The Sikh Religious Tradition: Fundamentalisms, Old and New

T. N. Madan

in Modern Myths, Locked Minds

Second edition

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780198065104
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080182 | DOI:
The Sikh Religious Tradition: Fundamentalisms, Old and New

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The secular state in the context of India's major indigenous religious traditions—namely, Hinduism and Sikhism—does not mean that a constitutional wall separates the state from the church here as it does in the United States. The Sikh gurdwara (temple) is sometimes loosely called a church, but such a comparison is misleading, for the gurdwara is a place of worship rather than an organ of institutional control. The freedom to hold any religious beliefs and engage in related religious practices has, however, given rise to one of the most agonizing dilemmas of the Indian polity: how to cope with the demand of some religious communities, notably the Sikhs, for the recognition of their ‘right’ to repudiate the separation of religion and politics in the conduct of their own community life. This chapter discusses Sikh fundamentalism, gurdwara agitation, Sikh separatism, and the Operation Blue Star of 1984–94.

Keywords: Sikhism; fundamentalism; secularism; India; religious traditions; Sikh identity; separatism; politics; gurdwara; Operation Blue Star

Chapter.  17959 words. 

Subjects: Sociology of Religion

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