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  Gur Panth Parkash
Gur Panth Parkash
by Rattan Singh Bhangoo
Translated by
Prof Kulwant Singh




Much Ado About Nothing

Dr Hakam Singh

“One may read cart loads of books or pack caravans with them. One May 25, 2011 read boat loads of books or fill cellars with them. One may read in every breath through months, years and all one’s, life. But says Nanak, there is only one factor (the love of God) that counts, the rest is all useless prattle of ego”. (Guru Nanak, Adi Granth p. 467)

After going through Harjot Oberoi’s book, “The Construction of Religious Boundaries”, one is immensely impressed by the amount of work put in its preparation and the time he must have devoted to this task.

He must have read “cart loads” of books and read them for many years (fourteen years according to his own statement) which is quite evident from the number of references listed in the book. He seems to have taken great pains to go to some totally obscure sources like Ruchi Ram’s autobiography to prove some insignificant points which, he feels, would substantiate his thesis that towards the end of the nineteenth  century the Singh Sabha movement created the so called “Tat Khalsa” which, by formulating new doctrines  on what Sikhism ought to represent, challenged all existing definitions of belief and being within a  pluralistic Sikh tradition (p. 416). This essentially leads to conclude that according to Oberoi the Singh Sabha movement was a reform movement which changed the very basic definition of “Sikh”.

To support his thesis Oberoi gives some categorical statements without any historical substantiation, which is in discard with the fundamental definition of good research work. For example, on page 76: “Khalsa Sikhs accepted a line of nine successors of Guru Nanak. Sahjdhari Sikh often had a radically different version of the line of succession”. He further goes on to say that, “Khalsa Sikhs began to recognize Adi  Granth as Guru, Sahjdhari Sikhs were not given to accept a text as a Guru and favored living human  Gurus”. By saying that Khalsa Sikhs “began to recognize Adi Granth as Guru” Oberoi seems to imply that immediately after the death of Guru Gobind Singh the Khalsa Sikhs did not start recognizing the Adi Granth as their Guru. He thus seems to deny the historical evidence offered by Rahat Namas Wntten by authors who were contemporary to the tenth Guru, that before his death he gave the Gurnship to the Adi Granth.

Before going into a detailed appraisal of the contributions of this book it would be appropriate to review briefly the relevant historical background.Since this book deals mainly with the Sikhs and the Sikh movements in the nineteenth century (although in the preface of the book the author claims that, “this book seeks to answer two closely related questions. How Indian religions are to be conceptualized? What did it mean to be a Sikh in the nineteenth century?), a brief account of evolution of the Sikh religion up to the second half of the nineteenth century will be useful.

Sikh religion, as everyone knows, is a relatively young religion, and it is not impossible to find historical documentary evidence for its most significant events.

From Guru Nanak through Guru Arjun (the fifth Guru) ideals and basic tenets of the new religious order were laid down. These included strict monotheism, forbidding of the idol worship and meaningless form and rituals. On the social side, the main attributes were equality of all human beings irrespective of caste, col or, and geographical origin. The householder’s life with all its responsibilities was preferred over monastic or ascetic life. As a practical step towards the equality of humankind, the institution of langar (common kitchen) was established, where high as well as low would sit together and eat. Sikh temples (Dharamsalas) were established, that were open to everyone. The most important event of this period was the compilation of the Adi Granth, including hymns of the five Gurus together with those of many contemporary and earlier sants and bhagats.

The theocratic monarchy of the time considered this new movement to be a challenge and a “state within a  state”.l For this the fifth Guru had to sacrifice his life.

From Guru Har Gobind (the sixth Guru) onward a new phase started. The use of force to uphold righteousness, to defend the oppressed, and for self-defence was justified. The ninth Guru (Tegh Bahadur)  sacrified his life for protecting the religious freedom of Hindus. The tenth and the last living Guru (Gobind Singh) started the amrit ceremony, and through this he initiated the Sikhs into the Khalsa order. He gave them a dress code, changed their names (to Singhs), and enjoined them to keep unshorn hair. The most unusual aspect of ‘this ceremony was that after initiating the first five (the Piyaras – the beloved ones) he himself requested them and was initiated by them thus bringing equality to an ultimate level. It is important to note that four out of the five piyaras belonged to the untouchable castes. He thus in practicality finished the distinction of caste system which the earlier Gurus had professed to be the worst malady of the society.  A summary of Guru Gobind Singh’s address at that time, based on the report of a news writer, sent to the Mughal court and vouched by the Persian historian, Ghulam Muhiuddin, goes as follows:

“I wish you all to embrace one creed and follow one path. Let the four Hindu castes, who have different rules laid down for them in the Sastras, abandon them altogether, and adopting the way of cooperation, mix freely with one another. Let no one deem himself superior to another. Do not follow the old scriptures. Let none pay heed to the Ganges, and other places of pilgrimage which are considered holy in the Hindu religion, or adore the Hindu deities such as Rama, Krishna, Brahma and Durga, but all should believe in  Guru Nanak and his successors. Let men of the four castes receive amrit, eat out of the same vessel and feel no disgust or contempt for one another”.

 After the death of Guru Gobind Singh in 1708, came Banda Bahadur. He came like a whirlwind and toppled the Mughal empire in Punjab. He stayed for a very short period - was captured in 1715 and tortured to death. However, he gave the taste of freedom to Sikhs and proved that dreams could be realized with unity and resolve. After the death of Banda the number of Khalsa Sikhs could not be more than a few thousands. The next few decades were even more testing for the Sikhs. They were persecuted, were put to death whenever caught, and there was a price on the head of a Sikh. A couple of times they were even thought to have been exterminated. Inspite of all these adversities the Khalsa did not lose courage and stayed steadfast on the path fighting against the tyrants with an unshakable faith in the Guru.

Punjab at that time was in great political turmoil. Afghan invaders from the Northwest swooped over the country year after year and plundered the land with impunity. The only resistance was offered by Sikhs who, with their gorilla tactics, harassed the invaders. They rattled like a thorn in their side and time and again their efforts to destroy the Sikhs were frustrated. Finally they got their chance in 1762 when in a direct confrontational battle the Sikhs, who were badly out numbered, took heavy losses. Out of about thirty thousand Sikhs, which included a majority of old men, women, and children, more than half were killed. The episode is appropriately known as Vada Ghalughara or the great holocaust.


Even this great setback did not diminish the confidence of Sikhs, because they all believed in “charhdi  kala”, as taught to them by Guru Gobind Singh.

After the ninth and last invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1769, the Sikh Misls that were active for the past three decades, found a power vacuum in Punjab and filled it immediately. However, instead of joining together each Misl started its own territory which resulted in frequent internecine skirmishes. This continued until the end of the eighteenth century, when Ranjit Singh established a unified Sikh com- monwealth in Punjab. Although no definite figures are available, it will be hard to put the total number of Sikhs at that time to be over one hundred thousand.

Soon after the establishment of the Khalsa Commonwealth a large number of Hindus and a relatively small number of Muslims started converting to Sikhism.So much so that within a couple of decades the number of Sikhs is estimated to have risen to over one million. This seems to be a reasonably correct figure because the reports of first census in 1881 indicate the number of Sikhs to be 1.7 million.

With this historical background and statistical data let us examine the view point of Oberoi regarding the culture, identity, and diversity in the Sikh tradition in the nineteenth century, specially prior to the Singh Sabha movement. Later on we will examine his views on the work and achievements of this movement more critically.

According to Oberoi, towards the second half of the nineteenth century the Sikhs, by and large, believed in, and practiced rituals and rites and customs akin to those practised by the Hindus of Punjab. For some unknown reason he has coined the term “Sanatan Sikhs”, which he has given to this presumed majority.  The reason for this title is explained as follows:

“The word Sanatan derives from Sanskrit and has connotation of something that is ancient, almost as if out of secular time”(p. 92). He further explains, “The Sanatan Sikhs came in the course of the nineteenth century to quite literally believe that their theology, rites, and practices had ancient origins and were beyond the pale of diachronic time”. He goes on to say that “the Sanatan Sikhs, in addition to considering Adi Granth and Dasam Granth as their sacred was, also began to accord an almost analogous status to the  Puranas” (P. 99) The reason for inclusion of Puranas into the category of sacred text is “that much of the Dasam Granth materials had been called from the puranas” (p. 100).

To substantiate his arguments Oberoi quotes Anandghan as “one of the best known Sikh exegets” and gives  in extenso his exposition of the words “Satnam Karta Purkh”, the first line of the first stanza of Japu ji to  prove the pervasiveness of the impact of what Dasam Granth represented. After carefully going through this exposition of Anandghan the only conclusion that one could draw is that it was unimaginative and that  even with the stretch of one’s imagination one could not draw the conclusion that Oberoi has been able to  extract.

In addition to the Sanatan Sikh religion Oberoi also invokes the idea of a popular religion in Punjab in the nineteenth century. At some places he has intermingled the two while at other places, as it suits him, he has made efforts to keep the two separate. Anyway the main attributes of these followers of Sanatan and/or popular Sikhism are the worship of Sakhi Sarvar, Guga Pir, Seetla Devi, and the village ancestors. Of these only in the case of Sakhi Sarvar worship he has presented some statistics. But the conclusion he has drawn from these figures are just short of fantasy. According to him about 3% of the total population of Sikhs in 1911 reported that they were the followers of Sakhi Sarvar. On the basis of this measly figure he has the temerity to conclude that the Sanatan Sikhism was the prevalent faith during the nineteenth century. He must have soon realized the weakness of his argument because he tries to hedge by saying that is a result of the efforts of the Singh Sabha movement a sharp decline in the number of followers of Sakhi Sarvar must have taken place between 1880 and 1911. Thus he seems to believe that there was a sharp rise in the number of Sanatan Sikhs between the beginning of the nineteenth century and 1880, and an equally sudden fall in their numbers after 1880, as if by the waving of a magic wand.

At another point in this book Oberoi has inadvertently given a rather different thought on who these so called Sanatan Sikhs were. During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, “the Khalsa principles were watered down by the Lahore state, in part it sanctioned the rituals and life cycle ceremonies associated with Brahmanical Hinduism and its accompanying social system encapsulated in the varnahierarchy”. This explanation seems more plausible, because a sudden opportunistic influx of Hindus into the folds of Sikhism resulted in a number of such people getting close to the Maharaja, e.g. Dogra brothers, who were never Sikhs at heart. Such people manipulated the Maharaja, who himself, to start with, was not too enthusiastic and staunch a follower of the Khalsa tradition.

It will also be incorrect to say that all of the new converts were opportunists, because even after the Khalsa  Raj was gone, a gairly large number stayed within the folds of Sikhism. However, it will be reasonably correct to assume that a fairly large number of the new initiates could not and did not give up their age old traditions, and breack blood relations and thus observed only the most significant rules of a new religion as is reported by Ibbetson;2 "With the exception of the Akali, who still adhered to the ordinances of the  Khalsa, many of the original observances of the Sikhs had fallen in disuse, but for the five external signs  and abstinence from tobaco." As a matter of semantics Oberoi has the liberty to give this group of Sikhs any romantic name. They came from the so called Sanatan Dharam and, therefore, ne could justify this name, but not for the reason given by Oberoi.

Another major point of discrepancy in Oberoi's bok is his appraisal of the Singh Sabha movement, its modus operendi, and its contributions, if any, to the Sikh religion.

The role of British Raj in helping the inception of this movement, as percieved by Oberoi, is at best naive.  According to him “British administrators were disappointed that the contemporary state of Sikhism did not measure to their standards”. The historical facts are that immediately after the annexation of Punjab arrangements were made by some high British officials to open missions in order to convert Sikhs into Christianity. They should have been overjoyed rather than disappointed to see the Sikhs going astray because it would he far easier to convert such people than those who are steadfast in their religion.

Another example of Oberoi’s strange logic - on page 235 he writes, “The dynamics of two forces - the changes injected into Punjab society by British rule and the dirve of the Kuka Sikhs to defend traditional cultural values - led to the formation of Singh Sabha”. This needs to be given serious thought. On the same page he says, “When in 1872 the Kuka Sikhs staged their march to Maler Kotla, many within the community were quick to percieve that this would sour the Sikh romance with the Raj”. If the motivation behind the formation of Singh Sabha was to sweeten the romance with the Raj, then the second reason given by Oberoi negates it. He states (p. 235) that “in 1873 four Sikh students at a Christian mission school in Amritsar declared their intention to convert to the new faith. This latest announcement to convert, stirred Thakur Singh Sandhanwalia”. Singh Sabha formation took place soon afterwards. Also every student of history knows what kind of sweet romance existed between the British Raj and the Singh Sabha.

A lot more can be said about what Oberoi has written on the Singh Sabha movement. Those interested should refer to the excellent article by Gurdashan Singh Dhillon.3 (Chapter 2)

This book is padded up with a large body of irrelevant and superfluous information which may be useful to some research workers - a silverlining to the cloud. Other than that the book contains many glaring inconsistencies some of which are pointed out below:

On page 22, he writes, “Religious books like Adi Granth are so amorphous that those in favour of status quo, reformists and resur-rectionists, could all quote chapter and verse in favour of their cause”. The dictionary meaning of the word “amorphous” is without definite form, lacking organization, uncrystalized.  On page 50, however, he writes about the Adi Granth, “A voiceless sector of Punjabi society could now both interpret and express its life experience through a highly structured and written body of religious thought”. Again on page 54 he writes, “While the Adi Granth is the most voluminous and structured of the early seventeenth century devotional anthologies”. These self contradictory statements indicate that he has not cared to study the Adi Granth. It is amazing that someone writing on the construction of boundaries of Sikh Religion has hardly given any reference from the Adi Granth where the teachings of the founders of the faith have been compiled and authenticated by one of the founders himself.

Even when looking for “what constituted Sikh identity during the early Guru period” Oberoi has quoted Bhai Gurdas Bhalla (p. 50) and not the famous hymn of Guru Ram Das from the Adi Granth which has similar meaning (Adi Granth p. 305-6).4

His statement on page 56, “just as there is no fixed Guru Nanak in the Janam Sakhis, there is no fixed Sikh  identity in the early Guru period” is in bad taste and indicates that Oberoi is toeing the line of his mentor,  Dr McLeod who in his book “Guru Nanak and Sikh Religion has left no stone unturned to prove by hook or  crook that almost all the sakhis written in the Janam Sakhis and the writings of Bhai Gurdas On the life of  Guru Nanak are myths and without any truth in them.

His arguments (p. 57) regarding the hymn of Guru Arjl’n (Adi Granth, Bhairau, p. 1136), whose last stanza as quoted by Oberoi is: “To the formless one I bow in my heart, I am neither Hindu nor Muslim,” are just fantastic. He invokes Prof. Sahib Singh that “Guru Arjun worte this hymn in a definite context: He was responding to an older verse by Kabir included in the Adi Granth”. Normally one responds to a statement if one differs from its content. The two aforesaid hymns are synonymous in spirit, therefore, Guru Arjun is substantiating Kabir’s idea, affirming “I am neither Hindu nor Muslim”.

Oberoi’s skewed arguments to try to prove one of his precon-cieved ideas by twisting the facts reminds me of that Biologist who was conducting research on the “hearing power of fleas”. He was giving a lecture on this subject when he took out a flea, set it on his right hand and addressed the audience as follows:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I have trained this flea to listen to my command and obey it”. So saying he said to the flea,“On to my left hand”. The flea immediately flew and sat on his left hand. “On to my right hand”, he said again and the flea immediately obeyed. He repeated this another couple of times and the flea obeyed correctly every time. Now he took hold of the flea and pulled out its wings. After this operation he set the flea on his right hand and gave it the command to go to his left hand. The flea did not obey even when he repeated it a few times. “Ladies and gentlemen,” the biologist said triumphantly, “I have conclusively proved that the hearing power of a flea is in its wings”.


Some of Oberoi’s statements are confusing, for example, on page 59: “Given the paucity of written records it is hard to specify why the Khalsa order was established and it is even harder to specify the exact nature of the Khalsa under Gobind Singh”. Thus he does not seem to think of any historical record that could shed light on this subject. At the same time, however, he quotes (p. 61-62), probably from the var of Bhai  Gurdas Singh, “Similarly, only those who choose to identify with the Khalsa are gunnukhs, the rest are all  manmukhs”. Actually the meaning should be - those who were gunnukhs (who follow the advice of the Guru) identified with the Khalsa, the manmukhs went astray.

The statement on page 64 regarding the Khalsa ceremony of ‘Khande di Pahul’ is wrong when he says, “All this done to the recitation of five quatrains from the writings of Guru Gobind Singh. Every Sikh knows that Japu ji and Anand Sahib, which are an integral part of this ceremony are not Guru Gobind Singh’s banis.

On pp. 69-70 Oberoi, by a rather convoluted argument tries to say that Guru Gobind Singh may not have given the edict that after him, the Shabad Guru, will be the eternal Guru of Sikhs. He goes on to say that it was the absence of any clear leadership within the Sikh ranks after the death of Guru Gobind Singh that  prompted Khalsa Sikhs to fill this vacuum by putting Guru Granth, the Scriptural Guru into service and  thus, “the doctrine of Guru Granth served as a useful substitute for the line of Sikh Gurus by providing  much needed cohesion to a Panth faced with political turmoil and serious internal dissension”.

This shows total disregard to the historical facts. After the death of Guru Gobind Singh, Banda Bahadur remained an absolutely undisputed leader of Sikhs for several years. Under his leadership Sikhs were united, and conquered a good portion of Punjab. However, he was never, even for a moment, accepted as a Guru by the Khalsa. The reason is clear, and is substantiated by several historical writings by some of Guru Gobind Singh’s contemporary writers, that the tenth Guru did formally declare the Adi Granth to be the eternal Guru after him.5

The statement on page 88, “While the Sikh Gurus and subsequently, their disciples tried to redefine the norms of the society in which they lived particularly under Khalsa, eventually they were unable to create an absolutely new mode of social organization”, seems to be off the mark when examined in the light of his earlier description of the set of rituals appropriated by Khalsa Sikhs as set out in Rahit Namas (pp. 64-66).

Let us come again to the so called “Sanatan Sikhs” who accord-ing to him “came in the course of the nineteenth century to quite literally believe that their theology, rites and practices had ancient origin and were beyond the pale of dichronic time (p. 93)”. How this so called Sanatan Sikh tradition appeared from the blue and rejected all the norms set by the ten Sikh Gurus in favour of those from ancient tunes is a mystery for which Oberoi does not have any clue. Further- more if these so called Sanatan Sikhs believed  in theology, rites and practices of ancient origin that were condemned by the Sikh Gurus, how could they  be labelled ‘Sikhs’ of any kind or shade?

Oberoi’s explanation of Guru-Sikhi (p. 112) is a bit too over stretched. The descendents of Guru Nanak  (Bedis) and those of Sodhi Gurus, though commanded great respect among the Sikh masses, Were never  given the status of any of the ten Sikh Gurus, or for that matter Guru Granth Sahib. Although they used a  pillow and people bowed to them out of respect, their seat in the congregation was always lower than that  of Guru Granth Sahib. They bowed to Guru Granth Sahib like any other Sikh when they came to the  congregation. Similarly sants and sadhs were given due respect as told by the Sikh scriptures, but they were  never given the status of a Guru.

Oberoi seems to have a rather turbid view of Udasis and Nirmalas and their role in the spread of Sikhism among the masses. For example, on page 128, “It was Nirmalas who championed the cause of Sikhism and became custodians of the faith”. But at the same time he is asking the reason for the flourishing of Udasi akharas.

The Udasi lineage was started by Sri Chand, the son of Guru Nanak. They never came into the fold of Khalsa in that they are ascetic and do not observe the Khalsa code of five K’s. During most of the eighteenth century when Sikhs were being persecuted and were hiding most of the time, the Udasis took care of the Sikh shrines because the Mughal and Afghan rulers did not consider them to be Sikhs and, therefore, ignored them. Nirmalas, on the other hand, come from the five Khalsa (Celibate) Sikhs sent by Guru Gobind Singh to Kashi for higher studies in Sanskrit. They are amritdhari Sikhs and spend their life in learning Sikh scripture and expounding them.

The number of Udasi and Nirmalas has never been large enough to be a significant factor in any statistical consideration of Sikh population.

Talking of popular religion in Punjab and its links with Sanatan Sikhism in the nineteenth century Oberoi  admits that the sources are scarce and he has “used mainly three (not too reliable) sources; the court  chronicles, the records of the British Raj, and the diatribes of Sikh intellegentsia from the last quarter of the  nineteenth century”. He goes on to admit that, “undoubtedly these sources reek with personal biases, but  once subjected to what Paul Ricoeur aptly calls, ‘hermeneutics of suspicion’, i.e., an iconoclastic textual  reading grounded in disbelief and always on the look out for filters, they begin to yield rich dividends”. The only problem arises when the applicator of hermeneutics of suspicion uses colored filters. In that case, to him they may be yielding rich dividends but in actuality his conclusions may be even more biased. This seems to be the case with Oberoi’s book.

For example, on page 147 he gives a sweeping and categorical statement, “for much of the nineteenth century Sikhs were deeply involved in the worship of miracle saints and undertook regular pilgrimages to their shrines”. The basis of this statement seems to be the figures he quotes for the 1911 census in which a mere 3% of Sikhs were followers of Sakhi Sarvar. Now readers can judge for themselves what kind of hermeneutics of suspicion he has applied.

Even when historical proofs to the contrary do exist, Oberoi insists that Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi was written in the latter decades of the first half of the nineteenth century because it seem to serve his purpose.  On page 190-91 he discusses Gurbilas Chhevin Patshahi and Sau Sakhi and lables them anonymous writings. However, he then presumes that they were written by Sanatan Sikhs. One wonders what makes him think so. These texts could as well have been written by some clever and manipulative Hindu Brahmin whose purpose was to in-filtrate Sanatan traditions into the Khalsa tradition as was done earlier with Buddhism. As a researcher it would have been more appropriate to hold his comments until an unequivocal proof of their authorships was established.

Does Oberoi consider narration of avtaras and bloody battles of Devi with demons in Dasam Granth to be just poetical rendering of Hindu mythology into Punjabi and Brj Bhasha (the vernaculars of the time) or a proof that the tenth Guru was a believer of these myths? (considering that was all written by him). If the answer is affirmativethen how can he explain the other writings of the tenth Guru in Dasam Granth which clearly state that he believes in only the one timeless God?

Page 208: Oberoi writes, “There are all kinds of problems with notions such as ‘quality of faith’. Qualityaccording towhom? Nineteenth century reformers, indigenous practitioners, or twentieth century  historians?Second, quality according to which standards? Scriptural, ethical, theological,or historical?  Third, even if we were to accept assumption that ruling elites under Ranjit Singh were more licentious than  at other periods of history, its connection with a decline in Sikhism remains nebulous. Quality in matters of religion is a very relative concept which we may do well not try quantifying”.

The question immediately arises as to what yardstick has Oberoi used to draw a line of demarkation between the Khalsa Sikhs and the so called Sanatan Sikhs? Has he not done so on the basis of quality of faith? Has he not by doing so ventured to quantify this concept?

Page 314: “In the Khalsa view of the World the Granth was the rightful heir to the ten Sikh Gurus”. This sentence smells of insinuation that it is Tat Khalsa who gave the Guruship to Guru Granth Sahib and not the tenth Guru. Page 319: “All this was possible at the expense of the other Sikh text, the Dasam Granth”.  This is a totally incorrect statement. Dasam Granth was neither compiled nor authenticated by any of the ten Sikh Gurus. As a matter of fact even today discussions are going on regarding the writings of Guru  Gobind Singh and those of his court poets in this volume. Although the Sikhs gave respect to Dasam  Granth, it was never given the status of Shabad Guru which was given to Adi Granth by Guru Gobind Singh himself.

Page 330: “Sikh heroic figures from the eighteenth century were shown to have been punished, tortured, and killed for desiring to retain cultural markers”. The so called cultural markers that Oberoi is referring to are the five Ks. I wonder if he has ever thought seriously about their being religious markers.

Page 348: “Sikh claims over Punjabi rested on the fact that the Adi Granth was written in the gurmukhi script, one of the several scripts in which Punjabi can be written”. This indicates Oberoi’s ignorance about the fact that Punjabi as spoken cannot be written in any other script. The gurmukhi script was tailor made to write Punjabi. For example, even the Devnagri script which is the closest to Punjabi does not have the letter equivalent to V. Most other scripts do not have consonants like “C’ or ‘R.

Page 416: “The Tat Khalsa by formulating new doctrines of what Sikhism ought to represent challenged all existing definitions of belief and being within a pluralistic Sikh tradition”.

It is hard to believe that a person holding a Sikh and Punjabi chair at a university could give this kind of opinion which reeks of either a total disregard for all historical evidences or lack of understanding of basic doctrines of Sikhism. Looking at the enormous amount of superfluous material that this book contains and what a scholar of Sikh studies can get out of it, a more appropriate title of the book should be: “Much ado about nothing”.

1Hari Ram Gupta, “History of the Sikhs”V 01. 1.

2. D. Ibbetson, “Punjab Castes,” reprinted, Patiala, 1970, p. 228.

3. Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, ‘Singh Sabha Movement – A Revival, “Advanced Studies in Sikhism” Eds.  J.S. Mann and H.S. Saraon, 1989, p. 234.
4. “Gur Satgur ka jo Sikh akhai “
5. Madanjit Kaur, ‘Guru Granth Sahib Sanctified as Guru’, “Advanced Studies in Sikhism” Eds. J.S. Mann and H.S. Saraon, 1989, p. 121.



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