It was a privilege to have Mr Amardeep Singh in our city the author of two books 1. The Lost Heritage – The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan 2.The quest continues – Lost Heritage.
Before I talk about his books here, I wish to congratulate him and salute him for his commendable job by writing these books. I get a strong sense that GOD chose Mr Amardeep Singh from millions of people around the world to undertake this extraordinary journey that meant exploring of roots admits distress and terror that no ordinary citizen could have attempted .
His first book is an exploration of Sikh Legacy in 36 villages in 30 days and his second book is an exploration of Sikh Legacy in 90 cities and villages in another 30 days which is an extraordinary contribution for the public, the present generations and the coming generations. A very deep rooted desire to connect with the land of his ancestors propelled Singapore based Amardeep to visit Pakistan. Engineer by profession and holding Masters in Business Administration from University of Chicago, Mr Amardeep worked in the corporate world at high positions for 25 years before he took up his mission of travelling to the land of his ancestors. Little did he know in the 25 years, that his passion for literature and skills in creative arts prepared him to write extensively in detail in his two books.
As I read both of his books I realized the author has gone beyond just writing these two books that have wealth of information, photographs and scriptures. Mr Amardeep Singh has shown courage and fircelessness by travelling to even the remotest unknown places to us and bringing the lost legacy which has never been attempted before.
In his first book as the author initiates his journey after making his formalities of immigration he is approached by an Pakistan Intelligence Official in plain clothes with volley of questions and the author thinks if he had made a mistake by travelling in that part of the world. As I read to me, it seemed like a movie scene as it was so dramatic and fearless that it is remote someone would take the courage of taking this task. As the author travelled from from one point to another the reader is travelling along with him and getting to know about the wealth of monuments, Gurudwaras, inscriptions, the legendary forts and the stories that have been left behind.
There were instances of sadness and jubilation for the author that could be felt by me as a reader who got immersed and was travelling along with the author. Feeling of sadness when he saw a demolished Gurudwara in remains or when the artifacts of a Gurudwara or monument had been destroyed by negligent thinking of restoring this ancestoral wealth. The emotions were jubilant when the author saw visitors from different faiths in a Gurudwara as it reflected peace in humanity or when he visited the Fakir Khara Museum in Lahore.
Where ever the author felt the history had been distorted he did his research and has shown forage to call upon the historians to adopt a rational investigation approach. e.g his research on the the missing roof from Jahangir’s mausoleum in Lahore.
Without having read these books never would have I known the Sikhs left in Pakistan want their identity to be known and are proud sikhs. They have named their businesses to let people now of their identity like the Sradar ji Clinic, The Khalsa Oil and the Sardarji Lengha house. The author heard the first hand stories like that from Muzammal Bibi and Muhammad Aslam that has helped in keeping the history alive.
Among numerous unique things recorded by the author one of them that held my heart was to see in Guru Ramdasss Gurudwara a Sindhi performing kirtan, A sikh reading Guru Garanth sahib ji and a muslim devotee holding the Chaur sahib. A unique example of peace and humanity that is often broken in different parts of the world.
The author made the two travels in such a short period of time and gathered astounding information and research-while he faced numerous challenges. The two books are exceptionally extraordinary and should be occupying space in all households who have concern for humanity and history of legacy. Good luck to him for his future projects.
Analysis by Raman Gill as a reader.