(from Hindi for disciple). Mems. of a sect of dissenters from Brahmanical Hinduism; founded in the Punjab, India, by Nanak (Nanok; 1469ca. 1533/39; b. near Lahore, India; in early yrs. a Hindu; 1st of 10 Sikh gurus [from Hindi for teacher]; comp. part of Adi* Granth; tried to unite Islam and Hinduism, rejecting the soc. and ceremonial restrictions of the latter). Chief tenet is monotheism in the Hindu-pantheistic sense. Defeated in the 1840s by Brit., who annexed the Punjab to Brit. India. Involved in incidents that led to the assassination of Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India, 1984. They number perhaps ca. 6 million. See also India, 2; Singh, Sadhu Sundar.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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