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How McLeod Became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Akashdeep Singh, May 25, 2007.

  1. Akashdeep Singh

    Akashdeep Singh
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    W. H. McLeod has been wrongly painted as the expert on Sikhism and his Ph.D.theses (later published in the form of a book) has been cited by many who choose to adulterate the philosophy of Guru Nanak and confuse the Sikhs. Ever wondered how this person survived to write a thesis full of mistakes and pass his thesis committee and thesis defense? Read the analytical article from Dr. Baldev Singh below keeping the following questions in mind: -
    1. What should be the qualification of the thesis committee to make it capable of knowing if the research of the student is correct? Specially when the topic is that of religion?
    2. Who were on the thesis committee of W. H. Mcleod?
    3. What was the input given by the thesis committee to Mcleod?
    4. Did they read the thesis?
    5. ...etc. etc.



    How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?





    Dr. Baldev Singh



    While McLeod was studying at the Theological Hall, he had second thoughts about his chosen career as a clergyman[1] and he dreaded the thought of a parish life in New Zealand.[2] He became increasingly worried as the graduation date drew ever nearer. However, after completing his studies in 1957, somehow he managed to get an assignment in Punjab (India) through the Overseas Mission Committee of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand in 1958 at a time when the entry of Western missionaries was banned in India. At that time due to the ongoing “Cold War”, Westerners coming to India were suspected as CIA or British intelligence agents, but here was McLeod, a Presbyterian missionary in Punjab, the state which shares border with Pakistan, and the disputed territory of Kashmir.


    He obtained his PhD in Sikhism from the University of London. Prof. A.L. Basham, his supervisor, knew hardly anything about Guru Nanak and very little about the Punjabi language. This is what McLeod wrote about his experience with his research supervisor:


    Apparently, and as expected he made only three minor changes to the thesis; one of which was his insistence on the use of the plural form “appendices” instead of “appendixes. … Once a month I was required to appear before him and report progress and difficulties. I would outline the difficulties and at each of them he would nod his head wisely and make some such comment as “Yes, that is a problem”, or “That is a difficulty we all have.” After the interview was over I would ask myself what have I gained from it and the answer would be that I had derived nothing. Professor Basham was, however, an experienced supervisor and even if I received no direct guidance concerning my thesis topic I did at least get the understanding noises which at that time I needed.[3]

    Moreover, McLeod had very little interaction with the two examiners who did not even read the complete thesis before approving it.[4] Again in McLeod’s own words:

    When I presented myself for the viva on July 13th Dr. Allchin, one of the examiners whom I had not previously met, opened the questioning by frowning very severely at me. “Mr. McLeod,” he said, “We have a serious criticism to make of this thesis.” This, needless to say, is just what the nervous candidate does not want to hear. Dr. Allchin paused and then went on: “You did not allow us sufficient time to read it.” It was a joke and he and the other examiner Professor Parrinder, together with Professor Basham, joined in the jolly laughter. It soon became clear, however, that neither examiner had in fact managed to read the complete thesis, and after a single question from each I was dismissed. Fortunately they both agreed to sustain the thesis.[4]

    It should not surprise anyone that Prof. Parrinder knew nothing of Guru Nanak and the Sikh religion except what he learned from McLeod’s thesis.[5] In other words, McLeod himself was the supervisor as well as the examiner of his thesis. Then who determined the veracity of the contents of the thesis? And who ascertained its adequacy for the award of a PhD degree? After all, the thesis was not about English literature; it was about Guru Nanak’s authentic teachings enshrined in Aad Guru Granth Sahib (AGGS) as pointed out by McLeod himself:

    The Adi Granth contains a substantial number of works by Guru Nanak. These can all be accepted as authentic. It is clear that Guru Arjan compiled the Adi Granth with considerable care and the principal source, which he used, was a collection, which had been recorded at the instance of the third Guru, Amar Das, who was only ten years younger than Guru Nanak.[6]

    One may ask why didn’t McLeod pick a thesis supervisor or examiners with expertise in Sikhism? One may even question the University of London for falling short on its academic standards. Was Fauja Singh, “an honest and honorable historian of Punjab” [7] or Ganda Singh, “certainly an eminent Sikh historian” [8] or any other Indian scholar not good enough to be his thesis supervisor or examiner? Besides, why were the contents of the thesis kept out of public view until November 19689, [10] while the University of London had accepted the thesis in July 1965?[11] Why were even his friends, Ganda Singh and Harbans Singh, [9], [10] who had offered assistance in his work, kept in the dark until 1968 when Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion was released upon which McLeod was “widely known as being among the foremost scholars of Sikh studies in the world?”[10]

    Generally, scholars spend many years and sometimes their entire research career before being recognized as “being among the foremost scholars in their field” by their peers. But here McLeod was awarded this distinction by R.C. Zaehner (1913-74), Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics at the University of Oxford,[10], [12] who reviewed Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion in the Times Literary Supplement in 1968.[13] In other words, McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars of Sikhism” simply through the publication of his PhD thesis which bypassed all the rigors of academic review.[13] Did Zaehner, who was an alcoholic [12], know anything about Guru Nanak’s teachings? After the publication of Zaehner’s review, McLeod rightly expressed his jubilation: “Professor Zaehner could never have known what joy he created!”[10] From thereon, McLeod has never missed an opportunity to self-promote himself with the mantra: “one of the foremost scholars of Sikhism”[14] persistently and consistently.

    Further it is intriguing that in Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion, published in 1968, he makes no mention of “School of Oriental and African Studies” where he studied for his PhD degree. He mentions only the name of the University of London in the preface.[15] Moreover, it is Dr. F.R. Allchin [15], one of the examiners, who is the first one to be acknowledged for assistance and encouragement in the preface to Guru Nanak and Sikh Religion whereas in Discovering the Sikhs: Autobiography of an Historian, McLeod says that he met him first at the time of viva on July 13, 1965.[4]

    About his other examiner Dr. Geoffrey Parrinder, McLeod says gleefully:

    “Geoffery Parrinder was one such scholar and knowing virtually nothing about either Guru Nanak or the Sikh religion except what he gained as my examiner he depended on Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion as his guide.”[16]

    Finally, imagine that Jagpal Singh Tiwana got a PhD on the Bible (written in Latin) under the guidance of J.S. Grewal as his supervisor and Pritam Singh and Khushwant Singh as his thesis examiners and then Jagjit Singh anand, the editor of Nawan Jamana declared Tiwana as “being among the foremost scholars of Bible studies in the world”.

    References

    1. W.H. McLeod. Discovering the Sikhs: Autobiography of a Historian. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004, pp. 22-23.
    2. Ibid., pp. 26-28.
    3. Ibid., p. 39.
    4. Ibid., p. 40.
    5. Ibid., p. 63.
    6. W.H. McLeod. Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 162.
    7. W.H. McLeod. Discovering the Sikhs: Autobiography of a Historian. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004, p. 148.
    8. Ibid., p. 137.
    9. Ibid., pp. 46-47.
    10. Ibid., pp. 62-63.
    11. Ibid., pp. 39-40.
    12. Ibid., P. 68.
    13. Ibid., p. 62.
    14. W.H. McLeod. Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996, cover.
    15. Ibid., p. ix.
    16. W.H. McLeod. Discovering the Sikhs: Autobiography of a Historian. Delhi: Permanent Black, 2004, p. 63.
     
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  3. H_Singh

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    I find it amusing that so many base there entire work and life achievement on discrediting McLeod. Inferring McLeod is intelligence is ridiculous, and ludicrous. Discrediting scholars from one of the top universities in the world would require some serious credentials, not just a bland interpretation of old information.

    If it wasn't for scholars such as McLeod the Sikh community would not have a budding scholarly community committed to answering the history of our people our religion and our culture. Though his views maybe contested by many of us, the fact that we are talking about this is something he has helped the community do, challenging our traditional perspective and forcing us to look deeper using academia and empirical evidence to define us as a people. For that the Sikh community needs to recognize him. These endless snide attacks are useless, and achieve nothing, we should be looking forward as a people and either updating his work, or challenging it with reason and evidence.
     
  4. Sikh80

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    While fully taking concern of Baldev ji into consideration, it is not to be forgotten that an outsider had done some work on Sikhism. I also hold the opinion of H-singh ji that, at least, he did something for sikhs. At least people are referring to the work that he produced. Needless to mention that due to the problem of language almost anyone will not be able to do full justice to this kind of task.

    It would have been more useful if Baldev ji had pointed out the distortions, if any, that Mcleod's thesis caused and how it was detrimental to Sikhi.

    I am also grateful to you for the efforts that you have put in for bringing the issue.

    Best Regards.
     
  5. Akashdeep Singh

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    H_Singh,

    Thank you for giving the article your eyes. However, it would have been appreciated in the response if it reflected serious inputs as well because the reply is sounding full of assumptions. Allow me to cite a few: -

    1. First, you are inferring that the author if the article (Baldev Singh) has based his entire work/life and achievement just discrediting W. H. Mcleod? Can you please provide the readers of the forum the statistics on this claim?
    2. Second, going forward to the limits of assumption you are making a sweeping claim that without W. H. Mcleod the Sikh scholarship would have been lost. Any substantiations of this claim? Did you forget to consider that there were Sikh scholars before, at his time and after Mcleod. Can you help us understand how Mcloed helped the Sikh scholars grow? Did you know that he even refused discussions and neglected giving response of any of the critiques of his Ph.D. thesis? Is that the ethics of scholarship?
    3. Third, you are assuming and claiming that there is no logic the critiques that Dr. Baldev Singh has written. Did you research before making this statement? If not, its right time to do it. Try GOOGLE, its easy!
    Challenges and critiques of a belief are always welcome. Even AGGS inspires thoughtful thinking, however, Mcloed is of guilty of propaganda and violating scholastic ethics . You seem to have again assumed without needed research and claiming that Mcleod's entire work is honest thought provoking.

    -Akashdeep
     
  6. Akashdeep Singh

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    Dear Sikh80,

    I am sorry to say that just like "H_Singh" below you have just made a frivolous non-serious attempt at responding and made several assumptions.

    The post below is just the first chapter of the article on Mcleod. Any serious reader would have Googled the article and the author to find more information on the topic before making any comments in the forum here.

    Please find the complete chapters of this article here": My Favorite Author : Response to J.S. Tiwana

    Happy reading,
    -Akashdeep
     
  7. dalsingh

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    I agree that as a positive, his controversial writing forces "adhay soohtay" (half asleep) Sikh scholars to wake up. No one can deny McLeod is intelligent and can write in an extremely readable fashion, but using passive voice to present opinions as if they are irrefutable facts is an old trick. I'm not one of those knee jerk reactionaries who totally discount McLeod but he is not without his own flaws.

    I actually read his work and own a fair few of his books. If there is truth in the way he got his PhD thesis from SOAS then I'm not surprised eyebrows are raised. I don't remember such a slack approach being taken on my undergraduate degree dissertation, let alone a PhD thesis no less! Also his own background of being a Christian missionary who had lied to this own church about his loss of faith is also a tad bit controversial in itself. The question of projecting his own angst on SIkhi is valid.

    Regarding McLeod's scholarly approach.

    Firstly he has only very recently started to respond to other scholar's critiques of his work, whereas he previously adopted an obnoxious "better than thou" attitude towards Sikhs who questioned his work. Even now his responses are what I would term "lazy."

    His claim that he is treading "sensitively" on the matter of a living faith is rubbish. The amount of people upset by his work is testimony to that.

    He has a strange habit of trying to create a sort of "gang" of scholars with the same view and who are often his own protege. I read Lou Fennech's work on Martyrdom in Sikhi (it was a PhD thesis, heavily supervised by McLeod). How such a work could be passed as serious and of quality surprises me.

    For a community such as Sikhs, whose ranks, lets be honest, were/are largely made up of illiterate or semi literate peasants, his insistence on relying on "textual analysis" to establish norms of the past is seriously flawed. Although some of these texts may have been influential with the literate elite minority, their importance to the village based masses are very likely to have been over represented by him.

    He sticks to theories when other scholars have totally discredited them. Jagjit Singh's work on his "Jatt theory" coupled with his own close friends (J.S. Grewal's) comments that his theory is "not even well informed conjecture" are an example.

    Grewal, also points out that in the recent past, western academia used "research" to justify imperialism/colonialism by portraying the would be "subjects" in a particular (and largely negative) way, he makes a point that McLeod fails to realise the link between such institutes and the activity of their modern day equivalents when he claims he is researching for the sake of learning.

    So lets put it in balance. What exactly are McLeod's motivations for studying Sikhs? I personally don't know? I read his work, but take large parts with a pinch of loon.
     
  8. H_Singh

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    H_Singh,

    Thank you for giving the article your eyes. However, it would have been appreciated in the response if it reflected serious inputs as well because the reply is sounding full of assumptions. Allow me to cite a few: -
    1. I have not specifically mentioned Baldev as a person, but there is no doubt he is running of the coat tails of the group who is after McLeod's proverbial head.

      If you read what I said, I specifically said he helped, I didn't give him full kudos for the result.

      I haven't discredited Baldev, but his comments implying McLeod is Indian intelligence is just rumour and i'll say again, absolutely ludicrous.
    I'm waiting to see where I have written all his work is honest and thought provoking. You need to stop making foolish assumptions and get off your horse. I have also specifically stated we should contest his work using "evidence" and "reason" not useless emotion like you're doing now.

    Any scholar who feels the need to psycho analyze another scholar to me is trying to make up for his or her short comings. Making accusations such as the university of London just gave him the degree, or implying Indian intelligence was involved, without empirical proof shows serious flaws within in an academic.
     
  9. spnadmin

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    Respected H_Singh ji,

    Professor McLeod is a published author, who has published more than one controversial work. As an academic he is not immune from criticism. In fact it is his lot in life to be the subject of public criticism because he is an academic who has published a book that has attracted controversy. Anyone who terms himself/herself a scholar is in the same boat. It is the nature of the game. One's work is expected to be open to evaluation, sometimes harsh evaluation, by other members of the academic community.

    Dalsingh ji and Akashdeep ji have evaluated aspects of McLeod's work and have found them wanting. They have addressed only those aspects of McLeod's scholarship that are typically considered in a review of published research. Everything they have critiqued is fair game. They have given an assessment without resorting to ad hominem arguments. This is called peer review. Sometimes we don't like what we read. We have a chance to respond in kind. However, we have a responsibility to avoid personal criticism.

    I caution you to observe Forum Rule 3 A. Please address issues, not personalities, where you believe these issues have not been given enough weight.
     
  10. H_Singh

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    I have absolutely no problem with the criticism of McLeod's work, but effectively what people are doing is attacking him personally, seeing only the controversial aspects of his work. I wasn't trying to attack anyone, or make this personal, i'll be the first to admit I don't agree with some of McLeod's work, but when someone makes there own ad hominem attacks, whether it be implied indirectly or directly, I feel the need to say something.

    Scholarly criticism does not include unfounded accusations of collusion with Indian intelligence, or the University of London handing out Phd degrees without checking work.

    False accusations are being made not only towards me, but about McLeod, which I see is a serious failing of which I will respond to.

    Baldev's attacks against McLeod have some, which i've alread outlined a few, serious failings is all I'm trying to point out.
     
  11. spnadmin

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    H_Singh jhi

    This is your comment: I'm waiting to see where I have written all his work is honest and thought provoking. You need to stop making foolish assumptions and get off your horse. I have also specifically stated we should contest his work using "evidence" and "reason" not useless emotion like you're doing now.

    This is directed against another forum member, and not Mr. Baldev Singh.

    Any scholar who feels the need to psycho analyze another scholar to me is trying to make up for his or her short comings. Making accusations such as the university of London just gave him the degree, or implying Indian intelligence was involved, without empirical proof shows serious flaws within in an academic.


    Clarify who said this.

    I stand by my warning. Forum rule 3 A.
     
  12. dalsingh

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    What is so surprising about this? I recall reading Dickens in class as a teenager and a lesson was devoted solely to discussing his background and experiences and how that may have influenced his written work/ideas.

    Clearly McLeod's background is of interest to his readers and Sikhs in general. Personally I think he purposefully incorporates material which will offend many Sikhs in his publications. I know he is an exceptional writer and has the literary skills to present his "ideas" in a way infinitely less offensive to the average Sikh reader. However, controversy sells and I guess this may well be one of the motives of why he writes in this way.

    I never said anything about Indian intelligence myself. BUT, the way he got his PhD without peer review and with non experts as his supervisors......all I can say is......WOOW!!!!!

    How many people get doctorates in this way? I'm planning to get a PhD one day myself, I very much doubt the experience will be remotely similar.

    Anyway, I think, as interesting as some of his work is, he essentially is following the old "orientalist" discourse which should have died out a long time ago in my eyes. His best strength lies in his translation skills. He should stick to this - solely.
     
  13. H_Singh

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?



    Direct me to where I said his work was honest? It was directed straight at you. Show me where I said his work was honest and thought provoking. You have made claims about what I've said, so I responded accordingly.

    This is directed towards any scholar, if you've taken it personally, not my problem really.
    Clarify who said this.

    I stand by my warning. Forum rule 3 A.
    [/quote]
     
  14. spnadmin

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    Veer H_Singh ji

    You could not have been directing any comment at me when you made statement quoted above because the statement was a response to most respected member Akashdeep ji. I only entered the conversation a few posts ago to issue a warning. So I will take your latest rejoinder as an attempt to bow out of an uncomfortable situation. No problem.
     
  15. dalsingh

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    Classic McLeod:

    I am a Western historian, trained in the Western methods of historical research and adhering to Western notions of historiography. No attempt has ever been made to conceal this fact. I have always maintained that I am a Western historian and if that status deprives me of reasonable understanding of Sikhism then so be it. …
     
  16. Randip Singh

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    Disagree.

    Why should Mcleod be put on such a high pedestal?

    There are other scholars of Sikhism, like Dr Gopal Singh, Dr Mann, Professor Gupta, Patwant Singh etc etc. I can list hundreds, yet Mcleod is put on a pedestal.

    Basic analysis of Mcleods theories and assertion can demonstrate how wrong Mcleod has got it. I say this as a person who held Mcleod on a pedestal, but after reading more extensively found how wrong he is. FRom his Martial theory to the Kartarpur Bir he has been wrong.

    Let me give you an example.

    Mcleod asserts warriorism was brought into Sikhism by the Jatts. He states the 6th Guru was in effect pushed by his Jatt followers into Martial development. He says this because Jatts swelled the ranks of Sikhi during the reign of the 6th Guru.

    Completely wrong:

    Why:

    • He ignores Guru Angad starting the martial tradition where he set up wrestling matches amongst his Sikhs - Gurudwara Mal Akhara stands on the wrestling ring established by the 2nd Master.
    • Bhai Gurdas lists the main Sikh followers of the 6th Master. You can count the Jatt followers on one hand. Jatts cae into Sikhi after the 10th Master introduced Khandhay Da Pahul, which most "twice borns" refused to take.
    • Baba Buddha ji is credited with introducing martial streak - again not true. Baba Buddha was named so by Guru Nanak because he was so wise. He was a passive soul. The stereo type of the uncouth, uneducated Jatt was turned on its head by Baba Buddha. He was a passive soul and according to Bhai Gurdas, he was against the martial streak of the 6th Master.
    • The 6th Master came from a fighting clan, the Kshatriya's. They were not averse to martial arts.
    • The Guru's charachter shows no sign of ever being lead by followers. He was assertive and independent.
    I agree on one point, that Mcleods works must be challenged with reason and researched work.
     
  17. Randip Singh

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    I think this statement says everything about the contempt he holds Eastern scholars in. West is superior, East is inferior.
     
  18. spnadmin

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    Re: How McLeod became “one of the foremost scholars” of Sikh Studies?

    Nor should you have to explain this, Dalsingh ji. The Western methods of historical criticism are completely justified in the context of McLeod's writing. He is also a western historian, and as a trained scholar understands perfectly well the importance of openness to peer review. That is what keeps the process honest. When that process is somehow hindered, then that is when the charges of subterfuge begin to surface. Why not be perfectly open about sources of evidence and means of analysis that lead to conclusions. Sources and means should be transparent, so that one's conclusions can be adequately evaluated.

    McLeod does not have an exemption from this process. No one gave him a free pass.
     
  19. H_Singh

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    McLeod produced a lot of his research over 40 years ago, we can say now that his work may be incorrect or wrong, but I stand by my statement that he has benefited Sikhi because he has helped us (by no means the only person to) challenge the traditions we hold onto dearly and triggered us to look into our own past to find out for ourselves, who we are and what we have become. It's clear in most of the responses on here, the fact that he is being readily dismissed shows we are challenging our traditional notions, and now we are also challenging his notions. There is no point arguing about McLeod, i'd rather talk about Sikhi itself.
     
  20. H_Singh

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    The first point is that the Gurus had no standing army or force at least until Guru Arjan, there is no evidence for it. Wrestling is a very far fetched link in my opinion.

    Point two, is that the Jatts dominated the Punjab from the beginning, even before Guru Nanak established himself at Kartarpur. Emperor Babur, the 1st Mughal emperor confirms this in his memoirs, the Baburnama. He emphatically talks about the Jatts and Gujars who used to leading raid parties on his camps in the 1520's for his cattle. He said they were innumerbale in number. This was during his entry into the Punjab before his battles with the Lodhi Sultanate. This is further confirmed in the Dabistan-i-Mazahib where it states the majority of the Sikh community was Jatt and they did not speak 'Hindi' by the time of Guru Hargobind.

    Point 3. I don't agree with Baba Buddha introducing the militancy. So no argument from me.

    Point 4. He came from the Khatri's, who often link themselves with the Ksyatria's but there is no real confirmed link between the two. Though the names do sound the same. You have to note that all the Gurus were part of the Khatris. The power shifting between different sub-castes, but ultimately under the umbrella of Khatri.

    Point 5. The Guru may not have been lead by his followers but he had to fulfill the needs of the community at every stage right upto Guru Gobind Singh that meant adapting and shifting the policy of the community, with hightened threats, and pressures consolidating the leadership as well as many other things. For example the Mughal threat, the corrupt masands, the rival sects Ramrai's etc.
     
  21. Randip Singh

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    Hi H Singh ji,

    I think I have made it clear that I could have been described as a Mcleodian in the past. As an amateur Historian I value facts, not emotion. I don't believe in fantastical miracles which some people attribute to Sikhism (because that contradicts Sikhi). I treat teh "Sakhi's" with caution, yet I do not come to the fantastical conclusions as Mcleod.

    My problem with Mcleod is this. He says one thing and does another. Let me give you yet another example, because you seem to have ignored the one I gave you earlier.

    Mcleod has placed great emphasis on texts, facts etc, then why has he ignored the best and contemporary (to the Guru's), source of historical facts. Varan Bhai Gurdas?

    why does he ignore other texts such as Dabistan e Mazhib. Irfan Habib and Dr Grewal have gone to great lengths to tranlate Persian texts (of the contemporaries of the Guru's), to give an insight into historical events around the Guru's, and these too contradict many of Mcleods assertions. Why has he ignored this too? Dr Grewal is meant to be his protege is he not?

    Amandeep Madra and Parmjit Singh have published eyewitness accounts from "Western" people a few years ago. Much of this contradicts Mcleod again. Why has he ignored this?

    Another great source of Sikh history is Archeolgy and study of old Gurudwara's, and history behind them. Why has he ignored this?

    These are the so called hard factual texts Mcleod is talking about, then why does he ignore them?

    Mcleod has hindered Sikhism by creating idiotic debates and creating controversy where none is needed. He suffers either from scholary myopia or has a hiddden agenda.

    I mean Feneche another protege of Mcleod, has written things on Dhadhi Jatha's that quite frankly verges on farse, rather than controversy. When I read things like this I start to lose credibility for Mcleod.
     

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