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Prof. Nikky Guninder Kaur Singh Honoured

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The Department of Historical Studies of Punjabi University (Patiala, Punjab), bestowed a Fellowship on Nikki Guninder Kaur Singh, Chair and Professor of Religion at the Department of Religious Studies, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, U.S.A.

She also presented a lecture on the relevance of Guru Granth Sahib in the modern society at the University. She said historical scriptures were valuable in today's society.

She said Sikhism was a powerful medium of teaching right things in life and her main focus was to explain Sikhism to the West. She said many Americans were interested in Sikhsim. "I am currently working to translate Sikh religious works into English," she said.

Guninder stressed on the five themes that had vital contemporary relevance: Historical Reality (Guru Granth Ji Manio Pargat Guraa(n) Ki Deh); the Infinite One (Ik Oankar); egalitarian ethics (khatri Brahman sud vais updes cahu varna ko sajha); a magical planetarium: worlds beyond worlds (pataala paatal lakh aagaasa aagaas); a feminist text: the divine is both male and female (aapey purakh aapey hi nar).

Guninder's father, Prof. Harbans Singh (Editor, Encyclopaedia of Sikhism), had earlier taught at the same university in its Department of Religious Studies.

Nikky was born in India, and went to Stuart Hall, a Girls' Preparatory School in the U.S.A.. She received her B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from Wellesley College, her M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. from Temple University. She is currently the Crawford Family Professor at Colby College in Maine, U.S.A. Her interests focus on poetics and feminist issues.

Nikky Singh has published extensively in the field of Sikhism, including The Feminine Principle in the Sikh Vision of the Transcendent (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), The Name of My Beloved: Verses of the Sikh Gurus (HarperCollins and Penguin), Metaphysics and Physics of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sterling). Her book on Sikhism was translated into Japanese. She has lectured widely in North America, England, France, India, and Singapore, and her views have been aired on television and radio in America, Canada, and India.

Her most recent publications incude The Birth of the Khalsa: A Feminist Re-Memory of Sikh Identity; and Cosmic Symphony: The Early & Later Poems of Bhai Vir Singh.  

 

December 24, 2010

 

Conversation about this article

1: Veronica Sidhu (Scotch Plains, New Jersey, U.S.A.), December 24, 2010, 4:19 PM.

I met Nikky at a panel discussion on religion at Columbia University years ago. She was the only woman speaker and truly unforgettable. What struck me was her deep sincerity and true love of gurbani, not just as an academic exercise, but as a gateway to divine love. Congratulations to her and to the Dept. of Historical Studies for recognizing her.

2: Harmander Singh (London, United Kingdom), December 25, 2010, 7:57 AM.

I thinks it is fantastic that Professor Nikky Kaur has been awarded a Fellowship in recognition of her work. We need to honour the work done by our women, which is no less than any other.

3: Mohan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada.), December 26, 2010, 10:51 AM.

Congratulations, Nikky, for all your achievements. Guru Ramdas says: 'Blessings and congratulations, says God to His humble servant. O servant Nanak, He embraces him, and blends him with Himself' - [GGS:493].

4: Harbans Lal (Arlington, Texas, U.S.A.), December 26, 2010, 12:28 PM.

I wish to congratulate Nikky Guninder Kaur Singh on her recent recognition at the Punjabi University. As an accomplished scholar and teacher of Sikhism, Nikky touched the intellect of many Sikh and non-Sikh audiences both through her publications and her oral presentations throughout the world. May Waheguru bless her with greater energy to further advance her mission of disseminating knowledge contained in Guru Granth Sahib.

5: Jasbir Singh Sethi (Houston, Texas, U.S.A.), January 03, 2011, 12:29 AM.

Heartiest congratulations, Nikki Kaur ji. You are probably one of the handful of contemporary Sikh Scholars who is investing her talent, time and intellectual energy in interpreting the beautiful and unique Sikh thoughts for the west. A road less traveled. Most scholars both in the diaspora and back on the subcontinent are still stuck on the oft-beaten and relatively easier path of rehashing History. No doubt, history is important too, but it has been shamelessly politicized that there are always doubts on any book that comes out. Interpreting Sikh thought, its uniqueness, individuality, universality and relevance for the modern world and the future, and its precision-like science and aesthetic and beauty of the highest order, really needs a multi-dimensional and true scholar like you. The subjects of your exploration listed are marvelously in unison with the needs of the time. I for sure continue to wait for your future books with great anticipation. May Sat Guru Ji bestow HIS blessings in abundance that you can write those books which sure will be lighthouses for the humanity.

6: Jagmeet Singh Soin (Houston, Texas, U.S.A.), January 03, 2011, 12:19 PM.

I am truly pleased to note the honour bestowed on Prof. Nikki Guninder Kaur Singh. It is about time that noted modern scholars like her spearhead a movement so that the core values of the Sikh faith can be imparted to the next generation of Sikhs. I came to this country 42 years ago. I have seen Sikh core values disappear in my nephews, children and now grand children. We cannot even state clearly what was Guru Gobind Singh's message to humanity. There is a huge gap in understanding Sikh appearance and Sikh values. Dr. Nikki Gurinder Singh can do the job. She is blessed.

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