ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Paramjit S JudgeSubscribe to Paramjit S Judge

Politics of Sikh Identity and Its Fundamentalist Assertion

First it was the British who aimed to create a distinct Sikh identity, while the Singh Sabha movement sought to create Sikh 'Khalsa' identity by distinguishing it from Hindu. The Sikh political leadership in the early years of the 20th century was ambivalent in deciding who was a 'Sikh'. It was Bhindranwala and the militants in his wake, who by their construction of a singular religious identity, attempted to transform a heterogeneous Sikh community into a 'congregation'. While the latter project failed, the ambivalence of identity, however, continues in the policies of the Akali Party.

Religion, Identity and History

Religion, Identity and History Sikhism and History edited by Pashaura Singh and N Gerald Barrier; Oxford University Press, New Delhi,
PARAMJIT S JUDGE The study of Sikhism and Sikh history has emerged as an important area of research in social sciences. It has not only created a fuzzy distinction between Sikhs and Punjabis, but also lopsidedness in the trajectories of the issues that are raised with regard to Punjab. The Sikhs of Punjab are a dynamic and mobile religious community and their history has been shown as an account of struggles, sacrifices and finally the victory in the form of the establishment of the Sikh rule in the second half of the 18th century. A religious community that originated in the first half of the 16th century could establish its political domination within a span of two centuries obviously draws the attention of scholars. Some of the questions that can be raised in general with regard to the Sikhs are: What is Sikhism? What is the history of the Sikhs? These questions though interrelated, but have distinct orientations in terms of the subject matter. Whereas the study of Sikhism is the study of religious doctrine, the history of the Sikhs belongs to a different genre of knowledge. Combining the two in a volume gives us an inkling that perhaps the authors are of the opinion that in the case of Sikhism the two could be combined or are inseparable. An objective study of religion in which we also implicate history may explode certain myths.

Social Construction of Identity in a Multicultural State

Sikh immigration into Canada, now over a century old, has gone through various phases and shifts as policies towards immigration by successive Canadian governments have seen various modifications. While the Sikhs today constitute a big, easily recognisable community in Canada, indispensable as a vital economic force in the country, they have also tried to construct an 'identity' of their own. The articulation of identity in the case of immigrant Sikhs, however, may not simply be understood in terms of immigrants/host society dichotomy and its dynamics; the internal dynamics of the Sikh community in Canada too need to be considered. This paper also examines the various controversies that arose from the 1970s onwards, which helped define Sikh perceptions about themselves as citizens of modern, multicultural Canada.

Punjabis in Canada

The Making of Little Punjab in Canada: Patterns of Immigration by Archana B Verma; Sage Publications, New Delhi; pp 254, Rs 495.

Punjabis in England

The Punjabi diaspora has flourished in England since the 1920s. Today, change is being pushed forward by younger generation influenced by secular institutions in the host society, despite resistance from the older generation. Continuity is seen in the persistence of caste segmentation. A study in two cities, Birmingham and Leamington Spa, focusing on the experience of ad-dharmis shows that caste continues to have relevance across the community.


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