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Sikh Religion & Women

Women constitute a very significant part of the human race. Unfortunately since times immemorial they have been considered as inferior to the male members of the society for no apparent reason. Great reformers and religious leaders have endeavoured hard to rectify the imbalance and place social relations in the right perspective. Their efforts have brought about some good results but complete success has remained largely elusive.

An article in the British newspaper “Times” acted as a catalytic agent to whet Mr.Sidhu’s interest in this field because he found that the article failed to do justice to the Sikh thought about women and their status in Sikh society. By selecting this subject the learned author has brought us face to face with enormous amount of information and undertaken to record the progress on this issue with detail and clarity.

The book in hand is an excellent piece of research highlighting the impact of different religions on the status of women. It is not always possible to explore every avenue, therefore he has chosen the major religions of the world to compare the Sikh view with Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Jainism, Budhism and Vaishnavism. The result is a compact history of the issue with elaboration of the Sikh thought Vis a Vis world theology. His observations are keen and candid leaving the reader spell-bound and inquisitive.

Mr. Sidhu ends the treatise by pointing out the caveats in Sikh elite’s approach to the subject in the field and concludes that a great amount of work still needs to be done to undo the injustice done to the female sex over the centuries. However he is not pessimistic and leaves us with exhortation towards optimism. On finishing the reading one is left thinking “if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”