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Sikhs Burn Latif's "History of the Punjab"


A.N.I., Ludhiana, Apr. 30, 2006

Photo: History of the Punjab

Hundreds of Sikhs took out a protest march in Ludhiana today burning copies of a history book for allegedly using derogatory language and facts about their Gurus.

Protestors said that the book History of the Punjab: From the Remotest Antiquity to the Present Time, authored by Syad Muhammad Latif, which was written over a hundred years ago, and translated into Punjabi by former vice chancellor of Punjab University, Gurumukh Singh, allegedly contained objectionable facts about some of the revered Sikh Gurus.

People said the book described several Sikh Gurus as thieves and bandits. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, was described as timid and a servant of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb while Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, was portrayed as a plunderer.

'False things have been written about our Gurus in the book, which we will not tolerate. The book says that Guru Hargobind Das was a dacoit and he was arrested for that crime. The book also says that Guru Teg Bahadur was beheaded in Delhi because he was a thief,' said Dr. Balwant Singh, a protester.

'According to the book, Guru Gobind Singh got scared when he was asked to sacrifice the life of his sons. Not a single Hindu or Sikh in the country will tolerate this,' he said.

People burnt copies of the book and demanded that the government step in to stop the publication of the book. Protesters even demanded that the government take strict action against the publishers.

'The government should impose a ban on this book. We request the Punjab chief minister to deal with the matter personally and impose a ban on this book,' added Gurinder Pal Singh, another protester.