One of the main objects of Kes Sambhal Parchar Sanstha relates to bringing unity and uniformity among the Sikhs. The Sanstha has been engaging itself in various programs with a view to achieve this laudable object. When, the Sanstha decided to get the Directories of the Sikh residents prepared for various areas of Delhi and got the first Directory of the Sikhs of Rajouri Garden area printed last year, it was a significant step in this direction only. In the meantime, I was thinking of revising my book ‘The Story of Valiant Sikhs’, the last edition of which was published ten years ago. When I discussed my project with honourable members of the Sanstha, a view was expressed by the members that my book should be given the shape of an international directory of renowned Sikhs. This view was welcomed and accepted by me and the members of the Sanstha in different units. Some people may think as why this compilation be called a Directory rather than a book. It is because its format is closer to a directory rather than a book. Whereas, in a book, there is a continuity of narration, a directory deals with the details of various persons separately. Our directory may not give contacts of various persons, but as per our motive, it provides useful information about them. Originally it was planned to bring out a directory of 1100 Sikh role-models in different spheres of life. However, considering the difficulty of collecting data for such a big number of persons and also the unmanageable size of the Directory with such a big number, of role-models was reduced from 1100 to 500 only. Similarly, as per the original plan, the Directory was to be released in November 2016 on the occasion of the Avtar purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, but, when, it was realized that to complete this mission, some more time was required, it was fi nally decided to dedicate this project to the 350th birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and release the Directory in January/ February 2017. By grace of God, we have been able to accomplish this task and the Directory is being released accordingly.
A good numbers of persons may ask this question as why such a directory was needed. A number of Directories of this type have been appearing from time to time, so, what was the necessity of bringing out another Directory. It may also be asked as what is new or unique about the directory under reference. It may be mentioned here to satisfy the queries in this regard that this is the first time that a Directory of such a big number of people in ‘Sikhi sarup’ is being presented. In all earlier Directories, the focus was on Punjabies or Sikhs, both turbaned and others, but, in this Directory we are concerned with those valiant Sikhs who have won laurels in their respective fields by remaining in ‘Sikhi sarup’ and not compromising on this signifi cant aspect of a Sikh personality. Further, the Sikhs included in this Directory are supposed to posses minimum two qualities as mentioned in Gurbani and by Bhai Gurdas Ji in his Vars and Kabitts. These qualities include simplicity, humanity, humility knowledge, honesty, truthfulness, soft speech and a humanly sensitive attitude to help others, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and nationality. Another important thing about all these role-models listed herein, is that they have done or are doing something signifi cant for propagation of Sikh religion, Punjabi culture, Punjabi language and ethical values. Some of them might have done or are still doing some marvelous work in other fi elds for human welfare which has made the people in general and Sikhs in particular, proud of them. The list of role-models includes people from almost all walks of life, belonging to diff erent strata of society living at different places on the globe.
Write a good quote here.
Th is Directory is diff erent from other Directories in the sense that it is not merely a Directory. As it sheds considerable light on Sikh history, Sikh values, Gurbani and contribution with achievements of the Sikhs in diff erent walks of life. It is sort of a mini encyclopedia which will help to spread the information regarding Sikh religion and its followers living in more than 150 countries of the world among the people of other religions and communities living in those countries. The main purpose of bringing out this Directory is to apprise the people, particularly those belonging to Sikh community, that there is no cause for worry that nothing concrete is being done to propagate the Sikh religion in the right earnest. This Directory will emphasize that in every field and almost in every country, there are turbaned Sikhs who are not only contributing towards the progress and development of their respective countries, but, are also taking valuable steps for propagating their identity, values, traditions and the teachings of the Masters. It is our genuine intention that all such people working for the welfare of the humanity may know about others and come closer to each other for strengthening their activities. Th us, this Directory is aimed at highlighting the useful work being done by our people and bring them closer for consolidating their efforts to benefit the Sikh community and consequently the entire humanity.
Some people may not like some of our role-models because of the one or the other reason. In this respect, it can only be said that if the reasons arise out of personal bias or prejudice or thinking or ideology or affi nity to a particular group, party or organization, we can only assure that while making selection we have not taken any of these factors into account. We have selected people without considering their group or party, as we believe that all the people, being the sons and daughters of one God, cannot be discriminated on any such ground. Th e message of universal brotherhood as given by our Gurus applies to all and as such includes the Sikhs also. For us, all the Sikhs belong to one fraternity. However, as per our criteria, only those Sikhs could be included among the role-models who have faith only in Sri Guru Granth Sahib and not in any other deity or living persons. If we have included any Sikh about whom we could not know some hidden aspects of his character or personality, that should be treated as a genuine mistake, because, in the present day world, it is a difficult to know the inside characteristics of a particular person. Many a times, even the parents fail to understand the true character and behavior of their children. Some people may also find fault like trimming of beard or not following
the requirements of an Amritdhari Sikh. For that we can only say that we have tried our best not to consider such persons with such like violations. However, if some persons of this type have been included by mistake, it may be mainly because of their marvelous achievements or the name and fame which he or she has won. In that case and in all other cases of genuine mistake in including the names for the role-models, we only wish and pray to God that such persons included herein will improve their looks and actions in near future in such a way that they justify our selection. Waheguru Ji is ‘bakshanhar’ and He always pardons us for our wrong doings if we approach Him with compunction. We are sure that if our role-models have done wonderful things in life, they will never fail to look and behave like excellent Sikhs as envisaged by our Gurus.
Before closing, it may also be made clear that we have included in our list of role-models only the living persons, but, all those persons who have played a vital role in shaping the Sikh history have been remembered in our introduction to various categories of people. We are really grateful to all those persons who have helped us in the preparation of this Directory in any manner, be it collecting data, compiling the profiles or rendering any other useful service in this regard. The prospective readers and users of this directory are requested to ignore our mistakes and appreciate the spirit with which the Directory has been prepared and presented.