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Modern Myths, Locked MindsSecularism and Fundamentalism in India$
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T.N.M Madan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198065104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198065104.001.0001

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The Sikh Religious Tradition: Fundamentalisms, Old and New

The Sikh Religious Tradition: Fundamentalisms, Old and New

(p.63) Chapter Three The Sikh Religious Tradition: Fundamentalisms, Old and New
Modern Myths, Locked Minds

T. N. Madan

Oxford University Press

The secular state in the context of India's major indigenous religious traditions—namely, Hinduism and Sikhism—does not mean that a constitutional wall separates the state from the church here as it does in the United States. The Sikh gurdwara (temple) is sometimes loosely called a church, but such a comparison is misleading, for the gurdwara is a place of worship rather than an organ of institutional control. The freedom to hold any religious beliefs and engage in related religious practices has, however, given rise to one of the most agonizing dilemmas of the Indian polity: how to cope with the demand of some religious communities, notably the Sikhs, for the recognition of their ‘right’ to repudiate the separation of religion and politics in the conduct of their own community life. This chapter discusses Sikh fundamentalism, gurdwara agitation, Sikh separatism, and the Operation Blue Star of 1984–94.

Keywords:   Sikhism, fundamentalism, secularism, India, religious traditions, Sikh identity, separatism, politics, gurdwara, Operation Blue Star

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