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The Mīṇās and Their Literature

Jeevan Deol
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 118, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1998), pp. 172-184
DOI: 10.2307/605889
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/605889
Page Count: 13
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The Mīṇās and Their Literature
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Abstract

Although the past few decades have seen an increasing amount of writing on the Sikhs and their history, very little has been written that imparts nuance to the accepted narratives of the early period of Sikh history. Much of the early history of the Sikh panth remains unexplored, and much of what has been written merely repeats already familiar stories. Noticeably absent in teleological versions of the Sikh past has been any mention of the "dead ends" of Sikh history: the various groups that arose from within the early panth to varying degrees of prominence and stability only to suffer a fatal decline under the influence of the reformist Singh Sabhā movement at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Not only has this trend in historical writing impoverished the early history of the panth but it has also meant that whole corpora of devotional and commentarial literature have languished virtually ignored. This has largely been the case with the Mīṇās, a dissident group that arose in the time of the fifth Sikh Gurū, and their prolific literary output.

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