It is proposed to hold a conference on Sikh Studies in the third week of November, 1988 in California. The purpose of the conference is to appraise the views of W.H. McLeod on Sikhism. The Sikh Studies Conference will provide a forum to those who support or challenge McLeod’s views. Dr. McLeod will also be invited to attend the Conference.
It is the opinion of the organizers of the conference that the ideas expressed in the writings of some Western authors including W.H. McLeod’s, represent an inadequate understanding of the Sikh Scriptures, beliefs, and traditions. Therefore, the conference is being called to make an attempt to present and promote a clear understanding of Sikhism.
In “The Sikh Tradition “Justice Gurdev Singh has indicated eight formularies made by McLeod in his book “The evolution of the Sikh Community”.
- “It is misleading to call Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion……” McLeod wrote.
- “The Ten Gurus never preached one set of religious doctrines……”
- “The arming of the Panth would not have been the result of any decision by Guru Hargobind……” McLeod.
- McLeod questioned the traditional account about the founding of Khalsa.
- McLeod challenged the Sikh symbols, indicating that they were evolve later.
- “Though the Gurus denounced caste system….but they were not serious in removing caste difference”. McLeod.
- McLeod questioned the Guru Ship and succession of Guru Granth Sahib.
- The authenticity of the current version of the Guru Granth Sahib is questioned by McLeod.
In recent years, for reasons that are obvious, there is an attempt to tarnish ideological identity of the Sikhs.
The scholars of Sikhism who are willing to write papers on the topics noted above are requested to send their resume along with titles and abstracts on the following address:
The Sikh Community of North America P.O. Box 16635 Irvine, Ca. 92713
Conference will be held at Los Angeles during the 3rd week of November, 1988. Specific date, time and place will be given in the invitation.
The above mentioned points made by McLeod and others are attempts at destroying the sovereign self-identity of Sikhism. An appeal is made to Sikh intellectuals to defend their faith. Nobody will do this job for you. Dedicated Sikh scholars can enlighten the world with Sikh philosophy related to “Naam”, “Daan,” “Ishnan”, “Sewa”, “Simran”, “Chardhi Kala”, “Bhana”, and “Sarbat Da Bhala”. If these concepts are properly understood and practiced, it will make this world a pleasant place to live in and Sikhs will be Sardarjis in true sense, where ever they are.
Let us face the fact that everyone born in a Sikh home considers himself/herself a Sikh, but how many come forward with courage and fearlessness to present their faith to fellow beings. In the context of genocidal attacks on the Sikh Nation, _ how many are willing to defend Sikhism? According to Sikhism, any human under oppression need to be defended by the Sikhs. Are we defending ourselves? After doing some soul searching, you will realize the reality and recognize the duty of a True Sikh and pick up the pen and start writing on current crisis faced by the Sikhs.
Article extracted from this publication >> July 8, 1988