Centre for Applied South Asian Studies (CASAS)


Edited by two leading scholars, this compendium is undoubtedly a landmark, no less in the field of Sikh studies than of Punjab studies. But just how do the two disciplines relate to one another? That they intertwine is plain to see, since the former is intrinsically a component of latter. But if that is so, just how is that intertwinement best understood? Is it the case that Sikh studies is so unique that it deserves to be filleted out into a singular disciplinary strand in its own right, running in parallel to, but independent of, strands labelled (Punjabi) Hindu studies, (Punjabi) Muslim studies and so forth? Moreover is it the case that each of those strands can be boiled down to an orthodox essence? Or are they all just as extensively internally multi-stranded themselves? But if so, just how and why have clashes between these perspectives arisen? Are they of ancient origin, or is it the case that the current search for religious purity is a thoroughly modern phenomenon – namely an egregious outcome of ideological and political disputes which emerged in the colonial era, and which have become even more vigorous in post-colonial times, thereby undermining the integrity of Punjab’s long-established condition of religious and socio-cultural plurality?