parmjit singh

In The Master's Presence..The Sikhs of Hazoor Sahib

The gathering in the Jubilee Room at the English House of Commons in London for the launch of In The Master’s Presence, a book by our friends Nidar Singh Nihang and Parmjit Singh, was indeed an impressive one.

Although I was only able to glance through the sample copy briefly, it was enough to know that the superbly selected, and abundant use of illustrations alone gives this book a very special place in the annals of Sikh History.

It has a quality about it not only in the production which is superb, but also in the depth and calibre of its authors, men of both high integrity and standards of excellence

As Nidar Singh Nihang put it, this book gives an alternative view of our history. Drawing on sources in Hazur Sahib, Maharastra, it conveys the Nihang view of Sikhism. There’s bound to be some controversy here - as there always is nowadays with things Nihang - but without that, this book would have risked becoming yet another of those run-of-the-mill histories.

I’m quite sure that the ten years of research which these two authors put into the writing of this beautiful book was methodical and meticulous. I look forward to being able to learn more and enjoying the forthcoming discussions about the Nihang past.

Parmjit’s previous books include the wonderful Warrior Saints (which he co-authored with Amandeep Singh Madra), which shows the three-hundred-year military history of the Sikhs - one of the most treasured books we have.

(A Kalgi (aigrette) belonging to Guru Gobind Singh, now at the Takht Hazur Sahib.)

When Guru Gobind Singh passed on 300 years ago in what is now known as Hazur Sahib, he decreed that he would be the last living Guru, and that the “Adi Granth” would be the next and perennial Guru of the Sikhs.

About the Author:

Nidar Singh is an imposing figure, who looks as though he’s just sauntered out of some eighteenth century military camp in the middle of nowhere and just happened upon the bastion of British Democracy for a cup of chai. He exudes an air of being so at ease with himself that being around him everyone relaxes visibly. Which may seem odd to you: a man in a dress with calf muscles David Beckham would die for, a worn-out anorak barely hiding the large kirpan tucked into his waistband, standing in the hallowed sanctuary of the British Establishment.

To the contrary, it just seemed the most natural thing in the world.

He is the embodiment of the spirit of what he writes about in his book. He brings it to life, makes history happen in this moment. As I looked again around the room at all the smiling faces it dawned on me how happy everyone was, how friendly and caring, how we all were part of one huge global family, how everyone felt taken care of.

[In The Master’s Presence: The Sikhs of Hazoor Sahib: 1, by Nidar Singh Nihang & Parmjit Singh, Kashi House, 2009. Illustrated, hardcover, 330 pages, Pounds Sterling: 45.00.  ISBN-10: 0956016804, ISBN-13: 978-0956016805.]