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Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity - Book By J S Grewal

Preface To Book 'Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity' By J S Grewal 

When the Department of Sri Guru Granth Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, invited me to deliver a couple of lectures in Guru Nanak Lecture Series,

I thought of 'Sikh Identity' as the theme on which I could speak. I have been studying the recent debate in Sikh studies, and I know that this issue has
become increasingly important. Several scholars have written on this 'sensitive' issue. I found it necessary to take into account their approaches and their views for a comprehensive treatment of the subject. Their historiographical perspectives have been presented to be examined in the light of my own understanding of the subject.
Delivered on 14-15 February 1997 in the Senate Hall of the Punjabi University, the lectures were thrown open to discussion on my suggestion. These discussions proved to be useful for finalizing the lectures for publication. When the question of publication was broached by Dr Gurnam Kaur as the Head of the Department, it was felt that the scope of discussion may be extended to the Singh Sabha Movement. As a result, this monograph consists of three chapters: one, on the early Sikh Panth, another on the Khalsa Panth, and the third on the Singh Sabha Movement. Two contemporary works appeared to be of crucial relevance for discussion of Sikh identity: the Dabistan-i Mazahib , and Bhai Kanh Singh Nabha's Ham Hindu Nahin. Despite the fact that both these works were well known to the historians, no attempt was made to see them in the perspective of their bearing on Sikh identity. Therefore, a brief analysis of both is given in Appendices A and B.
I have been talking to a number of scholars in India and abroad on the subject of Sikh identity during the past two or three years. I learnt a good deal from my conversations with them. I take this opportunity to thank them all. Professor J.S. Puar, Vice Chancellor of the Punjab University, took personal interest in the lectures. I feel thankful to him for this courtesy. Professor Balkar Singh and Dr Gurnam Kaur took the initiative to invite me to express my views on this important subject and to publish them for wider dissemination.
The Indian Council of Historical Research is another institution to which I am indebted for support. When I received invitation to be a National Fellow of the Council, Professor Irfan Habib was its Chairman. When I took it up Professor Ravinder Kumar was the Chairman of the Council. By this time,when my assignment is almost complete, Professor S. Settar is the Chairman. I feel happy to acknowledge their personal interest in my project on the contesting interpretations of the Sikh past' of which 'Sikh identity' formed an important part.
The Director of the Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, has set new aesthetic standards of production. I feel thankful to him for his personal interest in the publication of this book.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               J.S. Grewal
About Author Of Book 'Historical Perspectives On Sikh Identity'
Professor J.S. Grewal has devoted much of his long academic career to Sikh studies. His Guru Nanak in History, published in 1969 and awarded D.Lit. by the University of London, is still read by all serious students of Sikh history. Recently, the Cambridge University has published his tour de force,The Sikhs of the Punjab, as a volume of the New Cambridge History of India. His latest work, Interpreting the Sikh Past, which he wrote as National Fellow of the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi, is ready for publication. Apart from publishing over a score of books and over a hundred research papers on historical thought, medieval India, and history of the Punjab as well as Sikh history, Professor Grewal promoted scholarly projects as Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and as Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla.
Table Of Contents For 'Historical Perspectives on Sikh Identity' By J S Grewal

Page No

  Foreword v
  Preface vii
1. The Early Sikh Panth 1
2. The Khalsa Panth 15
3. The Singh Sabha Movement 33
  Appendix A: Dabistan-I-Mazahib 77
  Appendix B: Ham Hindu Nahin 81
  Bibliography 101


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