Way of the Warrior: Vanguard of the Khalsa Raj

This month marks the birth anniversary of one of the greatest Sikh warriors of all time, Akali Phula Singh Nihang, who is shown profusely armed in this painted portrait commissioned by a French general in the Khalsa Army, Claude Auguste Court.

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iWitness: Sword of Destiny

The stars of yesterday’s post, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Emily Eden, both make appearances in William Dalrymple’s new book Return of the King, which has now been serialised on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Book of the Week’.

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Better Half: The Maharaja and the Memsahib

In the week of the 200th anniversary of the first edition of Jane Austen’s classic Pride & Prejudice, we look at the Sikh Empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh through the eyes of Emily Eden (1797-1869) whose own works have been compared with Austen’s.

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Home Abroad: Twice Migrants

Forty-three years ago almost to the day, Kenya-born Harbans Singh Jabbal made history when, as a Special Constable, he became the first British Police Officer to wear a turban on duty on 28 January 1970. He had earlier worked as a Detective Chief Inspector in Kenya until 1966. Here Inspector Wilfred Parker briefs his team at the station before they leave on patrol.

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The Camera Never Lies: Home Sweet Home

An intimate glimpse into the life of an extended family in a typical Sikh household nearly 140 years ago is given in this photograph.

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Thought for the Day: Drawing Inspiration

In today’s busy world with all its distractions, does Sikh culture from the past inspire you?

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No Sacred Cows: God’s work or pious bodge job?

Since the time of Guru Nanak, Sikhs have been enjoined to participate in ‘seva’ or selfless service infused with piety and sacred effort. One aspect in particular attracts our attention: ‘kar seva‘.

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Way of the Warrior: Women Warriors

This week the U.S. military will formally end its ban on women serving in front-line combat roles, with one US defense official commenting that this better reflected ‘the realities of 21st century combat’.

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iWitness: Royal Impressions 1854

In the week of the death anniversary of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) we access her private diaries to discover something of her initial impressions of the deposed boy king of the Sikhs, Maharaja Duleep Singh (1838-1893).

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Better Half: Ladies First?

This week has seen the inauguration of President Obama. Integral to the procedure was his wife and First Lady, Michelle. Notably the day included the first Sikh woman to offer prayer at the Inaugural Prayer Service, Sapreet Kaur.

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