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Women in Sikh History

Discussion in 'Sikh Youth' started by H_Singh313, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. H_Singh313

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    Jun 30, 2009
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    I am teaching a class on women in Sikh history to children from around middle school to high school and was wondering if anyone could provide me with any ideas or thoughts on where to take this broad subject. Any input and advice would be appreciated greatly.

    Thanks so much
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  3. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    1947-2014 (Archived)
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    Jun 17, 2004
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    H.Singh ji

    This is what always interested me and is not investigated as much or as often as the women who were martyrs. It is women in positions of spiritual leadership for the panth. The first were appointed by Sri Guru Amardas ji

    Guru Amardas ji

    Guru Amardas ji organised the proselysation of Sikh faith into Manjis. He divided the area into 22 branches called Manjis and appointed a local Sikh preacher at each place. The preacher sat on a Manji (a cot) while the congregation all around it.

    There were 3 women whom he appointed

    2. Mai Das Bairagi in charge of Ludhiana dist.
    3. Mai Bhago at village Wayun, tehsil Kharar, dist. Rupar.
    4. Mai Sewan at Village Gardnoh in Patiala District.

    Then how did his vision evolve and change with the times? We can look at the courts of Gurus to follow, where women were teachers of the banee of Guruji. Then consider why women were no longer spiritual leaders in the centuries to follow Sri Guru Gobind Singh's death. During his Guruship, women played a big role as spiritual leaders. That was no so evident in the years to follow. Then in the 20th century the trend changes once again. Why again in modern times do we see more women in spiritual leadership? What changes helped that to occur? Now there is a Sikh woman who is chaplain of the British Air force. There are women granthis in the 3HO organization, and also women as ministers of Western Dharma International. And there are situatons where women are excluded still: for seva and kirtan in Harimandir Sahib.

    I am making the assumption that you don't want to use the biographical approach where you spotlight famous Sikh women on a timeline of history. I could be wrong.

    My suggestion is more thematic: look at a trend such as women who are spiritual leaders, and spotlight their biographies along the trend lines. Follow the trend to see how it changes over time and why it changes with changes in culture, politics, and so forth. Just my thoughts.

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  4. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Apr 4, 2005
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