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Sikhism in India

Indian Sikhs
Amritsar Golden Temple 3.JPG
Golden Temple (Darbar Sahib), located in Amritsar, Punjab is the holiest shrine of Sikhism.
Total population
20,815,730 (2011 census report)[1]
Fourth largest religion in India
Regions with significant populations
Majority in Punjab. Significant populations in Chandigarh · Himachal Pradesh  · Haryana · Delhi · Jammu & Kashmir · Rajasthan  · Uttarakhand
Punjabi • Sindhi • Kashmiri • Marathi • English • Gujarati • Hindi • Haryanvi • Assamese • Bengali • Rajasthani

Sikhism is the fourth largest religion in India and has existed for 550 years, beginning with the birth of its founder Guru Nanak Dev. The Sikhs are predominantly located in Punjab, but also in many other parts of India. It is also the fifth largest religion in the world, with more than 27 million followers as of the year 2010.

Prominent Sikhs in India

Though Sikhs are a minority in India, the community occupies a significant place in the country. The former Chief Justice of India, Jagdish Singh Khehar, and the former Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh[2] are Sikh, as is former President of India Gyani Zail Singh. Almost every council of ministers in India has included Sikh representatives. Sikhs are also conspicuous in the Indian army, primarily because of their history as defenders of righteousness, they formed the sword arm of the British empire. The Late Indian officer with a 5 star rank, Arjan Singh, is a Sikh. Sikhs have also led the Indian army through JJ Singh and the Indian Air Force was led by Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh. Sikhs have been prominent in Indian sports, with the only Indian individual gold medalist in Olympics, Abhinav Bindra, being a Sikh. Similarly they occupy important official positions, like Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia;[3] governor Surjit Singh Barnala. Sikhs are also known for entrepreneurial business in India. Milkha Singh, also known as The Flying Sikh, is a former Indian track and field sprinter who was introduced to the sport while serving in the Indian Army. One reason for visibility of Sikhs in the Indian spectrum is the disproportionate role played by the Sikh community during the Indian freedom struggle, with Bhagat Singh remaining a youth icon to Indian youth.[4]

Gurdwara Bangla Sahib

A Sikh place of worship is called Gurdwara. [5] The Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar in Punjab is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara. The Golden Temple represents the highest spiritual seat of Sikh Authority.

The Guru Granth Sahib

Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and the first Sikh Guru. The last living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh passed the Guruship of the Sikhs to the Eternal Guru of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, the last Guru of Sikhism (the sacred text of Sikhism). It also includes the writings of the some Sikh Gurus and the writings of Hindu and Muslims saints because all of these Bhagats and Bhatts shared the view of one universal creator God, they have experienced unison with almighty. Every human being is equal in front of Waheguru.

A Sikh man wearing a turban

Sikh population in India

Sikhs as percentage of total population in different districts of India (data from the 2011 Census).
Sikh people at Golden Temple.

India's Sikh population stands at 24 million, which is only 1.72% of the country's total population.[6] Out of the total Sikhs in India, 77% are concentrated in state of Punjab. Sikhism is the dominant religion in Punjab, where it is followed by 58% of the population, the only Indian state where Sikhism is the majority faith.

Other states where Sikh population has some impact are U.T. of Chandigarh (13.11%), New Delhi (5.4%), Haryana (4.91%), Uttarakhand (2.34%), Rajasthan (1.27%), Jammu & Kashmir (1.87%) and Himachal Pradesh (1.16%).[7]

See also

Further reading

  • Swarup, Ram: Hindu-Sikh Relationship. 1985. Whither Sikhism? 1991. New Delhi: Voice of India.
  • Elst, K. (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. New Delhi: Voice of India. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Fauja, S., & Talib, Gurbachan Singh (1996). Guru Tegh Bahadur: Martyr and teacher. Patiala: Punjabi University.


External links

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