The Institute of Sikh Studies (IOSS) was established and registered in 1989 by some learned individuals who felt concerned over the large scale misrepresentation of Sikh doctrines, misrepresentation of Gurbani and the lake of understanding of the message of the Gurus, its import on history and its contribution towards the development of mankind. Intellectual stalwarts like Sardar Daljit Singh, Sardar Jagjit Singh and Dr Kharak Singh were the founder members of the Institute.
It is a premier institute of Sikh studies established at Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Punjab. It is run by many other Current Sikh academicians and philosophers. Apart from commenting about various ongoing issues concerning Sikhs in Indian media, many high quality books authored by famous Sikh theologians have been published by this institute.
It has branches all over the world, its main offices outside India is in the USA. The Institute also publishes a monthly journal, the "Abstracts of Sikh Studies" which publishes ongoing research in Sikh Studies. It is a total volunteer institute in which many famous Sikhs participant. This institute is probably one of the few which has enough courage to point out to the Government of India, its anti-Sikh policies.
Institute of Sikh Studies
- Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Kanthala
- Opp Tribune Chowk, Indl. Area Phase II
- Chandigarh - 160 002 (India)
- Phone 91 172 2642580; Fax-cum-Phone 2642581
- E-mail : [email protected] or [email protected]
- Website : www.sikhinstitute.org
Founder Members of the Institute of Sikh Studies:
|S Daljit Singh
|S Jagjit Singh
|Gen Gurbakhsh Singh
|S Karnail Singh
|Maj Gen Narinder Singh
|Dr Kharak Singh
|Bhai Ashok Singh
|Bibi Baljit Kaur
|S Gurdev Singh
|Dr Kuldip Singh
|Dr Gurdarshan Singh
|Dr Sukhjeet Kaur
|Justice Gurdev Singh
|Sardar Harpal Singh
|Ms Surinder Kaur
|S Inderjeet Singh Jaijee
IOSS is non-political and voluntary international organisation dedicated to the correct interpretation of Gurbani and Sikh philosophy as also of propagation of Sikh religion and culture.
Aims of the Institute
Specific aims and objects of the Institute are :-
- To interpret the basic philosophy / theology of Sikhism enunciated in the original writings of Guru Nanak and the succeeding Gurus.
- To study the history of development of Sikh religious thought, society, traditions and polity, and to bring out the contribution of Sikhism towards advancement of universal religious thought and human welfare.
- To prepare and publish suitable literature on the above aspects, and to disseminate information on Sikhism through common media, meetings, seminars, talks, discussions, etc.
- To watch and to counter any attempts to misinterpret Sikhism, or any hostile propaganda against religious philosophy, doctrines, traditions and history of Sikhs or the Sikh way of life.
- To encourage establishment of centres / groups / fora of Sikhs at suitable places in India to promote the aims and objectives of the Institute.
- To maintain close liaison with affiliated centres through visits, periodical newsletter exchange, and supply of literature published by the Institute from time to time.
- To establish and maintain contact with existing religious organisations and institutions interested in the aims and objects of the Institute, and to extend co-operation to, as well as seek co-operation and assistance from them on specific projects.
- To set up a Reference Library for the benefit of members and scholars working for the Institute.
- To prepare and introduce courses of instruction on Sikhism in schools and colleges, willing to participate.
- To cater to the needs of the masses and religious groups of Sikhs in their missionary pursuits, mainly through supply of literature.
- To co-operate with non-Sikh organisations, genuinely interested in the study of Sikh religion.
Present members (2012)
Present Members of the Institute of Sikh Studies:
|Col Amrik Singh
|Bhai Ashok Singh
|Bibi Baljit Kaur
|Dr Birendra Kaur
|S Gajindar Singh
|Dr Gurbakhsh Singh
|Dr Gurcharan Singh
|S Gurcharan Singh
|S Gurdev Singh
|S Gurpreet Singh
|Dr Gurmit Singh
|Dr Hardev Singh
|S Inderjeet Singh
|S Inderjit Singh Jaijee
|S Ishwinder Singh
|S Jagdev Singh
|S Jaspal Singh
|Lt Gen Kartar Singh
|Dr Kirpal Singh
|Dr Kuldip Singh
|S Prabhjot Singh
|S Mohinder Singh
|Dr Prabhjot Kaur
|S Pritam Singh
|S Raghbir Singh
|S Sadhu Singh
|S Santokh Singh
|S Sardul Singh
|Dr Anup Singh
|Dr Jagir Singh
To achieve its various objectives, the IOSS has taken up the following activities in hand:
The Institute has made publishing its main activity. Measures have been taken to publish relevant and authentic quality literature to create understanding of the basic concepts of this youngest and the most modern and practical religion of the world. Till date the Institute has published more than 50 quality books by world reknowned authors like S. Kapur Singh, S. Daljeet Singh, S. Jagjit Singh, Dr. N. Muthumohan, etc. For a detailed listing of IOSS publications and to read some of them online, please visit the Publications section of the website.
A journal, Abstracts of Sikh Studies was started in 1991. It is now issued quarterly in January, April, July and October every year. It is counted amongst the top research journals with a global readership, and is known for its high academic standard. The journal deals with current academic issues relating to Sikh religion and history, besides exposition of basic Sikh doctrines and interpretation of Gurbani. To read current and back issues of the Abstracts of Sikh Studies, please visit the Journal section of the website.
Seminars and Conferences
In 1990-91 seven International Sikh Conferences were organised in U.K., Canada, and U.S.A., at London, Toronto, Vancouver, Berkeley, Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York, to promote understanding of Sikh Thought. Such conferences are now an annual feature and since 1995 the Institute has been holding annual seminars. Top scholars from India and abroad participate in these seminars. Papers presented at these seminars are brought out in a book form, and the issues discussed are pursued further to achieve tangible results. Besides annual seminars, additional mini-seminars, are also organized from time to time. The IOSS members meet regularly every month to discuss current issues confronting the Panth (community). For further details on past and forthcoming seminars, please visit the Seminars section of the website
The Institute has its own library in its headquarters - Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Kanthala, (Opp. Tribune Chowk), Indl Area Phase 2, Chandigarh. The Institute is indebted to Late Sardar Amar Singh Chhatwal who donated funds for the construction of the library building. The library is named after his late wife, Sardarni Sita Chhatwal. More than Four thousand books, including several rare titles are available in the Institute's library. A few years back, the family of Late Dr Sher Singh Sher, International Professor of Sikhism donated his entire library to the Institute. These books form part of the Dr Sher Singh Sher Research Section of the library. The library is open between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on working days and between 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays.
The IOSS and its members keep a watch on the representation of Sikhs and Sikhism in various media. As and when any misrepresentations comes to the notice of the Institute, the matter is taken up with the concerned people and got corrected. e.g. Entries on Sikhism in encyclopaedias contained a lot of incorrect information. The Institute took up the issue with the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Webster’s. The former has agreed to amend the entry in its next edition.
Attempts to confuse Sikh identity from certain quarters have been adequately dealt with by the Institute. e.g. A publication Fundamentalisms Observed brought out by the American Academy of Art and Science, Chicago, contains a lot of blatant misinformation. A detailed note refuting the false propaganda was sent to the Editors and has also been published in our journal. Similarly, crude attacks on the authenticity of the Kartarpuri Bir and Guru Granth Sahib, engineered through hired scholars, have been exposed and repulsed.
Some chairs, created abroad with contributions from Sikhs, have been virtually hijacked. An influential clique, known for its hostility towards Sikh religion, has manipulated to instal its own men. As such the chairs have become seats of gross misinformation and propaganda against Sikh religion and history. The Institute is spear-heading a campaign against their sinister activities.
The Institute has been carefully watching the developments in the academic world, and warns against hostile literature, through reviews or special articles.
The Institute advises the SGPC, as well as the Government on major academic issues from time to time. Besides, numerous enquiries from individuals and organisations have been answered.
Translation into other languages
The Institute has taken up translation of selected material into other Indian languages. Sardar Jagjit Singh’s famous book The Sikh Revolution, has been rendered into Tamil by Dr N. Muthumohan of the Kamraj University , Madurai . Other works which have also been translated into Tamil by him are : Jap Ji and Sukhmani Sahib. Translation of books into Bengali is also in hand with the help of Dr Himadri Banerjee.
Gurmat Chetna Lehar
Launched in March, 1996 Gurmat Chetna Lehar is aimed at bringing awareness of Sikh ideals and fighting apostasy among Sikh youth. A number of camps have been / are being held in schools and colleges to achieve this goal. The Institute has helped the SGPC prepare a manual called Gurmat Chetna Camp Manual for use in these camps. The movement was started by the Institute in 1996 and was taken over by Akal Takht in 1997, and is being handled by it now.
Use of latest tools of mass communication
The Institute has got its own website where latest advances in Sikh research are put up for the benefit of the Panth in general and the Sikh diaspora in particular. Also the Institute was instrumental in arranging daily broadcast of Gurbani Kirtan from Darbar Sahib, Amritsar.
Calendar Reform (Nanakshahi Calendar)
The Institute was instrumental in having the Nanakshahi Calendar reforms implemented.
Sikh apex body
The doctrine of 'Guru Granth - Guru Panth' proclaimed by Guru Gobind Singh necessitated the setting up of an Apex body of the Sikhs through the Panth could discharge its responsibilities and exercise its authority. The IOSS spearheaded the creation of such an Apex body- The International Sikh Confederation (ISC). The ISC now operates from its own Headquarters at Plot No.1 Kendri Singh Sabha, Sector 28/A, Chandigarh. It also has chapters in other big cities of Punjab.
The IOSS presently has the following projects at hand to be completed in the medium and long term:
Sikh History Project
The IOSS has undertaken a project to write authentic Sikh History in five volumes to be published by the SGPC. This project was started under the overall guidance of Dr Kharak Singh and Dr Kirpal Singh. Several leading historians are participating in the same. Volume 1 covering the Guru period was published by the SGPC in February 2004 and was greatly appreciated by the public at large. It is currently out of print. The IOSS has requested the SGPC to bring out a reprint of the same. Work on Volume 2 has been completed and it is pending publication by the SGPC. Volume 3 is currently in the editing stage and is likely to be sent to the SGPC for scrutiny shortly. Volumes 4 and 5 are at a preliminery stage.
Following the demise of Dr Kharak Singh, the IOSS has constituted a 5 member Project Coordination Working Group under the chairmainship of Dr Kirpal Singh to ensure timely and cost effective completion of the project. The other members of this group are S. Gurpreet Singh, S. Gajindar Singh, Col. Amrik Singh and Dr Birendra Kaur.
Qualified research scholars have been employed by the IOSS to undertake translation and research of primary sources of Sikh history such as Sri Guru Sobha, Gurbilas Patshahi VI, Sri Guru Panth Prakash, etc. Special efforts will be made to sort out the controversies regarding these sources. For further information, please visit the "Research Projects" section on the homepage of the website.
Sikh dynamic vision for 21st century
The IOSS has decided to come out with a "Sikh Dynamic Vision for 21st Century" document covering Institutional, Ethical, Doctrinal, Political and Socio-Cultural challenges facing the Panth. Working Groups/Task forces have been constituted for in-depth study of the various issues and to come up with their recommendations.
Plans for short term training programmes for the youth, scholars, preachers, ragis and granthis have also been drawn up. These will be taken up in cooperation with other organizations already doing work in these fields.
Establishing World Institute of Sikh Education and Research is a major and ambitious project taken up by IOSS to achieve its aims and objectives on a long term basis. WISER would be an autonomous establishment to study Gurbani, research Sikh Philosophy and History, study comparitive religion, study current problems of Sikh diaspora, etc at par with deemed universities recognized by UGC of India. A piece of prime land in Chandigarh measuring nearly two acres is already available with the IOSS for the purpose and the plans have been drawn up by the architects. Construction will be taken up in a phased manner as funding is obtained for the project. A Library for the research work already exists and the books are being constantly added.
Cooperation and sponsorship for the execution of the above-said projects is solicited from one and all. With the blessings of the Guru and the Sangat, the Institute aspires for success in all these projects.