19 July, 2012

Sikh Coinage: Symbol of Sikh Sovereignty

Sikh Coinage: Symbol of Sikh Sovereignty
By- Surinder Singh

The Sikh coinage has a number of distinct and unique features vis-à-vis prevailing currencies in India. Almost every Sikh historian, European or Indian who wrote about Sikhs, has commented on Sikh coins, based on earlier accounts with some modification but without any examination of the coins which were readily available. These accounts have spread disinformation and distortions to such an extent that the few numismatists who examined the Sikh coins also succumbed to the historical fiction based on hearsay.

An attempt has been made in this study to correct various disinformations and distortions, e.g. the incorrect translation of the legends, incorrect nomenclature of Sikh currency, coins alleged to having been struck by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the name of a courtesan, coins struck by Hari Singh Nalwa in his own name, etc. From the evidence collected from detailed examination of historical accounts and meticulous numismatic investigation, the true perspective has been arrived at about Sikh coinage, in his pristine beauty and as a symbol of Sikh Sovereignty.

Sikh coins were first issued by Banda Bahadur between 1710 and 1713 and after a gap of almost half a century they were again issued from 1765 till 1845. In the field of Indian numismatics, Sikh coins in particular have received scant attention. Scholars and academics have been guilty of neglecting the subject. The present work attempts to fill this gap.

Dr. Surinder Singh, after a short spell as a research scholar in University of Delhi and as a Lecturer in Political Science, Government College, Gurdaspur, was selected to the Indian Defence Accounts Service, where he served from 1956 to 1987.

After retirement, Surinder Singh took up the study of Sikh coinage, of which he had collected over a thousand pieces, during the last few years of his service in Punjab.

He has published over thirty research papers in reputed national and international journals and books.

Dr. Singh is at present working on the ‘Concept of Sikh Sovereignty’ as a Senior Fellow of Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi.

ISBN  978-81-7304-885-2    2010   284p.   Rs.495/ pounds 28

4753/23 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002
Phones: 23284848, 23289100
Fax: 23265162
E-mail: manbooks@vsnl.com

To order your copy at www.manoharbooks.com

No comments:

Post a Comment