Ganda Singh (Dr.)

Dr. Ganda Singh (15.11.1900-27.12.1987) a Sikh historian was born to Hukam Devi and Jawala Singh in village Hariana, District Hoshiarpur. He was married to Amar Kaur alias Inder Kaur.

He took primary education from his village school and matriculated from Government High School, Hoshiarpur in 1919. Then he joined F.C. College, Lahore, but left soon and joined Indian Army and went to Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Iraq. He left Army in 1921 and worked in Anglo-Persian Oil company in Abadan, Iran (1921-1930). Sir Arnold Wilson, a renowned scholar was manager of that company. He got the help of Ganda Singh in preparing bibliography of Iran. His scholarly company and later itineraries to Europe polished his interest in historical research. He returned to India in 1930 and worked for Giani Hira Singh’s journal Phulwari at Lahore. He joined as head of Sikh history research department at Khalsa College, Amritsar in 1931, where he worked for 19 years with full devotion. He got copied the rare books and manuscripts from Rampur, Bankipur, Patna, Kolkata and Delhi libraries and enriched his college library. He was appointed the director of Archives department of PEPSU in 1949 and he collected the rare works and important files from 8 Princely states. He got Ph.D. from Panjab University in 1952 for his thesis on Ahmad Shah Durrani. He was also awarded degrees of D.Litt (hons.) by Aligarh Muslim University in 1969 and by Punjabi university, Patiala in 1978.

He was appointed the founder head of Punjab Historical Studies Department, Punjabi University, Patiala in 1962. He envisaged many research projects on Punjab history in the university and edited bi-annual research journal Punjab Past and Present. He also set high standards of annual Punjab History conference which became platform for interacting new ideas on Punjab historiography.

Since he had a good proficiency in Persian, he introduced many sources to Sikh history. His historical writings are driven by Khalsa spirit and based on reliable historical evidence. He dispelled many confusions in Sikh history and gave objective account.

He was awarded by Punjab Government (1963) and SGPC, Amritsar (1964). He was also conferred Padam Bhushan by Indian Government (1983), which he returned in protest against the operation Blue Star, and numerous other awards.

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