by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur Khalsa
Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.
Lately, I have been leisurely perusing The Sikh Religion by Max Arthur Macaulifee. It was written nearly 100 years ago in what reads like very formal, Biblical English. For some, the language is too thick to penetrate, but my mind screens out the â€œTheesâ€? and â€œThous.â€? Longing to glimpse the remarkable history beneath.
Call it my prejudice from all those hours studying feminist theory in college, but the stories in Macauliffe that capture my attention the most are those brief brief passages that describe interactions between the Gurus and the women of their time. There are the famous Sikh women that we all know â€“ Bibi Bani, the wife of Guru Ram Das; Mata Sahib Dev Kaur, the mother of the Khalsa; Mata Gujari, the wife of Guru Tegh Bahadur and mother of Guru Gobind Singh.
But in the writing of Macauliffe, one can also find other womenâ€™s stories. Kaulan, the daughter of Qazi Rustam Khan who ran away from her fatherâ€™s home to take residence in Amritsar.