Gurtej Singh – B. March 30, 1947.
Education: Up to Intermediate level studied at Dehra Dun and Mussoorie. Graduated from Government College, Chandigarh. MA in history from Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Profession: Now basically a middle level farmer and a writer. Has taught history at the Panjab University Chandigarh, Lyallpur Khalsa College Jalandhar and Gurmat College Patiala to graduate and post-graduate classes. Was trained for the Indian Police Service in 1970. Then joined Indian Administrative Service in 1971.
Interests pursued: Politics (1983 –1997). Worked for the Shiromani Akali Dal as General Secretary and Spokesman from 1989 to 1991 and again from 1995 to 1997 (during the latter period it was known as Shiromani Akali Dal Panthic). Contested the aborted elections of 1991 to the Indian Parliament from Faridkot constituency. Has been working for Human Rights for more than a decade and a half. Has written mainly in Punjabi and English for several reputed papers and magazines. Supports Sikh, Punjabi, Human Rights and Environment causes. Politically a votary of `self-determined political status for the Sikhs’ or the Sikh Homeland of Sirdar Kapur Singh’s conception and socially an advocates a caste-less non-exploitative, egalitarian society.
Designated Professor of Sikhism by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee in 1982. Relinquished title on March 15, 2004.
1. Sikhism An Oecumenical Religion, (1993) –Edited.
2. Kichh Suniye Kichh Kahie (1994, collection of Punjabi essays – theological, political and cultural)
3. Parchian Sewadas (1995, a translation of 18th Century Punjabi text to English –co-authored)
4. Tandav of the Centaur (1997. English, a study of the Sikh situation in modern times)
5. Chakravyuh:Web of Indian Secularism, (2000, English, an interpretation of the role of the Sikh leadership. Containing the Will of Darshan Singh Pheruman and other documents of contemporary history bringing out the plight of Sikhs in the re-colonised Punjab: English translation of the Amarnamah, an 18th century Persian text and so on)
6. Bhagat Singh ate Sikh Chetna, (2000, Punjabi). Edited (also contains several essays written by him).
7. Shahid Bilas Sant Jarnail Singh (June 2001, Punjabi). Co-edited (Also contains several essays written by him). Second edition of this book (ISBN 81-7205-278-2, September 2002), Singh Brothers, Amritsar.
8. Singhnad, (June 2002, Punjabi) Singh Brothers, Amritsar, ISBN 81-7205-266-9, a collection of thirty-eight social, cultural, and historical essays, published in the papers and magazines from time to time.
9. Has prepared the Sikh Marriage Act for Pakistan which has since been promulgated as Sikh Marriage Ordinance 2008.
10. Var Shah Muhammad: Saanjhe Punjab da Darad, (Punjabi) ISBN 81-7205-448-3, Singh Brothers, Amritsar, February 2010. An attempt at understanding the deeper import of Shah Muhammad’s immortal poem on the Sikh-British wars.
11. Orhak Sach Rahee, (Punjabi), Tat Gurmat Taksal, Chandigarh, April 2010. An analysis of the treatment meted out to Bhai Darshan Singh.
12. Has translated to English, Rattan Singh Bhangu’s, Sri Gur Panth Prakash, a nineteenth century text written in a mixture of Punjabi, Khari Boli and Braj. (sent for publication)
13. Khalsa Rahit and Guru Granth: A Court Testimony, record of expert evidence presented before the full bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court in two suits concerning Sikh identity. It has gone for publication and is under print.
14. God of ‘dasamgranth,’ an attempt to understand the nature of divinity presented in the book. This book is under publication.
Has edited Sikh Studies Journal (English) and the Vishav Sikh Bulletin (Punjabi, Monthly)
Books under preparation :-
Of the six books currently under preparation, one Tune of the Tandav deals with events leading to the re-colonisation of the Punjab in 1947 inclusive of analysis of trends of historical writing in modern India. Another is political autobiography in Punjabi Tarian Bhari Changer. According to Evidence, is a study of several original texts pertaining to the Sikh and the Punjab history (dating from 1707 to 1947). He is also working on certain aspects of the Kartarapuri Bir (the original Sikh Scripture published in 1604 CE) and recent history of the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Has contributed to several books including the Encyclopaedia of Sikhism, and has written forewords to several books. Has been interviewed by several magazines. Has addressed audiences generally from Sikh platforms. Has interacted with students and teachers of the Panjab University, the Punjabi University, Patiala and the Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and so on.
Has actively participated in several seminars held by academic bodies in India and abroad.
Forewords written for books:-
1. Karnail Singh, Wintson Churchill’s Account of Anglo-Sikh Wars & its Inside Tale, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amritsar, 1984 & 1998.
2. P. K. Nijhawan, Suppression of Intellectual Dissidence, Offbeat Readings India, Delhi, 1997.
3. Harbhajan Singh, Hoshiaar Bedaar--,
4. Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana, Bachitar Natak, (Punjabi), Sri Akal Sahai Society (Registered), Amritsar, May 1999. (A commentary on an eighteenth century text)
5. Darshan Singh, Ujaro Deepa (Punjabi), Sikh Foundation, Delhi, March 2001(ISBN 81-7873-001-4. (An exposition of the various statements concerning Sikh theology).
6. Sardar Jagjit Singh, The Sikh Revolution,
7. Bhai Narayan Singh, Lalkaar, (Punjabi), (A book of poems by an activist who has played a key role in the recent Sikh struggle).
8. Harshinder Singh & Kulbir Singh, Kala Afghana Rachnavalli da yatharath, February 2003.
Articles contributed to books:-
1. “Political Ideas of Guru Nanak, the Originators of the Sikh faith,” Recent Researches in Sikhism, Jasbir Singh Mann & Kharak Singh (Ed.), Punjabi University, Patiala, 1992, pp. 61-71.
2. and 3. “A Study of the Dasam granth – an appreciation of Ashta’s and Jaggi’s approach”,
“Can Dr. Pashaura Singh be defended?” Planned Attack on Aad Sri Guru Granth Sahib, (Ed. Bachittar Singh Giani), International Centre of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, 1994, pp.176-182.
4. `Construction of religious boundaries,’ Invasion of Religious Boundaries, (Ed. Jasbir Singh Mann et al), Canadian Sikh Study & Teaching Society, 1995, pp. 178-184.
5. “Key-note Address” (pp.10-29) and “Sikh identity in the context of resurgent modern India,” (pp. 85-111), Current Thoughts on Sikhism, (Ed.) Kharak Singh, Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, 1996. (ISBN 81-8515-01-1).
6. “Rise of the Sikh Power as seen through the eyes of Rattan Singh Bhangu,” The Khalsa over 300 Years, (ISBN 81-85229-12-0), J. S. Grewal & Indu Banga, (Ed), Tulika, New Delhi, 1999, pp. 48-54. This paper was earlier published in the Proceedings of the Indian History Congress ----- pp----------
7. “Compulsions of Indian de-colonisation and the Khalsa ethos,” Khalsa and the Twenty-first Century, (Ed. Dr. Kharak Singh), Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, 1999, pp. 18-26. (ISBN 81-85815-10-0).
8. Gurbaksh Singh Rahi, Jinhi raahee(n) mai(n) gaia, (Punjabi) (A biography of an 90 years old social and political leader who has played an important role in recent history).
9. “Punjab din dihare luttia ja riha hai,” Banjar ho riha Punjab, Vichar Prakashan, Sanngrur, 1993.
10. Dr. Navtej Singh, “Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev and the Sikh Movement: A broader perspective,” (Inaugural Address), Perspectives On Guru Arjan Dev, Punjabi University, Patiala, 2008. (ISBN 81-302-0138-0)
11. “Guru Granth Sahib: promoting religious pluralism, equality, social and economic justice,” Sachkibani or Universal Message for Peace, (Ed.) Swaranjit Singh, Harvind Kaur Singh et al, Institute of Conflict Studies, Northbrook, Il. USA, 2008, pp. 45-68. (ISBN 978-9819338-1-8)
Stories for children: Has written the following:-
1. “To the fellow Sikh youth I & II” – 1965.
2. “A lesson in courage,” Gur Deepak, Patiala, September-October, 1983, pp. 18-20.
3. “Mai(n) sikh kyo(n) ha(n)” – March 10, 1976 – also translated to English “Why am I a Sikh”
4. “How the Tenth Guru faced adversity” December 1, 1973.
5. “Connotation of the expression Dark-age” February 2, 1974.
6. “Tale of the martyr Sham Singh,” March 31, 1975.
7. “Significance of martyrdom in Sikh history”
8. “Place of women in Sikh society”
9. “Life of Bhai Mani Singh,” The Sikh Review, Calcutta, (Vol. XVIII No. 198) April-May, 1970, pp. 41-44.
(He has besides written several articles in Punjabi and English for several prestigious magazines and newspapers.)
1. “Image of the Sikh Panth in the work of an Early Nineteenth Century Sikh Historian,” Indian History Congress Proceedings, Patna, 1968, pp. 393-399.
2. “Bhai Gurdas on Guru Nanak and his mission,” The Sikh Review, Calcutta, September 1972, pp. 4-10.
3. “Guru Tegh Bahadur – Builder of the Sikh Nation,” The Sikh Review, Calcutta, December 1975, pp. 85-89.
4. “Ranjit Singh – Maharaja or Sirdar” published in the Souvenir printed by the All India Sikh Students Federation (Chandigarh Circle) on the 200th birth anniversary of Ranjit Singh in 1980
5. “A Lesson in Courage” written for children in `Gur Deepak’ magazine, Patiala, of September October 1983 pp. 18-20
6. “What Bhinderanwale stands for,” The Illustrated Weekly of India, Bombay, April 10, 1983, pp.12-13, -predicting that Bhinderanwale would eventually be eliminated by the state – about two years before it happened.
7. “Bhinderanwale’s sword,” The Sikh Review, Calcutta, November 1983, pp. 55-60, -explaining why he carries weapons.
8. “pustak degh tegh,” Panj Pani Saptahik, (Punjabi Weekly), Chandigarh, April 13, 1984, p.7.
9. “Come home to die,” The Sikh Review, Calcutta,
10. “Significance of the Durga Puja tale,” Nanak Parkash Patrika, Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, December 1988, 134-138.
11. “Koer Singh and his History of the Tenth King,” Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1993, pp.62-74.
12. “Parchian Sewadas” – (an analysis of an early eighteenth century text), Abstracts of Sikh Studies January 1994, pp. 23-32.
13. “A word about the so-called Goindwal Pothis;” pp. 99-101; “Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his Times by Kirpal Singh” (a review) pp. 102-103; “Construction of Religious Boundaries by Oberoi”, (a review) pp.103-109; Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July 1994.
14. “Politics of Sikh Homeland by Gopal Singh”`(a review), Abstracts of Sikh Studies July 1995, pp.100-104.
15. “Keynote Address: Sardar Daljit Singh Memorial Seminar,” Abstracts of Sikh Studies October 1995, pp. 91-107.
16. “Sikh identity in the context of Resurgent Modern India”, Abstracts of Sikh Studies, January-March 1996, pp. 68-89.
17. “You shall not eat Halal,” Abstracts of Sikh Studies, October-December 1996, pp. 52-54.
18. “`Dasam Granth’ bare chonve lekh” (pp. 77&78); “Gatha Sri Adi Granth and the controversy,” (pp. 84-88) Abstracts of Sikh Studies, July-September 1997.
19. “Sardar Jagjit Singh – A salute to the most beloved of the Guru,” Abstracts of Sikh Studies, October-December 1997, pp. 10-13.
20. “Waryam Marad Sirdar Kapur Singh” published by `Des Punjab’ August 1998, pp. 13-14.
21. “Editorial” (Sikh view of Constitutional review, pp. 1-4); “Dr. Ambedkar and Sikhism” (pp. 51-590; “An Examination of the Projected Rationale for All India Gurdwara Act” (pp. 79-93); Abstracts of Sikh Studies, April-June 2000.
22. “Editorial” (The `Dasamgranth’ and Sikh consciousness, pp. 1-4); “Putting the Record Straight: The Why and How of Khalsa College Bombay,” (pp. 93-111 a translation of the original account by Narain Singh from Punjabi to English); “Anatomy of a Case” (pp. 11-113); Sikh Studies Quarterly, July–September 2000.
23. “Editorial (Sikhism and the Hindu Caste System);” “The Press that the Sikhs get;” (pp. 65-70); “Anatomy of a recent controversy;” (pp. 71-82), Sikh Studies Quarterly, October-December 2000.
24. “Editorial;” “The Mystique of the Dasamgranth;” (pp. 64-72); “An Assessment of the Report of the Sodhak Committee” (pp. 85-92); Sikh Studies Quarterly, January-March 2001.
25. “Militant violence: a cultured person’s response to an unjust state,” forms an Editorial of the International Journal of Sikh Affairs, June 2001, pp. 1-5
26. (One of his articles on Guru Tegh Bahadur, advocating a strictly historical appraisal of the great Guru’s personality, was published by an English daily The Hindu, on November 11, 2001, (Chennai) and at the American Sikh web site www sikhe.com on November 26, 2001. It was translated and published in Punjabi by the Spokesman, (a monthly in its January 2002 issue), Chandigarh. It is reproduced by Sikh Virsa of December 2001, Calagry, Canada. A two-page gist of it was carried by the Telugu daily Vartha of Hyderabad and the Telugu language monthly Nadustunna Charitra, of Vijaywada in its December issue. Nishan I/2002 of Delhi and the Punjab Monitor of Amritsar).
A paper on the issue of riparian Punjab’s sole right to its river waters published as “pania(n) da masla,” Sikh Shahdat (Punjabi), Ludhiana in its February 2002 pp. 18-19.
And there are several other articles published at several places