12 December, 2012
The Khalsa: Sikh and Non-Sikh Perspectives
By- J.S. Grewal (ed)
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 of 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.
ISBN 978-81-7304-580-6 2004 222p. Rs.550/Pounds 40