Today, Sikhs around the world celebrate Diwali.
The Sikh celebration of Diwali commemorates the day when Hargobind (the sixth guru of Sikhism) was released from Gwalior Fort by the Emperor Jahangir (1605-1627). This is corroborated by the Dabistan-e-Mazahib (‘The School of Religions’). The Dabistan claims that Hargobind was imprisoned for 12 years before being released by the Mughal emperor.
There’s also a story about Diwali in the Punjabi Sikh tradition which devout Sikhs accept as true. There are, of course, myths, stories, and legends in all Punjabi traditions which believers accept as the “truth” …
If we can study Punjabi religions though, why can’t we study our history as history? Why do we feel the need to pass off religious traditions and folklore as historical “truths”?
Can’t we study Farīd (1173-1266), Nānak (1469-1530) or Bulleh Shah (1680-1757) without sanctifying them?
Can’t we question our past?
I look forward to doing just that.