Qurbani
by Himmat Singh, Akali Kaur Singh Trust, Patiala. Pages 458. Rs 900

This book by Himmat Singh focuses on the role played by Sikhs in Kashmir, from 1499 to 1999. The writer stresses that the association of the Sikhs with Kashmir goes back to Guru Nanak Dev, who visited the place during his travels across the subcontinent. Later, other gurus also visited the valley and had a good following there.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh once ruled over Kashmir through his governors, one of then being the great warrior Hari Singh Nalwa. The author is of the view that the Gurus and Ranjit Singh lent the valley its distinct character. It was again the Sikhs of the valley, he writes, who fought the attack of tribals, who were led by the Pakistani army in 1948.

The list of soldiers and common people who died defending Kashmir is indeed a long one. The author has given the names and addresses of all the Sikhs who laid down their lives fighting for Kashmir, before and after the Partition. Even the names of those who were killed during terrorist violence are given.

This is a valuable book, both for historians as well as students of history, and a good example of what the sustained efforts and diligent work can achieve.