Sikhism and other religions

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In the field of comparative religion, many scholars, academics, religious figures have looked at the relationships between Sikhism and other religions.


  • V.S. Naipaul, in his recent book, India: A Million Mutinies Now, provides some intimate glimpses into the minds of some of the actors in the Punjab tragedy. He tells us of an interview which he heard on the British Radio and which Bhindranwale had given from the premises of the Golden Temple undergoing fortification just before the Blue Star Operation: in this interview, Bhindranwale had said that Sikhism “was a revealed religion; and the Sikhs were people of the Book.” Naipaul says that he was “struck then by the attempt to equate Sikhism with Christianity; to separate it from its speculative Hindu aspects, even from its guiding idea of salvation as union with God and freedom from transmigration.” But at that time, he thought that it was merely “an attempt, by a man intellectually far away, to make his cause more acceptable to his foreign interviewer.” He did not realize that the attempt to give a Semitic rendering to their religions is an old one and is not limited to Sikhism alone, nor to men “intellectually far away.” It has very much to do with the circumstances in which the world came to be dominated by people of Semitic religions. During this period, monolatry, prophetism, revelation - concepts of little spiritual validity or worth - acquired a great political clout and social prestige and these began to be adopted by many subject people. They wanted their religions to look like the Semitic ones with a single God, a Revelation, a Prophet or Saviour, and a single Church or Ummah.

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