In her article Sikh Studies: Where do we go from here? *, Doris Jakobsh states the problems that a western student, or the diaspora Sikhs would face in the area of Sikh studies. She locates the problems in the "religio-cultural meta-narrative that is the Sikh tradition." This raises a few questions as how and when the Sikh tradition(s) worked as a meta-narrative? What do we mean by Sikh traditions? Would we differentiate between pre-Singh Sabha, Singh Sabha, and post-Singh Sabha period? Has this meta-narrative been effective throughout the entire Sikh history or it emerges with the Singh Sabha movement? If we locate it in the Singh Sabha discourse, why would not trace it back into the imperialist discourse that is still functional in the academia?
As Doris Jakobsh obviously ignores all these questions and jumps to draw conclusion on the basis of this myth of meta-narrative, we are pushed to see it in terms of what levinas describes as "the dignity of being the ultimate and royal discourse." The issues of Self and subjectivity need to be discussed in this context before we try to go anywhere. It must be clear that it is not just the "subjects" as the Sikhs that need to be "defined", we need to explore the complexities that lie in the changing faces of blonde brute and priestly nobility, constantly contradicting and adapting each other.
*Readers are suggested to see the journal for more detailed version of the article: “Constructing Sikh Identities: Authorities, Virtual and Imagined,” International Journal of
Review on Doris Jakobsh's book can be found here.