chapter  1
The evolution of the Sikh dharam and identity 1
WithJagbir Jhutti-Johal, Hardeep Singh
Pages 26

Guru Nanak founded one of the world’s youngest faith traditions, Sikhism, in the fifteenth century. Guru Nanak stressed the need to fight inequality, challenge religious dogma, work selflessly and ultimately seek a direct and closer relationship with God. Nine living Gurus succeeded him. In the face of persecution, the concept of miri–piri evolved in order to protect dharma from the time of the sixth Guru, Hargobind through to the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh, who created the Khalsa Brotherhood. Although worn by previous Gurus, the Sikh turban or dastaar, and maintaining long hair or kesh, became mandatory for those initiated into the Khalsa, a military fraternity founded by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 ce. This chapter presents the evolution of the Sikh dharam and identity, and highlight the significance of the dastaar, and its global presence and accommodations accorded to it.