Sikh Militancy and Non-violence

Paul Wallace

in Sikhism in Global Context

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780198075547
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082056 | DOI:
Sikh Militancy and Non-violence

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This chapter reports that, contrary to stereotypes, the Sikhs are not essentially violent, but militant where ‘militancy’ does not mean violence in actions and reactions alone but also an aggressive and passionate stand for the cause of their religion and the Gurus. The chapter explores the development of non-violent militancy extending from the Gurdwara Reform movement (through to 1925) which restored the control of Sikh temples to the Panth; the Punjabi Suba movement (1947–66) which established the present boundaries of Punjab; the non-violent battle against Indira Gandhi’s Emergency; and the political battle that brought closure to the violence of the Khalistan movement (1993–2008). The author concludes that, in the light of the non-violent settlement of the Sikh terrorism movement (demanding Khalistan), other ethnic groups can learn that non-violent struggles can also achieve goals.

Keywords: Sikh militancy; Sikh stereotypes; Sikh Gurus; non-violent struggle; Gurdwara Reform movement; Punjabi Suba movement; Indira Gandhi; The Emergency; Khalistan; Punjab politics

Chapter.  6108 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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