Chapter

Configuring Community in Colonial and Precolonial Imaginaries

Anne Murphy

in Religious Interactions in Modern India

Published in print March 2019 | ISBN: 9780198081685
Published online July 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780199097661 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198081685.003.0006
Configuring Community in Colonial and Precolonial Imaginaries

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Addressing the question of the formation of a religious community by way of discussion of religious property regimes, the chapter follows the Sikh case over consecutive stages, concluding with the Gurdwara Reform Act of 1925, which recognized a central representative body of Sikhs, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, as possessing the rightful interest in Sikh religious sites. The author shows that colonial governance drew on pre-existing cultural, economic, and political forms, even as they transformed them. She discusses cases of earlier religious grants, documented especially by the Khalsa Darbar dharmarth records of the kingdom of Lahore. The tensions between individual and corporate control over gurdwaras and the lands associated with them were finally resolved in favour of the community with the Gurdwara Reform. In this new model, not only a community was tied to property, but also the idea of a singular Sikh community, and thus a new political form of community was instituted.

Keywords: religious community; Sikh community; Gurdwara Reform Act of 1925; Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee; Khalsa Darbar dharmarth records; Lahore

Chapter.  8517 words. 

Subjects: History of Religion ; Asian History

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