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Fundamentalism And Sikhism



I read elsewhere...

Fundamentalism is akin to orthodoxy that is intrinsically prejudicial, parochial, dogmatic and adamantly averse to any changes social, scientific or religious. Driven by orthodoxy the Hindu neo-nationalism drove Buddhism out of India and stunted Jainism's growth. Christian Powers embarked upon crusades under papal sanctions against Muslims in 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. The Muslims have been waging recurrent jihads ever since the inception of Islam. Many polygamous male dominated Muslim theocratic states have been enforcing Islamic code in which men can have four wives and women are denied education and career opportunities. The medieval Roman Catholic judicial system conducted inquisitions for discovery, examination and punishment of individuals and political groups with total disregard for the individual rights, for the ultimate purpose of enforcing orthodoxy.

Ironically a fringe element of Sikhs tends to treat the noble concept of Khalsa Panth like such fundamentalism, which in today's vocabulary is synonymous with militancy, fanaticism, radicalism even terrorism.


Jun 11, 2004
Dear Member (care4sikhi),

The word ‘fundamentalism’ had basically come into use in the context of Christianity. In a broader sense, it refers to the mental make-up of the individuals, who believe that every thing that is said or written in the scripture is absolutely true, the rituals they practice are true, and those who hold positions contrary to it are supposed to be punished; their position remains unchanged even in the face of adequate evidence to prove the other viewpoint.. For example, if scripture says that earth is flat, which we know now that it is not true, and some one continues to hold to that view then the individual is likely to be considered a ‘fundamentalist’.

Such cases are there in all the religions.

All religions have truth incorporated in them in the part, which deals with spirituality; it does not change with time.

The temporal aspect of the religion that deal with the social practices and the way of living tend to become obsolete as time passes and the society moves forward to face the new challenges posed by the new emerging needs of living. Sometimes scripture comes in to conflict with the new scientific evidences that come or the new needs of living. On occasions the scripture finds it difficult to substantiate what it says with adequate reasoning.

This conflict in the temporal or ritual aspects creates two sets of people. The group that questions the scripture calls the other group as fundamentalists.

Guru Sahibs had foreseen these problems that is why they separated the institution for spirituality from the one meant for temporal aspects of the religion. Harmandar Sahib is the spiritual seat and Akaal Takhat is temporal seat for we Sikhs. These institutions should work to educate people in their respective area.

With Love and Respect of all


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