Modern Punjabi Literature and the Spectre of Sectarian Histories




Sikh history, Kartar Singh Duggal, Bhai Vir Singh, historical representation, Punjabi


This essay explores two instances in the modern Punjabi literary engagement with the past, to consider the ways the writing of Sikh history has been configured as a modern literary construct. After brief consideration of the canonical work Sundarī by Bhai Vir Singh (1898), I consider a novel by Kartar Singh Duggal Nānak Nām Chaṛhdī Kalā (1989, “Blessed are those who Remember God”) to examine the legacies of the formulation of Sikh history operating in Vir Singh’s work. In doing so, I also consider the ways exclusionary and plural discourses coexist and comingle, to understand the multivalent nature of such representations, which cannot be assumed to express singular political affiliations and therefore reflect the complexity of Sikh articulations within colonial and postcolonial political fields.


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How to Cite

Murphy, Anne. 2021. “Modern Punjabi Literature and the Spectre of Sectarian Histories”. Cracow Indological Studies 23 (2):91-118.