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Water Stirred with SteelDate: Wednesday, 14 October, 2009

Heritage Shared 2009

A fabulous evening was held at Aston University as part of the Heritage Shared series, where Harisimiran Singh Sandhu gave an informative lecture on the brave contribution made by Sikh soldiers since the birth of the Khalsa. Over 100 guests gathered at the recently built Aston Business School to recognise the unique spirit and gallantry of the Sikhs.

Harisimiran Sandhu, who holds an MA in War Studies examined the origins of the Sikh martial tradition and focused on the life and martyrdom of one of the most revered and iconic heroes of Sikh history - Baba Deep Singh. The lecture was broken down into a number of topics which ranged from the early beginnings of the Sikh faith up to and including the life and works of Baba Deep Singh.

Harisimran spoke of Baba Deep Singhs early life when he was baptized by the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, who also personally schooled him in languages, scriptures and warfare. Baba Deep Singh was regarded as one of the most devout Sikhs of his time and had helped compile the first Adi Granth (Sikh Scriptures). Harisimran also described him as a great warrior who was ‘tall, strong, and uncommonly brave'. He went on to outline how this concept of the saint soldier imbued future generations of Sikh soldiers with courage and discipline which saw them used as front line troops in battlefields across the world, including Flanders, North Africa, Burma, the Middle East and many others.

Those who attended, included soldiers from the British Army, relatives, military historians and students. The evening was a tremendous success with everyone who attended really enjoying the event and there has already been dialogue about holding another evening within Birmingham on the contribution of Sikh soldiers during the Second World War.

Review by Raj Kumar

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