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Khalsa: Sikh & Non-Sikh Perspectives by J. S. Grewal

This book demonstrates that historiography is a dynamic process. The five major Sikh writers analysed in the book present differences of factual detail, objectives and approach. If one glorifies the Khalsa as upholding the monotheistic tradition, another compromises the monotheistic tradition by bringing in the goddess. If one negates the egalitarian norm of the Khalsa social order, another valorizes its uncompromising sovereignty in the face of threat from the British. Modern historians present no less divergent views. If one looks upon the Khalsa as the emergence of a new 'nation', another minimizes their achievement in comparison with the British. If one tries to reconcile doctrinal sovereignty with political loyalty, another presents the Khalsa as serving the cause of Hindu nationalism. Still others can talk of the Khalsa as 'transfiguration' of the earlier Sikh tradition. With its multiple perspectives on the Khalsa, this book introduces the subject in a manner that no single perspective can do. It should be of interest to those concerned with the Sikh tradition and its study, and also to those concerned with other religious traditions.


J.S. Grewal formerly Professor of History and then Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, is an eminent historian of the Punjab, and of medieval and modern Indian history in general. His numerous works include Guru Nanak in History (1969); The Sikhs of the Punjab (1990) and Contesting Interpretations of the Sikh Tradition (1998).

Khalsa: Sikh & Non-Sikh Perspectives by J. S. Grewal

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