Relocating Gender in SIKH HISTORY: Transformation, Meaning and Identity

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Item Code: IDG584
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2003
ISBN: 0195663152
Pages: 296
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.7" X 5.6"
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Book Description

About the Book:

This penetrating volume is one of the first to chart the history of gender construction in Sikhism. Focusing specifically on the Singh Sabha reform movement-spearheaded by British-educated Sikhs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries-in analyses the development of gender ideals under the Sikh gurus, and their adaptation and in some cases transformation by the new intellectual elite.

The Singh Sabha reform movement aimed at resurrecting reform movement aimed at resurrecting the 'purity' of Sikhism as it existed during what was considered the golden age of the guru period. The reformers, armed with western education and the Victorian ideals of the high colonial era, sought to reinterpret tradition according to their own needs and visions. In its analysis of the ideology of gender and identity promoted by thee Singh Sabha reformers, the study looks at both male and female ideals and the ways in which these were informed by notions of gender in Victorian Britain. It also examines the development of novel ritual identities, exploring the educational initiatives meant to produce reformed Sikhs, unadulterated by popular traditions that were integral to the ritual universe of the populace. In the process, the author challenges current understandings of the inclusion of women in the ritual formations of Sikhs.

A major contribution to an uncharted field of research, this wide-ranging study will attract students and scholars of gender studies, the Sikh religion, and Sough Asian colonial history as well as general readers interested in historical understanding of the role of women within Sikhism.

About the Author:

Doris R. Jakobsh is an Instructor in Religion, Renison College, University of Waterloo, Canada.


Acknowledgements x
Introduction 1
ONEThe Construction of Women in Sikh History and Religion-Attitudes and Assumptions An Overview of Secondary Sources7
The Principle of Silence8
The Principle of Negation10
The Principle of Accommodation12
The Principle of Idealization16
Conclusion: Moving Beyond Description18
TWOThe Development of the Early Sikh Tradition A Gender Perspective22
The Milieu22
The Early Guru Period23
The Janam-sakhis27
The Later Guru Period35
Gender and the Theology o Difference37
'The Wiles of Women'44
The Chaupa Singh Rahit-nama46
THREEOf Colony and Gender
The Politics of Difference and Similarity
Colonization and the Politics of Difference53
Manliness, Morality and the Politics of Similarity58
Construction of Womanhood: The British in India69
The Politics of Similarity and its discontents80
FOURContextualizing Reform in Nineteenth Century
Punjab: Continuity and Change
Dissension and Control: The Punjab Administration and
Kuka Reform
The Genesis of the Punjab Intelligentsia89
Indian Reform, the Missionary Undertaking and the 'Women's Question'99
Positioning Punjab's Womanhood: Indigenous
Politics Principles and the Colonial Milieu
Dissenting Visions of Gender Reform:
Guru Ram Singh and the Namdhari Sikhs
Contextualizing Women's Reform in the Nineteenth
Century: Contrasting Perspectives
Dayananda's Arya Samaj Movement and Singh
Sabha Reforms: Contesting Claims and Rhetoric
FIVEEducation, Gender Codes and Politics127
The Sikhs and Female Education: The Missionary
Endeavour, Sikh Orthodox Tradition and Reform
Initiatives: An Overview
The Tat Khalsa and its Educational Ideals132
The Politics of Gender: The Home and the World134
The Sikh Kanya Mahavidyala144
The Politics of Language: A Gendered Perspective148
The Sikh Educational Conference: Enlarging Female
Sikh Role Models and the Tat Khalsa: Crisis of Authority153
Bhai Vir Sing and the Invention of Tradition 160
The Political Milieu: Agitation and Allegiance168
The Rhetoric of Reform, Education and the
Politics of Patriotism
SIXExtending Male Control:179
The Gentrified Imagination and Popular Female Traditions
The Anand Marriage Bill: Gender Politics, Rhetoric, and Reason
Extending Male Control: The 'New Patriarchy'194
Popular Female Traditions and the Gentrified Imagination203
SEVENRedefining the Ritual Drama:
The Feminization of Ritual
Creation and Revision-The Feminization of Ritual210
What's in a Name? Circumscribing Sikh Female
Re-defining the Sikh Code of Conduct in the
Twentieth Century
Contemporary Scholars and Rewriting of History232
Women in the Singh Sabha Movement-Agents of Change or Casualties of Reform?240
Circumventing Hegemony: Alignment and Resistance244
Women's Reform-Laying the Foundation for a New Era247
References and Selected Bibliography255

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