Baldev Singh Saraknama's name to be Eradicated from Dhahan Prize (Vancouver)
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Baldev Singh Saraknama’s novel Sooraj dee akh has been widely criticized as an attack on Ranjit Singh, the leader of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century. He repeatedly defeated invasions by outside armies, particularly those arriving from Afghanistan, and established friendly relations with the British. He is also credited with introducing reforms, modernization, investment into infrastructure and general prosperity. To this day, his popularly known as Sher-e-Punjab, or "Lion of Punjab".
Sooraj dee akh has created an uproar in India over the distortion of historical fact regarding Ranjit Singh. This controversy has proven so sensitive that the publisher of the book stopped his print run and copies removed from shelves. No further publication is expected from this novel which is the source of great dissention and controversy between communities.
With respect, we strongly urges you to kindly reconsider your decision to give this prize to Baldev Singh Saraknama. Sikhs around the globe are in favor of reversal of your sponsorship would go a long way to demonstrating an appropriate neutral position regarding this unfortunate piece of literature.
Thanking you in advance for your consideration of our correspondence.
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