Doris R. Jakobsh

in Relocating Gender in Sikh History

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679199
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081950 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This chapter presents an examination of women's agency, both from within and outside the Sikh reform movement. The author notes that her book has been conceived upon the notion that gender is a fluid construct, which is evolutionary, and emerges and develops within the shifting needs of a community. Victorian assumptions about race, religion, gender, as well as economic and political designs, were vital in the process of Sikh gender construction. The author feels that even while being part of a repressive patriarchal order, Sikh women held their own in ‘hidden, subversive ways’. Many Sikh women were able to negotiate the strictures of the Tat Khalsa, and be women in their own right. The early 1920s signaled the end of the Singh Sabha Movement. The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabndak Committee and the Akali Dal dedicated themselves to Nationalism and Mahatama Gandhi's call for non-cooperation. Sikh women—well versed in the Tat Khalsa ideals of self-denial, duty, honour—redirected their energies from the religious to the national front, thus proving that Sikh women were well versed in the art of mobilization. The participation of female and male Sikhs in India's nationalist struggle against the Raj had formally begun.

Keywords: Tat Khalsa women; Tat Khalsa ideals; Sikh reform movement; Sikh gender construction; Sikh religion; Sikh education; Sikh women; India; British Raj; India's nationalist Struggle; Mahatama Gandhi

Chapter.  4451 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.