For a historical work to be taken seriously – or to be useful – it is obvious that a specific and precise citation of  source should accompany each statement of  alleged fact.  This first month’s journal of an enquiry that I recently  undertook showed me that quite a bit of our written history is decidedly non-serious. 


READ SLOWLY, DON’T SKIP: you need to put yourself in the shoes of an investigator, in particular, the reproduced extracts are meant to be perused – if need be, you can conveniently magnify them using the magic of Adobe – not omitted (if you do the latter, the narrative will tend to become incoherent and disconnected).  The scenery – i.e., the side-thoughts that occur as one pursues an investigation – is often more enjoyable than the main road, so don’t skip the ‘Notes’ either, their small print does not betoken unimportance, only this scenery status.


All in all, it is like Inspector Grant in Josephine Tey’s delightful detective story, “The Daughter of Time,” only here you are Inspector Grant himself! 


The basic facts about the Ghadr of 1914-15 you can  easily and quickly gather from the web, but (caveat emptor!) don’t  buy everything.  For example, if ten websites tell you Kartar Singh of Sarabha was a student in the University of California at Berkeley before he left to make this rebellion in the Punjab, please don’t swallow it (the jury is out on this one, but UC Berkeley administration is positive that no Kartar Singh Grewal/Garewal was a student there).  Once you have put yourself in this healthy and skeptical (that is,  scientific) frame of mind you will, I think, enjoy this historical piece. 


And yes, if you find anything at all in it – in the nature of a factual assertion especially – that you just don’t buy, please don’t hesitate to tell me all about it by writing an e-mail to, I’ll respond to it to the best of my ability.