Chapter

We Are Not Sikhs or Hindus

Opinderjit Kaur Takhar

in Sikhism in Global Context

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780198075547
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199082056 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198075547.003.0009
We Are Not Sikhs or Hindus

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This chapter attempts to excavate the hermeneutics of the Guru Granth Sahib to evaluate why lower-caste members of the Sikh Panth (community) have felt that their Mazhabi labelling has prevented their equal assimilation into the Sikh Panth. The Ravidasis and the Valmikis broke away from the Panth, and sought social and religious satisfaction through their distinct identities as separate from both Hindus and Sikhs. The development of the Sikh faith in practice shows that these teachings were used in practice through the lives of the Sikh Gurus. Both the Ravidasi and Valmiki Sabhas play important roles as religious institutions in the lives of their diasporic communities, with the author focusing on these groups in Britain. The author describes how the existence of clearly defined boundaries between being a follower of Guru Ravidas/Guru Valmiki and also being a follower of the ten Sikh Gurus is particularly problematic, more so in the context of the Sikh diaspora in Britain.

Keywords: Guru Granth Sahib; Sikh Panth; Ravidasis; Valmikis; Mazhabi Sikhs; Sikh identities in Britain; Sikh faith; Sikh Gurus; religious institutions

Chapter.  7682 words. 

Subjects: Sikhism

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