Raj Karega Khalsa (The Khalsa Shall Reign)

The Legacy of Tat Khalsa in Portrayals of the Khalsa, the Impact on Sikh Studies and Implications for Sikhism in Education


  • Catherine Anne Robinson




Sikhism, Khalsa, Rahit, Tat Khalsa, Five Ks


This article arises out of experience teaching Sikhism to undergraduates and critical reflection on professional practice in terms of the representation of Sikhism in scholarship and education. Such experience and reflection reveal that Sikhism tends to be represented in the form of the Khalsa and that the understanding of the Khalsa is modern in character. Hence this article identifies the origins of current orthodoxy in the campaigning activities of Tat Khalsa and identifies how Tat Khalsa style orthodoxy has influenced research and teaching. In so doing, it examines the history of Sikh Studies but especially the debate surrounding Hew McLeod which shows how controversial it is to challenge the consensus. It also reviews school textbooks and school and examination syllabuses in order to demonstrate a pro-Khalsa bias. This article concludes by setting out how research and teaching can provide a fuller and fairer picture of Sikhism by taking seriously diversity and plurality, for example, by the inclusion of other movements and popular practice.


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How to Cite

Robinson, C. A. (2007). Raj Karega Khalsa (The Khalsa Shall Reign): The Legacy of Tat Khalsa in Portrayals of the Khalsa, the Impact on Sikh Studies and Implications for Sikhism in Education. Religions of South Asia, 1(1), 65–80. https://doi.org/10.1558/rosa.v1i1.65