I intend to go beyond the Punjab and seek to review the Mazhabi Sikh past of two important urban centres of north-eastern India. They are located in Shillong and Guwahati, and have so far escaped the attention of scholars engaged in studying the Dalit past of the region. Situated in the Khasi Hills, their early presence in Shillong goes back to the days of colonial rule, while in Guwahati of the Brahmaputra Valley they may have settled around the time of the country’s Independence. Their emergence in two different cities under dissimilar political conditions perhaps offers an interesting point for the enquiry.
Author: Himadri Banerjee
Prof Himadri Banerjee who holds the Guru Nanak Chair in Indian History at Jadavpur University’s Department of History has made the Sikhs and Sikhism in eastern India his primary area of academic study. His book, The Other Sikhs: A View from Eastern India, is widely regarded as a path-breaking work on the Sikhs and their history and heritage in Assamese, Oriya and Bengali traditions.