The India Post, Chandigarh,27 January 2009 : Noted historian, Prof. 1.S. Grewal, former Vice-Chancellor GNDU, Amritsar and former Director IIAS, Shimla, delivered the Annual Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Lecture on "Halemi Raj: A State within a State" at P.U. Campus here today. This lecture was organized by the Department of Political Science, Panjab University . Prof. M.M. Puri, Professor Emeritus and Former Vice-Chancellor, P.U. presided over the function. Dr. Ronki Ram, Chairperson, briefly described the lecture series and also introduced the speaker.
The term "Halemi Raj" is popularly referred to as the rule of benevolence. Prof. Grewal moving away from the spiritual connotations of the term began by saying that by the early 17th century, the Sikh Panth had become a state within a state i.e. a state within the Mughal empire. According to him, Guru Arjan Dev who used this term was reflecting on the socio-economic changes that had taken place in society at that point of time. Prof. Grewal traced the development of the Sikh Panth through the evolution of what he called the 3 G’s, namely, Guru, Gurudwara and Granth. Halemi Raj therefore suggests the growth and development of Sikhism as a religion. Historically by the late 16thto early 1ih century, the Sikh Panth had been able to establish autonomous towns in many pockets, financed by the contribution of the followers.
These autonomous regions which are referred to as the development of Halemi Raj, signified the development of the consciousness of a distinctive identity among the followers and also reinforced the claim of exclusive validity for their liberation path.
The lecture was attended by students, researchers and teachers from university departments and colleges in Chandigarh . Prof.. B. S. Brar, proposed the vote of thanks on the occasion according to Prof.. Ronki Ram, Chairperson, Dept. of Political Science.