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The Temple Liberation Movements
– The Dravidian and Sikh Response –

M S Ahluwalia

In our own times Social Scientists have made considerable advances in understanding the various forms of protestant movements, revolts and anti-establishment organizations in India. A large number of studies have come out in case of different protestant movements. The present study, however, is related to two important movements, one in south (Tamil Nadu) and the other in north (Punjab) led by the Dravidian parties and the Akalis, respectively, in the first half of the twentieth century. The aim of the paper is to have a comparative study of the Temple Entry Movement led by the Dravidians in Tamil Nadu and the Gurdwara Reform Movement led by the Akalis in the Punjab.

In Tamil Nadu, it was the case of a socio-political identity by the non-Brahmins against the Brahmins who had taken advantage of their superior birth and status, and had introduced their ‘inscriptive hegemonies, projects to accelerate the persistence of pollution or puritan theory’. In case of the Sikhs of Punjab, the urge for democratic control and management of the Sikh gurdwaras or Sikh temples, which had been controlled by professional, hereditary and corrupt priests, called Mahants, led to a fierce movement by Sikh volunteers called Akalis during the first quarter of the twentieth century.

The Brahminic and Hindu mobilization, which became conspicuous during the first half of the twentieth century, was misconceived as pan-nationalism by the nationalist historians. However, it proved as a blessing in disguise for the Tamils and the Sikhs who mobilized themselves in Tamil Nadu and Punjab to frustrate the Brahminic and Hindu grand designs of reforming Hinduism from within. A beginning had been made with Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s Brahmo Samaj in the early nineteenth century which tried to “reconstruct Brahminism under influence of colonial modernity”1

The Dravidian Movement
In case of Tamil Nadu, it was a movement spearheaded by the Dravidian political parties for an unrestricted entry into the temples and in case of Punjab it was a movement led by the Sikh volunteers, called Akalis, to liberate the Sikh temples from the control of the Mahants, who had become hereditary and corrupt. The aim of both these movements was the same, i.e., freeing the places of worship and making these accessible for all castes through legal and agitational means. However, in case of the Dravidian movement, it was socio-political and caste-based whereas the Akali movement was politico-religious. On the one hand, it aimed to identify Sikhism as an independent world religion with a view to counter the Christian missionaries who were keen on conversions and, on the other hand, to check the scurrilous attacks of the Arya Samajis on the Sikh Gurus and their faith.

The Social Background
A unique feature of the Indian society during the first half of the twentieth century was characterized by religious revivalism and caste consciousness. The caste controlled the destiny of man, and human beings came into this world with a pre-caste destiny, depending on whether he was born a Brahmin or in any of the numerous castes and sub-castes. Based upon Varna system, the Aryans had divided the society into four castes. The traditional caste system had the Brahmin at it apex. Though they formed minority part of the population, they occupied a distinct position in Indian social order. They formed the centre of religious, political and social activities and were at the helm of affairs, both spiritual and temporal, since times immemorial in the Indian society. Law had been in the hands of this dominant minority as an instrument of class domination and exploitation.

The Hindu Legacy: Varna Ashram Dharma
One who has studied the caste legacy of Hinduism will find an answer to the developments in Tamil Nadu as well as Punjab in the form of liberation movements. To this day, the ethics of Hindu elite reflect the teachings of two most renowned Hindu thinkers, Manu and Kautilya (Chanakya), who were the founders of the policy of “divide and rule” and were responsible for shaping the destiny of Hindu society through out the ages. Permanent human inequality by birth is the summum bonum of Brahminical ideology.

The Brahmins proclaimed that Prajapati (God) created the caste-system and made a Shudra a slave of the higher castes. Moreover, Prajapati was the God of Aryans only, from whom the Shudras were excluded. It was also claimed that gods do not associate with every man, but only with an Arya. A Kshatriya or a Vaishya can only make religious sacrifices to gods. Nor one should talk with every one, as God does not talk to everybody but only to an Arya. Thus the Shudra was excluded from the domain of religion and barred from any religious activity.

This system was designed to serve the interests of a small minority of people, the Brahmins, at the expense of vast majority belonging to other castes, the bulk of whom belonged to the Shudra caste. Lower still were the Antyaja (untouchables/outcastes), whose mere shadow could pollute the upper caste persons. The entire conquered/enslaved population of Adivasis (aboriginal tribes) called Dravidians was forced into Shudra and untouchable outcaste ranks. Never in the history of mankind was such an “evil and cruel system” conceived by intelligent but devious men for the exploitation of man by man. It were the Brahmins who profited most from this system and were mainly responsible for its maintenance and furtherance.2

(The Temple Entry Movement in Tamil Nadu)
Class Domination by Brahmins
The Brahmins, who were in the upper strata of the Indian society, occupied an eminent position both in north and south India. In case of Tamil Nadu, Brahmins were only two per cent of the total Tamil population and resided at places known as Agraharam. In Tamil Nadu there were two broad categories of Brahmins, namely, Iyers and Ayengars. Occupationally, they were further divided into Vedic Brahmins, domestic Brahmins and temple priests. Nearly half of the Tamil Brahmins lived mostly in three districts of Thanjavur, Tiruchirappalli and Tirunelveli.3

They became the elite administrative group in the Tamil society. In most of the cases they led a luxurious life and gave their lands to non-Brahmin tenants for lease or cultivated it with the help of the labourers. Thus they obtained income both from landed property as well as temple assets. All socio-political and religious activities were dominated by the Brahmins which were directly responsible for the aggravation of the caste system in Tamil Nadu.4

The Caste Hindus
The non-Brahmin caste Hindus were placed next to Brahmins in the social stratification. Among them, Mudaliars (literally meaning a first rank person or a leader), Vellalars (meaning cultivators who were Shaivites), Chettiars (traders), Naidus, Naicks and Kammalas exercised great influence over the Tamil society. The non-Brahmin caste Hindu community played a significant role as agriculturists, traders or artisans. Among the non-Brahmins in general, the backward and scheduled castes were numerically strong. They consisted of Nadars, Vanniars and Thevars, etc (who were mostly cultivators or warriors). A majority of them were settled mostly in Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts. 5

The Subaltern Groups
The depressed class people occupied the lowest rank in the social ladder. They were labourers in agriculture or other public works. They were differently named as Panchamas, Untouchables, Adi-Dravidas and the Fifth Varna or as Harijans (a term coined by Mahatma Gandhi). Numerically, they formed one-fifth of the total population of Madras Presidency and inhabited all districts of Tamil Nadu. The use of public wells, tanks and roads was prohibited to the depressed classes. The principle of untouchability was carried too far in the observance of what was called distance pollution, and so they were not allowed to approach the Hindu temples.6

Progressive Measures by the British
During the colonial rule however, silent revolution was set in motion which brought about some basic changes in Indian society due to the works of both Missionaries as well as Hindu reformers in Tamil Nadu during the first half of the twentieth century. The human-minded organizations, brought to some extent, the neglected sections of the Tamil society to a level ground to compete with the people of other castes with equal chances. The European Christian missionaries laid the foundation for the upliftment of the depressed people. Though they were interested in evangelization, they attacked the superstitious beliefs and the caste atrocities of those days. They created a new awareness among the outcaste groups. The so-called “polluting castes” began to convert to Christianity, which promised self-respect to the Tamil subaltern groups.

Public Associations and Socio-Religious Reform Movements
In spite of the colonial nature of the British rule, spectacular changes took place in the thinking pattern of the people, more significantly during the second half of the twentieth century. On the one hand, there took place political awakening as a counter-move against the administrative policies of the colonial power. On the other hand, the progressive legislations and reform measures introduced by the British supplemented the socio-political consciousness. The non-Brahmins, along with other depressed classes began to organize themselves for social justice. In fact, social justice became a key word for social harmony and national unity.

The elite socio-religious leaders, both at national and regional level, organized many associations and educated the masses against the institution of untouchability. The removal of untouchability and all its allied evils formed an important item in the programme of socio-religious reformers both at national and regional level. The most notable associations formed during the colonial rule were Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s Brahmo Samaj (1828); Keshab Chander Sen’s Prarthana Samaj; Jyotirao Phule’s Satyashodha Samaj (1877); Dayananda Saraswati’s Arya Samaj (1875); Swami Vivekananda’s Ramakrishna Mission; Madam Blavatsky and Col. Olcot’s Theosophical Society (1886); Sri Narayana Guru’s Sri Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (1903).7 Besides these organizations many community-minded individual leaders advocated and fought for socio-political awakening and removal of caste distinctions. Some of the prominent leaders were Muthukkutti Swamigal, Ramalinga Adigal.

Temple Entry Attempts and its Impact
In Tamil Nadu many of the significant temples were consecrated to the Brhaminical deities. They were open only to the upper caste- Hindus. The non-caste Hindus could not enter the temples located particularly in Thanjavur, Madurai, Srirangam, Erode, Sivakasi, Tirunelveli and Trichendur for worship. Temple entry by the non Brahmins, especially by the depressed classes of Tamil Nadu formed an important stage in the social reform movement in modern period. Since the temple was an important factor in the economic and social activities of the Tamilians, a denial of any opportunity to worship, created a space for agitation and confrontation. The question of worship in the temple was, therefore, taken as a first challenge in the future course of action by the Nadars who made the first attempt at temple entry in a remote village (Aruppukkottai) in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. The agitation later spread to different parts of Tirunelveli and Madurai districts. The Nadars of Sivakasi began to adopt Brahminical habits such as in wearing dress, tuft, sacred thread and eating vegetarian food.8

Legislative Measures
Unfortunately, the courts set up for maintaining social harmony and equal treatment on the basis of the law of land, failed to do justice because the law was interpreted on the basis of social practices and caste distinctions. Political compulsions regarding communal electorate compelled Congress party to intensify the temple entry and anti-untouchability campaign through numerous bills and acts in the central and provincial legislatures of India. While Mahatma Gandhi started Civil disobedience Movement for political freedom, leaders led by B R Ambedkar sought safeguards in the form of reservation of seats in the central and provincial legislatures based on proportional representation. The issue regarding communal representation was given the final shape by the Poona Pact of 24 September 1932. As an immediate impact of the Poona Pact, the caste Hindus, at a public meeting in Bombay on 25th September, 1932, passed a significant resolution that it shall be the duty of all Hindu leaders to secure, by every legitimate and peaceful means, an early removal of all social disabilities now imposed by custom upon the so-called untouchable classes, including the bar in respect to admission to temples.

The Temple Entry Resolution marked the beginning of an agitational politics in Tamil Nadu for the abolition of untouchability. The resolution included three notable provisions. (1) It urged the government to recognize the strong and growing public feeling in the Hindu community to remove the disabilities of common worship at temples (2) It sought the opening of the temples to the depressed classes taking advantage of the Poona pact. (3) It demanded the government to bring a legislation to open the temples to the depressed classes with regulations not affecting the prevailing order and cleanliness in temples as well as the performance of ceremonies according to the traditional convention of the temples. The resolution was accepted by the majority without dissent voice. Meanwhile, M C Rajah, a member of the Central Legislature presented the Untouchability Abolition Bill in December 1932.10

The “Removal of Depressed Classes Disabilities Bill” proposed towards the end of 1932 by Narayanan Nambiar, a member of the Madras Legislative Council, was also supported by Mahatma Gandhi since it tried to live up to the promises he had made in the Poona Pact. Gandhi also started his Harijan welfare schemes through issuing a series of statements related to temple entry, Hinduism, depressed classes and removal of untoucbabilty.16

As a result of these concerted efforts by socially motivated Dravidian organizations and enlightened individuals, temple entry disabilities Act was passed in the late 1930s.

Needless to say that obstruction to temple entry movement was rooted in the meaningless and false beliefs of the caste Hindus. Thanks to the efforts of Rajaji and other leaders, Tamil Nadu was saved from the age-old clutches of superstitious beliefs. The Tamil society undoubtedly progressed substantially towards social equalities after the successful temple agitations.


The Gurdwara Reform Movement in Punjab
The rise of the Sikhs to political power is a landmark in the history of India. However, although the political power was in the hands of the Sikhs, most of the predominant positions in the government came to be held by the Hindus, particularly the Brahmins and through their social influence, the old Braminical ways of life began to creep into the Sikh society. Not only discarded gods and goddesses for long began to appear in the Sikh temples, but even the Hindu rites and rituals began to be observed in the outer precincts of the Sikh temples.

As is well known, after its annexation to the British Empire in India, Punjab was placed under a new colonial administration. However, the people of Punjab viewed the new government with contempt, distrust and resentment. As in the case of Tamil Nadu, the Christian missionaries became active in Punjab who, being aided and encouraged by higher authorities, promoted conversion among the ranks of both high and low caste Sikhs... Apart from the activities of the Christian missionaries, the Sikhs could not also escape the influence of Brahminical Hinduism.12 Fortunately, the Sikh leaders were quick to notice the hidden agenda of the anti-Sikh forces and began to think about the future of their community .

The Brahmins slowly marked their presence as the presiding priests at the birth, marriage and death ceremonies of the Sikhs. This deteriorating state of affairs and anti-Sikh practices led to the Nirankari and Namdhari movements about five years before the Indian Mutiny of 1857 in Punjab. The Nirankaris were very active in the north-western districts of the Punjab whereas the Namdharis were confined to the Cis-Sutlej area in Punjab. The main objective of both these movements was to restore Sikhism to its pristine glory and to bring back into the Sikh fold the apostates. The real aim of these movements was an urge for democratic control and management of the Sikh gurdwaras which had become the centers of Braminical domination and had become almost hereditary.

After the failure of the Nirankari and Namdhari movements, a new movement called Singh Sabha Movement, began under the influence of the western ideas and tried to bring about a new social and religious improvement. The Singh Sabha gave a new interpretation to the Sikh doctrine in the light of western influence and thus prepared the necessary ground-work in developing the community into a self-conscious nationality ready to guard its interests at any price. This new movement on broad socio-religious basis was organized under the Presidentship of Sardar Thakar Singh Sandhawalia.13

The hectic social, educational and religious activities of the Singh Sabha created a great stir and brought about an awakening among the Sikhs. The Sikh gatherings were used by the Sikh leaders to inflame the martial spirit of the Sikhs and to foster an idea that, if united, the Sikhs could make the country free. There was also a section among the Sikhs, who, apart from maintaining their separate entity, longed to re-establish the Sikh rule in the Punjab. The movement also turned towards another objective, viz., the attainment of an independent Sikh identity. This objective was quite in tune with the prevalent Sikh mood then.

Like the Dravidians, a self-conscious group identity amongst the Sikhs had been formed by the end of the second decade of the twentieth century. However, the decisive phase in the growth of Sikh identity and Sikh temple liberation movement came in the early 1920’s during the Gurdwara Reform Movement (1920-25) which is also known the Akali Movement.14

As in case of Tamil Nadu, the Sikh shrines, known as gurdwaras or dharamsals came to play a vital role in the socio-religious life of the Sikhs. Unfortunately, the management of these gurdwaras, in the absence of specific rules, gradually passed into the hands of the ‘Udasis’ who professed Sikhism but did not conform to outward physical symbols of Sikhism. Those among them who became heads of the Sikh gurdwaras came to be known as Mahants.

The Mahants
The institution of Mahant, like the Brahmin priesthood in Tamil Nadu, became hereditary. The increase in income of Sikh temples, derived from revenue free jagirs bestowed on most of the historic shrines by Maharaja Ranjit Singh and other Sikh Misl rulers, led to the deterioration in the lifestyle of these Mahants. During the British rule, these Mahants played to the tune of the new masters. They made full use of the British sympathy for them and, therefore, in connivance with them they had, by decrees, converted the lands endowed to the Sikh gurdwaras to be shown in revenue records as their own hereditary lands.15

As already noticed above, it was the denial of depressed classes’ right to worship in the Hindu temples managed by Brahmin priests, which prompted a violent movement in Tamil Nadu. In case of Punjab, it was the corrupt practices started by the Mahants. In most of the cases, the gurdwara properties were converted into personal possessions. However, most serious flaw became apparent when the Mahants reverted back to some of the discarded Hindu religious ceremonies.

With a view to earn more money from the gurdwaras, the Mahants started Brahminical Hindu practices. They placed the idols of Hindu gods and goddesses in the Sikh temples, including the Golden temple.23 This undoubtedly became the most potent cause of resentment among the radical Sikh reformers who resorted to both legal as well as agitational means to dislodge the Mahants and taking control of the Gurdwaras with the help of Singh Sabha leaders.

The Tat Khalsa was the first body to reform Sikhism through education, journalism and preaching. The Khalsa ideal was now distinguished by a new consistency and new clarity of vision. The non-Sikh features were either rejected or suitably modified. An appropriate history of the Sikh Panth was formulated; powerful stress was laid on the importance of Guru Granth Sahib and the Sikhs were exhorted to observe only those conventions which would proclaim their separate identity. The most prominent among these conventions was the observance of Five Ks. Two major gains of the period can be seen as general acceptance that the Sikhs are not Hindus and that a true Sikh will normally be a Khalsa.16

These radical reformers, also known as Tat Khalsa or the neo-Sikhs, launched the first peaceful agitation over the issue of demolition of a wall of Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in Delhi in 1912. This was the beginning of the organization of local Akali Jathas to launch peaceful agitation for dislodging the Mahants and taking control of the gurdwaras. The time chosen for starting the agitation for ousting the Mahants was quite opportune with the non-cooperation movement in full swing in Punjab while the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy had added fuel to the fire.17

The Sikh Temple Liberation Movement
The actual Sikh temple liberation movement, however, started in 1920 and continued for five years. The hallmark of the programme was to liberate the Gurdwaras from the Mahants and pass on their control and management into the hands of a chosen body from the Sikh Sangat as per democratic traditions or the Sikh faith.

The agitation which was initiated by the local Akalis in their respective areas was soon directed and controlled by the two representative bodies of the Sikhs, viz, Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), both of which exist even now.18

In course of their struggle, the Akalis launched various ‘morchas’ (battle fronts) and were successful in liberating over two hundred large and small Gurdwaras from the control of the Mahants. The important morchas were the morchas of Babe-di-Ber, Tarn Taran, the Key Affair, Guru Ka Bagh, Jaito and the Nankana Sahib.19 The very formation of the Committee (SGPC) for the management of the Gurdwaras by the Sikh community at Amritsar on November 15, 1920, had alarmed the old priests and Mahant Narain Das of Nankana Sahib Janam-Asthan, the birth place of Guru Nanak. He not only resisted the transfer of the control of the Sikh shrine to the Committee but also massacred in cold blood (February 21, 1920), more than one hundred Sikh volunteers, called the Akalis, who had gone there to take possession of this Gurdwara.
The Nanakana Sahib massacre by the hired goons of Mahant Narain Das aroused the feelings of the whole Sikh community for the Sikh control of their shrines. The struggle continued for the next five years when the Punjab Legislative Council finally passed the Gurdwaras Act of 1925 (it actually came into operation on November 1). The bill envisaged the establishment of a central board of management of all Sikh temples. The board was to consist of 121 elected members, together with the chief priests of the five important Sikh Gurdwaras, including the Golden Temple. The term Sikh was defined in the Bill to mean, “A person who professes the Sikh faith.” The Bill further laid down that a person would or would not be deemed to be a Sikh depending on whether or not he makes a declaration, stating:

“I solemnly affirm that I am a Sikh and that I believe in the Guru Granth Sahib and in the Ten Gurus and that I have no other religion.”20

Whereas the Sikh leaders asserted their separate identity, the Hindu leaders launched a persistent campaign through press and public platforms that Sikhs were a sect within Hinduism. This persistent effort by the Hindu leaders to keep the Sikh community within its fold only backfired. It resulted in the Sikhs becoming more and more determined to scrap their alleged affinities with the Hindus and de-Hinduise their temples. Henceforth, the ten Gurus and Guru Granth Sahib became the centre of the Sikh universe. Its radical members (Tat Khalsa) began earnestly to reconstitute sacred space by initiating several measures such as: a campaign against seasonal fairs held within the precincts of the gurdwaras, the removal of non-Sikh icons from the Sikh shrines and a strident call for the reform gurdwara management

Like the temple entry legislation in Tamil Nadu, the Punjab Legislative Council introduced the final bill called the “Sikh Shrines and Gurdwaras Bill” on May 27, 1925. The temple entry movement in Tamil Nadu was opposed by parties and individuals having vested interests. However, in case of Punjab the nation-wide all parties’ announcements favouring the Gurdwara Reforms boosted the image of the Akali Dal and the Shiromani Committee in the eyes of the countrymen. In order to extract the maximum mileage from the above, the Akali party too made a sincere effort to ensure that nothing should be done even by the extreme rank and file to create any types of communal question not only between the Hindus and the Sikhs, but also between the latter and the Muslim brethren and thereby to defeat the aim of the British to divide them on communal lines.21 The Akalis were praised throughout the country as the messengers of Swadeshi Movement.

The Akalis at the end, not only succeeded in getting the Gurdwaras freed from the hands of the Mahants but also wisely got the management of all the Gurdwaras transferred to a purely non-political body (SGPC), whose membership, mode of election of its members and its functioning was fully delineated in the Act itself. The movement went a long way in preserving the sanctity of the Gurdwara in accordance with the egalitarian principles and convention viz, impartial distribution of krah parshad; the convention of langar, and the traditional concept of sewa (service) and congregational worship and ardas (The Sikh prayer)22 The key-note of the movement was ‘back to Guru Granth Sahib’ to counter the allegation that the Sikh Gurus had preached the religious system of the Vedas.23

The temple liberation movements in Tamil Nadu and Punjab were religious and social reformist movements which went a long way in reforming and transforming the society. Although response and reaction in both the cases varied according to the prevailing circumstances, the movements helped in advancement of the Hindu and Sikh faiths, both in north and south simultaneously and saved the two faiths from internal decay. The traditional basis of religious practices and customs were given up in favour of reason. Western ideas like social equality, moral and ethical basis of religion and equal values and status to all individuals, were accepted by the custodians of the religious shrines – though at a very heavy price.

Both the movements were anti-feudal and anti-Brahminical and were aimed at safe guarding their cultural identities. The temple entry movement in Tamil Nadu and the temple liberation movement in Punjab went a long way in reforming and transforming the society both in the south and north India. While in the south it led to the emancipation of the weaker and downtrodden sections, in Punjab it saved the Sikh religion from degeneration. Both the movements were organized in such a way that these were successful in stemming the tide of the Brahminical hold over the places of worship.

The two movements brought about religious awakening, self-consciousness and political advantages to both the Dravidians and the Sikhs. The immediate impact of the two movements was that it gave birth to the new impulses and aspirations which motivated all the communities in the north as well as the south to join together and work for the freedom of the country. It may be relevant to say that after a relentless struggle for the socio-religious reforms during the colonial period, both the Dravidian and the Akali parties are still active and are pursuing the goal of securing more economic and political advantages for their respective communities.


Notes and References

1. The present study is based mainly on the official documents and private publications which highlight the socio-religious activities in Tamil Nadu and Punjab during the early twentieth century. The writer acknowledges his gratitude to Muthu Mohan whose ‘preliminary enquiry’ about the Dravidian and Akali movements became a source of inspiration and further study. See Muthu Mohan, “The Akali and Dravidian Movements - A preliminary Enquiry for Comparative Studies”, Sikh Spectrum, February 2007.
2. For more details see the present writer’s article “Legacy of Hindu Caste Hierarchy and Conversion of Jat Peasantry to Sikhism” in Abstracts of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, Vol VIII, Issue 4 (Oct-Dec. 2006), pp.63-72.
3. C J Baker and D A Washbrook, South India: Political Institutions and Political Change, Delhi, 1975, p.24
4. P Rajaraman, The Justice party: A Historical perspective, 1916-1937, Madras, I 1988, pp.11-12
5. P Venugopal, Justice Pariy and Social Justice, Madras, 1 982, pp.7-8.
6. G Thangavelu, Social Justice in Tamil Nadu, Madurai. 190, p.3 ; K K Pillay, The Caste System in Tamil Nadu, Madras, 1977, p.61;. L.H. Robert. Jr. Nadars of Tamil Nadu - The Political Culture of Community in Change, Bombay, 1969, pp 16-20.
7. B.S. Murthy, Depressed and Oppressed, New Delhi, n.d., p. 40. Shobanan, Temple Entry Movement and Sivakasi Riots, Madurai, 1985, pp. 25-26
8. Vide Madras Legislative Assembly Debates, Vol V. p.521)
9. Madras Legislative Council Proceedings, Vol. LXII, 1932, p.223
10. S R Venkataraman, Temple Entry Legislations, Madras, 1946, p. 12.
11. G Rengaraju, op. cit., p.280.
12. M S Ahluwalia, ‘Political Role of the Chief Khalsa Diwan’ in N.R. Ray (ed.) Public Associations in India, Calcuta, 1984, p.379.
13. Jagjit Singh, Singh Sabha Lahr, Amritsar, n.d., pp.11-13.
14. The word Akali meaning immortal was first used by Guru Gobind Singh for those of his followers who were prepared to sacrifice their all for the protection of their religious places. Their dark blue garments, typical head dress (turban) and their aggressive temperament, made them zealous fighters for religious causes.
For detailed account of Gurdwara Reform Movement or the Akali Movement see, Ruchi Ram Sahni, Struggle for Reforms in Sikh Shrines, Amritsar, 1965; Sohan Singh Josh, Akali Morchian Da Itihas (Punjabi), Delhi 1972; Ganda Singh, Some Confidential Papers of the Akali Movement, Amritsar, 1965; Rajiv A. Kapur, Sikh Separatism- The Politics of Faith, London. 1986
15. Rajinder Kaur, Sikh Identity and National Integration, New Delhi, 1992, p. 37
16. W H Mcleod, Who is a Sikh? The Problem of Sikh Identity, Oxford, 1989, p 52.
17. M S Ahluwalia, Landmarks in Sikh History, New Delhi, 1996, p.297
18. Rajinder Kaur, op. cit., p. 38.
19. For details see Mohinder Singh, The Akali Movement, Delhi, 1978, pp 20
20. Vide Clause II of the Bill. Cited in Rajiv K. Kapur, op. cit. p.186.
21. M S Ahluwalia, op. cit., p 312.
22. J S Grewal, Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity, Patiala, 1997, p. 53
23. G S Dhillon, Singh Sabha Movement – A revival, Advanced Studies in Sikhism, Ed. J S Mann and H S Saraon, Sikh Community of North America 1989, pp. 241-42.


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