The Singh-Kaur debate in Sikh history (01)
Yes. I know I have been late this month in my blog postings. Wrapping up the semester the same time as conducting fieldwork for my dissertation is taking up more time than I had planned for it. However, on a positive note, I have been keeping up with my readings for my blog and have come across something which, in my opinion, can be centerpiece to the discussion on this blog.
Because female-feticide is an issue of gender discrimination, looking at female-feticide through the perspective of Sikhism will mean looking at how the issue of gender has been addressed in Sikhism. I came across some interesting work on this topic. As a point of departure, I will start with the controversy around Dr. Doris Jakobsh’s book on gender in Sikh history, devoting the next few postings on this topic.
Dr. Doris R. Jakobsh, is an asst. professor at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She wrote a book, “Relocating Gender in Sikh History: Transformation, Meaning and Identity,” which was based on her PhD thesis. In this work, she (re)presents Sikh history and culture through a feminist perspective.
Sikh intellectuals have criticized the book, questioning Dr. Jakobsh’s interpretation of the scriptures, the credibility of the sources of data, and the analysis of the data so obtained. [For example, this one, another, and another, …]
My entry point into this debate is Dr. Baldev Singh’s criticism of Dr. Jakobsh’s book. I will start with my reading of Chapter 11 of his work, and take it on from here, posting my notes as and when I read on this topic.