SIKH GURŪ O SIKH JĀTl, by Sarat Kumār Roy, is a brief history in Beṅgali of the Sikhs from the birth of Gurū Nānak (1469-1539), founder of the faith, to the fall of the Sikh kingdom in 1849. The book was first published in 1909, and reprinted in 1921. The author, Sarat Kumār Roy (1878-1935), was teacher at Tagore's Brahmacharyāshram at Śāntīniketan and wrote the book primarily for students, depending for information on authorities such as General Gordon, Major Court, Sir Lepel Griffin, J.D. Cunningham and M.A. Macauliffe, besides articles published in some Beṅgali journals of his time.

        The book, comprising 19 chapters, begins with a description of the political and social milieu into which was born Gurū Nānak who, according to the author, preached the message of Hindu Muslim unity. The second chapter is devoted to the development of Sikhism under the succeeding eight Gurūs, followed by a chapter on the life of Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, the last in the line of Ten Gurūs or prophet-teachers. The next two chapters describe the birth of the Khālsā and the struggle it waged against religious intolerance and persecution. The author especially notices how among the Khālsā caste differentiations were eliminated and how no distinctions existed of high and low. Referring briefly to events in the 18th century and the rise of Sikh rnisls, the narrative moves on to the career of the Sikh sovereign Raṇjīt Siṅgh, which is described in considerably greater detail. A chapter deals with the Mahārājā's relations with the East India Company. The book concludes with an analysis of the factors leading to the commencement of hostilities between the Sikhs and the English, resulting in the annexation of the Punjab by the latter. The introductory note is from the pen of Rābindranāth Tagore.

Himādrī Banerjee