Political Philosophy of the Sikh Gurus: Introduction
Political Philosophy of the Sikh Gurus
The Sikhs and their polity have attracted good deal of attention as a result of recent developments in Punjab and some of the basic formulations are being questioned. The author, who has based his work on original sources such as the Adi Granth, Dasam Granth, Varan Bhai Gurdas and other contemporary sources, has developed answers to some of the problems relating to Sikh polity by quoting the authority of the Gurus themselves
The major focus of the present work is on the political philosophy of the Sikh Gurus as conceived by Guru Nanak and developed by the successive Gurus. The author asserts that Guru Nanak clearly understood the political milieu and reacted to the politics of oppression whether it was from the ruling elite or vested priestly interests. The Guru had clearly laid the foundation of a viable political alternative by giving a distinct political ideology and creating a model society, in which there were neither the suppressors nor the oppressed. In the present context it will be relevant to point out that while the Gurus clearly condemned political oppression they also emphasised the use of moral force as a major weapon to fight political opponents. Paradoxical as it may sound, Guru Gobind Singh suggested a code of ethics even in the conduct of wars.