The logic of the lowest of the low transformed into the highest continues in Sikhism. A two-day national seminar on "subaltern revival movements in world religions" opened with this thought on Wednesday at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar.
N Muthumohan, chairperson of the department of Guru Nanak studies, Kamraj University, Madurai, made profound observations in his keynote address. "Sikhism represents not only a subaltern thought system but also a subaltern practice," he said. "Social praxis is attached inalienably into the thought of Sikhism."
The department of Guru Nanak Studies of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) has organised this seminar under the special assistance programme of the University Grants Commission.
Vice-chancellor AS Brar inaugurated the event, while Jaswant Singh Neki, professor of eminence in religious studies, who is from New Delhi, presided over the inaugural session. Shashi Bala, head of the host department, welcomed the guests.
"Certain religions of India contain significant sources of subaltern revolts and have made use of the resource throughout the country's history," said Muthumohan.
"Other religions that have inbuilt structures of domination miserably fail to exhibit any subaltern property in conditions similar to that of Indian society." The question of justice and practice for justice would remain an enduring problem even in the days to come, he added.
Neki, delivered the presidential address. "Sikh scriptures stood for the subalterns but subaltern thinkers have appreciated it rarely," he said. "That's because Sikhism is considered a subaltern religion by the people of subaltern faiths." A total of 30 scholars are participating in the seminar.