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Bhai Vir Singh Ji Memorial Lecture

"Khalsa in History"

The Institute of Sikh Studies(IOSS) , Chandigarh Studies in collaboration with Bhai Vir Singh Study Circle, Chandigarh organized the 1st Bhai Vir Singh Memorial Lecture on 24th April, 2010 in the Conference Hall of Gurudwara Singh Sabha, Industrial Area Phase 2, Chandigarh.
The keynote address on the subject of "The Khalsa in History" was by the world-renowned historian Dr. J.S. Grewal, former Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. In his scholarly discourse, Dr Grewal stated that historical sense had developed quite early amongst the Sikhs even during the Guru-period. Quoting from primary sources, he explained that the meaning of the term тАЬKhalsaтАЭ kept evolving and getting enriched with the passage of time. Quoting from contemporary and near-contemporary sources, he reconstructed the ideals and principles which Guru Gobind Singh had laid down for the Khalsa. He stated that the Khalsa-ideal of equality was much ahead of time.

He further compared and contrasted the understanding of Khalsa history over time by Sikh and non-Sikh historians. Differences in understanding were due to different backgrounds and training of the interpreters. Moreover, Sikh history had been interpreted variously by different groups to suit their agenda. He concluded his lecture by stressing the point that any meaningful understanding of Sikh history would necessitate a proper appreciation of the Khalsa тАШself-imageтАЩ.

The Presidential Speech was by Dr. Darshan Singh, former Chairperson of the Guru Nanak Studies Department of Punjab University, Chandigarh. He stated that study of theology was a must for a good historian. For a student of Sikh history, the primary source had to be the Guru Granth Sahib. He added that the Gurus were not interested in who was ruling. Rather their concern was with the principles of governance. The Khalsa movement was not revenge-based, it was born out of commitment to ideals. Its mission was not to capture land but to capture hearts.

Dr. Kirpal Singh Historian and Dr. Harnam Singh Shan also briefly spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, S. Pritam Singh (PresidentтА"IOSS) welcomed the audience and informed them that the IOSS had organized a similar seminar on the theme of тАЬKhalsa and the twenty first centuryтАЭ in 1998. The motivation behind organizing the current event was to benefit from the interaction between a historian and a theologian over their understanding of the institution of the Khalsa.

Photos can be seen at:
http://ishwindersin gh.blogspot. com/

Ishwinder Singh
Member incharge: Media and Public Relations
Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh




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