(Re) Presenting Sikh American History: The Rise of Stockton Gurdwara as the Capital of Sikhi in the United States

Tejpaul Bainiwal
PhD Candidate, Religious Studies
University of California, Riverside

Sikhs have been a part of the social fabric of the United States for more than a century. Most, if not all, studies of Sikhs in this country follow a similar trajectory, which includes initial immigration at the turn of the twentieth century, discrimination and hardships faced by Sikh immigrants, the Ghadar movement, Punjabi-Mexican families, and prominent Sikh Americans such as Bhagat Singh Thind and Dalip Singh Saund. Scholars have focused on a socio-political descriptive analysis of the immigration and subsequent settlement of Sikhs throughout the early 20th century. Despite the fact that Sikhs are a religious group, a thorough analysis remains to be done on the role of religion. This projects seeks to redefine these historical incidents in Sikh American history through theories of racialization while emphasizing the role of religion and placing them into a larger context of identity; power, resistance, and liberation.

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