Lifetime of History

Dunedin historian Hew Mcleod, world-renowned for his work researching Sikh history, has died aged 77. McLeod first travelled to Punjab in 1958 as a Christian missionary. Soon after settling down in Batala, 40km from Amritsar, Mcleod found his interest in Christianity waning and was drawn to Sikh history. “Mcleod played a major role in establishing and popularising the academic study of Sikhism outside India. He leaves behind a body of work on Sikhism which will be a source of reference to the coming generations of Sikh scholars,” Roopinder Singh, author of Guru Nanak: His Life and Teachings said. Academic I.J. Singh said he was an international authority on the religion and perhaps the best known outside Punjab and India. “It is because of a few writers and Hew McLeod above all, that the world has any inkling of Sikhism as an independent religion, with a unique, universal and timeless world view. He brought Sikhism to Western academia,” Singh said. A recent documentary called Hew McLeod: A Kiwi Sikh Historian by Manawatu Standard writer Jasmine Pujji and produced by Asia Downunder tells McLeod’s story of a lifetime researching the Sikh people of India.

Hew Mcleod: died July 20 2009

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