Panjab Digital Library (Punjab Digital Library), Sikh Digital Library Welcome GUEST
Contact us   
Search in for  Advanced Search
Manuscripts | Books | Magazines | Newspapers | Photographs | Pamphlets | Files
  To keep it available online
     
 
 
 About Us
History
Policies
Media Room
Newsletters
Working Groups
Current Projects
Behind the Scenes
 Services
Forum
Digitization
Data Mining
Interlibrary
Exhibitions
Preservation
Upload Document
Digitization Training
 General Info
Jobs
Team
Volunteer
Collections
Downloads
Case Studies
Donor Levels
Acknowledgments
 
 
     
 
PDL Spreads its Wings - Covers Articles under Digitization Project
PDL Spreads its Wings - Covers Articles under Digitization Project
 
 
Like climate, with its longer spells of calm broken by periodic cyclonic disruptions, history also passes through a labyrinthine maze of fertile and barren patches. Consecutive occurrence of turbulent incidences over a short period of a few months, years or decades often resulting in far-reaching consequences and altering a nation’s historical, constitutional and civilizational status is what makes a period fertile in the historical sense. Corresponding spell of a comparative passivity passes for a period of historical barrenness. Seen in this context, the first five decades of twentieth century in India’s history is one of the most fertile periods. It is crowded with the events of utmost political, historical and cultural significance. Quit India; Swadeshi; Non-cooperation and Ghadar Movement; Jallianwala Bagh tragedy; Cabinet Mission; Cripps Mission; Round Table Conference; Two World Wars and India’s willing and non-willing participation in these; India’s independence and its simultaneous partition, transfer of power; the largest-ever migration of population amidst worst communal violence; Kashmir imbroglio; Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination; formation of interim National Government; Constitution of constituent Assembly; framing and adoption of India’s Constitution; merger of princely states into the Indian Union; Outbreak of epidemics; eighth Karsewa at Darbar Sahib together with the religio-cultural and educational reforms like Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s Brahmo Samaj in Bengal, Arya Samaj and Singh Sabha Lehar in Punjab and Khilafat Movement – the list is endless – all happened in a short period of half a century. One gets a peep into the womb of time during this slice of Panjab’s history as one scans the proceedings of the Punjab Legislative Council debates held between 1922-1924 at Simla and Legislative Assembly debates at Delhi in 1924 and the correspondence between Sardar Patel (Vallabh Bhai Patel) the Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Home Minister of India’s first interim Indian National Government and other national leaders and outgoing British Viceroys during 1945-50. It is Punjab Digital Library’s endeavour to make these rare documents accessible to the scholars and researchers online and provide introductory information about these through our monthly newsletters. Our aim is to preserve and propagate every document which is part of Panjab’s history.

Sikh Gurdwara Reforms Movement in Punjab that raged in Punjab to liberate the Sikh shrines from the illegal occupation of hereditary Mahants between 1921-24 and the unparalleled sacrifices made by the Sikhs at Nankana Sahib, Tarn Tarn, Guru-ka-Bagh and Jaito looms large over these debates in both the legislative houses. So intense and countrywide was the impact of this relentless Sikh struggle, that it drew an instant, spontaneous and overwhelming support from all the political leaders cutting across their political and religious affiliations. It is reflected through their highly emotive speeches in the two legislative houses. Some of these speeches like those of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya [Feb. 25,1924], Dewan Raja Narendra Nath, Gokul Chand Narang and Prof Ruchi Ram Sahni [Jan.-April,1922] are worth their weight in gold. These speeches, besides, being symptomatic of rare national solidarity, bear a testimony to the utmost Sikh sacrifices for the liberation of their sacred shrines. Incarceration of Veteran Sikh crusaders like Baba Kharak Singh in jail for years and countrywide demand for their unconditional release by the tallest Indian leaders through these debates reflects the national mood as well as the glorious Sikh heritage. The speedy passage of Sikh Shrines Bill in 1922 and later in 1925 with amendments by the Punjab Legislative Council and its recommendation to the Governor General in Council for the notification of this Bill highlights the impact of the Sikh struggle and the urgency for these reforms.

Recently digitized Sardar Patel correspondence (1945-50) reveals the monumental magnitude of regional, national and international problems confronting the interim Indian National Government and their resolution to the optimum satisfaction of the contending parties. Leaving aside the minor irritants due to the temperamental idiosyncrasies of miniscule Congress and Akali/Sikh leaders, the correspondence on Sikh and Punjab issues gives the impression of Congress and mainstream Sikh leadership being on the same page over India’s and Punjab’s partition, representation of Sikhs in legislatures and services, reservation for scheduled castes among the Sikhs and the language issue in post-partitioned Punjab. Sikh share in power at the centre, their supportive role during the Kashmir crisis and Sardar Patel’s tribute to Sikh resilience and survival instinct despite the trauma of Punjab partition and their dislocation in his speech in the constituent Assembly (Oct 14, 1949) provides a rare insight into the Punjab-Sikh situation at that time. The correspondence on Kashmir brings out the gravity of situation following Pakistan’s armed incursion into Kashmir, Kashmir Maharaja’s belated accession to India and India’s forceful defense of Kashmir. This part of the correspondence also brings out contrast between the idealistic philosophical and somewhat dreamy disposition of Jawahar Lal Nehru and the Down-to-earth, pragmatic and quickly responsive attitude of Sardar Patel.

Recently digitized Sardar Patel correspondence (1945-50) reveals the monumental magnitude of regional, national and international problems confronting the interim Indian National Government and their resolution to the optimum satisfaction of the contending parties. Leaving aside the minor irritants due to the temperamental idiosyncrasies of miniscule Congress and Akali/Sikh leaders, the correspondence on Sikh and Punjab issues gives the impression of Congress and mainstream Sikh leadership being on the same page over India’s and Punjab’s partition, representation of Sikhs in legislatures and services, reservation for scheduled castes among the Sikhs and the language issue in post-partitioned Punjab. Sikh share in power at the centre, their supportive role during the Kashmir crisis and Sardar Patel’s tribute to Sikh resilience and survival instinct despite the trauma of Punjab partition and their dislocation in his speech in the constituent Assembly (Oct 14, 1949) provides a rare insight into the Punjab-Sikh situation at that time. The correspondence on Kashmir brings out the gravity of situation following Pakistan’s armed incursion into Kashmir, Kashmir Maharaja’s belated accession to India and India’s forceful defense of Kashmir. This part of the correspondence also brings out contrast between the idealistic philosophical and somewhat dreamy disposition of Jawahar Lal Nehru and the Down-to-earth, pragmatic and quickly responsive attitude of Sardar Patel.

Any authors interested in contributing to our preservation efforts are requested to contribute their articles for this collection. Please send your articles to info@PanjabDigiLib.org or call us at +91 981 411 3047, so that we can include them in our digital canon for posterity.

 
Bookmark and Share
Back to Newsletter
 
  Manuscripts |   Books |   Magazines |   Newspapers |   Photographs |   Pamphlets |   Files
PDL Guestbook | Info for Custodians | Privacy Statement | FAQs | Feedback | Disclaimer | Forms | PDL Metadata Schema

Revealing the Invisible Heritage of Panjab