Lest We Forget
This website is dedicated to the hallowed memory of Late Chaudhary Shiv Lal Saini, who was the first official historian of Shoorsaini or Saini community of Punjab as we know today.
The present scholarly work undertaken by Saini Reseach Network is the continuation of the research and publication work he started in earlier part of 20th century through a dedicated periodical called "Kshatriya Saini Patrika" which was published in Urdu language from Lahore. His greatest scholarly contribution to Saini and broader academic community came in the form of a Urdu language work in two volumes called 'Taarikh Quam Shoorsaini" , a detailed history of Shoorsaini or Saini Kshatriya Rajputs of Punjab, who originated from Surasena Yadavas of Mathura and relocated to Punjab over different periods of time due to a variety of historical circumstances.
It is not possible for Saini community to repay his debt in any easy way. If not for his painstaking , solitary and unsung efforts in collecting, documenting and publishing both oral and written sources of Saini history in face of popular ignorance, atavistic tribal jealousies, bureaucratic indifference and even self-doubt , all we would know of Sainis would be as a minor agricultural tribe with some incidental military attributes, and as a community which could not even explain the origin of its popular name in any definitive and authentic manner, leave alone talk about its glorious , albeit vicissitudnous, traverse through a history going back thousands of years to none other than Maharaja Shoorsen, grandfather of the most celebrated personages of Hindu consciousness and sacred lore, i.e, Lord Krishna and Prince Arjuna.
He died without a family successor in Lahore with some of his music still buried in his heart but as Plato said men and women who are really evolved procreate not in physical but in higher realms through their intellectual and spiritual exertions in leaving behind works of ever lasting value which survive long after they are gone from the earthly abodes. The fact that Chaudhary Shiv Lal Saini's work and memory still survives , revitalizes and inspires this work on Saini history almost a hundred years after he left this world proves in ample measure the cryptic and mysterious wisdom of Plato's dicta on true love and continuity.
In order to honour Chaudhary Shiv Lal's memory and recognize his lifetime of work, we reproduce here a tribute written in his honour by none other than late Dr. Pritam Saini whose name is no stranger to the academic community focused on the history, languages and literature of Punjab. For others it is pertinent to be reminded here that Dr. Pritam Saini was a renowned and widely cited historian, journalist and literary figure of Punjab who wrote in newspapers and research journals of international standing, and also served as Research Fellow at Punjabi University, Patiala (Punjab, India). As a member of Indian History Congress and Punjab History Conference , he was also a frequent contributor to these prestigious academic bodies.
-Excerpted from "Saini Jagat : Utpati Ate Vikas", Professor Surjit Singh Nanua, Manjot Publications, Patiala, 2008
" There is a saying in English: "The great men have short biographies". This adage is also apposite to describe Chaudhary Shiv Lal Saini, first historian of Saini community. He was born in village Bakarwal in Tehsil Shakargarh which is now in Pakistan. A large part of his life was spent in the capital of undivided Punjab , Lahore, and after his demise his widow returned to Bakarwal and lived alone, perhaps because they did not have any child. Shiv Lal Saini was also the honorary lecturer for Saini Kshatriya Mahasabha , Marara (District Gurdaspur) and for this reason he travelled from city to city and village to village in Punjab and outside to familiarize members of Saini community about their glorious history in order to organize them. Because of his efforts many Saini community organizations came into being. In order to share his views and organize the Saini community he also published 'Kshatriya Saini Patrika' periodical in Urdu from Lahore. He himself was the editor of this periodical. During that time he was so popular in the Saini community that in some villages schools and guesthouses were built after his name. In this reference in Ghaseetpur village of Tehsil Shakargarh 'Chaudhary Shiv Lal Saini Arya Kanya Pathshala' (Chaudhary Shiv Lal Saini Arya Girls' School) was very famous.
The biggest contribution of Chaudhary Shiv Lal to Saini community was his history work 'Taarikh Quam Shoorsaini' (two volumes) written and published in Urdu language. He dedicated this work to Chaudhary Fateh Chand, the head of Kshatriya Saini Mahasabha of Marara. Referencing the historical texts extant and available during his time and demonstrating Chandra Vansha (Lunar Dynasty) of Lord Krishna as the orgin of Saini community and reproducing the entire lineage of Chandra Vansha he concluded: " The progeny of Chandra Vanshi King Yadu started being called Yadava. After 42 generations in the same lineage was born a ruler called King Shoorsen who controlled Mathura and surrounding area."
It is said that modern Hindi and Punjabi owe its origin to same region. He also demonstrated that the royal houses of Bharatpur, Jaiselmer and Patiala have also descended from Shoorsainis and he produced details of many forts that were built by Saini rulers.
After Chaudhary Lal Saini's 'Taarikh Quam Shoorsaini' the other historians of Shoorsaini community (which is also called Saini community) have regarded Shiv Lal's history work to be the basis of their research and publications...."
Dr. Pritam Saini
Patiala Gate, Sangrur, 2002
Krishna, the ancient patriarch of Saini dynasty and grandson of Maharaja Shoorsen the founder of Saini clan.
" The progeny of Chandra Vanshi King Yadu started being called Yadava. After 42 generations in the same lineage was born a ruler called King Shoorsen who controlled Mathura and surrounding area."
"This project draws inspiration from the work of the first historian of Saini community, as we know today, who authored and published 'Taarikh Quam Shoorsaini' in two volumes from Lahore in early 20th century and spent his life in undertaking philathropic scholarly and social projects for the uplift of the community."
Editorial Note, Sponsors
No Exception to the Rule
"While Shoorsaini.com journal builds on the scholarly work on Saini history initiated by Chaudhary Shiv Lal in the earlier half of 20th century , the content of its articles is not necessarily constrained by his theses. This research journal merely uses his work as starting point and all the articles, citations and syntheses presented in this journal are strictly meant to be governed by the protocols of enquiry and methodological approaches acceptable in the secular academic community.
This entails that wherever the force of logic and textual evidence asks us to depart from any of his conclusions, we shall do so readily and unflinchingly. There is absolutely no exception to this rule.
This dedication merely serves as recognition of his pioneering efforts and contribution to this field and topic of study. His work will continue to be subject to the same level of academic scrutiny as any opposing viewpoints. This approach is in keeping with the spirit of enquiry and objectivity that Chaudhary Shiv Lal Saini himself embodied in his academic exertions."
Editorial Note, Sponsors