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THE NOMDAS (Past and present)
The thunder of their hoofs was heard for miles away sending people scampering for cover and safety. First to tame and mount the horse, these marauding nomads ruled the steppe for five hundred years. History calls them the Scythians.
Around 300 BC, these noble warriors were displaced from their homeland by their nomadic cousins. Some made their way to the Indus Valley, the heart of what came to be known as Punjab.
Two millennium later some of their descendants are on the move again, primarily because of economic and political pressures. These are the Sikhs who have migrated and joined the mainstream in western countries and have distinguished themselves as entrepreneurs, politicians, professors, artists, writers, doctors and engineers.
THE MAVERICKS (old and new)
Jats, the progeny of the Scythians flourished in Punjab. They excelled in farming and animal husbandry. Matchless as soldiers, they are unafraid to take arms to fight for their rights and those of fellow beings. Many converted to Islam, some embraced the Sikh faith, while others were assimilated into Hinduism.
But, they remained nomadic at heart: fiercely independent. Their rugged individualism often sets them at odds with one another, splitting them into factions. Some are adrift in a sea of socio-religious confusion. Turned fundamentalist, they promote infighting, while others behave like Caeser.
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Bhupinder Singh Mahal has written extensively for Sikh journals, newspapers and magazines in Canada, United States, England and India on Sikh ethos in general and evolving situations and challenges facing Sikh diaspora in particular. He has lived and or worked on five continents. His international manifold experience has provided him with a platform to promote multiculturalism in Canada. From 1990 to 1994 he served on the Canadian Multiculturalism Advisory Committee, a body responsible for policy development in the elimination of barriers to achieve social, cultural and economic equality for all Canadians. Since 1997 he has been playing a very proactive role in the health care arena: serving four years as Vice Chair of a leading health provider organization and by serving on the Council of the College of Physiotherapists, both Order-in-Council appointments by the Ontario government. In March 2009 Mr. Mahal was appointed Chairperson, Employment Insurance Board of Referees (a Governor-in-Council appointment). The legislatively prescribed Board is a first-level, independent, administrative tribunal mandated to provide fair and impartial quasi-judicial hearings of appeals of Employment Insurance decisions. In 2003 he was awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, created to mark the 50 anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth ll to the throne, for contribution to Canada, to the community and to fellow Canadians. In 2007 he was awarded Council Award by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario in recognition of significant contributions ensuring the physiotherapists provide high quality, competent and ethical services that protect the public interest.Review:
(Author)takes up the daunting task of tracing the anthropological characteristics of Sikhs to arrive at many a startling inference. -- Saran Singh, Editor The Sikh Review, Kolkata
Author traces Punjabi cultural characteristics back to the Scythians.....a resonance from ancient to modern times... quite a readable book. -- Dr. Cynthia Mahmood, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Maine from Waterville, ME USA
Every serious Sikh must read the book and it should have wide publicity. The author has certainly kept his focus... --Dr. Pashaura Singh, University of Michigan
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