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SikhRI’s Miri-Piri Report: Politics, Spirituality, and Sikh Sovereignty

July 21, 2021
Hackettstown, NJ, USA

Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) has released its seventh research report in the State of the Panth series titled Miri-Piri: The Political-Spiritual Sikh Doctrine.

Hackettstown, NJ, USA, 21 July 2021 – Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) has released its seventh research report in the State of the Panth series titled Miri-Piri: The Political-Spiritual Sikh Doctrine. This report explores how Sikhs worldwide can live the Miri-Piri doctrine under competing nationalisms and citizenships.

“Miri-Piri is not as deeply understood in the Panth (Sikh Collective) as it should be. We all too often separate the political and the spiritual or prioritize one over the other. The report clearly outlines Sikh perspectives on major questions about the relationship between the political and the spiritual through primary and secondary sources.” Kulvir Singh, SikhRI Executive Director.

SikhRI conducted a global opinion survey of 548 self-identified Sikhs from 19 countries to gain current views and insights from the Sikh community. The majority (320) of respondents said that spirituality and religion inform their perspective on politics, followed by traditional media (189), friends and peers (146), family (137), and social media (120). Similarly, 239 respondents felt that the political and the religious should inform each other, while 199 respondents felt they should hold each other accountable.

Jasleen Kaur, researcher of this report, shared: “There is a clear variation in understanding of Miri-Piri. This has caused us to ask, how do Sikhs assert their sovereignty through the Miri-Piri in shifting state relationships with various players? Through different times, different contexts, and with other states and powers, Sikhs throughout history have found ways to navigate the political landscape in a way that honors Miri-Piri.”

The report lists four recommendations for individuals and institutions on how to apply the Miri-Piri perspective in their daily lives and advance understanding of Miri-Piri doctrine through events, training, education, and political dialogue.

Harinder Singh, senior researcher of this report, remarked: “Immersing ourselves into Sikhi, Miri-Piri institution, and conducting a global survey allowed us to see the same issue from a variety of interesting and even surprising perspectives. For example, we learned that 93% of survey participants engage politically in some way, despite understanding that political systems are imperfect.”

The Miri-Piri report is available to download today at sikhri.org/sotp. A full set of raw data is included as a separate document.

Media Contact: Manpreet.Singh@SikhRI.org | +1 855-913-1313 ext. 701

SikhRI’s Miri-Piri Report: Politics, Spirituality, and Sikh Sovereignty

Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) has released its seventh research report in the State of the Panth series titled Miri-Piri: The Political-Spiritual Sikh Doctrine.

Hackettstown, NJ, USA

July 21, 2021

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Hackettstown, NJ, USA, 21 July 2021 – Sikh Research Institute (SikhRI) has released its seventh research report in the State of the Panth series titled Miri-Piri: The Political-Spiritual Sikh Doctrine. This report explores how Sikhs worldwide can live the Miri-Piri doctrine under competing nationalisms and citizenships.

“Miri-Piri is not as deeply understood in the Panth (Sikh Collective) as it should be. We all too often separate the political and the spiritual or prioritize one over the other. The report clearly outlines Sikh perspectives on major questions about the relationship between the political and the spiritual through primary and secondary sources.” Kulvir Singh, SikhRI Executive Director.

SikhRI conducted a global opinion survey of 548 self-identified Sikhs from 19 countries to gain current views and insights from the Sikh community. The majority (320) of respondents said that spirituality and religion inform their perspective on politics, followed by traditional media (189), friends and peers (146), family (137), and social media (120). Similarly, 239 respondents felt that the political and the religious should inform each other, while 199 respondents felt they should hold each other accountable.

Jasleen Kaur, researcher of this report, shared: “There is a clear variation in understanding of Miri-Piri. This has caused us to ask, how do Sikhs assert their sovereignty through the Miri-Piri in shifting state relationships with various players? Through different times, different contexts, and with other states and powers, Sikhs throughout history have found ways to navigate the political landscape in a way that honors Miri-Piri.”

The report lists four recommendations for individuals and institutions on how to apply the Miri-Piri perspective in their daily lives and advance understanding of Miri-Piri doctrine through events, training, education, and political dialogue.

Harinder Singh, senior researcher of this report, remarked: “Immersing ourselves into Sikhi, Miri-Piri institution, and conducting a global survey allowed us to see the same issue from a variety of interesting and even surprising perspectives. For example, we learned that 93% of survey participants engage politically in some way, despite understanding that political systems are imperfect.”

The Miri-Piri report is available to download today at sikhri.org/sotp. A full set of raw data is included as a separate document.

Media Contact: Manpreet.Singh@SikhRI.org | +1 855-913-1313 ext. 701