W. H. McLeod’s Sikh Literature smacks of Scepticism, Cynicism
Variously dubbed as ‘a Gentleman and a Scholar’, ‘among the foremost Scholars of Sikh Studies’, ‘unscrupulous, intellectually dishonest’, Bull in China Shop, William Hewat McLeod Ph. D., an ordained Presbyterian Church Reverend, Overseas Christian Missionary, Emeritus Professor, Otago University, New Zealand says,
“For myself I am convinced that I never really believed in any religious system or held any belief in God, and that the awakening for me consisted of a simple recognition that this had always been the case. I prefer to call myself an unbeliever” Discovering the Sikhs, Autobiography of a Historian (pp. 47, 48) “After all, my departure from church had occurred as far back as 1966 and in the years since then I have made no secret of the fact that I am an unbeliever.” Ibid, (Page 163) “I am a wolf arrayed rather ineptly in sheep’s clothing.” Ibid, p. 219
Despite his disclaims to being a Christian missionary W. H. McLeod continued his associations with the Christian institutions throughout his life including application to the ‘World council of Churches’ for expenses to complete his doctoral Sikh studies in London (1963) and three days stay in ‘Pakistan with an elderly American missionary couple, the Christies, at Texla’, in 1982. Ibid, pp. 37, 86
- H. McLeod was born in 1932. Educated at Nelson College (1946-1950) New Zealand, he managed to get on bottom of the University National scholarship list, and enrolled as a resident student at Knox College, Otago University in 1951. After M.A. graduation in history in 1954, he joined Presbyterian Theological Hall, Dunedun in 1955 and obtained his theological License and was registered as a Presbyterian Church Reverend in December 1957. Same year he was ordained to work as an overseas missionary and appointed to replace Dr. Ryburn at Bible Class Movement, a British colonialism/Imperialism Era vestige of Christian proselytism in Kharar, Punjab, India.
Rev. Hew McLeod arrived in Kharer, Punjab, India in mid 1958 and at the end of his five-year Christian missionary work in 1963 he was eligible for a sabbatical that he could avail for further studies. For some reason, best known to him, he decided to pursue study of Sikhism instead of Christianity. He wrote to A. L. Basham whose book ‘The wonder that was India’, he had read, and who was now a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Prof. Basham replied he would be happy to have him as a Sikh studies doctoral student. Hew. McLeod and his family left for England and he enrolled in two-year doctoral study of Sikhism at London University. Since he had only a year’s paid sabbatical from his employer, he applied to the ‘World council of Churches’ for second year’s expenses that happened to be easily available.
Rev. Mcleod got his Ph. D. for a Joke?
By virtue of the opportunity accorded to Rev. McLeod to learn Hindustani and Punjabi, a requisite for a Christian Missionary posted at Kharer, Punjab, India with predominantly Sikh population, he was, for some reason, motivated to acquaint himself with authentic Sikh scriptural anthology, unauthentic traditions and historical accounts derived from mythology oriented anonymous, pseudonymous Sikh and non-Sikh authors’ quasi-Sikh literature. He, apparently, acquired a tad more knowledge about Sikhism than his apparently Euro-Christian educators and examiners, whose next to nothing knowledge of Sikh scriptural anthology, religiosity and history is evident from Rev. Mcleod’s own statements regarding his doctoral Sikh studies, dissertation and examination.
“Professor Basham (supervisor) knew nothing about the Punjabi language, and he made only three very minor changes to the thesis. One of which was his insistance that I should use plural form ‘appendices’ instead of earlier practice of writing ‘appendexis’. Once a month I was required to appear before him and report progress and difficulties. I would outline the difficulties and at each of them he would nod his head wisely and make some such comment as, ‘yes that is a problem’ or ‘that is a difficulty we all have’. After the interview was over I would ask myself, ‘what have I gained from it,’ and answer would be that I had derived nothing. Professor Basham was, however, an experienced supervisor and even if I received no direct guidance concerning my thesis topic, I did, at least, get the understanding noises, which at that time, I needed.” Discovering the Sikhs, Autobiography of a Historian, p. 39
“In September 1969 Punjabi University staged an international seminar in honour of the quincentenary of Guru Nanak’s birthday and to it they invited a selection of scholars from other countries. Geoffrey Parrinder was one such scholar and knowing nothing about Nanak or the Sikh religion except what he had gained as my examiner he depended on ‘Guru Nanak and the Sikh religion’ (Hew. McLeod’s work published in 1969) as his guide.” Ibid, p.63
“Raymond [F. R. Allchin,] is an anthropologist of India who also sustains a considerable interest in the Indian medieval poets (particularly Tulsi Das).” Ibid, page 69
“When I presented myself for the viva on July 13th Dr. F. Raymond Allchin, one of the examiners whom I had not previously met, opened questioning by frowning severely at me. ‘Mr. Mcleod,’ he said, ‘We have a serious criticism to make of this thesis (The Life and Doctrine of Guru Nanak).’ This, needless to say, is just what the nervous candidate does not want to hear. ‘You did not allow us sufficient time to read it.’ It was a joke and he and other examiner professor Geoffrey Parrinder, together with professor Basham, joined in the jolly laughter. It soon became clear, however, that neither examiner had in fact managed to read the complete thesis, and after a single question from each I was dismissed. Fortunately they both agreed to sustain the thesis.” Ibid page 40
The Ph. D got Dr. McLeod an appointment at Baring Union Christian College, another vestige of British Colonial/Imperialism Era Christian proselytizing mission at Batala, Punjab India to teach history in 1965 AD. This College is one of the several opened by a wealthy American, Rev. Baring, who came to Christian Mission Society School in Amritsar in 1872.
Sowing Skepticism, Cynicism and Schism
Concepts of Sikhism are not original.
“Many of these concepts Guru Nanak shared with other earlier contemporary religious figures, including Kabir. It is at once evident that his thought is closely related to that of Sant tradition of Northern India and there can be no doubt that much of it was derived directly from this source. The system developed by Guru Nanak is essentially a reworking of the Sant pattern, a reinterpretation which, compounded experience and profound insight with a quality of coherence and a power of effective expression.” Ibid, p. 151
“Nath influence emerges in much of the basic terminology used by Kabir (and later by Guru Nanak), in a rejection of all exterior forms, ceremonies, caste distinctions, sacred language, and scriptures, in strong emphasis upon unity as opposed to duality, and in the concept of mystical union which destroys this ‘duality’. It is not without significance that the commonest of all terms used by both Kabir and Guru Nanak to express of union is ‘sahaj’, a word which carries us into Nath theory and beyond Nath tradition into earlier world of tantric Buddhism.” Ibid, p. 153
“Sikhism has commonly been regarded as a blend of Hindu beliefs and Islam, and if for Islam we substitute Sufism there appears, at first sight, to be much to support this view. It is at once evident that many elements in the thought of Guru Nanak have affinities with Sufi concepts and this would seem to suggest strong Sufi influence. This appearance is, however, misleading. Affinities certainly exist, but we cannot assume that they are necessarily the result of Sufi influence.” Ibid, Page 158
“The teachings of Guru Nanak do indeed constitute a synthesis, it is not that synthesis of ‘Hinduism and Islam’, which finds mention in most surveys of his thought. It is the Sant(tradition) synthesis, a system, which is inherited, reworked according to his –own- genius and passed on in a form unequalled by any other representative of the tradition. The greatness of Guru Nanak lay in his capacity to integrate a somewhat disparate set of doctrines, and to express them with clarity and a compelling beauty.” The Evolution of Sikh Community, p.7
Guru Nanak is not Founder of Sikhism.
“To Sikhs of all subsequent generations Guru Nanak is the founder of the Sikh religion. Of his importance there can be no doubt whatever, and it must also be acknowledged that ‘in a certain sense he is legitimately described as a founder’. ‘In another sense’, however the term ‘founder’ is misleading, for it suggests that Guru Nanak originated not merely a group of followers, also a school of thought or set of teachings. If we place Guru Nanak within his own historical context, if we compare his teachings with those of other contemporary or earlier religious figures, we shall at once see that he stands firmly within a well-defined tradition. What Guru Nanak offers us is the clearest and most highly articulated expression of the ‘nirgun samppradaya, the so called Sant tradition of Northern India.” Ibid, p. 5
Guru Amar Das built Baoli as a Sikh Shrine
“If one visits Goindval today one will find a boali, a large well with steps leading down to it. One may also observe that the steps number eighty-four. Tradition ascribes the original digging to the command of Guru Amar Das and there is every reason to accept this particular tradition as accurate. The significance of the well lies in its relation to teachings of Guru Nanak on one hand and to other such watering places on the other. The intention of Guru Amar Das, according to the tradition, was that this well should be Sikhs’ ‘tirath’, or center of pilgrimage, and certainly the eighty-four steps (corresponding to the traditional eighty-four lakhs [84 hundred thousand] of existences in the total migratory cycle) suggests that the purpose of the well was more than the mere provision of drinking-water.” Ibid, pp.7-8
“Guru Nanak, with all the characteristic Sant emphasis upon interiority, had declared in very plain terms that there was only one ‘tirath’, only one pilgrimage center for true devotee, and that was within his own heart. All others were useless. Here, however we find his successor apparently inaugurating the very thing he had spurned. Bonds other than those based upon religious belief are becoming necessary and the third Guru finds the solution in recourse to traditional Indian institutions. Not only did he provide this new pilgrimage center, but also distinctive festival-days, distinctive rituals and a collection of sacred writings. Guru Nanak had rejected all of these. Guru Amar Das, in different and more difficult circumstances, is compelled to return to them.’ Ibid, p. 8
Evidently Mr. Mcleod based his premises on Janam Sakhis and/or traditions to derive erroneous conclusion and imply that Guru Amar Das built the baoli not only as a watering place, but also a shrine or pilgrimage center for Sikhs seeking redemption from eighty-four lakhs life form reincarnation cycle. He doesn’t elaborate as to what distinctive festival days, rituals and collection of writings Guru Amar Das provided. Regarding Sikh Shrine or pilgrimage center this is what Guru Amar Das says,
True-Guru is the shrine that satiates covetousness (longings), but only whom the guru edifies, understands it. 1: 1: 38: M: 3, GG. p. 26 (Derpun Vol.1, p. 237)
God’s Naam (praise) for a moment equates to bathing at 68 holy shrines; and prevents materialism polluting one’s mind; materialism causes pollution that doesn’t wash even if one bathes at 68 shrines. Sloak, M: 3, GG. p. 87 (Derpun Vol. 1, p. 554
Pilgrimages to holy-river-banks, distant-holy-places ironically boost ego and conceit. 3:11:12, M: 3, GG. p. 116 (Derpun, vol. 1 p. 703
If one controls the five cardinal vices, he dwells at a (true) holy shrine. 2:6:8, M: 3, GG. p. 491 (Derpun vol. 4, p. 12)
There are about a dozen shabds and slokes of Guru Amar Das in Guru Granth stating explicitly the futility of pilgrimages to the dogmatically purported holy shrines. See Guru Granth’s Siri Rag, pp. 26, 36, 87, Gujri p. 491, Vudd-Hans P. 587, Suhi p. 753, Soruth p. 644, 650, Billavul p. 797, Ramkalli p. 948, Basant p. 1169 and Sloke p. 1417. It is obvious that Rev. Mcleod ignorantly or insidiously asserts that Guru Amar Das diverged from Guru Nanak’s path of Sikh religiosity and built baoli at Goindwal as a Sikh Shrine or place of pilgrimage.
Sikh scholar Dr. Sangat Singh in his paper, ‘MCLEOD AND FENECH AS SCHOLARS ON SIKHISM AND MARTYRDOM’, that he read at the ‘International Sikh conference 2000’, states that Baring Union Christian College, Batala was one of institutions the governments of India and Punjab approached to produce schismatic literature to cause communalistic schism between Hindu and Sikh communities and Jat-Sikh and non-Jat-Sikh factions to thwart 1960s Punjabi Suba campaign spearheaded by the Sikhs. We do not know if Mr. Mcleod, who was at Batala at the time, produced any such schismatic literature, but he certainly did so a decade later in 1976 when he published his book ‘The Evolution of Sikh Community’. He presumptuously posits,
‘A second important development, which appears to have taken place during the period Guru Amar Das concerns the constitution of the rising Panth. All ten Gurus came from Khatri families and there are other indications that the Khatris commanded a particular influence within the Panth during its earlier years. The situation which now emerges is, that within the Sikh Panth leadership drawn from a mercantile community secures a substantial and increasing following drawn from an agrarian (Jat) community. This Jat incursion (raid invasion) was of considerable importance in the evolution of the Panth, particularly for the developments, which took place during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Although the respect accorded to Khatris obviously continued, the Jat constituency was preponderant and the inevitable result was development along lines dictated by the influence of Jat cultural patterns.’ The Evolution of Sikh Community, pp. 9-10
“From Sind this Jat people moved northward via Multan into the Punjab and eastward across the Jumna River. In the course of their migration they changed from pastoralists(shepherds) to peasant cultivators. They thus advanced economically while retaining the social stigma attached to their earlier pastoral status. This widening disparity, fortified by their inherited egalitarian (equality) traditions attracted them to a line of Gurus who rejected the theory of caste and willingly raised Jats to positions of high authority in the new Panth.” Prof. Irfan Habib, Ibid, p.11
Swamy Vavéka Nanada’s Bigoted Principle
If you want to root out a religion, cast aspersions on the historical facts of its founder
“Here we are, the Hindu race, whose vitality, whose life principle, whose very soul, as it were, is in religion…. I think that it is Vedanta, and Vedanta alone that can become the universal religion of man, and no other is fitted for the role. Excepting our own, almost all other great religions in the world are inevitably connected with the life or lives of one or more of their founders. All their theories, their teachings, their doctrines and their ethics are built around the life of a personal founder from whom they get their sanction, their authority and their power, and strangely enough, upon the historicity of the founder’s life is built, as it were, all the fabric of such religions. If there is one blow dealt to the historicity of that life ….if that rock of historicity is shaken and shattered, the whole building tumbles down, broken absolutely, never to regain it’s lost status.” Swamy Vavéka Nanda (Sangat Singh’s paper)
Gurus Prominent Violators of Anti-Caste Commandments
Applying Swamy Vavéka Nanda’s bigoted principle, Mr. Mcleod accuses Gurus of violating their own anti-caste commandments. “And so it would appear that the Sikh Gurus were, beyond all doubt, vigorous and practical denunciators of cast. From this it would seem to follow that continued evidence of caste distinction within the Sikh community must represent flagrant violation of the Guru’s explicit commands. It is at this point that some critics of Sikhism claims have introduced suggestion, which to Sikh ears must sound grossly impertinent. According to these critics the most prominent violators of the anti-caste commandments are Gurus themselves.” Ibid, p. 87
“The ten Gurus were Khatris by caste. This is widely regarded as a great pity, even within Sikh society where the numerically preponderant Jats commonly bewail the fact that there was never a single Jat Guru. All the Gurus, themselves Khatris, married Khatri wives and this, declare their critics, is the true measure of their sincerity. How can one respect a commandment when its promulgators ignore it?” Ibid, p. 88
“Gurus were not concerned with the institution of caste as such, merely with the belief that it possesses soteriological (salvation) significance. Caste can remain, but not the doctrine that one’s access to salvation upon one’s caste ranking’. Stripped of its (doctrine’s) religious content, it can retain the status of a harmless social convention.” Ibid, p. 88
Guru Arjan Incurred Displeasure of Mughal Authorities
Revealing his prejudicial mindset Mr. Mcleod infers Guru Arjan Sahib died while in custody as opposed to being tortured to martyrdom and declares atrocious act as an obscure incident.
“Guru Arjan, the fifth Guru and father of Hargobind, had in some manner incurred the displeasure of the Mughal authorities and in 1606 had died while in custody. The incident is an obscure one, but later tradition tolerates no doubts. Guru Arjan’s death was, according to this later tradition, the death of a martyr at the hands of Muslims who feared his growing power as a religious leader.” ‘Evolution of the Sikh Community’, p. 3
Beware of attributing Mughal Hostility solely to Jahangir’s Orthodoxy
In his typical jargon Rev. Mcleod implies that the sixteenth century Mughal hostility towards Sikhism was caused by the growing power of the Gurus and the militant posture of Guru Hargobind. Deriving his inferences from unauthentic traditions he writes,
“This incident (so the tradition continues) indicated to the Sikhs a manifest intention to put down the developing Panth and persuaded the sixth guru that for the defence of his followers he would have to resort to arms. He accordingly responded to the Mughal threat of violent repression by arming his followers and inculcating martial instincts.” Ibid, pp. 3-4
“The second (Sikh evolutionary) stage concerns the conflict between the Sikhs and the Mughal authorities during the early seventeenth century. Tradition, as we have seen, attributes the genesis of this conflict to Mughal fears concerning the growing power of the Sikh Guru and, interprets the militant posture of Guru Hargobind as a direct response to Mughal threats. There can be no doubt that Mughal hostility was developing during this period, but we must beware of attributing it solely to Jahangir’s orthodoxy and to the promptings of his Naqshabandi (zealous)courtiers. The increasing influence of the Jats within the Sikh Panth suggests that Jahangir and his subordinates may well have had good reasons for their fears, and would not have related exclusively, nor even primarily, to the religious influence of the Guru.” Ibid, p. 12
Militancy within Sikh Panth traced to Jat Culture.
“It also suggests that the arming of the Panth would not have been the result of any decision by Guru Hargobind. We may be sure that the Jats did not enter the Panth empty-handed. They would have been bearing arms many years before Guru Arjan died in Lahore. The death of Guru Arjan may have persuaded Guru Hargobind of need for tighter organization, but we find it difficult to envisage a large group of Jats suddenly being commanded to take up weapons. The Jats will (would?) have remained Jats. The development which tradition ascribes to a decision by Guru Hargobind must have preceded, and in some measure prompted, the first Mughal efforts to curb the growing power of the community. The conflict with Mughals certainly exercised a most important influence upon subsequent development of the Panth, but not an influence of the kind attributed to it by Sikh tradition. The growth of militancy within the Panth must be traced primarily to the impact of Jat cultural patterns and to economic problems which prompted a militant response.” Ibid, pp. 12-13
Guru Granth’s Textual Problems
Mr. Mcleod pitches in head-on into the un-necessary controversy regarding the originality, authenticity and/or textual content of Guru-Granth’s volume in which Guru Gobind Singh invested Guru-ship. The main stream Sikhs never had any qualms about accepting the volume generally known as Adi Granth as the perpetual Sikh Guru. Only the detractors of Sikhism and cultist Sikh sectarians, who ride Sikhism’s magnificent bandwagon, but refuse to believe in Shabd Guru or Guru Granth as the perpetual Guru of the Sikhs initiated the self-serving controversy. Accentuating the controversy Hew Mcleod enunciates,
“According to tradition the Adi Granth, or Guru Granth was compiled by the fifth Guru, Arjan, during the years A. D. 1603-4. To this extent the tradition appears to be well founded. A manuscript bearing the latter date is still extant (exists) and there is no sufficient reason to doubt its authenticity. Guru Arjan’s principal source was a similar collection which tradition attributes to the third Guru, Amar Das. This collection consisted of two volumes, the so called Goindwal pothis.” Ibid, p. 60
Muddying the Water
“It cannot be too strongly emphasized that the Adi Granth is a collection of religious writings and that every thing it contains relates directly to its soteriological (salvation) concerns.”
“The features which have been described above give an impression of order and clarity. In general sense this is accurate and there can be few scriptures which posses a structure as consistent as that of Adi Granth. There are, however, certain aspects, which are far from clear. The Adi Granth is by no means without its problems (notably its textual problems) and some attention must now be directed to the more important of these issues.”
“The chief problem concerning the Adi Granth arises from the fact that there is not one single version, but three different versions plus a number of variants. The variants can be disregarded in this discussion, but some attention must be directed to the three major versions. If the analysis succeeds only in muddying the water we must reply that a measure of obscurity is no more than an accurate representation of the condition of our understanding.” Ibid, pp. 73-74
Singh Sabha Reformers depicted as Coercive in Implicit Jargon
“During the first two half centuries of its existence, possession of the manuscript, though naturally something to be highly prized, was not an issue of prime importance. The doctrine of the scriptural Guru had not yet been accorded the exclusive authority, which it was later to acquire and current needs could be adequately served by numerous copies (both complete and in part); which were in circulation. The significant change came with the rise of the Singh Sabha and, at almost the same time, the arrival of the printing press. The Singh Sabha reformers laid an insistent emphasis upon the absolute authority of the scriptures, and the printing press provided them the means of disseminating it.” Ibid, p. 62
To validate his dubious premise Hew Mcleod inserts quotes from two writers; one is Inder Singh Chakarvarti, who wrote Baba Ram Singh’s biography’ ‘Malvender’, was either a zealous Namdhari or a scholar-for-hire. The cultist Namdhari sect is an offshoot of Sikhism that uses Guru Granth as scripture, but rejects the Granth as the Guru. Its adherents worship the living Guru. And the other is Dr. Loehlin, a Christian missionary and Mr. Mcleod’s colleague, vice principal Baring Union Christian College, Batala.
“One writer has declared that the present Kartarpur manuscript is a Banno version, adding that the original manuscript of the Adi Granth must have been lost. Another has suggested that the present manuscript must be a first draft, subsequently amended by the Guru himself. Their evident uneasiness strengthened a hypothesis which already seemed firmly founded.” Ibid, p. 77
‘Granth-Guru’ Dictum doubted as Guru Gobind Singh’s
“The Guru is in fact the Sabad, the Word. In the work entitled ‘Siddh Gost’ the Siddhs put the question to Guru Nanak.
‘Who is your guru, he of whom you are a disciple’? Guru Nanak replies: ‘The Word is the Guru and the mind (which is focused on it) continually is the disciple.’ (G. G. S Page 942) Guru Nanak And The Sikh Religion, p. 199
“Tradition records that guru Gobind Singh, immediately before his death declared that, with his departure the line of personal Gurus would end and that thenceforth the function and authority of the Guru would vest in scripture (Adi Granth) and in the corporate community, (the Panth), or Khalsa. The tradition that this came as a dying declaration from the tenth Guru himself must be regarded with some doubt, but the distinctive doctrine of the Guru, which it expresses certainly evolved in some manner and has been a concept of fundamental importance in subsequent Sikh history. It is clear that before the eighteenth century had run its course the Sikh community had come to accept the Adi Granth as the ‘the manifest body of the Guru’, and to accord, at least in theory, a religious sanction to the corporate decisions of the Khalsa.” Ibid, p. 2
It is unimaginable, that contrary to his assertion, Mr. McLeod would regard with doubt Guru Gobind Singh’s edict confirming the fundamental Sikh concept as a doctrine.
Bull in China Shop
Prominent Sikh scholar, late Trilochan Singh defined William Hewat McLeod, ‘Bull in [Sikh Studies] China Shop’. He has outgrown that definition: He has mentored a cadre of copycat academics that are loose in the Sikh Studies Disciplines at Western Universities. The read of dissertations of Mr. McLeod’s students and affiliates, Harjot Oberoi, Pashaura Singh, Louis E. Fenech, Doris Jakobsh, Gurinder Singh Mann, et al reveal his idiosyncrasies. All their Sikh Studies doctoral theses have rubrics, titles, sub-titles, topics and premises bearing close resemblance and/or association with Dr. McLeod’s. Some passages from his published works have been borrowed, rephrased or paraphrased and incorporated into their manuscripts. Even the targets of implicit criticism, Singh Sabha reformers, Jats, Institute of Sikh Studies and vigilant Sikh scholars are the same as that of Hew McLeod.
The published thesis of each of these so-called literati coterie is replete with insinuations, innuendoes, implications and conjectures aimed to sow the seeds of cynicism and skepticism in the minds of gullible Sikh and anti-Sikh elements. Along with ignorantly translated and radically interpreted or distorted excerpts from Sikh scriptures, there is a plethora of implications, inferences and references derived from unauthenticated traditions, Janam Sakhis, Dasam Granth compositions, mythical and quasi-Sikh historical accounts in each of their thesis.
- Hew Mcleod must be feeling smug for having mentored a fervent quasi-literati cadre that is continuing his witch-hunt to discredit and disparage the Sikh anthology; its co-authors Gurus and Hindu and Muslim holy savants; history, traditions and culture rather than pursuing objective Sikh Studies. The worst predicament is that it is not the end. Having acquired Ph. Ds and positions in the Sikh Studies disciplines at the western universities, through Mr. McLeod’s direct or indirect kind office, they are indoctrinating the students with his cynical and skeptical views.
The Sikh Panth (Faith), ever since its inception, has had to contend with many overt and covert internal and external inimical forces. However Guru Nanak’s novel Sikhism has, not only survived Guru-pretenders’ nefarious designs, Muslims’ overt annihilation, Hindus’ covert amalgamation and Christians’ sanctimonious proselytizing missions, but has flourished into one of the world’s half-a-dozen major religions. The overt annihilation threat ended with the Mughal Imperialism’s downfall brought about by the Sikh Panth’s valiant quest for religious freedom and social, cultural and political justice, and subsequent Sikh-Raj. But the covert attempts continue. Dr. McLeod and his coterie are latest to join the traditional Hindu and Christian fringe elements inimical to Sikhism.