Convergence on Sikh Identity
The political revolution underpinned by the ideal of ‘Rāj Karegā Khālsā’ raised the erstwhile plebeians to the status of rulers and jāgīrdārs who continued with the Mughal administrative framework but derived inspiration from Khalsa ideology. The religious beliefs and practices of the Khalsa, the doctrines of Guru Granth and Guru Panth, the institution of Gurdwārās, the rites and ceremonies, and the personal and social ethics linked the Khalsa with the earlier Sikh tradition, and enabled them to emerge as the mainstream of the Sikh social order before the end of the eighteenth century. A large space was created for the lower castes and women, and a new spirit was reflected in the Sikh interest in literature, painting and architecture. The Sikh identity emphatically became the Khalsa identity as ‘the third (tīsar) panth’. The eighteenth century in Sikh history became a bridge between what had gone before and what came afterwards.
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