Sikh Communal Identity in Southeast Asia
Routledge – 2013 – 224 pages
This book analyses Sikh communal identity as it was established in the Far East under the auspices of the British Empire. Focusing on Singapore with a comparative case study with Malaysia, where Sikh communities form a significant minority in terms of numbers and visibility and have had significant interaction with their respective post colonial states, the author charts the trajectory of assimilation of Sikh communal identity in Singapore and Malaya. Sikhs were part of the key events and occurrences in Southeast Asia such as the Japanese Occupation, the attainment of Independence and post independence.
The book examines the way forward for Sikh communities in these nations as communal identities are fast becoming blurred under the advent of global trends, such as the influence of Arabic versions of Islam on Malaysia, and globalisation.
This is the first booklength study of Sikh settlements in Southeast Asia. It will be of intererst to scholars of diaspora and minority studies, post colonialism, multiculturalism and South and Southeast Asian studies.
1. Introduction 2. The establishment of Sikh identity originating from the Punjab 3. Early Sikh migrants and their passage to Southeast Asia 4. Sikh Institutions and Community building in Singapore and Malaysia 5. Sikhs during the Japanese Occupation 6. Negotiating Sikh identity post Independence 7. Sikh identity meets post modernity 8. Conclusion
Arunajeet Kaur has recently completed her PhD on the Political Aspects of the Indian community in Malaysia at the Australian National University. She is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asia studies Singapore (ISEAS). She is the co-author of The Migration of Indian Human capital (with Faizal bin Yahya), also published by Routledge in 2010.