Chapter

Prosperity and Religious Fundamentalism

Khushwant Singh

in A History of the Sikhs

Second edition

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780195673098
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080595 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195673098.003.0019
Prosperity and Religious Fundamentalism

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This chapter discusses resurgence of religious fundamentalism, which brought about the renaissance of Hinduism. The Sikhs exodus in the partition had made them more vulnerable and thus ground was prepared for sowing the seeds of separatism and revival of orthodoxy. Sikh religious revival coincided with Green Revolution. Green Revolution, aided by new varieties of seed and modern farming methods led to prosperity. The Green Revolution began in Ludhiana, the most fertile region in the Indo-Gangetic plain. The Intensive Agricultural Areas Programme (IAAP) was also first conducted in Ludhiana. The discussion then shifts to Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. An outline of his start as a preacher to a pawn in party politics is provided. It shows that his early messages spoke of returning to the traditions of Khalsa Panth and renouncing the evils brought by modernism. As his popularity grew, he began to espouse the cult of violence and promote hatred towards Hindus as a means for preserving Sikh identity. The chapter concludes with Bhindranwale’s ‘hit list’, attempts to fortify Akal Takht, and beginning of Indira Gandhi’s involvement.

Keywords: religious fundamentalism; Green Revolution; Ludhiana; Intensive Agricultural Areas Programme; Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale; Bhindranwale’s ‘hit list’; Akal Takht; Indira Gandhi

Chapter.  7822 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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