Campus Buzz

43rd Panjab University Colloquium- “The Sikh Panth : Its History and Historiography”

December 05, 2017 08:24 AM

Punjab News Express/ SK.Vyas
CHANDIGARH: Panjab University Colloquia Committee in collaboration with Department of Political Science organized 43rd Colloquium Lecture on “The Sikh Panth : Its History and Historiography ”at Panjab University,here Monday.

The lecture was presided over by Prof. (Dr.) Arun K. Grover, Vice Chancellor, P.U. and  in his presidential address besides  briefing about the aim of PU Colloquia Lectures and conveying thanks to all the eminent and learned earlier colloquiua speakers who  showed always keen interest to visit Panjab University and interacted with the faculty and students also briefly introduced  the sikh history.

Prof. Promila Pathak, Coodinator PU Colloquium Committee introduced the speaker as a noted Punjabi-American historian and professor of Sikh Studies, besides a very noble human being full of love and devotion for his country.  He is Founder Director, Global Institute for Sikh Studies, New York. His publications include The Goindval Pothis (Harvard Oriental Series 51, 1996); The Making of Sikh Scripture (Oxford University Press, 2001); and Sikhism (Prentice Hall, 2004).. He has also written on Sikh Classical works like ‘Sri Guru Panth Parkash’ and ‘Goindwal Pothis’. Dr. Mann is a scholar in the real sense as he believes in continuing research and making the people aware of Sikh concepts and teachings of the Masters.

The lecture delivered by Prof. Gurinder Singh Mann included a brief survey of existing scholarly literature on the subject through which Prof. Mann analyzed the significance of history in Sikh life. He enlightened the audience about the tradition of history writing within the Sikh Panth.     He gave an insight on how Sikh history has emerged over a period of time. He emphasized history needs to be recorded and remembered in a forward looking way. He said history is enshrined at pilgrimage centers of Sikh. He shared his concern that Sikh history in circulation has problems as least important narratives are in print form. For instance, there are problems with birth date, title and name of Sikh Gurus. In most of the compositions by Nanak he calls him ‘Baba’ but present day literature refers him as Guru Nanak, Guru Nanak Dev etc.

Prof. Mann’s lecture articulated upon how sacred geography of Sikhism is centered around  pilgrimage spots associated with Sikh Guru’s.. He shared with the audience his grave concern on how Sikh scholarship is adopting new approaches from West which he called ‘Import Mincer’ from different streams such as feminism and post-modernism to make sense to existing Sikh literature.

Prof. Mann concluded his talk by saying that with a set of concrete suggestions for the new generation of scholars as they generate their own narrative of Sikh history, in the future. He said “there is urgent need to revise the primary sources, the text, their dating as well the context of dating “.

The lecture  was well attended by a large number of senior officials, chairpersons, faculty members, research scholars  and UG/PG students of the University. 

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